You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : April 1998

Subhashita Nivi Part 9

From: muralidhar rangaswamy (
Date: Thu Apr 16 1998 - 13:50:22 PDT

Dear Friends, 

A dear member of our group reminded me that I had not completed the 
Subhashita Nivi series which I started last year. Accordingly, I 
shall resume the delectable task of summarizing these gems from 
Swami Desikan. In this set of twelve verses Swami Desikan describes the 
ways of the righteous.

1. His is the kingdom eternal who, by his prowess, conquers the three 
worlds, remains impartial among friends and foes alike, honours the 
virtuous and has the gift of friendship, endurance, fortitude in the 
face of dangers.

2. With the only one (intellect) distinguishing between the two 
(duty and desire), understanding the three (friend, foe, and neutral),
with the help of four (reconciliation, gifts, dissension and 
punishment), controlling the five (senses), mastering the six 
(qualities of accord, expansion, movement, sitting, dualism and 
protection) and getting rid of the seven (sorrows) a man achieves 
bliss in this very life.

3. Even righteous rulers when they are gripped by vaulting ambition 
resort to intrigue, dissension, and discord among themselves. What to 
speak of mud pots which tend to break when they come in contact with 
one another.

4. The God of Death should be termed competent as he administers 
impartial justice to all, ensuring equality of treatment to the 
rich and poor, treating the good and bad alike, rewarding the worthy 
and punishing the wicked according to their desserts. He cannot be 
termed as cruel though he wields the rod of death.

5. A ruler is regarded as Lord Vishnu himself, if he assuages the 
sorrows and travails (of his subjects), corrects their errors, 
and administers the kingdom with the four cardinal methods of 
peace, presents, difference, and chastisement.

6. A self disciplined person may occassionally err while moving 
in darkness and ignoring of true reality. But if he corrects himself, 
he is an example to others and remains the beloved of the Gods.

7. A king need fear no threat to his rule if he takes care of the seven 
limbs of the state, i.e., priests, ministers, allies, treasury, 
subjects, fortresses, and army, plans his actions carefully and is 
brave in war.

8. An over-ambitious king will be successful against his enemies, 
however powerful they may be, if he wisely employs his sources of 
strength, i.e., traditional armed forces acquired through generations of 
sound rule and fair recruitment, support of friends and enemies, 
zeal, supremacy and practice of consultation with ministers and taking 
their wise counsel.

9. Krishna's son and Aniruddha's father, Pradyumna, who possesses 
immense wealth and prowess, remains enshrined in the hearts of 
spectators making the rest of the world effeminate.

10. Good an proper advice from devoted, loyal ministers may be 
unpalatable at times, but will be invaluable to the king in a crisis to 
overcome their enemies.

11. A wise king, who rules well, honours the righteous and punishes the 
guilty and enforces discipline among friends with evil intent will 
have a stable kingdom.

12. How lucky you are Oh cuckoo! God has endowed you with a sweet voice! 
For otherwise, the lowly crows would not have driven you out 
on hearing you sing.

13. Let the mighty Airavata rub its itching temples and pour tis ichor 
on Mount Meru or try to lift it by its massive strength. Mount Meru 
is unaffected by such acts, nor is it defiled.

Namo Narayana,

Muralidhar Rangaswamy 

Get Your Private, Free Email at