Sanskrit quote nr. 8 (Maha-subhashita-samgraha)

Sanskrit text:

अंशोऽपि दुष्टदिष्टानां परेषां स्याद् विनाशकृत् ।
बाललेशोऽपि व्याघ्राणां यत् स्याज् जीवितहानये ॥

aṃśo'pi duṣṭadiṣṭānāṃ pareṣāṃ syād vināśakṛt |
bālaleśo'pi vyāghrāṇāṃ yat syāj jīvitahānaye ||


Meter name (1st and 2nd pāda): Śloka; Type: pathyā (‘normal’); 8 syllables per quarter (pāda).
Meter name (3rd and 4th pāda): Śloka; Type: vipulā (‘extended’, type 4); 8 syllables per quarter (pāda).

Primary English translation:

“Even the most insignificant thing can bring the destruction of others if one is pursued by bad luck. Similarly the loss of a hair from the tail of a tiger can cause the loss of life.”

(translation by Ludwik Sternbach)

Secondary translations:

“Bei denen, die vom Missgeschick verfolgt werden, kann auch das Geringste den Untergang Anderer bewirken, wie ja auch ein Härchen aus dem Schwanze eines Tigers zum verlust des Lebens führt.”

(translation by Otto Böhtlingk)


  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.

Amsha (amsa, aṃśa, अंश): defined in 10 categories.
Amshu (amsu, aṃśu, अंशु): defined in 5 categories.
Ap (अप्): defined in 5 categories.
Dushta (dusta, duṣṭa, दुष्ट): defined in 2 categories.
Dishta (dista, diṣṭa, दिष्ट, diṣṭā, दिष्टा): defined in 3 categories.
Para (पर): defined in 7 categories.
Sya (स्य): defined in 2 categories.
Bala (bāla, बाल): defined in 19 categories.
Lesha (lesa, leśa, लेश): defined in 5 categories.
Vyaghra (vyāghra, व्याघ्र): defined in 7 categories.
Yat (यत्): defined in 2 categories.
Yad (यद्): defined in 3 categories.
Jivita (jīvita, जीवित): defined in 7 categories.
Hani (hāni, हानि): defined in 3 categories.

Defined according to the following glossaries/dictionaries: Hinduism, Sanskrit, Pali, Vastushastra (architecture), Shilpashastra (iconography), Purana, Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy), Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology), Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism), Marathi, Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy), Jainism, Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar), Vaisheshika (school of philosophy), Itihasa (narrative history), Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa), Buddhism, Ayurveda (science of life), Dharmashastra (religious law), Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy), Theravada (major branch of Buddhism), India history, Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

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: “aṃśo'pi duṣṭadiṣṭānāṃ pareṣāṃ syād vināśakṛt”
  • aṃśo' -
  • aṃśa (noun, masculine); (1 der.)
    aṃśaḥ (nominative single)
    aṃśu (noun, masculine); (1 der.)
    aṃśo (vocative single)
  • api -
  • api (indeclinable preposition); (1 der.)
    (indeclinable preposition)
    ap (noun, neuter); (1 der.)
    api (locative single)
  • duṣṭa -
  • duṣṭa (noun, masculine); (2 der.)
    duṣṭa (vocative single)
    duṣṭa (noun, neuter); (2 der.)
    duṣṭa (vocative single)
  • diṣṭānām -
  • diṣṭa (noun, masculine); (1 der.)
    diṣṭānām (genitive plural)
    diṣṭa (noun, neuter); (1 der.)
    diṣṭānām (genitive plural)
    diṣṭā (noun, feminine); (1 der.)
    diṣṭānām (genitive plural)
  • pareṣām -
  • para (noun, masculine); (1 der.)
    pareṣām (genitive plural)
    para (noun, neuter); (1 der.)
    pareṣām (genitive plural)
  • syād -
  • syāt (indeclinable adverb); (1 der.)
    (indeclinable adverb)
    syāt (indeclinable); (1 der.)
    sya (noun, neuter); (2 der.)
    syāt (adverb)
    syāt (ablative single)
    as (verb class 2); (1 der.)
    syāt (optative active third single)
  • vināśakṛt -
  • vināśakṛt (noun, masculine); (4 der.)
    vināśakṛt (nominative single)
    vināśakṛt (vocative single)
    vināśakṛt (noun, neuter); (5 der.)
    vināśakṛt (nominative single)
    vināśakṛt (vocative single)
    vināśakṛt (accusative single)
  • Line 2: “bālaleśo'pi vyāghrāṇāṃ yat syāj jīvitahānaye”
  • bāla -
  • bāla (noun, masculine); (2 der.)
    bāla (vocative single)
    bāla (noun, neuter); (2 der.)
    bāla (vocative single)
  • leśo' -
  • leśa (noun, masculine); (1 der.)
    leśaḥ (nominative single)
  • api -
  • api (indeclinable preposition); (1 der.)
    (indeclinable preposition)
    ap (noun, neuter); (1 der.)
    api (locative single)
  • vyāghrāṇām -
  • vyāghra (noun, masculine); (1 der.)
    vyāghrāṇām (genitive plural)
  • yat -
  • yat (indeclinable relative); (1 der.)
    (indeclinable relative)
    yat (noun, masculine); (1 der.)
    yad (noun, masculine); (4 der.)
    yat (compound)
    yat (adverb)
    yat (nominative single)
    yat (vocative single)
    yat (noun, neuter); (3 der.)
    yat (nominative single)
    yat (vocative single)
    yat (accusative single)
    i -> yat (participle, neuter); (3 der.)
    yat (nominative single), from √i (class 2 verb)
    yat (vocative single), from √i (class 2 verb)
    yat (accusative single), from √i (class 2 verb)
    yat (pronoun, neuter); (2 der.)
    yat (nominative single)
    yat (accusative single)
  • Cannot analyse syāj*jī
  • jīvita -
  • jīvita (noun, masculine); (2 der.)
    jīvita (vocative single)
    jīvita (noun, neuter); (2 der.)
    jīvita (vocative single)
    jīv -> jīvita (participle, masculine); (1 der.)
    jīvita (vocative single), from √jīv (class 1 verb)
    jīv -> jīvita (participle, neuter); (1 der.)
    jīvita (vocative single), from √jīv (class 1 verb)
  • hānaye -
  • hāni (noun, feminine); (1 der.)
    hānaye (dative single)


This quote is contained within the following Sanskrit literary sources:

Subhāṣitārṇava 253: Literally “waves of poetry”. The name of an unedited and unpublished subhāṣita-saṃgraha. It consists of over 300 pages in the Bengali script.
More info

Indische Sprüchen 1: Collection of Sanskrit subhāṣitas (proverbial verses) with German translation. The book was written by Otto Böhtlingk in 1870.
More info


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 8 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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