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Thaakkarkup perunth thakaithu
Rajaji"s translation is bodily adopted here:
The restraint of the energetic leader is like the rearward steps,
The fighting ram always takes before charging.
The ram steps back quietly in order to gain the required momentum for its stunning attack on its rival. In like manner, the strong keep their energies intact and under cover, for the final charge on their opponents, seizing the right opportunity.
Ram fighting was a widely prevalent sport of amusement, in the Tamil country, during Thiruvalluvar"s days.
We may also draw the reciprocal lesson from here, that the quiet demeanour of the opponent should not always be construed or mistaken as weakness, lulling one towards wrong steps.
On the choice of right time
Thiruvalluvar in Thirukural emphasises on the choice of right time to attain success especially by administrators.
Thirukural is an ethical treatise belonging to Tamil classical literature, written by Thiruvalluvar. In Kural 486, Thiruvalluvar points out that the right time is awaited by energetic leaders in order to strike their opponent. It may not be mistaken for weakness. Ramanandha Adigalar Foundation with the English translation of Thirukural has made it available for a larger reading public.