Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Puranaanooru – 193

Like a deer chased by a hunter across a swamp
-that’s like a prey’s inverted skin-
it’s possible for one to run and escape,
but is hampered by life bound to kith and kin.

அதளெறிந் தன்ன நெடுவெண் களரின்
ஒருவ னாட்டும் புல்வாய் போல
ஓடி யுய்தலுங் கூடுமன்
ஒக்கல் வாழ்க்கை தட்குமா காலே.

This poem is talks about how one’s bonds to family life holds him back from reaching salvation. The simile used is vivid. A hunter is chasing a deer across a swamp. The swamp is mushy and spongy, like a hunted prey’s inverted skin. This makes it harder for the hunter to chase and it is easy for the deer to run and escape. Similarly one can attain salvation running like a deer, but his life bound to kith and kin trips him.

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