sensuousness in Tirukural

I was thinking that classical Tamizh poetry was puritanical, anti-sex etc.  I was absolutely wrong. One has to read Kamthupal particularly kalviyal to find how sensuous these verses are;.

புல்லிக் கிடந்தேன் புடைபெயர்ந்தேன் அவ்வளவில் அள்ளிக்கொள் வற்றே பசப்பு.


who was in close embrace just turned aside and the moment I did so, sallowness came on me like something to be seized on.

வீழும் இருவர்க்கு இனிதே வளியிடை போழப் படாஅ முயக்கு.

To ardent lovers sweet is the embrace that cannot be penetrated even by a breath of breeze.

முலைமேல் துகில்

பாலொடு தேன்கலந் தற்றே பணிமொழி வாலெயிறு ஊறிய நீர்.

The water which oozes from the white teeth of this soft speeched damsel is like a mixture of milk and honey.

(translations are from

2. Why is it called “Kamthupal” and not “Inbathupal”. Was Kaman an Aryan god or Aryans took this god from Tamizh iconography?  For example I heard Tiruvalluvar uses Kaman

பருவரலும் பைதலும் காணான்கொல் காமன் ஒருவர்கண் நின்றொழுகு வான்.

  1. In classical Tamizh literature there is lot of mention of separation (pirivu in Tamizh and Vraha in Sanskrit). How does this separation occur in society of normal families? I can think of separation occurring when the lover or husband goes off to some other place for a long time, for example in the case traders who go other places for trading for a long time of few months. Or in the case of fishermen (Neydhal thinai) who venture into the sea for the whole day or sometimes even a few days. In normal families separation does not occur. Can some expert explain this to me?
  2. Under Kamthupal there are two divisions i)kalaviyal ii)karpiyal. I understand Kalaviyal represent the wooing stage of lovers leading to marriage and Karpiyal. In a didactic and moralistic piece like Thirukural, Kalaviyal may  not mean “adultery” or “sex outside marriage”

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