Words hurt more than Swords (Post No.5043)


June 2018 “Good Thoughts” Calendar

COMPILED by London Swaminathan 


Date: 24 May 2018


Time uploaded in London –  21-47


Post No. 5043


Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.






FESTVAL DAYS:  June-20 Ani Thirumanjanam in Tamil temples; 15-Ramadan






Auspicious Days in June -3, 4, 17


Proverbs and Golden sayings in English language are compared with Indian Wisdom; I tried to get the nearest in meaning. Some may not agree at all

June 1 Friday

No sooner said than done

A person of resolute will and efficient action achieves his objective

In the manner in which he has designed (Tirukkural 666)


June 2 Saturday

Actions speak louder than words

Easy to make a plan and speak about it, but a rarer achievement is

To accomplish the plan as stated and then speak (Tirukkural 664)


June 3 Sunday

Saying is one thing, doing is another thing

All is achieved through silence – ‘Pancatantra’

June 4 Monday

From words to deeds is a great space 

If telling the truth causes anguish, better be silent – is the saying in ‘Vishnu Purana’ 3-12-3

June 5 Tuesday

The greatest talkers are the least doers

Modes of Speech (Manu Smrti)

1.Paarushyam = harsh, 2.An rtam = untruth, 3.Paisuunyam = tale bearing

4.Asambaddha pralaapah = talking of unrelated things.


June 6 Wednesday

Fair words and foul deeds

To be unrighteous and do evil is bad, but to indulge in slander

Behind a false smile, is worse (Tirukkural 182)

June 7 Thursday

Good words and ill deeds deceive wise and fools

The learned, who explore worthy thoughts, will not utter

Anything but words of deep import – Tirukkural 198


June 8 Friday

It is one thing to promise and another to perform

If you must speak, speak purposefully;

Eschew all vain and profitless words (Tirukkural 200)


June 9 Saturday

He that promises too much means nothing

Pure speech and noble associations are the hallmark of the virtuous

Sphitaa vaacah sataam sangha laksanam  hi gunaisinaam- KALIDASA


June 10 Sunday

Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh

Men’s perceptions are of their own mind

Nut their nature is known by their kind – Tirukkural 453


June 11 Monday

First think and then speak

All meanings, ideas, intentions, desires, emotions, items of knowledge are embodied in speech, are rooted in it and branch out of it. He who misappropriates, misapplies and mismanages speech, mismanages everything –Manu


June 12 Tuesday

More have repented speech than silence

A burn caused by fire may heal; but a scar caused by a fiery tongue will never heal. ( Tirukkural 129)


June 13 Wednesday

No wisdom like silence

One who has meals for a full year in silence gets respect in heaven for a thousand crore Yugas- Chanakya

Yastu samvatsaram purnam nityam maunena bhunchati

yugakotisahasram tu svargaloke mahiyate- Chakkaya


June 14 Thursday

Hear much, speak little

Even if it is just a little, listen and assimilate good instruction,

It will be productive of great benefit (Tirukkural 416)


June 15 Friday

Speech is silvern, silence is golden

The wise should observe silence –  says ‘Subhasitaratna bhandakara’

A Swiss inscription says, “Sprehfien ist silbern, Schweigen ist golden’


June 16 Saturday

Silence does seldom harm

One harm resulting from one foul utterance is enough to nullify all the good done by a man (Tirukkural 128)


June 17 Sunday

Silence gives consent

No answer itself is the answer – says ‘Ratnasamuccaya’


June 18 Monday

Kind words go a long way

Using harsh words instead of kind ones, is like going in

For raw fruits, when ripe ones are available (Tirukkural 100)


June 19 Tuesday

The lame tongue gets nothing

When a man knows that kinds words bring joy and happiness

Why should he resort to harsh words? (99)



June 20 Wednesday


Better the foot slip than the tongue

Guard your tongue, whatever else you may not guard, otherwise you will come to grief through wrong utterance– Kural 127


June 21 Thursday

Speak fitly, or be silence wisely

The many merits of the virtuous do not get diminished by his silence.

Na maunena nyuuno  bhavanti gunabhaajaam gunagana- KALIDASA


June 22 Friday

Lip-honour costs little, you may bring in much

Kind words, free from meanness, confer blessings

In this world as well as the next (Tirukkural 98)


June 23 Saturday

An ox is taken by the horns, and a man by the tongue


If one answers harshly, for instance a father, or a mother, or a brother, or a sister, or a teacher, or a Brahman, people say to him:’ Shame on you’––Chandogya Upanishad


June 24 Sunday

The bird is known by his note, the man by his words

The world will lose no time seeking performance from the able counsellors

Who can express profound ideas in orderly and pleasing language (648)


June 25 Monday

Fair words fill not the belly

When food for thought is not available through instructions from the learned

The stomach too may be provided some food – Tirukkural412


June 26 Tuesday

A honey tongue, a heart of gall

Men of clear vision, who have overcome human follies, will not speak

Meaningless and idle words, even by lapse of memory (199)


