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Tirukkural-On Virtue-Not Coveting Another's Wife-Kural 141

By Staff

Piranporulaal pettolukum pedhaimai nyaalathu

Aramporul kandaarkan il.

Men of virtue and discernment will not commit the folly,Of lusting after other men's wives.

Righteous and enlightened men will certainly not be guilty of the sin of coveting other women; the stress here is particularly on other men's wives. It is stupid to entertain amorous thoughts about one, who belongs to another. Though the words used are "property of another' the idea is "wife of another' this angle of the wife being the "possession of the husband', is in keeping with the ideas of the period and is not something to be shocked about. In fact, the Tamils were quite liberal in the treatment of women, to the extent of preaching substantial equality of sexes, even in the good old days, by comparing union of man and wife to nexus between body and life.

Udambodu uyiridai yenna mattranna

Madanthaiyodu yemidai nattpu

The present chapter is an amplification of righteous conduct in a specific direction. Biblical support for the precept is had in the following rather euphemistic lines.

"so he who goeth in to his neighbour's wife;

whosoever touch her shall not be innocent'

Read more about: good conduct coveting thirukural
Story first published: Tuesday, March 10, 2009, 13:54 [IST]
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