Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Tamil Language & Literature > Thirukural > Thirukural - English Translation: Himalayan Academy - Introduction > Index  > Couplets 1-100 > Couplets 101-200 > Couplets 201-400 > Couplets 401 - 600 > Couplets 601-810 > Couplets 811-950  > Couplets 951-1080

The Thiru Kural
Couplets 811 - 950

Harmful Friendship | False Friendship |Folly | Ignorance | Hatred | Merits of Enmity | Understanding the Nature of Enmity | Internal Enmity | Not Offending the Great | Being Led by Women | Wanton Women | The Avoidance of Drunkenness | Gambling | Medicine

Harmful Friendship

Verse 811 Though unscrupulous men will seem to consume you in friendship, Their companionship grows more delightful as it declines.

Verse 812 What does it matter if one gains or loses the friendship Of manipulators who gainfully befriend and otherwise forsake?

Verse 813 Prostitutes, theives and those who make friends To make money are all alike.

Verse 814 Loneliness is far better than friendship with men who are like The untrained horse which throws its rider on the battlefield.

Verse 815 Far better to forfeit than to obtain the friendship Of inferior men who stay away when they should stay and help.

Verse 816 The enmity of the wise is ten million times Better than the intimate friendship of fools.

Verse 817 An enemy's enmity is 100 million times more worthwhile Than the company of companions who always clown around.

Verse 818 If friends feign inability to perform possible tasks, Remain silent and gradually give up their friendship.

Verse 819 The fellowship of men whose acts Belie their spoken words is bitter, even in dreams.

Verse 820 There are men who will cherish you at home but censure you In public-avoid their every befriending approach.

False Friendship

Verse 821 The friendship of those who feign affection is an anvil On which to hammer you when the opportunity arises.

Verse 822 The friendship of those who act like friends but are not, Will fluctuate like the mind of a fickle woman.

Verse 823 Though their scholarship is good and abundant, Ignoble men rarely learn goodness of heart.

Verse 824 Fear the cunning friend who smiles sweetly to your face But conceals wickedness in his heart.

Verse 825 Distrust whatever words may come from Men whose hearts are not in harmony with your own.

Verse 826 While sounding like a good friend's words, A rival's words are readily revealed.

Verse 827 Do not trust an enemy though he bends low in his speech, For the bending of the bow forebodes nothing but harm.

Verse 828 Folded in respect, a foe's hands may hide a dagger. So too, his tears dare not be trusted.

Verse 829 Men may amply aid you, yet hate you in their heart; Make them laugh, but let feigned friendship die.

Verse 830 When the time comes that foes pose as friends, Keep a friendly face but banish their brotherhood from your heart.


Verse 831 What is folly? It is holding on to that which is harmful And throwing away that which is beneficial.

Verse 832 The folly of all follies is to enjoy doing What one is forbidden to do.

Verse 833 To be shameless, uninquisitive, loveless and uncaring Are the fool's four failings.

Verse 834 No fool is more foolish than one who eagerly expounds His learning to others while failing to follow it himself.

Verse 835 In a single birth a fool may earn by his efforts A mire of hellish suffering in the subsequent seven.

Verse 836 If a fool who knows not how to act undertakes an enterprise He will not only fail, he will shackle himself in chains.

Verse 837 When a fool falls upon a great fortune, Strangers will feast while his family starves.

Verse 838 If a fool happens to acquire something of value, He will act like a madman who is intoxicated.

Verse 839 Friendship among fools is profoundly sweet, For at their parting there is not the slightest pain

Verse 840 A fool stepping into a saintly council Is like entering a clean bed with filthy feet.


Verse 841 Dearth of wisdom is dire destitution. Other forms of poverty the world deems less impoverishing.

Verse 842 All merit for a gift given gladly by an ignoramus Is nothing but the goodness gained by the recipient's past penance.

Verse 843 The suffering that ignorant men inflict upon themselves Can hardly be caused even by their enemies.

Verse 844 What is stupidity? It is that vanity Which dares to declare, "I am wise."

Verse 845 He who pretends to knowledge that he does not possess Raises doubts as to those things that he really knows.

Verse 846 Fools follow a wayward path, clothing a well-formed, naked body But failing to conceal their deformed mind.

Verse 847 The ignorant man who neglects valuable advice Will cause himself his own great misery.

Verse 848 Neither following another's orders nor fathoming himself what to do- Such a creature causes only pain until he leaves this life.

Verse 849 He who tries to open the eyes of those who will not see is himself Blind, for the unseeing man sees only the ways of his own mind.

Verse 850 He is deemed an earthly demon who denies as false What That which the world declares to be true.


Verse 851 It is said that hatred is the disease that spreads The plague of discord among all living creatures.

Verse 852 Though men plot disunity and deliberately harm you, The highest path is not to plan hateful retribution.

Verse 853 Removing the incurable cancer called hatred Reveals one's undying, undiminishing radiance.

Verse 854 The destruction of hatred, that sorrow of sorrows, Yields to man the joy of joys.

Verse 855 Who is there who could conquer those Who keep themselves free of all hostilities?

