uraga and AlavAy

Chandrasekaran, Periannan Periannan.Chandrasekaran at DELTA-AIR.COM
Fri Apr 2 21:44:31 UTC 1999

Such misinterpretations are common:

In the case of the ancient tirumAl (viSNu) temple "tirunAGkUr" near pUmpukAr
where the main deity was known as kuTakkUttar [the pot dancer: kuTam = pot]
with the image itself in the form of a dancer with the pot under the feet of
tirumAl, people had somehow started confusing that name with
kuTaikkUttar [umbrella dancer: kuTai = umbrella ] and celebrating festivals
at that temple with umbrellas! Then justified it by citing the gOvardhana
episode.  This so in spite of the image being very unambiguous and ancient
AzvAr texts explicitly calling tirumAl there as kuTakkUttar!
There is a passage in cilappatikAram aenumerating the 11 prototypical
dances of classical Tamil dance and lists kuTakkUttu by tirumAl as one of

Apparently there is another temple in kEraLa also where such a confusion
has taken place.
I read a book which that cites  all these textual evidences
and still argues against the pot dance fact!

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Swaminathan Madhuresan [mailto:smadhuresan at YAHOO.COM]
> Sent: Friday, April 02, 1999 4:28 PM
> Subject: Re: uraga and AlavAy
> > On the contrary, David Shulman and following him William
> Harman have simply
> > missed the mark in understanding the true history of the
> name AlavAy.
>  Another case of wrong translation from Tamil into Sanskrit:
>  The word 'Aalam' meaning the banyan tree was misunderstood
> as hAla/hAlahAla
>  (poison), and the story was spun for the Big Snake encircling
>  Maturai (hAlAsya myth).
>  SM
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