न केवलं मे भवतश्च राजन्

श्री प्रह्लाद उवाच
न केवलं मे भवतश्च राजन्स वै बलं बलिनां चापरेषाम्।
परेऽवरेऽमी स्थिरजङ्गमा ये ब्रह्मादयो येन वशं प्रणीताः॥८॥
स ईश्वरः काल उरुक्रमोऽसावोजः सहः सत्त्वबलेन्द्रियात्मा।
स एव विश्वं परमः स्वशक्तिभिः सृजत्यवत्यत्ति गुणत्रयेशः॥९॥
जह्यासुरं भावमिमं त्वमात्मनः समं मनो धत्स्व न सन्ति विद्विषः।
ऋतेऽजितादात्मन उत्पथे स्थितात्तद्धि ह्यनन्तस्य महत्समर्हणम्॥१०॥
दस्यून्पुरा षण्न विजित्य लुम्पतो मन्यन्त एके स्वजिता दिशो दश।
जितात्मनो ज्ञस्य समस्य देहिनां साधोः स्वमोहप्रभवाः कुतः परे॥११॥
—श्रीमद्भागवते सप्तमस्कन्धेऽष्टमोऽध्यायः
śrī prahlāda uvāca
na kevalaṁ me bhavataśca rājansa vai balaṁ balināṁ cāpareṣām|
pare’vare’mī sthirajaṅgamā ye brahmādayo yena vaśaṁ praṇītāḥ||8||
sa īśvaraḥ kāla urukramo’sāvojaḥ sahaḥ sattvabalendriyātmā|
sa eva viśvaṁ paramaḥ svaśaktibhiḥ sṛjatyavatyatti guṇatrayeśaḥ||9||
jahyāsuraṁ bhāvamimaṁ tvamātmanaḥ samaṁ mano dhatsva na santi vidviṣaḥ|
ṛte’jitādātmana utpathe sthitāttaddhi hyanantasya mahatsamarhaṇam||10||
dasyūnpurā ṣaṇna vijitya lumpato manyanta eke svajitā diśo daśa|
jitātmano jñasya samasya dehināṁ sādhoḥ svamohaprabhavāḥ kutaḥ pare||11||
—śrīmadbhāgavate saptamaskandhe’ṣṭamo’dhyāyaḥ
Not just mine, but [He is] the source of your strength as well O King! and Indeed the strength of all those who are strong and others
Those superior, or inferior, moving or non-moving, beginning from Brahma, ae under His control!
He is the Supreme Ishvara (controller), that One Supreme Lord, the strength of the senses, mind, body and Atma!
Indeed He creates, maintains and dissolves the Universe by His power, the Lord of the three Gunas!
Give up your Asuric tendencies and percieve everything as equal to yourself (stop discriminating); [then] there are no enemies,
Except for the mind on the wrong path! [If that can be achieved] That is the greatest worship of the limitless Lord!
Many previous demons, not defeating the six enemies (काम/kāma: desire, क्रोध/krodha: anger, लोभ/lobha: greed, मोह/moha: delusion, मद/mada: pride/arrogance, मात्सर्यम्/mātsaryam: jealousy), which [actually] steal away [everything]
For the one who has conquered the senses, who views all beings with equanimity, for such a noble soul, where are the enemies, created by own’s own delusions!?

Amazing discourse by Prahlada to Hiranyakashipu, when he asks his son who gives him the power/fearlessness to stand and argue, culminating in further fury of Hiranyakashipu and the avatara of Lord Narasimha!

वर्तस्व च सतां क्रमे

न शक्यसे वारयितुं गच्छेदानीं रघूत्तम।
शीघ्रं च विनिवर्तस्व वर्तस्व च सतां क्रमे॥ २-२५-२॥
–श्रीमद्वाल्मीकिरामायणे अयोध्याकाण्डे पञ्चविंशतितमे सर्गे
na śakyase vārayituṁ gacchedānīṁ raghūttama |
śīghraṁ ca vinivartasva vartasva ca satāṁ krame || 2-25-2||
–śrīmadvālmīkirāmāyaṇe ayodhyākāṇḍe pañcaviṁśatitame sarge

It is not possible to restrain your departure [any longer]. Depart now, Oh best amongst the Raghus!
Return soon, and tread in the footsteps of the righteous!”

