Jdi na obsah Jdi na menu


23. 1. 2011



About 2300 years ago the Greek conqueror Alexander the Great invaded
the Indian sub-continent. His offensive upon the land's patchwork of
small Hindu empires proved to be highly successful due to the
disunity of the petty rulers. It was Chanakya Pandit who, feeling
deeply distressed at heart, searched for and discovered a qualified
leader in the person of Chandragupta Maurya. Although a mere
dasi-putra, that is, a son of a maidservant by the Magadha King
Nanda, Chandragupta was highly intelligent, courageous and physically
powerful. Chanakya cared little that by birth he should not have
dared to approach the throne. A man of acute discretion, Chanakya
desired only that a ruler of extraordinary capabilities be raised to
the exalted post of King of Magadha so that the offensive launched by
the Yavanas (Greeks) could be repressed.

It is said that Chanakya had been personally offended by King Nanda
and that this powerful brahmana had vowed to keep his long sikha
unknotted until he saw to the demise of the contemptuous ruler and
his drunken princes. True to his oath, it was only after Chanakya
Pandit engineered a swift death for the degraded and worthless rulers
of the Nanda dynasty that this great brahmana was able to again tie
up his tuft of hair. There are several versions relating the exact
way that Chanakya had set about eliminating the Nandas, and it
appears historians have found it difficult to separate fact from folk
legend as regards to certain specific details.

After the Nanda downfall, it became easy for Chandragupta to win the
support of the Magadha citizens, who responded warmly to their new
heroic and handsome young ruler. Kings of neighbouring states rallied
under Chandragupta's suzerainty and the last of the Greeks headed by
Alexander's general Seleucus were defeated.

With the dual obstacles of the Nandas and Alexander's troops out of
the way, Chanakya Pandit used every political device and intrigue to
unite the greater portion of the Indian sub-continent. Under the
Prime ministership of Chanakya, King Chandragupta Maurya conquered
all the lands up to Iran in the North west and down to the
extremities of Karnataka or Mysore state in the South. It was by his
wits alone that this skinny and ill-clad brahmana directed the
formation of the greatest Indian empire ever before seen in history
(ie. since the beginning of Kali-yuga). Thus the indigenous Vedic
culture of the sacred land of Bharata was protected and the spiritual
practices of the Hindus could go on unhampered.

Although many great savants of the science of niti such as
Brihaspati, Shukracharya, Bhartrihari and Vishnusharma have echoed
many of these instructions in their own celebrated works, it is
perhaps the way that Chanakya applied his teachings of niti-sastra
that has made him stand out as a significant historical figure. The
great Pandit teaches us that lofty ideals can become a certain
reality if we intelligently work towards achieving our goal in a
determined, progressive and practical manner.

Dr. R. Shamashastry, the translator of the English version of
Kautilya's Artha-Sastra, quotes a prediction from the Vishnu Purana
fourth canto, twenty-fourth chapter, regarding the appearance of
Chanakya Pandit. This prediction, incidentally, was scribed fifty
centuries ago, nearly 2700 years before this political heavyweight
and man of destiny was to appear. The prediction informs us: "(First)
Mahapadma then his sons - only nine in number - will be the lords of
the earth for a hundred years. A brahmana named Kautilya will slay
these Nandas. On their death, the Mauryas will enjoy the earth.
Kautilya himself will install Chandragupta on the throne. His son
will be Bindusara and his son will be Ashokavardhana." Similar
prophecies are also repeated in the Bhagavata, Vayu and Matsya

In presenting this work I have traced out and referred to two old
English versions of Chanakya Niti-sastra published at the close of
the last century.*2 However, these apparently were translated by mere
scholars (not devotees) who seem to have missed many subtleties of
Chanakya's vast wit and wisdom. Another unedited and unpublished
manuscript Chanakya Niti-sastra with both English translation and
Latinised transliteration produced by the Vrndavana ISKCON Centre was
also referred to. It was however the learned Vaisnava pandit and
Sanskrit scholar Sri V. Badarayana Murthy, of the South Indian Madhva
School, who helped me see the depth and import of these verses from
the original Devanagari. A very few slokas which were perhaps
irrelevant or otherwise not useful for our Vaisnava readers have been

I have been told that our blessed spiritual master His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada had expressed a desire that Sri
Chanakya Niti-sastra be properly translated into English. It is hoped
that our present rendering will be at least useful if not instructive
to the reader. Let us examine now in a few words on the science of
niti, or common sense, from the pen of Srila Bhaktivinoda, the great
19th century devotee-pioneer of the worldwide propagation of Lord
Caitanya's divine message.

Taking the two words "common sense" right up to their highest level,
he has written:

"Man's glory is in common sense,
Dictating us the grace,
That man is made to live and love
The beauteous Heaven's embrace"*3

In other words, the real goal of niti, indeed the goal of life, is to
realise one's eternal position of Krishna consciousness. The
Bhagavad-gita confirms Srila Bhaktivinode's view in the final line of
its last sloka: dhruva nitir matir mama. A translation of that full
verse runs: "(Sanjaya said) Wherever there is Krishna the master of
all mystics, and wherever there is Arjuna the supreme archer, there
will also be opulence, victory, extraordinary power and morality
(niti). That is My opinion."

I would especially like to thank Sri Raju Whabi (Rukmini Krishna
dasa) of Bombay for his generous financial contribution. I am also
grateful to Srimati Rani Lila Ram Kumar Bhargava of Lucknow, a
prominent ISKCON Life Member, and her twin sons Lava and Kush of Raja
Ram Kumar Press, for speedily bringing out this volume.

                                                Miles Davis (Patita
                                                Pavana dasa)
                                                Makara Sankranti Day
                                                Pausa Shukla Navami
                                                14th January 1981
                                                Lucknow, India


*       Brihaspati Samhita of Garuda Purana, Shukra-Niti,
        Niti-Shataka and Pancatantra respectively.

*2      Sri K. Raghunathaji's version of "Vriddha-Chanakya - The
        Maxims of Chanakya" (Family Printing Press, Bombay, 1890) has
        proven to be an especially useful reference in bringing out
        this present edition.

*3      Obviously Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura used the word "heaven in
        the English sense meaning "eternal spiritual kingdom."



1. Humbly bowing down before the almighty Lord Sri Vishnu, the Lord
of the three worlds, I recite maxims of the science of political
ethics (niti) selected from various satras.

2. That man who by the study of these maxims from the satras acquires
a knowledge of the most celebrated principles of duty, and
understands what ought and what ought not to be followed, and what is
good and what is bad, is most excellent.

3. Therefore with an eye to the public good, I shall speak that
which, when understood, will lead to an understanding of things in
their proper perspective.

4. Even a pandit comes to grief by giving instruction to a foolish
disciple, by maintaining a wicked wife, and by excessive familiarity
with the miserable.

5. A wicked wife, a false friend, a saucy servant and living in a
house with a serpent in it are nothing but death.

6. One should save his money against hard times, save his wife at the
sacrifice of his riches, but invariably one should save his soul even
at the sacrifice of his wife and riches.

7. Save your wealth against future calamity. Do not say, "What
fear has a rich man of calamity?" When riches begin to forsake
one even the accumulated stock dwindles away.

8. Do not inhabit a country where you are not respected, cannot earn
your livelihood, have no friends, or cannot acquire knowledge.

9. Do not stay for a single day where there are not these five
persons: a wealthy man, a brahmana well versed in Vedic lore, a king,
a river and a physician.

