Vedas on Mind and Matter
September 19, 2015
Wisdom of Acharya Kapila
September 20, 2015

Timeless Aphorisms of Vedas

He who feeds us is our father; he who helps us is our brother; he who places his confidence in us is our friend; those whose sentiments accord with ours are our kinsmen.

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If a seed of a Neem (Margosa) tree is dropped into a beverage composed of sugar, honey and ghee, the whole of it becomes so bitter that even if milk is poured for a thousand years the mixture will lose none of its bitterness. This is symbolical of the wicked, who, however good people may be to them, they’ll never lose their natural tendency to do evil.

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Be aware of becoming attached to any country which isn’t your own, or of serving any master who is a foreigner; renounce all relatives who are of little help; keep nothing which does not belong to you; and leave a guru who can do you no good.

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In the affliction, misfortunes, and tribulations of life only he who actively helps is our friend. When plant of the forest, by the virtue of its medicinal properties, cures an illness which afflicts the body it becomes a friend. However different one may be from the other; he who renders us services should be considered as our friend, however lowly may be his condition and however far he may be separated from us. On the contrary he who affects to be our friend should he attempt to hurt us, must regarded as our enemy.

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One may render good service to the wicked, yet whatever good one may do to them resembles characters written in water, which are effaced as soon as they are written; but services rendered to good people are like characters engraved on stone, which are never effaced.

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A wise man preserves an equal mind both in adversity and in prosperity. He allows himself neither to be crushed by the former, nor elated by the latter. An intelligent man is he who knows when to speak and when to be silent, whose friendship is natural and sincere, and who never undertakes anything beyond his power.

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Virtue is the best of friends, vice is the worst of enemies, disappointment is the cruelest of illness, and courage is the support of all.

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Flies look for ulcers, king for war, wicked men for quarrels; but good men look only for peace.

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The virtuous man is like a large leafy tree which, while exposed to the heat of the sun, gives coolness and comfort to others by covering them with its shade.

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When we die the money and jewels which we have taken such trouble to amass during our life remain in the house. Our relatives and friends accompany us only to the funeral pyre where our bodies are burnt; but our virtues and our vices follow us beyond the grave.

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Temporal blessings pass like a dream, beauty fades like a flower, and the longest life disappears like a flash. Our existence may be likened to the bubble that forms on the surface of water.

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A hypocrite who disguises his true character and wishes to pass for an honest man is comparable to a strong vinegar which one tries to make sweet by mixing with it camphor, musk and sandal. The attempt may well be made, but the vinegar will never altogether lose its sourness.

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A mirror is of no use to a blind man; in the same way knowledge is of no use to a man without discernment.

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Take care to spend nothing without hope of profit; to undertake nothing without forethought; to begin no quarrel without good cause. He who does not follow these golden rules courts his own ruin.

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He who works with diligence will never feel hunger; he who devoutly meditates will never commit any great sin; he who is vigilant will never feel fear; and he who knows when to speak and when to be silent will never be drawn into a quarrel.

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Truth is our mother, justice our father, pity – our wife, respect for others our friend, clemency our children. Surrounded by such relatives we have nothing to fear.

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The miser acknowledges neither god nor guru, neither parents nor friends. He who suffers from hunger pays no heed whether the viands be well or ill seasoned. He who loves and cultivates knowledge has no taste for idleness. The forward person has neither shame nor restraint.

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Let us realize well that death watches us like a tiger to seize us unawares, sickness pursues us like a relentless enemy, earthly joys are like a leaky vessel from which water tickles ceaselessly until it is empty.

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Pride and arrogance suit no one; constancy, humanity, sweetness, compassion, truth, love for one’s neighbor, conjugal fidelity, goodness, amiability, cleanliness are all qualities that distinguish really virtuous people. He who possesses all these ten qualities is a true Guru.

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To show friendship to a man while he is prosperous and to turn one’s back upon him when he is in distress, is to imitate the conduct of prostitutes, who evince affection for their protectors only so long as they are opulent and abandon them as soon as they are ruined.

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There are six things which almost invariably entail unhappy consequences – the service of Kings, robbery, housebreaking, the accumulation of wealth, sorcery and anger.

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Never make known one’s condition, one’s wealth, one’s mistress, one’s secret, one’s remedies, the place where one has hidden his money, the good works which one does, the insults one has received, or the debts which one has contracted.

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Knowledge is the health of the body, poverty is its plague, gaiety is its support, and sadness makes it grow old.

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Nothing is more seductive and, at the same time, more deceitful than wealth. It is extremely troublesome to acquire, to keep, to spend, and to lose.

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Great rivers, shady trees, medicinal plants, and virtuous people are not born for themselves, but for the good of mankind in general.

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Just as intoxicating liquors destroy our sense of taste, so does a son of bad character destroy a whole family. The society of wicked men dishonours those whose company they frequent. Self-interest destroys that are most firmly cemented.

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He who boasts of knowing that which he does not know and he who affects not to know that which he does know are equally blameworthy.

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There are three kinds of persons who are well received everywhere – a gallant warrior, a learned man and a pretty woman.

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The favor of a prostitute appear like nectar at first, but they soon become poison.

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The pursuit of knowledge is troublesome at first, but knowledge is a source of great delight when it is acquired.

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A virtuous man ought to be like the sandal tree, which perfumes the axe that destroys it.

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