Reverend G.U.Pope - "Student of Tamil"

தமிழ்த் தேசியம்

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."

- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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CONTENTS
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Last updated
01/01/09

Thiruvasagam - English Translation by Rev. G.U. Pope Hymns 1 to 10  - Hymns 11 to 51 [also in PDF: Hymns1 to 10 - Hymns 11 to 51]
Reverend G.U.Pope - Preface to English translation of Thiruvasagam,1900
Thirukural English Translation and Commentary - by Rev Dr G U Pope, Rev W H Drew, Rev John Lazarus and Mr F W Ellis
The Soul's Emancipation
in Sanskrit, Mukti or Moksha - Rev G.U Pope's Last Sermon
, 26 May 1907
About Dr. G. U. Pope in Tamil Heroic Poems published by International Institute of Tamil Studies, 1997
The Late Rev. G. U. Pope, M.A., D.D., - "Student of Tamil"  - The Siddhanta Deepika or The Light of Truth Vol. III. Feb. 1908. No. 11 pp. 336-338
Rev. Dr. G. U. Pope - From the Daily Post of Bangalore, 28 January. 1882
A Tamil Student's Headstone in a Cemetery - I. Shanmuganathan (Nathan) Former Editor Thinathanthi), 1999

Books by G.U.Pope
*
indicates link to Amazon.com online bookshop

*The Tiruvacagam or, Sacred Utterances of the Tamil Poet, Saint and Sage (Hardcover)
* Naladiyar of Four Hundred Quatrains in Tamil  First Published Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1893
*Sacred Kural of Tiruvalauva Nayanar English Translation
*A compendious Tamil English dictionary (A handbook of the Tamil language)
*A Compendious English Tamil Dictionary: A Handbook of the Tamil Language
*Catalogue of the Tamil Books in the Library of the British Museum
*Tamil Poetical Anthology with Grammatical Notes and Vocabulary
*A Tamil Prose Reader : Adopted to Tamil Handbook
*A handbook of the ordinary dialect of the Tamil language
*A first catechism of Tamil grammar
*Extracts from the Tamil Purra-porul venba-malai and the Purra-nannurru
*Tamil Poetical Anthology - with Grammar Notes and Vocabulary

 

Tamil Language & Literature

Reverend G.U.Pope
"Student of Tamil"


George Uglow Pope was born on 24 April 1820 in Prince Edward Island in Nova Scotia. His family migrated to England when he was an infant. Even as a child he cultivated many a language. He left for South India in 1839. It was at Sawyerpuram near Tuticorin that "the Student of Tamil" bloomed into a scholar of Tamil, Sanskrit and Telugu. Pope setup several schools and taught Latin, English, Hebrew, Mathematics and Philosophy. As he was a martinet he was always in trouble. Of him Bishop Caldwell said:

"The chief drawback to his success was the severity of his discipline which led, after a succession of petty rebellions, to his withdrawal".

Pope believed in the theory: "Things have tears". He worked with the motto: "Conscience within and God above". He completed his translation of Tirukkural on September 1, 1886. His "Sacred Kural" contains introduction, grammar, translation, notes, lexicon and concordance. It also includes the English translation of F.W.Ellis and the Latin Translation of Fr. Beschi. It is a tome of 436 pages.

He had, by February 1893, translated Naaladiyaar. His magnum opus, the translation of Tiruvachakam appeared in 1900. Of this he says:

"I date this on my eightieth birthday. I find, by reference, that my first Tamil lesson was in 1837. This ends, as I suppose a long life of devotion to Tamil studies. It is not without deep emotion that I thus bring to a close my life's literary work".

The much coveted Gold Medal of the Royal Asiatic Society was awarded to him in 1906. He passed away on 12 February 1908.

The services of this great soul to Tamil and Saivism defy reckoning by weights and measures. In his last days he was a mature Saiva Siddhanti, with his faith as ever rooted in Chiristianity. He delivered his last sermon on May 26, 1907.

What he himself felt about it, is extracted hereinbelow. It is reproduced from the Light of Truth, Vol. VIII, February 1908, No. 11, page 327.


The Soul's Emancipation [In Sanskrit, Mukti or Moksha]

The Last Message from Rev. Dr. G.U.Pope M.A, DD

In forwarding us a copy of his last Sermon preached in Balliol College Chapel on May 26,1907, with all best Christmas wishes, Dr.Pope wrote to us as follows in his Autograph which will interest all Indian lovers of this old Tamil veteran Scholar and Savant.

26 Walton Bell Road,
Oxford, Dec.25, 1907.

My dear friend,

In the heart of this my last sermon, lie truths that harmonize with all that is best in Tiruvachagam and Siva-nyanam(Siva-gnana bodham).

I am very old. May the Father bless you and yours.

Ever truly your friend
G.U.Pope.


