Early Ganapathy worship
  • Earliest Ganapathy is the veerapuram vinayagar attributed to 2nd BC.

    Pillayarpatti is 6th century - contemporary or little early than pallava

    Kailasanatha has nice ganapathi.

    Absence of vinayaka in Thevaram is due to the fact that kanathipathiyam remained as an independent religion. ref trichy cave temple.

    culmination of this sub sect into saivism happened in chola period

  • Thanks Gokul and VJ for your valuable inputs.
  • dear gokul,

    Thanks - but i am reposting one of your earlier mails. second para - you
    attribute to 3rd -4th C. any reason for moving this date to 6th C in your
    latest mail.

    The veerapuram terracota image is indeed an interesting find.

    Check Google books : Ganesh: studies of an Asian god, By Robert L. Brown

    Pg 67, has a sketch of the idol
    pg 51,52 has the description of the same

  • What is the etymology of the word Pillaiyar, how did come to refer to Vinayagar?
  • Dear all

    Not in town for 2 days and missed lot of action on Ganapathi.

    1. Ganapathi mention is Tamil Litrature: Kalladam a sangam litrature statrts with Ganapathi Prayer

    2. Thevaram mentions Ganapathi in one song

    a. The First song before recitation of thevaram itself a Ganapathi worship thevaram by Sambandar. It is Valivalam Thevaram . Pidiyadan uru umai kola .......Ganapathi vara Arulinan Valivalam Iraye

    The other thevara sthalams thoruchengotankudi is called ganapatheeswaram as Ganapathi installed the Lingam. Kachi Anaekadavangadam another place where Ganapathi installed the lingam. Anegadam is elephant. The third Achiru Pakkam got its name where the axle of siva was broken by ganapathi. ( he went for thirupura samharam at Thiruvadigai w.o. worshipping Ganapathy) Will check these thevarams and come back if any mention is there 2 maroow.

    3. The Deekshitar song on Vatapi Ganapathi is on the Vathapi Ganapathi in Thiruvarur. ( Not on Thiruchengotankudi)There is another Vatapi Ganapathi there. Kanchi Paramacharya's view is that these Ganapathi's are not from Vatapi but either the Ganapati who killed Vatapi or the Ganapati in vatapi style.

    4. ancient Vishnu Temples like Srirangam, Thirukkoshtiyur, Koiladi, Thiruvidandai all have a separaet shirine for Ganesh, The primary reason is he is the one who destroys all obstacles and has the first right for puja.

    5. Ganapti means head of Shivas Gana. Vaishnavam calls him as Vishwaksenar which give simillar meaning.

    6. Pillayar means the respected son ( of siva)

    7. Pillayarpatti is of 4th century - The style of letters in the sanctum and the unique signature of the shilpi corresponds to 4th century.

    I am from Karaikudi. Till 88, there was not any crowd there and people were allowed to go inside ( removing shirts). There is another Garbagraha inside , next to Pillayarfor siva called thiruveesar. The Lingam is inbuilt in cave. Now people are not allowed inside. But you can see it is being written as Karpaga Vinayakar- Thiruveesar at the entrance.There is a separate shirine for his consort Sivagami.

    The other shiva temple inside ( which is one of the family temple of Nagarathars) is of later Pandyas. Arjunavanesar and Ashoka kusumambal.

    The Thriuveesar and Sivagami are of earlier Pandyas.
  • Dear Sankar,
    Thanks for setting the record straight and all the fascinating
  • Dear shankar

    What dates are you ascertaining to the thevarm verses .
  • > - but i am reposting one of your earlier mails. second para - you
    > attribute to 3rd -4th C. any reason for moving this date to 6th C in

    A study of kudaivarais all over southern tamilnadu and the architecture of pillailarpatti leads to the surmise that it cannot be that early. Earlier date was based on paleography but the new suggestion is based on temple architecture.

