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Encyclopedia > Tirukkural

Tirukural (திருக்குறள் in Tamil) is an important work of Tamil literature by Tiruvalluvar written in the form of couplets expounding various aspects of life. It contains 1330 couplets divided into 133 chapters of 10 couplets each. Each couplet consists of seven words, with four words on the first line and three on the second. It is sometimes claimed that Tiruvalluvar wrote more than 1330 couplets, and that the rest of the work has gone missing. However, this is unlikely since several different writers of later years in different areas of India all alluded to the standard 1330 verses, merely choosing to group them in different ways. The statue of the Tamil saint Tiruvalluvar on an island just off the southern tip of India at Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, India, taken on my honeymoon, November 2004. ... The statue of the Tamil saint Tiruvalluvar on an island just off the southern tip of India at Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, India, taken on my honeymoon, November 2004. ... Tiruvalluvar was one of the greatest Tamil poets. ... Kanyakumari is a town and a cape at the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula. ... The consonant ழ் believed to be unique to Tamil and Malayalam Tamil of Tamilians is a Dravidian language predominantly spoken in southern India and Sri Lanka, with smaller communities of speakers in many other countries. ... Tamil literature is literature in the Tamil language which most prominently includes the contributions of the Tamil country (or Tamizhagam) history, a large part of which constitutes the modern state of Tamil Nadu in India. ... Tiruvalluvar was one of the greatest Tamil poets. ... A couplet is a pair of lines of verse that form a unit. ...

Contents

Etymology

Curiously, the word 'Kural' too has a generic meaning. Roughly translated, it means a pithy couplet (compare sutra). 'Tirukkural' is thus a honorific reference to the collection of couplets. Essentially, the 'Kural' is really a vast assortment of interlinking 'kurals.' By most, it is understood that the 1330 couplets conform well to subdivisions of ten kural adhikarams or 'chapters,' each on specific themes ranging anywhere from righteous living to proper governance of a kingdom. Kural is one of the most important forms of traditional Tamil poetry. ... Sutra (सूत्र) in Sanskrit is derived from the verb √siv, meaning to sew. ...


Sections

  1. Arathuppal (or justice division) contains lessons on dharma and morals.
  2. Porutpal (or material division) contains teachings on man's duties and the right way of leading one's material life.
  3. Inbathuppal (or the division of love) teaches love.

Classical status

Though the Tirukkural was written nearly two millennia ago, it is easily comprehended by the modern speakers of this ancient language. This fact underlines the surmise of many scholars that Tamil has undergone very little corruption, over the years and also gives an insight into the long standing heritage of the Tamils. It is mandatory for school children in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu to study Thirukkural right from their inception into the curriculum. This may make Tirukkural seem dogmatic but it is seldom thought of so. Thirukkural has taken the place of a gospel among the educated Tamil intelligensia, but without any intensive religious leanings. Thus, it finds a widespread acceptance as the Gospel of the Tamils, among followers of all religions, creed and castes. Tamil Nadu (தமிழ் நாடு, Land of the Tamils) is a state at the southern tip of India. ... The word Caste is derived from the Portuguese word casta, meaning lineage, breed or race. ...


Tirukkural and religion

Picture of Thiruvalluvar
Picture of Thiruvalluvar

Tiruvalluvar's faith is disputed. There are also accounts that he was a Jain. In any case, Tamil people consider Tiruvalluvar to be a holy saint; and his work is called poy-ā—mozhi (false-never—speech). Many say that Tiruvalluvar was not concerned whether he followed Mahavira, and that he ignored the artificial boundaries between religions. It is generally believed that his works were neutral towards religions. Picture of Thiruvalluvar in sitting posture taken from http://www. ... Picture of Thiruvalluvar in sitting posture taken from http://www. ... The hand with a wheel on the palm symbolizes the Jain Vow of Ahinsa, meaning non-injury and nonviolence. ... Tamil New Year Ethnic problems In India After independence, Tamilians felt they and their dravidian race were ignored by the North Indians. ... Mahavira (वर्धमान महावीर) or Mahavir (the Great Hero -- Also, Vardhamana (increasing) or Niggantha Nathaputta -- 599 BC - 527 BC) was the 24th, and last, Jainist Tirthankara. ...


The first couplet

அகர முதல எழுத்தெல்லாம் ஆதி
பகவன் முதற்றே உலகு


Agara mudala ezhuthellam adhi
bagavan mudatrae ulagu.


Loosely translated, it means


A leads the letters just as the First Lord
leads and lords the entire world.


External links

  • Tirukural (http://tirukural.vjai.com) - Easy to navigate web site and well laid out.
  • Thirukural of Thiruvalluvar (http://www.tamilnation.org/literature/kural)- திருவள்ளுவரின் திருக்குறள் - Online in Tamil & in English
  • Thirukural :: DR.KALAIGNAR URAI (http://www.thedmk.org/thirukural/) - Thirukural with contemporary explanatory notes by M. Karunanidhi. Available online in Tamil.
  • Thirukural on Internet and Translations (http://www.geocities.com/Athens/5180/thkrl.html) - Links to Internet resources on Thirukural
  • Palm leaf manuscript (http://www.tamil-heritage.org/photoarc/olai/Thirukkural.html) - A sample photograph of palm leaf manuscript

Categories: Indian people stubs | Tamil people | Indian politicians ...

Online English translations

  • Tirukural (http://tirukural.vjai.com) - Easy to navigate web site and well laid out.
  • Thirukkural  (http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy/8357/book.html) - Translations by Rev.Dr.G.U. Pope, Rev W H Drew, Rev John Lazarus, and Mr F W Ellis.
  • Weaver's Wisdom: Ancient Precepts for a Perfect Life (http://www.himalayanacademy.com/books/weaver/content.htm) - Translation by the Himalayan Academy
  • IIT Madras site that can be viewed with any browser (http://acharya.iitm.ac.in/tamil/kural/kural_browse.html)
  • The Holy Kural (http://www.mountainman.com.au/kural/index.htm) - Tirukural translation oversighted by Gurudeva, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, student of the Sri Lankan sage Yogaswami and the founder of the Himalayan Academy.

George Uglow Pope popularly known as Rev. ... Jnanaguru Yogaswami of Jaffna was Sri Lankas most renowned contemporary spiritual master (1872-­1964), a Sivajnani and a Natha siddhar revered by both Hindus and Buddhists. ...

Book edition

  • Thirukkural (Original in Tamil with English Translation) by W.H. Drew (Translator), John Lazarus (Translator), W. H. Drew - ISBN 8120604008

  Results from FactBites:
 
Paradoxist distich - encyclopedia article about Paradoxist distich. (790 words)
All 1330 couplets from Tirukkural, composed by Tiruvalluvar are examples of Venpa.
Tirukkural is a popular book written in Kural Venpa form.
Couplets with a meter of iambic pentameter Iambic pentameter is a meter in poetry, consisting of lines with five feet (hence "pentameter") in which the iamb is the dominant foot (hence "Iambic").
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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