The best explanation of the Saiva Siddhanta doctrine of Mutti, or the Soul's final emancipation from embodiment (erlosung von den weltlichen banden-Seligkeit), is found in the treatise called Siva-piragacam by the same great sage Umapathi(1.38, &c.) and has been translated(though from a very imperfect MS.) by Mr. Hoisington(American Oriental Soc. Journal 1854). This is a commentary on the Siva-gnana-bodham. Mr.J.M.Nallasami, a learned Saivite of Madras, has recently published a translation of Siva-gnana-bodham, with valuable notes, which is a most useful compendium.

Ten faulty (or imperfect) theories of this consummation, so devoutly wished for by all Hindus, are enumerated in these works, or in the commentaries on them:-

(1) There is the bliss aspired to by the Lokayattar ('Worldlings'. This is simply grosss sensual enjoyment in this world. These heretics are continually attacked in the Siddhanta books.(see Sarva-darcana-sangraha (Trubner's Series).) They were atheistic Epicureans, followers of Charvaka (Note XIV).

(2) There is the cessation of the five Kandhas. This is the Buddhist Nirvana, and is always considered by Tamil authors to be mere annihilation. The South-Indian view of Buddhism is illustrated in Note IX(Sarva-darcana-sangraha, p.31).

(3) The destruction of the three(or eight) qualities is pronounced to be the final emancipation by some Jains, and by the teachers of the atheistic Sankhya system. This would reduce the human Soul to the condition of an unqualified mass, a mere chaos of thought and feeling.

(4) There is the cessation of deeds by mystic wisdom. This is the system of Prabhakara(Sarva-darcana-Sangraha, p.184). The deeds mentioned are all rites and services whatsoever. The devotee becomes in this case, so the Saivite urges, like a mere image of clay or stone.

(5) 'Mukthi' is represented by some Saiva sectaries as consisting in the removal from the Soul of all impurity as a copper vessel is supposed to be cleaned from verdigris by the action of mercury. There is a good deal of abstruse reasoning about the pollution aforesaid. 'Copper is not really in this sense purified by the removal of the green stain on its surface; the innate weakness of the metal is in its constant liability to this defilement. Gold is never coated by such impure matter. Copper will always be so; it is, as it were, congenital. Now these sectarians preach that, by the grace of Shivan, the innate corruption of the Soul may be removed, from which will necessarily follow permanent release from all bonds'. This seems to resemble very closely the Christian idea of the sanctification of the souls of men by divine grace infused. The Siddhanta, however, insists upon it that for ever, even in the emancipated state, the power of defilement, the potentiality of corruption, remains(i.e. 'Pacam is eternal'). This corruption cannot, it is true, operate any longer in the emancipated condition: but it is still there,-dead, unilluminated, the dark part of the Soul, turned away from the central light, like the unilluminated part of the moon's orb. Personal identity, and the imperfections necessarily clinging to a nature eternally finite, are not destroyed even in Mutti.

(6) Another class of Saiva sectaries taught that in emancipation the body itself is transformed, irradiated with Shivan's light, and rendered immortal. This system supposed that intimate union with shivan transmuted rather than sanctified the Soul.

(7) There is then the system of the Vedantis, who taught that the absolute union of the Soul with the Infinite Wisdom, its commingling with the Divine spirit, as the air in a jar becomes one with the cirumambient air when the jar is broken, was Mutti. But here personality is lost.

(8) The doctrine of Palkariyam(followers of Bhaskara) is, that in emancipation there is an absolute destruction of the human Soul, which is entirely absorbed in the supreme essence.

(9) There were some Saivities who taught that in emancipation the Soul acquires mystic miraculous powers; that in fact, the emancipated one is so made partaker of the divine nature and attributes, that he is able to gain possession of and exercise miraculous powers, which are called the eight 'Siddhis'. Persons professing to wield such magical powers are not unfrequently found in India, and there is in them very often a bewildering mixture of enthusiasm and fraud.

(10) There were also some who taught that in emancipation the Soul becomes, like a stone, insensible. This stationary, apathetic existence, if existence it can be called, is the refuge of the Soul from the sufferings and struggles of embodiment.

In opposition to all these faulty theories, the true doctrine of emancipation is thus defined: When the Soul, finally set free from the influence of threefold defilement through the grace of Shivan, obtains divine wisdom, and so rises to live eternally in the conscious, full enjoyment of Shivan's presence, in conclusive bliss, this is EMANCIPATION, according to the Siddhanta philosophy. (See T.A.P.75 in NOTE VI).


About Dr. G. U. Pope in Tamil Heroic Poems, Dr.G.U.Pope,  published by International Institute of Tamil Studies, 1997

*This article was found out from among the collections made by the late Tiruvaranganar, the elder brother of Thiru V. Subbiah Pillai.

*His chief works include three graded Tamil grammars, the last of which is a full treatment of the subject in prose.

A list of his chief works is given at the end of this Sketch.

