Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Kundalakesi – 6

The fire of lust that grabs one’s thought
and sizzles like a flame in his heart –
trying to douse it by physical union
instead of cold waters of renunciation
is like trying to dam the waters of a flood
with another flood, who can do that?

அனல்என நினைப்பில் பொத்தி
அகம் தலைக் கொண்ட காமக்
கனலினை உவர்ப்பு நீரால்
கடையற அவித்தும் என்னார்
நினைவிலாப் புணர்ச்சி தன்னால்
நீக்குதும் என்று நிற்பார்
புனலினைப் புனலினாலே
யாவர் போகாமை வைப்பார்.

Kundalakesi is a Tamil Buddhist epic, written before 5th Century AD. Only a part of it is available today.

Lust is a fire that gets hold of one’s thought and burns intensely in his heart, consuming him fully. The only way to put it out is by complete renunciation. Instead of that if one thinks that a physical union with their object of desire will cool the ardour of lust he is a fool. That is like trying to dam a flood with another flood. It will only increase.

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