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Tirukkural-On Virtue-On The Blessing Of Children-Kural 69

By Staff

Inra poludhir perithuvakkum tanmakanaic

sandron enakketta thaai.

Greater joy than at his birth, a mother feels, when she hears, Her son being hailed as 'Sandron' by cultured people.,

Every parents' bosom does swell with pride and joy on hearing competent men talk about the worth of their children. The term 'Sandron' refers to a person of exemplary virtue and culture.

Parimelalagar's comment, in trying to explain the reason why the word 'Kaetathaai has been used, that this Kural refers only to women, as only they are incapable of assessing the real worth of sons and consequently have to depend on other people's assessment, is something to be ignored, as a dark idea, reminiscent of the middle ages. Even earlier, we may safely assume, such ideas did not have currency in Tamil Nadu, which had women poets and heroines during the Sangam age. They were very much capable of assessing children's worth themselves.

The proud mother of a warrior who was asked by another woman where her son was, promptly replied in the poem of 'Purannanuru' beginning with the line 'Cittril natroonpatri nin mahan' – 'where-else will the tiger-cub go? He will surely be in the battlefield'.

With greater independence and better education the position has improved with each succeeding generation till the present, when they stand on a footing of absolute equality with men. All the same, when they hear cultured people and learned men say good things about their children, they feel a sense of fulfillment, characterized by joy and rightful pride.

It was such a feeling which is described about an old mother in the following lines:

Vaalnarai koondhal mudhiyoal siruvan

Kaliraerindhu pattananaennu muhavai

Inndra jnanrinum paeridhae

Such feeling comes not only to the mother but also to the father, as in (Kambaramayanam), when Dasaratha feels extremely elated, even more so that when Rama was born, when Vashista praises Rama's Kingly qualities.

Mattravan sonna vaasakamkaettalum mahanai

Paettra anrinum, minjnakan piditha appaeruvil

Ittra andrinum yerimaluvaalan ilukkam

Uttra anrinum, paeriyadhoar uvakaiyan aanaan

The Bible has similar lines:

'Thy father and thy mother shall be glad and she that bare thee shall rejoice', referring to a context of hearing good things said about the offspring.

Story first published: Wednesday, November 5, 2008, 1:32 [IST]
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