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The Naaladiyaar is a collection of 400 quatrains in the popular venba metre, arranged (following the example of Tirukkural) under the three broad divisions of Aram (Dharma), Porul (Artha) and Inbam (Kama), and subdivided (again. as in the Kural) into groups often quatrains. But whereas the Kural is an integrated orchestration covering the whole are of the Good Life, the Naaladiyaar is an assortment of verses by different writers, but generally concerned with the minutiae of living a blame- less and moral life, and preparing for the coming liberation. The modalities of the arrangement, if they reduce to some order the massive content of the 400 quatrains; also introduce a measure of unavoidable artificiality. If the Kural is an exquisitely interwoven fabric (almost like Indra’s fabulous net of pearls), the Naaladiyaar is more of a well-filled basket of fruits and vegetables. There is perhaps, all the difference between the interpenetrative complex unity of the ‘bootstrap’ and the variegated opulence of the prearranged building-blocks!.
It has been remarked that the abundance of Ethical works in classical Tamil was probably the result of the prevailing low standard of private and pubic morality at the time. This would be too simplistic and puerile a judgment. It was because, alongside of the general run of average humanity, there were also conspicuous examples of human excellence of purity, probity and nobility, austere living and high thinking, the poets were able so readily to limn the contours of the Ideal life here and now to exhort the commonality, to aspire likewise and to achieve the righteous and purposive life.
There is then, the problem of the genesis or the aetiology of the Naaladiyaar. How about the tradition that 8000 Jain saints fled Madurai, leaving behind one quatrain each, and when these were floated down the Vaigai, only these 400 safely reached the shore; or, perhaps, were the quatrains the surviving fall out of the struggle between Saiva saint, Tirti Jnana ‘Sambandar, and the Jam ascetics? But whatever the origins, it is clear that Padumanar made this anthology of 400 quatrains from a much larger number then in currency, and imposed on these the present sweeping three-arched pattern with its forty spans of exhortation and admonition.
The central thrust of the argument of course is an ascetic denial of all self indulgence and surplus age, a remorseless emphasis on the transience of terrestrial life, and the need to prepare for what lies beyond, by practicing a regimen of charity, purity, eternity and good works. The poets of the Naaladiyaar antho1ogy have a proper abhorrence of the deadly sins, and especially of lusting after another’s wire or feeling infatuated with the mercenary harlots. On the positive side, there are the virtues of bounty, honour, learning truthfulness, forbearance perseverance, goodness, greatness and freedom from anger. This steep and narrow way of sreyas is to be preferred to the seductive, Self- defeating, self -destroying path of sreyas. In the Kural, we are shown the spiral of, ascent from the householder to the renunciant, and so on to the sage, the elect. In the Naaladiyaar, we are warned of the dangers of the precipitous descent from the bare and life of the renunciant to the self controlled life of the honest householder—and, then, down, among the self indulgent and self-doomed.
This quintessential dialectic apart, the Naaladiyaar fascinates by the scintillating beauty and finish, wisdom and good sense, of a large number of individual quatrains. Like the sacred Kural, the Naaladiyaar too has gone into the currency of everyday Tamil speech, imparting to it terseness and strength, parallelism and contrast, and a perennial piquancy. Here are two or three quatrains, fairly characteristic of the Naaladiyaar:
The elect among mankind ponder o’er
The transience of youth, beauty, wealth, strength,
Life itself, and learn to sunder all ties,
And prepare in time for liberation. (53)
It’s best to opt for an ascetic’s life,
And second-best to wed a cultured wife;
But basest of all would be, for money,
To serve the utterly worthless and vile. (364)
The wise spend their time perusing good books
The average live within their means;
But those that pine for what they don’t possess
And feel sore, are despicable indeed. (365)
And so on. It is instructive to start with a verse or two, linger long repeating and ruminating, then pass on to the next, and the next, till a whole ethical discourse builds itself for one’s edification. And the Naaladiyaar is fail of such riches of shrewd observation, apt similitude, wise counsel and wholesome admonition.
It now only remains to compliment Sri Srirama Desikan on the missionary zeal with which he is disseminating Tamil culture through his Sanskrit and English translations to a wide national and international audience.
1. The title of the work
In the period known as the “post-sangam age” - in Tamil literature, commencing about the 1st century A.D. eighteen minor works .‘‘Pathi-nen-keezh-kanakku” came into being. These were mainly didactic in character. The famous “Thirukkural” comes under this class. Of the rest, the work “Naaladiyaar” takes the pride of place. The name ha its origin in the fact that each verse is in the four-line Venbaa form. The correct appellation is “Naaladi -Naanooru.” The commentators for the ancient book of grammar (Tholkaappiyam) Adiyaarkunallaar and Nacchinaarkkiniyaar, as well as Parimel-azhagar, - cite the verses from ‘Naaladiyaar’ (along with ‘Sangam’ verses) using the title - “Naaladi-Naanooru.” The work was published as a collection of the verses of Jam Sage5. (There is another work of the same name ascribed to Nakkeerar).
In Taniil Nadu, there will be no one who has not studied ‘Kural ‘ and ‘Naaladiyaar’ in the primary classes. There is a proverb “The banyan and the Neem twigs make for dental strength”; likewise, the four (lines) and the two (lines) add power to one’s speech, this testifies to the special glory of Thirukkural’ and ‘Naaladiyaar’.
2. Origin and Editor
Once, 8000 3am sages, living in the 8 hilly regions- the Nilgiris, Krouncha, Govardhana, Thirikoota Kaanchi’ Aanamalais, Hemakoota and the Vindhyas, subjected to famine conditions in their areas, found their way to Paandya Naadu, where the ruler Ugrapperuvazhudi appointed them as court-poets. When the conditions improved in their own areas, they sought leave of the Ruler to return home; but the patron would not agree to part from them, as ho had great love for them. In the circumstances. the good sages composed didactic verses, at the rate of one each in the Venbaa form, and 1eaving each one’s palm-leaf script, under his usual seat, they left the country at dead of night. Next morning, the Ruler came to know of this, and was grief—stricken at the desertion of the sages. In that mood, he threw away the palm leaf scripts of the—8000 songs into the Vaigai River. Strange to say, 4O of these was not carried away by the stream, but resisting the flow, came ashore. The amazed Ruler collected them and gave them the appellation “Naaladi Naanooru.” Some say that these scripts went just four paces from the shore and then were thrown back, and explain this as the significance of the name Naa1adi.” Later, one Padumanaar, arranged those verses in three parts ‘‘Muppaal” like : Thirukkural, with 11 broad divisions (lyal) and 40 chapters, each containing a Decade of verses, and brought this out in book form. These details are gathered from some verses of a later age. Like the commentary of Parimelazhagar for ‘Thirukkural’, Padumanaar’s commentary for ‘Naaladiyaar” is ancient and very important, worthy of being treasured by all. (We have also now a commentary by one, Darumanaar available in print). This Padumanaar is different from the poet of the same name who had composed the sixth stanza in the Sangam work- Kurunthokal. It may be said that this work is mote concerned with philosophic principles than with morals. It is in the form of giving good counsel to a Ruler, with intent to divert his interest to the next birth. Is it not natural for sages to give a spiritual base to their instruction? The doctrines of Jainism are specially stressed in many places. The Jam Sages who had renounced home- life early in their life, taking to the path of asceticism, with their main concern for spiritual evolution, have throughout emphasized asceticism, the transient nature of the ordinary pleasures of life and the ways for salvation - e g. verses 54, 56, 364 and 365.
“Wealth, youth and this body are all transient. To be bountiful to the extent practicable, to suppress wrath and to lead a righteous life as an ascetic — this is the proper way”—thus ends the first part, ‘Virtue—(Ethics)’ (Aratthuppaal). “As regards the householder, he should cultivate patience (endurance); he should not lust after another’s wife he should give his possessions in charity; he should have faith in the effects of karma—good and evil acts; he should always speak the truth and avoid evil actions utterly”—Thus the authors end the second division pertaining to Home life (Illaraiyal).
As the Jains had ‘asceticism’ as their main ideal, these work places the section on ‘Asceticism’ before that on ‘Home life’, changing the order found in ‘Thirukkural’.
In ‘Thirukkural’, in the second part on “wealth” (polity), the way of government, and the good qualities to be pursued by officials are set forth. But these are not to be found in ‘Naaladiyaar’. In its seven broad sections, the following subjects needed basically for the people, are dealt with— Education, Abstaining from speaking ill of the great ones, association with the good and per- severance.
In the next section on ‘Friendship’ (Natpu-iyal) it is stressed : —‘One should live harmoniously with kinsfolk; a friend should b’ selected after full enquiry and thought and then he should be held firmly in bonds of love, over- looking its faults; unworthy friendship should be avoided. In the subsequent section on ‘Happiness’, it i declared that avoidance of futile or purposeless talk, living wisely and prudently is the way to get . Then follows the section on “Suffering (unhappiness)” where it is stress- ed that life should be free from such blemishes as non— charitableness, dishonorable conduct and begging. Next is the section on ‘Ill-will”, where one is asked to guard against imprudence, ignorance, little learning, base occupations and like foes. With this, the main division on wealth (Polity) ends.
In the next part ‘Love’ (Kamattuppaal’) it is emphasised that ‘love should be directed in righteous ways only, and enjoyment should not be sought otherwise.
4. Person Addressed
In the 400 verses, in 33 places, a Ruler is addressed directly, referring to some attributes of his, before the relevant instruction is given. In two places, one’s own mind is the addressed. A woman is sometimes given instruction, she being hailed by such phrases as—’Oh, thou with eyes sharp like a lance! ‘‘Oh! Thou with eyes charming like a flower (lotus)! — “Oh, thou with teeth like buds!”
One general method of instruction is to recall a man wallowing in worldly pleasures, disregarding righteous- ness and forgetful of coming births, to the path of right cousness and spirituality. Another method is to remind a person already walking the straight path that he should not suffer a lapse and should continue in the righteous way—this latter method is adopted in this work.
In verse 84, in the context of the evil consequences of seducing another’s wife, the listener is referred to as a person. of misconduct. Surely, we cannot take this as addressed to the Ruler, as elsewhere. This should be taken as referring to the public generally. In five places—verses 265, 267, 287, 294 and 297—women are addressed for giving instruction. It is not clear whether particular women are referred to here. One possible explanation is that the Ruler’s consort was addressed for giving counsel. Or did they have others in mind? Perhaps, it may be held that the poets have merely followed a literary convention, without any special significance. This is a matter for research.
5. Some Special Features
Repeatedly, there are references to the philosophic theory of Karma. The Jam Sages had great faith in this doctrine. At the same time, we can see references to Vedic principles also: —virtue (punya), sin, heaven, hell and the like are not ignored. Verses 81 and 84 make us realise that in those times, adultery was punished with death, mutilation of limbs (breaking the leg) etc. Verse 3 informs us about the practice of a conqueror taking away the wife of the defeated Ruler. Verse 243 curiously says that ‘southerners’ too have the right to rise high through persevering effort like the “Northerners”. Was this “North South conflict’ rooted in difference of language or religion? Or differences in behaviour or practices—or on relative development? This is a moot point to settle! Verse 374 denigrates the occupation of extracting oil through an oil-press for sale. Why this occupation was alone considered low in that age? We understand from verse 300—the little known fact that a tiger will not eat a prey which it has killed, if the body chances to fall on its left side. We have references in this work to deities like Indra, Indraani, Vishnu, Lakshmi, Siva etc. Well, Jam sages had no qualms in referring to the apparently ‘Hindu’ deities! Nacchinarkiniyar in his commentary on “Jivãkachintaamani” has stated that this work was composed by the Jams only. En fact, there is no difference of opinion in later times about this statement.
6. Service of the Jams to Tamil
Of the great compositions in Tamil literature,—the five major Kaavyas, the five minor Kaavyas and grammatical works, the larger part has been authored by Jams. That is to say, most of the 18 post—sangam works (Pathi-nen-keezh-kanakku), three of the major Kaavyas three of the minor Kyavyas and the chief grammatical work “Nannool” are the works of Jams. While being concerned with the development of Tamil literature; these authors have here and there stressed the Jain doctrines also. These Jains did not accept the idea of God- head or the scriptural authority of the Vedas;—they were atheists in this sense. The indigenous Tamils have always believed in God and Scripture. Yet, they honoured the works of the nonconformist-Jains, having regard to their service to the cause of Tamil. This does not mean that there was a dearth at the time of indigenous Tamils to serve the c.use of Tamil. To works having many verses with many, lines, the name “MelKanakku” (major works) was given, while works having only single verses in specified iines w ere designated as ‘‘ Keezh-kanakku” (minor works). In the latter we find many words of Sanskrit origin, not used in Sangam poetry. We have also the use of words of common dialect - ‘per” for “peyar”, ‘vertu” for “viyartu” etc.
7. Shortcomings in Editing
Further questions arise whether apart from tradition, the surviving verses were all composed by one poet or whether each verse was by a different author or whether more than one verse could be credited to a single poet. In regard to this matter, there exist differences of opinion. But having regard to the fact that the same idea occurs in different places or in many verses, that different similes are used for clarifying the same idea, that sometimes the idea and the simile too recur in different contexts and that one, two, or even three of the lines of a verse are repeated elsewere, it is quite clear that many poets have authored this work. It is true that in Sangam poetry also, similarities in idea or lines, are to be seen, but they a ‘hero such simi1arities number over one hundred.
