The history of vedic studies is closely related to the migration of Brahmins to the state. Legendary accounts tell us that Parasurama brought them here. Anyhow, the migrations took place at different phases. Of them two are important, the first during Sangama period (3 c. BCE.) and the second during the rule of Kadamba dynasty established by Mayuravarman (4c. CE). By the fall of the central administration of the Cheras (11 c. CE) the Brahmin settlers became powerful. The agamic worship flourished. Everything came to be centered round the village temple. The Nambutiris, expanded their influence by forming a grand alliance with the kings and with the lower strata by way of marital relations.1 By 13th, 14th centuries they came to be accepted as the overlords not only of the spiritual world but also of the temporal. Their penetration into the cultural field providing an all round sanskritisation2, had far reaching consequences. In short, the Kerala Brahmins though numerically small, became like their legendary ancestor Parasurama, well-versed both in śastra and śāstra and the land came to be called Brahmaks.atra.3 The intrusion of Portuguese posed a challenge, but the British regime compromised with them. By the beginning of the last century they began to loose their grip mainly due to political reasons. The land reforms brought an end to their feudatory rights. It can be seen that Kerala Brahmins presided over the destinies of Kerala for the past ten hundred years.
Distribution of Different Branches
There is an interesting scene described in the stage manual of Bhagavadajjuka4 (13 c. CE) where in the jester enquires the details regarding a person who is dead, 18 Vedic Studies in Kerala in order to ascertain the funeral rites to be performed. These are the words of theharacter.
“To which caraṇa does the deceased belong-either to Ṛgveda, Yajurveda or Sāmaveda ? There are twenty one branches for Ṛgveda.Two of them are famous- Pakazhiyas and Kauśītaka. Among the hundred and one śākhas of Yajurveda that of Bodhāyana andVādhūlaka are important. Sāmavedins are spread in a thousand branches of which talavakāras and chāndogas alone are countable. Oh ! dead man is a Ṛgvedin ; then whether an ekāgni or a tretāgni ?
Yes, he is a tretāgni. Then the funeral rites prescribed for a tretāgni has to be observed”
We have to note three things in this description :
i Only the trayī-the three Vedas of Ṛg, Yajur and Sāma was popular in Kerala. Atharva had no takers here.5 The description given here closely corroborates the account of the distribution of vedic Brahmins enumerated by Burnel.
According to him, the Atharva was not accepted by Kerala Brahmins. Majority of them (80%) belonged to the R. gveda following Kausītakī recension which is extinct anywhere else. 19% of the Kerala Brahmins follow Yajurveda ; there too 90% are adherents of Bodhāyana school, the rest belongs to Vādhūlaka. There is only a small number for Sāmaveda - 01%.
ii Each sect had maintained their separate identity. The rites and ceremonies for them are well defined and no violation is tolerated. Though loosely denoted by a common name each of them were particular to maintain their ancestral lineage which they inherited before migrating to this land.
iii This manual gives us a picture of the process of sanskritisation that took place during that period. Art, especially the visual art was the major instrument for the kind of enculturation they wished to attain.
It has to be borne in mind here that all the Brahmins were not vaidikas - there were others who did not study the Vedas. They were called ottillāttor.
According to a rough estimate, 35% of R. gvedins, 50% of Yajurvedins and 8% of Sāmavedins belonged to this group.
The Tradition of Yajña
Kerala is the home of Advaita and hence one would naturally expect the people to be the followers of jñānakāṇḍa. But paradoxically, both jñāna and karma co-existed here, the latter having upper hand at times. The Mīmāmsā tradition is traced to Prabhākaraguru. The Payyūr Bhaṭṭas were the most vocal exponents of the system in later period.
The first ever recorded reference to a sacrifice in this area belongs to the Sangham age.6 The Akanānūru (2c.B.CE) tells us of a sacrifice at Taliparambu (Cellūr) conducted by the legendary Parasurama. There are other references to sacrifices in Sangham works, though Cilapatikaram is silent of this tradition.
It is believed that the yajna tradition of Kerala traces its origin to Mezhathol Agnihotri7, one of the twelve sons of Vararuci. Whatever be the historicity of the account, the story itself is illuminating as it preaches universal brotherhood of all kinds of people - the Parayan, Pānan, Peruntaccan and others - tracing their origin to the same womb. This sense of co-existence is the most important contribution of vedic culture to Kerala. We have a beautiful description of the Cokiram village in the Unniccirutevicaritam which very well gives an idea of the influence of yaga in the early village life of Kerala in the 13th century.
