Post No. 8765

Date uploaded in London – –2 OCTOBER 2020   

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Panini , author of the world’s first grammar book Ashtadhyayi, gives lot of interesting information through his 4000 aphorisms (sutras) and the additional woks such as Ganapatha and Dhatupatha. It helps us the understand the life in India 2700 years ago

Tlkappian is the author of 2000 year old Tamil grammar Tolkappiam. Like Panini’s work is called Paniniyam, Tamils called Tolkappian’s work Tolkappiam.

In all cultures we see long names are shortened for day today conversation and it would be almost uniform in that area. For instance, my name is Swaminathan. All Swaminathans in Thanjavur Region are abbreviated as SAMA ( SAAMAA) English names such as Juliette and Samantha will be July , Sam etc.

Throughout Sanskrit grammar books they used Devadatta’s  name for all examples. Devadatta may be used in 11 different ways according to Panini and his commentator Patanjali.

Deva Datta’s name may be shortened in 11  different ways. It should be a Guinness book entry .

Panini says ,

Devadattaka ,Devika, Deviya , Devila, can be used. Patanjali who wrote the greatest and biggest commentary on Panini’s book adds,

Devaka , Dattika, Dattila , Dattiya , Dattaka , Deva , Datta . In total 11 forms are grammatically available.

So it is very interesting. Even if you commit some typographical errors you will be excused!!

(Devika is not feminine; in Sanskrit ‘a’ ending name is masculine. If it ends with ‘aa’ (long sound) then it is feminine. Krishna is one of the Avatars. But Krishnaa is Draupadi.)


Plan of a treatise

A book should have a plan. It is not a collection of articles written at different times on different unconnected topics. Like planning, presentation is also important. This plan is called tantra yukti.

The work of Kautilya / Chanakya has 32 tantra yuktis .

Charaka and Susruta also mentioned them, but Charaka added three more to the list .

The ancient Tamil grammar Tolkappiam , based on the tradition of the Aindra school , enumerates in its Porulatikaram section 32 principles of which 22 agree  with those of Kautilya.

The Mimamsakas with their flare for analysis have indicated the principles of a literary composition. Of these they have singled out ‘samgati’ inherent consistency or internal order and ‘mangala’ benedictory opening. These tantra yuktis were known to Panini. The first of these , ADHIKARA  is in three important Tamil works. It is Sanskrit word that is found in

Tirukkural, Silappadikaram and Tolkappiam .

Adhikara means domain heading – treatment of the matter within the purview of a work is referred to in Panini 4-3-87.i.e. A work that is composed in accordance with the principle od ‘adhikara’, or sense of the relevant. Tamil Veda Tirukkural has 133 adhikaras .  Silappadikaram has three major divisions. Tolkappiam has three adhikaras.

Panini’s own work is  model of  Vidhana or the treatment of topics in their inherent order.



Another interesting detail about Charaka . We know one Charaka associated with the great book Charaka Samhita. Charaka means one who always wander; they are wandering professors going to different places for teaching. Now almost all universities have Charakas i.e. Visiting Professors . There are followers of Vedic Charaka in three different areas. We don’t know whether the medicine man Charaka and Vedic Charaka are one and the same.


tags – Panini, Tolkappian, Charaka 

Bhagavad Gita Simile used by Ancient Tamil Poets! (Post No.3514)

Research Article written by London swaminathan


Date: 4 January 2017


Time uploaded in London:-  20-56


Post No.3514



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If one studies the similes used by ancient Sanskrit poets and Tamil poets one will find out that Indians had a unique culture spreading over a vast landmass, that was the largest country in the world 2000 years ago. The simile used by Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita is found in the oldest Tamil book Tolkappiam and Sangam Tamil literature. Kalidasa and other Sanskrit poets also used the simile in umpteen places. This explodes the divisive Aryan- Dravidian Race Theory. Hundreds of similes are unique to Tamil and Sanskrit literature which are not found in any other literature or culture in the world.


Lord Krishna says (Sutra Manigana Iva) :

There is nothing whatsoever higher than Me, O Dhanjanjaya. All this strung in Me, as clusters of gems on a string 7-7


Commenting on this couplet Swami Chinmayananda says: “To show that the Self is one and the same in all forms, it has been said that the Lord is the common factor in all forms in the universe. He holds them all intact as the string holds all the pearls in a necklace. These words have deep significance. Not only is it beautiful in its poetic suggestion, but it has also a very exhaustive philosophical implication. The pearls in the necklace are necessarily uniform and homogenous, and its thread, which is generally unseen, passes through the central core of every pearl, and holds them all, the big and the small, into a harmonious ornament of beauty. Here is an instance wherein we see Shri Veda Vyasa typically expressing himself as the poet-philosopher of the world.


Tolkappaiam written by Tolkappiar, is considered the oldest book available in Tamil. It is dated around First Century BCE. Definitely later than Bhagavad Gita. We find the simile in Tolkappiam as well. Like Sanskrit, Sutra means a book and a thread in Tamil also; in Tamil the word used is Nuul= Thread or Book.


Tolkappiar used the word Sutra following Panini. He never hesitated to use a Sanskrit word. In the Sutra 1426:

Like orderly arranging the gems in a string, arranging the same types is called Othu.


Tamil Veda Tirukkural written by Tiruvalluvar also used the Bhagavad Gita simile:-

There is something that is implied in the beauty of this woman, like the thread that is visible in a garland of gems.


