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Thread: “Thirukkural” an ancient Tamil treatise on Code of Ethics

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    "Thirukkural" an ancient Tamil treatise on Code of Ethics

    Under Re-construction

    (1) Introduction

    Thamilar Mangala Nathaswaram & Veenai Isai

    A Tamil Song composed by Puratchi Kavignar Bharathidasan

    "Thirukkural" is an 'ancient treatise' on the Code of Ethics - from "Tamil Nadu" South India, being the 'great sayings' of the Tamil Sage/Poet Thiruvalluvar (B.C.30-A.D.40)" on various aspects of the human life.

    "Kural” means - a two lined verse. Thirukkural means a “sacred two lined verse”. This treatise on the Code of Ethics has 1330 such Kurals enshrined in it. His treatise was composed in an era of social setting when divisions of Tamil Nadu were under different Sovereigns and governed by autocratic rule.

    However “almost the entire set of Codes specified in Thirukkural” are still applicable to all sections of the World Societies - with modern social outlook in a democratic autonomy, with ultra modern living comforts and very far advanced science & technology of the third millenium.

    The Tamil Text of the entire 1330 Thirukkurals could be read from the "Project Madurai Website" of Dr Kalyanasunderam
    having the following URL:

    Tamil Text & English Translilteration & Translation of Thirukkural could be read from the Website having the following URL of Thiru Gokulnath

    The Video having the following URL, gives us a glimpse on few of the contents of 'Thirukkural".

    (2) Biography of Sage/Poet Thiruvalluvar

    Thiruvalluvar's birth and growth as the Chieftain of Valluva Nadu

    In the first century B.C. the Valluvanadu formed the western part of the present Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu and the Naanjil Nadu formed the eastern part of this district, with their borderline tracing through from the present Pallenthurai of the southern coast of Kanyakumari district, through Nagercoil, Navelcadu, Palkulam, and Priam, up northwards. With this borderline the Naanjil Nadu encompassed the present Suchindram, Aralvaimoli, Bhutapaandi and Alakiyapaandiyapuram. The capital city of Valluva Nadu was located in the west of this borderline in Muttam region close to the seacoast.

    (Note: Almost 1000 years later after Thiruvalluvar's birth, the "Muttam region" being the traditional capital city of Valluva Chieftains of Valluva Nadu, was conquered by the medieval Chola Emperor Rajaraja Chola - 1(A.D.985-1014) in A.D.1003 and was renamed as "Mummudi Chola Nallur")

    The Sage/Poet Thiruvalluvar was born in the family of Valluva Chieftains in the capital city (the 'earlier name' of which still not traced which was located south of present Periyakulam tank and north of present Muttam sea coast) in Valluva Nadu in Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu in the year B.C.30. The name either of his Parents or next of Kin are still not known. His real name was Nedumaaran and was known as "Nedumaara Valluvan". He succeeded as the next Chieftain of Valluva Nadu and was well versed in warfare.

    Evidences on the above References

    "....Aran arinthoam aantra Porul arinthoam inpin (Inpaththu)
    thiran arinthoam Veedu thelinththem - Maram erintha vaalaar
    Nedumaara Valluvanaar
    (valourous sword Nedumaara Valluvanaar)
    tham vaayaat kealaathana ellaam keattu...."
    Praise Poem on Thirukkural by Poet Kodignalan MaaniPoothanaar
    Thiruvalluvamaalai - Poem No: 40

    ".....Sri Ko Rasarasakesari varmarkku andu pathinettaavathu Rasarasa then naattu Valluvanaattu Muttam,
    Muttam ennum pher thavirththu Mummudi Chola Nallur entru peraakki in naattu Thirunanthikkarai Mathevarkku Perumaal Iyppikai (Iyppasi month) Sathayaththi naal .....thiruvilaa eduththu...."
    Inscription of Rajaraja Chola - 1 on west wall of Rock-cut Siva Shrine Thirunandikkarai in Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu
    Travancore Archaeological Series - Vol XVI, Page 413/414.


    From the above Inscription of Rajaraja Chola - 1 at Thirunandikkarai Siva Temple it is seen that Muttam and Thirunandikkarai were two regions within the Valluva Nadu of Kanyakumari district. As per Dr S.Padmanaban's field researches is had been established that the Thiruvalluvar Hill at Suralacode of Kalkulam region too was in the Valluvanadu. Hence it is clear that the region of former Valluva Nadu approximately covered a region little beyond these regions as its three eastern limits of the former Valluvanadu.

    The actual "month and date of birth of Thiruvalluvar" still not known. However in a Tamil Ephemeris of Sri Lanka it is indicated that Thiruvalluvar 'Guru Poosai Naal' as 23rd of the month Maasi. The source of this detail is not indicated in same. Hence untill new evidence surface on Thiruvalluvar's month and date of Birth - the 'Thiruvalluvar Thinam' for the purpose of annual celebrations in his memory, could be in the month of January on the second day from the date of Thamilar Thai Pongal Vilaa as practised presently, which was declared by the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu "Kalaignar Karunaanithi" on the advises of many Tamil Scholars.

