By means of hearing one understands dharma, malignity vanishes, knowledge is acquired, and liberation from material bondage is gained.
श्रुत्वा धर्मं विजानाति श्रुत्वा त्यजति दुर्मतिम् ।
श्रुत्वा ज्ञानमवाप्नोति श्रुत्वा मोक्षमवाप्नुयात् ।।१।।
Among birds the crow is vile; among beasts the dog; the ascetic whose sins is abominable, but he who blasphemes others is the worst chandala.
पक्षिणां काकचाण्डालः पशूनां चैव कुक्कुरः ।
मुनीनां पापी चाण्डालः सर्वचाण्डालनिन्दकः ।।२।।
Brass is polished by ashes; copper is cleaned by tamarind; a woman, by her menses; and a river by its flow.
भस्मना शुध्यते कांस्यं ताम्रमम्लेन शुध्यति ।
रजसा शुध्यते नारि नदी वेगेन शुध्यति ।।३।।
The king, the brahmana, and the ascetic yogi who go abroad are respected; but the woman who wanders is utterly ruined.
भ्रमन्संपूज्यते राजा भ्रमन्संपूज्यते द्विजः ।
भ्रमन्संपूज्यते योगी स्त्री भ्रमन्ती विनश्यति ।।४।।
He who has wealth has friends. He who is wealthy has relatives. The rich one alone is called a man, and the affluent alone are respected as pandits.
यस्यार्थास्तस्य मित्राणि यस्यर्थास्तस्य बांधवाः ।
यस्याथाः स पुमांल्लोके यस्यार्थाः सच पण्डितः ।।५।।
As is the desire of Providence, so functions one’s intellect; one’s activities are also controlled by Providence; and by the will of Providence one is surrounded by helpers.
तादृशी जायते बुध्दिर्व्यवसायोऽपि तादृशः ।
सहायास्तादृशा एव यादृशी भवितव्यता ।।६।।
Time perfects all living beings as well as kills them; it alone is awake when all others are asleep. Time is insurmountable.
कालः पचति भूतानि कालः संहरते प्रजाः ।
कालः सुप्तेषु जागर्ति कालो हि दुरतिक्रमः ।।७।।
Those born blind cannot see; similarly blind are those in the grip of lust. Proud men have no perception of evil; and those bent on acquiring riches see no sin in their actions.
नैव पश्यति जन्माधः कामान्धो नैव पश्यति ।
मदोन्मत्ता न पश्यन्ति अर्थी दोषं न पश्यति ।।८।।
The spirit soul goes through his own course of karma and he himself suffers the good and bad results thereby accrued. By his own actions he entangles himself in samsara, and by his own efforts he extricates himself.
स्वयं कर्म करोत्यत्मा स्वयं तत्फलमश्नुते ।
स्वयं भ्रमति संसारे स्वयं तस्माद्विमुच्यते ।।९।।
The king is obliged to accept the sins of his subjects; the purohit (priest) suffers for those of the king; a husband suffers for those of his wife; and the guru suffers for those of his pupils.
राजा राष्ट्रकृतं पापं राज्ञः पापं पुरोहितः ।
भर्ता च स्त्रीकृतं पापं शिष्यपापं गुरुस्तथा ।।१०।।
A father who is a chronic debtor, an adulterous mother, a beautiful wife, and an unlearned son are enemies ( in one’s own home).
ऋणकर्ता पिता शत्रुमाता च व्यभिचारिणी ।
भार्या रूपवती शत्रुः पुत्रः शत्रुरपण्डितः ।।११।।
Conciliate a covetous man by means of a gift, an obstinate man with folded hands in salutation, a fool by humouring him, and a learned man by truthful words.
लुब्धमर्थेन गृहिणीयात् स्तब्धमञ्जलिकर्मणा ।
मूर्खं छन्दानुवृत्या च यथार्थत्वेन पण्डितम् ।।१२।।
It is better to be without a kingdom than to rule over a petty one; better to be without a friend than to befriend a rascal; better to be without a disciple than to have a stupid one; and better to be without a wife than to have a bad one.
वरं न राज्यं न कुराजराज्यं
वरं न मित्रं न कुमित्रमित्रम् ।
वरं न शिष्यो न कुशिष्यशिष्यो
वरं न दारा न कुदारदाराः ।।१३।।
How can people be made happy in a petty kingdom? What peace can we expect from a rascal friend? What happiness can we have at home in the company of a bad wife? How can renown be gained by instructing an unworthy disciple?
कुराजराज्येन कुतः प्रजासुखं
कुमित्रमित्रेण कुतोऽभिनिर्वृतिः ।
कुदारदारैश्च कुतो गृहे रतिः
कुशिष्यमध्यापयतः कुतो यशः ।।१४।।
Learn one thing from a lion; one from a crane; four a cock; five from a crow; six from a dog; and three from an ass.
सिंहादेकं वकादेकं शिक्षेच्चत्वारि कुक्कुटात् ।
वायसात्पञ्च शिक्षेच्चष्ट् शुनस्त्रीणिगर्दभात् ।।१५।।
The one excellent thing that can be learned from a lion is that whatever a man intends doing should be done by him with a whole-hearted and strenuous effort.
प्रभूतं कार्यमपि वा तन्नरः कर्तुमिच्छति ।
सर्वारम्भेण तत्कार्यं सिंहादेकं प्रचक्षते ।।१६।।
The wise man should restrain his senses like the crane and accomplish his purpose with due knowledge of his place, time and ability.
इन्द्रियाणि च संयम्य वकवत् पण्डितो नरः ।
देशकालबलं ज्ञात्वा सर्वकार्याणि साधयेत् ।।१७।।
To wake at the proper time; to take a bold stand and fight; to make a fair division (of property) among relations; and to earn one’s own bread by personal exertion are the four excellent things to be learned from a cock.
प्रत्युत्थानञ्च युध्द्ञ्च संविभागञ्च बन्धुषु ।
Union in privacy (with one’s wife); boldness; storing away useful items; watchfulness; and not easily trusting others; these five things are to be learned from a crow.
गूढमैथुनचारित्वं काले काले च संग्रहम् ।
अप्रमत्तमविश्वासं पञ्च शिक्षेच्च वायसात् ।।१९।।
Contentment with little or nothing to eat although one may have a great appetite; to awaken instantly although one may be in a deep slumber; unflinching devotion to the master; and bravery; these six qualities should be learned from the dog.
बह्वाशी स्वल्पसन्तुष्टः सनिद्रो लघुचेतनः ।
स्वामिभक्तश्च शूरश्च षडेतो श्वानतोगुणाः ।।२०।।
Although an ass is tired, he continues to carry his burden; he is unmindful of cold and heat; and he is always contented; these three things should be learned from the ass.
सुश्रान्तोऽपि वहेत भारं शीतोष्णं न च पश्यति ।
सन्तुष्टश्चरते नित्यं त्रीणि शिक्षेच्च गर्दभात् ।।२१।।
He who shall practice these twenty virtues shall become invincible in all his undertakings.
एतान् विंशतिगुणानाचरिष्यति मानवः ।
कार्यावस्थासु सर्वासु अजेयः स भविष्यति ।।२२।।