primary authors: Soneath Hor, Sody Lay and Visna Sann
  others contributors: Bunreth Hor, Sinuon Mey, Navy Phim and Vathany Say

  When far away, feelings cool.
Similar to "Out of sight, out of mind."

  Cat with a curled tail, or a cat person with a curled tail.  or (those use to being bad or committing fraud are like cats with curled tails).
Refers to people who are wicked and cannot change their ways.
When the cat is away, the mouse rises to the throne.
Similar to "When the cat is away, the mice will play."

  Looking in the mirror with eyes closed.
Used to describe an act so stupid that it makes no sense.

  Taking the opportunity to embezzle from those who help you, through the use of cheap, disgraceful tricks, thinking they are unaware of attempts to cheat them - this is breaking your own rice pot.
Similar to "Biting the hand that feeds you."
Taking the opportunity to lay eggs, like a fish that is dried and salted.
Refers to individuals who lack authority yet pretend they are competent (a fish that is dried and salted does not have the ability to lay eggs, just as these individuals do not have competency in what they profess).

  Bones scream, skin invites.  or (blood screams, skin invites).
Interpretation: According to karmic principle, all evil deeds done in the past will be returned upon you in the present or future; thus, it is your past sins that cause your bones/blood to scream in pain and your skin to invite more suffering.

  When your thoughts mature, you will then be mature in every way; when your fate matures, you will be lucky and beyond suffering.
"when your fate matures" refers to when all the merit you have accumulated returns to you. As opposed to the prior saying which refers to the result of wicked deeds, this one refers to the karmic benefits of doing good.
When the head is cooked, eat the head; when the tail is cooked, eat the tail.
reference to opportunism

  No matter how tasty it is when cooked, do not forget when it was raw; normally the cooked condition arises from exposure to heat; if there were no rawness, from where would you get the cooked condition.
Interpretation: Remember your prior condition. E.g., a person who grows to become big and strong should remember what it was to be a helpless child; a refugee who becomes rich should remember what it was to be poor; a peasant who becomes powerful should remember what it was to be powerless.

  Addiction to gambling always leads to destruction. or (leads to ruins).

  Whoever knows how to think correctly, following the words of wisdom with precision, without falling off or straying from the text, such a person is very scarce.

  Whoever listens and follows the words of wisdom, those people reside in the presence of the sages; their names will be broadcast far and wide, famous and universally known as wise persons with knowledge and understanding

  Whoever stupidly sees only the material riches of the world, those people see only the short road ahead; this wealth will not last forever, and will in fact eventually lead to problems.

  Regardless of who wraps scented wood with leaves or paper, the scent of the wood will spread throughout everything, enveloping even the person with its fragrance. Furthermore, the wrapper itself captures the scent, thereby becoming conspicuous; likewise those who have wisdom are prominent, being comparable to wisdom itself.
Interpretation: Wisdom is like scented wood in that its presence is noticeable in those who have absorbed its essence.

  Evil people who have done wrong and suffer are like domestic pigs desiring [to eat] dung; good people who have done meritorious deeds are like swans desiring to drink milk.

  Whoever knows words that are proper and words that are polite and pleasant, knows the nature of anger commonly experienced [by people], consider those individuals the true sages in this world.

  Miserable people who want to live the high life, listless people who want to be industrious, unwise people who want to lecture on everything - these three types of people are considered equivalent to fools.

  Those who go to sleep in anticipation of waking say that the night is long; those who complain while walking say that a yaoc is far; the ignorant/delinquent will eventually understand the Dharma, as the cycle of rebirth is a long way from nirvana.
yaoc = roughly 16 kilometers

  Whoever can return a meaningful favor, consider those people your relative; whoever provides you with food and shelter, consider those people your father. When a sense of closeness with a person is true, consider that person a dear friend; when you find serenity with a woman, consider that woman your destined wife.

  Whoever stays with a mean wife or is a slave to cruelty and feelings of jealousy or lives in a house with a highly poisonous snake, do not wonder when that person is said to be near death.

  Those who dispense many favors have many friends and accumulate solidarity; they are capable of defeating a peyre with the unified strength. Rope made of grass is capable of being used to bind an elephant; a small person whose will is comparable to his body will be able to defeat a physically larger person.
"will comparable to his body" refers to using 100% effort. Compared with the proverb "Small one, do not reach for the stars" which relates to ability, this one concerns effort. Together they may mean: try hard, but also realize your limitations.