    Further he also declared the beginning of the new Thiruvalluvar Aandu (Thiruvalluvar Era) to be from B.C.30, the year Sage/Poet Thiruvalluvar (B.C.30-A.D.40) could be concluded as correct, as this was of the period the Paandiyan king "Ukkirap Peruvaluthi" (A.D.05-27) ruled the Paandiya Nadu from Mathurai under whose audience the Thirukkural was staged at the Third Thamil Sangam.

    Thiruvalluvar renounced his life as the Chieftain and becomes an Ascetic

    However towards the middle age of his life around A.D.05 Nedumaara Valluvan abdicated the throne as the Chieftain, and choose to lead an Ascetic life with his Ashram on a hill (in the present Suralacode) of then Valluva Nadu. It was during this period he composed his great literary work on the "Code of Ehics" in Tamil the "Thirukkural" and in great appreciation and in much reverence to him, he came to be known as the Sage/Poet "Thiruvalluvar" (Thiru-valluvar) by the people, and the capital city where he was born as - "Thirunayanaarkurichi" {Thiru-Nayanaar-Kurichi} (Note: Nayanaar means a Sage, similer to the 63 - Saivite Sages of Periyapuranam were known as 63 - Nayanmar or Nayanaars).

    There is a hill (malai) at the present Koovaikadu in Suralacode, Kalkulam Taluk, of Valluva Nadu, and it was on this hill (malai) "Thiruvalluvar" had his Ashram from where he composed his entire "Thirukkural" - the 'Tamil Code of Ethics', and hence the hill was known as "Thiruvalluvar Malai". It is said there is a portrait sculpture of the Sage Thiruvalluvar on another rock close to the Rock-cut temple within the vicinity of the Nanthikkarai Siva temple of former Valluva Nadu, north of present Kulasegram in the Kanniyakumari district which is further being researched.

    Thiruvaluvan kal potrai (Thiruvalluvan kal malai = Valluvan hill) (Note: Potrai is a corruption of the word Porai which mean a Hill)

    Evidences on the above References

    "The Hindu, 29 April 2005
    It is interesting to learn that a hill in Kanyakumari district is named after Tiruvalluvar. [...]
    The Kanyakumari Historical and Cultural Research Centre recently brought to light the existence of Valluvan Kal Potrai in Koovaikkadu hamlet, Surulodu panchayat, Kalkulam taluk, Kanyakumari district. The author, along with two others, went to the hilltop to speak to the 105-year-old leader of the Kaanis, Kaaliyan Kaani. [...]

    According to Kaaliyan Kaani, locals call him Moottukaani, Tiruvalluvar was a king who had ruled the area in ancient days. Both the king and his queen were fond of the Kaanis’ honey and Thinai (little millet) flour. The place where Tiruvalluvar was said to have taken rest is called Valluvan Kal Potrai and the adjoining hill was named after his wife as Valluvathi Potrai.

    The inhabitants started worshipping him after his death and the footprints carved atop the Valluvan hill is revered by them. An inscription on the wall of a "well" at Koovaikkadu has the name of `Tiruvalluvar Kal Malai’ engraved on it. Tiruvalluvar is believed to have lived in a place surrounded by four kinds of land: kurinji (mountainous), mullai (pastoral), marutham (agricultural) and neithal (maritime). Tirukkural mentions the techniques people had employed in all the four kinds of land.

    The couplets also speak of Puzhuthivithaippu or Podivithaippu that is practised by the farmers of the then Naanjilnaadu (present Kanyakumari district). Also, Tiruvalluvar’s birth place, Tirunayanarkurichi, lies between Muttom sea and an irrigation tank called Periyakulam. [...]''

    Tiruvalluvar revered as ancient king among the Kaani of Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu.
    Courtesy: Dr S.Padmanaban of Courtesy: Krishna e-pages[/url]

    ".....the Sri Koyil of the Mahadevar temple in Suchindiram of Sundara Chola Charthurvedimangalam in Nanjilnad....."
    Inscription from Suchindram temple in south Kanyakumari temple.
    Selected Malayalam Inscriptions - by S.K.Nayar & T.V.Mahalingam


    From the foregoing it could be seen the Hill of Valluva Nadu where "Nedumaara Valluvan" of the first century A.D. had his Ashram after abdication of his position as the Valluva Chieftain, could have been called as 'Valluvan Kallu Malai' or as 'Valluvan Malai'. It was during this period he composed his great Tamil Work on the "Code of Ethics", and in recognition and appreciation of same was given the significant name as "Thiru-Valluvar" meaning Reverand Valluvar. But the inscribe on the 'well' as "Thiruvalluvan Kal Malai", and the nearby hill known as "Thiruvalluvan Malai" both of Koovaikkadu, at Surulacode in Kalkulam Taluk of Kanyakumari district bears the prefix 'Thiruvalluvan' and not simply 'Valluvan'. The credit of this discovery goes to Dr S.Padmanaban of Kanyakumari Historical Research Institute. Hence it is confirmed beyond any doubt that "Thiruvalluvar who composed the Thirukkural" had his Ashram at "Thiruvalluvan Malai" in Koovaikadu at Suralakodu in Kalkulam region of the present west Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu the former Valluva Nadu.

    The Period of composition of Thirukkural by Thiruvalluvar

    Thiruvalluvar composed his Thirukkural during the period A.D.05-10 of his Ascetic life on the Valluvar Malai in the present region of Koovaikkaadu at Suralacode in the Kalkulam Taluk of Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu.


