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.


Kalidasa and Tamil Poets on God! (Post No.3476)

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 23 December 2016


Time uploaded in London:- 18-23


Post No.3476



Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.





Kalidasa, the greatest poet of India, believed in the concept of One God. Like every Hindu, he also worshipped him in various forms through his poems and yet he made it very clear that God is one echoing the thought of the Rig Vedic seer: Ekam sat vipraa: Bahuta vadanti.He refers to all the important gods and goddesses in his seven works; His list includes Brahma, Vishnu, Siva and Vedic Gods Indra, Agni, Yama, Tvastra, Rudra, Surya, Prajapati,Varuna, Kubera, Kartikeya and Goddesses Kali, Lakshmi, Sarasvati, Uma, Sapta Mata and demi gods.


After referring to various Gods in various places in his works, he says:

Siva is divided threefold (Brahma, Vishnu and Siva) which points to Monism.

“May the Eternal One who is attainable by firm faith and meditation; who is hailed as the Supreme Spirit in the Vedanta, who pervades and is present in the whole of heaven and earth; to whom alone the name of Lord, not signifying any other being, is properly applied; and who is sought within themselves by those desirous of salvation by restraining the vital breaths, Prana and others, bestow upon you the highest bliss (Vikramorvasia 1-1)

The two other plays of Kalidasa open with similar benedictory stanzas in praise of Shiva.  The Raghuvamsa too opens with a salutation to Shiva. In the Megaduta and Kumarasambhava also, we come across several appreciative references to Siva (This shows he lived long before the Gupta Kings who were Parama Bhagavatas (Worshippers of Vishnu).

All these show that he was a great devotee of Lord Siva. But we must remember that he praised Brahma and Vishnu as well.


In Kumarasambhava (7-44), he praised Siva as: “That was but one form which divided itself in three ways. Their seniority or juniority is common (interchangeable); sometimes Siva is prior to Vishnu or Vishnu to Siva; sometimes Brahma to them both; and sometimes the two to Brahma”.

This sloka shows his understanding of oneness. People of his days believed in such oneness. That is why he makes a passing remark in the middle of the Kavya without much empahsis.


In the Sakuntala (1-1) he praised Siva as follows:-

“The First Creation of the Creator;

The Bearer of oblations offered with Holy Rites;

That one who utters the Holy Chants;

Those two that order Time;

That which extends, World-Pervading

in which sound flows impinging on the ear;

That which is proclaimed the Universal Womb of Seeds;

That which fills all forms that that breathe with the Breath of Life.

May the Supreme Lord of the Universe

who stands revealed in these Eight Forms

perceptible preserve you.

The most popular prayer of Kalidasa in the Raghuvamsa is taught to every child on the very first day when they go to learn Sanskrit:-


Vagarthaviva sampriktau vagarthah pratipattaye | Jagatah pitarau vande parvathiparameshwarau || – Raghuvamsha 1.1



I pray to the parents of the world, Lord Shiva and Mother Parvathi, who are inseparable as word and its meaning to gain knowledge of speech and its meaning.



Tamils followed Kalidasa

Tamils also followed Kalidasa. Sangam Literature which was nearly 2000 year old has more praise for Shiva in the Prayer. These prayers were added when they compiled the anthology in the fourth or fifth century CE, that is after Kalidasa who lived in the First Century BCE. Purananauru, Akananauru, Ainkurunuru, Pathtrupathu and Kalitokai beging with an invocation to Lord Siva. Kuruntokai has a prayer for Lord Skanda and Natrinai has a Vishnu Sahasranama Sloka (in Tamil) as its prayer. Paripatal begins with a poem on Lord Vishnu and Pathupattu begins with a poem on Lord Skanda (Murugan in Tamil). Most of the prayer songs were done by on Mr Mahadevan who translated Mahabharata in Tamil. His name in tamil is Bharatam Patiya Perunthevan (Mahadevan who sand Bharata).


Since Sangam period Tamil Poets used over 200 similes of Kalidasa (out of 1200) ,Kalidasa must have lived in first century BCE or earlier (Please see my research paper written a few years ago and posted here).


Aristophanes, Vashistha and the Frog Song in the Rig Veda ( Post No.3452)

Research Article written by London swaminathan


Date: 15 December 2016


Time uploaded in London:- 14-32


Post No.3452



Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.





Frog song in the Rig Veda, the oldest religious book in the world, is echoed in Greek Aristophanes’ work and Kamba Ramayana in Tamil. These works span at least 3000 years. Croaking of frogs as inspired three great writers!


