on zankara's date - 2

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Wed Mar 22 01:42:49 UTC 2000

In a message dated 3/20/2000 8:06:31 PM Central Standard Time,
vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM writes:

> Hagiography is very fluid, and there are some standard themes that recur.
>  For example, Dattatreya is always depicted with four dogs, representing the
>  four Vedas. And Siva often appears in the most surprising places, and often
>  subverts the assumptions of the social order.

While the different elements may indeed occur in separate myths, it is in
comAcimARar's story we first have the combination of ziva as an outcaste with
four vedas as dogs. The comAcimARar story is linked to tiruvArUr. It is ziva
from tiruvArUr who goes as the outcaste to the saint's soma ceremony.
tiruvArUr is the place of ajapA dance of ziva. To quote Ghose, "It is thus in
the tirumantiram that for the first time acapai is equated with mantrazastra
and the dance of ziva and thus, provides the iconology of tyAgarAja."

>  Re: entering a dead person's body (parakAyapraveZa), this is a Yogic
>  accomplishment mentioned in Patanjali's Yogasutra, definitely a
>  text. However, in all the Skt. hagiographies on Sankara, this legend is
>  invariably linked with a reference to Matsyendranatha and Gorakshanatha,
>  revealing a rather Hathayogic background to how and why Sankara is also
>  claimed to have demonstrated his ability to enliven another person's dead
>  body.

"The tirumantiram, says Zvelebil "contains in nuce all or almost all the
typical features of the Tamil Siddha movement."

The Third Tantra deals with eight aGgas of Yoga and closely follows
pataJjali's yogasUtras II.29. He also deals with the eight great powers or
mahAcitti (mahA siddhi). He asserts the importance of the human body to
achieve all this. The body is the means to salvation, flawless and fully
disciplined. For this, he takes recourse to haThayoga."

It was tirumUlar's tirumantiram which for the first time in Tamil literature
made the figure of 51 denote the fifty-one letters of the Sanskrit alphabet.
Much later we find kAmakalAvilAsa of the zrIvidya school equating the
fifty-one letters with zrIcakra. I think it will be worthwhile to investigate
the links between the tirumantiram tradition and zaGkaran traditions and also
to see if tiruvArUr area had any specific role in the zaGkaran traditions.

S. Palaniappan

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list