Thiruvalluvar was a Tamil poet-saint known as the author of the Tirukkural (“Sacred Couplets”), considered a masterpiece of human thought, compared in India and abroad to the Bible, John Milton's Paradise Lost, and the works of Plato. Thiruvalluvar is thought to have lived sometime between the 3rd century BC and the 1st century BC.
- The worth of a wife is a man’s good fortune;
His jewels are his good children.
- Verse VI.10
- The gruel that children’s little hands have stirred
Is sweeter than nectar.
- Verse VII.2
- To use bitter words, when kind words are at hand,
Is like picking unripe fruit when the ripe fruit is there.
- Verse X.10
- The wound that’s made by fire will heal,
But the wound that’s made by tongue will never heal.
- Verse XIII.9
- To turn away a guest is poorest poverty;
To bear with fools is mightiest might.
- Verse XVI.3
- Real kindness seeks no return;
What return can the world make to rain clouds?
- Verse XXII.1
- When you are about to badger the weak,
Then imagine yourself before a more powerful man.
- Verse XXV.10
- How can kindliness rule that man
Who eateth other flesh to increase his own?
- Verse XXVI.1
- Just as the hand that strikes the ground cannot fail,
So is the ruin certain of him who cherishes anger.
- Verse XXXI.7
- Those who give way to great anger are like the dead:
Those who are free from anger are free from death.
- Verse XXXI.10
- Whatever things a man gives up,
By those he cannot suffer pain.
- Verse XXXV.1
- The learned are said to have seeing eyes;
The unlearned have only two sores on their faces.
- Verse XL.3
- Even the ignorant may appear very worthy,
If they keep silent before the learned.
- Verse XLI.3
- The ignorant are like useless, brackish soil;
They exist and that is all.
- Verse XLI.6
- When no food is given to the ear,
Then let a little be given to the stomach.
- Verse XLII.2
- As the quality of water changes with the nature of the soil;
So will a man’s reason vary with the quality of his friends.
- Verse XLVI.2
- The crow does not hide its prey, but calls for others to share it;
So wealth will be with those of a like disposition.
- Verse LIII.7
- The lotus’ stem is as long as the depth of water,
So men’s height is just as great as their inner strength.
- Verse LX.5
- They who in trouble untroubled are
Will trouble trouble itself.
- Verse LXIII.3
- To get wealth and security by guile
Is like one who pours water into a pot of unbaked clay.
- Verse LXVI.10
- Reasoning with a drunkard is like
Going under water with a torch to seek for a drowning man.
- Verse XCIII.9
- If men must beg to live,
May the Creator also go wandering and perish.
- Verse CVII.2
- How can he practice true compassion
- Who eats the flesh of an animal to fatten his own flesh?
- Verse 251.
- All life will press palms together in prayerful adoration
- of those who refuse to slaughter or savour meat.
- Verse 260.