வியாழன், 16 அக்டோபர், 2014
Introduction Any book on INDIAN PHILOSOPHY deals with the Vedas, Bhagavat Gita, Upanishads, Ramayana, Mahabharata ,Buddhism, Jainism and other 'orthodox-systems'. All of them are : Topics based on the Northern part of India – Aryan/Vedic. The authors of such books , perhaps, took it for granted that the ancient Indian thinkers had no other approach in interpreting the life of the humans. The rich civilization of the Dravidians and their matured thinking on human life is not considered as Indian philosophy or philosophy. But the Vedic Aryans were shrewd enough to recognize the knowledge and the cultural advancement of the Dravidians (Tamils).This is seen from the way they named the God of knowledge as Dakshinamurthy, the southern God (of knowledge). This deity will always be placed facing the South where the Dravidian land is. Aryans acquired their knowledge from others is signified in this vedic sloka Ano Bhadraaha Kritao Yantu ishvataha - let noble thoughts come to us from all directions. Having acquired such knowledge heard along the path of their migration , they claimed original authorship of such ideas. Ayurveda, Bharata Natyam,carnatic music are all examples. Even today,these arts and science are practiced only in the peninsular india,proving their origin. Can we say that because Sankara, Ramanuja , and the Madhva were born in the Dravidian land, they were able to give comparatively better and much accepted commentaries for the Brahma-sutras due to their familiarity of the Dravidian knowledge and culture ? ThirukkuRaL (kuRaL) , the book of Dravidian philosophy, PHILOSOPHY OF PENINSULAR INDIA. is a compendium of many things pertaining to human values and thought. They are brief and precise, well written without any vagueness or confusion either in meaning or syntax. The verses are direct in their concept and clear in their meaning. kuRaL is a book that does not deal with any speculative concepts, as found in the Upanishads .Speculation gives raise to multiple interpretations and the possible conflicts. They ultimately divide the society they intend to enrich. The vagueness and speculative character encourages people with vested interests to meddle with the text by inserting passages. In the third part Kaamathup_paal ( காமத்துப்பால் ) of kuRaL, the poet tells about two stages through which a young boy and girl unite in wedlock. The first stage is when the boy and girl start meeting without the knowledge of elders. It is called kaLavu ( களவு). The dating stage- Dravidian style. Later they enter into wedlock -a stage called karpu (கற்பு) - when they marry and start living together and raise a family. The marriages are love marriages. Then it was an accepted form of marriage. So we see a well structured society with freedom for men and women. The verses of kuRaL brings out a picture of a sophisticated , matured society that was the Dravidian Tamils , thousands of years ago. kuRaL is dated around 200 BC . So we can safely conclude that the Tamil society was well advanced , as depicted in the verses of kuRaL, many centuries earlier than kural. Kural, a book which is perfectly relevant even to-day after 2000 years and more, must be taken into account to understand the perfection the society might have attained earlier than 2000 years . Such an evolved society in a remote antiquity shows that their culture has thrived in that state for many centuries prior to these works. A work of grammar is attempted only after the literature matures. ( இலக்கியம் கண்டதற்கு இலக்கணம் இயம்பலின்). kuRaL has to be taken in the group of grammar as it is a compendium of good practices prevailed in the region and followed by the people and explains the meaning of life in short couplets. The works of Tamil scholars of those earlier periods are lost either due to sea upheaval which entered the land and destroyed or due to wanton destruction by people who were jealous . Had the previous works were available, the Dravidian culture , its glory and perfection might have been established with much more authority and may be dated back to few more millenium earlier. Bhagavat Gita (Gita) is also an old treatise on the meaning and purpose of human life. It is supposed to be an epitome of the Upanishads. As there is no attempt in the past to include kuRaL as part of Indian philosophical thought , we try to give an account of the philosophy of kuRaL , THE PHILOSOPHY OF PENINSULAR INDIA. This work does not sit in judgment of which one is superior than the other. Both are superior on their own right. Otherwise they might not have survived this long and still continue to inspire mankind. Our attempt here is to show that Dravidian Tamil-thinking is completely distinct from the Aryan Vedic way of thinking when it comes to their philosophy of life. This is done by relying on kuRaL and comparing its views with Gita. kuRaL also expresses its views on Vedic beliefs. So such a comparison will be enough to establish the distinct and comprehensive philosophy of the Tamils. This is done in two planes: 1. ThirukkuRal Vs Bhagavat-Gita: we establish that KuRal rejects the Vedic basics like the karma, metempsychosis,Moksha (Brahman) , the individual soul and the four-fold division of society. 