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KILLING THE SUTRAS

Or: On overlooking the obvious A class of eager students and translators pore over the remarkable discovery of a before unknown Siva sutra, called, Chapter 4, Sutra 1. Here it is, with the Sanskrit characters transliterated below it:

So the transliteration is done. Now to the sandhi, the rules that make the Sanskrit flow phonetically. The rules enable the phonetic changes that happen when words meet each other to be brought back to their original written form. Listen to the students as they try to nut it out: Jim, the natural leader, sounds it out. Do ntage chani - ke rsi nano- t ? Nope, cant make any sense of that. We have to pull it about a bit, chorus the others. What about dont gecha nike rsi nano-t?, says Jim. Oh, just a moment, a light is dawning. Mary says excitedly, Ive got a bit. d-o-n-t is sandhi for do-not. cca is sandhi for tya. So its do not ge tya. They all look at it for a while. Jim says, Hmm the first part is do not ge tya. What about if we change it to do not get ya, instead? Hmm, but ya is sandhi for your. So Do not get your. Great!! Felicity jumps in. Hey, I know what those words mean. Do = Act, Not=negator, get=obtain . So it means Act not to obtain your Happy murmurs of satisfaction with the first part soon become grumbles as they struggle with unfamiliar formations which they just dont seem to be able to decipher. nike cant find it in a dictionary. Could the ancient Indians possibly have made any reference to Greek goddess? Unlikely, says Jim. Lets leave that one for a while. What about rsi? What do we make of that?

Mary says, You know, I reckon that is a misspelling. After all, even the ancient Yogis must have made typos once in a while. Shouldnt it be rshi, ie rishi, sage?. Nike, the rishi? says Paul. Phooey! And what about nano-t? Well, at that stage the master walked in, and had to help the struggling students before they got at each others throats. Oh foolish ones, try this. Solving the puzzle a single stroke, he wrote the transliteration thus - Dont get your nikers in anot. Now it was clear.. The rules of sandhi were applied in just a moment, and the Sutra was seen to declaim boldly, Dont get your knickers in a knot. Oh, they cry, Hooray! Yes, says the wise master. Now, what does it mean? Easy, they cry. Knickers are underwear, a knot is rope tied together. So it is Do not act to obtain your underwear (if it is used as) rope tied together. Totally satisfied with their translation, in awe of its mystical depths, they sat, like puppies gnawing on a rubber bone, to contemplate its possible meanings for their spiritual life. Just what was the ancient sage telling them through this esoteric and perplexing doctrine? Enlightenment, they felt, was just a breath away, and the ancient author seemed present in the room. Such bliss!