canon of "Saiva Siddhaanta

C.R. Selvakumar selvakum at VALLUVAR.UWATERLOO.CA
Tue Apr 21 21:03:50 UTC 1998

@First of all, a correction to my earlier posting.  The Paarame"svaratantra
@MS in Cambridge is dated 828 AD, and not 819, as I had previously
@I do not think that Kaaraikkaal ammaiyaar can be considered to have
@belonged to the "Saiva Siddhaanta---at least not to the "Saiva Siddhaanta
@that we find recorded in the works of Saiddhaantika theologians up to and
@including Aghora"siva (fl.1157 in Chidambaram) or in the Saiddhaantika
@scriptures known to those theologians. It is difficult to infer
@theological positions from her poetry---as it is from the Tamil poetry of
@other devotees of "Siva (you mention Appar and ~Naanacampantar).  They
@were Maahe"svaras (i.e. lay devotees of "Siva), but not, I think,
@Saiddhaantikas, even though later South Indian Saiddhaantikas may have
@regarded them as such.

   I don't know where Appar and Capantar are 'identified' as
   Maahe"svaras (lay devotees of "Siva). They are not
   'lay devotees' but 'authorities' of Saiva Siddhanta, as per my
   lay understanding. The hymns of Kaaraikaal ammaiyaar, Appar and
   Campantar are not as easy to understand as they may appear to be.

@You mention also Tirumuular and observe that different scholars assign him
@widely different dates.  As far as I am aware, there is little firm
@external evidence by which he might be dated (no more, perhaps, than an
@early reference to a certain `Muular'---not compelling because of the
@problem familiar to indologists of what I have heard called `narrow
@onomasty'). Both his language (as was pointed out by Vaiyapuripillai, the
@editor of a number of volumes of Madras University's Tamil Lexicon, in his
@History of Tamil Literature) and also the syncretic character of his
@religiosity (he included not just Saiddhaantika ideas, but also the
@"Sriicakra and the "Sriividyaa, for which the first Sanskrit sources are
@relatively late) suggest that he should be assigned rather a late date
@than an early one.

    I get the *impression* that you (and possibly many other
    indologists) consider that Sanskrit sources must have been
    the original or primary sources for any system in India.
    I admit that my impression could be incorrect.
    Can you please explain why you consider it as 'syncretic character
    of his religiosity' and not that the so called Sriicakra and
    Sriividya are 'systems' differentiated later ( at least in the Sanskrit
    sources) ?

@Perhaps you, or others reading this, are aware of firm evidence or
@convincing arguments by which Tirumuular might plausibly be dated?

    I'm no expert in dating Tirumuular. But I would be surprised
    if it is dated later than MeykaNDaar's Siva~Naanabodham ( of
    12th century ??). I believe there is epigraphical evidence for
    MeykaNDaar's date.

@Dominic Goodall.

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