Water Images in Kalidasa and Tamil Sangam Literature (Post No.3793)

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 6 APRIL 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 18-09


Post No. 3793


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.


contact; swami_48@yahoo.com



Great men think alike. Kalidasa, the most famous poet of India and a Sangam Tamil poet Sempulapeyarnirar use the water image in a beautiful way.


Kalidasa in Raghuvamsa says,


Water from the sky which is originally of one taste gains diversity of flavours in different regions. Similarly, Hari, being immutable assumes different conditions in different qualities (RV 10-17). The image gives the idea of monism.


Sempulap peyal nirar, Tamil poet who lived nearly 2000 years ago, says in Kuruntokai (verse 40):


“What are my mother and your mother to each other?

What is the relationship between my father and your father?

How did we come to know each other?

Like the (rain) water which falls on a field with red soil,

(mingle with it and becomes red)

the loving hearts have blended with each other.


Kalidasa used it illustrate monism; Tamil poet used it to illustrate the union of hearts.


(I have been emphasizing through several articles that Kalidasa lived before the Sangam age, probably around 1st century BCE. I am using 250 plus similes of Sangam poets to illustrate my point and those similes are already in Kalidasa’s seven works).

In the Kumara sambhava (2-25), he says that “the speed of the Wind Gods Maruts can be guessed from their faltering motion as is the stoppage of their current from the refulgence of waters.


As the sprouting of a seed requires water before it can make its appearance, similarly, the work of gods can be accomplished by the Cupid in diverting the mind of Siva from meditation towards Parvati (K.S.3-18)


Siva, on account of suspension of the vital airs is imagined to be a reservoir of water unruffled with ripples, a cloud not blustering up to burst into a shower, or like a lamp steady in a place free from wind (K.S.3-48)


Cupid who died leaving Rati whose very life depends upon him, is imagined as the torrent of water abandoning a lotus after breaking down a dam (K.S. 4-6)


The mind already firmly resolute and bent on its desired object cannot be diverted and is so imagined to be like downward flowing water which cannot be drawn back (K S 5-5). So Menaka’s advice to Parvati whose mind already leaned to Siva went amiss.



Seeing the moon-like face of Parvati, Siva had the water of his mind rendered clear (K S 7-74).

Water is always cool; seers are always kind!


In the Raghuvamsa (RV 5-54) Matanga cursed Pri yamvada to turn into an elephant. He fell at his feet and the sage relented afterwards. The hotness of water is due to its contact with the fire or the solar heat; what is coolness is but the natural property of water. This indicates that abut is the sage was kind-hearted.


स चानुनीतः प्रणतेन पश्चान्मया महर्षिर्मृदुतामगच्छत्|
उष्णत्वमग्न्यातपसंप्रयोगाच्छैत्यं हि यत्सा प्रकृतिर्जलस्य॥ ५-५४

sa cānunītaḥ praṇatena paścānmayā maharṣirmṛdutāmagacchat
uṣṇatvamagnyātapasaṁprayogācchaityaṁ hi yatsā prakṛtirjalasya || 5-54

“But, when I prostrated before his feet and importuned that great sage matanga relented to modify the curse as above… for the heat of water is owing to its contact with either fire or solar heat… what is coolness is but the natural property of water… isn’t it… [5-54]



The Sanskrit poets describe navel as a mark of beauty and it therefore, compared to the watery eddy (RV 6-52)

नृपम् तमावर्तमनोज्ञनाभिः सा व्यत्यगादन्यवधूर्भवित्री|
महीधरम् मार्गवशादुपेतम् स्रोतोवहा सागरगामिनीव॥ ६-५२

nṛpam tamāvartamanojñanābhiḥ sā vyatyagādanyavadhūrbhavitrī |

mahīdharam mārgavaśādupetam srotovahā sāgaragāminīva || 6-52

She who has a navel as beautiful as an eddy, and who is scheduled to become another man’s wife, that princess indumati moved past that prince susheNa of shUrasena kingdom, just as an ocean bound river moves past a mountain met by chance on its way. [6-52]




The family of Raghu with the child King comparable to the water with a lotus in the condition of a bud in it (RV 18-37). This indicates the tender and lovely heart of King Sudarsana.


नवेन्दुना तन्नभसोपमेयम्
शाबैकसिंहेन च काननेन।
रघोः कुलम् कुट्मलपुष्करेण
तोयेन चाप्रौढनरेन्द्रमासीत्॥ १८-३७

navendunā tannabhasopameyam
śābaikasiṁhena ca kānanena |
raghoḥ kulam kuṭmalapuṣkareṇa
toyena cāprauḍhanarendramāsīt || 18-37


That dynasty of Raghu with this young king sudarshana obtained similitude to the sky with new moon, a forest with a single lion-cub, and a lake with solitary bud of lotus. [18-37]


Thus Raghu’s line, whose chief was now a child,/Showed like the night while still the Moon is young,/Or like a forest where one Lion-cub/Alone doth range, or as a silent lake/Before its lilies bloom.



In the Malavikagnimitram (M.M.1-6), the skill of teacher which when communicated to a worthy student, attains greater excellence, is likened to the water of a cloud, which when dropped into a sea-shell, acquires the nature of a pearl.


Just as a stupid person becomes wise by association with the wise, similarly, the turbid water becomes clear by contact with the purifying fruit of the Kataka tree (M M 2—7)


(Rain drops falling on the day of Swati star becoming pearl in the oysters and the Kataka seed purifying water are used by Tamil poets as well; I have written about it already).


Source books :–Kuruntokai

Raghuvamsa.sansrit documents.com

The Imagery of Kalidasa by Dr Mrs Vinod Aggarwal


My Old articles on the same subject:

1.Kalidasa’s simile in Tamil ‘Kalitokai’ about Water Purification! (Post No.3775); posted on 31 March 2017

2. Women and Rivers in Kalidasa and Tamil literature; posted on 10 November 2014
3. Kalidasa’s age: Tamil works confirm 1st century BC. Posted on 22 January 2012
4. Nature’s Orchestra in the Forest: Sanskrit Tamil Poets’ Chorus (Post No. 3489); 27 December 2016
5. Pearls in the Vedas and Tamil Literature

Posted on Post No. 1048 ; dated 17th May 2014.

  1. Gem Stones in Kalidasa and Tamil Literature (13 February 2012)





Hindu Sages and Hermitages in Kalidasa’s Works (Post No.3779)

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 1 April 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 16-27


Post No. 3779


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.


contact; swami_48@yahoo.com


Kalidasa is superb in describing the conditions of the Tapovanams (Ashram/Hermitage) in ancient India. He is very good in describing the appearance of Hindu seers and their penance. One would love to live in such a condition where there was peace everywhere. Even the animals who have natural enmity between themselves behaved very well. He portrays seers who are not Brahmins as well. He shows us some women seers too.


From his seven works, we come to know that people from other castes also did penance and they had obtained equal power. We have such examples earlier in our epics in the characters of Viswamitra, Vrtra of Rig Veda, Ravana and others.


In the Valmiki Ramayana and Raghuvamsa (of Kalidasa) we have two examples: one who cursed Dasaratha because he shot down his son mistaking him for an elephant. Another one at the end of the book, who was doing penance hanging upside down. All these portrayals explode the myths of Aryan, Dravidian divisions. Everyone could do penance and obtain powers. Women also did penance as we see in Vikrama Urvasiyam and Kumarasambhava.

Here below are some quotations from his books:-


Sakuntalam Act I

King:“Suta, urge the horses on and let us purify ourselves with a sight of the holy Hermitage.

Suta: As your Gracious Majesty orders

King: Suta, even without being told, it is palin that we are now at the outskirts of the penance-groves.

Suta: How can you tell, my lord?

King: Do you not see, sir? Right here:

Grains of wilde rice fallen from tree-hollows

where parrots nest, lie scattered under trees;

those stones here look moist, glossy, from the oil

of Ingudi-nuts split and pounded on them;

all around, deer browse in their tranquil haunts,

unafraid of the chariot’s approach; yonder,

droops of water dripping off the edgs of bark-garments

in long line, trace the paths to pools and streams.

and you see futher

Rippling beneath a passing breeze, waters flow

in deep channels to have the roots of trees;

smoke drifts up from oblations to the Sacred Fire

to dim the soft sheen of tender leaf buds;

free from fear, fawns browse lazily in meadows

beyond where Darbha shoots are closely cropped”


This brings us a picture of their simple life. No electricity, no tansport, no mobile internet or TV or Radio! A world full of peace and happiness.

Later Shakuntala , the forest beauty, shows all her love and affection towards he plants and animals in the forest.


Act II of Sakuntalam has another beautiful description of the forest and the hermits:-

King: “Let bisons plunge into forest-pools and revel splashing,

striking the water repeatedly with their mighty horns;

let the herds of antelopes clustering in groups in the shade,

chew the cud undisturbed;

and let wild boars lining up round puddles

where the marsh-sedge grows fragrant, root peacefully in the mud

and let this my bow with its loose-knotted string

be allowed to enjoy its well-earned repose.


Like sun-crystals cool to the touch

vomit fiery sparks from deep wthin

if struck by another luminous power,

so, hermit’s rich in holiness

in whom Tranquillity presides,

have hidden deep a blazing energy

that leaps out to burn when aroused.



From his Raghuvamsa Kavya,

While the glades are darkening litters of wild boars are coming up from ponds, peacocks are turning towards the trees of their habitation, herds of deer are settling on swards – seeing such back-to-home scenes DilIpa too advanced homewards. [2-17]


Oh proud lady, this is that pleasure-lake named pacnha-apsara of sage shAtakarNi, which is surrounded with woods, and which appears, on account of the great distance, like the orb of the moon vaguely seen from among the clouds. [13-38]



Here is the unexcelled ascetic by name sage sutIkShNa, a self-controlled in his action practising asceticism in the centre of five-fires, namely four well-fuelled fires around him and the seven-horsed one, namely the Sun, scorching the forehead as the fifth fire in five-fire method of ascesis. [13-41]


Here that sage sutIkShna lifting up his right arm aloft, which has a rosary of rudrAkSha-s for a bracelet, which scratches the deer, and which cuts the sharp needle-ends of kusha-grass, favourably greeted my arrival at his place. [13-43]


This sage is a constant sun-gazer and there occurred a momentary disturbance in his gaze when an aircraft passed before his sight; then nodding at my salutation, for he bridles his speech, he again fixed his sight on the thousand-rayed sun.  [13-44]


This sanctifying penance-grove which is the refuge of every-body belongs to the sage named Sharabhanga who kept sacred fire and who having propitiated it with the sacred sticks for a long time ultimately offered his own body sanctified with hymns into that ritual fire. [13-45]


Now, after Sharabhanga had immolated himself, the task of according hospitality to guests devolved upon the trees of hermitage which were, as it were, the well behaved sons of the sage that removed the fatigue of a journey by offering their shade and that afford abundant fruits of any cherish. [13-46]


Oh, curvaceous lady, this chitrakUTa mountain with its mouth of a valley sending forth gurgling sounds of rapids, mud-like rainclouds attached to its horn-like apices, thus resembling a proudish bull whose cavern mouth sends forth a continuous bellowing and the tips of whose horns are smeared with mud dug up while indulging in butting against the side of a mountain, rivets my sight. [13-47]



Sages don’t waste their energy by cursing:

Beholding Rama on throne, the sages did not strike at the demon with their yogic-power; for, it is only in the absence of a protector that the curse-armed ones spend their asceticism. [15-3]



Shudra doing penance


Now, the descendant of Ikshvaku saw a certain individual practising asceticism, with bloodshot eyes from smoke, dangling upside down from the branch of a tree. [15-49]


On coming to conclusion that this individual deserved execution for his unauthorised performance of asceticism that resulted calamitous to other subjects, then the controller Rama took up his weapon. [15-51]

Rama caused his head, on which the beard and moustache have been singed by the sparks of fire and which therefore resembled a frostbitten lotus with smudged filaments, to be lopped off from the tube-like throat. [15-52]


Earlier Dasaratha was cursed by a Shudra saint that he would also die of longing for his son.


From Kumarasambhava (Canto V.15/17)


Now let us turn to Kumarasambhava Kavya of Kalidasa:

“And the fawns, fondled by being given handfuls of forest grain, trusted her (UMA) so far, that out of curiosity she could measure the length of her own eyes with theirs before her friends.


“Sages came there, desirous of seeing her, who used to take a sacred bath, to offer oblations to the fire, to wear a bark as her upper garment, and to recite sacred texts; age is no consideration in the case of those who are old in spiritual attainments.


“The sacred grove, too, became holy, where the previous antipathy between warring beasts was abandoned, where the guests were well gratified with the gifts of desired fruit by the trees, and where the sacred fires were kindled in newly built huts of leaves”


One more couplet (V-33)



Uma is asked:

“Are sacrificial wood and Kusa grass easily obtainable for holy rites? is the water suitable for your bathing? And do you practise austerities proportionate to your strength? For your body is the ultimate means of performing religious duties”


This shows not all the people are expected to severe penance. It should be proportionate to one’s physical and mental capacity. But women are also allowed to do penance.


There are many more remarks about the penance, penance- groves and seers and sages. My above quotations were only examples to show the attitude of commoners and kings towards sage and their dwelling places.

(For Kalidasa’s works, I have used various English translations–swami)






Animal Sex and Akbar’s daughter ! (Post No.3760)

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 26 March 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 20-50


Post No. 3760


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.


contact; swami_48@yahoo.com


There is an interesting story about Moghul emperor Akbar’s daughter in a  Tamil book published from Sri Lanka in 1907. It is about sex, titled ‘Goha sastra’ translated by Maharaj Ganga Prasad from Sanskrit.

The author gives many examples for polygamy, unnatural sex and uncontrolled sex. Learning something from animals and birds is nothing new. Krishna’s life history ‘Bhagavata’ itself lists a number of animals and natural objects as teachers. Anonymous author of Viveka Chudamani lists 13 animals as teachers. (See below for my articles on those topics). Tamil Poet Tiruvalluvar quotes umpteen animals and teaches us several things. He says ‘’be a crow when you get food. Call every one and share your food like the crows’’ (Kural 527). Another Tamil poet says ‘’Do sex like crows which cannot be seen by others’’.

Famous English poet William Wordsworth says,

“One impulse from a vernal wood

May teach you more of man,

Of moral evil and of good,

Than all the sages can”.


Now about the Birbal’s story:

Akbar’s daughter enjoyed watching nature. She also watched all the cocks and hens inside the palace walls. Every time she watched the cocks were chasing the hens and forced them to have sex. But the hens never wanted it and tried to escape. But other cocks came to chase the previous one for having sex. Then she thought men are after forced sex and I should never marry. She showed least interest in marriage. Akbar got worried.


Akbar had an intelligent Brahmin as the first minister and his name was Birbal. When Akbar expressed his concern about his daughter’s sexual fear, Birbal told him to leave it to him to sort it out.


Birbal also found through the spies the reason for her strange fear. Then he replaced all the cocks and hens in her vicinity with pigeons. Pigeons openly make love. She watched them making love, having little ones cared by both. Then she got rid of her fear and slowly expressed interest in getting married.


The author says that among the animals, goats have un natural sex with its own dear near ones and cocks and chameleons have uncontrolled sex.


My old articles on Nature as Teacher:

The Connection between William Wordsworth and Dattatreya

posted on 28 September 2011

13 Saints in Nature! posted 7th November 2013




TREE METAPHORS in Tamil and Sanskrit Literature (Post No.3650)

Research Article Written by London swaminathan


Date: 19 FEBRUARY 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 18–45


Post No. 3650



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contact; swami_48@yahoo.com



Trees are used as similes and metaphors in Tamil and Sanskrit literature from very ancient times. The upside down Peepal Tree (Ficus  religiosa) is the most famous metaphor in the Bhagavad Gita (15-1)


Uurdhvamuulam adhahsaakham………………… (15-1)


“They speak of the imperishable asvattam (peepal tree) as having its root above and branches below. Its leaves are the Vedas and he who knows this is a knower of the Vedas (Bhagavad Gita 15-1)


The origin of this metaphor is in the Rig Veda (RV 1-24-7 and 1-164-20). Since Rig Veda is the oldest book in the world dated between 6000 BCE and 1500 BCE), Hindus are the first to use trees in literature. This is a highly philosophical verse. Later Katha Upanishad (With roots above and branches below, this world tree is eternal 2-3-1) and Bhagavad Gita repeated it.


It is SAMSAARA VRKSA, the cosmic tree. Mahabharata compares the cosmic process of a tree which can be cut off by the mighty sword of knowledge (Asvamedhaparva 47-12,15). Vedas (leaves) mean knowledge. Incidentally a section of Veda is called Saakhaa (branch).