For example, the idea that righteousness alone is the way to salvation occurs in verses 1 20 and 1 30; similarly, the idea that rather than recounting our excellence, it would be better that others (perhaps even foes) should do so is common t) verses 165 and 340. Another example is that both verses 1 84 and 358 emphasise (with different similes) that though having the means, the base ones will not be bounteous, while the noble ones will be generous, even when they lack adequate means.
Again, in verses 206, 207, 210 and 2 1 7, the same idea is set forth-that simple food provided by a good friend will be sweet, while the most sumptuous fare supplied by a stranger will not be So. The similes also are the same in three places-out of four. The fact that kinsfolk will crowd around a wealthy person is the common idea in verses 283 and 290; further, the simile used is the same; the structure of one line is also repeated.
Other examples of this kind are in verses 54.and-60 stressing the idea that foolish ones do not give up the sorrow laden household life for the sake of some small pleasures; and verses 44 and 45 declaring that the speaker will not let himself be deceived by women Similarity in structure can be seen to the extent of two lines in verses 230, 238, 388, 30 and 347, 350.
8. Misclassifications in Chapters
It has also to be noted that the titles of some chapters are not in full accord with the contents; in some cases, the titles are even misleading The nature of friendship spoken of in verses .12.5, 130, 138,, 160.an4 204,: Coming under different chapters not, relevant to it; it may be well to bring all these under a common: title like ‘friendship’. Likewise, verses having the same idea may be brought together under a single title-e.g. chapters 35 and 36 now headed “Acts of the ignoble” and “Baseness”. Commentators have tried with difficulty to get over such anomalies. All the verses in chapter 12 do not accord with the title; this is also the case with verses 33, 34, 35, 39 and 40 in chapter 4; verse 58 in chapter 6; yeses 78 and 80 in chapter 8; verse 102 in chapter 1 1; verses 124, 125, 126 and 128 in chapter 13; and verses 181 to 183 in chapter 19.
In ‘Thirukkural’, the single author, Valluvar has preplanned the major sections (Paal), themes (iyal) and chapters, and composed 10 apt verses under each chapter; hence, there is no kind of inconsistency in theme. It is natural that inconsistencies should occur in the later classification and grouping together of stray verses composed by many authors, to accord with the c1assificaton in another well known work (‘Thirukkural’).
Certainly, the Jain sages would not have even considered that some one coming looking after them (like Padumanaar) would classify their stray verses and group them under some headings, to form a single composite work if Padumanaar had taken all the verses together and grouped them according t ) their common ideas, inconsistencies of the kind referred to above would have been avoided. But he let himself be swayed by the self-chosen idea that the glory of this work would be enhanced by putting it into the mould of the renowned ‘Thirukkural’. Would the grandeur of this work standing by itself, have been lost, if it had not been-associated with “Thirukkural”.
Each of the other works classified as “Pathi-nen-keezh kanakku” is by a single author. Some poems hold that Nakkeerar had composed a single work of 400 verses, under the name of ‘Naaladiyaar’, as already mentioned. In verses 200 and 296, there is a reference to a minor chieftain by name Perumuttharaiyan. Having regard to the date of this person, many scholars hold that the ‘Naaladiyaar’ should belong to the 7th century A D; Of course, there is the other view that this work should have come into being in the time of the last Sangam i.e., about 3rd century A.D. Well, this difference of opinion is likely to persist.
Generally, all didactic verses will have some basic morals in common. As such, reference to some ideas common to 1Naa/adjyaar and ‘Thirukkural’ will be neither novel nor a matter of great research. This is also the case with Sanskrit works.
9. Sriramadesikan’s Submission
With the idea of popularising the glory of some great works in Tamil literature. in other regions of India and world generally I have been publishing during the last 20 years, some Tamil works with Sanskrit and English versions, In pursuance of the same objective, I am now bringing out “Naaladiyaar”, translated into Sanskrit, with Tamil and English expositions. For interpretation, I have followed the commentary of the savant, Sri V. M. Gopalakrishnamachariar.
My work will not only help in understanding the original, but also facilitate the learning of Sanskrit. Sri Vedan a Desika showed for the first time that the best way to make the world realise the greatness of Tamil works is to render them in Sanskrit, rather than in auy other language. About seven hundred years ago, Sri Desika rendered into Sanskrit, the purport of the Tamil I Thiruvoimozhi ‘of Nammazhvaar under the name - Drami - dopanishad Taatparya Ratnaavali “in about 100 slokas, and also in a brief version called ‘Saaram’. This work has been done superbly by him, as he was a great scholar in both the languages. Following humbly in his foot steps, I have rendered into Sanskrit,about 20 Tamil works My respectful thanks are due to Professor K K. SRINL’ VASA IYENGER formerly Vice-Chancellor, Andhra University and VicePresident of the Sahitya Academy, New Delhi for having written a valuable FORE WORD to this book. I can never forget the valuable help rendered by Sri R. Rangchari, Deputy Secretary to the Government of Madras (Finance) (Retd.) in checking up my English exposition and freely making amendments.
I. On Asceticism
1. Impermanent wealth
2. Impermanence of youth
3. The Impermanent body
4. The glory of Dharma
7. Avoidance of anger
II. Household Life
9. Not to lust for other men’s wives
10. Bounty (Charity)
11. Effects of past deeds
13. Dread of evil
I. On Rulership
15. Noble birth
16. The great
17. Insult not the great
18. Association with the great
21. Association with kinsfolk
22. Friendship after deep enquiry
23. Tolerating on friend’s lapses
24. Inapt friendship
27. Purposeless wealth
29. Utter want
31. Fear to ask for Help
32. Nature of assembly
VI, VII, VIII
33. Fraudulent scholars
34. Utter ignorance
35. Acts of the noble ones
37. Sundry Morals
I. Joy and Sorrow
II. Joy or Happiness
39. Chaste Women
40. Loves’ relish
NALADIYAR PART 1- VIRTUE (Ethics)
I. ON ASCETICISM
IMPERMANENT (Fleeting) WEALTH
1. The wealthy and prosperous persons who had basked in the felicity of a loving wife sitting near and feeding them with a mouthful of delicious food with spicy appetisers, may one day wallow in stark poverty; in that state, they may be forced to wait long at the footsteps of the mansion of an ill willed stranger to beg for a morsel of gruel. Even after beholding this state, how can it be held that wealth will be lasting?
2. Wealth, like a cart-wheel will be rolling up and down, ever- changing, without staying permanently with any person. Therefore, when great riches are got, one’s good nature should not change,’ the food got by labour should be shared with kinsmen and guests, in joy.
3. Great Rulers who had gone around the streets in glorious procession, mounted on the nape of a royal tusker, under the shade of a white parasol, accompanied by all the four components of the army may, through evil change, lose all their power and prosperity; they may be forced to hang their heads in shame, impotently witnessing their foes capturing and holding their wives.
4. Life is ebbing day by day; the wrathful lord of Death ever pursuing; all wealth is fleeting. Realising this, one should hasten to do acts of charity, which will be of lasting value.
5. When anything is got, do not put off the decision as to what should be done with it; gift it away at once. When the impartial cruel Lord of Death holds you in the noose and drags you through the thorny jungle, the merit of your gifts will rescue you from that painful path.
6. No one can live long in this world, beyond the allotted span of life. When the final day arrives, the clutch of death cannot be loosened. So, if there is accumulated wealth gift it all away quickly. Remember that you may be hearing the drum-beats indicating death, sound in your own house, even to-morrow!
7. The lord of Death feeds himself daily on the span of your life, with the measure of the Sun that rises each day. So, do benefactions manifold in time and show your love to the people. Else you had better not been born in this world, as a human being!
8. Men of little wisdom will never think of the wretched state of poverty that may await them later, when enjoying pleasures in the pride of their wealth. Alas, all their riches may fade away like the lightning that flashes in the darkening cloud for an instant at night and disappears completely the next instant.
9. A person does not himself enjoy his wealth, nor does he preserve his worth or gain fame; he relieves not the misery of his King; he does no charity without expecting any reward. But he would lock up his money and guard it close. Alas, would not the world be justified in holding him as a poor man?
10. Oh, Ruler of the Pandya country blessed with many mountains raising their heads unto heaven! Some persons devote their time only to a mass more and more wealth foregoing proper clothing and good food, doing r charity and affording no help to the poor. Like the bee that is robbed of the honey gathered, by it little by little for long, it is certain that some one will take away all the riches gathered by the miser.
IMPERMANENT (TRANSIENT) PERIOD OF YOUTH
11. Having in mind the onset of old age later, to be free attachments even during youth, is the sign of the wise. The persons of little wisdom who seek pleasure in the miserable transient period of youth will, one day, being unable to walk, hobble painfully bearing a staff for support. This is a certainty.
12. You did enjoy pleasures then holding the time of youth as of great account! Of what avail is it now in old age? The kinship with friends has been disrupted; the love of women for you has abated also; the affection of kinsmen too has been lost. Well, this is the fruit of the pleasures you valued then! Ah, your present plight is just the pitiable state of a person seated inside a boat, which is struggling, as it is sinking into the sea.
13. The man who is grossly lustful even when he is the butt of ridicule for others, with his supporting staff, babbling speech, toothless mouth and slipping gait-how is he going to think seriously of the path of liberation?
14. When a youthful maiden was passing fair, a man pined in irresistible love for her. Now her body has become bent and emaciated; her head is shaking: she a1ks uneasily, holding a staff in her hand; she is in mortal agony what a piteous sight!
15. My mother, after giving birth to me and leaving me in this earth, sought a mother for herself and entered into her womb. Likewise, her mother had gone into the womb of another. Thus everyone in this world seeks a separate mother and is reborn on this earth. This is the age-old law of natures.
16. When a ‘possessed” person is dancing and approaching with a sharp lance in one hand and a garland inter- twined with tender leaves in the other hand, the goat which is tied there for being sacrificed and is about to die, snatches the tender leaves in the garland and munches them in glee An exact analogy to this is the fool who indulges in pleasures in his youth. But the man of discrimination will never be deceived by the thought of the
transient pleasures of youth.
17. Do not praise over—much a woman in her youth as having eyes sharp like a lance. For, her youth will fade away like the glowing sight of fruit-laden trees in a cool grove, giving place to dried-up trees denuded of all fruits. It is certain that one day, the woman’s body will become bent and she will be forced to walk with a staff serving as her eyes.
18. The queries arise in turn in everyone’s mind—”How many years have passed away? Are the teeth still strong? Is food eaten heartily twice a day?” Ah the unstable period of youth gives rise to a series of such interrogations! The wise will never esteem such a period of youth.
19. During a raging storm, the budding fruit and the green unripe fruit also will fall down along with ripe fruits. Likewise there is a chance of death striking one even in the youthful period so, do not defer doing benefactions for the later years, but, mindful of the future, give away, whenever you get anything, without miserliness.
20. The LORD of Death is ever on the prowl all around the world, for the person whose term of life is expiring. he may come to you also. He is the wretch who will destroy the half-grown child in the womb, making the mother cry aloud in lament. It is good to bear this even in mind.
THE IMPERMANENT BODY
21. Even the Rulers who went in procession under the shade of a spreading white parasol, seated on the royal tusker, looking like the full moon sprouting over the mountaintop, did die at last on this earth —This satirical declaration only, we have heard oft. But we have not so far heard about anyone who escaped from the clutches of death to live steadily thereafter.
22. The allotted days of your life are wasting away with the regular risings of the Sun. So, do your benefactions to others, before those days pass away. We have not heard of any one living in this world even for a day, over coming fate.
23. The reverberating sound of auspicious musical instruments in the forenoon may, in the same house, and in the afternoon of the same day, change to the death beats of a drum. The wise men of the world who have noted this well, will direct their minds towards the ascetic path which is the means of salvation.
24. In a dead person’s house, the death-beat of the drum will be sounded once, near the corpse. After a little rest, the second beat will be sounded. After a further interval, the third beat will be heard, when the persons who are to die later will cover the then dead body and lift it on their shoulders and to the accompaniment of the fire-pot, will wend their way to the crematorium to burn the body. The truth will be evident, if this event is well considered.
25. Beholding the bearers of the corpse on the way to the crematorium, leaving the kinsfolk to lament aloud, all persons realise the impermanence of the body for the nonce. But on a subsequent occasion, the foolish ones will marry and delusively seek pleasure there from. The recurring death-beats of the drum in the house of death seem to warn them of the unstable nature of the body.
26. The acrobat called life enters the leather-pouch known as the body and makes it do many things to gain many benefits. After he has gone out of it, let the dead body be tied with a rope and drawn along or after being bathed well, be entombed nicely; or let it he thrown out in any chance spot, to be derided by the passers-by! What avails any act? Will the log-like body get to know anything?
27. Life is like a water-bubble that is destroyed off. If this truth is well -realised, the delusion of birth will fade away easily. But it is rare to find in this world many wise persons who have got over the delusion.
28. It is natural for the clouds fleeing over the mountain to come to our gaze one instant and disappear the next instant. Likewise, even while one is gazing, life may depart from the body. So, when we are invested with a body as the consequence of past merit, we shou1d try, while yet we are able to use the body, to gain salvation, rare to achieve.
29. It was just now that I saw the person standing and then seated. 1 also saw him laying himself down to sleep. By the next instant, to the great grief of al’ kinsfolk, he was dead” I have heard many in the world speak thus. So it should be realised that the body is impermanent like the dew settling on the blade of grass, and all persons should betake themselves betimes to benefactions.