The seventh Mandala of Vashistha is placed third in the chronological order of ten mandalas. This means it forms the oldest section of the Rig Veda. Greek writer Aristophanes wrote The Frog in 405 BCE. Kamban wrote his verse on frog 1000 years after the Greek author.

Max Muller says that the panegyric of the frogs in the Rig Veda, is a satire on the priests; and it is curious to observe the same animal was chosen by the Greek satirist Aristophanes.


Following is the translation of Ralph T H Griffith:

1.They who lay quiet for a year, the Brahmans who fulfil their vows,

The Frogs have lifted up their voice, the voice Parjanya hath inspired.


2.What time on these, as a dry skin lying in the pool’s bed, the floods of heaven descended,

The music of the Frogs comes forth in concert like the cows lowing with their calves beside them.


3.When at the coming of the Rains the water has poured upon them as they yearned and thirsted,

One seeks another as he talks and greets him with cries of pleasure as a son his father.


4.Each of these twain receives the other kindly, while they are revelling in the flow of waters,

When the Frog moistened by the rain springs forward, the Green and Spotty both combine their voices.


5.When one of these repeats the other’s language, as he who learns the lesson of the teacher,

Your every limb seems to be growing larger as ye converse with eloquence on the waters.


6.Oneis Cow bellow and Goat-bleat the other, one Frog is Green and one of them is Spotty.

They bear one common name, and yet they vary, and, talking, modulate the voice diversely.


7.As the Brahmans, sitting round the brimful vessel talk at he Soma rite of Atiratra,

So, Frogs, ye gather round he pool to honour this day of all the year, the first of Rain-time.


8.These Brahmans, with the Soma juice, performing their year long rite, have lifted up their voices;

And these Adhvaryus, sweating with their kettles, come forth and show themselves, and none are hidden.


9.They keep the twelve month’s God appointed order, and never do men neglect the season.

Soon as the Rain-time in the year returneth, those who were heated kettles gain their freedom.


10.Cow-bellow and Goat-bleat have granted riches, and Green and Spotty have vouchsafed us treasure.

The Frogs who give us cows in hundreds lengthen our lives in the most fertilizing season.

This poem gives additional information such as

1.There was year long Fire ceremonies and Brahmins observed silence or something like that.

2.The 12 month a year was our contribution to the world. The Pancha Bhutas (five elements), the six seasons all show that Hndus were far advanced in every filed before the Greeks, Sumerians and the Egyptians.

3.The decimal system is also our gft to the world; it is used in hundreds of hymns in the Rig Veda

4.This is a beautiful poem on nature and it shows how much the Vedic Hindus loved the nature.

5.In the poem Brahmins and frogs are interchangeable.

6.We don’t fully understand this poem now. Even with Sayana’s commentary we cant understand it completely.

Kamba Ramayanam

Kamban was a great poet who translated Ramayana in tamil. He used the simile of Frog in the Kishkanda Canto. He says,

The frogs are making loud noise in the rainy season and became quiet when the rains stopped. It is like the children who learn from the teacher making loud noise and the intellectuals keeping quiet in the assembly of fools.


Bharti, the greatest Tamil poet of modern era also was influenced by this hymn.

Bharati on Cats

The greatest of the modern Tamil poets Subramanya Bharati says in his beautiful poem Tom Tom:
We have in our home
A pet, a white cat,
She gave birth to kittens
Each of a different hue.

Ash coloured was one kitty,
Jet black was another;
A third vivid like a viper;
Milky-white was a fourth.

Skin colours do vary
But they are of the same stock.
Can you call one colour superior
And another inferior?

Complexions may vary
But all men are one.
We are all uniformly human
In our thoughts and deeds.


Greek Frogs

Aristophanes was the greatest comic playwright of ancient Greece. His comedies are the earliest roots of the film, theatre and television comedies we enjoy today. Other ancient writers list 40 plays by Aristophanes; only 11 of these have survived to the present. He wrote The Frogs in 405 BCE.


Frogs, or The Frogs is one of Aristophanes’s greatest comedies and is justly celebrated for its wit and keen commentary on Athenian politics and society. It is the last surviving work of Old Comedy and is thus also notable for heralding a passing era of literature. While it is a comedy, it is also a trenchant political satire and expresses Aristophanes’s views on Athenian democracy, the value of poetry



Born in the city of Athens he started writing before he was 20.  Aristophanes lived through a period of great political and social change. For 27 years Athens fought a war against its arch rival Sparta. The eventual defeat of Athens brought to an end the greatest of ancient Greek civilization and was followed by a time of political instability during which Athens was ruled by dictators and corrupt governments.


