|Part of a series on|
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.
Below is a list of English translations of the Tirukkural till date:
|S.No.||Year||Translator(s)||Title of the Translation||Place of Publication||Form||Coverage||Notes|
|1||1794||Nathaniel Edward Kindersley||Specimens of Hindoo Literature||London (W. Bulmer and Co.)||Verse||Selections||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|
|2||1812/1819||Francis Whyte Ellis||Tirukkural||Verse and Prose||Selections||Translated 120 couplets in all—69 of them in verse and 51 in prose. Second edition published by University of Madras Press in 1955 as Tirukkural Ellis Commentary|
|3||1840||William Henry Drew||The Cural of Tiruvalluvar (Kural 1–630)||Madurai (American Mission Press)||Prose||Partial||Reprints were in 1852, 1962, and 1988 by Kazhagam (Madras) and Asian Educational Services (AES) (New Delhi)|
|4||1872||Charles E. Gover||Odes from the Kural (Folksongs of South India)||Madras (Higginbothams)||Verse||Selections||Reprint by Gian Publications (Delhi) in 1981|
|5||1873||Edward Jewitt Robinson||Tamil Wisdom||London (Paternoster Row)||Verse||Partial||Revised edition in 1885 as Tales and Poems of South India; 1st reprint in 1975 by Kazhakam (Madras) and 2nd in 2000 by TNR (Tanjore)|
|6||1885||John Lazarus||Tirukkural (Kural 631–1330)||Madras (Murugesa Mudaliar)||Prose||Partial||Reprint in 1988 by AES (New Delhi)|
|7||1886||George Uglow Pope||The Sacred Kurral of Tiruvalluva Nayanar||London (Henry Frowde)||Verse||Complete||Reprint in 1980 by AES (New Delhi)|
|8||1915||T. Thirunavukkarasu||Tirukkural: A Gem for Each Day||Madras (SPCK Press)||Prose||Selections||Translated only 366 couplets|
|9||1916||V. V. S. Aiyar||The Kural or The Maxims of Tiruvalluvar||Madras (Amudha Nilayam Private Ltd.)||Prose||Complete||Reprints in 1925, 1952, 1961, and 1982 by Tirupparaitturai Sri Ramakrishna Tapovanam (Tiruchirapalli)|
|10||1919||T. P. Meenakshisundaram||Published the 1904 work of K. Vadivelu Chettiar with English renderings. Republished in 1972–1980 in Madurai as Kural in English with Tamil Text and Parimelazhakar Commentary (3 parts). Recent edition published in 2015 in 2 volumes.|
|11||1920||S. Sabaratna Mudaliyar||Kural||Madras|
|12||1926||A. Madhavaiyya||Kural in English||Madras||Verse||Selections||Possibly published earlier in 1923|
|13||1931||Herbert Arthur Popley||The Sacred Kural or The Tamil Veda of Tiruvalluvar||Calcutta (The Heritage of India Series)||Verse||Selections||Reprint in 1958 by YMCA Publishing House (Calcutta)|
|14||1933||A. Ranganatha Mudaliar||Tirukkural Mulamum Uraiyum with English Translation||Madras|
|15||1935||C. Rajagopalachari||Kural, The Great Book of Tiruvalluvar||Madras (Rochouse and Sons Ltd.)||Prose||Selections||Translated only select couplets from Books I and II. Reprints in 1937, 1965, and 1973|
|16||1942||M. S. Purnalingam Pillai||The Kural in English||Tirunelveli (Sri Kanthimathi Vilasam Press)||Prose||Complete||Reprints in 1999 and 2007 by IITS (Chennai)|
|17||1946||S. M. Michael||The Sacred Aphorisms of Thiruvalluvar||Nagercoil (The Grace Hut)||Verse||Complete||Reprint in 1968 by M. S. Raja (Sattur)|
|18||1949||V. R. Ramachandra Dikshitar||Tirukkural||Madras (The Adayar Library and Research Centre)||Prose||Complete||Reprints in 1994 and 2000|
|19||1950||M. R. Rajagopala Aiyangar||Tirukkural||Kumbakonam||Prose||Complete|
|20||1953||A. Chakravarti||Tirukkural||Madras (The Diocesan Press, Vepery)||Prose||Complete|
|21||1954||I. D. Thangaswamy||Tirukkural||Madras||Verse||Selections|
|22||1962||K. M. Balasubramaniam||Tirukkural of Tiruvalluvar||Madras (Manali Lakshmana Mudaliar Specific Endowments)||Verse||Complete|
