Sanskrit quote nr. 5 (Maha-subhashita-samgraha)

Sanskrit text:

अंशुपाणिभिरतीव पिपासुः पद्मजं मधु भृशं रसयित्वा ।
क्षीबतामिव गतः क्षितिमेष्यंल् लोहितं वपुरुवाह पतङ्गः ॥

aṃśupāṇibhiratīva pipāsuḥ padmajaṃ madhu bhṛśaṃ rasayitvā |
kṣībatāmiva gataḥ kṣitimeṣyaṃl lohitaṃ vapuruvāha pataṅgaḥ ||


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

Primary English translation:

“The sun, very eager to drink lotus-honey enjoined the same, taking it with hand-like rays: then as if intoxicated he reached the earth bearing a reddened body.”

(translation by A. A. Ramanathan)

Secondary translations:

“Nachdem die überaus durstige Sonne mit ihren Strahlenhänden den in der Lotusblume erzeugten Saft reichlich gekostet hatte, nahm sie, als wäre sie trunken geworden, sich zum Untergange neigend, eine rote Färbung an.”

(translation by Carl Cappeller)



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

Aṃśu (अंशु, amshu) is a very general term, but in this context refers to the “ray” or “beam” of the sun. Together with pāṇi (hands) it forms “(with) hand-like rays”. (more info)

Padma (पद्म) is a very common term and generally refers to lotus. (more info)

Madhu (मधु) literally translates to something “sweet”, but in this context refers to “honey”. The same context can also be applied to someone's ‘sweetheart’. (more info)

Kṣība (क्षीब, kshiba) refers to the “excited”, “drunk” or “intoxicated” state. The ‘intoxicated’ state is also known as mada.

Kṣiti (क्षिति, kshiti) generally refers to “an abode” or “dwelling” but in this context refers to the “earth”. It can also translate to ‘the soil of the earth’. (more info)

Lohita (लोहित) is a general name for anything “copper”, but in this context refers to the color “red” (or, ‘redness’). (more info)

Vapus (वपुस्) generally translates to “a beautiful form”, but in this context plainly refers to a “form” or “figure”.


This quote is contained within the following Sanskrit literary sources:

Kirātārjunīya (Mahāmahopādhyāya Paṇḍit Durgāprasād: 9.3; Carl Cappeller: 9.3): A Sanskrit epic poem (kāvya) consisting of eighteen cantos. The contents of the books are derived from the Mahābhārata. The plot revolves around the arrival of the Pāṇḍavas who got exiled to the forest. Arjuna performs austerities and is eventually rewarded with the Pāśupatāstra weapon from Śiva, which will aid him in the future war. The book was written by Bhāravi in the 6th century.
More info

Subhāṣitaratnabhāṇḍāgāra 294.23: 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 135.25: Literally, “Treasury of Sanskrit Poetry”. A compendium of amusing, sarcastic and instructive verses. The book was compiled by Śivadatta Kaviratna in 1985.
More info


Bhāravi (6th century) is the author of the Kirātārjunīya. He is the author of epic poems from the Pallava empire. Bhāravi is famous for the depth of his style.

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

Śivadatta Kaviratna is the compiler of the Subhāṣitasudhāratnabhāṇḍāgāra, 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 5 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.

< Back to list with quotes