THIRUVALLUVAR DAY IS TODAY

 

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Greatness of a country depends on the quality
Of its people- culture, knowledge and nobility.
Culture and literature it has produced for long
Greatly valued and recognized by the world along!

India that is Bharath with its hoary culture
Intellectual and spiritual literature
Add greatness and earn place of pride among the nations
One great work was Thirukkural- winning admiration!

Tamil saint Poet Thiruvalluvar was born this day
More than two thousand years ago- a sacred day
Authored the great work of couplets thousand three hundred
And thirty-covering virtues, wealth and love- a wonder.

The world in which we live and enjoy living is not to be simply dismissed as ‘full of sound and fury signifying nothing’ as expressed by Shakespeare through his character King Lear. The great world with its vast natural resources and human potential, flora and fauna, land and sea, deserts and forests, hills and dales, people with their different culture and language, civilization and behavior, intellect and intelligence, feelings and emotions is verily a heaven to enjoy not withstanding strife and wars, weaknesses and threats, trials and tribulations, struggles and sufferings!

A nation is not simply a geographical entity with earth and water, roads and buildings, but indeed is made up of men and women with their physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual personalities fully blossomed. Various attributes such as kindness and humanism, valor and fearlessness, hard work and patriotism of the people and their contribution through art and literature of the highest type, language and grammar, culture and civilization make the nation great!

My INDIA THAT IS BHARATH is indeed a GREAT NATION. With one of the most ancient civilizations of the world, India with its age old culture and heritage has talked about the universal brotherhood and oneness of humanity and in fact has practiced the noble concept. This core philosophy treats the entire universe as one family. India has provided inspiration to several countries of the world to become free. North and South, East and West all over the world look to India for peace and serenity. In that way Mahakavi Bharathiyar was right when he declared in ecstasy that India is a great nation in the world!

”பாருக்குள்ளே நல்ல நாடு
பாரத நாடு!”

TAMILNADU made ITS CONTRIBUTION TO INDIA AND THE WORLD.  With its ancient civilization and rich heritage, Tamilnadu, has contributed in enormous measure for the progress and greatness of India through its language and literature, scientific achievements and technological attainments, economic development and social advancement, patriotic leadership and political niceties, unassailable laws of good governance, advanced principles in archaeology and architecture, agriculture and engineering, medicines and technology – all lending colour to the glory of India!

TAMIL: One of the most ancient languages yet vibrant and dynamic with its inexhaustible thoughts in every realm influencing humanity through its art and literature has provided guidelines for happy living, just governance, noble behavior etc. A classical language with richness of grammar and vastness of literature, scintillating thoughts and inspiring philosophy has contributed splendidly for building up the national character and human values.

THIRUVALLUVAR:  He is one of the greatest thinkers the world has witnessed. Born more than 2300 years ago in the famous city of Chennai in India, he, through his magnum opus Thirukkural’, has given the art and science of life and living. When the values propounded are practiced truthfully, it will surely bring the unseen heaven to this very earth. Hardly there is any subject in the world that has not been dealt with by Thiruvalluvar and that in fact has made this work universally accepted as common scripture of eternal truths. This is probably the only work that has been translated into more than ninety languages of the world, of course, excepting Bible and Quoran, which are the valued possession of the respective religions. That indicates the universality of the great work. Monumental contribution and rarest gift of Tamilnadu to India and the world are versatile Saint Thiruvalluvar and his marvelous Thirukkural!

Here are some of the encomiums paid to the great Saint Poet by intellectual personalities of the world:

Rev. G. U Pope, M. A.,  D. D.
(1820-1908)

To say in a nutshell, THIRUKKURAL is an encyclopedia on the art of living focusing on multifaceted aspects of life and human being.

“The weaver of Mylapore was undoubtedly one of the great geniuses of the world, complete in himself. The sole work of the author, the KURAL has come down the stream of ages absolutely uninjured, hardly a single various reading of any importance being found.

