THE BOOK OF VANCI

THE BOOK OF VANCI

 

 

 Background of Tamil Literature :

It Should be a matter of pride for Indians that Tamil is one of the most celebrated and lofted ancient languages. That is still successfully enjoying its heyday in terms of its spoken . It is written form that neatly preserves its oral and literary tradition. The cult of Tamil literature is so ancient and widespread that scholars have so far been able to secure only a small portion of those archival texts, while the rest are considered to be completely lost to us. The Tamil literary tradition is nearly more than two and a half thousand years old.

*** GOOD NEWS*** GOOD NEWS*** GOOD NEWS***

***  All the notes or questions answers of the following contents will be available on my YouTube channel absolutely free of cost.

[NOTE : Please go to playlist section on my YouTube Channel, there you will find  English Honours 1st Sem . Here, all notes are available]

YouTube ChannelBROJEN DAS ENGLISH

Channel Link:https:https:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNKlfaEvnfTW-V-aqVrO7Jw

 

INDIAN CLASSICAL LITERATURE

 

VYASA:

  1. MAHABHARATA MARKS-10
  2. THE TEMPTATION OF KARNA MARKS-10
  3. THE TEMPTATION OF KARNA MARKS-05

 

SUDRAKA:

 

  1. MRICHHAKATIKA MARKS-02
  2. MRICHHAKATIKA MARKS-05
  3. MRICHHAKATIKA MARKS-10

 

 

BANBHATTA:

 

  1. KADAMBARI MARKS-10

 

KALIDASA :

  1. ABHIJYANAMSHAKUNTALAM MARKS-02
  2. ABHIJYANAMSHAKUNTALAM MARKS-05
  3. ABHIJYANAMSHAKUNTALAM MARKS-10

 

ILANGO ADIGAL :

  1. THE BOOK OF VANCI MARKS-02
  2. THE BOOK OF VANCI MARKS-05

 

EUROPEAN CLASSICAL LITERATURE

 

HOMER : THE ILIAD MARKS-10

SOPHOCLES : OEDIPUS THE KING MARKS-10

OVID : METAMORPHOSIS BOOK-III , BOOK-IV, BOOK-VI— MARKS- 02, 05 & 10

PLAUTUS : THE POT OF GOLD MARKS-02

                    THE POT OF GOLD MARKS-05

CHANNEL NAME : BROJEN DAS ENGLISH

YOUTUBE CHANNEL LINK :https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNKlfaEvnfTW-V-aqVrO7Jw

 

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It is around 600BCE when the Sangam period in Tamil literature seems to have begun. The name has been derived from the three successive Buddhist Sangams, or poetic assemblies that practised the cult of literature. Chronologically this Sangam period can be divided into three phases among which only the works of the last phase. It is located in the city of Madurai are available to us. The period of this phase though cannot be precisely confirmed by the scholars. That could be from around from 2nd Century BC to 2th Century AD . It contains many great epics in Tamil literature.

In terms of its treatment of theme and style of writing of the following period or the post-Sangam period could be considered as a transition time . Hindu cultures were getting mixed with Buddhist values and rituals and also newly emerging Jain traditions. Even Sanskrit ornamentation can be seen coexisting with Tamil Sangam style of construction and grammar.

Historically the Tamil country during this entire time was mainly reined by three different powerful kingdoms namely Chozha, Chera and Pantiya; all were enormously famous for their international trade and patronizing of art, literature and culture. Apart from maintaining a healthy relationship with ancient Greece and Rome they had pretty well bonding with the contemporary North Indian Kings. Their names and deeds are inscribed in the Ashoka Pillars (273-232 BCE). Even the ruler of Kalinga, Kharavela had also got their names mentioned in his Hatigumpha inscriptions in around 150 BCE.

Under the vast impact and prolonged ruling period of these three royal dynasties they have been time and again mentioned with honour, dignity and legendary role in many poems in Sangam Literature. Silapathikaram or Cilappatikaram of which The Book of Vanci is an essential part is one among the five greatest Tamil epics . It effortlessly connects all the three kingdoms.

The Chola kingdom was set up by the bank of river Kaveri and was centered on two ancient cities namely Urayur (at present known as Tiruchirapalli) and Kaveripattinam (at present known as Poompuhar). The later city hosting an ancient port was the gateway for the Chola state to communicate with almost the entire south-east Asia and also parts of Europe and Africa. Karikala Chola, an early Chola king, according to Cilappatikaram has been associated with a legendary victory over entire India up to the Himalaya.

