Tkl 2 1 10

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 11 Oct 2011 10:42 and updated at 11 Oct 2011 10:42

TIRUKKURAL of Tiruvalluvar, the Tamil poet




2.1 Royalty


2.1.10. The Knowledge of Power

The force the strife demands, the force he owns, the force of Foes,
The force of Friends; these should he weigh ere to the War he goes.
Let (one) weigh well the strength of the deed (he purposes to do), his own strength, the strength of his Enemy, and the strength of the allies (of both), and then let him act.

Who know what can be wrought, with Knowledge of the means, on this,
Their mind firm set, go forth, nought goes with them amiss.
There is nothing which may not be accomplished by those who, before they attack (an Enemy), make themselves acquainted with their own ability, and with whatever else is (needful) to be known, and apply themselves wholly to their object.

Ill deeming of their proper powers, have many Monarchs striven,
And midmost of unequal conflict fallen asunder riven.
There are many who, ignorant of their (want of) power (to meet it), have haughtily set out to war, and broken down in the midst of it.

Who not agrees with those around, no moderation knows,
In self applause indulging, swift to ruin goes.
He will quickly perish who, ignorant of his own resources flatters himself of his greatness, and does not live in peace with his Neighbours.

With Peacock Feathers light, you load the wain;
Yet, heaped too high, the axle snaps in twain.
The axle tree of a bandy, loaded only with Peacocks Feathers will break, if it be greatly overloaded.

Who daring climbs, and would himself upraise
Beyond the branch s tip, with life the forfeit pays.
There will be an end to the life of him who, having climbed out to the end of a branch, ventures to go further.

With Knowledge of the measure due, as Virtue bids you give!
That is the way to guard your Wealth, and seemly live.
Let a man know the measure of his ability (to give), and let him give accordingly; such giving is the way to preserve his property.

Incomings may be scant; but yet, no failure there,
If in expenditure you rightly learn to spare.
Even though the income (of a King) be small, it will not cause his (ruin), if his outgoings be not larger than his income.

Who prosperous lives and of enjoyment knows no bound,
His seeming Wealth, departing, nowhere shall be found.
The prosperity of him who lives without knowing the measure (of his property), will perish, even while it seems to continue.

Beneficence that measures not its bound of means,
Will swiftly bring to nought the Wealth on which it leans.
The measure of his Wealth will quickly perish, whose liberality weighs not the measure of his property.

Share:- Facebook