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 23 - The bearing with the faults of others

1. When those we love greatly, and esteem as virtuous, prove otherwise, this ought carefully to be concealed, for rice in the grain has a husk, water, foam, and flowers some unseemly leaves.

2. Though it burst the bank whenever they would stop it, they will not be angry with good water. Those who live desiring good water will repeatedly draw it up. Men will not be angry, but be patient concerning the friendship of those whom they themselves have courted, though these persons act towards them with constant hate.

3. Though they do evil exceedingly, is it not fitting to be patient with one's friend? O lord of the lofty hills where the beautiful winged insects hum over the variegated konju-flowers! the forbearance of one is the friendship of both.

4. O lord of the wave-resounding shore where bright-rayed pearls are thrown up by the rolling billows, and where float swift-sailing ships! if friends from whom it is difficult to separate, possess not virtuous dispositions, they are as a fire kindled to burn our hearts.

5. Even though they do what is disagreeable, one should preserve as gold those who ought not to be forsaken. Daily do men seek for fire and keep it in their house, though it has consnmed both their good house and gold.

6. Is it right utterly to abandon friends, who ought not to be forsaken though guilty of evil deeds? O lord of the renowned mountains, which, covered by the long-stemmed bamboo, pierce the sky! will men cut off their hand because it has struck the eye?

7. Lord of the cool land where the waters brightly shine! the good will not look upon the faults of others after mixing with them (in friendship), though they act disagreeably. Persons destitute of strength of mind who take up evil things and speak of them after mixing (in friendship), are themselves inferior to those of whom they speak.

8. In a thing done by strangers, though in itself exceeding bad, what is there fitted to give pain? Considered rightly, it is the acts of those who are affectionately attached; which, O lord of the land where the waterfalls murmur! will be esteemed excellent, abiding in the mind.

9. If persons become aware that those whom they have taken into friendship, supposing them to be their friends, are not their friends, let them nevertheless esteem them better than their friends, and conceal the discovery in their own breasts.

10. If after contracting a firm friendship with any one, I set myself to note his good and bad qualities, may I be cast into the hell where the traitor who discovers the secrets of his friend is punished, and may I be scoffed at by the whole world!

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