अग्निः शेषं ऋणः शेषं शत्रुः शेषं तथैव च ।
पुनः पुनः प्रवर्धेत तस्मात् शेषं न कारयेत् ॥
If they remain even in a small trace (shesham), fire, loan, and enemy grow back repeatedly. Hence finish them off altogether [without leaving a trace].
पृथिव्यां त्रीणि रत्नानि जलम् अन्नम् सुभाषितम् ।
मूढै: पाषाणखण्डेषु रत्नसंज्ञा प्रदीयते ॥
There are three [true] jewels on this earth: water, food and subhāşita! Fools, however, call pieces of rocks ‘jewels’!
न अभिषेको न संस्कारः सिंहस्य क्रियते वने ।
विक्रमार्जितसत्त्वस्य स्वयमेव मृगेंद्रता ॥
There is no official coronation ceremony (rajyabhishekha) held to declare lion king of jungle. He becomes king by his own attributes and heroic actions.
वनानि दहातो वन्हे सखा भवति मारूतः ।
स एव दीप नाशाय कृशे कस्यास्ति सहृदम् ॥
When forests are on fire, wind willingly becomes its ally; the same wind will also extinguish a small lamp. The moral is, if one does not have power/wealth, one does not have friends either. The purport of this subhāşita is relevant from the national point of view today. People will only support you if you are powerful or else they will destroy you. Therefore, the only alternative for us is to become a mighty and powerful nation in the world.
विद्या विवादाय धनं मदाय शक्तिः परेषां परिपीडनाय ।
खलस्यः साधोः विपरीतम् एतद ज्ञानाय दानाय च रक्षणाय ॥
Wicked person uses knowledge only for the sake of arguments, his (her) wealth renders him egotistic and his energy is wasted merely to torment others. The opposite is true of a saintly person. His (her) knowledge is used for good purposes, his wealth is used to donate it to others and his might is used to protect the weak.
दुर्बलस्य बलं राजा, बालानां रोदनं बलम् ।
बलं मूर्खस्य मौनित्वं, चौराणाम् अनृतम् बलम् ॥
The strength of the weak is king. Crying is the strength of the child as it gets what it desires through it. Not expressing opinion is the strength of a witless person [since people mistake it for sagacity]. Lie is strength of the thief [It is therefore prudent to identify the sources of strength in people].
अश्वं नैव गजं नैव व्याघ्रं नैव च नैव च ।
अजापुत्रं बलिं दद्यात् देवो दुर्बलघातकः ॥
Not horse, not elephant, not tiger, but only the lamb is sacrificed in a ritual. One must understand that not even God protects the weak.
अष्टादशपुराणानां सारं व्यासेन कीर्तितम् ।
परोपकारः पुण्याय पापाय परपीडनम् ॥
In all the eighteen 'Puranas,' sage Vyasa emphasizes only two moral precepts: Rendering service to people is merit (punya) and harassing them is evil.
हिमालयंं समारभ्य यावत् इंदु सरोवरम् ।
तं देवनिर्मितं देशं हिंदुस्थानं प्रचक्षते ॥
Starting from Himalayas and extending up to the Indu Lake (sarovaram), which borders on the Indian Ocean, is the nation which God created and which is known as 'Hindusthan'.
एतद्देश प्रसूतस्य सकाशादग्रजन्मना ।
स्वं स्वं चरित्रं शिक्षेरन् पृथिव्यां सर्वमानवाः ॥
All inhabitants of this earth should learn about living and building character from the ancient sages and seers who took birth in this land [of India] Manusmrti.
अयं निजः परो वेति गणना लघुचेतसाम् ।
उदारचरितानां तु वसुधेेैव कुटुम्बकम् ॥
"This person is my kin and that one is alien,” such a thought occurs only to the narrow-minded persons. To the broad-minded persons the whole world is a family.
क्षणशः कणशश्चैव विद्याम् अर्थंं च साधयेत् ।
क्षणे नष्टे कुतो विद्या , कणे नष्टे कुतो धनम् ॥
One should learn every moment and one should earn from every bit, If you waste even a second, no knowledge can be gained and if you waste a bit, you stand to lose wealth.
अश्वस्य भूषणं वेगो मत्तं स्याद् गजभूषणं ।
चातुर्यम् भूषणं नार्या उद्योगो नरभूषणं ॥
Speed is the asset of the horse; majestic walk is the asset of the elephant. Wit is the asset to women and constantly remaining occupied is the asset of man.
क्षुध् र्तृट् आशाः कुटुम्बिन्य मयि जीवति न अन्यगाः ।
तासाम् आशा महासाध्वी कदाचित् मां न मुञ्चति ॥
Hunger, thirst, and desire are like man's three wives who will never leave him as long as he is living. Of the three, desire never leaves him. Unlike hunger and thirst, which disappear for a time after eating /drinking, desire never leaves man's mind.
कुलस्यार्थे त्यजेदेकम् ग़ाम्स्यार्थे कुलम्त्यजेत् ।
ग़ामं जनपदस्यार्थे आत्मार्थे पृथिवीम् त्यजेत् ॥
Sacrifice self interest for sake of your family, sacrifice family for village, sacrifice village for cause of the nation but sacrifice everything for the self within.
नाक्षरं मंत्ररहीतं नमूलंनौषधिम् ।
अयोग्य पुरूषं नास्ति योजकस्तत्रदुर्लभः ॥
There is no letter that cannot be used as a mantra; there is no root without some medicinal value, and there is no person who is absolutely useless. A yojaka i.e. a person who can identify their utility and put them to proper use is, however, always rare.
धारणाद्धर्ममित्याहुःधमोॅ धारयते प्रजाः ।
यस्याद्धारणसंयुक्तं स धर्म इति निश्चयः ॥
The word "dharma" is derived from "dharana." It is "dharma," which holds society together. Hence if something is able to hold people together, no doubt it is dharma. (Henceforth dharma).
आहारनिद्राभयमैथुनं च सामान्यमेतत् पशुभिर्नराणाम् ।
धर्मो हि तेषाम् अधिकोविशेषो धर्मेण हीनाः पशुभिः समानाः ॥
Eating, sleep, fear, and sexual instinct are common to both human beings and animals. It is dharma which separates the two because, without dharma the human being is same as the animal (see also subhāşita # 17).19. na vaa Aro maO~oyaI p%yau: kamaaya pit: ip`yaao Bavait a Aa%manastu kamaaya pit: ip`yaao Bavait aa
O Maitreyi! Man is not loved (by his wife) because he is husband, but because of 'atman' (Self) in him.
सत्यस्य वचनं श्रेयः सत्यादपि हितंवदेत् ।
यद्भूतहितमत्यन्तं अेतत् सत्यं मतं मम ॥
Telling truth is recommended, but more than that, tell those things which are in interest of all. According to Narada, truth is that which is beneficial to [all] beings.
न राज्यं न राजाऽऽसीत् न दण्डयो न च दाण्डिकः ।
धर्मेणैव प्रजास्सर्वा रक्ष्न्ति स्म परस्परम् ॥
There is no kingdom nor any king; no criminal nor any judge to administer penalty to the criminal. People protect each other by virtue of dharma (see meaning of dharma explained in subhāşita #17). If the number of social service organizations such as orphanages, child care centres etc. keeps growing then is it a healthy sign of progress of society. Yet, the fact remains that the need for such institutions arises in the first place because the relatives or neighbours may have failed to do their dharma!
सत्यं ब्रुयात् प्रियम् ब्रुयान्नब्रुयात् सत्यमप्रियम् ।
प्रियम् च नानृतम् ब्रुयादेषः धर्मः सनातनः ॥
Speak truth; speak what is pleasant to others. Do not tell truth that is not pleasant. Similarly, do not speak untruth even though pleasant.
अपि स्वर्णमयी लंका न मे रोचति लक्ष्मण ।
जननीः जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरियसी ॥
O Lakshmana, this Golden Lanka does not allure me. Mother and Motherland are dearer to me even than heaven. This verse from the Ramayana records conversation between Shri Rama and Lakshmana after the war. It is very appropriate to remember it on Vijayadashami.day.in which Shri Rama declared to Lakshmana that he was not interested in the wealth of Lanka and did never want to rule Lanka. He would rather go back to his Motherland.
मरणान्तानि वैराणि निवृत्तं नः प्रयोजनम् ।
क्रीयतामस्य संस्कारो ममापेष्य यथा तव ॥
Upon the death of Ravana, Shri Rama told Bibhishana,”Our mission is now over and my enmity with Ravana ended with his death. Now Ravana is as much mine as he is yours; perform therefore his cremation properly.”
काव्यशास्त्रविनोदेन कालो गच्छति धीमताम् ।
व्यसनेन च मूर्खाणां निद्रया कलहेन वा ॥
An intelligent person spends time in the pursuit of art, science, and philosophy. In contrast, an unintelligent person whiles away time in the indulgence of sleep, disputes or some bad habit.
तैलाद् रक्षेत् जलाद् रक्षेत् रक्षेत् शिथिल बंधनात ।
मूर्ख हस्ते न दातव्यं एवं वदति पुस्तकम् ॥
A book pleads to its owner thus: Protect me from oil which leaves marks on pages; from water, and from loose binding. And after doing all this, please do not hand me over to an unintelligent person (murkha).
श्रोत्रं श्रुतेनैव न कुण्डलेन दानेन पाणिर्न तु कंकणेन ।
विभाति कायः करूणापराणाम् परोपकारैर्न तु चंदनेन ॥
The ears of an honest and good person (sajjana) are embellished better by listening to moral discourse; not by wearing fancy earrings. Giving in charity suits the hand more than wearing a bracelet. Likewise, rendering service to others suits the saintly person better than smearing the body with sandalwood paste.
भाषासु मुख्या मधुरा दिव्या गीर्वाणभारती ।
तस्यां हि काव्यम् मधुरं तस्मादपि सुभाषितम् ॥
Amongst languages, Sanskrit (the language of gods) is sweetest; in Sanskrit literature again, poetry is sweeter and better still are subhāşitas.
उदारस्य तृणं वित्तं शूरस्य मरणं तृणं ।
विरक्तस्य तृणं भार्या निस्पृहस्य तृणं जगत् ॥
For the generous person, money or wealth is insignificant (like grass). To the brave, death has no value; to the dispassionate person (virakta), his family (wife) is beyond attachment; and to a person who has no desires or ambition, the material world is worthless.
विद्वत्वं च नृपत्वं च नैव तुल्यं कदाचन ।
स्वदेशे पूज्यते राजा विद्वान् सर्वत्र पूज्यते ॥
Kingship and erudition are never comparable; because king’s adulation is restricted to his own kingdom while the sage is respected everywhere [king gets respect from his own country whereas learned person receives it from everywhere].
दुर्जनेन समं सख्यं प्रीतिं चापि न कारयेत् ।
उष्णो दहति चांगारः शीतःकृष्णायते करम् ॥
One should avoid friendship or close relationship with the wicked person who resembles charcoal, which if hot, burns you and, if cold, blackens your hand.
द्राक्षा म्लानमुखी जाता शर्करा चाश्मतां गता ।
सुुभाषितरसस्याग्रे सुधा भीता दिवं गता ॥
Here the poet describes the supreme value of subhāşitas. The essence (rasa) of a subhāşita is so sweet that grapes felt ashamed (of its sweetness) and became crestfallen. The sweeter sugar lost its fluidity and became hard and the sweetest amrita (necter) pulled itself back to heaven.
चिन्तनीया हि विपदां आदावेव प्रतिक्रिया ।
न कूपखननं युक्तं प्रदीप्ते वान्हिना गृहे ॥
It is futile to start digging the well after the house has caught fire! We should be pro-active i.e. we should have appropriate response ready in hand even before a problem arises.
एकं विषरसं हन्ति शस्त्रेणैकश्च वध्यते ।
सराष्ट्रं सप्रजं हन्ति राजानं मंत्रविप्लवः ॥
Poison kills but one person at a time while a weapon can destroy many more. Incorrect decisions by the king or by his ministers, by contrast, can destroy the entire nation and its citizens.
आदित्यस्य नमस्कारं ये कुर्वन्ति दिने दिने ।
जन्मान्तरसहस्त्रेषु दारिद्रयं नोपजायते ॥
Those who adore and worship the sun everyday will not inherit poverty over thousands of births. People who are punctual in their duties like the sun will never be poor.
ज्येष्ठत्वं जन्मना नैव गुणैर्ज्येष्ठत्वमुच्यते ।
गुणात् गुरुत्वमायाति दुग्धं दधि घृतं क्रमात् ॥
Greatness is not ascribed at birth; it is rather acquired by qualities possessed by the individual. It increases progressively like the transformation of milk into yogurt, and ghee.
उद्यमेन हि सिध्यन्ति कार्यणि न मनोरथैः ।
न हि सुप्तस्य सिंहस्य प्रविशन्ति मुखे मृगाः ॥
Results are obtained by hard work and industry; not by daydreaming just as deer do not fall [willingly] into the mouth of the idle lion.
स्थानभ्रष्टाः न शोभते दन्ताः केशा नखा नराः ।
इति विज्ञाय मतिमान् स्वस्थानं न परित्यजेत् ॥
Teeth, hair, nails, and men do not shine when not in their proper places. Knowing this adage, the wise should not leave their place or location.
उदये सविता रक्तो रक्तःश्चास्तमये तथा ।
सम्पत्तौ च विपत्तौ च महतामेकरूपता ॥
... mahaBaart The sun looks red both at sunrise and sunset. Great men similarly retain their steadfastness (demeanor) through good and bad times.
शान्तितुल्यं तपो नास्ति तोषान्न परमं सुखम् ।
नास्ति तृष्णापरो व्याधिर्न च धर्मो दयापरः ॥
There is no achievement like peace (the word tapa is probably used here to emphasize hard effort required to keep your mind peaceful). There is no happiness like satisfaction, there is nodisease like desire, and there is no dharma like mercy.
सर्वाेपनिषदो गावः दोग्धा गोपालनंदनः ।
पार्थो वत्सः सुधीः भोक्ता दुग्धं गीतामृतं महत् ॥
Upanishads are (like) cows that Krishna milks and intelligent Arjuna feasts on the splendid nectar of the Gita like the calf enjoying the cow’s milk.
हंसः श्वेतो बकः श्वेतो को भेदो बकहंसयोः ।
नीरक्षीरविवेके तु हंसः हंसो बको बकः ॥
The swan is white and so is the crane. Then what is the difference between the two? It is said that the swan is able to separate milk even though diluted with water and drink only milk (unlike the crane). The subhāşita stresses the point that it is the inner qualities that make an object not its outer appearance. The wise precisely know what is useful and what is not.
काकः कृष्णो पिकः कृष्णो को भेदो काकपिकयोः ।
वसंतसमये प्राप्ते काकः काकः पिकः पिकः ॥
The crow is black, so is the cuckoo bird. Then, what is the difference between the two? It becomes evident with the advent of the spring when the cuckoo bird starts singing in sweet voice, which the crow cannot.
अहं च त्वं च राजेन्द्र लोकनाथावुभावपि ।
बहुव्रीहिरहं राजन् षष्ठीतत्पुरूषो भवान् ॥
The beggar declares to the king: “Both of us are Lokanatha. The only difference is that in my case people are my master (when the compound Lokanatha is resolved as “Bahuvrihi”); while the king is the master (ruler) of the people (when the compound is resolved as a 'Shashthitatpurusha).'
सुलभाः पुरूषाः राजन् सततं प्रियवादिनः ।
अप्रियस्य च पथ्यस्य वक्ता श्रोता च दुर्लभः ॥
Sage Vidura advises Dhritarashtra, “Your Majesty, people who engage in pleasantries can be easily found. One speaking bitter [truth] and another who listens to him/her are both difficult to find however.
दुर्जनः प्रियवादीति नैतद् विश्वासकारणम् ।
मधुतिष्ठति जिव्हाग्रे हृदये तु हलाहलम् ॥
Never believe a wicked person even if he/she speaks in (your) favor because there may be honey on his tongue but poison in his heart.
सर्पदुर्जनोर्मध्ये वरं सर्पो न दुर्जनः ।
सर्पः दंशती कालेन दुर्जनस्तु पदे पदे ॥
When it comes to comparison between a serpent and a wicked person, the serpent is the better of the two. Because the serpent bites only rarely while the wicked person stings (causes pain) at every step.
वरं एको गुणी पुत्रो न च मूर्खशतान्यपि ।
एकश्ंचद्रस्तमो हन्ति न च तारागणोऽपि च ॥
It is preferable to have one good (gunvat) son than to have a hundred foolish (murkha) ones. One single moon effectively removes darkness, for instance, which the multude of stars cannot.
कराग्रे वसते लक्ष्मी करमध्ये सरस्वती ।
करमूले तु गोविन्दः प्रभाते करदर्शनम् ॥
The tip of the hand (fingers), is the abode of Goddess Lakshmi; at the center of the hand (palm) stays Goddess Sarasvati. Govinda (Shri Vishnu) occupies the base of the hand (wrist). Hence, in the morning, one should look at one’s hands first [We gain our livelihood and acquire wealth by using fingers and learn by holding the pen in our fingers and palm. We can do everything else by wielding our wrists]
विदेशेषु धनं विद्या व्यसनेषु धनं मतिः ।
परलोके धनं धर्मः शीलं सर्वत्र वै धनम् ॥
Knowledge (vidya) is asset in a foreign land; wealth comes handy in tough times. Righteousness (dharma) is the only wealth that can secure the other world. Good Conduct (sheela) alone is currency everywhere and at all the times.
न चोरहार्यं न च राजहार्यं न भा्रतृभाज्यं न च भारकारि ।
व्यये कृते वर्धत एव नित्यं विद्याधनं सर्वधनप्रधानं ॥
Thieves cannot steal the store of knowledge; nor can kings usurp it. Knowledge cannot be divided among brothers and it never is burden on your shoulders. When spent, wealth assuredly keeps growing. Wealth of knowledge indeed is the most superior wealth of all!
यथा हि मलिनैः वस्त्रैः यत्र कुत्र अुपविष्यते ।
वृततः चलितोपि एवं शेषं वृतं न रक्षति ॥
Just as a person who does not hesitate to sit anywhere once his/her garment is soiled, so a person, whose character is spoiled, will not hesitate to do any unsavory deeds.
न देवा दण्डमादाय रक्षन्ति पशुपालवत् ।
यं तु रक्षितुमिच्छन्ति बुद्ध्या संविभजन्ति तम् ॥
Parmeshvara (God) does not himself pick up a staff (danda) to protect us like the shepherd guarding his flock. He gives intelligence (buddhi) to the person whose safety he wishes to assure.
कार्यार्थी भजते लोकम् यावत्कार्यं न सिद्धति ।
अुत्तीर्णे च परे पारे नौकायाम् किं प्रयोजनम् ॥
One who wants to get something done by another pampers him/her only till the work is being done [after the work is done, that person will not be needed] just as you have no use for the boat once you have crossed the river.
अल्पानामपि वस्तूनां संहतिः कार्यसाधिका ।
तृणैर्गुणत्वमापन्नैर्बध्यन्ते मत्तसन्तिनः ॥
Great tasks can be accomplished by judicious deployment of small things just as a rope woven together by using several strands of grass is able to hold in check the mighty intoxicated elephant.
अतिपरिचयादवज्ञा संततगमनात् अनादरो भवति ।
मलये भिल्ला पुरंध्री चंदनतरुकाष्ठम् इंधनम् कुरुते ॥
Familiarity breeds contempt; repeated visits invite disrespect. The tribal women of inhabiting Malaya Mountain, for instance, use sandalwood (which grows in abundance there) as fuel.
सर्पः क्रूरः खलः क्रूरः सर्पात् क्रूरतरः खलः ।
सर्पः शाम्यति मन्त्रैश्च दुर्जनः केन शाम्यति ॥
The snake is cruel and so is the wicked person; the latter is more vicious though, because while the chanting of a mantra can pacify the snake, the wicked can never be subdued.
लालयेत् पंच वर्षाणि दश वर्षाणि ताडयेत् ।
प्राप्ते तु षोडशे वर्षे पुत्रे मित्रवदाचरेत् ॥
The son should be pampered until the age of five and may be disciplined by using the rod until the age of ten. Once he reaches the age of sixteen, however, he should be treated like a fried.
संपूर्णकुंभो न करोती शब्दं अर्धोघटो घोषमुपैति नूनम् ।
विद्वान् कुलीनो न करोति गर्व गुणैर्विहीना बहु जल्पयंति ॥
A fully filled water pitcher does not make as much noise as a half-filled one. A virtuous and sage person born in a good family is free of pride while those devoid of good qualities keep babbling like the half filled water pitcher.
अहन्यहनि भूतानि गच्छन्ति यमालयम् ।
शेषाः स्थावरमिच्छन्ति किमाश्चर्यमतः परम् ॥
Even though all creatures reach the abode of death (Yamalayam) eventually, the rest still desire to remain on the earth. What else can be more surprising than this fact? (Yudhishthira utters this verse in reply to the question of Gandharva, “What is the most surprising thing on the earth” (Mahabharata).
एक एव खगो मानी चिरंजीवतु चातकम् ।
म्रियते वा पिपासार्ताे याचते वा पुरंदरम् ॥
There is no other bird than Chataka with greater self-esteem and pride. Let him live forever. He drinks only rainwater and pleads only with Indra, the god of rain. He will never drink water from any other source like the pond or stored water.
ॐ सह नाववतु सहनौ भुनक्तु सह वीर्यं करवावहै ।
तेजस्विनावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै ॥
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ।
OM, let brahman protect us both (teacher and disciple); may brahman nourish us both; may we work in harmony with greater vigor. May our study be illuminating and fruitful; let us not hate each other. Om...peace, peace, peace.
मुर्खा यत्र न पूज्यते धान्यं यत्र सुसंचितम् ।
दंपत्यो कलहः नास्ति तत्र श्रीः स्वयमागतः ॥
Where fools are not honored (i.e. fools are not involved in a decision making process), there are to be found sufficient store of food grains (and other things required in day to day life) and where there is no conflict between the husband and wife, there prosperity (Godess Lakshmi) comes on her own.
यथा खरः चन्दनभारवाही भारस्य वेत्ता न तु चन्दनस्य ।
एवं हि शास्त्राणि बहुनि अधीत्य अर्थेषु मूढाः खरवद् वहन्ति ॥
...sauEaut AQyaaya 4 Just as a donkey carrying the stack of sandalwood on its back does not recognize the worth of the sandalwood but only groans under its burden, so do many learned people who have studied the ‘scriptures’ (shastras) do not realize their true purport and simply bear the 'weight' of the outward knowledge.
मृगाः मृगैः संगमुपव्रजन्ति गावश्च गोभिस्तुरंगास्तुरंगैः ।
मूर्खाश्च मूर्खैः सुधयः सुधीभिः समानशीलव्यसनेषु सख्यं ॥
Good rapport and friendship develops among those who share a similar outlook on life and hobbies. Thus, deer flock with deer, cows with cows, and horses with horses. In the same manner, fools frequent fools and the wise bond with the wise. .
संग्रहैकपरः प्रायः समुद्रोपि रसातले ।
दातारं जलदं पश्य गर्जन्तं भुवनोपरी ॥
The sea only hoards water which remains useless for the life process. It therefore remains at the level of the ground. In contrast, clouds which shower life sustaining water with a thunder, occupy the position high above. Here the subhāşita wants to emphasize that the person that engages in charity, always achieves a higher station in life than the one who only amasses something for its own sake.
धर्मं यो बाधते धर्मो न स धर्मः कुधर्मकः ।
अविरोधात्तु यो धर्मः स धर्मः सत्यविक्रम ॥
This verse from the Mahabharata is addressed to Satyavikrama. Any dharma (way of life, religion) which violates another's dharma is not true dharma. It is, rather, bad dharma (kudharma). That dharma, on the other hand, which flourishes without harming interest of others, is true dharma indeed.
शतेषु जायते शूरः सहस्त्रेषु च पंडितः ।
वक्ता दशसहस्त्रेषु दाता भवति वा न वा ॥
Among one hundred persons only one is truly brave; among thousands of them only one may be a sage. A skilled orator is to be found only among the ten thousands. A charitable person (data) though may rarely exist; or may not exist at all.
साक्षराः विपरीताश्चेद्राक्षसाः एव केवलम् ।
सरसो विपरीतश्चेत्सरसत्वम् न मुञ्चति ॥
When the word “sakshara” (literate’ learned) is inverted, it becomes "rakshasa" (devil). The word "sarasa" (good), however, evenwhen inverted, remains the same (“sarasa"). The deeper, more important meaning of the subhāşita is as follows: A "sakshara" person may behave like a "rakshasa" in certain situations. The "sarasa" (cultured, cultivated) person will not, however, abandon this quality under any condition.
अन्नदानं परं दानं विद्यादानं अतः परम् ।
अन्न्ोन क्षणिका तृप्तिः यावज्जीवं च विद्यया ॥
Giving food to the hungry is a pious act of charity (dana); but superior to it is the gift of knowledge (vidyadanam). Because food relieves hunger only temporarily while imparted knowledge lasts lifelong (refer to subhāşita no 51).
मूर्खस्य पंच चिह्नानि गर्वो दुर्वचनं तथा ।
क्रोधश्च दृधवादश्च परवाक्येष्वनादरः ॥
Five characteristics of a fool are: haughtiness, bad mouthing, uncontrollable anger, strongly held views, and intolerance of opinions held by others.
दर्शने स्पर्शणे वापि श्रवणे भाषणेऽपि वा ।
यत्र द्रवत्यन्तरङ्गं स स्नेह इति कथ्यते ॥
If seeing or touching (somebody); listening to or speaking with (someone) touches your heart, then it is called love or affection (sneha).
नमन्ति फलिनो वृक्षा नमन्ति गुणिनो जनाः ।
शुष्ककाष्ठ्ठश्च मूर्खश्च न नमन्ति कदाचन ॥
The branches of a tree laden with fruit bend downward just as the highly cultivated persons bow down out of respect to others. The unwise (murkha), however, are like the dry log that never bends.
वृच्शिकस्य विषं पृच्छे मक्षिकायाः मुखे विषम् ।
तक्षकस्य विषं दन्ते सर्वांगे दुर्जनस्य तत् ॥
The scorpion holds its poison only in the tail; the bee in its mouth; and the snake in its teeth. Poison, however, pervades the entire body of the wicked.
प्रथमवयसि पीतं तोयमल्पम् स्मरन्तः शिरसि निहीतभाराः नारीकेला नराणाम् ददति जलमनल्पात स्वादमाजिवीतान्तम् नही कृतमुपकारं साधवो विस्मरन्ति
The subhāşita refers to the similarity between a coconut tree and a good person. The coconut tree partakes of only a small amount of water during its early stage of growth. It, however, carries a much larger amount of sweet water in the fully developed cocoanut. In the similar way, good people do not forget even a very small favor (upakara) done to them (by others).
विकृतिं नैव गच्छन्ति संगदोषेण साधवः ।
आवेष्टितं महासर्पैश्चंदनं न विषायते ॥
Bad company does not induce changes (bad habits) in a good person just as the poisonous snake embracing a sandalwood tree cannot render it poisonous.
रत्नैः महाहैः तुतुषुः न देवाः ।
न भेजिरे भीमविषेण भीतिम् ॥
अमृतं विना न प्रययुः विरामम् ।
न निश्चिदार्थात् विरमंति धीराः ॥
During the churning of the cosmic ocean (sagarmanthanam) gods did not stop churning even after fourteen precious jewels (ratna) were recovered; nor were they terrorized by the poison. They did not desist from their goal of obtaining the nectar (amrit) until that goal was materialized. Similarly, people with high stamina and patience (dhira) do not rest (stop) until they attain the set target.
घटं भिन्द्यात् पटं छिन्द्यात् कुर्याद्रासभरोहणम् ।
येन केन प्रकारेण प्रसिद्धः पुरुषो भवेत् ॥
This subhāşita describes the various ways some people employ to get (cheap) publicity: breaking pots, tearing off the cloth strips, riding a donkey. By hook or by crook, they seek to become popular.
तृणानि नोन्मूलयति प्रभन्जनो मृदूनि नीचैः प्रणतानि सर्वतः ।
स्वभाव एवोन्नतचेतसामयं महान्महत्स्वेव करोति विक्रमम् ॥
The hurricane which can easily uproot the toughest and the tallest trees is yet unable to harm the grass growing on the ground (or spares the grass growing on the ground). Likewise, the strong and the mighty do not trouble or bother the weak.
प्रदोषे दीपकश्चंद्रः प्रभाते दीपको रविः ।
त्रैलोक्ये दीपको धर्मः सुपुत्रः कुलदीपकः ॥
The Moon provides light in the evening as does the Sun in the morning. While dharma serves as lamp in the three worlds (lokas); the worthy son enlightens his entire clan.
प्रथमे नार्जिता विद्या द्वितीये नार्जितं धनं ।
तृतीये नार्जितं पुण्यं चतुर्थे किं करिष्यति ॥
In the tradition of India, the lifespan of one hundred years is ideally divided into four stages (ashramas) of twenty-five years duration each. In the first stage one is expected to learn a trade, in the second earn money; in the third acquire merit (punya), and release (moksha) in the fourth and final. The subhāşita asks: the one who fails to attain the prescribed goals in the first stages, what can he/she do in the final?
अनारम्भो हि कार्याणां प्रथमं बुद्धीलक्षणम् ।
प्रारब्धस्य अन्तगमनं द्वितीयं बुद्धीलक्षणम् ॥
Not initiating a project which is not in one’s capacity is the first sign of wisdom (buddhi). Leading a project that is already underway to its successful conclusion to its logical conclusion is the second sign of wisdom.
लौकिकानां हि साधूनाम् अर्थं वागनुवर्तते ।
ऋषीणां पुनरादयानां वाचम् अर्थोनुधावती ॥
In case of average, ordinary individuals meaning closely follows a word associated with it. In the case of great sages (rishis), however, the meaning precedes the word associated with it.
परोपदेशवेलायां शिष्टाः सर्वे भवन्ति वै ।
विस्मरन्तीह शिष्टत्वं स्वकार्ये समुपस्थिते ॥
Everybody suddenly becomes wise and qualified to tender advice (upadesha) to others when they are in distress. The same wisdom is however is forgotten when the wise (shishta) find themselves in a similar difficulty.
निर्विषेणापि सर्पेण कर्तव्या महति फणा ।
विषमस्तु न चाप्यस्तु फटाटोपो भयंकरः ॥
A non poisonous snake should imitate the poisonous one and raise its hood as if to bite the potential adversary. Regardless of whether the snake has poisson or not, the hissing sound will strike terror in the other's mind.
गुणवन्तः क्लिश्यन्ते प्रायेण भवन्ति निर्गुणाः सुखिनः ।
बन्धनमायान्ति शुका यथेष्टसंचारिणः काकाः ॥
A resourceful (and freedom loving) person more often than not has to work to make a living unlike the more contended one. A parrot, for instance, may live happily in cage while the crow in the sky has to struggle for food (Sometimes good qualities of a person may land him/her in trouble).
अभिमानो धनंयेषां चिरजीवन्ति ते जनाः ।
अभिमानविहीनानां किं धनेन किमायुषा ॥
Those who have the wealth of pride and self-esteem live a long life. For others who do not have self-esteem, of what use is wealth and long life?
नास्ति विद्या समं चक्षू नास्ति सत्य समं तपः ।
नास्ति राग समं दुःखम् नास्ति त्याग समं सुखम् ॥
There is no sight better than knowledge (by knowledge one can see what cannot be seen by a naked eye). Knowledge gives the vision to see beyond some obvious things. There is no better ardor than truth (satya). There is no greater sorrow than desire, and there is no higher happiness than renunciation (tyaga).
त्यजन्ति मित्राणि धनैर्विहीनं पुत्राश्च दाराश्च स)ज्जनाश्च ।
तमर्थवन्तं पुनराश्रयन्ति अर्थो हि लोके मनुषस्य बन्धुः ॥
Friends, sons, wife, and close relatives of leave a person without wealth. However, they all would return to him if gains wealth. Money/wealth, indeed, is man's best friend (refer to subhāşita # 54 which has a similar purport).
यस्तु सञ्चरते देशान् सेवते यस्तु पण्डितान् ।
तस्य विस्तारिता बुद्धिस्तैलबिन्दुरिवाम्भसि ॥
Intelligence of a person who travels to different countries and who enjoys the company of sages spreads and expands like the drop of oil on the surface of water.
अद्यापि दुर्निवारं स्तुतिकन्या वहति नाम कौमारम् ।
सद्भ्यो न रोचते सा असन्तः अपि अस्यै न रोचन्ते ॥
It is very difficult for the unmarried girl called Stuti to get married. The reason is good people (sajjana or sabhya) do not like her [they do not like if anybody praises them] and she herself does not like bad people (durjana) [since nobody praises a bad person].
कुसुमं वर्णसंपन्नंगन्धहीनं न शोभते ।
न शोभते क्रियाहीनं मधुरं वचनं तथा ॥
A colorful flower without fragrance lacks grace. Similarly without supportive action only embellished talk is empty. The color of the flower is its external beauty while its fragrance is its inherent quality (guna). As Samartha Swami Ramdas observed, 'kriyevina vachalata vyartha ahe' - i.e. without action (kriya) mere talk is worthless.
उत्साहो बलवानार्य नास्त्युत्साहात्परं बलम् ।
सोत्साहस्य च लोकेषु न कििंचदपि दुर्लभम् ॥
A person with enthusiasm is a powerful person because nothing is mightier than enthusiasm. Nothing is unachievable (durlabha) to a person with commitment. The purport of this subhāşita is, "Where there is will there is way."
