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Reference:

Representation of corporeality in Tamil Saiva-bhakti canon

Vecherina Ol'ga

PhD in History

Docent, the department of Mediation in Social Sphere, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

127051, Russia, g. Moscow, ul. Sretenka, 29

o.p.vecherina@gmail.com

 

 

DOI:

10.25136/2409-8744.2019.6.31626

Review date:

02-12-2019


Publish date:

09-12-2019


Abstract: The subject of this research is the phenomenon of corporeality and transformation of the model of body in Tamil Saiva-bhakti. The author examines the notional variations of these practices presented in texts of the canon “Panniru Thirumurai”. Description of the path to God as individual practice of a single bhakt comprises the content of Manickavasagar's “Thiruvasagam” (8th book of the canon), while the meticulous description and classification of different variations of the path with detailed recommendations on the improvement of adept’s body are contained in Thirumoolar's “Thirumanthiram” (10th book of the canon). Using the comparative analysis of texts of the canon, the author reveals the formation of the new model of body of the bhakt, which led to changes in the ritual and iconography of temple’s adornment. It is concluded that in the writings of Tamil bhakti poets of the VI-IX centuries has been formed a new representation on Shiva and the new model of adept’s body. The own body initially was perceived as an obstacle in the path to liberation. The extreme forms such attitude obtained in the works of Manickavasagar. Thirumoolar described the new model of adept’s body as the key instrument for achieving mukti. Further development of this model led to advancement of the yogic and alchemic practices in the tradition of Siddhi for acquisition of body that is immortal, perfect, and not subject to corruption. Visionary representations of bhakts led to the drastic transformation of iconographic system of Shivaist temple, realized by Chola Dynasty rulers in the X-XII centuries. Tamil bhakts created a universal complex of spiritual practices, focusing on the work with body, as well as consciousness – through the transformation of body. Such practices not only retained their relevance and practical implementation, but also became widely known outside the region.


Keywords: spiritual practices, psychotechnics, corporeality, body, bhakts, śaiva bhakti, yoga, siddhi, enlightenment, grace
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .

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