Chikeershitam viprakritam cha yasya
One who envies others’ wealth, beauty, family reputation, noble birth, happiness, fortune or respect in society is really a sick person. For him there is no cure.
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:
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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)
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.
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)
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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)
The great philosopher-poet, Bharthruhari, was the King of Ujjain. He was the elder step brother of the renowned Vikramaaditya. His life presents to us a living account of a person’s transformation from a pleasure-loving king to an ascetic. It was he who gave us the immortal Subhashita Trishati consisting the trilogy of Neeti Sataka, Sringara Sataka and Vairagya Sataka which truly reflect his life expeiences as a king, as a lover and as an ascetic.
Students of Sanskrit are sure to have read selections from Subhashita Trishati which encompasses almost every experience known to man and pours them forth in beautiful poetry. It provides philosophy to those interested in it. It provides metrical delight to lovers of poetry by the use of common meters such as Indravajra, Upendravajra, Vasantatilaka, Malini, Sikharini, Mandakranta, Sardulavikridita, Sragdhara etc. It teaches morality to those who would llike lead a moral life. It has some thing in it for every one who delves into its pages.
The ignorant one is easily convinced. It is easier to convince a really knowledgeable person. But even the Creator himself will not be able to convince a fool who, with his half-baked knowledge, thinks that he is the wisest person in the world.
Brahma has created a unique quality, which is available to any one, for covering one’s ignorance. This quality is silence. Especially in an assembly of all-knowing wise men, silence becomes the adornment of fools since it keeps their ignorance from coming to light.
When I had a little knowledge I was blind with conceit like a rutty elephant. I thought I was all-knowing and my vanity was great. Then, gradually, by virtue of my association with wise men, it dawned on me that knowledge was a vast ocean. My intoxication vanished like a fever and I realized that I was really a fool.
Fire can be put out by water. An umbrella can be used as protection from the sun. The rutty elephant can be controlled with an ankush (a weapon with a sharp hook at one end used by a mahout). A cow or donkey can be herded with a stick. A disease can be treated with medicines. Poison can be counteracted by chanting mantras. There is a remedy for everything prescribed in the shaastras. But there is no remedy for the fool.
It is not visible to the thief. It always bestows on the possessor joy and happiness. The more it is imparted to those who want it the more it increases. Even after ages it never perishes. It is vidya (learning, knowledge) which is an internal wealth. O Kings! Do not pride yourselves before those who possess such wealth of knowledge. Who can compete with them?
Glittering gold and diamond ornaments, bathing, sandal wood paste for the body, flowers and adornments for the head do not really embellish a person. The greatest adornment of a person is refined and soft speech. All other articles of adornment pale into insignificance before such speech.
If one has patience (endurance) what is the use of a shield? If one has anger what if enemies are there, anger being the greatest enemy. If a person has relatives he should not worry about fire because the relatives will generate enough heat for him. If one has a friend that friend will do the work of highly effective medicines. If one is in the company of evil men, such evil men will do the work of a poisonous snake. If one has unblemished learning there is no use of wealth as learning is inexhaustible wealth. If one has shyness (modesty) gold and diamond adornments are of no use. If one has beautiful and ennobling poems and literature, the resultant happiness is more than having a kingdom.
Those who are skilled in the art of interpersonal relationships show generosity towards relatives, kindness to servants, severity to evil men, devotion to saintly persons, diplomacy towards kings, straightforwardness where learned persons are concerned, valour towards enemies, patience towards elders and tactfulness with women. The world depends on the skill of such people.
There are three categories of persons who contemplate an undertaking. At the lowest level are those who never start off for fear of encountering obstacles. Those at the middle level start the project but, at the first sign of obstacles, withdraw themselves from the endeavour. At the top level are those who, in spite of repeated obstacles, persist in their endeavour until they take the undertaking to a successful conclusion.
The Lion, King of the forest, who breaks the head of the elephant and bites into its flesh to satisfy his hunger, will never stoop to the level of eating dry grass. He may be famished by hunger and weakened by old age. His limbs may have lost their flexibility and his condition may be miserable and even his life may be ebbing out of his body. But he will never do anything which is beneath his dignity and majesty as the King of the forest. Similar is the nature of men of substance and majesty.
The dog is satisfied with a piece of bare bone which is dirty with a little blood and fatty substance on it though it is not sufficient to satisfy its hunger. The lion, on the other hand, ignores the jackal within its reach and kills a mighty elephant for his meal. Men of majesty, though passing through a difficult period of their life, do not want to compromise their dignity and will accept only something befitting their dignity and strength.
In this world of constant change who does not take birth after one dies ? But one who takes his clan to greater heights is the one really born.
Even a lion cub attacks a rutty elephant and breaks its head. This is the nature of men of strength and majesty. Age does not affect their prowess.
Let the jaati (caste, occupation) sink to the nether world. Let all good qualities go down deeper still. Let good conduct fall from the top of a hill. Let all relatives be burnt in a fire. Let valour against the enemy be struck by thunderbolt. Let us have only wealth (money). Without money all good qualities are nothing more than a bundle of grass.
If one has wealth he is considered born of a good family. He is learned, he recognizes good qualities, he is an orator, he is handsome etc. All these qualities are attributed to a man possessing wealth whether or not these qualities actually reside in him.
Giving to others, enjoying oneself or losing it – these are the only ways for utilising wealth. If one does not give to others or enjoy himself, it will result in the third course i.e. loss of wealth (either by theft, deceit, fire or squandering).