2. ThirukkuRal and Bhagavat-Gita: As works emanating from the same sub-continent, we try to bring out some of the striking similarities of approach between KuRal and Gita in this section (the list is not exhaustive). Individual soul and Brahman or Moksha are the central themes of Gita. The society and compassion to the poor and needy, which gives a recognition , fame to the individual is what KuRal emphasizes. We establish a parallel between the concept of the Brahman and the society through chapter 11, viswaroopa dharsan, of Gita. Also we discuss how the concept of Moksha to the individual soul is dealt with differently in KuRal without any speculative reasoning. The kuRaL's theme of 'The purpose of life is to get an eternal glory by service to the society' is transformed in Gita into the liberation of the soul, following the tenets of the scriptures , merging with the Brahman, an eternal bliss or silence'.The concepts of the three 'gunas' , three 'yogas' and equanimity are all inspirations from kural .Thirukkural vs Bhagavad-Gita Gita relies on the concepts of the karma, metempsychosis, Brahman and the soul for its explanation of the human life. The aim of one's life is to escape a rebirth and to attain Moksha.Only the body dies. The soul is immortal and it is affected by the actions of the body of the person it resides (karma). Because of such actions the soul is destined to have another birth. This cycle of births will end only when the soul is not afflicted by the actions of the body (person) it resides. To reach such a state and escape further birth the individual must lead a life as prescribed by the Manu-Dharma ( 4.31, 4.32) 9.3]. The person who is detached from the fruits of action gets Moksha. ( 2.70 – 2.72). In that state the individual soul merges with the Brahman. Gita is written in the form of a dialogue between the Lord Krishna and his disciple Arjuna. Arjuna raises his doubts about how to conduct himself in life and the Lord answers them and clears the doubts of his disciple. One such question Arjuna asks is in the minds of everyone who believe in a God, a God who is supposed to redeem them from all sins and worries. In everyday happenings we see that some good and honest persons suffering, sometimes the suffering has no end and hurts the individual for the rest of one's life. On the other hand we see the affluence and happiness of some who are cunning and wicked enjoy health, wealth and prosperity. They are not penalized by the God for any of their mistakes. This type of everyday happening perplexes our minds over the nature and purpose of a God. Our faith is under a cloud. Our expectation of a redeeming God does not fructify. Arjuna raises this question to the Lord , which is bothering our minds : Arjuna wishes to know from Lord Krishna the fate of the aspirant who fails to realize the Supreme in spite of his faith and sincerity. “Arjuna said: 6.37. He who is unable to control himself though he has the faith, and whose mind wanders away from Yoga, what end does he meet, having failed to attain perfection in Yoga, O Krishna? 6.38. Fallen from both, does he not perish like a rent cloud, support-less, O mighty-armed (Krishna), deluded on the path of Brahman? 6.39. This doubt of mine, O Krishna, do Thou completely dispel, because it is not possible for any but Thee to dispel this doubt. ” The man who is not able to control the events that overcome him in spite of his faith in God, loses his confidence and wanders away. Such a faithful man fails to attain perfection in his devotion and attain the mercy of God. What will happen to such a man? Fallen from both in life and faith in God will not he perish, without support, like a cloud? Here Yoga means the ways of realizing the mercy of God. (Bakthi, njana, karma are three means, yogas, of attaining the grace of God, according to the Gita). Now Gita says that the solution for such a person mentioned by Arjuna, in his query,lies only in his next birth.  “6. 40. O Arjuna, neither in this world, nor in the next world is there destruction for him; none, verily, who does good, O My son, ever comes to grief! 6.41. Having attained to the worlds of the righteous and, having dwelt there for everlasting years, he who fell from Yoga s reborn in the house of the pure and wealthy. 6.42. Or he is born in a family of even the wise Yogis; verily a birth like this is very difficult to obtain in this world. 6.43. There he comes in touch with the knowledge acquired in his former body and strives more than before for perfection, O Arjuna! 6.44. By that very former practice he is borne on in spite of himself. Even he who merely wishes to know Yoga transcends the Brahmic word.” In later chapters also this idea is emphasized. The above verses explains and addresses the doubts of Arjuna. Instead of helping the faithful human, if not all of humanity, to tread the right path, the Lord God watches his fall and punishes him with another birth of suffering. It is more cruel to tell that his sufferings will come to an end in a future birth or births. The past births mentioned by the Gita are something the incumbent cannot remember and hence cannot own it as his own . Even accepting the previous birth and the mentioned deeds or misdeeds, how can the new life of the present be held responsible for such deeds supposed to have been committed by another life (read, person) in a previous birth ? After getting refined over the many births, the perfected soul merges with God without getting another birth.Thus all perfect souls not returning, the world will always be populated by sinners. What a pessimistic outlook of the world is given to the believing, faithful, disciple by God ! This reply is not acceptable if one adheres to the teachings of KuRaL . அவ்விய நெஞ்சத்தான் ஆக்கமும் செவ்வியான் கேடும் நினைக்கப் படும் . 