TAMIL POET VALLUVAR AND WESTERN THINKERS ON RIGHT CONDUCT (Post.4914)

TAMIL POET VALLUVAR AND WESTERN THINKERS ON RIGHT CONDUCT (Post.4914)

 

WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 14 April 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  20-31 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4914

 

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The greatest of the ancient Tamil poets, Tiruvalluvar had composed ten verses on right conduct or discipline. As it is the main topic in religious scriptures, we have lot of verses in religious books. But by comparing the verses with other western poets we learn that great men think alike irrespective of the race, religion and geographical location.

 

Let us compare a few verses: –

Right conduct makes one great; hence right conduct is greater than life (Tirukkural 131).

Mathew Arnold said,

Conduct is three fourths of life and its largest concern.

Dr S M Diaz, I G of Police in Tamil Nadu says,

“And that is precisely why in the National Police Academy at Hyderabad where officers of the Indian Police Service at all levels are trained, I had prominently placed the following inscription: –

No Niagara is ever turned into light and power

Until it is tunnelled and confined

No life ever grows great until It is Focussed,

Dedicated and Disciplined

According to Plato, what is to be feared in life is disgrace and not death.

 

Tiruvalluvar, author of Tirukkural says elsewhere,

Hair lost, the yak lives not.

Honour lost, noble men leave their life (Kural 969)

 

Noble men do not outlive loss of honour. The world hails their glory (970).

 

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In another couplet, Valluvar says

Right conduct is true nobility;

The absence of it is just ignoble (Kural 133)

 

The great French dramatist Moliere said that ‘Virtue is the first title of Nobility’, while Benson and Forster would rate ‘sincerity’ and considerateness’ as the determinants of true aristocracy.

 

In Kural/couplet 134, Valluvar says,

The Brahmin who has forgotten his scriptures could read them up again;

But if he neglects right conduct he will lose his birth-right.

 

This couplet in fact is an amplification of the previous Kural 133, Moliere’s statement that ‘Birth is nothing where virtues is not” is relevant here.

S M Diaz, has given lot of comparisons from The Bible (Proverbs) for every couplet in this chapter.

 

In the couplet 140, Valluvar says

Even men of learning will be as ignorant as men,

If they do not live in tune with the world.

 

The following passage from Lord Chesterfield could be considered a felicitous alternative translation of this Kural:

“A man of the best parts and the greatest learning, if he does not know the world by his own experience and obligation, will be very absurd and consequently very unwelcome in company”.

What Indian Scholars say about conduct?

It may be sandal paste, incense or water lily or jasmine. The fragrance of good conduct has nothing superior to such perfumes – Dhammapada 4-12

 

As one acts according to one’s conduct. so does he become.

The doer of good becomes good; of evil, evil.

One become virtuous by virtuous acts.

-Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad 4.4.4

 

Do nothing to others which, if done to you , would cause you pain;  this is the sum of polity.

–Mahabharata, 5-1517

 

Forget not the good done to you;

Despise evil friends

Give not false evidence

And depart not from the truth.

Fail not to join the assembly of the learned,

Strive always to escape from the company of the lawless;

Abstain from others’ wives

Help the dying.

-Tamil Epic Silappadikaram

Conduct renders a man virtuous, a coward or her, transmuting purity into purity.

Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kanda, Chapter 108

 

Source books: Tirukkural Translation by S M Diaz

The Golden Treasury of Indian Quotations R N Saletore

–Subham–

CHANAKYA AND TAMIL POET VALLUVAR ON EDUCATION (Post No.4859)

WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 28 MARCH 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  16-47

 

Post No. 4859

 

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(பிறர் எழுதியதைத் திருடுபவனும் பிறர் மனைவியைத் திருடுபவனும் பிறர் பொருளைத் திருடுபவனும் ஒன்றே – ஐன்ஸ்டீனின் அண்ணன்பெர்னார்ட் ஷாவின் தம்பிகாந்திஜியின் தாத்தா சொன்னது)

 

It gives great pleasure to see the same thoughts in two great men Chanakya (3rd century BCE) and Tiruvalluvar (Fourth or Fifth Century CE  dated linguistically, first century BCE dated politically).

 

On Education

Handsome and young , born in high families, if uneducated, would look no good like the Kimsuka trees with no fragrance.

