Verses attributed to no author in particular, written either in two lines or four, conveying mind-capturing portrayal of the happenings in nature as well as in life of people at large have been bestowed the status of words of wisdom or Subhashitha in Sanskrit. The lines of unknown vintage have endured for centuries through word of mouth until the times they first appeared on palm leaf and later in print on paper. Some Universities have brought out a compendium of the Subhashithas and published the same for the benefit of present generation and also posterity. These publications have seen many prints and often given to youngsters as prize in quiz contests nowadays. As a substantial part of the cornucopia of the aforementioned verses are in the nature of diktats suggesting various virtues to be imbibed, they may not find favour with many among the readers of gen next specially. Pundits (teachers) of Sanskrit language in high school stage used to be conduit for the continued flow of the words of wisdom across generations.
Presidents of the land and also their counterparts in Gram Panchayats, invited to be chief guests of public functions, find it fascinating to deliver advisory on good conduct as well as taking up the role of ambassadors of the land’s rich culture. These VIP guests of functions delivering platitudes is a common sight in our times.
Given the fast deteriorating societal atmosphere in all regions of the country, thanks to the unsavoury exchanges among the vote-seekers who are past their middle age, promptly carried by the print and electronic media providing entertainment to some sections in the country’s masses and disgust to the old-timers, one is prompted to ponder over the kind of education the present crop of netas received. Although there are still good Samaritans amidst us, casting their aura of spreading the philosophical thoughts of the land’s sages and saints of the past such as Adi Shankara and Basavanna, their influence on society has got stumped by the influence of people of despicable kind.
This column merits to cite one of the less quoted and less liked Subhashitha, which talks of the profile of fools namely: haughty, foul-mouthed, incorrigible, speaking unpleasantly and not respecting good advice (moorkhasya panchachinhaani…) in Sanskrit, which is not hard to comprehend for Kannadigas. In short, do’s & don’ts are at a discount.