  Those who have ostracized their friends and then later wish to befriend them again are standing at the gate of death like Maalea giving birth to a stillborn.

  For those who have a mouth fragrant as lotus flower, and speak polite words like cool sandalwood, but in their stomach lies venom cutting like Vishnu's disc of power, with such people one should not voluntarily associate.


  What may be defeated: Friends who are unruly may be defeated through reticence; ill-tempered women may be defeated through stinginess (imposing sanctions); diarrhea may be defeated through judicious consumption.

  When the wicked experience turmoil, the angels allow them to suffer, even wishing it upon them; regarding those who are wise, kind and virtuous, when they suffer, the angels come to their aid.

  Common evil people, cruel, callous, without compassion, these people will meet with suffering and punishment, inevitably becoming sick and pitiable.

  Whoever primarily speaks a foreign language, in the future will be stuck [speaking that language] and forgetting their own; they forget their nationality, religion, and customs, like a crocodile that sometimes loses its way to its home-pond.
"A crocodile that loses its way home" is often used in reference to traitors - the Khmer version of America's "Benedict Arnold."

  Whoever understands propriety, understands happiness and honesty, and does not get angry or act outside the law, those people are truly sages.

  Whoever puts effort into studying diligently before the age he is at the present, that person the wise man designates as an important man who is particularly proper and should be mimicked.

  Whoever exhibits perseverance and tolerance, cultivates their conduct, refrains from reckless anger, the sages praise them as respectful and consider them serious individuals.

  For those who lack generosity, appearing excessive and dishonorable, even if they have a prestigious lineage, having fame will not be fitting.

  People who do good, pure and virtuous deeds, without being negligent, careless or neglectful in any way, these are the enemies of those who erect misery from immorality.

  For those who understand the palm leaf manuscripts, though their lineage is poor or lowly, they will be considered good; even the angels will proclaim this.

  Ignorant people who become knowledgeable from learning, regardless of where their education is acquired, they will be designated as learned persons.

  Those who have a nationality and language, but forget their nationality and language, are like butterflies that forget they were once larvae, and shall be considered animals.

  Those who deceive brahmans or ascetics, beggars or other such people, with lies disguised as honest words, these are the leaders of destruction.

  Life travels quickly, continuously moving forward, without ever backtracking, never allowing itself to be kept waiting for us; why do we stay rigid, without thinking, planning, pondering, reflecting, or completing any worthwhile deeds at all.

  For those who engage in amusements of three kinds - amusement in women, amusement in wine, amusement in wagering - having money and being rich is dangerous, for all these amusements lead to destruction.

  An earthworm is an animal related to evil spirits, it eats without ever being full due to its karma; no matter how big the earth, it eats at the edges, fearing it will run out of dirt.
Interpretation: Earthworms endlessly suffer because they are born of bad karma.

  Jewelers make a living by breaking things; blacksmiths make a living by tearing things apart by hand.
Incapable of being a blacksmith, you blame the metal.
Adage referring to someone trying to displace blame for their own incompetence.

  Land crows, do not imitate the water crows; forest trees, do not imitate the animals; people of the country, do not imitate the royal family; royal monarch, do not imitate the people.
Interpretation: Act within your own domain; do not try to be something you are not.

  Precious stones that are perfect do not exist on every mountain; priceless tusks that are prized cannot be found on every elephant.

  The nature of evil people is to speak untruthfully, do not take them as friends as it would be a waste; people who are truthful and kind-hearted, love sincerely as equals.

  By nature, the ignorant/evil do not understand correctness; no one asks them for information or engages them in conversation; lowly behavior will cause bad luck to fall upon you.
A duck by nature possesses low lineage, preferring to live on low ground, with no desire to rise to a higher level.
duck = metaphor for a person lacking ambition (ducks sleep on the ground; in contrast, chickens sleep perched on a fence)

  The evil nature is capable of joining in with the evil it sees; wolves do not eat each other; thieves take thieves as close friends; beautiful sages associate with the benevolent.


  Good people are by nature calm, never loud or boastful; those kin to ignorance/evil like to show off, exacerbating their mistakes by barking without end.

  People by nature, even those lowly and shameful, do not discard manners acquired from their parents; the words of people are longer than roads; rice stalk too old reap bad grain.


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