Wiser: Sanskrit Maxims Explained
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Wiser: Sanskrit Maxims Explained

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Item Code: UAJ665
Author: V. Krishnamurthy
Publisher: Indica Academy
Language: Sanskrit Text with English Translation
Edition: 2021
ISBN: 9781638066644
Pages: 402
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 540 gm
About the Book
Wiser is a compilation of 366 Sanskrit sayings collected from various works in Sanskrit from ancient times, particularly, Subhashita Ratna Bhandagaram of the 9th century. These sayings are full of invaluable advice in the form of shlokas on all aspects of holistic living including Interactions in society, human relationships, oddities of human behaviour and control of the lower passions residing in the human mind. These maxims also cover our reaction to experiences, awareness of a divine power beyond our perception, precious anecdotes from history and many more that defy any categorization. One can randomly open any page and find oneself wiser on the other side.

About the Author
Prof. V.Krishnamurthy is a former Professor of Mathematics and Deputy Director of BITS Pilani with over two decades of association with that great Institution. Born in 1927 into the family of an erudite Vedic scholar, Shri. R.Visvanatha Shastrigal, he has been systematically trained and drunk deep of the Vedic tradition and Shastras from boyhood. This shines in the present offering.

He has lectured widely to both domestic and foreign audiences on our ancient scriptures like the Upanishads, Valmiki Ramayana, Shrimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita. As a prolific writer with more than a dozen books on Mathematics, Hinduism and Advaita Philosophy, he is noted for his missionary zeal for making these accessible to the educated layman. His latest publication among others is Thus Spake Krishna. In addition, he is a recipient of half a dozen awards and honours for his distinguished thoughts and contributions, the latest being a Grateful2 Gurus Award by the Indic Academy.

It so happened that on 30th of December 2019, one Mr. Sanjiv, a neighbour who was moving out for a new location, gifted me one of his book collections from his late grandfather (Sri Hari Acharya)'s Library. The name of the book is SUBHASHITA-RATNA-BHANDAGARAM (in Sanskrit) which is a collection of almost 10,000 shlokas, (probably several centuries old), well-known and familiar to scholars in Sanskrit. The book had no meanings of the shlokas either in Sanskrit or any other language.

The first thought that came to me after seeing the contents on a preliminary look, was to share some of the shlokas from the book with all my Facebook friends in the hope that this will not only give all of us a closer acquaintance with Sanskrit but also give us gems and pearls of wisdom. This is the origin of this book.

Throughout 2020 I have been posting one shloka (with transliteration as well as translation, and sometimes some explanations in English) on each day of the year 2020 on my own FB page as well as a few other friendly FB pages. These postings were either from this ancient collection or from my own acquaintance with books in Sanskrit. It has finally turned out to be about half and half from the above book and the other half from other literature in Sanskrit. In most of the cases the Subhashitas shlokas from the compilation can also be traced to one or other famous author in Sanskrit. It may be noticed that there is no continuity of thought intended in the sequence of shlokas; it is a random collection. Also it may be noted that there are a few shlokas (e.g., 154, 221, 225, 355, 360) which may be classified more as a mantra than a Subhashitas...

In this process I had valuable help from many of my friends to whom this book and I shall stand always indebted. The names are mentioned at the respective shlokas where the help came. For a general formatting assistance I am thankful to Usha Sekhara, K.C. Sekhara and R. Narayanan. To the Sekhara couple I am also indebted for their meticulous editing of the entire manuscript, particularly the English meanings which were revised for a better understanding by readers who may not be familiar with cultural ways of Indian tradition.

This book is called "WISER, Sanskrit Maxims Explained". In fact, this is a book of what are called as Subhashitas in Sanskrit. The title translates Subhashitas as maxims. In English, the word 'maxim' is understood as a 'succinct formulation of a principle, rule, or basic truth about life'.

There is another Sanskrit word, that is translated as 'maxim', it is 'nyaaya'. Nyaaya in Sanskrit is close equivalent of, but not the same as 'proverb' in English. Many Indian languages too have genres of daily speech which can be called proverbs. Proverbs are traditionally settled expressions of conventional/received/popular wisdom in a given language/ culture. Nyaayas in Sanskrit are similar, traditionally settled expressions of conventional/received/popular wisdom in Sanskrit. Proverbs in most languages are idiomatic expressions in the form of full sentences. But nyaayas in Sanskrit are in the form of phrases not sentences. But both Sanskrit nyaayas and proverbs in various languages are handed down from tradition and convention and as such have no known authors. Proverbs and nyaayas treasure the accumulated wisdom of elders.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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