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Tiruvalluvar





Freeindia > Biographies > Sages, Rushis And Saints > Tiruvalluvar
Tiruvalluvar

The Holy Kural was written by a weaver, Tiruvalluvar, who lived with his wife, Vasuki, in what is today a part of Madras in South India in the st century before the birth of Christ. Details of his life are meager. It is known that his wife was the perfect example of devotion and obedience to her husband, and several stories are told depicting the harmony in their mar- riage. This was Tiruvalluvar's only work, and though it is relatively short, it was sufficient to bring renown to a humble weaver, making him a venerated sage and lawgiver of the Tamil Dravidian people.

In the Tamil language "Tiru" means "holy" or "sacred," and "Kural" means anything that is brief or short. In this case it describes the very difficult and disciplined venpa meter in which the verses were written. Each verse is extremely short, containing only two lines of fourteen syllables. In fact, it is the shortest form of stanza in the Tamil language. In many ways these couplets are similar to the Sanskrit sloka. The entire scripture consists of 133 chapters with each chapter elucidat' a different aspect of human virtue or human fault. There are ten kural couplets per chapter, making a total of 1,330 couplets in the entire scripture. In his work Tiruvalluvar chose a topic--such as children, friendship or avoid- ance of anger--and gave us ten different couplets on the one subject. To properly understand his perspective on a subject, each of the ten couplets must be read, for they are like facets of a gem--all reflecting the light of his understanding slightly differently and adding to the richness of his comprehension. It has been explained to me that the saint spent the fullness of his life quietly observing, simply observing the human condition. Then, toward the end of his life, he was asked to speak out and share the wisdom others in the community knew he possessed. The Holy Kural is his response.

In Saivite Hinduism we believe that the soul, man's soul created by Siva, is returning to the Source which it already is, and this maturation is effected and directed by karma, through experience, through a succession of lives that provide experience from which inner knowledge is attained. This passage through one life and then another brings the soul ever closer to its true, effulgent being. Saivites believe that the soul can and does ultimately merge with Siva, with God, Absolute Reality. It becomes one with God, united in an ultimate experience, or non- experience, called Self-realization, which in turn leads to moksha or liberation from the necessity for further incarnation. This is the final goal, and the Holy Kural provides a foundation upon which the quest for that goal may proceed with confidence and stability.









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Published on: 2003-01-31 (4210 reads)

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Tiruvalluvar
Tiruvalluvar
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