Research Paper Written by London Swaminathan 


Date: 13 JANUARY 2018


Time uploaded in London  6-16 AM




Post No. 4612

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





6.Parasaran- Dakshinamurthy Anecdote in the Katturai Katai is equally interesting:


“An able Brahmana, Parasara, who belonged to the good and fertile Kingdom of the Lord of the highly reputed Pukar wielding a righteous sceptre and a triumphant sword – one of whose kings weighed (his flesh) to save a dove (Story of Sibi) and another awarded justice to a cow (story of Manu Niti Cholan) who had heard the peerless munificence of the Cera of the curved lance, by offering the heavens to a Tamil Brahmana poet, said to himself, “I shall see the Cera of great valour and long lance”. He then passed through jungles and country places and towns leaving behind him the tall Malaya Hills. There by the force of his dialectical skill which he had acquired in the traditional manner, from the twice born Brahmana—who with the thought of achieving oneness with the Infinite, kindled the three fires as ordained in the four Vedas and performed the five great sacrifices (Pancha Maha Yajna) and the six great duties- he defeated his rivals and earned the title of Parpana Vakai.

(A typical Brahmin’s profile!)

As he was returning home with great and valuable gifts, he reached the village of Tankal (Tirutankal near Sivakasi) of the righteous Pandyan and of Dharmic Brahmanas. In this village, on a platform beneath the Bodi tree, luxuriant with green leaves, the tired man stayed awhile with his staff, water bowl, white umbrella, fire stick, a small bundle of articles and slippers (the impedimenta of an orthodox Brahmana; white umbrellas can be used only by the Kings and Brahmins who did Soma yaga) and said,

“Long live the victor whose protecting white umbrella assures his certain success. Long live the protector who uprooted the Katampu from the sea (Marine attack on sea pirates)! Long live the king who engraved his bow on the Himalayas! Long live the Poraiyan, possessor of the cool and beautiful Porunai! Long live King Mantaran Ceral! (contemporary king of Ceran Senkuttuvan)


Surrounded by a group of playful youths, some with curly hair and some with tufts and some with lisping mouths and coral lips, toddling some distance from their homes, he addressed them,

“Young Brahmana boys, if you can recite the Veda after me you may go away taking this little bundle of jewels.” Then the son of famous Brahmana Vartikan, by name Aalamar Selvan (Dakshinamurthy) whose rose lisps still retained the fragrance of his mother’s milk, in the presence of his playmates, with prattling tongue and great inward pleasure, recited the Veda, faultlessly observing the correct rhythm. The elderly man was exceedingly pleased with young Dakshinan and presented him with a sacred thread of pearls and bright jewels, as well as with bangles and earrings before departed for his native place”.


Here Ilango was so poetic that we are captivated by every word he said here. This gave the beautiful description of Vedic education in the second century Tamil Nadu. Every word of Ilango praised the Brahmins and Brahmin boys. A little boy could recite Vedas with a learned Pundit. He described the appearance of Vedic Brahmins in minute details


The translator adds a beautiful note here:

The Brahman’s love for the Veda and his magnanimity in giving away the valuable jewels to a child reciting Vedas according to established practice show how unselfish were the learned Brahmins of those golden days.


Through Matalan  and Parasaran and a little boy we know that Vedas were recited in nook and corner of Tamil Nadu.



“When Vartikan’s child departed with the little bundle of jewels, Vartikan was accused of misappropriating treasure trove which belongs to the king. So Vartikan was imprisoned. His wife Kartikai grew frantic. She wept in grief. She threw herself on to the ground rolling and fulminating. Seeing this the Goddess Durga of untarnished glory refused to open the door of her temple for the conduct of daily worship. When the king of the mighty spear heard that the massive door remained shut and would not open, he was confounded, and inquired, “Has any injustice been done? Come and tell me if you have heard of any failure in the discharge of our duties to the Goddess of Victory”.


