Great Men Praise Tamil Poet Tiruvalluvar and Tamil Veda Tirukkural! (Post No.4152)

Compiled by London Swaminathan

 

Date: 12 August 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 9-18 am

 

Post No. 4152

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

 

(Don’t cut the name of the writer and blog if you are reusing it. Give respect to the writers and get respect. Be honest and your spouse and children will be honest to you; if you cheat me, they will cheat you.)

Great Men Praise Tamil Poet Tiruvalluvar and Tamil Veda Tirukkural! (Post No.4152)

TIRUVALLUVAR TEMPLE IN MYLAPORE, CHENNAI

Tirukkural, written by Tamil Poet Tiruvaluvar, is considered as the Tamil Veda. It consists of 1330 aphorisms grouped into 133 chapters of ten couplets each. These fall into three sections Dharma (virtue), Artha (wealth) and Kama (love).

 

Tirukkural literally means a ‘book of sacred couplets’

We can ungrudgingly compare it to the Confucian Analects, Plato’s Dialogue and Aristotle’s Ethics. Western scholars who have scrutinised it in translation are unquestionably impressed by its universal content and appeal.

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Tirukkural is neither a scripture nor an epic, but an extraordinary treatise on the art of living, which delves deep into the unshifting foundations of human life and attempts to provide guidelines, not for the society in general but for the individuals – the ascetic, the family member, the father, the son, the ruler, the minister, the ambassador, and in general to the individuals in society with responsibilities to themselves and others  — Dr V C Kulandaiswamy

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“There hardly exists in the literatures of the world a book of such lofty maxims”- Albert Schweitzer

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M.Ariel (Journal Asiatique-1848)

“The Kural is the masterpiece of Tamil literature:- one of the highest and purest expressions of human thought.”

 

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Dr Graul (1856)

“No translation can convey an idea of its charming effect. It is truly apple of gold in a net work of silver.”

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Dr G.U. Pope (1886)

“The Kural owes much of its popularity to its exquisite poetic form. The brevity rendered necessary by the form gives an oracular effect to the utterances of the great Tamil ‘Master of Sentences’. They are the choicest of the moral epigrams. Their resemblance to gnomic poetry of Greece is remarkable as to their subjects, their sentiments, and the state of society when they were uttered. Something of the same kind is found in Greek epigrams, in Martial and Latin elegiac verse. There is a beauty in the periodic character of the Tamil construction in many of these verses that reminds the reader of the happiest efforts of Propertius”.

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Dr Barth (Religions of India)

“The Kural is that admirable collection of stanzas in the Tamil language, which is instinct with the purest and most elevated religious emotion……………………… What philosophy he teaches seems to be of the eclectic school as represented by the Bhagavt Geeta.”

 

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Frederic Pincott

“There are two books in India which have taken entire possession of the hears and minds of the people; the first of these is the Ramayana of Tulsidas, which is known to every peer and peasant in Northern India, and the other is the Kural of Thiruvalluvar which is equally well-known throughout the South of the Indian Peninsula. The authors of both these works were essentially moralists and monotheists, and their poems have moulded the characters and guided the lives of many generations of their countrymen.

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Rev.Elijah Hoole D.D.

“Some of the sayings (of Cural) are probabaly as old as the earliest writings of the Old Testament. The Cural of Tiruvalluvar is a poetic work on morals, of great merit as literary performance”

 

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Rev.W .H.Drew (1840)

“Called the first of works, from which, whether for thought or language, there is no appeal, the Cural has a strong claim on our attention as a part of the literature of the country, and as a work of intrinsic excellence”.

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Rev. E.J. Robinson

“We may regard Valluvar… as Tamil Solomons, Ezras or Tuppers, who collected and arranged the ‘proverbial philosophy’ of primitive times”.

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G.U. POPE’S POEM ON TIRUVALLUVAR

‘’Sage Valluvar, priest of the lowly clan,
No tongue repeats, no speech reveals thy name;
Yet, all things changing, dieth not thy fame
For thou art bard of universal man;

And still thy ‘book’ above the waters wan’
Virtue, true wealth, and joy, and being’s aim,
In sweetest mystic couplets doth proclaim
Where winds sea-wafted palmy forests fan.

Haply undreamed of ‘visions’ glad thine eyes
In reals beyond thy fabled ‘seven fold birth’,
And clouds of darkness from thy spirit roll;

While lands far off have heard with strange surprise
Faint echoes of thy song. Though all the earth
Men hail thee brother, seer of spotless soul’’
—Written by Dr G.U. Pope

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Tirukkural Commentaries

Tradition says that there were ten commentaries on the Kural in medieval times. Of these only five have been bought to light, namely those of Parimel alagar, Manakkudavar, Kalingar, Parithiyar and Paripperumal. Parmellagar was the most popular and authoritative commentary on the book. He was a native of Kanchi, where he lived and taught about 600 years ago. His style is almost as terse and vigorous as the original and all students of Kural are greatly indebted to him for his clear and convincing exposition of the couplets. His criticisms of the various readings current in his day are incisive and dignified.

Manakkudavar differs from him in many places and he often adopts a different renderings of the same text.

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Tiruvalluvar’s Age

Tiruvalluvar hailed from Mylapore in Chennai and he lived at least 1500 years ago. Though the Tamil Nadu government publications place him around 31 BCE, linguistically he can be placed in the fourth or fifth century CE only. His style, language and grammatical constructions show him that he lived in the post- Sangam age. Sangam Age covers the first three centuries of modern era.

–Subham—

 

A few Anecdotes about Tamil Savant U.Ve.Sa (Post No.4135)

Written by London Swaminathan

 

Date: 6 August 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 18-40

 

Post No. 4135

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

 

There is an interesting story about Uthamadhanapuram, a village 3-5 km south of Papanasam in Thanjavur district.

A Maratha king who happened to camp nearby had his food and Thamboolam (betelnut and betelleaves) without knowing it was Ekadasi Day that day – a day of prayer and fasting. As an act of atonement, he established and Agraharam (Street for Brahmins) for 80 Vedic scholars, providing each a house and 10 Velis of land. He named it Uthamadhanapuram, evidently to show how greatly he valued the Dhana (gift)

It was this Uthamadhanapuram that gifted to the world the ‘Uthama’ (great soul) of Tamil learning, Mahamahopadhyaya Dr U V Saminatha Iyer.

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Two of many incidents show what Tamil meant to U Ve. Saminatha Iyer. He had picthed upon a girl for his grandson> She was clever, good looking and good singer. But she did not sing any Tamil song nor did she know Tirukkural (Tamil Veda).

Saminatha Iyer asked her, with some disappointment: How can a girl who does not know Tirukkural become my grand daughter-in-law?”

The girl did acquire the qualification and entered his house triumphantly.

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Once a friend wished hi many more years of life to see the arrival of his great grandson.

“I want to live for many years but not for that reason”, he said.

Pointing to the piles of palm leaves in the room, he said with an innocent smile “They are my children. I want to see them in print before I die. If I depart suddenly, I wish to be reborn in this Tamil Land to complete the work. But when I come here in rebirth, I wonder if these people (relatives) would let me in”.

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Saminatha Iyer needs no new honour. He was a legend in his day – titles and honours were heaped upon him. Mahakavi Bharati sang a verse in praise of him in which he wonders if the foreign rulers with no knowledge of Tamil, honour him with the title MAHA MAHOPADHYAYA, what would have been his fame if he had been born in the days of Pandya Kings!

Addressing him as the king of poets, he tells Saminathan that he may not have money or know the way to enjoy the pleasures of life, but he will live in the hearts of poets as long as Tamil lasts, with words of praise on their lips.

 

XXX

Born on 19 February 1855

Died in 1942

His Guru: Mahavidwan Meenakshisundaram Pillay

Posts held: Adheena Vidwan of Thiruvavadurai

Tamil Teacher at Kumbakonam College

Publications: 100 books including his Autobiography, Edited versions of Sangam Literature, Silappadikaram, Manimekalai and Jeevaka Chintamani.

 

Source:V Sundaram’s article in Indian Express dated 26 December 1994

 

Sacred Cow in Tamil Veda ‘Tirukkural” (Post No.4057)

Written by London Swaminathan
Date: 6 July 2017
Time uploaded in London- 19-59     
Post No. 4057

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

 

Hindu culture has been practised by the people of India from the Northern most Himalayas to the southernmost Kanyakumari for thousands of years. Sacred cow is mentioned in the Sangam Tamil literature in several places. One of the post Sangam books is Tirukkural written by Tiruvalluvar. Like the Vedas always pair the Brahmins and Cow, Tiruvalluvar also does.

 

“Go brahmanebya subamastu nityam lokas samasto sukino bhavantu” is the daily prayer of the Hindus. From the Brahmins and cows all living beings must live happily is the meaning. The reason for placing Brahmins and cow in the beginning is that they are pure and selfless. This pairing continued from the Vedic days and we see that in the oldest part of Tamil Literature – Purananuru verse 9. Poet Nettimaiyar sang this poem in praise of the ancient Pandya king Mudukudumi Peruvazuthi. His epithet is that one who did innumerable Yagas (Fire sacrifices). The poet says before waging any war, he will first request that Brahmins, Women, Cows, invalids, sick people and those who has not given birth to child must keep away. Kannaki, the Tamil heroine of Silappadikaram also did the same. Before burning the city of Madurai she commanded the God of Fire (Agni Deva) not to burn the Brahmins, women and cows. Tamil Miracle boy and one of the four Tamil Saints Jnana Sambandar also sang Long Live the Brahmins, Long Live the Cows.

Tamil Purananuru verse lists the worst sins and one of them is killing the cow (verse 34 by Alathur Kizar)

 

Now let me quote two couplets from Tirukkural, considred Tamil Veda by the Tamils (actually it was one of the poets who sang the praise of Tiruvalluvar, used these words Tamil Veda).

“If the guardian of the country neglects to guard it, the produce of the cows will fail and the men of six duties (shad karmana: = brahmins) will forget The Book (Vedas)” (Kural 560).

Here we see the Go+Brahmna pairing.

 

in another couplet (1066) “It is most heinous to beg for a bucketful of water even to quench the feverish thirst of a sinking cow”.

 

Being cow the most sacred animal, Tiruvalluvar used the cow here. feeding the cows, worshipping the cows are part of Hinduism. In Tamil Nadu, Go Puja (worship of cow) and Gaja Puja (worship of elephant) are done in all the temples and mutts in the early morning.

 

In front of the temples, cows are tied to the poles and the devotees used to feed them with the Agathi leaves (Agathi grandiflora) to earn good merits (Punya).

Of late the picture of wish fulfilling cow Kamadhenu’s picture is displayed in many houses and shops as a symbol of good luck.

–Subham–

 

 

HINDU SPY IN THE SKY (Post No.4021)

Written by London Swaminathan
Date: 21 June 2017
Time uploaded in London- 10-28 am
Post No. 4021
Pictures are taken from various sources such as Face book, Wikipedia and newspapers; thanks.

 

 

“Light giving Varuna! Your piercing glance does scan

In quick succession, all this stirring active world

And penetrates, too the broad ethereal space,

Measuring our days and nights and SPYING OUT all creatures”—Rig Vedic Hymn on Varuna

 

Brahmins who do Sandhyavandanam thrice a day worship Varuna; He is the God of the coastal area according to the oldest Tamil book Tolkappiam; Sangam Tamil verses say that Tamil fishermen worshiped Varuna on sea coast of Tamil Nadu. Varuna is in almost all European and Iranian languages.

 

Max Muller says,

“Varuna is one of the most interesting creations of Hindu mind, because, though we can still perceive the physical background from which he rises, the vast, starry, brilliant expanse above, his features more than those of any other Vedic God have been completely transfigured, and he stands before us as a god who watches over the world, punishes the evil doer, and even forgives the sins of those who implore his pardon”

 

In the Rig Veda an exceedingly high position is ascribed to Varuna. He is Chief of the Adityas – sons of Aditi. They are inviolable, imperishable, eternal beings.

 

Aditi, the great Mother Goddess has twelve sons including Varuna, Mitra, Daksha, Indra and Surya. Varuna is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘var “to cover”. He is therefore god of the heavens covering all things. A mysterious presence, a mysterious power and a mysterious knowledge were all ascribed to him.

He is the one who makes the sun to shine in the heavens; the winds that blow is but his breath; he has hollowed out the channels of the rivers which flow at his command, and he has made the depths of the sea.

 

His ordinances are fixed and unassailable; through their operation the moon walks in brightness, and the stars which appear in the night sky vanish in the day light.

 

The birds flying in the air, the rivers in their sleepless flow, cannot attain a knowledge of his power and wrath. But he knows the flight of the birds in the sky, the course of the far travelling wind, paths of ships on the ocean, and beholds all the secret things that have been, or shall be, done.

