Dancing "Siva (and Tirumuular)

Sun Apr 26 00:32:58 UTC 1998

*The following verse (from Umaa's impassioned defence of "Siva) is 5:78
*(in Naaraaya.namuurti's edition with the commentary of Vallabhadeva)
*of Kaalidaasa's Kumaarasambhava:---

*tada"ngasa.mspar"sam avaapya kalpate dhruva.m citaabhasmarajo vi"suddhaye|
*tathaa hi n.rttaabhinayakriyaacyutam vilipyate maulibhir ambaraukasaam|| 78||

     Thanks for the reference. Is this in a kind of critical edition
     of kumaarasambhava. Will check into Hank Heifetz's translation
     which I have.

*Chapter 162 (verses 26ff) of the Ur-Skandapuraa.na---which, according
*to the revised opinion of the team of scholars now editing it, may
*date from as early as the 6th century---describes "Siva's dancing,
*imitated first by the goddess, then Nandin and then his attendants.

*The text was first edited by Bha.t.taraaii and published under the
*title <Skandapuraa.nasya Ambikaakha.n.da.h> from Kathmandu in 1988.
*Adriaensen, Bakker and Isaacson, in an article entitled `Towards a
*Critical Edition of the Skandapuraa.na' (Indo-Iranian Journal 37,
*1994, pp.325--31), argue convincingly that the text in question is the
*original Skandapuraa.na.  The first volume of their edition is due to
*appear in the course of the year.

     Thanks again. But Nataraja theme appears much more widely
     in Tamil from earlier times. Refer aaDavallaan by ca. taNTapaaNi
     tEcikar, late 1960s from Dharmapuram. From memory, I can tell
     Siva dancing and Nataraja specifically some times,
     appear in kaappu of kalittokai, some ancient poems
     mentioned by commentators on sangam texts from works
     now presumably lost, a good description of siva dancing
     comes in cAkkaik kuuttu portion of cilappatikaaram, tirumantiram,
     kAraikkaal ammai, appar, tirumangai aazvaar maTal, ...

     aananda taaNDavam of naTaraaja appears uniquely
     a Tamil conceiving. The cosmic dancer in a full
     circular praba of flames behind him. The philosophy
     of five acts of naTaraaja comes in tirumantiram,
     much later in Umapati Sivacharyar's veNpaas.

     Is skandapuraaNam done in the South? An interesting parallel
     exists on the dating of Tamil kantapuraaNam. There
     is a proverb saying that no puraaNam can excel kantapuraaNam
     in lies (myths)! voluminous. Its author was dated by
     people like Vaiyapuri Pillai in 17th century.
     There is a story about the "araGkERRam" - first reading
     before pundits of kantapuraaNam. In the very first
     prayer song, two words joined by sanskrit sandhi rules,
     rather than tamil sandhi. When the pundits protested,
     Murugan comes in defence of the usage. This story is referred to
     in few tiruppukazs. Arunagiri, author of tiruppukaz,
     is dated in 15th century. From other citations also,
     tamil kantapuraaNam is dated in 12th century.

     Many of Vaiyapuri Pillai's dates have been pushed back
     by centuries, by his own students, M. Arunachalam
     and M. Shanmugam Pillai (Tiru. Pillai, that great editor
     passed away just a few months ago). Mr. Vaiyapuri's
     dates in general, give the latest possible dates.

     Regarding Sri Vidya and some other stuff going from Tamil,
     let me tell a recent happening. After seeing Tecikar's
     aadavallaan, Sivaramamurti applied it to Sanskrit and
     wrote his Nataraja book. The aananda taaNdava naTaraaja
     with a round praba of fames in all the Western museums
     come from a single place, namely Tamil Nadu.
     Sivaramamurti, the great Sanskritist's
     book gives some naTaraajas all over India. They are just
     starting to dance, their legs slightly in motion - the chatura
     taaNDava or something like that. The Pala bronze
     of Siva on a nandi is beautiful. Compare the range,
     time depth of Chola masterpieces on naTaraaja.

*I return once more to the evidence for the date of
*the Tirumantiram.  Secondary literature is only as authoritative as
*the evidence it cites, and the evidence that you have presented so far
*consists in two references to the name (Maa-)Muular/Muulan.  Does this
*seem to you to be conclusive?

    I agree 100%. More data is needed to fix the time of
    tirumuular. I have not seen the bulky volume of commentary
    from tamil pundits from Dharmapuram (1960s).
    In the foreword of that series, all the evidence
    will be dealt with.
    May be K. VellaivaaraaNaar's book on the history
    of the saiva canon. There is a heavy volume from
    TiruvaavaDuthurai mutt on Tirumantiram conference
    proceedings (1941?) I have to see all this in TN
    to really know the depths of the problems of
    dating of tirumuular.

    Can anyone tell me the earliest occurences of
    gaja samhAra mUrti in sanskrit, please?

    N. Ganesan

You may remember the second of the criteria I advanced for accepting
that a Siddhaantatantra really be early:
> 2) The existence of substantial attributed quotations by demonstrably
> early authors that are still traceable in the extant work that bears
> the same name.
Perhaps what I mean by this is clearest from examples.  An unspecified
reference to the Skandapuraa.na might be to one of a wide range of
texts (see the article to which I have referred).  A reference to the
Vi.s.nusa.mhitaa might be to the Paa~ncaraatra sa.mhitaa of that name,
or to the treatise on Dharma"saastra.  A reference to an Ii"saana"siva
might be to any one of hundreds of "Saivaacaaryas who received that
Dominic Goodall.

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