Chapter 23: Charity

28 Nov
Giving to the poor is charity; all else
have the quality of anticipating a return.
To receive is a vice, even if it is accepted as a good virtue;
to give, is good, even if the heaven is denied.
Charity, without mention of the distress of poverty, is present
only in those from a good family.
To be asked to give is bitter too, until seeing
the smiling face of the recipient.
The strength of the strongest is to endure hunger;
it trails the ability to eradicate that hunger.
To douse the destructive hunger of the destitute, is
the safe to store the riches of the rich.
Hunger, the deadly disease, never touches one who is
accustomed to share his food with others.
Do they not know to enjoy the joy of giving, those loveless people,
who keep their wealth only to lose it.
Eating alone to increase one’s accumulated wealth,
is more distressing than begging.
There is nothing more harrowing than death; that too seems sweet,
if one is unable to give a thing to the needy.

# 222 – To receive is a vice, even if it leads down a good path; to give, is good, even if the heaven is denied.V2

# 223 – Charity, without mention of the distress of poverty, is the mark of noble birth. V2

For ‘without mention of the distress of poverty’ in Kural 223, Parimelazhagar gives 4 interpretations and Vai.Mu.Gopalakrishnamacharyar celebrates it further :

1. Not telling about the poverty of the recipient to others

2. Before the recipient mentions “I have nothing”

3. The donor, even if he is poor, doesn’t mention “I have nothing”

4. Give so much that the recipient doesnt ever have to say “I have nothing”.



வறியார்க்கொன் றீவதே யீகைமற் றெல்லாங்
குறியெதிர்ப்பை நீர துடைத்து.
நல்லா றெனினுங் கொளறீது மேலுலக
மில்லெனினு மீதலே நன்று.
இலனென்னு மெவ்வ முரையாமை யீதல்
குலனுடையான் கண்ணே யுள.
இன்னா திரக்கப் படுத லிரந்தவ
ரின்முகங் காணு மளவு
ஆற்றுவா றாற்றல் பசியாற்ற லப்பசியை
மாற்றுவா ராற்றலிற் பின்.
அற்றா ரழிபசி தீர்த்த லஃதொருவன்
பெற்றான் பொருள்வைப் புழி.
பாத்தூண் மரீஇ யவனைப் பசியென்னுந்
தீப்பிணி தீண்ட லரிது.
ஈத்துவக்கு மின்ப மறியார்கொ றாமுடைமை
வைத்திழக்கும் வன்க ணவர்.
இரத்தலி னின்னாது மன்ற நிரப்பிய
தாமே தமிய ருணல்.
சாதலி னின்னாத தில்லை யினிததூஉ
மீத லியையாக் கடை.
1 Comment

Posted by on November 28, 2011 in Aram, Thirukkural


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