Aristophanes wrote plays about the changes he saw going around him.


Many of Aristophanes’ plays are satires. He criticizes political leaders by making them seem ridiculous; often the leaders are out witted by the hero of the play, who is portrayed as an ordinary citizen.

Aristophanes also made fun of people such as philosophers, teachers and lawyers, whom he felt corrupted society. Nobody was shape from his sharp words even the most respected figures of the time are made to look foolish.


In his play the great Greek Philosopher and teacher Socrates is portrayed as a mad man who has an evil influence on the young people of Athens.





Was Kalidasa a Poet cum Scientist? (Post No.3439)

Research Article Written by London swaminathan


Date: 11 December 2016


Time uploaded in London:- 20-15


Post No.3439



Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.




Kalidasa is the most famous poet in Indian literature. He is given this status for his literary merits. He has used about 1200 similes and imageries in his seven Sanskrit works. His drama Sakuntalam is one of the best dramas in world literature. He is known as Kavikula Guru. He lived in the first century BCE and I have also confirmed this date through Sangam Tamil Literature where his 200 plus similes were used by the  Sangam Tamil poets (please see my earlier posts for the dating). But there is another side of Kalidasa which is not realised and recognised by many. Kalidasa was an all-rounder. He had amazing knowledge in various subjects from Astronomy to Zoology. He had encyclopaedic knowledge.


The most amazing thing is that he talks about aeroplanes flying by thought power and he describes a pilot’s experience and he talks about three different flight paths. The next amazing thing is that he knows cartography and geography which is seen in his description of the 1500 mile long Himalaya as the “measuring rod of earth”.

How did he know it unless he has flown over it or seen it from a space vehicle?

How did he explain a pilot’s landing experience which is experienced only by trainee pilots?

How did he know that there are different flight paths up above us?

Here is a list of the subjects he dwelt with in his seven works:–

AS – Abinjana Sakuntalam

Meg- Megadutam (PM- Purva mega, UM -Uttara mega)

Rv – Raghuvamsam

VU- Vikramaorvasiyam

MA- malavikagnimitram

RS – Rtusamharam

KS- Kumarasambhavam


Aeroplane Technology

Sakuntalam Act 1—9 (Read my article: Did Kalidasa fly in a space shuttle? Posted on 12 Sept.2014)

Sakuntalam Act 7—7/10; Ks2-45;Rv 13-68;13-76;13-79;14-20

Flying Balloons

Rv 16-68

Air Ways (3 levels of flight paths)

Flight path Rv 13-18, 13-19



Rv 18-3; AS 2-15; Rv 1-30; Rv 17-64


Animal Intelligence

AS 4-20; 6-4; 6-24; 6-32 Rv 6-46; 8-39; 1-51; 5-7; 9-57;13-25

Swan separates water and milk: AS 6-28;KS 1-30




Milky way: Rv 13-2; 1-78; KS 4-37;1-28; Rv 12-85

Chitra constellation Rv 1-46, 13-76, 17-35 pole star 18-34;

Comet KS 2-32; AS 4; Mars vu 5-3

Pusya star Rv 18-32;

Venus KS 3-43;

Stars KS 2-19; RV 7-2;

Meteor Rv 16-83; 14-53;

Algol/Arundhati in Ursa Major Constellation: Rv 1-56

Rohini and Moon:AS 7-22; 3-12; VU 3-4; RV 14-40

Bird migration –

Kalidasa’s references of swan, cranes and Himalayan geese: Mega. 11,23, 59, 70,81.

Vikra. IV 2,3,4,6,20;31,32,33,3441,54

BIRD MIGRATION :Vikra IV 14 to 17

Kumara. 1-30 (Hamsa mala)

Ragu. IV 19,VIII 59, XIII-33, XVI 33, 56, XVII-75


Rv 1-41



Meg 2-39; Meg.111;  Rv 8-92; 10-60/64;12-76; 19-22.

Eastern concept of dreams is different from Freudian and Jungian theories


Foreigners’ appearance-

Yavanas Rv.9-63; 4-61; MA 5, VU 5-3,4



Geography and Geology

KS 1-10 (Description of the beautiful Himalayas)

Sub marine Fire (Vadamukagni/Badava:- AS 3-3; Rv 9-82; 11-75; 13-4;13-7.

