The Naladiyar

The Indian Antiquary, A Journal Of Oriental Research

18,838 words

The Naladiyar is one of the few original works we have in Tamil. It contains altogether forty chapters, of ten stanzas each, on moral subjects....

Chapter 6 - Asceticism

1. Like as when a lamp is brought into a room darkness disappears, so sin cannot stand before the effects of former good deeds. And like as darkness approaches and spreads over the room when the oil in the lamp is decreasing, so when the effect of the good deeds is exhausted, the effect of evil deeds will take its place.

2. Those who are preƫminent in learning, knowing that youth is unstable and that sickness, old age, and death are certainties, perfarm their duty now. There are no men so foolish as those, or fools so foolish as those who rave about the indestructible treatises of grammar and astrology.

3. Those who are greatly wise, seeing that, on careful examination, all such things as youth, complexion, form, dignity, and strength, are unstable, will without delay endeavour to save themselves by becoming ascetics.

4. The poor, though they endure many days' affliction, will desire one day's pleasure; the self-controlled, knowing the changeableness of domestic happiness, and having regard to its attendant misery, have renounced the domestic state.

5. Youth is gone in vain, and now old age with sickness comes. Therefore, oh my soul! take courage and rise up with me without hesitation--wilt thou not go? Let us walk in the way of asceticism or virtue.

6. Since it is a hard thing for a husband to part with his wife, though she may neither have borne children, nor have a good disposition,-- therefore on account of the misery which matrimony causes, the wise have long ago called it kerdy,--that is, the thing to be eschewed.

7. Those earnest men who, when troubles hard to be borne and enough to prostrate the mind come upon them, to frustrate the austerities which they have resolutely undertaken, put them aside, and, confining themselves stedfastly, observe their rules, are ascetics indeed.

8. It is the duty of the excellent not only to forgive despite, but also to pity those who, on account of the despite they have done them, will in the next birth fall into the fire of hell.

9. He who has power to observe the rule of virtue which he has laid down, and to keep himself undisturbed by the five organs of sense fromwhich arise lust and desire--or the body, mouth, nose, ears, and eyes--shall unfailingly obtain beatitude.

10. The mean, though they see affiictions come thronging upon them, never think of asceticism, and long only for gratification; but the excellent, though pleasures come crowding in; upon them, having regard to their attendant miseries, cherish not the desire of any pleasure.

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