Thirukural – Tamil’s Classical Literature

Thirukural – Tamil’s Classical Literature

This book consisting of 133 sections of 10 couplets each which was recognized as a masterpiece of literature in Tamil, has stood the test of history and is accepted by posterity as a seminal work which has influenced the thoughts of man throughout the centuries. It is a work of not only great aesthetic and stylistic literary value, but also a guide to the art of living with nuggets of invaluable wisdom.

The range of these verses covers subjects like ethics, statecraft, citizenship, love, the art of life in its myriad forms. It deals with the three ARAM, PORUL, INBUM which are essential for a life of action.

Thirukural is separated into three sections. The first section deals with Aram doing things, with conscience and principle, for the good of the less privileged, the second one deals with Porul realities or essentials of life, and the third one dwells on Inbam the delights that a man and a woman encounter in the course of their relationship. There you can find 38 chapters in the first section, 70 chapters in the second and 25 chapters in the third section.

The profound thoughts and ideas of this great saint-poet are encapsulated in the shortest possible Tamil metre called “Kural”. Thus the wisdom of Thiru Valluvar (Author) is expressed in unparalleled verses which combine beauty with brevity. The translation of these verses into other languages will enrich the literature of this language as well.

Two thousand years later, we see the same concern for ethical values and the same commitment to expressing these sublime thoughts in a language and an idiom understood by the common man in the Thirukural.