Tkl 2 2 01

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 11 Oct 2011 10:50 and updated at 11 Oct 2011 10:50

TIRUKKURAL of Tiruvalluvar, the Tamil poet




2.2 Ministers of State


2.2.1. The Office of Minister of state

A Minister is he who grasps, with Wisdom large,
Means, time, work s mode, and functions rare he must discharge.
The Minister is one who can make an excellent choice of means, time, manner of execution, and the difficult undertaking (itself).

A Minister must greatness own of guardian power, determined mind,
Learn d Wisdom, manly effort with the former Five combined.
The Minister is one who in addition to the aforesaid Five things excels in the possession of firmness, protection of subjects, clearness by learning, and perseverance.

A Minister is he whose power can Foes divide,
Attach more firmly Friends, of severed ones can heal the breaches wide.
The Minister is one who can effect discord (among Foes), maintain the good will of his Friends and restore to Friendship those who have seceded (from him).

A Minister has power to see the methods help afford,
To ponder long, then utter calm conclusive word.
The Minister is one who is able to comprehend (the whole nature of an undertaking), execute it in the best manner possible, and offer assuring Advice (in time of necessity).

The man who Virtue knows, has use of wise and pleasant words.
With plans for every season apt, in counsel aid affords.
He is the best helper (of the King) who understanding the duties, of the latter, is by his special learning, able to tender the fullest Advice, and at all times conversant with the best method (of
performing actions).

When native subtilty combines with sound scholastic lore,
Tis subtilty surpassing all, which nothing stands before.
What (contrivances) are there so acute as to resist those who possess natural acuteness in addition to learning

Though knowing all that books can teach, tis truest tact
To follow common sense of men in act.
Though you are acquainted with the (theoretical) methods (of performing an act), understand the ways of the World and act accordingly.

Tis duty of the man in place aloud to say
The very truth, though unwise King may cast his words away.
Although the King be utterly ignorant, it is the duty of the Minister to give (him) sound Advice.

A Minister who by King s side plots Evil things
Worse woes than countless Foemen brings.
Far better are Seventy crores of Enemies (for a King) than a Minister at his side who intends (his) ruin.

For gain of end Desired just counsel nought avails
To Minister, when tact in execution fails.
Those Ministers who are destitute of (executive) ability will fail to carry out their projects, although they may have contrived aright.

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