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Tirukkural, also known as the Kural, an ancient Indian treatise on the ethics and morality of the commoner, is one of the most widely translated non-religious works in the world. Authored by the ancient Tamil poet-philosopher Thiruvalluvar, it has been translated into at least 42 world languages, with about 57 different renderings in the English language alone.
The Kural text, considered to have been written in the 1st century BCE,remained unknown to the outside world for close to one and a half millennia. The first translation of the Kural text appeared in Malayalam in 1595 CE under the title Tirukkural Bhasha by an unknown author. It was a prose rendering of the entire Kural, written closely to the spoken Malayalam of that time. However, again, this unpublished manuscript remained obscure until it was first reported by the Annual Report of the Cochin Archeological Department for the year 1933–34. It took another three centuries before the next Malayalam translation was made in 1863 by Perunazhi Krishna Vaidhyan.
The Kural text has enjoyed a universal appeal right from antiquity owing to its secular and non-denominational nature that it suited the sensibilities of all.The universality is such that, despite its having been written in the pre-Christian era, almost every religious group in India and across the world, including Christianity, has claimed the work for itself. Owing to its ethical content, the Kural remained one of the most admired ancient Indian works among the Christian missionaries of the 16th and 17th centuries, who arrived in India during the colonial era and found the Kural text containing many more ideals in addition to those that are similar to their own Christian ideals. This marked the beginning of wider translations of the Kural text.
In 1730, Constantius Joseph Beschi rendered the Kural text into Latin, introducing the work to the Europeans for the first time. However, only the first two books of the Kural text, namely, virtue and wealth, were translated by Beschi, who considered translating the book on love inappropriate for a Christian missionary. Around 1767, an unknown author made the first French translation, which went unnoticed.The Danish Missionary August Friedrich Caemmerer translated it into German in 1803. The first available French version, however, was the one made in 1848 by E. S. Ariel. Here again, only parts of the work was translated. In 1856, Karl Graul translated the Kural into German, claiming that the Kural is closer to the Christian preaching and offers a model of Tamil worldview. The German version was published both at London and Leipzig. In 1865, his Latin translation of the Kural text, along with commentaries in Simple Tamil, was posthumously published.
The first English translation ever was attempted by N. E. Kindersley in 1794 when he translated select couplets of the Kural. This was followed by another incomplete attempt by Francis Whyte Ellis in 1812, who translated only 120 couplets—69 in verse and 51 in prose.William Henry Drew translated the first two parts in prose in 1840 and 1852, respectively. Along with Drew's English prose translation, it contained the original Tamil text, the Tamil commentary by Parimelalhagar and Ramanuja Kavirayar's amplification of the commentary. Drew, however, translated only 630 couplets. The remaining portions were translated by John Lazarus, a native missionary, thus providing the first complete English translation. In 1886, George Uglow Pope published the first complete English translation in verse by a single author, which brought the Kural text to a wide audience of the western world.
By the turn of the twenty-first century, the Kural had already been translated to more than 37 world languages,with at least 24 complete translations in English language alone, by both native and non-native scholars. By 2014, the Kural had been translated to more than 42 languages, with 57 versions available in English. Along with the Bible and the Quran, the Kural remains one of the most translated works in the world. In October 2021, the Central Institute of Classical Tamil announced its translating the Kural text into 102 world languages.
The couplets of the Kural are inherently complex by virtue of their dense meaning within their terse structure. Thus, no translation can perfectly reflect the true nature of any given couplet of the Kural unless read and understood in its original Tamil form.Added to this inherent difficulty is the attempt by some scholars to either read their own ideas into the Kural couplets or deliberately misinterpret the message to make it conform to their preconceived notions. The Latin translation by Father Beshi, for instance, contains several such mistranslations noticed by modern scholars. According to V. Ramasamy, "Beschi is purposely distorting the message of the original when he renders பிறவாழி as 'the sea of miserable life' and the phrase பிறவிப்பெருங்கடல் as 'sea of this birth' which has been translated by others as 'the sea of many births'. Beschi means thus 'those who swim the vast sea of miseries'. The concept of rebirth or many births for the same soul is contrary to Christian principle and belief". In August 2022, the governor of Tamil Nadu, R. N. Ravi, criticized Anglican Christian missionary G. U. Pope for "translating with the colonial objective to 'trivialise' the spiritual wisdom of India," resulting in a "de-spiritualised version" of the Kural text.
Below is a list of translations of the Kural:
|S.No.||Language||Translator(s)||Title of the Translation||Place of Publication||Year||Coverage and Form||Notes||Translation for comparison:|
Kural (verse) 251 (Chapter 26:1)
|1||Arabic||Muhammad Yousuf Kokan||Sacred Verses||(Hanifa House Printers and Publishers)||1976–1980||Complete||Translated from an English translation.||كيف يكون احد رؤوفا ورحيما إن يأكل الحيوانات|
لا زدياد شحمه ودسمه فى جثـتـه وجسمه
|Basheer Ahmed Jamali||Chennai (Central Institute of Classical Tamil)||2014||Complete|
|Amar Hasan||Thirukkural||Beirut, Lebanon (Al Farabi Publications)||2015||Complete|
|K. M. A. Ahamed Zubair||(Lambert Academic Publishing)||2017||Partial||Translated only about 50 couplets from the Kural chapters 2 (Glory of Rain), 10 (Speaking Pleasantly), 40 (Learning), 53 (Embracing the Kin), and 113 (Praise of Love), which were published in his book on translating Tamil poetry into Arabic with special reference to the Kural text.||Not translated|
