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Tirukural

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


Chapter 98: Greatness

Kural 971

The aspiration for glorious achievement is the light of life.
Disgrace is the dark thought that says, "I can live without it."

Kural 972

All men who live are alike at birth.
Diverse actions define their distinction and distinctiveness.

Kural 973

Lowly men are never high, even when elevated.
High souls are never low, even when downtrodden.

Kural 974

Like chastity in a woman, greatness is guarded
by being true to one's own self.

Kural 975

A man possessing greatness possesses the power
to effectively perform uncommonly difficult deeds.

Kural 976

"We will befriend great men and become like them."
Such thoughts seldom intrude upon small minds.

Kural 977

When small-minded men do achieve some distinction,
it only serves to augment their arrogance.

Kural 978

Greatness is always humbly self-effacing,
while pettiness adorns itself with words of praise.

Kural 979

Greatness abides in the absence of arrogance.
Smallness proudly parades its fulsome haughtiness.

Kural 980

Greatness conceals by silence the weaknesses of others.
Pettiness promptly proclaims such things to all.
     



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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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