Weaver’s Wisdom

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imageWeaver’s Wisdom, the latest American English translation of Tirukural, is by far one of the best, if not the best, that has appeared in this century. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami has introduced each of the sections. He has also provided guidance on how to benefit from a study of the volume. He recommends daily chanting of the Pranava Mantra Aum thrice, then opening the book at random and focusing on the verses that appear. ¶The authors have succeeded in providing the additional dimension of an excellent portrayal of Tiruvalluvar, his ideal relationship with his wife Vasuki, worthy of emulation, and the functioning of various classes of society 2,200 years ago. What was written about the guidelines for organizing the various facets of life in an ethical framework then are valid and relevant today. This will certainly continue to be so in the next millennium, which is about to dawn. ¶The text is composed in utmost simplicity, direct, easily understandable and yet profound. The illustrations are numerous and help to faithfully present an understanding of the society during Tiruvalluvar’s period. The present efforts in Tamil Nadu to honor Tiruvalluvar are presented in photographs with picturesque and graphic detail. The monuments that have been erected provide testimony to the devotion of Tamils to Tiruvalluvar. ¶This book will be of value to Tamils, wherever they may be, to develop deep and abiding ties with their parent heritage. This book should ideally, indeed, become part of compulsory reading and be a daily companion to householders, high school children, college students, adults engaged in various walks of life and elders. Readers of this book, whichever culture, country or continent they come from, will gain a great friend, philosopher and guide in Tiruvalluvar.§

Tiru A. Alagappan, Founding Member, New York Ganesha Temple; Former Director of the Natural Resources Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations Headquarters; New York, USA§

imageWeaver’s Wisdom, more popularly known as Tirukural, a 2,200-year-old Dravidian classic on the art and science of living, though written by Saint Tiruvalluvar, does not belong to India or the Tamil-speaking people in particular. It is the permanent possession of the human race. The saint’s message is not meant for one age or for one country, but for all time and for all mankind. His catholic spirit rose above all religious denominations and sects. His vision was not clouded by dogmas or prejudices of any kind. His great work is perfect in form, profound in thought and full of nobleness of sentiment and earnestness of moral purpose. It is a practical guide that applies to everyday matters and common concerns. This work is praised by the Tamil people as the Tamil Veda. ¶The several translations of the Kural in many Indian languages and in almost all the important languages of the world, like English, French and Latin, bear testimony to its universal appeal to all nations. Recently I was pleasantly surprised to come across a translation of this great treatise in the Fijian language, which is a laudable venture. However, it is a great pity that such an immortal classic has never been known in the Western world. ¶Translating an original masterpiece in any language is a task beset with many difficulties and problems, notwithstanding the translator’s linguistic capacities and excellent scholarship. Very often, the translations are feeble and do not at all do justice to the merits of the original. On the contrary, the translators deform its grand thoughts by giving them a stilted and unnatural expression. Again, several obscure points in the original are not made clear in translation, and the imaginative translator bypasses this difficulty by taking shelter in pompous and meaningless words. ¶Above all, each kural is a couplet of the intricate venpa meter in Tamil. Each verse is extremely short and packed with lofty thoughts. Saint Tiruvalluvar has never used an irrelevant or unnecessary word. Its brevity is its strength. This adds to the difficulty for the translator. ¶This American English translation by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami of Hawaii is a masterpiece. This difficult task was successfully completed by the revered Swamiji and his devoted disciples after two decades of thorough preparation. This monumental work had taken many years for refining, polishing and perfecting. Many things have been achieved in this world by great people making hard efforts coupled with the labor of genius. But the Swamiji’s achievement is the result of intense tapasya and total surrender to the Divine. He has not only understood the meaning of the Kural in its entirety but has lived it all through his life. The striking feature of the translation is that it is perfectly accurate and brings out the true spirit of the original composition. The subtle and essential meanings are clearly explained in modern American English. ¶To bring out an excellent, accurate, clear translation of the Kural, written twenty-two centuries ago in classical Tamil, is a superhuman sadhana. The translators have done their work after long hours of meditation on Saint Tiruvalluvar. Unless one goes to higher levels of consciousness, Tiruvalluvar’s subtle meanings and insight cannot be caught. Such a work as this could not have been written without pure intuition, a psychic awakening and the saint’s blessings. This work has the sanction and seal of a divine power, which guides the steps of sincere seekers of Truth. Another redeeming feature of the translation is that it is couched in the language of the present day, the idiom of the age. Archaic forms of expression have been carefully avoided, and it will now reach an even wider audience. Anything that would be cumbersome for the average reader is not used in the translation. The language is easy-flowing, lucid and inspiring. ¶Weaver’s Wisdom is divided in eight sections. Every section begins with a beautiful introduction by Gurudeva, Subramuniyaswami, in which he gives the reader briefly and clearly a succinct summary of the themes dealt with. This is of inestimable value and help to the student. It is very interesting to note that in Section III (The Way of the Renunciate) Gurudeva has most appropriately included the-never-to-be-forgotten “Song of the Sannyasin,” composed by the illustrious Hindu monk, Swami Vivekananda, a true sannyasin who not only preached Vedanta but lived Vedanta. Gurudeva was deeply moved by Vivekananda’s shining example of service and renunciation. ¶Gurudeva has explained the meaning of the much misunderstood concepts of karma and destiny with remarkable terseness and lucidity. He says clearly that it is wrong to think of karma in terms of what is understood by the words fatalism or destiny. Karma is the unalterable law of effect following previous causes. The word a Hindu uses for fate or destiny is vidhi. In the words of Gurudeva, “Karma is not fate, for man acts with free will, creating his own destiny.” ¶The choice of the title of this work, Weaver’s Wisdom, is also very significant. It sheds an interesting light on the saint’s earthly and spiritual life. Tiruvalluvar was a humble weaver by birth and profession. At the same time he was a wonderful weaver of lofty thoughts in bewitching language, and he helped millions of people to solve their problems and sorrows of life. As Gurudeva says, “Many times the subject of one chapter’s last verse will become the transition to the next chapter’s first, like one thread tied to another to continue the weaving.” The weaver has created the tapestry of life with the rich-colored threads of Virtue and Wealth. §

