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Thirukkural-On Virtue-On Fate-Kural 374

Thirukkural, Kural 374
Iruvaeru ulakattu iyarkai tiruvaeru
Thelliya raathalum vaeru

The world has among its men two different categories; some are fated
to be just prosperous, while others are decreed to be only wise;

There is perhaps an element of sarcasm in this Kural. On this, Rajaji comments that the wise ones need not necessarily be prosperous and the prosperous need not be intellectually very capable. In this section, Thiruvalluvar has tried to rationalize the concept of fate, to the extent possible, by explaining that fate shapes in human beings certain tendencies, which are responsible for prosperity and adversity. But he leaves it to be inferred that in overcoming these tendencies human effort can and must play its vital part. In fact, later in chapters 60, 61 and 62, the poet goes all out to emphasise this angle. Kurals 594 and 620 are particularly relevant.

Story first published: Friday, April 16, 2010, 10:23 [IST]
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