Finding a new pattern in Tirukkural

Updated - July 11, 2016 05:31 am IST

Published - July 11, 2016 12:00 am IST - CHENNAI:

CHENNAI, 10/07/2016:R. Geetha Ramani, associate professor, Anna University. Photo: Special Arrangement

CHENNAI, 10/07/2016:R. Geetha Ramani, associate professor, Anna University. Photo: Special Arrangement

Tirukkural is one of those difficult-to-decipher texts but an Anna University professor is trying to identify links between the various couplets.

R. Geetha Ramani, Associate Professor, Department of Information Science and Technology, says she had been trying to analyse why the couplets were grouped in a particular way.

“The 1,330 couplets fit into a pyramid-like structure. The couplets are divided into three categories as arathupal , porutpal and inbathupal . A total of 380 kural s are grouped under aram , 700 under porutpal and 250 under inbathupal . I tried grouping the kural in a pyramidical structure and it fits perfectly,” she says.

She created the pyramid using cubes where each cube represents a kural .

“Each kural has seven words and when you stack cubes you will notice that just seven parts of the cubes are visible when you view them from any dimension,” she adds.

While the top-most cube represents the first kuralAgara muthala ezhuthellam ’, the second rung has nine visible cubes, also representing arathupal .

The base of the pyramid is devoted to couplets categorised as kamathupal.

Search still on

“My curiosity was triggered at how easily the text fell into the pyramid structure. Is it possible that the words in each of these kurals are somehow connected? On the face of it, it appears that the kurals have been stacked in a particular pattern. But I am trying to find out if the couplets are all separate entities or if they are in some way connected and if there are messages we have not retrieved,” Ms. Geetha says.

The idea gained strength in the context of artificial intelligence and how unconnected words are used to reveal a pattern, Ms. Geetha adds.

What if it emerges that the couplets are after all disjointed? “I am trying to find out if the cuboid is a 2D structure or if it is a 3D hologram where the kurals are individual entities held together. It would help us to create an app, where just by clicking on one cube you can read the entire couplet and its meaning,” Ms. Geetha says.

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