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Namboothiri Sanskrit Scholars of the 20th Century

Given below is the information about the Namboothiri Sanskrit scholars of the 20th century. We do not claim that this list is complete. The details are coded in the following order: name, period, locality, "Griham", field of activity, awards and works. Locality and Griham are not repeated if already given in the title / name.
- Editor

1. Vayaskara Aryan Narayanan Mooss (1841 - 1902)

Born in Planthole of Kottayam district, this Ashtavaidyan wrote "Syena-sandesam", "Nakshathra Vrithaavali" and "Chithra-prabandham".

2. Vellaanasseri Vasunni Moosad (1855 - 1914)

Born in Vettathu Naadu (Ponnani), and a promoter of Sanskrit education, he was the publisher of "Vijnaana Chithaamani" magazine. His works include "Vritharathna Maala", "Samskrutha Paatthaavali", Sreepaadaadikesa Panchaamgika", "Maayaasthavam", and "Maanavikrama Saamoothiri Mahaaraaja Charitham".

3. Inchoor Kesavan Namboodiri (1855 - 1932)

He was born in Thrikkaariyoor Desam. He is the author of "Kulasekhareeyam" and "Vidhuvamsa Chambu".

4. Panditharaajan Maanthitta Kunchu Namboodiri (1877 - 1959)

Saasthrusarman (Kunchu) Namboodiri was born in ME 1052 (1877 AD) as the second son of Vedic scholar Maanthitta Subrahmanian Namboodiri and Kiraangaat Parvathy Antharjanam. His elder brother Vasudevan Namboodiri was a Vyaakaranam scholar, while the younger brother Subrahmanian Namboodiri was a Nyaayam expert. After "Upanayanam" at the age of seven, he was trained by his elder brother in Vedam, which was continued at Thrissur Brahmaswam Madham till age 15. At the same time, he studied Vyaakaranam and Nyaayam under the famous Ramaswamy Sasthry who was then staying at Kiraangaat Mana. Then he got advance training in Nyaayasaasthram under the renowned Bhatta Godavarma Raja of Kodungallur Gurukulam, whose niece he ended up marrying.

The Raja of Kochi honoured him with a title in Tharkam and appointed him as "Nyaayaachaaryan" in the Samskrutha Paatthasaala of Tripunithura. Even after retirement in 1931, he continued his studies and teaching, and as a judge in "Saasthra-sadass" for the rest of his life.

His valuable contributions in Nyaayasaasthram are "Nachanarathnamaalika", "Noothanaalokam" (a commentary on the previous work), and "Subodhinee Teeka". He wrote the devotional "Kaavyam" (poem) "Gangaatharangini" (24 Tharangams of 14 Slokams each) while this devotee of Sivan was at Kasi (Banares), and itís Vyaakhyaanam "Teekaa Prasoonaanjali:" which short yet beautiful work reflects his "Sivabhakthi" (devotion to Lord Sivan). He also wrote a Sandesa Kaavyam, "Chaathaka Sandesa:"

5. Kunnathoor Padinjaaredath Valiya Krishnan Bhattathiripad (1879 - 1964)

Krishnan Bhattathiripad was born into the famous Thanthry family, Kunnathoor Padinjaaredathu Mana of Peruvanam Desam of Thrissur district. His fatherís name was also Krishnan and his mother came from Chittoor Mana. He was the sixth among nine children, four brothers and four sisters.

He studied Sanskrit during his early years, and learned Rigvedam by heart after "Upanayanam", and remained a renowned "Othan" and a scholar throughout his life. He got trained in advanced Sanskrit under Chennamangalam Ayya Sasthry, and in-depth knowledge in Sanskrit literature ("Saahithyam") and "Tharkam" from the renowned Kodungallur Gurukulam. In addition to his traditional family speciality of "Thanthra-saasthram", he was proficient in "Thachusaasthram" too.

Bhattathiripadís main disciple was the recently expired (May 2000) Thanthram exponent Kalppuzha Divakaran Nambudiripad. It was under the leadership and supervision that the rare "Mahaayajnam" called "Thilaparvatha Daanam" was performed as per the wishes of the Mahaaraja of Kochi. He followed this up with the preparation and publication of a book of the same title "Thilaparvatha Daanam". Another book of his is "Saahithya Chinthaamani" which describes quite authentically about rituals like "Thrisandha", "Samnyaasakriya", etc.

6. Polpakkara Damodaran Nambudiripad (1882 - 1965)

Polpakkara Mana of Edapal (Malappuram district) is where he was born. After the usual "Vedaadhyayanam", he was trained in the "Saasthrams" under Pareekshith Ramavarma Thampuran, Kodungalloor Bhattan Thampuran and Ayyaa-Saasthrikal and became an expert in the great Puraanams as well as Vedaantham and other Saasthrams. He wrote discussions and commentaries on "Bhakthirasaayanam" of Madhusoodana Saraswathy. In honour of his scholastic achievements, Maharaja Ravivarma of Kochi conferred on him the title of "Vedantha Thilakam".

