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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Six Philosophies > Nyayavalih Sanskrit Maxims and Proverbs


Sanskrit Maxims and Proverbs



andha pangu nyayah


The maxim of the blind and the lame.


A lame man sits on the shoulders of a blind man, the former guiding the latter.

This maxim is used to show the interdependence amongst men and the good that might result from cooperation and union.



andha darpana nyayah


The maxim of the blind man and his mirror.


It is used in case of persons who possess things which can be of no use to them.



andha gaja nyayah


The maxim of the blind men and the elephant.


Certain blind men approached a tame and docile elephant in order to get an idea of the creature. One felt his trunk, one his legs, one his tail, and so on. The first man  he who had felt the elephant’s trunk  described him as a fat serpent; the second man, who had felt the legs, as four pillars; the third man, the one who has passed his hands on the tail only, as a piece of stout rope, tapering gradually and having loose fibres at the end; and so on. They began to quarrel with one another over the description of the elephant, each considering his own to be correct.

This maxim is used in cases where an imperfect, partial or one-sided view of a thing is taken.



andha cataka nyayah


The maxim of the blind man catching a sparrow.


This maxim is used where an unexpected and accidental happenings or coincidences are ascribed to divine agency.



adagdha dahana nyayah


The maxim of burning the burnt.


Fire doesn’t burn a thoroughly burnt object.

This maxim is used in cases where a person attempts an impossible or a fruitless task.



aranya rodana nyayah


The maxim of crying in the wilderness.


This maxim is used in cases where a man seeks help and support from a quarter from which they are not likely to come.



andha parampara nyayah


The maxim of the blind following the blind.


It is used in those cases where people blindly, thoughtlessly, or rashly follow others, not caring to see whether their doing so would not be a dangerous leap in the dark.



apanthanam tu gacchantam iti nyayah


The maxim of a person going wrong.


A person ought to abandon one going in the ways of wickedness even if one be his dearest brother.



andha go langula nyayah


The maxim of the blind man and the bull’s tail.


This maxim is based on the following anecdote: Once upon a time a certain blind man started from his native village, intending to go to a neighbouring big city. He had not plodded on far, when he met a barber, fond of practical jokes.  The latter accosted the former and learnt from him, that he, the blind man, was travelling to town, where, he thought, plenty of alms was to be had for the mere asking. The barber, finding a sure victim of his jokes, told the blind man that he would find him a guide. He thereupon took him to a field, where a bullock was grazing, and let him catch his tail. He then said to him: “My friend, here is a sure guide for you. Don’t leave him whatever happens, and in spite of all that wicked people might say to do you a mischief.” The blind man soon reached not the town, but the heart of a  thorny bush!

This maxim is applied to cases where a man places his trust on an object not worthy of trust.



amurttamurtti nyayah


The maxim of the image form of the Formless.


As God is omnipresent, He may be worsipped in any object. The true devotee, though believing God to be formless, in order to gratify the cravings of his heart for an image, makes one in a pitha and worships Him in the image.  Ignorant men say that he is worshipping an external material object.

The maxim is applied to a man who makes a remark on a profound subject which he doesn’t understand in the least, thus displaying his utter ignorance.



arddha jarati nyayah


The maxim of the two opposites staying in a single substance.


This maxim is applied in cases where the impossibility of two opposite attributes combined in a single individual at the same time is to prove such as youth and old age can not stay at the same time in a single man or woman.



arddha vaishasa nyayah


The maxim of cutting up half an animal.


A man cuts off the head, the torax, the wings and the lower limbs of a hen, leaving the abdomen intact with the hope that she might lay the eggs that are in her.

This maxim is used in cases where an absurd, ridiculous, foolish or unreasonable act is done.



abbhaksha nyayah


The maxim of living on water alone.


If it is said that Rama lives on water only, it is to be inferred that, having water, He does not take any food or drink.

This maxim is used in those cases where by the use of particular attributes to an object, its generic attributes are negatived.



ante randavivahashcedadaveva kuto na sa iti nyayah


The maxim of marrying a widow.


If a widow is to be married at all, why not before she becomes corrupt?

This maxim is used in those cases where an act is done after the proper time for its performance is passed.



ashoka vanika nyayah


The maxim of the grove of Asoka trees.


Ravana kept Sita in the garden of Asoka trees, when he could keep her in any

other garden.

This maxim is used in those cases where a man finds several ways of doing a thing, any one of them being as good as another, and the preference of any particular one cannot be accounted for.



ashma loshtra nyayah


The maxim of the stone and clod of earth.


A clod of earth may be considered to be hard as compared with cotton, but is soft as compared with a stone. So a person may be considered to be very important when compared with his inferiors, but sinks into insignificance when compared with his betters.

This maxim is used to denote the relative importance of two things.



ashvatari garbha nyayah


The maxim of conception of a female mule.


It is said that a female mule never conceives, or if she is ever made to, she dies.

This maxim is used in connection with anything which has no existence.



ahibhuk kaivarta nyayah


The maxim of Ahibhuk and the boatman.


A man named Ahibhuk, intending to cross a broad river, boarded a boat in which there was a large number of persons. Now the man thought within himself, “there are so many persons in the boat that it would be no wonder if I lose myself and be transferred and changed to one of them.” In order to avert such a calamity, Ahibhuk, bound his foot with a piece of rope to keep a mark upon himself, and then feeling easy in his mind, fell fast asleep. The boatman chanced to overhear the man’s loud soliloquy, and saw his queer manoeuvres; and soon finding the man snoring stentoriously, he untied the rope from the man’s feet and fastened to his own. Ahibhuk on waking exclaimed, “Alas! I am changed to a boatman!”

The maxim is used to show a man’s idiocy.



ahi nir-lvayini nyayah


The maxim of the cast off slough of a serpent.


The meaning of this maxim is: Just as a serpent, after it has cast off its slough, does no longer regard the same as a part of itself, so a man, on acquiring vidya or true knowledge, regards his self as distinct from his body.



ahi kundala nyayah


The maxim of the coils of a snake.


Just as the coils of a venomous serpent are natural to it so are the crooked ways to a wicked man.

This maxim is used to denote the natural propensities and impulses of a man.



andhaka varta ki nyayah


The maxim of the man clapping his hands and the sparrow.


It is unthinkable that a sparrow will perch on the hands of a person clapping.

This maxim is used to denote impossibility.



aja kripaniya nyayah


The maxim of the goat and the naked sword.


A goat was scratching its neck at the sharp edge of a naked sword and cut it.

One should not meddle with dangerous things.



agnya nayana nyayah


The maxim of asking to bring fire.


When a person is asked to bring some fire, it is implied that he is to bring it in a pot or vessel.

This maxim is used in those cases where anything is not explicitly expressed, but implied.



anyad muktamanyadvantamiti nyayah


The maxim of eating one thing and vomiting something else.


This maxim is used in cases where the answer to a question does not touch the question at all.



andhasyai vandha lagnasya iti nyayah


The maxim of the association with the blind.


What shall it profit a man if he associates with men of little knowledge? A man should always keep the company of persons, superior to him in learning, wisdom, and good qualities.



arrdha tyajati pandita iti nyayah


The maxim of saving one half.


When a man is likely to lose all, he ought to sacrifice one half in order to save the other half.



alpasya hetorbahuhatumicchannitinyayah


The maxim of a person sacrificing much in order to gain a trifle.


What sacrifices does not a man make, what troubles does he not take to win transient worldly gain? But he is a truly wise man, who seeks That, gives up his all for That, on obtaining which he obtains everything.

c.f. The English proverb: “Penny-wise, pound-foolish.”





The maxim of the passionate Kasini.


The passionate Kasini, failing to secure other means of satisfying her passion was obliged to satisfy the same on an animal.

This maxim is used to denote the irresistible powers of lust and vile passions, and the degradation caused by them.



anda kukkutöi nyayah


The maxim of the hen and the eggs.


A hen used to lay one egg daily. Its owner thought that he would have all the eggs that were in her at one time. Accordingly he ripped open the abdomen of the hen with the result that might be imagined.

This maxim is used in cases where a person becomes a loser on account of covetousness.





The maxim of the horse and its owner.


A man asked an hostler who was attending to a horse, “whose horse is this?”

The hostler replied, “His, whose servant I am.”

The man again asked, “whose servant are you, my good man?”

The hostler replied readily, “why, his, whose horse this is!”

This maxim is applied to a person who argues in a circle, or gives evasive answers.





The maxim of christening the babe yet unborn.


This maxim is applied to superfluous, foolish, or useless acts of person.



anteyamatih sagatiritinyayah


The maxim of: As thou thinkest in thy last moments, so shalt thou be.*


King Bharata had a favourite antelope, who used to follow him wherever he went, and whom the King loved very much. While on death-bed, the dying King’s thoughts were of his pet antelope. The King in his next birth was born as an antelope.

*c.f Bhagavat Gita,VIII, 5.6.





The maxim of the shadow of the evening.


This maxim is applied in cases where prosperity or intimacy is on a continued wax.





The maxim of many trifles.


A straw is an insignificant thing of little strength, but when it unites with others to make a stout rope,it can bind and rold in check even a mad elephant.

Cf. The English proverbs: “Union is strength”. “Many a little makes a mickle”.





The maxim of burning a lamp without oil.


This maxim is used in the following and like senses. A man spends more than he earns; he builds a structure on a foundation which is weak; he looks more to show than real worth; he cares for a transient effect instead of permanency, etc.





The maxim of dividing and limiting the limitless and All-pervading Akash

(Sky, ether).


The infinite sky cannot be measured, divided, or limited.

This maxim is used in those cases where a person undertakes or attempts an impossible task; or where one wants to illustrate the infinite, eternal and all-pervasive character of a category, such as the self.





The maxim of striking the sky with fists.


This maxim is used to denote an impossible act.





The maxim of the beginning and the end.


If anything has a beginning, it must have an end; and if it has a beginning and an end, it has a middle also.





The maxim of the existence of the Arya race and good conduct.


It is on the practice and Continuance of the Varna and Ashram Dharma, and rules of good conduct, that the existence and prosperity of the Arya race depends. This maxim is used in those cases where one thing depends upon another for its very life.





The maxim of believing in a rumour.


This maxim is used in cases where people believe in false rumours as ghost etc, and are swayed by the same.





The maxim of the mango grove.


In a mango grove, there may be some other trees, but still people call it mango grove.

This maxim is used to denote the forces of habit, or the effect of a company or an association, good and bad.





The maxim of long life and ghee.


Ghee is the cause of long life; for if one regularly takes at meals a little pure ghee every day, one is healthier for it, and lives to a ripe old age.

This maxim is used to denote the relation of cause and effect.





The maxim of the elephant and the wind blowing in the month of Ashar (July.)


When the wind blows in the month of Ashara (July) everything around an elephant appears to him like the sea and so he becomes very exultant, but when the summer sets in he becomes very dispirited and morose.

This maxim is used in discouraging one in any matter.





The maxim of the modifications of the sugar-cane.


The raw sugar-cane is first pressed and the juice extracted therefrom. The liquid juice is then boiled, and made into solid gur, which is then refined and turned into fine, white crystallised sugar.

This maxim is used to denote gradual progress.





The maxim of the juice of sugar-cane.


You cannot extract the juice out of sugar-cane without first crushing it. So in order to obtain particular results in certain cases, you have to assume a severe, stern, and unyielding attitude.





The maxim of the ceasing of the impulse of a Discharged arrow.


Just as an arrow discharged from a bow flies on and on, till it pierces the object aimed at, when it stops, so a worthy man toils day and night, and stops not, unless and until he obtains his heart’s desire, when he puts his tools aside and joyfully takes rest.





