Tamil Literature

Category: Education

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The Cornucopia of Tamil Literature in English for the world.


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History of Tamil Language and Literature Indian Literature in Translation Unnamalai K, Madurai Sathish Kumar H, Denkanikotta Sahaya Afra Johanna, Tuticorin

A Short Intro to the History of Tamil Language::

A Short Intro to the History of Tamil Language: Tamil Language – occupies a place of imp in the Dravidian Family of languages. Though attempts have been made to connect the Dravidian family of languages with other family of languages such attempts have not been successful to satisfy a majority of linguists. There are scholars and linguists who think Tamil language came from outside India; and there are others who assert that it was the oldest language spoken in the old continent now lost in Indian Ocean and that it spread from there throughout India. According to linguists like  Bhadriraju Krishnamurti , Tamil, as a Dravidian language, does not originate from Sanskrit letters. Still there are arguments regarding its descent.

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Linguistic reconstruction suggests that Tamil was spoken around the third millennium BC, possibly in the region around the lower Godavari river basin in peninsular India. Among Indian languages, Tamil has the most ancient non- Sanskritic Indian literature. Off late it has borrowed words from Sanskrit. Scholars categorise the attested history of the language into three periods: Old Tamil (300 BC–AD 700), Middle Tamil (700–1600) and Modern Tamil (1600–present). In November 2007, an excavation at Quseir -al- Qadim revealed Egyptian pottery dating back to first century BC with ancient Tamil Brahmi inscriptions. John Guy states that Tamil was the lingua franca for early maritime traders from India. According to Hindu legend, Tamil or in personification form Tamil Thāi (Mother Tamil) was created by Lord Shiva.  Murugan , revered as the Tamil God, along with sage Agastya, brought it to the people. The earliest extant Tamil literary works and their commentaries celebrate the Pandiyan Kings for the organization of long-termed Tamil Sangams, which researched, developed and made amendments in Tamil language.  Etymology: The Tamil Lexicon of University of Madras defines the word "Tamil" as "sweetness“. S. V. Subramanian, a Linguist suggests the meaning "sweet sound" from  tam  — "sweet" and  il  — "sound".

Kumari Kandam:

Kumari Kandam It refers to a mythical lost continent with an ancient  Tamil  civilization, located south of present-day India in the  Indian Ocean . The Tamils are an ancient race and their civilization begins from Pre-historic antiquity. The language – well structured and the literature is vast reflecting the ancient culture, refined emotions and noble aspirations of Tamils. A historical tradition as to their territorial expansiveness in halcyon days may be mentioned. It is recorded by commenters and the author of Silappatikaram that for millennia of years, the Tamils occupied a vast expanse of land, south of Cape Comorin, extending to the continents of Australia and Africa. By a volcanic action it was swept over by the waves of the Indian Ocean, and at the same time out of its depths rose up the mighty Himalayas which resulted in the present configuration of India. From Mount Meru  is the sacred five-peaked mountain of Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist cosmology and is considered to be the center of all the physical, metaphysical and spiritual universes. From this submerged Tamilakam (submerged continent of Lemuria), a few oldest works of Tamil literature was recovered where Tolkappiyam stands foremost and Agathiyam is found fragmentary.

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History of Tamil Literature:

History of Tamil Literature Agattiam and Tolkappiyam The Sangam Age (BC 300 – AD 300) : Ettu-tokai and Pattu -p- pattu Tirukkural The Age of Buddhism and Jainism: (The earliest twin epics) Silappatikaram and Manimekhalai

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Progenitors of Tamil Classical Texts and Translations C. W. Thamotharam Pillai Dr. Mm. U. V. Swaminatha Iyer Statue of Dr. G. U. Pope in Triplicane , Chennai.

Tamil Literature – Sangam Age::

Tamil Literature – Sangam Age: Tamil literature has a rich and long literary tradition spanning more than two thousand years. The oldest extant works show signs of maturity indicating an even longer period of evolution. The history of Tamil literature follows the history of Tamil Nadu, closely following the social, political and cultural trends of various periods.  The early Sangam literature, starting from the period of 2nd century BCE ( Akananuru (1, 15, 31, 55, 61, 65, 91, 97, 101, 115, 127, 187, 197, 201, 211, 233, 251, 265, 281, 311, 325, 331, 347, 349, 359, 393, 281, 295), Kurunthogai (11), Natrinai (14, 75) are dated before 300 BCE), contain anthologies of various poets dealing with many aspects of life, including love, war, social values and religion. The Sangam Age ended around the time that  Christianity  emerged. This was followed by the early epics and moral literature, authored by Hindu, Jain and Buddhist authors, lasting up to the 5th century CE. From the 6th to 12th century CE, the Tamil devotional poems written by  Nayanmars  (sages of Shaivism) and Alvars (sages of Vaishnavism), heralded the great Bhakti movement which later engulfed the entire Indian subcontinent.

