Kamban's Aryan

Yaroslav V. Vassilkov yavass at YV1041.SPB.EDU
Tue Dec 22 08:56:18 UTC 1998

On Mon, 21 Dec 1998, N. Ganesan wrote:

>> It is of note that
>> When Hanuman meets Ravana in his court, he talks to
>> Ravana in vaTamozi (Northern language) whereas
>> when Hanuman meets Seethai in the forest of Asoka trees
>> he comforts her in chaste Tamil to tell the news
>> that Rama will come soon to rescue her.

And on 22 Dec Samar Abbas commented on this:
> Hanuman is thought by some to have been originally a Dravidian monkey-god
>who was later incorporated into the Aryan pantheon. So it is only natural
>to expect him to have originally spoken Tamil. Older Dravidian versions
>of the Ramayana are more likely to have preserved this feature.
>Sanskritization came later, and there is no contradiction.

        The situation from Kamban's RAmAyaNa, described by N.Ganesan, does
not give any ground for such generalization. Hanuman speaks with Seethai in
the forest of Asoka trees just because SHE IS A WOMAN, and the antaHpura is
not a place to speak Sanskrit! In the Mbh there is a story of Indra's
attempt to seduce RucI, wife of a RSi. To prevent it, the RSi's pupil Vipula
leaves his own body and keeps guard inside the body of RucI. When Indra
gallantly addresses the beauty, Vipula answers him in her voice. Indra is
greatly astonished to hear correct Sanskrit speech from a woman (even the
wife of a great Brahmin sage)! He immediately understands that some other
person speaks through her mouth.
        Best regards,

Yaroslav V.Vassilkov, Ph.D.
Department of South and SE Asian Studies
Institute of Oriental Studies
Dvortsovaya nab., 18,
St Petersburg, 191186,

Home address: Fontanka, 2,
kv. 617, St Petersburg,
191187, Russia
tel. +7 (812) 275 8179
e-mail: yavass at YV1041.spb.edu

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