Tirukural – Chapter 42

Chapter 42: Learning by Listening

Verse his
eyes closed in meditation, a man sits with arms crossed in disdain for the riches that lie before him. The clouds around him represent his guru’s oral teachings, which he is listening to. The bundles of rupee notes and coins are slowly fading from sight. Parts of them have already disappeared as he clings to his guru’s wisdom.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver’s Wisdom

Verse 411

The most precious wealth is the wealth acquired by the ear.
Indeed, of all wealth, that wealth is paramount.

Verse 412

Only when no fare can be found for the ear
is it time to offer the stomach a morsel.

Verse 413

In Heaven, Deities feed from sacrificial fires.
On Earth, men who feast on listening are their equal.

Verse 414

Though he has no learning, if a man listens to the learned,
that will serve as his staff of strength in adversity.

Verse 415

Words from the lips of upright men
are like a steadying staff in a slippery place.

Verse 416

Let a man listen to good things, however little.
Even that little will enlarge his greatness.

Verse 417

Those who have studied deeply and listened diligently never speak
foolish words, even when they have misunderstood a matter.

Verse 418

If not pierced by acute listening,
ears may hear and yet remain deaf.

Verse 419

Unless he has listened to learning’s subtlety,
it is rare indeed for a man to speak with humility.

Verse 420

There are those whose tongues taste but whose ears savor nothing.
What does it matter whether they live or die?

2 Responses to “Tirukural – Chapter 42”

  1. Pethuraja says:


  2. Sankuthi says:

    Jai Jai Shree Maha Ganesh!
    Thank you Swamis for this post “Learning by Listening”. The precious wealth acquired by the ear, is paramount and PERMANENT. To acquire wealth by the ear demands one to be silent, which serves as the vital tool in one’s spiritual progress. Gurudeva had great forethought and arranged for non-stop worship done at the Iraivan Temple, which make the Deities happy. Thank you all the Monks from the bottom of my heart!
    Aum Nama Sivaya
    Sivaya Nama Aum

Leave a Comment

Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.

Subscribe to RSS Feed