The maxim of the will to attain an end and the means.


If a man has an earnest and ardent desire to achive anything, the means will not be wanting.

Cf. The English Saying: “Where there is a will, there is a way.”





The maxim of Upasya (object of worship)  and a woman.


As firm belief in one is essentially necessary for a worshipper to attain success, so unflinching devotion to her husband is equally necessary for an Aryan woman for the attainment of highest good in life.

This maxim is intended to teach firm faith in one.





The maxim of a Fangless serpent.


As a serpant deprived of its fang is harmless, so also a wicked man, who has lost his power, a robber, who has become weak and infirm, or a voluptuous debauch in his old age, can do no harm to any one.

The maxim teaches that the evil propensities lose their force with the decline of physical strenght.





The maxim of sinking into water.


It is very difficult to find out a thing that has sank into water.

The maxim is used to denote the difficulty to be experienced in attempting a thing, which is not easy of performance.





The maxim of a camel and a thorny plant.


The camel likes much to eat the thorny leaves and bark of a certain plant though it has to suffer much pain. It is used to denote that one would be pleased to follow his own taste however inconvenient or undesirable it may in reality be.



upanayatrapanayandhamorvikarotihi dharminamitinyayah


The maxim of a thing and its altered condition.


The maxim originates from the fact that a burning fuel when fully burnt down, and fire is extinguished loses its true nature and is reduced to ashes, and is used to signify that a thing ceases to be called as such when it is deprived of its essential properties.





The maxim of Apat-Dharma (rules of conduct in time of danger).


It is better to beg than to fast.



ubhayatah pasharajjuritinyayah


The maxim of nets in both sides.


When there are nets on either side, one is sure to get entangled to whichever direction he may move. It is used to denote the difficulty of situation of a person when it is injurious for him either to do a thing or to leave it undone.





The maxim of a camel and a club.


The camel is beaten by the rod which it carries on its back. So a fool has to suffer much as the consequence of his foolish conduct.





The maxim of sterility and rain.


The seeds sown in a barren land do not germinate though there may be a copious rainfall. It is used to denote fruitlessness of efforts in a matter which it is impossible to perform.





The maxim of easy way of success.


It is not proper to take recourse to a difficult way for doing a thing when it can be done easily.





The maxim of two fruits in one stem.


As two fruits sometimes grow in one stem, so the same word may sometimes be used in two senses.



ekasandhitsato ‘parampracyavatitinyayah


This logical formula is applicable to those cases where one part of argument breaks down, while the other part holds good. At the same time a whole test of logical inconsistencies crop up to make the situation untenable.



ekatraninirtah sharanrathor ‘nyatrapitathetinyayah


Two similar lines of argument when applied to cases of similar character in different circumstances tend to make for certainty in reasoning.





The maxim of a thing remaining unchanged in form though it may be maimed in



A horse continues to be a horse, and is not transformed into an ass, though its tail may be cut off; or a man does not become a beast though he may lose one of his fingers.

It is used to denote that external deformity is no indication of any change of the true nature of a thing.





The maxim of promise alone.


Mere words of promise cannot secure success,(action is essentially necessary).

It is used to denote that those who talk much are not men of action.



eka ‘siddhim pariharatodvitiyapaghataitinyayah


The maxim of one failure bringing other failures in its train.


In going to remedy one failure, another thing requiring attention is neglected, and that, too, therefore, ultimately proves to be a failure.





The maxim of being one in month and at heart.


It is used in cases where a man has one thing at heart, and expresses quite a different thing by words.





The maxim of association.


This maxim is used in cases where a thing reminds one of other things with which it is associated or with which it has some resemblance.





The maxim of the surnames and the sky.


As the same atmosphere appears to be different, being circumscribed by different things, so the same class of things becomes different according to the difference of designations and surnames.

It is used to establish the difference among things.





The maxim of preferring a sour thing to milk.


There are patients who would not like to take milk, but would long for curd or some preparation of it.

It is used to denote the vitiated taste of those that have gone astray or that are addicted to evil practice.





The maxim of thorn.


To draw out a thorn from any part of the body, the help or use of another thorn is necessary. So wicked means may be adopted for putting down a wicked man.





The maxim of the neck and the necklace.


One day a lady was anxiously engaged in search for her necklace, though in fact she had it then round her neck. When she enquired of another person about it, she was asked only to feel her neck.

It is used to denote the useless attempt of a person to obtain a thing from somewhere else though in fact he is in possession of it, only he is not aware of it.





This sort of reasoning is also held to be logical like the above, but it is still not free from error.





The maxim of a Brahman who accepted money to give his daughter in marriage.


It is sinful on the part of a Brahman, a Kshatriya or a Vaisya, to accept money as a consideration for giving away his daughter in marriage.





The maxim of a Bilwa fruit on the palm of hand.


As a Bilwa fruit may be fully well known on minute examination when it is placed on the hand, so it is possible for man to acquire a thorough knowledge of this world as he is always in direct contact with it.





The maxim of Kari-brinhita (the elephant and its particular sound).


As the word Brinhita is ordinarily taken to mean the sound of an elephant, altough the word properly means the sound of all animals, so a word though from its derivation may be applied in various senses, is by usage is restricted to any particular sense.





The maxim of one eating on a bell-metal plate.


A disciple promised never to take his meal from a bell-metal plate. But his guru was resolved to break that promise, and so he began to use bell-metal plates at the dinner time. As it was binding on the part of the disciple to eat the remainder of the food left by the guru, he could not but break his promise.

It is used to denote that in cases of mutual relations preference must be given to him who is higher in position.





The maxim of the elbow and molasses.


It is impossible for one to lick out the molasses which is stuck on his elbow.

It is used in cases where one is called upon to perform an impossible task.





The maxim of a crow and the palm fruit.


It takes its origin from the unexpected and sudden fall of a palm fruit upon the head of a crow (so as to kill it) at the very moment of its sitting on a branch of that tree.

It is used to denote an unexpected and accidental occurence, whether welcome or otherwise.





The maxim of a crow and a vessel of curd.


It has thus come in use: A vessel containing co-agulated milk is placed by a man in charge of another with a request to protect it carefully from the crow.  Here though the man mentions only crow, he means that it should be properly taken care of so that it might not be spoiled by any animal whatever.

It is used to denote that the intention of the speaker is to be marked and given effect to, though his words may not clearly express it.





The maxim of the crow’s eye ball.


It originates from the supposition that the crow has but one eye, and that it can move it, as occasion requires, from the socket on one side into that of the other.

This maxim is applied to a word or phrase which though used only once in a sentence, may, if occasion requires, serve two purposes.





The maxim of searching after a crow’s teeth.


It is used to denote any usseles, unprofitable, or impossible task.





The maxim of Sound with meaning is expressive of mental conditions or



This reasoning is applicable only in cases when mental reservation is practised.





The maxim of properties of cause and effect.


It is used to denote that the properties or qualities belonging to the cause pass to the effect.





The maxim of the lewed husband corrupting his wife.


It is used to denote that husbands are responsible (oftentimes) for the corrupted course of life led by their wives.





The maxim of effect proving the existence and nature of the cause.


Of. Eng. saying  A tree is known by the fruit it bears.





The maxim of the destruction of the cause results in the destruction of the



The effect cannot exist if the cause giving rise to it ceases to exist.





The maxim of nothing is impossible on the part of a fool.


A foolish and ignorant man is equal to any task.





The maxim of a cockroach and a black-bee.


A cockroach was seized and carried away by a black-bee to its nest, kept there in close confinement, and at last transformed into a black-bee as an effect of its constant hearing of the buzzing of the bees and being occupied with their thought.

The maxim denotes that mind acts powerfully upon the body.





The maxim of crowing of a cock.


The crowing of cocks grows louder and louder by gradual steps. It is used to denote the gradual course to be followed in the path of improvement, which is brought about step by step and not by leaps and bounds.





The maxim of an earthern jar full of paddy.


It is needless to give in charity to one who is in possesion of a big vessel full of paddy.

It is used to denote that charity is meant for the poor and needy and not for those that have sufficient means of subsistence.

Cf.the English proverb: To send coal to New Castle.





The maxim of a usurious Brahman.


The Brahman who lives by means of usury is a sinner, for, thereby he loses the spiritual power which is the peculiar possesion of a Brahman.

It is used to denote that a man degrades himself by taking recourse to unworthy or base profession.





The maxim of catching a straw.


As a ship-wrecked person in making struggles for saving his life, catches hold of an even a straw that he comes across (if he cannot get any ting thing more solid) though quite in vain, so a person in course of a debate, when he fails to gain his point by a strong argument, takes recourse to a frivolous one, and thus becomes only a butt of ridicule.





The maxim of digging a well.


The object of the maxim is to denote that as in course of digging a well the body of the worker becomes soiled with the dust, clay, etc., but these may be washed off again with the water of that well, so the sins committed by one at first may be removed by the merits of the virtous acts done by him afterwards.





The maxim of a well.


There is water in the well, but it cannot be obtained without the help of a jar and a rope, so the Shastras are store-houses of knowledge no doubt, but they are inaccessible to those that are ignorant.





The maxim of the buckets attached to the water-wheel.


It takes its origin from the fact that while some of the buckets filled with water go up, some are emptied of their contents, while others go down quite empty.

It is used to denote the various vicissitudes of worldly existence.





The maxim of a frog in a well.


The maxim is supposed to originate thus: One day a sea frog came upon the shore.Proceeding onwards for a time it came at last to a well and accidentally fell into it. There lived a frog in that well, on seeing the stranger it came up and held the following conversation:

The second frog:”Where do you come from?”

first:”I came from the sea I live in.”

second:”How big is a sea?”

first:”Very big.”

second:”As big as my thigh.”

first:”Bigger than that.”

second:”As big as my both the thighs together.”

first:”Bigger still.

second:”Certainly not bigger than this well?”

first:”The sea is, my friend, much bigger than this well. It is a vast expanse of water, and appears to have no limit.”

Hearing this the frog in the well laughed at the sea frog, and said that it was a lie. There could not be anything bigger than this well.

It is used to denote that a man of limited ideas, having experience only of his own neighbourhood cannot make himself believe that there can be anything better than what he himself knows.





The maxim of the movement of the limbs of a tortoise.


It originates from the fact that a tortoise projects its limbs, i.e., its legs and neck, when it has to serve any purpose, and again it draws them in, when that purpose is served, or any danger is apprehended.

It is used to denote that a sensible person will like a tortoise make an exhibition of his power only when there is an opportunity or necessity for it.





The maxim of doing an act after due consideration.


A sensible man will think twice before he undertakes to do anything. But to do something in hot haste and then to consider the propriety or otherwise about it, is the sign of foolishness.





The maxim of “how much more”.


This maxim is applied to cases where it is unnecessary to do any labour, if the object may be gained without any labour whatsoever.





The maxim of drinking water.


It thus originates that a man guilty of theft or some such crime is given to drink a quantity of water sanctified by means of mantra. If in the course of a fortnight he gets no attack of any disease that would go to prove his innocence, but if he becomes unwell any way, that would go to show that he is guilty.

This maxim is used in the cases of ordeals.





The maxim of Kaundinya.


This maxim has its origin in the following story. There was a Brahman named Kaundinya. On the occasion of a feast in which many Brahmans were invited, curdled milk was served cut to all except Kaundinya for whom ghol (a species of that milk) was provided for.

It is used to denote “Exception proves the rule.”





The maxim of Kaunteya Radheya.


It has its origin in the fact that Karna, a hero of the Mahabharat, was in reality the son of Kunti, but as he was brought up from his infancy by a carpenter-woman named Radha, he was ordinarily called Radheya.

