Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai

Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai or Mahavidhvan Meenakshisundaram Pillai (Tamil:மீனாட்சிசுந்தரம் பிள்ளை) was a Tamil scholar and teacher of U. V. Swaminatha Iyer, a Tamil scholar and researcher who was instrumental in bringing many long-forgotten works of classical Tamil literature to light. Pillai's important contribution is in the form of temple history called Sthalapuranam for 90 temples in Tamil Nadu. He was born in Trichy and went on to associate himself with Thiruvaduthurai Adheenam. He was an ardent devotee of Shiva and a Tamil teacher.

Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai
Meenakshisundaram Pillai.jpg
Personal
Born6 April 1815
Died1 February 1876 (1876-03) (aged 60)
ReligionHinduism
PhilosophySaivism
Religious career
Literary worksSthalapurana
HonorsTamil Poet

Some of his notable works are Prabada Tirattu, Kanthimathiammai Pillai Tamil, Sri Mangalambigai Pillai Tamil, Perunthipirattiyar Pillai Tamil and Thiruvidaikazhi Murugar Pillai Tamil.

BiographyEdit

Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai was born on 6th April 1815 to Chidambram Pillai and Annatachi Ammayar in Somarasanpettai in Trichy. He got his early education from his father who taught him Tamil literature and also Mathematics. He then went on to learn Tamil from Velayutha Munivar in Mounamadam in Rockfort. He also learnt from various other people like Velur Subramanya Desikar, Sri Sivakkira Yogi Mutt head Ambalavana Munivar, Keezhavelur Subramanya Pandaram, Kanchipuram Sababathi Muthaliyar and 'Thandiyalangar' Paradesiyar. He got married to Kaveriachi in his 15th year. He got Sivadikshai on his 21st year Thirisirapuram Setti Pandrathiya. He went on to associate himself with Thiruvaduthurai Adheenam where he started teaching and publishing his works.[1]

Mahamahopadhyaya Dr. U. V. Swaminatha Iyer compiled Pilla's biography in Tamil, which was translated into English by Sridharam K. Guruswamy. as "A Poet's Poet" (Maha Vidhwan Sri Meenakshisundaram Pillai of Tiruchrappalli).[2] This book of 129 pages was first published in the year 1976 by Mahamahopadhyaya Dr. U. V. Swaminatha Iyer Library, Madras, now known as Chennai.[1]

In addition, we get to know the poetic brilliance and the unwavering Tamil bhakti of Poet Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai, and the high regard the Tamil speaking world idolized him, by reading the first 300 pages of the Autobiography of Dr. U. Ve. Swaminatha Iyer, En Saritham. It was to the credit of the Saivite Thiruvaavaduthurai mutt and the then Sannidhanam HH. Subramania Desikar that Poet Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai could sustain despite the severe monetary challenges faced. Another aspect is of the Guru Sishya relation that moves one to tears and shows the dark contrast to the low level, education of our current times have degraded to. A disciple (in the form of U. Ve. Sa) like a calf that has strayed out for a few days, longing for its mother, and The Poet as the searching and longing mother yearning to nourish the calf (his disciple and take care of his Tamil hunger as well as the real hunger). He passed away at Thiruvaaduthurai after ailing for sometime, with his two foremost disciples at the deathbed, Saverinatha Pillai massaging his feet and U. V. Swaminatha Iyer reciting from the Thiruvaasagam.[1]

He was an ardent Saivite, but held Kamban and his Ramayanam in the loftiest pedestal. It would be fair to say that in the last 200 years, Pillai has contributed possibly the largest corpus to Tamil poetic literature than any other poet, and by his teaching and through his students brought out the greatness of Tamil literature to the public at large and beyond. Remember all of this literature are aligned to the Yaappu and Ani Illakanam (Poetic grammar) and much before the advent of the new style of poem writing (Pudhu Kavidhai). He was an ardent teacher and ensured noon meals for all his pupils.[3]

Literary worksEdit

He began his career as a Tamil teacher in Mayiladuthurai and went on to train many students in the craft of Tamil literature. One of his first publications under his own name was Akhilanda Nayaki Pillai Tamil, written in 1842. He is remembered for his contribution to Tamil studies as well as Saiva Agamas (Rules of Saivites). The celebrated Tamil scholar U. V. Swaminatha Iyer, known for his discovery of the Sangam classics, became his student at the age of 17. Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai, who left behind him a treasure of Tamil palm leaf manuscripts, died in 1876. He led a poor person's life but is respected as one among the greats who served to Tamil language. Due to poverty, he had to ghost write works like Suta Samhita and Kuchelopakyaanam.[4]

Along with the institution of Tamil literature came an increased specialization of roles. Whereas poetic and musical composition were often combined in the creation of dramatic and poetic works, the dual role of Kirthana(musical text) composer and erudite poet was becoming unusual in the 19th century. U. V. Swaminatha Iyer reports the contempt of his teacher, Pillai, for poets who composed musical works; music was thought to be a distraction from the more important aspects of grammar, poetics and mastery of traditional commentaries.[5]

Notable worksEdit

Sthala Puranas constitute one of the 96 minor literary genres of Tamil, which gained prominence after the 16th century and came to be recognised as an important literary text for studying temples in the context of socio-economic milieu. Pillai is said to have composed 90 Sthalapuranas (history of ancient temples) about various temples and imparted puranams to his pupils.[6] His major works are listed below.

