Tirukkuṛaḷ

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Tirukkuṟaḷ (Tamil: திருக்குறள் also known as the Kural), sometimes spelt 'Thirukkural, is a classic of couplets or Kurals (1330 rhyming Tamil couplets) or aphorisms.[1][2] It was authored by Thiruvalluvar, a poet who is said to have lived anytime between 2nd century BCE and 5th century CE.[3] Most believe he wrote Thirukkural in 30 BC which is part of Tamil Sangam Period.[citation needed] It is one of the Tamil books of Law.

The Thirukkural 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 known: Tamil marai (Tamil Vedas); poyyamozhi (words that never fail); and Deiva nool (divine text).[4] The book is considered to precede Manimekalai and Silapathikaram since they both acknowledge the Kural text.[5]

Thirukkural (or the Kural) is a collection of 1330 Tamil couplets organised into 133 chapters. Each chapter has a specific subject ranging from "ploughing a piece of land" to "ruling a country". It preaches simplicity and truth throughout its verses.

It has been translated to various other languages.[6] Many Tamil researchers and scholars including G.U. Pope have translated the Tirukkuṟaḷ to English.

Sections[edit]

Thirukkural is structured into 133 chapters, each containing 10 couplets, thus a total of 1330 couplets.[7] The 133 chapters are grouped into three sections:[7][8]

  • (Tamilஅறம், aram ?) righteousness
  • (Tamilபொருள், poruḷ ?) wealth and
  • (Tamilஇன்பம், inbam ?) love

While Aram and kaamam discuss about ethical living in private life, Porul deals with public affairs.

According to the LIFCO Tamil-Tamil-English dictionary, the Tamil word Kural literally means "short verse", and is typified by the Venpa metre that consists of two lines. In the aspect of metre & brevity, and the profoundity of expression, Thirukkural comes under one of the four categories of Venpas (Tamil verses) called Kural Venpa.

A couplet or Kural consists of seven 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, Thirukkural is a cir formed by combining the two words Thiru and Kural, i.e. Thiru + Kural = Thirukkural.

Aram contains 380 verses, Porul with 700 and Inbam with 250.[7] Couplets and the topics go like this: 40 couplets on God, Rain, Virtue and Ascetics, 200 couplets on Domestic Virtue, 140 couplets on Higher Virtue based on Grace, 250 couplets on Royalty, 100 couplets on Ministers of State, 220 couplets on the Essential requirements of Administration, 130 couples on Morality, both positive and negative, 250 couplets on Human Love and Passion.

The Authorship and period of composition[edit]

There are claims and counter claims as to the authorship of the book and to the exact number of couplets written by Thiruvalluvar. The first instance of the author's name mentioned as Thiruvalluvar is found to be several centuries later in a song of praise called Garland of Thiruvalluvar in Thiruvalluva Malai.[9]

Other names and Praises[edit]

Thirukural is praised with many names such as:[10]

  1. Uttaravedam - the Superior-Vedam (uttara = Superior / Higher / Future, vedam = Veda)
  2. Poyyamozhi - Statements devoid of untruth
  3. Vayurai vazhthu - truthful utterances
  4. Deyvanool - the divine book
  5. Pothumarai - the common-man's Veda
  6. Muppal - threefold path
  7. Tamil marai - Tamil Veda

Commentaries[edit]

There were several commentaries written on Thirukkural but the most popular one in Tamil has been that of Parimelazhagar.[citation needed] 'Parimelazhagar urai' or 'Commentary of Parimelazhagar' has been a standard benchmark for rendering the meaning of Thirukkural in Tamil for many centuries.[citation needed] There are other extant older commentaries by Kalaignar, Manakudavar, Pariperumal, Paridhiyar, Rajaji, Mu.Varadharajan,Thirukkural V.Munusamy and V.SP. Manickam . Writer Sujatha has also attempted one. There are also commentaries, which are not available now, by Dharumar, Thaamachar, Nachar, Thirumalaiyar, Mallar, and Kaviperumal.

Translations[edit]

The Latin translation of Thirukkural made by Constanzo Beschi in 1730 did much to make known to European intellectuals the richness and beauty of Oriental Tamil literature.[citation needed]One of the earliest commentaries on the Thirukkural was by Parimelazhagar, belonging to the 12th century. His commentary (Urai) give us an idea of the amount of information contained in each and every kural. A lot of software are available these days for installing Kurals in desktops.[citation needed]The software based Kural (poem) changes each day and you get the kural and its explanation in both English and Tamil.[citation needed]

An English Translation of Tirukural by GU Pope brought the Tirukkural to the western world in 1886.[11] This work is the first translation to the English language.