June 27 Wednesday

He who says what he likes shall hear what he does not like

A vengeful harm done even on an unprovoked wrong

will bring endless evil in its trail – Tirukkural 313


June 28 Thursday

Words hurt more than swords


Darts, barbed arrow, iron-headed spears,

However deep they may penetrate the flesh,

May be extracted, but a cutting speech,

That pierces, like a javelin, to the heart

None can remove; it lies and rankles thee- Mahabharata


June 29 Friday

There is a time to speak, and a time to be silent

He who speaks vain and graceless words in public assembly

Will expose his want of essential goodness and moral rectitude – Tirukkural 194


June 30 Saturday

Fine words butter no parsnips

The purposeless and profitless meandering talk of a man before gathering

Will proclaim to the world his own worthlessness- Tirukkural 193



Anti-Barber, Goldsmith, Potter, Blacksmith, Carpenter Proverbs (Post No.3063)

blacksmith, tribe

Picture of blacksmiths

Compiled by london swaminathan

Date: 15th    August 2016

Post No. 3063

Time uploaded in London :–  6-24 AM

( Thanks for the Pictures)




(for old articles go to tamilandvedas.com OR swamiindology.blogspot.com)



Part-3 of the Caste Proverbs. Please see the first two parts for the Anti Brahmin, Anti agricultural caste and Anti Bania proverbs

In the olden days, village barbers were marriage brokers, surgeons, Chiropodists and quacks. So proverb makers found abundant material for vituperative sarcasm.

mumbai barber

Anti-Barber Proverbs


1.Among men most deceitful is the barber, among birds the crow, among the things of water the tortoise.

2.Barbers, doctors, pleaders, prostitutes – all must have cash down.


3.A barber learns by shaving fools, for which reason you stick to your barber but change your washer man, since a new Dhobi washes clean.

4.You may hammer a barber on the head with a shoe, but you will not make him hold his tongue.


5.A barber found a purse, and all the world knew it.

6.Of the inquisitive barber the wise say, “Throw a dog a morsel to stop his mouth” (It is like saying “Choke of a reporter with a scrap of stale news)

7.A barber out of work bleeds the wall or shaves a cat to keep his hand in.

(In Tamil also there is a proverb: Jobless barber caught a cat to shave it)

8.A barber’s penny, all profit and no risk

9.A burglary at a barber’s: stolen, three pots of combings!

10.If you go back four generations, you will find that your uncle was a barber (the meaning is barbers are unduly intimate with the inmates of zenana)


Anti-Goldsmith Proverbs

1.Trust not the goldsmith; he is no man’s friend, and his word is worthless.

2.If you have never seen a tiger, look at a cat; if you have never seen a thief, look at a Sonar (Swarnakar=Goldsmith)

3.The goldsmith, the tailor and the weaver are too sharp for the angel of death; God alone knows where to have them.

4.A Sonar (Swarnakar=Goldsmith) will rob his mother and sister; he will filch gold even from his wife’s nose ring.


5.If he cannot steal, his belly will burst with longing.

6.He will ruin your ornament by substituting base metal for the gold you gave him, and will clamour for wages into the bargain.

7.A pair of rogues: the goldsmith and the man who sifts his ashes for scraps.


Anti-Potter Proverbs

1.A potter is always thinking of his pots and, if he falls out with his wife he finds a solace in pulling his donkey’s ears.

2.When the clay is on the wheel the potter may shape it as he will, though the clay re-joins “Now you trample on me, one day I shall trample on you”.


3.Turned on the wheel you know better for it; praise not the pot till it is fired

4.If you are civil to a potter he will neither respect you nor will he sell his pots.

5.The potter can sleep sound; no one will steal his clay.

6.In a deserted village even a potter is a scribe.

A potter’s wife is a meddlesome fool, she will burn herself on the carcass of the Dhobi’s donkey ( Dhobi ke gadhe par Kumhaarin Satii huuii)


Anti-Blacksmith Proverbs

1.A blacksmith’s single stroke is worth a goldsmith’s hundred

2.A Lohar (Loha kara= Blacksmith)is a bad friend; he will either burn you with fire or stifle you with smoke

3.His shop is always in an untidy mess; it is the place where the donkeys roll

4.Sparks are the lot of the blacksmith’s legs.

5.Such is his good nature that a monkey begged of him a pair of anklets.

6.Never buy his pet Myna (maina), even if you can get it for a farthing, for the bird will drive you mad by mimicking the noise of a hammer

7.To sell a needle in the Lohar’s quarter (Taking coals to New Castle)

8.Before the smith can make a screw he must learn to make a nail.


Picture of Carpenters

Anti-Carpenter Proverbs

1.The carpenter thinks nothing but wood.

2.His wife walks and talks in time to the noise of the plane.

3.When carpenter is out of work he keeps his hand in by planing his friend’s buttocks.

4.The carpenter’s face is cited as a type of unpunctuality, since it is never to be seen at the time when he promised to come.

5.A whore’s oath and a Sutar’s chip are worthless

6.A fool of a Barhai’s has neither chisel nor adze and wants to be the village carpenter.

To be continued………………….

In the next session I will give Anti-Oil monger, Anti Tailor, Anti washer man; Fisherman, Weaver, Shoemaker Proverbs.

Source:The People of India, Sir Herbert Risley, Year 1915.




