Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Archive for the tag “Thirukkural”

Thirukkural – 428

Thirukkural – 428

To not fear what is to be feared is stupidity;
To fear what is to be feared is wise man’s quality.

அஞ்சுவ தஞ்சாமை பேதைமை யஞ்சுவ
தஞ்ச லறிவார் தொழில்.

அஞ்சுவது – to be feared
அஞ்சாமை – to not fear
பேதைமை – stupidity
அஞ்சல் – to fear
அறிவார் – wise person

Thirukkural – 949

Condition of patient, extent of disease and season of remedy –
Physician should consider these and act accordingly.

உற்றா னளவும் பிணியளவுங் காலமுங்
கற்றான் கருதிச் செயல்

When a doctor is treating a patient, he should take into account the attributes of the patient (age / physical characteristics / strength), extent of the disease and the season when cure is administered. After careful consideration of all this should he treat the patient.

உற்றான் – one who has (disease)
அளவு – measure / characteristic / condition
பிணி – disease
கற்றான் – learned (doctor) / physician
கருதி – consider / take into account
செயல் – act / treat

 

 

Thirukkural – 1125

I’d recall, if I ever forgot; but never did I forget
the charms of
the girl with lively gleaming eyes.

உள்ளுவன்மன், யான் மறப்பின்; மறப்பு அறியேன்,
ஒள் அமர்க் கண்ணாள் குணம்.

Fearing the town gossip, he hasn’t come to meet her for some days. When he comes back, her friend asks him “Did you ever remember us once you went back to your town?” To which he replies “I would have recalled the memories of your friend, the girl with shining combative eyes, if I ever forgot her. But not for a moment did I forget her. So this question of remembering her doesn’t arise at all”

உள்ளுதல் – Recall / to think (of her)
யான் – I
மறப்பின் – if I forgot
மறப்பு – forgetting
அறியேன் – I never
ஒள் – shining / gleam
அமர் – lively / combative
குணம் – nature / charm

 

 

Thirukkural – 633

To divide foes, to strengthen bond with allies,
To reconcile with erstwhile friends – are a minister’s skills.

பிரித்தலும்
, பேணிக்கொளலும், பிரிந்தார்ப்
பொருத்தலும், வல்லதுஅமைச்சு.

A good minister is one who is skillful in making sure that foes are divided, one’s alliances are strong and reconciling with former allies who have parted ways. By this he will be able to help his ruler rule the country.

பிரித்தல் – divide
பேணுதல் – to take care / strengthen bond
பிரிந்தார் – those who parted ways (erstwhile friends)
பொருத்தல் – to join
வல்லது – ability
அமைச்சு – minister

Thirukkural – 1120

Even pimpernels and soft feathers of a swan
Are thorny caltrops to this girl’s feet.

அனிச்சமு மன்னத்தின் றூவியும் மாத
ரடிக்கு நெருஞ்சிப் பழம்.

My girl’s feet are soft and tender. Even soft petals of a pimpernel flower or fine feathers of a swan are thorns to her feet.

அனிச்சம் – Pimpernel flower
அன்னம் – swan
தூவி – feather
அடி – feet
நெருஞ்சி – caltrop (thorn)

Thirukkural 1238

 

As I eased my embracing arms away from her,
The bangled girl’s forehead lost colour.

முயங்கிய கைகளை யூக்கப் பசந்தது
பைந்தொடிப் பேதை நுதல்.

He is reminiscing about his girl. Once when they were hugging tight, he eased his arms a bit so as not to crush her. Thinking he is about to leave, she is distressed and her forehead loses colour.

Thirukkural 667

 

Do not ridicule looking at one’s appearance – this world has people
Who are like the linchpin of a lofty chariot.

உருவு கண்டு எள்ளாமை வேண்டும்-உருள் பெருந் தேர்க்கு
அச்சு ஆணி அன்னார் உடைத்து.

We should not mock a person looking on their appearance. There are people in this world who play important roles but look very ordinary. Linchpin of a majestic chariot looks very small. But it is key to the movement of the chariot. So don’t ridicule any one for their appearance.

உருவு – form / appearance

எள்ளாமை – not ridicule

அச்சாணி – linchpin

அன்னார் – similar people

உடைத்து – (world) has

Thirukkural – 819

 

Friendship of those whose words and deeds differ
Is an agony even in one’s dream.

கனவினு மின்னாது மன்னோ வினைவேறு
சொல்வேறு பட்டார் தொடர்பு.

Friendship of people who say something and do something else is an agony, not only when one is awake but even when one is asleep.

கனவு – dream
இன்னா – grief / misery
தொடர்பு – connection / friendship

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Thirukkural – 1125

 

I’ll remember, if I forget; but I know not how to forget the virtues
Of this lass with a gleam and dare in her eyes.

உள்ளுவன் மன்யான் மறப்பின் மறப்பறியே
னொள்ளமர்க் கண்ணாள் குணம்.

He is going back after their tryst. Her worried friend asks him will you remember us once you go back to your town. He says “I will remember, if I forget her. But I do not know how to forget her charms. She, whose sharp eyes dazzle with a gleam”

உள்ளுதல் – to think of

மறப்பறியேன் – i don’t know how to forget
ஒள் அமர்க் கண்ணாள் – bright, battling eyed girl
குணம் – traits / virtues

Thirukkural – 1254

Unyielding reserve I had, I thought; My passion though,
breaks out and reveals itself.

நிறையுடையே னென்பேன்மன் யானோயென் காம
மறையிறந்து மன்று படும்.

She says that she was proud of her womanly reserve and was sure she could keep her feelings for him under control. But her passion doesn’t listen to her. Though she tried to keep it hidden, it broke out and revealed itself in public.

நிறை – Reserve
உடையேன் – I had
என்பேன் யான் – I said
காமம் – passion
மறை – hidden place
இறந்து – கடந்து – transgress / breaks
மன்று – assembly / public
படும் – (வெளிப்) படும் – reveals

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