Who the Heck is Thiruvalluvar?
Books by Thiruvalluvar
Best Quotes by Thiruvalluvar
“A fortress is of no use to cowards.”
“A life without discipline is shaky, insecure.
Guard your conduct and your well-being ensure.”
“All life will press palms together in prayerful adoration
of those who refuse to slaughter or savour meat.”
“Although an act of help done timely, might be small in nature, it is truly larger than the world itself.”
“Among a man's many good possessions, A good command of speech has no equal. Prosperity and ruin issue from the power of the tongue. Therefore, guard yourself against thoughtless speech.”
“Among the wealthy, compassionate men claim the richest wealth, For material wealth is possessed by even contemptible men. Find and follow the good path and be ruled by compassion. For if the various ways are examined, compassion will prove the means to liberation.”
“And there is this thing called attachment, to things small and big.
Give that up if you want to be free from life’s constraining rig.”
“Anger kills both laughter and joy;
What greater foe is there than anger?”
“As sure as a life of honour leads to fame.
One degraded must end in shame.”
“As the quality of water changes with the nature of the soil; So will a man's reason vary with the quality of his friends.”
“As the restive bird, singing, abandons its nest.
So the soul flees the body, tired of being its guest.”
“To help without thinking ‘What’s in it for me?’
Is to be, for the helped one, vaster than the sea.”
“Banish the dark, view the light by seeing false as false.
And from all delusion freed, hark to the mystic vision’s calls.”
“Be wise among the wise, but pretend to be dull among fools.”
“Better far to stay unheard.
Than speak a single worthless word.”
“Better the arrow that missed the lion than the one that killed a rabbit.”
“Born of and into error, by taking false as real.
Our present and our future we seal.”
“Break loose from desire’ it is wisely said, ‘and purity regain’.
By doing that you will a sense of the true attain.”
“Cling to the One who clings to nothing;
And so clinging, cease to cling.”
“Conquer with forbearance
The excesses of insolence”
“Consider a man’s good qualities, and consider his faults; and judge his character by that which is more.”
“Death’s but a nap’ says old wisdom.
But birth? A break in the soul’s freedom.”
“Don’t go by looks: the arrow, smooth, clean, pierces.
The harp, bent, makes music; don’t go by appearances.”
“Don’t hide behind the butcher’s blade saying, ‘He kills, I only eat'.
You’re the one that whets the knife that makes the thing called meat.”
“Even if someone does something that brings bad to you, do something good for them and make them feel shy for what they have done to you.”
“Even more than the time when she gave birth, a mother feels her greatest joy when she hears others refer to her son as a wise learned one.”
“Even the ignorant may appear very worthy,
If they keep silent before the learned.”
“Evil acts won’t cure your poverty.
In fact, they’ll guarantee misery.”
“Fame is a jealous mistress
And will brook no rival.”
“Folded hands may conceal a dagger.
Likewise a foe's tears.”
“Foolish people inflict pain upon them self which is worse than what an enemy can bring upon.”
“Forgiving the wrongdoer, in life’s book, has grace.
But forgetting the wrong itself has an even higher place.”
“Forsake not the friendship of those who have been your staff in adversity, Forget not be benevolence of the blameless.”
“Fortune fills the good man’s cellar with grain.
Like the village pond swells up with rain.”
“Friendship with the wise gets better with time, as a good book gets better with age.”
“From whomsoever one hears anything, it is wisdom to understand the true import of it.”
“Good deeds done each day grow into a mighty rock.
Which all winds of harm will resolutely block.”
“Great wealth, like a crowd at a concert, gathers and melts.”
“Gripped by envy no man can move ahead.
He’ll collapse under that load of lead.”
“He who works with respect for the work.
Not driven by desire, will do well—be he king, be he clerk.”
“Here today, gone tomorrow
Fun today, tomorrow sorrow
‘Wondrous’ indeed is this odd world
(For want of a better or odder word)”
“Honest wealth bequeathed endures.
And heirs from grief inures.”
“How can kindliness rule that man
Who eateth other flesh to increase his own?”
“How can one not see the ugliness of eating meat?