30. It is natural for birds to leave their nests built on trees, without bidding adieu and fly away very far in the sky. Likewise, human beings, without seeking permission of anyone, or of their own accord, take birth in a family, live for sometime and then go away for ever, leaving their bodies with the kinsfolk, without prior notice.
THE GLORY OF ‘DHARMA’ (BENEFACTIONS)
31. Persons who did benefactions in a past birth and cease to do so in the present birth will become poor in the next birth. As a consequence, they will look up towards the high mansions of the rich and go there to beg, but they will be driven out at the threshold by the guards; then they will pine vainly standing outside.
32. “Oh mean mind! In your greed for riches, you desire to amass wealth and decline to do benefactions, lest the wealth should be reduced. So you go on ceaselessly striving to amass more and more; thus half your life is wasted in wanderings. When, where will be the time to do benefactions? Tell me”.
33. It is the nature of persons lacking in wisdom to sigh and grieve when misery comes, failing to understand that it is the consequence of ills done in a previous birth. Sorrow never touches those who realise that misery is the
fruit of past ‘karma’.
34. The sugarcane yields juice to the person who puts it in the crusher and then becomes worthless refuse. Benefactions needed for the next good birth are the juice to be yielded in this life, before the body perishes That is, when the rare human body is got, a man should use it to do benefactions greatly and thus amass the merit required for the next birth.
35. No one regrets the burning of the worthless refuse, after the sugar-cane is crushed and jaggery is got; likewise after the body has become emaciated through fasts and acts of benevolence and ‘merit’ secured, no one need feel sad at the destruction of the useless body, when death has taken away the life.
36. Do not be anxious when death will come to take away your life today or tomorrow or sometime later— Think that the Lord of death is ever standing at our back to seize our life any instant. Refrain from sinful acts, and try your best to do the good things enjoined by the noble ones in their writings.
37. Many benefits accrue in human life—this may be found on enquiry. But on this account, a man should not waste his whole time in nourishing his body. Attention should be bestowed only on using the body to do benefactions that would secure happiness in heaven.
38. The banyan-seed looks very small; but the big tree rises from it and spreads far to yield shade. In the same way, even a small gift will yield great merit, if it is made to a good person.
39. Time passes everyday; our lives intertwined with it are also wasting away. People fail to realise this truth, and do not come forward to do good. On the other hand, they delight in thinking that life is continuing day by day.
40. People nourish the perishable body, by doing very despicable acts. We see that body too remaining strong for long! Then why not try to preserve the lasting life, if you can, even by begging giving up honour which is man’s precious adornment? Only if one lives, he can do good acts leading to salvation!
41. If a tiny bit of the skin of the body—even so small as the wing of a fly is torn, resulting in a wound, crows will hasten to peck at it and they will have to be driven away with a stick. Such is the low state of the body! Yet even great persons cognise this not and hail a female as—‘Oh charming one blessed with beauty, luster, youth and goodness”, and so forth, in fulsome praise!
42. The cloak of the skin hides the filth within the body, which has nine outlets for the elimination of such filth. It is attempted to cover this dirty-pitted body with clothing, and discover beauty therein! Just as a lovely bag is opened to see the contents, the inside of the body should be examined to discover well the filth abiding therein.
43. Only if food is supplied continually, this body will exist. Wise persons, well realising this, have despised and forsaken it. This body is but a wall built of despicable food, emitting foul odours which can never be god rid of by chewing fragrant spices (camphor, long-earet pepper, cloves etc.) or by adorning the tresses on the head with flowers.
44. When the tender pulp of the unripe palmyra fruit is scooped out, only hollows will be visible. Likewise, when the liquid within is drained out, the eyes will be only hollows. I know this truth well. So, I will not be fooled by the words of the witless ones praising lady’s eyes as - “sharp like a lance, trembling like a fish and coloured like the blue lily”. I will ever stick to my chosen path of asceticism.
45. The unlearned ones in their fancy liken the teeth of a female to jasmine-buds and pearls. When the same female is dead, her teeth lie scattered on the cremation ground outside her house visible to all. I have beheld this, So, I will not let my mind waver by hearing the words of praise of women; I will ever stick to my path of asceticism.
46. What is a woman’s body but a composite of intestines, fat, blood, bones, array of nerves, the enveloping skin and the flesh betwixt nerve and bone? Where can the form of maiden wearing garlands, be fairly fixed among these parts?
47. The nine outlets are always eliminating filth from the body. A woman’s body is only a leaky pot, with these despicable nine holes! Deluded by the sheen of the outer surface of this pot - the cloak of skin —the foolish ones utter words of praise such as ‘Oh, thou of rounded shoulders, with bracelets around the arms!”
48. Some are deluded by the sight of the body adorned with sandal paste, flowers ete, failing to realise its despicable nature. When this body lies on the earth like a cart with its axle broken, vultures, male and female, snatch it, peck and devour it. If the foolish ones had beheld this sight, they would no: have praised the loveliness of a woman’s body.
49. In the cremation-ground, skulls of the dead ones will lie scattered; the sight of the hollow eyes will fill the beholders with awe. The spectacle at the cremation ground seems to say —“Oh people, save yourselves in time; take to the path of asceticism; the nature of the body is just this”.
50. The awesome spectacle of the white skulls of dead persons in the cremation ground will drive away the joy of persons wallowing in worldly delights; in that state, they will realise the real nature of the body. Then they will not hold their bodies of any worth.
51. Where a lamp is lit, the gloom that was previously there disappears of itself. Like wise, sin will not exist, where there is austerity. When the basic oil (ghee) that makes the light glow is exhausted, the gloom returns to the place. Just so, before the ‘merit’ of asceticism, sin cannot take root.
52. Wealth is transient; the body is subject to disease, old age and death. The great ones who know this fully take to the way of asceticism. It is strange to find in this world such insane and foolish persons as those who spend their lives studying the endless lore of grammar, mathematics and the like and getting it by rote.
53. The high and noble ones enquiring deeply transient nature of family life, youth, beauty, speech, wealth and prosperity, physical strength like, realise the truth and sunder all attachment, to get salvation.
54. Persons lacking wisdom pursue a day’s delight, though family life is full of sorrows. Other hand, the good persons, wise and humble, deeply and realise the transient nature of the family life and consequent sorrows; then they discard family life altogether
55. “Oh, my mind, you will not engage yourself with me in deep enquiry - you will run after the pleasures of the senses! The period of youth has passed away without doing anything good. Diseases and old age have now come to us Will you not at 1 east hereafter take to the path of asceticism?
56. It is wrong for the husband to forsake, after marriage, even a bad and barren wife. It is inevitable that family life will be full of sorrows. So, great persons learned in the shastras, have advised us to take to the path of asceticism straight way, without getting married at all.
57. When we try to fulfill the vows we have undertaken with great effort, many obstacles may intervene. Even so; firmness is required to fulfill the vows triumphantly, discarding all sorrows Only such firm-minded persons will be fit to preserve the way of asceticism.
58. If a person abuses us, when we are free from any blame, we should first forgive him. . Moreover, we should feel regret that such a person may merit the terrors of hell, simply on account of his having abused us. This is the righteous way of ascetics.
59. He, who preserves the purity of his mind, without letting it get defiled through the desire for the pleasures of the five senses-the body, nose, ear, eye and mouth-and stands firm in asceticism, is sure to get liberation!
60. The person, who hankers after worldly joys, despite a succession of sorrows, wallowing in the family life, is a lowly one indeed. On the other hand he who realizes, whenever joys come that they will ultimately lead to sorrow and so does not desire such joys, is a noble person in truth.
AVOIDANCE OF ANGER
61. Some persons may behave courteously towards us; others may act meanly and discourteously. Still, its good for us to refrain from anger in any event. Do we not ignore the fly that settles on our head without exhibiting anger?
62. Even when many sorrows chase them without giving respite even to lift a foot, the bold ones will not get dismayed, intent on achieving what they had set themselves to do. They will not impetuously push to give up their precious lives, over borne by apparent dishonour.
63. We see with our own eyes how evil words uttered by a person, without restraint in speech, recoil on himself. Wise persons, who have studied great books incessantly and sought the guidance of noble persons to arrive at the truth, cognise the above fact and refrain on all occasions from using evil words.
64. Noble persons do not get provoked and give way to anger, even against the low-minded persons who oppose them by using filthy and improper words. On the other hand, base persons will not put up with such words and will broadcast them all over their place; the result will be like knocking against a pillar repeatedly.
65. The good ones say that control of the senses in the Period of youth and acts of charity from what one has, without further resources, will alone be truly fruitful. Likewise, only the patience shown against a wrong-doer by a person, who has the strength to destroy the world, deserves the name of patience (forbearance).
66. It is said that if the sacred ash enforced by ‘mantras’ is sprinkled over a cobra, it will be unable to raise its hood and get subdued. In the same way, righteous ascetics will ignore all evil words hurled against them by evil people, however, painful, even like stones flung at them and keep their patience in public.
67. Learned persons will never consider it a weakness to refrain from seeking vengeance on those who had done them wrong. It is very good indeed to refrain from causing pain even to those who impatiently set about giving pain to us.
68. The anger of mean-minded persons will only blaze the more with time, and will not get subdued. But the anger of righteous ones will get subdued quickly of itself, like the heat, in boiled water.
69. A person may forget the good that we did him in the past and also seek to hurt us. It behoves us to help even him continually. We should never do any evil to him; in return for the harm he did us. This is the way of ascetics born in a noble family.
70. We have not so far heard about a man biting a dog n return for its having seized and bitten him. In the same way, righteous persons will not use improper words against the mean ones, who had abused them meanly.
II. HOUSEHOLD LIFE
71. Oh, Ruler of Pandyanad, with cool mounts from which flow many rills (water- falls), fair like curvaceous garlands! It behoves you not to converse with a senseless person lf you do so by mistake, 1e is sure to despise you beyond bounds. So, it is best to cut off all contact with him as far as possible.
72. It is the nature of the great ones to put up with hit- proper words uttered by base individuals not on a par with them. If, on the o i her hand, they reply in the same manner, it will not redound to their fame; the consequence will only be infamy. This is the declaration of the noble ones living in this deep sea-girt world.
73. Oh, Ruler of the cool sea-shore abounding with bee-swarmed blossoms! The harsh words of discriminating friends will not cause any evil, like the honeyed words of foes, but they will assuredly be beneficial.
74. Learning all that has to be known, the soul has to be held in patience. Dreading infamy and sin, acts should be done to merit the praise of the world. Those that gain happiness thus ‘will never become a prey to sorrow.
75. Between two persons Jiving together in love and union, if one is given to evil ways, that behaviour should be put up with as long as practicable. Even when the limit is crossed, the evil ways should not be publicised. If need be, the friendship may be sundered—nothing wrong in it!
76. Oh, Ruler of the wide forest region! Even if a friend does harm to you, hope that it may turn out all right the end, and meanwhile consider that all this is the consequence of your own lapses in the past. Do not be in a hurry to break the kinship with a friend who had moved with you closely. After having allowed intimacy, it is, not right to sunder it. Such behaviour cannot be found even among animals lacking the power of discrimination!
77. Oh, Ruler of the vast mountainous region, where rush down tills with a thunderous roar! It is only because of the faith that persons walking the path of righteousness will put up with even major lapses, that the ordinary people seek the friendship of the great. Do not we see plenty of people in this world, coming forward to secure the friendship of persons devoted to the performance of good actions?
78. Even when the physical frame has dried up in the pangs of extreme hunger and is nearing its last gasp, this sorry state should not be divulged to persons lacking in culture. If unwilling to die despite the extremity of wretchedness, being eager to live further, the sad state may be disclosed only to good friends able to afford proper relief.
79. Oh, Ruler of the region with many a high nil! It may be that some act of yours may produce joy mixed with Infamy. Then, even if you desire the joy, you should pursue it, only to the extent it will be free from infamy.
80. Even if some ill befalls us, we should not on that account contemplate doing harm to good persons. What if your body has wasted away in dire hunger? - That will be no ground for accepting food offered by improper persons! Likewise, even if we were to gain thereby the wide world in space, we should not utter a falsehood!
NOT TO LUST FOR OTHER MEN’S WIVES
81. The pleasure felt at the time of union with the wife of another is far outweighed by the fear in the mind that the other person might catch the wrongdoer at any moment. If considered well, it would be clear that such wrong-doing may invite punishment at the hands of the Ruler in this life, and that after death also the terrors of the dreariest hell may be in store to merit the sin Therefore, those who are afraid of infamy and sin should not harbour even lustful thought for another’s wife.
82. Persons who go after other men’s wives will never gain the four noble ends of righteousness, fame, friendship and regard. On the contrary, they will reap the evils of enmity,’ infamy, sin and dread.
83. It is fraught with fear at every stage —the lust for another’s wife! - Aye, when entering the other house, and when emerging there from, even in the act of enjoyment, and during all attempts to keep the act a secret. It is therefore a wonder how any man stoops to do this boldly!
84. When you are enjoying another’s wife, if the secret is out, the family honour will be lost! If caught in the act, the aggrieved husband may cut off your leg! Even during this ignoble act, dread will fill your mind! — Dire hell also will be in store for you! Oh, evil man, pray tell me what pleasure have you really derived by your sin!
