Tamil Saints ‘No’ to Amrita and Indra Loka!

tamil yal panan

Post No 745 dated 13th December 2013

‘Butchers and Lepers are our Gods’
By Santanam swaminathan

It is amazing to see that Hindus all over India thought the same way. All the saints and poets held Amrita (ambrosia) and Indraloka (heaven) in high esteem. So they always used them as similes. We see this trend from the days of Valmiki Ramayana until the days of modern day Tamil poet Bharatidasan. They compared Indra Loka and Amrita with some principles and said their principles are higher than or more esteemed than Amrita or heaven.

1300 years ago , a Tamil Saivite saint Appar alias Tirunavukkarasar clashed with the mighty Pallava emperor Mahendra Varman who embraced Jainism. Appar also converted himself as a Jain and then reconverted to Hinduism. When the Pallava King gave him lot of troubles, Appar composed verses and sang them with very great confidence and succeeded. One of the poems says:

“Even if the entire wealth of Kubera (Lord of Wealth) is given to us, even if the kingship of the whole world is given to us, we would not care, if the donors are not Shiva devotees. But even butchers and lepers are our Gods if they are Shiva’s devotees”.

This revolutionary thought is reflected in various verses of various periods. A Vaishnavite saint Thondardippodi Alvar says:

“Even if the kingship of Indarloka is given, I would prefer only singing the glory of Achyuta, Bull among the Devas and Yadava child residing in Tiruvarangam (modern day Trichy)”.

2000 years ago a Pandya king by name, Ilamperu Vazuthi also used Amrita as a simile. He died in a sea expedition. He says: Even if Indra’s Amrta is available, we would not eat it alone (We will share it). For any good action that would earn us name and fame, we will even give our life; but any bad thing that would earn us a bad name, we would not dare to do it. Good people earn the name of the greats because of this principle: They are never selfish; they always help others(Puram 182).

Ramayan 1

Sanskrit word ‘Amrita’ (Nectar/Ambrosia) is used with three different spellings in five or six places in Sangam Tamil Literature which is 2000 year old. Ancient Tamils are well versed with Hindu scriptures. I have written several articles about it and posted here in my blog.

Post Sangam poet Tiruvalluvar in his Tamil Veda ‘Tirukkural’ says about Amrita in two of his couplets:

“Even though what one eats may be Amrita/ambrosia, eating it alone without sharing it with one’s guests is highly improper (Kural 82)
“The food into which children’s little hands have been dipped will be far sweeter to the parent than Amrita “(Kural 64)

A later day Tamil poet prefers Tamil language to Amrita. A popular modern poet Bharatidasan compared Tamil language to Amrita. He says that the name for the Tamil language is Amrita.
It looks like the origin of all these similes is in Valmiki Ramayana. When Lakshmana praised the golden Sri lanka, Rama said:

“Mother and Motherland are greater than Heaven”- ( Janani Janma Bhumischa, swargaath api gareeyasai). This comparison of Swarga/Indra Loka and Amrita is reflected in 2000 year old Tamil literature.

rohit prasad

(Please see the Tamil version of this article for the original verses; London swaminathan)
Contact swami_48@yahoo.com
Pictures are taken from face book and other sites;thanks.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: