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Thirukkural Quotes - A collection of 108 Quotes and Teachings of Thiruvalluvar

Thirukural composed by Sage Thiruvalluvar contains worldly wisdom and universal truth. Below are the Quotes and Teachings from Thirukkural of Thiruvalluvar .

Find and follow the good path, ruled by compassion. Of the many ways, that one leads to liberation. (Thirukkural 242)

Those without wealth may one day prosper, but those without kindness are utterly and incurably poor. (Thirukkural 248)

If a man be his own guard, let him guard himself against rage. Left unguarded, his own wrath will annihilate him. (Thirukkural - 301)

The arrow is straight but cruel; the lute is crooked but sweet. Therefore, judge men by their acts, not their appearance. (Thirukural, Verse 279)


Before proceeding against men weaker than yourself, ponder when you stood before those more powerful. (Thirukkural 250)

If you return kindness for injuries received and forget both, those who harmed you will be punished by their own shame. (Thirukkural 314)


All suffering recoils on the wrongdoer himself. Thus, those desiring not to suffer refrain from causing others pain. (Thirukural 320)

If a man be his own guard, let him guard himself against rage. Left unguarded, his own wrath will annihilate him.

Gentle speech flows from love, is free from deceit, and is as music in the mouth of the virtuous. Gentle speech, with a cheerful countenance, surpasses the gift of the wealthy.

Amassing great wealth is gradual, like the gathering of a theater crowd. Its dispersal is sudden, like that same crowd departing.

Should a fool fall upon a great fortune, strangers will feast while his family starves.

One who has realized by himself his soul's Self will be worshiped by all other souls.

As the intense fire of the furnace refines gold to brilliance, so does the burning suffering of austerity purify the soul to resplendence.

It is the nature of asceticism to patiently endure hardship and to not harm living creatures.

So potent is the power acquired through disciplined self-denial that those who attain it may even delay the moment of death.

True knowledge is an inner fortification that enemies cannot destroy, and is the ultimate, impregnable defense.

True knowledge controls thought and conduct and keeps both away from evil, and helps one to keep in that right path.

Knowledge befriends the world. It fosters a spirit of equanimity saving one from both excitement and depression.

A discriminating mind is the greatest of possessions. Without it, all other possessions will come to nothing.

In every action there are the three elements of loss, acquisition and value. The quality and measure of each of these three elements should be weighed before undertaking any action.

The wise do not launch an undertaking by which, for a possible future gain, they will lose what is already got.

The wise conserve what is already gained before entering on a doubtful undertaking.

Plan fully before launching out on action. To think of devising ways and means in the course of the action is fatal.

Think well before resolving on action. Hesitation after the decision is taken is bad. These two are complementary principles of action.

Let attachment to the Lord be your one attachment. That attachment will help you to free yourself from other attachments.

We cannot be certain of living the next minute. But we are not content with even a million plans.

The hair on the head is a thing of beauty. Removed form its place, it become filth. The same is the fate of men who descend from their own level of honorable conduct and demean themselves.

If we eat only after making sure that what has been already eaten has been digested, no medicine will be required to keep the body in good health.

The face may a wear a smile at the sight of one friend, but he only is a friend whose sight brings about an internal joy which fills the whole soul.

The biggest folly among follies is to cherish a desire for a prohibited object.

When your reason or conscience tells you that a thing is unworthy of you, it is folly to waste your mental energy indulging in thoughts about it.

There is no bigger fool than the man who has acquired much learning and preaches the same to others, but who does not control himself.

The friendship of fools is perhaps the best, for in this case separation brings no grief!

The self inflicted miseries of ignorance are greater than what can be inflicted by enemies.

Anyone can formulate plans, but it is only exceptional men that are able to carry their plans to fulfillment.

Some men have an unimposing appearance but they may be blessed with great strength of mind and action like the little axle-pin that keeps the wheels of the chariot in place. Appearances deceive. Do not judge men by their appearance.

Plan with a clear brain, and when once you have decided and launched on an undertaking, be firm and unmoved by difficulties and avoid dilatoriness of action.

A collection of 108 Quotes and Teachings of Thiruvalluvar


When wealth is neither enjoyed by oneself nor given to deserving persons, the possessor becomes a disease to society.

Quickly moving away from wrong and improper actions is one of the essential elements of good character.

It is better to be without friends than to depend on friends who when you face trouble desert you.

Man of true knowledge knows beforehand what will befall. Thereby, he escapes even stunning grief.
He who is not vigilant will repent later in vain.

Relatives when they become evil minded are a danger to be guarded against.

There can be no real union in a community when there is mutual hatred concealed in the mind.

If we eat only after making sure that what has been already eaten has been digested, no medicine will be required to keep the body in good health.

The hair on the head is a thing of beauty. Removed from its place, it becomes filth. The same is the fate of men who descend from their own level of honorable conduct and demean themselves.

When wealth is neither enjoyed by oneself nor given to deserving persons, the possessor becomes a disease to society.

The quick and instinctive shrinking from wrong and improper actions is one of the essential elements of a good character.

Unlike the ignorant, the man of True Knowledge knows beforehand what will befall. Thereby he escapes even stunning grief.

The man of true knowledge understands how the world moves, and moves accordingly.

If we accept that man should enjoy happiness for his good deeds; why should we deem it wrong for him to suffer sorrows for his vile ones.

One-sided love is pain. But mutual love, like balanced load on both sides, is sweet.

The wound of fire is cured soon by treatment within days; those of harsh words remain raw as long one is alive.

He who controls his five senses – lust, ire, greed, attachment and envy – becomes powerful.

Deeds performed with clean mind are known as righteousness. Those done without mind and heart are mere show pieces.

He who controls his five senses becomes very powerful.

Avoid greed, ire, envy and harsh words of haughtiness. That is the right conduct of man on earth. Piety is righteousness.

Through righteous conduct man gains wealth and fame on earth.

Deeds performed with clean mind are known as righteousness.

Love is the sacred link to bring lives of men together.

Sweet words are like sweet fruits whoever knows their taste will never use haughty words.

Go straight for the goal whenever circumstances permit. When circumstances are against, choose the path of least resistance.

Before taking up any enterprise, determine first the exertion necessary, the obstacles on the way and the expected profit at the end.

The way to succeed in any undertaking is to learn its secrets by taking the advice of the person who is an expert in it.

A whole sea of troubles will disappear the moment a knowledgeable mind collects itself to face them.
Let all your purposes be grand; or then even if they fail your glory will never tarnish.

An aspiring spirit is man’s basic strength; without it men are like vegetables.

The delicate anicham flower withers when merely smelled, but an unwelcome look is enough to wither a guest's heart.

Among the wealthy, compassionate men claim the richest wealth, for material wealth is possessed by even contemptible men.

Wealth that is acquired by proper means in a manner that harms none will yield both virtue and happiness.

Those without wealth may one day prosper, but those without kindness are utterly destitute.

By removing the incurable cancer called hatred one reveals one's undying and undiminished radiance.

Dread hatred from within and defend yourself against it. In calamitous times it will cut deeper than a potter's knife.

Glory consists in wealth of spirit. To decide to live though devoid of it is inglorious.

Equal are all in birth; distinctions are the result of greatness in action in some and the absence of it in others.

As virgin guards her own purity men should guard their unsullied greatness.

The great minds hide the faults of others from view; but the little ones busy themselves only about the faults of others.

The hair on head is a thing of beauty. Removed from its place, it becomes filth. The same is the fate of men who descend from their own level of honorable conduct and demean themselves.

Thirukkural Teachings on Desire

If the pain of pains called desire be kept out, one can even in this life attain unbroken happiness.

If the desire to attain the Real is truly strong, the dropping of any form of worldly desire becomes easy.

If one’s heart is set on ending the round of births, there is no purpose in keeping any attachments alive. Even the body is a burden to be got rid of soon.

There is no worthier object to desired that deliverance from births, and this worthy desire can be fulfilled if we renounce desires.

There is no possession so great as non-desire either in this world or in the worlds beyond.

Quotes from Thirukkural on Anger

  • If a man be his own guard, let him guard himself against rage. Left unguarded, his own wrath will annihilate him.
  • Though others inflict wrongs as painful as flaming torches, it is good if a man can refrain from inflammatory tantrums.
  • Forget anger toward all who have offended you, for it gives rise to teeming troubles.
  • It is restraint that restrains rage when it can injure. If it cannot harm, what does restraint really matter?

Quotes from Thirukkural on Charity

  • Giving to the poor is true charity. All other giving expects some return.
  • Men of good birth graciously give, never uttering the wretched excuse, ‘I have nothing.’
  • Great, indeed, is the power to endure hunger. Greater still is the power to relieve others' hunger.
  • The fiery scourge called hunger never touches the man who shares his daily meal with others.
  • More bitter than even a beggar's bread is the meal of the miser who hoards wealth and eats alone.

Thirukural Quotes on Industriousness

  • Family virtues naturally persist, but might disappear unless kept up by unwavering industriousness; even a temple light will go out unless the wick is not properly looked after.
  • When men are fated to be destroyed, procrastination, forgetfulness, languor, and sleep are festive boats that wait to tempt and take them.
  • One can make up for many natural defects through industriousness.

Thirukkural Teachings on Love

  • Life functions really in love – Without tenderness of heart, the body is but bone covered up with skin. In love alone is the secret of life.
  • The domestic state of that man whose mind is without love is like the flourishing of a withered tree upon the hard desert.
  • Just as the outer ear or eye may be there, but it is no avail to the deaf and the blind, similarly the life of a householder is purposeless and soulless without a tender heart.

Thirukkural on Relationships

  • The crow does not hide it when it finds something to pick and eat, but calls its fellows and then starts eating. Prosperity comes only to men who develop this disposition. 
  • Those relatives that go away for some reason will come back as soon as you have discovered in yourself the cause of their desertion and the defect is removed. 
  • If any friend or relative go away but come back not for affection but for a selfish motive of their own, such relatives and friends should not be given space and should be summarily rejected.

Thirukkural Quotes On Dharma

  • There is no greater wealth one can acquire than Dharma and no misfortune greater than the forgetting of it.
  • Go as far as your strength and resources permit without swerving from the path of Dharma.
  • Keep the mind free from evil thoughts. This is what Dharma is all about. External observances of Dharma are only sound and show.
  • Only the joy that comes from right conduct is true happiness. Other pleasures are really sources of pain and causes of shame.
  • Wealth leads to dharma as well as happiness in this life, if it is acquired with discrimination in the right way and without doing evil.