Famous Tamil Princess Aadhi Mandhi (Post No.3703)

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 8 March 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 8-35 am


Post No. 3703


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.


contact; swami_48@yahoo.com



Aadhi mandhi and her husband Aattan Atthi were praised in several Sangam poems composed 2000 years ago. Later Tamil epic Silappadikaram also praised them. Aadhi mandhi was the Tamil Savitri who fought against death and brought her husband alive. She was the Tamil ‘Savitri’.


She was the daughter of the most famous Cholza king Karikal Chozan. Attan Atthi was a prince from adjacent Chera Nadu, modern Kerala state in South India.


Kannaki, heroine of Tamil epic Silappadikaram six great ladies who were born before her time in her native city Kaaveri Puumpattinam (also known as Pumpuhaar). Aadhi Mandhi was one of them.


When the annual Water Festival known as ‘Aadi 18 Floods’ (Pathinettaam Perukku in in the month of Aadi) was held in the city both Aadhi and Atthi went into the river for bathing. Fresh floods in the River Kaveri washed her husband Atthi away. The whole Choza army went into action and was looking for her husband, but in vain. Aadhi decided to follow the river and ran along the banks of the river like a mad woman. At the end some fishermen who were in the river at a far off place caught him and handed over him to Aadhi. This has become a big legend and considered a miracle by the Tamils.

Famous Sangam poet Paranar who listed over 80 historical anecdotes in his verses also sang about this accident. Post Sangam poet Ilango, author of Tamil epic Silappadikaram gave more details about this incident.

Silappadikaram says,

“The daughter of the celebrated king Karikaala followed the floods which carried away her husband, Vanchikon (king of Kerala), calling aloud: O, my lover with hill-like shoulders! Then the sea itself came and presented her husband before her. She, the golden creeper, returned embracing him” – Vanchinamaalai, Silappadikaaram.

There are more references in Kurunthokai 31 (Poetess Aadhi Mandhi),

Akanaanuuru 45 (Poetess Velli Viithiyaar), 76 (Poet Paranar)

Tolkaappiyam Akattinai gloss by Nacchinaarkiniyar, Sutra 54

In Akam 45,

A woman is saying to her friend, “ my husband has gone and hasn’t comeback yet. Am I also going to feel sad like Aadhi Mandhi?”

in Akam76

A courtesan says aloud (so that the lady love of the hero hears it), “ Long ago Aaadi Mandhi lost her husband and she went on asking everyone, ‘ did you see my husband Aattan Aththi, who wears a garland, anklet, waist band, sports a beard? but she did not get an answer. She was fainting out of sadness. Like the east flowing river shattered its banks and took Aattanathi, now I am going to take that mand. What will his lady love do then?”


We come to know that the story of Aaadhimandhi and Aattanathi was popuplar among the Tamils 2000 years ago. The actual incident must have happened in the first century BCE when Karikala was ruling the Choza country ( covering Thanjavur paddy belt and the East coast). Though the earlier verses did not say anything about the miracle of sea handing over the man to his wife Aadhimanthi, post Sangam epic Silappadikaram enemrates this as one of the six miracles listed by Kannaki.


From Kurunthokai of Aaadhimandhi we come to know that she herself was a poetess. But her poem was on a love theme and nothing to do with the incident that shook Tamil Nadu.





Miracles by the Blind & Oldest Organ Donation

Post No. 470

Lord Krishna listening to blind poet Surdas.


Miracles by the Blind & Oldest Organ Donation

God is great. When he shuts one organ he gives more powers to other organs. Hindu scriptures are full of miracle stories by the blind. It gives details about the earliest organ donations as well. The most popular story of eye donation is of a hunter belonging to the scheduled tribe.

Dhinnan was a hunter in Tamil Nadu. One day he went to hunt wild boars. One of the boars was a dodgy animal. It took all his time and energy. When he finished the hunt it was already dark. Next day he was attracted towards a holy place like a magnet attracts iron. It was a Shiva temple. When he went there  he wanted to do the ritual bathing of the Lord. But he was an illiterate and knew nothing about scriptures. So he did the worship in his own way in the temple where a  proper priest was also doing Puja (worship) every day. Dhinnan offered meat pieces to the Lord. When the trained priest saw this next morning he was angry. But he had a dream in the night that he should watch a great devotee next day morning from a hidden place. He did that and saw Dhinnan spitting a mouth full of water on the statue to do Abhishek (ritual bathing) and offered flowers plucked out from his hair. He threw some meat pieces to the Lord.

Lord Shiva wanted to test Dhinnan’s devotion so that the properly trained priest also can see it from his hiding place. Suddenly blood started bleeding from one of the eyes of the Lord. Worried Dhinnan plucked out his eye and applied it to the Lord. When the second eye also started bleeding heavily, Dhinnan plucked out his second eye and applied it to Lord Shiva. Immediately God appeared before him and gave him the name Kan Appan (meaning one who applied eye). He regained his vision in both the eyes by the grace of Lord Shiva. Kannappan (Dhinnan) lived in the fifth century.

