Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Attempt to translate the first chapter of Kural

Attempt to translate  the  first chapter of Kural


(     Thirukural  the magnum opus of saint  Thiruvalluvar consists of 1330 verses each containing two lines, with first line having four words and the second thre words. Thousands of translations and commentaries   of this work   in umpteen language   exist. I tried to translate  the first chapter of Kural  dealing with worship of Gods,  with verses   in English  with as few words as  possible .Please   try to make  my translation more short  with better meaning .)

Kadavul  Vazhthu
(Praising of God)

1.Akara Mudhala ezhuthellam  aadhi,
Bhagavan mudathe ulagu

1.Alphabets   start  with  “A”,
And the world  with  God

2.Kathathanaal aana payannen kol valarivan,
Nathaal   thozhaar  yenin.

2.Useless  is  the  learning ,  unless Lord’s
Feet   is saluted

3.Malarmisai   yeginaan  manadi chernthaar,
Nilamisai   needoozhi vaazhvar

3 Worship God  occupying  the flower like  mind
And   live long for  all times to come.

4.Venduthal vendamai   ilaan   adi chernthaarkku  ,
Yaandum   idumbai   ilai

4.To those who join the  feet of  him who has no likes  or dislikes
There would never be  any sorrow.

5.Irul cher  iru vinayum cheraa iraivan,
POrul cher   pugazh purinthaar  maatu.

5, Those who praise  the  stable fame of God,
Are not followed by  the dark fates of past karma

6.pOri vayil  iynthavithan  poi neer ozhukka,
Neri nindrar  needu vaazhvar

6.Forsake  evil of  five senses  and  follow
The dharma  and live long  .

7.THamakku uvamai illathaan  thaal chernthaarkku  allal,
Manakkavalai   mathaal arithu

7.Except  by  Joining  feet of   the incomparable God ,
Getting  cured of mental worries is difficult.

8.Aravaazhi anthanan   thaal cherntharkku  allal,
Pira vazhi  neendhal   arithu

8. Except  by saluting the feet  of  Good people ,
Who follow Dharma , swimming ocean of samsara is difficult.

9.Kolil poriyil  gunamilave , yen gunathaan,
Thalai  vananga  thalai .

9.The head of those who do not salute the great God ,
Is as useless  as  the organs  which  fail  to function.

10.Piravi perum kadal   neenthuvar  neenthaar,
Iraivan adi cheraathaar,

10 Try to swim and cross  the great ocean of birth,
For those who do not, do not  reach the feet of God.


kannarayan said...

Indeed it is great beginning. As English seems to be more predominant for economical reasons the valuable messages from the great KURAL very well translated will reach more people.

Divya Balakrishnan said...

Well begun is half done! Excellent start. I hope the whole text is translated by you!

P.R. Ramachander said...

THere are hundreds of translations of Kural in to english , n most of them by great writers.Do you really think , there is place for my translation?

Divya Balakrishnan said...

Your translation is simple and elegant. So sure there is a high position for your translation thatha. 👍