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It is during this era that some of the grandest of Tamil literary classics like  Kambaramayanam and Periya Puranam were authored and many poets were patronized by the imperial  Chola and Pandya empires. The later medieval period (after Sangam age ended) saw many assorted minor literary works and also contributions by a few Muslim and European authors like: Umarupulavar was the first one to write the biography of Mohammed Nabi work named “ Seerapuranam ” in Tamil Language and Constanzo Giuseppe Beschi also known as Veeramamunivar Christian theological epic the life and teaching of Jesus Christ named as “ Thembavani ”. A revival of Tamil literature took place from the late 19th century when works of religious and philosophical nature were written in a style that made it easier for the common people to enjoy. The modern Tamil literary movement started with Subramania Bharathi, the multifaceted Indian Nationalist poet and author, and was quickly followed up by many who began to utilize the power of literature in influencing the masses.

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Sangam  refers to the assembly of the highly learned people of the ancient Tamil land, with the primary aim of advancing the literature. There were historically three Sangams in Sentamil Nadu, the Pandya Kingdom

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Sangam Literature Comprises some of the oldest extant Tamil literature, and deals with love, traditions, war, governance, trade and bereavement. The collection contains 2381 poems in Tamil composed by 473 poets, some 102 of whom remain anonymous. Most of the available Sangam literature is from the Third Sangam. The available literature from this period has been broadly divided in antiquity into three categories based roughly on chronology. These are: the Eighteen Greater Text Series ( Pathinenmaelkanakku ) comprising: Eight Anthologies ( Ettuthokai ) and the Ten Idylls( Pattupattu ) and the Five Great Epics.

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Some of the greatest Tamil scholars, like  Thiruvalluvar , who wrote on ethics, and on the various issues of life like virtue, wealth and love, or the Tamil poet  Mamulanar , who explored historical incidents that happened in India, lived during the Sangam period. Sangam poems fall into two categories: the "inner field" ( akam  –  அகம் ), and the "outer field" ( puṟam  –  புறம் ) as described even in the first available Tamil grammar, the  Tolkāppiyam . The "inner field" topics refer to personal or human aspects, such as love and intimate relationships, and are dealt in metaphorically and abstract way . The "outer field" topics discuss all other aspects of human experience such as heroism, courage, ethics, benevolence, philanthropy, social life, and customs.

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These landscapes are called  tiṇai  ( திணை ) which are classified as five regions: kuṟiñci  ( குறிஞ்சி ), mountainous regions mullai  ( முல்லை ), forests marutam ( மருதம் ), agricultural lands neytal  ( நெய்தல் ) coastal regions pālai  ( பாலை ) deserts In addition to the landscape based  tiṇai s ,  kaikkiLai  and  perunthinai  are used for unsolicited love and unsuited love, respectively. Similar  tiṇai s pertain to  puram  poems as well, though these categories are based on activity rather than landscape:  vetchi ,  karanthai ,  vanchi ,  kanchi ,  uzhignai ,  nochchi ,  thumbai ,  vaagai ,  paataan , and  pothuviyal .

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Sangam literature illustrates the thematic classification scheme first described in the  Tolkāppiyam . The classification ties the emotions involved in akam poetry to a specific landscape. Classical Tamil love poetry assigns the human experiences it describes, and in particular the subjective topics that those experiences relate to, to specific habitats. Every situation in the poems is described using themes in which the time, the place and the floral symbols of each episode are codified. These codifications are used as symbols to imply a socio-economic order, occupations and behaviour patterns, which, in turn, are symbolized, by specific flora and fauna. Details of secondary aspects are just as rigidly codified—the seasons, the hour a god, musical instruments and, above all, the sentimental connotations of each landscape: lovers' meetings, patient waiting, lovers' quarrels, separation, and the anxiously awaited return. Under this codification, the inner universe associated with love is divided into seven modes, or  thinai , five of which are geographical and associated with specific landscapes, and two of which are non-geographical and not associated with any specific landscape. Four of the geographical landscapes are described as being landscapes that occur naturally in the Tamil lands.

