Dravida Sangha


Dravida Sangha

Dravida Sangha was established in 470 AD. by one Jaina monk named Vajranandi in the city of Madurai in present day Tamil Nadu. It is considered to be the forerunner of the legendary Tamil Sangams of the Tamil lore. Madurai at that time was under the sway of the Kalabhra rule.[1] Dravida Sangha was also mentioned by other Jaina literature for alleged laxity of conduct in respect to bathing and eating prescribed food. Further more, it was alleged that members of the Sangha also abandoned Jaina religious requirement of wandering mendicancy and adopted settled life such as trading and farming.[2] According to Prof. George Hart, who holds the endowed Chair in Tamil Studies by University of California, Berkeley, has written that the legend of Tamil Sangam (literary assembly) was based on the Jain assembly (Sangham) at Madurai:

"There was a permanent Jaina assembly called a Sa(n)gha established about 604 A.D. in Maturai.It seems likely that this assembly was the model upon which tradition fabricated the cangkam legend."[3]


References

  1. ^ Takahashi, Takanobu. Tamil love poetry and poetics. pp. 232. 
  2. ^ Singh, Narendra. Encyclopaedia of Jainism. pp. 2891. 
  3. ^ Hart, George. The Milieu of the Ancient Tamil Poems. University of California, Berkley. http://web.archive.org/web/19970709071128/tamil.berkeley.edu/html/chapter_1.html. 

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