Adi Sankaracharya’s 67 Q & A On How To Lead A Noble Life As A Proud Hindu-Prana Kishore

 

PRASNOTTARA RATNA MALIKA OF ADI SANKARACHARYA

 67 Questions & Answers On Life for Childrens to make them Noble

Prasnottara Ratna Malika of Adi Sankaracharya –

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Prashnottararatnamaalika is a short work  consisting of 67 slokas in simple Sanskirt verse.  This was composed by Adi Sankara, except the first and the last slokas which were introduced by his disciples or devotees.  This work, in the form of questions and answers, provides concise, pithy definitions of those eternal values which form the foundations of sanatana dharma  and which transcend all limitations of time and space.  Because of the simplicity of language, it is easy to commit the entire work to memory.  It can provide us sage advice when we find ourselves at the crossroads in our life unsure of the path we should take.  The work is especially useful to children for inculcating in them the basics of good conduct and to develop in them the capacity to discriminate the good from the bad.  Given below is the text of the work in Devanagari and Roman scripts with an English rendering of the meaning.

 कः खलु नालंक्रियते दृष्टादृष्टार्थसाधनपटीयान् ।

अमुया कण्ठस्थितया प्रश्नोत्तररत्नमालिकया ॥

1. kah khalu naalamkriyate drishtaadrishtaarthasaadhanapateeyaan

   Amuya kanthasthitayaa prashnottararatnamaalikaya

Who will not be adorned by wearing around his neck (committing to memory) this prasnottararatnamaalika which is capable of giving all that is desirable in this world and the next?

भगवन् किमुपादेयं? गुवचनं हेयमपिचकिम्अकार्यं

  कॊ गुरुरधिगततत्त्वः शिष्यहितायोद्यतस्सततम् ॥

2. Bhagavan kimupaadeyam?  guruvachanam heyamapicha kim? akaaryam

    Ko gururadhigata tathwah?  shishyahitaayodyatah satatam 

Q:  What is to be accepted without reservation?

A:  The words of the guru.

Q:  What is to be given up?

A:  Action which is against dharma

Q:  Who is  guru?

A:  One who has realized the Truth  and has the good of the disciple always in his heart.

३. त्वरितं किं कर्तव्यं विदुषां? संसारसंततिच्छेदः।

  किं मॊक्षतरॊर्बीजं? सम्यग्ज्ञानं क्रियासिद्धम् ॥ 

3. Twaritam kim kartavyam vidushaam?  samsaara santatichchhedah

    Kim mokshatarorbeejam?  samyagjnaanam kriyaasiddham

Q: What is to be done by wise men with the utmost urgency?

A:  Breaking  the cycle of births and deaths

Q: Which is the seed of moksha tree (liberation)?

A:  True knowledge which is put to actual practice

४.कः पथ्यतरो? धर्मः कश्शुचिरिह? यस्य मानसं शुद्धं ।

  कः पण्डितो? विवेकी किं विषं? अवधीरणा गुरुषु॥

4. Kah pathyataro? dharmah, kah shuchiriha? Yasya maanasam shuddham

    Kah pandito? Vivekee kim visham? avadheeranaa gurushu

Q: Which is the greatest good?

A:  Dharma

Q: Who is clean in this world?

A:  He who is pure in mind.

Q: Who is wise?

A:  He who has discimination, who can discriminate good from bad, dharma from adharma, eternal from the ephemeral  etc.

Q: What is poison?

A:  Disregarding the words of one’s guru and elders

५. किं संसारे सारं? बहुशॊपि चिन्त्यमानमिदमेव ।

   किं मनुजेष्विष्टतमं? स्वपरहितायोद्यतं जन्म॥

5. Kim samsaare saaram? Bahusho’pi chintyamaanamidameva

    Kim manujeshwishtatamam? Swaparahitaayodyatam janma

Q: What is the essence of this samsaara (cycle of births and deaths)

A:  It is the frequent contemplation on the question ‘What is  this samsaara?’

Q: What should a man ask for?

A: Take birth in this world for the benefit of oneself and others

६. मदिरेव मोहजनकः कः? स्नेहः, के च दस्यवो? विषयाः।

   का भववल्ली? तृष्णा, को वैरी? यस्त्वनुद्योगः

6. madireva mohajanakah kah? Snehah, ke cha dasyavo? Vishayaah

    Kaa bhavavallee? Trishna, ko vairee? yastwanudyogah

Q: Which is as intoxicating as liquor?

A:  Love

Q: Who are thieves?

A:  Pleasures of the senses

 

Q: Which is the samsaara-creeper?

A:  desire

Q: Who is the enemy?

A: Laziness

७. कस्माद्भयमिह? मरणात्, अन्धादिह को विशिष्यते? रागी।

   कः शूरो? यो ललनालोचनबाणैर्नव्यथितः॥

7. kasmaad bhayamiha? maranaat, andhaadiha ko vishishyate? Raagee

    Kah shooro? Yo lalanaa lochanabaanairna vyathitah

Q: From who is fear?

A:  From death

Q: Who is worse than a blind person?

A:  One who is in the grip of love (desire)

Q: who is valiant

A: One who does not become afflicted by the eye-arrows (gaze) of beautiful women

८. पातुम् कर्णाञ्जलिभिः किममृतमिह युज्यते? सदुपदेशः।

  किं गुरुताया मूलं? यदेतदप्रार्थनं नाम

8. paatum karnaanjalibhih kimamritamiha yujyate? Sadupadeshah

    Kim gurutaayaa moolam? Yadetadapraarthanam  naama

Q: What is fit to be drunk like nectar by cupping the ears?

