Times group publishes distorted history of Hindu Mutt

The Times of India reported yesterday (5th September) that the group on Friday ( 4 th September) brought out a coffee table book –  ”The Holy Sankara Mutt,” putting together the proud lineage of the Kanchi Mutt and its 70 Acharyas, starting from Adi Sankaracharya’s setting up of the Mutt in 482 BC till the present Sankaracharyas Jayendra Saraswati and Vijayendra Saraswati. Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati released the book at a function in the Kanchi Mutt which was attended by Vijayendra Saraswati. The Times Group assistant vice-president Ninan Thariyan received the first copy.

It is also reported that the book provides a good mix of interesting text and photographs that help readers navigate through the 2,500 years of history of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham.

Further the prestigious news paper Times of India spent a full page advertisement with a title of “Guru Parampara – unbrokenlineage of 2500 years”. However, the group has failed to focus on the most important and vital task of any documentation of history – Corroboration and validation of the facts with historians and archaeologists. What a disappointment!.

The fact is that the Government of India officially accepted the period of Adi Sankara as 788 to 820 AD and celebrated 1200 thanniversary of Sankara’s birth in 1988.The 2500 years old Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham could not have pre existed 1221 year old Adi Sankara who was supposed to have found the Mutt!

Therefore the claims of holiness of Kanchi mutt is a blatant lie on two accounts one regarding the date of birth of Adi Sankara and another regarding the period of establishment of the Kanchi mutt. Endorsement of this fraudulent history by the Times group of publication is surprising. Such a reputed media need not propagate a fabricated history by vested interests. The book is likely to lower the image and credibility of the much admired organization , the Times group.

This hard copy print is an attempt to propagate the lies recorded in the web site of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham maintaining that Adi Sankara was born in 509BC and the peetham was established in the year 482 BC.

Every religion has its share of brokers between man and god. However it is the duty of true followers to strike a balance when the brokers try to play god. Hindu religion has its share of brokers who often have attempted to take advantage of peoples faith to gain some mileage. The attempts of these fringe elements who propogate false history with vested interests only causes damage to the true antiquity of the Hindu religion.  However, if you analyze the approach of such fringe elements – their focus is not to promote Hinduism, but to confine it by creating power centers that manipulate the philosophies and religious principles for the benefit of some individuals and people who are closely associated with them.

Let us dive into the truth and see how the claims of these fringe elements fail.

Truth No 1. Adi sankara was born in 8′th century AD

1.Adi Sankara was born in Kaladi Kerala in 788 AD.

2.He propounded the philosophy of Advaita .

3.He travelled in all directions of India to propagate his philosophy and established four mutts at Sringeri ( south ), Puri( East) , Dwaraka( west) and Badrinath ( North) only. He ascended the famous Sarvagna-pitha in Kashmir, and finally passed away near Kedarnath. (There is no evidence to show Kanchi mutt was established by Adi Sankara.)

This is the accepted history of Adi Sankara confirming to the records available at Srinkeri mutt Karnataka.

This history is authentic since Sankara himself quotes the Buddhist logician Dharmakirti, who finds mention in Huen Tsang (7th Century AD). Also, his near-contemporary Kumarila Bhatta is usually dated 8th century AD

Truth No.2. Kanchi Mutt is of recent origin and was not established by Adi Sankara

Thiru. S. Vidyasankar has exposed the history of Kanchi mutt in the web site advaita-vedanta.org and in the interest of propagating the truth, we reproduce some excerpts as below.

1. On August 22, 1987, Sri Jayendra Saraswati disappeared from the Kanchi math and the speculation about the whereabouts of Jayendra Saraswati mounted. The Sankaracharya of Dwaraka, Swaroopananda Saraswati, camping at Pune for the Chaturmasya Vrata, while demanding a high level probe into the mystery, asserted: “Sri Jayendra Saraswati could not be regarded as a Sankaracharya at all, because the Kanchi math was not one of the four peethas constituted by Adi Sankaracharya. It was only a shakha (branch) of the Sringeri peetham.”

2. Several years earlier, Sir C. P. Ramaswamy Iyer, who headed the central commission on Hindu religious and charitable endowments, had announced that `there was no such thing as the Kanchi Kamakoti peetham.