Chankaya Niti 3-5

 

Tamil Poet Tiruvalluvar says,

Those who are unable to elucidate their learning are like a cluster of blossoms without fragrance- Kural 650

 

Letters and Numbers are the two eyes of man – Kural 392

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Learned Men = Citizens of the World!

A learned man wins admiration in the world, he gets honour, everything is obtained through knowledge, knowledge is revered everywhere- 8-20

 

What excessive weight is there for those possessed of strength,?

what is distant for the energetic,

what is a foreign country for the learned and

who is alien for the one with sweet tongue?

3- 13

 

Tamil Poet Tiruvalluvar says,

The learned find their home and town everywhere. Why not learn and learn till death –Kural 397

 

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Ugly ones and Educated

The beauty of cuckoos is in their sweet cooing, that of women in their faithfulness and loyalty to their husbands, that of ugly ones in their knowledge and that of ascetics in forgiveness.

3-6

Tiruvalluvar says,

A wife who may not worship God but wakes up with worshipful devotion to her husband has the power to make rain fall at her bidding- Kural 55

 

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Knowledge is Kamadhenu

Knowledge has in it the quality of the desire-yielding cow. It yields fruit even when there is no season for it. In foreign sojourn it acts like other. Knowledge is accepted as a secret treasure.4-5

Learning is the lasting joyful wealth; all other material wealth are lost in time – Kural 400

The heritage of culture acquired in one birth lasts to the seventh- Kural 399

 

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Lower Birth and Higher Birth

What one has to do with a high family where there is no education. One born in a low family, if learned, is adored even by gods 8-19

 

Tiruvalluvar says,

Though high-born, an unlettered man is deemed lower than a leaned man of lower birth  – Kural 409

(I have already compared this to Sangam Tamil verse Purananuru 183 and Manu Smrti 10-65, 2-240, 2-234).

 

–subham-

 

 

A FRIEND IN NEED IS A FRIEND INDEED-MANU AND VALLUVAR ON FRIENDSHIP (Post No.4852)

A FRIEND IN NEED IS A FRIEND INDEED-MANU AND VALLUVAR ON FRIENDSHIP (Post No.4852)


Written by London Swaminathan 

 

 

Date: 26 MARCH 2018

 

 

British Summer Time uploaded in London – 17-07

 

Post No. 4852

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He is a true friend who stands by one in disease, in adversity, in famine, in danger from enemies, at the royal gate and at the cremation ground.

Chanakya Niti 1-12

aature vyasane praapte durbikshe satrusankate

raajadwaare smasaane ca yasthishtati  sa bhaandhavah

 

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They are the real sons who are devoted to their father, father is one who brings the offspring, a friend is one who can be trusted, a wife is one who gives happiness.

2-4

 

One should keep away from a friend who harms the mission in one’s absence, but talks sweetly when face to face. He is a jar of poison with milk in its upper portion.

2-5

 

One should not trust a bad friend, nor should repose too much of trust even in good friend lest the friend in a fit of rage were to lay bare all the secrets.

2-6

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Compare these with the following couplets from Tamil Veda ‘Tirukkural’

 

Like the hand , that goes to the rescue when a garment slips, stepping into help

when a friend faces adversity, is true friendship – Kural 788

 

Friendship is not for pleasant laughter alone, but for harsh and ethical advice too

promptly given, when one swerves from the right path- Kural 784

 

A surface smile on the face is not friendship, genuine affection,

springs from the heart and lights up the face- Kural 786

 

The true friend keeps one away from the wrong path, and helps him follow the right path,

and also stands by him, if misfortune falls nevertheless – Kural 787

 

The throne of genuine friendship is found, without doubt, where two allied hearts beat,

under all circumstances, in unison and mutual support- Kural 789

 

It is wise to acquire and hold on to faultless friendships, and equally good,

to dispense with undependable friendships, even at a price- Kural 800

 

–subham–

 

 

 

 

 

 

DON’T HATE YOURSELF AND OTHERS- MANU, BUDDHA, CHANAKYA & VALLUVAR AGREE! (Post 4631)

DON’T HATE YOURSELF AND OTHERS- MANU, BUDDHA, CHANAKYA & VALLUVAR AGREE! (Post 4631)

 

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 18 JANUARY 2018

 

Time uploaded in London  6-18 am

 

 

 

Post No. 4631

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Hatred to oneself leads to death;

to another person loss of wealth;

to the king to destruction and

to a Brahmin to the destruction of the family

–Chanakya Niti, chapter 10, sloka 11

aatmadveshaad bhavenmrtyuh paradveshaad dhanakshyah

rajadveshaad bhavennaaso brahmadveshaat kulakshayah

 

We know that if someone hates oneself, it leads to one’s suicide; if one hates others it leads to conflicts and clashes resulting in destruction of life or property.

