Vidura’s Colossal Wisdom

Exclusive to Vedic Management Center by U. Mahesh Prabhu

Who’s Vidura?

According to Vyasa’s Mahabharata, Vidura was the half-brother to the kings of Hastinapura – Dhritarashtra and Pandu. His biological parents were Vyasa and Shudri, a lady-in-waiting to queens.

Ambika and Ambalika were married to King Vichitravirya of Hastinapura. When he died childless his mother – Satyavati – anxious to ensure the continuation of the royal lineage called Vyasa, to bestow motherhood upon the two widowed queens. Vyasa, who was born of Satyavati’s relationship with Sage Parashara, was a hermit and had just completed practicing severe austerities. He was, therefore, said to be “unpleasant” and even “fearsome” in appearance, so much so that Ambika shut her eyes tight at the very sight of Vyasa while her sister Ambalika went pale with fear. Vyasa declared to his mother that as a result, their sons would be blind (Dhritarashtra), and the jaundiced (Pandu), respectively.

Anxious of the thought that no such child would be a worthy heir, Satyavati pressurized Vyasa to grant another yet another son to Ambika. The widowed queen who was still fearful of Vyasa sent her lady-in-waiting. This dutiful lady was not frightened by hermit’s appearance and, therefore, bore a normal, healthy, son – Vidura.

Vidura was raised and educated by Bhishma as the half-brother of Dhritarashtra and Pandu. However, since neither of his parents were of the royal blood, he was made counselor to his brothers rather than a king himself. When Satyavati asked about her grandchildren’s strengths, Bhishma praised Dhritarashtra’s strength, Pandu’s military prowess, and Vidura’s intellect. When the time came for a crown prince to be chosen, it was Vidura who brought the elephant in the room – that despite being older, Dhritarashtra’s blindness made him unfit to be a king. Vidura then supported Pandu’s election to the kingship. Despite knowing that he was right, and even agreeing with the verdict, Dhritarashtra held some amount of resentment towards Vidura for this incident.

When Pandu abdicated and the Dhritarashtra was installed on the throne, Vidura took on the reins of government for all practical purposes, guiding his brother’s government until Duryodhana came of age. Except for Krishna, Vidura was most respected as an adviser by the Pandavas.

Unlike Bhishma, Dronacharya, Kripacharya, and KarnaVidura did not have any obligation to Hastinapura or Duryodhana. His only obligation was towards his own family; therefore, when Dhritarashtra did not acknowledge that relationship, Vidura was compelled to side with the Pandavas.

According to Krishna, Vidura was considered as Dharma-Raja, which means the lord of Dharma. Krishna respected Vidura for his devotion to people’s welfare, and his proficiency in every sphere of knowledge.

When Krishna visited Hastinapura as a peace emissary of the Pandavas, before the commencement of Kurukshetra war, he turned down Duryodhana’s offer to stay in the royal palace, preferring instead the home of Vidura. Krishna did this because he considered Vidura as the only neutral party in the Kaurava court.

After the great battle when Pandavas won; Yudhishthira offered to appoint Vidura as the prime minister with complete control of the government. However, following the carnage of the war and his own age, he did not have the heart to govern and turned down the generous offer. He retired to the forests as an ascetic with Dhritarashtra, and his sisters-in-law Gandhari, and Kunti. He undertook severe penances and was the first of the royal ascetics to die.

Vidura is held to be a paragon of truth, dutifulness, impartial judgment and steadfast dharma. He is considered the embodiment of the inner consciousness of the Mahabharata. Yet for a great many reasons his counsel (read Niti) was forgotten or considered less appealing. He is said to have conveyed this to his brother Dhritarashtra night before the commencement of the war. But then his wisdom went unheeded and Dhritarashtra would realize that it was too late to stop the war or to instill wisdom in his son who was essentially a spoiled brat.

The following text is my own translation of the time-tested verses of Vidura. I’ve omitted a few since I found little value in them from a modern standpoint.

Vidura Neeti (Niti) ~ Vidura’s Wisdom

He who hasn’t let the luxuries of life to overwhelm him owing to his knowledge of the self, exertion, self-control and adherence to virtues is regarded as a wise.

These are the marks of a wise man, viz. accountability, worthy of praise and rejection of unethical behavior, faith in oneself and reverence of all that is good. He whom neither anger nor joy, nor pride, nor false modesty, nor stupefaction, nor vanity, can draw away from the luxuries of life is to be called a wise.

He whose intended acts, and proposed counsels remain concealed from foes, and whose acts become known only after they have been done, is considered as a wise.

He whose proposed actions is never obstructed by heat or cold, fear of attachment, prosperity or adversity, is considered wise.

He whose judgment dissociated from desire follows both virtue and profit, and who disregarding momentary pleasure seeks perpetual bliss, is considered wise.

They who exert to the best of their might, and act also to the best of their might, and disregard nothing as insignificant, are called wise.

He who understands quickly listens patiently, pursues his objects with judgment and not from desire and spends not his breath on the affairs of others without being asked, is said to possess the foremost mark of wisdom.

They who do not strive for objects that are unattainable, they who do not grieve for what is lost and gone, who do not suffer their minds to be clouded amid calamities, are regarded to possess intellects endued with wisdom.

He who once commenced a task strives till it is completed who never wastes his time, and who has his soul under his control is regarded as wise.

They are wise who take pleasure in doing honest deeds, who tend their happiness and prosperity, and never sneer at what is good. He who isn’t overwhelmed with honors and seldom grieves on loss and insults, who remains cool and agitated like a lake in the course of Ganga is to be considered as wise.

The man who knows that everything that is born/created is subjected to death/destruction, who is aware also of the connection of all acts, and who is proficient in the knowledge of the means that men may resort to for attaining objects of their desire, is to be declared as a wise.

He who speaks boldly, can converse on various subjects, knows the science of argumentation, possesses genius and can interpret the meaning of what is written in the books, is to be reckoned as wise.

He whose studies are regulated by reason, and whose reason follows the scriptures, he who never abstains from paying respect to those that are good, is called wise.

He who having attained immense wealth and prosperity or acquired vast learning does not bear himself haughtily, is reckoned as a wise.

He is a wise person who does not disregard even a weak foe; who proceeds with intelligence in respect of a foe, anxiously watching for an opportunity; who does not desire hostilities with persons stronger than himself, who displays his prowess in the season.

He who never boastfully strives to attain his objectives, who when asked, tells the truth, who quarrels not even for the sake of friends, and who never becomes angry though slighted, is reckoned as wise.

