Thirukkural Isaithamizh – music to the mind

‘Thirukkural Isaithamizh’ is a wonderful attempt to bring Thirukkural to life in musical form. Tamil Maiyyam, after producing Illayaraja’s masterpiece, Thiruvasagam, has embarked on its next musical journey into ancient Tamil literature.

The tunes are contemporary but mostly unoriginal. The excellent kural-selection, symphonic orchestration (Nellai Jeyaraj) , some soulful singing, a variety  of musical genres and quality of recording make up for the familiarity of the tunes – these folks have definitely made use of their learning from the making of Thiruvasagam. Overall, a compelling presentation in 6 CDs with many songs  still ringing in my ears.

In any case, setting aside all positive and negative criticism, this is not just about music, is it? It is a great way to introduce Thirukkural to the uninitiated and, more importantly, to kids. Aruna Sairam, singing ‘Yaathanin yaathanin’ mesmerisingly, is the standout singer and is already my 19-month old daughter’s favourite.

I liked the kural-selection as well. It had a good mix of the familiar chapters from the text books and some hidden gems on love from Kaamathupaal (Book of Love). For those, who have never read Kaamathupaal, these songs introduce a completely different facet of Kural: Thirukkural is not just a discourse on morals but a comprehensive commentary on Tamil culture 20 centuries ago.

I will now look forward to more from Fr. Jegath Gasper Raj. Hopefully, he will continue to focus on Tamil literature and not religion.

Taking 2 days off to visit Tamil conference at Coimbatore was made completely worthwhile, since, more than anything, it helped us discover this unusual combination of music and literature, soaked in catchy modernity.


5 months after this post, the 2G spectrum scam casts a shadow of suspicion over Tamil Maiyyam and Jagath Gasper.  They seem to be guilty, and I will be sad, if they are. Two of my all-time favorite albums (Thirukkural and Thiruvasagam) are produced by them. I liked them and I enjoyed them – whatever happens now cannot change the past joy. Hope this nagging doubt and persistent anger, doesn’t take away anything from my listening experience in future.

5 Responses to Thirukkural Isaithamizh – music to the mind

  1. […] திருக்குறள் தமிழிசை – இதயத்திற்கு இனிய இசை அண்மையில் கேட்ட, கேட்டுக்கொண்டே இருக்கிற இசை. வரவேற்க வேண்டிய இனிய முயற்சி. என் எண்ணங்கள் இன்னும் விரிவாய் – ஆங்கிலத்தில். […]

  2. Eriko says:

    Thank you for the recommendation. I have to try to get a copy of this for my child. She is 6 and trying to memorize Thirukkural.

    • Kannan says:

      It is interesting to see your personal interest in Thirukkural and the intent to pass that on to your daughter too. I could see that you are following my ‘Thirukkural in English’ page too. Thank you.
      Not sure, how easy it is to get this CD set over internet…I will pass on any references if I come across them.

  3. Johnson says:

    Hi Kannan,
    I was looking for a Kural to write on the news letter.Once I look at name Kannan,I had a doubt whether is that CEG Kannan,it’s cool you put your photo there.Great to find you on internet!I glanced all your work,It’s amazing!Keep it up!
    (Ur-wingmate in CEG)

    • Kannan says:

      Thanks. Great that you stumbled on my blog. You can follow my kural translation here. Do stay in touch…

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