10.Wise men should never go into a country where there are no means
of earning one's livelihood, where the people have no dread of
anybody, have no sense of shame, no intelligence, or a charitable

11.Test a servant while in the discharge of his duty, a relative in
difficulty, a friend in adversity, and a wife in misfortune.

12.He is a true friend who does not forsake us in time of need,
misfortune, famine, or war, in a king's court, or at the crematorium

13.He who gives up what is imperishable for that which perishable,
loses that which is imperishable; and doubtlessly loses that which is
perishable also.

14.A wise man should marry a virgin of a respectable family even if
she is deformed. He should not marry one of a low-class family,
through beauty. Marriage in a family of equal status is preferable.

15.Do not put your trust in rivers, men who carry weapons, beasts
with claws or horns, women, and members of a royal family.

16.Even from poison extract nectar, wash and take back gold if it has
fallen in filth, receive the highest knowledge (Krsna consciousness)
from a low born person; so also a girl possessing virtuous qualities
(stri-ratna) even if she be born in a disreputable family.

17.Women have hunger two-fold, shyness four-fold, daring six-fold,
and lust eight-fold as compared to men.


1. Untruthfulness, rashness, guile, stupidity, avarice, uncleanliness
and cruelty are a women's seven natural flaws.

2. To have ability for eating when dishes are ready at hand, to be
robust and virile in the company of one's religiously wedded wife,
and to have a mind for making charity when one is prosperous are the
fruits of no ordinary austerities.

3. He whose son is obedient to him, whose wife's conduct is in
accordance with his wishes, and who is content with his riches, has
his heaven here on earth.

4. They alone are sons who are devoted to their father. He is a
father who supports his sons. He is a friend in whom we can confide,
and she only is a wife in whose company the husband feels contented
and peaceful.

5. Avoid him who talks sweetly before you but tries to ruin you
behind your back, for he is like a pitcher of poison with milk on

6. Do not put your trust in a bad companion nor even trust an
ordinary friend, for if he should get angry with you, he may bring
all your secrets to light.

7. Do not reveal what you have thought upon doing, but by wise
council keep it secret being determined to carry it into execution.

8. Foolishness is indeed painful, and verily so is youth, but more
painful by far than either is being obliged in another person's

9. There does not exist a ruby in every mountain, nor a pearl in the
head of every elephant; neither are the sadhus to be found
everywhere, nor sandal trees in every forest.

10.Wise men should always bring up their sons in various moral ways,
for children who have knowledge of niti-sastra and are well-behaved
become a glory to their family.

11.Those parents who do not educate their sons are their enemies; for
as is a crane among swans, so are ignorant so are ignorant sons in a
public assembly.

12.Many a bad habit is developed through overindulgence, and many a
good one by chastisement, therefore beat your son as well as your
pupil; never indulge them. ("Spare the rod and spoil the child.")

13.Let not a single day pass without your learning a verse, half a
verse, or a fourth of it, or even one letter of it; nor without
attending to charity, study and other pious activity.

14.Separation from the wife, disgrace from one's own people, an enemy
saved in battle, service to a wicked king, poverty, and a mismanaged
assembly: these six kinds of evils, if afflicting a person, burn him
even without fire.

15.Trees on a river bank, a woman in another man's house, and kings
without counsellors go without doubt to swift destruction.

16.A brahmana's strength is in his learning, a king's strength is in
his army, a vaishya's strength is in his wealth and a shudra's
strength is in his attitude of service.

17.The prostitute has to forsake a man who has no money, the subject
a king that cannot defend him, the birds a tree that bears no fruit,
and the guests a house after they have finished their meals.

18.Brahmanas quit their patrons after receiving alms from them,
scholars leave their teachers after receiving education from them,
and animals desert a forest that has been burnt down.

19.He who befriends a man whose conduct is vicious, whose vision
impure, and who is notoriously crooked, is rapidly ruined.

20.Friendship between equals flourishes, service under a king is
respectable, it is good to be business-minded in public dealings, and
a handsome lady is safe in her own home.


1. In this world, whose family is there without blemish? Who is free
from sickness and grief? Who is forever happy?

2. A man's descent may be discerned by his conduct, his country by
his pronunciation of language, his friendship by his warmth and glow,
and his capacity to eat by his body.

3. Give your daughter in marriage to a good family, engage your son
in learning, see that your enemy comes to grief, and engage your
friends in dharma. (Krsna consciousness).

4. Of a rascal and a serpent, the serpent is the better of the two,
for he strikes only at the time he is destined to kill, while the
former at every step.

5. Therefore kings gather round themselves men of good families, for
they never forsake them either at the beginning, the middle or the

6. At the time of the pralaya (universal destruction) the oceans are
to exceed their limits and seek to change, but a saintly man never

7. Do not keep company with a fool for as we can see he is a
two-legged beast. Like an unseen thorn he pierces the heart with his
sharp words.

8. Though men be endowed with beauty and youth and born in noble
families, yet without education they are like the palasa flower which
is void of sweet fragrance.

9. The beauty of a cuckoo is in its notes, that of a woman in her
unalloyed devotion to her husband, that of an ugly person in his
scholarship, and that of an ascetic in his forgiveness.

10.Give up a member to save a family, a family to save a village, a
village to save a country, and the country to save yourself.

11.There is no poverty for the industrious. Sin does not attach
itself to the person practicing japa (chanting of the holy names of
the Lord). Those who are absorbed in maunam (silent contemplation of
the Lord) have no quarrel with others. They are fearless who remain
always alert.


13.What is too heavy for the strong and what place is too distant for
those who put forth effort? What country is foreign to a man of true
learning? Who can be inimical to one who speaks pleasingly?

14.As a whole forest becomes fragrant by the existence of a single
tree with sweet-smelling blossoms in it, so a family becomes famous
by the birth of a virtuous son.

15.As a single withered tree, if set aflame, causes a whole forest to
burn, so does a rascal son destroy a whole family.

16.As night looks delightful when the moon shines, so is a family
gladdened by even one learned and virtuous son.

17.What is the use of having many sons if they cause grief and
vexation? It is better to have only one son from whom the whole
family can derive support and peacefulness.

18.Fondle a son until he is five years of age, and use the stick for
another ten years, but when he has attained his sixteenth year treat
him as a friend.

19.He who runs away from a fearful calamity, a foreign invasion, a
terrible famine, and the companionship of wicked men is safe.

20 He who has not acquired one of the following: religious merit
(dharma), wealth (artha), satisfaction of desires (kama), or
liberation (moksa) is repeatedly born to die.

21.Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, comes of Her own accord where
fools are not respected, grain is well stored up, and the husband and
wife do not quarrel.


1. These five: the life-span, the type of work, wealth, learning and
the time of one's death are determined while one is in the womb.

2. Offspring, friends and relatives flee from a devotee of the Lord:
yet those who follow him bring merit to their families through their

3. Fish, tortoises, and birds bring up their young by means of sight,
attention and touch; so do saintly men afford protection to their
associates by the same means.

4. As long as your body is healthy and under control and death is
distant, try to save your soul; when death is immanent what can you

5. Learning is like a cow of desire. It, like her, yields in all
seasons. Like a mother, it feeds you on your journey. Therefore
learning is a hidden treasure.

6. A single son endowed with good qualities is far better than a
hundred devoid of them. For the moon, though one, dispels the
darkness, which the stars, though numerous, can not.