|A. Jahir Hussain||Thirukkural||Chennai (International Institute of Tamil Studies)||2020||Complete–Verse||Translated from Tamil original.|
|2||Bengali||Nalini Mohan Sanyal||Thirukkural||Calcutta||1939||Prose|
|E. C. Sastri||Thirukkural||Calcutta||1974||Prose|
|N. Ramanuja Das||Thirukkural||1993||Prose|
|S. Krishnamoorthy||Tirukkural (Ancient Tamil Poetry)||Calcutta||2001||Complete—Verse||Reprinted in 2014 by Sahitya Akademi; 148 pages. ISBN 978-81-260-4719-2|
|3||Burmese||U. Myo Thant||Thirukkural||Rangoon (Kanbe Nattukottai Chettiyar Ed Trust)||1964||Complete—Prose|
|4||Chinese||Ch'eng Xi||Gula Zhenyan (古臘箴言)||Hong Kong (Xianggang Daxue Chubanshe)||1967||如何真正实践慈悲谁吃动物肉养肥自己的血肉?|
|Yu Hsi||Thirukkural||Taipei, Taiwan (Department of Tamil Development and Culture)||2014||Complete||Book released by former President of India, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam||以他者的脂肪養胖自己的人，|
|5||Creole||Rama Valayden||Port Louis, Mauritius (Calson Printing Ltd)||2007||ISBN 978-99903-66-21-1|
|6||Czech||Kamil V. Zvelebil||Thirukural (Selections)||Prague||1952–1954||Selections||Translated select couplets that appeared in Novy Orient, a Czech journal, during 1952–54.|
|7||Danish||Marianne Steen Isak||Thirukural||(Tamil Danish Socio-Literary Federation)||2021||Complete|
|8||Dutch||D. Kat||Thirukural (Selections)||Netherlands||1964||Selections|
|9||English||Nathaniel Edward Kindersley||Specimens of Hindoo Literature||London (W. Bulmer and Co.)||1794||Selections—Verse||Made the first ever translation of the Kural text into English in a chapter titled 'Extracts from the Teroo-Vaulaver Kuddul, or, The Ocean of Wisdom' in his book Specimens of Hindoo Literature||Not translated.|
|Francis Whyte Ellis||Thirukural on Virtue (in verse) with Commentary||Madras||1812 (reprint 1955)||Selections—Mixed||Incomplete translation—only 120 couplets translated, 69 in verse and 51 in prose||Not translated|
|William Henry Drew||The Cural of Thiruvalluvar with Commentary of Parimelazhakar||Madurai (American Mission Press)||1840||Partial—Prose||Translated only the first 630 couplets||How can he be possessed of kindness, who, to increase his own flesh, eats the flesh of other (creatures)?|
|Charles E. Gover||Odes from the Kural (Folksongs of South India)||Madras (Higginbothams)||1872||Selections–Verse||Reprinted in 1981 by Gian Publications, Delhi|
|Edward Jewitt Robinson||Tamil Wisdom||London (Paternoster Row)||1873||Partial—Verse||Translated only Books I and II (1080 couplets)||What graciousness by those is shown|
Who feed with others' flesh their own?
|William Henry Drew, and John Lazarus||Thirukural (in verses)||Madras||1885||Partial—Prose||Lazarus revised Drew's work and translated the remaining portion (couplets 631 to 1330) in prose as done by Drew, thus making the incomplete work of Drew a complete one.||How can he be possessed of kindness, who, to increase his own flesh, eats the flesh of other (creatures)?|
|George Uglow Pope||A Collection of the English Translation of Thirukural||Madras||1886||Complete—Verse||First complete translation in English by a single author||How can the wont of 'kindly grace' to him be known,|
Who other creatures' flesh consumes to feed his own?
|T. Thirunavukarasu||Kural—A Selection of 366 Verses (A Gem for Each Day)||Madras (SPCK Press)||1915||Selections—Prose|
|V. V. S. Aiyar||Kural: Maxims of Thiruvalluvar||Madras (Amudha Nilayam)||1916||Complete–Prose||How can he feel pity, who eateth other flesh to fatten his own?|
|S. Sabaratna Mudaliyar||Kural||Madras||1920|
|A. Mathavaiyah||Kural in English with Commentary in Tamil||Madras||1926||Selections—Verse|
|T. V. Parameswaran Aiyar||108 Gems from the Sacred Kural||Kottayam||1928|
|H. A. Popley||The Sacred Kural (Selections in verses)||Calcutta||1931||Selections—Verse||How can kindliness rule that man,|
Who eateth other flesh to increase his own?
|A. Ranganatha Muthaliar||Thirukural Moolamum Uraiyum with English Translation||Madras||1933|
|C. Rajagopalachari||Kural, the Great Book of Thiruvalluvar||Madras||1935||Partial—Prose|
|M. S. Purnalingam Pillai||The Kural in English||Tirunelveli (Sri Kanthimathi Vilasam Press)||1942||Complete–Prose||How can a man grace who eats the meat of other animal to fatten himself?|
|S. M. Michael||The Sacred Aphorisms of Thiruvalluvar (in verse)||Nagarcoil||1946||Complete—Verse||Who eats flesh other his own to expand,|
How can he grace command?
|V. R. Ramachandra Dikshitar||Thirukural in English with Roman Translation||Madras||1949||Complete—Prose||He who fattens on the flesh of animals, can he ever understand the rule of love?|
|M. R. Rajagopala Aiyangar||Tirukkural||Kumbakonam||1950||Complete–Prose|
|P. Raja||Thirukural (in verses)||Kumbakonam||1950|
|A. Chakravarti||Thirukural in English with Commentary||Madras||1953||Complete—Prose||How can a person cultivate the habit of universal benevolence if he for the purpose of fattening his own flesh (body) eats flesh of other animals?|
|I. D. Thangaswami||Thirukural (Selections in Verse)||Madras||1954||Selections—Verse|
|K. M. Balasubramaniam||Thirukural of Thiruvalluvar||Madras||1962||Complete—Verse||How can the one who eats a flesh to have his own flesh swell|
Possess a melting heart in which compassion could e'er dwell?
|T. Muthuswamy||Thirukural in English||Madurai||1965||Partial—Prose|
|V. Chinnarajan||The Kural Gems||Udumalpet||1967||Selections–Verse|
|C. R. Soundararajan||1968||Complete–Prose|
|Emmons E. White||The Wisdom of India||New York City (The Pater Pauper)||1968||Selections–Verse||Published as The Wisdom of the Tamil People in 1976|
|Yogi Suddanantha Bharathi||Thirukural with English Couplets||Madras||1968||Complete—Verse||What graciousness can one command|
Who feeds his flesh by flesh gourmand?
|G. Vanmikanathan||The Thirukural—A Unique Guide to Moral, Material and Spiritual Prosperity||Trichy||1969||Complete—Prose||How will he exercise charity, who eats the flesh of another (creature) to fatten his own flesh?|
|Kasturi Srinivasan||Thirukural: An Ancient Tamil Classic (in couplets)||Bombay||1969||Complete—Verse||To feed his flesh, who flesh consumes|
What kindly grace, such man presumes?
