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A Dakshinamurthy

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Language  Tamil, English
Name  A. Dakshinamurthy
Alma mater  Annamalai University

A. Dakshinamurthy
Born  10 April 1938 (age 77) Tamil Nadu, India. (1938-04-10)
Occupation  Tamil professor, translator, writer.
Education  Doctorate in Tamil (PhD)
Notable works  Akananuru – The Akam Four Hundred Kuruntokai – An Anthology of Classical Tamil Poetry Natrinai Four Hundred Ancient Tamil classic Pattuppattu in English Patinenkillanakku – Works on the Akam Theme தமிழர் நாகரிகமும் பண்பாடும்
Notable awards  Bharathidasan Award Thiru. V. Ka Award Nalli Thisai Ettum Viruthu Kalaignar Porkili Award Kolkatta Bharathy Tamil Sangam Sadhanai Thamizhar Viruthu

A Dakshinamurthy Vaibhavamu 05 04 2012

Professor A. Dakshinamurthy born in Neduvakkottai, Mannargudi Taluk, Thiruvarur district, Tamil Nadu, India in 1938 is an Indian Presidential Award winning Tamil scholar, a writer, and a translator of ancient, medieval and modern Tamil literature into English. He is a pioneer in the field of translation of Classical Tamil works. He has given complete and faithful English translation of 19 ancient classical Tamil literature for the very first time in history between the period of 1999-2012. He has translated 13 of the 18 Sangam Classics belonging to Patiṉeṇmēlkaṇakku division and 6 books belonging to the Patiṉeṇkīḻkaṇakku division. He gave the first complete translation of the Sangam anthology Akananuru and the six Akam books belonging to the Patinenkilkanakku division. He is also a pioneer in propagating the works of poet Bharathidasan through translation. He has the credit of translating, seven works of poet Bharathidasan all for the first time. He has authored several Tamil books on the history and culture of Tamil Nadu. He is the author of two books of commentaries to Sangam classics. He obtained his PhD in Tamil in 1988 from the University of Madras. Having served as a teacher for 33 years in various institutions in Tamil Nadu, he retired in 1996 as the principal of the Senthamizh Arts College, Madurai Tamil Sangam, Madurai.



Dr. A. Dakshinamurthy had his initiation and growth in Tamil studies under Tamil luminaries like Dr.T.P. Meenakshisundaran and Mahavidwan S. Dhandapani Desikar. He started his career in 1962 at V. S. Boys High school, Thiruvarur. Since then, he has served many institutions like the A. V. C College, Mayiladuthurai, A. V. V. M Sri Pushpam college, Poondi and the Madurai Tamil Sangam, Madurai. He currently lives in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.

His first publication was a scholarly book in the Tamil language entitled, 'Tamilar Nagarikamum Panpadum (Tamil:தமிழர் நாகரிகமும் பண்பாடும்) '. It highlighted almost all aspects of Tamil culture, civilization and its development from the ancient Sangam period to the contemporary age. The work has remained popular since its publication in 1973 and has been reprinted several times.

His Ph. D dissertation(1988) 'Sanga Ilakkiyangal Unarthum Manitha Uravugal' published as a book in 2001 deals elaborately with all the kinships between men and women, ruler and the ruled, parent and children, master and servant, crowned kings and the chiefs, patron and bards including poets, individual and the society, based on cultural anthropology.

His first translation work, "The Poems of Bharathidasan – A Translation", was recognized and honored by the government of Tamil Nadu during the centenary celebrations of the poet in 1991 which inspired him into the field of translation. His first major translation work was the Sangam literature Akananuru in 1999. His is the first full translation of all the 400 poems of the literature. His translation of the Sangam anthology Natrinai (2001) is the first faithful translation of the classic. He gave the second complete translation of the Sangam work Kuruntokai in 2007, after 31 years since the first work by the duo M. Shanmugham Pillai and David Luden appeared in 1976. He gave the second complete translation of all the ten books belonging to the Pattuppaattu collection in 2012 after a wide gap of 66 years since the first translation by J. V. Chellaih appeared in 1946. Six books from the Patinenkilkanakku division published in 2010, are the first and the only complete translations of the classics available.

He has written several scholarly research articles on language, literature, history, culture, place names, personal names and the art of translation. He has established in his research that among the early Tamil society, cross cousin marriage was the order and love between a girl and a boy drawn from two different geographical regions was not treated in the Sangam classics; he has proved that the word “நும் (Num)” was derived from “நிம் (Nim)”, an idea which is in contrast to Tholkappiyam which says "நும் (Num)" is the source for the word “நீயிர் (Neeyir)”; he has established that the one lettered words, ‘ஆ (Aa), மா (Maa), பா (Paa), நீ (Nee), etc., were once two lettered and in course of time had lost the final nasal consonant which are a few noteworthy findings.

Translations of Classical Tamil literature

"Akananuru – The Akam four hundred" published in three volumes by the Bharathidasan University, Thiruchirappalli,1999 (first complete translation of Akananuru)

"The Narrinai Four Hundred", International Institute of Tamil Studies, Chennai, 2001.

Kurunthokai – An Anthology of Classical Tamil Poetry”, a complete translation of Kurunthokai, Vetrichelvi Publishers, Thanjavur, 2007.