O King! The earth (land) over which you rule is like a cow. If you want to milk the cow you should nourish the calf, your subjects, with the milk of the cow. If you do this always diligently the earth will yield you all its resources in abundance like a wish-yielding creeper (kalpalataa)
Power, fame, care of brahmins, charity, enjoyment of the fruits of wealth and protection of one’s friends – if these six are not in a person serving the king, then what is the use of being in the service of the king?
O Friend chaataka! Listen carefully to what I am saying. There are so many clouds in the sky but all of them are not of the same character. Some of them drench the earth with precious rain. Some others do nothing but thundering. They do not yield a drop of water. Therefore do not beg for water before every cloud you seen in the sky.[ Note: The legenday bird chataka is supposed to quench its thirst only from water from the clouds. Here clouds are the kings. And the chataka birds are those who want to make a living by serving the king. Here is advice to such persons that they should not approach all and sundry. Only a few kings are generous, others only boast of themselves but are stingy.]
Cruelty, fighting with others for no reason whatsoever, desire for others’ wealth and women, jealousy at the prosperity of relatives and other family members – men of evil mind are naturally endowed with these bad qualities.
Evil men should be avoided though they may be learned. Is a serpent adorned with a jewel (naaga maanikya) less frightening? [Note: Legend has it that good serpents have a luminous stone (maanikya) on top of their hood]
If one has greed what is the need for other bad qualities? If one is a backbiter what is the need for evil deeds? If one has Truth what is the need for tapas? If one is pure of mind what is the need for teertha (holy rivers, lakes, sea etc.)? If one is of good conduct what is the need for friends ? If one has fame what is the use of ornaments? If one has right learning why does he need wealth? If one is infamous why does he need death? [ Note: The idea is that for one possessing the quality listed first, the quality listed second is redundant. The first quality is adequate without the second.]
Here the poet lists the difficulty of serving the King or other wealthy person. If the person serving is silent he is considered dumb. If he is a good orator he is dubbed a chatterbox or a babbler. If he stays near he is termed impudent. If he stays away he is called a fool. If he forgives he is timid. If he cannot endure he does not come from a good family. The duties of a servant are such that even yogis may find difficult to approach.
In the forenoon the shadow of a person is long as the Sun rises. It gradually becomes shorter until the Sun is at the zenith. In the afternoon the shadow is short to begin with but becomes gradually longer until the Sun sets. The friendship of evil men, like the shadow of the forenoon, is long to start with but gradually fizzles out. On the other hand, the friendship of good men is like the shadow of the afternoon. It is short to start with and gradually becomes longer(closer) over a period.
Deer, fish and good men live on grass, water and contentment respectively. But the hunter, the fisherman and the backbiter, respectively, are their enemies without any reason. This is the nature of evil men.
In good times the heart of great men is soft as the petals of the lotus flower. In bad times, however, it becomes as hard as the rocks of the mountain.
salutations to those great men in whom reside such sterling qualities as the desire for friendship with the good, appreciation of good qualities in others, humility before the guru, thirst for knowledge, find conjugal pleasure in one’s own wife, fear of scandals about one’s character, devotion to Lord Shiva, power to control one’s mind and avoiding the company of evil men.
Great men are naturally endowed with such qualities as courage in times of misfortune, patience when the times are good, oratory skills in an assembly, valour in battle, desire to earn fame and addiction to acquisition of knowledge.
A drop of water in contact with hot iron evaporates in no time and is lost. The same drop of water on a lotus leaf shines taking the shape of a pearl. If the drop of water gets into a pearl oyster it becomes pearl itself. This analogy can be applied to humans. The qualities one acquires depend on the quality of the person with whom one associates. The three illustrations given relate to association with people with levels of low, medium and high quality
A son is one who, by his good conduct and character, pleases one’s father. A wife is one who always thinks of her husband’s good. A friend is one whose behaviour remains constant in misfortune and good fortune. Only people who have earned merit (punya) by doing good deeds will be blessed with such a son, wife and friend.
Tress laden with fruits bend down (so that people may 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.
Saintly persons say that the mark of a true friend is preventing one from committing sinful actions, putting one on the path that will lead to good only, keeping one’s secrets, bringing out the innate qualities in one, not forsaking when one is in trouble and giving one whatever is required at the appropriate time.
Those are the greatest souls who, for the sake of helping others, forsake their own interests or comforts. Those are among the ordinary run of people who, without compromising their own interests, engage themselves in helping others. Those are verily demons in the shape of men who, for the sake of their selfish ends, put obstacles in the way of others and spoil their endeavours. What can be said about those who, without any purpose, come in the way of others’ welfare? We do not know.
Milk gave all its qualities to water that was mixed with it. When milk was being heated on a fire water, unable to bear the suffering of its friend, sacrificed itself in the fire (i.e. water in the milk evaporated). Milk, in turn, finding water in trouble, itself comes up in the boiling pot to offer itself to the fire. But, mixed with water again, it settle downs to the previous level. The friendship of good people is like this. Each is prepared to sacrifice himself to save the other.
There are only a handful of good people in this world who, in thought, word and body (deed) are full of the sweetness of nectar. Such people please the three worlds by their continuous efforts for helping others. Their hearts fill with joy when they find even an iota of good in others and shower high praise on such good qualities.
The Devas, while churning the milky ocean, got invaluable jewels but they were not content with that. Even poison from the churning could not deter them from their goal. They were determined not to stop until thery obtained the nectar. Those of strong will and determination never stop until they realize their objective.
Those of courage and determination may sleep on the hard earth or on a soft bed, may eat a meal of vegetables or enjoy the taste of fine rice, clothe themselves in tatters or put on fine clothes. These diametrically opposite states do not deter them from their objective. They are focused on their goal and do not care for pleasure or pain.
Affluence is adorned by goodness, valour by not boasting, knowledge by control of the senses, scholarship by modesty, wealth by giving to the deserving, tapas by the absence of anger, power by forgiveness and dharma by Truth. All good qualities of men are embellished by good conduct.
Those of courage and determination will not ever deviate from the righteous path whether knowers of codes of conduct (neeti nipunaah) praise or blame them , whether Goddess Lakshmi (wealth) comes to them or leaves them, whether death comes immediately or after ages.
A snake, caught by a snake charmer, was put in a round casket made of cane. It was lying inside the casket coiled and afflicted by hunger. All its senses had become weak and it had no hope of getting out. Then, during the night, a rat made a whole in the casket and got into it. The snake caught the rat and satisfied its hunger. It then escaped through the very hole the rat had made. It is clear that only fate (destiny) is behind the fortunes or misfortunes of men.
A tree sprouts again after it is cut, the moon waxes again after waning. Contemplating thus and consoling themseleve that is their fate, good men do not grieve in times of misfortune.
Indra has Brihaspati as his guru, vajraayudha as his weapon, , devas as his army, Heaven as his fort and Airawata as his elephant. He has also the blessings of Hari. In spite of all this he is defeated by the powerful asuras. It is clear that it is better to take refuge in fate (daivam). Fie on human effort.
A wayfarer, his bald head exposed to the heat of the sun, hastened to take shelter under a palmyrah tree. No sooner had he come under the shade of the tree, his head was broken with a great sound by the big fruit falling from the tree. Wherever an ill-fated person goes misfortune follows him.
Salutations to karma which has made Brahma a potter (creator) in the universe, which has put Vishnu in difficult circumstances through His ten incarnations, which has made Shiva beg for alms with a container made of the human skull and at the bidding of which the Sun wanders in the sky every day.
An attractive form, noble lineage, good conduct, scholarship, efforts made to serve kings or wealthy persons – all these are of no consequence. Only the merit earned and accumulated by the meritorious deeds (tapas) of the previous births will yield the desired results like trees which yield their fruits at the appropriate time.
Only the fruits of meritorious acts done in the past can save a person lost in a forest, fighting a battle, facing enemies, engulfed by water or fire, in the vast ocean or on the mountain top while sleeping, inadvertent or facing difficult situations.
A dense forest becomes the capital city, all people become friends and the whole world becomes full of valuable treasures for the one who has accumulated in previous births fruits of meritorious actions (punya).
What is gain? Company of good people. What is pain? Company of fools. What is loss? Wastage of time. What is skill? Passion for the principles of dharama. Who is valiant? One who has conquered his senses. Who is dear to the husband? A wife who follows in the footsteps of the husband. What is wealth? Learning. What is happiness? Not being in a far away land. What is kingdom? The power to command people.
One who does not burn in the fire of passion generated by the eye-arrows of beautiful women, who is not subjected to the heat of anger, whom the pleasures of the senses do not drag with ropes of greed – that person of adamantine heart conquers all the three worlds.
Chanakya, also known as Kautilya and Vishnugupata, was an adviser and a prime minister to Emperor Chandragupta of the Maurya dynasty. He was a professor at Takshashila University and is widely believed to be instrumental in the creation of the Mauryan Empire after bringing about the downfall of the Nanda dynasty.
Two books are attributed to Chanakya: Arthashastra and Nitishastra which is also known as Chanakya Niti. The Arthashastra discusses monetary and fiscal policies, welfare, international relations and war strategies in detail. Nitishastra is a treatise on the ideal way of life; it shows Chanakya’s in-depth study of the Indian way of life.
Chanakya is known as “The Indian Machiavelli” in the Western world.
Given below is a selection of verses from Chanakya Niti. The language is so simple and easy to follow that many of these verses find a place in Sanskrit primers. They are easy to commit to memory by students and contain a wealth of native wisdom and moral and practical advice. Though these were written in the context of the society and the times in which Chanakya lived, many of these codes of conduct are of universal application.
विद्वत्वं च नृपत्वं च नैव तुल्यं कदाचन ।
स्वदेशे पूज्यते राजा विद्वान् सर्वत्र पूज्यते ॥
Vidwatwam cha nripatwam cha naiva tulyam kadaachana
Swadeshe poojyate raajaa vidwaan sarvatra poojyate
Scholarship and kingship can never be equated. A king is respected in his own kingdom whereas a scholar is respected everywhere.
पण्डिते च गुणास्सर्वे मूर्खे दोषा हि केवलं ।
तस्मात् मूर्खसहस्रेभ्य: प्राज्ञ एको विशिष्यते ॥
Pandite cha gunaah sarve moorkhe doshaah hi kevalam
Tasmaat moorkhasahasrebhyah praajna eko vishishyate
A wise man has all qualities in him, a fool has only faults. Therefore a single wise person is better than a thousand fools.
परोक्षे कार्यहंतारं प्रत्यक्षे प्रियवादिनं ।
वर्जयेत्तादृशं मित्रं विषकुंभं पयोमुखम् ॥
Parokshe kaaryhantaaram pratyakshe priyavaadinam
Varjayettaadrisham mitram vishakumbham payomukham
A friend whose talk is sweet in person but who spoils the job when out of sight should be abandoned like a pot of poison topped with milk.
