Astrology in the Oldest Tamil Book Tolkappiam (Post No.11,755)


Post No. 11,755

Date uploaded in London – –  7 FEBRUARY 2023                  

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 A Brahmin by name Trna Duumaagni wrote the oldest book in Tamil according to the most famous Tamil commentator Nachchinarkiniar (abbreviated as Nachi.) of Madurai. About 700 years ago Nacchi. who proudly proclaims that he was from Madurai and of Bharadwaja Gotra. Like Aadhi Shankara and Vyasa, he wrote most commentaries in Tamil. His commentary on Tolkappiam (abbreviated as Tol.) a grammar book, gives lot of interesting stories. Like everyone else he said that Tolkaappian  (pronunciation guide Thol Kaappiyam) was the student of Rishi Agastya, but he added the conflict between him and Tolkaappian, the author of Tolkaappiam.

Before going into astrology bits, I want to caution you about fake and fanatic commentators. Tiruvalluvar was seen with sacred thread of Brahmins in all old books. The fake and fanatic Dravidians wiped off his Vibhuti (Shivaa’s holy ash) from his forehead and hid his Poonool (sacred thread of Brahmins) with a shoulder towel. This is a bad joke played by Brahmin haters.

In the same way fake and fanatic Dravidians created a new Tolkaappian with a moustache and a shoulder towel. So, he is the oldest moustached Tamil Brahmin!!!

His book has KAAPPIYA and his name has KAAPPIYA. There is another controversy here. Normal explanation is that he belonged to Kaappiya Gotra ; that proved his Brahmin origin. Kaavya gotra is the one which created the word KAVI for any poet KAVITHA for any poem. And Kaavya gotra is the one who gave us the word KAAVYA for any classic. That Gotra was appreciated as the best and  the best poet UCHANAS KAVI  from that Gotra/clan according to Bhagavad Gita and Rig Veda.

 And the last but important personal detail comes from the Foreword to Tol Kaappiam called Paayiram written by his classmate Panam Paranaaar. He said Tol Kaappian was a great scholar in Aindram grammar and this grammar book was certified by a Brahmin Acharya of Athankodu (previously belonged to Chera country). That Brahmin certified this book in the assembly of Nilam Tharu Tiru Vil Pandya. Thank god, no one has distorted this passage until this day!!


Here is the caution:

So don’t trust any commentary written by fake and fanatic Dravidians that came out in the last 75 years. The 700 year old commentaries written by Nachchi. and Ilam pooranar are very reliable. My astrology bits are from old commentaries and not from the Brahmin hating, God denying fake Dravidians. Everyone has a right to produce new commentaries; but he or she must say that how and why the person differs from old commentators.


Those who know his Brahminical background, wouldn’t suspect the commentators.

Tol. Talks about Good days and Bad days, Bird Omens and Panchangam.

He himself used the Sanskrit word Sutra in his book. So I also used the word Sutra ( a pithy saying or a  rule)

NIMITTA- निमित्त

Tol used Nimitta, a pure Sanskrit word in many places:

3-16-2; 39–2; 88-17; 101-1;175-3; 263-2 (Tol. Third Chapter called Porul Adhikaaram.

Nimitta has two meanings: purpose or reason; second meaning is Omen. The ancient commentators give us astrological meaning in the following places:

In Sutra 1037 he talks about the agony and ecstasy that Nimitta/ omen gives:

If it is good omen, happiness; if it is bad omen, sadness says the commentators.

Since Good Day, Bird omen, Nimitta , Time etc come in this Sutra I take it as Panchaangam (almanac).

The word Sakuna for omen came from Bird in Sanskrit. More over the famous Tamil almanacs publish Pancha Pakshi Shastra (Omens based on Five Birds) even today.


In the same Sutra 1037, Tol. Talks about King’s Birth day celebration and Coronation Day celebration; Hindus are very familiar with such days in Ramayana and Mahabharata.


In Sutra 1081 Tol. Talks about Hora and Day. He says the hero (lover) is very keen about Muhurta (auspicious time) and good day.

The word HORA ( Orai in Tamil) was another debatable point when Professor Vaiyapuri Pillai pointed out that it is a Greek word which Hindu astrologers borrowed around fifth century CE.

