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Sanskrit Humor

Please, send your favorite Sanskrit humor, so it can be posted for all to enjoy. It could be a humorous proverb or story, a joke with a Sanskrit slant, a pun, or anything which people who enjoy Sanskrit would find humerous. Please state whether you want your name, etc., posted with the item. Thanks everybody.

Dharma The Cat --A very charming Bhuddist site with lots of good humor. Courtesy of David Lourie.

What does this root-word mean: PUUY?
To figure it out, all you have to do is hold your nose, point it into the air, and yell, "PEE-YOO-EE!"
**It is Sanskrit for "to stink", "akin to PUUTA, "putrid". And you thought you did not speak Sanskrit.....
My thanks to Alain Pechon for pointing out the French cognate PUER. And what about that foul-smelling skunk, Pepe Le Pew?

What is the source of the word pun?
Oxford English Dictionary says, "Appears first...soon after 1660. Of uncertain origin".
I would like to volunteer these Sanskrit words as possible sources:
PUNTH, "to give or suffer pain"
PUN.D.ARIIKA, "lotus flower, a symbol of beauty"
PUNS,"the soul-spirit of humanity"
PUN.YA, "meritorious, auspicious"
PUN~JA, "a heap" (of what?)

There is a theory put out by some linguists that the English word GOD is derived from the Sanskrit word GO, "cow", because in ancient relligions, cows and bulls were symbols of deities.

**The Hopi (Arizona) word for "baby food' is MAAMA=Turkish MAMA. Interestingly, the Turkish word for mother is anne or ana. Cf. [?] Skt. annah, "food".
See this related essay:

MAMA, MOTHER, an Etymology
Linguists are always theorized why words sound the way they do. For example, the s-sound is often associated with the hissing of a snake or the feeling of ooziness/sliminess. But the most-common word found worldwide deals with the word mother. Cf. the following mother words:

--Skt. MAATRIH, MAATAH, MAATUR, MAATRIKAH ("source, matrix")
--Latin MATER, MATRIX ("origin")
--German MUTTER
--Polish MATKA
--Albanian MATRICE, "womb"
--Finnish EMA"MAA, "mother-country"
--Vietnamese ME, ME DE
--Old English MODOR
--Tolowa (NW California), ME-DRE, "mother-in-law". Whether this was influenced by Spanish MADRE is unknown to me.
--Apache (Arizona) SHIMAA (SHI="my")

Linguists believe--with good, overwhelming reason --that mama is derived from the sound a child makes while breast-feeding. It is also related to creation:

--Western Abenaki (Quebec) MAMAN (from French?), "food (baby talk)"=Hopi (Arizona) MAAMA; Turkish MAMA, "(baby) food". Interestingly, the Turkish words for mother are ANNE or ANA. Cf. Skt. ANNAH, "food"; Skt. ANNAH, "food".
--Swahili MAMA MZAZI, "mother-who-produces-offspring"
--Sp. MAMAR, "suck".
--Eng. MAMMAL, "breast-feeder".
--Latin MAMMA, "breast".
--Spanish MAMAR, "suck; devour food; acquire in infancy"
--Gr. MAMME, "midwife, grandmother"; old Gr. MAMMAN, "cry for food".
--Hawaiian MAMA, "to chew, but not swallow"

The word mama, mamma exists in these languages to name just a few:
Slovak, Russian, Lithuanian, Albanian, Hungarian, Indonesian, Swahili, Turkish, Hawaiian (also MAKUAHINE), Hopi (Arizona), Chickasaw (from English apparently)(originally Eastern, then Oklahoman), Chinook (Oregon), Creek (SE USA, Oklahoma), Koasati (Texas, Louisiana).
It is significant to note that the mother words spelled M-[vowel]-T went westward, not really eastward.

Both Oxford English Dictionary and Webster's do not list this word. It seems to be a neologism strongly associated with the Seinfeld TV show. The general definition is that it is a vague, carefree generalization meaning "so on and so forth", "whatever" or "etcetera, etcetera." So where did it come from? Cf. Skt. YADA/YAD, often repeated to express "whoever, whichever, whatever." I am sure that there are similar cognates in other modern Hindu languages. I am uncertain whether YADA entered English originally from Seinfeld or whether it was already present in English before the show.
Source: Monier Monier-Williams, A Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Hindu cowboy song?: "Om Om on the range"

-- Courtesy of Richard Stoney

Yogi Joke
Three yogis are performing a meditative vigil in a cave high in the Himalayas. One day there is a sound outside of the cave. Six months later one of the yogis says, "that was a tiger." The cave is silent once again. About a year later, another yogi says, "that wasn't a tiger it was a lion. Again the cave falls silent. About two years later the third yogi says, "If you two don't stop arguing I'm leaving."
-- Courtesy of Brendan Connelly

Sloka with Pun


Exact transiliteration into English is not done. It will be a puzzle as to how when 19 (ekonavimsathi) left for taking bath in a lake, returned as 20, when one was already killed by a tiger. The answer is: EKO NA VIMSATHI (IE. one man and 20 women left). Now it is clear 20+1-1 = 20 returned.
-- Courtesy of J. Ramakrishnan

    The text to the left was seen on a devotee's T-shirt. When asked the meaning, she would say, "TOTALLY AWESOME!!" (The literal translation is, "firmley resolved to be marvelous looking.")
-- Humor courtesy of Vimala Rodgers, Cool, CA (T-shirt supplied by American Sanskrit Institute.)

