Saturday, 28 May 2011

Thirukkural in English - From chapters 101 to 108

Division II. Wealth - From chapters 101 to 108

101 Useless wealth

1001 A miser makes of his pile of vast wealth,
No more use than a corpse.

1002 Believing wealth is everything, yet giving nothing,
The miser is ensnared in the misery of birth.

1003 Their very sight is a burden to earth
Who hoard wealth and not renown.

1004 What legacy can one, who is loved by none,
Think of leaving behind?

1005 Wealth, though millions manifold, amounts to nothing
If one neither gives nor enjoys it.

1006 Riches are a curse when neither enjoyed,
Nor given to the worthy.

1007 Wealth not given to the needy goes waste
Like a lovely spinster growing old.

1008 The wealth of the unloved is like a poisonous tree
That ripens in the heart of a village.

1009 Strangers shall possess that wealth
Amassed without love, comfort or scruples.

1010 The brief want of the benign rich
Is like the monsoon clouds just shed its moisture.

102 Being ashamed

1011 Real shyness is to shy away from shameful acts.
The rest are like shyness of pretty women.

1012 Food, clothing and the rest are common to all.
Distinction comes from sensitivity to shame.

1013 All souls abide in the body
And the goodness called modesty in perfection.

1014 Is not modesty the jewel of the great,
And without it a curse for their pride and demeanor?

1015 To the world, the sense of shame resides in them
Who blush for their and others’ blame.

1016 The great would rather defend with modesty's barricade
Than breach it to acquire the vast world.

1017 Men of honour give up life for honour’s sake,
But never abandon honour to save life.

1018 Virtue will shy away from one who does not shy away
From what others shy from.

1019 Lapse in manners injures the family,
But every good is lost by lack of shame.

1020 The moves of those devoid of conscience
Are like those of puppets moved by a string.

103 Social service

1021 There is nothing more glorious than to persist
In the advance of the community.

1022 Manly exertion and sound knowledge:
A community progresses with these two.

1023 The Lord himself will wrap his robes
And lead the one bent on social service.

1024 Success will come by itself to the one
Who tirelessly strives for his society.

1025 The world will flock round the one
Leading a blameless life doing social service.

1026 True valour lies in raising the community
One is born into.

1027 As in the battlefield, the burden of social work
Also falls on the capable.

1028 There is no set time for social service.
To put off is to ruin repute.

1029 Is the body that protects one’s family against hurdles
A receptacle for hardships alone?

1030 Society will crash axed by misfortune
Without good men to support it.

104 Agriculture

1031 Wherever it whirls, the world must follow the farmer.
Thus despite hardships, farming is the best.

1032 Farmers are the linchpin of the world
For they support all others who cannot till.

1033 They only live who live by the plough.
The rest must stoop and trail behind.

1034 The reign of many kingdoms comes under
The reign of those with abundant grain.

1035 Those who eat what their hands produce
Neither beg nor refuse a beggar.

1036 Even the desire-free hermits will lose their state
If ploughmen fold their hands.

1037 If ploughed and dried to quarter its size,
The soil yields plenty sans even handful manure.

1038 Manuring is crucial than ploughing. After weeding,
Protection is crucial than watering.

1039 If the landlord neglects his field visits,
The angry land will sulk like a neglected wife.

1040 Mother Earth laughs at the sight of those
Who remain idle pleading poverty.

105 Poverty

1041 What is more painful than poverty?
The pain of poverty itself!

1042 The demon of poverty takes away
The joys of this life and the next.

1043 That cancer called poverty destroys at once
The honor of ancient descent and clout.

1044 Even in those of high birth, poverty will produce
The fault of uttering mean words.

1045 That misery called poverty brings with it
A diversity of sufferings.

1046 A poor man's words carry no weight,
However meaningful and profound.

1047 Poverty, destitute of all virtues, alienates a man
Even from the mother who bore him.

1048 Will that hunger which almost killed me yesterday,
Pester me even today?

1049 One may sleep even in the midst of fire,
But by no means in the midst of poverty.

1050 The poverty stricken has a chance to renounce,
Lest he hang around for salt and gruel.

106 Begging

1051 Beg if you meet men of means.
If they refuse, the fault is theirs, not yours.

1052 Begging is a pleasure if what is asked
Comes without pain.

1053 There is beauty even in begging
If it is before dutiful men with generous heart.

1054 Begging from men who do not refuse even in their dreams
Is as honorable as bestowing.

1055 Men stand expectant only because
The world has a few who won't refuse.

1056 All ills of begging will flee at the sight of those
Who are free from the ills of refusal.

1057 The glad heart rejoices within
When it sees one who gives without scorn.

1058 Without beggars this vast scenic world
Would be a stage of puppets that come and go.

1059 What fame can givers achieve
If there is none to beg and receive?

1060 The denied suppliant should not chafe.
His own want is proof enough.

107 Dread of begging

1061 It is worth millions not to beg
Even from the precious ones who delight in giving.

1062 If some must beg and live, let the Creator of the world
Himself roam and perish!

1063 No greater audacity that the audacity of hoping
Begging will rid the misery of poverty.

1064 No place can hold the greatness of those
Who don’t beg even during troubled times.

1065 There is nothing sweeter than even the watery gruel
Earned by one's own labour.

1066 No greater disgrace for the tongue than to beg
Even if only water for a cow.

1067 This I beg of all beggars,
"If beg you must, beg not from misers."

1068 The hapless ship of begging will split
The moment it strikes the rock of refusal.

1069 The heart melts at the thought of begging
And dies at the thought of denial.

1070 Where will the niggard’s life seek refuge
When the beggar’s life is taken by refusal?

108 Wickedness

1071 The wicked look utterly like men!
Such close mimics we have never seen!

1072 More blessed than the good are the base,
For they have no scruples.

1073 The base are like the gods.
They also do whatever they like.

1074 The base are proud when they find men
Meaner than themselves.

1075 Fear is the base man's only code;
Sometimes, greed a little.

1076 The base are like drum, for they sound off to others
Every secret they hear.

1077 The base won’t even shake their wet hands
Unless their jaws are shaken with clenched fists.

1078 A word will move the noble;
While the base, like sugarcane, must be crushed.

1079 The base excel in finding faults of others
When they see them well clothed and fed.

1080 What use are the base in a crisis,
Save to rush and sell themselves?

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