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Re: [Ind-Arch] An Untold History of ancient South India where 8000 Jains were impaled!

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  • somahuti
    That this is a fiction has long been demonstrated by the famous historian KAN Sastri. Kalavai should be able to give references.
    Message 1 of 8 , Dec 30, 2012
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      That this is a fiction has long been demonstrated by the famous historian KAN Sastri. Kalavai should be able to give references.

      --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, Ram Varmha <varmha@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Unfortunately, there is truth in Mr. Hemanththiru's post.
      > There is even a fresco on a wall of the Madurai Temple showing Jaina monks being impaled on spears. The subject is well known.
      > All this has been discussed in sufficient details at various Indic sites in the past.
      > I do not think it is worth opening up a new string on this topic at this site. It will only be repetitive.
      > Regards,
      > Ram 
      >  
      > https://www.facebook.com/EnlightenedNiche
      >  
      > http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/htss/htss03.htm
      >  
      > http://www.indiadivine.org/showthread.php?t=172552
      >  
      > http://jainology.blogspot.in/2008/06/development-of-jainism-outside-bihar.html
      >  
      >  
      >  
      >  
      >  
      >  
      >   
      > --- On Thu, 12/27/12, Sunil Bhattacharjya <sunil_bhattacharjya@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > From: Sunil Bhattacharjya <sunil_bhattacharjya@...>
      > Subject: Re: [Ind-Arch] An Untold History of ancient South India where 8000 Jains were impaled!
      > To: "IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com" <IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com>
      > Date: Thursday, December 27, 2012, 1:22 AM
      >
      >
      >
      >  
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > This is just an assertion by anti-Shaivite group or is a validated statement with reliable references?
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > From: hemanththiru <hemanththiru@...>
      > To: IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Monday, December 10, 2012 1:58 PM
      > Subject: [Ind-Arch] An Untold History of ancient South India where 8000 Jains were impaled!
      >
      >
      >
      >  
      >
      > An Excerpt from: http://hemanththiru.blogspot.ca/2012/12/sambandar-impalement-religious.html%c3%82%c2%a0
      > Please read on for a "rational re-look" into our ancient history, in an interesting format.
      >
      >
      > 7th century Tamil Nadu, India. A little boy is born to pious Brahmin parents in the quaint little town of Sirkazhi. As the boy attains the age of three, he is taken to a nearby Shiva temple. While the father takes a dip in the temple's pond, Lord Shiva and his consort Parvathi appear in front of the boy. Before the father comes back to the son, they disappear and the little boy is left with drops of milk on his lips. When asked who fed him, the little finger points up towards the sky and the soft lips start singing a hymn praising the lord. Over the following years, the boy goes up to sing the most amazing hymns in Tamil that forms the Holy Book of Saivism (religion of the Shiva devotees). The little boy was none else than - one of the most renowned of the 63 Nayanmars - Thirugnana Sambandar. The lad who was fed by the Goddess herself!
      >
      >
      > 15th Century Eastern Europe. The cruel of the cruelest King reigns over the country. The Ottoman Empire is being eroded away by this ruthless warrior. As tens of thousands of enemies' bodies get cruelly impaled in long and sharp arrows, the horrific image of this King spreads throughout Europe as a forest fire. He was none else than King Vlad III Dracula - the demonic warrior whose very thought and the bloody cruel punishments bring shrills and shivers to people up to this day!
      >
      >
      > Now, why are these two different people being juxtaposed? Do they share anything in common? What if they do? 
      >
      >
      > To understand the link here, readers should first clearly understand what "Impalement" is, and how it made Vlad Dracula stand out in history as the most horrific ruler. For the movie-buffs out there, impalement ("Kazhuvettram") is what Kamal Haasan ("Rangaraja Nambi") gets as punishment for not practicing Saivism (worshipping Lord Shiva) in "Dasavatharam" movie. It's a kind of punishment where the body of a human is pierced from his bottom and pushed up through the body, to reach out through the head. (This being such a gory punishment is precisely the reason why the movie didn't show the way the punishment exactly works, but toned it down a bit). It was such a torturous execution method used in the early and medieval ages.
      >
      >
      > Now to the story that links everything up. It was the 6th century in ancient Tamil Nadu when the saint Thirugnana Sambandhar lived. It was a time when Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism coexisted in the land. However, oftentimes there were quarrels among these different groups, usually followed by persecution of the losing religious group. (Note that the Hindus were divided into Saivites and Vaishnavites, and the quarrels between them is yet another story!) The Pandya King called Koonpandiyan who ruled around the region of Madurai, was coaxed to convert to Jainism by the Jain monks in his country. This displeased the Queen and his ministers to a great extent, who were ardent worshippers of Shiva. After knowing about the young Saivite saint called Sambandar, they solicit his help to cure the king's recent illness and also to convert him back to Hinduism (Saivism). Sambandhar travels to Madurai and successfully cures the king's illness (that the Jains
      > couldn't) by singing a hymn and smearing holy ash on the king's arm. Unable to accept the defeat, the Jains set up a second test wherein the Jain literature palm leaves and the Saivaite palm leaves (of Sambandhar's) are to be fed to fire, and whichever group defies the test of fire, wins. As the leaves are fed to fire, the Jain leaves are burnt to ashes, Sambandhar's leaves are untouched. Unable to accept the defeat again, the Jains challenge Sambandhar for a final test - this time, a test of water.  
      >
      >
      > In the final test of water, palm leaves containing religious hymns from each side are dropped into the Vaigai River. While the Jain leaves drown and get washed away, Sambandhar's leaves swim against the water currents. Sambandhar wins over the Jains in all the three tests. Amazed at Sambandhar's feat, the king accepts to convert to Hinduism. What is more worthy to be highlighted here is that all the defeated Jains were impaled one by one, headed by the saint Thirugnana Sambandhar himself. A grand total of 8000 Jains were cruelly impaled on that gory day!
      >
      >
      > When the novelist Bram Stoker embarked on creating the world-famous horror novel, Dracula in 1897, he aptly named the protagonist with the name of the cruel warrior Dracula. King Dracula's thousands of impalements speak of his horror. The same kinds of impalements have happened in the name of religion in our Sambandhar story as well! 
      >
      >
      > Now when I step into a Hindu temple and touch the feet of the 63 Nayanmar saints one by one - and when I reach Thirugnana Sambandhar - I would stop for a moment. To think.
      >
    • Sunil Bhattacharjya
      Oh I see. However is it not strange that the aggrieved party had not mentioned it in any of their texts. All the murals / figures may be figurative or
      Message 2 of 8 , Dec 30, 2012
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        Oh I see. However is it not strange that the aggrieved party had not mentioned it in any of their texts. All the murals / figures may be figurative or pretentious with a message to the Jains to keep off from the Shaivites, who would impale anyone coming their way. I deduce this way as the name of a great Shaivite saint is involved.

