Written by Sri Swami Chandrashekarendra
Just as "illakanam", the Tamil word for grammar, is derived from the
Sanskrit "laksana", so too a number of other words that have to do with
grammar in that language are of Sanskrit origin. For instance, there are
two terms used in Tamil grammar, pakuti (pahuti) and vikuti (vihuti). To
illustrate in the word "Ramanukku" (for Raman ), "Raman " is pakuti and
"ku" is "vikuti". Both terms pakuti and vikuti are derived from Sanskrit
grammar. "How do you say so? " it might be asked. "Is it not pakuti an
original tamil word derived from "pakuttal? "
Pakuti in the sense of that which has been divided is indeed a Tamil
But I say that there is another pakuti that is a corrupt form of the
"prakarti". It is in the sense of "prakarti" that the word "Raman" in
"Ramanukku" is described as pakuti. As for "vikuti" it is from the
"vikriti": there is no such word as "vikuttal" in Tamil corresponding to
pakuttal. From the undisputed fact that vikuti is from vikriti, we may
conclude for certain that pakuti is from prakrti.
(Vikrti also called "pratyaya", that which gives many meanings to the
same prakrti. When it is said "Ramanai aditten"-(I) beat Raman-the
pratyaya "ai" added makes Raman the person who is beaten. If it is said
Ramanal adipatten-(I) was beaten by Raman-the prakrti Raman with the
al makes him the one who beat.)
It is not my purpose to claim that Sanskrit is superior to Tamil. When
feelings of superiority arise to make us happy? When we are conscious of
differences between what we believe is "ours" and what we believe is
"theirs". Where we to have racial bias, we could be tempted to speak in
appreciative terms of what is "ours" and to deprecate what is "theirs".
we realise that to harbour feelings based on racial differences is
wrong, that our languages have sprung from the same family, from the
same cultural tradition, there will be no cause for speaking highly of
language at the expense of another.
On the subject of grammar I have mentioned certain facts and it is not
intention to elevate one language above another.