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Encyclopedia > Tirukural
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Thirukural (Tamil: திருக்குறள்) is an important work of Tamil literature by Thiruvalluvar written in a poetic form called Kural or couplets expounding various aspects of life. While most scholars place him during 100-300 BC, there are a few who consider him to have lived 30years before the birth of jesus christ. Thirukural 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 Thiruvalluvar wrote more than 1330 couplets, and that the rest of the work has gone missing and also that some of the verses were later included in the compilation. 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. Moreover, unlike some works in Tamil like Thirumandiram or works of Sarvajna in Kannada, Vemana in Telugu and Kabir in Hindi, not a single couplet outside this compact work of 1330 verses has been attributed to Thiruvalluvar! Image File history File links Download high resolution version (610x800, 193 KB) Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (610x800, 193 KB) Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1. ... Tiruvalluvar was one of the greatest Tamil poets. ... The Tiruvalluvar statue The Vivekananda memorial The Gandhi Mandepam Kanyakumari is a town and a cape at the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... The original Wikisource logo. ... Tamil (தமிழ் ) is a classical language and one of the major languages of the Dravidian language family. ... 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 and Kerala as well as some parts of Karnataka and Andra pradesh. ... Tiruvalluvar was one of the greatest Tamil poets. ... Kural is one of the most important forms of traditional Tamil poetry. ... 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). 'Thirukural' 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 133 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 (these words, including English to sew and Latinate suture, all derive from PIE *syū-). It literally means a rope or thread, and more metaphorically refers to an aphorism (or line, rule, formula), or a collection of such aphorisms...