|23||1965||T. Muthuswamy||Tirukkural: The Gospel of Mankind||Madurai (Vivekananda Press)||Prose||Partial|
|24||1967||V. Chinnarajan||The Kural Gems||Udumalpet||Verse||Selections|
|25||1968||C. R. Soundararajan||Prose||Complete|
|26||1968||Emmons E. White||The Wisdom of India||New York City (The Pater Pauper)||Verse||Selections||Also published as The Wisdom of the Tamil People in 1976|
|27||1968||Shuddhananda Bharati||Tirukkural||Madras (Kazhakam)||Verse||Complete||Also published a complete prose version in 1970|
|28||1969||G. Vanmikanathan||The Tirukkural||Tiruchirapalli (Tirukkural Prachar Sangh)||Prose||Complete|
|29||1969||Kasturi Srinivasan||Tirukkural||Bombay (Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan)||Verse||Complete||Reprints in 1976 and 1983 by Kasthuri Sreenivasan Trust (Coimbatore)|
|30||1969||A. Gajapathy Nayagar||The Rosary of Gems of Tirukkural||Madras|
|32||1971||T. N. S. Ragavachari||Teachings of Tiruvalluvar's Kural||Madras (Health, June 1966 to October 1971)||Prose||Complete||Reprinted in 1982|
|33||1975||E. V. Singan||Tirukkural||Singapore (EVS Enterprises)||Prose||Complete||Reprinted in 1982|
|34||1978||S. N. Sriramadesikan||Tirukkural||Madras (Gangai Puthaka Nilayam)||Prose||Complete||Reprinted in 1991, 1994 and 2006|
|35||1979||S. Maharajan||Tiruvalluvar||New Delhi (Sahitya Akademi)||Verse||Selections||Translated select couplets from all the three books of the Kural text. Second edition was published in 1982|
|36||1982||S. M. Diaz||Tirukkural||Coimbatore (Ramananda Adigalar Foundation)||Verse||Complete||Reprinted in 2000|
|37||1987||P. S. Sundaram||Tiruvalluvar: The Kural||New Delhi (Penguin Books India Limited)||Verse||Complete||Reprinted in 1989, 1991, 1992 and 2000 by International Tamil Language Foundation (Illinois)|
|38||1987||T. S. Ramalingam Pillai|
|39||1988||K. R. Srinivasa Iyengar||Tirukkural||Calcutta (M. P. Birla Foundation)||Verse||Complete|
|41||1992||Norman Cutler||A Gift of Tamil: Translations of Tamil Literature (Edited by Paula Richman)||New Delhi (Manohar and American Institute of Indian Studies)|
|42||1995||T. R. Kallapiran|
|43||1995||D. V. G. Ramarathinam||Tirukkural||(Thiyaga Durgam)||Prose||Complete|
|44||1998||J. Narayanasamy||Tirukkural||Coimbatore||Mixed||Complete||Translated more in prose than in verse. Reprinted in 1999|
|45||1999||K. Kalia Perumal||Wonders of Tirukkural||Thanjavur (Jayam Publications)||Verse||Complete|
|46||1999||C. B. Acharya|
|47||2000||Satguru Sivaya Subramuniya Swami (Ed.)||Tirukkural||New Delhi (Abhinav Publications)||Verse||Partial||Translated only the first two sections, viz. Virtue and Wealth.|
|48||2001||C. R. Sundar||Book Divine Tirukkural||Chennai (Vignesh Pathippakam)||Verse||Complete|
|49||2003||V. Padmanabhan||Thirukkural with English Explanation||Chennai (Manimekalai Prasuram)||Prose||Complete|
|50||2004||O. R. Krishnaswami||The Wisdom of Tirukkural—A Guide to Living||Mumbai (Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan)||Prose||Partial||Translated only Books I and II|
|51||2005||M. D. Jayabalan||Cheyyar (Mavanna Publications)||Verse||Partial||Translated only 321 couplets|
|52||2006||David Pratap Singh||Tirukkural||Madurai (Master Pathippakam)||Verse||Complete||396 pages|
|53||2006||S. Ratnakumar||Tirukkural: A Guide to Effective Living||Singapore (Tamils Representative Council [TRC])||Prose||Complete|
|54||2009||V. Murugan||Thirukkural in English||Chennai (Arivu Pathippagam)||Verse||Complete|
|55||2009||M. Rajaram||Thirukkural: Pearls of Inspiration||New Delhi (Rupa Publications)||Verse and Prose||Complete|
|56||2009||N. E. Ramalingam||Thirukkural Commentary in Tamil and English||Chennai (Thiruvalluvar Pathippagam)||Prose||Complete|
