Development Tamil Culture and Tamil Language through Charitable activities (Post No.4013)

Written by London Swaminathan
Date: 18 June 2017
Time uploaded in London- 21-49
Post No. 4013
Pictures are taken from various sources such as Face book, Wikipedia and newspapers; thanks.



MITRA SEVA TALK by London Swaminathan on 17TH JUNE 2017


I was asked to give a talk on the charity work done by me in London at the First Anniversary meeting of Mitra Seva, an organisation started to serve the Elderly people in London, particularly from the South Indian community. It was held in Kenton, London on 17th June 2017.


Good Evening and thanks for inviting me to talk about my charity work. I thought it was irrelevant to talk about it to you bcaeuse of most of you known about it and you were also part of it. But yet it is important to place everything on record. And there is another part of charity work I did in India which many of you may not know.

Since I was given every limited time first let me give my work in Bullet points.




I raised over 200,000 pounds in London for seven charities. The beneficiaries were :-




South Indian Society



Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan


I have executed the following projects through the funding I received. When I say I, it means I was the one who ordinated, but you the people helped me through out these projects








SINDHI CULTURE and Language Teaching



TAMIL BOOKS DIGITIZATION: I got a small funding for Tamil Heritage  Foundation to digitize ten old books from the British Library in London. They are available even now in T H F site.

TAMIL HERITAGE PROJECT: We interviewed thirty artistes in London who have settled here 25 years ago to record the history and development of Tamil culture in London. The recordings were put on a CD and the CDs were distributed to the  libraries.

MILLENNIUM GEM PROJECT : This is to give another chance to showcase their talents who have alredy staged their debut show and let it to get rusted.

RECENTLY I WAS ON THE  SOUVENIR COMIITEE OF  Nagapooshani Amman temple in London

RELIGIOUS EVENTS are organised by WHM Sagam


(For Bharatiya Viddhya Bhavan we staged a Tamil Drama and raised over 1500 pounds. We staged a Tamil drama for South Indian Society and raised over 1500 pounds. I took the main roles in both the dramas.


Awards for all

National Lottery

Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Harrow Council (for Black History Month)

Paul Hamlyn Foundation

New Ham council

Camelot foundation

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

I received



Any number of books you read would not inspire youto do charity work un less you have a role model in front of you; for me my father (V Santanam) was the role model. He was a freedom fighter who fought the British rule in India. He was imprisoned with K Kamaraj in Vellore Jail. Because he was a freedom fighter he allowed us to do all community activities. First myself and my bothers started an organisation called Literary and Cultural Association in Madurai with the help of our friends. All the famous personalities such as Solomon Pappaiah, Kundrkkudi Adigalar, K V Jagannathan. Later I joined RSS and took over the secetaryship of Vidyarthi Parishad and my bother became the secretary of Visva Hindu Parishad. The Madurai RSS Pracharak Shivaram Jogelakarwho has M.Sc and came from Pune inspired us very much. He was a man of few words but man of action, full of inspiration.


And  at that time the Vivekananda Rock Memorial was set up by Eknatha Ranade who was also an embodiment of inspiration. He asked us to got to every office school, college etc to sell one rupee donation ticket just to make them the part of this mighty national memeorial. As a result of this I contacted thousands of office workers and sold the donation picture cards. ( We did a month long exhibition in the Pudumandapam (built by King Tirumalai nayak) which attracted a huge crowd every day. In the same way when Swami Shanthanantha did a Sahasra Chandi Yajna in Madurai, since my father was on the committee we all helped as volunteers).


For any project, we need a role model who practise it. Years ago Swami Omkarananda visited London and I was organising several meetings for him. As a part of meetings at the Hindu temples here, I took him to Sivan Temple at Lewisham, London. The previous day I contacted the temple trustee who was in charge of programmes  to find out how many people were expected and what age group was targeted etc. To my surprise he told that he would be addressing little children from ween end Tamil school. I challenged him saying that Swami Omkarananda who is a great scholar delivering lectures on Kaivalyopanishad and Brhad Aranyaka Upanishad would be disappointed. Then he explained me the reason for arranging such a meeting for children. “These young students had seen the saffron clad Sanyasins only in films and dramas. They had never seen a real life true Sanyasi (ascetic)So they may think this is also an act and there may not be a Sanyasi at all. If they see a real life ascetic that will impress them at this young age.

This explanation opened my eyes. I realised  that a man of action, a man of truth can inspire several thousand people. So role models are important to inspire future workers.


At present I am part of the Hindu Forum of Britain, the umbrella organisation of Hindu organisations. I am the chairman of the Chaplaincy borad. As a life time trustee of W HM sangam, I do organise religious events.


Tomorrow the Second Part of my talk will cover the following topics:-





NOW 5 POUND NOTE and Government’s Promise.



















புருஷ மேத யாகத்தில் 184 மனிதர்களை பலியிட்டார்களா? (Post No.3998)

Research Article Written by London Swaminathan
Date: 13 June 2017
Time uploaded in London- 21-09
Post No. 3998
Pictures are taken from various sources such as Face book, Wikipedia and newspapers; thanks.



அஸ்வ மேத யாகத்தில் ஒரு குதிரை பலியிடப்பட்டதாக நாம் படித்திருக்கிறோம். இதை நாம் அப்படியே எடுத்துக்கொண்டு நம்பினாலும் இதுவரை அஸ்வமேத யாகம் செய்த வரலாற்று அரசர்களை விரல்விட்டு எண்ணி விடலாம். இதிஹாச புராண புருஷர்களையும் சேர்த்தாலும் வெள்ளைக்காரர்களும் முஸ்லீம்களும் நாள்தோறும் கொல்லும் கோடிக்கணக்கான மிருகங்களைப் பார்க்கையில் இது கால் தூசுக்கு சமம். அதுமட்டுமல்ல அவர்கள் மாடுகள், கோழிகளைச் செய்யும் சித்திரவதைப் படங்களைப் பார்த்து, அழுதுவிட்டு, வெஜிட்டேரியன்களாக மாறிய வெள்ளைக்காரச் சிறுவர்கள் ஏராளம். இவர்கள் ஏன் முதலைக் கண்ணீர் வடிக்கிறார்கள் என்பது எவருக்கும் விளங்காது. நிற்க.



அஸ்வமேத யாகத்தில் 200 வெவ்வேறு வகையான உயிரினங்களை   பலியிட்டதாகச் சொல்லுவர். ஆனால் வேடிக்கை என்னவென்றால் அதற்கான ஆதாரம் ஏதுமில்லை. மேலும் அந்த உயிரினங்களின் பட்டியலில் பாதிப்பெயர்களுக்கு அர்த்தமே விளங்கவில்ல!. இதுவாக இருக்கலாம், அதுவாக இருக்கலாம் என்று ஒரு ஊகத்தில் மொழி பெயர்த்து எழுதியுள்ளனர்.



ஆனால் அக நானுற்றுச் செய்யுள் ஒன்றில் வேள்விக்  குண்ட ஆமை ஒன்று ஊர்ந்து வந்ததை ஒரு பாட்டில் காணும் போது அவர்கள் , பல உயிரினங்களை அடையாளபூர்வமாக ஒரு கம்பத்தில் கட்டிவிட்டு அவிழ்த்து விட்டிருக்கலாம் என்று தெரிகிறது.


மேலும் யஜூர் வேதத்தில் ‘நெல்’லை மாமிசத்துக்குப் பதிலாகப் பயன்படுத்திய செய்தியும் உளது.



