Thursday, July 17, 2014
I am an ardent admirer of Thirukkural. During 2003-2008, I had the opportunity to make an in-depth study of Thirukkural along with my friends in the Greater Washington D.C area. I also had the unique opportunity to serve as the Coordinator for the International Thirukkural Conference held in the Washington D.C. area in 2005.
We all know that Thirukkural has been translated into almost all the major languages of the word. In English alone, there are more than 35 translations. In spite of all these translations, we have failed to promote Thirukkural outside of Tamil Nadu. Most of the educated people in the world, would know that Confucius was a Chinese philosopher, Socrates was a Greek philosopher, Shakespeare was an English playwright and so on. But, very few people outside of Tamil Nadu have heard of Thiruvalluvar. On many occasions, I have quoted and explained some of the kurals to my American friends. Once they understand the depth of the wisdom in the kural they admire it and invariably ask for a translation of Thirukkural. In all honesty, I must say that I have not found an English translation of Thirukkural that would be helpful to understand its meaning and significance. Thirukkural is so succinct that translating each kural into two lines in English (or any other language) fails to convey the content of the kural and its significance. In my humble opinion, translations do not help to understand Thirukkural.
The fact that we don’t have book that non-Tamil people (including our children who are not proficient in Tamil) can read and appreciate Thirukkural has been a concern to me. So, I have taken it upon myself to write a series of articles on Thirukkural. The target readers for these articles are people who have no knowledge of Tamil. In these articles, I plan to describe Thiruvallvar’s ideas on topics like personal development, management, leadership, friendship, love, Kingship, ethics, reincarnation, liberation of the soul, humanism, rationalism etc. I plan to stick to Thiruvalluvar’s ideas as closely as possible.
These articles will be posted in my blog for which the link is listed below:
At present, two articles have been posted. One is a Preface and the other is an introduction to Thiruvalluvar and Thirukkural. Additional articles will be posted in course of time.
If you have the time and interest in Thirukkural, please read the article and also pass on the link to your friends who may be interested in reading it. I would greatly appreciate your feedback. I am sure your feedback will be very helpful to improve the quality of the articles