vyakarana, and Tamil brahmins going to Andhra

Palaniappa Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Mon May 18 04:28:51 UTC 1998

Just by accident, I came across this reference. In a 1949 publication of
lectures by the late Sankaracharya of Kanchi delivered in 1932 in Madras, he
has a lecture on grammar. In that he says that the Nirnaya sagara press in
Bombay has a series called KAvya MAlA. In that series, there were some volumes
called pracInalekhamAlA. They are supposed to contain inscriptions. One of the
inscriptions is a copper plate grant belonging to the kingdom of Vengi.

According to this, Kulottunga Cholan, presumably before he ascended the throne
in Tamilnadu, brought 500 brahmins from Tamilnadu and settled them in present
Andhra. Sankaracharya gives some of the Tamil names in the grant as
"ampalakkUttATuvAn2 paTTan2" and "tiruvaraGkamuTaiyAn2 paTTan2" (as
transliterated from Sankaracharya's book). According to Sankaracharya, the
descendants of these brahmins belong to the branch called Dravidalu. The grant
apparently gives detailed information about name, the zAstra of their
expertise, the grant they received, etc. Sankaracharya mentions that apart
from assigned teaching of Vedas and zAstras, a separate grant was made for the
teaching of "rUpAvatAra", a grammatical text. He quotes the following sentence
from the grant.

rUpAvatAravaktuh eko bhAgah |

I have seen inscriptional evidence of rUpAvatAra being taught at a major
vedic/Sanskrit center under a grant by Rajendra Cholan in Tamilnadu. I know
the same was also used in Kerala. According to Sankaracharya, before the
appearance of siddhanta kaumudi of Bhattoji Dikshitar, a disciple of Appaiya
Dikshitar of aTaiyappalam, rUpAvatAra was the popular grammar.

Has anybody seen this text with the copper plate grant? Does it have an
English translation? Any reference to this text will be appreciated.


S. Palaniappan

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