The Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute was established in 1945 in memory of the great Sanskrit Scholar and savant Mahamahopadhyaya Prof. S.Kuppuswami Sastri, a rare scholar who combined in him the depth of traditional knowledge and modern acumen.
The institute is a unique organisation which has been doing yeoman service for the promotion of Sanskrit and Ideological research for more than seven decades through various means.
The K.S.R.I has so far published more than 100 research books and monographs in Sanskrit and English on various aspects of Indian literature and philosphy. Including critical edition of rare ancient texts in manuscripts, notable among them being Tolkappiyam, Arthasastra with two different commentaries and texts on astronomy, Mathematics, Ayurveda, Mimamsa and other systems of philosphy as well.
The Journal of Oriented Research, started in 1927, by Prof. S.Kuppuswami Sastri and subsequently published by the Institute is internationally reowned and carries valuable research articles on Indological subjects by well –known scholars from India and abroad.
The institute is affiliated to the University of Madras for M.Phil and Ph.D in Sanskrit from 1982 and many candidates from the Institute a have been awarded the degree by the university. Besides many foreign scholars from U.K., Europe, U.S.A., Canada and other countries have conducted research here for their Ph.D and post –doctorial projects on different topics.
The K.S.R.I has been organising interesting seminars at national and international levels benefitting scholars, students and the public as well. It has been arranging lectures by eminent scholars regularly.
The institute posseses a unique library of nearly 60,000 rare books in many Indian foreign languages and also ancient palm –leaf manuscripts. The Institute is at present engaged in digitising the manuscript and rare old books. These shall be uploaded in our Web –site shortly.
The Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute stands as a torch bearer for spreading the wisdom of our ancient in the fields of literature, language, philosphy and science. It is ideally situated within the Madras Sanskrit College, Mylapore, a central place in Chennai.
At the outset, I must thank Dr. S.S. Janaki, the Editor of the publication "Siva Temple and Temple Rituals" for inviting me to write its Foreword.
The Lord Almighty, who is the embodiment of this Universe, and is yet apart from every manifest thing, was visualized by the ancient Tamils more than two thousand years ago, as the embodienta of Love. To them and to all of us 'Anbe Sivam' is the most endearing definition of Lord Siva.
Universe is Siva. All of us are Siva and the world's cosmogony can be best understood only through 'Sivatattam'. It is generally accepted that this universe is the creation of the projection of the Almighty, the Supreme Force The Rudra –concept of Rigveda gives references to the siva- aspect of Cosmogony. Creation of the universe is admitted by scientist to be of many million years ago.
Siva worship is as old as creation. Siva is the most ancient God of Tamils. Siva is in all human beings in the 'akasa' form permeating throughout the body. Only when Siva makes a motion, there is productive force. So did Lord Siva in His lila with His 'Tandava' –dance as Sri Natraja, set in motion all creation. Saiva –siddhanta posisis that God dances in the soul and extends the life –principle to man.
The dance of Siva represents the rythem and movement of the world spirit. One can witness the dance of Siva in the rising Sun, in the waves of the ocean, in the rotation of the planets, in lightning and thunder and in the cosmic 'pralaya'. Without Him nothing moves.
People of ancient times worshipped Siva in the form of 'linga'. Some of the ancient rulers of Kumari Kandam had the title 'Siva.'
A hillock in America reveals a hill called Siva. This is a presious evidence of the ancient people of America being Siva –worshippers. Many more evidences of Siva temples, in places such as Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, Colorado etc, have been found.
Siva as 'jothi' is found in Gujrat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and in Maharastra. Siva is resplendent in Ramesvaram in Tamil Nadu where Siva was worshipped by Lord Rama before and after the great war with Ravana.
The spiritual unity of India is thus apparent with an added significane in the belief that no devotee can get emancipated unless he bathes in the Ganges and has darsana of Lord Visvesvara and also bathes in the Setu –samudram and gets darsana of Lord Siva at Ramesvaram.
Furthermore, Siva aspect is five –fold as Prthvi (earth), Appu (water), Theyu (fire), Vayu(air) and Akasa(ether). In Kancipuram, Siva is in Prthvi –rupa ardently worshipped by Devi Kamaksi herself. The Appu –form is in Tiruvanaikayal in Tiruvannamalai famous for its Karthigai Dipotsavam. In Tirukalathi (Kalahasti) the Vayu –form was worshipped from ancient days. The Puranas say that a spider, snake and elephant attained salvation here. In the garbhagrha, there is an eternal flickering flame due to the slow motion of air which has been created by the great architecture. In the sacred Chidambaram in South Arcot District, Siva is Akasa and Siva Tandava (dance) by Lord Natraja keeps humanity alive.
We witness Siva in his Grand dance –forms in Chindambaram, Tiruvalangadu, Madurai and Tirunelveli which are classified as Ananda Tandavam, Kali bhanga –tandavam (or Samhara –tandavam) and Sandhya –tandavam. There are other types of dances as well. For example in Tirukutralam, it is Tripura –tandavam, while in Perur, it is Urdhva –tripura –tandavam. In tirumudisvaram, it is Azhagiya –natanam, while it is Ajapa –natanam in Tiruvarur, Unmata –tandavam in Tirunallar, Kukkuta –natanam in Tirukkaravayal, Hamesa padanatnam in Vedaranyam, Bhringi –natanam in Tirukkolli, Mukamandala –tandavam in Ananthandavaram and Kal –mariya –natanam in Madurai.
There can be no doubt that our ancients chose the Supreme Lord Siva as their own, for special worship. He is the only God who is recognised as both in the nirguna and saguna –forms as the Upanishads rightly proclaim. Visnu and Brahma of the Trinity are only saguna deities. Siva alone is eternity without beginning or end indicative of his nirguna brahmattavam.
While the temples in North India have been destroyed by invasion they are preserved well in Tamil Nadu.
This work edited by Dr. Janaki is a collection of well. Written articles in English and Tamil includes important details to be observed in the construction of temples. All aspects of the temples are clearly daelt with by the learned authors.
The value of the book is enchnaced by the blessings of
1. H.H. Sri la Sri Shanmugadesika Jnana Sambandha Paramcharya Swamigal of Dharampuram Adinam.
2. H.H. Sri la Sri Kasivasi Muttikumaraswami Tampiran Swamigal of Thiruppannthal, and
3. H.H. Sri la Sri Sivaprakasam Pandara – sannidhi Avl. Of Thiruvavaduthurai Mutt.
It is published by the Kuppuswami Satri Reasearch Institute, started in 1994 and developed by various scholar –statesman like Rt. Hon'ble. V.S. Srinivasa Sastri, Sri T.R. Venkatarama Sastri, Sir S. Radhakrishnan, Sri K. Balasubramania Iyer and others. Today, the Institute is a unique temple of learning. As on date it has brought out 46 issues of the Journal of Oriental Research and many research works. Dr. S.S. Janaki, the Director of the Institute has done yeoman service to the Institute. Following the footsteps of her guru and mentor Dr. V. Raghavan. She has edited a number of publications and has been the author of quite a few books.
All lovers of religion will no doubts welcome this publication. It will be of immense benefit, not only to the Tamils, but also to others interested in Indian culture. More works of this nature are needed for the upliftment of present- day society.
Saiva Agamic Studies and Research wer initiated at the Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute From 1979 when Dr. Wayne Surdam (Barkeley, U.S.A.) started his Ph. D. dissertational work on the Diksa section of the Kriyakramadyotika of Aghorasivacarya (also called Aghora –Sivacarya Paddhati) with the undersigned.< p xss=removed>Subesequently Mr. Richard H. Davis (Chicago, U.S.A.) stuidied patterns of specific rituals as from the Kamika Agama and Aghora –Sivacarya Paddhati, followed by three post –graduate scholars from the University of McMaster, Cannada, Miss . Koppedrayer, Mr. Leon Hannote and Mr. Wayne Borody. All of them provided me with the necessary impetus not only to pursue my Saivistic studies with vigour at the theoretical and practical levels but also enabled me to arrange two pioneering and interesting Seminars on the subject. The first was held on 13th July 1980 and the second on 19th June 1983, in both of which well known Sivacarya, Sthapatis, and specialists in the field from India and abroad participated with great enthusiasm. The audience too evinced keen interest in the proceedings of the Seminars.
The present book carries all the paper in Tamil and English presented at the second Seminar on "Siva Temple and Temple Rituals" on 19th June 1983, except Gaurishankar Sthapati's 'Kovil Silaigal'. The Lattter is printed in the Journal of the International Institute of Saiva Siddahanta Research Vol. 3, No.1 July 1987. Of the nine papers published here, those on Divyajastambha and Utsava have been revised and enlarged, Besides, the paper on Cinnamelam/Dasi Attam by Dr. Sakia Kersenboom is added on account of its importance and relevance to the subject.
The paper cover a wide- cross –section of important subjects relating to the strucural details, symbolian, and rituals of Siva temples as documented in Saiva Agamic texts. The first paper is noteworthly for its comprehensive treatment exclusively of Kerala temples, which follow the prescriptions in the Tantra –samuccaya and Sesa –samuccaya that are said to have taken the ideas from the both the Vedas and Agamas.
There is a Tamil adage that none ought to live in an area where there is no temple. This is indeed a meaningful statement. For, the temple does radiate a divine, and pure atmosphere which elevates the mental and spiritual levels of those who live in the vicinity. However, it is only from the Agamic texts that we able to understands how the structural elements and rituals merge and infuse an aura of divinity that pervades the temple. Its activates and the environs. The present book brings out in a critical and documented way, the various structural and ritualsitic patterns. One marvels at these integrated patterns as well as the concern our ancestors had for this life and those that followed.
As the articles are billingual, English summaries for those in Tamil and vice versa have been added for the benefit of a larger audience. Sri A.V. Nagaraja Sarma helped me in the preparation of these summaries. Sri K.S. Balasubramanian and Sri T.V. Vasudeva assisted me in preparing the press copy and going through the proofs.
I am thankful to Dr. N. Mahalingam, President of the Governing Body of the Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute and also of the International Society for the Investigation of Ancient Civilization, for contributing the Forword to the book. Dr. Mahalingam is many faceted person – an industrialist, a lover of all religions, religious minded, an Indologist and a benefactor. He has recently created an endowment at our Institute for pursuing the Saiva Agamic Studies under its aegis.
The publication is twice blessed. It carries the blessings of the three cheif Mathadhipatis in South India namely, of Dharampuram, Thiruppanadal and Thiruvaduthurai for the successfull conduct of the Seminar. It also bears the Narayana Smrti for publication from His Holiness Sri Jayendra Sarasvati Swamigal of Kanchi Kamakoti Pitham. The Institute is beholden to all four of them.
The Institute is thankful to the Supeintendent, the Official Trustee of Tamilnadu, for providing the financial assistance for the publication of the book from the funds of the Trust estate of Kadapakkam Charities.
M/s. Anantesvara Print Packs have neatly executed the printing.
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