रूपयौवनसंपन्ना विशालकुलसंभवाः ।
विद्याहीना न शोभन्ते निर्गन्धा इव किंशुका: ॥
Vidyaaheenaa na shobhante nirgandhaa iva kimshukaah
Those who are goodlooking, young and born in a good family do not shine if they are devoid of learning, just as the flowers of the kimshuka tree do not shine (i.e. attract people) because they are without fragrance.
ताराणां भूषणं चन्द्रो नारीणाम् भूषणं पतिः ।
प्रिथिव्या भूषणं राजा विद्या सर्वस्य भूषणम् ॥
Taaraanam bhooshanam chandro naareenaam bhooshanam patih
Prithivyaa bhooshanam raajaa vidyaa sarvasya bhooshanam
The moon is the adornment of the stars; husband is the adornment of woman; the king is the adornment of the earth (country); learning is the adorment of all.
कोऽर्थः पुत्रेण जातेन यो न विद्वान् न भक्तिमान् ।
कानेन चक्षुषा किं वा चक्षु: पीडैव केवलम् ॥
Ko’rthah putrena jaatena yo na vidwaan na bhaktimaan
Kaanena chakshushaa kim vaa chakshuh peedaiva kevalam
What is the purpose of having a son who is neither learned nor devoted to God? It is useless to have a blind eye which will only result in eye-ache.
लालयेत् पंच वर्षाणि दश वर्षाणि ताडयेत् ।
प्राप्ते तु षोडशे वर्षे पुत्रं मित्रवदाचरेत् ॥
Laalayet pancha varshaani dasha varshaani taadayet
Praapte tu shodashe varshe putram mitravadaacharet
For five years one’s son should be pampered, the next ten years he should be beaten (meaning he must be disciplined) and once he turns sixteen he should be treated as a friend.
एकेनापि सुवृक्षेण पुष्पितेन सुगन्धिना ।
वासितं स्यात् वनं सर्वं सुपुतेण कुलं तथा ॥
Ekenaapi suvrikshena pushpitena sugandhinaa
Vaasitam syaat vanam sarvam suputrena kulam tathaa
Even as a single good tree with fragrant flowers can spread the fragrance in the entire forest, so also the entire family (or clan) shines by a son possessing good qualities.
एकेन शुष्कवृक्षेण दह्यमानेन वह्निना ।
दह्यते हि वनं सर्वं कुपुत्रेण कुलं तथा ॥
Ekena shushka vrikshena dahyamaanena vahninaa
Dahyate hi vanam sarvam kuputrena kulam tathaa
Even as a single dry tree on fire will destroy the whole forest, so also the entire family (or clan) will be destroyed by a son of evil character or tendencies.
निर्गुणेष्वपि सत्त्वेषु दयां कुर्वन्ति साधवः ।
न हि संहरते ज्योत्स्नां चन्द्रश्चण्डालवेश्मनि ॥
Nirguneshwapi sattweshu dayaam kurvanti saadhavah
Na hi samharate jyotsnaam chandrashchandaalaveshmani
Good men show kindness even to those who do not possess good qualities just as the Moon does not withhold her light from the hut of a chandala
विद्या मित्रं प्रवासेषु माता मित्रं गृहेषु च ।
व्याधितस्यौषधं मित्रं धर्मो मित्रं मृतस्य च ॥
Vidyaa mitram pravaaseshu maataa mitram griheshu cha
Vyaadhitasyaushadham mitram dharmo mitram mritasya cha
For one in an alien land learning is friend, for one staying at home mother is friend , for one suffering from illness medicine is friend and for the departed souls dharma is friend.
न कश्चित् कस्यचिन्मित्रं न कश्चित् कस्यचिद्रिपुः ।
व्यवहारेण जायन्ते मित्राणि रिपवस्तथा ॥
Na kashchit kasyachinmitram na kashchit kasyachidripuh
Vyavahaarena jaayante mitraani ripavastathaa
No one is a friend per se and no one is an enemy per se; friends and enemies are created out of personal dealings and behaviour.
दुर्जन: प्रियवादी च नैतद्विश्वासकारणं ।
मधु तिष्ठति जिह्वाग्रे हृदये तु हलाहलम् ॥
Durjanah priyavaadee cha naitadwishwaasakaaranam
Madhu tishthhati jihwaagre hridaye tu halaahalam
An evil person but his talk is pleasing to the ears of the recipient- these two things cannot go together. No one can give credence to this. It is like honey on the tongue with deadly poison in the heart.
दुर्जनः परिहर्तव्यो विद्ययाऽलंकृतोऽपि सन् ।
मणिना भूषितस्सर्पः किमसौ न भयंकर: ॥
Durjanah parihartavyo vidyayaa’lamkrito’pi san
Maninaa bhooshitah sarpah kimasu na bhayamkarah
An evil person, though adorned with learning, is to be avoided. Is not the snake adorned with a jewel in its hood not frightening?
सर्प क्रूरः खल क्रूरः सर्पात् क्रूरतर खलः।
मन्त्रौषधिवशः सर्पः खलः केन निवार्यते ॥
Sarpah kroorah khalah kroorah sarpaat krooratarah khalah
Mantraushadhivashah sarpah khalah kena nivaaryate
The sepent is cruel, the evil person is cruel; the evil person is more cruel than the serpent. The serpent can be controlled by mantra and medicines. By what means can the evil person be prevented from committing evil acts?
