A unique genre of literature, called Pillaittamiz (piḷḷai-t-tamiḻ பிள்ளைத்தமிழ்) exists in Tamil. “piḷḷai” means “child.” In fact, the “child” here is a god/goddess. Later texts (in the 20-th century) also include political leaders in this group (as a “child”). There are many old texts on this genre, celebrating 10 successive phases in the growth of a child. These texts are highly structured, differing only in three sections depending upon the gender of the child being celebrated. 

For an introduction, you may refer to Paula Richman’s work ("Extraordinary Child: Poems from a South Indian Devotional Genre”).

For more details, feel free to contact me off-list and I’d be glad to share my knowledge.


On Jan 10, 2014, at 8:04 AM, Matthew Kapstein <mkapstei@uchicago.edu> wrote:

Hi Viktoria,

On the childhood of gods there's of course a lot of scholarship on the myths of Krsna. One
work on this I'd recommend is Jack Hawley's Krishna the Butter Thief (Oxford University Press).

best for the new year,

Matthew Kapstein
Directeur d'études,
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes

Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
The University of Chicago

INDOLOGY mailing list