That a man should devote the greater part of his life to the study of the literature of his own land is really praise worthy. But that a man should devote the whole of his life to a foreign language and its literature is simply marvellous and awe-inspiring. He must be one of the Heroes.

Yet this was the case with some of the earlier European missionaries in India, beginning perhaps with Beschi, and ending with Pope. Of these, Pope spent longer time than others for the cause of Tamil, which was, at the time he arrived in India, in a state of neglect, in spite of the noble efforts of Beschi and the earlier European scholars. Pope tried to kindle in the hearts of the Tamilians a love of the "noble language," as he called it. His zeal for Tamil can be gathered from the following words from his preface to his English translation of Tiruvasagam — "The speech of a dying people may, perhaps, be allowed to die. But this cannot be said of the Tamil race. Heaven forbid ! Let the Tamilians cease to be ashamed of their vernacular."

Memories of much less important people have appeared in cartloads, but Dr. Pope's long life has not a longer record of it than would cover half a dozen pages. His eldest son, J. V. Pope seems to have promised to write his father's life. Whether he has done so is not known. The Tamilians, for whom Pope did so much have not done much for his memory, though, we can be sure, his works will be a lasting monument for him.

George Uglow Pope was the son of a Scottish merchant named John Pope trading with Nova Scotia. He was born on April 24th, 1820,

While still a lad, he attended a missionary meeting in Oldham street where a clergyman who was going out as a missionary spoke about his intention of going to Madras to labour among the Tamils. Somehow this caught the Fancy of the youthful listener who determined to offer himself as a missionary to the Tamilians when he would be of age. He started learning Tamil forthwith. His acquaintance with Tamil began when he was seventeen, and, in the preface to his translation of Thiruvasagam, he says,

 "I date this on my eightieth birthday. I find by reference that my first Tamil lesson was in 1837. This ends, as I suppose, a long life devoted to Tamil studies. It is not without deep emotions that I thus bring to a close my life's literary work."

 Such was his love for his adopted language.

When he started for India in his nineteenth year as a Wesleyan missionary, he was proficient enough in Tamil to be called the 'Pandit' by his ship-mates. When he arrived in Madras, it is said, one of those who came to welcome him was a fisherman, who, on being questioned by Pope in Tamil, eloquently, answered in such beautiful 'Tamil that Pope could not understand much of it. This acquaintance with pure Tamil, and that from such a humble source, strengthened his determination to learn all about Tamil, and to be able to speak the tongue as fluently as a native. He used to say that to seek for and find a noble language and to dedicate one's life to the study of it is the best life-work a man could wish for. With this in mind, he sought the best 'Tamil scholars of the day, and gathered an amount of knowledge of Tamil which was of immense use to him in his retirement, when he compiled most of his works.

After working in the Weslyan Mission for two years, he joined the S. P. G. and was sent to Sawyerpuram as a lay missionary in 1841. He was ordained deacon in 1843 and priest in 1844, and superintended the Sawyerpuram 'District' which then comprised the Sawyerpuram, Puthiamputhur and Pudukottai circles.

He was not a passive scholar. His energy and love of work knew no bounds and the results will be seen to this day. In 1843 he started a 'Seminary' at Sawverpuram with a view to train mission agents and clergymen. The Seminary flourished and became Second Grade College in 1880—at present a High School. The University of Oxford appreciated its work as early as 1818, and contributed liberally towards the formation of the library within its walls.

Besides being a great Scholar, Dr. Pope was a master disciplinarian and an ideal teacher. In spite of his small stature he was a terror among sluggards, but beloved by his pupils in general. His ideal was to care for the dullest boy and to bring him up to the average. The Rev, J. Schoffter, afterwards Principal of the U. M. College was a student under him, and people still repeat Dr. Pope's motto -Good food, Good teaching, Good caning.

In Sawyerpuram, he devoted a large portion of his leisure to learning Tamil and acquired enough knowledge of it, to begin a series of Tamil grammars in 1850. He could speak Tamil as a Tamilian, and his respect for Tamil manners and customs was equally great, as will be seen from the following anecdote from "செந்தமிழ்ச் செல்வி"

He and the Rev. T. Brotherton of Nazareth were great friends and he used to visit Mr. Brotherton often. Once on his way to Nazareth, feeling thirsty, he halted in Pannaivillai. He went straight to the house or the Mission Schools' Superviser Mr. Gnanavuir Piilai, and ending him absent, began to chat with Mrs. Gnanavuir—'Where has விசாரணைப் பிள்ளை gone;  are all well at home?' etc. in true Tamil manner and requested her to bring some water in a செம்பு. The lady brought some in a bright செம்பு. He took it and poured water into his throat saying that he would not outrage the scruples of his Vellala hostess by unmannerly sipping it. Then he put the chembu upside down in the approved Tamil manner, requesting the lady to convey his compliments to the விசாரணைப் பிள்ளை  and took leave.