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He who, forsaking his own, involves himself with affairs of others, and who practices deceitful means for serving his friends, is called a fool.

He who wishes for those things that should not be desired, and forsakes those that may be legitimately desired, and who bears malice to those who are powerful, is regarded to be a foolish soul.

He who regards his foe as his friend, who hates and bears malice to his friend, and who commits wicked deeds, is said to be a person of foolish nature.

He who divulges his projects, doubts in all things and spends a long time in doing what requires a short time, is a fool.

He’s a worst of men who go uninvited and takes much without being asked and responses trust on untrustworthy, is a fool.

That man who being himself guilty cases the blame on others, and who though impotently gives to anger, is the most foolish of men.

That man, who, without knowing his own strength and dissociated from both virtue and profit, desires an object difficult of acquisition, without again adopting adequate means, is said to be destitute of intelligence.

He who punishes one who is undeserving of punishment pays homage to a person without their knowledge, and waits for misers is said to be of little sense.

Who is more heartless than him who, though possessed of affluence, eats himself and wears excellent robes without distributing his wealth among his dependents?

*

While one person commits sins, many reap the advantage resulting therefrom; yet in the end, it is the doer alone to whom the sin attaches while those who enjoy the fruits escape unhurt.

Discriminating between that which is to be done and what is not to be done by means of your intellect, bring under your subjection the friend, enemy and the neutral person by means of Sama, Dana, Bheda, and Danda.

By conquering the five senses of perception and knowing the six expedients used in foreign policy, namely: Sandhi, Vigraha, Yana, Asana, Dvaidhibhava and Samshraya abstain from the lust, harsh punishment and amassing wealth using unjust means. By doing this you’d be happy.

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When an archer shoots an arrow, he may or may not succeed in slaying even a single person, but when an intelligent individual applies his intelligence viciously; it destroys an entire kingdom with the king. Poison kills but one person, and an arrow but also one; wicked counsels, however, destroys an entire kingdom with the king and his subjects.

Alone one should not partake of any savory viand, nor alone reflect on concerns of profit, nor alone go upon a journey, nor alone remain awake among sleeping companions.

There is only one defect in forgiving people. That defect is that people take a forgiving person to be weak. That defect, however, should not be taken into consideration, for a forgiveness is a great power. Forgiveness is a virtue of the weak and an ornament of the strong. Forgiveness subdues everything in this world; what is there that forgiveness cannot achieve?

What can a wicked person do unto him carries the saber of forgiveness in his hand? Fire falling on a grassless ground is extinguished of itself. And unforgiving individual defiles him with many enormities. Righteousness leads to all that is good, and forgiveness ensures peace; knowledge is supreme contentment, and benevolence is the only path to perpetual happiness.

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A man may attain renown in this world by doing two things, viz. by refraining from harsh speech and by disregarding those who are wicked. These two are like sharp thorns afflicting the body, viz., the desires of a poor man and the anger of the impotent.

These two seldom shine because of their incompatible acts, viz. a householder without exertion and a beggar busy with schemes. These two live as if they were in a region higher than heaven itself, viz. a man of power endued with forgiveness and a poor man who is charitable.

Of things honestly got these two must be looked upon as misuse, viz. making gifts to the unworthy and refusing the worthy. These two should be thrown into the water tightly binding weights to their necks, viz. a wealthy man who does not give away and a poor man who is proud.

These two among men can pierce the orb of the sun, viz. a mendicant accomplished in the yoga and a warrior who has fallen in an open fight. A person versed in the Vedas have declared that men’s means are good, middling and bad. Men also are good, indifferent and bad. They should, therefore, be respectively employed in that kind of work for which they may be fit. Great fear springs from these three crimes, viz. theft of others property, outrage on other’s wives and breach with a friend.

These three, besides being destructive to one’s own self-are gates of hell, viz. lust, anger, and covetousness. Therefore, everyone should renounce them. Verily a foe from distress, alone amounts in point of merit, to these three taken together, viz., conferring a boon, acquiring a kingdom and obtaining a son. These three should never be forsaken even in imminent danger, viz. a follower one who seeks protection, saying I am thine and lastly one who has come to your home.

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Learned men have declared that a king although powerful should never consult with the four, viz. men of small sense, men that are procrastinating, men that are indolent and men that are flatterers.

When crowned with prosperity and leading the life of a householder, let these four dwell with thee, viz. old consanguineous, relatives, high-born persons fallen into adversity, poor friends, and issueless sisters.

Wise people have declared that these four things are capable of fructifying or occurring within a single day, viz. the resolve of the powerful, the humility of learned men and the destruction of the stupid.

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These five fires should be worshiped with regard to a person, viz. father, mother, fire (proper), soul and preceptor. By serving these five, men attain great fame in this world, viz. the ether, the ancestors, the men serving you, beggars and guests. Whenever you go, these five – friends, enemies, neutral persons, those who offer refuge and those who take refuge in you – will follow. Of the five senses beholding to a man, if one springs a leak, then from that single hole runs out all his intelligence, even like water running out from a perforated vessel.

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These six faults should be avoided by a person who wishes to attain prosperity, viz. sleep, drowsiness, fear, anger, indolence and procrastination. These six should be renounced like a splitting vessel in the sea, viz. a preceptor who cannot expound the scriptures, a priest who is illiterate, a king who is unable to protect, a wife who speaks disagreeable words, a cowherd who does not wishes to go to the fields, and a barber who wishes to renounce a village for the woods.

Verily, those six qualities should seldom be forsaken by men, viz. truth, charity, diligence, benevolence, forgiveness, and patience. These six comprise the happiness of men, viz. acquirement of wealth, uninterrupted health, a beloved and a sweet speaking wife, an obedient son and a knowledge which is lucrative.

He succeeds in gaining the mastery over the six that are always present in the human heart, being thus the master of his senses, never commits sin and therefore suffers no calamity.

These six may be seen subsisting upon other six, namely: thieves upon person who are careless, physicians on persons who are ailing, prostitutes upon persons suffering from lust, priests upon them who suffer from weak conscience, a king upon people who quarrel and lastly men of learning, upon them who are without it.

These six are instantly destroyed, if neglected, viz. kindness, service, agriculture, a wife, learning, and the wealth of a Sudra (the one who belongs to a working class).

