As the last year has been, its been busy. That is the simplest way I could say anything about the last year. So, I did want to write a short message for the new year. I always look for messages from ancient Indian sources. The following is a shloka (a couplet) I read in 10th grade. I have never forgotten it. But the best about it is it was written down thousands of years ago, when supposedly there was no religion, thousands of years before Jesus came or Prophet Mohammed heard anything. This is Hinduism. Simple, basic philosophy. And so we grew up with it. Education, a code of conduct, kindness and caring, this is what defined character, not believing in God, or going to temples. Education, asked for discipline, waking up at odd hours to learn. Code of conduct gave those around us a security, and also taught us that we cannot always follow personal desires, but a higher ideal is important to follow, and kindness, was a very important sign of sanity and balance of ego and surrender of that ego.
Here are the exact words...
YESHAM NA VIDYA NA TAPO NA DANAM
JNANA NA SHEELAM NA GUNO NA DHARMAHA
TE MATRYALOKE BHUVI BHARBHUTA
MANUSHYA RUPENNA MRIGASHCHARANTI
And the following are two translations. The pictures are from our Xmas dinner in 2013. Something I always look forward to. The university organises several events to bring us together. I am grateful for those, since it allows for staff bonding. Now, here are the translations....
There is not wealth equal to that of charity, no enemy greater than lust, no ornament as precious as good character, and no treasure greater than happiness.
Another alternative translation goes like this
A person who despite having taken human birth does not engage in study, education, learning of the arts an other worthy topics, does not do penance (has not learnt discipline. The word tapas is translated here as penance, but actually there is no equivalent in English. A penance is done to atone, as an act of repentance. Tapas is taken on voluntarily to achieve a goal. A student wanting to learn and master a musical instrument will give us sleep, regular childhood, or much socialising to learn. Nothing comes for free. Our lives show us in the end what we have spent the most time on) nor does charity, does not imbibe maximum knowledge does not adhere to the code of conduct, does not imbibe virtues like courage, patience, kindness, mercy, these people are like animals on earth-burdening the earth with its weight.
I hope that readers will be surrounded by wise, and caring people throughout the year.