Beware of the Children: Bagdhivi

Xhosa-children

Look ye to the children; look and behold. They grow tall and strong and hunt the tiger with greater cunning and stronger sinews than you. They shall save the flocks better than you. Ye are old and infirm. Look to the children. Beware of the children.

Bagdhivi admonition

Who is Bagdhivi and why is he or she admonishing us?, you may ask. I ask with you! If you google, you will find this quotation used by Robert Ludlum and John Grisham, but no original source, no original ‘Bagdhivi’. I copied it into my exercise book, not I think from either Ludlum or Grisham, presumably the three of us got it from the same place, and probably at about the same time. Google takes pity on us, however, and asks ‘Did you mean Bagdevi?’ Search a little further and you will find that it means eloquence in Sanskrit and is one of the attributes of the goddess Saraswati, the goddess of learning. But you don’t have to be a Hindu to find the rise of the next generation at times a little chilling!

Of course, when I wrote this some forty years ago, I was one of the younger generation who could not wait for our elders to get out of the way and let us have a go at running the world. Look how that turned out – just as well, perhaps, that we are shortly to be succeeded in our turn 🙂

To underline the universality of this emotion, I have chosen an illustration, not of Western children, nor of Hindu children, but of Xhosa children, by Zakysant via Wikimedia.
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About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.
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