On a lake reflecting myriads of stars a swan, by night seeking the young lotus buds, though wise, was for a time deceived. Through fear of being deceived by the stars, the swan, even by day, shunned the white lotus. Thus he who has been deceived dreads evil even in truth.

Krishna, the beautiful haired god, replied not to the reviling of the King of Chedi. To the roar of the tempest, and not to the jackal’s howl, the elephant trumpets a reply.

Not the tender pliant grass is uprooted by the storm, but the lofty trees—the mighty war only with the mighty.

In sandal trees there are snakes; in lotus tanks are there not alligators? in happiness there is envy; there are no unmixed pleasures.

The root by serpents, the blossoms by black bees, the branches by monkeys, the top by bears; truly no part of the sandal tree is not resorted to by evil natures.

Fret not about sustenance; providence will supply it. When a creature is born, the mother’s breast supplies milk.

Who gave the swan his whiteness, and the parrot his wings of green, who gave the peacock his iris-hues, will he not provide for thee?


Noting the wasting of callyrium, and the increase of an ant-hill, let one make the day fruitful by generosity, study, and noble acts.

By the fall of water-drops, the pitcher is gradually filled; this is the cause of wisdom, of virtue, and of wealth.

The heat-oppressed not so does a plunge in ice-cold water delight, nor a pearl necklace, nor anointing with sandal, as the words of the good delight the good.

The good are like cocoa-nuts; others are like the jujube, externally pleasing.

Like an earthen vessel, easy to break, hard to re-unite, are the wicked—the good are like vessels of gold, hard to break and quickly united.

Be not a friend to the wicked—charcoal when hot, burns; when cold, it blackens the fingers.

Shun him who secretly slanders, and praises openly; he is like a cup of poison, with cream on the surface.

A chariot cannot go on one wheel alone; so destiny fails unless man’s acts co-operate.

The noble delight in the noble; the base do not; the bee goes to the lotus from the wood; not so the frog, though living in the same lake.


Even in a forest hermitage, sin prevails over the unholy; the restraint of the senses in one’s own home, this is asceticism.

Who performs a right action, free from impurity, the house of that man is a forest hermitage.