This maxim is applied to the cases in which a fictitious appellation gets currency in suppression of the real one.





The maxim of a bald-headed man and the Bilva fruit.


It takes its origin from the story that one day at noon a bald-headed man, tired of the excessive heat of the sun, took shelter under the shadow of a Bilva tree. Unfortunately for the man a ripe Bilva fruit fell down and struck him severely on the head.

It is used to denote that an unfortunate man is pursued by the evil fate wherever he goes.





The maxim of the friendship of a Villain.


It has its originin in the fact that a Villain is at first very profuse in the profession of his friendship. But as time rolls on its intensity gradually diminishes.

It is used to denote that the friendship of a mischievous villain is as unreliable as a bund of sand.





The maxim of the barn of corn and the pigeons.


As all kinds of pigeons, young and old, go flying into a barn and help themselves to the corn therein to their hearts’ content, so this maxim is used to denote that all kinds of men repair to a great man’s place to fulfil their own respective ends.





The maxim of the eater and the eatable.


It is used to denote that there can be no friendly relation between one that eats and the thing that is eaten. If there be any such relation ever it invariably ends in misery and troubles.





The maxim of an assemblage of elephant.


This maxim is used in discribing any pagentry.





The maxim of a wood-apple eaten by an elephant.


It takes its origin from the fact that a wood-apple eaten by an elephant is execreted apparently quite unchanged though in fact its contents have all been digested and it has become quite empty.

It is used to denote the internal worthless state of a thing though externally it looks all right.





The maxim of a continous current.


This maxim takes its origin from the fact that in a flock of sheep, if one accidentally slips into a well, the rest will also fall in that well.

It is used to denote the tendency of blindly following others without pa?sing to think whether the course is right or wrong.





The maxim of Ganapati.


This maxim has its origin in the custom of worshipping Ganapati first on the occasion of the worship of the gods and goddesses whoever they may be and is used to denote the first place to be assigned or the highest respect to be shown to a person who deserves it.





The maxim of a blind follower.


This maxim is used to signify the tendency of imitation prevailing in men. When any fashion becomes current many would follow it without any judgement as to its propriety or importance.





The maxim of the fur of the asses.


The fur of the asses is unholy and so it is useless to shear these animals. It is used to denote an unprofitable undertaking in which one may be engaged.





The maxim of wearing shoes or sandals in the neck.


This maxim is used in reference to any absurd or preposterous thing.





The maxim of chewing the end in the air.


The maxim is used to denote impracticability of any absurd attempt like the remaining suspended in the air of the froth from the mouth of a cow as it is chewing the end.





The maxim of the Molasses and the Nimba (a kind of bitter fruit).


The maxim takes its origin from the fact that when it is necessary for a child to use Nimba fruit, he is at first given some molasses to taste and then he can eat the nimba fruit.

It is used to denote when one feels reluctant to do a thing on account of its very seeming difficult or which is uninteresting to him, he is first given some easy and congenial task to preapare him gradually for the difficult task.





The maxim of collecting or gathering virtues.


This maxim is used in overlooking the faults or defects and observing and gathering merits in others.



griharthamaropitasya dipasyetinyayah


The maxim of the lamp placed over the threshold.


It takes its origin from a lamp hanging over the threshold of a house, which, by its peculiar position, serves to light both the house and the path leading to it.

It is used to denote something which serves a two-fold purpose at the same time.





The maxim of a bull-cow.


The origin of the maxim lies in this that the word cow strictly signifies both a male cow and a female cow; but ordinarily it is used in the sense of a female cow; and a different word “bull” is used to mean a male cow.

It is used to denote that the ordinary acceptance of a word is not always what it strictly or derivatively signifies.





The maxim of the cow-milk being touched by a dog’s teeth.


It takes its origin from the cow-milk; a pure thing, getting polluted by the touch of a dog’s teeth.

It is used to denote that a good and holy thing becomes corrupted and unholy by coming in contact with something that is bad and impure.





The maxim of the cow, buffalo, etc.


The maxim has its origin in this that the cows give milk, as well as the buffalos give milk, but there is a vast difference in the quality of these two kinds of milk.

It is used to denote that the individual objects falling under one general class are not alike in every respect but have many peculiarities especial only to them.





The maxim of the planets and their movement in the Zodiac.


As the movements of the planets and the Zodiac are not easily comprehensible

this maxim is applicable to the circumstances in which eyes fall prey to the

illusions of sight





The maxim of the octroi house in the morning.


The maxim has its origins in the story that one night a passenger with a view to avoid payment of octroi duty proceeded to his destination by a different way. But he walked throughout the whole night, and to his great surprise found himself just before the octroi house when it was morning.

It is used to denote that there is no avoiding the payment of the dues. They must be satisfied sooner or later.





The maxim of a lamp in a jar.


The maxim takes its origin from the fact that if a lamp is placed in a jar, it

will light only the inside of the jar and nothing else; and is used to denote

that bright inteligence, if confined to a private place can be of no use to






The maxim of letters bored by an insect in wood.


It takes its origin from the unexpected and chance resemblance of an incision in wood, or in the leaf of a book, made by an insect to the form of some letter.

It is used to denote any fortuitous or chance occurence.





The maxim of a wheel in motion.


It takes its origin from the fact that a wheel will continue to be in motion, so long as the force which imparted motion to it remains unspent.

It is used to denote that all kinds of movement, whether social, religious, or political, remain in active state, so long as the prime movers can keep up their energy.





The maxim of one well versed in all the four Vedas.


It takes its origin from the story that an ignorant and unlettered man heard that the possesion of the knowledge of the four Vedas has the effect of procuring wealth. Hearing this he went on proclaiming himself fully conversant with the Vedas. But unhappily for him he got no gold, on the other hand he became a laughing stock of all wherever he went.

It is used to denote that by false representation no one can gain any honour, rather thereby he lowers himself in the estimation of others.





the maxim of the Champaka flower in the cloth.


The champaka flower leaves its fragrance in the piece of cloth in which it is kept, even after the flower is taken away.

The maxim is used to denote that the virtues of a man continue to exercise their genial influence upon others even after the man has departed from this world.





The maxim of the moon and her lustre.


The maxim originates from the inseparable connection between the moon and her pleasing lustre, and is used to denote that where there is cause there is effect.





The maxim of a Brahman and a chandal (a man of the lowest and most despised



A Brahmin by his wicked conduct becomes as low and despicable as a Chandal, but he is not thereby changed into a Chandal provided the blood and the seed of which he was born were pure.

This maxim is used to denote that unworthy use may bring a thing into disrepute, but will never change its nature.





The maxim of a painting.


It originates from the fact that the value of a picture consists only in pleasing the eyes, and is used to denote the worthlessness of a person who possesses only personal elegance and no other merits.





The maxim of the word nectar.


It takes its origin from the impossibility on the part of one of satisfying his desire for nectar merely by writing or reading the word (nectar), and is used to denote that it would be useless to try to get a thing from a quarter from which it can never be expected.





This maxim shows that an unreal thing can never stand for a real one however great efforts may be made to make it perfect.





The maxim of the picture of a post.


No elephant can be fastened to a post drawn in a picture.

The maxim is used to denote the worhthlessness of a thing that is good only for representation and for nothing else.



cintamanim parityajya kacamanigrahananyayah


The maxim of accepting glass in preference to chintamani (a kind of precious



The maxim is used to denote that as it is foolish to prefer glass to chintamani which is very precious, so it is likewise an act of foolishness on the part of a man to consider an object valuable led away only by its outward charm.

Cf. “All is not gold that glitters.”





The maxim of Rishi Mandavya being punished for theft.


The maxim takes its origin from the story that one day a thief commited theft in a Raja’s house and being pursued by the police ran away leaving the goods where Mandhavya Rishi was engaged in devotion. The police came up there and arrested the Rishi and took him to court. The Rishi was punished for theft.

It is used to denote that sometimes honest and innocent men have to suffer the consequences of the wicked conduct of villainous men.





The maxim of the persons with umbrella.


The maxim originates from a number of persons walking along a road with their umbrellas spread overhead. There may be a master and his retinues in that number, but to an onlooker they are all known by the same designation viz., the persons with umbrellas.

It is used to denote that things are not always what they seem.





The maxim of a gourd on the water.


It takes its origin from the fact of the gourd not sinking down when thrown into water.

It denotes that a light-minded person cannot dive deep into a matter he may be called upon to be engaged in.





The maxim of churning water.


It takes its origin from the fact that to churn water would be productive of no good whatsoever, and is used to denote the fruitlessness of spending labour on a thing from which no good can result.





The maxim of the muddy water.


The muddy water becomes clear and fit for drinking purposes when a fruit called nirmali is dipped into it. So the maxim is used to denote that a bad man becomes good and honest in the company of a good and honest man. makes a man.





The maxim of the lotus stalk.


It takes its origin from the growth of the stalk of a lotus with the increase of water in a tank during the rains. Again when the dry season comes and the surface of the water begins to sink, the stalk of the lotus gets dry but it does not die away.

Similarly when a great man or nation by the freaks of fortune is reduced to miserable condition he does not lose thereby his usual nobleness of mind.





The maxim of “bring water”.


It takes its origin from the fact that when a man is asked to bring water he will get also the vessel containing water.

It is used to denote that an unimportant thing acquires importance when connected with an important thing.





The maxim of a leech.


It takes its origin from the fact that a leech will suck blood from the breast of a woman and not milk, just as a fly would not sit on any elegant part of the body where there is a sore.

It denotes that a depraved man will mind not the virtues but the faults, in others.





The maxim of the hot water.


It takes its origin from the fact that water is naturally cold, but when heat is applied its nature is changed and it becomes hot.

It is used to denote that the nature of a person becomes altered by coming in contact with a person of different character.





The maxim caste system and Pitris.


The Pitris are a class of celestial Beings: the nation that does not beleive the blessing and care of these Beings is sure to be extinct one day. According to the Hindu scriptures the followers of Varna and Ashram order receive such care and blessings and can therefore never die.

This maxim is used to show the indispensibleness of something.



jamatrarthak?sasyasupasyatithyupakara katvamitinyayah


The maxim of the son-in-law and the dish preapared for him.


The dal preapared for the son-in-law will come to the use of other guests that sit to dine with him.

It is used to denote that a thing though primarily intended for one may come to the benefit of many others.



jnanadernishkarshavaöutkarshipyangikaryaiti nyayah


The maxim of the lowest and the highest degree of knowledge.


The trees and plants possess the least amount of knowledge, on the other hand, God has it to the fullest amount.

It is used to denote that everything in this world has two extremities.





The maxim of the wise and the air-boat.


It takes its origin fromthe fact that a man walking on the field can mark distinctly the height of a hill, the depth of a cave and the level surface of a plateau, but when he soars high up by means of an air-ship, these differences are not distinguishable to him; everything below then appears to him to be of even surface.

It is used to denote that the consideration of the distinction of high and low, great and small, good and bad, etc., acts in a man so long as he is at the lowest step of the ladder of wisdom or knowledge, but when he reaches the highest step, all the religious and sectarian differences vanish away. To him then everything appears to be of equal importance.





The maxim of light.


It arises from everything becoming visible when it is day.

It is used to denote that ignorance is darkness and knowledge is light.





The maxim of the bird tittiva.


The maxim originates from the story that a bird called tittiva lived on the beach of a sea, one day the beach was washed away by a huge wave of the sea.  The eggs which the bird lay in the nest were also washed away in consequence.  Engaged at this the bird resolved to laddle off the sea and began to throw away the water with its beak and also with its wings, which it once dipped into the sea and then came up and shook them. Struck with wonder at the ?run determination of the bird the sea returned its eggs.

