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Tirukural
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Tirukural
Thirukkual
 .pdf
A typical published original Tamil version of the book
Author Thiruvalluvar
Original title Mupp?l
Working title Kural
Country Indiac
Language Old Tamil
Series Pati?e?kka?akku
Subject Secular ethics
Genre Poetry
Published Palm-leaf manuscript of the Tamil Sangam era 300 BCE [1]
Publication date
1812 (first known printed edition)
Published in English
1840

The Tirukkural or Thirukkural (Tamil: , literally Sacred Verses), or shortly the Kural, is a classic Tamil text consisting of 1,330 couplets or Kurals, dealing with the everyday virtues of an individual.[2][3] Considered one of the greatest works ever written on ethics and morality, chiefly secular ethics, it is known for its universality and non-denominational nature.[4] It was authored by Valluvar, also known in full as Thiruvalluvar. The text has been dated variously from 300 BCE to 7th century CE. The traditional accounts describe it as the last work of the third Sangam, but linguistic analysis suggests a later date of 450 to 500 CE.[1]

Traditionally praised as "the Universal Veda,"[5] the Kural emphasizes on the vital principles of non-violence, vegetarianism/veganism, casteless human brotherhood, absence of desires, path of righteousness and truth, and so forth, besides covering a wide range of subjects such as moral codes of rulers, friendship, agriculture, knowledge and wisdom, sobriety, love, and domestic life.[4] The work is commonly quoted in vegetarian conferences, both in India and abroad.[6] Considered as chef d'oeuvre of both Indian and world literature,[7] the Kural is one of the most important works in the Tamil language. This is reflected in some of the other names by which the text is given by, such as Tami? ma?ai (Tamil veda), Poyy?mo?i (words that never fail), and Deiva n?l (divine text).[8]

The Kural has influenced several scholars across the ethical, social, political, economical, religious, philosophical, and spiritual spheres.[9][10] Authors influenced by the Kural include Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Schweitzer, Ramalinga Swamigal, Monsieur Ariel, Constantius Joseph Beschi, Karl Graul, August Friedrich Caemmerer, Nathaniel Edward Kindersley, Francis Whyte Ellis, Charles E. Gover, George Uglow Pope, Alexander Piatigorsky, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, and Yu Hsi, many of whom have translated the work into their languages.[4][11][12] Translated into at least 40 languages as of 2014, the Kural is one of the most widely translated works in the world.[13] Because the life, culture and ethics of the Tamils are considered to be solely defined in terms of the values set by the Kural, the government and the people of Tamil Nadu alike uphold the text with utmost reverence.[14] Along with the Gita, the Kural is a prime candidate nominated to be the national book of India, for which a declaration was passed at the Tamil Nadu Assembly in 2006.[15]

Etymology

The term Tirukkural is a compound word made of two individual terms, tiru and kural. Tiru is an honorific Tamil term that corresponds to the universally Indian, Sanskrit term sri meaning "holy, sacred, excellent, honorable, and beautiful."[16] The term tiru has as many as 19 different meanings.[17]Kural means something that is "short, concise, and abridged."[16] Etymologically, kural is the shortened form of kural paattu, which is derived from kuruvenpaattu, one of the two Tamil poetic forms explained by Tolkappiyam, the other one being neduvenpaattu.[18] According to Winslow, kural is used as a literary term to indicate "a metrical line of 2 feet, or a distich or couplet of short lines, the first of 4 and the second of 3 feet." Thus, Tirukkural literally comes to mean "sacred couplets."[16]

The Kural is unique among ancient works that it did not have a name nor did it have any mention of the author's name in it at the time of its release at the ruler's court at the city of Madurai, the seat of the Third Tamil Sangam.[19] Legend has it that the author used the word Mupp?l, meaning "three divisions," to present it to the King since the work was written about the first three of the four ancient Indian aims in life, known as purushaarthas, viz., virtue, wealth and love.[16][20] Remaining nameless for several years after its writing, the work came to be referred to by various names in the centuries that followed. Nine traditional names had already been in use to refer to the book during the time of writing of the Tiruvalluva Maalai, a eulogy written on the Kural by various poets between the 1st and 11th centuries CE.[5] It is estimated that the Kural has historically been known by as many as 44 names given at various periods over the millennia, making it one of the numerously titled works.[21]

The statue of Valluvar, the author of the Kural text, at Kanyakumari

Organization of the work

The Kural is structured into 133 chapters, each containing 10 couplets (or kurals), for a total of 1,330 couplets.[22] The 133 chapters are grouped into three parts, or "books":[22][23]

  • Book I - A?attupp?l (): Book of Virtue (Dharma), dealing with virtues independent of the surroundings (Chapters 1-38)
  • Book II - Poru?p?l (?): Book of Polity (Artha), dealing with virtues with respect to the surroundings (Chapters 39-108)
  • Book III - K?mattupp?l (?): Book of Love (Kama), dealing with virtues involved in conjugal human love (Chapters 109-133)

Each kural or couplet contains exactly seven words, known as cirs, with four cirs on the first line and three on the second. A cir is a single or a combination of more than one Tamil word. For example, the term Thirukkural is a cir formed by combining the two words thiru and ku?a?. The book on A?am (virtue) contains 380 verses, that of Poru? (wealth) has 700 and that of Inbam (love) has 250.[22]

The overall organisation of the Kural text is based on seven ideals prescribed for a commoner besides observations of love.[24] This includes 40 couplets on God, rain, ascetics, and virtue; 200 on domestic virtue; 140 on higher yet most fundamental virtue based on grace, benevolence and compassion; 250 on royalty; 100 on ministers of state; 220 on essential requirements of administration; 130 on morality, both positive and negative; and 250 on human love and passion.[4][24]

The couplets are generally numbered in a linear fashion across the three books, covering all the 1,330 couplets. They can also be denoted by their chapter number and couplet number within the chapter. Thus, the third couplet in Chapter 104 (Agriculture), for instance, can be numbered either as 1033 or, less commonly, as 104:3.