3. It was only in the 20th century works, all compiled after Chandrasekharendra Saraswati ( C.S) the Paramacharya ascended the peetha, that the history of the Kanchipuram math was rewritten. Accordingly, it was proposed that Adi Sankaracharya had spent the last days of his life in Kanchipuram where he attained samadhi, and not in the Himalayas as was generally believed. A mandapam named after the father of the school of advaita philosophy, seen in the Kamakshi temple premises, was cited as his samadhi. (Researchers pointed out that the said mandapam had been constructed very recently. It was originally called `Sankaracharya samadhi’, but when it was pointed out there could not be a samadhi inside a Devi temple, the mandapam was renamed `Sankaracharya sannidhi’ – sanctum, not a tomb.)

4.The twentieth century chronicle written by C.S explained that before his demise, Adi Sankara established a fifth mutt at Kanchi which he intended to be a controlling centre of all the other maths. Sri Sureswaracharya, Sankara’s prime disciple was placed in charge of it. Interestingly, the Sringeri mutt also claims Sureswaracharya as their first pontiff.

5 According to the Kanchi chronicles of C.S, the math in Kanchipuram had to be shifted in the 18th century AD, in the face of opposition from local kings and hence the shift to Kumbhakonam.

6. Historians, however, hold that the Kumbhakonam math established in 1821 AD by the famous monarch of Tanjore, Serfoji and was a branch of the Sringeri math. Later, when a war broke out between the kings of Tanjore and Mysore, the Kumbhakonam math proclaimed independence from Sringeri and established itself as the Kamakoti peetham.”

7. The seal of kumbakonam math is in Kannada language, and refers to it as a “Sarada math.” Since Sarada is worshipped only at Sringeri, and the Goddess at Kanchipuram is Kamakshi, not Sarada, it is seen at once that the Kumbhakonam math did not originally come from Kanchipuram.

8.The Kumbhakonam math shifted to Kanchipuram in accordance with its new story ( woven by C.S). In 1839 AD, the head of the Kumbhakonam math applied for permission to the English Collector to perform the kumbhabhishekam of the Kamakshi temple in Kanchipuram. In 1842 AD, he was appointed sole trustee of the Kamakshi temple by the English East India Company Government. This is well documented because the original priests of the Kamakshi temple, who were thereby deprived of their rights, complained to whomever they could possibly complain to. Numerous petitions, counter petitions, letters, and other such documents are available from this period that allow us to piece together this account. Thus the Kanchi mutt as an institution dates from 1842 AD. The headquarters continued to be at Kumbakonam but the sannyasi head would periodically visit Kanchipuram to assert his rights over the Kamakshi temple.This mutt originally had a limited following in the Tanjore and Kanchipuram areas, but soon embarked on a massive propaganda campaign that ensured it prominence.

The following references are quoted by Thiru S. Vidyasankar .
a) The Illustrated Weekly of India, “The Weekly Cover Story” – K. P.
Sunil, September 13, 1987. 2 a. The Truth about the Kumbhakonam Math, – Sri R. Krishnaswamy Aiyar and Sri K. R. Venkatraman, Sri Ramakrishna Press, Madurai, 1977.
b) Kanchi Kamakoti Math – a MythSri Varanasi Raj Gopal SarmaGanga Tunga Prakashan, Varanasi, 1987.

Truth No 3. Adi Sankara took over Kamatchi amman Temple at Kanchipuram from Jains in 8th century only

It is in the recorded history that during the Pallava period in 6th to 8th century AD, there were religious debates, rivalry, fight, killing and snatching of temples among the followers of Buddhist, Jain, Saiva and Vaishnava school of thoughts in Tamil Nadu especially near Kanchipuram.

The research scholar Ananthanayinar in his book( 1932) titled ” Thirukkural aaraaychchiyum jaina samayasithaantha vilakkamum”,  has stated that Adi Sankara took over Dharmadevi temple from Jains and renamed it as Kamatchi Amman temple. He has said that he visited the temple finding Jain sculptures and symbols left in the garden. He enquired the priests at Kamatchi Amman temple to find the truth that the original diety in the name of Dhabokaamaatchi was hidden behind the existing Kamatchi idol.

