Sanskrit quote nr. 7 (Maha-subhashita-samgraha)

Sanskrit text:

अंशो दण्डसमः पूर्वः प्रयाससम उत्तमः ।
विलोपो वा यथालाभं प्रक्षेपसम एव वा ॥

aṃśo daṇḍasamaḥ pūrvaḥ prayāsasama uttamaḥ |
vilopo vā yathālābhaṃ prakṣepasama eva vā ||


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

Primary English translation:

“A share in conformity with troops is of the first type, in conformity with efforts is best; or plunder, as abstained (by each), (should be the share), or a share in conformity with the amount lent.”

(translation by R. P. Kangle)

Secondary translations:

“Share of profit proportional to the strength of the army is of the first kind; that which is equal to the effort made is the best; shares may be allotted in proportion to the profit earned or to the capital invested.”

(translation by R. Shamasastry)



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

Aṃśa (अंश, amsha) is a generally used term that translates to a “share”, “portion” or “part”. In a different context it can also refer to a “day”. (more info)

Daṇḍa (दण्ड, danda) refers to the “army” (other valid translations are ‘army’ or ‘embodied power’). Daṇḍa as a general term usually refers to “staff” or “stick”. (more info)


This quote is contained within the following Sanskrit literary sources:

Arthaśāstra (R. P. Kangle: 7.4, 22; R. Shama Sastry: 274.10-1; J. Jolly: 162.15-6; N. P. Unni: 259.6-7): The Arthaśāstra is a foundational Sanskrit treatise dealing with subjects such as statecraft, economics politics and military tactics. Arthaśāstra as a general term also denotes a category of scientific literature, including such works as the Arthaśāstra by Kauṭilya itself. The book was written by Kauṭilya in the 6th century.
More info


Kauṭilya is the author of the Arthaśāstra. A well-known Indian polymath from the 4th century. His best known work is the Arthaśāstra, which became an important foundation of Indian economics and political sciences. He was also known as Cāṇakya or Viṣṇugupta.

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 7 and can be found on page 2. (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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