Where does Lakshmi reside? (Post No.3561)


Written by London swaminathan


Date: 20 January 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 21-30


Post No.3561



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In the ancient Tamil Sangam literature, a beautiful verse is found in the Purananuru. The verse is composed by Valmiki. Dravidian frauds and foreign “scholars” have spread out a lie that Tamil culture is different. Those who read 30,000 lines of Sangam literature will know that the culture is same from Kanyakumari to Kashmir with some regional specialities.


Valmiki is not the only Sanskrit name in Sangam literature. There Damodara, Kesava, Markandeya, Sangavaruna, Kapila, Parana, Mamula and so many other Sanskrit names. This will explode the racist Aryan Dravidian theory. One third of the poems were composed by Brahmin poets. If Sanskrit words are removed from Sangam Tamil verses it would like virus affected software!


Valmiki who composed verse 358 of Purananuru is different from Valmiki of Ramayana. But he was given this name because he liked Ramayana very much. According to some commentators this is a verse about Rama.

The gist of the verse no. 358 is, “ Life is so impermanent that this land has seen seven kings on a single day. If you compare worldly life with ascetic life, life of an ascetic is far better/ greater. Asceticism is so great and the earth is not one iota of it. It is because asceticism is difficult people became family men.  Those who strived for liberation became ascetics. Those who don’t ask for wealth (Lakshmi) will get it. Those ask for it wont get it and suffer as family men”.


Lord Rama said that he did not want Rajya Lakshmi (kingdom) but he got it.


Apart from the philosophical interpretation, it gives some historical information of having Seven Kings on a Single Day!

There is another verse in later Tamil literature, which lists the places where Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth resides: Lotus, Flag of a kingdom, City, Lightning, Tulsi leaves, Vilva/Bilva leaves, Sheath of paddy, Chank, Sea, Lamp, Horse, Marriage House or Mandap, Milk pot and the hearts of the good people.


Apart from the above list there is a belief that Lakshmi resides at the backside of a cow and the parting of a woman where she applies Kumkum every day. The list explains why Hindus boil milk in the new house, why Vishnu gets Tulsi and Shiva gets Vilva every day, why Hindus light lamp every day, why grains ae called Dhanya Lakshmi etc.





‘Eyeless Needle’ Changed the Life of a Millionaire! (Post No.3508)

Compiled by London swaminathan


Date: 2 January 2017


Time uploaded in London:-  16-15


Post No.3508



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Pattinathar was a rich man who lived in the port city Kaveri Poompattinam (also known as Pumpuhar) in the tenth century CE. He has not been included among the Sixty-Three Saiva Nayanmars, though five of his poems have been taken into the Eleventh Tirumurai.


A bright infant he was, left uncared for in a garden at Tiruvidaimarudur. It was picked by a poor couple who it to Pattinathar for reward. He took the child and reared it as his own son, naming him Marudapiran. Some years later the boy disappeared after asking his mother to handover a box to his father when he returned home. When Pattinathar opened, it he found an eyeless needle and a palm leaf on which a conundrum had been written.  This is said to have opened his eyes to the truth about the divine nature of the boy, who was thought to be God Shiva himself. He immediately arranged for the distribution of his wealth to the poor, renounced life and became an ascetic. He wandered far and wide visiting several sacred places and temples and finally attained salvation at Tiruvotriyur.


In the course of his pilgrimage he is reported to have visited the Tuluva country and converted a king of Bhadragiri to his creed of Yogic asceticism.


Commenting on the eyeless needle which brought a sea change in the life of Pattinathar A J Appasamy (in a book published by YMCA Publishing house nearly 100 years ago) says: “The eyeless needle, tradition maintains, was the means of Pattinathar’s conversion. It swiftly flashed across his mind that just as a needle without an eye is of no value., though the eye itself be the tiniest of things, so the human soul which does not devote itself to God, is lost. The little symbol brought home to him that great truth.


The word Pattinathar means “He of the City”. Pattinathar belonged to the mercantile clan. According to the tradition he was a Chettiar. A flourishing merchant, it is well known, will be greatly attached to his business and wealth. It takes a miracle to wean him away from these. And, a miracle did take pace, in his life. It pleased Lord Shiva to bring about his enlightenment in a flash “ All wealth is worthless, yes as worthless as an eyeless needle”. This knowledge made a new man of Pattinathar. He revelled in divine vagabondry. He sang

Our home is Tiruvalankadu; we have with us

A begging-bowl – God given- and never empty;

To supply as whatever we need, there is the rich land;

O goody heart, there is none our equal.


Visit to a Courtesan’s house

The great commentator Sivagnana Munivar says “Here is commanded the chanting of Panchakshara as ordained. Though for these souls the effulgence of Gnanam (wisdom) is vouchsafed, Nescience does its besetting, even as the worm accustomed to eating neem, forever repairs to it.” Lust besieged, out saint visited a courtesan. She took some time to present herself before him. Meanwhile, our saint quelled his sinful thought. When the woman eventually came, he burst into verse thus:

“O Peafowl-like woman adorned with the garlands

Of bourgeoning flowers, the one that just now

Quested for you, has gone away; compose yourself.

