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Avva thuraivadhu arivu.
In respect of this Kural, one cannot do better than just adopt the brief and telling translation by V V S Iyer.
It is a part of wisdom to conform
To the ways of the world
Rajaji would say that the man of true knowledge understands how the world moves, and, moves accordingly.
While in the previous couplet, Valluvar spoke of sustained friendship and association with the wise men of the world, in the present one he defines wisdom itself, with reference to conformity of one"s conduct to the ways of the world, according to K M Balasubramaniam.
In kural 140, Valluvar has stated, going from the opposite angle, that if the men of learning did not also act in close accord with life itself and abide by its norms, their wisdom would be of no avail.
It is said that there is a Greek proverb which says, “We must do in Crete as the Cretans do" – we are more familiar with the one, which says “When in Rome do as the Romans do."
In effect, this Kural emphasises the need for the important sociological process of 'Socialisation", for effective observance of society"s norms.
The last five Kurals outline the parameters of the grammar of wisdom, as it were.