Picture shows Kannappa Nayanar placing his foot on Shiva to mark the place for placing the second eye.

Jeevaka’s Eye Operation

There is a similar story that happened in Northern India one thousand years before Kannappan. Jeevakan was a great physician cum surgeon in the days of Buddha. He lived in the Maghada (Bihar) empire during Bimbisaran’s rule(603-551 BC). One of the kings who ruled the north western part of India was Sibi. A blind Brahmin approached him asked for eye donation. The Brahmin asked him because the king had already earned the reputation of a big philanthropist donating any thing you ask for. The king sent a word for Jeevaka and he came and removed both the eyes of the king and fixed them to the Brahmin. This is recorded in the Buddhist chronicles. Both these stories show that the organ donation was in vogue in those days. Big surgeons did eye operations and other surgeries easily.

( I have already explained in my post. Look at the bottom for link)

Story of Upamanyu

Upamanyu was a young student of Vyagrapatha. In those days, students have to live with the teacher (Guru in Sanskrit) for at least 12 years to learn the Hindu scriptures. It is like a residential school. One day Guru asked Upamanyu to take 50 cows for grazing. When he went back to Guru’s house in the night with the cows he was refused dinner for no reason. The kitchen staff told him, ‘It is Guru’s order’. Even after a week, he was hale and healthy doing the same task of cow herding. When the Guru asked him the secret of his good health, he told him he got the food by begging. Guru ordered him to bring all the food to his house. A week passed. Still he was energetic. When the Guru asked the secret of his good health, he told him the cows give him the milk after they fed their young calves. Guru ordered him not to drink the milk any more. He did it as per Guru’s order but drank the milk from the plants. He became blind because it contained poison. He fell in to a disused well on his way home. Guru’s party searched him and ultimately found him in the well. When he was asked to recite the Vedic Mantra on Aswini Dewas, they gave him the eye sight. But he refused to accept it without Guru’s permission. Guru felt very happy about his devotion and loyalty and brought water from the heavenly Soma River and poured it on his eyes. His vision was restored. Thus goes the story in Hindu Mythology. In the ancient India, Gurus gave practical lessons according to the Upanishads. It was more than what a chemistry or physics student can learn in the labs of modern day universities.

Lord Vishnu’s Eye Donation

Thiruvvizimizalai is a small town in Tamil Nadu with a Shiva temple. The resident god is called Nethra Arpaneswarar meaning Eye Donation God. Lord Vishnu was praying here to Shiva to obtain the Sudarsana wheel. It is like Boomerang and will come back to Vishnu after every attack. Vishnu did offer worship with 1000 lotus flowers every day. One day he fell short of one flower. Without any hesitation, he gave his one eye to Lord Shiva. Eye is a synonymous word with lotus in Indian literature. All these stories prove organ donation, Organ transplant and advanced surgery existed in those days. This temple is pretty old and existed at least 1300 years ago.

Miracle by Two Handicapped Tamil Poets

There were two Tamil poets by name Ilam surya and Mudu surya (meaning Junior Sun, Senior Sun). One of them was blind and the other was lame. The lame carried the blind on his shoulder and travelled from one town to another singing the glory of the Lord. When they went to Thiru Amathur in Tamil Nadu they composed some verses and arranged to launch the book at the temple. There was a mistake in the verses rightly pointed out by a scholar in the crowd. The poets sung that the temple is on the western side of the river Pampa. Actually it was on the eastern bank of the river. The crowd teased them saying both of them were not blind! At that time the rain started heavily and the crowd dispersed. In the night the river changed its course due to heavy rain in the hills. When they assembled next day to continue the launching event, they need not correct the verses. The river was running like they sang the previous day!!

Sundarar regained vision

One of the great Four Saivaite saints,Sundarar,  lost vision in one eye and went to Tiruvarur. He begged to Shiva to give him the vision back. He sang a decad there. Immediately he regained his vision in the right eye.

Tamil Reference:

மீளா அடிமை உமக்கே ஆளாய்ப் பிறரை வேண்டாதே

மூளாத் தீப்போலுள்ளெ கனன்று முகத்தால் மிக வாடி…………

Nayana Deeksha (Passing power through eyes)

Hindu goddesses have names with eye: Meenakshi, Kamakshi, Visalakshi, Neelayathakshi, Rudrakshi, Indrakshi etc. It shows that the goddesses always favoured them through their eyes. It is called Nayana Deeksha. A Guru or a god can pass miraculous powers to a devotee just by looking at him or her. Nayana, Akshi are Sanskrit words for eye.

We have got a number of stories about miracles of blind poets like Surdas. We will look at them separately.

Read my previous posts:

1.How did a Pandya King get a Golden Hand?

2.Miracles by the Deaf and Dumb

3.Time Travel by Two Tamil Saints

4.Did Agastya drink the ocean?

5. Great Engineers of Ancient India

6.Amazing Powers of the Human Mind

There are 15 more posts on Miracles by men and animals.

contact london swaminathan: swami_48@yahoo.com



What is Time Travel?

