1. Low class men desire wealth; middle class men both wealth and respect; but the noble, honour only; hence honour is the noble man's true wealth.
3. The lamp eats up the darkness and therefore it produces lamp black; in the same way according to the nature of our diet (sattva, rajas, or tamas) we produce offspring in similar quality.
4. O wise man! Give your wealth only to the worthy and never to others. The water of the sea received by the clouds is always sweet. The rain water enlivens all living beings of the earth both movable (insects, animals, humans, etc.) and immovable (plants, trees, etc.), and then returns to the ocean it value multiplied a million fold.
5. The wise who discern the essence of things have declared that the yavana (meat eater) is equal in baseness to a thousand candalas the lowest class), and hence a yavana is the basest of men; indeed there is no one more base.
6. After having rubbed oil on the body, after encountering the smoke from a funeral pyre, after sexual intercourse, and after being shaved, one remains a chandala until he bathes.
7. Water is the medicine for indigestion; it is invigorating when the food that is eaten is well digested; it is like nectar when drunk in the middle of a dinner; and it is like poison when taken at the end of a meal.
8. Knowledge is lost without putting it into practice; a man is lost due to ignorance; an army is lost without a commander; and a woman is lost without a husband.
9. A man who encounters the following three is unfortunate; the death of his wife in his old age, the entrusting of money into the hands of relatives, and depending upon others for food.
10. Chanting of the Vedas without making ritualistic sacrifices to the Supreme Lord through the medium of Agni, and sacrifices not followed by bountiful gifts are futile. Perfection can be achieved only through devotion (to the Supreme Lord) for devotion is the basis of all success.
13. There is no austerity equal to a balanced mind, and there is no happiness equal to contentment; there is no disease like covetousness, and no virtue like mercy.
14. Anger is a personification of Yama (the demigod of death); thirst is like the hellish river Vaitarani; knowledge is like a kamadhenu (the cow of plenty); and contentment is like Nandanavana (the garden of Indra).
15. Moral excellence is an ornament for personal beauty; righteous conduct, for high birth; success for learning; and proper spending for wealth.
16. Beauty is spoiled by an immoral nature; noble birth by bad conduct; learning, without being perfected; and wealth by not being properly utilised.
17. Water seeping into the earth is pure; and a devoted wife is pure; the king who is the benefactor of his people is pure; and pure is the brahmana who is contented.
18. Discontented brahmanas, contented kings, shy prostitutes, and immodest housewives are ruined.
19. Of what avail is a high birth if a person is destitute of scholarship? A man who is of low extraction is honoured even by the demigods if he is learned.
20. A learned man is honoured by the people. A learned man commands respect everywhere for his learning. Indeed, learning is honoured everywhere.
21. Those who are endowed with beauty and youth and who are born of noble families are worthless if they have no learning. They are just like the kimshuka blossoms ( flowers of the palasa tree) which, though beautiful, have no fragrance.
22. The earth is encumbered with the weight of the flesh-eaters, wine-bibblers, dolts and blockheads, who are beasts in the form of men.
23. There is no enemy like a yajna (sacrifice) which consumes the kingdom when not attended by feeding on a large scale; consumes the priest when the chanting is not done properly; and consumes the yajaman (the responsible person) when the gifts are not made.
1. My dear child, if you desire to be free from the cycle of birth and death, then abandon the objects of sense gratification as poison. Drink instead the nectar of forbearance, upright conduct, mercy, cleanliness and truth.
2. Those base men who speak of the secret faults of others destroy themselves like serpents who stray onto anthills.
3. Perhaps nobody has advised Lord Brahma, the creator, to impart perfume to gold; fruit to the sugarcane; flowers to the sandalwood tree; wealth to the learned; and long life to the king.
4. Nectar (amrita) is the best among medicines; eating good food is the best of all types of material happiness; the eye is the chief among all organs; and the head occupies the chief position among all parts of the body.
5. No messenger can travel about in the sky and no tidings come from there. The voice of its inhabitants as never heard, nor can any contact be established with them. Therefore the brahmana who predicts the eclipse of the sun and moon which occur in the sky must be considered as a vidwan (man of great learning).
6. The student, the servant, the traveller, the hungry person, the frightened man, the treasury guard, and the steward: these seven ought to be awakened if they fall asleep.
7. The serpent, the king, the tiger, the stinging wasp, the small child, the dog owned by other people, and the fool: these seven ought not to be awakened from sleep.
8. Of those who have studied the Vedas for material rewards, and those who accept foodstuffs offered by shudras, what potency have they? They are just like serpents without fangs.
9. He who neither rouses fear by his anger, nor confers a favour when he is pleased can neither control nor protect. What can he do?
10. The serpent may, without being poisonous, raise high its hood, but the show of terror is enough to frighten people -- whether he be venomous or not.
11. Wise men spend their mornings in discussing gambling, the afternoon discussing the activities of women, and the night hearing about the activities of theft. (The first item above refers to the gambling of King Yuddhisthira, the great devotee of Krishna. The second item refers to the glorious deeds of mother Sita, the consort of Lord Ramachandra. The third item hints at the adorable childhood pastimes of Sri Krishna who stole butter from the elderly cowherd ladies of Gokula. Hence Chanakya Pandits advises wise persons to spend the morning absorbed in Mahabharata, the afternoon studying Ramayana, and the evening devotedly hearing the Srimad-Bhagvatam.)
12. By preparing a garland for a Deity with one's own hand; by grinding sandal paste for the Lord with one's own hand; and by writing sacred texts with one's own hand -- one becomes blessed with opulence equal to that of Indra.
14. Poverty is set off by fortitude; shabby garments by keeping them clean; bad food by warming it; and ugliness by good behaviour.