Tirukural Chapter 9-10, Hospitality-Speaking pleasant words synopsis

Bodhinatha continues his series of Tiruvalluvar's Tirukural chapters 9-10, Hospitality and Speaking of pleasant words. These synopsis of the Tirukrual's chapters are useful in youth classes to help them understand the Tirukural.

Unedited Transcript:

Good Morning Everyone.

This mornings talk is short. It's part of the Tirukural synopsis. I'm writing a synopsis of each of the first group of chapters in the Tirukural, I think it's about 35. The introduction and section on Virtue. It can be used in classes on the Tirukural.

We're up to Chapter Nine, Hospitality.

In andquot;Hospitalityandquot; Tiruvalluvar begins by stating the purpose of earning wealth and maintaining a home but does not give the common answer--to provide the family with shelter and food.

Valluvar takes the answer to a much higher level by stating that it is to provide hospitality to guests. The poet stresses the need for hospitality to be generous by stating that however grand the meal--even if it is the nectar of immortality--we need to fully share it with our guests.

What are the benefits of such hospitality? Tiruvalluvar lists them as never suffering poverty, wealth dwelling in the home, crops prospering and ultimately being a welcome guest in heaven, all of course the result of the positive karma of giving. He also mentions that the negative karma of those who hoarded wealth and did not care for guests will be that in the end no one will care for them and states thus it would only be foolish men who when having plenty would not share their prosperity.

The poet makes an interesting statement about what determines the merit of a charitable act. It is not the value of what is given but the merit of the recipient. In other words, if our guest is a great saint or satguru, no matter what is given, that will earn us great merit.

Valluvar concludes by comparing the delicate anicham flower which withers when merely smelled to a guest's heart which withers by an unwelcome look.

Chapter Ten, Speaking Pleasant Words.

In andquot;Speaking Pleasant Wordsandquot; Tiruvalluvar begins by stating that it is virtuous men who speak pleasant words that are full of tenderness and devoid of deceit. Such words spoken from the heart and with a kindly countenance are virtue's way.

A common way to make a family member or friend happy is to give them a gift. Valluvar states that sweet words spoken with a cheerful smile are even better than a gift given with a joyous heart. The poet continues that though we may adorn ourselves with many forms of jewelry, they are nothing when compared to the jewels of humility and pleasant words.

What are the benefits of speaking pleasant words? Tiruvalluvar's list is quite broad. He includes two immediate and practical ones which is that they confer happiness and impart pleasure. He mentions more high-minded ones that they yield spiritual rewards and moral excellence, and that virtues will wax and vices will wane. And the poet also includes the benefit that poverty producing sorrow will not pursue you.

Valluvar concludes the chapter by making the point that with all of this in mind, it makes absolutely no sense to use unpleasant words when we can choose to use pleasant ones by comparing it to eating unripe fruits when ripe ones are at hand.