The Shataktraya  comprises three collections of verses, having about 100 stanzas each. These are said to have been written by Bhartrihari.

The Nitishatakam is one of  these three collections. In the Nitishatakam, Bhartrihari deals with a variety of subjects such as duty of rulers, education, social relationships, etc.

The following Subhaashit is from the Nitishatakam.


सिंहःशिशुरपि निपतति मदमलिनकपोलभित्तिषु गजेषु |

प्रकृतिरियं सत्ववतां न खलु वयस्तेजसो हेतुः ||


Even the cub of a lion (सिंहःशिशुरपि) will leap on (attack without fear) ( निपतति) a mad elephant whose cheeks are wet because of musth (मदमलिनकपोलभित्तिषु गजेषु).

Those who are inherently (सत्ववतां) (braveare this way by nature (प्रकृतिरियं ), maturity of age is not necessary for (their bravery) to shine (न खलु वयस्तेजसो हेतुः).

Bravery or courage does not depend upon age. The lion cub does naturally/ instinctively what other – even adult- animals would hesitate to do.  He displays bravery by fearlessly attacking an elephant in musth.

For those fluent in Marathi, here is the delightful translation of this Subhaashit into Marathi verse by Vaman Pandit.

सिंहाचा जो बाल तोही चपेटा ।

मारी त्याला जो करी मत्त मोठा ।।

तेजस्वी जे वृत्ति ऐशीच त्यांची ।

तेथे नाही चाड काही वयाची ।।


[To read an earlier post on this blog based on this Subhaashit please click here.]




  1. Beautiful thoughts on ‘bravery’ and the examples. Yes bravery is instinctive and just happens. Yet a person who believes in a cause gets inspired to be brave and courageous.


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