ఆంధ్ర జన తెలుగు భాష Andhra People, Telugu Language

Nagarjunakonda Lion
ఆంధ్ర సీరీస్ లో మన ప్రథమ వ్యాసం తెలుగు జనాల మూలం ఏమిటో దగ్గరి చూసి అడిగాము, “ఆంధ్రులు ఎవరు?”. ద్వితీయ సర్గం లో మన ఆంధ్ర జనాల ప్రాచీన ఇతిహాసము మరియు తేనె కి మించిన మన తీయమైన భాష చూస్తాము. ఈ ద్విభాష వ్యాసము ఆంగ్లం కింధ భాగములో రచించాము.

In the first article of our series on The Andhras, we explored the origin of the Telugus and asked “Who are the Andhras?”. The second installment will investigate the early history of the people & the language that is sweeter than honey. This bilingual article will feature the English version at the bottom half.

ప్రస్థావన

మన తీయమైన తెనుగు సామాన్య సంవథ్ లో మూడో శతాబ్దం లో మొధలైనధి అని ఆధునిక చరిత్ర విద్ధ్వాంసులు అంటారు. కానీ, ఈ వాదన మన ఊరి చరిత్రలు ని జోక్యం  చేసుకుంటుంది. పండిత్ కోట వెంకటచలం గారు రచించినట్టు ఇటువంటి వాక్యాలు మన చరిత్రని ఇలా  చెడ కొట్టి నందుకు మనకి  నవొస్థుంధి.
అందునించి, మన భారతీయ సంస్కృతి వెబ్‌సైటులో  రచించినట్టు విజ్ఞానము ని మన పరంపరం తో సమతుల్యం చెయ్యాలి. సైంటిఫిక్ పురావస్తు తవ్వకాలు ప్రకారరాం చూస్తె, ఒక జనాల చరిత్రం నిజమా కాద అని తెలుస్కోవ్వచు.
అధి చెయ్యాలంటె, ప్రథమ పని తెలుగు పండితులువ్రాసిన చరిత్రము చదువాలి. ఆ మహానుభావులు మన సత్యమైన చరిత్రం ని రచించి, రక్షించి, ఆగమి తరంకి అందించారు.
Introduction

Mana theeyamaina Telugu is often dated to the 3rd century BCE. This assertion is based primarily on epigraphic evidence and ignores the local narratives. However, as Pandit Kota Venkatachalam garu asserted, this type of speculative reconstruction often produces guffaws and risible results with respect to the true history of a people.

Therefore, as was asserted in our Series on the Chronology of Indian history at our mother site, indicportal.org, it is important to balance science with tradition. Scientific archaeological excavations and carbon-dating based analysis can verify what our local histories have laid forth, but it is the Tradition that should provide balance with the oral and historical memory of a people.

In order to do that, one must begin again by studying the works of the traditional scholars and Telugu Pandits who recorded, preserved, and passed on the traditional history of the Telugus, and indeed, of Telugu itself.

మూల చరిత్ర

పండిత్ కోట వెంకటాచలం గారు స్థాపించినట్టు, ఆర్య అధిక్రామ సమ్మూద్దేశ అసత్యం, మరియు వేద ప్రకారము ఆర్యులు భారత దేశము లోనే పుట్టారు.ధీని ప్రకారము సర్వ భారతీయులు—ద్రావిడ్లు కూడ—అందరు ఆర్యులే, బ్రహ్మవర్థం నించి (సరస్వతీ-సింధూ లోయ ధగ్గర).
అందునించి, “ఆంధ్ర భాష, తెలుగు భాష” ద్రావిడ-జాతి అని వాక్యం అసత్యం. ఈ హింశ్రమైన సమ్మూద్దేశం కి మూలం, ఒక ఆంగ్ల కిరస్తాని విద్వాన్,కాల్డ్‌వెల్. ఇటువంటి సమ్మూద్దెశాలు ఆఫ్రిక లో కూడా కిరస్తానిలు సృస్టించారు. ద్రావిడ్లు (స్పష్టంగా చెప్పాలంటి ద్రావిడ-దేశ జనాలు), సరళం గా చెప్పాలంటె, ఇంకొక ఆర్య శాకం—దక్షిణ ధిక్కుకి ప్రయాణం చేసి, ద్రావిడ దేశం (కేరళ మరియు తమిళ్ నాడు) ని స్థాపించారు. అందునించి, నిస్తావం బ్రాహ్మణ పండితులు రచించినట్టు, ఆంధ్రులు ఆర్యులే, నాలుగు వర్ణాలు అంధరు ఆర్యులే.
ఆంధ్ర దేశ—ఆంధ్ర భూమి. త్రిలింగ దేశ—మూడు లింగాల భూమి, కాళేశ్వరం, భిమేశ్వరం, శ్రీశైలం లో. అమరావతి అమారేశ్వర కి గృహము. తెలుగు జనాల కి ప్రాచీన నామ, “ఆంధ్ర”.
ఒక సమ్మూద్దేశం ఉండేధీ ఆంధ్రులు  మహర్షి విశ్వ మిత్రుని పుత్రులు అని, మరియు ఐన వాలని బహిష్కారం చేశారు, సునసెఃప కాలం లో. కానీ, పండిట్ కోటా వెంకటచలం ప్రకారము, ఇధి తప్పు—ఈ సమ్మూద్దేశం కూడా ఆంగ్ల రాజ్యం అప్పుడు సృస్టించీనధి. పండిత్ గారు చెప్పిన విధి లో, ఇంకో ఆంధ్ర జాతి (జలాంధ్ర  జాతి, ఆధునిక పంజాబు రాష్ట్ర లో జలంధర్ ఊరు ఉన్నటూ) అని పేరు తో ఉందేధి, మరియు వాళ్ళు వింధ్య పర్వతం ని ఎక్కి తారించారు అని ఉపపత్థి లేధు. కొని ఆస్తిక సాంస్కృత విద్యము చెప్పినట్లు కొంధరు ఆంధ్రులు “వ్రాత్య” అయ్యీ చాతుర్వర్ణ మర్యాద నించి భైటికి వెలున్దచ్చు కానీ, ఇటువంటి అర్థకరణ, విదేశి మ్లేచలు కి వదిలె బదులు మన ఆస్తిక పండితులు కి వదలితె శ్రేష్టం.
ఈ పేరు కి మూలం, పండిత్  చేలం చెప్పినట్టు, ఆంధ్ర రాజ, సోమవంశీ కులం నించి, యయాతి రాజా కి వంసజ్. దీనికి ప్రమాణం, భాగవత పురాణము, అందునించి ఐన ఆంధ్ర నరపతి, లేకపోతే, నృపతీ అని పిలుస్తారు.
పూర్వ కాలం లో విషయాలు ని పిలిచె స్థానాలు, ప్రాచీన జిల్లాలు ఆంధ్ర దేశం లో తరువాత “నాడు” అని పిలిచేవాళ్ళు.
సమాకాలం లో, తెలుగు జనాలకి మూడు ఆంధ్ర స్థానాలు తెలుసు (రాయలవారిసీమ, తెలంగాణా, కోస్తా), కాని పూర్వ కాలం లో అష్ట నాడులు మధ్యకాలం లో ఉండేవి. ఇవి ఇట్ట్లు:
  • వేంగీ నాడు, గోదావరి కృష్ణ నధులు కి మధ్య ఉందె నాడు [రాజమహేంద్రవరం ఇక్కడ ఉన్నధి]
  • ములికి నాడు, కడప జిల్లా నించి కర్నాటక రాష్ట్రం వరుకు
  • పొత్తపి నాడు,  కడప నించి పెన్నెరు వరుకు
  • రేనాడు [మానాడు], కర్నూల్ డిస్ట్రిక్ట్
  • పల్నాడు, గుంటూరు కి పశ్చిమం
  • పాకనాడు, సముద్ర తీరం, ప్రకాశం నించి కృష్ణ వరుకు
  • కమ్మానాడు
  • వేలనాడు.
ఇంకొక విషయం కూడా చెప్పాలి, స్పష్టమైన సీమలు ప్రతి కాలం లో మార్పు ఉందేధి, వేరు వేరు రాజ్యాలు గెలిచి ఓడి పో నప్పుడు. కాకతీయ సామ్రాజ్య కాలం లో ఇంకా పెద్ద గా ఉండేవి, పూర్తి సమైక్య ఆంధ్రముని  పాలించేవారు.
  • అనుమకొండ నాడు (వరంగల్ & హనుమకొండ)
  • సబ్బీ నాడు (కరీంనగర్/ఎలగండల  డిస్ట్రిక్ట్)
  • విసూరు నాడు
  • పల్లి నాడు
  • అయిజా నాడు
  • గోండల నాడు
  • మింగల నాడు
  • కాందూరు నాడు
  • కుశల నాడు
  • నేరవది నాడు
  • పొంగలీ నాడు
  • కారు నాడు
ఈ క్షేత్రాలు ఆంధ్ర చరిత్రము లో. ఎటు ఐన, పల్నాడు కి ముఖ్యమైన స్థానం ఉన్నధి, ఆంధ్ర కురుక్షేత్రం ఆ యుద్ధభూమి నించి మరియు శ్రీనాథ కవిసార్వభౌమ మహాకావ్యం నుండి.
ఈ త్రిలింగ దేశ చరిత్ర దృశ్యం కి చూపించడంవల్ల, ఇప్పుడు మన ప్రియమైన మాతృభాష గురించి చదువచ్చు.
ఆంధ్ర తెలుగు అంటే ఓకే అర్ధం
ప్రథమం, ఒక ముఖ్యమైన విషయం ఇధి: ఆంధ్ర తెలుగు ఓకటే. వర్ధమానం లో, కావల్సని ఈ శబ్ద బ్రమ సృష్టించడానికి, ఆంధ్ర ఒట్టి కోస్తా అని అర్ధం తో ఈ ద్రోహిలు మాట్లాడుతున్నారు.
సత్యవచనము ఇధి: ఆంధ్ర, త్రిలింగ దేశ, తెలంగాణా పాత కాలం లో అంతా తెలుగు భూమి అని అర్ధం మరియు ఆంధ్ర భాష మాట్లాడే వాళ్ళు ఆంధ్రులు. గౌరవనీయులైన విద్వాంసులు కూడా ఇధే మాట చెప్పారు.
మన ఆస్తిక తెలుగు పండితలు ని నమస్కరించాలి—వాళ్లే తెలుగు “ద్రావిడ భాష” కాదు అని
పోరాటం చేశారు.  మొదటి నించే స్పష్టంగా—మనంధరికి తెలిసిన విషయం—చెప్పారు:
తెలుగు, సాంస్కృత పుత్రి.
అనగనగా అని ఎన్నో కథలు ఉన్నాయి తెలుగు గురించి. ఒక దాంట్లో ఒక మానవ, అగ్నిమిత్ర అని, అందుడు ఐపోయ్యార్డు, పక్కనున్న వేడి నించి. సూర్య దేవ కి ధనం పెట్టిన తరవాత, తన సూర్యుడు నించి నేర్చ్కున్నారు “ఈ భాష కి , ఎంత శక్తి  ఉందంటే, తన కళ్ళు మళ్లీ స్థాపించింది. ఈ భాష, ఆంధ్ర భాష, ఎందుకంటే అంధకార ని నాశనం చేసింధీ. ప్రతి యుగం లో తెలుగు ఒక రూపం లో వస్తున్ధి మరియు ఈ కలి యుగం లో (ఆధున యుగం)
కళింగాంధ్ర మరియు రౌధ్రాంధ్ర నంధివార్ధన తన శిష్యుడు దేవాల రాయ తో స్థాపించారు, శాతకర్ణి రాజ్య కాలం లో.” వర్ధమానం లో ‘ఆంధ్రులు అంధులు’ అని అంటారు కానీ ఆంధ్ర భాష అంధకార ని నాశనం చేస్తుంధి.
సత్యమైన మూల కధ మహర్షి కన్వది అని అనిపిస్తుంధీ. తెలుగు ప్రతి యుగం లో మళ్లీ మళ్లీ పుట్టుతుంధీ. సత్య యుగం లో, అగ్నిమీత్రుడు తో మొదలైంధీ. త్రేతా ద్వాపర లో మహర్షి కన్వ. కలి యుగం లో నందివార్ధన తో. అందరికి కన్వ ముని శకుంతల పిత్రుదు అని తెలుసు. ఆయనే మొధటి తెలుగు వ్యాకరణము రచించారు అని పేరు. ఆధునిక చరిత్రము ప్రకారము నన్నయ భట్ట గారు మరియు ఆయనే ఆంధ్ర శబ్ద చింతామణి, మన తెలుగు పురాణ-లక్షణ ప్రకారం ఇంకా ప్రాచీనం.
ప్రథమ తెలుగు వ్యాకరణం ఋషి కన్వ రచించారు—నిస్సందేహం—కానీ ప్రశ్నం ఏంటంటే, జలాంధ్రులు ఎలా ఉన్నారు ద్వితీయ తృతీయ కన్వ మునిలో ఉన్నాయ. బ్రాహ్మణులు కన్వ శాఖం ఎలా ఉన్నధో, పండిత్  చేలం గారు అది ప్రథమ కన్వ మహర్షి  కాధూ కానీ ఆయన వంశ వృక్షం లో వారసుడు.
ఏది ఏమయినప్పటికీ, సాంప్రదాయ తెలగులో మూల చరిత్ర ఆధారంగా, కన్వ మహర్షి త్రేత యుగానికి చెందినదిగా పేర్కొనబడింది, అతను అసలు వ్యాకరణాన్ని రచించాడని నమ్మడానికి కారణం ఉంది. అంతేకాకుండా, బౌధాయన యొక్క ప్రముఖ స్వరకర్త బౌధాయన ధర్మసూత్ర  మరియు ఆంధ్ర ప్రజలకి తెలిసిన సభ్యుడు, అతను అసలు మహర్షి కన్వ కుమారుడు.  శకుంతల పెంపుడు తండ్రి అత్యుత్తమమైన వ్యాకరణకర్త ఐతే, ఆంధ్ర శబ్ద చింతామణి మొదటి వ్యాకరణము కాదు.
Historical Origins

The Telugu language does not seem to be as ancient as Tamil, though it is more ancient than Malayalam, and at least of equal antiquity with Kanarese. It is not possible to say with any certainty when the language now known as Telugu came into vogue.” [2, 16]

As Pandit Kota Venkatachalam garu trenchantly established, the Aryan Invasion Theory is false and the Vedic tradition actually  asserts the Out of India Theory. This means that All Indians, yes—even “Dravidians”, were in fact Aryans, who originated in Brahmavarta (modern Sarasvati-Sindhu Valley).

Thus, the assertion that the Andhra People and the Telugu Language are Dravidian is false. This mischievous theory originated with the Colonial British Christian Missionary Caldwell. Similar theories were sown by similar missionary scholars  in Africa. The Dravidians (or more correctly, Dravidas), simply another branch of Aryans, who migrated south and founded Dravida desha (modern Kerala & Tamil Nadu). Therefore, as orthodox Brahmin Pandits assert, Andhras are Aryans, and all four varnas were considered Arya.

Chronology of Ancient Hindu History Part 1, Page 139

Andhra Desa—the land of the Andhras. Trilinga Desa—Land of the Three 3 lingas at Kaleshvaram, Bhimeshvaram, and Srisailam. Home of Lord Amareshvara of Amaravati. The classic and historic name for the people now known as Telugu is Andhras [2, 14]

The language of the Andhras is variously known as Andhra Basha, Telugu and Tenugu. These appellations are used synonymously. [3, viii]

There is a popular legend that Andhras were in fact the sons of Maharishi Vishvamitra, and were disowned by him during the Shunashepa episode. However, Pandit Kota Venkatachalam has categorically denied this and asserted that this theory dates back to the colonial period. Per Pandit gaaru, the Andhras referred to here were the jalandhras (associated with the eponymous Jalandhar in modern Punjab), and there is no evidence that they crossed the Vindhyas. While there are traditional Sanskrit scriptures that mention some “Andhras” becoming vratya (leaving the Arya fold), it is best to leave interpretation to the traditional Pandits like Sri Kota Venkatachalam rather than motivated foreigners.

The origin of this name as established by Pandit Kota Venkatachalam is King Aandhra of the Lunar dynasty, and descendant of Yayati. This is based on the Bhagavata Purana, and he is therefore known as Andhra Narapathi or…Nripathi.

“The Bhagavata states that the country was named after King Andhrudu…Andhra Desa was also known as Vengi Desa. It is however probably that the

Andhra Desa was also known as Vengi Desa. It is however, probably that Vengi was a part of the Telugu country—The part which lay between the Godavari and the Krishna. The name ‘Trilinga’ was often applied to the Telugu country. This may have been used to signify either the country which contains the three shrines (lingas), namely, those at Kalesavaram, Sri Sailam and Draksha Ramam, or the country between these shrines. “ [2,14]

Earlier known as vishayas, the ancient divisions of Andhra were later called ‘nadus’.

Though most Telugus today are familiar with the sub-regions of Andhra (Rayalaseema, Telangana, & Kosta) there are 8 Historical territories (nadus) within Historical Andhra Desa. These are as follows:

  • Vengi Nadu, the territory between the Godavari and the Krishna [some consider this to be the original homeland of the Telugus, with a capital at Rajamahendri]
  • Muliki Nadu, beginning with the Kadapa District and extending to [Karnataka]
  • Pottapi Nadu, from Kadapa to Penneru
  • Renadu [also known as Maanaadu], Kurnool District
  • Palnadu, West of Guntur
  • Paakanadu, the coastal tract from Nellore to Krishna”
  • Kammanadu
  • Velanadu

It should also be mentioned that the exact geographic limits would vary over time as kingdoms rose and fall. They were  more expansive during the time of the Kakatiyas who ruled over all of Samaikya Andhra, which gives us additional units [3,78]:

  • Anumakonda Nadu (around Warangal & Hanumakonda)
  • Sabbi Nadu (present day Karimnagar/Elagandala  district)
  • Visuru Nadu
  • Palli Nadu
  • Ayija Nadu
  • Gondala Nadu
  • Mingala Nadu
  • Kanduru Nadu
  • Kusala Nadu
  • Neravadi Nadu
  • Pongali Nadu
  • Karu Nadu

Some accounts give us as many as 20 Nadus for all of old united Andhra.

These regions all have featured significantly in the history of Andhra. Nevertheless, Palnadu has a special place due to the famous Andhra Kurukshetra that took place on its fields and the Epic Poem by Srinatha that it is inspired.

Having provided a deeper overview of the origin and history and geography of historic Trilinga desa, one can now survey our beloved mother tongue of Telugu in detail.

Andhra and Telugu mean the Same Thing

First and foremost, it is critical to reassert that that Andhra and Telugu mean the same thing. In the present time, there has been much (purposeful) confusion of the terms and treacherous parties have sought to restrict the word Andhra only to Coastal Andhra. In reality, Andhra, Trilinga Desa, and Telangana all refer to the land of the Telugus or the speakers of the Andhra Bhasha. Reputed scholars on the History Telugu literature have asserted this as well.

Andhra Bhasha—the language of the andhras. This is known as telugu, or Telugu (tene=honey, agu=is), meaning, sweet as honey.” [2,15]

Credit should also be given to our traditional Telugu pandits who opposed the classification of Telugu as “Dravidian” root and branch. From the beginning they asserted what colloquially many of us know today: Telugu is Daughter of Sanskrit.

Dr.Caldwell, in his Comparative Grammar, has given currency to the theory that they are unrelated to Sans-krit. Sharply opposed to this theory is the view, maintained by all Telugu grammarians and Sanskrit philologists, that Telugu is Vikriti—that is a language formed by the modification of Sanskrit and Prakrit. An analysis of the language as it has been for centuries confirms the traditional view.” [2, 15-16]

It would appear that very early the Andhras adopted a form of Prakrit which, in the course of development, became the immediate ancestory of Telugu and Kanarese” [2, 16]

There are of course a number of legends associated with Telugu. One is that a man named Agnimitra lost his eyes on account of being surrounded by tremendous heat. After praying to the Solar Deity (Surya Deva), he was taught “a language so potent that it restored him his eyesight. This language was called Andhra Bhasha, as it dispelled darkness. We are also told that each yuga had its particular form of Telugu and that in Kali Yuga (the Present Age), Kalinga Andhra and Raudra Andhra were established by Nandivardhana and his disciple, Devala Raya, in the reign of Satakarni.” [2, 17]

Perhaps the origin story with the most credence involves Maharishi Kanva. Telugu is said to revive in each Yuga. At the end of the Satya Yuga, it originated with Agnimitra. In the Treta and Dvapara it is credited to Maharishi Kanva. In the Kali, Kaling-Andhra and Raudr-Andhra together were established by Nandivardhana and his disciple Devala Raya. This was done during the reign of Emperor Satakarni (likely the first of that name). [2, 17] Best known as the foster-father of Shakuntala, Kanva Maharishi is credited with writing the first grammar of the Telugu language. While modern history attributes this title to Nannaya Bhatta and his Andhra Sabda Chintamani, the Puranic bonafides of Telugu accord a much greater antiquity to it. Pandit Kota Venkatachalam garu again provides crucial details.

While averring without a doubt that Rishi Kanva wrote the first grammar, the question has arisen whether, much like the Jalandhras, whether there were multiple Rishi Kanvas. Due to the existence of the Kanva sect of Brahmanas, Pandit gaaru speculated on the possibility that it may likely not have been the original Kanva Maharshi, but a descendant.

Nevertheless, based upon the oral history among orthodox Telugus, and given that Kanva maharshi is dated to the Treta Yuga, there is reason to believe he wrote the original grammar.Furthermore, when weighed against the fact that Baudhayana, the famed composer of the Baudhayana Dharmasutra (eventually superseded by Apastamba) and known member of the Andhra people, is himself the son of the original Maharishi Kanva, this makes the foster-father of Shakuntala the most likely original grammarian of Telugu.Either way,  Nannaya garu will have to move aside, and credit for the original grammar should be attributed to Kanva Maharshi’s opus rather than the current standard of Andhra Sabda Chintaamani.

భాష లక్షణ

 తెలుగు భాష రూపం మధురం గా ఉంటుంధీ మరియు సభ్యతం గా ఉంటుంధీ. భాష నిర్మాణీ క విశేషాల్లో, శిక్ష నిరుక్త మరియు శబ్ద చాలా ముఖ్యం.
తెలుగు భాష రకాలు మూడు రకా ల్లో ఉంటుంధీ: గ్రాంధికం, మాండలికం, జానపాదం. మామల భాష ని వాడుక భాష అని కూడా పిలుస్తారు. దాని తో పాటు, ప్రత్తి జిల్లా లో ఒక యాస ఉంటంది.
తెలుగు శబ్దాల ప్రకృతి తెలిసిన విషయంఏ. ప్రతి శబ్దం, వ్యంజనం తో బదులు స్వర తో మొధలౌతుంధీ. నిరుక్తం, శబ్దం, వ్యాకరణం కి బంధనం గట్టిది.
తెలుగు వ్యాకరణం ఒక లేఖబంధ కి సంబంధించిన విషయం ఏ. సంస్కృత పుత్రి అని అందరికి తెలుసు, అందునించి, అష్టాధ్యాయి నించి, దేవభాష నించి చలత్వారుకు వచినధి. కానీ, సంధి, కారకా, లకార అని విషయాలు తరవాత మాట్లాడుకోవచు. మన మిశ్రమైన యాస కాలము లో, ఇధి ముఖ్యం—శబ్దాలు తెలుగు లో ఎలా భాసిష్యం ఔతాయి —
తత్సములు—సాంస్కృతము కిసంబంధించినవి
తద్భావములు—సాంస్కృతము నించి
దేశియములు—సొంత భాష శబ్దాలు
అన్యములు—పరదేశము నించి వచ్చిన శబ్దాలు
ఈ దృష్టి లో చూస్తే, వ్యాకరణాలు, భాష విధానాలు భారతవర్షం లో ఓక విధానం అని అనిపిస్తుంధీ. మన కాలం లో, ఈ తెలుగు వ్యాకరణాలు ముఖ్యం.
నన్నయ గారి ఆంధ్ర శబ్ధ చింతామణి, కేతన గారి ఆంధ్రభాషభూషణ, అథర్వనాచార్య గారి త్రిలింగ శబ్ధ అణుసాసన. అథర్వనాచార్య ఒక భాష్యం వ్రాశారు ఆంధ్ర శబ్ధ చింతామణి గురించి. ఇధి వికృతి వ్ర్త్థిట్టి అని పిలుస్తారు. అందునించి ఈ నిరంతరత పూర్తి భారతవర్షము లో కాధు, మన ఆంధ్రము లో కూడా చూస్తాము.
Language Structure

The structure of the Telugu language is both sophisticated and sweet. Structural aspects of a language generally range from usage to phonology to etymology to lexicography.

Telugu is commonly divided into Graanthikam (literary), Mandalikam (speech of gentry), and Janapadam (speech of the countryside). There is also the term vaaduka bhasha, referring to everyday or common use speech, which tends to be highly informal and replete with slang. Virtually every district has its own dialect too.

Telugu Phonemes are well known. The reputation for virtually every word ending in a vowel (such as “uu”) is one of the marquee aspects of la langue Andhraise. Etymology, lexicography, and grammar are all intimately related.

Telugu grammar is a Series in and of itself. Being the daughter of Sanskrit, it correspondingly draws much from the Ashtaadhyaayi and the devabhasha’s various strictures of grammar. However, all these aspects of samdhi and kaarakas and lakaaras are better discussed elsewhere. What is important, in our time of kalthi bhasha, is re-establishing the standards of word formation in the language of the Andhras.

Nannaya Bhatta naturally discussed this, but it is of relevance here to discuss how these sabdas are classifed. Telugu’s vocabulary is typically classified as followed:

1.Tatsamulu—Sanskrit equivalents

2.Tadbhavamulu—Sanskrit derivatives

3.Desiyamulu—indigenous words

4.Anyamulu—foreign words [2,16]

This is matched by Hindi which classifies words similarly:

Tatsam (pure Sanskrit) tadbhav (Sanskrit words mutated) deshaj (of dialect) videshi (loan words from foreign languages).

As one can see, many of the grammatical constructs and methodologies are similar across Indian languages. The main Telugu grammars in the present age are as follows:

Andhra Sabda Chinthaamani of Nannaya Bhatta (of Kavitraya fame), Andhra Bhasha Bhooshana of Moolaghatika Ketana, and Trilinga Sabda Anusaasana of Atharvanacharya. The last work listed in particularly interesting as Atharvanacharya also wrote vikriti-vrtti as supplement to Andhra Sabda Chinthaamani. Therefore, there was continuity not only throughout India, but within Andhra itself.

నిగమన

ఆంధ్ర జన మూలం తెలుగు భాష ప్రకృతి ఎన్తో కాలం నించి వైభవం తో ఉన్నధి మరియు వివాధం తో కూడా. కానీ వివార్ధ చ్ఛయం అక్కర్లేదు మన పరంపర ఏమీ స్పష్టంగా చెప్పింధో. ద్వారక తవ్వకాలు చూపించినట్టు, ఎప్పుడు మారుతున్నసరస్వతి-సింధూ లోయ కాలము చూపించిన్నట్టు, మనము ఆంధ్రులు గా భారతీయాలు గా ఇంకా ప్రాచీనం. విదేశి విద్వానులు తప్పు గా, వాళ్ల హితం ప్రకారము వ్రాస్తున్నారు. అంధునించి, ఆధునిక తెలుగు జనాలు (వాళ్ళు తెలంగాణా, రాయలవారిసీమ, మరియు కోస్తా నించి వచిన కూడా) చరిత్ర పరీక్షలు  స్వయం ప్రయత్నం చెయ్యాలి. విధ్యాలయం లో ఏం నేర్చుకోవ్వాల్ల్లో, నేర్చుకొని పరీక్షలు వ్రాయండి. కానీ, మీ పాటికి మీరు, అస్సలు సత్యం నేర్చుకోండి ఏమిటో మన ధర్మ పురాణాలు, ఎలా మన ఆంధ్ర జనాలు చన్ద్రవమ్స వంశజులు, వైదిక భారతము కి సంబంధించేవాళ్ళు.
తెలుగు భాష కి కూడా చంద్రుడు వంశ వృక్షం కి సంబంధంఉంధీ. మహారాజా దుష్యంత ధర్మపత్నిశకుంతల కి పెంపుడు తండ్రి గా ఉన్దినధి ఆ తెలుగు వ్యాకరణము ని రచించిన కన్వ మహర్షి నే. అగ్నిమిత్రుడు రోజులు నించి నందివర్ధన మరియు నన్నయ భట్ట గారి వరుకూ, మన భాష అతి ప్రాచీనం మరియు అతి సున్నితం.
ఇంకెన్ని దినాలు ఈ సంభ్రమం తో గడుపుతాము మన భాష మన సంస్కృతి గురించి? రాష్ట్ర విభజనం ఐనందుకు సంస్కృతి పరీవర్తనం  అవ్వకూడదు. ఆంధ్ర దేశము ఆంటె, ప్రాచీన ఆంధ్ర భూమి (తెలంగాణా, రాయలసీమ, కోస్తా). తెలుగు మూల పేరు ఆంధ్ర నే. ఆంధ్ర అంటే జన, ఆంధ్రి అంటే లిపి, ఆంధ్రం అంటే భాష. సమాకాలం లో సాధారనీయ పేరు తెలుగు. కానీ ఒక విషయం ఎప్పుడు మరిచిపొ కూడదు: మన తెలుగు జనాల భాష ఎంత తీయ గా ఉన్న, ఈ ఆంధ్ర భూమి లో శాతా కూడా వాహనము గా ఉంటుంధి.
Conclusion

The origin and history and nature of the Andhra People and Telugu language has long been glorious, but also controversial. But controversy no longer need overshadow what tradition has clarified. While the conventional paradigm certainly has staying power, as the excavation at Dvaraka shows, and ever-changing dating of Indus valley sites underscores, we as Indians and Andhras are a lot older than were given credit for by colonial (and neo-colonial) scientists. It is therefore crucial for modern Telugus (whether they are from Telangana, Rayalaseema, or Coastal Andhra) to be able to be historical investigators of their own and to learn what is taught in school for your tests, but to be able to absorb our  Dharmic narratives as well of how the Ancient Andhras are descendants of the Chandravanshis (Lunar Dynasty of Vedic India).

The Telugu language itself is again interlinked with the Royal Lineage of the Moon, with the foster-father of Shakuntala (who married King Dusyantha), composing the first grammar of Telugu. From the days of Agnimitra down to Nandivardhana and Nannaya, it is a language of great antiquity and supple delicacy.

For too long has their been confusion about the people, the land, and our language. The division of states should not mean the change of culture. Andhra desa refers to historical Andhra with the three regions of Telangana, Rayalaseema, and Coastal Andhra. Andhra itself is the original name for Telugu. Andhra for the people, Andhri for the script, and Andhram for the language. Today we more commonly called them Telugu. Yet it must be remembered that, despite the sweet tongues of our people, Andhra is also the land where saatha (lion) is vaahana (vehicle).

References:
  1. Kota, Venkatachalam Paakayaaji (Pandit). Chronology of Ancient Hindu History Part I. Vijayawada: AVG.  p.121-124
  2. Bhujangah, Chenchaiah. A History of Telugu Literature. Calcutta: Association Press. 1928
  3. Rao, P.R. History and Culture of Andhra Pradesh. New Delhi: Sterling. 1994

Personalities: Apastamba

The Next installment in our series on Dharmic Personalities from Andhra is the all-India figure known as Apastamba.

Background

Apastamba muni was a great Sutrakaara who compiled the Apastamba Kalpasutra. He was born in the lineage of Maharishi Bhrgu, and belonged to the Taittiriya Sakha of the Krishna Yajur Veda. His wife was the pativrata Aksasutraa and his son was Karki. [1]

He is said to have lived somewhere in the Godavari valley of Andhra. There is an interesting story behind the word ‘Apastamba’. Although the origin might be in reference to another Pauranic Apastamba, it is also attributed to the sutrakaara as well.

Tradition holds that Apastamba, along with Baudhayana muni, was one of the two early Dharmashastra writers from Andhra. This has been adumbrated by both traditional and foreign academic sources. Interestingly enough, per Apastamba himself, the tradition asserts that Rishis are not born in the Kali Age, though individuals may often display some of their characteristics. It demonstrates the importance of referring back to the Purvacharyas, as Apastamba does by example. It further cements his connection to the present age. The current academic paradigm dates him to 300 BCE, though he is likely much older.

Dharmasutras originated from Grihyasutras, which are the second class of text (the other being Srautasutras) that stem from a category known as Kalpasutras (meaning thread on rituals, whether daily (nithya) or special (naimittika)). While Srauta deals with sacrificial rites, and Grihyasutras deal with domestic rites. Dharmasutras are more general and societal in nature.

Much has been written about the Dharmashastra and its auteurs by the Western Academe. Nevertheless, the best starting point to understanding a civilization is through the internal logic respected by its native scholars. In the case of the four main Dharmasutras (Vasishta, Gautama, Baudhayana, and Apastamba), such considerations matter particularly for chronology as it has become fashionable to say Apastamba preceded Maharishi Vasishta (the Saptarishi who featured in the Ramayana)—a notion that would send even traditional Dharmic schoolchildren into peals of laughter. In fact the order is reversed, with Sage Vasishta being the eldest and Apastamba the most recent and most preferred for the Kali Yuga (the present Age). This aligns with the finding that Baudhayana muni was the son of Maharishi Kanva (from the fourth paada of the Dvapara Yuga). This makes the correct Dharmasutra order: Vasishta, Gautama, Baudhayana, and Apastamba.

Thus, Apastamba’s Dharmasutra is in turn a portion of the expansive and eponymous Kalpasutra, which is additionally divided into the Srautasutra, Grihyasutra, and Sulbasutra.

The Sulbasutras are treatises on geometry as required for Vedic rites and requirements (such as the construction of fire-altars, etc.).  Apastamba himself belonged to the Krishna (Black) Yajurveda), and expounded upon the intricacies of these altars. The result is even though the focus was on Dharma and Yagna, quite a bit of Mathematics was compiled as well. But to understand the place of these, one must examine the Kalpasutra corpus as a whole.

Achievements

  • The Apastamba Kalpa sutra consists of 30 prasnas. The first 24 prasnas (books) focus on Srauta (Vedic Yagna)
  • The 25th is Apastambeeya-mantra-paata, which deals with definitions & ritual prayers (hautraka). It also has a key section that has important ramifications: Paribhashas (general rules of interpretation for the Kalpasutras)
  • The Apastamba Grihya-sutras are contained in the 26th and 27th books.
  • The 28th and 29th together make up the Apastamba Dharmasutra (which is sub-divided into 8 patalas and 23 parts. The 30th prasna is focused on Sulba Sutra.
  • He is also credited with the Apastamba-brahmana, Apastambopanisad, Apastamba-prayoga, Apastambaapara-sutra, and Apastamba-smriti
  • The Apastamba-smriti consists of 207 slokas

Apastamba is seen as one of the authorities who emphasised the notion of Yuga Dharma vs Sanatana Dharma.The theological explanation is that the people of those days had extraordinary [spiritual] power lacking in modern men….the dharma appropriate for ancient ages may be inappropriate for the current depraved age” [2].

What is notable about his Dharmasutra is the specification of the importance of accepted custom (samay-acarika). Rather than a one-size fits all implementation of Vedic Dharma, he wrote that the native customs of a community or region apply, so long as they don’t conflict with explicit Vedic injunctions.

This explains Apastamba’s divergence from Vasishta, Gautama, and Baudhayana on matters specifically on sexual morality, ranging from polygamy to niyoga. He explicitly favors monogamy, “forbidding the taking of a second wife if the first is able to participate in ritual activities and bear children” and prohibits niyoga (levirate) in the Kali Age.

He also asserted the role of women as upholders of dharma. He therefore specifies the importance of children learning much lore and custom from Women. Apastamba also protected the rights of women by forbidding their abandonment by husbands. He also specified that a wife may use the family wealth on her own while her husband was away (unremarkable for our time perhaps, but certainly far ahead of what is thought of as the traditional view).

He is also considered the originator of the principle distinguishing between “explicit vedic texts” (pratyaksa sruti) and “inferred vedic texts” (anumita sruti). This provided the epistemological basis for custom among righteous people stemming from the Vedas as well. There were also commentaries written on his work, by the scholar Haradatta, and of course, Kumarila Bhatta and Adi Sankaracharya.

In tandem with his work on Dharma are his ancillary achievements in Mathematics and Engineering.

Mathematics

  • Construction of the Square
  • The Theorem of the Square on the Diagonal (restatement of Baudhayana Theorem)
  • A precise value of the Square Root of 2.

Apastamba’s contribution to Maths is well known. Correspondingly, although the motivating drive for his Sulba Sutra was to provide guidance for construction of fire altars, there were a number of Mathematical, Astronomical, and even Engineering externalities as well.

His key accomplishments have been quickly summarised above, though are best discussed in a Series of articles on Sulba.

Legacy

[4,255]

Akrodho-aharsho-arosho-alobho-amoho-adambho-adrohah satyavachanam-anatyaasho-apaishunam-anasooyaa samvibhaagas-tyaaga aarjavam maardavam shamo dhamah sarva-bhoothair-avirodho yoga aaryam-aanrshamsam thushtir ithi sarva-ashramaanam samaya-padhaani thaany anuthishtan-vidhinaa sarvagaami bhavathi || 1.23.6

Refraining from anger, excitement, rage, greed, perplexity, hypocrisy, and malice; speaking the truth; refraining from overeating, calumny, and envy; sharing, liberality, rectitude, gentleness, tranquillity, self-control, amity with all creatures, Yoga, Aarya-like conduct, benevolence, and contentment—there is agreement that these apply to all orders of life. By practicing them according to the rules, a man attains the Supreme Being.” [2, 61]

From religion and rite to mathematics and astronomy to most important of all, Dharma itself, Apastamba’s all-India legacy is undeniable.

Ill-informed or ill-intentioned critics have often scoffed that the Dharmasutras (including Apastamba’s) are “boring texts for Brahmins and their rituals“. But this is unfair. While it is true that a voluminous portion of them is dedicated to the difficult rituals and injunctions that characterised a Vaidika Brahmana’s life, the are many passages directed towards the benefit of not only the other three varnas (Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Sudra) but also society in general as well. This denotes the importance of people not only avoiding tunnel-vision about their own lifestyle and seeking to impose it or hold it above others, but to recognise the need for balance and respect for the individual work of all members of society.

Dharma is undoubtedly the most central and ubiquitous concept in the whole of Indian civilization.” [2]

Some colonial (and neo-colonial) scholars have either downplayed the existence of formal law in Ancient India or have said that Dharma replaced law. But neither is correct. Ancient India stressed the importance of both formal Law (Vyavahara) & Dharma (Righteousness), the problem is such “scholars” have understood the purpose of neither, as well as the necessary connection between the two. There is a famous Chinese proverb that “Laws control the lesser man. Right conduct controls the greater one.” Thus, law exists as a baseline for society that holds baser men, women, and criminals (of all classes) accountable; where as Dharma inspires and holds the upright man (of all castes) accountable.

Law is the common minimum or floor for society while Dharma (in its highest form) is the ceiling we must aspire toward.

It’s dharma that provides the guidelines for proper and productive living and for social organization and interaction. It includes social institutions such as marriage, adoption, inheritance, social contracts, judicial procedure, and punishment of crimes, as well as private activities, such as toilet, bathing, brushing the teeth, food and eating, sexual conduct, and etiquette“. [2]

“It is difficult to gain mastery of dharma by means of scriptures alone, but by acting according to the markers one can master it“. (A.2.29.13-14) [2]

Apastamba is also notable for writing that after learning Vedic knowledge, those initiated in the Vedas can then understand final knowledge possessed by women and Sudras. The meaning here is that once Vedic knowledge is mastered, the value and divinity of everyday knowledge possessed by uninitiates is then understood as well. Although the rights to Vedic ritual and ritual recitation belong to Brahmanas, the dvija (initiate classes) include Kshatriyas and Vaisyas as well. What those murkhapanditas seeking to impute “beef in vedas” meanings into Dharmasutra as well forget, is that manuscripts are manipulated. In fact, while one phrase is read as prohibiting initiation to sudras, the same sloka prohibits initiation to criminals of any caste. Further, some have argued that the correct interpretation of the sloka (due to a contested word change) actually means that meritorious Sudras with good guna may be initiated as well. While this is not to assert what is Apastamba’s position one way or another, it does demonstrate the distinguishment (viveka) between right and wrong required to even interpret these texts.

Finally, for those concerned about casteism, here is what Apastamba wrote, and incidentally, it would be something echoed by Annamacharya thousands of years later:

Atmanan-pasyan-sarva-bhootaani na mohyacchinthayankavih |

Aatmaanam chaiva sarvatra yah pashyetsa vai brahmaa naakaprushte viraajathi || 1.23.1

Seeing all beings in himself, a wise man thinks about it and is not perplexed.

A Brahmin who sees himself in all beings, likewise, shines forth in the vault of heaven. [2, 61]

References:

  1. Garg, Ganga Ram. Encyclopaedia of the Hindu World. Vol 2. New Delhi: Concept Publ. 1992. p.552
  2. Olivelle, Patrick. Dharmasutras: The Law Codes of Apastambha, Gautama, Baudayana, and Vasistha. Motilal Banarsidass. 2000
  3. Buhler, Georg. The Sacred Laws.  Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1897
  4. Sen, S.N. & A.K. Bag. The Sulba Sutras. New Delhi. Indian National Science Academy. 1983. p.234
  5. http://www.thehindu.com/br/2005/03/22/stories/2005032200241700.htm

Personalities: Baudhayana

The great Dharmic personages of Andhra are often given minimal coverage. Perhaps the first of these momentous mahanubhaavas is Baudhayana.

Continuing our Series on Andhra Personalities, is the earliest in our Set on Dharmic Personalities. He is none other than the famed author of the eponymous Dharmasutra.

Background

Backgrounds and aspects of regional origin are often controversial within India. The same degree of westphalian politics linking region-language-state-caste simply was not there in previous eras. Though regional politics certainly did exist, they generally took place upon substratum of Dharma & common Sanskritic Indic culture.

While love for language is very important, love for Dharma must be even greater. This is because language detached from Dharmic culture can then play host to any alien culture. Rather than the spirit of who we really are being reflected, what makes Andhra truly Andhra will be lost. It would result in an asuric spirit merely speaking the language of the Andhras rather than that of the descendant of Chandra Deva. What in fact made him Andhra Nripathi was establishing the Dharma of the devas in the desa named after him.

That is the importance of Baudhayana Muni. While different regions naturally wish to associate themselves with the prestige of various Rishis, it is also critical that history hew to the truth. It is only after careful evidence could be adduced that we now assert that Baudhayana was himself an Andhra Brahmin. We have it on the authority of an astika adhyatmika one  himself (Pandit Kota Venkatachalam)

As such, Baudhayana Muni, the author of the famous Kalpasutra corpus is himself the son of the author of what is likely the first Andha Grammar: Kanva Andhra Vyakaranamu.

This may come as a disappointment to Nannaya Bhatta bandhuvulu, but rather than Andhra Sabda Chinthaamani being the first grammar, there were preceding ones as well.

What’s more, whether one can claim him as an Andhra or not, the father of Baudhayana, Maharishi Kanva, himself features significantly in our Puranas and Kavyas.

Ancient Hindu History Part I, p.154

Not much else is known about the great muni Baudhayana. But his contribution lives on in the texts from which we know him best: the Kalpasutras.

His gotra is naturally Kanva, and he belongs to the Pradhama Sakha of Andhra Brahmins who follow Shukla Yajur Veda. However, the Kalpasutras themselves are classified under the Taittiriya Sakha of the Krishna Yajur Veda. Though the Western Historical paradigm dates him back to 800 BCE, Baudhayana is likely much older. While there are those who assert that he was merely born into the lineage of Kanva (who dates back to the Dvapara Yuga), when considering our Sastras as a whole, his being the actual son of Kanva actually makes sense.

The Kalpasutra corpus left behind by the son of Kanva maharshi remains influential to this day. While he is better known today for the Baudhayana theorem, this scholar and Acharya’s real impact is in the realm of Dharma. To understand why it is an accomplishment, one must take a closer look.

Achievements

Without a doubt, Baudhayana muni is notable for his comprehensive work on Dharma. His eponymous Dharmasutra is part of a larger corpus. It is attached to the Grhyasutra and ultimately the Kalpasutra of the same name. [3, 3]

Kalpasutras are expositions on ritual. They consist of Srautasutra (focused on yagna, i.e. sacrifice) as well as Grhyasutra (domestic rituals). Dharmasutras are part of Grhyasutras, and therefore we see how extensive his imprint is.

  • Compiled the Baudhayana Kalpasutra (consisting of Srauta, Grhya, Sulba, & Dharma)
  • 279 verses in his Dharmasutra [3,7]. He is known as a sutrakaara & vrttikaara.
  • Credited with Baudhayana Vrtti, a commentary on the Brahma Sutra, which is part of the prasthana trayi (Brahma Sutra, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita). Only part of the Vrtti remains.
  • Baudhayana Theorem. This is considered an earlier statement of the Pythagorean theorem.

Recently, Baudhayana has been noted for his contributions to mathematics. Though this is undeniable, it is best to understand his significance through the eyes of the tradition itself.

The Kalpasutra is divided into books called prasnas (questions) . The first 29 books pertain to the Srautasutra, book 30 deals with the Sulba Sutra (referring to Vedic Geometry}, with the next four books on Grhyasutra, and the final four on Dharmasutra. This makes a total of 38 books in the Baudhayana Kalpasutra. [3, 191]

In our difficult era of degraded behaviour, declining values, and divorce, Baudhayana muni gave us laconic wisdom that remains profound in its effect. It is food for thought for all those wondering why their bollywood romance isn’t working out or why their kids are such maligning malcontents:

Yathaa yuktho vivaahasthathha yuktha prajaa bhavatheethi vignayathe || 1.21.1

The excellence of the marriage, it is stated, determines the excellence of the children that issue from it. [3, 237]

If the values of society are to be rebuilt, it is on the foundation of such principles brought forth by Baudhayana of Andhra.

Legacy

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That the life and legacy of Baudhayana muni is not only foundational but even defining to not only Andhras but all of Bharatavarsha is beyond a doubt. To this day, his dharmasutra determines the practice of Dharma in many households of the North.

In Andhra itself his Dharmasutra, has been replaced by another statesman, who will be discussed next. Nevertheless, his impact remains of tremendous import not only in the orthodox realm of ritual, yagna, and dharma, but also in mathematics (Ganita).

 

[4]
For those concerned most about caste and casteism, it is quite clear Baudhayana muni stated clearly that there were rigorous standards for whom could be considered a Brahmin. Alas, in the present time, people have forgotten that privilege came with duty—even a burdensome & difficult duty. And above all, it came with a responsibility to speak & preserve the truth.

It should be a matter of pride that such noble principles were expounded by our forebears, who themselves embody how connected Andhra is with the rest of ancient Bharatavarsha. It should be a matter of pride for Andhras that 2 of the 4 sutrakaaraas of the 4 primary Dharmasutras hail from our lands. Nevertheless, as these great rishis themselves would write, arrogance and boastfulness is not a sign of culture.

So why try to phrase what the venerable Baudhayana muni himself wrote so many thousands of years ago. Regardless, of caste or class, this is what should define Telugu Culture today:

upadistho dharmah prathivedam | Thasyaanu vyaakhyasyaamah | smaartho dvitheeyah |trteeyah shisthaagamah | shisthaah khalu vigathamatsaraa nirahankaaraah kumbeedhaanyaa alolupaa dambha-darpa-lobha-moha-krodha-vivarjithaah || 1.1.1-6

“The law is taught in each Veda, in accordance with which we will explain it. What is given in the tradition is the second, and the conventions of cultured people are third.

Now, cultured people are those who are free from envy and pride, possess just a jarful of grain, and are free from covetousness, hypocrisy, arrogance, greed, folly, and anger.” [3, 197]

References:

  1. Kota,Venkatachalam Paakayaji (Pandit).Ancient Hindu History Part I.Vijayawada:AVG.
  2. Chitkara, M.G.Kashmir Shaivism: Under Siege. New Delhi: APH Publishing. 2002
  3. Olivelle, Patrick. Dharmasutras. Delhi: MLBD.2013
  4. Buehler, Georg. The Sacred Laws of the Âryas. Delhi: MLBD. 2007

Tatikona — A Short Trek from Tirupati

The following Post was composed by Spandana . You can follow her on Twitter.


Photo Credit: Spandana

Tirumala Tirupati is a place that doesn’t need any introduction. It’s Kaliyuga Vaikuntam for devotees, one of the richest temples in the world, and the temple which draws huge crowds everyday. Apart from all these, Tirumala Seshachalam forest range has many unknown treasures, like Bio diversity, which are yet to be discovered. As a history lover, it’s always surprising to know the kind of historical treasure this place is…

Tirumala and Tirupati are very prominent places from the pre historic age itself. Many rock art shelters and pre historic dolmens in Seshachalam forest range are standing evidences for this. And it is a well known fact how Lord Venkateswara Temple made this place even more prominent in ancient and medieval periods for many dynasties. Every dynasty has left their own mark in this place, which is evident through many grand temples and forts around its vicinity.

Photo Credit: Spandana

Tirupati and Tirumala collectively are known as temple city, all temples function with all its grandeur. But how many are aware that there are so many wonderful ancient temples that were abandoned and left for ruins .Though neglected from centuries, these ancient marvels are still standing with all their past glory, waiting for some visitor to tell its story.One such place is Tatikona. Today I will tell you the story of this place, and how it fell from glory to gloomy.

Tatikona was once a grand temple complex with many temples, a pushkarini, and a mud fort on the hill (which is not present now). This place might be very, very important from the ancient days. It would have witnessed the ancient man and many powerful endangered animal species. It would have witnessed kings and their grandeur. It would have witnessed dedicated sculptors working and brave soldiers protecting. It would have witnessed grand temples with nithya puja & many devotees daily, for regular utsavams etc

Photo Credit: Spandana

But now this place is crumbled into ruins, completely camouflaged in the jungle, hard to find and harder to reach, and fully surrounded by thorny plants. Once ravaged by invaders, whatever has survived, it is reduced to wreck by present day hooligans (who dug all over for treasure) and conveniently forgotten by residents and authorities.

Photo Credit: Spandana

Tatikona at present

I seriously wish I could see this place 50 years back, it would have been in much better shape. With present remains we can infer there are 3 temples: 2 temples are big and the other is a small shrine. The two big temples are dedicated to Shiva. We can confirm by sculptures on the pillars, the sculpture of Nandi, sculpture of Kannappa, and Shiva linga. As for the small shrine, we can’t confirm the deity (probably for Ganesh or Karthikeya).

Photo Credit: Spandana

The beautiful Pushkarini (Temple tank) which now looks like lake, but as per locals it was very much in shape till very recent years. It is said there was a mud-fort on the hill for Vijayanagara Emperors (though it disappeared without a trace), and another interesting feature we can find a pre historic Megalith dolmen here. There is a small Shiva shrine on the hill, and as per locals  deep in the woods, another 2 temples. They are dedicated to lord Narasimha and local deity Yellamma, and are in better condition (we couldn’t visit due to the time crunch). One more unique feature of Tatikona is the style of building temple. The Shiva temple built by cutting the rock boulder, and the rock boulder is still visible around the gopuram. The only other temples of this type can be found in Hampi (Malyavanta Raghunatha Temple).

Even after facing so much destruction,this beautiful treasure can teach so many lessons. Beautiful temple walls, intricate carvings on the pillars and beautiful megaliths, all located in a very serene location, which in short reminds us of Hampi. Doesn’t this place deserves renovation, clean up, a sign board,and inclusion in tourist brochure of Tirupati?

Photo Credit: Spandana

Tirupati doesn’t need any theme parks. If  that money is spent on places like Tatikona they can be turned into beautiful learning centers, spiritual centers, and wonderful weekend spots…Eagerly waiting for that day.

       HERITAGE IS OUR PRIDE
#Heritageisourpride

              Jai Hind

Photo Credit: Spandana

Disclaimer: This article represents the opinions of the Author, and should not be considered a reflection of the views of the Andhra Cultural Portal. The Author is responsible for ensuring the factual veracity of the content, herein.

Personalities: S.V.Ranga Rao

In the annals of Andhra cinemadom, there are certainly many actors who have attained superstardom, and many actresses who became Pan-National stars.

But perhaps no star is as synonymous with a single  dialogue and song as a certain actor is with Vivaha Bhojanambu.

From Maya Bazaar to Gundamma Katha to Bhookailas and beyond, SVR is one of those rare thespians whose admirers and fans cut across caste and class alike.

