2.  Society

Mother, the Supreme God


Naannodakasamam Daanam Na Tithiddrvaadashee Samaa.

Na Gaayattryaah Paro Mantro Na Maturdaivatam Param.

   No gift is better than the gift of cereal and water, no date is better than the Dwadashi (the twelfth day of the lunar calendar); no Mantra is greater than the Gayatri-Mantra and no god is greater than mother.


Raajpatnee Guroh Patnee Mitrapatnee Tathaiv Cha.

Patneemaataa Svamaataa Cha Panchaittah Maatarah Smritah.

   The wife of the king, the wife of the guru, the wife of the friend, the mother of wife and one’s own mother – these five ladies deserve the status of mother.

Father, the Guide


Janitaa Chopanetaa Cha Yastu Viddyam Prayachhati.

Annadaataa Bhayatraataa Panchaitaa Pitrah Smritaah.

   The one who gives birth to you, the one who gets your Upanayan (Sacred Thread) ceremony performed, the one who gives you education, the one who gives you food and the one who protects you from all sort of dangers – these five persons deserve the status of your father !


Punashcha Vividhaih Sheelairniyojjyaa Satatam Budhai.

Neetiggyaa Seelasampannaah Bhavishyanti Kulpoojitaah.

   A wise father must educate his son, in a variety of ways, in making him learn good manners, develop good character and get good knowledge, etc.; because the noble son brings glory to the family and win admiration of their brethren.


Laalyet Panchavarshani Dashavarshaani Taadyet.

Praapte tu Shodashe Varshe Putram Mitravadaacharet.

   Rear up your son affectionately till he is five year old then admonish him strictly for next ten years. When he turns sixteen, start treating him as your friend.

The Worthy Son


Ekenaapi Suputrena Viddyayukte Cha Sadhuna.

Aahladitam Kulam Sarva Yatha Chandren Sharvari.

   A wise, well educated and worthy son alone is enough to bring glory to the family like the lonely moon is enough to bedight the night with charms.


Ekenaapi Suputren Pushpiten Sugandhinaa.

Vasitam Taddvanam Sarva Suputren Kulam Yatha.

   One well blossomed and sweet smelling flower is enough to turn the whole garden fragrant. Similarly, one worthy son is enough to bring glory to the whole family.


Kim Jaatairbahurbhih Putraih Shoksantaapkaarkaih.

Varmekah Kulaavalambi Yatra Vishraammyate Kulam.

Varmekah Kulaavalambi Yatra Vishraammyate Kulam.

   No use having many sons causing worry and sorrow. One worthy son is enough who may support the entire family.


Ekoapi Gunavaan Putrah Nirgunaisheha Shatairvaram.

Ekashchandramasto Hantinacha Taaraa Shastrashah.

   One worthy son is better than a hundred incompetent and useless sons. The moon is capable enough of destroying the darkness, which even thousands of stars fail to achieve.

The Incompetent Son


Eken Shuskvrikshen Dahiyamaanen Vahinnanaa.

Dahyate Taddvanam Sarva Kuputren Kulam Yathaa.

   Just as, one dry tree on catching fire can burn the whole orchard to ashes, similarly, one incompetent and bad son ruins the entire family.


Ki tayaa Kriyate Dhennvaa Yaana Doggdhree na Garbhinee.

Koarthah Putren Jaaten Yon a Viddvaana Bhaktimaan.

   What value is of that cow, which neither conceives nor gives milk? The same way what worth is of that son who is neither educated (or a scholar) nor devoted to God?


Moorkhashchiraayurjaatoapi Tassmaattjaataannmrito Varam.

Mritahsa Chalpadukhaaya Vavajjeevam Jado Dahet.

   It is better for a foolish son to die early rather than survive long, because by dying he would give sorrow only once but by surviving he would cause grief and sorrow every moment of his survival by his repeated acts of foolishness. A worthless son is better dead than alive.



Saa Bhaaryaa Shuchidakshaa Saa Bhaaryaa Yaa Pativratta.

Saa Bhaaryaa Yaa Patipreetaa saa Bhaaryaa Sttyavaadineehee.

   (True) wife is that who is pious and deft (in her work), who is faithful to her husband, who loves her husband and who is truthful to her husband. [Chanakya lists five qualities for an ideal wife: she ought to be pious, deft, faithful, loving and truthful to her husband.]


Patturaagyaam Binaa Naaree Uposhya Vratchaarinee.

Aayushya Harte Bhartuhsaa Naaree Narakam Vrajet.

   That wife who takes a resolve without seeking her husband’s permission for it verily shortens her husband’s life. Such women are consigned to hell when they die.



Streenaa Dvigun Ahaaro Lajjaa Chaapi Chaturgunaa.

Saahasam Shadgunam Chaiv Kaamashchachaashatgunah Smritah.

   (In comparison to a man ) A woman is having two times more appetite, four times more shyness, six times more courage and eight times more the sexual desire.


