- About Saint Tiruvalluvar
Courtesy: SS Mani, Kalakad
Tiruvalluvar was married to Vasuki, who was a chaste and pious woman. She was an ideal housewife. Soon after they married, Valluvar was one day seated at his supper table and about to start his meal, when he said: "My dear Vasuki, kindly place alongside my supper a tiny bowl of water, as well as a toothpick. Will you please do this every day?"
Vasuki dutifully obeyed, asking no questions. Every day, without fail, she would place this tiny bowl of water and a toothpick alongside her husbandâ€™s supper. But strangely, Valluvar seemed to have no use for either! Years went by, but neither the water nor the toothpick was used. Yet, Vasuki did not waver in her duty even once.
It was only on his deathbed that Valluvar, perceiving a troubled look on her face asked, "What is troubling you, dear Vasuki? Please tell me."
Vasuki said: "My dear lord, for many years now, I have pondered as to the reason behind my lordâ€™s strange request that a toothpick accompanied by a little water be placed on your supper table. I am troubled that the secret may be buried along with my revered lord and husband.""
Valluvar smiled and said gently: "Dear Vasuki, you are a devoted wife and have served me very well all these years. Kindly forgive me for not explaining to you earlier the reason for my request to you. You see, if a grain of rice or a morsel of food accidentally fell onto the table while I was eating, it would be a great sin to let such food go to waste. With the toothpick available, I could easily pick up the fallen food, rinse it in the water you so kindly provided, and eat it thereafter. Food would thus not go wasted."
Is it not marvellous that the famous poet dropped not even a grain of rice in all the years that he was married to Vasuki! We too, can practise and master the art of eating correctly, if we put our mind to it. This delightful story tells us what kind of a person Tiruvalluvar was.
Also study the spirit of perfect obedience in the devoted Vasuki. If aspirants can have such unquestioning obedience to their Guru, they would soon crush the ego, which is the root of all pain and suffering. You too, should try hard to obey your teachers and parents at every opportunity. This is the key to success and happiness.
Valluvar was a philosopher, that is, a man of great wisdom. He gave the world a most wonderful gift in the form of the Tirukkural.
The great scholar and statesman, Sri Rajagopalachari said: "Tiruvalluvar was one of those rare and great men whose catholic spirit rose above all kinds of castes and creeds, and whose vision was not clouded by dogma or prejudice of any kind".
The saintly Tiruvalluvar and his devoted wife Vasuki have been held as perfect ideals of the Hindu household life ever since they left this earth.
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