50. Knowing the Place

Chapter. 50. Knowing the Place
Kural - 491
Begin no work of war, depise no foe,
Till place where you can wholly circumvent you know.
Meaning : Let not (a king) despise (an enemy), nor undertake any thing (against him), until he has obtained (a suitable) place for besieging him.
Kural - 492
Though skill in war combine with courage tried on battle-field,
The added gain of fort doth great advantage yield.
Meaning : Even to those who are men of power and expedients, an attack in connection with a fortification will yield many advantages.
Kural - 493
E'en weak ones mightily prevail, if place of strong defence,
They find, protect themselves, and work their foes offence.
Meaning : 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.
Kural - 494
The foes who thought to triumph, find their thoughts were vain,
If hosts advance, seize vantage ground, and thence the fight maintain.
Meaning : 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.
Kural - 495
The crocodile prevails in its own flow of water wide,
If this it leaves, 'tis slain by anything beside.
Meaning : In deep water, a crocodile will conquer (all other animals); but if it leave the water, other animals will conquer it.
Kural - 496
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.
Meaning : Wide chariots, with mighty wheels, will not run on the ocean; neither will ships that the traverse ocean, move on the earth.
Kural - 497
Save their own fearless might they need no other aid,
If in right place they fight, all due provision made.
Meaning : 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.
Kural - 498
If lord of army vast the safe retreat assail
Of him whose host is small, his mightiest efforts fail.
Meaning : The power of one who has a large army will perish, if he goes into ground where only a small army can act.
Kural - 499
Though fort be none, and store of wealth they lack,
'Tis hard a people's homesteads to attack!
Meaning : It is a hazardous thing to attack men in their own country, although they may neither have power nor a good fortress.
Kural - 500
The jackal slays, in miry paths of foot-betraying fen,
The elephant of fearless eye and tusks transfixing armed men.
Meaning : A fox can kill a fearless, warrior-faced elephant, if it go into mud in which its legs sink down.