Anritam Saahasam Maayaa Moorkhattvamatilobhitaa.

Anritam Saahasam Maayaa Moorkhattvamatilobhitaa.

Asshauchaatvam Nirdayattvam Streenaam Doshaah Svabhaavajaah.

   A woman, by nature, is liar, courageous, deceitful, foolish, greedy, impious and cruel. These are the innate attributes of a woman.


Vittyen Rakshayate Dharmo Viddya Yogen Rakshayate.

Mridunaa Rakshayate Bhoopah Satishtriyah Rakshatate Griham.

   Wealth protects Dharma, Yoga protects education or knowledge, suavity protects king and a good woman protects home. [Chanakya says that for maintaining Dharma some material resources are needed which can be procured only by money; Yoga here means application. Obviously, knowledge decays when not applied. According to Chanakya a rough – tough ruler is ill suited for the job. It is only by suavity or apparent softness that he can win over people easily. The last observation is too true to need any clarification.


Na Daanaat Shuddhatrate Naaree Vopvasaih Shatairaop.

Na Teerthasevayaa Taddvad Bhartuh Paadodakairyathaa.

   A women doesn’t become as pious by giving alms, performing rigid austerities and fasts and visiting sacred places as by having the water she gets after washing her husband’s feet.


Yo Mohayanmannyate Moodho Rakteyam Mayi Kaamine.

Sa Tassya Vashago Bhrittva Nrityet Kreedaa Shakurtavat.

   The foolish man who, under the infatuation, believes that a particular beautiful woman has fallen for him verily dances to her tune as though he is her plaything!


Jalpanti Saardhamannyen Pashyanttyannyam Savibhramaah.

Jalpanti Saardhamannyen Pashyanttyannyam Savibhramaah.

Hridaye Chintayanttyaannyam Na Streenaamekato Ratih.

   Women have a knack of talking to one man, casting an askew glance at other and loving secretly a third man. They can’t devotedly love just one man.


Varyettkuljaam Praggyo Niroopaamapi Kannyakkam.

Roopsheelaam Na Neechassyaam Vivaah Sadrishe Kule.

   A wiseman shouldn’t hesitate marrying an ugly girl, if she happens to belong to a reputed good family. But if a girl is extremely beautiful, the wiseman shouldn’t marry her if she is from a lowly, ill-reputed family. A matromonial alliance is best established between the families of equal status.


Vishaadppyamritam Graahyamameddhyaadapi Kaanchanam.

Neechadappyuttamaam Viddyaam Streeratnam Dushkulaadapi.

   Do not hesitate in getting nectar even from poision if it be available and gold even from the filth. Accept good knowledge even from a pariah and good girl even from a low family. [Both these aphorisms state contradictory observations. While the above one says don’t marry a girl from a low family even if she be good and virtuous, the Shloka below asserts marrying a virtuous girl even if belonging to low caste or a low family].

The Parents


Maataa Shatruh Pitaa Vairee Yen Baalo Na Pathitaha.

Na Shobhate Sabhaa Maddhye Hansamddhye Bako Yathaa.

   Those parents who don’t take interest in their son’s education (or who don’t provide him with good education) are verily his enemies. An illiterate man among the literate ones looks as ugly as a crow among the swans.


Rinakartaa Pitaa Shatrurmaataa Cha Vyabhichaarinee.

Bhaaryaa Roopavatee Shatruh Putrashatnurn Panditah.

   A father bequeathing the loan; a mother of loose morals; a wife extremely beautiful and a foolish son – all should be deemed as enemies.

Mutual Relationship


Te Putra Ye Pitrabhakta Sa Pita Yastu Poshakah.

Tanmitram Yatra Vishvaasah Saa Bharyaa Yaa Nivratih.

   The (real) son is he who is devoted to his father; the (real) father is he who looks after his son well and rears him up with care; the (real) friend is who is trusted one and the (real) wife is she who delights her husband’s heart.



Yadi Raamaa Yadi Cha Ramaa Yad Tanya Vinay Ganopetah.

Tanyo Tanyotpattih Survarnagare Kimaadhikkyam.

   That home, beats even the divine pleasures hollow which has a virtuous lady, a noble-natured and promising son with his own son (grandson) and enough riches.


Na Vipprapaadodak Pankilaani

Na Vedshaastraddhivanigarjtaani.


Shmashaantullyani Grihaani Taani.

Shmashaantullyani Grihaani Taani.

   That home which is not smeared by the mud and dust brought in by the scholarly brahman’s feet; where no sound of chanting of the ‘Veda-Mantras’ is heard; from where the reverberations made at the time of offering oblation to the sacred fire: [SWAHA-SWAHA, etc.] do not originate is verily as inauspicious and eerie as a crematorium.

The Brahmans


Vippro Vrikshasstaassya Moolam Sanddhya

Veddah Shaakhaa Dharmakarmaani Patram.

