Chanakya Niti Shlokas – Chapter 1 (17 Slokas)

Chanakya Niti (Chap. 1 – Shloka 1)

प्रणम्य शिरसा विष्णुं त्रैलोक्याधिपतिं प्रभुम् ।
नानाशास्त्रोद्धृतं वक्ष्ये राजनीतिसमुच्चयम् ॥

Meaning in English

Humbly bowing down before the almighty Lord Sri Vishnu, the Lord of
the three worlds, I recite maxims of the science of political ethics (niti)
selected from the various shastras.

Chanakya Neeti (Chap. 1 – Slok 2)

अधीत्येदं यथाशास्त्रं नरो जानाति सत्तमः ।
धर्मोपदेशविख्यातं कार्याकार्यं शुभाशुभम् ॥

Meaning in English

That man who by the study of these maxims from the satras acquires a
knowledge of the most celebrated principles of duty, and understands
what ought and what ought not to be followed, and what is good and
what is bad, is most excellent.

Chanakya Niti (Chap. 1 – Shlok 3)

तदहं सम्प्रवक्ष्यामि लोकानां हितकाम्यया ।
येन विज्ञातमात्रेण सर्वज्ञात्वं प्रपद्यते ॥

Meaning in English

Therefore with an eye to the public good, I shall speak that which, when
understood, will lead to an understanding of things in their proper
perspective.

Chanakya Niti (Chap. 1 – Shlok 4)

मूर्खशिष्योपदेशेन दुष्टस्त्रीभरणेन च ।
दुःखितैः सम्प्रयोगेण पण्डितोऽप्यवसीदति ॥

Meaning in English

Even a pandit comes to grief by giving instruction to a foolish disciple,
by maintaining a wicked wife, and by excessive familiarity with the
miserable.

Chanakya Niti (Chap. 1 – Shlok 5)

दुष्टा भार्या शठं मित्रं भृत्यश्चोत्तरदायकः ।
ससर्पे च गृहे वासो मृत्युरेव न संशयः ॥

Meaning in English

A wicked wife, a false friend, a saucy servant and living in a house with
a serpent in it are nothing but death.

Chanakya Niti (Chap. 1 – Shlok 6)

आपदर्थे धनं रक्षेद्दारान् रक्षेद्धनैरपि ।
आत्मानं सततं रक्षेद्दारैरपि धनैरपि ॥

Meaning in English

One should save his money against hard times, save his wife at the
sacrifice of his riches, but invariably one should save his soul even at
the sacrifice of his wife and riches.

Chanakya Niti (Chap. 1 – Shlok 7)

आपदर्थे धनं रक्षेच्छ्रीमतां कुत आपदः ।
कदाचिच्चलते लक्ष्मीः सञ्चितोऽपि विनश्यति ॥

Meaning in English

Save your wealth against future calamity. Do not say, “What what fear
has a rich man of calamity?” When riches begin to forsake one even the
accumulated stock dwindles away.

Chanakya Niti (Chap. 1 – Shlok 8)

यस्मिन्देशे न सम्मानो न वृत्तिर्न च बान्धवाः ।
न च विद्यागमोऽप्यस्ति वासं तत्र न कारयेत् ॥

Meaning in English

Do not inhabit a country where you are not respected, cannot earn your
livelihood, have no friends, or cannot acquire knowledge.

Chanakya Niti (Chap. 1 – Shlok 9)

धनिकः श्रोत्रियो राजा नदी वैद्यस्तु पञ्चमः ।
पञ्च यत्र न विद्यन्ते न तत्र दिवसं वसेत् ॥

Meaning in English

Do not stay for a single day where there are not these five persons: a
wealthy man, a brahmana well versed in Vedic lore, a king, a river and
a physician.

Chanakya Niti (Chap. 1 – Shlok 10)

लोकयात्रा भयं लज्जा दाक्षिण्यं त्यागशीलता ।
पञ्च यत्र न विद्यन्ते न कुर्यात्तत्र संस्थितिम् ॥

Meaning in English

Wise men should never go into a country where there are no means of
earning one’s livelihood, where the people have no dread of anybody,
have no sense of shame, no intelligence, or a charitable disposition.

Chanakya Niti (Chap. 1 – Shlok 11)

जानीयात्प्रेषणे भृत्यान्बान्धवान् व्यसनागमे ।
मित्रं चापत्तिकालेषु भार्यां च विभवक्षये ॥

Meaning in English

Test a servant while in the discharge of his duty, a relative in difficulty,
a friend in adversity, and a wife in misfortune.

Chanakya Niti (Chap. 1 – Shlok 12)

आतुरे व्यसने प्राप्ते दुर्भिक्षे शत्रुसङ्कटे ।
राजद्वारे श्मशाने च यस्तिष्ठति स बान्धवः ॥

Meaning in English

He is a true friend who does not forsake us in time of need, misfortune,
famine, or war, in a king’s court, or at the crematorium (smasana).

Chanakya Niti (Chap. 1 – Shlok 13)

यो ध्रुवाणि परित्यज्य अध्रुवं परिषेवते ।
ध्रुवाणि तस्य नश्यन्ति चाध्रुवं नष्टमेव हि ॥

Meaning in English

He who gives up what is imperishable for that which perishable, loses
that which is imperishable; and doubtlessly loses that which is
perishable also.

Chanakya Niti (Chap. 1 – Shlok 14)

वरयेत्कुलजां प्राज्ञो विरूपामपि कन्यकाम् ।
रूपशीलां न नीचस्य विवाहः सदृशे कुले ॥

Meaning in English

A wise man should marry a virgin of a respectable family even if she is
deformed. He should not marry one of a low-class family, through
beauty. Marriage in a family of equal status is preferable.

Chanakya Niti (Chap. 1 – Shlok 15)

नदीनां शस्त्रपाणीनांनखीनां श‍ृङ्गिणां तथा ।
विश्वासो नैव कर्तव्यः स्त्रीषु राजकुलेषु च ॥

Meaning in English

Do not put your trust in rivers, men who carry weapons, beasts with
claws or horns, women, and members of a royal family.

Chanakya Niti (Chap. 1 – Shlok 16)

विषादप्यमृतं ग्राह्यममेध्यादपि काञ्चनम् ।
अमित्रादपि सद्वृत्तं बालादपि सुभाषितम् ॥

Meaning in English

Even from poison extract nectar, wash and take back gold if it has
fallen in filth, receive the highest knowledge (Krsna consciousness)
from a low born person; so also a girl possessing virtuous qualities
(stri-ratna) even if she be born in a disreputable family.

Chanakya Niti (Chap. 1 – Shlok 17)

स्त्रीणां द्विगुण आहारो लज्जा चापि चतुर्गुणा ।
साहसं षड्गुणं चैव कामश्चाष्टगुणः स्मृतः ॥

Meaning in English

Women have hunger two-fold, shyness four-fold, daring six-fold, and
lust eight-fold as compared to men.

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