|A. Gajapathy Nayagar||The Rosary of Gems of Thirukkural||Madras||1969|
|Yogi Suddanantha Bharathi||Thirukural Couplets with Clear Prose Rendering||Madras||1970||Complete—Prose|
|T. N. S. Ragavachari||Teachings of Tiruvalluvar's Kural||Madras (Health, June 1966 – October 1971)||1971||Complete–Prose||Reprinted in 1982|
|E. V. Singan||Tirukkural||Singapore (EVS Enterprises)||1975||Complete–Prose||Reprinted in 1982|
|S. N. Sriramadesikan||Tirukkural||Madras (Gangai Puthaka Nilayam)||1978||Complete–Prose||Reprinted in 1991, 1994, and 2006||How can a person be held to be compassionate when he slays animals and eat their flesh, for fattening his own body?|
|S. Maharajan||Tiruvalluvar||New Delhi (Sahitya Akademi)||1979||Verse—Selections||Translated select couplets from all the three books of the Kural text. Second edition was published in 1982.||How can he be possessed of grace,|
who, to swell his own flesh,
eats the flesh of others!
|S. M. Diaz||Aphorisms of Valluvar: Commentary and Comparative Study||Madras: International Society for the Investigation of Ancient Civilizations||1982||Complete—Verse||It is inconsistent with the way of living compassion,|
To fatten oneself on the flesh of a fellow-creature.
|P. S. Sundaram||Tiruvalluvar: The Kural||New Delhi (Penguin Books India Limited)||1987||Complete–Verse||Reprinted in 1989, 1991, 1992, and 2000 by International Tamil Language Foundation, Illinois||How can he be kindly|
Who fattens himself on others' fat?
|T. S. Ramalingam Pillai||1987|
|K. R. Srinivasa Iyengar||Tirukkural||Calcutta (M. P. Birla Foundation)||1988||Complete–Verse|
|M. Karunanidhi/K. Chellappan||Kural—Portraits: Dr. Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi's Kuralovium, a Translation from Tamil by K. Chellappan||Annamalai Nagar: Annamalai University||1989|
|T. R. Kallapiran||1995|
|D. V. G. Ramarathinam||Tirukkural||(Thiyaga Durgam)||1995||Complete–Prose|
|J. Narayanasamy||Tirukkural||Coimbatore||1998||Complete–Mixed||More in prose than in verse. Reprinted in 1999.||Hardly any mercy is left in the minds of those who build their bodies with the flesh of other beings.|
|K. Kalia Perumal||Wonders of Tirukkural||Thanjavur (Jayam Publications)||1999||Complete–Verse|
|C. B. Acharya||1999|
|Satguru Sivaya Subramuniya Swami||Thirukural||New Delhi (Abhinav Publications)||1979||Partial—Verse||Translated only Books I and II||How can he practice true compassion|
Who eats the flesh of an animal to fatten his own flesh?
|C. R. Sundar||Book Divine Tirukkural||Chennai (Vignesh Pathippakam)||2001||Complete–Verse|
|V. Padmanabhan||Thirukkural with English Explanation||Chennai (Manimekalai Prasuram)||2003||Complete–Prose||How can you consider the person eating the flesh of other creatures to strengthen his own, as merciful?|
|O. R. Krishnaswami||The Wisdom of Tirukkural—A Guide to Living||Mumbai (Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan)||2004||Partial–Prose||Translated Books I and II only|
|M. D. Jayabalan||Cheyyar (Mavanna Publications)||2005||Partial–Verse||Translated only 321 couplets|
|David Pratap Singh||Tirukkural||Madurai (Master Pathippakam)||2006||Complete–Verse|
|S. Ratnakumar||Tirukkural: A Guide to Effective Living||Singapore (Tamils Representative Council)||2006||Complete–Prose|
|V. Murugan||Thirukkural in English||Chennai (Arivu Pathippagam)||2009||Complete–Verse||How will compassion hold him under its reign|
Who feeds on others' flesh to fatten his own?
|M. Rajaram||Thirukkural: Pearls of Inspiration||New Delhi (Rupa Publication)||2009||Complete—Verse||How could one ever be compassionate|
If one fattens on animal meat?
|M. Rajaram||Thirukkural: Pearls of Inspiration||New Delhi (Rupa Publication)||2009||Complete—Prose||One who fattens himself feeding on the animal flesh can never be kind to others.|
|N. E. Ramalingam||Thirukkural Commentary in Tamil and English||Chennai (Thiruvalluvar Pathippagam)||2009||Complete—Prose||How can one be kind hearted when he eats the flesh of other beings to increase his own flesh?|
|R. Viswanathan||Thirukkural: Universal Tamil Scripture: Alongwith the Commentary of Parimalazhagar in English||Mumbai (Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan)||2011||Complete—Prose||ISBN 978-81-7276-448-7|
|A. Gopalakrishnan||Tirukkural—Thiruvalluvar Karutthurai||Chidambaram (Meiyappan Padhippagam)||2012||Complete—Prose||Authored both Tamil commentary and English translation||How can one possess kindness towards the living beings; when he himself eats the flesh of other living beings to increase his own flesh?|
|Singaravelu Sachithanantham||Karya Etika Tamil Berjudul Thirukkuṛaḷ||Malaysia (Uma Publications)||2013||Complete—Verse||Trilingual version with Tamil original and Malay and English versions translated by the translator.||How would one, who kills the body of another being, and eats the meat of that being to enlarge one's own body, become one, who nurtures Arul ('compassion')?|
|S. P. Guruparan||Thirukkural: English Translation||Chennai (Mayilavan Padhippagam)||2014||Complete—Verse||(a) If one eats the flesh of another (creature) to fatten his body|
How can he be a charitable person?