169 The affluence of the deceits and the poverty and fall of the righteous will be lamented and, remembered respectively. If the fall of the righteous is blamed on his sin in a previous birth, it is the most cruel way of treating the good persons.How can such a good person be a sinner in a previous birth , a hypothetical and speculative accusation without any supportive evidence ? If it is believed the he was a sinner ( in a past birth ), who will come to the (now) good person and help him out or rescue him from his difficulties. What type of society we are building with such concepts ? kuRaL 169 quoted above is practical and helpful. With the mindset as expressed in the verse it implies that the society will ( or expected to ) act against the deceits and help the righteous. Having said that kuRaL explains the contradictory events as follows: Events that cannot be anticipated or prevented and escaped from their consequences are generally called Oozh (ஊழ்) in kuRaL. ஊழின் பெருவலி யாவுள மற்றொன்று சூழினும் தான்முந் துறும். 380 Oozh is the most powerful force (that can affect a person even with deadly damages) . No other force is more powerful and one cannot escape its consequences. kuRaL explains the doubts of Arjuna in terms of Oozh which we see later in this article. In later parts of this article we discuss about the concept of metempsychosis (previous birth, next birth, reincarnation of the individual soul). We have to give a new interpretation for some of the words occurring in kuRaL (இம்மை,மறுமை,எழுமை,எழுபிறப்பு) . The word 'இம்மை' was meant as "this (present) birth",'மறுமை' was meant as "the next (coming) birth". The word 'எழுமை எழுபிறப்பு' was meant as the seven and multiples of seven births (ஏழேழ் பிறவி) These interpretations are the accepted ones for the words all along.But this interpretation will contradict our discussion in the later part of this article. So we have to explain it here. Our hew interpretations are: The word "இம்மை" means 'here and now', 'today', 'for the present', "the present time". The word "மறுமை' means 'coming days', 'next day(s)', 'the future'. The word "பழமை" means ' the past', 'olden days'. This word is used in this sense even to this day. The word "எழுமை" means 'wake-up', 'start action'. The word "எழுபிறப்பு" means waking-up' ("விழிப்பது போலும் பிறப்பு"- குறள்). The phrase "எழுமை எழுபிறப்பும்" means (excepting the time of sleep) all the acting moments , whenever on acts,except in sleep. We have, in Tamil country, many scholars who questioned many of the Aryan concepts of Moksha and. Metempsychosis. பையூரி லேயிருந்து பாழூரிலே பிறந்து மெ ய்யூரில் போவதற்கு வேதாந்த வீடறியேன் மெய்யூரிற் போவதற்கு வேதாந்த வீடறிந்தால் பையூரும் மெய்யூரும் என் கண்ணம்மா பாழாய் முடியாவோ பாழாய் முடியாவோ! 10 ( அழுகணிச் சித்தர் ) Having been born in this wretched world, I do not know any way of attaining the Vedantic Moksha. If one can know the way of attaining Vedantic Moksha, then there won't be any soul in any womb nor will the earth have any inhabitants. This is the view of the Dravidians about the concept of Moksha. They not only do not believe it, they also bring out the contradiction it brings about.Karma and Metempsychosis Having seen above as to how the individual is helped by the Lord God with repeated births to attain happiness and peace, salvation, now let us see what KuRaL has to say about karma and reincarnation of the soul, wherein lie a possible liberation for the sinners. KARMA : At the time of death the individual soul takes with it all the remnants of its sensual experience to its next birth. This is karma. This is expressed in the following verse.  15.8. Even as the wind wafts scents from their seats so too the jivatma , which is the controller of the body etc., taking the mind and the senses from the body which it leaves behind forthwith migrates to the body which it acquires. Dravidian thinking is just the opposite , as given below: குடம்பைத் தனித்துஒழியப புள்பறந் தற்றே உடம்பொடு உயிரிடை நட்பு. 338 The relation between the body and the life ( uyir, soul) in it is like that of a bird and its nest where it dwells , which flies away, leaving behind the nest to destruction. Here the bird is the soul, and its nest is the body. When the bird flies away it totally forgets the nest. There is no continuity. For the next mating season it may have a nest elsewhere. Old nest is totally abandoned to destruction. Even the chicks hatched by the birds are forgotten forever. Their relationship is forgotten. Perhaps the grown up chicks may mate their parent bird in the next season. The message is clear. The Uyir (life, soul) in the body leaves it at the time of death. It does not take anything of the body with it as quoted above (15.8.) In other words, the actions of the body are not chasing the uyir throughout its journey, if at all there is any such journey (rebirth), after the death of the individual. Thirukkural rejects karma theory. Let us see the views on metempsychosis. We quote relevent verses from : 2.13 Just as in this body the embodied (soul) passes into childhood, youth and old age, so also does he pass into another body; the firm man does not grieve thereat. 