I am the originator of world tree, says Tattriya Upanishad (1-10)


The Petelia Orphic tablet suggests that our body comes from the earth and our soul from heaven “ I am a child of the Earth and of Starry Heaven; but my race is of Heaven alone”. (Quoted by S Radhakrisnan in his Gita commentary)

Swami Chinmayananda says in his commentary on Gita:

“Ashwattha is botanically known as Ficus religiosa, popularly called the peepal tree, which according to some gathers its name because horses (Asva) used to stand under its shade (Ashwattha). According to Adi Shankara, this tree has been chosen to represent the entire cosmos because of its derivative meaning: ‘Shwa’ means tomorrow; ‘Stha’ means that which remains; therefore, ‘ashwattha’ means that which will NOT remain in the same till tomorrow. In short, the word indicates the ephemeral, the ever changing, world of the phenomena.


According to Anandagiri, samsara is represented as a tree (Vriksha) because of the etymological meaning of the Sanskrit term Vriksha, that which can be cut down. The tree of multiplicity that has seemingly sprung forth from the Infinite Consciousness Divine, can be cut down by shifting our attention from the tree to Divine.

Luckily, we who are educated in modern universities, have a similar use of the term ‘tree’ in our text books. The ‘Family Tree’ of kings and dynasties are, without any exception, shown as branching down from their ancestral source. Similarly, the tree of Samsara, has its roots UP in the Divine Consciousness. A tree holds itself up and gets nourished by its roots; similarly, the experience of change, and the experiencer of them, are all established in the infinite and draw their sustenance from it alone”.


The universe is described as an upside down tree 6-37-1

These metaphors suggest hugeness and extensiveness as the probable general imagery.


As Emeaneau has shown, the picture in the asvattha metaphor is based on an epiphyte stage of the tree. It is rooted above, on another tree, and hence lets root down to the ground. Its branches grow on all directions from its place on the host tree, both up and down.


It is in Kathopanishad 6-1 and Taittriya Aranyaka 1-11-5



Another tree imagery that is popular is the uprooted tree by the floods. This is used in negative contexts. We find it in Tamil and Sanskrit.


Kaliadsa and Tamil poets used the same similes which shows that the culture is one and the same from land’s one end to the other. This explodes the myth of Aryan-Dravidian races.



Kalidasa’s references:

Perish the sinful thought

Why are you out to sully your family’s honour

and to make me fall; you are like a river

that crumbles its banks to muddy its crystal stream

and uproots the tree growing by its edge

Sakuntalam 5-22 (King Dushyanta to Sakuntala)



Understand that the bow of Shiva which you have broken had been divested of its strength by the power of Vishnu; understand further that even a light wind lays low a tree situated on the bank of a river which is already uprooted by the gush of the river. [11-76]


In this way when his subjects are being filled with compassion day after day for him, he though recently enthroned was undisturbed like a firm-rooted tree. [17-44]

Raghuvamsam 11-76, 17-44



Sangam Tamil Literature References:


Our lives, however dear

follow their own course

like the rafts drifting

in the rapids of a great river –Puram 192,Kaniyan Punkundran



Horse did not come, Horse did not come

All other horses came back!

My husband’s horse didn’t come

He was caught like a tree in between

two great rivers meeting point

torn and fell!

Puram 273 (Erumai Veliyanar)



I am shaking like the leaves of a mango tree

that fell down, when its roots were washed by the floods

in a wild stream ( a woman who is separated from her lover)

Natrinai 381 (Avvaiyaar)



we shook like the plantain tree that was washed by the floods

with foam (Kurinjippaattu lines 178/9 by Kapilar)


Poetess Nachellaiyar compared a  creeper that was struggling in the water uprooted by the floods to the lotus stalks in the river.

Pathitrupathu 52-21,

Palai padiya Perum Katungo compares the dried and withered trees to the people of a country where tyrants rule (Kalitokai 10)


In the Mahabharata



The significance of trees in similes, however, is different in different contexts.

Thus a tree broken by a thunderbolt or wind etc is a symbol of death. Bismarck sighing on the ground like a tree broken by the wind.6-14-13


The hunter, coveting Damayanti fell down on the ground like a tree burnt by fire.

Jayadrathas soldier,with his chest broken , vomiitting blood from his mouth, fell down in front of Arjuna like a tree severed from its root:

Sa bhinnahrdayo viiro vaktraac chonitam udvaman

Papaataa bhimukhah paartham chinnamuula Iva drumah 3-255-14, 3-17-20 etc
A tree fallen from the bank into the river current is a figure of dependence and subordination. Thus a man is at his own command, even for a while, like a tree fallen from the bank approaching the middle of the stream.


naa tmaadhiino manusyo yam kaalam bhavati kam cana

srotaso madhyam aapannah kuulaad vrksa iva eyutah

–Mahabharata 3-31-26


Duryodhana is described as a great tree of anger

Duryodhano manyumayo mahadrumah 1-1-65

Source Books

Bhagavad Gita commentary by Swami Chinmayananda

Bhagavad Gita commentary by Dr S Radhakrishnan (President of India)

Sangam Tamil Literature

Kalidasa’s Works

Elements of Poetry in the  Mahabharata





Agni Purana explains Correct Gem for Wealth and Health (Post No.3646)

Written by S NAGARAJAN


Date: 18 February 2017


Time uploaded in London:-  5-16 am



Post No.3646



Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.


contact: swami_48@yahoo.com

Agni Purana Explains and Helps You to Select the Correct Gem for Wealth, Health and Prosperity



The Hindu Puranas are of encyclopaedic character. The Puranas prescribe remedies for all types of human problems. There are eighteen major puranas. All are very interesting and informative in nature.