Outline of the Kural
Book I--Book of Virtue (38 chapters)
  • Chapter 1. The Praise of God ( ka?avu? vttu): Couplets 1-10
  • Chapter 2. The Excellence of Rain (? ? v ci?appu): 11-20
  • Chapter 3. The Greatness of Ascetics ( n?tt?r perumai): 21-30
  • Chapter 4. Assertion of the Strength of Virtue (? a?a? valiyu?uttal): 31-40
  • Chapter 5. Domestic Life ( ilvkkai): 41-50
  • Chapter 6. The Goodness of the Help to Domestic Life ( ? vkkaittu?ai nalam): 51-60
  • Chapter 7. The Obtaining of Sons (? ? putalvaraip pe?utal): 61-70
  • Chapter 8. The Possession of Love ( a?pu?aimai): 71-80
  • Chapter 9. Cherishing Guests (? virunt?mpal): 81-90
  • Chapter 10. The Utterance of Pleasant Words ( i?iyavai kal): 91-100
  • Chapter 11. The Knowledge of Benefits Conferred: Gratitude ( ceynnai a?ital): 101-110
  • Chapter 12. Impartiality ( na?uvu nilaimai): 111-120
  • Chapter 13. The Possession of Self-restraint ( a?akkamu?aimai): 121-130
  • Chapter 14. The Possession of Decorum ( o?ukkamu?aimai): 131-140
  • Chapter 15. Not coveting another's Wife (? pi?a?il vi?aiy?mai): 141-150
  • Chapter 16. The Possession of Patience, Forbearance (? po?aiyu?aimai): 151-160
  • Chapter 17. Not Envying ( a?ukkmai): 161-170
  • Chapter 18. Not Coveting (? ve?k?mai): 171-180
  • Chapter 19. Not Backbiting ( pu?a?kmai): 181-190
  • Chapter 20. The Not Speaking Profitless Words ( paya?ila coll?mai): 191-200
  • Chapter 21. Dread of Evil Deeds ( t?vi?aiyaccam): 201-210
  • Chapter 22. The knowledge of what is Befitting a Man's Position ( oppurava?ital): 211-220
  • Chapter 23. Giving ( ?kai): 221-230
  • Chapter 24. Renown ( puka?): 231-240
  • Chapter 25. The Possession of Benevolence ( aru?u?aimai): 241-250
  • Chapter 26. The Renunciation of Flesh-Eating ( pulma?uttal): 251-260
  • Chapter 27. Penance (? tavam): 261-270
  • Chapter 28. Inconsistent Conduct (? kvo?ukkam): 271-280
  • Chapter 29. The Absence of Fraud (? kamai): 281-290
  • Chapter 30. Veracity ( v?ymai): 291-300
  • Chapter 31. The not being Angry ( vekumai): 301-310
  • Chapter 32. Not doing Evil ( iceyy?mai): 311-320
  • Chapter 33. Not killing ( koll?mai): 321-330
  • Chapter 34. Instability ( nilaiy?mai): 331-340
  • Chapter 35. Renunciation ( tu?avu): 341-350
  • Chapter 36. Knowledge of the True ( meyyu?artal): 351-360
  • Chapter 37. The Extirpation of Desire ( av?va?uttal): 361-370
  • Chapter 38. Fate ( ): 371-380
Book II--Book of Wealth (70 chapters)
  • Chapter 39. The Greatness of a King ( i?aimci): 381-390
  • Chapter 40. Learning ( kalvi): 391-400
  • Chapter 41. Ignorance (? kall?mai): 401-410
  • Chapter 42. Hearing ( kvi): 411-420
  • Chapter 43. The Possession of Knowledge ( a?ivu?aimai): 421-430
  • Chapter 44. The Correction of Faults (? kua?ka?ital): 431-440
  • Chapter 45. Seeking the Aid of Great Men (? periy?rait tu?aikkal): 441-450
  • Chapter 46. Avoiding mean Associations ( cii?añc?r?mai): 451-460
  • Chapter 47. Acting after due Consideration ( terintuceyalvakai): 461-470
  • Chapter 48. The Knowledge of Power ( valiya?ital): 471-480
  • Chapter 49. Knowing the fitting Time ( k?lama?ital): 481-490
  • Chapter 50. Knowing the Place ( i?a?a?ital): 491-500
  • Chapter 51. Selection and Confidence ( ? terintute?ital): 501-510
  • Chapter 52. Selection and Employment ( terintuvi?aiyal): 511-520
  • Chapter 53. Cherishing one's Kindred ( cuantal): 521-530
  • Chapter 54. Unforgetfulness (? pocc?v?mai): 531-540
  • Chapter 55. The Right Sceptre (? ce?kmai): 541-550
  • Chapter 56. The Cruel Sceptre ( ko?u?kmai): 551-560
  • Chapter 57. Absence of Terrorism ( veruvantaceyy?mai): 561-570
  • Chapter 58. Benignity (? kaam): 571-580
  • Chapter 59. Detectives ( o?al): 581-590
  • Chapter 60. Energy (? ?kkamu?aimai): 591-600
  • Chapter 61. Unsluggishness ( ma?iyi?mai): 601-610
  • Chapter 62. Manly Effort (? vi?aiyu?aimai): 611-620
  • Chapter 63. Hopefulness in Trouble ( ? i?ukka? a?iy?mai): 621-630
  • Chapter 64. The Office of Minister of State (? amaiccu): 631-640
  • Chapter 65. Power in Speech ( colva?mai): 641-650
  • Chapter 66. Purity in Action ( vi?aitt?ymai): 651-660
  • Chapter 67. Power in Action (? vi?aitti?pam): 661-670
  • Chapter 68. The Method of Acting (? vi?aiceyalvakai): 671-680
  • Chapter 69. The Envoy (? t?tu): 681-690
  • Chapter 70. Conduct in the Presence of the King ( ? maaraic c?rnto?utal): 691-700
  • Chapter 71. The Knowledge of Indications ( ku?ippa?ital): 701-710
  • Chapter 72. The Knowledge of the Council Chamber ( avaiya?ital): 711-720
  • Chapter 73. Not to dread the Council (? avaiyañc?mai): 721-730
  • Chapter 74. The Land (? nu): 731-740
  • Chapter 75. The Fortification (? ara?): 741-750
  • Chapter 76. Way of Accumulating Wealth ( poru?ceyalvakai): 751-760
  • Chapter 77. The Excellence of an Army ( pa?aimci): 761-770
  • Chapter 78. Military Spirit (? pa?aiccerukku): 771-780
  • Chapter 79. Friendship ( na?pu): 781-790
  • Chapter 80. Investigation in forming Friendships ( na?p?r?ytal): 791-800
  • Chapter 81. Familiarity ( pa?aimai): 801-810
  • Chapter 82. Evil Friendship ( t? na?pu): 811-820
  • Chapter 83. Unreal Friendship (? kna?pu): 821-830
  • Chapter 84. Folly ( p?taimai): 831-840
  • Chapter 85. Ignorance (? pulla?ivmai): 841-850
  • Chapter 86. Hostility (? ikal): 851-860
  • Chapter 87. The Might of Hatred ( pakaimci): 861-870
  • Chapter 88. Knowing the Quality of Hate ( pakaitti?anterital): 871-880
  • Chapter 89. Enmity Within ( u?pakai): 881-890
  • Chapter 90. Not Offending the Great (? periy?raip pi?aiy?mai): 891-900
  • Chapter 91. Being led by Women ( pe?va?iccal): 901-910
  • Chapter 92. Wanton Women (? varaivi?maka?ir): 911-920
  • Chapter 93. Not Drinking Palm-Wine ( kaumai): 921-930
  • Chapter 94. Gaming (Gambling) (? c?tu): 931-940
  • Chapter 95. Medicine (? maruntu): 941-950
  • Chapter 96. Nobility ( ku?imai): 951-960
  • Chapter 97. Honour ( mam): 961-970
  • Chapter 98. Greatness ( perumai): 971-980
  • Chapter 99. Perfectness (? cmai): 981-990
  • Chapter 100. Courtesy ( pa?pu?aimai): 991-1000
  • Chapter 101. Wealth without Benefaction ( ? naiyilcelvam): 1001-1010
  • Chapter 102. Shame ( nu?aimai): 1011-1020
  • Chapter 103. The Way of Maintaining the Family ( ku?iceyalvakai): 1021-1030
  • Chapter 104. Agriculture (? u?avu): 1031-1040
  • Chapter 105. Poverty ( nalkuravu): 1041-1050
  • Chapter 106. Mendicancy (? iravu): 1051-1060
  • Chapter 107. The Dread of Mendicancy ( iravaccam): 1061-1070
  • Chapter 108. Baseness (? kayamai): 1071-1080
Book III--Book of Love (25 chapters)
  • Chapter 109. Mental Disturbance Caused by the Beauty of the Princess (? takaiya?a?ku?uttal): 1081-1090
  • Chapter 110. Recognition of the Signs (of Mutual Love) ( ku?ippa?ital): 1091-1100
  • Chapter 111. Rejoicing in the Embrace ( pu?arccimaki?tal): 1101-1110
  • Chapter 112. The Praise of Her Beauty (? nalampu?ainturaittal): 1111-1120
  • Chapter 113. Declaration of Love's Special Excellence ( k?ta?ci?appuraittal): 1121-1130
  • Chapter 114. The Abandonment of Reserve ( nuttu?avuraittal): 1131-1140
  • Chapter 115. The Announcement of the Rumour ( alara?ivu?uttal): 1141-1150
  • Chapter 116. Separation Unendurable ( piriv?mai): 1151-1160
  • Chapter 117. Complainings (? pa?armelintira?kal): 1161-1170
  • Chapter 118. Eyes Consumed with Grief ( ka?vituppa?ital): 1171-1180
  • Chapter 119. The Pallid Hue (? ? pacappa?uparuvaral): 1181-1190
  • Chapter 120. The Solitary Anguish ( ta?ippa?armikuti): 1191-1200
  • Chapter 121. Sad Memories (? ni?aintavarpulampal): 1201-1210
  • Chapter 122. The Visions of the Night ( ka?avunilaiyuraittal): 1211-1220
  • Chapter 123. Lamentations at Eventide ( po?utukaira?kal): 1221-1230
  • Chapter 124. Wasting Away (? u?uppunala?a?ital): 1231-1240
  • Chapter 125. Soliloquy ( neñco?uki?attal): 1241-1250
  • Chapter 126. Reserve Overcome (? ni?aiya?ital): 1251-1260
  • Chapter 127. Mutual Desire ( avarvayi?vitumpal): 1261-1270
  • Chapter 128. The Reading of the Signs ( ku?ippa?ivu?uttal): 1271-1280
  • Chapter 129. Desire for Reunion ( pu?arccivitumpal): 1281-1290
  • Chapter 130. Expostulation with Oneself ( neñco?upulattal): 1291-1300
  • Chapter 131. Pouting ( pulavi): 1301-1310
  • Chapter 132. Feigned Anger ( pulavi nu?ukkam): 1311-1320
  • Chapter 133. The Pleasures of 'Temporary Variance' (? aluvakai): 1321-1330

