Thiruvalluvar is a great historical figure in the Tamil history and Most of tamil people consider him as their forefather and Spiritual teacher of Tamils.No doubt on his excellence,Spirituality and intellectual level and he is well accepted in all the faiths of tamil region.He is considered a pious and sacred figure in Jains,Buddhists,Hindus and even Christians too.His religious identity is always debatable issue in historians,Archaeologists and intellectual people.We can trace his true religious identity with the help of his written literature.Kural is remarkable work of Saint thiruvalluvar.
His greatest composed work kural is considered very holy and pious in not only tamil but also in the whole world's Spiritual people.Again here the question arises that who was thiruvalluvar and what is his religious identity.Our learned historians provided so many opinions on this subjects and most of them are agreed that his religious identity hailed from Jainism.To believe him a Jain follower we have strong reasons and traces in his written literature kural.
First of all we will talk on the date and time span of saint thiruvalluvar.As the most of historians are agree on a single point that in "Silappadikaram" the great Tamil epic written by Ilango Adigal has quoted kural in his epic.Now as "Silappadikaram" hailed from 2 century AD.Ilango adigal was a great Jain poet and brother of famous chera king Senguttavn.It is believed and proved by many proofs that Kural existed at least one century before "Manimeklai" and "Silappadikaram"Tamil literary tradition attributes the Authorship to Thiruvalluvar.There are some strong reasons which trace the roots of author to Jainism.Some Tamil scholars also agreed with this concept and Late Sheshagiri Sastriar is one of them who believes that Author of kural is worshiper of Arhant.Following points are given below that staunchly prove the Authorship of kural belongs to Jainism.
1.) In kural we had found the references of two words which are exclusively concerned to Jainism. They are "Malarmisaiyeginan" and "yengunathan".The meaning of first term is "He who walked on lotus".Some learned and Culprit scholars argue on this point by stating that it is concerned for Lord Vishnu.One who has gone through Jaina Canons can easily interpret the meaning of this word. It is written for Jain Arhant.When Kevalgyan(Omniscience) is appeared then all leaving beings gathered around the kevli and hear the teachings of kevlin in their concerned language.This architecture we can find in Jain temples and it is called Samavsharana.Indra alongwith the various devas praise the Kevlin and honor him by formation of Divine lotus under the feet of Jina.When Jina moves to different places for vihar then this divine lotus moves along with the feet of the Jina.Hence this word clearly reflects the Jain connection of the Authorship.
2.)The second word is "yengunathan".The meaning of this word is "He who has eight qualities" ,Any common Jain shravak know about this eight qualities of God.This is also exclusive reference to Jains.
3.)Commentator of Famous Tamil Jain Epic "Neelakesi" also quoted kural as Emmottu means the holiest canon.It shows that valluvar is considered as Jainism follower in past time too.
4.)It is believed that A Elacharya is Author of this kural and he is no other than Acharya kundakunda swami.A great scholar of Sanskrit and Prakrit.He is well versed in these language.He also hailed from 1 century AD. which is also similar time of authorship of Kural.Perhaps Acharya kundakunda Wrote this kural for King of Conjeevaram "Shivskandha".
5.)A famous work of Acharya Kundakunda is edied by Prof. A..Chakravarty named "Panchastikaya". In the historical introduction page professor identifies the Elacharya(Kundakundacharya) as Author of Kural.
6.)Non Jaina Tamil work called "Prabodha Chandrodaya". This Tamil work is evidently modelled after the Sanskrit drama Prabodha Chandrodaya. This tamil work is in Viruttam metre, consist of four lines. It is also in the form of a drama where the representatives of the various religions are introduced on the stage. Each one is introduced while reciting a characteristic verse containing the essence of his religion. When the Jaina sanyasi appears on the stage, heis made to recite that particular verse from the Kural which praises the Ahimsa doctrine that "not killing a single life for the purpose of eating is far better than performing 1000 yagas". Kural was characteristically a Jaina work. Otherwise he would not have put this verse in the mouth of 'Niganthavadi' ( a Jaina).
7.)Section devoted to vegetarian food, the author distinctly condemns the Buddhist principle of purchasing meat from the butcher. Buddhists Say that they are not to kill with their own hands but may purchase meat from slaughter house. The author of the Kural in unmistakable terms points out that the butcher's trade thrives only because of the demand for meat. Butcher's interest is merely to make money and hence he adopts a particular trade determined by the principle of 'supply and demand'. Therefore the responsibility of killing animals for food is mainly on your head and not upon the butcher's. This is clear jain mind working against buddhist.
8.)The Jaina commentator of the Tamil work called Neelakesi freely quotes from this Kural, and whenever he quotes, he introduces the quotation with the words "as is mentioned in our scripture". From this it is clear that the commentator considered this work as an important Jaina scripture.
9.)The phrase `malar misai Ekinaan'that appears in the first chapter. Roughly translated:malar misai Ekinaan = one who went towards or reached the flower. If the meaning for the verb Ekuthal'is given . scholars say `malar misai Ekinaan' is Mahavira. It seems the iLangO adikaL in his work `silappadhikaaram' uses the same phrase to refer to Mahavira. Some culprit historians contended that valluvar belong to low caste.I want to ask such historians how a common low caste person could get a top class knowledge of not only in vernaculars but also in sanskrit when Ancient Social phenomenon was Against the low caste people in Tamil land in first century AD.Therefore it should be understand that a person with sound knowledge of vernaculars,Sanskrit and Prakrit could have attempted to write such masterpiece.He is not other than Kundakundacharya.