Lot of references about rivers, especially Ganga and Yamuna


Iran to Indonesia: Kalidasa had a good knowledge of  the countries between Iran and Indonesia. He is very descriptive of the people, its cultures and the geography of the land. We can read about the honeycomb like beards of Persian soldiers and the spices of Indonesian islands.




Cat’s eye RS 2-15; Coral  RS 6-16; Conch shell RS 3-4; Crystal Purva Megam 54; Emeralds/Rubies-Rv 13-53; Gems-PM 15, KS 1-38, KS 5-43, KS 5-45, Rv 1-4, Rv 3-18, Rv 10-30, Rv 11-59, Rv 11-68, RV 17-63, VU 2-99, MA 5-18, AS 2-7, AS 2-10, AS 6-6, Sapphire Rv 18-42; Pearl Rv 6-7, UM 46, KS 1-44, KS 3-53, KS 6-6KS 7-89, Rv 6-28, Rv 9-44,Rv 13-54, Rv 16-18; Rubies KS 3-53; Sun stone Rv 11-21; Moon stone VU 5-11; Ivory PM 62

Magnifying Glass (Lens)

Sun stone Rv 11-21; AS 2-7

Nagaratna (Cobra Jewel)

KS 2-38, 5-43; RV 13-12, 6-49, 11-59, 11-68, 17-63, 10-7, 13-12, 17-63

RS 1-20,



UM 15; Rv 7-4;



Magnet –

Rv-18-63; KS 2-59;


Marine Trade

Rv 1-5, 30; 3-28; 9-14;16-4; AS 6-24; Meg.8;

Import of cloves 6-57

Metallurgy –


Rv 14-33;


RS 1-26, PM -40, KS 3-53, KS 6-55, Rv 6-79, Rv 9-54, Rv 17-46, MA 2-9.


RS 3-4


Rv 7-68


Flora and Fauna

whales Rv 13-10

Innumerable references

Bio Luminescent Plants-

KS 1-10; Rv 9-70

Environmental concern

Don’t Cut even a poisonous tree

KS 2-55


Human psychology

Advice to newlyweds: AS 4-20; 4-21;4-22



Tourist Guide

Kalidasa is the first Tourist Guide in the world. His Meghaduta descrbes a vast landscape methodically from Central India to the Himalayas.


Tourist Guide Book

Meghaduta is the first Tourist guide in the world. In Raghuvamsa also Kalidasa gives a description of the landscape in the flight path from Si Lanka to Ayodhya.




Whales in Kalidasa’s work and Tamil Sangam Literature (Post No.3427)

Research Article Written by London swaminathan


Date: 7 December 2016


Time uploaded in London: 16-43


Post No.3427



Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.




(Tamil version of this research article is also posted)


Kalidasa, India’s greatest poet, who lived in the first century BCE talks about whales in his work Raghuvamsa. Kalidasa was one of the geniuses of the world. He is well versed in all the subjects from astronomy to zoology. In Raghuvamsa, he describes the whale and ‘the water’ that was coming out of its holes on the head.


Following is the translation of Raghuvamsa 13-10

“These whales with these wide opened mouths take in the water along with the marine creatures into them, and holding their jaws together, jet out water through the blowholes on their heads”.

Science fact: Though it is not water but the hot air breathed out, it sprinkles water during this exhaling. The hot air thrown out or exhaled condescends and sprinkles water.


Tamil poets who lived 200 years ago also repeats what Kalidasa said in his Raghuvamsa. There are two verses in Natrinai (132 and 291) where in we come across whales and sperm whale that contains ‘oil’ in its head.


An anonymous poet says in verse 132: “ Whole town is sleeping; there is no one who is awake. The mouthed whale gushes out water. When the cold and noisy wind blows into the streets there is drizzling.  The water comes into the house through the holes in the door. Even the sharp toothed dog shivers.”


In verse 291, famous poet Kapilar says:-The water birds stand in the muddy waters like the soldiers of a king’s army to eat the fat/oil headed (Sperm) whale.(Probably the whale got  stranded in the muddy water).


Another anonymous poem found in Natrinai 175 says, “the fishermen light the lamps made up of oyster shells, filled with fish oil in the coastal areas.

Picture of a stranded Sperm Whale

These poems show clearly that the ancient Indians know about the whales. the reference is in both Tamil and Sanskrit

texts. Their belief was also the same. They did believe the whales threw out water through their blow holes. They used fish oil as a fuel.


South Indian coasts were frequented by whales and dolphins 2000 years ago. now we see only stranded whales.


Big Whale Bone

Tamil poet Kamban who made Ramayana in Tamil also spoke about whale bone on the sea shore (Kishkinda Canto, Dundhubi section). When Lord Rama saw a big and dry bone on the sea shore, he asked Sugreeva what it was. He wondered whether it was a skeleton of a whale. But Sugreeva explained it was the skeleton of Dundhubi killed by Vali.


From this we come to know it was not uncommon to see a whale bone intact on the sea shore.


Makara and Sura in Tamil and Sanskrit:

Ancient poets used words like Makara and Sura for all the aquatic creatures (shark fish) and mammals (whales and dolphins) with a strangely shaped mouth. But to differentiate it from one another, they added some pre-fix. Old commentators due to lack of knowledge in Biology, interpreted every big creature as big fish.





Vedic References to Hair Styles – Part 2 (Post No.3205)


Hair style of Chidambaram Dikshitas

Research article written by London Swaminathan


Date: 30 September 2016


Time uploaded in London: 21-45


Post No.3205


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.





Please read First part and then continue here:-


Source book Vedic Index of Names and Subjects by Keith and Macdonell:–

Kesa , hair

This is a word used until today in almost all the Indian languages to denote hair. Atharva veda and later Vedic literature repeatedly use this word for hair of the head. The hair was a matter of great concern to vedic Hindus and several hymns of the Atharva Veda (AV 6-136-137) are directed to securing its plentiful growth. Cutting or shaving the hair is often referred to (AV8-2-17;  for a man to wear a long hair was considered effeminate (Satapata Brahmana 5-5-3-1). As to the modes of dressing the hair, it is given under the words OPASA and KAPARDA.



Ksura, razor (mayir kurai karuvi in Sangam Tamil Literature)

Ksura occurs three times in the Rig Veda. The word appears to have the general sense of ‘blade’ in one passage, possibly also in another where it is said that the hare swallowed a Ksura and where the sense blade  is adequate.  In the third passage there seems to be a reference to the sharpening of a razor on a grind stone (Bhurijos), but Muir, following another view of Roth, adopts the sense, ‘the edge of the scissors’ which hardly suits the other passage , one in the Atharva Veda, where a Ksura is described as moving about on the bhurijos as the tongue on the lip. The meaning razor is perfectly clear in the Atharva veda  where shaving by means of it is mentioned; in many otherpassages either sense is adequate.

A ksuro bhrjvan occurs in the Yajur Veda; it seems to denote, as Bloomsfield suggests, a razor with a strop. Ksura dhaaraa denotes the dge of the razor. In the Upanishads (Kausitaki Upanishad) a razor case (Ksura dhaana) is mentioned .


My comments

As  usual, no two ‘scholars’ agree; as usual seems to be appears to be etc indicate they don’t know what they are talking about.

Hare swallowing a razor may be an idiom meaning something else. Tamils translated Vedas as Marai (Secret) because nothing is said openly.




This is a term used as an epithet of the Vasisthas in the Rig Veda (7-33-1) referring to their mode of wearing the hair in a braid on the right side.

My comments:-

As I mentioned under KAPARDA, even today Nampoodiri Brahmins of Kerala, Tamil Dikshitars of Chidambaram have different hair styles. It is very interesting to note that such hair styles are follwd by certain sects started in the Vedic period. This must be the oldest hair style followed in the world!


Palita ,grey haired

Palita occurs frequently from the Rig Veda (1-144-4; 1-164-1) onwards. It is the distinctive style of old age. Those who, like the descendants of Jamadagni, do not grow old, are said not to become grey haired, while Bharadwaja is described as having in his old age become thin and grey haired. The Satapata Brahmana in one passage observes that grey hairs first appears on the head and elsewhere alludes to the hair on the arms having become grey.


My comments

Sangam Tamil Literature which came  approximately 2000 years after the Rig Veda, has an interesting verse in Puranaanuru 191. A very old poet had jet black hair. Everyone was wondering how come the poet Pisiraanthaiyaar still maintain the hair in such a good condition. He revealed a great truth:-

If you ask me how it is

That I am so full of years

And yet my hair is not grey,

It is because

My wife is virtuous,

My children are mature;

Younger men wish

What I wish,

And the king only protects,

Doesn’t do what shouldn’t be done.


Moreover, my town

Has several noble men, wise and self possessed

–Purananuru 191


Nampoodiri of Kerala

If everyone in a  family is at the same wave length, there is no worry; and no greying of hair.

Probably Jamagdagni also had such an understanding family!


To be continued………………..




If there is just rule, animals wouldn’t harm! Indian Poets’ Discovery! (Post No.3185)


Written by London swaminathan

Date: 24 September 2016

Time uploaded in London:7-30 am

Post No.3185

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.



Kalidasa, the greatest of the Indian poets, Kamban,author of Tamil Ramayana, Tiruvalluvar, author of Tamil Veda Tirukkural, Manikkavasagar, author of Tamil Hymn Tirusvasagam, and Ilango, author of the best Tamil epic Silappadikaram – all these five poets agree on one thing—animals won’t harm anyone, not even its natural enemy and rain would pour down at proper time and there will be a bumper harvest, If the country is ruled by a honest man!


Kamban says in the Kishkinda kanda (canto) that Solar Dynasty (Surya Vamsa) had kings under whose rule deer and tiger drank water from the same place. He repeated this in two verses in two different cantos ( in Tamil:- Pulip pothum pul vaayum oru thuraiyil neerunna ulakaandon oruvan).


Rama says that “my forefathers did dig up the ocean (Sagara story), brought Ganges River to earth from the heaven (Bhageeratha, a Civil Engineer cum king, diverted Ganga river into the plains), made deer and tiger to drink water from the same water source, but I am unable to get my wife (Sita Devi) back”– Kishkinda Kandam


Kalidasa says (Raghuvamsa 6-46)  that in the Ashramas of saints, animals who have natural enmity wouldn’t show it and King Neepa was also like that. Though conflicting virtues were resided in him they had amicable relations (E.g.Neepa was harsh like the sun ,cool like the moon; wealth and education stayed with him).

(Ashram= Saint’s residence)


Tamil Epic poet Ilango says that the Pandyas ruled according to Dharma and so “the bears never dug up the anthills for food, tigers never attacked deer, crocodile never harmed men, not even snakes bit people; neither thunder struck on men nor ghosts possessed people; young woman and her lover can even walk on a public road at the dead of night without fear ( in Tamil, Vaalvari Venkai Maankanam Maralaa…….).


Tamil Saivaite poet Manikkavasagar praised Lord Shiva as 0ne who helped a deer to drink milk from a female tiger ( in Tamil:- Puli Mulai Pul Vaaykku arulinai Potri).


Purananuru, anthology of 400 Tamil verses, says that a tiger killed a female deer but left its little one without any harm. A wild cow seeing that motherless fawn, immediately gave him milk (verse 323)


Tiruvalluvar’s  didactic work – Tirukkural — is the Tamil Veda. He says:-

“Rain and harvests are rich in the land ruled by the righteous sceptre of an able leader- 545

If the leader rules in unjust ways, seasonal rains will fail as the clouds withhold their showers – 559

Cows yield less, Brahmins forget their Vedas, if the leader does not guard justice” – 560


If there is a good ruler the area will have three showers every month – says another Tamil verse.


These views are in the Mahabharata and various Hindu scriptures as well. This shows that the same culture existed from southernmost Kanyakumari to Northernmost Kashmir.


Long live Tamil! Long Live Kalidasa and Kamban!!





Maamsam and Hamsam: Sanskrit Wordplay!(Post No.3166)



Compiled  by London swaminathan

Date: 18 September 2016

Time uploaded in London:16-34

Post No.3166

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.


Sanskrit language is very rich with lot of riddles and puzzles. Manu in his smrti (Law book) deals with one or two things. He explains why MEAT (maamsam) is called Meat. He also tells us why NARAYANA is called Narayana. This shows his interest in languages and Linguistics. Elsewhere others explain the significance of the word HAMSAM (swan) and why great saints are called PARAMAHAMSA. Let us look at these interesting explanations: –


He whose “MEAT” in this world do I eat will in the other world “ME EAT”. Wise men say that this is why meat is called meat – Manu 5-55

The translation of this much quoted verse is based on  that of Charles Lanman, who attempted to recapture the Sanskrit pun: Meat is called Maamsa because he ( sa) eats  me (Maam) in the other world if I eat him now.

Sa = he

Maam = me




HAMSA (swan)

A similar pun is made in the Vedantic  texts on the metaphor for the soul, the swan (hamsa), said to express the identity of the individual soul (aatman) and the world-soul (brahman): I AM HE (aham sa)

Aham = I (jeevaatman)

Sa = he (Paramaatman)

One who realised this truth is Parama Hamasa as in Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Paramahamsa Yogananda.




Meaning of Narayana

Narayana was the creator of Brahma, who, according to Manu, was so called beacause the wters (nara; Neer in Tamil) were his first ayana or place of motion. Water is always used as plural in Sanskrit).

The name is found for the first time in the Satapata Brahmana. Narayana is another name of Vishnu.


Aapo naaraa iti proktaa apau vai narasuunava:

Taa yadasyaayanam puurvam tena naaraayanah smrutah

Manu 1-10


The waters are born of man, so it is said; indeed the waters are the children of the primordial. And since they were his resting place in ancient time, therefore he is traditionally known as Narayana. (Manu 1-10)



Following is from my article posted on Tamil or Sanskrit: Which is older? posted on 16 July 2014.


Is NEER a Tamil word or Sanskrit word?

Regarding Tamil words in Sanskrit:

No language is pure in the world. Our forefathers were NOT language fanatics. They freely used Sanskrit words in Sangam literature and later Tirukkural. In the same way Tamil words are in later classical Sanskrit. But I doubt about it in Vedic Sanskrit. I have shown that even great linguists like Suneet Kumar Chatterji are wrong to claim that ‘Neer’ (water) in Rig Veda is Tamil. I have shown that it is in the oldest Greek mythology (Nereids=Water Nymphs). When a word is found in other Indo European languages it is not counted as Dravidian even in etymological dictionaries. But old linguists misled many others and so ‘Neer’ is shown as Dravidian. I have also shown that Kapi and Tuki in the Bible are Sanskrit words. Please read my article “Sanskrit in The Bible”.

In this context, my pet theory is Tamil and Sanskrit originated from a common source on the Indian soil. This is what saints like Paranjothy Munivar and others believed 300 years ago. If we believe our Puranas and Tamil commentators, we accept that Agastya from the north came to South India and codified grammar for Tamil. He was sent by Shiva to balance the population (Please read my article “Population Explosion: Oldest Reference is in Hindu Scriptures”; posted on 2nd February 2013). Naturally Agastya would have done it on the basis of Sanskrit grammar. But even Shiva accepted Tamil as a separate language and entrusted the grammar work to great Agastya. Even Lord Shiva recognised the greatness and uniqueness of Tamil. Do we need any other certificate?




Long Live Centenarians! (Post No.3138)


Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 9 September 2016


Time uploaded in London: 9-14 AM



Post No.3138


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.


It is very interesting to note that centenarians get a positive reference in the world’s first law book Manava Dharmasasatra (Manu Smrti). This shows how much respect is given to old people in Hinduism and how much long life span is appreciated. Throughout the Vedas we find reference to man’s hundred-year life span.


Manu gives a list of people who spread positive vibrations in the place where they sit. He says that if one of them is sat in a row the entire row is purified and sanctified; though it is said in the context of twice born people, the respect to one’s age is referred in other slokas as well.


“Those who are pre-eminent in all the Vedas and the explanatory texts, and also those born into a line of priests who knew their Veda by heart, are known as purifiers of the ranks – Manu 3-184


A man who has studied the story of Naciketas (Katha Upanishad), or who keeps five sacrificial fires or has studied the three bird passage, or knows (tri suparna paasage in the Rig Veda 10-114-35), or knows all the six supplementary texts to the Veda, or is born out of a Brahma marriage or who can chant the most excellent chant (Jyeshta Samans or Tandya Brahmana 21-2-3) – Manu 3-185


Or those who know the meaning of the Veda, or can preach from the Veda, a chaste student of the Veda, one who has given away a thousand cows (at a sacrifice) or ONE WHO HAS REACHED THE RIPE AGE OF ONE HUNDRED YEARS are to be known as the people who purify the rows”.


Aagrayaa: sarveshu vedeshu sarvapravacaneshu sa

Srotriyaanvayajaasaiva vijneyaah panktipaavanaah -Manu 3-184


Vedaarthavit pravaktaa sa brahmachariisahasradah

Sataayussauva vijneyaa braahmanaah pakntipavanaah -Manu 3-186



Following quotations will show that the learned are respected as elders and elders are respected for their learning

1.Mere greying of hair does not make one old; the gods regard as an elder the man who, though young, has learned.–Manu Smrti 2-156

2.An assembly without the aged is not assembly at all

–Hitopadesa 3-61


3.Aged people are to be consulted about the stately path

–Satopadesa prabanda


4.Wisdom dawns with service to the elderly

–subashita ratna bandagaram 3-601


5.A courtesan though aged is sweet sixteen and the monk though young is a centenarian (Sanskrit proverb)


6.The king should adhere to the words of the wizened

—Brhat katha manjari

7.They are not really old who do not bespeak righteousness

Hitopadesam and Kahavatratnakar





வைரத்தில் இட்ட துளை! கம்பனும் காளிதாசனும் ஒப்பீடு (Post No.3110)


Picture: Making hole in a diamond

Translated by London Swaminathan


Date: 1st September 2016


Time uploaded in London:8-59 AM


Post No.3110


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks for the pictures.


