Nadasurabhi Cultural Association located in Koramangala, Bangalore is in the forefront of promoting Classical Carnatic Music. Nadasurabhi conducts the highest quality music concerts every month and a week-long Annual Festival in November, free of charge to all rasikas. Our other events include a youth festival, Thyagaraja and Purandaradasa Aradhana, and music competitions for children.

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Manipravalam - Page 2

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The compositions in this dialect reflect the way the Aryan and Dravidian cultures were moving towards a synthesis.  ‘Lilathilakam’, a work on grammar and rhetoric written towards the end of 14th century, lays special emphasis on the types of words that blend harmoniously.  This text presents itself as establishing  the linguistic and poetic standards for vernacular literary expression in Kerala.  Manipravalam is a clear precursor to Kerala’s modern language of Malayalam.

Manipravalam was not merely a linguistic peculiarity or dictional individuality.  It was expected to exhibit certain specific features distinguishing it from ‘Paattu’ – the narrative poetry – of the earlier period.  The triumphant culmination of Manipravalam style is found in ‘Chandrotsavam’(15th-16th century) – a story in a splendid verse format.

The poets who lived in 14th and 15th century sowed the seed for  new poetics in Malayalam, as they felt the need for development of Malayalam as an independent language and their writing style defied the Manipravalam poetics.  As a result efforts were made to bring out works in Malayalam and ‘Ramacharitam’ was written which is considered as the oldest text in Malayalam.  However, writing in Manipravalam continued till Cherusseri Namboodiri wrote “Krishna Gatha’ in the 15th century.  With this, the transition from Manipravalam  to ‘Pacha Malayalam’ (Pure Malayalam).  By 17th century, .there  appeared a number of authors who have written in pure Malayalam giving regional, realistic flavours to their creations.

In Tamilnadu, the Manipravalam works are of a completely different background. Tamil, considered as the most ancient language, developed as an independent language very early, and the literary works in Tamil date back to ones like ‘Sangam’ literature  including ‘Silappadikaram’ and so on.  Yet, the Tamil  ‘Azwars’ and ‘Acharyas’( who lived between 11th and 13th century) were so enchanted by the beauty of Manipravalam, that they employed it in their works. All the Vaishnavait Acharyas were learned scholars  of  both Prabhandams in Tamil  as well as  the ‘Vedas’, ‘Upanishads’ and other works in Sanskrit.  They spread the preaching of Azwars through their writings, in which they mostly followed the Manipravalam style, a delectable mixture of Sanskrit and Tamil.  Of these, ‘The Guruparamparas’ (hereditary details and line of succession of Azwars), is an impotant one.

‘Vedanta Desika, also called ‘Nigamantha Maha Desika’ or simply ‘Desikan’ (born in 1268 AD) is a great Vaishnava  Acharya.  He has written more than 100 works in Sanskrit, Tamil, Prakrit and Manipravalam.  Of these, 32 are in Manipravalam – called ‘Rahasyas’.  Since the Vedas and Upanishads are in sanskrit and not accessible to all, he wrote these Manipravalam works  in simple language, which could be easily followed by all, including women.  All these works are commentaries on the works of Azwars and earlier Acharyas.  The most popular of these are his ‘Rahasyatrayasaram’.  ‘Hasthigiri Mahatmyam’, extolling the glory of the diety of Kancheepuram is another famous work.

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