Kannagi

Kannagi or (Kaṇṇaki) (Tamil: கண்ணகி), a legendary Tamil woman, is the central character of the South Indian epic Silapathikaram. Legend has it that Kannagi took revenge on the king of Madurai, for a mistaken death penalty imposed on her husband Kovalan, by cursing the city with disaster.

The Story

Kovalan, the son of a wealthy merchant in Kaveri-p-poom-pattinam, married Kannagi, a young woman of legendary beauty. They lived together happily in the city of Kaveripattinam, until Kovalan met the dancer Madhavi and fell in love with her. In his infatuation he forgot Kannagi and gradually spent all his wealth on the dancer. At last, penniless, Kovalan realised his mistake, and returned back to Kannagi. Their only asset was a precious pair of anklets (cilambu--- hence the name of the epic), filled with gems, which she gave to him willingly. With these as their capital they went to the great city of Madurai, where Kovalan hoped to recoup his fortunes by trade.

The city of Madurai was ruled by the Pandya king Neduncheziyan. Kovalan's objective was to sell the anklets in this kingdom so that he and his wife would be able to start their lives over. Unfortunately, around the time he set out to sell the anklets, one anklet (out of a pair) was stolen from the queen, by a greedy court member. This anklet looked very similar to Kannagi's. The only difference was that Kannagi's were filled with rubies and the queen's very filled with pearls, but this was not a visible fact. When Kovalan went to the market, he was accused of having stolen the anklet. He was immediately beheaded by the king's guards, without trial. When Kannagi was informed of this, she became furious, and set out to prove her husband's innocence to the king.

Kannagi came to the king's court, broke open the anklet seized from Kovalan and showed that it contained rubies, as opposed to the queen's anklets which contained pearls. Realizing their fault, the King and the Queen died of shame. Unsatisfied, Kannagi tore out a breast and flung it on the city, uttering a curse that the entire city be burnt. Due to her utmost chastity, her curse became a reality.

The city was set ablaze resulting in huge human and economic losses. However, after the request from the goddess of the city, she withdrew her curse and later, attained salvation. This mythological story was composed by the poet Ilango Adigal. A fascinating, but ironic, fact about this epic is that it portrays Madhavi, Kovalan's amorous lover, as an equally chaste woman. Manimekalai, another ancient Tamil epic, is written in praise of her.

Perceptions of Kannagi

Main article: Kannaki Amman
Kannagi or Kannaki Amman is eulogized as the epitome of chastity and is still worshipped as its goddess. She is praised for her extreme devotion to her husband in spite of his adulterous behaviour.

She is worshiped as goddess Pathini in Sri Lanka by the Sinhalese Buddhists, Kannaki Amman by the Sri lanka Tamils Hindus' (See Hinduism in Sri Lanka.) and as Attukal Bhagavathy in South Indian state Kerala.[1]

It must be noted that Kannagi is also viewed as a brave woman who could demand justice directly from the king and even dared to call him "unenlightened king" (Silapathikaram: Vazhakkurai Kathai). The point here is that while she was behaving in a non-interfering manner with her domestic problems, she was no meek woman that would brook injustice in the rule of the law.

Kannagi in Politics

A statue of Kannagi in anger holding her anklet in one hand obviously depicting her in the scene from Silapathikaram where she demands justice from the Pandiyan king on the death of her husband Kovalan at the hands of the king's policemen is an important landmark in Chennai since about 1968. It was removed during the regime of the ex-chief minister of Tamil Nadu, O. Paneerselvam in December 2001 during the night ordered by ex-chief minister J.Jayalalitha . The official reasons reported were that it was to be removed for facilitating traffic. But the media was rife with reports of a mystic counsel to Jayalalitha advising her that as long as the statue of Kannaki in the posture of demanding justice stood there she would have difficulty maintaining her office through the elected term.

The statue was reinstalled by M. Karunanidhi on 03-06-2006.

External links

References

1. ^ Shankar Radhakrishnan Bubbling over with devotion The Hindu news.


Cilappatikaram by Ilango Adigal
Characters
Kannagi | Kovalan | Madhavi | Neduncheziyan | Manimekalai | Masattuvan | Vacavadattai | Kosigan | Madalan | Kavunthi Adigal | Kopperundevi
Other
Puhar | Madurai | Vanchi



Hinduism | Hindu mythology
Deities: Brahma | Vishnu | Shiva | Rama | Krishna | Ganesha | Indra | Gayatri | Lakshmi | Sarasvati | Durga | Hanuman
Texts: Vedas | Ramayana | Mahabharata
Tamil}}} 
Writing system: Vatteluttu 
Official status
Official language of:  India,[4][5]

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legend (Latin, legenda, "things to be read") is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude.
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Tamils  • Telugus  • Tuluvas  • Gonds

Tamil people
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South India is a commonly used term that is used in India to refer to the South-of-India or Southern India. The Southern part of the Indian peninsula is a linguistic-cultural region of India that comprises the four states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu
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The epic is long, exalted narrative poetry, generally concerning a serious subject and details the heroic deeds and events important to a culture or nation.
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Silappatikaram (Tamil: சிலப்பதிகாரம் ; IPA: [siləppəd̪iɡɑːrəm]),[1]
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monarch (see sovereignty) is a type of ruler or head of state. Monarchs almost always inherit their titles and are rulers for life; that is, they have no term limit. Historically monarchs have been more or less absolute rulers.
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Coordinates: Madurai pronunciation   (Tamil: மதுரை
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Kovalan (Tamil: கோவலன்) is a central character in the ancient Tamil epic ''Cilappatikaram.

Plot

Kovalan, the son of a wealthy merchant in Kaveripattinam, married Kannagi, the lovely daughter of another merchant.
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A disaster (from Middle French désastre, from Old Italian disastro, from the Greek pejorative prefix dis- bad + aster star) is the impact of a natural or man-made hazards that negatively affects society or environment.
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Poompuhar (Tamil: பூம்புகார்) is a town in Thanjavur district in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It was once a flourishing ancient port city known as Kaveripattinam
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Madhavi may refer to
  • Madhavi, a character in the ancient Tamil epic Cilapathikaram.
  • Madhavi, a South Indian film actress

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The Pandyan kingdom (Tamil: பாண்டியர்) was an ancient Tamil state in South India of unknown antiquity. Pandyas were one of the three ancient Tamil kingdoms (Chola and Chera being the other two) who ruled the Tamil
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goddess is a female deity. Many cultures have goddesses. Most often these goddesses are part of a polytheistic system that includes multiple deities. Pantheons in various cultures can include both goddesses and gods, and in some cases also intersex deities.
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A poet is a person who writes poetry. This is usually influenced by a cultural and intellectual tradition. Some consider the best poetry to be, to some extent, and universal, and to address issues common to all humanity; others are more absorbed by its particular, personal and
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Ilango Adigal (Tamil: இளங்கோ அடிகள்) was a great Tamil poet, who was instrumental in the creation of Silappathikaram, one of the five great epics of South India.
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Manimekalai, written by Seethalai Saathanar, is one of the masterpieces of Tamil literature and belongs to The Five Great Epics of Tamil Literature. Manimekalai is a sequel to Silapathikaram and tells the story of the daughter of Kovalan and Madhavai.
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Kannagi or (Kaṇṇaki) (Tamil: கண்ணகி), a legendary Tamil woman, is the central character of the South Indian epic Silapathikaram.
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Anthem
"Sri Lanka Matha"
Music   , Singing  
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Sinhalese are the main ethnic group of Sri Lanka. They speak Sinhala, an Indo-European language and number approximately 15 million people with the vast majority found in Sri Lanka, while more than 300,000 live in other countries, mainly in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and the
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Buddhism is often described as a religion[1] and a collection of various philosophies, based initially on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, known as Gautama Buddha.
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Sri Lanka Tamils could mean
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Hindus currently make up approximately 15% of the Sri Lankan population, and are almost exclusively Tamil speaking apart from immigrants from India and Pakistan such as the Sindhis, Telugus and Malayalees. In the 1915 census they made up almost 25% of the population.
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Silappatikaram (Tamil: சிலப்பதிகாரம் ; IPA: [siləppəd̪iɡɑːrəm]),[1]
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Silappatikaram (Tamil: சிலப்பதிகாரம் ; IPA: [siləppəd̪iɡɑːrəm]),[1]
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Chennai (Tamil: சென்னை), formerly known as Madras  
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M. Karunanidhi (Tamil: மு.கருணாநிதி) or Karunanidhi Muthuvel generally referred to as M.K (Tamil: மு.க)and Dr.
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Silappatikaram (Tamil: சிலப்பதிகாரம் ; IPA: [siləppəd̪iɡɑːrəm]),[1]
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Ilango Adigal (Tamil: இளங்கோ அடிகள்) was a great Tamil poet, who was instrumental in the creation of Silappathikaram, one of the five great epics of South India.
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