Tasmaannmoolam Yattnato Rakshaneeyam

Chhinne Moolen Naiv Shakhaa Na Patram.

   The Vipra (scholarly brahmans) is the tree whose root is the Vedic Hymn chanted every evening and morning, worship the religious and ritual acts being the leaves. The root of the tree must be protected at every cost as the whole tree derive strength from it. If the root is lost then neither the leaves would remain nor the branches.


Dhannya Dvijamayeem Nauka Vipreetaa Bhavaarnave.

Tarannttyadhogataa Sarve Upasthitaa Patannyeva Hi.

   This boat, in the form of the brahman, going across the sea of existence is typical as it moves in a reverse order. Those who remain below it go across easily but those who try to ride over it fall down and gets drowned [It is a symbolic representation of the assertion that those who remain below the brahman’s fair better in this mundane sea of existence and successfully cross at. But those who try to defy the authority of the brahmans meet their ruin.]


Ekahaaren Santushtah Shadkarmaniratah Sadda.

Ekahaaren Santushtah Shadkarmaniratah Sadda.

Ritukaaliabhigaamee Cha Sa Vippro Dvij Uchchyate.

   That brahman who eats only once in the day, devotes his time in studies and in practising various austerities and who copulates with his wife only during her Ritu Kal (the period immediately after the menses is called the Dwij or the twice born).


Akrishta Phalmoolani Vanvaasaratah Sadda.

Kurteaharh Shraaddhamishirvipprah Sa Uchchyate.

   The brahman who eats only roots and bulbs produced from the land untilled, who ever dwells in jungles and performs the Shraaddha [of his departed ancestors] everyday is called a Rishi (sage).


Laukike Karmaani Ratah Pashoonaam Paripaalakah.

Vaanijjyakrishikarmaa Yah Sa Vippro Vaishya Uchchyate.

   The brahman who ever remains busy in the mundane work, who owns and tends to cattle; who tills the land and does farming is known as Vaishya (Merchant class) Brahman. [Chanakya is trying to assert that one’s social category is not defined by birth but by one’s profession.]


Lakshaadi Tailneelaanaam Kausumbhmadhusavishaan.

Vikreta Maddyamaanasaanaam Sa vipprya Shoodra Uchchyate.

   The brahman who sells lac and its products oil indigo plant, flowers’ honey, ghee, wine, meat and its product is called a Shudra Brahman (Low Caste Brahman).


Devadravyam Gurudravyam Pardaaraabhimarshanam.

Devadravyam Gurudravyam Pardaaraabhimarshanam.

Nirvaah Sarvabhooteshu Vipprashchaandaol Uchchyate.

   The brahman who steals the things belonging to the Gurus and gods, copulates with other’s wife and is able to dewll amongst the beings of any species is called a Pariah-Brahman.


Vaapeekoopat Daagaanaamaaraamsulcheshvanaam.

Uchchedane Niraashank Se Vippro Mlechcha Uchchyate.

   The brahman who recklessly destroys the temples, wells, ponds and orchards without any fear of social repercussion is verily a Mlechha (infidel) Brahman.


Parkaaryavihantaa cha daambhikah Svaarthasaadhakaah.

Chaleedveshee Sadukrooro Maarjaar Uchchyate.

    The brahman who puts hurdles in other’s ways, who is deceitful, scheming, cruel bearing ill-will for others, sweet by tongue but foul by heart is called a Tom-Cat Brahman.


Arthaadheetaashcha Yairvedaastatha Shooddrannabhojnah.

Te Dvijaah Kim Karishyanti Nirvishaaiva Pannagaah.

   The brahman who studies the Veda only for the sake of earning money, who accepts food from the Shudras is verily a snake sans poison. Such brahmans cannot do anything noble.


Peetah Kruddhen Taatashcharantalahato Vallabhoayen Rosha

Aabhaallyaaddvippravaryaih Svavandanvivare Dhaaryate Vairinee mey.

Aabhaallyaaddvippravaryaih Svavandanvivare Dhaaryate Vairinee mey.

Gehan mey Chedyanti Pratidivasmamaakaant Poojaanimittat

Tasmaat Khinna sadaaham Dvij Kulnilayam Naath Yuktam Tyajaami.

   He who in his rage drank up my sire, the sea; who wrathfully kicked my husband; who from an early childhood bear my enemy Saraswati upon his tongue; who plucks off my lotus to offer them in worshop of Lord Shiva-he or his brethren--the Brahmans--have been bent upon ruining me. Hence I would ever shun going into their houses. [Lakshmi, the Goddess of riches alludes various mythological happenings to Agastya drank up the sea--her father; the sage Bhrigu kicked Lord Vishnu--her husband; all the brahmans get their intitiation in learning by chanting the name of Saraswati, the Goddess of speech and her (Lakshmi’s) arch enemy; and all the brahmans for the worshop of Lord Shiva, pluck off lotus flowers which abound her home. Hence she would never go to the houses of Brahmans, i.e. the brahmans are hound to-stay poor in wealth because of this innate prejudice of the (gooddess Lakshmi.) The Pundit


Prastaavsadrisham Vaakkyam Prabhaavsadrisham Priyam.

