Tirukkural Chapter 24 - Couplets 4,5,6
by Rajaram Ramachandran
அதிகாரம் 24 - புகழ்
CHAPTER 24 - ON FAME
24/04. நிலவரை நீள்புகழ் ஆற்றின் புலவரை
போற்றது புத்தேள் உலகு.
24/04. Nilavarai neellpugazh aarrtrin pulavarai
Porrtradhu puththell ulagu.
24/04. If one's fame goes up to the frontiers of the world,
The heaven will praise him, but not the Devas there.
Radha: How long one's fame remains in the world?
Madhavi: Can anyone try to cook
A pumpkin drawn in a book?
Likewise, name and fame
Remain inside a glass frame.
As it's, out of sight, out of mind,
Some names one can find
When you turn the pages
Of past historical records.
Some famous persons
One can even trace
In postal stamps,
Or in currency notes.
24/05. நத்தம்போல் கேடும் உளதாகும் சாக்காடும்
வித்தகர்க்கு அல்லால் அரிது.
24/05. Naththampol kedum ulladhagum saakkaadum
Viththagarkhu allaal aridhu.
24/05. Wise men feel poverty as growth and death as living,
When their fame goes up, after donating their wealth.
Radha: How is it, poverty is growth
And death is living?
Madhavi: Wise men attach no value
For wealth, but they give due
Attention to the suffering mass,
Whose lives are meaningless?
They live even after death,
As their fame and wealth
Save many living beings
Thro' Trusts in their names.
When they were born,
They didn't bring anything.
When they died then,
They took with them nothing.
So, for wealth, they don't care,
But for people, they do care,
As it was only from them
They earned their fame.
24/06. தோன்றின் புகழொடு தோன்றுக; அஃதிலார்
தோன்றலின் தோன்றாமை நன்று.
24/06. Thondrrin pugazhodu thondrruga; agdhilaar
Thonrralin thonrraamai nandru.
24/06. If one should live, better live with fame
Otherwise even if born, it is better not be born.
Radha: What an extreme point
For one born is better not born?
Madhavi: Everyone is born with a mission
And if it's not understood by one
His or her life is in vain.
It's like as if they aren't born.
Within one's own circle,
If one proves his credential,
Then the object of his mission
Is fully in commission.
From dust a diamond
Comes to this world,
And from muddy water
Lotus flowers appear.
Like a diamond here,
Or a lotus flower,
Let all those born
In the world shine.