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Books > History > Hindu > Murukan- The Lord of The Kurinci Land- Collected Papers of The First International Conference on Murukan Skanda (An Old and Rare Book)
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Murukan- The Lord of The Kurinci Land- Collected Papers of The First International Conference on Murukan Skanda (An Old and Rare Book)
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Murukan- The Lord of The Kurinci Land- Collected Papers of The First International Conference on Murukan Skanda (An Old and Rare Book)
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Preface

Apart from His divine nature, the Tamil deity Murukan is also a metaphor for valour, piety, youthful vigour, beauty and above all a powerful unifying symbol of the Tamil community spread all over the world. The traces of the origin of this powerful cult or faith are discernible in the Indus Valley civilization, a great culture of the Dravidian ethnic group, which flourished 6000 years back. This was invaded and perished by the nomads who are believed to be the Aryans, a race which pushed the Dravidians from North to far more Southern part of the Indian Peninsula.

The earliest extant Tamil literature, popularly known as Carikam literature, describes Lord Murukan as the God of the hilly tribes known as the people of Kurinci land and this is expressed in Tolkappiyam as . This simple worship of the Tamil hilly tribes gradually started spreading in the length and breath of Tamilnadu and thus a regional worship has become a Tamil national cult by about the second or third century A.D. During this period the six abodes of Lord Murukan have been defined and enumerated and temples have been built for Him in conformity with the codes specified in the Agamas. The Kurinci Murukan was the beloved bride groom of the beautiful damsel of the hilly tribe namely Valli and He was described as the son of the mother Goddess Korravai or Kali which is obvious from the Tamil attributions in ancient Tamil Classics. He has no father or a brother as long as he was restricted in the Tamil soil only to the Kurinci land. His arch enemy was Cur, a destructive power which has grown up in due course in the mythology to a gigantic proportion to become Curapatman. This arch enemy is portrayed in Murukan literature in a larger scale as a cosmic antagonist and an embodiment of cosmic evil.. The original Kurinci Murukan belongs to the little tradition and he was worshipped with the frenzied dance of his priest Velan with a lance in hand and He is appeased with the sacrifice of animals in His Veriyattukkalam.

The other form of Murukan worship with a Sanskritised tinge became popular in the urban areas of Tamilnadu. This worship belongs to the bigger tradition of the Murukan faith interwoven with lot of mythical and philosophical backgrounds. In this tradition, Murukan, the original culture hero of the Tamil speaking community is depicted as the husband of two women, Valli, a tribal Tamil deity and Teyvayanai, a north Indian deity.

Murukan, the God of war, is also the God of Tamil language and his association with Tamil language, literature and culture has been depicted powerfully by various bards of the corpus of Tamil Murukan literature. Infact, Murukan is a metaphor for the Tamil community; He is a part of the superstructure of the Tamil ethos and His life story is nothing but the history of the Tamil society itself. Consequently, any indepth research on Murukan will lead to an intensive study of Tamil society itself. Murukan's whole mythology can be divided into two broad categories on the basis of its theme namely the akam and puram by which the ancient Tamil literary tradition is divided. The entire Valli episode is completely in harmony with the akam tradition whereas Murukan's confrontation with Curan confines to the puram tradition. Consequently, any study on Murukan will be nothing but the study of the Tamil ethos and the deity Murukan is a crystallized form of the ideals of the Tamil community who accepted Him as their culture hero from time immemorial.

The regional Murukan worship spread over the urban areas in the period of Paripatal and Tirumurukarruppatai and in course of time it has become a Tamil national worship. With the growing interaction of the Tamil community with the North Indian society there was a happy commingling of the cult of Skanda, Kartikeya and even the Greek Dionysus with the Tamil Murukan cult and thus it has grown to the level of a faith which has a wider Indian national perspective, and became a pan Indian worship. Now, it has become an international cult, thanks to the migration of the Tamils to various countries coupled with the efforts of globalization which has converted the entire universe into a small global village.

But, for the past 6000 years, from the faint origin of this cult in the Indus valley civilization to its tremendous growth in our era of technology,'no attempts have been made to pool together all Murukan scholars and devotees in one place and to promote Kaumara studies at the international level. When my student and friend Mr.Patrick Harrigan, from the United States of America, Prof. M.Shanmugam Pillai of the Institute of Asian Studies and myself sat and discussed about this mission continuously days and months together, we were thrilled to learn that we were entering into a magnificent project on a fascinating deity and His complex cult. Our loud thinking blossomed full into a fragrant flower when we organized the First International Seminar Conference on Murukan- Skanda in Chennai. During this conference more than 150 delegates representing 25 countries of the five continents of the world assembled together in the campus of the Institute of Asian Studies accepting my invitation for a healthy discussion and dialogue on all aspects of this fascinating deity.

