/ Identities

Of sources, scores, and lost games

Rajagopalacharya is oft quoted by people as an authoritative figure in some contexts. Is he, is a good question to start with, before ascertaining how much salt one needs with him.

Who, let us ponder, ascribes a stature of an authority of Rajagopalacharya. Two contra-distinct cohorts of people - one a lay believer, another a lay rejector. The believer and he who calls a detractor stem from the same fallacy of poor reading; within, and without.

That he wrote such works as brief translations of the Bharata and so on, is oft quoted as reason to consider him one. The interesting thought is that both ends of the spectrum, use the same reasoning. The qualm here is the relative knowledge, and authority that stems out of it.

Let us throw some factual statements to clear the context here. Or, if you so wish, anecdotal if you look to dismiss a certain source. என்னாவது இலங்கியர்க்கே is a standing example of an otherwise tall statesman failing to be an authority.

Here, Rajagopalacharya, contended that Nammazhwar in this particular Tiruvaimozhi, indicated Shaivas. This he based on the apparition of a meaning from the word Linga. Unfortunate though, the very next Tiruvaimozhi starts, இலிங்கத்திட்ட புராணத்தீரும். What is the issue, one may ask. Through literary lens, it is repetition, which irrespective of the tongue, gets shunned.

So, to say Nammazhwar meant to denote Shaivas, and of their Linga worship, he becomes fallible as above. Now, did he? The interesting part lies right here. இலிங்க, coming from the word Linga of samskRta, indicates a distinguishing mark of inference. The word in that context thus, connotes those that use inference to arrive at anything - a logician.

This and the corpora of commentaries given, who stands to be at a faulty position now? Without either offense or such, Rajagopalacharya. And, let one also not forget the fact that he corrected himself when pointed out. In a reply, he did as well mention that there are layers when interpreting such texts.

To consider Rajagopalacharya as canon truth, one also needs to acknowledge such pitfalls. As they often say, take secondary entities with a pinch of salt, or more according to the cook who made the broth.

What people need to do in general is this - read your sources, their sources, and so on, until you get fed up with reading. And, if you still feel like discussing, then do for the sake of knowledge and/or truth.