Amazing! The first advice the great Kausalya gave Her Son, is to tread in the footsteps of the righteous! Surely, Lord Rama didn’t need that advice (of course, it’s for us), but Kausalya just underlines the importance of that. No wonder, this is also one of the most fundamental cornerstones of Sanatana Dharma (and the need for a Guru!). It’s also worth quoting another fantastic conversation in Mahabharata (thanks to the eloquent Vasu Srinivasan):

कः पन्थाः ? asks yakSha. “What is the road?” I would have just asked back “To where?”.

तर्क: अप्रतिष्ट: श्रुतयो विभिन्ना: न एको ऋषि: यस्य मतम् प्रमाणम् ।
धर्मस्य तत्त्वं निहितम् गुहायाम् महाजनो येन गतः स पन्थाः ॥

Yudhishtra’s first utterance is “tarkaH apratiShTaH”. A quote on which vyAkhyAna can be done for hours I guess. “Logic is baseless”. Logic has been the considered the greatest employment of human intellect since Aristotle, Plato down to the European philosophers, who have spent their lifetime only in logic. But Yudhishtra dismisses it curtly – Logic is limited, baseless and cannot be relied upon.

“srutayo vibhinnAH” – vedA-s say different things! “na eko rShiH yasya matam pramANam” – There is not a single rishi whose word is an authority! Its just a poetic way of expressing that vedA-s are interpreted differently and every rishi worth his beard has an opinion. “dharmasya tattvam nihitam guhAyAm”. The truth about dharma is hidden in a deep cave! What the Huh? Where did dharma come from? What does it have to do with logic or vedas or roads? Each rishi is attempting to explain what is “dharma”, but nobody has a single opinion about it and nobody really knows what dharma is. And then he finally ties them all beautifully – “mahAjano yena gataH saH panThaH” – the road travelled by great people is the one to follow (for mokSha)! The great ones have already figured it out, you just follow the road paved by them. yakSha was not even asking about a physical road! That is the fault of translation or misunderstanding of contexts.

See also:

अपकारिषु यः साधुः

उपकारोऽपकारश्च प्रवराविति सम्मतौ।
उपकारिषु सर्वोऽपि करोत्युपकृतिं पुनः॥८०-५४॥
अपकारिषु यः साधुः पुण्यभाक्ष उदाहृतः॥८०-५५॥
An act of favour and an unfavourable act — these are to be considered alike.
On doing a favour, everyone will [be ready to] return the favour/help.
One who remains good, even on being wronged, he indeed is a noble soul.
upakāro’pakāraśca pravarāviti sammatau|
upakāriṣu sarvo’pi karotyupakṛtiṁ punaḥ||80-54||
apakāriṣu yaḥ sādhuḥ puṇyabhākṣa udāhṛtaḥ||80-55||
An act of favour and an unfavourable act — these are to be considered alike.
On doing a favour, everyone will [be ready to] return the favour/help.
One who remains good, even on being wronged, he indeed is a noble soul.

उपकारिषु यः साधुः

उपकारिषु यः साधुः साधुत्वे तस्य को गुणः।
अपकारिषु यः साधुः स साधुः सद्भिरुच्यते॥२७०॥
—मित्रभेदः नाम प्रथमे तन्त्रे
upakāriṣu yaḥ sādhuḥ sādhutve tasya ko guṇaḥ|
apakāriṣu yaḥ sādhuḥ sa sādhuḥ sadbhirucyate||270||
—mitrabhedaḥ nāma prathame tantre
One who is good, when being helped/favoured, what is great (surprising) about his goodness?
When being wronged, one who still remains kind/helpful, he is [indeed] said to be good, by the learned.

