dakSiNAmUrti stotra, and Tamil and Kashmir zaivisms

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Jun 2 02:35:12 UTC 1999

MadhurAja Yogin, disciple of Abhinavagupta, compares his Guru
to DakshiNaamuurti. In this dhyAnaslokam, Dakshinamurti's
relations to Pandya country  are referred.

M. Yogin prays:
"May the glorious god DakSiNAmUrti (Abhinavagupta), who is an
incarnation of 'Siva protect us! Out of his deep compassion
he has taken a new bodily form and come to Kashmir. He sits in
the middle of a garden of grapes, inside a pavillion made of crystal
and filled with beautiful *paintings*. The room smells wonderful
because of flower garlands, incense-sticks and (oil)-lamps.Its walls
are smeared with *sandal-paste* and other such things. The room
is constantly resounding with musical instruments, with songs
and with dancing. There are crowds of Yoginis and realized beings,
*siddhas* with magic powers. Its is equipped with a golden seat
from which *pearls* are hanging. ..."
p. 46, P. E. Muller-Ortega, The triadic heart of 'Siva: Kaula
tantricism in the Non-Dual Shaivism of Kashmir, SUNY.

In the above poem, note the presence of 1) sandal-paste
2) pearls 3) Hall of Paintings and 4) Siddhas:
1) sandal-past is a special product of Malaya mountain
in Pandya country
2) pearls, often Sanskrit texts talk of pearl production
in Pandya country
3) a tropical garden and a pavillion of paintings.
Among Nataraja's five dancing halls, Malaya (Potiyil)
has citra-sabhA. Even today there is a "Hall of Paintings".
(with Nayak era paintings, painted on earlier Pandya ones).
4)Siddhas - Potiyil is a special dwelling place of Siddhas.
So, M. Yogin probably is aware that Dakshinamurti form
of 'Siva comes from the South. And, he gives recognition to the
Pandya realm while describing Daxinamurti.

Dakshinamurti cult originating in Potiyil (Malaya) mountain
is described in a Classical Tamil text (see below).
Buddhists called this Southern God as Avalokitezvara of Potalaka.
Both Hsuan Tsang and Chih Sheng in 7th century CE identify
Potalaka as Potiyil in the Malaya country. Also, a special
form of Avalokita in rAjalIlAsana is found in Tamil Nadu
(and in Sri Lanka, South East Asia and China).
The expansion of rAjalIlAsana avalokitas by sea from Tamil lands
assumes greater significance  when we consider the fact that
the center for Buddhism is Bihar/Bengal and not the South.
DakshinamUrti images are also found in rAjalIlaasana posture
from Tamil Nadu. The competition/accomodation between Dakshinamurti
and Avalokitezvara cults should have happened in the Pandya country.
In return, original forms of avalokita residing in Mt. Potalaka
come from South India.

  Kashmir Shaivism which is somewhat influenced by
Buddhism, makes use of the imagery of Dakshinamurti of
Potiyil/Malaya. In a similar vein, Sankara's advaita school, often
said to be prchanna bauddhas by rivals, also employs
Dakshinamurti icon. Probably because Shaivaites saw in Dakshinamurti
an ability to counter his Buddhist alter ego, Avalokita.
So, Shaivaites recruited Dakshinamurti especially when they
were in close proximity with Buddhism.

N. Ganesan

On Sat, 23 Jan 1999 03:31:43 EST, S. Palaniappan wrote:

In a message dated 1/21/99 10:55:17 AM Central Standard Time,
naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM writes:
 > CilappatikAram (ca. 400 AD) is the first Indian text mentioning
 >  Dakshinamurthy.

This is not correct. If dakSiNAmUrti as one sitting under a banyan
tree is the one being referred to, CT texts mention it in many places
as Dr. N. Ganesan has noted in an earlier posting. If it is the
"southern" aspect of dakSiNAmUrti is what is being specifically
referred to, then the earliest reference is in the CT text,
maturaikkAJci, as given in the following lines.

ten2n2avan2 peyariya tun2 aru tuppin2
tol mutu kaTavuL pin2n2ar mEya
varai tAz aruvi poruppin2 poruna             (maturaikkAJci 40-42)

Here the Pandiyan king is praised as the "warrior who posseses the
mountain with cascading waterfalls where reside the
disciples/followers of the ancient god with unapproachable prowess
who has the same name as the Southern One".

The mountain here refers to "potiyil' even though it is not explicitly
named here. This will become obvious when we compare these lines with
the following lines from cilappatikAram

maRai mutu mutalvan2 pin2n2ar mEya
poRai uyar potiyil poruppan2 ?.         (cil.12.24.1-2)

Translation: "the one possessing the "potiyil" mountain where the
followers of the ancient first one of the vedas live"

The lines from maturaikkAJci have not been properly understood till
now. Old commentators such as naccin2Arkkin2iyar as well as modern
commentators such as perumazaippulavar have been influenced so much
by the Agastya myth that they have overlooked a basic grammatical flaw
in their interpretation. The lines actually talk about multiple
followers and not a single person. For instance if a single person
were to be referred to, we should have maRai mutu mutalvan2
pin2n2an2/pin2n2On2. The use of honorific singular is not likely given
the style of CT poems or the use of singular for the god ziva
himself .

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