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Re: Sanskrit vs Tamil

From: muralidhar rangaswamy (
Date: Sat Jan 03 1998 - 13:02:23 PST

Dear Friends,

We received insightful responses from Srimans Sridhar Srinivasan and 
Sadagopan on the above subject. I concur with their opinion that 
Sanskrit and Tamil are the two eyes of our Sampradayam. The two 
languages are complimentary as far as Ubhaya Vedanta Siddhantam goes. 
In my humble opinion attempts to demonstrate the superiority of one 
language over the other are simply exercises in futility. 

Hoary Vedic declarations along with outpourings of Anubhavam are the 
reasons for the richness and vastness of our Sampradayam. Several 
Acharyas like Sri Nathamuni, Sri Yamuna Muni, Sri Ramanujacharya,  
Swami Desikan and Manavalamaamunigal were adept at both languages. 
Restrictions imposed by their times and places (audience for their 
Pravachanas and Kalakshepams) where they preached 
necessitated excessive use of one language even to the point of ignoring 
the other. For example Sri Ramanujacharya's works are exclusively in 
high-flown Sanskrit. This in large part was due to the 
need for establishing our Sampradayam on firm ground using  
Shruti-based arguments. Sri Bhashya for example is terse and 
argumentative in nature. Several references from the Chandogya Upanishad 
have been used to establish the ultimacy of Lord Narayana 
and his eternal relationship with Sri.

On the other hand, the sublimal and soulful outpourings of Andal, 
Nammazhwar, Kulashekara Azhwar, and Tiruppan Azhwar mirror the 
message of the Vedas. The inner meanings of Sama Vedam can be seen 
from the thousand verses of Sri Tirukuruhoor Satakopan. Sri Andal's 
tribute in the Koodarai Vellum Seer Govinda brings out the brilliance of 
the Govinda Namam, its association with Vedam and its connections to 
PraNavam. Several important Vedic passages from the Taittriya Upanishad, 
Narayana Upanishad, Vishnu Sooktam and Narayana Sooktam 
are marvellously connected in Sri Kulashekara Perumal's eulogy to the 
Lord of Seven Hills in the fourth decad of PerumAl Tirumozhi. Tiruppan 
Azhwar's AmalanaatipirAn brings succinctly summarizes the message of the 
Vedas in ten consummate verses while providing a beautiful Anubhavam of 
the Lord of Srirangam from head to foot. 

Swami Desikan, who had complete mastery over Vedam and Divya Prabandham, 
very eloquently states that the inner meanings of the Vedas will become 
apparent only through a study of the Azhwar's works. As far as I am 
concerned this statement is sufficient to set to rest 
any debates on the supremacy of Sanskrit over Tamil or vice-versa.  

Namo Narayana,

Muralidhar Rangaswamy

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