    "Silappathikarem" a great Tamil epic of Chera Naadu (Kerala country) composed by poet Ilango Adikal specifically mentions that "....kadal sool Ilankai Kayavaahu venthan....." was there at the consecration ceremony of the newly built Kannaki Temple by emperor Cheran Chenguttuvan (A.D.65 -120) on the hill the Neduverlkuntram sacred to God Muruga, presently situated on the Suruli hills range in Idukki district of Kerala, bordering Tamil Nadu.

    The 'Kayavahu Venthan' referred in Silappathikaaram was the king Gajabaahu - 1 of Sri Lanka, who has been positively dated as ruling during the years A.D.113 -135 in the Island's History, from the Sri Lankan Chronicle "Rajavaliya" it could be seen that king Gajabaahu - 1 came for this consecration ceremony within two years period of his reign. Hence we can arrive at the date of the consecration ceremony of the Kannaki temple built as "approximately" in the year A.D.115, which is about a year before the epic "Silappathikaaram" was composed by poet Ilango Adikal in A.D.116.

    Another great Tamil epic of Chera Naadu (Kerala country) named "Manimekalai" was composed during this same time by poet Saaththanaar in A.D.117. Both Silappathikaaram and Manimekalai were composed by the poets Ilango Adikal and Saaththanaar from Vanji Nagar - the present Kodungallur of Kerala, the capital city of the Chera emperor Cheran Chenguttuvan. The Silappathikaarem and Manimekalai have stories inter-related to each other, one speaking of Kovalan and his wife Kannaki and the other of Manimekalai the daughter of Kovalan by Mathavi belongs to the same period. Now we note two couplets of Thirukkkural have been used by poet Ilango Adikal and one couplet by poet Saththanaar in their Tamil epic poems, namely the Silappathikaaram and Manimekalai.[/u]

    We shall first see the work Silappathikaarem which has made use of Thirukkural at two places.

    (1) ".....Theivanth tholaa al kolunat troluvaalaith theivanth tholuthahaimai thinnithaal theivamaaimannaha maathark kaniyaaya Kannaki vinnaka maatharkku virunthu…."
    Silappathikaaram - Venbaa, Katturai kaathai

    (2) ".....Allavai seithaarkku aram kootramaam ennum pallavaiyor sollum paluthantre - pollaa vaduvinaiye seitha vaya venthan thevi kadivinaiyen seivathoo ung kaan....."
    Silappathikaaram - Valakkurai kaathai

    In Manimekalai we find the Thirukkural made use of is as follows

    (1) "......Theivanth tholaa al kolunat trolutheluvaal peiyenap peiyum perumalai yendru app
    Poiyil Pulavan porulurai therai......"
    Manimekalai - Lines 59-61, Siraisei kaathai

    From the above and especially from the reference in Manimekalai it is very clear beyond any doubt, that the period of composition of Thirukkural was earlier than the period A.D.116. But how early is the next question that would be posed on us. We are made aware of a reference as seen below in the Tamil work of the first century known as "Thiruvalluvamaalai", being collection of praise poems on the Thirukkural of Thiruvalluvar by many poets of the Sangam period.

    Thiruvalluvar performs the Arangetram of Thirukkural at the Third Thamil Sangam

    After completion of his work the "Thirukkural", he intended to do the Arangetram of his great composition at the Third Thamil Sangam at Mathurai in Paandiya Nadu, in the audience of then ruling Paandiyan king namely the "Ukkirapp Peruvaluthi (A.D.05-27)" 'around' A.D.10 (when he was 40 - years), and the other great Poets of this Sangam. The Poets of the Thamil Sangam who were present in this audience were namely the Nakkirar, Paranar, Kapilar, Maamoolanaar, Kallaadar, Avvaiyar and many others who have subsequently sung praise poems in appreciation of his great Tamil Code of Ethics the "Thirukkural".

    One of the praise poems was composed by the Poet Keeranthaiyaar of this period which is as follows:

    "Thappa muthat paavaal thaam aanda padalinaal
    Muppaalin naatpaal molinthavar - eppaalum
    vai vaiththa
    koor vel Valuthi manam mahilath
    Theivath Thiruvalluvar

    Thiruvalluvamaalai - by poet Keeranthaiyaar, verse 19

    From the above it is very clear that the arangetram of Tamil Code of Ethics the "Thirukkural" took place in the audience of the king Valuthi who was no other than the Pandiyan king "Ukkirap Peru Valuthi (A.D.05-27)" of the Third Thamil Sangam at Mathurai, in then Tamil Nadu.. This is further confirmed by another praise poem on Thirukkural by the Pandiyan Ukkira Peru Valuthi himself as seen in the Tamil work Thiruvalluvamaalai given below.

    "The God Naanmugan who cameforth in the disguise as Valluvan and gave forth the essense of truth of Naan Marai as Mupaal - a treatise prayed, praised, the good heart to hear and think".
    Thiruvalluvamaalai - by Pandiyan king UkkirapPeru Valuthi, verse 4

    The Naan Marai mentioned in the above references are not the Sanskrit Four Vedas (Vedaththu Naan Marai) but the Tamil Thanthira Naan Marai.

