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Thirukkural-On Wealth-On Education-Kural 395

Udaiyaarmun illaarpoal eakatrung katraar
Kadaiyare kalladhavar.

They truly learn, who humbly bow before the learned, even as the have-nots do before the haves.
The others not having learnt will continue in their despicable state.

It is the way of the world that poor most often have to bow before the rich. This, however, is really not necessary at any rate, not always. But it is always necessary for those, who want to learn, to approach the learned master in all humility, and take pains to absorb from him all true learning.

“Pitrai nilai muniyaadhu katral nanru" (Puram 183)

This is the idea that underlies the effective use of the word 'ekkatrum' which implies going even to the extreme frontiers of humility, out of the longing to acquire learning. When the poet refers to the despicable state of those, who have not taken pains and humbled themselves to learn, it follows by contrast that those who do so are really great men.

Story first published: Tuesday, May 18, 2010, 11:24 [IST]
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