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Caṅkam literature


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Over 2 300 poems in classical Tamil collected into eight ‘caṅkam’ anthologies, dating from the early centuries ce onwards. Two of the later anthologies (both c.5th century ce) have religious themes: the Paripāṭal contains poems celebrating the gods, Cevve˜ḷ and Tirumāl, and the Pattuppāṭṭu begins with a long poem in praise of Murukaṉ, the Tirumurukāṟṟuppaṭai. In the 11th century ce, the latter was incorporated into the eleventh book of the Śaiva Siddhānta Tirumuṟai collection. In general, the literary conventions of caṅkam literature of both genres (‘akam’ or love poetry of the ‘interior world’, and ‘puṟam’ or praise poetry of the ‘exterior world’) provided models for many of the bhakti poems of the Tamil tradition, whether Vaiṣṇava or Śaiva in orientation.

Subjects: Hinduism.


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