Burma Proverbs

  • Regrets always come later.
  • Wise man’s anger never comes out.
  • Snake to snake, see the leg. (Snakes have no legs. But crooks can see how other crooks will do.)
  • Mango among fruits, pork among meats, tea among leaves (are the best)
  • You can stop speaking to someone, but you cannot stop being related.
  • Do use a needle in time, or you might need an axe later. (As same as “A stitch in time saves nine”)
  • Collect the water while it rains.
  • You can even be a God, if you try.
  • You can be a king, if you are brave.
  • Old cows like young grass.
  • Anyone can fancy his bed as a palace. (You can believe whatever you want.)
  • There’s only 2 ways: go cracy, or go extraordinary! (Be somebody!)
  • Don’t be a sling bag. (It’s like CNN Ted Turner’s Lead, follow, or get out of the way.)
  • You can pull back your leg, but not your committed word.
  • It’s dress in a man, bindings in baskets’ edge (are important)
  • Bone in chicken, relatives in man (that one can’t avoid)
  • Calling out for mother, only when you stumble.
  • Before the bending arm straighten, or before the straighten arm bends (do the good, choose the better)
  • Be deligent when there’s time.
  • It’s like catching 2 eels at a time. (Doing 2 unsure things at a time, instead of doing 1 certain thing.)
  • Harrow before the cow. (instead of the cow before the harrow)
  • Forgetting the cow, when going out to plough. (when most important thing is forgotten)
  • Fidelity in a king, promise in men. (are to keep)
  • Using up the arrows, before getting into battle.
  • Two may become enemies, when their ideas are the same.
  • If there are too many teachers or leaders with different ideas, the follower will not do nothing and learn nothing.
  • An unmarried woman is not honored, even if she has 10 brothers.
  • Wisdom is in the books. (Find them there)
  • A ship-load of fish gets spoiled, because of 1 spoiled fish.
  • One can’t die if he’s brave. Even when he die his name lasts forever.
  • You fail if you’re afraid. Or brave, you may become a king.
  • A genuine ruby wont sink and disappear in mud.
  • Fisherman near fisherman. Hunter near hunter.
  • 1 day 1 yard. Bagan won’t move. (Do it a little every day, and you’ll achieve)
  • Unmistakable lawyer. Immortal medicineman. (They never exist)
  • Seek wisdom like a begger. (Be humble)

Loka Niti: Words of the Wise

  • Never think of knowledge and wisdom as little.
    Seek it and store it in the mind.
    Note that ant-hills are built with small particles of dust, and
    incessantly-falling rain drops when collected can fill a big pot.
  • There is no ruby in every mountain.
    There is no pearl in every elephant.
    There is no sandal-wood in every forest.
    There is no sage in every place.
  • One with scanty knowledge tends to think a little learning a lot and be haughty.
    It is just as a puny frog, not having seen the ocean, thinks a little well-water a lot.
  • One without learning has to carry others’ burden.
    One who has knowledge is honoured by others.
    So strive daily to get knowledge.
  • As the egret is ungraceful among Hamsas,
    so also is the foolish in an assembly.
  • Listening and noting well enriches knowledge.
    Knowledge enhances progress.
  • There is no friend like learning.
    There is no enemy like disease.
  • Go not to the battlefield without arms.
    Speak not without reference to treatises.
    Travel not afar without companion.
  • Without wealth, be not excessive in eating.
    Without strength , Love not fighting.
    Without learning, speak not too much.
  • Don’t visit another’s house frequently without being invited.
    Don’t talk too much without being asked.
    Don’t extol and boast of oneself. (Don’t blow one’s own trumpet)
  • The pot not full of water is turbulent.
    One with a little knowledge shows off.
  • The ocean is not contented in receiving water.
    The eye is not contented in seeing the beloved.
    The wise is not contented in good speech.
  • Though fully endowed with good looks and youthfulness he who has no knowledge is ungraceful. It is like paukpwint (pauk flower) without scent.
  • Even the son of low parentage can be the king’s counsellor.
    Even the son of the foolish can be a sage.
    Even the son of a poor man can be rich.
    So don’t be contemptuous of a man.
  • The pupil who wants knowledge and studies many cannot recite what he studied,
    just like dumb one who cannot retell the dream..
  • Pauk leaf that wraps Taungzalat flower smells fragrant like that flower.
    So also is the same for those who associate with the wise.
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