Tkl 2 4 12

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

TIRUKKURAL of Tiruvalluvar, the Tamil poet




2.4 Miscellaneous


2.4.12. The Dread of Mendicancy

Ten Million fold tis greater gain, asking no alms to live,
Even from those, like Eyes in worth, who nought concealing gladly give.
Not to beg (at all) even from those excellent persons who cheerfully give without refusing, will do immense good.

If he that shaped the World Desires that men should begging go,
Through life s long course, let him a wanderer be and perish so.
If the Creator of the World has decreed even begging as a means of livelihood, may he too go abegging and perish.

Nothing is harder than the hardness that will say,
The Plague of penury by asking alms we ll drive away.
There is no greater folly than the boldness with which one seeks to remedy the Evils of Poverty by begging (rather than by working).

Who ne er consent to beg in utmost need, their worth
Has excellence of greatness that transcends the Earth.
Even the whole World cannot sufficiently praise the dignity that would not beg even in the midst of destitution.

Nothing is sweeter than to taste the toil won cheer,
Though mess of pottage as tasteless as the Water clear.
Even thin gruel is Ambrosia to him who has obtained it by labour.

Even if a draught of Water for a Cow you ask,
Nought s so distasteful to the Tongue as beggar s task.
There is nothing more disgraceful to one s Tongue than to use it in begging Water even for a Cow.

One thing I beg of Beggars all, If beg ye may,
Of those who hide their Wealth, beg not, I pray.
I beseech all Beggars and say, "If you need to beg, never beg of those who give unwillingly."

The fragile bark of beggary
Wrecked on denial s rock will lie.
The unsafe raft of begging will split when it strikes on the rock of refusal.

The Heart will melt away at thought of beggary,
With thought of stern repulse twill perish utterly.
To think of (the Evil of) begging is enough to melt one s Heart; but to think of refusal is enough to break it.

Even as he asks, the shamefaced asker dies;
Where shall his spirit hide who help denies?
Saying "No" to a beggar takes away his life. (but as that very word will kill the refuser) where then would the latter s life hide itself

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