Perfume Simile in Hindu Literature (Post No.3639)

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 15 FEBRUARY 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 19-19


Post No. 3639



Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.






Many of you would have read the famous quote of Shakespeare in Macbeth:


“Here is the smell of blood still. All perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.”


But the art of perfume making spread to various parts of the world from India. I have already written about the art of perfume making from Brhat Samhita of Varaha Mihira and Kamasutra of Vatsyayana. It is considered one of the 64 arts prescribed to all the women of ancient India. So there is no wonder we have some quotations and similes in our epics. here is one form Mahabharata:

As the perfume of flowers (in contact with them) scents clothing, water, sesame seed, or the ground, so qualities are born from contact (with the good or evil)

vastram aapas tilaan bhuumim gandho vaasayate yathaa

puspaanaam adhivaasena tathaa samsargajaa gunaah (Mbh 3-1-22)


In the olden days we mixed perfume with water, oil and used them.

In Tamil we have a proverb (Puuvoodu serntha naarum manam perum). Even the string that is used to make garlands gets the fragrance of the flowers. We use this to say that anyone who hasthe company of scholars will shine like the scholars.


There is another proverb saying that even the weaving tools in Kamban’s house will sing Ramayana!

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa says that if anyone has done good or bad that lingering smell will still be there. So one must be careful not to join the same group:-


“The cup in which garlic juice is kept retains the odour, though washed several times. Egotism is such an obstinate aspect of  ignorance that it never disappears completely, however hard you may try to get rid of it.”


Once a Marwari gentle man, approached Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and said, “How is it, Sir, that I do not see God although I have renounced everything?”

The Master: “Well, haven’t you seen leather jars for keeping oil? If one of them is emptied of its contents, still it retains something of the oil as well as its smell. In the same way there is still some worldliness left in you, and its odour persists.”





Nectar and Poison in Tamil and Sanskrit Books (Post No.3636)

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 14 FEBRUARY 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 20-55


Post No. 3636



Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.





In Sangam Tamil Literature, which is 2000-year-old, Sanskrit word Amrita (nectar) is used in at least 40 places with three different Tamil spellings (amiztham, amirtham, amutham). Tirukkural, which belongs to the post Sangam period has at least three couplets with the word Amrita. Mahabharata which is several thousand years old has got interesting slokas on nectar and poison (Amrita and Visha)


Here are few similes on Amrita and Visha from Mahabharata:


yat tad agre visam iva

parinaame amrtopamam

tat sukha saatvikam proktam

aatma buddhi prasaadajam 6-40-37


That which is initially like poison (but) like nectar in maturity, that is called the saatvika happiness, born of serenity of soul and mind.


visayendriya samyogaad

yat tad agre amrtopamam

parinaame visham iva

tat sukham rajas am amrtam 6-40-38


That which is initially like nectar owing to contact of the objects of sense and the sense and the sense organs, but like poison in maturity, that is known as Rajasam happiness.


Vyasacompared Amritam with sweetness and extreme contentment, sweet fruits (3-155-44), water (3-152-22), an interesting story (1-90-5) and a consoling word (1-147-24).


Poison is compared with anger.

The sage’s son of hot temperament is likened to poison (visakalpa rseh sutah 1-36-23)


Yudhisthira is very much pained to remember the insult to Draupadi in the assembly; this painful insult is likened to the essence of poison.

duuve visaye va rasam viditvaa (3-35-17)


That great army of Dhrtaraastra), while destroyed in three battle field, displayed violent paroxysms like a man after having drunk poison) 6-79-23)

saa vadhyamanaa samara dhaartaraastri mahaacamuuh

vegan bhhuvidhaams cakre visam piitve va maanavah


Amrita in Tamil Veda Tirukkural:-

Tiruvalluvar, author of Tirukkural, used the word nectar in three couplets:-

“The food into which the children’s little hands have been dipped will be far sweeter to the parent than nectar” (64)


“ A discourse addressed to unsympathetic hostile ears is like poring sweet nectar into a filthy gutter” (720)


“Her arms are made up of nectar, for their touch revives my life whenever it occurs” (1106)




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



Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.






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.