He witnesses man’s truth and falsehood.

 

In truth, omniscience is his outstanding attribute. The sun and the thousand stars are his eyes searching out all the passes on earth, from which even darkness cannot hide. When two are in the company, he is the third. He is the god of the serene distant heaven, yet he is not far from any one of us.

 

“His spies descending from the skies glide all this world around;

Their thousand eyes, all scanning, sweep to earth’s remotest bound

Whatever exits in heaven and earth, whatever beyond the skies.,

Before the eyes of Varuna the thing unfolded lies.

The secret winkings all he counts of every mortal eyes

And wields this universal frame as gamester throws his dice!

 

Tamil God

Varuna is one of the Gods mentioned in the oldest Tamil book Tolkappiam. He is portrayed a s a god of the coastal Tamils. Tamil Sangam literature also has a reference to fishermen worshipping Varuna.

 

Mitra and Varuna are always paired in the Vedic hymns. Some people see it as positive and negative forces in the universe. Mitra represents light and Varuna represents night. It is like Shiva and Sakti; both are required for the survival of the universe.

 

Rig Veda (7-86-3/6) has the following prayer:

Be gracious, O mighty God, be gracious. I have sinned through want of power; be gracious.

Seeking to perceive that sin, O Varuna, I inquire: I resort to the wise to ask. The sages will tell me the same; it is Varuna who is angry with you.

What great sin  is it, Varuna, for which you seek to slay your worshipper and friend?

Tell me, O unassailable and self dependent God; and, freed from sin, I shall speedily come to you for adoration.

Release us from the sins of our fathers, and from those which we have committed in our own persons.

O King, loose, like a thief who feeds the cattle, as from the cord a calf, set free Vasistha.

It was not our own will, Varuna, but some seduction which lead us astray – wine anger, dice or thoughtlessness. The stronger perverts the weaker. Even sleep occasions sin.”

 

It is the prayer from the bottom of the heart of a true devotee!

 

Hundreds of hymns in the Vedas praise the mighty Varuna. They all make very interesting reading. The ancient Hindu society knew the general weakness of the human beings.

Perun (Varun) in Slavish Countries.

 

INTERESTING STORY IN YAJUR VEDA

In the Yajur Veda, the following story is narrated of Varuna:_

Varuna is found instructing Bhrigu, one of the Seven Divine Rishis, as to the nature of Brahman, the Supreme Spirit.

Varuna tod the seer: Whence all beings are produced; by which they live when born, towards which they tend, and unto which they pass.

Bhrigu, after meditating in devout contemplation, recognised food to be Brahman; for all things are indeed produced from food; when born they live by food; towards food they tend, they pass into food.

Unsatisfied, however after further meditation, he discovered breath to be Brahman: for all things are indeed produced from breath; when born they live by breath; towards breath they tend; they pass into breath.

Again he sought Brahman in deep meditation, and discovered intellect to be Brahman; for all things are indeed produced from thought; when born they live by thought; towards thought they tend; they pass into thought.

 

Then he went to Varuna and requested him,

“Venerable Father, make known to me Brahman.

Varuna replied, “Inquire by devout contemplation, profound meditation”.

Bhrigu thought deeply and then he knew Ananda (bliss, joy, felicity) to be Brahman; for all things are indeed produced from desire; when born they live by joy; towards happiness they tend; they pass into happiness.

Such is the science taught by Varuna of the origin of things.

 

Hymns to Varuna reach a lofty poetic height because they are rather sombre and inspire reverence and awe in a manner few other Vedic Gods do. As an unwinking watcher of men’s conduct and as judge and punisher he inspires awe and fear- the god who evokes an ethical response.

 

These hymns show that the Vedic Hindus were highly intellectual and reached the pinnacle of civilization. They are not primitive as westerners described. Human psychology is fully reflected in these Vedic poems.

(Bhagavad Gita 3-14 to 3-17 also discuss it)

 

“He instructs the seer Vasistha in mysteries; but his secrets and those of Mitra are not to be revealed to the foolish”

 

(that is why Vedic seers speak in symbolic language; it has hidden meaning; only the enlightened people can read between the lines)

 

“he has a hundred thousand remedies, and is supplicated to show his wide and deep benevolence and drive away evil and sin, to unite sin like a rope and remove it. He is entreated not to steal away, but to prolong life, and to spare the life who daily transgresses his laws. In many places mention is made of the bonds or nooses with which he seizes and punishes transgressors.

 

Amazing Knowledge of the Seas!

“By his wonderful contrivance the rivers pour out their waters into one ocean but never fill it”.

These lines are in the Vedas and Sangam Tamil Literature. Paranar, a Brahmin poet, quoted this in his Tamil Sangam verse.

This shows that the Vedic Hindus had amazing knowledge about the seas and oceans. They talk about thousands of rivers pouring into ocean and yet the seas never cross its shores. This is because of God’s order- Varuna’s orders.

 

All the Hindus use the simile every day at the end of their prayer “Akasat patitam toyam yathaa—– like the rain water that fall from the sky reaches the ocean , all my salutes/pranams go to Kesava”. They knew very well about the thousands of rivers and 7 oceans.

 

All the Tamil Sangam verses and earlier Sanskrit verses, whenever they mentioned earth, they say ‘sea clad earth’. Every second they remembered it. No literature in the world would mention it in all their verses that mentioned earth.

 

Vedic Hindus migrated from India to different parts of the world and spread Hindu values. All the famous rivers and seas around the world have Sanskrit names!

(I have dealt with this in my articles; so I am not going to repeat it)

 

If you get hold of the Vedas, just read the poems/hymns on Varuna! You will be wonderstruck!!!

In Mahabharata and Puranas, we see a different Varuna. ( I will deal with it separately)

 

Source Books:–  four different books on Vedas.

