Devavani

The Sanskrit language is called DEVAVANI (Divine Language).  The Upanishads are written in Sanskrit.  The very word “Sanskrit” means transformed, adorned, crowned, decorated, refined,  —— but remember the word “transformed”.  The language itself was transformed because so many people attained to the ultimate, and because they were using the language, something of their joy penetrated into it, something of their poetry entered into the very cells, the very fibre of the language.  Even the language became transformed, illuminated.  It was bound to happen.  Languages in the West are becoming more and more scientific, accurate, mathematical and precise.  Science is giving languages colour, shape and form.
Sanskrit hymnThe same happened with Sanskrit 5,000 years ago.  So many people became enlightened and they were all speaking Sanskrit, their enlightenment entered into it with all its music, poetry, with all its celebration.  Sanskrit became luminous; it is the most poetic and musical language.
A “poetic language” is just the opposite of a “scientific language”.  In “scientific language” every word has to be very precise in meaning; it has to have only one meaning.  — In “poetic language” the word has to be liquid, flowing, dynamic, not static, allowing many meanings, many possibilities.  The word has to be not precise at all; the more imprecise it is better, because then it will be able to express all kinds of nuances.
There are 800 roots in Sanskrit and out of those thousands of words have been derived just as out of one root a tree grows and many branches and thousands of leaves and hundreds of flowers.  Each single root becomes a vast tree with great foliage.
oshoFor example, the root RAM can mean first ‘to be calm’, second ‘to rest’, third ‘to delight in’, fourth ’cause delight to’, fifth ‘to make love’, sixth ‘to join’, seventh ‘to make happy’, eighth ‘to be blissful’, ninth ‘to play’, tenth ‘to be peaceful’, eleventh ‘ to stand still’, twelfth ‘to stop’ and thirteenth ‘God, divine, the absolute’.  Sometimes the meanings are related to each other, sometimes they are contradictory to each other.  Hence the language has a multi-dimensional quality to it.  You can play with those words and through that play you can express the inexpressible; the inexpressible can be hinted.
The script in which Sanskrit is written is called DEVANAGRI (dwelling-place of the Gods), and so it certainly is.  Each word has become divine, just because it has been used by people who had known God or godliness.
(Abridged from I AM THAT, Osho Times International, http://www.osho.com)   ——– Talk : Osho 
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Mattur

Mattur Sanskrit Village

MATTUR is a village near the city of Shivamogga in Karnataka State, India, known for the usage of the “language of the Gods” —SANSKRIT, for day-to-day communication, although the general language of the State is Kannada.  You will be greeted, on arrival, thus : HARI OM.  KATHAM AASTHI ? (Hello.  How are you ? )
Mattur and Hosahalli are known for their efforts to support GAMAKA ART, which is an unique form of singing and storytelling in Karnataka.  Theses are two of the very rare villages in India, where SANSKRIT is spoken as a regional language.  SANSKRIT is the vernacular of the majority of the 5,000 residents of this quaint, sleepy hamlet situated a little over 4km from Shivamgga.The village speaks the language of the Gods  ————- SANSKRIT.  Siddique Ahmad and Kysar Khan, both 9th standard students of Sharada Vilas School, recite “shlokas” effortlessly along with their classmates.  Even after lessons whether they are at play or back home, they slip into SANSKRIT.  Indeed, they are even teaching their parents to speak the language of the Gods.

mattur


Walk down a few paces from the school where you touch the RATHA BEEDHI ( Cart Street) and graffiti, on the wall, grabs your attention :  Maargaha swacchatya viraajithe, gramaha sujanai viraajithe ( Cleanliness is as important for a road as good people are for a village).  Other slogans such as “Keep the Temple premises clean”, “Keep the river clean” and “Trees are a nation’s wealth” —— all in SANSKRIT  ——- are painted on walls everywhere.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the district headquarters, Mattur sits pretty with a garland of arecanuts and coconut plantations along the Tunga River, which has now been swelling, thanks to a good monsoon.

