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Is Tamil considered a sacred language?

Discussion in 'Dharmic Religions DIR' started by Marble, May 24, 2011.

  1. Marble

    Marble Rolling Marble

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    I know Sanskrit is, but in South India Tamil has a great influence so I wonder if that language is considered to have the same divine power as Sanskrit.
     
  2. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    In short, yes. There are many religious works in Tamil that are revered by the Tamil people. The vast collection of Devarams, Tiruvacagam, Tirukkural, Tirumantiram, and more are considered scripture. Of course there is ongoing debate, and not all accept this. I believe the Tirukkural is the book that Tamils vow to tell the truth on in Tamil Nadu courts.

    A Tamilian would know a lot more than me.

    But Sanskrit is the primary language used in temple ritual.
     
  3. Marble

    Marble Rolling Marble

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    Is there some discussion board where Tamils gather but that is in English and where a non-Tamil/non-Indian is allowed to ask questions?
     
  4. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    TamilBrahmins.com I think.
     
  5. Marble

    Marble Rolling Marble

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    Thanks for the hint.
    Hmmm... they want your adress and phone number at registration, looks like they expect you to be Tamil (ot at least Indian)... do not know if they would like an outsider in their community...
     
  6. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I'm a member there and not a Tamil, but I do follow a lot of Tamil style Hinduism, so I don't think they would mind, as long as you just ask sincere questions. Course you might run into the odd stuffy traditionalist.
     
  7. TenjikuZero

    TenjikuZero Advaitin

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    I second this.
    You are indeed very well versed on the details even though not a Tamil.


    @Marble

    I am a Tamil, and yes we do consider Tamil to be a sacred language.Almost all of the Hindu education/scripture a Tamil Hindu reads/uses is in Tamil. As Vinayaka Mentioned, the Thevaram/Devaram, Thiruppugazh, Thirumanthiram, Thirukkural, Thiruvisaippa, Thiruppallandu are considered scripture.

    In fact, a little known fact is that both the Bhakti Tradition of India, and the Advaita vedanta Revival(led by Shankarachariya) both originated in Tamil Nadu and spread to other parts of India...revitalizing Hinduism. ( Today Shankara is said to have been born in the state of kerala..but till the 13th century Kerala was not a separate state but part of Tamil Nadu..and Shankara lived in the 7th century ). Interestigly enough, the founder of Zen Buddhism, Bodhidharma is also from Tamil Nadu

    Another interesting fact which is little known is that 60% all inscriptions found in India by the Archelogical survey of India were found in Tamil nadu, and 55% of them were in Tamil. The Overwhelming majority of these Tamil inscriptions were of religious nature(most Tamil Nadu Hindu temples have extensive inscriptions all around their stone walls). This underscore the importance the Tamil language holds/held in the religious/sacred field.


    The Bhakti Tradition was spearheaded by the Shaivite sages known as Nayanmars , and Vaishnavite sages known as Azhvars. The compositions of both are still sung at homes to this day. I learned Carnatic music as a kid and most of the devotional songs used in it are Tamil...the same goes for Bharatanatyam dancers as well.


    //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azhvar
    //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nayanars
    //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhakti_movement

    The last person to know Sanskrit well enough to read/write it was my granddad, the later generations didn't put enough effort to learn it thoroughly. We always use Tamil devotional hymns for prayers and stuff.Even though I'm an advaitin and do not believe in "god' I do join in during the singing cos the hymns are pretty awesome. :)

    hope this helps. If you have any questions dont hesitate to ask . There are quite a few english translations of these religious stuff online(however the English language cannot capture the flow and beauty of Tamil, imho.lol) and they are pretty helpful for getting an idea about what these stuff are all about. If interested let me know and Ill post the links here.


    :namaste
     
    #7 TenjikuZero, Jun 3, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
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  8. Marble

    Marble Rolling Marble

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    @TenjikuZero

    Thank you for the valuable information. :namaste

    Are Shaktas a large denomination in Tamil Nadu?
    I take it that Sri Vidya migrated from Kashmir to South India because of the Muslim invasions of North India (as did Shaiva Siddhanta), and I think it is very prominent in Tamil Nadu?

    Do you worship Murugan?
    I always read he is no other than Skanda, son of Shiva & Parvati, but is he not older than the North Indian god Skanda?
     
  9. TenjikuZero

    TenjikuZero Advaitin

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    I dont know the exact numbers and stuff but I would say that rather than considering themselves Shaktas a Lot of Tamil Hindus have a strong affinity towards the goddess...even if they be Shaivites/Vaishnavites. Also the Goddess "Amman" (generic term for goddesses) is pretty much prevalent in every village..often the only temple in a small village would be that of a goddess. The term Amman would be added to the title of the goddess. For example. Goddess Meenakshi would be called MeenakshiAmman.

    Interestingly, the largest Hindu temple in India is that of The Goddess Meenakshi of Madurai and is thought to have been worshiped for at least 2500 years(based on available evidence...such as records by foreign merchants etc etc)....chances are that the worship extends into the distant antiquity.

    I dont know much about SriVidya, But my family is Shaiva Siddhantins...but then again we subscribe to the Advaita interpretation. My grandparent's ancestral Villages also had Goddess temples, and If I remember correctly one of our two family temples was that of a Goddess. As I said earlier in my post, Even though Many Tamil Hindus are Shaivites, its a form of Shaivism in which the Goddess takes an equal role...and in some cases takes on more practical(instead of philosophical) importance than Shiva or other deities.

