Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sanskrit Word in English: Baksheesh

The word "baksheesh" is usually used in English to mean a bribe, but the root meaning of the word is a tip or gift. The word comes from Persian bakshesh, and there is also a Sanskrit word bhiksha with the same meaning. In particular, the word can refer to charity given to beggars. You can read about baksheesh at Wikipedia.

The image below shows Indian beggars soliciting baksheesh:


There is also a Sanskrit word, bhikshatana, which means "wandering in search of bhiksha." The word is used to describe Shiva in his manifestation as a cosmic beggar, seeking alms. You can read more about Shiva Bhikshatana at Wikipedia.

The statue below shows Shiva as a seeker of alms:


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