85. Those persons who had consorted with base companions and ignoring infamy and sin, sought delight in the fair bosoms of other men’s wives in the rashness of their youth in a former birth, are born in this life as eunuchs, eking out their base livelihood by dancing in
86. At an auspicious hour, amidst the peel of wedding- bells, a man marries a woman. She proves to be obedient, well’ behaved and loving at home. In this state, it passes one’s comprehension why he lusts after another’s wife!
87. Kinsmen will ever be dreading what would happen to the person who goes after another’s wife, when the secret is out. The pleasure that is experienced without mental quietude is like the rash act of licking a serpent’s head, fraught with great danger!
88. It may be that at sometime, even wise persons may become lustful. But because they are afraid of dishonour, they will not let this lapse grow; why even the passing though will not become known to others. They will have to pine in secret if need be - indeed this state is very very hard to endure!
89. The piercing arrow, the fire and the hot-rayed Sun can injure only the body - not the heart within! But the fire of lust will burn the heart itself. So it is more to be dreaded than the other three aforesaid.
90. When a fire is raging through a village, it may be possible for a single person to Survive by plunging into some pool of water. But the fire of lust within will pursue the man and hurt him, even if he flees and hides himself in the mountains or disappears in the depths of the waters!
91. It is in the nature of the world for a man to become poor suddenly. But even in that state, one should to the extent practicable, continue to be bountiful, as in the days of prosperity, to the deserving poor, in a spirit of joy and patience. Heaven will be waiting, with open doors, to welcome such a person in due course.
92. You are witnessing with your own eyes how death, old age, and disease sapping all the vigour of the body, are awaiting to grip you in the future. So, while you yet have riches; do not wander in search of more; nor should you lock up your money in miserly fashion. Share the food you have got with others. When anyone asks for help, do not hide your wealth and plead inability.
93. When the time is propitious, your wealth will increase even when you spend it on yourself and others. On the other hand, when the merit accrued in a past birth is exhausted, all your wealth will go away without a trace’ even if you keep a tight hold on it. Only those persons, who do not realise this truth, become unfit to relieve the sorrows of others seeking their aid.
94. One, who feeds himself without giving any help to the poor, is reborn as a wretch without the means to cook food in an oven in this wide sea.-girt world. To avoid this infamy, let each person give at least a morsel of rice, according to his means before taking food himself.
95. Having regard to the welfare in this world and the next, one should be bountiful to others, as far as practicable. If you are not in a position to give any thing to others, at least refrain from seeking the help of others! Indeed that will be doubly profitable!
96.The good ones that are helpful to their fellows are like the female palm tree, heavy with ripened fruits, standing in the centre square of a village. But those who having wealth, n either enjoy it themselves nor give to others, will, be like the barren male palm tree standing in the middle of the crematorium - quite useless to any one!
97. Oh Pandyan ruler! On your cool, billowing sea- shore, the fragrant blossoms of the ‘punnal’ trees wipe away the stinking odour of the fishes. If the rains fail at the opportune time or the good ones cease to render aid when needed, the world will cease to be how can the people live at all?
98. Oh, Ruler of the cool seashore! To give to persons who can do something in return is just lending. But to give to others who cannot help in any way, when they beg for aid, without saying ‘nay’ or keeping anything in reserve for one’s own use, is the mark of the truly noble ones.
99. Never feel that what you have got is very little and say no’ to those who ask for aid. You should continue to give to those, (deservedly) seeking help. Just as the bowl of the mendicant who goes from house to house soon gets filled up, the ‘merit’ (punya) of those who are charitable to others will also increase!
100. The heavy beat of the drum is heard afar;
The roar of thunder is heard farther still,
But the praise of noble bounty is heard farthest
It reverberates in the three worlds, in layers set!
EFFECTS OF PAST DEEDS ( ‘KARMA’)
101. In this world, we see that a young calf somehow manages to find its mother—cow, amongst a big herd. Likewise, acts done in a past birth, will unerringly find out the ‘owner’ thereof amidst multitudes of beings and subject him to the due effects.
102. It is rare in one birth for any person to have every thing worth while beauty, youth, wealth, and honour. Recognising this, it behoves every individual to do something good, in some way or other. Otherwise, he wants the transient human life granted to him for enjoyment and proper use only for a short period.
103. The black colour of the berry and he round shape of the wood-apple are gifts of nature. No one person has formed them so before. In the same way, enjoyments are pre-made for every person according to his past deeds karma and everything will happen so. But alas, all persons vainly delude themselves that everything can be secured through wealth!
104. Even sages are powerless to make the rains fall when or needed to stop an unwanted downpour. Likewise, they cannot, however much they try, prevent the coming of sufferings due to evil acts in the past, or the advent of prosperity as the effect of past good deeds.
105. We see in the world many great persons losing their greatness little by little to utter baseness and living for long. What reason can be adduced for this except past ‘karmic’ effects?
106. Many persons who learn many things from many people in diverse ways and gaining knowledge thereby grow in wisdom, probing life’s mystery, die prematurely. But the unlearned fools live long in this world! The chief reason for this is that the Lord of Death rejects fools as chaff and prefers the wise men as juicy!
107. Oh, Pandyan Ruler, on whose, seashore, swans sportingly tear to shreds some flowers with their beaks! In the world, some persons plod their weary way from house to house begging—a piteous sight indeed—! This misery should undoubtedly have been the consequence of evil deeds done by them in a past life!
108. Oh, Pandyan Ruler, on your cool sea-shore, the honey is dripping from the blue lilies waved by the wind! Some persons are well aware of things, right and wrong, still under the drive of past ‘karma,’ they do infamous acts!
109. All persons generally desire that not a trace of evil should there be in this sea-girt world and that there should be good alone everywhere. But things do not happen as desired! Good and evil come in this world as the consequences of the deeds in the past life. Alas, few realise this!
110. At birth, what a person should enjoy, during his life—time is inscribed inerasably on his skull, by destiny. This will not diminish or increase even by a whit; nor will the order of happenings change. Sorrow when it has to come cannot be averted. All things will happen only in their due time. So, why should a man regret that evil consequences flow from evil deeds of the past?
111. Oh lady wearing tiers of bracelets! Hearken to this! It is not wrong to say ‘nay’ when a person asks for any— thing which one cannot give It is natural indeed! But to promise to give a thing on the morrow and eventually make the hopeful receiver lose heart by denial is far worse than the base sin of ingratitude.
112. A piece of jaggery does not change its attribute of sweetness whoever may taste it! Even if the celestials eat it, the unripe neem fruit ‘will not lose its bitterness.’ Likewise, whosoever may advise them, the good arid the evil ones will remain in their own nature, unchanged.
113. Oh Ruler of the cool mountainous region! When a person becomes rich suddenly, many will come crowding to claim kinship with him, appearing like the multitude of stars in the sky. But when he is in the grip of ruinous adversity, only a very few will be ready to be friendly with him!
114. Of the three ends of life - virtue (righteousness), wealth and desire - if one gets the middle one, the other two can be secured automatically (SO it seems). It is any way true that one who is poor is doomed to suffering like a thing beaten repeatedly on the anvil in a smithy.
115. A calf of good breeding will fetch a high price in the market. Likewise, the words of an unlearned but rich person will gain great esteem among people in this world. Just as i t is purposeless to plough a dry field; the words of a poor person will be profitless among the people.
116. Oh, Lady with wide eyes, learn this - The bitter gourd does not lose its native bitterness, howsoever it is seasoned with milk, curd, ghee, asafoetida and salt and cooked well too. Likewise, persons inherently lacking in humility will not gain that attitude, by reading philosophical treatises times without number
117. Oh Ruler, on whose seashore, the adjoining groves of ‘punnai’ trees shed their fragrant flowers! If a person, without cause slights you, why should you refrain from boldly, slighting him in turn fearing the consequences? I do not think it wrong to be truthful here. Well everything is going to happen as destined. Then why should there be any fear in reacting to an unmerited slight?
118. We see that cows of different colours give the same white milk, and not differently according to their respective hues. Likewise, all differing means - bounty, austerity, worship and nobleness will eventually lead to the same ‘dharmic’ effect.
119. If well considered, there is no one in the world immune from scandal of some kind or other. In practice, some trick or stratagem seems inevitable for prosperity — completely straight living has not paid in the case of any individual. It has not also been seen that any one continued to be prosperous uniformly, to the last.
120. When life leaves the body, nothing but the effect of his good and bad actions accompany an individual. Why, even the body maintained for long and adorned to with care, is unable accompany, when Death claims the life! Then is there any need to speak about other things?
DREAD OF EVIL
121. For those who do not follow the path of renunciation and become a prey to sufferings in the household life, the public crematorium serves for burning their bodies. But for animals and birds, their crematorium is the stomach of the senseless persons who relish meat!
122. It is wrong to capture small birds like sparrows roaming freely in the bee-swarmed groves and put them in cages to be maintained as pets. Those who do this will in their next birth became bonded slaves and labour hard in wet and dry fields with iron chains on their legs.
123. Ah, the sin of having broken the legs of crabs and detoured the flesh has led to the rottening of the toes and other suffering from leprous attacks in this birth.
124. The ghee that nourishes the body, when it is melted in the fire and becomes hot will hurt the body by ‘falling on it and lead to illness! In the same way, good persons through evil company will lose their goodness and gain in evil.
125. Friendship with the wise and noble ones will flow daily like the waxing moon. But friendship with the base ones or those of little wisdom will decay progressively like the waning moon in the sky, without any special effort.
126. If after determining that a person is of a good nature and having mixed with him, you do not find those good characteristics, you will be greatly frustrated The feeling then would be like unto that experienced when you find a serpent emerging from a tiny box which you had opened with the expectation of finding a nice perfume therein. So, be warned oh man, eager for friendship.
127. Oh Ruler of the region surrounded by mountains with precious gems! In the world, the words (intent) and acts of people do not accord (oft). No one has the skill to ascertain the real intent of a person from his acts (or words).
128. Oh Ruler of the region where the mountain-hills wash away the mire and render the land pure! The friendship of a person who is moved by selfish consideration and deceit-not really caring for the other’s welfare—will produce more and more harm as it progresses and will finally vanish!
129. It the sword flung against foes, with intent to destroy them chances to fall into the hands of the foes then it will make for the ruin of the finger himself and not that of the foes This is certain. Likewise, the aid rendered to fools will have evil consequences in this life and the next! So, it is best to keep away from such persons.
130. There is no other path for salvation except doing even a small righteous act. Oh mind, you seek not this path. pray tell me for how long you are going to waste this life away remaining attached to your wife and ever toiling for your progeny!
NALADIYAR PART II - ON WEALTH
1. ON RULERSHIP (Statecraft)
131. Neither a fair tuft, nor laced and folded clothing, nor besmearing articles like sandal paste and turmeric will ever confer beauty on a person. A human being gets true beauty, only through learning that cultures the heart.
132. In this world, learning gives knowledge to its votary. Unlike wealth which gets reduced by gifts to others, learning only grows the more by sharing. It gives fame and makes the person well-known. It lasts as long as the person is alive. So, it is rare to find anything else like learning, among cures for ills, in this world.
133. Salt is produced from a brackish inferior ground, but without it, food will be insipid. So, one holds salt to be an article even more important than a cereal grown in a good field. Likewise, even persons of low birth having true knowledge gained through learning should be given a high place and honoured.
134. If a person desires to leave a lasting treasure for the benefit of his posterity, it would be enough for him to afford facilities for a proper education to the beneficiaries. No need to amass riches! This is because learning cannot be taken away from its possessor, by any one; it will not also get reduced by being given to another. Is it not a fact that even a wrathful ruler cannot expropriate the learning so precious?
135. There is no end to learning, but there is an end to the life of the learner. Even in the short span of life, illness comes hard in the way of learning. So like the swan that drinks the nutritious milk after separating it from water, a person should endeavor to assess the worth of books and after selecting the really useful ones, study them.
136. Though the boatman is of low birth, we ignore his birth; get into his boat and with his help, cross a river. Likewise, it is very good to approach a Jearnd person, despite his low birth, and learn the import of the Shastras’ from him.
137. Learned persons,—those who had learnt the import of several books by listening often to their exposition, - those who have no feelings of enmity- those having a keen intellect - only association with these will confer true bliss. Such happiness cannot be gained by a life with the celestials or by the sight of Amaravati, capital city of the gods.
138. Oh Ruler of the cool, loud-sounding coastal regions! The sweetness of sugar-cane increases progressively as it is chewed downward from the top. In the same ways friendship with good persons of noble learning will flourish progressively. Contrariwise, the sweetness of sugarcane diminishes as it is chewed upward from the bottom; in like manner, friendship with the wicked, lacking culture and love, will go on diminishing in time.
139. We find that the water in a new pot gets fragrant in association with a lustrous though withered, trumpet flower. In the same way, even persons without learning will get true knowledge gradually, by association with the learned.
140. There are many sciences (disciplines) in this world; if one leaves out philosophy (Vedanta) from these and studies ordinary branches of learning like logic, only skill in vain disputation can be gained. But such a person can never cross the grievous sea of samsara with their aid.
141. The lion - the king of beasts-even when it is pining from hunger, does not overcome it by eating grass spread on the ground. In the same way, persons of noble birth, even in the state of having to be clothed in rags with a body emaciated by starvation, will not allow their family honour to be compromised.
142. Oh Ruler of the mount rising high into the heaven where the clouds are spread! The three attributes of culture honour and good conduct can be found only in person born in a noble family. Others may have great wealth, but it is rare to find in them these three qualities.
