pANini's inspiration and dakSiNAmurti

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Mon Nov 30 22:19:41 UTC 1998

In an earlier posting, I had requested some information regarding the
dakSiNAmUrti motif. Since there were no responses, I decided to post it again
with some additional information. 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 1.131.7)

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 AD),
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

Thanks in advance

S. Palaniappan

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