Woman’s Chastity: Valmiki & Manu verses in Tirukkural couplet (Post No.10,661)


Post No. 10,661

Date uploaded in London – –    15 FEBRUARY   2022         

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge.

this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures.

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Tiruvalluvar in his work Tirukkural praises the virtue of Chastity,

Of what avail is watch and ward? A woman’s will

is the best safeguard of her honour (Kural 57)

Another translation of the same couplet,

Of what use are prison walls to protect a woman’s virtue ?

The woman’s possession of a firm mind is her best protection

–Tirukkural 57

Prison walls, pad-locks and chastity belts are absolutely of no use to ensure a woman’s chastity. Her own conscience and inner strength will alone keep her really pure.


Chastity was valued as a virtue even in Western countries!

Shakespeare says,

“My chastity is the jewel of our house bequeathed down from many ancestors” in his drama ‘All is well that ends well’, Act 4, Scene 2

DIANA says,

Mine honour’s such a ring:
My chastity’s the jewel of our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors;
Which were the greatest obloquy i’ the world
In me to lose. Thus your own proper wisdom
Brings in the champion honour on my part
Against your vain assault.

All is well that ends well, Act 4, Scene 2

It is strange that even in western countries, women’s chastity was a high virtue and women proclaimed it as an age-old virtue, followed by her ancestors; now western women may laugh at Diana.


In Valmiki Ramayana Yudha Kanda, this is what Rama says;

न गृहाणि न वस्त्राणि न प्राकारास्तिरस्क्रियाः |
नेदृशा राजसत्कारा वृत्तमावरणं स्त्रियः ||

Na Grahani Na Vastrani Na Prakaara Striraskriyah
NaDrisha RajSatkara Vrittam Avaranama Striyah


Neither house, nor clothes, nor compound-wall, nor doors,
nor any types of Royal honours cover a woman. Her character is her shield which protects her.

— Valmiki Ramayana, Yudha Kaanda, Ch114.


Manu, author of world’s first law book Manu Smrti (9-12) says,

Women are not guarded when they are confined in a house by men who can be trusted to do their jobs well; but women who guards themselves by themselves are well guarded -9/ 12 Manu Smrti


Kamban , who lived 1000 years ago, gave us the Ramayana in Tamil Verses. He also repeated what Tiruvalluvar said,

In the Sundara Kanda, Hanuman was searching for Sita Devi. First he suspects that she may be in Ravana’s harem or bed room. But when he found her in the Asoka Grove under a tree, guarded by demon women , he was happy to see her chastity is well guarded. He wondered what gave her this protection. Was it Janaka’s good deeds in the form of Punya? Or the eternal Dharma? or Chastity guard/ fence? Wonder! Wonder! Who can do this? Unique! Can anyone like me explain this? (Sundara Kanda)

In the Aranya Kandam,

Jatayu is worried that Sita is going to be in the prison of Ravana; but at the same time, he was happy thinking that her chastity will save her, protect her from any harm


தருமமே காத்ததோ ? சனகன் நல் வினைக்

கருமமே காத்ததோ? கற்பின் காவலோ ?

அருமையோ !அருமையே ! யார் இது ஆற்றுவார் ?

ஒருமையே, எம்மனோர்க்கு, உரைக்கற்பாலதோ ?

-சுந்தர காண்டம் , காட்சிப் படலம்


3560.  பரும் சிறை இன்னன பன்னி உன்னுவான்;

“அருஞ்சிறை உற்றனளாம் ” எனா மனம்

‘பொரும் சிறை அற்றதேல் பூவை கற்பு எனும்

இரும் சிறை இறாது ‘என இடரும் நீங்கினான்.

ஆரண்ய காண்டம் , சடாயு உயிர்நீத்த படலம்


tags- Chastity, Valmiki, Kamban, Tiru valuvar , Tiruk Kural, Manu, Shakespeare

Wills from way back! Shakespeare & Bacon (Post No.9556)


Post No. 9556

Date uploaded in London – –2 May   2021           

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge.

this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures.

tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

One million probate records went on line on seventh of January 2014. Many interesting details about the wills left by famous people emerged from those records.

Shakespeare famously and curiously left his second best bed to his wife while Jane Austen allocated £51000(in today’s money) to her much loved dearest sister Cassandra- but only a paltry £3600 to brother Henry.

One million such records are available to download from the website of the National Archives for a fee. They are in ancestry.co.uk

The Probate span five centuries from 1384 to 1858, for those who left amounts greater than £5,which by the nineteenth century was roughly the same as £530 today.

Among the finest benefactors was the explorer Sir Francis drake who left £40,£15000 in today’s money, to the ‘poore people of Plymouth’ when he died in 1596.

George Frederic Handel, the German born composer left £600 to build a monument of himself in Westminster Abbey. That is about £90,000 in today’s money.

