Among the wealthy, compassionate men claim the richest wealth,
for material wealth is possessed even by contemptible men.
Find and follow the good path, ruled by compassion.
Of the many ways, that one leads to liberation.
Those whose hearts are drawn toward mercy
will never be drawn into the dark and woeful world.
Kindly ones who lovingly protect all life
need never dread hurt from the actions of their own life.
This wide and wind-swept fertile Earth is witness to the truth
that misery is not for kind-hearted men.
They say those who act cruelly by forsaking kindness
must have forgotten what it means to forsake virtue.
As this world is not for the penniless,
so is that world not for the pitiless!
Those without wealth may one day prosper,
but those without kindness are utterly and incurably poor.
Practicing charity without compassion is as inconceivable
as realizing God without clarity of mind.
Before proceeding against men weaker than yourself,
ponder when you stood before those more powerful.
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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.