Thursday, September 11, 2014

Virinchipuram Temple Inscription: Say No to Dowry by Brahmins of Padaividu kingdom

Marriage Ceremony

Virinchipuram Maragathambihai samedha Margabandheeswarar temple near Vellore, Tamil Nadu
Beautifully sculpted Mandapam at Virinchipuram Maragathambihai samedha Margabandheeswarar temple
 A Tamil Inscription from Margabandeswarar Temple in Virinchipuram offers some respite for DOWRY, THE SOCIAL CURSE that has vexed Brahman community during the reign Devaraya II (reigned 1432–46), Vijayanagara emperor.

Agreement against Dowry by Brahmanas of the kingdom of Padaividu

This inscription refers to the Brahmana Dharma (Sacred Law of Brahmans) and specific reference to the Brahmanas of the kingdom of Padaividu (town of  Padavedu - previously known as Padaividu - now in the Polur Taluk, Thiruvannamalai district) including Karnataka, Tamil, Telugu and Lata (the old name of Gujarat) Brahmanas. An agreement, signed by the representatives of Brahmanas of the kingdom of Padaividu , vouch to conduct marriages in their families as mere 'Kanyadhana.' - the part of the marriage ceremony where the bride's father only gives away the bride to the bridegroom. Both fathers of bride and bridegrooms who accepted money and the who paid the money, should be subject to punishment by the king and to excommunication for their caste. The canonical works  on sacred law discourages the practice of paying money as dowry. The marriage thus concluded is termed as 'Asura Vivaha' and the sacred law condemns such practices.

What is dowry? Dowry is a transaction between two parties involving cash, or other valuable articles such as precious metals, gems, clothing, appliances, real estate, or goods for entertainment, made as a condition for entering a marriage contract. 

Although dowry was illegalized in 1961 (The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 in India), people from almost all castes are demanding dowry to different extents. Youngsters and parents view dowry as a 'way of accumulating economic capital.'

Newspapers and other media report daily about dowry harassment ranging from a lifetime of verbal abuse to extreme physical and sexual abuse. It is also closely interlinked to  female infanticide, neglect of the girl child, denial of educational and career opportunities to daughters, domestic violence, rape, extortion, homicide and other kinds of discrimination against women.

In Tamil society dowry and prestige are the two closely related social issues. Those who are in their demanding side never wants to give up and those who are in the accepting side always yielding to the demand in spite of great deal of difficulties.

Present day consumerism wants to say no to dowry. Women’s rights organisations are turning  the miseries of dowry victims.

Inscription inside the front gopura of the Virinchipuram Temple

(No.56 Inside the front gopura of the Virinchipuram temple, second inscription to the right: III - Inscriptions at and near Virinchipuram. Tamil and Grantha Inscriptions. South Indian Inscriptions)

Tamil Text

சுபமஸ்து. ஸ்வஸ்தி ஸ்ரீ . ஸ்ரீமன் மகா ராஜாதிராஜ பரமேசுவரரான ஸ்ரீ வீரபிர
தாப தேவராய மகாராஜர் ப்ரித்விராஜ்யம் பண்ணி அருளானின்ற சகாப்தம்
1347ழின் மேல் செல்லானின்ற விஸ்வாசு வருஷம் பங்குனி மாதம் 3க்கு
சஷ்டியும் புதன்கிழமையும்பெற்ற ஆநுசத்து நாள், படைவீட்டு இராஜ்யத்து
அஸேஷவித்யமஹாஜநங்களும் அகர்கபுஷ்கரணி கோபிநாத ஸன்னதியிலே
தர்ம ஸ்தாபந மையபத்ரம் பண்ணி குடுத்தபடி

இற்றைய நாள்முதலாக இந்த படைவீட்டு ராஜ் யத்து பிராமணரில்
கன்ன(டி)கர் தமிழர் தெலுங்கர் இலாளர் முதலான ஆஸேஷ கோத்திரத்து
அஸேஷசூத்தரத்தில் அஸேஷகையிலவர்களும் விவாஹம் பண்ணுமிடத்து,
கன்னியாதானமாக விவாஹம் பண்ணக் கடவராகவும் கன்னியாதானம்
பண்ணாமல் பொன் வாங்கி பெண் கொடுத்தால், பொன் கொடுத்து விவாஹம்
பண்ணினால், ராஜ தண்டத்துக்கும் உட்பட்டு பிராமண்யத்துக்கும்
புறம்பாகக் கடவரென்று பண்ணின தர்ம ஸ்தாபன மைய பத்ரம்; இப்படிக்கு
அஸேஷ வித்ய மகாஜனங்கள் எழுத்து


