PataJjali a form of ZeSa

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Sat Aug 14 20:31:06 UTC 1999

N. Ganesan wrote on  Fri, 6 Aug 1999 15:43:34 PDT:

<<Even though Saivism succeeded in appropriating the four rishis and
patanjali as disciples of Dakshinamurti or Nataraja, Namakkal caves show the
vaishnavaite attempt.>>

The earliest attested attempt by vaishnavites to appropriate dakSiNAmUrti is
found in the following lines from paripATal, a late CT text.

azal purai kuzai kozu nizal tarum pala cin2ai
Alam um kaTampu um nal yARRu naTu um
kAl vazakku aRu nilai kun2Ram um piRa um
a avai mEviya vERu vERu peyarOy
e vayin2Oy um nI E ...                                            (pari.

A trough translation is:
"O, tirumAl!, you are the one who resides (1) under the banyan tree with many
branches and flame-like flourishing young leaves, (2) under the kaTampu tree,
(3)on the island in the middle of the river and (4) on hills where the flow
of winds is stopped. Although you reside in these places under different
names, you are the one in all places."

Here (1) refers to dakSiNAmUrti (2) refers to murukan2 and (3) to tirumAl as
the popularly known raGganAtha.

One has to see the vaishnavite attempt to subsume murukan2 as an aspect of
tirumAl relative to the zaivites' successful attempt at Madurai which has
been also known as kaTampavan2am. If there was ever a cultic presence of
murukan2 in Madurai's kaTampavan2am, it must have disappeared with the rise
of zaivite AlavAy.

S. Palaniappan

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