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Author: A S Gnanasambandhan
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): A Dakshinamurthy
Publisher: Sahitya Akademi
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788126041176
, Kamban - A New Perspective’, is the translation of the Tamil original, ‘Kamban : Pudhiya Paarvai’, by Proffessor A.S. Gnanasambandhan, which won the award of the Shitya Akademi for the year 1984. It is an excellent criticism of the Kambaramayanam, one of the most celebrated works in the Tamil language. It attempts to establish that Kamban’s main aim was to stress the importance of, ‘Sense-control’, to take the humanity to the path of salvation.
It also establishes beyond doubt that Raman is the incarnation of the primordial God and not of any deity of any particular religion. The author emphatically concludes that Kamban is the first Tamil poet who spoke the ideas of the great Upanishads in Sanskrit. The last two chapters that deal with the greatness of Hanuman and human values bear witness to the intellectual loftiness and critical acumen of the author.
Kamban had never made any reference to the Vaishnava religion in any context his epic, though it was well established and was very popular among the majority of the Tamil community. The Periyapuranam of the 12th century, no doubt had accepted the prevailing principles of the Saiva religion. But it did not engage in praising and propagating that religion. The Periyapuranam speaks about the high values needed for the contemporary society. The Jivakacintamani speaks about the principles of Jainism wherever it is possible. The Manimekali deliberately advocates Buddhism.
The Peru katai is not fully available. Yet we find the available part of the work is not free from fanatic elements. When we consider the epic literatures composed right from the Sangam age till the 12th century, there are only a couple of works which avoide propagating any particular religion, but concentrate on teaching moral values and high principles to lead a good life. They are the Cilappatikaram and the Kambaramayanam. The former was composed by a Jaina monk. The Jains are atheists. This work mostly avoids propagating Jain ideas; it does not also speak of any principles of God.
About the Translator:
Dr. A. Dakshinamurthy, is a scholar of Tamil with a good proficiency in the English language. He is the leading translator of ancient Tamil classics like The Akananuru, The Natrinai, The Kuruntokai, The Puranannuru, The Patthupaatu and six works on Akam theme in The Pathinenkeelkanakku division. He is also one of the few scholars who have contributed significantly to the translation of the poems of Bharathidasan. He has received several awards for his contribution to Tamil.
1. The Source of Kamban
2. Pre-Kamban Era
3. The Bakthi Movement
4. Kamban Views Both sides
5. Kamban’s Conception of a Country
6. Kamban’s Conception of a King
7. If God gets incarnated as Man
8. The Supreme Being in the view of Kamban
9. The Prince of Monkeys
10. Kamban’s view of values