Kambar,valluvar,valmiki and Kalki-comparsion continued
  • Whenever I read our Tamil epics I always wondered as if we havent
    given the due respect to the authors.I always felt that if every
    other work in Tamil can be put in one end of a weighing scale and in
    the other end if we put kamba ramayanam, I think it will weigh
    more.I believe that there is no equilant to kambaramayanam in Tamil
    or any other languages.Kambar stands tall among all the tamil
    writers.He is kavi chakravarthy after all.(I include thiruvalluvar
    also,i am sorry)

    Call me partial to kambar.But I believe that we have done a great
    injustice to him.If anybody deserves a statue in kanyakumari its
    kambar.He is defeated in characterization as far as I know only by
    veda vyasa.Kambar has swallowed everybody else in the world.But even
    vyasa is no match for kamba when it comes to beauty of words.Only
    kalidasa can be compared to him.

    There are many sangam songs competing with Kamban on beauty of
    words.But none have written such a mega epic with such beautiful
    words.Valluvar is hailed because of his kural.I accept is as a great
    work.But when I compare it with Kambaramayanam i feel like eating
    grapes after drinking honey.Grapes now look sour compared to
    honey.It beats and defeats everything else.

    Why do we nhail valluvar?Many believe its because of his advises.But
    we hail him only since he presented his advises in beautiful
    words.For example take the kural "Deivam thozhaal Kholuznan thaan
    tholuval peiyena peiyum mazhai".Now there is a tamil
    saying "kanavane kankanda deivam".Both of them say the same thing.So
    whats great about valluvar?

    Its the words he has used.Instead of saying "husband is god" he says
    "Deivam Tholza al"--worshiping god isnt even necessary.only husband
    worship is necessary.See how he lifts pathivratha dharmam up.And he
    adds a finishing touch to it."Peiyena peyum mazhai".Now this is not
    said in "kanavane kankanda devivam" adage.But he adds it and this
    line makes this kural even better.

    Valluvar lifted dry advises to epic heights.Our natural tendency
    when we hear advises is to run away.But valluvar made us read those
    advises eagerly.But I value kamathupal of valluvar more than the
    first two arathupal and porutpal.Again the reason is the beauty used
    by valluvar.I will discuss it in a later mail.

    Now coming to kambar and kalki the similarities between these two
    stories are striking.Both stories were fights to a throne.In both
    stories heroes lost the throne for some time and regained it.In both
    stroies heroes gave willingly the throne to their competitors.In
    both stories heroes were hailed and worshipped.Both stories showed
    how kingdoms can be ruined by females.Lanka was ruined by seetha in
    ramayanam and chola desam by nadhini.

    If I can compare these two epics I will go on endlessly.So let me
    compare them in some aspects alone.(I also will add valmigi,since
    his was the original version).I will compare these 2 authors on how
    they worshipped their heroes.

    I will first show what limitations these authors faced in worshiping
    their heroes.Kalki had to show Rajarajan as losing the throne.But he
    had to show it in such a way that the readers should not feel sad
    that their favorite hero could not become king.So the mastermind of
    kalki converted it into a sacrifice and made readers happy by seeing
    their hero sacrificing his throne to upheld rajadharma.The story
    ended happily.

    Kalki had also to show a heroine.But who is the heroine?In reality
    Rajarajan married many women.But Kalki couldnt show him as a
    womaniser.So he again created a twist.He showed arulmozhi as "eka
    pathini virathan" initially and says that only the fight between
    vanathi and poongulali,which resulted in vanathi swearing that she
    would become the queen.Kalki justifies arulmozhi marrying many women
    on this basis.He also says through vikramakesari that a king should
    marry from all sitrarasars families to avoid politics.

    And kalki uses actions to build the hero image of arulmozhi.He also
    uses words.He hails arulmozhi as "The handsomest person in
    choladeasm,one who was loved by every female in the country..and so
    on".He says that even people who hated arulmozhi started to praise
    him when they saw him.

    If I can find any weaknesses in the hero worship of kalki it would
    be on this basis.Kalki couldnt tolerate his dream hero marrying many
    women and losing the kingdom.So he gave his own twist to the
    story.And he also forgets himself in many places.For instance if we
    can see duel hero tamil movies agni natchathram,vetrivizha etc we
    can see that when two heroes fight with each other nobody will be be
    shown as winning.But if one has to lose it will be due to some other
    reason like giving up voluntarily etc.Our screenplay writers could
    not tolerate as showing karthik losing to prabu or rajini losing to
    karthik etc.

    Similiarly kalki also showed a sword fight between vandiya thevan
    and ponnyin selvan in srilanka.But here kalki faced similiar
    dilemma.Both were heroes.Who should lose the fight?In end he too
    showed them as equals and said that vadiyathevan lost the fight
    since he stared at poongulali.

    Kambar also faced similiar situations.He had to show raman getting
    abused by vali.He handled that in a beautiful way.In the end the
    parama vaishnava of kambar could not write about uthara kanda where
    pregnant seetha is chased away to forest by Rama.So he stops
    Ramayana with pattabeshekam.

    When it comes to hero worship kambar faced another peculiar
    problem.What can he say more about rama?Valmigi has said
    everything.Hundreds of books and songs have praised rama.So what
    better can kambar say about rama?

    So Kambar worshipped Rama in different methods.He worships Rama
    through his enemies.He says that when Ravana fought with Rama,ravana
    admired rama and fought the war.Ravana even wonders "evan narayanan
    thano.." about Rama.

    Similairly when mandothiri abuses Raman in the end those abuses also
    turn out into beautiful verses praising Rama.

    And kambar uses poetic words which werent in valmigis ramayana.For
    example when rama and seetha were about to get married he says that
    many ayodhya citizens went to that marriage.He narrates an incident
    on the way.

    A man and his lover also went to the marriage.On the way they stayed
    near a pond.The male touched a pigeon and said that it is as soft as
    a woman.Hearing it his lover became angry.(oodal) "How do you know
    it?How many women have you touched?" she asks.The lover thinks hard
    and says "I have touched you.Thats how I know".But the girl doesnt
    buy this argument."Then you should have said 'its as soft as
    you'.But why did you say 'as soft as women?'" she asks and fights.

    Valmigi also worships Rama.He startes worshiping Rama even when rama
    was a kid.He says that when vasishta saw Rama for the first time a
    sinful thou
  • Well Sampath, That prompts me to read Kamba Ramayanam. But I am afraid,
    I can't understand that much poetic form of Thamizh (Coz I studied
    Thamizh only upto my 5th std).

    Is there any kamba Ramayanam in Urai nadai form??? Please let me know.

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