THIRUTHAKKA THEVAR & “TAMIL KAMASUTRA-CIVAKA

FORGOTTEN HERO OF THE TAMIL LITRATURE WORLD
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THIRUTHAKKA THEVAR & “TAMIL KAMASUTRA-CIVAKA
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CINTHAMANI”
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tThiruthakka Thevar (Tamil Jain and a descendant of Chola Dynasty) once a ruler from the Maravar Boomi(Ancient name of Madurai) lived during the 9th & 10th Century , belongs to the Maravar(Sembinaattu Maravar) Clan from the Mukkulathor Community.

He is believed to be a learned scholar acquainted with Akattiyam and Tolkappiyam, the celebrated Tamil grammar works as well as deep acquaintance in Sanskrit and Vedas . During his period as a ruler, witnessing the mass deaths in wars which he himself had waged out of a desire for conquest , had led him gradually become interested in Jainism which could have been a prime factor in renouncing his status as a ruler at a later stage and pursue a life of religious merit by becoming a Tamil Jain Monk and composing Civaka Cintamani (Tamil: சீவக சிந்தாமணி Cīvaka Cintāmaṇi). This Jain religious classical epic means “fabulous gem”, and also known by alternative name Manannul (Tamil: மண நூல்) or “Book of Marriages (TAMIL KAMASUTRA).

Different School of thought suggests that the birth of Civika Cintamani could have been due to Thevar’s Urgency to prove his mettle as a poet where he encountered the challenge from other non-Jain authors and poets to compose a literary work on the Akam or internal tradition of Tamil literature. This genre comprises of poems mainly on the themes of love and human emotions. Thus, Tirutakkatevar wrote an erotic epic rhyme named Mananul, meaning the book of marriage or profoundly known as “Tamil Kamasutra”.

This Tamil Epic is considered to be the best among the five great Tamil epics (Manimegalai,Silappadikaram, Valayapathi and Kundalakesi) according to later Tamil literary tradition. During the Medieval period, There were many commentaries on the book, the best on the work is believed to be by Naccinarkiniyar(a Saivite Brahmin was a classical Tamil writer and commentator of the medieval period lived in 14th century.)This Epic been admired for its poetic form, appealing story-line, and theological message. Especially in the court of Chola king who was its patron and was well received by the Chola. His work also stands as a proof of secular outlook of Chola kings during the period. Though they were Hindus, they encouraged the Jain education and arts.
Some even argue that Thirutthakka ThEvar used the epic to propagate Jainist ideas. Since many consider this to be an erotic epic, other scholars and pots from the pandyan kingdom even doubted his ascetic status, due to the content of the poem Mananul. According to legends, Tirutakka Thevar held a scorching hot iron rod in his bare palms in order to prove his purity and celibacy. This factor could have caused Tirutakka Thevar to compose a minor literary work titled Nariviruttam, where the Jain poet focused on particular ethical standards by depicting the instances from the activities of a fox to prove his purity and celibacy again. Some historians even concludes that Thiruthakka Thevar took this as a platform to showcase his talent as a poet.

Today most grammarians quote Civaka Cintamani as of undoubted authority. Tirutakkatevar introduced a novel meter in poetry called the viruttam meter, which was based on Tamil folk songs and poetry. Poets of the later periods, namely Kambar (Kampar) and Sekkizhar (Cekkilar) utilised the viruttam meter in their composition and versification as this new meter was more effective in expressing a range of human emotions and feelings.Even today many believe Kambar have modelled Civaka Cintamani by using Thirutthkka ThEvar’s style in his famous work “Kamba Ramayanam”.

The Sample Work of  THIRUTAKKA THEVAR
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கடவுள் வாழ்த்து
சித்தர் வணக்கம்

மூவா முதலா உலகம் ஒரு மூன்றும் ஏத்தத்
தாவாத இன்பம் தலை ஆயது தன்னின் எய்தி
ஓவாது நின்ற குணத்து ஒள் நிதிச் செல்வன் என்ப
தேவாதி தேவன் அவன் சேவடி சேர்தும் அன்றே. 1

அருகர் வணக்கம்

செம்பொன் வரை மேல் பசும் பொன் எழுத்து இட்டதே போல்அம் பொன் பிதிர்வின் மறு ஆயிரத்து எட்டு அணிந்துவெம்பும் சுடரின் சுடரும் திருமூர்த்தி விண்ணோர்அம் பொன் முடி மேல் அடித்தாமரை சென்னி வைப்பாம். 2

