441 - As friends the men who virtue know, and riper wisdom share,
Their worth weighed well, the king should choose with care.

Let (a king) ponder well its value, and secure the friendship of men of virtue and of mature knowledge.

442 - Cherish the all-accomplished men as friends,
Whose skill the present ill removes, from coming ill defends.

Let (a king) procure and kindly care for men who can overcome difficulties when they occur, and guard against them before they happen.

443 - To cherish men of mighty soul, and make them all their own,
Of kingly treasures rare, as rarest gift is known.

To cherish great men and make them his own, is the most difficult of all difficult things.

444 - To live with men of greatness that their own excels,
As cherished friends, is greatest power that with a monarch dwells.

So to act as to make those men, his own, who are greater than himself is of all powers the highest.

445 - The king, since counsellors are monarch's eyes,
Should counsellors select with counsel wise.

As a king must use his ministers as eyes (in managing his kingdom), let him well examine their character and qualifications before he engages them.

446 - The king, who knows to live with worthy men allied,
Has nought to fear from any foeman's pride.

There will be nothing left for enemies to do, against him who has the power of acting (so as to secure) the fellowship of worthy men.

447 - What power can work his fall, who faithful ministers
Employs, that thunder out reproaches when he errs.

Who are great enough to destroy him who has servants that have power to rebuke him ?

448 - The king with none to censure him, bereft of safeguards all,
Though none his ruin work, shall surely ruined fall.

The king, who is without the guard of men who can rebuke him, will perish, even though there be no one to destroy him.

449 - Who owns no principal, can have no gain of usury;
Who lacks support of friends, knows no stability.

There can be no gain to those who have no capital; and in like manner there can be no permanence to those who are without the support of adherents.

450 - Than hate of many foes incurred, works greater woe
Ten-fold, of worthy men the friendship to forego.

It is tenfold more injurious to abandon the friendship of the good, than to incur the hatred of the many.

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[Thirukural in English] [Thirukural in Tamil] [Thirukural in Details]


Courtesy: We have used Thirukural Tamil interpretations by Dr. M. Karunanithi. The Englist translation was used from the book: TIRUKKURAL with translations in English by Rev Dr G U Pope, Rev W H Drew, Rev John Lazarus and Mr F W Ellis Published by The South India Saiva Siddhantha Works Publishing Society, Tinnevelly, Limited. India (1982).