Friday, 27 May 2011

Thirukkural in English - From chapters 011 to 020

Division I. Virtue - From chapters 011 to 020

011 Realizing gratitude

0101 Neither earth nor heaven can truly repay
Spontaneous aid.

0102 A timely help, though small,
Is of greater value than all the earth.

0103 The help given without weighing the return,
When weighed, outweighs the sea.

0104 To the discerning even millet of aid
Is as big as a palm tree.

0105 Not according to the aid but its receiver
Is its recompense determined.

0106 Forget not the friendship of the pure,
Nor forsake friends who supported in trouble.

0107 The good remember through all seven births
The friends who wiped their tears.

0108 To forget a good turn is not good, and good it is
To forget at once what isn't good.

0109 Even a deadly hurt is soon effaced,
If one recollects a past good turn.

0110 One may slain every goodness and yet escape,
But no escape for one who slain gratitude.


012 Impartiality

0111 Justice may be called good only when it acts impartially
Regardless of the class of men.

0112 The wealth of a just man, without decline,
Passes intact to his posterity.

0113 Though profitable, turn away
From unjust gains without delay.

0114 The just and unjust shall be known
By what they leave behind.

0115 Adversity and prosperity come and go,
But an unbiased heart adorns the noble.

0116 If your thoughts show signs of doing injustice,
Know that misfortune awaits you.

0117 The world will not deem as poverty
The low estate of virtuous men who dwell in equity.

0118 To be unbiased like an unswerving weighing scale
Is an ornament for the great.

0119 Equity is words without bias
And it comes from a firm, unbiased mind.

0120 A merchant's best merchandise
Is tending other's goods as his own.


013 Possession of self control

0121 Self-control takes one to the gods;
Want of it will push one into utter darkness.

0122 Guard self-control as a treasure;
There is nothing more precious in life.

0123 Those who follow the wise path of self-restraint
Are conferred with virtuous fame.

0124 More imposing than a mountain
Is the stature of the steadfast and self-controlled.

0125 Humility is good for all
But is an added richness to the rich.

0126 Like a tortoise, withdraw your five senses in one birth,
To protect you in the next seven.

0127 Guard your tongue if nothing else;
For words unguarded cause distress.

0128 A bitter word, even if said once,
Can undo all the good intended.

0129 The wound caused by fire will heal within,
But not the scar left by the tongue.

0130 Virtue waits for a timely entry on the path of one
Who curbs wrath and learns self restraint.


014 Possession of decorum

0131 Discipline is more precious than life itself,
For it is discipline that confers eminence.

0132 Strive and preserve good conduct;
By any reckoning, you will find it your sole companion.

0133 Propriety of conduct is great birth,
And impropriety will sink into a mean birth.

0134 Scriptures forgot can be recapitulated;
Bad conduct debases a Brahmin and his birth.

0135 Just as jealousy can’t lead to prosperity,
So also impropriety to greatness.

0136 The strong-willed do not shrink from right conduct;
They know its breach will spell ruin.

0137 Right conduct exalts one, while a bad name
Exposes one to undeserved disgrace.

0138 Good conduct sows good,
And from bad springs eternal trouble.

0139 Men of good conduct cannot speak ill
Even by a slip of tongue.

0140 Those are fools, however learned,
Who have not learnt to walk with the world.

015 Not coveting another's Wife

0141 Those who realize the benefit of virtue
Don't commit the folly of desiring another's wife.

0142 No sinner so foolish as he who lurks
At the door of another's wife.

0143 No different from the dead are those
Who wickedly desire the wife of a friend.

0144 What does greatness avail if one without even least guilt
Goes into another's home?

0145 Erring with another's wife may seem easy,
But disgrace will be irredeemable for all time.

0146 The adulterer has no respite from these four:
Hatred, sin, fear and disgrace.

0147 He is a virtuous householder
Who does not covet another's wife.

0148 The manliness that scorns adultery
Is both virtue and propriety for the great.

0149 Who deserves all the good in this world?