Another research scholar Mylai Seeni Venkatasamy in his book ” Bouthamum Thamizhum” has stated that Kamatchi Amman temple once belonged to Budhdhists and there was a deity called Annapoorani.

Considering the fact that Buddhist missionary Manimekalai was at work in Kancheepuram serving food to poor and treating the sick ( thus she could have a a fit name Dharma devi or Anna poorani) as recorded in the Literary work “Mani mekalai” and the circumstances prevailing at Kanchi in 7′th and 8′th centuries, the Kamatchi Amman Temple at Kanchipuram could have been originally a Buddhist temple taken over by Jains and later by Adi Sankara in 8′th century AD only. Therefore the claim that Adi Sankara was born 2500 years before could not be true.

If the age of KamatchiAmman Temple is verified by Archeological department, the truth can be dug out.

The history of taking over of Kamatchi Amman temple by Adi Sankara should have inspired Chandrasekarendra Saraswati to migrate from Kumbakonam to reclaim this temple during British rule. And after establishing in Kanchipuram, Paramacharya should have decided to take a self declared leadership role for all the Sankara Mutts and designed and fabricated the fictious story of uninterrupted Guru Parampara for 2500 years.

The Kanchi kamakoti Peethamin its advertisement in Times of India claims “Even in this age of industrialization and globalization, the link with the Guru has remained intact, guiding people through their lives, leaving them anchored in their values, cultures and traditions. One of the longest established line of Gurus is that established by Adi Sankara”

The intellects in Times group of publication should revisit the history with the help of Historians, Archeologists and verify the claims of conservative religious personlaities before publishing a book. At the best the Times group should keep a distance from such ambitious claims on history and desist from reprinting this book. Else this prestigious group shall become a propaganda machinery of religous gurus who are already tainted by absconding, allegations of sex scandels and criminal offence of murder.

Thus we find that some fringe elements who want to confine Hindu religion are continuously at work to rewrite the history to suit their interest. The book now published by Times group of publication is actually meant to authenticate their lies as a prelude to pressurize the Government of India to celebrate Adi Sankara’s birth centenary celebrations at his birthplace, Kaladi in Kerala, in 2010 as already demanded by the seers of Kanchi mutt.

36 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Some people will believe historians to state the Adi Sankara was in 8th century AD. However, when the same historians and archaeologists give accepted proof of a mutt existing in Kanchi at the time of Krishna Deva Raya (with copper plate evidence) and some stone inscriptions of 10th century Chola period, these very people will not listen to historians. It is convenience.

    If you see the references in the articles Vidyasankar mentioned, he has carefully excluded the references about any antiquity of Kanchi mutt. He would refer to some letter conversation between Tanjore kings and Sringeri to establish a mutt in Kumbakonam. That argument is very flimsy. However, the references he has quoted have somehow kept this topic alive for 200 years. He chose to trust only one side of the story, for reasons known to him.

    First of all who is lying and what is the source of any information for truth or lie?There must be an open conversation of how this time period of 200 years old Kumbakonam – Kanchi mutt comes into play.

    This 200 old Kumbakonam mutt story is a concocted one. Vehemently, for the past 200 years, a mention of the mutt originating in Kumabakonam has been emphasized. Interestingly, before that no one was even caring about Adi Sankara’s history except the hagiographers. Even Sri. Adi Sankara’s birth place was not found. It was the then Sringeri Acharya who found the current Kaladi village.

    The whole row (about this Kumbakonam mutt) is about performing Tatanka prathisTa for Goddess Akilandeshwari in Trichy,TN. That fight is more than 160 years old. In the middle of 1800s, Sringeri mutt claimed that they should do the ceremony, while the mutt in Kumabakonam presented evidence that they had been doing in the past, with the name of Kamakoti mutt. These cases went over and over again for more than 50 years, and finally got settled in 1908. In every case, the court accepted Kanchi mutt’s documentation. The legal expenses drained Kanchi (then in Kumbakonam) mutt’s resources. They did not have any money at all at some point. The mutt barely had money to do daily pujas. So rubbing on them was easy. Sringeri mutt stopped any claim for the right to do this ceremony after 1908.

