The classical period of Sanskrit literature dates back from the 3rd century BC right upto to the 8th century AD. One of the earliest known Sanskrit plays is the mrichakatika thought to have been composed by shudraka in the 2nd century BC. Bhasa and Kalidasa are major early poets and dramatists. Kālidāsa qualifies easily as the greatest poet and playwright in Sanskrit. His three famous plays are Vikarmorvashiyam, Malavikaagnimitram and Abhijnaanashaakuntalam. The last mentioned play is acknowledged as one the most beautiful plays not only in classical Sanskrit but also in world literature.
A few of the greatest works of poetry in this period are the following Mahākāvyas:
- Kumarasambhavam by Kalidasa
- Kiratarjuniyam by Bharavi
- Sishupalavadham by Sri Magha
- Naishadheeya Charitam by Sri Harsha
There is a sloka which says about these mahakavis:
उपमा कालिदासस्य भारवेरर्थगौरवम् ।
(Upamā kālidāsasya bhāraverarthagauravam .)
दण्डिनः पदलालित्यं माघे सन्ति त्रयो गुणाः ॥
(Daṇḍinaḥ padalālityaṃ māghe santi trayo guṇāḥ ..)
Kalidasa excels in the use of similes and metaphors in his poetry, Bharavi’s works are pregnant with meaning, Dandi’s language is simple and lilting and poet Magha combines in him all the three qualities mentioned above.
Sanskrit fairy tales and fables are chiefly characterized by ethical reflections and proverbial philosophy. The two most important collections are Panchatantra by Vishnu Sharma and Hitopadesha by Narayana Pandita. These were originally intended as manuals for the instruction of kings in domestic and foreign policy.
Somadeva’s Kathasaritsagara is a work of special importance. Composed in verse it is of very considerable length, containing more than 22,000 slokas.
Fable collections, serving as the handbooks of practical moral philosophy, provided an abundant reservoir of ethical maxims. They became so popular that works consisting exclusively of poetical aphorisms started to appear. The most important are the two collections by the highly-gifted Bhartruhari entitled respectively Nīti-śataka and Vairāgya-śataka.
Given below is selection of sayings from the Sanskrit classics. The selections are in the nature of what is called subhashitani , literally meaning ‘well said’, picturesque in expression and import, embedded as diamonds strewn . They throw light on human nature, on virtues like truthfulness, compassion, love, humility, charity, perseverance, human effort etc, code of conduct according to one’s role in the family or society and practical advice when faced with obstacles or difficulties. They also warn us against negative emotions like anger, jealousy, greed, conceit, fault-finding etc. It has to be pointed out here that the selections are not intended to bring out the poetic excellences or provide a critical appreciation of the works concerned
1. Raghuvamsam (Mahakavi Kalidasa)
हेम्नः संलक्ष्यते ह्यग्नौ विशुद्धि: श्यामिकाऽपि वा ।
(Hemnaḥ saṃlakṣyate hyagnau viśuddhi: śyāmikā’pi vā .)
The purity or otherwise of gold can be tested only when it is put through the fire.
क्रिया हि वस्तूपहिता प्रसीदति ।
(Kriyā hi vastūpahitā prasīdati .)
Knowledge imparted only to a fit recipient will yield the desired result.
पदं हि सर्वत्र गुणैर्निधीयते ।
(Padaṃ hi sarvatra guṇairnidhīyate .)
Good qualities put their footprints everywhere.
भिन्नरुचिर्हि लोकः ।
(Bhinnarucirhi lokaḥ .)
People have varied tastes, likes and dislikes.
मरणं प्रकृतिः शरीरिणां विकृतिर्जीवितमुच्यते बुधैः ।
(Maraṇaṃ prakṛtiḥ śarīriṇāṃ vikṛtirjīvitamucyate budhaiḥ .)
क्षणमप्यवतिष्ठते श्वसन् यदि जन्तुर्ननु लाभवानसौ ॥
(Kṣaṇamapyavatiṣṭhate śvasan yadi janturnanu lābhavānasau ..)
Wise men say that death is a natural thing for the embodied soul whereas life is accidental. Even if one is able to breathe and be alive for a second, it should be considered as a gain.
स्वशरीरशरीरिणावपि श्रुत संयोग विपर्ययौ यदा ।
(Svaśarīraśarīriṇāvapi śruta saṃyoga viparyayau yadā .)
विरह्ः किमिवानुतापयेत् वद बाह्यैर्विषयैर्विपश्चिताम् ॥
(Virahḥ kimivānutāpayet vada bāhyairviṣayairvipaścitām ..)
When the union and separation of the body (shareera ) and the indweller of the body (shareeree, Jiva) is common knowledge, how could the separation (viraha) from external entities cause grief to a wise person?
2. Kumarasambhavam (Mahakavi Kalidasa)
विकारहेतौ सति विक्रियन्ते येषां न चेतांसि त एव धीराः ।
(Vikārahetau sati vikriyante yeṣāṃ na cetāṃsi ta eva dhīrāḥ .)
Only he can be considered a dheera ( a person of courage) whose mind is not disturbed or overcome by emotions even in the presence of objects of temptation.
प्रायेण सामग्र्यविधौ गुणानां
(Prāyeṇa sāmagryavidhau guṇānāṃ)
पराङ्मुखी विश्वसृजः प्रवृत्तिः॥
(Parāṅmukhī viśvasṛjaḥ pravṛttiḥ..)
In most of the cases, the Creator Brahma is reluctant to assemble all the good qualities in one place (person). (The idea is even the best of men will have a few failings).
