The Concept of Beauty in Periyapuranam

Keywords: Siva literature, Tamil epic, Sekkizhar, Periyapuranam, Beauty, Physical apperrance, God


Sekkizhar composed Periyapuranam to exhibit greatness of Saivism and guide the people and king who has eagerly immersed in the themes of aham (love affairs) expressed in the kavyam of Civakacintamani. Therefore, there is no theme of love affairs beautifying songs of the Periyapuranam as in the case of Cintamani. However, there is a humble beauty in the Periyapuranam and the beauty is nothing but portrayal of beautiful elements of physical appearances of Saiva saints.
The Periyapuranam which speaks Saiva saints portrays beauty of the saints. Periyapuranam comprises of lives of saints who are unequal in caste and economical hierarchy. The research paper studies how much Periyapuranam gives importance to exhibit beauty of the saints and in which manner the beauty of saints is articulated by Periyapuranam.
The research paper reveals that Periyapuranam depicts modest beauty of physical appearances of Saiva saints with holy ash, rutratcam, holy thread, matted hair, white dress and shred dress. Besides, Periyapuranam shows that forms of mahamuni and ghost are conceived as the extra ordinary forms which can reach the God. Further, Periyapuranam tries to bring beauty of physical appearances of the orthodox saints in a kind of structure in view of competition between orthodox and heterodox system.

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