South India geography

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon May 25 08:49:54 UTC 1998

Vidyasankar Sundaresan <vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:

>atha tatra sanghapalakAdhirohiNo draviDa prabandha paradevatAtmanaH |
>kalaSIkumArakRta sUtravartmanA kavayan vyajeshTa katicit kavISvarAn ||
>Here, SankarAcArya is said to have debated with some Tamil poets. The
>word sanghapalaka is a reference to the Tamil cankam, kalaSIkumAra is
>agastya, and the sUtra attributed to him is the Tamil grammar.

I should probably clarify the above a little. The verse should not be
taken as an indication that the poet takes SankarAcArya to the age of
the Tamil cankam. It only seems to be an acknowledgement of the old
association of Madurai with the cankam. This is also the only verse that
talks of draviDa prabandha and kavis in Madurai. The rest of the chapter
is filled with stotras on Siva and Minakshi, the presiding deities of
Madurai. The stotras are attributed to SankarAcArya.

Does somebody on the list know whether Tirumala Nayaka of Madurai
revived old cankam traditions in the late 16th century? Perhaps the
SankarAbhyudaya's reference is to a more recent custom of giving an
honored seat (sangha-palaka-adhirohiNa) to the best poets.


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