Chapter 51 : Assess before accepting

30 Nov
Assess the attitude of a person on these four aspects before choosing him:
righteousness (aram), money, lust and fear for life.
Accept only a person who is of good birth, is clear of flaws,
has fear for infamy and shame.
Even a person who is known to be erudite and faultless,
if assessed well, will rarely be free of flaws and ignorance.
Weigh the virtues and vices, discern which is more,
and thus decide.
The touchstone for greatness or unworthiness
is one’s own deeds.
What one has accomplished is the touchstone
that determines if one is great or unworthy.
505 V2
Choose not those who have made no friends :
devoid of any affinity, they won’t dread disgrace.
Choose not those who are unrighteous :
with nothing to bind them, they won’t dread disgrace.
506 V2
Out of affection, choosing those who know not
what needs to be known, will result in folly.
Out of affection, choosing without properly assessing,
will result in folly.
507 V2
One who accepts without assessing,
will invite harm that will last for generations.
Choose not anyone without assessment; once chosen,
trust the person to deliver on the assigned tasks.
Selecting without assessing, and doubting after selecting,
will ensure enduring distress.

# 503 – வெளிறு is an interesting choice of a word. Among other things, it means both flaw/defect and ignorance. Both fit perfectly here.



அறம்பொரு ளின்ப முயிரச்ச நான்கின்
திறம்தெரிந்து தேறப் படும்.
குடிப்பிறந்து குற்றத்தி னீங்கி வடுப்பரியும்
நாணுடையான் கட்டே தெளிவு.
அரியகற் றாசற்றார் கண்ணுந் தெரியுங்கால்
இன்மை யரிதே வெளிறு.
குணநாடிக் குற்றமு நாடி யவற்றுள்
மிகைநாடி மிக்க கொளல்.
பெருமைக்கு மேனைச் சிறுமைக்குந் தத்தங்
கருமமே கட்டளைக் கல்.
அற்றாரைத் தேறுத லோம்புக மற்றவர்
பற்றிலர் நாணார் பழி.
காதன்மை கந்தா வறிவறியார்த் தேறுதல்
பேதைமை யெல்லாந் தரும்.
தேரான் பிறனைத் தெளிந்தான் வழிமுறை
தீரா இடும்பை தரும்.
தேறற்க யாரையும் தேராது தேர்ந்தபின்
தேறுக தேறும் பொருள்.
தேரான் தெளிவுந் தெளிந்தான்க ணையுறவுந்
தீரா விடும்பை தரும்.

Posted by on November 30, 2011 in Porul, Thirukkural


Tags: , , ,

2 responses to “Chapter 51 : Assess before accepting

  1. Pragati

    March 13, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    In 501 verse, I didn’t understand money as a factor to choose ? Choose one woth or without money
    Verse 509 and 510, beatutifully conveys the concept of delegating with ownership. A lot of leaders even after making their choice stress over their choice of the person and micro manage, which stifles both the selector n chosen one

    • Kannan

      March 15, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      Pragati – Attitude towards money is the factor to be considered, not money itself. Can one be morally compromised if offered money? Is a person joining you, only for the money?

      On delegation, true…it is not easy 🙂 There are two common pitfalls to delegation – the first one is what you pointed out, and the second is delegation without proper assessment and without taking on responsibility for outcomes.


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