An ignorant can be pacified easily and a learned can be more easily. However, a man with little learning (a fool) hardly be pacified even by Brahma, the creator of this Universe himself (1) A man can snatch away gems from the teeth of an alligator and can cross a rough ocean with high waves. He can adorn his head with an angry serpent like a flower, but it is not possible for him to please a fool, an obstinate one (2) A man can extract oil from sand with high efforts. A thirsty man can find water in mirage of a desert. It may also be possible for a person to find horns of a rabbit but, no one can change the heart of an obstinate fool (3) The moon fainted with day-light, a romantic woman who has lost her youthfulness, a pond which has gone down to its waterline, a handsome man suffering from dullness, a prince hankering after wealth, a noble man in calamity and an evil man enjoining the patronage of royal palace are the seven thorns (grieves) in my mind.(4) A jewel cut with polishing stone, a conqueror in war killed by weapons, an elephant weakened by the extreme loss of rots, an young woman who became languid through extreme pleasure, a moon at the end of waning…
yet they are glorious. A noble man who has lost all his wealth by offering to the needy is still an exemplary one (5). The one who has a longing for a handful of grain, when revives (recovers), looks on the whole earth as a mere grass. So, objects seem great or small according to the situational factors of human beings possessing them. It is the situation in men's fortune which makes things appearing greater or smaller (6) When a wise man dwells in poverty and a man whose words are adorned with polished words from the Shastras; and the one who imparts sacred learning to his disciples then that prince in whose kingdom they dwell is chargeable with foolishness, and the wise men, though poor, are the real rulers of the land. Should not those bad examiners be worthy of condemnation who due to their carelessness cause jewels to fall from their actual value? (7) Great men are naturally endowed with the qualities as patience in times of misfortune, submissiveness at the time progress, skill of oratory in an assembly, bravery in battle, zest in fame and addiction to acquisition of knowledge (8)A stable man may be blamed or praised by those skilled in codes of conducts; fortune may come to him or may leave him; he may die to-day or in thousands of years' later; but for all that he never deviates from the path of righteousness (9).
It is not visible to the thief but it always bestows joy and happiness on the possessor. The more it is imparted to those who want it more, it increases. Even after ages it never perishes. It is vidya (learning) which is an internal wealth. (It is therefore) O’ Kings! Do not be arrogant before those who possess such wealth of knowledge. Who can compete with them? (10). It is better not to underestimate the wise people who have attained the knowledge of higher truth. Wealth, for that matter, cannot bind those who consider it as mere grass. It is like binding of an elephant infuriated with passion with the stalk of water-lily (11). The lion who is strained by hunger, weakened by old age; and even in the state of his limbs being loosened with weaknesses or at the point of his life at stake, at any point of misery, he keeps himself fit/ready to attack and swallow the forehead of an elephant to satisfy his hunger and never engages himself to eat the withered grasses. (Similar is the nature of great men of substance. They never engage themselves in petty things below their dignity even in distress) (12) Evil must be avoided, a poor man, even though he be a friend, must not be asked for alms, observation of the righteousness taught by good and great men even at the risk of death; stability in adversity, consistency of steps according to the guidelines of the great people, is an advised path by someone that is like a vow that is as difficult as to stand on the edge of a sword!
Rare are those virtuous people who are filled with nectar like philanthropic activity all through their mind, voice, action and body. Such great people are indeed rare in the world who devote their mind, words and actions for the sake of charity of others; who magnify even the smallest virtue of the others and who also always remain pleased (14). The ocean endures the sleep of Kesava (Lord Vishnu’s name), and is a refuge for the mountains in their flight from the demons; moreover, it is filled with devouring flames within. Surely the ocean can endure anything! (15) Once he may lie on the ground and at another he may sleep on a couch; at one time he may live on herbs and at another on boiled rice; at one time he may wear rags, at another a magnificent robe. The man of constant mind, bent on his purpose, counts neither state as pleasure nor pain (16). We worship the deities, but are they not in the power of fate? Destiny must be worshipped, for that is the sole giver of rewards to man proportioned to the acts of their former state. But the fruit of those acts depends upon the acts themselves; why, then, should we worship either the god or destiny? Let us pay adoration to those works over which fate has no power (17). Those who have the quality of self-satisfaction by nature they never get dissatisfied for anything. For example, the Meru mountain in spite of being a mass of gold is not liked by me (the poet) (18).
