Tkl 2 3 01

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 11 Oct 2011 10:56 and updated at 11 Oct 2011 10:56

TIRUKKURAL of Tiruvalluvar, the Tamil poet




2.3 The Essentials of a State


2.3.1 The Land

Where spreads fertility unfailing, where resides a band,
Of virtuous men, and those of ample Wealth, call that a land
A Kingdom is that in which (those who carry on) a complete cultivation, virtuous persons, and merchants with inexhaustible Wealth, dwell together.

That is a land which men Desire for Wealth s abundant share,
Yielding rich increase, where calamities are rare.
A Kingdom is that which is Desire for its immense Wealth, and which grows greatly in prosperity, being free from destructive causes.

When burthens press, it bears; Yet, With unfailing hand
To King due tribute pays: that is the land
A Kingdom is that which can bear any burden that may be pressed on it (from adjoining Kingdoms) and (yet) pay the full tribute to its Sovereign.

That is a land whose peaceful annals know,
Nor famine fierce, nor wasting Plague, nor ravage of the Foe.
A Kingdom is that which continues to be free from excessive starvation, irremediable Epidemics, and destructive Foes.

From factions free, and desolating civil strife, and band
Of lurking murderers that King afflict, that is the land
A Kingdom is that which is without various (irregular) associations, destructive internal Enemies, and murderous savages who (sometimes) harass the Sovereign.

Chief of all lands is that, where nought disturbs its peace;
Or, if invaders come, still yields its rich increase.
The learned say that the best Kingdom is that which knows no Evil (from its Foes), and, if injured (at all), suffers no diminution in its Fruitfulness.

Waters from rains and springs, a Mountain near, and Waters thence;
These make a land, with Fortress sure defence.
The constituents of a Kingdom are the Two Waters (from above and below), well situated Hills and an undestructible Fort.

A Country s Jewels are these Five: unfailing health,
Fertility, and joy, a sure defence, and Wealth.
Freedom from Epidemics, Wealth, produce, happiness and protection (to subjects); these Five, the learned, say, are the Ornaments of a Kingdom.

That is a land that yields increase unsought,
That is no land whose gifts with toil are bought.
The learned say that those are Kingdom whose Wealth is not laboured for, and those not, whose Wealth is only obtained through labour.

Though blest with all these varied gifts increase,
A land gains nought that is not with its King at peace.
Although in possession of all the above mentioned excellences, these are indeed of no use to a Country, in the absence of harmony between the Sovereign and the sujects.

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