(b) To strengthen his body if another body is eaten by one
How can he be a compassionate one?!!
|Gopalkrishna Gandhi||Tiruvalluvar—The Tirukkural: A New English Version||New Delhi (Aleph Classics)||2015||Complete—Verse||How can one not see the ugliness of eating meat?|
How can one made of flesh another's flesh eat?
|R. Venkatachalam||Thirukkural—Translation—Explanation: A Life Skills Coaching Approach||Gurgaon (Partridge Publishing India)||2015||Complete—Verse|
|V. K. Parameswaran Pillai||Kural||Madras|
|Madurai Babaraj||Thirukkural—Virtue||Chennai (B. Vasantha)||2018||Partial—Prose||How can one be merciful if one eats flesh of animals to develop his corporeal frame?|
|R. Jayaprakasam||Thirukkural: Text in English & Tamil||Chennai (Porselvi Pathippagam)||2019||Complete—Prose||How could he who eat the flesh for proliferation of his own flesh and body be enough compassionate?|
|Pattu M. Bhoopathi||Thus Blossoms Love: A Transcreation of Kamattupal in Modern Verse||Chennai (Sandhya Publications)||2019||Partial—Verse||Translated Book III alone in modern verse form||Not translated|
|Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma||The Kural: Tiruvalluvar's Tirukkural||Boston (Beacon Press)||2021|
|J. S. Anantha Krishnan||Thiruvalluvar's Thirukkural||Kollam (Dream Bookbindery)||2021||Complete—Verse|
|Meena Kandasamy||The Book of Desire||New Delhi (Penguin Random House India)||2023||Partial—Prose||Translated Book III alone in feministic viewpoint||Not translated|
|R. Natarajan||The Kural: English Translation of the Ancient Tamil Text Thirukkural||Chennai (Rare Publications)||2023||Complete|
|10||Fijian||Samuel L. Berwick||Na Tirukurala||Nadi, Fiji (Sri Ramakrishna Mission)||1964||Complete||Loloma cava me tu tale vua,|
Ke lewe ni manumanu e sa sagaa
Ena nona kocova wale ga
Me vakamatea me uro vua.
|Paul Geraghty||Tirukurali Na sere tabu||Suva, Fiji (Reddy Group of Companies)||2008||Complete||E rawa vakacava ni yalololoma e dua ni dau kania na lewenimanumanu me ikuri ni lewe ni yogona.|
|11||Finnish||Pentti Aalto||Kural—The Ancient Tamil Classic||Helsinki (Societas Orientalis Fennica)||1972|
|12||French||Anonymous||Kural de Thiruvalluvar, Selections||Paris||1767||Selections|
|E. S. Ariel||Kural de Thiruvalluvar (Traduits du Tamoul)||Paris||1848||Selections|
|P. G. de Dumast||1854|
|Pierre-Eugène Lamairesse||Thirukural in French||Pondicherry||1867|
|Louis Jacolliot||Paris (A Lacroix)||1876|
|G. Barrigue de Fontainieu||Le Livre de l'amour de Thiruvalluva||Paris (Lemerre)||1889|
|Alain Daniélou||Thiruvallouvar Kural||Pondicherry||1942|
|Gnanou Diagou||Tirou Vallouvar Koural (Thirukural in French)||Pondicherry (Sandhanam) |
New Delhi (Asian Educational Services)
|1942||Complete—Prose||Comment celui qui mange la chair d'un autre être animé,|
pour engraisser la sienne, peut-il se laisser gagner par la miséricorde.
|Antonio Sorrentino||(Francois Gros. Greenhouse 2)||1986|
|Mootoocoomaren Sangeelee||Tirouk Koural||(Editions de L'Ocean Indien)||1988|
|François Gros||Le Livre de l'Amour||Paris (Gallimard, Collection UNESCO)||1992|
|S. Singh||New Delhi (Richa Prakashan)||2003|
|Rama Valayden||Port Louis, Mauritius||2007|
|T. Janakiraman Kalladan||Kalladan, T. Janakiraman||2016|
|13||Garo||A. Antoni Selvadoss||Rongtalgipa Poido||Meghalaya||2000||Complete—Verse|
|14||German||August Friedrich Caemmerer||Thirukural waith German Translation||Leipzig||1803||Wie kann er zutreffendes Mitleid üben, das das Fleisch eines Tieres ißt,|
um sein eigenes Fleisch zu mästen?
|Friedrich Rückert||Thirukural, Selections||Berlin||1847||Selections|
|Karl Graul||Der Kural des Tiruvalluver. Ein gnomisches Gedicht über die drei Strebeziele des Menschen.||London (William & Norgate) and Leipzig (F. A. Brockhaus)||1856||Complete||Published as the third volume (220 pages) of the four-volume work Bibliotheca Tamulica sive Opera Praecipia Tamuliensium||Wer, das eigne Fleisch zu mehren, fremdes Fleisch geniesst, — wie wird Der der Huld pflegen?|
|Fenz Albrecht and K. Lalithambal||Thirukural von Thiruvalluvar aus dem Tamil||Madurai||1877||Ißt jemand Fleisch von anderen Kreaturen, um sein eigenes Fleisch zu vermehren – wie kann er Gnade erlangen?|
|Uwe Beissert||Basel (Project Ohms [AUM])||1990|
|15||Greek||Πώς μπορεί κάποιος, που τρώει τη σάρκα άλλων για να|
φουσκώσει τη δική του σάρκα, να δείξει συμπόνοια;
|16||Gujarati||Najuklal Choksi||Thirukural||Ahmedabad(Sastu Sahitya)||1931|
|Kantilal L. Kalani||Thirukural in Gujarati||Bombay (University Book Board of Gujarat State)||1971||Select||Translated only 852 couplets (from all chapters). Republished in 1985 by Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidhya Nagar.|
|P. C. Kokila||Thirukkural in Gujarathi||Chennai (Central Institute of Classical Tamil)||2015||Complete||સ્વમાંસ પોષણ હેતુ જે અન્ય (પ્રાણી)ના માંસનું કરે ભક્ષણ|
દયાભાવ કેમ કરી હોય તેના (મન) માં?