    Everyone in my family does. I'm an Advaitin who does not believe in the existence of "real" gods..thus even though I worship him, i do that only as a way for transcending duality...doubly so cos Murugan is the god of wisdom.

    Please check my previous post on the other thread for my take on Murugan and Skanda. They were different but somewhat similar deities later merged in the usual Syncretic Hindu tradition.

    http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/hinduism-dir/93967-skanda-murugan-karttikeya-who-he-2.html
    ^^


    :namaste
     
    #9 TenjikuZero, Jun 4, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2011
  10. zenzero

    zenzero Its only a Label

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    Friend marble,

    All languages are sacred as each indivudal is as everything that we see or do not see are parts of the *WHOLE* and languages have been developed by parts of that whole and besides languages too are vibrations pointing towards that which is not vibrating.

    Love & rgds
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. iamfact

    iamfact Eclectic Pantheist

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    In south India, yes. Bengali is also considered to be beautiful with beautiful literature in Bengal.
     
  12. Gaura Priya

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    Yes, Tamil is probably as holy as the Scriptures are written with it. It also may depend on the particular sect or school of Hinduism.

    In Gaudiya Vaishnavism, of which I 80% of the time adhere and practice, it utilises Sanskrit and Bengali as 'sacred' when used in Scriptural context. Of course, Sanskrit takes the vote in terms of the holiest of holies, but Bengali is often quoted because our dear Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's language was Bengali.

    Other denominations that I know of off the bat also use Tamil, and Gujarati.
     
  13. rewa

    rewa Member

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    I think it it the content not the language that is considered holy. Also since languages and books are a way to learn and gain knowledge, all languages are holy.
     
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  14. arunrajaakar

    arunrajaakar New Member

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    Tamil sage Agastya is said to have learnt Tamil from Shiva and his son Murugan/Kartikeya. He is considered as the Father of Tamil literature, he sat in the Pothigai (Agathyamala) hills near kanyakumari and compiled the first Tamil literature called Agathiyam. Hence the divine origin of Tamil is eminent.
    Refer: "Agastya" in answers. com
    Sri Aurobindo suggests the possibility of two distinct cultures existing in two different geographical regions of ancient India. First is the Vedic Aryan culture with its symbols of Sun, Fire and soma sacrifice prevailing in Punjab and Northern and Central India, Afghanistan and perhaps Persia with Sanskrit as its main language in Northern India. The other is Non-Aryan (different from the Vedic), in East, South and West, the nature of which is not known 4. But in ancient India, religion and spirituality is the source of culture or in other words, culture emanates from religion. So a distinct culture presupposes a distinct religious and spiritual tradition.

    There existed in ancient India another great spiritual tradition, which may perhaps provide the clue to the other non-Vedic or non-Aryan tradition and culture. It was the Siddha tradition in Southern India with its own unique philosophy, yoga, literature, systems of science and medicine and with Tamil as its main language. There are similarities as well as differences between the early Vedic and the Siddha tradition. Both of them had an integral spiritual vision which conceived the world as a real manifestation and expression of the divine power; expressed their spiritual intuitions in a symbolic language; developed a distinct and unique culture with its own thought, language, science, traditions, symbols. But there are also differences between the two traditions. While the Vedic tradition followed the Sun-Fire-Soma symbolism, the Siddha tradition followed the Shiva-Sakthi-Kundalini symbolism of the Tantras. This shows the Siddha tradition, which prevailed in southern India, and the Tantra, which was dominant in the east, had perhaps a common origin in a distinct spiritual tradition different from the Vedic and the Aryan. The other difference between the Vedic and Siddha is that while the Vedic tradition aimed at realizing spiritual immortality of the soul, the Siddha tradition aimed also at some form of spiritual transformations of the body.

    for more: just google "The Mother of Indian culture - II"

    TAMIL SIDDHA MEDICINE

    Siddha medicine as opposed to Ayurveda was formulated by 18 great siddhars headed by Adiguru Muruga and Siddhar Agathiar (Sage Agasthya) was practiced in Tamil Nadu and Parts of Kerala alone. Siddha medicine is also called Tamil Medicine because it was written down in Tamil language alone. This traditional medicine is there in Tamil country for nearly ten thousand years (Refer: The Hindu : Tamil Nadu / Tirunelveli News : Team visits Government Siddha Medical College) There is no such thing called Bengali medicine and Telugu Medicine.. So even this very fact makes Tamil a divine language just like Sanskrit.
    [Refer : Siddha medicine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]
    Refer : Siddha - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  15. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ You see, my mother has 20 sisters and I love all of them. They are all sacred and venerable for me.
     
  16. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Something on who is older. It was in and around 2,250 BC that Aryans changed their calender to reflect the precession of equinox from the asterism of Orion to that of Krittikas advancing it by one month. I think Skanda or Kartikeya belongs to that period. Murugan, however, is perhaps even older. We syncretized the two leaving him with Valli and Devasena, one sits on his right thigh and the other on the left. In North, Kartikeya is the elder brother, in South it is Ganesha, that also sort of equalizes it. Fair to every one. :D

    [​IMG]
     
    #16 Aupmanyav, Dec 31, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  17. Jaskaran Singh

    Jaskaran Singh Divosūnupriyaḥ

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    This is mArgazhi mAdham and no one mentioned tiruppAvai? That's odd. Anyway, here's today's pAsuram:
    [youtube]E6GFlb2bnlk[/youtube]
     
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