यस्य नास्ति स्वयं प्रज्ञा शात्रं तस्य करोति किम् ।
लोचनाभ्याम् विहीनस्य दर्पणः किं करिष्यसि ॥
What is use of knowledge to a person who does not have intellectual capacity? What is use of mirror to a person who is blind? Here, the subhāşita provides an excellent analogy of the mirror. Knowledge is like mirror, which reflects worlds in it.
विषादप्यमृतं ग्रा(ं बालादपि सुभाषितम् ।
अमित्रादपि सद्वृत्तं अमेध्यादपि कांचनम् ॥
Nectar is still acceptable even if it is found in poison; important insight might be found in child talk. Imbibe therefore good qualities even from a non-friend and accept gold even if it is found in grime.
व्यायामात् लभते स्वास्थ्यं दीर्घायुष्यं बलं सुखम् ।
आरोग्यं परमं भाग्यं स्वास्थ्यं सर्वार्थसाधनम् ॥
One can obtain health, strength, long life, and happiness from physical exercise (vyayama). Indeed, good health is greatest blessing since health is the means of attaining everything (if you are healthy, nothing is impossible to you).
पिण्डे पिण्डे मतिर्भिन्नाा कुण्डे कुण्डे नवं पयः ।
जातÝ जातÝ नवाचाराः नवा वाणी मुखे मुखे ॥
Each person (pinda) has an independent aptitude/opinion (no two minds are alike). Water in different ponds differs just as different communities have distinct lifestyles (they have theirown norms, values, rules etc).
नरस्य आभरणं रूपं रूपस्य आभरणं गुणः ।
गुणस्य आभरणं ज्ञानं ज्ञानस्य आभरणं क्षमा ॥
अपूर्वः कोपि कोशोयं विद्यते तव भारति ।
व्ययतो वृद्धिम् आयाति क्षयम् आयाति संचयात् ॥
O goddess! (Bharati), your treasure of knowledge is indeed amazing; it grows when spent and depletes when unspent. It is a common occurrence that the store of knowledge increases when it is shared with others; when not all knowledge is inevitably lost.
एकं सद् विप्राः बहुदा वदन्ति ।
अग्निं यमं मातरिश्वानम् आहुः ॥
This hymn from the Rigveda (10:164) declares that there is only one ultimate, supreme reality (sat), which sages address by different names like Agni, Yama, Matarin, Vayu. This thought sums up the quintessence of India’s civilization (sanskriti).
चन्दनं शीतलं लोके चंदनादपि चंद्रमाः ।
चन्द्रचन्दनयोर्मध्ये शीतला साधुसंगतः ॥
Sandalwood certainly is pleasant (shitala=cool), moonlight is more pleasing; but the company of a saintly person (sadhu) is ever more pleasant indeed than either of them!
समानी वः आकूतिः समाना )दयानि वः ।
समानम् अस्तु वो मनः
यथा वः सुसहा असति ॥
यथा वः सुसहा असति ॥
This is the last 'shloka' in the Rigveda which states, “Let your conclusions be one (or be alike); let your hearts be the same (be alike) [So that "everyone" feels for the same particular bad/ill in the society in the same intensity. It may be the common experience that not all feel alike for the same problem in the same 'intensity' that we may as individual. Due to this there may be lack of 'collective' efforts to solve that problem]. Let your minds think alike/similar. May all these factors make your organisational-power an impressive one. This subhāşita may be recognized as the sanghatan-sukta that exhorts us to build an impressive organisation and nation. Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak had ended his Geetarahasya with this subhāşita.
कर्तव्यम् आचरं कामम् अकर्तव्यम् अनाचरम् ।
तिष्ठति प्राकृताचारो य सः आर्य इति स्मृतः ॥
... yaaoga vaisaYz This important verse from the Yogavasistha provides an ideal definition of Arya as onewho undertakes all prescribed duties and abstains from doing things that are not to be done. An Arya, furthermore, remains faithful to his/her natural inclination (prakritachara).
परो अपि हितवान् बन्धुः ,बन्धुः अपि अहितः परः ।
अहितः देहजः व्याधिः , हितम् आरण्यम् औषधम् ॥
Hitopadesha warns us that a true friend/benefactor is one who wishes us well even though he/she may not be relative or close to us. In contrast, a person who does not wish us well though a relative or close to us must be treated as outsider. Thus, a disease is inimical though it pervades the body while a [herbal] medicine, though grown in a far off forest, restores to health an ill body.
परस्परविरोधे तु वयं पंचश्चते शतम् ।
परैस्तु विग्रहे प्राप्ते वयं पंचाधिकं शतम् ॥
In the Mahabharata, Yudhisthira admonishes Bhima that in a fraternal feud we five Pandavas may confront one hundred Kauravas. But if an invasion from an outsider looms, we must resist it as one family of one hundred plus five.
व्यसने मित्रपरीक्षा शूरपरीक्षा रणाङ्गणे भवति ।
विनये भृत्यपरीक्षा दानपरीक्षाच दुर्भिक्षे ॥
Friendship of a friend is tested in adverse times; for the brave, the battleground is the test site and for the servant it is obedience (i.e. in fulfilling a given order). One’s charity is severely tested in time of scarcity or famine.
राज् राष्ट्रकृतं पापं राज्ञः पापं पुरोहितः ।
भर्ता च स्त्रीकृतं पापं शिष्यपापं गुरूः तथा ॥
Culpability of the king is tied up with the welfare of his kingdom and that of the minister with his king. Husband and teacher must be held culpable for any wrong done by the wife or the disciple respectively.
पुस्तकस्था तु या विद्या परहस्तगतं धनम्
कार्यकाले समुत्पन्ने न सा विद्या न तद् धनम् ॥
Knowledge that remains confined to book and wealth that is in the hands of the other are of no avail if they are not available when needed.
अधमाः धनमिच्छन्ति धनं मानं च मध्यमाः ।
उत्तमाः मानमिच्छन्ति मानो हि महताम् धनम् ॥
An inferior person desires wealth; an average person aspires for both wealth and esteem.A person of superior quality, however, rates respect above wealth. Respect, indeed, is the highest form of wealth.
(110) ये च मूढतमाः लोके ये च बुद्धेः परं गताः ।
ते एव सुखम् एधन्ते मध्यमः क्लिश्यते जनः ॥
The Mahabharata (12:25.28) observes that only two types of persons in this world are truly happy: those who are foolish and those of superior intellect. The vast majority, that occupies the middle ground, is the one that really suffers [The foolish do not realize the gravity of a problem and can therefore remain indifferent while the wise manage to find a solution to it].
अतितृष्णा न कर्तव्या तृष्णां नैव परित्यजेत ।
शनैः शनैश्च भोक्तव्यं स्वयं वित्तमुपार्जितम ॥
Extreme hankering should be avoided without rejecting desire itself. One should steadily enjoy self-earned wealth in moderation.
वृथा वृष्टिः समुद्रेषु, , वृथा, तृप्तेषु भोजनम् ।
वृथा दानं धनाढ्येषु, , वृथा दीपो दिवाऽपि च ॥
Rain over the ocean, [offering] food to one who has eaten, charity to the wealthy and [lighting] lamp in daylight—all are of no avail.
पिबन्ति नद्यः स्वयम् एव न अम्भः स्वयं न खादन्ति फलानि वृक्षाः ।
न अदन्ति सस्यं खलु वारिवाहा परोपकाराय सतां विभूतयः ॥
Rivers do not drink water flowing in them; trees do not eat fruit growing on them, clouds do not eat grains grown with water rained by them. Assets of the saintly people (satam), similarly, are meant for the benefit of others.
क्रोधो वैवस्वतो राजा तृष्णा वैतरणी नदी ।
विद्या कामदुघा धेनुः सन्तोषो नन्दनं वनम् ॥
...Sauk`naIit To a king, anger is like death [warrant] and desire is like the river [Vaitarana] leading to it. Knowledge, however, is like the wish fulfilling cow (Kamadhenu) to him and contentment is the highest paradise [Nandanavanam].
लोभमूलानि पापानि संकटानि तथैव च ।
लोभात्प्रवर्तते वैरं अतिलोभात्विनश्यति ॥
Greed (lobha) is the root of all sins and adversities; greed gives rise to enmity andextreme greed brings about [one’s] total destruction.
धैर्य यस्य पिता क्षमा च जननी शान्तिः चिरं गेहिनी
सत्यं सूनुः अयं दया च भगिनी भ्राता मनःसंयमः ।
शय्या भूमितलं दिशः अपि वसनं ज्ञानामृतं भोजनम् एते यस्य कुटुम्बिनः वद सखे कस्माद् भयं योगिनः ॥
To a yogi, courage is his/her father, forgiveness mother, calm mind wife, truth son, compassion sister, control of mind brother, earth bed, directions (disha) garment, and knowledge is food. With the foregoing as one’s family members, why would be one afraid of anything?
महाजनस्य संसर्गः कस्य नोन्नतिकारकः ा
पद्मपत्रस्थितं तोयं धत्ते मुक्ताफलश्रियम् ॥
Who will not benefit from the company of great persons? Even a drop of water on a lotus leaf shines like a pearl (acquires a status similar to that of a pearl).
मूर्खो न हि ददाति अर्थं नरो दारिद्रयशङ्कया ।
प्राज्ञः तु वितरति अर्थं नरो दारिद्रयशङ्कया ॥
The fear of becoming poor in future prevents a fool from giving [away wealth in charity]; haunted by the same fear the wise donates [generously now].
स्वभावो नोपदेशेन शक्यते कर्तुमन्यथा ।
सुतप्तमपि पानीयं पुनर्गच्छति शीतताम् ॥
The nature [or character] of a person cannot be changed by giving advice or asking him/her to do otherwise just as heated water reverts to its original state of coldness.
यस्मिन् जीवति जीवन्ति बहवः स तु जीवति ।
काकोऽपि किं न कुरूते चञ्च्वा स्वोदरपूरणम् ॥
The Panchatantra observes that if ‘living’ of a person results in extending life of many more, only then consider that person to be truly ‘alive.’ If ‘living’ were only a matter of individual survival, even a crow can accomplish that!
दानेन तुल्यो विधिरास्ति नान्यो लोभोच नान्योस्ति रिपुः पृथिव्या ।
विभूषणं शीलसमं च नान्यत् सन्तोषतुल्यं धनमस्ति नान्यत् ॥
There is no ritual (vidhi) that is more noble than giving (dana); there is no worse enemy than greed. There is no better ornament than good character; there is no better wealth than contentment (santosha).122. saMraohit AgnaInaa dgQaM vanaM prSaunaa htma\ a vaacaa du$>M baIBa%saM na saMraohit vaak\xatma\ aa
mahaBaart.13.161.34 Bhishma counsels Yudhisthira that the forest destroyed by fire or depleted by stripping will grow again in time; but the mind wounded by harsh words or insults will never be healed (Mahabharata 13:161.34).
अहो दुर्जनसंसर्गात् मानहानिः पदे पदे ।
पावको लोहसंगेन मुद्गरैरभिताड्यते ॥
Keeping company with the wicked is an invitation to repeated insults just as gold found with iron receives repeated hammer blows [to separate it from iron].
द्वौ अम्भसि निवेष्टव्यौ गले बद्ध्वा दृढां शिलाम् ।
धनवन्तम् अदातारम् दरिद्रं च अतपस्विनम् ॥
Two types of people should be drowned with stones tied to their necks: the rich who do not donate and the poor who do not strive (Mahabharata Udyogaparvan 33.65).
चिता चिन्तासमा हि उक्ता बिन्दुमात्रविशेषतः ।
सजीवं दहते चिन्ता निर्जीवं दहते चिता ॥
Only a dot (anusvara) separates funeral pyre (chita) and worry (chinta) otherwise they are said to be similar; the former destroys a dead body and the latter the living.
अङ्गणवेदी वसुधा कुल्या जलधिः स्थली च पातालम् ।
वाल्मिकः च सुमेरूः कृतप्रतिज्ञस्य धीरस्य ॥
To a person of firm conviction the vast earth is like a courtyard, the ocean a small pond, the netherworld (Patala) picnic spot, and Mount Meru like anthill. The purport of this subhāşita is that to a person with a great resolve no hurdle is insurmountable.
येषां न विद्या न तपो न दानं ज्ञानं न शीलं न गुणो न धर्मः ।
ते मर्त्यलोके भुविभारभूता मनुष्यरूपेण मृगाश्चरन्ति ॥
Those without erudition, ambition, magnanimity, character, virtue, and righteousness are only a burden on the earth and in the mortal world; they are animals wandering in the guise of humans.
माता मित्रं पिता चेति स्वभावात् त्रतयं हितम्
कार्यकारणतश्चान्ये भवन्ति हितबुद्धयः ॥
Only one’s mother, father, and [genuine] friend wish one well spontaneously (svabhavat); others become well wishers out of self interest.
कः कालः कानि मित्राणि को देशः को व्ययागमÝ ।
कस्याहं का च मे शक्तिः इति चिन्त्यं मुहुर्मुहुः ॥
Chanakya admonishes that one should always take into account the following factors before acting: what is the situation around me, who are my friends, how is the condition in the country, who [or what] is in my favor and against me, and what are my strong points/assets?
वदनं प्रसादसदनं सदयं )दयं सुधामुचो वाचः ।
करणं परोपकरणं येषां केषां न ते वन्द्याः ॥
Only those become well-liked [in this world] who appear charming and enthusiastic, whose heart is full of compassion, whose talk is sweet, and whose acts are in the interest of others.
अनाहूतः प्रविशति अपृष्टो बहु भाषते ।
अविश्वस्ते विश्वसिति मूढचेता नराधमः ॥
...ivadur A fool and a low person (naradhama) is one who enters [your house] uninvited, babbles though not asked, and trusts someone who is untrustworthy. and trusts a person who is not trustable.
ईशावास्यमिदं सर्वं यत् किञ्च जगत्यां जगत् ।
तेन त्यक्तेन भुञ्जीथा मा गृधः कस्यस्विद् धनमा
The Ishavasya Upanishad states, “In this moving world whatever moves is pervaded by Isha (God). Enjoy it only after first offering it to Isha. Do not covet for what does not belong to you.”
गर्वाय परपीडायै दुर्जस्य धनं बलम् ।
सज्जनस्य तु दानाय रक्षणाय च ते सदा ॥
Wealth and strength of a wicked person only serve his vanity and torment others (respectively). For a saintly person (sajjana), they are always for giving away (or sharing with others) and to protect them (respectively).
यथा चित्तं तथा वाचो यथा वाचस्तथा क्रियाः ।
चित्ते वाचि क्रियायांच साधुनामेकरूपता ॥
What is in mind should be reflected in one's speech and what is in one's speech should be reflected in one's actions. Thus, one in whose mind speech and actions are consistent is a saintly person (sadhu).
सत्यं वद , धर्मं चर , स्वाध्यायान्मा प्रमदः ।
आचार्याय प्रियं धनमाहृत्य प्रजातन्तुं मा व्यवच्छेत्सीः ॥
This subhāşita contains advice (from the Taittiriya Upanishad) to the bachelor student graduating from a Gurukula and before entering the stage of the householder (Grihasthashrama): speak truth, behave as dharma dictates, and do not miss self-study (svadhyaya). After paying fees to the teacher (gurudakshina), do not interrupt family propagation.
विवेकः सह संपत्या विनयो विद्यया सह ।
प्रभुत्वं प्रश्रयोपेतं चिन्हमेतन्महात्मनाम् ॥
Greatness in people may be recognized from the following signs: discretion along with wealth, humbleness along with scholarship, (and) power with courteousness (see subhāşita # 5).
ये के च अस्माकं श्रेयांसो ब्राह्मणाः तेषां त्वया आासनेन प्रश्र्वसितव्यम् ।
श्रद्धया देयम् , अश्रद्धया अदेयम् , श्रिया देयम् , ह्रिया देयम् , भिया देयम् , संविदा देयम् ॥
To those among us who are superior Brahmins offer them seat with respect and donate them with difference (shraddhaya). Do not give unwillingly; give without hesitation. Give with largesse and out of fear; give with compassion.
वज्रादपि कठोराणि मृदूनि कुसुमादपि ।
लोकोत्तराणां चेतांसि को हि विज्ञातुमर्हति ॥
Minds of extraordinary people are harder than (even) the thunderbolt yet softer than (even) flowers. “Who in this world is capable of discerning them properly,” asks Saint Tukaram.>
संसारविषवृक्षस्य द्वे एव मधुरे फले ।
सुभाषितं च सुस्वादु सद्भिश्र्च सह संगमः ॥
The tree of samsara, though poisonous, bears two sweet fruits: sweetly subhāşitas and company of saintly persons.