Proverbs against Brahmins and Baniyas- Part 1 (Post No.3052)

brahmins, museum.jpg

Compiled by london swaminathan

Date: 11th    August 2016

Post No. 3052

Time uploaded in London :– 18-28

( Thanks for the Pictures)




(for old articles go to tamilandvedas.com OR swamiindology.blogspot.com)



Maxims and Proverbs

Sanskrit and Tamil languages are rich in proverbs. In Greece, Plato, Aristotle and Theophrastus are believed to have collected proverbs of their day. Many of Lucian’s wittiest sayings are pointed from the same armoury.

In the later middle age both Erasmus and Scaliger made collections of classical proverbs.

Voltaire illustrated the distinction between a maxim and a proverb when he said of Boileau’s poetry that one finds in it some expressions which has passed into proverbs and others which deserve to rank as maxims.

Maxims are elevated, wise and useful; they are made for the witty and appeal to cultivated taste. Proverbs on the other hand are for the vulgar, for the common man, whom one meets in all ranks of society.


The grammarian Donatus insists that it must fit the facts and the period; the philologist Festus, looking on the etymology of the word, lays stress on its quality, a guide I the business of life.


A modern writer who is impressed by both the brevity and by the selfish and heartless tone of many proverbs describes them as the “algebra of materialism”. To escribe proverbs as the algebra, od popular pessimism will be nearer to the truth.


According to Bochart, “A proverb is a saying current among the people which sets forth in thoroughly popular language, and with studied brevity, a truth acknowledged by all. By the side of it we may place Rivarol’s opinion that proverbs represent the fruits of popular experience and, as it were, the common-sense of all ages compressed into a formula.


John Russel gave the best definition for proverbs when he said “The wisdom of many and the wit of one”.


In India there are proverbs against all castes; they convey a vivid impression of the anxieties, the troubles, the annoyances, and the humours of his daily life.



Anti Brahmin Proverbs:-

1.Brahmin- A thing  with a string round its neck ( a profane hit at the sacred thread).

2.A priest by appearance, a butcher at heart, the chief of a trio of tormentors gibbeted in the rhyming proverb:-

Is duniya men tiin kasaai

Pisu, Khatmal, Brahman Bhai


Blood-suckers three on earth there be,

The bug, the Brahman and the flea.


3.Before the Brahman starves the king’s larder will be empty; cakes must be given to him while the children f the house may lick the grindstone for a meal.

4.His stomach is a bottomless pit; he eats so immoderately that he dies from wind.

5.He will beg with a lakh of rupees in his pocket, and a silver begging bowl in his hand.

6.In his greed for funeral fees he spies out corpses like a vulture, and rejoices in the misfortune of his clients.

7.A village with a Brahmin in it is like tank full of crabs.

8.If a snake has to be killed the Brahmin should be set to do it, for no one will miss him.

9.If circumstances compel you to perjure yourself, why swear on the head of your son, when there is Brahmin handy?

10.Vishnu gets the barren prayers while the Brahmin devours the offerings.


baniya shop


Anti Baniya Proverbs

The next most prominent figure in our gallery of popular portraits is that of the Baniya, moey-lender, grain-dealer and monopolist, who dominates the material world as the Brahman does the spiritual.

1.Baniya’s heart is no bigger than a coriander seed.

2.He has the jaws of an alligator and a stomach of wax

3.He is less to be trusted than a tiger, a scorpion, or a snake

4.Baniya goes in like a needle and comes out like a sword.

5.As a neighbour he is as bad as boil in the armpit.

6.If a Baniya is on the other side of the river you should leave your bundle on this side and, for fear he should steal it.

7.When four Baniyas meet, they rob the whole world

8.If a Baniya is drowning you should not give him a hand; he is sure to have some base motive for drifting down stream.

  1. He uses light weights and swears that the scales tip themselves

10.He keeps his account in a character that no one but God can read.

11.If you borrow from him your debt mounts up like a rubbish hill.

There are many more proverbs about Brahmins and Baniyas.

Tomorrow I will give some more proverbs against other castes.

These were recorded 100 years ago in the book:

The People of India by Sir Herbert Risely, London, 1915.


Men are NOT to be measured by Inches!!! (Post No.2833)

short 3

Article written by London swaminathan


Date: 23 May 2016


Post No. 2833


Time uploaded in London :–   18-14


( Thanks for the Pictures)




(for old articles go to tamilandvedas.com OR swamiindology.blogspot.com)


short 1

Among the Indian Prime Minsters Lal Bahadur Shastri was the shortest one; but he was the greatest among Prime Ministers belonging to Congress Party. All others have earned a bad name one way or other. But yet there are some wrong views about the short people all over the world.

The English proverbs are as follows:

Short folk are soon angry

Short folk’s heart is soon at their mouth.

A little pot is soon hot.

As sore fight wrens as cranes (meaning is ‘a small person, when provoked, will fight as ardently as anyone else)


In Tamil they say you can trust a Kallan/thief but not a Kullan/short fellow. We can’t find any rhyme or reason in the above sayings.


It is pity that small persons are given the role of comedians, jesters and clowns in films and circuses. Sanskrit Neeti Shastras (Law Books) say that short fellows, dwarfs, hunch backs, handicapped should be appointed at the harems.


But there some good things about short people as well:

A little body often harbours a great soul

Men are not to be measured by Inches

The best things come in small packages.


In Indian languages we have a proverb saying ‘Murti/figure may be small, but Keerti/fame is great.


