Saturday, February 05, 2005

Maxim # 23: மண்பறித் துண்ணேல் -- You shall not covet.

ஆத்திச்சூடி # 23: ண்பறித் துண்ணேல் (mun-pa-Ri-thu un-nEl)

Translation: Never extort others' lands to feed yourself.

Intended Translation: You shall not covet.

Rumination: This maxim echoes the final of Ten Commandments -- You shall not covet. "மண்" means "land," "பறித்து," means "extort," and "உண்ணேல்" means "you shall never eat." Therefore, it is literally translated as "never extort others' lands to feed yourself." One need not be a 'Vasool Raaja' to covet and extort others. Covetousness then is buried deep in our day to day affairs, without us realizing it. The next time you have time to spare, please visit any Family Court to see how married spouses bitterly fight it out. Most of them fight not to save, but to lose (This statement is deep in its Philosophical connotation that I leave it to your interpretation.) They try to outsmart each other by literally ripping off the other party under the garb of equitable rights. The state enshrines Family Laws to make sure that a divorce does not incapacitate either of the spouse by enacting them. However high-earning spouses are merely treated as ATM machines to milch whatever one can under the guise of equitable rights and thus marriage and divorce have become leading industries that breed greed. Whether marriage is one about hearts, minds, or souls, it is very pertinent to note that divorces are all about avarice, greed, and inconsolable obsession about money! One can extend this simple illustration to many abuses perpetrated under the garb of equitable justice. Under the garb of global competition, we even justify the outrage of extortion being perpetrated under covert means. Countries extort poor nations under unfair global policies; companies extort clients and customers under unfair trade practices; people extort others through henchmen, lawyers, and hitmen. Covetousness is mean; call it under whatever sacrosanct right that prompts your justification. It inherently shows the moral poverty existing within a person. And guess what? No amount of the coveted substance can offer a sense of contentment to the covetous person. There lies the person's curse for all eternity. Auvaiyar's maxim clearly exhorts today's children to be instilled of the value of being contented and resigned to self, without transgressing into other person's possessions.

"Thou shall not covet, but tradition approves all forms of competition." -- Arthur Hugh Cloud, 1819-1861, English Poet. (Oxford Dictionary of Quotations 6th Ed.)

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