In the songs of the Tamil Alwars we find it again in another form, giving a powerful and original turn to the images of our old classic poetry; for there it has been sung out by the rapt heart of a woman to the Heart of the Universe.
As part of the Pondicherry Heritage Festival, AuroBharati, Sri Aurobindo Society organised a symposium on ‘Tamil Heritage Linguistics, Cultural, and Socio-economic Advancement’ on 2nd March, 2023. The objective of this symposium was to explore the unique features of Tamil heritage, including art, architecture, manuscripts, music, linguistics, performing arts, yoga, integral life, fairs and festivals, archaeology, & tribal culture. Shri Pradeep Narang, Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Society, Shri K. Lakshminarayanan, Hon'ble Minister for Tourism, Government of Puducherry, Shri C. Uday Kumar, Secretary (Health), Government of Puducherry, gracedthe occasion, and eminent scholars representing various institutions shared valuable information on Tamil heritage.
As part of the Pondicherry Heritage Festival, AuroBharati, Sri Aurobindo Society organised a symposium on ‘Tamil Heritage Linguistics, Cultural, and Socio-economic Advancement’ on 2nd March, 2023. Welcomed the dignitaries and spoke about the unique characteristics of Tamil Heritage, which represents the land, earlier called Vedapuri: Tradition of Vedic Study; the land of Rsi Agastya, the father of Siddha medicine; the cave of Tapasya for Maharshi Aurobindo, who gave the message of Integral Yoga and Divine Life to the entire world; and the land of Auroville:City of the Future. He said that Tamil heritage is rooted in the way of life of its people, culture and tradition in its unique way. Tamil heritage has given the world one of the unique knowledge systems presented through the Shaiva Manuscripts. He emphasised the unique synthesis of the Trinity School through the writings of Tyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and SyamaSastri; the Siddha Philosophy, including Swamy Siddhananda, Bade Sahab, and Kambali Swami; and the contribution of MahakaviSubramania Bharati to the freedom movement. He emphasised the views of Maharshi Aurobindo on Tamil language and literature, including the translation of the Kural, the unique features of the images of old classic poetry, and the philosophical vision of Tamil poetry.
Shri Pradeep Narang, Chairman, Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry said that Tamil heritage is rooted in the way of life of its people, culture, and tradition in a unique way. It presents the unique cultural elements that are preserved through the Tamil language, culture, traditions, arts, and social platforms. It is a dedicated culture that has contributed a lot to the world of cultural affairs. Highlighting the glory of the Tamil heritage, he spoke on the uniqueness of the philosophical and spiritual aspects of Tamil. He discussed the unique features of Sangam literature, which was interwoven into the life and culture of Tamil heritage. He spoke about the ethical and moral thoughts of Tamil heritage during the classical period by giving references from the ancient Tamil texts, with special emphasis on the virtues of tolerance and ecumenism. He discussed the contribution of Sri Aurobindo in translating the works of the mediaeval saints, including works of Tiruvalluvar, Andal and Namalwar.
Shri. K. Lakshminarayanan, Hon'ble Minister for Tourism, Government of Puducherry, said that Tamil heritage is supremely rich in culture and known to be one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Significant aspects of Tamil heritage, including art, architecture, festivals, customs, and manners, reflect the multicultural aspects of this heritage, which is integral as well. He mentioned the contributions of the great Tamil poets, including Tiruvalluvar, Andal, and Namalwar. He said that Tamil language and literature have relevance for the contemporary world. He expressed his wishes about the contribution of Sri Aurobindo Society for the promotion of Tamil Language and Literature. Shri C. Uday Kumar, I.A.S., Secretary (Health) Government of Puducherry spoke about the significance of Tamil heritage as one of the oldest cultural heritages in the world. He spoke about the ethical aspects of Tamil heritage and their necessity in the contemporary scenario. Referring to the Sangam literature, he said that women played a very important role in the early Tamil epics in the earlier period of Tamil literature. He emphasized on the historical perspectives of women from the Sangam literature to modern times and the necessity to create awareness about the rich heritage, which is the need of the hour. He spoke about Arikamedu, a historical site that was the bridge between Roman and Indian architecture, and focused on the historical linkages between India and other countries of the world and the necessity to preserve the heritage for the future generation.
Shri Shiv Kumar, Director, AuroYouth, Sri Aurobindo Society, presented the vision of Maharshi Aurobindo and the Mother and their message for unity. He spoke about programmes and initiatives that seek to bring dynamic spirituality into material life and all its activities, including Svarnim Puducherry, education, rural development, Indian culture, health, children with special needs, prison reformation, leadership management, and youth.
As part of the symposium on ‘Tamil Heritage Linguistics, Cultural, and Socio-economic Advancement,’ eminent experts representing various institutions presented their valuable ideas on Tamil Heritage, including: Dr.P.V Bose, Principal, Bharathiar Palkalaikoodam, Government of Puducherry (South Indian Music); Dr. Gopal Jayraman, Regional Director, IGNCA Regional Centre, Puducherry (Fine Arts Tradition with Reference to Tamil Heritage); Dr. Devi Prasad Mishra, Deputy Head, Indology, French Institute of Pondicherry to speak on Tamil Manuscripts; Dr. D. Thiruvalavan, Former Lecturer, Department of Education, Puducherry (Poetry of Sri Aurobindo and Subramania Bharathi); Dr. Geetha Iyer, Research Consultant, Tribal Research Centre, Tamil Nadu (Tribal and Indigenous life style); Thiru. Gopinathan, Archaeologist, Auroville Museum of Archaeology, Puducherry (Excavations & Archaeological Findings); Shri B Vasant Kumar, Architect, INTACH, Puducherry Chapter, Puducherry (Indo-Franco Tamil heritage); Shri Shekhar, Director, AuroYajna, Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry (Yogic Tradition); Smt.Bhuvaneswari, H.R, Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry (Fairs & Festivals) and Shri Sugumar Shanmugam, Theatre Director, Pondicherry Theatre Arts Academy, Puducherry (Theatre).
On this occasion, an interactive session with the faculty and students representing various institutions was organized. Dr. Kishor Kumar Tripathy, Member Secretary, AuroBharati, Sri Aurobindo Society interacted with the students on different aspects of Tamil Heritage.