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Friday, January 21, 2022

Was Thiruvalluvar a baptised Christian?

Recently DMK ally MP Thirumavalavan had launched a book that discussed the possibilities of saint poet Thiruvalluvar being a baptised Christian. How comments during the launch were met with criticism as they were, albeit indirectly, encouraging missionary forces. He had said that only by uprooting Sanatana Dharma could the caste system be abolished and Thirukkural would be the best weapon to achieve that.

Many countered the claims of the book and Thirumavalavan’s comments with ancient Tamil literary evidence. Rangaraj Pandey, the founder of Chanakya TV also posted a video with references from Sangam Tamil literature to disprove such claims. In the book, it’s author Prof.Deivanayagam, a Christian, had written that Eashwara and Yeshu(Jesus) are the same and in fact the Kapaleeswarar temple in Mylapore was built for Jesus(history, in the form of stone inscriptions in Santhome church says that there was a temple for Eashwara in the same spot). He had also written that Thiruvalluvar, the Shaivite saint poet, was a baptised Christian.

Thirumavalavan while mentioning these parts of the book said that he neither agrees nor disagrees with the claim but that it should be “reviewed”. It is not a novelty for Christians to claim that Thiruvalluvar was a Christian. Attempts to inculturate Thirukkural and Thiruvalluvar have been going on since the times of GU.Pope. However it needs to be demolished in the age of social media lest they are construed as facts. Journalist Rangaraj Pandey quotes Sangam era literature like Tholkappiam and poets such Nakkheeran.

Quoting some couplets from Thirukkural, he effortlessly demolishes this vile propaganda. It is to be noted that Thiruvalluvar is claimed as one of their own and celebrated in a manner fitting him only by Hindus. He has a temple in Mylapore where his special celebrations take place on what is believed to be his janma nakshatram. Apart from that he is worshipped everyday with the usual trikaala pujas. Recently his sculpture along with another Nayanar(63 acclaimed saints Shaivite saints) were unearthed in Madurai. It showed him as a Shaivite poet adorning janeu, tripundra and Rudraksha mala.

Thiruvalluvar on the left

Even though some claim that he was a jain, a covert missionary propaganda, no Jain knows or celebrates him as such. If Christians were so keen on snatching the glory of having him as their own, at the least they should have his sculpture in their churches which is also conspicuously missing. Coming back to Thirukkural, under the topic “The Merit of Ascetics” Thiruvalluvar wrote,

“ஐந்தவித்தான் ஆற்றல் அகல்விசும்பு ளார்கோமான்

இந்திரனே சாலுங் கரி.

Indra himself has cause to say

How great the power ascetics’ sway”.

Under “Offend Not the Great” he wrote,

“ஏந்திய கொள்கையார் சீறின் இடைமுறிந்து

வேந்தனும் வேந்து கெடும்.

Before the holy sage’s rage

Even Indra’s empire meets damage” which highlights the puranic reference of Indra losing his position as Devendra due to Agathiya Muni’s curse. If he mentioned the Vedic deity Indra then surely he would know Eshwara as well?

While dealing with the subject of laziness in another topic “Freedom from Sloth” the saint wrote,

“மடியிலா மன்னவன் எய்தும் அடியளந்தான்

தாஅய தெல்லாம் ஒருங்கு.

The slothless king shall gain all that was touched by the one who measured the worlds”. It speaks of Vishnu as Vamana measuring the worlds. The 269th couplet says,

“கூற்றம் குதித்தலும் கைகூடும் நோற்றலின்

ஆற்றம் தலைப் பட்ட வர்க்கு 

They can even defy death

Who get by penance godly strength” in reference to Markandeya cheating death and escaping the clutches of Yama due to his devotion for Eashwara.

When it comes to female deities,

“அவ்வித்து அழுக்காறு உடையானைச் செய்யவள்

தவ்வையைக் காட்டி விடும்.

Fortune deserts the envious

Leaving misfortune” the 167th couplet says. It says how Lakshmi Devi will leave those who envy others. Similarly the 617th couplet says

“மடியுளாள் மாமுகடி என்ப மடியிலான்

தாளுளாள் தாமரையி னாள்.

Ill luck abides with sloth but the goddess who resides in a lotus favours the non-lazy”. It refers to Lakshmi Devi favouring the hard-working people. Even late TN CM M.Karunanidhi who was an atheist had interpreted it that way in his book. 

Thirukkural has numerous such couplets that refer to Hindu deities and puranic incidents. The saint touches all the subjects that Hindu scriptures talk about and effortlessly conveys them in 2 lines. Yet Christians try to appropriate it as it is celebrated as a great literary work all over the world. But does any other religion, except Sanatana Dharma worships the deities mentioned in Thirukkural or has reference to the incidents? How can a researcher arrive at a conclusion that Thiruvalluvar was a baptised Christian with such references in Thirukkural?

Despite knowing these facts people like Thirumavalavan continue to peddle missionary propaganda in their attempts to appropriate Hindu culture, festivals, traditions and literature. It only exposes them for what they are, the useful idiots and puppets of missionaries.

(Thirukkural’s English translation has been taken from Tamil Nation

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