எம்.ஆர்.ஜம்புநாதன் எழுதி வெளியிட்ட யஜூர்வேதக் கதைகள் என்ற நூலில் கீழ்கண்ட கதை உளது:-

“ஆதியிலே யக்ஞம் செய்யுங்கால்

மனிதனை பலியயளிக்க தேவர்கள் நினைத்தார்கள்.  அவனை எண்ணியவுடன் அவனிடமிருந்த யக்ஞசாரம் சென்றுவிட்டது. உடனே ஒவ்வொரு மிருககங்களாக எல்லா மிருகங்களையும் அளிக்க எண்ணியவுடன்  அவைகளிடமிருந்து  யக்ஞசாரம் எல்லாம் சென்றுவிட்டன. எங்கு சென்றன என்று தேடியபோது அவை பூமியிலே சென்று மறைந்துவிட்டன. பூமியிலிருந்து எடுத்தவுடன் அது நெல் தானியமாயிற்று. இந்த நெல் தானியத்தை அளிப்பதே மிருக பலி அளிப்பது போலாகும் என்று ரிஷி ஒருவர் சொல்லியதற்கு அது எப்படியாகும்? என்று சீடன் ஒருவன் வினவினான்.


அதற்கு ரிஷி பதில் அளித்ததாவது:-

அதன் நுணுக்குகள் ரோமம் போலாகும். சலத்துடன் கலந்தால் அது மாமிசம் போலாகும். சுட்டால் அது எலும்பாகும்.  நெருப்பிலிருந்து எடுத்து நெய்யுடன் கலந்தால் தாது போலாகும்” (1-2-3-7-9)

இந்தக் கதையைப் பார்க்கையில் வேத காலத்திலேயே நெல் தானியத்தைப் “பலி” கொடுத்து ஒவ்வொரு பிராணியையும் பலியிட்டதாக எண்ணினர் போலும் என்று நினைக்கத் தோன்றுகிறது.

இதே போல புருஷமேத யக்ஞத்தில் 184 தொழில் செய்வோர் குறிப்பிடப்படுகின்றனர். அவர்களில் பெரும்பாலோரை அடையாளம் கூடக் காண முடியவில்லை.


ஆயிரக்கணக்கிலுள்ள இந்து சமய நூல்களில் அரிச்சந்திரன்   மகன்  ஒருவனைப் பற்றி மட்டுமே புருஷ மேதம் தொடர்பான செய்தி உளது. அதிலும் கூட அவனை விஸ்வாமித்ரர் கூட்டிச் சென்றதாக சொல்லப்பட்டுள்ளது. ஆக புருஷமேத யாகத்தில் எவரும் பலியிட்டதாக எழுத்தில் கூட இல்லை. ஆனால் உலகில் போரில் பலியிடுவோரின், பலி இடப்படுவோரின் எண்ணிக்கையை ஒப்பிடுகையில் இதைப் பறேறி வெளிநாட்டினர் எழுத நியாயமே இல்லை.

வாஜசயனேயி சம்ஹிதையில் அத்தியாயம் 36 முதல் 40 வரை பல புதுவகை யக்ஞங்கள் குறிப்பிடப்படுகின்றன. அதில் ஒன்றுதான் இந்தப் புருஷமேதம்.


உலகில் கோண்டு (Khonds) இனப் பழங்குடி மக்கள், கெல்த் (Celt) இன மக்கள், எகிப்தியர்கள், பாபிலோனியர்கள், அஸ்தெக் (Aztec) நாகரீக மக்கள் எல்லோரும் உண்மையிலேயே மக்களைப் பலியிட்டதை விரிவாக எழுதி வைத்துள்ளனர். அப்படிப்பட்ட எந்த வருண னையும் நம் நாட்டிலுள்ள பல்லாயிரக் கணக்கா சமய நூல்களில் இல்லை. இது ஒரு பெரிய வித்தியாசம். இதுவே நமது கலாசாரம் பழங்காலத்தில்     மற்றவர்களை விட  எவ்வளவு உயர்ந்த நிலையை அடைந்தது என்பதைக் காட்டுகிறது. அஸ்வமேத யாகப் பட்டியலில் உள்ள 200-க்கும் மேலான உயிரினங்கள், புருஷ மேத யாகத்திலுள்ள 184 வகையான மனிதர்கள் — இவை எல்லாம் வெளிநாட்டுக் காரர்களுக்கு விளங்கவே இல்லை. யாகத்தில் பலியிடுவோர் பட்டியலில் குஷ்டரோகி முதலிய வியாதிக்காரர்களும் சேர்க்கப் பட்டிருப்பதால் அவர்கள் பலியிடப் படவில்லை; அவர்கள் எல்லோரும் நலம்பெற வேண்டுவதே புருஷ மேத யாகம் என்பது வெள்ளிடை மலை என விளங்கும். யஜூர் வேதத்தில் ஒரு அத்தியாயம் முழுதும் புருஷமேதம் பற்றி இருக்கிறது. ஆனால் எவராலும் வாயே திறக்க முடியவில்லை!

