Monday, August 08, 2005


Who exactly is Thiruvalluvar ? Coming from Mumbai, my knowledge of Thiruvalluvar is just that he was a great saint, his teachings are seen on some of the buses in Chennai, there is a bus running by his name and he is seen at the start of every Balachander movie. I know, people are going to jump up and say what kind of tamil guy is he - but come on I have no other way of knowing until unless i start reasearching on my own. And that i did. The reason I started researching was, while talking to one of my friends about Thiruvalluvar, he said that the picture that u see of him is just somebody's imagination - nobody really knows how he looks, who he was, from what era he was, which religion he belonged. All they know is about his teachings.

These are many things that i read about him on the web. Some said that he was a weaver by profession, some said that he was a king - similar to Gautam Buddha, some said that he was from a Brahmin descent, some said he was a poet. But the best description was - The 'Tiru' part of his name is an honorific given to him as a mark of respect. 'Valluvar' is perhaps a respectful form of 'Valluvan', which indicates 'weaver' or 'town crier'.

Best description that i found was from this website - - Just some tidbits

Known as Thiruvalluva-nayanar (literally, "the sacred devotee"). It is said that he was a weaver by profession and that he belonged to the Valluva caste, whose profession it was in the ancient days to announce the commands of kings by beating of drums. He was born in Madura and lived in Mylapore, a suburb of what is known today as Chennai. The period in which this universal bard of Mylapore lived, is controversial. It is, however, generally accepted as between the first century B.C. and second century A.D., or roughly 2000 years ago. Some say that Valluvar was a Jain. It is true that he has used several of the Jain technical terms. However, we are quite warranted in imagining Valluvar as a true cosmopolitan and friend of all religions, the thoughtful poet, the eclectic, to whom the teachings of the Jains were as familiar as those of the Hindus. He seems to be one who was not hindered by any caste prejudices from familiar intercourse with foreigners and whose one thought was to gather knowledge from every source. There is, in fact, no trace in the Kural of many systems, doctrines, and practices, current in South India at different periods, because perhaps, they had been eliminated from the sage's own eclectic system of faith and practice, and also because his work is didactic and not controversial.

"The Tirukkural is the precious gem of universal Ethics. What the Bhagavad-Gita is to the Hindus and the Bible to the Christians, the Kural is to the lovers of Tamil."

"the masterpiece of Tamil literature—one of the highest and purest expressions of human thought. That which above all is wonderful in the Kural is the fact that its author addresses himself, without regard to castes, peoples or beliefs, to the whole community of mankind; the fact that he formulates sovereign morality and absolute reason; that he proclaims in their very essence, in their eternal abstractedness, virtue and truth; that he represents as it were, in one group the highest laws of domestic and social life; that he is equally perfect in thought, in language and in poetry, in the austere metaphysical contemplation of the great mysteries of the Divine Nature, as in the easy and graceful analysis of the tenderest emotions of the heart."

A Question to anyone who reads this blog - How is it that we have such great teachers - We quote these people - and still we don't follow them ? Recently I was listening to Annamacharya songs - wherein he tells that there is no higher caste or lower caste - all are one and the same in the eyes of god - All the brahmin teachers/so called higher caste people sing this song - praise the poet - but still once they come out of the house they differentiate people. Do they ever listen or ????


Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

I plan to write the real concept of the caste system soon..

08 August, 2005 04:01  
Blogger Aatma said...

That will be great Arjun, I have read a lot about caste system, it will be great to see your inputs too.

08 August, 2005 08:39  
Blogger Ganesh said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

08 August, 2005 19:00  
Blogger Ganesh said...

aatma here I am.

Brahmam okkate thats the song you are mentioning isnt it.

aatma-people have to grow up spiritually. Pura vazhipadu mattum pothadhu aga vazhipadu vendum.
Thats why the name 'Kadavul' Kada-go vul-inside.
Whats happening is people are throwing the fruit/pulp out but eats only the skin of it.

08 August, 2005 19:02  
Blogger Ram.C said...

thought provoking post, aatma. liked the way, it started and finished. debatable subject.

10 August, 2005 01:40  
Blogger Aatma said...

Thanks Ram

10 August, 2005 11:29  
Blogger ram said...

The post is nice and thought provoking. Thanks for posting about a great poet "Thiruvalluvar".

Take life as it is. There is no point in asking why people behave like this and that... See how you are behaving.

Two pupils asked their teacher about the life. The teacher asked each of his student to roam around and report the nature of world.

The first came and told that the world is full of injustice and so forth. The second came and told that life is world of bliss.
The life is as it is... There is nothing called absolute truth. Each is relative.

What the caste system that we know right now may not not be the same in the past. Whom the people we interact may not be the same in the past. Everything keeps on changing. I personally feel not to dig up things from the past to clarify us rather than being in a harmonious state in the present.

Sorry if I am irrelevant to this post.


13 August, 2005 06:52  
Blogger Aatma said...

No u are perfectly relevant with the topic Ram, its just that u know people still do these caste difference. And it just gets me pondering, that there is this wealth of information, that they keep telling about, but never really understand it or apply it.

You know - My heart is just pondering .....

13 August, 2005 13:25  
Blogger ram said...

Thank you, I personally feel that the caste system will eventually die off, if everyone is open about his capabilities, needs, intentions and the purpose of life as he/she feels.

In India, I don't think this kind of change will be in a shorter period of time, that will elliminate caste system based on birth, rather than his mental and physical status.

13 August, 2005 22:12  
Blogger hussain said...

Thiruvalluvar is a great poet.

07 August, 2007 01:14  
Blogger Juliana said...

Hi Aatma

Your description of the Valluvar is narrated with freshness and poetic in itself. You should write books, they will sell well.

What comes from heart reaches other hearts" Arab proverb


17 October, 2007 19:54  
Blogger kumar said...

Hi Pal,

I am glad that to have stopped by your blogs page and passed through them in my path. I am affected and changed for the good. Your mention of contradictory is similar to the thought paradox of duality in nature which I had been pondering and discussing for couple of years. The ying and the yang every thing exist in duality in nature, truth and false I am just trying to understand this universal truth to live in harmony with this nature.

Thanks to Ram IISc as well for your view point.

This could be out of topic, however I reached this page looking for the wealth of wisdom we have provided by our ancestor generations and Thiruvalluvar.

Especially the on veracity

Saravana Kumar,

16 April, 2008 18:18  
Blogger sankar said...

hi friend,

You ve given a nice info about Thiruvalluvar. But actually there is lots to know about.


for More Info about THIRUVALLUVAR

17 June, 2008 07:01  

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