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andhaNar, vEdhiyar, paarppanar, battar and BrahmaNar

From: K. Srinivasan (
Date: Thu Nov 21 1996 - 13:52:42 PST

From: (Vijay Triplicane)
quotes from a kaalakshEbam
"anthaNeer araNGgamE - the land of sriraNGgam with brahmins.

It looks like a description of a pond where there is a crane eating crabs
and 'vaaLai' and keNdai' and the BlueFlower are also described. OK! But how
does it get connected to the brahmins living in sriraNGgam????"
Many (non-Brahmin) Tamil scholars question the translation of andhaNar
as Brahmin. It probably did not mean a caste. But meant noble people.
{Just like people talk about the word "arya" in Sanskrit.}

Vidya Dehejia in her book also translates "andhaNar" as well
as "battar" as "Brahmin".
In fact, she claims, periyaazhvaar could have been a Brahmin King.

Well, a Brahmin King with poor knowledge of the vedic shastras,
and so much humility!. It is hard far me to believe.

The translations I feel to be more appropriate are:

vEdhiyar - "expert in the vEdha Sastras".
andhaNar - People of high virtues or sanctity, Philosopher
battar- cook (periazhvaar was more likely the Chief cook (battar piraan)
                     than a Brahmin Chief)
paarpanar - seer (one who can foretell things, philosopher)
piramanar, brahmaNar - Brahmin

The aazhvaars use vEdhiyar, andhaNar, battar, paarpanar mostly.

Is there any instance of brahmaNar (or piramaNar) in aazhvaars' works.?

I hope I am not offending anybody with this opinion.

Srinivasan K