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 13 - The fear of misconduct

1. A burning-ground is the proper place for the bodies of those who, though plunged in the sea of domestic cares, betake not themselves to asceticism as a refuge. The stomach of the possessors of little wisdom is a burning-place for beasts and birds without number, i.e. he eats them.

2. They should have their legs bound with iron, become slaves to their enemies, and go to the field of gloomy soil, who keep in a cage the partridge or the quail, which live in the woods resounding with the sound of winged insects.

3. He who ln a former birth desiring crabs broke off their legs and ate them, when the effect of that sin shall take place, he shall wander about afflicted with leprosy, the palms of his hands excepted; all his fingers like Chank-shell beads will rot away.

4. Even such a thing as ghee when approached by the flame of fire will cause intolerable pain by fierce burning; of many bad actions will they become guilty who, though not crooked, become so, and associate with those who are bad.

5. Friendship with the wise will daily increase in regular gradation, like the crescent moon. Friendship with the base will daily decrease, like the full moon which rides through the sky.

6. Thinking them good thou didst associate with them. If in those with whom thou hast associated there be no good intent towards thee who hast associated with them. O thou who didst associate (with such)! listen: It is like a man opening a box believing that there is an unguent in it and seeing a snake inside.

7. O lord of the land resplendent with mountains on whose declivities genii abound! since a man's actions differ so much from his mind, who is there that is capable of searching out so as to understand the resources of another's mind?

8. O lord of the fair hills over which slowly roll streams that cast up gems! the great friendship of those who love with deceit, making a prentence of stedfast attachment but not loving with the heart, will only afflict the mind.

9. Like as when the glittering spear that he cast is caught by his enemy's hand, the theif's courage is destroyed, so since the gains of sin follow after and destroy the acquirer of these gains in two births, it is good to leave the ignorant altogether.

10. Wilt thou not cease to long for a family? How long wilt thou live in sorrow saying, It is for children? O my heart! there is no advantage that accrues to the soul except the good thou doest, though it be but little.

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