William Shakespeare bequeathed £150 to both his daughters, (more than £380000 today) and gave his wife the pleasure of his ‘second best bed’.

William Pitt, The Elder, the acclaimed politician left £3500 to his son William and £1750 to his son James Charles and £1750 to his daughter Lady Harriet £ one million today.

Jane Austen, the author left £700 of her 800 estate to her sister Cassandra. Her brother Henry inherited 50 £(£3600 today) and £50 was given to Madame Bigoen, who acted as a nurse to her family.

Sir Francis Bacon, the philosopher, scientist and author left a lot of money to his staff. He gave servant Robert Halpeny the equivalent of £800,000, provisions of hay, firewood and timber. Fellow worker Stephen Paise was given £700,000 and a bed.


Tags — wills, Shakespeare, Bacon, Jane Austen, Handel



Post No. 9304

Date uploaded in London – –24 FEBRUARY  2021     

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge.

this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures.

tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

I am throwing away all the paper cuttings I collected from 1975. Some of the interesting items are relevant even today.

One Daily Mail newspaper cutting says Shakespeare gave us at least 1700 new English words.

Google research says there are 8500 new words are coined every year, but oxford dictionary adds only about 2500 words every year.

Another news item says word PAPA (appa inTamil) leads the world.



8500 New words every year 

tags- Papa, Shakespeare, New words

Owls in Shakespeare and Hindu Literature (Post No.5693)

Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 23 November 2018

GMT Time uploaded in London –18-28
Post No. 5693

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog

I am adding following points from The Dictionary of Superstitions (year 1989) to my original research article on owls:-
It is interesting to see several cultures have views about owls similar to Hindus. In Hinduism it is mostly associated with death and secret activities. Stories from Panchatantra and Mahabharata adduce proof tp this. At the same time goddess Lakshmi and Chamunda have owl as their Vahanas

I want to add following information to my original article published in 2014
1.Taking owls to Athens is a parallel to the saying Taking coal to New Castle 

2.Theophrastus,319 BCE, says
If an owl is startled by him in his walk, he will exclaim Glory be to Athene!before he proceeds.

3.Ovid, 15 CE, says
The owl of the night sat on an opposite house top and uttered his ill boding funeral voice.
4.Pliny The Elder, 77 CE, in Natural History, says 
Owl seen in day time
The it is looked upon as a direful omen to see it in the city or in the day time.

It is similar to Hindu views. Sanskrit and Tamil literature link owls to crematorium and evil omens.



5.Shakespeare,1595, says in Midsummer Night’s Dream,
Whilst the screitch owle, sctritching loud,
Puts the wretch that lies in woe,
In remembrance of a shrowd 

In 1599, Shakespeare adds in Julius Caesar, adds
Yesterday the Bird of Night did sit,
Even at Noone day, upon the Market place,
Howting and shreeking
I beleeve, they are portentous things Unto the Clymate
That they point upon (an omen of Caesar s death)


6.In 1625, Delaney Thomas of Reading , in 1725 Bourne refer to owls and death.
Bourne says in Antiquates Vulgares,
Omens and Prognostications are still in the mouths of all tho only observed by the vulgar. In country places they are in great repute… If an owl , which they reckon a most abominable and unlucky bird, sends forth it’s hoarse and dismal voice it is an omen of the approach of some terrible thing, that some dire calamity… is near at hand.

7.In 1773 White Selborne says
From this screaming probably arose the common people’s imaginary species of screech owl, which they superstitiously think attend s the window s of dying persons.

8.In 1829, Brocket of North country Words
The barn or the white owl has the reputation of being the herald of horror and disaster
In 1841 Hartsthorne writes
The singular cry or scream of this white owl is considered ominous of death.

9.Even in 1967, S Marshal writes in Fenland Chronicle,
If an owl sat on the roof, or flew up against a window at night, that meant a death actually in the house

OWLS : Are they Good or Bad Omens?
Lakshmi and her Vahana Uluka/owl

Written by London Swaminathan
Post No. 1062; Dated 24th May 2014.

Owls are nocturnal birds. They are known as very intelligent and good birds in the Western World. As a symbol of knowledge and of erudition that can see through obscurity, the owl appears in the emblems of educational institutions, book stores and publishing houses. In Greece owls are associated with Goddess Pallas Athena/Minerva, the Goddess of Wisdom.

In India and China owls are not liked by the people because of its demonic gaze. They consider them as the harbinger of misfortune. Owls have earned a bird name in Indian mythology and folk lore. People associate their calls with the God of death.

Goddess Lakshmi and Chamunda have owls as their Vahanas. In Judaism, the female night demon Lilith is described in the company of the owl; Mayan death God Hunahau is often depicted with a head like an owl’s.
In the pre –Aztec civilization of ancient Mexico (Teotihuacan), the owl was the sacred animal of the rain god. But Aztecs considered it an evil omen.