    During this period, the name of Kanchi mutt has been portrayed as kumbakonam mutt. It sticks even after 100 years.

    Fixing Sri. Adi Sankara’s date has nothing to do with a 200 year old history of Kanchi/Kumbakonam mutt. Whether Sri sankara lived in AD or BC, Kanchi mutt is at least 700 years old. Period.

    There are several villages near Kanchi that have been donated to the mutt by various kings; the documents based on the current dating of these kings including Krishnadeva raya and Chols kings are at least 600- 700 years old.

    The current place, where the mutt building exists in Kanchi, is at least 10 centuries old. In late 80s, an inscription was found where a not-so-rich kisan (of 10th century Chola period) donated some goats and some piece of land to the mutt for lighting ghee lamps in the Ganesha and Adi Sankara sannidhis in the current premise. Based on the language and the writing, the archaeologists mentioned that this is a 10th century inscription.

    Hence naturally, any scrutiny should go back to 700 years before to reconstruct history of Kanchi mutt. Do not spread a 200 year old story.

    Read more, research more and then tell me the original history of Kanchi mutt. Even I would be interested to learn. This is what I have learnt and I am sharing this with you.

    This topic is getting old and sick. Blindly quoting some books and calling names is not correct.

  2. I will say only this.Those who thinks sankara is during 7th-8th century ad are mistaken.I will ask them to look into books like age of sankara and w.r antarkar books to know the truth.If they still thinks this is right then that is their only knowledge

  3. Dear Shaan, Let us start another Ram janmaboomi / Babri Masjid like dispute in Santhome / Kapaleeswarar issue and kill thousands of innocent people and drink their blood and shout” Long live India ‘

  4. Malar You have done a great job. I appreciate your work a lot.Keep it up.

  5. @Phani Pendyala

    Absolute Nonsense, Param Pujya Uttaradi Mutt swami was never defeated.. none of the Sad Siddantha Vaishnava swamiji’s can ever be defeated…
    And as a matter of fact Advaita scholars were defeated not Swamiji… He even converted a group of Buddists back to Hinduism 5 yrs ago…

  6. India is a great place with so many history secrets hidden in it. I had been to Chennai this summer, although the climate is too hot there, but the places are worth visiting and beautiful. The most favorite of mine is Kapaleeswarar temple. The most clean and peaceful place. Recently it has won the ISO certificate.
    http://www.travelindia360.net/kapaleeswarar-temple-chennai.html

  7. Namaskara,

    Sri Gurubhyo Namah:

    I heard that Parama Pujya Uttararadi mutt Swamiji was defeated ( I feel that this is impossible) by Adviata scholar in Kumbhakonam. Is this true.

  8. I think these guys waste time in investigating unncessary thuings. What if Adi Sankara was born in BC or AD. We need to absorb the phylosophy of the guru and not fight on other things. In any religion it is immetrial when the gurus are born or attained samadi it is important to learn what they preached. Adi Sankara was the preacher of Advita and If we can aborb even 0.1% of what the guru preached then we can attain moksha. The Advaita petam that he started is called Sri Sharada Peetham, Sringeri which was established mainly to fight against all who try to mislead people away from Advaita and to make them understand the real meaning of what vedas.

  9. Sri Sankara and his contemporary disciple Sureswaranrefer the buddhist scholar Dharmakeerthi by name. Dharmakeerthi has been placed in AD 700 by historians. So Sankara could not have lifved in BC period as told by Kanchi math. Then its lineage from 509 BCis false.. Court records refer this matha as ‘Chikkudaiyar swami’ which is a kannada name. Why? Even in 1839 AD the math has been referred as above. Further the math was appointed temnporary trustee of Kanchi Kamakishi temple in AD 1842 by Collector of Chinglepet A. Freeze. If the math has been there right from 509 BC, and was in charge of Kamakshi temple, why this happened? Further the original sthanikars of Kamakshi temple object to this above referred appointment and in the petition refer this swamigal as ‘an outsider’

  10. Malarthamil, the alien has brought the issue of kapaleeswarar temple in this discussion. It is a generally accepted fact that the kapaleeswarar temple was at the location of the present Santhome church. Even an archeologist from the archeological survey of India (I don’t remember his name, but he was non Tamil, who knows tamil well) in an interview in Pothigai TV was saying that the kapaleeswarar temple was at the location of the Santhome Church and then the temple was moved to the present location. He didn’t explain whether it was moved forcefully or not because the main discussion was on the city of Chennai and they didn’t go deeper into this issue. It is historically acknowledged that elsewhere too the Portuguese were brutal in oppressing native religions (eg. Goa inquisition). Can you delve deeper into this?

