Sanskrit quote nr. 31 (Maha-subhashita-samgraha)

Sanskrit text:

अकलङ्को दृढः शुद्धः परिवारी गुणान्वितः ।
सद्वंशो हृदयग्राही खङ्गः सुसदृशस्तव ॥

akalaṅko dṛḍhaḥ śuddhaḥ parivārī guṇānvitaḥ |
sadvaṃśo hṛdayagrāhī khaṅgaḥ susadṛśastava ||


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

Primary English translation:

“Your sword befits you like your noble family—they who are free from stain, firm, pure, protecting, and of good merits and pleasing to the mind (reaching the enemy’s heart).”

(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)

Dṛḍha (दृढ, dridha) as an adjective literally translates to “strong”, “firm”, “solid” etc.

Śuddha (शुद्ध, shuddha) as an adjective literally translates to “pure”, “clear”, “faultless” etc. It is a common term used in Dharmaśāstra (a branch of Hindu science dealing with a religious and spiritual law), but is also a popular personal name. (more info)

Vār (वार्, var) in this context refers to a “protector” or “defender”, but in a different context usually refers to “water”. (more info)

Guṇānvita (गुणान्वित, gunanvita) is a compound that translates to “auspicious” (endowed with virtues). It is composed of the words guṇa (‘quality’) and anvita (‘endowed with’).

Hṛdayagrāhin (हृदयग्राहिन्, hridayagrahin) is a compound that translates to “captivating the heart”. It is composed of hṛdaya (‘heart’) and grāhin (‘taking hold of’).

Khaṅga (खङ्ग, khanga), more commonly known as khaḍga, translates to “sword”. It is a common word used throughout the ancient Indian sciences such as Vāstuśāstra (science of architecture), Āyurveda (science of health) and Dhanurveda (science of warfre). (more info)


This quote is contained within the following Sanskrit literary sources:

Subhāṣitāvalī 2471: This is a compilation of Collection of 3527 subhāṣita verses authored by 360 poets. The book was compiled by Vallabhadeva in 1417-67 A.D..
More info


Vallabhadeva (15th century) is the compiler of the Subhāṣitāvalī, 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 31 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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