Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 21 October 2017


Time uploaded in London- 18-53



Post No. 4323

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.



Rig Veda is the oldest religious book; and that is the oldest anthology. It is full of mystery and history. It shows a civilised society with very high values. The Vedic seers praised hospitality and charity. They made it one of the six tasks for Brahmins; they can accept donation but they must also give. Tamil literature also praised hospitality and charity. Tamils consider Tirukkural, the didactic book with 1330 couplets, as the Tamil Veda. It is authored by Tiruvalluvar, the greatest of the Tamil poets. Though Rig Veda and Tamil Veda are thousands of years apart, the values remained same throughout the vast land, then the world’s largest country.


The Vedic and Tamil poets were dead against the misers. They went even to the extent of preaching violence against the stingy fellows. The poets of the Rig Veda and Tamil Veda advocates arm twisting and jaw breaking tactics to extract money from the parsimonious and penurious lot.

Rig Veda says,

When will Indra trample, like a weed; the man who hath no gifts for him? RV 1-84-8

“Slay the niggards”- says another Vedic seer 1-184-2

“Wealth comes not to the niggard, unpleasant man” – RV 7-32-21


There are hundreds of places where the hospitality and charity are praised and penny-pinching, cheese-paring, ungenerous lot condemned.


Break the jaw; Crush him like Sugarcane: Valluvar

Tamil poet Tiruvaluvar never hesitated to advocate violence against the mean-minded, close fisted, Scrooge like fellows; he says in a Tirukkural couplet,

“At a mere word the good melt; but the mean, like the sugarcane, yield only under pressure” – 1078

Another translation of the same couplet: “Good men of virtue give charity at the mere call for help, but ignoble ones, will give only when crushed like sugarcane”.

Another couplet runs like this:

“The mean will not even shake off what sticks to their hands to any but those who would break their jaws with their clenched fists”- 1077

Another translation of the same couplet: Except to those who twist their hands and break their jaws, mean characters, will not even shake their food-moistened fingers.


S M Diaz in his Tirukkural commentary says “The well-known description of a bad miser in Tamil Nadu is that he will not even shake the hand with which he ate his food lest some starving crow should pick it up and eat. The idea is that the very fact that somebody will benefit from any action of theirs is repugnant to them. In this Kural/couplet, Valluvar has combined it, with certain other adverse qualifications of the miser, that he will part with that he has only to those, who are capable of twisting his hands and breaking his jaws. That is the only language, which he will understand”.

Tolkappiam and Bhagavad Gita

Oldest Tamil book Tolkappiam also says that those who don’t give will be shunned and those who give would be praised (Sutra 1036)


In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says those who cook for themselves, verily eat sin (B.G.3-13)


Manu also says the same: “The person who cooks only for himself eats nothing but sin, for the food left over from sacrifice is the food intended for good men”- Manu 3-118


2000 years ago, Tamil poet Ilamperu Vazuthi (Purananuru verse 182) said that Tamils wouldn’t eat alone even if they get Indra’s Amrta (ambrosia from the Indraloka); Giving and sharing was in their blood.





Two Types of Thieves! Two Types of Knowledge! (Post No.2796)


Written by london swaminathan


Date: 9 May 2016


Post No. 2796


Time uploaded in London :–  21-14


( Thanks for the Pictures)




(for old articles go to OR



Sanskrit literature gives us very interesting information about thieves, knowledge and charity.

Thieves are of two types:-

Prakaasa – explicit

Aprakaasa – invisible

The Sanskrit saying goes thus:-

“Prakaasaascaprakaasaasca dvividhaastaskaraah smrutaah”


My view is corrupt politicians are day light robbers ie. Prakaasa

Night time thieves are invisible i.e Aprakaasa




Knowledge is said to be of two types: Saabdika – verbal (even Vedic and other Sastras transmitted verbally) and Anubhava – experience.

In the olden days lot of things were learnt on the job i.e. through experience.


Vedic and other subsidiary scriptures were learnt through verbal teaching. But yet experience counted more than bookish knowledge.