Date

The Kural has been dated variously from 300 BCE to 7th century CE. According to traditional accounts, it was the last work of the third Sangam, and was subjected to a divine test (which it passed). The scholars who believe this tradition, such as Somasundara Bharathiar and M Rajamanickam, date the text to as early as 300 BCE. Historian K. K. Pillay assigned it to the early 1st century CE.[1]

Linguist Kamil Zvelebil is certain that Tirukku?a? does not belong to the Sangam period, and dates it to somewhere between 450 and 500 CE.[1] His estimate is based on the language of the text, its allusions to the earlier works, and its borrowing from some Sanskrit treatises.[25] Zvelebil notes that the text features several grammatical innovations, that are absent in the older Sangam literature. The text also features a higher number of Sanskrit loan words compared to these older texts.[26] According to Zvelebil, besides being part of the ancient Tamil literary tradition, the author was also a part of the "one great Indian ethical, didactic tradition," as a few of his verses seem to be translations of the verses in Sanskrit texts such as M?navadharmastra and Kautilya's Arthastra.[27]

S. Vaiyapuri Pillai assigned the work to c. 650 CE, believing that it borrowed from some Sanskrit works of 6th century CE.[1] Zvelebil disagrees with this assessment, pointing out that some of the words that Pillai believed to be Sanskrit loan words have now been proved to be of Dravidian origin by Thomas Burrow and Murray Barnson Emeneau.[27]

Author

"The book without a name by an author without a name."

                                                     --Monsieur Ariel, 1848[19]

Very little is known about Valluvar, the author of the Kural. In his work The Smile of Murugan, Czech Scholar Kamil Zvelebil cites a tradition suggesting he was an outcaste by birth, the issue of a union between a Brahmin man and a Pariah woman. Some think that he was a weaver by caste.[14] He is believed to have been born in the temple town of Mylapore, a locality within the present-day Chennai, and is said to be a simple weaver by profession who wrote the kurals with divine inspiration. He was married to Vasuki. The first instance of the author's name mentioned as "Valluvar" is found to be several centuries later in a song of praise called the Tiruvalluva Maalai.[28] Just as the book remained unnamed at the time of its presentation at the court of the ruler, the author too did not name himself in the writing of the book. Over the centuries that followed, people started calling the work "Tirukkural" and its author as "Thiruvalluvar". Monsieur Ariel, who translated the Kural text into French, thus praised it as "the book without a name by an author without a name."[19] There are also claims and counter-claims as to the authorship of the book and to the exact number of couplets written by Valluvar.

