Tkl 1 2 18

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 11 Oct 2011 10:28 and updated at 11 Oct 2011 10:28

TIRUKKURAL of Tiruvalluvar, the Tamil poet




1.2 Domestic Virtue


1.2.18 The Knowledge of what is Befitting a Man s Position

Duty demands no recompense; to clouds of Heaven,
By men on Earth, what answering gift is given?
Benevolence seeks not a return. What does the World give back to the clouds

The worthy say, when Wealth rewards their toil spent hours,
For uses of beneficence alone tis ours.
All the Wealth acquired with perseverance by the worthy is for the exercise of benevolence.

To due beneficence no equal good we know,
Amid the happy gods, or in this World below.
It is difficult to obtain another good equal to benevolence either in this World or in that of the gods.

Who knows what s human life s befitting grace,
He lives; the rest mongst dead men have their place.
He truly lives who knows (and discharges) the proper duties (of benevolence). He who knows them not will be reckoned among the dead.

The Wealth of men who Love the fitting way, the truly wise,
Is as when Water fills the Lake that Village needs supplies.
The Wealth of that man of eminent Knowledge who Desires to exercise the benevolence approved of by the world, is like the full Waters of a City tank.

A tree that Fruits in th hamlet s central mart,
Is Wealth that falls to men of liberal Heart.
The Wealth of a man (possessed of the Virtue) of benevolence is like the ripening of a Fruitful tree in the midst of a Town.

Unfailing tree that healing balm distils from every part,
Is ample Wealth that falls to him of large and noble Heart.
If Wealth be in the possession of a man who has the great excellence (of benevolence), it is like a tree which as a Medicine is an infallible cure for Disease.

Even when resources fall, they weary not of Kindness due,
They to whom Duty s self appears in vision true.
The wise who know what is duty will not scant their benevolence even when they are without Wealth.

The kindly Hearted man is poor in this alone,
When power of doing deeds of goodness he finds none.
The Poverty of a benevolent man, is nothing but his inability to exercise the same.

Though by beneficence, the loss of all should come,
Twere meet man sold himself, and bought it with the sum.
If it be said that loss will result from benevolence, such loss is worth being procured even by the sale of one s self.

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