धृतिः क्षमा दमोऽस्तेयं शौचमिन्द्रियनिग्रहः ।
धीर्विद्या सत्यमक्रोधो दशकं धर्मलक्षणम् ॥
Fortitude, forgiveness, (self) control, non-stealing, purity, restrained senses, intelligence, learning, truth, and non-anger: these ten qualities constitute the characteristics of 'dharma'. See also subhāşitas # 17, 22, 67, 80,127, and 135 for additional explanations of dharma. Note that there is no equivalent word in English for dharma.
मितं च सारं च वचो हि वाग्मिता ।
Eloquence (vagmita) is compactness and essence of words. This subhāşita befits the nature of Sanskrit language perfectly as it expresses essential truth and is as concise as the meaning itself. On the other hand, even if one cannot speak Sanskrit, the test of one’s eloquence in it is how well can one put essential truth in a few words, which is the advice tendered by this subhāşita .
श्रेयश्च प्रेयश्च मनुष्यमेतः तौ सम्परीत्य विविनक्ति धीरः ।
श्रेयो हि धीरोभिप्रेयसो वृणीते प्रेयो मन्दो षोगक्षेमाद् वृणीते ॥
The good (shreyas) and the pleasant (preyas) together approach the human being. After pondering over them, the wise makes his/her choice opting for the good in preference to the pleasant. The fool, in contrast, opts for the pleasant.
मत्रस्य मा चक्षुषा सर्वाणि भूतानि समीक्षन्ताम् ।
मित्रस्याहं चक्षुषा सर्वाणि भूतानि समीक्षे मित्रस्य चक्षुषा समीक्षामहे ॥
Let all living beings in this world see me with a friendly eye and let me look at all living beingswith a friendly eye. Let us all see each other with a friendly eye (Yajurveda).
श्रृयताम् धर्मसर्वस्वं श्रृत्वा चैवावधार्यताम् ।
आत्मनः प्रतिकूलानि परेषां न समाचरेत् ॥
Please listen to the essence of dharma and having listened to it, dwell on it in mind: Whatever is adverse (or unfavorable) to us, we should not adopt that in case of others. This is the Vedic equivalent of the Christian preaching:
इन्द्रं मित्रं वरूणमग्निमाहुरथो दिव्यः स सुपर्णाे गरूत्मान् ।
‘एकं सद् विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति’ अग्निं यमं मातरिश्र्वानमाहुः ॥
Indra, Surya, Varuna, Agni, Garuda, Yama, and Vayu are all manifestations of the same righteous and veracious (satyasvarupa) God. Wise call this spirit by different names listed above.
आदित्यचन्द्रावनिलोऽनलश्र्चद्यौर्भूमिरापो हृदयं यमश्र्च ।
अहश्र्च रात्रिश्र्च उभे च संध्ये धर्माेऽपि जानाति नरस्य वृत्तम् ॥
Aditya (The Sun), Chandra (The Moon), Vayu (The wind), Agni (The fire), Akash (The Space), Prithvi ( The Earth), Jala (The Water), Hridaya (Heart), Yama (God of death), Dawn and Dusk (sandhikalas) and dharma; they all witness what human being does.
पूर्वजन्मकृतं कर्म तद् दैवमिति कथ्यते ।
तस्मात् पुरूषकारेण यत्नं कुर्यादतन्द्रितः ॥
Hitopadesha warns, karma of previous birth is known as daiva (destiny made in previous birth). One should therefore work hard (in this birth) without relaxation and let up.
षड् दोषाः पुरूषेणेह हातव्या भूतिमिच्छता ।
निद्रा तन्द्रा भयं क्रोधः आलस्यं दीर्घसूत्रता ॥
One, who wishes to prosper in this world, should get rid of the following six faults too much sleep, lethargy, fear, anger, laziness, and procrastination.
ये केचिद् दुःखिता लोके सर्वे ते स्वसुखेच्छया ।
ये केचित् सुखिता लोके सर्वे तेऽन्यसुखेच्छया ॥
Those who are unhappy in this world are so because of desire for their own happiness. While those who are happy in this world are so because of desire to render others happy.
अभ्दिः गात्राणि शुध्यन्ति मनः सत्येन शुध्यति ।
विद्यातपोभ्यां भूतात्मा बुध्दिर्ज्ञानेन शुध्यति ॥
Limbs and sense organs are purified by water; mind is purified by truth; self is purified by learning and penance; while intelligence is purified by knowledge.
अभिवादनशीलस्य नित्यं वृद्धोपसेविनः ।
चत्वारि तस्य वर्धन्ते आयुर्विद्या यशो बलम् ॥
For a person who is polite and serves/respects old people, the following four things increase: lifespan, knowledge, success in life, and vigor.
षड् गुणाः पुरुषेणेह त्यक्तव्या न कदाचन ।
सत्यं दानम् अनालस्यम् अनसूया क्षमा धृतिः ॥
One should never abandon the following six qualities: truth (sticking to truth), generosity, activeness, freedom from envy, tolerance, and forbearance.
छायामन्यस्य कुर्वन्ति स्वयं तिष्ठन्ति चातपे ।
फलान्यपि परार्थाय वृक्षाः सत्पुरूषा इव ॥
Trees provide shade for others while themselves standing up in the Sun; (their) fruits, too, are meant for others. Hence, trees resemble saintly persons.
पात्रे त्यागी गुणे रागी संविभागी च बन्धुषु ।
शास्त्रे बोद्धा रणे योद्धा स वै ‘पुरूष’ उच्यते ॥
A true ‘man’ (Purusha) is one who donates to a deserving person, appreciates good qualities in others, shares joys and sorrows with friends, accumulates knowledge of science, and is excellent warrior on the battlefield.
शुचित्वं त्यागिता शौर्यं सामान्यं सुखदुःखयोः ।
दाक्षिण्यञ्चानुरक्तिश्च सत्यता च सुहृद्गुणाः ॥
The qualities of a true friend are: purity, generosity, chivalry, equally poised in happiness and distress, politeness, affection, and truthfulness. The purport of this subhāşita is not that we have to make people of such qualities our friends, but that we need to make such qualities our own, for then only will we naturally attract virtuous people to become our friends
आदानस्य प्रदानस्य कर्तव्यस्य च कर्मणः ।
क्षिप्रम् अक्रियमाणस्य कालः पिबति तद्रसम् ॥
Whatever you have to pay back to others or whichever task has to be done by you, please do it in the expected time and without delay. If you do not do it in assigned time then the relevance of that work vanishes (i.e. it will have no impact (impact is here equated with rasa essence).
मा वनं छिन्धि सव्याघ्रं मा व्याघ्राः नीनशन् वनात् ।
वनं हि रक्ष्यते व्याघ्रौः व्याघ्रान् रक्षति काननम् ॥
Do not destroy the forest where the tigers roam and do not kill off all tigers in that forest because they mutually protect each other (people do not dare to cut trees in the forest for fear of tigers and by providing them a secure habitat, the forest in turn protects them!
न तु अहं कामये राज्यं न स्वर्गं न अपुनर्भवम् ।
कामये दुःखतप्तानां प्राणिनाम् आर्तिनाशनम् ॥
King Rantideva in the Shrimad Bhagvatam pleads with God in the following words: "I do not desire kingdom, nor the heaven or even liberation (moksha). I have only one desire and that is to remove the misery of all living beings who are suffering." This shloka also appears in the Dronaparvan of Mahabharata.
लक्ष्मीः चन्द्राद् अपेयाद् वा हिमवान् वा हिमं त्यजेत् ।
अतीयात् सागरो वेलां न प्रतिज्ञाम् अहं पितुः ॥
These are the words uttered by Shri Rama when he is about to go into exile for fourteen years (vanavasa). “It may happen that brightness leaves the Moon or that ice leaves its abode in the Himalaya or that the sea exceeds its limits.... But it is never possible that I will break the promise I made to my father.
दीपो भक्षयते ध्वान्तं कज्जलं च प्रसूयते ।
यादृशं भक्षयेदन्नं जायते तादृशी प्रजा ॥
The lamp ‘consumes’ darkness and generates soot. The type of food you eat has a corresponding influence on the offspring.
जितात्मनः प्रशान्तस्य परमात्मा समाहितः ।
शीतोष्णसुखदुःखेषु तथा मानापमानयोः ॥
For one who has mastered the mind, the Supreme Self (paramatma) is already reached, for he has attained tranquility. To such a person happiness and distress, heat and cold, honor and dishonor are all equal.
कोकिलानां स्वरो रूपं स्त्रीणां रूपं पतिव्रतम् विद्या रूपं कुरूपाणां क्षमा रूपं तपस्विनाम् पंचतंत्र
The cuckoo’s beauty is in its voice, woman’s beauty is in her dedication to family/husband ('pativrata'). Knowledge is embellishment for an ugly person and forgiving is the badge of honor for sages (tapasvin).
किम् अपि अस्ति स्वभावेन सुन्दरं वा अपि असुन्दरम् ।
यद् एव रोचते यस्मै भवेत् तत् तस्य सुन्दरम् ॥
Is whatever that exists in this world beautiful or ugly by its very nature? Of course not! Something only becomes beautiful because someone fancies it. For example a ugly looking child is yet loved very much by his/her mother.
अकालो नास्ति धर्मस्य जीविते चञ्चले सति ।
गृहीतः इव केशेषु मृत्युना धर्मम् आचरेत् ॥
Since this life is full of uncertainty and unpredictability, no time is unworthy for living as mandated by dharma. Live therefore according to dharma thinking as if death has you by the hair. Since death can come anytime always do good things. It should not happen that due to early death your wish to live the life of dharma remains mere wish. One must not wait for any favorable time (muhurta) at which to start a virtuous life. Please refer to subhāşitas #17,22,50,67,140,144 for additional elaboration of dharma.
बुद्धिः प्रभावः तेजश्च सत्वमुत्थानमेवच ।
व्यवसायश्र्च यस्यास्ति तस्य वृत्तिभयं कुतः ॥
ivadurnaIit Vidura observes in the Mahabharata that one who has the brain, chivalry, poise, power, enthusiasm and willingness to work; need not worry about how to earn a living.
गुणैरुत्तमतांयाति नोच्चैरासनसिंस्थतः ।
प्रासादशिखरस्थोपि काकः किं गरुडायते ॥
Worth of a person is not determined by one’s location (status) but by his/her qualities. For instance, will a crow become an eagle by mere;y sitting on the top of palace?
दृष्टिपूतं न्यसेत्पादं वस्त्रपूतं जलं पिबेत् ।
सत्यपूता वदेत् वाचं मनः पूतं समाचरेत् ॥
In this verse Chanakya explains what device is to be used to secure or purify different things. Secure your step, he says, by watching carefully before you step further. Strain your drink water with a cloth, your speech with truth (satya) and behavior by disciplining the mind.
मृगमीनसज्जनानां तृणजलसंतोषविहितवृत्तीनाम् ।
लुब्धकधीवरपिशुनाः निष्कारणम् एव वैरिणो जगति ॥
Deer, fishes and saintly people (sajjana) earn livelihood by dry grass, water, and contentment (santosha) respectively. Though they follow such a simple life style without troubling anyone still we find hunters, fishermen, and evil people (durjana) being their enemies! It is true that those who do not bother others they still attract enemies without any reason!
न उच्चार्थो विफलोऽपि दूषणपदं दूष्यःतु कामो लघुः ॥
There is no blemish if our big dreams/objectives fail; but it is a major fault even to think of initiating them for selfish gains.
असतो मा सद्गमय, तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय , मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय
Lead me from the unreal to the real; lead me from darkness to light; lead me from death to immortality (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad).
विद्या मित्रं प्रवासेषु भार्या मित्रं गृहेषु च ।
व्याधितस्यौषधं मित्रं धर्माे मित्रं मृतस्य च ॥
Knowledge is (your) friend as you travel, says the Mahabharata, wife is the colleague at home, drug is a trusted ally in illness, and dharma is the closest friend beyond death.
आदÝ माता गुरोः पत्नी ब्राह्मणी राजपत्निका ।
धेनुर्धात्री तथा पृथ्वी सप्तैता मातरः स्मृतः ॥
One who gave you birth, teacher's wife, wife of a Brahmin, wife of a king, cow, nurse, and the earth are known as the seven [distinguished] mothers. Here, the word 'mother' connotes respect we have for somebody.
यथा हि एकेन चक्रेण न रथस्य गतिर्भवेत् ।
एवं पुरूषकारेण विना दैवं न सिध्यति ॥
Just as a chariot cannot run on a single wheel, in the same way destiny (daiva) alone will not accomplish anything without human effort or initiative (purushakara).
ग्रहाणां चरितं स्वप्नो अनिमित्तानि उपयाचितम् ।
फलन्ति काकतालीयं तेभ्यः प्राज्ञाः न बिभ्यति ॥
Results or effects may often be attributed to such causative factors as planetary motions, (bad/good) dreams or omens, bad signs, prayers to deity. But really speaking these are just like the coincidence of a crow perching on the branch of a tree which then breaks and falls to the ground (kakataliya nyaya) (The branch does not fall down due to the weight of thecrow).
न भूतपूर्वं न कदापि वार्ता हेम्नः कुरंगो न कदापि दृष्टः ।
तथापि तृष्णा रघुनन्दनस्य विनाशकाले विपरीत बुद्धिः ॥
It never happened before; nobody had heard about it and nobody ever saw a golden deer. Yet, Shri Rama [succumbed] to the desire for [golden deer]. When destruction looms one’s reasoning capacity falters.
गुरुं वा बालवृद्धÝ वा ब्राह्मणं वा बहुश्रुतम् ।
आततायिनमायान्तं हन्यादेवाविचारयान् ॥
A terrorist must be killed without any (second) thought, even if he happens to be your teacher, a child, an old person, a Brahmin or erudite scholar.
आपदां कथितः पन्थाः इन्द्रियाणाम् असंयमः ।
तद्जयः संपदां मार्गः येनेष्टं तेन गम्यताम् ॥
Being under the sway of the senses or mind is an open invitation to problems; but mastering them is a sure pathway to success! Chanakya says, “It is up to you to take the path of your choice.”
तद्वाग्विसर्गे जनताघविप्लवे यस्मिन् ्रतिश्लेकमबद्धवत्यपि ।
नामान्यनन्तस्य यशोऽिङ्कतानि यत् शृण्वन्ति गायन्ति गृणन्ति साधवः ॥
Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.5.11) states, "saintly persons (sadhus) hear, recite, and accept any literature, even though it is imperfectly crafted (abaddhavati) provided each line (pratislokam) of such a writing describes the glory of the names of God.
अर्थानाम् अर्जने दुःखम् अर्जितानां च रक्षणे ।
आये दुःखं व्यये दुःखं धिग् अर्थाः कष्टसंश्रयाः ॥
Earning wealth is painful, and protecting it is equally painful. There is pain and sorrow in earning wealth and also spending it. ‘Wealth which harbors such suffering,” says the Panchatantra,” be condemned.”
सुवर्णपुष्पां पृथिवीं चिन्वन्ति पुरूषास्त्रयः ।
शूरश्र्च कृतविद्यश्र्च यश्र्च जानाति सेवितुम् ॥
Three kinds of people deserve the golden earth: chivalrous, learned, and the ones who know how to enjoy it.
क्वचिद्भूमौ शय्या , क्वचिदपि च पर्यङ्कशयनः ।
क्वचित् शाकाहारी , क्वचिदपि च शाल्योदनरूचिः ।
क्वचित् कन्थाधारी , क्वचिदपि च दिव्याम्बरधरः, ।
मनस्वी कार्यार्थी न गणयति दुःखं न च सुखम् ॥
A person devoted to his/her work does not care about incidental sorrows and joys: he/she may sleep on the ground or on fine bed; make do with vegetables only or eat delicious rice; wear torn clothes or elegant garments at other times.
उपकारान् स्मरेन्नित्यम् अपकारां्श्र्च विस्मरेत् ा
शुभे शैघ्र्यं प्रकुर्वीत अशुभे दीर्घसूत्रता ॥
One should always remember the favors (done by others) and forget their meaner deeds. One should execute good or auspicious things at once, and postpone as far as possible, however, the unpleasant things.
आरभ्यते नखलु विघ्नभयेन नीचैः ।
प्रारभ्य विघ्नविहता विस्मरन्ति मध्याः ॥
विघ्नेः पुनः पुनरपि प्रतिहन्यमानाः ।
प्रारभ्य चोत्तमजना न परित्यजन्ति ॥
Persons of inferior type do not initiate a project due to fear of obstacles. Those of medium type take the initiative but abandon the project as soon as difficulties arise. Exceptionally superior type of persons, however, initiates a project and continues at it in the face of obstacles in their way.
न जातु कामः कामानामुपभोगेन शाम्यति ।
हविषा कृष्ण्मर्त्मेव भुय एवाभिवर्धते ॥
No desire ever gets fulfilled even though it may be temporarily or partially satisfied. Like the fire consuming ghee offered in oblation increases as a result, desire increases with some satisfaction.
