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from Sanskrit and Other Languages

III. From Tamil


The Kural1

1.   Alpha of all letters the first,

Of the worlds the original Godhead the beginning.

2.   What fruit is by learning, if thou adore not

The beautiful feet of the Master of luminous wisdom?

3.   When man has reached the majestic feet of him whose walk is on flowers,

Long upon earth is his living.

4.   Not to the feet arriving of the one with whom none can compare,

Hard from the heart to dislodge is its sorrow.

5.   Not to the feet of the Seer, to the sea of righteousness coming,

Hard to swim is this different ocean.

6.   When man has come to the feet of him who has neither want nor unwanting,

Nowhere for him is affliction.

7.   Night of our stumbling twixt virtue and sin not for him, is

The soul in the glorious day of God’s reality singing.

8.   In the truth of his acts who has cast out the objects five from the gates of the senses

Straight if thou stand, long shall be thy fullness of living.

9.   Some are who cross the giant ocean of birth; but he shall not cross it

Who has touched not the feet of the Godhead.

10.   Lo, in a sense unillumined no virtue is, vainly is lifted

The head that fell not at the feet of the eightfold in Power, the Godhead.


1 A celebrated work in Tamil by Poet Tiruvalluvar.