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 57

AVOIDING TERRORISM

  அதிகாரம் 57

     வெருவந்த செய்யாமை

                                                                 (கொடுமைகளைச் செய்யாதிருத்தல்)

                                                                              ~*~

Original

தக்காங்கு நாடித் தலைச்செல்லா  வண்ணத்தால்

ஒத்தாங்கு ஒருப்பது வேந்து.

Pronunciation

Thakkaangu naadith thalaisellaa vaNNaththaal

Oththaangu oruppadhu vaendhu

Translation

A king inquires and gives sentence

Just to prevent future offence.

Comment

It is the duty of the king to inquire well and award punishment in such a way that he does not commit the crime again.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

கடிதுஓச்சி மெல்ல எரிக நெடிதுஆக்கம்

நீங்காமை வேண்டு பவர்.

Pronunciation

Kadidhu oachchi mella eriga nedidhuaakkam

Neengaamai vaeNdu pavar.

Translation

Wield fast the rod nut gently lay

This strict mildness prolongs the sway.

Comment

One who desires long term governance, while punishing for a crime, should show as if the punishment will be heavy but when administered it should be mild.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

வெருவந்த செய்தொழுகும் வெங்கோலன் ஆயின்

ஒருவந்தம் ஒல்லைக் கெடும்.

Pronunciation

Veruvandha seythozugum vengoalan aayin

Oruvandham ollaik kedum.

Translation

His cruel rod of dreadful deed

Brings King’s ruin quick indeed.

Comment

The king who governs as a tyrant at which the subjects are horrified, the king is sure to lose his kingdom before long.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

இறைகட்டியன் என்றுஉரைக்கும் இன்னாச்சொல் வேந்தன்

உறைகடுகி ஒல்லைக் கெடும்..

Pronunciation

Iraikattiyan enru uraikkum innaachchol vaendhan

Uraikadugi ollaik kedum.

Translation

As men the king a tyrant call

His days dwindled, hasten his fall.

Comment

The king who is called a tyrant by his subjects because of his tyrannous rule, will lose his rule as well as his life before long.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

அருஞ்செவ்வி இன்னா முகத்தான் பெருஞ்செல்வம்

பேஎய்கண் டன்னது உடைத்து.

Pronunciation

Arunchevvi innaa mugaththaan pernchelvam

PaeeykaNdannadhu udaiththu.

Translation

Whose sight is scarce, whose face is foul

His wealth seems watched by a ghoul.

Comment

The king who is inaccessible and has a rude face, his wealth will be of no use as the wealth in the control of a fearful ghost.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

கடுஞ்சொல்லன் கண்ணிலன் ஆயின் நெடுஞ்செல்வம்

நீடுஇன்றி ஆங்கே கெடும்.

Pronunciation

Kadunsollan kaNNilan aayin nedunselvam

Needu inri aangae kedum.

Translation

Whose word is harsh, whose sight is rude

His wealth and power quickly fade.

Comment

The king whose words are very harsh and who has no care for others as he looks his wealth will dwindle and vanish before long.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

கடுமொழியும் கைஇகந்த தண்டமும் வேந்தன்

அடுமுரண் தேய்க்கும் அரம்.

Pronunciation

Kadumozhiyum kaiikandha dhaNdamum vaendhan

AdumuraN thaeykkum aram.

Translation

Reproofs rough and punishments rude

Like files conquering power corrode.

Comment

King’s rude talk,  and punishments disproportionate to the crime committed will be sufficient to make his wealth dwindle and corrode.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

இனத்துஆற்றி எண்ணாத வேந்தன் சினத்துஆற்றிச்

சீறின் சிறுகும் திரு.

Pronunciation

Inaththu aatri eNNaadha vaendhan sinaththu aatrich

Cheerin sirugum thiru.

Translation

The king who would not take counsels

Rages with wrath-his fortune fails.

Comment

The king who does not take into consideration the wise counsel of his ministers and acts abnormally with anger and impatience, he is bound to lose all his wealth before long.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

செருவந்த போழ்தில் சிறைசெய்யா வேந்தன்

வெருவந்து வெய்து கெடும்.

Pronunciation

Seruvandha poazhthil siraiseyyaa vaendhan

Veruvandhu veythu kedum.

Translation

The king who builds not fort betimes

Fears his foes in wars and dies.

Comment

The king who does not build and maintain fort during peacetime, will lose his kingdom when the enemies invade- he cannot save himself or his subjects.

                                                                              ~*~

Original

கல்லார்ப் பிணிக்கும்கடுங்கோல்; அதுவல்லது

இல்லை நிலக்குப் பொறை.

Pronunciation

Kallaarp piNikkum kadungoal adhuvalladhu

Illai nilakkup porai.

Translation

The crushing burden borne by earth

Is tyrants bound to fools uncouth.

Comment

The tyrant will keep as his friends only unread and fools and he is certainly a burden for the earth.

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: List of Contents

  2. O K R Sivagnanam says:

    Thiruvalluvar’s ‘Avoiding Terrorism’, in your words, commands a ruler to go by the do’s and dont’s to protect his country!
    Punishment as a result of wrong judgment leads to a chain of offences, and a true punishment is one that instills fear in the wrong doer!
    Being sweet and accessible guards one from surrendering the power to the ghost!
    Health, life, and above all the kingdom are all well cared for, provided he chooses not to be cruel to the subjects!
    Anger, and ignoring the advice of the wise is sure to destroy the wealth of a nation!
    Never keep fools around, to make yourself burdensome!

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