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Tirukkural-On Virtue-Pleasing Speech Or Courtesy-Kural 98

By Staff

Sirumaiyul neengiya insol marumaiyum

Immaiyum inpandh tharum.

Kind words, free from meanness, confer blessings

in this world as well as the next.

Words that are kind and pleasing and devoid of all trace of pettiness will count for blessings in this life and the next.

The phrase 'Sirumaiyul neengiya insol' is interpreted differently by different commentators. Particularly with reference to the word 'Sirumai' there is controversy. Parimelalagar thinks that it refers to 'pain' while Manakudavar considers that it indicates 'meanness'. I have chosen to agree with the latter. In any case it is a remarkably beautiful expression.

In this context the following Biblical lines are relevant:

'The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life;

but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.'

Read more about: thirukural
Story first published: Friday, December 26, 2008, 14:55 [IST]