Aatmashaktisamam Kopam Yo Jaanaati Sa Panditah.

   He who talks with reference in the context, who knows how to influence people and express his love or anger according to his capacity is called a Pundit. He who knows when and where to speak, how to influence people and how to be wrathful or affectionate in what measure is really a wise man or a Pundit.

The Pariah


Doordaagatam Pathishraantam Vritha Cha Grihamaagatam.

Anarchyittvaa Yo Bhunkte Sa Vai Chaandaal uchchyate.

   He who eats without offering proper respect (food, etc.) to an unexpected guest, coming from a far off place and bone tired is called a pariah.


Tailaabhyange Chitaaghoome Maithune Kshauram Karmani.

Tailaabhyange Chitaaghoome Maithune Kshauram Karmani.

Taavadbhavati Chaandaalo Yaavattsnaanam Na Samaacharet.

   After smearing oil on the body after getting touched by the funera pyre’s smoke; after copulation and after getting the hair-nails etc, the man remains pariah till he takes bath.


Paksheenaam Kaakshchaandaal Pashunaam Chaiv Kukkurah.

Muneenaam Paapashchaandaalah Sarveshu Nindakah.

   The crow among the birds, the dog among the animals, the sinner among the sages and the back biter among all the being is a pariah.

The Yavan


Chaandaalaanam Sahastraishcha Suribhistattvadarshibhi.

Eko Hi Yavanah Prokto Na Neecho Yavanaattparah.

   The learned scholars opine that one Yavan (originally a Greek but commonly understood as any foreigner) is as mean as a thousand pariahs. No one could be meaner than a Yavan. [Herein Chanakya expresses the deep rooted prejudice prevalent during his times.]

The Guru


Gururagnidirvajaateenaam Varnaanaam Brahmano Guruh.

Patireva Guruh Streenaam Sarvasyaabhyagato Guruh.

   (The) fire (god) is the guru of the three social categories viz the brahmans, the kshatriya the warrior class, the vaishya the trader or (merchant class), the brahman is the guru of all the social categories except his own. The guru of woman is her husband and the guest is guru of all the inmates of the house. [The guru also means the most respectable person besides being the teacher or mentor or perceptor.]

Kuleen (The Scion of a Noble Descent)


Etadarth Kuleenaanaam Nripaah Kurvanti Sangraham.

Aadimaddhyavasaaneshu Na Tyajanti Cha Te Nripam.

   The Kuleens or the scions of a noble family never ditch or dupe anybody till their last breath. Hence the kings choose to keep them in their courts.


Chhinnoapi Chandantarurn Jahaati Gandham

Vriddhoapi Vaaranpatirn Jahaati Leelaanam.

Yantnrpito Madurtaam Na Jahaarti Chekshu

Kshanoapi Na Tyajati Sheelagunaankuleenah.

   Even when cut off, the sandal wood-tree doesn’t stop giving it’s sweet fragrance; even when old the elephant doesn’t let go his sturdy plays; even when crushed between the curshers the sugarcane continue; to be sweet--the same way the kuleen, even when fallen on evil days doesn’t discard his noble manner and cultured behaviour.


Yathaa Chaturbhih Kanakam Pareekshyate

Nirgharshanachedan Taapataadanaih.

Tathaa Chaturbhih Purushah Pareekshyate

Tyaagen Sheelen Guneen Karmanaa.

   Like gold is tested by rubbing, cutting, heating and beating so also a man is tested by his sacrifice, moral conduct, innate qualities and his actions.

The Real Beauty


Dannen Paanirn Tu Kankanen

Snaanen Shuddhirna Tu Chandanen.

Maanen Triptirn Tu Bhojanen

Gyaanen Muktirna Tu Mandanen.

   Beauty of hands lies in giving alms and not in wearing bracelets; the body becomes clean by taking bath and not by applying sandal wood paste; one feels satisfied by being honoured and not by being fed; one attains to Moksha by knowledge and not by self-decoration [The last one needs an explanation. Moksha is a stage represented by desirelessness; while the process of self-decoration is the outcome of the attempt to satiate the desires, which is intermiable as the desires have a tendency to grow on what they are fed. Obviously the second stage cannot lead to Moksha, which is the ultimate destination of ‘the conscious-soul’]

The Real Friend


Uttsave Vyasane Praapte Durbhikshe Shatrusnkate.

Raajdvaare Shmashaane Cha Yastishthati Sa Baandhavah.

   He who is together with you in festivities, distress, drought, and in the crisis caused by an enemy attack, in the royal courts and in the crematorium is your real friend.