The following is a list of translations/commentaries of the Tamil literary classic THIRUKURAL - taken out from the Encyclopaedia of Tamil Literature, vol. 1, Inst. of Asian Studies, Thiruvanmayur, Tamil Nadu, India.

01) Arabic 02) Bangla 03) Burmese 04) Chinese 05) Czech 06) Dutch 07) English 08) Fiji 09) Finnish 10) French 11) German 12) Gujarati 13) Hindi 14) Hungarian 15) Italian 16) Japanese 17) Kannada 18) Konkani 19) Korean 20) Latin 21) Malay 22) Malayalam 23) Marathi 24) Nederlands 25) Norwegian 26) Oriya 27) Polish 28) Punjabi 29) Rajasthani 30) Russian 31) Sanskrit 32) Saurashtra 33) Sinhalese 34) Spanish 35) Swedish 36) Telugu 37) Urdu

Bengali

  • Nalini Mohan, Sanyal, thirukural, Calcutta, 1939
  • Sastri, E.C., thirukural, Calcutta, 1974
  • Krishnamoorthy, S. Calcutta, 2001

Assamese

  • Dr Malini Goswami, thirukural, Assam Publication Board, Guwahati 2012

Burmese

  • Myo Thant, U, thirukkural, Rangoon

Chinese

  • Cheng Xi 程曦, Gula Zhenyan 古臘箴言, Hong Kong: Xianggang daxue chubanshe 香港大學出版社, 1967.
  • Yu Hsi, Taipei, Taiwan, 2 December 2010. Book released by Former President of India, Dr APJ Abdulkalam.

Czech

  • Zvelebil, Kamil V, Thirukural (selections), Prague, 1952–1954

Dutch

  • Kat, D, Thirukural (selections), Netherlands, 1964

English

  • V.V.S, Kural_: Maxims of thiruvalluvar, 4th ed, Madras, 1961
  • Balasubramanian, K.M, Thirukural of thiruvalluvar, Madras, 1962
  • Chakravarthi, A, thirukural in English with commentary, Madras, 1953
  • Drew, H.W., The kural of thiruvalluvar with commentary of Parimelazhakar, Madras, 1840
  • Drew, H.W. and Lazarus, J., Thirukural (in verses), Reprint, Madras, 1956
  • Ellis, F.W., thirukural on virtue (in verse) with commentary, 1812, reprint Madras 1955
  • Gajapathy Nayagar, A, The rosary of gems of thirukkural, Madras, 1969
  • Stalin Srinivasan, Thirukural: an ancient Tamil classic (in couplets), Bombay, 1969
  • Mathavaiyah, A, Kural in English with commentary in Tamil, Madras, 1925
  • Michael, S.M., The sacred aphorisms of thiruvalluvar (in verse), Nagarcoil, 1928
  • Muthuswamy, P, Thirukural in English, Madurai, 1965
  • Parameswaran Aiyar, T.V., 108 gems from the sacred Kural, Kottayam, 1928
  • Parameswaran Pillai, V.K., kural, Madras
  • Pope, G.U, A collection of the English translation of thirukural, Madras, 1959
  • Popely, H.A., The sacred Kural (selections in verses), Calcutta, 1951
  • Raja, P, thirukural (in verses), Kumbakonam, 1950
  • Rajagopalachari, C, kural, the great book of thiruvalluvar, Madras, 1937, 3rd ed, 1973
  • Ramachandra Dikshithar, V.R., thirukural in English with roman translation, Madras, 1949
  • Ranganatha Muthaliar, A: thirukural moolamum uraiyum with English translation, Madras, 1933
  • Thangaswami, T.D, thirukural (selections in verse), Madras, 1954
  • Thirunavukarasu, Mrs, T., Kural a selection of 366 verses (a gem for each day), Poona, 1916
  • Vadivel chettiar, K, kural in English with Tamil text and parimelazhakar commentary,(3parts), Madurai, 1972–1980
  • Vanmikinathan, G, the thirukural - a unique guide to moral, material and spiritual prosperity, trichy, 1969
  • Yogi Shuddananda Bharati, Thirukural with English couplets, Madras, 1968
  • Yogi Shuddananda Bharati, Thirukural couplets with clear prose rendering, Madras, 1970

Fijian

  • Berwick, S.L, Na. Thirukkurala, Fiji, 1964
  • Geraghty, Paul. Tirukurali, Fiji, 2008

