Bhartrhari lived during the 5th century AD. His 100 verses titled “Niti Sataka” has been translated by Sri Aurobindo into English with the title “The Century of Life”.
1. Neither Time nor Space can divide the Absolute who is the One. Glory to this calm Light!
2. The madness of love – the person I love is in love with somebody else.
3. The ignorant and the wise can be easily pleased. But the fool cannot be pleased even by God.
4. You may be able to survive the alligator’s jaws and also survive an angry serpent on your hair but you cannot conquer a fool’s obstinate heart with truth.
5. You may be able to quench your thirst with a mirage and wander around the earth but you can never reason with a fool.
6. When I had a little knowledge, I stormed about like a mad elephant and thought myself all-knowing. When some rich minds gave their knowledge I could rise out of poverty. And once I understood that I was a dunce, all insolence flew away.
7. The dog will only like his stinking and horrible bone. Even if you give it heaven’s nectar he will wish to be with his bone. Human nature is the same. Even if God who is full of nectar stands next to a person, the person will consider small things great and will scorn God’s virtue and stick to their own human fate.
8. The river Ganga begins her course from Shiva’s mighty brow and flows downwards until she is mixed with mud and runs in the valleys. A man who swerves from heavenly reason is the same. He sinks from Grace and a thousand doors are opened for his fall.
9. All ill things have a cure – The fire can be appeased by cold water, noon’s rays can be calmed with shade, there are curing spells for poison and disease, the raging elephant can also be controlled. But only one thing has no cure – the fool.
10. Some minds cannot appreciate art, beauty, music or poetry. Such people lack horns and tails but their beasthood is clear. God ordained them not to eat grass and thus it is good luck for the other beasts.
11. There are people whose days are neither devoted to charity nor thought, neither is it given to holy deeds nor virtues. These people belong to the human herd that do not seek any higher things.
12. It is better to roam in wild deserts, difficult mountains and desolate pools than to live in a Paradise full of fools.