Thiruvalluvar Day 2022: Among the Tamils, poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar is considered a cultural icon. His most popular work is Thirukkuṛaḷ, which is basically a collection of couplets about politics, ethics, economics and love. To honor his contribution, Tamils celebrate Thiruvalluvar Day on January 15 or 16 as part of Pongal celebrations. Earlier in the 1930s, Thiruvalluvar day was celebrated on May 17 or May 18, but in recent years it is celebrated in January. And this year it is celebrated on January 15th.
Who was Thiruvalluvar?
Apart from his work, not much is known about Thiruvalluvar’s life. People have speculated about it, in large part from deriving his work Thirukkural and other Tamil texts. Multiple accounts related to Thiruvalluvar are available but no information is available regarding his family background, religious affiliation or place of birth.
It is believed that he used to live in the city of Mylapore, which is a district of Chennai at the present time. In the early 16th century, a temple was built in the Ekambareswarar Temple complex in Mylapore and it was dedicated to Thiruvalluvar. Hence, the locals believe that he was born in Mylapore, under the tree which is in the temple complex.
It is not, another temple monument called Valluvar Kotam was built in 1976 in Chennai. It houses one of the largest auditoriums in Asia, and a 133-meter high statue of Thiruvalluvar also stands in Kanyakumari.
The last statue of the Tamil poet was unveiled in Ulsoor, near Bengaluru, in 2009.
While the period in which he existed is also debatable, some people claim that he lived between the 8th and 9th centuries. The Tamil orator, writer and father of the Pure Tamil movement, Maraimalai Adigal, had written 31 BC. mentioned as the birth year of Thiruvalluvar, while the Czech scholar of Indian literature and linguistics, Kamil Zvelebil, had noted that Valluvar lived around AD 500.
The famous work of Thiruvalluvar
Thiruvalluvar’s primary work is Thirukkural, which has 1330 couplets (kurals). These kurals are divided into 133 sections of 10 stanzas each, and further the text is divided into three parts: teaching about dharma, artha and kama meaning virtue, wealth and love.
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