Society under the Kalabhras

We can find a lot of difference between the society and culture of the Sangam Age and those of the Kalabhra rule. There was a political chaos during the Kalabhra rule. The secular outlook of the Sangam period gave way to the religious outlook of the Kalabhras. Both Buddhism and Jainism became dominant religions during the Kalabhra period. Particularly, the Jain monks had preached Jainism in the Tamil country. They were patronized by the Kalabhra rulers. At the same time, efforts were made to remove the evils from the society. The Tamil Siddhars like Thirumoolar had preached their philosophical ideas. Morals and ethics had been preached through education and literature.

Education and Literature

The Kalabhra rule in the Tamil country had witnessed the growth of education and literature. Sanskrit and Prakrit languages had been introduced in the Tamil region. This had resulted in the development of a new script called Vattezhththu. The Tamil literature had also taken new forms, and the Tamil grammar had also undergone a few changes during this period. Many works under Pathineen Keezhkanakku were composed during this period. Epics like Seevaka Chinthamani and Kundalakesi were written. Nigandus were also composed during the Kalabhra period.

The Buddhist and Jain monks had contributed much to the growth of education. The Buddhist educational institutions were called Ghatikas. Scholars like Buddhadatta, Buddhaghosha and Bodhidharma lived during this period. The Jain Palli had remained important educational centers during the Kalabhra rule. The Jain Palli (School) at Thirupathirippuliyur remained an important educational centre during this period. Sarva Nandhi and Vajra Nandhi were the two great Jain scholars, who lived in this period.

During the end of the Kalabhra rule, the religion Saivism began to emerge as a great religion. Some of the Kalabhra rulers had embraced Saivism. However, it was only after the end of the Kalabhra rule, the Bakthi-cult flourished in the Tamil country through which both Saivism and Vaishnavism began to flourish.