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Thoughts - thamiz archchanai
Should the archchanai for deities in the temples be done in thamiz ?
There are two perspectives to this.
Traditionally irrespective of location archchanai has been done mainly
in saMskR^itam. While both thamiz and saMskR^itam are considered to be holy
languages, why not in thamiz ? Is it because there is no classical thamiz
archchanai prescribed in any of the holy texts ? Why not, many of the olden
thamiz saints have written such archchanai. thirun^Avukkarachar's
pORRith thiruththANdakam and mANikka vAchakar's pORRith
thiru akaval to name a few. One should be allowed to worship the God
with these holy hymns. When the archchanai is in the local language one
could really involve in the meaning of the great praises of the Lord. In
fact this is one major point by which missionaries are able to reach the
masses - using local language for worship.
But when the worship needs to be understandable irrespective of
the individual worshippers language background it needs to be in common
language. While the saMskR^ita archchanai is in practice throughout, it
could be allowed to continue for such a common worship. More than that
these are all holy mantras that produce good effect just by chanting.
They should not be meddled with and should be chanted as it is. The
affection on one particular language and the chauvinism should not stand in
the way of chanting these holy mantras. These mantras in spite of association
with some language stand above all these in the path of worship. (At times
these mantras get interpreted in different languages. For example the mantra
shiva gets interpreted in separate ways in saMskR^itam and thamiz.) It
would be a disastrous mistake if the mantras in saMskR^itam are discarded
in this language passion. So the saMskR^ita archchanai needs to stay.
While the saMskR^ita archchanai in temples is to stay forever,
thamiz archchanai also could happen when one prefers. People need to realize
the importance of including the local language worship also along with that
so that everybody enjoys. It should not be looked down. Given these points
it should be upto the worshiper to choose the language he wants to pray to
God and nobody could force it. It is after all the languageless love worship
of kaNNappa n^AyanAr that the Lord was pleased with. For thamiz archchanai
the classical work done by the thamiz saints thousands of years back is very
good enough and in the name of creating a new one some messy situation should
not arise. It is very bad that this issue is getting politicized. It is a
matter of individual preference and the politicians should keep away from
these. The tolerance of Hindus should not be taken for granted.
Posted On : 02.01.1999
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