Begin no work of war, depise no foe,
Till place where you can wholly circumvent you know
Let not (a king) despise (an enemy), nor undertake any thing (against him), until he has obtained (a suitable) place for besieging him.
Thotangarka Evvinaiyum Ellarka Mutrum
Itanganta Pinal Ladhu.
Though skill in war combine with courage tried on battle-field,
The added gain of fort doth great advantage yield
Even to those who are men of power and expedients, an attack in connection with a fortification will yield many advantages.
Muranserndha Moimpi Navarkkum Aranserndhaam
Aakkam Palavun Tharum.
E'en weak ones mightily prevail, if place of strong defence,
They find, protect themselves, and work their foes offence
Even the powerless will become powerful and conquer, if they select a proper field (of action), and guard themselves, while they make war on their enemies.
Aatraarum Aatri Atupa Itanarindhu
Potraarkan Potrich Cheyin.
The foes who thought to triumph, find their thoughts were vain,
If hosts advance, seize vantage ground, and thence the fight maintain
If they who draw near (to fight) choose a suitable place to approach (their enemy), the latter, will have to relinquish the thought which they once entertained, of conquering them.
Enniyaar Ennam Izhappar Itanarindhu
Thunniyaar Thunnich Cheyin.
The crocodile prevails in its own flow of water wide,
If this it leaves, 'tis slain by anything beside
In deep water, a crocodile will conquer (all other animals); but if it leave the water, other animals will conquer it.
Netumpunalul Vellum Mudhalai Atumpunalin
Neengin Adhanaip Pira.
The lofty car, with mighty wheel, sails not o'er watery main,
The boat that skims the sea, runs not on earth's hard plain
Wide chariots, with mighty wheels, will not run on the ocean; neither will ships that the traverse ocean, move on the earth.
Katalotaa Kaalval Netundher Katalotum
Naavaayum Otaa Nilaththu.
Save their own fearless might they need no other aid,
If in right place they fight, all due provision made
You will need no other aid than fearlessness, if you thoroughly reflect (on what you are to do), and select (a suitable) place for your operations.
Anjaamai Allaal Thunaiventaa Enjaamai
Enni Itaththaal Seyin.
If lord of army vast the safe retreat assail
Of him whose host is small, his mightiest efforts fail
The power of one who has a large army will perish, if he goes into ground where only a small army can act.
Sirupataiyaan Sellitam Serin Urupataiyaan
Ookkam Azhindhu Vitum.
Though fort be none, and store of wealth they lack,
'Tis hard a people's homesteads to attack
It is a hazardous thing to attack men in their own country, although they may neither have power nor a good fortress.
Sirainalanum Seerum Ilareninum Maandhar
Urainilaththotu Ottal Aridhu.
The jackal slays, in miry paths of foot-betraying fen,
The elephant of fearless eye and tusks transfixing armed men
A fox can kill a fearless, warrior-faced elephant, if it go into mud in which its legs sink down.
Kaalaazh Kalaril Nariyatum Kannanjaa
Velaal Mukaththa Kaliru.