The Pantya kingdom was based on the small port town in Korkai at the
the southernmost part of India and later on it moved to the city of Maturai (at present known as Madurai). In Cilappatikaram, this is the city that brings in the crisis in the life of the central character, Kannaki as well as for the city itself. Again it is that very crisis which leads to the third part of the epic, namely The Book of Vanci and causes emergence of Kannaki as Goddess Pattini. The kingdom of Pantya was well connected to ancient Greece and Rome; both Megasthenes and Ptolemy have left myriads of references of this dynasty in their works.

The Chera kingdom plays a major part in the epic of Cilappatikaram. Its author Ilanko Atikal himself is the young prince of this dynasty. And his elder brother King Senguttuvan is portrayed as the central figure in The Book of Vanci. Moreover, other Chera kings had also their names mentioned in many Sangam poems. Historically the territory of this kingdom was the western part of the south Indian coastline . That known as Malabar Coast. They also used to run some ancient ports on the shore of the Arabian Sea and had well-developed trading with Arab, Africa and other ancient European countries.

THE BOOK OF VANCI

Summary: The Book of Vanci is the third and final part of the main Tamil epic Cilappatikaram. It is the story of Kovalan and Kannaki  that is portrayed in this epic . According to the flow of action and chain of events, the entire epic of total 5270 lines is divided into three parts. Unlike other popular ancient epics here we do not find any character of the royal family to play the central role.

Instead the entire story pivots around two characters that are very much like a common person in terms of their behaviour, desire, mistakes, financial crisis, the error of judgments and all. Kovalan is the son of a wealthy sea merchant in Puhar (Poompuhar), and Kannaki is his wife, the daughter of Manayakam, yet another wealthy sea captain in the same city. Based on the events in their married and conjugal life the divisions of Kandam are as follow,

Puharkandam: This section contains a total of 10 cantos and describes the early period of Kovalan and Kannaki’s married life. It is seen that soon after starting their happy married journey in the city of Puhar Kovalan is attracted towards courtesan named Madhavi and eventually starts living with her. Though he left Kannaki to live on her own, she never disregards him .  Thus, She maintains the duties associated with a traditional Hindu Indian wife.

On the other hand Chitravati, the mother of Madhavi continuously usurped money and wealth from Kannaki lying her that Kovalan had asked for the same. Finally, when Kovalan comes to know about this treachery. He immediately realised his blunder and left Madhavi. But by that time all the wealth in the house of Kannaki was already drained out. Being reluctant to borrow money from parents or in-laws Kovalan then migrated to Maturai with Kannaki and started living in the outskirts of the city to start a new life with a fresh economic setup.

Maduraikandam: In continuation to the earlier part of the story this phase starts with the life of Kovalan and Kannaki in Maturai or Madurai. This episode consists of 13 cantos and relates to the history of Pantya dynasty. This part of the epic is also famously known as The Story of an Anklet. Here we see the greatness in the character of Kannaki. She forgives her husband’s previous eloping with Madhavi . She helps Kovalan with her gold anklet to sell it out . After getting money, he can start up a new business to run the family. Her dutiful conduct as an ideal Indian wife is worth praising.

But not always does a responsible wife get what she deserves. Kovalan is eventually trapped by the king’s goldsmith. He was presented to the court as a thief who has stolen the queen’s anklet . It was coincidentally identical to that of Kannaki’s. The king makes no proper investigation and immediately orders for Kovalan’s execution. However, the real thief was not captured, and an innocent person lost his life by the miscarriage of justice. At this Kannaki was severely shattered . She went to the king’s court . she proved that the anklet recovered from Kovalan was having rubies inside it , unlike that of the queen’s which had pearl inside it.

Immediately after realizing the massive misjudgment unknowingly committed by him, the king died .His queen too followed the same path. During such chaos, Kannaki pulled out her left breast from her own body and threw it cursing that the city of Maturai be destroyed by fire leaving the Brahmins, righteous women and children untouched. The anger and bereavement of Kannaki did not reduce and she was finally taken to Heaven near a hill in Chera kingdom in the far west.

Vancikandam: This third part of the epic is better known by the name of The Book of Vanci . It deals with the emergence of Kannaki as the goddess of chastity, as Pattini after her death. The Chera king Senguttuvan  played the major role in bestowing upon her the honour of a deity. It consists of a total of 7 cantos.