Emblem of Birbeck college,London

Owls have negative associations in popular thinking: with their nocturnal habits, solitude, silent flight and plaintive cry they came to symbolize evil and death. Hooting of the owls was regarded an ill omen.

In India the famous fable book Panchatantra has a long story of a fight between the crows and owls. At the end, the owls are burnt with their nests by the clever crows. Indians who practise black magic kill owls during Deepavali to ward off evil or to gain magical powers. Villagers kill owls for their meat thinking that it would cure many diseases.

In the Vedas
“Uluka is the ordinary word for owl from the Rig Veda (10-165-4) onwards. The bird was noted for its cry and was deemed the harbinger of (nairrta) ill fortune (AV 6-19-2;Taittiriya samhita 5-5-18-1;Vajasaneyi samhita 24-38). Owls were offered at the horse sacrifice to the forest trees (Vajasaneyi Samhita 24-23; Maitrayani Samhita 3-14-4)”.
(page 102, Vedic Index of Names and Subjects, A A Macdonell & AB Keith)

Greek Goddess Athena with owl

Narada and owl
Scriptures refer to calls of owls as having the character of songs i.e. one note or or a simple combination of notes repeated at various intervals. Thus the call of the Brown Wood Owl is said to consist of four deep musical syllables, who—hoo—hoo–hoo. There is a story that narrates how sage Narada was advised to learn music from an owl residing near the Manasarovar lake on the Himalayas (Lingapuranam). This shows that the ancient Indians also appreciated the musical calls of the hated bird. (Tamils also had the same belief; see below for more details).

The long eared owl is distinguished by long tufts, usually borne erected and is most probably the ‘sasoluka’ which has served as a model for the face of a particular attendant of Lord Skanda (M.Bh. 9-45-79). One of the Matris of the same deity is said to have a face like that of the sasoluka (ch 30)
(Mayans also had the same description; see above)

University seal with owl.

Crow killing owls
A particular species of owl has the habit of killing crows. ‘Kakolukiya’ section of the Panchatantra describes it in detail. They live in the Himalayan region. They are the species of Dusky Horned Owls. Mahabharata describes them as Pravarakarna and long lived (3-199-4). There is also a reference in the Ramayana. When after a break with Ravana, Vibhishana goes to Rama, the latter’s ally Sugriva warns him against the owl like tactic of the enemy (96-17-19).

Again after seeing this owl work havoc among the crows at night, Aswaththamam decided to kill Pandavas while asleep during the night time ( M.Bh 1-2-296) and the epic gives an interesting description of the bird:
Ulukam ghora darsanam
Mahasvanam mahakayam haryaksham bhabrupidangalam
Sudhirgagonanakaram suparnamiva veginam
Suptanjagana subahun vayasan dayasantaka: (M.Bh.10-1-36)

The Skandapurana also relates the above incident and calls the owl the powerful bearded vulture a (31-44/45)
Page 179 of Birds in Sanskrit Literature by K.N Dave.

Greek Coin with owl

My Comments:

1.It is interesting to note that the Jews and Hindus believed that owls are messengers of death. Sanskrit literature and Sangam Tamil literature associate owls with death (See Tamil Purananuru verses 240, 261,364)

2.It is equally interesting that owl like face of Lord Skanda’s attendant and one of the Matri’s is like Mayan Death God Hunahau, who has owl like face.

3.It is also interesting God Indra is called Uluka and several Rishis have the name Uluka and Kausika ,another name of owl. It is same in Tamil literature, as many of the Sangam age poets have Andhai (owl) attached to their names. Previously it was thought they were from the towns with the name of owl (Andhai). So we can conclude that both the positive and negative notions existed side by side. Otherwise we cannot have many Rishis with the name Uluka, Kausika and many Tamil names like Kukai Koziyaar, Pisiranthaiyaar, Othal andhaiyaar etc.

  1. It is amazing to read that Tamils and their counterparts in the North has the same belief the owls have musical skills.

All these debunk the racist Aryan – Dravidian divisive theories created by foreigners with a motive to stabilise their rule and spread their religion.
We also have various types of demons named after large birds like Uluka (owl), Suparna (Eagle) and Grudhya (RV: 7-104-17)

We can also conclude that Hindus are very good observers of nature. There are lot of references to owls in the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Tamil References:
The shriek of the owl in the Nemai tree in the desert tract is like the sound of the smithy (Natrinai 394)
A stanza in Natrinai (verse 83) is an apostrophe to the owl that has its abode in the deep recess of a tree on the bank of the village tank. Its shriek at night is said to be alarming and the lady-companion promises it a fine pleasant dish of meat boiled in ghee and fried flesh of rats if only it kept silent at nights when the hero comes on visit.

One description is of a night bright with the moon light and full of disturbances with the barking of dogs and the hooting of owls (Aka.122)

Owl’s Music

The owl’s harsh hooting is heard like the tune of the instrument called Makuli and seems to have some signification (Aka.351)
(Compare it with Narada learning music from owl :Linga Purana)
Jeevaka Chintamani, one of the Five Tamil Epics, says that the owl emitted sweet music like a lyre. It is in Nachinarkiniyar commentary on the epic.

