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107. The mind of the constant man is not pierced by the arrows shot from the glances of love; he is not consumed by the fire of anger: worldly objects do not ensnare him in the net of covetousness; he is the lord of the three worlds.

108. The mighty earth, trodden by the feet of one hero, is lightened up with his exceeding great glory as though by the shining of the sun.

109. Through the power of constancy fire becomes even as water, the ocean becomes but a rivulet, Mount Meru becomes only a small stone, a lion becomes as harmless as an antelope, a savage beast becomes a garland of flowers, poison is turned into nectar. The constant man, by his constancy, turns the savage things in nature into the most gentle.

110. Honourable men may cast aside life and happiness, but inasmuch as they are intent upon truth, they do not cast off their truthfulness, the cause of modesty and of all the virtues, following them wherever they may go, pure in heart, even as dear to them as their own mother.

Miscellaneous Satakas.

1. A morose heart, a face exalted with inward pride, a nature difficult as an exceedingly narrow mountainpass—this is known as the character of women: their mind is said by the wise to be as changeable as the drop of dew which rests upon the lotus leaf. Faults indeed develop in a woman together with her growth, as the poisonous shoots sprout in the creeper.

2. Whether a brave man who is killed in the foremost of the fight obtain heaven or victory, he will gain great glory from both armies; and this is the aim of one who desires fame.

3. Of all the exceeding marvels which I behold, the Boar and Rahu bear away the palm. The one bore the drowned earth on his tusks, which dripped with water;


the other, who has only a head, swallows his foe and then lets him go again.

4. The earth is bounded by the ocean, the ocean extends but a thousand yojanas, the sun always measures his course through the sky; these objects then are bounded by certain definite limits. There is nothing exceeding them in greatness but the intelligence of wise men, which has no limits.

5. There is one divinity, Keśava or Śiva; one friend, a king or an ascetic; one dwelling, in a town or in the forest; one wife, handsome or ugly. [It matters not which a man may choose.]

6. The world, though it be supported on the king of the serpents, on the elephants that bear it up, on the great mountains, and on the tortoise, shakes; but that which has been promised by men of pure minds never fails, even though ages

have passed away. 7. The tortoise is pained through the weight of the earth; why then does he not cast it off? The sun feels fatigue in his course; why then does he not stand still ? Looking on these examples, a noble man is ashamed to fail in his promises; he faithfully keeps his word. Thus are vows kept in the family of a good man.

8. When a man is satisfied with food, he enters into subjection to the world; even so a drum sends forth an agreeable sound when its surface is covered with flour.

9. Low-minded men are occupied solely with their own affairs, but noble-minded men take special interest in the affairs of others. The submarine fire drinks up the ocean to fill its own insatiable interior; the rain-cloud, that it may relieve the drought of the earth, burnt up by the hot season.

10. The counsellor truly, like the poet, is never free from a load of trouble; he collects new



vulgar expressions afar, and avoids all

; he devotes common rumours

{ meanings


himself to pleasing the assemblies of the good ; with toil and labour he makes a

quarter of a verse

{quarter of a verse }by conform

ing to the thoughts of the world.

11. Whatever has been appointed by fate in this life for each man, that shall be his lot, be it great or small. The cloud rains day by day, filling all things, but only a few little drops fall into the châtaka's mouth.

12. The wise must be respected, even when the advice they give us is not suitable. The ordinary converse of such men is like Holy Writ.

13. A good man may fall, but he falls as a ball; an ignoble man falls like a lump of clay.

14. If, by the decree of fate, the world were ever to become deprived of lotuses, would the swan scratch in the dust-heap like the cock ?

15. Elephants, filled with passion, heavy with sleep, may stand at the gate; horses, adorned with golden ornaments, may gallop about filled with spirit; their owner may be wakened from his sleep by the sound of drums, conchs, cymbals, fifes, and lutes: all this, a state like that of the lord of the deities, is the reward, outwardly displayed, of religious merit (gained in former births).

16. The joy of those whose minds are alive to the happiness of content is perfect, but the desire of those who are disturbed by the lust after riches never ceases. For whose sake was Meru created by fate full of wealth as it is ? Meru pleases me not, though it is filled with an abundance of gold and silver, since it is satisfied with itself alone.

17. The red colour of the lotus, the care for others displayed by the good, the want of respect shown by the bad; this is the triad of qualities brought to perfection in each class by means of its own innate disposition.

18. Faithfulness in promises is the noblest quality among men; leanness is the best quality for a female

elephant; wisdom and patience best become a Brâhman. Each creature is best adorned by its own special ornament.

19. It is better to fall from the highest point of a lofty mountain and be dashed to pieces among the rocks—it is better that one's hand should be bitten by the poisonous fangs of a dreadful serpent—it is better to fall into the fire, than that one's piety should fail.

20. If thou thinkest to behold noble-minded men fall from their firmness in misfortune, cease from evil efforts involving idle speculations. O fool ! even at the end of ages the mighty mountains do not become small, nor does the ocean lose the powers that belong to it.

21. Glory, conquering all things, tears the bosom of men, as an impudent and forward woman, with her nails long and sharp like swords.

22. Even the moon, the storehouse of ambrosia, the guide of the plants which grow year by year, compacted of nectar and filled with beauty, becomes shorn of its beams directly it reaches the region of the sun. Who does not fall into contempt directly he enters the house of another?

23. Girls with glances of admiration, a house filled with magnificence, prosperity attended with outward signs of royalty-these are a man's portion as long as fortune attends him ; but if that fails, all these things disappear, like the pearls on a necklace whose string has been broken

in play


1. The second collection of Satakas ascribed to Bhartřihari relates to Nîti or Morality. The word Nîti may be taken to mean “moral philosophy, ethics, precepts inculcating prudent or moral behaviour.” These precepts are thrown into the proverbial form. The first śloka is occupied by the invocation or salutation to Brahmâ, who is addressed as the deity, whose essence is self-knowledge, and by whom self-knowledge can alone be attained. This seems to refer to the doctrine which teaches the unity of the Supreme and the Individual Soul, since what we know when we know ourselves truly is the Brahmâ (Telang).

2. By means of this sloka an attempt has been made to fix the authorship of the Niti Sataka on Bhartřihari. It is supposed that he was disgusted at some discovery of infidelity on the part of his wife, and in consequence resigned his royal position to his brother Vikrama. There is, however, little or no authority for the statement, and the sloka itself is too vague to found any theory of authorship upon it. The commentator says that King Vikrama gained possession of a certain fruit which conferred immortality on any one who ate

Vikrama gave it to a Brâhman, who gave it to King Bhartřihari. Bhartsihari gave it to his wife; she gave it to her paramour; the latter gave it to a lover of his own, in whose possession Bhartrihari saw the fruit. Such is the occurrence supposed to be recorded in this sloka. 3. We

may compare the ideas in this stanza with the words of St. Paul, “ If any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know” (1 Cor. viii. 2), or the line, “ A little learning is a dangerous thing," of Pope. Jnana-lava-dur-vidagdham, "(The man) puffed up through smallness of knowledge.Durvidagdha is explained by the commentator as garvishta, arrogant.

4. Referring to the fable according to which crocodiles were supposed to have pearls between their teeth.


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