MAHABHARATA PUZZLE IN SANGAM TAMIL LITERATURE (Post No.7791)

WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Post No.7791

Date uploaded in London – 6April 2020   

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

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Tamil Sangam (Tamil Academy) existed at least two thousand years ago. There were about 450 poets and poetesses in the Tamil Academy and they composed 2500 plus verses. They are compiled in 18 books running to nearly 30,000 lines. The Sangam literature is the Encyclopaedia of Tamil culture.  Of the 18 books, Purananuru consisting of 400 verses is the main source of all that is Tamil. It has got lot of Sanskrit names, Sanskrit words, all Hindu gods and goddesses, Ramayana and Mahabharata and even a poet named Valmiki!

What is surprising is that two Rama episodes not found in Ramayana are in Sangam Tamil literature. And two episodes from Mahabharata are also there. They are also not in the original Vyasa Mahabharata, or its appendix Hari Vamsa or in other Tamil versions of the Mahabharata.

In the very second verse of Pura Nanuru (‘Nanuru’ means 400 and ‘Pura’ means ‘outside’; it talks about anything outside family life of love and sex).

The second verse by Mr Nagaraja of Muranchiyur (tamilized form is Nagaarayar; and the whole world knows Raja= Rayar=Royal; and the world of linguists knew that ‘J’ becomes ‘Y’ in all the ancient languages, e.g. Jew=Yuda, Jesus= Yesu, Raja=Royal, Jamam= Yamam in Tamil etc) speaks about a Chera (chera=Kerala) king by name Uthiyan Chera Lathan. The verse says he fed both the Pandava and Kaurava army during the great war. It says he gave them Perum Choru/ Great Feast). If we accept it all the rules about linguistics and all the dates in History books will have to be thrown into dustbin. My research shows that Perun Choru/ Great Feast is an offering in  memory of the departed souls. So it must have been done 2000 years ago on a particular day in memory of the King of Kuru Dynasty.

The verse no 366 in Pura Nanuru is composed by Mr.Gauthaman (tamilized spelling is Gothamanaar) Gauthaman is one of the Gotra as well as Rishi name. Brahmins recite his name thrice a day during their prayer (Sandhya Vandana)

He sings about Dharuma Puthran. This name is used for Yudhisthira , the eldest of the Five Pandavas in Tamil. So commentators took it for the eldest of the Pandavas.

It can be interpreted in two ways:-

1.Someone sang about the Mahabharata character at a later age. But the verse is addressing someone in front of him. And the language is also like other verses in the book. It belongs to the same Sangam age not Mahabharata period.

2. The second interpretation is that there was one king or chieftain by name Tharumapuththiran (Dharma Putra). One of the Tamil scholars Avvai Duraisamy believes that it was a Chera king. And he cites the mention of Kerala ‘Putra’ in the Asoka Inscription.

So no one can say anything for sure. But linguistically it can be placed only in Sangam Age (first three centuries of CE).

There are some interesting points in the poem:-

1.Poet asks Dharmaputra to eat lamb barbecue and distribute it to others. He also asks him to enjoy wine served by women.

2. He asks him to serve the people in day time and plan for the next day during night time by consulting knowledgeable people. Actually this planning idea is in Artha Shastra of Kautilya.

And the poet concludes the verse by saying that Death is not an illusion, but a reality. People die like the goats and sheep that were sacrificed in the village temple. Even in the beginning he said that great kings who issued orders by beating the drums have gone leaving only their name and fame.

The message of the poem is Life is short; everyone has to die; so enjoy and make others happy; Do act before you die.

tags – Dharmaputra, Purananuru, Perunchoru, Great feast, Uthiyan Cheralathan

–subham–

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