Sri S. Harihara Sharma, B.A., Chief Priest, Sri Murugan Temple, Vancouver, Canada; Former Religious Programme Producer, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation§

imageI frequently quote from the Tirukural in my talks. This is because I regard this work by Tiruvalluvar as one of the most masterful compilations of proverbs that exists today. Though it may be an ancient text, it has never been more relevant to modern life. It contains all the wisdom necessary to guide every step of one’s life. To those who apply these proverbs consistently, sure success in every aspect of life is guaranteed. I myself have long wanted to translate the text from Tamil in such a way that it will be more easily accessible and comprehensible to Westerners. Thankfully, Sri Sivaya Subramuniya Swamigal has completed this mammoth task and in doing so rendered an incomparable service to humanity. I congratulate him and send my prayers and blessings to all the sincere seekers who allow the Weaver’s Wisdom to guide their lives. Om shanti.§

His Holiness Sri Sri Swami Satchidananda, Founder and Spiritual Head of Satchidananda Ashram; Founder of the Light of Truth Universal Shrine (LOTUS); Yogaville, Virginia§

imageWeaver's Wisdom, already translated into fourteen different languages, conveys the message in current, simple, elegant, effective style to the English-speaking world for probably another 2,000 years.§

Tiru S. Kumarakulasingam, Former Assistant Commissioner of Education of Jaffna, Sri Lanka; Surrey, England §

imageThis book is like a key to the Kingdom of God. Whoever reads and follows its teachings should reach the lotus feet of the Almighty without doubt. All those living in this world, which is immersed in the sea of sadness, will reach permanent eternal bliss in this birth itself by using this book as a boat. I consider Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, as an avatara for having undertaken this great task. There is no doubt that it is the saint himself who is working through Gurudeva to perform this great task. May Saint Tiruvalluvar shower his grace on this entire universe to bestow permanent peace.§

