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Poems from Tikkana’s mahaabhaaratam – 1

Out of the 18 parvas (i.e., main chapters) of Sanskrit mahaabhaarat, leaving the first three parvas i.e., aadi, sabhaa and araNya parvas, the remaining 15 parvas were made into Telugu by tikkana mahaakavi. How great his contribution to Telugu classical literature can be understood from this fact and the volume of work involved in doing so!

Tikkana’s style of composing a Telugu poem is popularly known to have been more dependent on words from the original Telugu language rather than the words generated from Sanskrit language by making them tenugaized with the process of tatsamiikaraNamu (in the process of which the word from Sanskrit language would be taken into Telugu language just by attaching the necessary vibhakti pratyayamu; the word therefore does not undergo much change and read similar in both the languages except the letter of ‘vibhakti pratyayamu’ at the end of the word in Telugu language) and tatbhaviikaraNamu (the process involves deriving and a new word from the original Sanskrit word).

This gives an understanding that by the time the process of writing classical poetry in Telugu language reached 13th and 14th Centuries AD, it has undergone a change that categorically shows that usage of words of Sanskrit origin has diminished to a larger extent when compared to the style of writing Telugu poem as invented and practiced by  the aadi kavi nannaya  bhattaaraka.

It is believed that tikkana lived during the period from 1225-1320 AD . He adorned the royal court of his King manumasidhdhi who ruled the area called Nellore mandalamu. King manumasidhdhi belonged to the choeDa dynasty of kings and it is believed and popularly accepted that tikkana in addition to showing his proves in creating great poetic works was also helping the king in solving certain problems politically too which made us to believe that tikkana was also a minister in manumasidhdhi’s  royal court. It was a generally accepted fact that tikkana with the help of the King kaakati gaNapati deva, who was ruling the area of oeruallu, regained the once lost province to manumasidhdhi back…a not so common achievement by a person who adorned the court of a king as a poet indeed!

tikkana is popularly known as soemayaaji, a title that attaches to the name of the person who performs the soema yaaga – a fire ritual performed to the accompaniment of combined chanting and signing of ‘mantra’ from ‘vedas’ by a group of highly proficient persons in the art of chanting those veda-mantras, generally performed for the benefit and wellbeing of all mankind.

This poem from tikkana’s mahaabhaaratam is regarded as one of the finest of such poems which are intended for teaching the desirable basic good in every person’s personality.

oruleayavi yonariMchina
naravara yapriyamulavi manaMbunaku daa
norulaku navi cheayakuniki
paraayaNamu parama dharma pathamulakellan.

ఒరులేయవి యొనరించిన
నరవర యప్రియములవి మనంబునకు దా
నొరులకు నవి చేయకునికి
పరాయణము పరమ ధర్మ పథములకెల్లన్.

Those things which others do
Oh the blessed of men, make one feel in mind not likable
Not doing such things to others
Is the finest, the most devoted of paths of virtue to follow!

It can be seen that there is not a single word that cannot be understood by a person who is acquainted with the Telugu language, in the above poem. All are simple words and the virtue spoken or told to be followed in the above poem is the most valuable one which cannot be denied by anyone. These poems are made to be learnt by-heart by children at a very tender stage of life i.e., childhood of between 5-10 years of age, with the intended hope that these words are etched in the minds of the children and cling on to their conscience for a life time and guide them to become good human beings!

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