The Thirukkural is a world masterpiece, and no amount of writing would help extol the greatness and glory of Thirukkural. Known for its brilliant and timeless elucidation of moral ethics of life, Thirukkural is one of the oldest literary works known to man. Compared on par with the likes of Socrates, Aristotle and Plato’s philosophical works by the Western world, the Thirukkural transcends age, nationality, race, gender, status, etc. Here are a few mind-blowing facts about Syntactic, Structural and Semantic features of the Thirukkural.
Thirukkural follows the grammatical pattern of Venpa, one of the strictest adherents of poetic grammar in Tamil. Each Kural or couplet contains exactly 7 words: 4 in the one line; 3 in the next line, each word having 1 to 3 syllables; special rules apply to the last word, and vice-versa. The rules are perfect for forming musical patterns, and therefore, one can easily create a song or tune by turning the couplets into lyrics. Therefore, Thirukural is the most widely appreciated Venpa in Tamil.
No literary work can come close to Thirkkural in terms of brevity and simplicity. It contains 130 Adigaram (or chapters) with 1330 Kurals (or couplets) classified into three categories expounding the three cardinal values of wealth, virtuousness and happiness.
The ever-increasing popularity of Tirukkural can be attributed to the definitive body of semantic knowledge it propounds around human virtues and values. In fact, the exposition of the moral values in Thirukkural is more than the beauty of the poetry itself. It is, au fond, comparable to Khalil Gibran’s seminal work ‘The Prophet’ in essence. Thirukkural has a huge following that is independent of specific time, religion, culture, tradition, or schools of thought. Kurals are nothing but universal truth. However, the most amazing part is its crispness and clarity that address a wide range of issues and subjects impacting one’s life including governance, charity, education, friendship, labour, truth, learning, love, sex, martial life and so on.