|17||Hindi||Khenand Rakar||Thirukural, Parts 1 and 2||Ajmer||1924||Republished in 1969.|
|Khan Chand Rahit||1926|
|Govindaraj Shastri Jain||Kural in Verse, First two parts||New Delhi||1942|
|B. D. Jain||Thirukural||Thirupananthal||1952||Republished in 1961.|
|S. Sankar Raju Naidu||Tamil Ved||Madras (University of Madras Press)||1958|
|M. G. Venkatakrishnan||Thirukural||Trichy||1964||Complete||Revised and enlarged edition published November 1998 by Sakthi Finance Ltd., Madras||माँस-वृद्धि अपनी समझ, जो खाता पर माँस।|
कैसे दयार्द्रता-सुगुण, रहता उसके पास॥
|K. Seshadri||Thirukural in Hindi||Lucknow||1982|
|Satsai||1982||Selections||Translated 700 couplets|
|T. E. S. Raghavan||Thirukkural||1990||Complete—Verse||Rendered a poetic rendition in 'Venba' metre as in the source|
|Ananda Sandhidut||Kural Kavitā Valī||2000|
|18||Indonesian||A. S. Kobalen||Tuntunan Bijak: Dari Masa ke Masa [Tirukural by Tiruwalluar]||Complete—Prose||Bagaimana seseorang mungkin memiliki sifat iba, yang memiliki maksud menambah daging jasadnya sendiri, akan memakan daging hewan lain.|
|M. Pazhanichamy||Medan, Indonesia|
|19||Irish||Gabriel Rosenstock||Tirukkural||2023||Complete||: 40|
|20||Italian||Antonio Sorrentino||Tirukkural. Le massime di Tiruvalluvar||Napoli (Ist Universitario Orientale Studi asiatici. Serie tre (Dept. of Asiatic Studies))||1986||Complete||226 pages||Come può esercitarsi nella pietà allineare che mangia la carne|
di un animale per ingrassare la sua propria carne?
|21||Japanese||Shuzo Matsunaga||Thirukkural||Osaka||1981 (August)||彼はいかに彼自身の肉を太らせるために動物の肉を食べる本当の同情を練習してもいいか。|
|Takanobu Takahashi||Thirukkural: Sacred Verses of Ancient Tamil||Tokyo (Heibonsha)||1999|
|22||Kannada||B. M. Srikanthaiah||Kural (Selections in verses)||Bangalore||1940||Selections—Verse|
|L. Gundappa||Thirukural Dharma Bhaga (Chapter on Virtue)||Bangalore||1955||Partial||Published a complete translation in 1960 under the title Thirukural (3 parts).|
|L. Gundappa||Thirukural (3 parts)||Madras||1960||Complete|
|P. S. Srinivas||Thirukural with Original Couplets and Translations in Kannada||Madurai||1982||Complete—Prose||ತನ್ನ ಮೈ ಮಾಂಸವನ್ನು ಬೆಳಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಇತರ ಪ್ರಾಣಿಗಳ ಮೈಮಾಂಸವನ್ನು ತಿನ್ನುವವನು ಹೇಗೆ ತಾನೆ ಕರುಣೆಯಿಂದ ಬಾಳಬಲ್ಲನು?|
|N. Munusamy||Thirukural in Kannada||1985|
|K. Jayaraman||Thirukural with Original Couplets and Translations in Kannada||Mysore||2001|
|S. Srinivasan||Tirukkural in Kannada||Chennai||2014||Complete—Verse||ತನ್ನೊಡಲ ಬೆಳೆಸಲು ಉಣಲು ಬೇರೆ ಬಾಡನು|
ತನ್ನೊಳು ಕರುಣೆ ಬರುವದೆಂತು?
|23||Konkani||Narayana Purushothama Mallaya||Thirukkural in Konkani||Kochi (Konkani Bhasha Prachar Sabha)||2002||Complete—Verse||Began translating in 1987. Translation released on 23 June 2002.||अन्नदान करचाक तागेले मांस, कोण माम्स भक्षण कर्ता,।|
कसले करुणायुक्त औदार्य, तसले मनुष्य अनुमान कर्ता?॥
|Suresh Gundu Amonkar|
|Gowri R. Mallya||Mangaluru||2023|
|24||Korean||그는 어떻게 그 자신의 살을 살찌기 위하여 동물의 살을 먹는|
진실한 연민을 실행해서 좋은가?
|Sri Saravana Enterprises||Thirukkural||Chennai (International Institute of Tamil Studies)||2017||Complete—Prose||동물의 고기를 먹어 스스로 살찌우는 사람은 타인에게 결코 친절할 수 없다.|
|25||Latin||Constanzo Beschi||Thirukural (Books I and II)||London||1730||Partial—Prose||Qui ut sua caro pinguoscat, alienas carnes comedit quinam eum|
viveutibus lenitatem et clementiam exercere dicetur?
|Karl Graul||Kural of Tiruvalluver. High-Tamil Text with Translation into Common Tamil and Latin, Notes and Glossary||Tranquebar||1865||Published as the fourth volume (348 pages) of the four-volume work Bibliotheca Tamulica sive Opera Praecipia Tamuliensium||Qui ut suam earnem augeat, alienas carnes comedit, quomodo is benevolentia utetur?|
|26||Malay||Ramily Bin Haji Thakir||Thirukural (in verses)||Kuala Lumpur (Kural Ilakkam)||1964|
|Hussein Ismail||Thirukural Sastera Kalasik Tamil Yang||Kuala Lumpur (Jabatan Pengajian India)||1967|
|G. Soosai||Thirukkural dalam bahasa Melayu (Thirukkural Kitab Murni Tamil Nadu)||Kuala Lumpur||1978||Reprinted in 1991||Insan maging menikmati kekejaman|
Tanpa belasan mengemukakan badan.