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  kuṟunji Mullai Marudam Neydhal Pālai ne expresses patient waiting over separation Lovers' quarrels, wife's irritability (husband accused of visiting a courtesan) Heroine expresses grief over separation Elopement Longest separation Dangerous journey by the hero Flower kuṟunji Mullai ( Jasmine ) Marudam Water lily Paalai Landscape Mountains Forest,  pasture Agricultural  areas,  plain or valley Seashore Parched wasteland, Desert Time Midnight Evening Shortly before sunrise Sunset Noon Season/Climate Winter/Cool and moist Late Summer/Cloudy Late spring Early summer Summer Animal Monkey ,  elephant ,  horse ,  bull ,  Tiger Deer Water Buffalo , freshwater  fish Crocodile ,  shark Fatigued elephant,  tiger , or  wolf Crop/Plant Jackfruit ,  bamboo ,  venkai Konrai Mango Punnai Cactus Water Waterfall Rivers Pond Well , sea dry wells, stagnant water Soil Red and black soils with stones and pebbles Red soil Alluvial Sandy,  saline  soil salt affected soil Occupation hunting, gathering  honey animal husbandry ,  shifting cultivation agriculture fishing ,  coastal trade , salt manufactering traveling, marauding God Seyyon Maayon Senon Kadalon Korravai

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Tamil Sangams

The First Sangam period (Muthaṟchanga paruvam) or the First Academy:

The First Sangam period ( Muthaṟchanga paruvam ) or the First Academy Also known as the Head Sangam period (  தலைச்சங்க பருவம் ,  Thalaichanga paruvam ), was a legendary period in the history of Ancient  Tamilakam  said to be the foremost of Tamil Sangams , was a ( கூடல் , koodal ) or 'gathering’. It was said to be located in  Then Madurai  under the patronage of 89 Pandya kings, during this period. It is said to have lasted for 4,440 years, and this would put the First Sangam between 9600 BCE to 5200 BCE. Headed by - ? Its function was to judge literary works and credit their worth. Later literary works like Iraiyanar Akaporul mention that 549 poets were members of it including some gods of the Hindu pantheon  Shiva,  Murugan ,  Kuperan and Agastya and seven Pandya kings. And 16,149 authors attended the convocation. Its chief works were Perumparipadal , Mudukuruku , Mudunarai and Kalariyavirai . It used  Agattiyam  as its grammar. There are no surviving works from this period.  Siddha medicine is said to have been practiced during the First Sangam, and people "enjoyed mental and bodily health, respecting nature and living hygienically."

The Second Sangam period or Middle Sangam Period (iṭaicaṅkam), or the Second Academy:

The Second Sangam period or Middle Sangam Period ( iṭaicaṅkam ), or the Second Academy The second Sangam was convened in  Kapatapuram . This Sangam lasted for 3700 years and had 59 members, with 1700 poets participating. There were 59 Pandiya kings starting from Vendercceliyan to Mudattirumaran were decedents and rulers of that period. This city was also submerged in sea. Ramayana and Arthashastra of Kautalya corroborates the existence of a city named Kavatapuram . There is a reference to a South Indian place called Kavata by Sugriva in a verse which runs something like 'having reached Kavata suitable for Pandiya '. Kavata is also mentioned by Kautalya in Arthashastra . The grammar followed was  Budapuranam ,  Agattiyam ,  Tholkappiyam ,  Mapuranam  and Isai Nunukkam . The poems attributed to second academy are Kali, Kurugu , Vendali and Viyalamalai Ahaval .

The Third Sangam (Moondram Sangam) or the Third Academy:

The Third Sangam ( Moondram Sangam ) or the Third Academy Also known as the Madurai College of Antiquity was a historical assembly and the last of the three Tamil Sangams . Headed by Nakkirar , commentator. Established under the aegis of 49  Pandyan kings   from Mudattirumaran (who came away from Kabadapuram to present Madurai) to Ukkirapperu valudi with 449 participating poets, it ran for 1850 years, ending around the time that  Christianity  emerged. All surviving  Sangam literature  comes from this particular Sangam. The seat of the Third Sangam was the city of  Madurai. The Third Sangam was held on the banks of the sacred Pond of Golden Lotuses, now Meenakshi Sundaresvarar Temple in Madurai. The grammars followed were Agattiyam and Tholkappiyam . The poems composed were Kurunthogai , Netunthogai , Kurunthogai nanooru , Narrinai nanooru , Purananooru , Aingurunooru , Padirrupaatu , Kali, Paripaadal , Kuttu , Vari , Sirrisai and Perisai .

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Third Sangam seated in The Golden Lotus Pond Meenakshi Amman Temple. Contoversy : Chokkanathar Temple renamed as Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Temple

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Sangam Time span No. of Poets Kingdom Books First 4440 years 549 Pandya No books survived Second 3700 years 1700 Pandya Tolkāppiyam  by Tolkāppiyar (fragments of Agattiyam ) Third 1850 years 449 and a few Anonymous not included Pandya Covers entire corpus of Sangam Literature

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An Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) excavation in Keeladi revealed a Sangam era settlement dated to the 2nd century BCE by radiocarbon dating. The Roman artifacts found at the site add to the evidence of ancient trade relations between the Romans and the Pandya kingdom. Keeladi , is a small village near Silaiman on the border between Madurai and Sivagangai districts.

