The Avvaiyar (ஔவையார்) was the title of more than one poet who was active during different periods of Tamil literature. Avvaiyar lived during the Sangam period (1st and 2nd century CE) and had cordial relation with the Tamil chieftains Paari and Athiyaman. She wrote 59 poems in the Purananuru.
Avvaiyar II lived during the period of Kambar and Ottakoothar during the reign of the Chola dynasty in the 13th century. She is often imagined as an old and intelligent lady by Tamil people. She wrote many of the poems that remain very popular even now and are inculcated in school textbooks in Tamil Nadu. These books include a list of dos and don'ts, useful for daily life, arranged in simple and short sentences. The following quotes from Aathichoodi illustrate the simplicity of her style and profoundness of the messages:
|Uyir Ezhuthu||ஆத்திசூடி||English translation|
அறம் செய விரும்பு
Intend to do right things
|ஆ||ஆறுவது சினம்||Anger should be cooled off or calm down|
|இ||இயல்வது கரவேல்||Help others based on your capacity|
|ஈ||ஈவது விலக்கேல்||Never stop aiding|
|உ||உடையது விளம்பேல்||Never boast|
|ஊ||ஊக்கமது கைவிடேல்||Never give up enthusiasm|
|ஊ||எண் எழுத்து இகழேல்||Never degrade learning|
|ஏ||ஏற்பது இகழ்ச்சி||Begging is shameful|
|ஐ||ஐயமிட்டு உண்||Share what you eat|
|ஒ||ஒப்புர வொழுகு||Be virtuous|
|ஓ||ஓதுவது ஒழியேல்||Never stop learning or reading|
|ஒள||ஒளவியம் பேசேல்||Never gossip|
|ஃ||அஃகஞ் சுருக்கேல்||Never compromise in food grains|
Handing over a cheque for Rs. 20,000/- towards the publishing of “Avvai Thamizh Kalanjiyam” (the complete works of Avvaiyar along with various articles written about her over the years.
Vembattur Krishnan and his son receiving blessings from Gomathy Ammal, Hariharan’s mother.