Sanskrit quote nr. 21 (Maha-subhashita-samgraha)

Sanskrit text:

अकरोः किमु नेत्रशोणिमानं किमकार्षीः करपल्लवावरोधम् ।
कलहं किमधाः क्रुधा रसज्ञे हितमर्थं न विदन्ति दैवदष्टाः ॥

akaroḥ kimu netraśoṇimānaṃ kimakārṣīḥ karapallavāvarodham |
kalahaṃ kimadhāḥ krudhā rasajñe hitamarthaṃ na vidanti daivadaṣṭāḥ ||

⏑⏑⎼¦⏑⏑⎼¦⏑⎼⏑¦⎼⎼¦¦⏑⏑⎼¦⎼⏑⏑¦⎼⏑⎼¦⏑⎼⎼¦¦
⏑⏑⎼¦⎼⏑⏑¦⎼⏑⎼¦⏑⎼⎼¦¦⏑⏑⎼¦⏑⏑⎼¦⏑⎼⏑¦⎼⎼¦¦

Meter name: Aupacchandisika; Type: Akṣaracchanda (ardhasama); First and third pādas: 11 syllables; Second and fourth pādas: 12 syllables

Primary English translation:

“Did you in anger redden your eyes, and offer resistance with your tender hands or quarrel, O you, who can appreciate taste? Those who are smitten by adverse fate do not see their own welfare.”

(translation by A. A. Ramanathan)

Index

Introduction

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

Netraśoṇiman (नेत्रशोणिमन्, netrashoniman) is a compound and translates to “reddish eyes”. It is composed of the words netra (‘eyes’) and śoṇiman (‘redness’).

Karapallava (करपल्लव) refers to the “fingers”; its literal translation being “hand-shoot”.

Avarodha (अवरोध) translates to “hindrance”, “obsctruction”, “injury”, etc. It is composed of the prefix ava and rodha (‘growing’).

Kalaha (कलह) is a common term referring to “quarrel”. (more info)

Rasajña (रसज्ञ, rasajna) roughly translates to “one who knows (appreciates) taste”. It is derived from rasa (‘taste’), which is a very common term used in many of the ancient Indian sciences, such as Philosophy, Alchemy (rasaśāstra), Dramatic performance (nāṭyaśāstra), etc. (more info)

Artha (अर्थ) is a common term, literally translating to “cause”, “motive” or “reason”, but in this context refers to “welfare”. It is also the name of the central topic of the ancient Indian science called arthaśāstra, which deals with statecraft and bureaucratic welfare. (more info)

Sources

This quote is contained within the following Sanskrit literary sources:

Subhāṣitaratnabhāṇḍāgāra 308.3: 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 160.5: Literally, “Treasury of Sanskrit Poetry”. A compendium of amusing, sarcastic and instructive verses. The book was compiled by Śivadatta Kaviratna in 1985.
More info

Padyaracanā 35.5: An anthology of Sanskrit poetry, containing a collection of poetical verses. The book was compiled by Lakṣmaṇa Bhaṭṭa Āṅkolakara in the 17th century.
More info

Authorship

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.

Lakṣmaṇa Bhaṭṭa Āṅkolakara is the compiler of the Padyaracanā, into which he included this quote.

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 21 and can be found on page 4. (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.

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