2.22. Just as a man casts off worn-out clothes and puts on new ones, so also the embodied Self casts off worn-out bodies and enters others that are new. 14.15. Meeting death in Rajas, he is born among those who are attached to action; and dying in Tamas, he is born in the womb of the senseless. In the following verse of kuRaL goes on further to fully reject the concept of reincarnation of the soul. ஒருபோதும் வாழ்வது அறியார் கருதுப கோடியும் அல்ல பல 337 Persons who are not able to understand their (present) life (birth) think and talk about many lives (births). They do not stop there. They talk even of the end of it all (Brahman or Moksha ). வாழ்வு this very life (birth) they live அது ஒரு பொழுதும் அறியார் They never understand கருதுப பல ( வாழ்வு ) they talk and consider many more (births) அல்ல nay கோடியும் including the end of it ( Brahman) (this interpretation of this verse deviates from standard commentaries. We do not twist any word for its meaning in our interpretation) The life of a person starts with one's birth and ends with death. There is nothing before birth or beyond death. Thus kuRaL rejects the rebirth of the soul with all past 'karma' attached to it in the new birth.புக்கில் அமைந்தின்று கொல்லோ உடம்பினுள் துச்சில் இருந்த உயிர்க்கு. 340 உடம்பினுள் துச்சில் இருந்த உயிர்க்கு புக்கில் அமைந்தின்று கொல்லோ . The uyir (individual soul) ,which is temporarily attached to the body , is not endowed with a permanent abode . In this verse the poet rejects that the individual soul has a permanent abode . It has relevance only between the birth and death. KuRaL rejects the concept of Moksha.பொருள்அல்ல வற்றைப் பொருள்என்று உணரும் மருளானாம் மாணப் பிறப்பு. 351 The concept of unending birth-cycle which depends on the meaningless idea of Brahman is purely due to an unreasonable fear மாணப் பிறப்பு = unending birth-cycle பொருள்அல்ல வற்றை that which is neither a matter nor a concept with a meaning. This refers to the Brahman. (பொருள்) means a substance, object,matter, or meaning , attribute.) The individual soul is deathless is told by the Lord Krishna :  2.30. “This, the Indweller in the body of everyone, is always indestructible”. KuRaL takes a different view as seen below: நில்லாத வற்றை நிலையின என்றுஉணரும் புல்லறி வாண்மை கடை. 331 The wrongful knowledge and authority acquired by considering those which are not permanent as eternal is mean. The mortal life (uyir) is being considered as immortal (soul). Such a faith is of lowly knowledge. Having condemned the concept of Brahman and individual soul as meaningless fear and lowly knowledge what is a truthful and meaningful way of looking at life. kuRaL says that there is no rebirth and one need not take it seriously. The following verses discuss this view: ஓர்ந்துஉள்ளம் உள்ளது உணரின் ஒருதலையாப் பேர்த்துஉள்ள வேண்டாப் பிறப்பு. . 357 Once ,after a deep consideation , when one realizes the truth; one need not think of the prejudiced concept of reincarnation. (It is not the truth). கற்றுஈண்டு மெய்ப்பொருள் கண்டார் தலைப்படுவர் மற்றுஈண்டு வாரா நெறி. 356 Those who has understood the truth of life by deep study and knowledge will follow the concept of denying the reincarnation of the soul. மற்றுஈண்டு வாரா நெறி = மறுபிறவி மறுப்புக் கொள்கை., The concept of denying reincarnation ஒன்றா உலகத்து உயர்ந்த புகழல்லால் பொன்றாது நிற்பது ஒன்றுஇல். 233 It is the renown of the person who serve the society as per the tenets of aRam is what is eternal, and nothing else is.ஊழின் பெருவலி யாவுள மற்றொன்று சூழினும் தான்முந் துறும். 380 Oozh is the most powerful force (that can affect a person even with deadly damages) . No other force is more powerful and one cannot escape its consequences. Thus with all of one's sincere efforts there may be failures and losses. It is inevitable. So one must attune oneself to accept the reality. இலக்கம் உடம்பிடும்பைக் கென்று கலக்கத்தைக் கையாறாக் கொள்ளாதாம் மேல். 627 enlightened wise men will not be perturbed by physical and mental pains and tortures. They are part of human existence. இன்பம் விழையான் இடும்பை இயல்புஎன்பான் துன்பம் உறுதல் இலன். 628 The person who do not seek after pleasure and regards the problems of life as normal occurences will never grieve.  2.15. That firm man whom surely these afflict not, O chief among men, to whom pleasure and pain are the same, is fit for attaining immortality! Live life as it occurs. Now there is a natural question. Is it fatalism ? Accepting the events and staying without any action on the part of the individual? But it is not what kuRaL means. Instead of explaining the reason for one's problems in terms of faith based theories, metempsychosis and karma, let us accept the problem and undergo the consequences. There is a way of tackling the situation: ஊழையும் உட்பக்கம் காண்பர் உலைவுஇன்றித் தாழாது உஞற்று பவர் . 620 When one encounter severe and difficult problems (due to bad Oozh ) one must not lose one's composure and confidence . (¯¨ÄÅ¢ýÈ¢ ). Then one must try hard without giving-up ( ¾¡Æ¡Ð ). With such a perseverance one can reverse ( ¯ட்பì¸õ ¸¡ñÀ÷ ) the effects of Oozh. Such a relief is not there for sufferings due to 'karma'. Is Oozh the same as karma ? No, says the poet : இருவேறு உலகத்து இயற்கை திருவேறு தெள்ளியர் ஆதலும் வேறு. 