Monday, October 22, 2007

tamil inkural - Tamilin kuRaL: கடவுள் வாழ்த்து

tamil inkural - Tamilin kuRaL:
1.1.1கடவுள் வாழ்த்து (வழிபாடு)
Chapter. 1 - The Praise of God

This chapter is named “ ¸கடவுள் வாழ்த்து ” . கட+உள் means transcendental + within .That which is transcendental but is within ourselves.

கலைஞர் கருணாநிதி இந்த அதிகாரத்திற்கு வழிபாடு எனத் தலைப்பிட்டுள்ளார்

But in the verses of this chapter the word கடவுள் is not used. Instead இறைவன் is used. This word இறைவன் is used in later chapters to refer to a king or a leader.

In 1062

இரந்தும் உயிர்வாழ்தல் வேண்டின் பரந்து
கெடுக உலகியற்றியான் . 1062

the author curses of the creator/originator/author of the world,whoever he or she is , the poet does not refer to as God, the creator.

தெய்வம் is the word he uses in kural 43 , 55 and 619, 1023. In 619 he says that even if ' தெய்வம் ' fails sincere effort will yield suitable rewards.
In Tamil society , even to-day, families treat the dead ancesters as தெய்வம்
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1.Education is the basic start for life. This is stressed at various points in ThirukkuRaL.

உளரென்னும் மாத்திரையர் அல்லால் பயவாக்
களரனைர் கல்லா தவர் 406

(The person who is uneducated is like a wasteland)

விலங்கொடு மக்களனையர் இலங்கு நூல்
கற்றாரோ டேனை யவர். 410

(The uneducated are equivalent to animals)
not just learning, he also insists on its application , as seen in 730 and 650

உளரெனினும் இல்லாரோ தொப்பர் களனஞ்சி
கற்ற செலச் சொல்லாதார் 730

(It is not enough just to acquire knowledge ; one must be in a position to express them convincingly in the assembly of learned persons)
இணரூழ்த்தும் நாறா மலரனையரா கற்றது
உணர விரித்துரை யாதார்650

(A person who cannot express one's knowledge is like a flower withour fragrance)

The first chapter deals not with just a prayer to an unknown and undefined god. He pays respects to God by asserting the primacy of Sun in the lives of all beings on Earth. A fact of life which stands the test of any scientific inquiry . Just one verse.

All other verses are not on any imaginary gods (see 1062 where he uses the word உலகியற்றியான், where the word 'god' might have been more apt , and curses him for creating the poor and the needy and make them beg. ) .

That is where Ayyan Valluvar makes his work appeal an universal audience, which undoubtedly it is.

The rest of first chapter asserts knowledge as essential for a good life and ways of acquiring them . The meaning of life, what to expect out of it is also outlined.

[ Know that by long prostration, by question and by service, the wise who have realised the Truth will instruct thee in (that) knowledge.
Bagavat-gita IV.34.

Even if thou art the most sinful of all sinners, yet thou shalt verily cross all sins by the raft of knowledge.
Bagavat-gita IV.36.

Verily there is no purifier in this world like knowledge.
Bagavat-gita IV.38.]


படித்தல், கற்றல், அறிதல்(ch.43), உணர்தல்(read,learn,understand and experience/know, feel/apply) are the stages of education.

ch.40 education ch43 this chapter deals with knowledge (அறிவுடைமை), is given under Royalty (அரசியல்) .

This stage of one's education is necessary for a leader. In other words ,attaining this stage makes one eligible to be a leader (king). So it is given in Part II – the micro-level discussion.



1. அகர முதல எழுத்தெல்லாம் ஆதி
பகவன் முதற்றே உலகு.

Corrected:
அகர முதல எழுத்தெல்லாம் ஆதி
பகலன் முதற்றே உலகு.

எழுத்தெல்லாம் அகர முதல , அது போல உலகு ஆதி பகலன் முதற்றே .


As all letters have the letter A for their first, so the world has the ancient Sun (பகலன்) for its first.

Here the word ' பகவன் is inappropriate. ' பகலன் looks appropriate.

The Tamils worshiped the Sun-God and the ' தைப்பொங்கல் Pongal festival is the example. ஆதி பகலன் means the ancient Sun-God.

ஓலைச்சுவடியில் ல , வ இரண்டும் ஒன்று போல் தெரியுமோ?
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2. கற்றதனா லாயப யனென்கொல் வாலறிவன்
நற்றாள் தொழாஅர் எனின்.


What Profit have those derived from learning, who worship not the good feet of Him who is possessed of pure knowledge ?


What is the use of getting educated if a person does not follow the foot-steps of the deeply-learned.

