[Advaita-l] Vedanta/sadhana-friendly proverbs

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Sep 4 21:07:22 CDT 2011

Here are some more:

स्वगृहे पायसं त्यक्त्वा भिक्षामटति दुर्मतिः [ rejecting/neglecting/ignoring
what is lovely at one's disposal, seeking something outside]

अर्के चेन्मधु वेन्देत किमर्थं पर्वतं व्रजेत्?  When honey is available close
at hand (in the flower/plant in the courtyard) why seek it at the mountain

पिंड समुत्सृज्य करं *लेढि**  *- [This is quoted in the Ratnaprabha in a
particular context] 'He rejected the dish and licked his hand.' Giving
up/rejecting the central thing and considering the peripherals.

यज्जन्यं/यत्कृतकम् तदनित्यम् - That which is born/created is ephemeral.

अन्धेनैव नीयमाना यथान्धाः [This is from the KathopaniShat mantra...] The
blind being led by the blind.

यद्दृश्यं तन्मिथ्या That which is seen/an object is unreal.

संयोगा वियोगान्ताः All that is formed due to integrating will last only as
long as they do not disintegrate.  This is true with all things of the
world: objects, relationships, etc.

प्रयोजनमनुद्दिश्य न मन्दोऽपि प्रवर्तते - Even a fool would not do a thing
without having some or the other purpose/motivation.

यद्दृश्यं तज्जडम्, घटवत् - That which is an object is inert, like a pot. The
idea is that always the seer is conscious/sentient and the seen is inert.
Even when we say 'I saw him' we have only seen his body/mind which is
undoubtedly inert alone.  His consciousness/Atman is never an object of my

लाङ्गलं मम जीवनम् This is given as an example for 'gauNAtmaa'.  Here, there
is the clear perception of difference yet the expression that overlooks this
difference.  The plough which is useful for farming and thereby contributing
to one's livelihood is spoken of as one's life itself: the plough is my very

ममात्मा भद्रसेनः Bhadrasena is a deputy/servant.  He is so good/efficient
and therefore indispensable that the boss says 'he is my self'.  This is
also given as an example for gauNAtmA, the feeling of oneself with respect
to the भृत्यः servant.

परव्यसननारी This example of a woman engrossed in the thought of her paramour
is given by the Panchadashi to show how a vedanta sadhaka aught to be always
retain the Atman-thought even while engaged in all chores.

Contributions from all sources welcome.


On Sun, Sep 4, 2011 at 11:41 PM, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>wrote:

> Namaste.
> Talking of proverbs in Sanskrit, it would be useful to start listing
> proverbs/sayings that are congenial to Vedanta sadhana.  One can bring up
> such sayings found in the Bhashyam, commentaries/glosses, other scriptural
> works, etc. For example, in the Brahma sutra bhashya we have one saying:
> न हि वरघाताय़ कन्यां उद्वाहयन्ति [BSB 4.1.2. People give their daughter in
> marriage not to do away/kill the son-in-law]

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