The Sacred Kural or the Tamil Veda of Tiruvalluvar
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EDITORIAL PREFACE Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatso ever things are honourable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report if there be any vir tue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
No section of the population of India can afford to neglect her ancient heritage. The treasures of know ledge, wisdom, and beauty which are contained in her literature, philosophy, art, and regulated life are too precious to be lost. Every citizen of India needs to use them, if he is to be a cultured modern Indian. This is as true of the Christian, the Muslim, the Zoroastrian as of the Hindu. But, while the heritage of India has been largely explored by scholars, and the results of their toil are laid out for us in books, they cannot be said to be really available for the ordinary man. The volumes are in most cases expensive, and are often tech nical and difficult. Hence, this series of cheap books has been planned by a group of Christian men, in order that every educated Indian, whether rich or poor, may be able to find his way into the treasures of India s past. Many Europepns, both in India and elsewhere, will doubtless be glad to use the series. The utmost care is being taken by the General Edi tors in selecting writers, and in passing manuscripts for the press. To every book, two tests are rigidly applied everything must be scholarly, and everything must be sympathetic. The purpose is to bring the best out of the ancient treasuries, so that it may be known, enjoyed, and used.
TRANSLATOR S PREFACE It was at the suggestion of Dr. J. N. Farquhar and Mr. K. T. Paul that I first undertook to prepare a volume for the Heritage of India Series on The Sacred Kural, the ethical Bible of the Tamil people. Ever since I began to study this little book, twenty-eight years ago, it has been, with the New Testament, my daily companion in all my travels, and I have learnt to love it, and to rejoice in its homely, high-minded teaching. Dr. Farquhar s suggestion, therefore, found an instant response and, although I fully realized my own deficiencies for the task, I regarded it as a great and noble purpose to help to make more widely known the inimitable couplets of this humble TamN sage. Many translations of these couplets have been made in English, of which that of the great Tamil scholar, Dr. G. U. Pope, is the best known. Dr. Pope has put them into rhymed verses, a form which has involved in