Tirukkural (holy couplet) is believed to be written more than 2000 years ago by sage Thiruvalluvar.
This is a metric translation by Rev. G.U.Pope, who says, “In regard to the translation, I may venture to say that it is faithful, and that I have not read into the rendering a single idea or thought which there were not good grounds for supposing that the poet intended to convey. I thought it best to try to give a metrical translation. The Tamil scholar will see that I have tried to reproduce even the rhythm in many cases, but I could not retain the inimitable grace, condensation, and point of the original.”
The Kural has influenced several luminaries including Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Albert Schweitzer.
The Kural is hailed for its lofty wisdom. It is said that the Kural contains all things and there is nothing that it does not contain.
This is apparent from the following list of chapter headings of this work (The chapter numbers are prefixed.)
1-The praise of god, 2-The excellence of rain, 3-The greatness of ascetics, 4-Assertion of the strength of virtue – domestic life, 5-Domestic life, 6-The goodness of the help to domestic life, 7-The obtaining of sons, 8-The possession of love, 9-Cherishing guests, 10-The utterance of pleasant words, 11-The knowledge of benefits conferred-gratitude, 12-Impartiality, 13-The possession of self-restraint, 14-The possession of decorum, 15-Not coveting another’s wife, 16-The possession of patience – forbearance, 17-Not envying, 18-Not coveting, 19-Not backbiting, 20-The not speaking profitless words, 21-Dread of evil deeds, 22-The knowledge of what is befitting a man’s position, 23-Giving, 24-Renown, 25-The possession of benevolence, 26- The renunciation of flesh – penance, 27-Penance, 28-Inconsistent conduct, 29-The absence of fraud,30-Veracity, 31-The not being angry, 32-Not doing evil, 33-Not killing, 34-Instability, 35-Renunciation, 36-Knowledge of the true, 37-The extirpation of desire, 38-Fate,
39-The greatness of a king, 40-Learning, 41-Ignorance, 42-Hearing, 43-The possession of knowledge, 44-The correction of faults, 45-Seeking the aid of great men, 46-Avoiding mean associations, 47-Acting after due consideration, 48-The knowledge of power, 49-Knowing the fitting time, 50-Knowing the place, 51-Selection and confidence, 52-Selection and employment, 53-Cherishing one’s kindred, 54-Unforgetfulness, 55-The right sceptre, 56-The cruel sceptre, 57-Absence of terrorism, 58-Benignity, 59-Detectives, 60-Energy, 61-Unsluggishness, 62-Manly effort, 63-hopefulness in trouble, 64-the office of minister of state, 65-power in speech, 66-purity in action, 67-Power in action, 68-The method of acting, 69-The envoy, 70-Conduct in the presence of the king, 71-The knowledge of indications, 72-The knowledge of the council chamber, 73-Not to dread the council, 74-The land, 75-The fortification, 76-Way of accumulating wealth, 77-The excellence of an army, 78-Military spirit, 79-Friendship, 80-Investigation in forming friendships, 81-Familiarity, 82-Evil friendship, 83-Unreal friendship, 84-Folly, 85-Ignorance, 86-Hostility, 87-The might of hatred, 88-Knowing the quality of hate, 89-Enmity within, 90-Not offending the great, 91-Being led by women, 92-Wanton women, 93-Not drinking palm-wine, 94-Gaming, 95-Medicine, 96-Nobility, 97-Honour, 98-Greatness, 99-Perfectness, 100-Courtesy, 102-Shame, 103-The way of maintaining the family, 104-Agriculture, 105-Poverty, 106-Mendicancy, 107-The dread of mendicancy, 108-Baseness,
109-Mental disturbance caused by the beauty of the princess, 110-Recognition of the signs (of mutual love), 111-Rejoicing in the embrace, 112-The praise of her beauty, 113-Declaration of love’s special excellence, 114-The abandonment of reserve, 115-The announcement of the rumour, 116-Separation unendurable, 117-Complainings, 118-Eyes consumed with grief, 119-The pallid hue, 120-The solitary anguish, 121-Sad memories, 122-The visions of the night, 123-Lamentations at eventide, 124-Wasting away, 125-Soliloquy, 126-Reserve overcome, 127-Mutual desire, 128-The reading of the signs, 129-Desire for reunion, 130-Expostulation with oneself, 131-Pouting, 132-Feigned anger, 133-The pleasures of temporary variance.
You can pick a chapter heading of interest and listen to the audio for that chapter. For instance, if you are interested in the chapter “Feigned anger” (which is chapter 132), you can listen to the audio for chapter 132. Summary by Jothi.
This title is avalable for free download at: www.librivox.org.