Tanagalai and Vadagalai

Lakshmi Srinivas lsrinivas at YAHOO.COM
Mon May 10 16:58:40 UTC 1999

--- Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan  wrote:
> In these usages, the
> primary meaning of "kalai" is
> "language" as seen in the AzvAr's usage "centamizum
> vaTakalaiyum tikaznta
> nAvar" (periya tirumozi 7.8.4) .referring to
> brahmins whose tongues 'shine'
> with Tamil and Sanskrit. Thus "vaTakalai" refers to
> Sanskrit and "ten2kalai"
> refers to Tamil.

It is not very clear if the word  "kalai" means
language even if the context quoted by Dr Palaniappan
may seem to suggest that.

In another work viz., ciriya tirumaDal, in the opening
lines of which the same AzvAr uses the phrase

"cIrAr irukalaiyum eytuvAr"
meaning " (they) will attain both types (of objects)".

The objects here refers to the puruShArtha's already
mentioned by the poet a few lines before. The word
"both" refers to aRam (dharma) and poruL (artha), so
kalai seems to mean here "types" or "categories".

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