His Holiness Dr. Swami R.K. Murugesu, Founder, Sri Lankatheshwarar Deyana Mander, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka§

imageAfter Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, North America is reputed to have the largest Tamil population. Though efforts are taken, especially in Canada by the government, to teach Tamil language to the Tamil children, it is a very sad fact that the majority of them have no inclination at all to learn the language, let alone gain the proficiency to read and understand our glorious literary heritage. It is the sacred duty of every Tamil parent to instill certain ideals in the minds of our youngsters. Of these ideals the ones we consider supreme are to show respect for our culture, to cherish the traditions that we have inherited, to practice the values we consider sacred and to be aware of our roots. To achieve this our youth must have access to our proud literary possessions which are second to none in their resplendence and content. ¶How can they have access to our literary masterpieces if their Tamil language skills are totally inadequate to read and to understand them? So it can only be done through translations very loyal to the original. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, Guru Mahasannidhanam of Kauai Aadheenam, has aptly endeared himself with the task of translating into American English one of the greatest if not the greatest poetic masterpieces, Tirukural, for which Tamils will remember him for many years to come. Tirukural is hailed a literary work of art by religious dignitaries of all faiths, as well as atheists, philosophers, politicians and social reformers as espousing their mandate and considered as sacred and enchanting as the Holy Bible, Bhagavad Gita, Holy Koran and The Prophet. The greatness of Tiruvalluvar’s work is such that it will never be irrelevant or outmoded at any time, in any culture, faith or conviction. ¶The translation is specifically done to offer our youngsters in particular a glimpse of Tirukural in simple English, easy to understand. Though the primary target is the youth, since this translation adheres very much to the original, even the elders could understand better the intuited meaning if they read the translation, as the original may be sometimes confusing because of its brevity and the fact that in Tamil a word has several meanings, which vary very often with context. In its simplicity, there is no ambiguity at all in this translation! ¶I strongly suggest that every household should possess a copy of this gem and read it to and with the children every day after prayers and get them to memorize these axioms, at least one or two a day. This will later guide them at every phase of their life as this enchanting work dwells deep into the insights of life and will enable them to be good citizens. We, the Tamil parents living all over the world in general and North America in particular, owe a sense of deep gratitude to Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami and his sannyasins for this magnificent production purported to help every child not only of Tamil descent, not only those of Asian origin, but existing all over the world to learn to know how best they could live as better humans and be good citizens of the world.§

Ponniah Kanagasabapathy, Multicultural Consultant, Toronto District School Board; Former Principal, Mahajana College, Tellippallai, Sri Lanka; Former Inspector of Schools, Sokoto, Nigeria; North York, Ontario§

imageThe title of the book is both topical and relevant, not only for the devotees of Shiva but also for all mankind, as a significant section of youth is engulfed by a drug-taking culture; the home where peace and tranquility should prevail has now been destabilized; and mores and ethical values have flown through the window in man’s relentless hunt for his material well-being. In such a scenario, the ancient wisdom of the Tamil Saivites as expounded by the moral philosopher and Saint Tiruvalluvar is now being offered to the English-speaking world under the title Weaver’s Wisdom, Ancient Precepts for a Perfect Life. It is hoped that every reader of this book would be transported “back to basics.” ¶That the teachings of moral and ethical values propagated more than two thousand years ago are still relevant today is a poor testimony of man’s spiritual progress in the past two millennia during which he has made phenomenal progress in harnessing the coarse external forces of nature for the satisfaction of his physical needs, but at the same time has permitted stagnancy in the development of his inner, finer self both morally and spiritually. Weaver’s Wisdom, written in American English, is poised to fill the void left empty until now by the lack of a proper rendering of the Tamil-language classic, Tirukural. It is my hope and prayer that the ever-hungry American people for new ideas that had made America the most advanced nation in the world in material wealth would mull over these Tirukural couplets and progress toward the most spiritually advanced nation. ¶In Malaysia today, prominence is being given to Tirukural. The Tamil News on channel two of the national television ends its news program with a recital of a couplet from the Tirukural with a brief exposition of the meaning of the couplet. In addition, the Indian Studies Department of University Malaya had in 1967 published the Tirukural in the Malay language, entitled Tirukural–Sastera Kelasik Tamil Yang Agong (Tirukural –A Revered Tamil Classic Literature), translated by Ismail Hussein. ¶It gives me great pleasure to congratulate His Holiness Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami for having published Weaver’s Wisdom. Much effort has been expended spanning a period of two decades to translate and publish this highly venerated book of the Tamils. The moral teachings of the Tirukural are even today the guiding light for the Saivite Tamil. Weaver’s Wisdom is only one of many gems that His Holiness has extracted from the depths of ancient writings. His Holiness has not only excavated them but also polished them to be acceptable to a modern world in a language suited for a vastly enlarged readership.§

