Telugu history

Fri May 1 13:33:42 UTC 1998

*  Lastly, I have read this statement in the works of Dr M.VaratarAjan2
* who lists( from what I remember) tamil zrIvaiSNava works where
*over-Samskrtization is a feature. (I unfortunately donot remember the
*names of the works he lists).

   A "honey and coconut" story from Tamil side.
  From A. K. Ramanujan, Hymns for the Drowning, Poems for
  ViSNu by Nammaazvaar, Princeton university press, 1981

"From the 13th century on, the commentators debate endlessly the
relative virtues of Sanskrit and Tamil as religious languages.
For a list of pros and cons, see K. K. A. Venkatachari,
The maNipravAla literature of the zrIvaiSNava aacaaryas, 12th
to 15th centuries, AD. p. 25-27. One story about the tension
in this dual heritage is poignant: VaGkIpurattu
Nampi, a disciple of Ramanuja, was found praying to Vishnu
standing among cowherd women.
A disciple accosted him:
'Why do you stand among these illiterate women instead of
among Vaishnava bhaktas?'.
Nampi answered:
'Lord's grace flows over these illiterate cowherds as
water flows from a higher to a lower level'.
The disciple asked:
'How did they pray? How did your grace pray?'
Nampi said:
'They prayed to the Lord in pure Tamil. They said
- Please drink this milk, eat thais fruit. Live a hundred years.
Wear this silk uppercloth -. I prayed in Sanskrit:
Be victorious, be victorious'.
The other man finally said:
'You couldn't forget your rough-sounding Sanskrit even
among the cowherds. It looks as if we, the brahmins,
will be the same wherever we are".

 N. Ganesan

I am cognizant of the possibility of being asked:
"What are you driving at?, What are the overtones?".
Guilty as charged: Plainly pointing out the Tamil heritage,
one of the two classical languages of India :-)

A note to Mr. S. Krishna. I always enjoy your writings.
But it seems to me when you write on tamil culture/literature,
you are working from English material, eg., Zvelebil, Hart.
There are some additions & minor corrections. I could not answer
all of them for want of time.


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