Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Shloka for Kids series - Shuklaam Bharadaram

Holiday season is upon us and for those of us in the northern hemisphere, its time to bring the winter clothes out of the closet. Time to stay warm and keep sickness at bay. Time to spend with family and friends and be thankful as ever for all that life has to offer us.
The shloka that I have chosen for today is another two liner. Its a verse praising Lord Vishnu, one of the Holy Trinity of Hinduism, the Life Giver or the Preserver.


शुक्लाम् भरदरम विष्णुम् शशि वर्णम् चतुर्भुजम्  ।
प्रसन्न वदनम् ध्यायेत् सर्व विघ्नोप शान्तये   ॥

ಶುಕ್ಲಾಮ್ ಭರದರಮ್ ವಿಷ್ಣುಂ ಶಶಿ ವರ್ಣಮ್ ಚತುರ್ಭುಜಮ್ ।
ಪ್ರಸನ್ನ ವದನಮ್ ಧ್ಯಾಯೇತ್ ಸರ್ವ ವಿಘ್ನೋಪ ಶಾಂತಯೇ ।।

shuklaam bharadaram vishNum shashi varNam chaturbhujam |
prasanna vadanam dhyayet sarva vighnopa shaantaye ||

(Let us meditate upon) Lord Vishnu, who is wearing white clothing, who is lustrous in appearance like the moon and one who has fours arms.(Let us meditate upon) him who has a compassionate and gracious face, to ward off all obstacles.

The Sanskrit word, dhyayet, signifies the action of meditation (dhyaana) to be performed by the worshippers. Its an invitation that translates as 'let us all do dhyaana' upon Lord Vishnu who has all the characteristics that are then described in the shloka. The placement of the verb works very well in Sanskrit, but not so much in translation! This should be pretty easy as far as pronunciation goes, because there arent any multi-syllabic words.

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy holiday season!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Shlokas for Kids series: Shubham karoti

Wishing you and your families a very joyful and prosperous Deepawali! As the festival of lights draws to a close this year, I thought a shloka on light would be appropriate! Light has always been a metaphor for more positive aspects such as knowledge and hope and as a result anything that provides us with that life giving, affirming light is also to be revered and cultivated. (Conversely, darkness has been a metaphor for ignorance, for destructive and harmful intent.)
The following shloka is again a simple one and can be easily taught to kids. Traditionally, this shloka was recited in the evenings when lamps were lit against the encroaching darkness.


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शुभम् करोति कल्याणाम् आरोग्यम् धन सम्पदम्  ।
शत्रु बुद्धि विनाशाय दीपज्योतिर्नमोस्तुते ॥

ಶುಭಂ ಕರೋತಿ ಕಲ್ಯಾಣಂ ಆರೋಗ್ಯಂ ಧನ ಸಂಪದಂ ।
ಶತ್ರು ಬುದ್ಧಿ ವಿನಾಶಾಯ ದೀಪಜೋತಿರ್ನಮೊಸ್ತುತೆ ।।

Shubham karoti kalyaaNam aarogyam dhana sampadam |
shatru buddhi vinaashaaya deepajyotirnamostute ||

(I pay obeisance to the light of the lamp) that brings auspiciousness, well being (or health) and wealth
and destroys harmful and damaging feelings.

Notes: The only phrase that might present a stumbling block for kids is the last one which can be broken down as - deepaha ( दीपः )  jyotihi ( ज्योतिः ) namostute ( नमोस्तुते ).

There is plenty in the world and all around us to instill fear, pessimism or despair in us. But conversely, there is even more to inspire hope, joy and eternal optimism, one of which is your family and loved ones. So gather them around you and celebrate all that is well in your life!
Happy Diwali!!