Faith

Neglecting the good

Having a good memory is an advantage in life. While not all of us are blessed with excellent memory power, we all can remember our duties. But we often forget to carry out important tasks, forget to pass on messages and so on. While one cannot be blamed for little incidents of forgetfulness, we must ask ourselves the question, isn’t some of this due to certain negative traits we have? Thiruvalluvar lists four qualities as posing a danger to a person, said Malayaman in a discourse. Not doing something in the stipulated time, forgetting all about it, laziness and excessive sleep — these characteristics will destroy a person, Thiruvalluvar warns. Of all kinds of forgetfulness, the worst is to forget to do good, says Thiruvalluvar. Nothing benefits a man more than acts of goodness, and nothing harms him more than neglecting to do good deeds.

Kamban in his Ramayana shows us the value of dharma, through the words of Vibhishana. Vibhishana says that he who forgets dharma cannot have a peaceful life. Thiruvalluvar says that one must never forget one’s connections with blemishless people. Nor should one forget those who have helped one in times of need. Avvaiyar said “Nandri maravel.” So, she is here advising us that we should never forget to be grateful for help rendered to us. Thiruvalluvar says that it is not right to forget those who helped us. But he adds in the next line, that whatever is unpleasant must be forgotten.

Ideally, we should help those who have helped us. But if this is not possible, the least we can do is to remember their timely help, says the Tamil work Perunkathai. Thiruvalluvar says that wise men know that the body is prone to diseases. And therefore, they never worry about bodily afflictions.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 1:56:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/neglecting-the-good/article33794942.ece

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