Origin & the spread of the Cult of Kannaki (Paththini)P3

Thread started by virarajendra on 13th December 2011 07:49 AM

Author - virarajendra
copyright - virarajendra

Brought forward on account of "Aattukaala Pongala" Festival (Mahotsavam) scheduled to takes place from the 3rd of March to 12th of March at Aattukaal in Thiruvananthapuram District, Kerala, India, venerating Goddess Kannaki (Paththini = Bagawathi Amman = Maari Amman = Mangaladevi))

The origin and the spread of the Cult of Kannaki (Paththini) - Part 3

(10) New Paththini Koattam (Temple) at Poompuhar

Thiru K.S.Ramalingham of Poompuhar with a view of re-creating the earlier Paththini Koattam destroyed in the big sea erosion of former Kaviripoompattinam decided to build a new Paththini Koattam at Poompuhar. The foundation stone for same was laid by the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Kalaignar Karunanithi and (Late) "Silambuch Chelvar" Ma.Po. Sivagnanam, and on the 4th November 68. The temple was built at the expense of Thiru & Thirumathi K.S.Ramalingam and their son Thiru Rajasekaran and the Kumba Abishekam (Kadavul Mangalam with Kuda Neeraattu Vilaa) was held on the 8th July 1972.

This Paththini Koattam was built entirely of granite stone and is of a square shape where the newly carved granite stone statue of Goddess Kannaki was consecrated. This beautiful statue of Kannaki with serene features and a Silambu in the right hand was carved by Kanapathi Sthapathi the Chief Sthapathi of Maamallapuram Silpa Acadamy.

The "Kannaki Thirunaal" is being celebrated annually at this temple on the day of Anusham star in the month of Aadi (July/August). temple - day Kannaki entered heaven (demised) as per Silappathikaaram.

(11) New Silappathikaram Kalai Mantram (Art Gallery) and other Mantrams at Poompuhar

The former Minister of Tamil Nadu Kalaignar Karunanithi decided to re-create the greatness of the Kaviripoompattinam (also known as Poompuhar), which was destroyed by the big sea erosion in the second century A.D. with the help of the literary evidences of that period. Kaviripoompattinam the seaport capital city of Chola Nadu, was the birth place of Kannaki, Kovalan, Mathavi and Manimekalai. The outcome was the Silappathikaaram Kalai Mantram and other Mantrams which were built on his initiative at Poompuhar in 1973.

Silappathikaram Kalai Mantram in Poompuhar has a beautiful seven-tier building of exquisite sculptural value. The first storey is 12 feet high and the other upgoing storey's each has a height of 5 feet, on top of which a Kalasam has been erected of a height of 8 feet. making a total height of 50 feet.

The Kalai Mantram depicts the scenes from the Tamil Epic "Silappathikaram". It was opened in 1973. These exquisite scenes are immortalized in stone on the walls of the gallery. The Makara Thorana Vaayil at the entrance of the Kalai Mantram is of the same design as the Makara Thorana Vaayil at the Mangaladevi temple at Neduvelkuntram (present Mangaladevimalai) at Kumili in Kerala built by Cheran Chenguttuvan and re-discovered by the Scholar Govindaraasanaar.

The Ilanji Mandram, Paavai Mantram, Nedungkal Mantram and Kotrappandal which were the prominant public places of Poompuhar during the period of Silappathikaaram, have been re-created in this same region with much artistic beauty.

Ilanji Mantram is a building with a tank the water which was said to have cured many illnesses. Nedunkal Mantram is a building with tall pillar as landmark. Pavai Mantram is a building - where justice were done to people. 'It is said' that if any injustice has been done, the Pavai (idol) would shed tears.

The following URLs helps to have a glimpse of the Kannaki & Kovalan Statues at Silappathikaaram Kalai Mantram at the Poompuhar. The Kalai Mantram depicts the scenes from the Tamil Epic "Silappathikaram" immortalized in stone on the walls of the gallery:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...gi-Kovalan.jpg Courtesy: Vijayan - Wikipediahttp://www.indianetzone.com/photos_g...m-AG_12825.jpg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eB9q...yer_detailpage Coutesy: K.Vijayan - YouTube


(12) New Kaanaki Statue at Marina Beach in Chennai

A beautiful statue of Kannagi cast in bronze holding her anklet in one hand was installed on an elevated concrete pedestal at Marina Beach in Chennai, on the initiative and orders of the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Kalaignar Karunanithi in the year 1968. It was removed from it's location by the subsequent government in December 2001. The statue has been re-installed again at it's original location on the initiative of the former Chief Minister Kalaignar M.Karunanithi on 03-06-2006.