In a rare reference in the epic, owl is praised as giving a positive message about the hero. But in other places the negative image is projected like other epic Manimegalai where the owl is described as the messenger of death. The oldest section of Sangam Tamil literature associated the bird with death and crematorium (See Purananuru verses 240, 261,364).

Kukai koziyar says that the shrill cry of the owl breaks the eerie silence of the graveyard (Pura.364)
The owl with nocturnal habits living in the burning grounds and other wastelands is said to make the sound ‘’cuttukkuvi ‘’and is imagined to call the dead (Pura. 240)

Owls hoot and keep time to peacock’s dance, says a poet (Aink.291)
Bilo Irudayanath, who has done research with the tribal peoples, says that if an owl sits on top of the hut, they will dismantle the old thatched roof and do a new roof.

Owl has several names in Tamil such as Aandhai,Aandalai, Kuukai, Kuraal, Kutinjai. But some names in Tamil Nigandu/Dictionary have the Sanskrit names Kinnara, Kinnari, Kausika, irudi (Rishi),Uluka and Pingalai. The words Kinnara, Kinnari are linked with musical skills.

Owl who saved Genghis Khan
The arms of the Tartar rulers contain a black night owl in a golden shield, because the first of them, Genghis Khan was saved his life with the help of such a bird. They believed that the barn owl saved his life. When his horse was shot in one of the battles he ran for his life and hid under a bush. His enemies were looking for him. At that time a white owl came and sat on the tree under which he was hiding. They did not even come near that tree thinking that he would definitely not be there. His enemies thought the owl would not have sat there if any man had been hiding under the tree. So owl earned a permanent place in their emblems!

Goddess Lakshmi with Uluka

From Mahabharata

Owl and Crow fight

(8).Uluka (owl) was the name of emissary sent by Duryodhana to tell the Pandavas that their peace proposal is rejected. Seer Kausika (Visvamitra) also means owl. In Tamil also we have many poets with owl name (Pisir Anthai, Othal Anthai). People thought that they are the names of their towns. My view is that they actually mean the bird of wisdom owl, which is the vehicle of Lakshmi and Greek Goddess Athena. In western countries it is a very common logo in the educational institutions.

This confirms my view that most of the tribal names are totem symbols I have already given the names of Tamil poets with frog names like their counterparts in Sanskrit. Tortoise is also the name of several rishis/seers.

Tags– Owl, owls in Shakespeare, Hindu literature, Tamil literature



WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 


Date: 27 JANUARY 2018


Time uploaded in London – 13-07


Post No. 4669

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






Chanakya, the great Indian genius, who lived 2300 years ago composed some verses on fame and good qualities. We see good similarities between him and other poets such as Shakespeare and Tiru Valluvar.


Here are Chanakya’s verses in his work Chanakya Niti:

“One goes by one’s qualities and not by occupying a high seat. Does a crow by sitting on the top of a place turn into Garuda?

“It is qualities that elicit praise and not enormous riches. Does the full moon evoke as much worship as the week but spotless one the day after the new moon day?


“With others proclaiming his qualities, even a person with no qualities comes to possess them. With his own self proclaiming his qualities even Indra loses his stature.


Chnakaya Niti , Chapter 16, slokas 6, 7, 8

Now compare it with Shakespeare’s famous quote in Twelfth Night,

(Malvalio  reads a letter)


“If this letter falls into your hands, think carefully about what it says. By my birth I rank above you, but don’t be afraid of my greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. Your fate awaits you. Accept it in body and spirit. To get used to the life you’ll most likely be leading soon, get rid of your low-class trappings. Show some eagerness for the new upscale lifestyle that’s waiting.”


Tiru Valluvar says,

In the abode of the gods, more honoured than the saints are those who have won lasting fame on earth.

Kural 234

Better to be born covered with glory on earth than never to be born at all.

Kural 236


Bemoan your own sloth that stands in your way to glory; why fret about the insults that others hurl at you?

Kural 237


Verily do the wise cry shame on those that leave no foot prints on the sands of time when there is glory to be sought and won in the world of men.

Kural 238

Alive is the soul that is free from reproach; but dead is the heart that lives without a name

Kural 240


Where and When Qualities Shine?

Chanakya adds two more verses on qualities (Guna)

“Qualities appear more charming when associated with a wise person. A jewel when united with (studded) in gold shines all the more.

“Even he who equals the omniscient one through his qualities, if alone, with none to support him, comes to grief. Even a priceless jewel needs the support of gold.

chapter 16, slokas 10 and 11


xxxxxxxx SUBHAM xxxxxx



WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 


Date: 9 DECEMBER 2017 


Time uploaded in London-  8-29 am



Post No. 4474

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




Every year I make a new year resolution; but before the ink is dry it is thrown into dustbin. Why?