Vedic God Varuna in Oldest Tamil Book | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/2013/07/08/vedic-god-varuna-in-oldest-tamil-book/

8 Jul 2013 – Vedic God Varuna in Oldest Tamil Book. East European Slavs worshiped Varu as Perun. Oldest Tamil book Tolkappaiam dated to 1st century …

 

-Subham–

 

Buddha and Valluvar on Words and Deeds: Great Men Think Alike-3 (Post No.3997)

Buddha and Valluvar on Words and Deeds: Great Men Think Alike-3 (Post No.3997)

 

Written by London Swaminathan
Date: 13 June 2017
Time uploaded in London- 18-06
Post No. 3997
Pictures are taken from various sources such as Face book, Wikipedia and newspapers; thanks.
contact: swami_48@yahoo.com

 

 

(Though I have posted upto part 7, part 3 is missing in the series. So I am posting it today)

 

Valluvar says in Tirukkural on Words and Deeds

It is harmful even to dream of association with friends, whose words and actions are disgracefully different (Kural 819)

Buddha says in Dhammapada

If a man speaks many holy words but he speaks and does not, this thoughtless man cannot enjoy the life of holiness; he is like a cowherd who counts the cows of his master –(Dhammapada 19)

 

All the Hindu scriptures insist if anyone has Tri Karana Suddhi—purity in three: Thoughts, Words and Deeds – then that person can do miracles. It is very easy to write about it or talk about it but very difficult to follow it.

 

Hindu ascetics became great when they practised what they preached and preached only what they practised.

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Valluvar says in Tirukkural on Giving Advice

To give advice is easy for all; but to act according to one’s advice is indeed difficult (Kural 664)

Buddha says in Dhammapada

Let him first find what is right and then he can teach it to others, avoiding thus useless pain.

If he makes himself as good as he tells others to be, then he is in truth can teach others. Difficult indeed is self-control  –(Dhammapada 158,159)

 

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Valluvar says in Tirukkural on Adultery and Lying

Valluvar deals with adultery in ten couplets in chapter 15. Buddha also deals with it in various places.

Valluvar insists speaking truth in ten couplets. Buddha also speaks about it in several couplets. Since they are considered part of FIVE GREAT SINS (Panca Maha Patakas), they repeat it as many times as possible. We will look at a few couplets:

The Ideal house-holder is who he will not be attracted by the feminine grace of another’s wife (Kural 147)

 

If a man could conduct himself true to his own self he would be in the heart of all in the world (Kural 294)

In all true scriptures, we have known, nothing is praised so highly as truthfulness (300)

(Eg. Harischandra, Rama, Gandhiji)

In the Hindu Gurukula education system, the first thing the child learns is Satyam Vada (speak the truth); Truth alone triumphs is also in the motto of Government of Tamil Nadu and Government of India. It is from the Mundakopanishad)

 

Buddha says in Dhammapada

He who destroy lives

who utters lies

who takes what is not given to him

who goes to the wife of another

who gets drunk with liquor

–he digs up the root of his life (Dhammapada 246,247).

—Subham–

Drought in Tamil and Sanskrit Literature (Post No.3953)

Research Article Written by London Swaminathan

 

Date: 29 May 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 14-36

 

Post No. 3953

 

Pictures are taken from various sources such as Face book, Wikipedia and newspapers; thanks.

 

contact: swami_48@yahoo.com

 

Our forefathers and writers gave a true account of the weather conditions prevailing in those days. These true accounts prove that they wrote genuine things and not concocted anything. We have reports of Tsunamis, earth quakes, accidents, shipwrecks, massive engineering works such as diverting River Ganga (by Bhageeratha) and River Kaveri (by Agastya), laying roads through the Vindhya Hills (Agastya ), population explosion in North India and migrating to South east Asia (Agastya drank sea) etc. Only thing is people could not understand their symbolic language. They though these are all mythological ‘stories’.

 

If we read through our literature, we can see many droughts which caused massive migrations. We even come to know the drying of Saraswati river ended the Indus Valley civilization and they migrated to different parts of India. These are very important events to know the history of the land.

Massive drought resulted in the migration of people from the Saraswati River Valley during Vedic days. Brahmins in India are generally divided into 10 groups: Pancha Goawda and Pancha Dravida. Gowda Brahmins lived in North India and Dravida Brahmins lived in South India. It is all in our literature. Many droughts caused the migration of Brahmins from one part of the country to the other.

 

Hindus believed that the 12 year orbit of Jupiter around the sun caused a drought every twelve years. Position of Venus was also considered to measure the amount of rain.

Tevaram sung by three Saivite saints mentioned the drought in different parts of Tamil Nadu. Lord Siva helped the saints by providing huge quantity of paddy and gold coins, which are considered great miracles by the Tamils. Those  1400 year old Tevaram verses are sung by all the Saivaite Tamils even today.

 

The word for drought in Sanskrit is Varkadam. In Tamil we have Varatchi and it is related to Varkata.

 

Tamil Tiruvilaiyaadal Purana talks about the drought in and around Madurai.

 

Kalidasa and Tamil Sangam Literature

Kalidasa and other poets used drought followed by rains as similes in their poems.

रावणावग्रहक्लान्तमिति वागमृतेन सः।
अभिवृष्य मरुत्सस्यम् कृष्णमेघस्तिरोदधे॥ १०-४८

rāvaṇāvagrahaklāntamiti vāgamṛtena saḥ।
abhivṛṣya marutsasyam kṛṣṇameghastirodadhe || 10-48

rAvaNAvagrahaklAntamiti vAgamR^itena saH|
abhivR^iShya marutsasyam kR^iShNameghastirodadhe || 10-48

 

On showering ambrosian water called his speech on the desiccating crop called gods owing to the drought called Ravana, he that black cloud called Vishnu disappeared.

Rain=speech, dry crops=gods, drought caused by=Ravana, Black Cloud=Vishnu

 

Tamil poet Alankudi Vanganar used the same simile in Natrinai verse 230. A man came back to his wife after visiting a courtesan. She told that the very sight of him is like rain flooding the land affected by drought.

 

Raghuvamsa 10-48= Natrinai 230

 

Sangam Tamil poets (Pura nanauru 35, 383 and 397) say that even if the planet Venus is seen in the wrong direction there wont be any drought because of the just rule of the kings. This shows their belief n the position of Venus in the sky.

 

12 long Drought and Indus Valley Civilization

 

There is an interesting reference to the drying of River Saraswati, the mighty river which ran through Punjab, Uttapradesh and other states.

 

Sarasvata, son of Dadhichi and Sarasvata survived a twelve year long drought. But all other rishis had gone away  in search of food. They had forgotten the Vedas completely. Then Sarasvata rishi taught them the Vedas (Mahabharata 9-51). This gives credit to the story of Vedic Hindus migration from the Indus valley to other parts of India after a 12 year long drought. Story of Saraswata Brahmins’ origin also corroborates this.

 

During the reign of Ukra Kumara Pandya, a legendary king, there was a 12 year long drought. Then he went and prayed to Agastya. He showed them the way.

