(Last Updated on : 20/01/2012)
Cirupancamulam, also known as Siruppanchamulam, is a Tamil
ethical poetic work of didactic nature which belongs to the Patinenkilkkanakku
collection of Ethical Tamil Literature
. Patinenkilkkanakku (Pathinenkilkanakku) is a compilation of 18 poetic works in Tamil which were composed in the period after the Sangam age, between 100 CE and 500 CE. Cirupancamulam was written in the post-Sangam age
equivalent to between 100 CE - 500 CE. The literary work contains one hundred verses, each containing 4 lines in Venpa metre. It was composed by the revered Tamil poet Kariyaasaan. It is considered by most scholars that Kariyaasaan was a follower of the Vaishnava tradition of Hinduism
. It is also ascertained that the Tamil poet was a disciple and a student of Makkayanaar. This fact is mentioned in the introductory verse of the book.
The poetic work of Tamil literature
is popular for its composition and its lucidity, effortless and uncomplicated readability and presentation. The literary work contains many didactic messages which were the prominent characteristics of the era. The poems of Cirupancamulam or Siruppanchamulam are exceptional in the implementation of similes which help to edify the moral codes with the use of basic instances from daily life.
Composition of Cirupancamulam
Cirupancamulam (Siruppanchamulam) is a compilation of ethical Tamil verses which were written by the poet Kariyaasaan. This post Sangam work is one of the 18 minor literary works in Tamil which are comprised in the Patinenkilkkanakku collection. The venpa in its variation forms constitutes as the metre of the Tamil poetic work. Cirupancamulam utilises the similarities of the conventional herbal medicine that uses the roots of the five herbs, namely Kandankatthiri, Sirumalli, Nerunji, Siruvzhuthunai and Perumalli. The Kandankatthiri plant belongs to the nightshade family of Solanum xanthocarpum, where as the Nerunji is a thorny prostrate tree plant of Tribulus terrestris. These herbal plants are used to cure certain problems and difficulties related to health. The well known Tamil poet Kariyaasaan mentions these herbs as metaphors to portray five different maxims which depict the correct and proper behaviour and various moral codes that any individual should follow.
The poetic work of Cirupancamulam emphasises on the importance of learning and the responsibility of a citizen in the society. One of the poems in the anthology describes five things, namely, the humility of the learned, a chaste girl, trustworthy assistants as charming as ambrosia and compassionate kings under whose rule there are abundant rains.