A king is ruined through evil counsellors ; an ascetic through society ; a child by spoiling : a priest by not studying the Sacred Scriptures ; a family by the evil behaviour of children ; good manners by evil habits ; modesty by wine ; agriculture by want of care ; affection by absence from home ; friendship by want of love ; possessions by mismanagement and money by waste and prodigality (19). Wicked people, as if it is their duty, always see bad things in good people. They see a lack of spirit in graceful personalities, hypocrisy in austere, deceitfulness in people of good characters, cruelty in brave, lack of intellect in people of silence nature, inferiority in soft-spoken people, pride in brilliant, absurdity in an orator, incapability in sober/steady people. After all, no good quality of good people is left out by wicked without condemning it. (20).Our noble birth may go to the lower regions; our virtues may perish; our moral character may fall as if from a lofty mountain; our family may be swallowed by fire; a thunderbolt may strike our might as it were an enemy: let us keep our money, for without this all the collected virtues are but a heap of grass (21). Discernment is the fruit of men's actions, and is the result produced by deeds performed in another state: this must be carefully considered by the wise man who gives heed to all things (22).
A ball, though it fall to the ground, flies up again by the strokes of the hand. Even so the misfortunes of good men are not everlasting (23). A man of noble character is like a ball even if falls down on earth comes up immediately but a man of ordinary falls down like the idol of clay falls on ground in such a way that he unable to come up (24). A son is one who, by his good conduct and character, pleases one’s father. A wife is one who always thinks of her husband’s good. A friend is one whose behaviour remains constant in misfortune and good fortune. Only people who have earned merit (punya) by doing good deeds will be blessed with such a son, wife and friend (25). In good times the heart of great men is soft as the petals of the lotus flower. In bad times, however, it becomes as hard as the rocks of the mountain (26). Evil men should be avoided though they may be learned. Is a serpent adorned with a jewel (naga-manikya) less frightening? [Note: Legend has it that good serpents have a luminous stone (manikya) on top of their hood](27) Milk gave all its qualities to water that was mixed with it. When milk was being heated on a fire water, unable to bear the suffering of its friend, sacrificed itself in the fire (i.e. water in the milk evaporated). Milk, in turn, finding water in trouble, comes up itself in the boiling pot to offer itself to the fire. But, mixed with water again, it settles down to the previous level. The friendship of good people is like this. Each is prepared to sacrifice himself to save the other (28).
Wise man! Cultivate constantly divine virtue; for that makes evil men good, the foolish wise, enemies well disposed, invisible things visible; in a moment that turns poison into nectar; that will give you the desired fruit of your acts. virtuous man! do not vainly spend labour on acquiring mighty gifts with great pain! (29). A dog eats with delight putrid abominable bones, and though the king of the gods may stand before him, takes no heed: even so a mean man considers not the worthlessness of that which belongs to him (30). A dog is satisfied with a piece of bare bone which is dirty with a little blood and fatty substance on it though it is not sufficient to satisfy its hunger. The lion, on the other hand, ignores the jackal within its reach and kills a mighty elephant for his meal. Men of majesty, though passing through a difficult period of their life, do not want to compromise their dignity and will accept only something befitting to their dignity and strength(31).Saintly persons say that the mark of a true friend is preventing one from committing sinful actions, putting one on the path that will lead to good only, keeping one’s secrets, bringing out the innate qualities in one, not forsaking when one is in trouble and giving one whatever is required at the appropriate time (32) Deer, fish and good men live on grass, water and contentment respectively. But the hunter, the fisherman and the backbiter, respectively, are their enemies without any reason. This is the nature of evil men (33). A drop of water in contact with hot iron evaporates in no time and is lost. The same drop of water on a lotus leaf shines taking the shape of a pearl. If the drop of water gets into a pearl oyster it becomes pearl itself. This analogy can be applied to humans. The qualities one acquires depend on the quality of the person with whom one associates. The three illustrations given relate to association with people with levels of low, medium and high quality (34).
The Creator in his anger may hinder the swan from sporting in the lotus-bed, his dwelling; but he cannot take away his faculty of separating milk from water (35). By means of destiny Brahma was constrained to work like an artificer in the interior of his egg; by means of destiny Vishnu was compelled to pass through ten incarnations of great difficulty; by means of destiny Siva was forced to live as a mendicant, bearing the skull in his hands for a pot; by means of destiny the sun is compelled to travel his daily course in the heaven. Adoration, therefore, be to works (36). There are two uses both for a garland of flowers and also for a wise man they may be exalted on the head or wither in the forest (37) The man who preserves a respectful silence is considered dumb; the man who talks agreeably is considered forward; the man who stands close by is thought troublesome; he who stands far off, cold-hearted; the patient man is counted as faint-hearted; the impetuous man is called ill-bred. So difficult, indeed, are the laws by which behaviour is regulated, impossible to be learnt even by an ascetic (38).