Mattur village


At the door of K. N. Markandeya Avadhani, a well-known Vedic scholar, a sticker in Kannada greets you : You can speak in Sanskrit in this house.”  He says, “This is to tell visitors that in case they are fluent in the language, they can converse with us in Sanskrit.”
Perhaps this inspired BJP Leader, Sushma Swaraj to deliver a 20-minute power-packed speech in Sanskrit, when she visited Mattur in May during campaigning for the Shivamogga by-election. —— The practice, of speaking in Sanskrit, wasn’t born yesterday.  History has it that the Vijaynagar Emperor gifted Mattur and neighbouring Hosahalli, known as centres of learning for Sanskrit and Vedic Studies from time immemorial, to the “people” in 1512.  The “gift deed” inscriptions, on copper plates, have been preserved by the archaeology department.

Mattur riverbank


Mattur’s Sanskrit-speaking habit got a further boost when Pejawar Mutt Pontiff Vishvesha Theertha visited the place in 1982, and “christened” it “The Sanskrit Village”.  For long, a colony of SANKETI BRAHMINS, the village is now home to different communities including backward classes, Muslims and Lambanis.
Yet, conversing in Sanskrit, isn’t an “adult quirk”.  Study of the language begins from the Montessori Level, where children are taught rhymes and told stories in Sanskrit —— even Chandamama comics are printed in Sanskrit.  While Sanskrit is a compulsory subject in school, teachers and students even speak to each other only in Sanskrit. At the crack of dawn, the village resounds with Vedic chants in households ( homes are named : Tray, Pavanatmaja, Chintamani, Prasanna – Bhaskara Nilayaha)

Mattur-Karnataka-India


Some are teaching Sanskrit in Universities across the State and many others have found jobs as software engineers.  Gopal Avadhani, who is in his late 60s, says, ” After completing my Engineering Course, I came back to stay in Mattur.  I tend the land now and live with my family. ——- about 20 of us across generations.”  Meanwhile, Rukmini, another family member, pipes in : “Coffeya, chaaya kim ichchathi ? ( What will you have — coffee or tea ? ).  Outside children play and giggle, calling out to each other : Manojava, Savyasaachi, Ikshudhanwa, Niharika.
Avadhani recalls the names of many foreign students who stayed with them in true guru-shishya tradition to take crash courses in Sanskrit ——” Rutger, Kortemgorst and Vincent came down from Ireland last year.”  Vincent, he says, surprised everyone by speaking in Sanskrit at the farewell function.
As people go about their daily routine soon after, there’s more Sanskrit to be heard.  At times, the whole village sems like a “Pathashala” ——- everybody, children and menfolk alike, dressed in white dhotis and angasvatra greeting each other with : Hari Om.  Katham Aasthi ?
Mattur, though, isn’t a cloistered hermitage shy of the outside world.  Many of its youngsters have moved to cities in search of greener pastures. ——– SAMSKRUTA BHARATI, a New Delhi-headquartered association, is involved in promoting Sanskrit, has a branch here and Srinidhi, its secretary, runs the show.  The organisation teaches functional language for day-to-day conversation.

Gamaka


At dusk, the melodious chanting of the Vedas emerges from around the banks of the Tunga River, which is “unusually calm”.  The stillness removes one from “modernity” to another era when Sanskrit reigned and when there no NISHTANTU DOORVANI (mobile  phones).
Mattur has produced  over 30 Sanskrit Professors who are teaching in Kuvempu, Bengaluru, Mysore and Mangalore Universities.

Sanskrit Alphabet


The main source of livelihood is the cultivation of arecanut, coconut and vegetables.  The village has a primary health centre, a co-operative society, a few provision shops and two schools.  But the residents don’t raise a din over lack infra-structure.  In fact, the village is an ideal example of “self-governance” as it were.  They pump water from the river directly and have provided all their houses with separate connections.  Last year, when the village lake was filled with hyacinth and the government threw up its hands, as the cost of cleaning the lake was estimated at 1crore, they didn’t sulk.  About 70 of them got together, swam through the lake and physically removed the weeds.  The task was done in 45 days.

