Post No. 9465

Date uploaded in London – –6  APRIL  2021     

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ORGANISER WEEKLY dated April 1, 2007 published an article by M S N Menon under the title What they said of Hindus and India.

Here is the list of people who has said great things about India and Hinduism:-

Sir John Marshall

Walt Whitman

Will Durant


Amouret de Reincourt

Hieun Tsang

Max Muller

Romain Rolland

Prof.Paul Deussen


Sir Monier Williams

William Jones



Lord Curzon

Malcom Muggeridge

Aldous Huxley

George Catlin

Edmund Burke

Fritjof Capra

David Frawley

Bill Clinton

Robert Blackwill

Date – April 1, 2007, Organiser

Monier Williams


tags– great men, on India, on Hinduism

Karma Theory-Buddha and Valluvar Think Alike -Part 6 (Post No.3935)

Research article written by London Swaminathan


Date: 23 May 2017


Time uploaded in London: 21-19


Post No. 3935


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Thiruvalluvar , the author of the Tamil Veda Tirukkural has confirmed his belief in Karma Theory in hundreds of his couplets. There is one chapter on Fate as well; here are two important couplets from Tirukkural:

Toil not through sacred books to what the fruits of virtue/Dharma are; but pause and look at the palanquin bearer, and him that proudly rides in it Kural 37).

Loss and gain come about because of one’s own previous actions;

But an unswerving rectitude of mind is the ornament of the great (Kural 115)


By oneself the evil is done, and it is oneself who suffers; by oneself the evil is not done, and by one’s Self one becomes pure The pure and the impure come from oneself: no man can purify another (Dhammapada 165)

Only a man himself can be master of himself; who else from outside  could be his master. When the Master and the servant are one, then there is true help and self possession (Dhammapada 160)


The most famous poem of Sangam Tamil Literature verse 192 of Purananuru explains Karma Theory beautifully well:

“Every town our home town; everyman a kinsman.
Good and evil do not come
From others
Pain and relief of pain
Come of themselves.
Dying is nothing new.
We do not rejoice
That life is sweet
Nor in anger
Call it bitter.
Our lives, however dear,
Follow their own course,
(like) Rafts drifting
In the rapids of a great river
Sounding and dashing over the rocks
After a downpour
From skies slashed by lightning’s
We know this
From the vision
Of men who see
We are not amazed by the great
And we do not scorn the little”
————————-Kaniyan punkundran (Pura Nanuru, verse 192)


Another translation of the same poem:

To us all towns are one, all men our kin,
Life’s good comes not from others’ gifts, nor ill,
Man’s pains and pain’s relief are from within,
Death’s no new thing, nor do our bosoms thrill
When joyous life seems like a luscious draught.
When grieved, we patient suffer; for, we deem
This much-praised life of ours a fragile raft
Borne down the waters of some mountain stream
That o’er huge boulders roaring seeks the plain
Tho’ storms with lightning’s flash from darkened skies.
Descend, the raft goes on as fates ordain.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !
We marvel not at the greatness of the great;
Still less despise we men of low estate.
Kaniyan Poongundran, Purananuru – 192
(Translated by G.U.Pope, 1906)


Refraining from eating Meat

All living beings will raise their hands in worship to him who has never taken a living being’s life and has abstained from eating meat (Kural 260)

How can a man be compassionate who, for the purpose of increasing his own flesh, etas the flesh of other animals (Kural 251)

All beings tremble before danger, and fear death. When a man considers this, he does not kill or cause to kill (Dhamma 129)

Also see Vegetarianism in earlier post of Buddha and Valluvar thnk alike.