    Pillaiyarpatti inscription provides the first evidence of pulli in tamil characters (ref Pulli thantha pillaiyar by Scholar Iravatham)

    - Kalladam is now being assigned to a much later date. Not a sangam work historically. It is actually assigned to chola period (10 cen).
  • Dear Gokul

    The temple architecture is all about the addition to the Kudavarai

    Both the temples of Pillayarpatti and Thirumayam have an additional construction around the Cave.

    The additional extension is of later period but the question is on the age of the cave temple.

    The Marudeesar shirine of Pillayarpatti is of later Pandyas but the sanctum is Earlier Pandyas.

    Need your views and clarifications
  • Dear Friends

    Originally we started the discussion with no mention of Gnapathi in Thevaram

    But once the references are given, now we want to say thevaram is 6th century, There is an addition to Pillayarpatti temple etc.

    1. Most of our Sangam Litrature is lost, what remains is little
    2. Even we got a fraction of thevaram

    Trying to pinpoint religion and worship with the available litrature is not going to give any result.

    I am not a Hindutva person but i do get a feeling that sombody is trying to push the dates to "After" of a particular religious figure.
  • hi gokul

    Nice. When you have time, can you elaborate on the stylistic attributes of
    pillayar patti cave.
  • www.varalaaru.com/Default.asp?articleid=607

    *புள்ளி* *தந்த* *பிள்ளையார்*!
    ஐராவதம் மகாதேவன்

    காரைக்குடிக்கும் திருப்பத்தூருக்கும் இடையிலுள்ள பிள்ளையார்பட்டி தலத்தையும்
    அங்கு எழுந்தருளியிருக்கும் கற்பகவிநாயகப் பெருமானையும் அறியாதவர் தமிழகத்தில்
    இருக்கமாட்டார்கள். அங்குள்ள் குடைவரைக் கோயிலில் பொறிக்கப்பட்டுள்ள ஒரு சிறிய
    கல்வெட்டு பல முக்கியமான கண்டுபிடிப்புகளுக்குச் சான்றாக இருப்பது பலருக்கு

    *பிள்ளையார்பட்டிக் குடைவரை*

    பிள்ளையார்பட்டிக் குடைவரை மிகவும் தொன்மையானது. சுமார் 40 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு
    முன்னர் வரை இக்குடைவரை கி.பி. 7-ம் நூற்றாண்டில் பல்லவ மன்னன் மகேந்திரவர்மன்
    காலத்தில் அமைக்கப்பட்டது என்றும் அதிலுள்ள இரு கருக்கு(புடைப்பு)ச் சிற்பங்கள்
    பல்லவ மன்னர்களின் உருவங்கள் என்றும் அறிஞர்கள் கருதி வந்தனர். இச்செய்திகளையே
    கம்பன் அடிப்பொடி சா.கணேசன் 1955-ல் எழுதிய 'பிள்ளையார்பட்டித் தல வரலாறு' என்ற
    நூலின் முதற் பதிப்பில் குறிப்பிட்டிருக்கிறார்.

    அதன் பின்னர் தொல்லியல் அறிஞர் டாக்டர் இரா.நாகசாமி இக்குடைவரைச் சிற்பங்களை
    மீண்டும் நுணுக்கமாக ஆராய்ந்து பல்லவ மன்னர்களின் உருவங்கள் என்று தவறாகக்
    கருதப்பட்டவை ஹரிஹரர், இலிங்கோத்பவர் ஆகிய மூர்த்திகளின் சிற்பங்கள் என்றும்,
    பாண்டிய நாட்டில் பல்லவர் ஆட்சி செய்ததாக வரலாறு இல்லாமையால், இக்குடைவரைக்
    கோயிலைப் பாண்டிய மன்னர்களே நிர்மாணித்திருக்க வேண்டும் என்றும், சிற்ப
    அமைதியின் அடிப்படையில் இக்குடைவரை பல்லவ மகேந்திரவர்மன் காலத்துக்கு முந்தையது
    என்றும் பல அரிய உண்மைகளை முதன்முதலாக வெளிப்படுத்தினார்.

    *பண்டைய கல்வெட்டு*

    1965-ல் நாகசாமி என்னிடம் ஒரு போட்டோவைத் தந்து "இது பிள்ளையார்பட்டிக்
    குடைவரையில் பொறிக்கப்பட்டுள்ள மிகப் பழமையான கல்வெட்டு; இதை இதுவரை யாரும்
    சரியாகப் படிக்கவில்லை; உங்களால் முடியுமா பாருங்கள்" என்று கூறினார். அக்
    கல்வெட்டு 1936-ல் மையத் தொல்லெழுத்தியல் துறையினரால் முதன்முதலாகப்
    படியெடுக்கப்பட்டு பின்வருமாறு வாசிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது:

    க் கொற்றூரு (ஐஞ்) சன் (1)*

    இக்கல்வெட்டு பழ
  • dear Shankar

    I am sorry, but where did anyone say that there was no reference in
    Thevaram. We started with Vathapi Ganapathy and the fact that there are no
    references to Ganesha during Mahendra pallava's excavations. You can see my
    post which i had placed earlier as to the absence of Ganesha icons in
    Mallai. the first entry is made during the works of Raja simha Pallava - in
    the shore temple and then onwards in the Kanchi Kailasantha temple.

    We then discussed Pillayar patti as being dated defn prior to Mahendra
    Pallava. How far back is a point of contention with even learned scholars
    not coming to an aggrement.

    You had placed the relevant thevaram verses, which are dated to including
    the authors to later than the period we are discussing.

    Hinduism evolved as a religion imbibing lot of local flavor along the way,
    and for a mature discussion, we must be able to accept it with an open mind.
  • Dear Vj Kumar

    So we have progrssed on Pillayar Like

    y 6th Century

    The indications are Ganapathi worship was there before the Vatapi conquest.

    The Ganabatheeswarams namely

    Thiruchengotankudi and Kanchi Anekadnkavadam were pre Thevaram period.

    There are lot of mention on Vedas and Velvis in Sangam litrature ( I already read about the poor Father Visiting a Malaysian Police station daily in the archieve and dont mind to be called one) the worship of all vedic gods must be in practise in Tamilnadu.
  • Dear Vijay

    The discussions started with thevaram no mentioning Ganapathi, for which the reply was " Ganapathyam" being a different sect.

    That is where i started writing and included Pillayarpatti.

    Some how there is a feeling in Tamilnadu for not accepting the mention of Veadas, Velvis and Vediyar in Sangam Litrature ( Refer the Poor Father visiting a Malaysian Police station daily story quoted in the archieves)

    If Vedas are referred in Sangam, then all the Vedic Gods should also be worshipped.

    If Murugan, Thirumal, Indiran, Kotravai, Mayavan are all worshipped, then Vinayaga also should be worshipped.

    The issue of openness is also in accepting the mention of Vedas and Velvis of in Sangam
  • dear sir

    i stand corrected. i did go back on this thread and saw member Prasanna's
    query as below

    " But if we notice there is no mention of Lord Ganesha in any of our early
    Tamil literature. Even I had heard that there is no mention of Ganesha in
    Thevaaram also. It would be great if anyone can share some related
    information on the missing Lord Ganesha in Tamil literature.
  • Dear Friend

    Please understand that we lost most of our litrature both Tamil and Vedic not only beacuse of invasions but also due to our negligence.

    Whatever little Sangam Litratue is available is a very small of the original ( Thanks to Tamil Thatha)

    Again Nambiyandar Nambi saved part of thevaram

    Even a fraction of Vedas is available ( of 1000 Parts of Sama Veda only 4 is surviving) A small part of Adarva Veda is remaining due to the efforts of Kanchi Paramacharya.

