Sanskrit quote nr. 10 (Maha-subhashita-samgraha)
अंसालम्बितवामकुण्डलधरं मन्दोन्नतभ्रूलतं किंचित् कुञ्चितकोमलाधरपुटं साचिप्रसारीक्षणम् ।
अलोलाङ्गुलिपल्लवैर्मुरलिकामापूरयन्तं मुदा मूले कल्पतरोस्त्रिभङ्गललितं ध्याये जगन्मोहनम् ॥
Meter name: Śārdūlavikrīḍita; Type: Akṣaracchanda (sama); 19 syllables per quarter (pāda).
Primary English translation:
“I meditate on (Śrī Kṛṣṇa) the darling of the world, playing on the flute under the wish-granting tree with dexterous fingers, adopting the tribhaṅga pose, with ear pendants hanging to the shoulders, with eyebrows slightly raised, with lips slightly curved (in playing on the flute) and with eyes a little turned (sideways).”
(translation by A. A. Ramanathan)
“May I meditate upon the Lord Who—Sports beautiful earrings that reach up to His shoulders. Gently raises His eyebrows, Contracts slightly the folds of His delicate lips (to play His flute). Casts sidelong glances, Delightfully plays His flute that He holds firmly with His tender fingers, Graces the wish-fulfilling Kalpataru tree, as He stands at its base in His enchanting thrice-bent pose, And Who charms the whole world.”
(translation by Gaurav Raina)
Presented above is a Sanskrit aphorism, also known as a subhāṣita, which is at the very least, a literary piece of art. This page provides critical research material such as an anlaysis on the poetic meter used, an English translation, a glossary explaining technical terms, and a list of resources including print editions and digital links.
Aṃsa (अंस, amsha) refers to the “shoulders” of the human body. (more info)
Bhrū (भ्रू, bhru) refers to the “eyebrows”. (more info)
Murali (मुरलि) refers to Kṛṣṇa and literally translates to “the flute-playing Lord”. It is one of his 108 names (aṣṭottaraśatanāma). (more info)
Kalpataru (कल्पतरु) refers to the ‘wish-fulfilling tree’, which is otherwise also known as kalpuvṛkṣa, kalpadruma or kalpapādapa. It is found throughout ancient Hindu, Buddhist and Jain literature. The word is composed of kalpa (possibility) and taru (tree).
Tribhaṅga (त्रिभङ्ग, tribhanga) referes to a standing position of the human body. Tri mean ‘three’ and bhaṅga means ‘stretched’ and together they refer to a position with three curves (hips, shoulders and neck), which indicate a beneficient mood.
Lalita (ललित) is a general term referring to “playfullness”. The feminime form Lalitā is used in Shaktism to represent the embodiment of the “Divine Playfulness” (eg. Tripurāsundarī). (more info)
Jagat (जगत्) is a common term for ‘world’ used since ancient times. In a purāṇic sense it means “The universe as issuing from the mind and body of Brahmā”. (more info)
This quote is contained within the following Sanskrit literary sources:
Kṛṣṇakarṇāmṛta 2.101: Literally “nectar for kṛṣṇa’s ears” The book was written by Līlāśuka Bilvamaṅgala.
Subhāṣitaratnabhāṇḍāgāra 25.182: Literally, “Gems of Sanskrit poetry”. This work is a recent compilation of more than 10,000 Subhāṣitas, or ‘sanskrit aphorisms’. The book was compiled by Nārāyaṇa Rāma Ācārya in 1952.
Rasikajīvana 1394: A Sanskrit anthology containing subhāṣitas (ethical aphorisms). The book was compiled by Gadādhara Bhaṭṭa in the 17th century.
Padyāvalī 47: A collection of devotional verses in Sanskrit belonging to the Gauḍīya branch of Vaiṣṇavism. The book was compiled by Rūpa Gosvāmī in the 16th century.
This quote is included within the Mahāsubhāṣitasaṃgraha (महासुभाषितसंग्रह, maha-subhashita-samgraha), which is a compendium of Sanskrit aphorisms (subhāṣita), collected from various sources. Subhāṣita is a genre of Sanskrit literature, exposing the vast and rich cultural heritage of ancient India.
It has serial number 10 and can be found on page 2. (read on archive.org)
Sanskrit is the oldest living language and bears testimony to the intellectual past of ancient India. Three major religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism) share this language, which is used for many of their holy books. Besides religious manuscripts, much of India’s ancient culture has been preserved in Sanskrit, covering topics such as Architecture, Music, Botany, Surgery, Ethics, Philosophy, Dance and much more.