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Updated on September 6, 2009

Katradanal aya payanenkol, valarivan

Natral tola ar enin?

What use can come from learning, Oh!

To Truth-Knower’s feet if they do not bow?

Core Idea: No matter how great, mere learning is useless if one does not recognize the finiteness of human knowledge in the present of infinity. As the Tamil poetess Avvai said, what we have learned is but a handful, the unknown is vast as the universe. Only the Supreme Principle knows the Absolute Truth. Worshipping the feet of the Omniscient Principle, i.e., the All Knower, is a poetic way of expressing one;’s humility in the face of boundless knowledge.

Literal meanings:

katradanal – as a result of learning

aya – what came out of

payan – use, benefit

en – what

kol – an interjection, like oh!

val – truth, purity

arivan – one who knows

valarivan – the knower of truth, god

nal – good, holy

tal – foot

tola – not worshiping

ar – they

enin – if indeed


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