Dravida Sangha

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Dravida Sangha was established in 470 AD by a Jain monk named Vajranandi in the city of Madurai in present-day Tamil Nadu. It is considered to be the forerunner of the legendary Tamil Sangams of the Tamil lore. Madurai at that time was under the sway of the Kalabhra rule.[1] Dravida Sangha was also mentioned by other Jaina literature for alleged laxity of conduct in respect to bathing and eating prescribed food. Furthermore, it was alleged that members of the Sangha also abandoned Jaina religious requirement of wandering mendicancy and adopted settled life such as trading and farming.[2] According to Prof. George Hart, who holds the endowed Chair in Tamil Studies by University of California, Berkeley, and has written that the legend of Tamil Sangam (literary assembly) was based on the Jain assembly (Sangham) at Madurai:

"There was a permanent Jaina assembly called a Sa(n)gha established about 604 AD in Maturai.It seems likely that this assembly was the model upon which tradition fabricated the cangkam legend."[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Takahashi, Takanobu. Tamil Love Poetry and Poetics. p. 232. 
  2. ^ Singh, Narendra. Encyclopaedia of Jainism. p. 2891. 
  3. ^ Hart, George. The Milieu of the Ancient Tamil Poems. University of California, Berkeley.