“Sage Tiruvalluvar says in one of his precious couplets: `He who has understood what is harmonious, he alone lives his life. As for the rest, they are to be listed among the already-dead.’
“Valluvar’s kurals (short verses) are epigrammatic and he is basically a Master and not a mere preacher. In this particular verse he does not spell out in so many words as to what is to be harmonious with what, which is an indication that he wants you to cerebrate and do your homework and not expect to be spoon-fed all the time.
“The following questions now frame themselves:
(1) What is ‘life’ with which I have to harmonise?
(2) What are the benefits I can expect through the harmonisation?
(3) Would any set back ensue to me if I were to fall out of rhythm with life?
If we derive scientifically satisfactory answers to these questions, that would enable us to get to the import of Valluvar’s thought conveyed in the kural.
“By now you all have understood that ‘life’ is only an agglomeration of energy-particles rotating within our physical system. For maintaining health of body and mind, life has to have a certain intensity or concentration-level (corresponding to voltage in electricity) and it should also be present in sufficient quantity. The basic energy-particles constituting life are drawn from the reservoir of universal space and the drawing (or attracting) power is that of the vital fluid within the body. Are you getting the point of my explanation? If the quantity of the vital fluid is less, you have only that much less of life-energy in quality and quantity.
“Does it not follow that one should avoid any action that could cause excessive depletion of the energy which alone is the capital for you to carry on the business of life with? The non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), for instance, have been drawing on the capital too much and for too long and don’t you see how the squandering clan of Venkateswarans and Vadivelans are slinking about like criminals? The lesson is clear that violating the code of Virtue results in reduction of both the quality and the quantity of life-energy through the channel of an agitated mind, since mind is only a projection of life. What Valluvar says is that your thoughts, words and actions should be such as to be in harmony with the stock of life-energy. The expending of life-energy cannot be stopped, but it can be watched and controlled to be in tune and proportion to the income. In another kural the Sage tells us, ‘Even if the inlet is restricted in radius there would be no harm as long as the outlet is not widened.’ Apply this to a water-cistern and substitute ‘life’ for H2O and you would see how profound this kural is.
“Causing any harm or hurt to other living beings would draw to you the curses of the victims which, when imprinted on your life, would disrupt and drain it as surely as ‘the shadow following you wherever you go’ (This is another of Valluvar’s similies).
“In conclusion what Sage Valluvar wants you to do is to so transform your mode of living as to bring it into harmony with the purpose of life which has been given to you in order that you need not have to be repeatedly enduring the vicissitudes that are an inbuilt characteristic of the world-process. Valluvar has codified the tenets of Practical Philosophy, on adopting which you can lead a friction-free and fear-free life.”