pots, brahmin names, and potters

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Fri Dec 18 06:12:50 UTC 1998

Dear Dr. Karp,

In a message dated 12/16/98 9:46:04 AM Central Standard Time, hart at POLBOX.COM

> If it's not too troublesome, could you describe the royal burial ceremony
>  of the Cholas? Or any other royal family from the South? Who are ritual
>  functionaries involved in performing the ceremony?

On a quick checking of Tamil texts I do not find a detailed description of the
burial ceremony listing the functionaries. (We have more details of cremation
ceremonies.) The use of the word "kavi" to denote interment in an urn
indicates that the pots were "inverted" over the body. This suggests that the
body was probably in a sitting posture. There is evidence that the pots were
also left standing above ground (patRRuppattu 44.22-23, puRanAn2URu 238.1-5).

The installation/worship of hero stones are described in more poems. (The
story of a Chola king, kOpperuJcOzan2,  who starved himself to death facing
north and accompanied by other poets, is an interesting one.)

S. Palaniappan

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