143. Standing up at the sight of good persons, giving them due welcome and going with them a little distance when bidding good bye - such good qualities will be natural to those born in a noble family. It would not be proper to speak of such persons on a par with those of low birth.
144. When persons of noble birth do good deeds, the people do not pay regard to it, holding that this is naturally expected of them. But if they do improper acts, the people will hold them to scorn. But in the case of persons of low birth, we see a contrary picture—so, it serves no special purpose, when persons of noble birth do good acts! Only the labour remains!
145. Only those born in a high class will feel sorry for not having acquired learning. They will not do base acts. They will always be afraid of being compelled to utter a lie or carry tales. They will feel sorry, if they are unable to give anything t a person in want. But persons of ignoble birth will not be afraid of such situations; they will be reckoned like dead wood.
146. Oh, Pandyan Ruler, holding sway over the cool coastal regions of the roaring sea, abounding in pearls and gems! Good friendship, sweet speech, charitable disposition, purity of heart - such high attributes will be found naturally in persons of high birth.
147. Even when a mansion is despoiled by white ants, there will be found in it some place, affording shelter against pouring rain. Likewise, in persons of noble birth reduced to destitution, the great attribute of performing one’s duty can be discovered.
148. Persons of noble birth, may on the one hand suffer from poverty, but on the other, fail not to help others. Do we not see that the moon, while it is eclipsed in one part, brightens the world with the light from the uneclipsed portion’?
149. Persons of noble birth, even whçn they suffer from poverty without any resources, fail not to do good deeds. But the low-born persons, even when they are wealthy, do not come forward to do good deeds. A deer may have saddle and other accountrements put on it and taken to the battle field. But the fleet deer can never stand steady like a horse and give fight.
150. A big river in flowing flood gives water to the people; when it dries up too, if the sands are dug up, it afford spring water. Likewise, persons of noble birth will give freely, when they have riches, even when they lack resources, they will afford some help to those seeking refuge with them being like a supporting staff.
151. The moon sheds its light from the sky and dispels the outer darkness. The great ones by their wisdom dispel the inner darkness. In the matter of dispelling darkness’ there is similarity between the two. But the moon puts up with its blemish and keeps quiet, the great ones will not endure any blemish on their name. They would rather give up their life on this account. This is the fundamental difference between the moon and the great
152. A venture may be accomplished early or it may not. But the great ones would undertake only great ventures without a flaw. An attempt to shoot a lion fatally with an arrow may fail; still the great ones will feel glad because the great attempt was worthwhile.. On the other hand, even if a jackal’s body is rent asunder with an arrow, the great ones will deny the venture as worthless.
153. Even when the body nerves stand out, due to starvation arising from poverty, the noble ones will never do improper acts. With wisdom for aid, they will bind the mind with the cord of effort, and continue to do good acts, according to their resources.
154. Oh Ruler of the region girl by hills! The good ones will shower their love, even on a person met one day by chance at a place of sojourn, as if he was a person of long acquaintance, and thus make him their friend. Es not a path made, even on the hard rock, worn by repeated walking?
155. In an assembly of gossipers indulging in ungrammatical and vain talk, an unlearned person will talk something, as he lists; good persons will feel very sad to hear this. But the next moment, they will feel - ‘‘If we show our Indifference openly, others too may behave likewise. ‘‘ In this mood of pity, they will listen patiently to all the foolish talk.
156. In whatever way the juice of the sugarcane is got - by biting it with the teeth, by crushing it to bits in a press or by pounding it with a pestle-the juice will remain sweet. Likewise, the great ones of noble birth will speak sweetly even to those who hurl accusations at them in harsh language; they will not swerve from their poise and insult the accusers.
157. The great ones blessed with flawless wisdom will never steal, drink liquor do things, forbidden in the scriptures, mock at others or speak a lie even in forgetfulness. Even in the midst of dire want, they will not get worried.
158. If a person, cognisant of true culture, keeps deaf to the secrets of others, blind to the charms of the wives of others, and dumb to speak, ill of others there is no need to give him any moral instruction.
159. The Uncultured person will insult one who comes to him day after day, thinking that he will ask a favour. On the other hand, persons of noble birth will welcome him who comes to them for a favour and give him aid, on every occasion.
160. By associating with persons of noble birth, one can get an inexhaustible mine (of gold). Some persons, not realising this, will zealously seek the company of low persons, only because they are rich, and deriving no benefit thereby will waste their lives away.
INSULT NOT THE GREAT
161. Oh Ruler of the mountainous region abounding in roaring cataracts! Even when it is certain that the great ones will forgive us our wrongs, it is well to guard ourselves against doing any wrong to the flawless great ones. May be, on an occasion, they may feel bitter and find themselves unable to endure a wrong done to them. The evil consequences in that state cannot be warded off by any one!
162. It may be difficult to gain the friendship of low—born and foolish persons, even with the offer of a daughter in marriage. They will not profit from an unsolicited and unmotivated friendship, preferring to waste their time.
163. The noble ones of true learning will treat alike honour and dishonour They will not also value the praises of uncultured and ignoble persons.
164. The lustrous cobra of fearsome hood, hiding in the Cracks of a field, will naturally be terror-stricken at the roar of distant thunder. Likewise, a guilty person the target of the wrath of the good and great ones - wherever he may hide himself cannot escape his doom.
165. True glory accrues only when the great ones realising our noble attributes, hail us as worthy. On the other hand to exalt oneself saying ‘you know not my true worth; there is none like me in this world” will not be truly glorious at all.
166. Oh Ruler of the wide and cool seashore! Friendship with ignoble persons will go on diminishing like the shadow in the forenoon. But friendship with great persons “ill not diminish in time; it will grow bigger and bigger like the shadow in the afternoon.
167. Those who are near, may, without any other fitness, enjoy the wealth of a Ruler or the beauty of women. Propinquity is the only requisite. Do not all persons going near trees with low hanging branches with cool burgeoning leaves in sprout enjoy the shade, without any.
168. Oh Ruler of the never - receding long sea—coast! It is found painful to part from even persons of low understanding, after associating with them for long so it would be far better not to associate with any one, than to associate for a while and then part ‘ I 68
169. In truth, cultured persons will go on studying good books every day, they will ever approach great persons and learn from them things ? f great import They will also share with others things of value.
170. It will redound to the glory of great persons, to be modest, without much ado. For those proficient in learning or any art, it will be honourable to keep humble, in mind, speech and act. They only are truly rich who are able to wipe out the sorrows of those who approach them.
ASSOCTAT1ON WITH THE GREAT (AND GOOD)
171. The dew on the blade of grass s goes away of itself, when the scorching sun light falls on it. Likewise, the sinful evil acts done during youth, in association with the wicked, will of themselves vanish, when in the company of the good.
172. The right way of ‘dharma’ should be cognised. The lord of death should be dreaded. The harsh words of others should be held to be of no account. Deceit should not be allowed near. Friendship with the wicked should be sundered. We should profit from the good instructions of the good ones.
173. Separation from kin, incurable diseases and other evils are concomitant with birth in this world for all human beings. This birth was not to give us joy — the good ones know this well. So, my mind should ever seek only the good ones, able to wipe out the misery of this birth.
174. Well, enquiry shows that this birth is full of misery. Still, if one gets sonic day a chance to live in the company of those persons who have the good thought of doing good to others; he will not despise the miserable birth!
175. When drain-water mingles with the glorious waters of the sea, it changes its former identity, and is hailed as a purifying agent — “a punya—teertha”. In the same way, the low born ones, by the company of high born persons will acquire greatness, lofty like unto a mountain.
176. Even those who are not by nature great, will acquire greatness by associating with the glorious and lofty ones! Have we not seen people adoring the blemish (the rabbit form) in the moon, along with the moon shining in all splendor with its luminous rays?
177. The water mingling with milk will become changed to milk. Its native darkness cannot then be seen separately. Likewise, the baseness of low persons, cannot be distinguished, after they have associated with good persons; it will get mingled with the fame of the good ones!
178. The plough which easily uproots the grass that has grown in the field becomes unable to remove the grass that has attached itself to a log in the same way, the wrath of a foe sufficing to destroy a mighty opponent becomes in fructuous against a person who has associated himself with good persons.
179. The crop in a fertile well ploughed wet land flourishes apace. Likewise, men get glory by the greatness of the persons whom they associate with. On the other hand, like a ship floundering when caught in a storm, even the native grandeur of a human being gets destroyed by evil company.
180. Is it not a fact that the fire at the foot of a tree spreads throughout the forest and destroys even the unoffending good trees like the fragrant sandalwood and “VENGAT”? So, even the pure hearted persons get despised by evil company.
181. When a person has nothing to give and has lost also his youthfulness, even the former loving maidens will not bestow a single thought on him! So, a man should give up utterly the desire to live with such ungrateful women and take to the better way of asceticism.
182. Fools do not even think about the impending miseries, being lost in the delusion that they have got happiness and fulfillment in family life. On the other hand, the wise ones who have realised the fleeting nature of the joys of a household life, amidst its seeming permanence, will never have cause for regret in its vagaries.
183. Your period of youth vanishes, even when you are 1ok1ng on; and many ills come to you unexpectedly. So, become wise and do righteous deeds unfailing, which will be the cause for your salvation, and live happily.
184. A tank benefits the people, by its spring water, even when it has dried up, being deprived of the sustaining rain-showers. In the same way, the great ones, bountiful in their own nature, will help others at least a little, even in dire poverty. But the base ones will not help even when they are rich.
185. The river while in heavy flood, rushes of its own accord and waters the crops in the fields; even when it becomes dry, it remains beneficial at least to some persons that approach it, by its spring-water. So the good ones who were lavish in their bounty during prosperity, will try to help at least some persons, to the extent of their resources in
adversity (poverty) too.
186. Oh PANDYA - Ruler of a glorious country! The brand-marks are prominent in a white bull; likewise, even the small foibles of the great ones will become greatly noticed. But great crimes, like grievous hurt to living beings-escape the eye of everyone! - (Nobody notices them).
187. Friendship with uncultured persons, wholly of evi1 disposition, will yield only evil. But even enmity with the truly wise ones, who know not to do anything evil in mere fun too, will produce glory.
188. Here is a counsel of prudence! Be patient with the 800d &l-suffering great ones. But against rash and wrathful foes, exhibit a mighty rage, that would make even the lord of death quail before you; similarly, in dealing with a person who will be uttering a lie always, be a more deceitful rival! But with cultured persons, learn to behave most courteously.
189. The great pure-hearted souls who ever remain luminous like the light of a lamp will not allow themselves to be deluded by the attempts of angry tale-bearers, intent on mischief.
190. Every day, the great ones will offer the first morsel of food to a guest and then only partake of their repast. Such a food will wipe out the three blemishes of desire, wrath and delusion and preserve them against all ills till they attain salvation.
191. The crops around a tank not filled with water will not have a steady growth: likewise, the life of those depending on others will not be steady. A maiden whir- ling a sword in her hand will have her eyes keep careful watch all around to protect her from harm; likewise, persevering persons will gain lasting happiness.
192. Even a young tree on the highway, if it is in a hardened state will serve as a stake to fasten an elephant. In the same manner, the life of those who keep steady on their own state, without falling back even a whit, will be Purposeful indeed.
193. The tiger which does not get good flesh to eat at times, appeases its hunger by eating the base frog. In the same way, one who does not get a job suited to his proficiency, can take on a job which comes his way and do it well; then it is certain that he would get a proper job, Sooner or later.
194. Oh Ruler of the port set amidst cool groves, with the fragrant thorny blossom, laved by the waves! It is the sign of manliness to embark upon a difficult task and persevere in it to the last, without flagging. If a task can be fulfilled of itself, without effort, will not frail women too gain renown in this world?
195. To talk of high and low birth is just a matter of words, signifying nothing. The quality of birth and breeding should be assessed only on the bases of prosperity, austerity, learning and perseverance.
196. The wise ones are those who do not disclose oper1y the efforts being made by them, keeping everything in their hearts, till the task on hand is accomplished; at the same time, they will be able to cogniss, by indications here and there of the strength of mind in others. The whole world will be encompassed by their guiding marks.
197. The main trunk of the banyan tree when it gets rotten, eaten by white ants, is supported on all sides by its many off-shoots, serving as strong pillars. Likewise, a son will protect his father in frail old age.
198. Persons endowed with might like unto a lion with sharp claws and powerful paws, able to maul the fore- head of a tusker, swill not descend to the least base act, even when faced ‘with failure in their enterprise, loss of income and impending death.
199. The blossom emerging in the sweet sugar-cane and grand to look at, like a lion’s mane, becomes purposeless, as it lacks fragrance. Likewise, noble birth will serve no purpose, if the person is not able to retrieve his honour.
200. Only the idle ones, unable to meet their needs by their own effort will be content to partake of the rice and curry provided lovingly by the rich. Others will relish the food got by their own efforts as nectar, even if it is in diluted simple fare, without any tasty condiments.
ASSOCIATION WITH KINSFOLK
201. A woman will forget all the travails of pregnancy and labour, the moment she sees the newborn child on her lap. Just so, from an afflicted person will disappear all misery, when he sees kinsfolk truly devoted to his welfare.
202. Those who, like the mango tree which affords shade to all the weary travellers seeking shelter under it from the hot sun, without any discrimination and also gives them the sweet fruit to eat, go on helping others, even when indire poverty themselves, are the eminent ones among mankind.
203. Has any branch of a tree, however slender, ever proved itself unable to bear the load of bunches of fruits flourishing thereon? Likewise, great persons will never refuse to succour kinsfolk, even when they are in poverty. Oh, Ruler, hearken to this!
