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Grateful Remembrance

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Let us gratefully remember Great Tamil Brahmins who have contributed to the Society, people, Nation, language and mankind on their birth and death anniversaries.

It is our tradition to offer shraddha to our pitrus, our pitrus do include the gurus and the like even. In a way the Great Tamil Brahmins are also to be rated like pitrus and therefore I chose this section on rituals, ceremonies and poojas.

In this thread, please post name of the Great men and their services on their respective birth and/ or death anniversaries. Let us look at this thread every day and gratefully remember them.
February 19th - Birth anniversary of Tamil Thattha U.Ve.Swaminatha Iyer

Today is Tamil Thattha Mahamahopadyaya U.Ve.Swaminatha Iyer's birth Anniversary. Let us gratefully remember him.

He was born on 19th February 1855. He travelled far and wide and collected palm leaf manuscripts. He took pains, read them, collated them in order, wrote the contents in current day lipi or letters, gave suitable commentary on them on his own and completed the process by publishing them as books. He compiled more than 100 books - all of them contained ancient Tamil Poetry, literature and works by many great men of the past.

The epics that he published include Silappathikaram, Manimekalai, Jeevaka sinthamani. The other great literature he recovered for preservation include Purananooru, Paththuppaattu and Ettutthogai.

His contribution in recovering and preserving Tamil literature and heritege is unparelleled. He was rightfully given the title Mahamahopadyaya and Tamil Thattha. The Madras University did itself proud by conferring doctorate on him. H.H. Kanchi Shankaracharya conferred the title Dakshina Kalanithi in 1925. Mahakavi Bhartiyar had sung a poem in his honour.

He died in 1942.

On his birth anniversary, let us resolve to at least read one of his publications.

The following link gives a good account of his life sketch.

Dear Sri Appaiah!

Thanks for the post.


February 19th - Birth Anniversary of Tamil Thattha U.V.Swaminatha Aiyar.

Many thanks to Sri Appaiah for remembering the birth anniversary of Tamil Thatha Mahamahopadyaya Dr. U.V.Swaminatha Aiyar on on February 19, 2008. Some years ago I had seen an interesting book on the Temples of South India compiled by him. Though I do not remember the Title of the book, I think it was published by Kalakshetra Publications. Now it is time some one or Kalakshetra themselves, should take interest to bring out his books for republication and distribute at affordable price.

February 24 and February 29 - Rukmini Devi Arundale

Padma Bhushan Rukminidevi Arundale was born on 29th February 1904 to Neelakanta Shastri and Seshammal in Madurai.

She was a great Bharatanatyam exponent, choreographer, animal welfare activist, champion of the cause of vegetarianism, theosophist and a social reformer.

When she married Dr George Arundale in 1920, she made history in a conservative society. She learnt Bharatanatyam dance which was hitherto known as "Sadhir" and was played only by the Devadasis. By bringing Bharatanatyam to the performing arts stage, she not only gave life to Bharatanatyam, which would otherwise have perished for want of performers, but also helped the reformation of those born into "devadasi" families. This helped the removal of the stigma on their families over the years. With extensive research she choreographed many Natya natakams with the core being from Ramayana, Mahabharat, Gita, Kumara Sambhavam and Kutrala kuravanchi.

She founded the Kalakshetra in 1936.

She was the Vice President of the International Vegetarian Union. She was Rajya Sabha member and used the opportunity well to cause the formation of the animal welfare board. She was the President of the Federation of Indian Young Theosophists and the World Federation of Young Theosophists.

She was awarded Padma Bhushan and Sangetha Nataka Academy award.

She was instrumental in bringing the Montessori method of teaching into India.

Had she not declined Morarji Desai's offer in 1977, India would have had its First Women President in 1977 itself. It took thirty more years to get the first woman President in Pratibha Patil.

She died on 24th February 1986.

Let us gratefully remember this great Tamil Brahmin who contributed much to Indian heritage, women, philosophy, art, animals and humanity.
S.Rangarajan writer "Sujatha"

Prolific writer "Sujata" S.Rangarajan died on 27th February 2008. An Electronics Engineer, S.Rangarajan assumed the pen name "Sujata". He had a special style of writing. His play with the words made his writings interesting. He was the one who introduced "hikoo" (short poems - even less than couplets) in Tamil. Many new and young writers follow his style of writing.

He was born on May 3, 1935 and died on 27th February 2008.

Let us gratefully remember him for the services that he had rendered to modern Tamil literature.

Brevity is the soul of wit.

Sujata's writings were known for brevity and wit as well.

May his soul rest in peace.
Va.Ve.Su.Iyer - Varahaneri Venkatasubramania Iyer - 2nd April 1881

When I started this thread, I had the view that all will post about the Great Tamil Brahmins who had contributed. There is nothing like this is my thread in a forum, I hope we need not become "so possessive". That was in the lighter vein.

On April 2, 1881, Sri Varahaneri Venkatasubramania Iyer was born in Tiruchi.
Sri Va.Ve.Su.Iyer is regarded as the fathre of Tamil short story writing. He was editor of "Desabhaktan"

Sri Va.Ve.Su. Iyer was close to Sri V.O.Chidambaranar and was in the forefront of India's freedom struggle. He was close to Veer Savarkar as well.

He lived only 44 years but served this great Nation with heart and soul purposefully. He died on 3rd June 1925. He had visioned a free India, that was not seen by him in his life time.

Let us remember him gratefully.

Here is a link to a brief sketch of his life. This article is a must read, if we have to recollect his valuable contributions to this great Nation.


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