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 Pathirikai Tamil E-News Media

தமிழ் பத்திரிகை

Pathirikai E-News Media - Chief Editor: D. Venethethan, chiefeditor@pathirikai.com, Mob 57598919, WhatsApp 58628919

In this Edition

1. Dr AS Peruman, Chairman of MTCCT

2. Visite de Mme Prisca Thevenot

3. Obituary – Mr Retnon Pyneeandee

4. Purattaassi Maasam

5.Universal Humanism In Tirukkural

6. Madurai Meenakshi Temple

Pathirikai September 2021 - Overview

In this edition, Pathirikai has the pleasure to introduce to you Dr Adi Sankara Peruman, the new chairman of The Mauritius Tamil Cultural Centre Trust. He gives us his personal evaluation of the state of Tamil Arts and Culture currently in Mauritius, and tells us how the MTCCT will strive ‘to preserve and promote Tamil Arts and Culture’, as one of its major objectives. He explains to us the support that the MTCCT, as a key player in Mauritius, will provide to our kovils and associations. 

We also introduce Mrs Prisca Thevenot, spokesperson of the French President, Emmanuel Macron. Born from Mauritian parents, she visits her relatives as often as possible. On her last visit, she met the Prime Minister, The President and Heads of major socio-cultural Tamil organisations in Mauritius.

In view of the coming Purattaassi maasam, a holy month for the Tamils of Mauritius, Thiru Gopalsamy Mauree, explains to us the significance of this holy month, and tells us how the Govinden Thiruvizha is traditionally celebrated.

Prof Vridachalempillay Subramaniam, a Tamil Scholar and author of various publication on Tamil scripts and Tamil history explains to us how  Universal Humanism is embedded within each of the 1330 ‘Kurals’ written by Saint Tiruvalluvar. This paper was presented at 

The International Tirukkural Conference held at The Liverpool Hope University in June 2018.

Interview of Dr Adi Sankara Peruman OSK
Chairman of The Mauritius Tamil Cultural Centre Trust

Extract of Interview

Dr Adi Sankara Peruman is holder of a PhD in Music, a Master in Music at the Madras University and a BA Annamalai University. He is currently an Associate Prof at MGI and also the Head of School of Performing Art at MGI. He was elevated to the rank of OSK by the Government of Mauritius.

He has been very active in bringing his contribution to the Tamil arts and culture. He has recently been called upon by Hon Avinash Teeluck, Minister of Arts and Cultural Heritage to take in charge the MTCCT.

He believes that many are being done to preserve the Tamil traditions and culture in Mauritius. He is of opinion that our culture and tradition such as food, dress among others are very lively in Mauritius, for example you have tamil recipes such as Kanji and ‘7 Caris’ in restaurants. We have to further promote these cultures through publications from the MTCCT.

MTCCT is doing a lot to promote the tamil culture and traditions. MTCCT practices an open-door policy with every person and institutions and it will forward for other collaborations with other institutions local and abroad. One of his first project was to come up with a video on the occasion of Aadi – ‘Aadi Nannaal’. MTCCT is adapting to the current sanitary conditions to come up with electronic publication for better and safer sharing. MTCCT has to transmit this legacy to our youngsters. They have received good feedbacks of these recent publications. MTCCT is grateful to two of its professional artists Rajesh Murday and Mayeven Murden, who have been very instrumental in the success of these publications and in the promotion of Veena and Mirdangham. MTCCT does not want to restrict itself to one place. In that context it is moving around the island through setting up of antennas remotely.

MTCCT  is assisting Kovils by promoting Tirumurai, by encouraging and training them to sing the whole Tirumurai instead to just an extract so that our bhaktens could benefits from the full Tirumurai.

MTTCT will collaborate with other institutions such as MTTF and TSU, so as not to duplicate our roles.

MTCCT will collaborate with Pathirikai in sharing information to the public for achieving its mission efficiently.

Visite de Mme Prisca Thevenot a Maurice

Source: GIS, August 2021 
Née des parent Mauriciennes at d'origine tamoule, Prisca Thevenot été en visite a Maurice récemment. 

Le porte-parole du mouvement présidentiel d’Emmanuel Macron  a rendu une visite de courtoisie au Premier ministre Hon. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, au bâtiment du Trésor à Port Louis.

Mme Prisca Thevenot est née en 1985, à Strasbourg en France, des parents mauriciens. Depuis juin 2021, elle a été élue au conseil régional d’île de France où elle travaille essentiellement sur le sujet de la lutte contre les discriminations : accès au logement, éducation, culture, et prise en compte des particularités de chacun notamment les français avec une double nationalité. De plus, depuis fin 2020, elle a été nommée porte-parole du mouvement présidentiel et est en charge de communiquer, d’expliquer les actions gouvernementales, et aussi les positions du mouvement.

Elle a aussi rendu une visite de courtoisie a La Tamil League ou elle a rencontrée certains membres des organisations socio-culturelles a Maurice. Voici quelques clichés de sa visite.

OBITUARY – MR RETNON PYNEEANDEE

Extract of Hansard

Mr Retnon Pyneeandee, former Member of Parliament, passed away on 31 July last, at the age

of 88. He was born on 02 October 1932 in Rose Hill. He served as Field Officer at the Family Planning

Division of the Ministry of Health and was concurrently awarded a Post Graduate Diploma in Population Growth Studies, by Cardiff University in 1978.

In July 1987, Mr Pyneeandee participated in the General Election in Constituency No. 8, Quartier Militaire/Moka, under the banner of the MSM-Labour Party Alliance and he was elected as Third Member. On 04 January 1988, he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary, a post which he held until 06 August 1991.

He also contested the 1991 General Election in the same Constituency under the banner of the MSM/MMM Alliance and was again elected to the then Legislative Assembly. On 02 October 1991, he became Parliamentary Private Secretary, a post he held until 16 November 1995. Later, in the same year, Mr Pyneeandee retired from active politics.

Thereafter, he served as Chairperson of the Lois Lagesse Trust Fund.


Purattaassi Maasam

By Gopalsamy Pillay Mauree
THIRUMAAL VIRATHAM AND GOVINDEN THIRUVIZHA.

The worship of Lord Vishnu is practiced since long time ago, pallaandu pallaandu kordigal , many thousand years ago. The Sangam literature 200 B.C to 500 A.D mentions MAYON ,the dark God who creates, sustains and destroys the universe .He was the Paramporul propounded by Alvars {Vaisnavar saints} having as remnants 6 great temples in India and four outside India. In the beginning of time ,Lord Vishnu conquered the love of Shiva by his humility in touching his feet in reverence {Kartigai Teebam} and even at the time of king Daksha {LordVishnu devotee},father of Sati, his murthi would not move without the presence of a shivalingum. God has always been One. The bond between Shiva and Vishnu was so real that Lord Vishnu got his name GOVINDA through this relationship.

In the month of Purattaassi Lord Govinda visits the universe and grants relief to all his devotees. This is why a strict fasting takes place during the month and only surrender through fasting can attract the attention of the Lord and aims at salvation as He is Kaliyugavarada ,the God prevailing presence in Kaliyugam.

On every Saturday Govinda poosei is held in every home or social hall or mandiram and kovil for the celebration. Bajanams ,dancing around Kambaservai ,the multi- branched lamp ,chanting the names of Lord Vishnu.Lord Narayana ,Lord Rama,Lord Krishna,distributing mahaprasadam,doing prayers with Tulasi leaves and reading and explaining Bagavatham,Ramayanam,Bagavatgitai, teaching of the Alvars{Thirumaal devotees}in the Prabandam and the Thirumojhi of Aandal,devotee of Lord Krishna,all contribute to enhance a deep spiritual wellbeing of devotees . In Mauritius the atmosphere has got a special particular mood and Govinden celebrations are unique and more solemnized than any places in the world. People look smarter in their multicoloured sarees ,paavadai,veshti and traditional garments.

The seven dishes meal with rice and payasam and appalam will be made available throughout the saturday nights,free of costs to all people who would simply break their fasts or any body who would lavish on such foods. Devotees would throng buses or their own cars to visit places of worship contributing own song deliveries and Bharathanaatyam,Kummi, Kolattam,Gopiyar dancings filled the place with bliss and joy. At midnight the prayers are vibrant as the calling is directed to Lord Narashimma ,Lord Visnu Avatar who anihilated the demon Hranyakashippu upon the prayers of his only son Bhaktapralad. This midnight moment is very propitious to address prayers to the Lord for assistanceagainst harming evils. A reminder—Lord Krishna was born at mid-night.

At dawn,the muhurtham time,from 4 a.m to 5.30 a.m thanksgiving prayers are addressed to Lord Narayana and before the rising rays of the sun appear, all devotees offer closing prayers and ceremonies to the Lord while immersing the Kambaseivei in water to let go all the flames. Similar to Lord Krishna gopis the devotees return home in a most gleeful mood. These moments consolidate the bond of unity among the people. The unicity of God is established in a united nation.

The relationship of Lord Vishnu with Lord Shiva is depicted in the episode of Lord Balaji who is venerated as Lord Visnu during the month of purattaassi . The perpetual promise that God reincarnates from time to time to salvage humanity from the claws of devilish people. Lord Balaji appeared on earth to search for Mahalaxmi in the service of humanity. The Lord meditated in an ant-hill without food. Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma would be incomplete without Lord Vishnu. So they came on earth in the form of a cow and cowherd.

The cowherd{brahma} sold the cow{shiva} to the owner of the land where the anthill was situated so that Shiva would pour milk on the ant hill and feed the starving Balaji --this is the love of Shiva for Vishnu. We should avail of this example to love one another. This is godliness. Lord Balaji became Lord Srinivasa and Lord Venkatesa and He is still living with Sri Laxmi{Padmavati} in the name of GOVINDA at Tirupathi to give blessings to all his devotees.

However , we note sometimes prayers have become faked around ; evil ways by men have set in, people are after money only .People are even doing harm to fellow country men by misusing their positions in places of worship and a lot of showoff during religious ceremonies and the loving Lord has turned himself into a stone waiting for people to change themselves into good , the prayers are still going on to effect this change.

The Padmanabhaswamy Temple,in Trivandrum , Kerala ,has become a world recognition as the richest temple in the world as an enormous treasury has been discovered in one of its basements . The rich bounty might have belonged to the maharajas\ kings in ancient times as they were the only custodians of these temples. The Padmanabhaswamy temple is famous by the presence of Alvars namely Sri Namalvar ,who flourished during the eighth century. He described Lord Thirumal as Govinda because He gave shelter to Lord Shiva who was threatened by the demon Bhasmasura who received his boon from Shiva himself but who wanted to test his evil actions on Shiva at first. Lord Visnu got the name Govinda ,the Protecter of the Universe. Yet it was Kanyakumari ,Parvathi incarnate ,who destroyed Bhasmasura.

In the same country of Kerala, the Guruvaayoorappan Kovil is famous for stopping the TipuSultan,a muslim emperor from invading South India; when the Sultan wanted to enter the temple he was stopped by a voice and he was immobilised on the spot. Although a muslim he finally encouraged people to go to this Guruvayurappan Temple,and offer prayers to Lord Visnu.He himself gave a lot of donations to the temple.

Guruvayoorappan, Lord Krishna is considered as a Protector of faith and is called GOVINDA. Actually there has been recorded another instance when Lord Krishna as Lord Visnu incarnate got the appellation GOVINDEN. Lord Krishna and his communities of farmers were nomadic and they came up to Govardana mountains when a cyclone burst out and threatened the lives of the farmers and gopis. Lord Krishna as Gopala nandana reassured them and lifted the mountain and protected the cows ,all animals and farmers during seven nights and seven days. The tempest lasted from Sunday to Saturday. Lord Krishna taught severe penance and austerity during that week.He had to fast for the whole week as he was lifting the mountain with his finger.The whole community was taught to consume only a morsel of vegetable and rice per day and keep the rest for later days.

It is symbolic of the meal of seven curries which are served on Govinden Saturday nights. Annadaanam is the dharmam- human sacred duty in this Kaliyugam as ordained in our scriptures. Annadaanam is a visible sign of love for one another. This is righteousness as called by the Divine. On Saturday the tempest stopped and the community could now eat with leisure while dancing and singing with their beloved Lord Krishna who got the new name GOVINDEN, the protector of cows , from all devotees.

That Saturday celebrations looked similar to the Govinden celebrations nowadays. We note also that the seven curry meal is a balanced menu for good health. Tulasi leaves soaked in water is a medicine against gastric ailments. The tradition of celebrating Govinden on Saturdays in the month of Purattaassi is related to the custom of offerring maavilakku to Lord Perumaal\Thirumaal on Saturdays. Maavilakku is made from riceflour mixed with cow ghee and when this mixture is burned ,a kind of smoke rises which is beneficial to health ,both physical and spiritual.

On that day foods ,cakes,fruits are offered to the Lord as prasadam amidst prayers and bhajanams. This custom has been retained by our forefathers and their families who came from the regions of Thirupathi who were Tamils or Telegus who could live in harmony as devotees of Lord Visnu and his incarnates. All Tamils remember very well that Lord Krishna protected their fore families when together with Rukmini he anhilated the demon Narakasuran and transformed him into a good soul .This is still celebrated in the morning of Teebavali. Kavi Subramania Bharathiar,the great patriot writer for the Indian Independance has written and sung a lot on Lord Krishna in his Kannen paattu. A must study for all tamil lovers.

