Post No. 11,295

Date uploaded in London – 25 SEPTEMBER 2022         

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Some interesting titbits from 2000 year old Sangam Tamil Literature:

Motherly love is greater than anything else in the world. Even preying wild animals spare the very little ones. They are sympathetic towards such animals. When the greatest philosopher Sankara saw a snake protecting a pregnant frog under pouring rain in Sringeri, he established one of his Ashramams (religious centre) there.

Tamil poet Otal Antaiyar (Othal Aanthaiyaar) is a keen observer of nature. His pictures of the lives of birds and animals are interesting. A cennaai (wild dog) with its mate refrains from attacking a female deer with its young one (Ainkurunuuru verse 354).

Some of the comparisons of this poet are quite original and appropriate too. The creepers climbing round the trees and waving in the wind are compared to the ladies swaying or moving in the arms of their husbands. (Ainkurunuuru verse 400).

Colours in Tamil

Uraiyur Maruttuvan  Taamotaranaar (Dr. Damodaran of Uraiyur) is a famous Tamil poet who had a keen eye for colours. His name shows that 2000 year old Tamil poets had Sanskrit names. We find other names such as Kamakshi (kaamak kanni), Lochana  (Ulochanar), Valmiki, Brahma, Kesava, Mahadeva (maa thevanaar), Rudraksha (uruththiran kannanar), Narasimha (daamap pal ), Vishnudaasan (Vinnan Thaayan), Kannadaasan (Kannanthaayan), Bhutapandya, Mahadevi (perun thevi) and many more.

Professor M Varadarajan in his Ph.D.thesis on the Treatment of Nature in Sangam Literature says,

“The poet (Dr Damodaran) has a keen eye for emphasizing the contrasts in colours as seen in his picture of the char coal like faded  Kaaya flowers mixed with the fiery bright Ilavu blossoms (Akanaanuuru verse 133). The red ground is said to be adorned with golden Venkai flowers (which is very often compared to tigers)”- Akam 133.

The white rat with its small legs, coloured hair and Kunri like eyes forms a beautiful picture by itself (Kunri is Abrus seeds/Rosary pea)- Akanaanuuru 133.

Apart from this there is another picture of a rat with cup like ears resembling Konku bloom (Puranaanuuru 321).

White rat is called Velleli in Tamil. Now they are sold as pets for children in the West.


Lizard Omens/Prediction

Tamils considered lizard’s chirps as an omen prophesying good or bad news.

Ilattup Putan Tevan (eezaththup Bhuuthan Devan) Sri Lankan Tamil poet, settled in Tamil Nadu, sings about lizard astrology that was observed by the Tamils 2000 years ago. Even today Tamil Panchangams (almanac) publish Palli Jothidam saying what will happen if it falls on a particular part of body of a person and what is going to come depending upon the direction from which it makes chirping sound or clicking sounds. Bengalis interpret it only one way. It means Yes or Correct in Bengali.

The poet says even the pigs observe this to emphasize that Tamils are so much involved in it (So superstitious)!

The wild pig (boar) is wise enough to listen to the tickling sound of the lizard (Gecko) and carefully enters the Tinai (millet plants) field in the night (Akanaanuuru verse 88).

But Ukkirap peru vazuthi clearly says that a wild porcupine even abandoned its venture of going out when it heard the lizard in Natrinai verse 98. It was about to go out of its den for the food and at that time heard the lizard and went back to its rocky den thinking it is a bad omen.

An anonymous poem in the same Natrinai (verse 169) anthology says that the hero believed that his girlfriend or wife would have heard positive tickling sound of wall lizard indicating his returning home on that day. This gives us the impression that the wall lizards in the houses are greatly welcomed and supported by the Tamils.

Another poet Kavan Mullaip Putanar says the lizard on the Kalli tree makes its characteristic tickling sound with its bell like voice and is said to be predicting events to the wayfarers (Akanaanuuru verse 151). Lizards are prognosticators for Tamils.

A lizard on the tombstone / nadu kal  on the way of travellers make clicking sounds and the wayfarers pause a while on hearing its tickling sounds according to Maruthan Ila Nagan (Mr Junior Naga poet)- Akananuru 387.

Some poets described lizards as Muthu Vaay Palli or Kani Vaay Palli.

 The epithets ‘Muthu Vaay’ and Kani Vaay are interpreted by the commentators ‘as one who can foretell or predict future events’. Palli is the Tamil word for lizard/gecko.

Here is a scene where the lizard’s noise brings some good news. The hero finishes his duty in the distant country and starts to his village when he keenly desires that the lizard at home should tickle whenever she thinks of him and thus give her hopes of his return and relieve her of distress and despair. See Akananuru 351 by Porunthil Ilam Keeranaar

The lady companion at home hears its lovable noise at midnight and consoles the heroine by interpreting its sound  suitably. See Natrinai 333 by Kallikkudi Puutham Pullanaar .

My Old articles

lizard astrology – Tamil and Vedas › tag › lizard-astrology

22 Jul 2012 — Posts about lizard astrology written by Tamil and Vedas. … Big tabular columns are in the Panchang for birds and lizards predictions.

You visited this page on 25/09/22.

Kondhs – Tamil and Vedas › tag › kondhs

9 Oct 2016 — Tamils have superstitions about sneezing, crows, lizard chirping and fluttering of eyes. It is seen in 2000-year-old Sangam Tamil literature …

—subham–Tags- Lizard, Gecko, Omen, Predition, Astrology

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