Drought in Tamil and Sanskrit Literature (Post No.3953)

Research Article Written by London Swaminathan

 

Date: 29 May 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 14-36

 

Post No. 3953

 

Pictures are taken from various sources such as Face book, Wikipedia and newspapers; thanks.

 

contact: swami_48@yahoo.com

 

Our forefathers and writers gave a true account of the weather conditions prevailing in those days. These true accounts prove that they wrote genuine things and not concocted anything. We have reports of Tsunamis, earth quakes, accidents, shipwrecks, massive engineering works such as diverting River Ganga (by Bhageeratha) and River Kaveri (by Agastya), laying roads through the Vindhya Hills (Agastya ), population explosion in North India and migrating to South east Asia (Agastya drank sea) etc. Only thing is people could not understand their symbolic language. They though these are all mythological ‘stories’.

 

If we read through our literature, we can see many droughts which caused massive migrations. We even come to know the drying of Saraswati river ended the Indus Valley civilization and they migrated to different parts of India. These are very important events to know the history of the land.

Massive drought resulted in the migration of people from the Saraswati River Valley during Vedic days. Brahmins in India are generally divided into 10 groups: Pancha Goawda and Pancha Dravida. Gowda Brahmins lived in North India and Dravida Brahmins lived in South India. It is all in our literature. Many droughts caused the migration of Brahmins from one part of the country to the other.

 

Hindus believed that the 12 year orbit of Jupiter around the sun caused a drought every twelve years. Position of Venus was also considered to measure the amount of rain.

Tevaram sung by three Saivite saints mentioned the drought in different parts of Tamil Nadu. Lord Siva helped the saints by providing huge quantity of paddy and gold coins, which are considered great miracles by the Tamils. Those  1400 year old Tevaram verses are sung by all the Saivaite Tamils even today.

 

The word for drought in Sanskrit is Varkadam. In Tamil we have Varatchi and it is related to Varkata.

 

Tamil Tiruvilaiyaadal Purana talks about the drought in and around Madurai.

 

Kalidasa and Tamil Sangam Literature

Kalidasa and other poets used drought followed by rains as similes in their poems.

रावणावग्रहक्लान्तमिति वागमृतेन सः।
अभिवृष्य मरुत्सस्यम् कृष्णमेघस्तिरोदधे॥ १०-४८

rāvaṇāvagrahaklāntamiti vāgamṛtena saḥ।
abhivṛṣya marutsasyam kṛṣṇameghastirodadhe || 10-48

rAvaNAvagrahaklAntamiti vAgamR^itena saH|
abhivR^iShya marutsasyam kR^iShNameghastirodadhe || 10-48

 

On showering ambrosian water called his speech on the desiccating crop called gods owing to the drought called Ravana, he that black cloud called Vishnu disappeared.

Rain=speech, dry crops=gods, drought caused by=Ravana, Black Cloud=Vishnu

 

Tamil poet Alankudi Vanganar used the same simile in Natrinai verse 230. A man came back to his wife after visiting a courtesan. She told that the very sight of him is like rain flooding the land affected by drought.

 

Raghuvamsa 10-48= Natrinai 230

 

Sangam Tamil poets (Pura nanauru 35, 383 and 397) say that even if the planet Venus is seen in the wrong direction there wont be any drought because of the just rule of the kings. This shows their belief n the position of Venus in the sky.

 

12 long Drought and Indus Valley Civilization

 

There is an interesting reference to the drying of River Saraswati, the mighty river which ran through Punjab, Uttapradesh and other states.

 

Sarasvata, son of Dadhichi and Sarasvata survived a twelve year long drought. But all other rishis had gone away  in search of food. They had forgotten the Vedas completely. Then Sarasvata rishi taught them the Vedas (Mahabharata 9-51). This gives credit to the story of Vedic Hindus migration from the Indus valley to other parts of India after a 12 year long drought. Story of Saraswata Brahmins’ origin also corroborates this.

 

During the reign of Ukra Kumara Pandya, a legendary king, there was a 12 year long drought. Then he went and prayed to Agastya. He showed them the way.

 

The reference to 12 year long drought and once in 12 year drought are plenty in our literature.

Two droughts during Tevaram days

 

Tevaram is a collection f hymns sung by three saints Sambadar, Appar and Sundarar.

 

Sambandar and Appar were contemporaries who lived during seventh century CE. Because of drought and famine they went to Siva temple and prayed for the sake of the people. They were given one coin each till they tided over the famine. They used the coins to buy food articles.

 

Sundarar, who lived later than Appar and Sambadar , was getting regular  supply of paddy  from a generous Shiva devotee.  Suddenly he stopped it due to a severe drought. When Sundara came to know about it, he was very much worried. Lord Shiva appeared in the dream of that philanthropist and promised him a good supply of paddy. The very next day he went to nearby Tiruvarur and informed Sundara about the miracle. When Sundara saw the huge hills of paddy I a village he was wondering ow to carry them. Shiva told him that the paddy would be in Tiruarur. His words came true and every house in Tiruarur had a heap of paddy in front of his/her house. Sundara was very happy to see the delivery at the doorstep.

–SUBHAM–

 

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