Subhashita means good speech. They are wise sayings, instructions and stories, either in poetry or in prose composed in Sanskrit language which is the oldest language in world and considered as "Mother of all Languages".
Subhashitas were composed by ancient saints and scholars which can be dated back to 5000 BC
Some of the well known sanskrit scholars include Bhartrhari, Subhashita Ratna bhandagara and Somadeva Bhatta.
The Panchatantra and the Hitopadesha also belong to this category. This compilation draws from all these sources in addition to Bhagvad Geetha and other Puranas, Ramayana, and Mahabharata.
Subhasitas act as teacher in formulating the sense of morality and character, which sums up the total of a person’s virtues including dispositions, behaviors, habits, likes, dislikes, capacities, traits, ideals, ideas, values, feelings, and intuitions.
By understanding the meaning one can cultivate a strong and morally superior character
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काममया एवायं पुरुष इति
सा यथाकामो भवति तत्क्रतुर भवति
यात्क्रतुर भवति तत कर्म कुरुते
यत कर्म कुरुते तद अभिसम पद्यते
Kaama maya evayam purusha iti
Sa Yatha kaamo bhavati tat kratur bhavati
Yat kratur bhavati tat karma kurute
Yat karma kurte tad abhisam padyate
You are what your deep, driving desire is
As your desire is, so is your will
As your will is, so is your deed
As your deed is, so is your destiny
(For a detailed explanation, please visit here)
-B R I H A D A R A N Y A K A UPANISHAD (4, 4.5)