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Thirukkural-On Wealth-On Kingship-Kural 384

Aranilukkaadhu allavai neekki maranilukkaa

Maanam udaiyadhu arasu

The honour of kingship consists in the unswerving rectitude of Dharma.

Eschewing conduct inconsistent with virtue and valour.

The word (aran ilukkaadhu) in this Kural stands for the punctilious performance of kingly duties with absolute rectitude, in accordance with the Royal Dharma, which the author of Puram had in mind when he wrote:

“Maanda araneri mudhatrae arasin kotram" (Puram 5)

The term 'allavai' refers to the king"s function of dealing firmly and deterrently with crime and anti-social acts.

It may also be recalled here that the kings of the Tamil country believed in very high standards of valour and rectitude as regards personal combat and warfare and firmly eschewed behaviour that smacked of cowardice and lack of moral or ethical values.

The story of Manu Needhi Cholan brings out forcibly, how the monarch was willing to sacrifice his only begotten son, in order to render justice to the cow, which had lost its cherished calf at the wheel of the prince"s chariot, and sought justice from the great Chola-king, by ringing his bell with its horns. (Aaraaychchi mani).

Story first published: Monday, May 3, 2010, 11:58 [IST]
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