Aakaashaath Pathitham Thoyam – Learn Sanskrit through Slokas

In the earlier posts, we learnt a few Sanskrit words through some well-known slokas. We will try to add a few more Sanskrit words to our vocabulary today.

aakaashaath pathitham thoyam yathaa gachchathi saagaram

Today’s Sloka:

“aakaashaath pathitham thoyam yathaa gachchathi saagaram
sarva deva namaskaaram keshavam prathi gachchathi “

Let’s discuss the word-by-word meaning of the above sloka.

aakaashaath pathitham thoyam

  • aakaasha‘ is sky. It is one of the five elements (‘panchabhutaa‘), the others being ‘Prithvi‘ (Earth), ‘Aapa‘ (Water), ‘Theja‘ (Fire) and ‘Vaayu‘ (Air). ‘Aakaashaath’ means ‘from the sky’.
  • pathitham is to fall derived from the verb, ‘path‘.
  • thoyam‘ is water. Recall another verse ‘patram pushpam phalam thoyam..’ which is from Bhagavad Gita (9.26) which says, ‘a leaf, a flower, a fruit or some water is accepted with full delight by Lord Krishna if offered with total devotion’. Synonyms of ‘thoyam‘ include – aapa (see above), jalam, udhakam (recall ‘udakashanthi‘ – purification through water) etc.

yathaa gachchathi saagaram

  • ‘yathaa’ here means ‘just like’ here. ‘yatha Raajaa thathaa prajaa’ is a proverb that means ‘like King like subjects’ meaning, the subjects will behave the same way the king behaves.
  • ‘gachchathi‘ is to go or to travel, derived from the verb ‘gach – to go’. You might have heard ‘Budhdham sharanam gachchaami’. It means, ‘I reach Budhdhaa as my resort/I surrender to Budhdha’
  • saagaram’ – ‘saagara‘ is ocean. You may be aware of the story where Bhagiratha, a descendant of Sagaraa brought River Ganges to the Earth and led her to the Ocean. Due to Sagaraa’s descendent’s efforts, the ocean came to be known as Saagara. Other names of the ocean include ‘jaladhi‘ (collection of water), ‘vaaridhi’, ‘samudra‘ etc

sarva deva namaskaaram

  • ‘sarva deva’ – all deities, Gods
  • ‘namaskaaram’ is salutations/prayers. ‘nam‘ is to pray and ‘kaara’ is to do (from ‘kru’). Namaskaram is also used to greet someone, old and young. It is a beautiful gesture (bringing both palms together in front of the chest with a bow saying ‘Namaskaaram’) that conveys respect, humility and openness towards the person in front of us. In this context, it means prayers to God

keshavam prathi gachchathi

  • keshavam’Keshava is another name for Lord Krishna. There are several origins for the name such as the one with long hair (‘kesha’ is hair) and the slayer of demon Keshi.
  • prathi gachchathi’ – ‘prathi‘ is towards in this context. It can also mean ‘in front of’. The meaning here is ‘goes towards’

Based on the above explanation, the meaning of the verse would be, ‘As the water that falls down from the sky as rain finally reaches the Ocean (irrespective of where it falls), the worship of any God/deity ultimately reaches Lord Krishna/ the Supreme being. This verse explains how polytheistic beliefs in our religion ties in with the monotheistic nature of worship. The Upanishads proclaim, ‘Sa Eka:‘ – which means, ‘God is One’. Also, recall the sloka from Bhagavad Gita, ‘Sarva Dharmaan Parithyajya.. ‘) where Lord Krishna says, ‘Leave aside all beliefs and practices and surrender to me. In doing so, I will purify you of all sins and grant you salvation’.

Hare Krishna!

Author Details

Rangarajan has been blogging for over 12 years now on various topics. With Thedal, he becomes one with the universe and he is hoping that his search will help him discover the eternal truth.  Please join him as he traverses through the universe across temples, philosophies and science!

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