AMAZONS OF INDIA!(Post No.7210)

Research article written by London Swaminathan

swami_48@yahoo.com

Date: 13  NOVEMBER 2019

Time  in London – 20-33

Post No. 7210

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–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–

 

Quotations from Tamil Epic Silappadikaram

silambu book1

Compiled by London Swaminathan
Post No.1198; dated 27th July 2014.

One of the great classics of Indian culture is Silappadikaram, a Tamil Epic. Silappadikaram means ‘The Story of Anklet’. It was composed by Ilango. The incidents mentioned in the epic took place around second century CE in Tamil Nadu. This is the most popular story of the five Tamil epics. This book gives us a vivid picture of early Indian life in all its aspects.

(Translations by V R Ramachandra Dishitar, Cilappadikaram, 1939; my comments are given within brackets: swami)

1.So we shall write a poem, with songs, illustrating the three truths that
a) Dharma will become the God of Death to kings who swerve from the path of righteousness
b) That it is natural for great men to adore a chaste lady of great fame
c) And that destiny will manifest itself and be fulfilled — (Patikam)

2.Praised be the Moon! Praised be the Moon, for, like the cool white umbrella of the king who wears the pollen spreading garland, He blesses our beautiful world.
Praised be the Sun! Praised be the Sun, for, like the commands of the Lord of the Kaveri lands, He revolves round the Golden peaked Meru — (Mangala Vazthu)

(This prayer in the very beginning of the book shows that Sangam Age Tamils followed the same Hindu culture that was practised in the North. White Umbrella and Meru circled by the Sun are in very ancient Sanskrit works)

3.That was the day on which the Moon moving in the sky approached the star Rohini, when Kovalan who walked round the holy fire in accordance with the scriptural injunctions as directed by the revered Brahmin priest, approached his bride, divinely fair, resembling the Star Arundhati — (Mangala Vazthu)

(Tamils believed in astrology and they got married on the day when moon approached Rohini (Aldebaran). It is in two more verses in Akananuru. This and marrying with circumambulation of Fire God (Agni) are typical Hindu customs followed until today. The same culture existed in the North and the South of India).
Puhar-ILango
Image of Ilango, author of the Epic.

4. The port city Pumpukar resembled Uttarakuru, the residence of great penance performers — (Mangala Vazthu)
(The reference to Uttarakuru, Arundhati, Mount Meru, Fire Worhip in the very first chapter shows that the Tamils were out and out followers of Vedic culture 2000 years ago).

5. Hero of the epic Kovalan praised his wife Kannaki:
O purest gold! O conch white pearl!
O faultless fragrance! O sugar-cane, honey!
Unattainable beauty, life giving nectar!
O noble child of nobly-born merchants! – (Maniyaram patutta Katai)
(Hero Kovalan and heroine Kannaki belonged to the wealthy merchant community of ancient Tamil Nadu. Kovalan is the Tamilized form of Gopala in Sanskrit and Kannaki is the Tamil translation of Meenakshi in Sanskrit. Author Ilango himself called Kannaki in several places ‘lady with fish like eyes’= Meenakshi)

6.They (Kovalan and Kannaki) resembled Kama and Rati – God and Goddess of Love —, enjoyed close embraces like smoke coloured serpents – (Maniyaram patutta Katai)

7.The great sage (Agastya) of the divine Potiyil hill once cursed Indra’s son (along with Urvaci), and the latter obtained redemption by displaying her skill on the stage — (Aranketru Katai)

pumpukar

8. When Kovalan, the hero of the epic fell for a dancing girl, his wife did not do certain things:
Her anklet was no more on her charming feet (Kannaki did no wear the anklet);
The girdle no longer graced her soft waists cloth;
Her breasts were no more painted with vermillion paste;
No jewel other than her sacred Tali – yellow thread – did she wear
No earrings were visible on her ears;
No perspiration adorned her shining moon like face;
Nor was there collyrium on her long fish like eyes;
No more was there tilak on her beaming fore head;
Her milk white teeth were not revealed to Kovalan in a loving smile;
Nor was her dark hair softened by oil (Anti Malai Sirappusey Katai)