स हि भवति दरिद्रो यस्य तृष्णा विशाला ।
मनसि च परितुष्टे कोर्थवान् को दरिद्राः ॥
The person who has most desires is in fact the poorest. If one's mind is contented and satisfied will there be any distinction between rich and poor? The subhāşita identifies that person as poor who has more desires. The basic parameter upon which richness or poverty is determined is changed from money to desire or thirst (trishna).
अरौ अपि उचितं कार्यमातिथ्यं गृहमागते ।
छेत्तुः पार्श्वगतां छायां न उपसंहरते दु्रमः ॥
Treat even the enemy who has come to you as a guest. Look how a tree does not deny its shadow to the person who has come to cut it.
यथा धेनुसहस्त्रेषु वत्सो विन्दति मातरम् ।
तथा पूर्वकृतं कर्म कर्तारमनुगच्छति ॥
mahaBaart A calf recognizes its mother in a herd of thousands of cattle; in the same way, one’s karma of done in a previous life follows its doer to the next one (Mahabharata).
अस्थिरं जीवितं लोके अस्थिरे धनयौवने ।
अस्थिराः पुत्रदाराश्र्च धर्मकीर्तिद्वयं स्थिरम् ॥
In this world life is uncertain; wealth and youthfulness, too, do not last long; even one’s son and wife are transient. Dharma and fame are the two things that remain steadfast.
कृपणेन समो दाता न भूतो न भविष्यति ।
अस्पृशन्नेव वित्तानि यः परेभ्यः प्रयच्छति ॥
No one was, or will ever be, as generous as a stingy person since he/she gives all accumulated wealth to others without even touching it.
खलानां कण्टकानांच द्विविधैव प्रतिक्रिया ।
उपानन्मुखभंगोवा दूरतो वा विसर्जनम् ॥
There are only two options for dealing with the wicked people and a thorn lying on the road. One is to hit them hard on the face by your foot ware or bypass them. The word applies to both the thorn and the wicked person. When applied to the wicked person mukhabhanga means insulting that person (not literally smite them on face) and when applied to a thorn it means cutting the pointed part of the thorn rendering it harmless. Alternatively, you may simply take another path.
मूलं भुजंगैः शिखरं विहंगैः सतां विभूतयः शाखां प्लवंगैः कुसुमानि भृंगैः आश्चर्यमेतत् खलुचन्दनस्य परोपकाराय
Roots of the sandalwood tree provide shelter to snakes, on its top birds take rest, on its branches monkeys play and one can find bees on its flowers. Really, the raison-d-etre of saintly people (sajjana), like the sandalwood tree, is to offer a helping hand to others (paropakaraya).
दूरस्थोऽपि न दूरस्थो यो यस्य मनसि स्थितः ।
यो यस्य हृदये नास्ति समीपस्थोऽपि दूरतः ॥
One, who dwells in your mind, is not far away even if he/she is not in the vicinity physically. One who does not find place in your heart, however, is far away even if he/she is physically nearby.
उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत् ।
आत्मैव (ात्मनो बंधुः आत्मैव रिपुरात्मनः ॥
Be cause of your own progress and realization, do not be cause of your own degradation. Remember, you are your best friend or your worst enemy.
न कश्चित् कस्यचिन्मित्रं न कश्चित् कस्यचित् रिपुः ।
अर्थतस्तु निबध्यन्ते मित्राणि रिपवस्तथा ॥
Nobody is friend of any other person; nobody is enemy of any other person. Only need (intention or the situation) binds someone to you as your friend or enemy.
अज्ञः सुखम् आराध्यः सुखतरम् आराध्यते विशेषज्ञः ।
ज्ञानलवदुर्विदग्धं ब्र(ा अपि नरं न रंजयति ॥
It is easy to convince an uneducated person; it is easier to convince an expert. But even God cannot convince a person who has developed false pride by virtue of half-knowledge.
यथा हि गोसहस्रेषु वत्सो विन्दति मातरम् ।
तथा पूर्वकृतं कर्म कर्तारम् अनुविन्दति ॥
From among thousands of cows, the calf correctly identifies its mother and approaches it. In the same way, deeds done in the past life correctly follow their doer [in this life]. So 'plan' your next life well!
अभ्यासाद् धार्यते विद्या कुलं शीलेन धार्यते ।
गुणेन ज्ञायते त्वार्यः कोपो नेत्रेण गम्यते ॥
Diligent application (abhyasa) sustains knowledge and character sustains one’s family (clan). While the noble person (Arya) can be recognized by (his/her) virtue; anger can be perceived in one’s eyes.
कस्यैकान्तं सुखम् उपनतं दुःखम् एकान्ततो वा ।
नीचैर् गच्छति उपरि च दशा चक्रनेमिक्रमेण ॥
No one experiences uninterrupted happiness or sorrow. Like a point on a wheel going down and rising up happiness and sorrow follow each other in everyday life. Do not therefore get excited by happiness or dejected by sorrow.
प्रत्यहं प्रत्यवेक्षेत नरश्चरितमात्मनः ।
किन्नु मे पशुभिस्तुल्यं किन्नु सत्पुरूषैरिति ॥
One should engage in self-introspection everyday to find out what characteristics and qualities in me resemble those in animals (pashutulya) and those in a noble person (satpurusha).
अव्याकरणमधीतं भिन्नद्रोण्या तरिंगणीतरणम् ।
भेषजमपथ्यसहितं त्रयमिदमकृतं वरं न कृतं ॥
Learning without grammar, crossing a river using a leaky boat, and consuming medicines without following the prescribed diet—it is preferable not to do these three things to doing them in the above manner.
अल्पानामपि वस्तूनां संहतिः कार्यसाधिका तृणैर्गुणत्वमापन्नैर् बध्यन्ते मत्तदन्तिनः
Even insignificant items or things, when put together, can accomplish great tasks. A rope made up of hay sticks, for instance, can bind and control a powerful elephant.
शैले शैले न माणिक्यं मौक्तिकं न गजे गजे साधवो न हि सर्वत्र चन्दनं न वने वने हितोपदेश
Hitopadesha warns: not every mountain contains a precious stone, not every elephant harbors pearls, sandalwood is not found in every forest. Saintly persons, similarly, are not found everywhere (good things are uncommon)
एकवर्णं यथा दुग्धं भिन्नवर्णासु धेनुषु ।
तथैव धर्मवैचित्र्यं तत्त्वमेकं परं स्मृतम् ॥
Cows of different colors yield milk of one color—white. In the same way, different dharmas (religions), in essence, teach about one and the same principle.
सर्वं परवशं दुःखं सर्वम् आत्मवशं सुखम् ।
एतद् विद्यात् समासेन लक्षणं सुखदुःखयोः ॥
All that is in another’s possession is sorrow; all that is under one’s own control is pleasant. This, in essence, is the hallmark of pain and pleasure.
आलस्य कुतो विद्या अविद्यस्य कुतो धनम् ।
अधनस्य कुतो मित्रम् अमित्रस्य कुतो सुखम् ॥
How can a lazy person expect to acquire knowledge? One bereft of knowledge cannot amass wealth; one without assets is friendless, and a friendless person cannot expect to be happy.
आकाशात् पतितं तोयं यथा गच्छति सागरम् ।
सर्वदेवनमस्कारः केशवं प्रति गच्छति ॥
Just as rainwater falling on the earth reaches the ocean--In the same way offerings (namaskara) made to various deities ultimately reach only one God (Keshava).
नीरक्षीरविवेके हंस आलस्यम् त्वम् एव तनुषे चेत् ।
विश्वस्मिन् अधुना अन्यः कुलव्रतं पालयिष्यति कः ॥
The subhāşita addresses the swan: Only you have the capability to separate milk and water; if you become lazy who else will be able to carry out your task? The purport of this subhāşita is,”If people with intellect and unique skills do not carry out their assigned work, then who else can do it?”
पापं प्रज्ञा नाशयति क्रियमाणं पुनः पुनः ।
नष्टप्रज्ञः पापमेव नित्यमारभते नरः ॥
Vidura observes in the Mahabharata, “One loses the discriminating intellect (prajna) by committing errors of judgment (papa) again and again and one who has lost that ability keeps on repeating the same errors.”
पुण्यं प्रज्ञा वर्धयति क्रियमाणं पुनःपुनः ।
वृद्धप्रज्ञः पुण्यमेव नित्यमारभते नरः ॥
One’s store of merit (punya) increases by doing good deeds again and again and one who is blessed with discriminating intellect keeps on doing worthy things.
अनेकशास्त्रं बहुवेदितव्यम् अल्पश्च कालो बहवश्च विघ्नाः यत् सारभूतं तदुपासितव्यं हंसो यथा क्षीरमिवाम्भुमध्यात्
There are many sciences (shastras) to be studied but time is short and obstacles (in thestudy) are many. Knowing this, one should partake of the essence (of the shastras) like the swan rejects water extracting only milk.
कलहान्तनि हर्म्याणि कुवाक्यानां च सÝ)दम् कुराजान्तानि राष्ट्राणि कुकर्मांन्तम् यशो नृणाम्
Quarrels destroy families; harsh words destroy friendship; nations come apart because of bad kings; men’s (women’s) bad deeds spell the end of success for them.
दुर्लभं त्रयमेवैतत् देवानुग्रहहेतुकम् ।
मनुष्यत्वं मुमुक्षुत्वं महापुरूषसश्रयः ॥
These three are difficult to obtain in this world as they depend upon the mercy of gods--- human birth, desire for salvation, and the company of great souls (mahapurushas).
सुखार्थी त्यजते विद्यां विद्यार्थी त्यजते सुखम् ।
सुखार्थिनः कुतो विद्या कुतो विद्यार्थिनः सुखम् ॥
One who runs after luxuries is deprived of education and one who wants to gain education sacrifices luxuries. How will any one obtain knowledge if he/she hankers after a life of comfort? And how will one hope to live an easy life if he/she is looking for education? In ancient Bharata, therefore, the 'Gurukula' system was designed in such a way that students in their student life should gain maximum education by forsaking pleasures of materialistic world.
दिवसेनैव तत् कुर्याद् येन रात्रौ सुखं वसेत् ।
यावज्जीवं च तत्कुर्याद् येन प्रेत्य सुखं वसेत् ॥
Do such work through the day that will enable you to sleep peacefully at night. Similarly, do such a work throughout your life so that you can 'live' peacefully after death.
उपार्जितानां वित्तानां त्याग एव हि रक्षणम् तडागोदरसंस्थानां परीवाह इवाम्भसाम्
Giving away (tyaga) earned wealth is the best way to protect it. Just as allowing water to flow out of lake is the best way to keep the lake clean. If you are standing in a bus, and aseat becomes vacant. If you offer it to some other person on the bus, next time when a seat becomes available, you will likely be invited to occupy it. In other words, if you help others they will protect you in return.
खलः सर्षपमात्राणि पराच्छिद्राणि पश्यति ।
आत्मनो बिल्वमात्राणि पश्यन्नपि न पश्यति ॥
A wicked person will notice flaws (holes) as tiny as a mustard seed in another person, but will not notice flaws (holes) as large as the big Bilvapatra leaf within himself/herself.
दानं भोगो नाशः तिस्त्रो गतयो भवन्ति वित्तस्य ।
यो न ददाति न भुङ्क्ते तस्य तृतीया गतिर्भवति ॥
There are three things that can happen with money/wealth: (1) it may be given away; (2) it may be enjoyed (consumed) for individual purposes; and (3) it will be lost (it will be of no use to either the individual or to the society). The wealth of the person, who does not donate nor use it for his/her own purposes, ultimately gets destroyed. (Please refer to subhāşitas # 121, 124, 133, 179 and 189 which give us more guidelines for putting our earned wealth for proper use).
यादृशैः सन्निविशते यादृशांश्चोपसेवते ।
यादृगिच्छेच्च भवितुं तादृग्भवति पूरूषः ॥
One becomes like those with whom you cohabit, whom you serve, or whom you want to imitate.
गुणी गुणं वेत्ति न वेत्ति निर्गुणो बली बलं वेत्ति न वेत्ति निर्बलः ।
पिको वसन्तस्य गुणं न वायसः करी च सिंहस्य बलं न मूषकः ॥
Only a person with good qualities knows another with like good qualities, not one without any qualities. A strong person recognizes (or judges) strength of another strong person, not a weak one. The cuckoo, not the crow, understands (or feels) the worth of spring; and only the elephant perceives the strength of the lion, not the mouse.
गुणवान् वा परजनः स्वजनो निर्गुणोपि व् ॥
निर्गुणः स्वजनः श्रेयान् यः परः पर एव च
A friend, even without many good qualities, is better than an enemy with good qualities. After all a stranger is a stranger and enemy is enemy. Though, we may appreciate good qualities in others, it must not be forgotten that enemy is enemy and a friend is a friend (refer to subhāşitano 194, which carries a similar purport).
पदाहतं सदुत्थाय मूर्धानमधिरोहति ।
स्वस्थादेवाबमानेपि देहिनस्वद्वरं रजः ॥
Even a dust particle which rises above when struck by foot is worthier than the person who sits nonchalantly though insulted badly.
सा भार्या या प्रियं बू्रते स पुत्रो यत्र निवृतिः ।
तन्मित्रं यत्र विश्वासः स देशो यत्र जीव्यते ॥
The ideal wife is one who speaks in a sweet tongue; the ideal son/daughter is one who provides peace and calm, the ideal friend is one who inspires confidence, and the ideal land is that where one can earn livelihood. The proper way to understand this subhāşita is not by validating one’s wife, son, friend or country along the above specified parameters but by seeing if we personally have these qualities. As for the country it can be said that from the government's point-of-view it is its duty to see that every person has work and can easily earn livelihood.
जरा रूपं हरति, धैर्यमाशा, मृत्युःप्राणान् , धर्मचर्यामसूया ।
क्रोधः श्रियं , शीलमनार्यसेवा , ह्रियं कामः , सर्व मेवाभिमानः ॥
Old age snatches away beauty, hope undermines courage, death defeats life, hatred destroys righteous behavior (dharmacharya), anger generates poverty, bad company corrupts character, uncontrolled passion renders one shameless, and conceit takes away one’s everything.
विरला जानन्ति गुणान् विरलाः कुर्वन्ति निर्धने स्नेहम् ।
विरलाः परकार्यरताः परदुःखेनापि दुःखिता विरलाः ॥
Very few appreciate good qualities in others or make friends with the poor; fewer still help others and those who are saddened by suffering of others are ever rarer.
आरोग्यं विद्वत्ता सज्जनमैत्री महाकुले जन्म ।
स्वाधीनता च पुंसां महदैश्वर्यं विनाप्यर्थेः ॥
Good Health, erudition, friendship with noble people, birth in a great (noble) family, and autonomy--these constitute the real wealth of a man (refer to subhshita # 212).
कालो वा कारणं राज्ञो राजा वा कालकारणम् इति ते संशयो मा भूत् राजा कालस्य कारणं
Do not wonder whether time [circumstances] throws up a king or whether the king creates time. Rest assured that the king creates circumstances [time]. Though the reference here is to the king, the purport of the subhāşita is applicable to all of us. There is no doubt that your surrounding depends on you i.e. you create it.
आयुषः क्षण एकोपि सर्वरत्नैर्न लभ्यते ।
नायते तद् वृथा येन प्रमादः सुमहानहो ॥
Even if you were to surrender all the jewels in your possession you will not get back a single moment of time that has passed away (in your life). When such is a case, those who are wasting time - what a blunder they are committing (Refer to subhshita # 25 on how to use time wisely.
योजनानां सहस्त्रं तु शनैर्गच्छेत् पिपीलिका ।
आगच्छन् वैनतेयोपि पदमेकं न गच्छति ॥
Even the tiny ant can cover thousands of miles by steadily marching ahead. But the eagle that is unwilling to leave its place will not advance even one step. The purport of the subhāşita is that only potential will not do. One must also have the will to achieve a goal. Thus with a stronger will ant (with inferior capability) can keep forging ahead while eagle (with obviously superior ability but without the will) remain standstill (refer to subhāşita # 37 which carries a similar message).
कन्या वरयते रुपं माता वित्तं पिता श्रुतम् बान्धवाः कुलमिच्छन्ति मिष्टान्ने इतरेजनाः
Different people look for different results from a single event. Take for instance a wedding. In the groom, the bride pines for a handsome husband, her mother expects a wealthy son-in-law (who will keep the daughter happy in life), her father is interested in his fame and erudition, the kinfolk look for worthy genealogy, and all others in attendance expect a good feast.
अर्था भवन्ति गच्छन्ति लभ्यते च पुनः पुनः ।
पुनः कदापि नायाति गतं तु नवयÝवनम् ॥
Wealth can be earned and it can also be lost. It can be recouped (even after loss) again and again. But youth once gone, never returns.
आशा नाम मनुष्याणां काचिदाश्चर्यशृङखला ।
यया बद्धाः प्रधावन्ति मुक्तास्तिष्ठन्ति पङ्गुवत् ॥
Desire laced with hope (asha) is a strange (surprising) kind of chain. Those who are tied by this chain run with it (i.e. are motivated to accomplished ends) and those one who are free from this chain stand still like an invalid (i.e. are not motivated to act).