“Then his young messengers made obeisance to the protecting king and informed him the case of Vartikan. “This is not fair, burst forth the king in anger and addressed Vartikan, It is your duty to forgive me. My righteous rule still has life, though owing to the ignorance of my men, it has deviated from the ordained path”.


“The king granted him Tankal with its paddy fields watered by tanks and Vayalur of immeasurable yield and prostrated himself on the ground before Vartikan, the husband of Kartikai. Then the door of the Goddess who rode upon the stag, opened so loudly as to be heard throughout the long and broad streets of mountain like mansions of the ancient city.

Then he issued a proclamation to release all the prisoners and allowed everyone to enjoy the treasures they find!”


Such is the power of Brahmins. Even mighty kings fell at their feet!


9.In this chapter (Katturai Katai) , Brahmins are praised as Vandamil Maraiyor i.e people who speak chaste Tamil. This answered the question whether Brahmins are sons of the soil!


10.Matalan Again!

Matala Maraiyon, the influential Brahmin, appears again in the last three sections:

Nirppataik Katai

Natukar Katai

Varantaru katai


Matalan giving Important News!

Ilango uses Matalan to fill the gaps in the epic. Mighty Cera King Senkuttuvan brought the stone from the holy Himalayas and bathed it in the Holy Ganges and carved the stone into the Goddess Pattini.

Following is in the Nirppataik Katai

“While Senkuttuvan was sitting on his throne ( in North India), the Brahmana Matalan appeared before him and said, Long live our king! The seashore song of the lady Matavi made the crowns of Kanaka and Vijaya bear a weight (the implied meaning is that Kovalan left Matavi’s house and other events followed resulting in Kannaki becoming a goddess; Kanaka and Vijaya who challenged Senkuttuvan made to carry the stone on their heads).


The Brahmana Matalan then continued: “The maid Matavi, whilst sporting on the cool beach, had a lover’s quarrel with Kovalan. Then governed by fate she sang the seashore song appropriate to her dance. This not resulted in their reunion but in their separation, and necessitated his entry with his virtuous wife into the ancient towered city of Madura, whose reigning king with his wreath of leaves attained blissful heaven as a result of the murder of Kovalan, whose wife, O Lord of the Kutavar, entered your country. And now she is being borne upon the crowned heads of the northern kings”.


11.Matari commits suicide!

“Be good enough to listen also to the reason for my coming here, O king of kings holding the illustrious spear! After going round 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 of the sharp sword. There when Matari heard that the beautiful Kannaki had defeated the Pandyan king of the mighty army with her anklet, she proclaimed in the Taateru manrdram (common meeting point of the Yadava community), ‘O People of the cowherd community! Kovalan has 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 threw herself into the burning flames in the dead of night!

12.Kavunti died of Starvation!

Kavunti, distinguished for her holy penance, waxed wroth; but when she heard of the death of the great king renowned for his righteous sceptre, her ire was appeased and she burst out: Was this the fate of those who joined my company? She took a vow to die of starvation and thus gave up her life.


13.Kovalan’s mother died of Depression!

I heard in full detail all this and also of the devastation that overtook the great city of Madura ruled by the Pandyan of the golden car. Overcome by great I went back to my native place, the ancient capital of the Colas, and informed the chief men there of this. Kovalan’s father heard what happened to his son and daughter in law and also to the righteous monarch of Madura and became deeply afflicted. He distributed all his wealth in charity, and entered Seven Indra Viharas (The Buddhist Temple) and began to practise self -denial like the three hundred monks who roam the sky, having renounced the world to obtain release from the cycle of births. The wife of him who thus renounced, unable to endure the sorrowful news of the death of her son under such tragic circumstances, died of pity.


Kannaki’s father also gave away his wealth in religious gifts and adopted Dharma in the presence of Ajivakas like sages engaged in penance of a high order. The noble wife of him who made these gifts gave up her good life within a few days.


TO BE CONTINUED……………………………………….