Thursday, December 22, 2011


At the onset would like to state that I am not an authority in the subject, and I endeavour to write purely out of personal interest, and so if there are any discrepancies or deficiencies in the content, do let me know. Would gladly rectify.

Thirukkural a classic, written two thousand years ago, is still looked upon as a remarkable work of a genius nonpareil. It is even difficult to comprehend the extent of the poet, Thiruvalluvar’s wisdom, perception and insight into the multitudinous fragments that make up life.  As many are aware, the literary work consists of 1330 couplets, under three main divisions – Arathupal (Virtue), Porutpal (Wealth) and Kamathupal(Love). But the amazing part is the 133 subdivisions, each with 10 couplets, which covers almost the entire scheme of life. 

Going through the headings of these subdivisions one is left with a deep awe and admiration for the poet, who has covered topics as Therinthu Seyalvagai (Acting with fore-thought), Nilayamai (Instability), Sengonmai(Upright Government), Vinai seyal vagai (Mode of Action), Avai arithal (Judging the Audience), Natpu Aarayuthal (Choice of Friends), Nanri il selvam ( Niggardliness), kurippu arithal (Ascertaining other’s intentions), Pasapuru paruvuthal (suffering from sallowness), pulavi (feigning dislike) and many more.

Shall just share a few, which appealed to me. It is a treasure trove, which I intend to fish, for more such gems.
நன்றே தரினும் நடுவு இகந்து ஆம் ஆக்கத்தை 
அன்றே அழிய விடல்.

Foresake even in the moment (of acquisition) that gain which, though it should bring advantage, is not fair to all.

எப்பொருள் யார்யார்வாய் கேட்பினும் அப்பொருள் 
மெய்பொருள் காண்ப தறிவு.
To discern the truth in everything, by whomsoever spoken, this is wisdom.

Quality of Action
வினைத்திட்பம் என்ப தொருவன் மனத்திட்பம்
மற்றைய எல்லாம் பிற.
Firmness in action is simply one's firmness of mind; all other abilities are not so.

Separation from loved one
நனவினான் நல்கா தவரை கனவினால்
காண்டலின் உண்டென் உயிர்.
My life lasts because, in my dream I behold him who does not favour me in my waking hours.

 A heavy topic maybe, but somehow felt that none of these couplets come across as irrelevant, even in today's context, which is what makes it an irrefutable 'reference book'.

(Translation version is available, of the above book. Get one for enlightenment!)


siva said...

Good Vaidegi

One of my favourites

தற்காத்து தற்கொண்டார் பேணி தகைசான்ற
சொற்காத்து சோர்விலாள் பெண்

drift wood said...


First, a merry christmas to you :)

Hadn't heard about this work; loved the selected couplets you've put up. Thanks for the link too.

vaidegi j said...

hmm..a tough act to follow! :)
there were too many good ones to pick. will be doing it at leisure.

@ dw

:) Hope yours was a merry one too!

If you really havent heard about it, get one, or better still get a Bengali translation, maybe the poetic essence will be better captured. Try this one, if you can - Nalini Mohan, Sanyal, thirukural, Calcutta, 1939.