|58||2012||A. Gopalakrishnan||Tirukkural—Thiruvalluvar Karutthurai||Chidambaram (Meiyappan Padhippagam)||Prose||Complete||Authored both Tamil commentary and English translation|
|59||2013||Singaravelu Sachithanantham||Karya Etika Tamil Berjudul Thirukkuṛaḷ||Malaysia (Uma Publications)||Verse||Complete||Trilingual version with Tamil original and Malay and English versions translated by the translator.|
|60||2014||S. P. Guruparan||Thirukkural: English Translation||Chennai (Mayilavan Padhippagam)||Verse||Complete|
|61||2015||Gopalkrishna Gandhi||Tiruvalluvar—The Tirukkural: A New English Version||New Delhi (Aleph Book Company)||Verse||Complete|
|62||2015||R. Venkatachalam||Thirukkural—Translation—Explanation: A Life Skills Coaching Approach||Gurgaon (Partridge Publishing India)||Verse||Complete||Published in 689 pages, with new interpretations given for about 360 couplets.|
|63||2015||Jyothirllata Girija||Voice of Valluvar—Thirukkural (The Tamil Veda)||Allahabad (Cyberwit.net)||Verse and Prose||Complete|
|64||2018||Madurai Babaraj||Thirukkural: Virtue||Chennai (B. Vasantha)||Prose||Partial||Translated Book I and Book II|
|65||2019||R. Jayaprakasam||Thirukkural: Text in English & Tamil||Chennai (Porselvi Pathippagam)||Prose||Complete|
|66||2019||Pattu M. Bhoopathi||Thus Blossoms Love: A Transcreation of Kamattupal in Modern Verse||Chennai (Sandhya Publications)||Verse||Partial||Translated Book III alone in modern verse form|
|67||2021||Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma||The Kural: Tiruvalluvar's Tirukkural||Boston (Beacon Press)||Verse||Complete|
|68||2021||J. S. Anantha Krishnan||Thiruvalluvar's Thirukkural||Kollam (Dream Bookbindery)||Verse||Complete||Youngest translator to have completed the translation of entire book in under 25 years[ citation needed ]|
|69||2023||Meena Kandasamy||The Book of Desire||New Delhi (Penguin Random House India)||Prose||Partial||Translated Book III alone from a feministic view point|
|70||2023||R. Natarajan||The Kural: English Translation of the Ancient Tamil Text Thirukkural||Chennai (Rare Publications)||Complete||ISBN:978383826643|
Following the translation of the Kural text into Latin by Constantius Joseph Beschi in 1730,Nathaniel Edward Kindersley attempted the first ever English translation of the Kural text in 1794, translating select couplets in verse. Francis Whyte Ellis attempted the second English translation, who translated only 120 of the 1330 couplets of the Kural text—69 in verse and 51 in prose. In 1840, William Henry Drew translated the first book of the Tirukkural in prose. In 1852, he partially completed the second book, too, in prose. Along with his own English prose translation, his publication contained the original Tamil text, the Tamil commentary by Parimelazhagar and Ramanuja Kavirayar's amplification of the commentary. He thus covered chapters 1 through 63, translating 630 couplets. John Lazarus, a native missionary, revised Drew's work and completed the remaining portion, beginning from Chapter 64 through Chapter 133. Thus, Drew and Lazarus together made the first complete prose translation of the Tirukkural available in English. Meanwhile, there were two more verse translations made in 1872 and 1873 by Charles E. Gover and Edward Jewitt Robinson, respectively. While Gover translated only select couplets, Robinson translated the first two books of the Kural text. The first complete verse translation in English and the first complete English translation by a single author was achieved in 1886 by George Uglow Pope, whose work brought the Tirukkural to a wider audience of the western world.