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Sangam literature Akattiyam Tholkāppiyam Eighteen Greater Texts Eight Anthologies Aiṅkurunūṟu Akanāṉūṟu Puṟanāṉūṟu Kalittokai Kuṟuntokai Natṟiṇai Paripāṭal Patiṟṟuppattu Ten Idylls Tirumurukāṟṟuppaṭai Kuṟiñcippāṭṭu Malaipaṭukaṭām Maturaikkāñci Mullaippāṭṭu Neṭunalvāṭai Paṭṭiṉappālai Perumpāṇāṟṟuppaṭai Poruṇarāṟṟuppaṭai Ciṟupāṇāṟṟuppaṭai

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The Eighteen Greater Texts, known as  Patiṉeṇmēlkaṇakku  in the literature, is the collection of the oldest surviving  Tamilpoetry . This collection is considered part of the Sangam Literature and dated approximately between 100 BCE and 200 CE. A series of eighteen major anthologies, it contains the Eight Anthologies ( Ettuthokai ) and the Ten Idylls ( Pattupattu ). The songs in the Eighteen Greater Texts anthology are set in the  Akaval  style. The Eighteen Greater Texts anthology contains 2,381 poems including the ten larger works belonging to the Ten Idylls collection. These poems are attributed to 473 poets. Notably, the  pathirruppathu  collection exclusively collects poetry from the  Chera  kings (from Kerala), whereas the other collections contain a mix of poetry patronized by diverse Tamil kings.

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Eighteen Lesser Texts Nālaṭiyār Nāṉmaṇikkaṭikai Iṉṉā Nāṟpatu Iṉiyavai Nāṟpatu Kār Nāṟpatu Kaḷavaḻi Nāṟpatu Aintiṇai Aimpatu Tiṉaimoḻi Aimpatu Aintinai Eḻupatu Tiṉaimalai Nūṟṟu Aimpatu Tirukkuṛaḷ Tirikaṭukam Ācārakkōvai Paḻamoḻi Nāṉūṟu Ciṟupañcamūlam Mutumoḻikkānci Elāti Kainnilai The Eighteen Lesser Texts, known as the  Patiṉeṇkīḻkaṇakku  in the literature, is a collection of eighteen poetic works mostly created during the 'post Sangam period' (between 100 - 500 CE). The poems of this collection differ from the earlier works of the Eighteen Greater Texts( Patiṉeṇmēlkaṇakku ), which are the oldest surviving Tamil poetry, in that the poems are written in the  venba  meter and are relatively short in length. Naladiyar , having sung by 400 poets, is the only anthology in this collection. Each of the remaining works of the Eighteen Lesser Texts is sung by a single poet. Most of the books deal with morals and ethics.

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Agattiyam and Tolkappiyam Agattiyam  ( அகத்தியம் ), also transliterated as  Akattiyam , according to tradition, was the earliest book on Tamil grammar. It is believed to have been compiled in the First Sangam, by Agathiar (Agastya). Sage Agattiyar, according to Hindu legends, brought the Tamil language and its syntax to the Tamil people from the god Siva. The sage migrated to the South and made Potikai hills, his abode. According to Wikipedia: “In the Indian tradition, he is a noted recluse and an influential scholar in diverse languages of the Indian subcontinent. He and his wife  Lopamudra  are the celebrated authors of hymns 1.165 to 1.191 in the Sanskrit text Rigveda and other Vedic literature.”

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Lobamudra sameda Agasthiyar Temple, A. Vallalapatti , Madurai In Karaikudi Tamil Thai Temple Maharishi Agastya drinking the whole sea depicted in the Ramayana.

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Agastya appears in numerous itihasas and puranas (roughly, mythologies and regional epics) including the major  Ramayana  and  Mahabharata . He is one of the seven or eight most revered rishis in the Vedic texts, and is revered as one of the Tamil  Siddhar  in the Shaivism tradition, who invented an early grammar of the Tamil language, Agattiyam, playing a pioneering role in the development of  Tampraparniyan  medicine and spirituality at Saiva centres in proto-era Sri Lanka and South India. He is also revered in the Puranic literature of Shaktism and Vaishnavism. Tolkappiyar (epithet), the author of  Tolkappiyam , which is the oldest extant Tamil grammar, is held to be one of the twelve disciples of Agathiyar , who lived during the Second Sangam.

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The  Tholkāppiyam  (literally  Paleo-literature ) is a work on the grammar of the Tamil language and the earliest extant work of Tamil literature and linguistics. Thol means ancient and Kappiyam ( Kappu iyandrathu ? Has the true significance of grammar) means that which deals with protection. The main function of grammar is to protect the language from deterioration. It is written in the form of  noorpaa  or short formulaic compositions and comprises three books – the  Ezhuttadikaram  (" Eluthu " meaning letter), the  Solladikaram  ("Sol" meaning word) and the  Poruladikaram  (" Porul " meaning definition). Compared to Aristotle’s Poetics? It deals with orthography, phonology, morphology, semantics, prosody and subject matter of literature.

