South India geography

jayabarathi barathi at PC.JARING.MY
Mon May 25 09:16:53 UTC 1998

At 01:49 AM 5/25/98 PDT, you wrote:
>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?

        No. I am afraid not. In fact he was real Tamil-hater.
        There is an interesting true episode involving the
        poet Supra Deepa KaviRaayar, which stands witness to this.
        The fact that he honoured Kumara Guruparar and his
        Meenaatshiyamman PiLLaith Thamilz is more due to
        religious fervour than anything else.

        But it looks like there have been Sangams for Tamil
        along the course of history.
        There was VajraNandhi's Sangam. In the SriVaishnava
        Parambara, there is mention of a Tamil Sangam in existence
        during the time of Nammaalzvar. It is possible that
        some of the Pandyan kings would have tried to revive
        the tradition, since some of them call themselves as
        "iRantha Kaalam eduththa".
        Some of them like Paraakram Pandya and Adhiveera Raama Pandya
        surrounded themselves with many poets and scholars.
        Even minor lords like ThirumalaiRayan of Karaikkaal
        had 64 poets who clashed with the Aasukavi KaaLamegam.
        May be what you meant was Thirumalai Raayan and not
        Thirumalai Nayakkan.
        As late as the 18th century, Marudhu Brothers of Sivaganga
        did  have a coterie of scholars in permanent residence
        with them.



                                                         Perhaps the
>SankarAbhyudaya's reference is to a more recent custom of giving an
>honored seat (sangha-palaka-adhirohiNa) to the best poets.
>Get Your Private, Free Email at

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list