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Thirukkural-On Wealth-On Education-Kural 398

Orumaikkan thaankatra kalvi oruvarku
Elumaiyum aemap pudaithu

The learning that one has imbibed in this birth,
Will stand him in good stead in all seven births.

The education, that a person has acquired in this birth, will surely regulate his work and conduct in his present life and shape his performance. If this performance is adjudged Godly and good all round by the people, according to Thiruvalluvar, who is a firm believer in the Karma theory of the Hindu philosophy, in the next birth too, this person will be born with a pronounced predisposition for good. In that sense, his learning in the earlier birth will be of great avail to him.

In this context, attention is invited to chapter 38 on Fate in Part I, Arathupaal of Thirukural where reference has been made (Kural 371), to Rajaji"s view, that men reap the just and natural reward of every previous action of theirs, albeit in a previous birth, and their inherent nature and tendencies are shaped by these. The account, according to him is not closed at death, but naturally carried over.

All the same, Valluvar"s and Rajaji"s views on the karma theory, leave room for the individual will and effort in the new life to play their part, may be against some odds, to over-come the existing predisposition and do the right thing in any context and do it well, changing the ultimate outcome in a given set of circumstances. In this way, there need not be an absolute pre-determination.

The import of this Kural is that the usefulness of education transcends life and death and affects all the seven births.

The expression 'aelumaiyum aemappudaithu' has been used by Valluvar in Kural 126 too.

Story first published: Friday, May 21, 2010, 11:37 [IST]