canon of "Saiva Siddhaanta

Dominic Goodall dominic.goodall at WOLFSON.OXFORD.AC.UK
Tue Apr 21 19:47:08 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.

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.

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

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