During the month of Purattaassi , specially in the morning and up to noon on Saturdays special prayers are devoted to Lord Saniswaran to ease the effects of the law of Karma.

It is a known fact that Lord Sani prayed and his prayers were addressed to Lord Krishna .He was a devotee of LordKrishna ,which prompts us to say that Lord Krishna existed before the creation of the universe.


AUM GOVINDA NAMA SAGIRTANAM GOVINDA ! GOVINDA !

Gopalsamy Pillay Mauree

gparama03@yahoo.com

September 2021


UNIVERSAL HUMANISM IN TIRUKKURAL

PROFESSOR VRIDHACHALEMPILLAY SUBRAMANIAM

UNESCO FELLOW AND TRANSLATOR


Introduction

  1. Like Bible in every Christian home, like Bhagwat Gita in every devout Hindu’s home, like the Holy Quran in every devout Muslim’s home, the book of Tirukkural forms an inseparable part of every Tamilian’s home all over the world. This Paper analyzes the intrinsic merit of the religion of Universal Humanism that is embedded within each of the 1330 ‘Kurals’ written by Saint Tiruvalluvar nearly three thousand years ago, which has survived the test of time, despite many odds.
  2. What characterizes these 1330 couplets is the basic structure of three major sections namely “Araththuppaal”, “PoruTpaal ” and “ Kamaththuppaal”. For a better appreciation of the contents of each of these three major sections one may as well classify them in to the following broad thematic classification:
2.1 “Ethics of Good Living”
2.2 “Ethics of Good Governance”
2.3 “Intricacies of Sensual Pleasures between lovers”.

Within these three broad spectra of human experience, Tiruvalluvar deals extensively between choices available for every man/woman in choosing personal codes of conduct, the judicious cannons of righteous governance to be adopted by Kings and Leaders in charge of a country or a society at large and thirdly the right kind of sensual pleasures that a Man and Woman can extend to each other in their carnal behaviour, which naturally leads on to the right kind of progenies of value to the Society. In brief, there is a “Holistic appraisal” of human behavior in all the three levels of an individual’s family life within the four walls of a home, social obligations in life within the broader society at large and finally physical intimacy wrapping up sensuality in life. Thus, the wholeness of life is covered in all respects from beginning to end.


3. Valluvar was not a religious or social preacher and hence he does not lay down prescriptive rules and regulations to follow. Instead his approach is one of plain description of basic rationale approximating to scientific, pragmatic “Humanism” of universal significance. One of the main reasons why his 1330 Kural verses has survived these several centuries of waves of many changes in human civilization is because of that universal attitude of perfect humanism. He resembles Shakespeare in English literature or Omar Khayyam in Persian sufism or Confucius among the Chinese Philosophers. He transcends time and space, belonging to the era of past, present and future because his theme is eternally valid for all peoples of the world at large: the eternally vital culture of Universal Humanism.

4. We may consider Tirukkural as an epic artifact of grand concepts dealing with moral and social/ political treatise of all times. Within it we may discover the personal, the social and the intimately dual / carnal (sensual) feelings of mutual enjoyment. To put it in other words, there is a cud for every reader of Tirukkural, to nip it, to bite it to chew it and enjoy the cud of it whenever time permits to mentally get back to chew the contents at one’s own leisure. In that respect it is also modern in structure and style: to visit, and revisit at one’s own space, time and convenience. This aspect of its brevity, chapter - wise arrangement of structured contents, classification and sub-titles indication system add to the beauty of its everlasting universal literary merits. Hence it is a classic par excellence of the class of Homer’s “ Iliad ” and Virgil’s “ Aeneid”. It is quite enormous and stands equal to “ Paradise Lost” but without the injunction of a clash between National Armies, individual valour and heroics or with an intended objective of “ justifying the actions of GOD to Man.” Come to think of it, it justifies the actions of men and women to Mankind.

That sums up the greatness of the Universal Humanism carefully pre-selected by Saint Valluvar.


5. At a very different level of “Perception” and appreciation it may also lend itself to most modern concepts of righteous and effective principles of Management and Corporate profitability in social transactions between various social groups and levels among

“ stakeholders”. In a nutshell, Tirukkural fits in admirably in meeting all the Cannons of “ Classical”, “ Modern” and “Post – Modern ” values of human nature.