  • Prabada Tirattu[7]
  • Kanthimathiammai Pillai Tamil[8]
  • Sri Mangalambigai Pillai Tamil[9]
  • Perunthipirattiyar Pillai Tamil[10]
  • Thiruvidaikazhi Murugar Pillai Tamil[11]
  • Prabada Tirattu - Paguthi 10 - Sri Ambalavanathesikar Pillai Tamil[12]
  • Vaatpokki Kalambagam[13]
  • Thiruvavauthurai Atheenathuk Guru Parambarai Agaval[14]
  • Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 11 - Sri Ambalavana Thesigar Kalambagam[15]
  • Thiruvidaimaruthur Ula[16]
  • Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 13 - Seekazhi Kovai[17]
  • Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 14 - Thirupanjeelithirupandathi[18]
  • Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 15 - Thiruthillaiyamagavanthathi[19]
  • Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 16 - Thuraisaiyamagavanthathi[20]
  • Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 17 - Thirukudanthai Thiripandathi[21]
  • Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 18 - Thiruvidaimaruthur Thiripanthathi[22]
  • Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 19 - Palaivana Pathitranthathi[23]
  • Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 20 - Thirvooraipathiranthathi[24]
  • Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 26 - Thiruchiramalaiyamagavanthathi[25]
  • Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 27 - Thirupanjeeli thiripanthathi[26]
  • Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 28 - Kalaichaichidambareswarar Malai[27]
  • Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 29 - Agilanda Nayagi Malai[28]
  • Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 30 - Subramaniya Thesika Malai[29]
  • Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 31 - Sri Sachithananda Thesikar Malai[30]
  • Thiruvanaikka Agilandanayagi Pillai Tamil[31]
  • Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 2[32]
  • Seizhkizhar Pillai Tamil[33]
  • Thirugnana Sambandar Aaanantha Kalippu, Thirukkarkudi malai[34]
  • Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 32 - Thesikar Nenjuvidu Thoothu[35]
  • Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 33 [36]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Thirisirapuram Mahavithuvan Meenakshisundaram Pillai". 2019. Retrieved 4 November 2021.
  2. ^ W. Jones, Kenneth. Religious controversy in British India: dialogues in South Asian languages. p. 252.
  3. ^ Companion studies to the history of Tamil literature. Brill. 1992. p. 153. ISBN 9789004093652.
  4. ^ Ramaswamy, Vijaya. Historical dictionary of the Tamils. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 190. ISBN 9781538106860.
  5. ^ Singing the classical, voicing the modern: the postcolonial politics of music in South India. P.154.Amanda J. Weidman
  6. ^ In those days there was no coffee: writings in cultural history. P.108. Ā. Irā Vēṅkaṭācalapati
  7. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Prabada Tirattu (PDF). Project Madurai.
  8. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Kanthimathiammai Pillai Tamil (PDF). Project Madurai.
  9. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Sri Mangalambigai Pillai Tamil (PDF). Project Madurai.
  10. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Perunthipirattiyar Pillai Tamil (PDF). Project Madurai.
  11. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Thiruvidaikazhi Murugar Pillai Tamil (PDF). Project Madurai.
  12. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Prabada Tirattu - Paguthi 10 - Sri Ambalavanathesikar Pillai Tamil (PDF). Project Madurai.
  13. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Vaatpokki Kalambagam (PDF). Project Madurai.
  14. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Thiruvavauthurai Atheenathuk Guru Parambarai Agaval (PDF). Project Madurai.
  15. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 11 - Sri Ambalavana Thesigar Kalambagam (PDF). Project Madurai.
  16. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Thiruvidaimaruthur Ula (PDF). Project Madurai.
  17. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 13 - Seekazhi Kovai (PDF). Project Madurai.
  18. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 14 - Thirupanjeelithirupandathi (PDF). Project Madurai.
  19. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 15 - Thiruthillaiyamagavanthathi (PDF). Project Madurai.
  20. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 16 - Thuraisaiyamagavanthathi (PDF). Project Madurai.
  21. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 17 - Thirukudanthai Thiripandathi (PDF). Project Madurai.
  22. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 18 - Thiruvidaimaruthur Thiripanthathi (PDF). Project Madurai.
  23. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 19 - Palaivana Pathitranthathi (PDF). Project Madurai.
  24. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 20 - Thirvooraipathiranthathi (PDF). Project Madurai.
  25. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 26 - Thiruchiramalaiyamagavanthathi (PDF). Project Madurai.
  26. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 27 - Thirupanjeeli thiripanthathi (PDF). Project Madurai.
  27. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 28 - Kalaichaichidambareswarar Malai (PDF). Project Madurai.
  28. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 29 - Agilanda Nayagi Malai (PDF). Project Madurai.
  29. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 30 - Subramaniya Thesika Malai (PDF). Project Madurai.
  30. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 31 - Sri Sachithananda Thesikar Malai (PDF). Project Madurai.
  31. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Thiruvanaikka Agilandanayagi Pillai Tamil (PDF). Project Madurai.
  32. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 2 (PDF). Project Madurai.
  33. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Seizhkizhar Pillai Tamil (PDF). Project Madurai.
  34. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Thirugnana Sambandar Aaanantha Kalippu, Thirukkarkudi malai (PDF). Project Madurai.
  35. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 32 - Thesikar Nenjuvidu Thoothu (PDF). Project Madurai.
  36. ^ Pillai, Meenakshi Sundaram (2006). Prabantha Thirattu - Paguthi 33 (PDF). Project Madurai.

External linksEdit