Sanskrit quote nr. 4 (Maha-subhashita-samgraha)

Sanskrit text:

अंशुकेन जघनं तिरोदधे क चुकेन च कुचौ मृगीदृशाम् ।
पीयमानमनिशं प्रियेक्षणैः क्षामतामिव जगाम मध्यमम् ॥

aṃśukena jaghanaṃ tirodadhe ka cukena ca kucau mṛgīdṛśām |
pīyamānamaniśaṃ priyekṣaṇaiḥ kṣāmatāmiva jagāma madhyamam ||


Meter name: Rathoddhatā; Type: Akṣaracchanda (sama); 11 syllables per quarter (pāda).

Primary English translation:

“The hips of the deer-eyed damsels were concealed by the silk dress and the bosom by the jacket (and, being unconsumed, grew in size); but the waist became thin as it was drunk in (gazed at) frequently by the glances of the lovers.”

(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

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)

Jaghana (जघन) literally translates to the “ the hinder part” (‘loin’, ‘buttocks’) but in this context refers to the “hips”. (more info)

Kuca (कुच) refers to the female breasts, but can also translate to ‘bosom’. (more info)

Mṛgīdṛś (मृगीदृश्) translates to “deer-eyed”. It is composed of the words mṛgī (female deer) and dṛś (eye)


This quote is contained within the following Sanskrit literary sources:

Sūktimuktāvalī 185.58: A Sanskrit anthology containing general information on poets and poetry and several ethical verses on subjects such as happiness, charity, fate, wickedness etc. There are two versions of the Sūktimuktāvalī, a small and a large one. The book was compiled by Bhagadatta Jalhaṇa in 1257 A.D..
More info


Bhagadatta Jalhaṇa (13th century) is the compiler of the Sūktimuktāvalī, into which he included this quote, ascribing the authorship to Mādhavamāgadha. He was also known as Jahlaṇa.

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 4 and can be found on page 1. (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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