Today's Beautiful Gem: `The Grammarian' by Jelaluddin Rumi (transln Nicholson)
and Aadisankaraacharya

"A certain grammarian embarked in a boat. He turned to the boatman
and said, `Have you ever studied grammar?' `No,' he replied. The
other said, `Half your life is gone to naught.' The boatman became
heart-broken with grief, but at the time he refrained from answering.
The wind cast the boat into a whirlpool: the boatman shouted to the
grammarian, `Tell me, do you know how to swim?' `No,' said he, `O
fair-spoken good-looking man!' `O grammarian,' said he, `your whole
life is naught, because the boat is sinking in these whirlpools.'"

"bhaja govindam bhaja govindam
govindam bhaja moodha mate |
sampraapte sannihite kaale
nahi nahi rakshati dhukrngkarane ||

"O fool, worship the Lord, worship the Lord. When the end draws near
the grammatical hair-splitting will certainly not save you."

Note: Rumi who lived in the thirteenth century wrote the first piece
taken from his book `Mathnawi' dubbed as the `Divine Comedy' of Islam
and the Quran of the Persians. When Adi Sankara (788-820),the
architect of Hindu renaissance, was walking one day, he happened
to hear a teacher giving lessons to his students over a tricky
grammatical rule. This incident encouraged Sri Sankara to compose
`Bhaja Govindam' the first lines of which are given above. Rumi
and Sankara, four hundred years earlier, being great minds, thought

Om Saantih! Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao