Kaladi and Sankara

Swaminathan Madhuresan smadhuresan at YAHOO.COM
Fri Nov 19 17:08:25 UTC 1999

  Like kAlaTic caGkaran2, is perumpUtUr irAmAn2ucan2 mentioned

--- Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan <Palaniappa at AOL.COM> wrote:
> In a message dated 11/3/99 5:39:38 PM Central Standard Time,
> vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM writes:
> > The earliest reference would probably be in the Sankaravijaya of Madhava,
> >  traditionally identified with Vidyaranya.
> In that case, the earliest reference linking Kaladi and Sankara is a Tamil
> inscription that belongs to the 20th regnal year of mARavarman2
> cuntarapANtiyan2 I (1235-36 A.D.). The inscription (SII 5, no. 431) is in the
> nellaiyappar temple in tirunelvEli in Tamilnadu.
> The interesting aspect of this inscription is that it does not refer to
> Sankara directly. Instead, it refers to a Pandiyan official/chieftain who had
> a linga installed at the temple in the following words:
> "kAlaTiccaGkaran azakiyaperumALAn2a mazavarAyar pUcittu ikkOyilil
> AzrayalimgamAka ezuntaruLuvitta cokkan2Arkku.."
> Here a person has been named kAlaTiccaGkaran (Sankara of Kaladi). If we take
> this person to be the father of azakiyaperumAL, the mazavarAyar, then the
> father should have received the name probably towards the end of the 12th
> century. From the details in the inscription, we know that the family
> belonged to the western Tirunelveli region. So the name kAlaTi (Kaladi) did
> not refer to the natal village of anybody in the chieftain's family. So,
> unless we have a kAlaTi in tirunelvEli region, the person was indeed named
> after Sankara of Kaladi.
> What is particularly interesting is that kAlaTiccaGkaran was a non-brahmin
> official who would otherwise be called a veLLALa or zUdra. cEkkizAr, the
> veLLALa minister of the Chola king, refers to veLLALas as zUdras in his
> periyapurANam of the 12th century. Moreover, cEkkizAr was the one who called
> a Chola king known for his impartial justice as "manu nIti".
> All these make one wonder if the veLLALas in the 12th century knew what
> Sankara and Manu thought of the zUdras? Or was it just syncretism on the part
> of kALaTiccaGkaran2's parents to name their son after Sankara of Kaladi? Or
> was there a compromise between advaita and zaivasiddhAnta? Or had the idea of
> Sankara as an avatAra of dakSiNAmUrti become so popular as to lead to his
> acceptance even by devout zaivite veLLALas who would otherwise be opposed to
> advaita? Coincidentally, western tirunelvEli region is also where we find
> potiyil, the original locus of the dakSiNAmUrti cult.
> In any case, it is obvious that the value of Tamil inscriptions for
> Indological research has been grossly underestimated till now. There is an
> urgent need to publish and create a digitized data base of all the Tamil
> inscriptions. Are there any Indologists to take up this cause?
> Regards
> S. Palaniappan

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