7. A still-born son os superior to a foolish son endowed with a long
life. The first causes grief for but a moment while the latter like a
blazing fire consumes his parents in grief for life.

8. Residing in a small village devoid of proper living facilities,
serving a person born of a low family, unwholesome food, a frowning
wife, a foolish son, and a widowed daughter burn the body without

9. What good is a cow that neither gives milk nor conceives?
Similarly, what is the value of the birth of a son if he becomes
neither learned nor a pure devotee of the Lord?

10.When one is consumed by the sorrows of life, three things give him
relief: offspring, a wife, and the company of the Lord's devotees.

11.Kings speak for once, men of learning once, and the daughter is
given in marriage once. All these things happen once and only once.

12.Religious austerities should be practiced alone, study by two, and
singing by three. A journey should be undertaken by four, agriculture
by five, and war by many together.

13.She is a true wife who is clean (suci), expert, chaste, pleasing
to the husband, and truthful.

14.The house of a childless person is a void, all directions are void
to one who has no relatives, the heart of a fool is also void, but to
a poverty stricken man all is void.

15.Scriptural lessons not put into practice are poison; a meal is
poison to him who suffers from indigestion; a social gathering is
poison to a poverty stricken person; and a young wife is poison to an
aged man.

16.That man who is without religion and mercy should be rejected. A
guru without spiritual knowledge should be rejected. The wife with an
offensive face should be given up, and so should relatives who are
without affection.

17.Constant travel brings old age upon a man; a horse becomes old by
being constantly tied up; lack of sexual contact with her husband
brings old age upon a woman; and garments become old through being
left in the sun.

18.Consider again and again the following: the right time, the right
friends, the right place, the right means of income, the right ways
of spending, and from whom you derive your power.

19.For the twice-born the fire (Agni) is a representative of God. The
Supreme Lord resides in the heart of His devotees. Those of average
intelligence (alpa-buddhi or kanista-adhikari) see God only in His
sri-murti, but those of broad vision see the Supreme Lord everywhere.


1. Agni is the worshipable person for the twice-born; the brahmana
for the other castes; the husband for the wife; and the guest who
comes for food at the midday meal for all.

2. As gold is tested in four ways by rubbing, cutting, heating and
beating -- so a man should be tested by these four things: his
renunciation, his conduct, his qualities and his actions.

3. A thing may be dreaded as long as it has not overtaken you, but
once it has come upon you, try to get rid of it without hesitation.

4. Though persons be born from the same womb and under the same
stars, they do not become alike in disposition as the thousand fruits
of the badari tree.

5. He whose hands are clean does not like to hold an office; he who
desires nothing cares not for bodily decorations; he who is only
partially educated cannot speak agreeably; and he who speaks out
plainly cannot be a deceiver.

6. The learned are envied by the foolish; rich men by the poor;
chaste women by adulteresses; and beautiful ladies by ugly ones.

7. Indolent application ruins study; money is lost when entrusted to
others; a farmer who sows his seed sparsely is ruined; and an army is
lost for want of a commander.

8. Learning is retained through putting into practice; family
prestige is maintained through good behaviour; a respectable person
is recognised by his excellent qualities; and anger is seen in the

9. Religion is preserved by wealth; knowledge by diligent practice; a
king by conciliatory words; and a home by a dutiful housewife.

10.Those who blaspheme Vedic wisdom, who ridicule the life style
recommended in the satras, and who deride men of peaceful
temperament, come to grief unnecessarily.

11.Charity puts and end to poverty; righteous conduct to misery;
discretion to ignorance; and scrutiny to fear.

12.There is no disease (so destructive) as lust; no enemy like
infatuation; no fire like wrath; and no happiness like spiritual

13.A man is born alone and dies alone; and he experiences the good
and bad consequences of his karma alone; and he goes alone to hell or
the Supreme abode.

14.Heaven is but a straw to him who knows spiritual life (Krsna
consciousness); so is life to a valiant man; a woman to him who has
subdued his senses; and the universe to him who is without attachment
for the world.

15.Learning is a friend on the journey; a wife in the house; medicine
in sickness; and religious merit is the only friend after death.

16.Rain which falls upon the sea is useless; so is food for one who
is satiated; in vain is a gift for one who is wealthy; and a burning
lamp during the daytime is useless.

17.There is no water like rainwater; no strength like one's own; no
light like that of the eyes; and no wealth more dear than food grain.

18.The poor wish for wealth; animals for the faculty of speech; men
wish for heaven; and godly persons for liberation.

19.The earth is supported by the power of truth; it is the power of
truth that makes the sun shine and the winds blow; indeed all things
rest upon truth.

20.The Goddess of wealth is unsteady (chanchala), and so is the life
breath. The duration of life is uncertain, and the place of
habitation is uncertain; but in all this inconsistent world religious
merit alone is immovable.

21.Among men the barber is cunning; among birds the crow; among
beasts the jackal; and among women, the malin (flower girl).

22.These five are your fathers; he who gave you birth, girdled you
with sacred thread, teaches you, provides you with food, and protects
you from fearful situations.

23.These five should be considered as mothers; the king's wife, the
preceptor's wife, the friend's wife, your wife's mother, and your own


1. By means of hearing one understands dharma, malignity vanishes,
knowledge is acquired, and liberation from material bondage is

2. Among birds the crow is vile; among beasts the dog; the ascetic
whose sins is abominable, but he who blasphemes others is the worst

3. Brass is polished by ashes; copper is cleaned by tamarind; a
woman, by her menses; and a river by its flow.

4. The king, the brahmana, and the ascetic yogi who go abroad are
respected; but the woman who wanders is utterly ruined.

5. He who has wealth has friends. He who is wealthy has relatives.
The rich one alone is called a man, and the affluent alone are
respected as pandits.

6. As is the desire of Providence, so functions one's intellect;
one's activities are also controlled by Providence; and by the will
of Providence one is surrounded by helpers.

7. Time perfects all living beings as well as kills them; it alone is
awake when all others are asleep. Time is insurmountable.

8. Those born blind cannot see; similarly blind are those in the grip
of lust. Proud men have no perception of evil; and those bent on
acquiring riches see no sin in their actions.

9. The spirit soul goes through his own course of karma and he
himself suffers the good and bad results thereby accrued. By his own
actions he  entangles himself in samsara, and by his own efforts he
extricates himself.

10.The king is obliged to accept the sins of his subjects; the
purohit (priest) suffers for those of the king; a husband suffers for
those of his wife; and the guru suffers for those of his pupils.

11.A father who is a chronic debtor, an adulterous mother, a
beautiful wife, and an unlearned son are enemies ( in one's own

12.Conciliate a covetous man by means of a gift, an obstinate man
with folded hands in salutation, a fool by humouring him, and a
learned man by truthful words.

13.It is better to be without a kingdom than to rule over a petty
one; better to be without a friend than to befriend a rascal; better
to be without a disciple than to have a stupid one; and better to be
without a wife than to have a bad one.

14.How can people be made happy in a petty kingdom? What peace can we
expect from a rascal friend? What happiness can we have at home in
the company of a bad wife? How can renown be gained by instructing an
unworthy disciple?

15.Learn one thing from a lion; one from a crane; four a cock; five
from a crow; six from a dog; and three from an ass.

16.The one excellent thing that can be learned from a lion is that
whatever a man intends doing should be done by him with a
whole-hearted and strenuous effort.

