Thiruvalluvar ( _ta. திருவள்ளுவர்) is a celebrated Tamil poet who wrote the Thirukkural, an ethical work in Tamil literature. He is claimed by both the Tamils who practice Hinduism and the Tamils who practice Jainism as their own. [cite book
last =Pillai
first =MS
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&userID=80f0e541@ncl.ac.uk/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 Thirukkural per 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-caste Hindu(Paraiyar), Jain, Buddhist, high-caste Hindu, Brahmin and half-Brahmin [cite journal
last =Blackburn
first =Stuart
title =Corruption and Redemption: The Legend of Valluvar and Tamil Literary History
journal =Modern Asian Studies
volume =34
issue =2
pages =449–482
date =2000
url =http://journals.cambridge.org/download.php?file=%2FASS%2FASS34_02%2FS0026749X0000363Xa.pdf&code=6fa7f3e95a639ea16798fcc5c0bfb3b2
doi =
id =
accessdate = 2007-08-22

Traditional accounts

Most of the Researchers and great Tamil Scholars like George Uglow Pope or G.U. Pope who 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 Pandya rulers who vigorously promoted Tamil literature. According to another he was born and lived in Mylapore, a part of present day Chennai city and travelled to Madurai to submit his work, "the Thirukural", for approval of the king (Pandian) and his college of poets. [cite book
last =Kanakasabhai
title =The Tamils Eighteen Hundred Years Ago
publisher =Asian Education Service
pages = 138
url =http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=VuvshP5_hg8C&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=Kural+Jain&ots=doaHbxamn4&sig=UiCpNTEu6ZDk5w6ZLXAaszUm5i4#PPA163,M1
isbn = ISBN 8120601505
] There are, also, traditional stories citing the "Tamil Sangam of 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 Madurai because it was under Pandia rulers 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 District of Tamil Nadu. [cite news
title =Valluvar lived in Kanyakumari district
language =English
publisher =Yahoo! News
date = 26th April 2007
url =http://in.news.yahoo.com/050426/54/2kz8k.html
accessdate = 2007-08-22


Thirukkural is 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".

Thirukkural is 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".

See also

*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]

External links

* [http://www.ibiblio.org/chamu/kural/thiru_quote.htm About Thiruvalluvar]

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