क ईप्सितार्थस्थिरनिश्चयं मनः
(Ka īpsitārthasthiraniścayaṃ manaḥ)
पयश्च निम्नाभिमुखं प्रतीपयेत्॥
(Payaśca nimnābhimukhaṃ pratīpayet..)
Who can reverse the course of two things, namely, the mind which is steadfastly clinging to the desired object and water which always flows from higher level to lower level?
शरीरमाद्यं खलु धर्मसाधनम्
(Śarīramādyaṃ khalu dharmasādhanam)
The human body is the first instrument for treading the path of dharma
न रत्नमन्विष्यति मृग्यते हि तत्
(Na ratnamanviṣyati mṛgyate hi tat)
A valuable diamond does not seek, it is only sought after.
द्विषन्ति मन्दाश्चरितं महात्मनाम्
(Dviṣanti mandāścaritaṃ mahātmanām)
Fools deride the character of great souls whose conduct and behaviour are different from those of ordinary mortals who cannot think of possible reasons for such difference.
प्रायः प्रत्ययमादत्ते स्वगुणेषूत्तमादरः
(Prāyaḥ pratyayamādatte svaguṇeṣūttamādaraḥ)
Respect or recognition by men of noble character instills into one a belief in one’s own good qualities.
याच्ञा मोघा वरमधिगुणे नाधमे लब्धकामा
(Yācñā moghā varamadhiguṇe nādhame labdhakāmā)
Begging of a noble person and not getting what one wants is much better than begging of a mean person and getting what one wants.
रिक्तः सर्वे भवति हि लघुः पूर्णता गौरवाय
(Riktaḥ sarve bhavati hi laghuḥ pūrṇatā gauravāya)
Empty ( of wealth, knowledge, good qualities etc) one loses dignity and respect in society. Fullness ( of wealth, knowledge, good qualities etc.) , on the other hand, gives one dignity and respect in society.
आपन्नार्तिप्रशमनफलाः सम्पदो ह्युत्तमानाम्
(Āpannārtipraśamanaphalāḥ sampado hyuttamānām)
Noble souls use their wealth for the purpose of wiping out the misery and suffering of those overcome by misfortune.
कस्यात्यन्तं सुखमुपनतं दु:खमेकान्ततो वा
(Kasyātyantaṃ sukhamupanataṃ du:khamekāntato vā)
नीचैर्गच्छत्युपरि च दशा चक्रनेमिक्रमेण
(Nīcairgacchatyupari ca daśā cakranemikrameṇa)
There is none who is always happy and comfortable and none who is always unhappy and miserable. Happiness and sorrow alternate like the rim of a wheel which goes up and down.
3. Abhijnaanashaakuntalam Natakam (Mahakavi Kalidasa)
किमिव हि मधुराणां मण्डनं नाकृतीनाम्
(Kimiva hi madhurāṇāṃ maṇḍanaṃ nākṛtīnām)
Which is not an adornment for a beautiful form? (Anything can add to the beauty if one has a beautiful form)
सतां हि सन्देहपदेषु वस्तुषु
(Satāṃ hi sandehapadeṣu vastuṣu)
For people of character, when in a dilemma whether a particular conduct or deed is good or bad, their own inner voice or conscience is the final arbiter.
अर्थो हि कन्या परकीय एव
(Artho hi kanyā parakīya eva)
A girl child is another man’s property and she is held in trust by the parents.
When one gets recognition, the enthusiasm which was there while endeavouring to get that recognition, cools down.
अनुभवति हि मूर्ध्ना पादपस्तीव्रमुष्णं ।
(Anubhavati hi mūrdhnā pādapastīvramuṣṇaṃ .)
शमयति परितापं छायया संश्रितानाम् ॥
(Śamayati paritāpaṃ chāyayā saṃśritānām ..)
The tree bears the intense heat on its head while it lessens the heat for those who take shelter under it.
भवन्ति नम्रास्तरव फलोद्गमैः
(Bhavanti namrāstarava phalodgamaiḥ)
अनुद्धताः सत्पुरुषा समृद्धिभिः
(Anuddhatāḥ satpuruṣā samṛddhibhiḥ)
स्वभाव एवैष परोपकारिणाम्
(Svabhāva evaiṣa paropakāriṇām)
Trees laden with fruits bend down so that people may pluck and enjoy the fruits. Clouds laden with water come down in the form of rain cooling the earth and watering plants and trees. In the same way noble men do not become conceited when fortune embraces them but use their wealth to help others. This is the nature of persons who are always eager to be of help to fellow humans.
स्रजमपि शिरस्यन्धः क्षिप्तं धुनोत्यहिशंकया
(Srajamapi śirasyandhaḥ kṣiptaṃ dhunotyahiśaṃkayā)
One who is blind throws away even a garland of flower placed on his head, thinking it is a snake.
4. Vikramorvasheeyam Natakam (Mahakavi Kalidasa)
यदेवोपनतं दु:खात् सुखं तद्रसवत्तरं।
(Yadevopanataṃ du:khāt sukhaṃ tadrasavattaraṃ.)
निर्वाणाय तरुच्छाया तप्तस्य हि विशेषतः ॥
(Nirvāṇāya tarucchāyā taptasya hi viśeṣataḥ ..)
The happiness one gets after a period of grief is all the more enjoyable. One who is afflicted by the intense heat of the Sun better enjoys the shade given by a tree than one who is not exposed to the Sun’s rays.
संगमं श्रीसरस्वत्योर्भूयादुद्भूतये सताम् ॥
(Saṃgamaṃ śrīsarasvatyorbhūyādudbhūtaye satām ..)
The conflicting attributes of wealth and learning rarely co-exist in one person. Let there be such a rare union of Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati for the benefit of the good people.
सर्वस्तरतु दुर्गाणि सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यतु।
(Sarvastaratu durgāṇi sarve bhadrāṇi paśyatu.)
सर्वः कामानवाप्नोतु सर्वः सर्वत्र नन्दतु ॥
(Sarvaḥ kāmānavāpnotu sarvaḥ sarvatra nandatu ..)
May all cross their difficulties. May all see good and auspicious things. May all get their wishes fulfilled. May everyone everywhere be happy.
छिन्नबन्धे मत्स्ये पलायिते निर्विण्णो।
(Chinnabandhe matsye palāyite nirviṇṇo.)
धीवरो भणति धर्मो मे भवति ॥
(Dhīvaro bhaṇati dharmo me bhavati ..)
When the fishing net was torn and fish leaped into the water the fisherman becomes dejected and consoles himself saying that he will get merit (punya) (for allowing the fish to escape).
सर्वत्र खल्वात्मानुमानेन वर्तितुं युक्तम्
(Sarvatra khalvātmānumānena vartituṃ yuktam)
It is best for every one to act in accordance with one’s status everywhere.
5. Malavikaagnimitram Natakam(Mahakavi Kalidasa)
पुराणमित्येव न साधु सर्वं
(Purāṇamityeva na sādhu sarvaṃ)
न चाऽपि काव्यं नवमित्यवद्यम्।
(Na cā’pi kāvyaṃ navamityavadyam.)
सन्तः परीक्ष्यान्यतरत् भजन्ते
(Santaḥ parīkṣyānyatarat bhajante)
मूढः परप्रत्ययनेयबुद्धिः ॥
(Mūḍhaḥ parapratyayaneyabuddhiḥ ..)
All kavyaas are not good only because they are old. All kaavyas are not bad because they are new. Good and wise people examine both and decide whether a kaavya is good or bad. Only a fool will be blindly led by what others say.
अर्थं सप्रतिबन्धं प्रभुरधिगन्तुं सहायवानेव ।
(Arthaṃ sapratibandhaṃ prabhuradhigantuṃ sahāyavāneva .)
दृश्यं तमसि न पश्यन्ति दीपेन विना सचक्षुरपि ॥
(Dṛśyaṃ tamasi na paśyanti dīpena vinā sacakṣurapi ..)
Only one who has some one to help will be able to get hold of an object or achieve a goal when there are impediments or obstructions in the process. Even a person with eyes will be able to see an object in darkness only with the help of a lamp.
मन्दोऽप्यमन्दतामेति संसर्गेण विपश्चितः
(Mando’pyamandatāmeti saṃsargeṇa vipaścitaḥ)
पङ्कछिदः फलस्येव निकर्षेणाविलं पयः
(Paṅkachidaḥ phalasyeva nikarṣeṇāvilaṃ payaḥ)
Even a fool becomes clever by association with the wise just as even muddy water becomes clear when it comes into contact with the fruits of the nirmalee tree (i.e. when the fruits are put in the water).
6. Kiraataarjuneeyam (Mahakavi Bharavi)
नहि प्रियं वक्तुमिच्छन्ति मृषा हितैषिणः
(Nahi priyaṃ vaktumicchanti mṛṣā hitaiṣiṇaḥ)
Those who mean well for others do not want to please them by false praise.
ननु वक्तृविशेष नि:स्पृहा गुणगृह्या वचने विपश्चितः
(Nanu vaktṛviśeṣa ni:spṛhā guṇagṛhyā vacane vipaścitaḥ)
The wise are indifferent as to who uttered the words, they judge the words by their inherent quality.
निवसन्ति पराक्रमाश्रया न विषादेन समं समृद्धयः
(Nivasanti parākramāśrayā na viṣādena samaṃ samṛddhayaḥ)
Abundance (affluence) co-exists with valour not with melancholy or absence of enthusiasm.
सहसा विदधीत न क्रियामविवेक: परमापदां पदम्।
(Sahasā vidadhīta na kriyāmaviveka: paramāpadāṃ padam.)
वृणुते हि विमृश्यकारिणं गुणलुब्धाः स्वयमेव सम्पदः ॥
(Vṛṇute hi vimṛśyakāriṇaṃ guṇalubdhāḥ svayameva sampadaḥ ..)
Do not embark on an endeavour on the spur of the moment without analysing its pros and cons. The absence of discrimination is the cause of great misfortune. Fortune, ever greedy for good qualities in men, embraces those who engage themselves in an endeavour after consultations and discussions with men of knowledge.
स्पृहणीयगुणैर्महात्मभिश्चरिते वर्त्मनि यच्छतां मनः
(Spṛhaṇīyaguṇairmahātmabhiścarite vartmani yacchatāṃ manaḥ)
विधिहेतुर्हेतुरागसां विनिपातोऽपि समुन्नतेस्समः
(Vidhiheturheturāgasāṃ vinipāto’pi samunnatessamaḥ)
For those who follow in the footsteps of great men possessing highly desirable qualities, even a downfall on account of fate and not involving wrong doings is equal to rising higher in status.
यशोऽधिगन्तुं सुखलिप्सया वा मनुष्यसंख्यामतिवर्तितुं वा
(Yaśo’dhigantuṃ sukhalipsayā vā manuṣyasaṃkhyāmativartituṃ vā)
निरुत्सुकानामभियोगभाजां समुत्सुकेवाङ्कमुपैति सिद्धिः
(Nirutsukānāmabhiyogabhājāṃ samutsukevāṅkamupaiti siddhiḥ)
Achievement, it seems, is enthusiastic to sit on the lap of those who engage themselves diligently in an endeavour without caring for fame, happiness or rise in popularity.
