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Thirukkural-On Wise Friendship-Kural-442

Utranoy neekki utraamai murkaakkum

Petriyaarp paenik kolal

The king should cherish the friendship of wise and accomplished persons,

for solving present problems and preventing future ills.

A wise king will have among his friends and advisers proven persons, capable in the first place of dealing effectively with the crisis situations that he is currently confronted with. This is very important naturally.

Such persons should also have the capacity, side by side, to foresee and prevent other unfortunate ills that may emerge in future. If these cannot be effectively forestalled by appropriate preventive steps, they will at least make sure that reasonable measures are taken to meet the situation satisfactorily as and when it arises. They will also be prepared generally to meet any contingency that may befall, and will never be caught unprepared.

Kingship was hereditary, of course, the princes always had the best of teachers, their gurus were chosen savants in India. In Greece, Aristotle is believed to have been the teacher of Alexander the Great. In spite of all the best training, however, it is not likely that they will have acquired one hundred percent of all the complicated requirements of State craft, and be in a position to exercise them under all circumstances. Hence the need for wise and competent advisers and administrative lieutenants, to advise on and attend to problems that will arise, and also avoid future untoward developments.

In this context, we might recall the verse, one line injunction of Athichudi as follows:

“Paeriyaarith thunai kol" (Aathisoodi 442)

Story first published: Monday, August 9, 2010, 11:39 [IST]
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