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.

xxx

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

xxx

 

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

xxx

 

M.Ariel (Journal Asiatique-1848)

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

 

xxx

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.”

xxx

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”.

xxx

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.”

 

xxx

 

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.

xxx

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”

 

xxx

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”.

xxx

Rev. E.J. Robinson

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

xxx

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

xxxx

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.

xxx

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—

 

About Brahmins: Buddha and Valluvar Think Alike!- Part 7 (Post No.3956)

Research Article Written by London Swaminathan

 

Date: 30 May 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 20-37

 

Post No. 3956

 

Pictures are taken from various sources such as Face book, Wikipedia and newspapers; thanks.

 

contact: swami_48@yahoo.com

 

Buddha in Dhammapada and Tiru Valluvar in the Tamil Veda ‘Tirukkural’ praised the Brahmins sky-high, but defined who is a true Brahmin as well.

 

Tamil poet Valluvar lived approximately 1000 years after the Buddha. He referred to Brahmins in at least four couplets directly and another six couplets indirectly; but Buddha referred to Brahmins in at least 45 couplets; Buddha was so obsessed with the Brahmins that he wanted them to follow him like the emperor Ajata satru and others.

Let me give some examples for comparison which will show that great men think alike.

One must remember that the Brahmins of those days lived like saints; the very term meant one who seeks Brahman; Tamil words for Brahmins are also synonyms of saints such as inward looking, who sees (seer). Other Tamil names included ‘men of six tasks’ ‘Veda reciters’.

Buddha also accepted the Vedic Sanskrit word Brahmana, synonymous with a saint. But he devoted one entire chapter for Brahmins. It follows the chapter Bikshu varga (Buddhis monks). so by Brahmin he meant only Hindu Brahmins/saints.

 

In short Brahmins were saints and saints were Brahmins in those days. That is how even Viswamitra was called a Brahmin by Vasishtha after a long penance observed by him. Tamil kings and emperors of North India donated a lot to the Brahmins; Asoka mentioned Brahmins first and then Sramanas in his inscriptions.

Virtuous are called Brahmins

 

“It is the virtuous that are called Brahmins (Anthanar in Tamil) for it is they that scatter kindness towards all that breathes”- Kural 30

“And a saint, a Brahmin, is pure from past sins; even if he had killed his father and mother, had murdered two noble kings, and had ravaged a whole kingdom and its people” (294 Dhammapada).

 

He who hurts not with his thoughts, or words or deeds, who keeps these three under control – him I call a brahmin -(391 Dhammapada).

xxx

 

Don’t Hurt Brahmins

 

“Cows yield less and men of six duties forget their book (Vedas), if the king does not guard justice”- (Kural 560)

Cows and Brahmins will be paired together in most of the Tamil verses and Sanskrit hymns (E.g Bhagavad Gita 5-18 and Sambandar Tevaram)

One should never hurt a Brahmin; and a Brahmin should never return evil for evil. Alas for the man who hurts a Brahmin; Als for the Brahmin who returns evil for evil- (Dhammapada 389)

 

xxxx

Men of Character

“ A Brahmin can learn anew the Vedas even if he forgets his leaning; but if he fails in his conduct he slips down in his rank of birth”- Kural 134

Brahmins are placed first in the four castes in all the ancient books. If they lose the character they lose their birth right.

It is Manu Smrti also.

A man becomes not a Brahmin by long hair or family of birth. The man in whom truth and holiness, he is in joy and he is a Brahmin -(Dhammapada 393)

Of what use is your tangled hair, foolish man, of use your antelope garment, if within you have tangled cravings, and without ascetic ornaments-(Dhammapada 394)

 

 

xxxx

King and the Brahmins

 

As the ultimate basis of the Vedas of the sages/brahmins and the dharma of wise men

stands the straight sceptre of a just king- Kural 543

 

Here Valluvar used the Tamil word ‘book of the Anthanar’ and the word Anthanar stands for brahmins.