Tiru Perampalam Saravanamuthu of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; President, Selangor Wilayah Persekutuan Ceylon Saivites Association; Chairman, First National Malaysian Saiva Siddhanta Seminar, 1983§

imageTo comment on this holy book Tirukural, translated into modern American English from the holy devotional Tamil language, at the instance of the great Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswamigal, the 162nd Jagadacharya of the Nandinatha Sampradaya’s Kailasa Parampara, my spiritual master, Mahasannidhanam of Kauai Aadheenam of Hawaii, “is like carrying coal to Newcastle.” It is an accepted fact that the Tamil language is the Gods’ language given to the Tamils by Lord Ganesha. The richness, devotion, knowledge, art, music, yoga, literature, etc., can only be enjoyed by those who have studied the very most ancient Tamil language. It is as old as Saivism. It has stood the test of times, such as wars, earthquakes and foreign invasion. Surely and certainly Weaver’s Wisdom will become a handbook to those interested in a humble and modest life.§

Dr. Pundit K.N. Navaratnam, M.A.F.A., F.A.A.; Jyotisha Marthand and National Astrologer of Australia; devotee of Satguru Siva Yogaswami; Sivathondan Center; Hallam, Australia§

imageI thought about the question, “Which is superior, Sanskrit or Tamil?” Sanskrit and Tamil are equal in their greatness. We cannot say that the one is superior to the other. The reason is that the Vedas are in Sanskrit, and now in Tamil we have the Kural. If there were nothing equal to the Vedas in Tamil, Sanskrit should have been said to be superior. Now the Kural is present in Tamil as the equal of the Vedas. Both languages, Sanskrit and Tamil, are now seen to be equally great.§

His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Sankaracharya Swami Chandrashekharendra Saraswathi, Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam; Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India, from his book, The Vedas.§

