Old Tamil Poetry

Translations of Tamil Poetic works that span 2000 years

PazhaMozhi 400 – 18

“They were one with the Virtuous, lived like kith and kin,
hence they’re good too”, saying so none will befriend the inferior;
O’ man from the town where paddy fields are full of cranes!
Can one eat sand mixed with sugar?

தக்காரோடு ஒன்றி, தமராய் ஒழுகினார்;
மிக்காரால்’ என்று, சிறியாரைத் தாம் தேறார்;-
கொக்கு ஆர் வள வயல் ஊர!-தினல் ஆமோ,
அக்காரம் சேர்ந்த மணல்?

This is from பழமொழி நானூறு (Four hundred Proverbs). Since most of its content is similar to Naaladiyaar, this is supposed to have been written after that, possibly around 4th Century AD. These four hundred proverbs were collated and written in verse by Poet Mundrurai Arayanar (முன்றுரை அரையனார்).

“Just because inferior people associate with the virtuous people and live closely with them  like their relatives, doesn’t mean that they are good too.Wise men won’t associate with the them.” The proverb is “Can one eat sand mixed with sugar (thinking it is sugar)?”

Cranes reside in paddy fields to hunt for fish. So do the inferior associate with the virtuous.

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