These six forget those who have bestowed obligations on them, viz. educated disciples – their preceptors, married persons – their mothers, persons who desires have been gratified – women; they who have achieved success – they who had rendered aid; they who have crossed a river – the boat (that carried them over); and patients that have been cured – their physicians.

Health, lack of debt, living at home, companionship with good men, certainty as regards the means of livelihood, and living without fear, these six, conduce to the happiness of men.

These six are always miserable, viz. the envious, the malicious, the discontented, the irascible, the ever suspicious and those depending on the fortunes of others.

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A king should renounce these seven faults that are productive of calamity, inasmuch as they are able to effect the ruin of even monarchs firmly established; these are women, dice, hunting, drinking, the harshness of speech, the severity of punishment and misuse of wealth.

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These eight are the immediate indications of a man destined for destruction, viz. hating the learned, disputes with the knowledgeable, appropriation of wealth of scholars, taking life of learned, taking pleasure in reviling scholars, grieving to hear the praises of learned, forgetting intellectuals on ceremonious occasions and giving vent to spite when they ask for anything. These transgressions a wise man should understand and eschew.

These eight are the very cream of happiness, and these only are attainable here, viz. meeting with friends, accession of immense wealth, embracing a son, union for intercourse, conversation with friends in proper times, the advancement of persons belong to one’ own party, the acquisition of what has been anticipated, and respect in society.

These eight qualities glorify a man, viz. wisdom, high birth, self-restraint, learning, prowess, moderation in speech, gift according to one’s power and gratitude.

*

This house has nine doors, three pillars, and five witnesses. It is presided over by the Atma. That man who knows this thoroughly is truly wise. These ten do not know what virtue is viz. the intoxicated, in attentive, the raving, the fatigued, the angry, the starving, the hasty, the covetous, the frightened, and the lustful. Therefore, he who is wise must shun the company of these.

That King who renounces lust and anger, who bestows wealth upon proper recipients, and is discriminating, learned and active is regarded as an authority of all men.  Great prosperity attends upon that King who knows how to inspire confidence in others, who inflicts punishment on those whose guilt has been proved, who is acquainted with the proper measure of punishment, and who knows when mercy is to be shown.

That illustrious person who does not grieve when a calamity has already come upon him, who exerts with all his senses collected, and who patiently hears misery in the season, is certainly the foremost of persons, and all his foes are vanquished.

He who does not live away from home uselessly, who does not make friends with sinful persons, who never outrages another’s wife, who never betrays arrogance and who seldom commits a theft or shows ingratitude or indulges in drinking is always happy.

He who bears no malice towards others but is kind to all, who being weak disputes not with others, who speaks not arrogantly, and forges a quarrel is praised everywhere. That man who never assumes a haughty man, who never censures others praising himself the while, and never addresses harsh words to others nor forgetting himself is ever loved by all.

He who rakes not old hostilities, who behaves neither arrogantly nor with too much humility, and who even when distressed never commits an improper act, is considered by respectable men a person of good conduct.

He who exults not at his own happiness, nor delights in another’s misery, and who repents not after having made a gift, is said to be a man of good nature and conduct. He who desires to obtain knowledge of the customs of different countries, and also the language of different nations, and of the usages of different orders of men, knows at once all that is high and low; and wherever he may go, he is sure to gain ascendency over even those who are glad.

The intelligent man who relinquishes pride, folly, insolence, sinful acts, disloyalty towards the king, crookedness of behavior, enmity with many, and also quarrels with men that are drunk, mad and wicked, is the foremost of his species.

The very gods bestow prosperity upon him who practices self-restraint, purification, auspicious rites, worship of the gods, expiatory ceremonies, and other rites of universal observance.

The acts of that learned man are well-conceived, and well applied who forms matrimonial alliances with persons of equal positions and not with those that are inferior, who places those before him who are more qualified, and who takes, behaves and makes friendships with people of equal positions.

He who eats frugally after dividing the food among his dependents, who sleeps little after working much, and who, when solicited gives away even unto his foes, has his soul under control, and calamities always keep themselves aloof from him.

He whose counsels are well kept and well carried out in practice, and whose acts in consequence thereof are never known by others to injure men, succeeds in securing even his most trifling objects.

He who is intent upon abstaining from injury to all creatures, who is truthful, gentle, charitable, are pure in mind, shines greatly among his kinsmen like a precious gem of the purest ray having its origin in an excellent mine.

That man who feels shame even though his faults be not known to any save himself is highly honored among all men. Possessed of a pure heart and boundless energy and abstracted within himself, he shines in consequence of his energy like the very sun.

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Even if unasked, one should speak truly, whether his words be good or bad, hateful or pleasing, unto him whose defeat one does not wish.

A man of intelligence must not grieve if any purpose of his does not succeed, notwithstanding the application of fair and proper means.

Before one engages in an act, one should consider competence of the agent, the nature of the act itself, and its purpose, for all acts is dependent on these. Considering these one should begin an act and not take it upon a sudden impulse.

He who is wise should either do an act or desist from it fully considering his own ability, the nature of the act, and the consequence also of success. The King who knows not proportion or measure as regards to the territory, gain, loss, treasury, population, and punishment cannot retain his kingdom long.

He, on the other hand, who is acquainted with the measures of these as prescribed in treatises, being necessarily possessed of the knowledge of religion and profit, can retain his kingdom.

As the stars are affected by the planets, so is the world affected by the senses, when they are directed, uncontrolled, to their respective objects.

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Like the moon during the lighted fortnight, calamities increase in respect of him who is vanquished by the five senses in their natural state. He who wishes to control his counselors before controlling his own self, or to subdue his various adversaries before controlling his counselors, at last, succumbs deprived of strength.

He, therefore, who first subdues himself, never fails to subdue his counselors and adversaries at last. Great prosperity waits upon him who has subdued his senses or controlled his soul, or who is capable of punishing all offenders, or who acts with judgment or who is blessed with patience.

One’s body is one’s car, the soul within is the driver; the senses are its steeds. Drawn by those excellent steeds, when well-trained, he who is wise, pleasantly performs the journey of life, and awake in peace.

The horses that are unbroken and incapable of being controlled, always lead an unskilful driver to destruction in the course of the journey; so one’s senses, unsubdued, lead only to destruction.

The inexperienced person, who, led by this unsubdued senses, hopes to extract evil from good and good from evil, necessarily confounds misery with happiness. He, who forsakes religion and profit, follows the lead of his senses, losses without delay prosperity, life, wealth, and wife.