It is used to denote that all sorts of difficulties, however unsurmountable they may seem to be, melt away before firm determination.

Cf.Labour surmounts every difficulty.





The maxim of eating rice.


The maxim takes its origin from a particular kind of ordeal taken recourse to, for ascertaining the guilt of a man, some quantity white Satti rice is to be kept in an earthen pot containing water while it is day. The pot is to be allowed to remain in this state throughout the wholenight. In the morning the accused is to be made to eat rice first and then to disgorge it on the leaf of a peepal tree. If the beard of the man becomes red, and there be a splitting pain in the throat, and also a shivering comes upon the whole frame, then the guilt of the man is proved.





The maxim of “The Sacrifice”.


This maxim is used to denote that one is sure to gain the object which he intenly thinks upon at all times.



tapah svadhyayatyagibrahmananyayah


The maxim of a Brahmin who has given up his Sandhya prayer and study of the



The Brahmin who never says his prayer, and never reads the Vedas becomes fallen thereby.

It is used to denote that the non-performance of the most essential duties of life makes one equite degraded.





The maxim of the virtue which is aquired and not natural.


It takes its origin from the fact that the heated state of oil is due to the action of the fire, therefore heat is not a property of the oil but of the fire.

It is used to denote that it is meaningless to assume an important air in consequence of the power derived from another. Such a man is a veritable jackdaw in borrowed feather.





The maxim of the darkness dispelled.


It takes its origin from the fact that darkness is chased away when it is daylight.

It is used to denote that the darkness of ignorance is removed by the acquisition of knowledge.





The maxim of a she-frog and the forgotten promise


It originated from the following story:


Once upon a time a Raja had a she-frog, under the condition that she would go away as soon as something would be shown her. The Raja forgot the condition, and showed her water one day. Thereupon the frog went away.

It is used to denote that a promise once made must be fulfilled irrespective of the consideration of the position of the promise.



tama uööipananyayah


The maxim of lighting darkness.


It is foolishness to go out in search of darkness with a lamp in hand, for, darkness is nothing but absence of light.

It is used to express foolishness on the part of one to go to perform a thing by employing a means which is unsuitable for the purpose.





The maxim of the palm tree and a serpent.


A serpent dies if it climbs upon a palm tree.

This maxim is used to denote foolishness of the doer of thing.





The maxim of thread and cloth.


It takes its origin from the opinion held by philosophers that the effect exists for a moment even when the cause is destroyed. Thread is the cause and cloth is the effect. The cloth exists momentarily even when the thread is destroyed.





The maxim of heated axe.


When an axe is greatly heated it cannot be held in hand, and so nothing can be done with it.

The maxim is used to denote that the means employed for the performance of a work must be such as may be easily used by the doer.





The maxim of the heated gold.


It takes its origin from an ordeal in which the guilt of an accused is ascertained by placing a small quantity of heated gold taking it out from a kettle full of boiling oil.





The maxim of I am yours.


This maxim is a proof of inward bhakti, and is employed in reference to the love and reverence for husband, for guru and for God.



tvam mamasinyayah


The maxim of “Thou art mine.”


This maxim indicating love and affection is used in connection with sons, daughters, wife, etc.





The maxim of the bird’s nest.


The maxim takes its origin from the nests of birds being of no use to a man for the purpose of living in and is used to denote that in order that a thing may be serviceable, it must be employed in a way suited to its nature.





The maxim of a sesamum seed and rice.


Rice is the food of the devas or Gods, and til (sesamum seed) of the ancestors (pitriloka). Both these being mixed together used in sacrifices.





The maxim of the balance.


It originates from the fact when one pan of the balances goes down the other rises up. It is used to denote that improvement to be properly called so must be all round, partial improvement is no improvement. This may be applied to the education of boys and youngmen.





The maxim of equal income and expenditure.


The person whose receipts and disbursements are equal is neither rich nor poor, and is, on the whole, quite happy.

cf.English proverb:Cut the coat according to cloth.





The maxim of “Please the villain”.


This maxim is used in the cases in which it is thought advisable to satisfy a mischievous man.





The Maxim of “please others.”


When the principle to be followed is to please others, then everything, whether right right or wrong, may be done.





The maxim of “a caterpillar.


It takes its origin from the fact that a caterpillar does not leave the grass on which it sits until it can get hold of another. It is used to denote that it would be unwise on the part of a man to abandon the means he has in hand till another is secured.

Cf A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.





The maxim of “the river making erosion on the banks.”


It takes its origin from the advisability of leaving the banks of a river which is constantly encroaching upon the banks. It is used to denote that it is unvise to put with one that is dangerous in nature.





The maxim of the potter’s rod, wheel and knife.


The rod, wheel , and knife of a potter are all the causes of an earthen jar.

It is used in cases in which a certain effect follows from several causes together.





The maxim of the burnt cloth.


It takes its origin from the fact that a piece of cloth that is set on fire in a place where there is no air would look as all right even after the fire is extinguished, though in fact it has no substance in it.

It is used to denote a thing which is in reality quite worthless, though from the outward appereance it seems to be all right.





The maxim of the burnt seed.


It takes its origin from the fact that the seeds that have been burnt would not germinate if sown, and is used to denote that those souls would not have to come back again into this life in whom Karma accruing from ignorance has been burnt down with the fire of knowledge.





The maxim of “the burning fuel and the fire.”


It takes its origin from the fire becoming extinguished when the fuel is completely burnt down, and is used to denote that a man of ability never stops to work till he has finished the task undertaken.





The maxim of the burnt cord.


A cord, twisted in three folds, after being burnt, would appear quite unchanged, though in fact it has then no substance in it. It is used to denote an unlettered fool who looks outwardly as a perfectly good man though in fact he has no worth whatever.





The maxim of the stick and the serpent.


The maxim originates from good care to be taken in beating a serpent with a stick so that the serpent may be killed but at the same time the stick may not be broken, and it is used to denote that a clever man should conduct himself in such a way in performing a task that the object in view may be accomplished without any injury either to himself or to anybody else.





The maxim of the stick and cakes.


When a stick and cakes are tied together, and one says that the stick has been pulled down, we are naturally led to expect that the cakes have also been pulled down, the two being so closely connected together. So when one thing is closely connected with another in a particular way, and we say something of the one, it naturally follows that what is asserted of the one can, as a matter of course, be asserted of the other.





The maxim of “Examination of teeth”.


By the examination of teeth, the nature of a man can be ascertained.





The maxim of Dam, Byal, Kar.


There was a rakshasa named Sambar; by means of enchantment he created three

rakshas named Dam, Byal, and Kar, who were so strong that they could reduce the mountain Meru to dust by their blows; but as they were deprived of the knowledge of truth they had to be born again after death as mosquitoes.

It is used to denote that knowledge is more powerful than physical strenght.





The maxim of an uncharitable Kshatriya.


If a person of the Kshatriya caste has no inclination for practising charity,

he makes his position thereby very shameful and blameworthy, and moreover he

forfeits his claim to be called Kshatriya





The maxim of “struggle between the Devas and Asuras.”


The maxim teaches that like the struggle between the Devas and Asuras

mentioned in the Purans, a constant struggle is going on in the minds of men between the virtous and the vicious propensities.





The maxim of the burner and the thing burnt.


The fire burning a piece of wood and reducing it to ashes would itself at last be transformed into ashes.

It is used to denote that the harm done to another would recoil at last upon the doer.



durbalairapivadhyante purushah parthivashritaih


The maxim of the weak becoming powerful with the power of the King at his



The person in the employ of a king can lord over a most powerful man, though personally he may be very weak.





“The maxim of the killer of the Debadatta being killed.”


The man who has killed another named, say, Debadatta, is killed again in his turn by a third person.

It is used to denote that no man can be all-powerful. Every one has his






The maxim of “the son of Deavadatta.”


The maxim is used to denote that the principal object of the life of a son should be to make the name and character of his father glorious and honourable.





The maxim of the lamp on the threshold.


It originates from the fact that a lamp placed over the threshold of a house would have the effect of lighting the house a swell as the approach leading to the house.

It is used to denote something that serves two purposes at the same time.





The maxim of “the mouth being at the lower part of the body”.


This maxim is used to denote something quite impossible and absurd.





The maxim of “lengthened pranayama (regulation of breathing).”


The maxim takes its origin from the attempt made to catch hold of the nose by moving the hand round the head; and is used to denote the making a matter more difficult than what it ordinarily is.





The maxim of weighing on a balance.


In proof of a guilty or non-guilty, one who swears is placed upon a pan of a balance reciting some mantras. If the person becomes heavier he is supposed to be non-guilty, if equal or less he is considered as guilty.

This maxim is used in ascertaining guilty or non-guilty of persons.





The maxim of virtue and advent of the spring.


It takes its origin from the nature assuming a charming appereance with new leaves and flowers when the spring sets in, and similarly the possession of virtue bringing wealth and happiness in its train.

It is used to denote the importance of virtue.





The maxim of “property and the thing posssessing it.”


The name of a certain property signifies the thing which possesses that property.





The maxim of “the thing and its property.”


The name of the thing connotes the property or properties forming the essence of that thing.





The maxim of “the paddy and the straw.”


It originates from the fact that the paddy seed sown in a field from which weeds have not been carefully rooted out will in the long run outgrow the grass, and is used to denote that seed of wisdom and piety are sure to germinate even if sown in a mind not properly cultivated and preapared.





The maxim of “a hero and heroine.”


It takes its origin from the conversation between a hero and a heroine on a theatrical stage in course of which the hero asks the heroine whose wife she is, and she says in reply that she is his wife, and is used to denote that the theatrical relation is false, its usefulness being only to produce a temporary and musing effect. Man’s life is also a stage of theatre, and its connection with others in various kinds of relationship is therefore nothing but an illusion.





The maxim of “the destroyed carriage and horse.”


It takes its origin from the story that one day two persons went out in their own respective carriages. In the way their carriages accidentally caught fire.  The consenquence was that the carriage of one and the horse of the other were destroyed. At last by mutual agreement they got one carriage ready with what remained of their carriages, and they returned home by that carriage. It is used to denote that by united efforts we can make up our individual wants.

Cf.Union is strenght.



nahi kankanasya darshanayadarshapekshetinyayah


The maxim of “a bracelet and a mirror.”


It takes its origin from the fact that there is absolutely no necessity of looking-glass for seeing the appereance of a bracelet worn on the wrist as it is easily visible to the eye, and is used to denote that a medium is quite unnecessary for doing a thing that can easily be performed directly by one’s own efforts.



nahi ?shöe ‘nupapannam nametinyayah


The maxim of “the thing seen requiring no proof.”


A thing which has been seen by one with his own eyes requires no proof to convince him of its existence, etc.

It is used to signify that the direct knowledge of a thing is superior to a second hand one.



nahi ninda ninditum pravartate itinyayah


The maxim of blaming.


It signifies that blame is directed to a thing that deserves it but not to the act of blaming.



nahi varavighataya kanyodvaha itinyayah


The maxim of a bride’s marriage being intended not for killing the



A man gives his daughter in marriage not for bringing about the end of the son-in-law but that they may live in happiness and comfort to a good old age.

It signifies that happinesss and not sorrow is the end and aim of life of everyone.



nahi yatijnamatrena arshasiddhiritinyayah


The maxim of promise and the success in an attempt.


It signifies that mere words of mouth cannot secure success in anything, earnest efforts are indispensably necessary for the purpose.



nahi bhikshuko bhikshukamitinyayah


The maxim of a poor man’s begging, not of a beggar.