शास्त्राण्यधीत्यापि भवन्ति मूर्खा यस्तु क्रियावान् पुरूषः स विद्वान् ।
सुचिन्तितं चौषधमातुराणां न नाममात्रेण करोत्यरोगम् ॥
Even after learning various sciences (shastras) many remain fool, but the one who performs and acts (kriyavan) is the real intelligent person. A doctor who only prescribes a course of action for a patient will not make that patient healthy. But if he/she ensures that the patient properly follows the prescription, then the patient will be healed.
वृत्तं यत्नेन संरक्ष्येद् वित्तमेति च याति च ।
अक्षीणो वित्ततः क्षीणो वृत्ततस्तु हतो हतः ॥
One should put all efforts in cultivating good character because wealth may come and go. True, one without wealth is rendered powerless but one without character is a total waste.
परस्य पीडया लब्धं धर्मस्योल्लंघनेन च आत्मावमानसंप्राप्तं न धनं तत् सुखाय वै महाभारत
Wealth earned by (1) troubling others, (2) by disobeying dharma, or by (3) pocketing insult does not bring happiness.
जानामि धर्मं न च मे प्रवृत्तिः ।
जानाम्यधर्मं न च मे निवृत्तिः ॥
The following words were uttered by Duryodhana in response to Draupadi’s question,” In spite of having many common things between the Kauravas and the Pandavas, viz. same family, same preceptor (Dronacharya), and same grandfather (Bhishma) why do Kauravas always follow the path of unrighteousness (adharma) and Pandavas always the path of dharma? Duryodhana says, "It is not that I did not knew what was dharma is and what is adharmaI cannot follow dharma because it is not in my nature (svabhava) and I cannot abandon adharma because I cannot desist from not doing it". This subhāşita addresses a very delicate nature of the human mind. Many are able to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong but some unknown force prevents them following the right path.
अकृत्वा परसन्तापं अगत्वा खलसंसदं अनुत्सृज्य सतांवर्तमा यदल्पमपि तद्बहु
Whatever little you progress you are able to make along the path of dharma is adequate if it is accomplished without hurting others, without associating with bad people, and without losing the company of the good.
परोपदेशे पािंडत्यं सर्वेषां सुकरं नृणाम् धर्मे स्वीयमनुष्ठानं कस्यचित् सुमहात्मनः
It is easy to advise others, revealing one’s wisdom, about how to behave, what is good, what is bad etc. But oneself practicing dharma that you preach (to others) is very difficult; only noble souls can accomplish that.
अमित्रो न विमोक्तव्यः कृपणं वह्णपि ब्रुवन् कृपा न तस्मिन् कर्तव्या हन्यादेवापकारिणाम्
Never allow your enemy to go free (if you catch him) even if he begs for it (or you feel pity for him). Assuming he will harm you in future, kill him. No Indian should overlook the purport of this subhāşita. Many times in India’s history kings made the mistake of forgiving the captured or trapped enemy.
नेह चात्यन्तसंवासः कर्हिचित् केनचित् सह ।
राजन् स्वेनापि देहेन किमु जायात्मजादिभिः ॥
Your Majesty (Dhritarashtra), no one ever has everlasting relationship with someone else in this world; not even with one’s own body, let alone with one’s wife and son.
इंद्रियाणि पराण्याहुः इंद्रियेभ्यः परं मनः ामनसस्तु परा बुद्धिः यो बुद्धेः परतस्तु सः ॥
The sense organs are superior to matter; mind is higher than the senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind; and the self is even higher than intelligence.
वहेदमित्रं स्कन्धेन यावत्कालविपर्ययः अथैवमागते काले भिन्द्याद् घटमिवाश्मनि
Carry your enemy on your shoulders if time is against you. But with first opportunity destroy your enemy like breaking earthen vessel on a rock. The purport of this subhāşita is that an enemy is always an enemy. If you are not in position to fight with him appease him/her temporarily; but finish him/her off at the first opportunity.
उष्ट्राणां च विवाहेषु गीतं गायन्ति गर्दभाः परस्परं प्रशंसन्ति अहो रुपमहो ध्वनिः
Donkeys are invited to sing at a wedding of camels where both praise each other: “how beautiful you are,” say the donkeys; “how sweet is your voice,” respond the camels.
आपूर्यमाणमचलप्रतिष्ठं समुद्रमापः प्रविशन्ति यद्वत् ।
तद्वत् कामा यं प्रविशन्ति सर्वे स शान्तिमाप्नोति न कामकामी ॥
A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires (that enter like rivers into the ocean, which is ever being filled but always remains still nonetheless) can alone achieve peace, and not the person who desires to satisfy all such desires.
मैत्री करूणा मुदितोपेक्षाणां ।
सुख दुःख पुण्यापुण्य विषयाणां ।
पातञ्जल योग 1।
Expressing delight and friendliness towards those who are happy; commiserating with those who feel dejected; expressing happiness and satisfaction at those who are engaged in doing good work (punyakarma) and overlooking bad deeds of others (concentrating upon the negative qualities in a person)--such thoughts should occur in one’s mind.
न प्रहृष्यति सन्माने नापमाने च कुप्यति ।
न क्रुद्धः परूषं ब्रूयात् स वै साधूत्तमः स्मृतः ॥
Those who do not get carried away when honor is bestowed upon them and do not become angry when insulted, do not use harsh words even when angry are known as saintly persons (sadhu) so says the Manusmriti.
हर्षस्थान सहस्राणि भयस्थान शतानि च ।
दिवसे दिवसे मूढं आविशन्ति न पंडितम् ॥
An ignorant person (mudha) is bombarded with hundreds of incidents/ reasons that may make him/her happy and thousands of other incidents/reasons that may make him/her unhappy. But the mind of the sage (pandita) is not perturbed by such minor things.
एका केवलमर्थसाधनविधौ सेना शतेभ्योधिका ।
नन्दोन्मूलन दृष्टवीर्यमहिमा बुद्धिस्तु मा गान्मम ॥
Background: Chandragupta established the 'Maurya' dynasty (defeating the king of the nanda dynasty) with the help of his minister Chanakya, there was a difference of opinion between Chanakya and other ministers of the new dynasty. Chanakya responded in the following words: Those who wanted to leave me have already left. Those who want to leave me may do so without any hesitation. But let my intelligence (buddhi), which is stronger than thousands of soldiers and which has helped me achieve my sole objective [uprooting of the Nanda dynasty], not leave me!
दीर्घा वै जाग्रतो रात्रिः दीर्घं श्रान्तस्य योजनम् ।
दीर्घो बालानां संसारः सद्धर्मम् अविजानताम् ॥
Night appears very long to the one who is awake all through the night and the short distance of a yojana (four miles) appears very long to the one who is tired [of walking]. Similarly, life appears long to ‘little’ people who do not know what true dharma is.
देहीति वचनद्वारा देहस्था पञ्च देवताः ।
तत्क्षणादेव लीयन्ते र्धीर्ह्रीर्श्रीकार्न्तिकीर्तयः ॥
The words 'give me' (begging), cause the following five deities (good qualities) desert you: immediately: intelligence, elegance, prosperity, glory, and fame.
यद्यत् परवशं कर्मं तत् तद् यत्नेन वर्जयेत् यद्यदात्मवशं तु स्यात् तत् तत् सेवेत यत्नतः
Avoid any work or initiative that makes you dependent upon other. Accomplish all work with diligence (yatnatah) which you can do independently (with self effort). The subhāşita does not preach that people should not cooperate and do things together. It simply offers a word of caution that those who depend or rely on others for something must recognize that it might never be done or it will be delayed.
यस्य भार्या गृहे नास्ति साध्वी च पि््रायवादिनी ।
अरण्यं तेन गन्तव्यं यथाऽरण्यं तथा गृहम् ॥
A person whose wife fails to be of good character of sweet words at home (sadhvi and priyavadini) should leave home and go to the forest because for him there would be no difference between the forest and his own home.
अकृत्यं नैव कर्तव्य प्राणत्यागेऽपि संस्थिते ।
न च कृत्यं परित्याज्यम् एष धर्मः सनातनः ॥
The deed which is not to be done (because it is bad, akritya) should not be done even at the risk of losing life and the deed which has to be done (because it is your duty kritya) should never be abandoned even at the risk of losing life. This, indeed, is the sanatana dharma.
ध्यायतो विषयान् पुंसः संगस्तेषूपजायते ।
संगात् संजायते कामः कामात् क्रोधोऽभिजायते ॥
While contemplating objects of the senses, one develops attachment for them, and from such attachment develops lust; and from lust arises anger” (Bhagvadgita 2:62).
नात्यन्त गुणवत् कििंचत् न चाप्यत्यन्तनिर्गुणम्
उभयं सर्वकार्येषु दृष्यते साध्वसाधु व् ॥
There is nothing that is absolutely and unconditionally good in all respects; there is nothing that is absolutely and unconditionally bad in all respects. Both good and bad are discernible in all deeds good or bad.
एकतः क्रतवः सर्वे सहस्त्रवरदक्षिणा ।
अन्यतो रोगभीतानां प्राणिनां प्राणरक्षणम् ॥
On one side is the act of performing the yajna requiring gift of generous fees (dakshina); on the side stands the act of saving life of those fraught with diseases. The Mahabharata states,” Both these acts will earn you the same merit (punya).
मातृवत्परदारेषु परद्रव्येषु लोष्टवत् ।
आत्मवत्सर्वभूतेषु यः पश्यति स पश्यति ॥
One who has true insight (pashyati) treats (sees) all women as one’s mother, wealth belonging to others as dirt, and all beings as one’s own self.
यः स्वभावो हि यस्यास्ति स नित्यं दुरतिक्रमः श्वा यदि क्रियते राजा तत् किं नाश्नात्युपानहम्
Whatever be the nature of a person, it is always very difficult to change or reform. The dog who is appointed as King will not stop chewing on shoes [That is, it will keep on doing all the inferior things which it is accustomed to to].
नात्युच्चशिखरो मेरुर्नातिनीचं रसातलम् व्यवसायद्वितीयानां नात्यपारो महोदधिः
For a person, who is incomparably self-reliant, no mountain top is too high (or hard to climb), no netherworld [that is too deep to descend], and no ocean that is too difficult to cross
दूर्जनः परिहर्तव्यो विद्ययाऽलङ्कृतोऽपि सन् ।
मणिना भूषितः सर्पः किमसौ न भयङ्करः ॥
One should avoid a crooked person even if he/she is well learned; is not a snake, though adorned with gem, dangerous?
सुखमापतितं सेव्यं दुःखमापतितं तथा ।
चक्रवत् परिवर्तन्ते दुःखानि च सुखानि च ॥
mahaBaart One should enjoy pleasure that befalls one and one should equally bear the pain that befalls one because, advises the Mahabharata, pain and pleasure follow each other in a cycle like the turning wheel.
अज्ञेभ्यो ग्रन्थिनः श्रेष्ठाः ग्रन्थिभ्यो धारिणो वराः ।
धारिभ्यो ज्ञानिनः श्रेष्ठाः ज्ञानिभ्यो व्यसायिनः ॥
Those who are [well] read are better than the illiterates; those who understand the purport of texts are superior; better than them are those who also understand the purport of the texts (jnaninah). But even better are those who put into practice the knowledge that they have gained from the books (vyavasayinah)!
उभाभ्यामेव पक्षाभ्यां शथा खे पक्षिणां गतिः ।
तथैव ज्ञानकर्मभ्यां जायते परमं पदम् ॥
Just as the bird flies high with the help of its two wings, in the same way with the help of knowledge and performance of prescribed duties (karma), one attains the supreme state or reality (Yogavasishtha 1:1.7).
मनसा चिन्तितंकर्मं वचसा न प्रकाशयेत् ।
अन्यलक्षितकार्यस्य यतः सिद्धिर्न जायते ॥
A project that has been thought out in one’s mind should not be revealed [to others] because a project, which has come to the notice of another, does not succeed. The purport of the subhāşita is that it is better to 'act ' upon your intentions than revealing them to others.
गतेर्भंगः स्वरो हीनो गात्रे स्वेदो महद्भयम् ।
मरणे यानि चिह्नानि तानि चिह्नानि याचके ॥
Loosing balance while walking, talking in low voice (not able to talk properly), sweating, and great fear, all this are signs found in a person who is about to die; same signs are found in who is seeking help from others (Achaia; a person who is dependent on others).
शुश्रूषा श्रवणं चैव ग्रहणं धारणं तथा ।
उहापोहोर्थ विज्ञानं तत्वज्ञानं च धीगुणाः ॥
The eight characteristic marks of intellect (Buddha) are: caring, willingness to listen, grasping power, deductive and discursive abilities, erudition, and knowledge of philosophy (tattvajnana).
द्वयक्षरस् तु भवेत् मृत्युर् , त्रयक्षरमं ब्रह्म शाश्वतम् ।
'मम' इति च भवेत् मृत्युर, 'नमम' इति च शाश्वतम् ॥
Death (miry) is a two-letter word in Sanskrit while eternal and supreme reality (Brahman) is a three-letter word in Sanskrit. The word in Sanskrit for mine (mama) (Mine) is also a two-letter word; it therefore leads you to death. On the other hand, the Sanskrit word na mama (not mine) is a three-letter word and will thus lead you to Brahman. The purport of the subhāşita is that nothing in this world "is mine" - I am not the "owner/creator" of any thing in this world (idam na mama).
रविरपि न दहति तादृग् यादृक् संदहति वालुकानिकरः अन्यस्माल्लब्धपदो नीचः प्रायेण दुःसहो भवति
Direct Sunlight does not burn us (our skin) as much as a hot sand dune does. Similarly, a mediocre person who becomes great (or powerful) by association with a powerful person (like sand dune receiving heat from the Sun) is often more annoying and unbearable.
क्वचिद्भूमÝ शय्या क्वचिदपि पर्यङ्कशयनं क्वचिच्छाकाहारी क्वचिदपि च शाल्योदनरुचिः क्वचित्कन्थाधारी क्वचिदपि च दिव्याम्बरधरो मनस्वी कार्यार्थी न गणयति दुःखं न च सुखम्
A person dedicated and committed to his/her work does not take into account pain or pleasure [that may arise in the execution of work]. To accomplish his/her goal he/she will sleep on the floor or on the bed, survive on vegetables or rice and bread; wear worn and torn or nice clothes.
रामो राजमणिः सदा विजयते रामं रमेशं भजे रामेणाभिहता निशाचरचमू रामाय तस्मै नमः रामान्नास्ति परायणं परतरं रामस्य दासोस्म्यहम् रामे चित्तलयः सदा भवतु मे भो राम मामुद्धर
Shri Rama [is] the jewel among the kings whom I adore and worship. He destroyed the hordes of demons roaming in the night. I salute Ramah. There is nothing beyond Ramah whose servant I am. My mind is totally absorbed in Ramah. O Ramah, please lift me above [the sea of samsara ( ocean of transmigration ). The peculiarity of this verse from Ramakrishna is that it gives all the eight declensions of the singular word Ramah.
मनोजवं मारूततुल्यवेगं जितेन्द्रियं बुद्धिमतां वरिष्ठम् ।
वातात्मजं वानरयूथमुख्यं श्रीरामदूतं शरणं प्रपद्ये ॥
I take refuge in Hanuman who is as fast as the mind, equals his father (the wind god) in speed, has control over the senses, is foremost amongst the learned, is the leader of the Vanara (monkey) brigade, and the great messenger of Shri Rama.
आचाराल्लभते (युः आचारादीप्सिताः प्रजाः ।
आचाराद्धनमक्षय्यम् आचारो हन्त्यलक्षणम् ॥
Righteous behavior gives long life, desired progeny, never diminishing wealth (i.e. prosperity). Good conduct also destroys other defects. Manu stresses in this verse (4:156) that achieving all good things in life can be attained by individual him/herself by good conduct; not by relying upon others.
शोचन्ति जामयो यत्र विनश्यत्याशु तत्कुलम् ।
यत्रैतास्तु न शोचन्ति (प्रसीदन्ति) वर्धते तद्धि सर्वदा ॥
The family in which women folks (mother, wife, sister, daughter etc.) have to suffer meets its destruction without delay; while the family in which they do grieve always prospers. The ideal of gender equality evolved in the West only in the nineteenth century. But in the ancient Indian literature one can find not just dry words but sincere and genuine desire for making humankind (not just women) happy.
अप्रकटीकृतशक्तिः शक्तोपि जनस्तिरस्क्रियां लभते निवसन्नन्तर्दारुणि लङ्घ्यो वह्निर्न तु ज्वलितः
Might and strength of a powerful person is ignored if he/she does not reveal it (if others areunaware of it). Nobody is bothered about energy that is stored in the log of wood. But when the same log of wood is aflame, everyone takes note of it.