Few actors fared as well in cinematic fare as S.V.Ranga Rao, who is the next feature in our Continuing Series on Andhra Personalities. We begin our introduction with SVR’s own Introduction, because no yesteryear character could make an entrance like he could.

Background

Samarla Venkata Ranga Rao garu was born in 1918 to Lakshmi and Koteswara Rao. They hailed from Nuzvid, Krishna District in what was then the Madras Presidency.

His father was a government employee. In light of that, and irrespective of an early interest in the stage, SVR soon focused on serious studies. Interestingly, despite doing his bachelor’s in Science, he had been contacted by a relative in Madras’ budding film industry to act. After his fresher feature (Varudhini), he was bitten by the acting bug. Though he briefly had a stint at the Tata office in Jamshedpur, he soon quit and never looked back.

At the age of 31, he married a young lady by the name of Leelavathi. They would have two daughters and a son together.

Back in his professional world, the aspirations of pre-Independence India becoming post-Independence achievement would be reflected by SVR’s own career. A rather unique fact is even in his earliest days in the industry he was routinely playing Thaathaiah’s (old men). In fact, his very first feature film with NTR was NTR’s very first feature film (Palleturi Pilla), and SVR essayed a role literally titled “Thaatha”.

His filmography reads like a list of TFI’s great Golden Age hits: Paathaala Bhairavi, Missamma, Maya Bazaar, Bhookailas, Narthanasala, Sampoorna Ramayana, and even Bhakti Prahalada. Though no stranger to negative roles, SVR could humanise even the hated Hiranyakashipu with such scenes.

Little known is that S.V.Ranga Rao had two director credits (Bandhavyalu & Chadarangam)  and a few producer credits to his name. Nevertheless, though he was fated to pass away all too soon, he was destined to be remembered as one of the finest actors in Indian cinema, and especially Telugu Cinema. Frequently reprising his Telugu roles in Hindi, he even featured in original roles in Tamizh. Indeed, his last movie was in Madras’ native language, but Andhra’s Cinema Sarvabhauma would not be forgotten in his native land.

He passed away in 1974, at the relatively young age of 56. This was the same age as his method actor-character actor predecessor, CSR Anjaneyulu.

Achievements

  • Afro-Asian International Film Festival (Indonesia)
  • Nandi Award (Multiple times, for Best Actor and also Best Director)
  • Filmfare Award (South)
  • Rashtrapati Award

Though it is often standard repertoire to list a battery of awards and honours an actor has accumulated over the years, SVR is best remembered through his on-screen personae.

So captivating was his delivery, so identifiable was his style that it became almost a standard cultural practice for Telugu actors to deliver dialogues as he might, some out of jest, but others out of genuine desire for gravitas. He could appeal to tiny tot and serious cinema-goer alike.

Whether he was a grandiose gourmand of Ghatotkachic proportions (Maya Bazaar) , a genteel gentleman of the gentry (in Missamma), or a leering lech (in Narthanasala), he brought a grandeur that was instantly recognisable and enrapturing. With performances that could register with the backbenches as well as august halls of cultural stalwarts, he was the larger-than-life quality of chalanachitram itself.

Nevertheless, notable roles include the following:

Paathaala Bhairavi – His role as Nepala Mantrikudu was equal parts engaging and reviling. His devious behaviours and penchant for abhichara made him the perfect foil for the innocent protagonist. Despite being an antagonist here, this was one of the early roles that would cement SVR’s place in celluloid history.

Ghatotkacha – Without a doubt his most celebrated role, he managed to find the perfect balance between intimidating and accessible  as well as avuncular and childlike. The scene where he consumes the Vivaha Bhojanambu itself is emblematic of that plasticity of facial innocence he managed to conjure up despite playing the role of a Rakshasa. Food, it appears, brings out the child in all of us—even Ghatotkacha.

Hiranyakashipu – Quite possibly the marquee performance in a long line of titles on the marquee, SVR shone in this role of a lifetime. He was the perfect foil to the humble vinayam of Prahlada. Indeed, his diction and dialogue delivery in rapid-fire prose would be emulated for decades.

More than anything else, however, he set the standard for cinematic authenticity. This character actor truly was the authentic character for audiences and comedians alike.

Imitation as they say is the finest form of flattery. Which comedian to better capture this than the current day comedy king himself: Brahmanandam. S.V.Ranga Rao’s inspiration clearly crosses generations even to this day.

Legacy

Statue of S.V.Ranga Rao, Vijayawada

The legacy of SVR is little remembered, but oft-remarked. In an industry with many accomplished character actors (Gummadi, CSR Anjaneyulu, Rao Gopal Rao, Kota Srinivasa Rao, Tanikela Bharani, etc), Nuzvid’s naata nayaka was one character who dominated a stage filled with stars.

He could effortlessly play a secondary protagonist (Bhookailas), genteel supporting cast (Missamma) or even a villainous antagonist (Paathaala Bhairavi). While it was perhaps Maya Bazaar and its most famous song that forever cemented his celluloid immortality, movies such as Manchi Manasulu also showed his range, and everyday character too.

Theatrical drama and Comedy were the two main markers of the man many consider to be the greatest character actor of them all. This is so much so that even the Nandi award in this category is named after him. And that is perhaps the greatest tragedy. Whether it is Nedunuri Krishnamurthy in Music or S.V.Ranga Rao in acting, yet again another Andhra great was ignored at the national level, despite international recognition. How sad that an Indonesian International Film Festival could recognise him, but not his own national film fraternity.

Despite Paathaala Bhairavi being a national hit, with Viswa Naata Chakravarthi reprising his role as Nepala Mantrikudu, there was no Padma for this mahanaata. People have all the time in the world for Mughal-e-Azam, but a culturally rooted Pan-India blockbuster actor could not expect recognition from the Delhi Durbar (ironically, he himself played the same Mughal in Anaarkali). He would play many all-India figures including Raja Bhoja in the silver screen version of Mahakavi Kalidasu.

And that is also why if people like S.V.Ranga Rao did not get their due at the national level (Rashtrapati award aside), the proper path is to not point fingers at “North this and that”, but identify the real problem: cultural sellouts and the cultureless (despite their pompous airs, these overlap more often then not). Court eunuchs engage in career nara stuti for the highest bidder, so why would they recognise a great Nayaka hailing from a Dharmic culture that “Secular, Socialists” would not patronise? Or perhaps they did treat patronisingly while refusing to give real patronage to those who stood for the native Civilizational ethos.

Irrespective, the issue as in all these things lies in lack of culture. Not the culture of court eunuchs with the mere form but absence of cultural spirit, but the essential truth of the trial of life: that the great Drama of Indian Culture is in Dharma. The truly deserving dramatists are those may not always live it, but do their utmost to celebrate and propagate it, not only for the cloistered few, but for the people as a whole.

In any event, in recent years there has been a small push to get him considered for a Padma Sri, posthumously. Whether or not the effort fructifies, he remains a lotus of modern cinema as far as modern Telugus are concerned.

Whether it was his earliest days in pre-Independence India or his final ones in undivided Andhra, he remains the “Global Acting Emperor” in the eyes of Trilinga desa.

Even a scene with no dialogue could result in SVR stealing the show:

So we end as we began. To most he is remembered simply as S.V.Ranga Rao, to others as Viswa Naata Chakravarthi, but as far as we’re concerned, only one salutation is good enough for him:

Hai Hai Nayaka!

References:

  1. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0710036/
  2. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/Padma-Shri-sought-for-S.V.-Ranga-Rao/article14497248.ece
  3. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/telugu/movies/did-you-know-/SV-Ranga-Rao-was-conferred-the-best-actor-award-at-Indonesian-Film-Festival/articleshow/34794951.cms