Virtue yields Heaven's honor and Earth's wealth.
What is there then that is more fruitful for a man?
There is nothing more rewarding than virtue,
nor anything more ruinous than its neglect.
Be unremitting in the doing of good deeds;
do them with all your might and by every possible means.
Keep the mind free of impurity. That alone is
the practice of virtue. All else is nothing but empty display.
Virtue is living in such a way that one does not fall
into these four: envy, anger, greed and unsavory speech.
Don't tell yourself you'll be wise enough to practice virtue tomorrow.
Do it now, for it will be your deathless companion when you die.
It is utterly superfluous to inquire about virtue's benefits, so
evident in the difference between the palanquin's rider and bearer.
Not allowing a day to pass without doing some good
is a boulder that will block your passage on the path to rebirth.
Only virtuous deeds abound in true joy.
All other deeds are empty and devoid of distinction.
Virtue is merely that which should be done in life,
and vice is merely that which should be avoided.
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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.