Tkl 2 3 04

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


2.3.4. The Excellence of an Army

A conquering host, complete in all its limbs, that fears no wound,
Mid treasures of the King is chiefest found.
The Army which is complete in (its) parts and conquers without fear of wounds is the chief Wealth of the King.

In adverse hour, to face undaunted might of conquering Foe,
Is Bravery that only veteran host can show.
Ancient Army can alone have the valour which makes it stand by its King at the time of defeat, fearless of wounds and unmindful of its reduced strength.

Though, like the sea, the angry mice send forth their Battle cry;
What then? The dragon breathes upon them, and they die!
What if (a host of) hostile Rats roar like the Sea They will perish at the mere breath of the cobra.

That is a host, by no defeats, by no desertions shamed,
For old hereditary courage Famed.
That indeed is an Army which has stood firm of old without suffering destruction or deserting (to the Enemy).

That is a host that joins its ranks, and mightily withstands,
Though death with sudden wrath should fall upon its bands.
That indeed is an Army which is capable of offering a united resistance, even if Yama advances against it with fury.

Valour with Honour, sure advance in glory s path, with Confidence;
To warlike host these Four are sure defence.
Valour, Honour, following in the excellent footsteps (of its predecessors) and trust worthiness; these Four alone constitute the safeguard of an Army.

A valiant Army bears the onslaught, onward goes,
Well taught with marshalled ranks to meet their coming Foes.
That is an Army which knowing the art of warding off an impending struggle, can bear against the dust van (of a hostile force).

Though not in War offensive or defensive skilled;
An Army gains applause when well equipped and drilled.
Though destitute of courage to fight and strength (to endure), an Army may yet gain renown by the splendour of its appearance.

Where weakness, clinging fear and Poverty
Are not, the host will gain the Victory.
An Army can triumph (over its Foes) if it is free from diminution; irremediable Aversion and Poverty.

Though men abound, all ready for the war,
No Army is where no fit leaders are.
Though an Army may contain a large number of permanent Soldiers, it cannot last if it has no generals.

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