If you yearn for me I will kick you on your hips

And if I think of you, you kick me.


In the history of Tamil religious literature he has secured a niche which is proof against the tooth of time and razure oblivion.


Two Pattinathars?

It is said that there were two Pattinathars. The author of the hymns included in the Eleventh Tirumurai is the earlier of the two. A careful perusal of his poems establishes this fact indubitably. Pattinathar the second, if such a description can pass muster, is the author of the poems given below:

Kovil Tiru akaval, Kachi Tiru akaval, Tiruvekampamalai, The decad of Obsequies, Anatomical song.


Pattinathar refers to the eyeless needle episode his poems:

He tore a cloth of silk, placed there in with love

A thick needle, folded it and put it into the hand

Of my wife with rich tresses;

Did Siva by his advent intend that I should

Give up my love for my bewitching wife?

For ever hail the flower-feet of the strong-armed Lord

Of Annamalai, oh my heart!

In this world, of what avail are wealth

Tined with evil and the buries riches?

Even an eyeless needle accompanies you not

After you decease”.


AV Subramania Aiyar wrote the following in 1957 believing that there was one Pattinathar:


“A careful study of the very scanty materials about the life and works of Pattinathar shows that there are, broadly, two periods in his life after his final and sudden renunciation. Ther is a tradition that when he left his home he took with him a broken pot and a palm leaf manuscript of Tirumular’s poem. There is no doubt that he was greatly influenced by Tirumular’s Tirumantiram.  There was a significant change in the lives of both Sivavakkiyar (a Tamil Siddha) and Pattinathar at some crucial period in their lives.


There are some similarities and differences in the pomes of Sivavakkiyar and Pattinathar. Both have shown an excessive desire to extoll the virtues of unqualified asceticism and Yogic mysticism in language that can be understood by the masses. Their frequent and repeated scornful references to the physical facts of sex and the biological facts of birth are similar in tone, if not in language.

Pattinathar’s poems are happily free from the violent denunciations of idol worship, temples, rituals, caste, the Vedas, Agamas etc. which Sivavakkiyar indulges in.


Source Books:

St Pattinathar in English by Sekkizhar Adippodi T N Ramachandran, Dharmapura Adinam,1990


The Poetry and the Philosophy of THE TAMIL SIDDHAS, A V Subramania Aiyar, Tirunelveli, 1957



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



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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.


அழுதால் உன்னைப் பெறலாமே – மாணிக்க வாசகர் (Post No.3491)

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 28 December 2016


Time uploaded in London:-  11-05 am


Post No.3491



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contact; swami_48@yahoo.com



“அழுத பிள்ளை பால் குடிக்கும்” என்பது தமிழ் பழமொழி. இது அநேகமாக பல்வேறு மொழிகளிலும் உள்ள பழமொழி. ஏசு கிறிஸ்துவும் மலைப் பிரசங்கத்தில் “அழுகின்றவான்களே பாக்கியவான்கள் ஏனெனில் அவர்கள் ஆறுதல் அடைவார்கள்” என்று சொல்லக் கேட்டிருக்கிறோம். அழுதே கடவுளை அடைந்தவர்கள் அல்லது அவன் அருளைப் பெற்றவர்கள் இந்து மதத்தில் நிறைய பேர் உண்டு.


துச்சாதனனால் துகில் உரிக்கப்பட்ட திரவுபதி தன் மானத்தைக் காக்க எவ்வளவு கதறியும் யாரும் காப்பாற்றவில்லை . அதுவரை புடவையை ஒரு கையால் பற்றி இருந்த திரவுபதி, இரு கைகளையும் உயர்த்தி கண்ணா காப்பாற்று என்று கதறியவுடன் இறைவனே வந்து ஆடை கொடுத்தான்.


இதனால் “எனக்கு எப்போதும் துக்கமே தா கண்ணா, அப்போதுதான் உன் நினைவு நீங்காது நிற்கிறது” என்பாள் இன்னொரு பெண்மணி: “துன்பக் கண்ணீரைத் துடைக்கும் உன் தரிசனம் துன்பம் வரும்போது கிட்டுவதால் அடிக்கடி துன்பம் வரட்டும் என்பது என் பிரார்த்தனை”– இது குந்தியின் பிராத்தனை.


முதலையிடம் சிக்கிய ஒரு யானையை எவ்வளவோ யானைகள் மீட்க முயன்றும் பலனில்லாமற் போகவே, ஆதிமூலமே என்று கதறியது அந்த யானை. உடனே கஜேந்திர மோட்சமளிக்க கருட  வாஹனத்தில் ஏறி விரைந்தோடி வந்தான் விஷ்ணு பகவான்.


கண்ணனும் பகவத் கீதையில் தன்னை நான்குவிதமான பக்தர்கள் நாடுகின்றனர் என்றும் அவர்களுக்குத் தான் அருள் பாலிப்பதாகவும் சொல்கிறான்.


