I would like to the original couplet for Bhavabhuti's Time is infinite, Earth is big. Thank you

2 Answers 2


Coincidentally, I posted about this verse roughly three weeks before this question. The verse is originally from Bhavabhūti's play Mālatīmādhava, but also appears in various anthologies.

This is the text as it occurs in the Mālatī-mādhava:

ये नाम केचिदिह नः प्रथयन्त्यवज्ञां
जानन्ति ते किमपि तान्प्रति नैष यत्नः ।
उत्पत्स्यते तु मम कोऽपि समानधर्मा
कालो ह्ययं निरवधिर्विपुला च पृथ्वी ॥

Transliterated into IAST, with sandhi split:

ye nāma kecit iha naḥ prathayanti avajñām
jānanti te kim api tān prati na eṣa yatnaḥ |
utpatsyate tu mama ko api samāna-dharmā
kālo hi ayaṃ niravadhiḥ vipulā ca pṛthvī ||

The particular "Time is infinite, Earth is big" you wanted corresponds to the last line, "कालो ह्ययं निरवधिर्विपुला च पृथ्वी" — it's in the popular Vasanta-tilakā metre, famously used in various Suprabhāta works.

Variants: In most quotations of the verse (in subhāṣita collections, works of literary criticism (alaṃkāra-śāstra) etc.), the third pāda is quoted as "utpatsyate 'sti" instead of "utpatsyate tu". In Vidyākara’s collection called the Subhāṣita-ratna-kośa, the last pāda ends with: "vipulā ca lakṣmīḥ".

You can look at the post I mentioned for a little more about this verse.

  • By the way, if you know Sanskrit could you take a look at my question here? hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/3765/36 Aug 8, 2015 at 17:55
  • @KeshavSrinivasan Unfortunately the language of the Aranyakas is older than the "usual" Sanskrit of Bhagavad Gita / Ramayana / Mahabharata / most Puranas, etc. I have not studied the older Vedic Sanskrit so I can get only a general sense of the words, not an exact translation. Will try though. Aug 8, 2015 at 17:58
  • Thanks, any attempt would be highly appreciated. Also, could you help me with my question here? hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/8028/36 I found a chapter of the Harivamsa that apparently discusses what happened to Ekalavya after a certain battle with Krishna, but it's only available in Sanskrit: mahabharata-resources.org/harivamsa/bhavishyaparva/… I'd like to know if the chapter mentions whether Ekalavya lived or died. Aug 8, 2015 at 18:06

It's from verse 19 of Bhavabhuti's Subhashita, which you can read here:

ye nAma kechidiha prathayanyavaGYAm.h

jAnantu te kimapi tAnprati naishha yatnaH |

utpasyate sati mama ko.api samAnadharmA

kAlo hyaya.n niravadhirvipulA cha pR^ithvI ||

The gist of it is that even if the present reader doesn't appreciate his work, space and time are infinite so at some point the work will find its intended audience.

  • Nitpick: Bhavabhuti did not write a work called "Subhashita"; it's just that the page you linked to part of a particular subhashita collection (anthology) of verses from various sources (specifically, this page consists of those starting with "ya"), in which (in this particular author's arrangement) a verse from Bhavabhuti happens to be included as number 19. Aug 8, 2015 at 17:48

You must log in to answer this question.