Article related to this topic:-

தித்தியம், ஆமை | Tamil and Vedasதித்தியம்-ஆமை/


(for old articles go to OR அகநானூற்றுப் பாடல் 361ல், வேள்விக் குண்ட ஆமை (தித்தியம் ஆமை ) பற்றி சொல்லப்படுகிறதே; …






About Brahmins: Buddha and Valluvar Think Alike!- Part 7 (Post No.3956)

Research Article Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 30 May 2017


Time uploaded in London- 20-37


Post No. 3956


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




Buddha in Dhammapada and Tiru Valluvar in the Tamil Veda ‘Tirukkural’ praised the Brahmins sky-high, but defined who is a true Brahmin as well.


Tamil poet Valluvar lived approximately 1000 years after the Buddha. He referred to Brahmins in at least four couplets directly and another six couplets indirectly; but Buddha referred to Brahmins in at least 45 couplets; Buddha was so obsessed with the Brahmins that he wanted them to follow him like the emperor Ajata satru and others.

Let me give some examples for comparison which will show that great men think alike.

One must remember that the Brahmins of those days lived like saints; the very term meant one who seeks Brahman; Tamil words for Brahmins are also synonyms of saints such as inward looking, who sees (seer). Other Tamil names included ‘men of six tasks’ ‘Veda reciters’.

Buddha also accepted the Vedic Sanskrit word Brahmana, synonymous with a saint. But he devoted one entire chapter for Brahmins. It follows the chapter Bikshu varga (Buddhis monks). so by Brahmin he meant only Hindu Brahmins/saints.


In short Brahmins were saints and saints were Brahmins in those days. That is how even Viswamitra was called a Brahmin by Vasishtha after a long penance observed by him. Tamil kings and emperors of North India donated a lot to the Brahmins; Asoka mentioned Brahmins first and then Sramanas in his inscriptions.

Virtuous are called Brahmins


“It is the virtuous that are called Brahmins (Anthanar in Tamil) for it is they that scatter kindness towards all that breathes”- Kural 30

“And a saint, a Brahmin, is pure from past sins; even if he had killed his father and mother, had murdered two noble kings, and had ravaged a whole kingdom and its people” (294 Dhammapada).


He who hurts not with his thoughts, or words or deeds, who keeps these three under control – him I call a brahmin -(391 Dhammapada).



Don’t Hurt Brahmins


“Cows yield less and men of six duties forget their book (Vedas), if the king does not guard justice”- (Kural 560)

Cows and Brahmins will be paired together in most of the Tamil verses and Sanskrit hymns (E.g Bhagavad Gita 5-18 and Sambandar Tevaram)

One should never hurt a Brahmin; and a Brahmin should never return evil for evil. Alas for the man who hurts a Brahmin; Als for the Brahmin who returns evil for evil- (Dhammapada 389)



Men of Character

“ A Brahmin can learn anew the Vedas even if he forgets his leaning; but if he fails in his conduct he slips down in his rank of birth”- Kural 134

Brahmins are placed first in the four castes in all the ancient books. If they lose the character they lose their birth right.

It is Manu Smrti also.

A man becomes not a Brahmin by long hair or family of birth. The man in whom truth and holiness, he is in joy and he is a Brahmin -(Dhammapada 393)

Of what use is your tangled hair, foolish man, of use your antelope garment, if within you have tangled cravings, and without ascetic ornaments-(Dhammapada 394)




King and the Brahmins


As the ultimate basis of the Vedas of the sages/brahmins and the dharma of wise men

stands the straight sceptre of a just king- Kural 543


Here Valluvar used the Tamil word ‘book of the Anthanar’ and the word Anthanar stands for brahmins.


It is sweet in this world to be a mother; and to be a father is sweet. It is sweet in this world to be a monk; and to be a saintly Brahmin is sweet (Dhammapada 332)

Who clings not to sensuous pleasurers, even water clings nt to the lotus leaf, or a grain of mustard seed  to the point of a needle – him I call a Brahmin -(Dhammapada 401)




Avoidance of Killing (Non Killing)

In another Kural/couplet he mentioned the fire sacrifices of the Brahmins:

Far better and holier than a thousand oblations on the sacrificial fires is the one sacred act of abstaining from the flesh of a slaughtered animal (Kural 259)

Manu gives the same message in Manu Smrti 5-53:

“The man who offers a horse sacrifice (Asva medha Yajna) every year for a hundred years and the man who does not eat meat, the two of them reap the same fruit of good deeds” -Manu 5-53

This is about the Brahmins sacrifices; though Asva medha was done by the kings, only Brahmins performed it for them.

Who hurts not any living being, whether feeble or strong, who neither kills nor causes to kill – him I call a Brahmin- (Dhammapada 405)


But although a man may wear fine clothing, if he lives peacefully; and is good, self-possessed, has faith and is pure; and if does not hurt any living being, he is a holy Brahmin, a hermit of seclusion, a monk called a Bikshu (Dhammapada 142)


Brahmins – Gods on Earth!

“Those who in this world enjoy instruction which is the food of the ear, are equal to the Gods who enjoy who enjoy the food of the sacrifice”- Kural 413

Tamil words used by Valluvar ‘Kelvi’ litearlly means Sruti/Veda; ‘avi unavu’ = Havis food

Brahmins are called Busurar i.e. god among men in Tamil hymns; Satapata Brahmana call them living/walking gods.

He who lives in contemplation, who is pure and is in peace, and who has done what was to be done, who is free from passions, who reached the Supreme end – him I call a Brahmin – (Dhammapada 386)


In couplet 28 of Tirukkural, he mentioned Vedic mantras.




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.




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)


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


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:


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


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.



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.




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).



Tamil Proverbs on Importance of Water (Post No.3803)

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 9 APRIL 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 22-08


Post No. 3803


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.



Water is very essential for any living being. Water changes the geography and the history of the world. From the oldest Vedas to the 17th Century Tiruvilaayatal Purana (Giving the miracles of Lord Shiva based in Madurai temple), we have innumerable references to drought and  the migration of people. No wonder that the Tamils also have so many proverbs on water in Tamil .


I have just compiled some Tamil proverbs at the request of a research student who is studying role water in every culture. I give below a rough translation of those Tamil proverbs:


Tamil Veda Tirukkural praises the rains in the second chapter. The last couplet says,

“Eve as life on earth cannot sustain without water, virtue too depends ultimately on rain (Kural 20)


World cannot exist in the absence of the waters is also found in 2000 year old Sangam Tamil Literature (Natrinai verse 1)


Tamil Proverbs

1.A country without water, an open courtyard without moon (both are desolate places)

(Niirillaa Naadu, Nilavillaa Mutram)

2.It is like the bottle gourd that is submerged in water (It can never be submerged; impossible task)

Niiril amiZththina suraikaay pola


3.Water also kills, Fire also kills

(Niirum kollum, Neruppum kollum)

4.It is like a mixture of water and algae (so muddy; confused)

(niirum paasiyum kalanthaar poola)

5.If you beat (smack) the water, will it become separate? (What is the use of punishing)

(Niirai adihthaal nir vilakuma?

6.Like washing the water and burying the shadow (impossible task)

(Niiraik kazuvi Nilavaip puthaippathu pola)


7.Spilling the water, frittering away the wealth

(Wasting water is like wasting the hard earned money)

(Niirai sinthinaiyoo, siirai sinthinaiyo)


8.Like the land spoils water (taste of water depends upon the condition of the land where it is stored)

(Nilaththinaal Niirin thanmai kundrinaarpola)


9.If the pot is full of water it does not make noise (Empty vessel makes noise)

(Nirai Kutam Thazumpaathu)


10.He is very clever who could see the foot print or the track in water

(Thanniirile Thatam Paarppaan)

11.Should he show his strength in the water? (Stupid act)

(Thanniirileyaa than Balam Kaatturathu)


12.Even the egg that sumbmerged in water should come when you put the aalt

(Thanniiril amukkina Muttai uppu pota kilambum)

13.Who knows whether frog in the water drank  water or not?

(Thanniiril irukkira thavalai thanniiraik kutiththathaik kantathu yaar? kutiyaathathaik kantathu yaar?)


14.Even if you fart under water, it would come out (obvious act)

Thanniirin kiize kusu vittaal thalaikku mele)

15.Water and anger are seen in low places

(Thanniirumkopamum Thaazntha itaththilee)


  1. Even water tolerates three mistakes

(Thanniirum Mundru Pilazi Porukkum)

17.Can you disparage or deprecate water and mother?

(Thanniiraiyum thaayaiyum pazikkalaamaa?)

18.Even if water becomes hot, it extinguishes fire

(Thanniir venniir aanaalum Neruppai avikkum)


  1. Can any one separate coldness from water and hotness from fire (inborn qualities)

(thanniirinindrum thanmai piriyumo,thiiyinindrum velmmai piriyumo?)


20.Salt that came out of water must dissolve in water itself

(Thanniiril piRantha uppu, thanniirileye karaiya vendum)

There are more proverbs on water. The list here is not exhaustive)




Lord Shiva’s Sandals on the Head of a Tamil King! (Post No.3663)

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 23 FEBRUARY 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 9-59 am


Post No. 3663


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.





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 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 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.


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 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. 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).

Kannaki is worshipped in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka as the Goddess of Chastity. Of the five Tamil epics, Silappadikaram (Cilappadikaram) is the most popular one. Chera King Senguttuvan was very powerful and he defeated the sea pirates and the Romans in the West coast of India. He was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Just before leaving for the Himalayan Mountains, he went around the Shiva Temple with the sandals of Lord Shiva on his head. Later when the priests from the nearby Vishnu temple brought ‘prasadam’, he placed them on his shoulders. When he completed the Himalayan journey successfully and erected a statue for Kannaki, all the powerful North Indian Kings and Gajabahu of Sri Lanka were invited to see the consecration of the statue. A Brahmin by name Madalan figured in the epic from the very beginning. At the end, he blessed the king to live for eons, i.e. his name and fame will live for thousands of years. Madalan also praised him as a great devotee of Lord Shiva.


Let us look at the description of his devotion to Lord Shiva in the words of great poet Ilango:–


“The sovereign lord of the sharp sword, decorated his crown of gems with Vanci blossoms form the unflowering Vanci when the morning drum sounded at the gate, announcing the time for other kings of the earth, to pay their tributes. With the vicorious Vanci wreath were worn THE SANDALS OF THE GREAT GOD IN WHOSE FORM THE WHOLE UNIVERSE MANIFESTS ITSELF (SIVA), AND WHO WEARS THE CESCET MOON IN HIS LONG, DARK MATTED HAIR; AND HAVING LAID THE HEAD THAT BOWED TO NONE ELSE AT HIS HOLY SHRINE, HE CIRCUMAMBUATED IT. The sweet fumes from the sacrificial fires offered by the Vedic Brahmins deprived his garlands of its luxurious colour. He then mounted the nape of his proud war elephant.

There appeared before him some persons bearing the pracaatam pf the Lord Vishnu who slumbers in a yogic trance at Aatakamaatam and addressed him with benedictory words: May success attend on Kuttuvan, the Lord of the West! Since the king already placed on his crown of gems the beautiful sandals of the Lord whose matted hair bears the Ganga, he received this pracaatam and carried on his fair, bejewelled shoulders.”

–from Kalkot Katai, Cilappatikaram, Translated by Prof.V R Ramachandra Dikshitar, 1939

This shows that Senguttuvan was a follower of orthodox religion which consisted in the worship of Siva and Vishnu.

