Indiahhhhhhh———-RICHEST country in the world (Part 5)

By S Swaminathan


Please note this is part of an ongoing series. Read prior parts here:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Part 4

Part 5 – LATEST

Tamil king who refused to take gold

The worst thing we read in Cankam Tamil literature is the execution of a little girl just because she took a mango fruit from the king’s garden. Tamil poets were so angry that not only they refused to sing about him but also ridiculed him in the Cankam poems. But one good thing about the story is that it reveals the immense wealth of Tamilnadu 2000 years ago. The story is as follows:

Nannan was a king who ruled part of Kerala called Poozi Nadu. A mango fell from one of the trees in his garden and it was washed away in the water of a canal. Any little girl or boy who sees a fruit will naturally go for it. So did a little girl in his town. The servants reported this ‘theft’. Immediately Nannan ordered to kill the girl for theft. The whole town rose against him. The girl’s father with the support of the VIP’s of the town met the king and begged to to release his daughter. He even came forward to give Nannan 81 elephants as a penalty. Nannan did not budge.

Then her father told him that that he WOULD GIVE GOLD MEASURE FOR MEASURE. But evil Nannan executed the girl refusing to accept the gold. One of the great poets of Tamil Cankam (Tamil Academy) Paranar gave this story in Kurunthokai poem 292. Perunthalai Sathanar who sang a poem long after this incident refused to sing about another king Ilam Vichiko (puram 151) just because he was born in Nanna’ns clan. Till this day Nannan was ridiculed as a ‘Murderer of a little girl’. My purpose of narrating this story is to show the wealth of ancient Tamilnadu. Look at the word MEASURE FOR MEASURE gold.

This is called Thula Bharam (Weighing in a balance). This is a Hindu Ritual followed in many temples, particularly Tirupati Balaji temple and Guruvayur Krishnan temple. The ancient Tamils were so wealthy they were ready to give measure for measure gold to Nannan. Another poem in Tamil literature says Tamil girls threw golden ear rings at the birds to chase them  instead of stones. This may be an exaggeration!

Having said ,that I want to point out the golden thula bharam of very recent years. In Thula bharam ritual devotees sit on one side of the balance and fill the other side of the balance with materials one wishes to give to god. Last year T N C Menon, managing director of the Bangalore based Sobha group of companies weighed himself in the balance and gave 70 kilos of gold to Guruvayurappan.

Gold from Holymen

Now and then we read about the CBI raids in Ashrams run by holy men of India. Very recently, when Sathya Sai Baba’s room was opened by his devotees after his death, they found 98 kilos of gold from Baba’s private chamber. They found gold and silver worth of Rs 76 lakhs from another room in addition to cash of Rs11.56 crores.But this was not a raid.

About other holy men, newspapers reported of raids in several places in Tamilnadu and Karnataka and recovery of gold. Recovering 20 to 30 kilos of gold from government officers or industrialists is a common phenomenon in India. If one could collect all the data and total them it would run in to thousands of kilos.

Gold Chariots of Temples

In Tamilnadu,Kerala,Karanataka and Andhrapradesh all major temples have got Golden Chariots for the gods and goddesses. Many of the vahanas (mounts of gods) are plated with gold. Each temple has used at least ten kilos of gold to make the chariots.

Indian Women’s thirst for gold

Akshay Tritiya is an auspicious day and people believe whatever they buy on that day will multiply and bring more prosperity to the families. Women who always wait for an excuse to buy jewellery rush to the shops and buy the gold on that day. Look at a few examples to see what they bought in 2011:

  • Lucknow : 80 kilos of gold on 6th May ,2011
  • Mumbai 1500 kilos of gold
  • Ahmedabad  500 kilos

50 tonnes (50000  kilograms) of gold were sold all over India on that day alone.

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