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The Tholkāppiyam classifies the Tamil language into  sentamil  and  koduntamil . The former refers to the classical Tamil used almost exclusively in literary works and the latter refers to the dialectal Tamil, spoken by the people in the various regions of ancient  Tamilakam .

The Age of Buddhism and Jainism (A.D. 250-600):

The Age of Buddhism and Jainism (A.D. 250-600) The Earliest of the Tamil Epics: Silappatikaram and Manimekhalai – Tamil Concept of powerful Womanhood depicted in these epics. The Five Great Epics of Sangam Age: Silappatikaram , Manimekalai , Cīvaka Cintāmaṇi , Valayapathi and Kundalakesi . Aimperumkappiyam were written over a period of 1st century CE to 10th century CE and act as the historical evidence of social, religious, cultural and academic life of people during the era they were created . Cīvaka Cintāmaṇi introduced long verses called virutha pa in Tamil literature. Silappatikaram used akaval meter (monologue), a style adopted from Sangam literature. It is vast treasury of music and dance, both classical and folk. Birth to Iyal , Isai, Nadakam ( Mutthamil ).

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No Name Author Notes 1 Cilappatikāram Ilango Adigal Non-religious work from between the 2nd and 7th centuries CE 2 Manimekalai Sīthalai Sāttanār Buddhist religious work of 1st or 5th century 3 Cīvaka Cintāmaṇi Tirutakkatevar Jain religious work of 10th century CE 4 Valayapathi Unknown Jain ascetic Jain religious work of 9th century CE 5 Kundalakēci Naguthanar Buddhist religious work of 5th century CE

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Silappatikaram – Kannaki : “The Tale of an Anklet” - Chaste wife Manimekhalai , brave and dutiful daughter, who enounced world and took the vows of Theravada sect of Buddhism. Kannaki statue at Marina beach

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Thirumurai (holy division) is a twelve volume compendium of songs or hymns in praise of Shiva in the Tamil language from the 6th to the 11th century by various poets in South India. Nambi Andar Nambi compiled the first seven volumes during the 12th century. During the course of time, a strong necessity was felt by scholars to compile Saiva literature to accommodate other works. The eleventh is compiled by Karaikal Ammaiyar , Cheraman Perumal and others. Sekkizhar's Periya Puranam, composed a century later, contains the life depiction of all the 63 Nayanmars . Tirumurai along with Vedas and Saiva agamas form the basis of Saiva Siddantha philosophy in Tamil Nadu. Bhakthi Movement - Shaivism:

Nayanmars: Samayak Kuravar Nalvar:

Nayanmars : Samayak Kuravar Nalvar


Tirumurai Shaivism poets: 63 Nayanmars 1,2,3 Tirukadaikkappu , 7th Century CE by Sambandar 4,5,6 Tevaram , 7th Century CE by Appar ( Tirunavukkarasar ) 7 Tirupaatu , 8th Century CE by Sundarar 8 Thiruvasakam and Thirukkovaiyar , 9 th C by Manikkavacakar 9 Thiruvisaippa & Thiruppallaandu , 9 th C by Various authors 10 Tirumandiram , 8 th C by Tirumular 11 Prabandham , 8 th C by Various authors 12 Periya Puranam, 8 th C by Sekkizhar

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63 Nayanmars statue in Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple. 63 Nayanmars statue in Sri Kokarneshwarar Temple, Tirukokarnam .

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The Nalayira Divya Prabandham , collection of 4,000 Tamil verses composed by the 12 Alvars, and was compiled in its present form by Nathamuni during the 9th – 10th centuries. The work marks the beginning of the canonization of 12 Vaishnava poet saints, and these hymns are still sung extensively today. Srirangam , for example — the chanting of the Divya Prabhandham forms a major part of the daily service( Divya Desams ). The Divya Prabandham sings the praise of Narayana (or Vishnu) and his many forms. The Tamil Vaishnavites are also known as Ubhaya Vedanti (those that follow both Vedas, i.e., the Sanskrit Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda, as well as the Tamil-language Tiruvaymoli , a work which many South Indian devotees regard as the Tamil Veda). Prominent among its 4,000 verses are the over 1,100 verses known as the Tiruvaymoli or Thiruvaaymozhi ("words of the sacred mouth") by Nammalvar . Bhakthi Movement - Vaishnavism:

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Srivilliputhur Andal Temple Tiruppavai - Andal and her divine love for Perumal

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Vaishnavism: 12 Alvars 1 Periazhvar Thirumozhi 473 Pasurams Periyalvar 2 Thiruppavai 30 Pasurams Aandaal 3 Nachiar Tirumozhi 143 Pasurams Aandaal Perumal Thirumozhi 105 Pasurams Kulasekara alvar Thiruchchanda Viruththam 120 Pasurams Thirumalisai alvar Nalayira Divya Prabandham