204. Friendship entered into even publicity with persons devoid of virtue will not be lasting. On the other hand’ even a chance acquaintance with virtuous personi will prove firm, like the efforts undertaken by great persons in the proper discharge of their duties to gain salvation.
205. Those persons who relieve the misery of all without discriminating—”This is a friend; that is a foe”-wi1l be acclaimed as noble among the people.
206. Far more pleasant than sweet food offered in gold containers by a stranger, bright like a tiger’s claw will be the simple unsalted gruel given by one’s own kin.
207. Nice food and curry served hot in the home of a foe, even in a time of great hunger will taste bitter like the unripe fruit of a neem tree. On the other hand, plain rice with greens provided late in the afternoon in the abode of a kinsman will taste sweet like nectar. Hearken to this well!
208. The persons who day after day eat and flourish by giving ceaseless hurt to others like the striking hammer will get out, like the tongs which serve only to place an article in the fire, when the benefactors are in misery. But kinsfolk will be ready even to fall into the fire, along with a person in misery, like a smith’s pokers that enter the fire in the forge, when any article is to be made hot.
209. Oh, Ruler wearing a fragrant and cool garland! Kinsfolk come forward to share in joys throughout life. If in the same way, they do not preserve kinship in adversity, what return can they make in the next life? When life departs from the body in this world, all kinship ceases does it not?
210. Rich food boiled in milk and sweetened, spiced with cashewnut siices glowing like a cat’s eye, and served hot in the home of a foe, devoid of all love will taste bitter like neem. But even diluted gruel offered in the house of a loving kinsman will taste delicious like nectar.
FRENDSHIP AFTER DEE P ENQUIRY
211. When a sugar-cane is tasted downward, beginning from its tip, sweetness goes on increasing. In the same way, friendship made with the truly learned ones, will go on improving with acquaintance. The same sugar-cane if tasted upward beginning from the base will go on decreasing in sweetness. Likewise friendship with the base ones will go on decreasing from day to day.
212. Oh Ruler of the region abounding in birds that fly away frightened by the glitter of gold in the rushing waterfall! Persons of noble birth ill not change their natural goodness. This should be taken as the expression of their nobility and not as indicative of their inner feelings.
213. It is unwise to be friendly with persons who are like an elephant. But friendship with those like a dog has to be cultivated. An elephant will (in a rage) kill its own mahout who had associated with it for long, providing food. But a dog will wag its tail and shower its love on its master, even when he hurts it with the thrust of a spear.
214. The great ones will not associate with persons who are united physically but remain separated in the heart. But they will cultivate the friendship of those who remain united in heart, though physically apart, for long.
215. The flower blossoming in a tree will remain open without fading. In the same way, some persons will keep their cheer unfaded: friendship with them is virtuous. On the other hand, flowers blooming in the water will fade away soon; no one will associate with those who like such persons first put on a cheerful visage and then shrink away.
216. The areca palm requires daily care; else, it will become unfruitful. Such is the case with the friendship of low persons. The coconut palm needs at least occasional care; else its fruitfulness will be affected. Such is the case with the friendship of the average person. The Palmyra tree flourishes of itself without any outside care; so also, the friendship of the great ones will grow more and more naturally.
217. Simple food with greens cooked in waste water when offered with sincere love will be sweet like nectar. But even lily-white rice mixed with delicious curry, when offered by a person devoid of love, will taste bitter like the strychnine nut.
218. If even after acquaintance, close like the paws of a dog, a person does not help even a whit-nay even to the extent of a fly’s foot friendship with him is futile, But it is best to seek and win the friendship of persons, who like the channel which flows of itself and nourishes the crops with water, offer help unsought.
219. It is indeed preferable to be inimical with persons devoid of reason, than to be friendly with them. Death is preferable to an incurable disease. It is indeed nobler to kill a person than to grievously wound his feelings. It is preferable to slight a person than to praise him falsely.
220. It is good to associate with many persons and after testing their suitability, beQome deeply friendly with them. It would be sad even to part from a serpent that can bite one fatally, after long association with it!
TOLERATING A FRIEND’S LAPSES
221. If a blemish is found in a person who has been selected as a friend after a long and deep enquiry, the fault should be held in the mind and not publicised. The husk in the rice, the foam in the water and the leaves in the flower are natural shortcoming.
222. The tillers who depend on water for their occupation, tend the stream patiently, even when it goes often astray, bursting the bunds; they make the water flow so as to nourish the crops Likewise, the noble ones will put up patiently with the hateful lapses of those whom they had themselves previously selected as worthy of their friendship.
223. Oh Ruler of the region surrounded by high mountains with many kongu trees swarming with the murmuring bees! It is a good thing to endure all the lapses of a friend. Only if one of the two puts up with the shortcoming of the other, friendship with them can endure - is it not so?
224. Oh Ruler of the seacoast whereon boats unload their cargo of pearls washed forth by the waves from the depth of the sea! Friends who had associated closely in inseparable friendship, if they part due to the lapse of one of them it will scorch the mind like fire.
225. It is essential to support and hold as precious, friends inseparably united, despite the many lapses they are guilty of. Do we not bring in and tend the fire carefully at home, even though it may burn away the house with all precious belongings, reducing them to cinders?
226. Oh Ruler of the mountain whereon tall bamboos flourish sky-high! It is wrong to forsake a very close friend for some faults of his. Can the finger be cut off because it hurts the eye?
227. Oh Ruler of the seacoast with the cool waters! Cultured persons will not make much of the faults of a very close friend. Those base persons who make public the faults of their friends will b2 deemed so be as blame worthy as the offending ones!
228. Oh Ruler of the region of loud-sounding cataracts! If we consider the workings of our own destiny, even the evil wrought by strangers will not pain our minds. If so, how will the lapses of a friend hurt us? If deeply enquired into, that it may prove to be joyous (a blessing).
229. After deep thought, we take a person as worthy of our friendship; than it is found that he has faults; even so, we should continue to cherish him as our own. It i best to keep within the mind, his want of culture.
230. If after getting friendly with a person, I set about to enquire into his virtues and vices, may I incur the sin of a boor who publicises his friend’s faults and earns the disgust of the people!
231. Oh Ruler of the land of plentiful waters fed by waterfalls! In the rainy season, some persons will remain in a thatched hut, blocking the leaking water by an earthen dam and baling it out with their hands, till the business on hand is over. Likewise, some designing persons will put on a guise of living in a poor state. Friendship with such persons is not to be retained.
232. Oh Ruler of the country with much water falls! Friendship with persons of noble qualities will flourish and be beneficial like the rains. But friendship with the base ones, if nurtured, will be in fructuous like drought.
233. The happiness enjoyed in the company of persons of subtle wisdom will be deemed to be glorious like unto the delights of heaven. But association with persons not learned in useful lore wil1be grievous like hell.
234. Oh Chief of the region of fair pathways edged by sandalwood groves! Friendship with those lacking in real love, though seeming at first to flourish, will be finally destroyed, like straw placed in a fire.
235. To declare an impossible thing as practicable and to delay performing a task which is practicable-both of these will land even ascetics who have renounced home-life, in sorrow.
236. However long the white lily may be associated in the same pool with the red ‘Kuvalai’ flower, it will n ever get the same grandeur. Likewise, the base ones will remain in their own nature, despite long association with the noble ones.
237. Oh Ruler of the land where the female monkeys rap on the head with their knuckles the oncoming male monkeys and rob them of the fruits held by them! Friendship with a person not of a like mind will never be joyous.
238. If ever I fail to rescue friends in distress, even at the cost of my life, may I go to perdition like one who fails to save a friend’s wife left in his care, when her modesty is outraged!
239. Oh Ruler of the mountainous region filled with honey combs! To remove the cow’s ghee from a pot, to replace it by neem-oil is on a par with forsaking just the friendship of a foolish individual.
240. If an otherwise noble person lacks the quality of helping others, he will become futile like milk heavily diluted. Learned persons associating with evil ones will be ruined like a cobra cohabiting with a diseased female viper.
241. The wise ones will feel pity into low estate and refrain from destroying. Does not the venomous serpent (Raghu) refrain from eclipsing the crescent moon?
242. Oh Ruler, guarding a vast cool sea-shore! For those pining in poverty, endurance is the only ornament. Persons wandering vaingloriously without vaunting the honour of their pedigree will be despised by the public.
243. Whatever be the nature of the soil, bitter strychnine tree alone will grow from a strychnine seed, not a coco— nut tree! Likewise, people of the southern regions may flourish by their own efforts. There are also northerners (lacking effort) who do not prosper. So, whatever be the quarters, effort alone will be the cause for victory.
244. The plantain fruit that has ripened on a bed of neem leaves does not change its natural sweetness. In the same way, persons endowed with glorious wisdom will preserve their inherent nobility, even among the company of the base ones.
245. Oh Ruler of the cool seacoast laved by the waves! Sweet potab!e water is to be had in the ground, even near the salty sea. Similarly, there may be brackish water near the mountains with sweet cascades. So, the character and acts of people are not based on habitation! They depend only on their mental makeup.
246. Oh Ruler of the cool sea-coast with ‘‘Kadamba” groves! Persons of resolute wisdom will not desire to part from a man of good nature, after associating with him first. It is better by far not to associate with any one, than to be together for sometime and than part.
247. Many a delight is to be had from the company of persons who have acquired great reasoning power through enquiry. Persons who do not seek the company of those deficient in sense (discrimination), will never come to grief.
248. To reach a high position to conduct oneself properly even in a low state to rise progressively-for all these, the chief ingredient is self-effort.
249. Oh Ruler of the seacoast with high-rising waves! To associate with fools for a time, when it is needed for success in ventures is not to be considered as unwise; it would be just politic.
250. To be able to do deeds making for righteousness and prosperity, to derive joy there from and do beneficence to the deserving-if all these three are to be had together by a person in this life, it would be just as fruitful like a ship returning safely to the native shore, after a successful voyage in alien lands.
251. The power of discrimination is a glorious blessing to man. Its lack is the direst poverty. An individual lacking in masculinity and essentially feminine, may put on attractive ornaments, but this will not make for real beauty (as man or woman).
252. In this world, many persons grown in wisdom through study and listening to others, lose their glory and suffer in poverty. What is the reason for this? The glorious ‘Saraswati’- the goddess of learning dwells with the wise ones. The goddess of wealth - Lakshmi - not willing to live with Saraswathi (her daughter-in-law) de3pises the learned and deserts them in a rage! This is the only explanation. Have you ever heard of a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law living together in amity?
253. Study well in your early years” This is the counsel of a father. The boy who ignores it, will, later, blink without being able to read a manuscript placed in his hand in a public assembly, and flying into a rage try to beat the people with a heavy stick!
254. If an unlearne1 person gets into an assembly of the learned, it will be like the entry of an unclean dog into the hail. If perchance, he begins to speek something, it will be just the bark of a cur!
255. In a low assembly of persons who cannot speak well without grammatical blunders, an unlearned person may try to speak eloquently about many things he does flat know. But the learned ones despite great pressure will refrain from speaking even about matters they know well, appraising the low worth of the listeners.
256. The learned and wise ones will not speak at length on any matter, in fear of errors of speech. But the unlearned ones will fear nothing and hold forth long at their will. The dried pa1mleaf makes a loud noise. Can this be heard in a green leaf?
257. To give right instruction to those who cannot cognise what is good is like feeding a pig, devoid of taste with food mingled with sweet mango juice. (‘Casting pearls before swine’) Like a bending twig which cannot be kept straight, even if it is fixed in a hole in the rock, all our good instruction will not stay in the ear of the foolish ones.
258. The blackness of the charcoal will not change, even if it is washed with milk many a time and dried in the sun. Likewise, the person not naturally gifted with merit will not gain wisdom, even if instruction is forced upon him violently (with repeated beating).
259. The fly ignores the fragrant honey-bearing flower and goes in search of filth. In the same ‘way, a base individual will desire only ignoble things-he will not come forward to listen to the words of the good, sweeter than honey.
260. It is only because fools do not desire to listen to the precious words of the learned, that they venture to lecture ignobly to likeminded fools!
261. The bat does not go near the wood-apple, even if it is to be had in profusion, in ripe condition. Likewise, good persons will not approach a wealthy person devoid of generosity, in the hope of any gain.
262. Even though the thorny shrub is in full bud and easily reachable, no one will stretch his hand towards it. Why? Because, those flowers are not suited for wearing. Likewise, great ones will not pay any regard to the wealth of low persons, who do not do any good.
263. Persons residing near the wavy sea will go far in search of a well, with good potable-not brackish water. In the same way, good persons will, leaving aside the wealth of mean-minded individuals near them, wander and in search of the noble wealthy ones for any gain.
264. The truly wise persons pine in poverty without any resources. But fools strut about in splendour, clad in silk raiment in this world. Only past ‘merit’ (punya) can explain this disparity.
265. Oh maiden with glances sharp like a lance! What reason can be adduced for men of character and wisdom suffering from want, while the base ones flourish in riches? We can only say that each individual reaps the fruits of his actions-good and bad-in a previous birth!
266. Oh goddess, seated like a golden statue on the lotus flower! Why do you ignore persons of character and favour those lacking in it! I can only heap my curses on you!
267. Oh maiden with glances sharp like a spear! Poverty sits shamelessly with persons who have a helping tendency. Riches too stick like glue to those who would not help any ones Thus both poverty and virtue prove futile-the shameless ones! Wonder at this yourself!