        Regards,
        Sunil Kb



        From: Ram Varmha <varmha@...>
        To: IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Saturday, December 29, 2012 1:38 AM
        Subject: Re: [Ind-Arch] An Untold History of ancient South India where 8000 Jains were impaled!

         
        Unfortunately, there is truth in Mr. Hemanththiru's post.
        There is even a fresco on a wall of the Madurai Temple showing Jaina monks being impaled on spears. The subject is well known.
        All this has been discussed in sufficient details at various Indic sites in the past.
        I do not think it is worth opening up a new string on this topic at this site. It will only be repetitive.
        Regards,
        Ram 
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
          
        --- On Thu, 12/27/12, Sunil Bhattacharjya <sunil_bhattacharjya@...> wrote:

        From: Sunil Bhattacharjya <sunil_bhattacharjya@...>
        Subject: Re: [Ind-Arch] An Untold History of ancient South India where 8000 Jains were impaled!
        To: "IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com" <IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com>
        Date: Thursday, December 27, 2012, 1:22 AM

         
        This is just an assertion by anti-Shaivite group or is a validated statement with reliable references?


        From: hemanththiru <hemanththiru@...>
        To: IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Monday, December 10, 2012 1:58 PM
        Subject: [Ind-Arch] An Untold History of ancient South India where 8000 Jains were impaled!

         
        An Excerpt from: http://hemanththiru.blogspot.ca/2012/12/sambandar-impalement-religious.html 
        Please read on for a "rational re-look" into our ancient history, in an interesting format.