Those who are ennobled by humility: those who display their own virtues by relating the virtues of other men; those who in their own business always consider the interests of others; those who hate the evil speaker, the mouth that continually utters harsh and impatient words; good men whose admirable behaviour is shown in virtues like these are always held in reverence. Who would not respect them? (39). If a man be greedy, what further vice can he have? What sin can be worse than backbiting? What need has the truthful man of penances? What need has the pure- minded man of a sacred bathing-place? What virtue is beyond generosity? If there be greatness of mind, what adornment is required? If a man be learned, what necessity is there of the society of others? If disgrace overtake a man, why need he fear death? (40). A wanderer whose bald head is exposed to the heat of the sun hastens to take shelter under a Palm tree but goes sooner to take rest under a Bilva tree and his head is broken with a great sound by the big fruit falling from the tree. Wherever an ill-fated person goes misfortune follows him (41). An attractive form, noble lineage, good conduct, scholarship, efforts made to serve kings or wealthy persons – all these are of no consequence. Only the merit earned and accumulated by the meritorious deeds (tapas) of the previous births will yield the desired results like trees which yield their fruits at the appropriate time (42).
Affluence is adorned by goodness, valor by not boasting, knowledge by control of the senses, scholarship by modesty, wealth by giving to the deserving, tapas by the absence of anger, power by forgiveness and dharma by Truth. All good qualities of men are embellished by good conduct (43). Those are the greatest souls who, for the sake of helping others, forsake their own interests or comforts. Those are among the ordinary run of people who, without compromising their own interests, engage themselves in helping others. Those are verily demons in the shape of men who, for the sake of their selfish ends, put obstacles in the way of others and spoil their endeavors. What can be said about those who, without any purpose, come in the way of others’ welfare? We do not know (44). Association with wise men takes away dullness of mind, elevates the intellect and inspires the speech with truthfulness. What will it not do for men? (45). Desire for the companionship of the good, love for the virtues of others, reverence for spiritual teachers, diligence in acquiring wisdom, love for their own wives, fear of the world's blame, reverence for Siva, self-restraint, freedom from the acquaintance with evil men wherever men dwell endowed with virtues like these, they are always reverenced (46).
It is very difficult to understand women because of their nature. It is like a reflection in the mirror and like a difficult way to a mountain which cannot be understood exactly. The mind set of them is often compared with the nature of a water-drop in a lotus-leaf as the learned have described. Perhaps she is like a creeper developed with a poisoned sprout. (47). Restrain desire, cultivate patience, conquer illusion, do not lust after evil, speak the truth, follow that which is good, seek the company of the virtuous, honour the wise, be reconciled even with enemies, conceal your own virtues, guard your good name, show pity for the unfortunate these are the acts of the good (48). Body becomes contracted, steps becomes unsteady, teeth start falling, eye-sight becomes low, the glow in body starts fading, face starts salivated, the relatives do not talk, wife does not serve and son also does not care to such a person suffering from old-age. Thus, really old-age is a tough time (49). Seeing the whiteness of the hair of a man and the man who has left his place & designation, the young women run away from him as they do in case of the well of a lower cast (50).
The wise man, at the beginning of his actions, looks carefully to the end of them, that by their means he may be freed from births in another state. Actions performed with excessive haste are even as an arrow piercing the heart (51). For me the deity is one whether he is Lord Keshava (Vishnu) or Lord Shiva; friend is one whether he is rich or an ascetic; only one residence whether it is in a city or in a forest; wife is one whether she is beautiful or ugly one(52) That unfortunate man who stays away from the noble deeds , in spite of taking birth in this sacred land meant for that pious activity , is like the one who cooks sesame seeds in a pot made of jewels with the help of a sandal stick. Further, he is like the one who ploughs the earth with the golden plough to reap the root of swallow-wort sowing the pieces of camphor around the field of some inferior quality grain to grow hedge (53). A man may be in a forest, or in war, or in the midst of fire, or among a host of enemies, or in the ocean, or upon a high mountain ; he may be asleep or mad ; or he may be surrounded by difficulties ; yet the good actions performed in a former state will profit him(54). A dense forest becomes the capital city, all people become friends and the whole world becomes full of valuable treasures for the one who has accumulated in previous births fruits of meritorious actions (punya) (55).
