Albert Einstein and Thiruvalluvar

einstein 1

By London Swaminathan; Post No. 749 dated 17th December 2013.

Tiru Valluvar is the most popular Tamil poet and the author of Tirukkural which is called Tamil Veda. Valluvar lived at least 1500 years ago. Albert Einstein was the greatest physicist of our time. He was the author of the Theory of Relativity.Einstein was born in 1879 in Germany and died in 1955in Princeton, USA. Both were great thinkers in their own fields. Let me compare a few quotations of Einstein with the Tamil poet Valluvar.

“One should not pursue goals that are easily achieved. One must develop an instinct for what one can just barely achieve through one’s greatest efforts.” —Albert Einstein
All thought should be the thought of rising high though it fails; it is the nature of success. Your aspirations keep you on a higher plane (Tirukkural 596)

Though wounded with arrows, the elephant stands firm in his greatness; he who has spirit never loses heart when he fails (Tirukkural 597)

Let a man lift himself by himself; let him not degrade himself; for the self alone is the friend of the self and self alone is the enemy of the self. (Bhagavad Gita 6-5)
Purananuru verse 214 of Kopperum Chozan also advises everyone to Aim High. A person who wanted to hunt an elephant will come with an elephant after a successful hunt. A person who wants to hunt quails may come even without a single bird. So aim high in life.

Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That is relativity.
—Albert Einstein
For those who are counting days for the final return, of the beloved so long away, A single day will drag on like seven (Tirukkural 1269)

The important thing is not to stop questioning —Albert Einstein
To discern the truth from whatever source it emanates Is the true quality of wisdom (Tirukkural 423)

Although I have been prevented by outward circumstances from observing a strictly vegetarian diet, I have long been an adherent to the cause in principle. Besides agreeing with the aims of vegetarianism for aesthetic and moral reasons, it is my view that a vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind—Albert Einstein
It is inconsistent with the way of living compassion
To fatten oneself on the flesh of a fellow creature ( Tirukkural 251)
Those who have a vision that is not blurred by mental confusion,
Will not eat the meat of dead carcasses (Tirukkural 258)

If you can’t explain simply, you don’t understand it well enough—Albert Einstein
Those, who cannot express their thought acquired after deep study,
Are like a bunch of flowers without fragrance (Tirukkural 650)


Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid—Albert Einstein
One should not slacken under a feeling that a job is too difficult to be done; effort will give the greatness necessary to do it (Tirukkural 611)
T hose who labour on untiringly and without fault will overcome even fate (Tirukkural 620)

The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything—Albert Einstein
A person steeped in indolence without noble deeds will see his home ruined by growing vices (Tirukkural 604)
These four are pleasure boats of loss and ruin: Procrastination, Forgetfulness, Idleness and Dozing (Tirukkural 605)


Where Parimelazakar went wrong!!
“The Lord Indra himself is effective witness to the prowess of a sage
Who has really conquered the five senses” (Tirukkural 25)
(Indra, the king of the Devas himself, will bear testimony to the will power of those who curbed the desires of the five senses).

Parimel azakar interpreted it wrongly. He took it as an insult to Indra. But Manakkudavar, another old commentator, has correctly interpreted it. Indra has trepidations of the heart, whenever a sage effectively controls all his senses and reaches the height of the penance, lest he should ultimately endanger his own position—and so naturally, he is witness to the ascetic’s prowess. Dr S M Diaz has rightly pointed out it.
This is confirmed by other references in Hindu and Buddhist scriptures:
“And Indra through Brahmacharya brought the heavenly lustres to Devas” (AV 11/5/19)
“It was by the watchfulness that Indra became the chief of the Gods” ( Buddha in Dhammapada 2-10)


“Who was Tiruvalluvar?” was written and posted in this blog sometime ago. I quote only GU Pope’s verse below:

‘’Sage Valluvar, priest of the lowly clan,
No tongue repeats, no speech reveals thy name;
Yet, all things changing, dieth not thy fame
For thou art bard of universal man;

And still thy ‘book’ above the waters wan’
Virtue, true wealth, and joy, and being’s aim,
In sweetest mystic couplets doth proclaim
Where winds sea-wafted palmy forests fan.

Haply undreamed of ‘visions’ glad thine eyes
In reals beyond thy fabled ‘seven fold birth’,
And clouds of darkness from thy spirit roll;

While lands far off have heard with strange surprise
Faint echoes of thy song. Though all the earth
Men hail thee brother, seer of spotless soul’’
—Written by Dr G.U. Pope
From the book The Sacred Kural by H.A.Popley, year 1931
Also read my earlier post: Who was Tiruvalluvar? In this blog.


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