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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-25

Thirukural and Vethathiriyam: A comparative study

WCSC Vision for Wisdom, Aliyar Arivuthithirukovil, Aliyar, Pollachi, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication13-Jun-2019

Correspondence Address:
Manonmany P Parthiban
Research Scholar, WCSC Vision for Wisdom, Aliyar Arivuthithirukovil, Aliyar, Pollachi, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ym.ym_22_18

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Thirvalluvar was a Tamil Philosopher belonging to the pre Christian Era. The government has given his birth date as late as 31 BC. Some scholars date Thiruvalluvar and his work “Thirukural ”as early as 500 BC. Vethathiri Maharishi is a Yogi and Spiritual leader of the 21st century. He was a Siddha, Ayurvedic, Homeopathic practitioner and Founder of the World Community Service Center. This study tries to compare the message of the 2500 year old Thirukural with the teaching of the modern day yogi Vethathiri Maharishi. Maharishi always stressed on the “Art of Living ”as a way to balance and achieve inner as well as world peace. He took this term from the message of Thirukural and in this study we will compare how successfully Maharishi has preached the essence of Thirukural to the modern world.

Keywords: Maharishi, meditation, Thirukural, versesAddress

How to cite this article:
Parthiban MP. Thirukural and Vethathiriyam: A comparative study. Yoga Mimamsa 2019;51:23-5

How to cite this URL:
Parthiban MP. Thirukural and Vethathiriyam: A comparative study. Yoga Mimamsa [serial online] 2019 [cited 2023 Jun 6];51:23-5. Available from:

  Thirukural Top

Thirukural is neither a scripture nor an epic but an extraordinary treatise on the art of living. It has won the appellation “World Gospel – Universal Gospel.” It proves a good guide even to the present-day management science. It consists of 1330 epigrammatic couplets grouped into 133 chapters.

Thirukural has the honor of the largest number of translations by

  • G. U. Pope in English
  • Father Beschie and Dr. Grawl in Latin
  • A. F. Gammers and Friedreich in German
  • E. Ariel in French.

A literary work belonging to the Sangam age obviously contains words whose meaning has gone through evolutionary changes over a period of time. Critics over the centuries have naturally interpreted many of the expressions in Kural according to their understanding and their view of life. Therefore, it has many number of interpretations for a considerable number of Kural Stanzas.

  Vethathiriyam Top

The Vethathiriyam concept was put forth by Vethathiri Maharishi, the founder of World Community Service Centre and Vision Academy. The academy puts forth syllabus from K12 to doctorate-level education.

Maharishi's life started from a poor weaver's family. He engaged himself from many professions to become rich. He got enlightenment and explanation about god and life force from his gurus through self-contemplation. His guidance toward positivity proclaims him The Siddhar of the Modern Century.

  Study Top

The Alphabet begins with A;

So does the universe with GOD

Kural 1

The letter A begins and energizes all the other letters of the alphabet, like GOD is the origin and sustenance of the universe. This is the first couplet in praise of GOD. The poet hails his own favorite deity in an appropriate manner to the theme and concludes that virtue, wealth, and love are connected with the three qualities of sattva, rajas, and tamas of primeval GOD. Valluvar has sung this as a general prayer of praise on the basis of a religious thought and ethical philosophy. He has so carefully and ingeniously worded these Kurals avoiding denominational names and exclusive doctrines that many religionists worldwide can see the GOD of his own conception as referred by the author.

If absolute space is not a force

What else has the force?

In the universe.

– From Gnanakalanjiyam by Maharishi.

Philosophers called the Almighty as GOD, nature, absolute space, dense, darkness, beginning, and end, but scientists called it gravity or force.

The space that holds the planets is definitely heavier. Hence, the absolute space is not a vacuum but the powerful almighty. The absolute space is plenitude in nature with an inherent force – unified force and consciousness – and something which is omnipotent and permanent is the GOD. Hence, the absolute space is the almighty and omnipotent which is considered to be GOD by most Siddhas.

