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Post Info TOPIC: Vedic Roots of Hindu Iconography R. Nagaswamy CHAPTER-9 Āgama in theory and Practise


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Vedic Roots of Hindu Iconography R. Nagaswamy CHAPTER-9 Āgama in theory and Practise

Vedic Roots of Hindu Iconography

R. Nagaswamy


Āgama in theory and Practise


Āgamas may in a very general way be defined as “Scriptures that  deal with worship of God in Temples”.  Āgama is also called Samhita or Tantra. There are different interpretations of the word Tantra but one good meaning assigned occurs in a Śaiva Āgama:


tanoti vipulān arthān mantra tantra samudbhavān

trātaṇam ca kurute yasmāt tantra ityabhidīyate


That weaves vast knowledge from Vedic hymns (mantra) and bodily gestures (tantra)  and confers salvation is Tantra.


Āgamas presuppose the existence of Vedas and Itihāsa, Purāṇas and use Vedic tradition considerably especially from the Kalpa Sūtras. As rudimentary aspects of Āgamas are found in Vedas there are two alternate opinions that a) Āgamas predate Vedas and b) they  co terminate with Vedas. Consequently it is claimed that Vedas are of general scriptures while Āgamas are specific scriptures and both are of equal validity. S.N Dasgupta in his monumental work on History of Indian philosophy considered that Āgamas originated in South India as the vast body of Agamic literature has been found came from South but this opinion has been modified with the many works and commentary that have come to light and published in recent times. In this connection the sustained work of the French Institute of Indology Pondicherry deserves special praise as it has brought many critical editions that have widened our knowledge on the role of Āgamas. A study of surviving monuments of northern part of India do show that Āgamas are all Indian in character and the mediaeval temples can not be interpreted without a knowledge of Āgamas. It is wrong to hold that Āgamas are confined only to India but have influenced the whole of Southeast Asian countries as Cambodia, and so on where specific references are found to Āgamas in inscriptions. The great temples of Angkor Vat and Angkor Thom prove their use. Further Āgamas are not confined only to Śaiva, Vaiṣṇava, and Śākta traditions alone but are equally prevalent among the Buddhists and Jains who use Āgamas in their temple worship. I may also say that the two thousand years of Indian Art and architecture may broadly be divided into two periods, the first thousand years being dominated by the Purāṇic legends and unity of the Trinity concept, the sculptures giving importance to narration of the legend, while the second phase shifted the emphasis on the main figure jettisoning the associate legendary elements with  the dominance of Āgamic code that gradually brought in some rigidity. Without a proper knowledge of Purāṇas and Āgamas, the lifestyle of whole of Indian and South east Asian people  can not be  understood. And yet these two are the most neglected studies in the Universities. The Madras University deserves to be congratulated for organising this seminar which we may hope will give the required dimension to this aspect. As early as 1961 His holiness Śrī Chandrasekharendra Paramāchārya svāmikal of Kāñci Kāmakōṭi matha Organised and continued the Āgama Śilpa Vyasa Bharata kalādi sadas for several years that did much to expose the second part of the 20th cent to this body of knowledge.


Āgamas do not confine themselves to Temple rituals alone but are comprehensive in nature and deal with Mathematics, Astronomy, Town planning, Architecture, selection of material, Arts and crafts, Music and Dance, Yoga, Medicine and so many other requirements of human life.


Inscriptions record the migration of Āgamic scholars and practitioners from Kashmir, Āryadesa, Gauda deśa and Madhya deśa to the South from 8th to 13th cent and also scholars from Tamil chola country to Kasi during that period. It is therefore a knowledge system that has been mutually complementary, each influencing the other.


Rājasimha Pallava the builder of the monuments of Māmallapuram calls himself Āgama-pramāṇaḥ and Āgama-anusari in inscriptions. There is the famous village of Uttaramerūr near Chennai where there is a temple built in the 8th cent Pallava times which speaks of Residents of the village well learned in Āgamas and also  their usage āgamavidais grāme prayoganvitaiḥ who guided the construction of the temple which is praised as the resplendent Sun among the temples. This proves that building temples were guided by the Āgamic texts.


