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Introduction

I am Kannan.  Here, I am attempting a modern rendition of  Thirukkural.

I cannot think of any speech that I have made without Thirukkural. I cannot think of any of my thoughts that have not been influenced by Thirukkural. I cannot think of any subject for which I cannot dig into Thirukkural. Everytime, I read a management book, I cannot help thinking, ‘oh, hasn’t Valluvar talked about this?’.

For the uninitiated, Thirukkural  ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tirukkural ) is a 2000-year old Tamil classic, authored by Thiruvalluvar. From love to law, from management to self-realization, Thirukkural touches upon everything, through its 1330 couplets.

I started translating Thirukkural on Twitter and Facebook, sometime back, and now created this blog too. I have always drawn a lot from Thirukkural – now, it is time to give something back to Valluvar, in whatever limited way that I can.

There are already a few translations available in English. However, the reach of Thirukkural in the English-speaking world is limited, much less than what it deserves. So I will attempt to do my tiny bit through my own interpretations of Thirukkural in contemporary English.

I realize that some kurals, shorn of the poetic grace of ancient Tamil, will look banal in their naked forms. But that is the risk with any translation, particularly, of verses. However, there is enough depth in most kurals to shine bright, despite the services of an amateur translator.

What sprouted as a vague intent has now become a strong passion for me. While,  I started this wanting to give something back to Thirukkural, after diving deeper into it than ever, I continue to draw more from Thirukkural than I can ever hope to give back.

I am now a farmer, settled with my wife and daughter in a village near Pollachi. We also run a learning center (பயிலகம்) for children of the village. We formed another iniative, Seer7 Timeless Solutions, training students from colleges and schools on leadership, based on a model constructed from Thirukkural.

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25 responses to “Introduction

  1. Kabilan.SE

    February 13, 2012 at 6:24 am

    Hi Kannan,
    You have done a great job, I think you are doing a solo performance. You are taking thirukkural to the next generation around the world, hats off to you…
    Actually I am seeing your blog, your facebook page for last 4 days only, I came across your work while trying to promote our site for thirukkural–> http://www.thirukkural-sun.com , we developed this site for promoting thirukkural and thamizh language, this site contains 1330 couplets in thamizh, and meaning for each couplets in thamizh and also in english. A team of 13 members/friends developed this site in 2009, and we dont have much idea in how to promote this site, so this site has no page rank, as a result our site is not displayed in the top search results. After going through some sites for promoting idea, now I am starting to post comments on the blogs, facebook pages that are related to thirukkural and starting to gather the viewer for our site. I request your support for promoting this site, by adding link in your blog, facebook pages, google+ …
    Thanks in advance…

     
  2. gallardolad

    August 17, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Kannan ji, You really did your tiny bit 🙂

     
  3. siva

    October 31, 2015 at 8:00 am

    Could you give ur number i want talk direct

     
    • Kannan

      October 31, 2015 at 6:23 pm

      I have mailed you my number.

       
  4. Namasivayam

    December 20, 2015 at 6:43 am

    You never know the enormity of what you have successfully attempted Mr Kannan…only Posterity which reads online would hail you…congratulations.
    My hugs for you for the genuine service to Tamil and humanity..

     
    • Kannan

      December 20, 2015 at 5:49 pm

      Thank you.

       
  5. Asokan

    December 27, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Thank you Kannan for your hard work and time in this selflessly work. God’s blessing to you and your family. My humble contribution if you choose and I would be totally grateful to you (this work is original and has been researched and reflected from many sources including yours).
    1) Translation: Division 1, Chapter 1, Verse1
    #) அகர முதல எழுத்தெல்லாம் ஆதி பகவன் முதற்றே உலகு.
    #) From the first letter to all writings are solemnly based on facts in context (Asokan 27Dec2015)

     
  6. Hari Anantharaman

    December 16, 2016 at 4:48 am

    Your introduction has got me yearning to read … Thank You

     
  7. sangeetha

    December 17, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Hello Kannan,
    i’m sangeetha and i am planning to do a research comparing Thirukural with english literature, so kindly suggest which will match my study.

    thanks

     
    • Kannan

      December 23, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      Hi Sangeetha,
      I’m not sure if I can point to any specific works in English literature. Parallels may be drawn to any of your favourite works. Outside English literature, one can do an extensive comparative study with Bible, Confucius’ Analects, Arthasashtra, Machiavelli’s The Prince, Tolstoy’s writings, etc.

