Good Company

                          3. Good Company



Darshandhyansanspasheimartsyee Koormee Cha Pakshini.

Shishu Paalaayate Nittyam Tathaa Sajjan Sangatih.

   Like fish, tortoise and bird rear up their infants by looking, caring and touching them respectively, so does good company with respect to human beings.


Saadhubhyaste Nivartante Putrah Mitraani Baandhavah.

Ye cha tain Saha Ganttaarstaddhramaattsukritam Kulam.

   Normally sons, friends and brothers have a tendency to take one away from the company of holymen and noble, scholarly persons. But still those who are able to maintain such contact bring piety in the family atmosphere.


Sansaar Koot Vrishassya Duephale Hyumritopame.

Subhaashitam Cha Susvaauh Sangati Sajjane Jane.

   This world, in the form of a tree, has two nectareous fruits : sweet speech and good company.


Saadhoonaam Darshanam Punnyam Teerthabhoothaah Hi Saadhavah.

Kaalen Phalate Teerthah Saddyah Saadhu Samaagamah.

   One earns great merit by meeting the holymen who are like the sacred places with the difference that their meeting gives immediate good result while the visit to sacred places gives it after some time.


Satsangaterbhavati Hi Saadhutaa Khalaanaam

Sadhunaan Nahi Kalsangeteh Khattvam.

Aamodam Kusumbhavam Bhoodev Dhatte

Mrindagandham Nahi Kussumaani Dhaarayanti.

   A good company generates the noble elements in the nature of the wicked but a bad or wicked company does not generate wickedness in the noble person. It is only the soil, which accepts the fragrance of flowers and not the fragrance, which refuses to accept the odour of the soil.


Gammyate Yadi Mrigendramandire

Labbhyate Krikapolmauktikam.

Jambukaashrayagatam cha prappyate


   If any one goes to the den of a lion, one might get the pearl of the elephant’s head. But a visit to the lair of a jackal would yield only the tail-piece of a calf or the bits of donkey’s skin. [Meaning that high company yields noble benefits and the poor association gives only inferior things.]


Aapadartham Dhanam Rakshechayashcha Kimaapadah.

Kadaachichachalitaa Laxmi Sanditaapi Vinashyati.

   One must save money for the evil days. It is not that the distress won’t touch the rich people. Riches are by nature fickle and even the large, accumulated wealth can be destroyed in a trice.


Moorkhah Yatra Na Poojyante Dhaannyam Yatra Susanchitam.

Daampattyoh Kalaho Naasti Tatra Shree Suayamaagataa.

   Where the dunces are not honoured, where the eatables are available in abundance, where the husband and wife do not quarrel with each other – the Goddess Lakshmi (or good luck) comes in that house on her own.


Yassyaarthsstrassyamittraani Yassyaarthasstasya Baandhavah.

Yassyarthah Sa Puamaamlloke Yassyaarthah Sa cha panditah.

   He who has money has many friends, many relations and he is also deemed a great man and a scholar. [Chanakya’s this aphorism is in direct contradiction with his earlier saying in which he asserts that a great man is he who doesn’t care for money but for honour. May be he is trying to compare what ought to be with what is in the reality.]


Upaarjitaanaam vittaanaam Tyaag Evahi Rakshanam.

Taddagodarsansthaanaam Parivaah Ivaammasaam.

   Like it is essential for the bound water to have a little flow for its purity, so it is necessary to donate the part of the earned wealth for its protection.


Vittam Dehi gunaaniviteshu Matimaannaannyatra Dehi Kvachit

Praaptam Vaaritidherjalam Dhanyachaam Maadhuryayuktam Sadaa.

Jeevaah Sthaavar Jangamaashcha Sakalaa Sajeevya Bhoomadalam

Bhooyah Pashya Tadaiv Kotigunitam Gachaanttyammbhonidhim.

   O wise! Give riches to the virtuous only, never to the undeserving, to those who lack good qualities. The clouds derive water from the seas and then making it sweet and then rain on the earth to make the beings of the earth survive. Then this water returns to the sea many million times more than the water the seas had given to the clouds. [Chanakya says that if one gives money to someone who is wise, intelligent and full of virtues, the receiver is able to multiply it many times over and this way not only the receiver but the whole society is benefited. Giving the analogy of the sea-water-cloud-rain-sea cycle, he explains his point very cogently. If the seas give water to cloud (the virtuous, deserving receiver), it makes it sweet and then rains it over the earth to help all beings survive there. Then through rivers this rain water, multiplied million times over by the clouds, returns to the seas, and during the process keeping the earth lush and green and its beings rejuvenated.


Kimtayaa Kriyate Laxammyaa Yaa Vadhooriv Kevalaa.

Yaa Tu Veshyaiv Saamaanmyapathikairapi Bhujjyate.