He, who is the master of riches but not of his senses, certainly loses his riches in consequences of his want of mastery over his senses. One should seek to know one’s self by means of one’s own self, controlling, one’s mind, intellect, and senses, for one’s self, is one’s friend as, indeed, it is one’s own enemy. That man, who has conquered self by means of self, has his self for a friend, for one’s self is ever one’s friend or foe.

Desire and anger break through wisdom, just as a large fish breaks through a net of thin cords. He, who in this world regarding both duty and profit seeks to acquire the means of success, wins happiness, possessing all he had sought.

He, who, without subduing his five inner foes of mental origin, wishes to vanquish other adversaries, is, in fact, overpowered by the later. It is seen that many evil-minded kings, owing to want of mastery over their senses, are ruined by acts of their own, occasioned by the lust of territory.

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As fuel that is wet burns with that which is dry, so is a sinless man is punished equally with the sinful in consequence of constant association with the latter. Therefore, friendship with the sinful should be avoided. He who, from ignorance, fails to control his five greedy foes, having five distinct objects, is overwhelmed by calamities.

Guilelessness and simplicity, purity and contentment, the sweetness of speech and self-restraint, truth and steadiness – these are never the attributes of the wicked. Self-knowledge and steadiness, patience and devotion to virtue, competence to keep counsels and charity these never exist in inferior men. Fools seek to injure the wise by false reproaches and evil speeches. The consequence is, that by this they take upon themselves the sins of the wise, while the latter, freed from their sins, are forgiven.

In malice lies the strength of the wicked; in criminal code – the strength of kings, in attention – the weak and of women; and in forgiveness that of the virtuous. To control the speech is the most difficult. It is not easy to hold a long conversation uttering words full of meaning and delightful to the hearers. Well-spoken speech is productive of many beneficial results, and ill spoken speech is the cause of evils. A forest pierced by arrows, or cut down by hatchets may again grow, but one’s heart wounded and censured by ill-spoken words never recovers. Weapons, such as arrows, bullets, and bearded darts, can be easily extracted from the body but a wordy dagger plunged deep into the heart is incapable of being taken out. Wordy arrows are shot from the mouth; smitten by them one grieves day and night. A learned man should not discharge such arrows, for they do not touch the very vitals of others. He, to whom the gods ordain defeat, hath his senses taken away, and it is for this that he stoops to ignoble deeds.

When the intellect becomes dim and destruction is nigh, wrong, looking like right, firmly strikes to the heart.

Ablution in all the holy places and kindness to all creatures – these two are considered equal. Perhaps, kindness to all creatures surpasses the former. Some men have suggested that Paramatma does not protect men, taking up clubs in their hands after the manner of herdsmen; unto those, however, they wish to protect, they grant intelligence.

There is no doubt that one’s objects meet with success in proportion to the attention he directs to righteousness and morality. The Dharma never rescues from sin a deceitful person living by falsehood. On the other hand, it forsakes him while he is on his death-bed, like newly fledged birds forsaking their nests.

Drinking, quarrels, enmity with large numbers of men, all connections with connubial disputes, and severance of relationship between husband and wife, internal dissensions, disloyalty to the king – these and all paths that are sinful, should it is said, be avoided.

A palmist, a thief turned into a merchant, a fowler, a physician, an enemy, a friend, and a minstrel – these seven are incompetent as a witness.

An Agnihotra (fire ritual) performed from motives of pride, abstention from speech, practiced from similar motives, study, and sacrifice from the same motives – these four, of themselves innocent, become harmful when practiced unduly.

Gold is tested by fire; a well-born person, by his behavior; an honest man by his conduct. A brave man is tested during a season of panic; he who is self-controlled, in times of poverty; and friends and foes, in times of calamity and danger.

Decrepitude destroys beauty, ambitions & hope – patience; death – life, envy – righteousness, anger – prosperity, companionship with the low – good behavior, lust modesty and ego – everything.

Prosperity takes its birth in good deeds, grows in consequence of activity, drives its root deep in consequence of skill, and acquires stability to self-control. Wisdom, good lineage, self-control, acquaintance with scriptures, prowess, and absence of garrulity, a gift to the extent of one’s power, and gratefulness, these eight qualities shed a luster upon their possessor.

There is one endowment which alone can cause all these attributes to come together; the fact is, when the king honors a particular person, the royal favor can cause all these attributes to shed their luster on the favorite.

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Those eight are indications of heaven even while living in the mortal world; of the eight mentioned below four are inseparably connected, with the good, and four others are always followed by the good. The first four which are inseparably connected with the good, are a sacrifice, gift, study, and asceticism, while the other four that are always followed by the good, are the self-restraint, truth, simplicity and abstention from injury to all.

Sacrifice, study, charity, asceticism, truth, forgiveness, mercy and contentment constitute the eight different paths of righteousness. The first four of these may be practiced from motives of pride, but the last four can exist only in those that are truly noble.

That is no assembly where there are no old men, and they are not old who do not declare what morality is. That is not morality which is separated from truth, and that is not truth which is fraught with deceit. Truth, beauty, acquaintance with the scriptures, knowledge, high birth, good behavior, strength, wealth, bravery and capacity for varied talk – these ten are of heavenly origin.

A sinful person, by committing sin, is overtaken by evil consequences. A virtuous man, by practicing virtue, repeats great happiness. Therefore, a man, rigidly resolved, should abstain from sin. Sin, repeatedly perpetrated destroys intelligence; and the man who has lost intelligence repeatedly commits sin.

Virtue, repeatedly practiced, enhances intelligence, and the man whose intelligence has increased, repeatedly practices virtue.

He who is envious, he who injures others deeply, he who is cruel, he who constantly quarrels, he who is deceitful, soon meets with great misery for practicing these sins.

He who is not envious and is possessed of wisdom, by always doing what is good, never meets with great misery; on the other hand, he shines everywhere. He who draws wisdom from them who are wise is really learned and wise. And he who is wise, by attending to both virtue and profit, succeeds in attaining happiness.

Do that during the day which may enable you to pass the night in happiness, and do that during eight months of the year which may enable you to pass the season of rains happily. Do that during the youth which may ensure a happy old age, and do that during the whole life here which may enable you to live happily hereafter.

The wise prize the food which is easily digested, that wife whose youth has passed away, that hero who is victorious and that ascetic whose efforts have been crowned with success.

The gap, that is sought to be filled by wealth acquired wrongfully, remains uncovered, while new ones appear in other places. The greatness of Rishis, of rivers, of river-banks, of high-souled men, and the cause of woman’s wickedness, cannot be ascertained.

