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Tolkappiyam : Akam / Puram

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jprasad

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I am trying to understand how the terms Akam and Puram are used. I am researching temple rituals performed amongst members of the Tamil diaspora (whose ancestors were taken from India during the nineteenth century to serve as laborers in various parts of the British Empire).

I am currently researching firewalking rituals as performed in Fiji, and wondered whether the Akam / Puram distinction was purely a literary one, or whether it could be used to differentiate between different types of rituals, such as Abishekam (an act of love / devotion as performed within the temple) - an Akam ritual, whereas the act of firewalking (a heroic act performed outdoors) is Puram.

Any advice on the limitations of using the terms to apply to ritual performances would be appreciated, as would any suggestions on things I should read in order to gain a better understanding of how to correctly use the terms.

Thank you for your assistance

Jonathon
 

vsubbu48

Active member
I am trying to understand how the terms Akam and Puram are used. I am researching temple rituals performed amongst members of the Tamil diaspora (whose ancestors were taken from India during the nineteenth century to serve as laborers in various parts of the British Empire).

I am currently researching firewalking rituals as performed in Fiji, and wondered whether the Akam / Puram distinction was purely a literary one, or whether it could be used to differentiate between different types of rituals, such as Abishekam (an act of love / devotion as performed within the temple) - an Akam ritual, whereas the act of firewalking (a heroic act performed outdoors) is Puram.

Any advice on the limitations of using the terms to apply to ritual performances would be appreciated, as would any suggestions on things I should read in order to gain a better understanding of how to correctly use the terms.

Thank you for your assistance

Jonathon

akam relates mainly to spirutuality, good character etc. Puram relates to aspects of daytoday activities of life, about warriors etc. The best and easiest way to start is to read akaththuppaal and puraththuppal of Tirukkural. Then you can read akanaanUru and purananUru.
 
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