How can one made of flesh another’s flesh eat?”
“How can one, who eats the flesh of others to swell his flesh, show compassion?”
“I never saw Death before, and now I see
That it is warring eyes in a woman's form.”
“If food is what keeps us alive
’t Is rain that gives food its life.”
“If men must beg to live,
May the Creator also go wandering and perish.”
“If people scrutinize their own faults as they do the faults of others, mankind will be freed of all evil.”
“If you don’t see what’s behind that which you see.
You’re as blind as blind can be.”
“If you eye what others have with envy’s burning eyes.
Misery and penury will strike those you prize.”
“If you’re jealous, you’re scripting your own ill-fate.
You stand as your own enemy, stone in hand, at your own gate.”
“If you’ve been helped, don’t forget it, not for a single day.
But if you’ve been wronged, you must forget it—and right away!”
“In sandy soil, when deep you delve, you reach the springs below; The more you learn, the freer streams of wisdom flow.”
“It is compassion, the most gracious of virtues, which moves the world.”
“It is politics to please and hoodwink those
Who flatter but despise us.”
“It is the prowess of scholars that meetings bring delight and departures leave memories.”
“Joins sky to earth, it does, life on our planet to sustain.
And so ‘heaven’s true nectar’ is how we call the rain.”
“Just as the earth that bears the man who tills and digs it, to bear those who speak ill of them, is a quality of the highest respect.”
“Just as the hand rushes involuntarily to protect one's honor in case of accidental state of undress, so does a friend come to his friend's aid without being asked.”
“Just as the hand that strikes the ground cannot fail,
So is the ruin certain of him who cherishes anger.”
“Knowing all wealth goes fast.
Use it to make something that’ll last.”
“Make foes of bowmen if you must,
Never of penmen.”
“Men of the world who forgive insults and worse.
Are greater than hermits who, in hungry caves, scowl and curse.”
“My life goes waste,’ you cry in pain and yet you cry in vain.
Remember, when need knocked on your door you only showed disdain.”
“No one’s ‘born noble’ on this earth.
Conduct makes you trustworthy, not birth.”
“None can tell if she or he will last the day today.
And yet we go, fools that we are, planning and plotting away.”
“Not every light is a true light;
To the wise the light of truth is light itself.”
“Nothing is impossible for those who act after wise counsel and careful thought.”
“Pleasing it is to hear oneself called wise.
More so to see an offspring’s wisdom cause surprise.”
“Real kindness seeks no return.”
“Reasoning with a drunkard is like
Going under water with a torch to seek for a drowning man.”
“Self-control is wealth, guard it with zeal.
No other strength can match that steel.”
“Strength comes from fencing in the senses five.
And nursing a seedbed for the next life.”
“That life’s tree will always be in leaf,
Is a foolish and fond belief,”
“The biggest fool is he who has learned much, taught much, and is still discontented.”
“The butcher with his knife cuts up living, breathing things.
The glutton with his teeth completes the grim proceedings.”
“The crow does not hide its prey, but calls for others to share it;
So wealth will be with those of a like disposition.”
“The day, I see, as a day, of course, but also another way.
As a fine-toothed saw that saws life down day by day by day.”
“The folly of follies is watching another’s joy or gain.
And, comparing it with one’s own, feel self-pitying pain.”
“The fruit of a tree from stolen seed can never ever taste sweet.
Your tongue just mustn’t crave what is not yours to eat.”
“The gruel that children's little hands have stirred, is sweeter than nectar.”
“The heart, the heart, it knows the true from the false.
It burns, yes, burns when falsehood breeds within its walls.”
“The honest rich commit their riches for others’ good.
Not to shameless self-indulgence as the vulgar rich would.”
“The ignorant are like useless, brackish soil;
They exist and that is all.”
“The ignorant torment themselves more than they do others.”
“The immoral can no more earn respect
Than the envious be rich.”
“The learned are said to have seeing eyes;
The unlearned have only two sores on their faces.”
“The lotus' stem is as long as the depth of water,
So men's height is just as great as their inner strength.”