 

The message is any form of hatred creates problems.

Buddha in Buddhist Veda Dhammapada and Tiruvalluvar in Tamil Veda Tirukkural deal with this topic. It shows the importance of the topic.

The opposite of hatred is Love.

 

Chanakya dealt with hatred in only one couplet/ sloka.

 

Tamil poet Tiru valLuvar deals with this topic in ten couplets!

 

Valluvar says,

Out of hatred arise all evils; out of love comes the glory that is called discreteness- Kural 860

“The evil of hatred is the grief of griefs. If it is rooted out, you can enjoy the joy of joys (854)

Nip in the bud the feeling of hostility and you prosper well. FOr one is fast ruined by fomenting hatred – Kural 858

 

Buddha said,
For hate is not conquered by hate; hate is conquered by love. This is a law eternal (Dhammapada1-5)

 

Valluvar said,
The best punishment for those who do evil to you, is to shame them by returning good for evil (Kural 314).

 

Manu hates Hatred!

Manu, the author of the world’s first book on law—Manu Smrti deals with hatred in more places than the Buddha.

 

In the very beginning he says law book is ‘only for those who are without passion or hatred’!

 

“Learn the religion that is constantly followed by learned men, good men who have neither passion nor hatred”- Manu 2-1

“If someone speaks wrongly and someone questions wrongly, one of them will die or incur other’s hatred “ 2-11

“By obstructing his sensory powers, destroying passion and hatred, and doing no violence to living beings, he becomes fit for immortality”- 6-60

 

“The man who is deluded to hate the king will certainly be destroyed, for the king quickly makes up his mind to destroy him” – Manu 7-12

 

“ A husband should wait for one year for a wife  who hates him; but after a year, he should take away her inheritance and not live with her”- 9-77

“Satva Guna is traditionally regarded as knowledge, Rajo Guna as hatred and passion, Tamo Guna as darkness and ignorance”– Manu 12-26

Duryodhana was an embodiment of hatred and jealousy; Yudhishthira was a symbol of love and righteousness. Duryodhana destroyed himself; Yudhishthira survived! This is a lesson from the Mahabharata.

If you want to live without problems, don’t hate anyone.

 

–subham–

 

 

 

TAMIL POET VALLUVAR AND VOLTAIRE (Post No.4619)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 15 JANUARY 2018

 

Time uploaded in London  7-31 am

 

 

 

Post No. 4619

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Tiru Valluvar is the most famous didactic poet of India. Though he wrote in Tamil, his work Tirukkural consisting of 1330 couplets on moral values was translated into many of the old (Sanskrit and Latin) and modern languages.

Voltaire was a French philosopher and historian who lived 300 years ago.

 

There are some interesting and striking similarities between some western authors and Tiru Valluvar.

 

Valluvar says,

‘All men are born equal, but distinctions arise only on the basis of performance,

In the respective occupations they take on’- Kural 972

 

Another translation of the same couplet (972) runs as follows

‘Alike is birth to all; but in their greatness they are not alike owing to the divergence of their actions’.

 

French philosopher Voltaire said,

‘Men are equal; it is not the birth but virtues that make the difference’.

 

In the Bhagavad Gita (4-13) Lord Krishna says,

‘The four fold order was created by Me according to the divisions of the quality and work. Though I am its creator, know Me to be incapable of action or change’.

 

Dr S Radhakrishnan comments on this Gita sloka/ couplet (4-13) as follows,

‘The emphasis is on Guna (aptitude) and karma (action) and not Jati (birth). The varna or the order to which we belong is independent of sex, birth or breeding. A class determined by temperament and vocation is not a caste determined by birth or heredity.

 

It is very interesting that Thomas Jefferson also used the phrase in the U S Declaration of Independence:

“All men are created equal”

Later Vietnamese also used the phrase.