Friendship with Great men

Weigh the worth of the men of ripe wisdom and seek their fellowship (Kural 441)

Cherish with ardour the friendship of those who remedy your present ills and guard you against future ones. (Kural 442)


Cling to men of heroic mould and make them your kin; verily there is no greater blessing to you on earth (Kural 443)

Is there any force mightier to the sovereign than the alliance of the men of superior wisdom? (Kural 444)


If you find a man who is constant, awake to the inner light, learned, long suffering, endowed with devotion, a noble man – follow this good and great man ever as moon follows the path of the stars  (Dhammapada 208)


He who has to walk with fools has a long journey of sorrow, because to be with a fool is  as painful as to be with an enemy; but the joy of being with the wise is like the joy of meeting a beloved kinsman  (Dhammapada 207)


Adi Shankara’s Satsangatve nissangatvam…………

Greatest philosopher of India, Adi Shankara, says,
“ Satsangatve nissangatvam
Nissangatve nirmohatvam
Nirmohatve nischalatattvam
Nischalatattve jeevanmuktih” –Bhajagovindam (9)

“Through the company of the good, there arises non-attachment; through non-attachment there arises freedom from delusion; through freedom from delusion there arises steadfastness; through steadfastness, there arises liberation in life”- Bhajagovindam

He who knows not and knows not………………………

An ancient saying from the Middle East says:

He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool. Shun him.
He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is simple. Teach him.
He who knows, and knows not he knows , is asleep. Wake him.
He who knows, and knows that he knows is wise. Follow him.





Who are Great Men? What are the Criteria for Greatness?


Compiled  by London Swaminathan

Post No.1543; Dated  3rd  January 2015.

Sanskrit Sayings on Great Men and Greatness:


1.Wow! The hearts of the lofty remain unruffled like the ocean – Kathasarit sagara

Aksóbhyam hrdayam batéha mahataam ambhónidhiinaamiva

2.The noble live up to their promises – Subhasita ratna khanda manjusa & Kahavatratnakar p114

Angiikrtam sukrtinah paripaalayanti

3.Affluence breeds no arrogance in the good – Sakuntalam 5-12; Niti Sataka 61

Anuddhataah satpurusaah samrddhibhih

4.The pains taken to honour the great never go in vain Sisupaala vada 7-1

Abhiraaddhumaamaagataanaam bhavati mahatsu na nisphalah prayaasah

5.Even a stone, consecrated by the holy, turns godly – Hitopadesa 45

Asmaapi yaati dévatvam maahdbhih supratisthitam


6.The hearts of great men ruled by scriptural wisdom become easily composed – Svapna vasava datta 2-p42

Aagama pradhaanaani sulabha paryavasthaanaani mahaa purusa hrdayaani bhavanti

7.Mere darsana (sight) of the lofty in adversities, is akin to seeing the wish-yielding tree – Bharatmanjari 13-127-1700 p 677

Aapatsu mahataaméva darsanam kalpapaadapah

8.Do not provoke the honourable! – Granthasthagaathegaaku

Aaraadhyam na prakópayét

9.The wishes of the lofty are mighty! Sakuntalam, Act 7

Utsarpinii khalu mahataam praarthanaa


10.Even a barren land turns fertile if the king is like Yudhistra – Pancharatra 1-s41

Uusaresvapi sasyam syaadyatra raajaa yudhisthirah

11.What is that the great do not part with?  — Brhat Katha Manjari

Kimadéyam mahaatmanaam

12.What is impossible for the noble?  Ramayana Manjari 4-12-450. P223

Kami asaadhyam mahaatmanaam

13.What can intimidate the noble? Kirataarjuniya 6-19

Kim ivaavasaadakaram aatmavataam

14.The saintly do not prolong their ire  –Bharata Manjari 3-14.794.p212

Kópasciram nahi mahaatmanaam

15.The noble are not attracted to the transient dangerous pleasures Subhasitaavali.299

Ksanaksayini saapaayé bhógé rajyanti nóttamaah

valmiki ramayana

16.Who can fathom the mysterious advent of the great? Bharat Manjari.1-14-687.p5

Guudham hi mahataam janma paricchéttum ka iisvarah

17.Great minds sacrifice their lives, if need be, but will never stray from the virtuous path – Kathasarit sagara

Tyajantyuttama sattvaa hi praanaanapi na satpatham

18.Even the saintly tolerate not repeated crimes! – Yoga vasistha.5-30-12

Na ksamanté mahaantópi paunahpunyéna duskriyaam

The satisfaction of the great will not go in vain — Kathasarit sagara

Na tósó mahataam mrsaa

19.The character of the noble remains unchanged even when their end is near.

