THE FOURTH THAMILZ SANGAM
KADAARA THAMILZ PERARIGNYAR
(1867-1911 AD) was a great and versatile scholar and poet belonging to the
royal house of the Sethupathis of Ramanathapuram. He was the Zamindar of
Palavanatham. He was also a patron of arts, literary works, scholasticism,
and poesy. He was invited to many places to give talks.
A detailed biography
can be seen at Panduthurai
One day, he was invited
For his speech, he needed
references from ThirukkuRaL and KambaRamayanam books.
He sent people to get
them for him.
But the books were not
available anywhere. No shops sold them.
When the Thevar came
to know this he was overcome with limitless grief.
Madurai was the Home
of Tamil Sangam.
Tamil was nurtured there.
In that very place, these
two books which were the sheet anchor for the field of Tamil Literature,
were not not available.
Thus was the fate of
He resolved then and
there, that he would form a new Tamil Sangam and bring up Mother Tamil to
Her former glory.
In 1901, a big
meeting was held in Madurai. It was the State of Madras political general
meeting. Pandithurai Thevar himself took an important role in convening
it and Thevar was the main person doing the organising work.
Many important people
from various parts of Madras were present for that meeting.
The Thevar made use of
this opportunity and announced the necessity of forming the Fourth Tamil
Sangam in Madurai. He extended invitation to all the Tamil scholars. He told
them about his resolution and that the Sangam would be established very soon.
In that meeting which lasted for three days, the Thevar canvassed for the
Sangam and received a lot of support.
On the fourth day of
the meeting, the Fourth Tamil Sangam was inaugurated in the Madurai Sethupathi
The Fourth Tamil Sangam
was formed on the 14th of September, 1901.
UVSaminatha Aiyar, R.Raghava
Aiyangar, V.M. Sadagopa Ramanujacharyar, V.K.Suryanarayana Sastriyar alias
ParidhiMaaRKalaignyar, Solzavandhan Shanmugam Pillai, Thirumayilai Shanmugam
Pillai, Pinnathur NarayanaSamy Aiyar, MaRaiMalai AdigaL, ThirumaNam SelvaKesava
Mudhaliyar, M.S.Purnalingam Pillai were great Tamil scholars of the day
who attended. All of them spoke in praise of the Thevar and his endeavours.
Baskara Sethupathi was
the guest of honour.
They said that the original
Founder of the Third Tamil Sangam - the Pandya King UkraPeruvalzudhi himself
was born as Pandithurai Thevar and formed the fourth Sangam in the same
Kalaasaalai, Pandiyan Puththaga Saalai and Nuul Aaraaychisaalai were also
founded on the same day.
The inauguration of the
Sangam was held for three days.
Pandithurai Thevar got eminent
Tamil scholars to obtain manuscripts and publish them as printed books through
the Tamil Sangam.
He gave a lot of money to
UVSaminatha Aiyar and made him publish 'PuRapporuL VeNbaaMaalai', 'MaNimEgalai'
and several other books. He caused the publication of the Saiva ThirumuRais
by Madurai Ramasamy Mudaliyar. He used his own finances through the Tamil
Sangam to get scholars ro publish manuscripts.
He himself published many
books under his own supervision. 'Pannuul Thirattu', 'Saiva Manjari' and
'AgapporuL' by NaaRkaviraasa Nambi were overseen, corrected, and published
by him. He himself has written meanings and commentaries for these works.
He wrote a series of articles
based on available history. The caption for these articles was, 'Thamilz
Palzam Charitham' - Tamil Ancient History. These were published in the Senthamilz
There were three classes in
the Sethupathi Senthamilz Kalaasaalai - PiravEsa Panditham, Paala Panditham,
and Panditham. Free food and lodging were given to the students who came
to study in these classes. Many Tamil Pulavars of those days graduated from
Madurai Tamil Sangam. In those days, there were no courses nor examinations
organised by universities for Tamil Vidvans. So those who obtained the Pandithar
Diploma form Tamil Sangam were considered as Pulavars.
The library which was known
as 'Pandiyan Puththaga Saalai' was provided with thousands of books by Sethupathi
and Pandithurai Thevar. They also collected old palm leaf manuscripts and
old books. This was one of the best libraries of the times. Most of the
manuscripts were collected by Thevar himself.
There was also a Tamil Research
Centre in the Sangam. Many poets and scholars were involved in researching
Tamil literary works and publishing them throgh the Tamil Sangam.
In order to facilitate the
publishing work, a printing press was bought.
After that they started a
magazine called 'Senthamilz'. This was a monthly magazine.
Thevar had a big mansion in
the North VeLi Street of Madurai.
To provide space for the Sangam
with all its components, Thevar donated it to the Sangam. In the year 1901,
it was worth well over two hundred thousand rupees. That would amount to a
few million rupees now. The Sangam was functioning in that building for a
He instituted prizes for the
best outgoing student who passed the Sangam examinations with top marks.
The great savant among Tamil
scholars - Venkatasamy Naattaar was one of them. Another noteworthy figure
was Thaaraamangalam Kandasamy Pillai.
Every year, the Annual General
Meeting would be held.
As long Thevar lived, it was
jeld as a Tamil festival. Many eminent scholars were invited to give learned
talks. During those days, Thevar provided sumptuous feats in his house.
Many research articles were
published in Senthamilz magazine.
Great scholars like Navalar
Somasundara Barathiyar, Arasan Shanmuganaar, Narayana Aiyangar, etc., wrote
very valuable articles.
Many important works were
published. One of the valuable great books to receive help was the Abhidhana
ChintamaNi - a mini-encyclopaedia.
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