Periya Puranam - Background

Background

Sekkizhar was a poet and the chief minister in the court of the Chola King, Kulothunga Chola II. Kullottonga Chola II, king Anabaya Chola, was a staunch devotee of Lord Siva Natraja at Chidambaram. He continued the reconstruction of the center of Tamil Saivism that was begun by his ancestors. However Kullottonga II was also enchanted by the Jain courtly epic, Jivaka Cintamani an epic of erotic flavour (sringara rasa) whose hero, Jivaka, combines heroics and erotics to marry seven damsels and gain a kingdom. In the end he realises the transiency of possessions, renounces his kingship and finally attains Nirvana by prolonged austerity (tapas).

In order to wean Kullonttonga Chola II from the heretical Jivaka Cintamani, Sekkizhar undertook the task of writing the Periyapuranam.. His poetic abilities earned him the title ″Uthama Chola Pallavar″.

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