தமிழ்த் தேசியம்

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 


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Home > Tamils - a Trans State Nation > Tamil Language & Literature > Thamizh Literature Through the Ages - Preface > 1. Introduction > 2. The Sangam (Academy) period. > 3. The Didactic Period > 4. The Era of the Thamizh Epics > 5. The Era of Devotional Period  > 6. Epics of the ChOzha Period > 7. Grammar and Lexicography > 8. Philosophical Literary Period > 9. Thamizh purANangaL and Minor Poems > 10. IslAmic and Christian Contributions to Thamizh Literature > 11. Modern Period > 12. Present Situation  > 13. Conclusion

Thamizh Literature Through the Ages
தமிழ் இலக்கியம் - தொன்று தொட்டு இன்று வரை

Dr. C.R. Krishnamurti,
Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia,
Vancouver, B.C. Canada

[see also நீதிநெறி நூல்கள் at Project Madurai]

3. The Didactic Period (நீதிநூல் காலம்)

3.1. Introduction

Following the Thamizh Sangam period, gradual changes took place in the social, political and cultural lives of Thamizhs. The fortunes of the PAndya (பான்டிய)  Kings, who were the chief patrons of the academies began to wane. The supremacy of the other kings, ChOzha (சோழ) , ChEra (சேர) and Pallava (பல்லவா) , alternated from time to time with help from Kings and generals of border areas resulting in constant squabbles and fights with one another.

With the advent of Jainism and Buddhism, there were strifes among the three major religious groups each vying with the others for domination. The rulers from North India and the Deccan directly or indirectly supported the different religious factions. From the change of literary focus in subsequent years one may surmise that the Thamizh people should have realized that over indulgence in materialistic pleasures and heroism alone was not sufficient for their mental satisfaction.. The need for the tightening the moral standards of people was felt. The poets focussed on moral issues (the do's and dont's in daily life) in their compositions. This then was the prelude to the emergence of the moral era in the literary development of Thamizh.

3.2. Literary Works in the post Sangam period. ( PathineN kIz kaNakku, பதினெண் கீழ் கணக்கு)

"A group of 18 poetic works written during ~ 100 - 500 A.D. were compiled under the heading, PathineN kIz kaNakku (பதினெண் கீழ் கணக்கு) which constituted the bottom 18 of the anthology series. These poems differ from those in the top series (Ettuthokai and Pattupaattu) both in style and content. In general, the songs are relatively short in length, meter (சீர்) as well as in the number of lines (அடிகல்) . The lines were set in the veNpA (வெண்பா) style as different from the akaval (அகவல்) style of the top 18 series. More significant is the fact that, of the 18 in the series, only six were on akam topic (அகம்), one on puRam (புறம்) and the remaining 11 on moral issues (அறம்) . The constituents of the PathineN kIz kNakku are :

1. nAlatiyAr (நாலடியார்),
2. nAnmaNik katigai (நான்மணிக்கடிகை),
3. innA nARpathu (இன்னா நாற்பது),
4. iniyavai nARpathu (இனியவை நாற்பது),
5. kAr nARpathu (கார் நாற்பது)
6. kaLavzhi nARpathu (களவழி நாற்பது),
7. ainthiNai aimpathu (ஐந்திணை ஐம்பது),
8. thiNai mozhi aimpathu (திணைமொழி ஐம்பது),
9. ainthiNai ezhupathu (ஐந்திணை எழுபது),
10.thiNaimAlai nURRu aimpathu (திணைமாலை நூற்றைம்பது),
11.ThirukkuRaL (திருக்குறள்),
12.thiri katukam (திரிகடுகம்),
13.AchArak kOvai (ஆசாரக்கோவை),
14.pazhamozhi nAnURu (பழமொழி நானூறு),
15.siRu pancha mUlam (சிறு பஞ்ச மூலம்),
16.muthumozhik kAnchi (முதுமொழிக் காஞ்சி),
17.ElAthi (ஏலாதி),
18.kainnilai (கைந்நிலை)

These are outlined in the following poem for easy remembrance:

நாலடி நான் மணி நானாற்பது ஐந்திணைமுப்
பால்கடுகங் கோவை பழமொழி - மாமூலம்
இன்னிலைசொல் காஞ்சியுடன் ஏலாதி என்பவே
கைந்நிலைய வாம்கீழ்க்கணக்கு.