7. Kaippilly Vasudevan Moosad (1888 - 1956)

This disciple of Punnasseri Neelakandha Sarma served as a teacher in Saaraswathodyothini Samskrutha Paatthasaala. His main contribution was the "Vyaakhyaanams" (commentaries) on "Girijaakalyaanam", "Sarvadarsana Samgraham", "Kowdilyante Artthasaasthram" and "Saahithya Darpanam".

8. Panditharaajan Kanippayyoor Sankaran Nambudiripad (1891 - 1981)

Sankaran Nambudiripad acquired deep knowledge in "Thachusaasthram" (architecture), "Jyothisham" (astrology), "Ganitham" (arithmetic) and "Vaidyam" (medical science). He was foremost among "Panchaanga Ganitham" (astrological calendar) exponents, and was awarded titles like "Panditharaajan" and "Vaidyarathnam". "Thanthra Samuchayam" ("Silpabhaagam") commentary, "Aarynmaarute Kudiyettam - Keralathil" (Aryan Immigration into Keraka), "Ente Smaranakal" (My Memories), "Naayanmaarude Poorva Charithram" (Historical Origins of Nairs), "Aachaara Vimarsanam" (A Critique on Aachaarams) and "Samskrutham-Malayalam Nighandu" (dictionary) are among his major works. (Click: "Sankaran Nambudiripd, Kanippayyur" in Malayalam Literature - Modern Age).

9. Achyuthath Vasudevan Moosad (1895 - 1959)

Vasudevan Moosad was a disciple of Punnasseri Nambi. "Nivaapaanjali" and "Marakkaatha Naalukal" are some of his main works.

10. Erkkara Raman Namboodiri (1898 - 1983)

Born in Mookuthala near Ponnani (Malappuram district), he was a scholar in Vedams and Vedaamgams. He took a lead role in several Somayaagams and Athiraathrams. "Srouthakarma Vivekam" and "Aamnaaya Mathhanam" are his major contributions. (Click for a separate article: Erkkara Raman Namboodiri).

11. K N M Divakaran Nambudiripad (b. 1906)

He was born in Nandikulam village near Kotakara, and was a teacher in Tripunithura Sanskrit College. He had earned the titles of "Saasthra Divaakaran" and "Saasthra Rathnam". His main works were "Sankaraachaarya Charitham", "Sounaka Siksha" and "Varnochaarana Deepika". (Click: "Divakaran Nambudiripad K N M" in Malayalam Literature - Modern Age).

12. Kannadi Govindan Namboodiri (1906 - 1937)

He founded the Kothapram Samskrutha Vidyaalayam and was a promoter of Sanskrit language.

13. Kuberan Nambudiripad (1908 - 1992)

Born in Ezhoth, he established a high school at Moothedath. "Samskrutha Pooja" was the main work of this "Nimisha Kavi" (instant poet).

14. Krishnan Kuthulli ( b. 1909)

Born in Kuthulli Mana of Kuttippala near Vattamkulam (Malappuram district), this great scholar was well-versed in Ayurvedam, Carnatic music and Rigvedam. He had passed the "Valiya Kadannirikkal" of Kadavallur Anyonyam (click). He wrote "Sreepaada Sapthathy" (translation in the same metre) and "Sloka Muthassi" (collected poems).

15. O M C Narayanan Nambudiripad (1910 - 1989)

Known popularly as O M C, he was born into the famous Olappamanna Mana and had deep knowledge in Rigvedam. He had served as the president of the Thrissur Brahmaswam Madham. He initiated a correspondence course in Vedam studies and was a promoter of "Rigveda Lakshaarchana". "Rigveda Bhaashaa Bhaashyam" is his magnum-opus. The "Deveeprasaadam Trust" (click: Awards, Trusts and Scholarships) was established in his honour, and every year awards in Vedam, Samskrutham, Sangeetham and Kathakali are given.

16. Vaisravanath Vasudevan Namboodiri (b. 1911)

Vaisravanath Vasudevan Namboodiri was born in Kothakurssi in Ottapalam (Palakkad district). He had deep knowledge in Vyaakaranam and Vedaantham. But he was a Hindi teacher in their family school after higher studies in Banares.