I would cite another important illustration. The Khandariya Mahādeva temple at Khajuraho is the most famous of the temples of Madhyapradesh. Built around 1025 (contemporary with Gaṅgaikonḍa chōḻapuram) the Temple is on a high pedestal raises to a great height with a Śikhara like Meru mountain and surrounded by Kulaparvatas and other smaller Śikharas. The temple reflects the personality of the philosophy on which the whole edifice is erected. It is known that Meru is identical with Jñāna, The Śrīvidyā of the Upaśākhās. The Vidyā is the culmination of knowledge and is built over mantras, yantras, followed by ritual worship – tantra. So an edifice comes up as a supreme principle by combining all these factors as in the sacrificial altar where vedic hymns are used. It is the Vedi over which the flame raises the flame of knowledge. How are these hymns compiled? They are compiled by akṣaras (syllables), padas (words), and the combination of padas into mantras (hymns). The akṣaras are the base adhiṣṭhāna over which the whole structure of knowledge emanates and in the case of the structure the vimāna raises on the base which carries the same akṣaras. What are the akṣaras? Akṣaras are formed by mātrikas, the syllables that give life to the sound. So also the base in this temple shows the seven mātrikas which are the gaṇas.The Svacchanta bhairava tantra the foremost Āgamic text of bhairava tantra from Kashmir identifies each mātrika with a akṣara gaṇa. They are called matṛgaṇa. The Khandariya Mahadeva temple has these mātrikas Brāhmī, Māheśvarī, Kaumārī, Vaiṣṇvaī, Vārāhī, Indrāni  and Chāmuṇḍa with Ganeśa and Vīrabhadra on the base. Such a distribution is called in the Tantra Vidyā Pīṭha. The temple from base to top is conceived physically as vimāna and metaphysically as the cream of knowledge that takes to the spaceless timeless bindu, the pinnacle on top which merges with the cosmos. The merging of physical with the metaphysical the purpose of the Tantra is beautifully illustrated in this great temple which has the Saptamātas distributed on all around which includes the Ganeśa and Vīrabhadra. But their distribution in clockwise direction begins with Chāmuṇḍa. This can also be demonstrated in the south. In the great Naṭarāja temple of Chidambaram, the Dīkṣitas invoke the Pīṭha of the temple in the same order. The Chidambara kṣetra sarvasva the text followed in the Chidambaram gives the graphic description of the Chidsabha as looked upon by both men and the celestials.


सुरासुर मनुष्य लक्षित ष्रुति स्मृति पुराण आगम समावेदित चिन्मयीभूत चित्सभाकारम् अकारादि-एकपन्चाशत् वर्ण सर्व मन्त्र स्वरूप  अधिषटाण जगतीकन्द कुमुद पट्टिका सनाऴिका पालिका पटतालिका कपोतिका चतुषष्टि कलात्मिका विस्तारतर

surāsura manuṣya lakṣita ṣruti smṛti purāṇa āgama samāvedita cinmayībhūta citsabhākāram akārādi-ekapancāśat varṇa sarva mantra svarūpa  adhiṣaṭāṇa jagatīkanda kumuda paṭṭikā sanāḻikā pālikā paṭatālikā kapotikā catuṣaṣṭi kalātmikā vistāratara


कामिकादि अष्ठाविंसति आगम स्तम्भ परिवृतम् पार्ष्वद्वय विन्यस्त न्याय शास्त्र स्तूयमान शास्त्रमय स्तम्भ रचितम् षट्चक्राद्याधारभूत वेदिका दक्षवाम पार्श्व द्वय स्थूयमान ऱ्‌क्वेदादि चतुर्वेदमय चतुस्तम्भ वामादि नवशक्तिमय देह चित्सभाकारम्


kāmikādi aṣṭhāviṁsati āgama stambha parivṛtam pārṣvadvaya vinyasta nyāya śāstra stūyamāna śāstramaya stambha racitam ṣaṭcakrādyādhārabhūta vedikā dakṣavāma pārśva dvaya sthūyamāna ṟkvedādi caturvedamaya catustambha vāmādi navaśaktimaya deha citsabhākāram



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Vedic Roots of Hindu Iconography

R. Nagaswamy


Temples and Poetry


The paper is in three parts, 1.Abstrāct, 2.Summary and 3.Illustrations.

