"Known is a drop, unknown is an Ocean". Avvaiyar

At times we come across many wonderful sayings or phrases that seemed really nice; this phrase by Avvayar is widely used by many of us to teach someone close to us.

The name Avvaiyar is a combination of Tamil word avvai with honorific suffix ar.
Avvai refers to respectable elderly woman as the word ammai which means good woman in general term for a woman of any age.Thus the name Avvaiyar means a respectable good woman hence a generic title rather than a specific name of a person.
Abithana Chintamani states that there were three female poets titled Avvaiyar.

Her quote "Katrathu Kai Mann Alavu, Kallathathu Ulagalavu" has been translated as "What you have learned is a mere handful; What you haven't learned is the size of the world" and exhibited at NASA.

In 2009, Red Hen Press published a selection of Avvaiyar's poetry from the 12th century, entitled Give, Eat, and Live: Poems by Avviyar. The poems were selected and translated into English by Thomas Pruiksma, a poet and translator who discovered Avviyar's work while on a Fulbright scholarship at The American College in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India.


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