Language quibbles

A language changes all the time, with new words entering the lexicon and others quietly fading out.  One of the factors that can play a role is the users’ experience.  Others argue, words that are available for use, can also recursively shape the users’ experience.  
childrenThis, in  a nutshell, is the crux of the row that has recently brewed up.  It has been decided by Oxford University Press that the new edition of the 10,000 entry Oxford Junior Dictionary, aimed at seven-year olds starting on the Key Stage Two reading level, will feature changes that some have found objectionable : “A”, say the naysayers, should remain “is for acorn”, “B” for buttercup, “C” for conker ——- not attachment, blog or chat room.
The group of upwards of two dozen authors who have raised objections include Margaret Atwood, Helen Macdonald and Sara Maitland..  They call the decision “shocking and poorly considered”.  
Their reservations are not unfounded, and stem from the reasonably well-documented effects of the urbanised experience of childhood.  The current generation of children, they point out, has significantly diminished access to and experience of nature and the countryside.
The word “conker” is, for the most part, entirely outside the experience of most children —— unless the child has studied his/her Enid Blyton.  It is also unknown to the children in the UK (where it was once used very widely), since they have never gone looking for dried-up and hardened acorns.  The OUP’s new dictionary will lack some 50 words that are related to nature and the countryside, and will include, instead, words that perhaps have, in today’s world, ‘more traction’ with children.  This has alarmed people because the new words chosen are “associated with the increasingly interior, solitary childhoods of today”.
Changes to this dictionary have been made earlier.  The 20017 Oxford Junior Dictionary moved “almond”, “blackberry” and “crocus”  aside for “analogue”, block-graph” and “celebrity”, and the current 2012 edition maintained the earlier changes while added “analogue”, broadband” and “cut-and-paste”.  
This might to some feel like a “quibble” (trivial objection) over a minor issue.  The OUP has pointed out that this particular dictionary, as well as others intended for older children, retains very many a “natural” words.  Others take it as “nostalgia for a pastoral past” that is, well, mainly past in the industrialised West, a “resistance against the high-tech realities of the modern world”.
There is no denying that new sets of knowledge have to be learned by students, and, in some cases, are being accommodated while other, more traditional knowledge-blocks, are quietly falling by the wayside.  For example “cursive writing” is no longer taught compulsively.  Since today’s students will face professional and academic terrains, that earlier generations never envisioned, primary students in UK state schools have started having lessons in “coding” (and foreign languages from age seven) under the new national curriculum.  Children, aged five upwards, are learning to create and debug simple computer programmes.  They are also being taught about the storage and retrieval of data, the use of Internet engines, and children’s safety online.
——Hajrah Mumtaz.          
It makes me sad to think that there is no “childhood and its little joys” for the children of today.  They are expected to sprint before they have even learnt to walk . 

Aptronym

An APTRONYM or CHARACTONYM is a name aptly suited to its owner. 
AptronymThe medieval Latin poem EUPOLEMIUS uses APTRONYMS based on Greek words to allegorise the story of the Gospel.  In the book : What’s in a name ? (1996), author Paul Dickson cites a long list of APTRONYMS, originally compiled by Professor Lewis P. Lipsitt of Brown University.  Psychologist Carl Jung wrote in his 1952 book : SYNCHRONICITY, that there was a “sometimes quite grotesque coincidence between a man’s name and his peculiarities.”
Some natural APTRONYMS are to be expected as an outgrowth of occupational names in the Middle Ages.  Names like Butcher, Baker, Carter and Chandler fall into this category.
Fictional examples of APTRONYMS include Mr. Talkative and Mr. Worldly Wiseman, in John Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim’s Progress.” (1678) ; the lead character in the 1998 film “The Truman Show”, the principal cast of “Mr. Men” (1971) book series and all the characters in Marc Blitzstein”s 1937 play ” The Cradle Will Rock.”
Notable examples of APTRONYMS :
Bmjb77HCEAEbkPG(1) Jules ANGST,  German Professor, who has published works about ‘Anxiety’.
(2) Sara BLIZZARD, meteorologist, the weather presenter for the BBC.
(3) Russell BRAIN —– neurologist.
(4) John CARBON, chemist, biochemist and molecular biologist.
(5) Rich COLEMAN, British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines.
blackboard_aptronyms(6) Christopher COKE, Jamaican drug lord.
(7) Martin FOGG, an expert on the atmosphere of Mars.
(8) Eiichi GOTO, computer scientist ( goto or “go to” is a common piece of code in many programme languages)
(9) Jim HORN, saxophonist and woodwind player.
(10) Bernie MADOFF, who made off with a lot of other people’s investment money.
(11) James CASH PENNEY, businessman, entrepreneur, retailer.
(12) Emily WINES, a master sommelier.
INAPTRONYMS ; Some APTRONYMS are IRONIC rather than DESCRIPTIVE, and are known as INAPTRONYMS by Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post.
A notable example is the former Archbishop of Mamla —- Jaime L. SIN, who in 1976 was made a Cardinal by Pope Paul VI, thus becoming known as CARDINAL SIN.
(2) John BALANCE, English musician, died after falling from a 2-storey balcony at his home.
(3) Grant BALFOUR, MLB pitcher, although, as a pitcher, BALL FOUR is generally not a good thing.
(3) Frank BEARD, the only member of ZZ Top to not have a beard.
(4) Don BLACK, White supremacist.
(5) Peter BOWLER, cricketer (in fact, primarily a batsman)
(6) Dexter FOWLER, MLB outfielder ( a batter can’t get a hit if all he hits are FOUL BALLS ).
Place Names can also be APTRONYMS, perhaps unintentionally, such as the former LIBERTY JAIL, so called because of its location in Liberty, Missouri, USA.  Business Names can also be APTRONYMS, such as Brownie SEPTIC Systems (now Brownie Environmental Services ) of Florida, named after its owner.
IN OTHER LANGUAGES : —
(1) Georges-Eugene HAUSSMAN, architect of modern Paris ; HAUSSMAN means “house man”.
(2) Akihiko HOSHIDE, Japanese astronaut ; HOSHIDE means “go out to the stars”.
(3) Thierry Le LURON, comedian ; LURON means “prankster”.
(4) Jeremy PIED, soccer player ; PIED means “foot”.

