Thursday, January 25, 2018


இன்னாசெய் தார்க்கும் இனியவே செய்யாக்கால்
என்ன பயத்ததோ சால்பு (987)
this is we have read.

Its more famous cousin KuRaL 'merely' encourages to rise above reciprocity. In fact, that kuRaL prescribes 'shame the other with kindness' as a punishment.
But, சால்பு is made of sterner stuff than that.
This kuRaL makes good behaviour absolutely incumbent upon one who aspires for சால்பு.
 As kuRaL tends to reveal itself in lustrous ways when read in conjunction with its neighbours, let's step a couple of steps back.

ஆற்றுவார் ஆற்றல் பணிதல் அதுசான்றோர்
மாற்றாரை மாற்றும் படை(985)
The arsenal that the wise employ to effect change in the other, is deference.

Now, even this seems tactical. Hardly a facet of சால்பு.

True deference begotten by unreserved சால்பு should have higher stakes than being a mere 'tactic'. 
It should brave tactical defeat. For சால்பு is an end in itself. It is wholesome. What it obtains is a secondary consideration. Without reading that, one shall always have an incomplete view of சால்பு.

For instance, Gandhian spirituality is often understood only from a point of view of kuRaL 985 and 987.

But, when one reads the kuRaL 986, sandwiched between the above two kuRaL, its resplendence becomes quite apparent.

சால்பிற்குக் கட்டளை யாதெனின் தோல்வி
துலையல்லார் கண்ணும் கொளல் (986)

The touchstone of சால்பு is to receive (brave) defeat (with equanimity) from one's inferiors.

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