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Nitidvishashtika Quotes – Moral Maxims From Sanskrit Text

A collection of quotes from Nitidvishashtika - Moral maxims from sanskrit text Nitidvishashtika

Avoid even the sight of foolish men. If one does see them, then avoid their company. If one does fall into the company of foolish men, then let him keep silent. And if one does have to speak amongst them, and then let him too speak like them.

If one is censured for a genuine fault of his, then he should endure that rebuke. And if he is censured for no fault of his, he should forgive the other person thinking that the censure did not occur at all.

If a dog bites a man, he does not bite the dog back. Therefore, if a wicked man humiliates a virtuous one, the latter should not seek revenge.

Following are the characteristics of a bad friend – making fun of their friend in public, showing friendship only as long as some benefit is obtained from the relationship, and not forgetting the bad deeds of his friend towards him.

One should retain formal courtesy only as long as friendship has not been achieved. Once friendship is acquired, formal courtesy is a sign of deceit.

Just as bees gather so much honey little by little that it can fill several pots. Likewise, wise men gather knowledge, religious merit and penance little by little continuously, without ever giving up.

Even old men should humbly approach younger men with reverence for clarification of their doubts, just as they would approach their teachers with respect.

One should strive to become learned and not hanker after wealth alone. It is common to find a wealthy man, but rare indeed is he who has erudition.

Of what use is a long life to those whose minds are blemished with lust and jealousy, who work inefficiently and who feel insulted at slight pretext?

Although dim, the rays of moon falling on the snow clad peaks of the Himalayas look resplendent and illuminate entire mountain ranges. Likewise, even a few good qualities become abundant in persons who are lofty with merit.

No purpose of existence and no object of human life are attained by him, who turns miserly at the sight of a needy man and turns him away.

That man’s life along is meaningful who sustains and nourishes vast multitudes of men from his provisions. And he, who does not sustain his dependents, is indeed dead, even if alive.

They who are pure at heart are pure even if impure externally. And they whose hearts are impure are impure even if they be clean from outside.

A wise man should not speak ill of others in an assembly. Even that truth should not be uttered, which, if expressed, becomes unpalatable.

Why should men endowed with good sense speak harshly, when sweetness is within their own power and when sentences can be composed with sweet words?

When a person is addressed harshly, he responds in a doubly harsh manner. There, one who does not wish to hear unpleasant words must not use such language himself.