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Thirukkural-On Virtue-Not Causing Injury-Kural 319

Pirarkuinna murpakal seyyin tamakkuinna Pirpakal thaame varum

If a man harms his neighbour in the forenoon,Sure harm will come to him in the afternoon.

The meaning of the poet is that one does not have to wait long for the wheels of Nemesis to grind in retribution. If one does evil to one's neighbour, one must surely expect evil to come to one without delay and in full or greater measure.

"Vinay vidhaipaan vinai arupaan"

is a Tamil proverb. The parallel English proverb is

'Sow the wind and reap the whirl wind'.

The poet Shelley put the same thought slightly differently when he said,

'Men must reap the things they sow

Force from force must ever flow'

In fact, things even get accentuated in this process, as Kipling would say,

'The sins you do two by two,

you must pay for one by one'

the Bible explained the same idea thus:

'And with what measures ye mete,

it shall be measured unto you'

(Matt. 7:2)

The relevant passage of the Holy Koran is as follows:

'He who doeth wrong, will have recompense thereof'.

(Chapter 30, Rukoo 24)

All these obviously are the raison d'etre of Mahatma Gandhiji doctrine of Ahimsa, which alone can stop the action – reaction tempo of evil in its process.

It speaks volumes for Valluvar's perception and the development in the search along the path of virtue of the Tamil society of his days that they had norms of such delicate standard.

The same idea and words are reflected slightly later in Elangovadigal's "Silapathikaram" as follows:

"Murpakal seythaan pirankaedu thankaedu

Pirpakal kaankurooum petriya kaan"

(Silapathikaram 21 : 3-4)

This again is added proof that the period of Thirukkural is well before that of Silapathikaram which is definitely known to be the later half of the 2nd century AD.

Read more about: thirukural
Story first published: Monday, December 14, 2009, 15:44 [IST]