He who is devoted to the worship of learned, he who gives away, who behaves righteously towards his relatives and the warrior who behaves nobly rule the earth forever.

He who is possessed of bravery, he who is possessed of learning, and he who knows how to protect others – these three are always able to gather flowers of gold from the earth.

Of acts, those accomplished by intelligence are first, those accomplished by the arms, second, those by thighs and by bearing weights upon head – the very worst.

By untying the knots in the heart by the aid of tranquillity, and by mastery over all the passions, and observance of true religion, one should regard both the agreeable and the disagreeable like his own self.

One should not return the slanders of reproaches of others for the pain that is felt by him who bears silently, consumes the slanderer, and he who bears succeeds also in appropriating the virtues of the slanderer. Indulge not in slanders and reproaches.

Do not humiliate and insult others. Quarrel not with friends. Abstain from companionship with those that are vile and low. Be not arrogant and ignoble in conduct. Avoid words that are harsh and fraught with anger.

Harsh words burn and scorch the very vitals, bones, heart, and the very sources of the life of men. Therefore, he who is virtuous should always abstain from harsh and angry words. That worst of men who is full of harsh and wrathful speech, who pierces the vitals of others with words thorns, bears hell in his tongue and should ever be regarded as a dispenser of misery to men.

The man who is wise, pierced by other’s words arrows, sharp-pointed and smarting like fire or the sun, should, even if deeply wounded and burning with pain, bear them patiently remembering that slanderer’s merits become his. He who waits upon one who is good or upon one who is wicked, upon one who is possessed of ascetic merit or upon one that is a thief, soon takes the color from that companion of his like a cloth from the dye in which it is soaked.

The very gods desire his company, who stung with reproach, returns it not himself nor causes others to return it, or who being stuck does not himself return the blow nor causes others to do it, and who wishes not the slightest injury to him who injures him.

Silence is better than speech, if speak you must then it is better to say the truth; if truth is to be said, it is better to say what is agreeable; and if what agreeable is to be said, then it is better to say what is consistent with morality.

A man becomes exactly like him with whom he lives, or like whom he regards or like him whom he wishes to be. One is freed from those things from which one abstains and if one abstains from everything he has not suffer even the least misery. Such a man neither vanquishes others nor is vanquished by others. He never injures nor opposes others. He is unmoved by praise or blame. He neither grieves nor exalts in joy.

That man is regarded as the first of his species who wishes for the prosperity of all and never settles his heart on the misery of others, who is truthful in speech, humble in behavior and has all his passions under control.

That man is regarded as a mediocre in goodness who never consoles others by saying what is not true; who gives having promised and who keeps an eye over the weakness of others.

These, however, are the indications of a bad man, viz. incapacity to be controlled; liability to be afflicted by dangers; proneness to give way to wrath, ungratefulness; inability to become another’s friend and wickedness of heart.

He too is the worst of men, who is dissatisfied with any good that may come to him from others who is suspicious of his own self, and who drives away from himself all his true friends.

He who desires prosperity to himself should wait upon them who are good, and at times upon them that are indifferent, but never upon them who are bad.

He who is wicked, earns wealth, it is true, by putting forth his strength, by constant effort, by intelligence, and by prowess, but he can never win honest fame, nor can he acquire the virtues and manners of high families in any of which he may be born. Asceticism, self-restraint, knowledge of the Vedas, sacrifices, good marriages and gifts of food – those families in which seven exist or are practiced duly are regarded as high.

There are high families who deviate not from the right course whose deceased ancestors are never hurt by the witnessing the wrong doings of their descendants, who cheerfully practice all the virtues, who desire to enhance the pure fame of the line in which they are born, and who avoid every kind of falsehood.

Families that are high, fall down and become low owing to the absence of sacrifices, impure marriages, abandonment of the Vedas and violation of virtues. Families that are high, fall down and become low owing to the destruction of other’s properties, robbing of the properties of learned, and insults offered to knowledgeable.

*

High families fall off and become low owing to their members disregarding or speaking ill of learned, or to the misappropriation of what has been deposited with them by others. Those families that are possessed of members, wealth, and kin, are not regarded as families if they are wanting in good manners and conduct, while families wanting in wealth but distinguished by manners and good conduct are regarded as such and win great reputation.

Straw for the seat, ground for sitting upon, water to wash the feet and face and fourthly sweet words are never lacking in the house of those who are good. Virtuous men devoted to the practice of righteous acts, when desirous of entertaining guests, have these things ready for being offered with reverence.

As the Sandal tree though thin is competent to wear weights which timbers of other trees much thicker cannot; so they who belong to high families are always able to bear the weight of great cares which ordinary men cannot. He is no friend whose anger inspires fear, or who is to be looked upon with fear. He, however, on whom one can repose confidence as the son a father, is a true friend. Other friendships are a nominal connection.

He who bears himself as a friend, even though unconnected by birth of blood, is a true friend, a real refuge, and a protector. He whose heart is unsteady, or who does not look upon the aged, or who is of a restless disposition cannot make friends. Success in the attainment of objects forsakes, the person whose heart is unsteady, or who has no control over his mind, or who is a slave of his senses, like swans forsaking a tank whose water have dried up.

They who are weak minds suddenly give way to anger and are gratified without sufficient cause; they are like clouds that are so inconstant. The very birds of prey abstain from touching the dead bodies of those who having served and benefited by friends, show ingratitude to the latter. Be you poor or be you rich, you should honor your friends. Until some service is asked, the sincerity or otherwise of friends cannot be known.

Sorrow kills beauty; sorrow kills strength, sorrow kills the understanding and sorrow brings on the disease. Grief dries up the body and makes one’s foes glad. Therefore, do not yield to grief.

Men repeatedly die and are reborn; repeatedly they wither away and grow; repeatedly they ask others for help, and they themselves are asked for help; repeatedly they lament and are lamented. Happiness and misery, plenty and want, gain and loss, life and death, are shared by all in due order. Therefore, he who is self-controlled should neither exult in joy nor repine in sorrow.

The six senses are always restless. Though the most predominant one among them one’s understanding escapes in proportion to the strength it assumes, like water from a pot through its holes. In nothing else than knowledge and asceticism, in nothing else than restraining the senses, in nothing else than a complete abandonment of avarice, do I see your good.

