Cult of Siva - An Old Book

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Item Code: NAH104
Author: Dr. Bansidhar Biswal
Language: English
Edition: 1988
ISBN: 8185094179
Pages: 230 (12 B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
Weight 320 gm
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Book Description


It is a fact that this work is a growth of 'Akhandalamani Itivrtta' written in Oriya. In preparing the manuscript for the press the title has been changed. Major D. K. Nanda and Niranjan Satapathy are there behind the curtain of the book. I am much grateful to them. More so I express my sincere thanks to Dr. Janakiballav Mohanty, Chittaranjan Das and Dr. Harischandra Das who rendered their possible helps for the thesis. I could not but convey my best regards to Messrs. Punthi Pustak, Calcutta who has brought it to light.


Importance of Siva Cult in Orissa & its Necessity of Analysis

SIVA Cult, as a: religious system, evolved in Orissa to conduct the social life of about third century B.C. We do not attach importance on decipherment of historicity, rather it comes in circumstantially. Siva is a recondite god, and so the Cult of' him has gone beyond accurate approach. But its intrinsic merit has become so profound and inaccessible that if any one approaches a part of it comes to light with approximation. The reality in which Siva Cult has passed through and the reality, which has been shrouded by esoterism and myths, has not been explored at par with the social evolution. Such was the fate of early Saivism for the fact that there was necessity of romanticising religion for the tribals and the sophisticated classes.

Primarily, Orissa was a Nisada habited land. Now the· Nisadas are known as the Sabaras. These two terms signify aborigines, in general, like Adivasi rather than any particular tribe with separate group entity. In the Satarudriya litany, accompanying the offerings appropriate to Rudra in his hundred- aspects or names, reverence is shown, among others, to them. Association of Siva with Sabaras or Nisadas goes back to the period round about beginning of first millenium B.C. So we give importance on names and folk-lore which definitely have some testimonies of cultural strands. In Vedic literature, Sanskrit literature and Oriya vernacular names or titles have not been created as mere label to distinguish one from the other, rather these seem to have been selected as Vehicles: of cultural significances.

In this point of view we have, as necessary, taken up names; i.e. Siva, Rudra, Indra, Bhaga, Amba, Durga, Kali, Dirghatamas, Ganadanda Virabhadra, Rudrasudhanidhi, Abhinava Caitanya, Narayanananda (personal names), Odra, Kalinga (place names), Kanakaprabha, Vasantatilaka (metres) and Odaparva, Dandayatra (festivals) to probe into the Cull. Besides, we have given adequate attention on folk-festivals, folk-ceremonies, folk-art and myths to trace out their sources of origin. They may speak about their antiquity preceding 4th century A.D. as historians - calculated. Like dynastic and archaeological history, there is history of guardian deities in the out-skirts of villages constituting the Rajyaof Orissa and also there is history of social behaviour of people habitating in the land. So the real history of Orissa, though hypothetical, is phallic rather than Saivite. Here Siva includes Sakti in him and sometimes, Sakti includes Siva in her. Though they are equal entities, one cannot be thought of leaving the other one completely. They symbolise patriarchy and matriarchy of sociological stages. In this background we call Siva Cult a federal religious system. Siva Cult includes Sakti Cult and again, it has greatly been motivated by the Vajrayana justifying its federal character. We have analysed our work in five


Chapter I.In this chapter we have dealt with the conceptions of god, worship and religion. It is worship which forms the link between god and religion. There are religions without god, but in them there is worship of the full-fledged .human life which is revered as god. Siva is the off-spring of the idea of seeing life full-fledged. His endeavours in this respect made him worshippable as triple-frons and he became the source of Hindu Triad. His doctrine of life was trans cendental spiritism which resulted in aestheticism. His doctrine was a type by itself in the monotheistic religious thought. It was different from henotheism and polytheism. It was tantric which was giving rise to Jivanmukti. In ancient time the up-holders of his doctrine were the Vratyas, the Bhagavatas, the Mahesvaras, the Kapalikas, the Aghoris and the Pasupatas.

Chapter II.Sometimes 'Proto-siva' and 'Rudra-Siva' 'create an impression that former is the source of origin and the latter is the source of development of Siva as known in the Puranas. But Proto-Siva was sufficient on to him and he was Siva; Rudra was his power-within and he was personified. The Puranic-Siva was his mythical corroborations. Siva was a man-god and he had also whereabouts.

Chapter III.With reference to Siva Cult in general we deal with its position in Orissa. We deal with the concept of Kalinga, Orissa, Udrayana, Ganadanda, Virabhadra and Indra which are connected with phallism and later, connected with Saivism of Orissa. All these have come into prominence with religious back grounds. The Vedic seer, Dirghatamas, is the main source of Kalinga kingdom. According 'to his philosophical view Kalinga means Ka-Linga (Surya-Siva) and Kalinga means the worshipper of phallic deities. Orissa is the land of Udra-tribe, their deity is Odasuni and their manner of Yogic practice is Udrayana. Ganadanda Virabhadra is the first exponent of Saiva system called Udrayana. Buddhism at its second phase appropriated popular Saiva deities and rituals and in return. set the traditional Saivism in liturgical order. Brahmana immigrants of Saiva and Vaisnava creed came from Madhyadesa and South India. Under, their influence dynastic kings lent their support to Saivism and by them Vaisnavism got born and Buddhism was put down.

