Following is the translation of Thirukkural, a discourse on ethics, its author is Tamil poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar who lived around 3rd Century. It’s translation is done by Mr. NV Subbaraman, he lives in Chennai. This Part of the series deals with the importance, significance and need and necessity of learning for leading decent and noble life and living.
கண்உடையர் என்பவர் கற்றோர்; முகத்துஇரண்டு
புண்உடையர் கல்லா தவர்.
KaNudaiyar enbavar katroar; mugaththuiraNdu
PuNudaiyar kallaa dhavar.
Eyes adorn the learned
For the unread eyes are sores
Learning is sacred!
In fact learned are only to be considered as people with eyes and the others are having only sores and not eyes. This shows the importance of learning.
உவப்பத் தலைகூடி உள்ளப் பிரிதல்
அனைத்தே புலவர் தொழில்.
Uvappath thalaikoodi uLLap piridhal
Anaiththae pulavar thozil.
Love the learned, make at home
Leave lasting imprints!
The educated persons love the educated and learned and are happy to move with and when they leave they long to see them at the earliest.
உடையார்முன் இல்லார்போல் ஏக்கற்றும் கற்றார்
கடையரே கல்லா தவர்.
Udaiyaarmun illaarpoal aekkatrum katraar
Kadaiyarae kallaa dhavar.
Like poor before rich
Learner stands low and learns
The learned make a niche!
Just as the poor accepts the help of the rich with respect and humility, a learner learns from his master with all respect and reverence and that indeed makes him learned and wise.
தொட்டனைத்து ஊறும் மணற்கேணி மாந்தர்க்குக்
கற்றனைத்து ஊறும் அறிவு.
Thottanaiththu oorum maNarkkaeNi maandharkkuk
Katranaiththu oorum arivu.
Dug deep water flows
Knowledge soars as one learns more
Sure the learned grows!
Water level increases in the well in proportion to the depth to which it is dug. Similarly, more and more one learns, deeper and deeper his knowledge and wisdom develop.
யாதானும் நாடாமல் ஊராமால் என்னொருவன்
சாந்துணையும் கல்லாத வாறு.
Yaadhaanum naadaamaal ooraamaal ennoruvan
SaanthuNaiyum kallaadfha vaaru.
For the learned, world
Is his, and people are his
Why not one learn bold!
For the learned every part of the world is as great and as his and he is welcomed all over the world for his erudition and scholarship. While it is so great, it is not known why the people do not take to serious learning all his life time.
ஒருமைக்கண் தான்கற்ற கல்வி ஒருவர்க்கு
எழுமையும் ஏமாப்பு உடைத்து.
OrumaikkaN thaankatra kalvi oruvarkku
Ezumaiyum aemaappu udaiththu.
Learning in this life
Gets joy and prosperity
For lives seven in file!
The greatness one gets for his erudition and knowledge last for seven of his lives in future. Hence the need for learning.
தாம்இன் புறுவது உலகுஇன் புறக்கண்டு
காமுறுவர் கற்றறிந் தார்.
Thaamin buruvadhu ulaguin burakkaNdu
Kaamuruvar katrarin dhaar.
The learned love more
To learn and spread to the world
As they enjoy lore!
The well learned, looking at the joy it provides to the society, learn more and more to share and prosper.
கேடுஇல் விழுச்செல்வம் கல்வி ஒருவர்க்கு
மாடுஅல்ல மற்றை யவை.
Kaeduil vizuchchelvam kalvi oruvarkku
Maadualla matrai yavai.
Learning – flawless wealth
Imperishable and lasts
Others cannot match!
The wealth that stands in good stead at all times all through is education; other forms of wealth do not match.