        7th century Tamil Nadu, India. A little boy is born to pious Brahmin parents in the quaint little town of Sirkazhi. As the boy attains the age of three, he is taken to a nearby Shiva temple. While the father takes a dip in the temple's pond, Lord Shiva and his consort Parvathi appear in front of the boy. Before the father comes back to the son, they disappear and the little boy is left with drops of milk on his lips. When asked who fed him, the little finger points up towards the sky and the soft lips start singing a hymn praising the lord. Over the following years, the boy goes up to sing the most amazing hymns in Tamil that forms the Holy Book of Saivism (religion of the Shiva devotees). The little boy was none else than - one of the most renowned of the 63 Nayanmars - Thirugnana Sambandar. The lad who was fed by the Goddess herself!

        15th Century Eastern Europe. The cruel of the cruelest King reigns over the country. The Ottoman Empire is being eroded away by this ruthless warrior. As tens of thousands of enemies' bodies get cruelly impaled in long and sharp arrows, the horrific image of this King spreads throughout Europe as a forest fire. He was none else than King Vlad III Dracula - the demonic warrior whose very thought and the bloody cruel punishments bring shrills and shivers to people up to this day!

        Now, why are these two different people being juxtaposed? Do they share anything in common? What if they do? 

        To understand the link here, readers should first clearly understand what "Impalement" is, and how it made Vlad Dracula stand out in history as the most horrific ruler. For the movie-buffs out there, impalement ("Kazhuvettram") is what Kamal Haasan ("Rangaraja Nambi") gets as punishment for not practicing Saivism (worshipping Lord Shiva) in "Dasavatharam" movie. It's a kind of punishment where the body of a human is pierced from his bottom and pushed up through the body, to reach out through the head. (This being such a gory punishment is precisely the reason why the movie didn't show the way the punishment exactly works, but toned it down a bit). It was such a torturous execution method used in the early and medieval ages.

        Now to the story that links everything up. It was the 6th century in ancient Tamil Nadu when the saint Thirugnana Sambandhar lived. It was a time when Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism coexisted in the land. However, oftentimes there were quarrels among these different groups, usually followed by persecution of the losing religious group. (Note that the Hindus were divided into Saivites and Vaishnavites, and the quarrels between them is yet another story!) The Pandya King called Koonpandiyan who ruled around the region of Madurai, was coaxed to convert to Jainism by the Jain monks in his country. This displeased the Queen and his ministers to a great extent, who were ardent worshippers of Shiva. After knowing about the young Saivite saint called Sambandar, they solicit his help to cure the king's recent illness and also to convert him back to Hinduism (Saivism). Sambandhar travels to Madurai and successfully cures the king's illness (that the Jains couldn't) by singing a hymn and smearing holy ash on the king's arm. Unable to accept the defeat, the Jains set up a second test wherein the Jain literature palm leaves and the Saivaite palm leaves (of Sambandhar's) are to be fed to fire, and whichever group defies the test of fire, wins. As the leaves are fed to fire, the Jain leaves are burnt to ashes, Sambandhar's leaves are untouched. Unable to accept the defeat again, the Jains challenge Sambandhar for a final test - this time, a test of water.  

        In the final test of water, palm leaves containing religious hymns from each side are dropped into the Vaigai River. While the Jain leaves drown and get washed away, Sambandhar's leaves swim against the water currents. Sambandhar wins over the Jains in all the three tests. Amazed at Sambandhar's feat, the king accepts to convert to Hinduism. What is more worthy to be highlighted here is that all the defeated Jains were impaled one by one, headed by the saint Thirugnana Sambandhar himself. A grand total of 8000 Jains were cruelly impaled on that gory day!

        When the novelist Bram Stoker embarked on creating the world-famous horror novel, Dracula in 1897, he aptly named the protagonist with the name of the cruel warrior Dracula. King Dracula's thousands of impalements speak of his horror. The same kinds of impalements have happened in the name of religion in our Sambandhar story as well! 

        Now when I step into a Hindu temple and touch the feet of the 63 Nayanmar saints one by one - and when I reach Thirugnana Sambandhar - I would stop for a moment. To think.





      • Rajan Menon
        This interpretation make more sense. Debates and Competitions have always formed part of Ancient Indian Culture. However, in Central American Mayan culture,
        Message 3 of 8 , Dec 31, 2012
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          This interpretation make more sense. Debates and Competitions have always formed part of Ancient Indian Culture.
          However, in Central American Mayan culture, during "ball games" the defeated party was often sacrificed. Indian culture has no such tradition.  

          Rajan Menon


          On Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 11:59 AM, ravilochanan iyengar <ravilochan_tn@...> wrote:
           

          The Tamil Periya Puranam of Shaivas does mention this episode.

          As per traditional accounts recounted by Shaiva scholars, there was a wager involved about the debate's outcome. The loser side will get impaled. As Jain scholars lost the debate, they underwent the impalement. It reminds us of the story of As.t.Avakra and Vandin. There seems to be a precedence for such kind of wagers.

          But the Tamil Jaina literature has no reference to this episode. Therefore, it is also believed by a school of scholars that this is a later invention of Shaivas. This position is also bolstered by the fact that elders of erstwhile Pandya territory (my granduncle used it) use the term 'kazhuvEttit.t.An' (impaled) while referring to anyone defeating his enemy soundly. Thus, the phrase might have given birth to the story of Sambandar impaling the Jaina ascetics by the time of Periya Puranam (though the original use of the term might have been simply a reference to the defeat of the Jainas).
           
          Ravilochanan



          From: Sunil Bhattacharjya <sunil_bhattacharjya@...>
          To: "IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com" <IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Thursday, 27 December 2012 11:52 AM
          Subject: Re: [Ind-Arch] An Untold History of ancient South India where 8000 Jains were impaled!

           
          This is just an assertion by anti-Shaivite group or is a validated statement with reliable references?


          From: hemanththiru <hemanththiru@...>
          To: IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Monday, December 10, 2012 1:58 PM
          Subject: [Ind-Arch] An Untold History of ancient South India where 8000 Jains were impaled!

           
          Please read on for a "rational re-look" into our ancient history, in an interesting format.

          7th century Tamil Nadu, India. A little boy is born to pious Brahmin parents in the quaint little town of Sirkazhi. As the boy attains the age of three, he is taken to a nearby Shiva temple. While the father takes a dip in the temple's pond, Lord Shiva and his consort Parvathi appear in front of the boy. Before the father comes back to the son, they disappear and the little boy is left with drops of milk on his lips. When asked who fed him, the little finger points up towards the sky and the soft lips start singing a hymn praising the lord. Over the following years, the boy goes up to sing the most amazing hymns in Tamil that forms the Holy Book of Saivism (religion of the Shiva devotees). The little boy was none else than - one of the most renowned of the 63 Nayanmars - Thirugnana Sambandar. The lad who was fed by the Goddess herself!

          15th Century Eastern Europe. The cruel of the cruelest King reigns over the country. The Ottoman Empire is being eroded away by this ruthless warrior. As tens of thousands of enemies' bodies get cruelly impaled in long and sharp arrows, the horrific image of this King spreads throughout Europe as a forest fire. He was none else than King Vlad III Dracula - the demonic warrior whose very thought and the bloody cruel punishments bring shrills and shivers to people up to this day!

          Now, why are these two different people being juxtaposed? Do they share anything in common? What if they do? 

          To understand the link here, readers should first clearly understand what "Impalement" is, and how it made Vlad Dracula stand out in history as the most horrific ruler. For the movie-buffs out there, impalement ("Kazhuvettram") is what Kamal Haasan ("Rangaraja Nambi") gets as punishment for not practicing Saivism (worshipping Lord Shiva) in "Dasavatharam" movie. It's a kind of punishment where the body of a human is pierced from his bottom and pushed up through the body, to reach out through the head. (This being such a gory punishment is precisely the reason why the movie didn't show the way the punishment exactly works, but toned it down a bit). It was such a torturous execution method used in the early and medieval ages.

          Now to the story that links everything up. It was the 6th century in ancient Tamil Nadu when the saint Thirugnana Sambandhar lived. It was a time when Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism coexisted in the land. However, oftentimes there were quarrels among these different groups, usually followed by persecution of the losing religious group. (Note that the Hindus were divided into Saivites and Vaishnavites, and the quarrels between them is yet another story!) The Pandya King called Koonpandiyan who ruled around the region of Madurai, was coaxed to convert to Jainism by the Jain monks in his country. This displeased the Queen and his ministers to a great extent, who were ardent worshippers of Shiva. After knowing about the young Saivite saint called Sambandar, they solicit his help to cure the king's recent illness and also to convert him back to Hinduism (Saivism). Sambandhar travels to Madurai and successfully cures the king's illness (that the Jains couldn't) by singing a hymn and smearing holy ash on the king's arm. Unable to accept the defeat, the Jains set up a second test wherein the Jain literature palm leaves and the Saivaite palm leaves (of Sambandhar's) are to be fed to fire, and whichever group defies the test of fire, wins. As the leaves are fed to fire, the Jain leaves are burnt to ashes, Sambandhar's leaves are untouched. Unable to accept the defeat again, the Jains challenge Sambandhar for a final test - this time, a test of water.  

          In the final test of water, palm leaves containing religious hymns from each side are dropped into the Vaigai River. While the Jain leaves drown and get washed away, Sambandhar's leaves swim against the water currents. Sambandhar wins over the Jains in all the three tests. Amazed at Sambandhar's feat, the king accepts to convert to Hinduism. What is more worthy to be highlighted here is that all the defeated Jains were impaled one by one, headed by the saint Thirugnana Sambandhar himself. A grand total of 8000 Jains were cruelly impaled on that gory day!

          When the novelist Bram Stoker embarked on creating the world-famous horror novel, Dracula in 1897, he aptly named the protagonist with the name of the cruel warrior Dracula. King Dracula's thousands of impalements speak of his horror. The same kinds of impalements have happened in the name of religion in our Sambandhar story as well! 

          Now when I step into a Hindu temple and touch the feet of the 63 Nayanmar saints one by one - and when I reach Thirugnana Sambandhar - I would stop for a moment. To think.






        • Ram Varmha
          No one would put up such murals / figures to ward off Jains from coming close. And if in fact the Jains did come close they would be impaled, is it? And what
          Message 4 of 8 , Jan 2, 2013
          • 0 Attachment
            No one would put up such murals / figures to ward off Jains from coming close.
            And if in fact the Jains did come close they would be impaled, is it?
            And what if the Jains did come close to the Shaivites, or Vaishnavites or whom ever? Will they polute the surroundings? If that belief existed then it was discrimination; and that can not be condoned either.
            The fact of the matter is that some cruel despots of that time did punish the Jains by impalement among other atrocities. History is full of despots who have committed horrible crimes, as they are continuing to do even today.
            Otherwise, Hinduism, like Buddhism and Jainism are basically tolerant religions. Just because some over zealous Shaivite king subjected such punishment does not mean ALL the kings were the same.
            A few rotten apples will not spoil the entire basket!
            Ram
             
             
             
             

            --- On Sun, 12/30/12, Sunil Bhattacharjya <sunil_bhattacharjya@...> wrote:

            From: Sunil Bhattacharjya <sunil_bhattacharjya@...>
            Subject: Re: [Ind-Arch] An Untold History of ancient South India where 8000 Jains were impaled!
            To: "IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com" <IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com>
            Date: Sunday, December 30, 2012, 8:18 PM

             
            Oh I see. However is it not strange that the aggrieved party had not mentioned it in any of their texts. All the murals / figures may be figurative or pretentious with a message to the Jains to keep off from the Shaivites, who would impale anyone coming their way. I deduce this way as the name of a great Shaivite saint is involved.

            Regards,
            Sunil Kb



            From: Ram Varmha <varmha@...>
            To: IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Saturday, December 29, 2012 1:38 AM
            Subject: Re: [Ind-Arch] An Untold History of ancient South India where 8000 Jains were impaled!

             
            Unfortunately, there is truth in Mr. Hemanththiru's post.
            There is even a fresco on a wall of the Madurai Temple showing Jaina monks being impaled on spears. The subject is well known.
            All this has been discussed in sufficient details at various Indic sites in the past.
            I do not think it is worth opening up a new string on this topic at this site. It will only be repetitive.
            Regards,
            Ram 
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
              
            --- On Thu, 12/27/12, Sunil Bhattacharjya <sunil_bhattacharjya@...> wrote:

            From: Sunil Bhattacharjya <sunil_bhattacharjya@...>
            Subject: Re: [Ind-Arch] An Untold History of ancient South India where 8000 Jains were impaled!
            To: "IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com" <IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com>
            Date: Thursday, December 27, 2012, 1:22 AM

             
            This is just an assertion by anti-Shaivite group or is a validated statement with reliable references?


            From: hemanththiru <hemanththiru@...>
            To: IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Monday, December 10, 2012 1:58 PM
            Subject: [Ind-Arch] An Untold History of ancient South India where 8000 Jains were impaled!