In 1850 he left for England and returned the next year to take charge of the S. P. G. work at Tanjore. There he established the famous St. Peter's College (which is also a High School now). There he came in touch with the great Tamil Pandits of Tanjore, Kumbakonam and other places, and was able to devote more time to Tamil literature. He left Tanjore in 1860, and after serving in Bangalore and Ootacamund as Head of the European Schools there, retired in 1880. In Ooty the European school was established by him, and is said to have had, under his management as big a reputation in South India as Bishop Corrie's School at Simla.

After his retirement, he spent his whole time in the study of Tamil, and did much research work in that direction. He was appointed Professor of Tamil in the Balliol College at Oxford. There he taught Tamil to young missionaries and I. C. S. candidates who were to work in Tamilnad. He was given the honorary degrees of M. A. and D. D. by Oxford and Lambeth ( the Abp of Canterbury) respectively, in appreciation of his scholarship and work.

He also wrote a Tamil "History of India" for the use Of students, and dedicated it to the 'friends and countrymen of my dear Little Rajah'. He translated into English part of Abbe Du Bois 'the People of India'. The translation was completed by Mr. Henry Beauchamp under the direction of  the Government of Madras

After his retirement in 1880, he began to compile an exhaustive Dictionary of Tamil which he left unfinished. Its excellence was so great that the Oxford University passed it on to the Madras University. It has taken the Madras Lexicon committee over a dozen years and has cost thousands of rupees and yet the work has been considered quite unsatisfactory. One man's works needing several men to finish it 'unsatisfactorily' shows what Dr. Pope was. He rendered into English verse many Tamil Poems. His translation of Thirukural has been admired for its close conformity, even in detail, to the original. It is still the standard English Translation of the Sacred Kural, and so are his other translations also. The Naladiar also was rendered into English by him, and the versification has been even more admired than Kural.

He regularly contributed to various Journals essays on the Language and Culture of the Tamils as well as translations of various Tamil poems of which he had a large store in his library. Among such contributions were stanzas from Purananooru. He also wrote in Tamil prose the story of மணிமேகலை, lives of Sekkilar and Thirugnanasambandar &c. Puraporul Venba Malai (புறப்பொருள் வெண்பா மாலை) was translated by him and was published in 'The Tamilian Antiquary.' His translation of Palamoli Nanooru (பழமொழி நானூறு) has not been published.

All his translations contain excellent introductions in which the literary value, time, etc. of the subject have been  fully discussed. Full grammatical notes and indexes also are appended to them. In his introductions he compares the Hindu and Tamil thoughts and Philosophy with- those of Christians. This has at times received much criticism from Hindu Scholars.

It seems he did not write much on purely religious topics. The one book of that kind in existence is the 'Scripture Doctrine' (கிறுஸ்துவத் தத்துவத் தீபிகை) in Tamil published in 1848. Being written during the early days of his acquaintance with Tamil, the language used is rather quaint, which failing does not occur in his later works.

Perhaps his last work was his Scholary translation of  Thiruvasagam which he published on his eightieth birthday. It has, as usual, a full introduction and exhaustive notes. He writes in his introduction why he took such a difficult work in hand at such an advanced age-

" Some years ago, when this publication was hardly projected, the writer was walking with the late Master of Balliol College (Dr. Jowett) in the Quadrangle. The conversation turned upon Tamil legends, poetry and philosophy. At length, during a pause in canversation, the Master said in a quick way peculiar to him, " you must print it." To it the natural answer was 'Master, I have no patent of immortality, and the work will take very long.' I can see him now, as he turned round—while the moonlight fell upon his white hair and kind face,—and laid his hand upon my shoulder, saying, "To have a great work in progress is the way to live long. You will live till you finish it."  I certainly did not think so then, though the words have often come to my mind as a prophesy, encouraging me when weary; and they have been fulfilled while he has passed away.'

When Dr. Pope began his serious study of Tamil, some one told him that poverty was the lot of every Tamil poet and scholars. Though Dr. Pope did not suffer from poverty, neither did he enjoy affluence due to his capacity, and willingly sacrificed his genius for Tamil.

After a 'long and useful' life of 88 years, he died in Feb. 12th, 1908 and one of his last requests was to have his tomb decorated with the words 'a student of Tamil.'

Of his children, the eldest, Mr. John V. Pope became Director of Public Instruction in Burma. His second son, Leiut Col T. H. Pope of I. M. S. was head of the Govt. Opthalmic Hospital at Madras. The third was A. W. U. Pope, who was Traffic Manager in Various Indian Railways. He was a keen volunteer officer as well as a very able Railway man, and was made a C. I. E. He left India to become General Manager of the Imperial Railways of China, a post which he held with distinction during the Great war.

Memorials to Dr. Pope are not numerous; and if we except the Pone Memorial High School at Sawyerpuram and the Pone's Library within its walls, perhaps none exists. But what he did for Tamil will ever live in the hearts of Tamilians; who are indebted to him, more than to anybody else for making others see the greatness of Tamil.

