Sanskrit quote nr. 29 (Maha-subhashita-samgraha)

Sanskrit text:

अकलङ्कान्तिके कान्तिः केति कालङ्कलङ्किनः ।
अरुणे तरुणे मस्या धावं कामयते शशी ॥

akalaṅkāntike kāntiḥ keti kālaṅkalaṅkinaḥ |
aruṇe taruṇe masyā dhāvaṃ kāmayate śaśī ||


Meter name: Śloka; Type: pathyā (‘normal’); 8 syllables per quarter (pāda).

Primary English translation:

“The moon desires to cleanse his dark spot in the young (morning) sun, as otherwise his brilliance is nowhere near one who is spotless.”

(translation by A. A. Ramanathan)


  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.

Akalanka (akalaṅka, अकलङ्क): defined in 3 categories.
Tika (तिक): defined in 5 categories.
Kanti (kānti, कान्ति): defined in 6 categories.
Ka (क, kā, का): defined in 6 categories.
Kim (किम्): defined in 3 categories.
Aruna (aruṇa, अरुण, aruṇā, अरुणा): defined in 10 categories.
Taruna (taruṇa, तरुण): defined in 4 categories.
Taru (तरु): defined in 3 categories.
Masi (masī, मसी): defined in 5 categories.
Dhava (dhāva, धाव): defined in 7 categories.
Shashi (sasi, śaśī, शशी): defined in 7 categories.

Defined according to the following glossaries/dictionaries: Sanskrit, Theravada (major branch of Buddhism), Marathi, Buddhism, Hinduism, Pali, Purana, Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy), Shaktism (Shakta philosophy), Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa), Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar), Jainism, Shilpashastra (iconography), Itihasa (narrative history), Ayurveda (science of life), Dharmashastra (religious law), Vastushastra (architecture), Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology), Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy), Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

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: “akalaṅkāntike kāntiḥ keti kālaṅkalaṅkinaḥ”
  • akalaṅkān -
  • akalaṅka (noun, masculine); (1 der.)
    akalaṅkān (accusative plural)
  • tike -
  • tika (noun, masculine); (1 der.)
    tike (locative single)
  • kāntiḥ -
  • kānti (noun, feminine); (1 der.)
    kāntiḥ (nominative single)
  • ke -
  • (indeclinable interrogative); (1 der.)
    (indeclinable interrogative)
    ka (noun, neuter); (6 der.)
    ke (nominative dual)
    ka (vocative single)
    ke (vocative dual)
    ke (accusative dual)
    ke (locative single)
    ka (noun, masculine); (1 der.)
    ke (nominative plural)
    kaḥ (pronoun, masculine); (1 der.)
    ke (nominative plural)
    kim (pronoun, neuter); (2 der.)
    ke (nominative dual)
    ke (accusative dual)
    (pronoun, feminine); (3 der.)
    (nominative single)
    ke (nominative dual)
    ke (accusative dual)
  • iti -
  • iti (indeclinable particle); (1 der.)
    (indeclinable particle)
    iti (noun, feminine); (2 der.)
  • kālaṅ -
  • kālam (indeclinable); (1 der.)
  • kalaṅkinaḥ -
  • kalaṅkin (noun, masculine); (5 der.)
    kalaṅkinaḥ (nominative plural)
    kalaṅkinaḥ (vocative plural)
    kalaṅkinaḥ (accusative plural)
    kalaṅkinaḥ (ablative single)
    kalaṅkinaḥ (genitive single)
    kalaṅkin (noun, neuter); (2 der.)
    kalaṅkinaḥ (ablative single)
    kalaṅkinaḥ (genitive single)
  • Line 2: “aruṇe taruṇe masyā dhāvaṃ kāmayate śaśī”
  • aruṇe -
  • aruṇa (noun, masculine); (1 der.)
    aruṇe (locative single)
    aruṇā (noun, feminine); (4 der.)
    aruṇe (nominative dual)
    aruṇe (vocative single)
    aruṇe (vocative dual)
    aruṇe (accusative dual)
    aruṇi (noun, masculine); (1 der.)
    aruṇe (vocative single)
  • taruṇe -
  • taruṇa (noun, masculine); (1 der.)
    taruṇe (locative single)
    taruṇa (noun, neuter); (4 der.)
    taruṇe (nominative dual)
    taruṇe (vocative dual)
    taruṇe (accusative dual)
    taruṇe (locative single)
    taru (noun, neuter); (1 der.)
    taruṇe (dative single)
  • masyā* -
  • masī (noun, feminine); (2 der.)
    masyāḥ (ablative single)
    masyāḥ (genitive single)
  • dhāvam -
  • dhāva (noun, masculine); (2 der.)
    dhāvam (adverb)
    dhāvam (accusative single)
    dhāva (noun, neuter); (3 der.)
    dhāvam (adverb)
    dhāvam (nominative single)
    dhāvam (accusative single)
    dhāvā (noun, feminine); (1 der.)
    dhāvam (adverb)
  • kāmayate -
  • kam -> kāmayat (participle, masculine); (1 der.)
    kāmayate (dative single), from √kam
    kam -> kāmayat (participle, neuter); (1 der.)
    kāmayate (dative single), from √kam
    kam (verb class 0); (1 der.)
    kāmayate (present middle third single)
  • śaśī -
  • śaśī (noun, feminine); (2 der.)
    śaśī (nominative single)
    śaśin (noun, masculine); (1 der.)
    śaśī (nominative single)


This quote is contained within the following Sanskrit literary sources:

Sūktimuktāvalī 11.33: The poems contained in this compilation belong to the category “muktaka” (gnomic poetry). It is divided into twelve chapters. Deals with topics such as Gods and Goddesses, politics, erotics, heroes, etc. The book was compiled by Harihara.
More info


Harihara (16th century) is the compiler of the Sūktimuktāvalī, into which he included this quote. The author calls himself a son of Lakshmi and Raghava in the verse 12.74 of his Suktimuktavali. His younger brother was Shri Nilakantha. Raghava was the son of Hrishikesha (of the respectable family of Divakara) and Lakshmi was the daughter of a renowned Maithila scholar. He was a resident of the village of Bittho, which he and his brother, in the course of time, changed into an important seat of learning.

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 29 and can be found on page 6. (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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