Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Thirukkural – 1000

Wealth inherited by the mannerless 
is pure milk curdled by impure vessel.

பண்பு இலான் பெற்ற பெருஞ் செல்வம்-நன் பால்
கலம் தீமையால் திரிந்தற்று.

The purpose of wealth is to help others. When wealth is acquired by mannerless and boorish, it goes waste just like pure milk in an impure vessel getting curdled. Thiruvalluvar uses “பெற்ற – acquired / inherited” instead of “ஈட்டிய – earned” to show that the virtue less people aren’t capable of earning wealth.

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2 thoughts on “Thirukkural – 1000

  1. What an image.
    One can’t but think of the பாத்திரம் அறிந்து பிச்சை இடு adage.


    This is a bit of a creative translation, isn’t it?

    ‘Acquired’ suggest something more active than the பெற்ற.



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