  11. Ronin, I remember reading a book in Tamil with details on how the Europeans adopted inhuman methods to destroy the natives in South America. (The book should be “Manithanukkul miruham” by mathan – vikadan publicatuion). The aggressors have committed attrocities on innocent people which is spread in all continents. History of nations do not record those facts.

  12. Thyagarajan, the blogspot you recommend has already been referred in comment 4. Very intersting to see people who cannot differentiate between story and history.

  13. Latest research is throwing new lights on some of our beliefs..DNA research by some researchers in India and in US is indicating that the caste system was not originally Indian at all and it was imported by later immigrants..

    And if you combine this with writing of foreign travellers in India before our degradation, we seemed to have been a more progressive set of people then..

    I have to add this story I listened in my trip to Brazil..Most natives succumbed to portugese invaders in war easily..One tribe did stand up..The portugese businessman/invader took a bucket of ethanol and showed it to them..And lighted it..the whole liquid burned..He said look how I have powers to burn your water..If you oppose us all your rivers and water will be burned by us..Obviously the natives were defeated psychologically before losing the war..

    I have heard stories like this from native Indians in N America..Science is magic until it is unraveled..Science in the hands of inhuman men is more dangerous..Incidentally there is 1% natives left alive in brazil now..

    As intelligent human beings we not only need to learn new science, but as well as discard old beliefs or mental prisons..We owe this to our co-humans to protect our own kind from the ignorant or inhuman contemporaries..

  14. Hello Malar:

    I am now convinced that inspite of reading Sankara’s works, you continue to be clouded by Maya (or Moha)because of a simple typo. Share the following updated link with your friends, so that they too get to see the facts that you never divulged:

    http://kanchimutttruehistory.blogspot.com/

    What has motivated an agnostic like you to become the mouthpiece of the “Srinkeri Mutt”? Accident or design?

    Thyagarajan

  15. Ronin, Alien

    Thanks for your appreciation,

    Indian History of Politics, Society, Literature, Philosophy and Religion should be rewritten as lots of archeological finds of the last decade are left un researched.

    Many do not understand that this is an age of information and we have more information and tools to get and spread information useful to find the truth.

    Any amount of information is useless to the fellows who take refuge in religion for their selfish ends.

    malar

  16. Thyagarajan S Submitted on 2009/09/14 at 4:34pm a comment in which he says “ You have also not posted suppressed my friend S Thyagarajan’s responses sent to you “with a name Ramanujan at the end of the comment

    Ramanujan Submitted on 2009/09/14 at 4:35pm the same comment again with a name Ramanujan at the end of the comment

    What does it mean?

    This is Advaita

    It appears to be two

    But there is only one.

    All maya!

    All here enjoy your story stating Modern Western historians have now accepted that Buddha rightfully should be placed at 1800BC and that Sankara should be placed 500BC.

    This is childish, for the sake of a lie which claims Sankara to 500BC, you push Buddha to 1800 BC.

    Dear Thyagarajan/ Ramanujam better you read the world history and Indian history in a comprehensive way. You look so innocent devotee of kanchi mutt.

    Your argument lacks logic. I doubt whether you ever read Adi Sankara.
    He is one of the finest and greatest intellects I have ever read. I do not subscribe to his preaching and practices but I admire his intelligence. You should learn from him how to get involved in a meaningful debate with unfailing logic.

    Kindly read his works, come back and record what you feel. All these claims of history have nothing to do with his great works.

  17. I welcome history to be researched by rigorous scientific enquiry and the myths, if any, to be busted, whatever the religion they belong to.

