Constantine Joseph Beschi

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Recently, the English translation of the first biography of Constantine Joseph Beschi (known as Veeramamunivar) in Tamil written by A. Muttusami Pillei was released.

About Constantine Joseph Beschi

  • He was an Italian Jesuit missionary and Tamil scholar.
  • He was known as Veeramamunivar.
  • He arrived in Goa in 1700. 
  • He also studied Sanskrit, Telugu, and Tamil assiduously and became a master of these languages, especially Tamil.
  • His works: Thembavani, Sathurakarathi and other works speak for his scholarship in Tamil. He was known as Thairiyanathaswamy and its translation reads as Veeramamunivar.
  • Friendship with Chanda Sahib (Nawab of the Carnatic)
    • Chanda Sahib gifted Veeramamunivar four villages — Bokalur, Malwav, Arasur and Nullur — north of the Kollidam in Tiruchi district.
    • He also appointed him to the office of Dewan (in Tiruchi till 1740).
    • He also conferred on him the surname, Ismattee Sannyasi, indicating his excellence as a religious devotee, and presented him with a palanquin used by his grandfather.
  • Even though he was engaged in state affairs, Veeramamunivar continued his study of the Hindu sciences and the composition of several useful works.
  • He delved deep into Tirukkural, Naladiyar, Civaka Cintamani and other celebrated Hindu works.

Q1) What is Tirukkural?

It is a classic Tamil text consisting of 1,330 couplets (or two-line verses) written by Thiruvalluvar, a celebrated Tamil poet and philosopher. It is considered one of the most important works in Tamil literature and is revered for its insights into ethics, morality, and practical guidance for leading a virtuous life.

Source: Constantine Joseph Beschi, a missionary, Tamil scholar, and Chanda Sahib’s Dewan