Telugu history

Thu Apr 30 15:06:02 UTC 1998

Mr. S. Krishna writes:
*by the 12th century, when the maNipravALam style held sway,
*samskrtization had taken root so firmly that there were Tamil
*works with more Samskrt words than Tamil words.

I do not know what works are being referred here.

May be in a few Jaina works like mErumantira purANam or
the ubhaya vedAnta tradition of Srivaishnavas. Here, ubhaya-twofold
refers to both Tamil and Sanskrit traditions. Srivaishnavas
wrote beautiful commentaries on aazvaar paasurams quoting
extensivily from sanskrit material bringing out inner nuances
and philosophical contents of aazvaar bhakti. The aims here are
different: 1) to explain Jainism in tamil 2) to spread
aazvaar bhakti northwards respectively.

But in all periods, Tamil works employing tamil vocabulary
far exceed the no. of maNipravALam tamil works. Can give you 100s of
examples for any century CE.

Coupled with the fact that no help from the West in editing of tamil
palm-leaves. Tamil had many Westerners working for it. eg.,
Caldwell formulated Dravidian language family; Pope translated
TiruvAsagam; Much earlier, Viiramaamunivar brought a
Christian epic & western methods of lexicography; B. Ziegenbalg ..

However Tamil has not had yet her own C. P. Brown who saved many
Telugu manuscripts. There are about 3000 tamil palm-leaf
manuscripts in Europe; some have not even been catalogued yet.
Remember Europeans started working in Kerala & Tamil nadu from
1600 CE onwards. Compared to Sanskrit manuscript editings by
the West, equally ancient tamil works await critical edition.
In Tamil India, tamil professors look more (to me, atleast)
as comedians/jokers on TV & sabha/sangam meetings than
in-depth researchers. In my honest searches, I know of not
more than 10 Tamil professors who know enough of old & medieval
Tamil literature who can edit a text from palm leaves.

N. Ganesan

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