Sanskrit quote nr. 14 (Maha-subhashita-samgraha)

Sanskrit text:

अकण्टका पुष्पमही वेशयोषिदमातृका ।
मन्त्रिहीना च राज्यश्रीर् भुज्यते विटचेटकैः ॥

akaṇṭakā puṣpamahī veśayoṣidamātṛkā |
mantrihīnā ca rājyaśrīr bhujyate viṭaceṭakaiḥ ||


Meter name (1st and 2nd pāda): Śloka; Type: vipulā (‘extended’, type 3); 8 syllables per quarter (pāda).
Meter name (3rd and 4th pāda): Śloka; Type: pathyā (‘normal’); 8 syllables per quarter (pāda).

Primary English translation:

“A terrace without thorns, a public girl without a matron, a king without his ministers: it is through these that sycophancy and flunkeydom grow fat.”

(translation by E. Powys Mathers)


  1. Introduction
  2. Glossary of terms
  3. Analysis of Sanskrit grammar
  4. Sources
  5. Authorship
  6. About the Mahāsubhāṣitasaṃgraha

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.

Glossary of Sanskrit terms

Note: Consider this as an approximate extraction of glossary words based on an experimental segmentation of the Sanskrit verse. Some could be superfluous while some might not be mentioned.

Akantaka (akaṇṭakā, अकण्टका): defined in 1 categories.
Pushpa (puspa, puṣpa, पुष्प): defined in 10 categories.
Ahi (अहि, ahī, अही): defined in 6 categories.
Amatrika (amatrka, amātṛkā, अमातृका): defined in 1 categories.
Mantrin (मन्त्रिन्): defined in 3 categories.
Hina (hīnā, हीना): defined in 5 categories.
Ca (च): defined in 3 categories.
Rajyashri (rajyasri, rājyaśrī, राज्यश्री): defined in 1 categories.
Vita (viṭa, विट): defined in 5 categories.
Cetaka (ceṭaka, चेटक): defined in 5 categories.

Defined according to the following glossaries/dictionaries: Marathi, Jainism, Sanskrit, Shilpashastra (iconography), Purana, Itihasa (narrative history), Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy), Ayurveda (science of life), Shaktism (Shakta philosophy), India history, Hinduism, Pali, Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar), Dharmashastra (religious law), Theravada (major branch of Buddhism), Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Analysis of Sanskrit grammar

Note: this is an experimental feature and only shows the first possible analysis of the Sanskrit verse. If the system was successful in segmenting the sentence, you will see of which words it is made up of, generally consisting of Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs, Participles and Indeclinables. Click on the link to show all possible derivations of the word.

  • Line 1: “akaṇṭakā puṣpamahī veśayoṣidamātṛkā”
  • akaṇṭakā -
  • akaṇṭakā (noun, feminine); (1 der.)
    akaṇṭakā (nominative single)
  • puṣpam -
  • puṣpa (noun, masculine); (2 der.)
    puṣpam (adverb)
    puṣpam (accusative single)
    puṣpa (noun, neuter); (3 der.)
    puṣpam (adverb)
    puṣpam (nominative single)
    puṣpam (accusative single)
    puṣpā (noun, feminine); (1 der.)
    puṣpam (adverb)
  • ahī -
  • ahī (noun, feminine); (2 der.)
    ahī (nominative single)
    ahī (noun, masculine); (1 der.)
    ahi (noun, masculine); (3 der.)
    ahī (nominative dual)
    ahī (vocative dual)
    ahī (accusative dual)
  • veśayoṣid -
  • veśayoṣit (noun, feminine); (4 der.)
    veśayoṣit (nominative single)
    veśayoṣit (vocative single)
  • amātṛkā -
  • amātṛkā (noun, feminine); (1 der.)
    amātṛkā (nominative single)
  • Line 2: “mantrihīnā ca rājyaśrīr bhujyate viṭaceṭakaiḥ”
  • mantri -
  • mantri (noun, masculine); (2 der.)
    mantrin (noun, masculine); (2 der.)
    mantri (compound)
    mantri (adverb)
    mantrin (noun, neuter); (5 der.)
    mantri (compound)
    mantri (adverb)
    mantri (nominative single)
    mantri (vocative single)
    mantri (accusative single)
  • hīnā -
  • hīnā (noun, feminine); (1 der.)
    hīnā (nominative single)
    -> hīnā (participle, feminine); (2 der.)
    hīnā (nominative single), from √ (class 1 verb)
    hīnā (nominative single), from √ (class 3 verb)
  • ca -
  • ca (indeclinable conjunction); (1 der.)
    (indeclinable conjunction)
    ca (noun, masculine); (2 der.)
    ca (vocative single)
    ca (noun, neuter); (2 der.)
    ca (vocative single)
  • rājyaśrīr -
  • rājyaśrī (noun, feminine); (2 der.)
    rājyaśrīḥ (nominative single)
    rājyaśrīḥ (vocative single)
  • bhujyate -
  • bhuj (verb class 6); (1 der.)
    bhujyate (present passive third single)
    bhuj (verb class 6); (1 der.)
    bhujyate (present passive third single)
    bhuj (verb class 7); (1 der.)
    bhujyate (present passive third single)
  • viṭa -
  • viṭa (noun, masculine); (2 der.)
    viṭa (vocative single)
    viṭa (noun, neuter); (2 der.)
    viṭa (vocative single)
  • ceṭakaiḥ -
  • ceṭaka (noun, masculine); (1 der.)
    ceṭakaiḥ (instrumental plural)


This quote is contained within the following Sanskrit literary sources:

Samayamātṛkā 1.45: Literally “The life of a courtesan”. The plot revolves around the life of an attractive courtesan. The book was written by Kṣemendra in the 11th century.
More info


Kṣemendra (10th century) is the author of the Samayamātṛkā. A Kashmirian poet who studied various branches of literature including Vaishnavism and Buddhism, under Abhinavagupta. He composed many works, among which several abridgements of famous Sanskrit epics.

About the Mahāsubhāṣitasaṃgraha

This quote is included within the Mahāsubhāṣitasaṃgraha (महासुभाषितसंग्रह, maha-subhashita-samgraha / subhasita-sangraha), 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 14 and can be found on page 3. (read on

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.

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