It takes its origin from the fact of a beggar’s not asking alms of another beggar. He would invariably go to one in affluence for the satisfaction of his wants.

It is used to denote the tendency of human nature to seek help from the quarter where it may be reasonably expected.



nahi vivahanantaram varapariksha kriyata itinyayah


The maxim of examining a bridegroom after marriage.


It takes its origin from the uselessness of minutely observing a bridegroom after the marriage is over. This should be done before.

It is used to denote that the consideration of propriety or otherwise of a course should be carefully made before it is adopted. After thought in this concern is of no use whatever.



nahi sutikshnapyasidhara svayamevacchetumahitavyapara bhavatitinyayah


The maxim of a keen sword.


It takes its origin from the fact that a sword, however, keen it may be, would not cut an object unless it is wielded by some body.

It denotes that mere possession of a good thing produces no good, but there must be some one properly qualified to make good use of it.



nahi sushikshitopi vaöuh svaskamadhama re?dhum paöuh


The maxim of a highly educated youngmen not being able to mount upon his own



It denotes that an impossible and impracticable thing cannot be affected by any one however highly qualified he may be just as a youngman though very learned and wise cannot get upon his own shoulder when he is asked to do so.





The maxim of a serpent and a camel.


It takes its origin from a serpent which was killed for saving the life of a camel that was attacked by that serpent; and is used to denote that doing of an injury to another may be excused provided it be for effecting a very useful end.



najnatavisheshanabuddhirvisheshyam samkramatitinyayah


The maxim of the Adjective and the Noun.


The sense of the adjective cannot be comprehended so long as the sense of the noun it qualifies is realised. Or, the meaning of the adjective depends upon that of the noun.

It denotes that knowledge of the principal part must first be acquired and then the subsidiary parts may be understood in their proper light.



nanyaörishöe smaratyanya iti nyayah


The maxim of the memory and a thing.


A thing to be borne in mind must be witnessed by one with his own eye and not with eye of another person.





The maxim of the cocoanut-water.


It takes its origin from the difficulty of explaining how water could exist inside a cocoanut fruit; and is used to denote that it is not in the power of man to understand clearly the kind ways of providence.





The maxim of the current of water.


It originates from the fact that the water of a stream always flows downwards; and is used to denote that the thoughts of an ignorant person has a downward tendency.





The maxim of the milk mixed with water.


It takes its origin from the fact that when a goose is made to drink milk mixed with water it will take only the milk and a leave the water behind; and is used to denote that in judging of another a truly wise man will sift out his merits, and would leave the defects in him out of consideration.



nilendivara nyayah


The maxim of a blue lotus.


The maxim is applied in the cases of varieties just as a blue lotus is a very rare thing.



nripanapitaputra nyayah


The maxim of the King and Barber’s son.


It is used to denote a man’s natural fondness for his own possesion however ugly or despicable it may be in the eyes of others. It takes its origin from a story which states that a king on one occasion asked his barber to bring to him the finest boy that he could find in his kingdom. The barber roamed for a long time over every part of the realm, but could get no boy such as the king wanted. At last wearied and dissapointed he returned home, and being charmed with the beauty of his own boy, who was in fact the personification of ugliness and deformity, went to the king and presented the boy to him. The king was at first very angry with the barber for having trifled with him, but on consideration excused him, as he ascribed the barber’s preference of his own ugly boy to the dominant desire of human beings to consider their own possessions as supremely good.



naunavika nyayah


The maxim of the boat and the boatman.


It takes its origin from the fact that a boat cannot be steered without the help of the boatman, and is used to denote that no act, great or small, can be performed without the guidance of the principal head.





The maxim of the five Kosha or vestures (sheats or cases) which successively

make the body.


It is used to denote that what apparently seems imposible may turn out possible, just as the soul resides in the sheaths or cases (Koshas) that enshrine it, nevertheless it is not attached to any of these vestures.





The maxim of the bird out of the cage.


It is used to denote the flight of the soul when the trammel of the body is loosened after the death, just as a bird in a cage flies away in the air if it can get out of the cage anyhow.



patantamanudhavato baddhopi gata iti nyayah


The maxim of the fowler and the birds.


It originates from the story of a fowler running after a bird that escaped from his trap to find to his great sorrow on his return that the birds which were caught before had also fled away meanwhile.

Cf. The Eng. proverb  A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.





The maxim of a girl making a selection of her husband.


In a choice-marriage in which choice of the husband is made by the bride herself, the bride would elect a husband who is most deserving. It denotes the tendency of human nature for what is best.



padamapyadhikabhavaditi nyayah


The maxim of a part being preferable if not the whole.


If the whole of a thing be not available, one should be ready to be contented with only a part.

Cf. The Eng. proverb:”Something is better than nothing.”





The maxim of the afternoon-shade.


The maxim denotes that the power and influence assumed at the fag-end of life may be enjoyed only for a short time just as the shade of a tree in the afternoon is very short-lived.





The maxim of a table-land.


The maxim takes its origin from the fact that a level tract of land at the top of a mountain appears from a distance to be not very far off, but in fact it is very difficult and troublesome to go there; and is used to denote those happy prospects which from a distance looks very fascinating, but their attainment costs much pain and trouble.





The maxim of a valley.


It denotes that giong downward is very easy, just as going down hill to a valley does not cost much trouble.





The maxim of raising the axe.


It is used in connexion with infliction of heavy punishment for a trifling offence.





The maxim of a member of a community.


If a member of a community dies, his work becomes divided amoung the rest so that the work does not suffer, and is used to signify that a work for the performance of which many hands are engaged does not suffer even if any one among workers dies or leaves the work.





The maxim of stone and brick.


It is used to signify something done with the united efforts of all kinds of persons, great and small, just as a house is built with the help of stone  a big thing, and brick  a small thing.



pindam hitva karam ledhi


The maxim of licking the hand letting the morsel fall off.


It is used to signify a foolish attempt, just as it is foolishness to lick the hand after letting fall the morsel.





The maxim of grinding flour.


It is used to denote a superfluous or unprofitable exertion like the attempt of a man to grind pounded flour.

Cf. It is of no use to go to do a thing which has already been done.



putralipsaya devam bhajantya bhartapi vinashöa iti nyayah


The maxim of a prayer for a son and the loss of the husband.


It takes its origin form a story that a certain woman worshipped a god with a view of being blessed witha son, unfortunately it so happened that she lost her husband. It is used to denote the loss of the cause while the effect is earnestly wished for.

It is used to denote the absurdity of a wish or desire.





The maxim of a big mace.


It takes its origin from the fact that ignorant fools, like beasts, are intractable, and can be managed only by means of strong rods. It is used to denote that stringent measures are required to be adopted for controlling those that are easily unmanageable.





The maxim of the unchaste and the chaste.


It is used to signify the contradictory qualities, just as the characters of the unchaste and the chaste women are opposed to each other.





The maxim of the thing coming after being stronger in force than that going



It is used when superiority or inferiority between two things is a point of consideration.



prakalpyacapavadavishayam tata utsarg?bhinivishate


The maxim of the general and the special.


The application of the general holds true everywhere except the cases coming under the special, similarly the subordinate are to exercise their power in the places that are not within the province of the superior.





The maxim of the light.


It is used to denote that ignorance or fear is removed from where there is knowledge or wisdom, just as darkness is chased away from the place when there is light.



prakritipratyayarshayoh pratyayarshasya pradhanatvamiti nyayah


The maxim of the root and the suffix.


The meaning of a word or a root depends upon that of the suffix for completion of sense. It is applied in cases in which the question of the superiority or inferiority is to be decided.





The maxim of washing off the mud.


Just as it is more advisable for one to avoid getting into mud than to go into it and then wash it off, so it is more advisable for one to aviod getting into danger than to expose oneself to it and then to try to get out of it somehow or other.

Cf.Prevention is better than cure.



pratyakshe kimanumanam


The maxim of inference.


This maxim is used to indicate that it is utterly useless to make an inference about a thing or to call for any proof about it when it is visible or present before the eye.





The maxim of a tyrant king.


It takes its origin from the fact that it is the duty of a worthy king to do everything in his power to secure the comforts and happiness of his subjects.

It is used to indicate worthlessness of a king who seeks his own interest at the cost of that of his subjects.





The maxim of defeating the leader of the wrestlers.


It is applied in which one, having many adversaries to encounter, has to seek out the chief and give him a crushing defeat, and then he has not to care for others.



prayojanamanuddishyamando ‘pi na pravartate


The maxim of not doing a thing uncalled for.


It signifies that even an ignorant fool will not stir him about doing a thing which he is not required to do.





The maxim of a guard and a thief.


This maxim takes its origin from the story of a guard attached a richman’s house waking up from sleep after the thief, who committed theft in the house, made good his escape. It is used to indicate the vain alertness of one after the opportunity for doing his duty has slipped away.





The maxim of dweller in mansion.


Whoever occupies a mansion will be called a dweller in it, whether he lives in the ground floor or in the upper flat. This maxim is used to signify the ownership of a person over a thing whether he enjoys it exclusively or partially.



pradipe pradipam prajvalya tamonashaya


The maxim of a candle under a candle.


It takes origin from the attempt of chasing the darkness under a lamp by lighting a second lamp which again has darkness underneath it, and again to chase that darkness another lamp is lighted, and so on, and is used to indicate that efforts made for effecting what is impracticable always prove to be fruitless.





The maxim of a mango tree with fruits on.


The maxim indicates the advisability of taking a shelter with a truly grat man, just as it is advisable to take shelter under a mango tree that supplies, quite unasked, fruits and shadow to a weary way-farer.





The maxim of catching a heron.


The maxim takes its origin from the fact that a fowler derives no advantage by catching a heron as it has very small flesh in its body and indicates the impropriety of causing unnecessary harm to any one.



badhira karnajapanyayah


The maxim of whispering to the deaf.


This maxim indicates a vain attempt of a man to do a useless thing like whispering a word to one who is absolutely short of hearing.





The maxim of a pot having many holes.


This maxim denotes the unprofitableness of imparting instructions to one destitute of capacities to retain them, just as a pot having holes cannot contain the water poured into it.





The maxim of a deer being attacked by many wolves.


It denotes the certainty of defeat of a person, however strong he may be, when attacked simultaneously on all sides by many enemies, as a deer attacked by many wolves at the same time is sure to be killed by them.





The maxim of a city of many kings.


It is used to denote the total mismanagement of an affair in which there are all to lead and none to follow.





The maxim of favour received from many.


This maxim suggests the fortunate condition of a man when he is in receipt of favour from his numerous friends and patrons.





The maxim of the Brahmin hermit.


It takes its origin from a Brahmin becoming a hermit is quite in accordance with the rules of the Varnashram Dharma, and is used to denote something which carries twofold senses at the same time.



brahmaiva brahmadanamitinyayah


The maxim of giving away Brahma in charity.


It takes its origin from the Vedas being known as Brahman, and is used to denote the superiority of free teaching over all other charitable acts.





The maxim of the alligator in the hole.


It is used to denote the troubles of a difficult undertaking as the drawing of an alligator out of its hole is always found to be very difficult task.





The maxim of a bald-headed man under a Bilva tree.


The maxim has its origin in the story of a bald-headed man having his skull broken by the fall of bilva fruit as soon as he took shelter under the tree, and is used to denote an accidental happening.





The maxim of seed and sprout.


It takes its origin from the relation of mutual causation which subsists between seed and sprout, seed being the cause of sprout, which in its turn is the cause of seed.

It is used in those cases in which two things stand to each other in the relation of both cause and effect.





The maxim of Brahmana-Shraman.


See the maxim of Brahmana hermit. No. 247, supra.





The maxim of a merchant-king.