   What are the uses of the riches kept inside the house like the bride of an orthodox and traditional family? And those riches which like the prostitutes are enjoyed by all have no usefulness either. [The miser keeps his wealth secretly hidden in the vaults which serve no purpose of the society. And the riches with the fools are like the prostitute enjoyed by others, especially the low category people. In that case also the wealth is not well spent. This way, obliquely Chanakya says that riches should be spent in the welfare of the virtuous who help the society and they should neither be amassed in a miserly way nor spent extravagantly.]


Kuchailinam Dantamalopdharrinim

Bahvaashinam Nishthar Bhaashitam cha.

Sooryodaye Chaastamite Shayaanam

Vimunchateshreeryadi Chakraanih.

   All the riches and prosperity shun those person including even Lord Vishnu if he is also one of those who wear dirty clothes; who have filthy teeth; who are glutton; who speak harsh language and who continue to sleep even after the sun rise. [Chanakya says that callous lazy persons never come in wealth. Even if they happen to receive wealth by chance, it won’t stay with them if they continue to be callous and lazy. To be rich and prosperous one must be active and clean.]


Atikleshen Ye Chaarthaah Dharmasyaati Kramentu.

Shatroonaam Pranipaaten Te Hyaarthah Na Bhavantu Me.

   I don’t crave for such a wealth which is extorted by saddening someone, by irreligious and immoral means or by seeking shelter of the enemies. [In the mordem context this could be interpreted as an unwillingness to get such a wealth as may be received by immoral means, by torturing anyone or from the enemy of one’s faith or country, i.e. the blackmoney or the money received through the smuggling activities or through the treacherous deal with the enemies.]


Aputrasya Griha Shoonnyam Dishah Shoonnyaasttvabaandhavaah.

Moorkhassya Hridayam Shoonnyam Sarvashoonmyam Daridrataa.

   A home is vacuous for the one who has lost his son (or who has no son); all the quarters of the world are vacuous for him who has lost a brother (or who has no brothers); for the fool his heart is vacuous (i.e., he has no plans, no occupation) but for the pauper everything is meaningless or vacuous. [Here the vacuousness should be deemed to be absence of any hope. Obviously, a home has no hope for the sonless person; for the brotherless person, there is no hope to get support from any quarter of the world; a fool devoid of any capability to plan for future is hopeless and for a man without any resource of any kind, the whole existence is barren of any hope.]


Varam Vanam Vyaaghragajendra Sevitam

Drumaalayam Pakkvaphalaambusevanam.

Trineshu Shayaa Shatjeernavallkalam

Na Bandhumaddhye Dhanheena Jeevanam.

   It is imprudent to stay in a jungle teeming with panthers and elephants; to dwell beneath the trees and survive by eating wild fruits and drinking (unchecked) water; to sleep on the bed made of wild straw and wear clothes made of the bark of the trees. But, if one is forced to dwell among his close relations as a pauper it is better to go and stay in the jungles under the conditions explained above rather than stay there. [Meaning that if a person is poor and moneyless; he had better stay in a jungle suffering the most wild conditions rather than stay as a pauper among his relations.]


Anaagat vidhaataa Cha Prattutpannamatistathaa.

Dvaavetau Sukhameveta Yaddbhavishyo Vinashyati.

   He who is aware of the future troubles and possesses sharp intelligence remains happy. In contradistinction to this stage, he who remains inactive, waiting for the good days to come destroys his own life. [A far-sighted and intelligent person is able to tackle the troubles far more efficiently than that fatalist sluggard who eventually gets destroyed by his lack of foresight and inactivity.]


Moorkhastu Paribartavyah Prattyaksho Dvipadah Pashuh.

Bhinattih Vaakyashoolen Adrishyayam Kantakam Yathaa.

   One should cease contact with the fools, regarding them as the biped animals, because they sting us by their senseless speech as though they are piercing an invisible thorn. [A man devoid of common intelligence is like a two-footed animal. He stings us by his speech. Though we can’t see the thorn, we feel its pinch caused by his incisive words.]


Maansmakshayaih Suraapaanaimarkhaishchaastravarjitaih.

Pashubih Purishaakaarainkraantaasti Cha Medinee.

   A meat-eater, a wine-taker and a fool are animals in the human form. The earth is getting distressed by their weight. [Chanakya regards meat-eaters, (liquor) wine-takers and fools as animals, despite their human form. All the three category-people, do not apply their intelligence to discern what is good for them and what is harmful. It is only the power of discretion to distinguish between good and evil that makes a man out of his beastly inclinations. Hence the observation.]


Hastau Daanvarjitau Shrutimputau Saaraswatdrohinau

Netre Saadhuvilokrahite Paadau Na Teerth Gatau.

Anny aayaarjitadittapoornanudaram Garvenam Tungam Shirau

Re Re Jambuck Munch-Munch Sadasaa Neecham Suninddyam Vapuh.

