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 20 - Perseverance

1. Let those branches of a family who subsist on what their relations give them, like the rice-plants nourished beneath the bank of a tank which holds but little water, perish. Is want known by those persevering people who (constantly) change their position, like the eye of the juggler watching the motion of the sword?

2. Even that which stood a trembling stick by the wayside, when it has acquired strength, may become fit for a post to tie an elephant to. Life also is similar to this if a man free himself from a base nature.

3. The strong tiger, if it be without prey for a single day, will even catch a small frog and eat it. Do not despise small things; even great matters will become greater by exertion.

4. O lord of the cool shore of the breakwaters, where the waves dash against the calderia bushes! though a persan think within himself that the matter will not succeed, yet, if he still go on with it, and unswervingly labour, this is perseverance. When all things around them are prosperous, will not even women succeed in their undertakings?

5. There is neither limit nor use in talking thus, He is of low-caste, and, He is of good caste. Good caste is constituted by those things alone, viz. ancient, glorious, and resplendent wealth; penance; learning and perseverance.

6. The wise, who know their own ability (to complete a work), until it is completed keep their knowledge to themselves, and speak not of it to others. The world lies at the beck of those men, illustrious ill wisdom, who can ascertain by the expression (of their faces) the ability of others.

7. The hanging root supports the banyan-tree like a son, when it is eaten away by white ants. Even so if imbecility appear in the father, it will not be apparent when the son he begat conceals it.

8. Though they should die meanly, not having anything in their house, will they do things fitted to bring down disgrace upon their own heads who have the strength of the lion possessed of powerful paw and sharp claws, which make sore the livid face of the elephant?

9. The hair-like, round-stalked flower produced by the sugar-cane is destitute of sweet honey and fragrant odour. Even so, what will be the good of being born în a high and lofty family, if there be no manly courage to carve out for one's self a name?

10. The base will eat the curry and boiled rice given with much pleasure by the great and rich. Even water procured by the earnest perseverance of those who do not know the name of curry will be as ambrosia.

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