किं वावसादकर आत्मवताम्
(Kiṃ vāvasādakara ātmavatām)
There is nothing which will tire out or disturb the mind of high-minded persons.
प्रेम पश्यति भयानपदेऽपि
(Prema paśyati bhayānapade’pi)
Love sees cause for fear even in the most unlikely places.
Unlucky persons disregard ( do not care about) what is already at hand.
शरदम्बुधरच्छाया जत्वर्यो यौवनश्रियः
(Śaradambudharacchāyā jatvaryo yauvanaśriyaḥ)
आपातरम्याः विषयाः पर्यन्तपरितापिनः
(Āpātaramyāḥ viṣayāḥ paryantaparitāpinaḥ)
Youth is fleeting like the clouds of autumn. The pleasures of the senses are sweet in the beginning but yield bitter results in the end.
तदा रम्याण्यरम्याणि प्रियः शल्यं तदासवः ।
(Tadā ramyāṇyaramyāṇi priyaḥ śalyaṃ tadāsavaḥ .)
तदेकाकी सबंधुस्सन् इष्टेन रहितो यदा ॥
(Tadekākī sabaṃdhussan iṣṭena rahito yadā ..)
when one’s loved one is absent, beautiful things seem ugly, what one likes including one’s own life becomes a pain, one feels lonely even in the midst of one’s relatives.
जीयन्तां दुर्जया देहे रिपवश्च्क्षुरादयः ।
(Jīyantāṃ durjayā dehe ripavaśckṣurādayaḥ .)
जितेषु ननु लोकोऽयं तेषु कृत्स्नस्त्वया जितः॥
(Jiteṣu nanu loko’yaṃ teṣu kṛtsnastvayā jitaḥ..)
The enemies resident in the body, namely the sense organs like the eyes, which are difficult to control, should be conquered. Once they are conquered, it is as good as the whole world has been conquered by you.
तावदाश्रयते लक्ष्म्या तावदस्य स्थिरं यशः ।
(Tāvadāśrayate lakṣmyā tāvadasya sthiraṃ yaśaḥ .)
पुरुषस्तावदेवासौ यावन्मानान्न हीयते ॥
(Puruṣastāvadevāsau yāvanmānānna hīyate ..)
One can accumulate wealth, one’s fame remains stable and one is considered a man of substance only so long as one commands the respect of society.
प्रकृत्यमित्रा हि सतामसाधवः
(Prakṛtyamitrā hi satāmasādhavaḥ)
Evil men are natural enemies of the good ones.
7. Shishupaalavadham (Maagha kavi)
महीयांसः प्रकृत्या मितभषिणः
(Mahīyāṃsaḥ prakṛtyā mitabhaṣiṇaḥ)
Great men, by nature, do not talk much (they limit their speech to the essentials only)
संपदा सुस्थिरंमन्यो भवति स्वल्पयाऽपि यः ।
(Saṃpadā susthiraṃmanyo bhavati svalpayā’pi yaḥ .)
कृतकृत्यो विधिर्मन्ये न वर्धयति तस्य ताम् ॥
(Kṛtakṛtyo vidhirmanye na vardhayati tasya tām ..)
In the case of one who is satisfied with a little wealth, even Fate (vidhih) thinks it has done its job and does not increase his wealth. (One should have enough ambition if he wants to accumulate lot of wealth and should not be content with what he has)
मा जीवन् यः परावज्ञादु:खदग्धोऽपि जीवति
(Mā jīvan yaḥ parāvajñādu:khadagdho’pi jīvati)
One who lives, even after one has been scorched by the humiliation showered on him by others, is as good as dead.
सामान्याधिकरणं हि तेजस्तिमिरयोः कुतः
(Sāmānyādhikaraṇaṃ hi tejastimirayoḥ kutaḥ)
Where is comparison between light and darkness ? There is no comparison at all.
आरभ्यन्तेऽल्पमेवाऽज्ञाः कामं व्यग्रा भवन्ति च
(Ārabhyante’lpamevā’jñāḥ kāmaṃ vyagrā bhavanti ca)
महारंभाः कृतधियः तिष्ठन्ति च निराकुला:
(Mahāraṃbhāḥ kṛtadhiyaḥ tiṣṭhanti ca nirākulā:)
Fools start an undertaking in a small way and they struggle to complete it. Great men start in a big way and accomplish the task remaining unruffled in spite of its magnitude.
उपायमास्थितस्यापि नश्यन्त्यर्थाः प्रमादतः
(Upāyamāsthitasyāpi naśyantyarthāḥ pramādataḥ)
The undertakings of those who are careless and negligent never bear fruit though they have used proper means.
अयथाबलमारंभो निदानं क्षयसम्पदः
(Ayathābalamāraṃbho nidānaṃ kṣayasampadaḥ)
Embarking on something which is beyond one’s capacity or strength is one of the causes for diminution in one’s wealth
बृहत्सहायाः कार्यान्तं क्षोदीयानपि गच्छति
(Bṛhatsahāyāḥ kāryāntaṃ kṣodīyānapi gacchati)
Even small people can get their work done with the help of the big people
क्षणे क्षणे यन्नवतामुपैति तदेव रूपं रमणीयतायाः
(Kṣaṇe kṣaṇe yannavatāmupaiti tadeva rūpaṃ ramaṇīyatāyāḥ)
Beauty is that which takes on a new form every minute (so that the one who looks at it is never tired or bored)
8. Naishadheeya Charitam (Sri Harsha)
अपां हि तृप्तस्य न वारिधारा स्वादुः सुगंधिः स्वदते तुषारा
(Apāṃ hi tṛptasya na vāridhārā svāduḥ sugaṃdhiḥ svadate tuṣārā)
One who is satiated with water will not appreciate a pouring of cool water sweet in taste and smell.
