Which one of the following explains the practice of ‘Vatakkiruttal’ mentioned in Sangam poems?
(a) Kings employing women as bodyguards
(b) Learned persons assembling in royal courts to discuss religious and philosophical matters
(c) Young girls keeping watch over agricultural fields and driving away birds and animals
(d) A king defeated in a battle committing ritual suicide by starving himself to death
The practice of ‘Vatakkiruttal’ mentioned in Sangam poems refers to a specific ritualistic act performed by a king who was defeated in a battle. Here’s a further explanation:
- Vatakkiruttal: Vatakkiruttal, also known as Vatakkiridhal, was a practice observed by defeated kings in ancient Tamil society. It involved the act of committing ritual suicide by self-starvation.
- Defeated king: The act of Vatakkiruttal was performed by a king who had been defeated in a battle. It was considered an honorable way for a king to meet his end after facing defeat in war.
- Suicide by starvation: The defeated king would voluntarily abstain from consuming food and eventually starve himself to death. This act was seen as a form of self-sacrifice and an expression of loyalty to one’s kingdom and honor.
It’s important to note that Vatakkiruttal was a specific practice mentioned in Sangam poems and should not be confused with other practices or customs. Therefore, the correct answer is (d) A king defeated in a battle committing ritual suicide by starving himself to death.