6. The presenter of this Paper takes legitimate but humble privilege in delving deep in to the Universal Values embedded in this great work of Art, Polity and Sensuality, through several examples presented in their original and through translations in a major language of global importance, namely English. It is very comforting to know that Tirukkural has been already translated in to many major languages of the world. Yet there is a desideratum to have it translated in to all spoken and written languages of mankind. Such translations that are mostly available in the Web Space as well as print medium provide all the necessary support to implement our appeal to the larger World Body namely the United Nations through its wonderful cultural arm of UNESCO to recognize it as a fitting piece of GLOBAL LITERATURE of Universal Humanism so as to enable immediate and automatic TRANSLATIONS of Tirukkural in all the major Languages of the World at large, especially so at the present age of instantaneous computer translation processes. Finally let us sum up putting forth a strong case through the unanimous recommendation for recognition of “ Tirukkural ” as a sound and dexterously woven ethically founded “Valuable Document of the United Nations” in the larger interest of creating a perfect understanding between all the member Nations of the U N, appreciating and following sound principles of Universal Humanism.



Another publication from the same author, available on Amazon.

“DECIPHERING THE INDUS SCRIPT: PROBLEMS AND PERSPECTIVES”

ABSTRACT

The famous Indian epigraphist and an expert on deciphering the script on the numerous seals of Mohenjodaro and Harappa, Iravatham Mahadevan, is no more with us. After leaving his monumental research work of coding, classifying all the Indus Seals, Sub seals and other artefacts for the future generation of research scholars, Dr. Mahadevan left us. This book is intended to be a humble obituary tribute to the scholarly contribution during the five decades of research and involvement.

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MADURAI MEENAKSHI TEMPLE


By  Namitha Chandran 

Meenakshi Amman Temple (Other names : Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple or Tiru-aalavaai or Meenakshi Amman Kovil) is a historic Hindu temple located in the southern bank of river Vaigai in the temple city of MaduraiTamil NaduIndia. It is dedicated to Parvati who is known as Meenakshi and her consort, Shiva, named here as Sundareswarar. The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2500 year old city of Madurai. The complex houses 14 gateway towers called gopurams, ranging from 45-50m in height, the tallest being the southern tower, 51.9 metres (170 ft) high, and two golden sculptured vimana, the shrine over sanctum of the main deities. The temple is a significant symbol for the Tamil people, and has been mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature, though the present structure is built during 1623 to 1655 AD. The temple attracts 15,000 visitors a day, around 25,000 during Fridays and gets an annual revenue of sixty million . There is an estimated 33,000 sculptures in the temple and it was in the list of top 30 nominees of the "New Seven Wonders of the World". The annual 10 day Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival celebrated during April–May attracts 1 million visitors.


HISTORY

The Meenakshi temple is believed to be founded by Indra (king of Devas, celestial deities) while he was on a pilgrimage to cure his misdeeds. He felt his burden taken off nearing the swayambu lingam(self formed lingam, a representation of Shiva used for worship in temples) of Madurai. He ascribed this miracle to the lingam and constructed the temple and enshrined the lingam there. Indra worshipped Shiva, who caused golden lotuses to appear in the near-by pool. Tamil literature speaks about the temple for the last couple of millennia. Thirugnanasambandar, the famous Hindu saint of Saiva philosophy, mentioned this temple as early as the 7th century, and described the deity as Aalavai Iraivan.

Kulasekara Pandian, the Grandfather of Queen Meenakshi constructed a small temple with a Lingam. Around 300 B.C Meenakshi reigned the Pandyan Kingdom, and ordered the massive construction of this Temple. The Temple was further expanded by  the newer generations of Pandyan kings by clearing the forest of Cadamba trees (Kadambakaadu). The temple was partially destroyed by the Muslim Invader Malik Kafur in 1310 A.D.  A restoration project was undertaken by first Nayak king of Madurai, Viswanatha Nayak (1559–1600) under the supervision of Ariyanatha Mudaliar, the prime minister of the Nayak Dynasty and the founder of the Poligar System. The original design by Vishwanatha Nayak in 1560 was substantially expanded to the current structure during the reign of Thirumalai Nayak(1623–55). He took considerable interest in erecting many complexes inside the temple. His major contributions are the Vasantha Mandapam for celebrating vasanthorsavam (spring festival) and Kilikoodu Mandapam (corridor of parrots). The corridors of the temple tank and Meenakshi Nayakar Mandapam were built by Rani Mangammal.


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