3.2.1. ThirukkuRaL (திருக்குறள்)

ThirukkuRaL (திருக்குறள்) written by ThiruvaLLuvar (திருவள்ளுவர்) is the most well known and highly regarded work in the series of PathineN kIz kaNakku. While all other Sangam works varied in their degree of popularity among Thamizh people, ThirukkuRaL proved to be the cream of Thamizh literature cherished both by the elite and the common man alike. The complete work of 1330 couplets is available. It has been described by Pope as "the perfect and most elaborate work of one master"

The couplets in ThirukkuRaL contain two lines, the first usually of four feet and the second three. As usual the date of the author and personal accounts have been, and still are, the subjects of controversy among experts in the field. Based on the fact that ThirukkuRaL is referred to in MaNi mEkalai, a later literary classic, Zvelebil (1995) has concluded that the date should be c. 500 -550 A.D.

The par excellence of ThirukkuRaL is usually attributed to four of its major unique features. The first pertains to the ability of the poet to concentrate certain profound thoughts in two short lines of the veNpA (வெண்பா)  type. It is said that the poet has pierced the atom and has packed within it the seven seas of the world (அணுவைத் துளைத்து எழு கடலைப்புகுத்தி) . The second trait refers to the maxims proposed on various aspects of human endeavours ranging from righteousness through worldly pursuits to love. It is no wonder that any talk by the present day Thamizh scholars on any topic is studded with quotes from ThirukkuRaL. The third attribute of ThirukkuRaL lies in its secular and cosmopolitan view of righteousness which would be acceptable to mankind as a whole, transcending linguistic, religious and national boundaries.

At a time when the order of the day was an elaboration of the akam theme, ThirukkuRaL was not only different in its literary style but also in its emphasis on the badly needed set of moral codes for human conduct. He was a social reformist and stood firmly against prostitution. He condemned the consumption of alcohol and meat eating. The final significance of ThirukkuRaL is that it opens up with an invocation wherein the poet pays homage first to the Absolute Being and not to any particular deity or godhead and secondly to all learned people.

அகர முதல எழுத்தெல்லாம் ஆதி
பகவன் முதற்றே உலகு.

A as its first of letters, every speech maintains;
The Primal Deity is first through all the world's domains. (No.1)

கற்றதனாலாய பயனென்கொல் வாலறிவன்
நற்றாள் தொழாரெனின்.

No fruit have men of all their studied lore
Save they the Purely Wise One's feet adore (No.2)

The couplets bear testimony to the catholic perception of the author. The vEdhAntic philosophy of the oneness of the Supreme expressed in these lines and the lack of sectarian dogmas of individual religions have appealed to righteous people in India and elsewhere. The translation of ThirukkuRaL into English by Pope in the nineteenth century is an example of its secular nature. In a world divided and torn on the basis of religion and language, the Thamizh people can be proud to have in their ancient literature a work which has the moral dictum to alleviate the social and ethical dilemmas facing the world today.

It is significant that ThirukkuRaL has been composed in pure Thamizh and the very few words introduced from Sanskrit have been made to assume a Thamizh garb (Pope). The need to compress the meter into two lines has necessitated the omission of the finite verbs. Thus the use of ellipsis (தொகை)  became indispensable and characteristic of the couplets.

ThirukkuRaL is divided into three parts (பால்):

a) virtues (அறத்துப்பால்), 38 chapters, (அதிகாரம்), 380 couplets;
b) worldliness (பொருட்பால்),70 chapters, 700 couplets;
c) love (காமத்துப்பால்), 25 chapters, 250 couplets).

The highest priority given to virtue in ThirukkuRaL could be appreciated by the fact that it is the topic of discussion in the first of the three part series (அறத்துப்பால்). This priority has never been seen before in any literary work in Thamizh upto that time. The second chapter on the excellence of rain, (வான் சிறப்பு) depicts the agricultural background of the author and the dependence of rural folks on rain for their prosperity. Immediately following the greatness of the ascetics, ThiruvaLLuvar emphasizes family and personal virtues. Collectively these verses represent the didactic motivation of the author in undertaking this timely and laborious work.

In the second part on worldliness, (பொருட்பால்) the importance of learning and the duties of the state and the individual has been discussed.

