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A daily chapter from South Indian saint Tiruvalluvar's Tirukural, 'Holy Couplets.'

Chapter 42: Learning by Listening

Kural 411

The most precious wealth is the wealth acquired by the ear.
Indeed, of all wealth, that wealth is paramount.

Kural 412

Only when no fare can be found for the ear
is it time to offer the stomach a morsel.

Kural 413

In Heaven, Deities feed from sacrificial fires.
On Earth, men who feast on listening are their equal.

Kural 414

Though he has no learning, if a man listens to the learned,
that will serve as his staff of strength in adversity.

Kural 415

Words from the lips of upright men
are like a steadying staff in a slippery place.

Kural 416

Let a man listen to good things, however little.
Even that little will enlarge his greatness.

Kural 417

Those who have studied deeply and listened diligently never speak
foolish words, even when they have misunderstood a matter.

Kural 418

If not pierced by acute listening,
ears may hear and yet remain deaf.

Kural 419

Unless he has listened to learning's subtlety,
it is rare indeed for a man to speak with humility.

Kural 420

There are those whose tongues taste but whose ears savor nothing.
What does it matter whether they live or die?

Click for details on Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami's next mission.

These daily couplets are drawn from Saint Tiruvalluvar's Tirukural, an ethical masterpiece written over 2,200 years ago in South India. This American English translation, known as Weaver's Wisdom, is available at our Minimela online store.


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