Valluvar is thought to have belonged to either Jainism or Hinduism. This can be observed in his treatment of the concept of ahimsa or non-violence, which is the principal concept of both the religions. Valluvar's treatment of the chapters on vegetarianism and non-killing reflects the Jain precepts, where these are stringently enforced.[14] The three parts that the Kural is divided into, namely, aram (virtue), porul (wealth) and inbam (love), aiming at attaining veedu (ultimate salvation), follow, respectively, the four foundations of Hinduism, namely, dharma, artha, kama and moksha.[16] His mentioning of God Vishnu in couplets 610 and 1103 and Goddess Lakshmi in couplets 167, 408, 519, 565, 568, 616, and 617 suggests the Vaishnavite beliefs of Valluvar. Other eastern beliefs of Valluvar found in the book include previous birth and rebirth, seven births, and some ancient Indian astrological concepts, among others.[29] Despite using these contemporary religious concepts of his time, Valluvar has limited the usage of these terms to a metaphorical sense to explicate the fundamental virtues and ethics, without enforcing any of these religious beliefs in practice. This, chiefly, has made the treatise earn the title Ulaga Podhu Marai (the universal scripture).[29]

There is also the recent claim by Kanyakumari Historical and Cultural Research Centre (KHCRC) that Valluvar was a king who ruled Valluvanadu in the hilly tracts of the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu.[24] The only other book that is attributted to Valluvar other than the Kural text is Gnanavetti, a text that deals with spiritual aspects, due to which the author is also known as "Gnanavettiyan."[30]

Structural plan of the work

Having written by a single author, the Kural literature reveals a single structural plan.[31] The Kural is not an anthology for there is not any later additions to the text.[32] According to Kamil Zvelebil, the content of the Kural text is "undoubtedly patterned."[33] The entire work has been structured very carefully without an allowance for any structural gaps in the text such that every couplet remains indispensable for the structured whole. Thus, one can find two distinct meanings for every couplet in the Kural literature, namely, a structural one and a proverbial one. In their isolated form, that is, when removed from the content-structure, the couplets lose their structural meaning, the most important of the two, with the isolated distiches still remaining charming and interesting in themselves. This simply makes the isolated couplet a wise saying or a moral maxim, "a 'literary proverb' in perfect form, possessing, in varying degree, the prosodic and rhetoric qualities of gnomic poetry."[34] On the other hand, within the content-structure, the couplets acquire their structural meaning in relation to other couplets, forming higher patterns, and finally, in relation to the entire work, they acquire perfection in the totality of their structure.[34]

Tone of the work

Written in poetic form and marked by pragmatic idealism,[35] the Kural text is unique among the ancient literature in terms of both its poetic and its intellectual accomplishments.[36] In poetic terms, it fuses verse and aphoristic form in diction in a "pithy, vigorous, forceful and terse" manner. In intellectual terms, it is written on the basis of secular ethics, expounding a universal, moral and practical attitude towards life. Unlike religious scriptures, the Kural refrains from talking of hopes and promises of the other-worldly life. Rather it speaks of the ways of cultivating one's mind to achieve the other-worldly bliss in the present life itself. By occasionally referring to bliss beyond the worldly life, Valluvar equates what can be achieved in humanly life with what may be attained thereafter.[4] Only in a couple of introductory chapters (Chapters 1 and 3) does Valluvar sound religious. Even here, he maintains a tone that could be acceptable to people of all faiths.[24][37]

It is believed that Valluvar composed every chapter in response to a request to produce ten best couplets on a particular subject. Nevertheless, he seldom shows any concern as to what similes and superlatives he used earlier while writing on other subjects, purposely allowing for some repetition and mild contradictions in ideas one can find in the Kural text. Despite knowing its seemingly contradictory nature from a purist point of view, Valluvar employs this method to emphasise the importance of the given code of ethic. Following are some of the instances where Valluvar employs contradictions to expound the virtues.[24]

  • While in Chapter 93 Valluvar writes on the evils of intoxication, in Chapter 109 he uses the same to show the sweetness of love by saying love is sweeter than wine.
  • To the question "What is wealth of all wealth?" Valluvar points out to two different things, namely, grace (Kural 241) and hearing (Kural 411).
  • In regard to the virtues one should follow dearly even at the expense of other virtues, Valluvar points to veracity (Kural 297), not coveting another's wife (Kural 150), and not being called a slanderer (Kural 181). In essence, however, in Chapter 33 he crowns non-killing as the foremost of all virtues, pushing even the virtue of veracity to the second place (Kural 323).
  • Whereas he says that one can eject what is natural or inborn in him (Kural 376), he indicates that one can overcome the inherent natural flaws by getting rid of laziness (Kural 609).
  • While in Chapter 7 he asserts that the greatest gain men can obtain is by their learned children (Kural 61), in Chapter 13 he says that it is that which is obtained by self-control (Kural 122).

Nevertheless, the basic ideas of Valluvar is found in the introductory section of the Kural, which includes the first four chapters of the text. Valluvar begins this portion with the invocation of God and continues to praise the rain, the vitalizer of all life forms on earth, and ascetics, the wisdom-imparting guide to all beings, before concluding the introduction by emphasizing the value of a?am or virtue.[38] Valluvar extols rain next only to God for it provides food and serves as the basis of a stable economic life by aiding in agriculture, which Valluvar asserts as the most important economic activity later in Book II of the Kural.[38]

"Alone, first of good things, is 'not to slay';
The second is, no untrue word to say."

(Kural 323; Pope, 1886).[39]

The entire writing of all the three books of the Kural text bases a?am or dharma as its cornerstone, which resulted in the Kural being referred to simply as A?am.[40][41][42] The greatest of virtues according to Valluvar is non-killing, followed by veracity,[11][43] which he plainly indicates in couplet 323,[44] and the two greatest sins that Valluvar feels very strongly are ingratitude and meat-eating.[16][43][45] As observed by P. S. Sundaram in the introduction to his work, while "all other sins may be redeemed, but never ingratitude," Valluvar couldn't understand "how anyone could wish to fatten himself by feeding on the fat of others."[16]

Universality

Palm leaf manuscript of the Tirukkural

The Kural is praised for its universality across the globe. The ancient Tamil poet Avvaiyar observed, "Valluvar pierced an atom and injected seven seas into it and compressed it into what we have today as Kural."[46][47] The Russian philosopher Alexander Piatigorsky called it chef d'oeuvre of both Indian and world literature "due not only to the great artistic merits of the work but also to the lofty humane ideas permeating it which are equally precious to the people all over the world, of all periods and countries."[7]G. U. Pope called its author "a bard of universal man."[48] According to Albert Schweitzer, "there hardly exists in the literature of the world a collection of maxims in which we find so much of lofty wisdom."[47]Leo Tolstoy called it "the Hindu Kural,"[49] and Mahatma Gandhi called it "a textbook of indispensable authority on moral life" and went on to say, "The maxims of Valluvar have touched my soul. There is none who has given such a treasure of wisdom like him."[47]Sir A. Grant said, "Humility, charity and forgiveness of injuries, being Christian qualities, are not described by Aristotle. Now these three are everywhere forcibly inculcated by the Tamil Moralist."[50]Edward Jewitt Robinson said that the Kural contains all things and there is nothing which it does not contain.[47] Rev. John Lazarus said, "No Tamil work can ever approach the purity of the Kural. It is a standing repute to modern Tamil."[47] According to K. M. Munshi, "Thirukkural is a treatise par excellence on the art of living."[47]Sri Aurobindo stated, "Thirukkural is gnomic poetry, the greatest in planned conception and force of execution ever written in this kind."[47]Monsieur Ariel, who translated and published the third part of the Kural to French in 1848, called it "a masterpiece of Tamil literature, one of the highest and purest expressions of human thought."[19] According to Rev. Emmons E. White, "Thirukkural is a synthesis of the best moral teachings of the world."[47]Rajaji commented, "It is the gospel of love and a code of soul-luminous life. The whole of human aspiration is epitomized in this immortal book, a book for all ages."[47]Zakir Hussain, former President of India, said, "Thirukkural is a treasure house of worldly knowledge, ethical guidance and spiritual wisdom."[47]

Along with Nalatiyar, another work on ethics and morality from the Sangam period, the Kural is praised for its veracity. An age-old Tamil maxim has it that "banyan and acacia maintain oral health; Four and Two maintain moral health," where "Four" and "Two" refer to the quatrains and couplets of Nalatiyar and the Kural, respectively.