17.The wise man should restrain his senses like the crane and
accomplish his purpose with due knowledge of his place, time and

18.To wake at the proper time; to take a bold stand and fight; to
make a fair division (of property) among relations; and to earn
one's own bread by personal exertion are the four excellent things
to be learned from a cock.

19.Union in privacy (with one's wife); boldness; storing away useful
items; watchfulness; and not easily trusting others; these five
things are to be learned from a crow.

20.Contentment with little or nothing to eat although one may have a
great appetite; to awaken instantly although one may be in a deep
slumber; unflinching devotion to the master; and bravery; these six
qualities should be learned from the dog.

21.Although an ass is tired, he continues to carry his burden; he is
unmindful of cold and heat; and he is always contented; these three
things should be learned from the ass.

22.He who shall practice these twenty virtues shall become
invincible in all his undertakings.


1. A wise man should not reveal his loss of wealth, the vexation of
his mind, the misconduct of his own wife, base words spoken by
others, and disgrace that has befallen him.

2. He who gives up shyness in monetary dealings, in acquiring
knowledge, in eating and in business, becomes happy.

3. The happiness and peace attained by those satisfied by the nectar
of spiritual tranquillity is not attained by greedy persons
restlessly moving here and there.

4. One should feel satisfied with the following three things; his
own wife, food given by Providence and wealth acquired by honest
effort; but one should never feel satisfied with the following
three; study, chanting the holy names of the Lord (japa) and charity.

5. Do not pass between two brahmanas, between a brahmana and his
sacrificial fire, between a wife and her husband, a master and his
servant, and a plough and an ox.

6. Do not let your foot touch fire, the spiritual master or a
brahmana; it must never touch a cow, a virgin, an old person or a

7. Keep one thousand cubits away from an elephant, a hundred from a
horse, ten from a horned beast, but keep away from the wicked by
leaving the country.

8. An elephant is controlled by a goad (ankusha), a horse by a slap
of the hand, a horned animal with the show of a stick, and a rascal
with a sword.

9. Brahmanas find satisfaction in a good meal, peacocks in the peal
of thunder, a sadhu in seeing the prosperity of others, and the
wicked in the misery of others.

10.Conciliate a strong man by submission, a wicked man by
opposition, and the one whose power is equal to yours by politeness
or force.

11.The power of a king lies in his mighty arms; that of a brahmana
in his spiritual knowledge; and that of a woman in her beauty youth
and sweet words.

12.Do not be very upright in your dealings for you would see by
going to the forest that straight trees are cut down while crooked
ones are left standing.

13.Swans live wherever there is water, and leave the place where
water dries up; let not a man act so -- and come and goas he pleases.

14.Accumulated wealth is saved by spending just as incoming fresh
water is saved by letting out stagnant water.

15.He who has wealth has friends and relations; he alone survives
and is respected as a man.

16.The following four characteristics of the denizens of heaven may
be seen in the residents of this earth planet; charity, sweet words,
worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and satisfying the
needs of brahmanas.

17.The following qualities of the denizens of hell may characterise
men on earth; extreme wrath, harsh speech, enmity with one's
relations, the company with the base, and service to men of low

18.By going to the den of a lion pearls from the head of an elephant
may be obtained; but by visiting the hole of a jackal nothing but
the tail of a calf or a bit of the hide of an ass may found.

19.The life of an uneducated man is as useless as the tail of a dog
which neither covers its rear end, nor protects it from the bites of

20.Purity of speech, of the mind, of the senses, and the of a
compassionate heart are needed by one who desires to rise to the
divine platform.

21.As you seek fragrance in a flower, oil in the sesamum seed, fire
in wood, ghee in milk, and jaggery (guda) in sugarcane; so seek the
spirit that is in the body by means of discrimination.


1. Low class men desire wealth; middle class men both wealth and
respect; but the noble, honour only; hence honour is the noble man's
true wealth.

2. ...

3. The lamp eats up the darkness and therefore it produces lamp
black; in the same way according to the nature of our diet (sattva,
rajas, or  tamas) we produce offspring in similar quality.

4. O wise man! Give your wealth only to the worthy and never to
others. The water of the sea received by the clouds is always sweet.
The rain water enlivens all living beings of the earth both movable
(insects, animals, humans, etc.) and immovable (plants, trees,
etc.), and then returns to the ocean it value multiplied a million

5. The wise who discern the essence of things have declared that the
yavana (meat eater) is equal in baseness to a thousand candalas the
lowest class), and hence a yavana is the basest of men; indeed there
is no one more base.

6. After having rubbed oil on the body, after encountering the smoke
from a funeral pyre, after sexual intercourse, and after being
shaved, one remains a chandala until he bathes.

7. Water is the medicine for indigestion; it is invigorating when
the food that is eaten is well digested; it is like nectar when
drunk in the middle of a dinner; and it is like poison when taken at
the end of a meal.

8. Knowledge is lost without putting it into practice; a man is lost
due to ignorance; an army is lost without a commander; and a woman
is lost without a husband.

9. A man who encounters the following three is unfortunate; the
death of his wife in his old  age, the entrusting of money into the
hands of relatives, and depending upon others for food.

10.Chanting of the Vedas without making ritualistic sacrifices to
the Supreme Lord through the medium of Agni, and sacrifices not
followed by bountiful gifts are futile. Perfection can be achieved
only through devotion (to the Supreme Lord) for devotion is the
basis of all success.



13.There is no austerity equal to a balanced mind, and there is no
happiness equal to contentment; there is no disease like
covetousness, and no virtue like mercy.

14.Anger is a personification of Yama (the demigod of death); thirst
is like the hellish river Vaitarani; knowledge is like a kamadhenu
(the cow of plenty); and contentment is like Nandanavana (the garden
of Indra).

15.Moral excellence is an ornament for personal beauty; righteous
conduct, for high birth; success for learning; and proper spending
for wealth.

16.Beauty is spoiled by an immoral nature; noble birth by bad
conduct; learning, without being perfected; and wealth by not being
properly utilised.

17.Water seeping into the earth is pure; and a devoted wife is pure;
the king who is the benefactor of his people is pure; and pure is
the brahmana who is contented.

18.Discontented brahmanas, contented kings, shy prostitutes, and
immodest housewives are ruined.

19.Of what avail is a high birth if a person is destitute of
scholarship? A man who is of low extraction is honoured even y the
demigods if he is learned.

20.A learned man is honoured by the people. A learned man commands
respect everywhere for his learning. Indeed, learning is honoured

21.those who are endowed with beauty and youth and who are born of
noble families are worthless if they have no learning. They are just
like the kimshuka blossoms ( flowers of the palasa tree) which,
though beautiful, have no fragrance.

22.The earth is encumbered with the weight of the flesh-eaters,
wine-bibblers, dolts and blockheads, who are beasts in the form of

23.There is no enemy like a yajna (sacrifice) which consumes the
kingdom when not attended by feeding on a large scale; consumes the
priest when the chanting is not done properly; and consumes the
yajaman (the responsible person) when the gifts are not made.


1. My dear child, if you desire to be free from the cycle of birth
and death, then abandon the objects of sense gratification as
poison. Drink instead the nectar of forbearance, upright conduct,
mercy, cleanliness and truth.

2. Those base men who speak of the secret faults of others destroy
themselves like serpents who stray onto anthills.

3. Perhaps nobody has advised Lord Brahma, the creator, to impart
perfume to gold; fruit to the sugarcane; flowers to the sandalwood
tree; wealth to the learned; and long life to the king.

4. Nectar (amrita) is the best among medicines; eating good food is
the best of all types of material happiness; the eye is the chief
among all organs; and the head occupies the chief position among all
parts of the body.

5. No messenger can travel about in the sky and no tidings come from
there. The voice of its inhabitants as never heard, nor can any
contact be established with them. Therefore the brahmana who
predicts the eclipse of the sun and moon which occur in the sky must
be considered as a vidwan (man of great learning).

6. The student, the servant, the traveller, the hungry person, the
frightened man, the treasury guard, and the steward: these seven
ought to be awakened if they fall asleep.

7. The serpent, the king, the tiger, the stinging wasp, the small
child, the dog owned by other people, and the fool: these seven
ought not to be awakened from sleep.

8. Of those who have studied the Vedas for material rewards, and
those who accept foodstuffs offered by shudras, what potency have
they? They are just like serpents without fangs.

9. He who neither rouses fear by his anger, nor confers a favour
when he is pleased can neither control nor protect. What can he do?

10.The serpent may, without being poisonous, raise high its hood,
but the show of terror is enough to frighten people -- whether he be
venomous or not.

11.Wise men spend their mornings in discussing gambling, the
afternoon discussing the activities of women, and the night hearing
about the activities of theft. (The first item above refers to the
gambling of King Yuddhisthira, the great devotee of Krsna. The
second item refers to the glorious deeds of mother Sita, the consort
of Lord Ramachandra. The third item hints at the adorable childhood
pastimes of Sri Krsna who stole butter from the elderly cowherd
ladies of Gokula. Hence Chanakya Pandita advises wise persons to
spend the morning absorbed in Mahabharata, the afternoon studying
Ramayana, and the evening devotedly hearing the Srimad-Bhagvatam.)

12.By preparing a garland for a Deity with one's own hand; by
grinding sandal paste for the Lord with one's own hand; and by
writing sacred texts with one's own hand -- one becomes blessed with
opulence equal to that of Indra.


14.Poverty is set off by fortitude; shabby garments by keeping them
clean; bad food by warming it; and ugliness by good behaviour.


1. One destitute of wealth is not destitute, he is indeed rich (if
he is learned); but the man devoid of learning is destitute in every

2. We should carefully scrutinise that place upon which we step
(having it ascertained to be free from filth and living creatures
like insects, etc.); we should drink water which has been filtered
(through a clean cloth); we should speak only those words which have
the sanction of the satras; and do that act which we have carefully

3. He who desires sense gratification must give up all thoughts of
acquiring knowledge; and he who seeks knowledge must not hope for
sense gratification. How can he who seeks sense gratification
acquire knowledge, and he who possesses knowledge enjoy mundane
sense pleasure?

4. What is it that escapes the observation of poets? What is that
act women are incapable of doing? What will drunken people not
prate? What will not a crow eat?

5. Fate makes a beggar a king and a king a beggar. He makes a rich
man poor and a poor man rich.

6. The beggar is a miser's enemy; the wise counsellor is the fool's
enemy; her husband is an adulterous wife's enemy; and the moon is
the enemy of the thief.

7. Those who are destitute of learning, penance, knowledge, good
disposition, virtue and benevolence are brutes wandering the earth
in the form of men. They are burdensome to the earth.

8. Those that are empty-minded cannot be benefited by instruction.
Bamboo does not acquire the quality of sandalwood by being
associated with the Malaya Mountain.

9. What good can the scriptures do to a man who has no sense of his
own? Of what use is as mirror to a blind man?

10.Nothing can reform a bad man, just as the posterious cannot
become a superior part of the body though washed one hundred times.

11.By offending a kinsman, life is lost; by offending others, wealth
is lost; by offending the king, everything is lost; and by offending
a brahmana one's whole family is ruined.

12.It is better to live under a tree in a jungle inhabited by tigers
and elephants, to maintain oneself in such a place with ripe fruits
and spring water, to lie down on grass and to wear the ragged barks
of trees than to live amongst one's relations when reduced to poverty.

13.The brahmana is like tree; his prayers are the roots, his
chanting of the Vedas are the branches, and his religious act are
the leaves. Consequently effort should be made to preserve his roots
for if the roots are destroyed there can be no branches or leaves.

14.My mother is Kamala devi (Lakshmi), my father is Lord Janardana
(Vishnu), my kinsmen are the Vishnu-bhaktas (Vaisnavas) and, my
homeland is all the three worlds.

15.(Through the night) a great many kinds of birds perch on a tree
but in the morning they fly in all the ten directions. Why should we
lament for that? (Similarly, we should not grieve when we must
inevitably part company from our dear ones).

16.He who possesses intelligence is strong; how can the man that is
unintelligent be powerful? The elephant of the forest having lost
his senses by intoxication was tricked into a lake by a small
rabbit. (this verse refers to a famous story from the niti-sastra
 called pancatantra compiled by the pandit Vishnusharma 2500 years

17.Why should I be concerned for my maintenance while absorbed in
praising the glories of Lord Vishwambhara (Vishnu), the supporter of
all. Without the grace of Lord Hari, how could milk flow from a
mother's breast for a child's nourishment? Repeatedly thinking only
in this way, O Lord of the Yadus, O husband of Lakshmi, all my time
is spent in serving Your lotus feet.

18. ...

19. ...

20. ...


1. Generosity, pleasing address, courage and propriety of conduct
are not acquired, but are inbred qualities.

2. He who forsakes his own community and joins another perishes as
the king who embraces an unrighteous path.

3. The elephant has a huge body but is controlled by the ankusha
(goad): yet, is the goad as large as the elephant? A lighted candle
banishes darkness: is the candle as vast as the darkness. A mountain
is broken even by a thunderbolt: is the thunderbolt therefore as big
as the mountain? No, he whose power prevails is really mighty; what
is there in bulk?

4. ...

5. He who is engrossed in family life will never acquire knowledge;
there can be no mercy in the eater of flesh; the greedy man will not
be truthful; and purity will not be found in a woman a hunter.

6. The wicked man will not attain sanctity even if he is instructed
in different ways, and the nim tree will not become sweet even if it
is sprinkled from the top to the roots with milk and ghee.

7. Mental dirt cannot be washed away even by one-hundred baths in
the sacred waters, just as a wine pot cannot be purified even by
evaporating all the wine by fire.

8. It is not strange if a man reviles a thing of which he has no
knowledge, just as a wild hunter's wife throws away the  pearl that
is found in the head of an elephant, and picks up a gunj(a type of
seed which poor tribals wear as ornaments).

9. He who for one year eats his meals silently (inwardly meditating
upon the Lord's prasadam); attains to the heavenly planets for a
thousand crore of years. ( Note: one crore equals ten million)

10.The student (brahmacari) should completely renounce the following
eight things -- his lust, anger, greed, desire for sweets, sense of
decorating the body, excessive curiosity, excessive sleep, and
excessive endeavour for bodily maintenance.


12.He alone is a true brahmana (dvija or "twice-born") who is
satisfied with one meal a day, who has the six samskaras (or acts of
purification such as garbhadhana, etc.) performed for him, and who
cohabits with his wife only once in a month on an auspicious day
after her menses.

13.The brahmana who is engrossed in worldly affairs, brings up cows
and is engaged in trade is really called a vaishya.

14.The brahmana who deals in lac-die, articles, oil, indigo, silken
cloth, honey, clarified butter, liquor, and flesh is called a shudra.

