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 16 - The Good

1. The moon, which sheds its beams abroad over the beautiful and wide-spread sky, and the good, are like each other. But the moon bears spots, the good bear them not. They wolud be confused and waste away should a blemish befall them.

2. Whether successful or otherwise, the good will be held blameless. Is the dart which glanced from the lion inferior to the arrow that pierced the heart of the jackal?

3. The good, though they be poor and emaciated, will not guiltily ascend and rise over the bounds (of duty); binding their courage, as much as in them lies, with the cords of a mind free from anxiety, they will do the things that ought to be done.

4. The good, though they should meet with a person in the way, only for one day, will cleave to him with affection, as if (there subsisted between them) an ancient friendship. O lord of the goodly hills! a path will be made even upon a rock if one walk upon it for a few days.

5. If an unlearned person in the assembly speak what is destitute of meaning, like unconnected letters, the good will listen kindly, though with pain, even feeling pity that he should be put to shame before a multitude.

6. Though you bite the sngar-cane, or take its juice by beating and bruising it till the joints be broken, it will only be pleasant as far as it is tasted. Though people abuse them injuriously, the highborn will not speak faultily with the mouth.

7. The faultless virtuous steal not, drink not spirits; these things the good reject and leave altogether. Neither do they mock or reproach others; though confused in speech they will not lie with their mouths; and though in declining circumstances, they grieve not about it.

8. If one be deaf to the secrets of others, blind to the wife of his neighbour though well acquainted with her excellencies, and dumb in calumniating others, to him it is not necessary to inculcate virtue.

9. When people go day after day to those who are destitute of good qualities, they will despise them as beggars. The excellent, whenever they see (such), will say (if they want anything), Well, and will do them honour.

10. The base will live in obsequious attendance on the rich. Is it not like falling in a cave full of everything, when thou hast fallen upon a good family?

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