Sanskrit quote nr. 36 (Maha-subhashita-samgraha)

Sanskrit text:

अकस्मात् प्रक्रिया नॄणां अकस्माच्चापकर्षणम् ।
शुभाशुभे महत्त्वं च प्रकर्तुं बुद्धिलाघवात् ॥

akasmāt prakriyā nṝṇāṃ akasmāccāpakarṣaṇam |
śubhāśubhe mahattvaṃ ca prakartuṃ buddhilāghavāt ||

⏒⏒⏒⏒¦⏑⎼⎼⏒¦¦⏒⏒⏒⏒¦⏑⎼⏑⏒¦¦
⏒⏒⏒⏒¦⏑⎼⎼⏒¦¦⏒⏒⏒⏒¦⏑⎼⏑⏒¦¦

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

Primary English translation:

“The prosperity of men, as also their fall comes of itself. Prosperity and adversity, and greatness, all proceed from weakness of understanding.”

(translation by P. C. Roy)

Secondary translations:

“The prosperity of men, as also their downfall, originates of itself. Prosperity and adversity, and greatness, all originate from weakness of understanding.”

(translation by M. N. Dutt)

“Ohne Grund Männer zu erhöhen und zu erniedrigen, uhnen Gutes und Böses, so wie Grösse zu verleihen, zeugt von geringem Verstande.”

(translation by Otto Böhtlingk)

Index

  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.

Prakriya (prakriyā, प्रक्रिया): defined in 3 categories.
Nri (nr, nṛ, नृ): defined in 1 categories.
Capa (cāpa, चाप): defined in 5 categories.
Karshana (karsana, karṣaṇa, कर्षण): defined in 3 categories.
Shubhashubha (subhasubha, śubhāśubha, शुभाशुभ, śubhāśubhā, शुभाशुभा): defined in 1 categories.
Mahattva (महत्त्व): defined in 2 categories.
Ca (च): defined in 3 categories.
Pra (प्र): defined in 3 categories.

Defined according to the following glossaries/dictionaries: Sanskrit, Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology), Marathi, Pali, Dhanurveda (science of warfare), Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

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: “akasmāt prakriyā nṝṇāṃ akasmāccāpakarṣaṇam”
  • akasmāt -
  • akasmāt (indeclinable); (1 der.)
    (indeclinable)
  • prakriyā* -
  • prakriyā (noun, feminine); (3 der.)
    prakriyāḥ (nominative plural)
    prakriyāḥ (vocative plural)
    prakriyāḥ (accusative plural)
  • nṝṇām -
  • nṛ (noun, masculine); (1 der.)
    nṝṇām (genitive plural)
  • akasmāc -
  • akasmāt (indeclinable); (1 der.)
    (indeclinable)
  • cāpa -
  • cāpa (noun, masculine); (2 der.)
    (compound)
    cāpa (vocative single)
    cāpa (noun, neuter); (2 der.)
    (compound)
    cāpa (vocative single)
  • karṣaṇam -
  • karṣaṇa (noun, masculine); (2 der.)
    karṣaṇam (adverb)
    karṣaṇam (accusative single)
    karṣaṇa (noun, neuter); (3 der.)
    karṣaṇam (adverb)
    karṣaṇam (nominative single)
    karṣaṇam (accusative single)
    karṣaṇā (noun, feminine); (1 der.)
    karṣaṇam (adverb)
  • Line 2: “śubhāśubhe mahattvaṃ ca prakartuṃ buddhilāghavāt”
  • śubhāśubhe -
  • śubhāśubha (noun, masculine); (1 der.)
    śubhāśubhe (locative single)
    śubhāśubha (noun, neuter); (4 der.)
    śubhāśubhe (nominative dual)
    śubhāśubhe (vocative dual)
    śubhāśubhe (accusative dual)
    śubhāśubhe (locative single)
    śubhāśubhā (noun, feminine); (4 der.)
    śubhāśubhe (nominative dual)
    śubhāśubhe (vocative single)
    śubhāśubhe (vocative dual)
    śubhāśubhe (accusative dual)
  • mahattvam -
  • mahattva (noun, neuter); (3 der.)
    mahattvam (adverb)
    mahattvam (nominative single)
    mahattvam (accusative single)
  • ca -
  • ca (indeclinable conjunction); (1 der.)
    (indeclinable conjunction)
    ca (noun, masculine); (2 der.)
    (compound)
    ca (vocative single)
    ca (noun, neuter); (2 der.)
    (compound)
    ca (vocative single)
  • pra -
  • pra (noun, masculine); (2 der.)
    (compound)
    pra (vocative single)
    pra (noun, neuter); (2 der.)
    (compound)
    pra (vocative single)
  • kartum -
  • kṛ -> kartum (infinitive); (1 der.)
    (infinitive), from √kṛ
    kṛ -> kartum (infinitive); (1 der.)
    (infinitive), from √kṛ
    kṛ -> kartum (infinitive); (1 der.)
    (infinitive), from √kṛ
    kṛ -> kartum (infinitive); (1 der.)
    (infinitive), from √kṛ
    kṛ -> kartum (infinitive); (1 der.)
    (infinitive), from √kṛ
    kṛ -> kartum (infinitive); (1 der.)
    (infinitive), from √kṛ
    kartu (noun, masculine); (1 der.)
    kartum (accusative single)
    kartu (noun, feminine); (1 der.)
    kartum (accusative single)
  • buddhilāghavāt -
  • buddhilāghava (noun, neuter); (2 der.)
    buddhilāghavāt (adverb)
    buddhilāghavāt (ablative single)

Sources

This quote is contained within the following Sanskrit literary sources:

Mahābhārata (V. S. Sukhtankar: 12.112.84; Nimachand Siromani: 12.4170; M. N. Dutt: 12.111.88): The largest epic poem in the world, consisting of 100,000 verses. It contains the history of ancient India and the exploits of its heroes, such as the fate of the Kauravas and the Pāṇḍavas. It is also famous for its inclusion of the Bhagavadgītā, a conversation between Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukṣetra. The book was written by Vyāsa.
More info

Subhāṣitaratnabhāṇḍāgāra 380.140: 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

Indische Sprüchen 6: Collection of Sanskrit subhāṣitas (proverbial verses) with German translation. The book was written by Otto Böhtlingk in 1870.
More info

Authorship

Vyāsa is the author of the Mahābhārata. He is traditionally accepted as author of the vedas, the purāṇas and the mahābhārata. He was also known as Vedavyāsa or Kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana.

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

Otto Böhtlingk (1815) is the author of the Indische Sprüchen.

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 36 and can be found on page 7. (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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