Ruler is Father and Mother: Hindu Concept in Tamil and Sanskrit Literature! (Post No.3626)


Written by London swaminathan


Date: 11 FEBRUARY 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 8-22 am


Post No. 3626



Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.






Hindus considered the Rulers as their father and mother. Generally, Guru and God are praised as father and mother by the Hindus in their hymns. But considering a ruler as a close relative is unique to Tamil and Sanskrit literature. Such a concept existed in ancient India at least 2000 years ago! We have got evidence for this in Tamil and Sanskrit literature. Though we have numerous references I will just give some proofs from both the literatures.


Following slokas (couplets) are from Raghuvamsa of Kalidasa (


प्रजानां विनयाधानाद्रक्षणाद्भरणादपि।
स पिता पितरस्तासां केवलं जन्महेतवः॥ १-२४

prajānāṁ vinayādhānādrakṣaṇādbharaṇādapi |
sa pitā pitarastāsāṁ kevalaṁ janmahetavaḥ || 1-24



Orienting his subjects in good conduct, protecting them from fears or dangers, according succour with welfare facilities, king DilIpa became their de facto father while their actual parents remained parents de jure. [1-24]



भूतानुकम्पा तव चेदियं गौरेका भवेत्स्वस्तिमती त्वदन्ते।
जीवन्पुनः शश्वदुपप्लवेभ्यः प्रजाः प्रजानाथ पितेव पासि॥ २-४८

bhūtānukampā tava cediyaṁ gaurekā bhavetsvastimatī tvadante|
jīvanpunaḥ śaśvadupaplavebhyaḥ prajāḥ prajānātha piteva pāsi || 2-48

“If, however, this be thy compassion for living beings, this cow will be the single one rendered happy by your death: on the other hand if alive, oh thou refuge of the people, thou canst like a father always guard thy subjects from calamities…  [2-48]


तेनार्थवान् लोभपराङ्मुखेन
तेन घ्नता विघ्नभयम् क्रियावान्।
तेनास लोकः पितृमान्विनेत्रा
तेनैव शोकापनुदेव पुत्री ॥ १४-२३

tenārthavān lobhaparāṅmukhena
tena ghnatā vighnabhayam kriyāvān |
tenāsa lokaḥ pitṛmānvinetrā
tenaiva śokāpanudeva putrī  || 14-23


On account of his being disinclined to avarice, his subjects became rich; on account of his removing the fear of obstacles they carried on their religious ceremonies; on account of his being their leader they had a father in him; and on account of all grief being removed by him they were, as if, blessed with a good son. [14-23]


In Sakuntalam drama of Kalidasa:



“Here is His Majesty

Wearined caring for his subjects

as if they were his own children” (5-3)



On the other hand, what does it matter whether there is an heir or not;

Proclaim thus to my subjects; Whosoever

suffers the loss of one dearly loved

shall find in Dudhyanta one to take his place

in all relations deemed lawful and holy (7-25)


Kautilya in his Arthasastra also says the same (4-3; 7-16)




  1. Having ascertained his learning in the Veda and (the purity of) his conduct, the king shall provide for him means of subsistence in accordance with the sacred law, and shall protect him in every way, as a father (protects) the lawful son of his body.





We find the same lines in a Tamil inscription of Raja Raja II

“Father for those who have no fathers, Mother for those who lost mothers

Sons for those who have no issues, life of all the living beings”




Mankudi kizar (verse 396) says that the ruler Vataatru Eziniyaathan is the relative of every citizen who has no relations.


“Most quoted Tamil verse in Purananuru (192) of Kaniyan Punkundran says

Every town is my home town; everyone is my kinsman”


Nari Veruuththalaiyar (verse 5) praises the king as father and his subjects as his children.


Marudan Ilangan (Kalitokai verse 99) praises the king as Mother to everyone.


Mosikeeranaar of verse 186 (Purananuru) says that the world depends upon the king for everything.


Another strange coincidence is the word for people in Tamil and Sanskrit are Makkal and Prajaah respectively. Both meant people and children both the languages!



All these references show that Ancient India had one culture and all the arguments that Aryans and Dravidians came to India from outside are false.








Love Poems in Sanskrit Literature (Post No.3623)

Written by S NAGARAJAN


Date: 10 February 2017


Time uploaded in London:-  5-54 am



Post No.3623



Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.




Santhanan Nagarajan


Remember Sir Walter Scott’s Brignall Banks? ‘A maiden on the castle wall, Was singing merrily,-,“O, Brignall banks are fresh and fair, And Greta woods are green; I‘d rather rove with Edmund there, Than reign our English queen.”

What a beautiful sentiment is being expressed there? Similar poems are available in hundreds in English Literature. But if you come across Sanskrit and Tamil literature thousands of Love poems will take you to a greater level.

Every single movement of a lover becomes a great epic! The poets left no stone unturned. In order to read all the poems and absorb the meaning we may need hundreds of years.


The love poems are analyzed threadbare by the great scholars and in these poems the sentiment or ‘rasa’ reigns supreme.

The emotion of love is inborn in human heart. But it will come to prominence once it finds an object for its activity.

Take a case of a charming youth. He happens to see a beautiful young girl. His emotion of love is aroused. He begins to think of her. Fortunately if he meets her in a secluded place and the mutual love is fully developed, they enjoy the ‘rasa’.



But in the poetry the ‘rasa’ even though developed in the characters in the poem, they are not enjoying or tasting it, but the readers are enjoying it.

The secret of the good poetry is to give that ‘rasa’ or sentiment to the reader.

Sanskrit love poems are always successful in giving this beautiful sentiment.

If you go in deep, the literature gives various aspects of love. Coding system is not a modern one. In ancient times, the lovers used this system. Only the lovers will understand their language. This has been described in love poems in detail. Also there is a sign language. The gestures gives different meanings. Meeting place, meeting time etc. will be communicated through this sign language. If there are some family members present in the gathering, the girl will communicate to her lover using this language. Their world is unique and there is no place for others.


In Sangam literature of Tamil, which is very old, there is a beautiful poem:

The lover asks his beloved, who is your mother and who is my mother? How your father and my father are related? When the rain drops on a red sand it merges with the sand. Likewise the hearts filled with love melts and merges.


The people of Tamilnadu had given equal importance to the valour and love.  And hence we may find poems related to these two aspects of life.

The same is true in general with all other kingdoms of ancient India. There were 56 kingdoms in all. Poets like Kalidasa, Harsha, Bharavi, Dandi, Rajasekara composed poem of high order.


One would be surprised to note that in the ancient Vedas there is a famous love story of Nala and Damayanthi. Damayanthi, the great queen married Nala overcoming many obstacles. The Nala story is very famous and almost in all languages of India the poets have sung the glory of love between Nala and Damayanthi.



Given below is one sample poem of poet Bhavaka Devi:

Her breasts are brother kings, equal in nobility,

Reared together till they have reached the same altitude of fame;

And from their border warfare these monarchs of vast provinces

Have gained a cursed hardness.



One more poem:

With your large eyes having curved and sportive eye-brows which great men, however immovable by emotions, have you not, oh! Lady with charming limbs, brought to the state of emotional disturbance?

Think for a moment, if one could read the above poems in Sanskrit itself, how much ‘rasa’ and joy it will bring!

In this life, one should read some good poems every day to elevate our minds!


Number Seven in Kalidasa and Kamba Ramayana! (Post No 3615)


Written by London swaminathan


Date: 7 FEBRUARY 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 18-51


Post No. 3615



Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.






I have already explained the significance of Number 7 in my two articles as given in the Vedas, Indus valley Seals and verses of Vaishnavite saints known as Alvars. Please read the details in the following two articles:

1).Mystic No.7 in Music!! posted on 13th April 2014

2).Number Seven: Rig Vedic link to Indus Culture, posted on 21 November 2014


Now let us look at some verses of Kalidasa and Kamban. Kamban wrote the Ramayana in Tamil.


Kalidasa says in the Tenth sarga (Chapter) of Raghuvamsa Kavya; it is in praise of Lord Vishnu:-


सप्तसामोपगीतम् त्वाम् सप्तार्णवजलेशयम्।
सप्तार्चिमुखमाचख्युः सप्तलोकैकसम्श्रयम्॥ १०-२१

saptasāmopagītam tvām saptārṇavajaleśayam।
saptārcimukhamācakhyuḥ saptalokaikasamśrayam || 10-21


They have praised Thee who hast been glorified by seven hymns; a recliner on the waters of seven seas; having seven-flames for thy mouth and as a Being the only support of the seven worlds… [10-21]


The seven hymns: gAyatra, rathantara, vAmadevya, bR^ihatsAma, vairUpa, vairAja, shakvarI.


