Akilathirattu Ammanai (Tamil: அகிலத்திரட்டு அம்மானை; akilam ("world"), thirattu ("collection"), ammanai ("ballad")), also called Thiru Edu (venerable book), is the main religious book of the Southern Indian Ayyavazhi faith, an offshoot of Hinduism. The title is often abbreviated to Akilam.
History[edit | edit source]
According to the book, Akilam, Hari Gopalan Citar wrote this book on the twenty-seventh day of the Tamil month of Karthikai (November/December) in the year 1016 ME (1841 CE). The author claims that God woke him up during his sleep and commissioned him to take dictation from what he said. Akilathirattu was recorded on palm leaves until 1939, when it was given printed form.
According to the author, the book is the story of God coming in this age, the Kali Yukam or Iron Age, to rule the world by transforming it into that of Dharma Yukam. This story of faith has woven together the historical facts about Ayya Vaikundar and his activities, with reinterpretations of episodes from the Hindu Puranas (mythologies) and Itihasas (epics). It is presented as if Vishnu is narrating the whole story to his consort Lakshmi.
Though the Citar Hari Gopalan wrote the book Akilam, as per his claim, he did not know any thing about the contents of the book. He woke up in the morning as usual and he didn't know what he had written the day before.
As soon as Ayya Vaikundar attained Vaikundam, the tied-up palm leaf text, which was until then not opened was unfolded. It was there the regulations of Ayyavazhi contains. As per the instructions found there in Akilam, Ayyavazhi was preached by the Citars far and wide.
Style[edit | edit source]
Akilam is in two parts; the first is an account of the ages preceding that of the present age, the Kali Yugam, and the second is an account of the activities of Ayya Vaikundar leading up to his attaining Vaikundam.
Akilathirattu is written as a poem in the Tamil language. The narration alternates between two sub-genres, called Viruttam and Natai. Both the sub-genres employ many poetic devices, such as alliteration and hyperbatons. It contains more than 15000 lines. There are seventeen sections:
Sections[edit | edit source]
The Akilam is divided into seventeen parts: