imageThe divine poet through his gift of Tirukural gives maxims to serve as guidance for all classes, sections, denominations, etc., in the world. Tirukural couplets have the added significance of providing invaluable advice for all times, as it takes into consideration the wider aspects, with necessary changes, of human nature beyond national, religious and linguistic boundaries. Tirukural gives added value because the author, Tiruvalluvar, had the rare distinction of having lived the ideal life as portrayed in his immortal work. Tirukural shows a way of life applicable to all sections of society, from kings and nobles down to the common man. This teaching echoes the sentiments expressed in many other religious texts, such as Tirumantiram, Naladiyar, Saiva Tirumuraigal of the Nayanars and Vaishnava Prapanthams of the Alwars. ¶Good conduct with abiding moral values and sincere brotherhood are the centerpieces of Tiruvalluvar’s teachings. Kindness to fellow human beings, full sense of humanity and human values will ensure a better world, according to the tenets of Tirukural. In a world full of turmoil, the Tirukural stands as a beacon to a peaceful way of life, and this coupled with the daily recitation of the Panchakshara Mantra, “Namasivaya,” found at the heart of the Vedas, will ensure peace and well being.§

Dr. T.S. Sambamurthy Sivachariar, Head of the South India Archaka Sangam; Head Priest, Shree Kalikambal Kovil; Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India §

imageThe Tirukural was very dear to Satguru Siva Yogaswami of Jaffna. Under his holy feet I have been brought up as one of his devotees from my early age of eight years. Whenever I visited, he spoke to me, directed and blessed me always through the sacred Kural. In 1949, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami made a vow to bring together the best of both the East and the West. In 1999, with his latest book, Tirukural, he has successfully brought this to the West. Referring to the statue of Saint Tiruvalluvar at Kanya Kumari, Subramuniyaswami states, “While America’s Statue of Liberty is a metal monument to political freedom and social promise, Tiruvalluvar stands as a stone statement of political wisdom, social duty and the spiritual promise of dharma.” ¶We should not confine Tiruvalluvar only to Tamil Nadu. He belongs to the world. Tirukural is beyond race, religion and nationality. It will enrich the life of a person as he or she journeys along this Eternal Path. The wisdom of the weaver is a vital part of our lives, and it will pave the way for success in life.§

Tiru A. Kandiah, Ph.D.; Author of Malarum Manamum; Former Head, Department of Tamil, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka; Former Professor, University of London; Sydney, Australia§