   The hands didn’t give any alms, the ears didn’t hear any knowledgeable discourse, the eyes didn’t have any Darshan of a Sadhu, the feet didn’t go to any sacred place, the belly is filled with food earned through unlawful and immoral means–yet still you hold your head arrogantly high ! O Jackal! Quit your this (useless) body forthwith !! [Chanakya says that deem that arrogant person to be not a man but jackal who gives no alms, hears no knowledgeable discourse, sees no Sadhu, goes to sacred place and fills his belly with food earned through immoral means. Such a man is verily a jackal and must quit his body immediately.]


Vippraasminnagre Mahan Kathaya Kasttal Drumaanaam Ganah

Ko Datta Rajako Dadaati Vasanam Praatgrihittvaa Nishi.

Ko Dakshah Parivittadadraharana Sarveapi Dakshaah Janaah

Ko Dakshah Parivittadadraharana Sarveapi Dakshaah Janaah

Kasmajeevati He Sakhe Vishkriminyaayen Jeevaassyaham.

   “O friend! Who is big (great) in this town? The Palm trees? Who is the most charitable person? The washer-man who takes (dirty) clothes and brings back (after washing) in the evening? Who is the shrewd and intelligent here? He who steals others’ wealth and others’ woman. Then how do you survive in this town?” “Just like an insect in the gutter:” [Chanakya says in this dramatic style that the town where no wise, intelligent, noble or scholarly person dwell, where people may not be deft and efficient but expert in looting others and each vying with others in bad manners and roguery, should be considered just a pile of filth or a gutter and whose citizens just the herd of insects.]


Aahaarninddraa Bhaya Maithanaani

Samaani Chaitaani Nrinaam Pashunaam.

Gyaano Naraanaamadhiko Vishesho

Gyaanen Heena Pashubhih Samaanaah.

   All beings, including human beings need food, sleep, sex as their natural requirement and all experience the common emotion of fear (of the unknown). But discretionary power alone rests with the humans. Hence the man who is devoid of discretion is just an animal. (Eating food when hungry, sleeping when exhausted, indulging in sexual intercourse and fearings. Discretion endows man with the capacity to distinguish between the good and the evil, between knowledge and ignorance, etc. Obviously the person who is lacking in discretion or who has no discretionary powers is verily a beast.)


Yeshaam Na Viddya no Tapo Na Daanam

Na Chaapi Sheelam Na Guno Na Dharamah.

Te Mrittuloke Bhuvi Bhaarbhootaa

Manushyaroopen Mrigaashcharanti.

   Those who have no education or knowledge, no determination, no charitable disposition, no manners, no virtuous qualities and no firm faith are just a dead load on this earth. They ate verily beasts in human form roaming about on the earth [i.e., a man should be educated with the capacity to undergo penance to achieve certain objectives; he ought to have a charitable disposition, good manners, virtuous qualities and firm faith in his religion or belief. If a man lacks these, he is just a biped animal.]


Dharmaarthakaamamoksheshu Yassyai Koapi Na Viddyate.

Jannma Jannmaani Mattyaryeshu Maranam Tassya Kevalam.

   That man who fails to achieve even one of the four aims of life, viz. Dharma (faith in his belief), Artha (riches which provide meaning to life), Kaam (Fulfilment of the desires), and Moksha (satiation of all wants) is verily born only for dying (as his life is just a waste).


Muhoortamapi Jeevecha Naraha Shukklen Karmanaa.

Na Kalpamapi Kashten Lok Dvaya Virodhinaa.

   A momentary existence involved in a highly noble work is any time better than survival for ages but working against the welfare of this world and the next. [A man doing some noble deeds and living for a very short duration is more welcome in this world than a man living for centuries but working against the welfare of all.]


Yeshaam Shreemaddyashodaasut Padakamale Naasti Bhaktirnaraanaa

Yeshaam Maabheerkannyaapriyagunakathane Naanuraktaa Cha Jivhaa.

Yeshaam Shree Krishnaleelaalalitrashkathaa Saadarau Nava Karnau

Dhiktaam-Dhitaam Dhiketaan Kathyayati Satatam Keeertanshthomridangah.

   He who has no devotion for the lotus feet of the son of mother Yashoda (Krishna); who doesn’t chant the noble attributes of the daughter of Aahirs (Radha); whose ears do not get tuned to hearing the juicy description of the sportive play of Lord Krishna receive the censure form the ‘Mridang-bols’ saying “Dhikta-Dhikta, Dhiketan” (meaning fie upon him! fie upon him! fie upon him!!!’ [Chanakya says that he who has no love or devotion for Lord Krishna, the son of mother Yashoda; and for Radha, the daughter of Aahirs (Radha) is wasting his life in the world. Deftly using the bols’ (the rhythmic sounds) of Mridang to convey his abhorence for such person, he conveys his meaning very onomatopoetically that “fie upon such man!”