While it has been widely acknowledged that Valluvar was of Jain origin[4][14] and the Kural to its most part was inspired from Jain, Hindu and other ancient Indian philosophies,[14] owing to its universality and non-denominational nature, almost every religious group in India and across the world, including Christianity, has claimed the work for itself. For example, G. U. Pope speaks of the book as an "echo of the 'Sermon on the Mount.'" In the Introduction to his English translation of the Kural, Pope even claims, "I cannot feel any hesitation in saying that the Christian Scriptures were among the sources from which the poet derived his inspiration." However, the chapters on the ethics of vegetarianism (Chapter 26) and non-killing (Chapter 33), which the Kural emphasizes unambiguously unlike the Bible or other Abrahamic religious texts, suggest that the ethics of the Kural is rather a reflection of the Jaina moral code than of Christian ethics.[14]

Comparison with other ancient literature

Unlike the mystic philosopher of Lao Tzu or the law-giving prophets of the Judaeo-Christian tradition, Valluvar remained a philosopher concerning with the day-to-day conduct of a common individual.[24] Scholars compares the codes of virtue, nobility, propriety, just governance, conduct, social obligations, self-control, education and knowledge with other ancient thoughts such as the Confucian sayings in Lun Yu, Hitopadesa, Panchatantra, Manusmriti, Tirumandiram, Book of Proverbs in the Bible, sayings of the Buddha in Dhammapada, ethical works of Persian origin such as Gulistan and Bastan.[24]

Similarities with ancient Indian literature

Several ancient Indian literature such as Manusmriti, Kautilya's Arthashastra, Kamandaka's Nitisara bear likeness with the second book (Porul), the book on wealth, of the Kural text, while Vatsyayana's Kamasutra shares similarities with Inbam, the third book of the Kural text (the book on love).[16] However, the attitude and approach of Valluvar in expounding the virtues remain entirely different from any of these contemporary works. While the Artha Shastra is based on subtle statecraft, the Porul of the Kural text bases morality and benevolence as its cornerstones.[51] The social hierarchies and discrimination found in Manusmriti are contrasted with Valluvar's concept of universal brotherhood and oneness of humanity. Unlike Kamasutra, which is all about eros and techniques of sexual fulfillment, the Kural text of Inbam remains a poetic appreciation of flowering human love as explicated by the Sangam period's concept of intimacy, known as aham in the Tamil literary tradition.[4]

Similarities with Confucian thoughts

The Kural text and the Confucian sayings recorded in the classic Analects of Chinese (called Lun Yu, meaning "Sacred Sayings") resemble each other in many ways. Both Valluvar and Confucius focused on the behaviors and moral conducts of a common person. Similar to Valluvar, Confucius advocated legal justice embracing human principles, courtesy, and filial piety, besides the virtues of benevolence, righteousness, loyalty and trustworthiness as foundations of life. Incidentally, Valluvar differed from Confucius in two respects. Firstly, unlike Confucius, Valluvar was also a poet. Secondly, Confucius did not deal with the subject of conjugal love, for which Valluvar devoted an entire division in his work.[52]

Publication of the work

First known edition of the Kural, published in Tamil, in 1812.

Save for the highly educated circle of scholars and elites, the Kural remained largely unknown to the outside world for close to one-and-a-half millennia. It had been passed on as word of mouth by parents to their children and by preceptors to their students for generations within the Tamil-speaking regions of South India. It was not until 1595 when the first translation of the work appeared in Malayalam that the work became known to the wider circle outside the Tamil-speaking communities.[53] It was only in 1812 that the work first came to print, when the Kural text was published in Tamil, chiefly by the efforts of the then Collector of Madras Francis Whyte Ellis, who established the "Chennai Kalvi Sangam."[54] It was only in 1835 that Indians were permitted to establish printing press. Thus the Kural became the first book to be published in Tamil.[55]

Commentaries and translations

Commentary refers to prosaic interpretations written by various persons for the original verse form of the Kural couplets. These commentaries are chiefly written in Tamil by pioneer writers over the millennia. Translation, on the other hand, refers to any interpretation, either in prose or in verse, verbatim or otherwise, of the Kural couplets in other languages. Thus, any commentary written in a language other than Tamil is considered a prose translation of the Tamil original in that particular language.

Commentaries

The Kural is arguably the most reviewed of all works in Tamil literature, and almost every major writer has written commentaries (explanation in prose) on it. There have been several commentaries written on the Kural over the centuries. There were at least ten medieval commentaries written by pioneer poets of which only six are available today. The ten canonical medieval commentators include Manakkudavar (10th century CE), Dharumar, Dhamatthar, Nacchar, Paridhi, Thirumalaiyar, Mallar, Kaliperumal or Pari Perumal (11th century CE), Kaalingar (12th century CE), and Parimelazhagar (late 13th century CE). Of these, only the works of Manakkudavar, Paridhi, Kaalingar, Pari Perumal, and Parimelazhagar are available today. The works of Dharumar, Dhaamatthar, and Nacchar are only partially available. The commentaries by Thirumalaiyar and Mallar are lost. The pioneer among these commentators are Manakkudavar and Parimelazhagar.[4][29] Several commentaries started appearing in the 19th and the 20th centuries. Some of the commentaries of the 20th century include those by V. O. Chidambaram Pillai, Thiru Vi Ka, Bharathidasan, M. Varadarajan, Namakkal kavignar, Devaneya Pavanar, M. Karunanithi, and Solomon Pappaiah.

