77. The Excellence of an Army

Chapter. 77. The Excellence of an Army
Kural - 761
A conquering host, complete in all its limbs, that fears no wound,
Mid treasures of the king is chiefest found.
Meaning : The army which is complete in (its) parts and conquers without fear of wounds is the chief wealth of the king.
Kural - 762
In adverse hour, to face undaunted might of conquering foe,
Is bravery that only veteran host can show.
Meaning : Ancient army can alone have the valour which makes it stand by its king at the time of defeat, fearless of wounds and unmindful of its reduced strength.
Kural - 763
Though, like the sea, the angry mice send forth their battle cry;
What then? The dragon breathes upon them, and they die!
Meaning : What if (a host of) hostile rats roar like the sea ? They will perish at the mere breath of the cobra.
Kural - 764
That is a host, by no defeats, by no desertions shamed,
For old hereditary courage famed.
Meaning : That indeed is an army which has stood firm of old without suffering destruction or deserting (to the enemy).
Kural - 765
That is a 'host' that joins its ranks, and mightily withstands,
Though death with sudden wrath should fall upon its bands.
Meaning : That indeed is an army which is capable of offering a united resistance, even if Yama advances against it with fury.
Kural - 766
Valour with honour, sure advance in glory's path, with confidence;
To warlike host these four are sure defence.
Meaning : Valour, honour, following in the excellent-footsteps (of its predecessors) and trust-worthiness; these four alone constitute the safeguard of an army.
Kural - 767
A valiant army bears the onslaught, onward goes,
Well taught with marshalled ranks to meet their coming foes.
Meaning : That is an army which knowing the art of warding off an impending struggle, can bear against the dust-van (of a hostile force).
Kural - 768
Though not in war offensive or defensive skilled;
An army gains applause when well equipped and drilled.
Meaning : Though destitute of courage to fight and strength (to endure), an army may yet gain renown by the splendour of its appearance.
Kural - 769
Where weakness, clinging fear and poverty
Are not, the host will gain the victory.
Meaning : An army can triumph (over its foes) if it is free from diminution; irremediable aversion and poverty.
Kural - 770
Though men abound, all ready for the war,
No army is where no fit leaders are.
Meaning : Though an army may contain a large number of permanent soldiers, it cannot last if it has no generals.