Indian Sages were really savvy marketeers!!

The first question that we encounter when we ask our children to do something new, is “WHY?”.  Our ability  or inability to address this question is a key factor in they doing it regularly.  It could be as simple as asking the son or daughter to adorn their forehead with kunkum or viboothi.

In fact, the most powerful radio station in the world is WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) and all businesses spend a fortune in identifying this WIIFM button amongst their target customers and ensuring that their communication addresses this key question.  That we still come across many promotions or ad campaigns which are silent on this question is a puzzle that needs to be unravelled.

Our Sages knew this basic human trait in-depth and realized that if they were to get human beings to do something (even if the sages did not get any material benefit themselves) they better offer them the carrot.  They did not stop just from a theoretical understanding of the situation but went further.

They devised “phalashruti“, a set of verses that explain the benefits (fruits – Phala) that would accrue to the person performing the ritual or reciting a mantra or a prayer. If you look at most prayers or hymns they would contain this “phalashruti” at the end.

( For such astute people, it is quite inconceivable that they kept it at the end rather than at the beginning of the verse)

In fact, in certain prayers, the “phalashruti” motivates the devotee to recite the slokas many times during a day.

For example, at the end of Lakshmi Astothram, the palashruti says

“Eka kale paden nithyam maha papa vinashanam,

dwi kale paden nithyam dhana dhanya  samanvitha

trikale paden nithya maha shatru vinaashanam” to mean

The person who recites this sloka

a) Once a day, will destroy his sins (or find his sins destroyed)

b) Twice a day, will attain abundance riches and prosperity &

c) Thrice a day, will destroy his big enemies

Disclaimer: I have a very basic understanding of  Sanskrit and hence please forgive any errors either in the script or in the meanings or both.

It is important for us to remember that the Sages and Rishis who composed this hymn, for example, were not expecting a royalty of say  a rupee every time someone recites the prayer and hence there is no self-interest in getting them to recite.

Unfortunately, over a period of time, “phalashruti” has become a part of the prayer for most of us, to recite and complete rather than realize the importance of reciting the main hymn.

Can we make a conscious effort from now on to understand the “phalashruti”, imbibe it and use it as a motivation to recite the prayers, slokas etc with intent?



1 Comment

  1. N Ramesh said,

    October 17, 2012 at 9:30 am

    I am glad that a semblance of Wisdom has finally dawned on you or atleast started appearing at 48 !

    Keep it up and keep reciting all other hymns and shlokas of all sorts that you can lay your hands on !

    Thus Spake the New Age Sage !

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