By George L Hart; Jan Gonda (Editor)
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Extra info for A History of Indian Literature, Volume X: Dravidian Literature, Part 2: The Relation Between Tamil and Classical Sanskrit Literature
The result is, in my opinion, disastrous. The parts of the work that describe the tragedy of Kovalan's death and Kannaki's subsequent rage are, at their best, sublime. But the effect is spoiled time and time again when Ilanko attributes their fate to actions in former births and then has Kannaki bodily assumed into heaven where she rejoins her husband. It is possible that I am simply reacting in a Western way, with my acquired views as to the sublimity of tragedy influencing me; yet I cannot help feeling that a Sangam poet would have reacted much as I do.
Through the vision of the able ones we have come to know that hard life takes its course as if it were a raft upon the waters of a mighty river roaring as it ever flows on rocks, swollen because cold drops pour from flashing skies, and so we do not wonder at those big with greatness and still less do we despise the small. After the Cilappatikaram, there are many important Tamil works, including the Manimekalai, the Civakacintamani, the devotional songs of the Nayanmars and the Alvars, and the narrations of mythological stories.
Will they who see this not reproach me ? "The very day he heard that he who carries a bow on his shoulders has gone to the hot forest, my good father died. And yet I do not kill her who is like poison and I do not die myself. Am I not blameless ? I even weep as if I had love for my father and brother. "The people of the world will not accept me as king, nor will I accept censure because I am attached to life. Yet my blame will never be erased, and the goddess of good fortune will never stay in this city.
A History of Indian Literature, Volume X: Dravidian Literature, Part 2: The Relation Between Tamil and Classical Sanskrit Literature by George L Hart; Jan Gonda (Editor)