imageGreater than the “maker” of the light may be the one who recognises the value of the light and holds it for all to see! In this context, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami is playing an invaluable role in spreading further the knowledge of the ages! I was amazed that there are already five translations into English of the Tirukural and this is the sixth. (Perhaps there may be more!) But what is significant is again the holder of the light! There can be little doubt that when a being of Satguru’s stature translates and releases this book on the “Weavers Wisdom,” it will witness a surge of interest as never before, on the greatness of Tirukural. ¶With hands raised in prayer I would like to urge Satguru to persuade all Indian families whose mother tongue is Tamil, especially those living outside India and Sri Lanka to go back to their Noble Traditions, Religion, Aspiration and Culture (TRAC), for it is within this TRAC that all the values of life are enshrined. ¶The sayings of Tiruvalluvar and Mother Auvaiyar have all the values that mankind needs to live noble lives. Can children be taught to memorise some of these sayings in original Tamil, and with full understanding of their meaning in English; these will be like giving the future generations golden torches, or compasses to guide them through the path of life! ¶When a giant moves, all take notice, if a spiritual giant like Satguru moves, people will take notice, only there must be others who are prepared to take up smaller torches to hold the light for the children and youth of today. Only if other readers of the works of Satguru are motivated to take pro-active action to uphold and spread Hindu TRAC, can the Hindu and Tamil TRAC withstand the negative impact of the forces of so called modernisation and globalisation! ¶I pray that those who read the Weaver’s Wisdom and other works done by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami are inspired to take the torch to spread the light. If those who read these, and possibly ninety percent will be adults, merely read and put these books back on the shelf, then the noble efforts of this great soul will not find its full flower. The most noble thing that those who wish to honour Satguru for his contribution can do, is to take this light he is offering (and others he has offered) and spread this among the Tamil and Hindu children and youth of the world. A noble soul like Satguru will not want our praise, he is beyond these petty things humans crave for; what he would want is for the light that he has lit to be ignited in thousands, nay millions of other hearts. This is how devotees of great souls can honour their Guru! I thank Satguru most humbly for having given me the honour and grace to have contributed these words to this magnificent effort.§

Dato J. Jagadeesan, Advisor to the Sathya Sai Central Council of Malaysia; Co-founder and Co-chairman of the Hindu TRAC Programme; Former Deputy Director General, Malaysian Industrial Development Authority; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia§

imageApart from the privilege and honor of this opportunity in helping with the dissemination of the masterpiece of Tamil literature, which is a gift to humanity from my native culture, I feel drawn to this task by my long conviction that the Kural’s wisdom, which transcends time and place, is particularly needed to guide young and old alike who are growing up in alien countries and in India, itself without direction from our ancient culture. For more than two decades now I have been presenting English translations of Kural to graduating students in the US, with added comments on Kural’s relevance in shaping one’s conduct. The book I have used most often is the selection and translation by C. Rajagopalachari, Kural, published by Bhavan’s Books, crisp, clear, concise. Now I will have one more gem to share with young students. ¶It is a matter of great satisfaction that Weaver’s Wisdom succeeds so well in presenting the essence of the Kural in simple understandable English of current usage. That the true spirit, import and content of the original are faithfully preserved in this effort without aberrations, alterations or intrusions is particularly welcome and praiseworthy. ¶As much as for the translation, if not more, readers will forever be grateful to the author for the detailed introductions he has crafted for the various sections of the book. ¶It is also noteworthy and very pleasing that the history and culture of Tamil Nadu, the Tamil people and the Tamil language of India are introduced in all their relevant aspects throughout the book. With the author’s ardent admiration fully evident, these discussions serve to place Weaver’s Wisdom in proper perspective against the background of its origin in the ancient Tamil culture. ¶The book should very well be an inspiration, not just to the Tamilian diaspora, but to all people, to live up to the high ideals and potential of human nature and progress. That indeed is the mission of the Satguru.§

Dr. R.V. Subramanian, Ph.D., Greenbelt, Maryland, USA; Retired Professor, Washington State University, Pullman§

imageI bestow all my blessings to you for your effort in bringing out the publication of the sacred Kural—the first 108 chapters—into American English. Weaver’s Wisdom, your twenty years effort, will really get a prominent place as the gem in the Western world and among the Tamils, irrespective of religion, all over the world. We, the Nallai Thirugnanasambanthar Adheenam of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, wish you all the best of health and all God’s power to continue a life of spiritual service throughout the world.§

His Holiness Srilasri Somasundara Gnanasambhantha Paramacharya Swamigal, Guru Mahasannidhanam, Nallai Thirugnanasambanthar Adheenam; Nallur, Jaffna, Sri Lanka§

imageWe deeply appreciate the earnest effort of Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami in the propagation of Saiva Siddhanta principles and are very happy about his interest in translating selected valuable Tamil scriptures into American English. Swamigal’s recognition of the immense value of the 2,200-year-old masterpiece has resulted in the translation of the eternal Tamil classic, Tirukural. The book deals with all the principles that encompass human life. Not only is it applicable to people who speak Tamil, but also it belongs to the whole world. We hope the book will be widely popular, enabling all the globe to read it with interest and adopt the eternal principles in their lives. We congratulate the two monastics who have translated it from Tamil, and the Tamil Indian artist who has illustrated the chapters. We pray to Gnanama Nataraja Peruman for the book’s successful distribution. §