Puranas contain all types of topics. But human nature is to select the best topic for obtaining wealth, health, and an all-round success.

For this we may read Agni Purana which deals with Gems. Chapter 246 of Agni Purana gives you the characteristics of gems.

In ancient days kings are advised by the court priest to wear gems which are auspicious. Thus a king may wear diamond, emerald, ruby, pearls, sapphire, lapis lazuli, moon stone, sun-stone, crystal, topaz etc.

Gems set in gold would confer prosperity and success.

But one has to choose the correct gem suitable for him. For this one has to study his horoscope and choose the gem according to the planetary positions.

Also one has to test the gems before wearing the same.

Inward lustre, free from impurities and good formation are essential for a good gem.

Such gems could be worn.

The gems which are impure, cracked and containing pebbles inside should not at all be selected and worn.

It is commendable to wear diamond. But there is an exception also. Those who are not having child should not wear diamonds. This implies that wearing diamond will delay the pregnancy. So one has to be careful and not hastily wear anything studying the general rules.

Which diamonds are good and how to select them? For this Agni Purana gives perfect answer.

The diamond that could be carried away by water, that is unbreakable, without impurity, of hexagonal shape, has the lustre of rainbow, light and brilliant like the sun is very auspicious to wear.

The emerald possessing the hues of the plume, of a parrot, glossy, radiant, without impurity and containing minute particles resembling powdered gold is auspicious.

The rubies which are got from crystal mines may be used. The best ruby will be extremely red and spotless.

The pearls got from oysters are generally free from impurities. Pearls got from conch-shells are much superior. Rotundity, whiteness, transparency and heaviness are the good characteristics of a good pearl.

A good sapphire can be declared invaluable which shines in the milk, spreads more lustre and tinge of its own color.

The lapes lazuli of red-blue type is excellent and could be used in necklace.

One may verify these characteristics with the help of an expert gemmologist after consulting an astrologer.

It is a customary practice to clean any gem by dipping it in the cow’s milk to remove any impurity before wearing.

The gemmology is a science in itself and one has to take care to study the whole ‘Ratna Sastra’ meaning the science of gems.

Good luck to you all.



Picture of Theseus killing Minotaur

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 13 FEBRUARY 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 9-44 am


Post No. 3633



Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.



contact; swami_48@yahoo.com



Vedic Hindus’ great discoveries include the decimal system, domestication of cow, bull, horse, the use of wheel, the concept of time, marine trade, divinity of man and arts. The proof lies in the 10,000 hymns of the Four Vedas. They are considered the oldest records of religious experience of human beings. Jacobi and BG Tilak dated them 6000 BCE. Others dated them 2000-1500 BCE.


Cows and bulls have more references in the Vedas than any other religious literature in the world. They gave them a holy status. They used them as similes for the affection and heroism. Indra is praised as bull among the humans in the Vedas. Later bull was made the vehicle of Lord Shiva. Every temple of Shiva has a big bull statue (Nandhi) in front of him. Though we have references to the bull in other civilizations, if we accept the date of the Vedas as 6000 BCE, then that is the oldest literary record.


“There were bulls which had massive strength, youthful and intoxicated bull, a bull with a steady gait, a vagabond and a forest bull, a fleeting bull, billowing bull in search of a mate. Indra is compared to a massive bull.” (Animals in Sanskrit Literature by Dr M K Sridhar)

Vrsabha (Bull) is referred to in the Rig Veda 1-116-12; 2-5-6;1-94-10; 1-160-3; 6-46-4;7-101-1;2-16-5;


Valmiki in his Ramayana aslo called Rama, a bull among men.

In Sangam Tamil literature which is 2000 year old, we see at least 70 references. Kings and heroes were addressed as Bulls.

In Kalidasa

Kalidasa used bull as a simile to the heroism or force of a leader in Raghuvamsam.


“He who has a befitting physique for his heroic deeds in kingship, with a sizable chest, bullish shoulders, tallish stature like a sala tree, and with dextrous arms, abided as a personification of the devoir and valour of kshatriya-s. [1-13]


As a calf attains the build of an impetuous bull, or a calf of elephant donning the build of an impulsive young elephant, raghu steadily attained a majestic and pleasing build when his adolescence is bested by his youthfulness. [3-32]

Oh, curvaceous lady, this chitrakUTa mountain with its mouth of a valley sending forth gurgling sounds of rapids, mud-like rainclouds attached to its horn-like apices, thus resembling a proudish bull whose cavern mouth sends forth a continuous bellowing and the tips of whose horns are smeared with mud dug up while indulging in butting against the side of a mountain, rivets my sight. [13-47]


“I have a wife, young girl; you may therefore resort to my younger brother…” Thus bull-shouldered Rama directed that lustful sUrpaNakha.(12-34)”


Bull in Indus Valley

We have excavated more seals with bull figure in Indus valley than other animals. Surprisingly no seal with cow or no figure of cow is discovered in the valley. This shows the reverence they gave to the cow.

Sumerian Bull

Cattle evolved from the now extinct aurochs; water buffaloes are common in the seals of third millennium BCE Mesopotamia and it has been argued that they were imports from India.



Egyptian Bull

In Egypt, the king was hailed a s a Mighty Bull and his people were The Cattle of God.

Apis was the bull god worshiped as symbol of natural forces.


One of the most ancient of all the evidences of funerary cults comes from the very distant past in the extreme south, from Tushka in Lower Nubia, where burials have been excavated from the twelfth millennium BCE which were surmounted by the skulls of the wild bull, the aurochs, Bos primigenius, which roamed the valley until it was exterminated by the kings of the New Kingdom, ten thousand years later.

In Mithraic religion in Rome, a bull was killed.


Cretan ritual had the artistic leaping dances in which the humans imitated the bulls. The bull faced demon Minotaur of ancient Crete was killed by the hero Theseus.


In astrology, the bull is represented in the zodiacal sign of Taurus.


Bull in Tamil Literature

The primeval bull must have been a powerfully impressive symbol of vitality and masculine strength. The bull is of particular importance in the history of religion; bulls were worshiped in various cultures. There were symbolic rites in which a bull is defeated or sacrificed. Lord Krishna defeated seven bulls according to Hindu mythology. Tamils have the heroic game of Bull Fighting known as Jallikkattau or Manju Virattu. Unlike the Spanish bull fighting, here the bull is not killed but only tamed.


Tamil poets describe the bulls goring the wet ant hills with their horns and with mud on the horns accompanying the cows (Akananuru 64)


A fish caught in the fishing rod fights like a bull tied to ropes (Akam.36)


The tall black bull with white legs looked like a mountain with waterfalls.

The white bull with dots over its body resembles the twilight sky with shining stars.

The red with its curved horns appears like the God Siva wearing the crescent moon on his head. (Kali 103)


The bells on the horns of the reddish black bull are like the bees humming over the Naravu flower buds. (Kali 105)



The Treatment of Nature in Sangam Literature, M.Varadarajan, 1969

Dictionary of Symbolism, Hans Biedermann, 1992

Who is Who in Ancient Egypt, Michael Rice, 1999

The Imagery of Kalidasa, Dr(Mrs) Vinod Aggarwal, 1985

Dictionary of the Ancient Near Eas, British Museum, 2000



Picture of Apis of Egypt



Why did Mother Earth Cry? Sangam Tamils and Valmiki explain! (Post No.3627)

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 11 FEBRUARY 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 13-25


Post No. 3627



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contact; swami_48@yahoo.com



Sangam Tamil literature has got many poets with Sanskrit names such as Valmiki, Damodraran, Kesavan, Rudraksha, Kamakshi, Markanedyan etc. Most of the poems in Purananuru, oldest part of Sangam Tamil Literature, is full of Hindu themes, stories, similes, imageries, thoughts and views. In fact, there is no poem without one of these ideas. over 20 poets have Nagan as suffix in their names! This explodes the Aryan-Dravidian Racist theories.


There is a very interesting poem sung by Marakandeyanar (verse 365); when he was explaining the instability of the world, he said that the Mother Earth cried saying that she was like a courtesan; all the kings come and ‘enjoy’ her and go. one wouldn’t understand the meaning of this poem unless one reads Valamiki Ramayana.


The story of Mother Earth is in 36th Chapter of Bala Kanda in Ramayana:


Vishvamitra narrated the Story of Uma to Rama and Lakshmana. In the ancient times, Mahadeva married Uma and spent his time happily. But the Devas were worried that they had no issue for a long time. Devas wanted a powerful youth to get rid of the Asuras/demons. So they went to Shiva’s abode under the leadership of Brahma and told him their concern. Then Lord Shiva shed his semen which fell on earth. It covered the hills and forests. When the earth could bear no more, Devas asked the fire god Agni and Wind god Vayu to take it. They created a mountain called Shveta and a forest called Shara. Kartikeya was born from this Shara Vana (Vana= forest).


Though all the Devas were happy, Uma wan’t. Since she was bypassed in this matter she cursed Devas that they would remain childless. She cursed Mother Earth for accepting Shiva’s seeds, that she would never bear a son, but would have countless masters (Kings). This is the reason for Mother Earth’s crying.


Earth is considered Mother in Tamil and Sanskrit literature. Greeks borrowed this idea from the Hindus. The poet in the verse used other Puranic imageries such as Sun and Moon as eyes, sky as face, Diamond tool etc.







Sirisam and Anicham flowers in Tamil and Sanskrit literature (Post No.3599)

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 2 FEBRUARY 2017


Time uploaded in London:-  6-26 am


Post No. 3599



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Sirisham is the softest flower in Sanskrit literature. We see girls named after as Sirisha. In Tamil Sangam and post Sangam literature Anicham is the softest flower. My research shows that both the flowers are one and the same.


In the Kumarasambhava, Kalidasa compared the arms of Parvati to the delicate Sirisa flower. The arms of Parvati are imagined to be more delicate than even the Sirisa flower– KS 1-41


The soft delicate Sirisa flower can stand only the footing of a bee on it but not that of a heavy bird. Similarly the Sirisa like delicate frame can tolerate delicate handling and not the rough handling as in penances –KS 5-4


The image imparts grace and charm to the delicacy of Parvati’s body.

In the Raghuvamsa the body of Sudarsana is said to be as tender as the delicate Sirisa flower– RV18-45


What is Sirisam or Anicham?

According to Tamil books, Anicham is the softest flower. Like diamond is used to compare the hardness of any object, Sirisham or Anicham flower is used by all the Indian poets to compare the softness of any part of the body or an object.


Anicham flower is referred to in Sangam Tamil literature at least in two places in Kalitokai and Kurijipattu. In later works Tirukkural has got four references to Anicham flowers. They are as follows:

Anicham picture from Wikipedia


Even as the Anicham flower fades when smelt, so also are guests, so also are guests hurt when the host puts to a vary face. (Kural 90)


Blessed art thou, Anicha, tenderest of flowers; more tender than thee is my beloved (1111) (This is similar to the Kumarasambhava couplet of Kalidasa, where he says the same about Parvati)


Even the flower Anicha and the down of the swan are ripe nettles to the feet of this maiden (1120)


With stems she wears the Anicha flower. The weight may break her waists and sad drums blare (1115)


Reasons for my conclusion:

The flower identified as Anicham previously by some people, is not a common flower in Tamil Nadu. Moreover, that is not the softest flower where as Sirisam shown in the picture fits in all the descriptions. Anicham identified does not fade when smelt. Anicham may not be a Tamil word at all. We have no word with that sound (ani) in Sangam literature except Anicham mentioned In Kurinjipattu and Kalitokai. Sirisham is used in naming girls. But Anicham is not used in naming or Puja or decoration or making garlands. It looks very artificial. So we may conclude that Sirisham was known as Anicham in some parts of ancient Tamil Nadu.

Botanical name of both the flowers as identified in the websites:

Sirisham – Albizia lebbek (East Indian Walnut); Family-Mimosaceae

Anicham- Anagallis arvensis (Scarlet Pimpernel); Family- Primulaceae






Who invented Camouflage Technique? (Post No.3569)

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 23 January 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 10-37 am


Post No.3569



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Hindus invented the Camouflage technique and taught the world. As keen observers of animals, they watched them  and used their camouflage wherever necessary. Colour changing chameleon and crocodile are part of their literature and proverbs.

Camouflage means colours or structures that allow an animal or structures to blend with its surroundings to avoid detection by others. Camouflage can take the form of matching the background colours. It is widely used in military as a technique disguising either an equipment, troops or a position in order to conceal them from an enemy- Hutchinson Encyclopaedia


Aristotle (Born in 384 BCE) referred to it. But We have older references in our literature. The greatest poet of India Kalidasa (First or Second Century BCE) has referred to it in at least two places in his Raghuvamsa. Let us look at it :


ग्रथितमौलिरसौ वनमालया तरुपलाशसवर्णतनुच्छदः।
तुरगवल्गनचञ्चलकुण्डलो विरुरुचे रुरुचेष्टितभुमिषु॥ ९-५१

grathitamaulirasau vanamālayā tarupalāśasavarṇatanucchadaḥ |
turagavalganacañcalakuṇḍalo viruruce ruruceṣṭitabhumiṣu || 9-51

grathitamaulirasau vanamAlayA tarupalAshasavarNatanucChadaH |


9-51. vana-mAlayA grathita mauliH = with garden, creepers, intertwined, headgear; taru palAsha sa-varNa tanu cChadaH= trees, leaves, equalling, body, covered – hisbodycovered  with agarment  having the colour of theleavesof trees;  turaga valgana ca~ncala kuNDalaH= by horses, galloping, moving, eardrops – one who has such ear-ornaments;  asau= he that Dasharatha;  ruru-ceShTita-bhumiShu= black-striped antelopes, moving, in such places;  vi-ruruce = shone forth.

This King Dasharatha camouflaged with his headgear tied up with a string of wild flowers and leaves,his body covered with a garment having the colour of the leaves of trees, and while his earrings moving about by the galloping of his horse, shone forth on the hunting grounds frequented by the ruru antelopes. [9-51]


Though Kalidasa came after Aristotle, he said that Dasaratha adopted this technique and we knew for sure that Dasaratha lived thousands of years before Aristotle.


Kalidasa also spoke about Animal Camouflage in another place:


Like the crocodile merges with its surroundings and waits to attack its prey, Aja’s enemies gave him prizes merging with the happy atmosphere, but was waiting to attack him.

लिङ्गैर्मुदः संवृतविक्रियास्ते ह्रदाः प्रसन्ना इव गूढनक्राः।
वैदर्भमामन्त्र्य ययुस्तदीयाम् प्रत्यर्प्य पूजामुपदाछलेन॥ ७-३०

liṅgairmudaḥ saṁvṛtavikriyāste hradāḥ
prasannā iva gūḍhanakrāḥ |
vaidarbhamāmantrya yayustadīyām
pratyarpya pūjāmupadāchalena || 7-30

li~NgairmudaH sa.nvR^itavikriyaaste hradaaH
prasannaa iva guuDhanakraaH |
vaidarbhamaamantrya yayustadiiyaam
pratyarpya puujaamupadaaChalena || 7-30

7-30. mudaH li~NgaiH= smiles, [as an outward] mark – hence with pseudo smiles; sa.nvR^ita vikriyaaH= concealed, change of feeling – wrath; prasannaa= [outwardly] unruffled – lake; guuDha nakraaH= with hidden, alligators; hradaaH iva = lake, as with; [sthitA= those kings who are there]; te= those kings; vaidarbham aamantrya= from king of Vidarbha, taking leave; tadiiyaam puujaam= his – Bhoja’s, hospitality by presents and gifts etc; upadaaChalena= by return gifts; pratyarpya= by requiting; yayuH= went away.

As with a lake hiding alligators under its serene sheet of waters, those suitor-princes concealing their irritation with feigned expressions of joy, bade farewell to the Lord of Vidarbha and went away, but only after having requited the worth of honour done to them, in the pretext of wedding presents. [7-30]



Gaits of Horses

In the first verse (quoted above) Kalidasa (Rv 9-51) used beautiful words to describe the gait of Dasaratha’s horse: Turaga Valgana Sanchala Kundala. Valgana is one of the five gaits of horse. Horse and cow are biggest contribution of Hindus to the civilization. Both figured in the Rig Veda, the oldest scripture in the world (dated between 6000 BCE and 1500 BCE). Latest discoveries show that horse and rhino originated in India illions of years ago. Hindus domesticated themand trained the entire world.Hindu Yakshas (Hyskos) took it to Egypt and from where It spread to other civilised parts of the world. Kikkuli’s training Horse training manual in Sanskrit was discovered in Turkey. It is dated 1300 BCE.


