Here is Valluvar’s Voice

Following is the translation of Thirukkural, a discourse on ethics, its author is Tamil poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar, who lived around 3rd Century. Its translation is done by Mr. NV Subbaraman, he lives in Chennai.

CHAPTER FIFTY

                                                 JUDGING THE PLACE

                                                     அதிகாரம் 50

இடன் அறிதல்

                                                                              ~*~

Original

 தொடங்கற்க எவ்வினையும் எள்ளற்க முற்றும்

இடம்கண்ட பின் அல்லது.

Pronunciation

 Thodangkarka evvinaiyum eLLarkka mutrum

IdamkaNda pin alladhu.

Translation

 Till place is assessed

Commence not the action; nor

Slight the foe’s strength.

Comment

It is not right to start a work till the time is ripe for its successful accomplishment. Having found out the correct location, it is not right to give up after abusing the same.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

முரண் சேர்ந்த மொய்ம்பி னவற்கும் அரண்சேர்ந்து

ஆக்கம் பலவும் தரும்.

Pronunciation

MuraNsaerndha moimbinavarkkum araN saerndhu

AAkkam palavum tharum.

Translation

 Strong will with enough

Strength and support makes one great

Achieves all great stuff.

Comment

For a person with a strong will , if the support of security is available, he will get several advantages.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

 ஆற்றாரும் ஆற்றி அடுப, இடன்அறிந்து

போற்றார்கண் போற்றிச் செயின்.

Pronunciation

Aatraarum aatri adum idan arindhu

PoatraarkaN poatrich cheyin.

Translation

Assessing foe’s place

Strengthening the self and place

Makes the king an ace.

Comment

A king by choosing the correct location sets upon a battle, analyzing the strength he can easily win even his well prepared   opponent.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

 எண்ணியார் எண்ணம் இழப்பர் இடன்அறிந்து

துன்னியார் துன்னிச் செயின்.

Pronunciation

 ENNiyaar eNNam izappar idan arindhu

Thunniyaar thunnich cheyin.

Translation

Right place to launch found

King ready to face- the foe

Gives up mind to fight.

Comment

 When one carefully selects the place and the situation and starts the battle, even the one who is determined and prepared for the battle will withdraw from the war and retreat.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

நெடும்புனலுள் வெல்லும் முதலை; அடும் புனலின்

நீங்கின் அதனைப் பிற.

Pronunciation

 NedumpunaluL vellum mudhalai; adum punalin

Neengin adhanaip pira.

Translation

Crocodile strongest

In water; out of it falls

Becomes the weakest.

Comment

 A crocodile when in deep waters can easily over take its opponents; but if comes out of water to the ground other animals will fight and kill it.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

கடல்ஓடா கால்வல் நெடுந்தேர்; கடல் ஓடும்

நாவாயும் ஓடா நிலத்து.

Pronunciation

Kadal oadaa kaalval nedunthaer; kadal oadum

Naavaayum  oadaanilaththu.

Translation

Cars can’t ply on water

Everything has its runway

Ship can’t sail on road.

Comment

The car that has the strength go fast on the road, cannot run on the sea. Similarly, the ship that goes in the sea cannot ply on the road.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

அஞ்சாமை அல்லால் துணைவேண்டாஎஞ்சாமை

எண்ணி இடத்தால் செயின்.

Pronunciation

Anjaamai allaal thuNaivaeNdA enjaamai

ENNi idaththaal seyin.

Translation

No strength beyond king’s

Fearlessness; right place and time

Sure win in all things.

Comment

Well thought out strategies with the proper selection of the place and situation require no other support from outside and his will power alone is enough.

 

                                                                              ~*~

 Original

சிறுபடையான்செல்லிடம் சேரின் உறுபடையான்

ஊக்கம் அழிந்து விடும்.

Pronunciation

Sirupadayaan sellidam saerin urupadayaan

Uukkam azindhu vidum.

Translation

 King with small army

Finding right place sure to win

Others strong army.

Comment

 A king with a smaller force can easily win over the one with bigger force, if only he chooses the correct place and location; the opponent will lose all his strength and enthusiasm.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

சிறைநலனும் சீரும் இலர்எனினும் மாந்தர்

உறைநிலத்தோடு ஒட்டல் அரிது.

Pronunciation

 Sirainalanum serum ilar eninum maandhar

Urainilaththoadu ottal aridhu.

Translation

 In his place stronger

Without fort and army; one

Can win no longer.

Comment

 It is difficult to win over a king without a big force and strength if he has chosen a right location and place.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

கால்ஆழ் களரில் நரிஅடும்  கண்அஞ்சா

வேலாள் முகத்த களிறு.

Pronunciation

Kaal aazh kaLaril nari aadum kaN anjaa

VaelaaL mugaththa kaLiru.

Translation

Strong tusker in slush

A fox can overthrow sure.

Apt place hard to push.

Comment

The strong elephant which can defeat a big force of soldiers can be defeated by a fox, if that tusker is caught up in slush.

 

2 Comments

  1. O K R Sivagnanam says:

    Being in the right place-
    A favor in action!

    Right place for the king –
    A dead end to the enemy!

    Measure your foe’s strength –
    And ensure your’s!

    A credit of right place –
    Renders valor and size irrelevant!

    Thiruvalluvar’s wisdom on ‘Judging the place’
    thus has no parallels, and
    Its rendition in English by Shri. NVS flawless!

  2. N V Subbaraman says:

    Thanks Shri Sivanganam.

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