Finnish

  • Aalto, Pentit, Kural - the ancient Tamil classic, Finland, 1972

French

  • Ariel, M, kural de thiruvalluvar (traduits du tamoul), Paris, 1848
  • Barrigue de, Fontaineu, G, le livre de l'amour de thiruvalluva, Paris, 1889
  • Danielou, Alain, thiruvallouvar kural, Pondicherry, 1942
  • Jacolliot, Louis, kural de thiruvalluvar, selections, Paris, 1767
  • Lamairesse, M, thirukural in French, Pondicherry, 1867
  • Gros, François, Le Livre de l'Amour, Gallimard, Collection UNESCO, Paris, 1992
  • Sangeelee, M, Tiroukkoural, Editions de L'Ocean Indien, 1988

German

  • Albrecht, Fenz and K. Lalithambal: thirukural von thiruvalluvar aus dem Tamil, Madurai, 1977
  • Albert Schweitzer
  • Cammera, A.F, thirukural waith German translation, Leipzig, 1803
  • Graul, Karl, der kural des thiruvalluvar, London, 1854
  • Graul, Karl, der tamu lische gnomes dichtar thiruvalluvar, Leipzig, 1865
  • Rickert, Friederich, thirukural, selections, Berlin, 1847
  • William and Norgate, Der kural des thiruvalluvar, 2nd ed, London, 1866

Gujarati

  • Kalani, Kantilal L., thirukural in Gujarati, Bombay, 1971 (Gujarti - Philosopher - Writer in Gujarati Literature - [1930-1998].

Hindi

  • Sankar Raju Naidu, S, thirukural in Hindi, Madras, 1958
  • Seshadri, K, thirukural in Hindi, Lucknow, 1982
  • Govindarai Shastri Jain, Kural in verse, first two parts, New Delhi, 1942
  • Jain, B.D, thirukural, thirupananthal, 1961
  • Khenand Rakar, thirukural, parts 1 and 2, Ajmer, 1924
  • Rajan Pillai, thirukural, Lucknow, 1976
  • Venkatakrishnan, M.G, thirukural, Trichy, 1964

Japanese

Kannada

  • Gundappa, L, thirukural (3 parts), Madras, 1960
  • Gundappa, L, thirukural dharma bhaga, Bangalore, 1955
  • Srinivas, P.S, thirukural with original couplets and translations in Kannada, Madurai, 1982
  • Srikanthaiah, B.M, Kural (selections in verses), bangalore, 1940

Latin

  • Graul, Charles, Kural of thiruvalluvar, Tranquebar, 1866
  • Veeramamunivar, thirukural (Books I and II), London, 1730 Veeramamunivar

Malay

  • Dr.G.Soosai Ph.D,J.P.,P.P.N,P.K.T.,Thirukkural Kitab Murni Tamil Nadu.,Kuala Lumpur,1978 & 1991
  • Ismail, Hussein: thirukural sastera kalasik Tamil yang, Kuala Lumpur, 1967
  • Ramily Bin Thakir thirukural (in verses), Kuala Lumpur, 1964

Malayalam

  • Azhakathu Kurup, thirukural in verses, Trivandrum, 1875
  • Balakrishna Nair, G, Kural waith commentary, Part I, Trivandrum, 1963
  • Chellan Nadar, K, thirukural tharmanaskantam, Parassala, 1962
  • Damodaran Pillai,P, thirukural manikal, Trivandrum, 1951
  • Gopalakurup, Vennikulam, thirukural (first 2 parts in verse), Kottayam, 1960
  • Govinda Pillai, A, thirukural, Trivandrum
  • Thirukkural Malayalam Vivarthanam Published by DC Books Kottayam Written By S. Ramesan Nair

Oriya

  • Kishrod, Dash Ch, thirukuralu-in oriya language, Sampalbur, 1985

Punjabi

  • Ram Murti Sharma, thirukural dhamma granth of the tamils, Chandigarh, 1983

Polish

  • Umadevi, Wandy Dynowskiev, thiruvalluvar kural, Madras, 1958

Rajasthani

  • Kamala Gurg, thirukural needhi sastra, Jaipur, 1982

Russian

  • Glazov, J.J. and Krishnamurthi, A, thirukural, a book on virtu, politics and love, Moscow, 1963
  • Ibragimov, A., Thirukural in couplets with illustrations, Moscow, 1974

Sanskrit

Saurashtra

  • Ram, S.S, Saurastra thirukural payiram - pitika pragaranam, Madurai, 1980

Sinhala

  • De Silva, Charles, Sirigiya (thirukural in sinhalese), Colombo, 1964
  • Sissigamy Govokgada, M, thirukural, Colombo, 1961

Swedish

  • Frykholm Ingya, thirukural, Uddavalla, 1971

Telugu

  • Jagannatha Sastri, Mudiganthi, thiruvalluvar sookthulu, West Godavari, 1952
  • Lakshminarayana Sastri, Kural, chittoor, 1906

