Not Back-Biting (By St. Thiruvalluvar) - Poem by Rajendran Muthiah
181. Though he speaks not words of virtue and commits sins,
It is good if his neighbours say of him ‘not-backbiting
182. It isn’t worse to spoil virtue and do evil than to
slander one in absence and smile craftily in presence.
183. It’ll be better to die to avail the benefits of virtue
For slandering one in absence and praising in presence.
184. Though you say rude, bitter words in his presence
Don’t say words of unforeseeable effect in his absence.
185. That he is not extolling the virtue in his mind
Is known by his mean back-biting.
186. If a man casts aspersions on one behind one’s back
The world will tell the worst sins of him.
187. Those who know not how to befriend with pleasing words
Will divide the kin by stating libels about them.
188. How will they behave with strangers
When they denigrate their friends behind their back? .
189. The world, I ween, bears the load of the slanderers
Out of charity though they cast slurs in one’s absence.
190. No evil haps to a man who can scan his own faults
as he does of his neighbours.
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