There is no gem in the whole field of Tamil literature more precious than Thirukkural by Thiruvalluvar written either before or after its composition. He is a master of the Tamil language as reflected in his choice of words and their power to communicate in a striking manner.
"Tirukkural" by Thiruvalluvar is the most celebrated work in Tamil, that has received worldwide recognition for its unique character.
It is essentially a work on dharma, consisting of 1330 Poetic couplets, divided into three major volumes titled – Arattupal, Porutpal, Kamatuppal.
Each volume is divided into a number of parts and each part into Adhikaram, each chapter with ten couplets with a separate heading.
There are 130 Adhikari thus each with 10 verses each.
Each part of the volume carries an uneven number of adhikaras, as below :
1) 38 adhikaras
2) 70 adhikaras
3) 25 adhikaras
Each couplet consists of two lines in a meter called Kuaal (short verse) the first line is generally long and the second short.
There are some fanciful stories about the author but we know his name was Thiruvalluvar, and his work is called Tirukkural.
Valluvar's language and vocabulary are extraordinary, beautiful. He follows the Dharmasastras in expressing order, advice, or negatively suggesting positive meanings.
The present study thus completes the early group of Tamil Literature with the Tirukkural as adoption of Dharmasastras, Arthasastra, and Natyasastras (and perhaps) Kamasastra of Vatsayana. This has already been treated extensively earlier by VRR Dikshitar in his Tirukkural with reference to Arthasastra and U.Ve. Swaminatha Iyer, T.P. Meenakshi Sundaranar, and Mu.Varadarajnar in their articles in Tirukkural Araicurai, (Ed., Ki.Va.Jagannathan.). My attempt here is to show that the Arattupal is fully based on the dharma sastras of Manu, Yajnavalkya, Bodhayana, Apastamba, and others. The impact of dharma sastras extends to some parts of Porul adhikaram is also seen.
In this book, the author who is a world-renowned Historian and Archeologist explores the three Adhikarams of Tirukkural and compares the three with Dharmashastra, Athashastra, and Natyashastra.
About the Author
Dr.R.Nagaswamy became the First Director of Archaeology, 1966 to 88. He also served as the first Vice-Chancellor of the Kanchipuram University and Advisor to the Government of India to the UNESCO project in documenting cultural property. He has written over 50 books that are known for authenticity and appreciated all over the world. His articles have been published in all the major languages of the world by UNESCO. He has been conferred honors like "Kalaimamani" by the Tamilnadu government and also all the leading cultural institutions in the state.