Saturday, 28 May 2011

Thirukkural in English - From chapters 051 to 060

Division II. Wealth - From chapters 051 to 060

051 Testing and choosing

0501 Before you trust, test people's attitude to these four:
Virtue, wealth, love and survival.

0502 Noble heritage, freedom from faults and shame of blame
Are some norms to choose.

0503 Even the widely-read and faultless, when scrutinized,
Are rarely found free of ignorance.

0504 Weigh a man's merits and also his defects.
Whichever weighs more is his nature.

0505 A man's deeds are the touchstone of his
Greatness and littleness.

0506 Choose not men who have no kindred.
With no bonds to restrain, they dread no shame.

0507 To favour and select the incompetent out of love,
Leads to folly in all forms.

0508 To choose a stranger untried
Will trouble one's line without end.

0509 Trust none untried, and after trial
Entrust him with the trusted job.

0510 Trusting those untested and suspecting those tested,
Both lead to endless trouble.


052 Testing and deployment

0511 Employ those who prefer to do the good
After scanning both good and bad.

0512 Entrust the job to one who can augment revenue,
Foster wealth and find out hurdles.

0513 The qualified possess these four:
Affection, wisdom, clarity and contentment.

0514 Put into many tests, they pass.
Yet when subjected to different tasks, many fail.

0515 Where knowledge and diligence are required,
Don't entrust tasks on personal loyalty.

0516 Weigh well the agent, the task
And the time before you act.

0517 Assured this man will do this task this way,
Leave it to him.

0518 After ascertaining what work befits a man,
Assign him the responsibility.

0519 Fortune deserts him who doubts
The liberties taken by a devout worker.

0520 Nothing goes wrong in the state of a king
Who often checks his officials for any wrong.


053 Cherishing the kindred

0521 Only the kindred, because of their old contact,
Show attachment even in adversity.

0522 When kindred show unfailing love,
Wealth of all kinds never fail to flow.

0523 The life of an unattached man
Is like a boundless pond flowing unbound.

0524 To be circled by circles of kin is the benefit
One gains by gaining wealth.

0525 Generosity and sweet words enable a man
To be circled by circles of kin.

0526 None in this world has a larger kinship than he
Who is liberal and curbs his wrath.

0527 Crows trumpet their finds and share them.
Prosperity also abides with such men.

0528 Many thrive seeing a king who sees case by case,
Not seeing mere sameness in all.

0529 Associates who left will return,
Once the cause of dissociation is removed.

0530 The king should ascertain the motive of the deserters
Who wish to come back.


054 Avoiding slackness

0531 Worse than too much wrath is the laxity
Due to too much exultation.

0532 Just as constant want crushes the intellect,
Negligence kills repute.

0533 All writings of the world conclude the same
That fame is not for the lax.

0534 There is no refuge for the coward,
Nor is there anything good for the lax.

0535 The negligent unmindful of threats beforehand
Will repent for the mistakes later on.

0536 Nothing can equal never being lax
With anyone at any time without fail.

0537 There is nothing too difficult for a man
Armed with vigilance.

0538 Cherish and perform praiseworthy acts.
To neglect and put off deprives one in seven births.

0539 When the mind is elated with joy,
Think of those who were ruined by neglect.

0540 What is aimed is easy to achieve,
If only the mind is set on what is aimed.


055 Right governance

0541 The way is to launch an enquiry, investigate with impartiality,
And dispense as per norms.

0542 All the world looks up to heaven for rain
And the subjects to their king for justice.

0543 The scepter of the king furnishes the basic support
To virtue and scriptures.

0544 A great kingdom's monarch who rules embracing his subjects
Has the world embrace his feet.

0545 The king who rules according to the law
Never lacks rain and corn.

0546 Not his spear but a straight scepter
Is what gives a monarch his triumph.

0547 The king guards all the land, and his own rule
Will guard him if he is straight.

0548 An indifferent unjust king beyond the reach of his subjects
Will sink beyond and perish.

0549 For a king who would guard and cherish his people,