A: Advice of good (saintly) persons

Q: What is the root of dignity?

A:  Not requesting any one anything

९. किं गहनं? स्त्रीचरितं, कश्चतुरो? यो न खण्डितस्तेन ।

   को दु:खं असंतोषः किं लाघवं? अधमतो याच्ञा॥

9. kim gahanam? Streecharitam, kashchaturo? Yo na khanditastena

    Ka dukham? Asamtoshah kim laaghavam? Adhamato yaachjnaa

Q: Which is deep?

A:  Character of women

Q: Who is clever?

A: One who is not deceived by the conduct of a woman

Q: What is sorrow?

A:  Want of contentment

Q: What makes one light (laughing stock)  in the eyes of others ?

A: Begging from a mean person

१०. किं जीवितं? अनवद्यं, किं जाड्यं? पाठतॊप्यनभ्यासः।

    को जागर्ति? विवेकी, का निद्रा? मूढता जन्तोः॥

10. kim jeevitam? Anavadyam, kim jaadyam? Paathatopyanabhyaasah

      Ko jaagarti? Vivekee, kaa nidraa? Moodhataa jantoh

Q: What is life as it should be?

A: That which is unblemished

Q: What is stupidity (foolishness)?

A:  Not practicing what one has learned

Q: Who is awake?

A: He who has discrimination, who can discriminate good from bad, dharma from adharma, the eternal from the ephemeral 

Q: What is sleep?

A:  Ignorance of a person

११. नलिनीदलगतजलवत्तरलं किं? यौवनं धनं चायुः।

    कथय पुनः के शशिनः किरणसमानाः? सज्जना एव॥

11. nalineedalagatajalavattaralam kim? Yauvanam dhanam chaayuh

      Kathaya punah ke shashinah kiranasamaah? Sajjanaa eva

Q: Which is volatile  like a drop of water on a lotus leaf?

A:  Youth, wealth and life span of a person (aayuh)

Q: Who are those who, like the rays of the moon, make people happy?

A: Good persons (sajjanaah)

१२. को नरकः? परवशता, किं सौख्यं?सर्वसङ्गविरतिर्या

    किं साध्यं भूतहितं, प्रियं च किं प्राणिनां? असवः॥

12.  Ko narakah? Paravashataa, kim saukhyam? Sarvasangaviratiryaa

       Kim saadhyam? Bhootahitam, priyam cha kim praaninaam? Asavah

Q: Which is Hell?

A:  Being under the control of another

Q: What is happiness?

A: Giving up all attachments

Q: What is to be achieved?

A: Doing good to all living beings

Q: What is dear to all beings?

A: One’s own life

१३. कॊऽनर्थफलो? मानः, का सुखदा? साधुजनमैत्री ।

    र्वव्यसनविनाशे को दक्षः? सर्वथा त्यागी॥

13. ko’narthaphalo? Maanah, kaa sukhadaa? Saadhujanamaitree

      Sarvavyasana vinaashe ko dakshah? Sarvathaa tyaagi

Q: What will result in misfortune?

A: conceitedness

Q: What will give happiness?

A: Friendship with the good.

Q: Who is good at wiping out all sorrows?

A: One who gives up everything in every way

१४. किं मरणं? मूर्खत्वं, किं चानर्घं? यदवसरे दत्तं ।

    आमरणात्किं शल्यं? प्रच्छन्नं यत्कृतं पापं॥

14. Kim maranam?  Moorkhatwam, kim chaanargham? Yadavasare dattam

     Aamaranaath kim shalyam? Prachchhannam yatkritam paapam

Q: What is death?

A:  Stupidity (foolishness)

Q: What is invaluable?

A: That which is given at the appropriate moment when it is most needed by the recipient

Q: What will be a thorn in the flesh  until one’s death?

A:  A sin committed secretly.

 १५. कुत्र विधेयो यत्नो? विद्याभ्यासे सदौषधे दाने ।\

     अवधीरणा का कार्या? खलपरयोषित्परधनेषु ॥ 

 

    15. kutra vidheyo yatno? Vidyaabhyaase sadaushadhe daane

        avadheeranaa kaa kaaryaa? Khalaparayoshitparadhaneshu

 

Q:  Where should one direct one’s efforts?

A:  In the acquisition of knowledge, healthy medicines and  in generously giving  to       the  needy.

Q:  What should one  disregard (not care about)?

A:   Bad characters, other men’s wives and others’ wealth 

१६. काऽहर्निशमनुचिन्त्या? संसारासारता न तु प्रमदा।

    का प्रेयसी विधेया? करुणा दीनेषु सज्जने मैत्री॥

16. kaa’harnishamanuchintyaa? Samsaaraasaarataa na tu pramadaa

      Kaa preyasee vidheya? Karunaa deeneshu sajjane maitree

Q:  What one should think of day and night?

A:   Evanescence of this world ( samsaara), not beautiful women

Q:  What should be the object of one’s love?

A:   Kindness towards the miserable and friendship with the good.

१७. कण्ठगतैरप्यसुभिः कस्य ह्यात्मा न शक्यते जेतुम्?

    मूर्खस्य शंकितस्य विषादिनो वा कृतघ्नस्य॥

17.  kanthagatairapyasubhih  kasya hyaatmaa na sakyate jetum?

       Moorkhasya shankitasya vishaadino vaa kritaghnasya

Q:  Whose aatmaa (mind, soul) cannot be conquered (brought to the righteous path) even when he is on his death bed?

A:   The aatmaa of a fool,  of an incorrigible doubter, of one steeped in sorrow or of one who is ungrateful

१८ कः साधुः? सद्वृत्तः कमधममाचक्षते? त्वसद्वृत्तं।

   केन जितं जगदेतत्? सत्यतितिक्षावता पुंसा॥

18.  kah saadhuh? Sadvrittah kamadhamamaachakshate? Twasadvrittam

        kena jitam jagadetat? Satyatitikshaavataa pumsaa

Q: Who is a saadhu?

A:  One whose conduct and character are good

Q:  Who is considered  the worst kind of person?

A:  One whose conduct and character are bad

Q: By whom is this world conquered?

A: By one who is established in truth and forbearance (capacity to suffer)

१९. कस्मै नमांसि देवाः कुर्वन्ति? दयाप्रधानाय।

    कस्मादुद्वेगस्स्यात्? संसारारण्यतः सुधियः॥

19.  kasmai namaamsi devaah kurvanti? Dayaapradhaanaaya

       kasmaadudwega syaat? Samsaaraaranyatah sudhiyah

Q: To whom the celestials (devas) offer their salutations?

A:  To the one whose chief virtue is kindness

Q:  What causes fear in the mind ?

A:   The forest of samsaara creates fear in the mind of wise men.

२०. कस्य वशे प्राणिगणः? सत्यप्रियभाषिणो विनीतस्य।

    क्व स्थातव्यं? न्याय्ये पथि दृष्टादृष्टलाभाढ्ये॥

 20.  kasya vashe praaniganah? satyapriyabhaashino vineetasya

       kwa sthaatavyam? Nyaaye pathi drishtaadrishta laabhaadhye

Q:    In whose control are living beings?

A:     One whose words are true and soothing and whose virtue is humility

Q:    Where should one stay?

A:     On the righteous path which yields good in this world and the other world.

२१. कोऽन्धो? योऽकार्यरतः को बधिरो? यो हितानि न शृणोति।

    को मूको? यो काले प्रियाणि वक्तुं न जानाति॥

 21.  ko’ndho? Yo’kaaryaratah,  ko badhiro? Yo hitaani na shrinoti

       ko mooko? Yah kaale priyaani vaktum na jaanaati

Q: Who is blind?

   A: One whose actions are bad.

Q: Who is deaf?

   A: One who does not listen to sage advice.    

Q: Who is dumb?

   A:  One who cannot  utter kind and sweet words at the appropriate time. 

   २२.  किं दानं? अनाकाङ्क्षं, किं मित्रं? यो निवारयति पापात्।

       कोऽलंकारः शीलं, किं वाचां मण्डनं? सत्यं॥

   22.  kim daanam? Anaakaangksham, kim mitram? Yo nivaarayati paapaat

          Ko’lamkaarah? Sheelam, kim vaachaam mandanam? Satyam

Q: What is giving?

    A:  That which is given without being asked for

Q:  Who is a friend?

    A:  One who prevents from committing sinful actions.

Q:  What is adornment?

    A:   Good conduct.

Q:  What adorns speech?

    A:  Truth

   २३. विद्युद्विलसितचपलं किं? दुर्जनसंगतिर्युवतयश्च।

      कुलशीलनिष्प्रकंपा: के कलिकालेऽपि? सज्जना एव॥

   23.   vidyudwilasitachapalam kim? Durjanasangatir yuvatayashcha 

           Kulasheelanishprakampaah ke kalikaale’pi? Sajjanaa eva

Q:    Which is as fleeting (transient) as lightning?

    A:     The company of bad persons and  young women

Q:     Who, even in this age of Kali, do not deviate from the right conduct

            followed by their forebears?

    A:      Good persons (sajjanaah)

   २४.   चिन्तामणिरिव दुर्लभमिह किं? कथयामि तच्चतुर्भद्रं।

      किं तद्वदन्ति भूयो विधूततमसो विशेषेण?

   २५. दानं प्रियवाक्यसहितं ज्ञानमगर्वं क्षमान्वितं शौर्यं।

     वित्तं त्यागसमेतं दुर्लभमेतच्चतुर्भद्रं॥

         24.   Chintaamaniriva durlabhamiha  kim?  Kathayaami tachchaturbhadram 

                Kim tadwadanti bhooyo  vidhootatamaso visheshena

25.   daanam priyavaaksahitam  jnaanamagarvam  kshamaanvitam shauryam

           Vittam tyaagasametam durlabhametat chaturbhadram

Q:  Which is rare as the chintamani which turns iron into gold?

    A:  Chaturbhadram  (four auspicious things )

Q: Which are those four auspicious things according to enlightened souls?

A:  A gift accompanied by soothing pleasant words, knowledge devoid of

          arrogance, valour  tempered by forgiveness,  Wealth accompanied by

          philanthropy (altruism or generosity)  –  these,  known as chaturbhadram,

          are very rare indeed.

  २६. किं शोच्यम्? कार्पण्यं, सति विभवे किं प्रशस्तं? औदार्यं ।

     कःपूज्यॊ विद्वद्भिः? स्वभावतः सर्वदा विनीतो यः 

 

   26.  kim shochyam? Kaarpanyam, sati vibhave kim prashastam? Audaaryam

          Kah poojyo vidwadbhih? Swabhaavatah sarvadaa vineeto yah

Q:  What is to be lamented?

    A:  Stinginess (parsimony). (Karpanyam is the attribute of a kripana  who

         neither enjoys his wealth  nor uses it for the  benefit of the needy, whose

         wealth is of use neither here in this world nor hereafter)

Q: What is to be praised when one has the means for luxurious living?

     A: generosity (magnanimity) 

Q: Who deserves respect from the learned and the wise?

      A: One, who by his very nature, is full of humility

    २७. कः कुलकमलदिनेशः? सति गुणविभवेऽपि यो नम्रः।

      कस्य वशे जगदेतत्? प्रियहितवचस्य धर्मनिरतस्य॥

27.  kah kulakamala dineshah? Sati gunavibhave’pi yo namrah

                kasya vashe jagadetat? Priyahitavachanasya dharmaniratasya   

Q:  Who is the Sun for the lotus which is  one’s dynasty (kulakamala)?         A:  One who, in spite of possessing all good qualities, is meek ( humble, full

            of humility)

Q: In whose control is this world?

      A: One whose speech is pleasing and beneficial and who always walks the

           righteous path(dharmaniratah)

      २८. विद्वन्मनोहरा का? सत्कविता बोधवनिता च।

        कं न स्पृशति विपत्तिः? प्रवृद्धवचनानुवर्तिनं दान्तं॥    

28.  vidwanmanoharaa kaa? Satkavitaa bodhavanitaa cha

              kam na sprishati vipattih? Pravruddhavachanaanuvartinam daantam

Q:  What captivates the heart of the learned and the wise?

       A:  Good poetry and the maid of knowledge.

Q:  Whom does misfortune not touch?

       A:  One who heeds the advise of elders and is meek (humble).

       29. कस्मै स्पृहयति कमला? त्वनलसचित्ताय नीतिवृत्ताय।

       त्यजति च कं सहसा? द्विजगुरुसुरनिन्दाकरं च सालस्यं        

29.  kasmai sprihayati kamalaa? Twanalasachittaaya neetivrittaaya

              tyajati cha kam sahasaa? Dwijagurusuranindaakaram cha saalasyam

Q:   Whom does Goddess Lakshmi like?

        A:   One whose mind is not lazy and whose conduct and character are

              righteous

Q:  Whom does Goddess Lakshmi forsake instantly?

        A:  One who talks ill of brahmins, gurus and devas  and is lazy

        3०. कुत्र विधेयॊ वासः? सज्जननिकटेऽथवा काश्यां।

         कः परिहार्यॊ देशः? पिशुनयुतो लुब्धभूपश्च॥

         30.  kutra vidheyo vaasah? Sajjananikate’thavaa kaashyaam

                kah parihaaryo deshah? Pishunayuto lubdhabhoopashcha

        Q: Where should one reside?

        A: In the proximity of good people or in Kashi (Varanasi)

Q: Which place should be avoided?

        A:  A place inhabited by mean people and ruled by a greedy and stingy

             king. 

         ३१  केनाशोच्यः पुरुषः?  प्रणतकलत्रेण धीरविभवेन।

          इह भुवने कः शोच्यः? सत्यपिविभवे यो न दाता॥

          31.  kenaashochyah purushah? Pranatakalatrena dheeravibhavena

                Iha bhuvane kah shochyah? Satyapivibhave yo na daataa

Q: What makes a person free from sorrow?

        A:  A submissive wife and abiding means of livelihood.

Q:  In this world about whom one should feel sorry?

         A:  One, though affluent, does not give (to the poor and needy).

      ३२. किं लघुतायाः मूलं? प्राकृतपुरुषेषुयाच्ञा।

    रामादपि कः शूरः स्मरशरनिहतो न यश्चलति॥

32.  kim laghutaayaa moolam? Praakrita purusheshu yaachjnaa

             Raamaadapi kah shoorah? Smarasharanihato na yashchalati

Q: What is the root cause of derision (contempt)?

         A:  Begging from mean persons

Q: Who is more valiant than Rama?

          A: One whose mind, struck by the arrows of Cupid, does not falter

              (waver)

         ३३. किमहर्निशमनुचिन्त्यं? भगवच्चरणं न संसारः।

         चक्षुष्मन्तोऽप्यन्धाः के स्युः? ये नास्तिका मनुजाः॥

         33.  kimaharnishamanuchintyam? Bhagavachcharanam na samsaarah

                Chakshushmanto’pi andhaah ke syuh? Ye naastikaa manujaah

Q: What should one think of day and night?

        A:  The lotus feet of the Lord, not worldly things

Q:  Who are blind in spite of having  eyes?

        A: Those who say that God does not exist or those who deride the Vedas

               ( naastiko vedanindakah –Amarakosam)

३४.  कः पंगुरिह प्रथितो? व्रजति च यो वार्धके तीर्थं ।

    किं तीर्थमपि च मुख्यं? चित्तमलं यन्निवर्तयति॥            

34.    kah Panguriha prathito? Vrajati cha yo vaardhake teertham

          kim teerthamapi cha mukhyam? Chittamalam yannivartayati

Q:  Who is said to be lame?

  A:  One who undertakes a pilgrimage (teeertha yaatraa) in ripe old age

       (meaning he should have done it while still  young)

Q:  Which is the most important teertha ( a holy river, lake, sea or other

         water body a dip in which, it is believed,  absolves one of one’s sins)?

    A: That which washes away the accumulated dirt (bad vasanas) in the

         mind.

 

   ३५. किं स्मर्तव्यं पुरुषैः?हरिनाम सदा,न यावनी भाषा।

      को हि न वाच्यः सुधिया? परदोषश्चानृतं तद्वत्॥

35.  kim smartavyam purushaih? Harinaama sadaa, na yaavanee bhaashaa

         Ko hi na vaachyah sudhiyaa? Paradoshashchaanrutam tadwat

Q: What should a person remember always

    A:  The name of Hari, not the language of the yananaas  (the Greek)

Q:  What is unutterable by one who is wise?

     A:  Faults of others and untruth

    ३६. किं म्पाद्यं मनुजैः?विद्या बलं यशः पुण्यं।

      कः सर्वगुणविनाशी? लोभःशत्रुश्च कः? कामः॥

     36.   kim sampaadyam manujaih? Vidya balam yashah punyam

            kah sarvagunavinaashee? Lobhah shatrushcha kah? Kaamah

Q: What should be earned by men?

                A:  Knowledge, strength, fame and meritorious deeds (punya)

Q: Which is the destroyer of all good qualities?

                A:  Greed

Q: Who is the enemy?

                A: Lust, desire.

३७. का च सभा परिहार्या? हीना या वृद्धसचिवेन

    इह कुत्र अवहित स्यान्मनुष्यः किल राजसेवायां॥            

37. kaa cha sabhaa parihaaryaa? Heenaa yaa vriddhasachivena

           Iha kutra avahitah syaanmanujah? Kila raajasevaayaam

Q:  Which assembly should be avoided

 A:   One which is devoid of an experienced minister

Q:  Where should a person be careful in this world?

  A:  In the  service of the King. 

38. प्राणादपि को रम्यः? कुलधर्मः साधुसंगश्च।

    का संरक्ष्या? कीर्तिः पतिव्रता नैज बुद्धिश्च॥

38. Praanaadapi ko ramyah? Kuladharmah saadhusangashcha

     Kaa samrakshyaa? Keertih pativrataa naija buddhishcha

Q: What is dearer than life?

A:  The dharma followed by the forebears and company of saintly persons

Q: Who deserve to be protected?

 A: Fame, chaste woman and one’s own intellect (common sense)

३९. का कल्पलता लोके? सच्छिष्यायार्पिता विद्या।

    कोऽक्षयवटवृक्षस्यात्? विधिवत् सत्पात्रदत्तं दानं यत्॥।

39.  kaa kalpalataa loke? Sachchhishyaayaarpitaa vidyaa

       Ko’kshayavatavrikshasyaat? Vidhivat satpaatradattadaanam yat

Q: Which is the wish-yielding creeper (kalpalataa) in this world?

 A:  Knowledge imparted to a deserving disciple.

Q: Which is the eternal banyan tree  (akshayavatavriksha)?

  A:  A gift to a fit recipient given in accordance with scriptural injunctions.

 ४०. किं शस्त्रं सर्वेषां? युक्तिः, माता च का? धेनु:।

    किं नु बलम्? यद्धैर्यं. को मृत्युः? यदवधारणारहितत्वं॥  

 40.  kim sastram sarveshaam? Yuktih, maataa cha kaa? Dhenuh

        Kim nu balam? Yaddhairyam,ko mrityuh? Yadavadhaanarahitatwam

Q:  Which is the weapon for everybody?

    A:  Stratagem (ruse, trick)  

Q: Who is the mother of all?

   A:  the cow

Q: What is strength?

    A:  Courage, adamantine heart

Q: Which is death?

    A:  Carelessness

   ४१. कुत्र विषं? दुष्टजने, किमिहाशौचम् भवेत्? ऋणं नृणां।

     किमभयमिह? वैराग्यं भयमपि किं? वित्तमेव सर्वेषां ॥

41.  kutra visham? Dushtajane, kimihaashaucham bhavet? Rinam nrinaam

       kimabhayamiha? Vairaagyam bhayamapi kim? Vittameva sarveshaam

Q: Where is poison?

A:  In bad persons

Q: What is ceremonial pollution (aashaucham)?

A:  Indebtedness of men 

Q: What is it which gives fearlessness?

A:  Non-attachment to worldly things

Q: What is fear?

A: For everyone wealth is the source of fear

४२. का दुर्लभा नराणाम्? हरिभक्तिः, पातकं च किम्? हिंसा।

    को हि भगवत्प्रियः स्यात्? योऽन्यमुद्वेजयेदनुद्विग्नः

42.  kaa durlabhaa naraanaam? Haribhaktih, paatakam cha kim? himsaa

       Ko hi bhagavat priyah syaat? Yo’nyam nodwejayedanudwignah

Q: What is difficult to acquire for men?

A:  Devotion to Hari

Q: What is sin?

A: Himsaa  (causing physical or mental injury to living beings)

Q: Who is dear to God?

A:  One who does not cause mental agitation to  others and himself does not get mentally agitated.

४३. कस्मात्सिद्धिः? तपसः, बुद्धिः क्व नु? भूसरे।

   कुतोबुधिः? वृद्धोपसेवया, के व्रिद्धा: ये धर्मतत्त्वज्ञा:॥

43.  kasmaat siddhih? Tapasah, buddhih kwa nu? Bhoosure, kuto

        buddhih?  Vriddhopasevayaa, ke vriddhaah? Ye dharmatattvajnaah

Q:  What is the source of achievement?

A:   Penance (Tapas)

Q:  where is intelligence?

A:  In the brahmin

Q: From where intelligence?

          A: From the service of the aged (vriddhaah)

Q:  Who are aged  (vriddhaah)?

           A:   Those who know the essence of dharma

          ४४. संभावितस्य मरणादधिकं किं? दुर्यशो भवति।

          लोके सुखी भवेत् को? धनवान्, धनमपि च किं? यतश्चेष्टं॥ 

44.  sambhaavitasya maranaadadhikam kim? Duryasho bhavati

                 Loke sukhee bhavetko? Dhanavaan, dhanamapi cha kim?

                Yatashcheshtam

Q:  What is worse than death for a person who is honoured by men?

 A:   Ignominy is worse than death. 

Q:  Who is comfortable in this world?

           A:   A wealthy person

Q:  What is wealth?

           A:  That by which one can get what one likes

           45.  सर्वसुखानां बीजं किं? पुण्यम्, दु:खमपि कुतः पापात्।

           कस्यैश्वर्यं? यःकिल शंकरमाराधयेत्भक्त्या॥

           45. Sarvasukhaanaam beejam kim? Punyam, dukhamapi kutah? papaat

       Kasyaishwaryam? Yah kila shamkaramaaraadhayet bhaktyaa

Q:  What is the seed of all happiness(comforts)?

           A:  Punya   (the fruit of meritorious deeds)

Q:  From where is sorrow?

           A:  From paapa (the fruit of sins)

Q:  Who has affluence and exerts control over others?

           A:   One who worships Lord Shiva with devotion

       ४६. को वर्धते? विनीतः, को वा हीयते? यो दृप्तः।

        को न प्रत्येतव्यो? ब्रूते यश्चानृतम् शश्वत्॥

46.  Ko vardhate? Vineetah, ko vaa heeyate? Yo driptah

      Ko na pratyetavyo? Broote yashchaanritam shashwat

Q:  Who ahieves progress?

          A:  One who is meek (full of humility)

Q:  Who goes down?

          A:  One who is vain and arrogant

Q:  Who cannot be trusted?

          A:  One who always tells lies.

 ४७. कुत्राऽनृतेप्यपापं? यच्चोक्तं धर्मरक्षणार्थं

    को धर्मो? अभिमतो यः शिष्टानां निजकुलीनानां॥

47. kutraa’nritepyapaapam, yachchoktam dharmarakshaartham

     ko dharmo? Abhimato yah shishtaanaam nijakuleenaanaam

Q: When is uttering a lie not a sin ?

A: When it is done for the protection of dharma

Q: What is dharma ?

A:  Such conduct and values as have been accepted as the right ones by the

     noble souls  amongst one’s forebears.

४८. साधुबलं किं? दैवं, कः साधु:? सर्वदा तुष्टः।

    दैवं किं? यस्सुकृतं कः सुकृती? श्लाघ्यते यस्सद्भि:॥ 

48.  saadhubalam kim? Daivam, kah saadhuh? Sarvadaa tushtah

       daivam kim ? yassukritam, kah sukritee? Shlaaghyate yah sadbhih

Q: What is the strength of a saintly person?

A: daivam    

Q: Who is a saadhu?

A: One who is always content and happy.

Q:  What is daivam ?

A:   Good actions of a person (sukritam)

Q:  Who is sukritee (one whose actions are good) ?

A:   One who is praised by good people.

४९. गृहमेधिनश्च मित्रं किं? भार्या, को गृही च? यो यजते।

    को यज्ञो? यः श्रुत्या विहितः श्रेयस्करो नृणां॥  

49.  Grihamedhinashcha mitram kim? Bhaaryaa, ko grihee cha? Yo yajate

       Ko yajno? Yah shrutyaa vihitah shreyaskaro nrinaam

Q: Who is the friend of a householder?

A:  wife

Q: Who is a householder?

A: One who performs yagnas (sacrifices)

Q: What is  yagna?

A: That which is prescribed in the Vedas for the welfare of humanity

५०. कस्य क्रिया हि सफला? यः पुनराचारवान् शिष्टः|

    कः शिष्टो? यो वेदप्रमाणवान् को हतः?क्रियाभ्रष्टः॥

50  kasya kriyaa hi saphalaa?  Yahpunaraachaaravaan shishtah

    kah shishto? Yo vedapramaanavaan, ko hatah? kriyaabhrashtah

Q: Whose kriya ( vedic karmas) bear fruit?

A:  One who is of good conduct and also a  shishta

Q:  Who is a shishta?

A:   One who acknowledges the authority of the Vedas

Q: Who is dead even while living?

A:  One who does not perform the kriyas  enjoined by the Vedas

५१. को धन्यः? संन्यासी, को मान्यः?पण्डितः साधुः।

   कः सेव्यॊ? यो दाता, को दाता? योऽर्थितृप्तिमातनुते॥

51.  ko dhanyah? Sanyaasee, ko maanyah? Panditah saadhuh

      kah sevyo? Yo daataa, ko daataa? Yo’rthitriptimaatanute

Q: Who is a dhanya ? (One who has attained the highest goal of life)?

A:  Sanyaasee (One who has broken the shackles which bind him to the

     samsaara)

Q:  Who is a maanya?  (One who commands respect)?

A:   One who is learned and at the same time of a saintly character

Q:  Who is sevya (one who deserves to be served)?

A:  One who gives in charity

Q:  Who is a daataa (giver)  ?

A:   One who satisfies those who beg from him.

५२. किं भाग्यं देहवतां? आरोग्यं, कः फली? कृषिकृत्।

   कस्य न पापं? जपतः, कः पूर्णो? यः प्रजावान् स्यात्

52.  kim bhaagyam dehavataam? Aarogyam, kah phalee? Krishikrit

      kasya na paapam? Japatah, kah poorno? Yah prajaavaan syaat

Q: What is blessing for one who has a body?

 A:  Health (absence of disease)

Q: Who enjoys the fruits?

 A:  One who tills the soil (puts in effort)

Q: Who has no sins?

A:  One who does japa

Q: Who is whole (full)?

A:  One who has children

५३. किं दुष्करं नराणाम्? यन्मनसो निग्रह्स्सततं।

    को ब्रह्मचर्यवान् स्यात्? यश्चास्खलितो ऊर्ध्वरेतश्च॥

53.  kim dushkaram naraanaam? Yanmanaso nigrahah satatam

      ko brahmacharyavaan syaat? Yashchaaskhalito oordhwaretaskah

Q: What is difficult to do for humans?

A:  Keeping the mind under control always

Q: Who is a brahmachaari?

A: One who has sublimated one’s sex energy

५४. का च परदेवता? चिच्छक्तिः, को जगत्भर्ता? सूर्यः।

    सर्वेषां को जीवनहेतुः? स पर्जन्यः॥

54.  kaa cha paradevataa? Chichchhaktih, ko jagatbhartaa?

        Sooryah, sarveshaam ko jeevanahetuh? sa parjanyah

Q: Who is  paradevata ?

A:  The Divine mother, embodiment of pure consciousness

Q: Who supports these worlds?

A:  The Sun

Q: What is the source of living for all?

A:  clouds which give rain.

५५. कः शूरो? यो भीतत्राता, त्राता च कः? स गुरुः।

    को हि जगद्गुरुरुक्तः शंभुः ज्ञानं कुतः? शिवादेव॥

55.  kah shooro? Yo bheetatraataa, traataacha kah? sa guruh

       Ko hi jagatgururuktah? Shambhuh, jnaanam kutah? shivaadeva

Q: Who is valiant?

A:  One who protects the frightened.

Q: Who is the protector?

A: Spiritual teacher

Q: Who is the teacher for the whole world?

A: Lord Shiva

Q: From whom is true knowledge?

A: Only from Lord Shiva

५६. मुक्तिम् लभेत कस्मात्? मुकुन्दभक्तेः, मुकुन्दः कः?।

    यस्तारयेदविद्यां, का चाविद्या? यदात्मनोऽस्फूर्तिः॥

56.  muktim labheta kasmaat? mukundabhakteh, mukundah kah?

     Yastaarayedavidyaam, kaa chaavidyaa? Yadaatmano’sphoortih

Q: From who one gets liberation?

A:  From Mukunda

Q: Who is Mukunda?

A:  He who extricates one from the grip of ignorance (avidyaa )

Q: What is avidyaa?

 A: Forgetting one’s real Self

५७ कस्य न शोको? यः स्यादक्रोधः, किं सुखं तुष्टिः।

   को राजा? रञ्जनकृत्,  कश्च श्वा? नीचसेवको य: स्यात्॥

57. kasya na shoko? Yah syaadakrodhah, kim sukham? Tushtih

ko raajaa? Ranjanakrit, kashcha shwaa? Neechasevako yah syaat

Q: Who is without sorrow?

A:  One who never gets angry

Q:  What is happiness?

A:   Contentment

Q:  Who is king?

A:   One who keeps his subjects happy.

Q: Who is a dog?

A: One who serves a mean person.

५८. को मायी? परमेशः, क इन्द्रजालायते? प्रपञ्चोऽयं।

   कः स्वप्ननिभॊ? जाग्रद्व्यवहारः सत्यमपि किं? ब्रह्म॥

58.  ko maayee? Parameshah, ka indrajaalaayate? Prapancho’yam

        kah swapnanibho? Jaagradvyavahaarah, satyamapi kim? Brahma

Q:  Who is the master of maayaa ?

A:   The Lord of all

Q:  What is indrajaala (the great magic)?

A:  The whole of this universe

Q: What is dream-like?

A: Whatever is happening in the waking state.

Q: What is Truth?

A: Brahman

५९ किं मिथ्या? यद्विद्यानाश्यं, तुच्छं तु? शशविषाणादि।

    का चानिर्वचनीया? माया, किं कल्पितं द्वैतं॥

59. kim mithyaa? Yadwidyaanaashyam, tuchchham tu? shashavishaanaadi

     kaa chaanirvachaneeyaa? maayaa, kim kalpitam? Dwaitam

Q: What is mithyaa  (illusion, non-existent which appears as existent)?

A: That which disappears when true knowledge dawns.

Q: What is tuchchha?

