dakSiNAmUrti story

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Feb 13 15:04:24 UTC 1999

A Classical Tamil text, maturaikkAJci, refers to the
"Southern" aspect of dakSiNAmUrti for the first time.

ten2n2avan2 peyariya tun2 aru tuppin2
tol mutu kaTavuL pin2n2ar mEya
varai tAz aruvi poruppin poruna           (maturaikkAJci 40-42)

"warrior who posseses the mountain with cascading waterfalls
where reside the followers of the ancient god with
unapproachable prowess having the name, the Southern One".

 The mountain of the Pandyan king referred to here
 is "potiyil". This is made explicit in CilappatikAram.

maRai mutu mutalvan2 pin2n2ar mEya
poRai uyar potiyil poruppan2            (Cilappatikaaram 12.24.1-2)

Translation:"the man possessing the "potiyil" mountain
where the followers of the ancient first One of the vedas
live". (cf. S. Palaniappan's posts on dakSiNAmUrti)

This CT text, maturaikkAJci has a Buddhist connection also,
acc. to the medieval commentator, NaccinArkkiniyar of
BharadvAjagotra and Maturai.

 kAmar kavin2iya pEriLam peNTir
 pUvin2ar, pukaiyin2ar, tozuvan2ar paziccic
 ciRantupuRam kAkkum kaTavuT paLLiyum         (maturaikkAJci 465-7)

Translation:"Beautiful ladies of mid-age take care
of the divine paLLi by decorating/worshipping with
flowers, incense and make it noble/splendid".

NaccinArkkiniyar (14th century AD) says that "kaTavuT paLLi" in this
CT text line refers to a "Buddhist paLLi" (*pauttap paLLi*).
Reference: u. vE. cAminAtayyar's pattuppaaTTu edition.

 *"Siva or alternately for Buddhists, Avalokitezvara inspires
Agastya to write Tamil grammar*. This teaching takingplace
in Mt. Potiyil is attested for millennia. The legend that
"Siva or alternately Avalokita inspiring Panini is of
South Indian origin also. Reference: my postings under
"Where was Panini inspired?" in Indology.

What a pleasant surprise to find that Art Basham was also
thinking along the same lines:
 A. L. Basham (The Wonder That was India, p. 308) says, " A further
 form in which the god is worshipped is known as the "South-facing"
 (DakSiNAmUrti) (pl. LXVIII); in this aspect he is the universal
 teacher, depicted in an informal pose, with one foot on the ground
 and the other on the throne on which he sits, and with one hand
 raised in a gesture of explanation. This form of ziva
 perhaps owes something to Buddhist inspiration."

N. Ganesan

PS: The Wonder that is India!
(was Re: The Wonder that was India).

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