Tamil Poet Tiruvalluvar praises short people

“Do not despise men for their forms; there are men like the axle pin of a big rolling car”(Tirukkural 667)


It is not wise to belittle men of small size, for they may perform great actions. It is quite often extremely unwise to judge persons, because of an unimposing appearance or unimpressive external form, as Rajaji would say, because many of these men possess great strength of mind and action. Appearances tend to deceive. The classic story of David and Goliath in the Bible is relevant, says Dr S M Diaz in his Tirukkural commentary.


Famous Tamil poetess Avvaiyar says in ‘Vakkundam’:-

“ Look at the sea; it is vast but the water is not drinkable. But a small spring on the shore may give drinkable water. So don’t despise the form. The flower of aloe plant may be big. But smaller flower Makizam Pu gives more fragrant smell.

Another poet says in Araneri:-

Don’t be arrogant thinking that you are better qualified than others. Even a small umbrella can blot (can make a shadow under) the sun. Even learned men may be humbled by the words of less learned; so don’t be arrogant.


Vamana (dwarf) Avatar

One of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu was a small form. The Vamana (dwarf) avatar which first appeared as a short person took a great form expanding from earth to sky known as Trivikrama (striding to the three worlds). So Hindus compare a clever but short person to Vamana.

Agastya was called as a dwarf or a short saint; but he was praised sky high in Hindu literature.


Jonathan Swift copied Tamil folk tale

In the famous political satire Gulliver’s Travels the Lilliputians were very small. Gulliver and Lilliputians do lot of funny things. But this story exists in South Indian folk tales in a different form. Also in the Rig Veda as Valakhilyas/thumb sized ascetics.

The story is as follows:-

A couple gave birth to child after a long time in their married life. But the child measured only the size of a thumb. He was called Master Thumb. Their parents were very much worried about his size. Wherever he was taken people looked at him and made embarrassing comments. One day a gang of thieves saw Mr.Thumb and abducted him so that they can use him for their criminal activities.


That night he was taken to a business man’s house who was the richest person in the town. They asked Mr Thumb to slip through the gate and get the keys from the businessman who was fast asleep. Mr Thumb, though short, was very intelligent. He stole the key from the businessman and came back to the gate and asked the thieves their next plan. They told him to open the chest and get all the jewellery out. Now Mr Thumb decided to trick them.


As instructed he went in and opened the chest and took some jewellery but pretended like a stupid boy. He shouted in high pitch, “Oh, fellows! do you want the big necklace and or the small necklace?”. They hushed him and said bring whatever you can bring. He went inside the room and shouted again, do you want the big diamond or small diamond ring? Now the business man was woken up by his screeching voice. He alerted his watchmen and chased the thieves with his dogs and caught them. When he came to know that Mr Thumb was the one who helped him to catch the thieves he and his family was given a big cash reward. They lived happily ever after.


This is a Tamil story with lot of mischiefs and pranks done by Master Thumb. I have cut the story short. Stories like Valakhilyas and Mr Thumb must have inspired Swift to write the novel. We have other dwarf stories in the Western Literature. Probably they were their own creations.

My previous article

 Valakhilyas: 60,000 thumb-sized ascetics who protect Humanity; posted on 31 December 2011





Children and Fools have merry lives (Post No 2811)


Compiled  by london swaminathan


Date: 14 May 2016


Post No. 2811


Time uploaded in London :–  18-46


( Thanks for the Pictures)




(for old articles go to tamilandvedas.com OR swamiindology.blogspot.com)



Following are some of the proverbs and sayings on Fools and Foolishness in English, Sanskrit and Tamil


1.A fool may ask more questions in an hour than a wise man can answer in seven years.

2.Doesn’t even know the alphabet, yet competes with the scholars (Kahavatratnakar)

3.I can address walls rather than fools- from a famous speaker

4.A clot who considers himself wise acts obdurately and perishes (Katha sarit sagaram)


5.Wise men have their mouth in their heart, fools their heart in their mouth

6.Fools are wise as long as they are silent

7.Inimical to alphabet, but bears the name Vidhyaadhara (bearer of knowledge)- (Kahavatratnakar)

8.None is so wise, but the fools overtake them

9.The learned give up but a half, while the fools forsake all–(Kahavatratnakar)

10.What the fool does in the end, the wise man does in the beginning

11.A fool is the one who sitting on the top branch cuts the bottom of the tree(Tamil saying)

Laurel and Hardy

12.Riches serve a wise man but command a fool

13.A wise man changes his mind, a fool never

14.Dialogues with dunces turn out to be hollow

15.Children and fools cannot lie

16.Experience is the mistress of fools

17.Wise men learn by other men’s harms; fools, by their own

18.A dimwit whose tongue is scalded by milk, sips even buttermilk after blowing it cold – Hitopadesam


19.Better be fool than a knave.

20.Children and fools have merry lives.

21.Fools rush in where angels fear to tread –Alexander Pope

22.A fool glows only from a distance – (Kahavatratnakar)

23.Wise men propose and fools determine.