पित्तेन दूने रसने सितापि तिक्तायते
(Pittena dūne rasane sitāpi tiktāyate)
When the tongue is corrupted by pitta, even sugar tastes bitter.
आर्जवं हि कुटिलेषु न नीतिः
(Ārjavaṃ hi kuṭileṣu na nītiḥ)
Straightforwardness is not the right policy when people of crooked mind are concerned.
मितं च सारं च वचो हि वाग्मिता
(Mitaṃ ca sāraṃ ca vaco hi vāgmitā)
Oratory is speech which is measured (not verbose) and at the same time pregnant with meaning.
9. Mrichchhakatikam (Raja Sudraka)
शून्यमपुत्रस्य गृहं चिरशून्यं नास्ति यस्य सन्मित्रं।
(Śūnyamaputrasya gṛhaṃ ciraśūnyaṃ nāsti yasya sanmitraṃ.)
मूर्खस्य दिशः शून्याः सर्वं शून्यं दरिद्रस्य ॥
(Mūrkhasya diśaḥ śūnyāḥ sarvaṃ śūnyaṃ daridrasya ..)
The house of a childless person is shoonya (void), for a person without a good friend it is forever void, the four quarters are void for the fool and for the poor everything is shoonya (void).
सुखं हि दु:खाननुभूय शोभते घनांधकारेष्विव दीपदर्शनम्
(Sukhaṃ hi du:khānanubhūya śobhate ghanāṃdhakāreṣviva dīpadarśanam)
Happiness is more appreciated after one experiences grief over a period in the same way as light is more appreciated by a person in pitch darkness.
सुखात्तु यो याति नरो दरिद्रतां धृतः शरीरेण मृतः स जीवति
(Sukhāttu yo yāti naro daridratāṃ dhṛtaḥ śarīreṇa mṛtaḥ sa jīvati)
One who has enjoyed prosperity is suddenly reduced to penury is as good as dead even while living.
दारिद्र्यान्मरणाद्वा मरणं मम रोचते न दारिद्र्यं ।
(Dāridryānmaraṇādvā maraṇaṃ mama rocate na dāridryaṃ .)
अल्पक्लेशं मरणं दारिद्र्यमनन्तकं दु:खम् ॥
(Alpakleśaṃ maraṇaṃ dāridryamanantakaṃ du:kham ..)
If I have to choose between death and penury I will choose death not penury. Death involves only a little distress but penury brings unending physical and mental agony.
दारिद्र्यात्पुरुषस्य बांधवजनो वाक्ये न संतिष्ठते
(Dāridryātpuruṣasya bāṃdhavajano vākye na saṃtiṣṭhate)
सुस्निग्धाः विमुखीभवन्ति सुहृदः स्फारीभवन्त्यापदः
(Susnigdhāḥ vimukhībhavanti suhṛdaḥ sphārībhavantyāpadaḥ)
सत्त्वं ह्रस्वमुपैति शीलशशिनः कान्ति परिम्लायते
(Sattvaṃ hrasvamupaiti śīlaśaśinaḥ kānti parimlāyate)
पापम् कर्म च यत्परैरपि कृतं तत्तस्य सम्भाव्यते
(Pāpam karma ca yatparairapi kṛtaṃ tattasya sambhāvyate)
If one is poor, his relatives don’t heed his words, even loving friends neglect him, his misfortunes spread out, his physical and mental strength shrinks, the moon of his good conduct becomes pale and even the wrongs committed by others are foisted on to him.
गुणाः खलु अनुरागस्य कारणं न बलात्कारः
(Guṇāḥ khalu anurāgasya kāraṇaṃ na balātkāraḥ)
It is because of one’s qualities one is loved not because of force.
साहसे श्रीः प्रतिवसति
(Sāhase śrīḥ prativasati)
In adventure resides Goddess Lakshmi (Only those who are adventurous can amass wealth)
10. Uttararaamacharitam (Bhavabhuti)
सतां सद्भिस्संगः क्थमपि हि पुण्येन भवति
(Satāṃ sadbhissaṃgaḥ kthamapi hi puṇyena bhavati)
The meeting of good people with good people somehow happens only by punya (fruit of meritorious deeds done in the past)
प्रियप्राया वृत्तिः विनयमधुरो वाचि नियमः
(Priyaprāyā vṛttiḥ vinayamadhuro vāci niyamaḥ)
प्रकृत्या कल्याणी मतिरनवगीतः परिचयः।
(Prakṛtyā kalyāṇī matiranavagītaḥ paricayaḥ.)
पुरो वा पश्चाद्वा तदिदमविपर्यासित रसं
(Puro vā paścādvā tadidamaviparyāsita rasaṃ)
रहस्यं साधूनामनुपदि विशुद्धं विजयते॥
(Rahasyaṃ sādhūnāmanupadi viśuddhaṃ vijayate..)
Loving, polite and pleasing interaction with others, controlled speech, a heart which only thinks of the good of others, introduction which is not boastful, Uniform behaviour before and after (when face to face or behand the back)– These are the secrets, pure and simple, of saintly souls.
