Powerful Thirukkural couplets

The Thirukkural, a classic Tamil text, offers timeless wisdom for navigating everyday life.

The Thirukkural is a classic work of Tamil literature, considered one of the greatest works of ancient Indian ethics. Here’s a breakdown of its key aspects:

  • Meaning: “Thirukural” translates to “Sacred Couplets” referencing the 1,330 couplets (kurals) that make up the text.
  • Content: Divided into three parts, it explores:
    • Aram (Virtue): Right conduct, righteousness, and ethical principles.
    • Porul (Wealth): Attaining and managing wealth effectively for a good life.
    • Inbam (Love): Love, pleasure, and domestic life.
  • Authorship: Traditionally attributed to Thiruvalluvar, though details are uncertain.
  • Significance: Praised for its universality, wisdom, and concise verses. It offers practical advice for living a good life and is admired across cultures and religions.
  • Legacy: Translated into numerous languages, the Thirukkural continues to influence people today. Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi considered it a valuable guide.

Would you like to learn more about a specific aspect of the Thirukkural, or perhaps see some couplet examples?

Here are some powerful Thirukkural couplets with life suggestions:

  1. Seek knowledge relentlessly.

“கேಳார் வினவார் இழப்பர் கடைசி கேடில் விழுச்சா ரென்பவர்” (Kēḷār viṉavār ilappar kadaisi Kēṭil viḷuccā reṉpavar)

  • Meaning: Those who don’t ask questions will lose in the end, they are like those who fall into a well without seeing it.
  1. Hard work is the key to success.

“இといい வெகுளி யாதெனக் கேட்கின் உழைமை யுடைமை யு רעமை யில்லை” (Iitōi vekuli yāteṉak kēṭkin Uḻaimai yutamai yuramai yillai)

  • Meaning: If you ask what is true happiness, it is to have effort, wealth and good health.
  1. Good character is your greatest wealth.

“யாதும் ஊர் யாதும் நாடே யாதும் மதமும் யாதும் இறைவனே” (Yātum ūṟ yātum nāṭē yātum matamum Yātum iraivanē)

  • Meaning: All towns are one, all countries are one, all religions are one, and all gods are one.
  1. Respect your elders and teachers.

“ஆற்றின் அடிப்படைக் கல்வி யாதெனக் கேட்கின் வாய்மை யே ஓதற் குரித்தே” (Āṟrin atippaṭaik kalvi yāteṉak kēṭkin Vāymai yē ōtarak kuriत्तē)

  • Meaning: If you ask what is the foundation stone of learning, it is truthfulness that is worthy of being taught.
  1. Be kind and compassionate.

“இன்சொல் இன்பம் எவனோ அவனே இயல்பின் இன்பம் எவனோ அவனே” (Iṉcol inpam evanō avaṉē Iyalpiṉ inpam evanō avaṉē)

  • Meaning: Whomever speaks kind words, he enjoys happiness, and whoever has kindness in his nature, he enjoys true happiness.
  1. Control your anger.

“செல்லாமை யஞ்சித் தவத்திலும் மேலாம் செல்லாமை யஞ்சாமை யான்செய்யேன்” (Cellāmai yañcit tavattilum mēlām Cellāmai yañcāmai yānceyyen)

  • Meaning: Fearing anger is superior even to penance. I would not perform penance without fearing anger.
  1. Be grateful for what you have.

“எல்லார்க்கும் இன்பம் தரும்செல்வம் எவனோ அவனே ஈகை” (Ellārkkum inpam tarumcelvam Evanō avaṉē īkai)

  • Meaning: The wealth that gives happiness to all is charity.
  1. Don’t be envious of others.

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Rasnaboy, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons