Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sanskrit and Tibetan

Sanskrit and Tibetan. Around 1969 my friend Anton was studying at UCLA. He eventually got his bachelor's degree there and a Masters Degree in History of Religion with an emphasis on Buddhism and Sanskrit. Since we were both avid mountain climbers and rock climbers at that time I would drive up from San Diego where I was going to college at the time and pick him up in my VW bug and we would pack it up with climbing equipment and supplies and head to the nearest big rock or mountain we wanted to climb next.

On the way sometimes we would stop at the Shambala Bookstore in Berkeley, California, because at the time that was the only place we knew of to buy Anton's Sanskrit dictionaries and advanced books. I believe they all were published in India at that time. Nowadays one can go online and get advanced translations from Sanskrit to English or vice versa. Anton is about as fluent as any westerner I know now in Sanskrit both reading writing and speaking. However, it is important to note that like Latin Sanskrit is a dead language with languages like Hindi being one of the many remnants just like French, Italian and Spanish and others are the remnants of Latin and are therefore called Latin languages.

Recently, a friend went through a breakup and wanted to remind herself to stay in the present. She is about 20 years younger than myself so I called Anton to assist with the translation. She wanted Sanskrit characters on her wrist saying: Be Present or Be here now. Online I found a
Sanskrit word, "Etad", which seemed to best represent this. Then we called Anton and he agreed that best represented the sentiment she wanted. So he wrote the script and faxed it to us. Then my wife who is an excellent artist did the writing in a calligraphy form. Next, our friend went to a reputable tattoo artist and she now has Be Here Now in Sanskrit on her inside right wrist.

I personally don't believe in tattoos as I am the wrong generation for that. My generation was long hair and beards and moving back to the country, to the land, away from the cities to start over a new generation less corrupted than the old. Every generation is somewhat successful with their goals and each following generation makes whatever changes they felt lacking in the parents actions to make a better world. I think it has always been this way.

In the process of researching "Be Here Now" in Sanskrit on the Internet I found out that the written Tibetan language was created by Tibetan Buddhist Monks to be able to translate into Tibetan all the Buddhist works from 2500 BC into the Tibetan language. So Tibetan is very Sanskrit like in its writing style and characters. I was sort of amazed to find that out as at one point I was learning Tibetan so I could be a cultural anthropologist to help preserve Tibetan ideas and culture from permanently disappearing from the earth. However, a divorce and custody battle ended that dream and I had to just try to psychologically and physically survive. Then I almost died in 1998 and had to retire. Now, however, since doctors have finally diagnosed the root causes of most of my physical problems I am now back to feeling 35 most of the time again. So mostly, I am 59 and feeling 35 most days and wondering what to do with the rest of my life having had to retire in 1998. I have taken up writing as an avocation and exercise a lot in nature with my dogs or on a bike but now my life is back to normal and I'm 59 I'm trying to figure out how I could something more positive with my life. I have mentored many younger people and helped people through many life crises etc. but sometimes it seems there is more I should be doing with my life so I continue praying for answers and one by one they come.

3 comments:

Kiran Paranjape said...

"Be Here Now" in Sanskrit Translates to भवात्राधुना

Rachael Stronach said...

Can you please post the Sanskrit symbols for etad.. Or the tatoo she got? I am also interested thanks!

intuitivefred888 said...

She now lives on the East Coast so she isn't my physical trainer anymore. However, the Kiran post has a Sanskrit phrase posted above yours that he says is also "Be Here Now".

However, I would check with other Sanskrit Scholars online to see if they agree with this rendition.