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Life Profile of Vaikath Parameswaran Moothath, A Polymath

Publication Type : Journal Article

Publisher : Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine

Source : Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, Volume 10, Issue 1, p.69-71 (2019)

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Campus : Amritapuri

School : School of Ayurveda

Department : Samhita, Sanskrit & Siddhanta

Year : 2019

Abstract : Royal dynasties gave special diligence to identify and venerate the talents of all sectors. Parameswaran moothath, is one of the pioneer scholar who held a spectacular part of the cultural life of Travancore in the 19th century. The present article is intended to highlight the contributions of Parameswaran Moothath. Parameswaran Moothathu, popularly known as Vaikath Paachu Moothath, was a renowned scholar in the field of Ayurveda, Sanskrit, Malayalam and History. The first Autobiography in the Malayalam language and Kerala Bhaasha Vyaakaranam the text on Malayalam grammar is under his credit [1]. In the beginning of autobiography from the word “for the remembrance” (ormakkai), depicts it as a memoir [2]. The author also had a proficient artistic skill in which he had drawn a self-portrait by seeing the image in the mirror. Govt. Ayurveda College, Thiruvanathapuram, one of the pioneer institutions of Ayurveda was earlier a traditional Paatashaala (School) initiated by him to propagate Ayurveda. Vaikath Paachu Moothath was born on 25 Edavam, 989 (June 1814 AD) as the son of Neelakandan Moothath, at a Shivadwija Griha named ‘Padinjaredam’ in Vaikom of the present Kottayam district [2]. Parameswaran Moothath and was affectionately addressed as ‘Paachu’ by his parents. The gracious personage made him respectable among the rulers of Travancore and Kochi. The family lineage alludes about his brother named Neelakandan moothath, born in Kolla Varsha 994 (1819 AD), was a great scholar in Paataka (A traditional temple art form of Kerala in which stories from Hindu Puranas are narrated) and Sanskrit. With heartfelt grievance he mentions the demise of his mother and his brother, Narayanan in the years Kollavarsha 1021 (1846 AD) and Kollavarsha 1045 (1870 AD) respectively. After the posthumous rituals of Narayanan, Paachu moothath and his brother, Neelakandan Moothath, were adopted by Vattappalli Madom and has been renowned by the title ‘Vattappalli sthanika’ during this period. During the stay at Sucheendram, Vaikath Paachu Moothath had lost his wife, father, brother, Neelakandan and nephew. After the decease of his first wife, he married again and was blessed with two issues. After the basic education till twelve years, he was shifted to Triprayat (present Thrissur district) by his uncle Kunjunni Moothath, who was his first guru in Sanskrit. The perusal of a portion of Sreeramodanta (A grammatical textbook for Sanskrit) and few of the nouns and verbs in Sanskrit were during this epoch. From his autobiography it is evident that he utilized his knowledge in Portrait and Paataka (A traditional temple art form of Kerala in which stories from the Hindu Puranas are narrated) to look after his family. During the feast at temples, there was an opportunity for him to perform Paataka and to earn generous income [2]. From Kolla Varsha 1001 to 1012 (1826 AD to 1837 AD), Paachu moothath resided in Thrissur, Perumanam and Vaikom. During that period he attained dexterity in Kavya (poetry), Nataka (drama), Alankara (literature) and fair acquaintance with Vyakarana (grammar), Nyaya (Logics) and other Sastras under Thazhakat Kannan Pothuval. At the age of 23, under the tutoring of Vidwan Thamburan he expertized Ashtadhyayi, Koumudi and Tatwabodhini (texts on Sanskrit grammar) for two years. During the catamenia Parameswara was afflicted with a serious ailment and had to return back to Vaikom for treatment. In this stay at Vaikom for one and half years he educated grammar and Darshanas to some students. In Kolla Varsha 1016 to 1017 (1841 AD to 1842 AD), he revisited Kodungaloor to complete his education but due to untoward condition of his ailment he couldn't complete the education. For the relief of his ailment he was completely devoted to almighty and recited Bhajans (prayer) at Perumtrikovil (Mahadeva temple in Kerala) in Kollavarsha 1017 (1842 AD). During this time, he attained erudition in other texts of Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar) from Rangachari (Sanskrit scholar) [3]. Treatments and the bhajans did not give any relief and various physicians gave different interpretations and advices for his ailment. Due to forlorn treatment modalities, he decided to learn the text Ashtangahridaya to know more about his disease. For the purpose of study he migrated to Tirunakkara and started learning Ashtangahridaya from Chozhiyath Aphan Namboodiri Kanni 2nd, 1018 to Thulam 29th 1018 (September 1843 AD to October 1843 AD). As the ailment worsened, he could complete only 2 chapters of the text as he had to return back to Vaikom for continuing the Bhajanam. Parameswara's deep faith in Lord Shiva of Vaikom was evident in most of his masterpieces as he believed that Lord shiva is the curator of this deadly disease. Valiya Bhajanam (avoiding food and sleep) performed by Paachu moothath for a year is a simple example for his extreme devotion for almighty. During this period, he studied Vedanta texts from Chola desha Shastri and Astrology from Vattappalli Moothath and wrote books in praise of Lord Shiva of Vaikom. In 1021 (1846 AD), he lost his mother however, in the same year was invited by Diwan Sankara Variyar in Kochi for treating his ailment. After completing the treatment of Diwanji, he returned to Vaikom and stayed for more than 4 years with his father. Kochiyil Valiya thamburan (ruler of kochi) invited him for treating his injuries due to fall from horse. There he was awarded with most prestigious ‘Veerashrungala’ (A form of bracelet given by the rulers to honor the person) by the king for his service. In the year 1030 (1855AD), Paachu was invited to Thiruvithamkoor royal family for their treatment. As he was an efficient physician, the royal family asked him to stay back at Thiruvananthapuram. He stayed in Thiruvananthapuram from 1030 to 1045 (1855 AD to1870 AD) by treating the royal men and teaching Sanskrit, Ashtangahridya and Darshanas for many disciples. The rulers of Travancore and Kochi felicitated him for his expertise in treatment. With the permission of Royal men of Travancore, he continued his stay at Thiruvananthapuram and started teaching Ayurveda. In the year 1045 (1870 AD) he went to Sucheendram look after the administrative and the spiritual activities of the temple. Vaikath paachu moothath was not only a great physician in Ayurveda but also a skilled administrator. For the maintenance and renovation of Sucheendra temple, Vaikath paachu moothath took action for conducting a Lottery with the permission of Hon'ble Maharaja, a first venture in India. During his stay at Travancore in Kollavarsha 1043 (1868 AD), he made a working model of the globe on the basis of the Astronomical aspects in Astrology (Jyotisha) that got recognized and appreciated by the Maharajas of Travancore, Ayilyam Thirunal and Vishakham Thirunal. In Kollavarsha 1057 (1882 AD), the health condition of Paachu moothath worsened. His indisputable mastery is evident from the prediction of his own demise time. The successful life of a great luminary personality ended in the age of 69, on Chingam 4, 1058 (August 18, 1882) at Vattappalli Madom, Sucheendram.

Cite this Research Publication : K. V. Priyada, Dr. Ramdas P. V., Haritha Chandran, and Dr. Leena P. Nair, “Life Profile of Vaikath Parameswaran Moothath, A Polymath”, Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 69-71, 2019.

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