Bhagavad Gita Simile used by Ancient Tamil Poets! (Post No.3514)

Research Article written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 4 January 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:-  20-56

 

Post No.3514

 

 

Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.

 

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

If one studies the similes used by ancient Sanskrit poets and Tamil poets one will find out that Indians had a unique culture spreading over a vast landmass, that was the largest country in the world 2000 years ago. The simile used by Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita is found in the oldest Tamil book Tolkappiam and Sangam Tamil literature. Kalidasa and other Sanskrit poets also used the simile in umpteen places. This explodes the divisive Aryan- Dravidian Race Theory. Hundreds of similes are unique to Tamil and Sanskrit literature which are not found in any other literature or culture in the world.

 

Lord Krishna says (Sutra Manigana Iva) :

There is nothing whatsoever higher than Me, O Dhanjanjaya. All this strung in Me, as clusters of gems on a string 7-7

 

Commenting on this couplet Swami Chinmayananda says: “To show that the Self is one and the same in all forms, it has been said that the Lord is the common factor in all forms in the universe. He holds them all intact as the string holds all the pearls in a necklace. These words have deep significance. Not only is it beautiful in its poetic suggestion, but it has also a very exhaustive philosophical implication. The pearls in the necklace are necessarily uniform and homogenous, and its thread, which is generally unseen, passes through the central core of every pearl, and holds them all, the big and the small, into a harmonious ornament of beauty. Here is an instance wherein we see Shri Veda Vyasa typically expressing himself as the poet-philosopher of the world.

 

Tolkappaiam written by Tolkappiar, is considered the oldest book available in Tamil. It is dated around First Century BCE. Definitely later than Bhagavad Gita. We find the simile in Tolkappiam as well. Like Sanskrit, Sutra means a book and a thread in Tamil also; in Tamil the word used is Nuul= Thread or Book.

 

Tolkappiar used the word Sutra following Panini. He never hesitated to use a Sanskrit word. In the Sutra 1426:

Like orderly arranging the gems in a string, arranging the same types is called Othu.

 

Tamil Veda Tirukkural written by Tiruvalluvar also used the Bhagavad Gita simile:-

There is something that is implied in the beauty of this woman, like the thread that is visible in a garland of gems.

 

Thus Krishna’s “Sutra Manigana Iva” simile has become popular 2000 years ago. Avadhutopanishad also has this.

Kalidasa used this imagery in His Raghuvamsam and Vikrama Urvaseeyam:-

Though a dunce, I have a way in through the epic already rendered by Valmiki like the thread that easily goes through the diamonds already bored- (Raghuvamsa 1-4)

 

This King of Anga made the wives of his enemies to throw off their ornaments and weep for their husbands shedding tears larger than pearls on to their breasts which appeared like pearl necklaces. The king took the real necklace and gave them tear necklace- Raghu.6-28

 

A lady was halfway through her stringing of gems for her girdle. The thread was tied to her thumb. When she came to know about Aja’s visit she rushed to the window to see him. All the gems fell and scattered leaving only the thread still knotted to her thumb 7-10

 

These women engrossed at splashing water on each other are unable to give a thought to the severance and slithering of their pearl necklaces from their bosom, for the water drops as large as pearls are hopping on their bosoms which they think necklace of pearls – 16-62

These similes of Raghuvamsa were used by Tamil poets in Sangam literature.

Sangam Tamil poets used the similes in the following places:

 

Kudavayil Keerathanar has used this imagery twice in his poems in Akananuru (289 and 315)

 

Eyinanthai Ilankeeranar (Akam.225) used the broken pearl necklace image in his verse.

 

Kurunthokai Poets Kundriyanar and Kavan Mullai Poothanar and  Marudan Ilanagan of Marudakkali also followed his predecessors.   All of them used the unstringed or broken necklace images.

 

Thus, we see One Thought- One Culture from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. Before the foreigners came they didn’t know any divisions in the community such as Aryan or Dravidian races.

-Subham-

 

 

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