Common used English proverbs with Explanations

english-proverbs

Necessity is the mother of invention

All our actions are guided by their necessity. We eat and drink to satisfy our hunger and thirst, construct house to have a shelter and continue studies to satisfy our every human being. The pre-historic man had neither so big a world as ours nor had he the manifold development of each of the aspects of his life and society, for his necessities were a few. As the time passed and the world turned over its pages one by one, his wants grew up and he paid all his attention to fulfil those. From the use of roughly boiled food, to the use of richly spiced dishes, from the bullock or donkey carts to the aeroplanes, from the stone-cut weapons to the hydrozen and atom bombs all these are the results of our attempt to fulfil our wants. All the inventions sprung forth from the womb of our necessity. Thus the statement is apt and justified.

Look before you leap

Life is full of leaps. We know that there is danger everywhere in our life, and to avoid it, to win the struggle for our existence we must jump onwards with firm determination. Weak escapes or hesitations will certainly ruin us. But our courage, our determination, our struggle or leaps should not be carried on blindly…..without proper judgement, precaution and care. However strong and skilful a sportsman may be, if he jumps from every high place, without considering the limits of his power, to a place full of thorns and boulders, certainly he will break his limbs. Similarly before taking any decision one must consider the pros and cons of the matter and with a full awareness of the limitations of one’ power and environment one must run the risk…. one must measure a yard before walking a foot. It is with these fore-thoughts and cares that one leap brings success.

All that glitters is not gold

Gold glitters. But anything that glitters is not gold; for brass with a fine polish may blaze even more than gold, while gold, kept in a basket for long time or hidden in earth may not glitter at all. This indicates that really should not always be judged by its appearance,. Sometimes a piece of rope, by error, is considered to be a snake and a mother-of-pearl, a piece of silver. In both the cases we judge the reality wrongly guided by merely the appearance of things. Similarly a man of wisdom with simple dress and a very plain way of living may look ordinary while an illiterate with gorgeous dresses, pompous way of life and assumed gravity may look dignified. Character and personality of a man, thus are not necessarily known from his countenance. A proper judgement of things, hence, requires a deep insight into the nature of things, cutting through its deluding appearance.

Union is strength

We known the ancient story that there was an old man who on his death bed promised to teach the most valuable things of the world to his sons. He asked his sons one by one to bring some sticks and to break them separately. Each one succeeded in breaking the sticks separately, but when they were asked to break the sticks together in a bundle, each one failed. The old man has taught the most valuable truth that union is strength. If a bundle of sticks cannot be broken by a young man without difficulty, how strong would be the union of men ? From the pre-histories period men have been forming unions in societies, states, countries and sects by realising this truth. A society has earned fame, a state has developed over another, a nation has been cultured and a sect has been extended only when the individuals of these groups are united, and revolution, defeats and crises have cropped up when this union is lost.

A sleeping fox catches no poultry

A fox is very fond of poultry, its sweetest prey. With all its care and cunning it looks for a hen or a cock and succeeds in its attempt very often. But no poultry comes to a fox out of itself when the fox sleeps. An industrious lion always kills a deer and satisfies his hunger. But no deer comes to the mouth of a sleeping lion. The same is true is cases of the desire, power and achievements of human beings. Desire provokes attempts and attempts need power and sincerity. Every man desires happiness; but only a few who possess required power and work with ample zeal and sincerity achieve success in their life. Those who desire only, but sit idly waiting for the mercy of fate or the favour of fortune gain nothing. Alterness and actions pave the way for achievements.

History repeats itself

History means a systematic record of the true events of the past. But the study of history does not end only in knowing the past. It enables us to understand the present and the future also. For the past is not something lost nor is the future something very new. The present evolves out of the past and leads of the future. Past events intensively make us aware of the law of Nature-that the same thing happens under similar circumstances. Nothing develops indefinitely or goes down for ever. Success and failure move in a cyclic order. So also is the construction and destruction of the whole universe. What is new today becomes old tomorrow and the old again appears as new some day after. The Vedic philosophy tells us what we see today as perfectly a new world, was present in the last Kalpas exactly in the same way.

If winter comes can spring be far behind

Winter is a deadly season. It brings cool, disease and unhappy feelings. We are irritated and lose our patience, we suffer. But we should remember that the whole year is not only one season….winter. Just after winter comes spring, with its nectar to revive the burried cheer and to rejuvenate the dying year. Nothing is constant in this world. In cyclic order everything comes and goes, is repeated indefinitely. Day and night, winter and spring, sorrows and happiness all are fluctuating. If today one is a beggar, next day one may be millionaire. If now one is handsome, next moment one becomes ugly. With this knowledge of the nature of things human beings should go on working and should wait patiently for future. If put in misery today and attains a lot of wealth tomorrow, should not feel proud of this wealth the day after tomorrow, since it is subject to loss.

Haste makes waste

Everyone, wants that fortune should come to him overnight. One feels a throb of cheer in one’s expectation of the happy time of future and handle the work so rapidly that he finds it undone. A student who reads his books swiftly to finish the study shortly cannot grasp all. He remembers a little, but forgets the most. A man who eats quickly fails to digest well. Nothing is performed with success in a hurry. By a continuous and patient practice a student earns knowledge, a patient recovers his health and a poor becomes rich. We know how long time babies take to stand erect and walk well. Someone taking a rapid step either get injured or loses limbs. It is the slowly running water, not the rapidly flowing one that rubs away the stones under it and the life is lived happily by a calculative careful man, not by a man of quick decision.

Delay is dangerous

One should start the work as soon as he decides to do it, and should continue it untiringly until the end; whatever the result may be. But the process must not be very quick without enough speculation at every stage, for haste makes waste. Once the decision is taken, the work must not be suspended for long future. Other factors may creep in which will hamper the progress of the work still more. Human life is short and full of difficulties. Once we wait for tomorrow no tomorrow may come in our life. Ravana, the giant of profound realisation preached this truth a road to heaven from the earth. He could not do it; could not only because he suspended it for future; and that future never came in his life. So decision must be immediately followed by action.

Something is better than nothing

Wants are unlimited. Something we want so such that no achievement is possible, or if the amount of this achievement becomes negligible in comparison with our wants, we think this is useless. But no. This thought leads to discontentment, unhappiness and frustration. The world is not controlled by our desires. It has its own law of operation. During its course whatever will come to our hands by our sincere practice, we should accept it with pleasure. When there is no rain for days together in summer a little of it certainly has got value in cooling the atmosphere, although it cannot facilitate cultivation. Similarly a little of food is better than starving and a piece of rag serves better that no cloth. It is not easy to be a millionaire. But a man with a few rupees is surely better off that a beggar. In all cases something is better than nothing.

As you sow, so shall reap

If you sow paddy in your land under proper conditions you will reap paddy only; not any other crops. One cannot except guava from a mango tree, he has planted. Again, only sowing is not enough for a good harverst. One has to take proper care of the whole process of cultivation from all sides. One with his sincere effort, thus, reaps enough crops, while another with his casual or little care harvests poorly. So you get the result according to your action. Sinners rarely are rewarded while few honest are penalized. A student desire for learning and sincere labour, but irregular and disinterested study brings failure for another. A man with a little money can manage his family if he spends cautiously. But an extravagant suffers always even if he earns lakhs. In every case of our lifge action always regulates its result.

Necessity is the mother is invention

All our actions ar guided by their necessity. We eat and dring to satisfy our hunger and thirst, construct house to have a shelter and continue studies to satisfy our every human being. The pre-historic man had neither so big a world as ours nor had he the manifold development of each of the aspects of his life and society, for his necessities were a few. As the time passed and the world turned over its pages one by one, his wants grew up and he paid all his attention to fulfil those. From the use of roughly boiled food, to the use of richly spiced dishes, from the bullock or donkey carts to the aeroplanes, from the stone-cut weapons to the hydrozen and atom bombs all the results of our attempt to fulfil our wants. All the inventions sprung forth from the womb of our necessity.

God helps those who help themselves

Man is surely under the control of densiny. In spite of one’s hard and sincere labour sometimes we see one’s hopeless failure and another, without required labour, gains fortune miraculously. But this does not mean that man is merely a puppet in the hand of God; and his labour, sincerity and perservence have got no value at all. Rather just the opposite is very true. Man is the marker of his own destiny. As the deer does not enter the mouth of a sleeping lion, so also fortune does not come to a lazy man. God does not help a man who simply prays him sitting idly. Without God’s mercy our attempts are , of course, subject to failure; but God’s mercy always goes to a man, who is self-dependent, goes on working by himself regularly without waiting for the blessings of God and without any anxiety for good results.