Dancing "Siva (and Tirumuular)

Tue Apr 28 16:33:39 UTC 1998

*I do not dispute that southern iconographies of "Siva's dances are
*southern.  It is also possible that "Siva dancing makes his first
*appearance in southern sources; but you have not proved that this is
*the case.  What is the evidence for dating Appar, Kaaraikaalammaiyaar,
*the Cilapatikkaaram, and the quotations in unnamed commentaries on
*Ca"nkam poetry you mention to before the 6th century?

A) The very first song in kalittokai is on "Siva's dance with Umaa.
   Kalittokai is a classical sangam text. Many believe this
   predates 6th century.

     ARu aRi antaNarkku aru maRai pala pakarntu
     tERu nIr caTai karantu tiripuram tI maTuttu
     kURAmal kuRittatan2 mEl cellum kaTu kULi
     mARA pOr maNi miTaRRu eN kaiyAy kEL in2i

     paTu paRai pala iyampa pal uruvam peyarttu nI
     koTukoTTi ATum kAl kOTu uyar akal alkul
     koTi purai nucuppin2AL koNTa cIr taruvAL O

     maNTu amar pala kaTantu matukaiyAl nIRu aNintu
     paNTaragkam ATum kAl paNai ezil aNai mel tOL
     vaNTu araRRum kUntalAL vaLar tUkku taruvAL O

     kolai uzuvai tOl acaI kon2Rai tAr cuval puraLa
     talai agkai koNTu nI kApAlam ATum kAl
     mulai aNinta muRuvalAL mun2 pANi taruvAL O

B) Three examples from medieval commentaries describing
   "Siva's dance. How do we say that these are very early,
    ie., earlier than 6th century? 1) Many other examples given
    in these commentaries are from and exist in sangam anthologies,
    so these must be from works now lost 2) the language & meter.
    The meter, akaval, same as in the following poems is in
    sangam poetry. Later, veNpaa dominates in didactic works;
    Bhakti poems are precursor to viruttam of the epics period.

 (i)   From tolkaappiyam ceyuuLiyal 149 (pEraaciriyar's commentary);
          also in naccin2Arkkin2iyar's commentary;
          also in yaapparuGkala virutti 87 commentary
          also in vIracOziyam, yaappiyal, 17 commentary

            puuNTa paRai aRaiyap pUtam maruLa
            niiNta caTaiyaan2 aaTumE
            niiNTa caTaiyaan2 aaTum en2pa
            maaNTa caayal malaimakaL kaaNavE kaaNavE

  (ii)  From yaapparuGkala virutti 76 commentary

            varikoL aravu matiyum cuzalak
            karikaal Enti aaTumE
            karikaal Enti aaTum iRaivan2
            puripun2 caTaimEl  pun2alum piRazavE

  (iii) From  tolkaappiyam ceyyuLiyal 146 pEraacirayar commentary
              also in naccin2Arkkin2iyar commentary

           taTamtaaTku otta taman2iyac cilampu
           paTamtaaz kaccaip paampoTu miLira
           ven2RaaTu tiruttaatai viyantukait tuTikoTTa
           nin2RaaTu mazakaLiRRai nin2aivaarE vin2aiyilarE

  (By the way, I have not seen anyone using  the above
  poems from tolkaappiyam commentaries on their Nataraja
  writeups. Not even Ananda Coomaraswamy! May be they
  were unavailable to him. Not in Tamil either.)

C) Paul Wheatley, The Mount of the Immortals, A note on
Tamil cultural influence in fifth-century Indochina,
Oriens Extremus, v. 21, no. 1, 1974, p. 97-109.

   In 484 A.D., King KauNDinya Jayavarman of Funan sent an
   envoy to China, reported in Chinese chronicles. Wheatley's
   primary focus is to show that "Siva's mountain called
   as Mayentiram in Tamil is what is transcribed into
   Chinese and Cambodian. In his own words,

 "But it is still the Sanskrit name Mahendra that is associated
  with the god, and this is a form that cannot have been the
  original of the Chinese transcripion Mu^a-t^.am. Somewhat
  unexpectedly in the general context of the brahmanization of
  Southeast Asia as it had been customarily presented, it is in
  *Tamil* (not Sanskrit) "saivaite literature that the source
  of the Chinese transcription must be sought. The relevant
  texts have recently been assembled in convenient translation
  by Professor Filliozat ("New researches"), from whose versions
  the following citations are taken.

   The earliest extant Tamil reference to 'Siva as the King of
  Gods occurs in the 6th century TiruvirattaimaNimaalai of the woman
  saint Karaikkaalammaiyar, who unequivocally designates the god
  as "Lord of the Immortals" (amarar piraan). But the most numerous
  and most explicit passages ensconcing "Siva on Mount Mahendra are
  to be found in Tiruvaacakam, the 'Sacred Utterances' that constitute
  a veritable spiritual autobiography of the Tamil saint
  MaNikkavAcakar, perhaps the greatest of all exponents of the
  "saivasiddhaanta, who lived probably during the 9th century."


  "Phonology and context here combine to support the conjecture that
in MayEntiram, the Tamil form of the name of the abode of "Siva,
is to be discerned the origin of the Chinese Mu^a-t^.am" ...

  "The use of the Tamil form of a name in a deposition submitted to
the Chinese court in 484 A.D. is at first sight surprising in view
of the general function of Sanskrit in the early centuries of the
Christian era as the language of literary communication both within
the Indian subcontinent, and abroad, but it is not the only instance
of Tamil cultural influence in southern Indo-China during the
B'iu-n^.am period, nor is the earliest. In the style of an ancestor
of a ruler tributory to B'iu-n^.am who is mentioned on the famous
stele from Vo-ca.nh, Filliozat has discerned a tamil royal title
(BEFEO, 55, 1969, p.107-116). The ancestor in question appears on the
stele as "Sri Maara, which Filliozat has shown, in the context
established by the inscription, can only have been a Sanskrit
rendering of MaaRan, a frequent element in the titularies of the
Pandyan Kings of Madurai" ...

  If Tamil Mayentiram is found in China in 484 A.D.,
can I believe that Tamil Saivism must have been flourishing
in 4th/5th centuries A.D. in Tamil India?

D) The following is a description of a dancer (kUttac cAkkaiyan2)
   mimicking Nataraja's dance from cilappatikAram.
   R. Parthasarathy (translater of cilampu, Columbia univ. press)
   and K. Zvelebil date Cilappatikaaram in about 450 AD.

       Agku avaL tan2n2uTan2 aNi maNi aragkam
       vIgku nIr jnAlam ALvOn2 ERi
       tiru nilaic cEvaTic cilampu vAy pulampavum
       paritaru cegkaiyil paTu paRai Arppavum
       ceg kaN Ayiram tiruk kuRippu aruLavum
       cejn caTai cen2Ru ticaimukam alampavum
       pATakam pataiyAtu cUTakam tuLagkAtu
       mEkalai oliyAtu men2 mulai acaiyAtu
       vAr kuzai ATAtu maNik kuzal avizAtu
       umaiyavaL oru tiRan2 Aka Ogkiya
       imaiyavan2 ATiya koTTic cEtam
       pAttu aru nAl vakai maRaiyOr paRaiyUrk
       kUttac cAkkaiyan2 ATalin2 makizntu avan2

These are the earlier descriptions of Nataraja that
comes to my mind predating the bhakti era of tirumantiram,
tevaaram, aazvaar maTal, ..

N. Ganesan

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