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Thirukkural

>Thiruvalluvar's Thirukkural
English Translation by Kaviyogi Maharishi Shuddhananda Bharatiar
E-Text Source: www.projectmadurai.org

Holy Kural

1. The Praise of God

1.1.1 The Praise of God

1.
'A' leads letters; the Ancient Lord
Leads and lords the entire world.

2.
That lore is vain which does not fall
At His good feet who knoweth all.

3.
Long they live on earth who gain
The feet of God in florid brain.

4.
Who hold His feet who likes nor loathes
Are free from woes of human births.

5.
God's praise who tell, are free from right
And wrong, the twins of dreaming night.

6.
They prosper long who walk His way
Who has the senses signed away.

7.
His feet, whose likeness none can find,
Alone can ease the anxious mind.

8.
Who swims the sea of vice is he
Who clasps the feet of Virtue's sea.

9.
Like senses stale that head is vain
Which bows not to Eight-Virtued Divine.

10.
The sea of births they alone swim
Who clench His feet and cleave to Him.


1.1.2. The Blessing of Rain

11.
The genial rain ambrosia call:
The world but lasts while rain shall fall.

12.
The rain begets the food we eat
And forms a food and drink concrete.

13.
Let clouds their visits stay, and dearth
Distresses all the sea-girt earth.

14.
Unless the fruitful shower descend,
The ploughman's sacred toil must end.

15.
Destruction it may sometimes pour
But only rain can life restore.

16.
No grassy blade its head will rear,
If from the cloud no drop appear.

17.
The ocean's wealth will waste away,
Except the cloud its stores repay.

18.
The earth, beneath a barren sky,
Would offerings for the gods deny.

19.
Were heaven above to fail below
Nor alms nor penance earth would show.

20.
Water is life that comes from rain
Sans rain our duties go in vain.


1.1.3. The Merit of Ascetics

21.
No merit can be held so high
As theirs who sense and self deny.

22.
To con ascetic glory here
Is to count the dead upon the sphere.

23.
No lustre can with theirs compare
Who know the right and virtue wear.

24.
With hook of firmness to restrain
The senses five, is heaven to gain.

25.
Indra himself has cause to say
How great the power ascetics' sway.

26.
The small the paths of ease pursue
The great achieve things rare to do.

27.
They gain the world, who grasp and tell
Of taste, sight, hearing, touch and smell.

28.
Full-worded men by what they say,
Their greatness to the world display.

29.
Their wrath, who've climb'd the mount of good,
Though transient, cannot be withstood.

30.
With gentle mercy towards all,
The sage fulfils the vitue's call.


1.1.4 The Power of Virtue

31.
From virtue weal and wealth outflow;
What greater good can mankind know?

32.
Virtue enhances joy and gain;
Forsaking it is fall and pain.

33.
Perform good deeds as much you can
Always and everywhere, o man!

34.
In spotless mind virtue is found
And not in show and swelling sound.

35.
Four ills eschew and virtue reach,
Lust, anger, envy, evil-speech.

36.
Do good enow; defer it not
A deathless aid in death if sought.

37.
Litter-bearer and rider say
Without a word, the fortune's way.

38.
Like stones that block rebirth and pain
Are doing good and good again.

39.
Weal flows only from virtue done
The rest is rue and renown gone.

40.
Worthy act is virtue done
Vice is what we ought to shun.


1.2. DOMESTIC VIRTUE

1.2.1. Married Life

41.
The ideal householder is he
Who aids the natural orders there.

42.
His help the monk and retired share,
And celibate students are his care.

43.
By dutiful householder's aid
God, manes, kin, self and guests are served.

44.
Sin he shuns and food he shares
His home is bright and brighter fares.

45.
In grace and gain the home excels,
Where love with virtue sweetly dwells.

46.
Who turns from righteous family
To be a monk, what profits he?

47.
Of all who strive for bliss, the great
Is he who leads the married state.

48.
Straight in virtue, right in living
Make men brighter than monks praying.

49.
Home-life and virtue, are the same;
Which spotless monkhood too can claim.

50.
He is a man of divine worth
Who lives in ideal home on earth.


1.2.2 The Worth of a Wife

51.
A good housewife befits the house,
Spending with thrift the mate's resource.

52.
Bright is home when wife is chaste.
If not all greatness is but waste.

53.
What is rare when wife is good.
What can be there when she is bad?

54.
What greater fortune is for men