Na praanaanté prakrti vikrtir jaayaté cóttamaanaam – Subhasita Ratna Bhaandaagaara.2-229. P51

20.The virtuous are never harsh to women

Na hi strisu mahaatmaanah kvacit kurvanti daarunam – Valmiki Ramayana 4-33-36

21.Great people are never eager for self praise  — Pancatantra

Nót mahaatmaanóstahanté hyaatmaanamupastótum


22.The waning of the moon, due to the gods having a fill of her ambrosia, is more appreciable than her waxing! – Raghuvamsa 5-16

Paryaaptapitasya suraih himaamsoh kalaaksayah slaagyataró hi vrddhahéh

23.The wrath of the noble has submission as its antidote – Raghuvamsa4-64

Pranipaatapratikaarah samrambhó hi mahaatmanaam

24.A base man is unable to retort to a noble man – Valmiki Ramayana 4-18-46

Prativaktum prakrsté hi naapakrstastu saknuyaat

25.The saintly are resolute even in deluge – Bhaminivilaasa 92

Pralayépyacalaa mahaatmaanah

26.Even after having accomplished a lot, the great consider it to be little  – kathasarit sagara

Bahukrtvaapi manyanté svalpaméva mahaasayaah

27.The words of the great, are to be obeyed – yet it seldom happens – Kiratarjuniya p.73

Mahataam vacanam kaaryam na tvévaacaritam kvacit


28.Everything about the great is superlative Sisupalavadha 13-17

Mahataam hi sarvamathavaa janaatigam

29.Gods delight in waylaying the noble Brhatkathaakosa 11-55

Mahataamuparódhéna prasiidanti hi dévataah

30.Who indeed is not uplifted by association with the great? – Panchatantra 3-60

Mahaajanasya samparkah kasya nónnatikaarakah

31.The right path is the one paved by the great — Mahabharata 3.117/313 & Subhasita Ratna Bhaandaagaara 3-855.p173

Mahaajanó yéna gatah sa panthaa

32.The noble bless even their enemies who seek refuge – Sisupalavadha 2-104

Mahaatmaanó anugrahanti bhajamaanaan ripunaapi

33.The noble too seek fame – Sanskrit saying

Mahaatmaanópi pracaaramichchanti

34.Like places of pilgrimage, the holy ones possess an ineffable aura! Uttara Rama Carita  6.s11

Mahaarghastirthaanaamiva hi mahataam kopyatisayah

35.By nature, the great are men of few words — Sisupalavadha 2-13

Mahiyaamsah prakrtyaa mitabhasinah

36.The residences of saint are shrines indeed! Kumarasambhava 6-56

Yadadhyaasitamarha dbhih taddhi tiirtham pracaksaté


37.The actions of the leaders are emulated by the rest – Bhagavad Gita 3-21

Yadyad aacarati  srésthah tattadévétaró janah

38.For greatness rely on the great  — Satopadesa prabhandha

Srayénmahaantam ahattvaaya

39.Help rendered to the great bears fruit anon! – Meghaduta 1-17

Satkaaraadrah phalati na cirénópakaró mahatsu

40.The wise view both prosperity and adversity with equanimity – Panchatantra 2-7

Sampattau ca vipattau ca mahataamékaruupataa

41.The great alone brave great suffering and gain achievements! Kathasaritsagara

Syaanmahataaméva mahaaklésah  tathoodayah  —


42.It is the nature of the good-hearted to endeavour for others – Ramayanamanjari 4-5-198. P-203

Svabhaava éva mahataam parakaaryaarthamudyamah

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Snakes and Great Men!


The Wonder that is Tamil – Part 5

Research paper written by London Swaminathan

Research article No.1539; Dated 2 January 2015.

Tamil wisdom is rich and old. It is not different from what we find in Sanskrit literature; but the way the Tamils express their thoughts and views is different from Sanskrit. I give a rough translation of some of the beautiful poems in Tamil about great men.