17. G Viswanatha Sarma (1912 - 1998)

Born in Mangalore, Sarma acquired deep knowledge in Samskritham literature and the Saasthrams. He served as a Sanskrit teacher in Kalady Aasrama Vidyaalayam, Tripunithura Samskrutha Paatthasaala and in the Language Teachersí Training Centre at Ramapuram. He had received gold medal for Vedaantham, The Kerala Saahithya Academy Award and titles like "Vidyaabhooshanam" and "Panditharathnam". His main works are: "Bhaaratheeya Saasthra Darsanam" and "Samskruthaadhyaapanam".

18. V M C Narayanan Bhattathiripad (1914 - 2006)

Narayanan Bhattatiripad was born into Vellakkaattu Mana of Vaniyambalam (Malappuram district) and is a great Yajurvedam scholar. He studied under Panamanna Subrahmania Sasthry and was recently awarded the "Deveeprasaadam Puraskaaram" (click: Awards, Trusts and Scholarships).

19. E C Narayanan Namboodiri (1914 - 1991)

This Samskrutham scholar was born in Thekke Edamana Illam of Kaithapram. "Aanandarasam" and "Govindagaattha" are his major works.

20. Narayanan Namboodiri (b. 1927)

This Vedic scholar was born in Thottathil Mana of Paanjaal and has participated in several Yaagams. The All India Radio, Kozhikode station has recorded his Saamavedam recital.

21. Vasudevan Namboodiri (b. 1927)

Vasudevan Namboodiri of Perumangaad Mana of Paanjaal is also a Vedic scholar who had participated in a number of Athiraathrams and other Yaagams. He was a delegate in the "Viswaveda Sammelan" held at Delhi. He received certificates of merit and awards for "Vedapandithan" from institutions like Sree Sankaracharya Sanskrit University of Kalady, Srouthasaasthra Trust, Thrissur Brahmaswam Madham, Kadavalloor Anyonyam Trust, etc.

22. Nellikkattu Maamunnu Neelakandhan Namboodiri (b. 1928)

This "Vedajnan" of Paanjaal was "Rhithwik" in a number of Yaagams and the Athiraathram held at Kundoor. He had participated in Vedam conferences in Prayaaga and Delhi. He had received certificates and awards for "Vedapandithan", from organizations like Srouthasaasthra Parishad and Sree Sankarachaarya Sanskrit University.

23. R Vasudevan Potti (b. 1929)

Born in Kokkada village of South Karnataka, he was professor of "Vedantham" in the Sanskrit colleges at Thiruvananthapuram, Tripunithura, etc. He had served as Assistant Editor in "Viswavijnaana Kosham" (Malayalam Encyclopaedia) and "Bhaashaa Saahithya Vibhaagam". He had received "Vedaantham" medal and "Saasthrarathnam" award. His main works are "Baalahithaishini", "Bhojaprabandham" (Malayalam translation).

24. N Vasudevan Namboodiri (b. 1933)

Also a Vedic scholar from Nellikkaattu Mana of Paanjaal; he had participated in many Somayaagams and Athiraathrams. He was given the title "Saamaveda Pandithan" by Srouthasaasthra Parishad and by Sree Sankarachaarya Sanskrit University. He was invited and went to England for reciting Saamavedam.

25. T P Sankaran Namboodiri (b. 1932)

Born in Kaithapram near Payyannur, he had in-depth knowledge in Vedams, Upanishads, Jyothisham, Thanthrasaasthram, etc.

26. Thottam Aryan Namboodiri (b. 1930)

Born in Paanjaal, and trained in Saamavedam in the traditional manner, he earned the "Vedapandithan" title from Thissur Brahmaswam Madham, Irinjalakuda Yajurveda Paatthasaala (click: Kaamakoti Yajurveda Paatthasaala) and Sree Sankaraachaarya Sanskrit University of Kalady. He was invited and went to England and recited Saamavedam for them. Kanchy Sree Jayendra Saraswathy Swaamikal honoured him by awarding a "Keerthi-mudra" (medal of honour). He took a major role in the recording of Saamaveda Samhitha for the Sree Sankaraachaarya Sanskrit University.

27. Panditharaajan Kiraangaat Narayanan Nambudiripad

28. Panditharaajan Perunthaanam Narayanan Namboodiri

29. Pannisseri Pazhedam

[Details about 27 to 29 are being collected. - Editor]

| Article No:18.1 | Last update of this article:14th February 2007 |
Sources :
(1) "Irupathaam Noottaandile Keraleeya Samskritha Pandithanmaar"
     - Dr: A Girija
[All except No. 4 and 5]
(2) No. 4. Panditharaajan Maanthitta Kunchu Namboodiri
     - Dr: P C Muraleedharan. "Venkitangu Sree Sankaranarayana Kshethram - Naveekarana Kalasa Smaranika"

(3) No. 5. Kunnathoor Padinjaaredath Valiya Krishnan Bhattathiripad
     - K P K Bhattathiripad, Padinjaredathu Mana, Oorakam - 680 562

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