Verse 856 To those who claim they take delight in hatred, Failure and life's ruin are quite near.

Verse 857 Men immersed in animosities, knowingly causing harm, Can never see that triumph comes from noble truths.

Verse 858 Wealth waxes when a man walks away from confrontation And wanes whenever he encourages it.

Verse 859 Seeing a prosperous season approach, men neglect hatred. In times of ruin, they nurture it to profusion.

Verse 860 From hatred springs all suffering, But cheerful friendship yields good fortune's joys.

Merits of Enmity

Verse 861 Rein in antagonism against the strong, But unleash animosity against weak adversaries.

Verse 862 How can the man who is unloving and who has neither powerful allies Nor the strength to stand alone overcome his mighty enemies?

Verse 863 He who is fearful, ignorant, unfriendly and uncharitable Is an easy prey to his enemies.

Verse 864 Letting go of his secrets but not his anger, A man becomes easy prey to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Verse 865 Even one who is lacking character, conscience Piety and propriety can be delightful-to his enemies!

Verse 866 Hatred is a desireable thing when it comes from Scoundrels siezed by blinding rage and addictive lust.

Verse 867 Some men undertake a task then undermine it unawares. Acquire their hatred-indeed, pay money for it.

Verse 868 If a man has no virtues and many vices, he will have no allies, And this will be an advantage to his enemies.

Verse 869 If the foe is ignorant and afraid to fight, The victor's joy cannot be far away.

Verse 870 Fame will escape the grasp of those who fail to grasp The wealth of fools who failed to learn.

Understanding the Nature of Enmity

Verse 871 One should never wish for the accursed thing Called enmity-even in jest.

Verse 872 Though you may incur the enmity of those who reap a livelihood by their Bow do not provoke the hatred of those who sow and reap with their words.

Verse 873 A solitary man who provokes hatred from many Is more of an idiot than lunatics are.

Verse 874 The world abides beneath the greatness Of noble natured rulers who befriend their enemies.

Verse 875 Finding he faces two foes with no allies, A lone man lures one to side with him.

Verse 876 When distress dawns, neither draw near nor depart from New friends and foes-rather, leave them alone.

Verse 877 Never reveal your troubles to those who cannot comprehend them, Nor expose your weaknesses to your enemies.

Verse 878 Engineer a plan, execute that plan well and ensure your security- Thus is the vanity of foes forever vanquished.

Verse 879 Chop down a thorny tree while it is young. Left to grow mature, it will cut the cutter's hand.

Verse 880 Those who fail to quell an acrimonious rival's conceits Will be blown away by the mere fact he still breathes.

Internal Enmity

Verse 881 Even shade and water are unpleasant if they breed disease. So too may relatives be unpleasant if they cause harm.

Verse 882 Do not fear the foe who is like the drawn sword, But fear the friendship of the enemy who poses as kinsman.

Verse 883 Dread hatred from within and defend against it. In calamitous times it will cut deeper than a potter's knife.

Verse 884 Hidden hatreds may lurk only in the mind, Yet they can manifest myriad miseries among kin.

Verse 885 Hate hidden in a kinsman's heart will cause More than many miseries-it will kill a man.

Verse 886 When hatred arises, dissention destroys unity, And men fall inescapably toward ever ready death.

Verse 887 A house that harbors hatred will never form a united whole though, Like a vessel and its lid, it may appear to be united.

Verse 888 As iron is worn away by frequent filing, A family's strength is eroded by inner frictions.

Verse 889 Internal dissention may be as minute as a divided sesame seed, Yet it maintains the sufficient power to destroy.

Verse 890 Living with those who cannot dwell in harmony Is like living in a hut with a cobra.

Not Offending the Great

Verse 891 The greatest way to guard oneself is to not belittle The powers of men of prowess.

Verse 892 If a man by his conduct offends the great ones, Through them he will bring on himself immeasurable miseries.

Verse 893 If you desire destruction, don't heed the rules- Simply provoke those who, if they desire, can destroy.

Verse 894 For the powerless to wreak harm upon the powerful Is to summon Death with the hand.

Verse 895 Having incured a stalwart king's withering wrath, One is doomed, wherever he wanders, whatever he does.

Verse 896 Though burned by a fire one may survive; But there is no survival for those who offend the great.

Verse 897 Of what avail is a man's many gloried life and splendorous wealth If he incurs the wrath of great and righteous men?

Verse 898 When men of mountainous stature are meagerly esteemed, Men who seemed enduring as the earth will die, as will their kin.

Verse 899 The most kingly king will tumble from his throne midway And die, should he arouse an avowed sage's righteous wrath.

Verse 900 Though a king commands peerless powers of protection, He cannot survive the anger of sages with powers of spirit.

Being Led by Women

Verse 901 Those who dote upon their wives will not achieve great success, And those of great ambition avoid that very thing.

Verse 902 The riches of a man who rashly follows a woman's ways Will buy him only shameful shame.

Verse 903 An abnormal submissiveness to his spouse Will earn a man endless disgrace among decent men.