I thought big of me. I thought of becoming a Shankaracharya or a Baba or a Swamiji. I took a resolution not to feel angry or hate anyone. Was it possible? No. Some people did great injustice to me in my work spots though I did all the good things to them. So till this day I hate them. I can never win in such resolutions!

So, this year I am going to take a new year resolution which is possible and practicable (?!?!?!).

London swaminathan’s name in Guinness Book of Recordss! How?

I learnt a lesson from my father. He was Mr V Santanam, News Editor of Dinamani (Indian Express Group of Newspapers), Madurai. Everyday people used to come to our house or his office to give news items. He used to read them and smile. He would never say YES or NO to the bringer of those news items. But they would request my dad to publish the item the very next day, in a prominent place in the newspaper with BIG headlines.


I used to wonder why he smile like this. Some of the items attracted my attention as well. One day when I read one of those news items I laughed loudly. And made some comments in front of my father.

“Fools! Idiots! Ganges- Vaigai River Link Association (!!!) meeting; resolution number 1 etc. These people did not even know geography. No one could even find a solution to link the rivers Narmada, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri, leave alone Vaigai! there is a big Deccan plateau in between!”


My father was a man of few words. But on that day, he interrupted me to say, ‘An association can live long only when there is some unachievable goal. The man who brought the item is Gulam Bhai, a good soul; he runs seven organisations including ‘Kashmr is ours Association’, ‘Madurai pedestrians Association’  , ‘Cyclists Association’ and this ‘Ganaga- Vaigai Association’. He continued…………


I learnt a lesson from him. Never set an unachievable goal if you want to reach the goal. So this year I decided to think small and set an achievable goal! What is it?

I must enter the Guinness Book of Records in 2018 under the category of the man who put most likes in Facebook in 2018.


Please don’t compete with me in this category!


You may wonder why I chose FACEBOOK LIKES for this year. Very often I see women’s posts or women’s pictures get most likes. Good and original ideas get less likes. Don’t think that I am frustrated because I don’t get many likes. I know the difficulties. When you have 5000 friends and you put likes to someone or a few, those people will ‘haunt’ you whenever you open the Facebook page! Moreover I get 6000 hits every day to my blogs and most of them come from my Facebook friends. But I still wonder why do they have this new disease of clicking LIKES only for WOMEN!

Let me stop there and give you the second reason for choosing Facebook Likes this year.


While I was reading Shakespeare, I came across three beautiful quotations: –






I was most attracted by the first quotation.

Why should I be a beggar in thanking people? So let me click as many likes as possible in the new year. But I am restraining myself with a big condition—This may even place hurdles in my goal of entering Guinness Book of Records. The BIG condition is,

“I should not put likes to any Tom, Dick and Harry posts. It must have good messages, original thoughts, not recycled You Tube materials, neither political support nor hatred towards something!”


Let me see whether I can win by putting LIKE only to good and original ones.


Why don’t you also place likes or tick likes when you see something GOOD, POSITIVE and ORGINAL in the new year?


Long live Facebook! Long, Longer, Longest live LIKES!







Written by London Swaminathan 


Date: 1 DECEMBER 2017 


Time uploaded in London-  14-46



Post No. 4449

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


SHAKESPEARE, the greatest English playwright and dramatist was influenced by Hindu literature. We know from his plays that he has read lot of materials. We see Kalidasa’s Shakuntala in Miranda in his play the Tempest. We hear about Nagaratna (cobra jewel) in one of the plays. I have already listed the parallelisms in Tirukkural, the Tamil Veda and Shakespeare in several articles. Here is one more Hindu story in Shakespeare.


The story of the young boy DHRUVA is known to every Hindu. Dhruva has been elevated to the status of Pole Star in Hindu literature. Not only Pole star but also the seven stars circling the pole star worshiped by millions of Hindus every day three times  when they do Sandhyavandan, the water ceremony.


According to the Vishnu Purana, the sons of Swayambhuva Manu were Priyavrata and Uttanapada. Uttandapada had two wives, one was Suruchi who was very proud and haughty and the other was Suniti who was humble and gentle. Suniti gave birth to Dhruva. Suruchi treated him very badly while he was young. Suruchi made sure that her son Uttama succeeds to the throne. Dhruva and his mother Suniti were helpless. Dhruva wanted to pray to God to keep himself happy. He joined a group of seers (Rishis) and he went through rigid course of austerities. Indra wanted to distract him so that there wont be any competition from him for his post. At the end, he got a boon from Vishnu and became a star. A star among boys and a star in the sky. Hindus are shown Dhruva Nakshatra—known as Pole Star during wedding along with the Seven Stars, the Ursa major. He is the pivot of the planets. He became the symbol of steadfastness, determination, tenacity and resolution to the Hindus. Hindus are advised to be as constant as Dhruva.

