Tirukural – Chapter 59


Chapter 59: Espionage


Verse 589
A wise king meets separately and secretly with five different informants. He will only proceed with their information when three of them agree and give him the same report.


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Weaver’s Wisdom




Verse 581

Competent spies and the respected codes of law–
consider these two the eyes of a king.

Verse 582

Duty requires the monarch to swiftly acquire
knowledge of all happenings among all men each day.

Verse 583

Without assessing the intelligence reports of informants,
a king can never achieve victory.

Verse 584

The working staff, close kindred and known enemies–
all such people are the legitimate study of spies.

Verse 585

An able spy is one who can assume an unsuspicious disguise,
is fearless when caught and never betrays his secrets.

Verse 586

Disguised as a monk or a mendicant, the master spy
moves about investigating all, never careless, come what may.

Verse 587

A spy must ferret out hidden facts,
assuring himself that knowledge found is beyond doubt.

Verse 588

Before believing one spy’s espionage,
have another spy espy the information.

Verse 589

See that informants do not know one another,
and accept their findings only when three reports agree.

Verse 590

One must not openly honor operatives.
To do so is to divulge one’s deepest secrets.


One Response to “Tirukural – Chapter 59”

  1. Pethuraja says:

    “AUM”!.

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