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 21 - The union of relations

1. As a mother forgets the pain and trouble she suffered during pregnancy and childbirth when she sees her infant in her lap, so the distress a man suffers from poverty and other misfortune disappears when he sees his relatives inquiring for him.

2. Supporting his relatives without partiality (like a tree which gives shade to all those who approach itat the time when the hot season is nigh), taking pains himself that many may eat the fruit of these exertions, is like a tree whose fruit is ripe. So to live is the duty of a good man.

3. Lord of the piled-up hills! the great will not say of their relatives; We cannot bear them. Though very many large unripe fruits be produced (upon a tree) very closely, there is not one branch which does not bear its (share of the) fruit.

4. Though they contract very close friendship in the sight of the world, yet the friendship of the base will not endure; (while) the amity of the stable-minded will be as enduring as the perseverance of the unswerving great, (which endures) till they have realized their hopes of heaven.

5. Those who, making no distinctions between persons and conditions, relatives and strangers, actuated by their natural feelings alone, seek all who are in poverty or affliction and relieve their distress, will be regarded by every one as preƫminently worthy.

6. It is sweeter to take a heap of grass-seed without salt, and in any kind of dish, in the house of a relative dear as life, than to eat on a golden dish rice white as the tiger's claws, and mixed with sugar and milk from the hands of an enemy.

7. The desirable fried curry of politeness, though had at due-time in the house of those who are not one's friends, will be (bitter) as margosa-seed. Hear, A curry of vegetables, thongh served up at sunset, by those who are relatives, is pleasant.

8. Even those who have been pleasantly entertained by another as frequently as a hammer strike the anvil, will forsake him, just as the tongs leave the iron in the forge; but those who are truly worthy of being called friends will adhere to him in distress, as the rod by which it is turned adheres to the metal in the furnace.

9. O thon who art adorned by a cool and fragrant garland! when relations have partaken of the prosperity of their relatives, if they partake not also of their adversity until death, is there anything they can do for them in the other world?

10. Delicious curry (yellow as the cat's eye), when eaten alone in the honse of those who love us not, will be as the margosa. When living in the house of those who are like us and love us, cold water and grass-seed will be as nectar.

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