Thursday, June 16, 2011



Tamilnadu is very rich in folklore. Stories abound in the hundreds. They may be single stories or compilations. There is a peculiar compilation wherein the stories are found within the main story. Many such compilations are in several formates. 
Somebody telling the story to another person is a favourite  formate. 
Most of the puranas are found in this format.
All the rishis were performing a long series of yagams in the holy forest of Naimisa Aaranya. 
Because the yagams were very complex and of long duration, the rishis wanted to do away with their duress by some form of relaxation.
So they got another rishi called Suutha Munivar to tell them the puranas.
These puranas were later compiled by Vyasa into the 18 major puranas and the 18 minor puranas.
Another story is the Story of Vikramadhithya. The main story starts with King Bhoja excavating the Throne of Vikramadhithya. It has 32 steps which have 32 female figures. 
He is about to ascend the throne when he is stopped by the female figures. Each one of them tells him a story from the life of Vikramadhithya and challenges him whether he 
can equal the exploits and experiences of Vikramadhithya. Among the stories that the figures told was the story of the stories told by Vethala, the demon.
I am compiling some of these old stories for the VisvaComplex. 
I have already written Patti-Vikramaditya, KathaSarith Sagara, and several other vintage stories which form part of our heritage.
Jagadhala Pradapa is one such story.
Some of these stories are really ancient. 
The story of Palzaiyanur Neeli is mentioned in a Thevaram song by ThiruGnyana Sambandhar. He lived sometime around 650 AD. The story was already old at that time.
There are some stories which contain stories within stories. The big story telescopes into other stories and finally one by one gets folded within each other. 
PanchaTantra follows the same pattern.


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