The learned men are like gods; the unlearned
are but devils; foolish is one who hasn’t earned
when young; one who says “we were youthful
and worry free then” is a two legged bull.
தேவரே கற்றவர் கல்லாதார் தேருங்காற்
பூதரே முன்பொருள் செய்யாதா-ராதரே
துன்ப மிலேம்பண் டியாமே வனப்புடையே
மென்பா ரிருகா லெருது.
This is from the “Siru Pancha moolam”, a treatise of post Sangam era. Written by “Kaari Aasaan”, it is a collection of 100 poems advising people on how to live. Based on the advisory nature of the poems, the poet is thought to be a Jain. So that dates this book between 200 CE to 600 CE, when Tamil Nadu was predominantly Buddhist and Jain.
The learned men are to be treated like Gods. If you look closely, the unlearned men are like devils. One who hasn’t earned when he is young is a fool. One who in his old age laments that we were youthful and worry free earlier is nothing but a two legged bull who has wasted his youth.