A list of the Chief Works of Dr. Pope

1. கிறுஸ்துவத் தத்துவத் தீபிகை

2. A first catechism of Tamil Grammar. இலக்கண வினாவிடை - முதற் புத்தகம் (1888)

3. A second catechism of Tamil Grammar.

4. A larger Grammar of the Tamil language in both its dialects Ed. 2. (1859)

5. A Tamil Poetical Anthology with Grammatical notes Pond vocabulary Ed 2 (1859)

6. A Handbook of the ordinary dialect of the Tamil language. Ed 1. (1855)

7. Do. Part 11. key to the Exercises with notes on Analysis.

8. Do. Part III. Compendious Tamil - English Dictionary.

9. Do. Part IV. An English-Tamil Dictionary.

10. Do. Part V. A Tamil Prose Reader adapted to the Handbook.

11. A History of India. இந்து தேச சரித்திரம்

12. The 'Sacred Kural' of Tiruvalluva Nayanar with introduction, Grammar, Translation and Notes, Lexicon and concordance (1886)

18. The Naladiyar or Four Hundred Quartrains in Tamil with introduction, Translation and Notes, Critical, Philosophical and Explanatory, to which is added a concordance and Lexicon with authorities from the oldest Tamil writers (1893)

14. The Tiruvasagam or a Sacred Utterances" of the Tamil Poet, Saint and Sage Manikka Vasagar. Text notes translation etc, complete (1900)

15.  இங்லிலாண்டு தேச சரித்திரம் History of England (1858.)

16. First Lessons ih Tamil or An Introduction to the common Dialect of that language. Ed 5. (1891).


Rev. Dr. G. U. Pope - From the Daily Post of Bangalore, 28 January. 1882

We are reminded by the announcement of a meeting to be held this afternoon in the Cubbon Hall of the rapidly approaching departure from Bangalore of the Rev. Dr. Pope, a gentleman who, as educationist, scholar, and priest, has long occupied a position of the highest eminence in our midst, and whose reputation as an Orientalist, earned by his native land. Dr. Pope has well nigh completed the forty third year of his residence in India, a period which has witnessed the marvellous development of British influence in the country whose history he has told so well.

When Mr. G. U. Pope a lad of nineteen years arrived at Madras, it was as a Missionary connected with the Wesleyan Methodist Society ; and, after having officiated for a short time as pastor of the English congregation worshipping in the chapel in Popham's Broadway, he was transferred to Cuddalore, and engaged in distinctively missionary work. In 1841, religious conviction led him to join the Church of England, with a view to seeking holy orders ; and he was sent to Sawyerpuram as a catechist, and ordained by Bishop Spencer in 1843. Here he became the founder of the Sawyerpuram Missionary College, an institution in which nearly two hundred young Nadars were trained to be schoolmasters, catechists, and pastors.

After continuous labour at this post till 1849, he went to. England on furlough, and travelled all over the country advocating the cause of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. He returned to India in March 1851 and was stationed in Tanjore, where, his health giving way, in 1857, he resigned his connection with the S.P.G., and found, in the "learned leisure" of school-master's life, what we venture to describe, as his most appropriate sphere.

On withdrawing from the mission, he established a Grammar School at Ootacamund, attracted by the delightful climate of that sanitorium and induced to believe that it afforded a promising site for an institution which offered to the sons of gentlemen, the advantages of a pre-university education.

In this hope he was not disappointed; and the people of Ooty still cherish towards him a warm and friendly interest, and remember him with the gratitude due to one who thoroughly identified himself with the place as a public teacher and an earnest pastor. In addition to his scholastic duties, he held the offices of Sunday morning lecturer at St. Stephen's Church, and Chaplain to the European prison.

He established in Ootacamund the "Ootacamund Grammar School and College" which was one of the first public Schools in the Kingdom. In it, were educated, many of the sons of the highest officials in India, who in the present day are holding positions of trust and confidence in the highest ranks of the service of 'Government. This School was closed in Christmas 1870.

It was in January 1871, that Dr. Pope came to Bangalore as Principal of the Bishop Cotton School This institution, when he took charge of it, was merely the germ of what it has become under his fostering care. Mr. Reynolds, its first master, and the Rev. Mr. Dubois, who came from the Diocesan School in Bombay and presided over it for about a year prior to his appointment as Head-master of Bishop Corrie's Grammar School in Madras, were gentelmen possessing some recommendations, but scarcely qualified to advance the status of a school in which Dr. Pope discerned the potential elements of a successful seminary of the higher education.

It was not long ere he saw his way to develop the Grammar School into a College ; and the Principal became the Warden. Within a few months of his arrival—in August of the same year—he found an outlet for his energy and ability as preacher and pastor, in the charge of All Saints' Church, where he has ministered gratuitously ever since. In 1873, the Bishop invited him to undertake the additional duty of Chaplain of the Fort Church ; and these varied offices he has continued to conduct to the satisfaction of all who have attended on his ministrations or received their education at his hands.