Chapter IV.Impact of Siva worship on social life of Orissa is of two kinds-institutional and theological. The social organisation consists of folk-painting. folk-festival and folk-ceremony and it shows a cultural stream under which villages in Orissa are laboratories of religious consciousness. So also the social life of theology consists of arts. architecture and literature and it shows the aesthetic sense, discipline and fellow-feeling of people. As regards Saiva influence, the Scheduled Tribes and the sophisticated classes have been taken into account.

Chapter V. Saivismof Orissa has its decline. It came in the development of Vaisnavism, quantitative increase in cult-spots and growth of material view.

Contribution of Siva Cult of Orissa to the Pan-Indian Culture and Literature

Cultural heritage of India is wonderful for its unity in diversity. Fooding and clothing in India have no uniformity.

The Indian Nation is built of religion. Though religions arc numerous, they have common links like austerity and Moksa, the former is the means and the latter is end of every one. Religion brings uniform pattern of life despite regional variations and that uniformity comes from religious reciprocation. So it is difficult to ascertain the contribution, because one's contribution means one's original thought and original work.

It is believed Saivism flourished in Orissa from about third century B.C. Orissa formed a part of the Mainland of hunters and food-gatherers. There are images of fighting and of marriage of Siva and Arriba in the Deccan and such images came in about 1000 B.C. The South is the cradle of Ceyon and Emma since remote past. Ancient kingdoms, Kalinga and Kosala, from which Orissa of the Dombu-Udras emerged are supposed to be influenced greatly by the Saiva culture of the South and the Madhyadesa. But Siva Cult has been inter-related with the primary phallic deities, the Sun and the Earth in such a fashion that it has no distinct identity. Still from the 3rd century B.C. things bearing Saiva testimonies are numerous which have helped much to build the Pan-Indian Saiva monuments. Among all, the following may be counted upon as contributions :-Ganadanda Virabhadra who was a Bhairava, and was an exponent of Dandin sect in Orissa. His real name is shrouded in mystery. Like him there was another mythic personality, Indradyumna who may be identified with Madhava Varman of the Sailodbhavas. Madhava Varman's deifications as Siva in the Banapur Plates of Madhyamaraja and as Cakradhara in the Khurda Plates of Madhavaraja may be taken to corroborate the deification of Indradyumna as J agannatha.

Jagannatha, most probably, is the development of 'Jakar' of the Savaras, not the development of Jaganta. Jaganta is not the Supreme god of the Savaras. 'Jakar' of the Savaras is sometimes suffixed with 'ma' and sometimes with 'sum' to connote mother-goddess and male-deity. It is Jakarmma from which Jagannatha Triad evolved. Jakarmma is the same as Jagulai of Orissa. Before sanskritisation Jakar might have been Jagar. It is also seen in the Jaya-Vijaya Inscription and in popular use of Jagannatha as Jagar-natha. That is the reason J.B. Mohanty identifies Jagannatha with Siva (Divya Adivya) Odasuni and Olasuni are one and the same and Odasuni is the communal deity of the Udras: Olasuni is the famous deity in the Ratnagiri area. She is in the Boudha centre and is recognised as Boudha deity. But all Boudha deities are basically Saiva deities. First such deity may be Kicakesvari of Mayurabhanja district. She has been brahmanised and sanskritised. Before such transformation, according to K. C. Panigrahi, the deity was Camunda. The name of Camunda occurs, for the first time, in the Malati-madhaya and Camunda of Malatimadhava has been identified with Mahakali of Ujjain and she is the consort of Mahakala. In the Mahabharata there is no mention of the name, Camunda. There is the mention that Durga had her eternal abode in the Vindhyas and she was fond of intoxicating liquor, flesh and cattle (Virata Parva, Ch. VI). It is not impossible, she was Odasuni prior to her being Camunda. When Udras became Hinduized Bhanjas, Odasuni had become Camunda. But Udaparva has been coming down without any change. The ancient tribes bad' no specific attachment to male-deity. As usual, Odasuni was male and female deities to them. After her being Hinduized, the male deity was revered separately. She became Bhairavi and her counter-part was chosen to be Bhairava.

Such a Bhairava is the Nataraja of Asanpat. The central power bloc of Bhanjabhumi was divided and Khinjalimandala became power house of administration. Tarini became the tutelary deity of Khinjalimandala. The image of Nataraja is unique, because it came out of aesthetic state of Siva. In Khinjalimandala there is Mukhalinga at Sitabanji and Dengaposi area. It bears the testimony of phallic worship. From twelve Jyotirlingas, Naganatha is said to be in Orissa. It is difficult to identify Naganatha. Such a Linga might be there in Bhanjabhumi in ancient time. Most probably, that Linga was Kotilinga whose existence may be inferred by present Kotingia Praganna in the district of Mayurabhanja. Kotilinga and Naganatha are replicas of rayed god, who had a serpent tine lower part, in the Indus Valley. Of course, three Lingas were documented in the Mahabharata in connection with Yudhisthira'spilgrimage, but these are not really ancient sivalingas.


































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