The maxim takes its origin from the fact that buying and selling, etc, are the functions of a merchant and are quite unsuitable, nay  blame worthy, for a king and is used to denote any unworthy undertaking.





The maxim of Brahmana Bashistha.


It takes its origin from the fact that as Bashistha was a Brahmana, the word Brahman suggests the idea of Bashistha too, yet Bashistha is specially named only to add to his importance. It is used to denote the special importance of a person over others of his class.





The maxim of the Brahmin Village.


The fact of a village in which the Brahmins form the majority of dwellers, going by the name of a Brahmin village has given rise to this maxim. It is used to denote that a thing is known by the name of its predominating element.



bhakshitepi lashune na shan?o vyadhih


The maxim of garlic and ilness.


It takes its origin from one’s eating garlic, an unholy and prohibited thing, as a remedy of an ilness, but unforunately the ilness is not thereby remedied; and is used to denote the regrettable condition of one who does an unworthy act to gain an end, though unhappily the end is not gained thereby.





The maxim of Bharkshu.


It takes its origin from a story that a certain king had a minister named Bharkshu, whom he sent on an expedition against an enemy across the sea.  Bharkshu defeated the enemy and himself became the king of that country, meanwhile a rumour was spread that Barkshu was dead  Beleiving the rumour to be true, the king appointed another person in place of Barkshu, but to his utter surprise Bharkshu made his appereance after a few days.

The maxim is used to indicate the impropriety of doing any thing in hot haste and without due circumspection.



bhava ‘dhanamakhyatamiti nyayah


The maxim of the import (of a thing).


It is used to signify the superiority of import or sense of a thing over anything else that it has.





The maxim of fire.


This maxim takes its origin from the fact that fire has the attributes of burning, cooking and removing darkness and is used to denote that various kinds of qualities may be possessed by one and the same man.





The maxim of the beggar gradually extending his legs.


It takes its origin from a story that one day a beggar went to a rich man’s house. Thinking that his object would not be gained if he were to make a clean breast of his wants all at once, he first begged permission to sit, and then little by little had everything that he needed. It is used to denote cleverness on the part of one in dealing with a person who is very uncharitable and close fisted.



bhikshubhiyah sthalyanadhishrayananyayah


The maxim of not cooking food for fear of a beggar.


This maxim is used to signify the miserlines of a person as he refrains from cooking his food in the presence of a beggar lest the latter should beg for a share.





The maxim of Bhudev Brahmin.


It takes its origin from a king being loved and honoured by his subjects,

whereas a Brahmin, the seer of truth and the knower of Brahman, is Bhudeva or

king of the whole earth, loved and honoured as he is everywhere.

It is used to denote the importance of knowledge.





The maxim of rapid rise.


This maxim is used to signify that a person who prospers in life rather too rapidly has surely to suffer fall soon again.





The maxim of the bird named Bhulinga.


This maxim takes its origin from the fact that this bird gathers bits of flesh from the jaws of lion, and is used to denote extra-ordinary courage.





The maxim of earth being cold or hot.


This maxim originates from the fact that earth becomes cold by coming in contact with water whose property is coldness, and again becomes hot by coming in contact with light whose chief property is heat, and is used to indicate the effects of a company that exerts a part influence upon the character of a person.





The maxim of the black bee.


This maxim is used to indicate the nature of the truly wise men who always take note of the merits in others just as the black bees always drink only honey and no other kind of juice from the flowers.





The maxim of Bhairab.


It takes its origin from a story which runs as follows: Once there was a Brahmin named Bhairaba who grew very conceited on account of the honour and respects he received at the hands of the king. The foolish Brahmin forgot his position and quarrelled with the ministers of the king, who enraged at his conduct, prevented his admission into the royal court, and told the king meanwhile that the Brahmin was dead. After some time, one day when the king went out a  hunting, the Brahmin got upon a tree and spoke to the king that he was Bhairab and begged for an interview with the king; but the king taking him for an evil spirit refused his prayer.

It is used to teach that no one should be too much inflated with prosperity to forget his position and to conduct himself in an unbecoming way; for, by so doing he would be doing himself a positive and unretrievable harm.





The maxim of the fly.


It is used to denote the fault finding spirit of ill-natured men, who may be likened to the flies that are always in search of wounds and ulcers even on the most beatiful body.





The maxim of immersing and emerging.


It takes its origin from a person, ignorant of the art of swimming, now immersing into, and now coming on the surface of the water, when he happens to fall into a river; and is used to denote the struggling condition in which one finds himself when he is required by circumstances to deal with a matter over which he has no mastery.





The maxim of weighing a frog.


Just as it is very difficult to make a frog remain steady on a balance with a view to ascertain its weight, so it is equally difficult to keep a fickle nature steadily employed in any pursuit.





The maxim of the frog moving by jumps.


It is used to denote the movement by fits and starts of fickle natured men like the movement of frogs.





The maxim of fish and its bone.


It originates from the fact that when a fish is caught, it is caught wits its bone, but when eating, only its flesh is retained, and bone is thrown out. It is used to denote the policy of a truly wise man who would observe everything in nature and would gather from it what conduces to his welfare and reject the rest.



mahishiprasavonmukhi iti nyayah


The maxim of a she-buffalo in labour.


It is used to denote a work which is very easy of performance like the labour of a she-buffalo which is easy and not attended with much pain.





The maxim of a female destitute of the nature and character peculiar to her.


It is used to denote the virtues of the Aryan females which consist in the purity of their nature and character, and which being lost everything worth possessing by them is lost.



maranadvaram vyadhih


The maxim of sickliness being preferable to death.


It is used to denote the great love of life which is common to all beings, as no one would like to part with this life.





The maxim of the Mallagrama or a village of wrestlers.


This maxim is used to denote that unworthy persons living in the company of worthy souls often enjoy the honour and respect paid to the latter, just as weak men living in the same village with gigantic wrestlers are indirectly honoured, their village being known as the village of wrestlers.





The maxim of fish.


The maxim is used to denote the oppression which the weak have often to suffer at the hands of the strong and the powerful, as fish, being a very weak animal, is killed and eaten by men and other creatures.



maranaya grihita angacchedam svikaroti


The maxim of parting with a limb is preferable to life.


This maxim is used to denote the advisability of averting a great loss by suffering a comparatively light one, just as a man condemned to death would be glad if the sentence be commuted to the loss of any limb.





The maxim of a poisoned arrow.


This maxim takes its origin from the fact that a small arrow if poisoned would have the effect of killing a man easily which may not be effected sometimes even by good-many arrows; and is used to denote the feasibility of doing a deed.





The maxim of the deer and corn.


This maxim is intended to denote abstaining from doing a duty on account of any fear, just as a cultivator may cease from sowing seeds lest the plants and corn should be eaten by the deer.





The maxim of slaying the slain.


This maxim is used to denote any cruel and unprofitable attempt like that of striking a dead body.





The maxim of the dead and their helpless infants.


It is used to denote a most helpless condition of a person like that of a child that has lost its parents and has none to take its care.





The maxim of a precious stone and incantation.


It is used to denote especial efficacious properties of some things as some precious stones and incantations possess the magical virtues of producing good in a wonderful way.





The maxim of a light placed at the middle of a hall.


This maxim takes its origin from the fact that a light taken inside a room and placed at the middle on some particular purpose, will make everything visible in the room, and is used to denote something which serves various purposes at the same time.



yah karayati sa karotyeveti nyayah


The maxim of the employer and the doer.


This maxim is used to denote the responsibility of one who sets another to do a thing to be quite equal to that of the doer himself.



yah kurute sa bhunkte iti nyayah


The maxim of the doer and the eater.


It is used to denote that he who does labour enjoys the fruit derived from it.



yatkritakam tadanityam iti nyayah


The maxim of the destructibility of created things.


This maxim is used to denote that every created thing in the world is liable to destruction.



yatparah shabdah sah shabdartha iti nyayah


The maxim of the words and their imports.


It is used to denote that the true import or significance of a word is the thing to indicate when the word was originally coined.



yah prayah shruyate yaörik tattaörigavagamyate iti nyayah


The maxim of understanding follows hearing.


This maxim indicates that one’s understanding a thing depends upon the manner in which it comes to his hearing.





The maxim of arranging in regular succession.


This maxim takes its origin from want of necessity of minding any order in arranging or considering some things that are of equal worth, any one of them being fit to be taken at first and then the rest arranged one after another in regular successin; and is used to denote that things being of equal merit, the rule of preference has no application.



yadvivahastadgotamiti nyayah


The maxim of the bridegroom being the hero of the marriage procession.


This maxim originates from the fact that in a marriage procession, the bridegroom is the most important figure to whom all eyes are directed, and who is the subject of talk in every mouth; and is used to denote that the principal character in every affair is considered to be possessed of great importance.





The maxim of abstaining from wordly activity.


It is intended to teach that enjoyment and abstinence are opposed to each other, there being no trait common to them.



yasyajnanam bhramastasya iti nyayah


The maxim of ignorance is illusion.


It is used to denote that the darkness of ignorance is chased away as soon as the light of knowledge appears.



yaörisham mukham taörishi capeöa iti nyayah


The maxim of the slap being proportionate to the cheek.


It is used to denote that a measure must be taken for controlling one must be sufficiently strong in consideration of the particular case in question, just as the slap administered to a man must be tight enough in consideration of his physique and strenght to produce the intended effect.



yaörisho yakshastaörisho valiriti nyayah


The maxim of a god and his worship.


It takes its origin from the practise of making different kinds of offer to different gods according to their nature and taste; and is used to denote that in dealing with others it would be advisable to adopt such means as would suit the requirements of the case in question.



yavacchirastavati shirovyatha iti nyayah


The maxim of the head and headache.


This maxim is used to denote the sense that there is ache only so long as there is head.



yavattailam tavad vyakhyanamiti nyayah


The maxim of the lamp and reading.


This maxim originates from the fact that one can go on with one’s study in the light of a lamp so long as there is oil in the hold of the lamp to enable it to burn and is used to denote that a person is held in honour and respect so long as he has means to keep up his position.



yukabhiya kanyatyaganyayah


The maxim of daughter and louse.


It takes its origin from a daughter being turned out of doors for fear of the lice that infested her hair; and is used to denote the folly of a coward who is preapared rather to part with a valuable possession than to bravely meet and successfully grapple with a difficulty or danger.



yenopakramate yenopasanhriyate sa vakyartha iti nyayah


The maxim of the sense of a sentence or a speech.


This means that a sentence or a speech is what has beggining and conclusion, i.e. what begins to say some thing about an object and finishes completely what is to be said abot that object.



yogyo yogyena sambandha iti nyayah


The maxim of a suitable connection.


It is used to denote that unity, between persons of equal or similar merits or disposition, is a suitable connection.



yojanaprapyayam kaveryam mallabandhananyayah


The Kaveri and the Kaivarla (a fisherman.)


It takes its origin from the conduct of a man who wanted to go across the river Kaveri, and so took with him a fisherman for the purpose, but fearing that the man might escape, he bound the fisherman, hand and foot while the river was yet 8 miles off; and is used to denote the foolishness on the part of one being overcautious for the prevention of a danger, and thus making one’s position embarassing before the danger actually happens.





The maxim of the borrowed ornaments.


This maxim is used to denote the folly on the part of a man to try to pass for more beautiful or charming, than what he is by nature by adorning himself with a dress and ornaments borrowed from others, as no person has any control on a thing, which has been lent to him by another as it may be taken away by the owner whenever he choses withiut caring for the convenience or otherwise of the borrower.





The maxim of red cloth.


This maxim is used to denote that a female wearing red cloth is taken to be one whose husband is alive.





