Dr.B.R.M.Subramania Chetty is the first research scholar
who has been awarded Ph.D. in the Department of .
English & Communications, Dravidian University. Asa
‘Lecturer in English, he endeared himself to the students
over a decade with his love for teaching. His translation
work ‘Thirukkural, Righteousness: Morals and Virtues’
was published by Dravidian University in 2010. '
Dravidian University is a unique Inter-State University in
South India. Established in 1997, it promotes research on
Dravidian languages, literature, culture and philosophy. The four-
main buildings of the University are named after Dravidian
Saint-reformers, as Wemana Bhavan, Tiruvalluvar Bhavan,
Narayanaguru Bhavan and Basava Bhavan. Besides, it has
Harappa Bhavan, Periyar Bhavan, (Dravida) Bhasha Bhavan and
Emeneau House. It has two wings of Prasaaraanga and
AnusAjana, undertaking publication and translation works.
Being the ancient classical poet, Tiruvalluvar stands
supreme among the Dravidians. His greatest work in Tamil,
Tirukkural, according to M. Ariel (1848), is "the masterpiece of
Tamil literature - one of the highest and purest expression of
human thoughts." It breathes the soul and genius of ancient
Dravidian culture noted for its catholicity and breadth of outlook.
The Kural owes much of its popularity to its exquisite poetic
metre. A Kural is a couplet containing a complete and striking
idea of significance, expressed in the shortest form of one and
half lines. Tirukkural consists of 133 chapters, divided into three
parts, Virtue, Wealth and Love, and written in 1330 couplets,
each chapter containing 10 couplets. In these, Tiruvalluvar
proves himself to be the Master of sentences; the moral
utterances of the saint are given in the choicest poetic epigrams.
That Tirukkural is a work of Universal appeal is evident
from the fact that it is translated into several languages of India
and the world. The Dravidian University published the
translation of Tirukkural in Telugu by Sri Dutaluri Jagannadham
in 2000. It has also brought out Thiruvalluvar, an edition of
proceedings of the National Seminar on Tiruvalluvar, held in
There are about forty translations of Tirukkural, written and
available in English. The translation undertaken by the scholar,
Dr.B.R.M.Subramani, adds glory to the immortal Tirukkural in
the modern context. It is a translation with a difference- a
reader-oriented translation in poetic English.
The Part I of Tirukkural is known as aram or dharma or
Morals and Virtues. The first four chapters sing the praise of God
and Rain, and the greatness of the Renounced and the
Righteousness, thus forming the Preamble to the Tirukkural.
From Chapter 5, ‘Family-Life’ to Chapter 24, ‘Fame’, are
described the Morals for the Domestic Life. From Chapter 25,
‘Compassion’ to Chapter 37, ‘Giving up Desire’, are explained
the Virtues of the Ascetic Life. In the last Chapter 38, the power
of Fate is indicated. Thus Part I of the Tirukkural, Righteousness:
Morals and Virtues , is a guide as well as a treasure for people of
all walks of life to reach and realise the goal of human birth:
"The ocean of births others can’t swim across
Except those who cling to God's feet." - Kural, 10.
This new translation in poetic English is a worthy
possession for every one and a delight for every generation of
readers. I congratulate the translator, Dr.B.R.M.Subramani, for
having undertaken the translation of the most difficult and
essential part of Tirukkural, which enhances the eminence and
excellence of the conceptual ideals of the Dravidian University.
"Fame out of ruin and glory out of death
Heroes alone can attain on earth." — Kural, 235.
That the foundations of Indian culture were deeply embedded in
Dravidian culture is now an incontrovertible fact. Dravidian culture is
one of the most ancient cultures of the world. Those cultures, slightly
contemporaneous to one another, slowly started fading out. However,
the primordial Dravidian culture continues to thrive without losing its
quintessence despite the apparent changes in systems of dress and
Dravidian University was established in 1997 to mirror the real
and rich picture of Dravidian culture not only in its linguistic, literary,
cultural and philosophical faces but in science and technological angles
At a time when no special attention worth its name was paid by
the Centre with regard to language, the Southern states except Kerala.
had established all by themselves their own Universities - Telugu, Tamil
and Kannada - to research on their languages and cultures.
The Government of Andhra Pradesh took a step ahead and
started Dravidian University, with the cooperation of the sister states,
to research and reflect on the inherent oneness of the cultures of the
four states whose languages number up to 27. Its endeavour is to
promote unity and amity in the family of several langauges. The main
objectives of Dravidian University are to augment the common weal
and social well being of the communities of marginal languages and to
build bridges among the Southern states. While working on each
language separately in varied areas, it aims at a synthesis and a
discovery of the common heritage through Comparative Studies.
Centre for Publications (Prasaaraanga) is the most significant
wing of the University from out of its several on going progressive
Tirukkural is the crowning glory of the Tamil literature. Tirukkural
is not mere a book of aphorisms, Kural means a short couplet
containing a complete idea. Tiruvalluvar, the eternal bard, is one of
the greatest Tamil poets, who transcends time and place. Tiruvalluvar’s
vision is human, simple and down to earth. Tirukkural is a widely
translated work, recognized all over the world. This is because of its
universality. It does not mention any name, any religion, any country,
any language, any person or any god, but it applies to every one of
us. Tiruvalluvar cautions men that wealth should not be acquired in
fraudulent manner, the wealth that is acquired in a right manner at
least a part of it should go to the needy ones. Impermanence of
mundane things is stressed by the author of Tirukkural. Tirukkural is
a treatise on the ‘art of living’. Tirukkural cuts across castes, creeds,
climes and ages and has a freshness which makes everyone feel as
if they are meant for them thus Thirukkural stands proudly as a becon
light to everyone. I congratulate, the translator, Dr. B.R.M. Subramani
for having undertaken this translation work which adds glory to the
Children’s Books (51)
Brahma Sutras (85)
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