gifts for Sanskrit teachers

Venkatraman Iyer venkatraman_iyer at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 1 02:40:55 UTC 2000

[Thanks for all sorts of gifts coming my way.  When I was a student in
Pune, we had a convenient interpretation of a verse of the Bhagavad-gita:

abhyaase 'py asamartho 'si, mat-karma-paramo bhava /
mad-artham api kurvan siddhim avaapsyasi //

In modern Marathi, the word abhyaasa refers to study.  Hence the verse
was interpreted as a teacher saying to a student:

"Even if you are incapable of study, be dedicated to carrying out some
work for me (such as taking the cows to graze? or washing my
laundry?). Doing even such tasks for me, you will succeed (= I will
give you a passing grade in this class?)" Madhav Deshpande]

Reminds me of a 17th c. verse. Pa.tikkAcar(P) was a wandering poet;
Once he returned to TiruvArUr where he was trained in Tamil grammar
to meet an old classmate, Sadashiva Desikar(D). Children
from D's school were plucking fruits, flowers & spinach while reciting
intricate prosody verses. P tells his friend, D that "it is easy to
spot your house because the kids are teaching the kArikai grammar
to bushes in the garden!".

kuu.tum capaiyil kavivaa ra.nagka.laik kO.laripOl
caa.tum catAciva ca.rkuru vE!mun2n2un2 tantaitan2n2aal
paa.tum pulavarka.l aan2Om;in2 .riccemmal pa.t.tiyegkum
kaa.tum ce.tiyumen2 n2Otamizk kaarikai ka.rpatuvE?

V. Iyer

PS: Desikar eventually became the Pontiff of Darumapuram Saiva
Adheenam.  Both Pa.tikkAcu and Desikar were students of Vaidhyanatha
Naavalar, the author of "ilakka.navi.lakkam" and father of D.
Naavalar's  ilakka.navi.lakkam was  published by T. V. Gopalaiyar
via Sarasvathimahal library. Gopalaiyar is the teacher of Danielou,
Chevillard, ...

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