Are Sanskrit Subhashitas valid references on Hinduism.SE?

Can they be considered as Hindu scripture when it comes to citing them in answers here to back up your views?

I didn't think they qualify as proper references because most of them cannot be traced back to their authors or any Hindu scripture. According to Wikipedia:

The authors of most Subhashita are unknown. This form of Indian epigrammatic poetry had a wide following, were created, memorized and transmitted by word of mouth.

So I left a couple of comments under one of the answers that was entirely based on Subhashitas and requested the user to update the answer using other more credible Hindu scripture. But now I see that both my comments under the answer have been deleted (by one of the moderators here?) without a follow-up comment clarifying the issue.

  • Pls. Check out my question - meta.hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/596/about-references Sep 22, 2016 at 6:33
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    @SwiftPushkar I already checked that answer by Sai but don't see how Subhashitas can be valid references. Like I stated in my question, we just don't know who authored most of them. Some of the Subhashitas like Vidura-niti are sourced from Mahabharata and I think they can be used in answers to clarify one's view, but even in that case one I think one needs to mention the source as MB. Sep 22, 2016 at 12:42
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    @sv. Although they gather all infos from Hindu Shastras only but still I don't think they are valid references ,because it will be hard to establish/decipher those Scriptural sources explicitly
    – Rickross
    Nov 1, 2016 at 6:46

3 Answers 3


I would say yes. Scripture falls under theory of Hinduism whereas subhashitas fall under practice in the form of opinions of wise men and/or janaacaara. It is better to quote the origin of the subhaashita if one knows it; subhaashitas are acceptable even without references to origin.


The word shubhashita can be broken down as सु + भाषित where सु means good and भाषित means spoken. So a simple literal meaning will be "well said" or "good sayings".

Subhashitas are like proverbs and sayings found in other languages. They are used to convey some larger message or meaning with the help of a catchy phrase or couple of short sentences. Many shubhasihtas have been taken directly from texts while others have developed over a period of time from day to day usage of the language.

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    So, what's the conclusion? They are valid or not? What do you say? Feb 6, 2019 at 10:45
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    Welcome to Hinduism Meta SE. This doesn't answer the question. Please read this and this for context. Feb 6, 2019 at 19:40

Most सुभाषितमs are well intention-ed good advice in form of sayings, quotes and even poetry set to sonorous lyrics. They are recommended principles for human behavior and practice based on human nature and his relation not only with himself but also his social dynamic environment based on years of experience and insight.

The date of Vedas is unknown but it is certain that they are as ancient as mankind's civilization.Nothing really changes with passage of time to take important decisions affecting life at active core manasic level. Short and accepted given advices have a place of respect.

Most of surviving Sanskrit सुभाषितमs specially written about Dharma so meritorious by the very factual evidence that they existed and came down to us from several thousands of years are hence equivalent to colloquial sutras /aphorisms. The authors and their origin are well known for those that survived.

It is adoption/acceptance by people that decides its further continuation. A heritage should never be discarded.

Even folklore poetry appears forceful and preserved with credit to the authors It is for benefit of millions of believers and practitioners of a lifestyle nourished by precepts rooted in ancestry.

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