The first English translation by a native scholar (i.e., scholar who is a native speaker of Tamil) was made in 1915 by T. Tirunavukkarasu, who translated 366 couplets into English. The first complete English translation by a native scholar was made the following year by V. V. S. Aiyar, who translated the entire work in prose. Aiyar's work is considered by various scholars, including Czech scholar Kamil Zvelebil, to be the most scholarly of all the English translations made until then, including those by native English scholars.
At least 24 complete translations were available in the English language by the end of the twentieth century, by both native and non-native scholars.By 2014, there were about 57 versions available in English, of which at least 30 were complete.
The following table illustrates two different facets of a subject depicted by two Kural couplets from the same chapter and their different interpretations by various translators.
|Year||Translator||Form||Chapter 26 (The Renunciation of Flesh-Eating)|
|Kural 254 (Couplet 26:4)||Kural 258 (Couplet 26:8)|
|Original text||Verse||அருளல்லது யாதெனில் கொல்லாமை கோறல்|
பொருளல்லது அவ்வூன் தினல்.
|செயிரின் தலைப்பிரிந்த காட்சியார் உண்ணார்|
உயிரின் தலைப்பிரிந்த ஊன்.
|1840–1885||William Henry Drew & John Lazarus||Prose||Is it asked what is kindness and its opposite? It is the preservation of life, and its destruction (therefore) it is not right to eat that flesh (from which life has been taken away).||The wise, who have freed themselves from mental delusion, will not eat the flesh which has been severed from an animal.|
|1873–1885||Edward Jewitt Robinson||Verse||If merciless, it is to kill|
To eat what’s slaughter’d must be ill.
|Whose minds from fleshly lusts are freed|
Refuse on lifeless flesh to feed.
|1886||George Uglow Pope||Verse||What’s a grace, or lack of grace? ‘To kill’ is this, that ‘not to kill’;|
To eat dead flesh can never worthy end fulfil.
|Whose souls the vision pure and passionless perceive,|
Eat not the bodies men of life bereave.
|1916||V. V. S. Aiyar||Prose||The killing of animals is veritable hardness of heart; but the eating of their flesh is inequity indeed.||Behold the men who have escaped from the bonds of illusion and ignorance: they eat not the flesh from which life hath flown out.|
|1931||H. A. Popley||Verse||What is kindliness and its opposite? The one is non-killing, the other is killing;|
To eat dead flesh is not good.
|1942||M. S. Purnalingam Pillai||Prose||Not to kill is grace. To kill is what is called lack of grace. To eat the meat of the killed animal is unworthy.||Those who are free from blame and have the clear vision will not eat the meat of animals which have lost their life or which are slaughtered.|
|1946||S. M. Michael||Verse||To kill not’s Grace, to kill its loss;|
To eat lives no good alas!
|Seers true, men clean never eat a corse,|
No sin they do dread worse.
