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Monday, February 23, 2015

half-baked knowledge

I had an opportunity to engage with someone that encourages and teaches śloka recitation. Unfortunately, instead of sticking to simple basics, he attempts to teach nuances that are poorly grounded.

विना ज्ञानं विनादेशं लोककल्याणकाङ्क्षिणः ।
बोधयन्ति वयोवृद्धान् रिङ्खनं पादपातनम् ॥
रिङ्खनं मे सुप्रख्यातं कर्तव्यं तस्य बोधनम् ।
इत्येवं व्याहरन्तीमे कुर्वन्त्यन्धपरम्पराम् ॥

Sometimes well meaning people forge ahead to teach others, though they themselves lack a proper foundation, and lack any clear direction. They end up resembling children that attempt to teach adults how to crawl and move about. They believe that their celebrated method of crawling deserves to be taught. Unfortunately, this is simply a case of the blind leading the blind.

भाषास्वभावमनुपेत्य विमूढवत् ते
पाशादिकेन विनिहन्ति गतिप्रसारम् ।
इन्द्रादिचारुविहिता मुनिशक्तिसत्ता
पर्यश्रुनेत्रनदिकास्रवसिक्तदेहा ॥

Without understanding saṁskṛta bhāṣā's nature, they foolishly try to restrain her gait with nooses and the like. She who has been used elegantly by Indra and the devas, and she who is the very existence underlying the śakti of the munis ... her body is now soaked by the river borne out of her tear-filled eyes.

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