15.The brahmana who thwarts the doings of others, who is
hypocritical, selfish, and a deceitful hater, and while speaking
mildly cherishes cruelty in his heart, is called a cat.

16.The brahmana who destroys a pond, a well, a tank, a garden and a
temple is called a mleccha.

17.The brahmana who steals the property of the Deities and the
spiritual preceptor, who cohabits with another's wife, and who
maintains himself by eating anything and everything s called a

18.The meritorious should give away in charity all that they have in
excess of their needs. By charity only Karna, Bali and King
Vikramaditya survive even today. Just see the plight of the
honeybees beating their legs in despair upon the earth. They are
saying to themselves, "Alas! We neither enjoyed our stored-up  honey
nor gave it in charity, and now someone has taken it from us in an


1. He is a blessed grhasta (householder) in whose house there is a
blissful atmosphere, whose sons are talented, whose wife speaks
sweetly, whose wealth is enough to satisfy his desires, who finds
pleasure in the company of his wife, whose servants are obedient, in
whose house hospitality is shown, the auspicious Supreme Lord is
worshiped daily, delicious food and drink is partaken, and who finds
joy in the company of devotees.

2. One who devotedly gives a little to a brahmana who is in distress
is recompensed abundantly. Hence, O Prince, what is given to a good
brahmana is got back not in an equal quantity, but in an infinitely
higher degree.

3. Those men who are happy in this world, who are generous towards
their relatives, kind to strangers, indifferent to the wicked,
loving to the good, shrewd in their dealings with the base, frank
with the learned, courageous with enemies, humble with elders and
stern with the wife.

4. O jackal, leave aside the body of that man at once, whose hands
have never given in charity, whose ears have not heard the voice of
learning, whose eyes have not beheld a pure devotee of the Lord,
whose feet have never traversed to holy places, whose belly is
filled with things obtained by crooked practices, and whose head is
held high in vanity. Do not eat it, O jackal, otherwise you will
become polluted.

5. "Shame upon those who have no devotion to the lotus feet of Sri
Krsna, the son of mother Yasoda; who have no attachment for the
describing the glories of Srimati Radharani; whose ears are not
eager to listen to the stories of the Lord's lila." Such is the
exclamation of the mrdanga sound of dhik-tam dhik-tam dhigatam  at

6. What fault of spring that the bamboo shoot has no leaves? What
fault of the sun if the owl cannot see during the daytime? Is it the
fault of the clouds if no raindrops fall into the mouth of the
chatak bird? Who can erase what Lord Brahma has inscribed upon our
foreheads at the time of birth?

7. A wicked man may develop saintly qualities in the company of a
devotee, but a devotee does not become impious in the company of a
wicked person. The earth is scented by a flower that falls upon it,
but the flower does not contact the odour of the earth.

8. One indeed becomes blessed by having darshan of a devotee; for
the devotee has the ability to purify immediately, whereas the
sacred tirtha gives purity only after prolonged contact.

9. A stranger asked a brahmana, "Tell me, who is great in this
city?" The brahmana replied, "The cluster of palmyra trees is
great." Then the traveller asked, "Who is the most charitable
person?" The brahmana answered, "The washerman who takes the clothes
in the morning and gives them back in the evening is the most
charitable." He then asked, "Who is the ablest man?" The brahmana
answered, "Everyone is expert in robbing others of their wives and
wealth." The man hen asked the brahmana, "How do you manage to live
in such a city?" The brahmana replied, "As a worm survives while
even in a filthy place so do I survive here!"

10.The house in which the lotus feet of brahmanas are not washed, in
which Vedic mantras are not loudly recited, and in which the holy
rites of svaha (sacrificial offerings to the Supreme Lord) and
swadha (offerings to the ancestors) are not performed, is like a

11.(It is said that a sadhu, when asked about his family, replied
thusly): truth is my mother, and my father is spiritual knowledge;
righteous conduct is my brother, and mercy is my friend, inner peace
is my wife, and forgiveness is my son: these six are my kinsmen.

12.Our bodies are perishable, wealth is not at all permanent and
death is always nearby. Therefore we must immediately engage in acts
of merit.

13.Arjuna says to Krsna. "Brahmanas find joy in going to feasts,
cows find joy in eating their tender grass, wives find joy in the
company of their husbands, and know, O Krsna, that in the same way I
rejoice in battle.

14.He who regards another's wife as his mother, the wealth that does
not belong to him as a lump of mud, and the pleasure and pain of all
other living beings as his own -- truly sees things in the right
perspective, and he is a true pandit.

15.O Raghava, the love of virtue, pleasing speech, and an ardent
desire for performing acts of charity, guileless dealings with
friends, humility in the guru's presence , deep tranquillity of
mind, pure conduct, discernment of virtues, realised knowledge of
the sastras, beauty of form and devotion to God are all found in
you." (The great sage Vasistha Muni, the spiritual preceptor of the
dynasty of the sun, said this to Lord Ramachandra at the time of His
proposed coronation).

16.The desire tree is wood; the golden Mount Meru is motionless; the
wish-fulfilling gem cintamani is just a stone; the sun is scorching;
the moon is prone to wane; the boundless ocean is saline; the
demigod of lust lost his body (due to Shiva's wrath); Bali Maharaja,
the son of Diti, was born into a clan of demons; and Kamadhenu (the
cow of heaven) is a mere beast. O Lord of the Raghu dynasty! I
cannot compare you to any one of these (taking their merits into

17.Realised learning (vidya) is our friend while travelling , the
wife is a friend at home, medicine is the friend of a sick man, and
meritorious deeds are the friends at death.

18.Courtesy should be learned from princes, the art of conversation
from pandits, lying should be learned from gamblers and deceitful
ways should be learned from women.

19.The unthinking spender, the homeless urchin, the quarrel monger,
the man who neglects his wife and is heedless in his actions -- all
these will soon come to ruination.

20.The wise man should not be anxious about his food; he should be
anxious to be engaged only in dharma (Krsna consciousness). the food
of each man is created for him at his birth.

21.He who is not shy in the acquisition of wealth, grain and
knowledge, and in taking his meals, will be happy

22.As centesimal droppings will fill a pot so also are knowledge,
virtue and wealth gradually obtained.

23.The man who remains a fool even in advanced age is really a fool,
just as the Indra-Varuna fruit does not become sweet no matter how
ripe it might become.


1. A man may live but for a moment, but that moment should be spent
in doing auspicious deeds. It is useless living even for a kalpa
(4,320,000 *1000 years) and bringing only distress upon the two
worlds (this world and the next).

2. We should not fret for what is past, nor should we be anxious
about the future; men of discernment deal only with the present

3. It certainly is nature of the demigods, men of good character,
and parents to be easily pleased. Near and distant relatives are
pleased when they are hospitably received with bathing, food, and
drink; and pandits are pleased with an opportunity for giving
spiritual discourse.

4  Even as the unborn babe is in the  womb of his mother, these five
are fixed as his life destiny: his life span, his activities, his
acquisition of wealth and knowledge, and his time of death.

5. O see what a wonder it is! The doings of the great are strange:
they treat wealth as light as a straw, yet, when they obtain it,
they bend under its weight.

6. He who is overly attached to his family members experiences fear
and sorrow, for the root of all grief is attachment. Thus one should
discard attachment to be happy.

7. He who is prepared for the future and he who deals cleverly with
any situation that may arise are both happy; but the fatalistic man
who wholly depends on luck is ruined.

