Experiments with Translation

Translating life's journey in poetry, prose and pictures

śatakatrayam 1.81: netā yasya bṛhaspatiḥ (with bṛhaspati as his counsellor)

नेता यस्य बृहस्पति: प्रहरणं वज्रं सुरा: सैनिका:
स्वर्गो दुर्गमनुग्रह: खलु हरेरैरावणो रावण: ।
इत्याश्चर्यबलान्वितोऽपि बलभिद्भग्न: परै: संगरे
तद्व्यक्तं ननु दैवमेव शरणं धिग्धिग्वृथा पौरुषम् ।।८१।।
नीतिशतके

with brhaspati as his counsellor,
thunderbolt as a weapon,
immortal deities for soldiers,
heaven as his fortress,
vishnu himself as his protector,
and airāvaṇa as elephant-in-chief,
indra, the king of gods,
is extraordinarily powerful.
yet, he meets defeat after defeat in battle.
thus it is clear–
god alone is our refuge;
manhood and vigor, go cower! ||81|||
nītiśataka

śatakatrayam 1.80: aiśvaryasya vibhūṣaṇam sujanatā (might is ornamented by benevolence)

ऐश्वर्यस्य विभूषणं सुजनता शौर्यस्य वाक्संयमो
ज्ञानस्योपशम: श्रुतस्य विनयो वित्तस्य पात्रे व्यय:।
अक्रोधस्तपस: क्षमा प्रभवितुर्धर्मस्य निर्व्याजता
सर्वेषामपि सर्वकारणमिदं शीलं परं भूषणम् ।।८०।।
नीतिशतके

might is ornamented by benevolence,
heroism by restraint in speech,
knowledge by patience,
fame by humility,
wealth by donating suitably,
ascetic practice by controlling anger,
a powerful lord by ability to forgive,
religious practice by honesty,
but let it be known that,
good conduct is the best ornament
any person can have. ||80||
nītiśataka

śatakatrayam 1.79: chinno’pi rohati taruḥ (a tree that is chopped)

छिन्नोऽपि रोहति तरु: क्षीणोऽप्युपचीयते पुनक्ष्चन्द्र: ।
इति विमृशन्त: सन्त: संतप्यन्ते न विश्लथेषु लोकेषु ।।७९।।
नीतिशतके

a tree that is chopped
grows again,
the crescent moon too
waxes again to full glory.
realizing this, wise men
are not too aggravated even when
life is distressing. ||79||

śatakatrayam 1.78: vahnistasya jalāyate (if a man’s conduct)

वह्निस्तस्य जलायते जलनिधि: कुल्यायते तत्क्षणा-
न्मेरु: स्वल्पशिलायते मृगपति: सद्य: कुरङ्गायते ।
व्यालो माल्यगुणायते विषरस: पीयूषवर्षायते
यस्याङ्गेऽखिललोकवल्लभतरं शीलं समुन्मीलति ।।७८।।
नीतिशतके

if a man’s conduct
is most beloved to all in the world;
then, for him–
fire is as cool as ice,
an ocean is like a rivulet,
a mountain is akin to a small stone,
a lion is as tame as a deer,
a snake is like a garland of flowers,
and poison too a flood of nectar. ||78||
nītiśataka

śatakatrayam 1.77: varaṃ śṛṅgotsaṅgāddhimaśikhariṇaḥ (far better that this body falls)

वरं शृङ्गोत्सङ्गाद्धिमशिखरिण: क्वापि विषमे
पतित्वायं काय: कठिनदृषदन्ते विदलित: ।
वरं न्यस्तो हस्त: फणिपतिमुखे तीक्ष्णदशने
वरं वह्नौ पातस्तदपि न कृत: शीलविलय: ।।७७।।
नीतिशतके

far better that this body falls
from a snowy mountain peak
and is crushed by big rugged boulders,
or that a venomous snake
crushes this hand with its fangs,
or that fire scorches it,
than to be an immoral person. ||77||
nītiśataka