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Thirukkural-On Virtue-True Knowledge-Kural 355

Epporul ethanmaith thaayinum apporul

Meypporul kaanpathu arivu.

Whatever be the apparent diversity of things it is wisdom,

to analyse and perceive the basic truth of the matter.

The enlightened man who has true understanding, will be able to uncover the differing exteriors and lay bare the one central and immanent substance of all things of this world. Emerson"s concept of the 'oversoul" based on the Upanishadic belief in cosmic unity conforms to Valluvar"s philosophy. And T S Eliot"s lie, “All things affirm thee in living", also echoes the same idea.

Valluvar does not believe in the mere acceptance of things only on the basis of tradition or sanctity. He wants the core of ultimate truth to be arrived at, by going right behind appearances with vigorous use of reason.

The basic concept of modern 'Transactional Analysis' is also this, that the reasoning adult, the total human personality, should assess and evaluate before accepting or rejecting either the traditional dictates of the parent or the unreasoning impulses of the child in him.

We might compare this couplet with Kural 423, which is similar in its import and even language, but while the present Kural is broader in its coverage of all aspects of things, the other Kural refers only to 'what is said by people".

Both these couplets preach the same vigorous pursuit of Truth, on which a few centuries earlier the Greek Philosophers, Socrates and Plato focused attention.

I wish the legal system of our country, good as it is, appreciates its basic objective of 'pursuit of truth" and recasts its procedural laws to facilitate this, instead of making the courts just function as umpires in a matching of wits, which the adversary system reduces itself to. The courts should be enabled to call for, admit and test more evidence from whichever source it is available, in order to arrive at the truth.

Read more about: true knowledge thirukural
Story first published: Thursday, February 11, 2010, 14:10 [IST]
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