Fear is dispelled by self-knowledge; by asceticism one wins what is great and valuable, by waiting upon superiors learning is acquired and peace is gained by self-restraint. They who desire salvation without having acquired the merit attainable by gifts, or that which is attainable by practicing the ritual of the Vedas, do not sojourn through life, freed from anger and aversion.

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The happiness that may be derived from a judicious course of study, from a battle, fought virtuously, from ascetic austerities performed rigidly, always increases at the end. They who are no longer in peace with their relatives, obtain no steep even if they have recourse to well-made beds; nor do they derive any pleasure from women, or the laudatory hymns of bards and eulogists.

Such persons can seldom practice virtue. Happiness can never be theirs, in this world. Honors can never be theirs and peace has no charm for them. Counsels that are for their benefit please them not. They never acquire what they have not, nor succeed in retaining what they have there is no other end for such men save destruction. As milk is possible in cows, asceticism in learned, and inconstancy in lustful, so fear is possible from all relatives.

Numerous thin threads of equal length, collected together, are competent to bear, from the strength of numbers, the constant rolling of the shuttle-cock over them. The case is even so with relatives that are good. Separated from one another, burning brands produce only smoke; but brought together they blaze forth into powerful flame. The case is even so with relatives.

They who tyrannize over learned, women, relatives and cows soon fall off their stalks, like fruits that are ripe. And the tree that stands singly, though gigantic and strong and deep rooted hath its trunk soon smashed and twisted by a mighty wind. Those trees, however, which grow in the close compact are competent owing to mutual dependence to resist winds more violent still. Thus he, who is single, however, endowed with all the virtues, is regarded by foes as capable of being vanquished like an isolated tree by the wind. Relatives, again, in consequence of mutual dependence and mutual aid, grow together, like lotus-stalks in a lake.

These must never be slain, viz. learned me, relatives, children, women, those whose food is eaten, and those who yield by asking for protection. Without wealth, no good quality can show itself in person. If, however, you are in health you can’t achieve your good for he is dead who is unhealthy and ill. Anger is a kind of bitter, pungent, acrid and hot drink, painful in its consequences: it is a kind of a headache not born of any physical illness, and they who are unwise can never digest it. You must swallow it up to obtain peace.

They who are tortured by the disease have no liking for enjoyments, nor do they desire any happiness from wealth. The sick, however, filled with sorrow, know not what happiness is or what the enjoyments of wealth are. There is no strength which is opposed to softness. On the other hand, strength is mixed with softness constitute true policy which should ever be pursued. That prosperity which is dependent on crookedness alone is destined to be destroyed. That prosperity, however, which depends on both strength and softness, descends to sons and grandsons intact.

One should behave towards another just as that other behaves towards him. Even this is consistent with the social policy. One may behave deceitfully towards him who behaves deceitfully, but honestly towards him who is honest in his behavior. Excess of pride, excess in speech, excess in eating, anger, the desire of enjoyment and intestine dissensions – these are six sharp swords that cut off the period of life allotted to creatures. It is these which kill men, and not death. Knowing this may you be blessed.

He who accepts the teachings of the wise; he who is acquainted with the rules of morality; he who is liberal; he who envies none; he who is capable of doing anything that injures others; he who is grateful, truthful, humble and learned, succeeds in attaining heaven. They are abundant who can always speak agreeable words. The speaker, however, is rare as also the hearer of words that are disagreeable but medicinal.

The man who without regarding what is agreeable or disagreeable to his master but keeping virtue alone in view, says what is unpalatable, but medicinal, truly adds to the strength of the king.

For sake of the family a member may be sacrificed; for the sake of the village, a family may be sacrificed; for the sake of a kingdom a village may be sacrificed, and for the sake of one’s soul, the whole earth may be sacrificed.

One should protect his wealth in the view of the calamities that may overtake him; by his wealth, one should protect his wives, and by both his wealth and wives one should protect his own self.

From very old times it has been seen that gambling provokes quarrels. Therefore, he who is wise, should not resort to it even in jest.

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That master who does not give vent to his displeasure with devoted servants zealously pursuing his good, enlists the confidence of his servants. In fact, the latter adhere to him even in distress.

By confiscating grants to one’s servants or stopping their pay, one should not seek to amass wealth, for even affectionate counselors deprived of their means of life and enjoyment, turn against him and leave him (in distress).

Reflecting first on all the intended acts and adjusting the wages and allowances of servants with his income and expenditure, a king should make proper alliances, for there is nothing that cannot be accomplished by alliances.

That officer who fully understanding the intentions of his royal master discharges all duties with alacrity, and who is respectable himself and devoted to his master, always tells what is for his master’s good and who is fully acquainted with the extent of his own might and with that also of those against, whom he may be engaged, should be regarded by the king as his second self.

The servant, however, who commands by his master disregards the latter’s injunctions and who enjoined to do anything refuses to submit, proud as he is of his own intelligence and given to arguing against his master, should be got rid of without the least delay.

Men of learning say that a servant should be endued with these eight qualities, viz. absence of pride, ability, the absence of procrastination, kindness, cleanliness, incorruptibility, birth in a family free from the taint of disease, and weightiness of speech.

No man should confidently enter an enemy’s house after dusk even with notice. One should not at night lurk in the yard of another’s premises, nor should one seek to enjoy a woman to whom the king himself might make love.

Never set yourself against the decision to which a person has arrived who keeps low company and who is in habit of consulting all he meets. Never tell him – I do not believe you – but assigning some reason to send him away on a pretext.

A king who is exceedingly merciful, a woman of lewd character, the servant of a king, a son, a brother, a widow having an infant son one serving in the army, and one who has suffered great losses, should never be engaged in pecuniary transactions of lending or borrowing.

He who performs ablutions wins the ten, viz. strength, beauty, a clear voice, capacity to utter all the alphabetical sounds, the delicacy of touch, fineness of scent, cleanliness, gracefulness, delicacy of limbs and beautiful women. He who eats sparingly wins these six, viz. health, long life, and ease, his progeny also becomes healthy, and nobody reproaches him for gluttony.

One should not give shelter to these in his house, viz. one who always acts improperly, one who eats too much, one who is hated by all, one who is exceedingly deceitful, one who is cruel, one who is ignorant of the properties of time and place, and one who is dressed indecently.

A person, however distressed, should never solicit a miser for alms, or one who speaks ill of others, or one who is unacquainted with the Shastras, a dweller in the woods, or one who is cunning, or one who does not regard person’s worthy of regard, or one who is cruel, or one that habitually quarrels with others or one who is ungrateful.