Than a constant chaste woman?

55.
Her spouse before God who adores,
Is like rain that at request pours.

56.
The good wife guards herself from blame,
She tends her spouse and brings him fame.

57.
Of what avail are watch and ward?
Their purity is women's guard.

58.
Women who win their husbands' heart
Shall flourish where the gods resort.

59.
A cuckold has not the lion-like gait
Before his detractors aright.

60.
An honest wife is home's delight
And children good are jewels abright.


1.2.3. The Wealth of Children

61.
The world no higher bliss bestows
Than children virtuous and wise.

62.
No evil comes and no blemish;
Noble sons bring all we wish.

63.
Children are one's wealth indeed
Their wealth is measured by their deed.

64.
The food is more than nectar sweet
In which one's children hands insert.

65.
Children's touch delights the body
Sweet to ears are their words lovely.

66.
The flute and lute are sweet they say
Deaf to baby's babble's lay!

67.
A father's duty to his son is
To seat him in front of the wise.

68.
With joy the hearts of parents swell
To see their children themselves excel.

69.
The mother, hearing her son's merit
Delights more than when she begot.

70.
The son to sire this word is debt
"What penance such a son begot!"


1.2.4. Loving-Kindness

71.
What bolt can bar true love in fact
The tricking tears reveal the heart.

72.
To selves belong the loveless ones;
To oth'rs the loving e'en to bones.

73.
Soul is encased in frame of bone
To taste the life of love alone.

74.
Love yields aspiration and thence
Friendship springs up in excellence.

75.
The crowning joy of home life flows
From peaceful psychic love always.

76.
"Love is virtue's friend" say know-nots
It helps us against evil plots.

77.
Justice burns the loveless form
Like solar blaze the boneless worm.

78.
Life bereft of love is gloom
Can sapless tree in desert bloom?

79.
Love is the heart which limbs must move,
Or vain the outer parts will prove.

80.
The seat of life is love alone;
Or beings are but skin and bone!


1.2.5. Hospitality

81.
Men set up home, toil and earn
To tend the guests and do good turn.

82.
To keep out guests cannot be good
Albeit you eat nector-like food.

83.
Who tends his guests day in and out
His life in want never wears out.

84.
The goddess of wealth will gladly rest
Where smiles welcome the worthy guest.

85.
Should his field be sown who first
Feeds the guests and eats the rest?

86.
Who tends a guest and looks for next
Is a welcome guest in heaven's feast.

87.
Worth of the guest of quality
Is worth of hospitality.

88.
Who loathe guest-service one day cry:
"We toil and store; but life is dry".

89.
The man of wealth is poor indeed
Whose folly fails the guest to feed.

90.
Anicham smelt withers: like that
A wry-faced look withers the guest.


1.2.6. Sweet Words

91.
The words of Seers are lovely sweet
Merciful and free from deceit.

92.
Sweet words from smiling lips dispense
More joys than heart's beneficence.

93.
Calm face, sweet look, kind words from heart
Such is the gracious virtue's part.

94.
Whose loving words delight each one
The woe of want from them is gone.

95.
To be humble and sweet words speak
No other jewel do wise men seek.

96.
His sins vanish, his virtues grow
Whose fruitful words with sweetness flow.

97.
The fruitful courteous kindly words
Lead to goodness and graceful deeds.

98.
Kind words free from meanness delight
This life on earth and life the next.

99.
Who sees the sweets of sweetness here
To use harsh words how can he dare?

100.
Leaving ripe fruits the raw he eats
Who speaks harsh words when sweet word suits.


1.2.7. Gratitude

101.
Unhelped in turn good help given
Exceeds in worth earth and heaven.

102.
A help rendered in hour of need
Though small is greater than the world.

103.
Help rendered without weighing fruits
Outweighs the sea in grand effects.

104.
Help given though millet- small
Knowers count its good palm- tree tall.

105.
A help is not the help's measure
It is gainer's worth and pleasure.

106.
Forget not friendship of the pure
Forsake not timely helpers sure.

107.
Through sevenfold births, in memory fares
The willing friend who wiped one's tears.

108.
To forget good turns is not good
Good it is over wrong not to brood.

109.
Let deadly harms be forgotten
While remembering one good-turn.

110.
The virtue-killer may be saved
Not benefit-killer who is damned.

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