Tamil poetess Avvaiyar says, “Broken clay pot is useless; broken gold pot is still useful!”

If a clay pot is broken you have to throw it into the bin. If a gold pot is broken, no one throws it into dustbin. They melt it and remake the pot. Great men are like gold pots. Even if something goes wrong with the great, they are still worthy of respect.

light house

Light House on top of the Hill!

If the bad people do many wrongs again and again, they are not going to earn any (new) bad name. But if great men commit even if one mistake it will be like a light house on top of the hill. Everybody will know it. Everyone will talk about it- – From Tamil book “Pazamozi Four Hundred”

Moon and Great men

Shining moon and great men are similar except one small difference. Moon can bear the spots (hare or deer) on it. But great men can’t bear such spots in their life! –  from Tamil book Naaladiyar.

The moon is bright and shining. Great men are also bright and shining.

The moon is cool. Great men are also full of mercy.

Moon has spots; great men have no spots. Their life is pure and immaculate; faultless and without moral blemishes.

Moon can bear the spots, but yet it wanes and waxes (out of regret). Scholars can’t bear it. Once there are black spots in their lives, they will sacrifice their lives.

Valluvar on Moon

“The faults in men of good families will show up conspicuously like dark spots

On the bright moon that traverses the sky” – Kural 957

“The shortcomings, if any, in the expected good behaviour of men, hailing from good old families, will be so rare and eye catching, that these will be prominently exposed to public gaze, like the dark spots on the surface of the bright moon that travels across the blue sky. It is known that persons of public status have no private lives of their own; every misdemeanour of theirs is highlighted as big failings before public”, says Dr S M Diaz in his commentary on this couplet.



Kalidasa on Moon

It is interesting that the greatest of Indian classical poets Kalidasa, while describing the Himalayas, says

“Snow could not be a destroyer of beauty in the case of  him who is the source of  countless jewels; for, one blemish is lost in a host of  virtues, like the  spot on the moon (los) in her rays” – Kumarasambhava 1-3

Valluvar on yak

“Hair lost, the yak lives not. Honour lost, noble men leave their life” – Kural 969

The legendary yak is believed to give up its life, when it loses its hairs. Great men also will not live if they lose their honour.


Snake and Great men

Three poets sang about great men and poisonous snakes

Even if poisonous snakes enter an assembly of scholars it will pass through them unscathed. They won’t hurt them, says a poem in Pazamozi Four Hundred. Even the Sangam Tamil Literature (Neithal kali, Kali Tokai) gave the same message.

Another poet ( of Tamil book “Aranerisaram” ) viewed the snakes differently. He says, look at this, If you give water to a cow it gives you milk; but if you give milk to a cobra, it produces poison! Likewise the books read by bad people are interpreted negatively. The same books read by the great people are interpreted positively”.

The best examples for this poem are our Vedas and the Epics. Foreigners who read these books interpreted them negatively. They are like snakes that convert milk into poison. The great Tamil kings Chera, Chola and Pandyas fostered Vedas and Vedic Yajnas for over 2000 years according to Sangam Tamil Literature. In the North, more Asvamedha Yajnas and Rajasuyas were done. Vedas are viewed positively in Kalidasa’s works and Sangam Tamil works. They are like cows that turns water into milk.


image of water snake

When Duryodhana and Yudhistra were asked to identify the worst person and the best person in the world, Yudhistra came back to Krishna and reported everyone was good. Duryodhana came back and told Krishna he could not see one good person in the whole wide world; all people were bad. So, if you ask foreigners to identify anything good in Hindu scriptures, they would act like Duryodhana.

Tamil poetess Avvaiyar in her book Vakkundaam compared water snake to good people and cobra to bad people. She says that the water snake is not poisonous and it lies openly on the banks of rivers and lakes. But the cobra is poisonous and so it hides in the holes. Good people don’t fear any one, bad people fear others and lead a secret life! They pretend to be good.

Tamil and Sanskrit poets are great lovers of nature. Like Dattatreya they learn and teach us using natural objects!

Please read my posts:-

The Connection between William Wordsworth and Dattatreya, — posted on 10th November 2011.

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