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From: Chandrasekaran. V (vcs_at_wipro.com)
Date: Mon Feb 09 1998 - 10:56:44 PST
Dear members, Sri Nagu Satyan had mentioned the following: > Why did Saint Thyagaraja prefer to compose music in Telugu even though > he was raised in Tamilnadu near Tanjore? Could it be that Telugu as a > language is softer and easier to sing with emphasis on vowels, similar > to Western Classical Music composers who have used Italian in most of > the major operas? Why did Mutthuswamy Dikshithar choose Sanskrit for > his great compositions? Sri Purandara Dasa family origin is from Poona > (I think Marati language). He composed in Kannada. Granted that > Kannada and Telugu have lot of Sanskrit words, with some Tamil. Of > course we have great Carnatic Music Compositions in Tamil also. I am > glad that more and more Musicians are rendering at the concerts Tamil > Compositions of, including Azhwars' pasurams, Papanasam Sivan, Ambujam > Krishnan, Oothikaadu etc. The two examples quoted here viz., Saint Thyagaraja and Muthuswamy Dikshitar are slightly out of place. Every one of us knows that Telugu was the Saint's mother tongue. So even though he was born, became a saintly composer and finally attained samAdhi in "tamizh thazhaikkum tanjai", he might have felt telugu (obviously) more easy to compose. And Muthuswamy Dikshitar spent most of his early days till he came to be known as a great composer, in north in kAsi sthalam. So he might have chosen sanskrit instead of tamizh for his works. More apt example would have been the second member of the trinity (in the chronological order) viz., shyAmA shAstrigal. His mother tongue was tamizh. But for some reason he was taught from his childhood telugu as the language of songs and he adopted it for his works too. I would tend to think this way: during the trinity period (1750 - 1850) the kings who were ruling tanjAvUr were marAthA rulers. So in this age, there might have been heavy influx of scholars from outer states who might have influenced others into adopting languages other than tamizh for compositions. This derivation may be flawed. But the point is that, by no means can anyone just like that discount the greatness of any language that has survived the sweeps of time. Every one knows (patently) that tamizh is the only language which has more vast linguistic heritage than any other 'living' indian language. It has its grammar defined by great sages, like sanskrit. It has five epics as a part of its heritage. Our Azhwars and Nayanmars poured out their love for God in this language... But it wouldn't make sense to keep talking in these lines in this mailing list. Our Lord Himself must be wondering now, "what's happening with these people! why are they arguing and discussing on something as material as their body itself instead of spending that energy in realising me":-) After all words of a language are vibrations of air beating one's ear drum and making some brain cells interpret them. Could it be any higher in subtlety than our gross body itself?:-) adiyArkku adiyEn, chandrasekaran.