Great Men Praise Tamil Poet Tiruvalluvar and Tamil Veda Tirukkural! (Post No.4152)

Compiled by London Swaminathan

 

Date: 12 August 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 9-18 am

 

Post No. 4152

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google, Wikipedia and newspapers; thanks.

 

(Don’t cut the name of the writer and blog if you are reusing it. Give respect to the writers and get respect. Be honest and your spouse and children will be honest to you; if you cheat me, they will cheat you.)

Great Men Praise Tamil Poet Tiruvalluvar and Tamil Veda Tirukkural! (Post No.4152)

TIRUVALLUVAR TEMPLE IN MYLAPORE, CHENNAI

Tirukkural, written by Tamil Poet Tiruvaluvar, is considered as the Tamil Veda. It consists of 1330 aphorisms grouped into 133 chapters of ten couplets each. These fall into three sections Dharma (virtue), Artha (wealth) and Kama (love).

 

Tirukkural literally means a ‘book of sacred couplets’

We can ungrudgingly compare it to the Confucian Analects, Plato’s Dialogue and Aristotle’s Ethics. Western scholars who have scrutinised it in translation are unquestionably impressed by its universal content and appeal.

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Tirukkural is neither a scripture nor an epic, but an extraordinary treatise on the art of living, which delves deep into the unshifting foundations of human life and attempts to provide guidelines, not for the society in general but for the individuals – the ascetic, the family member, the father, the son, the ruler, the minister, the ambassador, and in general to the individuals in society with responsibilities to themselves and others  — Dr V C Kulandaiswamy

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“There hardly exists in the literatures of the world a book of such lofty maxims”- Albert Schweitzer

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M.Ariel (Journal Asiatique-1848)

“The Kural is the masterpiece of Tamil literature:- one of the highest and purest expressions of human thought.”

 

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Dr Graul (1856)

“No translation can convey an idea of its charming effect. It is truly apple of gold in a net work of silver.”

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Dr G.U. Pope (1886)

“The Kural owes much of its popularity to its exquisite poetic form. The brevity rendered necessary by the form gives an oracular effect to the utterances of the great Tamil ‘Master of Sentences’. They are the choicest of the moral epigrams. Their resemblance to gnomic poetry of Greece is remarkable as to their subjects, their sentiments, and the state of society when they were uttered. Something of the same kind is found in Greek epigrams, in Martial and Latin elegiac verse. There is a beauty in the periodic character of the Tamil construction in many of these verses that reminds the reader of the happiest efforts of Propertius”.

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Dr Barth (Religions of India)

“The Kural is that admirable collection of stanzas in the Tamil language, which is instinct with the purest and most elevated religious emotion……………………… What philosophy he teaches seems to be of the eclectic school as represented by the Bhagavt Geeta.”

 

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Frederic Pincott

“There are two books in India which have taken entire possession of the hears and minds of the people; the first of these is the Ramayana of Tulsidas, which is known to every peer and peasant in Northern India, and the other is the Kural of Thiruvalluvar which is equally well-known throughout the South of the Indian Peninsula. The authors of both these works were essentially moralists and monotheists, and their poems have moulded the characters and guided the lives of many generations of their countrymen.

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Rev.Elijah Hoole D.D.

“Some of the sayings (of Cural) are probabaly as old as the earliest writings of the Old Testament. The Cural of Tiruvalluvar is a poetic work on morals, of great merit as literary performance”

 

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Rev.W .H.Drew (1840)

“Called the first of works, from which, whether for thought or language, there is no appeal, the Cural has a strong claim on our attention as a part of the literature of the country, and as a work of intrinsic excellence”.

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Rev. E.J. Robinson

“We may regard Valluvar… as Tamil Solomons, Ezras or Tuppers, who collected and arranged the ‘proverbial philosophy’ of primitive times”.

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G.U. POPE’S POEM ON TIRUVALLUVAR

‘’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

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Tirukkural Commentaries

Tradition says that there were ten commentaries on the Kural in medieval times. Of these only five have been bought to light, namely those of Parimel alagar, Manakkudavar, Kalingar, Parithiyar and Paripperumal. Parmellagar was the most popular and authoritative commentary on the book. He was a native of Kanchi, where he lived and taught about 600 years ago. His style is almost as terse and vigorous as the original and all students of Kural are greatly indebted to him for his clear and convincing exposition of the couplets. His criticisms of the various readings current in his day are incisive and dignified.

Manakkudavar differs from him in many places and he often adopts a different renderings of the same text.

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Tiruvalluvar’s Age

Tiruvalluvar hailed from Mylapore in Chennai and he lived at least 1500 years ago. Though the Tamil Nadu government publications place him around 31 BCE, linguistically he can be placed in the fourth or fifth century CE only. His style, language and grammatical constructions show him that he lived in the post- Sangam age. Sangam Age covers the first three centuries of modern era.

–Subham—

 

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