கற்க கசடறக் கற்பவை கற்றபின்
நிற்க அதற்குத் தக.

So learn that you may full and faultless learning gain
Then in obedience meet to lessons learnt remain (No. 391)

The need to be able to get along well with others, even if one is highly educated, is stressed in the following couplets:

உலகத்தோடு ஒட்டவொழுகல்பல கற்றும்
கல்லார் அறிவிலாதார்.

Who know not with the world in harmony to dwell
May many things have learned, but nothing well (No. 140)

The idealism and convictions of ThiruvaLLuvar are brought to light in his placement of chastity in the chapter on worldliness, (பொருட்பால்) rather than in the section on love, (காமத்துப்பால்)

பெண்ணிற் பெருந்தக்க யாவுள கற்பென்னும்
திண்மை யுண்டாகப் பெறின்.

If woman might of chastity retain,
What choicer treasure doth the world contain (No. 54)

In the third chapter on love, (காமத்துப்பால்)ThiruvaLLuvar has placed the seven sections on furtive love (களவியல்) ahead of wedded love (கற்பியல்) in keeping with the traditions of the time. The following verses in the chapter on furtive love describe the recognition of the signs of love in a maiden by the hero:

யானோக்குங் காலை நிலனோக்கு நோக்காக்கால்
தானோக்கி மெல்ல நகும்.

She looked and looking drooped her head
Ofn springing shoot of love 'tis water shed. (No. 1094)

குறிக்கொண்டு நோக்காமை யல்லால் ஒருகண்
சிறக்கணித்தாள் போல நகும்.

She seemed to see me not; but yet the maid
Her love, by smiling side-long glance, betrayed. (No. 1095)

The couplets in the chapter on furtive love and their placement prior to wedded love support the contention that the furtive love was a socially accepted practice. Furtive love culminates in married life in which the commitments and responsibilities of the couple towards each other and towards their families and society at large have been well defined. These verses would be particularly relevant today when genuine commitment between married couples is gradually becoming conspicuous by its absence. One also wonders at what point in history the financial and religious inputs began to creep into the matrimonial relationships in the Thamizh social fabric !

Two subtle points can be noticed whenever the akam, (அகம்) concepts are discussed : a) the phraseology for the description of human emotions is made in a very polished manner and b) ThiruvaLLuvar reiterates his warnings on unchaste behaviour at every opportunity.

பொருட் பொருளார் புன்னலம் தோயார் அருட் பொருள்
ஆயு மறிவி னவர்.

Their worthless charms, whose only weal is wealth of gain,
From touch of these the wise, who seek the wealth of grace, abstain (No. 914)

காலை அரும்பிப் பகலெல்லாம் போதாகி
மாலை மலருமிந் நோய்.

My grief at morn bud, all day an opening flower
Full-blown expands in evening hour. (No. 1227)

தணந்தமை சால வறிவிப்ப போலும்
மணந்தநாள் வீங்கிய தோள்.

These withered arms, desertation's pangs abundantly display,
That swelled with joy on that glad nuptial day. (No. 1233)

Usually classical works on morality tend to lay down strict rules for implementation. Unfortunately in real life situations one is always confronted with gray areas and is lost as to what the correct course of action should be. Recognizing this dilemma, ThiruvaLLuvar has suggested exceptions wherever necessary. For example, telling a lie is not good but one can do so if it is going to be beneficial for the good of all.

வாய்மை எனப்படுவது யாதெனின் யாதொன்றும்
தீமை இலாத சொலல்.

You ask in lips of men what truth may be
Its spech every taint of evil free. (No. 291)

பொய்மையும் வாய்மை யிடத்த புரைதீர்ந்த
நன்மை பயக்கு மெனின்.

Falsehood may take the place of truthful word
If blessing from fault it can afford.(No. 292)

Though the few couplets quoted above cannot do justice to demonstrate ThiruvaLLuvar's poetic skills or his heroic attempts to inculcate strict moral codes into the minds of all sections of society, they can at best give only a glimpse of the precision of his delivery, depth of his convictions and finally his comprehension of human psychology. If one aspect of ThirukkuRaL has to be identified for its universal recognition, it is the lack of theological or religious dogmas in the couplets.

To quote the words of Swift (radhAkrishNan, p.44), "We have enough religion to hate one other but not enough to love one another". It is amazing that ThiruvaLLuvar seemed to be aware of this maxim a thousand years back !

