Sanskrit quote nr. 2 (Maha-subhashita-samgraha)

Sanskrit text:

अंशुकं हृतवता तनुबाहुस्वस्तिकापिहितमुग्धकुचाग्रा ।
भिन्नशङ्खवलयं परिणेत्रा पर्यरम्भि रभसादचिरोढा ॥

aṃśukaṃ hṛtavatā tanubāhusvastikāpihitamugdhakucāgrā |
bhinnaśaṅkhavalayaṃ pariṇetrā paryarambhi rabhasādaciroḍhā ||


Meter name: Rathoddhatā; Type: Akṣaracchanda (sama); 11 syllables per quarter (pāda).

Primary English translation:

“The newly married damsel covered her charming breasts crosswise with her slender hands when the upper silk was pulled by the husband and was embraced ardently with the snapping of her conch bracelets.”

(translation by A. A. Ramanathan)



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

Aṃśuka (अंशुक, amshuka) is a general Sanskrit term often used in poetry, denoting ‘cloth’, ‘muslin’ or ‘garment’. Sometimes it refers to a ‘gentle blazing light’. (more info)

Kuca (कुच) refers to the female breasts, but can also translate to ‘bosom’. (more info)

Śaṅkhavalaya (शङ्खवलय, shankhavalaya): A compound consisting of the words śaṅkha (conch-shell) and valaya (bracelet), and refers to the shell-bracelet worn by women. The use of a conch-shell extends beyond the reach of ornaments and finds its way even in the medicinal practices of Āyurveda.

Pariṇetṛ (परिणेतृ, parinetri) literally translates to “one who leads around”, but in this context refers to “husband”.

Ūḍhā (ऊढा, udha) literally translates to “married woman”, but can also refer to “wife”.


This quote is contained within the following Sanskrit literary sources:

Śiśupālavadha 10.43: A Sanskrit epical poem (kāvya) consisting of 1800 verses. The story is based upon contents drawn from the Mahābhārata. The original plot revolves around Śiśupāla, king of the Chedis, who, after insulting Kṛṣṇa several times, got his head struck off. The book was written by Māgha in the 8th century.
More info

Subhāṣitaratnabhāṇḍāgāra 316.3: 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.
More info

Subhāṣitasudhāratnabhāṇḍāgāra 173.8: Literally, “Treasury of Sanskrit Poetry”. A compendium of amusing, sarcastic and instructive verses. The book was compiled by Śivadatta Kaviratna in 1985.
More info


Māgha (7th century) is the author of the Śiśupālavadha. He was a Sanskrit poet who was active in King Varmalāta's court at Śrīmāla (also known as Bhillamāla), where he was born into a Brahmin family.

Nārāyaṇa Rāma Ācārya (1900 A.D.) is the compiler of the Subhāṣitaratnabhāṇḍāgāra, into which he included this quote.

Śivadatta Kaviratna is the compiler of the Subhāṣitasudhāratnabhāṇḍāgāra, into which he included this quote, ascribing the authorship to Māgha.

About the Mahāsubhāṣitasaṃgraha

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 2 and can be found on page 1. (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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