8. If the king is virtuous, then the subjects are also virtuous. If
the king is sinful, then the subjects also become sinful. If he is
mediocre, then the subjects are mediocre. The subjects follow the
example of the king. In short, as is the king so are the subjects.

9. I consider him who does not act religiously as dead though
living, but he who dies acting religiously unquestionably lives long
though he is dead.

10.He who has acquired neither virtue, wealth, satisfaction of
desires nor salvation (dharma, artha, kama, moksa), lives an utterly
useless life, like the "nipples" hanging from the neck of a goat.

11.The hearts of base men burn before the fire of other's fame, and
they slander them being themselves unable to rise to such a high

12.Excessive attachment to sense pleasures leads to bondage, and
detachment from sense pleasures leads to liberation; therefore it is
the mind alone that is responsible for bondage or liberation.

13.He who sheds bodily identification by means of knowledge of the
indwelling Supreme Self (Paramatma), will always be absorbed in
meditative trance (samadhi) wherever his mind leads him.

14.Who realises all the happiness he desires? Everything is in the
hands of God. Therefore one should learn contentment.

15.As a calf follows its mother among a thousand cows, so the (good
or bad) deeds of a man follow him.

16.He whose actions are disorganised has no happiness either in the
midst of men or in a jungle -- in the midst of men his heart burns
by social contacts, and his helplessness burns him in the forest.

17.As the man who digs obtains underground water by use of a shovel,
so the student attains the knowledge possessed by his preceptor
through his service.

18.Men reap the fruits of their deeds, and intellects bear the mark
of deeds performed in previous lives; even so the wise act after due

19.Even the man who has taught the spiritual significance of just
one letter ought to be worshiped. He who does not give reverence to
such a guru is born as a dog a hundred times, and at last takes
birth as a chandala (dog-eater).

20.At the end of the yuga, Mount Meru may be shaken; at the end of
the  kalpa, the waters of the seven oceans may be disturbed; but a
sadhu will never swerve from the spiritual path.

21.There are three gems upon this earth; food, water, and pleasing
words -- fools (mudhas) consider pieces of rocks as gems.


1. Poverty, disease, sorrow, imprisonment and other evils are the
fruits borne by the tree of one's own sins.

2. Wealth, a friend, a wife, and a kingdom may be regained; but this
body when lost may never be acquired again.

3. The enemy can be overcome by the union of large numbers, just as
grass through its collectiveness wards off erosion caused by heavy

4. Oil on water, a secret communicated to a base man, a gift given
to a worthy receiver, and scriptural instruction given to an
intelligent man spread out by virtue of their nature.

5. If men should always retain the state of mind they experience
when hearing religious instruction, when present at a crematorium
ground, and when in sickness -- then who could not attain liberation.

6. If a man should feel before, as he feels after, repentance --
then who would not attain perfection?

7. We should not feel pride in our charity, austerity, valour,
scriptural knowledge, modesty and morality for the world is full of
the rarest gems.

8. He who lives in our mind is near though he may actually be far
away; but he who is not in our heart is far though he may really be

9. We should always speak what would please the man of whom we
expect a favour, like the hunter who sings sweetly when he desires
to shoot a deer.

10.It is ruinous to be familiar with the king, fire, the religious
preceptor, and a woman. To be altogether indifferent of them is to
be deprived of the opportunity to benefit ourselves, hence our
association with them must be from a safe distance.

11.We should always deal cautiously with fire, water, women, foolish
people, serpents, and members of a royal family; for they may, when
the occasion presents itself, at once bring about our death.

12.He should be considered to be living who is virtuous and pious,
but the life of a man who is destitute of religion and virtues is
void of any blessing.

13.If you wish to gain control of the world by the performance of a
single deed, then keep the following fifteen, which are prone to
wander here and there, from getting the upper hand of you: the five
sense objects (objects of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch);
the five sense organs (ears, eyes, nose, tongue and skin) and organs
of activity (hands, legs, mouth, genitals and anus).

14.He is a pandit (man of knowledge) who speaks what is suitable to
the occasion, who renders loving service according to his ability,
and who knows the limits of his anger.

15 One single object (a woman) appears in three different ways: to
the man who practices austerity it appears as a corpse, to the
sensual it appears as a woman, and to the dogs as a lump of flesh.

16.A wise man should not divulge the formula of a medicine which he
has well prepared; an act of charity which he has performed;
domestic conflicts; private affairs with his wife; poorly prepared
food he may have been offered; or slang he may have heard.

17.The cuckoos remain silent for a long time (for several seasons)
until they are able to sing sweetly (in the Spring ) so as to give
joy to all.

18.We should secure and keep the following: the blessings of
meritorious deeds, wealth, grain, the words of the spiritual master,
and rare medicines. Otherwise life becomes impossible.

19.Eschew wicked company and associate with saintly persons. Acquire
virtue day and night, and always meditate on that which is eternal
forgetting that which is temporary.


1. For one whose heart melts with compassion for all creatures; what
is the necessity of knowledge, liberation, matted hair on the head,
and smearing the body with ashes.

2. There is no treasure on earth the gift of which will cancel the
debt a disciple owes his guru for having taught him even a single
letter ( that leads to Krsna consciousness).

3. There are two ways to get rid of thorns and wicked persons; using
footwear in the first case and in the second shaming them so that
they cannot raise their faces again thus keeping them at a distance.

4. He who wears unclean garments, has dirty teeth, as a glutton,
speaks unkindly and sleeps after sunrise -- although he may be the
greatest personality -- will lose the favour of Lakshmi.

5. He who loses his money is forsaken by his friends, his wife, his
servants and his relations; yet when he regains his riches those who
have forsaken him come back to him. Hence wealth is certainly the
best of relations.

6. Sinfully acquired wealth may remain for ten years; in the
eleventh year it disappears with even the original stock.

7. A bad action committed by a great man is not censured (as there
is none that can reproach him), and a good action performed by a
low-class man comes to be condemned (because none respects him).
Just see: the drinking of nectar is excellent, but it became the
cause of Rahu's demise; and the drinking of poison is harmful, but
when Lord Shiva (who is exalted) drank it, it became an ornament to
his neck (nila-kanta).

8. A true meal is that which consists of the remnants left after a
brahmana's meal. Love which is shown to others is true love, not
that which is cherished for one's own self. to abstain from sin is
true wisdom. That is an act of charity which is performed without

9. For want of discernment the most precious jewels lie in the dust
at the feet of men while bits of glass are worn on their heads. But
we should not imagine that the gems have sunk in value, and the bits
of glass have risen in importance. When a person of critical
judgement shall appear, each will be given its right position.

10.Sastric knowledge is unlimited, and the arts to be learned are
many; the time we have is short, and our opportunities to learn are
beset with obstacles. Therefore select for learning that which is
most important, just as the swan drinks only the milk in water.

11.He is a chandala who eats his dinner without entertaining the
stranger who has come to his house quite accidentally, having
travelled from a long distance and is wearied.

12.One may know the four Vedas and the Dharma-sastras, yet if he has
no realisation of his own spiritual self, he can be said to be like
the ladle which stirs all kinds of foods but knows not the taste of

13.Those blessed souls are certainly elevated who, while crossing
the ocean of life, take shelter of a genuine brahmana, who is
likened unto a boat. They are unlike passengers aboard an ordinary
ship which runs the risk of sinking.

14.The moon, who is the abode of nectar and the presiding deity of
all medicines, although immortal like amrta and resplendent  in
form, loses the brilliance of his rays when he repairs to the abode
of the sun (day time). Therefore will not an ordinary man be made to
feel inferior by going to live at the house of another.

