Selected Sanskrit Proverbs

I like quotes, proverbs and other words of wisdom that are short. I have a big notebook half filled with interesting quotes I find anywhere, right from the days of my college! In this post, I present some interesting Old Sanskrit proverbs I found:

“Aathmachitram Na Jananti ParachidranusariNa:”

They no not know their own defects, who search for the defects of others.

“AthiDanadata: Karnasthvatilobhathsuyodhana: ; Athikamadhshagrivasthvati Sarvatra Varjayeth”

Karna was ruined by excessive liberality, Suyodhana by excessive avarice, Dasagriva by excessive lust – Excess is to be avoided in all things.

“Utsahasahasam Dhairya Buddhishakti Parakrama: ; Shadethe yetra thishtanti tatra devaipi tishtathi”

Perseverance, daring, courage, wisdom, strength and valour – Where these six are, there is God.

“Eka: Papani Kuruthe Phalam Bunkte Mahajana:”

One Commits sin, many people suffer the consequences.

“Krodemanodhavati” (Shortened)

My residence is a golden cage; my body is stroked by the lotus like hands of kings; I am fed with the delicious mango and pomegranate; Milk equal to nectar forms my drink; The repetition of the name of Rama is my constant task in the assembly; I am a clever parrot; yet still alas! my heart yearns for the hollow of my native tree.

“Karicha simhasya balam na mushika:”

The elephant, and not the mouse, justly values the strength of the lion.

“Dwarshnavadhim ko gata:” (Short – who has reached the limit of desire?)

He who has nothing wishes for a hundred; he who has a hundred wishes for ten hundred; the possessor of a thousand desires a lakh; the owner of a lakh desires a kingdom; the ruler of a kingdom longs for an empire; the emperor again wishes for Indira’s possessions; Surapati desires to be in Brahma’s place; Brahma to be in Vishnu; Hari covets Hara’s dominion – Who has reached the limit of desire?

“Dosha Vachya Gurorapi” (Short)

Virtues, even in an enemy should be acknowledged; Defects even in a Guru ought to be pointed out; Always, and with all endeavor should the son and the scholar be taught wisdom.

“Namanti Phalino Vruksha Namanti Gunino Jana:”

Fruitful trees bend down; Likewise, the truly great are humble.

“Sadhyo dadatichatura: sadhyo nastiti chaturtama:”

A wise man gives at once, a wiser man at once refuses.

“Swanushtanasya samaye munayopi na pandita:”

In teaching others, all are wise. But in their own actions, even the Munis are not wise.

 

Destination Infinity

(Visited 6,069 times, 1 visits today)

28 Replies to “Selected Sanskrit Proverbs”

  1. ‘Virtues, even in an enemy should be acknowledged; Defects even in a Guru ought to be pointed out; Always, and with all endeavor should the son and the scholar be taught wisdom. ‘ This is the best! I like the first and second too, D.I.

    Write more of these quotes, interesting, they are!

    1. I have a lot of quotes, and I keep collecting them. I will occasionally present more quotes…

      Destination Infinity

    2. The complete sookti is “Shatrurapi guna vachya, dosh vachya gurorapi cha” I remember it from my Sanskrit classes.

    1. Ageless is one point I have been wondering with such quotes – Someone says something before so many centuries and they seem to apply to us even now!

      Destination Infinity

      1. And the best part is that none of these are a part of the “religious” books or teachings. These are the advice about civic duties & social ettiquette of our great nation country at that time…before the foreigners polluted it….& what is now being touted by the west as being dark & uncivilized when they found it & they are the ones who are civilizing it

    1. There is a proverb in Tamil which says – “Adhigam aanal amirthamum nanju”. That means, ‘Even if Amrith (The eternal life giving liquid) is taken in excessive quantities, it becomes poison’. Unfortunately, in the excessively materialistic world of today, even the excesses look normal.

      Destination Infinity

  2. Very interesting. Didn’t know you were interested in quotes! That is something I am interested in too, and have collected a lot of quotations and more so during my school and college years. I liked the first one, though one cannot take it literally.

    1. I used to go to my college library (in an engineering college) only to collect quotes from a number of interesting books they had – at least, that library was useful in this way!

      Yeah, you cannot take it literally, but excessively finding out others faults can make your own faults less and less visible to yourselves. I have seen it in a lot of cases.

      Destination Infinity

  3. Nice collection, Rajesh. I too have a good collection of quotes, especially from Chanakya and Sun Tzu (Art of War). nice to read it again…

    I agree with most of it, yet couldnt get the meaning of this one… ‘A wise man gives at once, a wiser man at once refuses.’ Isnt it good to give others or be helpful… Kindly enlighten…

    Thanks,

    PS

    1. A wiser man at once refuses to take (or) accept (things that they don’t deserve/ have not worked for).

      Destination Infinity

  4. Great life lessons from our very own language. Gives wise thoughts about life et al.
    This is a great compilation of some of the nicest sanskrit quotes…And thanks for those translation…

    1. I too don’t understand Sanskrit. So I took these quotes from a book where the translation was already there. I am also thankful for the translation 🙂

      Destination Infinity

  5. my fave sanskrit shloka which I quote often is “Parishramena He Sidyanti Karyani, Na Manorathe;Na He Suptasya Singhasya Pravishanti Mukhe Mriga.”
    Meaning Line 1: Only Hardwork Fetches success not the desire alone.
    Meaning Line 2 : Like Lion is a King of the Jungle It Still Has To Hunt the Deer. (Literal Meaning) A Deer doesn’t come to the sleeping Lion.

    1. The second one is very true – People think that if they inherit a lot of wealth, they can sit and eat for their life!

      Destination Infinity

    1. The best & most famous one is from Srimad Bhagwadgeeta,
      “Karmanye Vadhikaraste, Ma phaleshou kada chana,
      Ma Karma Phala Hetur Bhurmatey Sangostva Akarmani”
      Karmanye Vadhikaraste, Ma phaleshou kada chana – You have the right to perform your actions, but you are not entitled to the fruits of the actions.
      Ma Karma Phala Hetur Bhurmatey Sangostva Akarmani – Do not let the fruit be the purpose of your actions, and therefore you won’t be attached to not doing your duty.
      The beauty of this is that it is applicable to EVERYONE, as it transcends the boundaries of time, geography, religion, culture & politics, caste, color, creed & class. Yes it is a Hindu thoght, but no one can be an exception to this, hindu, muslim, christion, agnostic, atheist, or whatever they believe in or not believe in it, & whether they like it or not.

      1. Excellent explanation to a wonderful quote from Bhagavad Gita. Thank you so much for the same.

        Destination Infinity

  6. I have read the Proverbs with meaning and liked it.
    Sir I request your good self to give me the correct meaning in English for the following as my daughter is not correctly written in.
    ATHITHRISHANA VINASHAAYA
    VIDYAVINAYATE SHOBHATHE
    I HOPE YOU WILL HELP IN THIS
    THANKYOU
    VISHALISRIDHAR

  7. Dear sir I would like to study sanskrit proverbs and how to pronounce it meanings in english or malayalam will help me lot . I hope to recieve a valuable reply from you
    Thanking you
    Shaby Joseph

  8. Sir
    Pl give the meaning for the following proverb for me. It will be useful fr me to teach my daughter.

    UDHAMAHA KARYASADHAKAHA.
    NA VAMSHAVRIKSHASHU FALANTHI DRAKSHAHA.

  9. Sir,
    I have read your proverbs with meaning and it is nice. Still I need for 10 proverb the meaning can I send you the same and I hope I will get it, It will be useful for me very much. no comment. Excellent meaning are written.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *