A Brief Introduction to Tamil (Post No.3420)

Compiled by London swaminathan

 

Date: 5 December 2016

 

Time uploaded in London: 13-53

 

Post No.3420

 

Pictures are taken from the Conference booklet;thanks.

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

1981 World Tamil Conference Procession in Madurai -Part 1

 

MOTHER TAMIL

Tamil is one of the classical languages of the world. It is the most ancient language among all the languages of the Dravidian family. It is endowed with rich vocabulary, beautiful diction, rhythm and melody. The  ancient Tamils, who have been fascinated by the greatness, grandeur and glory of their mother tongue, have personified her as Mother Goddess and showered all praise and honour on her.

 

It is a convention to describe some of the classical epics of Tamil language as the ornaments worn by the Mother Goddess Tamil. Silappathikaram is hailed as her anklet, Valayapathi as her bracelet, Manimekalai as her waist belt studded with gems, Chintamani as her necklace, Kuntalakesi as her ear-ring and Chutamani as the jewel worn on her forehead. She is also portrayed as a queen holding in her hand Thirukkural as the sceptre the symbol of her righteous rule.

 

The Tamil poets of yore have glorified their mother tongue as the first language of the human race. Its ancient grammatical treatises such as Tholkappiyam and  Irayanar Kalavijal bear testimony to its rich legacy of literature and continuity of literary tradition from a hoary past. Here is a tableau which depicts Tamil language as Mother Goddess.

 


THIRUVALLUVAR

Thiruvalluvar was a profound scholar, philosopher and poet, who lived in Tamil Nadu two thousand years ago. His magnum opus THIRUKKURAL or the sacred couplets, is an ethical work which speaks about the greatness of righteousness (Aram), polity and economy (Porul) and domestic happiness (Inpam) in 1330 couplets. This work is a great human heritage which has transcended the linguistic, racial and religious barriers in its presentation of the ethical codes. Among the Indian classics it is the only book which has been translated into nearly two and a half dozens of languages. The modern Tamil year is calculated beginning with the birth of Thiruvalluvar. Since agriculture formed the basis of the economy of the ancient Tamils, Thiruvalluvar has devoted one chapter to this noble profession. The float depicts an agricultural scene, so well portrayed by Thiruvalluvar.

 


AVVAIYAR

In the portrayal of various internecine and intertribal wars which were waged for various political motives, the Sankam literatures introduce Avvaiyar, a poetess of the Sankam age, as a peace maker between two warring kings. Thontaiman plans a war against Athiyaman. Avvaiyar, wishing to stop the war, meets Thontaiman. Contrasting his decorated weapons with those of Athiyaman, so frequently used in battles, she brings home to Thontaiman, the latter’s superiority in warfare. A war is thus averted.



KANNAKI
in SILAPPATHIKARAM

Silappathikaram is the earliest among the available Tamil epics. Kannaki came to Madurai along with her husband Kovalan to sell her anklet and start a new life. But, her husband was unjustly accused of stealing the anklet of the Queen and was killed under the orders of the King. To prove the innocence of her husband, and expose the heinous crime of the Great Pandya King, Kannaki went to his court with one of her anklets. She accused the King of having ordered the death of her husband without conducting proper trial. The Queen’s anklet had pearls whereas the anklet of Kannaki had gems inside. She broke her anklet in the presence of the king and proved that her husband  Kovalan was not guilty. She is worshipped in Tamil Nadu as the Goddess of Chastity. The scene where Kannaki accused the King and broke her anklet is depicted in this tableau.

 

to be continued………………………

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