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On Sanskrit vs. Tamil - part 3.

From: Venkatesh Elayavalli (
Date: Sun Jan 04 1998 - 12:17:04 PST

Dear members,

I will try to keep this part as short as possible.

As mentioned by Sri Muralidhar Rangaswamy and Sri Sadagopan, the times of
Sri Ramanuja and Sir Alavandar required them to compose more on Sanskrit than
Tamil. However they paid their respects to the AlvArs in their taniyans (the history
of Taniyans is very interesting). For example, Sri Alavandar pays homage to
NammAlvAr at the beginning of Stotraratna. There are inscriptions on the recitation
of TiruvAymozhi during tirupaLLiyezhucci in SriRangam that is dated about 1085.
So it is evident that the knowledge of the 4000 was very much intact with the
early acharyas and it was up to the later acharyas, particularly starting with PiLLan,
to write commentaries on the subject.

Sri Bhattar, who wrote one commentary on one of the stanzas of 4000, also
composed two taniyans in tamil for NammAlvAr's Tiruvaymozhi. So did
Sri AnantAlvAn who composed one taniyan in praise of NammAlvAr.
Sri Bhattar also mentions the equivalence of Sanskrit and Tamil Vedas in
his Srirangarajastava.

----- From Srivaishnava ManiprvALa by Sri K.K.A Venkatachari-------

An intereseting reference to Tiruvaymozhi is given by Sri VadakkuthiruvIthippiLLai:

    Though the meaning is vEdArtha (this thiruvaymozhi) it is not self-manifest.
    Veda (Sanskrit) is like paratva, IthihAsa abd PurAnas are like avatAra
    and the TiruvAymozhi is like archAvatAra.

The Veda, as we know, is Sruti which is considered to be without beginning
(anAdi) or eternally revealed. If Vedas are Sruti which is anAdi, then the
hymns of AlvArs are considered in the Srivaishnava tradition to be that  of
Sruti which has Adi (ie the temporal beginning of the AlvArs through whom
the Supreme Lord Narayana revealed Himself). VadakkuthiruvIthippiLLai
is the first archarys to make this distinction in his Idu:

Though the tiruvAymozhi has the meaning of Veda, it is not self-manifest
like the Veda. He uses the following simile to expand his suggestion. The
Supreme form of the Lord (paratva) is like the Veda, the PurAnas are
like the Lord's avatAra manifestations on earth, while the  TiruvAymozhi
is like the image form (archA), because it is easily available to anyone
irrespective of time and place.

Also, Azhakiya manavALap perumAL nAyanAr in his AchAryahrdayam
remarks that the tamil language of Agastya is as eternal as Saskrit.


AchAryarkaL thiruvadikalE SaraNam