The following URL helps to have a glimpse of the above Kannaki statue at Marina beach, Chennai:


(13) New Kannaki Shrine at the Kailaasanaathaswamy Temple Colombo, Sri Lanka

In the region called the 'Captains Gardens' in the city of Colombo the capital of Sri Lanka, there is a Siva temple known as the Sri Kailaasanaathaswamy Thirukkoyil (Devasthanam) - the “Kaileswarem". This temple is said to have been built in the year 1796 A.D. and is presently run by a Trustee Board comprising of all Chettiars, very well managed with all Poosai Valipaadukal and all Temple Rituals conducted daily.

The Trustee Board of this Temple came to know of the Panchaloka Icons of Goddess Kannaki cast at Swamimalai at Thanjavur by the Sthapathi (Late) Devasenathipathy and his sons on the request of the late "Silambuch Chelvar " Ma. Po. Sivagnanam of Tamil Nadu, with his own personal guidance to the Sthapathis on the iconographic details to be incorporated in the two Panchaloka Icons to be consecrated in a Kannaki Temple.

These Kannaki icons were intended to be consecrated in a stone temple to be built to Kannaki at Koodaloor district of Tamil Nadu, adjacent to the Kumili District of Kerala where the Chera Emperor Chenguttuvan built a stone temple to Goddess Kannaki in the year A.D 115, now in a dilapitated condition still not renovated by the Archaeological Survey of India.

The bigger Icon of Kannaki 6 ft in height with the Thiruvaasi cast in the shape of a Silambu was to be consecrated within the Karuvarai of this temple, and the small Icon 2 ft in height also with a Thiruvaasi in the shape of a Silambu was to be taken around as the “elluntharuli Icon” of Kannaki during the festive seasons.

A ten acre land to build this temple and a monetary fund to cast these Panchaloka Icons were provided by the then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister (Late) Dr.M.G.Ramachandran around the year A.D.1982. The Chief Minster demised on the 24th of December 1987, and thereafter the Government Officials entrusted with the Chief Minister’s Order failed to execute same effectively and neither the land nor the balance monetary fund (less the advance already paid to the Sthapathi) was given to the Initiators of this Project which prevented the construction of the intended Kannaki temple at Koodaluur in Tamil Nadu.

The completed Icons were recommended by the then Government Officials to be kept in Tamil Nadu Tourist Board office as a Tourist attraction, which was refused by the Sthapathi and the Initiators of this Project and remained idle for quite some time.

It was at this time the Trustee Board of Chettiars of the Kailaasanaathaswamy temple, Colombo, Sri Lanka came to know of the sad plight of this Project and paid the balance due on the payment to the Sthapathi and took the two Icons to Sri Lanka.

They built a beautiful Karuvarai in the corner of the Kailasanatha Swamy Temple in the form of a 'Ratham' (Temple Chariot) and the main Kannaki Statue has been enshrined in same.

Finally the fine pieces of Panchaloka Icons work of 'Tamilian Metal Art' by the great Sthapathi of Tamil Nadu Late "Devasenathipathy" - "which should have" adorned the New Granite Kannaki (Paththini) Temple that was intended to be built at Koodalur district in Tamil Nadu adjacent to the Kumili District of Kerala, under the great initiative of Late M.P.Sivagnanam - Leader of "Tamil Arasu Katchchi" of then Tamil Nadu, under the patronage of then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.G Ramachandran found it's way to Sri Lanka with no New Granite Temple too being built at Koodalur, due to the 'gross negligence and un-patriotic attitude' of the "Governmental Officers" after the death of this Chief Minister.

The Photos of these Icons are sequenced as follows ;

(1) Front view of Kannaki under Silambu shaped Thiruvaasi.
(2) Rear View of Kannaki under Silambi shaped Thiruvaasi.
(3) Front view of smaller “elluntharuli Icon” of Kannaki taken around during the festive seasons.
(4) The stationary Ratham (enclosed Chariot) shaped Karuvarai built adjacent to Kailasanather (Sivan) Temple where Kannaki Icon is enshrined.