Aatakamaatam is identified with the Padmanabhaswamy temple of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum). Some scholars thing it was another temple at Karur, which was known as Vanchi in the olden days.


There are numerous references to Lord Shiva in the epic. Siva’s dances and Siva’s temples are referred to in other sections.


Here is what the great Brahmin Madalan said in his blessings:

“It is not strange that people who do good things attain heaven and people who have worldly minds are reborn, and that good and bad deeds have their own reward and those dead should be reborn. Those are ancient truths. You who were born through the grace of HIM WHO RIDES ON THE SACRED BULL and have won distinction as king in the wide world, saw clear as an object held in the palm of your hand, the fruits of righteous deeds and the forms of holy people. Live long from aeon to aeon protecting the earth! Live long, gracious monarch.”


“Please with what the Brahmin Matalan said, the king endowed grants to the temple of the very youthful Pattini (Chaste woman) who twisted off her breast and there by raised flames which enveloped the noisy Kuutal (Madurai’s other name) of the great Pantiyan Kingdom, much celebrated in poetical themes.”


Silapadikaram has innumerable references to Hindu customs. Commentator Adiayrkkunallar has added encyclopaedic information about ancient Tamil Nadu.






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

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 14 FEBRUARY 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 20-55


Post No. 3636



Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.





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


Here are few similes on Amrita and Visha from Mahabharata:


yat tad agre visam iva

parinaame amrtopamam

tat sukha saatvikam proktam

aatma buddhi prasaadajam 6-40-37


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


visayendriya samyogaad

yat tad agre amrtopamam

parinaame visham iva

tat sukham rajas am amrtam 6-40-38


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


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


Poison is compared with anger.

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


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

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


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

saa vadhyamanaa samara dhaartaraastri mahaacamuuh

vegan bhhuvidhaams cakre visam piitve va maanavah


Amrita in Tamil Veda Tirukkural:-

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

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


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


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




பெண்கள் விளையாட்டுகள் (Post No.3537)

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 12 January 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 9-31


Post No.3537



Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.





பெண்கள் விளையாட்டுகள்:


அந்தக் காலத்தில் திருமணமாகும் வரை பெண்கள் என்ன என்ன விளையாடினர் என்று ஒரு பாட்டின் மூலம் தெரிகிறது. இது முற்றிலும் சரி என்பது சங்கத் தமிழ் பாடல்களாலும், ராமாயண, மஹாபாரத நூல்களாலும் உறுதியாகிறது:-


மருங்குவளர் பூங்கா மலர்வாவி யூச

றிருந்துமணி செய்குன்று தேமா- விரும்பமுத

பானங்கிளி பூவை பந்துகன்னங் கழங்கன்ன மயின்

மான்முல்லை பந்தர் வளர்ப்பு

–உபமான சங்கிரஹம் இரத்தினச் சுருக்கம்


1.பூங்காவில் பூக்கள் பறித்து விளையாடினர்.

2.பொய்கை, கிணறுகளில் நீராடிப் பொழுது போக்கினர்.

3.வீட்டிலும் மரத்தடியிலும் ஊஞ்சல் கட்டி ஆடினர்.

4.பணக்காரர் வீடுகளில் செயற்கையாக குன்று எழுப்பி அதில் ரத்தினக் கற்களைப் பதித்துவைத்து அதன் மேல் ஆடி ஓடி சாடினர்.

5.தேமாமரம் விளையாடினர் (மாமரத்தில் ஏறி அல்லது கல் விட்டெறிந்து மாங்காய், மாம்பழம் எடுத்துச் சாப்பிடுதல்) .

6.அமிர்தம் போன்ற பானங்கள் செய்து குடித்தனர்.

7.காய்களை வைத்து கழங்கு ஆடினர்;

8.பூப்பந்து ஆடினர்.

9.கிளி, பூவை (சாரிகைப் பறவை), அன்னம், மயில் ஆகிய பறவைகள் வளர்த்து பொழுது போக்கினர்.

10.முல்லைப் பூச்செடிக்கு பந்தல் கட்டி வளர்த்து அதைப் பராமரித்தனர். முல்லை என்றால் அது போன்ற பிறவகை மலர்ச் செடிகளும் அதில்  அடங்கும்.


