canon of "Saiva Siddhaanta

jayabarathi barathi at PC.JARING.MY
Wed Apr 22 14:15:59 UTC 1998

        Dear Sir,

                The works of Karaikkaal Ammaiyaar, Appar, and Sambandhar
        can be considered to be works which don't actually belong
        to a particular sect among the Saivites. The Saiva Siddhantins
        have taken them as they are acceptable to them. During the
        time of Karaikkaal Ammaiyaar and Appar, the Pasupathas seem to have
        been around.
                Scrutinising Appar, one would find that  his patterns of
        doctrines and his directions are rather different from
        Sambandhar. It is easy to perceive certain other elements in
        the Thevaram of Appar. The Siva whom he extols in many of his verses
        is the Siva of the Pasupathas. The Thiru Aaruur Pathigam refers to
        Pasupathas/Kapalikas. He denounces casteism, Vedic practices, and
        other rituals. There are certain places in Appar's Thevaram,
        where even traces of Advaita can be found. So Appar per se could
        not have been a Saiva Siddhantin as the word would mean today.
        He was  a staunch Saivite with his advanced theoloical views and
        commited direct Bhakthi approach, simple enough for any man to follow,
         combined in his own doctrine- the "Dayaa Muula Dharma".
        The Saiva Siddhantins accepted him  just as any Pasupatha Saivite
         might accept him, if there were  one now.
                Karaikkaal Ammaiyaar is also anther person who belongs
        to all.
                The chronology of Thirumanthiram is a riddle.
                There is an interesting piece of of information.
                It is found in the annals of Thiru Aavadu Thurai
        Aadheenam, the Saivite Peetam.
                Thirumuular, the author of ThiruManthiram is said to
        have stayed for a long time in Thiru Aavadu Thurai. He then
        went to Kailas and attained Samadhi. His manuscript of
        the Thiru Manthiram was kept in a secret vault below the
        sacrificial alter(Bali Peetam) in the temple of GoMuktheeswarar
        temple of Thiru Aavadu Thurai.
                Sambandhar, when he was worshipping at this temple,
        had a very stange sensation. By some extra-sensory perception,
        he felt the presence of Thiru Manthiram. The annals call that
        sensation, "Thamilz maNam kamalzthal" i.e., the fragrance
        of Tamil. So, under the command of Sambandhar, the alter was
        broken and excavated, and the Thiru Manthiram manuscripts
        were retrieved.
                This annal places Thirumular before Sambandhar.
                The fact is that Sri Vidya, Sri Chakra, Navakshari,
        etc., are dealt with in the 4th Tantra of Thiru Manthiram.
        The Sanskrit manuscripts on these subjects are of a later
        date.  That alone would not mean that Thiru Manthiram is
        is a later work.
                There can be more than one possibility.
                Sri Vidya could have originated in South India.
        Might be it was Sanscritised and elaborated upon, in order
        to be spread all over India. Just a conjecture.
        There are certain lines of Tamil Siddhars who are Shakthas
        and Tantrics.  Karuvuur Siddhar, a disciple belonging to
        a lineage from Thiru Muular was a Sri Vidya practioner
        and an accomplished Tantric. He is reputed with having
        installed the Siva Lingam in the Brihat Iswara Temple
        of Tanjavur. His Thiru Isaip Paa is also compiled into the
        ninth Saivite Thiru Murai. His guru's guru(parama guru)
        Bogar was also a Tantric as well as a Shaktha. The
        tradition was already there among the Tamil Siddhars.
        So much of the Tamil Siddhars and their works are shrouded
        in mystery and secrecy and so little research has been done
        in that field.
                The other possibility is that, what you people got
         is a later edition/reprint of the SriVidya manuscript:-)



At 08:47 PM 4/21/98 +0100, you wrote:
>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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