    Further from Thiruvalluvamaalai poems we note the Poet "Kodignalan Maani Poothanaar" has composed a poem where he has referred to Thiruvalluvar as "...maram erintha vaalaar 'Nedumaara Valluvanaar' tham vaayaat kelaathana vellaam keattu...." which confirms that his first name was Nedumaaran and hence was known as "Nedumaara Valluvanaar". Tiruvalluvar's birth place identified as Tirunayaanarkurichi, in the region of then Valluva Nadu which lies between the present Muttam sea and an irrigation tank called Periyakulam (as per Dr Pathmanaban) too has 'much validity' as Thirunayanaarkuritchi means 'reverand Nayanaar village'. Nayanaar in Tamil Nadu was used to indicate 'a Sage', like in the case of the 63 - Tamil Saiva Saints who were referred to as 63 - Saiva Naynaars (or Nayanmaars).

    The Thiruvalluvar's birthplace identified as Thirunayanaarkuritchi is in contrary to the popular belief that he was either from Mylaapore (of present Chennai) or Madurai as held by earlier Scholars. There exists some legends based on the two literary works namely the "Kapilar Akaval" and "Gnanavettiyaan" of much later periods, which states that Thiruvalluvar was born in Mylapore to "Aathi" the mother (of Pariah caste) and "Bahavan" (of Brahmin caste) the father, and later was married to Vaasuki who was the daughter of the Merchant Maarkkasakaayan from Kaviripoompattinam.

    It is said that he had a brother named Kapilar, Athikamaan, and sisters Avai, Valli, Uppai and Uruvai, who were left in the very places they were born and were subsequently brought-up by others. Thiruvalluvar is said to be a Weaver by profession and was greatly helped by another Merchant named Ealelasingan. These legends carry no weight in the presence of more authentic evidence that he was from the family of Valluva Chieftains of Valluva Nadu in Kanyakumari district, as stated in the earlier part of this discussion.

    Further there had been a 'Thiruvalluvar temple' built by some ardent followers of Thiruvalluvar around 600 - years ago at Mylaapore, which exists even today, but having the same legends found in "Kapilar Akaval" and "Gnanavettiyaan" attached to same. It appears these two literary works the "Kapilar Akaval" and "Gnanavettiyaan" were composed during the subsequent periods by some Poets, misleading the masses that Thiruvalluvar had Brahmin connection and the Thirukkural had it's ethical resources from the Vedic religion, as against the establised fact that the "Thirukkural" of being entirely of 'Tamil - origin and thoughts' and Thiruvalluvar was from the Valluvar Dynasty of Valluva Nadu in Kanyakumari district, as mentioned by Poet Nakkirar and the other Third Thamil Sangam period Poets in their Poems of praise on same.

    It could also be seen that the Literary and Linguistic style of 'Gnanavettiyan' - which too is claimed to have been composed by Poet Thiruvalluvar, goes to prove that the latter was not of the Sangam period but of very much later period, and hence was not composed by Thiruvalluvar. Similerly the Kapilar Akaval too when compared with Thirukkural proves to be of a later period, and hence not composed by Kapilar of Sangam period as claimed. There also exits another work titled as "Thiru Mayilai Thalapuraanam" said to be composed by Nathamuni having the same legend as 'Kapilar Akaval' and 'Gnanavettiyaan'.

    "Neglected Thiruvalluvar Thirukoyil at Myilaapore' - "but from the recent researches now it should be considered only as a Temple built by his great devotees living at Mylaapore 600 years back in reverence to him - and not as the birth place of Thiruvalluvar"

    From the foregoing it can been seen "Valluvar Community" were a community attached to the Valluva Nadu in the Kanyakumari district and they were ruled by Valluva Chieftains who had their capital city at Muttam of Valluva Nadu in Kanyakumari district. The Valluva Chieftains were praised by the great Poets of Sangam period Avvayaar,etc......, and the Valluvar community were not of the "Pariah caste" (Pulaiyar caste) as portrayed by 'Kapilar Akaval', 'Gnanavettiyan' and the Mayilai Thala Puranam of very much later periods which all have been composed by the much later Poets with the malacious intensions to project to the Tamil community that the 'great Tamil Poets the Thiruvalluvar, Avvaiyaar and Kapilar of the third Thamil Sangam Period' were born to a 'Pariah Caste Women', and shone in their Literary field because of their parentage having a 'Brahmin' Father

    Further it could be "positively proved with evidence" that the above mentioned "claims" that Thirukkural being the essense of Vedas - as seen in "some" of the Praise Poems of the Poets of the Third Thamil Sangam found in 'Thiruvalluvamalai', and in the 'Kapilar Akaval' and 'Gnanavettiyaan' are as "false". Many Tamil Scholars of the present day are able to do critical studies on the "actual contents" of "all Sanskrit Vedas" in their research work unlike in the earlier days, as they all have been translated into Tamil and English Languages. The "claims" that "the great sayings of Thirukkural on Code of Ethics are all found in Vedas" could now be verified for their authenticity and rejected.