அர்ஜுனா! துன்பம் அடைந்தோன், ஞானத்தைத் தேடுவோன், செல்வத்தை நாடுவோன், ஞானி ஆகிய நால்வரும்  என்னைப் பூஜிக்கும் புண்யவான்கள் ஆவர்.(பகவத் கீதை 7-16)


இதன் தாத்பர்யம் என்னவென்றால், ஒருவன் அழும் நிலைக்கு துக்கம் வரும்போது பரிபூரண சரணாகதி அடைந்து விடுகிறான். அதற்கு முன்வரை,  “தான்” என்னும் அஹங்காரத்துடன் சாம, தான, பேத, தண்டம் என்ற நான்கு விதமான உபாயங்களையும் கடைப் பிடித்துப் பார்க்கிறான்.

மாணிக்க வாசகர் சொல்லுவதைக் கேட்போம்

யானே பொய் என் நெஞ்சும்

பொய் என் அன்பும் பொய்

யானால் வினையேன் அழுதால்

உன்னைப் பெறலாமே

தேனே அமுதே கரும்பின்

தெளிவே தித்திக்கும்

மானே அருளாய் அடியேன்




தேனும் அமுதமும் கருப்பஞ்சாறும் போலட் தித்திக்கும் பெருமானே! அடியேன் உன்னை வந்து அடையும் உபாயத்தினை அறிவித்து அருள்வாயாக. யானும், என் நெஞ்சும், அன்பும் பொய். ஆனாலும் வினையேனாகிய யான் அழுதால் உன்னை டையலாமா?


இந்தப் பாட்டில் கேள்வி கேட்பது போல உரை எழுதப்படிருந்தாலும், அழுதால் உன்னைப் பெறலாம் என்றே பொருள் கொள்ளவேஎண்டும் ஏனெனில் இரண்டு பாடல்களுக்கு முந்தியுள்ள பாட்டில்

அழுதேன் நின்பால் அன்பாய்

மனமாய் அழல் சேர்ந்த

மெழுகேயன்னார்  – என்ற வரிகளில் தான் தனித்து நின்று அழுவதாய்ப் பாடுகின்றார்.


பாரதியாரும் கூறுவார்:-


துன்பம் நெருங்கிவந்தபோதும் – நாம்

சோர்ந்து விடலாகாது பாப்பா!

அன்பு மிகுந்த தெய்வம் உண்டு – துன்பம்

அத்தனையும் போக்கிவிடும் பாப்பா!


திருவிளையாடற் புராணத்தில் 2 கதைகள்

மதுரை மாநகரில் சிவபெருமான் நடத்திய 64 லீலைகளும் பல்வேறு நீதிகளை உணர்த்தும் கதைகளாம்.


பரஞ்சோதி முனிவர் இயற்றிய திருவிளையாடல் புராணத்தில் இரண்டு கதைகளில் இறைவனிடம் அழுது மன்றாடியவர்க்கு சிவ பெருமான் உதவிய கதைகள் வருகின்றன. இது போல தேவார மூவர் வாழ்விலும் பாம்புக் கடியினாலும் முதலைத் தாக்குதலினாலும் இறந்த பக்தர்களின் பிள்ளைகளை, அவர்களுடைய பெற்றோரின் அழுகை நீங்க, உயிர்மீட்ட வரலாற்றையும் படிக்கிறோம்.


மாமனாக வந்து வழக்குரைத்த படலம்

மதுரையில் வணிக குலத்தில் பிறந்து குபேரன் போலப் பெருஞ் செல்வம் படைத்து வாழ்ந்து வந்தான் தனபதி என்பான். அவன் மனைவி சுசீலை கற்பும் லெட்சுமீகரமும் பொருந்தி வாழ்ந்து வந்தாள். அவர்களுக்கு புத்திர  பாக்கியம் இல்லாததால்  தனபதி, அவருடைய தங்கை மகனை சுவீகார புத்ரனாக ஏற்று வாழ்ந்து வந்தார். நாளடைவில் தனபதிக்கும் அவருடைய தங்கைக்கும் இடையே பிணக்கு வளரவே, ஒரு நாள், பிள்ளைப் பேரற்ற பாவியே! என்னாலன்றோ உனக்கு ஒரு பிள்ளை கிடைத்தது? என்று சுடு சொற்களைப் பெய்துவிட்டாள். இதனால் மனமுடைந்த தனபதி, அடுத்த பிறவியிலாவது தனக்கு மகப்பேறு கிட்டவேண்டும் என்று தவம் செய்யும் நோக்கத்தோடு கானகம் சென்றான். போகும்போது தங்கையின் பிள்ளை பேருக்கே சொத்து சுகங்களை உடமையாக்கிச் சென்றான்.


நீண்டகாலத்துக்கு தனபதி திரும்பிவராததை அறிந்த தாயாதிகள் (தூரத்துச் சொந்தங்கள்) தங்கையின் பிள்ளையிடம் இருந்து சொத்துகளை அபகரித்தார்கள். இதனால் வருந்திய மகனும் தாயும் மதுரையில் கோயில் கொண்டிருக்கும் சோமசுந்தரப் பெருமானிடம் அழுது புலம்பினர்.  அவள் நித்திரையில் கனவில் வந்த சிவபெருமான், மறு நாள் தாயத்தாரை எல்லாம் வழக்கிற்கு இழுத்து அரண்மனைக்குச் சென்றால் தான் வந்து உதவுதாக சொன்னார்.

