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Re: Tiruppavai and Thailand

From: R Shashidhar (
Date: Fri Sep 29 2000 - 03:03:11 PDT

Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati adverts to 
it in a different context as quoted in "Hindu Dharma" 
(selected translation of Deivattin Kural ?)

relevant excerpt:

Even today a big festival is held in 
Thailand in December- January, corresponding to the
Tamil Margazhi, the same month during 
which we read the Tiruppavai and Tiruvembavai with
devotion. As part of the celebrations 
a dolotsava (swing festival) is held. A remarkable
feature of this is that, in the 
ceremony meant for Visnu, a man with the make-up of Siva is
seated on the swing. This seems to be 
in keeping with the fact that the Tiruppavai and
Tiruvembavai contribute to the unification 
of Vaisnavism and Saivism. 

If you ask the people of Thailand about the 
Pavai poems, they will not be able to speak about
them. It might seem then that there is no basis 
for connecting the that festival with the
Pavai works merely because it is held in the month 
corresponding to the Tamil Murgazhi. But
the point to note is that the people of that country 
themselves call it "Triyampavai-Trippavai".          

Those who read the Bible today are likely to 
be ignorant about the Upanisads, but they are
sure to know the story that can be traced back 
to them, that of Adam and Eve. The Thais now
must be likewise ignorant about the Pavis but, 
all the same, they hold in the month of Dhanus
every year a celebration called "Triyampavai - Trippavai. " 
As part of it they also have a
swing festival in which figures a man dressed 
as Siva. Here the distortion in the observance
of a rite have occurred during historical 
times- one of the distortions is that of Siva being
substituted for Visnu. Also during this period 
the Thais have forgotten the Pavis but,
significantly enough, they still conduct a 
festival named after them. 

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