THE LIFE AND TEACHINGS OF THIRUVALLUVAR - ONE OF INDIA'S GREATEST POETS-SAINTS CELEBRATED IN VERULAM.
"To use bitter words, when kind words are at hand, Is like picking unripe fruit when the ripe fruit is there."
"To get wealth and security by guile
Is like one who pours water into a pot of unbaked clay."
(VERULAM STUDENTS UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF CULTURAL LEADER, MRS SARO MOODLEY, TAKING PART IN THE PROGRAMME TO HIGHLIGHT THE LIFE AND TEACHINGS OF ONE OF INDIA'S GREATEST POETS-SAINTS, THIRUVALLUVAR.)By Subry Govender
The life, teachings and philosophy of one of India's greatest poets-saints, Thiruvalluvar, was celebrated by the Verulam Sivan Sabay and several associate groups at the Sabay's headquarters in Brindahavan, Verulam, on Sunday, February 28.
Thiruvalluvar, who was born in the temple town of Madurai in Tamil Nadu more than 2 000 years ago, was best known as the author of the Tamil spiritual book, Tirukkural.
It's said that Thiruvalluvar was also born 50 years before Jesus Christ.
Many later day philosophers and sages considered the Tirukkural as a masterpiece of human thought, comparable to "the Bible, John Milton's Paradise Lost and the works of Plato".
The Thirukkural contains 1 330 verses which promotes the well-being of the human being in all aspects of life without any regard to status, class, caste or position in society.
Swami Sivananda, the founder of the Divine Life Society, is quoted as saying the verses "contain the essence of the Vedas, the Upanishads and the six Darshanas". "Thirukkural is regarded as a universal Bible. It is another Gita, Koran or Zend Avesta," wrote Swami Sivananda.
In addition to the Verulam Sivan Sabay, the other cultural groups that took part in the celebration under the auspices of the Verulam Cultural Co-Ordinating Committee were Shri Siva Subramaniar Alayam, Havenridge Cultural Organisation, Verulam Kalay Kazhagam, and the Verulam Cultural Group.
(DR THIRU MOODLEY ADDRESSING THE PEOPLE ABOUT THIRUVALLUVAR)
Dr Thiru Moodley, a veteran cultural leader who studied the life and works of Thiruvalluvar, was the guest speaker at the function.
Dr Moodley, who has been attached to the Dravida Society, the Divine Life Society and other organisations, gave a detailed account of how Thiruvalluvar inspired the people of Tamil Nadu, India and the world to lead morally upright lives.
Ms Anusha Kisten, secretary of the Verulam Sivan Sabay, said the celebration of Thiruvalluvar's life was aimed at "further promoting the values and principles of the Tamil culture".
"We all have to start reading and absorbing the virtues of the great Saint's life and teachings to become better persons in our societies and communities," said Ms Kisten.
(MRS SARO MOODLEY)
Mrs Saro Moodley, cultural leader and head of
the Av-vaiyyaarr Kalay Sangam, led a group of students in highlighting the works and teachings of the poet-saint.
Mrs Moodley and the students quoted some of the spiritual and world leaders who used Thiruvalluvar as a role model in their lives.
/b>(Dr Thiru Moodley with officials of the Verulam Sivan Sabay (from L to R): Mrs Vijay Cuppusamy, Mr Tim Govender (chairperson), Dr Krish Thungavelu, and Ms Anusha Kisten (secretary Verulam Sivan Sabay)
One of the international leaders was the Rev. Dr G U Pope, who travelled to India to convert the people to Christianity. But after studying Thiruvalluvar and the Thirukkural, Dr Pope desisted from converting people and instead became a transformed person himself.
He became the first person to translate the Thirukkural into English in 1886.
(VERULAM SIVAN SABAY OFFICIALS WHO HOSTED THE THIRUVALLUVAR CELEBRATION)
(VERULAM SIVAN SABAY LADIES WHO HOSTED THE CELEBRATION OF THIRUVALLUVAR)
Before Dr Pope, there were other spiritual leaders such as Mr Ariel, who translated the Tirukkural into French, and Dr Graul, who translated the "Tamil Bible" into German and Latin.
Another spiritual leader who used the Tirukkural to grow and promote the Tamil culture was the Rev. Dr Thani Nayagam, who was a Roman Catholic priest.
"He is known as the 'Roving Ambassador for Tamil' and has been instrumental in carrying Tamil to the international arena", said Mrs Moodley.
"The freedom icon of India, Mahatma Gandhi, also recoginised Thiruvalluvar as one of the greatest humanitarian leaders of India."
(YOUNG STUDENTS TAKING PART IN THE THIRUVALLUVAR CELEBRATION)
Some of the writings and verses that Thiruvalluvar is remembered for, include:
1. "There is no greater wealth than Virtue,
And no greater loss than to forget it.";
2. "To use bitter words, when kind words are at hand, Is like picking unripe fruit when the ripe fruit is there.";
3. "Those who are free from anger are free from death.";
4. "The wound that’s made by fire will heal,But the wound that’s made by tongue will never heal.";
5. "The gruel that children’s little hands have stirred Is sweeter than nectar.";
6. "Real kindness seeks no return;
What return can the world make to rain clouds?;7. "How can kindliness rule that man
Who eateth other flesh to increase his own?";
8. "The crow does not hide its prey, but calls for others to share it; So wealth will be with those of a like disposition."9. "The ignorant are like useless, brackish soil;
They exist and that is all."; and10. "If men must beg to live,
May the Creator also go wandering and perish."
- ends (Subry Govender Feb 28 2016)