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Thirukkural-On Wealth-On Wisdom-Kural-422

By Gowrish Babu

cenra idathaal selavidaa theethoarii

anrinpaal uypa dharivu

It is the hall-mark of wisdom to concentrate on the wise and the good instead of letting the mind wander aimlessly everywhere.

True knowledge or wisdom, will surely control thought and behaviour, and keep both away from evil, and enable one to keep to the right path, according to Rajaji. In kural 27, Valluvar speaks of the discerning person, who has reached the level of perfection in his controlled use of the five senses, without letting any one or more of them dominate, and so has sublimated his right enjoyment of the senses, can alone be said to be in a position to enjoy his life on earth meaningfully. He would be a virtuous gentle man – 'Saanron".

In this Kural, the idea is not to let the mind wander even in pursuit of one sense at a time 'idathaal'. Parimel Azhagar would interpret the word 'vidaathu' to mean exercising control, like the good rider would do in respect of his horse.

The following is a relevant passage from the Gita:

“Like a lamp, in a spot sheltered from the wind, does not flicker, the mind that is restrained by concentration on the good, is steadfast."

(Bhagavad Gita: 6, 18)

Koran too upholds the good and the steadfast:

“Save those who are steadfast and do good work. It is they who will have forgiveness and a great reward"

(Koran, Part 12, ch. 13,12)

K M Balasubramaniam, in his notes at the end of his Kural translation, quotes extensively from E C Field"s writings on Plato and concludes that, according to Plato,

“the ultimate end of all learning is perfect goodness".

Story first published: Monday, July 12, 2010, 10:30 [IST]
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