Buddhism in Tamil Nadu

The hindu, March 29, 2011

New Delhi, India -- THIS IS an interesting account of the history of Buddhism in Tamil Nadu and its impact on Tamil by Mylai Seeni Venkatasami, one of the most respected writers who has authored a number of similar research works relating to Jainism and Christianity.

The book, which has 13 chapters, starts off with a brief account of Buddha's life and goes on to discuss the sacred work, T iripitaka, the Buddhist philosophy, the growth of Buddhism in Tamil Nadu, and the sacred places where the religion had great influence before the 12 {+t} {+h} century AD.

A treasure-house of valuable information, the work highlights the fact that the Buddhist scholars wrote books in Tamil as well as Pali, and that the type of Tamil they used was rather different from what was in vogue. Pali words found in Tamil are also mentioned.

The five appendices contain a wealth of information that will be useful for researchers. The bibliographies and the pictures serve to enhance its value. First published in 1940, the book has been brought out again and the publishers deserve compliments for their effort.

BOUDHAMUM THAMIZHUM: Mylai Seeni Venkatasami; Sri Shenbaga Pathippagam, Post Box No.8836, Pondi Bazar, T. Nagar, Chennai-600017. Rs. 105.