24.Fools and crocodiles never lose the grip (Tamil saying)

25.If you agree with a fool, you must be ready for insults and disgrace (Tamil saying)


26.A fool and his money are soon parted

27.A nod from a lord is a breakfast for a fool

28.A fool believes everything

29.A fool’s tongue is long enough to cut his own throat

30.Fools uproot the mountains to eliminate rodents – Sanskrit proverb

31.Fortune favours fools

32.God sends fortune to fools

skeleton laurel.gif

33.Fools and madmen ought not to be left in their own company

34.Don’t fight with the fools (Tamil saying)

35.Foolish king and foolish minister are doomed (Tamil saying)


36.Children and fools must not play with edged tools

37.Take heed of fools in a narrow place

38.Fools will be tricked by clever intruders – Sanskrit proverb

39.When the moon is in the full, then wit’s in the wane

40.He that is born a fool is never cured

41.Fools will be fools still

42.Counsel not a fool – (Satopadesa prabanda)

43.Once wood, never wise

44.Fools grow without watering

45.Whom Heaven at his birth has endowed as a fool , it is a waste of instruction – Chinese Proverb

46.The world is full of fools

47.Friendship with the fools is like the feet trapped in the wedge (Tamil Proverb)

48.Have fools as friends; danger will follow suit (Tamil Proverb)

ghost laurel


49.Fools get angry quickly (Tamil Proverb)

50.Foolish Turuk and Rough Nayaka are fit for battalion (army work) only (Tamil Proverb)

51.We have all been fools once in our lives

52.One fool extols another, and one scholar appreciates another

53.Everyman a little beyond himself is a fool

54.If all fools wore feathers we should see a flock of geese.

55.The fool asks much, but he is more fool that grants it.

56.A fool exerts little and expects much -(Kahavatratnakar)

57.Make not a fool of thyself to make others merry

58.He is a fool that forges himself

A barber learns to shave by shaving fools

59.Fools live poor to die rich

  1. It is foolish to sell two eyes to buy a painting (Tamil poet Bharati)

Laurel and Hardy card

61.No remedy for stupidity – Neeti sastra

62.Wise men make proverbs and fools repeat them

63.He that talks to himself, speaks to a fool

64.A fool’s heart is null and void – Canakya Neeti

65.There is no fool like an old fool

66.A fool at forty is a fool indeed

67.An idiot’s advisor is his enemy – Canakya Neeti

68.It is foolish to seek fireflies ignoring the sun (Tamil poet Bharati)

69.Catch a crane (or a peacock) by putting butter on its head (the idea is that it will melt and blind the eyes or obscure the vision of the bird)


My Old Posts on Fools:

King, Fools and Scoundrels (25-2-2016)

Ways to identify Fools and Idiots (28-10-2015)

Every jackass wants an office (13-3-2016)




It is a silly fish that is caught twice with the same bait (Post No.2672)


April, 2016 Good Thoughts Calendar

Compiled by london swaminathan


Date: 28 March 2016


Post No. 2672


Time uploaded in London :– 9-47 AM


( Thanks for the Pictures)




(for old articles go to tamilandvedas.com OR swamiindology.blogspot.com)


30 Proverbs and Sayings on ‘EXPERIENCE’

Compiled by london swaminathan

Date: 28 March,2016


Post No. 2672


Time uploaded in London :–  9-25 AM


( Thanks for the Pictures  ) 




(for old articles go to tamilandvedas.com OR swamiindology.blogspot.com)



Festivals in April, 2016: 8th April-Telugu New Year Day/Ugadi/Vasanta Navaratri begins; 14th – Tamil New Year(Durmukhi) Day, 15th – Ram Navami, 21st – Chitra Pournami; April  20 – Madurai Ratotsavam




Auspicious Days:  4,  25, 29;


Full Moon/Purnima- 21


New Moon/Amavasya- 6/7


Ekadasi Fasting Days: 3, 17/18



April 1 Friday

Drawing skills improve by the constant use of hand, Tamil skill improves by the constant use of tongue (speaking)- Tamil Proverb



April 2 Saturday

The more you sing, the more your voice improves, the more you cover your disease, the more it grows – Tamil Proverb


April 3 Sunday

The more you strike, even the grinding stone moves – Tamil Proverb


April 4 Monday

Even an ant can make a line on the stone by constantly using it – Tamil proverb


April 5 Tuesday

Experience is the mother of wisdom


April 6 Wednesday

Trouble brings experience and experience brings wisdom


April 7 Thursday

Experience without learning is better than learning without experience


April 8 Friday

Knowledge without practice makes but half an artist


April 9 Saturday

The person who kills 1000, is half a doctor (kills means treats here)


April 10 Sunday

An ounce of practice is worth a pound of precept.



April 11 Monday

Practice makes perfect


April 12 Tuesday

Custom makes all things easy.


April 13 Wednesday

Experience is the best teacher


April 14 Thursday

By writing you learn to write


April 15 Friday

Experience is the mistress of fools


April 16 Saturday

Once bitten, twice shy


April 17 Sunday

The burnt child dreads the fire


April 18 Monday

A cat that knows what is hot – Tamil proverb


April 19 Tuesday

He that has been bitten by a serpent, is afraid of a rope.


April 20 Wednesday

Let another’s ship wreck be your sea-mark


April 21 Thursday

It is good to learn at other men’s cost

April 22 Friday

It is a silly fish that is caught twice with the same bait


April 23 Saturday

You can do a mistake; but you repeat the same mistake, I wont tolerate it – My Editor A N Sivaraman to us in Madurai Dinamani Desk.


April 24 Sunday

He that deceives me once, shame fall him; if he deceive me twice, shame fall me.


