(மூதுரை/(உபமானம்)

b) It is difficult to match ouvaiyAr's similes for their appropriateness or simplicity. The first two lines in the following MUthurai (மூதுரை) poem give the upamAnam (உபமானம்), the example in the simile taken from the social environment and the next two lines state the upamEyam (உபமேயம்), the concept toநெ be simulated.
நெல்லுக்கிரைத்த நீர்வாய்க்கால் வழியோடி
புல்லுக்கும் ஆங்கே பொசியுமாம்- தொல்லுலகில்
நல்லார் ஒருவர் உளரேல் அவர்பொருட்டு
எல்லோர்க்கும் பெய்யும் மழை
(மூதுரை)

In the next example the first two lines depict the concept and the next two denote the simile. When you do a good deed to someone else, you should do so without expecting when it will be repaid. The analogy is the coconut palm tree which takes in water from the ground and gives it back through the coconut milk without expecting any thanks.
நன்றி ஒருவர்க்குச் செய்தக்கால் அந்நன்றி
என்று தருங்கொல் எனவேண்டா - நின்று
தளரா வளர்தெங்கு தாளுண்ட நீரை
தலையாலே தான்தருத லால்.
(மூதுரை)

c) Auvaiyar used the same literary format even to drive home certain weaknesses in the society. In the following example, the evils of the caste distinctions were pointed out in the clearest possible manner. She states that human beings can be divided only into two divisions, high and low, depending upon how much they are willing to share their fortunes with others.
சாதி இரண்டொழிய வேறில்லை சாற்றுங்கால்
நீதிவழுவா நெறிமுறையின் - மேதினியில்
இட்டார் பெரியோர் இடாதார் இழிகுலத்தோர்
பட்டாங்கி லுள்ள படி
(மூதுரை)

Two lessons could be learnt from this 12th century poem:
i) the caste distinctions were in existence for a long time and people realized how it could be a source of social turmoil and
ii) the word mEthiniyil (மேதினியில்) would extrapolate the application of these concepts to the whole world. The stratification of people into high and low was not desirable whether it was based on caste, religion or wealth.
The pulavar (புலவர்) community, like so many other segments of the society, was a male dominated one even in those distant days. When Kampan tried to put Auvaiyar on the spot with some disparaging remarks, she proved that she could be as ruthless as the next person. Without actually calling him names, Auvaiyar recited a poem which, on the surface, gave the impression that she was praising Kampan.

எட்டேகா லட்சணமே எமனே றும்பரியே
மட்fடில் பெரியம்மை வாகனமே - முட்டமேற்
கூரையில்லா வீடே குலராமன் தூதுவனே
ஆரையடா சொன்னாய் அடா.

(எட்டேகாலலட்சணம் = அவலட்சணம்,
எமன்ஏறும் பரி = எருமை,
பெரியம்மைவாகனம் = கழுதை,
கூரைஇல்லாவீடு = குட்டிச்சுவர்,
குலராமன்தூதுவன் = குரங்கு)

Auvaiyar had a tremendous capacity in expressing profound concepts in a simple but convincing manner. She said,
"art can be mastered by practice; Thamizh can be mastered by speaking; one can become learned by cultivation of mind; good behavior can be developed by practice; but friendship, grace and philanthropy are inherent".
சித்திரமும் கைப்பழக்கஞ் செந்தமிழு நாப்பழக்கம்
வைத்ததொரு கல்வி மனப்பழக்கம் - நித்தம்
நடையு நடைப்பழக்க நட்புந் தகையும்
கொடையும் பிறவிக்குணம.f
It is amazing that with a short but effective minor poems, Auvaiyar gained fame and remained in the hearts of people for over a millennium, a feat not accomplished even by poets who have great literary works to their credit. The fact that this was done by a woman is something Thamizh people can really be proud of. The surprise is why her advice has fallen on deaf ears.



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