Let Madurai Burn; But don’t Harm Brahmins!

alain danielou

More Quotations from Silappadikaram

Compiled by London Swaminathan
Post No.1200; Dated : –28th July 2014.

(Please read the First Part: ‘Quotations from Tamil Epic Silappadikaram’)
N.B. Madurai is the second largest city in Tamil Nadu. It has one of the world’s wonders– Meenakshi Temple. Please read my earlier post THE WONDER THAT IS MADURAI MEENAKSHI TEMPLE.

Divine Law
“Today we have seen evidence of the sage’s warning: The divine law appears in the form of death before the man who fails in his duty (said by Kannaki) —Canto 20, Vazakkuai Katai
((I am reminded of a similar quotation on page 71 of Swapnavasava data of Bhasa: “Surely fate does not go beyond the well tested declarations of the seers”; M R Kale’s Translation))

Fate is stronger
“Actions committed in the past lives always bear fruit. No amount of austerity or virtue can loosen the bonds of our actions.
Canto 23, Katturai Katai

Breast Destroyed Madurai!
“Suddenly, with her own hands, she (Kannaki) twisted and tore her left breast from her body. Then she walked three times round the city, repeating her curse at each gate. In her despair she threw away her lovely breast, which fell in the dirt of the street (Then God of Fire appeared before her and took her order to burn Madurai City) — Canto 20, Vazakkuai Katai
(Walking around temples etc. THREE TIMES is a Hindu custom. Senguttuvan also did this according to Ilango)

Don’t Touch Brahmins!
“Spare Brahmins, good men, cows, truthful women, cripples, old men, children. Destroy evildoers (Kannaki’s Order to God of Fire who came in the disguise of a Brahmin)
Canto 21, Vanjinamalai

KR VIJAYA as kanaki
Actress K R Vijaya as Kannaki in Malayalam film.

Special Air Plane from Heaven!
Fourteen days thus passed. On a divine chariot, seated beside Kovalan, who had been put to death in the royal city, Kannaki, with her hair profuse like a forest, ascended, happy, into heaven —- Canto 23, Katturai Katai

(Mourning for 13 days is a Hindu Funeral custom. From 14th day, the bereaved family starts their routine work; coming to the real world)

Shiva’s Sandals on Head, Vishnu’s prasad on Shoulder
The king (Senguttuvan) placed on his head the sandals of Shiva, upon whom the world rests, and who wears in his tangled hair the crescent of the moon. The king who never bowed down before a man, made the circuit of the temple and then prostrated before the himself before the image of the god.

Brahmins from the temple of Adakamadam (Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple In Thiruvananthapuram), where the god Vishnu sleeps in yogic trance, came with temple offerings. Since he was already wearing in his crown the sandals of the god in whose tangled hair the Ganges is born, he placed the offerings of the other divinity on his handsome shoulder, loaded with splendid ornaments
–Canto 26 Kalkot Katai

(( I have written more about it in my earlier post WHY DO HINDUS WORSHIP SHOES?))

Spies in India !
All the kings of this rosewood continent (Jambudweepa) maintain spies in Vanji (capital city of Chera Nadu/modern Kerala), your great capital. They will themselves despatch the news to their own kings. We need only announce your expedition, to the sound of drums, throughout the city
Canto 25, Katchi katai
((Kautilya in his Arthasastra, deals with SPYING in detail. We see another spying episode in Purananauru. Kovur Kizar saved that “spy”.)

1000 Goldsmiths Massacred!
The victorious Verchezian, King of Korkai (Pandya King), sacrificed one thousand goldsmiths in a single day at the altar of the goddess of Faithfulness who tore away her breast, and by whose curse ancient Madurai was put to shame and overwhelmed by the misfortunes that usually follow when a king fails in his duty.
Canto 27, Nirpatu Katai
(( We know that 8000 Jains died in Pandya Nadu during Sambandhar’s time; it is said that they themselves sacrificed their lives as they promised. But with the goldsmiths, we did not know the truth though poet Ilango repeated this twice in his epic))

50 Tulams Gold to Brahmin Madalan
At these words of the wise Brahmin, the great monarch who bears a lance and wears a wreath of palms, was pleased and said, “Brahmin Madalan, take this gift”. And he gave him fifty Tulams of gold, a weight equal to his own.
Canto 27, Nirpatu Katai

(Senguttuvan who would have crossed 70 years must have weighed at least 100 kilos. So the Brahmin got 100 Kilos of gold. A few years ago a wealthy business man weighed himself in gold at Guruvayur temple. Vijayanagara Kings did this in several temples including Tirupati Balaji temple. This is considered one of the 16 important donations of a king (English word Donation came from the Sanskrit word Dhana)


Strange dance !
To amuse the king, a Brahmin boy dancer from Paraiyur, famed for the art of its priests learned in the four Vedas, performed the dance of (Ardhanaree) hermaphrodite which the god Shiva once danced after uniting with Uma in a single body.
Canto 28, Natukar Katai

(This is a skilful act. A person will dress like half woman (Uma) and half man (Shiva). And his Shiva part only will move while the other half of the body will stay still!!)

Woman’s plight
Never can a woman survive her husband’s death (said by Pandyan Queen)
—Canto 20, Vazakkuai Katai

The virtue of women is of no use where the king has failed first to establish the reign of justice.
Canto 28, Natukar Katai
(Hindu scriptures are very clear about the role of women. King and chaste women are interdependent. Unless the king rules the country properly, chastity of the women won’t be safe. Unless the women are chaste there won’t be any rain and then drought, robbery and chaos will follow suit)

Poet Ilango’s Farewell address
Seek God and serve those who are near Him
Do not tell lies
Avoid slander
Avoid eating the flesh of animals
Do not cause pain to any living thing
Be charitable, and observe fast days
Never forget the good others done to you
Avoid bad company
Never give false evidence
Do not disguise the truth (Never depart from words of Truth)
Stay near who fear God (Do not fail to join assemblies of people learned in Dhaarma)
Avoid the company of atheists (Strive ever to escape meeting places of thr unrighteous)
Do not associate with other men’s wives
Care for the sick and the dying
Canto 30, Varantaru Katai

( I have given alternate translation of VRR Dikshitar in brackets).

Youth fades, wealth vanishes, this body is only a temporary dwelling
The days of your life are numbered
You cannot escape from your fate
Seek the help of everything that leads you to the ultimate goal of life
Canto 30, Varantaru Katai
((In his Farewell verse Poet Ilango summarises the values as projected in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain scriptures. Indian culture is same from the Himalayas to Kanyakumari. Foreign “Scholars” spread a lie that they united India. In fact they divided India into Aryan, Dravidian and Munda!!!))

Contact swami_48@yahoo.com

Translations from Shilappadikaram by Alain Daneilou, 1965. My personal views are within brackets

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