It was indeed a thrilling experience to see the devotees and scholars belonging to various ethnic groups and various countries assembled together in our campus and discuss at length about. the various aspects of this Tamil deity in an enchanting location conducive for academic research. At the concluding day, the devotees and scholars gathered together with a sense of universal fraternity and overwhelmingly voted for the creation of an International Centre for the Study of Murukan Skanda. One of the objects of this centre is to organize international conferences in various countries on the above theme with a view to promote Kaumara Studies. It is our wish that the International conferences on Murukan should be organized in due course in all the 55 countries where the Tamil community lives in abundance. We thought that this effort will be a powerful and potential tool in bringing together the scattered Tamil diaspora and promote solidarity among them.

The main message of the Murukan faith or Murukan cult is still relevant to the modern age of science and technology, an age which is witnessing innumerable achievements in the field of information technology. The Curasamhara, which is a very significant episode of the Murukan mythology, is still relevant today. Curan, the metaphor of cosmic chaos, is not only slain by the protagonist Murukan but also converted into a rooster which has become an object of worship to the devotees along with Lord Murukan Himself. Any power in nature cannot be destroyed but can be sublimated into another power. Here, the destructive power of Curan is sublimated into an amiable force by the Lord and thus the evil force, after sublimation, has also become an object of worship in the form of a rooster, the presence of which can be seen in the flag of this deity. This may be treated as a good message of the entire corpus of Murukan literature for which a powerful artistic form was given by the Tamil poet Kacciyappar, the author of Kantapuranam, a story that blossomed in the Tamil ethos. In this sense the God of war has become God of peace, God of protection, and God of love and compassion, a symbol of universal peace. The fight or conflict here is between darkness and light; wisdom and ignorance and in a way between good and evil in which the evil is converted into an amiable creative power.

It is our great pleasure to publish the selected papers presented in the First International Conference on this theme held in Chennai in the year 1998. I am sure this volume will be an authentic, reference material for any further study on Murukan faith. We also intend to publish one by one the proceedings of the subsequent conferences organized in Mauritius and Malaysia. We earnestly hope that these volumes will add new dimensions to our understanding of the rich cultural heritage of the Tamil speaking community and its most fascinating culture hero cum deity Murukan.

**Contents and Sample Pages**













Murukan- The Lord of The Kurinci Land- Collected Papers of The First International Conference on Murukan Skanda (An Old and Rare Book)

Item Code:
NAY741
Cover:
PAPERBACK
Edition:
2009
ISBN:
9788187892441
Language:
English
Size:
9.50 X 7.00 inch
Pages:
551
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 0.92 Kg
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$50.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
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Preface

Apart from His divine nature, the Tamil deity Murukan is also a metaphor for valour, piety, youthful vigour, beauty and above all a powerful unifying symbol of the Tamil community spread all over the world. The traces of the origin of this powerful cult or faith are discernible in the Indus Valley civilization, a great culture of the Dravidian ethnic group, which flourished 6000 years back. This was invaded and perished by the nomads who are believed to be the Aryans, a race which pushed the Dravidians from North to far more Southern part of the Indian Peninsula.

The earliest extant Tamil literature, popularly known as Carikam literature, describes Lord Murukan as the God of the hilly tribes known as the people of Kurinci land and this is expressed in Tolkappiyam as . This simple worship of the Tamil hilly tribes gradually started spreading in the length and breath of Tamilnadu and thus a regional worship has become a Tamil national cult by about the second or third century A.D. During this period the six abodes of Lord Murukan have been defined and enumerated and temples have been built for Him in conformity with the codes specified in the Agamas. The Kurinci Murukan was the beloved bride groom of the beautiful damsel of the hilly tribe namely Valli and He was described as the son of the mother Goddess Korravai or Kali which is obvious from the Tamil attributions in ancient Tamil Classics. He has no father or a brother as long as he was restricted in the Tamil soil only to the Kurinci land. His arch enemy was Cur, a destructive power which has grown up in due course in the mythology to a gigantic proportion to become Curapatman. This arch enemy is portrayed in Murukan literature in a larger scale as a cosmic antagonist and an embodiment of cosmic evil.. The original Kurinci Murukan belongs to the little tradition and he was worshipped with the frenzied dance of his priest Velan with a lance in hand and He is appeased with the sacrifice of animals in His Veriyattukkalam.

The other form of Murukan worship with a Sanskritised tinge became popular in the urban areas of Tamilnadu. This worship belongs to the bigger tradition of the Murukan faith interwoven with lot of mythical and philosophical backgrounds. In this tradition, Murukan, the original culture hero of the Tamil speaking community is depicted as the husband of two women, Valli, a tribal Tamil deity and Teyvayanai, a north Indian deity.

