Holy Kural - Thirukkural in Tamil with English Translationsby Tamil Poet Thiruvalluvar
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". According to the LIFCO Tamil-Tamil-English dictionary, the Tamil word Kural means Venpa verse with two lines. Thirukkural comes under one of the four categories of Venpas… See more details below
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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". According to the LIFCO Tamil-Tamil-English dictionary, the Tamil word Kural means Venpa verse with two lines. Thirukkural comes under one of the four categories of Venpas (Tamil verses) called Kural Venpa. The 1330 couplets are arranged into 3 main sections and 133 chapters. Each chapter contains 10 couplets. A couplet 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. It is has been translated to various other languages.
Most of the Researchers and great Tamil Scholars like George Uglow Pope or G.U. Pope who had spent many years in Tamil Nadu and translated many Tamil texts into English, which includes Thirukkural, have recognised Thiruvalluvar as a Paraiyar. Karl Graul (1814–1864) had already by 1855 characterized the Tirukkural as 'a work of Buddhist hue'. In this connection it was then of particular interest that Thiruvalluvar, the author of the Tirukkural was identified as a Paraiyar in Tamil tradition (as, incidentally, were also other famous ancient Tamil writers, e.g., Auvaiyar ; cf. Pope 1886: i–ii, x–xi). Graul might have subsumed the Jains also under the name of the Buddhists (Graul 1865: xi note).
Upon completion, Thiruvalluvar took the work (Thirukkural) to Madurai (Tamil Nadu, India) as per the prevailing practice of reading out new compositions in a public forum where critics and scholars would be present. The conceited scholars at Madurai, insisted on measuring the greatness of the work through a test where the manuscript would be placed with other works on a plank kept afloat in the tank of the Meenakshi temple and it was to be seen if the plank remained afloat. The significance of this is that the greatness of a work is realized on the basis of not the weight of its manuscript (written on Palm leaves) but the divine qualities of the work which forced the plank to stay afloat. It is said that to the amazement of the critics, the Sangam Plank shrunk itself in size to hold only the Kural manuscript and in the process throwing out the rest.
The Thirukkural is divided into three sections. They are (in this order):
Araththuppaal: On law/virtue [see also Dharma]
Porutpaal: On wealth/politics [see also Artha]
Kamaththuppaal: On desire/love [see also Kama]
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