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Tiruvalluvar's Tirukural chapter 11-12, synopsis written in prose

Bodhinatha continues his synopsis of Tiruvalluvar's Tirukural Chapter 11-12. He has written these in prose to help with the understanding of each verse. They can also be used in teaching youth, as they would study the synopsis first before studying the verse.

Unedited Transcript:

Good Morning.

We just have some short items. These are synopsis of the Tirukural chapters,. Writing up a summary of what' in the chapters, sometimes individuals have trouble understanding it because it's in poetry. You read it and it doesn't relate to life, you don't quite see what it's talking about. So we're writing up the synopsis to bridge that gap and then the synopsis can then be also be used in a course. For example if you were teaching the youth based on the Tirukural, they'd study the synopsis first then they'd study the verses, so they'll have a better idea of what the verses are all about.

Chapter Eleven is on gratitude.

In andquot;Gratitudeandquot; Tiruvalluvar emphasizes that when help is given based on the needs of the recipient and without any concern for benefits to the giver it is indeed of measureless value. In fact the goodness of the action is greater than the sea, and even being given Heaven and Earth as a reward for this good deed is not sufficient repayment. He continues that though the deed itself may be insignificant, in truth it is as imposing as a towering palm and in worth exceeds the whole world.

He wants to make a point, right? Five out of ten verses are on this one point. It's really wonderful when someone gives without any thought of benefit, truly giving to help out help someone. They see a need, they give to fulfill the need without any thought at all that it will benefit them. So that's what he's responding to.

Valluvar stresses the importance of the recipient always remaining grateful to those who helped in adversity by saying that their friendship should never be forsaken and that this gratitude should continue for seven lives in seven bodies.

That's one of his ways of saying a long time. Seven lives in seven bodies.

He adds an interesting idea to the concept of never forgetting a kindness by saying that we should forget at once an injury received. Tiruvalluvar also points out that if someone injuries us, if we can recall a single kindness they did for us, the injury is immediately forgotten.

Valluvar stresses the importance of gratitude by saying even those who have killed every kind of goodness may yet be saved, but there is no redemption for those who let gratitude die.

The poet, as he did in Chapter Nine andquot;Hospitalityandquot;, shares his insight about what determines the merit of a charitable act. It is not measured by the extent of assistance given but by the worthiness of the recipient. In other words, if our guest is a great saint or satguru, no matter what assistance is rendered, that will earn us great merit.

That explains why Ammas around the world try to feed swami's as much food as they can. We just went through that in Orlando, you close your eyes to do a food blessing, you open your eyes and your plate has been covered with food, so you have to do your food blessing with your eyes open otherwise you end up getting lots of hospitality.

Chapter Twelve is on Impartiality.

In andquot;Impartialityandquot; Tiruvalluvar begins by relating impartially to justice. He tells us that justice may be called good when it acts impartially toward enemies, strangers and friends. He continues by describing how wise and great men are just and impartial. He states that great men are unswervingly just when facing both adversity and prosperity and that the wise like a balance scale's level beam incline to neither side and thus weigh impartially.

What are the benefits of being just? Valluvar tells us that the wealth of the just will not perish but rather will be their posterity's soothing security. He also encourages businessmen to protect as their own the interests of others and in that way their own business will prosper. He also points out that ruin is the consequence of forsaking fairness and acting in a depraved way.

The poet's advise on impartial speech is that speech uttered with bias is integrity, but only if no unspoken bias lurks in the heart. He also advises that andquot;bad moneyandquot;, wealth gained by loss of rightness, must be relinquished that very day.

I hadn't remember he had a quote on bad money, just like Gurudeva-if you happen to receive bad money give it away the same day, quickly.

Tiruvalluvar also comments that the world does not consider the impoverished to be poor if they remain just and that we can discern who is just and unjust simply by observing their children.

Thank you very much. Have a wonderful phase. It's nice to be back, Florida is warm.

Photo of  Gurudeva
We must live in the now to follow the path to enlightenment. In the lower realms of the mind, where time and space seem very real, we are worried about the past or concerned about the future. These two intermingle and limit conscious awareness.