The Rig Veda/Mandala 10/Hymn 117

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Translated by Ralph T.H. Griffith

1. THE Gods have not ordained hunger to be our death: even to the well-fed man comes death in varied shape.
     The riches of the liberal never waste away, while he who will not give finds none to comfort him.
2. The man with food in store who, when the needy comes in miserable case begging for bread to eat,
     Hardens his heart against him-even when of old he did him service-finds not one to comfort him.
3. Bounteous is he who gives unto the beggar who comes to him in want of food and feeble.
     Success attends him in the shout of battle. He makes a friend of him in future troubles.
4. No friend is he who to his friend and comrade who comes imploring food, will offer nothing.
     Let him depart-no home is that to rest in-, and rather seek a stranger to support him.
5. Let the rich satisfy the poor implorer, and bend his eye upon a longer pathway.
     Riches come now to one, now to another, and like the wheels of cars are ever rolling.
6. The foolish man wins food with fruitless labour: that food -I speak the truth- shall be his ruin.
     He feeds no trusty friend, no man to love him. All guilt is he who eats with no partaker.
7. The ploughshare ploughing makes the food that feeds us, and with its feet cuts through the path it follows.
     Better the speaking than the silent Brahman: the liberal friend out values him who gives not.
8. He with one foot hath far outrun the biped, and the two-footed catches the three-footed.
     Four-footed creatures come when bipeds call them, and stand and look where five are met together.
9. The hands are both alike: their labour differs. The yield of sister milch-kine is unequal.
     Twins even differ in their strength and vigour: two, even kinsmen, differ in their bounty.