The Thirukkural (திருக்குறள்), or shortly the Kural, is a couplets or Kurals consisting of 1,330 couplets, dealing with the everyday virtues of an individual.
The Kural is structured into 133 chapters, each containing 10 couplets (or kurals), for a total of 1,330 couplets. The 133 chapters are grouped into three parts, or “paal”
- Aratupaal (அறத்துப்பால்): Dharma, dealing with virtues independent of the surroundings (Chapters 1-38)
- Porutpaal (பொருட்பால்): Artha, dealing with virtues with respect to the surroundings (Chapters 39-108)
- Kamattupaal (காமத்துப்பால்): Kama, dealing with virtues involved in conjugal human love (Chapters 109-133)
Each kural or couplet contains exactly seven words, known as cirs, with four cirs on the first line and three on the second. A cir is a single or a combination of more than one Tamil word.
For example, the term Thirukkural is a cir formed by combining the two words thiru and kuṛaḷ. The book on Aram (virtue) contains 380 verses, that of Poruḷ (wealth) has 700 and that of Inbam (love) has 250.
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