वज्रादपि कठोराणि मृदूनि कुसुमादपि ।
(Vajrādapi kaṭhorāṇi mṛdūni kusumādapi .)
लोकोत्तराणां चेतांसि को नो विज्ञातुमर्हति॥
(Lokottarāṇāṃ cetāṃsi ko no vijñātumarhati..)
The hearts of the best of men who are a cut above the ordinary people are harder than diamond (when facing obstacles or enemies ) and softer than flowers (towards the less privileged and the miserable). Who can understand the hearts of such men?
न किञ्चिदपि कुर्वाणः सौख्यैर्दु:खान्यपोहति।
(Na kiñcidapi kurvāṇaḥ saukhyairdu:khānyapohati.)
तत्तस्य किमपि द्रव्यं यो हि यस्य प्रियो जनः
(Tattasya kimapi dravyaṃ yo hi yasya priyo janaḥ)
Without doing anything, if one converts the sorrows of another person into joy and happiness, then the first one, who is the object of love for the second one, is a valuable thing for the latter.
अन्तःकरणतत्त्वस्य दम्पत्योः स्नेह्संश्रयात्।
(Antaḥkaraṇatattvasya dampatyoḥ snehsaṃśrayāt.)
आनन्दग्रन्थिरेकोऽयं अपत्यमिति बध्यते ॥
(Ānandagranthireko’yaṃ apatyamiti badhyate ..)
The concrete manifestation of the joy arising out of the union of the minds of the husband and the wife is called apatyam (progeny) on which converges the love of both of them.
एको रसः करुण एव निमित्तभेदात्
(Eko rasaḥ karuṇa eva nimittabhedāt)
भिन्नः पृथक्पृथगिवाश्रयते विवर्तान् ।
(Bhinnaḥ pṛthakpṛthagivāśrayate vivartān .)
आवर्त बुद्बुद तरंगमयान् विकारान्
(Āvarta budbuda taraṃgamayān vikārān)
अंभो यथा सलिलमेव तु तत्समस्तम् ॥।
(Aṃbho yathā salilameva tu tatsamastam …)
Karuna(pathetic) rasa (emotion) is the only one which manifests in the form of other emotions like sringara (love) etc. depending on the underlying circumstances which give rise to the emotion in the same way as bubbles, waves, swell etc are only different forms that water takes. The basic substance is water only.
गुणिषु न च लिङ्गं न च वयः
(Guṇiṣu na ca liṅgaṃ na ca vayaḥ)
Good qualities are appreciated in whomsoever they are found. The sex or the age of the person is not taken into consideration.
ऋषयो राक्षसीमाहुः वाचमुन्मत्तदृप्तयोः
(Ṛṣayo rākṣasīmāhuḥ vācamunmattadṛptayoḥ)
सा योनिः सर्चवैराणां स हि लोकस्य निऋतिः
(Sā yoniḥ sarcavairāṇāṃ sa hi lokasya niṛtiḥ)
The speech of intoxicated and conceited persons is termed as raakshasee (demoniac) by the rishis. Such speech is the root cause of all enmities and that is hell in this world.
कामं दुग्धे विप्रकृष्यत्यलक्ष्मीं
(Kāmaṃ dugdhe viprakṛṣyatyalakṣmīṃ)
कीर्तिं सूते दुष्कृतं या हिनस्ति ।
(Kīrtiṃ sūte duṣkṛtaṃ yā hinasti .)
तां चाप्येतां मातरं मंगलानां
(Tāṃ cāpyetāṃ mātaraṃ maṃgalānāṃ)
धेनुं धीराः सूनृतां वाचमाहुः ॥
(Dhenuṃ dhīrāḥ sūnṛtāṃ vācamāhuḥ ..)
Speech that is embellished by truth and love yields all one’s wishes, drives away poverty, builds a reputation, prevents wrong doings in the same way as the Cow Mother which yields all auspicious things.
व्यतिषजति पदार्थानान्तर: कोऽपि हेतु-
(Vyatiṣajati padārthānāntara: ko’pi hetu-)
र्न खलु बहिरुपाधीन् प्रीतयः संश्रयन्ते ।
(Rna khalu bahirupādhīn prītayaḥ saṃśrayante .)
विकसति हि पतंगस्योदये पुण्डरीकं
(Vikasati hi pataṃgasyodaye puṇḍarīkaṃ)
द्रवति च हिमरश्मावुद्गते चन्द्रकान्तः ॥
(Dravati ca himaraśmāvudgate candrakāntaḥ ..)
It is some internal cause which brings together people. Love does not depend upon external attributes. The lotus blossoms when the sun rises (though the lotus is delicate and the sun’s rays are hot), the moon stone starts melting when exposed to moonlight (though moonlight is soft and the moon stone is hard).
प्रियानाशे कृत्स्नं किल जगदरण्यं हि भवति
(Priyānāśe kṛtsnaṃ kila jagadaraṇyaṃ hi bhavati)
When the woman one loves is lost the whole world turns into a dense jungle for the one who loves.
स्नेहच्च निमित्तसव्यपेक्षश्चेति विप्रतिषिद्धमेतत्
(Snehacca nimittasavyapekṣaśceti vipratiṣiddhametat)
Love and existence of a cause for such love, these two are mutually contradictory
11. Mudraaraakshasam Nataka (Vishakhadatta)
न युक्तं प्राकृतमपि रिपुं अवज्ञातुम्
(Na yuktaṃ prākṛtamapi ripuṃ avajñātum)
It is not proper to disregard or neglect even an ordinary enemy.
कीदृशस्तृणानां अग्निना सह विरोध: ?