(This is the same in Valmiki Ramayana and Megaduta. Wives won’t decorate themselves when their husbands are away; when they are fasting also, they do the same; which is confirmed by Andal a Tamil poetess of Seventh Century CE)

anklets

9.Then the auspicious drum was removed from the temple called Vajra Temple, placed on the nape of the elephant, and conveyed to the temple where the young white (Airavata) elephant stood. After this the auspicious tall flag (bearing the ensign of the white elephant) which stood in the Temple of Kalpaka Tree was hoisted aloft in the sky.

(The epic described Indra Festival in detail in this section. Indra Dwajam that was hoisted for 28 days is referred to in Valmiki Ramayana and other Sanskrit books. Indra Festival is celebrated even today throughout South East Asia as Water Festival. Airavata and Karpaka Tree are used in the flags of South East Asian Countries. Indra statues are found everywhere in South East Asian countries now)

10. Temples in Pumpukar:
Joy prevailed everywhere on account of Indra’s Festival in the
Temple of the Great Lord who was never born (Siva)
In the Temple of Six Faced Red Lord (Subramanya/Muruga)
In the Temple of Valiyon (Baladeva) whose complexion was like white conch shell
In the Temple of Netiyon – Vishnu – of the dark colour
And in the Temple of Indra of the victorious umbrella and the pearl garland.
On one side the Vedic sacrifices as ordained by Brahma, were faultlessly performed, and on another the festivals pertaining to the fur classes of the Devas (Vaus, Adityas,Rudras and Maruts) and the Eighteen Ganas and different gods, were separately and correctly conducted — (Indira Viazvu Etutta Katai)

(Foreign “scholars” divided Indians in to Aryas, Dravidas and Mundas. But Sangam Tamil (Pura Nanuru and Tiru Murukatru Padai) books and Sanskrit literature divided the living beings in to 18 groups. They never knew anything about Aryas, Dravidas and Mundas!!! The Eighteen divisions according to Tamils: Apsaras, Devas/celestials, Nagas, Siddhas, Gandharvas, Vidyadharas, Picasas, Tarakas, Bhogabumiyar, Kimpurusas, Senas, Asuas, Bhutas, Munis, Garudas, Raksasas, Yakshas and Caranas.

Author of the epic, Ilango, gives the list of temples in three more chapters in the epic. He has included the Buddhist Vikaras and Jain Shelters along with Hindu Mutts).
The above quotes are from the first five chapters of the epic. There are thirty chapters (Kaathai) in the epic.
29frSilappadikaram__736602g
Picture of students enacting Silappadikaram.

Silappadikaram is a Tamil Hindu Encyclopaedia with lot of information about the ancient music and dance. I have written about the “11 types of dances performed by Matavi”, the dancing girl, separately. All the dances performed by her at Pumpukar 2000 years ago were from the Puranas!! One full commentary and one incomplete commentary for the epic are available today. Even with those ancient commentaries, we could not understand the terms fully. No wonder we are not able to understand the Vedas which were composed (heard by the seers) several thousand years before the Tamil epic!

Contact swami_48@yahoo.com

Draupadi and Tamil Heroines

Picture shows Angry Kannaki

Draupadi, wife of Pancha Pandavas came from Punjab. She was a heroic woman. She was called Draupadi because she was the daughter of Drupada, King of Punjab/Panchala. She was also known as Panchali because she was a woman from Punjab/Panchala. She had another name Yagnaseni because she was born out of a holy fire/Yagna.

People of Punjab were famous for their heroic deeds. They protected Hindus from the onslaught of foreign invaders for over two thousand years. Draupadi was an intelligent woman, but she was an arrogant princess as well when she got married to the Pandavas. When the Pandavas constructed a new palace, Duryodhana and others were invited to view the palace. It was so beautifully done that Duryodhana mistook its crystal floor for water and lifted his clothes to step in carefully. Draupadi who watched it from the balcony burst into laughter. Women should never laugh at men, that too for silly mistake, like this. Duryodhana and his brothers were already burning with jealousy. This laughter rubbed salt into their wounds.  They were all waiting for an opportunity to take revenge upon her.

When Dharama (Yudhistra), eldest of the five Pandava brothers, lost everything in the gambling, Sakuni, the most wicked uncle of Dhuryodana provoked Dharma to stake his wife Draupadi in the game of dice. When he did this and lost again,  Duryodhana ordered his brother to undress Draupadi. When she was dragged into the court in front of all the elders in the Royal Assembly, nobody raised a finger against Duryodhana or advised him against this un holy, un Hindu act of molesting a woman in public.

But Draupadi asked them what right Dharma had over her when his independence was already lost in the gambling. She argued like an efficient solicitor. She asked the elders in the Royal Assembly to speak up. No one could answer her questions. But Krishna came to her rescue and saved her modesty. When Duschasana, brother of Duryodhana, tried to denude her by pulling her sari, it became longer and longer and there was no end to the garment. Krishna played many magical tricks throughout the Mahabaharata warand this was one of them. Beyond Krishna’s magical gifts, Hindus believe that chaste women can control even Nature’s forces. Tamils believe that a chaste woman can bring rains and stop anything at their will power. A woman can make or mar a man and she can make or destroy a country.

Draupadi Vs Tamil Heroines

In Tamil country, we have a great heroine by name Kannaki. Her full story is given in the great Tamil epic Silappadikaram. When her husband Kovalan was falsely accused of stealing Pandyan queen’s anklet and executed without proper enquiry, she went straight to the Royal court and challenged the king. Like Draupadi she also argued her case and proved that she was right. The ashamed Pandya king died of heart attack on the spot. Since such an injustice had never happened in the country his wife/the queen also died of heart attack. But yet Kannaki’s anger did not subside and she walked through the streets of Madurai and invoked God of fire to burn all the bad elements in Madurai, the capital city of Pandya kingdom. This is a famous story every Tamil knew. But there was another fiery woman who lived nearer her time who was not known even by Tamils. Her name was AnnI Njimili. Her unusual name itself is a tongue twister.

Anni njimili was an ordinary innocent village girl. Her father was also equally humble and a poor man. He used to take his cows for grazing every day. Kosars, a clan who were famous for their truthful words, were controlling that area. It was Anni Njimi family’s bad luck that the cows went into the field of Kosars. Immediately they arrested Anni Njimili’s father and took him to their leader. He ordered his servants to gouge his eyes. But knowing the seriousness of the situation, Anni went with all the elders of the village and begged him to pardon her dad. The arrogant Kosars did not listen to her and Anni’s dad lost his eyes.

When Draupadi was insulted in the royal court she made a vow not to tie her hair till she saw the end of Duryodhana. Probabbly Anni Njimili knew the story of Draupadi. Mahabharata and Ramayana were very popular in Tamilnadu two thousand years ago that we have new anecdotes in Tamil which were not found in Sanskrit versions of the epics. (Please read my Articles: WHERE IS RAMA STU? and TWO ANIMALS THAT INSPIRED INDIANS in the blogs). Anni also made the same vows. She swore that she wouldn’t eat or dress herself properly till the wrongdoers were punished.

Like Draupadi and Kannaki , Anni was very clever and she was looking for a hero who would punish the bad people. She had heard about valorous Thithiyan of Azunthur. She went to Azunthur and told him what happened. When Thithiyan saw the conviction of this girl, her love and affection for her dad and her determination to punish the bad people ,he made up his mind. He promised her that he would finish off the people who did this to her father. As promised, Thithian went to Kosar country and killed the people who did the barbaric act of gouging her dad’s eyes just for grazing the cows. On that day her angry face changed to beautiful face of a woman. Sangam Tamil poems written two thousand years ago praised her heroic act and determination in Akananuru  verses 196 and 262. Paranar who never missed any of the important events of his days like a war correspondent, recorded this incident in his beautiful poem.

 

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