Dharmaarthakaamamokhaanaam Yessyaikoapi Na Viddyate.

Ajaagalastanasyeva Tassya Jannma Nirathakam.

   He who fails to achieve even one of the four aims of life: Dharm, Artha, Kaam and Moksha has his life as useless as breast below the neck of the goat (which has no purpose, and is just useless).


Sa Jeevati Gunaa Yasya Yasya Dharama sa jeevati.

Guna Dharma vihinasya Jeevitam Nishprayjanam.

   Only he survives who is virtuous; only he lives who is firm in his Dharma. He who is devoid of virtues and faith (Dharma) is existing in vain. (Virtues and firmness in faith make life meaningful. Those who lack these qualities are wasting their life.]


Na Dhyaatam Paadmeeshvarassya vidhivattsamsaarvichattye

Svargadvaarakapaat Paatanpatuh Dharmoapi Nopaarjitaah.

Naareepeenpayodharyugalam Svappneapi Naalingitam

Maatuh Kevalmeva Yauvanchedkutharo Vayam.

   Neither we devoted our concentration of the feet of Lord Almighty to get release from the mundane bonds, nor we accrued religious merit to ensure our niche in the heaven, nor even in dreams we ever passionately embraced the solid softness of a woman’s breasts. Thus, except of acting as an axe on our mother’s youthful beauty, what else did we achieve in the world? [Chanakya explains in this quatrain symbolically the attainments of the three basic alms: Moksha, Dharma and Kaam, whose achievement automatically ensures Artha, the last of the attributes. Release from the mundane world means Moksha; accrual of the religious merit ensures the adherence to Dharma and the excitement to embrace the hard breasts of a woman symbolically represents Kaam: In short, the meaning of this quatrain is that one wastes one’s life without attaining fulfilment of any of the four attributes explained above. Also, the fact is that delievery of a child entails decay of the youth on the part of the mother, So, if one has not attained fulfilment in any of the four attributes, what else the purpose of one’s birth be except ruining one’s mother’s beauty.]

Who is More Cunning?


Naraanaam Naapito Dhoortah Pakshinaam Chaiv Vaayashah.

Chatushpadaam Shrigaalasya Streenaam Dhoortaa Cha Maalinee.

   Barber among men; the crow among birds; the jackal among the four legged beasts; and the female gradener among the women is cunning.

Vain Attempt


Annyathaa Vedapaandittyam Shaastramaachaarmannyatha.

Annyatha Vadatha Shaantam Lokaah Klishyanti Channyathaa.

   Those who try to speak foul of the Vedas; the erudition, the scriptures, the noble conduct and the peace-loving man make a vain attempt.

The Wicked: the Snake


Durjaneshu Cha Sarpeshu Varam Sarpo Na Durjanah.

Sarpo Dashaati Kaalen Durjanastu Pade-pade.

   Between the wicked and the snake, the snake is less evil because it stings once while the wicked stings on every step. [Snake would sting rarely and once but the wicked would sting repeatedly and even most unobstrusively. Hence the wicked is more dangerous than even a snake.]

Most poisonous


Takshasya Visham Dante Makshikaayaa Mukhe Visham.

Vrishchikasya Visham Puche Sarvaange Durjane Visham.

   The place of poison in a snake is the tooth, in a fly the head, in a scorpion the tail but the wicked has poison in his entire body. [Meaning that a wicked person is much more deadly than all the poisonous insects and reptiles put together. Hence we must guard against the wicked.]

The Hellish Souls


Attyantlepah Katutaa Cha Vaanee

Daridrataa Cha Svajaneshu Vairam.

Neech Prasangah Kuleensevaa

Chinnhaani Dehe Narkasthikaanaam.

   Fiery temper, bitter speech, poverty, rancour for one’s own relations, slavery of the lowly persons and association with the rogues – these are some of the sure signs of a hellis soul. [A wicked person is invariably very short tempered with bitter speech and rancour and jealousy for his own kith and kin. Moreover, he has very bad relations with his own people. He would gladly serve the low persons and would move in the company of the rogues. Such a man should be deemed to be an incarnation of some evil spirit.]

Other’s Happiness


Tushyanti Bhojane Vipraa Mayooraa Ghanagarjite.

Saadhavah Porasampattauh Khalah Par Vipattishuh.

   The brahmans become pleased with food, the peacocks by hearing the thunder of the clouds, the noble by seeing other’s prosprity and the wicked by witnessing other’s distress.

The Wicked Nature


Na Durjanah Saadhudashaamupaiti

Bhautprakaarairapi Shikshyamaanah.

Aamoolasiktam Payassa Ghriten

Na Nimbavrikshoh Madhurattvameti.

   No method can trun a wicked into a noble person like as no quantity of milk and ghee can turn the neem tree sweet. [The basic nature can’t be altered.]


Durjanam Sajjanam Kartumupaayo Nahi Bhootale.

