Smearing the Drums

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Sun Jan 21 13:59:30 EST 2001

In a message dated 1/21/2001 9:36:53 AM Central Standard Time,
naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM writes:

>  Tamizar icai, makes use of the original naRRiNai edition
>  done by Pinnattuur NarayaNasamy Ayyar. The original
>  edition, and also  the U.V.CaaminAtaiyar Library
>  edition, presumably checking with the available mss.
>  in the UVS library, ignores A. Duraisamy Pillai's
>  emendation and uses 'kan2Ru'.

Duraisamy Pillai had additional manuscripts which neither Narayanasamy Iyer
nor UVS had. Pillai states that as a result he had considerable new
information which was unavailable earlier. He also says that new commentaries
had to be written for some poems. Pillai did not emend the text as Ganesan
puts it. So when the 1989 UVS library publication ignored Pillai's edition,
they have chosen to ignore valuable new information. I doubt if UVS would
have done it if he were alive. Pillai's edition came out in 1966-68. When A.
N. Perumal's book was published in the  1980s, he too has chosen to go with
an obsolete edition.  Pillai had the title "urai vEntar" (king of
commentators). After all, Hart-Heifetz whose translation is quoted by Ganesan
rely on Pillai enormously. So to have ignored his work without adequate
reasons is not defensible. The calf "kan2Ru" in naR.310 needs a decent
burial. Let us not worry about the leather:-)

> Probably the patrons who
>  cannot afford to gift Elephants to bards, gave some
>  cattle away along with calves,

This type of speculation is useless in trying to identify critical textual
variants given the nature of  bardic poetry and aka.106. Otherwise, one can
even say that the patrons could have given the poor bards some rope,
"kayiRu". It will fit the text and the bards could have used the rope to pack
the food items or to take whatever animals they were given:-) Moreover, we
started with the case where calves -no accompanying cows-  were said to be
given to the bards. We cannot defend that position citing examples where cows
and calves are given.

>  Sangam poetry is full of the descriptions by
>  bards of their poverty and so on. Perhaps,
>  some chieftains rich with cattle after raids
>  donated some.

Cattle-raids in CT are well-known. That is not the issue. What has to be
shown from CT texts is that the bards were customarily singled out to be
given calves by themselves. Barring that, there is simply no basis to have
"kan2Ru" in naR. 310.

S. Palaniappan

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list