268. The good ones ashamed of their wants walk far away to beg, and live on what little they get. But the shameless evil ones will sit behind bolted doors inside their houses and enjoy a rich repast, flowing with milk, buttermi1k and viands in plenty.
269. When the crop with ripening ears is withering for want of water, the clouds with 1ightningf1ashes pour the rain uselessly into the sea. Likewise fools waste their wealth on the undeserving ones, riot needing help.
270. A learned person lacking in discrimination is truly ignorant. But a person of discrimination is really learned, even if he has not studied anything. For a person who has no wants poverty is wealth. The rich person who knows not bountifulness is a poor individual indeed.
IV. SUFFERING (unhappiness)
271. Only when the food cooked is shared with others without any discrimination (like or dislike), according to one’s stat e, it can be called eating. To the man who eats alone, behind the locked door-to that useless wretch- the door of heaven will ever remain, blocking his entry therein.
272. Those who, in however small a measure according to their means, give in charity will gain renown. But those who hold that they may give in charity, only after they become rich, will be held in scorn by the people.
273. The very wealth left by the foolish without enjoying what he got or giving ascetics, will ridicule him It may also laugh at him in pity.
274. The fair virgin of good birth, remaining unmarried, will, one day, be enjoyed by a stranger. Likewise, the wealth of a miser accumulated by self-denial and not giving to others will in time be enjoyed by a stranger.
275The people ignore the billowing sea, with its vast expanse of water, though near, and delight in the intermittent spring water in a well. In the same way, some will prefer the enduring poverty of some good (and bounteous) ones to the great riches amassed who do not know the glory of virtue (and bounty)
276. The miser, holding it to be his alone, may, amass riches without spending anything. Well, I, a poor man, can boldly claim that wealth as mine! If it had been his, he should have enjoyed it himself and given to others also; but he had not done so. If I had it, I would enjoy it and make others enjoy it too. Then, what is wrong in my claim?
277. The close-fisted rich man is subject to fear. The poor man is free from any fear-no anxiety about losing his wealth - no need for conserving it by a close watch over spending or safe-guarding it by burying it!
278. The rich man has not the heart to give to any one-he has no desire to help even the close kin, who will be entitled to share in his property. If the rich man volunteers to give, his kin will not stand in the way. When a kinsman gives after the death of the rich man, the latter will not come to object to it. Well, in some families, good sense is lacking in everyone!
279. The cow will give its milk joyously to its calf; when a rich man likewise gives help to those that ask for it, it will be real bounty. But we see a cow beaten, kicked and by various ways forced to yield its milk to the person wanting it; it is base to get help from a giver, in such manner.
280. There is sorrow (pain) in seeking wealth and in safeguarding it. There is suffering if it is lost; lack of care in its preservation will also hurt greatly. So wealth is the cause of sorrow and pain, in all ways.
281. If an ascetic clad in a dirty saffron robe has a little property, he becomes influential with the people. But a person of noble birth, suffering in want, is despised as being even lower than a corpse.
282. Ghee is subtler than water; smoke is subtler than ghee. There may be a space inaccessible oven to the subtlest smoke, but those in want will penetrate it easily.
283. Oh Ruler of the land with forests here the parrots are driven away with stones! Bees, fair with many red spots do not go to the top of a high mountain, when the sandal (Kaandal) flower does not blossom there. In the same way, kinsfolk do not ever come to a poor person.
284. Crows crowd around a dead body to tear and devour it. Likewise thousands of persons will humbly surround a rich person! But when he has lost his wealth and wanders in search of food, there will be none to enquire after his welfare!
285. Oh Ruler of the mountainous region where the flowing water-falls keep the rocks clean washing away all dirt! If a person has no wealth, the glory of his family will be lo3t; his manliness also will be eclipsed; even his learning will be of no avail.
286. For persons who, residing in a place do not offer any help to those that come to them in great hunger, it would be better by far to go to another place and eke out a living by begging !
287. Oh lady with teeth pointed like jasmine buds! To persons in grievous want, all their virtues, keen intellect and other excellences lose their worth.
288. For a man who is ever concerned with his own welfare, without offering any aid to those who come to him in want, it would be better to go to a distant land and eke out his livelihood by standing a begging before the gates of many houses .
289. It may become the lot of some persons to lose all their wealth and then with their oncebarig1ed hands, to uproot some greens, cook it and eat it mirthlessly from their own palms without salt.
290. Oh, Ruler of the high mountainous region, cool with many waterfalls! The bees glowing with many red spots on their body do not come to the branches of trees without blossoms. Likewise, kinsfolk will not cast even a look at the poor person.
291. The hearts of persons of honour will burn fiercely like a raging forest fire when they behold others devoid of any virtue committing many improper acts, drunk with the pride of wealth.
292. A man of honour will not disclose his sad plight to another person wanting in nobility, even though his body shrivels to a skeleton due to utter want. But he would of himself go to the wise person, who cognises his state without being told and offers to relieve his sorrow.
293. We, poor persons, welcome our guests and taking them inside our homes, do them honour. But rich persons think that their home will be spoilt, if they take us-the poor-inside; so they make us stand outside and offer a little food. So, scorn the friendship with the rich!
294. Oh lady with tresses fragrant with musk! The glory of the man of honour spreads in this world apace; further, following in the wake of the great ones of old, it yields merit (punya) which will stand them in good stead, in the next world too! Know this well.
295. Good persons will not stoop to base acts, yielding sin for the next world and infamy in this world, when their lives are at stake. The sorrow of death lasts just an instants but the sorrow of infamy will have to be borne throughout life. So, who will do base acts resulting in such sorrow?
296. In this world, rich persons will be held to be poor, if they are not bounteous. But those who will not stretch their hands before the rich, even in grievous poverty will be deemed to be lords indeed!
297. Oh lady, with eye-brows arched like a bow and eyes sharp like a lance! The lowly will be afraid of the misery of hunger. The middle class people will fear mortal suffering. The great ones will fear only scandal (infamy).
298. When rich persons look askance at one, saying that this is a good man, bounteous and poor, the hearts of noble persons will rags like the flame in the smithy’s forge.
299. It is not shameful to keep quiet without offering help to those who have come to us for it. It is not also truly shameful when we show fear on the right occasion. But it is really shameful to keep secret the help rendered to us by a wealthy person, when we were in a lowly state.
300. It is said that a tiger even at the extremity of hunger will not eat the carcass of an animal slain by itself if, by chance, that body falls to its left side. In the same manner, great persons will forego even the delights of heaven, if they are to be had at the cost of honour.
FEAR TO ASK FOR HELP (ALMS)
301. Wise men will not go for monetary who, priding themselves as great, think “This poor man has become rich, only due incapable of earning anything by his own help to those and declare— to me. He is efforts”.
302. It is better by far to die without doing a base act, than to get the belly filled by doing it. This is because; in an instant within the batting of an eye-lid a dead man will be reborn with a new body. So, why lose irretrievable honour?
303. When dire poverty strikes, it may be impossible to consider and refrain from asking for aid. Still, noble men will go for food, only to the house of a person who lovingly invites them to do so.
304. A noble person may lose the support of Providence and the grace of the Goddess of Prosperity as well. Even then, he will be furiously conscious of his glorious heritage; he will not therefore demean himself to revere with bent head, a base individual who has amassed riches through selfishness.
305. To live without asking for aid, even from persons who show love and friendliness and give what they have is truly noble. The mind burns at the thought of begging. Who knows how that mind puffer, if forced to beg?
306. Let misery come and happiness go!—4f thinking thus, the mind gets contented, poverty will vanish of itself! Then why pine, grow pale and stretch your hand for aid before another?
307. Oh Ruler of the region from whose mountains rush down rills bearing gold! In the world, persons are being born every day. Of these, only the rare individual who despises not a poor man will attain salvation, free from rebirth.
308. If with a faded body evidencing poverty, losing good sense and overwhelmed by folly, one approaches a rich man with a plea for alms and meets with a rebuff will he not fall dead at the very place?
309. There is nothing wrong in a poor person seeking a rich man and serving him. But if that man of riches does not cognise the need by himself, should one ask for aid openly, forsaking all shame? It would be more joyous to continue in dire poverty!
310. When an acquaintance comes, help should be extended to him unsought by a friend. Else, it would turn to a constant raging flame in the mind of the visitor!
NATURE OF AN ASSEMBLY
311. One should enquire and learn good things from an assembly of wise persons. Without doing this, fools may utter senseless words and try to establish their own views. Before such persons, the wise will refrain from giving good counsel.
312. Some persons will put on a cloak of wisdom, uttering irrelevant words as they please; the wise will not speak anything before them. This is because the so-called learned man will stoop to besmirch the heredity of the wise men or challenge them to a fight, with effrontery.
313. Without realising the opponent’s intellect and capacity to expound and not having the skill to put across clearly what he himself knows and not knowing the secret of defeating the opponent, many persons desirous of debate, come forward to speak at length and purposelessly, before an assembly (Strange!).
314. The foolish person will without learning from a preceptor, but by merely listening to the text which fellow- students repeat in order to learn it by rote, mug up the words and repeat them shamelessly before an assembly, thus betraying his ignorance!
315. There may be persons who do not know the real purport of anything, but intent on merely scoring a victory, rise up in anger and speak passionately in an assembly. If then, noble persons try to prove their superior skill in debate, they will meet with grievous mishap-their teeth, like the seeds of a water-gourd, will be knocked out and fall into their own palms!
316. Foolish persons will repeat like a parrot, texts with out understanding the meaning and speak indecently, so as to hurt the feelings of others. Noble persons of renown will ignore such talk, mindful of the hurt they may cause to the feelings of the mothers concerned.
317. Money can purchase anything easily; like the shoulders of harlots, the common truths of shastras will be clearly available to all persons setting out to learn them. But the subtle inner truths will be elusive, like the hearts of fair women, which cannot be cognised.
318. Those who fill their houses with books, without understanding them, can never become true scholars. Only persons, who study the books, understand their purport and expound them to others, will be considered real scholars.
319. Oh Ruler of the region bounded by mountains abounding in wild cows! The exposition of a text by a person who has not compared four different commentaries and made deep enquiry, will not be a true guide to the understanding of the text.
320. Persons deeply learned in the shastras, but not born of a noble family will not endure the blemishes in the speeches of others before an assembly. But persons of noble parentage and real scholarship, wi1l ignore the erroneous talks of those not learned in the shastras.
321. Learned d persons will accept as beneficial, instructions offered in compassion by dear ones. But a fool not realising the good in such words, will despise them, like the ladle that does not know the taste of the milk-pudding in a pot, though always stuck in it.
322. The fool will not even listen in patience to the wholesome counsel of good persons. How will the dog, bred in the love of a lowly person and used to feed on carcasses, know the taste of a mi1k-pudding?
323. Though knowing in many ways that life may vanish in just an instant, there are fools, shameless in their nature, who do not do even the least good. Nothing is lost if they die! There is also no benefit by their living.
324. Life is of short duration; this cannot be helped. Even so, one may have to put up with scandals. So, in the brief span of life, one should associate with all others and live happily in unison. What is the use of creating ill will towards all and living alone?
325. When a fool talks disparagingly of another before an assembly, if the person insulted keeps quiet, it is certain that the insulter will come to grief. It would be strange indeed, if this does not happen!
326. The person who before the onset of old age does not engage himself interestedly in righteous acts, will in his last days be the target of abuse by even a servants maid- “get out of the house; take yourself elsewhere!” He will thus have to pine away in his own house.
327. Persons of little understanding will spend their lives in vain, being drowned in their wealth, not enjoying it themselves or giving it to the deserving or taking steps for welfare in the next birth; their intellect is blunted indeed!
328. Foolish persons who neglect in their youth to gather the food store for the next birth, namely charitable bequests, considering that it can be attended to later, will in the end lose their power of speech having to make known their needs only by signs and getting foiled therein too ! .
329. The man of little understanding thinks of doing charity, when he becomes a victim of hunger and disease. But when these two are relieved, he does not think of doing charity, even to a tiny extent.
330. Persons of little understanding, when they are strong in body to be able to do charitable acts, spend their lives without even thinking about chrity. They behold directly their dearest kinsfolk being in the clutches of the Lord of Death; yet they learn no lesson from it!
331. When death, the murderer, is waiting to take away life, the man caught in the snare of being remains happy. This is like a tortoise placed by a killer inside a pot of water, set to boil over an oven, gamboling in, that water itself.
332. A person thinks that he might think of charitable acts, after all the needs of his family have been met. This is just like a man waiting on the seashore for the sound of the waves to be quietened, before he could bathe in the water.
333. If one has the five glorious attributes of learning, age, austerities, wealth and heritage and yet lacks the most valuable knowledge about heaven, it would be like a milk-pudding without ghee-a vain life indeed!
334. A rock cannot understand the words of any one. Yet it affords facilities for the person approaching it to stand, sit or lie down. The rock is thus better in many ways than the base person, who is of no use to anybody.
335. Fools, for no purpose, will, in regard to good per- Sons, accumulate evil words and fling them in anger, trying to expound them too. Else, the itch in their tongue will not be relieved!
336. Oh Ruler of the sea-shore where the Punnai flowers blossom in abundance! To attempt to make a person lacking in goodwill, friendly, is like pricking a rock and getting pain thereby.
337. Even knowing full well that the ghee inside a pot is out of its reach, an ant will continue going around the pot. Likewise, ordinary people will ever be around a miserly rich person.