 

The reference to 12 year long drought and once in 12 year drought are plenty in our literature.

Two droughts during Tevaram days

 

Tevaram is a collection f hymns sung by three saints Sambadar, Appar and Sundarar.

 

Sambandar and Appar were contemporaries who lived during seventh century CE. Because of drought and famine they went to Siva temple and prayed for the sake of the people. They were given one coin each till they tided over the famine. They used the coins to buy food articles.

 

Sundarar, who lived later than Appar and Sambadar , was getting regular  supply of paddy  from a generous Shiva devotee.  Suddenly he stopped it due to a severe drought. When Sundara came to know about it, he was very much worried. Lord Shiva appeared in the dream of that philanthropist and promised him a good supply of paddy. The very next day he went to nearby Tiruvarur and informed Sundara about the miracle. When Sundara saw the huge hills of paddy I a village he was wondering ow to carry them. Shiva told him that the paddy would be in Tiruarur. His words came true and every house in Tiruarur had a heap of paddy in front of his/her house. Sundara was very happy to see the delivery at the doorstep.

–SUBHAM–

 

Kalidasa and Valluvar on Bad Friends and Laughter (Post No.3946)

Written by London Swaminathan

 

Date: 27 May 2017

 

Time uploaded in London: 13-57

 

Post No. 3946

 

Pictures are taken from various sources such as Face book, Wikipedia and newspapers; thanks.

 

contact: swami_48@yahoo.com

 

 

Kalidasa and Valluvar on Bad Friends and Laughter (Post No.3946)

 

Tiruvalluvar is the author of Tirukkural, the Tamil Veda. It has got 1330 couplets organised in 133 chapters. Each chapter has a specific subject dealing with virtues, wealth and love (between man and woman). It expresses the highest and purest truths. It is very rare to see a secular work like this in any other language in the world. It has become very popular because of its brevity and universal appeal. Anyone will enjoy reading it.

 

Kalidasa is the most celebrated poet of India. His seven literary works are considered the best in classical Sanskrit literature. He is more famous for his over 1300 apt similes, imageries and analogies. All the similes in other Indian literatures are his imitations or adaptations. His influence over Indian literature is enormous. There is lot of scope for comparative studies.

 

Here are some amazing similarities in the above two books on two subjects: Laughter and Friendship.

 

Tamil poet Thiru Valluvar is so obsessed with friendship, that he deals with it in 70 to 80 couplets under different headings.

 

Kalidasa says that the relationship with bad friends should be cut off like a poisoned finger affected by a snake bite. Tiruvalluvar says the bad friends are like harlots and thieves.

 

“Cunning friends whose motive is gaining money, are like harlots who sell their body for gold and thieves who plunder” (Kural 813)

“It is better to leave than have the friendship of mean, low minded people that are useless and unhelpful” (Kural 815)

Kalidasa says,

“A friend who is part and parcel of life should be discarded if wicked as a finger which is part of body is cut down if it is bitten by a snake. But a good man, though unfriendly should be accepted, as a medicine though distasteful is acceptable to the sick” (Raghuvamsa 1-28)

द्वेष्योऽपि सम्मतः शिष्टस्तस्यार्तस्य यथौषधम्।
त्याज्यो दुष्टः प्रियोऽप्यासीदङ्गुलीवोरगक्षता॥ १-२८

dveṣyo’pi sammataḥ śiṣṭastasyārtasya yathauṣadham |
tyājyo duṣṭaḥ priyo’pyāsīdaṅgulīvoragakṣatā || 1-28

dveSyo.api sammataH shiSTastasyaartasya yathauSadham |
tyaajyo duSTaH priyo.apyaasiida~NguliivoragakShataa || 1-28

 

Even if someone is despicable he becomes agreeable to King DilIpa, in case if he were to be a principled person, as with a pungent medicine somehow agreeable to a patient; and even if someone is dearer to him he becomes discardable to him in case if he were to be an unprincipled person, as with a finger fanged by a snake, severable for anyone. [1-28]

A friend indeed is a friend in need!

In the Rtu Samhara Kalidasa says,

“The bodies of elephants, lions and oxen were scorched by the fire due to the excessive heat in summer season. They quickly emerged from the grass where they were burnt by fire and they all rested on the banks of a river together, forgetting their natural enmity. They behaved like friends. The image suggests that a real friend is helpful, particularly during distress. Rtu Samhara 1-27

 

Valluvan defines a good friend more beautifully:

“Genuine friendship hastens to redress distress even like the hand which picks up quickly that garment that slips (Kural 788)

“Friendship with worthy men is like the taste in the good books; the more we study the more we know” (Kural 783)

Laughter

There are two words for laughter in Tamil : one with good and another with bad connotations. Strictly speaking both are interchangeable. Only the context determines its meaning. Valluvar deals with laughter in over 16 couplets whereas Kalidasa used it in lesser places. But Kalidasas’ three plays have the Vidushaka (comedian, Jester) which gives good scope for creating mirth. All the ancient Sanskrit dramas have this Vidushaka/ jester character.

 

Let us look at one or two couplets from Tirukkural:

“Laugh when trials and troubles confront you, for there is no other way to overcome grief” (Kural 621)

It is very difficult to laugh when troubles come to us; one must be a saint like Tiruvalluvar to act that way. But most of us laugh at others’ troubles; particularly the troubles encountered by our enemies.

Valluvar echoed what Lord Krishna said in the Bhagavad Gita in the following couplets:

He does not suffer sorrow in sorrow, who does not look for pleasure in pleasure (Kural 629)

He is never afflicted by sorrow who knows the grief is natural and seeks no pleasure” (628)

Kalidasa says,

The lovely gardens resplendent with white jasmine flowers are imagined to be as bright as the sportive laugh f ladies, which is also considered white in colour—(Rtu Samhara 6-23)

 

In Hindu literature White is used for laughter, red is used for anger, Yellow is used for auspiciousness and Black for sorrow or wickedness. They have colour coded the emotions and feelings.