As many as ten scholars have written commentaries on ThirukkuRaL as stated in the following poem:

தருமர் மணக்குடவர் தாமத்தர் நச்சர்
பரிதி பரிமேலழகர் திருமலையார்
மல்லர் பரிப்பெருமாள் காளிங்கர் வள்ளுவர் நூற்கு
எல்லையுரை செய்தர் இவர்.

The commentary of ParimElazhakar, (பரிமேலழகர்) on ThirukkuRaL has been acclaimed to be outstanding for its interpretation of the literary niceties of the couplets and depth of perception of ThiruvaLLuvar's ideologies. Many modern interpretations of ThirukkuRal are now available including KuRaLOvium (குறளோவியம்)  by Dr. M. KaruNAn^ithi (மு.கருணநிதி)

3.2.2. n^AlatiyAr (நாலடியார்)

nAlatiyAr (நாலடியார்)  is another familiar work containing 400 songs in the list of pathineN kIz kaNakku (பதினெண் கீழ் கணக்கு) . As the name implies it is composed of 4 lines in each stanza and deals with moral codes and righteous behaviour. An old song praises its poetic beauty by stating that n^AlatiyAr and ThirukkuRaL are very good in expressing human thoughts just as the twigs of the banyan (ஆல்) and acacia (வேல்) trees are good in maintaining the teeth. (ஆலும் வேலும் பல்லுக்குறுதி, நாலும் இரண்டும் சொல்லுக்குறுதி) .

The didactic messages have been delivered with authority in this work. Written by Jain monks, n^AlatiyAr stressed, among other pieces of ethical behaviour, the transient nature of life and youth. Beginning from the Sangam classics, one cannot help noticing the gradual change in the shift of emphasis from purely subjective (அகம்) topics of love and romance to matters of morality and philosophy in the PathineN kIz kaNakku series.

n^AlatiyAr is unique in the employment of similes (உவமைகள்) which are meant to facilitate the teaching of moral codes using simple examples from daily life. The characteristics of the different types of similes are defined in TholkAppiam. The components of a simile are the message to be conveyed (உவமேயம்) the example (உவமானம்) and an appropriate phrase(s) between them. The whole statement is addressed to a hero who may be invoked for this purpose or to anyone at large. The poem below explains how bad deeds done by one always hover around him even in the next birth (உவமேயம்) just as a calf is capable of finding its mother even if it is let into a big herd of cows (உவமானம்).

பல்லாவுள் உய்த்து விடினும் குழக்கன்று
வல்லதாம் தாய்நாடிக் கொள்ளலைத்- தொல்லைப்
பழவினையும் அன்ன தகைத்தேதற் செய்த
கிழவனை நாடிக்கொளற்கு.

To stress the importance of virtuous deeds before it becomes too late, the poet compares the transient nature of the body to the disappearance of dew drops on the tip of the grass.

புன்னுனிமேல் நீர்போல் நிலையாமை என்றெண்ணி
இன்னினியே செய்க அறவினை - இன்னினியே
நின்றான், இருந்தான், கிடந்தான் தன் கேளலறச்
சென்றான் எனப்படுதலால்.

That even uneducated people will gradually become wise if they are always in the company of learned people is explained by the analogy of how a mud pot can impart to the water inside it the nice smell of the flowers kept therein.

கல்லாரே ஆயினும் கற்றோரைச் சேர்ந்தொழுகின்
நல்லறிவு நாளும் தலைப்படுவர் - தொல் சிறப்பின்
உண்ணிறப் பாதிரிப்பூச் சேர்தலால் புத்தோடு
தண்ணீர்க்குத் தான்பயந்தாங்கு.

3.2.3. n^AnmaNik katikai (நான்மணிக்கடிகை)

This work contains 100 songs written by ViLambi n^AkanAr (விளம்பி நாகனார்), a Vaishnavaite by birth. Recognizing its clarity and literary merits for imparting moral instructions to youngsters this work is often prescribed in the school texts. The name n^An maNik katikai is derived from the fact that the words are well chosen like rare gems to describe four different ideas in each song. In the song which follows, the theme is about four different groups of people who cannot sleep well at night, namely, the thief, a person in love, the person after money and the miser looking after his money:

கள்வம்என் பார்க்கு துயில் இல்லை, காதலிமாட்டு
உள்ளம்வைப்பார்க்கும் துயில் இல்லை, ஒண்பொருள்
செய்வம்என் பார்க்கும் துயில் இல்லை, அப்பொருள்
காப்பார்க்கும் இல்லை துயில்.

There are four groups of people for whom there is no such thing as their own place: the extremely good and righteous people will be welcome anywhere; extremely bad people will not be allowed to stay in any place; rich people also can go to any place and thrive. The following song conveys this idea:

நல்லார்க்கும் தம்ஊர் என்று ஊர் இல்லை, நன்னெறிச்
செல்வார்க்கும் தம்ஊர் என்று ஊர்இல்லை - அல்லாக்
கடைகட்கும் தம் ஊர் என்று ஊர்இல்லை, தம்கைத்து
உடையார்க்கும் எவ்வூரும் ஊர்.

3.2.4. Other works in PathineN kIz kaNaKKU

Other works in PathineN kIz kaNaKKU

innA nARpathu (இன்னா நாற்பது) is collection of 40 poems written by Kapilar (கபிலர்) describing the most undesirable things one should avoid. Included in this category are: the beauty of a wife without commitment (பந்தம் இல்லாத மனையின் வனப்பு இன்னா) ; the wealth of a miser (வண்மை இலாளர் வனப்பு இன்னா) ; life under a tyrant rule (கொடுங்கோல் மறமன்னர் கீழ் வாழ்தல் இன்னா) ; the beauty of a flower without fragrance (நாற்றம் இலாத மலரின் அழகு இன்னா) .

iniyavai nARpathu (இனியவை நாற்பது)  is a similar group of 40 poems composed by BUtham SErnthanAr (பூதம் சேர்ந்தனார்) outlining the most desirable things in life: learning even at the expense of begging (பிச்சை, புக்காயினும் கற்றல் மிக இனிதே) ; the advice of learned persons (கற்றறிந்தோர் கூறும் கரும்பொருள் இனிதே); children without disease (குழவி பிணியின்றி வாழ்தல் இனிதே) ; noncovetousness of a neighbour's wife (பிறன்மனைப் பின்நோக்காப் பீடு இனிதே).  Together the two works lay out in simple and succinct terms moral codes essential for daily life of the individual and for the society. The emphasis given to education and the responsibilities of each member of the society is to be noted.

thiri katukam (திரி கடுகம்), n^allAthanAr, (நல்லாதனார்) , 100 poems, SiRu pancha mUlam (சிறு பஞ்சமூலம்), MAkkAyan MANAkkan (மாக்காயன் மாணாக்கன்) 100 poems and ElAthi (ஏலாதி),  KaNi mEthAviyAr, (கணிமேதாவியர்) 80 poems. The general style followed in these 3 works is to stress 3, 5 or 6 different maxims respectively in each stanza which would have good effects on human behaviour just as herbs have in various combinations on health.

In Thiri katukam the herb combination compared is a mixture of sukku (சுக்கு), miLaku (மிளகு,  and thippili (திப்பிலி) . The moral in the following poem is that ignorance gives rise to friendliness with illiterates, abuse of the wife and the arrival of undesirble friends:

கல்லார்க்கு இன்னா ஒழுகலும் காழ்க்கொண்ட
இல்லாளைக் கோலால் புடைத்தலும் இல்லம்
சிறியாரைக் கொண்டு புகலும்இம் மூன்றும்
அறியாமையால் வரும் கேடு.

The 3 attributes of a chaste wife are that she is a good friend because of her hospitality, she is a good mother because of her devotion to the household and she is a good wife for bearing good children. The poem is as follows:

நல்லிருந்து ஓம்பலின் நட்டாளாம், வைகலும்
இற்புரம் செய்தலின் ஈன்றதாய், தொல்குடியின்
மக்கட் பெறலின் மனைக்கிழத்தி, இம்மூன்றும்
கற்புடையாள் பூண்ட கடன்.

In siRu pancha mUlam (சிறு பஞ்சமூலம்) the 5 beneficial herbs chosen to represent good things are kandan katthiri (கணடங் கத்திரி) , siRuvzhu thuNai (சிறுவமுதுணை), siRumalli (சிறுமல்லி), perumalli  (பெருமல்லி), and n^erunji (நெருஞ்சி) . The five good maxims referred to in the following poem are: the greatness of forgiveness, the meanness of revenge, preparedness against enemies, avoidance of beggary and living affluently with grace.