Apaanam Shatghaaghautaanna Shreshthamindriyam Bhavet.

   There is no way on the earth by which a bad man be made a good man. Even if one washes the anus region a hundred times, it can’t be made a pious organ, [Chankya asserts by this sweeping statement that the evil can’t be made good no matter what means one adopts to achieve this aim. It is as good as trying to wash the anus region to turn it into a pious opening, which it can never be.]


Vayasah Parinaame Hiyahkhalah Khalah Evasah.

Supakkvamapi Madhurya Nopaayateendravaarunam.

   Even till the fag end of his life the wicked continues to be wicked. The indravarun fruit (a very bitter fruit) cannot become sweet even when it is well-ripe. [Wickedness of one’s character has no effect of age. The wicked person will remain wicked even if he turns old like the bitter fruit of Indravarun, which doesn’t become sweet even when it is fully ripe.]


Dahyamaanaam Suteevrena Neechaah Paryashoagninaa.

Ashaktaast attpadam Gautum Tato Nindaam Prakurvate.

   The wicked burns with the fire of jealousy seeing the prosperity of others. Since he cannot progress (due to his shortcomings), he starts deriding others. [He who is jealous at other’s prosperity is basically an incompetent person. Knowing his shortcomings he realises that he can’t achieve what others have done. But, his wicked nature refuses to admit anyone’s superiority. So he starts finding faults and deriding others to mentally efface the element of their superiority, only to assert his parity. It is a known psychological truth which Chanakya had opined milleniums ago, but it is still very true.]


Hastee Hastasahastren Shathasten Vaajinah.

Shringinee Dashahasten Deshttyaagen Durjanah.

   Keep the distance of one thousand hands between an elephant and yourself, one hundred hands between a horse and yourself, ten hands between the animals with horn and yourself and a full country between the wicked and yourself [Chanakya has used the measure of the hand’s length only to make objective a subjective assertion. In short, he tries to bring home his point that the wicked is far more dangerous than all the basts. Keeping “full country between yourself and the wicked” means that one shouldn’t stay in the land inhabited by the wicked.]


Khalaanaam Kantakaanaam Cha Dvividhaiv Pratikriyaa.

Upaanaamukhbango Vaadoorataive Visarjanam.

   There are only two ways the wicked and the thorns should be dealt with: crush them by your shoes or go away from them. [Meaning either smash them to bits or have no contact with them. They shouldn’t be dealt with leniently.]


Hastee Tvamkushmaatrena Baajee Hasten Taapate.

Shringaalkhuhasten Khadaghasten Durjanah.

   An elephant is kept under control by a goad, the horse by hand, the animals with horns by hand or stick and the wicked by a sword (or any Such weapon). [The emphasis is again on being ruthless in our dealing with the wicked.]


Krite Pratikritim Kurryaat Hinsen Pratihinsanam.

Putra Dosho na Patati Dushte Daushttyam Samaacharet.

   Meet obligation with obligation, voilence with vengeance and wicked with wickedness. There is no harm in acting foully with the foul persons.


Sattkule Yojayettkannyaaa Putram Viddyaasu Yojayet.

Vyasane Youjayechatrum Mitram Dharme Niyojet.

   Marry your daughter into a noble family, employ your son into studies, engage your friend in good deeds and involve your enemy in the evil practices. [Marrying the daughter off into a good family; providing best possible education to the son; engaging the friend in good deeds and hoodwinking your enemy to involve him in some evil practices constitute a ‘must’ job in Chanakya’s view. He is one of those few thinkers who didn’t mince words when he exhorted all to adopt evil means to overcome an evil if need be. There is nothing immoral, for example, if we take recourse to speaking lies to subdue a liar.]


Kah Kaalah Kaani Mitraani Kodeshah ko Vyayaagamoh.

Kasyaaham Kaa Chame Shaktirit Chinttyam Muhurmuhuh.

   How are the times? Who is a friend? What type of land is this? What is the income and what is the expenditure? What am I and how much power I really possess?–all these questions one must keep asking oneself. [Before entering into any venture, we must assess our position minutely. Most of the failures are caused by assessing only our strengths and not our weaknesses. We must weigh the pros and cons fully before doing anything. Only then can we expect successful results.]


Daakshinnyam Svajane Dayaa Parjane Shaathyam Sadaa Durjane

Preetih Saadhujane Smayay Khalijane Viddvajjane Charjjvam.

Shaurya Shatrujane Kshamaa Gurujane Naareenjane Dhoortataah

Ittham Ye Purushaa Kalaasu Kushalaasteshvev lokasthitiha.

   They who treat their own people with love; others with kindness; who are ruthless to the wicked; straight forward to the noble; indifferent to the fool; respectful to the scholars; who take on their enemey with bravery and pay obeisance to the Gurus; who are not infatuated to the woman–they are known as great men. [In this quatrain, Chanakya has very succinctly sums up the ideal behaviour of a man with his society. Quid pro quo is the basic idea behind this behaviour.]