An individual may dive into deep waters, may climb the peak of the high mountain, may win his enemies in the battle field, may do business, agricultural farming or may learn all the arts with great efforts. With great efforts he may travel in the sky but the improbability will never happen and whatever remains to happen can’t be withheld (56). The son of Himalaya would have behaved far more nobly if he had allowed enraged Indra to cut off his wings with the thunderbolt breathing forth huge masses of flame, and had not, when his father was helplessly subject to calamity, sought a refuge by throwing himself into the ocean (57). Indra, though guided by Brihaspati, and armed with the thunderbolt; though the deities were his soldiers, and Vishnu his ally; though Svarga was his citadel, and the elephant Airavata his steed, was defeated. How resistless is the power of fate! How vain are human efforts! (58). Discernment is the fruit of men's actions, and is the result produced by deeds performed in another state: this must be carefully considered by the wise man who gives heed to all things (59). Laziness is a great enemy of human beings; there is no friend like energy; for the one cultivates will never fail (60).
Giving, consuming, and loss, are the three ways by which wealth is diminished. The man who neither gives nor spends has yet the third way open to him (61). So, the gods rested not until they had gained possession of the nectar: they were not turned aside from the search by pearls of great price, nor by fear of terrible poison. Even so men of constant mind do not rest until they have completely accomplished their object (62). Although the five or six planets, of which Brihaspati is the head, are held in high esteem, yet Rahu, whose power and might are great, does not attack them. The lord of the demons, though he has nothing left him but his head, devours in his course only the lord of the day and the ruler of the night (63). The ears of such men as these are adorned with hearing revelation, not with earrings; their hands with liberality, not with bracelets; their bodies shine through doing kind deeds to others, not with ointment of sandal- wood (64). If a man be wealthy, he is of good family, he is wise and he is also learned in the Scriptures, he is virtuous, eloquent and beautiful. All the virtues attach themselves to gold (65). May there be glory to wise men who are learned and accomplished poets! There is no fear that their renown shall wither or perish (66).
Whatever fate has written on the forehead of each, that shall he obtain, whether it be poverty or riches. His abode may be the desert, but he shall gain no more if he live even on Mount Meru. Let your mind be constant. Do not be miserable through envy of the rich. The pitcher takes up the same quantity of water whether it be from the well or the ocean (67). The dog falls down low before the feet of one who gives him food, wagging his tail and opening his mouth wide; but the elephant, on the other hand, remains un- moved, and only eats after he is entreated with flattering words (68). If, king! If you would enjoy this earth, which is as fruitful as a cow, nourish it as carefully as you would a calf. The earth brings forth fruits without end like the creeper of plenty if it is perpetually and carefully cultivated (69). The behaviour of kings is as uncertain as the way of a courtesan. Now it is false, now true now with harsh, now with agreeable words now cruel, now merciful at one time liberal, at another covetous either always squandering money or heaping it together(70) There is no friend for an angry king like that of a sacrificer while offering oblation in the fire may be burnt with the same (71).
Cruelty, causeless quarrels, the desire for another's wife or money, envy of the good, or of one's own relatives. These are the natural characteristics of wicked men (72) O’ Brahma, don’t be too blunt & better to refrain yourself from testing those great people at the time of misfortune. You know the kulaparvatas and the ocean do not become so small that they will leave their own limit (73). One who does not burn in the fire of passion generated by the eye-arrows of beautiful women, who is not subjected to the heat of anger, whom the pleasures of the senses do not drag with ropes of greed – that person of adamantine heart conquers all the three worlds (74). The friendships formed between good and evil men differ. The friendship of the good, at first faint like the morning light, continually increases; the friendship of the evil at the very beginning is great, like the light of mid-day, and dies away like the light of evening (75). Secret generosity, cheerful hospitality to strangers, not speaking in public about one's own good deeds, pro- claiming the benefits received from others, freedom from pride in prosperity, due respect in speaking of others this is the vow of exceeding difficulty, taught by the good(76).