(14) Epilogue

The Kannaki (Paththini) Cult was initiated by the Chera Emperor Cheran Chenguttuvan on the request of his Queen Venmaal after the great tragedy that took place at Mathurai, and at Neduverl Kuntram (at present Kumily) coupled with the miraculous events that took place therein, lead her to be elevated as a great woman of Godly nature and powers among the people triggering her worship as a Goddess. With the initiation of her worship by carving her statue and consecrating same in a temple specially built in granite with the Poosai Valipaadukal and Velvi Valipaadukal being conducted in the presense of many king of different countries made spread all over Chera country (Kerala), Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu and Tulu country of present Karnataka. With the Sanskritisation of religion in Tamil Nadu, during the time of Pallavas it appears Kannaki temples gradually were changed into various Amman temples, where as in some areas it was specifically known as Maari Amman.

https://youtu.be/VOkVWDKzkag Courtesy: Ashoksunder Films


(15) Some confusions & contradictions on Silappathikaaram & Manimekalai made by few Scholars

It is observed that some Scholars have expressed their views on the date of Silappathikaaram & Manimekalai on the contents of these two texts, which are much in contradictory to the informations we presently have, and needs immediate correction.

The following URL helps us to have a study of the views of some Scholars on Silappathikaaram & Manimekalai

(1) Contradiction: Scholar Swamikannu Pillai on the basis of astronomical data concluded that (the) period of (Silappathikaaram) was 756 C.E, where as Scholar Rajarao on (the) same basis concluded the date of Shilappadigaram as 465 C.E

Answer: The two Scholars referred above have arrived at two different dates falling much far apart, eventhough they both based their findings on the same astronomical details given in Silappathikaaram. How much trust can anyone place to arrive at the date of Silappathikaaram by this 'unreliable method', based on scanty details.

(2) Contradiction: As per Scholar K.K Pillai the probable composition (of Silappathikaaram) took place in 500 C.E, (while) Scholar Vaiyaapuri Pillai fixed the period at 800 C.E.

Answer: I understand from another source that Scholar Vaiyaapuri Pillai fixed the date based on the etymological study of Tamil Language used in these two epics. The results arrived at by Scholars on the period of a Literary or Religious compositions purly on the linguistic and etymological basis, cannot always be taken as the positive guidance in estimating the period of a work. It could only be a rough guidance "in the absense of any other evidences," but not in the face of many other historical evidences which are already available in the text of these works.

Further it is very unfortunate that these two Scholars failed to realize that during the period mentioned by them, the Kalabhra and Pallava kings have already gained grounds in Tamil Nadu. How is that there is no mention whatsoever about them in Silappathikaaram and Manimekalai, if they belonged to the period of 500 C.E or 800 C.E.

Could it be confirmed by any Scholar, that the Yavanas (Greeks & Romans and Indo-Greeks) who were present in Tamil Nadu and India during the period of Silappathikaaram & Manimekalai, were also present even in 500 C.E or 800 C.E. - the period of Kalabras & Pallavas.

The Sathakarni kings of the Sathavahana dynasty referred in Silappathikaaram too disappeared in the history of India by 300 C.E. So how could Silappathikaaram be dated to 500 C.E or 800 C.E.

If we take the date given by the above two Scholars as that of Silappathikaaram, can any Scholar confirm that the great Kaviripoompattinam (Poompuhar) that existed "with the tall buildings of the Yavana (Romans) Traders" - as per Silappathikaaram too existed during the period of Kalabras & Pallavas who ruled Tamil Nadu. No - as Kaviripoompattinam (Poompuhar - the Chola seaport capital of this period) as mentioned in Silapathkaaram, has been swallowed up by the sea (Tsunami) just few years after the great tragedy at Mathurai, which too is confirmed in Silappathikaaram.

My suggestion is that the Literary Scholars trying to fix the date of ancient Literary works should not base their conclusions purly on etymological & linguistic grounds, but should arrive at same paying much attention to the historical informations in those literary works, and co-relate them to the historical "time line" of Tamil Nadu and India. Hence these dates claimed by the above two Scholars could be rejected, but with much respect to them.

(3) Contradiction: Scholar Prof K.A.N Shastri has declared that Shilappadigaram and Manimegalai are the two hoaxes of 800 C.E in which the author pretends to be contemporary of Senguttavan.

Answer: The above reference to a statement "said to have been made by Prof K.A.N Sastri" is found to be totally in-correct, and I have still not come across of same in any books of this 'respected Scholar'.