    We dont have a direct reference in Sangam Litrature.Need to take the circumferential prrofs. Vedam and Velvi's presence and reverence in Sangam Litrature and hence all the vedic gods should have been worshipped.

    I just went through an article on ayaappan in Varalaru.com in which the author is giving out references to prove that Sastha is post 6th Century or Buddist God.

    He cleverly hides the reference of the Sastha in Kanchi Kamakshi Temple in Silappadigaram and the various Sathan poets of Sangam Litrature ( Not seethalai sathanar)

    I now seriously feel whether there is an effort to push all Hindu gods to a period of " AFTER SOMEBODY's DEATH"
  • My dearest friend

    I am not sure if you know us well enough to hint what you are hinting. Dont
    want to end a good discussion on such a note.

    I am asking a straight question and request for a straight answer. You
    mentioned that there references to ganesha worship in sangam works - we
    would like to know if there are, please give us the references. If there are
    not, we will continue to search.
  • Friend

    I have not said about a direct reference in Sangam Litrature. I refered to Kalladam which is i referred to belonging to sangam era.

    Asking for a direct proof from the society, which have lost most of its works is surprising.
  • dear venkat

    there is a wonderful article of dr nagaswamy on the same. will seek his
    permission and reproduce.
  • Dear Venkat

    I am from Karaikudi and till 1988 there would be maximum of 10 people in any given day.
    The crowd started swelling after the dewasthanam started printing the photographs and the fame started spreading.

    Till 88, they allowed people to go inside the cave ( sanctum) by removing the shirt and people can go very clsoe to swami.

    I was much younger and whatever i remeber i reporoduce.

    Currently we can see only the Pillayar. To His left, there is a corridor ( or say varandah)of equal size. 2 or 3 Pillars ( 2 if i am right) are there to support. In the wall next to Pillayar a statue of a king is carved in the cave. I remeber the figure of a small person also with the king.

    There are epigraph on the wall, pillar and the sides. There is another sanctum facing east ( cave) with a big lingam called thiruveesar. On the side walls also ithink there areepigraphs.

    The Ganesh in all probability is having a lingam on his right hand - In kavacham, they have made it a prominent Lingam- but without kavacham it looks like all modak, fruit and lingam.

    installed is on the other cave is the one he is carrying.

    ( The shilpi had done in that way. It is man made temple only and the Lingm is not a swayambu or deva pradishta. the shilpi has made it look like Vinayaga carrying a lingam)

    It a bigger cave than what is visible for public today. It has another shirine for shiva inside.
  • This is from dr rn paper on some contributions of the pandya to south
    indian art

    The image that was considered to be a pallava king with his two
    assistants has been identified as harihara. The reasoning is due to
    the hair style. One side is jata makuta and other half is karanda
    makuta. So he postulates that its harihara. The two assistants could
    be garuda ( though depicted without the beak and wings)since he has
    both his hands across his chest in an anjali pose. The other could be
    nandhi or chandesa. Since nadhi is usually depicted with horns, and
    the image doesn't have it, it could be chandesa. Apart from the diff
    in headdress there is not other distinguishing feature between the two
    sides (only two arms. No attributes r held - image is in samabhanga,
    left hand on hip katyavalambita and the right is varada bboon giving

    The other fig on the side wall of the sanctum is identified as
    lingothbhava ( no clear attributes but headdress is full jatamakuta)
    and below waist we can see faintly a square pillar.

    This is from me !!

    The paper also has the photographs of the sculptures and what ganesha
    seems to be holding a cylindrical object but in his left hand ! The
    paper however doesn't discuss this. Will check this and revert
  • > Dear Venkat
    > I am from Karaikudi ...

    Dear Shankar

    thats wonderful

    both I and palaniappan vairam of "karka nirka'blog hail from nearby devakottai.

  • Funny, I thought we lost the knowledge more than these literature texts :-)

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