3 Sanskrit Subhashitas or Shlokas on Vidya (Knowledge)

While everybody will be aware of how important Vidya or knowledge is, let us understand what Sanskrit has to talk about it from the three Shlokas or Subhashitas. For 37 simple Subhashitas, follow this link. As we move ahead the shlokas will get more interesting, the final one i.e. the third one is mostly unheard of and talks about the characteristics of Vidya. So, let’s see in this video these three Subhashitas in Sanskrit to know more about knowledge.

Before starting on the shlokas let us find out the closest two words in English that can provide you with the meaning. They are Knowledge and Skill. Vidya means “correct knowledge”, in any field of science, learning, philosophy, or any factual knowledge that cannot be disputed or refuted. Its root is vid (Sanskrit: विद्), which means “to reason upon”, knower, finding, knowing, acquiring, or understanding.

Keeping in mind this meaning, let us now move ahead to the Subhashitas. Watch till the end as the last shloka is a gem of Subhashitas.

This first shloka compares knowledge with that of food.

अन्नदानं परं दानं विद्यादानमतः परम् ।
अन्नेन क्षणिका तृप्ति र्यावज्जीवं च विद्यया ॥

In this beautiful Subhashita, the poet writes about the difference between food and knowledge. Even the provided food is of great importance, but the knowledge that we acquire is even more important. While the food lasts for a few moments until we are hungry again, the skill or knowledge that we acquire takes the responsibility of taking care of us for the entire life.

The knowledge lets us earn the bread and butter for ourselves by taking care of us throughout.

The second subhashita goes like this

विद्या ददाति विनयं विनयाद् याति पात्रताम्।
पात्रत्वात् धनमाप्नोति धनात् धर्मं ततः सुखम्॥

These are words that describe a person after the accumulation of the previous quality starting with Vidya or Knowledge. Like:

VidyaKnowledge or Skill
DharmamGood deeds

These meanings are context-based and in this context, the words shown are the apt meanings for the respective Sanskrit words. However, if you want the right meaning of Dharma, you can watch this video here. That has an advanced explanation of Dharma in different contexts. So the meaning of the Subhashita goes like this.

Vidya is knowledge or skill. That knowledge leads to humbleness, humbleness attains worthiness, from that comes wealth and from wealth (we start doing) good deeds, from that (we are in the constant process of experiencing) joy.


To Summarize, Knowledge is an important first step to attain a joyful state in life and the sole goal of human life is to be in that blissful state of mind for as long a period as possible while spending the minimum most.

Let us now get started with the most interesting Subhashita that talks about the qualities of vidya that are extremely unique in nature. We will start with the shloka.

न चोर हार्यं न च राज हार्यं
न भ्रातृ भाज्यं न च भारकारि
व्यये कृते वर्धत एव नित्यं
विद्याधनं सर्वधन प्रधानम्॥

The poet talks about the unique characteristics of the acquired knowledge.

The acquired knowledge

  • cannot be stolen by any thief
  • nor can it be taxed by the king or the government
  • It can neither be divided amongst siblings
  • nor is it heavy to carry
  • the more we spend (in teaching others) in the process the more we learn day by day
  • knowledge is the most prestigious of all possessions

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