One’s purposes depend for their success on means; and means are dependent, again, on the nature of the purposes sought to be accomplished by them. They are intimately connected with each other, so that success depends on both. Begetting sons and rendering them independent by making some provision for them, and bestowing maiden daughters on eligible persons, one should retire to the woods, and desire to live as a Muni.

What anxiety has he for a livelihood who has intelligence, energy, prowess, strength, alacrity and perseverance? There can be no forest without tigers and no tigers without a forest. The forest shelters the tigers and tigers guard the forest.

He who desires the highest success in all matters connected with worldly profit, should from the very beginning practice virtue, for true profit is never separated from heaven. He who has been dissociated from sin and firmly fixed on virtue has understood all things in their natural and adventurous states. He who follows virtue, profit, and desire, in proper seasons, obtains both here and hereafter, a combination of all three. He who restrains the force of both anger and joy, and never loses his senses under calamities wins prosperity.

*

Men are said to have five different kinds of strength. Of these, the strength of the arms is regarded to be the most inferior kind. Blessed be you, the acquisition of good counselors is regarded as the second kind of strength. The wise have said that acquisition of wealth is the third kind of strength. The strength of the birth which one naturally acquires from ones’ sires and grandsires is regarded as the fourth kind of strength. That by which all these are won, and which is the foremost of all kinds of strength, is called the strength of the intellect.

Having provoked the hostility of a person who is capable of inflicting great injury on a fellow creature, one should not gather assurance from the thought that one lives at a distance from other.

Serpents, fire, lions and consanguineous relatives – none of these should be disregarded by man; all of these are possessed of great power.

Fire is a thing of great energy in this world. It lurks in wood and never consumes it till it is ignited by others. That very fire, when brought out by friction consumes by its energy not only the wood in which it lurks but also an entire forest and many other things. Men of high lineage are just like fire in energy. Endued with forgiveness, they betray no outward symptoms of wrath and are quite like fire in the wood.

He who never gives away to anger, he who is above grief, he who is no longer in need of friendship and quarrels, he who disregards both praise and blame, and he who stands aloof from both what is agreeable and disagreeable, like one perfectly withdrawn from the world, is a real Yogin.

Having wronged an intelligent person, one should never gather assurance from the fact that one lives at a distance from the person wronged. Long are the arms of intelligent people; through them, they can return wrongs done to them!

One should never put a trust on him who should not be trusted, nor put too much trust on him who should be trusted, for the danger that arises from one’s having reposed trust on another cuts off one’s very roots.

One should renounce envy, protect one’s wives, give to others what is their due, and be agreeable in speech. One should be sweet tongued and pleasant in his address as regards one’s wives, but should never be their slave.

It has been said that wives who are highly blessed and virtuous, worthy of worship and the ornaments of their homes, are really embodiments of domestic prosperity. They should, therefore, be protected particularly.

Fire lies concealed in wood without showing itself externally. Good and forgiving men born of high families and endued with fiery energy, do not betray any outward symptoms of what is within them.

That king whose counsels cannot be known by either outsiders or those about him, but who knows the counsels of others through his spies enjoys his prosperity for a long time to come. One should never speak of what one intends to do. Let anything you do in respect of virtue, profit and desire, be not known till it is done. Let counsels be not divulged.

Neither a friend who is without learning nor a learned friend who has no control over his senses deserves to be a repository of state secrets. O king, never make one your minister without examining, him well, for a king’s finances and the keeping of his counsels both depend on his minister.

That king is the foremost of rulers, whose ministers know his acts in respect of virtue, profit, and desire, only after they are done. The king whose counsels are kept close, without a doubt, commands success.

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He who from ignorance commits acts that are censurable loses his very life in consequence of the untoward results of those acts. The doing of acts that are praiseworthy is always attended with ease. Omission to do such acts leads to repentance.

He who has an eye on his increase, decrease or surplus, he who is conversant with six means and knows also his own self, he whose conduct is always applauded, brings the whole earth under subjection to himself.

He whose anger and joy is productive of consequences, he who looks over personally what should be done, he who has his treasury under his own control, brings the whole earth under subjection to himself.

The king should be content with the name he wins and the umbrella that is held over his head. He should divide the wealth of the king among those that serve him. Alone he should not appropriate everything.

A foe who deserves death, when brought under subjection should never be set free. If one be weak one should pay court to one’s foe who is stronger, even if the latter deserves death; but one should kill that foe as soon as one commands sufficient strength, for, if not killed, dangers soon arise from him.

He who is wise should avoid unprofitable quarrels in which fools only engage in. By this one wins great fame in this world and avoids misery and unhappiness. People never desire him for a master whose grace is fruitless and whose wrath goes for nothing, like women never desiring him for a husband who is a eunuch.

Intelligence does not exist for the acquisition of wealth, nor is idleness the cause of adversity, the man of wisdom only knows, and not others, the cause of diversities of conditions in the world.

The fools always disregard those who are elderly in years, and eminent in conduct and knowledgeable in intelligence, wealth, and lineage. Calamities soon come upon them who are of wicked disposition, devoid of wisdom, envious, or sinful, foul-tongued and wrathful. The absence of deceitfulness, gift, observance of the established rules of intercourse, and speech well controlled, bring all creatures under subjection.

He who is without deceitfulness, he who is active, graceful, intelligent and guideless, even if his treasury is empty, obtains friends, counselors, and servants. Intelligence, the tranquillity of mind, self-control, purity, the absence of harsh speech and unwillingness to do anything disagreeable to friends – these seven are regarded as the fuel of prosperity’s flame. The wretch who does not give to others their due, who is of wicked nature, who is ungrateful, shameless, should be avoided.

The guilty person who provokes another about him who is innocent, cannot sleep peacefully at night, like a person passing the night with a snake in his room. They who upon being angry endanger one’s possessions and means of acquisition should always be propitiated like the very gods.

Those objects which depend upon women, careless persons, men who have fallen away from the duties of their caste, and those who are wicked in disposition, are doubtful of success. That man who is highly spoken of by swindlers, mimes, and women of ill fame, is more dead than alive. He who is hated by another is never regarded by that other as honest or intelligent or wise. One attributes everything good to him who one loves, and everything evil to him whom he hates.

He who is grateful with every virtue and endued with humility is never indifferent to even the minutest sufferings of living creatures. They who are employed in speaking ill of others, always strive with activity quarreling with one another and in all matters, calculated to give pain to others.

