Where was PANini inspired? (Part IV)

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 9 04:20:20 UTC 1998

The following has relevance to the question
"Where is Panini inspired?".

The earliest Tamil sangam texts  refer to 'Siva
as God under the banyan tree. Those Pre-Pallava references from
Tamil sangam texts on 'Siva under the banyan tree:
a) aal amar kaTavuL an2n2a nin2 celvam - puRam
b) kaTavuL aalattu taTavu cin2ai pal pazam - puRam
c) tAtu eru maRukin2 A puRam tINTum
   neTu vIz iTTa kaTavuL aalattu
   uku pali aruntiya toku viral kAkkai - naRRiNai
d) Al amar celvan2 aNi caal makan2 vizaa - kalittokai
e) Al kezu kaTavuL putalva, mAl varai
   malai makaL makan2E! - tiru muruku.
In 4-5th centuries, CilappatikAram and Manimekalai
refer to dakSiNAmUrti.

Later, 'Siva teaching vedas under the banyan tree occurs
in Tevaram many times. According to Tevaram, 'Siva is the
inner meaning of all authors. Some
dakSiNAmUrti images are seated in rAjalIlAsana
similar to Avalokitezvara images. As dakSiNAmUrti
is the only Hindu image (that is known to me)
shown in deep contemplation, does it show
Buddhist influences?

On 8 dec 1998, Southeast Asian connections
during Pallava era between Potalaka, ziva,
avalokitezvara, agastya were given. (cf. Indology archives)

N. Ganesan

Dr. S. Palaniappan writes in Indology:
I feel that the tradition of ziva  inspiring
pANini might have been inspired by the story of dakSiNAmUrti.
Consider the following attestations

aRam kiLarum nAlvEtam Alin2 kIz iruntu aruLi            (tevAram

sitting under the banyan tree and having bestowed the four vedas which
expound the Rta ....

Alin2 kIz aRagkaL ellAm an2Ru avarkku aruLicceytu
nUlin2 kIzavarkaTku ellAm nuNporuL Aki nin2Ru   (tevAram

Having bestowed upon them the Rtas under the banyan tree and for all the
owners/authors of texts becoming the fine inner meaning....

kal Alin2 puTai amarntu nAl maRai ARu agkam mutal kaRRa kELvi
vallArkaL nAlvarukkum vAkku iRanta pUraNam Ay maRaikkap pAlAy
                                     (tiruviLaiyATal purANam

Becoming the ancient legend beyond words for the four who learnt
well the four vedas and six angas sitting beside the banyan tree
and transcending the vedas

One of the six angas is, of course, the grammar. There is an interesting
episode in cilappatikAram, the Tamil epic (not later than 5th century
regarding the grammar, aindra. When kOvalan2, kaNNaki, and the Jain nun
kavunti are travelling to Madurai, on the way they meet a brahmin who
talks to them about a pond called holy zaravaNa in tirumAlkunRam
(present azakar kOyil). He says that if the travelers take a bath
in that pond, they will attain proficiency in the text of the chief
of the devas, i.e., aindra. The Jain nun replies that there is no need
to do what the brahmin suggests and that the text by Indra of kalpas is
included in a Jain text. (The Tamil word for the Jain text is
"meyppATTiyaRkai" and the commentators call it "paramAgama".)
The importance of grammar as felt in Tamil land at the time and
competition between different religious schools to possess it seems
to come through this episode.

tEvAram texts cited above may be dated to the early 7th century AD.
The tiruviLaiyATal purANam is a later text. But the tradition may
be even older. ziva in Classical Tamil texts is usually referred
to by the name "Al amar celvan2" (the Izvara who sits under the
banyan tree). Thus the dakSiNAmurti motif is very old.

What I would like is more information to see if there are any
 Sanskrit or Buddhist precursors to this motif as found in Tamilnadu.
I would very much like to know the following details regarding
the dakSiNAmurti story in which ziva teaches four disciples/sages
under the banyan tree.

1.The Sanskrit text that mentions this story for the first time
 and the date of the text

2. The subjects that ziva taught these four disciples/sages

3. The names of these four disciples/sages

4. The earliest iconographic representation of this story

S. Palaniappan

On 1 Dec 1998, N. Ganesan replied in Indology
My random thoughts.

The most important study on dakSiNAmUrti is
published by TiruvAvaTutuRai AtIn2am:

   S. Narayanacuvami,
   TaTciNAmUrtti: Akamam & Cilpam,
   TiruvAvaTutuRai AtIn2am, 1991
   (OCLC Number: 34114086)
   (A similar book by ca. taNTapANi tEcikar
   got expanded into Nataraja in art, thought
   and literature in English).