The village is compared to a lotus flower arising from the naval of Vis.n. u. AḻvāncheryTamprākkal is equated to Brahma who resides in the lotus ; the eight adhyaghras form its petals. The other Brahmin families are its sepals, Brahmins being bees that hover around the flower. The chanting of Vedas is compared to the humming of bees and the knowledge to the honey.8
Nārāyana in his Dīpaprabhā commentary on Mahābhāṣyapradīpa refers to this land as one where the preceptors are well versed in Vedas. The Rājasūyaprabandha of Melputtūr, perhaps for the first time, gives a detailed description of the sacrifice performed by Yudhis.t.hira, giving first-hand information regarding the conduct of sacrifices in Kerala.
It is interesting to note in this connection that the 7th century social satire Mattavilāsa humorously compared the Yajñasālā to a toddy shop and the Manager to Yajamana and the like. This play had to pay a heavy price for this sacrilege in the post-sanskritised age. The Kūṭiyāṭṭam stage retained only the first two verses of this farce and left the rest to oblivion. Cultural monopoly is a drawback of the kind of enculturation propounded by the vaidikas. All
the different views were wiped out. Heterodox thoughts like Buddhism and Jainism which had deep roots here had either to surrender or to submit for alterations.
There were śālās attached to every temple where in two kinds of instructions were imparted – one on vedic and puranic literature and the other on military warfare. There were sabhāmaṭhams for each grāma and provisions were made by the kings/chieftains for the maintenance of these institutions. Thus the purity of vedic tradition was ensured by the instructions imparted to Brahmin students through the traditional method. The Brahmasvam maṭham at Trichur and Tirunāvāya still keeps up this tradition alive. The products of these institutions retain the best in the tradition. Those trained in śastra, perhaps, did not care for such simplicity. Being engaged in warfare and endowed with power their descendants led a loose life. This led to the later degeneration to a section of Brahmin community. The reference in Keraḻābharana seems to be aimed at these people. One of the positive contributions of these people, apart from the maintenance of the defence of the country seems to be the art form Sanghakaḻi which is almost extinct now.
Art And Literature
As the Vedas were transmitted orally without reference to their meaning, the preceptors did not think it necessary to record anything regarding this tradition. The two works on vedic literature of some importance are commentary on Aitareya Brahman a by Sadguru śiṣya, and Sukhada comm. on Kausītakī composed by Udayana. Thus the direct influence of vedic studies on literature is meagre. But it exerted a deeper imprint indirectly over all the art forms, especially the theatre. Nātyasāstra is considered to be the fifth Veda. The cākyārs, the traditional actors of Kerala considered the performance of Sanskrit dramas in Kuṭiyāṭṭam as an act dedicated to the diety. Nāt.ya is yajña.9
“The place where Nātyaprayoga takes place is called sadas and the stage is called vedika and vahni is employed for its protection. The preliminaries with homa offered and the import of the last line of nāndi quoted in the vth lesson of NS where the word `ijya' is used, are yet another indication that the original theoretical enquiry into the nature of theatre given the shape of a myth of its birth took place while the vedic yajña was the central and pivotal notion of life not only in the sphere of religion par excellence but also in other spheres of intellectual endeavor. Therefore, we cannot proceed further in our attempt to delineate the cultural context of nāṭyaprayoga without grasping the essence of the vedic world view”.
