Post No.7464

Date uploaded in London – 17 January 2020

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One of the famous mathematical works of Bhaskara is Liilaavati. There is a tradition that this work was actually composed by the widowed daughter of Bhaskara whose name was Lilavati. We have also a story how Bhaskara failed to determine the auspicious moment for the celebration of his daughter’s marriage owing to a defect in the ‘ghati-yantra’ — an instrument for measuring time -Caused by a small stone that had fallen into it from the ornament of LilavatI.

Though there is no written proof for this story we believe that Bhaskara  was the author of the Lilavati  and he has honoured her by naming it after her. All the mathematical problems in the book are addressed to a girl, often expressions by like  ‘aye bale Lilavati-

 — o young Lilavati , although Bhaskara may have actually written the book Lilavati for teaching the subject to his own daughter.



In Bengal there are a large number of popular sayings that are attributed to a female astronomer named Khanaa or probably Kshanaavatii . These sayings are in old Bengali and relate to astronomy and astrology, often with special reference to agriculture.

Tradition has it that Khana was the wife of an astronomer named

Mihira , who was the son of another famous astronomer named

Varaha . This tradition has been apparently fabricated on the basis of the celebrated ancient Indian astronomer Varahamihira, who flourished in the sixth century CE, but had hardly anything to do with Bengal. But Khana may have lived in Bengal and she may be renowned female astronomer.



In the traditions that have grown around the illustrious name of

Shankaracharya , there is a story about a great woman philosopher of Mithila – probably named Ubhayabharati. It is said that in the course of his ‘dig-vijaya’ – visiting various institutions for scholarly debates resulting in victory – Shankara reached Mithila . There he was engaged in a debate with another famous philosopher named Mandana Mishra.  According to tradition Shankara defeated Mishra and Mishra’s wife Ubhayabharati was the mediator in the debate. When her husband was defeated by Shnakara, she challenged shankara with some questions about family life. Being a Brahmachari (celibate) he didn’t have any experience in Kama shastra. He asked for some time to answer her questions and then entered another king’s body who had  just expired. He was able to with his supernatural powers. After gaining some knowledge in family matters Shankara defeated Ubhayabharati also and both Mishras had become followers of Shankara.

People who has faith in tradition believe in these stories though we have no written records from that period. Even three Semitic religions of Christianity, Islam and Judaism believe in Moses though there is no historical proof for Moses until today. So there is no wonder Hindus also believe in their tradition.

–Source book – Great Women of India , Advaita Asrama, mayavati, 1953

tags – Lilavati, Ubhayabharati, Khana, Kshanavati

Bridegroom ran away on Wedding Day! Bride became a Saint! (Post No.7452)

Bridegroom ran away on Wedding Day! Bride became a Saint! (Post No.7452)


Post No.7452

Date uploaded in London – 13 January 2020

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Jainism has beautiful stories highlighting Ahimsa (non violence) and  sacrifice. They have women with exemplary character and one of them was Rajimati.

Hinduism appealed to Vedic believers.

Buddhism appealed to Kshatria warriors; and

Jainism appealed to Vaisya business community.

Here is a story of Saint Neminatha who was cousin of Lord Krishna, and lived probably around 3200 BCE. He was the 22nd Tirthankara and so must have lived before 6th century BCE. Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism was a contemporary of Buddha (sixth century BCE).

Chastity amongst women and faithfulness on the part of a wife towards her husband, even when the marriage rite has not taken place and she is only a ‘vaag dattaa’ – betrothed—is the highest ideal of Indian womanhood and Jainism made no exceptions.

An ideal woman of this type was Raajiimatii, the wife of the twenty second tirthankara Neminaatha, a cousin of Lord Krishna. When his marriage procession was on its way towards the marriage pavilion, Neminatha, the bridegroom saw a number of animals caged in a pen situated on the way. Upon enquiry he learnt that they were to be killed for serving the groom’s party with meat. Alarmed at the thought of impending large scale animal slaughter on his account, Neminatha immediately stopped it and turned his mind  away from this world, which involved such sins of killing and entered the life of a monk.

Rajimati followed the footsteps of her husband  and joined the ascetic order. Once while Neminatha and his brother Rathanemi and Rajimati were practising penance on the same mountain – Girnar – Rathanemi lost self- control and was attracted towards his sister in law. But Rajimati  boldly resisted and baffled his attempts by telling him  that he was preparing to drink from the vomit of another.

