Tiruvalluar’s ‘Kural’: A Scholarly Review

Tiruvalluar’s ‘Kural’:  A Scholarly Review

P V Laxmiprasad is a versatile Indian scholar. He hails from Karimnagar, Telangana. He is the author and editor of 42 books in English Literature.

P V Laxmiprasad is a versatile Indian scholar. He hails from Karimnagar, Telangana. He is the author and editor of 42 books in English Literature. In this highly acclaimed book of merit and class, Laxmiprasad critically interpreted as many as 450 Kurals from his reading of Titruvalluar’s Kurals. It is really scholarly review. The impressive quality of this book is simple yet elegant narration that captivates the readers. Kural in Tamil is a couplet. It is a celebrated work by the greatest poet of Classical Tamil Literature, Tiruvalluar. This critical volume, comprehensive in nature, deals with a scholarly review of the Kurals, considered to be a masterpiece of human thought, compared in India and abroad to the Bible, John Milton’s Paradise Lost and the works of Plato. The Kurals comprising 1330 couplets deals with the first three of the four Purusharthas – the supreme goals of life; Dharma (Virtue), Artha (Wealth). Taken together, the three books of the Kural teach us the different ways of the world in a brilliantly styled verse.

Laxmiprasad has taken up 450 Kurals out of 1330 for a brilliant interpretation in a style remarkably justified for its worth. A genuine scholar, Laxmiprasad critically evaluated the Kurals to a brilliant finish. His knowledge of Kurals evinces his keen interest and passion for ancient classic in Tamil History and Literature. The Kural, as laxmiprasad, observes, is mainly divided into three significant sections – “Aram” which means “righteousness”, “Porul” which means “wealth” and “Imbam” which means “pleasure”. Coming to the interpretation of Kurals, Laxmiprasad, the scholar, brilliantly explores the hidden wisdom behind these beauties of Kurals. The book becomes at once an original and analytical work. His critical appreciation is truly a masterpiece of scholarly review. His interpretation of Kurals, for example, “What use is that learning which does not lead to the blessed feat of pure intelligence”? (Kural). Real knowledge is something that leads one to critically distinguish between good and bad in the world. The other Kural that Laxmiprasad explores the hidden truths is,” He sows the seed of bliss who rules His five senses with wisdom’s good”. This couplet emphasizes the point of controlling five senses. A man when he does not control them will lose wisdom in the end. It is important to control the senses in order to attain the perfection and bliss in life. In his brilliant interpretation, Laxmiprasad writes that according to Tiruvalluar, envy, greed, and harsh words always bring negative impact on men and matters. Envying the status and position of others, longing to have more and more wealth, possessing a mind filled with anger, and constantly using harsh words that would hurt the emotions of others are the negative qualities that bring about one’s downfall. “Virtue settles where these negative traits are rid of” (22).

The Kural differs from every other work on morality in that it follows ethics, surprisingly on a divine one, even in the Book of Love. P V Laxmiprasad becomes an authoritative critic on Tiruvalluars’s Kurals. It is a magnum opus on a great work of literature.

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