Vidhya Mitram Pravaaseshu Bhaaryaa Mitram Grahesh Cha.

Vyaadhitasyaushadham Mitram Dharmo Mitram Mritasya Cha.

   Away from home, in the foreign strand, one’s knowledge is one’s best friend, inside home one’s wife is one’s best friend. For a patient the first friend is efficacious medicine while after death one’s Dharmais one’s best friend. [It is believed that he who is adhered to his Dharma religiously and firmly gets the divine rewards after death.]

Pleasures and Happiness


Yasya Putro Vasheebhooto Bharyaa Chandaarugaamini.

Vibhave Yasya Santushtistastya Svarga ihaiv Hi.

   If one has obedient son, a pious wife following the Vedic path and if one is satisfied with his material possessions, one is living verily in the heaven.


Bhojjyam Bhojanshaktishacham Ratishaktishcham Vaaraanganaa.

Vibhao Daanshaktishcha Naalpasya Tapasah Phalam.

   Getting good food alongwith the power to digest it, getting beautiful woman alongwith the power to enjoy her, getting rich alongwith the capability to dole out elms--are the outcome of one’s no less arduous penance and austerities.


Santoshaamrittriptaanaam Yattsukham Shaantireva Cha.

Na Cha Taddhanlubddhaanaamitashchetashch Dhaavatam.

   The nectar of satisfaction begetting peace and happiness cannot available for the people hankering after material riches and physic pleasures.


Naasti Kaamasamo Vyaadhirnaasti Mohasamo Ripuh.

Naasti Kopasamo Vahanirnaasti Gyaanaatparam Sukham.

   Uncontrollable sexual craving is the most deadly disease, ignorance and infatuation are the most deadly foes, wrath is the most deadly fire and knowledge of the self is the happiness supreme.


Maataa Cha Kamallaa Devi Pitaa Devo Janaardanah.

Baandhavaa Vishnubhakttaashcha Svadesho Bhuvantrayam.

   He who has his mother like the Goddess Laksmi, father like Lord Vishnu and brothers and other close relations like devotees of Lord Vishnu dwells in a house replete with all the pleasures of the three realms (the heaven, the earth and the nether world of Patal-lok ).



Kaantaaviyog Suajanaapmaano

Rinasyaasheshah Kunripasya Sevaa.

Dariddra Bhaavo Vishyaa Sabhaa Cha

Vinaagnimete Pradahanti Kaayam.

   Separation from the beloved, insult by the close relations, unpaid debt, service to a wicked king poverty and association of the crooked persons incinerate the body even without fire.


Kugraamvaasah Kulheen Sevaa

Kubhojanam Krodhamukhee cha Bhaaryaa.

Putrashcha Moorkho Vidhavaa Cha Kanyaa

Vinaagnimete Pradahanti Kaayam.

   Residence in the village of wicked persons, service to lowly family, unnourishing food, foul speaking wife, foolish sons, widowed daughter – all these incinerate the body even without fire.


Vriddhakaale Mritaa Bhaaryaa Bandhuhastagatam Dhanam.

Bhojanam Cha Paraadheenam Tishtrapusaam Vidambanaa.

   Death of wife in the old age, money under brother’s control and the dependence on others for daily bread cause a great anamoly, hence grief in one’s life.


Kashtam Cha Khalu Moorkhattvam Kashtam Cha Khalu Yauvanam.

Kashtaattkashtakaram Chaiv Pargehenivaaasaham.

   Although the foolishness (of the self) and (insurmountable) youthful exuberance cause grief yet the greatest grief is caused by one’s (forced) stay at other’s house.


Ayamamritnanidhaanam Naayako Aushadheenaam

Amritmaya Shareerah Kaantiyuktoapi Chandrah.

Bhavati Vigatarashmirmandale Praappya Bhaanoh

Parsadananivishtah Kona Laghuttvam Yaati.

   This fount of vitality, the lord of all medicines, this moon with the body made of nectar and the shine enchanting, grows how splendourless the moment it arrives in the halo of the sun. Who doesn’t lose stature by stepping in other’s house ? [ it is believed that all herbs and vegetation – the source of medicine – derive their efficacious potency from the rays of the moon which is said to be made of nectar. Despite its all natural splendour and gifts even the moon loses its charm the moment the sun rises i.e., the moment it survives beyond darkness and tries to enter the house of the sun that is the day-time.]


Anavasthikayasya na Jana na vane sukham

Jano Dhati Sansadargaad Vanam Sagavivarjanaat.

   He whose mind is not steady doesn’t get happiness either amongst the people or in the loneliness of the jungle. When lonely he longs for company and when in company he yearns for loneliness.


Sansaaraatpadaghaanam Trayo Vishraantihetavah.

Apattyam Cha Kaltram Cha Sataam Sangatirev Cha.

