U V Swaminatha Iyer
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday paid tributes to Tamil scholar U V Swaminatha Iyer on his birth anniversary, saying he popularised works from the Sangam era and helped conserve precious heritage.
- Uttamadhanapuram Venkatasubbaiyer Swaminatha Iyer(19 February 1855 – 28 April 1942) was a Tamil scholar and researcher who was instrumental in bringing many long-forgotten works of classical Tamil literature to light.
- His singular efforts over five decades brought to light major literary works in Tamil and contributed vastly to the enrichment of its literary heritage.
- Iyer published over 90 books in his lifetime, on a variety of matters connected to classical Tamil literature, and collected over 3,000 paper manuscripts, palm-leaf manuscriptsand notes of various kinds
- He is affectionately called Tamil Thatha(literally, “Tamil grandfather”)
- Swaminatha Iyer learned Tamil literature and grammar for five years as a devoted student to Mahavidvan Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai, a great poet and scholar.
- He was also a beneficiary of the reputed Saiva Mutt at Thiruvavaduthurai. Tyagaraja Chettiar was the head of the Tamil Department at the Government Arts College, Kumbakonam.
- As the Civaka Cintamani was a Jain classic, Swaminatha Iyer went to the homes of learned member of the Jain community in Kumbakonam to get some doubts cleared.
- He also read the Jain epics and collated several manuscript versions and arrived at a correct conclusion. It was due to his efforts that the Cevaka Cintamani was published in 1887.
- From that time onwards, he began to search for Sangam classics with a view to editing and publishing them. After the Cevaka Cintamani, the Pattupattu was published
Contribution to Music:
- Another significant contribution made by Swaminatha Iyer is in the realm of Tamil music. Until Swaminatha Iyer published the Cilappatikaram, Pattupattuand Ettuthokai, music was a grey area in Tamil research. During the previous four centuries, Telugu and Sanskrit dominated the music scene in Tamil Nadu in the absence of any valuable information on Tamil music.
- Swaminatha Iyer’s publications threw light on the presence of Tamil music in the earlier centuries and paved the way for serious research on the subject. As the son of a famous musician of his time, Swaminatha Iyer learnt music from Gopalakrishna Bharathi, a musical exponent and the author of Nandan Sarithiram.
Source: THE HINDU.