Shakespeare says in Julius Caesar,

“But I am constant as the Northern Star, of whose true fixed and resting quality, there is no fellow in the firmament”– (Caesar)


Several of Hindu beliefs are in Shakespeare for which there is no other source such as Greek, Egyptian and Roman.








Written by London Swaminathan 


Date: 22 NOVEMBER 2017


Time uploaded in London- 20-58



Post No. 4423

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



Tirukkural is a book of ethics in Tamil. Tirukkural means a ‘book of sacred couplets’. It has 1330 couplets divided into 133 chapters. It is divided into three sections dealing with Dharma (Virtue), Artha (wealth) and Kama (Love between man and woman). It was written by Tiruvalluvar, who lived approximately 1500 years before our time. The book is praised as Tamil Veda by his contemporaries. All the Hindu ideals are incorporated into the book. Some of the couplets can be compared with the sayings of Shakespeare.


Who is Shakespeare?

Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an English dramatist and poet. He wrote 37 plays and over 150 poems. His quotations are used very often in English essays and other literary articles. Tiruvalluvar and Shakespeare agree on many issues. When one reads them one thinks that the famous saying ‘Great men think alike’ is proved once again.

Here are some comparisons culled out from various books:

Compassion and Mercy

Tiruvalluvar says

Those who are merciful are really the men of virtue

because they have compassion for all living creature (Kural 30)

In the Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare say that people with mercy are the real sages of the world.


The quality of mercy is not strain’d,

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;

It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:

‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes

The throned monarch better than his crown;

His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,

The attribute to awe and majesty,

Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;

But mercy is above this sceptred sway;

It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,

It is an attribute to God Himself;

And earthly power doth then show likest God’s

When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,

Though justice be thy plea, consider this,

That in the course of justice, none of us

Should see salvation. We do pray for mercy;

And that same prayer doth teach us all to render

The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much

To mitigate the justice of thy plea;

Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice

Must needs give sentence ‘gainst the merchant there.


(Portia in The Merchant of Venice, Act 4, Scene 1)


Tiruvalluvar says

Of what avail is watch and ward? A woman’s will

is the best safeguard of her honour (Kural 57)

Prison walls, pad-locks and chastity belts are absolutely of no use to ensure a woman’s chastity. Her own conscience and inner strength will alone keep her really pure.

Sakespeare says,

“My chastity is the jewel of our house bequeathed down from many ancestors”

I see that men make hopes in such a case,
That we’ll forsake ourselves. Give me that ring.

I’ll lend it thee, my dear, but have no power
To give it from me.

Will you not, my lord?

It is an honour ‘longing to our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors;
Which were the greatest obloquy i’ the world
In me to lose.

Mine honour’s such a ring:
My chastity’s the jewel of our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors;
Which were the greatest obloquy i’ the world
In me to lose. Thus your own proper wisdom
Brings in the champion honour on my part
Against your vain assault.

All is well that ends well, Act 4, Scene 2


Wife,The Helpmate

Tiruvalluvar says,

If a man’s wife does not bring him credit and honour, he cannot walk

with proud leonine gait in the face of his distractors- (Kural 59)


Shakespeare says,

‘A light wife doth make a heavy husband’

-The Merchant of Venice, Act 5, Scene 1


It is a sarcastic remark.

It’s a pun (a play on words to make a joke) because “light” and “heavy” have many meanings.

“A light wife” is an adulteress.
We also say someone is “heavy” if they carry an emotional burden, e.g. an unfaithful wife.

Light and heavy most commonly refer to the weight of something and are opposites, as are husband and wife, as are an unfaithful and faith spouse.

Enter BASSANIO, ANTONIO, GRATIANO, and their Followers.
  Bass.  We should hold day with the Antipodes,
If you would walk in absence of the sun.
  Por.  Let me give light, but let me not be light;         145
For a light wife doth make a heavy husband,
And never be Bassanio so for me:
But God sort all! You are welcome home, my lord.
  Bass.  I thank you, madam. Give welcome to my friend:
This is the man, this is Antonio,         150
To whom I am so infinitely bound.


–to be continued



Comets: Shakespeare also believed Hindu Views (Post No.4218)

Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 16 September 2017


Time uploaded in London- 18-48


Post No. 4218


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.



In Sangam Tamil literature and Hindu epic literature lot of references to comets (dhumaketu) are vailable.; all those references fear the evil effect of the comets. Ancient tamils used both Sanskrit word Dhumam (smoke) and the lieral translation of Dhema Ketu + Pukaik kodi in Purananuru.