374 ¯இருவேறு உலகத்து இயற்கை (பிறப்பு , இறப்பு என்ற இரு வேறு நிலைகள்) . ¾¢Õ §ÅÚ ¦¾ûÇ¢Â Ã¡¾Öõ §ÅÚ The states of birth and death are the two extremes, in the world, which are natural. It has nothing to do with one's wealth or knowledge (in this birth). The poet says that the wealth or knowledge of a person is not due (to his good or bad acts of) his previous birth, and after death these are not going to affect the dead person anyway. The 'karma' is not used in explaining the events of a person's life. Birth and death are just natural events. summing up, it is the efforts of the individual with confidence and composure which bail out the person of his problems. Also understanding human life as replete with problems, one must learn to live with it. PERHAPS kuRaL conducts its inquiry along a path which is more practical and convincing. This is evidenced in the chapter 38 on Oozh where fate (Oozh) is taken as it is without any explanation for it in terms of religion ,sin or past birth. At this point we take an analogy from Mathematics. When we count integers continuously, where will it end . When mathematicians needed to have such an number they have found a solution by creating the concept of an ideal number and called it 'infinity'. Infinity is the greatest of all numbers and every counted (finite) number is always less than infinity. But this ideal number infinity is not a number in the ordinary sense. You cannot reach it by usual counting. It will not obey the laws of addition and subtraction. In the example the use of an ideal number is made without including it with the rest of the pack of numbers. In dealing with the concept of Oozh (ஊழ் = oozh) kuRaL adopts this technique. Oozh is the most powerful effect affecting all human efforts/actions. No other human effort/act is more powerful enough to outdo it. As our actions affects us, Oozh also affects us. But it is not amenable to human effort. Beyond this level the practical poet does not go. வகுத்தான் வகுத்த வகையல்லால் கோடி தொகுத்தார்க்கும் துய்த்தல் அரிது. 377 But for the actions of Oozh , which determines one's path of life, one cannot expect anything even from out of one's accumulation of good deeds (over many births) to attain Moksha. Here §¸¡Ê ¦¾¡Ìò¾¡÷ Means those who claims to have (accumulated over many births and) and got qualified to attain the end (Moksha). Thus Oozh is different from karma. So the message of kuRaL is: As there is no further life beyond death ,let us understand the life that we live, here and now. Having denied the concept of the reincarnation of the soul with its past karma attached, now kuRaL gives an easy way out to escape the difficulties of life. If one wants to escape 'birth' the easy way out is given in the following: மற்றும் தொடர்பாடு எவன்கொல் பிறப்பறுக்கல் உற்றாருக்கு உடம்பும் மிகை. 345 For those who aspire to escape 'birth' why should there be any other linkage (in the form of karma, sin,rebirth etc.) . This very body itself is an excess ( so one can straight away dispose it off, kill oneself). The solution given in the above verse is not against the Vedas. The story of the ashtavasus and the Mother river Ganga is an example. In the story, the vasus came to the Ganga and requested her to become their mother and to kill them at their birth so that they can escape the pains of human life and at the same time undergo the curse of the rishi.பிறப்புஒக்கும் எல்லா உயிர்க்கும் சிறப்புஒவ்வா செய்தொழில் வேற்றுமை யான். 972 All persons are born equal. The unwanted merit and superiority arises out of the differences in their professions. As every profession is necessary for the welfare of the society, each of the work must be discharged by somebody. Hence the work done by a person does not give any special status for that person. This is further ascertained in the following verse: அறத்தாறு இதுஎன வேண்டா சிவிகை பொறுத்தானொடு ஊர்ந்தான் இடை . 37 அறத்தாறு சிவிகை பொறுத்தானொடு இது ஊர்ந்தான் இடை (இது) என வேண்டா The practice of aRam for the one in the palanquin is this way; and among the four bearers it is in another way is not acceptable. (The tenets of aRam is the same for both) . The verse says that there is no difference between the rich and the poor or from the powerful and the weak when it comes to the application of the tenets of aRam. All are qual before aRam. The poet is conscious of the proper interpretation of the above verses. Simply because all are born equal one cannot disobey one's superior at work. That will create indiscipline and chaos in the society. So he conditions the above statements with the following. வாணிகம் செய்வார்க்கு வாணிகம் பேணிப் பிறவும் தமபோல் செயின். 120 In business relationship be business like. Otherwise treat people as your kin. In work place respect heirarchy and obey the rules , Outside of your work place treat and behave as equals, as kin, with others. பிறப்புஎன்னும் பேதைமை நீங்கச் சிறப்புஎன்னும் செம்பொருள் காண்பது அறிவு. 358 To overcome the delusion of superiority based on birth; one must understand the real meaning of relative merit, among individuals. It is real knowledge. Having said that he mentions the persons who are really meritorious in the society: உழுதுஉண்டு வாழ்வாரே வாழ்வார்மற்று எல்லாம் தொழுதுஉண்டு பின்செல் பவர். 1033 The farmers growing food grains are the ones who live a real life and the rest are following them from behind praying their (farmer's) favour. The following verse is again displays the attitude of the Tamils towards the Vedic concept of Moksha: ஊற்றைச் சடலமடி உப்பிருந்த பாண்டமடி மாற்றிப் பிறக்க மருந்தெனக்குக் கிட்டுதில்லை மாற்றிப் பிறக்க மருந்தெனக்கு கிட்டுமென்றால் ஊற்றைச் சடலம் விட்டேஎன் கண்ணம்மா! உன்பாதஞ் சேரேனோ! 8 ( அழுகணிச் சித்தர் ) This body (life) is full of moss and dirt ; like the moist container of salt. I do not have a technique to change this mode of life . If only I have the means of obtaining a different life (of my choice) I might have left this sinful body to reach you, O Mother. The technique of getting a good life after death is not available from those who talk of reincarnation of the soul and Moksha.That is what the Siddhar-poet decries. The story of the ashtavasus and the Mother river Ganga is an example. In the story, the vasus came to the Ganga and requested her to become their mother and to kill them at their birth so that they can escape the pains of human life and at the same time undergo the curse of the rishi.