104 – Significance of Help

National Integration Through Thirukkural And Sanskrit


A poor boy was selling goods beyond school hours, to enable him to pay his school fees. Once, was feeling very hungry and tired.  He decided he would ask for at least a cup of water at the next house.  A middle aged woman opened the door and sympathetic to the boy’s plight, offered him a couple of cups of milk instead.  The boy drank them and felt very rejuvenated. He had only a small amount of money with him.  He asked the woman, how much, he should pay her. The woman out of love and affection said, “You don’t owe me anything”.  She said, she was taught never to accept anything back for a kindness.” The boy reminded about his mother,  said would never forget the gesture.

Years rolled up and the boy became a successful surgeon and established a multi-speciality hospital.

One day, he saw a very aged and visibly poor woman who had come along with her grand-daughter, being turned away, as she was unable to mobilise the money required for her surgery. She was writhing in pain. On seeing the patient’s plight, the doctor immediately ordered his hospital staff to get her admitted and he himself handled the surgery.  The woman recovered gradually and was suggested a discharge after couple of weeks. The hospital staff prepared a bill running into lakhs of rupees and presented it to the Doctor for his approval and signature. The doctor wrote something in the margin and put it in a cover and sent it to the patient. In the meantime, the woman had mobilized some money by selling off all her ornaments and was preparing to seek a discount for the balance, unpaid, if any.

She opened the bill and in the margin of the same had the following message: “FULLY SETTLED WITH TWO CUPS OF MILK”.

Thiruvalluvar in his couplet 104 says that “Though, help by a benefactor, might be insignificantly as small as millet seed, the enlightened beneficiary would value it as the size of a palm tree due to its significance”.

தினைத்துணை நன்றி செயினும் பனைத்துணையாக் 
கொள்வர் பயன்தெரி வார்

Thinaith-thunai nandri seyinum panaith-thunai-aak
Kolvar payan-theri vaar

பரிமேலழகர் உரை:

தினைத்துணை நன்றி செயினும் – தமக்குத் தினையளவிற்றாய உபகாரத்தை ஒருவன் செய்தானாயினும்; பனைத்துணையாக் கொள்வர் பயன் தெரிவார் – அதனை அவ்வளவிற்றாகக் கருதாது, பனையளவிற்றாகக் கருதுவர் அக்கருத்தின் பயன் தெரிவார். (‘தினை’, ‘பனை’ என்பன சிறுமை பெருமைகட்குக் காட்டுவன சில அளவை. அக்கருத்தின் பயனாவது அங்ஙனம் கருதுவார்க்கு வரும் பயன்.)

தினையளவு சிறுநன்மை செய்யப்பட்டாலும் அதனால் உண்டாகும் பயனை உணர்பவர்கள் அந்நன்மையை பனையளவு பெரிதாகக் கருதுவர். தினை என்ற சொல் நெல்அரிசியைப் போன்றதொரு சிறிய அளவிலான தானியத்தைக் குறிக்கும்.. பனை என்பது நெடிதாய் உயர்ந்து நிற்கும் மரத்தைக் குறித்த சொல்லாகும்

Sanskrit Translation by Shri S.N.Srirama Desikan

ஸ்வல்பம் யவஸமம் ஸாஹ்யம் விம்ருஸ்²ய ப³ஹு லாப⁴த³ம்
தாலவ்ருக்ஷாத³பி மஹத் தன்மன்யந்தே நரோத்தமா: ||