Showing posts with label Nayanar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nayanar. Show all posts

Hinduism - How Prevalent Was Religious Persecution In India?

 

Religious Persecution is a term used to describe when people are persecuted for their religious beliefs or structures or practices. 

In popular imagination, India is portrayed as a place of ideal religious tolerance, where all schools of thought are free to flourish.

This image is significantly simplified, even though it is accurate in its fundamental form.

Competition between religious groups and schools of thought has a long history, often driven by harsh polemics intended to convince audiences that one was true and the other was wrong.

Acts of violence, on the other hand, have been uncommon in these debates, as has the concept that individuals should be afraid for their lives because of their beliefs.

Language against the Jains has a really hostile tone in the literature of the Nayanar and Lingayat communities—both followers (bhakta) of the deity Shiva—and the Nayanar leader Sambandar has been continuously linked with the impalement of 8,000 Jains in the southern Indian city of Madurai.

Similarly, the northern Indian ruler Sashanka, who was also a Shiva devotee, had a pathological loathing towards Buddhists.

Sashanka is said to have not only persecuted Buddhists, but also attempted to kill the tree at Bodh Gaya where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.

Apart from sectarian rivalry, persons whose religious beliefs has led them to disregard commonly accepted social conventions have faced a lot of criticism.

The stories of the devotional (bhakti) poet-saints are rife with accounts of the difficulties they experienced from traditional morality guards, who are commonly described as brahmins.

There was a long and frequently murderous war between two groups of militant ascetics in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries—the Naga class of the Dashanami Sanyasis and the Bairagi Nagas—although the objectives might just as well have been economic, notably control of commerce in the Ganges valley.

The development of Hindutva in the 1980s provides a last example of religious persecution.

Persecution has all too frequently resulted in actual bloodshed, fueled by rhetorical assaults on Muslims and Christians.


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Hinduism - Who Were The Nayanar?

 


Between the seventh and ninth centuries, a group of sixty-three Shaiva poet-saints resided in southern India.

The Nayanars, along with their Vaishnava counterparts the Alvars, were instrumental in the renewal of Hindu religion in relation to Buddhists and Jains.

Both the Nayanars and the Alvars placed a strong emphasis on personal devotion (bhakti) to a personal god—Shiva for the Nayanars and Vishnu for the Alvars—and expressed this love via hymns sung in Tamil.

The Nayanars were more openly antagonistic to the Jains than the Jains.

According to mythology, the Nayanar Sambandar was responsible for the imprisonment of 8,000 Jain monks in Madurai.

Appar, Sambandar, and Sundaramurtti, the three most significant Nayanars, composed the Devaram, the most holy of Tamil Shaivite writings.

The Periya Puranam by Cekkilar is a later source that contains hagiographic narratives for all of the Nayanars.

~Kiran Atma


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Hinduism - Who Was Manikkavachakar?

 

(9th c.) Tamil poet-saint and creator of the Tiruvachakam ("holy words"), who was a devotee (bhakta) of the deity Shiva.

Along with the Nayanar poet saints, Appar, Sambandar, and Sundaramurtti, he is regarded the fourth major figure in the Tamil Shaivite tradition.

Manikkavachakar's songs are viewed as the climax of the older devotional (bhakti) tradition and provide testament to the depth of his own religious experience.

These hymns also served as the foundation for the Shaiva Siddhanta philosophical school's development, making him a key figure in southern Indian Shaivism.

Glenn Yocum's Hymns to the Dancing Siva, published in 1982, has further material.


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Hinduism - Who Are The Lingayats?

 

Lingayats are a Kannada-speaking religious group who are devotees (bhakta) of the deity Shiva and dwell mostly in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.

Lingayat origins may be traced back to the Nayanar poet-saints of Tamil Nadu, who migrated northward in the seventh century.

Basavanna, a poet saint, founded the group, together with Allama Prabhu and Mahadeviyakka.

The original members of the society were motivated by a desire to know God and were impatient with anything that went in the way, whether it was image worship, caste distinctions, or the obligations of family life.

Lingayat culture has been shaped by these early influences.

The Lingayats do not worship with pictures.

The linga of Shiva, which all Lingayats wear as a token of membership in the community, is their sole emblem.

The Lingayats have generally adhered to the egalitarian beliefs of their forefathers.

Although there are no caste divisions in the society, there are higher-status priestly families known as jangamas from whom the celibate monks known as viraktas are often chosen.

In fact, this egalitarian focus has turned the whole Lingayat community into a jati, one of the endogamous social groupings that make up broader Indian society; the difference being that the Lingayats are defined by their religious affiliation rather than their employment.

In contemporary Karnataka, the Lingayats are the most powerful group, both in terms of historic landholding patterns and political power.

A. K. Ramanujan's Speaking of Siva was published in 1973, and Sivalingayya Channabasavayya Nandimath's A Handbook of Virasaivism was published in 1979.


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Hinduism - How Prevalent Was Execution Via Impalement And Mass Impalement In Ancient And Feudal India?

 


One of the most popular methods of execution, which appears to have been especially popular in ancient southern India.

Impaling someone means piercing them with a sharp spike and killing them.

The most spectacular incident is said to have occurred at Madurai, when 8,000 Jain ascetics were impaled by one of the Pandya dynasties' rulers after the latter had left Jainism to become a Shaiva, or a Shiva devotee (bhakta).

The Nayanar saint Sambandar, who had converted the monarch and whose surviving poetry displays a great animus towards the Jains, is said to bear ultimate culpability for this, according to legend.

If this claim is accurate, it also reveals one of the few examples of religious persecution in Hindu India, which has been very accepting of other religious practices on the whole.

Murals created in the Minakshi temple in Madurai—whose construction predates the supposed event—as well as popular art of many types depict depictions of this mass impalement.


 

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