Palindromes and Spoonerisms

A PALINDROME is a word, phrase, number or other sequence of symbols or elements, that reads the same forward or reversed. 
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Here are a few well-known ones :

(1) Taco cat.
(2) Amor Roma.
(3) Do Geese See God ?
(4) Was It Eliot’s Toilet I saw ?
(5) Murder For A Jar Of Red Rum.
(6) Some Men Interpret Nine Memos.
(7) Dogma : I Am God.
(8) Sums Are Not A Test On Erasmus.
(9) Go Deliver A Dare Vile Dog.
(10) Ah, Satan Sees Natasha.
(11) Dennis Sinned.
(12) Don’t Nod.

 SPOONERISM : Words or phrases, in which letters or syllables get swapped. 
This often happens accidentally, in SLIPS OF THE TONGUE or TIPS OF THE SLUNG as Spoonerisms are often affectionately called.
dressing gown
Here are some examples :

(1) Tease my ears —- Ease my tears.
(2) A lack of pies — A pack of lies.
(3) It’s roaring with pain ——- It’s pouring with rain.
(4) Wave the sales — Save the whales.
(5) Chipping the flannel —- Flipping the channel.
  (6) At the lead of spite —- At the speed of light.
(7) Fighting a liar —- Lighting a fire.
(8) You hissed my mystery lecture — You missed my history lecture.
(9) Cattle-ships and bruisers —- Battle-ships and cruisers.
(10) Nosey little cook —– Cosy little nook.
(11) A blushing crow —- A crushing blow.
(12) You’ve tasted two worms — You’ve wasted two terms.
(13) Our shoving leopard — Our loving shepherd.
(14) Is the bean dizzy ? —– Is the Dean busy ?
(15) I must mend the sail —- I must send the mail.
(16) Go and shake a tower —- Go and take a shower.
(17) Know your blows — Blow your nose.
(18) You have very mad banners —- You have very bad manners.
(19) A half-warmed fish —- A half-formed wish.
(20) Tons of soil —- Sons of toil.

Limericks

limericks_a1
A LIMERICK is a form of poetry, especially one in five-line meter, with a strict RHYME SCHEME (AABBA), which is sometimes obscene with humorous intent.  The 1st, 2nd and 5th lines are usually longer than the 3rd and 4th.  The form can be found in England in the early years of the 18th Century.  It was popularized by Edward Lear in the 19th Century, although he did not use the term.
The following limerick is of unknown origin :
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The limerick packs laughs anatomical
Into space that is quite economical
But the good ones I seen
So seldom are clean
And the clean ones so seldom are comical 
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The origin of the word LIMERICK for this type of poem is debated.  As of several years ago, its usage was documented in England in 1898 (New English Dictionary) and in the US in 1902.  The name is generally taken to be a reference to the CITY or COUNTY of LIME, in Ireland.  The earliest known use of the term, LIMERICK for this type of poem is an 1880 reference, in a St. John, New Brunswick newspaper, to an apparently well-known tune.
There was a young rustic named Mallory
Who drew but a small salary
When he went to the show
His purse made him go
To a seat in the uppermost gallery. 
Edward Lear popularized the limerick form in his 1st Book Of Nonsense (1845) and a later work (1872) on the same theme.  He wrote 212 limericks, mostly NONSENSE VERSE.  The following is an example of one of his limericks :
There was a young person of Smyrna
Whose grandmother threatened to burn her
But she seized on the cat
And said, “granny, burn that
You incongruous old woman of Smyrna.
 