    So if St. Thomas is scientifically proven to be buried in Kerala, so be it. If he proven to be buried in San Thome after he was martyred by a bunch of murderers in St. Thomas Mount, so be it. If it is proven that it was not “St. Thomas” the disciple of the saint Jesus, son of Joseph, but a different person named Thomas who came to preach the word of Christ in Kerala, so be it. I don’t claim that only one religion or cult should be subjected to rigorous scientific enquiry to separate the facts after busting the myths. Let every religion be subjected to the same and if what they claim are proven to be myths, then so be it!

    When did the Vatican claim that St. Thomas did not land in Kerala? Yes, they were involved in a controversy regarding the date of his landing which was later clarified. Besides, what the Vatican claims need not be taken as the gospel truth. What they claim about history needs to be verified as well.

    So what if the Kapaleeswarar Temple was on the seashore during an ancient time? It’s a scientific fact, well proven that the sea shore shifts with time (it can move in either direction). That’s why large parts of Mamallapuram were washed away by erosion (and possibly a tsunami or two). The reverse could have been the case in other places and the sea would have receded, as the sea has been recorded to have receded in the area around Chennai even after the Brits set foot here.

    Myths need to be busted, especially if they emanate from sources with vested interests who desire to propagate them with ulterior motives.

    When the four Peeths were established (for the four parts) with none of them having jurisdiction over the other, how can a breakaway Mutt that emerged much later claim that it was established as the controlling centre for all the four??? It’s certainly fishy and I learnt the facts only after reading this article.

    Malar, it looks like you have ruffled a lot of feathers by exposing the myths propagated by vested interests. Keep up the good work!!!

  18. Malar,

    It requires courage, clarity and confidence to write a research article abt tradition and religion. Specifically in the Indian vedic context..I admire your courage ..

    Proud to be associated with you!

    Regards,

    Ronin

  19. Dwarka had 80, Puri had 145 and Kanchi had 70 Acharyas respectively. Puri had more Acharyas because there the Acharyas installed are old (after passing through householder stage. Sringeri is the only exception with 36 Acharyas.
    Traditional Indian historians always maintained (the antiquity) that Victorian Western Orientalists failed to get the Chronology of Indian history right. Victorian historians pushed forward the chronology to show that India developed much later than the West. Modern Western historians have now accepted that Budha rightfully should be placed at 1800BC and that Sankara should be placed ~500BC.
    The great Chandrasekhar Bharati of Sringeri and Chandrashekarendra Saraswati of Kanchi had great mutual admiration, respect for each other and recognized the respective Mutts.
    Truth really has taken a dive and your article should be retracted. You have also not posted suppressed my friend S Thyagarajan’s responses sent to you twice which brought out the baseless and flawed information you are posting.
    -Ramanujan

  20. Dwarka had 80, Puri had 145 and Kanchi had 70 Acharyas respectively. Puri had more Acharyas because there the Acharyas installed are old (after passing through householder stage. Sringeri is the only exception with 36 Acharyas.
    Traditional Indian historians always maintained (the antiquity) that Victorian Western Orientalists failed to get the Chronology of Indian history right. Victorian historians pushed forward the chronology to show that India developed much later than the West. Modern Western historians have now accepted that Budha rightfully should be placed at 1800BC and that Sankara should be placed ~500BC.
    The great Chandrasekhar Bharati of Sringeri and Chandrashekarendra Saraswati of Kanchi had great mutual admiration, respect for each other and recognized the respective Mutts.
    Truth really has taken a dive and your article should be retracted. You have also not posted suppressed my friend S Thyagarajan’s responses sent to you twice which brought out the baseless and flawed information you are posting.
    -Ramanujan

  21. I have to mention full address of the site from where I have reproduced some relevant details in Truth no.2 as reference. While address is given there is no need to google.

    http://www.advaita-vedanta.org/avhp/alt_hindu_msg.html

    Those who claim realistic history can read real history as detailed in this site.

    Lot of discussions about Hinduism, Advaita, Adi Sankara and his period can be seen from this site.

  22. ‘Soon ‘journalists’ would come to the conclusion that everyone where Jains/Buddhists – i.e. nobody were Hindus – 1000 years ago.’ – writes Suresh kumar.