   Those who are signed by the mundane fare get solace only under three conditions staying with the son, with the wife or in the company of the noble person. [It means a persons tired and dwadled by the mundane duties gets solace in the company of his family or of the noble gentle persons. Such a company rejuvenates his exhausted physique and over worked mind.]

Knowledge or Education


Roopyauvahsampanna Vishaatkulsambhavah.

Viddyaaheena Na Shobhante Nirgandhaa Iv Kinshukaah.

   Despite having a well endowed physique; beauty charms and belonging to a high and big family if a man is uneducated or ignorant, he looks as useless and unimpressive as the kinshuk (palaash) flowers having only colour but no fragrance.


Kamdhenugunaa Viddyaa Hayakaale Phaladaayani.

Pravaase Bhaatrisadrisha Viddyaa Guptam Dhanam Smritam.

   Knowledge (or education) is like the cow of plenty, giving good things even in the most adverse period in the foreign strands;it protects like mother and renders help as though it is a veritable secret treasure.


Shvaanpuchchamiv Vyarth Jeevitam Viddyayaa Binaa.

Na Griham Gopane Shaktam Na Cha Darshanivaarne.

   An illiterate person’s life is as useless as the tail of a dog neither capable of covering its privities nor in warding off the flies and mosquitoes. [Chanakya says that without education or knowledge life has no value. Neither it can take out the wants nor it can provide comfort to the unfortunate man.]


Viddvaan Prashaste Loke Viddvaan Sarvatra Gauravam.

Viddyayaa Labhate Sarva Viddyaa Sarvatra Poojyate.

   An educated man – a scholar gets accolades from all and earn reputation in the society. Since education helps to one get everything on desires in life, it is adored everywhere.


Dooto Na Sancharit Khe na Challechch Vaartaa

Poorvam Na Jalpitmidam Na Cha Sangamoasti.

Vyomnismim Ravipshashigrahanam Prashstam

Janati Yo Dvijavarah Sa Katham Na Viddvan.

   Neither a messenger could be sent to the sky not any communication could be established nor anyone told us about anyone existing there, still the scholars predict with great precision about the Solar and Lunar eclipses. Who would hesitate in calling them the very erudite scholars?



Sukhaarthee Chet Tyejedviddyaam Viddyaarthee Chet Tyajettsukam.

Sukhaartheenah Kuto Viddyaa Kuto Viddyaarthinah Sukham.

   If one craves for comfort, then he should drop the idea of studying and if one wants to study sincerely then he should stop craving for comfort. One cannot get comfort and education simultaneously.


Kaamam Krodham tathaa Lobham Svaad Shringaarkautukam.

Atinidraatisevaa cha Viddyaarthee Hayaashta Varjayet.

   A student desirous of getting education must shun the following right activities— sexual intercourse, gratification of the tongue, showing anger and greed, caring for personal beautification, moving about the fair and fate for entertainment, excessive sleeping and indulging in anything excessively. [In short Chanakya says that for getting education the student must perform a rigorous penance complete with all the severe austerities. He who tries to get education in comfort fails to get it in reality and vice versa.]


Yathaa Khanittvaa Khanitren Bhootale Vaari Vindati.

Tathaa Gurugataam Viddyaam Shushrushuradhigachhati.

   Like one digs the ground deep by a mattock to bring out water, so should a student attempt to get knowledge from one’s Guru. [One has to toil very hard to get water from the depth of earth. Chanakya says that the same way a student should toil and render strenuous service to his Guru to get knowledge from him.


Ekaaksharam Pradaataaram Yo guruam Naabhivandate.

Shvaanyoni Shatam Bhuktavaa Chaandaaleshvabhijaayate.

   He who doesn’t pay obeisance to his Guru even after receiving the knowledge of the Ekakshar Mantra (the mono syllable ‘OM’) gets hundred births in the dog’s species and then becomes a pariah in human life.


Pustakam Prattyaadheetam Naadheetam Gurusannidhau.

Sabhamaddhye Na Shobhante Jaargarbhaiv Istriyah.

   He who tries to get knowledge only by reading books and not through the grace of a Guru deserves the position in a society due only to a woman impregnated through an illegal relationship. [A strong upholder of the Guru-Shishya tradition, Chanakya considers that to be no knowledge at all which is received without the Guru’s teaching. He asserts, and very rightly so, that such a knowledge would be incomplete and hence damaging.]


Kim Kulen Vishaalen Viddyaaheene Cha Dehinaam.

Duskulam Chapi Vidusho Devarirapi Hi Poojyate.

   An uneducated person is wrothless even if he might be belonging to a renowned family. A scholar, despite belonging to a low rated family, is adored by even the gods.


Dhanheeno na Cha heenashcha Dhanik sa Sunishchayah.

Viddhya Ratnen Heeno Yah Sa Heenah Sarvavstushuh.

   A man devoid of wealth is in fact not a poor man. He might become wealthy. But one who is uneducated is actually a pauper in all aspects.


