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Thursday, July 4, 2024

Thiruvallikkeni Brahmothsavam 2024 ~ Chips from a German workshop !!


The grand Aani Brahmothavam for Sri Azhagiya Singar is now complete and in couple of days Kodai Uthsavam for Sri Parthasarathi would start at Thiruvallikkeni divydesam.  Here are some photos of Sri Thelliya Singar taken on 24.6.2024 -  day 8  during Pathi ula purappadu to Kuthirai vahanam, Emperuman having savaari paagai for riding the horse.


Occasioned to read some parts of a book written by Max Muller and wonder how deep he had dwelt !!  Friedrich Max Müller (1823 – 1900) was a British philologist and Orientalist of German origin. He was one of the founders of the Western academic disciplines of Indology and religious studies. Müller wrote both scholarly and popular works on the subject of Indology. He directed the preparation of the Sacred Books of the East, a 50-volume set of English translations.  Müller became a professor at Oxford University, first of modern languages, then of comparative philology in a position founded for him, which he held for the rest of his life. Early in his career he held strong views on India, believing that it needed to be transformed by Christianity. Later, his view became more nuanced, championing ancient Sanskrit literature and India more generally.  He  promoted the idea of a "Turanian" family of languages. 

In ancient Greek religion and mythology, the Muses were  the inspirational goddesses of literature, science, and the arts. They were considered the source of the knowledge embodied in the poetry, lyric songs, and myths that were related orally for centuries in ancient Greek culture.  

The story begins with an invocation to the Muse. The events begin in medias res towards the end of the Trojan War, fought between the Trojans and the besieging Achaeans. The Achaean forces consist of armies from many different Greek kingdoms, led by their respective kings or princes. Agamemnon, king of Mycenae, acts as commander for these united armies.  Chryses, a priest of Apollo, offers the Achaeans wealth for the return of his daughter Chryseis, held captive by Agamemnon. Although most of the Achaean kings are in favor of the offer, Agamemnon refuses. Chryses prays for Apollo's help, and Apollo sends a plague to afflict the Achaean army. After nine days of plague, Achilles, the leader of the Myrmidon forces and aristos achaion ("best of the Greeks"), calls an assembly to deal with the problem. Under pressure, Agamemnon agrees to return Chryseis to her father, but decides to take Achilles' slave, Briseis, as compensation.   

The Iliad -  a  poem about Ilion (Troy)") is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is one of the oldest extant works of literature still widely read by modern audiences. As with the Odyssey, the poem is divided into 24 books and was written in dactylic hexameter. It contains 15,693 lines in its most widely accepted version.  

Homer (8th century BC) was a Greek poet who is credited as the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems that are foundational works of ancient Greek literature.  The  Iliad centers on a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles during the last year of the Trojan War. The Odyssey chronicles the ten-year journey of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, back to his home after the fall of Troy. The poems are in Homeric Greek, also known as Epic Greek, a literary language which shows a mixture of features of the Ionic and Aeolic dialects from different centuries; the predominant influence is Eastern Ionic.  Most researchers believe that the poems were originally transmitted orally.  

Mythology is like an enormous avalanche of ancient thought that has carried down with it not only snow and ice, but rocks, trees, plants, and animals, nay, even many fragments of human handiwork It but seldom we are able to examine the deposits of such an avalanche in their entirety and, as it were, in situ.  These snowflakes of early thought soon became hardened and changed into ice by inevitable misunderstandings !   

Mythology should in consequence be treated, as I have tried to treat it, however imperfectly, as a chapter of the Science of Language, and as a chapter of the Science of Thought. It belongs to the Science of Language, because that science alone can account to us for the process which deprives roots and words of their original transparency and animation, making them hard and solid, till by constant friction they become mere pebbles, opaque and colourless, but for that very reason perhaps better adapted for the issue and the exchange of the more abstract thoughts of later ages.  

The influence of language on thought, or, to put it more clearly, the influence of old and petrified on new and living thought, was no doubt more powerful in ancient than in modern times. I believe that its silent but irresistible power had been recognised by Hindu philosophers under the name of Apta-vaA’ana, i. e. traditional speech, for which they actually claimed the same authority (pram^na) as for sensuous perception (pratyaksha) and reasoning (anum^na), thus recognising the fact that, like the oyster, the mind has to live on in the shell which it has built for itself. It is curious how few among our modern philosophers have paid proper attention to this determining influence of language on thought, and how apt they are to pass by questions connected with it as mere questions of words ;—they might as well say, mere questions of thought.  

We know, for instance, how important an element in ancient thought or mythology is that of Animism, in German Beseelung. Why was a soul ascribed to the moon or to a river ? The ordinary explanation amounts to no more than that it was so, and that it was very natural. But we know now that it was not only natural, but inevitable, inevitable in the historical growth of language, which was in reality the historical growth of our thought. The moon could only be called or conceived by means of one of the predicative roots.   

Roots were all or nearly all expressive of actions,—as a matter of fact, as I said, as a matter of necessity, as my friend Noire added. Hence a river could only be called and conceived as a runner, or a roarer, or a defender, and in all these capacities always as something active and animated, nay, as something masculine or feminine. Hence we have river, from Latin rivus, and this from the root sru, Greek p4o), to run ; we have Sanskrit. nadi, river, from nad, to roar ; we have Skt. sindhu, river, from sidh, to ward off, to protect, rivers being natural barriers and frontiers, at least in ancient times. 

We have read of botanical mythology, and we might and have equally useful works on astronomical, on religious, nay, even on philosophical mythology.

That the worship of ancestors was drawn into the vortex of mythology is shown clearly enough by the fact that the spirits of the departed were supposed to migrate to the A^est or to the East, to the moon or to the sun, there to join the company of the Devas, nay, to assume themselves a Leva-like or divine nature. Only it stands to reason that the Levas must have been elaborated first, before the Pitr'is could join them and share in their divine attributes.  

If, after we have perceived a general similarity between gods or heroes as described in the Veda and as known to Homer, we discover that they shared their names in common, making allowance only for phonetic changes, a new light seems suddenly to burst over the dark picture of the distant past which we are trying to understand. No one who has not worked himself in this field can imagine the joy of the discoverer, can understand the difference it makes to him when he thus feels the ground safe under his feet. I can only describe it as something like the relief which one experiences when meeting an acquaintance after many years, and feeling convinced that one has seen the face before, though trying in vain to recollect his name. As soon as he tells us his name, we know the man and all about him, and neither strange wrinkles nor white hair can prevent our recognizing our old friend.  

That Varuna reminds us of Ouranos or Ouranos of Varwia is quite true. Still, this is very different from saying that the birthplace or the original concept or naming of the two was the same. But when we find that the name of Varujia can be traced back to the root var, which means to cover, to surround, and which as a name of the sky must in Sanskrit have meant the covering sky, just as the Skt. Name of a cloak, var-utra, meant a covering garment; and if we find that this name can in Greek be represented by Ouranos, we feel that we are standing on firm ground. Both Yarima and Ouranos must have been names of the same mythological concept, names of the coAmring sky, whatever changes happened in later times and in different countries.  

The text in this colour extracted from various pages of :  Chips from a German Workshop (1867) ~ Essays on Mythology & Fololore : The Right Hon F Max Muller 

adiyen  Srinivasa dhasan

Mamandur Veeravalli Srinivasan Sampathkumar


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