Fake and fanatic Tamils gave another meaning which would look ridiculous in this context.

Leaving the controversy to one side, if we go by old commentaries, it is an astrological remark.


In Sutra 1014, Tol. says the king must take out his White Umbrella and Sword before an expedition, on an auspicious day. All these are confirmed in later epics like Silappadikaram and Manimekalai.


In Sutra 1021 we come across another Tamil word ARIVAN. The meaning is a ‘knowledgeable scholar’. This epithet is used for a saint or an astrologer who can predict all the Three Times (Past, Present, Future).

In Sutra 1021 the word Arivan is interpreted as a Saint by Nachi. and an astrologer by Ilampooranar who the oldest commentator in Tamil is.

Both the meanings talk about one who can predict Past, Present and Future. Even today we see people who are worried about their life go to a saint or an astrologer.


The same word Arivan is used with another spelling arivaR in a few places.

3-152-1; 191-3; 491-4; 498-1

In Sutra 1139, Tol. Refers to 12 people who mediate between the estranged couples and one of them is ArivaR. There also the meaning is astrologer or saint.


Kani or Ganiyan

There are other words such as Kaniyan or Ganiyan. Ordinary meaning is one who calculates (anything). Even the time keepers and accountants used this word. But the famous Purananuru verse 192 of Kaniyan Poonkundran and other poems by Gani Medhaviyaar point out towards astrology or sainthood.

In short, one should go to old commentaries, particularly regarding the Third Chapter Porul Adhikaaram. Fake and fanatic Dravidians changed even the Sanskrit word Adhikaram as Iyal and Sutra as Noorpaa. Even Tol used Sutra and Ilango used Silapp Adhikaaram and Tiru Valluvar used 133 Adhikaarams. My linguistic research shows.

all the thee books belonged to Fifth Century CE. But I must hasten to add that the authors may have been from older periods. The books are presented in Fifth Century Tamil. Story and rules may be from an older period.


Following is take from Wisdom Library website to show that the word Nimitta comes from Mauryan period. It is at least 2400 year old.

Sanskrit dictionary

Nimitta (निमित्त).—[ni-mid-kta Tv.]

1) A cause, motive, ground reason; निमित्तनैमित्तिकयोरयं क्रमः (nimittanaimittikayorayaṃ kramaḥ) Ś.7.3.

4) A mark, sign, token.

6) An omen, prognostic (good or bad); निमित्तं सूचयित्वा (nimittaṃ sūcayitvā) Ś.1; निमित्तानि च पश्यामि विपरीतानि केशव (nimittāni ca paśyāmi viparītāni keśava) Bhagavadgītā (Bombay) 1.31; R.1.86; Manusmṛti 6.5; Y.1.23;3.171.


Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

[«previous (N) next»] — Nimitta in Jyotisha glossary

Source: Wisdom Library: Brihat Samhita by Varahamihira

Nimitta (निमित्त) refers to “portents”, according to the Bṛhatsaṃhitā (chapter 5), an encyclopedic Sanskrit work written by Varāhamihira mainly focusing on the science of ancient Indian astronomy astronomy (Jyotiṣa).—Accordingly, “If there should be both lunar and solar eclipses in one month, princes will suffer both from dissensions among their own army and from wars. […] If during the eclipse, there should occur portents [i.e., nimitta], meteoric fails, dust storms, earthquakes, universal darkness or thunderbolt, the eclipse will re-occur after six, twelve, eighteen, twenty-four, thirty, or thirty-six months respectively”.


Arthashastra (politics and welfare)

[«previous (N) next»] — Nimitta in Arthashastra glossary

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (artha)

Nimitta (निमित्त) refers to “(divine) omens”, according to the Arthaśāstra verse 1.9.9-10.—Accordingly, “He should appoint as chaplain a man who comes from a very distinguished family and has an equally distinguished character, who is thoroughly trained in the Veda together with the limbs, in divine omens (daiva-nimittadaive nimitte), and in government, and who could counteract divine and human adversities through Atharvan means. He should follow him as a pupil his teacher, a son his father, and a servant his master”.



Tags – Nimitta, Tokappian, Tolkappiam, astrology, Panchangam, Sakuna, bird omen, Nachinarkiniyar, Ilampuranar, Ilampooranar

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