மறுநாள் அந்தப் பெண்மணியும் அரசனிடம் சென்று முறையிடவே அரசனும் சேவகர்களை அனுப்பி தாயாதிகளை அழைத்துவரச் செய்தான்.  “திக்கற்றவர்களுக்குத் தெய்வமே துணை” என்பது உண்மையாகிவிட்டது என்று மகிழ்ந்து மறுநாள் அவள் வழக்குரைத் தாள்.


அவர்களோவெனில், தனபதி இல்லாத சூழ்நிலையைப் பயன்படுத்தி அந்த சொத்துகள் அனைத்தும் தங்கள் பங்கே என்று வாதிட்டனர். அந்த தருணத்தில் — காதில் விலைமிக்க குண்டலங்களையும், கழுத்திலே ரத்ன கண்டிகையையும், கையில் வைர மோதிரமும் விளங்க தனபதி செட்டியாரைப் போலவே சிவபெருமான் தோன்றினார். தன்னுடைய மருமகனுக்குத் தான் அணிவித்திருந்த ஐம்படை, காற்சிலம்பு, தோளில் மதாணி, காதில் கடுக்கன், நெற்றிச் சுட்டி ஆகியனவற்றைக் காணவில்லையே என்று கதறினார். அவர் தனபதி செட்டியார் அல்ல என்று தாயாதிகள் சொன்ன மாத்திரத்தில், தனபதி செட்டியாரின் வம்சத்தில் உதித்த அத்தனை முன்னோரின் பெயர்களையும் குண நலன்களையும் அவர் எடுத்துரைத்தவுடன் அதுவரை அங்கிருந்த தாயாதிகள் அனைவரும் ஆளுக்கு ஒரு சாக்குச் சொல்லி மறைந்தோடினர். . தனபதி செட்டியாராக வேடமணிந்து வந்த சிவபெருமானும் மறைந்தார். சொத்து சுகம் அனைத்தும் தங்கை மகனுக்கே கிடைத்தன.


வன்னியும் கிணறும் லிங்கமும் சாட்சியாக வந்த கதை


1400 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன் கடற்கரைப் பட்டிணம் ஒன்றில், புத்திர பாக்கியம் இல்லாத ஒரு செட்டியாரும் அவரது மனைவியும் ஒரு பெண்ணை சுவீகாரம் எடுத்து வளர்த்து வந்தனர். அவர்கள் இருவரும் அடுத்தடுத்து  இறந்தனர். அவர்களிடையே நிறைய செல்வம் குவிந்திருந்தது. இறப்பதற்கு முன்னரே அவர் மதுரையிலுள்ள தனது மருமகனுக்குத் தான் இந்தப் பெண் என்று கூறி வந்திருந்தார். அவர் இறந்தவுடன் அருகிலிருந்த உறவினர்கள் மதுரைக்கு ஓலை எழுதி அனுப்பினர். இறந்துபோன தனவந்தரின் விருப்பப்படி, இந்தப் பெண்ணை திருமணம் செய்துகொண்டு சொத்துக்களை ஏற்றுக்கொள் என்று அந்த ஓலையில் எழுதப்பட்டிருந்தது.


ஓலை கிடைத்தவுடன் நல்ல நாள் பார்த்து அந்தப் பெண்ணை அழைத்துச் செல்ல அவன் பட்டிணத்துக்கு வந்தான். ஆனால் அவனுக்கு ஏற்கனவே ஒரு கல்யாணம் ஆகி மனைவியும் உயிரோடு இருந்தாள். அப்படியும் பட்டிணத்துக்கு வந்து புதுப் பெண்ணை அழைத்துச் சென்றான். மதுரையை நெருங்குவதற்கு முன்னர், தன்னுடன் வந்திருந்தோரை மதுரைக்கு அனுப்பிவிட்டு  அருகிலுள்ள கிணற்றில் நீராடிவிட்டு  அந்தப் பெண்ணுடன் சமைத்துச் சாப்பிட்டு விட்டு ஒரு வனி மரத்தடியில் படுத்து உறங்கினான். அப்பொழுது அவனை ஒரு விஷ நாகம் தீண்டவே அவன் இறந்துபோனான். அவனுடன் வந்த பெண்ணும் ஊராரும் கூடி அழுதனர். அந்தப் பக்கமாக யாத்திரை மேற்கொண்ட ஞானசம்பந்தப் பெருமான் இந்த அழுகுரலைக் கேட்டு விஷயத்தை அறிந்தார். உடனே அந்த தனவந்தரின் உடலில் இருந்த விஷத்தை இறக்கி அவனை உயிர்ப்பித்தார். அங்கேயே திருமணத்தையும் நடத்திவைத்தார்.

இருவரும் நன்றி கூறி மதுரை சென்றனர்.


அந்த இளைஞனின் முதல் மனைவிக்கும் இளையவளுக்கும் நாளடைவில் சக்களத்தி சண்டை வந்தது. மூத்தவள், இளைவளைப் பார்த்து என் புருஷனை ஏமாற்றிய காமக்கிழத்தி நீ, அவனுக்கும் உனக்கும் திருமணமே நடக்கவில்லை என்றாள்.  அவள் கோவென்று கதறி அழுது, தங்களுக்கு முறையான திருமணம் நடந்தது என்றும் சொன்னாள். அதற்கு யார் சாட்சி என்றவுடன், அப்பெண் தாங்கள் திருமணம் செய்துகொண்ட இடத்தில் ஒரு வன்னி மரமும் கிணறும் லிங்கமும் இருந்தது என்று சொல்ல, மூத்தவள் சிரி சிரி என்று சிரித்து உனக்கு சாட்சி சொல்ல அவை வருமா? என்றாள். அந்தப் பெண் கண்கலங்கி சோமசுந்தரப் பெருமான் கோவிலுக்குச் சென்று  நெஞ்சுருகப் பிரார்த்தித்தாள். அப்போது ஒரு அதிசயம் நிகழ்ந்தது. ஒரு வன்னி மரமும் லிங்கமும் கிணறும் அங்கே தோன்றின. உடனே எல்லோரையும் அழைத்துக் காண்பிக்க அவர்ர்கள் அனைவரும் வியந்து, சிவபெருமானை வணங்கினர். உடனே அவன் மூத்தவளை வீட்டைவிட்டு வெளியேறு என்று சொல்ல இளையவள் மன்றாடி அவளையும் உடனிருக்க  அனுமதிக்கும்படி கெ,,,சினாள். அவனும் மனமிறங்கி சரி என்று சொன்ன பின்னர் இருவரும் சுகமாக வாழ்ந்தார்கள்.


(இன்றும் மதுரை மீனாட்சி சுந்தரேஸ்வரர் கோவிலில் வன்னிமரம், கிணறு, லிங்கம் சிலைகள் உள்ளன.)


நம்பினார் கெடுவதில்லை! இது நான்கு மறைத் தீர்ப்பு — மஹாகவி பாரதியார்.



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.



contact; swami_48@yahoo.com


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).


Tamil’s Cruel Cock Fight! ( Post No.3442)

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 12 December 2016


Time uploaded in London:-19-59


Post No.3442



Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.


contact; swami_48@yahoo.com


Tamils have been organising Ram fight, buffalo fight and cock fight for the past 2000 years ago. A poet by name garbage cock (Kuppaik koziyaar) had used a simile of fighting cocks in the garbage. The commentators described the cock fight organised for the public and the useless fight among cocks in the garbage. The heroine of the poem compares her condition to a cock which fights in the garbage Kuruntokai Verse No.305 by Kuppaik Koziyaar.

Kamban who wrote Ramayana in Tamil gives a list of recreational activities in the Kingdom of Kosala and one of them is cock fight. Actually, he attributed everything that was common in the Chola country to the Kingdom of Kosala. Kamban describes the cocks fitted with knifes fighting with one another in detail (Balakandam, Kamba Ramayan).

How the cocks are trained:

Probably there is not a people on the face of the earth, whether rich or poor, cultured or uncultured, white or black that does not find time for recreation or amusement. Tamils have several amusements and recreational activities and one of them is the barbarous and cruel cock fighting.  This is a common thing in almost all the villages. The fighting cocks are of two types – the country breed and the Moghul breed. the Moghul breeds are fine, strong and well-made birds. They are kept in separate places, and not allowed to see each other. if a villager is a well to do man, he keeps five or six of these cocks. if he is a big landlord, he keeps about a dozen, and he engages a special man to look after them. His duty is to feed them both morning and evening, and to give them water at noon. Besides this he must spend ten or fifteen minutes with each cock in the evening in wetting their necks well with cold water, and specially in pressing with both his hands the neck of each cock. He takes each cock to the tank, and dis the whole body well into water, and lets it swim for a while. This kind of preparation goes on for some time before the owner ventures to take them to the fighting ground. The country breeds are also prepared in the same manner, except for rubbing of the necks.


The spot for fighting will be fixed according to the convenience of the villagers. The parties always chose a place where there is plenty of water and shade, and as far as possible away from a village. To this fighting amusement the fair sex and the Brahmins do not go, but the men of all ages are exceedingly fond of it. Some of them travel miles in order to see the cock fight.


The fight commences at 10 O’clock in the morning. A pair of cocks is set up Each of these belongs to a different party, and generally they do not care to fix matches between cocks of the same village. One of these fights is known as Vetrukaal por; the other is called Kathi por. In the former the cocks are engaged in without having any double edged, small knife attached to their right legs; but in the latter kind they have the knives, and this makes it a most cruel and terrible scene.  Soon after these cocks are set up, they severely wound each other, and one of them dies or runs away, the fight is ended. The defeated cock is always presented to the owner of the conqueror.

In the case of the cocks fighting without a knife, one of the cocks either must die or run away. The owner of the cock which conquers its opponent is entitled to the defeated cock or to a certain sum of money.


If a man in a village has a champion cock, it rouses the envy of the people of other villages, who spends a lot of money in purchasing a proper match to it. There is a great deal of skill shown by the men who catch the cocks with knives, even while they are flying against each other. Sometimes, the men are severely wounded while thus attempting catch the cocks. This must be regarded as a most cruel and degrading way of getting amusement.

Source: Kamba Ramayanam, Sangam Literature, Indian Village Folk by T B Pandian, year 1897.




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.


contact; swami_48@yahoo.com


(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.






Compiled by London swaminathan


Date: 6 December 2016


Time uploaded in London: 10-50 am


Post No.3424



Pictures are taken by Tamil Conference Booklet.


contact; swami_48@yahoo.com



1981 World Tamil Conference Procession in Madurai -Part 2


Yesterday I posted Part 1 with the title A Brief Introduction to Tamil. following is the 2nd part.

Thirugnana Sambanthar


He lived in the 7thc. A.D. This young devotee who attained the divine mercy at the age of seven, was largely responsible for Saivism becoming popular in Tamil Nadu. His poems are melodious and mellifluous and they form the first three books in the twelve canons of Saivite sacred texts, which are popularly known by the term Panniru Thirumuraikal.


Tirunavukkarasar (Appar)


An ardent Saivite saint, Appar lived in the 7th C. AD. He has composed his devotional lyrics in the Thandakan form and hence he was called by the popular attribution Thandaka venthar (King of Thandaka genre). His works are included as the fifth, sixth and seventh books of the twelve Saivite sacred books. As per the Saivite tradition, he was the supreme example of Divine Service.




He lived in the 8th C. A.D. and considered himself to be a close friend of Lord Siva. Consequently, his devotional poems reveal his sense of comradeship with God. His poems form the seventh book of the Tamil Saivite sacred books.




He lived in the Eighth century A.D. and composed the very beautiful Tamil devotional lyrics entitled Thiruvasakam and Thirukkovaiyar. The special charm. of the former work has captivated the mind of the European missionary G.U. Pope, who has rendered it into English.




When the Pandya King Arimarthanan punished Manikkavasakar for spending the Govt money for religious purpose, Lord Siva performed a miracle before the king to make known the greatness of the famous Saivite saint. As per His divine orders, there was heavy flood in Vaikai river. It destroyed the banks of Vaikai. The officials of the Pandya King ordered that each one of the subjects should do his allotted work to repair the damaged river banks. The poor Vanthi who sold Pittu (rice pudding) could not find a man to work on her behalf. As per her prayer, Lord Siva assumed the form of a coolly and came to Vanthi. After eating the Pittu given by her, he joined others who were engaged in the flood relief activities. He carried in his basket the sand for filling the damaged portions of the river bank. But, he had not sincerely done his job. Consequently, the work allotted to Vanthi remained unfinished. When this was reported to the King, the King got angry and started beating the coolly by a cane. Everyone present there felt a blow on their backs. The coolly put one basket of sand in his allotted area and suddenly disappeared.  The outrageous King’s men went to Vanthi to punish her. But, she was taken to Heaven on a divine chariot by the Siva ganas. When the King’s men went to the river bank they found that it was completely repaired.




Andal, the daughter of Periyalvar, is one of the most fascinating of the Alvars. Periyalvar, her foster father found her as a baby in his garden and he brought her up as his daughter. Later, she imagined herself to be the bride of Krishna, refusing to marry mortals, boldly wearing even the garlands intended for the image of Krishna. One day, when her foster father saw it, he was shocked. He proclaimed that the garland which was worn by mortal being was not befitting to Krishna. Consequently, he would not use it to garland the image of Krishna. The same night Krishna appeared in Periyalvar’s dream and said that he would like only the garland which was worn by Andal. Finally, she was given in marriage to the lord of Srirangam. Andal has left but two works Tiruppavai of 30 stanzas and Nachiar Thirumoli of l43 stanzas. Krishna is the hero and she, the heroine in both. Thiruppavai owes its origin to a religious observance among maidens of the cowherds’ class. This tableau depicts Periyalvar looking in wonder at his daughter offering the garland to the statue of Krishna.




Arunakiri Nathar


He is the author of Tiruppukal, which consists of three thousand devotional poems endowed with high rhythmic qualities. He was proficient in Tamil music too. He composed the metrical compositions such as Kanthar Alankaram, Kanthar Anuputhi, Kanthar Antathi, Vel virutham, Mayil Virutham and Tiruvakuppu.




He was a saivite saint and a mystic poet par excellence. He has composed the famous philosophical work Tirumanthiram. His poems are the revelations of his deep reflection in Yoga, Jnanam and Siddha medicines. To him, serving humanity is the chief way to serve God


Thayumanavar (1705 1742)


Born at Vedaranyam, Thayumanavar a great saint was full of love for mankind. His notable poetic works are Anandak kalippu and Paraparak kanni


Ramalinga Swamikal

He lived in Tamil Nadu in the 19th century A.D., and composed Tiruvarutpa which consists of six thousand devotional hymns. He was born on 5-10-1823 at Marutur, near Chidambaram. He lived in Madras for more than thirty years and composed a number of poems. He has established Sathiya Taruma Salai Sathiya Gnanasabai and Samarasa Sanmarka Sankam in Vadalur. His philosophical reflections which are full of egalitarian sentiment and profound humanitarian spirit are considered to be unique contributions to the world of religion and philosophy.



