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Tirukkural-On Virtue-On Rectitude-Kural 115

By Staff
Kaedum perukkamum illalla nenjathuk
Kodaamai sanrork kani

Loss and gain come about as a result of one's own previous actions, But an unswerving rectitude of mind is the ornament of the great.

A man's past may perhaps account for the good and bad circumstances of his life, but a 'Sanron' can hold his own under all circumstances with moral rectitude and honest effort.

Here again there is a reference to karma theory, according to which loss and gain accrue to one as a result of his own actions in an earlier birth. Irrespective of it, however, one could aspire for the systematic cultivation of the virtues of a 'Sanron' based on 'Naduvu Nilamai'– rectitude. Valluvar has made this abundantly clear in different contexts, where he recognizes and emphasises the freedom of man's will and effort to improve himself morally and spiritually to perfection, irrespective of his station in life or his predispositions ordained by fate. This is further confirmation that my interpretation of Kural 37 is the right one.

It is interesting to see, in this context, how Valluvar has truly democratized his concept of 'Sanron' or virtuous gentleman, by sublimating it out of the environment, good or bad as well as rich or poor, as against the limited and exclusive concepts of the Philosopher king of Plato and Noble prince of Confucius.

Story first published: Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 13:37 [IST]
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