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Thirukkural-On Wealth-On Education-Kural 394

Uvappathalaikkoodi ullap pirithal
Anaithe pulavar tholil.

Men of learning meet each other with great joy in their hearts,
And when parting, they leave with a heavy heart and sweet memories.

This translation is based on the interpretation of Parimelalagar and Kalingar.

The learned Tamil poet"s profession, in those spacious days, depended very much on moving from court to courts, for Royal recognition and attendant patronage. This Kural was probably provoked by this all-too common phenomenon of the times.

A beautiful parallel of a more general nature is provided by Coleridge thus:

“To meet, to know, to live and then to part,

is the sad tale of many a human heart"-S T Coleridge

In this Kural, however, the additional underlying dimension of learning and internalizing knowledge and skills from each other is also to be had. Further, one might also discern a sense of Valluvar"s own sadness at the fate of poets and learned men of the time.

Story first published: Monday, May 17, 2010, 14:07 [IST]