Thiruvalluvar and Sarvajna

The unveiling of Thiruvalluvar Statue in Bangalore Karnataka and the Sarvajna Statue in Chennai Tamil Nadu in the month of August 2009 has created considerable interest among the people about these poets who propagated the best human values of their times. Thirukkural, a moral book of values was written in Tamil by Thiruvalluvar. Saravjna padagalu, a collection of poems on various topics was written in Kannada by Sarvanja. Both these works have transcended all barriers including the language.

Thiruvalluvar is said to have lived sometime in the period between 300 BC TO 300 AD. Sarvajna is believed to have lived in the period between 1600 AD to 1800 AD. The life history of both these poets are not recorded and therefore this leads to spinning of stories to show that these poets belonged to a particular religion or caste.

Many scholars conclude that Thiruvalluvar was a follower of Jain Religion. But there are serious claims that he should be a Buddhist, Saivaite, Vaishnavite and Christian. Some of the portraits of Thiruvalluvar wear sacred ash in the forehead and all over body. Some people even believe that the top shawl seen in the portraits and Statues of Thiruvalluvar is provided to avoid a controversy whether Thiruvalluvar was having a sacred thread across his body.

Some believe that Thiruvalluvar came from Valluvar clan who perform priestly duties among Pariah tribe, untouchables. This was even endorsed by G.U Pope who translated Kural in to English. There are research papers to establish Thiruvalluvar as belonging to ruling class, intermediate castes etc.

One of the stories about Thiruvalluvar inform that Valluvar was born to a Brahmin man and Puliah (dalit) woman. This shows the mentality and psychology of some people to believe that every wise man should come from a Brahmin blood .

Such a story is available to Sarvajna too. His father was a Shaivaite Brahmin and his mother was a Shudra widow named Mali. His father met his mother in a potter’s house at a place in present day Dharwar district in Karnataka on his way to Benares on a pilgrimage. It is said that Pusgpadatta alias Sarvajna himself narrated his origin.