Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

Naanmanik Kadigai – 79

Careless tongue breaks a friendship;
A hard squeeze breaks the weak-minded;
Safety net of tomes breaks desires;
urge to revenge breaks oneself.

நாவன்றோ நட்பறுக்குந் தேற்றமில் பேதை
விடுமன்றோ வீங்கிப் பிணிப்பின் அவாஅப்
படுமன்றோ பன்னூல் வலையிற் கெடுமன்றோ
மாறுள் நிறுக்குந் துணிபு.

It is the careless tongue that breaks a friendship. Weak minded people will be broken if squeezed hard, as their moral fibre is not strong. When a student is caught in the safety net of books of wisdom, his sinful desires are broken. When one carries vengeance on an enemy in one’s heart, it breaks him.

Nanmani k Kadigai is a collection of moral aphorisms authored by poet Vilambi Naganar. It is thought that Vilambi is his village and Nagan was his name. There are 101 poems in Nanmani k Kadigai (Literally means 4 slivers of gems). It is generally dated to 4th Century AD.

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