Tiru-k-kural (Sacred Verses - Tamil Veda) by Sage Tiruvalluvar:

Tiru -k- kural (Sacred Verses - Tamil Veda) by Sage Tiruvalluvar

About Thirukkural:

About Thirukkural A classic Tamil text consisting of 1,330 couplets or  Kurals , dealing with the everyday virtues of an individual One of the two oldest works now extant in Tamil literature in their entirety, the other being the  Tolkappiyam  The greatest works ever written on ethics and morality, chiefly secular ethics, it is known for its universality and non-denominational nature

Time Period:

Time Period The text has been dated variously from 300 BCE to 5th century CE. The traditional accounts describe it as the last work of the third  Sangam , but linguistic analysis suggests a later date of 450 to 500 CE


Information Also called as: Work of Three Books, Modern Veda, Divine Work, Faultless Word, and Tamil Veda Kural : A metrical line of 2 feet, or a distich or couplet of short lines, the first of 4 and the second of 3 feet

Essence of Thirukkural:

Essence of Thirukkural   purushaarthas : Dharma, Kama, Artha , Moksha Deals with three aims of human life ( Muppal ) – Aram, Porul and Inbam But Thirukkural spoke about the First three, virtue, wealth and love WHY ? Author’s general idea is that one should lead domestic life, gather wealth, enjoy life, l ater renounce such life and take to asceticism, contemplate on God and attain his feet to escape the chain of endless births It enables man to live in the truest and highest sense, that “WE THE WAY OF GOOD MAY KNOW”

Organization of the work:

Organization of the work The Kural is structured into 133 chapters, each containing 10 couplets (or kurals ), for a total of 1,330 couplets. The work is divided into 3 books treating of Right Conduct, the science of Politics with Wealth and Love. Book I –  Aṟam  ( அறம் ): Book of Virtue (Dharma), dealing with virtues independent of the surroundings (Chapters 1-38) Book II –  Poruḷ  ( பொருள் ): Book of Polity ( Artha ), dealing with virtues with respect to the surroundings (Chapters 39-108) Book III –  Inbam  ( இன்பம் ): Book of Love (Kama), dealing with virtues involved in conjugal human love (Chapters 109-133) Explain Paal

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Book I of 38 Chapters 4 chapters Introductory on God, Rain, Virtue and Ascetics 16 chapters The Ideal House Holder Domestic virtue based on Affection 18 chapters The Ideal Ascetic Ascetic or Higher virtue based on Grace Book II of 70 Chapters 25 chapters The Ideal Sovereign Royalty 10 chapters The Ideal Statesman Ministers of State 22 chapters The Ideal State The Essentials of a State 13 chapters The Ideal Citizen Morality, Affirmative and Negative Book III of 25 Chapters 25 chapters The Ideal Lover Furtive Pleasure enjoyed by unwedded lovers ending in conjugal wedded love and life.

Author - Thiruvalluvar:

Author - Thiruvalluvar Thiru means sacred and Valluvar means of the Soothsayer’s Class Weaver by profession - an outcaste - born under mastwood tree - in the temple town of Mylapore - married to Vasuki – his name was known in Thiruvalluva Maalai , writtens everal centuries later – considered to be either Jain or Hindu -

A few other Names:

A few other Names Muppāl Tirukkuṛaḷ Deyvamāmaṟai Poyyāmoḻi (The infallible words) Tamiḻ Maṟai (The Tamil Veda) Podhu Maṟai (The Common Veda) Mudhumoḻi (The Ancient Words) Meivaittha Vedavilakku (The vedic light that laid down the truth) Valluvamālai (The garland of Valluvar ) Vaanmarai (The Cosmic Veda) Kuṛaḷamudhu (The Kural ambrosia)

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குறள் 391: “ கற்க கசடறக் கற்பவை கற்றபின் நிற்க அதற்குத் தக. ” மு.வரதராசன் விளக்கம்: கல்வி கற்க நல்ல நூல்களைக் குற்றமறக் கற்க வேண்டும், அவ்வாறு கற்ற பிறகு, கற்ற கல்விக்கு தக்கவாறு நெறியில் நிற்க வேண்டும். சாலமன் பாப்பையா விளக்கம்: கற்கத் தகும் நூல்களைப் பிழை இல்லாமல் கற்க; கற்ற பிறகு கற்ற கல்விக்கு ஏற்ப நல்ல வழிகளில் வாழ்க. English Couplet 391: “ So learn that you may full and faultless learning gain, Then in obedience meet to lessons learnt remain.” Couplet Explanation: Let a man learn thoroughly whatever he may learn, and let his conduct be worthy of his learning. Transliteration(Tamil to English): kaRka kasadaRak kaRpavai katrapin niRka adhaRkuth thaga


Commentaries The ancient Tamil poet  Avvaiyar  observed, " Valluvar pierced an atom and injected seven seas into it and compressed it into what we have today as Kural According to Albert Schweitzer, "there hardly exists in the literature of the world a collection of maxims in which we find so much of lofty wisdom. Sri Aurobindo  stated, " Thirukkural is gnomic poetry, the greatest in planned conception and force of execution ever written in this kind.”