April 25 Monday

In Tamil Chettiyar community, they never write ‘loss Rs100’, but write ‘lesson learnt Rs100’ instead (in their accounts book; Budhi Kolmuthal in Tamil)


April 26 Tuesday

He that stumbles twice over one stone, deserves to break his shins.


April 27 Wednesday

In war, it is not permitted twice to err.


April 28 Thursday

Turn your wounds into wisdom –Oprah Winfrey


April 29 Friday

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavour (Failure is the first step to success- Tamil Proverb)


April 30 Saturday

People never learn anything being told, they have to find out for themselves – Paulo Coelho




Fish and Guests smell in Three Days!(Post No.2608)

nam sappadu

Research article written by london swaminathan

Date: 7 March, 2016


Post No. 2608


Time uploaded in London :–  16-16


( Thanks for the Pictures  ) 




(for old articles go to tamilandvedas.com OR swamiindology.blogspot.com; 


Hindus consider guests as Gods. ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ (Treat guest as god)  – is a Vedic dictum. It is in Taittirio Upanishad. Hospitality is a great virtue and Sanskrit and Tamil ethical literature have got lot of couplets and proverbs praising Hospitality. To illustrate their points they have lots of stories as well. But at the same no one is encouraged to abuse it. There are interesting proverbs in Tamil:

1.First day food is served in a big banana leaf (Talai Vaazai Ila)

Second day food is served in your hand (Kaiyila)

Third day food is served on the floor (Taraiyila)

You can note the Tamil rhyme ila, ila, ila at the end of each sentence.

banana leaf big

Long banana leaf called Talai Vaazai Ilai (in laws are given a feast on such leaves)

I am not surprised to see the same thought in an English proverb: Fish and guests smell in three days.

There are more proverbs to emphasize this point:

2.The first day a guest

The second day a guest

The third day a calamity (Indian Proverb)


3.Do not wear out your welcome

4.A constant guest is never welcome


5.Long visits bring short compliments (Chinese proverb)

6.The guest who outstays his fellow guests loses his overcoat (Chinese proverb)

There are some sayings on uninvited guests:-

7.An unbidden guest knows not where to sit.

8.An unbidden guest must bring his stool with him

9.Who comes uncalled, sits unserved.


Indian weddings are held in big halls (Kalyana Manadaps). I myself have seen some people pretend to be from the bride’s side or bridegroom’s side. But when the time for group photos come they simply slip out!

2 thinnai veedu

But in general, guests are most welcome in Hindu culture. In the olden days all the houses in Tamil Nadu, had sitting space (pial) in the front part of the house. The land lord will come out and call for the guests before he sits for dinner. But later it became a fake ritual. There are lot of humorous stories about the pretending land lords/house holders.

Following are the sayings in support of hospitality:

10.If a man receives no guests at home, when abroad he will have no hosts (Chinese proverb).

(This is based on Karma theory. If you do good someone will do you good).

11.Good will and welcome are your best cheer.

12.He that is welcome fares well.

13.Welcome is the best dish.

(It is very true. After cooking the best dishes, if you don’t show respect to the guests, all your work is a waste of time).

14.Such welcome, such fare well

15.It is a sin against hospitality, to open your doors and shut up your countenance.

bananaa leaf meals

Following article was posted in 2014.

Be a Guest in India!

Written by London swaminathan
Post No.1182; Dated 19th July 2014.

If you are a guest in India you will receive special treatment. Hospitality is the hallmark of a good householder. It is one of the Panchayajnas. Of the Pancha/five Yajnas/Duties, Manushya Yanja is one. This means feeding the fellow humans. Whether they are poor or rich, if they knock at your door you must not turn them down. In the olden days people used to go out to the street and look for guests at the lunch time. Then they will go for the dinner or lunch.

Ilango, author of Tamil epic Silappadikaram, says that the heroine Kannagi worried that she was not able to welcome the guests. Sita in Kamba Ramayana, also echoed the same feelings.

Great Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar says,

“The only purpose, of a family life of virtue and wealth,
Is to command the means of extending hospitality to the guests – (Kural 81)

“Even the nectar of immortality is not to be consumed
Without sharing with the guests waiting outside — (Kural 82)

“He who daily entertains the guests who go to him will never be ruined by poverty– (Kural 83)

Story from Mahabharata

A good story that illustrates the greatness of hospitality is in the Mahabharata. When Yudhistra performed the Rajasuya Yajna, thousands of people were fed. When everyone was satisfied there appeared a mongoose and challenged Yudhistra. Half of its body was in golden colour. It rolled on the leftovers of the guests. When Yudhistra asked the reason for it, the mongoose told him a story.

“A hungry man approached a poor man’s house for food. Though the poor man had prepared full meal after a very long time, he readily offered his food to the guest. When the guest was not satisfied, his wife and son offered their shares. When he left the hose I just rolled on the left over food and half of my body turned gold. From then onwards I had been visiting lot of places where food was donated. But my body never turned gold. I am greatly disappointed that even here my body did not turn into gold. This reduced the ego of Yudhistra.

Guests are welcome in any country. But in ancient India, they were considered Gods. This was true from the land’s southern most end Kanyakumari to northern most Kashmir. If anyone wants to be a guest one should be a guest in India — in ancient India! Tamil and Sanskrit literature have got a lot of proverbs or sayings about Atithih/Guest.