Even after cursing the disaster in Madurai Kannaki’s wrath was not pacified . Because there was no positive end to her bereavement. And after pulling out her left breast from her own body there was a radical decay in her health. Then at the advice of the guardian Goddess of Madurai, she started her journey towards the west. Then, she reached a hill which was in the Chera kingdom.

She sustained for fourteen days by starving there. In the end, Indra arrived to her with Kovalan in his chariot and took her to heaven with a promise that from now onwards she would be worshipped in earth as the Goddess of chastity.

The hill dwellers in Chera kingdom saw her when she was alive . They compared her to Valli, the wife of God Murugan because of her fair beauty. But her bereavement and thus losing of one breast was also noticed by them . They listened to her story and empathised with her. Later with an enormous procession, they approached the great Chera king Senkuttuvan. They informed him every detail of Kannaki. They had also requested the king to initiate the cult of worshipping a Goddess. By the impression of Kannaki as they so far did not have any.

In this context the author has presented a marvellous volley of gifts . The city brought for the king according to their capacity, thus presenting a successful picture of the lifestyle and sense of luxury of the contemporary society.

The Chera king Senguttuvan came to know about her story . He decided to dedicate a temple and an idol in her name. To create that idol he expressed his wish to carve it on a holy stone brought from the Himalayas. The mighty king then launched his massive army . Then, he smashed all the north kingdoms that came in the way of his journey to the Himalayas. In this context again a grand style of description of the army and its preparation is worth mentioning.

The name ‘Vaņci’ signifies a flowering plant. Its flowers were used to make garlands . The soldiers were wearing while advancing in battle . we see a messenger from King Satkarni to come to him with an offer.

Even many renowned kings of northern India had also surrendered to him. However, they first opposed and had previously insulted the power of Senkuttuvan. Later, they were turned to the dust by his mighty army this time. His acquiring the holy stone from the Himalayas also signifies his establishing. Dharma in those kingdoms where anarchy had started taking the upper hand.

The king’s triumphant return to Vanci has also been portrayed with great precision. Emphasis on chivalry in ancient south India is prominent in the scene . There wives of the soldiers are seen to feel proud of the scars. Their husbands had  in their bodies after the battle. Finally with the stone brought on the crowns of the northern kings. He got the idol of Kannaki as the Goddess Pattini carved .Then, he installed in the temple following proper Vedic rites. Indra’s promise turned into real practice.

THE BOOK OF VANCI

                                   **********************B.D***********************

*** GOOD NEWS*** GOOD NEWS*** GOOD NEWS***

***  All the notes or questions answers of the following contents will be available on my YouTube channel absolutely free of cost.

[NOTE : Please go to playlist section on my YouTube Channel, there you will find  English Honours 1st Sem . Here, all notes are available]

YouTube ChannelBROJEN DAS ENGLISH

Channel Link:https:https:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNKlfaEvnfTW-V-aqVrO7Jw

 

INDIAN CLASSICAL LITERATURE

 

VYASA:

  1. MAHABHARATA MARKS-10
  2. THE TEMPTATION OF KARNA MARKS-10
  3. THE TEMPTATION OF KARNA MARKS-05

 

SUDRAKA:

 

  1. MRICHHAKATIKA MARKS-02
  2. MRICHHAKATIKA MARKS-05
  3. MRICHHAKATIKA MARKS-10

 

 

BANBHATTA:

 

  1. KADAMBARI MARKS-10

 

KALIDASA :

  1. ABHIJYANAMSHAKUNTALAM MARKS-02
  2. ABHIJYANAMSHAKUNTALAM MARKS-05
  3. ABHIJYANAMSHAKUNTALAM MARKS-10

 

ILANGO ADIGAL :

  1. THE BOOK OF VANCI MARKS-02
  2. THE BOOK OF VANCI MARKS-05

 

EUROPEAN CLASSICAL LITERATURE

 

HOMER : THE ILIAD MARKS-10

SOPHOCLES : OEDIPUS THE KING MARKS-10

OVID : METAMORPHOSIS BOOK-III , BOOK-IV, BOOK-VI— MARKS- 02, 05 & 10

PLAUTUS : THE POT OF GOLD MARKS-02

                    THE POT OF GOLD MARKS-05

CHANNEL NAME : BROJEN DAS ENGLISH

YOUTUBE CHANNEL LINK :https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNKlfaEvnfTW-V-aqVrO7Jw

 

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**** THE POT OF GOLD QUESTIONS ANSWERS MARKS-5 LINK :https://www.brojendasenglish.com/the-pot-of-gold-question-answers-mark-5/

https://www.brojendasenglish.com/the-book-of-vanci/

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