Topics in Tamil literature
Sangam literature
Agattiyam Tolkappiyam
Pathinenmaelkanakku
Ettuthokai
Ainkurnuru Akananuru
Purananuru Kaliththokai
Kuruntokai Natrinai
Paripaatal Pathirruppaththu
Pattupattu
Tirumurugarruppatai Kurincippattu
Malaipatukatam Mathuraikkanci
Mullaippattu Netunalvatai
Pattinappaalai Perumpanarruppatai
Porunaraatruppadai Cirupanarruppatai
Pathinenkilkanakku
Nalatiyar Nanmanikkatigai
Inna Narpathu Iniyavai Narpathu
Kar Narpathu Kalavazhi Narpathu
Ainthinai Aimpathu Thinaimozhi Aimpathu
Ainthinai Ezhupathu Thinaimalai Nurru Aimpathu
Tirukural Thirikatukam
Acharakkovai Pazhamozhi Nanuru
Siruppanchamulam Muthumozhikkanchi
Elathi Kainnilai
Sangam culture
Sangam Sangam landscape
Tamil history from Sangam literature Tamil literature
Ancient Tamil music
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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 and Kerala as well as some parts of Karnataka and Andra pradesh. ... Sangam Literature is the collective name for the Tamil literature created over 1800 years ago. ... Agattiyam, according to mentions inSangam Literature, was the first known book on Tamil grammar. ... The Tolkāppiyam (தொல்காப்பியம் in Tamil) is a work on the grammar of the Tamil language. ... Pathinenmaelkanakku is the collection of the oldest surviving Tamil Poetry. ... Ettuthokai (எட்டுத்தொகை)– The Eight Anthologies - form part of the Pathinenmaelkanakku anthology series of the Sangam Literature. ... Ainkurnuru (ஐங்குறுநூறு) is a book containing five hundred short poems and is part of Ettuthokai, a Sangam literature anthology. ... Akananuru (அகநானுறு) is the seventh book in the Sangam literature anthology Ettuthokai. ... Pura Nanooru or Pura Nanuru is an ancient Tamil Sangam collection of poems, dating from 900 BCE to 220 CE. It is one of the oldest Tamil anthologies. ... Kaliththokai (கலித்தொகை) is the sixth book of Ettuthokai, a Sangam literature anthology. ... Kuruntokai (குறுந்தொகை) is the second book of Ettuthokai, a Sangam literature anthology. ... Natrinai (நற்றிணை), is a book of Ettuthokai, a Sangam literature anthology. ... Paripaatal (பரிபாடல்), is the fifth book in the Ettuthokai, a Sangam literature anthology. ... Pathirruppaththu (பதிற்றுப்பத்து), is the fourth book in the Ettuthokai, a Sangam literature anthology. ... Pattupattu (பத்துப்பாட்டு) – The ten Idylls, is an anthology of ten mind length books and is one of the oldest surviving Tamil Poetry. ... Tirumurugarruppatai by Nakkirar is one of the most important works of Sangam Literature. ... Kurincippattu, is a Tamil poetic work in the Pathinenmaelkanakku anthology of Tamil literature, belonging to the Sangam period corresponding to between 100 BCE – 100 CE. Kurincippattu contains 261 lines of poems in the Achiriyappa meter. ... Malaipatukatam, is a Tamil poetic work in the Pathinenmaelkanakku anthology of Tamil literature, belonging to the Sangam period corresponding to between 100 BCE – 100 CE. Malaipatukatam contains 583 lines of poetry in the Achiriyappa meter. ... Mathuraikkanci, is a Tamil poetic work in the Pathinenmaelkanakku anthology of Tamil literature, belonging to the Sangam period corresponding to between 100 BCE – 100 CE. Mathuraikkanci contains 583 lines of poetry in the Achiriyappa meter. ... Mullaippattu, is a Tamil poetic work in the Ettuthokai anthology of Sangam literature, belonging to the Sangam period corresponding to between 100 BCE – 100 CE. Mullaippattu contains 103 lines of poetry in the Akaval meter. ... Netunalvatai, is a Tamil poetic work in the Pathinenmaelkanakku anthology of Tamil literature, belonging to the Sangam period corresponding to between 100 BCE – 100 CE. Netunalvatai is part of the Pattupattu collection, which is the oldest available collection of long poems in Tamil literature. ... Pattinappaalai, is a Tamil poetic work in the Pathinenmaelkanakku anthology of Tamil literature, belonging to the Sangam period corresponding to between 100 BCE – 100 CE. Pattinappaalai is part of the Pattupattu collection, which is the oldest available collection of long poems in Tamil literature. ... Perumpanarruppatai, is a Tamil poetic work in the Pathinenmaelkanakku anthology of Tamil literature, belonging to the Sangam period corresponding to between 100 BCE – 100 CE. Perumpanarruppatai contains 500 lines of poetry in the Achiriyappa meter. ... Porunaraatruppadai, is a Tamil poetic work in the Pathinenmaelkanakku anthology of Tamil literature, belonging to the Sangam period corresponding to between 100 BCE – 100 CE. Porunaraatruppadai contains 250 lines of poems in the Achiriyappa meter. ... Cirupanarruppatai, is a Tamil poetic work in the Pathinenmaelkanakku anthology of Tamil literature, belonging to the Sangam period corresponding to between 100 BCE – 100 CE. Cirupanarruppatai contains 269 lines of poetry in the Achiriyappa meter. ... Pathinenkilkanakku is a collection of eighteen poetic works created during the post Sangam period (between 100 - 500 CE). ... Nalatiyar is a Tamil poetic work of didactic nature belonging to the Pathinenkilkanakku anthology of Tamil literature. ... Nanmanikkatigai is a Tamil poetic work of didactic nature belonging to the the Pathinenkilkanakku anthology of Tamil literature. ... Inna Narpathu is a Tamil poetic work of didactic nature belonging to the the Pathinenkilkanakku anthology of Tamil literature. ... Iniyavai Narpathu is a Tamil poetic work of didactic nature belonging to the the Pathinenkilkanakku anthology of Tamil literature. ... Kar Narpathu is a Tamil poetic work belonging to the the Pathinenkilkanakku anthology of Tamil literature. ... Kalavazhi Narpathu is a Tamil poetic work belonging to the the Pathinenkilkanakku anthology of Tamil literature. ... Ainthinai Aimpathu is a Tamil poetic work belonging to the the Pathinenkilkanakku anthology of Tamil literature. ... Thinaimozhi Aimpathu is a Tamil poetic work belonging to the the Pathinenkilkanakku anthology of Tamil literature. ... Ainthinai Ezhupathu, is a Tamil poetic work belonging to the Pathinenkilkanakku anthology of Tamil literature, belonging to the post Sangam period corresponding to between 100 – 500 CE. Ainthinai Ezhupathu contains seventy poems written by the poet Muvathiyaar. ... Thinaimalai Nurru Aimpathu, is a Tamil poetic work belonging to the Pathinenkilkanakku anthology of Tamil literature, belonging to the post Sangam period corresponding to between 100 – 500 CE. Thinaimalai Nurru Aimpathu contains 154 poems written by the poet Kanimeythaviyaar. ... Thirikatukam is a Tamil poetic work of didactic nature belonging to the the Pathinenkilkanakku anthology of Tamil literature. ... Acharakkovai is a Tamil poetic work of didactic nature belonging to the the Pathinenkilkanakku anthology of Tamil literature. ... Pazhamozhi Nanuru is a Tamil poetic work of didactic nature belonging to the the Pathinenkilkanakku anthology of Tamil literature. ... Siruppanchamulam is a Tamil poetic work of didactic nature belonging to the the Pathinenkilkanakku anthology of Tamil literature. ... Muthumozhikkanchi is a Tamil poetic work of didactic nature belonging to the the Pathinenkilkanakku anthology of Tamil literature. ... Elathi is a Tamil poetic work of didactic nature belonging to the the Pathinenkilkanakku anthology of Tamil literature. ... Kainnilai, and Innilai are Tamil poetic works belonging to the the Pathinenkilkanakku anthology of Tamil literature. ... now. ... The Sangam landscape is categorisation the Tamil landscape into various Thinais depending on the nature, location and the mood of the poem. ... Early Tamil History has few authentic sources. ... 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 and Kerala as well as some parts of Karnataka and Andra pradesh. ... The ancient Tamil music was the music of the ancient Tamil people. ...

