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Fwd: Demise of Prof C Jagannathachariar

From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Wed Jun 06 2001 - 14:55:52 PDT

[ From Sri Lakshmi Srinivas ]

--- Lakshmi Srinivas <> wrote:
  Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 08:06:54 -0700 (PDT)
  Subject: Fwd: Demise of Prof C Jagannathachariar

Dear friends, 

Just received a message from Madras that Prof C Jagannathachariar
passed away.

Prof CJ guided many famous scholars in his time including:

1. Friedhelm Hardy ("Viraha Bhakti") one of the few rare western
scholars of Vaishnavism who was comfortable in both Sanskrit and
Tamil. He read the Tamil source texts (Divya Prabandham,
cilappatikaram, Kalittokai etc) in the original under Prof CJ's

2. Prof Ramanathan, the well-known musicologist. 

3. I understand Prof Vasudha Narayanan, the distinguished scholar
of Srivaishnavism, studied many Tamil and Manipravala texts with
Prof CJ.


Prof CJ, grand-father of Venkatakrishnan of Indian bank,was
absorbed in Acharyan Tiruvadi today, 24th May.

It is indeed a sad loss of Tamil world, as it is to theentire
humanity that values scholarship, simplicity,humility, passion,

While I am a toddler in Tamil, it gave me great pleasure tojust
bask in his presence. Such was his simplicity and sagacity. The
least I could do today was to compile a few facts about him for
those who might be interested, and knowing your love for Tamil I
am furnishing them below.

Prof C Jagannathachariar was a scholar par-excellence in Tamil, a
lover of English, a student of Geography and History, a sports
enthusiast, a man with histrionic talent.A humble human being
with a thoroughly unassuming nature, he lived life with verve and
simplicity. A Sri Vaishnavite devoted to Tamil literature, he did
not have an iota of Siva-Vishnu bheda.

I remember him telling me that one of the high points of his
career was the exposition for many days on Kamba Ramayanam at the
Aayiram Kaal Mandapam (if I remember right) at Chidambaram
temple. When he learnt that he was speaking in the very place
where Sekkizar did the arangetram of Periya Puranam he was
overcome with emotion. On the concluding day, the Utsavar of
Nataraja Swami apparently came to the place where he was
speaking. He related all this to me with tears in his eyes. He
also mentioned to me that when he visited the village of
Manikkavasagar, he was extremely agitated that the small Siva
temple there was in such decrepit condition. He cried for the
Tamil people did not know the value of their own heritage. He lit
a karpooram there, probably the first person to do so in decades.

When I last saw him a few years back, he was living in abare room
with the most frugal of furniture in his son's first floor
apartment in Triplicane. He was seated on the floor and enjoying
coffee as only a person of his generation can.

His acad qual: MA (Hist), MA (tamil), L.T, Diploma inGeography,
Tamil Vidwan. Awarded Bourdillon Prize fordistinction in Tamil
during BA at Presidency College in 1930.

Career: Started ateacher in Hindu High School, Triplicane(1943 to
46). Served as HOD Tamil in Vivekananda College since its
inception in 1946, for 27 years till 1973.

His monumental work in Tamil

- In collaboration with his guru Sri U Ve V M
Gopalakrishnamachariar, Prof CJ brought out entire Kamba
Ramayanam with commentary in 7 volumes.

- Villibharatam - all ten parvas 

- in 7 volumes- Annotation of ten poems of Pattup-pattu.

- Commentaries for Maduraik-Kanci, Kurinjip-Pattu and
  Malaipadukadam were solely the work of Prof CJ-

- Tirukkural with Parimelazhagars commentary with
  Kurippurai by CJ

- Tiruppavai of Sri Andal - textual literary and
  criticalstudy (Magnum opus of 520 pages)- 

- Muthukkumaraswami Pillait - Tamil with Kurippurai- Five
  Tiruvezhu Kurrirukkaigal with commentary by CJ (byNakkirar,
  Sambandar, Tirumangai Alwar, Arunagiri Nathar,Vanc-Carabam
  Dandapani Swamigal). These have since been inscribed in Madurai
  Meenakshi temple, Kumbeshwarar temple,Sarangapani temple, Swami
  Malai and Arunachaleswarar templerespectively. The last one is
  on Sri Parthasarathi of Triplicane and maybe it has been
  inscribed there.-

- Tamil translation of Ramakatha - Rasa - Vahini
  of Bhagavan Satya Sai Baba- 

- Guide to Doctoral thesis of Sangitha Bhushanam S
  Ramanathan. Thesis was on 'Silappadikaratthu isai
  -nunukka - vilakkam'- 

- Naladiyar with commentary by his guru : edited by him-
  Commentary on Tandi-alangaram-Collani Iyal- Commentaries on other
  works of Kamban - Saraswati-andadi,Satagopar-antadi, Erezhupadu,
  Silai ezhupadu, Tiruk-kaivazhakkam-

- Edited Nannul-kandigai-Urai- 

- Commentaries for Sekkilar Pillait-Tamil by
  mahavidwanMeenakshi Sundaram Pillai,
  Makara-Nedun-kuzhaik-kadarPillait-Tamil by
  Tirumeni-kavirayar, ,

- Mahabharatha Churukkam by Kachalaiyar - all 18
  parvams(Only 15 parvams were found in manuscripts
  as poetry. CJ wrote last 3 parvams in prose for the
  sake ofcompleteness). He edited and commented on all
  the stanzas running to 10 volumes- Guruparampara
  Sarvartha Sara Bhushanam(Purvartham-Sara-Sangraha-Vilakkam)
  Edited from palm leaf manuscripts, rich treasure for

- Mahabharatham Santhadi Asva-maham - Around 1200
  stanzasculled from torn manuscripts, edited and
  commented by CJ.This work is by a Muslim poet
  named Syed Muhammad Annaviyar.

Above all, any number of Tamil scholars have had their tutelage
under Prof CJ. They don't make them like him anymore.


           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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