Srimathe Rangaramanuja Mahadesikaya Namaha
Srimathe Sri Varaha Mahadesikaya Namaha
Sri Velukkudi Krishnan Swamy thiruvadigaley Sharanam
Sashasranamam thamizh version vandhirukku. SollaLAmA pdAtha?
My humble opinion swami,
It is better not to tamper the beauty of either of these ancient languages by translating and reciting.
Translation for understanding is absolutely fine but reciting is unacceptable in my opinion.
Similarly when somebody translates ‘Divya Prabandham’ say in Hindi or Samkskrutam, adiyen is of the opinion that it should be done only for understanding purpose of the people who are not aware of Tamil but not for recitation.
I have heard a section of Gujaratis in Jam Nagar and a few other towns recite Divya Prabandham in Tamil even now. So what drives them is pure bhakti and devotion to Sri Ramanujacharyaar.
However this is adiyen’s personal opinion only.
We have greater champions in this forum. Let them also share their opinion.
With my acharya’s anugraham, let me please place my understanding on this topic:
When we recite prayers / songs given by acharyas it is our means to connect to their devotion; this is the primary aim. This connection can be done and the benefit of devotion experienced by us even if we don’t understand the meaning. If we do understand the meaning that is better; we must try our best to understand; but it is not mandatory; it is not that someone who understands gets more benefit than one who does not understand the meaning. Even if someone does not understand even word but is able to connect to the azhwar / acharyas’ devotion that persons stands to benefit the most.
For example, most of us don’t understand vedic mantras; this includes even many of the reciters. Nevertheless in temples the original vedic mantras have to be recited for the specific purpose it is meant for. Reciting a translation of the vedic mantra will not have the effect of the vedic matra. To give a crude analogy, when you log on to any online account you have to type the login id and password in the original language; if you translate it or type in a different script it will not work.
Recently during the consecration of the Tanjavore temple the language issue came up and even totally unqualified persons got to express their opinion! The dravidian politicians are trying to stir this up for political reasons. But even a little introspection will reveal the lacuna in their stance.
Although the Divya prabandams are in Tamil how many of us really understand the meaning as such simply by reading it? For all practical purpose a vastly large number of songs seem to be in a totally different language; I can understand only a few random words here and there, just as much as I would have understood a song in Telugu or Kannanda or Malayalam. We begin to understand only when we hear from acharyas’ upanyasams and vyakyaanams. And it is practically impossible to fully understand the full depth of all the songs; it is a life-time process!
Some people claim “I’ll learn the songs only if I understand”; ask them if they learnt “baba black sheep” and other such useless songs only after understanding them? They just learnt it first and kept on repeating; much later in life they began to understand the meaning. The same logic applies to learning alphabet and numbers; we don’t understand the significance of learning alphabet and numbers when we are first taught; but as we go along the rest of our life we keep on discovering newer and newer depth of significance of learning the letters and numbers!
Learning acharyas’ songs is also like that; first learn whether or not we understand; by connecting to their devotion we will eventually begin to understand.