For the best of times, and for the not so good times too…

On this New Year’s day, while our wishes are for all that is good and best, it may not be wrong to remember that there may be downsides. This verse from ‘Bhartrhari’s Nitisatakam’ is for us to draw strength, for those not so good times …

सम्पत्सु महतां चित्तं भवत्युत्पलकोमलम् /

आपत्सु च महाशैलशिलासन्घातकर्कशम् // ६५ //

sampathsu mahathAm chiththam bhavathyuthpalakOmalam /

Apathsu cha mahAshailashilAsanghAthakarkasham // 65 //

When they attain good fortune, their thoughts are mellow, marked by concern for others; when misfortune strikes, they withstand it, as strong as a rock, without succumbing to self-pity. [Such is the nature of the great]

Advertisements

Of virtue and the vicious

मृगमीनसज्जनानां तृणजलसंतोषविहितवृत्तीनाम् /

लुब्धकधीवरपिशुना निष्कारणवैरिणो जगति // ६० //

mrugamInasajjanAnAm thruNajalasamthOSHavihithavruththInAm /

lubDHakaDHIvarapishunA niSHkAraNavairiNO jagathi // 60 //

Animals, fish and good people ask for just grass, water and peace to thrive. Regardless of their modest demands, which hurt none, they get hunted, killed and maligned by enemies.

Wither virtues?

जाड्यम् ह्रीमिति गण्यते व्रतरुचौ दम्भः शुचौ कैतवं

शूरे निर्घृणता मुनौ विमतिता दैन्यं प्रियालापिनि /

तेजस्विन्यवलिप्तता मुखरता वक्तर्यशक्तिस्स्थिरे

तत्को नाम गुणो भवेत्स गुणिनां यो दुर्जनैर्नाङ्कितः //

jADyam hrImithi gaNyathe vratharuchau dhamBHaha shuchau kaithavam

shUrE nirGrNathA munau vimathithA dhainyam priyAlApini /

thEjasvinyavalipthathA muKHarathA vaktharyashakthissTHirE

thathkO nAma guNO BHavEthsa guNinAm yO dhurjanairnAnkithaha //

In the modest, they see dumbness; in the religious, hypocrisy; in the ethical, they see deceit; in the valiant, lack of compassion;

In the ascetic they see madness; in pleasant talk, timidity.

in the brilliant, arrogance; in an orator, verbosity; In the stable, they see weakness;

Be it any trait of high acclaim, are there any that the malevolent will not see with a jaundiced eye?*

*With due acknowledgement to Dr. H. K. Ramapriyan. Please see earlier post for details

शास्त्रॊपस्कृतशब्दसुन्दरगिरः शिष्यप्रदेयागमाः

विख्याताः कवयॊ वसन्ति विषयॆ यस्य प्रभोर्निर्धनाः /

तज्जाड्यं वसुधाधिपस्य कवयस्त्वर्थं विनाऽपीश्वराः

कुत्स्यास्स्युः कुपरीक्षका हि मणयॊ यैरर्घतः पातिताः //

shAsthrOpaskrthashabdhasundharagiraha shiSHyapradhEyAgamAha

viKHyAthAha kavayO vasanthi viSHayE yasya praBHOrnirDHanAha /

thajjADyam vasuDHADHipasya kavayastvarTHam vinApIshvarAha

kuthsyAssyuhu kuparIkSHakA hi maNyO yairarGHathaha pAthithAha //

Rich with scriptural nuances, beautiful language and literary merit are their works; ready and willing are they to share their knowledge. Despite the richness of their scholarship, were such poets to be found destitute, the indignity vests not in them, but in the ruler of their land. The merit of the scholar is not diminished by their penury just as undervaluing a jewel does not reduce its worth.

Bhartrhari’s Nitisatakam

From today, we shall be posting verses from the poetic work, ‘Nitisatakam’ [ नीतिशतकम्], composed by the poet-king Bhartrhari in the latter half of the seventh century CE. The verses and translations are inspired by, though not always  reproduced from,  Dr. H. K. Ramapriyan’s publication, ‘Bhartrharinitisatakam’ [1999].*

 

बोद्धारो मत्सरग्रस्ताः प्रभवः स्मयदूषिताः /

अबोधोपहताश्चान्ये जीर्णमङ्गे सुभाषितम् //

 

bOdDArO mathsaragrasthAha praBHavaha smayadhUSHithAha/

abODHOpahathAshchAnyE jIrNamangE suBHASHitham//

 

The intelligent are steeped in envy, the leaders are corrupted by pride, and the rest are submerged in ignorance. Good words, therefore, remain unspoken [as there is no one to listen].

 

Dr. Ramapriyan’s address, as provided in the publication: 11860 Linden Chapel Road, Clarksville, MD 21029, United States of America.