Sanskrit quote nr. 30 (Maha-subhashita-samgraha)

Sanskrit text:

अकलङ्का पुलकवती सस्नेहा मुक्तकञ्चुकी श्यामा ।
पततु तवोरसि दयिता खङ्गलता वैरिणः शिरसि ॥

akalaṅkā pulakavatī sasnehā muktakañcukī śyāmā |
patatu tavorasi dayitā khaṅgalatā vairiṇaḥ śirasi ||

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

Primary English translation:

“May the sweetheart and the sword fall respectively on your chest and on the head of the enemy—they who are spotless (without defect) bristling with eagerness, loving (and well oiled) with the upper silk removed (and taken out of the scabbard) and youthful (and of dark steel).”

(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

Kalaṅka (कलङ्क, kalanka) literally translates to “spot”, “stain”, “mark” etc. The antonym akalaṅka therefore refers to “spotless”. (more info)

Sneha (स्नेह) literally translates to “oiliness” etc. It is a commonly used attribute for materials in Āyureveda (a branch of Hindu science dealing with subjects such as health, medicine, anatomy). (more info)

Śyāma (श्याम, shyama) is a well-known word for the color “black” or “dark-colored”. (more info)

Dayita (दयित) translates to “cherished”, “beloved”, “dear” etc.

Vairin (वैरिन्) translates to “hostile” and refers the “enemy”.

Śiras (नासिका, shiras) refers to the “head”. The term is used to refer to this anatomic part of the human body since old times in ancient India. In Nāṭyaśāstra the head is considered as one of the six major limbs (aṅga) used in dramatic performance with which thirteen different gestures (āṅgika) can be performed. (more info)


This quote is contained within the following Sanskrit literary sources:

Subhāṣitamuktāvalī Appendix II, 13: Contains Sanskrit aphorisms on the subject of Kāvya and fine literature and poetry .
More info


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 30 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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