He who clasps not the arms of another's wife!

0150 You may trespass the bounds of other virtues,
But not the bounds of another's wife.


016 Forbearance

0151 To bear insults is best, like the earth
Which bears and maintains its diggers.

0152 Forgive transgressions always,
Better still forget them.

0153 The want of wants is to be inhospitable,
The might of might to suffer fools.

0154 If you desire that greatness should never leave,
Foster the conduct of forbearance.

0155 Avengers are despised as worthless,
Forbearers are prized as gold.

0156 Retaliation gives but a day's joy;
Forbearance brings glory for all time.

0157 Though unjustly afflicted by others, pity them
And refrain from unrighteous response.

0158 Let a man conquer by his forbearance
Those who wrong him with arrogance.

0159 More pure than ascetics are they
Who bear the insult of transgressors.

0160 Fasting and penance of the great
Come next only to bearing insults of others.


017 Not envying

0161 Deem virtuous that heart of men
Who by nature are not jealous.

0162 No blessing is so great as a nature
That is free from all envy.

0163 One who eyes the growth of others with envy
Forfeits the wealth of virtue.

0164 Those who know the woes of evil deeds,
Dare not do wrong out of envy.

0165 The envious need no other foes;
Their envy is more than enough.

0166 A man who envies charitable deeds
Will see his folk perish - naked and starving.

0167 The goddess of fortune departs the envious,
Introducing him to her elder sister.

0168 That sin called envy slays fortune
And leads one to the swirl pool of evil.

0169 The prosperity of the envious
And the poverty of the righteous will be pondered.

0170 None has gained through envy,
Nor have the un-envious ever lost.

018 Not coveting

0171 Unjust desire to covet others’ honest wealth
At once ruins home and begets evil.

0172 Those who deem injustice a shame,
Refrain from covetousness that brings blame.

0173 They will not sin for fleeting pleasures
Who seek eternal joy.

0174 Their senses conquered,
The clear-eyed cite not their poverty to covet.

0175 Of what avail is a keen and sharp intellect,
If greed seizes one to covet?

0176 Even he whom grace beckons, if beckoned by greed,
Will perish beckoned with evil.

0177 Avoid wealth though greed.
Out of it comes no good.

0178 Do not covet another's wealth
If you would keep your own un-shrunk.

0179 Fortune finds the worth and draws near to those
Who know the worth of non-coveting.

0180 Mindless coveting brings ruin.
The pride of freedom from desire yields success.


019 Avoiding slander

0181 One may not preach or practice virtue,
But not being called a slanderer is pleasing.

0182 Viler than violating virtue for committing vile,
Is to smile before and vilify behind.

0183 Better die in virtue than live a life of slanderer
Under false pretences.

0184 Better heartless words to man's face
Than thoughtless ones at his back.

0185 The meanness in the heart of one posing virtuous,
Shall be known by his slanderous tongue.

0186 His failings will be found and shown,
If one makes another's failings known.

0187 Those who cannot laugh and make friends
Can only slander and make foes.

0188 What won't they do to strangers
Who broadcast their friends' faults?

0189 The earth bears the weights of scandalmongers
Only for the sake of duty.

0190 Will any evil befall mankind if we can see,
Like others' faults, ours as well?

020 Avoiding vain speech

0191 To disgust people with empty words
Is to be despised by all.

0192 Vain speech in public is worse
Than a wrong done to a friend.

0193 He that multiplies empty words
Declares loud his want of worth.

0194 Vain words of inconsequence in public
Rob one of any gain or goodness.

0195 Men of worth, speaking nonsense,
Will lose greatness and esteem.

0196 Call him not a man who loves idle words.
Call him rather chaff among men.

0197 Even unpleasant words may be spoken,
But the wise should avoid idle speech.

0198 The wise who weigh their worth
Refrain from words that have no grain of worth.

0199 The clear-eyed and spotless never even forgetfully
Say things that are meaningless.

0200 Should you speak, speak useful words.
Never indulge in vain speech.

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