KURAL SCHOLARS HAVE COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THE KURAL WAS WRITTEN BY A SINGLE PERSON whose name, place and date of birth are not known and remain a mystery. Taking Kural number one as a guide Pro-brahmanic elements put forth a theory that the father was brahmin by name Pahawan and the mother a low born woman called Aathi. They claim that such an exalted work like the Kural can be written only by a person with brahmin parentage. This is pure fantasy and cannot stand to reason.

Valluvar Statue; 14th Century – Mylapore, Chennai

The author of the Kural is known as Thiruvalluvar. Thiru is a term of respect which is Sankritised as Sri. Valluvar is a caste name whose task is to make public announcements with a drum beat. Another interpretation is that the Valluvar people are advisors to king and chieftains. G.U.Pope the translator of the Kural says that the author of the Kural is “a weaver from Mylapore”. This too is an unfounded claim.

The Kural itself has no proper name. A two line verse in Tamil is known as a ‘Kural’. This is how the entire work of 1330 couplets are named, recognised as such and is the accepted identity of the book. It is a wonder that such a popular piece of Tamil literature has no name and its author also has no proper name.

The author of the Kural is a highly educated person with knowledge of poetics, Tolkapiyam, Sangam literature, folklore of his time and equally important a close awareness of the major religious of his time like Brahmanism, Jainism and Saivaism. But the personal religion of Thiruvalluvar is not known with certainty though scholars like F.W.Ellis make the claim that he belongs to the Jain religion on the basis that the Kural bears a strong imprint of Jainism which reiterates non-killing.

In 1818, the then Collector of Madras Francis Whyte Ellis, who had a high regard for Valluvar and his work, issued a gold coin bearing Valluvar’s image when he was also in charge of the Madras treasury and mint.
Source : N. Velusamy and Moses Michael Faraday (Eds.) (2017). Why Should Thirukkural Be Declared the National Book of India? (in Tamil and English) (First ed.). Chennai: Unique Media Integrators. ISBN 978-93-85471-70-4.

Jain ascetics practice complete non-violence. Ahimsa is the foremost vow of a Jain religionist. They do not hurt any living being be it human or animals. Thiruvalluvar advocates just war for the protection of the people. He also praises agriculture which the Jains avoid because tilling the soil kills insects and microbes. It is proper to say that Thiruvalluvar was heavily influenced by Jain religious philosophy but was not an adherent of the same religion.

Maraimalai Adigal with Tamil Scholars – 19 May 1921

On 19 May 1921 a congregation of Tamil scholars who gathered in the Chennai Pachaiyappa College under the chairmanship of Maraimalai Adigal come to a historic conclusion regarding Thiruvalluvar’s birth.

They concluded that Thiruvalluvar was born 31 years before Jesus Christ and that the Tamil year should be taken to begin 31 years before the christian era. The Thiruvalluvar ‘Aandu‘ (year) begins earlier than AD 1. Today it is 2019 and the Thiruvalluvar year today is (2019 +31) 2050.

Categories: Kural

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