In the Raghu Vamsa (5-70) Kalidasa says,

“The dew drops fallen on the tender leaves with their interiors red resemble the sportive smile fallen on Aja’s lip brightened by the splendour of teeth”

Dew drops = smile; tender leaves = lips

ताम्रोदरेषु पतितं तरुपल्लवेषु

निर्धौतहारगुलिकाविशदं हिमाम्भः

आभाति लब्धपरभागतयाधरोष्ठे

लीलास्मितं सदशनार्चिरिव त्वदीयम्॥ ५-७०

tāmrodareṣu patitaṁ tarupallaveṣu

nirdhautahāragulikāviśadaṁ himāmbhaḥ

ābhāti labdhaparabhāgatayādharoṣṭhe

līlāsmitaṁ sadaśanārciriva tvadīyam || 5-70

taamrodareShu patita.n tarupallaveShu
nirdhautahaaragulikaavishada.n himaambhaH
aabhaati labdhaparabhaagatayaadharoShThe
liilaasmita.n sadashanaarciriva tvadiiyam || 5-70

“Like the thoroughly cleansed pearls in a necklace the dewdrops are now stringing on the surfaces of tender coppery leaflets only to expropriate their ochreish magnificence onto their whitely white bodies, in which process they look like your pleasing smiles occasionally gleaming with the sparkle of your teeth radiating onto your lower lip… [5-70]

 

Kalidasa uses tears of joy to express happiness:

The stream of the Himalayan snow melting under the rays of the sun is compared to the tears of joy shed by a woman when her  lover returns to her after a long absence (Raghu vamsa 16-44)

 

अगस्त्यचिह्नादयनात्समीपम् दिगुत्तरा भास्वति संनिवृत्ते।
आनन्दशीतामिव बाष्पवृष्टिम् हिमस्रुतिम् हैमवतीम् ससर्ज ॥ १६-४४

agastyacihnādayanātsamīpam
diguttarā bhāsvati saṁnivṛtte |
ānandaśītāmiva bāṣpavṛṣṭim
himasrutim haimavatīm sasarja  || 16-44

agastyacihnAdayanAtsamIpam diguttarA bhAsvati sa.nnivR^itte |
AnandashItAmiva bAShpavR^iShTim himasrutim haimavatIm sasarja  || 16-44

 

On the return of the Sun from her co-wife South (indicated by the star Canopus) after his southern solstice to the proximity of North, she that northerly quarter another wife of that Sun shed tears of joy duly dampened with her happiness to which the flow of melted snow from the Himalayas is hypothetical. [16-44]

(Agastya’s direction is South where the star Canopus is known as Agastya Nakshatra)

 

In the fourth act of famous drama Sakuntala Kanva, the foster father of Sakuntala, sheds tears of joy when she departs to join her husband King Dushyanta.

These are just some examples to show how great poets think alike and use forceful similes to bring out the emotions.

Sources: Raghuvamsa from sanskritdocuments.com

Tirukkural by A Aranganatha Mudaliyar, Trplicane, Madras, 1949

The Imagery of Kalidasa, Dr Vinod Aggarwal, Delhi, 1985

 

–Subham–

 

Karma Theory-Buddha and Valluvar Think Alike -Part 6 (Post No.3935)

Research article written by London Swaminathan

 

Date: 23 May 2017

 

Time uploaded in London: 21-19

 

Post No. 3935

 

Pictures are taken from various sources such as Face book, google and newspapers; thanks.

 

contact: swami_48@yahoo.com

 

Thiruvalluvar , the author of the Tamil Veda Tirukkural has confirmed his belief in Karma Theory in hundreds of his couplets. There is one chapter on Fate as well; here are two important couplets from Tirukkural:

Toil not through sacred books to what the fruits of virtue/Dharma are; but pause and look at the palanquin bearer, and him that proudly rides in it Kural 37).

Loss and gain come about because of one’s own previous actions;

But an unswerving rectitude of mind is the ornament of the great (Kural 115)

 

By oneself the evil is done, and it is oneself who suffers; by oneself the evil is not done, and by one’s Self one becomes pure The pure and the impure come from oneself: no man can purify another (Dhammapada 165)

Only a man himself can be master of himself; who else from outside  could be his master. When the Master and the servant are one, then there is true help and self possession (Dhammapada 160)

 

The most famous poem of Sangam Tamil Literature verse 192 of Purananuru explains Karma Theory beautifully well:

“Every town our home town; everyman a kinsman.
Good and evil do not come
From others
Pain and relief of pain
Come of themselves.
Dying is nothing new.
We do not rejoice
That life is sweet
Nor in anger
Call it bitter.
Our lives, however dear,
Follow their own course,
(like) Rafts drifting
In the rapids of a great river
Sounding and dashing over the rocks
After a downpour
From skies slashed by lightning’s
We know this
From the vision
Of men who see
So,
We are not amazed by the great
And we do not scorn the little”
————————-Kaniyan punkundran (Pura Nanuru, verse 192)

 

Another translation of the same poem:

To us all towns are one, all men our kin,
Life’s good comes not from others’ gifts, nor ill,
Man’s pains and pain’s relief are from within,
Death’s no new thing, nor do our bosoms thrill
When joyous life seems like a luscious draught.
When grieved, we patient suffer; for, we deem
This much-praised life of ours a fragile raft
Borne down the waters of some mountain stream
That o’er huge boulders roaring seeks the plain
Tho’ storms with lightning’s flash from darkened skies.
Descend, the raft goes on as fates ordain.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !
We marvel not at the greatness of the great;
Still less despise we men of low estate.
Kaniyan Poongundran, Purananuru – 192
(Translated by G.U.Pope, 1906)

xxxxx

Refraining from eating Meat

All living beings will raise their hands in worship to him who has never taken a living being’s life and has abstained from eating meat (Kural 260)

How can a man be compassionate who, for the purpose of increasing his own flesh, etas the flesh of other animals (Kural 251)

All beings tremble before danger, and fear death. When a man considers this, he does not kill or cause to kill (Dhamma 129)

Also see Vegetarianism in earlier post of Buddha and Valluvar thnk alike.

xxx

 

Friendship with Great men

Weigh the worth of the men of ripe wisdom and seek their fellowship (Kural 441)

Cherish with ardour the friendship of those who remedy your present ills and guard you against future ones. (Kural 442)

 

Cling to men of heroic mould and make them your kin; verily there is no greater blessing to you on earth (Kural 443)

Is there any force mightier to the sovereign than the alliance of the men of superior wisdom? (Kural 444)

 

If you find a man who is constant, awake to the inner light, learned, long suffering, endowed with devotion, a noble man – follow this good and great man ever as moon follows the path of the stars  (Dhammapada 208)

 

He who has to walk with fools has a long journey of sorrow, because to be with a fool is  as painful as to be with an enemy; but the joy of being with the wise is like the joy of meeting a beloved kinsman  (Dhammapada 207)

 

Adi Shankara’s Satsangatve nissangatvam…………

Greatest philosopher of India, Adi Shankara, says,
“ Satsangatve nissangatvam
Nissangatve nirmohatvam
Nirmohatve nischalatattvam
Nischalatattve jeevanmuktih” –Bhajagovindam (9)

“Through the company of the good, there arises non-attachment; through non-attachment there arises freedom from delusion; through freedom from delusion there arises steadfastness; through steadfastness, there arises liberation in life”- Bhajagovindam

He who knows not and knows not………………………

An ancient saying from the Middle East says:

He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool. Shun him.
He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is simple. Teach him.
He who knows, and knows not he knows , is asleep. Wake him.
He who knows, and knows that he knows is wise. Follow him.

 

–Subham–

 

 

London-Capital of the Tamil Speaking World (Post No.3907)

Picture taken twenty years ago at SOAS. I am at the right extreme.

Left extreme Dr Singvi, High commissioner of India.

 

Written by London Swaminathan

 

Date: 14 May 2017

 

Time uploaded in London: 13-47

 

Post No. 3907

 

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

contact: swami_48@yahoo.com

 

Talk by London Swaminathan (Santanam Swaminathan)  at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London on 13th May 2017. It was organised to celebrate the 20th anniversary of installation of Thiruvalluvar statue at the SOAS. I was there twenty years ago and yesterday as well. They invited me to give a talk on the development of Tamil Studies in London. Here is my speech delivered yesterday.

Thiruvalluvar Statue on 13-5-2017 (Twenty years later)

Dear Friends

Good Afternoon and Vanakkam.

Thanks for giving us an opportunity to express our views on the development of Tamil Studies at SOAS.

 

The very fact that Government of India approached SOAS to get some space for the installation of THIRUVALLUVAR statue ( twenty years ago) and the very fact that you readily agreed show us the importance of Tamil .

 

What are the advantages SOAS got over other places?

This is a prestigious institution with a long history of supporting South Asian culture.

It has a huge library with very old Tamil books.

Very near we have got the world famous British Library with a treasure trove of old Tamil books. I have been posting on face book all the 100 year old books for the past two years. And yet I have covered only a fraction of the treasure trove.

This has got a tremendous potential for research.

If a one-eyed person starts describing the beauty of nature and arts, we know that person hasn’t got the full view of the thing he describes.

 

Mother India- Bharat Mata- has got two eyes TAMIL AND SANSKRIT. Sanskrit is available here. We have got a big department. But if Tamil is not taught here SOAS will like a handicapped institution —  a one eyed giant!

 

Tamil is not taught anywhere in the UK universities; it is a black mark on the country which boasts of a multicultural society. But we have Tamil at Cambridge University holding A level O level exams only.

And as I mentioned earlier SOAS is the best place for teaching TAMIL

 

Great Tamil poet Valluvar has inspired generations of Tamil scholars. He is here to inspire us and guide us.

 

(Picture taken by Mrs Manian)

TAMIL CAPITAL OF THE WORLD

We know that London is the financial capital of the world. It is in such a time zone it can cover the early morning Hong Kong Tokyo share markets and late evening NY markets. No need to say that it covers all the European markets

Friends,

Let me tell you that London can be the capital of the Tamil speaking world. Now there are over a 100,000 Tamils in the country. Plane loads of Tamil personnel are coming every week to work in computer and other industries. There are over 25 Tamil Hindu Temples, over 130 Tamil organisations and 100 Dance and Music schools in London.

 

They all need help to learn the language. Particularly foreigners who are attracted towards Tamil culture are very keen to learn the language. Everyday British tourists are landing in the airports of Tamil speaking countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Seychelles, South Africa and far away Mauritius, Fiji and Guyana. If we conduct Tamil crash courses or summer school, there will be a good response. In the past they tried without much success because they lacked our support—I mean the community support. If we come together and help SOAS, they can help us in supporting our language.

 

I told you that there are over 30 Tamil week end schools in London alone. last week a Tamil organisation was launched at Chelmsford. The teachers need good training. They need a uniform syllabus. They need a structure and a certificate from a good institution like ours. Here we can play big role

 

london swaminathan now (20 year later)

Do we need a Separate Country?

I used to meet my Sri Lankan solicitor friend for a friendly chat. He was for a separate country for the Tamils. I am against it. One day our conversation turned towards Teaching Tamil. When I told him even languages spoken by lesser number of people have a lecturer and a department here, he asked me why.

I told him  “Are you asking me Why? You they are representing a country”.

Before I finished the sentence, he said, “ Look, that is why are fighting for a separate country”. I was shocked and surprised. I quickly change the topic.

Now my question is, “will Britain and SOAS teach Tamil and honour Tamil only when we divide a country? Doesn’t it look ridiculous?” I don’t want that situation to come.

 

Last week the BBC TamiI Service stopped broadcasting. They recruited me thirty years ago and brought me here on 1st January 1987. Why did they stop? Because there is no more political struggle there.

For them it is politics!

 

Thank You.

B V Bhavan students TIRUKKURAL recitation

 

During Question Time, I told them:

WAY FORWARD!

1.Restart the courses that were stopped.

2.Get teachers from India on secondment like the BBC world service do with the broadcasters.

3.Meet every third month to celebrate some Tamil event to gather and maintain the momentum.

4.Start a movement like Harvard University Tamil Chair movement here.

5.Involve all the Tamils by collecting donation. During the installation of Swami Vivekananda Statue in Kanyakumari, India we took the picture of Swami Vivekananda in Madurai and collected just one rupee to get them involved. We can do that here by distributing Tirukkural or Tiruvalluvar picture and get them involved.

 

Unhelpful attitude and Poaching

When I answered another question, I mentioned, “We have funding available at SOAS. Tamil was taught for over twenty years. I had been teaching here for 20 years. That funding is still there. Only because of the unhelpful attitude of the people at SOAS, Tamil is dead. Nepalese, Singhalese, Burmese are spoken by half of the population of Tamils in the world. But because they had lecturers appointed with big fat salary they pushed all the students toward learning those languages. It is called poaching (only when my Professor mentioned it after he left the SOAS, I came to know about it). Last four or five students were sent to me at the last minute and they were struggling like rudderless ships because they must sign the papers and give that evening. I told them to do what they think right because I did not want to spoil the future of the students. Unless we get five students we cant run the course. And I was not able to give them assurance because there were only four students and that too at the last minute. That is how the Tamil language was made to die.

