Thirukkural is the masterpiece of Tamil literature with the highest and purest expressions of human thought. The word Thirukkural is a combination of two Tamil words "Thiru" and "kural". Among other things, the word Thiru means beautiful or auspicious. The word "kural' means short poem consisting of two lines, a couplet. It is written in the form of couplets (two line poems) expounding various aspects of life. It contains 1330 couplets, divided into 133 chapters of 10 couplets each.

Thirukkural has three major parts. The first part deals with Aram (Virtue), the moral value of human life. There are 37 chapters in the first book, the first four called payiram or prefactory matter, the next twenty about ill-aram (the householder’s dharma) and the next thirteen about turavaram (the path of renunciation).

The second part is on Porul (Wealth), the socio economic values of men in a civilized society. The second book contains seventy chapters, the first twenty dealing with kings and their duties, the succeeding thirty two chapters with the other matters concerning the state, and next thirteen, with sundry concerns.

The third part is on Kamam or Inbam (Love), the psychological values of life. The third book on inbam contains twenty five chapters, the first seven being on pre marital love (kalavu) and the next eighteen on marital love.

Professor S.Vaiyarapuri Pillai comments in his well regarded ‘History of Tamil Language and Literature’: "Never before nor since, did words of such profound wisdom issue forth from any sage in Tamil land…

Thirukkural written by Thiruvalluvar is one of the most notable literary and ethical treatises in the Indian languages. There is a general consensus among the historians and literary authorities that Thirukkural was written around 2000 years ago. Thirukkural is one of the few literary works that have survived over the past two thousand years and is regarded as relevant even today. Thirukkural aims at guiding human beings to lead a moral, ethical and useful life in this world. Its focus, unlike religious works, is "life on earth" and “life-affirmation”. According to the author, "One who lives an ideal life in this world will be ranked amongst the Gods in heaven". In an ever-changing world, Thirukkural deals with certain basic, but permanent, aspects of life such as morality, ethics, politics, and romance.

Thirukkural's immortality and universality are unquestionable. Its ethics and values are applicable to all religions, countries and time. It has been translated in over 60 languages, and is the most translated book on ethics in the world next only to the Bible and the Koran.

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