|NA||(Persatuan Hindu Universiti, Malaysia)||1997|
|M. Rajentheran/Kumaran||Malaysia (Uma Publications)||2003|
|Singaravelu Sachithanantham||Tirukkural translations into English (Thirukkural Tribahasa)||Malaysia (Uma Publications)||2013||Complete—Verse||Trilingual version with Tamil original and Malay and English versions translated by the translator.||Bagaimanakah orang, yang membunuh tubuh makhluk lain, dan makan daging makhluk itu untuk membesarkan badannya sendiri, akan menjadi orang, yang memelihara arul (belas kasihan)?|
|27||Malayalam||I. V. Ramaswamy Iyer||Malayalathil Kural||Trivandrum||1595||First ever translation of the Kural text in any language.|
|Perunazhi Krishna Vaidhyan||Kural||Trivandrum||1863||Partly translated. Republished in 1894.|
|Azhakathu Kurup||Thirukural in Verses||Trivandrum||1875||Verse|
|A. Govinda Pillai||Thirukural||Trivandrum||1899||Translation currently unavailable|
|P. Damodaran Pillai||Thirukural Manikal||Trivandrum||1951|
|Sasthamangalam Ramakrishna Pillai||Ramakrishna Tirukkural||Trivandrum||1957||Translation completed 1933 with comprehensive commentary and notes, but published September 1957 with abridged commentary|
|Parmeshram||Partial||Translated only Books I and II|
|Vennikkulam Gopala Kurup||Thirukural||Kottayam (Writers Co-operative Society)||1957||Partial—Verse||Reprinted in 1960 with translations for Books I and II in verse|
|K. Chellan Nadar||Thirukural Tharmanaskantam||Parassala||1962|
|Tiruvallam G. Bhaskaran Nair||Bhasha Tirukkural (Dharmakandam)||Trivandrum (Arul Nilayam)||1962||Partial—Prose||Translated only Book I. Published with the original Tamil verse transliterated in Malayalam and a Malayalam commentary in prose.|
|G. Balakrishnan Nair||Kural with Commentary, Part I||Trivandrum||1963||Partial|
|S. Ramesan Nair||Thirukkural Malayalam Vivarthanam||Trivandrum (Trust Publications)||1998||Translated into old Malayalam|
|V. V. Abdulla Sahib||Thirukkural||Erode (Gupta Press)||2002||തൻ ദേഹം നിലനിർത്താനായ് മറുദേഹം ഭുജിപ്പവൻ|
|K. G. Chandrasekaran Nair||Thirukkural (Sampoornabhashyam)||Thiruvananthapuram (All Kerala Tamizh Federation)||2002||Prose||Published by D. C. Books, Kottayam in 2003|
|M. R. R. Variar||Thirukkural||2003|
|Shailaja Ravindran||Thirukkural||Kottayam (D. C. Books)||2007|
|28||Manipuri||Soibam Rebika Devi||Tirukkural in Manipuri||Chennai (Central Institute of Classical Tamil)||2014||Complete—Prose||মশাবূ থাক্ননবা অতোপ্ত্রা জীবগী শদোঙ চাবা মীওই অদুগী মথম্মোইদা করন্না মীনুংশি ফাওগদৌরিবানা?|
|29||Marathi||Sane Guruji||Kavi Tiruvalluvar Kural||Pune (Continental Publishers)||1930||Complete–Prose||First published 1930. Officially published 1948. Third edition in 1960 and fourth edition in 1975.||स्वतःची चरबी वाढावी म्हणून दुसन्या प्राण्यांचे जो मांस खातो; त्याला दया कशी बरे कधी वाटेल?|
|Narayana Govindarao Peshwe and Ganpath Govindarao Peshwe||(Thirukkural)||Belgaum (Dhananjay Press)||1930||Partial–Prose||Translated only the first 89 chapters. First appeared in Lokamitra journal.|
|30||Norwegian||Kevin Raja Kowsihaa Gowsegan Gowrithasan Krogh||Thiruvalluvar sin Thirukkural på Norsk||Oslo||2017||Complete—Verse|
|31||Odia||Chittaranjan Das||Kural (Oriya)||Bhubaneswar (Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan)||1978|
|Kishrod Dash Ch||Thirukuralu—In Oriya Language||Sambalpur||1985||Verse|
|Nityanada Acharya||Tirukkural: Book of Sacred Couplets||Balangir (Agragami Karyalaya)||1992||Partial||Books I and II only|
|G. N. Das||Vidyapuri||Cuttack (Bidyapuri)||1994||Complete—Verse|
|Balaram Rout||Thirukkural||Delhi (Sahitya Akademi)||2017||Complete|
|32||Punjabi||Ram Murti Sharma||Thirukural Dhamma Granth of the Tamils||Chandigarh||1983|
|Tarlochan Singh Bedi||Tirukkural in Punjabi||Chennai (Central Institute of Classical Tamil)||2012||Complete—Verse||ਆਪਣਾ ਮਾਸ ਵਧਾਉਣ ਲਈ ਦੂਸਰੇ ਜੀਵਾਂ ਦਾ ਮਾਸ|
ਖਾਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਵਿੱਚ ਦਇਆ ਭਾਵਨਾ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਹੋ ਸਕਦੀ ਹੈ
|33||Polish||Umadevi, Wandy Dynowskiej||Tiruwalluwar: Tiru-Kural||Madras (Biblioteka Polsko-Indyjska)||1958||Partial||141 pages|
|Bohdan Gębarski||Tiruwalluwar "Tirukkural" ("Kural"). Święta księga południowych Indii||Wrocław, Poland (Ossolineum)(Europa Publisher)||1977||Complete—Verse||152 pages; published again in 1998.||Pożeraczem żywego nie może być człowiek,|
Co wyznaje zasady pokoju.
|34||Rajasthani||Kamala Gurg||Thirukural Needhi Sastra||Jaipur||1982|
|35||Russian||J. J. Glazov and A. Krishnamurthi||Thirukural, a Book on Virtue, Politics and Love||Moscow (Yodatel'stvovostvo Enog Literatury)||1963||Complete—Prose||Как может испытывать сострадание пожирающий плоть других живых созданий ради наращивания своей собственной?|
|D. V. Burba||1964||Select–Prose||Translated the English translation of select couplets by C. Rajagopalachari, which contained 555 couplets from Book I and Book II.||Not translated|
|Alif Ibragimov (Ibrahimov)||Thirukural in Couplets with Illustrations||Moscow||1974|
|Vithali Furniki||Thirukkural||Moscow (Library of Popular Literature)||1990||Complete—Prose||Разве может испытывать чувства сострадания человек,|
который поедает плоть других живых существ для увеличения своей плоти?