Ekamevaaksharam Yastuh Guruh Shishtaam Prabodhayet.

Prithivyaam Naasti Taddravyam Yad Daatvaa Daanrino Bhavet.

   The Guru who enlightens (his pupils) by mono-syllable Mantra (‘OM’) obliges (them) so deeply that nothing on earth can repay this obligation to him. [The pupils who receive such education from their Guru can never undebt themselves.

Worship of the Virtue


Gunaah Sarvatra Poojyante Na Mahattyoapi Sampadah.

Poornendu Kim Tathaa Vanddyo Nishkalenko Yatha Kushah.

   It is virtue, which is adored everywhere and not the riches or even excess of them. Does the full moon is accorded the same respect as given to the weaker moon ? [Chanakya impliedly says that the initial phase of the moon, specifically the moon of the second day is accorded greater regard because the stains of the moon are not visible at this stage, which the full moon, despite being more luminous, has its stains clearly defined. It is only the blemishless part of the moon that is accorded the greater respect. Similarly, a rich-man with huge property would not command greater respect, if he is not virtuous or free from blemish, than the person having much less money or riches but more virtuous and untainted by any blemish.]


Vivekinmunuprapato Guno Yaati Manogyataam.

Sutaraam Rattnamaabhaati Chaameekarniyojitam.

   Virtues gleam more when these are in a wise person like a gem adding to the beauty when embedded in gold.


Gunam Sarvatra Tullyoapi Seedttyeko Niraashrayah.

Anadharyamapi Maanikkyam Hemaashrayamapekshate, If left without a

proper support, even the virtuous gets distressed. However blemishless be a

gem, it needs a base to shine from.


Sattyani Maataa Pitaa Gyaanam Dharmo Bhraataa Dayaa Sakhaa.

Shaantih Pattni Kshmaa Putrah Shatete Mam Bandhavaah.

   Truth is my mother, knowledge is father, my Dharma is my brother, compassion my friend, peace is my wife and forgiveness is my son. These six virtues are my real relations, the rest are all false!


Vyaalaashrayaapi Viphalaapi Sakantkaapi

Vakraapi Pankasahitaapi Duraasadaapi.

Gandhen Bandhurasi Ketaki Sarvajantoreko

Gunah Khalu Nihanti Samastdoshaan.

   O Ketaki (pandanus)! Inspite of your being the dwelling place of the snakes, your being a fruitless–full of thorns–shurb originating in the mud and accessible with great difficulty, still you are dear to all because of your sweet fragrance. Most certainly one good virtue haloes every other defect.


Gunairuttamattaam Yaanti Nochairaasansansthitai.

Praasaadshikharasthoapi Kim Kaako Garudaayate.

   It is virtues, which enhance one’s stature and not the high position. Even if perched atop a royal palace, a crow cannot become Garur (the acquila bird of mythological origin, believed to be the lord of the birds).


Paramoktaguno Yastu Nirgunoapi Gunee Bhavet.

Indroapi Laghutaam Yaati Svayam Prakhyaapitaairgunaih.

   If others praise even the virtueless person, he may acquire some status, but even if Indra (the lord of the gods) starts praising his own virtues he will be little his stature.



Yasya Naasti Svayam Pragyaa Shaastram Tassya Karoti Kim.

Lochanaabhyaam Viheenasya Darpanam Kim Karishyati.

   What can all the scriptures do for a person devoid of his own wisdom? What use has a mirror for a blind man?


Antahsaarviheenanaamupdesho na Jaayate.

Malyaachal Sansarpaanna Venushchandanaayate.

   All sermons are wasted on a person devoid of wisdom. Even if grown in the Malayaachal (the area abounding with sandal trees) the bamboo cannot become the sandalwood!


Na vetti Yo Yassya Gunaprakarsha

Sa tu sadaa Nindanti Naatra Chittram.

Yatha Kiraati Karikumbhalabdhaam

Muktaam Parittyaajya Vibharti Gunchaam.

   No wonder if anyone not aware of certain virtues derides them. Kirati (the Bhil woman) would happily discard the pearls found in elephants’ head for the Gunjas (the common, cheap beads) and wear them in the necklace. [Since the Bhil woman is not aware of the high value of pearls found in the elephants’ head, she rejects them for the common beads.


Daanaarthino Madhukaraa Yadi Kana taalai

Doorikritaa Kanivaren Madaandbuddhayaa.

Tasyaiv Gandayugamandanahaanireva

Bhirgaah Punarvikachapaddmavane Vasanti.

   Blinded by his intoxication, the elephant sent away the Bhanwars (Black-bees), warding them off by the movement of his ears. The loss was not of the Bhanwars but of the elephant as his visage lost the charm. The Bhanwars went back to the cluster of lotus flowers. [The young elephants have their ears discharge a sweet smelling substance, which attracts the black-bees. The herd of black-bees around the elephant’s head add to the charm of the pachyderm’s face. When he shoos them away by fluttering his ears, it is the elephant that loses his charms not the bees, which go back to the cluster of lotus flowers. Meaning thereby that if the fools do not give respect to the virtues, it is they who suffer the loss not the virtues, which have many admirers.]


