Visions of the Wise

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யாதும் ஊரே யாவரும் கேளிர்
தீதும் நன்றும் பிறர்தர வாரா
நோதலும் தணிதலும் அவற்றோ ரன்ன
சாதலும் புதுவது அன்றே, வாழ்தல்

 

To us all towns are one, all men our kin,
Life’s good comes not from others’ gifts, nor ill,
Man’s pains and pain’s relief are from within,
Death’s no new thing, nor do our bosoms thrill
When joyous life seems like a luscious draught.
When grieved, we patient suffer; for, we deem
This much-praised life of ours a fragile raft
Borne down the waters of some mountain stream
That o’er huge boulders roaring seeks the plain
Tho’ storms with lightning’s flash from darkened skies.
Descend, the raft goes on as fates ordain.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !
We marvel not at the greatness of the great;
Still less despise we men of low estate.

 

When do you think this profound poem was written?

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The poem was created by Kaniyan Poongundran, a Tamil philosopher during the Sangam period (3rd century BC to the 4th century AD). It was published in the Purananuru  in 192 A.D.

 

Arrow Photo Credit: Wikimedia

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6 thoughts on “Visions of the Wise

  1. Thoughtful selection, Karuna, digging into gems of antiquity. Have you started learning Tamil too, in addition to Sanskrit? Sanskrit and Tamil are the world’s oldest languages, predating every other language in any part of the globe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Howsoever slow your progress, please do not give up on Sanskrit, which will also enable your better understanding of Malayalam. By the way, did you know that the first dictionary in Malayalam language was compiled by a German missionary by name Herman Gundert? Malayalam originated from Tamil, and subsequently was strongly influenced by Sanskrit as it evolved as a language.

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