Home > Famous Person, General Knowledge > 15/365 – Thiruvalluvar – The Poet

15/365 – Thiruvalluvar – The Poet

Thiruvalluvar  was a celebrated Tamil poet, whose contribution to Tamil literature is the Thirukkural, a work on ethics.

Other names: Theiva Pulavar (“Divine Poet”), Valluvar and Poyyamozhi Pulavar, Senna Pothar, Gnana Vettiyan.

The time period of Thiruvalluvar’s existence has been based on mostly linguistic evidences rather than archeological evidences  since none such has been determined. His period has been estimated to be between 2nd century BC and 8th century AD.

Traditional accounts
Tirukkural itself does not name its author or authors. The name Thiruvalluvar is first mentioned several centuries later in the  10th century in a text called Thiruvalluvarmaalai “Thiruvalluvar’s garland”. Most of the traditions of Thiruvalluvar appear after  this text had been written.

There are several claims regarding where he lived. But none of them could be verified. 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 Madras city.

Thirukkural is one of most revered ancient works in the Tamil. Kural is considered as ‘common creed’, as it shows the way for  human morals and betterment in life. The Kural has been translated into several languages.

Tirukkural is divided into three sections:
Section one deals with Aram, good ethical behavior with conscience and honor (“right conduct”), Section two discusses Porul, the right manner of conducting worldly affairs, and Section three dwells on Inbam, love between man and woman.

Other works
Other than the Tirukkural, Thiruvalluvar is attributed as the author to two other Tamil texts in medicine, Gnana Vettiyan and  Pancharathnam; although many scholars claim that there might have been another a later author with the same name.

A temple like memorial has been built in Chennai called Valluvar Kottam. This 1976 monument complex consists of structures  found usually in Dravidian temples including a temple car carved from three blocks of granite and a shallow rectangular pond.

There is a 133 feet tall statue of Thiruvalluvar erected at the southern tip of Indian subcontinent (Kanyakumari) where the  Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean converge. The 133 ft denotes Tirukkural’s 133 Chapters or athikarams  and the show of three fingers denote the three themes Aram, Porul, and Inbam. The statue was designed by V. Ganapati Sthapati, a temple architect from Tamil Nadu.

There is a statue of Thiruvalluvar outside the School of Oriental and African Studies in Russell Square, London.

The government of Tamil Nadu celebrates the 15th January as Thiruvalluvar Day as part of the Pongal celebrations in his  honour.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thiruvalluvar

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