Yatrodakastatra Vasanti Hansaa

Stathaiv Shuskam Parittyajanti.

Na Hansatullyen Naren Bhaavyam

Punastayaajantah Punaraashrayantah.

   The swans dwell in the pond full of water. The moment its water dries they desert it. But man shouldn’t be like them to relinquish a place and again return to it. [Through this quatrain Chanakya expresses his opinion on allegiance. He says that the swans are basically the opportunistic and selfish. They stay for their own comfort and leave the pond heartlessly, without thinking about the agony the poor pond might be suffering. A man should not be so selfish but should live with his benefactor through weal and woe.]

Foremost Duty


Dharma Dhanam Cha Dhaannyamcha Gurorvachanmaushadham

Sangraheetam Cha Kartavyamannyathaa Natu Jeevati.

   One must go on accumulating religious merit, money, eatables, the teachings of the Guru and (herbal) medicines or else one can’t survive. [Here eatables means all those edible things, which could be preserved. Medicines means all the herbal medicines roots, etc. During the period of Chanakya, these herbs were the only source to procure, or prepare medicines from. The more one had them, the more his chances of recovery from any illness. Rest of the ‘must’ things are self evident.]


Tyaj Durjan Sansarga Bhaj Saadhu Sammagamam.

Kuru Punnyamahoraatram Smar Nittyamanittyatah.

   One must shun the company of the wicked and seek association of the noble; one must keep on doing good deeds without foregetting Lord Almighty even for a moment.


Anantashaastram Bahilaashcha Viddyaa

Alpam Dakaalo Bhauvighnataa Cha.

Aasabhootam Tadupaasneeyam

Hanso Yathaa Ksheermivaambupaddhyaat.

   There are infinite scriptures, unlimited branches of knowledge but human life is very short with many hurdles in that short duration. Hence one should, like the swan who makes clear distinction between milk and water even if they be mixed and drinks pure milk, drive the useful essence of all learning and discard the rubbish. [Meaning that the sea of knowledge is very vast and life is short–so one should suck out the essence of all learning and cast aside the useless information by clearly sifting them through one’s discertion.]


Tadd Bhojanam Yadd Dvij Bhuktashesham

Tattsauhridam Yattkriyate Parasmin.

Saa Praagyataa Yaana Karoti Paap

Dambham Vinaa Yaha Kriyate Sadharmah.

   Food is that which is left over by the brahmans after having it to their bellyful; love is consideration for others; wisdom is that which prevents one from committing sin and noble religious act (Dharma) is that doing which one doesn’t feel arrogance. [i.e. One must eat after feeding the brahmans. We all love our own kith and kin but real love is that when we feel for others. Wisdom is that which saves one from committing sin. And we must not have the feeling of arrogance when indulging in the acts of charity, for if one does any good thing for others with the sense of the ‘doer-ship’ one loses all merit, according to the ancient Indian thought. Chanakya has merely repeated the same thought.]


Gatam Shoko Na Kartavya Bhavishyam Naiv Chintayet.

Vartamaanen Kaalen Pravartante Vishakshanaah.

   One should not grieve for the past and worry for the future. The wise care for the present and chart their life’s course accordingly. [Care for the present sets right not only the past but also the future. The wise don’t cry on the split milk nor worry for the future.]


Paropkarnam Yeshaan Jaagaarti Hridaye Sataam.

Nashyanti Vipadasteshaam Sampadah Syu Pade-Pade.

   Those who have consideration for others have their problems getting solved or destroyed automatically and they receive (unseen) benefits at every step. [Those who act good for others receive their goodness in reciprocation, solving their own problems. Yudhisthar says that if you aim at other’s benefit, your own selfish end would also be served in the process.]


Yasmaacha Priyamichhet Tassya Broo Yaatsadaa Priyam.

Vyaagho Mrigvadham Gantu Geetam Gaayati Suswaram.

   Speak sweet before someone you expect a favour from. When the fowler spots a deer he sings a mellifluous song before killing it. [This Shloka is full of practical modern sense also, for people have grown quite shrewd-perhaps by following this dictum! The fowler and hunter must cover up their intention so as not to appear blantantly selfish. Preparation of the ground, which must be conducive for the germination of the seed is a compulsory ‘fore-act’ before sowing the seed!]


Attyaasann Vinaashaaya Doorasthaa Na Phalapradaa.

Sevyataam Maddhyabhaagen Rajvahinagurnestriyah.

   Staying close to the king, fire, the Guru and woman yield disastrous result, but staying far away from them do not produce any good result either. So, we must chose the mean position, i.e. we shouldn’t be very far off from or very near to them. [Proximity with the king might give some occasional benefit but the situation would expose one to the royal wrath consequence might be disastrous. The same is true with fire, woman and the Guru.]