பிழைத்த பொறுத்தல் பெருமை, சிறுமை
இழைத்த தீங்கு எண்ணி இருத்தல் - பிழைத்த
பகைகெட வாழ்வதும், பல்பொருளால்f, பல்லார்
நகைகெட வாழ்வதுவும் நன்று.

Another set of unfortunate things which are referred to are: trees which flower but do not bear fruits, uneducated people who never get wise with age, seeds which do not germinate even with proper care and fools who never learn.

பூத்தாலும் காயா மரமுள நன்றறிவார்
மூவாது மூவர்நூல் தேற்றதார் - பாத்தி
புதைத்தாலும் நாறாத வித்து உள, பேதைக்கு
உரைத்தாலும் செல்லாது உணர்வு

The following are as good as nectar: a chaste girl, the humility of the learned, friendly neighbouring countries, benevolent kings under whose reign there are timely rains and loyal assistants.

கற்புடைய பெண் அமிர்து, கற்று அடங்கினான் அமிர்து
நற்புடைய நாடுஅமிர்து - நற்புடைய
மேகமே சேர்கொடி வேந்து அமிர்து, சேவகனும்
ஆகவே செய்யின் அமிர்து.

ElAthi (ஏலாதி),  is the third work in which the efficacy of certain herbs to the body is used as an analogy to emphasize the beneficial effects of the maxims in the poems to human welfare. The herbal mix referred to in ElAthi is made up of Elam (ஏலம்) , ilavankap pattai (இலவங்கப்பட்டை) , nAgakEsaram (நாககேசரம்)  , miLaku (மிளகு) , thippili (தீப்பிலி), and sukku (சுக்கு) . The following is addressed to a maiden (மகடுமுன்னிலை) to state that fame, wealth, integrity in words, boldness, education and philanthropy add beauty to those who follow scriptures.

சென்றபுகழ், செல்வம், மீக்கூற்றம், சேவகம்
நின்றநிலை, கல்வி, வள்ளன்மை - என்றும்
அளிவந்தார் பூங்குழலாய் ஆறும் மறையின்
வழிவந்தார் கண்ணே வனப்பு
(மீக்கூற்றம் சொல்லும் வார்த்தை, அளிவந்தார் பூங்குழலாய் வண்டுகள் பொருந்தும் பூவை அணிந்த பெண்ணே)

AchArak kOvai (ஆசாரக்கோவை) is another member in the series dealing with moral instructions written by PeruvAyin MuLLiyAr (பெருவாயின் முள்ளியார்) , 100 songs. Unlike the first three in the series, AchArak kOvai is more Sanskritized and is reckoned to be written later than the others. The instructions contained are more in the nature of personal rituals than codes of ethics. The following poem states that only those who first bathe, wash their feet and hands and finish their rituals before eating are supposed to have eaten their food while others are considered to have gulped their food like demons.

நீராடிக் கால் கழுவி வாய்பூசி மண்டலம்செய்
துண்டாரே யுண்டா ரெனப்படுவர் அல்லாதார்
உண்டார்போல்f வாய்பூ சிச் செல்வர் அதுவெடுத்துக்
கொண்டர் அரக்கர் குறித்து.

pazhamozhi nAnURu (பழமொழி நானூறு) was written by a Jain, MunRuRai araiyanAr (முன்றுறை அரையனார்) , 400 songs. One of the most characteristic features of Thamizh culture is the use of proverbs (old sayings) both in spoken and in written Thamizh either to illustrate a point or justify an action so that it falls in line with traditional patterns. Composed in the veNpA style (வெண்பா) , the song is addressed to a man  (ஆடுஉமுன்னிலை) or a woman (மகடுஉமுன்னிலை) . By putting a girl in a prison one cannot control her unchaste mind just as one will not able to straighten a dog's tail . This thought is captured in the following Pazhamozhi poem which ends in the proverb that the dog's tail cannot be straightened:

நிறையான் மிகுகலா நேரிழை யாரைச்
சிறையான் அகப்படுத்தல் ஆகா - அறையோ
வருந்த வலிதினின் யாப்பினும் நாய்வால்
திருந்துதல் என்றுமே இல்.

