Age is no yardstick of excellence

  • सिह्मः शिशुरपि निपतति
    मलमलिनकपोलभित्तिषु गजेषु।
    प्रकृतिरियं सत्त्ववतां
    न खलु वयस्तेजसो हेतुः॥
  • sihmaḥ śiśurapi nipatati
    malamalinakapolabhittiṣu gajeṣu|
    prakṛtiriyaṁ sattvavatāṁ
    na khalu vayastejaso hetuḥ||
  • A young lion cub too pounces upon the juicy, ichor-laced temples of an elephant. Surely, age is no yardstick of excellence.
  • – Nītiśatakam

When wisdom dawns, we recognize we know precious little!

  • यदा किञ्चिज्ज्ञोऽहं द्विप इव मदान्धः समभवं
    तदा सर्वज्ञोऽस्मीत्यभवदवलिप्तं मम मनः।
    यदा किञ्चित्किञ्चिद्बुधजनसकाशादवगतं
    तदा मूर्खोऽस्मीति ज्वर इव मदो मे व्यपगतः॥
  • yadā kiñcijjño’haṁ dvipa iva madāndhaḥ samabhavaṁ
    tadā sarvajño’smītyabhavadavaliptaṁ mama manaḥ|
    yadā kiñcitkiñcidbudhajanasakāśādavagataṁ
    tadā mūrkho’smīti jvara iva mado me vyapagataḥ||
  • When I knew very little, my mind was painted with the arrogance that I know everything. As I cultivated little knowledge through the union of wise, it dawned in me that I was a fool, and the fever of arrogance relinquished its hold on me summarily!
  • – Nītiśatakam

The company of fools – an insufferable torment

  • वरं पर्वतदुर्गेषु भ्रान्तं वनचरैः सह।
    न मूर्खजनसम्पर्कः सुरेन्द्रभवनेष्वपि॥
  • varaṁ parvatadurgeṣu bhrāntaṁ vanacaraiḥ saha|
    na mūrkhajanasamparkaḥ surendrabhavaneṣvapi||
  • It is infinitely better to roam about dense forests in the company of forest dwellers, than it is to suffer the company of fools in the opulent court of Indra!
  • – Nītiśatakam

Use the wisdom at appropriate place and time

  • किं करोत्येव पाण्डित्यमस्थाने विनियोजितम्।
    अन्धकारप्रतिच्छन्ने घटे दीप इवाहितः॥
  • kiṁ karotyeva pāṇḍityamasthāne viniyojitam|
    andhakārapraticchanne ghaṭe dīpa ivāhitaḥ||
  • What can wisdom achieve where it cannot be appreciated? How can a lamp placed in a pot light up a house immersed in darkness?
  • – Pañcatantra

The dignified do not stoop to deeds beneath them

  • क्षुत्क्षामोऽपि जराकृशोऽपि शिथिलप्राणोऽपि कष्टां दशा-
    मापन्नोऽपि विपन्नदीधितिरपि प्राणेषु नश्यत्स्वपि।
    मत्तेभेन्द्रविभिन्नकुम्भकवलग्रासैकबद्धस्पृहः
    किं जीर्णं तृणमत्ति मानमहतामग्रेसरः केसरी॥
  • kṣutkṣāmo’pi jarākṛśo’pi śithilaprāṇo’pi kaṣṭāṁ daśā-
    māpanno’pi vipannadīdhitirapi prāṇeṣu naśyatsvapi|
    mattebhendravibhinnakumbhakavalagrāsaikabaddhaspṛhaḥ
    kiṁ jīrṇaṁ tṛṇamatti mānamahatāmagresaraḥ kesarī||
  • A lion may be starved, old, close to death, or in a difficult spot with no majesty to display. Yet, the lion, an epitome of dignity, who relishes the fresh meat of the temples of an elephant in rut, does not stoop to eat dried blades of grass.
  • – Nītiśatakam

Guru – the sole refuge

  • संसारवृक्षमारूढाः पतन्ति नरकार्णवे।
    येन चैवोद्धृताः सर्वे तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः॥
  • parivartini saṁsāre mṛto ko vā na jāyate|
    sa jāto yena jātena yāti vaṁśaḥ samunnatim||
  • All those who have ascended the tree of materialism, unfailingly fall in an unending ocean called hell. I Salute the guru, who has shown the path of liberation from the cycle of birth and death or this materialistic World.
  • – Gurugītā

Guru – panacea for all ills

  • शोषणं पापपङ्कस्य दीपनं ज्ञानतेजसाम्।
    गुरुपादोदकं सम्यक् संसारार्णवतारकम्॥
  • śoṣaṇaṁ pāpapaṅkasya dīpanaṁ jñānatejasām|
    gurupādodakaṁ samyak saṁsārārṇavatārakam||
  • The washing away of the mire of sins, the lighting of the lamp of wisdom are achieved by the water used to cleanse the feet of the Guru. It is also the ferry that helps man cross the ocean of materialistic existence.
  • – Gurugītā

Speak sweetly and expect nothing, and the world will glorify you

  • द्वे कर्मणी नरः कुर्वन्नस्मिँल्लोके विरोचते।
    अब्रुवन्परुषं किञ्चिदसतो नार्थयंस्तथा॥
  • dve karmaṇī naraḥ kurvannasmilloke virocate|
    abruvanparuṣaṁ kiñcidasato nārthayaṁstathā||
  • Man earns lasting glory upon earth by following two things diligently – never speaking an unkind word, and never seeking (anything) from a vile person.
  • – Viduranīti, 50

Forbearance – a flawless virtue

  • एकः क्षमवतां दोषो द्वितीयो नोपलभ्यते।
    यदेनं क्षमया युक्तमशक्तं मन्यते जनः॥
  • ekaḥ kṣamavatāṁ doṣo dvitīyo nopalabhyate|
    yadenaṁ kṣamayā yuktamaśaktaṁ manyate janaḥ||
  • There is but a single flaw in the forbearant; He is often mistaken for a weakling.
  • क्षमाशील व्यक्तियों में एक ही दोष होता है अन्य कोई नहीं।
  • वह यह है कि जो क्षमाशील हैं, उन्हें लोग अशक्त तथा निर्बल मानने लगते हैं।
  • Viduranīti, 47

Three doorways to self-destruction

  • त्रिविधं नरकस्येदं द्वारं नाशनमात्मनः।
    कामः क्रोधस्तथा लोभस्तस्मादेतत्त्रयं त्यजेत्॥
  • trividhaṁ narakasyedaṁ dvāraṁ nāśanamātmanaḥ|
    kāmaḥ krodhastathā lobhastasmādetattrayaṁ tyajet||
  • There are three doorways to self-destructive hell, namely, desire, anger and greed. These three must hence be given up.
  • – Viduranīti