(Kīdṛśastṛṇānāṃ agninā saha virodha: ?)
What kind of enmity the grass has towards fire ? (there is no enmity, it is the nature of fire to burn anything whatsoever)
हिमवति दिव्यौषधयः शीर्षे सर्पः समाविष्ट:
(Himavati divyauṣadhayaḥ śīrṣe sarpaḥ samāviṣṭa:)
There are divine medicinal plants in the Himalayas. But on top of it are serpents
परायत्तः प्रीतेः कथमिव रसं वेत्ति पुरुष:?
(Parāyattaḥ prīteḥ kathamiva rasaṃ vetti puruṣa:?)
How does a man who is under the control of another know the joy of love.
इह विरचयन् साध्वीं शिष्यः क्रियां न निवार्यते
(Iha viracayan sādhvīṃ śiṣyaḥ kriyāṃ na nivāryate)
त्यजति तु यदा मार्गं मोहात्तदा गुरुरङ्कुशः
(Tyajati tu yadā mārgaṃ mohāttadā gururaṅkuśaḥ)
Here the disciple is not prevented from doing anything good. But when he deviates from the right path guru will act as ankusha (weapon used to control an elephant), meaning he will be controlled and brought back to the correct path.
12. Dashakumaaracharitam (Dandi)
जलबुद्बुदसमाना विराजमाना सम्पत् तडिल्लेखेव सहसोदेति नश्यति च
(Jalabudbudasamānā virājamānā sampat taḍillekheva sahasodeti naśyati ca)
The glittering wealth is like the bubbles on water. Like lightning it rises suddenly and perishes with the same speed.
इह जगति हि न निरीहदेहिनं श्रियः संश्रयन्ते
(Iha jagati hi na nirīhadehinaṃ śriyaḥ saṃśrayante)
In this world one who does not put in effort (i.e. one who is inactive) does not acquire wealth
श्रेयांसि च सकलान्यनलसानां हस्ते नित्यसान्निद्ध्यानि
(Śreyāṃsi ca sakalānyanalasānāṃ haste nityasānniddhyāni)
All prosperity and welfare is always in the hands of those who are always active, who do not know laziness
13. Harshacharitam (Baana)
The angry person, though possessing eyes, is blind.
न सन्त्येव ते येषां सतामपि न विद्यन्ते मित्रोदासीनशत्रवः
(Na santyeva te yeṣāṃ satāmapi na vidyante mitrodāsīnaśatravaḥ)
There are no such persons who do not have friends, enemies or neutrals even though such persons possess good qualities.
उपयोगं तु न प्रीतिर्विचारयति
(Upayogaṃ tu na prītirvicārayati)
Love does not consider use or benefit.
14. Kaadambari (Baana)
सर्वथा न कञ्चन न स्पृशति शरीरधर्माणमुपतापाः
(Sarvathā na kañcana na spṛśati śarīradharmāṇamupatāpāḥ)
It is not possible that one, who is subject to the vagaries of a body, will not ever suffer any disease or discomfort
It is easy to preach to others
बहुभाषिणो न श्रद्दधति लोकः
(Bahubhāṣiṇo na śraddadhati lokaḥ)
People do not listen to one who talks too much.
मिथ्यापि तत्तथा यथा गृहीतं लोकेन
(Mithyāpi tattathā yathā gṛhītaṃ lokena)
Untruth takes the same form as the one given to it by people.
15. Kaavyameemaamsaa (Kaviraja Rajashekharah)
प्रायः प्राणभृतां प्रेमाणमन्तरेण नान्यद्बन्धनमस्ति
(Prāyaḥ prāṇabhṛtāṃ premāṇamantareṇa nānyadbandhanamasti)
Generally, for the living, there is no bondage except love.
पक्षपातो हि गुणदोषौ विपर्यासयति
(Pakṣapāto hi guṇadoṣau viparyāsayati)
It is only partiality that interchanges good and bad (i.e. good is considered as bad and bad is considered as good)
परैश्च परीक्षयेत् यदुदासीनः पश्यति न तदनुष्ठातेति प्रायो वादः
(Paraiśca parīkṣayet yadudāsīnaḥ paśyati na tadanuṣṭhāteti prāyo vādaḥ)
The plan should be got examined by outsiders. The argument is, what the neutral person sees, the one who executes may not see most of the time.
अनियतकालाः प्रवृत्तयो विप्लवन्ते
(Aniyatakālāḥ pravṛttayo viplavante)
Actions not done at the appropriate time do not yield the desired result
सम्यक्स्वापो वपुषः परमारोग्याय
(Samyaksvāpo vapuṣaḥ paramārogyāya)
The right kind of sleep is good for a very healthy body.
मतिदर्पणे कवीनां विश्वं प्रतिफलति
(Matidarpaṇe kavīnāṃ viśvaṃ pratiphalati)
In the mirror of the poet’s mind there is the reflection of the world.
16. Kathaasaritsaagaram (Somadeva)
अप्राप्यं नाम नेहास्ति धीरस्य व्यवसायिनः
(Aprāpyaṃ nāma nehāsti dhīrasya vyavasāyinaḥ)
There is nothing unattainable to the one who has courage and who works hard.
अश्नुते स हि कल्याणं व्यसने यो न मुह्यति
(Aśnute sa hi kalyāṇaṃ vyasane yo na muhyati)
Only one who does not lose his cool in adversity will enjoy prosperity
एकचित्ते द्वयोरेव किमसाध्यं भवेदिति
(Ekacitte dvayoreva kimasādhyaṃ bhavediti)
When two people think alike then what is it that is impossible?