The theme of Rathanemi and Rajimati   also forms the subject of a very old and beautiful ballad in the Jaina canonical text – Uttaraadhyayana Sutra– which shows from very early times she was held an ideal of chastity.

(Neminatha is revered and worshipped by the Jains  along with Mahavira and Parswanatha through out India. Neminatha has shrines in many places. In ancient Tamil Nadu the tallest statue was Neminatha in a village called Tirumalai. It is 52 feet tall)

WE must include such stories in School syllabus and encourage students to do more research into the historicity of all religious personalities.

Let us salute  the great Saints Neminatha and Rajimati!

Source book – Great Women of India, Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati, 1953

Tags – Neminatha, Rajimati, Jain woman, Ahimsa



Complied by London Swaminathan

Post No.7445

Date uploaded in London – 11 January 2020

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Art and literature in South India attained fulness and freedom of expression in the Vijayanagara epoch.

Gangadevi was the queen of Kumara Kampanna who conquered Shambuvaraya and Sultan of Madurai in 1361 CE, and brought thereby the whole of Tamil country as far as Rameswaram under Vijayanagar Empire.

Gangadevi was well educated and a talented woman and she accompanied her husband Kumara Kampanna to the South during his expeditions. She wrote a fine Sanskrit epic called the Mathura Vijayam describing the heroic deeds of her husband. In the eulogy on poets at the beginning of the book, she gives considerable prominence to the Sanskrit poets of the Telugu country such as Agastya, Gangadhara and Viswanatha, and the last of whom was her Guru/preceptor. Special interest is attached to the poet Tikkaya “whose poetry resembles the moonlight, drunk with avidity by thirsty poets like chakora birds”.  This Tikkaya is none other than the famous Tikkana Somayaji, the author of fifteen out of the eighteen parvans/books of the Telugu Mahabharata . it is obvious that Gangadevi, the pupil of Viswanatha and an admirer of Tikkana Somayaji’s poetry is a Telugu princess.

The Mathura Vijayam is a historical epic , which describes Kampannas’s victories in the Tamil country. Its value as a source book of early history Vijayanagara history cannot easily be overestimated.  As a poetess Gangadevi takes a high rank; she is perhaps the greatest of women writers of South India who chose Sanskrit as the vehicle of expression. The appraisement of her work by editors may be quoted here with advantage –

“The work is in the form of a classical Kavya , conforming to the rules laid down in the treatises on poetics and containing the usual lengthy of the seasons , the twilight, the rising of the moon and other necessary topics. The authoress writes in the Vaidharbi style , and her thoughts which  flow with ease and simplicity , are clothed in diction at once beautiful and charming. Her similes are grand and drawn direct from nature, with none of the conventional pedantry of grammar or rhetoric which so largely spoils the productions of later-day poets. she has adopted certain scenes and descriptions which are favourite with Kalidasa, but they are transformed at the mint of her imagination and invested with new significance.



Unlike Gangadevi,  Molla (1440-1530 CE) was not a lady of royal rank. She was of humble origin, being the daughter of Keshava Shetti, a potter of Gopavaram , a few miles to the north of Nellore on the bank of river Pennai. Molla is the earliest and perhaps the greatest of the Telugu poetesses. Though her date is not definitely known, it is not at all unlikely she flourished in the palmy days of Emperor Krishnadevaraya  or a little earlier. In the eulogy on poets of her Ramayanam she refers to the famous poet Shrinatha , who lived in the closing years of fourteenth century or later. Nothing is known about her personal life except that she wrote Ramayanam.

Molla’s Ramayanam, though small in size , is a poem of considerable poetic excellence and literary merit. Until recently it used to be studied as a text book in village schools, where boys were taught to learn it by heart. Molla is a vigorous writer. Though simple, her style is dignified and her verse easy flowing and forcible. She is at her best in Sundara Kandam; the brief pen picture of Ravana , Hanuman ads Sita are unsurpassed in the whole range of Telugu literature. It is not known whether Molla wrote any other work; but her Ramayanam is enough to secure for her an abiding place in the galaxy of the immortals who enriched the Telugu language and literature.

(Note- Wikipedia has latest information from research scholars)

Source book

Great women of India, Advaita Ashrama,

Mayavati, Almora , Himalayas , 1953



Compiled  by London Swaminathan

Uploaded in London on  – 7 JANUARY 2020

Post No.7430

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A lampoon by a contemporary writer Chnna Venkanna, throws some light on Mangamma’s life. According to his account, she was the daughter of  Tupaakula Lingama Nayaka of Chandragiri and a courtesan of  Tiruvellore near  Chennai. Her name was Kanakaa. Beautiful and accomplished young Kanaka  migrated probably in search of a career to the court of Vijararaghava of Thanjavur, where talented women had the opportunity of  rising to prominence. Vijayaraghava was said to have intended to take her in to his harem, but she left Thanjavur for some reason or other and married Chokkanatha Nayaka of  Madurai, whose heart she captured by blandishments. The account, perhaps, distorted one, may contain a kernel of truth.

Mangamma alias Kanaka survived her husband and her son Rangakrishna Muthuveerappa Nayaka, and after the demise of the later in 1689 ruled the kingdom till 1707 as the regent during the minority of her grandson Vijayaranga  Chokkanatha  Nayaka.

The regency of Mangamma was a critical period in the history of  the Nayaka Kingdom of Madurai, which was threatened on one side by the Mughal forces of Aurangzeb and on the other side by the rulers of   Mysore, Thanjavur , Ramanathapuram and Travancore. Mangamma shrewdly decided that the only way of survival was to approve the supremacy of Mughal emperor. She agreed to pay him an annual tribute, and secured the goodwill of his officers and generals by suitable presents and bribes.


Towards her other enemies she adopted a policy of firmness and waged war upon them, on the whole successfully. Occasionally she had to buy off some of them with bribes, but that was only a temporary expedient. Later, when she felt she was strong enough, she overpowered the enemy and exacted compensation.   She had for her counsellor Narasappiah , great in strategy and administration and in private life a skilful player on the Veena (lute).

Mangamma’s name is almost a household name in south Tamil Nadu. There are still in existence numerous avenues  and cholutries, Dharmasalas built by her as well as the lofty piles like those that remain of the Nayaka Palaces within the fort area of Tiruchy.

Mangammal Choultry opposite Madurai railway station served thousands of pilgrims to Madurai and Rameswaram. All these are monuments to the greatness of her rule. Her benefactions to temples and gifts of Agraharams (Brahmin streets) to learned brahmins  were numerous, but she was equally liberal in her endowments to Christian churches and Muslim darghas. The dargah of Baba Nattar Auliya in Thiruchy was specially favoured and received grants of villages.

Manucci has paid a handsome tribute to her benevolence and large hearted tolerance .

Niccalao Manucci (1638- 1717) was an Italian traveller and writer, who spent his life in India during the Mughal period.


There is an interesting account of a social enactment  in her reign. The Saurashtra weavers of Madurai claimed the privilege of observing some ceremonies peculiar to Brahmins (wearing sacred thread etc). Mangamma first opposed the claim, but later sanctioned it.

There are conflicting reports about the end of her reign. According to one account, power was forcibly wrested from her hands and transferred to her grandson, on his coming of age, and the queen perished in prison. Whatever may be the truth Mangamma’s place in history  as a capable, enlightened  and beneficent ruler is unchallengeable

Source – Great Women of India, Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati, Almora, Himalayas, year 1953


Vakataka Queen Prabhavati Gupta (Post No.7411)

Gupta Coins
Vakataka Queen Prabhavati Gupta (Post  No.7411)  

Written by London Swaminathan Uploaded in London on  – 2 JANUARY 2020 Post No.7411 contact – pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.     Prabhavati Gupta was the daughter of the Gupta emperor Chanragupta II Vikramaditya 376-414 CE and the Agra Makishi or Chief Queen of King Rudrasena II of the Vakataka Dynasty ruling over wide regions of the Deccan.   Rudrasena seems to have died before the close of the fourth century. He probably left three sons Divakarasena Damodarasena and Pravarasena .   Divakarasena remained the Yuvaraja or Crown Prince while his mother ruled the country at least for thirteen years. It is believed that the sons of Rudrasena were minors at the time of their father’s death. Prabhavati Devi ruled the kingdom  as regent on behalf of the minor Yuvaraja Divakarasena.   There is no evidence to show that Divakarasena ever ascended the throne as Maharaja. In a later inscription dated the nineteenth regnal year of her son Pravarasena, she is called the mother of Maharajah Damodarasena and Pravarasena and is said to have been more than hundred years old. Prabhavati’s death does not appear to have taken place long before 455 CE, which is the date of the death of her brother Emperor Kumara Gupta I.   A charter of Prabhavati Gupta was issued from the feet of the god Ramagiriswamin, identified with the deity at Ramtek near Nagpur, probably on the occasion of her visit to the holy temple on pilgrimage. In it she has been described as a devotee of Lord Vishnu and is credited with the gotra or lineage Dharana and the family designation Gupta of her father. Her husband is known to have belonged to Vishnu vridda gotra. Thus Prabhavati’ s marriage didn’t apparently involve  the usual change of gotra. There is evidence to show that this was not essential  in a popular form of ancient marriage, possibly owing to the want of sampradana ( ceremonial offering).   —subham—       Sent



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Uploaded in London on  – 31 December 2019

Post No.7404

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Gandhari made Sri Krishna responsible for the  Kurukshetra War  and uttered a fearful curse on the

Yadavas, of which he was the most distinguished representative. She prophesied that a cruel calamity would overtake the house of the Yadavas, inasmuch as Shri Krishna ignored or failed to prevent the ruinous war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. on the strength of her chastity and ascetism, she even said that Shri Krishna himself in no distant future would fall a prey to a foul death. It is important to bear in this mind that in this connection that Shri Krishna smilingly  accepted this curse and recognised her truthfulness, piety and penance.

After the Kurushetra war, Dhritarastra and Gandhari lived for sixteen years  at Hastinapura under the protection of Pandavas. They forgot to a great extent their grief at the loss of their sons on account of the wonderful care and sympathy bestowed upon them by Yudhisthira . At the end of the sixteenth year, however, they decided to go on a mission of pilgrimage to the Himalayas. In this mission they were accompanied by d Dhritarastra’s half brother Vidura, his minister Sanjaya and Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas .


 On the eve of their departure,  Dhritarastra addressed a big assembly of the citizens of Hastinapura and men from the countryside. In this meeting Gandhari appeared by the side of her husband with her eyes bandaged, and made a request to the assembled multitude through her husband asking their forgiveness of the sins of her sons.

The final departure scene of the old sorrowful King Dhritarastra  was pathetic. Kunti came forward to lead the journey, Gandhari  put her hands on the shoulders of Kunti and Dhritarastra  followed Gandhari , placing his hands on her shoulders. Vidura and Sanjaya were on either side of the procession. The citizens of Hastinapura wept like orphans as the procession came out of the main gate of the city, but Dhritarastra and Gandhari and others walked on unmoved.


In the Himalayas, they spent a few more years till they were burnt alive by a conflagration which had enveloped that part of the forest in which they lived. . confronted by it they showed remarkable courage and fortitude. They refused to escape from the fire; on the other hand, they sat down on the ground with calmness and in a spirit of resignation welcoming the approach of the fire.

On the day of her passing away from the earth, Gandhari’s eyes were still bandaged, and she made the supreme sacrifice  with unflinching loyalty to her ideals. She exemplifies the best ideals of Indian womanhood through the ages from the days of Mababharata , and remains immortal  in the minds of millions of Indians  who derive their inspiration from the Great Epic.

Source book – Great Women of India, Advaita Ashrama, Almora, Himalayas, 1953


Malayalee Heroine who chopped the Heads of Muslim Molesters (Post No.7400)

Compiled  by london Swaminathan

Date – 30 th December 2019

Post No.7400

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The old ballads of North Malabar – Vadakkil paattungal – contain a tale of a brave girl (early seventeenth century ) who saved the women of her village from being forcibly kidnapped, and in the end brough about communal harmony.

Mulsims used to molest beautiful Hindu girls in North Malabar. No one dared to challenge the rapists.

Unniyarcha , sister of Aaromal Chevakar, a doughty warrior, was married to a coward named Kunnirhaman. One day she wanted to visit a temple of Ayyappan , a few miles from her village, but her mother in law refused to permit her to leave the house even in the company of her husband.  She new what would happen to her from the Muslim Chonakas.