The Tamil poets are endowed with genial spirit and modest character. But they become crusaders of their cause if anything happens to stain their spotless virtue and prestige. In such cases, they are even prepared to fight with their royal patrons. Consequently, the rulers of the Tamil land patronized the poets with much care love and respect without offending their tender feelings. An event which stands as a typical example of the poet-patron relationship of the ancient Tamil Nadu is depicted here. The Chola King failed to recognize and give due respect to Kamban, the greatest epic poet of Tamil. The offended poet decided to teach him a lesson. He took a vow that he would sit before the court of the Chola King duly served and attended by great king equal in status to the Chola monarch as his errand man. The Chera King who was captivated by the poetic talent of Kamban followed him as an errand man and prepared betel leaf to Kampan while he was seated in the Chola palace. The Chola king promptly recognised the greatness of Kamban.




  1. Subramania Bharathi (1882-1921)


Bharathi started his poetic career as a court poet of the Zamindar of Ettayapuram. He completely freed himself from the court life when he was attracted by the currents of the renaissance spirit as well as the upsurge of the waves of the Indian Freedom Struggle. When he found that he was not able to give vent to his patriotic feelings freely in Sudesamithiran, a Tamil journal in which Bharati worked as a sub-editor, he relinquished his job and started a new journal entitled India. He lived the life of a political exile in Pondicherry. He successfully experimented in modern Tamil literature and showed a new way to his successors. He used poetry as an invincible weapon to fight against oppressions of all kinds. His poems played a predominant role in the Freedom Struggle kindling the patriotic feelings of the Tamils. Most of his poems are highly prophetic.

Among his poetical compositions his national poems, Kannan Pattu, Kuyil Pattu and Panchali Sabatam are famous.






A Brief Introduction to Tamil (Post No.3420)

Compiled by London swaminathan


Date: 5 December 2016


Time uploaded in London: 13-53


Post No.3420


Pictures are taken from the Conference booklet;thanks.


contact; swami_48@yahoo.com


1981 World Tamil Conference Procession in Madurai -Part 1



Tamil is one of the classical languages of the world. It is the most ancient language among all the languages of the Dravidian family. It is endowed with rich vocabulary, beautiful diction, rhythm and melody. The  ancient Tamils, who have been fascinated by the greatness, grandeur and glory of their mother tongue, have personified her as Mother Goddess and showered all praise and honour on her.


It is a convention to describe some of the classical epics of Tamil language as the ornaments worn by the Mother Goddess Tamil. Silappathikaram is hailed as her anklet, Valayapathi as her bracelet, Manimekalai as her waist belt studded with gems, Chintamani as her necklace, Kuntalakesi as her ear-ring and Chutamani as the jewel worn on her forehead. She is also portrayed as a queen holding in her hand Thirukkural as the sceptre the symbol of her righteous rule.


The Tamil poets of yore have glorified their mother tongue as the first language of the human race. Its ancient grammatical treatises such as Tholkappiyam and  Irayanar Kalavijal bear testimony to its rich legacy of literature and continuity of literary tradition from a hoary past. Here is a tableau which depicts Tamil language as Mother Goddess.



Thiruvalluvar was a profound scholar, philosopher and poet, who lived in Tamil Nadu two thousand years ago. His magnum opus THIRUKKURAL or the sacred couplets, is an ethical work which speaks about the greatness of righteousness (Aram), polity and economy (Porul) and domestic happiness (Inpam) in 1330 couplets. This work is a great human heritage which has transcended the linguistic, racial and religious barriers in its presentation of the ethical codes. Among the Indian classics it is the only book which has been translated into nearly two and a half dozens of languages. The modern Tamil year is calculated beginning with the birth of Thiruvalluvar. Since agriculture formed the basis of the economy of the ancient Tamils, Thiruvalluvar has devoted one chapter to this noble profession. The float depicts an agricultural scene, so well portrayed by Thiruvalluvar.



In the portrayal of various internecine and intertribal wars which were waged for various political motives, the Sankam literatures introduce Avvaiyar, a poetess of the Sankam age, as a peace maker between two warring kings. Thontaiman plans a war against Athiyaman. Avvaiyar, wishing to stop the war, meets Thontaiman. Contrasting his decorated weapons with those of Athiyaman, so frequently used in battles, she brings home to Thontaiman, the latter’s superiority in warfare. A war is thus averted.