6a00d83513e5a153ef01053657c9aa970c-800wiGershon Legman, who compiled the largest and most scholarly anthology, held that the true limerick, as a folk form, is always obscene, and cites similar opinions by Arnold Bennett and George Bernard Shaw, describing the CLEAN LIMERICK as a ‘periodic fad and object of magazine contests, rarely rising above mediocrity’.  From a folklore point of view, the form is essentially ‘transgressive’ ; violation of taboo is part of its function.
A notable Limerick which won an Irish ‘LISTOWEL WRITERS’ WEEK’ prize, in 1998 —— exemplifies the structure of a Limerick  ;
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Writing a Limerick’s absurd
Line 1 and line 5 rhyme in word
And just as you’ve reckoned
They rhyme with the 2nd 
The 4th line must rhyme with the 3rd.
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Here are a few more :
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An eager young fisher named Fisher
Once fished from the edge of a fissure
A fish with a grin
Pulled the fisher in
Now, they’re fishing the fissure for Fisher .
***********************************************
There was a young lady from Pratt
Who had triplets Tim, Tom and Tat
it was OK in the breeding
But when it came to feeding
There was no tit for Tat. 
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A dentist named Archibald Moss
Fell in love with dainty Miss Ross
But he held in abhorrence
Her Christian name Florence
So he re-named her — DENTAL FLOSS.
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Palindromes

sator

A word, phrase, number or sequence of symbols or elements.  The meaning may be interpreted in either FORWARD or REVERSE DIRECTION.

The word PALINDROME comes from the Greek :—PALIN = again and DROMOS = way, direction.  The Greek phrase to describe the phenomenon is KARKINOI (crabs) alluding to movement of crabs, such as an inscription that may be read backwards  They date back to at least 79 AD.

A palindrome called the SATOR SQUARE, found as a graffiti at the HERCULANEUM, a city buried by ash in that year (79 AD)  The SATOR SQUARE consists of a sentence, written in Latin.—————SATOR AREPO TENET OPERA ROTAS ( THE SOWER AREPO HOLD WORK WHEELS )  The 1st letters of each word form the 1st word, 2nd letters the 2nd word and so forth.  So, it can be arranged into a WORD SQUARE, that reads in 4 different ways :—HORIZONTALLY, VERTICALLY, from either TOP-LEFT to BOTTOM-RIGHT or BOTTOM-RIGHT to TOP-LEFT.

Character, word, line unit :——–kayak, madam, redder, rotor, level, civic, radar, race-car, reviver, refer.

Phrases :—(1) Eva, can I stab bats in a cave ?

(2) Mr. Owl ate my metal worm

(3) Was it a car or a cat I saw ?

(4) A nut for a jar of tuna.

(5) Do geese see God ?

(6) Ma is as selfless as I am.

(7) Dammit, I’m mad.

(8) A Toyota’s a Toyota.

(9) Go hang a salami, I’m a lasagne hog.

(10) A Santa lived as a devil at NASA.

(11) Step on no pets.

(12) Rats live on no evil star.

Some famous English Palindromes

(1) Able was I ere I saw Elba.

(2) A man, a plan, a canal—–Panama.

(3) Madam, I’m Adam.

(4) Doc , note : I dissent.  Fast never prevents fatness.  I diet on cod.

  (5) Never odd or even.

(6) Rise to vote, Sir.

Some people have names that are Palindromes :  Ada, Anna, bob, Aviva.

The longest Palindrome (in the English Oxford Dictionary) is TATTARRATTAT coined by James Joyce in ULYSSES (1922) for a knock at the door.  The Guiness Book of Records gives the title (longest) to DETARTRATED (past participle of DETARTRATE, a chemical term meaning to remove tartrates.  ROTAVATOR (trademark name for an agricultural machine) is often listed in dictionaries.