It is only possible, within the limits of a newspaper article, to indicate by the titles of his principal works the current of Dr. Pope's literary activity. For the sake of convenience, we shall arrange these under three heads—linguistic, historical, and theological. It is as one of the most learned of Dravidian Scholars that Dr. Pope is most widely known beyond the sphere of his educational and clerical vocations.

His "Tamil Grammar," used in every Vernacular school, was subsequently expanded into "A Second Tamil Grammar", and this again into "A Third" including the "Namur'. Most young civilians in Madras are familiarly acquainted with the "Handbook, of Tamil", with key, now in its fourth edition.

Some knowledge of Dr. Pope's command of the dialects of Southern India may be derived from his translation of the "Sermon on the Mount", into four Dravidian Iangaages ; anti a singular example of linguistic ingenuity ana research is afforded by his "Toda Grammar—the only one ever published—which formed an appendix to Colonel Marshall's "History of the Todas", and threw a flood of unsuspected light on the -dialect of this strange tribe. Under the same division may be placed his articles on "Kural" in the Indian Antiquary. Nor must we omit to mention the sound and accurate learning displayed in his series of editions of the Latin text-books prescribed by the Madras University, which have made the study of the language of European scholarship a source of pleasure and delight to many an awakening mind.

Dr. Pope's historical works include his "History of India" for the use of schools and colleges, which has passed through two editions, and has earned wide spread popularity, and the warm encomiums of the Press. It is to his laborious enterprise and indefatigable energy that the reading public of the present day owe their knowledge of the work of the Abbe Dubois, the Mysore missionary, on the characters, manners, and customs of the people of India.

The manuscript is in French, in two massive volumes, written by the Abbe himself, and was purchased by the East India Company in 1806 for two thousand pagodas, and translated and published in English ten years later. Dr. Pope's edition appeared in Madras, in 1862, and contains a photograph of the Abbe taken from an oil painting in the Madras Literary Society. The work dates chiefly to Southern India, but has been described as "the most comprehensive and minute account extant in any European language of the manners of the Hindoos." Under the head of Dr. Pope's purely religious publications. must be placed his volume of sermons. "Many and Great Dangers", and various pamphlets, addresses, and sermons.

Dr. Pope has been intimately connected during the whole of his career, with the Madras University, of which he was appointed a Fellow in 1859 ; and the record of his labours as a working member of that body is too voluminious for insertion here. In 1864, he received from the Archbishop of Canterbury the degree of Doctor of Divinity. as a recognition of his learning, and chiefly to his contributions to Tamil scholarship. He was elected a member of the Leipzic Oriental Society in 1870, the same year in which that honour was conferred on Dr. Lightfoot, now Bishop of Durham ; and two years later he became a member of the Royal Asiatic Society. We cannot doubt that that still higher attestation of his merits is yet to come and that his declining years will be brightened by further intellectual triumphs.

It is an educationist that to-day's meeting proposes to honour him ; and it is perhaps in that capacity that he will be longest and most lovingly remembered in Bangalore. During his career in Ootacamund he trained for professional work many youths who are now holding good positions in this country, and ever at home, as officers in the army, barristers, medical men, engineers, and in other honourable post, and we hope for equally tangible results from his labours here.

But it is not by such tangible results that the work of a true teacher can be adequately tested. It is the formation of character, the inspiration with noble desires, the thousand fold influence of the daily intercourse of a master with pupils which constitute the only satisfactory proof of :rue educational work ; and it is in the grateful memories of those who owe to him moral motives and a literal culture that Dr. Pope- has built for himself a "monument more durable than brass".

As a churchman he has been a staunch upholder of -big Church theories, while ever ready to concede the amplest liberty to those whose views differ from his own. His pulpit addresses and his speeches, on religious subject.. at clerical conferences and elsewhere have been distinguished by a forcible and fluent style tempered by logical discrimination and a correct taste. The preacher, like the poet, is born, not made; and the Popes are a family of preachers. Apart from his ecclesiastical associations, he will be long remembered of his active co-operation in every public undertaking of a laudable character; and, though our owl relations with him are of brief duration and of a comparatively distant kind, we cannot but regret the departure of one who never grudged advice and aid to any good work.


The Late Rev. G. U. Pope, M.A.,D.D., - "Student of Tamil"  - The Siddhanta Deepika or The Light of Truth Vol. III. Feb. 1908. No. 11 pp. 336-338

It. is with the deepest sorrow, we record the passing away of this great Tamil Scholar, Missionary and Saint on the 12th February of this year. Though we have never set our eyes upon him, his name was familiar to us to most Tamil students from our youth, as Poppayyar, but since the publication of Sivagnanabotham, we have been in close correspondence, and we feel his loss most, as that of a personal friend. But the loss to the Tamil land and literature is immense.