In value it outweighs the whole of the remaining Tamil literature and is one of the select numbers of great works which have entered into the very soul of a whole people and which can never die.

“Sir A Grant says, ‘humility, charity and forgiveness of injuries are not described by Aristotle’. Now these three are everywhere forcibly inculcated by this Tamil moralist.”

“ 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 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 the 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.”

“The KURAL is the master piece of Tamil literature- one of the highest
and purest expression of human thought”.

“That which, above all, is wonderful in the Kuralis the fact that is the author addresses himself, without regard to castes, peoples or beliefs, to the whole community of the mankind; the fact that he formulates sovereign morality and absolute reason; that he proclaims in their very essence, in their eternal abstractedness, virtue and birth; that he presents as it were, in one group the highest laws of domestic and social life; that he is equally perfect in thought; in language and poetry, in the austere metaphysical contemplation of the great mysteries of their Divine Nature, as in the easy and graceful analysis of the tenderest emotions of the heart.”

Rev. E.J. Robinson.

(In “Tales and Poems of South India)

“Mr.Gover may be right in saying that Valluvar uses no words against a priest. He certainly does not directly oppose the sacerdotal orders, but in such a work silence is significant. Brahmans are not necessarily priests, they are rather the patrons and employers of the priests. A little of Brahmans is Anthanar and the poet insinuates that they do not deserve to be so called.  The epithet beautiful or cool minded belongs to the self-controlled and unworldly. “The virtuous are truly called Anthanar, because in their conduct towards all creatures, they are clothed in kindness”. The whole work amounts to a protest against religious pretence, imposition and oppression. There is a vein of satire in it against Gods of the Brahmans”.

Prof. M. Winternitz
(1620-1908)

Thiruvalluvar’s Kyral , the 1550 short sentences on the three aims of life Dharma, Artha, Kama is one of the gems of world literature. Buddists, Jains, Vaishnavas, and Saivashave claimed the Pariah sage and poet of the Tamil land  as their own. But he belongs to none of them or rather to all of them.  For he stands above all races, castes and sects and what he teaches is general human morality and wisdom. No wonder that the Kural has not only been much read, studied and highly prized in the land of its origin for centuries, but has also found many admirers in the West, ever since it has become known. Already by 1730, Books I and II were translated by Father C. Joseph Beschi, into Latin, French, German and English translations followed one after another. A German translation from the Tamil by A.F.Cammerer appeared in 1803.  Better known is the German translation by Karl Graul 1856. A few couplets were also translated by the German poet and master-translator Friedirch Ruckert in 1847. The finest English rendering of Thiruvalluvar’s verses known to me is that of G.U.Pope, who was not only a great Tamil Scholar, but also a true lover of the Tamil people, among whom he has lived for very many years.

Sage Tiruvalluvar should not be styled the unknown sage of Mylapore, for has long been known far beyond the borders of his mother country.”

Thirukkural –The holy Scripture

International Tamil Language Foundation, U.S.A.

A small underground chamber has been constructed with strong tungsten metal below Kremlin House. No atom or hydrogen bomb can destroy it. Some of the greatest books of the world have been preserved in that chamber for posterity as a precaution in the event of breaking out of third world war or any other catastrophe and if majority of people perishes with their valuables. One of the books so preserved is Thirukkural.

Rabindranath Tagore.

Rabindranath Tagore once paid visit to the Tiruvalluvar Templeand Mylopore and worshipped. He observed that the ideas of Great Saint Tiruvalluvar will apply not only to India but the whole world.

Mahatma Gandhi
I wanted to learn Tamil only to enable me to study Valluvar’s Kural through the mother tongue itself.
Only a few of us know the name of Tiruvalluvar. The North Indians do not know the name of the Great saint. There is none who has given such a treasure of wisdom like him.

On this Tiruvalluvar Day, I thought this is the best way to pay respects to the great Saint Poet and hence this Sunday Story. I am sure my esteemed viewers will also feel the same way. Thanks.

 

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Tiruvalluvar statue at Kanyakumari, Southern most tip of India

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