Ekeva Padaarthastu Tridhaa Bhavati Veekshaati.

Kupanam Kaamineem Maansam Yogibhih Shvabhi.

   The same object–the body of a woman–may be viewed differently by three different persons. The lecher sees it as the source of sexual gratification, the Yogi as a filthy, foul smelling corpse and the dogs as luscious meat. Chanakya says that the viewed object creates different impressions in different observers according to their basic nature. It all depends on how one looks at it. The lecher, ever intent upon having his sexual lust gratified looks at a woman’s body, through dead with sexually starved eyes. The Yogi, ever searching for dead would look at it as an object helping him in consummating his worship and a dog, ever-hungry for meat, looks at it as a luscious food. Chanakya subtly hints that the value of the viewed object, like beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.]


Manirlunthati Paadaagre Kaachah Shiriasi Dhaaryate

Kraya-Vikrayavelaayaam Kaachah Kaacho Manirnanih.

   Notwithstanding the gems rolling at one’s feet and the mere glass-objects kept on the head (respectfully), when the hour of bargaining for them for the sale arrives, the glass would be considered just the glass and the gems the priceless object. [Chanakya says that the adverse circumstances might belittle one’s position but they can’t diminish one’s intrinsic worth. When the time of reckoning arrives the glass-piece; however well kept won’t match with the gem. The external conditions only marginally affect the intrinsic worth of any object. Dust might cover the gem to render it lustreless but sooner or later it must fetch its intrinsic value. Reality can’t be hoodwinked by any trick for long.]


Lobhashchedagunen Kim Pishunataa Yaddyasti Ki Paatakaih

Lobhashchedagunen Kim Pishunataa Yaddyasti Ki Paatakaih

Sattyam Yattpasaa Chakim Shuchimano Yaddyasti Teerthen Kim.

Sanjannyam Yadi Kim Gunaih Sumahimaa Yaddyaasti Kim Mandanaih

Saddviddyaa Yadi Kim dhanairapayasho Yaddyaasti Kim Mrittyunaa.

   Why must a greedy fellow be concerned with other’s vices; a backbiter with sin; a truthful man with the performance of penance and austerities; a guileless heart with a visit to the sacred places; a celebrity with the want of self-decoration; a well educated man with wealth and an ill famed person with death? The greedy person hardly cares for other vices. If he can hope to usurp something from a most notorious person, he would not hesitate in doing so. Since greed is going to blind his vision, he looks at nothing else but at the desired object he covets for. The greedy would not be concerned whether the other one is a traitor or a patriot; what weighs most in his mind is the wealth that he possesses. He would be accepting anything from the most vile source if that satisfies his greed.

   Similarly, the one finding fault with others is not concerned with his treading on the immoral or sinth path if it satisfies his urge. He would concoct stories, impute false motives to have his say. Backbiting tendency is a pathological ailment and the one who has this tendency won’t be deterred even by the fear of committing a sin. 

   And he, who is honest and truthful, doesn’t need to indulge in self-torture, for all such self-inflictions are performed to purge all the vices from his mind. When he is already honest and truthful, it means he is clean and needs no such self-inflictions. One goes to the sacred places apparently to earn merit which is the exclusive preserve of a guileless heart. Why must anyone go to wash his linen when it is already clean. The visits to the sacred places are supposed to make one guileless. When one is already guileless, why must one go to the sacred places?

   One wears good clothes, ornaments and does all sort of make ups only to be the cynosure of all eyes. But if one is already a celebrity, the need for such self-embellishments doesn’t arise, for his celebrity status makes one automatically the cynosure of all eyes. His fame rivets all attention to his personality. In modern context, it can be said that why must Gandhiji be clad in three pieces suit to merit people’s attention? Even if be clad in rags, it is he who would be the cynosure of all eyes and not a well-clad movie superstar? 

   The Indian thought avers that the real education is that which liberates: () says the Upanishad. And wealth plus all mundane considerations bind one to these transient fallacies. Obviously, both are contradictory to each other. Good education liberates and wealth hinds. So, why should a well-educated or a liberated soul crave for wealth and other material possessions. 

   Lastly, an ill-reputed or ill-famed person leads an already condemned life. It is virtually death that he undergoes in the condemned state. Since he is already as good as dead, death brings in no change. So an ill-famed person is hardly concerned with death.


Raajaa Veshyaa Yamashchaagnih Chauraah Baalakyaachakaah.

Pardukham Najaananti Ashtamograamakantakah.