      I’ve come across a book, where a comparative study has been done to compile many interesting thoughts from various works, including English literature, against every kural.
      ஒப்பியலில் திருவள்ளுவரும் உலக அறிஞர்களும்
      – A.M.James, Kaavya Publication.

       
  8. Sathya Nagaraj

    April 8, 2017 at 4:21 am

    Hi Kannan, so impressive to read your work and to know what your family is doing. God bless !! I came across this page when I was looking for simple translation to send to my daughter. Amazing work. Have you published this work? It would be lovely to gift younger generation !!

     
  9. Ilangovan

    July 21, 2017 at 5:55 am

    Hello Kannan, you are doing extremely amazing… It is a right time to bring our Thirukkural to the world. My dad have been doing a research on this.. If you share your mobile number, he may connect you..

     
  10. bharathidasan,m

    October 31, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Mr.Kannan you did good job,,,,nantri….
    i like tamiz..i love tamiz. vaazha tamiz

     
  11. Premalatha

    December 3, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Dear Mr. Kannan, Amazing job done here, wonderful.

     
  12. A. Kowsigan

    December 25, 2017 at 6:51 am

    Hi Mr Kannan,
    Your work is deeply appreciated.
    Dr A. Kowsigan,

     
  13. Vanamali

    March 21, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Have you looked at the late Kasthuri Sreenvisan (“SITRA Sreenivasan”, as he was known) translation of the Kural? If other translations are likely to colour or come in the way of your thought flow, then don’t look at it :-).

    Your translation of 1071 is:

    By all appearances, the vile look so human;
    Such resemblance, I’ve nowhere seen.

    SITRA Sreenivasan renders this as:

    Resemblance such as this we have not seen;
    Just like other men are the mean.

    Your translation of 1072 is:

    More gifted than those who know the right course
    Are the vile: their hearts have no remorse.

    SITRA Sreenivasan renders this as:

    The mean, more lucky than the wise must be;
    From every prick of conscience, their minds are free

    He translates the adhikaram heading to be “Meanness”, which you translate as “Vileness”; some others have called it “Baseness”. His book, “Thirukkural (An Ancient Tamil Classic)” was published by the Kasthuri Srinivasan Trust in 1983.

    Each translation has its own beauty and my intention is not compare yours with his but merely to make you aware of his work, in case you don’t know about it already.

    Ki Va Ja writes that Madhanubangi might have been Valluvar’s actual name; he called his work as “Muppaal” (this is just from memory; I have to dig out the exact reference). BTW, doesn’t modern scholarship place Valluvar’s period to be somewhere in the 5th century (Zvelebil, for example)?

     
    • Kannan

      April 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      Thank you. I haven’t read Kasthuri Srinivasan’s work. I’ll go through it.

       
  14. mahesh.rajannan@gmail.com

    March 31, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    Excellent

     
  15. CHANDHRA MOULEESWARAN MK

    June 20, 2018 at 6:10 am

    சந்திர மௌலீஸ்வரன்-மகி.
    ஆவாஸ் வாழ்வியல் மையம்,
    பொங்கலூர்-641 667. திருப்பூர் மாவட்டம்,
    திரு.கண்ணன், வணக்கம்.
    திருக்குறள் எனது சிறுவயது முதல் இன்று வரை எனக்கும் எனது கல்வி மையத்திற்கும் அடிப்படை வழிகாட்டு நெறியாகும்.
    நான் திருக்குறளின் வழி எனது எல்லா வேலைகளையும் செய்பவன்.
    திருக்குறளை எவ்வாறு இன்றும் பல துறைகளுக்கும் மிகச் சரியாகப் பொருந்துகிறது என்பதைப் பலருக்கும் செயல்முறைகள் மூலம் விளக்கி வருகிறேன்.

