Showing posts with label GnanaSambandhar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GnanaSambandhar. Show all posts

Dravida Sishu between Sankara and Sambandhar

Soundaryalahari stanza is given below. It contains world Dravida sisu. Now who is sankara referring to as dravida Sissu is the debate. Is it Sankara or Sambandhar. Let us see.

Dravida Sishu in Soundaryalahari

tava stanyam manyE tuhinagirikanyE hrdayata:

paya:pArAvAra: parivahati sAraswatamiva I

dayAvatyA dattAm dravidasisurAsvAdya tava yat

kavInAm praud’AnAm ajani kamanIya: kava yithA II

The Milk of your Breasts, O daughter of the Mountain, I think is as if from heart there flowed an ocean of the milk of poesy, when the Dravida child tasted this as you gave it to him in compassion, He became the poet laureate of the master poets. (Norman Brown’s translation)

Now the question is who is this dravida Sisu, There is various theories on who this is. Let us see them.

This is the legendary story of about Sankara when he was a kid. Sankara's father Sivaguru worshipped Manikyamangalam Sri Katyayani Devi, who was his Ishta Devata. Sivaguru offered milk as naivedyam to this Devi and brought home a small quantity of this milk as prasadam every day. Sivaguru used to give this prasadam to the child Sankara which he thought that it was the remnant left over by the Deity.

Once, Sivaguru had to proceed to a distant place. Hence, Aryamba, Sankara’s mother took care of the poojas on his behalf. Sankara, a child of four years also assisted her during the poojas. One day, Aryamba directed Sankara to do the poojas , since she was not well.

Sankara went to the temple and placed the pail of milk before the Godddess and prayed her to drink the milk. After some time, seeing that the Goddess did not consume the milk, the child started to weep loudly on disappointment.

Immediately, She appeared before Sankara and drank all the milk in the vessel in order to console him. Sankara stopped weeping and looked into the pail. He again started weeping!...

The Devi was surprised and asked him the reason. Sankara asked Her to give him his share! With a smile Devi placed him on her lap and fed him with the milk from Her breast. It is said that because this divine blessing, Sankara became a celebrated poet.

Sambandar was born to Sivapada Hrudiyar and his wife Bhagavathiar who lived in Sirkazhi in what is now Tamil Nadu. They were Saivite brahmins. When Sambandar was three years old his parents took him to the Shiva temple where Shiva and his consort Parvati appeared before the child. His father saw drops of milk on the child's mouth and asked who had fed him, whereupon the boy pointed to the sky and responded with the song Todudaya Seviyan, the first verse of the Tevaram. His father impressed named in Ganan Sambandhar. He later was called Thiru Gnana Sambandhar.

Dravida Sissu is Sambandhar
Now the debate is Dravida Sissu mentioned by Sankara Soundharya Lahiri is Sambandhar according to Dravidian Scholars. Let us see.

Shankara is Dravida Sishu
Most scholars think it refers to himself. The story suggest same.

Jaya Jaya Sankara
Appar Contemproary of Sambandhar used Jaya Jaya Sankara in his thevarm poem. Now we all know he is referring to Shiva. But we can also say he is referring to Adi sankara. Such word play cannot form basis for historical debate.

Adi Sankara combined 72 sects to establish six streams of  Hindu Diety Worship. Vishnu, Shiva, Devi(Shakti), Surya , Ganesh, Shanmuga (Skanda). Now this concept is called Shanmatha. Sambandhar refers to shanmatha in his padigam.

Sankara ParamaGuru (Guru of Guru Govindapadacharya) Gaudapadacharya is knows as Dravidacharya in North. Shankara praises him as the ultimate authority of his philosophies. Dravida can be a reference to him.

Date of Sambandhar
Now we already seen in another article on Date of Devaram Trio, date of Sambandhar is atleast 1200 AD or later. Dravidian Scholars claim the date to be 7th century AD.

Date of Adi Sankara
Official accepted date is 8th century AD. But there are many claims such as 5th Century BC etc.

Chola Statues
There are some temples dedicated to thevaram trio and some have a statue of a child. Usually statue of child eating butter is Krishna. But due to Sambandhar legend, there are Sambandhar statues as well. Dravidian scholars are of the view that all the child statues are sambandhar. Now when do these statues start apprearing, After 1100AD.

Shankara dates come before Sambandhar. The Sambandhar references to Adi Shankara are often ignored by Dravidian scholars, only Dravida Zizzu in Soundarya Lahiri spoken about. So the Dravida sishu refers to Adi Sankara and not Sampandar

Sources and References:
Speaking Tree
India Divine


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