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 24 - Improper Friendship

1. O lord of the fair and well-watered mountains, where abundance of cascades fall down from the black crags! men will remain until they have done their work in an old house the thatch of which is untied, keeping out the water br a dam, and being drenched with the rain falling down upon them. Thus will friends! remain with one until their business is finished.

2. The friendship of illustrious men is eminently valuable, and is productive of benefit as timely rain. But the f'riendship of the mean, even in the time of their prosperity, resembles, O lord of the land of clear water! the failure of rain in its due season.

3. The enjoyment of the friendship of men of acute understanding is desirable as the joys of heaven. But connexion with unprofitable men uninstrncted in science and literature is a very hell.

4. Our intimacy with those to whom we are not bound by the chain of f'riendship, O king of the hills, the sides of which are covered with groves of tall sandal-trees! though it seem day by day to increase, will be dissolved as instantaneously as fire catches straw.

5. The presumptuously saying, We are those who will do what should not be done, and the deferring and putting aside that which ought to be done at once, verily these two things will cause affliction instantly, even to ascetics, who have renounced the pleasures of the domestic state.

6. Though born in the same pool and grown up together, the ambel-flower will never be like the expanded kuverlei. The actions of those who are destitute of excellence, though they obtain the friendship of people of high excellence, will never at tain the actions of such persons.

7. A little monkey breaking into a fruit with its finger, will strike and seize its own father, thongh coming to meet it. Lord of the hills! the friendship of those who are without unity (of mind) is not pleasant.

8. If I stretch not out my hand and deliver my whole soul without hesitation to my friend who is in distress, may I be cast into the hell where the wretch is punished who has violated the chaste wife of his friend, and may I be scoffed at throughout the far-famed earth!

9. Like pouring margosa-oil into a pot into which ghee has been poured and taken out again, O lord of the fragrant and goodly mountains! is the acquisition of the favour of those who are acquainted with evil, after the renunciation of the favour of those who are acquainted with good.

10. The absence of benevolence of disposition in him whose form is beautiful is like water mixed with milk, that is pleasant to drink. For those who are wise, to become companions of the wicked is like the nâgâ playing with the female cobra.

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