This cultural context of the vedic world view made the performance of Kuṭiyāṭṭam, a kind of sacrifice performed in the Kūttampalam. Everything in it, beginning from lighting of the lamp to the final sālādahana has the attribute of a yajña. It will not be an exaggeration if we are to assert that the only remaining relic of Sanskrit theatre is preserved in Kerala due to the special affinity it came to be acquired in the cultural context to the vedic tradition. And preservation of the theatre is perhaps the greatest contribution of the vedic tradition in Kerala. Even in its formal structure, the vedic mudras have influenced those of Kut.iyat.t.am and needless to repeat, the accentual affinity of vedic recitation and cākyār’s words are too well known.10
There were two important events which had a special bearing on Kerala’s vedic tradition in the 20th century. One is the Atirātra held at Panjal in 1975 at the initiative of a team of foreign enthusiasts led by Prof. J.F. Stall. It has given a new impetus to vedic studies in a global setting. Moreover, publication of the two volumes of AGNI is a monumental contribution to the world of knowledge. The second, and perhaps more important, is the rendering of Ṛgveda in Malayalam language. Till now, Vedic studies were confined to a minority ; rendering in the local language has made it a treasure of all humanity. The meaning also came to be important along with the chanting. A literal translation in verse of Ṛgveda was first done by Mahakavi Vallathol in the fifties. In the 80’s the sage-like O.M.C Narayanan Nambudiripad brought out the entire R. gveda with Sayan. a’s commentary in eight volumes in Malayalam. He has also pioneered an ambitious project for starting a correspondence course in Veda, which has borne fruit in the form of publication of sixty lessons.
In the meanwhile several learned articles have come out on various aspects of vedic literature. Some of them concentrate on the poetic beauty of the vedic mantras. There are yet others which attempt to interpret the hymns in its socio-economic setting, departing from the traditionally accepted religious views.
The vedic stream of knowledge did not stand isolated from the general stream, instead got merged to the renaissance movement.
Vedic studies hitherto, was confined to exclusive centres of traditional training in Trichur, Tirunāvāya, Irinjalakuda etc., and competitions held in the `anyonyam' at temples like Kat.avallur offered opportunities to young students to exhibit their scholarship.
It was in 1997 that vedic studies was incorporated, for the first time, to the university system in Kerala. The Sanskrit University founded at Kalady in the name of Sankaracarya was in its infant stage at that time. I was serving as its first Registrar. The circumstances that led to the establishment of a new school for vedic studies were quite accidental. Once during a meeting in the Sahitya Akademi, Trissur, Sri Killimangalam Vasudevan Nambudiri and Sri L.S Rajagopal were with me. During our discussions, they brought to my notice the pitiable state of the Samaveda tradition of Kerala.
The chanting of Samaveda was preserved for centuries in Kerala practiced by certain renowned Nambudiri families. The members of these families dedicated their life for the teaching and reciting of Samaveda. There were 21 families in which sāma was taught in a traditional way. Among this only five families at Panjal preserves this tradition now. Only five scholars, all aged, the senior most at 92, have the knowledge of chanting sāma in its pristine purity.11
The chanting of Sama has much importance in vedic sacrifices. The Udgātā recites sāma hymn in a musical way. The pitch stress and intonation of sāma recitation in sacrifices have attracted the attention of musicologists all over the world. This hoary oral tradition is at the verge of extinction. It will disappear along with these pandits and, unless preserved, will be lost for ever to humanity.12
The fact and their passion moved me. Coming back to the university I discussed the matter with the Vice-Chancellor Dr. N. P Unni and all concerned and with their blessings established a new school for vedic studies for the preservation of sāma chanting.13 The school took up the challenge and with the support of the traditional sāma scholars completed the work of faithfully preserving the entire recital. The recording of ārcika, grāmageya and candrasāma extending to seventy hours was completed in the first phase. The recording of 29 sāmastutis used in atirātra and 12 used in somayāga that are chanted in the ūha and ūsān. i style in 25 hours was completed in the second phase. The entire tradition of sāma chanting is now documented in audio and video CD’s of 95 hours. They are available for academic studies. The school of vedic studies extended further its scope by conducting seminars, short term courses, public lectures and workshops on various topics connected with the Vedas all over the state. Their untiring efforts have inspired other vedic institutions and they too became active during the last decade. This has generated a vast literature widening the knowledge-base of Vedas and has provided a public space for it among the intellectual and academic community.14
The Puthucode Tradition
The recording of the sama chanting was held in Lakshmiswayamvara temple at Panjal. While returning after the inaugural function, Sri. L.S Rajagopal told me that a more important work remains to be done. He was referring to the chanting of Sama in the Kauthūma recension in the old Tanjavur Style preserved in the village of Puthucode in the Palakkad district of the state. Followers of this branch are predominantly settled in Tanjavur district of Tamilnadu. Some families from Tanjavur migrated to Palakkad some four 24
Vedic Studies in Kerala hundred years ago invited by the King. The circumstances that led to this migration according to legendary accounts are like this: Before accession by the British, Palakkad was ruled by a dynasty of Sekharavarmans. One king, while touring for inspection in disguise along the foot of the mountains happened to see a beautiful woman belonging to a low-caste nāyāt.i community. According to the then prevailing caste hierarchy, nāyāt.is were not only untouchable, but unseable by people belonging to higher caste. The King, however, was infatuated by her beauty. He concealed his feeling. His able minister seeing him dejected and disinterested realized that something has gone wrong. Being repeatedly asked by the minister, the king opened his mind. The minister pacified the king. After some days, the minister told the king that he has arranged a meeting with her in a hunting lodge in the foothills. There were two conditions: no light would be provided in the room and he should not ask anything to the woman. The king agreed and, as was arranged, spent the night there. Next day, as usual, he took his bath and started to the temple. The practice was that before occupying the throne the king should go into the temple and receive the prasādam from the priest. This day he hesitated to step into the temple. He had a prick of conscious since he had been polluted by the union of an untouchable. The minister intervened, brought his queen and informed the king that it was his lawful wife who spent the night with him yesterday. The king was convinced but not relieved of his sense of guilt.
manahkrtam krtam kāryam na śarīrakrtam krtam
yathaivālingyate kāntā tathaivālingyate sutā.
It is the mind, not the body, that commits sin. One embraces his wife the same way does he embrace his daughter. The mental condition makes the difference.
Yesterday while cohabiting it was the nāyāt.i woman in his mind, not his queen. Hence he cannot escape from his sin. That was his argument. His high sense of morality is revealed here.
The king received the prasādam without entering the temple. He came to the throne. His priests who were all Nambudiri Brahmins opposed his conduct. The king did not heed to their advice. In a fury, all the Brahmins left his kingdom. There was a big vaccum. None is there to perform the religious rites ! The Minister informed the king that he would bring greater Brahmin scholars, to replace the Nambudiris. He, thus, brought Brahmins from Tanjavur and settled them in Palakkad. The king gave them tax-free property and made one of them his minister.
The first agrahāra was known in the name of the king, Sekharīpuram. Migrations from Tanjavur continued. First came Yajurvedins then Smārtas followed bysāmavedins. There were eighteen settlements in the beginning, then it increased gradually to ninety two. Puthucode became one of the important settlements.
The village prospered around the Annapūrneswari temple. This is the story of migration of Brahmin’s to Puthucode some four hundred years ago. During this, period, many changes took place in Tanjavur, their original home. The Marātta kings who ruled the territory brought several scholars from Pune. These scholars introduced a different, more simpler method of chanting for
Sāmaveda. It was codified by Ramanatha Sastrigal who came from Maharashtra.
Ramanatha Sastrigal was endearingly known as Rāma, among his friends. Hence the style introduced by him came to be known as Rāmanna pāṭham. This style soon became very popular due to the royal patronage extended to it. The pāṭhaśalās were encouraged and students learning this style were attracted by extending liberal scholarships. In course of time, the original Tanjavur style faded into oblivion. It was completely washed away from Tanjavur. What remains as sāma chanting is the new style of Rāmanna. The only person who knew the prācīna style was Pandit V. Rama Sastri in the village of Ayakkuti in Shenkottah. He studied Sāmaveda from his father in the traditional way. He also knew the new style of chanting but uses only the old style in his native village. Rama Sastri was 72 years old when Sri. L.S Rajagopal visited him in 1986 to record his chanting.
The destiny to preserve the old style of Sāma chanting fell on Puthucode. The Brahmin settlement around the Annapūrn. eswari temple did not know the transformation going on in Tanjavur. They continued to foster their tradition. They preserved the original style of chanting which their forefathers brought from Tanjavur. The change brought out by the Maratti rulers after 150 years of their departure from their hometown did not affect them.
Puthucode flourished as a centre of Sanskrit learning producing many scholars in Sanskrit and vedic studies. In the beginning of the last century Puthucode Sundara Iyer, who retired as a judge of the Madras Hight court extended all help to promote the traditional studies. He founded a Sanskrit college there which worked well for some time. The second quarter of the last century saw a decline in all fields. Number of students opting for Sanskrit or vedic studies came down
heavily. The college could not withstand the onslaught of time.
The only one who knows the sāma chanting is Sri. P.K. Gopalan Vādhyār, well versed in gr.hya ritual chants. The original Tanjavur tradition of sāma chanting (prācīna) survives only through him.
