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Thursday, September 10 , 2014


The Indian Analyst


 

South Indian Inscriptions


 

EPIGRAPHIA INDICA

SRIRANGAM INSCRIPTION OF SADASIVARAYA ; SAKA 1467

K. G. KRISHNAN, MADRAS

The subjoined inscription[1] is engraved on the inner wall of the north side of the third prākāra, to the proper right of Svargavāśal in the Raṅganāthasvāmin temple, Śrīraṅgam, Tiruchirappalli District, Madras State. It is dated Śaka 1467, Viśvāvasu, Phālguna, śu. 7, Monday. The English equivalent of this date is A. C. 1546, February 8, Monday.

The importance of the record lies in that it contains a reference to a distinguished person known as Nalantigal Nārāyaṇa Jīyar who had for a long time been associated with the administration of the Śrīraṅgam temple and also mentions a descendant of Śrīśailapūrṇa, who was a preceptor of the royal family of Vijayanagara.

The scripts used are Grantha and Tamil and the language provides a good example of the typical Vaishṇava style with a fair admixture of Sanskrit and Tamil words, better known as the maṇipravāḷa style employed by the great Tamil commentators. In fact, the expression Indappāvam aḍikkalañju pon perum (i.e., this sin is highly valued) in line 7 conveys the same idea as contained in the Sanskrit quotation [sa]n-nimitta-kṛitaṁ pāpamm=api dharmmāya kalpatē, cited immediately above and this Tamil expression is also found in the great commentary known as Īḍu[2]. This is a clear testimony also to the fact that Vaishṇavaite commentators of the medieval period had achieved proficiency in rendering Sanskrit expressions into good Tamil.

The orthography of the inscription presents the following features. The rēpha is represented by a vertical stroke above the consonant to which it is prefixed as in pūrṇa, āchārya, samarpitta (lines 3 and 10). But if the consonant following the rēpha is doubled as in sauhārdda (line 6), dharmma (lines 7 and 10) the sign for the rēpha is inserted in between the doubled consonants. In line 3 the Grantha letter pa is used in the purely Tamil word perra. This is only an exception since the Grantha alphabet is uniformly employed to indicate Sanskrit words or letters.

The text abounds in scribal errors which have been duly taken notice of and the necessary corrections are indicated in the foot-notes accompanying it.

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[1] ARSIE, No. 13 of 1936-37.
[2] Īḍu 1, 4, 1. This commentary was written by Vaḍakku-tiruvīdippipal in the name of his teacher Nambiriai.

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