Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Thirukkural – 74

From love springs forth interest in fellow humans;
That effortlessly begets the gift of friendship of all.

அன்பு ஈனும் ஆர்வம் உடைமை; அது ஈனும்,
‘நண்பு’ என்னும் நாடாச் சிறப்பு.

When one’s heart is filled with love, one takes keen interest in others and empathises with them. This interest shown begets the friendship of all , without one consciously working towards it.

சிறப்பு can mean honour / esteem / special / gift. I have interpreted as gift, based on Devaneya Paavanar ‘s commentary.

அன்பு – love

ஈனும் – gives birth to

ஆர்வம் – interest

நாடா – unsought / effortless

சிறப்பு – gift

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2 thoughts on “Thirukkural – 74

  1. Beau Cavalier has a lovely reading on this:

    He calls அன்பு love for the close/dear ones
    ஆர்வம் is empathy for others in general.

    Thus suggesting that the practice of loving your near and dear leads you to develop empathy for others.

    He interprets நாடா as அளவில்லாத. Wonder where else நாடா is used like that?
    The meaning ‘friendship approaching him without seeking’ does seem more beautiful.


    • I think நாடா – அளவற்ற flows from மு.வ. உரை. Both பரிமேலழகர் & பாவாணர் go with நாடாத – வருந்தி உழைக்காத.

      Love of dear ones (leadin to empathy with others) is exact. But to pack that meaning in one word like தாடிக்காரர் does with அன்பு is beyond this mortal 🙂


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