He loved the Tamil people and their literature. He was the greatest living scholar, among the living or the dead and in spite of the vast amount of work actually accomplished he was still projecting and engaged in other work till the last days of his life.

"Palamoli I have copies, translated and finished lexicon : but I cannot get the old commentary. My Tanjore Mss differs widely from Subbaroyachetti's."

So he wrote to us. He was engaged in revising the Kural and he wrote to say that he could double its value to Tamil students. He had undertaken also the bringing out of a big Dictionary.

His MAGNUM OPUS was of course his translation of Tiruvachagam. When we were in Chidambaram during the last Arudra week, we attended various assemblies where these sacred Hymns were chanted, and Dr. Pope's name was. mentioned and remembered with love and reverence and so we wrote to him also in our very last letter. And his name is certain to go down to posterity connected with the sacred work. He was engaged in this work from before 1897 and on 20th October, 1900 he wrote -

' I am now comparatively free; for my great work is entirely out of my hands, and commands a good degree of approbation; but will have no sale to speak of in Europe. Copies will be sent to all the Universities, great institutions and a certain number of distinguished literary men. This will answer my purpose, which is to show conclusively that men must understand systems before they attack them, and_ that missionaries especially have much to learn in regard to South Indian religion; and my book will enable all Europeans who desire it to acquire this knowledge..."

"Of course I have my own convictions as you and my other valued Tamil friends have theirs; but in what I have written I have confined myself to such literary criticism as yourself may, in the main, agree with. Had I taken a different line. I might have secured much more support here from a certain section of the community."

He was anxious about the pecuniary aspect of this publication, and he wrote,

"I shall not derive any pecuniary profit whatsoever from the book, though Scholars like Max Muller have been abundantly enriched as a reward for their Sanscrit studies. Tamil should not bring misfortune to those who study it."

And we are sorry, to say that in spite of what we ourselves, and the publishers of this magazine did in this matter, his edition was not all sold and he must have been put to considerable loss, and our belief that our Tamil people have not been sufficiently grateful to him we give below the following extracts from his letter.

"I am exceedingly delighted with the admirable likeness of yourself which is in my study and my friends are always duly introduced to it.

It strikes me that my Kural ' and Naladiyar might with profit be reproduced in India in a much cheaper form. Give me your view on this subject. I will hope to send you a list of my publications, and a sketch of my life, as you asks soon. Whenever I die " A student of Tamil" will be inscribed on my monument.

I cannot close this letter without saying how much I am indebted to you for kindly sympathy, and for real assistance in your published writings which you will see I have more than once referred to in my book. I always read with interest and profit the 'Light of Truth' Deepika.

I am carefully examining your Translations in the 'Light of Truth '.

Next April 24th will be his 80th birth day, and he dated his Tiruvachagam on his 80th birthday, and we cannot do better than quote his almost pathetic words with which he records his life's work.

"I dated this on my eightieth birthday 24th April 1900. I find, by reference that my first Tamil lesson was in 1837.. This ends, I suppose, a long life or devotion to Tamil studies. It is not without deep emotion that I thus bring to close my life's literary work."

Not only did he live to finish this great work, but he has lived usefully for several years beyond it. He was honoured by the English University and Societies for his Tamil learning, while our own University ignored him. The last great honour that was done to him was when in the last year, the Indian Secretary The Rt. Hon'ble John Morley presented him with a gold medal and eulogised him in fitting terms.

The readers of this magazine will be familiar with many of his miscellaneous writings : " The Poets of the Tamil land." 'Translations from the 'Puraporul Venbamalai " the Purananuru' and Stories from the Peria-Puranam.'

The secret of his success lay, as some of his old Sawerpuram Students have told me, is his indomitable will and earnestness of purpose and thoroughness in carrying out whatever he undertook, whether as a teacher, ..preacher or writer. He was saintly in his character and life and as one old Pandit put it if he was born in the old days, he would have been catalogued with the 63 Saints. His services to the Saivite Religion and Siddhanta Philosophy are incalculable as he was the first to bring, its importance to the light of the English-speaking. world. May his soul rest in Sivam


A Tamil Student's Headstone in a Cemetery - I. Shanmuganathan (Nathan) Former Editor Thinathanthi), 1999

"G. U. Pope's life has captivated me most among the several blessed Tamil savants I read about. Born an Englishman, this great personality breathed Tamil and felt like a Tamil. G. U. Pope was born on 24-4-1820 in a hamlet in Edwards Island in the Canadian neighborhood. He came to Tamil Nadu as a Christian missionary in 1839, and lived in the service of Tamil and very early, he was highly influenced by the excellence of the Tamil language. He published such great works as Tholkapiyam. Nannool, and made classical Tamil easier to English students, while Tamil students could afford means for a more comprehensive and fruitful study of the classics. He translated into
English, Thirukkural, Naladiyar, Thiruvasagam, etc.

