Tirukural – Chapter 33: Avoidance of Killing

Kural 321

What is virtuous conduct? It is never destroying life,
for killing leads to every other sin.

Kural 322

Of all virtues summed by ancient sages, the foremost are to
share one’s food and to protect all living creatures.

Kural 323

Not killing is the first and foremost good.
The virtue of not lying comes next.

Kural 324

What is the good way? It is the path that reflects on
how it may avoid killing any living creature.

Kural 325

Among all who disown the world out of dismay,
the foremost, dismayed with killing, embrace nonkilling.

Kural 326

Life-devouring death will not lay waste the living days
of one whose code of conduct is to never kill.

Kural 327

Refrain from taking precious life from any living being,
even to save your own life.

Kural 328

By sacrifice of life, some gain great wealth and welfare,
but great men scorn such odious gains.

Kural 329

Those whose trade is killing creatures are deemed defiled
by men who know the defiling nature of being mean.

Kural 330

They say that beggars who suffer a depraved life
in a diseased body once deprived another’s body of its life.

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