SRI CHANAKYA NITI SASTRA - CHAPTER SIXTEEN & SEVENTEEN
CHAPTER FOURTEEN & FIFTEEN
CHAPTER FOURTEEN & FIFTEEN
1. The heart of a woman is not united; it is divided. While she is talking with one man, she looks lustfully at another and thinks fondly of a third in her heart.
2. The fool (mudha) who fancies that a charming young lady loves him, becomes her slave and he dances like a shakuntal bird tied to a string.
3. Who is there who, having become rich, has not become proud? Which licentious (Free) man has put an end to his calamities (A grievous disaster)? Which man in this world has not been overcome by a woman? Who is always loved by the king? Who is there who has not been overcome by the ravages of time? Which beggar has attained glory? Who has become happy by contracting the vices of the wicked?
4. A man attains greatness by his merits, not simply by occupying an exalted seat. Can we call a crow an eagle (garuda) simply because he sits on the top of a tall building.
5. The man who is praised by others as great is regarded as worthy though he may be really void of all merit. But the man who sings his own praises lowers himself in the estimation of others though he should be Indra (the possessor of all excellences).
6. If good qualities should characterise a man of discrimination, the brilliance of his qualities will be recognised just as a gem which is essentially bright really shines when fixed in an ornament of gold.
7. Even one who by his qualities appears to be all knowing suffers without patronage; the gem, though precious, requires a gold setting.
8. I do not deserve that wealth which is to be attained by enduring much suffering, or by transgressing the rules of virtue, or by flattering an enemy.
9. Those who were not satiated with the enjoyment of wealth, food and women have all passed away; there are others now passing away who have likewise remained unsatiated; and in the future still others will pass away feeling themselves unsatiated.
10. All charities and sacrifices (performed for fruitive gain) bring only temporary results, but gifts made to deserving persons (those who are Krishna consciousness) and protection offered to all creatures shall never perish.
11. A blade of grass is light, cotton is lighter, the beggar is infinitely lighter still. Why then does not the wind carry him away? Because it fears that he may ask alms of him.
12. It is better to die than to preserve this life by incurring disgrace. The loss of life causes but a moment's grief, but disgrace brings grief every day of one's life.
13. All the creatures are pleased by loving words; and therefore we should address words that are pleasing to all, for there is no lack of sweet words.
14. There are two nectarean fruits hanging from the tree of this world: one is the hearing of sweet words (such as Krishna-katha) and the other, the society of saintly men.
15. The good habits of charity, learning and austerity practised during many past lives continue to be cultivated in this birth by virtue of the link (yoga) of this present life to the previous ones.
16. One whose knowledge is confined to books and whose wealth is in the possession of others, can use neither his knowledge nor wealth when the need for them arises.
1. The scholar who has acquired knowledge by studying innumerable books without the blessings of a bonafide spiritual master does not shine in an assembly of truly learned men just as an illegitimate child is not honoured in society.
2. We should repay the favours of others by acts of kindness; so also should we return evil for evil in which there is no sin, for it is necessary to pay a wicked man in his own coin.
3. That thing which is distant, that thing which appears impossible, and that which is far beyond our reach, can be easily attained through tapasya (religious austerity), for nothing can surpass austerity.
4. What vice could be worse than covetousness? What is more sinful than slander? For one who is truthful, what need is there for austerity? For one who has a clean heart, what is the need for pilgrimage? If one has a good disposition, what other virtue is needed? If a man has fame, what is the value of other ornamentation? What need is there for wealth for the man of practical knowledge? And if a man is dishonoured, what could there be worse in death?
5. Though the sea, which is the reservoir of all jewels, is the father of the conch shell, and the Goddess of fortune Lakshmi is conch's sister, still the conch must go from door to door for alms (in the hands of a beggar). It is true, therefore, that one gains nothing without having given in the past.
6. When a man has no strength left in him he becomes a sadhu, one without wealth acts like a brahmacari, a sick man behaves like a devotee of the Lord, and when a woman grows old she becomes devoted to her husband.
7. There is poison in the fang of the serpent, in the mouth of the fly and in the sting of a scorpion; but the wicked man is saturated with it.
8. The woman who fasts and observes religious vows without the permission of her husband shortens his life, and goes to hell.
9. A woman does not become holy by offering by charity, by observing hundreds of fasts, or by sipping sacred water, as by sipping the water used to wash her husbands feet.
10. The hand is not so well adorned by ornaments as by charitable offerings; one does not become clean by smearing sandalwood paste upon the body as by taking a bath; one does not become so much satisfied by dinner as by having respect shown to him; and salvation is not attained by self-adornment as by cultivation of spiritual knowledge.
11. The eating of tundi fruit deprives a man of his sense, while the vacha root administered revives his reasoning immediately. A woman at once robs a man of his vigour while milk at once restores it.
12. He who nurtures benevolence for all creatures within his heart overcomes all difficulties and will be the recipient of all types of riches at every step.
13. What is there to be enjoyed in the world of Lord Indra for one whose wife is loving and virtuous, who possesses wealth, who has a well-behaved son endowed with good qualities, and who has a grandchildren born of his children?
14. Men have eating, sleeping, fearing and mating in common with the lower animals. That in which men excel the beasts is discretionary knowledge; hence, indiscreet men who are without knowledge should be regarded as beasts.
15. If the bees which seek the liquid oozing from the head of a lust-intoxicated elephant are driven away by the flapping of his ears, then the elephant has lost only the ornament of his head. The bees are quite happy in the lotus filled lake.
16. A king, a prostitute, Lord Yamaraja, fire, a thief, a young boy, and a beggar cannot understand the suffering of others. The eighth of this category is the tax collector.
17. O lady, why are you gazing downward? Has something of yours fallen on the ground? (She replies) O fool, can you not understand the pearl of my youth has slipped away?
18. O ketki flower! Serpents live in your midst, you bear no edible fruits, your leaves are covered with thorns, you are crooked in growth, you thrive in mud, and you are not easily accessible. Still for your exceptional fragrance you are as dear as a kinsmen to others. Hence, a single excellence overcomes a multitude of blemishes.
CHAPTER FOURTEEN & FIFTEEN
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