muttusvAmi dIkshitar

Thu Apr 9 15:42:48 UTC 1998

MuttusvAmi Dishitar is the right spelling, I think.
His Tamil forefathers wrote in Telugu to get
Telugu Nayak court patronage.
MuttusvAmi Dikshitar's descendent, Subbaraamar
writes in SSP(telugu edition) as MuddusvAmi
just to fit with the Telugu custom. As MuttusvAmi Dikshitar
lived in Tamil country, the name  MuttusvAmi should get
high priority compared to MuddusvAmi.

17th/18th century Karnatic musicians,  mainly from Tamil lands,
chose to write in Telugu because the ruling chieftains were Nayaks.
Nayaks were Balijas or toTTiyas. The Nayaks usurped power at
the right moment when the Vijayanagar kingdom was in decline.
The Nayaks were mercenaries, not from cultured social background.
The focus of Vijayanagar had always been Kaveri delta. (Trichy & Tanjore)
Chieftains get culture, music etc., after a few generations.
See B. Stein, Vijanagara, Cambridge univ. press.

The Telugu Nayak era is considered a period
of heavy decline for Tamil literature. Kirthanas
&c. flourished. In a mixture of telugu, tamil, sanskrit.
May be sangitam is great, Yes, but many times sAhityam
is very poor. The literary excellence is not that great
usually. Also, the Telugu period in Tamil Nadu flourished
music of erotic nature, devadasi tradition etc.,
This is from Nayak courts' aspirations,
A. K. Ramanujan, When the God is a customer: Telugu
courtesan songs, Univ. of california.
For Nayak's meager origins, see Shulman & Sanjay Subrahmanyam.

What a decline from classical sangam poetry, kuRaL, cilambu, tevaram,
naalaayiram, kamban, etc., (2nd century BCE - 12th centuries) days
to the tamil kiirthanam days (a heady mixture of erotic, different languages,
slangs, etc..)! During the eclectic days of Telugu chiefs,
the telugu kiirthanam evolved from earlier tamil musical
traditions (paaNar of sangam, cilambu, pancha marabu
in adiyaarkku nallaar, mainly the Tevaram Othuvaar tradition,
araiyar sevai in srirangam etc.,)

Nayak chieftaincy is like Texan Cowboys becoming
millionaires when Oil was found :-)

It took really giants like Ramalinga Vallalaar, Bharatiyaar,
U. V. Saminataiyar, Arumuga Navalar, Maraimalai Adigal to rediscover and
start a renaissance of Tamil letters and music.

N. Ganesan

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