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Category: Philosophy

Thiruvalluvar Profile

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Thiruvalluvar Biography

Thiruvalluvar was a celebrated Tamil poet and philosopher who authored the celebrated Tamil classic, Thirukkural, a work on ethics. Though the exact date of birth is not known, it’s believed that he lived in between 1st century BC and the 8th century AD. He is also known by the names - Theiva Pulavar ("Divine Poet"), Valluvar, Poyyamozhi Pulavar, Senna Pothar, Gnana Vettiyan and Ayyan. Thirukkural is one of the most revered ancient works in the Tamil language giving a few guidelines for human morals and betterment in life. It’s believed that he is the author of two Tamil texts on medicine, Gnana Vettiyan and Pancharathnam. Memorials, statues and temples of this great poet has been built in many parts of Tamil Nadu and his name is taken with due respect. He and his works are deeply linked to Tamil culture and he is widely regarded as a cultural icon.  


His name is not recorded anywhere in the classic work – Thirukkural. The name Thiruvalluvar is first mentioned in the 10th century in a text called Thiruvalluvarmaalai. It’s not known if Thiruvalluvar represents some community or group or occupation. ‘Thiru’ simply means honorable. There are several claims regarding where he lived. According to one legend he lived in Kanya kumari, while there are other claims too. Mylapore of present Chennai and Madurai are other popular claims. He is even related to Pandya rulers, who encouraged literature a lot. According to popular beliefs, he was a weaver and now a temple has been built in the place, which is believed to be his birthplace.


There are also lots of legends about the pair Thiruvalluvar and Vaasuki ammaiyar. There is also the recent claim that Valluvar was a king who ruled Valluvanadu in the hilly tracts of the Kanyakumari District of present Tamil Nadu. Valluvanadu is the kingdom of Kerala. Thirukkural is written as ballets and is divided into three sections – Aram, Porul and Inpam.

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Updated: September 23, 2017

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