Following are the sayings in Sanskrit on the Guests from ‘’Suktisudha’’ (Chinmaya International Foundation Publication):

“A guest, though he be boorish, deserves to be welcomed by the discerning – Valmiki Ramayana 5-1-119

“Hail the guest as God (Atithi Devo Bhava, Taittiriya Upansishad 1-20)

“Even though it be a foe who has come home, appropriate hospitality to him is a must – Hitopadesha 1-50

“Hospitality bears no fruit in the hereafter, but verily in this life itself – Kathasaritsagara

“It is the duty of a householder to honour the guest according to his capacity — Kathasaritsagara

“It is befitting to receive the visitor with due honour — Pratinja Yaugandharayana of Bhasa

“For all, the guest is of paramount importance “– Canakyaniti 6- 45




SPEECH PROVERBS: Tongue talks at Head’s cost! (Post No. 2477)




Date: 10 January 2016


Post No. 2477


Time uploaded in London :– 15-40


( Thanks for the Pictures  ) 




(for old articles go to tamilandvedas.com OR swamiindology.blogspot.com; contact 





Let him say what is true, let him say what is pleasing, let him utter no disagreeable truth.

Let him utter no agreeable falsehood. This is the Santana Dharma, the Eternal Law – Manu smrti


The ancients were guarded in their speech, and like them we should avoid loquacity. Many words invite many defeats. Avoid also engaging in many businesses, for many businesses create many difficulties.

–Inscription on statue in the ancestral temple of Lo


When you find a person worthy to talk to and fail to talk to him, you have missed your man.

When you find a man unworthy to talk to and you talk to him, you have missed (wasted) your words. A wise man neither misses his man nor misses his words.

–Confucius, China



All meanings, ideas, intentions, desires, emotions, items of knowledge are embodied in speech, are rooted in it and branch out of it. He who misappropriates, misapplies, and mismanages speech, mismanages everything.

–Manu smriti


If one answers harshly, for instance a father or a mother, or a brother, or a sister, or a teacher, or a Brahmin, people say to him: ‘Shame on you! Verily you are a slayer of your father! Verily you are a slayer of your mother! Verily you are a slayer of your brother! Verily you are a slayer of your sister! Verily you are a slayer of your teacher! Verily you are a slayer of a Brahmin!

–Chandogya Upanishad.


Darts, barbed arrows, iron-headed spears,

However deep they penetrate the flesh

May be extracted, but a cutting speech,

That pierces, like a javelin, to the heart,

None can remove; it lies and rankles you.




A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.

–Chuang Tzu


Compiled by London swaminathan; posted by tamilandvedas.com and swamiindology.blogspot.com



1.Birds are entangled by their feet, and men by their tongues.

2.He that strikes with his tongue, must ward with his head.

3.The tongue talks at the head’s cost.

4.The ass that brays most eats least.

5.A bleating sheep loses her bit.

6.Many words, many buffets.

7.Much babbling is not without offence.

8.He who says what he likes shall hear what he does not like.

9.A man may say too much, even upon the best subjects.

10.When all men speak, no man hears.



11.Let not thy tongue run away with thy brains.

12.Let not your tongue run at rover (At rover means unrestrained)

13.Little can a long tongue lein (conceal).

14.Talk much and err much.

15.Better the foot slip than the tongue.

16.Words have wings, and cannot be recalled

17.A word and a stone let go cannot be called back.

18.While the word is in your mouth, it is your own; when its once spoken it is another’s.

19.Words bind men.

20.The lame tongue gets nothing.

21.Dumb men get no lands.




A proverb is an ornament to language (Post No. 2471)

apple a day



Date: 8 January 2016


Post No. 2471


Time uploaded in London :–  9-16 AM


( Thanks for the Pictures  ) 




Proverbs: What are they? Sayings on Proverbs

1.A good maxim is never out of season.

2.The genius, wit and spirit of a nation are discovered in its proverbs (Francis Bacon 1561-1626).

3.Great consolation may grow out of the smallest saying.

4.A proverb is an ornament to language

5.The proverb cannot be bettered.


6.Common proverb seldom lies.

7.Old saws speak truth.

8.There is no disputing a proverb, a fool and the truth.

9.Proverbs cannot be contradicted.

10.Though the proverb is abandoned, it is not falsified.


11.Proverbs are the children of experience.

12.Maxims are the condensed good sense of nations.

13.Proverbs are the wisdom of the streets.

14.A proverb is the wit of one and the wisdom of many.

15.A proverb comes not from nothing.

tamil book proverb

16.Death and proverbs love brevity.

17.A proverb is shorter than a bird’s beak.


18.Time passes away, but sayings remain.


19.Proverbs are like butterflies, some are caught, others fly away.


20.Hold fast to the words of your ancestors.


21.Wise men make proverbs and fools repeat them.