|36||Sanskrit||Thyagasamudram Shri Chakrapani Iyer||18th century||Verse|
|Appa Vajapeyin||Suniti Kusuma Mala||Kumbakonam (Gururajachariar)||1922||Verse|
|Sankara Subramanya Sastri||Sugati Ratnaakaraa||1937–1940||Verse||Published as "Sugati Ratnaakaraa" in the journal Sahridaya|
|Anonymous (perhaps Vidya Bhushanam Pandit Shri Govindaraya Shastri)||Delhi||1940||Verse||Contains prose explanation in Hindi|
|Kaliyan Ramanuja Jeer||Nanguneri||1956||Verse|
|S. N. Sriramadesikan||Thirukural in Sanskrit Slokas||Madras||1961||Complete—Verse||Revised edition published in 1968.||पोषणार्थे स्वदेहस्य कृत्वा य: प्राणिहिंसनम्।|
तन्मांसभक्षणपर: स दयावान् कथं भवेत्॥
|H. A. Chakrapani Iyer||Tiruvalluvar in Sanskrit||1983||Verse|
|V. Indrajithu||Thirukural Sanskrit Translation||Mangudi (Athirai Publication)||2021||Complete—Verse||स्वमांसवर्धनार्थं यो मांसं खादति प्राणिनः।|
स कथं करुणाशीलो भविष्यति महीतले॥
|37||Santali||Ref. Fr. Richard V. Joe||Torjakmayic Thirukkural—Nerunji Ilakkiya Iyakkam||Partial (Book I)|
|38||Saurashtra||S. Sankhu Ram||Saurastra Thirukural Payiram—Pitika Pragaranam||Madurai (Siddhasramam)||1980||Complete—Verse||Published posthumously. Republished in 1993.||அபுல்தனு ஹொட்3வன்அப்லான் ஆஸிது3ஸ்தன் கா2த்தெனு|
கோனக ஸவ்கன் த3யொ?
|39||Sinhalese||Govokgada M. Misihamy||Thiruvalluvar's Kural||Colombo (Anula Publishers)||1961||Complete||තම සිරුර වඩනුව – අන්සතූ සිරුරු කන්නා|
කරුණාව සිත තූළ – ඇති කරන්නේ කවර අයුරුද?
|Charles De Silva||Sirigiya (Thirukural in Sinhalese)||Colombo (Sri Lanka Sahitya Mandalaya)||1964|
|Sakthi Kumar/Kannan Kumar||Kindle Edition|
|41||Swedish||Yngve Frykholm||Tirukkural sydindisk levnadsvisdom, statskunskap och kärlekskonst sammanfattad i 1330 epigram av tamilskalden Tiruvalluvar||Uddevalla||1971||Complete—Prose||Hur skall den kunna behärskas av godhet som äter andra varelsers kött för att hans eget kött må stärkas?|
|42||Telugu||Venkatrama Srividyanandaswami||Trivarga Dipika||Nellore||1877|
|Sakkam Narasimhalu Naidu||Trivargamu||1892||Partial|
|P. Sriramulu Reddi||Trivargamu||Putthalapatti||1948|
|Jagannatha Sastri, Mudiganthi||Thiruvalluva Sookthalu||West Godavari||1952|
|Challa Radhakrishna Sarma||Tamila Vedhamu||Madras||1954|
|Sonti Sripati Sastry||Sri Padula||1966|
|Gurucharan Dutaluri Jagannadham||Tirukkural of Tiruvalluvar in Telugu||Kuppam (Dravidian University)||1986||Verse||బలియ గోరి తాను బలిజేయు జీవుల|
నట్టి కెట్టు లమరు తరుణ
|Jayaprakash||Tirukkural in Telugu||Chennai (Central Institute of Classical Tamil)||2014||Complete–Prose||తన శరీరంలోని కండలు పెంచుకోవడం కోసం వేరొక ప్రాణి శరీరాన్ని ఆహారంగా స్వీకరించేవారు ఏ విధంగా దయా స్వభావులవుతారు?|
|43||Thai||2019||Complete||Released in Bangkok by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 2 November 2019. Translated from the English version by M. Rajaram (2009).|
|44||Tok Pisin||Subha Sasindran and Sasindran Muthuvel||2023||Complete||Released in Papua New Guinea by Narendra Modi on 21 May 2023.|
|45||Urdu||Hasarat Surawathi||Kural in Urdu||New Delhi (Sahitya Akademi)||1966||Prose||Translated from an English translation.|
|Muhamad Yusuf Kohan||Kural in Urdu and Arabic||Madras||1976|
|Mukhtar Badri||Lafz lafz gohar||Chennai (Nazir Book Depot)||2001||Verse||Translated from the Tamil original.|
|46||Vaagri Booli||Kittu Sironmani|
... It is almost impossible to truly appreciate the maxims of the Kural through a translation. Tirukkural must be read and re-read in Tamil.
Thiruvalluvar, commonly known as Valluvar, was an Indian poet and philosopher. He is best known as the author of the Tirukkuṟaḷ, a collection of couplets on ethics, political and economic matters, and love. The text is considered an exceptional and widely cherished work of Tamil literature.
Parimelalhagar, sometimes spelled Parimelazhagar, born Vanduvarai Perumal, was a Tamil poet and scholar known for his commentary on the Thirukkural. He was the last among the canon of ten medieval commentators of the Kural text most highly esteemed by scholars. He was also among the five oldest commentators whose commentaries had been preserved and made available to the Modern era, the others being Manakkudavar, Pari Perumal, Kaalingar, and Paridhi. Of all the ancient commentaries available of the Kural literature, Parimelalhagar's commentary is considered by scholars as the best both in textual and literary aspects. The codification of the writings of Valluvar is attributed to Parimelalhagar. Parimelalhagar also remains the most reviewed, in terms of both praise and criticism, of all the medieval Kural commentators. Praised for its literary richness and clarity, Parimelalhagar's commentary is considered highly complex and exquisite in its own right that it has several scholarly commentaries appearing over the centuries to elucidate it. Along with the Kural text, Parimelalhagar's commentary has been widely published that it is in itself regarded a Tamil classic.
The Tirukkuṟaḷ, or shortly theKural, is a classic Tamil language text consisting of 1,330 short couplets, or kurals, of seven words each. The text is divided into three books with aphoristic teachings on virtue (aram), wealth (porul) and love (inbam), respectively. Considered one of the greatest works ever written on ethics and morality, it is widely acknowledged for its universality and secular nature. Its authorship is traditionally attributed to Valluvar, also known in full as Thiruvalluvar. The text has been dated variously from 300 BCE to 5th century CE. The traditional accounts describe it as the last work of the third Sangam, but linguistic analysis suggests a later date of 450 to 500 CE and that it was composed after the Sangam period.
The Tirukkural, shortly known as the Kural, is a classic Tamil sangam treatise on the art of living. Consisting of 133 chapters with 1330 couplets or kurals, it deals with the everyday virtues of an individual. Authored by Valluvar between the first century BCE and 5th century CE, it is considered one of the greatest works ever written on ethics and morality and is praised for its universality and non-denominational nature.
Tirukkural remains one of the most widely translated non-religious works in the world. As of 2014, there were at least 57 versions available in the English language alone. English, thus, continues to remain the language with most number of translations available of the Kural text.
Latin is the first foreign language into which the Tirukkuṟaḷ was translated. There are three known translations of the Kural text available in Latin.
Hindi perhaps has many translations of the Tirukkural. As of 2000, there were at least 19 translations of the Kural text available in Hindi. Many of these translations are in verse form.
Among the European languages, German has the third highest number of translations of the Tirukkural, after English and French. As of 2015, there were at least eight translations of the Kural text available in German.
Malayalam has seen the most number of Tirukkural translations than that of any other language in India. As of 2007, there are at least 21 translations of the Kural text available in Malayalam. Malayalam also has the distinction of producing the first ever translation of the Kural text among the languages in India and the world at large. The Annual Report of the Cochin Archeological Department for the year 1933–34 reported an unpublished manuscript of a Malayalam translation of the Tirukkural made in 1595.
As of 2015, there were at least three Gujarati translations available of the Tirukkural.
As of 2015, Tirukkural has been translated into Sinhalese at least twice.
As of 2015, Marathi has at least two translation available of the Tirukkural, of which one is complete.
Manakkudavar was a Tamil scholar and commentator known for his commentary on the Tirukkural. His is the earliest of the available commentaries on the Kural text, and hence considered to bear closest semblance with the original work by Valluvar. He was among the canon of Ten Medieval Commentators of the Kural text most highly esteemed by scholars. He was also among the five ancient commentators whose commentaries had been preserved and made available to the Modern era, the others being Pari Perumal, Kaalingar, Paridhi, and Parimelalhagar.
The Ten Medieval Commentators were a canonical group of Tamil scholars whose commentaries on the ancient Indian didactic work of the Kural are esteemed by later scholars as worthy of critical analysis. These scholars lived in the Medieval era between the 10th and 13th centuries CE. Among these medieval commentaries, the commentaries of Manakkudavar, Kaalingar, and Parimelalhagar are considered pioneer by modern scholars.
E. S. Ariel, also referred to as Monsieur Ariel by his contemporaries, was a 19th-century French translator known for his French translation of the ancient Indian philosophical text of the Tirukkural. He translated select couplets of the Tirukkural into French in 1848 and published it in Paris under the title Kural de Thiruvalluvar . Although the first French translation of the Kural text was made by an unknown author in 1767, which Ariel had mentioned in his work, it was Ariel's translation that brought the ancient work to the French world.
The Book ofAṟam, in full Aṟattuppāl, also known as the Book of Virtue, the First Book or Book One in translated versions, is the first of the three books or parts of the Kural literature, a didactic work authored by the ancient Indian philosopher Valluvar. Written in High Tamil distich form, it has 38 chapters each containing 10 kurals or couplets, making a total of 380 couplets, all dealing with the fundamental virtues of an individual. Aṟam, the Tamil term that loosely corresponds to the English term 'virtue', correlates with the first of the four ancient Indian values of dharma, artha, kama and moksha. The Book of Aṟam exclusively deals with virtues independent of the surroundings, including the vital principles of non-violence, moral vegetarianism, veracity, and righteousness.
Tirukkural, or the Kural, an ancient Indian treatise on common moralities, has been given by various names ever since its writing between the first century BCE and the 5th century CE. Originally referred to as Muppāl, perhaps as presented by its author Valluvar himself at the ruler's court, the work remains unique among ancient works in that it was not given any title by its author himself. All the names that the work is referred by today are given by later days' scholars over the millennia. The work is known by an estimated 44 names excluding variants, although some scholars list even more. E. S. Ariel, a French scholar of the 19th century who translated the work into French, famously said of the Kural thus: Ce livre sans nom, par un autre sans nom.
The Book of Poruḷ, in full Poruṭpāl, also known as the Book of Wealth, Book of Polity, the Second Book or Book Two in translated versions, is the second of the three books or parts of the Kural literature, authored by the ancient Indian philosopher Valluvar. Written in High Tamil distich form, it has 70 chapters each containing 10 kurals or couplets, making a total of 700 couplets all dealing with statecraft. Poruḷ, which means both 'wealth' and 'meaning', correlates with the second of the four ancient Indian values of dharma, artha, kama and moksha. The Book of Poruḷ deals with polity, or virtues of an individual with respect to the surroundings, including the stately qualities of administration, wisdom, prudence, nobility, diplomacy, citizenship, geniality, industry, chastity, sobriety and teetotalism, that is expected of every individual, keeping aṟam or dharma as the base.
The Book of Inbam, in full Iṉbattuppāl, or in a more sanskritized term Kāmattuppāl, also known as the Book of Love, the Third Book or Book Three in translated versions, is the third of the three books or parts of the Kural literature, authored by the ancient Indian philosopher Valluvar. Written in High Tamil distich form, it has 25 chapters each containing 10 kurals or couplets, making a total of 250 couplets all dealing with human love. The term inbam or kamam, which means 'pleasure', correlates with the third of the four ancient Indian values of dharma, artha, kama and moksha. However, unlike Kamasutra, which deals with different methods of lovemaking, the Book of Inbam expounds the virtues and emotions involved in conjugal love between a man and a woman, or virtues of an individual within the walls of intimacy, keeping aṟam or dharma as the base.
The dating of the Tirukkural, and by extension the period of its author Valluvar, has been a subject of intense debate among scholars for centuries, and it continues to remain so. The Kural is variously dated between 300 BCE and 5th century CE. According to Blackburn, the "current scholarly consensus" dates the text and the author to approximately 500 CE. The Tamil Nadu government has ratified 31 BCE as the year of birth of Valluvar. Still the precise date as to when Valluvar completed writing the Kural text remains murky. This article speaks about various dates arrived at by various scholars over time.