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Thursday, June 09, 2011

Two jewel-like verses

These are two jewel-like verses I read on the internet in recent days -

ekaḥ prajāyate jantur eka eva pralīyate
eko'nubhuṅkte sukṛtam eka eva ca duṣkṛtam

"One is born alone, one dies alone.
One enjoys one's good karma alone and one suffers one's bad karma alone."

(Manu Samhita 4.240, recently quoted in 'Practical Sanskrit')

However much one may love one's child or spouse or friend, one must helplessly watch them suffer diseases without being able to take them over from them. However desperately we want to keep our beloved Guru, friend or parent with us, we must helplessly watch them leave their bodies right in front of us.

Another jewel-like verse recently read on the web (The Enquirer):

likhita granthera yadi kori anuvāda
tabe se granthera artha pāiye āsvāda

(Caitanya Caritāmṛta, ādi līlā 17.311)

"If I repeat (translate) scriptures that were already written, I will relish the meaning of these scriptures."

Sadly I did not notice this verse earlier, in the 1980s and 90s, when I was translating all these amazing and marvellous scriptures, but yes it is a fact - translation work is like a microscope in that we get deep realizations about what is being written there - and it is also like a press that squeezes the juice out of the sugarcane, allowing us to relish the transcendental nectar-juice of it as well. Another interesting thing about this verse is that it shows the function of Caitanya Caritāmṛta as a Bengali summary of all the Goswamis' books, of which Kṛṣṇadas Kavirāja was the mere broadcaster.

Both verses are added to the file 'Wisdoms' on my website


  1. Hare Krishna,

    Regarding the Manu Samhita verse. As a child, in church camp, we used to sing: "You've got to walk that lonesome valley, you've got to walk it by yourself, oh nobody else can walk it for you, you've got to walk it by yourself." The valley was the valley of the shadow of death. I never did like that song, made me feel very lonely. Krishna is always with you, you are never alone.

  2. Is your point that Visnu does not maintain the universe therefore He is transcendental? in the CC Madhya 20.289 we read:

    'visnu'-rupa hana kare jagat palane
    gunatita visnu----sparsa nahi maya-sane

    "In this way, the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His form of Visnu maintains the entire material world. Since He is always beyond the material qualities, the material nature cannot touch Him.

  3. Visvanath Cakravartipada writes in his tika of 8.3.8 that the birth etc of Vishnu are not described in this verse, as are those of Shiva and Brahma, because atra loka-sthity-arthaM viSNu-janmAdIni na nirdiSTAni, teSAM mAyikatvAbhAvAt 'the birth etc of Vishnu for the sake of maintaining the universe, are not pointed out here, because there is no maya in them."