She narrated the poem in Tamil first before explaining its meaning in English. But what if the elephant itself walks into the field to eat? It would eat much lesser than it would trample with its foot. The poem dates between the first century BC to the third century AD. If an elephant is fed with rice harvested from the fields, even a small strip of land will feed him for days. But when the elephant enters the fields to forage, more rice is trampled upon than eaten.
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It is a treatise on kingship: what a king should be, how he should act, how he should treat his subjects and how he should show his generosity. The Purananuru is one of the eight books in the secular anthology of Sangam literature. The secular anthology is entirely unique in Indian literature, which nearly all religious texts during this era. The Purananuru contains poems of varying lengths in the akavalmeter. More than poets wrote the poems. It is not known when or who collected these poems into these anthologies.
The Purananuruis a source of information on the political and social history of prehistoric Tamil Nadu. There is information on the various rulers who ruled the Tamil country before and during the Sangam era. Anthology:- Among the eight Sangam anthologies,Purananuru and Pathitrupathuare concerned with life outside family - kings, wars, greatness, generosity, ethics and philosophy.
While Pathitrupathu is limited to the glory of Cherakings in verses,Purananuru contains an assortment of themes in three hundred ninety seven poems. Of the original poems, two have been lost, and some poems miss several lines. Nature of Purananuru:- There are poems in Purananuru including the invocation poem. Poems and are lost and some of the poems exist only in fragment. Of the poets who wrote these poems, there are men and women, kings and paupers.
The oldest book of annotations found sofar has annotations and commentary on the first poems. The commentator Nachinarkiniyaar, of the eleventh — twelfth century Tamil Nadu, has written a complete commentatry on all the poems. Authors:- It is not known exactly how many authors wrote the poems in Purananuru.
There are different names found from the colophons. However some of these could denote the same author. For example, Mangudi Kizhaar and Mangudi Maruthanaar could denote the same person. We don't know. Some of the authors of the poems, such as Kapilar and Nakkirar, have also written poems that are part of other anthologies. Some of the names of the authors, such as Irumpitarthalaiyaar and Kookaikozhiyaar, seem to be nicknames based on words from the poems rather than proper names.
This suggests that those who compiled this anthology must have made up these names as the authors' names must have been lost when these poems were collected. As its name suggests,Purananuru poems deal with the puram external or objective concepts of life such as war, politics, wealth, as well as aspects of every-day living. Some of the poems are in the form of elegiesin tribute to a fallen hero.
These poems exhibit out pourings of affection and emotions. Purananuru principally revolves around three themes - theking and his powers over the environment, power of women's purity, namely karpu chastity , and the system of caste, which is not too different from the current system prevalent among Tamil society. There are also a few poems in Purananuru, which are classified asattruppatais. Attruppatai poems read like travelogues in which poets who were returning with gifts, received from a king, encourage other poets to do the same by describing the glory of the king and his country.
This gives an opportunity to the poet, among other topics, to describe in great detail the natural beauty, fertility, and resources of the territory that has to be traversed to reach the palace of the patron. Structure:- There seems to be some definite structure to the order of the poems in Purananuru. The poems at the beginning of the book deal with thethree major kings Chola,Chera and Pandya of ancient Tamil Nadu. The middle portion is on the lesser kings and the Velir chieftains, who were feudatories of these three major kingdoms, with a short intervening section poems - of didactic poems.
The final portion deals with the general scenery of war and the effect of warfare. Landscapes:- Just as the akam subjective poems are classified into seven thinaisor lands capes based on the mood of the poem, the Tamil prosodical tradition mentioned in the ancient Tamil grammatical treatise Tolkappiyam also classifies puram objective poems into seventhinais based on the subject of the poems.
These arevetchi,when the king provokes war by attacking and stealing the cattle of his enemy;vanchi,when the king invades the enemy territory;uzhingai,when theking lays a siege of the enemy's fortress;thumbai,when the two armies meet on a battle field;vaakai,when the king is victorious;paataan,when the poet praises the king on his victory; andkanchi,when the poet sings on the fragility of human life. The Purananuru does not, however, follow this system. The colophons accompanying each poem name a total of eleven thinais.
From the subject matter of the poems they accompany, each can be said to represent the following themes:. The last two themes are traditionally associated with akam poetry. In Purananuru, they occur in the context of the familiar puram landscape of warfare. Thus songs 83, 84 and 85 are classified to belong to the kaikkilaithinai, which denotes unrequited love, and describe a noble woman's love for King Cholan Poravai Kopperunarkilli.
Similarly, songs to are classified as perunthinai or perunkilai thinai, which denotes unsuitable love, and deal with King Pekan's abandonment of his wife. Pothuviyalis described in commentaries as a general thinai used for poems that cannot be classified in any other manner but, in the context of Purananuru, is used almost exclusively for didactic verse and elegies or laments for dead heroes.
Tolkappiyam does not mention several of Purananuru's poetic meters and grammatical structure, which make it at least as old as Tolkappiyam if not more. Some of the meters in Purananuru are Archaic. Also,Tolkappiyam's oozhinai theme does not occur in Purananuru, its role being filled to some extent by the nochchi theme, whilst other themes, described as having a particular function in Tolkappiyam,are utilised differently by Purananuru. The thinais for 44 poems have been lostdue to the deterioration of the palm-leaf manuscripts.
The poems are further classified into thurais. Athuraidenotes the locale of the poem giving the situation under which it was written. Some of these are parisil thurai when the poet reminds the king or patron of the reward that he promised to him,kalitrutanilai in which the hero dies with the elephant he killed in battle, and so on. Some of the poems are too damaged in the manuscripts to determine theirthurais.
It is not known whether the authors of the poems made these classifications. It is more likely that those who collected the anthology applied these classifications. Poem was not assigned any classification, for reasons unknown. Jump to. Sections of this page. Accessibility Help.
Email or Phone Password Forgot account? Sign Up. Log In. Forgot account? Not Now. Recent Post by Page. Subject matter:- As its name suggests,Purananuru poems deal with the puram external or objective concepts of life such as war, politics, wealth, as well as aspects of every-day living.
Read the ancient Tamil poem that Nirmala Sitharaman quoted on tax policy
It is a treatise on kingship: what a king should be, how he should act, how he should treat his subjects and how he should show his generosity. The Purananuru is one of the eight books in the secular anthology of Sangam literature. The secular anthology is entirely unique in Indian literature, which nearly all religious texts during this era. The Purananuru contains poems of varying lengths in the akavalmeter. More than poets wrote the poems. It is not known when or who collected these poems into these anthologies. The Purananuruis a source of information on the political and social history of prehistoric Tamil Nadu.
The Four Hundred Songs of War and Wisdom
Add to Cart. Two prominent translators present the first complete English-language edition of one of India's greatest works of classical literature: the Purananuru. This anthology of four hundred poems by more than poets between the first and third centuries CE in old Tamil—the literary language of ancient Tamilnadu—was composed before Aryan influence had penetrated the south. It is thus a unique testament to pre-Aryan India.
What is a life without children? – Purananuru 188