SV: Classical languages of India

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Fri Oct 20 01:44:43 UTC 2000

In a message dated 10/2/2000 1:20:16 AM Central Daylight Time, I wrote:

> George Hart (1976), in his analysis of the shared elements in the use of
>  suggestion in Sanskrit and Tamil, stated, "Sanskrit did not borrow from
> Tamil
>  because clearly the Sanskrit writers were not acquainted with the Tamil
>  tradition" but from the mahArASTri Prakit tradition which, in turn, came
> from
>  a Deccani megalithic tradition. However, Siegfried Lienhard (1984)
> attributes
>  more direct influence by Tamil on the Prakrit tradition when she says, "
>  hAla's reign coincided with the flowering of Tamil caGkam lyrical poetry
>  which, having already reached perfection in form and content, quite
>  exercised an influence on creative writing in maharASTra."

I have now found a virtual smoking gun pointing to a direct connection
between Tamil and Prakrit traditions. The eighth century commentary on the
grammar of Tamil love poetry, kaLaviyal urai (iRaiyan2Ar akapporuL viLakkam),
mentions two texts as having been named after the persons who caused them to
be created. One of them is "iLantiraiyam" and the other is "cAtavAkan2am".
The first one was named after the king "iLantiraiyan" of Kanchi. The second
one was named after one "sAtavAhana". Both works are lost now. (kaLaviyal
urai lists tolkAppiyam as an example of a text named after the author.)

> From the names of other works listed, it is clear that the texts referred to
are Tamil texts. This means that "cAtavAkan2am" sponsored by "sAtavAhana" was
a Tamil text. The fact that this grammar of Classical love poetry mentions a
Tamil work sponsored by sAtavAhana is very significant.

S. Lienhard says that hAla was often called sAtavAhana. Also the famous poet
bANa included sAtavAhana (hAla) among the poets he admired and said that hAla
"created an (artistically) immortal, polished collection (kOza) of
single-stanza poems (subhASita)". Moreover, hAla's sattasaI, has at least 40
poems by hAla himself.

               (to be continued)

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list