Translations

Bas-relief inscriptions of the Kural couplets at Valluvar Kottam

The first translation known of the Kural text is a Malayalam translation that appeared in about 1595. However, the manuscript remained unpublished and was first reported by the Annual Report of the Cochin Archeological Department for the year 1933 to 1934.[53] The Christian missionaries who came to India during the colonial era, inspired by the similarities of the Christian ideals found in the Kural, started translating the text into various European languages.[56] The Latin translation of the Kural, the first of the translations into European languages, was made by Constantius Joseph Beschi in 1730. However, he translated only the first two parts, viz., virtue and wealth, leaving out the section on love assuming that it would be inappropriate for a Christian missionary to do so. The first French translation was brought about by an unknown author by about 1767 that went unnoticed. The first available French version was by Monsieur Ariel in 1848. Again, he did not translate the whole work but only parts of it. The first German translation was made by Dr. Karl Graul, who published it in 1856 both at London and Leipzig. Graul's translation was unfortunately incomplete due to his premature death.[57] The first, and incomplete, English translations were made by N. E. Kindersley in 1794 and then by Francis Whyte Ellis in 1812. While Kindersley translated a selection of the Kural text, Ellis translated 120 couplets in all--69 of them in verse and 51 in prose.[54][58][a][b]W. H. Drew translated the first two parts in prose in 1840 and 1852, respectively. It contained the original Tamil text of the Kural, Parimelazhagar's commentary, Ramanuja Kavirayar's amplification of the commentary and Drew's English prose translation. However, Drew was able to translate only 630 couplets, and the remaining were made by John Lazarus, a native missionary. Like Beschi, Drew did not translate the part on love.[59] The first complete English translation of the Kural was the one by George Uglow Pope in 1886, which brought the Kural to the western world.[60]

By the end of the 20th century, there were about 24 translations of the Kural in English alone, by both native and non-native scholars, including those by V. V. S. Aiyar, K. M. Balasubramaniam, Shuddhananda Bharati, A. Chakravarti, M. S. Purnalingam Pillai, C. Rajagopalachari, P. S. Sundaram, V. R. Ramachandra Dikshitar, G. Vanmikanathan, Kasturi Srinivasan, S. N. Sriramadesikan, and K. R. Srinivasa Iyengar.[61] At present, the Kural has been translated into 37 languages.[62] It is the most translated Tamil literature and also the most translated non-religious text of India.

It is also said that the work has also been translated into "Vaagriboli," the language of the Narikuravas, a tribal community in Tamil Nadu.[63]

Translational difficulties

With a highly compressed prosodic form, the Kural text employs the intricately complex Kural venba metre, known for its eminent suitability to gnomic poetry.[64] This form, which Zvelebil calls "a marvel of brevity and condensation," is closely connected with the structural properties of the Tamil language and has historically presented extreme difficulties to its translators.[65] Talking about translating the Kural into other languages, H. A. Popley observes, "it is impossible in any translation to do justice to the beauty and force of the original."[66] Zvelebil claims that it is impossible to truly appreciate the maxims found in the Kural couplets through a translation but rather that the Kural has to be read and understood in its original Tamil form.[26]

Besides these inherent difficulties in translating the Kural, some scholars have attempted to either read their own ideas into the Kural couplets or deliberately misinterpret the message to make it conform to their preconceived notions. The Latin translation by Father Beshi, for instance, contains several such mistranslations noticed by modern scholars. According to V. Ramasamy, "Beschi is purposely distorting the message of the original when he renders ? as 'the sea of miserable life' and the phrase as 'sea of this birth' which has been translated by others as 'the sea of many births'. Beschi means thus 'those who swim the vast sea of miseries'. The concept of rebirth or many births for the same soul is contrary to Christian principle and belief."[67]

Memorials

Statue of Valluvar at SOAS, University of London.

Valluvar has been highly venerated as a poet-saint over the centuries. In the early 16th century, a temple was constructed in Mylapore, Chennai, in honor of Valluvar. It was extensively renovated in the 1970s.[68] There are also temples for Valluvar at Periya Kalayamputhur, Thondi, Kanjoor Thattanpady, Senapathy, and Vilvarani.[69]

In 1976, Valluvar Kottam, a monument to honor the Kural literature and its author, was constructed in Chennai. The chief element of the monument includes a 39-m-high chariot, a replica of the chariot in the temple town of Thiruvarur, and it contains a life-size statue of Valluvar. All the 1,330 verses of the Kural text are inscribed on bas-relief in the corridors in the main hall.

Statue of Valluvar at Kanyakumari.

Statues of Valluvar have been erected across the globe, including the ones at Kanyakumari, Chennai, Bengaluru, Haridwar, Puttalam, Singapore, and London.[70] The tallest of these is the 133-feet (40.6 m) stone statue of Valluvar erected in 2000 atop a small island in the town of Kanyakumari on the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula, at the confluence of the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean.[71] This statue is currently India's second tallest.

Legacy

The Kural remains one of the most influential texts of ancient India and the chief text of the Tamil language, influencing generations of scholars at a pan-Indian expanse.[53] The work had influenced people from all walks of lives, which can be inferred from the parallels found in the literatures of various languages within the Indian Subcontinent.[72] Although translations of the work into other Indian languages were not available until at least the 16th century, the work had been studied by other language scholars for centuries before the British invasion of India.[53] With the translations of the Kural into European languages starting from the early 18th century, Kural began to have a global influence.

After its writing, the Kural experienced a few centuries of hiatus, dubbed as the "Dark Age," following which it enjoyed a revival period when the teachings of the Kural started to influence people greatly.[73] A notable example was during the Pallava Dynasty when the people had to face the Kalabhra invasion around AD 250.[38] Another example was from the period of Karikalan, when the Kural influenced the Chola ruler to undertake several historically significant agricultural reforms, including reclaiming lands and building dams.[74]

Kural remains the only work that was honored with an exclusive work of compiled paeans in the Sangam literature, authored by 55 different poets, including legendary ones.[4] Kural also remains the most cited work during the Sangam era and the most cited Tamil work ever since. Classical works such as the Purananuru, Manimekalai, Silappathikaram all cite the Kural by various names, bestowing numerous titles to the work that was originally untitled by its author.[75]

Leo Tolstoy was inspired by the concept of non-violence found in the Kural when he read a German version of the book, who in turn instilled the concept in Mahatma Gandhi through his A Letter to a Hindu when young Gandhi sought his guidance.[47][49] Mahatma Gandhi then took to studying the Kural in prison.[4].

See also

Notes

a. ^ A stone inscription found on the walls of a well at the Periya palayathamman temple at Royapettai indicates Ellis' regard for Thiruvalluvar. It is one of the 27 wells dug on the orders of Ellis in 1818, when Madras suffered a severe drinking water shortage. In the long inscription Ellis praises Thiruvalluvar and uses a couplet from Thirukkural to explain his actions during the drought. When he was in charge of the Madras treasury and mint, he also issued a gold coin bearing Thiruvalluvar's image. The Tamil inscription on his grave makes note of his commentary of Thirukkural.Mahadevan, Iravatham. "The Golden coin depicting Thiruvalluvar -2". Varalaaru.com (in Tamil). Retrieved 2010. 

b. ^ The original inscription in Tamil written in the Asiriyapa meter and first person perspective: (The Kural he quotes is in Italics)
? | ? | ? | ? | ? ? | | ? | ? ? | ? ? | ? ? ? ? | | ? ? | | ..? | 1818 ? | ? ? | ? | | ? | | ?.