             
            An Excerpt from: http://hemanththiru.blogspot.ca/2012/12/sambandar-impalement-religious.html 
            Please read on for a "rational re-look" into our ancient history, in an interesting format.

            7th century Tamil Nadu, India. A little boy is born to pious Brahmin parents in the quaint little town of Sirkazhi. As the boy attains the age of three, he is taken to a nearby Shiva temple. While the father takes a dip in the temple's pond, Lord Shiva and his consort Parvathi appear in front of the boy. Before the father comes back to the son, they disappear and the little boy is left with drops of milk on his lips. When asked who fed him, the little finger points up towards the sky and the soft lips start singing a hymn praising the lord. Over the following years, the boy goes up to sing the most amazing hymns in Tamil that forms the Holy Book of Saivism (religion of the Shiva devotees). The little boy was none else than - one of the most renowned of the 63 Nayanmars - Thirugnana Sambandar. The lad who was fed by the Goddess herself!

            15th Century Eastern Europe. The cruel of the cruelest King reigns over the country. The Ottoman Empire is being eroded away by this ruthless warrior. As tens of thousands of enemies' bodies get cruelly impaled in long and sharp arrows, the horrific image of this King spreads throughout Europe as a forest fire. He was none else than King Vlad III Dracula - the demonic warrior whose very thought and the bloody cruel punishments bring shrills and shivers to people up to this day!

            Now, why are these two different people being juxtaposed? Do they share anything in common? What if they do? 

            To understand the link here, readers should first clearly understand what "Impalement" is, and how it made Vlad Dracula stand out in history as the most horrific ruler. For the movie-buffs out there, impalement ("Kazhuvettram") is what Kamal Haasan ("Rangaraja Nambi") gets as punishment for not practicing Saivism (worshipping Lord Shiva) in "Dasavatharam" movie. It's a kind of punishment where the body of a human is pierced from his bottom and pushed up through the body, to reach out through the head. (This being such a gory punishment is precisely the reason why the movie didn't show the way the punishment exactly works, but toned it down a bit). It was such a torturous execution method used in the early and medieval ages.

            Now to the story that links everything up. It was the 6th century in ancient Tamil Nadu when the saint Thirugnana Sambandhar lived. It was a time when Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism coexisted in the land. However, oftentimes there were quarrels among these different groups, usually followed by persecution of the losing religious group. (Note that the Hindus were divided into Saivites and Vaishnavites, and the quarrels between them is yet another story!) The Pandya King called Koonpandiyan who ruled around the region of Madurai, was coaxed to convert to Jainism by the Jain monks in his country. This displeased the Queen and his ministers to a great extent, who were ardent worshippers of Shiva. After knowing about the young Saivite saint called Sambandar, they solicit his help to cure the king's recent illness and also to convert him back to Hinduism (Saivism). Sambandhar travels to Madurai and successfully cures the king's illness (that the Jains couldn't) by singing a hymn and smearing holy ash on the king's arm. Unable to accept the defeat, the Jains set up a second test wherein the Jain literature palm leaves and the Saivaite palm leaves (of Sambandhar's) are to be fed to fire, and whichever group defies the test of fire, wins. As the leaves are fed to fire, the Jain leaves are burnt to ashes, Sambandhar's leaves are untouched. Unable to accept the defeat again, the Jains challenge Sambandhar for a final test - this time, a test of water.  

            In the final test of water, palm leaves containing religious hymns from each side are dropped into the Vaigai River. While the Jain leaves drown and get washed away, Sambandhar's leaves swim against the water currents. Sambandhar wins over the Jains in all the three tests. Amazed at Sambandhar's feat, the king accepts to convert to Hinduism. What is more worthy to be highlighted here is that all the defeated Jains were impaled one by one, headed by the saint Thirugnana Sambandhar himself. A grand total of 8000 Jains were cruelly impaled on that gory day!

            When the novelist Bram Stoker embarked on creating the world-famous horror novel, Dracula in 1897, he aptly named the protagonist with the name of the cruel warrior Dracula. King Dracula's thousands of impalements speak of his horror. The same kinds of impalements have happened in the name of religion in our Sambandhar story as well! 

            Now when I step into a Hindu temple and touch the feet of the 63 Nayanmar saints one by one - and when I reach Thirugnana Sambandhar - I would stop for a moment. To think.





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