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KANNADA PROVERBS AND APHORISMS:  

 

Kannada has a vast and rich source of proverbs; they are mostly on the colloquial language and their origin could be as old as the language itself. They are mostly the sayings derived from the past experiences of the people about life; the sayings are full of wisdom and are intended to guide us through our life. The reliability of them is so sure that there is one proverb on the proverbs themselves- Veda sulladaru gaade sullagadu (Proverbs can never be proved wrong; they prevail even when Vedas could go wrong). From the past they have flowed from mouth to mouth without being actually recorded in any form, it was only in the later part of 19th century that some western scholars such as Col. Colin McKenzie, Rev. Ferdinand Kittel and J.F.Fleet began researching and recording some of the treasures of folk arts with respect to different and particular regions and also unique to some of the tribes and marginalized communities in Karnataka. After this many following western as well as Kannada scholars such as Mathigatta Krishnamurthy, D.Javaregouda, H.L.Nagegouda, Simpi Linganna, M.M.Kalburgi, Madenuru Sanganna, Chandrashekara Kambara and many others who realized the richness, relevance and life fullness of proverbs , gradually began collecting the available proverbs among the common people and have framed them in their collections.

 

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Examine some of the well known proverbs in Kannada and their intended meanings given below,

1. Haasige iddashtu kalu chaachu – Live within your means.

2. Anna haakida manege kanna hakabeda – Never cheat or betray your trusted one.

3. Maadidunno maharaaya – You have to face the consequences of your own acts.

4. Kai kesaradare bayi mosaru – Hard work always pays.

5. Huchhu munde maduveli undone jaana – Never waste any of your opportunities.

6. Aathuragaaranige buddhi matta – One who works in haste always errs.

7. Ati aasay gati kedu – Too much greed brings greater sorrow in life.

8. Hangina aramaneginta svantha gudisale melu – Never lose your self respect.

9. Bellagirodella halalla – All that is white isn’t milk OR All that glitters is not gold.

10. Gaali bandaaga tooriko – Make the best of your opportunity.

 

Aphorisms by vachanakaras of the twelfth century AD, such as Basaveshwara, Akka Mahadevi and Allama Prabhu are very much popular in Kannada. The aphorisms here are used as a means to state the universal brotherhood of man; they are intended to break the barriers of all castes and creeds. They are used in the preaching to spread equality and uphold humanity; they stress more on morality of life. Sarvajna’s three-line (triplet) aphorisms are also very much popular in Kannada. Sarvajna, the wise poet belonged to the sixteenth century AD. The language used in these aphorisms is very simple, even a layman can understand and remember these meaning of these aphorisms. In spite of using the simple and common language the thoughts and teachings that they convey are much elevated in their motives and means. Sarvajna’s aphorisms are full of wisdom, for him his experiences are Vedas and his life itself is his school.

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