Sections

  1. Arathuppaal (or moral/morality division) contains lessons on man's duties and morals.
  2. Porutpaal (or material division) contains teachings on the right way of leading one's material life.
  3. Inbathuppaal (or the division of love) teaches love and the right kind of sexual relationships.

Classical status

Though the Tirukural was written nearly two millennia ago, it is easily comprehended by any modern Tamil scholar. 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 Tirukural 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. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


Thirukural and religion

Thiruvalluvar's work portrays a universal outlook and is non-sectarian. However, there has been a significant discussion about his religious affliation. Every major tradition existing in ancient Tamilnadu, Jainism, Saivism, Vaishnavism, and Buddhism have tried to advance arguments that Thiruvalluvar is one who belongs to their own religion. According to P.S. Sundaram, "there are some indications in the Kural of Valluvar having been a Jain, but Parimeelazahar, who seemed to have been a Vaishnavite, didn't sem to have found anything herectical in the verses". In any case, Tamil people consider Thiruvalluvar to be a holy saint; and his work is often called poy-ā—mozhi (false-never—speech or language)and common holy book (pothu maRai பொது மறை). One of the hallmarks of The Kural is that it was composed in a deftly non-sectarian fashion. Thiruvalluvar upheld universal human virtues which are also embraced and cherished by many religions. Jaina redirects here. ... Shaivism, also Saivism, is a branch of Hinduism that worships Siva as the Supreme God. ... Vaishnavism is one of the principal divisions of Hinduism. ... A replica of an ancient statue of Gautama Buddha, found in Sarnath, near Varanasi. ... The Tamil people are an ethnic group from South Asia with a recorded history going back more than two millennia. ...


The first couplet

Agara mudala ezhuthellam adhi
bagavan mudatrae ulagu.


As the alphabet begins with the letter ‘A’,
So does the world with the primordial ‘God’.


