Kural 551More malicious than a professional murderer is the monarch who rules his people with injustice and oppression. Kural 552A scepter-wielding king requesting a gift is like a lance-bearing robber demanding, "Give me all you ...
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Tirukural

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


Chapter 56: Unjust Reign

Kural 551

More malicious than a professional murderer is the monarch
who rules his people with injustice and oppression.

Kural 552

A scepter-wielding king requesting a gift is like
a lance-bearing robber demanding, "Give me all you have."

Kural 553

Day to day the king must seek out and punish unlawfulness,
or day by day his country will plummet toward ruin.

Kural 554

Without thinking, a king rules crookedly, and thus
forfeits his subjects' loyalty, together with his own fortune.

Kural 555

Are not the tears of a people who cannot bear their monarch's
oppressive reign the force that erodes his prosperity?

Kural 556

Ruling rightly, a monarch may long endure.
Without that, his majesty is rightfully unenduring.

Kural 557

As the Earth fares under a rainless sky,
so do a people languish under an unkind king.

Kural 558

Possessions hold less pleasure than poverty
for oppressed subjects living under an unjust king.

Kural 559

If the king acts contrary to justice, contrary seasons will befall
the land and rain-laden clouds will fail to come forth.

Kural 560

If the people's protector fails to protect
brahmins will forget the Vedas and cows' milk will dry up.
     
 



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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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