on zankara's date - 2

Venkatraman Iyer venkatraman_iyer at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 21 22:38:05 UTC 2000

We have two other stories about zaGkara modeled after the stories of
Tamil zaiva saints.

The story of ziva appearing as an outcaste accompanied by the four
vedas as dogs seems to be based on the story of cOmAci mARa nAyan2Ar
as described in the Sanskrit works mucukundasahasranAmam and
zivabhaktavilAsa. For a discussion of the nAyan2Ar's story, see
"The Tyagaraja Cult in Tamilnadu" by Rajeshwari Ghose, 1996,

Another story is that of zaGkara, in response to a challenge from
maNDan2a mizra's wife, leaving his body and entering the body of a
king and having sex with the queen. This seems to be modeled after
the story of tirumUlar in periyapurANam, albeit with some very crucial
differences. Seeing the distress of some cows when the cowherd,
mUlan2, died, the yogi who will be later called tirumUlar left his
body and entered the cowherd's body. But, when the cowherd's wife came
to touch him, he refused to be touched by her and said to her that
he was not in any way related to her.

Of course, we also have zaGkara being associated with dakSiNAmUrti.

Earlier, I gave another instance where Sankaran hagiography reworks
old themes from Tamil lit.:

Begin Quote:
  >This sort of imagery seems to recur in Indian poetry. In the
  >Sankaravijaya texts, Sankara identifies Mandana Misra's house as
  >the one where the parrots are debating the theories of svata.h
  >pramANa and parata.h pramANa.

The imagery of parrots speaking in a 'hidden' language is real old.
Even their name, ki.li/ki.l.lai is related to speech
(ki.lavi/ki.lattal). CT perumpaa.naa.r.ruppa.tai mentions parrots
singing vedas at Brahmins' homes - "va.lai vaayk ki.l.lai ma.rai
vi.li payi.r.rum ma.rai kaappaa.lar u.rai pati ceeppi_n".

Two examples close in time to Sankaravijaya texts.
"ta.n taar meyk ki.lik kuu.t.tam caa_n.roorka.l urai payi.r.ra" - villi p.

"tii vi_nai anta.naa.lar ci.raar payil teyva veetam
naa uru ee.r.rak kee.t.tuk ki.lika.loo navilum vee.r.rup
puuvaiyum payi_n.ru puttee.l ulaku u.rai putu mantaarak
kaa u.rai ki.lika.tku ellaam kaca.ta.rap payi.r.ru ma_n_noo"
End Quote.

  The Madurai 'sangapalaka' legend briefly mentioned in the late text
is likely to come from Srivaishnavism very prevalent in Satyamangalam.
More on this later.

V. Iyer

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