Tkl 1 3 09

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 11 Oct 2011 10:34 and updated at 11 Oct 2011 10:34

TIRUKKURAL of Tiruvalluvar, the Tamil poet




1.3 Ascetic Virtue


1.3.9 Not killing

What is the work of Virtue? Not to kill
For killing leads to every work of ill.
Never to destroy life is the sum of all virtuous conduct. The destruction of life leads to every Evil.

Let those that need partake your meal; guard every thing that lives;
This the chief and sum of lore that hoarded Wisdom gives.
The chief of all (the Virtues) which authors have summed up, is the partaking of Food that has been shared with others, and the preservation of the mainfold life of other creatures.

Alone, first of goods things, is not to slay
The second is, no untrue word to say.
Not to destroy life is an incomparably (great) good next to it in goodness ranks Freedom from falsehood.

You ask, What is the good and perfect way?
Tis path of him who studies nought to slay.
Good path is that which considers how it may avoid killing any creature.

Of those who being dread, and all renounce, the chief are they,
Who dreading Crime of slaughter, study nought to slay.
Of all those who, fearing the permanence of Earthly births, have abandoned Desire, he is the chief who, fearing (the guilt of) murder, considers how he may avoid the destruction of life.

Ev n death that life devours, their happy days shall spare,
Who law, Thou shall not kill uphold with reverent care.
Yama, the destroyer of life, will not attack the life of him, who acts under the determination of never destroying life.

Though thine own life for that spared life the price must pay,
Take not from aught that lives gift of sweet life away.
Let no one do that which would destroy the life of another, although he should by so doing, lose his own life.

Though great the gain of good should seem, the wise
Will any gain by staughter won despise.
The advantage which might flow from destroying life in sacrifice, is dishonourable to the wise (who renounced the world), even although it should be said to be productive of great good.

Whose trade is killing always vile they show,
To minds of them who what is vileness know.
Men who destroy life are base men, in the estimation of those who know the nature of meanness.

Who lead a loathed life in bodies sorely pained,
Are men, the wise declare, by guilt of slaughter stained.
(The wise) will say that men of Diseased bodies, who live in degradation and in Poverty, are those who separated the life from the body of Animals (in a former birth).

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