Harry Terhanian.com

Wisdom from the son of Armenia.

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  • gohvuh guh mehrnee gahsseen guh muhnah, mahrtuh guh mehrnee ahnounuh guh muhnah

    The cow’s hide remains after its death, and so a man’s name (and fame) after his death.

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  • ahnounuh gah, eenkah chee gah

    I was once on a walk with my teacher (guru), we were walking past the Musee de L’Homme in Paris. We were outside the Museum overlooking a grand circular drive area below the Museum. In the distance my teacher saw a large mass of sprawling buildings that were built in a large rectangular way as to enclose at huge interior garden area that was several football fields’ size. He asked, “What is that building.” I said, “It is the Invalides, the hospital Louis XIV, France’s Sun King, built to care for his old and wounded soldiers. He said, “the hospital is here, but where is Louis the XIVth.” He continued, “He built a building to last thousands of years, but he is not here to enjoy it because he is dead.. This is the problem of material life. We spend our time trying to building lasting monuments of stone but we are forced to die in a few years. We should rather spend our time developing our love of God and sharing it with others.”

    I thought about this for a long time. In the USA there are many monuments to remember George Washington, the most prominent founding father of the USA. For me, I consider a statement he made more significantly relevant than the monuments or his picture on every one dollar bill. He received a new axe as a present and used it to cut down a cherry tree. When his father asked, “Who cut down the cherry tree?” Young George replied, “Father I cannot tell a lie, I did cut down the cherry tree.” This statement by George Washington has had a greater impact on my life than seeing the different monuments in his name or seeing his face on one dollar bills. This story has had an influence on my life. It underlines the value of accepting personal responsibility and along with it correction so that one may not make the same mistake twice. There is also the emphasis on telling the truth. These are all lessons that teach values with moral importance for developing one’s character in life.

    Trying to perpetuate one’s memory with a monument will not have a lasting effect. Great actions and words that describe those deeds have a more lasting effect for future generations. The lives of saints when recorded can influence many generations of people by their inspiring deeds. For Armenians there are three persons whose sacrifice has had a lasting effect on future generations.: Mesrop Mashdotz, Saint Gregory, the Illuminator, and Vartan Mamigonian. St. Mesrop founded the Armenian alphabet, thus creating a foundation for the perpetuation of Armenian written word and especially the Armenian translation of the Bible. Saint Gregory sacrificed many years of his life as a prisoner in the cave-like dungeon of King Drtad. He was summoned out of the cave to heal the deathly sick King. He healed the King and converted him to Christianity. King Drtad went on to declare Christianity the state religion of Armenia. Later, Vartan Mamigonian and his army defended the right of Armenians to practice the Christian religion. Even though Mamigonian was defeated and his army routed by the Persians, the valor of the Armenian fighters deterred the Persians from forcing the people to give up Christianity. The example of sacrifice and dedication of these three exceptional men has inspired Armenians throughout history. Their names are perpetuated in history although they are no longer alive.

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  • shad mee partzurrahnarh guh gakhveess
    shad mee tzahdznaar guh goghvees

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