His Holiness Sri Sri Sri Sivaprakasa Pandarasannadhi Adheenakarthar Avargal, Tiruvavaduthurai Adheenam; Tiruvavaduthurai, South India§

imageSri Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami had been chosen by his guru, the Sage of Jaffna, to enlighten with sublime thoughts the West in particular and all others living in this universe. In the coming years, what is righteousness will be questioned by many. This book will be a guiding lamp to all those who have such doubts. May Lord Shiva bless us all to lead a perfect, harmonious life is our humble prayer to Him.§

Swami Chidrupananda, Spiritual Head of Ramakrishna Sri Sarada Sevashrama; Point Pedro, Jaffna, Sri Lanka§

imageThe fact that Gurudeva has identified Tirumantiram and Tirukural as twin texts par excellence for spiritual progress and mundane life speaks volumes on the uniqueness and universality of these scriptures. Gurudeva has not only studied and translated Tirumantiram into English years back, but has accepted the text as an authentic source for his spiritual experiences and pursuits. It is not exaggeration that Gurudeva has been spreading the message of Tirumantiram all over the globe over the years. Now Gurudeva has taken up the translation of Tirukural, popularly known as the Tamil Veda. Since it is rendered in English, the work will surely attract global attention. Tirukural is addressed not to a restricted race or region, but to the human race at large. The Tamils feel proud of Gurudeva’s emphasis on universal brotherhood and human solidarity in addition to the ultimate goal of human life, the liberation from the bonds and merging with the Godhead. §

Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapati, Traditional Architect, Builder and Sculptor; Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India; Founder & Researcher: Vastu Vedic Research Foundation; Chief Editor: Vastu Purusha§

imageThis English translation of the first two parts of Tirukural is a very good and valuable production by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswamiji of Hawaii, with the assistance of a few disciples. It makes good and interesting reading, slightly on the explanatory side, in American English, to facilitate the average American to absorb and internalize the goodness projected systematically in these couplets by the great sage, Valluvar. The get up of the volume, too, is appropriate, with suitable introductory remarks by the Swamiji and effective illustrations, harking back to the images of the Tamil country of two millennia ago. I am sure this noble endeavor will achieve the purpose for which the Swamiji intends it. My respects to Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswamiji, who is doing great work for the people in propagating “Anbe Sivam,” as well as the great Tamil works, such as Tirukural.§

Dr. N. Mahalingam, B.Sc., F.I.E., Tamil Scholar; Chairman, Sakthi Group of Companies; Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India§