Following points were in my speech but I read them the topics and I couldn’t deliver it for lack of time. Along with me three others spoke about Tamil teaching

Praticipants:-

Dr Meera Sabaratnam, SOAS (Chair)

Prof.Michael Hutt,SOAS

Mr Suresh Kumar, Tamil Reading Group, Ealing Rd Library

Mr Kuttiandysamy, London Tamil Sangam

Mr Santanam Swaminathan, formerly BBC Tamil Service and SOAS

Dr Chandramohan Balasubramaniam, SOAS, presented a Video. He was the main organiser of the event.

 

Tamil Training

My friend Dr Kalyanasundram of Project Madurai, based in Switzerland conducted a training course for the European Tamil Teachers. He asked me to organise a training course for UK based Tamil teachers. We can do that here.

Tamils are more in number than the Nepalese Singhalese and Burmese taught here. History wise it is one of the oldest and richest languages. If we don’t teach Tamil here it there will be a big vacuum.

—Subham–

 

Why did a Tamil King Kill 1000 Goldsmiths? (Post No.3821)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 15 APRIL 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 15-59

 

Post No. 3821

 

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com 

 

Silappadikaram, the Tamil epic, is the story about Kannaki and Kovalan (The details of the story are given at the end of this post).

Matalan, the Brahmin, is a link in the story. He plays a key role and fills the gaps in the story. He advised the mighty king Cheran Senguttuvan about the good things in life (Dharma).

 

In the Nirpataik (Chapter) Kaathai of the epic he gives some important details:-

While King Senguttuvan was sitting on the throne, the Brahmana Matalan appeared before him and said:

“Long live the King! After going around the Potiyil Hills, sacred to the great sage (Agastya) and bathing in the famous ghat of Kumari, I was returning, when, as if impelled by fate, I went into Madura belonging to far-famed Tennavan (Pandya King) of the sharp sword.

 

There when Matari heard that beautiful (Kannaki) had defeated the Pandyan king of the mighty army with her anklet, she proclaimed in the Taateru manram (common meeting place of the cowherds and cowherdesses, and was generally under a tree):-

“O people of the cowherd community! Kovalan had done no wrong; it is the king who has erred; I have lost her to whom I gave refuge. Have the king’s umbrella and the sceptre fallen from the righteous path?”  With these words, she (Matari) threw herself into the burning flames in the dead of night.

Kavunti, distinguished for her penance, took a vow to die of starvation and thus gave up her life.

I heard in full detail all this and also of the devastation that over took the great city of Madurai ruled by the Pandyan of the golden car. Overcome by this I went back to my native place (KaveriPumpattinam, Port city of Chozas) and leant that Kovalan’s father distributed all his wealth in charity and entered Indra Viharas/Buddhist temple and practised penance. Kovalan’s mother died of pity. Kannaki’s father also gave away his wealth in religious gifts and adopted Dharma in the presence of Ajhivakas. His wife gave up her good life within a few days ( of Kovalan’s execution , followed by the death of Pandya King and Queen and Kannaki burning Madurai city).

 

The lady Matavi (courtesan), shorn of her hair with the flower wreaths therein, entered the Buddha Vihara and received the holy instruction. She told her mother that her daughter should not become a courtesan.

 

Brahmin Matalan continued………….

“These people died because, they heard this news from me, therefore I come to bathe in the holy waters of the Ganges (In order to purify myself). Long live you, O King of Kings!

 

When Matalan gave the king the tragic news about Kannaki’s parents, Kovalan’s parents, Cowherd woman Matari, Jain woman saint Kavunti and courtesan Matavi, the mighty lord of the Cheras, asked Matalan:

 

“May I hear what happened in the highly flourishing Pandya Kingdom after the king’s death?”

Matalan said,

“May you long live, King of the great world! You destroyed in a single day nine umbrellas of nine kings, who joined together in an alliance against your brother in law Killi valavan.

Human Sacrifice of 1000 people!

 

“The victorious (Pandya king) Ver Chezian residing at Korkai (Port City of the Pandyas), offered a human sacrifice of one thousand goldsmiths in a day to divine Pattini (chaste woman) who had twisted off one of her breasts (with which Kannaki burnt Madurai city).

“And when ancient Maduria lost her glory and was chafing in untold trouble owing to royal injustice, this Pandyan prince of the lunar line (Chandra vamsa) which was celebrated for the exemplary way in which it gave protection to the people of the southern regions, mounted in succession the royal throne of Madura, like the (sun) mounting in the morning, with his rays crimson, the divine chariot with the single wheel, yoked to seven horses with tiny bells attached to its necks. May the king of our land live for all time protecting the world from aeon to aeon; live he in fame.”

 

Thus, from the Brahmin Matalan we come to know the fate of cowherdess Matari, Jain woman saint Kavunti, Courtesan Matavi, Parents of Kannaki and Kovlan and the human sacrifice of 1000 goldsmiths.

 

Silappadikaram Story:–

 

Silappathikaram is the earliest among the available Tamil epics. It was written by a poet cum prince Ilango. The story of the epic is as follows:-

Kannaki and Kovalan were the daughter and son of wealthy merchants of the port city Kaveri Pumpattinam of Choza kingdom . Both of them were married  and before long Kovalan fell into the spell of courtesan Matavi. But Kannaki was a faithful wife and received Kovalan wholeheartedly when he came back to her. They wanted to start a new life away from their home town and so they travelled to the renowned city of the Pandyas, Madurai.

 

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 by a GOLDSMITH and was killed under the orders of the Pandya 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 Pandya King of having ordered the death of her husband without conducting proper trial. The Pandya 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. Immediately Pandya King and Queen died, probably of massive heart attack.

Image of Kannaki and Kovalan

Afterwards Kannaki burnt the city by twisting one off her breasts and throwing it in the streets of Madurai City , Capital of the Pandya Kingdom, sparing the elderly, invalids, children, Brahmins and women. In other words, all the bad people were burnt alive. Later she went to Chera Nadu (present Kerala in South India) and ascended to Heaven in the Pushpaka Vimana/ pilotless airplane, that came from the Heaven. When the Chera King Senguttuvan heard about it from the forest tribes who witnessed her ascension, he decided to go to Holy Himalayas to take a stone and bathe it in the holy Ganges and then carve a statue out of it for Kannaki. King Senguttuvan’s brother Ilango composed the Silappadikaram giving all the details about the chaste woman/Patni Kannaki. Though the incidents happened in the second century CE, the epic in its current form is from the fourth or fifth century CE (Post Sangam Period).

–Subham–