Avvai statue in Batticaola, Sri Lanka

Overstepping the rules of Charity

Mahabharata says that there are two things which violate the scriptural instructions.

Apaatre pratipatti – giving to the undeserving

Paatre apratipatti – not giving to the deserving

Labdhanaamapi vittaanaam boddhauyau dvaatkramau

Apaatrepratipattisca patre chaapratipadanam

Mahabharata, Shaanti parva, 26-31


Tamil proverbs also concur with this view. Tamil poets were very strict about giving. One poet says that Ay, the chieftain, was not a ‘Charity businessman’ who expects something when he gives a donation. Ay gives to the poor to get rid of poverty and not expecting a good place in the heaven or good rebirth.


Another poet says that even if there is no heaven (for those who give), it is good to give (donate).


We see lot of poets praising Dhana/ donation in the Vedas. It is good to see the same concept existed throughout the vast land of India for thousands of years. Majority of the 80,000 Tamil inscriptions talk about donation to Brahmins or temples. Tamil poets of Sangam age praised donating to the poor. Seven chieftains were called the Last Seven Philanthropists. One of them was Ay.


The first lesson the Vedic students taught was Do Charity, “Dharmam Chara”. Later Tamil poetess Avvaiyar translated this and put it as the first advice to youngsters in her Athichudi.





Compiled by London Swaminathan
Post No.1216; Dated 5th August 2014.

(31 quotations from Valmiki Ramayana were given already in Good Thoughts Calendar for the month of August; blogged on 30-7-14)

By the power of spiritual meditation and Yoga, the sage Valmiki saw the whole of the past as clearly as if it were a fruit placed on the palm of the hand
Balakanda, chapter 3

King Dasaratha was learned in the interpretation of the Vedas, his chief wealth being pre – eminence in truth and virtue; He was one who never broke his word, who was ever prudent, sagacious and beloved of the subjects.
Balakanda, chapter 6

Those who resided in Ayodhya worshipped the gods and the uninvited guest; They were both magnanimous and charitable.
Balakanda, chapter 6


Dasaratha’s ministers were pure of heart and of chaste conduct. None consorted with his neighbour’s wife, none were wicked and all lived together.
Balakanda, chapter 7

rama bronze
Who can pity whom with this bubble-like body? 4-21-3
Kasca kasyaanusocyosti dehesminbudbudopame

Forbearance is the best ornament for men and women 1-33-7
Alankaaro hi naariinaam ksamaa tu purusasya vaa


Patient is not present in all the valiant 7-58-5
Na sarvatra ksamaa viira pursues pradrsyate

The one inebriated with wealth thinks that he is everything 5-64-19
Aisvarya madamatto hi sarvohamiti manyate

The power intoxicated cannot be tamed by sowing seeds of dissention 5-41-3
Na bedasaadhyaa baladarpitaa naraah

I am of the confirmed conviction that human mnd is unsteady 2-4-27
Cittam manushyaanaam anityam ithi me matam

Great people affirm that success entirely depends on counsel 6-6-5
Mantramuulam hi Vijayam pravadanti manasvinah

The fire can never have its fill of either wood or grass 5-54-28
Na agni trptyati kaasthaanaam trnaanaam ca

There is nobody in this world who would strike those armed with conciliatory words 4-59-16
Na hi saamopapannaanaam prahartaa vidyatee bhuvi

Penance is ever fraught with obstacles and assailed with difficulties 3-10-14
Baha vighnam tapo nityam duscaram caiva
atakkam, panivu

Give and expect not, utter truth and not falsehood 5-33-25
Dadyaanna pratigrhniyaat satyam bruuyannaa caantram

Everything is accomplished by the interactions of givers and takers 1-73-12
Daatr pratgrahii trbhyaam sarvaarthaah sambhavanti hi

A gift is not enjoined in favour of those richly endowed with wealth 5-41-3
Na daanam arthopapaticitesu yujyate.


Source: Suktisudha, Chinmaya International Foundation