Verse 904 Though he has mastered the doing of deeds, The henpecked husband merits little in this life or the next.

Verse 905 A man's fears of his own wife will make him Constantly fearful of offering good to good folks.

Verse 906 Though providence has filled his life, A man who fears his graceful spouse is empty of simple dignity.

Verse 907 A woman's shy ways show great dignity, Unlike a man who lives to work a woman's bidding.

Verse 908 Those who live obeying their wife's wishes Can neither satisfy the needs of friends nor benefit others.

Verse 909 Neither virtuous deeds nor vast wealth nor other accomplishments Will be found with men who carry out their wife's commands.

Verse 910 Prosperous men whose thoughts dwell in the mind Never indulge in the folly of doting on their wives.

Wanton Women

Verse 911 The sweet words of beautifully bangled women who desire A man's wealth and not his love cause his fall into disgrace.

Verse 912 Weigh the worth and abandon the company of unvirtuous women Who weigh the profit and talk of their virtues.

Verse 913 A mercenary woman pretends intimate embrace, But in the darkened room she holds a stranger's corpse.

Verse 914 Men seeking spiritual treasures are too richly wise To touch tawdry women who treasure only material riches.

Verse 915 Men of innate good sense and acquired sagacity Never touch tramps who share their shameful beauty with all.

Verse 916 Men who desire to extend their own goodness Will not embrace desireable women who extend lewd charms to all.

Verse 917 Only men devoid of a chaste mind will lie in the arms of women Whose hearts covet other things as they embrace.

Verse 918 It is said that men devoid of discerning wisdom Succumb to a deceiving damsel's embrace as to a siren's song.

Verse 919 The soft arms of the elegantly jewelled harlot Are an infernal pit wherein base, ignorant men are engulfed.

Verse 920 Two-faced females, besotting brew and addictive dice Befriend the men whom fortune has forsaken.

The Avoidance of Drunkenness

Verse 921 Those who crave intoxicating drink each day Will neither be feared nor famed.

Verse 922 Do not drink liquor. If some wish to, let it be those Who have no wish for the esteem of exemplary men.

Verse 923 The sight of the drunken man's revelry is unbearable Even to his own mother. How must it then appear to the wise?

Verse 924 The virtuous damsel called decency will turn her back On men who indulge in the grievously vile vice called drunkenness.

Verse 925 To spend one's wealth to purchase self-oblivion Is the result of being oblivious to what constitutes proper conduct.

Verse 926 Those who always sleep are akin to the dead. And those who constantly drink are like men who have taken poison.

Verse 927 The drooping eyes of those who drink secretely reveal that secret, Drawing forth their neighbor's endless ridicule.

Verse 928 Stop denying, "I never drink." For next time you drink The mind's hidden secret will be told, then and there.

Verse 929 One may as well carry a candle underwater to search For a drowned man as use reason to sober one drowned in drink.

Verse 930 Cannot the drunkard who sees while he is sober the drunken state of Another realize the shameful degradation of his own drunkenness?


Verse 931 Do not take to gambling even if you can win, Or your wins will be like the baited hook that the fish swallows.

Verse 932 To win once, a gambler loses a hundred times. Is that the way to win either happiness or prosperity?

Verse 933 Incessantly calling bets on rolling dice Causes a man's riches and revenues to run elsewhere.

Verse 934 Gambling brings on many woes and erodes a man's good name. There is nothing which ends in more wretched poverty.

Verse 935 Those enamored of the dice, the gambling hall And their lucky hand lose everything in their desire to win.

Verse 936 Gambling is misfortune's other name, and fools ensnared By her will sugger an empty stomach and a surfeit of sorrow.

Verse 937 Spending time in the gambling hall wastes Ancestral wealth and diminishes an individual's worth.

Verse 938 Gambling will consume a man's wealth and corrupt his honesty. It will end his benevolence and bring on him misery.

Verse 939 Those who take to gambling's fickle gain forfeit these five: Raiments, riches, rations, renown and urudition.

Verse 940 The gambler's passion increases with the losses incurred. Even so does the soul's craving for life grow with the griefs suffered.


Verse 941 Disease is but deficiency or excess of three life forces Defined in learned texts as air, fire and water.

Verse 942 The body requires no medicine if you eat Only after the food you have already eaten is digested.

Verse 943 If digestion is complete, let a man eat with moderation, For that is the way to prolong the life of the body.

Verse 944 Certain the last meal has digested and sensing appetite's keen edge, Savor only foods which are fully agreeable.

Verse 945 Life remains unharmed when one eats with restraint, Refraining from foods proven disagreeable.

Verse 946 The joy of health abides in the man who eats moderately. Even so, the pain of illness dwells with him who eats excessively.

Verse 947 The thoughtless glutton who gorges himself beyond His digestive fire's limits will be consumed by limitless ills.

Verse 948 Diagnose the illness, trace its cause, Seek the proper remedy and apply it with skill.

Verse 949 An erudite doctor offers healing remedy after heeding The patient's nature, the disease's nature and the time of year.

Verse 950 Medicine consists of a patient, physician, prescription And nursemaid-each commanding four parts.



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