மாண்பமைந்த குழுவினருக்கு வணக்கம்

பல் மாண் குணங்கட்கு இடனாய்ப் பகை நண்பொடு இல்லான்தொல் மாண்பு அமைந்த புனை நல்லறம் துன்னி நின்ற சொல் மாண்பு அமைந்த குழுவின் சரண் சென்று தொக்க நல் மாண்பு பெற்றேன் இது நாட்டுதல் மாண்பு பெற்றேன். 3

அவை அடக்கம்

கற்பால் உமிழ்ந்த மணியும் கழுவாது விட்டால்
நற்பால் அழியும் நகை வெண்மதி போல் நிறைந்த
சொற்பால் உமிழ்ந்த மறுவும் மதியால் கழூஉவிப்
பொற்பா இழைத்துக் கொளல்பாலர் புலமை மிக்கார். 4

முந்நீர்ப் பிறந்த பவழத்தொடு சங்கும் முத்தும்
அந் நீர் உவர்க்கும் எனின் யார் அவை நீக்குகிற்பார்
இந் நீர என் சொல் பழுது ஆயினும் கொள்ப அன்றே
பொய்ந் நீர அல்லாப் பொருளால் விண் புகுதும் என்பார். 5

பதிகம்

மீன் ஏறு உயர்த்த கொடி வேந்தனை வென்ற பொற்பில்
ஆனேறு அனையான் உளன் சீவகசாமி என்பான்
வான் ஏற நீண்ட புகழான் சரிதம் தன்னைத்
தேன் ஊற நின்று தெருண்டார் அவை செப்பல் உற்றேன். 6

கோடாத செங்கோல் குளிர் வெண்குடைக் கோதை வெள்வேல் ஓடாத தானை உருமுக் குரல் ஓடை யானை வாடாத வென்றி மிகு சச்சந்தன் என்ப மன்னன்
வீடாத கற்பின் அவன் தேவி விசயை என்பாள். 7

சேந்து ஒத்து அலர்ந்த செழுந்தாமரை அன்ன வாள் கண்
பூந்தொத்து அலர்ந்த பசும் பொன் கொடி அன்ன பொற்பின் ஏந்து ஒத்து அலர்ந்த முலையின் அமிர்து அன்ன சாயல் வேந்தற்கு அமுதாய் விளையாடுதற்கு ஏது வாமே. 8

கல்லார் மணிப் பூண் அவன் காமம் கனைந்து கன்றிச்
சொல்லாறு கேளான் நனி சூழ்ச்சியில் தோற்ற வாறும்
புல்லார் புகலப் பொறி மஞ்ஞையில் தேவி போகிச்
செல் ஆறு இழுக்கிச் சுடுகாடு அவள் சேர்ந்த வாறும், 9

நாள் உற்று நம்பி பிறந்தான் திசை பத்தும் நந்தத்
தோள் உற்று ஓர் தெய்வம் துணையாய்த் துயர் தீர்த்த வாறும் கோள் உற்ற கோன் போல் அவன் கொண்டு வளர்த்த வாறும் வாள் உற்ற கண்ணாள் மகன் வாழ்க என நோற்ற வாறும், 10

நெஞ்சம் புணையாக் கலை மாக் கடல் நீந்தி ஆங்கே
வஞ்சம் மறவர் நிரை வள்ளல் விடுத்த வாறும்
விஞ்சைக்கு இறைவன் மகள் வீணையில் தோற்ற வாறும் நஞ்சு உற்ற காம நனி நாகரில் துய்த்த வாறும், 11

முந்நீர்ப் படு சங்கு அலற முரசு ஆர்ப்ப மூதூர்ச்
செந்நீர்க் கடியின் விழவாட்டினுள் தேங்கொள் சுண்ணம்
மைந்நீர் நெடுங்கண் இரு மங்கையர் தம்முள் மாறாய்
இந்நீர்ப் படியேம் இவை தோற்றனம் என்ற வாறும், 12

சுண்ணம் உடைந்து சுரமஞ்சரி சோர்ந்து தோழி
வண்ணம் நெடுங் கண் குண மாலையை வைது மாறிப்
புண் மேல் புடையில் புகைந்து ஆண் உரு யாதும் நோக்காள் கண் நோக்கு உடைந்து கடிமாடம் அடைந்த வாறும், 13

பொன் துஞ்சு மார்பன் புனல் ஆட்டிடைப் புன்கண் எய்தி
நின்று எஞ்சுகின்ற ஞமலிக்கு அமிர்து ஈந்த வாறும்
அன்றைப் பகலே குண மாலையை அச்சுறுத்த
வென்றிக் களிற்றை விரிதார் அவன் வென்ற வாறும், 14

The PLOT
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A king by the name of Caccantan loses himself in sexual enjoyment with his queen and inadvertently gives control of his kingdom to his corrupt minister Kattiyankaran. Kattiyankaran attacks Caccantan, and before the king dies he sends his now pregnant wife away on a flying peacock machine. Exiled in a cremation ground, she gives birth to Civakan, the titular character. Civakan grows up in a merchant’s home and becomes the epitome of a Jain hero. He precedes through a number of adventures, marrying numerous women over the course of these events and all the while carrying on an affair with a dancing girl. Eventually, Civakan returns to take vengeance on Kattiyankaran, winning back the throne. He then marries his eighth and final wife, a personification of omniscience. Soon after he becomes weary of worldly life and, after meeting with Mahavira, he renounces the world. The book concludes that all the worldly pleasures Jivaka enjoyed was nothing but illusions distracting him from the path of spiritual salvation.

The Work
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The work contains 3147 tetrastichs and is divided into 13 sections called illambakams

• Namagal Ilambagam contains 408 verses detailing the story prior to the birth of the hero, Jivakan. It also details his birth; rescue from forest by a merchant Chitty when he was young; his mother fleeing from the assassin who murdered his husband, the king.

• Kovindiyar Ilambagam relates to the exploits of young Jivakan; his bravery detailed when he attacks the gang of freebooters who loot the city; his getting married to Kovindeyar, the daughter of a citizen in the city named Pasukavalam who gets impressed by his bravery. The section has 84 stanzas.

• Kandarvatatteyar Illambagam is derived from the celebrated musician, Tatteyar whose skill on Veena, a South Indian string instrument was almost unrivalled. She was resolute not to marry anyone until her challenge is surpassed. Jivaka won the competition and gained him the coveted prize to marry her. The events are accounted in 358 stanzas in this section.

• Gundmaleyar Ilambagam contains 415 stanzas and presents two young women namely Gunamelai and Churamanjiri of high family contended for their superiority in possessing scented powders. The identical scents were difficult to differentiate and when Jivagan did it, Gunamelai agreed to marry him. Sudarshana Jakshadeva, who got transformed to a dog due to a sin is restored to his former form by Jivaga. Chirumanji is rescued by Jivaga from an elephant, which was about to attack her.

• Pathumeiyar Ilambagam narrates the travel of Jivaga to foreign lands in 246 verses. Jivaga saves Pathumai when she was bitten by a serpent while collecting flowers. Her father, Pallavam marries her to Jivaga as a sign of gratitude.

• Kemasariyar Ilambagam contains 145 verses and it describes the visit of Jivaga to Kshemadesam where he performs austerities that gains him admiration from the king. The king bestows his daughter, Kshema Sundari in marriage.

• Kanagamaleyar Ilambagam depicts the hero in a place called Susandesam where the king suspends on a high mark, promising to give his daughter in marriage to the person who succeeds in displacing the mark with an arrow. Jivaga wins the competition and gets married to the king’s daughter namely Chisanti. The heroics is depicted in 30 stanzas.

• Kimaleyar Ilambagam has 107 stanzas, where Jivaga proceeds to Nanaadu where he meets his mother in Tandakarenyam and salutes her. When he returns to the city, a merchant, who gets wealthy on account of Jivaga bestows his daughter Vimalei in marriage.

• In the ninth ilambagam, Jivaga gets married to Suramanjari, who once vowed not to marry anyone during the perfume episode.

• Manamagal Ilambagam contains 358 stanzas and narrates the victory of Jivaga in marrying the daughter of his maternal uncle, the king of Videkam. Jivaga wins the competition of hitting the target with arrow and his fame spreads across. The assassin who killed Jivaga’s father and now became a king suspected Jivaga to be the original heir of his kingdom. He plans to seize him and put him to death, but Jivaga wins the battle and ascends the throne of his ancestors.

• Purmagal Illambagam contains 51 stanzas that narrates the conquest of Jivaga of the dominions of his father’s assassin. The country was called Emangadesam.

• Ilakaneiyar Illambagam contains 221 verses describing the nuptials of Jivaga and his maternal uncle’s daughter, Illakanei.

• Mutti Illambagam is the final portion of the epic that depicts the religious acts of Jivaga and his wives, the partition of his dominions to his sons, and the denunciation of all secular pursuits by himself and his devoted females

In short , the Epic narrates the martial adventures of the hero(SIvakan (சீவகன்) ) and the social pictures of the age are depicted in the epic. Sivaka the hero, married eight girls and composed one chapter (இலம்பகம்) of his experiences about each one of them. Hence it is referred to as the ‘marriage reference book’. At the end, the hero became a Jain monk !..

A Great Piece of work from THIRUTHAKKA THEVAR…..

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Posted on June 17, 2013, in THIRUTHAKKA THEVAR & “TAMIL KAMASUTRA-CIVAKA and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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