ஐந்து தொழில்கள்

அம்பொற்றொடியணிமினார் தங்கைக்கைந்து தொழில்

செம்பவள மென்விரலைச் சேர்த்தெண்ணலம்பெழுதல்

பூசித்திலை கிள்ளல் பூத்தொடுத்தல் பண்ணெழில்யாழ்

வாசித்தலென்றுரை செய்வார்

–உபமான சங்கிரஹம் இரத்தினச் சுருக்கம்



அழகிய பொன்னினாற் செய்யப்பட்ட வளையலை அணிந்த மாதர் கைகளுக்கு ஐந்து தொழில்கள் உண்டு. (அவையாவையெனின்) 1.செம்பவளம் போன்ற மென்மையான விரல்களைச் சேர்த்து எண்ணுதல்,

2.அம்பின் உருவத்தை எழுதல்,

3.பூசை செய்து இலை பறித்தல்,

4.மலர் தொடுத்தல்,

5.பண்ணொடு கூடின அழகாகிய வீணை வாசித்தல் என்று சொல்வர்.


சங்க இலக்கியத்திலும் சம்ஸ்கிருத இலக்கியத்திலும் இந்த விளையாட்டுகள்வரும் இடங்களை தனியே எழுதுகிறேன்






Bull Fighting in the 1890s (Post No.3523)

Compiled by London swaminathan


Date: 7 January 2017


Time uploaded in London:-  20-41


Post No.3523



Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.






“There are several other kinds of amusement, some of them of a vulgar character, Bull fighting is one of them.

The bull fighting must not be regarded as like the familiar bull-fighting in Spain, or any other western country. This fight is called ‘sallikattoo’, and takes place during the day.


A large plain is chosen for the purpose and the villagers collect money among themselves with which to meet the necessary expenditure. They send out invitations to the people of other villages and inform them of the fixed day for bull-fight. This news spreads abroad among all classes of the people who come in numbers in bands and parties, both men and women to the spot appointed. The people of the village who have arranged the bull fight erect temporary sheds at their own cost in order to accommodate their visitors. As it is a public meeting place, the sellers of various articles flock to it with their different kinds of goods.

At about eight O clock in the morning all assemble in the plain. Sometimes there are thousands of people met on such occasions. Several fighting bulls will be brought by the villagers from different districts. The owner of each bull ties a new cloth around its neck. In  some cases the owner puts money in a corner of the cloth. He takes the bull to the headman of the assembly and bows his head to him. Then the headman inquiries concerning the parentage and name if he does not happen to know him. Then be asks the herald or the crier to beat his drum three times. This is a sign for the people to understand that a fighting bull will be let loose in the midst of the assembly. This is a signal also to the men who have come to fight the bull, and take the cloth and the money its neck that they must hold themselves in readiness. The owner of the bull takes him to the centre of the assembly, and there be lets him loose by warning the bult to take cate of and to make his way through the crowd to his shed.


As soon as ever the bull is set free, ten or fifteen men come to the front of the assembly without either stick or knife, and they face the bull manfully. Some of the clever bulls defend themselves hours together, hurting many of those men, and sometimes killing one or two; at last they escape from their hands and go home, leaping and frisking for joy. There are many bulls who are known to be great fighters and who allow anyone to take the cloths from their necks. Whoever takes the cloth considered to be a is hero. The bullocks are brought in to fight, one after another, the whole day through, and sometimes this terrible struggle between man and beast will be continued for two or three days. Some of the owners of the bulls offer a large sum of money to anyone who can arrest their bulls before the assembly.


These beasts are very knowing and clever in their fighting; they stand quietly before the assembly, and do not run or jump but if anyone approaches them, they hit him with their horns or legs as quickly as a flash of lightning. The people who come to witness the fight occupy the ground for half a mile in a crescent form. Some will sit and some will stand, just as they may please, and most of them will be exposed to the wind and the sun; but this they consider as nothing compared with the pleasure they derive from watching the bull-fight. The public do not pay a penny on occasions of this kind.