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Murukak Katavul Valipatu: A Study of the Worship of God Murukan in Malaiyakam on Ilam and in Tamilakam
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, History of Religions.
2003 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation highlights the continuity of murukak katavul valipatu, “the worship of god Murukan”, with its distinct characteristics, in the changing history of the island known as Ilam/Ilankai/Lanka/Ceylon/Sri Lanka. The institution of the worship of god Murukan in Tamil civilization is crucial to a historical understanding of the problems of the Tamil people in Malaiyakam where they have now lived since about 1800 (two centuries). The growth of the awareness of murukak katavul among Tamils in Malaiyakam – this mountainous landscape generates a new dynamic dimension in the religious and socio-political affairs in the history of Ilam. This investigation raises the problem of when, where, how and why the institution of the worship of murukak katavul in Malaiyakam was established.

First of all, in the origin and development of murukak katavul heritage, the study presents some major characteristics of valipatu, “worship”, tiruvila, “the holy festival”, of Tirumurukan. Sacred onomatics and toponomy in Malaiyakam reveal the religious manifestations among the Tamils. The Tamil people express their belief and practice of camayaneri, “the way of religion”, not only in the family shrines, and in the temples of Murukan on the regional level. The Tamils also continue their camayaneri in the kurincik kumaran kovil in Peradeniya University. Furthermore, they are active in the great temple of Katirkamap Perumal, “the great lord of Katirkamam”, in mutur, “the ancient village”, of Ilam in the national-international dimension in the encounter with religions of the multi-ethnic Tamil-Sinhalese-Christian-Muslim-Vadda communities from the standpoint of yatum ure yavarum kelir, “all are[our] kin and every place is [our] village”. Hence, in this temple not merely the aniconic presence of Tirumurukan is experienced, but also this temple as “spiritual solace”, is ascribed to the evocation of “awe and reverence, love and worship among all types of people” who visit this abode of Murukan for “peace and solace”. Thus, Murukavel says, “do not fear, take care, I know of your arrival”, and bestows paricu, “gift”.

Secondly, the study shows how Tirumurukan is referred to as the redeemer/liberator in the interrelation of religions and sociopolitics in the history of Malaiyakam. An attempt is made to show how camayaneri can play a vital role in the battle for liberation to achieve urimai, “rights”, in the prevailing milieu of violence, and suffering. Thus, the slogan “out of bondage” of the population of Malaiyakam became a reality. In the interreligious relation, this study also indicates how through Murukam, Caivam and Pauttam (Buddhism) were/are involved in the ongoing process of reinterpretation and transformation, a fact which provides new insights into the controversial issues of the island.

Thirdly, the investigation aims at providing available date-information with a critical and viable interpretation of texts with reference to the study of religions. The study is based on Tamil texts and observations from field work in Malaiyakam of Ilam and Tamilakam. The texts used are: Nakkirar’s (2nd century) tirumurukarruppatai, “Directing on the Way to Holy Murukan”, Arunakirinatar’s (14th-15th century) tiruppukal, “the Divine Praise”, and, further, other relevant sources of the past which are the same as today, facts which the field work substantiates. The texts, however, constitute and preserve the continuity in the midst of transformation. The selected materials, in the form of transliteration and a new translation, are presented in an interlinear arrangement of mulam, the “original”, text.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Religionshistoria , 2003. , 398 p.
Keyword [en]
Religion, murukak katavual calpu, murukam, anpu, arul, arivu, aram, valipatu, vanakkam, tiruvila, terottattiruvila, vitutalaipporattam, vitualai, vinai/karma, cur, tunpam, paricu, vituperu/uytiyiyal, inpam, ulakam uvappa, youth, beauty, divinity, festivity, fragrance, the excellence of god Murukan, the aniconic presence of tirumurukan, holy Murukan, Murukaism, love, grace, wisdom, religious/moral virtue, worship, adoration, sacred festival, the chariot procession of the sacred festivity, battle for liberation, redemption/liberation, action, the evil force, suffering, gift, soteriology, bliss, as goal of existence, let the world rejoice
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Religious Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-3810ISBN: 91-506-1712-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-3810DiVA: diva2:163753
Public defence
2003-12-08, Sem 2, Uppsala university building, Uppsala, 14:15
Available from: 2003-11-06 Created: 2003-11-06Bibliographically approved

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