Before long, I got an opportunity to address a Sanskrit conference in the Puthucode village organized by the Bharatiya Vidyabhavan. I used the occasion to inspire the audience by narrating their cultural background. The entire village was virtually shocked ! They could not believe that they are the inheritors of such a great tradition and the vādhyār whom they considered only an old priest as the sole repository of a great tradition. We discussed the methods to preserve this
tradition. All the villagers were unanimous and enthusiastic.
Soon they started a vedic class to train students. Due to their enthusiasm five students came forward to study under Gopala Vadhyar, four full time and an employee as part-time. They paid a monthly honorarium to Vadhyar and honoured him with an award in the next year. The villagers raised funds to record the entire chanting that Gopalavadhyar could do. Thus the prācīna style of Kaūthuma sāma was also saved from extinction.
I have often wondered as to how destiny made me its tool in achieving two of its great missions-namely preserving for posterity the Jaiminīya sama chanting of Kerala and the Kauthūma, Pracīna style, sāma chanting of Thanjavur. The thought makes me more humble.
Notes and References
Ramachandra Makhin, the 17th century author of Keraḻābharaṇa, states that ‘the people of Kerala never do care for erecting platforms for sacrifices nor do they practice chanting of vedic hymns; sledom do they observe any religious rites, the sacred vaṣaṭkāra does not sanctify the atmosphere. Their hearts find pleasure only in embracing beautiful women.
naivāsti vediracanā na ca homamantram
dīksāvidhirna ca vasatkrtayo na vāpi,
samirambhalagnahrdayāh khalu keralīyāh. 204
This paper intends to show that the author was thoroughly mistaken in understanding the people of Kerala and their tradition and that his findings are unfounded.
1. History of Nambudiri community in Kerala, M.G. S Narayanan and Kesavan Veluthattu AGNI Vol II.PP 172-173 ;Frists Stall, Asian Humanities Press Berklley.
2. The term ‘Sanskritisation was introduced in 1952 by M. N. Srinivas in his book Religion and Society among the Coorgs of South India (Oxford, 1952). The term is not defined, but is used to mean a process by which a lower caste attempts to raise its status and to raise to a higher position in the caste hierarchy. Sanskritisation may take place through adoption of vegeterianism, of teetotalism, of worship of sanskristic deities or by engaging the service of Brahmanas for ritual purposes. Its essential ingredient is the imitation of behavior and beliefs associated with ritualy high status groups.’ J. F. Stall, The journal of Asian Studies Vol 22, No.3 (May 1963) PP261-275
3. brahmakṣatro jayati vipulo bhūpradeśo mahānto
yatrācāryāh śrutiṣu niratāh śaṅkarādyāḥ babhūvuḥ
4. Bhagavadajjuka on Kutiyattam stage, K.G. Paulose, New Bharatiya Book Corporation, Delhi-2000.
5. Kerala is renowned for its Ayurvedic treatment. It seems strange that Atharva did not have a tradition here.
6. Kutiyattam Theatre- the Earliest Living Tradition, K.G. Paulose D.C Books Kottayam 2006.
7. mezhattolagnihotrī rajakanuḻiyanurttaccanum pinne vaḻḻon
vayillākkunnilappan vaṭutala maruvum nāyar kārakkal mātā
an periyatiruvaran gathe.lum pānanārum
nere nārāyaṇabhrānthanumakavūr cāthanum pākkanārum
8. āl.vancherry viri~nca sanādhan
vedadhvaniyām ghanka –
ḻevā cila vidvadvijamadhuvairatirūòham
nābhiyil malarum nalinam pole…
9. Nāṭya and yajña, Cristopher Byrski, Govt Sanskrit college Tripunithura-1995
10. Notes on comparison of Vedic Mudras used in Kutiyattam and Kathakali. Clifford Jones-AGNI. Vedic Studies in Kerala
11. There were,then only five traditional scholars in Samaveda
i Vasudevan Namboothiri of Perumangattu Mana
ii Aryan Namboothiri of Thottam Mana
iii Narayanan Namboothiri of Thottam Mana
iv Neelakanthan Namboothiri of Nellikkattu Mana
v Vasudevan Namboodiri of Nellikattu Mana.