Shakespeare also had the same belief about comets in his drama Julius Caesar, Calpurnia says

“When beggars die, there are no comets seen; the heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes” Julius Caesar 2-2-30/31



Calpurnia, wife of Julius Caesar, begs her husband not to venture out on this morning, the ides of March. Caesar has spent a restless night and there is a wild storm raging. Calpurnia has had disturbing dreams, as well; crying out three times in her sleep, “They murder Caesar!” She begs him to stay home. Caesar sends word to the priests and they, too, return a warning that Caesar must stay home. Calpurnia is very upset , especially because of the strange events of the preceding evening: reports that a lioness was seen giving birth in the streets of Rome, the dead rising from their graves, warriors fighting in the clouds, reports of horses neighing and dying men groaning, ghosts shrieking. Comets were seen during the night, which Calpurnia interprets as a prophecy of the death of a prince.


Shakespeare had similar views about eclipse which is also in Tamil and Sanskrit books.

Tamil Belief

Meteors: Kudalur Kizar (Puram 229) described the effect of a meteor he and his colleagues saw in the sky. They predicted that the Chera King Mantharan Ceral Irumporai would die in seven days time and it came true.

Comets: Like any ancient community Tamils were also afraid of the comets. They used the Sanskrit word ( Dhuma ketu) and Tamil word (Pukai Kodi) for it. Reference: Puram 117and 395 Also in post- Sangam Tamil epic Manimekalai 6-64, 7-74, Silappadikaram 10-102


Tamil Poet Bharati On Halley’s Comet
1.Like a palm tree set on a millet plant,
With a growing tail on a little star,
You blaze forth in kinship with eastern moon
Oh, lustrous comet! I bid you welcome

2.You range over countless crores of Yojanas
They say your endless tail wrought of gas
The softness of which is indeed peerless

  1. They say that yourtail touches the earth too
    An you fare forth with no harm to the poor;
    The wise talk of your myriad marvels.
    ( I have given only 3 stanzas from 7 stanzas of translation by Dr T N Ramachandran)

Varahamihira on Comets:


  1. Dhumaketu | Tamil and Vedas


Posts about Dhumaketu written by Tamil and Vedas. … is considered as Dhumaketu – a portentous comet … //tamilandvedas.com/2015/05/13/comets-in-brhat-samhita/



  1. ISON comet | Tamil and Vedas


Posts about ISON comet written by Tamil and Vedas. … Dhumaketu in Sanskrit means Lord Ganesh and the … //tamilandvedas.com/2013/01/05/spectacular-comet-show-in …




Hindu Beliefs in Shakespeare: Moon, Eclipse, Ghosts (Post No.4096)

Written by London Swaminathan

Date: 19 July 2017

Time uploaded in London- 17-11

Post No. 4096

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


It is needless to say that Shakespeare was a great scholar, playwright and a poet. he must have read and heard about India a lot. He lived just 500 years ago and no wonder he knew about India and Hinduism; by that time lot of Europeans were travelling in different directions in search of wealth. We see several references to Hindu beliefs in his plays. Had he been an essayist he would have mentioned the sources; but he was only a playwright and his main aim was to satisfy the English audience.

I have been collecting such references from different sources; I have written about his reference to Nagaratna (Cobra gem) a few years ago. Now look at some more references about Moon, Eclipses and Ghosts.

Mr Crooke, in his book Popular Religion and Folk-Lore of Northern India, has an interesting note on the moon:

“The moon has several special functions in relation to disease. Roots and simples collected by moonlight are more efficacious”. This is quite Shakespearian for Jessica says,


“n such a night Medea gathered the enchanted herbs

That did renew old Aeson “(The Merchant of Venice)

And Laertes speaks of the poison ‘collected from all simples that have virtue under the moon’ (Hamlet) .

Also very common is the belief that any disease contracted by  a man under the waning moon tends to diminish. Patients are often told to look at the moon reflected in butter or milk or water, and the cure will be effected. This is mostly done in the case of leprosy and similar diseases.

“In spite of all these advantages there is very little special worship of the Moon. When an image is erected to him it is usually associated with that of the Sun God. Moon worship is most popular in Bengal and Behar.”


My comments

I have already written about Moon’s effect on mind, why Hindus worship moon, Nagaratna and Vedic hymns linking Plants and Moon. Western biologists have not yet found out what Hindus already knew. Soma is used to denote Moon, Soma herb and moon in astrology.

Eclipses in Shakespeare

Until today Hindus are the only race in the world who take eclipses seriously.  They knew the bad and good effects of the eclipses. Any prayer done during eclipse is 100 times more effective. Any food eaten during or just before the eclipse will have bad effects. Such beliefs and special rituals like propitiating the departed souls do not exist in any other religion. They put Dharba grass in all the cooked foods to save it from the radiation. The reason is that not all the eclipses are bad. But they want the same rules for all eclipses so that people will remember to follow them.

Eclipses are believed to be of evil omen. Gloucester summarises admirably the Hindu belief in passage in King Lear (1-2)

“These late eclipses in the sun and pointed no good to us… love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide; in cities mutinies; in countries discord; in palaces treason; and the bond cracked ‘twixt son and father”.