विक्लवो वीर्यहीनो यः स दैवमनुवर्तते वीराः संभावितात्मानो न दैवं पर्युपासते
A One who is resigned to [the force of] destiny is powerless timid.(he/she relies on external forces for empowerment). The powerful and mighty persons with self-esteem do not attach any importance to destiny or fortune (daivam).
यथा वायुं समाश्रित्य वर्तन्ते सर्वजन्तवः ।
तथा गृहस्थमाश्रित्य वर्तन्ते सर्व आश्रमाः ॥
Just as (in this world) all (living) beings exist by virtue of air (vayu, wind) in the same way, all the other stages of life (ashramas) exist by virtue of the stage of the householder (Grihasthashrama).
नारीकेलसमाकारा द्दश्यन्तेपि हि सज्ज्नाः ।
अन्ये बदरिकाकाश बहिरेव मनोहरः ॥
The saintly people (sajjana) are like the coconut--hard on the outside but soft and sweet inside. In contrast, the wicked (durjana) are like the berry - soft on the outside, but hard inside. Just as the coconut does not 'look' nice on from the outside, noble persons at first sight might seem harsh in their talk or attitude--but in reality their mind is pure. The wicked, on the other hand, may 'look' nice and pleasant with their sweet talk, but in their hearts they might be crooked.
वृत्तं यत्नेन संरक्षेद् वित्तमायाति याति च ।
अक्षीणो वित्ततः क्षीणो वृत्ततस्तु हतो हतः ॥
One shall carefully protect his/her character (vritta) with efforts; not wealth, because wealth can be earned and lost (you have it today and tomorrow you may lose it). A wealthy person without good character, however, is as good as dead.
तर्काे प्रतिष्ठः श्रुतयो विभिन्न् ॥
नैको मुनिर्यस्य वचः प्रमाणम् धर्मस्य तत्त्वं निहितं गुहायां महाजनो येन गतः स पन्थाः
Dharamaraja points out in the Mahabharata how difficult it is to determine what is good or bad. Logic (or rationality) is variable (i.e. one can draw differing conclusions depending on one’s knowledge and intelligence). Shrutis or the Vedas offer different opinions (i.e. different Vedas may betray conflicting views over an issue). There is no one ascetic (muni) whose word may be accepted as standard. Since the principle of dharma is well hidden in a cave the path followed by great persons (mahajanah), is the right path.
सुखं शेते सत्यवक्ता सुखं शेते मितव्ययी ।
हितभुक् मितभुक् चैव तथैव विजितेन्द्रियः ॥
One who speaks truth and spends less, eats nutritional food in measured quantity, and has won control over the senses, gets comfortable and peaceful sleep (charakasamhita).
परित्यजेदर्थकामौ यौ स्यातां धर्मवर्जितौ ।
धर्मं चाप्यसुखोदर्कं लोकनिकृष्टमेव च ॥
Let him/her avoid acquisition of wealth and gratification of desires, if they are rejected by dharma (the sacred law). Let him/her reject even dharma if it causes pain in the future (or results in pain in the future) or if it is condemned by people or is offensive to them. This ruling by Manu provides a glimpse into the broad-minded nature of Indian civilization. Of course, dharma here refers to the (yugadharma) not Sanatana Dharma. This provision in our culture to frame new yuga-dharma which is relevant for that particular time period or age (yuga) is what has helped our culture to be always relevant whatever the Age we might be living. Our culture does not insist that the laws decreed by some ‘holy’ book or great person thousands of years ago should be valid and implemented even today. Flowing water always remains fresh while still and stagnating water becomes the hotbed for bacteria and germs (see subhāşitas no 17,67,140,144,235 for more on dharma.).
श्रद्धाभक्तिसमायुक्ता नान्यकार्येषु लालसाः ।
वाग्यताः शुचयश्चैव श्रोतारः पुण्यशालिनः ॥
Those listeners only are meritorious and morally worthy who have faith and devotion and who have no desire in anything except control over speech.
भेदे गणाः विनश्येयुः भिन्नास्तु सुजयाः परैः तस्मात् संघातयोगेन प्रयतेरन् गणाः सदा
In ancient India, there were autonomous village republics known as ganarajyas, which were ruled by a government in a set up comparable to modern democracy. This subhāşita addresses issues relevant to them. Whenever the unity among the ganarajyas is broken they become easy targets for others and get destroyed. That is why ganarajyas should always try to remain united.
परवाच्येषु निपुणः सर्वो भवति सर्वदा आत्मवाच्यं न जानीते जानन्नपि च मु(ति
Every one is always expert in finding out (and talking about) faults or shortcomings of others. But one neither knows about one’s own faults or even after knowing keeps quiet about it.
गौरवं प्राप्यते दानात् न तु वित्तस्य संचयात् ।
स्थितिः उच्चैः पयोदानां पयोधीनां अधः स्थितिः ॥
Fame is obtained by donating (giving) money, not hoarding it. Clouds (as givers of rainwater), for instance, occupy a position high in the sky whereas oceans (reservoirs of water) keep a low position.
नारून्तुदः स्यादार्तोपि न परद्रोहकर्मधीः ।
ययास्योद्विजते वाचा नालोक्यां तामुदीरयेत् ॥
Let him not, even though pained by the cutting words of others, injure others in thought or deed; let him not utter words, which would pain others and prevent him from gaining heaven, says Vidura.
कर्पूरधूलिरचितालवालःकस्तूरिकापंकनिमग्ननालः, गंगाजलैः सिक्तसमूलवालः स्वीयं गुणं मुञ्चति किं पलाण्डुः
If an onion plant is grown in the camphor bed, musk is used as a soil for it, and is watered with Gangajala (the holiest of the waters), will it give up its characteristic pungent odor? The central idea is that a person's basic character remains the same; no matter what efforts are made to change him.
जलबिन्दुनिपातेन क्रमशः पूर्यते घटः स हेतुः सर्वविद्यानां धर्मस्य च धनस्य च
If water is added to a vessel drop by drop, it gets filled in the due course. Similarly, knowledge, dharma, and wealth are to be earned following the same logic. This subhāşita says that do not ever fail to amass even a small amount of knowledge, dharma or wealth, because any addition actually duly adds to your treasure.
सेवकः स्वामिनं द्वेष्टि कृपणं परुषाक्षरम् आत्मानं किं स न द्वेष्टि सेव्यासेव्यं न वेत्ति यः
A servant hates his master if the master is miser and rough in talking. Why does he not hate himself? Because he cannot judge who is worthy of serving and who is not. People habitually blame the surroundings for their sufferings though more often than not, the cause of trouble is oneself and not the surroundings.
ऐक्यं बलं समाजस्य तदभावे स दुर्बलः तस्मात ऐक्यं प्रशंसन्ति दृढं राष्ट्र हितैषिणः
Unity is always the strength of any society and it is rendered weak without unity. Hence well wishers of a nation strongly praise unity for it.
का त्वं बाले कान्चनमाल् ॥
कस्याः पुत्री कनकलतायाः ॥
हस्ते किं ते तालीपत्रं
का वा रेखा क ख ग घ ॥
Who are you, little girl ? : [I am ] Kanchanamala. Whose daughter are you ? : [I am daughter of Kanakalata. What is it in your hand ? : the palm-leaf [used as a slate or writing pad]. What is written on it ?: alphabets ka kha ga gha
अप्यब्धिपानान्महतः सुमेरून्मूलनादपि ।
अपि वहन्यशनात् साधो विषमश्चित्तनिग्रहः ॥
Control over mind is more difficult than drinking water of the ocean, uprooting Mount Meru or eating fire. But the question of how to make this impossible task - possible is left unanswered by this subhāşita.
अधीत्य चतुरो वेदान् सर्वशास्त्राण्यनेकशः ।
ब्रम्(तत्वं न जानाति दर्वी सूपरसं यथा ॥
Mere reading of the four vedas and all the shastras number of times is not enough for obtaining real knowledge of the supreme reality (brahman) just as the ladle in a vessel used for serving vegetable (soup) does not know the taste of the soup served from that pot (one must understand the purport of the Vedas or the shastras not their superficial meaning).
यस्य चित्तं निर्विषयं )दयं यस्य शीतलम् ।
तस्य मित्रं जगत्सर्वं तस्य मुक्तिः करस्थिता ॥
For one, whose mind is free from objects of senses and whose heart is calm (free from passion, anger, greed etc.), entire world is his/her friend and liberation or emancipation is in his/her hands.
अज्ञान तिमिरांधस्य ज्ञानांजन शलाकय् ॥
चक्षुरुन्मिलितं येन तस्मै श्री गुरवे नमः
Obeisance to the guru who, by applying with a stick the ointment of knowledge (jnananjana) opens the eyes of a person blinded by the darkness of ignorance.. Guru is one of the most honorable personalities in the Indian tradition. This subhāşita demonstrates the guru's role in one's life. Difference between an ignorant person and a knowledgeable person is stated metaphorically as difference between a blind and a person with normal eyesight. Guru is a person who gives sight to otherwise blind person. On the day of the Ashadha purnima (full moon day falling in July-August), called Gurupurnima,
क्षमा शस्त्रं करे यस्य दुर्जनः किं करिष्यति ाअतृणे पतितो वन्हिः स्वयमेवोपशाम्यति ॥
What can a wicked person do to someone who has the weapon of forgiveness in his hands ? Fire fallen on the ground without any grass is extinguished by itself.
ग्रन्थानभ्यस्य मेघावी ज्ञान विज्ञानतत्परः ।
पलालमिव धान्यार्थी त्यजेत् सर्वमशेषतः ॥
An intelligent person, eager for knowledge and wisdom, studies [relevant] books and discards what is unimportant grasping the essence (only) just as a farmer rejects retains grains only and rejects husks.
असूयैकपदं मृत्युः अतिवादः श्रियो वधः ।
अशुश्रूषा त्वरा श्लाघा विद्यायाः शत्रवस्त्रयः ॥
Envy is death itself and loquatiousness destroys wealth. Unwillingness to serve, haste, and boasting (self-praise): these three are enemies of learning.
नालसाः प्राप्नुवन्त्यर्थान न शठा न च मायिनः न च लोकरवाद्भीता न च शश्वत्प्रतीक्षिणः
A lazy person can never earn wealth or other desirable objects; neither a wicked person, nor a rogue. Similarly, one who worries about others' reactions to one’s deeds or the one who waits too long (for good opportunity to materialize) does not earn wealth.
दातव्यं भोक्तव्यं धनविषये संचयो न कर्तव्यः ।
पश्येह मधुकरीणां संचितार्थ हरन्त्यन्ये ॥
It should be given(donated) or enjoyed and spent. As far as money is concerned it should never be stocked up; it should be given away or spent (enjoyed) spent. Look, others steal honey (collected) by the bees.
या कुन्देन्दुतुषारहारधवला या शुभ्रवस्त्रावृता ,
या वीणावरदण्डमण्डितकरा या श्वेतपद्मासना ।
या ब्रह्माच्युतशङ्करप्रभृतिभिर्देवैः सदा वन्दिता , सा मां पातु सरस्वती भगवती निःशेषजाड्यापहा ॥
[Goddess Sarasvati] is as white (beautiful) as kunda (jasmine or lily flower), moon or thegarland of dewdrops; her attire is all white, she holds in her hand the vina (a string instrument) and she is seated on a white lotus. All deities including Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, eternally worship her. Let SarasvatI, who puts an end to lethargy and denseness, protect me!
कस्यचित् किमपि नो हरणीयं मर्मवाक्यमपि नोच्चरणीयम् ।
श्रीपतेः पदयुगं स्मरणीयं लीलया भवजलं तरणीयम् ॥
One should never steal others’ belongings; one should never utter a harsh word about another person (especially something which might expose his/her deficiencies). One should constantly think about the feet of Vishnu (one should worship Vishnu from heart). One may then attain moksha easily.
बुधाग्रे न गुणान् ब्रूयात् साधु वेत्ति यतः स्वयम् ।
मूर्खाग्रेपि च न ब्रूयाद्धुधप्रा क् े तं न वेत्ति सः ॥
You need not publicize your good qualities to a wise person who will know them or will find on its own. Do not reveal your good qualities to an idiot either because he/she will not be able to appreciate (understand) them.
के शवं पतितं दृष्ट्वा पाण्डवा हर्षनिर्भराः ।
रूदन्ति कौरवाः सर्वे हा हा के शव के शव ॥
This subhāşita stresses that correct and proper interpretation of words is of great importance in Sanskrit language. Notice that ‘ke’ and ‘shava’ stand apart where ‘ka’ means water (among several other things); and hence ke (as locative singular) means ‘in water.’ Pandava also means fish and kaurava also means crow. Hence the correct meaning is: Seeing the corpse (shava) fallen in water, the fish were overjoyed. The crows, however, started crying. "O the corpse in water!” the corpse is in water!!
गुरोरप्यवलिप्तस्य कार्याकार्यमजानतः ।
उत्पथं प्रतिपन्नस्य न्याय्यं भवति शासनम् ॥
The following persons deserve to be punished: the preceptor who is puffed up with pride; one who is unable to discriminate between the proper and improper thing to be done, and one who has taken to the wrong path.
यद्यद् राघव संयाति महाजनसपर्यया ।
दिनं तदेव सालोकं श,, ेषास्त्वन्धदिनालयाः ॥
O Raghava [descendant of Raghu], whatever day is spent in the service of great persons that is a real day. Other days are the abode of darkness (even though there may be is daylight they are wasted (they do not deserve to be termed a day).
यमो वैवस्वतो राजा यस्तवैष )दि स्थितः ।
तेन चेदविवादस्ते मा गंगा मा कुरून् व््राज ॥
If you are not in disagreement with (i. e have no difference of opinion with) God Yama, the son of Vivasvat who dwells in your heart, you need neither visit river Ganga nor go to the (sacred) land of the Kurus (for expiation of your sins).
किम् कुलेन विशालेन विद्याहीनस्य देहिनः ।
अकुलीनोऽपि विद्यावान् देवैरपि सुपूज्यते ॥
What is use of a high clan (vishala kula) for one who is devoid of knowledge (vidyahina)(i.e. how does it matter even if a person is born in respected family, if one is devoid of knowledge). If a person is erudite, then he/she is worshipped even by gods, even if the former is without any connection with a clan.
पत्रं नैव यदा करीरविटपे दोषो वसन्तस्य किम् नोलूकोऽप्यवलोकते यदि दिवा सूर्यस्य किं दूषणम् धारा नैव पतन्ति चातकमुखे मेघस्य किं दूषणम् यत् पूर्वं विधिना ललाटलिखितं तन्मार्जितुं कः क्षमः ऽऽ
If the Karira tree (a leafless tree that grows in deserts) does not blossom (even during the spring); how is the fault of spring (Vasanta)? Can you blame the Sun because the owl cannot see during the day? The cloud cannot be blamed if the rainwater does not fall in the beak of the Chataka bird (a bird that supposedly drinks only the rain falling into its beak). Who can change (erase) the fate (written on one's forehead) ?
यथा हि पथिकः कश्चित् छायामाश्रित्य तिष्ठति ।
विश्रम्य च पुनर्गच्छेत् तद्वद् भूतसमागमः ॥
Just as a certain traveler remains under a shade (of some tree) and, having refreshed himself/herself, again goes about with the journey, so does assembly of living beings [disperse after a time].
यदीच्छसि वशीकर्तुं जगदेकेन कर्मणा ।
परापवादससेभ्यो गां चरन्तीं निवारय ॥
If you want to make this world do your bidding just by doing one thing, then chase away the cow (the tongue) grazing in the field of grains (of blaming, cursing others), says Chanakya.
गुरूशुश्रूषया विद्या पुष्कलेन धनेन वा ।
अथवा विद्यया विद्या चतुर्थो न उपलभ्यते ॥
Knowledge is acquired) by serving the teacher; by lot of money or by exchanging it [with others]. A fourth (option) does not exist.
यथा खनन् खनित्रेण नरो वार्यधिगच्छति तथा गुरुगतं विद्यां शुश्रूषुरधिगच्छति
Just as a person gets water after digging the earth with a spade, so also does a student, who serves his guru acquire knowledge.
यदि सन्ति गुणाः पुंसां विकसन्त्येव ते स्वयम् न हि कस्तूरिकामोदः शपथेन विभाव्यते
If a person has good qualities they develop by themselves (others get to know about them natyrally); he/she does not have to advertise them. Just as aroma of musk does not need a testimonial (shapatha) since its existence is self-revealing).
यथा काष्ठं च काष्ठं च समेयातां महोदधौ ।
समेत्य च व्यपेयातां तद्वद् भूतसमागमः ॥
Just as two pieces of wood come together in the great ocean [aided by movement of waves] and, after coming together, separate, so does [end] association of living beings (Mahabharata).