 

It is sweet in this world to be a mother; and to be a father is sweet. It is sweet in this world to be a monk; and to be a saintly Brahmin is sweet (Dhammapada 332)

Who clings not to sensuous pleasurers, even water clings nt to the lotus leaf, or a grain of mustard seed  to the point of a needle – him I call a Brahmin -(Dhammapada 401)

 

 

xxx

Avoidance of Killing (Non Killing)

In another Kural/couplet he mentioned the fire sacrifices of the Brahmins:

Far better and holier than a thousand oblations on the sacrificial fires is the one sacred act of abstaining from the flesh of a slaughtered animal (Kural 259)

Manu gives the same message in Manu Smrti 5-53:

“The man who offers a horse sacrifice (Asva medha Yajna) every year for a hundred years and the man who does not eat meat, the two of them reap the same fruit of good deeds” -Manu 5-53

This is about the Brahmins sacrifices; though Asva medha was done by the kings, only Brahmins performed it for them.

Who hurts not any living being, whether feeble or strong, who neither kills nor causes to kill – him I call a Brahmin- (Dhammapada 405)

 

But although a man may wear fine clothing, if he lives peacefully; and is good, self-possessed, has faith and is pure; and if does not hurt any living being, he is a holy Brahmin, a hermit of seclusion, a monk called a Bikshu (Dhammapada 142)

xxx

Brahmins – Gods on Earth!

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

Tamil words used by Valluvar ‘Kelvi’ litearlly means Sruti/Veda; ‘avi unavu’ = Havis food

Brahmins are called Busurar i.e. god among men in Tamil hymns; Satapata Brahmana call them living/walking gods.

He who lives in contemplation, who is pure and is in peace, and who has done what was to be done, who is free from passions, who reached the Supreme end – him I call a Brahmin – (Dhammapada 386)

xxxxx

In couplet 28 of Tirukkural, he mentioned Vedic mantras.

 

–Subham–

 

Knowledge of Medicine and Method of Treatment in Tamil and Sanskrit Books (Post No.3535)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 11 January 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 21-17

 

Post No.3535

 

 

Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.

 

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

 

Tiruvalluvar, author of Tirukkural, has dealt with a lot of subjects including medicine. He says that one can live for long without disease if one controls his eating habits. he says 1.Eat when you are hungry 2.Eat when the food already eaten is digested. Very simple!

In two of the couplets he agrees with Charaka and Susruta, the great authors of Medical treatise in Sanskrit. Tiruvalluvar says:

 

Let a skilful doctor who knows medicine,

1.study the patient

2.the nature of disease

3.the season and then treat him (Kural 949)

 

He also adds, Medical treatment implies fourfold elements:

Patient

Doctor

Medicine

and the Nurse/ compounder (Kural 950)

Parimel azakar, the most  famous commentator of Tirukkural, explains the attributes thus of the four elements:

“The attributes of the patient are ability to disclose the symptoms, strength to endure pain, ability to pay and strict obedience to the directions of the physician;

those of the physican are intelligence and study, courage to handle every kind of disease, purity of thought, word and deeed, good luck;

those of medicine are efficacy to cure any disease, superior virtue on account of taste, power, strength and easy facility of being procured, and capacity to combine with other ingredients as well as food;

and those of the apothecary are kindness and consideration to the anxiety of the patient, purity of thought, word and deed, ability to compound drugs and common sense.

 

The above passage shows how much advanced we were in understanding the patient and the treatment.

 

It shows that the doctors of ancient India had a nurse or compounder for assistance. Westerners copied it from Indians.