Thirukkural was translated into other languages before Pope. English translators did only partial translations. Rev. Pope deserves the credit for researching and producing a noteworthy full translation of Thirukkural . He spent a greater part of his fortune to publish rare Tamil books.

In his Preface to the English Publication of Thirukkural, G. U. Pope wrote on the excellence of Tamil:

"Tamil is a sophisticated unique language, with a rich vocabulary. It is the mother of all South Indian languages, Tamil literature was designed to create high moral standards, ethical codes and Thirukkural is a great example of that. It is in a land of people with very high ethical codes and who nurture human discipline that such moral books are created and could be created. Thirukkural is as clear as an unpolluted spring. Yes! Thirukkural, the unique book, has come to remove the impurities of this world. 'Within a short time of my learning Tamil, I commenced translating Thirukkural , for the benefit of Europeans. It took several years to complete the translation and I offer my gratitude to God for the final result."

Pope's love for Tamil and Thirukkural is abundantly clear from such expressions. Pope returned to England in 1882, having lived in Tamil Nadu for approximately 42 years. He accepted a Professorship at Oxford University, to teach Tamil and Telugu.

He received the coveted Gold Medal given once in three years for meritorious service and to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1906. He wrote to the editor J. M. Nalla Samy Pillai of "Siddhantha Deepika" on October 20, 1900, requesting that after his death, the inscription on his headstone should be "A Tamil Student" - and at least a portion of the cost to erect such a headstone should come with donations from wealthy and influential Tamils."

Pope died on February 11, 1908. Professor Selvakesavaraya Mudaliyar, of the Tamil Department of Chennai Pachchayappan College, collected funds according to Pope's last wish and dispatched to London towards the headstone.

What is happening to the Tombstone? Many of us cherish the idea of visiting this tombstone if we got a chance to go to London. M. P. Somasuntharam (Somu) " the well known writer, All India Radio fame for many years, and the successor to editor KALKI at "KALKI," was able to locate where Pope was buried in 1961 and paid his respects.

M. P. Somu wrote in his book 'akkaryc cImy" as follows:

"My several inquiries regarding the exact location of Pope's tombstone in Oxford from several of my friends in London came out blank. During my search in a book on Englishmen of great achievements, I learnt that Pope was buried in the Saint Sepulcher Cemetery on an old street called Walton in Oxford. I chose the holiday a Sunday to visit the site. Young M. Gopalakrishnan accompanied me. We reached Oxford around 12.00 noon. Finally we reached the Saint Sepulcher Cemetery, from direction given on our request, only to find the two gates were locked. It was a great disappointment. We approached a cigarette vendor across the street for information. An old lady was taking care of business. She sensed our sadness from our demeanor, told us with great affection, "Friends! I sympathize with you. They have closed the cemetery now. There are 4000 tombstones here and interment of 12,000 bodies. They have closed this place for lack of any more burial grounds."

Just imagine my disappointment at such news. "Friends", the gentle lady advised. I can understand from your sadness, one of your forefathers is buried here. Do one thing; the Cemetery caretaker lives at the entrance to the cemetery. Tell him that you have come to pay respects to one of your forefathers and see what happens."

We got permission from the caretaker to enter the cemetery, having spoken thus, "The one sleeping under is not only my forefather; but also forefather to every Tamil and every South Indian."

It was not an easy matter to identify Pope's tomb from among 4000 of them. Since the cemetery was not in use, there was neither a Register nor a list of the tombs. M. Gopalakrishnan and I went in two directions looking for Pope's name. The caretaker joined us in the search.The learned Pope's soul must have taken sympathy with our quandary.

Because, from a bush in some remote corner of the cemetery the caretaker shouted "Pope." We ran to the spot in the front entrance to the right, below a yew tree, covered with dense vegetation was a large brush. Under which a marble slab, once the bush was cleared, showed very faint inscription. We dipped our handkerchief in the water Gopalakrishnan fetched in a vessel, and started rubbing the slab. The following inscription showed very clearly:

"George Uglow Pope D.D. of South India sometime lecturer in Tamil and Telugu in the University and chaplain of Balliol College, Oxford, born 24th April 1820. Died 11th February 1908. This stone has been placed here by his family and by his Tamil friends in South India in loving admiration of his life long labours in the cause of oriental literature and philosophy"

I was excited reading these words! It was not Pope's family alone that erected this tombstone. I read that written portion that said his friends from South India over and over again. The mere mention that he was a South Indian and Tamil donations were also involved in erecting the tombstones are words that should be engraved gems in Tamil history, don't you agree? It is on those very words; jungle bush is spreading now!His wife is buried next to him.

Goplakrishnan and I, on behalf of Tamils, paid our homage to both while circling the tombs in our typical Tamil fashion. The caretaker watching us developed a renewed devotion. He also paid his respects in the Christian tradition.

"My friend! Please do not le