Nothing daunted, the girl took her favourite sword, and with her husband proceeded in the direction of the temple .The headman of the Chonakas (Muslims) – who happened to see her on the way, was enamoured of her beauty and sent his men to carry her away by force. Unniyarcha drew her sword and killed some of them. Their chopped heads rolled on the ground like foot ball. The rest fled and brought their headman himself to the scene, who soon realised that she was the sister of his fencing master. He appealed to both sister and brother to pardon him, but Unniyarcha was inexorable and challenged him and his men to a fight. The chief of the place persuaded the girl to sheath her sword, which she did on headman promising that no woman in the place will be molested in future . Then Muslim rapes stopped in Malabar. One heroic Hindu heroine saved the honour of millions of Hindu women.

Films and TV serials on her were made but with distorted stories.

Source book – Great Women of India, Advaita Ashrama, Almora, Himalayas, 1953



In the list of the famous heroines and administrators of Karnataka  the name of Akkadevi 1010-1064 CE, stands very high. She was a Chalukyan princess who ruled over various divisions of the Chalukyan dominions such as Banavasi , Kisukadu, and Masavadi for nearly half a century.

A few days ago I wrote about Rudramba who ruled for 33 years and her sister Ganapamba who ruled for 40 years. But Rudramba was a full fledged queen where as others are not. Here is a Kannada woman who ruled for half a century. Unlike European rubber stamp queens, Hindu queens and princesses were real rulers and fighters.

Akkadevi  was the daughter of Dashavarman and Bhaagaladevi and was the sister of vikramaditya v and Jayasimha ii, both Chalukyan emperors of Kalyana.  She is described in inscriptions as fierce in battle  and as having subjugated a large number of enemies. She laid a siege to Gokhaje, probably to quell some insurrection.

She is also described as a marvel of virtual qualities and unswerving in her promises.  The seat of her government was VIkramapura ,modern Arashibidi near Bijapur .

She married the Kadamba prince Mayuravarman, who along with her ruled Banavasi in 1037 CE. They had a son named Toyimadeva , who ruled the Banavasi region as a feudatory of the Chalukyan emperor Someshwara in 1064 CE.



Her name is associated with the foundation of a number of temples.  She also evinced great interest in promoting education.  An inscription of 1021 CE says that she made a large gift of land to feed and clothe 500 students and provided them with free quarters. The fact that she reigned not only in conjunction with her husband but also independently in an indication that she was a personage of considerable reputation and importance in her time  and no less than three Chalukyan emperors had confidence in her administrative ability.

All Indian girls must study the history of Hindu queens and princesses. This must be made a compulsory subject in schools.

Source book – Great Women of India, Advaita Ashrama, Almora, Himalayas, 1953

(Akka Mahadevi, Kannada devotional poetess of 12th century  is different from this Akkadevi)

Xxx subham xxx



Pattadakkal Temple

Written by london swaminathan

Date – 26th December 2019

Post No.7385

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Kunkuma Mahadevi was one of the early temple builders and philanthropists in the Kannada country ruled by the Chalukya Kings. She was the younger sister of Chalukya Vijayaditya (696-733 CE). She constructed a large Jaina temple at Purigere, modern Lakshmeswar, Dharwar district. She asked her brother to donate a village to a Brahmana. She performed Hiranya garba, one of the sixteen danas/ gifts . She gave gold and costly elephants and chariots to Brahmins. She married brave and generous Alupa king Chitravahana

Loka Mahadevi

Loka Mahadevi was the chief queen of the Chalukya king Vikramaditya II  of Badami. She built the famous Virupaksha temple at Pattadakkal. As a token of appreciation, she exempted the builders of that district from payment of certain taxes.

Ananda K Coomaraswamy, famous art historian, calls this temple as “one of the noblest structures in India”. She also conferred on the musicians and dancers  a number of privileges . One of these by name Achala, founded a new school of dancing.

Daanachintamani Attimabbe     

In the last quarter of the tenth century when the Chalukyan emperor Taila II was ruling, Daanachintamani became famous. She was born in a family of learned men. He father Mallappayya , a general, was a great scholar, a reputed astrologer, an excellent teacher of archery and a patron of learning.  She and her sister Gundamabbe were married to Nagadeva , Commander in chief of Chalukyan army and son of Dhallappa, the prime minister.

