Sunday, April 30, 2006

King RajaRaja Cholan and his magnificent splendour

Some magnificent pictures of the great King and his work!!!

King RajaRaja Cholan

Spectacular view of King RajaRaja Cholan's magnificence

Another spectacular view of the temple

Entrance to the temple - The Gopuram

More to come, until then...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Hidden Treasures in Tamil!!!

"To read between the lines" is a famous phrase used in English literature to infer something different from what is plainly indicated or to detect the real meaning as distinguished from the apparent meaning. Tamil has a wealth of such songs, information written by various poets saints etc., which I refer to as hidden treasures. These treasures have to be unearthed meticulously to get the great meaning inside them. Now lets jump into the treasure hunt. From this post onwards, I will try to post the text in Tamil too, to help the Tamil readers. The transliteration in English will continue as before. Well, now on to the first one,

"Kaanamal Konaamal Kandu Kodu
Aadu Kaana Pogudhu Paar Pogudhu Paar"
- Edaikaadar

On the first look, the meaning looks as if it means something with charity. We could derive plainly like this

Kaanamal - Without seeing
Konaamal - Without deviating, Without showing any grimace
Kandu - Seeing, Address
Kodu - Give
Aadu - Goat, Dance, Bathe
Kaana - On seeing
Pogudhu - Goes away
Paar - See

So clubbing it together, it might seem to be Without seeing the differences, Without deviating or showing grimace, address the needs of the poor and give them what you have and dance in merry then you will see your worries go away, go away

Nice try!!! However the actual meaning is not it. It is a song that relates to the way to worshipping the Sun at different times during the day. History tells that Sun has been worshipped as a God in many civilisations and being worshipped even to this day. Many slogams in Sanskrit especially the Aaditya Hridhayam is in praise of the Sun God. Well let's get back to the song, it means

"At dawn, the sun should be worshipped without seeing (Kaanamal), that is before He rises.
In the noon, without deviating (Konaamal), that is when He is right above your head.
And in the evening, seeing (Kandu), that is during sunset.
Then give (Kodu) your offerings.
Then Bathe (Aadu).
Then Realise and see the God in yourself (Kaana).
Then you can see your sins going way (Pogudhu Paar Pogudhu Paar)"

The next one might sound rather unacceptable in then normal case, but it is not actually, it conveys a greater meaning inside. Let's look at it now, it states three things that considered as purity or rather purest of the pure (Parisutham).

"Yechil Panniyadhu Parisutham
Erandhavanin Poravai Parisutham

Vaandhi Panniyadhu Parisutham"
- Anonymous

Paraphrasing the above song, would mean the following,

  • Yechil (Saliva) Panniyadhu (being done) - The substance that has been mouthed by someone is purest of the pure
  • Erandhanvan (Dead person) Porvai (Blanket) - The blanket covering a dead person is purest of the pure
  • Vaandhi (Vomit) - The substance that has been vomitted is purest of the pure.

Totally unacceptable ain't it? However digging the treasure in the song, would reveal that it refers to three things that are considered sacred even though they have the above mentioned characteristics. The things are Milk, Silk and Honey.

Milk is normally milked from the cow after the calf has drunk some milk, not sure if this is the practice nowadays, but still in most places in India this is the practice. So the calf has mouthed the milk. But the milk that is obtained after the calf has mouthed it is considered sacred and even used in Poojas and when worshipping the Gods.

Silk is the blanket of the dead silk worm in its pupae stage. Silk is obtained by boiling the cocoon in hotwater and the silk threads being separated later by some process. So the blanket, of the silk worm that dies within the cocoon, is considered sacred and used to adorn the God statues and used by people in auspicious occasions.

Honey, is the what the bee regurgitates after processing the nectar from flowers with some enzyme in its mouth. Honey has medicinal value and used for sacred, auspicious event and as an offering to the Gods.

Very interesting and valuable treasure isn't it? There are many such treasure to be found in the upcoming blogs.

More to come, until then...