Poet shares a revered Tamil masterpiece around the world

Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma’s course includes eight internationally renowned guest teachers.

Fresh from speaking and teaching in Singapore, Malaysia, India, Canada, Chicago, Florida, New York, and Washington, DC, island poet and translator Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma is offering a new online course starting April 27 with a free introduction on April 13.

The course, entitled “Taller Than a Mountain,” is a comprehensive introduction to the classical Tamil masterpiece on ethics, power, and love, “The Kural: Tiruvalluvar’s Tirukkural,” which Pruiksma has translated into English.

“When I published the translation in 2022, I had no idea where the book was going to take me,” he said. “I spoke at the 11th World Tamil Congress last July and several videos of my comments and interviews in Tamil went ‘viral’ and continue to make rounds around the world. It has touched something in people that this work, which had been neglected in English for so long, is finally getting the attention it deserves.”

Pruiksma’s course includes eight internationally renowned guest teachers.

Among them are Andrew Harvey, the acclaimed poet, novelist, translator, mystical scholar, and spiritual teacher; Bob Thurman, the first Westerner Tibetan Buddhist monk ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama; Perumal Murugan, one of India’s most well-known literary writers, who writes in Tamil and who was recently long-listed for the International Booker Prize; and Suchitra Ramachandran, an award-winning emerging translator between Tamil and English who will be speaking on what the Kural has to say about a woman’s relationship to herself.

Pruiksma said that one of the people who took an earlier version of the course last year said, “The course really made the Kural accessible to me. It has become one of the texts that I always have with me. One never knows when one might need its wisdom.”

“Nothing makes me happier than to hear something like that,” Pruiksma said. “The Kural is a hidden treasure that addresses directly the conundrums of our own time. What could be more amazing than that?”

The online course, running from April 27 to June 8, is being offered on a “pay what fits” basis based on one of the Kural’s key teachings, which is honoring what fits each person, place, and situation. Learn more at thomaspruiksma.com/mountain.