imageHis Grace, Jagadguru Subramuniyaswami of Kauai Aadheenam, Hawaii, has placed the Tamil-speaking world in his debt in presenting the timeless Tirukural anew, as an indispensable text, to enable men and women, governments and peoples to lead a perfect life. Human perfection is indeed the ultimate end and purpose of human life. Human perfection is the aim of education the world over. Whether mankind attains perfection or not, it should at least strive toward perfection. The Jagadguru’s two American swamis have taken twenty years to fulfill the wishes of Gurudeva, to enrich the world with the time-tested truths of Tamil wisdom woven by a weaver named Tiruvalluvar. This is indeed a great accomplishment, a tremendous task undertaken with love and devotion. The classical scholar Juan Mascaro of Oxford took twenty-five years to translate the Bhagavad Gita into English so that no inner meaning of any Sanskrit term was lost in translation. The epigrammatic excellence of the couplets of the Kural is difficult to translate into any language, whether in prose or in poetry. It is often claimed by academics that a translation that is beautiful is often not faithful, and a translation that is faithful to the original is often not beautiful. This is an academic fallacy! Nevertheless, the two American translators of the Kural have succeeded in producing a very readable translation of the original text without loss of meaning. ¶The Jagadguru has in his introduction clearly stated the importance of the Tirukural and its reflection of Hindu religion, culture and civilization as it was some 2,000 years ago. In South India, Tamil and Saivism have been one and indivisible. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that Gurudeva has chosen to publish an English translation of the Tirukural, as it is the bedrock of Tamil religion, culture and civilization. Even the venerable Rishi Tirumular claimed that “God had created him in order that he compose Tamil.” Both Tamil and Saivism find elaboration in both the texts, the Tirukural and the Tirumantiram. Today the Tirukural has attained a scriptural standing in South India as the Tamil Veda. This timeless Tamil classic will no doubt continue to excite and exercize the minds and enable the lives of men and women for generations to come. The letter and the spirit of the Kural must be illumined by the life an individual leads in this world. Those who preach it must endeavor to practice it. The Jagadguru, as a world teacher, has reintroduced the Kural as Weaver’s Wisdom for all mankind, urging us to all learn and live by its truths and attain perfection.§

Dr. S.M. Ponniah, Professor, INTI College; Member of the National Commission on Moral Education; Advisor to the Malaysian Hindu Sangam; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia§

imageTens of thousands of years ago great Hindu sages unfolded the knowledge from within themselves to mankind. Today, we are grateful to Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami for spreading the message to the modern society. In this respect, Gurudeva’s recent addition, Weaver’s Wisdom, an American English translation of Tirukural, is an additional tool that will be available to our people. This book will help us read and take in the essence of the teaching of our ancient poet Tiruvalluvar. The style adopted by Gurudeva is very simple and easy to read. The beautiful illustrations add more meaning and understanding to the reader. As I went over the different verses in Weaver’s Wisdom, I came to realize that the most valuable achievement is leading a righteous life. I believe that reading the teachings in this holy book and applying them in our day-to-day activities will bring inner peace to us in today’s stressful world. In conclusion, we will be failing in our duty if we do not attempt to teach Weaver’s Wisdom to our children. This will enable them to live a disciplined life and to rise to the level of a perfect person, sanroor.§

Dr. Shan A. Shanmugavadivel, Tamil Elder and Dental Practitioner; Toronto, Ontario, Canada§

I went through the book with tremendous interest. It is really a wonderful work and it shows Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami’s keen thought in promoting Tirukural to the West. I am sure it will be liked by people of all walks of life. An ancient Tamil once said, “To call anyone a poet upon this Earth besides the divine Tiruvalluvar would be like calling both the evening illumined by the moon and the evening shrouded in darkness a beautiful evening.”§

Dr. S. Sockalingam, M.B.B.S., M.C.G.P.; Klang, Malaysia§

Tirukural by the Tamil Saint Tiruvalluvar is a Tamil Veda, a book of divinity and high moral and spiritual values. It is such an ancient work as to influence the entire gamut of Tamil literature. Such an ancient treatise has been brought out in English by Satguru Swamiji as a divine gift to humanity. Satguru’s compassion coupled with desire for welfare of the entire human race has inspired him to make this book available in an understandable language. ¶The author of this English version of Tirukural, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, has taken great pains to explain the meaning and the sense of each verse in a lucid and easy style to enable everyone to understand the essence of the great sayings of Tiruvalluvar and to follow and practice them carefully in their day-to-day life. The translation is faithful to the original Tamil verses as also profound and precise. ¶The author’s introduction to each section is informative, conveys the concept expounded in the section with conviction and clarity and talks briefly about the subject in the background of the vast experience of the author. ¶The Satguru’s service in presenting this Tamil treatise in English is lofty and commendable and I am sure that the whole world will welcome this publication and will benefit by the profound knowledge contained in each kural verse.§

Dr. P. Jayaraman, Executive Director, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Institute of Indian Culture; New York, USA§