Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Iniyavai Narpathu – 11

To not live as a wayward tramp is much admirable;
Wisdom to not earn immorally is admirable;
To not take the food of hungry, even when one’s dying – 
there’s nothing more admirable than that.

அதர் சென்று வாழாமை ஆற்ற இனிதே;
குதர் சென்று கொள்ளாத கூர்மை இனிதே;
உயிர் சென்று தாம் படினும், உண்ணார் கைத்து உண்ணாப்
பெருமைபோல் பீடு உடையது இல்.

It is a much admirable quality for a man to not wander about and roam like a tramp for his living. To have the wisdom to not go down the wrong path to earn is also admirable. But there is nothing more admirable than not stealing the food of the hungry, even one is starving.

அதர் – way (wayward / tramp)
குதர் – perverse / immoral
கூர்மை – wisdom
உண்ணார் – those who haven’t had food (hungry)
பீடு – similarity

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3 thoughts on “Iniyavai Narpathu – 11

  1. /It is a much admirable quality for a man to wander about and roam like a tramp for his living./

    admirable to NOT wander about like a tramp தானே?
    அதர் செய்து வாழாமை

    Also is கூர்மை is earning?
    I understood is intelligence/sharpness. And thus understood that lines as, it is good to not earn intelligence through foul means.


    • ‘Not’ missed in typing. Added now.

      கூர்மை – wisdom.
      குதர் சென்று கொள்ளாத கூர்மை – wisdom (கூர்மை) to not go in the wrong way (குதர் சென்று) and earn (கொள்ளாத)


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