muthumozhik kAnchi (முதுமொழிக்காஞ்சி) is noted for its simple style and forceful message of moral rules. It was written by Mathuraik kUdalAr KizAr (மதுரைக்கூடலார் கிழார்) , 100 songs in groups of 10 poems in each section. All the poems start with the same line but the 10 lines in each section will contain a significant phrase of the moral emphasized. For example, in the following poem, the excellence (சிறந்தன்று) of righteous behaviour and chastity will be found in the second and third lines:

ஆர்கலி உலகத்து மக்கட் கெல்லாம்
ஓதலில் சிறந்தன்று ஒழுக்கம் உடைமை,
காதலில் சிறந்த ன்று கண் அஞ்சப்படுதல்.

The remaining works in the PathineN kIz kaNakku deal with the akam (அகம்) topics following the tradition of the Sangam period. The only exception is kaLavzhi nARpathu (களவழி நாற்பது) which covers puRam (புறம்) topics.

3.3. Conclusion

From the foregoing it could be seen how the trends in Thamizh literature have changed from descriptions of subjective and objective emotions in the Sangam period to the emphasis on moral codes of ethics aimed at improving the life of the individual and the society. In almost all the works of the post Sangam period the importance of education and chastity has been stressed. Whether this trend was deliberately taken by the poets upon themselves to improve the moral standards of people in a positive action or this represents the influence of the strict discipline of the newly emerging religions (Jainism and Buddhism) is not known.

3.4. Bibliography

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GOvindasAmy, M. (1969)கோவிந்தசாமி, மு. தமிழ் இலக்கிய வரலாறு (இலக்கியத் தோற்றம்). பாரி நிலையம், சென்னை. பக். 170.

iLavarasu, S. (1970) சோம. இளவரசு. இருபது நூற்றாண்டுகளில் தமிழ். மணிவாசகர் நூலகம், சிதம்பரம். பக்.170.

MInAtchi sun^tharan, T.P. History of Tamil Literature. aNNAmalai University Publications in linguistics - 3. aNNAmalai University, aNNAmalai n^agar. (1965). pp.211.

MunusAmi, V. (1984) முனுசாமி, வி. உலகப்பொதுமறை திருக்குறள் - உரை விளக்கம். திருமகள் நிலையம், சென்னை 1. பக். 1141.

Pope, G.U. (1995) The sacred Kurral of Thiruvalluva Nayanar. திருவள்ளுவநாயனார் அருளிச்செய்த திருக்குறளf. Asian Educational Services, Madras.

SInicchAmy, T. (1985) சீனிச்சாமி, து. தமிழில் காப்பியக்கொள்கை. தமிழ்ப் பல்கலைக்கழகம், தஞ்சாவூர். பக். 400.

SubramaNian, S.V. and V.VIrAsAmi (ed.) (1981) Cultural Heritage of the Tamils. International Institute of Tamil Studies, Madras. pp. 425.

Sun^thara ShanmukanAr (1970)நாலடியார் நயவுரை. புதுவைப் பைந்தமிழ்ப் பதிப்பகம். புதுச்சேரி . பக். 178.

Thirun^Avukkarasu, K.T. (1975) பதினெண் கீழ்கணக்கு., In: SubramaNian, S.V. and V. VIrAsAmi (ed.)சுப்பிரமணியன்,  ச.வே . & வீராசாமி, தா. வே.. தமிழ் இலக்கியக் கொள்கை - ஓர் அறிமுகம். தொகுதி 1.. உலகத் தமிழாராய்ச்சி நிறுவனம், சென்னை. பக். 67- 90.

VaiyApurip PiLLai, S. (1989) வையாபுரிப் பிள்ளை, எஸ. இலக்கியச் சிந்தனைகள். தமிழ்ப் புத்தகாலயம், சென்னை. பக்.552.

VaiyApurip PiLLai, S. (1957) வையாபுரிப் பிள்ளை. காவிய காலம். தமிழ்ப் புத்தகாலயம், சென்னை.

VaradharAjan, M. (1972) வரதராஜன், மு. தமிழ் இலக்கிய வரலாறு. SAhitya Academy, New Delhi . pp. 376.

Zvelebil, K.V. (1995) Lexicon of Tamil Literature. E.J. Brill, New York. pp.783.


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