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On Sanskrit Vs. Tamil

From: Venkatesh Elayavalli (vke_at_cypress.com)
Date: Sun Jan 04 1998 - 10:28:54 PST

Dear Members,

First I would like to be clear on my own opinion on this subject. Having
grown up
in TamilNadu, I am more exposed to Tamil that I am to Sanskrit. I always
believed
that Sanskrit and Tamil were two independent languages. The question of
one
having supremacy over other was not frequently raised back home. In most
SV
community, it was assumed that Sanskrit and Tamil are equally important
and there
was no debate about that. when you visit any of the Vishnu temples in
TN, you will
never see any issue raised during the Veda Parayanam or the Divya
Prabhandha
Parayanam.

The first time i encountered this debate was during my first few years
in US and
mostly they were from Advaita followers. The Dvaita followers do
acknowledge the
Bengali scriptures.

The whole reason for me to post the two reproductions on the defense of
Tamil was
not to substantiate the supremacy of Tamil over Sanskrit, on the
contrary, they were
meant to present the "other side of the story" to those who are not
familiar with the
Tamil history or its culture. AlvArs were not the only ones to compose
hymns in
Tamil. The 63 Nayanmars (many of them from the fouth varna) praised Lord
Shiva
 and most of their songs were in centamizh. There were other buddhist
and Jaina works. Fortunately, Sri Nathamuni, Sri Alavandar, Sri Ramanja
and other
acharyas recognized the beauty, essence and importance of 4000 and
incorporated
them into our sampradhaya. This did not happen to other works.

I will try to post the opinions of other acharays on this subject.

regards,

Venkatesh