“The more from yourself you yourself untie
The faster from the pain of that tie you fly.”
“The only gift is giving to the poor;
All else is exchange.”
“The rich going bankrupt, the dull turning bright.
Happen very exactly under fate’s oversight.”
“The soul is a wanderer, a wanderer is she.
She sits in the body, just waiting to flee.”
“The strong minded will not faint, even when all is lost; the elephant stands firm, even when wounded by a shower of arrows.”
“The vast world rainless, one may bid adieu
To charity and penance.”
“The well-regulated life is a well-sowed seed.
The ill-regulated one, a pain-giving weed.”
“The world salutes an upright man.
No matter how small his estate’s span.”
“The worth of a wife is a man's good fortune;
His jewels are his good children.”
“The wound made by hurting with fire will heal but the wound created by harsh words uttered using out tongue leaves an indelible scar.”
“There is a limit for everything. You can't just load tons and tons of peacock feathers in a cart considering it's light weight. If you do, it will damage the axle of the cart.”
“There is in giving up a joy of its own.
Give up, give up now, to taste that joy unknown.”
“There is no greater wealth than Virtue,
And no greater loss than to forget it.”
“There may be many who will gladly face death in the battlefield, but few who will face a hostile society.”
“They who in trouble untroubled are
Will trouble trouble itself.”
“Think wisely before you exercise an action. Having done so however, never look back and regret. That would be a shame.”
“Thinking ‘Oh who’ll ever know?’ do not to temptation bow.
Wealth’s stealth will out one day; so quit that thought right now.”
“This world is not for the poor, nor the next for the unkind.”
“Those are fools however learned
Who have not learned to walk with the world.”
“Those who children rear.
The mesh of rebirth will spare.”
“Those who give way to great anger are like the dead.
Those who are free from anger are free from death.”
“Those who have wisdom have all:
Fools with all have nothing.”
“Those who pretend to know what they don't, will be thought ignorant of even what they know.”
“To get wealth and security by guile,
is like one who pours water into a pot of unbaked clay.”
“To reprove a harm-doer,
put him to shame by doing a good deed in return.”
“To turn away a guest is poorest poverty;
To bear with fools is mightiest might.”
“Trifling are the five-fold senses’ refrain.
Unless on them an inner light you train.”
“Uttering foul words, while there are the sweetest of words, is like going for the unripe fruits while there are a lot of ripe ones.”
“Very cunning is desire
In its consequences dire.”
“Virtue alone is happiness; all else
Is else, and without praise.”
“Virtue confers honour and makes prosperity swell.
In the virtuous life alone does fortune dwell.”
“What is meat but the wounded flesh of that which was once alive?
Think before the once-throbbing morsel you next try to hive.”
“What ought to be done is on virtue built.
What ought not, on guilt.”
“Whatever things a man gives up,
By those he cannot suffer pain.”
“When envy, rage, lust and foul speech, these four.
Don’t deflect you, you’re on virtue’s path secure.”
“When lust, wrath and delusion no more strangle you.
From all pain you’ll be, believe me, through.”
“When no food is given to the ear,
Then let a little be given to the stomach.”
“When the rare chance comes, seize it
To do the rare deed.”
“When the wrong done to you hurts like a sore.
Recall one good the wrong-doer may’ve done and forget the woe.”
“When you are about to badger the weak,
Then imagine yourself before a more powerful man.”
“Who in god’s praise builds his life
Protects his home from care and strife.”
“Who lusts after another’s goods lusts himself to death.
He stays safe who eyes no one else’s wealth.”
“Who speaks without purpose, measure or sense.
Declares to the world his mind’s incompetence.”
“Words must be spoken to some purpose.
Tattle’s more offensive than the tattler may suppose.”
“Worthless are those who injure others vengefully, while those who stoically endure are like stored gold. The gratification of the vengeful lasts only for a day, but the glory of the forbearing lasts until the end of time. Though unjustly aggrieved, it is best to suffer the suffering and refrain from unrighteous retaliation.”
“You’ll never keep what’s not yours even if you bury it deep.
You won’t lose what’s rightly yours, left open as you sleep.”