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 17 - Against reproaching the great

1. O lord of the fair hill-land resounding with streams! we should not, thinking they will forgive us, do what is hateful to the guiltless, for none can remove their anger when once they are provoked.

2. What though those who know not good and right feelings obtain the privilege of associating without expense with those who cannot be approached though gold be offered to them, yet they do but vainly waste their time.

3. These two things, the esteeming of any person, or the depreciation of any person, fall within the province of the excellent (alone). Deeply learned sages regard as nothing the contempt or praise of those who know not how to conduct themselves aright.

4. Like as the golden-coloured serpent trembles, though in Patala, if he hear the sound of the fierce anger of the thunder in the heavens, so enemies, though they have shut themselves up in a fort difficult of access, will not be able to escape when the great are angry.

5. The estimation which they form (of others) who say, Ye know us not, there are none like us, is no true estimation. But the estimation formed by the excellent; who know what virtue is, and consider themselves as not to be at any one's beck and call, is a correct estimation.

6. O lord of the shore of the cool broad ocean! friendship with the mean, like the shadow of the morning, will continually decrease, while friendship with those who have long been famous will increase more and more, like the shadow of the afternoon.

7. Like as the cool budding umbrageous trees afford shelter alike to all who approach them, so the wealth of kings and the excellenae of the beauty of women may be enjoyed by all who may venture to approach them, no worthiness being required at their hands.

8. Since separation even from those who possess not the power of investigating what they have, causes great and unceasing pain, O lord of the wide-spread, mighty, and exhaustless backwaters! the not contracting friendship with any one is a karor of times the best.

9. When the matter is spoken of, (it will be found) that with the excellent such days as these are not, viz. days which have not been spent in study, days in which the great have not been visited, or days in which alms have not been given according to ability.

10. The glory of the great consists in humility; the acquirements of the learned appear in his self-control. The rich are rich indeed if they remove the afflictions of their dependants, when acquainted with them.

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