Temple is a visual image    = Poetry is a mental image

Temple is Tantra                = Poetry is Mantra

Temple is gross (Sthūla)      = Poetry is subtle (Sūkṣma)

Temple is form (Rūpa)        = Poetry is formless (Sarūpa)

Temple is expressive            = Poetry is suggestive

Temple is outward                = Poetry is inward

Temple is visual projection  = Poetry is mental projection

Temple is Nivṛitti mārga      = Poetry Temple is Pravṛitti mārga

Temple is Kriyā                = Poetry is Yoga

Temple is symbol                = Poetry fruition

Temple is Jñāna                 = Poetry is Ānanda


Temple and poetry are inseparable; however poetry is the culmination.


3500 year old Indian Poetry  forms the foundation of Hindu temples that in turn inspired several thousand poems. Poetry and Hindu temples are inseparable. The Vedic poems of the Ṛṣis, created enchanting imagery that are given visual form in temples, sculptures, processional images, paintings, rituals, music and dance. The Vedic poems, called the mantras, when employed symbolically in many ways in Temples and worship are known as Tantras. According to Tamil Bhakti poets, God is the embodiment of Mantra and Tantra - mantiramum tantiramum āṉāṉ. While Mantra is a mental image, the Tantra is that which suggests various fields of knowledge (tanoti vipulān arthān) by symbolised entities, structures, images and rituals.  The ritual treatises that deal with temple and worship are themselves called Tantra. One of the early Vaiṣṇava Āḻvar, Poykaiyār mentions five fold nature of temple worship as offering fresh fragrant flowers, offerings in altars (veḷvi- homa), Tantra, Mantra and Japa,


nal itaḻt tāmattāl, veḷviyāl, tantirattāl, mantirattāl, nāmattāl ettutirel, naṉṟu


All these forms together constitute Temple culture, practised to this day. Fresh fragrant flowers are no doubt offered symbolically to the Supreme. But, according to all the Bhakti poets they wither away in a short time, but divine poems threaded as beautiful garlands are eternal flowers that never wither. They are called the mantra-puṣpās, hymnal flowers, the deva-hāram (Tēvārams) or divya-prabandham (Divine garlands) that are invariably offered in temple worship daily. The singing of Tēvaram and Prabandham poems  have come down as offerings of mantra-puṣpās of the Vedic tradition. That indicates the role of poetry in temple culture. As has been pointed out by some scholars, the Āḻvārs and Nāyanmārs have sung thousands of temples into existence. The temples that were sung by these poets in turn acquired sanctity and came to be called Divyadesās or Pāḍal peṟṟa sthalas. There are over 8000 poems of Nāyamāras, 3000 poems of Thirumantiram, about 2500 poems of Sēkkiḻar and 4000 verses of Āḻvār making a total of nearly 20,000 poems, sung over thousand years ago in Tamil, centered around temples.


The temples that include sculptures and other images are inert material given shape as gross body- sthūla bimba; assume divinity only by associating sacred poems with them as Mantra bimba. The temple architecture is visualised and given names like the human body as leg, body, shoulders, neck, head and ushniṣa so also the human body itself is visualised as a temple. deho devālayaḥ prokto jīvo deva sanātana. Saint Appar sings that the body is the temple and the mind in it is the crystal Liṅga that is to be worshipped.


Among the natural entities, the Sun played an important role in Hindu temples and art. Sūrya is the celestial Agni. The rising Sun has caught the imagination of India poet’s from-Vedic poems. The rising Sun is  extolled by a Vedic poet in beautiful poetry.  Sun as a king, riding on his Golden chariot, treading the righteous path, looking into the world, stimulating the mortals and immortals into activity, appears as Savita. He is the Swan of the sky. If poetry is sensitive, imaginative and highly suggestive form then this poem of a sage who lived several thousand years ago is sublime poetry, but what is more it has come down to this day daily sung by the people.


I may cite another significant poem addressed to Savita that is virtually the soul of Hindu culture, that is a prayer to Sun God. What is that Prayer the Hindu recites daily?  The prayer is “O Lord Savita, please stimulate our intellect to achieve greater knowledge”, “dhiyo yo naḥ pracodyat”. It is not a prayer to confer pleasure, power, wealth or miraculous cures or achievements.This poem to Savita is known to us as Gāyatri, considered the best of poems by ancient Indians. Kṛṣṇa says in his Gita that “I am Gayatri among poems” - gāyatri chandasām aham. Unquenchable thirst for knowledge is the religion of Hindus for the past three to four thousand years, recited daily by millions of people to this day which remains  a unique poem in the history of the world.


The third poem, I want to mention, is the Śrī Rudram that is recited in every ritual, domestic and temples, which also is addressed to Sun. An understanding of these immortal poems are essential for  understanding the concepts of Śiva, Viṣṇu, Brahma, Devi and other manifestations, basic to temples and sculptural art. The Form created by Vedic poetry for the dual benign and terrific nature of Agni, is the root of Indian art. Temple form is brought into operation by a ritual diagram called “vastu pada vinyāsa” drawn on the ground, with the help of rising and setting Sun’s rays. The temple raises on this diagram which brings into operation the Cosmic powers, the powers of directions, the powers of celestial bodies, the planets (Grahas), stars, (Nakṣatras), and the twelve months (Dvādasa Ādityas). The space and time are captured and invoked in the diagram with Vedic poetry, is a prerequisite for building temples. It is Sūrya the presiding Lord of all these luminaries (nakṣtara graha tāranām adhipaḥ viśva bhāvanaḥ) who is visualised in Temple structure suggesting this cosmic poetry. So, be it in Viṣṇu temple or Śiva temple, Sūrya is offered worship  daily  first in the mornings. That the temple structure is poetry is further confirmed by the terms used for the ground plan and elevation that are called the Horizontal poetry (adaḥ-chandas) and vertical poetry (ūrdhva-chandas) denoting the plan and elevation. The use of the term poetry for the undulating contours and ground diagram clearly indicate that Indians saw the structure itself as Poetry. It must also be noted that various forms of the homa kuṇḍas, like square, circle, hexagon, octagon etc influenced different form of architecture.


The sinuous lines, volume, evocative emotions and the colour found in sculptural art that abound in temples are akin to different poetic compositions, aimed at realisation of aesthetic joy – spiritual experience. Indian poets called the aesthetic joy as rasa-āsvādana, experiencing the joy through suggestive mode, held identical with Supreme happiness –Ānanda and this itself is godhood – “raso vai saḥ”.

The Indian Poets argued and experimented different traits, leading to “rasāsvādana” and came out with the theories like Vṛittis, Ritis, Alaṅkāras etc., but the most forceful expression was given by Ānanda Vardhana,  a Kashmiri poet, (9-10th cent) who advocated the theory of suggestion as the most appropriate mode for realisation of rasa. The temples and sculptures in fact are suggestive of Supreme as a beautiful dhvani kāvya. The various theories that arose during different periods of Indian history had their impact on temples and sculptures. The dhvani and Rasa theories are essential to the understanding of Temple arts. One can not understand the temple ethos – without a study of Bharata’s theory of Nāṭya. In fact Bharata does not stop with the classification of dance alone but includes all branches of knowledge, including composition of poetry and the appropriate selection of poetry suited for each type of dance. Finally I may conclude that in temple worship the material symbol like the Liṅga or Viṣṇu images are psychologically transformed into what is called Vidyā deha - poetic body for final worship.



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Vedic Roots of Hindu Iconography

R. Nagaswamy


Relevance of Āgamic Studies in Modern Times - A case Study

There is a popular notion that Hindu temple worship did not exist in the time of the Vedas but came into existence quite later. This is obviously influenced by Occidental scholarship under colonial rule. However this notion had overlooked one fundamental question namely “what is a Hindu temple?”. Is it a structure, image or space? This question came up in an important case, in London High Court in 1986-87, where a case relating to a metal image of Naṭarājā that was seized by the London Scotland yard police, and claimed by the government of India, as belonging to a ruined temple of Tamiḻnādu. The dispute has to deal with some basic questions like what constitutes a Hindu temple? Whether a metal image is a chattel? Whether a ruined temple continues to exist as a legal entity to claim its ownership and when images remained buried for several centuries without worship could be worshipped again and so on: I appeared as an expert witness in the case both during the trial of the case in the Trial court and also the appeal in the Appeal court.


This is one important case that related to an image (of an art piece) belonging to one country was seized in another country and a lawsuit instituted in a foreign country that needed to settle many questions of religious institutions. In this important case I relied on my evidence, mainly on Āgamic literature, which proved to be crucial in winning the case. India won the case based on my evidence, and the image is back in our country. This case proved the importance of Āgamic studies, not only for religious and worship purposes, but as relevant in modern times in settling disputes of even international importance. 


There are over one lakh or more temples that are alive, having regular worship and festivals, acquiring movable and immovable properties and matters relating to social tensions etc that need to be addressed based on Āgamic authorities. For most temples follow Āgamic injunctions in matters relating to temples and quite a number of these texts are still available for study and verification. Unfortunately the one subject that has an intimate connection with people and temples, spread throughout the country, is totally neglected by the universities all these years. No Indian university in India offers Āgamic studies at the postgraduate level. This paper will show how the Āgamic studies are relevant and hope will induce educationists to bestow some attention on this aspect.


At the beginning I have raised the question: what constitutes the Hindu temple? This is not my question but a question addressed to me by the London Court to answer? My answer has to be legally acceptable and not vague, and should be telling as otherwise the case was sure to be last. The point of dispute was that the metal images were found buried behind a reined temple in an open space, and so can it be proved that the Bronzes belonged to the temple. They were not found in the temple.


One of the earliest Vaiṣṇava Āgamic texts is Marīci Samhitā, published in Thiruppati in 1926. The Marīci  Samhita is a Vaikhānasa text, which seems to give a very good definition of Hindu temple. The text is itself called “Vimāna-arccana-Kalpa”. It is known that temple structures are generally called “Vimāna”. Rājarāja Chola I who built the great temple of Tañjāvūr calls the main temple - “Śrī-Vimānam”, the stone temple of Śiva, built by Rājēndra Chōḻa I (the son of Rājarāja I) at Thiruvoṟṟiyur, near Madras, calls the main temple “Śrī Vimāna”. Thus references to temples as “Sri Vimāna” in Chōḻa inscriptions in 11th cent, show the popularity of the usage.

Evidently “Vimāna-arccana” means “temple worship”. So Marīchi's reference to temple worship as “Vimāna-arccana” is important. According to Marīchi, “worship of the Supreme” is “Vimāna-arccana”. It means “God” himself is Vimāna. Elaborating this Marīci says worship of the Supreme is of two kinds - Amūrta (without form) and Samūrta (with form): that which is offered in fire (agnau-hutan amūrtam) is worship of the formless. Worship in idols is Samūrta worship of form - (pratimā ārādhanam is sa-mūrtam). Idol worship is considered superior by Marīci, because he says, the worship will continue even after the demise of the builder (whereas the sacrifices in fire, cease, when the Yajamāna dies). It is abundantly clear from this that worship of the formless is called Vimāna-arccana as the fire and the fire altars themselves are considered Vimānās. 



त्तस्मात् परम्ब्रह्म ज्योतिः अक्षरं सर्वभूतात्मकं सर्वाधारं

सनातनं परमपुरुषं अर्च्चयेत् तत विमानार्च्चनम्

तदाराधनं द्विविधं अमूर्तं समूर्तं इति,

अग्नाहुतं अमूर्तं  प्रतिमाराधनं समूर्तं

तत श्रेष्टं यजमान अभावेपि अविच्छिन्नं भवति

“The word used here is Vimāna, and it has remained one of the most generally accepted names which designate a temple. Vimānā measured in its parts, in the form of God which is the universe, the macrocosm, and the temple as well as a middle term made by man, the microcosm, according to his understanding and by measure. To measure means here as much as to create, there is identity of measure and object.” “The temple as Vimānā, proportionally measured throughout, is the house and body of God.” (The Hindu Temple vol.I,  by Stella Kramrisch, p. 132-133).

“The temple is made up of the presence of Śiva and Śakti and of the principles and all forms of manifestations from the elementary substance, Earth to Śakti. The concrete form of Śiva is called the House of God. Hence one should contemplate and worship it”.

(Īśāna Gurudeva paddhati, Pt. III, chapt. XII. 16.)     




From these citations the temple is considered “The abode of God”, the body of God, and God himself. It is known, when one mentions “temple” rather vaguely, he considers the whole complex of buildings, images, and the space as a temple. And he is right. A sculptured image is technically an abode of God or body of God. It becomes God by invocation by associating the mantra hymn with it. Similarly the temple becomes an abode of God only after consecration.  Similarly even an empty space sanctified by consecration becomes an abode of God, temple. In any temple, the image, structure and the space within the prākāra, or even outside, limited by consecration, collectively or individually is “the temple”.

In the said London Naṭarājā case, though the images were found behind the ruined structure of a temple, the space where they were found, was in the enclosure, within the prākāra walls which were shown by excavation. The prākāra space of a temple is equally a consecrated space of the temple and is part of the temple. The court agreed to my evidence and held that the temple had the right to claim the images. This position was proved on the authority of Āgamic texts.

The question whether the temple, without worship, can be considered a legal entity? I deposed that any ruined temple, according to our Āgamic texts, continues to retain sanctity and has not ceased to exist and can be brought back to worship by renovation and re-consecration. I am not going into other questions raised in the court, like, when a temple is considered totally gone out of existence and what would be the textual position. I have answered these questions but as they would lengthen this essay, I am not going into them.

There was one other question, which was relevant to the case and is important to our study. In the said case there were about nine bronze images, which were found in a pit all buried together. One question was whether these images were buried deliberately for purposes of safety or random burials and whether they could belong to other temples.

In this instance also I could show that the burial was deliberate and intended for safety. I said there is a chapter in the Āgama - how to safeguard the processional image (metal images) in times of emergency like epidemics, fire, robbery and the like disasters. The Āgamas prescribe that the bronzes should be buried in a pit accompanied by rituals, with a prayer to the Gods and Goddesses, that they should remain in the pit buried so long as the threat remained and that they will be taken out and after expiatory rights, will be restored to worship when the danger is removed. However, during the time of the danger, the images will continue to be worshipped in dharbha grass, daily. The court wanted to know, at this point, two answers. A) Whether any such actual burials of bronzes for safety are known. I did show that several hundred treasure trove bronzes were found in such burials and that they are now in the Madras Government Museum and some returned to the temple for worship. The second question was whether it could be demonstrated that such burials were deliberate. The person who found the bronzes said that all the bronzes were found carefully laid one over the other upside. 

A last but a challenging question of almost devastating evidence, came up towards the close of the case. It was found that some sand particles sticking to the bronzes were totally different from the mud particles found in the actual pit from where images were recovered. The other side came with the argument that as these two sand particles are totally different, these images could not have come from that pit.  Our side felt that our case was almost lost at this turn of events. I was asked to give my comment on this piece of evidence? I said that the two sand particles should necessarily be different. Those assembled were startled by my answer. I said that the ground where the temple stood and the pit where the images were found with the images, was a clayey soil, but the sand particles found on the images were river sand particles of large size. Our Āgamic texts tell us that when the bronzes are buried for safety in a pit, the pit should be filled with river sands to act as a proper cushion to the bronzes to prevent damages. This whole subject matter is detailed in chapter 70 of Marīci samhitā, which is called bhaya-rakṣārtham-niṣkṛtiḥ. The following portion in Sanskrit from that chapter is relevant.  

(अथ सप्ततितमः पटल:) ; (भयरक्षार्थ निष्कृतिः) — अथ भयरक्षार्थं निष्कृतिं वक्ष्ये - चोरैः शत्रुभिः परचक्रभयाद्वा ग्रामसंकुले सति भयरक्षार्थं कौतुकस्नप नोत्सवबलिबेरलौहिक प्रतिमानां देवीनां च तिरोधानं कारयेत् ।

(तत्प्रकारः) — गुप्ते शुचौ देशे अवढं खनित्वा सिकताः प्रक्षिप्य उपरि कुशानास्तीर्य अवटे महीं देवीमभ्यच्ये “आपोहिष्ठे”तिप्रोक्ष्य आचार्यः अर्चको वा यजमानेन भक्तैस्सार्धं देवागारं प्रविश्य देवं प्रणम्य “यावत्कालं भयमस्ति ताद्धरण्या सह शयने शयीथा जनार्दने”ति देवेश मनुमान्य बिम्बस्थां शक्तिं ध्रवबेरे समारोपयेत् । बेराभावे हृदये समारोपयेत् । “परं रंह” इति “पीठमादाय” “प्रतद्विष्णुस्तपत” इति अवटेऽप्रमादं सन्यस्य “यैद्वष्णव” मिति प्राक्च्छिरसः शाययेत् । अवटं सिकताभिः मृदा वा पूरयित्वा अवटच्छिद्रं सुदृढं कारयेत्


(atha saptatitamaḥ paṭala:) ; (bhayarakṣārtha niṣkṛtiḥ) — atha bhayarakṣārthaṃ niṣkṛtiṃ vakṣye - coraiḥ śatrubhiḥ paracakrabhayādvā grāmasaṃkule sati bhayarakṣārthaṃ kautukasnapa notsavabaliberalauhika pratimānāṃ devīnāṃ ca tirodhānaṃ kārayet .


(tatprakāraḥ) — gupte śucau deśe avaḍhaṃ khanitvā sikatāḥ prakṣipya upari kuśānāstīrya avaṭe mahīṃ devīmabhyacye “āpohiṣṭhe”tiprokṣya ācāryaḥ arcako vā yajamānena bhaktaissārdhaṃ devāgāraṃ praviśya devaṃ praṇamya “yāvatkālaṃ bhayamasti tāddharaṇyā saha śayane śayīthā janārdane”ti deveśa manumānya bimbasthāṃ śaktiṃ dhravabere samāropayet . berābhāve hṛdaye samāropayet . “paraṃ raṃha” iti “pīṭhamādāya” “pratadviṣṇustapata” iti avaṭe'pramādaṃ sanyasya “yaidvaṣṇava” miti prākcchirasaḥ śāyayet . avaṭaṃ sikatābhiḥ mṛdā vā pūrayitvā avaṭacchidraṃ sudṛḍhaṃ kārayet .


The text says “Sikatān - prakṣipya” spread of sand in the pit etc. This Āgamic passage and also actual finds in other places proved the case.


It must be remembered that merely referring to the text is not sufficient. As is known, the English courts have the greatest reputation for upholding the highest standards in judiciary. In order to accept the textual evidence it was necessary to give Xerox copies of the original text, a true translation in advance for the other side to verify the accuracy of the translation with their experts, the title page of the book, the name of the Book, the name of the Editor, the place of publication and the year of publication. When all these are accepted for authenticity the evidence gets accepted.  


Thus the Āgamic texts like Marīci Samhitā, and Kāmikāgama etc., were found relevant in deciding the case in favour of India, and I was happy a knowledge of Āgamic studies helped me in proving in a foreign court the famous London Naṭarājā case.


I would like to state that this is an excellent example of the relevance of Āgamic studies in modern times. There are many intricate questions that require answers based on textual material. In my opinion this study has been neglected far too long and deserves to be given immediate attention.


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