Let there be Prosperity! Hail! On the day of (the nakshatra) Anusham (Anuradha Star constellation) which corresponds to Wednesday, the sixth lunar day, the 3rd (solar day) of the month of Panguni (Tamil Calendar month) of the Visvavasu (Tamil Calendar year) year, which was current after the Saka (Shalivahana calendar) year 1347 (had passed),  while the illustrious maharajadhiraja-parameswara, the illustrious Virapratpa-Devaraya-maharaja was pleased to rule the earth,-the great men of all branches of sacred studies of the kingdom (rajyam) of Padaividu drew up, in the presence of (the god) Gopinatha (of) Arkapushkkarini, a document (which contains) an agreement fixing the sacred law. According  to (this document), if the Brahmanas of this kingdom (rajyam) of Padaividu, viz., Kannadigas, Tamilas, Telungas, Ilalas, etc.,of all gotras, sutras,  and  sakhas conclude a marriage, they shall, from this day forward, do it by kanyadana. Those who do no adopt kanyadana, i.e., both those who give away after having received gold, and those who conclude a marriage after having given gold, shall be liable to punishment by the king and shall be excluded from the community of Brahmanas. These are the contents of the document which was drawn up.

The following are the signatures of the great men of all branches of sacred studies:-

Virinchipuram Maragathambihai samedha Margabandheeswarar temple

Virinchipuram Maragathambihai samedha Margabandheeswarar temple is located near Vellore town in the Chennai-Bangalore Highway. The east facing temple is around 1300 years old and is very rich in extraordinary sculptures and artistic pillars. The legend is found in  Arunachala Puranam, Siva Rahasiyam, Kanchi puranam and many other holy books . Aadhi Shankaracharyar did the Beejakshara Pradhishtai to the Simha theertham of the temple. The temple was venerated by Thirumoolar, Pattinathar, Thirugnana Sambhandhar, Appar, Arunagirinadhar, Appayya Dikshithar and few others. The holy tree is palm and the holy water tanks include Simha Theertham, Sooli Theertham and Brahma Theertham.


No.56 Inside the front gopura of the Virinchipuram temple, second inscription to the right: III - Inscriptions at and near Virinchipuram. Tamil and Grantha Inscriptions. South Indian Inscriptions

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tamil Numeration System: Learn Tamil Numbers to decipher Inscriptions

Tamil Inscription from Darasuram showing Tamil Numerals

Early civilization have understood the importance of numbers and the ways to handle them and every society had their own representation of numbers in their age and every civilization had different glyphs to represent number.
The Hindu-Arabic numeration system also called the decimal numeration system (Latin word decem, meaning "ten."), is the most popular numeration system used by people today. Positional numeration or decimal place-value numeration is the system of representing or encoding numbers. This numeration system uses Arabic numerals. 

Aryabhata I or Aryabhata the Elder  (476–550 CE), an astronomer and the earliest Indian mathematician from either Ashmaka or Kusumapura, India developed the place-value notation.  Brahmagupta (598 –.670 CE) from Bhinmal, Rajasthan another Indian mathematician and astronomer introduced the symbol for zero as well as rules to compute with zero in his work Brahmasphutasiddhanta (The Opening of the Universe), in 628 CE.

This numeration system and its glyph notations developed from Indian Brahmi numerals and the full numeration system was first developed in India (around A.D. 800). The numeration system was first reported in Al-Khwarizmi's On the Calculation with Hindu Numerals and in Al-Kindi's four volume work On the Use of the Indian Numerals. At later stage it was refined by Arabs.

1. Hindu-Arabic numeration system uses 10 digits or symbols that can be used in combination to represent all possible numbers. The numeration system digits or symbols are: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

2. Numeration system groups by tens: Ten ones are replaced by one ten, ten tens are replaced by one hundred, ten hundreds are replaced by one thousand, 10 one thousand are replaced by 10 thousands, and so forth...

3. Numeration system uses a place value - starting from right to left;
  1. the first number represents how many ones there are
  2. the second number represents how many tens there are
  3. the third number represents how many hundreds there are
  4. the fourth number represents how many thousands there are
    and so on...

Tamil numeration system (தமிழ் எண்கள், தமிழ் இலக்கங்கள்) is the forgotten numeration system by the Tamil speaking people today. The numeration system employs Vattezhuttu
glyph notations to represent numerals from "ONE" to "NINE." It is interesting to find that the numeration system doesn't contain a Tamil glyph notation to represent zero. People wondering why the Tamil numeration system does not have any glyph for "ZERO". Absence "Zero' makes it as the non-decimal numeration system.