The maxim of the cord and the serpent.


This maxim takes its origin from mistaking a cord by delusion for a serpent, and denotes the false impression under which men are seen to labour sometimes.





The maxim of the carriage and the pair.


The maxim is used to denote the co-operation of the workers necessary for the due performance of a work, just as in a carriage drawn by two horses, the horses must work unitedly in order that the carriage may go on regurarly.





The maxim of the sunlight and the grass.


It is used to denote that a thing which is found to be of essential importance at one time, may at another time prove to be the cause of distinction, just as the sunlight, which is indispensably necessary for the grass to grow up, is also the cause of the drying up of the same grass.





The maxim of a prince and a fowler.


It takes its origin from a story that once upon a time an infant prince was left in a jungle by its stepmother. The child was accidentally found by a fowler who took it home and brought it up as his own son. Many years afterwards, the prime minister of the king happened to meet the boy and recognised him by his appereance to be no other than the king’s son. The minister took the boy with him and installed him on the throne. The maxim is used to denote that truth can never be suppressed for ever, it is sure to establish itself in course of time.





The maxim of the Rahugrasa or the act of being swallowed by Rahu.


This maxim is used to denote the erroneous notions that popularly act upon the minds of men, as in the case of eclipse of the sun or the moon, it is popularly believed that those great luminaries are swallowed for the time being by the demon Rahu, whereas the fact is that the shadow of the earth falling on them makes them invisible for a while.



rajasam tamasam ceti nyayah


The maxim of the Rajasa and Tamasa.


The maxim denotes that both the gunas the Rajas and the Tamas are the

cause of bondage.





The maxim of the king and the marriage procession of a servant of his.


This maxim is used to denote that due regard must be paid to the position of a person irrespective of his caste or social standing just as even a king has to follow his servant on the occasion of his marriage.





The maxim of the braying of an ass.


This maxim takes its origin from the fact that an ass brays at first very loudly, but gradually its sound sinks lower and lower, and is used to denote that anything that makes much noise in the beginning proves, in the long run, to be quite hollow and worthless.





The maxim of the subjects without a king.


This maxim takes its origin from want of peace and happiness of the people in a country where there is no king and is used to denote that a controlling hand is essentially necessary for the happy and peaceful management of human affairs.





The maxim of the outline of a Gayal’s image.


This maxim originates from a story that one day, an illiterate rustic living in a village went to a forest, and enquired of an inhabitant of that forest about a Gayal which that rustic villager never saw before. The forester thereupon drew an outline on the ground to show the villager, what sort of animal a Gayal was. The foolish villager was satisfied. But on another occasion of his going into the forest when accidentally came across a Gayal he saw that the idea of the animal given him by the forester was quite wrong.

It is used to denote that one should be careful in selecting his preceptor. An incompetent preceptor does more harm than good.





The maxim of a king’s entrance to the capital.


This maxim is used to denote that everything should be done in regular order as on the occasion of a king’s entering his city, the soldiers, and the followers follow him in proper order.





The maxim of the patient.


This maxim is used to denote that under the influence of evil propensities a man loses the power of judging what is right and what is wrong, just as a patient labouring under diseases for a long time becomes very careless about the regulation of his diet.



langalam jivanamiti nyayah


The maxim of plough as a means of livelihood.


It is used to show that to live by ploughing the land with one’s own hand, (i.e. by cultivation), is attended with great hardship.





The maxim of trees and creepers.


This maxim takes its origin from the fact that no creeper can stand or grow without the help of a tree; and is used to denote that a female can neither live nor make any progress in life without assistance of her husband or any other male guardian.





The maxim of iron and magnet.


It is used to denote a very close affinity between two things, by virtue of which they are instinctively attracted towards each other though at a distance, just as iron is attracted by magnet.





The maxim of iron and fire.


This maxim is used to denote that the best use of an opportunity ought to be made no sooner than it presents itself, as one desirous of making things of iron must do so by striking it hard so long as it is hot by being put into fire.





The maxim of a fig-tree and a ghost.


This maxim has its application in cases in which something is done without proper exercise of care and judgement just as men feel afraid in passing by a huge fig-tree, specially alone and at night, as it is popularly beleived, without any rhyme or reason, that an evil spirit dwells in that tree.





The maxim of the killer and the killed.


This maxim is used to denote the absence of a controlling agency in a place where there is plenty of things requiring control, as abundance of serpents in a place indicates that there is no one to kill the snakes.





The maxim of a forest and the tiger.


This maxim is used in place in which mutual help is intended to be meant, just as a forest is preserved by a tiger, and the tiger by that forest. If there be no tiger in the forest the herbivorous animals come there in a large number whenever they choose and the plants and creepers etc., are eaten away by them and thus the forest is destroyed in a short while, on the other hand, if there be no forest it becomes difficult for a tiger to find out a place to live in.





The maxim of the invariable concomitance of fire and smoke: (wherever there is

smoke there is fire).


It is used to denote such invariable concomitance between two persons or

things; (e.g. where there is A, there is B; where there is not B, there is

not A.)



varaghataya kanyavaranamiti nyayah


The maxim of the bridegroom and the bride.


A man takes a woman for his wife with a view to make the life as enjoyable as possible and not for the purpose of bringing about his own destruction. The maxim is therefore used to indicate that whatever a man does he does for his own happiness and comfort.





The maxim of the union of the bride and bridegroom.


The marriage between a man and a woman, holding the same kind of opinion in every concern of life, always turns out to be a happy one.





The maxim of the stable.


This maxim is used to denote that every object has a peculiar name given to it, so that it cannot be interchanged with anything else without causing a great confusion; just as the name ‘stable’ is applied to the shed intended for the horses and not the cows or any other animals to live in.





The maxim of the wind and other humours of the body.


This maxim is used to denote that as wind, bile, and phlegm, the three humours of the body, though quite different from one another by nature, prove to be the source of sound health when they are harmoniously combined, so acts of very great importance may be well performed by persons of different nature and disposition if they act in concert.





The maxim of the living on air.


When one is said to be living on air, it denotes that he does not eat anything else.

It is applied to those cases in which one is exlusively devoted to one thing only.





The maxim of hot and cold air.


This maxim is used to denote that merits and demerits are often the results of company, just as wind itself neither hot nor cold, becomes so coming in contact with fire and water respectively.



vasudhaiva kuöumbakamiti nyayah


The maxim of the universal family.


This maxim is used to signify that to a truly noble-minded man the distinction between a thing being one’s own or not dissapears altogether. One who is possessed of really noble mind, is far above that narrowness which induces one to make a distinction between what belongs to him and what belongs to another.





The maxim of splitting hair into hundred parts.


This maxim is used to denote a very small portion of a thing.



vidheyam hi stuyate vastviti nyayah


The maxim of necessity being the mother of praise.


This maxim is used to denote that a thing necessary is always cconsidered valuable, and is also highly thought of.



viparitam bala?alamiti nyayah


The maxim of contrary assertion.


This maxim originates from the assertions made of a weak one being strong, or an incompetent one being competent, and so on. Such remarks are made either in rony or out of partiality.



vishishöavaishishöya nyayah


The maxim of a special distinction.


Without the help of a qualifying thing, the true excellence of an object cannot be made known. It is the knowledge of distinguishing features of an end or aim, that makes one’s mind fixed at it.



vishavrikshopiti nyayah


The maxim of the poison-tree.


This maxim is used to denote that a thing, though hurtful and mischievous, does not deserve to be destroyed by the very person who has reared it, just as a poison-tree ought not to be cut down by the planter himself.



visham mrityuriti nyayah


The maxim of deadly poison.


It is used to denote that an evil always produces a disastrous effect, just as poison causes death.



vishabhakshana nyayah


The maxim of drinking poison.


This maxim is used to denote a suicidal course, just as one causes suicide by drinking poison.





The maxim of a wave urging forward a wave.


In the ocean one wave propels another till the first and all others in succession reach the shore. So this maxim is used to denote successive operations, as in the case of the production of sound.





The maxim of a tree being shaken.


Just as when a tree is shaken, its branches and other parts are shaken too; so this maxim is used to denote that whatever affects the whole affects the parts also.





The maxim of the old virgin’s boon.


This maxim is used to denote asking such a boon as will cover all that one wishes to have. The Mahabhasya says that an old virgin, when asked by Indra to choose a boon, said: putra me bahukshiraghritamodanam kancanapatryam bhunjiran.

This one boon, if granted, would give her a husband, progeny, abundance of corr, cattle, gold, etc.



vriddhimishöavato mulamiti nyayah


The maxim of Sacrifice  the root of prosperity.


This maxim denotes that one who performs sacrifices is sure to prosper in life, because the gods, the givers of the rewards of Karma (rituals) being propitiated by sacrifices, good fortune must attend him who performs those sacrifices.





The maxim of Scorpion enceinte.


The maxim is used to denote ingratitude on the part of those that do harm to the persons to whom they are indebted for their very life, just as the young ones of scorpions come out by tearing up the womb and thus causing death of the mother.





The maxim of the tuft of hair reaching the sky.


It is used to denote the extraordinary tallness of a woman, so that the tuft of hair on the head seems to be in touch withthe sky.





The maxim of the worms bred in poison.


It is used to denote a state of things which, though fatal to others, is not so to those who being bred in it, are inured or naturalized to it, like poison which, though fatal to others is not so to the worms bred in it.





The maxim of the indicator and the indicated.


It is used to signify the thing which is manifested as well as that by which it

is manifested





The maxim of the tigress’s milk.


It is used to denote the extreme difficulty of attainment of a thing, though it may be useful, like the milk of a tigress which, if preserved in a golden cup or vessel, becomes very efficacious, though it is very difficult to gather or obtain it.



vyapakavyavritya vyapyavyavrittiriti nyayah


The maxim of the genus and the species.


It is used to denote that exlusion or inclusion of the genus means the exlusion or inclusion of the species as well.



vranam shishamishoh sharanragrahananyayah


The maxim of the boil and the surgeon’s knife.


This maxim originates from the fact the ulceration caused by surgical operations, is oftentimes healed by the same surgical operation again; and is used to denote that sometimes it so happens that an injury caused by a thing, is made up again by that very thing.





The maxim of the paddyseed.


This maxim denotes that so long as a single seed of a thing is left, there is every chance of its propagation; just as from one single seed of paddy, all the granaries in the land may be expected to be filled in course of time.





The maxim of widow marriage.


This maxim is used to denote an impossible and ludicrous attempt; as, acccording to the scriptures of the Hindus a woman can marry only once. The taking of a second husband is quite opposed to the Shastric injunctions of the Hindus, and is therefore quite impossible on the part of a Hindu lady.



shaktih sahakariniti nyayah


The maxim of an object and its atributes.


This maxim is used to denote that the attributes of an object are inseparably connected with the object itself, where there is one the other must be there too.





The maxim of piercing through the leaves of a lotus.


This maxim is used to denote an easy and short process of doing a thing, just as hundreds of petals of a lotus being taken together, may be easily strung together at once by means of a needle, whereas to string them one by one would take much time and be a tedious process.



shate pancashannyayah


The maxim of fifty out of a hundred.


When fifty out of a total of hundred has been spent, it shows half the part has already been spent up.





The maxim of turning sides of the dead.


This maxim is used to denote an impossibility, as turning round from one side to the other on the part of a dead body is quite impossible.





The maxim of the bough and the moon.


As the moon, though considerably distant from the bough of a tree, is spoken of as the moon on the bough, because she appears to be near it, so this maxim is used when the position of an object, though at a very great distance, is fixed by that of another object to which it appears to be contiguous.



shabdi hyakanksha shabdenaiva prapuryate iti nyayah


The maxim of the words and their complements.


