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Thirukkural-On Virtue-Not Causing Injury-Kural 315

Arivinaan aakuva thundo pirithinoai Thannoypoal poatraak kadai

The following translation of K. Srinivasan brings out the meaning of this verse quite well:

If others' grief, as yours you do not treat,Of what avail is wisdom great?

A wise man shall treat pain in others as if it is his-own. The real criterion of a human personality, in accordance with Valluvar, is that there should be room in it for that type of fellow-feeling, which would make one feel the suffering that comes to another being just as clearly and surely, as if it were one's own pain.

That such a highly human concept of the 'Sandron's Compassion' was current in the Sangam period of Tamil Society is brought out by the following passage in Kalithogai,

" Pirar noaiyum thann noai poal poatraranarithal

Saandravarkellaam kadan" (Kalithogai : 139: 2-3)

Read more about: thirukural
Story first published: Friday, December 4, 2009, 13:48 [IST]