करुणार्द्रा हि सर्वस्य सन्तोऽकारणबान्धवाः
(Karuṇārdrā hi sarvasya santo’kāraṇabāndhavāḥ)
Good people whose heart is full of sympathy and kindness become, without selfish motives, the friends or relatives of all.
कामं व्यसनवृक्षस्य मूलं दुर्जनसंगतिः
(Kāmaṃ vyasanavṛkṣasya mūlaṃ durjanasaṃgatiḥ)
The root cause of sorrow is the company of bad people.
त्यजन्त्युत्तमसत्वा हि प्राणानपि न सत्पथं
(Tyajantyuttamasatvā hi prāṇānapi na satpathaṃ)
Those of good nature may give up their life but not the righteous path.
पङ्को हि नभसि क्षिप्तः क्षेप्तुः पतति मूर्धनि
(Paṅko hi nabhasi kṣiptaḥ kṣeptuḥ patati mūrdhani)
Mud, thrown at the sky, falls on the head of the person who throws it (If one does something bad it recoils on him)
17. Panchatantra (Vishnu Sharma)
न स्वल्पस्य कृते भूरि नाशयेन्मतिमान्नरः
(Na svalpasya kṛte bhūri nāśayenmatimānnaraḥ)
The wise man should not incur a big loss for the sake of a little gain.
प्राकाश्यं स्वगुणोदयेन गुणिनो गच्छन्ति किं जन्मना
(Prākāśyaṃ svaguṇodayena guṇino gacchanti kiṃ janmanā)
Good people are noticed by their good qualities, not by birth.
Love and friendship are broken by backbiting.
यस्य बुद्धिर्बलं तस्य निर्बुद्धेस्तु कुतो बलम्
(Yasya buddhirbalaṃ tasya nirbuddhestu kuto balam)
He who has brains has strength (power), where is power in a fool?
सेवाधर्मः परम गहनो योगिनामप्यगम्यः
(Sevādharmaḥ parama gahano yogināmapyagamyaḥ)
To be in the service of another is a difficult job which even a yogi may not be able to fulfill.
मृदुना सलिलेन खन्यमानान्यवघर्षन्ति गिरेरपि स्थलानि
(Mṛdunā salilena khanyamānānyavagharṣanti girerapi sthalāni)
Eroded by the soft water incessantly, even the hard stones of the mountain wear away over time.
दीर्घो बुद्धिमतो बाहू
(Dīrgho buddhimato bāhū)
The hands of the one with brains are long indeed. ( Using his brains he can do many things with hands which less brainy fellows cannot do)
One will face adversity if one does not take precautions to counteract anticipated difficulties or problems
बहूनामप्यसाराणां समवायो हि दुर्जयः
(Bahūnāmapyasārāṇāṃ samavāyo hi durjayaḥ)
If a large number of people unite for a purpose they become invincible, though each one, by himself is weak.
One should be circumspect with regard to those who show more than the usual respect or regard.
संपत्तौ च विपत्तौ च महतामेकरूपता
(Saṃpattau ca vipattau ca mahatāmekarūpatā)
In prosperity and adversity the great do not lose their equilibrium.
कः परः प्रियवादिनाम्
(Kaḥ paraḥ priyavādinām)
Who is not one’s own for people of soft and soothing speech.
नक्रः स्वस्थानमासाद्य गजेन्द्रमपि कर्षति
(Nakraḥ svasthānamāsādya gajendramapi karṣati)
The crocodile, in his own habitat, can drag even an elephant into the water.
कृशे कस्यास्ति सौहृदम्?
(Kṛśe kasyāsti sauhṛdam?)
Who will make friends with a lean (down and out) person?
आत्मनः प्रतिकूलानि परेषां न समाचरेत्
(Ātmanaḥ pratikūlāni pareṣāṃ na samācaret)
That which is hurting oneself should not be done to others.
अनागतं यः कुरुते स शोभते
(Anāgataṃ yaḥ kurute sa śobhate)
स शोच्यते यो न करोत्यनागतम्
(Sa śocyate yo na karotyanāgatam)
One who takes precautions before misfortune strikes will prosper. One who does not take action when misfortune is anticipated, will come to grief.
संतापयन्ति कथमपथ्यभुजं न रोगाः
(Saṃtāpayanti kathamapathyabhujaṃ na rogāḥ)
How can one be unaffected by diseases if one eats food not conducive to one’s health ?
सर्वनाशे समुत्पन्ने अर्धं त्यजति पण्डितः
(Sarvanāśe samutpanne ardhaṃ tyajati paṇḍitaḥ)
When everything is at stake the wise give up half of it to save the other half.
उदारचरितानां तु वसुधैव कुटुंबकम्
(Udāracaritānāṃ tu vasudhaiva kuṭuṃbakam)
To those of generous character( disposition) the whole world is one family.
यादृशी भावना यस्य सिद्धिर्भवति तादृशी
(Yādṛśī bhāvanā yasya siddhirbhavati tādṛśī)
Whatever one dreams or imagines the outcome will be similar.
18. Hitopadesha (Narayana Panditah)
उद्यमेन हि सिद्ध्यन्ति कार्याणि न मनोरथैः
(Udyamena hi siddhyanti kāryāṇi na manorathaiḥ)
One’s goal is achieved by industry (hard work) and not by building castles in the air.
ज्ञानं भारः क्रियां विना
(Jñānaṃ bhāraḥ kriyāṃ vinā)
Without action knowledge is a burden (knowledge, not put into practice, is sheer waste)