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 55

Just Government

அதிகாரம் 55

செங்கோன்மை

(ஆட்சியின் சிறப்புத் தன்மை)

                                                                              ~*~

Original

ஓர்ந்துகண் ணோடாது இறைபுரிந்து யார்மாட்டும்

தேர்ந்துசெய் வஃதே முறை.

Pronunciation

OarndhukaN Noadaathu iraipurindhu yaarmaattum

Thaerndhusey vahdhae murai.

Translation

Test and attest impartially

Consult and act the laws justly.

Comment

Just method of governance is to analyze the mistakes and wrongs done in a fair and impartial manner whoever it is and award due punishment without any prejudice whatsoever.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

வான்நோக்கி வாழும் உலகெல்லாம்; மன்னவன்

கோல்நோக்கி வாழும் குடி.

Pronunciation

Vaan noakki vaazhum ulagellaam mannavan

Koal noakki vaazhum kudi.

Translation

The earth looks up to sky and thrives

And mankind to king’s nod of justice.

Comment

The world thrives on the basis of rains from the skies; similarly the citizens on the just governance of the King/rulers.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

அந்தணர் நூற்கும் அறத்திற்கும் ஆதியாய்

நின்றது மன்னவன் கோல்.

Pronunciation

AndhaNar noorkkum araththirkkum aadhiyaay

Ninradhu mannavan koal.

Translation

The Sage’s scripture and virtue spring

From the scepter of a stately king.

Comment

What that sustains and supports the scholarly scriptural learning and following, is the scepter of the just king/ruler.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

குடிதழீஇக் கோலோச்சும் மாநில மன்னன்

அடிதழீஇ நிற்கும் உலகு.

Pronunciation

Kudithazheek koaloachchum manila mannan

Adithazhee nirkum ulaku..

Translation

The world clings to the ruler’s feet

Whose scepter clasps the people’s heart.

Comment

The world will follow the footsteps of the king/ruler who governs according to the laws of justice, taking care of the welfare of his citizens.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

இயல்புளிக் கோல்ஓச்சும் மன்னவன் நாட்ட

பெயலும் விளையுளும் தொக்கு.

Pronunciation

IyalpaLik koaloachchum mannavan naatta

Peyalum viLaiyuLum thokku.

Translation

Full rains and yields enrich the land

Which is ruled by a righteous hand.

Comment

In the land of the king/ruler who rules according to justice and fairness will be filled with good rains and yields.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

வேல்அன்று வென்றி தருவது; மன்னவன்

கோலதூஉம் கோடாது எனின்.

Pronunciation

Vaelanru venri tharuvadhu mannavan

Koalafdhoom koadaadhu enin.

Translation

Not the spear but scepter straight

That brings success to the monarch’s might.

Comment

The weapons do not bring success to a good king / ruler, but the manner in which he rules as per the laws and justice.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

இறைகாக்கும் வையகம் எல்லாம் அவனை

முறைகாக்கும் முட்டாச் செயின்.

Pronunciation

Iraikaakkum vaiyagam ellaam avanai

Muraikaakkum muttaachcheyin.

Translation

The king protects the entire earth

And justice protects his royal worth.

Comment

The king / ruler protect all his subjects; and the way he governs with justice and nobility will protect him and his worth.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

எண்பதத்தான் ஓரா முறைசெய்யா மன்னவன்

தண்பதத்தான் தானே கெடும்.

Pronunciation

ENpadhaththaan oaraa muraiseyyaa mannavan

ThaNpadhaththaan thaanae kedum.

Translation

Hard of access, the unjust king

He shall himself his ruin bring.

Comment

The ruler / king who does not give access to his subjects for making their submission and rule with justice and fair play will bring all woes on himself.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

குடிபுறங் காத்துஓம்பிக் குற்றம் கடிதல்

வடுஅன்று வேந்தன் தொழில்.

Pronunciation

Kudipurang kaaththuoambik kutram kadidhal

Vaduanru vaendhan thozhil.

Translation

Save his subjects and chide the wrong

Is flawless duty of a king..

Comment

Protecting his subjects from woes brought to them by him and others, and punishing those who commit wrongs is indeed duty and responsibility of the king / ruler. It is never a slur on him.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

கொலையிற் கொடியாரை வேந்துஒறுத்தல்; பைங்கூழ்

களைகட் டதனொடு நேர்.

Pronunciation

Kolaiyir kodhyaarai vaendhuoruththal pangkoozh

KaLaikat tadhanodu near. .

Translation

Killing killers, the king, behold

Weeds removes from cropful fiel;d.

Comment

Giving capital punishment to the hardcore criminals and protecting the good and virtuous, is like weeding out the from the crop filled field in order save the crop.

2 Comments

  1. O K R Sivagnanam says:

    What are the special attributes of a Government just and right?
    Shri. NVS steps in with Thiruvalluvar’s Voice!

    All-time concern for people’s welfare ;
    Crowning justice that ensures prosperity through timely rains;
    Powerful wisdom of the learned, not the sparkling spears, is the real power ;
    Accessibility to people at all times;
    Courage to weed out wrongdoers and murderers the way the weeds are removed from the crops ; and
    Impartial adherence to the law of the land!

  2. N V Subbaraman says:

    Thanks OKRS.

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