Kural 771Dare you not, my enemies, to stand against my monarch! Many who did now stand as stone monuments. Kural 772It is more gratifying to carry a lance that missed an elephant than to hold an arrow that hit a thicket-dwelling rabbit. Kural ...

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Tirukural

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


Chapter 78: Military Pride

Kural 771

Dare you not, my enemies, to stand against my monarch!
Many who did now stand as stone monuments.

Kural 772

It is more gratifying to carry a lance that missed an elephant
than to hold an arrow that hit a thicket-dwelling rabbit.

Kural 773

Intrepid courage is what they call valor,
and clemency toward the defeated is its sharp edge.

Kural 774

Having hurled his spear at a battlefield elephant,
the hero found another piercing his side and grasped it with glee.

Kural 775

Is it not a disgraceful defeat to the courageous warrior
if his defiant eyes so much as blink when a lance is hurled at him?

Kural 776

When recounting his days, the heroic soldier regards all those
on which no battle scars were sustained as squandered.

Kural 777

To fasten the warrior's anklet on one who desires glory
more than life is to decorate heroism with distinction.

Kural 778

Men of courage who do not fear for their lives in battle do not
forfeit soldierly ardor, even if the king prohibits their fighting.

Kural 779

Who would dare deride as defeated
men who die fulfilling valor's vow?

Kural 780

Heroic death that fills the sovereign's eyes with tears
is worth begging for and then dying for.
     
 



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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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