J J Rousseau, French philosopher of the 18th century also believed in this principle.

 

Later day politicians and leaders freely used this phrase in their political speeches.

 

Tamil poet Kamban also says that one’s greatness or meanness comes from one’s action; otherwise everyone is equal.

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VALLUVAR AND CICERO: Face is the Index of the Mind

Cicero was a Roman politician and lawyer who lived 2000 years ago. He was one of the great orators. He said,

“The countenance is the portrait of the soul”

He also said,

“All action is of the mind and the mirror of the mind is face, its index the eyes”.

 

Tiru Valluvar said,

The mirror reflects nearby objects. even so the face indicates the emotions throbbing in the mind—Kural 706

Another translation runs like this:

‘Even as a crystal reflects what comes near, within its line of sight

The face reflects the offending thoughts of the heart’.

 

‘Face is the index of the Mind’- is an English proverb known to everyone.

 

Great English playwright Shakespeare also uses facial expressions in several of his plays:

“there is a kind of confession in your looks which your modesties have not craft enough to colour” – Hamlet , Act 2, Scene 2

 

In the Srimad Bhagavatam commentary, Srila Prabhupada, use this facial features to illustrate another point:

 

SB 4.21.15, Translation and Purport: King Pṛthu’s body was tall and sturdy, and his complexion was fair. His arms were full and broad and his eyes as bright as the rising sun. His nose was straight, his face very beautiful and his personality grave. His teeth were set beautifully in his smiling face.

 

Amongst the four social orders (brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras), the kṣatriyas, both men and women, are generally very beautiful. As will be apparent from the following verses, it is to be concluded that not only were Mahārāja Pṛthu’s bodily features attractive, as described here, but he had specific all-auspicious signs in his bodily construction.

 

As it is said, “The face is the index of the mind.” One’s mental constitution is exhibited by his facial features. The bodily features of a particular person are exhibited in accordance with his past deeds, for according to one’s past deeds, his next bodily features—whether in human society, animal society or demigod society—are determined. This is proof of the transmigration of the soul through different types of bodies.

 

–SUBHAM–

Chanakya and Valluvar (Post No.4530)

Compiled by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 22 DECEMBER 2017 

 

Time uploaded in London- 8-09 am

 

 

Post No. 4530

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Part 3 of Tirukkural- Bhagavad Gita Comparison by Rev. G U Pope and V R R Dikshitar (Post No.4530)

 

 

Please read the first two parts where the books are introduced. Here Dikshitar ompared Chanakya with Valluvar:—-

 

Kural 126 (Self Control)

Like tortoise, who the five restrains

In one, though seven worlds bliss obtains

The Bhagavad Gita says that as a tortoise will restrain all limbs into itself, he who would restrain his sense will attain wisdom 2-58

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Kural 226 (Charity)

Let men relieve the wasting hunger men endure;

For treasure gained thus finds one treasure-house secure.

Manu rules to this effect: One must not eat oneself without feeding the guest first; feeding of guests leads to wealth, health, fame and heaven- Manu 3-106

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Kural 256 (Vegetarianism)

We eat the slain you say, ‘by us no living creatures die;

Who’d kill and sell, I pray, if none came there the flesh to buy?

Manu says, “He who approves of the killing of an animal, who preserves the slaughtered body, who kills it, who buys and sells it, who cooks it and who serves it, and who makes a meal of it are to be termed Killers” Manu 5-51

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Kural 257 (Vegetarianism)

With other beings ulcerous wounds their hunger may appease

If this they felt, desire to eat must surely ease

According to Manu, having learnt the origin of flesh (meat) and the killing of creatures, one will refrain from taking any kind of meat-5-49, 52 .

 

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Kural 259 (Vegetarianism)

Than thousand rich oblations, with libations rare,

Better the flesh of slaughtered beings not to share.

Manu’s ruling is similar:

He who would perform a hundred Asvamedha sacrifices year after year and he who would refrain from flesh eating are equal so far the attainments of fruits is concerned– Manu 5-53

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Kural 268 (Penance)

Who gains himself in utter self-control

Him worships every other living soul.

