Saturday, April 6, 2013

PURANANURU: A critical introduction to the gem of Sangam Literature



தமிழ்ப் பாரம்பரியம்
(Tamil Heritage Trust)
presents
PURANANURU
A critical introduction to the gem of Sangam Literature
by 

Prof C Jambunathan

at 5.30pm on Saturday, April 6th, 2013
at Vinobha Hall, Thakkar Bapa Vidyalaya, T Nagar.

About the topic:

Sangam Literature refers to the Tamil poetry written between 3rd century BCE and 3rd century ACE.
George Hart, Professor Emeritus, University of California, says that Sangam Literature is on par with, or slightly more significant than the best classical literatures of the world, since it is unique, very original and not modelled on any other traditions/genres.  Sangam Literature is broadly classified into Pathinen Melkkanakku (18 books-upper) and Pathinen Kilkkanakku (18 books-lower). The former is further subdivided into Pathuppattu and Ettuthokai, which are 10 long poems by individual poets and 8 anthologies (collection of poems by different poets), respectively.

Purananuru is considered to be the most significant among the 8 anthologies. Though the title is 400 poems, two are missing and the first is an invocation poem to Lord shiva, and this one seems to have been written much later than all the other poems. So actually Purananuru is a collection of 397 poems and several lines are missing from many of these poems. More than 170 poets' names are attributed to these 397 poems/songs.

Several commentators in Tamilnadu, from the ancient times to the modern, have written copious  explanations/interpretations/commentaries.  George Hart, has translated Purananuru into English and that too in the verse form (with the help of his friend).

Several features make PURANANURU, one of the greatest literary works of the world.  A few poems here try to answer almost successfully, the eternal question, "What is the sanction for morality?" (Why should we act rightly and not wrongly?) The answer is given without any refernce to God, Heaven, Hell, Rebirth and so on. The following poem, which deals with the reason for charity, is a good example-

Aay, is no ethical business-man trading in virtue for his own profit,
Thinking what he does in this birth will serve him in his next,
But because before him other noble men
Have followed this right path, his generosity is what it is.

Aay Andiran was one among the seven ancient philanthropist kings (Kadai Ezhu Vallalkal).

A careful and detailed analysis of at least a few poems of PURANANURU will make us revise our ideas about EHICS, drastically.
About the speaker:

The speaker, C. Jambunathan, is currently working as Principal of Vidyaa Vikas College of Education at Tiruchengode in Namakkal district.

Formerly he was a Professor and Principal of Government College of Education, Pudukkottai, from 1975 to 2005. His profession is Teaching of English as a second/foreign language and teaching of philosophy and psychology of education. His varied interests include mathematics, archaeology, Tamil literature- especially Sangam literature.

He has published several articles in The Hindu and most of the Tamil Dailies.

He is the author of 2 books in Tamil, one being a translation of Oliver Goldsmith's, "THE DESERTED VILLAGE" and the other one is about re-conditioning the Indian rivers and providing jobs to 40 crores of our people without much expenditure to the governments.    

RSVP:

A. Annamalai, Gandhi Study Centre - gandhicentre@gmail.com; 94441-83198
Badri Seshadri: Kizhakku-p-padippakam - badri@nhm.in; 98840-66566
S. Kannan - 2498 5836
S. Swaminathan - sswami99@gmail.com; 2467 1501
R. Gopu - writergopu@yahoo.com, 98417-2464
T. Sivasubramanian - siva.durasoft@gmail.com, 98842-94494

2 comments:

  1. தன் கொடை புண்ணியத்திற்கல்ல, சான்றோர் வழிவகுத்தச் செயல் என்ற செய்யுள், வணிகத்தை வஞ்சகமாய் இகழ்கிறது. நாடுதோறும் காலந்தோறும், வணிகம் கேவலம் என்றும், வண்மை வானுயர்ந்த செயல் பிச்சை எடுத்த புலவர்களால் புகழப்பட்டுள்ளது.

    பேராசிரியர் ஜம்புநாதன் உறை எனக்கு புதிய தகவல்களை ஈட்டியது. தெய்வமும் அறமும் பாவபுண்ணிய தத்துவமும் மட்டுமே பண்பின் பிறப்பிடம் அல்ல, சான்றோர் வழியும் மொழியும் பண்புறைக்கும், என்று பல புறநானூறு பாடல்கள் கூறுவதாக அவர் எடுத்துறைத்தார். ஜம்புநாதனின் தமிழும், செய்யுள் விளக்கமும், பற்பல தத்துவங்களை பற்றிய அறிமுகமும் அலசலும் செவிக்கும் மதிக்கும் சுவையூட்டின. எனக்கு இந்த வணிக இகழ்ச்சி மட்டும் நாராசாமாய் தெரிந்தது.

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  2. ஆங்கிலத்தில் பேசுவதை பெருமையாக நினைக்கும் இக்காலத்தில் உங்களை போன்ற இணையதள சேவை மிகவும் அவசியமானது! மேலும் உங்களை போன்றே இலக்கியங்கள் அழியாமல் பாதுகாத்து வரும் http://www.valaitamil.com/literature இணையதள நண்பர்களுக்கு எனது மனமார்ந்த நன்றிகள் !

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