A myth found in Mauni's short story

GANESANS at cl.uh.edu GANESANS at cl.uh.edu
Wed Aug 6 14:31:22 UTC 1997

The Tamil stalapurANams are large and varied. About 600 of them,
a total corpus of about 300,000 verses. Many printed talapuraaNams
can be found in Maraimalai Adigal Library, UVS library, Roja Muttaiya
library, TN archives etc., These "ceyyuL" works 12th century onwards
largely remain untouched by modern scholarship. One reason is Dravidian
movement which sees these works as useless:"For every ruin, there is a
talapurANam. There is not a single bit of land where Indran or Chandran
did not come seeking cure for a curse!".

But as David Shulman and Bill Harman have pointed out,tamil talapurana tradition
makes inversions and variants from myths of sanskrit. There are many instances
 where some myths are told that have no source in sanskrit. For reasons of
 authenticity, prestige, outright claims that this is from skAntam, chapter 11
 & so on. which may not be true.

Thanjavur district where temples and temple myths abound. Mauni
is from that background. He might have told what he has heard as a child.
I would think the source has to be sought in talapuranams or locally.
Bharanidharan who wrote series on Tanjore temples called Tiruttalap
Perumai (200+ essays) in Ananda Vikadan magazine, Vidhvan M. Shanmugam Pillai,
Ta. Ca. Minakshisundaram Pillai (late) of Tiruvavaduthurai Adheenam
might know this story and where it comes from. I am sure
U. V. Saminathaiyar (late) or Kanchi  Chandrasekharendra Sarasvathi (late)
would know many of these myths.

N. Ganesan

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