"Thought is the most potent and creative power in the world. It initially takes shape in an individual mind. When shared with others, any benevolent thought starts growing as a vibrant process encompassing more and more people. It is such collective benevolent thoughts that build up great cultural values and treasure in the society."

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha


Verses for Introspection

03 - केयूराणि न भूषयन्ति
The Real Ornament - Speech

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केयूराणि न भूषयन्ति पुरुषं हारा न चन्द्रोज्ज्वलाः
न स्नानं न विलेपनं न कुसुमं नालङ्कृता मूर्धजाः ।
वाण्येका समलङ्करोति पुरुषं या संस्कृता धार्यते
क्षीयन्ते खलु भूषणानि सततं वाग्भूषणं भूषणम् ।।

 - नीति शतकम्

keyūrāi na bhūayanti purua hārā na candrojjvalā
na snāna na vilepana na kusuma nālaktā mūrdhajā |
yekā samalakaroti purua yā sasktā dhāryate
kīyante khalu bhūaāni satata vāgbhūaa bhūaam ||

- Nīti Śatakam


Bracelets do not decorate a person, nor do necklaces glittering like the moon, nor bath, nor smearing the body with fragrance, nor flowers, and nor decorated hair. Only that speech embellishes a person, which has been upheld with cultural refinement. Indeed, all ornaments decay. Ornament of speech is always the real ornament.

Points for Introspection:

What is the use of having ornaments and garlands in the body by which one feels that he is looking good? If one’s speech is not consoling and soothing, but is hurting and agitating to others, what is the use of physical ornamental decoration? Although decoration of the body means ornamenting it with costly jewels and garlands, that decoration is not the true decoration. Moreover such decorations are ever decaying and do not last to make the person beautiful. What is true decoration then? True decoration is in the mind which is imbued with good values and virtues, like love, sympathy, sacrifice and compassion. The expression of these virtues is speech which bestows peace and joy to the listeners. This is the true decoration anyone must aspire to have.

Chanting this shloka again and again one will get rid of the pride and possessiveness that one may have about one’s valuable ornaments, and the mind will dwell upon cultivating culturally refined speech.

Word Meaning:

केयूराणि (keyūrāṇi) – bracelets worn in the upper arm; न (na) – not; भूषयन्ति (bhūṣayanti) – adorn; पुरुषं (puruṣaṁ) – person; हाराः (hārāḥ) – garlands, necklaces; न (na) – not; चन्द्रोज्जवलाः (candrojjvalāḥ) – shining like the moon; न (na) – not; स्नानं (snānaṁ) – bath; न (na) – not; विलेपनं (vilepanaṁ) – smearing with fragrant oils; न (na) – not; कुसुमं (kusumaṁ) – flower; न (na) – not; अलङ्कृताः (alaṅkṛtāḥ) – decorated; मूर्धजाः (mūrdhajāḥ) – hair; वाणी (vāṇī) – speech; एका (ekā) – alone; समलङ्करोति‑ (samalaṅkaroti) – highly decorates, embellishes; पुरुषं (puruṣaṁ) – person; या (yā) – which; संस्कृता (saṁskṛtā) – cultured and refined language; ­धार्यते (dhāryate) – (is held or) is upheld; क्षीयन्ते (kṣīyante) – decay; खलु (khalu) – indeed, verily; भूषणानि (bhūṣaṇāni) – ornaments; सततम् (satatam) – always; वाक् (vāk) – speech; भूषणम् (bhūṣaṇam) – ornament, decoration; भूषणम् (bhūṣaṇam) – ornament, decoration;


केयूराणि पुरुषं न भूषयन्ति । चन्द्रोज्जवलाः हाराः न । स्नानं न । विलेपनं न । कुसुमं न । अलङ्कृताः मूर्धजाः न । या संस्कृता वाणी धार्यते (सा वाणी) एका पुरुषं समलङ्करोति ।

keyūrāṇi puruṣaṁ na bhūṣayanti. candrojjvalāḥ hārāḥ na. snānaṁ na. vilepanaṁ na. kusumaṁ na. alaṅkṛtāḥ mūrdhajāḥ na. yā saṁskṛtā vāṇī dhāryate (sā vāṇī) ēkā puruṣaṁ samalaṅkaroti. khalu bhūṣaṇāni kṣīyante. vāk bhūṣaṇaṁ satataṁ bhūṣaṇam (bhavati).

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