Seven seas: lavaNa, ikshu, surA, sarpis, dadhi, kshIra, jala – sAgarAH.


Seven tongues of fire: karAli, dhUmini, shveta, lohita, nIla-lohita,

suvarNa, padma-rAga – through which offertories are received in Vedic-rituals.

Seven worlds: bhU, bhuvar, suvar, maharloka, jana, tapo, satya – lokAH.


Valmiki’s Description of Seven Trees Test


Valmiki briefly describes how Rama pierced the Seven Trees:-


“Hearing Sugriva’s gracious speech, Rama, in order to inspire him with confidence, took up his bow and a formidable arrow, and taking him, pierced the Sala trees, filling the firmament with the sound”.

“Loosed by that mighty warrior, the arrow, decorated with gold, passed through the seven Sala trees and entering the mountain, buried itself in the earth. In the twinkling of an eye that shaft with the speed of lightening, having pierced the seven trees with extreme velocity, returned to Rama’s quiver”.

Chapter 12 of Kishkinda Kanda of Valmiki.

(I have already explained in another article that Hindus were the inventors of Boomerang. Krishna’s Sudarsana chakra and Rama’s arrows come back after hitting the target. They were scientifically designed to come back to its original position. They were angled like boomerangs of Australian aborigines.)


Kamba Ramayana in Tamil

Kamban has some beautiful imagination in Kishkinda Kanda. His imagination runs riot:-


“Rama’s arrow pierced the seven trees then went through the seven worlds underneath. Since there was nothing with the suffix number seven under the earth it came back to Rama. If it sees anything with SEVEN, it will definitely pierce them; it would not leave them”


“Seven seas, seven ascetics (Sapta Rsis), seven worlds above the earth, seven mountains, seven horses in the Chariot of Lord Sun, Seven Virgins (sapta mata) – all these were shivering and shaking because they all had seven as a suffix in their names!”


“But yet they calmed themselves saying that Rama is the embodiment of Righteousness; so he wouldn’t harm us.”


—from Kamba Ramayana


Hindus believed that Seven is the most sacred number. So they have classified the seas, mountains, upper worlds, lower worlds, ascetics, virgins, clouds and many more things into  groups of seven.

Source: Valmiki Ramayana by Hariprasad Shastri




Prisoners: Barack Obama, Manu and Kalidas (Post No.3610)

Statue of Kalidasa in China


Written by London swaminathan


Date: 6 FEBRUARY 2017


Time uploaded in London:-  9-17 am


Post No. 3610



Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.






Kalidasa refers to the release of prisoners on the eve of the coronation of a king (Raghuvamsa 17-19). Barack Obama, outgoing US President also did the same just before leaving the office. This custom was started in Hindu India thousands of years ago. But India was one step ahead of all the countries. They even gave freedom to birds and animals! Caged birds were released! Domestic animals were unharnessed according to Kalidasa.

बन्धच्छेदन् स बद्धानान् वधार्हाणामवध्यताम्।
धुर्याणान् च धुरो मोक्षमदोहन् चादिशद्गवाम्॥ १७-१९

bandhacchedan sa baddhānān vadhārhāṇāmavadhyatām |
dhuryāṇān ca dhuro mokṣamadohan cādiśadgavām|| 17-19


On coronation Atithi ordered the release of prisoners; cancelled death sentences of those who are condemned to it; released the beasts of burden from burden, and interdicted the milking of cows. [17-19]



क्रीडापतत्रिणोप्यस्य पञ्जरस्थाः शुकादयः।
लब्धमोक्षास्तदादेशाद्यथेष्टगतयोऽभवन्॥ १७-२०

krīḍāpatatriṇopyasya pañjarasthāḥ śukādayaḥ |
labdhamokṣāstadādeśādyatheṣṭagatayo’bhavan|| 17-20


Even the caged birds of amusement such as parrots and others having gained their freedom through his order and became free birds to go as they wished. [17-20]


(Raghuvamsa translation from

Kautilya also says that the king releases all the prisoners in the newly captured country. They are released when there is a coronation or a new child is born to the king. The joy is shared by everyone. Death sentence is commuted or cancelled.


The king should have all the prisons built on the royal highway, where the suffering mutilated evil doers can be seen 9-288


Manu says a prisoner should be excluded from the ceremony for the dead (Manu 3-158)


A priest (Brahmin) should not eat the food of a man bound in chains prisoner) 4-210


Prisoners Release in America


President Obama granted commutations Tuesday to 79 federal drug offenders who were imprisoned under harsh and outdated sentencing laws, pushing to more than 1,000 the number of inmates who have received clemency from him.

Obama’s historic number of commutations — more than the previous 11 presidents combined — was announced as administration officials are moving quickly to rule on all the pending clemency applications before the end of the president’s term. The Trump administration is not expected to keep in place Obama’s initiative to provide relief to nonviolent drug offenders.

About a third of the 1,023 inmates who have been granted clemency, 342 prisoners, were serving life sentences for their ­offenses.

“The President’s gracious act of mercy today with his latest round of commutations is encouraging,” said Brittany Byrd, a Texas attorney who has represented several inmates who have received clemency since Obama’s initiative began in 2014.

“He is taking historic steps under his ground-breaking clemency initiative to show the power of mercy and belief in redemption. Three hundred and forty-two men and women were set to die in prison. The president literally saved their lives.”

Eighteen of the inmates granted clemency Tuesday were serving life sentences.


My old article:

Prisoners Rehab in Ancient India! (Posted on 23 March 2013)



Let Us Salute the Great American, Sanskrit Scholar Ludwik Sternbach!

Written by S NAGARAJAN


Date: 5 February 2017


Time uploaded in London:-  6-24 am



Post No.3606



Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.




Santhanam Nagarajan

Sanskrit literature is vast, all comprising, varied and ancient. It is impossible to master all the Sanskrit works as it would take very many years whereas the human life is very short.


There are hundreds of scholars who willingly jumped into this vast sea of Sanskrit literature to explore the gems available.


Among the great scholars L.Sternbach stands tall by his wonderful and dedicated work. He was very much attracted by the Sanskrit Subhasita verses and dedicated his entire life in collecting them.  The entire Sanskrit world admired him and he was awarded the title ‘Subhasitavidwan’.

His life aim was to publish all the Subhasitas with English translation with detailed notes. So he was in search of a suitable scholar and found Mr Bhaskaran Nair, Director-Professor of the Vishveshvaranand Vedic Research Institute, Hoshiapur, India. So he requested in 1966 Head of the Sanskrit department Jagannath Agarwal to persuade Acharya Vishwa Bandhu to spare the scholar for this valuable cause. It is to be mentioned here that Acharya Vishwa Bandhu, during the days of partition, in 1947, came from Lahore, with huge Sanskrit literature, to conceal it in big gunny bags, taking a big risk. He founded the great Vishweshvaranand Vedic Research Institure at Hoshiapur.



Six years passed. In 1972 he wrote to the Acharya that the work Maha-Subhasita Samgraha was for him like a child and he intended to bequeath the whole of his fortune after his and his mother’s death to the Institute which will take up the publication of this work.

As promised he has given his all for this great cause leaving a small amount to take care of his aged mother. Perhaps this is a unique event of a foreign scholar to sacrifice his entire life and wealth for Subhasita verse publication.


Accordingly the team headed by Bhaskaran Nair has brought out eight volumes of the great work containing about 14000 verses.

Sternbach has written many books. One among them is, ‘Aphorisms and Proverbs in the Katha-Sarit-Sagara’. From Katha-Sarit Sagara, the Ocean of Streams of Stories, which contains nearly thousand such aphorisms and proverbs, he has selected about 697 wise sayings.


His English translation is always superb. He is also famous for his foot-notes and his friends would comment that his work contain often more footnotes than text!

For a sample, we may quote the following:

No one is able, even by doing the utmost.., to overcome the incalculable freaks of marvellously working Destiny.

No one can calculate the caprices of Fate or the waves of the sea.

Good and evil done by a man is made to return upon himself.


Think for a moment, an American by birth has given his everything for the sake of Sanskrit. At the same time he did not forget his duty towards his mother.

Sanskrit Lovers worldwide and Indians in particular will ever remember this great soul.

Let Us Salute the Great American, Sanskrit Scholar Ludwik Sternbach!


This article first appeared in on 26-1-2017

Please follow the link,-Sanskrit-Scholar-Ludwik-Sternbach&id=9629427


Satiric Verses in Sanskrit Language (Post No.3577)

Written by S NAGARAJAN


Date: 26 January 2017


Time uploaded in London:-  6-20 am



Post No.3577



Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.




by Santhanam Nagarajan


According to the Oxford Dictionary the meaning of the word Satire is, “The use of humor, irony, exaggeration or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

We know very well that Benjamin Franklin was the first to bring out cartoons to criticize the social happenings constructively. But in literature very few such poems or verses are available in most of the languages.

But in Sanskrit literature we find hundreds of satiric verses in the great works of poets for the past many centuries.


Take the case of son-in-law. Here is a verse!

More oft than not he’s crooked-true                                                                                                           And ever and anon adverse too;

In Virgin’s house he always stands

And austere worship ever demands,

Friends! What should be this object Pshaw!

A planet tenth, the son-in-law        (Sanskrit verse translated by Dr Velluri Subba Rao)


In the above verse the virgin’s house has two meanings. One is the house of the Virgin whom the son-in-law marries. The second meaning is the Virgin’s house indicates the Virgo of the Zodiac. And rightly the son-in-law is called as the tenth planet. Everybody normally fearfully worship the nine planets namely Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu and Kethu. Now we have to fearfully respect the tenth planet also, the son-in-law.

The poet drives his point in a satire manner here.

We have one whole work of the great poet Nilakantha Dikshita titled KaliVidambana containing 100 satiric verses in Sanskrit.

Nilakantha Dikshita lived in the seventeenth century. He was the son of Narayana Dikshitha and        grandson of Accan Dikshita II, brother of the well-known poet Appaya Dikshita. He moved to the temple city Madurai and the great king Thirumalai Nayaka was attracted to him. He was the Prime Minister to this great king. He was a prolific writer. As many as eighteen works are known to have been composed by him.

In Kalividambana we may enjoy the satiric verses on various social characters in the family and outside, as well as quacks, doctors, poetasters, astrologers etc.

Adverting to the astrologers Nilakantha says that they are very clever in interpreting or forecasting things. If a man asks about the sex of the future child, the astrologer should reply that a son would be born: for a lady, the reply should be in favor of a daughter.  This is the clue for the astrologer’s success.

If one asks about one’s span of life, the reply should be that one would live for long. By such a reply, those who are alive will naturally be pleased. Even if the person concerned dies, there is no harm because those who are dead will never ask the astrologer as to why prediction went wrong.

Regarding the creditors, he says that even the God of death waits for the time of death to demand the life of persons; but there is no time-limit whatever for the creditor to demand back the debt owed to him.

Coming to poets, with a slight dig at the indiscriminate descriptions of poets, he says that in their descriptions even blind men become lotus-eyed, misers become Kalpa trees (wish full-filling trees) and even cowards become Vikramadidtyas ( the king Vikramaditya is considered to be the greatest Heroic King in Indian history)

It is indeed a great pleasure to read all the hundred verses of Nilakantha. Once we come through such verses we will know that the satire is not new to Indian literature. It is as old as that of Sanskrit language.


This article first appeared in on 24-12017 You may read it in the following link



Lamps in Tamil and Sanskrit Literature (Post No 3502)

Research Article Written by London swaminathan


Date: 31 December 2016


Time uploaded in London:-  18-28


Post No.3502



Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.






Prince Aja did not differ from his father in resplendent form, in valour and in nobility of nature as a lamp lighted from another lamp does not differ in brightness– Raghuvamsa 5-37


Lamp or Deepa is considered an auspicious symbol in Hindu literature. I don’t think that any other culture gives such a treatment to Lamps. Though lamps were essential items in a household in the ancient world, it did not get any sanctity in other cultures. Hindus light lamps in the morning and in the evening in front of God’s pictures or idols in the prayer rooms and worship god. They have special prayers for lighting the lamp and special places for the lamps. women won’t even touch the lamp during the menstrual period or periods of pollution. Someone else in the house will take care of it. They wouldn’t use the word ‘switch off’ to put out the lamp. They will say ‘see the lamp’ meaning see that it is taken care of. So much sanctity and respect was given to lamps in Hindu homes.


There are lots of beliefs regarding the lamps. If it goes out in the wind or falls down then they think it is inauspicious thing or a bad omen. Tamil and Sanskrit literature compare the wife as a lamp in the family. In old Indian films a person’s death will be hinted by a lamp going off suddenly or blown out by wind.


Hindu organisations organise 1008 Lamps Pujas or 10008 Lamps Pujas regularly and Hindu women participate in them with great devotion and enthusiasm.

Kalidasa use the lamp simile in several places:-

In the Kumarasambhava, Himalaya with Parvati, received sanctity and was also glorified as the lamp by its exceedingly brilliant flame (K.S. 1-28). The image suggests the bright lustre of Parvati.

Nagaratna or Cobra jewel on the head of snakes giving out light is used by Tamil and Sanskrit poets in innumerable places. In certain places, it served as light. This is also a typical Hindu imagery used from the lands ned to the Himalayas. We see such things in the oldest part of Tamil and Sanskrit literature which explodes the myth of Aryan-Dravidian theories.

Steady lamp is compared to the steady mind of a Yogi or an ascetic. Siva, on account of the suspension of the vital airs, is imagined to be like a lamp steady in a place free from wind. The image shows the steadiness of the mind of Siva (KS 3-28).


Manmata (cupid) is imagined to be like a lamp put out by a blast of wind because he was at once, burnt by the anger of Siva. Rati, Manmata’s wife, is said to be the wick f a lamp which when blown out emits smoke for some time.


In the Raghuvamsa, the lustrous herbs, burning without oil, served at night, as lamps to King Raghu. Kalidasa sang about these light emitting plants in many places which is not seen in any other literature. Probably some plants attracted the families of fireflies on a large scale (RV 4-75)  Phosphorescent or luminescent plants also KS 1-10.


In the Raghuvamsa, Indumati, wife of King Aja, all of a sudden fell from the couch and died. Aja sitting close to her also fell down with her. Kalidasa depicts the sad event by the image of a lamp which is apt and homely. Indumati is compared to the flame of a lamp while Aja to the drop of dripping oil (RV8-38)


In another place, the poet says “As the flame of a lamp does not stand a gale, similarly, son of Sudarsana who had no offering could not outlive the disease that defied all attempts of the Physicians (RV 18-53)


The king of Surasena is praised as the Vamsadeepa (lamp of the dynasty) in RV 6-45.

A son in a family is also compared to light in RV 10-2.

Rama is described as A Big Lamp of the Dynasty of Raghu (Raghuvamsa Pradeepena)

in 10-68. Because of him all other lamps in the delivery room lost their brightness. They became dim.

Woman- Family Lamp

There is no difference at all between the Goddesses of Good Fortune (Sriyas) who live in houses and women (Striyas) who are the Lamps of their Houses, worthy of reverence and greatly blessed because of their progeny (Manu 9-26)


Lamp of Wisdom is used by all the Tamil and Sanskrit devotional poets.


Iyur Mutvanar, A Tamil Sangam poet, is also praising the wife as the lamp of a family in Purananuru verse 314, echoing Manu.


Madurai Maruthan Ilanagan, A Tamil sangam poet, praised the son as the lamp of the family or lineage in Akananuru 184.


Throughout the length and breadth of India, largest country in the world 2000 years ago had the same thought regarding family and family values. This explodes the foreigners’ theory of Aryan-Dravidian divisions. We cant see such a praise for a woman or her son in any other ancient literature.


Peyanar, another Tamil poet of Sangam Age also praised the woman (wife) of a house as the Lamp of the House in Ainkurunuru verse 405

Lamp of Mind

In the Mahabharata, we come across a strange imagery of Mind lamp.

pradiptena va dipena  manodipena pasyati (3-203-38)

One sees the soul with the lamp of the mind as if with a lighted lamp.