BHARTRUHARI NOTES- 1 (Post No.7281)

Written by LONDON SWAMINATHAN

swami_48@yahoo.com

Date: 30  NOVEMBER 2019

Time in London – 14-59

Post No. 7281

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FOLLOWING ARE THE NOTES WRITTEN BY ME ON 8TH OCTOBER 1995

I READ Bhartuharis’ Poems Edited by Theodore de Barry, Colombia University Press,1967.

1.I Ching, Chinese traveller, who travelled in India between 671 CE and 695 CE refers to Bhartruhari.

2.B’s Satakatryam (3×100 Niti, Srngara and Vairagya Satakam) contains 21 meters in Sanskrit.

3.Punning is used to strengthen the antithesis between amorous passion and peace.

Pun words  — Passion – Peace

Kesa samyamina sruther (verse 139)

Samyamina- tied up  — self control

Param param gathe – extended to ear—gone to the opposite shore of worldly existence

Sruti – ear – Vedas

Dwijaana – teeth – twice born men

Mukta – pearl – released, liberated

Xxx

Verse 1- Shiva is worshipped as light in the minds of Yogis

Verse 2 – Passion smites even those bereft of life

Verse 3 – Don’t think of suicide, don’t desire wealth of others, Speak the Truth, Do charity , Don’t talk about women’s conduct, Control your desires, Respect elders- this is the gist of scriptures.

Verse 5 – yathaa kincit jnoham……

compare Tirukkural 1110 (the more I come to know now, exposed my ignorance.

When I knew but a little, I was blinded by pride, as an elephant by rut; with my mind so stained, I believed “I am a sage”.

But slowly I learned from the presence of men wise in myriad ways.

My pride was like fever, subdued and I knew, “I am a fool”.

Verse 7 – like a string of pearls napped- this simile is in Gita, Tirukkural, Karnan- Bhanumati game

Verse 8 – you can wake up a sleeping man but not a man who is pretending to sleep is a Tamil proverb.

An ignorant man is readily pleased

More readily is a sage

But a man distorted by trifling knowledge

Brahma himself cannot sway.

Compare He who knows not……………… (proverb)

Verse 9 –

You cannot straighten the tail of a dog is a Tamil proverb

B says you can get gems by opening the mouth of a sea animal (Makara Mani), you may cross the roaring seas, you can wear a snake as a garland, but you cannot change a fool.

Verse 11 – mani sanollita

A warrior hero wounded at arms

And men whose riches are spent in alms.

Verse 15- hartur yati na ko charam

It is about education/ learning; it is in a later time Tamil poem

It eludes the pillage of thieves

Promotes endless joy

Bestowed on those who beg

It was greater yet

And perishes not despite the end of time

Wisdom is a treasure deep within

Kings renounce your arrogance

Towards its masters

Who can rival them?

Also Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar in Tirukkural Chapters 40, 41, 42

Verse 17

Tamil proverb is A tiger never eats grass even if it s very hungry.

And B says

How can a lion , proudest of the creatures,

Stop to feed on withered grass?

Kim jirnam trunam aththimana mahatma agre cara kesari

Verse 18

Walk in the footsteps of great men

Who revealed to the saints this vow

As severe as a sword

Compare Longfellow’s English poem

Kalidasa and Tamil poet Kamban also say that the ancient poets showed them the path .

Verse 19

Tri karana suddhi- this unique to Hindus. They believe that word and deed and thought  must be one and then only one can do wonders.

Manasi, vacasi, kaye (Mano, Vak, Kaya)

This concept is found from Himalayas to  Kanyakumari and no where else in the world.

Verse 20

Greatness of ocean – it supports Vishnu, weight of the deep water and Vadavagni.

It is also in Bhagavad Gita (2-70), Panca Tantra, Kalidasa and Tamil literature

Verse 22

About fate—B gives the gist of three couplets in Tirukkural. Tiruvaluvar, author of Tirukkural sings about the influence of fate in chapter 38.

Most famous Tamil epic is based upon fate.

But yet Hindus believe God can change anything over ruling written fate (Hindus believe that Brahma has already written t on your head; it may mean actual lines n one’s skull or one’s thinking process)

In one of the Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu Shiva is called Mr Effort (Muyarchinathar)

Tiruvalluvar also says in Couples 619, 620 and 1023

B says

We would bow to the gods

But even they submit to destiny’s sway

We would pay destiny homage

But it can only grant reward

In accord with our karma

Nay, if the Karma is the source of all reward

What need have we for destiny or deities?

Our fealty is to karma

Under which even destiny crumbles

To be continued………………………………

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