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Thiruvalluvar

  • 17 Jan 2022
  • 3 min read

Why in News

The Prime Minister of India paid tributes to the Tamil poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar on Thiruvalluvar Day.

  • In the present time, the is usually observed either on 15th or 16th January in Tamil Nadu and is a part of Pongal celebrations.

Key Points

  • About:
    • Thiruvalluvar, also called Valluvar, was a Tamil poet-saint.
    • The period when he lived is debated, as is his religious identity.
      • He is believed to have lived between the 3rd-4th century or 8th-9th century.
      • He is thought to be linked to Jainism. However, Hindus have also claimed that Thiruvalluvar belonged to hinduism.
    • Dravidian groups also count him as a saint, as he dismissed the caste system.
    • He had contributed the Tirukkural or ‘Kural’ to the Sangam literature.
    • Tirukkural is comprised of 133 sections of 10 couplets each is divided into three books:
      • Aram (virtue),
      • Porul (government and society), and
      • Kamam (love).
    • The Tirukkural has been compared to the great books of the world’s major religions.

Sangam Literature

  • The word ‘Sangam’ is the Tamil form of the Sanskrit word Sangha which means a group of persons or an association.
  • The Tamil Sangam was an academy of poets who flourished in three different periods and in different places under the patronage of the Pandyan kings.
  • It was compiled during the 3rd century BC to 3rd century CE & was composed in poetic format around themes of love and war.
  • According to the Tamil legends, there were three Sangams (Academy of Tamil poets) held in the ancient South India popularly called Muchchangam.
    • The First Sangam, is believed to be held at Madurai, attended by gods and legendary sages. No literary work of this Sangam is available.
    • The Second Sangam was held at Kapadapuram, only Tolkappiyam survives from this.
    • The Third Sangam was also held at Madurai. A few of these Tamil literary works have survived and are a useful sources to reconstruct the history of the Sangam period.
  • The Sangam literature which was largely consolidated from the third Sangam, throws information on conditions of life of people around the beginning of the Christian era.
    • It deals with secular matters relating to the public and social activities like government, war charity, trade, worship, agriculture, etc.
    • Sangam literature consists of the earliest Tamil works (such as the Tolkappiyam), the ten poems (Pattupattu), the eight anthologies (Ettutogai) and the eighteen minor works (Padinenkilkanakku) and the three epics.

Source: PIB

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