धनानि जीवितश्चैव परार्थे प्राज्ञ उत्सृजेत्
सन्निमित्ते वरं त्यागो विनाशे नियते सति
Dhanaani jeevitashchaiva paraarthe praajna utsrijet
Sannimitte varam tyaago vinaashe niyate sati
Wise men should given up wealth and even life for the sake of others. Wealth and life are sure to be lost by their very nature. Therefore sacrificing these for a good cause is better than losing them wihout benefit to anyone.
आयुष क्षण एकोऽपि न लभ्य: स्वर्णकोटिभि: ।
स चेन्निरर्थकं नीतः का नु हानिस्ततोधिका? ॥
Aayushah kshana ekopi na labhyah swarnakotibhih
Sa chennirarthakam neetah kaanu haanistato’dhikaa
Even a minute of one’s life cannot be obtained even for a million gold coins. If it is not used puposefully what loss is bigger than that?
शरीरस्य गुणानां च दूरमत्यन्तमन्तरम् ।
शरीरं क्षणविध्वंसि कल्पान्तस्थायिनो गुणाः ॥
Shareerasya gunaanaam cha dooramatyantamantaram
Shareeram kshanavidhwamsi kalpaantasthaayino gunaah
There is considerable distance betwwen the body and good qualities. The body can die any minute but the good qualities stay for many many ages (Persons are remembered for their good qualities even after death, not for their bodily features).
धनिक: श्रोत्रियो राजा नदी वैद्यश्च पंचमः ।
पंच यत्र न विद्यन्ते तत्र वासं न कारयेत् ॥
Dhanikah shrotriyo raajaa nadee vaidyshcha panchamah
Pancha yatra na vidyante tatra vaasam na kaarayet
One should not take up residence in a place where these five are absent – rich person, a brahman learned in the vedas, king, river and doctor.
मूर्खा: यत्र न पूज्यन्ते धान्यं यत्र सुसंचितं ।
दंपत्योः कलहो नास्ति तत्र श्री स्वयमागता॥
Moorkhaah yatra na poojyante dhaanyam yatra susanchitam
Dampatyoh kalaho naasti tatra shreeh swayamaagataa
Where fools are not respected, food grains are well-stocked and there is no quarrel between husband and wife, there Goddess Lakshmi comes uninvited.
अस्ति पुत्रो वशे यस्य भृत्यो भार्या तथैव च।
अभावेऽप्यस्ति सन्तोषः स्वर्गस्थोऽसौ महीतले ॥
Asti putro vashe yasya bhrityo bhaaryaa tathaiva cha
Abhaave’pyatisantoshah swargastho’sau maheetale
A person whose son, servant and wife are under his control and who is content even in times of scarcity, that person is in Heaven on earth.
माता यस्य गृहे नास्ति भार्याचाप्रियवादिनी ।
अरण्यं तेन गन्तव्यं यथारण्यं तथा गृहम् ॥
Maataa yasya grihe naasti bhaaryaa chaapriyavaadinee
Aranyam tena gantavyam yathaaranyam tathaa griham
A person whose mother is not in his house and his wife always offends him by her speech, should better take to the forest. For him home is also like a forest.
कोकिलानां स्वरो रूपं नारी रूपं पतिव्रतं ।
विद्या रूपं कुरूपाणां क्षमा रूपं तपस्विनाम् ॥
Kokilaanaam swaro roopam naaree roopam pativratam
Vidyaa roopam kuroopaanaam kshamaa roopam tapaswinaam
The cuckoo’s beauty is its melody, a woman’s beauty is pativratam, an ugly person’s beauty is learning and a tapaswi’s ( one who does tapas) beauty is forgiveness.
गुरुरग्निर्द्विजातीनां वर्णानां ब्राह्मणो गुरुः ।
पतिरेको गुरुस्त्रीणां सर्वस्याभ्यागतो गुरुः
Gururagnirdwijaateenaam varnaanaam braahmano guruh
Patireko guruh streenaam sarvasyaabhyaagato guruh
For the Brahmins, Agni (Fire) is guru, for the other varnas (kshatriya, vysya and Sudra) braahmana is guru, for women husband is guru and the guest (Atithi) is guru for everyone.
स जीवति गुणा यस्य धर्मो यस्य स जीवति ।
गुणधर्मविहीनस्य जीवनं निष्प्रयोजनम् ॥
Sa jeevati gunaa yasya dharmo yasya sa jeevati
Gunadharmaviheenasya jeevanam nishprayojanam
He lives who has good qualities. He also lives who has dharma. The life of one who has neither good qualities nor dharma is without any purpose.
दुर्लभं प्राकृतं मित्रं दुर्लभ: क्षेमकृत् सुतः ।
दुर्लभा सदृशी भार्या दुर्लभः स्वजन प्रियः ॥
Durlabham praakritam mitram durlabhah kshemakrit sutah
Durlabhaa sadrishee bhaaryaa durlabhah swajanah priyah
Rare indeed is a natural friend. A son who thinks of the welfare of the parents is difficult to get. A wife who is like her husband in every way (i.e. in thought, word and deed) is hard to find. A relative who is also a loved one is very rare.
साधूनां दर्शनं पुण्यं तीर्थभूता हि साधवः।
तीर्थं फलति कालेन सद्यः साधुसमागमः||
Saadhoonaam darshanam punyam teerthabootaah hi saadhavah
Teertham phalati kaalena sadyah saadhusamaagamah
The sight of saintly persons is punyam. Such saintly persons are like sacred rivers or lakes (teerthabhootaah) which absolve one’s sins. The holy waters (Teerthas) give results in their own time. The meeting with saintly persons gives instant results.