In Manu, one should endeavour day and night to conquer the senses; and one who conquer his senses is able to have all people under his control- Manu 7-44

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Kural 299 (Truthfulness)

Every lamp is not a lamp in wise men’s sight:

That is the lamp with truth’s pure radiance bright

In the Bhagavad Gita, The Yogi controlled, self engaged, in meditation, is likened to a lamp that is still in a windless place Bhagavad Gita 6-19

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Kural 330 (Violence)

Who had a loathed life, in bodies sorely pained,

Are men, the wise declare, by guilt of slaughter stained.

 

In the Laws of Manu, it is said that he who causes the killing of prohibited animals for his own happiness is considered to be dead, though living, for he never attains happiness- Manu 5-45

 

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Kural 339 (Instability)

Death is sinking into slumbers deep; Birth again is waking out of sleep.

 

The Bhagavad Gita furnishes a parallel: There is certain death to one who is born, and there is certain birth to one dead –Bhagavad Gita6-63)

 

xxx Arattup paal finished xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

PORUTPAAL; CHANAKYA’S ARTHASASTRA COMPARED

Chanakya is also known as  Kautilya.

 

Kural 381 (Leader/ King)

 

An army, people, wealth, a minister, friends, fort;

six things—

Who owns them all, a lion lives amid the kings.

 

Kautilya’s Artha sastra prescribes:

The king, minister, territory, fort treasury, army friends constitute the elements of a state………….. He wh possesses these and who follows the righteous policy is able to conquer the whole earth and is never defeated.

—Book 6-1 cf.Kamandaka 1-18

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Kural 385 (Leader- King)

A king is he who treasure gains, stores up, defends,

And duty for his kingdom’s weal expends

 

The Kamandaka Nitisastra furnishes a parallel:

The four fold functions of the king are to acquie wealth by equitable means, to preserv it, to augument it, and then expend it on the deserving.

Kamandaka 1-20

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Kural 390 (King/ Leader)

Gifts, grace, right sceptre, care f people’s weal;

These four a light of dreaded king reveal

 

is corroborated by the Kamandaki

Pleasant speech, grace gifts, protection of the poor and the distressed, and association with men of character are recognised by the world as the right thing.

–kamandaki 3-2

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Kural 391 (Study/ Learning)

So lean that you may full and faultless learning gain,

Then in obedience meet to lessons learnt remain.

 

According to the Arthasastra, sciences should be studied under qualified teachers and their precepts duly followed……………Discipline is the fruit of learning.

–Book 1-5, Arthasastra.

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Kural 411(Listening)

Wealth of wealth is wealth acquired by ear attent;

Wealth mid al wealth supremely excellent.

The Kautilya (Chanakya) says:

Hearing opens the door to knowledge, knowledge to right action, and right action to knowledge of one’s self. This is what constitutes vidyaa.

—Book 1- chapter 5 of Arthasastra.

 

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Kural 427 (Knowledge)

The wise discern, the foolish fail to see,

And minds prepare for things about to be

In the Arthasastra, he who possesses the eye of knowledge and science, is able to discern the true thing with a little effort.

Arthasastra ,Book 9, chapter 1

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Kural 441 (Great men)

As friends the men who virtue know, and riper wisdom share,

Their worth weighed well, the king should choose with care.

The prescription of Bhradwaja is that companions whose honesty and skill have been put to satisfactory tests shall be appointed ministers.

–Arthasastra, Book 1-8

 

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Kural 447 (Great men)

What power can work his fall, who faithful ministers,

Employs, that thunder out reproaches when he errs.

The Arthasastra prescribes that a king should select such ministers whose loyalty has been tried and who would protect him from risks involving danger to life.

–Arthasastra, Book 1-8

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Kural 462 and Kural 470 (Consideration/ On the right Forethought)

With chosen friends deliberate; next use they private thought;

Then act. By those who thus proceed all works with ease are wrought .

 

Plan and perform no work that others may despise;

What misbeseems a king the world will not aprroe as wise.

-The Arthasastra says

All undertakings are to be preceded by mantra or counsel………. Let the king review the works with the ministers present……….. That which gives fruition and is advocated by the best men must be done

–Arthasastra, Book 1-15

to be continued……………………

–Subham–

 

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

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(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—

 

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).

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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)

 

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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)

 

 

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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)

 

 

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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)

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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)

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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

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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

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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

 

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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.

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