Where is Heaven? Sangam Tamil Poets and Chanakya Answer !! (Post No.4650)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 22 JANUARY 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 20-22

 

Post No. 4650

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There are many amazing similarities between Sangam Tamil poets and Chanakya. There is a time gap of at least five hundred years and there is a distance gap of at least two thousand miles between the two. But yet they had similar views on life. Where is Heaven? They answer in the same way!

 

Pisiranthaiyaar was a famous Tamil poet of Sangam age. He must have lived in the first or second century of our era. And we all knew that Chanakya lived in the third century BCE. Chanakya was a great genius and his Niti shastra and Arthashastra are very famous.

What is the secret of black hair? 

 

Stress triggers or complicates most of the diseases is a modern discovery. But a Tamil Cankam/ Sangam poet called Pisiranthaiyar who lived 2000 years ago gives the secret of his black hair at a ripe old age in a beautiful Tamil poem.

When Pisiranthaiyar went to see the great Chola king Kopperun cholan (who was starving himself to death following an ancient Tamil rite) all were amazed to see an old poet without any grey hair. When they asked about the secret of his black hair, he sang;

“How can it be you don’t have any grey hair, through you have lived for many years?

You have asked the question and I will give you an answer!

My children have gone far in learning. My wife is rich in her virtue!

My servants do what I wish and my king, who shuns corruption, protects us!

And in my city there are many noble men who through deep knowledge, have acquired calm, have become self -controlled, and the choices they make in their lives are built on the quality of restraint.”

-(Purananuru 191 by Pisiranthaiyar)

To put it in a nutshell:

My son is well educated ( so obedient)

My wife is very cooperative

My servants are obedient

My king is a good ruler

My town is full of scholars

If one has all these, one need not worry. If you lead a care free life, you won’t be stressed. You will be ever young like Markandeya. Modern science says that stress triggers blood pressure, heart diseases, cancer and diabetes.

Now look at what Chanakya says about the same topic

 

“He whose son is obedient, whose wife acts as per his wish and who is contented with what he has, for him the heaven is here, in this world. Itself.”

Chanakya  Niti, chapter 2, sloka 3

 

Yasya putra vasiibhuutho bhaaryaa chandaanugaaminii

Vibhave yasya santhaanushti tasya svarga ehaivahi

 

Xxx

Education in Low Family 

‘In extremity, one is permitted to learn even the Vedas from someone who is not a Brahmin and to walk behind him and obey him like a Guru as long as the instruction lasts’ — Manu 2-241

It is interesting that Tamil king Nedunchezian who lived 2000 years ago also said the same about education in verse 183 of Purananuru.

A rough translation of the verse runs like this:

“Learn by all means, spend money on education, render help to your Guru. The reason is that even mothers favour the learned among her sons. Even the king would call for service the learned even if he is the youngest in a family. Even among the four castes, if a low caste man is educated, the high caste would respect him and follow him”

 

Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar who lived 1500 years ago also said the same:-

“Though high born, an unlettered man is lower than a learned man of lower birth” – Kural  409

 

Chanakya says,

“What has one to do with a high family where there is no education? One born in a low family, if learned is adored even by gods”.

Chapter 8, sloka 19

Kim kulena visaalena vidhyaahiinena dehinaam

Dushkuliino api vidhvaamsca devairapi supuujyate

Great Men Think Alike!!!

Subham

 

TAMIL POET AND CHANAKYA WARN ABOUT BRAHMINS! (Post No.4598)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 9 JANUARY 2018

 

Time uploaded in London-8-09 AM

 

 

 

Post No. 4598

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

 

Don’t Walk In between Two Brahmins- Chanakya’s Advice; Tamils Agree!

 

Chanakya, the genius of ancient India, gives some strange advice. But It is found in later Tamil literature as well. Chanakya alias Kautilya lived 2300 years ago.

 

Here is the sloka/verse:

One should not walk in between two Brahmins, a Brahmin and fire, husband and wife, master and servant, the plough and the bull

 

Viprayorvipravahnyoho swamibhtyayoho

antarena nagantavyam halasya vrushabhasya ca

Chanakya Niti, Chapter 7,verse 5

 

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One should not point feet towards fire, teacher, a Brahmin, a cow, a maiden, an old man and a child.

paadaabhyaam na sprusedagnim gurum braahnameva ca

naiva gaam wa kumariim ca vrudhdham na sisum tathaa

Chanakya Niti, Chapter 7,verse 6

 

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Don’t be Over simple! Be crooked!

People should not be over simple; go to a forest and see. Straight trees are lumbered there while the crooked ones stay put.

naatyantam saralairbhaavyam gatvaa pasya vanasthaliim

chidhyante saralaastatra kubjaastishtanti paadapaahaa

Chanakya Niti, Chapter 7,verse 12

 

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If the following seven are asleep, one should awaken them: a student, a servant, a wayfarer, one tormented by hunger, one tremulous in fear, the store keeper and a gate keeper .

vidhyarthii sevakah paantha; kshudhaartaa bayakaatarah

bhandaari ca pratihaari sapta suptaan prabhodhayet

Chanakya Niti, Chapter 9,verse 6

 

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These seven, if asleep, one should not wake up: a snake, a king, a tiger, a boar, a child, somebody else’s dog and a fool.

arhi nrupam ca saarduulam kiti ca baalakam  tathaa

parasvaanam ca muurkham ca sapta suptaan na bhodhayet.

Chanakya Niti, Chapter 9,verse 7

XXX

TAMIL VERSES

 

TIRIKADUKAM (Tri Kaduka) is one of the 18 minor didactic works. The author Nallaathanaar warns that one should deal with Brahmins carefully. One should treat a Brahmin like fire; don’t close too near; it will burn you; don’t go too far; you will feel cold and suffer. The message is treat them with due respect. Since Brahmins of the golden days—Krta Yuga—and the olden days  were pure in character, their words came came true; and if it was a  good word it  benefitted one; if it was a curse it harmed one.

Nallaathanaar says,

Oh, farmers! Wise men say three things are good for you—

1.Dont try to get money through gambling

2.Even if you know a Brahmin for long, fear him like fire

3.Do farming with interest

 

Tiruvalluvar, the author of Tamil Veda Titukkural use the same for a king

 

How to move with a king? It is just like one who warms oneself in the fire, neither going too near, nor too far – kural couplet 691

 

Adi Shankara was the one who used this fire imagery first. Later Tiruvalluvar, Nallaathanaar, Kamban,  Bhavananthi of Nannul and several authors used it.

 

Adi Shankara used it in the context of devotees; Lords says that he does not discriminate; those who are nearer to him get the benefits of his warmth; those who go away from him lose his grace.

 

It is very interesting to compare all of them.