உலக மஹா கவிஞன் காளிதாசனின் காவியத்தை படியாதோர் பழங்கால பாரதத்தில் இருந்திரார். கம்பனும் படித்திருப்பான். மூவர் ராமாயணத்தைப் படித்து, முதலோனாகிய வால்மீகியையே தான் பின்பற்றுவதாக எழுதினான் கம்பன். ஆயினும் அந்த மூவர் யார் என்று உரைகாரர் வகுத்ததில் காளிதாசன் பெயர் இலை. நான் ரகுவம்சத்தையும் கம்ப ராமாயணத்தையும் ஒப்பிடுகையில் பல ஒற்றுமைகளைக் காண்கிறேன். ஆகையால் மூவரில் ஒருவர் காளிதாசனோ?


இதோ ஒரு பாடல்:–

அதவா க்ருத வாக் த்வாரே

வம்சே அஸ்மின் பூர்வ சூரிபி:

மணௌ வஜ்ர சமுத்கீர்ணே

சூத்ரஸ்யேவ அஸ்தி மே கதி:

-ரகுவம்சம் 1-4


“நான் காவியம் இயற்றும் திறமை இல்லாதவந்தான். ஆனால் முன்னோர் சென்ற வழியில் சென்று புகழடைவேன். எப்படியென்றால் வைரத்தால் துளையிடப்பட்ட ரத்தினக் கல்லில் ஒரு நூலைக் கோர்ப்பது எளிதுதானே. அதே போல முன்னோர்கள் (வால்மீகி) இயற்றிய காவியம் என்னும் துவாரத்தில் நுழைந்து செல்வேன்.”

ரகுவம்சம் 1-4


வைரத்தில் இட்ட தொளையில், தான் எளிதில் சென்றதாகக் காளிதாசன் பணிவோடு சொல்கிறான். கம்பன், ராமரின் அம்பு ஏழு மராமரங்களைத் துளைத்ததை நினைவு கூறுகிறான். இதோ கம்பன் பாடல்:-


Picture: Rama and Seven Trees

நொய்தின் நொய்ய சொல் நூல் கற்றேன் எனை

வைத வைவின்  மராமரம் ஏழ் துளை

எய்த எய்வதற்கு எய்திய மாக்கதை

செய்த செய்தவன் சொல் நின்ற தேயத்தே

அவை அடக்கம், பால காண்டம்



சான்றோர்கள் சபித்த சாபச் சொல்லைப் போலத் தப்பாமல், ஏழு மராமரங்களையும் துளையிட்டான் ராமன். அவனைப் பற்றிய பெரிய சரிதத்தை சம்ஸ்கிருதத்தில் ராமாயணமாகச் செய்து முடித்த தவ முனிவன் வால்மீகியின் கவிதைகள் நிலை பெற்ற இந்த தேசத்திலே, எளியவனுக்கும் எளியவனான நான் என் கவிகள் கொண்டு இந்நூலை இயற்றத் தொடங்கினேன் . இது என்ன வியப்பு!


திடீரென ராமன் துளையிட்ட ஏழு மராமரங்கள் , கம்பனுக்கு நினைவுக்கு வந்தது ஏன்? பெரியோர்களின் சாபம் தப்பாமல் எப்படி போகுமோ, அதே போல எனது சொற்களும் வால்மீகி என்ற பெரியோனின் சொல் போன வழியில் , ஏழு மரங்களைத் துளைத்து அம்பு சென்றது போலச் செல்லும்.


வால்மீகியின் வைரத்துளை என்பது காளிதாசனின் வாசகம்

இராமனின் மராமரத் துளை என்பது கம்பனின் வாசகம்.


நேரடியாக கம்பன் அப்படிச் சொல்லாவிடினும் முன் பின் பாடல்களை காளிதாசனின் அவை அடக்கத்தோடு ஒப்பிடுகையில் அது காளிதாசனின் தாக்கம் என்பதைக் காட்டும்.


முந்தைய கட்டுரைகள் (Earlier Posts):–

புத்தகம் எழுதுவது எப்படி? கம்பனும் காளிதாசனும் காட்டும் வழி ,Date: 1 June 2016

‘ரொம்ப நாளாக எனக்கு ஒரு ஆசை’, 21-2-2013