    Further the story as portrayed by Gnanavettiyaan, Kapilar Akaval, and Mayilaithala Puranam on the birth and parentage of Thiruvalluvar and his connection with present Mylaapore, and his parents being "Aathi and Bagavan" too could be rejected in the light of new Findings that Thiruvalluvar was born in the family of Valluva Chieftains of Valluva Nadu in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. The reference in the first Kural of Thiruvalluvar as "Aathi Pakavan muthatke ulaku" has no reference to the name of the Parents of Thiruvalluvar. It only means that "Primordial God' (Aathi Pakavan) - who in reality has no 'name' and 'form'.

    (3) The spread and the influence of Thirukkural in the life of the people of Tamil Nadu from first century A.D.

    The year the "Thirukkural" was staged at the third Thamil Sangam at Mathurai being A.D.10, was an era which happened to be the very prosperous period of then "Muth Thamil Nadu" namely the Chera, Chola and Paandiya Naadu. It was during this period the Roman Traders from Italy and Egyption Traders from Alexandria, had a very active and lucrative Trade in the commodities of then Tamil Nadu in precious Stones and Gems, Pepper, Silk, Muslin and many other commodities of "Muth Thamil Nadu" in exchange to their goods and gold in form of coins and otherwise, which boosted the economy of Tamil Nadu. The Chola Seaport capital Kaviripoompattinam was with sky-high mansions of Roman Traders who had a very lucrative trade Tamil Nadu. This is the reason the greatest amount of Gold and Siver Coins have been excavated from various parts of Tamil Nadu by the modern Archaeologists issued by the greatest Roman Emperor Augustus Ceasor followed by that issued by many of his successors. In the (Tamil) Chera Nadu the Romans Traders also built at the Chera Seaport city a temple of Augustus in reverence to their ruling emperor).

    The agriculture too was given much impetus during this period. The religions Saivaism, Vaishnavaism, Vedism, Jainism, Buddhism thrived among the Tamil people of this period who were free to practice the Religion of their choice. Music, Dance, Drama and Folk Arts thrived. Much of Tamil Linguistic and Literary developments took place with the compositions of great Tamil poetic works of the third Thamil Sangam of this period. It was during this period the great "Thirukkural" was staged at the third Thamil Sangam in the presence of the great Paandiya king "Kaanap Pereiyil kadantha - Ukkirap Peruvaluthi (A.D.05-27)". It was during the period of this Paandiya king arranged to classify the Poems composed at the the second and third Thamil Sangam into composite works as Ahanaanooru, Puranaanooru, Nattrinai and Kalithokai. Some of Poets of this Sangam after the Arangetram of Thirukkural composed some Poems making use of the ethical points as stated in the Thirukkural.

    From the inception of the staging (Arangettram) of Thirukkural in the audience of many great Tamil Poets and the then Pandiyan king Ukkirapperuvalurhi at the third Thamil Sangam in Mathurai, it became a widely accepted Tamil Code of Ethics among the people of then "Muth Thamil Nadu" namely the Chera Naadu, Chola Naadu and the Paandiya Naadu. This is confirmed by the Poet Seeththalai Saaththanaar in his poetic praise of Thirukkural.

    "Mum Malaiyum, Munth Naadum, Munth Nathiyum, Mup Pathiyum,
    Mum Murasum, Muth Thamilum, Muk Kodiyum, Mum Maavum,
    Thamudai Mannar thada mudimel Aaram andro
    Paa murai ther Valluvar muppaal

    Thiruvalluvamaalai - by poet Seeththalai Saaththanaar, verse 10

    After the Kalabhra (Kalappirar from Karanataka state) invasion of Tamil Nadu in A.D.467 the Thirukkural ceased to be as the great Code of Ethics among Tamil Kings and amongst the people of Muth Thamil Naadu the Chera, Chola and Paadiyan countries. During this period the Jaina religion (Samana Samayam) was actively been spread among the people of Tamil Nadu by the Kalabhra kings, who now held sway over major part of Tamil Nadu of that period. Among the Tamil speaking regions of this period, the three regions namely Chola Nadu, Thondai Nadu and the Paandiya Naadu met severely with these changes of time.

    Around A.D.575 the Pallavas dynasty from the north laid their foothold in Tamil Nadu by conquering the northern regions of Tamil Nadu from the Kalabhra kings namely the Chola Naadu and Thondai Naadu, and commenced rule with their capital at Kanchipuram. The Pallava kings introduced with much intense the Vedic religion and the Saivite and Vaishnavite religions with "practices as developed in North India". In the process they introduced and accepted the "Manu Neethi" of North India as the royal Code of Ethics of their kingdom and introduced same to the people of then Tamil Nadu, which lead the traditional Tamil Code of Ethics the "Thirukkural" completely loosing grounds in Tamil Nadu.

    The Kalabhras and the Pallava domination of Tamil Nadu of sixth century was limited to the Chola, Thondai and Paandiya countries. The other two Tamil speaking countries namely the Kongu Nadu and Chera Nadu didnot meet these historical changes with respect to the existing Religious and Ethical doctrines, as these dynasties didnot have much hold on these regions and continued to remain as the repositary of the Sangam period culture of then Tamil Nadu.

