Saturday, 28 May 2011

Thirukkural in English - From chapters 071 to 080

Division II. Wealth - From chapters 071 to 080

071 Mind reading

0701 He is a jewel on this sea-girt earth
Who can read a thought without being told.

0702 Deem that man on par with God
Who can divine with conviction what is in the heart.

0703 He is worth any price who by intuition
can read another's thought.

0704 A thought reader may resemble other men
But is a class apart.

0705 What use are the eyes among senses,
If they cannot read a man's thoughts on his face?

0706 Like a mirror that shows what is in front,
The face reveals the affairs of the mind.

0707 What can be more expressive than the face
To reveal the mind's pleasure and pain?

0708 Just standing in front would suffice
For those who can read the mind on face.

0709 Those familiar with the language of eyes
Can read from eyes both love and hatred.

0710 You will find smart people use nothing but eyes
As a yardstick for measure.


072 Knowing an assembly

0711 Meticulous masters of words
Must judge the council before they speak.

0712 Should skilled orators wish to speak,
Let them study the occasion with care.

0713 Only poor orators, good for nothing, speak at length
Without knowing the audience.

0714 Before the bright, be brilliant light.
Before the dull, assume mortar white.

0715 The best amongst all good qualities
Is the modesty to holdback before elders.

0716 To slip before men of wide learning
Is like slipping from the path of righteousness.

0717 The scholarship of a scholar shines
In an assembly of meticulous scholars.

0718 Speaking before a receptive audience
Is like watering a nursery of growing plants.

0719 Don't tell an assembly of fools even forgetfully
Things meant for the wise.

0720 To deliberate with people of dissimilar interests
Is like spilling nectar in the drain.


073 Fearlessness in assembly

0721 The pure skillful orators, knowing the council's strength,
Never fail in their speech.

0722 Most learned among the learned is he
Whose learning the learned accept.

0723 Many are ready to even die in battle,
But few can face an assembly without nerves.

0724 Let the learned learn from you,
And you from one more learned.

0725 Study the science of logic so that you may
Fearlessly reply in any assembly.

0726 What use is a sword to cowards
And books to those who fear assembly?

0727 As a sword to a eunuch before his foes,
Is the learning to one who fears assembly.

0728 They are useless however learned
Who cannot impress a learned assembly.

0729 Scholars dread of facing an assembly of good men
Are ranked lower than the ignorant.

0730 Those stage-fearing who keep their learning to themselves,
Though living, are dead.


074 Country

0731 Unfailing harvests, learned men and honest traders
Constitute a country.

0732 A land is known for its great wealth
Of abundant produce that never declines.

0733 An ideal land bears all burdens that befall
And yet pays all taxes to the king.

0734 That is a land which is free of much hunger,
Incessant plagues and ravaging enemies.

0735 That is a land free from factions,
Ruinous traitors and terrorists harassing kings.

0736 Call that a leading land that knows no evil days,
And whose yields don't cease even if they come.

0737 A land's limbs are waters from rains,
Springs and well placed hills, and strong fortress.

0738 A country's jewels are these five: Unfailing health,
Fertility, joy, security and wealth.

0739 Call that a land which yields without toil.
That is no land where toil precedes yield.

0740 Even if endowed with all blessings, a country is no worth
If not blessed with a ruler.


075 Fortress

0741 A fortress is an asset to the offender
As well as to those who seek refuge in defence.

0742 Blue water, open space, hills and thick forests
Constitute a fortress.

0743 Books declare that a fort should have these four:
Height, breadth, strength and difficult access.

0744 A fortress, ample in space and easy to defend,
Spoils the might of the foe.

0745 A good fortress is hard to seize, well-supplied
And suited to those within.

0746 With all materials stocked inside,
A fort should have brave soldiers as well.

0747 Hard to capture a fort that withstands
Besieging, artillery and treachery.

0748 Even if encircled by besieging foes,
A fortress enables the besieged to win.

0749 A good fort gains fame frustrating its siege
At the outset of the battle.

0750 A fortress, however grand, amounts to nothing