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17 mind-blowing facts about THIRUKKURAL 1. Out of the 247 Tamil alphabets, just 37 have been used in the Thirukural 2. The only two flowers in the book are Anicham (Scarlet Pimpernel) and Kuvalai (Cup Flower) 3. Nezlhunji fruit is the only fruit featuring in the book 4. The only seed featuring in the book is, Kundrimani (Crab’s eye tree) 5. The two trees featuring in the boor are Palm and Bamboo. 6. The alphabet featuring the most times is ‘ னி ’ it features 1705 times. 7. The letters featuring only once are ளீ , ங . 8. The two words that are not used in the Thirukural are தமிழ் (Tamil), கடவுள் (A word meaning God in Tamil).

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9. The first Tirukkural and Naladiyar texts were published. This was by Gnanaprakasam in 1812 and printed at the Masadinacaritai Printers in Madras. 10. Total no of words is 14,000. 11. Total no of letters is 42,194. 12. Out of 247 letters,37 letters never used. 13. Number 9 never used. 14. The word ' Kodi ' ( Crore ) used in 7 places. 15. The word '70 kodi ' appears only once. 16. Translated into 26 Languages. 17. Translated into English by 40 authors.

Tamil Renaissance :

Tamil Renaissance

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When language is neglected, the literature becomes unfamiliar; and when the literature becomes unfamiliar, the people lose touch with the sources of their history, their culture, and their main source of consciousness as a group. The Tamil Renaissance brought about a revival not only of Tamil language and literature but also of all aspects of Tamil culture.

Who are the Dravidians?:

Who are the Dravidians? Dravidian   noun Dra·​vid·​ i ·​an | \  drə -ˈvi- dē - ən   \ Definition of  Dravidian according to merriam-webster 1:  a member of an ancient dark-skinned people of southern India

Dravidian People:

Dravidian People Brahui people: People belonging to the north-Dravidian subgroup, mostly found in the Balochistan province of Pakistan. They now culturally and ethnically largely resemble the Balochi people around them, with whom they have mixed with substantially. Kurukh : People belonging to the north-Dravidian subgroup. Found in India and Bangladesh, the only Dravidian language indigenous in Bangladesh. Khonds: Tribal people who speak the Dravidian Kui language. Mostly found in the eastern Indian states of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. Gond people: A prominent group of Dravidian-speaking tribal people inhabiting the central region of India.

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Kannadiga: People belonging to the south-Dravidian subgroup. Mostly found in Karnataka and parts of northern Kerala. Kodava: People belonging to the south-Dravidian subgroup. Mostly found in the Kodagu (Coorg) region of Karnataka. Malayali: People belonging to the south-Dravidian subgroup found primarily in Kerala. Tamil: These people belong to south-Dravidian linguistic subgroup. Mostly found in Tamil Nadu, parts of Kerala, parts of Sri Lanka, South Africa, Singapore and Malaysia. Telugu: These people belong to south-Dravidian subgroup (formerly classified with the Central Dravidian but now more specifically in the South Dravidian II or South Central Dravidian inner branch of the South Dravidian.[4] Mostly found in Andhra Pradesh also in Orissa and Tamil Nadu. Tuluva: People belonging to the south Dravidian subgroup, found in southern Karnataka and northern Kerala, alternatively named Tulu Nadu.

Dravidian languages:

Dravidian languages Definition of  Dravidian languages :  a language family of India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan that includes Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam Eighty-six languages have been classified as Dravidian. Further, the languages spread out and cover parts of India, South Western Iran, South Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. More than 200 million people speak Dravidian languages.

Madras Presidency-an administrative subdivision (presidency) of British India.:

Madras Presidency-an administrative subdivision (presidency) of British India. Capital Winter: Madras Summer: Ooty • Established 1652 • Disestablished 1947

The beginning of the caste systems..:

The beginning of the caste systems.. The two sections- Brahmins and the Non-brahmins. Non-Brahmins collectively include ( i )the non-Brahmin caste-Hindus (ii)The Muslims, and (iii) The Indian Christians. Depressed classes or the untouchables

The Non-brahmin movement:

The Non-brahmin movement The Brahmins rapidly realized the benefits of English education and entered the administrative edifice of the presidency. Rose to 'elitist' and 'hegemonic’ positions. By the beginning of the 20th century, the domination of Brahmins turned into a monopoly.

