When I was in fifth class, there were stories in our Hindi text book about the teachings of Saint Tiruvalluvar. One of them I still remember. That whenever the sage used to eat, he always kept a bowl full of water and needle with him. If some grain of rice fell, he used to pick that up by needle and after putting it in water, eat that. This small story had a great effect on my mind. I wanted to know more about his teachings. But somehow, it is only today that I somehow got the link of Thirukkural, a text containing his teaching. I will write about its teachings in a new dedicated category, Thirukkural.
Kural-35 tells what is virtue. That conduct is virtue which is free from these four things, viz, malice, desire, anger and bitter speech. Quite a useful tool to test your day to day acts. The first, third and fourth tests seem quite manageable. Even I can say that these three are not there in my deeds. But what about the second one. Sage has beautifully put that in between. 🙂 Every material work does have some sort of desire. Without it can there be a possibility of any material act? Hard to think. It reminds me of Geeta where Krishna says that you should work in a detached manner. Arjuna asked whether the quality of work would not suffer. Krishna replied him to do the work for Him. Since He is the most lovable person in the universe and if you do a work for someone lovable then it is generally of higher quality, therefore carrying out even your day-to-day works for Krishna will give you both things, detachment and high standards. There will be no desire, at least materially, herein. Only if we take this interpretation that this Kural makes sense. Otherwise, it is pretty hard to think of other situations. However, thinking a bit practically, if we can manage even the other three tests, I feel that will be quite a bit of achievement.
Kural-38 says..Defer not virtue to another day; receive her now; and at the dying hour she will be your undying friend. Nobody will be there with you at the death bed. And it is at that time that you realize the futility of all that which you have done during your lifetime. Sage says that the virtue will be your friend and it will go along with you. It will be your undying friend. Tulsidas also had said somewhere in Shri Ramcharitmanas that it is only your good works that will go along with you. Therefore, Kural-38 says that..If one allows no day to pass without some good being done, his conduct will be a stone to block up the passage to other births. Hence, let our every work be a virtue. Let’s make our undying companion a very powerful entity.