सत्संगः केशवे भक्तिः गंगांभसि निमज्जनं ।
असारे खलु संसारे त्रीणि सारानि भावयेत् ॥
Satsangah keshave bhaktirgangaambhasi nimajjanam
Asaare khalu samsaare treeni saaraani bhaavayet
In this evanescent world consider only these three things as of any substance – company of good people, devotion to Keshava (Krishna or Vishnu) and bathing in the waters of the Ganga.
शान्तितुल्यं तपो नास्ति न संतोषात् परं सुखं ।
न तृष्णाया परो व्याधिर्न च धर्मो दया समः ॥
Shaantitulyam tapo naasti na santoshaat param sukham
Na trishnaayaah paro vyaadhirna cha dharmo dayaa samah
No penance is equal to peace of mind (tranquility); no happiness is equal to contentment; no illness is equal to greed and no dharma is equal to kindness.
अन्नदाता भयत्राता विद्यादाता तथैव च। ।
जनिता चोपनेता च पंचैते पितरः स्मृताः॥
Annadaataa bhayatraataa vidyaadaataa tathaiva cha
Janitaa chopanethaa cha panchaite pitarah smritaah
The following five are considered fathers – one who gives food, one who saves from fear, one who imparts learning, one who is the cause of birth and one who performs the upanayana (and gives the Gayatri mantra)
आदौ माता गुरोः पत्नी ब्राह्मणी राजपत्निका ।
धेनुर्धात्री तथा पृथ्वी सप्तैताः मातरः स्मृताः॥
Aadau maataa guroh patnee braahmanee raajapatnikaa
Dhenurdhaatree tathaa prithwee saptaitaah maatarah smritaah
The following seven are considered mothers – One who has given birth, wife of the guru, a brahmana’s wife, wife of the king, the cow, dhatree (one who brings up, other than the mother) and prithwee ( the Earth).
आपदाम् कथितः पन्था इन्द्रियाणामसंयमः ।
तज्जय: संपदाम् मार्गो येनेष्टम् तेन गम्यताम् ॥
Aapadaam kathitah panthaa indriyaanaamasamyamah
Tajjayah sampadaam maargo yeneshtam tena gamyataam
Not controlling the senses is the road to adversity and sorrow. Conquering the senses is the road to prosperity and happiness. Choose either of the two which you like; that is your decision.
समुद्रावरणा भूमिः प्राकारावरणं गृहं।
नरेन्द्रावरणो देशः चरित्रावरणा स्त्रियः॥
Samudraavaranaa bhoomih praakaaraavaranam griham
Narendraavarano deshah charitraavaranaa striyah
The earth is having the seas as her covering (protection) , the house has the compound as covering, the king has the country as covering and women have chastity as covering.
परोपकरणं येषां जागर्ति हृदये सतां।
नश्यन्ति विपदस्तेषां सम्पद: स्युः पदे पदे ॥
Paropakaranam yeshaam jaagarti hridaye sataam
Nashyanti vipadasteshaam sampadah syuh pade pade
For those noble souls in whose heart arise the thoughts of helping others there is no adversity and sorrow; prosperity and happiness embrace them at every step.
नास्ति विद्यासमं चक्षुर्नास्ति सत्यसमं तपः।
नास्ति रागसमं दु:खं नास्ति त्यागसमं सुखं॥
Nasti vidyaasamam chakshurnaasti satyasamam tapah
Naasti raagasamam dukham naasti tyaagasamam sukham
There is no eye(vision) equal to learning; there is no tapas (penance) equal to truth; there is no sorrow equal to desire or attachment; there is no happiness equal to renunciation (or sacrifice).
पादपानां भयं वातात् पद्मानाम् शिशिराद्भयं।
पर्वतानां भयं वज्रात् साधूनां दुर्जनाद्भयं ॥
Paadapaanaam bhayam vaataat padmaanaam shishiraadbhayam
Parvataanaam bhayam vajraat saadhoonaam durjanaadbhayam
For the trees there is fear from strong winds; for the lotus there is fear from winter; for the mountains there is fear from Vajrayudha of Indra; for the good and noble souls there is fear from the evil ones.
सुभिक्षं कृषके नित्यं नित्यं सुखमरोगिनः।
भार्या भर्तु: प्रिया यस्य तस्य नित्योत्सवं गृहं ॥
Subhiksham krishake nityam nityam sukhamaroginah
Bhaaryaa bhartuh priyaa yasya tasya nityotsavam griham
There is always plenty for the tiller of the soil. There is always happiness for the healthy (free from disease) one. It is daily celebration in the home of one who has a loving wife.
प्रथमे नार्जिता विद्या द्वितीये नार्जितं धनं।
तृतीये नार्जितं पुण्यं चतुर्थे किं करिष्यति॥
Prathame naarjitaa vidyaa dwiteeye naarjitam dhanam
Triteeye naarjitam punyam chaturthe kim karishyati
During the first (twenty years of life) no learning was earned. In the second (twenty years of life) no wealth was earned. In the third (twenty years of life) no merit (punyam) was earned. What will one earn in the fourth( twenty years of life)?