No matter how well-trained the tumbler's boy, he will never be able to stand on his own shoulders.

Even though perched on the pinnacle of a palace, a crow does not become Garuda.
(No matter how high a fool may rise, he remains a fool.)

When she attains sixteen years of age, even a sow becomes a nymph.
(Any girl seems beautiful in the first blush of youth.)

-- Proverbs courtesy of Birney Titus, Boone, NC
(Found in Devavanipraveshika, An Introduction to the Sanskrit Language, Robert P. Goldman and Sally J. Sutherland)

A woman's appetite is twice that of a man's; her sexual desire, four times; her intelligence, eight times.
-- Sanskrit proverb
-- Courtesy of

No international laws govern the christening of countries; the label that sticks is determined by the tastes or even the sanity of its rulers. Anti-colonialism, however, is the most common rationale for national renaming.

Filipinos have long bristled at the colonialistic implications of calling their country the Philippines, in honor of Philip II of Spain. During the regime of Ferdinand Marcos, there was a campaign to rename the country "Maharlika", a native word meaning noble and aristocratic.

Plans for the rechristening proceeded apace until an academic pointed out that the word was probably derived from Sanskrit.

Fine, its proponents said, Sanskrit is a non-imperialist language.

Yes, replied the scholar, but "Maharlika" was most likely derived from the words "maha lingam," meaning "great phallus."

That was the end of the campaign.

-- From Time Magazine, 19 June 1989 (therefore presumably true)
-- Courtesy of

Rules Of The Road, Indian Style
Traveling on Indian Roads is an almost hallucinatory potion of sound, spectacle and experience. It is frequently heart-rending, sometimes hilarious, mostly exhilarating, always unforgettable -- and, when you are on the roads, extremely dangerous. Most Indian road users observe a version of the Highway Code based on a Sanskrit text. These 12 rules of the Indian road are published for the first time in English:

The assumption of immortality is required of all road users.

Indian traffic, like Indian society,is structured on a strict caste system. The following precedence must be accorded at all times. In descending order, give way to:
Cows, elephants, heavy trucks, buses, official cars, camels, light trucks, buffalo, jeeps, ox-carts, private cars, motorcycles, scooters, auto-rickshaws, pigs, pedal rickshaws, goats, bicycles (goods-carrying), handcarts, bicycles (passenger-carrying), dogs, pedestrians.

All wheeled vehicles shall be driven in accordance with the maxim: to slow is to falter, to brake is to fail, to stop is defeat. This is the Indian drivers' mantra.

Use of horn (also known as the sonic fender or aural amulet):
Cars (IV,1,a-c):
Short blasts (urgent) indicate supremacy, IE in clearing dogs, rickshaws and pedestrians from path. Long blasts (desperate) denote supplication, IE to oncoming truck: "I am going too fast to stop, so unless you slow down we shall both die". In extreme cases this may be accompanied by flashing of headlights (frantic). Single blast (casual) means: "I have seen someone out of India's 870 million whom I recognise", "There is a bird in the road (which at this speed could go through my windscreen)" or "I have not blown my horn for several minutes."
Trucks and buses (IV,2,a):
All horn signals have the same meaning, viz: "I have an all-up weight of approximately 12.5 tons and have no intention of stopping, even if I could." This signal may be emphasised by the use of headlamps.
Article IV remains subject to the provision of Order of Precedence in Article II above.

All manoeuvres, use of horn and evasive action shall be left until the last possible moment.

In the absence of seat belts (which there is), car occupants shall wear garlands of marigolds. These should be kept fastened at all times.

Rights of way:
Traffic entering a road from the left has priority. So has traffic from the right, and also traffic in the middle.
Lane discipline (VII,1):
All Indian traffic at all times and irrespective of direction of travel shall occupy the centre of the road.

Roundabouts: India has no roundabouts. Apparent traffic islands in the middle of crossroads have no traffic management function. Any other impression should be ignored.

Overtaking is mandatory. Every moving vehicle is required to overtake every other moving vehicle, irrespective of whether it has just overtaken you.
Overtaking should only be undertaken in suitable conditions, such as in the face of oncoming traffic, on blind bends, at junctions and in the middle of villages/city centres. No more than two inches should be allowed between your vehicle and the one you are passing -- and one inch in the case of bicycles or pedestrians.

Nirvana may be obtained through the head-on crash.

Reversing: no longer applicable since no vehicle in India has reverse gear.
-- Courtesy of

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