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Vol. 4 No. 1 (2022): Volume 4, Issue 1, Year 2022

Destiny in Nālaṭiyār and Tirukkuṟal – A Comparative Study

Premkumar R
Department of Philosophy and Value Studies, Faculty of Arts and Culture, Eastern University, Vantharumoolai, Sri Lanka

Published 2021-12-22


  • Ajivikas,
  • Destiny,
  • Human effort,
  • Nālaṭiyār,
  • Tirukkuṟal

How to Cite

R, P. (2021). Destiny in Nālaṭiyār and Tirukkuṟal – A Comparative Study. International Research Journal of Tamil, 4(1), 66-76.

Plum Analytics


Influence of idea of destiny in Tamil society could be traced back to sangam period. It is regarded that eighteen lesser works (patiṇ̱eṇkḹḻkkaṇakkunūlkal) emerged in the post- sangam period in which Jainism and Buddhism had abundant influenced in life and literature of Tamils. This period is also conceived the period of righteousness (aṟaneṟikkālam) by scholars of Tamil Literature. Tirukkuṟal and Nālaṭiyār comes under the collection works known as patiṇ̱eṇkḹḻkkaṇakkunūlkal (didactic works) Even though the twosome works narrate moral maxims for humanity in universal manner, the concept of destiny occupies prominent place in the aforesaid works. Jainism and Buddhism lay more emphasis on human effort than destiny in the path of liberation and religious life proposed by the two isms is logically vehemently opposed to supremacy of destiny.  Pañca mahā vratas of Jainism and eightfold path of Buddhism challenge command of destiny.  Ajivikas’ contribution to very concept of destiny cannot be completely ruled out from the sangam period of early Tamils and it can be found that destiny plays a pivotal role in Hindu epics and purāṇas and there is no contradiction between God’s will and destiny in a vaiṣṇava tradition. On the contrary, pure devotion and self-surrender are the unconquerable weapons to conquer destiny in Saivā tradition. This study analyses destiny in Tirukkuṟal and Nālaṭiyār in the wider and complex social, historical and philosophical back ground of Tamil Nadu.


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