Chastest Woman Arundhati in Literature!


Painting of Arundhati from Wikipedia

Research Article Written by London swaminathan
Post No.1130; Dated 25 June 2014.

N.B. If you want to reproduce this article, please email me for permission. You must get written permission from me for each and every article separately.

Dravidian Tamil politicians and foreign “scholars” have been fooling the academic world for long with their Racist Aryan Dravidian Theory. But those who read the 27,000 lines in 2389 Sangam Tamil poems composed by 461 poets, 2000 years ago, will be wonderstruck when they know that the same culture, beliefs, customs, history were shared by the people of India from the Northernmost Himalayas to the Southernmost Kanyakumari. There are hundreds and hundreds of examples in the Sangam corpus.

Though Tamils have a beautiful story around the chaste woman Kannaki, they never used her name anywhere in the 27000 + lines. Only Arundhati, wife of the great Rishi (sage) Vasistha was used throughout Tamil literature- both Sangam and Post Sangam periods. In Sanskrit scriptures Arundhati’s name is synonymous with chastity. It is found in all the works. But not many people know that she was praised by many Tamil poets of the Sangam Age.


Who is Arundhati?
Arundhati is the wife of sage Vasistha, one of the seven celebrated sages. They are known as Sapta Rishis. She was distinguished for her chastity. She was the daughter of Kardama Rishi.

Chaste women are compared to Arundhati. The Bodhayana Grhyasutra rules that a married couple should see the star Arundhati and the pole star on the first day of their marriage.

Legend has it each of the primeval sages had his own wife. Of these the wives of six sages excluding that of Vasistha fell in love with Agni and gave their breast milk to Subramanya . These six became KRITHIKA NAKSHATRAS (PLEIADES );

But Arundhati stood firm in her chastity and attained an honourable place as an auspicious star fit to be seen by chaste and pure women so that they might ever lead holy lives (Mahabharata Vanaparva ,chapter 226-230)

There is another story about Arundhati in the scriptures. She was born as a low caste woman as Akshamala (Manu Smriti 9-23) and elevated to wife of a great sage. Great Tamil poet introduces Vasistha as the husband of Arundhati. Such was her elevated status in Tamil! Kamban says the “husband of Arundhati “ (Vasistha) left for Mithila to take part in the wedding of Rama with Sita in a pearl Palanquin surrounded by 2000 Brahmins.

star arndhati

Tamil Weddings
Main part of Tamil wedding is “Standing on the grinder stone and looking at the Arundhati Star” (Ammi mithiththal and Arundhati Kaattal in Tamil). Every couple must look at the Arundhati Star before entering the bed room for their First Night. Nowadays they do it symbolically even in the day time!!

For those who do not know the ancient Hindu astronomy some tips:
Ancient Hindus including illiterates were well versed with all the essential herbs, hymns and 27+ stars in the sky. In addition to the 27 stars in the region of 12 zodiacal signs, they were familiar with all the planets and the stars like Druva (Pole Star), Sapta Rishi Mandala ( Ursa Major or Great Bear or Big Dipper or Wagon constellation), Abhijit (Vega) stars in the north and Agastya (Canopus) and Tri Sanku (Southern Cross) stars in the south.

If you at sky in the northern direction, you will see seven stars like a flying kite.
Of the seven stars, the last but one (in the tail of the kite) is Vashista Nakshatra. It is a double star system – one revolving the other! The ingenious Hindus named them Vashista and Arundhati. Alcor is the name given for Arundhati and Mizar is the name given to Vasishta in the astronomy books. Alcor is used to test the visual acuity.

Ancient Tamils worshipped the Seven Stars representing Seven Rishis: Atri, Brhu, Kutsa, Vashista, Gautama, Kashyapa and Angirasa.
Ref.Natrinai – 231-2 (worshipful Seven Stars)

They believed worshipping chaste woman will wash away their sins:
Paripatal: 20-68 (sinthikkat thirum piniyaat sererka)

Following are the references to Arundhati
Pathitrupathu : 31-27/28; 89—17/19
Ainkuru nuru 442-4
Purananauru: 122
Perumpanatrupatai:- Lines 302/303
Kalitokai:- 2-21
In all these places either a queen or a heroine is praised as chaste as Arundhati or Arundhati herself is praised.
Post Sangam Works: —Thirikadukam 1-1
Tamil epic Silappadikaram 1-27; 1-63 (Here heroine Kannaki is praised as a chaste woman like Arundhati.)

When poets use one as a simile that must be superior to the person or thing compared and that must be known to everyone. The Tamil examples show that Arundhati was a household name in Tamil Nadu. All these references explode the myth of Aryans invading or infiltrating into India. There was only one culture 3000 years ago and that was Hindu culture. The beauty is there is an uninterrupted respect for Arundhati until today!

Sanskrit Language has got several techniques for teaching different subjects. When they teach philosophy they, use Arundhati Nyaya.

To show to a person the star Arundhati in the sky, one points out at first to a big star in the north and says that that big star is Arundhati. The person is first led to a big star that is clearly seen. Then after rejecting that star the real star is shown. The person is guided step by step towards the goal. Even so, a spiritual aspirant is led gradually to the Supreme Truth which is formless and impersonal.


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