work ethic

Palaniappa at Palaniappa at
Tue Mar 4 00:03:41 UTC 1997

Sometime ago, on an National Public Radio program, the author of the recent
book "Death of Satan", was describing the world view of Puritans. Some of the
things he was saying especially with respect to how they explain the
occurrence of good and bad in life, reminded me of a poem in Classical Tamil
literature. My guess is that the ethical principles seen in the pre-Bhakti
Classical Tamil literature, may be close to Puritan world view. See
puRanaanuuRu 184, 189, and 192. However, as I am not an expert in that area.
You may want to check A. K. Ramanujan's translation,  Poems of Love and War. 

As for other works dealing with work ethic, one can look into translations of
'tirukkuRaL' , especially the sections dealing with not being lazy,
perseverence, agriculture, and education. There may be other material in the
Tamil didactic literature (collectively called "patineN kiiZkkaNakku") like
 the section 20  in "naalaTiyaar". I think there is a translation of "naalaTiy
aar" by G. U. Pope.

S. Palaniappan

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