Post No. 9725

Date uploaded in London – –13 JUNE   2021           

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Tiru Valluvar , author of Tamil Veda Tirukkural, says that man becomes god in two of his couplets. Rig Veda, the oldest book in the world, said it thousands of years before the great Tamil saint Valluvar. Later it was echoed by other scholars including Seneca, St.Athanesius of Alexandria and Friedrich Schlegel.

“A man who leads an ideal life in this world,

Will be ranked amongst the Gods in heaven”- Kural 50

This is seen in all Avatars of Vishnu such as Rama, Krishna and Buddha (Buddha is one of the Ten Incarnations of Vishnu according to Jaya Deva of Orissa). Panini is praised as ‘Bhagavan Panini’ by Patanjali, the author of the Mahabhashya. Valluvar is also called ‘Deiva Pulavar/ Divine Poet’ by his contemporaries. In the same way Greeks praised Homer as ‘Divine Homer’. This makes it clear that anyone who lives a righteous life or contributes to society in a big way in a particular field, is praised as a person with Divinity.

Tamil saint Arunagirinathar praised the Boy Wonder of Tamil World Sambandar as an incarnation of Lord Skanda. In the same way Adi Shnakara was seen as an avatar of Skanda.

Commenting on the above Kural couplet , DR S M Diaz, Former I G of Police in Tamil Nadu says,

“This is one of the Kurals of Valluvar, which is oft quoted to praise and honour a person, who has lived the full span of the house holder’s life in the manner it should be, with love and virtue, eschewing all the evils that beset life , and at the same time practising Aram/Dharma. Valluvar himself is believed to have led such an ideal life.”

“Such a man has certainly achieved life’s purpose, which is also people’s acclamation of his virtue on earth, as much as eternal reward received at god’s hands. The passage from Seneca’s On Mercy Book 1, quoted under Kural 34, is relevant here again, for it recognises virtue itself as the most fitting reward for the virtuous but still asks, ‘Have I of all mortals….. been chosen to serve on earth as Vicar of all the Gods?” Similarly on Book 1 on Providence, Seneca says, “between good men and the Gods there exists a friendship brought about by virtue”. Seneca therefore goes half the Valluvar way.


Kural 413

“Those who in this world enjoy instruction which is the food of the ear, are equal to the Gods, who enjoy the food of the sacrifice”- Kural 413

Here Valluvar use the word Havis (avi) that is used 1000s of times in the Vedas. Havis is rice ball with ghee placed in the sacrificial fire by the Brahmins everyday.

Parithiar ,one of the ten ancient learned commentators on Tirukkural, by pointing out that the Gods, though in heaven, accept sacrificial offerings made to them on earth, and in like reciprocal manner, those who have listened and reaped the harvest of instructions from the wise, have acquired a heavenly accomplishment, which makes them comparable to the Gods”.

Here the Tamil word used by Valluvar is ‘Kelvi’ (that which is heard/ instruction) ; kelvi is Sruthi/Veda (that which is heard)

So I will take it as the learned people of the Vedic world. Valluvar’s word Havis in the same couplet is confirming it.

Manu and other law makers praise Brahmins as Devas/ Divinities on Earth (Bhu Surah) because of this Sruti (Knowledge Heard). Instead of looking at the caste one must at look at the learning. Satapata Brahmana book use it for both Brahmins and the scholars.

It says,

Ye brahmanah sushruvamso

Anoosaanaaste manushye devaah


Vidhwaamso hi devaah

SB.2-2-26, 2-4-3-14 & 3-7-3-10


Rig Veda Hymn 1-20-8

“As ministering priests they (RIBHUS) held, by pious acts they won themselves,

A share in sacrifice with Gods.”

Here Ribhus are praised because they become equal to Gods by their pious acts.

Who are Ribhus?

The Vedic commentators give us the background of Vedic Gods Ribhus.

“Devaaya Janmane , the divince class of the Ribhus, are the three sons of Sudhanvan, who are the descendants of Angiras. They were named severally Rbhu, Vibhvan and Vaaja and styled collectively Rbhus from the name of the eldest. Through their assiduous performance of good works, they attained divinity and become entitled to receive praise and adoration. They are supposed to live in the solar sphere and there is an indistinct identification of them with the rays of the sun; but, whether typical or not, they prove the admission, at an early date of the doctrine that man might become divinities – Wilson.

Prof. Wilson’s comment is quoted in the Griffith Translation of the Rig Veda.

To put it in a nutshell, One can become God by one’s good deeds is a concept supported by the Rig Vedic poets and Tamil Poets.  And this is not the only place we come across such a belief. The Upanishads proclaim loud and clear Tat Tvam Asi ( You are That) and Aham Brahmaasmi ( I am Brahman).



tags- Man, becomes, God, Seneca

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