Dr Chandrika Subramaniyan, a practising lawyer in Sydney, is a mass media scholar with extensive academic and professional experience in Law and Journalism. She obtained her qualifications in Communication and Journalism from the University of Madras. In 1997, she migrated to Australia and obtained LLB, LLM and Diploma in Legal Practice, Management and Leadership from Australia, induding Director qualifications. Since 2006, she is practising as a lawyer in the Supreme Court of NSW and in High Court in Australia.
As a multifaceted personality, Dr. Chandrika is actively involved with multi-cultural communities in Sydney and received 'Woman of the West 2012' by the University of Western Sydney commending her services. She has been a journalist in India, Sri Lanka and Australia and wrote 16 books on variety of topics from Media to Law. Having worked for Virakesai, Dinamalar and other media in India and Sri Lanka, she was the editor of Tamil Australian.
Dr Chandrika has been a regular contributor to the radio programs conducted many workshops on media, law and leadership in India, Sri Lanka and Australia. Her knowledge in religion, philosophy, communication, journalism, law and arbitration with presentation skill makes her a resourceful person in the Tamil community in Australia.
Dr Chondrikas's passion for Saivaism was instrumental in writing songs for Lord Muruga, with some of the well appreciated raagas in karnatic music. In addition, her research on the Chidambaram Temple, the most important temple to the Saivites was published as a book "Thillai Ennum Thiruthalam - A Sacred place called Thilloi" in 2015 was released in Thillai, Sydney, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. English version of this well researched book was a useful addition for the benefit of the non Tamil speaking Saivites and others. Murugan -the Universal God, is a treat to all Murugan devotees around the world.
Prostration to the Holy feet of Lord Muruga.
Murugan is worshipped as the Universal Lord for his metaphorical manifestation of valour, piety, vigour, beauty, youth and is a unifying force of the Tamil community around the world. The antiquity of Muruga cult dates back to the Sangam period, growing with a distinct Dravidian ethnicity. The earliest literature of the Tamils, Tholkappiyam, provides evidence for the practice of Muruga worship in Kurunji land, which is a mountainous landscape. Later more mythical and philosophical beliefs were interwoven to depict the Murugan cult in numerous dimensions.
Through the centuries, the Tamil literature has celebrated the Muruga cult in its corpuses. This has entwined the Muruga cult with the Tamil society and culture in many ways. Thus, Murugan's image and symbol have evolved as a distinctive personification, principally representing love, youth, protection, hunting, fighting and removal of evil forces.
Murugan is physically described as a beautiful young lad, holding a lance, and seated on his peacock mount, holding a flag with a rooster. The colour of the flag, red, is a symbol of anger.
Dr. Kamil V. Zvelebil, a renowned Dravidologist, in his monograph on Murugan titled Tamil Traditions on Subrahmanya Murugan, confirms that "Murugan is one of the most complicated and baffling deities for analysis".
Using archaeological and epigraphical evidence of the myths, legends and motifs of Lord Murugan and examining a vast literature published around the world, in India, in Tamil, Sanskrit and Sinhalese and oral traditions, he established this theory. His work is an impressive and enlightening contribution to Muruga bhakti.
However, my intention in this book is to present a simple format of information bundled with information on Muruga worship in Tamil literature, the birth of Muruga, the associated literature, Kantha Puranam, the symbolism behind the number six and Muruga, the importance of Kavadi, and information on his temples and devotees.
I grew up in an atmosphere of Muruga worship in Sri Subramaniya Swamy temple, located in Hultsdorf, Colombo, in Sri Lanka, which is well connected with our family. My childhood days were marked by my participation in temple festivals and rituals. As an ardent follower of Skanda Sasti rituals from the age of twelve, with no understanding of Muruga bhakti, I started my research only in my late fifties. Swamy Balayogi, the Chief Pontiff of Thirumuruga Thiruvaakku Thirupeedam of Malaysia, was instrumental in encouraging my effort to write this book and I offer my salutations to Swamiji for his great support and guidance.
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