15.This humble bee, who always resides among the soft petals of the
lotus and drinks abundantly its sweet nectar, is now feasting on the
flower of the ordinary kutaja. Being in a strange country where the
lotuses do not exist, he is considering the pollen of the kutaja to
be nice.

16.(Lord Visnu asked His spouse Lakshmi why She did not care to live
in the house of a brahmana, when She replied) " O Lord a rishi named
Agastya drank up My father (the ocean) in anger; Brighu Muni kicked
You; brahmanas pride themselves on their learning having sought the
favour of My competitor Sarasvati; and lastly they pluck each day
the lotus which is My abode, and therewith worship Lord Shiva.
Therefore, O Lord, I fear to dwell with a brahmana and that properly.

17.There are many ways of binding by which one can be dominated and
controlled in this world, but the bond of affection is the
strongest. For example, take the case of the humble bee which,
although expert at piercing hardened wood, becomes caught in the
embrace of its beloved flowers (as the petals close at dusk).

18.Although sandalwood be cut, it does not forsake  its natural
quality of fragrance; so also the elephant does not give up
sportiveness though he should grow old. The sugarcane does not cease
to be sweet though squeezed in a mill; so the man of noble
extraction does not lose his lofty qualities, no matter how pinched
he is by poverty.



1. ...

2. The heart of a woman is not united; it is divided. While she is
talking with one man, she looks lustfully at another and thinks
fondly of a third in her heart.

3. The fool (mudha) who fancies that a charming young lady loves
him, becomes her slave and he dances like a shakuntal bird tied to a

4. Who is there who, having become rich, has not become proud? What
licentious man has put an end to his calamities? What man in this
world has not been overcome by a woman? Who is always loved by the
king?  Who is there who has not been overcome by the ravages of
time? What beggar has attained glory? Who has become happy by
contracting the vices of the wicked?

5. ...

6. A man attains greatness by his merits, not simply by occupying an
exalted seat. Can we call a crow an eagle (garuda) simply because he
sits on the top of a tall building.

7. ...

8. The man who is praised by others as great is regarded as worthy
though he may be really void of all merit. But the man who sings his
own praises lowers himself in the estimation of others though he
should be Indra (the possessor of all excellences).

9. If good qualities should characterise a man of discrimination,
the brilliance of his qualities will be recognised just as a gem
which is essentially bright really shines when fixed in an ornament
of gold.

10.Even one who by his qualities appears to be all knowing suffers
without patronage; the gem, though precious, requires a gold setting.

11.I do not deserve that wealth which is to be attained by enduring
much suffering, or by transgressing the rules of virtue, or by
flattering an enemy.


13.Those who were not satiated with the enjoyment of wealth, food
and women have all passed away; there are others now passing away
who have likewise remained unsatiated; and in the future still
others will pass away feeling themselves unsatiated.

14.All charities and sacrifices (performed for fruitive gain) bring
only temporary results, but gifts made to deserving persons (those
who are Krsna consciousness) and protection offered to all creatures
shall never perish.

15.A blade of grass is light, cotton is lighter, the beggar is
infinitely lighter still. Why then does not the wind carry him away?
Because it fears that he may ask alms of him.

16.It is better to die than to preserve this life by incurring
disgrace. The loss of life causes but a moment's grief, but disgrace
brings grief every day of one's life.

17.All the creatures are pleased by loving words; and therefore we
should address words that are pleasing to all, for there is no lack
of sweet words.

18.There are two nectarean fruits hanging from the tree of this
world: one is the hearing of sweet words (such as Krsna-katha) and
the other, the society of saintly men.

19.The good habits of charity, learning and austerity practised
during many past lives continue to be cultivated in this birth by
virtue of the link (yoga) of this present life to the previous ones.

20.One whose knowledge is confined to books and whose wealth is in
the possession of others, can use neither his knowledge nor wealth
when the need for them arises.


1. The scholar who has acquired knowledge by studying innumerable
books without the blessings of a bonafide spiritual master does not
shine in an assembly of truly learned men just as an illegitimate
child is not honoured in society.

2. We should repay the favours of others by acts of kindness; so
also should we return evil for evil in which there is no sin, for it
is necessary to pay a wicked man in his own coin.

3. That thing which is distant, that thing which appears impossible,
and that which is far beyond our reach, can be easily attained
through tapasya (religious austerity), for nothing can surpass

4. What vice could be worse than covetousness? What is more sinful
than slander? For one who is truthful, what need is there for
austerity? For one who has a clean heart, what is the need for
pilgrimage? If one has a good disposition, what other virtue is
needed? If a man has fame, what is the value of other ornamentation?
What need is there for wealth for the man of practical knowledge?
And if a man is dishonoured, what could there be worse in death?

5. Though the sea, which is the reservoir of all jewels, is the
father of the conch shell, and the Goddess of fortune Lakshmi is
conch's sister, still the conch must go from door to door for alms
(in the hands of a beggar). It is true, therefore, that one gains
nothing without having given in the past.

6. When a man has no strength left in him he becomes a sadhu, one
without wealth acts like a brahmacari, a sick man behaves like a
devotee of the Lord, and when a woman grows old she becomes devoted
to her husband.

7. ...

8. There is poison in the fang of the serpent, in the mouth of the
fly and in the sting of a scorpion; but the wicked man is saturated
with it.

9. The woman who fasts and observes religious vows without the
permission of her husband shortens his life, and goes to hell.

10.A woman does not become holy by offering by charity, by observing
hundreds of fasts, or by sipping sacred water, as by sipping the
water used to wash her husbands feet.

11 ...

12.The hand is not so well adorned by ornaments as by charitable
offerings; one does not become clean by smearing sandalwood paste
upon the body as by taking a bath; one does not become so much
satisfied by dinner as by having respect shown to him; and salvation
is not attained by self-adornment as by cultivation of spiritual


14.The eating of tundi fruit deprives a man of his sense, while the
vacha root administered revives his reasoning immediately. A woman
at once robs a man of his vigour while milk at once restores it.

15.He who nurtures benevolence for all creatures within his heart
overcomes all difficulties and will be the recipient of all types of
riches at every step.

16.What is there to be enjoyed in the world of Lord Indra for one
whose wife is loving and virtuous, who possesses wealth, who has a
well-behaved son endowed with good qualities, and who has a
grandchildren born of his children?

17.Men have eating, sleeping, fearing and mating in common with the
lower animals. That in which men excel the beasts is discretionary
knowledge; hence, indiscreet men who are without knowledge should be
regarded as beasts.

18.If the bees which seek the liquid oozing from the head of a
lust-intoxicated elephant are driven away by the flapping of his
ears, then the elephant has lost only the ornament of his head. The
bees are quite happy in the lotus filled lake.

19.A king, a prostitute, Lord Yamaraja, fire, a thief, a young boy,
and a beggar cannot understand the suffering of others. The eighth
of this category is the tax collector.

20.O lady, why are you gazing downward? Has something of yours
fallen on the ground? (She replies) O fool, can you not understand
the pearl of my youth has slipped away?

21.O ketki flower! Serpents live in your midst, you bear no edible
fruits, your leaves are covered with thorns, you are crooked in
growth, you thrive in mud, and you are not easily accessible. Still
for your exceptional fragrance you are as dear as a kinsmen to
others. Hence, a single excellence overcomes a multitude of