If you want to go from Madras to London you travel by aeroplane. It is covering a vast distance – ie through three-dimensional space. But if you want to travel from 2011 to 1000 AD, the time when Raja Raja Chola built the Big Temple in Thanjavur, you have to travel through time. Or if you want to travel to the future, for example, 2050 then again you have to travel through time.

This concept already exists in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. But it became very popular through the writing of HG Wells and films based on his book, The Time Machine. In recent years we have lots of science fiction TV serials. If we can invent a time machine then we can sit inside and travel back even to the days of Emperor Asoka or the Rig Veda.

One question often asked is whether we would just be observers or whether we could participate in the events that happened 1000 years ago. Suppose I travel back in time with an AK 47 gun and shoot down Raja Raja Chola. What would happen to history as we know it after his death. He had a son by the name of Rajendra Chola. Would he still exist in history after I shot Raja Raja? This paradox is commonly known as the Grandfather Paradox. There are various theories about parallel universes to answer this question.

Two strange miracle stories indicate that our Tamil saints travelled back in time for the sake of their devotees. Not only did they go back in time and but they also interfered with events and changed the course of “history”. There is no such story in anywhere else in Hindu mythology.

I have already mentioned in my article Do Hindus believe in Aliens and ETs?  The story of Revati, the episode of Arjuna’s travel to Indraloka (heaven) and Sambandhar reviving a dead person were dealt with in that article. India is full of mysteries and miracles. Just around Chennai there are more than 50 Siddhar Samadhis. Each Siddhar performed a lot of miracles. But what Sundarar and Tiru Gnana Sambandhar did 1000 years ago is baffling.

Often, we hear of stories where a person that was bitten by a snake is revived by a miracle man. At least here we may interpret that the person was bitten by a non-poisonous snake and may have fainted out of fear rather than died. But in the story of Sambandhar and Sundarar, two of the Four Great Saivite Saints, no such interpretation is possible.

This is what happened: Anecdote 1

Sambandhar visited Madras 1300 years ago. He was welcomed by a rich merchant called Sivanesar. Sivanesar was very sad and cried when Sambandhar met him. When the saint asked the reason for his sadness he narrated what happened to his daughter Poompavai several years ago. When she went to pluck some flowers in the garden, she was bit by a snake and fainted. All the efforts to revive her failed and she died. Sivanesar kept the ashes and bones in an urn after cremating her body. When Sambandhar visited Kapaleeswarar temple in Mylapore, Chennai, Sambandhar asked him to bring the urn containing the ashes and bones. The saint sang a hymn beginning with the Tamil words “Mattitta Punnai”. Even before the saint finished the tenth song, the pot broke open and a beautiful twelve year old girl came out and stood before them. She was none other than the girl Poompavai, Sivanesar’s daughter. When he offered her hand to Sambandhar he politely declined the offer by saying that she was like his own daughter because he revived her. The mystery in the story is that Poompavai  had grown since her death. This means Sambandhar went back in time and revived her at that point of time and brought her back with full growth to compensate the lost years. Another interesting thing about this hymn is all the important festivals of ancient Tamils such as Onam, Karthikai lamp festival, Arudra day, Thai Pusam,  Masi sea  bathing and Panguni Uththiram are mentioned in the decad, providing a unique record of their existence.

Anecdote 2

The second story is about Sundarar reviving a boy who was devoured by a crocodile. There lived a boy called Avinasi Lingam, Son of Gangadharan, in Avinasi, a town in Tamil Nadu. One day Avinasi Lingam went with other boys to a tank to bathe. It was a beautiful lotus tank. Suddenly Avinasi Lingam’s feet were caught by a crocodile and he cried for help. The boy who lived next door to him ran back to town and brought the elders. But Avinasi Lingam disappeared and nobody dared to step in to the tank. The most famous Hindu saint Adi Shankara was also caught by a crocodile, but he came alive after his mother promised him to give him second birth in the way of Sanyasam.

Two years after this incident Sundara visited the Brahmin street where one house was celebrating happily the Punul Kalyanam (Sacred Thread ceremony for the boy), but the opposite house was engulfed in sadness. When he came to know about what happened two years ago, he went straight to the tank and prayed to Lord Siva to return the boy. The crocodile came and spat the boy out. The boy, not only came alive intact but also aged to compensate for the lost two years. This is another instance of Time Travel by a Tamil saint. He went back in time by two years and changed the course of “history”.

The people who wrote about these anecdotes clearly expressed surprise when the boy and the girl were grown to compensate the years they lost in “death”. If it is instant revival we can find many reasonable scientific explanations. Here there is no ambiguity or exaggeration.  Sundarar’s miracle decad begins with the Tamil words “Etraan Marakeen Ezumaikkum”. Avinasi is forty kilometres from Coimbatore.

(Please read my article Do Hindus believe in Aliens? Where in I have explained how Hindus view Time. We believe there is more to it than what Einstein had discovered)

Picture credit: Cedric THUVAL (copy right)
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