Tkl 1 2 19

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


1.2.19 Giving

Call that a gift to needy men thou dost dispense,
All else is void of good, seeking for recompense.
To give to the destitute is true charity. All other gifts have the nature of (what is done for) a measured return.

Though men declare it Heavenward path, yet to receive is ill;
Though upper Heaven were not, to give is Virtue still.
To beg is Evil, even though it were said that it is a good path (to Heaven). To give is good, even though it were said that those who do so cannot obtain Heaven.

I ve nought is ne er the high born man s reply;
He gives to those who raise themselves that cry.
(Even in a low state) not to adopt the mean expedient of saying "I have nothing," but to give, is the characteristic of the mad of noble birth.

The suppliants cry for aid yields scant delight,
Until you see his face with grateful Gladness bright.
To see men begging from us in disagreeable, until we see their pleasant countenance.

Mid Devotees they re great who hunger s pangs sustain,
Who hunger s pangs relieve a higher merit gain.
The power of those who perform penance is the power of enduring hunger. It is inferior to the power of those who remove the hunger (of others).

Let man relieve the wasting hunger men endure;
For treasure gained thus finds he treasure house secure.
The removal of the killing hunger of the poor is the place for one to lay up his Wealth.

Whose Soul delights with hungry men to share his meal,
The hand of hunger s sickness sore shall never feel.
The fiery Disease of hunger shall never touch him who habitually distributes his Food to others.

Delight of glad ning human Hearts with gifts do they not know.
Men of unpitying eye, who hoard their Wealth and lose it so?
Do the hard eyed who lay up and lose their possessions not know the happiness which springs from the Pleasure of giving

They keep their garners full, for self alone the board they spread;
Tis greater pain, be sure, than begging daily bread!
Solitary and unshared eating for the sake of filling up one s own riches is certainly much more unpleasant than begging.

Tis bitter pain to die, Tis worse to live.
For him who nothing finds to give!
Nothing is more unpleasant than death: yet even that is pleasant where charity cannot be exercised.

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