Saturday, September 13, 2008

Deivathin Kural # 56 of (Vol 2) of 04 Dec 2007.

Om Namah Sivaya.

Deivathin Kural # 56 of (Vol 2) of 04 Dec 2007.

(Note 1. We are to remind the readers that herein, 'he' as a word stands for 'she' as well. When Tamil or Sanskrit words are transliterated in English, the single vowel will indicate a short utterance and a double vowel will indicate a longer pronounciation. Words in Sanskrit script not being available, the transliteration spellings and thereby the pronounciation, especially of names may be at variance from what it should be! Note 2. It may please be noted that the talk is dated some time in the late 1950's and early 60's.)


1. In the basic books of the Hindu religion, after Vedas come their 'six parts' or 'Shadangangal'. When you think of Vedas as a person or a 'murthy', that Veda Purusha has many parts. The six important parts are Mouth, Nose, Eyes, Ears, Hands and Legs, known as 'Shad = six; angas = parts' or 'shadangas'. This has become 'sadangu' to mean any function or a formal meeting. Thevaaram calls 'Siva Peruman', "...vedamodu aaru angam aayinaan...", to mean, '...the one who became six partite with Vedas...'.

Inscriptions on Stones and Copper Plates.

2. In the olden times all the Dharma Saasanas were recorded inscribed on Stones. In those days, the Temple was the 'Sub-Registrar's Office' for recording important events for posterity. In Trivankoor Samasthanam, there was an employee called, 'Thiru Mandira Olai'. Till recently, every King or Nawab or Sultan, had that person as part of the bureaucracy, like a private secretary of the present day. His job was to write whatever the King or Nawab says in a palm-leaf. Then he is required to send it to the person who has to act upon the orders of the Ruler. Those days, whosoever does some Dharmam or Dhanam, he should inform the King. He will make an order. That order will be written by 'Mandira Olaikkaran', saying that 'it should be so recorded in Stone and Copper'. That will be sent to that city or town or village concerned. They will arrange to record it in the Temple walls by engraving on stone as a permanent record.

3. 'Sembil vettikkolvathu', meant that these records were made on copper plates, which was evidently an advancement in technology. Inscribed engraved on metal plates, the wordings were more legible. More than one plate meant there was a hole made in the top corner, through which a metal ring was inserted. These copper plates were kept in the Temples, in an underground safe room called, 'Kshemam'. The social life itself was handed over to God and kept in safe custody. So Temple was the Registrar's Office and the Epigraphy Office. Let this matter be aside. I am coming to the 'Sabha' or 'Council' in each village or town.

4. In each town was a 'Sabha' manned by Brahmins, who knew the Vedas and Mantra Braahmanam. There was a well established method of selection. Known criminals and their relatives were proscribed from becoming a member. Names of all those aspirants who wanted to become a member, were written on seperate palm-leafs and placed inside a pot and a child was asked to pick out the names at random. You became a member, if your name happens to be picked up. This procedure was clearly explained in a stone engraving, in the Temple in Uttara Meroor.

5. The Sabha had many branches. There was a committee for water supply. There was one for levying taxes. Whether you donate land or money or cattle to the Temple, or arranged for the lighting up of the Temple premises for 'Akhanda Deepam', and so on; all such actions were through that Sabha. They will approve of it. Then they will sign it as, "...inganam sabhaiyom!...". Many names of the signatories are now known through such engravements. Some of those names are prefixed by, 'shad karma nirathan' or 'shadangavi' or 'shadangavit'. All those words mean the same thing. 'shad + angam + vit', that is, some one who knows all the six parts of the Vedas. This reveals that, there were many who were knowing all the six parts of the Vedas in many of the small villages of South India and that they were respected people of the society and that practice of Vedas and Vaidik activities were widely prevalent in the whole of Tamil Nadu! That is why, Vaidik activities came to be known by one common name of, 'shadangu'. One more piece of irrefutable evidence is that, 'Sundaramurthy Swamigal' is one of the four from amongst the 63 Nayanmars known as, 'Saivak kuravar naalvar'. When, Sundaramurthy Swamigal was being offered a girl in marriage, the name of the father of the girl so offered was, 'Shadangavi Sivachariyar'!

Six Parts.

6. The six parts are: Sikshai(Phonetics), Vyakaranam(Grammer), Niruktam(Glossary), Kalpam(Methods of Karma Anushtana), Chandas(Metre in Poetry), and Jyotisham(Astrology). A Brahmin was required to know his branch of the Veda and all these six parts of the Vedas. For Veda Purusha, Sikshai is the Nose; Vyakaranam is the Face or the Mouth; (that is, you speak correctly or blabber!); Kalpam is the Hand; Niruktam is the Ear; Chandas the Feet; and Jyotisham is the Eye. What is colloquially known as Josyam, is also Jyotisham only. We will also know as to why each part has been described as a body part; as we go along with detailed explanations of each part. We will find the description quite appropriate. We will start with Sikshai.




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