Kaladi and Sankara

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Thu Nov 18 05:12:49 UTC 1999

In tirunAvukkaracu's case, this name was coined for him. So there was no need
to qualify his name with a place name. If we had a good database of
inscriptions, one can look for ArUrc cuntaran2.

In any case, we do find caGkaran2 accompanied by place name in another
instance. SII 14, no. 144 has the following name "..cEri ko/OTTaiyUrc
caGkaran2 civatEvapaTTac cOmAci". This inscription is in Mannarkoyil in
Ambasamudram taluk in Tirunelveli district. It mentions the scribe's name as
cURRi caGkaran2An2a camaiJcacappiriyan2. SII 14, no.194 in Cermatevi in the
same taluk mentions one caGkaran2 kaNavati. Note these places are in the same
western Tirunelveli region as kAlaTiccaGkaran2. SII 14, no. 231 in
Vijayanarayanam, in Nanguneri taluk in Tirunelveli District mentions a nampi
caGkaran2 vAcutEvan2. SII 5, no. 404 in nellaiyappar temple mentions a
cEtuGkanATTuc caGkara nArAyaNamUrtti tiruvELaikkARan2. SII 5, no. 412  in the
same temple mentions a caGkaranArAyaNap perumpilARu in tirunelvEli. The same
inscription mentions caGkaran2pATiyAr who contributed oil.  SII 5, no. 437 in
the same temple mentions a vaTTamaNi caGkara nArAyaNabhaTTan2.

The popularity of caGkaran2 as a name in the 12th-13th centuries in the
Tirunelveli area is beyond doubt. caGkaran2pATi is a non-issue. It referred
to oil-pressers and was derived from cakra. The interpretation of kAlaTi in
the meanings suggested can be ruled out. No person of the status enjoyed by
the mazavarAyan2 is going to call his son a servant. (kAlaTi literally means
"at the feet". In fact, precisely due to this, a chieftain would not name
his child kAlaTi without the additional piece of information provided by the
name caGkaran2. I do not think the place name kAlaTi was as widely known as
ArUr.) So the rationale for the use of kAlaTi must be that it referred to a
place. (Note there is no instance of kAlaTi being used by an elite person as
a result of any vow or religious reason where they deliberately choose a
negative name.) If at all one wants to give a name meaning a servant of god
Sankara, then it has to caGkaran2 kAlaTi and not kAlaTiccaGkaran2.
Redundancy in language is there to minimize information loss in
communication. Given the status of the chieftain, and the specific form
kAlaTiccaGkaran2, the conclusion is inescapable that it referred to Sankara
of Kaladi. There is no justification to interpret the components of "kAlaTic
caGkaran2" as being in any way different from those of "ko/OTTaiyUrc

S. Palaniappan

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