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It is considered one of the five great Tamil epics according to later Tamil literary tradition, the others being Manimegalai, Silappadikaram, Valayapathi and Kundalakesi. In its form, it anticipates the Ramayana of Kambar. Cīvaka Cintamani was much appreciated by the Chola king who was its patron and was well received at his Chola court. It has been admired for its poetic form, appealing story-line, and theological message. The story concerns a hero who through his virtue rises to become king, only to renounce his high station and pursue a life of religious merit.
It was composed during the 10th century CE by Thiruthakka Thevar, a Jain monk. It narrates the romantic exploits of Jeevaka and throws light on arts of music and dance of the era. It is reputed to have been the model for Kamba Ramayanam. The epic is based on Sanskrit original and contains the exposition of Jain doctrines and beliefs. It is a mudi-porul-thodar-nilai-seyyul, a treatise of the fourfold object of life and aim of literary work of virtue, wealth, pleasure and bliss. It is in 13 books or illambagams and contains 3147 stanzas. It is noted for its chaste diction and sublime poetry rich in religious sentiments and replete with information of arts and customs of social life. There are many commentaries on the book, the best on the work is believed to be by Naccinarkiniyar. The martial adventures of the hero and the social pictures of the age are depicted in the epic.
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