न हि कृतमुपकारं साधवो विस्मरन्ति

प्रथमवयसि पीतं तोयमल्पं स्मरन्तः
शिरसि निहितभारा नारिकेला नराणाम्‌।
ददति जलमनल्पास्वादमाजीवितान्तम्
न हि कृतमुपकारं साधवो विस्मरन्ति॥
prathamavayasi pītaṁ toyamalpaṁ smarantaḥ
śirasi nihitabhārā nārikelā narāṇām|
dadati jalamanalpāsvādamājīvitāntam
na hi kṛtamupakāraṁ sādhavo vismaranti||
Remembering the very small amount of [salty] water which it has drunk in its early ages,
The coconut tree carries very good tasty water on his head throughout its life.
[In the similar way] good people do not forget [even a very small] favour (‘upakara’) done to them.

Lord Śri Rāma was renowned for his कृतज्ञता (kṛtajñatā).

विकृतिं नैव गच्छन्ति

विकृतिं नैव गच्छन्ति सङ्गदोषेण साधवः।
आवेष्टितं महासर्पैश्चन्दनं न विषायते॥
vikṛtiṁ naiva gacchanti saṅgadoṣeṇa sādhavaḥ|
āveṣṭitaṁ mahāsarpaiścandanaṁ na viṣāyate||
Changes (negative changes/bad habits) are not induced by bad company in a great people.
[Just as] A sandalwood tree enveloped by great serpents does not turn poisonous.
Neverthless, one must always stay away from bad company. See दुर्जनेन समं सख्यम्

साधोः मनो नायाति विक्रियाम्

साधोः प्रकोपितस्यापि मनो नायाति विक्रियाम्।
न हि तापयितुं शक्यं सागराम्भस्तृणोल्कया॥
sādhoḥ prakopitasyāpi mano nāyāti vikriyām|
na hi tāpayituṁ śakyaṁ sāgarāmbhastṛṇolkayā||
Even when instigated by others, the mind of a pious person never hesitates [to take the right decision].
It is not possible to heat the water of ocean by a torch of dried grass.

आ जीवनास्तात् प्रणयाः

आ जीवनास्तात् प्रणयाः कोपास्तत्क्षणभङ्गुराः।
परित्यागाश्च निःसङ्ग भवन्ति हि महात्मनाम्॥
ā jīvanāstāt praṇayāḥ kopāstatkṣaṇabhaṅgurāḥ|
parityāgāśca niḥsaṅga bhavanti hi mahātmanām||
Friendship [with noble persons] lasts for the lifetime; anger is transitory and lasts for a moment only;
They have no desire for wealth, the noble persons.

[Posted on 10 MAY]

खलः करोति दुर्वृत्तं

खलः करोति दुर्वृत्तं नूनं फलति साधुषु॥
दशाननोऽहरत्‌ सीतां बन्धनं तु महोदधेः॥
khalaḥ karoti durvṛttaṁ nūnaṁ phalati sādhuṣu||
daśānano’harat sītāṁ bandhanaṁ tu mahodadheḥ||
The wicked man does a bad deed and really it bears fruit among the good. The ten-faced one (RAvaNa) stole Sita, and it was the ocean that had to be restricted! (by Rama’s bridge)

न विप्रियं वदत्यार्यः

अप्रियवचनाङ्गारैर्दग्धोऽपि न विप्रियं वदत्यार्यः।
किं दह्यमानमगरु स्वभावसुरभिं परित्यजति॥
apriyavacanāṅgārairdagdho'pi na vipriyaṁ vadatyāryaḥ|
kiṁ dahyamānamagaru svabhāvasurabhiṁ parityajati||
"A man of culture does not speak unpleasantly though burnt by the burning coals of displeasing talk.
Does the fragrant aloe wood abandon its natural fragrance when being burnt?"