Pathanti Chaturo Vedaan Dharmashastraannyanekashah.

Aattmaanam Naiv Jaananti Daveem Paakarasam Yathaa.

   Even if a fool reads the four Vedas and other scriptures but he cannot realise the self like the ladle, repeatedly entering the food, fails to discern the taste of the food.

Great Man


Adheettyedam Yathaashaastram Naro Jaanaati Sattamah.

Dharmopadeshvikhyaatam Kaaryaaa Kaayashubhashubham.

   He is really a great man who derives the real meaning after reading these aphorisms (collection of the pithy sayings on morality) detailing what one should and what one shouldn’t do; what is Dharma and what is not; and what is auspicious and what is not.


Aho Svit Vichitraani Charitaani Mahaattmanaam.

Laxammem Trinaaya Mannyante Taddbharen Namanti cha.

   All the great men have a typical character. Though they deem the Goddess Lakshmi (riches) as though she is a mere straw but they get suppressed by her weight. [Chanakya says that the great men do not attach much importance to the riches but as they grow rich, they become more and more submissive and humble.]


Svargamsthitaanaamih Jeevaloke

Chattvaari Chinnhaaani VAsanti Dehe.

Daanprasango Madhura Cha Vaani

Devaarchanam Braahamantarpanam cha.

   He who has sweet voice, who worships the gods and keeps the brahmans satisfied and who takes interest in giving alms is actually a divine soul in this mundane realm. He is a great man who has all these four qualities.


Yugaante Prachalenmeruch Kalpaanted Sapta Saagaraah.

Saadhavah Pratipannarthaanna Chalanti Kadaanchan.

   The sumeru Mountain may be displaced from its position at the end of an epoch or all the seven seas may be disturbed at the end of a Kalp [a very big unit of time containing twenty seven cycles of the epochs (yugs), each containing four yugas : Satya, Treta, Dwapar and Kaliyug] but the great noble men never waver from their chosen path.


Ayiktasvaamino Yuktam Yuktam Neechasya Dooshanam.

Amritam Raahave Mrittyurisham Shanker bhooshanam.

   Getting an able owner even the worthless thing becomes useful and adorable while a worthless owner ruins the value of a priceless thing. Lord Shankar made even the deadly poison an ornament of his throat while Rahu, the demon got beheaded even when he had sipped nectar. [Chanakya alludes two mythological events to bring home his Point, At the time of that “Mighty Churning of the Seas” by the demons and the gods, when deadly poison surfaced, for the welfare of entire creation, Lord Shankar drank it but didn’t let it go down the throat which turned blue by the excessive toxicity of the poison. But even that poison earned him an epithet the ‘blue-throated’ or the ‘Neelkantha’. When nectar surfaced by that Churning, the gods and the demons began to fight for it. Then Lord Vishnu assumed the form of a beautiful woman ‘Mohini’ and began to pour it down the throat of the gods. Seeing through the game of Lord Vishnu, one of the demons, Rahu jumped to the side of the gods, in disguise, to receive nectar. But the moment he took a sip of that divine (ion, the sun-god and the moon god exposed him and Lord Vishnu there and then beheaded him by his Chakra (disc). But since he had chit- in his throat, he couldn’t be dead despite his head being hacked off. Since then, it is belived mythologically that the head is surviving separately as Rahu and his trunk as Ketu.]


Adhamaa Dhanamichanti Dhanam Maanan cha Maddhyamaah Uttamaa.

Maanamichanti Maano Hi Mahataam Dhanam.

   The mean aspire only for wealth, the mediocre yearn for wealth and honour both while the nobles care only for honour. The real treasure of great men is only honour.


Praapta Dhyutprasangen Madhyaahne Streeprasangatah.

Ratrau Chaurprasangen Kalo Gachhati Dheetaam.

   The greatmen-scholars pass their mornings in gambling, afternoon with women and nights with thieves. This is how they pass their time. [Chanakya’s intelligent allusion provide great sense in this otherwise and apparently-atrocious observation. Speaking epigrammatically, he hints that the great men pass their mornings in reading the Mahabharat which resulted out of the gambling addiction of Yundhisthar. The Mahabharata highlights the general weakness of human Characters. So the great scholars first concentrate on human follies to guard against them. In the afternoon they study the Ramayana which tells them about the dreadful consequences of the infatuation to a woman--Ravan’s falling for Sita and ultimately meeting his sorry end. In the nights they read about the Lord Krishna who is affectionately called the head of the thieves as he used to steal butter and milk and also the hearts of the Gopis. Chanakya says that the great men never waste their time and study these epics to derive lessons from them and mend their ways accordingly. They always are in the pursuit of knowledge.]





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