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Neengin atanaip pira
In the deep waters of a river the crocodile will beat all,
But out of those waters, it will be absolutely helpless.
The implication is that your greatest strength is when you are in your own habitat and in your own natural surroundings, helped by natural or constructed defences.
According to Parimel Azhagar, the idea sought to be conveyed in this verse, is that even ordinary people are stronger in their own place, while the outsiders, who stray into other people"s territory become obviously weak. In projecting this truth, without formally stating it, the poet has adopted the figure of speech known as 'Piritu Molital' in Tamil Grammar – stating one thing to imply another truth.
Thiruvalluvar discusses about the importance of the right place or fortification to defend oneself from one's enemies . In Kural 495, he says that the greatest strength of a person lies in his own natural surroundings.
Thirukural is an ethical treatise belonging to Tamil classical literature, written by Thiruvalluvar. Read Thirukural with meaning in English, Kural 495 where Thiruvalluvar emphasises on one's strength is at its fullest in one's own place. Ramanandha Adigalar Foundation with the English translation of Thirukural has made it available for a larger reading public.