Sangam Era – Of Literature & Life (3rd BCE – 3rd CE)
A Young Chieftain
The young bull does not feel the yoke, though the cart is loaded with salt and things. But who can foresee the damages when it dips into the creeks and climbs the hills? So the salt merchants keep a second safety axle under the axle tree.
Auvaiyar: on Pokuttelini, Purananuru 102, Translated by A K Ramanujan
This is an excerpt from Purananuru, an anthology of 400 poems written in the early half of the Sangam period. A compilation of works by over 150 poets, some of whom were women, the Purananuru was penned over a long period of time. This particular verse compares a young chieftain to a young bull, strong and fearless, and is part of a series of eulogies to kings, battles and heroes, and gives us a sense of the world was like over 2,000 years ago.
Historically, while it is an early work, legend tells us that the Purananuru is, in fact, one of the later pieces produced in the Sangam Age, a period steeped in mythology.