NITISASTRA

[Translation by Mbah Landa-Mastoni]

Jun iku yen lukak kocak, bisane mênêng antêng yen kêbak. Sapi wadon kang sêru suwarane, sathithik powane. Wong kang ala rupane, polahe digawe-gawe. Wong wuta sastra, wicarane kasar ora ngrêsêpake.

The nearly empty water jar makes a splashing sound. Only when they are full, they will be noiseless. The cow that moos loudly produces very little milk. An evil person behaves unnaturally. One who is not well-read will speak crudely and their orations are unimpressive.

Ara-ara kang tanpa sukêt, rajakaya wêgah
ngambah. Kali kang asat banyune, ora sinaba ing bango. Priya kang uripe sangsara diêmohi wanita. Ratu kang kurang titipariksa lan wêngis pangandikane, dioncati dening para kawulane.

Livestock will be reluctant to remain in a dry savanna. No egrets will play in a dry river bed. The suffering man will be rejected by women. The queen who speaks in an unguarded manner, unconscious of the effects of her decrees, will be abandoned by her people.

Manawa ana madu campur karo wisa, alapên madune bae. Yen ana kêncana campur karo tinja, jupukên kêncanane, kumbahên. Wong utama kang sugih kawruh, sanajan turuning sudra, prayoga rakêtana. Wanita utama kang sulistya ing warna, sanajan turune wong asor, pantês dadi garwane wong gêdhe.

If you come across honey mixed with poison, take only the honey. If you find gold mixed with feces, wash it and take the gold. In the case of a wise man who is rich with knowledge, though he belong to the lowest caste, it is still prudent to keep his company. The woman from a humble class who examplifies a beautiful countenance and character is the sort that a great man would be fortunate to have as a spouse.

Gandaning candhana mahanani anyêsing ati, ngluwihi anyêsing sorote rêmbulan. Manawa gandaning candhana iku di tikêlake loro, isih kalah karo anyêsing pagandikane pandhita kang pindha tirtamarêta. Gêni iku panas, ngluwihi panasing srêngenge. Yen panasing gêni iku ditikêlake loro, isih kongkulan panasing gunême wong ala.

The cool fragrance of sandalwood, even more than the moonlight, refreshes the heart. But if its fragrance were doubled in sweetness, it would still not be as sweet as priestly words flowing like the water of immortality. Fire is hotter than the sunshine, but if its heat were doubled in ferocity, it would still not burn as hot as the words of an evil person.

Prajurit kang unggul ing yuda, uripe ngalami mukti wibawa. Prajurit kang kasambut madyaning rana, manjing suwarga sineba para widadari. Prajurit kang ngucira ing yuda, patine bakal manjing nraka siniksa dening wadyabalane Yama. Yen ora mati, uripe diremehake dening bêbrayan agung, utawa ditawan lan disiya-siya dening mungsuh.

A victorious soldier will live out a comfortable life and will be greatly respected by all. Should he die in a holy war, he will be welcomed by angels into heaven. The coward who dies while fleeing from the battle will be condemned to hell where he will be tortured by the army of Yama, the god of death. Should he survive the battle, he will either be scorned by his people or will be imprisoned and treated without pity by his enemies.