Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Pazhamozhi 400 – 312

Those who did not do considerable good deeds earlier,
Can they expect to attain considerable wealth later?
If they compare with others’ wealth and try, will it happen?
No returns for those who didn’t invest.

முன் பெரிய நல்வினை முட்டு இன்றிச் செய்யாதார்,
பின் பெரிய செல்வம் பெறல் ஆமோ? வைப்போடு
இகலிப் பொருள் செய்ய எண்ணியக்கால், என் ஆம்?-
முதல் இலார்க்கு ஊதியம் இல்.

Good deeds we did in previous birth will ensure better life in this birth. Those who did not do any good deeds in previous birth, can they expect good things in this birth? Even if they compare themselves with others’ wealth and try to earn, will anything change? There’s no return for those who haven’t invested (by doing good deeds).

This is from பழமொழி நானூறு (Four hundred Proverbs). Since most of its content is similar to Naaladiyaar, this is supposed to have been written after that, possibly around 4th Century AD. These four hundred proverbs were collated and written in verse by Poet Mundrurai Arayanar (முன்றுரை அரையனார்). From the foreword verse of this anthology it is inferred that he was a follower of Jainism. Rebirth and Karma are cornerstones of Jain world view.

முன் – earlier (previous birth)

நல்வினை – good deeds

முட்டு இன்றி – without limits / considerable

பின் – later (this birth)

வைப்பு – savings (of others)

இகல் – compare

என் ஆம்? – என்ன ஆகும் – what will happen

முதல் – investment / capital

ஊதியம் – salary / return

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