Silappathikaram is the earliest among the available Tamil epics. Kannaki came to Madurai along with her husband Kovalan to sell her anklet and start a new life. But, her husband was unjustly accused of stealing the anklet of the Queen and was killed under the orders of the King. To prove the innocence of her husband, and expose the heinous crime of the Great Pandya King, Kannaki went to his court with one of her anklets. She accused the King of having ordered the death of her husband without conducting proper trial. The Queen’s anklet had pearls whereas the anklet of Kannaki had gems inside. She broke her anklet in the presence of the king and proved that her husband  Kovalan was not guilty. She is worshipped in Tamil Nadu as the Goddess of Chastity. The scene where Kannaki accused the King and broke her anklet is depicted in this tableau.


to be continued………………………

Mirror Images in Hindu Literature (Post No.3413)

Research Article Written by London swaminathan


Date: 3 December 2016


Time uploaded in London:12-20


Post No.3413


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks. They are representational.


contact; swami_48@yahoo.com


Tamil version of this article is also posted.


Mirrors have been used by us from time immemorial. it is found in all the ancient civilizations. Etruscan mirrors are famous for their engraved mythological scenes on the back of the mirror. In ancient Mexico Aztec god Tezcatlipoca was called smoking mirror.


The mirror has got special significance in the Shinto tradition of Japan. It is an attribute of the sun goddess Amaterasu. A sacred mirror is handed to each new emperor.


According to one tradition, the mirror bears the Hebrew inscription of “I am who am”.

Psychologists have different interpretations for mirror images.

In Hinduism mirror is considered one of the auspicious objects. As soon as they get up in the morning they look at their right-hand palm or a mirror. Young girls are invited to homes and mirror, comb and Kumkum are distributed them during Navratri festival period. On the new year day, they look at the mirror when they wake up. When the god’s statue is taken in palanquin procession through the city streets, a mirror is placed in front of the idol so that people can see it from different angles. If mirror is broken by fall they consider it as an ill omen.


Mirror in Gita and Kalidasa

Mirror is used as simile from the days of Mahabharata. Krishna, Adi Sankara, great poet Kalidasa, Tamil poets Tiruvalluvar, Tolkappiar, Kapilar and many more use it for imagery.


They send various messages through mirror imagery.

Lord Krishna says in Bhagavd Gita (3-38):

“As fire is enveloped by smoke, as a mirror by dust, as an embryo by the womb, so this wisdom is enveloped by that (desire or anger)”.


Swami Chinmayananda gave a detailed commentary on this couplet. He says though they look similar, they are not. Repetition is an unpardonable crime against the scriptural style and the Gita faithfully follows the immortal style common to all religious books. There is no redundancy or wasteful repetition in the Divine Song.

The first image ‘fire by smoke’ is sattvic/good. Even the sattvic desires veil the infinite glory of the Spirit.

The second image ‘ as dust on a mirror” illustrates the veiling  caused by agitations that cover the purer intellect due to our thick desires for glory and power. So it is Rajasic/passionate.


The last imagery, as the foetus in the womb imagery, is tamasic/bad. This is an illustration to show how completely the Diviner aspect in us is screened off by the low animal appetites and the vulgar desires for the sensuous.

Picture of Greek Mirror


In the Raghu vamsa, Kalidasa imagines the face of Indumati (7—68) to be like a mirror. The face of Indumati shone with joy when freed from the sadness arising from the adversary. The mirror also resumes its brightness by the disappearance of moisture.


When the wind, charged with rain drops blows, a mist like moisture gathers on the surface of the mirror which obscures in transparency, similarly the infamy of the acceptance of Vaidehi who had dwelt in the house of Ravana which is a stain now come upon the royal family sprung from the sun and pure by virtues of good conduct (Raghu vasa 14-37).

in Sakuntam drama also Kalidasa used this image (AS 7-32)




Adi Shankara says in his Viveka Cudamani (291):-

That in which there is this refection of the universe, as of a city in a mirror – that Brahman are you; knowing this you will attain the consummation of your life.


This refection of a big city or some object in a small mirror has been used by Tamil Poets Kapilar, Tolkappiar and Tiruvalluvar. It looks like it is popular imagery.


Famous Tamil poet Kabilar, in the laudatory verse Tiruvalluva malai, praised the book Tirukkural and compared it to a small dew drop on a grass tip reflecting a big tree nearby. Every couplet of Tirukkural reflects big things like this.

Picture of Etruscan Mirror

Face is the index of the mind!


Tiruvalluvar himself used the mirror image in his work Tirukkural:-

The mirror reflects nearby objects; even so the face indicates emotions throbbing in the mind (Kural 706).


Tolkapiyam, oldest Tamil book, also used similar image. When the author Tolkappiyar explained what a Sutra (an aphorism) is he used this beautiful simile (1425)

A sutra is like a big mountain reflected In a mirror, shows/explains everything.

There are innumerable works where we come across mirror or looking glass in Tamil and Sanskrit works. I have already written about the Mirror Temple constructed by Sri Narayana Guru, a social reformer of Kerala. Big temples in Tamil Nadu has a beautiful mirror room for god where the idol is reflected thousands of times. Though God is one we see him in 330 million ways- that is the message these mirror rooms convey.


Mirror Temples! Hindu Wonders!! (Posted on 3 October 2013)