AUTHOR

Thiruthakka Thevar (Tamil Jain and a descendant of Chola Dynasty) once a ruler from the Maravar Boomi(Ancient name of Madurai) lived during the 9th & 10th Century , belongs to the Maravar(Sembinaattu Maravar) Clan from the Mukkulathor Community.

He is believed to be a learned scholar acquainted with Akattiyam and Tolkappiyam, the celebrated Tamil grammar works as well as deep acquaintance in Sanskrit and Vedas . During his period as a ruler, witnessing the mass deaths in wars which he himself had waged out of a desire for conquest , had led him gradually become interested in Jainism which could have been a prime factor in renouncing his status as a ruler at a later stage and pursue a life of religious merit by becoming a Tamil Jain Monk and composing Civaka Cintamani (Tamil: சீவக சிந்தாமணி Cīvaka Cintāmaṇi). This Jain religious classical epic means “fabulous gem”, and also known by alternative name Manannul (Tamil: மண நூல்) or “Book of Marriages (TAMIL KAMASUTRA).

STORY

Seevaga Chindhamani is a classical epic poem and is considered one of the Five Great Tamil Epics that was composed during the 10th century CE in the Sangam age of Tamil Literature. The epic is a Jain religious text written by a Jain ascetic known as Tirutakkatevar. Seevaga Chindhamani (Jivaka Cintamani in Sanskrit), meaning Fabulous Gem, is also known as Manannul (Book of Marriages). The epic is amongst the Five Great Tamil Epics as considered by the Tamil literary tradition. The other epics include Cilappatikaram, Manimekalai, Valayapathi and Kundalakesi. An analysis of the structure and form of Seevaga Chindhamani reveals that it as one of the standard models of the Ramayanaby Kamban. Seevaga Chindhamani was illustriously received by the CholaKings in their courts as they were great admirers of the native literature. Due to the quality of poetic articulation, theological message and an appealing plot, the epic Seevaga Chindhamani had been unmatched in the Tamil Sangam literature. The story relates to a protagonist who rises to become king through his virtue only to abandon his high position and follow a life of religious value.

Seevaga Chindhamani describes the romantic experiences of Jeevaka and depicts the arts of music and dance of the period. The epic is inspired from the Sanskrit original and consists of the exposition of Jain doctrines and beliefs. Seevaga Chindhamani is a mudi-porul-thodar-nilai-seyyul, which is a treatise of the 4-fold object of life and aim of literary work of virtue, pleasure, wealth and bliss. The epic contains 13 books or Illambagams and has 3147 stanzas. Seevaga Chindhamani is renowned for its pure articulation and inspiring verses, pregnant with religious sentiments and stuffed with information of arts and customs of social life. The epic portrays the martial adventures of the protagonist and the social pictures of the epoch.

CONCEPT

Seevaga Chindhamani  illustrates the tale of King Caccantan, who became so engulfed in spending his life in lustful pleasures with his queen that he could not manage any time for managing his kingdom. Involuntarily, King Caccantan handed over the control of his kingdom to his corrupt minister named Kattiyankaran. But after gaining power, Kattiyankaran attacks King Caccantan and prior to his death, the King sent his pregnant wife away on a flying peacock machine. Banished, the Queen gave birth to Prince Civakan, the hero of the epic, in a cremation ground. Civakan was raised by a Jain merchant and later he became a heroic figure and a leader of the Jain community. He had several adventures and love affairs and eventually married many women over the course of the various incidents. He had a special relationship with a dancing girl.

Eventually, Civakan returned to his fatherland from where his pregnant mother was banished, in order to avenge the death of his father King Caccantan at the hands of Kattiyankaran. Civakan finally defeated Kattiyankaran and won back his ancestral throne. He then married his 18th and final wife, an embodiment of omniscience and ruled for long in peace and prosperity, until Civakan became old. But the worldly attractions started to fade away. After he met with Mahavira, Civakan renounced the mundane world and attained spiritual salvation.