Indian linguist, poet and writer

Bhartrihari (Devanagari: भर्तृहरि; also romanised as Bhartṛhari) was a 5th century Sanskrit author, considered to have written two influential texts: The Śatakatraya, a book of poetry; and Vākyapadīya, a grammatical treatise.




  • यां चिन्तयामि सततं मयि सा विरक्ता
    साप्यन्यमिच्छति जनं स जनोऽन्यसक्त:।
    अस्मत्कृते च परिशुष्यति काचिदन्या
    धिक्ताञ्च तं च मदनं च इमां च मां च ॥
    • The maid my true heart loves would not my true love be;
      She seeks another man; another maid loves he;
      And me another maid her own true love would see:
      Oh, fie on her and him and Love and HER and me!
      • Nītiśataka 2
        • Variant translation from K.M. Joglekar:
          That woman about whom I constantly meditate has no affection for me; she, however, yearns after another who is attached to someone else; while a certain woman pines away for me. Fie on her, on him, on the God of Love, on that woman, and on myself.

  • यदा किञ्चिज्ज्ञोऽहं द्विप इव मदान्ध: समभवम्
    तदा सर्वज्ञोऽस्मीत्यभवदवलिप्तं मम मन:।
    यदा किञ्चित्किञ्चिद्बुधजनसकाशादवगतं
    तदा मूर्खोऽस्मीति ज्वर इव मदो मे व्यपगत:॥
    • When I knew but a little, I was blinded by pride as an elephant is blinded by rut from excitement, and my mind was puffed up with the idea that I knew everything. When, however, I gradually gained knowledge through the contact of the wise I found I was a fool; and the pride, which had possessed me like a fever, left me.
      • Nītiśataka 8; translation of K.M. Joglekar

  • संपत्सु महतां चित्तं भवत्युत्पलकोमलं ।
    आपत्सु च महाशैलशिलासंघातकर्कशम् ॥
    • In opulence the heart of great men is as soft as that of a lotus flower, but in adversity the same hardens like a rock of a big mountain.
      • Nītiśataka 65

  • श्रोतं श्रुतेनैव न कुण्डलेन दानेन पाणिर्न तु कङ्कणेन
    • A person's ears get glorified by listening to scriptures and not by wearing ear-rings, hands are adorned by giving alms to the poor and not by wearing bracelets.
      • Nītiśataka 71

  • The sun opens the lotuses; the moon illuminates the beds of water-lilies; the cloud pours forth its water unasked: even so the liberal of their own accord are occupied in benefiting others.
    • Nītiśataka 73; B. Hale Wortham translation

  • Those men are good who study the good of others without regarding themselves. Those men are ordinary men who, while they benefit others, do not neglect their own interests. Those men are demons who destroy another's good for their own profit. What shall we call those who aimlessly destroy that which is another's?
    • Nītiśataka 74; translated by B. Hale Wortham

  • आयुः परिस्रवति भिन्नघटादिवाम्भः
    • Life is flowing away like water running out from a leaky vessel.
      • Vairagyaśatakam 38 [1]
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