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Re: Tiruppavai and Thailand

From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Mon Oct 02 2000 - 11:38:59 PDT

It looks like I wrote with a little bit of haste.
Sri Lakshmi Srinivas sent me a note which gives 
some more documentation about the tirvempAvai-tiruppAvai
recitation in Thailand:

    Well, I don't know anything about Nacchiar Tirumozi in Thailand but I 
    have come across some references to tiruppavai-tiruvempavai in 
    connection to a Thai royal ceremony of the Swing held in mArkazi: 
    It appears that " TP Meenakshisundaram has already noted the 
    relationship between the Tamil tradition and the Thai festival 
    popularly known as Lo Jin Ja ("pulling the swing") but officially 
    called trIyambavAi trIpavAy. ... In conjunction with this festival, 
    Brahman priests of the Bangkok temple recite the first two verses of 
    the tiruvempAvai in an incantatory manner without understanding the 
    words. When Meenakshisundaram visited this temple, he found an image 
    of mANikkavAcakar as well as an image of a female deity which the 
    Thais called BhadrakALi, but which Meenakshisundaram tentatively 
    identifies as ANTAL."  
    (N. Cutler, Consider our Vow, Muttu Patippakam, Madurai, 1979, p. 13.)
    Other references relevant to this discussion are:
    1. T.P. Meenakshisundaram, cayAmil tiruvempavai tiruppavai, Pari 
    Nilayam, Madras, 1961. If you can't get this book, try looking up his 
    paper in: Proceedings of the First Int'l Conf Seminar of Tamil 
    Studies, (Kuala Lumpur, Int'l Assn of Tamil Research, 1968, 1, 11-
    2. H.G. Quaritch Wales, Siamese State Ceremonies, London, 1931.
    3. Encyclopedia of Tamil Literature,  IIAS, Madras, V.1, pp. 69-70. 
    Available in Berkeley :-)
    It is interesting to note that this article says the Thai brahmins 
    were originally from vArANaci (Benares) and rAmesvaram. It does not 
    say anything about SrivilliputtUr.   
    Thanks and Warm Regards,
    Lakshmi Srinivas. 


           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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