8 Indian proverbs that will inspire you to study better, smarter, harder

With the stress from university sometime all you need is a proverb for some inspiration. Source: Heo Ran/AFP

As a student, you are no stranger to the difficulty and stress that comes with being in university. From lectures to assignments and exams, it can get overwhelming and staying motivated can be hard.

Do you struggle with finding the motivation to study? If you find yourself in this situation, sometimes the best solution is to read some inspirational proverbs that can give you a quick boost when struggling

Though it sounds cheesy, these short sentences have been known to bring happiness and inspiration to many in times of need. It is like eating a bar of chocolate that instantly melts your heart and picks up your mood. 

When it comes to offering words of wisdom, no one does it better than Indian philosophers. Renowned for being masters at offering lessons about life, love and loss. 

For many centuries, people have turned to India for their spiritual guidance. Nineteenth-century German scholar Max Mueller went as far as writing a book about what India taught him. “If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions, I should point to India,” said Mueller.

So if you are struggling to find motivation while in university, here are some inspirational Indian proverbs that can provide you with comforting words to face the trials of university.

Ten inspirational Indian proverbs: 


Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent ways has made him one of the most influential people in the world. Source: AFP

“Be so busy improving yourself that you have no time to criticise others.”

 This proverb was said by an Indian author, columnist and YouTuber, Chetan Bhagat. In 2010, he was included in Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people. 

His inspirational proverb is significant to students as it reminds them to keep growing as a person and focusing on their self-improvement.

While many will have things to say about your dreams and goals, don’t let that stop you from taking the necessary steps towards reaching your goal.

“The future depends on what we do today.”

Probably one of the most famous Indian personalities, Mahatma Gandhi is known for his efforts leading to the successful campaign for India’s independence from British rule. 

While he has many inspirational quotes, this one focuses on continuously working towards your goal. Many enter university with a plan of how the future will go, while things don’t always go as planned, it is essential to not give up and continue to take action to shape your future. 

“Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play, it is free will.”

This is another proverb that can serve as a pick me up to many students to remember that what has happened has already happened. The past cannot be changed, but going forward with a good attitude can shape the future. Despite the setbacks, continue practising and learning as you go to grow.

This quote was said by an Indian anti-colonial nationalist, social democrat, author and political leader, Jawaharal Nehru. 

“Remember, no one is stopping you from lighting a lamp in a dark night.”

This proverb by Indian poet and writer Harvinash Rai Bacchan aims to remind people not to lose hope even when faced with challenges, especially in university.

When going through times, it is important to adopt qualities like courage, dedication and sacrifice to achieve what you want.


Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was a former scientist and served as the 11th president of India. Source: Ravi Raveendran/AFP

“You have to dream before your dreams can come true.”

Former president of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, said this quote reminds people to set clear goals for themselves. This would make it more attainable, and your dreams could become reality.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

Another one by the influential Mahatma Gandhi reminds you to enjoy and cherish every moment in life and to always search to improve your education so that you can grow and inspire others. As a student, don’t be afraid to live and try new things.

“We are kept from our goal not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal.”

Taken directly from the Bhagavad Gita, one of the holy scriptures of Hinduism, this proverb intends to send a message to dream big. While small goals are equally as important, remembering your ultimate goal will help you to achieve it and not settle for less.

“The power of concentration is the only key to the treasure-house of knowledge.”

Swami Vivekananda was a Hindu monk, philosopher, author, and religious teacher who shared this proverb reminding all that concentration is crucial for success and self-improvement in all aspects of life.