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Subashita Nivi-6

From: muralidhar rangaswamy (
Date: Sat Dec 06 1997 - 13:48:51 PST

Dear Friends,

In this post, I shall present part-6 of Swami Desikan's Subhashita 
Nivi. In this set of twelve verses, Swami Desikan describes the ways of 
the noble.

1. He is truly noble and great in whose presence even the virtuous ones 
do not shine, in whose absence also they are not recognized, for whom 
the existence or otherwise of others is immaterial and whose knowledge 
surpasses that of others.

2. The mark of nobility is the tolerance of differences in beliefs and 
practices of people of other faiths.

3. A truly realized soul will be steadfast in devotion to the lotus feet 
of the Lord, remain totally pure in thought, word and deed and will 
render all possible help to others in their hour of need.

4. The mere sight of men who conform to correct scriptural practices, 
who have clarity of vision and thinking, who are easily accessible and 
lead a righteous life, will enable one to fet rid of their sins.

5. A steadfast person, Godly in personal life, performing his alloted 
duties diligently, worshipping at sacred places and respecting elders 
and preceptors, may sometimes acquire wealth. However, it will be like 
Kuchela from Lord Krishna and will add to his lustre and greatness. One 
can be sure that the wealth will be put to righteous use only. 

6. True knowledge, correct observances, virtuous conduct, sharp 
intellect, courage of conviction and viewing the world through the lens 
of the scriptures and a complete trust in God's dispensations will 
enable a person have a tranquil, untroubled, joyous life in this very 

7. A noble man will shun intrigue and his thinking will never go astray. 
He will be fair and impartial, recognize goodness even in enemies, will 
exude nobility and dignity in behavior. Such a man will indeed be deemed 
as a God on earth by the virtuous.

8. Even celestials will adore a perceptive person who perceives God as 
the goal of human existence as well as the means to achieve that goal. 

9. A man of glorious virtues and nobility has to be befriended for one's 
own benefit. It may not be possible to imitate him or eclipse him. He 
cannot be ignored as he blazes forth in the skyline like the Sun with 
myriad rays.

10. The hot hissing of serpents cannot equal the ultimate fire which 
marks the dissolution of the worlds. A mere snake charmer can quieten a 
serpent, but who can control the ultimate fire?

11. God has endowed Garuda with glorious speed, the Himalayas with 
strength and stability, the oceans with depth, the moon with pleasing 
light and the Sun with splendour and brightness. After cogitating for a 
long while, he has strung all these pearls of virtues in a necklace and 
has named it a noble man.

12. Small speeding rivulets quench no thirst. Soldiers who desert their 
ranks and run away on merely hearing the word "enemy" as if defeated by 
them will win no respect from society.

This set of twelve verses are pregnant with meaning and have great 
philosophical significance. The reference to the fire at the end of 
time is the joint form of Sudarshana-Narasimha. Although, Swami Desikan 
intended the Subhashita Nivi to be a nonreligious, non-philosophical 
exercise, the deep impression of the Paancharatra 
Agama (in particular, the Ahirbudhnya Samhita) shines forth brilliantly. 
Verse 8 contains references to the concept of SharaNagati 
(Prapatti). Verse 11 is a reference to the Virata Purusha of the Purusha 
Sooktam. This can be inferred from Swami Desikan's first 
verse in part 1 of this work where he declars that the foremost  
noble person is God. The remaining verses indicate the benefit of 
associating with noble minded persons with an implicit message to 
seek the "foremost noble person".

Namo Narayana,

Muralidhar Rangaswamy

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