   The king, the prostitute, the death-god Yamaraj, fire, thief, beggar, child and the persons (of the village) who enjoy making others fight. These eight kinds of persons do not experience the trouble of others. [If the king starts feeling the troubles of his subjects individually, he cannot run his state. For an efficient administration what the king should be concerned with is the overall problem of the subjects or of the society and not with the individual subject. If he does so, he can’t implement any of his rules or laws because some of them are bound to trouble someone individually. The prostitute is obviously unconcerned with her customer’s problems. Her only concern is to extrot as much money from him against the services she provides him avail at her brothel. She has to be impervious to her client’s personal problems to succeed in her profession. [Similarly] death-god, Yamaraj cannot be individually concerned with anyone’s problem. This is a mechanical system, wherein, the person should die the moment his age expires. Like Yamaraj fire is also impersonal all, whether a live or dead. A beggar is always so overawed by his problems of survival that he has no time to think for others. The thief has to be impersonal or else he would fail miserably. And the child is hardly conscious of the other’s problem due to his limited understanding. The most damaging among the lot is that disturbing person who loves to make people fight with each other. He derives saddistic pleasure out of such fights. If he also starts appreciating other’s problems he just can go ahead whatever he relishes most.]


Sushiddhamaushadham Dharm Grihachiddram Chamaithunam

Kubhuktam Kushrutam Chaiv Matimaann Prakashyet.

   The wise man must always keep his secret concerning the following informations: about the efficacious medicines, about his Dharma (faith), the short comings of his household, his sexual contact, the rotten food already consumed and the bad or evil things heard by them. [It is a age old belief that if one finds a particular medicine quite effective, I would lose its efficacy if told about it openly. One should never declared, about his duty or faith or make a propaganda of it. The essence of a faith or a religious duty lies in its faithful adherence and not in its publicity. For, in that case you open yourself to criticism from others which might result in your becoming sceptical about it. Chanakya’s this assertion indirect contradiction to the prevalent practice of the modren times. Now the people believe more in the publicity of their faith. No ‘Jagaran’ or ‘puja’ is deemed complete unless accompanied by blaring you speakers and droning chants of the Mantras. This militant adherence a one’s faith and the accompanying show of it provoke others and cause disharmony in the society. In this context, Chanakya’s this observation appears full of relevant veracity.]

   It is pure common sense to hide you or your household shortcomings. Their exposure would bring you much less accolades for your simplicity but too many damaging remarks. Similarly, only a fool would spill out the details of one’s sexual contacts, even with one’s legally wedded wife. These things are not to be told but cherished and enjoyed in privacy.

   If the rotten food is already consumed there is no sense in Advertising about it. Suppose one has taken the soup with a dead fly in it. Chances are that it might not cause any ill – effect but if one is told about it, then psychologically it might create some disturbance in the system of the listener. Moreover, if one has eaten anything which is prohibited by one’s religion or society, there is no sense in advertising about it.

   The last observation is very meaningful. Often we hear something wrong about some person or some event. It is prudent not to give currency to it by telling others about it, for this is how a rumour spreads. Moreover, if in the fit of rage one mouth palpably something wrong about some one, your passing it to others’ may cause unwanted controversy. It is better not only from the personal but social point of view also. Do digest it rather than disseminate it.


Trinam Laghu Trinaattoolam Toolaadapi Cha Yaachakah

Vaayunaa Kirmna Jeetoasau Maamyam Yaachyishyati.

   A straw is very light but cotton is even lighter than it and a suppliant (or a beggar) is lighter than even cotton. Then why doesn’t the wind fly it away? It is because the wind is apprehensive lest it should start going something from it also. [It is an oblique way of saying that begging is the meanest work. The satire and the punch of the saying are apparent.]


Uttyaam Koapi Maheedharo Laghutaro Dommaryaam Dhritee Leelayaa

Ten Tvam Divi Bhootale Cha Statam Govardhano Geeyase.

Tvaam Trai Lokkyatharam Vahaayi Kuchayorgrena No Gannyate

Kim Vaakeshav Bhaashanen Bahunaa Punuyam Yashasaa Labhyate.

   Only because you could lift a small hill known as Goverdhan by your hand, you are in the heaven and the earth. And while you support all the three realms yet I hold you on the point of my breasts but I come in no reckoning. No need of saying more, O Krishna! tell me does one come in fame by dint of one’s (past earned) merit? [Making a complaint to Lord Krishna in a poetic way, the Gopi says that the Lord is known as Goverdhan (lifter) (he who lifted the hill called Goverdhan) in the heaven and the earth only because the Lord could do so by his hand. While she holds the Lord, the supporter of the three realms (the heaven, the earth and the Patal lok or Nether world), on the tip of her breasts in the most affectionate and intimate way, yet no one praises here for her about this marveollous feat. Then she asks Lord Krishna whether one earns merit not by one’s present doing but by one’s already existing celebrity status? Chanakya says in this poetic manner that those in fame have their tiny achievements magnified but a common man’s great achievements are not even taken notice of this comparitive allegory used by Chanakya in expressing this pithy observation goes to prove the lingual command and the poetic conjecture of this great man otherwise renowned for his scheming manipulations.





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