Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Nanmanik Kadigai – 64

A lamp’s flame is worshipped;
But firewood’s flame is disregarded;
World will neglect the illiterate elder son in a clan,
But value the learned younger one.

திரி அழல் காணின், தொழுப; விறகின்
எரி அழல் காணின், இகழ்ப; ஒரு குடியில்
கல்லாது மூத்தானைக் கைவிட்டு, கற்றான்
இளமை பாராட்டும், உலகு.

A temple  lamp’s flame, though small in size, is worshipped  by people. But the same people when they see a firewood’s bigger blaze, disregard it. Similarly in a clan, though one is elder, if  he is illiterate, the world will neglect him. The educated younger son will be valued more. So education defines the value of a person, not his age.

திரி – (lamp’s) wick
அழல் – flame
தொழு – worship
இகழ் – disrespect, disregard
குடி – clan
கைவிட்டு – neglect

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One thought on “Nanmanik Kadigai – 64

  1. Interesting how this idea of ‘ younger literate brother will be preferred’ keeps reappearing and getting reinforced.

    Like

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