Experiencing Swamy Desika -- #87
Shrimate Shri Lakshmi Nrusimha Parabrahmane Namaha:
Shrimate Shri Seetha Ramachandra Parabrahmane Namaha:
Shrimate Shri Ramanujaya Namaha:
Shrimate Nigamantha Maha Desikaya Namaha:
Shrimate Shrivan Satagopa Shri Narayana Yateendra Mahadesikaya Namaha:
"SrimAn VenaktanAthArya: kavithArkika kEsarI!
VedAnthAchArya varyO mE sannidhatthAM sadhA hrudhi"!!
Subhasita Nivi is yet another kAvyam of Swami Desika.
It is a book of instructive verses in 144 Slokas.
"Subhasita" means good words, "Nivi" here refers to source.
Subhasita Nivi can also be understood as a "Treasury of
Golden sayings in fine verses". In Subhasita Nivi Swami has
shared his rich experience and ripe knowledge of men and
Singha Bhupala, the King of Rajamahendra was aware of
Swami's greatness. He wanted to honour and propagate Swami's
Greatness. The king sent some poets to Swami and prayed for
Swami's blessings. Swami composed Subhasita Nivi and gave it
to the poets. Swami also explained to them the correct
way of understanding the meanings.
The evil aspects of life are depicted in the first five
sections and the good aspects in the remaining seven sections.
The Slokas are simple with great depth in meaning. They appear
to be full of wit and humour though in reality they have layers
and layers of inner meaning!
The aspects to be avoided are mentioned in the start as it
should be given primary importance and the qualities to be
cultivated are mentioned next.
Subhasita Nivi is divided into Paddhati's. Paddhati refers
to a chapter. In Subhasita Nivi, the name of each Paddhati
is the essence of the chapter itself!
The first chapter is named Anipuna Paddhati. A person lacking
discrimination is referred to as Anipuna. The mental frame
work of such a person and the results there off are described
Anipuna, because of such bad qualities soon becomes a drpta =>
Proud and arrogant. This is dealt with in the drpta Paddhati.
The next Paddhati is the Khala Paddhati which is a description
of a degenerated drpta. Here the person behaves as he likes
and stoops down to becoming a wicked person.
Durvrtta Paddhati is the next which deals with one who lacks
The fifth is the asevya Paddhati which deals with persons who
occupy a high position because of birth or other circumstances,
but who can neither appreciate true service nor spare his
servants from reproach. Swami, in this Paddhati states that
such persons are not fit to be served, respected or be
associated with the wise.
>From the above it is clear that each defect leads to the next
and is like a chain reaction. After identifying and taking
necessary measures to get rid of the undesirable qualities,
one should concentrate on cultivating the desirable qualities.
Swami elaborates this in the second part.
The second part starts with the Mahapurusha Paddhati. One should
acquire the right knowledge by following the example set by
The next chapter deals with the importance of discriminative
knowledge => samachitta Paddhati.
Sadasrta Paddhati deals with the importance of association with
good learned men.
People have to follow noble principles. This is dealt with in the
When all these qualities are developed, generosity and other
virtues automatically fall in place. These are dealt with in
A generous person should also be polite and use sweet words =>
When a person follows this ladder, he becomes perfect. The last
chapter relates to such persons who are not misled by unwanted
arguments. This is hence named Pariksita Paddhati.
Subhasita Nivi is highly psychological in its insight into various
facets of human character. In this unique work Swami has provided
a guide for code of conduct that helps us lead a happy and
This is an edited version of the Subhasita Nivi of Vedanta Desika as
translated by Shri L. Srinivasan, New Delhi.
"Kavi Taarkika Simhaaya Kalyaana guna SaalinE!
SrimatE VenkateshAya VedAnta Gurave nama !!"
...To be continued!
dEsikan tiruvaDigaLE SaraNam
Praveena nAmni Ramanuja dasi