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Multifaceted and multidimensional personality

Rabhagadur C Y Thamotherampillai who was a religious and Tamil scholar was born on September 12, 1832 into an orthodox and conservative family at Siruppiddy to Vairavanathapillai and Perumdevi Vairavanathapillai. He received his early education at Vaddukkodai seminary school and was employed as a teacher in 1852 at Kopay Pothanasakthy Vidyalayam. In 1853, he published a religious book titled 'Neethineri Vilakkam'. In fact, this religious publication inspired him to embark on several religious and Tamil literary works which brought him fame and name locally and internationally.

Further, at the request of Rev Peter Perceival who was the Principal of Jaffna Central College Thamotherampillai proceeded to Chennai and was the Editor of 'Thinavarthamani' newspaper which was founded by Rev Peter Perceival. Besides, he was also a religious and Tamil professor at 'Rasathani College, Chennai.'

While, he was at Chennai, he attended lectures at the University of Chennai and obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA) and was placed first in the University examinations in the State.

In recognition and appreciation of his profound knowledge in the spheres of Hindu religion, Hindu culture, Tamil language and Tamil literature, he was appointed as principal of Kallikkoddai Government College in Tamil Nadu. Thereafter he was appointed as an Accountant in the government Revenue Department. In addition to this, he was also appointed as an investigating officer.

Due to his hard work, dedication and also with the view to enhance and enrich his knowledge in other fields such as law, he entered the law faculty of the University of Chennai and obtained his Bachelor of Law Degree and commenced his legal practice at Kumbakonam. In 1884, he was appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court at Puthukkoddai. He served as a Supreme Court Judge for nearly six years and retired from the judicial service. In 1895, in recognition of his tremendous service, he was conferred with the prestigious title 'Rabhagadur' by the then government of India.

Rabhagadur Thamotherampillai was a multifaceted and multi-dimensional personality. In fact, he was an internationally renowned intellectual who had contributed immensely for Hindu religion, Hindu culture, language, literature and law. He was a towering figure whose name will be written large in the annals of religions, literary, social and cultural history. His profound scholarship, his brilliant record as lecturer in religion and Tamil language and Tamil literature and his significant service in the sphere of law and religious customs of Hindus and above all his high moral character marked him out as one of the greatest intellectuals of modern times.

"Rabhadur" Thamotherampillai was in every sense of the term a Himalayan personality, lofty, serene and unshakeable. He was capable of withstanding storms and blizzards with total and natural equanimity.

He could be compared to Sri La Sri Arumuga Navalar, Sri La Sri Kathiravetpillai, Saiva Pulavar Sivapathasundaram, Arulambala Swamigal of Puloly and Ven Anagarika Dharmapala in regard to his religious work.

Further, he had written and published several religious books like 'Neethineri Vilakkam', 'Thiruthanikai Puranam', 'Saiva Makaththuvam', 'Arthiyakama Keerthanam' and several other Tamil literary books.

Furthermore, in memory of this eminent religious and literary intellectual of international reputation the "Rabahadur" C Y Thamotherampillai Memorial Society organized a function at Erlalai Central Arul Mighu Kannakai Ambal Devasthanam recently presided by R Perinpanayagam. On this memorial occasion Rabhadur Thamotherampillai's statue was unveiled and even his book on literary and religious works were launched.

Undoubtedly Rabahadur Thamotherampillai was a religious and Tamil scholar, legal giant, philosopher, patriot and an educationist of par excellence. His versatility was astonishing and he left an indelible mark in the history of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) in his time.

 

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