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 37 - Miscellanies

1. Though it be a building on which the clouds creep, a fort exceeding strong, shining: resplendent with the gems stored up in it, of what benefit is it? The house of him who has no beloved and excellent wife is to the view a dreadful forest.

2. Though they be guarded (as it were) with naked swords, with unrelaxing vigilance, should there be the smallest possible relaxation of that vigilance, the period will be short indeed before they begin to act ignominiously. And long indeed will that period last during which softly speaking females will not desire to return to proper conduct.

3. The woman who bold in opposition threatens blows is as death. She who resorts not to her kitchen betimes in the morning is an incurable disease, and she who gives grudgingly the food she has prepared is a household devil. Women of these three kinds are a destroying weapon to their husbands.

4. Though he is advised to eschew marriage, he eschews it not; though the sound of the dead-drum pierces his ear he heeds it not. Moreover the wise say that the delusion which leads him to think that matrirnony is indeed a pleasant state is a crime worthy to be punished by stoning.

5. The highest grade of virtue is living in persevering austerities. The middle grade of virtue is living in marriage with wives who are dear to us. The lowest grade of all is, thinking that money does not come in fast enough, covetously to follow after and abide with those persons who know us not.

6. The chiefest of the learned are those who spend their time in learning many sciences. The next in rank are those who give to the worthy the goods acquired by merit in a former birth, and thus pass their time. The lowest of all are those who cannot sleep for envy, arising from the feeling that they have not fared luxuriously or obtained sufficient wealth.

7. As the fruitful shoot of the red-grained rice becomes afterwards itself red rice and. flourishes, O lord of the city (Indra) surrounded by fruitful fields which are covered by red rice! in the same manner the learning of the father becomes the learning of the son.

8. The wealthy and the excellent perish, while the sons of concubines and the base wax great, the lower place becoming the upper place. Thus the world subsists, the lower part becoming the upper part of an umbrella.

9. O good lord of the victorious mountain-land where the falling streams sweep along gems! it were better that those who when they hear their dear friends declaring the affliction of their minds, have no desire to alleviate their sorrows, should die by casting themselves down from a mountain top than that they should live.

10. If we impartially examine the two things, it will be found that the inundation of the river and the love of beauteous and desirable courtesans are alike. If the rains fail, the inundation will cease; and if their lovers' money is expended, those courtesans' love for them will fail also.

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