Shakespeare said more than what Hindu scriptures said about the eclipses. Hindus will eat no food which has remained in the house during an eclipse, and all the earthen vessels which are in the house must be broken. During an eclipse, all the household business is suspended and eating and drinking prohibited. Even sleeping is forbidden. They bathe before and after the eclipse; use the time for prayers. Orthodox Hindus stand in the water and recite Gayatri mantra. Bathing during eclipse also cleanses from sin.


People born under particular stars wear special talisman, i.e., a palm leaf written with mantra is worn on forehead.

Though Hindus knew what causes eclipses and they calculated precisely and forecast the date and time, they told the laymen some stories. Ignorant people cant understand  astronomical calculations. They told the laymen that two planets (shadows) Rahu and Ketu are demons or snakes and they devour sun and moon.

Ghosts in Shakespeare

Foreigners have a big confusion about Hindu beliefs in ghosts. All the foreigners described Hindus as devil worshippers. Ignorant people like Dr Caldwell called all the Nadar community members as devil worshippers. Other foreigners described 90 percent Hindus are devil worshippers. This is because of their ignorance; they could not differentiate between the Asuras, Rakshasas, departed souls, Brahmarakshas (Brahmin ghosts), demon planets Rahu and Ketu and the actual ghosts (of people who died unnaturally in murders, suicides, accidents); apart from these some tribal beliefs about forests caves and hills (they are like Bermuda Triangles) and anything that cant be explained were classified as mysterious ghosts. Foreign writers classified all these as devil worships. Such beliefs exists in all parts of the world and in all cultures. Atharva Veda described even bacteria and Viruses as demons because the laymen won’t understand. Eclipsing planets such as Rahu and Ketu were described as demons but not ghosts


In King Lear, Shakespeare says,

:Unsepulchred they roamed and shrieked, each wandering ghost”.

The earliest Shakespeare in which Ghosts appear is Richard III. Richard is visited by the spirits of his victims in sleep.

In Hamlet, Horatio doubts the existence of ghosts that Barnardo and Marcellus claimed to have seen on two previous nights.

Horatio says that before Julius Caesar’s assassination,

“he sheeted dead

Did squeak and gibber in Roman streets”

In Julius Caesar, Shakespeare says, Brutus saw the apparition of murdered Caesar. He wondered whether it was some god or angel or devil.


This is definitely Hindu way of questioning.

In Macbeth Banquo’s ghost plays an important role.

In short all the important plays of Shakespeare have ghosts.

Monier William’s Ignorance:—

Rev, E Osborn Martin adds the epithet “bloody” for all the Hindu gods and goddesses: Shiva, Kali, Avatars of Vishnu and Ganesh! They are described in the chapter ‘Demon and Devil worship in India’ in his book ‘The Gods of India’.

Ignorant Sir Monier Williams writes, “the people worshipping a milkman who was killed by a tiger and he became devil”.

Sangam Tamil literature said that the heroes were worshipped after their death. If a person dies in an attack by a tiger or any animal when he tried to save the general public, Tamils erect Hero Stone for him and worship. Even today all the countries in the world erect memorials for their leaders and the visiting foreign dignitary must lay a wreath there. When some accidents happen people go to the spots and lay wreaths or flower bunches and light candles etc. Poor Monier Williams and his colleagues such as Caldwells would have described them as devil worship!


All the ladies who sacrificed their lives to save their honour or in Satee are worshipped! Ignorant foreigners called those devil worship. But they themselves erect war memorials in every nook and corner and ask Kings and Queens to lay flower wreaths every year. we can call them Devil worshippers!!


Sir Alfred Ryall declared that “every mysterious, gruesome looking dell, cavern, steep pass and wild and desolate hill top or ridge in Central India has its Deo (god), never seen of man, but felt by those who visit the spot – by shepherds and herdsmen camping out far amid the melancholy worlds or by travellers along the lonely tracks…. The whereabouts of the spirits is sometimes marked by a heap of stones, sometimes by rags tied to bush, occasionally by chains suspended mystically from a cliff or a tree; or the spirit wanders around a huge banyan tree or a ruined temple.


Mr Bowtring, in his Eastern Experiences (1871), described the Spirit Houses found in the Mysore Forests – little sheds built over the white ant hills and dedicated to the wood demons.

Captain Forsyth, writing about Berar, mentions that when the Gonds fell the wood on a hill side, they leave a little clump of trees to serve as a refuge for the spirit whom they have dislodged.

Westerners also believed in haunted buildings; every year newspaper articles about haunted places appear during Halloween times.

Sangam  age Tamils also believed that spirits occupy all the hills, water sources and trees. It is in Sangam literature. Those who don’t study both Tamil and Sanskrit literature blabber more than others. Hindus believed in ghosts but they are different from good spirits.

Tags: Shakespeare, Hindu Beliefs, Ghosts, Moon ,Eclipse, devil worship