To punish crimes is a duty, not defect.

0550 A king punishing criminals by execution
Is like a farmer removing weeds from his fields.


056 Misrule

0551 More malicious than a murderer is the king
Who rules with injustice and oppression.

0552 A tyrant taxing his subjects
Is like an armed dacoit extorting money.

0553 A king who fails in his day today affairs
Loses his kingdom day by day.

0554 A thoughtless king who abuses his scepter
Will lose at once his wealth and subjects.

0555 It is the tears of those groaning under oppression
That wear out the prosperity of the king.

0556 Just rule stabilizes a king.
Lacking it his glory fades.

0557 How fares the earth without rain?
So fares life under a ruthless king.

0558 Possessions are worse than poverty
Under the scepter of an unjust king.

0559 If a king acts contrary to justice,
Monsoons fail and clouds shed no rain.

0560 Cows yield less and priests forget their hymns
If the protector fails to protect.


057 Avoiding tyranny

0561 Call him king who probes and whose punishment
Is deterrent and proportionate.

0562 Raise your hand forcibly but bring it lightly
To have a lasting effect.

0563 A dictator causing oppression
Will have a speedy and certain end.

0564 When a king is decried a tyrant,
His life is shortened and end becomes imminent.

0565 The great wealth of one inaccessible and sour-faced
Is no better than a demon's.

0566 If he is unkind and speaks harsh,
His lofty wealth ends there without lasting long.

0567 Harsh words and excessive punishments
Are files that grind down a king's might.

0568 The king who rages but not reflect on his counsel,
Will soon see his wealth shrink.

0569 A king who neglects his defences,
Will die of fright at the time of war.

0570 The earth bears no heavier burden
Than a tyrant surrounded by ignorant men.


058 Compassion

0571 What truly moves this world
Is that ravishing beauty called compassion.

0572 Compassion sustains the world.
Without it men are but a burden on earth.

0573 What use is a rāgā that cannot be sung?
Or eyes without sympathy?

0574 What use are eyes that look like eyes
But lack boundless sympathy?

0575 Compassion is an ornament of the eyes.
Without it eyes are deemed sores.

0576 Like trees earth-bound which cannot move
Are eyes unmoved by pity.

0577 Men without sympathy have no eyes;
Nor those who have eyes lack sympathy.

0578 This world is theirs who compassionately perform
Their duties without fail.

0579 That quality of forbearance and sympathy is the best,
Even to those who hurt us.

0580 Those desirous of refinement will drink with smile
Even hemlock when offered.


059 Espionage

0581 Spies and classics on statecraft:
These two are a king's pair of eyes.

0582 A king's job is to know in time everything
That happens to everyone every day.

0583 No king has ever succeeded
Without considering the news of the spies.

0584 Employees, kinsmen and enemies
Are the people a spy should cover.

0585 Able spies are always elusive
With perfect guise and fearless eyes.

0586 Disguised as a monk a spy should probe all places
Unperturbed despite hardships.

0587 A spy should ferret out hidden facts
And get them verified beyond doubt.

0588 Even what one spy has spied
Must be spied through another.

0589 Let not one spy know another.
And act when three spies agree.

0590 Never honour a spy in public
Lest your secret should be out.


060 Possessing vigour

0591 What is one's own is one's vigour.
Without it what does one own?

0592 Real asset is the asset of a resolute mind.
Material assets stay not but flee.

0593 Those who have vigour will not lament saying:
"We have suffered loss".

0594 To a man of unshaken vigour,
Wealth will ask and find its way.

0595 Water level determines the lotus height.
A man's stature by the level of his mind.

0596 Let all thy aims be high.
Failure then is as good as success.

0597 An elephant pierced by arrows stands unperturbed.
The courageous relent not in adversities.

0598 The poor in spirit can never attain the pride of being
The generous patrons of the world.

0599 Though huge and sharp-tusked,
An elephant fears a tiger when attacked.

0600 Energy is a man's strength: the immobile are
Trees in human form.

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