Post No. 11,317

Date uploaded in London – 2 OCTOBER 2022                  

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

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tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com



Two thousand year old Sangam Tamil books have  lot of references to anecdotes and stories from the Hindu Mythology (Purana). It is amazing to see that Tamils were well versed in Hindu mythology in those remote days. We see scenes from the Bhagavata Purana, Skanda Purana and Siva Purana.

Lord Krishna’s pranks with Gopi girls, Siva drinking poison to save the goody goody Devas and baddy baddy Asuras, Siva’s burning of the three Space Stations (Hanging Forts of Iron, Silver and Gold in the sky), Skanda’s birth in the Saravana Lake and raising by six Kartika women, Lord Krishna’s bull fighting and Dancing on the Snake Kaaliya etc etc.

There are 18 books running to approximately 30,000 lines in Sangam Tamil Corpus. Of the 18 books Kalittokai, Paripatal (paripaatal) and Tirumurukatruppatai (tirumurukaatruppatai) have more references to Puranas and Itihasas. If anyone tries to remove either the Sanskrit words or the references to Hindu Gods from them , Tamil literature would look like virus affected software or books damaged by white ants. But ancient Tamils considered both Tamil and Sanskrit as two eyes. And ancient Tamils were predominantly Hindus. Not even the great Buddha and Mahavira are referred to in the Sangam books.

 I will list some anecdotes:-

We know that the figure of Gaja Lakshmi, i.e Lakshmi, Hindu Goddess of Wealth, flanked by two elephants pouring water, is available from Denmark (Gundestrup Cauldron)  to the southernmost end of Sri Lanka. All the old houses, in particular houses of Nattukkkottai Chettiyar community in Tamil Nadu , have Gaja Lakshmi on the doors or at the entrance.

Brahmin Poet Kabilar, who contributed the highest number of Tamil verses in Sangam books, saw a beautiful scene in the hills and at once he compared it to Gaja Lakshmi.

He saw a blossomed Venkai tree at a place of height where two hills meet and two streams fall down. It looked like Goddess Lakshmi seated on a very beautiful red lotus flower while two elephants pour water from their trunks one on each side of the goddess (See Kalittokai verse 44 by Kabilar).


Another Brahmin poet by name Nakkirar (nakkeerar) saw a beautiful scene in the sky. Bird were migrating from south to the north. Those who study ornithology or amateur ornithologists would have noticed that birds fly in V shape to make the flight easier. They follow the rules of aerodynamics. Stronger bird in the forefront will fly against the wind and the weaker birds will ill follow them using less energy. Immediately the poet described it as a pearl necklace on the neck of Lord Murugan (Skanda/ Kartikeya).

 It is in Akanauru verse 120. Nakkirar was the poet who sang a full length poem on Lord Skanda/ Murugan. The poem is known as Tiru murukaatruppatai. Actually he imitated Kalidasa who lived in the second century BCE or slightly later.


Let us look at a third scene.

Venkai in Tamil has two different meanings: Tiger and a a particular tree. Since it has got yellow flowers it looked like tiger, particularly when it sheds its flowrers on a rockunder the tree. So all Tamil poets punned on this word Venkai. The most celebrated poet Kabilar sings in Kalittokai (38):

An elephant in rut mistakes a Venkai tree fully in blossom to a tiger and in great anger it gores into its trunk with its tusks but the poor animal was unable to take off its tusks from it like Ravana who attempted to lift up the Kailas mountain with his arms but shrieked and suffered, when caught under pressure.

Ravana lifting Mount Kailash while Uma and Siva are there is portrayed in many places like Halabidu and Ellora. 1400 years ago, Gnana Sambandar, the miracle boy of Tamil devotional poems, sung about this episode in all his Tevaram decads.

The above incidents are from the Puranas.

To be continued………………………

 Tags- Sangam Literature, Puranic episodes, Ravana, Gaja Lakshmi, Venkai, Pearl necklace

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