|1949||V. R. Ramachandra Dikshitar||Prose||What is compassion but refraining from killing; what is sin but eating flesh?||Men of clear vision abstain from the flesh of a slaughtered animal.|
|1953||A. Chakravarti||Prose||What’s grace, or lack of grace? ‘To kill’ is this, that ‘not to kill’; To eat dead flesh can never worthy end fulfil.||A person free from the erroneous beliefs and equipped with the right faith will not eat flesh obtained from animal bereft of life.|
|1962||K. M. Balasubramaniam||Verse||To kill not aught is grace and killing is the lack of grace.|
To eat the flesh of lives thus killed is naught but great disgrace.
|The men of pure vision quite free from illusion's dark mesh|
Won't eat at all the carcass that is free from life, called flesh.
|1968||Shuddhananda Bharati||Verse||If merciless it is to kill,|
To kill and eat is disgraceful.
|Whose mind from illusion is freed|
Refuse on lifeless flesh to feed.
|1969||G. Vanmikanathan||Prose||If you ask what charity is and what is not, they are non-killing and killing respectively; eating that (slaughtered) meat is unrighteousness (sin).||Men of wisdom freed from the error (of delusion) will not eat flesh carved out of a creature.|
|1969||Kasturi Srinivasan||Verse||Not to kill is grace; to kill’s otherwise,|
But to eat dead flesh is never wise.
|The visionaries, who follow a faultless creed|
Will not eat bodies, from life freed.
|1978||S. N. Sriramadesikan||Prose||Non-injury is otherwise known as compassion; doing injury is heartlessness. The wise know that it is a sin to eat the flesh of animals.||The good ones, free from the three kinds of blemishes (desires) and possessed of unalloyed wisdom will hold dead bodies as corpses and will not eat the flesh.|
|1979||Satguru Sivaya Subramuniya Swami||Verse||If you ask, "What is kindness nd what is unkindness?"|
It is not-killing and killing. Thus, eating flesh is never virtuous.
|(a) Perceptive souls who have abandoned passion|
Will not feed on flesh abandoned by life.
(b) Insightful souls who have abandoned the passion to hurt others
Will not feed on flesh that life life has abandoned.
|1988||K. R. Srinivasa Iyengar||Verse||Grace says “Life, Life”, cruelty cries, “kill, kill!”|
It’s not grace to feed on flesh.
|Those with unclouded minds will desist from|
Eating killed animal's flesh.
|1989||P. S. Sundaram||Verse||Grace is not killing, to kill disgrace;|
And to eat a thing killed, profitless sin.
|The undeluded will not feed on meat|
Which is but carrion.
|1998||J. Narayanasamy||Prose||Mercy demands not to kill; butchering is cruel, and eating flesh meat is insensuous.||Wisdom free from the painful mind of evil will abstain from feeding on flesh.|
|2000||S. M. Diaz||Verse||To make others break the law of not killing is inconsistent with compassion;|
There is, therefore, no sense in eating the meat obtained by such killing.
|Those who have a vision that is not blurred by mental confusion|
Will not eat the meat of dead carcasses.
|2003||V. Padmanabhan||Prose||Compassion warrants that one should not kill anybody and that too killing other creatures for food is more sinful.||Persons who are determined not to overlook moral disciplines will not take meat obtained by killing other species.|
|2009||V. Murugan||Verse||Benevolence is not to kill, and killing is lack of it|
And to eat the flesh thus obtained is an act unrighteous.
|Men of vision freed of blemishes within|
Take not to eating the flesh of a lifeless body.
|2009||M. Rajaram||Verse||Non-killing is indeed an act of kindness|
Killing and eating it is unkindness.
|The undeluded wise will ever avoid meat|
Which is but the flesh of a lifeless beast.
|2009||M. Rajaram||Prose||Not killing a creature is an act of kindness. Killing and eating its meat is unkindness.||Wise men who have clear mind will refrain from eating the flesh of a lifeless animal.|
|2012||A. Gopalakrishnan||Prose||When questioned about 'Kindness' and 'Non-kindness' the reply will be 'Non-killing' and 'Killing' respectively. One, without killing an animal by himself, eating the flesh of an animal killed by others, is also not meant by kindness.||Those, who have spotless and clear knowledge, will not eat the flesh of an animal from which life is taken out.|
|2014||S. P. Guruparan||Verse||(a) If it is asked what compassion is, it is not killing any living beings;|
And what is not compassion is killing and eating the flesh of the living beings!!
(b) Not killing any living being is compassion
And it is a sin to kill and eat the living beings!!
|If one is freed from delusion and has the wisdom spotless|
He won't eat a body lifeless!!
|2015||Gopalkrishna Gandhi||Verse||Don't hide behind the butcher's blade saying, 'He kills, I only eat'|
You're the one that whets the knife that makes the thing called meat.
|If you wish, as you should, that your soul be liberated|
Think: this once lived, breathed, moved, till it was beheaded.
In his introduction to the English translation, G. U. Pope compared the Kural to the works of Propertius and Martial and to the Latin elagiac verse. In his commentary, he quoted analogous passages from various authors such as Horace, Aeschylus, Dante Alighieri, William Shakespeare, Robert Browning, William Wordsworth, Manu, Burgin, and Catullus. : 9 He added that what Archbishop Trench said of Saint Augustin is equally true of Valluvar:
He abounds in short and memorable, and if I might so call them, epigrammatic sayings, concentrating with a forceful brevity, the whole truth, which he desires to impart, into some single phrase, forging it into a polished shaft at once pointed to pierce, and barbed that it shall not lightly drop from the mind and memory.
Pope went on to composing a poem on the universality of Valluvar, hailing him as the "Bard of Universal Man". : 10
The Kural has also been translated numerous times without getting published or reaching the masses. Sri Aurobindo, for instance, has translated fifteen couplets of the Kural, including all the ten couplets from the opening chapter (in a different order from the original) and five from the second chapter, in 1919 as part of his translations of various other ancient works.
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.
Francis Whyte Ellis (1777–1819) was a British civil servant in the Madras Presidency and a scholar of Tamil and Sanskrit.
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, 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.
William Henry Drew was a 19th-century Christian missionary to India who rendered the Tirukkural into English. However, he translated only the first 630 couplets of the Tirukkural.
Latin is the first foreign language into which the Tirukkuṟaḷ was translated. There are three known translations of the Kural text available in Latin.
Kannada has at least eight translations of the Tirukkural available as of 2014. Both prose and verse translations have been made in Kannada.
As of 2020, there were at least four translations of the Tirukkural available in Arabic. The Kural text is the first, and so far the only, Tamil work to be translated directly into Arabic. It is also the first Tamil work to be released in the Arabian soil.
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.
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.
Kaalingar, also known as Kalingarayar, was a Tamil scholar and commentator known for his commentary on the Thirukkural. He was among the canon of Ten Medieval Commentators of the Kural text 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 Manakkudavar, Pari Perumal, Paridhi, and Parimelalhagar.
A. Chakravarti, who served the Indian Educational Service (IES), was a professor of philosophy at the Presidency College in Chennai, India. He is known for translating the Tirukkural into English.
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.
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.
Tiruvalluva Malai is an anthology of ancient Tamil paeans containing fifty-five verses each attributed to different poets praising the ancient work of the Kural and its author Tiruvalluvar. With the poets' time spanning across centuries starting from around 1st century CE, the collection is believed to have reached its present form by 10th century CE. With the historical details of the ancient philosopher and his work remaining obscure, much of the legend on the Kural and Tiruvalluvar as they are known today are chiefly from this work. The collection also reveals the name of the author of the Kural text as 'Tiruvalluvar' for the first time, as Tiruvalluvar himself composed the Kural text centuries earlier without indicating his name anywhere in his work. Reminiscing this, E. S. Ariel, a French scholar of the 19th century, famously said of the Tirukkural thus: Ce livre sans nom, par un autre sans nom.
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.