Even if it was made by 'some other Scholar', it is very unfortunate that he has made such a remark. Both Silappathikaaram and Manimekalai are by no means a hoax, as this "Cult of Kannaki" is existing even today nearly 1900 years later in some parts of Kerala, and 'to some extent' among the Sinhala Buddhist population & the Tamil Hindu population in Sri Lanka, and also in Tamil Nadu in transformed form as "Maari Amman Valipaadu".

Again the dating of this Scholar too is wrong. As mentioned earlier if Silappathikaaram was of the period 800 C.E. then why is it the earlier Kalabras & subsequent Pallavas are not mentioned anywhere in these two Epics, and why are the Yavanas (Greeks & Romans) referred in these Epics didnot exist in the year 800 C.E in Tamil Nadu. Also why are the Sathavaahana kings mentioned in Silappathikaram too disppeared in the Indian History during this period of 800 C.E. I think who ever the Scholar is, he too have been mislead by Scholar Swamikannu Pillai's wrong prediction on the date of Silappathikaaram based on astronomical data in same.

Also we are aware from the Velvikkudi cheppedukal, Seevaramangala cheppedukal, Sinnamanur cheppedukal, which speaks of Pandiya kings after king Kadungoan who relieved the Paandiya Nadu from the clutches of Kalabhra kings, have no mention whatsoever of Pandiyan Ariyapadai kadantha Neduncheliyan and Vetrivet Cheliyan of the Silappathikaaram period. Hence it is clear that it was long before the Kalabhra invasion of Tamil Nadu that these two king existed, and the two epics donot fall to the period mentioned by this Scholar being 800 C.E.

Further in the core text of Silappathikaaram in 'Varam tharu Kaathai', and in the 'Pathikam' text of same, it is stated that Ilango Adikal was the younger brother of Cheran Chenguttuvan and (obviously) was his contemporary. He was present at the time the Poet Saaththanaar related the entire story of Kannaki to Cheran Chenguttuvan. Ilango Adikal was also present at the time of consecration of the Kannaki statue at the newly built temple at Kumily in Kerala as seen from the Silappathikaaram.

(4) Contradiction: It has been pointed out in the above Website (URL given), as to how the king Kayavaaku of Silappathikaaram came to be known as the equivalent of king Gajabaahu of Sri Lanka.

Answer: It should be noted the name Gajabaahu of the king of Sri Lanka has three Sinhalese alphabets, the "Ga", "Ja", and "Bha" as also in Sanskrit. There are no such alphabets in Tamil, and hence the Tamil equivalent of this name with the Tamil alphabets becomes Kayavaahu.

(5) Contradiction: It has been also said elsewhere by some Scholars that the Gajabaahu under reference in Silappathikaaram is in fact the Gajabaahu - 2 and not Gajabaahu - 1 of Sri Lanka.

Answer: It shoud be noted Gajabaahu - 2 ruled Sri Lanka from A.D.1131-1153. This period is long after the period of Chola supremacy over northern half of Sri Lanka from A.D.1002 to A.D.1078, which lasted 76 years. Hence how could Cheran Chenguttuvan, Paandiyan Neduncheliyan & Chola Nedumudikkilli, and the Roman Traders mentioned in Silappathikaaram, all be present during the period of Gajabahu - 2 being the 'post - medieval Chola period'. Further Sri Lankan chronicle named 'Rajavaliya' too positively attributes the Silappathikaaram connection to Gajabaahu - 1 and not to Gajabaahu - 2.

The following URLs will help to do a study of the geneology of the Sri Lankan kings during the period of Gajabaahu - 1 & Gajabaahu - 2.

(6) Contradiction: It has also been pointed out by some Scholars elswhere that the Silappathikaaram & Manimekalai were not true stories but created by Poet Ilango Adikal and Poet Saaththanaar as themes to their two epic poems, with events in the poetic works too created to draw the interest of the readers, and not a true story.

Answer: I regret the Readers and Others citing the views of these Scholar's who have made wrong deductions on Silappathikaarem & Manimekalai, and request them to study through my Threads thoroughly, inclusive of the visits to the Websites given therein, and also to view the YouTube leads given to be more enlightened on this subject matter.

From Silappathikaaram we further note the kings who were present at the consecration ceremony, were denoted as the Ariya kings who were released from the temporary prisons and the kings released from permanent prisons the Kongu king of Kudaku country, the Maluwa (Malawa) king, and king Kayavaaku of ocean surrounded Ilankai (Sri Lanka).


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