(Last Updated on : 30-01-2012)
Astappirapantam, also known as Asthapira Pantham, is a poetic anthology series which belongs to the Tamil Literature
. The literary work of Astappirapantam proliferates in the artistic collection of words termed as Ciletai and Yamakam. Amongst the eight literary works in the Tamil
anthology series, five of the works eulogises and lauds the presiding deity at the temple in Tiruvarankam or Srirangam. Two other works in the Astappirapantam collection praises the presiding Lord at Tirupati
. A number of the peotic works in Astappirapantam anthology were written with astonishing talent and creativity and were composed in the antati and kalampakam genres. It is widely believed that almost all of the literary works composed in Tamil language
in this anthology series were written by the Tamil poet named Alakiya Manavalatacar, also known as Pillai Perumal Iyangar. The poet is believed to have been a Vaishnava devotee and saint.
However some modern authors and scholars are of the opinion that all of the eight works in Astappirapantam were not composed by Alakiya Manavalatacar, but by various poets who had the similar name but existed in different periods of time. But there are minute differences among them in the utilization and treatment of words as well as in dealing with the subject matter. As the literary Tamil work of Astappirapantam is composed in a much artistic manner with complicated arrangement of words, it is not easily readable. As the antati types of poems are abundant in the yamakam and tiripu, the meaning and implication of the works are not easily comprehended or understood.
In such types of verses a single line is frequently repeated various times. Moreover, in order to ascertain their actual sense and denotation of the words, it must be segregated into two or three segments and in different ways. As a result of this complex arrangement of words, the work does not captivate nor fascinate the heart of the readers like the devotional hymns of the Tamil Alvars. Few of the swing songs in Astappirapantam or Asthapira Pantham, titled Cirankanayakar Ucal, have literary value and thus they enthrall and impress the hearts of readers.