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Tirukural

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


Chapter 28: Deceptive Conduct

Kural 271

A deceiver's own five elements remain undeceived
by his double-dealing mind and silently mock him.

Kural 272

Of what avail is an outer appearance of saintliness
if the mind suffers inwardly from knowledge of its iniquity?

Kural 273

He who has not attained the power yet wears the garb of saints
is like a cow that grazes about wearing a tiger's skin.

Kural 274

He who conceals himself beneath holy robes and commits sins
is like a hunter hiding in the bushes to snare unwary birds.

Kural 275

The day will come when those who claim dispassion
yet act deceitfully exclaim,"Alas! Alas! What have I done?"

Kural 276

None is so heartless as he who, without renunciation in his heart,
poses as a renunciate and lives in pretense.

Kural 277

Like the poisonous jequirity bean, with its red and black sides,
there are outwardly dazzling men whose insides are dark.

Kural 278

Many are the men who piously bathe in purifying waters,
while in their black hearts impure conduct lies concealed.

Kural 279

The arrow is straight but cruel; the lute is crooked but sweet.
Therefore, judge men by their acts, not their appearance.

Kural 280

Neither shaven head nor long matted locks are needed,
provided one casts off conduct condemned by the world.
     



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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.


 


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