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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    The most meaningful philosophical messages through phrases

    In every Indian language, there are highly meaningful messages that are explained in simple phrases. These phrases are about philosophical messages that stand the test of time and last several centuries.

    Though are hundreds of such phrases in Tamil, two stand out for their deepest meaning to the individual. One clearly exposes the futility of man's greed for material wealth and money that is far in excess of what he or she would need for a very decent living. The phrase goes like this: " Ethai kondu vanthom kondu sella?". This is also the theme of an excellent song from a Rajnikant movie in Tamil. Translated into English it simply means" what did we bring into this world to take back with us when we die?". The simple truth is that we are born into this world with nothing and do not take back anything with us, as we just cannot do so.

    The second saying is" Yettu churakkai soththukku uthavaathu". "A red pumpkin in words will not give you wealth or food". It simply means that mere education is not enough. One needs to be skilled and adapt himself to the changing circumstances.

    Am sure the same messages would be conveyed in more or less the same manner in other Indian languages as well. So, we need to understand what it takes to lead a balanced life, full of happiness and peace. While money is important, sharing at least a little of that with those who badly need it -- in cash or in kind-- can make a big difference to our lives
  • #753335
    Sivakumar, is your translation of the second proverb correct? Please check. I think it is one of the most misinterpreted proverbs in Tamil.
    "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." -Robert Frost

  • #753350
    By the way most of the messages in a language is also having same kind or the near meaning in other language and therefore we cannot say that one language is best in giving the philosophical message. But being in Hyderabad we see lots of Urdu couplets having written on Auto rickshaw back and that would be worth reading. One such goes like this. " Apni bhi kya zindagi hai nirali, jahan bhi gaye bothal kali, kali, the peet say, that my life was evergreen and where ever I went, I found misfortune, and nothing else. Actually the old Hindi songs are having lots of couplets and if we listen to them, would certainly draw more inspiration and love to the particular language. And regarding the second proverb cited by the author, Actually it should be " Muzhu Poosanikai sothula maraikamudiyadhu" that means a big pumpkin cannot be hidden inside the plate of the food citing that some information cannot be concealed.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #753380
    This type of phrases are there in almost all languages. In Telugu, there is a proverb that means that you came alone in this world with empty hands and you will go back alone with empty hands. So in between why struggle so much for these worldly desires and comforts. The same is the proverb mentioned by the author in his first phrase. We all know that we are not permanent here. The family, friends. children all are not permanent with you. The moment your soul leaves your body, your body will become an unwanted material and will be buried or ashed in the fire.
    The second one is not very clear to me. There is a saying in Telugu that means that all materials that look shining are not gold.
    There are many such phrases in Telugu when we interpret them there will be a lot of inner meaning.

    drrao
    always confident

  • #753411
    Saji Sir, the second proverb is all about the guys who just study some course and then think that it is the end of the world. For example, if a person is an MBA and he has studied retail marketing, it does not mean that he or she knows far better than his or her father, who would have had ten years of running a grocery business, with a medium-sized store. The trouble starts when the young man or woman starts thinking that the conceptual ideas will work in the real world, so easily.

    They do not work at all, as the situation, as the circumstances are so different. To give a simple example, in a semi-urban location, stocking a cheaper but just about okay brand of pickle, from a local supplier might make big economic sense, as the profit margin is huge. But the MBA son or daughter would argue that the shop should stock only the well-known brands. The father would use that phrase to bring home to the young person, to go further into the finer details and then understand the business and not jump into any conclusion.

    I have seen this situation in a semi-urban location, 40 kilometers from Coimbatore city, and just mentioned it as an example. The father was proved correct, as the customers wanted only the local brand, possibly because it was perceived to be more value for money.

    Such examples are huge. It is often used when one tries to think that pure knowledge -- from the academic world -- can indeed work in the real world.

    It does not.

  • #753440
    Sivakumar, not convinced. The proverb as such does not appear to be correct. Is it churakkai or surakkai? Whatever it is, I doubt whether it is pumpkin. The vegetable known as churakka in Malayalam is bottle gourd. I think it is the same in Tamil also. And doesn't 'soththukku' mean property? I am not trying to question your authority on the Tamil language but I would like to make myself clear.
    "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." -Robert Frost

  • #753501
    These phrases are common in every language. They give beautiful meaning to the context and decorate the writing. Good writers often use them to bring out the subtle feelings hidden in the write up. In Hindi also we have so many of them which we use while speaking also. For example - 'Dour ke dhol suhawane'. This means that we are attracted and impressed by things which we do not have. Then there is another - 'Aapka ki baap ka'. That one is interesting. That means that one does not value the money earned by one's father but when one earns oneself then one becomes so much conscious about it and values it much.
    Knowledge is power.

  • #753507
    Phrases and idioms beautify the languages and in Hindi, there are several phrases and words which would indicate the true meaning of such phrases very aptly. There are a few such phrases like Khet Khaye Gadha, Mar Khaye Jolha, Na No Man Tail Hoga Na Radha Nachegi, Akal Badi Ki Bhais. There are innumerable pharases which will enhance the literary taste of the literature. Let me explain the meaning of each phrase. The meaning of the first phrase indicates that you are punished for the wrong doings of others. The second phrase signifies that you cannot perform a job without sufficient resources. The third one denotes that intelligence is the supreme asset and one should not be confused seeing a bigger object.
    A language can be rich with the inclusion of such proverbs and phrases.

  • #753522
    Surakkai refers to the red pumpkin in Tamil. Am very sure. It is just a phrase. Surakkai is extensively used in one dish that is done in every South Indian home in one way or the other-- sambar. This Surakkai or churakkai is the same red pumpkin. In several parts of Tamil Nadu, the white pumpkin is famous only to ward off all evil eyes. For example, when there is a new house built, it is so common to see white pumpkin handing from a rope in front of the house.

    The phrase refers to mere academic knowledge which is "paper suurakkai". That is, the knowledge that is purely academic will not get anyone food. For example, even agricultural graduates unlearn many things about organic farming when they go to the field. Those engaged in agriculture, with just eighth standard qualification n, are better skilled. This is the analogy.

  • #753528
    Yes, though it has many interpretations, what I have come to know from some of my friends is that the proverb (correctly) 'yedukkullile surakkai sothukku uthavathu' rightly means that the surakkai or bottle gourd in the books cannot be made as food which can literally be interpreted to mean that the knowledge received from books alone will not help you to earn food. You will have to put them into practice and mix them with your experiences so as to earn a living. (Please note the difference in the words Yedukkullile and sothukku)

    Sivakumar, don't you feel that the explanations provided by you in #753411 and #753522 do not tally? That is why I asked for further clarification.

    "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." -Robert Frost

  • #753599
    Sivakumar, please confirm whether you agree with my observation or not.
    "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." -Robert Frost


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