Tirukural.Chapter 41: The Neglect of Learning.

Kural 401

Speaking to a learned gathering without ample knowledge
is like playing a dice game without the board.
Kural 402

An uneducated man desiring to be eloquent
is like a breastless woman longing to be feminine.
Kural 403

Even the ignorant will be considered wise
if they refrain from speaking in the presence of the learned.
Kural 404

However excellent an untaught man’s knowledge may be,
erudite men will never accept it.
Kural 405

An unschooled man’s self-conceit will shrivel
the moment he speaks to an assembly.
Kural 406

Like unproductive barren land is the man who has neglected
learning. All that can be said about him is that he exists.
Kural 407

The handsome charm of him whose knowledge
is neither subtle nor penetrating is like that of a painted clay doll.
Kural 408

Even more wretched than a learned man’s poverty
is the unlearned man’s wealth.
Kural 409

Though he is humbly born, a lettered man’s nobility
transcends that of the illiterate nobleman.
Kural 410

As men are to wild beasts, so are the masters
of brilliant texts to other men.

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