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Until the Sangam literary period (till 200 AD), Tamil language was secular and Tamil literature was created with an emphasis on virtue in both internal and external life. After that, religious literature started appearing in Tamil language. Tamil grammar texts are based on literature that appeared in different periods. Thus the “Pulamai ilakkanam” (grammar for scholarliness) composed by Vannacharabam Dantapani swami reveals the literary context that prevailed in the 19th century when he lived. Pulamai ilakkanam shows the author's religiosity and the religious beliefs and devotion in the field of education and literature at that time. Grammar is the rules for creating literature. If so, constructing Tamil scholarliness in relation to a particular religion would be tantamount to narrow down the breadth of the Tamil language. Based on the content of Pulamai ilakkanam and the literary context of the time, this article discusses the dominance of the religions over Tamil literature and the use oflanguage by religions for their development.
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