 

–subham–

 

CHANAKYA’S WARNING: DON’T DO THE FOLLOWING THINGS! (Post No.4589)

CHANAKYA’S WARNING: DON’T DO THE FOLLOWING THINGS! (Post No.4589)

 

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 6 JANUARY 2018

 

Time uploaded in London-13-31

 

 

 

Post No. 4589

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

Chanakya was a great genius. He was a great statesman, astute politician, an author and an economist. But some of his ‘Dos and Donts’ look very strange. Probably there was a reason for it 2300 years ago. He lived during the days of Alexander. Following slokas (verses) are from his book Chanakya Niti.

1.Nails and Women

One should never trust those with nails and horns and those with arms in hand, (as also), the rivers, the women and the members of the royal households.

Chanakya Niti, Chapter 1, Sloka 15

nakhinaam ca nadiinaancha srunginaam sastrapaaninaam

visvaaso naiva kartavyah striishu rajakuleshu ca

 

xxx

2.Don’t live if there is no civility

One should not live there which does not have the following five:–

the means of livelihood, fear (about rules, regulations) , modesty, civility and charity (the nature to give or relinquish)

lokayaatraa bhayam lajjaa daakshinyam tyaagasiilataa

panca yatra na vidyante na kuryaat tatra samsthatim

Chapter 1, Sloka 10

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3.Dont live in the country…………..

One should keep away from that country where there is no respect, no means of livelihood, no relatives, no acquisition of knowledge or skill.

Yasmin dese na sammaano na vruttirna ca bhandhavaah

na ca vidyaagamah kasichattam desam parivarjayet

Chapter 1, Sloka 8

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4.Don’t live in a town if there is no Doctor

A place which does not have these five:- rich person, a Vedic scholar, a king, a river, and a doctor (Physician) – one should not stay even for a day!

dhanikah srotriyo raajaa nadii vaidhyastu pancamah

panca yatra na vidhyante na tatra divasam vaset

Verse 6 of Chapter 1

 

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  1. Beware of Friends

One should not trust a bad friend, nor should repose too much of trust (even in good) friend lest the friend in a fit of rage were to lay bare all the secrets.

Chapter 2, Verse 6

na visvaset kumitre ca mitre caatiwa visvaset

kadaacit kupitamitram sarvam guhyaam prakaasayet

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6.Never reveal Your Plans/ Ideas

One should not reveal through words (talk about) an action one has in mind. One should keep it secret in his counsel and apply it to one’s mission.

Chapter 2, verse 7

manasaa chintitam kaaryam vachasaa na prakaasayet

mantrena rakshayet guudam kaarye chaapi niyojayet.

 

Some of his instructions are valid even today.

Source for slokas: Chanakya Niti, translated by Satya Vrat Shastri, Kolkata.

–subham-

 

 

 

Ten Greatest Literary Wonders (Post No.4582)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 4 JANUARY 2018

 

Time uploaded in London- 20-24

 

 

 

Post No. 4582

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Some picturers were used from Brahmi by Ankhita Roy and Malay mandal

 

 

Wonder 1

India is a land of wonders. It is a land of literary wonders. Take any subject; It is in the first place; but this article is about the language, literature and linguistics. Nowhere in the world we see 900 plus poets 2000 years ago. We have all the names of the poets and their poems intact. Vedic anukramani gives a list of 435 poets and the Tamil Sangam literature gives a list of approximately 470 poets. We have 1028 hymns containing 10,600 verses or mantras in the Rig Veda alone. It is the oldest book in the world. It is the oldest anthology in the world. Tamil Sangam had 470 poets who had composed 2380 poems. Rig Veda was there at least 4000 years ago when Sarasvati was flowing from the Himalayas to the sea. Tamil Sangam literature came 2000 years after the Vedic poems. Post-Vedic poets prepared the Index- the first in the world.

What does it show? It shows that India, that is Bharat, was the most civilized country and most literate in the ancient world. This also shows that all other civilizations such as Babylonian, Egyptian and Chinese came later. Because literature is the scale with which can measure the wisdom, knowledge and maturity of a society. To reach such a level of intelligence, the community should have lived there several thousand years before that literary production.

 

Wonder 2

 

Women wrote Poems!

The literacy and progressive thoughts of the Hindus is highlighted by at least 50 poetesses, which is not seen anyhere in the world. Oldest book Rig Veda has more than 20 poetesses. Sangam literature which came 2000 years after the Vedas has another 25 Tamil poetesses.

This galaxy of intellectuals show that no civilization came nearer to the Hindu civilization.

Women were so educated that they attended the debating societies and (Gargi Vachaknavi) questioned great philosopher such as Yajnavalkya. In Tamil poetess Avvaiyar was fearless in questioning the war mongering Tamil kings.

Wonder 3

The Vedic literature was huge. In every culture, there is a time gap between the poetry and prose. In Sanskrit, four Vedas with 20,000 verses and a huge mass of prose literature ( Brahmanas and Aranyakas) came well before the Greeks started writing. Tamils wrote 2000 years after the Sanskrit poets. The great wonder about this bulky literature is that they passed it by word of mouth until today, at least for 4000 years!

 

Wonder 4

Another literary wonder is the production of Upanishads – the philosophic treatises- before other philosophers of the world. Moses, Zoroaster, Mahavira, Confucius, Buddha—all came after the Upanishads according to the Hindu dating of the Upanishads.

 

Wonder 5

In those Upanishads we have a long list of Gurus – over 50 generations of teachers- who passed the wealth of knowledge. That shows how old our teaching is. And in the Puranas (mythologies) we have 140 generations of kings. Longest and continuous list which the world has ever seen. Sumeraian and Egyptian king lists were made up by scholars like Berosus of 2nd century BCE. There are big gaps.. In spite of dry climate helping them to preserve 60,000 clay tablets and Egyptian writings on papyrus the list is incomplete. Together with the Upanishadic list of hereditary teachers and Puranic list of 140 generations before Megasthenes, we stand in the front. These Hindu scriptures are another literary wonder.

 

Wonder 6

The inscriptions of Emperor Asoka was a great literary wonder. Suddenly we see Brahmi script from Afghanistan to the southernmost part of Sri Lanka—biggest geographical mass—the largest country in the world. This happened 2300 years ago. That means Indians were literate from Kashmir to Kandy in Sri Lanka. Unless they could read Asoka would not have installed so many inscriptions.

 

 

Wonder 7

 

The Brahmi script itself is a great wonder. Though some scholars think that it was derived from Phoenician, the undeniable fact is that it is very different from those Semitic scripts. Brahmi script is alphabetical and scientifically arranged. It followed Paninian phonetics. The greatest wonder abbot the Brahmi script is that it gave the scripts, the glyph to all the languages of South East Asia and South and North India.

 

Wonder 8

Hindus were first in all the literary ventures whether its wring stories or wring sex manuals. The first grammar book was from Panini of seventh century BCE. The world is wonderstruck with the conciseness of Ashtadyayee of Panini. This grammar book is considered a wonder of human thought

 

Wonder 9

Language and linguistics are dealt with even in a religious book like Rig Veda. Similes, number symbolism, metaphors using literary subjects show the level of knowledge in the Vedic society. I have already written about the Vedic lingustics and four types of sounds and hymns on Vac—the speech. Higher thoughts and world welfare were dealt n the hymns. The last hymn of the Rig Veda prays for the integration. It can serve as the World National Anthem or the UN national Anthem. The hymns on Earth in the Atharva Veda  can serve as the anthem for all the environmental organisations.

Please see below the relevant hymns:

Language and Linguistics

RV 1-164, 4-58, 8-59, 8-100, 10-71, 10-114, 10-125, 10-177

 

 

RV 1-164, 10-71, 4-3, 10-125

 

World Welfare

10-191, , YV 36, AV 19-60, AV 7-69, AV 3-30,

 

 

Wonder 10

Hindus stood first in the production of dictionaries, thesauruses such as 2000 year old Amarakosham. In every field of language they stood first. The Vedic prosody is also highly developed. The syllabus had six different subjects including etymology, grammar and astrology/astronomy. This is also another indication of highly developed culture.

 

Linguistics | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/linguistics/

Vedic Hindus were highly educated. We come across many linguisticobservations in all the four Vedas. Rig Veda, the oldest book, has many hymns dealing with linguistic points. Satyakam Varma has summarised them in his book Vedic Studies. Rig Vedic hymns 1-164, 4-58, 8-59, 8-10, 10-114, 10-125, 10-177 and many …

IS THERE POETRY OR PHILOSOPHY IN THE RIG … – Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/…/is-there-poetry-or-philosophy-in-the-rig-veda-post-no-4…

23 Oct 2017 – Written by London Swaminathan Date: 23 October 2017 Time uploaded in London- 20–15 Post No. 4329 Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. We know that the Rig Veda is the oldest religious book in the world; we know…

 

DIRGATAMAS HYMN- A RIDDLE IN THE RIG VEDA – Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/…/dirgatamas-hymn-a-riddle-in-the-rig-veda-post-no-4453…

2 Dec 2017 – The Rig Vedic hymn 1-164 is a great hymn. Probably that is the longest hymn in the oldest book in the world with 52 mantras. It is like an encyclopaedia touching various subjects. It is a riddle because the poetDirgatamas has used lot of numbers which can be interpreted in many ways. In fact Wilson, Max …

Strange Names for Unknown Poets of Rig Veda … – Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/…/strange-names-for-unknown-poets-of-rig-veda-and-tami…

14 Dec 2014 – Research paper written by London Swaminathan Research article No.1486; Dated 14th December 2014. Some poets have got strange names in the Rig Veda as well as in Sangam Tamil literature. Some of thepoets are named after the epithets they use. There is a reason behind it. Shrikant G.Talageri, in …

You visited this page on 03/01/18.

Poetry in Vedas | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/poetry-in-vedas/

By London Swaminathan. Rig Veda, the oldest religious book in the world, has beautiful poetry in it. The Vedas are records of man’s earliest thoughts on God and philosophical matters. When the Vedic seers wanted to convey their thoughts they used lot of similes as well. Vedas can be interpreted symbolically, …

Big Bang in the Rig Veda! (Post No.4235) | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/…/big-bang-in-the-rig-veda-post-no-423…

22 Sep 2017 – The Big Bang is described in the Rig Veda 6000 or 7000 years ago. Cosmologists wonder that such a thought occurred to one or two seers on the banks of River Sarasvati in India. Hindus are great cosmologists that the same creation is described in several Brahmanas, Puranas and Manau Smrti as well.

 

 

–Subham–

Gambling, Women, Theft- That is what Wise Men do- Chanakya! (Post No.4556)

 

Gambling, Women, Theft- That is what Wise Men do- Chanakya! (Post No.4556)

 

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 28 DECEMBER 2017 

 

Time uploaded in London- 7-56 am

 

 

Post No. 4556

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks

 

 

Chanakya is not only a statesman and an economist but also a poet. His Chanakya Niti has very interesting riddles. He used symbols and metaphors to illustrate his points. Here is one of the metaphorical poems:

 

praatardhyutaprasangena madhyaahne striprasangena

ratrau charyaprasangena kaalo gacchati dhimataam

–chanakya niti, chapter 9, verse 11

 

Meaning:

Applying themselves to gambling in the morning, to women in noon and theft in the night the wise spend their time.

 

There is a metaphoric reference here to three texts. Dyuaprasanga here refers to a text where there is gambling, i.e Mahabharata. The whole epic is the cause of gambling between the Panadava and Kauravas. If the game had not been played, there wouldn’t be any story. Wise people read Mahabharata in the morning.

The second reference is about the woman. This is referring to Sita devi of Ramayana. Without Sita devi’s wrong decision and wrong desire there wouldn’t be any Ramayana story. Knowing that there is no golden deer on earth, she desired a (fake) golden deer and then all the disasters followed. Wise people read Ramayana in the noon.

 

The third reference is to chaurya prasangena- meaning theft. This is a reference to Bhagavata Purana where Krishna’s life is narrated. He is shown as a thief of butter at home, thief of saris on the banks of River Yamuna and a thief who steals the hearts of millions of people around the world- his devotees. Wise men do read his story, i.e. Bhagavata Purana in the night.

 

Thus, wise men spend their time usefully. Chanakya has made his point in a way which would amuse people and at the same time keep it ever green in the memory of his readers.

 

My comments:

Why did Lord Krishna steal the saris of Gopi girls? Though we knew all the saris were duly returned and the Gopi girls went home sari clad, there is another secret in it. He wanted to tell the world that whatever he steals will be returned in multi fold. If he steals butter, the world will be supplied with enormous quantity of dairy products. If he steals saris, he would give them without stopping to any one in need of saris,which we saw in the Derobing of Draupadi in the Mahabharata. When Duryodana ordered his younger brother to take away the sari of Pandava queen Draupadi in public, she prayed to Lord Krishna. And she got a continuous supply of saris and saved her honour. In the same way when a devotee gives his heart a little to Lord Krishna, he showers back on the devotee his heart million times – his grace for ever.

 

Source for the verse: Canakyaniti translated by Satya Vrat Shastri

–subham–

VALLUVAR’S TIRUKKURAL AND KAMA SASTRA COMPARED (Post No.4539)

Compiled by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 24 DECEMBER 2017 

 

Time uploaded in London- 8-35 am

 

 

Post No. 4539

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks

 

 

Part 5 of Tirukkural- Bhagavad Gita Comparison by Rev. G U Pope and V R R Dikshitar ; in this Kamasastra is compared with Tirukkural along with other books.

 

Please read first four parts posted in the past few days and continue here:–

 

So far we have seen the comparison between Tiru Valluvar’s Tirukkural with Bhagavad Gita, Manu Smrti, Arthasastra of Kautilya/Chanaya, Kamandaki, Ramayana and Mahabharata. In this section we will look at the Parnellism between the Kamasastra in Sanskrit with Tirukkural

 

Following is from the book Studies in Tamil Literature by V R Ramachandra Dikshitar:

 

Book III of Tirukkural- Kaamattuppaal

 

There are two views with regard to this particular section. One is that Valluvar gives expression to purely Tamil aspect of Kama (sexual desire). According to this whole can be conveniently divided into Kalaviyal and Karpiyal, and these again are based on the five tinais peculiar to the Tamils.

 

But the celebrated commentator of the Kural, Parimel azagarwould again find correspondences between this subject of the subject and that in Sanskrit literature. According to that authority, Kalaviyal and Karpiyal correspond to the Samyoga and Vipralambha of the KAMASUTRA treatises.

 

In the Karpiyal section again Parimelaalagar would find corresponding terms for the different incidents like

Selavu =Pravasa

Arraamai= Viraaga

Viduppu = Ayogam

and Pulavi= Maanam.

The Sanskritists add the fifth incident Saapa.

As this is quite uncommon , says the commentator, Valluvar did not include it in his treatment of the subject. While the Chapter 116 Pirivarraamai is devoted to selavu, the chapters (117-126) deal with the Arraamai.

 

Viduppu is dealt within three chapters (127-129), while the last four chapters (130-133) are devoted to the incident of Pulavi.

 

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Porutpaal continued…………………

Kural 586 to 589 ( Spies/ Detectives)

 

As monk or devotee, through every hindrance making way,

A spy whatever men do must watchful mind display.

 

A spy must search each hidden matter out

And full report must render, free from doubt.

 

Spying by spies, the things they tell,

To test by other spies is well.

 

One spy must not another see: contrive it so;

And things by three confirmed as truth you know

 

The Arthasastra has the following:

The king shall send fraudulent and ascetic spies who have been tried for their loyalty and skill.

The class of officers who went by the name of Tiiksanas ascertained their outward conduct. The satri spies carried this information to the district quarters. The residential officers therein made it known to the headquarters through signs and cipher writings. This is to be done without the knowledge of the respective samsthas. If the information is corroborated by three independent sources, it is taken to be confirmed.

(Book 1, Chap.11 and 12)

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Kural 581 (Spies)

These two: the code renowned, and spies

n these let king confide as eyes

 

Tha Kamandaki saysA king should get at the movements of the adversary through the medium of his cautious and secret spies. That king one of whose eyes is caara or the spy is awake even in sleep (13-29)

 

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Kural 602 and 604 (Sloth)

Let indolence, the death of effort, die,

If you’d uphold your household’s dignity.

His family decays, and faults unheeded thrive,

Who, sunk in sloth,  for noble objects doth not strive

 

The Bhagavd Gita gives similar ideas:

Know, og Bharata, inertia born of ignorance and the deluder of all beings, is bound by sloth, indolence and sleep (BG 14-8)

 

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Kural 628 and 630 (Fortitude)

He seeks not joy, to sorrow man is born, he knows;

Such man will walk unharmed by touch of human woes

 

Who pain as pleasure takes, he shall acquire

The bliss to which his foes in vain aspire.

 

The Gita says similarly,

You grieve for things not fit to be grieved for and yet indulge in wise sayings. The wise never grieve either for the living or for the dead.

 

He who sees his self in everything and looks upon pleasure and pain equally, is a perfect Yogi

–BG 2-11 and 6-32

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Kural 631 (Ministers)

A minister is who grasps, with wisdom large,

Means ,time, work’s mode and functions rare he must discharge

 

The Arthasastra says,

The ministers shall engage in the following five duties: commencing a work, finding out resources, fixing it according to place and time, protecting against possible dangers, and final consummation Book 1-15

 

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Kural 645 and 646 (Eloquence)

Speaking out your speech, when once it is past dispute

That none can utter speech that shall your speech refute.

 

Charming each hearer’s ear, of others words to seize the sense

Is method wise of men of spotless excellence.

 

A good illustration of this maxim is found in the Mahabharata. Here the kingdom is threatened with a invasion, the king goes to the country and begs for war loans and benevolences by speaking out in sweet, soft and convincing style.

–Santi Parva 88,26,34

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Kural 669, 670 (Firmness)

Though toil and trouble face thee, firm resolve hold fast,

And do the deeds that pleasure yield at last.

 

The world desires not men of every power possessed,

Who powers in act desires not, crown of all the rest

 

is expressed in other words by the Bhagavad Gita:

Do not get vexed. This is unbecoming of one like yourself. Give up the detestable weakness of the heart and gird up, oh slayer of foes –BG 2-3; 4-20

 

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Kural 681, 682, 683, 684 (AMBASSADOR)

 

Benevolence, high birth, the courtesy kings love

These qualities the envoy of a king approve

 

Love, knowledge, power of chosen words, three things

Should he possess who speaks the words of kings.

 

Mighty in lore amongst the learned must he be

Midst javelin-bearing kings who speaks the words of victory

Sense, goodly grace, and knowledge exquisite

Who hath these three for envoy’s task is fit.

 

similar ideas are expressed by the law giver Manu:

The king shall appoint him an ambassador who is versed in all sciences, who can read the gestures and signs, pure, skilled, of noble family

That ambassador, who is loyal, honest, intelligent of excellent memory, who acts according to time and place, of good physique, bold and possessed of good powers of speech is applauded – Manu 7-63/64

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Kural 685, 686, 688, 689, 690 (AMBASSADOR)

In the Kural

In term, concise, avoiding wrathful speech, who utters pleasant word

An envoy he who gains advantage for his lord

 

An envoy meet is he, well-learned, of fearless eye

Who speaks right home, prepared for each emergency

In the Athasastra,

The message is to be delivered in toto, even at the cost of life……….When questioned by the enemy king as to the strength of the lord’s forces, pretend ignorance and simply say, you know better! – Book 1-16

 

Again in the Kural,

Integrity, resources, soul determined, truthfulness;

Who rightly speaks his message must these marks possess.

 

His faltering lips must utter no unworthy thing,

Who stands, with steady eye, to speak the mandates of his king

 

Death to the faithful one his embassy may bring;

The envoy gains assured advantage for his king

 

The Rajaniti Rantnakara quotes Sukra,

The ambassador, though a mlechcha, shall not be killed

Hence the duta/ambassador is the king’s eye. Even when the arms are raised aloft in the act of striking him, he should faithfully deliver his message.

 

From the words of the duta/amabassador who would think of his own defects and of enemy’s strength? For the duta  speak always anything he thinks – page 46 of Rajanitiratnakara

 

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Kural 698, 699, 700 (On Serving the King)

Say not, ‘He is young, my kinsman’ despising thus your king;

But reverence the glory kingly state doth bring.

The following may be parallel,

A king should not be despised even though a child. he is a great divinity in the form of a man Manu 7-8

In the Kural, we have gained his grace, boots nought what graceless acts we do

So deem not sages who the changeless vision view.

 

Wh think we are ancient friends, and do unseemly things;

To these familiarity sure ruin brings.

 

Similar ideas are found in the following discussion in the Arthasastra,

says Bhardvaja,

The king shall appoint as his ministers his classmates as he would have understood their honesty and tact. They could be easily trusted. No says Visalaksha, ‘as playmates they would not respect him. He shall therefore appoint those whose secrets are well known to him. Possessed of conduct and defects in common with the king those do not entertain harm lest their secrets should be divulged. This is very common, says Parasara, for the king may follow them in their good and bad actions lest his own secrets be divulged Arthasastra Book 1, Chap.8

 

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Kural 731, 732 (A Prosperous Nation)

The Kural defines,

Where spreads fertility unfailing, where resides a band,

Of virtuous men, and those of ample wealth, call that a land.

 

That is a land which men desire for wealth’s abundant share,

Yielding rich increase, where calamities are rare

Baudhayana says:

A righteous man shall seek to dwell in a village where fuel, water, fodder, sacred fuel, Kusa grass and garlands are plentiful, access to which is easy, where many rich people dwell, which abounds in industrious people and where Aryans (noblemen) form the majority, and which is not easily entered by robbers—Baudhayana 2-3-51

S B E Volume 14 pages 243/4

Kural 737 (Nation)

What the Kural says,

Waters from rains and springs, a mountain near, and waters thence;

These make a land with fortress sure defence

 

is also mentioned by Kautilya

The fortress of rivers and mountains are sources of defence to the country parts.

Arthasastra Book 2-3

Chapter 74 of Kural entitled Nation corresponds roughly to the chapter on Durgavidhaan in the Arthasastra Book 2-3

Durga= Fortress

Chapter 75 of Kural entitled Fortification corresponds roughly to the the chapter on Durgavidhaan in the Arthasastra Book 2-3

 

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Kural 751 (WEALTH)

Nothing exists, save wealth, that can

Change man of nought to worthy man

is tus explained in the Ramayana

To a man of wealth, there are friends, and relatives. He is the worthy man of the world, and becomes a Pandita. He is a man of prowess and wisdom. He is a great man of good qualities.

Yuddha Kanda of Ramayana chap.83-35/36

 

Kural 760

What the Kural says,

Who plenteous store of glorious wealth have gained,

By them the other two are easily obtained

 

is explained thus by Vaatsyaayana,

Between wealth and kingdom, wealth is superior. Though the means of wealth, Lokayaatraa and Kaama are realised. This is the position of Trivarga.

–Kamasutra book 1-2-15/17

 

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Kural 861 (ENEMIES)

With stronger than thyself, turn from the strife away;

With weaker shun not, rather court the fray

Kautilya prescribes,

Court agreement of peace with equal and superior foes. Fight with the weaker.

–Book 7-3

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Kural 920 (PROSTITUTES)

According to the Kural:

Women of double minds, strong drink and dice;

to these given over,

Are those on whom the light of Fortune shines no more.

 

In the Arthasastra,

Public censure and loss of wealth are due to Kama ( desire).

….Kama comprises hunting, gambling, women and drinking.

–Book 7-3

 

In the chapter on the Purusa vyasana varga, Kautilya referes to the four-fold vice under the category of Kama. These are hunting, gambling, women and drinking. The effects of these evil habits are discussed I detail. Tiruvalluvar, on the other hand devotes two chapters on the Vyasanas of women (91being ruled by the wife, 92 prostitutes) one chapter ( 93 ) on drinking and one chapter on (94) gambling. Apparently, the author of the Kural does not treat hunting as such a vice as the other three. In fact hunting is recognised as a valuable form of exercise to kings by Kalidasa in his Sakuntala. Nor is Kautilya unaware of its beneficial effects.

Arthasastra book 8-3

 

My comments:

V R R Dikshitar has done very good research in Tirukkural. I have not seen any such comparisons in any other book. One must be a good scholar in both Sanskrit and Tamil and well read. I have already given my comparisons of Dhammapada and Tirukkural, Panchatantra and Tirukkural in separate articles.

 

—SUBHAM–

Chanakya and Valluvar (Post No.4530)

Compiled by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 22 DECEMBER 2017 

 

Time uploaded in London- 8-09 am

 

 

Post No. 4530

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

 

Part 3 of Tirukkural- Bhagavad Gita Comparison by Rev. G U Pope and V R R Dikshitar (Post No.4530)

 

 

Please read the first two parts where the books are introduced. Here Dikshitar ompared Chanakya with Valluvar:—-

 

Kural 126 (Self Control)

Like tortoise, who the five restrains

In one, though seven worlds bliss obtains

The Bhagavad Gita says that as a tortoise will restrain all limbs into itself, he who would restrain his sense will attain wisdom 2-58

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Kural 226 (Charity)

Let men relieve the wasting hunger men endure;

For treasure gained thus finds one treasure-house secure.

Manu rules to this effect: One must not eat oneself without feeding the guest first; feeding of guests leads to wealth, health, fame and heaven- Manu 3-106

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Kural 256 (Vegetarianism)

We eat the slain you say, ‘by us no living creatures die;

Who’d kill and sell, I pray, if none came there the flesh to buy?

Manu says, “He who approves of the killing of an animal, who preserves the slaughtered body, who kills it, who buys and sells it, who cooks it and who serves it, and who makes a meal of it are to be termed Killers” Manu 5-51

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Kural 257 (Vegetarianism)

With other beings ulcerous wounds their hunger may appease

If this they felt, desire to eat must surely ease

According to Manu, having learnt the origin of flesh (meat) and the killing of creatures, one will refrain from taking any kind of meat-5-49, 52 .

 

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Kural 259 (Vegetarianism)

Than thousand rich oblations, with libations rare,

Better the flesh of slaughtered beings not to share.

Manu’s ruling is similar:

He who would perform a hundred Asvamedha sacrifices year after year and he who would refrain from flesh eating are equal so far the attainments of fruits is concerned– Manu 5-53

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Kural 268 (Penance)

Who gains himself in utter self-control

Him worships every other living soul.

In Manu, one should endeavour day and night to conquer the senses; and one who conquer his senses is able to have all people under his control- Manu 7-44

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Kural 299 (Truthfulness)

Every lamp is not a lamp in wise men’s sight:

That is the lamp with truth’s pure radiance bright

In the Bhagavad Gita, The Yogi controlled, self engaged, in meditation, is likened to a lamp that is still in a windless place Bhagavad Gita 6-19

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Kural 330 (Violence)

Who had a loathed life, in bodies sorely pained,

Are men, the wise declare, by guilt of slaughter stained.

 

In the Laws of Manu, it is said that he who causes the killing of prohibited animals for his own happiness is considered to be dead, though living, for he never attains happiness- Manu 5-45

 

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Kural 339 (Instability)

Death is sinking into slumbers deep; Birth again is waking out of sleep.

 

The Bhagavad Gita furnishes a parallel: There is certain death to one who is born, and there is certain birth to one dead –Bhagavad Gita6-63)

 

xxx Arattup paal finished xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

PORUTPAAL; CHANAKYA’S ARTHASASTRA COMPARED

Chanakya is also known as  Kautilya.

 

Kural 381 (Leader/ King)

 

An army, people, wealth, a minister, friends, fort;

six things—

Who owns them all, a lion lives amid the kings.

 

Kautilya’s Artha sastra prescribes:

The king, minister, territory, fort treasury, army friends constitute the elements of a state………….. He wh possesses these and who follows the righteous policy is able to conquer the whole earth and is never defeated.

—Book 6-1 cf.Kamandaka 1-18

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Kural 385 (Leader- King)

A king is he who treasure gains, stores up, defends,

And duty for his kingdom’s weal expends

 

The Kamandaka Nitisastra furnishes a parallel:

The four fold functions of the king are to acquie wealth by equitable means, to preserv it, to augument it, and then expend it on the deserving.

Kamandaka 1-20

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Kural 390 (King/ Leader)

Gifts, grace, right sceptre, care f people’s weal;

These four a light of dreaded king reveal

 

is corroborated by the Kamandaki

Pleasant speech, grace gifts, protection of the poor and the distressed, and association with men of character are recognised by the world as the right thing.

–kamandaki 3-2

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Kural 391 (Study/ Learning)

So lean that you may full and faultless learning gain,

Then in obedience meet to lessons learnt remain.

 

According to the Arthasastra, sciences should be studied under qualified teachers and their precepts duly followed……………Discipline is the fruit of learning.

–Book 1-5, Arthasastra.

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Kural 411(Listening)

Wealth of wealth is wealth acquired by ear attent;

Wealth mid al wealth supremely excellent.

The Kautilya (Chanakya) says:

Hearing opens the door to knowledge, knowledge to right action, and right action to knowledge of one’s self. This is what constitutes vidyaa.

—Book 1- chapter 5 of Arthasastra.

 

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Kural 427 (Knowledge)

The wise discern, the foolish fail to see,

And minds prepare for things about to be

In the Arthasastra, he who possesses the eye of knowledge and science, is able to discern the true thing with a little effort.

Arthasastra ,Book 9, chapter 1

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Kural 441 (Great men)

As friends the men who virtue know, and riper wisdom share,

Their worth weighed well, the king should choose with care.

The prescription of Bhradwaja is that companions whose honesty and skill have been put to satisfactory tests shall be appointed ministers.

–Arthasastra, Book 1-8

 

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Kural 447 (Great men)

What power can work his fall, who faithful ministers,

Employs, that thunder out reproaches when he errs.

The Arthasastra prescribes that a king should select such ministers whose loyalty has been tried and who would protect him from risks involving danger to life.

–Arthasastra, Book 1-8

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Kural 462 and Kural 470 (Consideration/ On the right Forethought)

With chosen friends deliberate; next use they private thought;

Then act. By those who thus proceed all works with ease are wrought .

 

Plan and perform no work that others may despise;

What misbeseems a king the world will not aprroe as wise.

-The Arthasastra says

All undertakings are to be preceded by mantra or counsel………. Let the king review the works with the ministers present……….. That which gives fruition and is advocated by the best men must be done

–Arthasastra, Book 1-15

to be continued……………………

–Subham–

 

Linguistic Knowledge of Vedic Hindus (Post No.4498)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 15 DECEMBER 2017 

 

Time uploaded in London-  15-55

 

 

Post No. 4498

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

Vedic Hindus were highly educated. We come across many linguistic observations in all the four Vedas. Rig Veda, the oldest book, has many hymns dealing with linguistic points. Satyakam Varma has summarised them in his book Vedic Studies.

 

Rig Vedic hymns 1-164, 4-58, 8-59, 8-10, 10-114, 10-125, 10-177 and many hymns in the Atharva Veda talk about language and linguistics.

 

A brief summary of the points raised by the Vedic seers in those hymns are as follows:

Hymn 1-164

Dirgatamas’ hymn 1-164 is one of the longest hymns the Rig Veda. He talks about various subjects in a coded language with lot of symbolism.

In the hymn, mantra 24 refers to the seven speeches

Mantra 24 points out that this faculty of speech is found only in the human beiges.

Mantra 45 gives information about the divisions of speech. Grammarian Patanjali and others also discussed this in detail.

Hymn 4-58

Patanjali referred to part of this hymn. The four parts of speech are explained here. Patanjali discusses seven cases and the three originating centres of pronunciation.

 

In the opening mantra of this hymn, the originating source of speech has been referred to as GUHA while BRAHMA has been referred to as a title for the one who knows the intricacies of the four -fold speech and its behaviour.

Hymn 8-59

Some of the most prominent observations of this hymn are as follows:

The ultimate truth is brought forth through the medium of seven-fold speech

These seven folds or divisions of speech are seven sisters of the ultimate truth

Speech protects us through its seven physical and three temporal divisions. And

three chief aspects of speech-behaviour are mental, and intellectual faculties, coupled with the acquired knowledge.

 

Hymn 8-100

The tenth and eleventh verses of this hymn declare that speech is the expressive medium for human as well as animal beings, the only difference being in the degree of distinctness

Hymn 10-71

This hymn is most important and is soley devoted to the linguistic observations alone, some of which are as follows:

An initial expression of name is indicative of a wholesome integrated expression of the accumulated ideas in the speaker’s mind. Thus, it originates as a representative of complete statement.

The emotions are desires of the Self are filtered in the mind, from where it takes the shape of words or speech, which is expressed externally with the help of the articulatory forces.

Thus, a word takes its usable form first in one’s mind which is then pronounced from seven places and in different tones.

Speech and language are not only the objects ears and eyes alone; no one can understand it without the help of mind, the sharpness of otherwise of which makes the difference in one’s power of understanding.

With only training and knowledge, we can learn the correct usage of the language and avoid its misuse, generated mostly from our ignorance.

 

Hymn 10-114

In at least six verses of this hymn, different aspects of linguistic phenomenon have been discussed. In the fourth and fifth verses, the principle of multiple exprepressibility of one and the same truth has been stressed explicitly. The seventh verse declares that the seven fold speech is capable to express all expressible forms.

Hymn 10-125

The hymn discloses the inner strength of speech, more particularly its unifying and harmonising powers.

Hymn 10-177

If interpreted in its proper prspective this hymn discloses the four steps involved in the speech production. It consists only three verses. Its topic is Patanga which often has been interpreted as Sun or Supreme Self. But its proximity with the speech equates it with the Speech Self or Vagatma.

 

Sabda Brahman

The original concept of the eternity of speech has been propunded in the Rig Veda, making speech one in extent and content with Brahman, which stands for Supreme Self, Knowledge and Veda alike

 

My Comments

 

These verses spread over different Mandalas (chapters) of Rig Veda show that they are not isolated ones. Moreover, these cover different periods of time. The Vedic people were neither nomads nor primitive. Great grammarians like Patanjali who lived at least 2000 years ago interpret them correctly. So we don’t need any help from the ‘Western Sayanas’.

 

The absence of such linguistic and grammatical observations in other ancient cultures show that we are well advanced than those cultures. And it also shows we were sons of the soil. If we have come from Central Asia or Europe, at least some remnants must be there.

Oldest Tamil Book

Oldest Tamil book Tolkappiam is a grammatical treatise. Scholars date it between first and third century BCE. Even that book refers to the Vedas where it dealt with pronunciation and origin of speech (Sutra 102). If it has reached the southern most part of India 2300 years ago, we must understand how much we have progressed in the science of languages.

The four divisions of speech are a very interesting one. It needs further research. The Vedic seers say that the audible speech is only one of the four.

Number Seven is associated with lot of things in the Vedas. Seven Sisters or Seven Mothers (Sapta Mata) is seen in Indus seals as well.

 

–Subham—

 

Valluvar and Manu agree on Violence, Non-Violence, Leadership and Householder (Post No.4477)

Valluvar and Manu agree on Violence, Non-Violence, Leadership and Householder (Post No.4477)

WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 10 DECEMBER 2017 

 

Time uploaded in London-  15-13

 

 

Post No. 4477

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

 

Rev. G U Pope in the Sacred Kural of Tiruvalluva Nayanar compared the Tirukkural with Manu and Bhagavad Gita; he gave it in the appendix of his book published in 1886. This is another article in the series.

 

Householder

Tiru Valluvar says,

He is the true householder who helps the three orders of the virtuous (Brahmachari, Vanaprastan, Sanyasin) in their home life is the fruit of love begotten by a harmonious, right path of life.- (Kural 41)

 

Manu says,

“3.78. Because men of the three (other) orders are daily supported by the householder with (gifts of) sacred knowledge and food, therefore (the order of) householders is the most excellent order (Manu).”

 

Valluvar says,

The true house-holder gives succour to the forsaken, the poor and the departed (Kural 42)

The paramount duty of a house-holder is to cherish daily the manes, the gods, his guests, his relations and himself (43)

If a man acquires wealth by fair means and is charitable to whom charity is due his progeny will never become extinct (44)

 

Manu says,

3-71. He who neglects not these five great sacrifices, while he is able (to perform them), is not tainted by the sins (committed) in the five places of slaughter, though he constantly lives in the (order of) house (-holders).

3-72. But he who does not feed these five, the gods, his guests, those whom he is bound to maintain, the manes, and himself, lives not, though he breathes.

3-117. Having honoured the gods, the sages, men, the manes, and the guardian deities of the house, the householder shall eat afterwards what remains.

3-118. He who prepares food for himself (alone), eats nothing but sin; for it is ordained that the food which remains after (the performance of) the sacrifices shall be the meal of virtuous men.

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Ahimsa (non-killing)  chapter 33 of Tirukkural

Tiru Valluvar deals with Killing animals in the chapter Ten. He says,

Non-killing is a matchless virtue according to teachers of ethics. Truthfulness ranks as second in merit to non-killing (Kural 323)

Killing leads to all other sinful acts. Therefore non-killing is the highest virtue (321)

 

 Manu says on Ahimsa

5-43. A twice-born man of virtuous disposition, whether he dwells in (his own) house, with a teacher, or in the forest, must never, even in times of distress, cause an injury (to any creature) which is not sanctioned by the Veda.

10-63. Abstention from injuring (creatures), veracity, abstention from unlawfully appropriating (the goods of others), purity, and control of the organs, Manu has declared to be the summary of the law for the four castes.

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LEADERS and KINGS

 

Valluvar says,

He is a lion among leaders who has these six: an army, subjects, wealth, ministers, allies, fortification (Kural 381)

Courage, wisdom, liberality and zeal – these four qualities form royal features (382)

The three things alertness, learning and bravery should never be wanting in the ruler of a country (383)

A noble leader must be brave, virtuous, adventurous and free from vices and injustice (Kural 384)

An able leader makes and and earns wealth; guards and apportions it for people’s good (385)

Death Sentence:

The judge gives capital punishment to wicked killers like removing weeds from a flourishing field (Kural 550)

 

Manu says,

7-20. If the king did not, without tiring, inflict punishment on those worthy to be punished, the stronger would roast the weaker, like fish on a spit;

7-99. Let him strive to gain what he has not yet gained; what he has gained let him carefully preserve; let him augment what he preserves, and what he has augmented let him bestow on worthy men.

7-100. Let him know that these are the four means for securing the aims of human (existence); let him, without ever tiring, properly employ them.

7-101. What he has not (yet) gained, let him seek (to gain) by (his) army; what he has gained, let him protect by careful attention; what he has protected, let him augment by (various modes of) increasing it; and what he has augmented, let him liberally bestow (on worthy men).

7-102. Let him be ever ready to strike, his prowess constantly displayed, and his secrets constantly concealed, and let him constantly explore the weaknesses of his foe.

7-103. Of him who is always ready to strike, the whole world stands in awe; let him therefore make all creatures subject to himself even by the employment of force.

Manu says in the Third Chapter,

 

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Marriage Types in Manu and Tolkappiam

Manu says,

3-20. Now listen to (the) brief (description of) the following eight marriage-rites used by the four castes (varna) which partly secure benefits and partly produce evil both in this life and after death.

3-21. (They are) the rite of Brahman (Brahma), that of the gods (Daiva), that of the Rishis (Arsha), that of Pragapati (Pragapatya), that of the Asuras (Asura), that of the Gandharvas (Gandharva), that of the Rhashasas (Rakshasa), and that of the Pisakas (Paisaka).

3-32. The voluntary union of a maiden and her lover one must know (to be) the Gandharva rite, which springs from desire and has sexual intercourse for its purpose.

Oldest book Tolkappiam (Porul Adikaram ) refered to the eight types of marriages.

Oldest Tamil book Tolkappiyam refers to eight types of marriages which is already said by Manu and other Hindu law books/smrtis. Most famous Tamil commentator Nachinarkiniyar explained them in detail.

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More articles on Manu and Tirukkural

MARRIAGE – TWO OPPOSSING TAMIL VIEWS (Post No.4462) | Tamil …

https://tamilandvedas.com/…/marriage-two-oppossing-tamil-views-…

 

9 hours ago – Post No4462. Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. (Tamil Joke: Husband:While I read my love … Dr G U Pope compared couplet 41 with Manu’s 3-78 and showed Naladiyar, the poems of Jains were opposed to marriage.

 

 

Tamil Literature | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/category/tamil-literature/

 

MANU IN TAMIL VEDA TIRUKKURALRev GU Pope and Father Beschi compare -1 ( Post No.4459). MANU … RevG U Pope, a Tamil scholar and Christian preacher published The Sacred Kural of Tiruvalluva Nayanar in 1886 with his English translation. Throughout the book he had used his predecessors’ views. He had .

 

–Subham–

 

 

DIRGATAMAS HYMN- A RIDDLE IN THE RIG VEDA (Post No.4453)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 2 DECEMBER 2017 

 

Time uploaded in London-  20-45

 

 

Post No. 4453

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

The Rig Vedic hymn 1-164 is a great hymn. Probably that is the longest hymn in the oldest book in the world with 52 mantras. It is like an encyclopaedia touching various subjects. It is a riddle because the poet Dirgatamas has used lot of numbers which can be interpreted in many ways. In fact Wilson, Max Muller, Ludwig, Hillebrandt, Griffith, Grasmann and many imitation western Sayanas gave their own interpretations. Even our own Sayana was struggling with the meaning of the mantras. The story of Dirgatamas itself is interesting. He was a blind poet like Homer who lived 100 years. His name meant Long Darkness.

 

First let me give you a beautiful comment on the Hymn RV 1-164 by Umapada Sen in the introduction of his book titled ‘The Rig Vedic Era’ (Calcutta, 1974):–

The Veda is an Indian mass product of a highly advanced civilised society based on class co-operation. It flowered spontaneously, breathing in Indian atmosphere, unassailed by extraneous influences for several centuries, till it was stifled by abrupt and strange appearance of liturgical codes of completely different character.

The clamour for ambiguity or inefficient articulation of the Vedic hymns by the protagonists need not be deplored. The critics should do justice to themselves in case they just take the pains to go through the hymns addressed to the Visvedevas or only the Hymn RV 1-164 and concentrate to find out the meaning of their own accord. Invariably it will dawn that the hymns are ovations addressed to all the luminaries, the then gods to the Rig Vedic singers. The sun, moon, nakshatras (stars), Sapta Rishis (Ursa Major), Pole star (Dhruva) and others being mentioned and their functions, inter related with astral phenomena, minutely described in a riddle type song sung by a poet soliciting a solution.

 

The humble effort in solving the quiz has mainly been confined in rationally arranging the translation of Indologists when necessary and nothing further. Only the respective solutions, e.g. where a luminary is seen to revolve in a chariot with no wheels the axle only spinning without linear motion;  seven luminaries bearing seven distinct names journeying in a chariot but with seven wheels following the sun’s track closely; the variant sun Vishnu, never making a journey in a chariot, encompassing the entire expanse only with three strides and relate to the pole star so on, have been offered.

Logical deductions are palpably conspicuous and do not depend on superfluous elucidation or interpretations of the verses in greater details. It is apparent that the above mentioned allusions respectively relate to the pole star, the Sapta Rishis (Ursa Major), seven planets, Vishnu’s sun (and not ordinary sun’s) three typical positions in the ecliptic, now known as the cardinal points, where through Vishnu’s annual revolution is completed. It would have been sheer folly if any other explanation was suggested. Nowhere, any farfetched idea has been construed or imported, nor any artificial rendering was adopted to spin a yarn or obliterate the real purport of the verse to suit the present deductions.”

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This verse is famous for a few other statements and quoted very frequently for those statements:

 

 

(1).Truth is one; scholars call it with different names!

“They call him Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Agni and he is heavenly nobly-winged Garutman.

To what is One sages give many a title; they call it Agni, Yama, Matariswan”-RV 1-164-46

 

(2).Speech has Four Divisions!

“Speech has been measured out in four divisions, the Brahmins who have understanding know them

Three kept in close concealment cause no motion; of speech, men speak only the fourth division.”—1-164-45

 

Four divisions of speech are

Four Types

1.Paraa, 2.Pasyantii, 3.Madhyamaa, 4.Vaikharii

Chathvaari vaak parimitaa padaani taani vidurbrahmanaa ye maniishinah

Rik Veda 1-164-45

Saayanaa in his commentary mentioned that the four types mentioned by the seers are Paraa, Pasyantii, Madhyamaa and Vaikharii.

 

(3).Adam and Eve Story from the Rig Veda!

“Two birds with fair wings, knit with bonds of friendship, in the same sheltering tree have found a refuge.

One of the twain eats the sweet Fig tree’s fruitage; the other eating not regadeth only” 1-164-20

Kanchi Paramacharya has rightly pointed out that this gave birth to the Story of Adama and Eve and Adam eating the forbidden fruit.

Adam= ADma=Atma

Eve= Jeev (Jeevatma)

Sayana says that the two birds are the vital and the Supreme spirit, dwelling in one body. The vital spirit enjoys the fruit or rewards of actions while the Supreme Spirit is merely a passive spectator.

 

(4).Number Symbolism

“Seven to the one-wheeled chariot yoke the Courser;bearing seven names the single Courser draw it.

Three-naved the wheel is, sound and undecaying, whereon are still resting alhese worlds of being.”- 1-164-2

 

“The seven who on the seven wheeled car are mounted to have horses, seven in tale, who draw them onward.

Seven sisters utter songs of praise together, in whom the names of the seven cows are treasured.”- 1-164-3

Seven Sisters seal is found in the Indus valley civilisation as well.

The Seven: according to Sayana, the seven solar rays, or seven divisions of the year.

Seven sisters: Probably the seven celestial rivers, which as emblems of fertility may bear the name of cows.

 

Dirgatamas is playing with numbers! he used numbers 1 to 10 to denote various things. It gives scope for new interpretations touching from Astronomy to Zoology.

Tamil mystic poets Tirumular, tirumazisai Alvar and Siva vakkiyar followed this number symbolism in their poetry, but 2000 years after Dirgatamas.

 

(5). Vedic Metres

Seven Vedic Metres including Gayatri are mentioned by the poet.

(6) The Path of Knowledge

Unknowing, I ask of those  who know – the sages

as one ignorant for the sakeof knowledge;

who is that ONE in the form of the Unborn

that has supported these six spheres of the world? 1-164-6

 

(7). What is the use of Veda?

What will he do with the hymn of the Veda

who does not know its theme—the Eterna

in the supreme region, in which the Devas dwell?

But those who have come to know That are perfect. – 1-164-39

 

(8).Words of Ambiguity

Boneless one, Unborn image, Suprna, Five-footed, the single, Triplet, the buffalo, Garutman, the Sadhyas, Sraswati etc.  are interpreted differently.

Dirgatamas was one of the latest poets of the Rig Vedic period. Rig Veda covers a time span of at least 500 years. If we cant even understand Dirgatamas, how are we going to understand more ancient poets?

 

As Umapada Sen says one must read the entire hymn and come to one’s own conclusion. Don’t depend upon Western Sayanas’ interpretations. They were not Hindus and moreover they did not live the life of Indians. Unless one lives in the culture, one cannot understand the full meaning, thrust, import and significance of the poem or hymn.

 

(I will give the story of Dirgatamas separately)

–Subham–