Other famous couplets

TheeyiNaal suttaPun Ullaarum arathae
navinal sutta vadu. - couplet 129
The wound caused by fire will heal within,
But not the scar left by the tongue. (Translator: PS Sundaram)

SeiThakka alla seyaKedum seiThakka
seiAammai yanum kedum. - couplet 466
It is ruinous to do what should not be done,
And ruinous to leave undone what should be done. (Tr: PS Sundaram)

Naerunal UllanOruvan inDirillai Annum
Paerummai udaithu ivvulagu
The one who existed yesterday is no more today,
That is the glory of earthly life. (Tr: S. Maharajan).


Udukkai izhandhavan kai polae aangae
idukkan kalaivadham natpu - couplet 788
As swiftly as the hand moves to seize a slipping garment,
Friendship acts to assuage a friend's distress. (Tr: Subramaniaswamy)

EEndrall PasiKanpall Ayeenum Cheyyarkka
Chandror Pallikkum Vinai - couplet 656
Do not do what the wise condemn
Even to save your starving mother. (Tr: PS Sundaram)


Epporul YaarYaarVai Ketpinum Apporul
MeiPorul Kanpdhu Arivu - couplet 423
The mark of wisdom is to discern the truth
From whatever source it is heard. (Tr: NVK Ashraf)


kaRka kasadaRa kaRpavai kaRRappin
niRka athaRkuth thaga - couplet 391


[ kaRka - Learn - read, listen, do and know.


kasadaRa (kasadu + aRa) - So that we are cleansed of our defilements - of desire, anger, fear, ego (assumed identities)..., in short any habit of mind that imprisons us in the cause-effect loop.


kaRpavai - Those which are 'knowable' or worthy of knowing, understood as anything that throws light on truth, thereby clearing all delusions.


kaRRappin niRka athaRkuth thaga - Knowledge (knowing) must reflect in words and deeds. Mere erudition is not learning. Knowing must result in a transformation of self. ]


(Next only to the first couplet, this couplet 391 is most famous one. In simpler terms, it means Learn what ought to be learnt, without mistakes. On learning, be or do as you have learnt.


Kaalathi nalSeitha Nandri Siritheninum
Ghyalanthin Manap Perithu - couplet 102
A timely help, though small,
Is of greater value than all the earth. (Tr: SM Diaz)

Kaamak kanichi udaikkum niraiyendrum
Naanuthaazh veezhtha kadavu - couplet 1251
The axe of love can break open the door of chastity
Secured by the bolt of modesty. (Tr: Drew, Lazarus, J. Narayanaswamy)


References

  • Subramaniyam, Ka Naa, Tiruvalluvar and his Tirukkural. Bharatiya Jnanpith: New Delhi 1987.
  • P.S. Sundaram, The Kural. Penguin Books: London, 1990.

External links

  • Thirukural
  • Introduction to Kural and its author: திருக்குறளும் திருவள்ளுவரும்
  • Thirukural of Thiruvalluvar- திருவள்ளுவரின் திருக்குறள் - Online in Tamil & in English
  • Thirukural :: DR.KALAIGNAR URAI - Thirukural with contemporary explanatory notes by M. Karunanidhi. Available online in Tamil.
  • Thirukkural in different languages of the world: Thirukkural is now available in many languages online at this site. Translations in English, French (Français), Russian (Русский), Hindi (हिन्दी), Malayalam (മലയാളം), Kannada (ಕನ್ನಡ) and Arabic (العربيه) are already on. Other languages to follow include Latin (Latina), Polish (Polski), Bangla (বাংলা), Urdu (اردو), Gujarati (ગુજરાતી) and Telugu (తెలుగు).
  • Thirukural on Internet and Translations - Links to Internet resources on Thirukural
  • Thirukkural with Meaning in Tamil and English

To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Online English translations

George Uglow Pope popularly known as Rev. ... George Uglow Pope popularly known as Rev. ... Jnanaguru Yogaswami of Jaffna was Sri Lankas most renowned contemporary spiritual master (1872-­1964), a Śivajnani 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 81-206-0400-8

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