Lakshmi Narayana Temple Pratishta
lsrinivas at YAHOO.COM
Mon Sep 9 06:51:07 CDT 2002
On Sun, 8 Sep 2002, Lakshmi Srinivas wrote:
>I'm not qualified to speak about the rest of your post but may I point out
> there is a disconnect between this sentence:
> > The Pandya area, the cultural center of Tamil land, has
> > hardly any Siva temples of antiquity.
> ...and this one:
> > So much incidentally for all that
> > stuff about Siva as the giver of Tamil grammar.
Well, evidently you do not know Tamil stories and evidently you have not
seen at least one popular Tamil movie with Siva devotional stories.
For your sake then ... There is a legend known from the time of
commentators of the Chola and post Chola era that Siva gave the first Tamil
grammar and there is also considerable amount of stories of late origin
which attest to the connection between early conections of Siva and Tamil.
In the opinion of most scholars, they are just stories since the early
tamil grammar and poetical works are demonstrably older by many centuries
than Siva temples. The point of the stories is simply to connect a not so
old tradition in Southern Tamilnadu viz., temple based Siva worship and a
genuinely old tradition, Tamil scholarship.
> The existence or otherwise of temples proves nothing. Perhaps Shiva
> Bhagawan was not worshipped in temples or perhaps there were temples but
> they were different types of structures than those we have today.
It was not meant to prove anything. My post was merely a response to some
one's post which revealed a set of popular assumptions, some of which are
a) Siva is the primary deity in Tamilnadu at all times in history.
This is an extrapolation backward from Chola times. If that were not the
case, then the loud silence about Siva in Classical Tamil lit (in contrast
to full throated praises of Murugan and Krishna) needs to be explained.
b) Siva temples are very old
Nothing of that sort since it is very hard to prove the existence of Siva
temples prior to 600 AD.
There can be no doubt that Siva was worshipped in personal shrines by
brahmins in early times in Tamilnadu. Siva in the early Tamil literature
always occurs only in brahmin loci, with the garhapatya fires burning even,
in one instance. But nothing of public worship.
There that should satisfy you :-)
PS: Do please read the reference I gave you. It's all in English.
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