क्षमया दयया प्रेम्णा सूनृतेनार्जवेन च।
वशीकुर्याज्जगत्सर्वं विनयेन च सेवया ॥
Kshamayaa dayayaa premnaa soonritenaarjavena cha
Vasheekuryaajjagatsarvam vinayena cha sevayaa
One can bring the whole world under one’s influence (power) by such sterling qualities as patience (or forgiveness), kindness, love, truth, straightforwardness, humility and service
अजरामरवत् प्राज्ञो विद्यामर्थम् च चिन्तयेत्।
गृहीत इव केशेषु मृत्युना धर्ममाचरेत् ॥
Ajaraamaravat praajno vidyaamartham cha chintayet
Griheeta iva kesheshu mrityunaa dharmamaacharet
On should think of acquiring learning and wealth as if one will never age or die (meaning that one should engage one self in learning and earning wealth throughout one’s life). One should do dharma as if Death has caught hold of one’s locks of hair (Since death can claim one any moment, one should hasten to do acts of dharma before one dies.)
अनेकसंशयोच्छेदि परोक्षार्थस्य दर्शकं।
सर्वस्य लोचनं शास्त्रं यस्य नास्त्यंध एव सः ॥
Anekasamshayochchhedi parokshaarthasya darshakam
Sarvasya lochanam shaastram yasya naastyandha eva sah
The Shaastras are like eyes for every one. They clear the many doubts that arise in one’s mind. They bring us knowledge of things which cannot be known by our senses. One who has not studied the shaastras is indeed a blind person.
मनस्यन्यत् वचस्यन्यत् कर्मण्यन्यत् दुरात्मनां ।
मनस्येकं वचस्येकं कर्मण्येकं महात्मनाम् ॥
Manasyanyat vachasyanyat karmanyanyat duraatmanaam
Manasyekam vachasyekam karmanyekam mahaatmanaam
Men of evil mind have one thing in the mind, another thing in their speech and some thing different in their actions. Men of great mind have the same thing in their thought, word and deed, meaning what they think they talk about and what they talk about they translate into action.
प्रविचार्योत्तरं देयं सहसा न वदेत् क्वचित्।
शत्रोरपि गुणा ग्राह्याः दोषास्त्याज्या गुरोरपि॥
Pravichaaryottaram deyam sahasaa na vadet kwachit
Shatrorapi gunaah graahyaah Doshaastyaajyaa gurorapi
Before one gives an answer one should carefully think about it; one should not talk something on impulse. One should accept good qualities even from an enemy. One should reject bad qualities even of the guru.
त्यज दुर्जनसंसर्गं भज साधुसमागमं।
कुरुपुण्यमहोरात्रं स्मर नित्यमनित्यताम् ॥
Tyaja durjanasamsargam bhaja saadhusamaagamam
Kurupunyamahoraatram smara nityamanityataam
Abandon the company of evil men, associate with good and noble men, do good meritorious deeds day and night and always think of the evanescence of the world.
दृष्टिपूतं न्येसेत्पादं वस्त्रपूतं जलं पिबेत्।
सत्यपूतम् वदेद्वाचं मनःपूतं समाचरेत् ॥
Drishtipootam nyaset paadam vastrapootam jalam pibet
Satyapootaam vadet vaaacham manahpootam samaacharet
Step on a place after seeing that it is clean, drink water after filtering it through a piece of cloth, utter your words purified by truth, do such deeds which, your conscience says, are good.
सत्येन धार्यते पृथ्वी सत्येन तपते रविः।
सत्येन वायवो वान्ति सर्वं सत्ये प्रतिष्ठितम् ॥
Satyena dhaaryate prithvee satyena tapate ravih
Satyena vaayavo vaanti sarvam satye pratishthhitam
The earth is supported by Truth; by Truth the Sun radiates heat; by Truth the air blows; everything is established in Truth.
कोऽतिभारः समर्थानां किं दूरे व्यवसायिनां।
को विदेशः सविद्यानाम् कः परः प्रियवादिनाम् ||
Ko’tibhaarah samarthaanaam kim doore vyavasaayinaam
Ko videshah savidyaanaam kah parah priyavaadinaam
For the competent what is great brden? What is far away for those who work hard? Which is a foreign country for the learned? Who is not one’s own for one whose speech is laced with love?
शोकस्थानसस्राणि भयस्थानशतानि च ।
दिवसे दिवसे मूढमाविशन्ति न पण्डितम् ॥
Shokasthaanasahasraani bhayasthaanashataani cha
Divase divase moodhhamaavishanti na panditam
For the fool there are thousands of sources of sorrow and hundreds of sources of fear every day, not so for the wise and the learned.
दरिद्रता धीरतया विराजते कुरूपता शीलतया विराजते।
कुभोजनं उष्णतया विराजते कुवस्त्रता शुभ्रतया विराजते ॥
daridrataa dheeratayaa viraajate kuroopataa sheelatayaa viraajate
Kubhojanam choshnatayaa viraajate kuvastrataa shubhratayaa viraajate
Poverty shines by courage, ugliness shines by good conduct, bad food shines by being hot and bad clothes shine by being clean.
यथा चतुर्भिः कनकं परीक्ष्यते निकर्षणछेदनतापताडनैः ।
तथा चतुर्भिः पुरुषः परीक्ष्यते श्रुतेन शीलेन कुलेन कर्मणा॥
Yathaa chaturbhih kanakam pareekshyate n ikarshanachchhedanataapataadanaih
Tathaa chaturbhih purushah pareekshyate shrutena sheelena kulena karmanaa
Just as the purity of gold is tested by four means, namely, rubbing, cutting, burning and beating so also man is tested by four means, namely, learning, conduct, pedigree and action
अनभ्यासे विषं विद्या अजीर्णे भोजनं विषं ।
विषं गॊष्ठी दरिद्रस्य भोजनान्ते जलं विषं ॥
Anabhyaase visham vidyaa ajeerne bhojanam visham
Visham goshthhee daridrasya bhojanante jalam visham
With no practice learning becomes poison; with indigestion food becomes poison; for the poor an assembly (of the rich) is poison; water immediately after eating is poison.