1. Tamil numeration system uses the simple additive systems (sign-value notation). This single value notation and numeration system was adopted before positional notation became standard. In sign-value notation only digits or symbols can be used in combination to represent all possible numbers. The numeration system digits or symbols are:

Thus digits ONE to TEN represented as shown below: 

= 1 = 2 =3 = 4 = 5 = 6 = 7 =8 =9 = 10
Thus digits ELEVEN to TWENTY represented as shown below:

௰௧ = 11 ௰௨ = 12 ௰௩ = 13 ௰௪ = 14 ௰௫ = 15
௰௬ = 16 ௰௭ = 17 ௰௮ = 18 ௰௯ = 19 ௨௰ = 20
The digits TWENTY ONE to TWENTY NINE represented below
௨௰௧ = 21 ௨௰௨  = 22 ௨௰௩ = 23 ௨௰௪ = 24  ௨௰௫ = 25
௨௰௬ = 26 ௨௰௭ = 27 ௨௰௮ = 28 ௨௰௯ = 29

The digits THIRTY to NINETY represented below

௩௰ = 30 ௪௰ = 40 ௫௰ = 50 ௬௰ = 60 ௭௰ = 70 ௮௰ = 80 ௯௰ = 90

The digits 101, 110, 111, and 156

௱௧ = 101 ௱௰ = 110 ௱௰௧ = 111 ௱௫௰௬= 156

The digits 201, 210, 211, and 256

௨௱௧ = 201 ௨௱௰ = 210 ௨௱௰௧ = 211 ௨௱௫௰௬ = 256

The digits 900 , 910, 911, 990, 999

௯௱ = 900 ௯௱௰ = 910 ௯௱௰௧ = 911 ௯௱௫௰௬ = 956 ௯௱௯௰ = 990 ௯௱௯௰௯ = 999

The digits 1000, 1001, 1010, 1056, 1111, 1156

=1000 ௲௧ = 1001 ௲௱௰ = 1010 ௲௫௰௬ = 1056 ௲௱௰௧ = 1111 ௲௱௫௰௬ = 1156

2. Numeration system groups by nine: It had separate glyph for numbers TEN   HUNDRED

3. Tamil Numeration system does not have a place value: 

Multiples of ten (பதின்பெருக்கம்)

10 (10 to the power of 1) Ten Patthu பத்து
(10 to the power of 2) Hundred  Nooru நூறு
(10 to the power of 3) Thousand Aayiram ஆயிரம் 
(10 to the power of 4) Ten Thousand Patthayiram பத்தாயிரம் ௰௲
(10 to the power of 5) Hundred Thousand (One Lakh) Noorayiaram நூறாயிரம் ௱௲
(10 to the power of 6) Million  (Ten Lakh) meiyyiram மெய்யிரம் ௲௲
(10 to the power of 7) Ten Million (One Crore or One Hundred Lakh) ௰௲௲
(10 to the power of 8) One Billion (Ten Crore) ௱௲௲
(10 to the power of 9) Ten Billion (One Hundred Crore) tollun தொள்ளுண் ௲௲௲
(10 to the power of 12) One Trillion igiyam ஈகியம்
1,000,000,000,000,000 (10 to the power of 15) Quadrillion neļai நெளை ௲௲௲௲௲
(10 to the power of 18) Quintillion ilanchi இளஞ்சி ௲௲௲௲௲௲
(10 to the power of 20) vellam வெள்ளம்  ௱௲௲௲௲௲௲
(10 to the power of 21) Sextillion ambal ஆம்பல் ௲௲௲௲௲௲௲

Currently unicode encodes Tamil numerals 1 to 9, 10, 100 and 1000. The proposed position in the Tamil Unicode range (U+BE06) is reserved and has the comment as equivalent digit zero  (U+0030). It is proposed that Tamil zero be encoded at this position:

numeration system
Numeartion System
1 &#3047
2 &#3048
3 &#3049
4 &#3050
5 &#3051
6 &#3052
7 &#3053
8 &#3054
9 &#3055
10 &#3056
100 &#3057
1000 &#3058

Mr.Raman has developed an online software converter utility for converting the given Hindu Arabic numeration to Tamil numeration: Click here for Tamil Numeration Converter
Source: Tamil Epigraphy – Tamil numbers Raman's Kirukkalkal (wordpress)
  1. Hindu–Arabic numeral system (Wikipedia)
  2. Numeral system (Wikipedia)
  3. Positional notation (Wikipedia)
  4. Single Value Notation (Wikipedia)
  5. Tamil numerals (Wikipedia)
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