Historicity of The Flood

N.Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Jun 10 22:43:09 UTC 1999

Apart from the Tevaram legends where the town cIkAzi floats
during pralaya times and Shiva plays his veena to save the
world, CilappatikAram and MaNimEkalai have flood legends too.

There is another famous Flood legend (7-8th century CE).
For a good analysis:
D. Shulman, The Tamil flood-myths and the CaGkam legend,
J. of Tamil studies, 14, Dec. 1978, p. 10-31
K. Zvelebil, Lexicon of Tamil literature, E.J. Brill, 1995,
p.108, "[Shulman] finds close connection between Tamil
flood myths and the legends of the birth of Tamil poetry
and culture".

K. Zvelebil, The Smile of Murugan on Tamil literature of
South India, E. J. Brill, 1973, Chapter IV, The CaGkam legend,
The Texts, p. 45-64
p. 47
" According to Nakkirar's account, there were three 'academies'
(talaiccaGkam, iTaiccaGkam, kaTaiccaGkam). The first Sangam, whose
seat was Southern Maturai, now submerged into the Sea
(kaTal koLLappaTTa maturai), lasted 4440 years, and 4449 poets
took part in it; the members included gods and sages: 'Siva,
Muruka, Kubera and Agastya. Its grammar was Akattiyam.

  The second Sangam, situated in KapATapuram (cf. Valmiki's
Ramayana, KiSk. 42:13) also submerged in the sea, lasted for 3700
years and included 3700 poets; it had five grammars as norms
among others Akattiyam and TolkAppiyam.

  The third Sangam, situated in today's Maturai (Uttara or Upper
Maturai) lasted for 1850 years under 49 kings beginning with the
Lame Tiru MaaRan (MuTattirumARan2) and ending with Ukkira
Peruvazhuti; its 449 poets formed a body presided ny NakkIrar.
The two normative grammars of this Academy were Akattiyam
and TolkAppiyam."

For the Pandyan land along with the legendary city,
Southern Maturai that got submerged by the sea, see:
H. Scharfe, Tolkappiyam studies,
in German scholars on India, vol. I, Varanasi, 1973, p. 268-278.

For Tamil sangam flood legends,
1)T. G. Aravamuthan, The Oldest account of the Tamil academies,
JOR (Madras), 1930, p. 183-201, p. 289-317

2) K. V. Zvelebil, The earliest account of the Tamil
academies, IIJ, xv, 2, 1973, p. 109-135

3) K. V. Zvelebil, The Cagkam legend, p. 55-61,
in Tamil literature, 1975, Section 5.4

4) K. V. Zvelebil, Brief Prolegomena to Early Tamil literary
history: iRaiyan2Ar, tarumi, nakkIrar
JRAS, 1986, p. 59-67

N. Ganesan

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