338. The fool does not go to the assembly of the wise; he does not also do acts of righteousness. He does not help the poor. He does not enjoy the company of a cultured wife. He does not also seek a life of renown. Even so, his life does not prove distasteful, to him. The reason for this is a mystery!
339. A fool will spurn the good persons, who of their own accord, praise him. Friendship with such a fool will not be pleasing, even if the whole sea girt world is to be the reward.
340. There is nobility only when a person praises the good qualities of another learning culture, noble birth and so on. But a person indulging in self praise will be despised by the people as being incurably mad.
ACTS OF THE IGNOBLE ONES
341. A fowl will not cease to poke into rubbish, even when plenty of broken rice is available for it to peck at. In the same manner, an ignoble person will resort to some despicable act, even after learning the purport of scriptures in full from great men.
342. A base man will ignore the call of hi friends “Come, let us go to the good ones, free from any blemish and learned in the scriptures” and take himself to sleep. He will find some worthless justification for this too!
343. Oh Ruler of the region abounding in Tills! Good persons will remain unchanged in their nature, even when prosperity comes to them. But a base person’s nature will change completely with riches he will be a new man indeed!
344. The great ones will make much of even a tiny help rendered by another. They will make a mountain of a mole—hill and feel happy! But an ungrateful person will ignore even the greatest help rendered to him.
345. The dog which has been fed on good food from a gold cup will be waiting to eat the leavings thrown in the street. In the same way, an ignoble person even when he gets many glorious things will try to do only the things which will bring discredit to him.
346. Even when they get wealth enough to rule the whole world, great persons will not cross the bounds of prosperity. But the base person will deem himself to be the lord of heaven, when a little wealth accrues to him.
347. Even a shoe made of gold studded with diamonds, can serve only the purpose of being worn on the feet. Likewise, an ignoble person, even when rolling in wealth, should be deemed to be on the lowest level, with reference to his acts.
348. The characteristics of base persons are: harsh words, cruelty, delight in the sorrows of others, frequent fits of anger, purposeless travel and despising of others.
349. Oh Ruler of the cool coastal region, abounding in honeyed blue lilies! The noble person will show love towards a man who has chanced to come near him just for a day, like one of long acquaintance. But on the other hand, a base person will spurn even a man of long acquaintance.
350. A bull bred on tender grass will not become fit to draw a chariot. Just so, a base person getting great wealth will not rise in stature by his acts.
351. The wise ones will, in their youth, control their senses, preventing them from pursuing objects of pleasure and thus derive real joy. But the foolish ones will resort to evil deeds even in old age and suffer without attaining happiness.
352. The filth oil the body of the frog is not wiped out, even though it is ever sunk in a tank full of water. Like- wise a person who has studied many good works will not be able to enquire and realise the truth, if he lacks common sense.
353. Oh Ruler of the mountainous Region! Even to praise a person for his good qualities behind his back, the tongue does not rise up in the case of many individuals. But a base person’s tongue dares to publicise openly another’s blemishes overlooking his good qualities. Of what material such a tongue is constituted, is a mystery!
354. Fair and chaste housewives do not know how to set off their feminine charms like harlots who resort to make- ups for increasing their appeal and find pleasure in freely mixing with men. Similar is the case with good and bad persons.
355. Base persons incited by others will stoop to anything. But they will not in any way help the great ones, who have service to fellowmen as their ideal. They will, however, rush to render help in many ways to those that do harm to them.
356. The hunter will ever remember the fertility of the mountain which is his abode. The tiller will remember the field full of crops that has given him his livelihood; likewise, the great ones will ever remember the help rendered by others. But the base ones will remember only the chance insult offered to them by another.
357. Good persons will put up with a hundred evils done to them by another, remembering a single help received earlier. But base persons will forget even seven hundred good things done by another, remembering only a single harm done earlier.
358. Oh lady with eyes sharp like a sword! Even if it gets its teeth richly adorned, a pig cannot have the fighting valour of a tusker. Likewise, what good the noble ones do even in poverty, will not be done by the base ones even in prosperity.
359. There have been many persons who hoped and declared that prosperity would come soon or late only to get finally frustrated and destroyed like a lotus leaf its own place.
360. The core of a green reed growing in the water does not get wet. In the same way, there are many persons living in the world with stony hearts, in which pity does, not enter, even in great prosperity.
361. What if there are cloud-kissing towers, with adequate security therefore and maidens adorned with jewels glowing like a lamp? The essential thing for them is loving nature and culture; lacking this, the house would be like a crematorium.
362. If women go astray even when guards with unsheathed swords stand around, we can conclude that such sweet speaking ladies would have more often gone wrong than otherwise. This is because there is a chance of mental aberration despite strict vigliance.
363. The wife who challenges her husband to strike her is verily death to him. The wife who does not enter the kitchen in the morning is like an incurable disease. She who eats without giving anything to the husband is a devil. These three classes of women are deadly foes to their husbands.
364. A person may have been counseled to give up the household life; he may have often heard also the beat of the death-drum; but without realising the truth, he would get married a second time and live in pleasure. The delusion of such a person is like that of one who throws down a stone on his own head.
365. It is best for one deliberately to live in asceticism. Next to it is the life of a householder with a cultured wife. But for a person to stand behind one who knows not his worth, for the sake of money alone is base indeed!
366. Noble persons spend their time studying good books. The average man enjoys life with the available resources. Those who pine in vain for more and more food and wealth and so get frustrated and angry, passing sleepless nights, are base men indeed!
367. The sprout of the paddy stalk planted in a field grows up and yields grain Oh Ruler of the region surrounded by such fields!’ A son inherits the wisdom of the father. Likewise, we may cognise the worth of a basic material from the quality of its product.
368. The hereditary rich persons and men of good culture, live in the world, losing their status. Bastards and igno rant base men are esteemed on account of their wealth. Thus the world seems upside down like the stick (handle) of an umbrella.
369. Oh Ruler of the mountainous region with rills bearing gems! Even knowing the, grief of a dear friend, a stony—hearted person has no mind to alleviate it. It is better by far for such persons to die by throwing themselves down from the top of a mountain, than to live on.
370. If deeply pondered, freshens in a river and the heart of a harlot will be found to be similar. When the rain abates, will there be flood? When gain diminishes, will there be love in harlots?
NALADIYAR PART III - ON LOVE
I. JOY AND SORROW
371. If quietly considered, the ‘love’ of the harlots is just the same as the light of a lamp. When the ghee (or oil) diminishes, the glow of the lamp gets dim; likewise, when the gain or income lessens, the love of the harlots decreases.
372. Once the harlot, when receiving money, declared in false love- “If by some mischance we become poor, let us both fall down a hill!” but now when indeed poverty has struck and she is asked to fulfill her word she declines in brazen falsehood—”Alas I am now a paralytic, unable to walk!”
373. Even if the visitor be Lord Vishnu Himself, adored by the celestials, if He lacks money, the harlots, fair like tender shoots, will pay mock obeisance to Him and send
374. The love-less harlots with lily-blue eyes will reject in scorn the poor man, like poison. But though the visitor be one who makes a living, drawing the oil press, if he has money, the harlots will desire and welcome his company like tasty sugar!
375. The eel has the skill to appear in shape like a snake before the serpent coming to swallow it and like a fish before another fish. Likewise, harlots will suit their ‘love’ to the nature of their visitors. Only persons lacking in sense will desire to clasp their shoulders!
376. Once, when money was available, the harlot declared to her visitor- “We will be entwined like thread and gems or like two loving curlews”. But today when he has become poor, she is like the battling horn of a ram- what a change! Oh mind, now tell me-will you still be with her or come back to me?”
377. Harlots will first be like a licking cow and delude a man to get his money. But when the need arises for some aid to the man, they will change to a bullock that falls to the ground to evade being harnessed to the plough. The person who believes the love of such harlots as true will surely be scorned by the public.
378. The nature of a harlot is to feign Jove, when the lover gives her money and to deceive him as soon as all the money is got. Good persons who wish to walk the path of righteousness will not let themselves be lured by her winsome breasts.
379. The will to harm will be latent, but outwardly, the words will appear trustworthy. Deluded by such words of a harlot with fair brows, many will hold her -‘Ah, this woman is my own beloved”. Let them do so! In truth; the harlots belong to none but themselves.
380. The fair browed harlot will be thinking of one man, but she will act as though she loves another. A man should enquire deeply about this. But evil destiny does not permit him to realise the truth!
II. Joy or Happiness
381. Only the fair-browed women firmly chaste like Indrani, who do not encourage even a whit, the advances made by lustful strangers will be true helpmates to their husbands.
382. Even in a state of utter poverty, when drinking water has to be shared, she will not fail in her duty to gathering kinsfolk; she will remain cultured and soft-spoken. Only such women are fit for a household life.
383. The house is open to all the four quarters; it will also let in the rain water from the roof, to spread everywhere. Even with such a small house, the housewife will not fail in her duty to her husband and will thus earn the praise of the public. Only the house with such a chaste woman is worthy to be called a home.
384. The characteristics of a true wife are: - charming appearance, make-up according to the liking of the husband, fear (of wrong), helping kinsfolk, behaving with inner anxiety to delight the husband by exhibition of love or sulking, as the need may be, and sweet speech.
385. A housewife wonders: - “Though I have given myself to enjoyment with my husband many times, yet, shyness overcomes me on each new occasion. But the harlots who keep company with many men for the sake of money, behave passionately with the husbands of other women! What mystery is this?”
386. The glory of modest housewives shines like the scripture learnt by a person of good intellect, the wealth iii the hands of a benevolent person, and the sword in the hands of a hero.
387. “A village boor knowing not the difference between red gram and black gram bought the same measure of each for the same price! Likewise, my husband, not being able to discriminate between me and a, harlot, after cohabiting with a harlot, comes seeking me, with his soiled breast, even without bathing”. (This is the portrayal by a betrayed housewife of her inconstant husband).
388. “Only the right side is important in the case of a drum the left side is not so regarded. We remain frustrated like the left side of a drum, separated from the husband. Oh, bard, do not come here mocking our husband and in vain enhance our unhappiness! Go back your way! If you like go to the harlot who is being used by my husband like the right side of the drum and speak to her mockingly about him”. (This portrays a lady who will not suffer the ridicule of her inconstant husband even)
389. “Once I could not bear even a female fly sitting on the body of my husband. But today, I patiently endure the sight of the breast of my husband soled with sandals paste of a harlot whom he had enjoyed!” (This portrays the state of the mind of a housewife as expressed to her maid on the return of an erring husband).
390. “Oh Bard! Do not give me the false hope that my garlanded husband will return to me! I have become tasteless like the tip of the sugar-cane! Well, go and tell your news to the harlot who is sweet to him like the middle part of the sugarcane” (This expresses the wrath of a betrayed housewife at the words of a bard).
391. Oh Ruler of the sea-coast cools with waves! When lovers are separated, the body complexion will change. But if lovers are always together, enjoyment will lose its flavour. So alternating union and separation is the best means for increasing the relish of love. (This portrays the thought of a lover who has rejoined his beloved, afterseparation for a time)
392. To the ear of the maiden who has not got a lover to embrace her joyfully with his wide garlanded breast; the roar of clouds raining smells all around, with flashing light, will sound like a death-knell! (This portrays the state of a lady whose lover has not returned to her in the rainy season, as promised)
393. The lady began to string a garland with s elect flowers in the evening. But in an instant, feeling the futility of the garland in the absence of her lover, she let it drop and gave way to sorrow. (This is the report given to a lover by the lady’s maid to indicate the sorrowful state of the lady in separation)
394. “Will my beloved be feeling unhappy, recalling my lapse in ignoring her plea to stay, when lying down on the bed with her hand for a pillow, she recounted how, wiping the gathering tears from her eyes at the sight of the setting sun, she had kept a tally o f the’ days of her separation from me?” (This portrays the expression of a lover to his friend of the state of his beloved in separation)
395. The kingfisher (bird) mistook the eye of my beloved for a fish and pursued her to get it. But beholding the bow of her brow, it kept quiet”! (This is the statement of a lover to his friend, praising the beauty of the eyes of his beloved)
396. “My tender daughter with rosy lips and slender waist will feel hurt, unable to bear even the painting of her feet with red cotton-juice. Alas, how would her slim and tender feet have trodden the gravelled jungle, along with her lover! (This shows the state of mind of a nurse at the elopement of a maiden with her lover).
397. It was the quiet crimson evening twilight, when accountants rest from their day’s labour. Then the maiden thinking of her absent lover picked and threw away the garland worn by her and began to wipe out the sandal paste on her breasts. (A lady’s maid cognising the lover hiding nearby, portrays the state of the lady, so as to fall in his ear!)
398. Oh, companion! You ask me whether I would be “prepared to go with my lover to the forest on the morrow. Look, does not a man purchasing a horse know at once to ride it?” (This expresses a maiden’s response to her anxious maid).
399. My daughter pressed me close with her pearl necklace and pointed breasts. 1 did not understand the reason it then. But now I feel she wanted me to realise that she was going on a trip to the forest full of lions chasin that g the deer”. (This portrays the state mind, at the elopement of her daughter).
400. Oh maiden, with breasts pointed like buds! There is no point in my mother blaming the three-eyed Lord or Rahu the serpent. Only the wide path on which my lover set out to gain wealth is to be blamed”. (This portrays a maiden’s sorrow at the lover’s separation, as told to her maid).