यस्यास्ति वित्तं स नरःकुलीनः
स पण्डितः स श्रुतवान् गुणज्ञः
स एव वक्ता स च दर्शनीयः
सर्वे गुणाः काञ्चनमाश्रयन्ते ॥
A wealthy person is (naturally) deemed to be of high descent and, as such, is assumed scholar, popular, having the ability to recognize good qualities among others, and an orator. People flock to see him/her. The affluent, indeed, seem to possess all the good qualities.
ऋयद्धात्रा निजभालपट्टलिखितं स्तोकं महद् वा धनम् तत् प्राप्नोति मरूस्थलेऽपि नितरां मेरौ ततो नाधिकम् तद्धीरो भव , वित्तवत्सु कृपणां वृत्तिं वृथा मा कृथाः कूपे पश्य पयोनिधावपि घटो गृह्णाति तुल्यं पयः
Whatever little (or more) wealth is ‘written’ on one’s forehead; one is destined to get it even if you were in the desert. You will not get more than that even if you were to go to Mount Meru (name of a mythical mountain). The subhāşita exhorts us to be patient and asks us to not flaunt poverty to the wealthy. The pot can only take the same amount of water--whether from a well or from the ocean.
नाम्भोधिरर्थितामेति सदाम्भोभिश्च पूर्यते ।
आत्मा तु पात्रतां नेयः पात्रमायान्ति संपदः ॥
An ocean never begs [for water], yet it is always full of water. If one makes oneself worthy, riches come to the worthy person by themselves (of their own accord and without asking).
बहीव्मपि संहितां भाषमाणः न तत्करोति भवति नरः प्रमत्तः ।
गोप इव गा गणयन् परेषां न भाग्यवान् श्रामण्यस्य भवति ॥
The vain person who recites a large portion from a sacred text and yet does not put [the reading] into practice will have no share in the fruit of the ascetic life style. He/she is like a cowherd who only counts the cows of others (i.e. he does not own them).
वने रणे शत्रुजलाग्निमध्ये महार्णवे पर्वतमस्तके वा ।
सुप्तं प्रमत्तं विषमस्थितं वा रक्षन्ति पुण्यानि पुरा कृतानि ॥
Good deeds that one might have done in the past protect oneself in any kind of adverse situation: being trapped in the middle of a jungle; in a war; amongst enemies; in flood or fire; in the ocean or atop mountains; while sleeping or unconscious.
न कालो दण्डमुद्यम्य शिरः कृन्तति कस्यचित् ।
कालस्य बलमेतावत् विपरीतार्थदर्शनम् ॥
Time does not kill anyone by weapons; it destroys one’s thinking capability impelling that person to follow a wrong path, which ultimately leads to the destruction of that person. Corrupting the intellect is really the power of time! (Nitishataka).
संगच्छध्वं संवदध्वं सं वो मनांसि जानताम् ।
देवा भागं यथा पूर्वे सञ्जानाना उपासते ॥
Walk together and speak with each other in harmony; understand one another's minds. Just as gods from ancient times (having known each other's minds) did their assigned tasks religiously, so too, you act.
मध्विव मन्यते बालो यावत् पापं न पच्यते ।
यदा च पच्यते पापं दुःखं चाथ निगच्छति धम्मपद 5।
As long as a sin does not ripen so long does an ignorant person consider it sweet like honey; but when it does ripen he/she has to suffer its consequences (Dhammapada).
तावज्जितेन्द्रियो न स्याद् विजितान्येन्द्रियः पुमान् ।
न जयेद् रसनं यावद् जितं सर्वं जिते रसे ॥
Anyone conquering all the other senses except the organ of taste (the tongue), so long he/she cannot be called self-controlled. One becomes self-controlled only after fully controlling the desire for taste in food (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11:8.21).
द्वावेव चिन्तया मुक्तौ परमानन्द आप्लुतौ ।
यो विमुग्धो जडो बालो यो गुणेभ्यः परं गतः ॥
There are only two types of persons in this world (1) those who are free from anxiety and (2)
those who are filled with delight. They are (1) an innocent child without any involvement and the ascetic who is beyond the three gunas (i.e. prakriti).
न तथा तप्यते विद्धः पुमान् बाणैः सुमर्मगैः ।
यथा तुदन्ति मर्मस्था (सतां पुरूषेषवः ॥
One having the body pierced by arrows is not pained (tormented) so much, as when his/her mind is cut to the quick by shaft-like harsh words of the wicked (Shrimad Bhavagatam 11:23.3)
न कश्चिदपि जानाति किं कस्य श्वो भविष्यति
अतः श्वः करणीयानि कुर्यादद्यैव बुद्धिमान ॥
Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow and to whom. The wise therefore finish tomorrow’s tasks today itself.
वयमिह परितुष्टा वल्कलैस्त्वं दुकूलैः
सम इह परितोषो निर्विशेषो विशेषः ।
स तु भवति दरिद्रो यस्य तृष्णा विशाल् ॥
मनसि च परितुष्टे कोऽर्थवान को दरिद्रः ॥
The yogi says to a king: We are here (in the hermitage) as content with garments made of bark just as you are with your silken garments. The quality and nature of our relative contentment is the same; there is no difference whatsoever. One with unbridled desire feels poor. However, when the mind is contented, who is rich and who is poor?
न (म्मयानि तीर्थानि न देवा मृच्छिलामयाः ।
ते पुनन्त्युरूकालेन दर्शनादेव साधवः ॥
The sacred places and images of gods made out of stone do not wash the sins of the devotees instantly; but only after receiving prolonged adoration from them. The saints, on the other hand, do so with a mere glance at the devotees.
ब्राम्हणः समद्दक् शान्तो दीनानां समुपेक्षकः ।
स्त्रवते ब्रम्ह तस्यापि भिन्नभाण्डात् पयो यथा ॥
If the brahmin with an even attitude towards all (samadrishti) does not act to provide relief to the weak (and oppressed), he loses his brahma luster just as milk (or water) streaming out of a leaking pot [loses its luster].
दैवमेवेह चेत् कर्तृ पुंसः किमिव चेष्टया ।
स्नानदानासनोच्चारान् दैवमेव करिष्यति ॥
This subhāşita addresses those who believe in luck or fortune rather than their own capabilities. If luck, it admonishes, is doing all your work then you need not do anything at all. Your luck should also do your day to day activities like taking bath or giving in charity, sitting, and talking. The purport of this subhāşita is: Do not rely on fortune or such other things; rely only on your own strength.
कार्यमण्वपि काले तु कृतमेत्युपकारताम् ।
महदप्युपकारोऽपि रिक्ततामेत्यकालतः ॥
Even a trifle thing done for somebody is very helpful if done at a proper time. But if one does not do it at a proper time (or does it when it is not called for), then an (apparently) big favor done to somebody will be in vain.
यो यमर्थं प्रार्थयते यदर्थं घटतेऽपि च ।
अवश्यं तदवाप्नोति न चेच्छ्रान्तो निवर्तते ॥
If a person wants something and if he makes efforts to achieve it (without getting overwhelmed in the process) then no doubt he/she will get it.
यदजि्र्ातं प्राणहरैः परिश्रमैः मृतस्य तद् वै विभजन्ति रिक्थिनः ।
कृतं च यद् दुष्कृतमर्थलिप्सया तदेव दोषापहतस्य कौतुकम् ॥
Whatever does a person earn by very hard though killing work; the descendants divide it amongst themselves when he/she dies. However [bad karma of] the wrong deeds done for gaining wealth or other material objects accompany him/her so declares the Garudapurana. (He/she has to face the consequences. One’s ‘sins’ are not inherited).
त्यजेत् क्षुधार्ता जननी स्वपुत्रं ,
खादेत् क्षुधार्ता भुजगी स्वमण्डम् ।
बुभुक्षितः किं न करोति पापं , क्षीणा जना निष्करूणा भवन्ति ॥
A starving mother might leave her own son; a starving snake might eat its own eggs, what sin will a starving being will not commit? People, who are helpless, become desperate and merciless when it is a question of life and death for them.
अणुभ्यश्च महद्भ्यश्च शास्त्रेभ्यः कुशलो नरः ।
सर्वतः सारमादद्यात् पुष्पेभ्य इव षट्पदः ॥
A wise person should gather only the essence (gist) from all major or minor shastras (because they are so many and it is impractical to learn everything in depth) just as the bee gathers (only) honey from all kinds of flowers.
न अन्नोदकसमं दानं न तिथिर्द्वादशीसमा ।
न गायत्रयाः परो मन्त्रो न मातुः परदैवतम् ॥
Giving water and food is the best among the acts of charity; the twelfth day of the fortnight (dvadashi) is the most auspicious among all the days. The Gayatri is the best among all the mantras and [one’s] mother is superior to all the gods.
यत्र नार्यः तु पूज्यन्ते रमन्ते तत्र देवताः ।
यत्र एताः तु न पूज्यन्ते सर्वास्तत्र अफलाः क्रियाः ॥
Gods like to frequent places where women are adored and respected,. But where women receivee ill-treatment no work is successful because of the absence of gods from there.
वनेऽपि सिंहा मृगमांसभक्षिणो बुभुक्षिता नैव तृणं चरन्ति ।
एवं कुलीना व्यसनाभिभूता न नीचकर्माणि समाचरन्ति ॥
Lions in the forest live off the flesh of deer or other animals; they will not eat grass even though starving. Similarly, persons born in good families will refrain from committing evil deeds even in the face of adversities.
खद्योतो द्योतते तावद् यवन्नोदयते शशी ।
उदिते तु सहस्रांशÝ न खद्योतो न चन्द्रमाः ॥
The glittering fly appears bright (or is visible) only in the absence of the moon in the sky. But when the Sun rises, neither the glittering fly nor the moon is to be found! In the absence of a great person, a mediocre individual looms great; but nobody notices such a person in the presence of a truly great individual.
स्वभावं न जहात्येव साधुरापद्गतोऽपि सन् ।
कर्पूरः पावकस्पृष्टः सौरभं लभतेतराम् ॥
A good person never abandons his/her nature even when caught in a disaster just as camphor though caught in fire, nevertheless, emits fragrance.
चित्त्स्य शुद्धये कर्म न तु वस्तूपलब्धये ।
वस्तुसिद्धिर्विचारेण न किंचित्कर्मेकोटिभिः ॥
The whole purpose of worship (chanting mantras, performing puja etc) is for purifying the mind and not for material gains. Purity of mind cannot be attained by millions of acts of worship or by chanting of mantras .so says Shankaracharya in the Vivekachudamani.
श्रमेण दुःखं यत्किन्चिकार्यकालेनुभूयते ।
कालेन स्मर्यमाणं तत् प्रमोद ॥
While engaged in a difficult task one does experience weariness due to adverse conditions. In retrospect, however, the memory of that pain provides satisfaction [of having accomplished the task]. Any good and positive work cannot be accomplished without facing hardships.
आस्ते भग आसीनस्य ऊर्ध्वम् तिष्ठति तिष्ठतः ।
शेते निषद्यमानस्य चरति चरतो भगः ॥
Fortune of a person who sits idle, sits idle [with him/her]; that of one who stands, also stands; that of one who sleeps, sleeps and of one who walks, walks with him/her. Here, the subhāşita says that fortune cannot accomplish any thing on its own. Only that person succeeds who has worked for it. In other words, God helps those who help themselves.
विपदी धैर्यमथाभ्युदये क्षम् ॥
सदसि वाक्पटुता युधि विक्रमः ।
यशसि चाभिरूचिर्व्यसनं श्रुतौ प्रकृतिसिद्धमिदं हि महात्मनाम् ॥
Courage in adversity, patience in prosperity, oratory in assembly, bravery in battle, motivation for fame, and commitment to knowledge; all these are naturally found in great persons.
यावत् भ्रियेत जठरं तावत् सत्वं हि देहीनाम् ।
अधिकं योभिमन्येत स स्तेनो दण्डमर्हति ॥
One may [rightfully] claim proprietorship to as much wealth as is required to maintain oneself [ to fill the stomach]; but he/she who claims proprietorship over more than what is required for survival is a thief and deserves to be punished so say the Mahabharata and the Manusmriti.
अहं च त्वं च राजेन्द्र लोकनाथौ उभावपि ।
बहुव्रीहिरहं राजन् षष्ठीतत्पुरूषो भवान ॥
See subhāşita # 44
यदा न कुरूते भावं सर्वभूतेष्वमंगलम् ।
समदृष्टेस्तदा पुंसः सर्वाः सुखमया दिशः ॥
Happiness is there all around and everywhere for one who does not harbor any bad (or inauspicious) thoughts about any creature and who holds a consistent and uniform outlook (view) towards all (Shrimad Bhagvatam 9:15.15).,
शरदि न वर्षति गर्जति वर्षति वर्षासु निःस्वनो मेघः ।
नीचो वदति न कुरुते न वदति सुजनः करोत्येव ॥
Clouds in autumn do not bring rain though they make a big thunder as they pass by while the monsoon clouds shower rains without making any noise. The purport of this subhāşita is that an inferior type of person just talks without doing anything constructive while a good person acts without publicizing his actions or intentions.
सर्वार्थसंभवो देहो जनितः पोषितो यतः ।
न तयोर्याति निर्वेशं पित्रोर्मर्त्यः शतायुषा ॥
A mortal human being with the life of one hundred years even is forever indebted to his/her parents for the physical body, which provides the foundation for the four principal objects of life (dharma, artha, kama and moksha)(Shrimad Bhagvatam 10:45.5).
अमृतं चैव मृत्युश्च द्वयं देहप्रतिष्ठितम् ।
मोहादापद्यते मृत्युः सत्येनापद्यतेऽमृतम् ॥
Both immortality and death reside in the body only. Death comes because of temptation or delusion and immortality by truth.
परिवर्तिनि संसारे मृतः को वा न जायते ।
स जातो येन जातेन याति वंशः समुन्न्तिम् ॥
In this ever-rotating wheel of birth and death [samsara] whosoever that that dies is not born again? He/she alone is (deemed to be] born by whose birth (his/her) family attains eminence.
को न याति वशं लोके मुखे पिण्डेन पूरितः मृदंगो मुखलेपेन करोति मधुरध्वनिम्
Who on earth cannot be controlled if the mouth is properly ‘filled’ (i.e. whose interests have been satisfied). Even the mridangam (a musical instrument) makes sweet sound after its sides are smeared with flour.
सर्वनाशे समुत्पन्ने (र्धं त्यजति पण्डितः ।
अर्धेन कुरुते कार्यं सर्वनाशो हि दुःसहः ॥
In a situation where one stands to lose everything, a wise person lets go half (or a part) of it. For, one can live with half of what one wants [or has]; but the loss of everything would become unbearable.
गुणेषु क्रियतां यत्नः किमाटोपैः प्रयोजनम् ।
विक्रीयन्ते न घण्टाभिः गावः क्षीरविवर्जिताः ॥
One should make an effort to cultivate one’s inherent qualities/skills/assets rather than merely making noises. A cow, for instance, cannot be sold by merely ringing the bell in her neck if she does not yield milk (making sweet sound of the bell is an irrelevant asset of the cow while giving milk is indeed its relevant quality). Today's world of advertisement is predicated upon an exactly opposite premise. It tells us to attract the customers by attractive packaging rather than by the quality of the product. Attractive packaging only raises expectations but does not satisfy the customer.
साहित्यसंगीतकलाविहीनः साक्षात् पशुः पुच्छविषाणहीनः ।
तृणं न खादन्नपि जीवमानः तद्भागधेयं परमं पशूनाम् ॥
One who is bereft of the arts of literary composition and music is evidently a beast without the tail and horns; that he/she may live without feeding on grass is the great good fortune of beasts!
न प्र)ष्यति सम्माने नापमाने च कुप्यति ।
न क्रुद्धः परूषं ब्रूयात् स वै साधूत्तमः स्मृतः ॥
That individual is declared to be the highest saint who is not overjoyed when honored; does not get angry when insulted, and does not speak harsh words when angry.
असभ्दिः शपथेनोक्तं जले लिखितमक्षरम् ।
सभ्दिस्तु लीलया प्रोक्तं शिलालिखितमक्षरम् ॥
Assurances given [oaths taken] by the wicked are like letters written on water (evanescent). In contrast, even informal sayings of a saintly person are like words etched on rock.
आरोप्यते शिला शैले यत्नेन महता यथा ।
पात्यते तु क्षणेनाधस्तथात्मा गुणदोषयोः ॥
It is very difficult to carry a rock to the top of the mountain though it is easier to push it down from the top. In the same way, it is a very difficult task indeed to inculcate noble thoughts in a person while it is far easier to induce bad habits in him/her.
लुब्धमर्थेन गृह्णीयात् क्रुद्धमञ्जलिकर्मणा ।
मूर्खं छन्दानुवृत्त्या च तत्वार्थेन च पण्डितम् ॥
A greedy person should be [silenced] by use of wealth (by bribing him/her); an angry person should be [calmed down] by being polite to him/her. A fool should be [convinced] by making him feel that you are doing his bidding, and the wise person should be [convinced] by supplying him/her with the essence (gist) of the matter.