A tree sprouts again after it is cut, the moon waxes again after waning. Contemplating thus and consoling themselves that is their fate, good men do not grieve in times of misfortune (77). Tress laden with fruits bend down (so that people may enjoy the fruits). Clouds laden with water come down (in the form of rain cooling the earth and watering plants and trees). In the same way noble men do not become conceited when fortune embraces them but use their wealth to help others. This is the nature of persons who are always eager to be of help to fellow humans (78). As the flame of fire does not go down even if it is turned down, similarly, a patient individual never loses his patience in spite of all the negative or turned down situations (79). The earth, at some places is adorned with the people who do not use offensive language, people who are good in sweet-spoken words, who are satisfied with their wife only and do not indulge themselves in humiliating others(80).The Sun opens the lotuses; the moon illuminates the beds of water-lilies; the cloud pours forth its water unasked: even so the liberal of their own accord are occupied in benefiting others (81) A single hero can take the whole world under his control as the Sun spreads the whole world under his brilliance (82). It is better that our body may crush falling down from a high-hill top or we may put our hands in the jaws of the serpent of sharp teeth, we may fail down to the fire but can never give up our modesty (83).
It is for him who possesses the virtues of such level that have been admired by the whole world, the fire behaves like water, the sea is just like a pond, mountain of Meru suddenly behaves like small rock, lion is like a deer, snake is like a garland and the fluid of poison becomes the flow of nectar (84).When the Suryakantamani (a kind of gem), being an inanimate object when touched with feet can burn then how is it that a brilliant man can tolerate the insult of others(85). Power, fame, care of Brahmins, charity, enjoyment of the fruits of wealth and protection of one’s friends – if these six are not in a person serving the king, then what is the use of being in the service of the king? 86) The places where there are rotten elephants ponder over with lazy movements and there are horses decorated nicely walk around such a place is like the heaven where Dharma resounds (87).
Brahma has created a unique quality, which is available to anyone, for covering one’s ignorance. This quality is silence. Especially in an assembly of all-knowing wise men, silence becomes the adornment of fools since it keeps their ignorance from coming to light (88) Trying to bring a scoundrel to the right path with the nectar like good words is an attempt like binding an elephant with the fine threads of lotus-stem; also an attempt to cut the diamond with the edge of an acacia flower (a delicate one); or can be an attempt to sweeten the ocean with the drops of honey (89). Nobody will be happy to come across a person who has continuously encouraged the wicked. Such a man leads an unrestrained life being in the company of a wicked (90).Wisdom, indeed, is the highest ornament that a man possesses. It is a valuable to be carefully guarded, for wisdom gains food, glory, and blessing. It is the lord of lords. Wisdom is as a friend to a man travelling in a distant land. Wisdom is honored among kings even more than wealth. The man devoid of wisdom is but an animal (91). Those who are skilled in the art of interpersonal relationships show generosity towards relatives, kindness to servants, severity to evil men, devotion to saintly persons, diplomacy towards kings, straightforwardness where learned persons are concerned, valor towards enemies, patience towards elders and tactfulness with women. The world depends on the skill of such people (92).
Liberality is the fitting virtue for the hand, reverence towards spiritual teachers for the head, true speech for the mouth, surpassing power for the arms of a mighty man, content for the heart, the holy Veda rightly understood for the ears ; the man of noble mind who is the possessor of these adornments has no need of outward pomp (93). Sesha bears all the worlds placed on his serpent- like head: he himself is always borne on the back of the king of the tortoises, who dwells, held without difficulty, in the bounds of ocean. Ah! With what ease do the mighty perform great marvels! (94)The victory is like a matured women embraces the heroes who return from the field with the cut marks on their arms. (95). In this world of constant change who does not take birth after he/she dies? But one who takes his clan to greater heights is the one really born (96) Even a lion cub attacks the rough, muddy & black-headed (due to continuous flow rots) elephant. This is the nature of the valiant. Age is not the factor here. It is rather your prowess that matters (97).
The great people even if tell a lot of things as the advices, but it is rather their very own experiences that become shastra (99). A man of veracious nature can lay his life easily but cannot break his pledge like a mother who cannot leave her gracefulness, shyness & purity in heart (100).This is the vow of the great people that once they commit to do anything they do it. The brighter example it is lie in the Universe itself. The tortoise who holds this earth never feels overburdened any time & the Sun who is never tired of his work (101). Where there is a good relationship among the people in a country everything run smoothly with proper understanding. (102).
The capacity & capability of different creatures have been decided by the God. The Chataka bird only can drink sip of water in spite of continuous rain (103).Glittering gold and diamond ornaments, bathing, sandal wood paste for the body, flowers and adornments for the head do not really embellish a person. The greatest adornment of a person is refined and soft speech. All other articles of adornment pale into insignificance before such speech (104).Herewith, the 1st version of Nitishata of Bhartrhari comes to completion.