There are over 100 articles on proverbs and sayings ‘subject wise’ in my blogs, both in Tamil and English; posted from 2012. If you are interested in Proverbs, please go to my blogs:-




A few of the articles are listed here:–

20,000 Tamil Proverbs | Tamil and Vedas



1 Jun 2012 – Tamil is one of the richest languages in the world. It has a collection of more than 20,000 proverbs. This collection is an Encyclopaedia of Tamil …


Stories behind Five Tamil Proverbs – Swami’s Indology Blog


3 Jun 2015 – Tamil language is rich in proverbs. There are more than 20,000 proverbs. Percival, Rev.J.Lazarus and Herman Jensen had compiled and  …


இருபதாயிரம் தமிழ் பழமொழிகள் …



31 May 2012 – ஆயினும் தமிழ் மொழிதான் பழமொழித் தொகுப்பில் உலகில் … 20,000 பழமொழிகள் ஒவ்வொன்று பற்றியும் ஆராய்ந்து தனித் தனி  …

பழமொழிகள் | Tamil and Vedas


8 Nov 2015 – ஆரோக்கியம் தொடர்பான பழமொழிகள், 25 பிப்ரவரி 201520,000 Tamil Proverbs (English article). Tamil – English Proverb Book (108 தமிழ்-ஆங்கிலப் பழமொழிகள்), posted 17  …



ஐந்தில் வளையாதது ஐம்பதில் …


31 May 2013 – தமிழில் அருமையான 20,000 பழமொழிகள் உள்ளன. ஒவ்வொன்றும் ஆழமான பொருள் உடையவை. ‘இளமையில் கல்’ என்பது ஒரு பொன்மொழி.




பெண்கள் பற்றி 300 தமிழ் பழமொழிகள்



26 Jun 2012 – பெண்கள் பற்றி 300 தமிழ் பழமொழிகள்– Part 1 பெண்களைப் பற்றிய பழமொழிகள் பெரும்பாலும் அவர்களுக்கு எதிரானதாகவும், .



யானை பற்றிய நூறு பழமொழிகள் …


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5 Jun 2012 – உலகில் தமிழ் மொழியில் உள்ளதைப் போல வேறு எந்த மொழியிலாவது பழமொழிகள் இருக்குமா என்பது சந்தேகமே. வளமிக்க மிகப் …




Swami’s Indology Blog: June 2012


பெண்கள் பற்றி 300 தமிழ் பழமொழிகள்– இறுதி பகுதி … பழமொழிகளில்இந்துமதம் ஆகிய மூன்று கட்டுரைகளையும் (4) Amazing Collection of 20,000Tamil Proverbs  …


பாரதி பாட்டில் பழமொழிகள்

அப்பர் தேவாரத்தில் பழமொழிகள்

கடவுள் பற்றிய பழமொழிகள் and more………………….


Ways to Identify Fools and Idiots!!


comedians acted like fools just to educate and entertain  us.

Compiled  by London swaminathan

Post No.2282

Date: 28 October 2015

Time uploaded in London: 20-11

Thanks for the pictures.

Don’t use pictures. Don’t reblog it for at least a week.

Sanskrit literature touches every subject matter under the sun. The poets even composed couplets on fools and idiots. By reading such Slokas/couplets, we can easily identify the fools. We learn from them not to behave like fools.

To illustrate stupidity, Sanskrit literature use the simile of a person sitting on the top branch of a tree and cutting down the trunk. Even the great poet Kalidasa was described as stupid in the beginning and becam a great scholar by the grace of Goddess Kali.

Stupid Lady at Shakespeare’s Birth Place

Stupidity is not the monopoly of any particular race or religion though we hear lot of jokes about a particular community or religious group.

A lady visiting Stratford –on-Avon, the birth place of Shakespeare, showed even more than the usual fervour. She had not recovered when she reached the railway station, for she remarked to a friend as they walked on the platform: “To think that it was from this very platform the immortal bard would depart whenever he journeyed to town!”


Following story is from my previous article:

Story from a Tamil Proverb

The story goes that a certain man who was the important person in a town lost his mother. A lot of people came to console him and said, “O, Your mother was a great person. She was a mother to everyone. Now the village will be like a motherless child”. This is the Tamil way of consoling. One of the youths among the crowd was a fool. He did not know anything, but just pretended to be intelligent by imitating everyone. He also said the same thing to the grieving VIP. It went on very well for a time. But one day another important person in the town lost his wife. Now that he knew what to say in such a bereavement, he first went to express his condolences. He blindly followed the previous condolence message, “ O, Your wife was a great wife. She was not only wife to you but was wife to everyone in the village. Now the villagers look like a wifeless husband”. The people who watched him saying this, thrashed him and threw him out!

I am pretty sure that every one of us would have done something foolish in our life. That is not unusual. But repeating the same mistake will push us into the category of FOOLS!

Here below is the identification of stupid people:


Duuratah sobate muurko lambasaataptavrutah

A fool looks bright from a distance, with long beautiful attire around him.

(If anyone goes near him, they can easily recognise him as an ignoramus; Tip top dress won’t save him)

Taavascha sobate muurko, yaavatkinchinna bhaasate – Hitopadesa

As long as a fool doesn’t open his mouth he shines!

Na sobate sabaamatye hamsamadye bhako yataa

A fool in the assembly (of learned) is like a crane amidst swans.

Apanditaanaam sangoabydayavibangah

Friendship with the unlearned is the end of good things.


Artho gato ghoshamupaiti nuunam

Empty vessels definitely make much noise

Asubam vaakyamaadatte puriishamiva suukarah – Mahabharata

Like the pigs seek poo, bad people seek only bad things

Kashtam kalu muurkatvam – Chanakya neethi

Is it not difficult to be a fool?