The same concept of treatment is found in Sanskrit texts as well:

1.Knowledge of the Best Physician


Hetu — cause
Linga– Diagnosis
Rogaanaam apunarbhava — non recurrence of disease
Prasamana — cure
—Charaka Samhita 9-19

Hetau linge prasamanerogaanaam punarbhave
Njaanam chaturvidham yasya sa rajaarho bhisaktamah
Charaka 9-19

xxx


2.Sastra Vaidya Gunah/Qualities of a surgeon

Sauryam– fearless ness
Aasukriyaa Lighthandedness
Sastraaiksnyam Well sharpened instruments
Asvedavepathu Absence of perspiration and trembling
Asammohah Absence of confusion

Sauryamaasukriyaa sastrataiksnyamasvedavepathu
Asammohasca vaidyasya sastrakarmani sasyate
–Susruta 5-10

Xxxxx

 

Following quotes are from my October 2015 post:-

 

3.Vaidya Gunah – Qualities of a Physician

Srute paryavadaatatvam Bahuso drstakarmataa

Daakshyam Saucam iti jneya vaidye Guna chatustayam

–Charaka (sutra) 9-6

Srute paryavadaatatvam =Excellence in Medical Knowledge

Bahuso drstakarmataa = Extensive Practical Experience

Daakshyam = Skill

Saucam = Cleanliness

4.Physician’s Approach to Patients

Vaidya Vrtti

Maitri kaarunyamaarteshu sakye pritirupekshanam

Prakrutistheshu butesu vaidyavrttischaturvidhaa

–Charaka (sutra) 9-26

Maitri = Friendship

Kaarunya = compassion

Priti = Pleasure

Upekshanam = Sympathy

 

xxxx

 

5.Fake Doctors (not to be honoured)

Apuujya Vaidyaah

Kucela: karkasa: stabhdho graamani svayamaagata:

Pancha vaidyaa na puujyante Dhanvantrisamaa api

Even if he is equal to Dhnavantri, the God of Medicine, don’t honour the following five physicians:

Kucela =Untidily dressed

Karkasa = Rough

Stabdha = Stubborn

Graamani = Pervert

Svayamaagata = One who visits on his own (uninvited)

 

–subham–

Vidura, Christ and Valluvar

href=”https://tamilandvedas.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/vidura_and_dhritarashtra.jpg”>Vidura_and_Dhritarashtra
Vidura and Dhritarashtra from Wikipedia

Research paper written by London Swaminathan
Research article No.1388; Dated 3rd November 2014.

A person who has experienced the pain of injury would never do harm to others, because that person knows how painful it would be. This message was given to us by three great people in the history.

Dr Rajendra Prasad, first President of India, unveiled the portrait of Vidura, a great saint, philosopher and the statesman of Mahabharata period at Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh in 1960. He said that Vidura was the first saint in the world, who gave the message,

Na tath parasya sandhadyath pratikuulam yadatmana: 7-17
“Do not do unto others as you wish others not to do unto you – Vidura Niti

3015576-vidur-niti-hindi

Vidura lived just before Kaliyuga which began in 3100 BCE. He always spoke truth. He warned about the evil designs of Duryodana when he planned to burn down the wax palace where Pandavas were staying. Vidura made a tunnel and left a boat for the Pandavas to escape. He even warned Dhritarashtra about his own son Duryodana. Dhritarashtra treated him like a brother. At the end he accompanied him, Gandhari and Kunti to the forest.

Mahabharata Santiparva 167-9 also repeats the same message in a positive way:

Tasmaad dharma praaadheenena bhavitavyam yataatmanaa
Tathaa cha sarvabhuutesu vartitavyam yathaatmani

Hence, by self control and by making right conduct (dharma) your main focus, treat others as you treat yourself.

Great men think alike. Jesus Christ and Valluvar gave the same message after 3000 years!
Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar in his Tirukkural (318) says

When a man has experienced pain caused by harm done to him, how can he cause pain to others?

Jesus Christ also said the same in the Bible,

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them (Matt.7,12)

Three great people living in three different ages gave the same message. But do we follow them? is the big question.

contact swami_48@yahoo.com