Thirukkural - The Treasure House of Worldly Knowledge
About Saint Tiruvalluvar
In the century before Christ, Tiruvalluvar lived with his devoted wife Vasuki in Mylapore, a suburb of modern Chennai, the capital of the State of Tamil Nadu, India. He was a renowned philosopher and a man of great wisdom on par with Socrates and Confucious. And beyond that, he was a Saint and a great Poet too. Many stories have been written about this Great Saint, Philosopher and Poet.
Thirukkural is the world’s foremost , finest and fantastic piece of poetical literature ever written. It covers every aspect of life in short poems of two lines. This literary marvel written by Saint Thiruvalluvar is traced by the Historians to the year 30 B.C. It is composed of 133 chapters with 10 expositions under each of them making them to a total of 1330 couplets. Each one of these couplets is noted for its brevity, rich meaning, breadth of vision and choice of diction, all at once noble and elevating. Contemporary poets have compared each couplet to a tiny mustard seed possessing within seven seas of knowledge inlaid.
Thirukkural is among the oldest literary works of the world. Erudite contemporary Poets and the great Kings of those days acknowledged the literary greatness of this Masterpiece imparting
Self Development Skills, Communication and Public Speaking Skills,
Family Management and Parenting Skills, Right Attitudes towards Work,
Money, Friends and Enemies, Managerial Skills and Good Governance
And the skills to make you a Person of Repute
It is said that at the time of its first presentation to the King’s court, the Pandyan King wanted to check its greatness. In the presence of all poets and the public, he put it to test by placing the Palm Leaves on which the Thirukkural was written along with those of other contemporary works on a golden lotus and allowed it to float in the Temple Tank at the famous temple of Madurai Meenakshi. The sanctified Golden Lotus that would recognize only masterpieces is said to have rejected all other works and retained only the Thirukkural.
But lost to the community for some time, it was again compiled and published in 600 A.D. Since then, Thirukkural has been widely translated. Apart from Indian languages, it has been translated in several foreign languages including in English, French, German and Latin. One of the reasons for its wide translation in different languages of the world is the undeniable fact that the ethics and the values it carries are applicable to all religions, all countries and all times. The following are few of the tributes in honor of Thirukkural from the world scholars of yester years.
It is a book of indispensable authority on moral life. The maxims have touched my soul.
It has a charming effect. It is truly an apple of gold in the network of silver.
- Dr. Graul
Thirukkural is a treatise par excellence on the art of living.
- Dr. K. M. Munshi
The KURAL, may be called a mandatory ethics.
- Dr E. H. Hopkins
This Blog reflects my understanding of Thirukkural. For easy understanding by others, I have re-arranged the Kurals and I may be pardoned for re-arranging these Kurals as per my own subject classification.
Keeping in view the overall wisdom that Saint Thiruvalluvar wanted to impart through his Kurals, I have re-arranged the Kurals under 12 titles as under:
3. Positive Attitudes
4. Keep away from Bad Habits
5. Communication Skills
6. Family Management
7. Right Attitudes towards Money
8. Right Attitudes towards Work
9. Managerial Skills
10. Good Governance
11. Environmental Awareness; and
While re-arranging the Kurals as above, I have taken care to indicate the Kural Number for any reference with any Publication of Thirukkural.
The lofty ideals enshrined in Thirukkural transcend the barriers of race, creed, country and time. It carries with it the comprehensive philosophy of life for all ages. To stay motivated physically, mentally and spiritually and to get ethical guidance and spiritual wisdom, keep referring to this Blog and benefit from this treasure house of worldly knowledge.
I would like to record my grateful thanks to my Son-in-Law, Shri R. Parthasarathi, who had been instrumental to my making the above translation and re-categorisation. --- R. Raghunathan