பரமசிவன் வாக்கிலும் பத்துப் பேர் வாக்கு மேல். The social or public acceptance is much more valuable than the acceptance of Brahman, the Siva. Peace and happiness is what everyone aspires for in their everyday life. Living in a society with different types of people with varying aspirations , one can get the required peace and happiness only to the extent the society surrounding them allows. In a society of criminals no peace is possible for anyone. So The starting point for the individual happiness lies in the society. Dravidians understood this very well that they gave the primacy of place to the society, which is reflected in the verses of kuRaL. For a peaceful and tranquil society everyone must make a contribution to it. kuRaL delineates the code of conduct of individuals in the society to that and. A study of its advice to individuals in various verses under different heads will amply demonstrate this attitude and expectation of kuRaL. That is what we have chosen to call Philosophy of Peninsular India – aRam. We give a very short outline of that philosophy in the following: According to KuRal social acceptance, renown, reputation, fame and glory (புகழ்) is the ultimate purpose of life ( 221, 231. 233, 236). To give the poor is charity, all other acts of giving will be just in anticipation of rewards and returns - 221 Give to the poor and add glory unto thy name: there is no greater profit for life than this.- 231 Nothing else lasts on earth for e'er Saving high fame of the giver! - 233 Everyone must have qualities that are appreciated by the society and give a renown and reputation for the person. That is the purpose of this very birth. If one cannot live such a life, their very birth is a waste. The society might have been better off without them - 236 This view is reflected in the verses of Gita: 2.34. People, too, will recount thy everlasting dishonor; and to one who has been honored, dishonor is worse than death. 3.21. Whatsoever a great man does, that other men also do; whatever he sets up as the standard, that the world follows. KuRal elaborates as to how fame and glory gives happiness and peace to the individual. Helping the poor and needy will make people happier. The more the poor and needy the more turbulent will the society be.Thus the welfare deeds improves the peace and tranquility in the society. This in turn gives fame and glory to the individual. With such a glory the society remembers the person even after his death. His name, in a way, ' merges' , with the social fabric. His name becomes eternal. The society also gets enriched by such people and their activities. A quote from Brihdaranyaka Upanishad will be appropriate in this context.( 3.2.12.) “ 'Yagnaavalkya,' said he, 'when this man dies, what is it that does not leave him?' 'Name. The name indeed is infinite, ......... “ The society is without a beginning . Nobody can say when the social living of humans started. So also we do not know when will it end. It is all pervading in the world. It has good and bad persons. Thus the society assimilates within itself all such pairs of opposites. Now let us take and impute these properties to an abstract entity. We get the notion of Brahman of the Upanishads. To substantiate our claim we quote below from  ,with modification to suit our purpose, the attributes of Brahman / society. 10. 3. He who knows Brahman / society as unborn and beginningless, ........ 13.14. hands and feet everywhere, with eyes, heads and mouths everywhere, with ears everywhere, Brahman / society exists in the worlds, enveloping all. 13.15. Brahman / society is unattached, yet supporting all ; devoid of qualities, yet their experiencer, 13.16. Without and within (all) beings, the unmoving and also the moving; 13.18 Brahman / society is existing equally in all beings, the unperishing within the perishing. 13.21 whole variety of beings rests in the Brahman / society, and spreading forth from That alone, 13.23 Brahman / society is the spectator, the permitter, the supporter, the enjoyer, of individuals and their activities. 13.32. Being without beginning and devoid of (any) qualities, the Brahman / society is imperishable, 15.7 An eternal portion of Brahman / society sustains the world of life, 15.15. Brahman / society is seated in the hearts of all; from Brahman / society arises memory, knowledge, as well as their absence. So what is Brahman to Gita is Society to kuRaL. Gita explains the means of individual advancement and the teachings of kuRaL is meant for social welfare. Gita tells 'Reach Brahman'. kuRaL tells 'reach the society', the poor and the needy. In this context, the following verse explains the importance Dravidians gave to social welfare and a practical and easy way of improving the social-climate for the better where every individual has a role and responsibility. The verse : தம்மின்தம் மக்கள் அறிவுடைமை மாநிலத்து மன்னுயிர்க்கு எல்லாம் இனிது. 68 To have one's offspring more knowledgeable and intelligent than oneself is beneficial to the society at large. Here the poet advices the parents to train their children intellectually superior and more knowledgeable than themselves. It will enhance the quality of the society, as generations pass-by. The positive attitude of the poem reflects the social consciousness of the Tamil society. This idea is further reinforced in : தக்கார் தகவிலர் என்பது அவரவர் எச்சத்தால் காணப் படும். 