There is sin in accepting gifts from, and danger in making gifts to them, whose very sight is inauspicious and whose companionship is fraught with danger. They who are quarrelsome, covetous, shameless, and deceitful, are known unrighteous and their companionship should always be avoided. One should also avoid those men who are endued with similar faults of a grave nature.

When the occasion that caused the friendship is over, the friendship of those that are low, the beneficial result of that connection, and the happiness also derivable from it, all come to an end. They then strive to speak ill of their (late) friend and endeavor to inflict loss on him, and if the loss they sustain be even very small, for all that they from want of self-control, fail to enjoy peace. He who is learned, examining everything carefully and reflecting well, should, from a distance, avoid the friendship of vile and wicked-minded persons such as these.

He who helps his poor and wretched and helpless relatives obtains children and animals and enjoys the prosperity that knows no end. They who desire their own benefit should always succor their relatives. By every means, therefore, you must seek the growth of your race. Prosperity will be yours if you behave well towards all your relatives. Even relatives who are destitute of good qualities should be protected. The friendship of those persons never cools, whose hearts, secret pursuits and pleasures and acquirements accord in every respect.

He who is intelligent should avoid an ignorant person of wicked soul, like a pit whose mouth is covered with grass, for friendship with such a person can never last. The man of wisdom should never contract friendship with those who are proud, ignorant, fierce, rash and fallen off from righteousness. He who is grateful, virtuous truthful, large-hearted and devoted and he who has his senses under control, preserves his dignity, and never forsakes a friend, should be desired for a friend.

Effort after securing what is good, the properties of time, place, and means acquaintance with the scriptures, activity, straightforwardness and frequent meetings with those that are good – these bring about prosperity. Perseverance is the root of prosperity, of gain, and of what is beneficial. The man who pursues an object with perseverance and without giving it up in vexation is really great and enjoys the happiness that is unending. There is nothing more conducive to happiness and nothing more proper for a man of power and energy as forgiveness in every place and at all times.

He who is weak should forgive under all circumstances. He who is possessed of power should show forgiveness from motives of virtue; and he, to whom the success or failure of his objects is the same, is naturally forgiving. That pleasure the pursuit of which does not injure one’s virtue and profit should certainly be pursued to one’s fill. One should not, however, act like a fool by giving free indulgence to his senses.

*

Prosperity never resides in one who suffers himself to be tortured by a grief, who is addicted to evil ways, who denies Dharma, who is idle, who has not his senses under control, and who is divested of exertion. That man is humble, and who from humility is modest is regarded as a weak and persecuted by persons of misdirected intelligence.

Prosperity never approaches from fear the person who is excessively liberal, who gives away without measure, who is possessed of extraordinary bravery, who practices the most rigid vows, and who is very proud of his wisdom. Prosperity does not reside in one who is highly accomplished, nor in one who is without accomplishment. She does not desire a combination of all the virtues, nor is she pleased with the total absence of all virtues. Blind, like a mad cow, prosperity resides with someone who is not remarkable.

The fruits of the Vedas are ceremonies performed before the sacrificial fire; the fruits of an acquaintance with the scriptures are the goodness of disposition and conduct. The fruits of women are the pleasures of intercourse and offspring, and the fruits of wealth are enjoyment and charity.

He who performs acts tending to secure his prosperity in the other world with wealth acquired sinfully, never repeats the fruits of these acts in the other world, in consequence of the sinfulness of the acquisitions spent for the purpose.

In the midst of deserts or deep woods, or inaccessible fastness, amid all kinds of dangers and alarms or in view of deadly weapons upraised for striking him, he who has the strength of mind entertains no fear. Exertion, self-control, skill, carefulness, steadiness, memory and commencement of acts after mature deliberation – know that these are the roots of prosperity.

Austerity constitutes the strength of ascetics; the Vedas are the strength of those conversant with them; in envy lies the strength of the wicked; and in forgiveness, the strength of the virtuous. That which is antagonistic to one’s own self should never be applied in respect of another. Briefly even this is a virtue. Other kinds of virtue there are, but these proceed from caprice.

Anger must be conquered by forgiveness, and the wicked must be conquered by honesty; the miser must be conquered by liberality and falsehood must be conquered by the truth. Achievements, a period of life, fame, and power – these four always expand in the case of him who respectfully salutes his superiors and looks after the old.

Do not set your heart on these objects which cannot be acquired except by very painful exertion or by sacrificing righteousness or by bowing down to an enemy. A man without knowledge is to be pitted; an act of intercourse that is not fruitful is to be pitied; the people of the kingdom who are without food are to be pitied, and a kingdom without a king is to be pitied. These constitute the source of pain and weakness to embodied creatures; the rains, decay of hills and mountains; absence of enjoyment, the anguish of women and wordy arrows of the heart.

*

Abandoning pride, that good man who pursues his objects without outstepping the limits of his power, soon succeeds in winning fame, for they who are good, when gratified with a person, are certainly competent to bestow happiness on him. He who forsakes of his own accord, even a great object owing to its being fraught with unrighteousness, lives happily, casting off all foes, like a snake that has cast off its slough.

Excessive envy, death, and boastfulness are the causes of the destruction of prosperity. Carelessness in waiting upon preceptor, haste, and boast-less-ness are the three enemies of knowledge.  How can they who desire pleasure have knowledge? Students, again, engaged in the pursuit of learning, cannot have pleasure. Votaries of pleasure must give up knowledge, and votaries of knowledge must give up pleasure.

Fire is never gratified with fuel (but can consume any measure thereof. The great ocean is never gratified with rivers it receives (but can receive any number of them). Death is never gratified even with entire living creatures. A beautiful woman is never gratified with any number of men she may have.

Hope kills patience, death kills growth, anger kills prosperity, miserliness kills fame, the absence of tending kills cattle, one angry yet knowledgeable man can destroy a whole kingdom. Let goats, brass, silver, honey, antidotes of poison, learned men versed in the Vedas, old relatives and men of high birth sunk in poverty, be always present in your house.

Virtue is everlasting, pleasure and pain are transitory; life is, indeed, everlasting but its particular phases are transitory. Forsaking those which are transitory, betake yourself to that which is everlasting, and let contentment be thine, for contentment is the highest of all acquisitions.

Worshipping and gratifying friends who are eminent in wisdom, virtue, learning and years he who asks their advice about what he should do and should not do is never misled. One should restrain one’s lust and stomach by patience; one’s hands and feet by one’s eyes and ears by one’s mind; and one’s mind and words by one’s acts.

 

April 12, 2017

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