एते सत्पुरुषाः

एते सत्पुरुषाः परार्थघटकाः स्वार्थान्‌ परित्यज ये
सामान्यास्तु परार्थमुद्यमभृतः स्वार्थाविरोधेन ये।
तेऽमी मानवराक्षसाः परहितं स्वार्थाय निघ्नन्ति ये
ये तु घ्नन्ति निरर्थकं परहितं ते के न जानीमहे॥
ete satpuruṣāḥ parārthaghaṭakāḥ svārthān parityaja ye
sāmānyāstu parārthamudyamabhṛtaḥ svārthāvirodhena ye|
te'mī mānavarākṣasāḥ parahitaṁ svārthāya nighnanti ye
ye tu ghnanti nirarthakaṁ parahitaṁ te ke na jānīmahe||

"These, who are engaged in benefitting others after sacrificing their own purposes are the great men. Those who benefit others without opposing their needs are the common men. Those who destroy others' well being for doing good to themselves are demons in human form. However those who destroy other peoples' well being without any cause whatsoever, we do not know who they are!"


कुसुमस्तबकस्येव द्वयीवृत्तिर्मनस्विनः।
मूर्ध्नि वा सर्वलोकस्य विशीर्येत वनेऽथवा॥३३॥
— भर्तृहरेः नीतिशतकम्
kusumastabakasyeva dvayīvṛttirmanasvinaḥ|
mūrdhni vā sarvalokasya viśīryeta vane’thavā||33||
— bhartṛhareḥ nītiśatakam

“Like a bunch of flowers, great men have two ways.
They are either on top of everyone, or decay unnoticed in the forest.”

(Posted on 10 OCT)

सम्पत्तौ च विपत्तौ च साधूनामेकरूपता

उदये सविता रक्तो रक्तश्चास्तमने तथा।
सम्पत्तौ च विपत्तौ च साधूनामेकरूपता॥
udaye savitā rakto raktaścāstamane tathā|
sampattau ca vipattau ca sādhūnāmekarūpatā||

"The sun is red at sunrise and red at sunset;
During prosperity as well as calamity, great men have the same form."

The following are some gems that श्रीकृष्णः imparted to अर्जुनः in the भगवद्गीता:
… समदुःखसुखं धीरं सोऽमृतत्वाय कल्पते॥२-१५॥
… samaduḥkhasukhaṁ dhīraṁ so'mṛtatvāya kalpate||2-15||
"… Who is even-minded in pleasure and pain, steadfast, he is fit for immortality"

सुखदुःखे समे कृत्वा लाभालाभौ जयाजयौ।
ततो युद्धाय युज्यस्व नैवं पापमवाप्स्यसि॥२-३८॥
sukhaduḥkhe same kṛtvā lābhālābhau jayājayau |
tato yuddhāya yujyasva naivaṁ pāpamavāpsyasi ||2-38||
"Having gained equanimity in pleasure and pain, in gain and loss, in victory and defeat;
Then arise to fight; thus, you will not incur sin."

दुःखेष्वनुद्विग्नमनाः सुखेषु विगतस्पृहः।
वीतरागभयक्रोधः स्थितधीर्मुनिरुच्यते॥२-५६॥
duḥkheṣvanudvignamanāḥ sukheṣu vigataspṛhaḥ |
vītarāgabhayakrodhaḥ sthitadhīrmunirucyate ||2-56||
"He whose mind is unshaken in the midst of sorrows, who amongst pleasures is free from longing;
from whom attachment, fear and anger have departed, he is said to be a sage of steady intellect."

जितात्मनः प्रशान्तस्य परमात्मा समाहितः।
शीतोष्णसुखदुःखेषु तथा मानापमानयोः॥६-०७॥
jitātmanaḥ praśāntasya paramātmā samāhitaḥ |
śītoṣṇasukhaduḥkheṣu tathā mānāpamānayoḥ ||6-07||
"For he who has conquered his self, who is deep in peace the transcendent Self is steadfast
in heat and cold, in pleasure and pain, in honour and disgrace."