12. There were several attempts in the past to record Sāmaveda. Some of them are listed below:
i Recording of sāma recital was first attempted by JF Stall in 1971. A copy of it is available with
Sri. M. Subramonian Namboodiri, Muttathukattil Mana. The recording was done in ordinary
spool tape recorder in old 4-track recording system. Hence it is not in a good condition now.
No reproduction is possible.
ii Dr. E. R Sreekrishna Sarma did an audio recording for the portion except ūha and ūs.ān. i.
iii Audio recording incorporating these points also was done at A.I.R Calicut, some time back.
iv Tirupathy Devasthanam has recorded all sāma recitals in audio tapes except ūha and ūs.ān. i.
v Prof. Gune from Denmark and Dr. K Krishna Das from Trivandrum have also taken audio
records of sāma recital.
13. Dr. C. M Neelakandhan of the faculty of Sanskrit Sahitya was given the charge of the new school. By his enthusiastic efforts the school could mark its imprints on our social and cultural life. He continues to hold the position.The school has started post graduate courses now.
14. Some of the important publications on Vedic Studies during the period are given below:
Works edited in English by Dr. C. M Neelakandhan and K. A. Ravindran
i Veda, society and Modernity, Panchangam Pustakasala, Kunnamkulam, 2007.
ii Vedic Texts and the Knowledge systems of India, Department of Vedic Studies, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady, 2010.
iii Preservation Techniques of the Rgveda chanting of Kerala, Dept of Vedic Studies, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady, 2010
Works in Malayalam
iv Vedakiraṇaṅgal, C. M Neelakandhan, Paleli Narayanan Nambudiri,1995
v Ṛgveda Paryaṭanam, C. N Parameswaran, 2003
vi Srutisaurabham, C. M Neelakandhan, 2005
vii Vedaṅgaḻum Śramaṇapāramparyavum. Seminar Proceeds, 2007
viii Ṛgvedabhūmika, P.V Ramankutty, 2007
ix Sāmavedadarpaṇam, K.A Ravindran, 2007
x Adharvavedālokam, Palanatu Vasudevan, 2007
xi Vaidikam, N.V.P Unnithiri, 2007
xii Vedavaṅmayam, Seminar Proceeds, 2007
xiii Vedavicāram, Ed C.M Neelakandhan, 2008
xiv Yajurvedasamhita, P.V Ramankutty, 2008
xv Vedadīpikā, P.V Ramankutty, 2008
xvi Vaidikavijñanam, Seminar Proceeds, 2008
xvii Vedapāṭhasamraksaṇam, N.V.P Unnithiri, 2008
xviii Vedangaḻum dārsanika Paramparyavum, Seminar Proceeds, 2009
xix Kalpam- Oru Samagravedāngam, C R Subhadra, 2009
xx Vedavīcikal, Ed. P. M Damodaran, 2009
xxi Vedasannidhiyil, Pazhedathu Narayanan Nambudiri, 2009
xxii Araṇyakangalku oru amukham, P.V Ramankutty, 2010
xxiii Ars.apramāṇangal, Ed. Vatakkumbattu Narayanan, 2010
xxiv Vedangaḻum Putuvāyanakaḻum, Seminar proceeds, 2010
The list is not exhaustive, veterens like Erkkara Raman Nambudiri, V. K Narayanan Bhattathiri, Vedabandhu and Acharya Narendrabhusan have enriched the vedic literature with their valuable contributions.
15. An American Scholar Wayne Howard travelled all over India to collect information regarding vedic chanting and published his research on sāma chanting from Yale University in 1977. When it came out, Sri. L.S Rajagopal brought to the notice of the author that details regarding the Puthucode chanting is not included in the book. He sent some tapes recording the chanting of Sri Gopala Vadhyar. Sri. Wayane Howard was surprised to note it. He said “ This is the most significant mode of chanting form the musical point of view” He along with Sri Rajagopal prepared two research papers (The Prācīna kautūmasāmaveda of Palakkad, in the journal of Indian Musicological society-1989 and Pracīna kautūma Tradition in South India-Letters from 1985-1988 published in the commemoration volume to Prof. Parpola on his sixteenth birth day in Helsinki-2000) and invited the attention of the world of vedic scholars to Puthucode. Puthucode thus became imprinted in the history of vedic tradition with Gopala Vadhyar as the sole inheritor.