Following couplets show that Hindus were well advanced in the Horse training. The very word Horse came from Sanskrit Hrasva=Asva. Since Indian horse has different number of ribs, which is clearly mentioned in the Rig Veda, the Aryan migration was also thrown into dustbin by the latest research.




Aaskanditam – Leaping

Dhoritakam – Trot

Recitam -Canter

Valgitam – Space

Plutam – Caper

asskanditam dhoritakam recitam valgitam plutam gatayo amuuh pancha dhaara  – Amarakosham 2-8-48


Asvakrama (Training of Horse)

Mandala – circular

Caturasra – square

Gomutra – cow urine shaped

Ardhacandra- Crescent shaped

Naagapaasa – Snake shaped


mandalam caturasranca gomutrancardhacandrakam

nagapasakramenaiva bramayet katapanchakam

-Vasishta Dhanurveda Samhita page 72


Asva Types in Mahabharata

Saibya; Sugriiva, Meghapuspa, Balaahaka


vajibhih saibyasugrivameghapuspabalahakaih

snatah sampadayamasuh sampannaih sarvasampada- M.Bh.(Udyogaparva 4-21)


–Encyclopaedia of Numerals, Vol.1, Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institue, Chennai, 600004, Year 2011



Pearl is available from Twenty Sources! (Post No.3538)


Written by London swaminathan


Date: 12 January 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 20-20


Post No.3538



Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.



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Tamil literature lists 20 places as the sources of pearls . Biologists know only one place where pearl is born. Sanskrit literature lists only eight places but these are not scientifically proved.

Twenty places according to Tamil verse from Uvamana Sangraham and Rathina Surukkam:
Horn of elephant/tusk
Horn of boar


Areca nut Tree

Special Type of Banana Tree

Chalanchalam (Rare Type of right whorld Chank

Hear of Fish

Head of Crane


Neck of women

Sugar cane


Snake (cobra)





Head of a crocodile
Teeth of cows

Varahamihira lists the following eight places in his Brhat Samhita:-


Following is from 2015 post: “Eight Types of Pearls: Varahamihira’s 1500 year old Price list”


Pearls are produced by:

Elephants, Oysters, Snakes, Clouds, Chanks, Bamboos, Whales, Boar (Brhat Samhita, Chapter 81)

Pearls come from eight areas


Simhalaka (Sri Lanka), Paraloka (Travancore coast), Surashtra (Gujarat), Tampraparani River (in South Tamil Nadu), Parasava (Iran), a Nothern country, Pandya vataka and the Himalayas.

Kautilya’s Artha Shastra (Third Century BCE) mentioned Pandya Kavata pearl. Fahien (399-414 CE) mentioned Simhala/Sri Lankan pearls.

Paraloka is a confusing term. There is one river called Parali in Kerala and there is an island Parali in the Lakshadweep. But the interesting thing is that itself sounds pearl in Tamil (Paral in Tamil is pearl in English and this town name is Paral+i).

Elephant Pearls:


Pearls are also obtained from the head and tusks of Bhadra class of elephants, says Varahamihira. But Varahamihira makes it clear that he repeats what the ancients believed about the elephant pearls. (This means they are not found even in Varahamihira days who lived around 510 CE)

He speaks about the pearls found in Boar tusk, Whales etc. Then he gives details about the pearls that are found in the seventh layer of winds. But the heaven dwellers will catch them before it falls on to earth!

Then he categorises Nagaratna as pearls. If the kings wear Nagaratna pearls enemies will be destroyed and his reputation will increase.
Kalidasa speaks of pearls from the head of elephants


From my 2012 post “Gem Stones in Kalidasa and Sangam Literature”

Pearl in the Oyster


If the rain falls on Swati star day the oysters open their mouth to drink the rain drops and the rain drops become pearls-This was the belief of ancient Indians including Tamils.
Bhartruhari and Sangam Tamil literature say that the pearls are created by the oysters on a particular day,I.e. The oysters open their mouths when there is rain falling down on a day under the star Swati(one of the 27 stars ). Biologists say that the sand particles that enter the living oysters secrete a liquid which covers the irritant to become a pearl.
Malavi.1-6: Kalidasa says , ‘the skill of a teacher imparted to a worthy pupil attains greater excellence, as the water of a cloud is turned in to a pearl in a sea shell.In Puram 380 ,Karuvur Kathapillay says the same about the origin of pearls. Bhartruhari makes it more specific by saying the rain on Swati Nakshatra days become pearls. Biologits also confirm on full moon days lot of sea animals like corals release their eggs or spores. So far as India is concerned it might have happened in that particular (Swati star with Moon) season.

Kalidasa gives more similes about pearls. He describes the river that is running circling a mountain as a garland of pearls ( Ragu.13-48 and Mega.-49)

Other references from Kalidasa: sweat drops as pearl:Rtu.6-7; tears as pearls: Mega 46, Ragu VI 28,,Vikra V 15; smile-KumarI-44, water drops on lotus leaf:Kumara VII 89


Pearls obtained from the head of elephants:Kumarasambhava 1-6, Raghu.9-65; In Tamil literature: Murugu 304, Malaipadu 517, Puram 170Natri.202, Kurinchi.36, Akam.282 etc.


In Tamil the teeth are compared to the pearls: Ainkur. 185, Akam 27

Since Gulf of Mannar is the main source of pearls in India ,thre are innumerable references to pearls in Tamil literature. Even Kautilya refers to the pearls from Pandya country. Korkai was the harbour city where the pearl fishing was flourishing. Aink 185,188, Akam 27,130 and Natri 23mention pearls from Korkai.

(for more information, go to  the two articles mentioned  by me