Showing posts with label Cladwell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cladwell. Show all posts

Date of Kambar and Kambaramayanam

Kambar’s period has been an issue of controversy for long among Tamil historians. Simon Casie Chitty, in his 1859 anthology [‘The Tamil Plutarch’] on the lives of poets and poetesses of Southern India and Ceylon, noted : In one of the commendatory stanzas which is prefixed to the workthe year of Saka 808 (AD 886) is specified as the date of its publication by Kamber; but the Rev.Mr. Caldwell, the author of the Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian Languages, rejects this date as spurious from the evidence of certain inscriptions found at Cape Comorin and in the Chalukya country, according to which the Chola kings who patronized Kambar lived only in the eleventh century of the Christian era.”

But, Prof.T.P. Meenakshisundaram says Kambar a contemporary of Ottakkuttar. Other scholars conclude that he belonged to the period of Kulottunga III. Purattirattu, an anthology, quotes verses from Ramayanam after its  quotations from earlier works like Cintamani, while it does not quote from Ottakkuttar or other later poets.

On the basis of one of the verses which give the date of its composition, one may conclude that he lived
in the tenth century.”

Ramachandra Dikshithar of Madras University has concurred that Kambar was a contemporary of King Kulotunga Cholan III,  whose reign spanned between 1178 and 1218 (Vidwan M. Rasamanickam, 1947).

As per Ragava Aiyangar, Kambar may have been born around 1120 and died in 1197.

Analysis and Conclusion
Overall, there are two schools of thought on Kambar’s period. One school proposed that Kambar lived in the 9th century, with which the available circumstantial evidence does not tally properly. Even as recent as 1981, Justice S. Maharajan, who authored a small monograph on Kambar, stated that the 9th century “appears to be the more plausible” period for Kambar. I rather doubt this advanced dating for the simple reason that, in the 9th century, the Chola empire was only in its early stage of ascent, and only the first two kings of the Chola empire have  been identified as living in the 9th century, namely Vijayalaya Chola of Suryavamsa (reigning period 848-881)  and Aditya karikala Chola (871-907). The first most prominent Chola king was Parantaka Chola I (reigning period 907-940), the son of Aditya Chola and the grandson of Vijayalaya Chola.

Acharya Ramanuja
Chalukya chola kings from Kulothunga Chola was a great patrons of Vaishanavism. Vikrama chola built the renewed and built  fortifications for Sri Ranganathar temple. Kulothunga II (1133–50AD) has prosecuted vaishnavites. Kulothunga II is also mentioned in Sekilar periyapuranam. Ramanuja ran away to Hoysala Empire to escape prosecution. Kambar Mentions by name Ramanuja  in Sadagopar Antadi. So he must be of the period or later than Ramanuja. Mostly later than Ramanuja.
Kulothunga III
Kambar mentions  Chalukya Chola  king Kulothunga III(1178–1218AD) in his work ,so Kambar should be of his or later period. Ramanuja was also lived during this period. Kulothunga III 13th century AD was the Contemprory and patron of Famous poets like Ottakuttar , pukalendhi,n Nammazhvar  and Avavaiyar. Cheraman Perumal is also of the same period.Avvaiyar Her two other works, Mooturai and Nalvali, were written for slightly older children.
Raja Raja Chola
Kambar also talks with Raja Raja Chola as contemproary, There are two Raja Raja Cholas. There is Raja Raja chola I(985–1014AD) and Rajaraja chola III(1216–1256AD). So he must of his Rajaraja Chola III period or later. 

Rajendra Chola
Rajendra chola III(1246–1279AD) has honoured Kambar, so he should either be that period or later.

Kakatiya Kingdom
Kambar also went to Kakatiya kingdom then ruled by Purataparudora II(1289 to 1323AD). From 1303AD Khilji forces were battling the Kakatiyas, so it has to be earlier between 1289 to 1303AD.

So by these evidences we can say Kambar lived in later half of 13th century AD and First half of 14th century AD.

On Epic Poet Kambar And the Kamba Rasam polemic of polymath Anna
by Sachi Sri Kantha

Related Posts