Kalidasa’s simile in Tamil ‘Kalitokai’ about Water Purification! (Post No.3775)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 31 March 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 9-38 am

 

Post No. 3775

 

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

Picture: A girl is fetching water from Railway Supply Pipes in Agartala, Tripura

Kalidasa has used over 1300 similes and imageries in his seven works. Out of the 1300 plus similes, Sangam Tamil poets have used over 200 similes; This places Kalidasa before the Sangam Poets i.e. before 2000 years ago. I have shown in my research articles posted here from 2011 that only Sangam poets copied Kalidasa and not vice versa. It is all about Ganges, Himalayas and mythologies. Here is one more example from his drama Malavikagnimitram (Malavika+ Agnimitram). This is repeated verbatim by the Sangam Tamil poet Nallanthuvanar in Kalitokai verse 142)

 

Here is the reference from Kalidasa’s work:

“Just as a stupide person becomes wise by association with the wiser, similarly the turbid water becomes clear by contact with the purifying fruit of the Kataka tree” – Malavikagnimitram II-7

 

Mandoapyamandataameti samsarhgena vipachchitaha

pankacchidaha phalasyeva nikarshaenavilam payaha

 

Here is the Tamil poet’s simile:

“ How come she has become bright and composed now! As soon as she embraced that broad chested man, she has become clear like the water that has become crystal clear after adding the Thetraankottai (Clearing nuts)” – Kalitokai, Verse 142;  Nallanthuvanar in Neithal Kali.

 

Kalitokai is an anthology of Sangam Tamil period. It is dated to first three centuries CE.

 

Though this water purification method is known to all the villagers from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, the way the two poets used betrays copying. Since Kalidasa is praised sky-high by the whole world for his usage of similes he couldn’t have copied. His similes are found in Gatha Sapta Sati and Sanagm Tamil Literature—over 300 similes! Had Kalidasa copied from all the 300 poets the world would have condemned Kalidasa as a copy cat! Moreover, the way and the place he used the imageries proved that his were the originals. Apart from these things, Kalidasa knew the Northern parts of India and Hindu mythology than the Southern Tamil and GSS Prakrit poets. This places Kalidasa in the first two centuries of BCE. ( For more proof , please read my articles comparing Kalidasa and the Sangam Tamil Literature)

 

I have given below my previous article on the water purification methods:

 

 

 

Water Purification Techniques in Ancient Indian Literature!

 

Written by London swaminathan

Research Article No. 1688; Dated 3 March 2015.

Water is a rare commodity in certain parts of India. There is a proverb in Tamil, “Treat Water as Precious” – “Neeraiyum Seeraadu”. Villagers have to walk miles together just to get some water for their day to day essential use. Even that water is murky or muddy. Indian literature is full of stories about mass migration because of big droughts. We read about the droughts and migration in Vedic literature and later Tamil literature. Indus valley civilization was also affected by acute drought. Mahabharata described the drought in Saraswati River basin and the Brahmins moved out of that area.  have collected all the references to drought in the Vedas and Tamil literature for my research.

Even in the areas where water is available, there were certain periods of acute scarcity. So the ingenious people have found out some techniques for water purification. Usually they dugout water springs in the dry river beds or some places identified by the trees. Varahamihira has dealt with this in a separate chapter in his Brhat Samhita (Please read my earlier article on this topic: How to find water in the desert? Posted on 16th February 2015 in this blog)

Tamil Books on Water purification

Kalitokai is an anthology of Sangam Tamil period. It is dated to first three centuries CE. A confused woman who later became clear and composed is compared to the water that is purified by the clearing nuts (Kalitokai, Neithar Kali by Poet Nallanthuvanar):

“ How come she has become bright and composed now! As soon as she embraced that broad chested man, she has become clear like the water that has become crystal clear after adding the Thetraankottai (Clearing nuts)”

Naladiyar is an anthology of 400 verses in Tamil. It is dated to eighth century CE. One of the verses says about the unlearned people,

“Though they be unlearned, if they move in the society of the learned, the former will grow wise and learned just as the new earthen pot by its contact with the bright coloured “Paathiri” flower, imparts its fragrance to the water deposited in it”.

 

जलकतकरेणुन्यायः

jalakatakarenu nyayah

Sanskrit language has got many Nyayas (analogies or similes) and one of them is jala katakarenu nyaya. The nyaya is used to illustrate that dirty things can be purified by mixing with good things. If you mix the kataka powder (Clearing nut powder), then the water gets purified-  is the message. This is used by great people like Sri Sathya Sai baba to bring out the sacrifice one makes in community service. He used to say, “bring out the good in the society and disappear like Kataka powder. Once it purifies the water it dissolves in the water and loses its shape. A social worker also should sacrifice his name, fame and identity when he serves the community like the kataka powder” — is the message, he gives.

KATAKA = Strychnos potatorum = clearing nut tree= Thetra maram in Tamil

It is a common sight in South Indian houses that a corner is allocated for a mud pot. There the mud pot is placed on a heap of river sand and in the water pot they put Vettiver or pathiri flower for fragrant and cool drinking water.

 

  

Varahamihira on Water purification

Brhat Samhita – Chapter 54

“A mixture of antimony, and the powder of Bhadramusta ( a kind of grass) bullbs, andropogon, Rajakostaka and myrobalan combined with Kataka nuts should be dropped into a well.

Anjanasusthosariirai: saraajakosathakaamalakachurnai:

Kathakafalasamayukthairyoga kuupe pradhaatavya:

(Kataka = Strychnos potatorum- Clearing Nut tree. Cilliya mara , Tettamaram in Tamil and Malayalam;  Anjana is translated as antimony; but it has other meanings in Sanskrit).

Even the water that is muddy, bitter, saltish, bereft of good taste, and of bad odour, will become clear/pure, of good taste and good smell and endowed with other qualities”.

The villagers living in arid areas will be benefitted if they follow ancient scriptures. In African countries they use the seeds of Moringa oleifera, a common vegetable used in South India and Sri Lanka.

 

–Subham–

Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. manjeshwarmuthurajan

     /  April 2, 2017

    Thanks for the post on water purification. I’ve got to know two new things. One is the purpose of Thettankottai. தேத்தாங்கொட்டை கேள்விப்பட்டதுண்டு, ஆனால் பயன்களை அறிந்தேனிலை. Another thing is patiri flower. The flower which I get to see since childhood and offer to God. I never knew it’s name and it can be used in water as flavouring agent. Now, I got to know it’s and purpose. I’ve also heard this kind of yellow flowers have gold in micro quantities. Don’t know how far it’s true.

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: