Saturday, September 13, 2008

Deivathin Kural # 63 of (Vol 2) of 22 Dec 2007.

Om Namah Sivaya.

Deivathin Kural # 63 of (Vol 2) of 22 Dec 2007.

(Note 1. We are to remind the readers that herein, 'he' as a word stands for 'she' as well. When Tamil or Sanskrit words are transliterated in English, the single vowel will indicate a short utterance and a double vowel will indicate a longer pronounciation. Words in Sanskrit script not being available, the transliteration spellings and thereby the pronounciation, especially of names may be at variance from what it should be! Note 2. It may please be noted that the talk is dated some time in the late 1950's and early 60's.

Vyakaranam: The Mouth of the Vedas

Greatness of Grammer.

1. The second body part of Veda Purusha is Vyakaranam or Grammer, which is considered as the 'Mukham', the face. Here the face refers to the Mouth, since language is spoken with the mouth in the face. Vyakaranam in Tamil is called the Ilakkanam. Since Vyakaranam defines the language, it can be considered to give the 'Lakshanam' of the language. As 'Lakshmanan' becomes Ilakkumanan in Tamil, Grammer the Lakshanam, becomes the Ilakkanam. After all, there can be no language of communication without it's being spoken, (except may be the computer language!).

2. There are many grammers in Sanskrit. The main one in use is the one done by Panini Maharishi. Amongst the Vyakarana Suthras, there is one Varthikam with copious notes, done by Vararuchi. The Bhashyam for Vyakaranam has been written by, Patanjali. These three are the Sastras of Vyakaranam. There is one major difference between other Sastras and Vyakaranam. In all other Sastras, the pithy and succinct statements of the Suthras are more valuble than the explanatory Bhashyam. But in the case of Vyakaranam, Varthikam is more valuable than the Suthras and the Bhashyam is even more so! To depict that as an equation; Vyakarana Suthras by Panini < Varthikam by Vararuchi < Bhashyam by Patanjali. Sastras are six. Vyakaranam is one of them. Vedas have six parts of 'Shadanga'. Vyakaranam is a part of that classification too.

3. Panini's Vyakaranam is in the form of Suthras. As I said, Suthras are pithy and brief statments of intense succinctness. So, they need to be enlarged and explained for the common man's benefit. All Sastras thus have their own Bhashyam, deriving their names from the name of the document being explained. But in the case of the Bhashyam written by Patanjali, for Vyakaranam, it is called the 'Maha Bhashyam', from which we can have an idea of it's greatness.

Vyakaranam and Siva Peruman.

4. In Siva Temples, normally you can come across a big hall for gathering, called by the name of 'Vyakarana Dhana Mandapam'. In Tamil the name may be corrupted to sound like, 'Vakkanikkum Mandapam'. Such a place is in 'Thiruvortriyur' in Madras and many of the Siva Temples in Chozha Nadu. Why should such a Hall be there in Siva Temples? Why not in Vishnu Temples? What is the connection between language and Siva? As after all, is Siva not supposed to be the silent Dakshina Murthy? There is one Slokam in Nandikeswara Kaarika, on this as follows:- "nrththavasaane nataraaja raajo nanaada dakkam nava pancha vaaram I uttardukama: sanakaadi siddaan etat vimarse siva suthra jaalam II". Let me talk about this.

5. The silent Siva is also absolutely static. When he moved, many things happened; and one of those happening is the coming into being of the Science of Languages or Bhasha Saastram! The dancing Siva is called, Nataraja. Among the artists, Natan is the dancer. The best dancer amongst them all is 'Nataraja'. Maha Natan or Nata Raja is someone who cannot be outdone in dancing, is Himself, "maha kaalo, maha nata:". Does not time change everything? The Sanskrit dictionary 'Amara Kosa:', calls Siva, the great dancer! In Tamil, he is called, 'ambalak kooththaaduvaan', meaning the 'cosmic dancer'. In olden times, Brahmins used to have such meaningful names in Tamil, which in other words is 'Nardhana Sabha Pathi', as revealed by the recorded statements of authorities, known as 'Saasanam'.

6. In Bombay, there is a printing press by the name of 'Nirnaya Sagara Press'. They used to publish some short literary pieces of olden times, under a serial name of, 'Kavyamala Series'. Under that, there were some releases with the sub-title of 'Praachina Lekamalai', meaning 'Old Time Writings', which contains recordings of Sanskrit Saasanams. Amongst them, there is one Vengi Naattu Saasanam. Vengi Naadu was a name of the Kingdom located between, Godavari and Krishna Rivers. Then the dynasty was known as the Lower Chalukhya Kingdom. They were maritally related to the Chola Kings of Tanjavur. Raja Raja Chola's dynasty ended with his grand son's reign. His grand daughter through a daughter, known as Ammanga Devi was married to Raja Raja Narendra of Lower Chalukhyas. It is, his son Kuloththuga who became the King at Tanjavur. He wanted that there should be more Veda Adhyayanam in Vengi Nadu. So he took 500 brahmins from Tamizhnadu and settled them there. The Dravidalu lineage of Brahmins in Andhra was so created.

7. The Vengi Naadu Saasanam published from Bombay by Nirnaya Saagara Press, (under the Kavyamala Series, with the sub-title of Prachina Lekamalai), contains the names and Gothram of all those 500 brahmins, with details of what they were good at, what they were required to do etc., and the details of the land allotted to them individually. One of the sentence reads, "...roopavatara vaktu: eko bhaga:...". This is to mean that some individual had been allotted a piece of land, for teaching 'Roopa Avatara'. That is part of Vyakarana Saastram.

8. Near Dindivanam, there is a place by the name of 'Ennayiram', where there was a Veda Patashala, having 350 students, out of whom, 40 were studying 'Roopa Avataram', says a Saasanam of the period of first Rajendra Sozha Raja. In Pondicherry, there was a Veda Patashala (A.D. 1018 -1050) being looked after by Rajatirajan, where also, this subject of Roopa Avataram was being tought. Another Saasanam of Veera Rajendra Devan, in the year A.D. 1067, talks of this subject being tought in a Vidyasalai in Thirumukkoodal, near Kanchipuram.

9. Now-a-days, a book on Sanskrit grammer, that is rather famous is 'Siddhanta Koumudi'. The author of this book is one Battoji Deekshidar. He was a student under the famous Appayya Deekshidar, (who was born in Adayabalam and wrote 104 Treatises / Granthas including the alankara sastra of 'Kuvalaya Aanandam'). This Siddhanta Koumudi is an explanatory work on the Panini's Suthras. There is an apt statement, in this book on the work of Pundits on grammer, which says, "...ardha maatraa laagavena putrotsavam manyante vaiyaakaranaa:...". They have to give cogent explanations to the slightest changes, as per the Suthras. If 'a' becomes, 'aa', they have to give the reason for doing so. Since the Suthras are short, brief, pithy and succinct; there can be difference of opinions and interpretations. So, the explanations better be precise and to the point, instead of being too verbose, as otherwise, it can lead to further differences of interpretations that could be contentious! When, your interpretation is acceptable, it may be for a very small minute point of 'ardha maatra'. But that 'ardha maatra', could give you the pleasure as though for a celebration of child-birth, says this line that is quoted! Thus, this Siddhanta Koumudi, is itself an exercise in precise interpretations. It was written some 400 years back. Anyone studying the 'Vyakaranam' first reads this Siddhanta Koumudi.

10. It may be of interest to note that, this Bhattoji Deekshidar has also written a book by the name of 'Tatva Koustubam' a tratise of Adwaita, in honour of his Guru, Appayya Deeshidar. He has also authored a book by the name of 'Madhva Mada Vidvamsanam', disputing the Madhva Siddhanta. Anyhow, that is not the matter under discussion, now. We were talking about the fact that his book 'Siddhanta Koumudi', is the authority these days, as far as Sanskrit grammer is concerned! Before this book, it was the earlier mentioned 'Roopavataram', that was the standard text book on Vyakaranam. Here 'Roopam' means the form of sound. Avataram means the descent or history. This Roopavataram was published by Sri Rangachariyar of the Presidency college. A person teaching 'Roopavataram' was being allotted a piece of land says the Saasanam (see para 7 above). That should give you an idea of the importance given to the teaching of Vyakaranam.

11. That Vengi Saasanam is about 850 years old. It contains the name of each of the Brahmin, who got land allotted on his name. Amongst those Brahmins, many are with the title, 'Shadangavit'. Most of their names are in Tamil, such as, 'Ambalak Kooththaduvaan Battan', 'Thiru Vengadam Udaiyan Battan' and so on. One is named after Nataraja of Chidambaram and the other after Ranganatha Swamy of Sri Rangam. They could be followers of Siva or Vishnu. But they were all Smarthaas.

(To be continued.)




At 8:29 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Can I get the life history of



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