114 The worthy and the unworthy are known by their offspring. This is about the contribution of parents towards the society they live in. Now the poet turns to the younger generation, the children. He says that they have also got a role to play in determining the nature of the society they live in. The following verse discusses this point. மறப்பினும் ஒத்துக் கொளலாகும் பார்ப்பான் பிறப்பொழுக்கம் குன்றக் கெடும். 134 (அறவழி ) மறப்பினும் ஒத்துக் கொளலாகும் பார்ப்பான் பிறப்பொழுக்கம் குன்றக் கெடும் Following the path that is different from aRam may be accepted (tolerated) , it being a matter of conviction. But as a son of the family one cannot stray away from family discipline and commitments. Comment: Here the youngsters must at least follow the family norms so that there is status quo both in the family and the society at large. Note: The word பார்ப்பு means the chick (அஃறிணை) . So the word பார்ப்பான் (உயர்திணை) should mean the son, பாப்பாள் , the daughter in the family. Thus ,kuRaL ordains the parents to train their children to have better knowledge and understanding than themselves , as social commitment. He also exhorts the younger generation to follow the family norms, at the minimum; so that th status quo is assured in the family and the society at large. This concept is possible since the society discussed is real and dynamic. In this process there is a role for individuals towards making a positive change in the social order. Thus the society and the individual are inter-related . Gita does not discuss the welfare of the society at large since it believes in the varna concept of Manu . The brahmins were given primacy in the society and all the rest of the community ,in some way or the other, support the brahmins to have a comfortable life at their expense . The above verse 114 clearly distinguishes Dravidian thinking from the Aryan. We elaborate on the question of Brahman and the Society discussed above. The parallel between Brahman of Gita and Society as given in kuRaL is seen in the eleventh chapter of Gita, Viswaroopa Darsan. During the dialogue with Arjuna, the Lord tells him that he will show him his true form which is not known to any but a few. Here Arjuna is chosen as a deserving devotee to have a darshan of the the true form of the Lord. Arjuna sees within the Lord all of the world , all the animate and inaimate objects of the world and all human beings who lived in the past, present and the future . He saw the Lord crushes them with his mouth, signifying the dying generations and those new ones further proceeding. 11.7 .Whatever you wish to see can be seen all at once in this body. This universal form can show you all that you now desire, as well as whatever you may desire in the future. Everything is here completely. 11.15. Arjuna said: My dear Lord Krsna, I see assembled together in Your body all the demigods and various other living entities. I see Brahma sitting on the lotus flower as well as Lord Siva and many sages and divine serpents. 11.29. I see all people rushing with full speed into Your mouths as moths dash into a blazing fire. Thus the whole world of living and non-living as well as those who lived in the past and those to be born in the future are personfied in the form the Lord, which is exposed to Arjuna by his Viswaroopa. 7.26. I know, O Arjuna, the beings of the past, the present and the future, but no one knows Me. 9.8. Animating My Nature, I again and again send forth all this multitude of beings, helpless by the force of Nature . Thus the concept of Brahman was deduced from the notion of the society, society personified. In Vedic approach , as we have seen, the society is personified as Brahman. Adapting the above Dravidian approach can one attempt at 'improving' the Brahman ? Brahman has been defined as the ultimate and not changing with any event. As such it is a static concept. Thus we can improve the qualities of the society but not that of the Brahman, which is not affected by any external influences. In kuRaL we have 1. the individual, 2. the society and 3. their relationship wherein individual has scope to improve the society, with every new generation coming up. 4. The ultimate aim of life is to attain fame and reputation, so that the name is remembered by the society even after the death of the individual, in other words the individual must reach the society. In the Gita 1. The individual is there. 2. The society is converted into an the abstract and all powerful Brahman. But the relation of the individual and Brahman cannot be enunciated directly as in kuRaL since Brahman is a static, abstract entity and the individual is real. The individual is not capable of any contribution towards the improvement of Brahman. So the individual is made to improve himself to 'reach the Brahman'. In such an improvement one must adhere to the vedic faiths. The improvement of the society.in kuRaL, occurs with passing generations. So correspondingly, the improvement of individuals happens with multiple births. As the individual cannot take rebirths, the life in the person , soul, is made to be born repeatedly with newer bodies depending upon the merits of the past births. In kuRaL the society is improved by the motivated parents through their offsprings. In Gita, the Karma theory motivating the person to improve. Having given a new direction to their philosophy inspired by Dravidian thinking, there are some loose ends to tie. Brahman is successfully linked to the individual soul. But the real society which gave the concept of Brahman is left out. That is settled by taking the real society as a projection of the 'bigger, abstract' Brahman. This abstract Brahman is the nirguna Brahman and the real society is the saguna Brahman. Thus the comparison of the two great works explains that the two concepts are the same. But in the case of the Vedic theory we have a lot of roles for priests to exploit. Rituals to escape rebirth, quashing sins of previous birth etc . are the for the priests, astrologers, nadi-readers to exploit. The individual is not independent to act but driven by his karma. In the Dravidian theory, we get a peace loving, dynamic society with each individual contributing to its refinement. There is no room for exploiting in the name of the Dravidian philosophy. The present actions of the individual counts. We proceed to see further parallels between the two works.(பேரறிவாளன்)Nayanudaiyan (நயனுடையான்), perunthakaiyana (பெருந்தகையான்) . Perarivalan ஊருணி நீர்நிறைந் தற்றே உலகவாம் பேரறி வாளன் திரு. 215 The wealth of 'Perarivalan' is like the village drinking-water pond full of water. Water is an essential life-giving and life-saving commodity. The Pond feeds the people of the village with water without any discrmination. The water can be fetched till the pond is emptied. There is no limit. Perarivalan is one who , like the pond, is willing to give his last to the needy without discrimination. This act comes out of one's understanding of the socity and its problems. Also the purpose of wealth has no relevence if it is not utilised properly. There is no better cause than the social cause to expend his wealth. Such a revelation and understanding is needed for one to behave the way of perarivalan. This is simialar to karma-yoga Nayanudaiyan பயன்மரம் உள்ளூர்ப் பழுத்தற்றால் செல்வம் நயன்உடை யான்கண் படின். 216 The wealth in the hands of Nayanudaiyan is like the delicious ripened fruit hanging on the tree near the local village. Tree yielding delicious fruits to eat is an immediate succor to the hunger-striken. The wealth of Nayanudaiyan is of similar nature. The fruit may relieve from hunger. It cannot be compared with water, which is life-saving. One can go hungry for days; but not go without water for a few hours. Nayanudaiyan is not bothered about the niceties of help; perhaps they are beyond his comprehension. But he knows the pains of hunger . So he will dedicate his wealth by giving food to the hungry, like the fruit-yielding tree. This is similar to Bakthi-yoga perunthakaiyan மருந்தாகித் தப்பா மரத்தற்றால் செல்வம் பெருந்தகை யான்கண் படின் 217. Wealth in the hands of perunthakaiyan is like the herbal tree which is a remedy to diseases. This person takes the service to the society with his wealth with a difference. When somebody needs help , just giving money or food may not be a solution to his sufferings. So he understands the individual needs and extend his help accordingly. Like the herbal tree yielding thr right herbs to the diseased, this person extends the right type of help needed to the situation. When the the roots of the tree is a remedy, people dig the earth and cut the roots. The tree yields to persons in such a situation too surrendering its very life. This Perarivalan is also willing to give his life if it helps the society. This is similar to Njana-yoga அற்றார் அழிபசி தீர்த்தல் அஃதுஒருவன் பெற்றான் பொருள்வைப் புழி. 226 The very purpose of the wealth in the hands of the rich is to satiate the killing hunger of the have-nots. Thus the wealth of the rich is to be dedicated to the society. This concept can developed to show that Gandhian Trusteeship is what this verse speaks of.ஏழவும் செயகலான் தான்தேறான் அவ்வுயிர் போஓம் அளவும்ஓர் நோய். 848 He listens not nor himself knows Plague is his life until it goes. In this verse the poet talks about the person who neither knows nor act on given instructions. Thus the poems classifies persons who are (i) knowledgable themselves (ii) act on given instructions i.e., people who can learn from others and (iii) neither of the above. This classification can be seen to be comparable to the one in Gita . This classification of individuals are know to the Tamil speaking people as a casual and familiar statement. கிராமங்களில் இரண்டும் கெட்டான் என்று சிலரை சாதாரணமாகதச் சொல்லுவர். அதாவது தனக்காகவும் தெரியாது சொன்னாலும் கேட்கமாட்டான் என்று பொருள். This is what Gita classifies into satva, rajasa and tamasa. While Gita puts the last of the category in the condemned list, he has to undergo many more births to get refined, Kural gives them the means of improving. The do's and dont's in the various chapters are addressed to the improvement of the last classified group. They need not wait for another birth for improvement. What if there are still persons who are not able to improve their lot in spite of the advice given ? it is the social responsibility to care such persons.இன்பம் விழையான் இடும்பை இயல்புஎன்பான் துன்பம் உறுதல் இலன். 628 The person who does not expect any reward for his actions, takes the hardships of life as routine, is never hurt. இன்பம் இடையறாது ஈண்டும் அவாவென்னும் துன்பத்துள் துன்பம் கெடும். 369 If one is neutral to the rewards for his good work will always be at peace. இன்பத்துள் இன்பம் விழையாதான் துன்பத்துள் துன்பம் உறுதல் இலன். 629 The person, who is not carried away by the rewards for his good acts, is not disturbed by failures. இடும்பைக்கு இடும்பை படுப்பர் இடும்பைக்கு உடும்பை படாஅ தவர். 623 Those who are not disturbed by hardships will make hardships disappear.