Small but consistent steps lead to greatness

  • जलबिन्दुनिपातेन क्रमशः पूर्यते घटः।
    स हेतुः सर्वविद्यानां धर्मस्य च धनस्य च॥
  • jalabindunipātena kramaśaḥ pūryate ghaṭaḥ |
    sa hetuḥ sarvavidyānāṁ dharmasya ca dhanasya ca ||
  • Drop after drop of water collects to fill a pot; So too is knowledge, dharma or wealth amassed.
  • – Vyāsa-subhāṣita-saṅgrahaḥ, 11

Judge a book, not by its cover

  • दरिद्रस्य परा मूर्तिर्याच्ञा न द्रविणाल्पता।
    जरद्गवधनः शम्भुस्तथापि परमेश्वरः॥
  • daridrasya parā mūrtiryācñā na draviṇālpatā|
    jaradgavadhanaḥ śambhustathāpi parameśvaraḥ||
  • Do not mistakenly conclude that those who seek alms and appear needy are indeed penurious. Though he possesses nothing but an old bull, Śambhu is the God of Gods.
  • – Vyāsa-subhāṣita-saṅgrahaḥ, 4

Finding fault in the noble – A clear sign of delusion

  • पश्यति परेषु दोषान्नसतोऽपि जनः सतोऽपि नैव गुणान्।
    विपरीतमिदं स्वस्मिन् महिमा मोहाञ्जनस्यैषः॥
  • paśyati pareṣu doṣānnasato’pi janaḥ sato’pi naiva guṇān|
    viparītamidaṁ svasmin mahimā mohāñjanasyaiṣaḥ||
  • Incredible is the collyrium called māyā that causes one to find fault in the faultless and none in the fault-ridden vile. It is the very same collyrium that causes one to see virtues alone in ourselves and no faults, what so ever!
  • – Subhāṣitanīvī, 1.3

Not sharing one’s good fortune – highest form of indifference

  • एकः सम्पन्नमश्नाति कस्ते वासश्च शोभनम्।
    योऽसंविभज्य भृत्येभ्यः को नृशंसतरस्ततः॥
  • ekaḥ sampannamaśnāti kaste vāsaśca śobhanam|
    yo’samvibhajya bhṛtyebhyaḥ ko nṛśaṁsatarastataḥ||
  • He who partakes of rich food by himself but cares to share nothing, and clothes himself in finery without sharing them with the needy who depends on him is the most heartless.
  • – Vidhuranīti, 51

The truly wise are eternally dedicated to their goal

  • क्रोधो हर्षश्च दर्पश्च ह्रीस्तम्भो मान्यमानितः।
    यमर्थान् नापकर्षन्ति स वै पण्डित उच्यते ॥
  • krodho harṣaśca darpaśca hrīsthambho mānyamānitaḥ|
    yamarthān nāpakarṣanti sa vai paṇḍita ucyate||
  • He who is not swayed by anger, euphoria, pride, false modesty, stupor and the respect of the laudable into abandoning adherence to the true goal of life alone is called wise.
  • – Vidhuranīti, 19

Develop the ability to give even when misfortune strikes.

  • अनुकूले विधौ देयं यतः पूरयिता हरिः।
    प्रतिकूले विधौ देयं यतः सर्वं हरिष्यति॥
  • anukūle vidhau deyaṁ yataḥ pūrayitā hariḥ|
    pratikūle vidhau deyaṁ yataḥ sarvaṁ hariṣyati||
  • Give in alms when good fortune arrives, for your cup is ever full with the grace of Hari. Give in alms when misfortune calls upon you, for all is lost anyway!
  • – Subhāṣita-ratna-bhāṇḍāgāra

Service – Path to Wisdom

  • श्रुतेन श्रोत्रियो भवति तपसा विन्दते महत्।
    धृत्या द्वितीयवान्भवति बुद्धिमान् वृद्धसेवया॥
  • śrutena śrotriyo bhavati tapasā vindate mahat|
    dhṛtyā dvitīyavān bhavati buddhimān vṛddhasevayā||
  • Man becomes learned from a studious study of the scriptures. He achieves great things through arduous penance. He attains an eternal companion in developing fortitude.
    Man becomes wise however, only by service to the elderly.
  • – Yakṣapraśna, 29

It takes quality to appreciate quality

  • गुणी गुणं वेत्ति न वेत्ति निर्गुणो 
बली बलं वेत्ति न वेत्ति निर्बलः।
    पिको वसन्तस्य गुणं न वायसः करी च सिंहस्य बलं न मूषकः॥
  • guṇī guṇaṁ vetti na vetti nirguṇo balī balaṁ vetti na vetti nirbalaḥ|
    piko vasantasya guṇaṁ na vāyasaḥ karī ca siṃhasya balaṁ na mūṣakaḥ||
  • The virtuous recognize virtues, not the vile. The strong recognize strength, not the frail. A cuckoo appreciates spring and not the crow. An elephant admires the (majesty of a) lion and not a mouse!
  • – Subhāṣita-ratna-bhāṇḍāgāra

A purposeful life – the only goal of man

  • परिवर्तिनि संसारे मृतः को वा न जायते॥
    स जातो येन जातेन याति वंशः समुन्नतिम्॥
  • parivartini saṁsāre mṛto ko vā na jāyate|
    sa jāto yena jātena yāti vaṁśaḥ samunnatim||
  • In this ever changing creation, which dead man is not reborn? He alone is considered as been truly born who does his entire lineage proud.
  • – Nītiśataka, 32

Wealth can fathom not the depth of knowledge

  • अधिगतपरमार्थान् पण्डितान् मावमंस्ता- स्तृणमिव लघु लक्ष्मीर्नैव तान् संरुणद्धि ।
    अभिनवमदलेखाश्यालगण्डस्थलानां न भवति बिसतन्तुर्वारणं वारणानाम् ॥
  • adhigataparamārthān paṇḍitān māvamaṁsthā-stṛṇamiva laghu lakṣmīrnaiva tān saṁruṇaddhi|
    abhinavamadalekhāśyālagaṇḍasthalīnāṁ na bhavati bisatanturvāraṇaṁ varaṇānām||
  • Do not slight erudite scholars who have realized the eternal truth, arrogant with pride of wealth. Your wealth is as ineffectual in constraining them as a frail lotus stalk is in restraining a majestic elephant in rut!
  • – Nītiśataka, 17