Thiruvalluvar ( _ta. திருவள்ளுவர்) is a celebrated Tamil poet who wrote the
Thirukkural, an ethical work in Tamil literature. He is claimed by both the Tamilswho practice Hinduismand the Tamilswho practice Jainismas their own. [cite book
publisher =Asian Education Service
isbn = ISBN 8120609557] Nevertheless, some consider him as a Jain showing internal textual evidence from Thirukural. [cite journal | last =Cutler | first =Norman | authorlink = | coauthors =
title =Interpreting Tirukkural: the role of commentary in the creation of a text | journal =The Journal of the American Oriental Society | volume =122 | issue = | pages = | date =1992 | url =http://www.jstor.org/view/00030279/ap020292/02a00020/1?frame=noframe&userIDfirstname.lastname@example.org/01cc99331500501c4f2f4&dpi=3&config=jstor | doi = | id = | accessdate = 2007-08-20
format =Dead link|date=June 2008 – [http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?hl=en&lr=&q=author%3ACutler+intitle%3AInterpreting+Tirukkural%3A+the+role+of+commentary+in+the+creation+of+a+text.&as_publication=The+Journal+of+the+American+Oriental+Society&as_ylo=&as_yhi=&btnG=Search Scholar search] ]
Thiruvalluvar's period (based on the
Thirukkuralper se) is between the second century BC and the eighth century AD. [cite journal | last =Nagarajan
first =KV | authorlink = | coauthors = | title =Thiruvalluvar's vission: Polity and Economy in "Thirukural" | journal =History of Political Economy | volume =37 | issue =1 | pages =123–132 | date =2005 | url =http://hope.dukejournals.org/cgi/reprint/37/1/123 | doi = | id = | accessdate = 2007-08-20] Both Thiruvalluvar's faith and identity are disputed. His disputed identity includes a low-
casteHindu( Paraiyar), Jain, Buddhist, high-caste Hindu, Brahminand half-Brahmin [cite journal
title =Corruption and Redemption: The Legend of Valluvar and Tamil Literary History
journal =Modern Asian Studies
accessdate = 2007-08-22]
Most of the Researchers and great Tamil Scholars like
George Uglow Popeor G.U. Popewho had spent many years in Tamil Nadu and translated many Tamil texts into English, which includes Thirukkural, Karl Graul (1814–1864) had already by 1855 characterized the Tirukkural as a work of Buddhist hue. In this connection it was then of particular interest that Thiruvalluvar,It should be noted that Graul could have been subsuming the Jains also under the name of the Buddhists (Graul 1865: xi note).The name "Valluvan" was/is a common name representing his caste/occupation rather than his proper name. The Priests are called valluvan.
The name Thiruvalluvar (ThiruValluvar) consists of "Thiru" (a polite Tamil word, similar to "Mr") [Caldwell, Robert. 1875. A comparative grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian family of languages. London: Trübner.] and "Valluvar" (a polite name for "Valluvan", according to Tamil tradition).
There are a few legends abound about the birthplace of Thiruvalluvar. One legend associates him to
Madurai, the ancient capital of the Pandyarulers who vigorously promoted Tamil literature. According to another he was born and lived in Mylapore, a part of present day Chennaicity and travelled to Maduraito submit his work, "the Thirukural", for approval of the king ( Pandian) and his college of poets. [cite book
title =The Tamils Eighteen Hundred Years Ago
publisher =Asian Education Service
pages = 138
isbn = ISBN 8120601505] There are, also, traditional stories citing the "Tamil
Sangamof Madurai" (the assembly/conference of eminent scholars and researchers conducted on a regular basis) as the authority through which Thirukkural was introduced to the world. Thiruvalluvar might have spent most part of his life in Maduraibecause it was under Pandiarulers that many Tamil poets flourished. There are also recent claim by Kanyakumari Historical and Cultural Research Centre (KHCRC) that Valluvar was a king who ruled Valluvanadu in the hilly tracts of Kanyakumari Districtof Tamil Nadu. [cite news
title =Valluvar lived in Kanyakumari district
publisher =Yahoo! News
date = 26th April 2007
accessdate = 2007-08-22]
Thirukkuralis one of most revered works in the Tamil [ [http://www.tamilinfoservice.com/exclusive/art/2005/apr1.htm Tamil Nadu seeks national status for 'Thirukkural'] ] . It consists of 133 "athikarams" or chapters. Each athikaram consists of 10 "kurals" (rhyming Tamil couplets) thus making 1330 "kurals" in total. Each couplet consists of four "seers" in the first line and three "seers" in the second. A "seer" is a single or a combination of more than one Tamil word. The first Kural is "Agara Muthala Ezhuthellam Aathi; Bagavan Muthatrey Ulagu". Thirukkuralis divided into three sections. Section one deals with "Aram" doing things, with conscience and honor, for the good of the less fortunate, the second discusses "Porul" realities or facts of life, and the third dwells on "Inbam" the pleasures that a man and a woman experience in the course of their relationship. There are 38 chapters in the first section, 70 chapters in the second and 25 chapters in the third section.
There is a huge (133 feet tall) statue of Thiruvalluvar showing his first three fingers. The statue is carved out of rock and erected at the southern tip of India (Kanyakumari) where the Arabian Sea, the
Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean confluence. The 133 ft denotes Thirukkural's 133 "athikarams" and the show of three fingers, to denote the three themes "Aram", "Porul", and "Inbam".
Statue of Thiruvalluvar
* Thurston, Edgar & Kadambi Rangachari. 1909. Castes and Tribes of Southern India. vol VI. Madras: Government Press. " [Page82] "
* [http://content.cdlib.org/xtf/view?docId=ft038n99hg&chunk.id=s1.4.11&toc.depth=1&toc.id=ch04&brand=eschol Dialogue and History Constructing South India,1795–1895, Eugene F.Irschick,UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS]
* www.theologie.uni-hd.de/rm/online-artikel/bergunder-2004-contested-past.pdf " [Page 70] "
* KarlGraul, Reise in Ostindien (Leipzig 1855)vol. IV, p. 193, quoted in (Nehring 2000: 77).
* "Contested Past" by "Michael Bergunder", Universität Heidelberg
* [http://arxiv.org/abs/math/0511559 Thirukkural was written by a Paraiyar called Valluvar]
* [http://www.ibiblio.org/chamu/kural/thiru_quote.htm About Thiruvalluvar]
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