In one of his masters campaigns Nagadeva was killed and his second wife performed ‘sati’. Attimabbe was asked not to follow her sister because her son Annigadeva was very young.

She was a devout follower of Jainism ; she got prepared a 1000 copies of Shantinatha Purana, a Jain work written by court poet Ranna. Her help helped the poet to write an important Jain work  entitled Ajita Purana. She was held in high esteem by the Chalukyan emperor Taila and the general public.


Miracles of   Daanachintamani

A number of miracles are attributed to her. Her title Daana Chintamani – unstinting donor- was well merited is evident from the fact that she gave way 1500 golden  Jina images set with precious gem stones. From two inscriptions dated 1007 CE, found at Lakkundi, we learn that she constructed many Jain temples and donated a village for the maintenance of it.

History  syllabus of every state must include these great women. Students must be asked to collect more information from various sources. They may be asked to compare these women with other women of different states.



Written by London Swaminathan

Date: 16 December 2019

Time in London – 18-10

Post No. 7350

Pictures are taken from various sources; beware of copyright rules; don’t use them without permission; this is a non- commercial, educational blog; posted in and simultaneously. Average hits per day for both the blogs 12,000

Tamil women are great poetesses, temple builders and social reformers. Andal ,a devotee of Vishnu, and Karaikkal Ammaiyar, a devotee of Shiva are known to many. Avvaiyar is a household name in Tamil Nadu; but many Avvais existed in various ages. Probably the word AVVAI was used for an old woman completely devoted to God; that is a full timer on public service, widowed OR not married . Scholars think that six women known as Avvai lived in Tamil Nadu. But linguistically speaking, we can see at least four Avvais clearly. One belong to Sangam age , another belongs to middle age and the third one is from our times. The language of the poems draws a clear cut line. Fourth one is in between them.

The most famous Avvai existed during Sangam age i.e. 2000 years ago. She was well versed in Tamil and bold enough to challenge and advise the mighty Tamil kings. But she was respected by one and all. The Tamils were fighting among themselves from the very beginning of history. The longest infighting race in the world. Avvai was bold enough to advise them to stop fighting.

A great Chola king Peru Narkilli did a Rajasuya Yagam like Yuthisthiraa of Mahabharata. Chera king and the Pandya king attended the Hindu fire ceremony. Grand old lady of Tamil country Avvaiyar came there and blessed them. She sang that they must be united like this for ever and live longer in years than the number of stars in the sky and the number of drops in the rain. She advised them to give a lot of gold to worthy Brahmins (See Purananuru verse 366).

She went to another inexperienced king and advised him not to fight with his enemy. She used very subtle language and said to him “your weapons are brand new and shining like silver whereas your enemy’s weapons are blunt, rusty and bloody. The message she hinted was ‘Oh, you idiot, you don’t know what a battle is like, where as your enemy is an experienced fighter.”

She was in the court of Neduman Anji, the Adigamaan Chief of Tagadur (Dharmapuri). He held her in high esteem and even gave her the Nelli (amla) with rare medical properties. He entrusted her an embassy to the Chief of Tondaimandalam. She composed many poems on the generosity of Adigaman. For vigour and depth of feeling her odes to Adigaman are second to none in the Purananuru collections.

After the death of Adigaman she visited several places in Tamil Nadu. Avvai took her themes from life in the palace and in the country farm. The simple pleasures and the daily cares of the lowly appealed to her even more than the chivalry of heroes and the magnificence of princes. Her odes which are included in the   Sangam collections Akananuru, Purananuu, Natrinai and Kuruntokai, are a true mirror of contemporary Tamil life.   With a rare economy of words she creates marvellous pen pictures , and some poetic imagery; she adds choice moral precepts. She is a great exponent of morality.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  


We see one Avvai as most famous Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar’s sister (probably around fourth or fifth century CE) and another Avvai with Sundarar and Cheraman Perumal (probably ninth century) and another Avvai who composed Athichudi and other poems in simple Tamil during modern times. She is the one devoted to Lord Skanda/Muruga and author of Vinayakar Akaval. So one can easily see four different Avvais. Pithy aphorisms of later Avvai are lisped by Tamil children even today as introduction to Tamil poetry and a guide to a moral life.