Murukan, the God of war, is also the God of Tamil language and his association with Tamil language, literature and culture has been depicted powerfully by various bards of the corpus of Tamil Murukan literature. Infact, Murukan is a metaphor for the Tamil community; He is a part of the superstructure of the Tamil ethos and His life story is nothing but the history of the Tamil society itself. Consequently, any indepth research on Murukan will lead to an intensive study of Tamil society itself. Murukan's whole mythology can be divided into two broad categories on the basis of its theme namely the akam and puram by which the ancient Tamil literary tradition is divided. The entire Valli episode is completely in harmony with the akam tradition whereas Murukan's confrontation with Curan confines to the puram tradition. Consequently, any study on Murukan will be nothing but the study of the Tamil ethos and the deity Murukan is a crystallized form of the ideals of the Tamil community who accepted Him as their culture hero from time immemorial.

The regional Murukan worship spread over the urban areas in the period of Paripatal and Tirumurukarruppatai and in course of time it has become a Tamil national worship. With the growing interaction of the Tamil community with the North Indian society there was a happy commingling of the cult of Skanda, Kartikeya and even the Greek Dionysus with the Tamil Murukan cult and thus it has grown to the level of a faith which has a wider Indian national perspective, and became a pan Indian worship. Now, it has become an international cult, thanks to the migration of the Tamils to various countries coupled with the efforts of globalization which has converted the entire universe into a small global village.

But, for the past 6000 years, from the faint origin of this cult in the Indus valley civilization to its tremendous growth in our era of technology,'no attempts have been made to pool together all Murukan scholars and devotees in one place and to promote Kaumara studies at the international level. When my student and friend Mr.Patrick Harrigan, from the United States of America, Prof. M.Shanmugam Pillai of the Institute of Asian Studies and myself sat and discussed about this mission continuously days and months together, we were thrilled to learn that we were entering into a magnificent project on a fascinating deity and His complex cult. Our loud thinking blossomed full into a fragrant flower when we organized the First International Seminar Conference on Murukan- Skanda in Chennai. During this conference more than 150 delegates representing 25 countries of the five continents of the world assembled together in the campus of the Institute of Asian Studies accepting my invitation for a healthy discussion and dialogue on all aspects of this fascinating deity.

It was indeed a thrilling experience to see the devotees and scholars belonging to various ethnic groups and various countries assembled together in our campus and discuss at length about. the various aspects of this Tamil deity in an enchanting location conducive for academic research. At the concluding day, the devotees and scholars gathered together with a sense of universal fraternity and overwhelmingly voted for the creation of an International Centre for the Study of Murukan Skanda. One of the objects of this centre is to organize international conferences in various countries on the above theme with a view to promote Kaumara Studies. It is our wish that the International conferences on Murukan should be organized in due course in all the 55 countries where the Tamil community lives in abundance. We thought that this effort will be a powerful and potential tool in bringing together the scattered Tamil diaspora and promote solidarity among them.

The main message of the Murukan faith or Murukan cult is still relevant to the modern age of science and technology, an age which is witnessing innumerable achievements in the field of information technology. The Curasamhara, which is a very significant episode of the Murukan mythology, is still relevant today. Curan, the metaphor of cosmic chaos, is not only slain by the protagonist Murukan but also converted into a rooster which has become an object of worship to the devotees along with Lord Murukan Himself. Any power in nature cannot be destroyed but can be sublimated into another power. Here, the destructive power of Curan is sublimated into an amiable force by the Lord and thus the evil force, after sublimation, has also become an object of worship in the form of a rooster, the presence of which can be seen in the flag of this deity. This may be treated as a good message of the entire corpus of Murukan literature for which a powerful artistic form was given by the Tamil poet Kacciyappar, the author of Kantapuranam, a story that blossomed in the Tamil ethos. In this sense the God of war has become God of peace, God of protection, and God of love and compassion, a symbol of universal peace. The fight or conflict here is between darkness and light; wisdom and ignorance and in a way between good and evil in which the evil is converted into an amiable creative power.

It is our great pleasure to publish the selected papers presented in the First International Conference on this theme held in Chennai in the year 1998. I am sure this volume will be an authentic, reference material for any further study on Murukan faith. We also intend to publish one by one the proceedings of the subsequent conferences organized in Mauritius and Malaysia. We earnestly hope that these volumes will add new dimensions to our understanding of the rich cultural heritage of the Tamil speaking community and its most fascinating culture hero cum deity Murukan.

**Contents and Sample Pages**













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