Tkl 2 3 05

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 11 Oct 2011 10:57 and updated at 11 Oct 2011 10:57

TIRUKKURAL of Tiruvalluvar, the Tamil poet




2.3 The Essentials of a State


2.3.5. Military Spirit

Ye Foes! stand not before my lord! for many a one
Who did my lord withstand, now stands in stone!
O my Foes, stand not before my leader; (for) many are those who did so but afterwards stood (in the shape of) statues.

Who aims at Elephant, though dart should fail, has greater praise.
Than he who woodland hare with winged arrow slays.
It is more pleasant to hold the dart that has missed an Elephant than that which has hit hare in the Forest.

Fierceness in hour of strife Heroic greatness shows;
Its edge is Kindness to our suffering Foes.
The learned say that fierceness (incontest with a Foe) is indeed great valour; but to become a benefactor in case of accident (to a Foe) is the extreme (limit) of that valour.

At Elephant he hurls the dart in hand; for Weapon pressed,
He laughs and plucks the Javelin from his wounded Breast.
The Hero who after casting the lance in his hand on an Elephant, comes (in search of another) will pluck the one (that sticks) in his body and laugh (exultingly).

To Hero fearless must it not defeat appear,
If he but wink his eye when Foemen hurls his spear.
Is it not a defeat to the valiant to wink and destroy their ferocious look when a lance in cast at them (by their Foe)

The Heroes, counting up their days, set down as vain
Each day when they no glorious wound sustain.
The Hero will reckon among wasted days all those on which he had not received severe wounds.

Who seek for World wide Fame, regardless of their life,
The glorious clasp adorns, sign of Heroic strife.
The fastening of ankle ring by those who disire a World wide renown and not (the safety of) their lives is like adorning (themselves).

Fearless they rush where er the tide of Battle rolls
The King s reproof damps not the ardour of their eager souls.
The Heroes who are not afraid of losing their life in a contest will not cool their ardour, even if the King prohibits (their fighting).

Who says they err, and visits them scorn,
Who die and faithful guard the vow they ve sworn?
Who would reproach with failure those who seal their oath with their death

If Monarch s Eyes o erflow with Tears for Hero slain,
Who would not beg such boon of glorious death to gain?
If Heroes() can so die as to fill with Tears the Eyes of their rulers, such a death deserves to be obtained even by begging.

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