Patinenkilkkanakku – Works on the Akam Theme”, a translation of 6 books from the Patinenkilkanakku collection, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirapalli, 2010.
1. Kar Narpathu
2. Ainthinai Aimpathu
3. Ainthinai Ezhupathu
4. Thinaimozhi Aimpathu
5. Thinaimalai Nurru Aimpathu
6. Kainnilai

"Ancient Tamil Classic Pattuppattu In English (The Ten Tamil Idylls)", Thamizh Academy SRM University, Kattankulattur, 2013.
1. Tirumurukāṟṟuppaṭai

2. Porunarāṟṟuppaṭai

3. Ciṟupāṇāṟṟuppaṭai

4. Perumpāṇāṟṟuppaṭai

5. Mullaippāṭṭu

6. Maturaikkāñci

7. Neṭunalvāṭai

8. Kuṟiñcippāṭṭu

9. Paṭṭiṉappālai

10. Malaipaṭukaṭām

Translations of Tamil medieval literature

  1. The Neethivenba, The Scholar Miscellanist, Thanjavur, 2002.
  2. The Perumal Thirumozhi of Saint Kulasekara Alwar, Senthamizh, Madurai Tamil Sangam, Madurai, 1996.
  3. The Abhirami Anthathi of Saint Abhirami Pattar, Senthamizh, Madurai Tamil Sangam, Madurai, 1996.

Translations of Tamil Modern literature

He is one of the very few scholars who have contributed to the propagation of Bharathidasan's works through translation.

  1. Kamban – A New Perspective (Kamban Oru Puthiya Paarvai by A S Gnanasampanthan),Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, 2013.
  2. The Bubbles on the Sea (Kadal mel Kumizhikal), Bharathidasan University, 2006
  3. The Dagger of a Tamil Woman (Thamizhachiyin Kathi), Bharathidasan University, 2006
  4. Love or Duty (Kaadhala Kadamaya), Bharathidasan University, 2006
  5. The Poems of Bharathidasan – A Translation (Sanjeevi Paruvathin Saaral, Puratchi Kavi, Vetrichelvi Publishers, Thanjavur,1990
  6. The Darkened home (Irunda Veedu), The Scholar Miscellanist, 2001
  7. The Good Judgement (Nalla Theerpu), The Scholar Miscellanist,2005
  8. The Bharathy Sixty Six, 2005
  9. BHARATHIDASAN – SELECTED POEMS (Contributor), Pondicherry Institute of Linguistics and Culture,Pondicherry, 1996.

Books written in Tamil

  1. தமிழர் நாகரிகமும் பண்பாடும் (Tamizhar Nagarikamum Panpadum – History of Tamil Nadu and Culture), Vetrichelvi Publishers, Thanjavur,1973
  2. சங்க இலக்கியங்கள் உணர்த்தும் மனித உறவுகள் (Sanga Ilakiyangal Unarthum Manitha Uravugal – Human Relations as revealed by the Sangam Works), Mangayarkarasi pathippakam,Thanjavur, 2001
  3. தமிழியற் சிந்தனைகள் (Thamizhiyal Chinthanaigal – Essays on Tamilology), Akal Publishers, Chennai, 2003.
  4. சங்க இலக்கியம் – ஐங்குறுநூறு (Sangam literature – Ainkurunooru commentaries in 2 Volumes), New Century Book House, Chennai, 2004.
  5. பரிபாடல் மூலமும் உரையும் (Paripadal commentary, Co-author) – New Century Book House, Chennai, 2004.

Awards, honours and tributes

  1. Bharathidasan Noolasiriyar certificate of merit by the Government of Tamil Nadu for the book, "Poems of Bharathidasan – A translation", during the poet's centenary celebration in 1991.
  2. Bharathidasan Award for the year 2003 by the Government of Tamil Nadu.
  3. Vallal Pandiththurai Thevar Award for the year 2003 by Ramanathapuram Tamizh Sangam.
  4. Senior Citizen Award for the year 2006 by Rajarajan Educational and Cultural Society, Chennai.
  5. Haridhwaramangalam V.Gopalsamy Regunatha Rajaliyar Award for the year 2011 by Rajaliyar Endowment,Haridhwaramangalam.
  6. Thiru.V.Ka Award for the year 2012 by the Tamizhisai Academy, Thanjavur for lifetime services to Tamil.
  7. Nalli Thisai Ettum Virudhu for translating Kuruntokai into English, 2012, Chennai.
  8. Kalaignar Porkili Award for the year 2013 during the World Book Day celebrations organised by BAPASI (Bookseller's And Publishers' Association of South India) on 23 April 2013.
  9. Semmozhi Kural Award, 2014, Lakshmi Chandrasekaran Memorial Endowment, ‘Natpu’ Service Association and Thozhil Thozhan, Thanjavur.
  10. Sadhanai Thamizhar Award (Outstanding Tamilian Award) for Lifetime Achievement, 2014, Kolkata Bharathi Tamil Sangam, Kolkata, West Bengal.
  11. Mozhipeyarppu Semmal for service to Tamil through translation, 2015, Uzhigal Social Welfare Association, Mupperum Vizha, Thanjavur
  12. Ilakkiya Aalumai for distinguished service to Tamil, 2015, Tamilnadu Kalai Ilakkiya Perumandram, 11th State Conference, Mannargudi
  13. Na. Mu. Venkatasamy Nattar Award for distinguished service to Tamil, 2016, Karanthai Tamil Sangam & Thiruvayaru Tamil Aiyya Kalvik Kazhagam, Karanthai
  14. G. U. Pope Translation Award for “Pattuppattu In English - The Ten Tamil Idylls”, 2017, Thamizh Academy, SRM University, Kattankulathur, Chennai
  15. Indian Presidential Award - Tolkappiyar Award for lifetime achievement in Classical Tamil, 2014-2015, Central Institute of Classical Tamil, Government of India


A. Dakshinamurthy Wikipedia

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