Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Hitopadesa or The Hitopadesa or Hitopadesha NULL

Collection of Hindu Writings, Fables and Verse, Independent Treatment of the Panchatantra, an Exposition on statecraft produced for young princes

"A bad man is like an earthen vessel - easy to break, and hard to mend. A good man is like a golden vessel - hard to break, and easy to mend."

"Riches in their acquisition bring pain and suffering, in their loss manifold trouble and sorrow, in their possession a wild intoxication. How can we say that they confer happiness?"

"Amongst all things, knowledge is truly the best thing: from its not being liable ever to be stolen, from its not being purchasable, and from its being imperishable...Learning is superior to beauty; learning is better than hidden treasure; learning is a companion on a journey to a strange country; learning is strength inexhaustible."

"Awe enables us to perceive in the world intimations of the divine, to sense in small things the beginning of infinite significance, to sense the ultimate in the common and the simple; to feel in the rush of the passing the stillness of the eternal."

"We teach children how to measure, how to weigh. We fail to teach them how to revere, how to sense wonder and awe. The sense of the sublime, the sign of the inward greatness of the human soul and something which is potentially given to all men, is now a rare gift."

"The expansion of human power has hardly begun, and what we are going to do with our power may either save or destroy the planet. The earth may be of small significance within the infinite universe. But if it is of some significance, we hold the key to it. In our own age we have been force into the realization that there will be either one world, or no world."

"A bad man is like an earthen vessel,--easy to break, and hard to mend. A good man is like a golden vessel, hard to break, and easy to mend."

"A feverish display of over-zeal, At the first outset, is an obstacle To all success; water, however cold, Will penetrate the ground by slow degrees."

"A hundred long leagues is no distance for him who would quench the thirst of covetousness; but a contented mind has no solicitude for grasping wealth."

"A husband is the chief ornament of a wife, though she have no other ornament; but, though adorned, without a husband she has no ornaments."

"A man eminent in learning has not even a little virtue if he fears to practice it. What precious things can be shown to a blind man when he holds a lamp in his hand?"

"A man should abandon that country wherein there is neither respect, nor employment, nor connections, nor the advancement of science."

"A prudent man will not discover his poverty, his self-torments, the disorders of his house, his uneasiness, or his disgrace."

"A store of grain, Oh king is the best of treasures. A gem put in your mouth will not support life."

"A stranger who is kind is a kinsman; an unkind kinsman is a stranger."

"Amongst all possessions knowledge appears pre-eminent. The wise call it supreme riches, because it can never be lost, has no price, and can at no time be destroyed."

"Amongst all things, knowledge is truly the best thing: from its not being liable ever to be stolen, from it not being purchasable, and from its being imperishable."

"By the fall of water-drops the pot is filled: such is the increase of riches, of knowledge, and of virtue."

"Circumspection in calamity; mercy in greatness; good speeches in assemblies; fortitude in adversity: these are the self-attained perfections of great souls."

"Empty is the house of a childless man; as empty is the mind of a bachelor; empty are all quarters of the world to an ignorant man; but poverty is total emptiness."

"Even a blockhead may respect inspire, So long as he is suitably attired; A fool may gain esteem among the wise, So long as he has sense to hold his tongue."

"Even as a traveler, meeting with the shade Of some o’erhanging tree, awhile reposes, Then leaves its shelter to pursue his way, So men meet friends, then part with them forever."

"From covetousness anger proceeds; from covetousness lust is born; from covetousness come delusion and perdition. Covetousness is the cause of sin."

"Frugality should ever be practiced, but not excessive parsimony."

"Giving away is the instrument for accumulated treasures; it is like a bucket for the distribution of the waters deposited in the bowels of a well."

"Good actions lead to success, as good medicines to a cure: a healthy man is joyful, and a diligent man attains learning; a just man gains the reward of his virtue."

"Good counsel tendered to fools rather provokes than satisfies them. A draught of milk to serpents only increases their venom."

"Good fortune is the offspring of our endeavors, although there be nothing sweeter than ease."

"Great attention to what is said and sweetness of speech, a great degree of kindness and the appearance of awe, are always tokens of a man’s attachment."

"Great warmth at first is the certain ruin of every great achievement. Doth not water, although ever so cool, moisten the earth?"

"Greatness does not approach him who is forever looking down."

"Having sown the seed of secrecy, it should be properly guarded and not in the least broken; for being broken, it will not prosper."

"He by whom the geese were formed white, parrots stained green, and peacocks painted of various hues—even He will provide for their support."

"He is a great and a good man from whom the needy, or those who come for protection, go not away with disappointed hopes and discontented countenances."

"He is a man who doth not suffer his members and faculties to cause him uneasiness."

"He is a minister who doth not behave with insolence and pride."

"He is a worthy person who is much respected by good men."

"He is kind who guardeth another from misfortune."

"He is happy who is forsaken by his passions."

"He is a wise man who knoweth that his words should be suited to the occasion, his love to the worthiness of the object, and his anger according to his strength."

"He that hath sense hath strength."

"He who entereth uncalled for, unquestioned speaketh much, and regardeth himself with satisfaction, to his prince appeareth one of a weak judgment."

"He who doth not speak an unkind word to his fellow-creatures is master of the whole world to the extremities of the ocean."

"He who formeth a connection with an honest man from his love of truth, will not suffer thereby."

"He who is in disgrace with the sovereign is disrespected by all."

"He who has wealth has friends; he who has wealth has relations; he who has wealth is a hero among the people; he who has wealth is even a sage."

"He who is not possessed of such a book as will dispel many doubts, point out hidden treasures, and is, as it were, a mirror of all things, is even an ignorant man."

"He who, in opposition to his own happiness, delighteth in the accumulation of riches, carrieth burdens for others and is the vehicle of trouble."

"He who seeks wealth sacrifices his own pleasure, and, like him who carries burdens for others, bears the load of anxiety."

"He whose days are passed away without giving or enjoying, puffing like the bellows of a blacksmith, liveth but by breathing."