मातृवत्परदारेषु परद्रव्येषु लोष्टवत्।
आत्मवत्सर्वभूतेषु यः पश्यति स पण्डितः॥
Matrivatparadaareshu paradraqvyeshu loshtavat
Aatmavatsarvabhooteshu yah pashyati sa panditah
One who looks upon other men’s wives as mother, other people’s wealth as a lump of clay and all living beings as the Self is the real Pandita (wise and learned person )
दानेन पाणिर्नतुकंकणेन स्नानेन शुद्धिर्नतु चन्दनेन।
मानेन तृप्तिर्नतुभोजनेन ज्ञानेन मुक्तिर्नतु मण्डनेन ॥
Daanena paanirna tu kankanena snaanena shuddhirna tu chandanena
Maanena triptirna tu bhojanena jnaanena muktirna tu mandanena
The hand shines by giving, not by bangles. One becomes clean by bathing, not by smearing sandalwood paste. One gets satisfaction from respect of others, not by sumptuous food. Liberation comes from knowledge of the Truth, not by adornments.
कः कालः कानि मित्राणि को देशः कौ व्ययागमौ।
कस्याहं का च मे शक्तिरिति चिन्त्यं मुहुर्मुहु: ॥
Kah kaalah kaani mitraani ko deshah kau vyayaagamau
Kasyaaham kaa cha me shaktiriti chintyam muhurmuhuh
How is the time? Who are the friends? Which is the kingdom (or country)? What are the expenses and income? Where do I belong? What is my strength? One should frequently ponder on all these matters.
अत्यन्तकोपः कटुका च वाणी दरिद्रता च स्वजनेषु वैरं ।
नीचप्रसङ्ग: कुलहीनसेवा चिह्नानि देहे नरकस्थितानाम् ॥
Atyanta kopah katukaa cha vaanee daridrataa cha swajaneshu vairam
Neechaprasangah kulaheenasevaa chihnaani dehe narakasthitaanaam
Extreme of anger, harsh speech, poverty, enmity with relatives, association with evil men, service of people from not so good a family – these are the marks of people living in Hell
धनधान्यप्रयोगेषु विद्यासंग्रहणेषु च ।
आहारे व्यवहारे च त्यक्तलज्ज सुखी भवेत् ॥
Dhanadhaanyaprayogeshu vidyaasamgrahaneshu cha
Aahaare vyavahaare cha tyaktalajjah sukhee bhavet
Those who do not feel shy in the way they use wealth and food, in acquiring learning, in food and in personal relations, will always be happy.
गुणैरुत्तमतां याति नोच्चैरासनमास्थितः।
प्रासादशिखरस्थोऽपि काक: किं गरुडायते ?॥
Gunairuttamataam yaati nochchairaasanamaasthitah
Praasaadashikharastho’pi kaakah kim garudaayate
One attains a high status only by his good qualities not by sitting on a high seat. Will the crow ever become the kite even though it is sitting on a high mansion?
प्रियवाक्यप्रदानेन सर्वे तुष्यन्ति जन्तवः ।
तस्मात्तदेव वक्तव्यं वचने का दरिद्रता॥
Priyavaakyapradaanena sarve tushyanti jantavah
Tasmaattadeva vaktavyam vachane kaa daridrataa
All beings are happy to hear sweet words tempered with truth and love. Therefore one should utter only such words; why should one be stingy in using proper words?
पुस्तकेषु च या विद्या परहस्तेषु यद्धनं।
उत्पन्नेषु च कार्येषु न सा विद्या न तद्धनम्||
Pustakeshu cha yaa vidyaa parahasteshu yaddhanam
Utpanneshu cha kaaryeshu na saa vidyaa na taddhnam
The knowledge in the books and wealth in the hands of others – these will not be available when the need for them arises.
सन्तोषस्त्रिषु कर्तव्यः स्वदारे भोजने धने।
त्रिषु चैव न कर्तव्योऽध्ययने जपदानयोः॥
Santoshastrishu kartavyah swadaare bhojane dhane
Trishu chaiva na kartavyo’dhyayane japadaanayoh
Three things one should be content with – one’s own wife, food and wealth. Three things one should not be content with – learning, japa (repetition of the names of the Lord) and charity (daana)
विप्रयोर्विप्रवह्न्योश्च दम्पत्योः स्वामिभृत्ययोः।
अन्तरेण न गन्तव्यं हलस्य वृषभस्य च ॥
Viprayorvipravahnyoshcha dampatyoh swaamibhrityayoh
Antarena na gantavyam halasya vrishabhasya cha
One should not go (cross) between two brahmins, between brahmin and fire, between husband and wife, , master and servant and plouth and the ox.
पादाभ्याम् न स्पृशेदग्निं गुरुं ब्राह्मणमेव च।
नैव गां च कुमारीं च न वृद्धं न शिशुं तथा ॥
Paadaabhyaam na sprishedagnim gurum braahmanameva cha
Naiva gaam cha kumaareem cha na vriddham na shishum tathaa
One should not touch with one’s feet fire, guru, brahmin, cow, kumaari ( a girl less than twelve years old), an old person or a baby.