 A: Things like horns of a hare which do not exist at all

Q:  What is indefinable?

 A:  Maayaa 

Q: What is imagined?

 A: Duality

 ६०. किं पारमार्थिकं स्यात्? अद्वैतं चाज्ञता कुतो? अनादिः।

    वपुषश्च पोषकं किं? प्रारब्धं चान्नदायी किं? चायुः 

60.  Kim paaramaarthikam syaat? Adwaitam, chaajnataa kuto? anaadih

       Vapushashcha poshakam kim?  Praarabdham, chaannadaayi kim?

       Chaayuh

Q: What is the highest goal?

A:  Adwaitam (non-duality)

Q: From whence ignorance?

A: Without beginning

Q: What is nourishment to the body?

A:  praarabdham ( past actions which have started yielding their fruits)

Q: Which provides food (anna)?

A:  Aayuh (years of life one is destined to live)

६१. को  ब्राह्मणैरुपास्यॊ? गायत्र्यर्काग्निगोचरो शंभुः।

    गायत्र्यामादित्ये चाग्नौ शम्भौ च किं नु? तत्तत्वं 

61.  ko braahmanairupaasyo? Gaayatryarkaagnigocharo shambhuh

      gaayatryaamaaditye chaagnau shambhau cha kim nu? Tattatwam

Q: Who is to be worshipped by brahmanas?

 A:  Shambhuh (Lord Shiva) who is manifest in Gaayatri, the Sun and  Agni (the Fire)

Q: What is there in Gaayatri, the Sun, the Fire and Shambhuh ?

A:  Sivatattwa (the Ultimate Reality)

२. प्रत्यक्षदेवता का? माता, पूज्यो गुरुश्च कः? तातः।

    कः सर्वदेवतात्मा? विद्याकर्मान्वितो विप्रः॥

62.  pratyaksha devataa kaa? Maataa, poojyo gurushcha kah? taatah

     Kah sarvadevataatmaa? Vidyaakarmaanwito viprah

Q: Who is the manifest devataa (God)?

A:  Mother

Q:  Who deserves worship and is also guru?

A:   Father

Q:  In whom is manifest all the gods?

A:   Brahmana  in whom there is true knowledge and who performs vedic karmas, without attachnment, as an offering to God.

६३. कश्च कुलक्षयहेतुः? संतापः सज्जनेषु योऽकारि।

    केषाममोघवचनं? ये च सत्यमौनशमशीलाः॥

63.     kashcha kulakshayahetuh? Samtaapah sajjaneshu yo’kaari

       keshaamamoghavachanam? Ye cha punah satyamaunashamasheelaah

Q:  What leads to the fall of a dynasty?

 A:  Such actions as cause mental and physical agony to the good (noble

      men)

Q:  Whose words never fail to  be true and effective?

 A:  One who is truthful, who keeps silence ( has control over his speech)  

      and whose mind is tranquil.

  ६४  किं जन्म? विषयसंगः किमुत्तरं जन्म? पुत्रः स्यात्।

  कोऽपरिहार्यॊ? मृत्युः कुत्र पदं विन्यसेच्च? दृक्पूते॥

64.        kim janma? Vishaya sangah, kimuttaram janma? Putrah syaat

       ko’parihaaryo? Mrityuh, kutra padam vinyasechcha? Drikpoote

Q: What is the cause of birth?

A:  Attachment to sensual pleasures

Q: What is after-birth?

A:  After-birth is the son

Q: What cannot be avoided?

A:  Death.

 

Q: Where should one place one’s foot?

A:  Where one’s eyes tell  that the place is clean.

६५ पात्रं किमन्नदाने? क्षुधितं, कोऽर्च्योहि? भगवदवताराः।

      कश्च भगवान्? महेशः शंकरनारायणात्मैकः॥

65.  paatram kimannadaane? Kshudhitam, ko’rchyo hi? Bhagavadavataarah

kashcha bhagavaan? Maheshah shankaranaaraayanaatmaikah

Q: Who is the fit person to receive alms?

A:  One who is hungry.

Q: Who is to be worshipped?

A:  The incarnations of the Lord (God, Bhagavaan)

Q: Who is Bhagavaan?

A: The one Spreme Lord in whom Shankara and Naraayana are united.

६६. फलमपि भगवत्भक्तेः किं? तल्लोकसाक्षात्वं।

   मोक्षश्च को? ह्यविद्यास्तमयः कः सर्ववेदभूः अथचॊं॥

66.  phalamapi bhagavat bhakteh kim? Tallokasaakshaatwam

Mokshashcha ko? Hyavidyaastamayah, kah sarvavedabhooh? Atha chom

Q: what is the fruit of devotion to God?

A: Attaining  the abode of the Lord

Q: What is moksha (liberation)?

A:  Liberation from ignorance (the end of avidya)

Q: What is the source of all the Vedas

A:  The syllable ‘OM’

६७  इत्येषा कण्ठस्था प्रश्नोत्तररत्नमालिका येषां।

    ते मुक्ताभरणा इव विमलाश्चाभान्ति सत्समाजेषु॥

67. ityeshaa kanthasthaa prashnottararatnamaalikaa yeshaam

     te muktaabharanaa iva vimalaashchaabhaanti satsamaajeshu

One who wears around his neck this  prashnottararatnamaalikaa  as a necklace of pearls  (meaning one who commits this to memory) will shine in the assembly of noble soles.

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