436 – Finding faults

National Integration Through Thirukkural And Sanskrit

Finding Faults

It is human nature to compare one’s qualities with others. Few people, who observe others mistakes, learn from them and engage in self-correction. Most of the people end up passing value judgements about others.

Criticizing others might make you feel better about yourself for a minute but it creates negative vibrations and every experience thereafter, goes on strengthening those negative vibrations, ultimately making them miserable. It becomes such an ingrained habit, that, they end up being critical of even inconsequential actions of others.

Psychologists are convinced that people who find fault with others are victims of either an Inferiority complex or Superiority complex.

  • People who are not satisfied with themselves and conclude as inferior, want to feel a little better by finding faults in others.  It gives a short-lived relief to know that someone seems to be less perfect than them.
  • People, who consider themselves superior, always pride in finding mistakes in others, which they themselves could not see. They constantly look, only for someone’s imperfections and point it out to them in a rude manner and share it with mutual friends/colleagues and have a laugh about it.

Figuratively, when one points a finger towards others to indicate their faults, three fingers point to self. Hence, it is advisable to introspect about one’s own mistakes rather than finding faults with others.

From an evolutionary perspective finding fault with others equips one with an understanding of those faults thereby enabling themselves to avoid committing such faults.

The Dhammapada  is a collection of sayings of Buddha in verse form and one of the most widely read and best known Buddhist scriptures. Verse 252 enunciates that it is easy to see the faults of others while faults of one are concealed.

सुदर्शं वद्यमन्येषां आत्मन​: पुनर्दुर्दशम् ।
परेषां हि स वद्यानि अवपुणाति यथातुषम् ।
आत्मन​: पुन​: छादयति कलिमिव कितवात् शठ:॥

ஸுத³ர்ஸ²ம் வத்³யமன்யேஷாம் ஆத்மன: புனர்து³ர்த³ஸ²ம் |
பரேஷாம் ஹி ஸ வத்³யானி அவபுணாதி யதா²துஷம் |
ஆத்மன: புன: சா²த³யதி கலிமிவ கிதவாத் ஸ²ட²:||

The faults of others are clearly observed. But one’s own faults are difficult to see. A person winnows* the fault of others into prominence, like chaff. He hides his own like the bird-hunter who conceals himself with leaves and twigs.

* winnow – blow a current of air through (grain) in order to remove the chaff.

Thiruvalluvar in his Couplet 436 opines that a person, who corrects his own short comings before correcting others, possesses a Godly quality, which qualifies him, to become a King.

தன்குற்றம் நீக்கிப் பிறர்குற்றம் காண்கிற்பின்
என்குற்றம் ஆகும் இறைக்கு.

Thankutram Neekkip Pirar-kutram Kaangir-pin
Enkutram Aagum Iraikku

பரிமேலழகர் உரை:

தன் குற்றம் நீக்கிப் பிறர் குற்றம் காண்கிற்பின் – முன்னர்த்தன் குற்றத்தைக் கண்டு கடிந்து, பின்னர்ப் பிறர் குற்றங்காண வல்லனாயின், இறைக்கு ஆகும் குற்றம் என் – அரசனுக்கு ஆகக்கடவ குற்றம் யாது? (அரசனுக்குத் தன் குற்றம் கடியா வழியே பிறர் குற்றம் கடிதல் குற்றமாம், அது கடிந்தவழி முறை செய்தலாம் என்பார், என்குற்றம் ஆகும் என்றார். எனவே தன் குற்றம் கடிந்தவனே முறைசெய்தற்கு உரியவன் என்பதாயிற்று.).

Sanskrit Translation by Shri S.N. Srirama Desikan

ஜ்ஞாத்வா ஸ்வ தோ₃ஷான் தான் ஹித்வா பரதோ₃ஷ நிவாரணே |
யதமானோ மஹீபால: கத₂ம் ஸ்யாத்₃ தோ₃ஷ பா₄ஜனம் ||