If its defenders are meek.


076 Acquiring wealth

0751 There is nothing like wealth
To make the worthless worthy.

0752 Everyone despises the poor
While the rich are exalted by all.

0753 The unfailing light called wealth can dispel darkness
Even in far reaching lands.

0754 Wealth acquired sinless and well,
Yields both virtue and happiness.

0755 Discard and let go the wealth
Obtained without love and grace.

0756 Unclaimed wealth, spoils of war and wealth from taxes
Are all rulers' wealth.

0757 The offspring of love 'graciousness' is nursed
By that generous foster-mother 'wealth'.

0758 A wealthy man's undertakings
Are like elephant-fights witnessed from a hill.

0759 Stock wealth: no steel sharper than that
To cut down your foe's pride.

0760 He who makes glorious wealth in plenty,
Gains the other two treasures together.


077 Excellence of an army

0761 A well organized army unafraid of obstacles
Is a ruler's greatest of all possessions.

0762 Only seasoned armies show courage in dire straits,
To stand fearless despite decimation.

0763 So what if an army of rats roar like the sea?
The hiss of a cobra will silence it.

0764 A true army has a long tradition of valour
And knows neither defeat nor desertion.

0765 A capable army stands together and defies
Even if yama attacks in fury.

0766 Valour, honour, tradition of chivalry and credibility;
These four alone are an army's safeguards.

0767 An army should withstand and confound
The foe's tactics, and advance.

0768 Even if lacking in virtue of offence and defence,
An army can gain fame by virtue of its size

0769 An army can triumph if it is free from diminution,
Irrevocable aversion and poverty.

0770 However many and solid the soldiers,
An army without a chief will lose its way.


078 Pride of an army

0771 "Foes! Don't stand before my chief.
Many who stood now stand as stones!"

0772 Better collect the spear that missed an elephant
Than the arrow that killed a hare.

0773 Fierce courage is what they call valour,
But to help a foe in distress cuts deeper.

0774 Losing his spear hurled at a tusker,
A hero grabs happily the one that pierced him.

0775 Is it not shameful for a hero to even let his
Watchful eyes wink when a spear is hurled?

0776 The brave shall deem all the days devoid of battle wounds
As days gone waste.

0777 That hero, who gives up his life for fame,
Is worthy of being adorned with the anklet.

0778 Even a king's wrath cannot hold back heroes
Who do not fear their lives in battle.

0779 Who dares to despise a man for not fulfilling
A pledge he died to fulfill?

0780 If death lies in glory that draws tears from the ruler,
It is worth seeking even in alms.


079 Friendship

0781 What greater security exists than a secure friendship
As a protection against foes?

0782 Wise men's friendship waxes like the crescent
And fools', like the full moon, wanes.

0783 Being with good friends is like reading good books.
More time you spend, more the delight.

0784 Friendship is not for merriment
But for stern reproach when friends go astray.

0785 Identity of feelings makes friendship.
No need for friends to meet and long together.

0786 A smiling face alone makes no friendship,
But the heart should also smile with the face.

0787 Friendship saves from ruin, guides towards right,
And shares the pain of distress.

0788 Swift as the hand seizing a slipping garment,
Friendship acts to assuage a friend in distress.

0789 What is the throne of friendship? It is that resolve
Of unfailing support given at all time.

0790 To boast, "He means so much to me and I to him,"
Merely demeans a friendship.


080 Choosing friends

0791 Nothing worse than befriending one untried,
For friends once made should last forever.

0792 Friendship made without enquiries
Can cause lifetime trouble.

0793 Make one a friend after knowing his nature,
Family, fellows and flaws.

0794 A man of birth and scrupulous honour
Is worth seeking even at a price.

0795 Seek a friend who will make you cry,
Rail and rate when you go astray.

0796 Is there any yardstick better than adversity,
To spread out and measure friends?

0797 It is a gain by itself if one gets away
From the friendship of fools.

0798 Dwell not in thoughts that dim your spirit
And befriend not those who desert in affliction.

0799 The thought of friend's betrayal in need
Rankles even on the deathbed.

0800 Seek the friendship of the pure, and shake off
The worthless even at a price.

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