A Garuda Purana question

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Sat Apr 22 08:22:35 UTC 2006

Dear Dr. Goodall, 
Thanks for your post. I too agree with Prof. Aklujkar regarding the  liberal 
message of the passage. In fact, it looks like what we have here is  only a 
pale reflection of a much more extremely liberal or revolutionary view  
presented by the Tamil bhakti tradition. 
While the unit 'give, receive' may not have any special significance in the  
Sanskrit tradition, in the Tamil tradition, it also can signify giving a girl 
in  marriage or receiving a girl in marriage between families. In  fact, 
periyavAccAn2 piLLai, the 13th century commentator makes a deliberate  effort to 
rule out this interpretation in connection with the following  verse in 
tirumAlai 42 (given in translation) belonging to 9th century  AD. 
“O  the one who is in high-walled Srirangam, you said, “O  many brahmins of 
the four Vedas, who follow the blemishless path! even if my  devotees are of 
low caste, worship them, give to them and receive from  them”,  and graciously 
made them worship the devotees as they do you.” 
(In  tirumAlai 39, the author says that viSNu prefers his devotees who  are 
outcastes by birth rather than caturvedis who are not his  devotees. In 
tirumAlai 40, he says that devotees of viSNu even if they  have earned the sin of 
killing and burning many animals, they will escape  the results of those sinful 
acts.  In tirumAlai 41, the author  declares that the leftover food of lowly 
persons is holy if  they are devotees of viSNu. So the issue of pollution in 
ordinary material  transaction is already dealt with by the saint-poet. 
'caturvedi' also has a  special significance with respect to Tamil Nadu where many 
brahmadeya villages  were named caturvedi mangalam) 
Advocacy  of intercaste marriage is probably too much for the commentator who 
 interprets 'giving and receiving' as referring to sharing the knowledge  
regarding viSNu. (This interpretation is similar to the one in vIrAgama you  have 
The  unit 'give, receive' is first seen in a zaivite tEvaram verse by appar 
(6-7th  century AD). The emotional nature of bhakti suggested by the contexts 
in garuDa  purANa and ziva purANa, seems to suggest the Tamil emotional  bhakti 
tradition to be the source of inspiration for the passage in  question. But 
the commentator considers the  Sanskrit passage to be the original.  This is a 
common phenomenon one can  see with respect to many medieval Tamil texts which 
were presented by their  authors as translations of Sanskrit originals as in 
the case of the  tiruviLaiyATaRpurANam dealing with the stories ziva in 

I would be very interested in the dates of the passages you have  quoted.
Thanks in advance.
In a message dated 4/21/2006 9:51:02 A.M. Central Standard Time,  
dominic.goodall at GMAIL.COM writes:

The passage is clearly  related to this one, from the uttarakha.n.da  
of the  Vaayaviiyasa.mhitaa (in the "Sivapuraa.na)

a.s.tadhaa  lak.sa.na.m praahurmama dharmaadhikaari.naam //
madbhaktajanavaatsalya.m  puujaayaa.m caanumodanam //
svayamabhyarcana.m caiva madarthe  caa.mgace.s.titam //
matkathaa"srava.ne bhakti.h svaranetraa.mgavikriyaa.h  //
mamaanusmara.na.m nitya.m ya"sca maamupajiivati //
evama.s.tavidha.m  cihna.m yasmin mlecche .api vartate //
sa viprendro muni.h "sriimaansa  yatissa ca pa.m.dita.h //
na me priya"scaturvedii madbhakto "svapaco .api  ya.h //
tasmai deya.m tato graahya.m sa ca puujyo yathaa hyaham  //

The last verse of this is quoted, without attribution, by  Jayaratha  
in his commentary
on Tantraaloka 4:203.

Cf.  this, from the 12th ullaasa of the Kulaar.navatantra:

na me  priya"scaturvedii madbhakta.h "svapaco.api vaa |
tasmai deya.m tato  graahya.m sa tu puujyo hyaha.m tathaa || 27 ||
vipra.h   .sa.dgu.nayukta"scedabhakto  na  pra"sasyate |
mleccho.api  gu.nahiino.api bhaktimaan "si.sya ucyate || 28 ||

While I am sure  Professor Aklujkar's interpretation is correct, I  
have come across  one passage where the phrase has been reused by a  
redactor who,  oddly, seems to have misunderstood it or understood it  
differently.  Towards the end of the tantraavataara pa.tala (1st or  
2nd) of the  unpublished Viiraagama, the sources I have seen seem  
corrupt, but I  think that the text probably read something like  this:

a.s.tavi.m"satibhedena "saivabheda.m vidhiiyate|
ete.saa.m  sa.mkara.m caiva na do.saaya prakalpate|
diik.sitasya sudhiirasya  "sivabhaktiratasya ca|
tasmai deya.m tato graahya.m  traivar.nikamihocyate|
adiik.sitair na "srotavya.m na deya.m yasya kasya  cit|

which may mean:

``The "saiva division [of knowledge] is  taught divided into 28  
[principal scriptures].  Mixing up [the  ritual teachings] of these  
[28] does not create problems for one who  is initiated, steadfast,  
devoted to love of "Siva.  To such a  person one should give ["Saiva  
scripture]; from such a person one  may receive ["Saiva scripture].  
This [teaching?] is here [viz.  according to the "Saiva view] taught  
to belong to those of the [top]  3 var.nas. It should not be studied  
orally by non-initiates.   It should not be given to just anyone."

Dominic  Goodall


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