Sanskrit quote nr. 3 (Maha-subhashita-samgraha)

Sanskrit text:

अंशुकमिव शीतभयात् संस्त्यानत्वच्छलेन हिमधवलम् ।
अम्भोभिरपि गृहीतं पश्यत शिशिरस्य माहात्म्यम् ॥

aṃśukamiva śītabhayāt saṃstyānatvacchalena himadhavalam |
ambhobhirapi gṛhītaṃ paśyata śiśirasya māhātmyam ||

Meter name: Āryā; Type: Mātrācchanda; 19 syllables per quarter (pāda).

Primary English translation:

“Look at the greatness of the cool season, as even the waters, as if afraid of the cold, have put on a white silken garment in the guise of a thick fall of snow.”

(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

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)

Śiśira (शिशिर, shishira) literally translates to “cold”, but in this context refers to the season “winter”. There are six seasons (ṛtu) in the commonly accepted Indian calendar: vasanta, grīṣma, varṣā, śarad, hemanta and śiśira. (more info)

Sources

This quote is contained within the following Sanskrit literary sources:

Śārṅgadharapaddhati 3935: A Sanskrit anthology. Includes 4689 poetic verses divided into 163 sections (paddhati). The subjects of these aphorisms primarily concern moral philosophy and ethics. The book was compiled by Śārṅgadhara in 1363 A.D..
More info

Subhāṣitaratnabhāṇḍāgāra 347.4: 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 225.5: Literally, “Treasury of Sanskrit Poetry”. A compendium of amusing, sarcastic and instructive verses. The book was compiled by Śivadatta Kaviratna in 1985.
More info

Authorship

Śārṅgadhara (14th century) is the compiler of the Śārṅgadharapaddhati, into which he included this quote, ascribing the authorship to Amṛtavardhana. Śārṅgadhara was the son of Dāmodara and grandson of Rāghava-deva (the rājaguru of Hammīrabhūpati of Śakambharī). Hammīra was the king of Śākhabharī and reigned from 1262–1301 A.D.

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

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

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 3 and can be found on page 1. (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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