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Chanakya Niti
The Political Ethics of Chanakya.

Chapter 4


4:1
These five: the life span, the type of work, wealth, learning and the time of one's death are determined while one is in the womb.

4:2
Offspring, friends and relatives flee from a devotee of the Lord: yet those who follow him bring merit to their families through their devotion.

4:3
Fish, tortoises, and birds bring up their young by means of sight, attention and touch; so do saintly men afford protection to their associates by the same means.

4:4
As long as your body is healthy and under control and death is distant, try to save your soul; when death is imminent what can you do?

4:5
Learning is like a cow of desire. It, like her, yields in all seasons. Like a mother, it feeds you on your journey. Therefore learning is a hidden treasure.

4:6
A single son endowed with good qualities is far better than a hundred devoid of them. For the moon, though one, dispels the darkness, which the stars, though numerous, cannot.

4:7
A stillborn son is superior to a foolish son endowed with a long life. The first causes grief for but a moment while the latter like a blazing fire consumes his parents in grief for life.

4:8
Residing in a small village devoid of proper living facilities, serving a person born of a low family, unwholesome food, a frowning wife, a foolish son, and a widowed daughter burn the body without fire.

4:9
What good is a cow that neither gives milk nor conceives? Similarly, what is the value of the birth of a son if he becomes neither learned nor a pure devotee of the Lord?

4:10
When one is consumed by the sorrows of life, three things give him relief: offspring, a wife, and the company of the Lord's devotees.

4:11
Kings speak for once, men of learning once, and the daughter is given in marriage once. All these things happen once and only once.

4:12
Religious austerities should be practiced alone, study by two, and singing by three. A journey should be undertaken by four, agriculture by five, and war by many together.

4:13
She is a true wife who is clean (suci), expert, chaste, pleasing to the husband, and truthful.

4:14
The house of a childless person is a void, all directions are void to one who has no relatives, the heart of a fool is also void, but to a poverty-stricken man all is void.

4:15
Scriptural lessons not put into practice are poison; a meal is poison to him who suffers from indigestion; a social gathering is poison to a poverty-stricken person; and a young wife is poison to an aged man.

4:16
That man who is without religion and mercy should be rejected. A guru without spiritual knowledge should be rejected. The wife with an offensive face should be given up, and so should relatives who are without affection.

4:17
Constant travel brings old age upon a man; a horse becomes old by being constantly tied up; lack of sexual contact with her husband brings old age upon a woman; and garments become old through being left in the sun.

4:18
Consider again and again the following: the right time, the right friends, the right place, the right means of income, the right ways of spending, and from whom you derive your power.

4:19
For the twice born the fire (Agni) is a representative of God. The Supreme Lord resides in the heart of His devotees. Those of average intelligence (alpa-buddhi or kanista-adhikari) see God only in His sri-murti, but those of broad vision see the Supreme Lord everywhere.

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