It denotes that the complements necessary to complete an idea suggested by a word are also themselves words.



shalisamriddhau kodravashanatyaganyayah


The maxim of fine rice and coarse rice.


It is used to denote that a coarse thing is not used so long as good thing is available, as, nobody likes to use coarse rice so long as fine rice is procurable.



shiro veshöane nasikasparshanyayah


The maxim of touching the nose in binding a piece of cloth round the head.


This maxim is used to denote any uncalled for and quite irrelevant thing; just as touching the nose and binding a piece of cloth round the head are quite unconnected and have no relation to each other.





The maxim of an independent disciple.


A disciple can make no advance in spiritual life, should he differ from his spiritual guide (Gurudeva in judgment and conduct). So this maxim is used to teach the duty of a disciple.





The maxim of winnowing fan.


This maxim is used to denote the power of appreciating the merits, or of keeping the kernel and rejecting the husk, just as it is done by a winnowing fan which preserves only the corn and throws away the chaff.





The maxim of an actress on the stage.


In a theatre the self-same actress makes her appereance on the stage in different sorts of dress and guise on different occasions, but none of these has any concern with her real form, so this maxim is used to denote the delusiveness of the world.





The maxim of a dog, the wife’s brother.


It takes its origin from a story that a man called his dog to be his brother in-law (wife’s brother), and called it names often times only with a view to try the patience of his wife, who would fly into rage at this conduct of the husband; and it is used to denote an unbecoming conduct of a person towards anyone among his friends and relatives.





The maxim of a dog’s tail


This maxim is used to denote inflexibility of nature just as the tail of a dog, which is naturally crooked, can never be made straight, however hard one may try for the purpose.





The maxim of a Kshatriya without prowess.


This maxim is used to denote fallen condition, as a Kshatriya i.e., one belonging to the warrior class, without bravery, is considered to be a disgrace of his race.





The maxim of “Mother-in-law, go out”


No lady has any right to turn her mother-in-law out of doors, as the mother-in-law has the same right to oocupy the house as she has; so this maxim is used to denote improper exercise of one’s power.



shvah kartavyamaghakurviti nyayah


The maxim of “Do to-day what you have to do to-morrow”.


This maxim is used to denote that it is proper to make use of the earliest possible opportunity to perform one’s duties.





The maxim of the six schools of philosophy.


It is used to mean that the atheistic schools of philosophy being six, the teistic or the Vaidic philosophies are also regarded as being divided into six schools, while in fact the philosophies are of seven schools according to the seven planes of jnana or knowledge.





The maxim of the intermixed parents.


This maxim is used to denote an impossible exception. The wishes of the issues of the intermixed parents of presenting libations of water to the names of the deceased ancestors, cannot be realised, as their offerings are not acceptable to Aryama and other pitars.





The maxim of a water-vessel with holes in it.


A water-vessel, even if filled to the brim, becomes soon emptied of all water, if ther be holes in it. So the maxim is used to denote utter fruitlesness of efforts on the part of an instructor to help a pupil who is naturally defective, to grow in knowledge and character.



sandigdhaprayojanam ca vicaramarhatiti nyayah


The maxim of necessity and judgment.


This maxim denotes that a necessity, if suspected to be of doubtful utility or importance, should not be done at once, without considering it very carefully and minutely in all its bearings.





The maxim of the sea and rain.


This maxim is used to denote supply of a thing to one who is in the least need of it just as rain is quite unnecessary in the sea where there is no want of water.

C.f.The English proverb  “To carry coal to New Castle.”



sarva vakyam savadharanam nyayah


The maxim of a sentence and the assertion it makes.


This maxim denotes that what a sentence asserts must necessarily be so.



sarva visheshanam savadharanamiti nyayah


The maxim of the adjectives and their significations.


This maxim means that all adjectives express the qualities of the nouns they modify. It is used to denote that nature and character of a great person may be understood from those of his attendants and followers.





The maxim of the things and their aim.


As the Vedas have different branches but they all aim at the great one, so the variety of things in creation have one and the same aim.





The maxim of the different systems of religious teaching and their



Different systems of religious teaching quarell among themselves as regards the details of their doctrine, but in reality they all inculcate the worship of the One Being. So this maxim is used to denote the futility of such differences.



sakshatprakritaviti nyayah


The maxim of universal union in Nature.


As an earthen vessel is finally reduced to earth of which it is made, so everything in the universe will at last be dissolved into the Great First cause from which they emanated.



sadhumaitri nyayah


The maxim of friendship of the good and the honest.


This maxim is used to denote that friendship with persons that are good and honest is permanent in nature and grows in strenght and intensity with the increase of years.





The maxim of applicability and non-aplicability.


This maxim denotes that applicability is always more powerful than its reverse.





The maxim of the wise who is proud.


The maxim originates from the fact that if a person possessed of wisdom be also proud, his wisdom proves ineffectual, as it thus loses its worth and utility.  The maxim is therefore used to determine the course that is proper and advisable.





The maxim of the lion and the deer.


The maxim originates from the fact that there is natural enmity between the lion and the deer as the former lives upon the flesh of the latter, and is used to denote the feeling of enmity that naturally exists between the two, one of whom is stronger than and is always bent upon doing harm to the other.





The maxim of the lion and the sheep.


The maxim has its origin in the fact that a young lion once strayed into a village and mixed with a flock of lambs. It lived ther for some days, and then when it was able to make sound peculiar to its own race or class, it did not perceive it in its proper element. Afterwards a lion from the forest came there and taught it what it was, whereupon it left the flock of the lambs and went to the forest to join the company of lions there. The maxim denotes that under the circumstances, one may for the time being in a position not to realise one’s true worth but at last when under instruction his eyes are opened he behaves in a manner true to his self and nature.





The maxim of the lion’s glance.


A lion is very grave by nature, casts his glance towards the front, and does not see sideways through fickleness.





The maxim of equal receipts and disbursements.


It denotes that one, whose expenditure equals his income, can make no savings in his life.





The maxim of the birth of a son and death of a son.


The maxim originates from a story that a person got a son by propitiating a certain god, and then again he worshipped and propitiated a different god for another son. The result was that when the second son was born, the first one breathed his last. It is intended therefore to teach that one should devote himself to the worship of one and the same god or, oneness of aim and purpose is indispensably necessary for success in life.





The maxim of an unlucky husband and a lucky wife.


If a poor man can marry a wife who is a favourite of Fortune, he is also sure to enjoy fortune’s smile in course of time. The maxim therefore denotes that a woman plays an important part in the fortune of a man to make him prosperous in life.





The maxim of Sunda and Upasunda.


The maxim originates from a Pauranic story that two daityas or demon

brothers of the names of Sunda and Upasunda became enamoured of one and the same woman, and the outcome was that they quarrelled among themselves for the damsel, and at last met with their death by fighting with each other, and it denotes that rivalry on accont of woman often proves to be cause of total destruction.





The maxim of the needle and the kettle.


It is used to denote that when two things one easy and the other difficult are required to be done, the easier should be first attended to, as when a smith is required to make a needle and a kettle, he should first take in hand the needle as it is comparatively easier.





The maxim of thread and cloth.


The maxim takes its origin from the word “cloth” being used even when it is not in existence, the threads only being put in order for the purpose of making it, and denotes that a thing is freely talked of as an accomplished fact even when materials only are gathered and all other perparations are made for making that thing.





The maxim of sunrise and sunset.


The maxim takes its origin from the erroneous notion regarding the motion of the sun who has, broadly speaking, no motion, but still erroneously beleived by people to be rising in the east and setting down in the west, and is used to denote various sorts of erroneous notions that the human nature is subject to.





The maxim of going upstairs.


It is used to denote that one must perform his duties, gradually, just as one going upstairs must proceed by passing the steps one after another.





The maxim of coming downstairs.


Just as one coming down from the first floor or the second floor must have to pass the steps in gradual succession, or there is every chance of suffering a fall and breking his limbs, so in retracing one’s course in the performance of a work, he should proceed very cautiously, or his whole previous labour may come to nothing.





The maxim of the cooking pot and boiled rice.


In a cooking pot all the grains being equally moistened by the hot water, when one grain is found to be well cooked, the same may be inferred with regard to other grains. So the maxim is used when the condition of the whole class is inferred from that of a part.





The maxim of poison  movable and immovable.


Poison, obtained whether from any thing or any animal, may in all cases prove fatal. Similarly an evil, be it done by a friend or a foe, always produces an injurious effect.





The maxim of digging or fixing in the post.


As a stake or post to be firmly fixed in the ground is again and again moved and thrust inward, so this maxim is used when one (say a disputant) adds several corroborative illustrations, arguments etc. to be streghten and confirm still more his position already strong.





The maxim of a huge thing and a tiny thing (like the star Arundhati).


This maxim takes its origin from the custom of showing the star Arundhati to the bride and the bridegroom at the close of the marriage ceremony. At that time attention of both is first drawn to the moon, and from the moon to a big star close by, and thus gradually to Arundhati, which is very tiny star. It is used in cases when with a view to bring a very small thing to one’s notice, his attention is first drawn to a big and conspicious object near by and then gradually to the thing in question.





The maxim of the crystal and the red flower called japa.


This maxim is used to denote the property of a purely transparent object to reflect the colour of a thing presented before it, just as a crystal which is naturally white, looks red, when a red flower called japa, is placed before it, and the flower being removed, the crystal assumes its own white colour again.





The maxim of a female’s pressing her breast.


This maxim is used to denote the fruitlessness of attempts on the part of a seeker of knowledge to acquire it only through his own exertion without any help from a teacher, just as the attempt of a young woman to enjoy pleasure by rubbing her own breast proves quite fruitless.





The maxim of getting a mantra in dream.


This maxim takes its origin from the fact that a mantra in order that it may secure success to a worshipper must be obtained not in a dream but from a guru or a preceptor, who has himself attained success, and is used to denote that to be able to attain success in any undertaking one must submit himself to the guidance of an experienced teacher.





The maxim of the tiger dreamt in a dream.


This maxim is used to indicate the unsubstantial and worthless nature of an imaginary dread just as the fear of the tiger dreamt in sleep is quite worthless.



svabhavo ?uratikramo nyayah


The maxim of Nature is unchangeable.


This maxim is used to denote that one’s own nature is not changed.





The maxim of the master and the servant.


This maxim is used to denote the unchangeableness of the relation subsisting between the two persons and the necessity of the discharge of duties attached to the positions of those persons respectively, just as it is with regard to the master and the servant.



svangam svavyavadhayaka na bhavati nyayah


The maxim of a person and his limbs.


Just as a person knows fully well the condition of his different limbs, so the head of a family or a corporate body is expected to know the merits and demerits of all under his protection or guidance.



svapakshahanikartritvat?vakrilangaratangata iti nyayah


The maxim of the one who fouls one’s own nest.


This maxim is used to denote that he who fouls his own nest is a disgrace of the family he belongs to.





The maxim of the amalak (a fruit of the Emblis amaroblams) on the palm of the hand.


This maxim is used to denote the facility of studying a thing most familiarly over which one has full control just as an amalak fruit on the palm of the hand maty be easily and fully known in all its various particulars.





The maxim of the leader of a herd of elephants.


The maxim is used to denote that a popular leader must have courage, strenght and discretion enough to guide, help, and protect his followers, just as a leader of the herd of elephants.





The maxim of the lake and the crocodile.


This maxim originates from an idea, that if any one live in a lake and quarrel with the crocodile in possession of that lake, he is sure to get the worst of it, and is used to denote that it is unwise and injurious, on the part of a person to serve a master and at the same time to find fault with his principles etc.