Tradition ascribes to Avvai a strange parentage- a Brahmana father and a low caste mother brought up in a Brahmana family. She has six siblings along with Tiru Valluvar. This story is found in all books that were published 75 years ago. This Avvai came after Sangam age. Her poetic talents were first discovered by Buuda, a petty chieftain of Pulveluur on the River Pennaaru.

( Tamils killed each other continuously for 1200 years and then invited Muslim invaders to kill all the Tamils. For 150 years Tamils were ruled by Muslim invaders and then Telugus saved Tamil Nadu, Tamil Culture, Tamil temples and Hinduism. Kumara Kampannan came with his wife Ganga Devi to Madurai and sounded the death knell to Muslim Rule. Tamils are ever grateful to the Telugus. Without them Tamil Pakistan would have emerged 500 years before the actual Pakistan.)

Angavai and Sangavai

One of the great Tamil philanthropists is Chieftain Vel Pari. He had two daughters named Angavai and Sangavai. They were well educated and could compose poems. Paari was ruling a small area called Parampunaadu. Three great Tamil kings of Chera, Chola and Pandya wanted to marry those girls. When Pari refused they laid a siege around his small kingdom. Kabilar, a brahmin poet was his close friend . He helped him to break the siege by training thousands of parrots to bring grains from around the kingdom. But at the end Chieftain Pari was killed . Since Kabilar took care of Pari’s daughters, the three kings could not touch them . Kabilar contributed highest number poems to the Sangam corpus . He was the only poet sung and praised by other poets. He was praised as a  Brahmin of spotless character . He was a revolutionary who broke the barriers of caste 2000 years ago. He got them married and then entered fire like several Hindu saints. That place is called Kabilar Rock near Tirukkovalur in Tamil Nadu.

One of the Purananuru collections is sung by these two daughters.
An unconquerable hero, he fell a victim to foul treachery and his orphaned girls were exiled from their home . The hymn is an exquisite pen picture of their sufferings in exile, presented in sharp contrast to their past life of affluence and luxury in their palace at Parambu Naadu.
See Puram verse 112.

Xxx subham xxx



WRITTEN By London Swaminathan

Date: 14 DECEMBER 2019

 Time in London – 14-23

Post No. 7341

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Two Tamil kings used elephant garlanding to win the kingdoms. When elephants garlanded the strangers in the crowd, Karikal Choza and Murthi Nayanar became kings according to legends. In Andhra Pradesh a cock fight was used to decide the Ruler.

The story of Telugu heroine Naayakuraalu is celebrated in song and legend. As an infant she was abandoned by her parents and was discovered and cared by others. One farmer bought her and named her Naagammaa. She married a rich man and on his death inherited a vast fortune.  She succeeded in winning the favour of Anuguraja, a Haihaya prince, who ruled over the small principality of Palnad. He had received that as a wedding present. He ruled in the 12th century.the chief had three wives and several sons.

The growing influence of Nayakuralu in the court was resented by the minister Dodda and he resigned his office in favour of his son Brahma. Brahma soon brough about the assassination of the chief.  

Nayakuralus influence continued in the reign of net chief Nalagama and she was practically the ruler the minister Brahma persuaded the chief to partition the country. Mallideva , one of the half brothers of the chief , established his rule at Macherla. Brahma became his minister. Other brothers of the chief also lived with Mallideva.

Nayukarulu did not like the division of the country. She challenged Mallideva and Brahma to a cock fight, the wager being that the defeated party should surrender all territory to the victor and live in the forest for seven years. In the contest Brahma’s cock was killed and he along with his master and his half brother retired to the forests in Nallagonda.

Harassed constantly by the agents of Nayakuralu , their life in exile was miserable. On the expiry of seven years , they returned and demanded the restoration of their territory. But Nayakuralu refused.  In the fight that ensued , Nayakuralu donned the armour and fought  at the head of her army, but was defeated and captured. The battle was a bloody one and all the half brothers of Nalagama perished. Brahma generously restored the whole kingdom to Nalagama.

The battle she fought was known as Palnati Yuddham. Two films were taken based on this battle that happened approximately 1000 years ago. Now there is a statue for Nagamma in Dachepal in in Palnadu area of Guntur District.

Nayakuralu had a talent for intrigue and organisation, and her life of adventure was cast in a heroic mould.

Source book – Great Women of India, Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati, Year 1953

Tags- Nayakuralu, Nagamma, Palnadu, Cock fight, Palnati Yudhdham