    எண்ணித் துணிக கருமம்; துணிந்த பின்
    எண்ணுவம் என்பது இழுக்கு.
    இரண்டாயிரத்து ஐந்நூறு ஆண்டுகளுக்கும் முந்தைய இக்குறள், இன்றைய
    “அதி நவீன” அவசர உலகில் எப்படிப் பொருந்துகிறது பாருங்கள்.
    எங்கு தெரியுமா?
    தையல் கலையில்! தையல் கலைஞருக்கு!
    இது எட்டே எட்டுச் சொற்களில் ஆணித்தரமாக ஆலோசனை வழங்குகிறது!

    எண்ணி– நன்றாகத் திட்டமிட்டு, அளவுகளையும் அமைப்பையும், துண்டுகளின் இடத்தையும் “அளந்து” தீர்மானித்து.(After decisively planning the exact location of each piece on the cloth, by consulting the Patterns)
    துணிக–துணியைத் “துணிக்க”–வெட்டுக.
    கருமம்–துணித் துண்டுகளைத் தைப்பதற்காக வெட்டுவதான கருமம், வேலை.
    துணிந்த பின் எண்ணுவம் என்பது –“துணியை வெட்டியபின் தீர்மானிக்கலாம்” என்பது.
    இழுக்கு–தையல் கலைக்கே அது அவப்பெயரைத் தரும் குற்றம்.

    ஆயிரத்து முந்நூற்று முப்பது குறள்களும் ஆயிரத்து முந்நூற்று முப்பது துறைகளுக்கு அப்படி அப்படியே பொருந்தி அமைவதை அறிந்து உணரலாம்.

    உங்களது இந்த வலைப் பூப்பக்கத்தைப் பல முறை பார்த்து வந்தாலும் வேலைப் பளுவின் காரணமாக இன்றுவரை தொடர்பில் வர இயலவில்லை.
    உங்களது இந்த வேலை மிகவும் இன்றியமையாத ஒன்றாகும். இளம் வயதில் இவ்வளவு முயற்சி எடுத்து இதைச் செய்வதை மனமாரப் பாராட்டுகிறேன்.

    திருக்குறளைப் பின்பற்றுபவர்கள் அனைவரும் என் நண்பர்கள். இனி அடிக்கடி தொடர்பில் வருகிறேன்.
    மிக்க அன்புடன்,
    சந்திர மௌலீஸ்வரன் – மகி,
    நிறுவனர் – தலைமை ஆலோசகர்,
    ஆவாஸ்-ஆஸ்ட்ரா வாழ்வியல் ஸென்ட்டர் – AuVaaZ – Auztra Vaazhviyal Zenter,
    ஆஸ்ட்ரா ஃபாம் ஆஸ் இயற்கை வேளாணமை ஆலோசகர் – Auztra Famauz Organic Farm Consultant-AUFA OFC.
    பொங்கலூர்.

     
    • Kannan

      June 24, 2018 at 9:56 am

      நன்றி. நிச்சயம் தொடர்பிலிருக்கலாம். கோவையிலும் பொள்ளாச்சி அருகில் உள்ள ஒரு கிராமத்திலும் தான் இருக்கிறோம். முடிந்தால் நேரிலேயே சந்திக்கலாம். எனது மின்னஞ்சல்: tkan75@gmail.com.

       
  16. Shrishti

    June 20, 2018 at 6:29 am

    Hello ,
    Would like to contact you through email or by phone. Please send me your contact details

     
  17. solomon raj david

    August 20, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    great & excellent work…

     
  18. Murali Mani

    August 26, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Super Sir, Very Great work.

     
  19. G.Soundara rajan

    September 7, 2018 at 7:20 am

    Excellent Effort. Simple and easily understandable. What is your age sir? What is your educational qualification. How did you learn this much of English? My Best wishes for your well being. G.Sondara rajan Mail : soundarmurali@rediffmail.com

     

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