Citations

  1. ^ a b c d e Kamil Zvelebil 1975, p. 124.
  2. ^ Blackburn, Cutler (2000). "Corruption and Redemption: The Legend of Valluvar and Tamil Literary History". Modern Aian Studies. 34 (2): 449-482. doi:10.1017/S0026749X00003632. Retrieved 2007. 
  3. ^ M. S. Pillai 1994.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Mohan Lal 1992, pp. 4333-4334.
  5. ^ a b Kamil Zvelebil 1973, pp. 155-156.
  6. ^ N. Sanjeevi 1973, pp. 10-16.
  7. ^ a b Alexander Pyatigorsky n.d., p. 515.
  8. ^ Cutler, Norman (1992). "Interpreting Thirukkural: the role of commentary in the creation of a text". The Journal of the American Oriental Society. 122. Retrieved 2007. 
  9. ^ N. Velusamy and Moses Michael Faraday (Eds.) 2017, pp. 7-13.
  10. ^ I. Sundaramurthi (Ed.) 2000, p. 624.
  11. ^ a b Mohan Lal 1992, pp. 4341-4342.
  12. ^ N. V. Subbaraman 2015, pp. 39-42.
  13. ^ "Thirukkural translations in different languages of the world". Retrieved 2016. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f Kamil Zvelebil 1973, pp. 156-171.
  15. ^ N. Velusamy and Moses Michael Faraday (Eds.) 2017, pp. 63-80.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h P. S. Sundaram 1990, pp. 7-16.
  17. ^ 'Navalar' R. Nedunchezhiyan 1991.
  18. ^ Kowmareeshwari (Ed.) 2012, pp. iv-vi.
  19. ^ a b c d G. U. Pope 1886, pp. i (Introduction).
  20. ^ Mohan Lal 1992, pp. 4333, 4341.
  21. ^ N. Velusamy and Moses Michael Faraday (Eds.) 2017, pp. 54-55.
  22. ^ a b c Ravindra Kumar 1999, pp. 91-92.
  23. ^ Sujit Mukherjee 1999, pp. 392-393.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g SSP 2012, pp. vii-xvi.
  25. ^ Kamil Zvelebil 1973, p. 156.
  26. ^ a b Kamil Zvelebil 1973, p. 169.
  27. ^ a b Kamil Zvelebil 1973, p. 171.
  28. ^ "Tirukkural". Retrieved 2007. 
  29. ^ a b c P. R. Natarajan 2008, pp. 1-6.
  30. ^ Aranga Ramalingam 1994.
  31. ^ Kamil Zvelebil 1973, pp. 160.
  32. ^ Kamil Zvelebil 1973, pp. 158-160.
  33. ^ Kamil Zvelebil 1973, pp. 163.
  34. ^ a b Kamil Zvelebil 1973, pp. 158-163.
  35. ^ Shailesh, Kirti (n.d.). "List of Top 12 Famous Economist of India". EconomicsDiscussion.net. Retrieved 2018. 
  36. ^ Mohan Lal 1992, pp. 4333.
  37. ^ N. Velusamy and Moses Michael Faraday (Eds.) 2017, pp. 36-37.
  38. ^ a b c T. N. Hajela 2008, p. 895.
  39. ^ G. U. Pope 1886, p. 44.
  40. ^ Alathur Kilar, pp. Verse 34.
  41. ^ Kowmareeshwari (Ed.) 2012, pp. 46-47.
  42. ^ N. Velusamy and Moses Michael Faraday (Eds.) 2017, pp. 55.
  43. ^ a b R. P. Sethupillai 1956, pp. 34-36.
  44. ^ Valluvar, pp. Verse 323.
  45. ^ Ki. Vaa. Jagannathan 1963, pp. 162-163.
  46. ^ Avvaiyar, pp. Verse 55.
  47. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k M. Rajaram 2009, pp. xviii-xxi.
  48. ^ M. Rajaram 2015, p. vi.
  49. ^ a b Tolstoy, Leo (14 December 1908). "A Letter to A Hindu: The Subjection of India-Its Cause and Cure". The Literature Network. The Literature Network. Retrieved 2012. THE HINDU KURAL 
  50. ^ G. U. Pope 1886, pp. xii (Introduction).
  51. ^ T. N. Hajela 2008, pp. 901-902.
  52. ^ Anonymous 1999, p. vii.
  53. ^ a b c d N. Sanjeevi 1973, pp. 44-49.
  54. ^ a b Stuart Blackburn 2006, p. 92-95.
  55. ^ Madhavan, Karthik (21 June 2010). "Tamil saw its first book in 1578". The Hindu. Coimbatore: Kasturi & Sons. Retrieved 2017. 
  56. ^ V. Ramasamy 2001, pp. 28-47.
  57. ^ V. Ramasamy 2001, pp. 30-31.
  58. ^ Kamil Zvelebil 1992.
  59. ^ V. Ramasamy 2001, p. 31.
  60. ^ V. Ramasamy 2001, p. 32.
  61. ^ V. Ramasamy 2001, p. 36.
  62. ^ "Thirukkural translations in different languages of the world". www.oocities.org. Retrieved . 
  63. ^ "Thirukkural now in Arabic". The Hindu. Chennai: The Hindu. 25 March 2013. Retrieved 2017. 
  64. ^ Kamil Zvelebil 1973, pp. 166.
  65. ^ Kamil Zvelebil 1973, pp. 167.
  66. ^ Herbert Arthur Popley 1931, pp. x.
  67. ^ V. Ramasamy 2001, p. 33.
  68. ^ Pradeep Chakravarthy and Ramesh Ramachandran (August 16-31, 2009). "Thiruvalluvar's shrine". Madras Musings. XIX (9). Retrieved 2017. 
  69. ^ Rama Vedanayagam 2017, p. 113.
  70. ^ Rama Vedanayagam 2017, pp. 110-111.
  71. ^ "CM unveils Thiruvalluvar statue". The Hindu. Kanyakumari: Kasturi & Sons. 2 January 2000. Retrieved 2016. 
  72. ^ N. Sanjeevi 1973, pp. 50-55.
  73. ^ T. N. Hajela 2008, pp. 894-895.
  74. ^ T. N. Hajela 2008, p. 899.
  75. ^ Ki. Vaa. Jagannathan 1963, pp. 16-30.

References

Primary sources (Tamil)

Secondary sources

  • Anonymous (1999). Confucius: A Biography (Trans. Lun Yu, in English). Confucius Publishing Co. Ltd. 
  • Stuart Blackburn (2006). Print, folklore, and nationalism in colonial South India. Orient Blackswan. ISBN 978-81-7824-149-4. 
  • T. N. Hajela (2008). History of Economic Thought (First edition 1967). Ane's Student Edition (17th ed.). New Delhi: Ane Books. ISBN 978-81-8052-220-8. 
  • Ki. Vaa. Jagannathan (1963). , ? [Tirukkural, Aaraicchi Pathippu] (3rd ed.). Coimbatore: Ramakrishna Mission Vidhyalayam. 
  • Kowmareeshwari (Ed.) (2012). , [Agananuru, Purananuru]. Sanga Ilakkiyam (in Tamil). 3 (1st ed.). Chennai: Saradha Pathippagam. 
  • Kowmareeshwari (Ed.) (2012). ? [Pathinen Keezhkanakku Noolgal]. Sanga Ilakkiyam (in Tamil). 5 (1st ed.). Chennai: Saradha Pathippagam. 
  • Ravindra Kumar (1999). Morality and Ethics in Public Life. New Delhi: Mittal Publications. ISBN 978-81-7099-715-3. Retrieved 2010. 
  • Mohan Lal (1992). Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature: Sasay to Zorgot. Sahitya Akademi. ISBN 978-81-260-1221-3. 
  • Sujit Mukherjee (1999). A dictionary of Indian literature. Orient Blackswan. ISBN 978-81-250-1453-9. Retrieved 2010. 
  • P. R. Natarajan (2008). Thirukkural: Aratthuppaal (in Tamil) (1st ed.). Chennai: Uma Padhippagam. 
  • 'Navalar' R. Nedunchezhiyan (1991). (Tirukkural Navalar Thelivurai). Chennai. 
  • M. S. Pillai (1994). Tamil literature. New Delhi: Asian Education Service. ISBN 81-206-0955-7. 
  • G. U. Pope (1886). The Sacred Kurral of Tiruvalluva Nayanar (First ed.). New Delhi: Asian Educational Services. ISBN 8120600223. 
  • Herbert Arthur Popley (1931). The Sacred Kural. Calcutta and London. 
  • Alexander Pyatigorsky (n.d.). quoted in K. Muragesa Mudaliar's "Polity in Tirukkural". Thirumathi Sornammal Endowment Lectures on Tirukkural. 
  • M. Rajaram (2009). Thirukkural: Pearls of Inspiration (1st ed.). New Delhi: Rupa Publications. 
  • M. Rajaram (2015). Glory of Thirukkural. 915 (1st ed.). Chennai: International Institute of Tamil Studies. ISBN 978-93-85165-95-5. 
  • Aranga Ramalingam (1994). Thirukkuralil Siddhar Neri. Chennai: Bharati Puthakalayam. 
  • V. Ramasamy (2001). On Translating Tirukkural (1st ed.). Chennai: International Institute of Tamil Studies. 
  • N. Sanjeevi (1973). First All India Tirukkural Seminar Papers (2nd ed.). Chennai: University of Madras. 
  • R. P. Sethupillai (1956). [Thiruvalluvar Noolnayam] (in Tamil) (10th ed.). Chennai: Kazhaga Veliyeedu. 
  • SSP (2012). Thirukkural: Couplets with English Transliteration and Meaning (1st ed.). Chennai: Shree Shenbaga Pathippagam. 
  • N. V. Subbaraman (2015). ? [Valluvam Vaalndha Vallalar]. Chennai: Unique Media Integrators. ISBN 978-93-83051-95-3. 
  • P. S. Sundaram (1990). Tiruvalluvar Kural (1st ed.). Gurgaon: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-01-44000-09-8. 
  • I. Sundaramurthi (Ed.) (2000). [Kuralamudham] (in Tamil) (1st ed.). Chennai: Tamil Valarcchi Iyakkagam. 
  • Rama Vedanayagam (2017). ? ? ? ? ? [Tiruvalluvamaalai: Moolamum Eliya Urai Vilakkamum] (in Tamil) (1st ed.). Chennai: Manimekalai Prasuram. 
  • N. Velusamy and Moses Michael Faraday (Eds.) (2017). Why Should Thirukkural Be Declared the National Book of India? (in Tamil and English) (First ed.). Chennai: Unique Media Integrators. ISBN 978-93-85471-70-4. 
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Further reading

  • Blackburn, Stuart. (2000, May). Corruption and Redemption: The Legend of Valluvar and Tamil Literary History. Modern Asian Studies, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 449-482.
  • Das, G. N. (1997). Readings from Thirukkural (Sanskrit text with English translation). Abhinav Publications. 134 pp. ISBN 8-1701-7342-6.
  • Diaz, S. M. (2000). Tirukkural with English Translation and Explanation. (Mahalingam, N., General Editor; 2 volumes), Coimbatore, India: Ramanandha Adigalar Foundation.
  • Drew, W. H. Translated by John Lazarus, Thirukkural (Original in Tamil with English Translation), ISBN 81-206-0400-8
  • Gnanasambandan, A. S. (1994). Kural Kanda Vaazhvu. Chennai: Gangai Puthaga Nilayam.
  • Karunanidhi, M. (1996). Kuraloviam. Chennai: Thirumagal Nilayam.
  • Klimkeit, Hans-Joachim. (1971). Anti-religious Movement in Modern South India (in German). Bonn, Germany: Ludwig Roehrscheid Publication, pp. 128-133.
  • Kuppusamy, R. (n.d.). Tirkkural: Thatthuva, Yoga, Gnyana Urai [Hardbound]. Salem: Leela Padhippagam. 1067 pp. https://vallalars.blogspot.in/2017/05/thirukkural-thathuva-yoga-gnayna-urai.html
  • Nehring, Andreas. (2003). Orientalism and Mission (in German). Wiesbaden, Germany: Harrasowitz Publication.
  • Subramaniyam, Ka Naa. (1987). Tiruvalluvar and his Tirukkural. New Delhi: Bharatiya Jnanpith.
  • Thirukkural with English Couplets L'Auberson, Switzerland: Editions ASSA, ISBN 978-2-940393-17-6.
  • Thirunavukkarasu, K. D. (1973). Tributes to Tirukkural: A compilation. In: First All India Tirukkural Seminar Papers. Madras: University of Madras Press. Pp 124.
  • Varadharasan, Mu. (1974). Thirukkual Alladhu Vaazhkkai Vilakkam. Chennai: Pari Nilayam.
  • Varadharasan, Mu. (1996). Tamil Ilakkiya Varalaru. New Delhi: Sakitya Academy.
  • Viswanathan, R. (2011). Thirukkural: Universal Tamil Scripture (Along with the Commentary of Parimelazhagar in English) (Including Text in Tamil and Roman). New Delhi: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. 278 pp. ISBN 978-8-1727-6448-7
  • Yogi Shuddhananda Bharati (Trans.). (1995, May 15). Thirukkural with English Couplets. Chennai: Tamil Chandror Peravai.
  • Zvelevil, K. (1962). Foreword. In: Tirukkural by Tiruvalluvar (Translated by K. M. Balasubramaniam). Madras: Manali Lakshmana Mudaliar Specific Endowments. 327 pages.

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Tirukural
 



 

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