Thus Krishna’s “Sutra Manigana Iva” simile has become popular 2000 years ago. Avadhutopanishad also has this.

Kalidasa used this imagery in His Raghuvamsam and Vikrama Urvaseeyam:-

Though a dunce, I have a way in through the epic already rendered by Valmiki like the thread that easily goes through the diamonds already bored- (Raghuvamsa 1-4)


This King of Anga made the wives of his enemies to throw off their ornaments and weep for their husbands shedding tears larger than pearls on to their breasts which appeared like pearl necklaces. The king took the real necklace and gave them tear necklace- Raghu.6-28


A lady was halfway through her stringing of gems for her girdle. The thread was tied to her thumb. When she came to know about Aja’s visit she rushed to the window to see him. All the gems fell and scattered leaving only the thread still knotted to her thumb 7-10


These women engrossed at splashing water on each other are unable to give a thought to the severance and slithering of their pearl necklaces from their bosom, for the water drops as large as pearls are hopping on their bosoms which they think necklace of pearls – 16-62

These similes of Raghuvamsa were used by Tamil poets in Sangam literature.

Sangam Tamil poets used the similes in the following places:


Kudavayil Keerathanar has used this imagery twice in his poems in Akananuru (289 and 315)


Eyinanthai Ilankeeranar (Akam.225) used the broken pearl necklace image in his verse.


Kurunthokai Poets Kundriyanar and Kavan Mullai Poothanar and  Marudan Ilanagan of Marudakkali also followed his predecessors.   All of them used the unstringed or broken necklace images.


Thus, we see One Thought- One Culture from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. Before the foreigners came they didn’t know any divisions in the community such as Aryan or Dravidian races.




Tolkappian on Women in Business Trips!

tolkappian katturai

Written by London Swaminathan
Post no. 1192; Dated 24th July 2014.

Tolkappian was a great genius. Unlike other grammar works of the world, he added one more chapter to the usual grammar topics. The uniqueness of Tolkappiam lies in this last chapter called Porul Adikaram where he deals with the themes of literature. It gives lot of information about Tamil’s view of life, way of life, values in life and rules to write various themes in life. The most interesting point is his instructions about matters concerning sex.

Hindus have been following certain rules from the Vedic times. Though Sringara Rasa is dealt with in literature by poets like Kalidasa, explicit sex is not dealt with. Only in books like ‘Kamasutra’ of Vatsyayana we come across such things as explicit sex. It is not meant to be read by the common folks. It is probably meant for sexologists or psychologists who can advise youths in matters of sex. They can solve problems concerning sex.

Tolkappian , author of the oldest Tamil book Tolkappiam, advises people regarding topics on love.
Tamils have divided their literature into two parts Akam and Puram; Akam poems are about love and family life. Puram poems are about war, kings, death, values, poets’ lives, beliefs and generosity and philanthropy of kings and chieftains.

The first and foremost rule in Akam (love) poems is that you should never reveal the identity of the people involved. No name is found in Akam verses (Porul Adikaram Sutra-1000).

Tolkappiar says that wives are banned from foreign travel. When husbands go on travel for business, war or delivering messages, wives can’t accompany them.

Likewise when kings go on war expeditions, queen should not accompany the king (Porul Adikaram 1121). But musicians and dancers are allowed to travel with them. One of the powerful Tamil kings Senguttuvan took 102 dancing girls with him when he went to the Himalalayas to fetch a stone for Kannaki’s statue. But he left his wife at Vanji, the capital of Chera country (Kerala in South India).

cheran senguttuvan

Cheran Senguttuvan going in procession with Kannaki statue.

Mullaippattu and Nedunal vadai, two Sangam books, have vivid scenes of the camps in the battlefields. There we see women with swords guarding the camps, but not the queens or the wives of the army commanders. Some women were used to maintain the camps. Karpiyal section of Tolkappiyam has the rules for women in the camps.

Whenever some Tamil novels or films with explicit sex come out, big controversies erupt. People who oppose them quote ethics. People who justify them say that they are showing the real world. But yet whether it is real or artificial, fiction or fact, there are some norms to follow (Porul: 999):

Nataka vazakkinum ulakiyal vazakkinum
Patal Sandra pulaneri vazakkam (999)

In this sutra ‘pulaneri vazakkam’ is explained as only that is good, self controlled and cultured can be reported in writing.

Tolkaapiyar , in another sutra (couplet), talks about women’s virtues:
For the modesty and the simplicity in the act of love belong to the feminine nature, her amorousness will be known only by gesture and environment in accordance with the code of love.
Kamam thinaiyir kannindru varuum
Nanum madanum penmaiya (Porul -1054)
Even in the modern Western world, it is men who propose to women and not vice verse.

Please read my earlier posts on Tolkappiyam:—

Tolkappian – A Genius — posted by me on 12 September 2012
Did Tolkappian copy from Sanskrit Books? – posted by me on 10 September 2012
Who was Tolkappiar? posted by me on 9 September 2012
Agni in Tolkappiam – posted on 31 March 2014.
Indra in the Oldest tamil Book — posted on 14th June 2013
Vedic God Varuna in Oldest Tamil Book — posted on July 8, 2013
Four Tamil articles on the Age of Tolkappiam are posted in the blog.