Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Thirukkural -277

Though outwardly (bright red) like the body of crab’s eye seed,
there are people, whose heart is black like its nose.

புறம் குன்றி கண்டனையரேனும், அகம் குன்றி
மூக்கில் கரியார் உடைத்து.

This verse is under the chapter கூடா ஒழுக்கம் – Pretense of Virtue. Thiruvalluvar says, there are people in this world who externally are virtuous like the bright red of crab’s eye seed (குன்றி மணி) body.  But their heart is black like the black nose of the seed. One should be pure externally and internally to be virtuous.

Crabs-Eye-seed

Crab’s eye seed – குன்றி மணி source : https://www.grow-trees.com/blog/social/facebook/crabs-eye-seed/

Bright Red is implied but not explicit in the original verse. I have added it to make the point clear.

புறம் – external
குன்றி – குன்றி மணி – Crab’s eye seed
கண்டு – looks
அனையர் – (people) like that
அகம் – internal / heart
கரியார் – black
உடைத்து – உடையது – (World) has

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