    In the former Tamil speaking Chera Nadu (present Kerala) the Thirukkural formed a part of the life of the Tamil people, and even today the remnents of the Thiruvalluvar worship can be seen in all 14 - states of Kerala State, with temples built in honour of Sage/Poet Thiruvalluvar and the worship with Poosai Valipaadukal are conducted in these temples. The Thirukkural translated into Malayalam and are being recited during the time of worship in these temples. There is an extimated 30,000 worshippers of Thiruvalluvar are to be found in Kerala even today. The following Video is on a present Thiruvalluvar Temple at Muvattupula closer to the river Muvattu Pula (Pula= River) in the Ernakulam district in Kerala.

    The spread of Thirukkural and worship of Thiruvalluvar which still exists in the 14 States of present Kerala (The former Tamil Chera Country) Information with Courtesy :Balaji and Niranjan Bharathi of Puthiya Thalamurai TV.

    This lead the Kings and local Chieftains of the Kongu Nadu to continue holding Thirukkural as the royal Code of Ethics and among the people of this region, as testified by the Copper Plate Grants and Inscriptions of this region which was highlighted "for the first time" by Pulavar Dr Rasu of Tamil Nadu Archaeological Department in his Research Woks.

    "Kaliyuga Sahaaptham 4344 (A.D.1242).....anaiththu uyirhatkum inithena ulahaththu urai naangum Valluvar uraiththa Muppaal moliyin padiye Arame arinthu allavai kadinthu nallavai naatti, aarilontru kadamai kondu senghol neethi valuvaamal nadanthukondu varukira naalaiyil......"

    Kongu Vellaaler Cheppedu Pattayangal - by Pulavar S.Rasu (Munnaal Thalavar of Kalvettu Tholiyalthurai, Thamil Palkalaikalagam, Thanjavur - Pattayam 5, pakkam 49

    This trend continued in Kongu Nadu while the other Tamil royal dynasties of Tamil Nadu - the Pallavas, Early Paandiyas, Medieval Cholas, Later Paandiyas - all adopted the newly introduced "Manu Neethi" in place of the Tamil Thirukkural as their royal Code of Ethics with the coming of intense Sanskrit Vedic influence and the Sanskrit North Indian - Saivite & Vaishnavite Practices in their kingdoms during the period of their rule.

    (4) The Religion of Thiruvalluvar

    From the Thirumathiram of Thirumoolar - the Tamil Saivite composition being the eighth Thirumurai we note the term "Aravaali Anthanan" has been used to refer God Siva, which is as follows:

    "Piravaa neri thantha per arulaalan
    maravaa arul thantha maathvan Nanthi
    "Aravaali Anthanan" Aathi Paraaparan
    uravaaki vanthu en ulam puhunthaane"
    Thirumanthiram by Thirumoola Naayanaar, 7th Thanthiram, verse 1803

    Here God Siva is specifically referred to as "Aravaali Anthanan" meaning the Anthanan of the ocean of Aram (Virtue) by Thirumoola Naayanaar of the fifth century A.D. in his religious work Thirumanthiram in Tamil.

    Incidently it should be noted that Sage/Poet Thiruvalluvar too uses the term "Aravaali Anthanan" in his great Tamil work on Code of Ethics namely the Thirukkural, in the first chapter on Adoration of God as follows"

    "Aravaali Anthanan" thaal senthaarkku al-laal
    piravaali neeththal arithu
    Thirukkural - by Thiruvalluvar, chapter on Kadavul Vaalththu, verse 8.


    ".......Only those who submit at the feet of the God of
    Virtue it is possible to overcome the ocean of births......."


    Anthanan was a "specific name" of God Siva (God as Siva) which is confirmed by the following references.

    "yarl elu mani midattru Anthanan"
    Ahanaanooru (kadvul vaalththu)

    "Imaya vil vaangiya Eerngsadai Anthanan"
    Kaliththokai verse 38

    "Pirai mudi Anthanan"
    Kallaadam by Kallaadanaar, chapter 44, line 16

    "Piramanum Thirumalum kaithola peralall aya pemmaan
    aravam 'Ser sadai Anthanan" Ananginodu amarum idam"
    1st Thirumurai - by Thirugnanasambanthar, Thirukatchiehambam pathikam, verse 9

    "Iyan Anthanan aanodu penumaai " (Arthantheeswarer)
    Thirunaavukkarasu Naayanaar.

    "Nambinaarkku arul sei Anthanar"
    Sundramoorththi Naayanaar

    "Aravu Sadai Anthananaarai"

    In the Thevarem of Tamil Saiva Saint Sundramoorthy Nayanaar it is referred to as "enkunaththaan" the one with eight qualities.

    "Irumbu uyarntha moo elaiya soolaththinaanai
    Iraiyavanai Maraiyavanai Enkunaththinaanai
    surumbu uyarntha kontraiyodu thoo mathiyam soodum
    Sadaiyaanai vidaiyaanai Sothi enum sudarai....."
    7th Thirumurai - by Saiva Saint Sundaramoorththy Naayanaar, Thirukkaanaattu Mulur Pathikam, verse 40

    Likewise we also note in the Thirukkural in the chapter on Adoration of God, he is referred to as Enkunathaan as follows:

    "Kolil poriyin kunamilave Enkunaththaan
    thaalai vanangath thalai"

    Thirukkural - by Thiruvalluvar

    In the Thevarem of Tamil Saiva Saint Thirugnanasampanthamoorthty Nayanaar it is referred to as Malarathu maruviya Sivan as follows:

    "....ninaivodu pathuma nan Malarathu maruviya
    Sivapuram ninaipavar selu nilaninil nilai peruvare...."
    1st Thirumurai of Thirugnasampanthar Pathikam on Sivapuram

    Likewise we also note in the Thirukkural in the chapter on Adoration of God, he is referred to as Malar misai ekinaan as follows:

    "Malar misai ekinaan maanadi sernthaar
    nilamisai needu vaalvaar"
    Thirukkural - Kadavul Vaalththu

    (6) The Fundamental Nature of the sayings in Thirukkural

    The essence of Naan Marai of Tamil Saivaism were namely Aram, Porul, Inbam, Veedu. The God Siva (God as Siva) "revealed these four original Marais (religious doctrines) to the visualising senses of four Munivars", 'under the shade of the Aalamaram" (Aal nilal keel) on the Mahendra mountain on their intense worship of him. These were later composed into Naan Marai by these four Munivars and were known as the "Thanthira Naan Marai"In Tamil (the subsequent Siva Agamams translated into Sanskrit). This attribute of God Siva evolved with his new form as "Thetchanamoorththy" (Thenmukak Kadavul).

    The "Kooththanool" a third Sangam period (Second century A.D) - Tamil dance treatise too confirms that the four original Thanthira Naan Marais were revealed to the visualising senses of four Munivars by God Siva on the Mahendra Mountain.

    "Manthira maamalai Yanthira thavacil[/u] vadakku parithi kidakkap poam vali, naalvarkku Thanthira Naan Marai koorum Kooththanum Kooththiyum iyatriya kooththai kandaan Agaththiyan"
    Kooththa Nool - by Saaththanaar, Line 8

    The Tamil Saiva Saint Maanikkavaasagar of Tamil Nadu of later period confirms in the Sivapuraanam of his work Thiruvaasakam, stating that God Siva revealed the - "Nan Marais" which later were also known as the Agamams to four Munivers on the Mahenthira Malai (in south Tamil Nadu).

    "Aal athan keel irunthu naalvarkku Aram, Porul, Veedinpam (Veedu + Inpam)....therinthaanai"
    6th Thirumurai by Saint Sundaramoorthi Nayanar, Pathikam 66 Verse 2

    This is further confirmed by the sixth century A.D. Tamil Saiva Saint Thrugnanasampanthar in his Thevara Thirumuraihal.

    "Saiva vetham(doctrine), thaan ninaiththa iympulanum
    alintha sinthai Anthanaalarkku, Aram, Porul, Inpam, Veedu
    molintha vaayaan mukkanaathi
    1st Thirumurai by Saint Thirugnanasampanthar, Pathikam 53, Verse 6

    It appears the knowledge of Aram, Porul, Inpam (possibly leaving out Veedu which would have had religious leaning), and "which was prevalent among the people of Tamil Nadu of ancient times (before third Thamil Sangam Period)" were codified and compiled adding the knowledge from his own insight and understanding by concious reasoning on these subjects, and was composed as a "common Treatise on Code of Ethics" by the Sage/Poet Thiruvalluvar.

    Though Sage Thiruvalluvar was born a Saivite by religion, he composed his treatise to suit the entire humanity, irrespective of any bias towards a particular religion cast or creed. This has made Thirukkural to be acclaimed by many as a "Universal Code of Ethics".

    This is confirmed by the reference in "Kallaadam" a Saiva religious work in Tamil composed by poet Kallaadanaar - dated to the period of nineth century TamilNadu - have mentioned that the great Sage/Poet Thiruvalluvar composed Thirukkural as a Universal Code of Ethics and not as a seculer religious text..

    The reference is as follows:

    ".....Samaya Kanakkar mathi vali kooraathu Ulakiyal koori porul ithu entra Valluvan thannakku
    .....valar kavi Pulavar mun muthatkavi paadiya Mukkan Perumaan Maathudan thontri Koodalul nirainthon.....

    Kallaadam by Kallaadanaar, verse - 14

    meaning :

    ".....The Valluvan 'without' stating in the line of thinking of the Religious Saints, preached (the) Universal (Code of) Ethics and explained what (they) meant......" - to him amidst the poets "developing poetic tradition"(Thamil Sangam) the Mukkan Perumaan(God Siva) appeared with Maathu(Shakthi) and composed the first poem (of praise) and brightened the Koodal(Mathurai).

    The "Kallaadam" makes a further reference to the treatise "Thirukkural" and a verse from it as follows:

    "......Niraimathi puraiyaa Niraimathi puraiyaa, theraan thelivennum "Thirukkural" puhunthu, kurai mathi manane niraimathi puraiyaa uvarkkadan piranthum kurai udal kodiyum......'
    Kallaadam by Kallaadanaar, verse - 62

    Hence the people professing various other World religions too can equally embrace "Thirukkural" as their "Code of Ethics", in addition to the "Religious Teachings" of their great Prophets.

    All Religious Teachings leads people towards God, to achieve his salvation from their own sins of their past and the present birth - committed wittingly or unwittingly, and to lead a life in the present birth free of sufferings both mentaly and physically - from the physical handicaps, illnesses, accidents, enemies, poverty, and other failures in life - and to be with good health, imense wealth, more happiness and much prosperity with the great blessings of God.