The advice is 'Learn from the Masters'

GITA : IV.34. : Understand the true nature of Knowledge by approaching the illumined souls. If you prostrate at their feet , render service , and question them with an open and guileless heart , those wise seers of Truth will instruct you in that knowledge.

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3.மலர்மிசை ஏகினான் மாணடி சேர்ந்தார்
நிலமிசை நீடுவாழ் வார்.


Whoever follows the path of persons who love and appreciate flowers, live by nature, will have a long life in this earth.

Anthophilous – மலர் விருப்புடைய, பூப்பயில்கின்ற, பூமிசைகிற (Madras University Dictionary, Tamil virtual university)


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4. வேண்டுதல்வேண்டாமை இலான்அடி சேர்ந்தார்க்கு
யாண்டும் இடும்பை இல.


To those who follow the footsteps of him who is void of desire or aversion, suffering and hardship shall never come.

வேண்டுதல்வேண்டாமை இலான் : person without likes and dislikes, person who transcends personal likes and dislikes .

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5. இருள்சேர் இருவினையும் சேரா இறைவன்
பொருள்செர் புகழ்புரிந்தார் மாட்டு.

இருள்சேர் இருவினையும் சேரா (என்பது) இறைவன் (என்பதற்குப் ) பொருள் (என்று) புரிந்தார் மாட்டு புகழ் சேர் .

'Not getting perturbed by both the good and bad actions and their consequences' is what God (leader/king) means. Persons who understand this can command a reputation ( in the society ) .

இன்ப துன்பங்களால் பாதிக்கப்படாமல் வாழத் தெரிந்தவன் புகழ் பெறுவான்.

see verse 236, 237 where the poet says that one must live a fruitful life of reputation.

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6. பொறிவாயில் ஐந்தவித்தான் பொய்தூர் ஒழுக்க
நெறிநின்றார் நீடுவாழ் வார்.



Those shall long proposer who are truthful, disciplined, committed and has controlled the five desires of the senses.

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7.தனக்குவமை இல்லாதான் தாள்சேர்ந்தார்க் கல்லால்
மனக்கவலை மாற்றல் அரிது


Anxiety of mind cannot be removed, except from those who follow the footsteps (advices) of him who is superior and incomparable (in knowledge)

Learn from the masters.

COMMENT: The word தனக்கு may refer to the teacher chosen or the student himself who seeks knowledge.

In the former case the verse is explained as above.

In the latter case the verse says that the student who seeks knowledge must choose a teacher who is more knowledgeable than the student himself.

The latter interpretation seems plausible. A student cannot decide the relative merits of teachers and compare them. He is just seeker of knowledge and not knowledgeable enough to judge prospective teachers. By choosing a teacher better than oneself is a possibility. By shifting to teachers with various specialization one widens one's knowledge.
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8. அறவாழி அந்தணன் தாள்சேர்ந்தார்க் கல்லால்
மனக்கவலை மாற்றல் அரிது

None can swim the sea of vice, but those who are follow the footsteps of him whose life is based on aRam.

அறவாழி means அறவழி வாழபவன் ஆகும்.

The word அந்தணன் does not stand for ' brahmin '.

A brahmin lives his life based on vedic teachings and abide by the manu-dharma. ARam is different from Dharma.

A person who live by the dictum of aRam is known as அந்தணன்.

The word அந்தணர் may be split as அந்த + உணர், meaning “having the involvement for the occasion.”

See also verses 29, 417,543,677,702,718,420 on 'involvement' (உணர்வு)



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9. கோளில் பொறியின் குணமிலவே எண்குணத்தான்
தாளை வணங்காத் தலை.

The person who does not follow the path of him who is possessed of eight attributes, is as useless as an organ without its qualities in this world.

ஐந்தவித்தல், பொய்தீர்த்தல், ஒழுக்கம், நெறிநிற்றல், , ஆக எண்குணம். (குறள் ௬)
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10. பிறவிப் பெருங்கடல் நீந்துவர் நீந்தார்
இ¨றவனடி சேராதார்

None can swim the great sea of this birth (live a fruitful/successful life) but those who follow the footsteps of a leader or captain (who gives directions and guidance).

இ¨ற stands for a king , leader or captain see verses 388, 436, 547
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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

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- Thomas

Uma said...

Uncle, I am super excited that you've started the blog, at long last!

I like the distinction between kadavul, iraivan, theivam - makes sense, doesn't it?

I also like the distinction between Dharma and aRam. But is that distinction just a divergence of philosophies or is there an intrinsic difference in their viewpoint? For example, is Dharma rooted in dogma versus aRam rooted in ethics? (For me that is a basic difference between Hinduism and Buddhism. Perhaps even Jainism, not sure).

Finally please do a separate posting on verses - 29, 417,543,677,702,718,420 - I would love to understand unarvu more deeply.

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Uma said...

Uncle, why no new posts?