Though Things diverse from diverse sages lips we learn

This wisdoms part in each the true thing we discern.

Kural 423.

Divinity is the base of all that exists in this world. Once wisdom should be able to see this point. According to Parimelazhagar's elaborate interpretation, the truth may be found in disguised forms through words uttered by the young or old, ignorant or wise, or even foes or friends. To discern truth from whichever quarter it comes is true wisdom.

According to Vethathiriyam concept, point 3, which deals with fair judiciary, the violence in the name of religion, caste, language, and race is not divine ordinance. This understanding is essential to every humankind. It becomes an important duty for the scholars to incorporate the sense of justice as a part of educational curriculum. It is also the responsibility of the government. Henceforth, Vethathiriyam appeals to all retired judges, scientific experts, and competent educationalists to come together to take a lead in evolving the reformations in the society.

As disciplined conduct counts for the highest value in life,

It is cherished as more precious than life itself.

– Kural 131.

A disciplined conduct is more valuable than life itself. It is out of such righteous conduct that all virtues are derived.

In Vethathiriyam philosophy of life, morality is given as the first ethics to be followed in life.

In life, nothing is as worthwhile as

The public esteem arising out of charity.

– Kural 231.

Charity and public recognition are the most worthwhile things in life. Valluvar's conception is not only giving of alms alone, but also all of the modern concept of discriminatory social service amounting to social justice.

The philosophy of life in Vethathiriyam again deals with duty and charity also.

That what they wish may, as they wish, be won,

By men on earth are works of painful “penance ”done.

– Kural 265.

Religious discipline is practiced in this world because it secures the attainment of whatever one may wish to enjoy (in the world to come).

The hotter glows the fining fire, the gold the brighter shines;

The pain of penitence, like fire, the soul of man refines.

– Kural 267.

Just as gold is purified as heated in the fire, will those shine, who have endured the burning of pain (infrequent austerities).

The E'en over death the victory he may gain,

If power by penance won his soul obtain.

– Kural 269.

Those who have attained the power which religious discipline confers will be able also to pass the limit of Yama (the God of death).

  Maharishi's View on Meditation Top

When one does meditation, the mind is relaxed. The relaxed life force intensifies the power of biomagnetic waves. The mind controls the functioning of all the sensory organs. The sixth sense is common or human. It should prevail upon him/her to live a selective life, doing only good deeds. Through introspection knowing the existence of bad imprints man finds out ways of eradicating them.

Take back the mind to its birthplace, the place of its origin, make it stay there, and do the meditation. This reduces the mental frequency to the minimum as the mind is saved in the protection of its origin. The mind feels safe, secure, and relaxed. This is Vethathiriyam. One grows comfortable with meditation and gets unification with GOD to become stable and static.

“When wisdom is united by habitual practice

Firmness, sharpness and energy get increased,

The experience is also got then and there and

Stay permanent at wisdom. Analysing deep

What is good action and performing them?

Good characters settle in the sense organs.

Wisdom to settle in the genetic centre

Such extent, natural method is meditation!”

– G.K.1473.

The final concept of cause and effect by Maharishi is also equally given importance by Valluvar also. According to Maharishi, every action is the result of one's own previous action and stored imprints of the same.

If a man harms his neighbour in the forenoon,

Sure harm will come to him in the afternoon.

– Kural 319.

  Conclusion Top

The basis of Thirukural's immortal and universal appeal is to be seen in its secular character, clarity of thought, depth of understanding, perception of human life, and its capacity to present them in an extremely generalized form avoiding any particularization. In the same way, Maharishi has examined all aspects of life and analyzed its details and complexities to extract the essence and present in the form of educational curriculum.[2]

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Diaz, S. M., & Mahalingam, N. (2000). Thirukkural. Ramanandha Adigalar Foundation, Coimbatore.  Back to cited text no. 1
Vethathiri Maharishi. (2009). Yoga for human excellence. Vethathiri Publications, Erode.  Back to cited text no. 2


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