Bracelets do not decorate a person, nor do necklaces glittering like the moon, nor bath, nor smearing the body with fragrance, nor flowers, nor decorated hair. Refined and cultured speech alone dignifies a person. Indeed, all ornaments decay. Ornament of speech is always the real ornament.
Points for Introspection:
God has given everybody a natural look. However, people want to decorate themselves in order to look more beautiful. They engage their mind and time in selecting dresses of various colours and designs, beautiful glittering ornaments, assorted flowers, varied fragrances etc.
Externally one may look more beautiful and attractive by decorating the body. But the real beauty of a person lies in his cultured behaviour and speech. Even if one is not beautiful to look at, if his behaviour and speech are loving, kind, friendly and compassionate, everybody finds him to be an unforgettably noble and graceful person.
Where is the secret of true ornamentation then? It is in the mind that is enriched with lofty values and virtues, like love, sympathy, sacrifice, compassion etc. When the mind is graced with such qualities, the speech too gets refined and pleasing. Whosoever has such a decorated mind, in all behaviour of his, his speech bestows peace, calmness and joy to the listeners. This is the true decoration anyone must aspire for.
Therefore, in order to look pretty and lovely, one need not decorate the body with costly jewels and garlands, for, that decoration goes in vain if one’s speech is not consoling and soothing. Let him never speak with any note of hurt or agitation.
Moreover, any external ornamentation is ever decaying and does not last forever. What remains as an eternal embellishment with man is the ornament of refined speech which is calming and elevating.
In this śloka, the poet has highlighted this very fact that all other ornaments of various kinds which people use in order to look good, are temporary. The everlasting ornament is one’s cultured and refined speech, which is the product of the mind adorned with noble values and qualities.
Chanting this śloka again and again, one will be reminded of the benefit of eschewing pride and possessiveness that one may have about external costly dress and ornaments, and cultivating refined speech which is the real ornament.
केयूराणि (keyūrāṇi) – bracelets (worn in the upper arm); न (na) – not; भूषयन्ति (bhūṣayanti) – adorn; पुरुषं (puruṣaṁ) – person; हाराः (hārāḥ) – garlands, necklaces; न (na) – not; चन्द्रोज्ज्वलाः (candrojjvalāḥ) – shining like the moon; न (na) – not; स्नानं (snānaṁ) – bath; न (na) – not; विलेपनं (vilepanaṁ) – smearing with fragrant oils; न (na) – not; कुसुमं (kusumaṁ) – flower; न (na) – not; अलङ्कृताः (alaṅkṛtāḥ) – decorated; मूर्धजाः (mūrdhajāḥ) – hair; वाणी (vāṇī) – speech; एका (ekā)– alone; समलङ्करोति‑ (samalaṅkaroti) – highly decorates, embellishes; पुरुषं (puruṣaṁ) – person; या (yā) – which; संस्कृता (saṁskṛtā) – cultured and refined language; धार्यते (dhāryate) – (is held or) is upheld; क्षीयन्ते (kṣīyante) – decay; खलु (khalu) – indeed, verily; भूषणानि (bhūṣaṇāni) – ornaments; सततम् (satatam) – always; वाक् (vāk) – speech; भूषणम् (bhūṣaṇam) – ornament, decoration; भूषणम् (bhūṣaṇam) – ornament, decoration;
केयूराणि पुरुषं न भूषयन्ति । चन्द्रोज्ज्वलाः हाराः न । स्नानं न । विलेपनं न । कुसुमं न । अलङ्कृताः मूर्धजाः न । या संस्कृता वाणी धार्यते (सा वाणी) एका पुरुषं समलङ्करोति । खलु भूषणानि क्षीयन्ते । वाक् भूषणं सततं भूषणं (भवति) ।
keyūrāṇi puruṣaṁ na bhūṣayanti. candrojjvalāḥ hārāḥ na. snānaṁ na. vilepanaṁ na. kusumaṁ na. alaṅkṛtāḥ mūrdhajāḥ na. yā saṁskṛtā vāṇī dhāryate (sā vāṇī) ēkā puruṣaṁ samalaṅkaroti. khalu bhūṣaṇāni kṣīyante. vāk bhūṣaṇaṁ satataṁ bhūṣaṇam (bhavati).
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