The Rishis are canakar, canantanar, canAtanar
and canatkumarar. (Coined to sound like
Sanatkumara? Brahma-Sanatkumara myth??)

This book will give all tamil and sanskrit verses
on dakSiNAmUrti as well as icons.

Tevaram (or Cankam Texts?) say the banyan tree underwhich
Al amar celvan2 (the god under the banyan tree, dakSiNAmUrti)
has small pots hanging. These small pots are represented
in Chola era dakSiNAmurti images! I have seen an article
by P. L. Samy, IAS (Retd.) showing these. (P. L. Samy did
excellent studies on biological names of fauna/flora
of Cankam Texts.)

Have not seen dakSiNAmUrti images, north of Tamilnadu
compared to literally 100s of them in the deep South.
Do they occur in Badami, Aihole, Pattadakal?
What about Kashmir? Kashmir 'Saiva texts exist from
ninth century AD. The Kashmir agamic saivism
and Tamil saivism are related. Where are the early dakSiNAmUrti
images apart from the deep South??

DakSiNAmUrti worship occurs in 'Saivagamas
of Sivachariar priests. It is probably taken
into Smarta tradition by Sankaracharya.
Does Ritual in an oscillating universe
(Richard Davis) speak of DakSiNAmUrti worship?
May be Helene Brunner has written on DakSiNAmUrti??

Pl. check books on 'Siva. Meister, Discourses on Siva,
works by S. Kramrisch, F. Clothey and W. Doniger
come to my mind. If Daksinamurti is in Sanskrit,
these will have something about Him.

Talking of the aindra episode in CilappatikAram:
Kamban says an2uman2 is an expert in aindra grammar
in many places. (Much) Before CilappatikAram,
the Preface of TolkAppiyam, the first extant
book in Tamil, talks of aindra grammar and
four vedas as well. So, the competition
between PaninIya and non-pANinian aindra
occurs even earlier than CilappatikAram.
(A. C. Burnell, The aindra school of Sanskrit
grammarians, 1875).

The entire life story of mANikkavAcakar is built
around the theme of 'Siva as his Teacher.
AtmanAthasvAmi temple at AvuTaiyArkOil
temple legends. They have been well analyzed
by G. E. Yocum 1) The goddess and the guru:
two models of Universal order in Tamil India,
Religion and Global order, p. 87-117,
NY: Paragon House, 1991
2) Wisdom made visible: the divine teacher
in Tamil 'Saiva temple and monastic rituals,
Studia Missionalia, 36, 1987, p. 175-193
3) God and Man in the Tamil 'Savia Siddhanta,
In search of the divine, p. 41-58, NY: Paragon
House, 1987.

Potiyil (Potalaka in Buddhist Sanskrit), Tamil,
Agastya, and Agastya being taught by 'Siva are
narrated for atleast 1500 years.
 Potiyil/Potikai rain forests with a lofty mountain
and great waterfalls is the ideal abode of Avalokitezvara.
Some early texts in Sanskrit call Potalaka
'Paradise on Earth'. (cf. M-T. Mallmann,
Avalokitecvara, 1949). For 'Siva in a grove,
see Paul Younger, The family of 'Siva in a
South Indian grove, Studies in religion,
11, 3, 1982, p. 245-263. 'Siva, in the
garden of Potiyil Mountain teaches Agastya.

Apart from TiruvAvaTutuRai work, consult:
1) T. M. P. Mahadevan, The hymns of Sankara, 1980
2) Sri Sankaracharya's Daksinamurti stotra with
the vArttika of Manasollasa of Suresvaracharya.
Ramakrishna Math, Bangalore, 1992

On South Indian Iconography of dakshinamurti:
consult the series:
J. Filliozat, Les images de 'Siva dans l'Inde
du Sud, Arts Asiatiques (Paris), 8, 1961, p. 43-56
M. E. Adiceam,  Les images de 'Siva dans l'Inde
du Sud, Arts Asiatiques (Paris),
11 (1964) 23-44;
12 (1965) 83-112;
13 (1966) 83-99;
17 (1968) 143-172;
19 (1969) 85-106.

I also think that 'Siva as the teacher, 'Siva
as the teacher of Tamil and Sanskrit originated
in the deep South. In the case of Buddhism,
it is Avalokitezvara of Potalaka.
Legends of Agastya, ManikkavAcakar, aindra grammar
etc., These myths are attested first
in Tamil and Sanskrit letters produced in the

N. Ganesan

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