Occupy Poetry

THIRU-VALLUVAR discourses on the duties of the King's Ministers* in the THIRUK-KURAL: AMAICCHU - K637 and K639

BY T. Wignesan

THIRU-VALLUVAR discourses on the duties of the King's Ministers* in the THIRUK-KURAL: AMAICCHU - K637 and K639

[* In presentday context, read as Minister(s) of State, Secretary of State, Special Counselors in the government, etc.]

K637: seyatkai arinththak kadaiththum ulakaththu
iyatkai arinthu seyal

Though knowing all that books can teach, 'tis truest fact
To follow common sense of men in act. (Transl. G.U. Pope)
Though you are acquainted with the (theoretical) methods (of performing an act), understand the ways of the world and act accordingly. (Transl. Drew & Lazarus)

Even if the minister knows how best to execute any official act or duty, he should first take into account the habitual ways of dealing with the issues at stake [and act accordingly.] (Transl. T. Wignesan)

K639: paluthuennum manthiriyin pakkaththul thevvOr*
elupathu kOdi* urum
[* "thevvOr" = enemies (from thevvu = hatred); kOdi = 10 million]

A minister who by king's side plots evil things
Worse woes than countless foemen brings. (Transl. G.U. Pope)
Far better are seventy crores* of enemies (for a king) than a minister at his side
who intends (him) ruin. (Transl. Dreaw & Lazarus)

To have at his side a minister who plots his downfall, he (the king) may as well suffer the siege of seventy crores* of enemies. (Transl. T. Wignesan)
[* crore = 100,000 (iladcham/ilakkam) x 100 = 10 million; 70 crores = 700 million]

© T. Wignesan - Paris, 2017

From: 
T. Wignesan

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