Salient features of Tamil Renaissance:

Salient features of Tamil Renaissance Tamil writers of two different factions: One preferred an increased mixture of Sanskrit words with Tamil. The other faction favored reducing Sanskrit works to the lowest minimum

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The impact of the western education: Western types of education and technological civilization after nineteenth century A.D., paved the way for the emergence of new types of literary compositions. Capitalist set up changed the ancient patronage systems which had played a vital role in shaping the nature of artistic productions. Modern poets- composed poems for English educated middle class and not for

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The advent of printing press: The intellectual creations of individuals became common property. Real reading public developed on a wider scale. In place of the feudal patron came the publisher and the reader. Ultimate difference.

Trends of the twentieth century literary works.:

Trends of the twentieth century literary works. a spirit of confrontism as against the classical attitude of confirmism . experimenting with new forms, meters, techniques and themes. revolt against conventional rules and conservative attitudes. Tamil poetry not confined to the cramping atmosphere of the feudal courts and temples.

 Anti-Hindi Agitation: 1938-1964 :

 Anti-Hindi Agitation: 1938-1964

Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai:

Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai Conferred the title of MahA VidwAn  ( மகாவித்துவான் ) (great scholar). Born 6th April1815 A.D. Tiruchirapalli Died 1st February1876 A.D. Philosophy Saivism Poet’s poet- Mahamahopadhyaya Dr. U. V. Swaminatha Iyer compiled Pilla's biography in Tamil, which was translated into English by Sridharam K. Guruswamy. as "A Poet's Poet" ( Maha Vidhwan Sri Meenakshisundaram Pillai of Tiruchrappalli ).

Ramalinga Swamigal (Vallalār):

Ramalinga Swamigal ( Vallalār ) Born 5 October 1823 Marudhur , a village near Chidambaram, present day cuddalore district, Tamil Nadu. Disappeared January 30, 1874 (aged 50) Mettukuppam , a hamlet near Vadalur , cuddalore district. Works Thiru arutpA ( திருவருட்பா ) - made up of 5818 poems.

Subramania Bharati :

Subramania Bharati Name சி . சுப்பிரமணிய பாரதி Born 11 December 1882 Died 11 September 1921 (aged 38) Notable work Panchali Sapatham , Pappa Pattu , Kannan Pattu , Kuyil Pattu , etc.

Pudhumaipithan :

Pudhumaipithan Born C. Viruthachalam 25 April 1906, Thiruppadirippuliyur , Tamil Nadu Died 5 May 1948 (aged 42) Notable works Kadavulum Kandasami Pillayum , Ponnagaram , Thunbakeni a prolific translator 

Kalki Krishnamurthy :

Kalki Krishnamurthy Born Ramaswamy Aiyer Krishnamurthy 9 September 1899 Puthamangalam . Died 5 December 1954 (aged 55) Chennai, India Pen name Kalki ( கல்கி ) Occupation journalist, critic and writer Notable works Ponniyin Selvan, Sivagamiyin Sabadham Notable awards Sahitya Akademi Award for Alai Osai

Ponniyin Selvan:

Ponniyin Selvan There are at least three different translations of Ponniyin Selvan available in English – by Indra Neelamegam CV Karthik Narayanan, and an ongoing one by Pavithra Srinivasan. On 21 February 2015, a Sanskrit translation by Rajalakshmi Srinivasan was released at a public function in Chennai by the then HRD Minister of India, Smriti Irani.

Indira Parthasarathy:

Indira Parthasarathy Born 7 July 1930 (age 88) Kumbakonam . Nickname Eeepaa Awards   Saraswati Samman ,   Sahitya Akademi Award,   Sangeet Natak Akademi Award,   Padma Shri .

Ashokamitran :

Ashokamitran Born Jagadisa Thyagarajan 22 September 1931 Secunderabad , Andhra Pradesh Died 23 March 2017 (aged 85) Chennai. Pen name Ashokamitran Works over 200 short stories, 8 novels, some 15 novellas besides other prose writings. 

D. Jayakanthan:

D. Jayakanthan Born 24 April 1934 Cuddalore , South Arcot District, Madras Presidency, British India Died 8 April 2015 (aged 80) Occupation Novelist, short story writer, screenplay writer, film director Language Tamil Notable awards Padma Bhushan, Jnanpith , Sahitya Akademi Award, Order of Friendship


Sujatha Born S. Rangarajan 3 May 1935 Madras, Madras Presidency, British India Died 27 February 2008 (aged 72) Pen name Sujatha

World Classical Tamil Conference 2010 :

World Classical Tamil Conference 2010

Semmozhiyaana Thamizh Mozhiyaam :

Semmozhiyaana Thamizh Mozhiyaam The song, a tribute to the Tamil language, features a fusion of various musical styles, including Carnatic, Folk, Acoustic, Sufi, Rock and Rap. composed by A. R. Rahman, penned by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and performed by several leading Tamil artistes of over three generations.

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