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PATINEṬṬARAKKAVI(S)(पतिनेट्टरक्कवि)

  • (Eighteen and a half wise men). Mānavikrama, the zamorin who ruled the old state of Kozhikkoṭu in the beginning of the seventh century (Malayālam Era) was a talented man well-versed in all arts. He kept in his court a company of nineteen wise men whom he called by the well-known name Patineṭṭarakkavis meaning eighteen and a half kavis. The kavis of the zamorin were the nine Paṭṭeris of Payyūr, the five Nambūtiris of Tiruvegappura, Mullappilly Nambūtiri, Uddaṇḍaśāstri, Kākkaśśeri Bhaṭṭatiri, Cennās Nambūtirippāḍu and Punam Nambūtiri. Of these eighteen were scholars in Sanskrit and the nineteenth, Punam Nambūtiri was a vernacular poet and so the then zamorin gave only half a unit value to the vernacular member and thus named the assemby as a company of eighteen and a half members. There is another explanation given to the word ‘arakkavi’. ‘Ara’ means ‘half; but modern pandits say that ‘ara’ was a prefix to show a sign of royalty as is found in the words ‘aramana’ meaning royal mana or palace of the King. Śo ‘arakkavi’ would mean a Kavi attached to a King. Then the question comes, which of the nineteen was not included in the original company to reduce the number to eighteen. We can leave the matter for further research. Payyūr Accan Bhaṭṭatirippāḍu, the top-most of Kerala pandits, was the president of the council of Patineṭṭarakkavis. The illam (house) of this Bhaṭṭatirippāḍu belonged to the Kunnamkulam taluk near Guruvāyūr of Cochin state. He was known as Maharṣi also Uddaṇḍaśāstrikal in his Mallikāmāruta states that one of the Paṭṭeris was Payyūr Mahābhaṭṭatirippāḍu named Parameśvara. Uddaṇḍaśāstri belonged to Kāñcīpura. Kākkaśśeri Bhaṭṭatiri was born to defeat the invincible Uddaṇḍaśāstri. Cennās Nambūtiri was the author of Tantraṣamuccaya. Many poets and pandits were born in the family of these Kavis after their death. 
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