Navagraha worship

Thu Jun 26 21:15:49 UTC 1997


       Navagraha Worship In South India

J. McKim Malville is interested in the evolution of
planet worship in South India. He teaches somewhere in
Colorado. I glanced thru' his paper once.
He says the important Chola temple at Suuriyanaar Koyil,
Thanjavur temple was built in 11th century after a major
astronomical event over India. (eclipse)

J. McKim Malville, Solar astronomy and temple traditions,
Jl. of the Indian anthropological society, March 1988,
vol. 23, no. 1, p. 17-
I am sure he has few more writeups.

Suuriyanaar Koyil used to be an important
Saiva Siddhanta Adheenam. Thiruveezhimizhalai
Sivagrayogin was a preceptor of the math
who wrote extensively in Tamil and Sanskrit.

I recollect C. Sivaramamurti's writings from one his large books.
It goes something like this:
Rajaraja Chola I marries his daughter to Vimaladitya Chalukya I
of Vengi country in Andhra. Due to her, a big Surya 
temple came to be erectedin Andhra. Later, a descendent of that
Chola Princess (Kundhavai Naachiyaar) builds Konarak Sun temple
in Kalinga country. Chozha becomes ChoDa in the north.
ChoDaganga Deva is the King's name.

Longtime ago, Deborah Karumuthu Thiagarajan was interested in this field.
Nowadays, she is busy saving Chettinad homes, crafts, artisans.
D. Thiagarajan, The development of Surya imagery in the Tamil
country in the seventh-twelfth centuries AD.
1985, 133 leaves.
Microfiche 288, Van Pelt library, Univ. of Pennsylvania

I am sure Dr. Martin Gantsen knows this book:
Stephen Markel, Origins of the Indian planetary deities,
Lewiston, NY: E. Melen, 1995
(from a PhD at UMich)

I agree with Mr. Jayabarathi that there are many
publications in Tamil. Many are devotional, stalapuranams,
or astrological or uncritical. But a few exceptions
do exist.

There is a medieval "Sani Bhagavan Tottiram" (stotram)
reprinted for atleast 150 years. Good poetry.

K. V. Jagannathan, editor of Kalaimakal
and disciple of U. V. Saminathaiyar, has
a book giving an overview of Navagraha worship
from Tamil and Sanskrit literatures.
Printed by Alliance Publications, Mylapore.

There are many Tamil books, few of them running into 1000s of
poems/viruttams like kiiranuur naTaraajar's caatakaalangaaram
and kumaaracuvaamiiyam by Viiravanallur Kumaracaami Tecikar,
on astrology. The relationships between this genre of astrological
literature in Tamil and Sanskrit has never been explored so far.

N. Ganesan
nas_ng at

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