Who says, 'I 'ill lead a happy life devoid of this.'
One's light is the abundance of one's courage; one's darkness is the desire to live destitute of such (a state of mind.)972 - All men that live are one in circumstances of birth;
Diversities of works give each his special worth.
All human beings agree as regards their birth but differ as regards their characteristics, because of the different qualities of their actions.973 - The men of lofty line, whose souls are mean, are never great
The men of lowly birth, when high of soul, are not of low estate.
Though (raised) above, the base cannot become great; though (brought) low, the great cannot become base.974 - Like single-hearted women, greatness too,
Exists while to itself is true.
Even greatness, like a woman's chastity, belongs only to him who guards himself.975 - The man endowed with greatness true,
Rare deeds in perfect wise will do.
(Though reduced) the great will be able to perform, in the proper way, deeds difficult (for others to do).976 - 'As votaries of the truly great we will ourselves enroll,'
Is thought that enters not the mind of men of little soul.
It is never in the nature of the base to seek the society of the great and partake of their nature.977 - Whene'er distinction lights on some unworthy head,
Then deeds of haughty insolence are bred.
Even nobility of birth, wealth and learning, if in (the possession of) the base, will (only) produce everincreasing pride.978 - Greatness humbly bends, but littleness always
Spreads out its plumes, and loads itself with praise.
The great will always humble himself; but the mean will exalt himself in self-admiration.979 - Greatness is absence of conceit; meanness, we deem,
Riding on car of vanity supreme.
Freedom from conceit is (the nature of true) greatness; (while) obstinacy therein is (that of) meanness.980 - Greatness will hide a neighbour's shame;
Meanness his faults to all the world proclaim.
The great hide the faults of others; the base only divulge them.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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Courtesy: We have used Thirukural Tamil interpretations by Dr. M. Karunanithi. The Englist translation was used from the book: TIRUKKURAL with translations in English by Rev Dr G U Pope, Rev W H Drew, Rev John Lazarus and Mr F W Ellis Published by The South India Saiva Siddhantha Works Publishing Society, Tinnevelly, Limited. India (1982).