Translation in English
Howe’er they roam, the world must follow still the plougher’s team;
Though toilsome, culture of the ground as noblest toil esteem.
Agriculture, though laborious, is the most excellent (form of labour); for people, though they go about
(in search of various employments), have at last to resort to the farmer.
The ploughers are the linch-pin of the world; they bear
Them up who other works perform, too weak its toils to share.
Agriculturists are (as it were) the linch-pin of the world for they support all other workers who
cannot till the soil.
Who ploughing eat their food, they truly live:
The rest to others bend subservient, eating what they give.
They alone live who live by agriculture; all others lead a cringing, dependent life.
O’er many a land they ‘ll see their monarch reign,
Whose fields are shaded by the waving grain.
Patriotic farmers desire to bring all other states under the control of their own king.
They nothing ask from others, but to askers give,
Who raise with their own hands the food on which they live.
Those whose nature is to live by manual labour will never beg but give something to those who beg.
For those who ‘ve left what all men love no place is found,
When they with folded hands remain who till the ground.
If the farmer’s hands are slackened, even the ascetic state will fail.
Reduce your soil to that dry state, When ounce is quarter-ounce’s weight;
Without one handful of manure, Abundant crops you thus secure.
If the land is dried so as to reduce one ounce of earth to a quarter, it will grow plentifully even without
a handful of manure.
To cast manure is better than to plough;
Weed well; to guard is more than watering now
Manuring is better than ploughing; after weeding, watching is better than watering (it).
When master from the field aloof hath stood;
Then land will sulk, like wife in angry mood.
If the owner does not (personally) attend to his cultivation, his land will behave like an angry wife
and yield him no pleasure.
The earth, that kindly dame, will laugh to see,
Men seated idle pleading poverty.
The maiden, Earth, will laugh at the sight of those who plead poverty and lead an idle life.
Tamil Kural Courtesy: http://www.cs.utk.edu/~siddhart/thirukkural/
English Translation Courtesy: ThirukkuraL English Translation & Commentary Translated by Rev.G.U.Pope