    All Religious Teachings also guides people towards God to achieve his blessings in their next birth too, to be with - a peacefull and gracefull life, or in attainment of the glory of being with the God free from anymore births in eternal bliss - achieved by being in this birth very kind to all Human and other Living Beings showing much love and care to them, helping the sickly and the needy among them, and being free from committing sinfull acts and wrong doings to all Human and other Living Beings - either by deeds or words.

    "All Code of Ethics" are sayings which guides people in this birth to lead an ethical and rightious "worldly life” among the society, making their life worthy of living - with honesty and within the laws of the society, with much concern towards Human and other Living beings and to their feelings - and achieve what is great in every aspect of their life, and live with great name and much fame in the society.

    (5) Thirukkural could be accepted as a code of ethics among all religious groups

    The Thirukkural as a "Code of Ethics" - not biased towards any religion, caste or creed - is an ideal guidance socially to all people around the World. The interest in Thirukkural have come to such a great extent from all quarters of the World, resulting in same being translated into many World languages.

    The details of the available translations of Thirukkural in the other Languages are as follows.

    Indian Languages: Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Sanskrit, Telugu, Urudu, Saurashtra, Oriya, Assamese, Punjabi, Rajasthani

    Asian Languages: Burmese, Chinese, Malay, Sinhala,

    South-East Asian Languages: Fiji. Korean

    Middle-East languages: Arabic

    European Languages: Czech, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Latin, Polish, Russian, Swedish.

    Further the details of the available Translations of Thirukkural into Foreign Languages could be gleaned from the Website having the following URL:

    From the above we note, that “it was no wonder” the great Tamil Poet of the twentieth century the Maha Kavi Subramaniya Bharathiyar rightly and justifiably acclaimed as,

    "Valluvan thannai Ulahinitke thanthu, vaan pugal konda Thamil Nadu" meaning "the Thamil Nadu which gave forth the (Sage/Poet) Valluvan to the World and gained the sky high fame"

    So let us all irrespective of Religion, Caste & Creed, read through ourselves the “great Sayings” of the Thirukkural, and benefit from same. We shall encourage every others to study and benefit from this great work on the "Code of Ethics" - by a 'Thamil Kudimahan' - namely the Sage/Poet "Thiruvalluvar"

    ************************************************** ***

    "Briefly on Thiruvalluvar"

    "Valluvar Statue"

    This is a gigantic statue of Sage Thruvalluvar 95 ft tall in full granite, erected on a rock in the sea at Kanyakumari in south Tamil Nadu.,_Kanyakumari

    "Thiruvalluvar Kottam"

    This is a 128 ft tall granite structure in the shape of the Thiruvarur Temple Chariot, housing a life size statue of the Sage/Poet Thiruvalluvar at Valluvar Kottam, in Chennai. It also has a large audience hall with the verses of Thirukkural carved on them.

    Thiruvalluvar Aandu

    In reckoning the years of the Tamil era in terms of Thiruvalluvar Aandu, we are 'partly' keeping to the wishes of a greater section of 'Tamil Scholars', and by accepting the dawn of the month of Chiththirai as the beginning of the "Tamil New Year - the Thiruvalluvar Aandu" and celebrating the Tamil Thai Pongal and Tamil New Year seperately (as it has been done traditionally for very many years) - we are also keeping to the views of much greater section of the Tamil Population.

    Tamils of Tamil Nadu are satisfied that due recognition has been given to the great Tamil Sage/Poet Thiruvalluvar by reckoning the Tamil era in terms of Thiruvalluvar Aandu, and also celebrating the second day after Tamil Thai Pongal as the Thiruvalluvar day in honour of him which has already been declared as a State holiday.

    Accepting the beginning of each Thiruvalluvar Aandu with the dawn of the month of Chithirai as its first month prevents confusions in respect of the traditional astrological calculations prevailing and forming an important part in the Tamilian Life, in reckoning the dates of the Hindu (Tamil Saiva, Tami Vaishnava - Agamic and also the Sanskrit - Vedic) Rituals and the Religious events observed in the Hindu Temples of Tamil Nadu, and the Tamil and Hindu Festivals of the Tamilians celebrated for many years from the days of the great Tamil epic the Silappathikarem around A.D.175.

    Last edited by virarajendra; 15th January 2017 at 06:59 AM.

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    Senior Member Veteran Hubber wrap07's Avatar
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    அணுவைத் துளைத்துஏழ் கடலைப் புகட்டிக்
    குறுகத் தறித்த குறள்.- ஒளவையார்

    The above golden saying by avvaiyar signifies everything about Thirukural. It is one treasure with everthing for everyone.

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    Senior Member Platinum Hubber pavalamani pragasam's Avatar
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    He too has his own share of detractors who abuse his wise code of ethics, accuse him of male chauvnism advocating peNnadimaithanam!!!
    Eager to watch the trends of the world & to nurture in the youth who carry the future world on their shoulders a right sense of values.

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    Today the 15-1-2013 is the 'Ninaivu Naal' of the the "Great Tamil Sage/Poet Thiruvalluvar" - declared a State Holiday in Tamil Nadu.

    This Thread is brought forward to celebrate this day.

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    brought forward

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    Here Thirukural is analysed along with Sangam Literature and also good writings on Thirukural Saved

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