Urdu

  • Kohan, Muhamad Yusuf, Kural in Urdu and Arabic, Madras, 1976
  • Surawathi Hasarat, Kural in Urdu, New Delhi, 1966

Quotations (English translation)[edit]

[citation needed]

  • Something may not be achievable even by God or through God's help. But the effort exerted to attain that non-achievable will yield its deserving result!
  • Though the world goes round with many activities, it is dependent on agriculture. Hence, though laborious, farming is the foremost activity.
  • As water changes its nature, from the nature of the soil in which it flows, so will the character of men resemble that of their associates.
  • Friendship is not just a smile on the face; It is what is felt deep within a smiling heart.
  • The stalks of water-flowers are proportionate to the depth of water; so is men's greatness proportionate to their minds (Knowledge).
  • Avoid an act which you may repent later; If done by mistake, better not to repeat it.
  • Whatever is thought to be done will be achieved as planned, if the planners possess firmness in execution.
  • Excessive or deficient food or activity causes disorders in mobility, breathing and digestion.
  • Agriculturists are the linchpin of the mankind since they support all others who cannot till the soil.
  • The learned teacher makes you enjoy learning; On leaving, makes you to keep thinking of his teaching.
  • Think and then undertake the work; to think after commencement will bring disgrace.
  • Determined efforts result in prosperity; Idleness will bring nothing.
  • Defer not virtue to another day; receive her now; and at the dying hour she will be your undying friend.
  • Water will flow from a water well in proportion to the depth to which it is dug, and knowledge will flow from a man in proportion to his learning.
  • That which God gives, nobody can ban. That which God bans, nobody can give.
  • If any one do wrong thing for you, do good thing for them.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Subramaniyam, Ka Naa, Tiruvalluvar and his Tirukkural. Bharatiya Jnanpith: New Delhi 1987.
  • P. S. Sundaram, The Kural. Penguin Books: London, 1990.
  • Blackburn, Stuart. (2000). Corruption and Redemption: The Legend of Valluvar and Tamil Literary History. Modern Asian Studies, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 449–82, May 2000.
  • Yogi Shuddhananda Bharati (1897), Thirukkural with English Couplets - Tamil Chandror Peravai: Chennai.(15 May 1995)
  • Thirukkural with English Couplets by Tamil Chandror Peravai (Translated by Yogi Shuddhananda Bharati [1897]), Tamil Chandror Peravai, 26 Sardar Patel Road, Adyar, Chennai - 600 020
  • Drew, W.H, Translated by John Lazarus, Thirukkural (Original in Tamil with English Translation), ISBN 81-206-0400-8
  • Thirukkural with English Couplets by Editions ASSA, L'Auberson (Translated by Dr. Shuddhananda Bharati [1897-1990]), ISBN 978-2-940393-17-6

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Blackburn, Cutler (2000). "Corruption and Redemption: The Legend of Valluvar and Tamil Literary History". Modern Asian Studies 34 (2): 449–482. doi:10.1017/S0026749X00003632. Retrieved 20 August 2007. 
  2. ^ Pillai, MS (1994). Tamil literature. Asian Education Service. ISBN 81-206-0955-7. 
  3. ^ "Literature - Thirukural". Tamilnadu.com. 3 April 2013. 
  4. ^ Cutler, Norman (1992). "Interpreting Thirukkural: the role of commentary in the creation of a text". The Journal of the American Oriental Society 122. Retrieved 20 August 2007. 
  5. ^ Aiyangar Thirukkural cannot be compared with Arthashastra as it not only deals with Kingship or Statesmanship as in Arthashastra but also deals with various other aspects of life., SK (1995). Some Contributions of South India to Indian Culture. Asian Educational Services. p. 125. ISBN 81-206-0999-9. 
  6. ^ Ramasamy, V. 2001. On Translating Tirukkural. International Institute of Tamil Studies, Chennai. page 29
  7. ^ a b c Ravindra Kumar (1 January 1999). Morality and Ethics in Public Life. Mittal Publications. pp. 92–. ISBN 978-81-7099-715-3. Retrieved 13 December 2010. 
  8. ^ Sujit Mukherjee (1 January 1999). A dictionary of Indian literature. Orient Blackswan. pp. 393–. ISBN 978-81-250-1453-9. Retrieved 13 December 2010. 
  9. ^ Tirukkural. Retrieved 8 October 2007. 
  10. ^ Kamil Zvelebil (1973). The smile of Murugan on Tamil literature of South India. BRILL. pp. 156–. ISBN 978-90-04-03591-1. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  11. ^ Pope, GU (1886). Tirukkural English Translation and Commentary. W.H. Allen, & Co. p. 160. 

External links[edit]