    Hinduism is not a religion proper founded by men calling themselves Hindus proper. The appellation, ‘Hindu’ itself did not occur in ancient scriptures like Vedas. It is pointed out by both western and eastern scholars that the appellation is a modern creation only.

    As a religion, there was no religion called Hindu religion then. What is said to be obtaining then is a way of life based on some philosophy that grew from such scriptures called Vedas, Upanishads, Smritis. Suresh talks about 100O years ago, i.e just a millennium ago. But the two religions Jainism and Buddhism are not just a millennium old; they are a few millennia old.

    Lets assume – in fact, it is accepted – that around 3 millennia ago, that the way of life called Vedic Brahmanism existed; and, then, came the other two religions proper Jains and Buddhism. Since it is not a religion but a way of life only for a group in society, and that too, hardly practicable even for them then, let alone now, there was a void for some tangible religions – a void to fill which, the two religions arose.

    My point is: the people who call themselves today Hindus did not exist then. All that existed were only brahmins who strictly followed that way of life.

    So, there is no religion called Hindu religion. The rituals and ceremonies found in the ‘way’ and those found in the other two, were give-and-take only. Many of such things can be original to either the way or the two. For e.g the yoga. Both Jains and Buddhists were more at home in this practice of yoga, so much so that the idols of their spiritual heroes like Jains, Thirthaakarars, Gautam and other Bodhisatvas are all in yogic pose, whereas, among Hindu pantheon, all of them are awake, and expectantly participating in human affairs. In one or two instances, you can find their gods in yogic pose, for e.g. the yogi Siva.

    Not able to counter these assumptions or facts – because there are no solid proof for either side – the Hindus of today take a clever way of assimilating both Jains and Buddhists under the umbrella of Hinduism as religion. Modi ordered his government officers to include in the census not only the above two, but also, the Sikhs, in the state census, which was objected to by Sikhs in Supreme Court; making Modi to drop the idea like a hot potato.

    RSS’s agenda today is to bring all these India-born religions as Hindustani religion and hence, eligible to be included in Hindutva. Some have fallen to this bait. You can see some Jains in the Viswa Hindu Parish, as office bearers. And, Sikhs in the demonstration against Muslims and Christians.

  23. Dear Sureshkumar

    This is not a question of copy paste or not, as I have clearly stated this “Thiru. S. Vidyasankar has exposed the history of Kanchi mutt in the web site advaita-vedanta.org and in the interest of propagating the truth, we reproduce some excerpts as below…”

    I have no intention of hiding the source of information either.

    And do you have any reservations against KP Sunil , the journalist, and the authors Sri R. Krishnaswamy Aiyar and Sri K. R. Venkatraman, and Sri Varanasi Raj Gopal Sarma,? Do you think they too are so foolish as me?

    What you need to understand is that you should concentrate on what is said and not who said it.

    Because you do not consider those people as worthy now I really copy paste another matter from your respectable source

    http://www.sringerisharadapeetham.org/

    “Welcome to the website of Jagadguru Shankaracharya Mahasamsthanam, Dakshinamnaya Sri Sharada Peetham, Sringeri. The Peetham is the first and foremost of the four Peethams established by the renowned 8th century philosopher saint Sri Adi Shankara, the principal exponent of Advaita (non-dualism). The Divinity of Knowledge, Goddess Sharada, installed at Sringeri by Sri Adi Shankara, graces the Peetham as the presiding deity. Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamigal, the 36th in the illustrious and unbroken lineage of Acharyas presently adorns the throne of transcendental wisdom – the Vyakhyana Simhasana, the title associated with the Pontifical Seat of the Peetham. The Jagadguru upholds the activities of the Peetham towards the propagation and sustenance of Sanatana Dharma while pervading the lives of many thousands of disciples as their spiritual guide.”

    Now, Suresh kumar , tell me

    1.why Sringeri math call Sri Adi Sankara as 8th century philosopher?
    Is it not in contrast with the claim of Kanchi mutt pushing Adi Sankara to 25 centuries back?

    2. Why there are only 36 acharyas claiming unbroaken lineage starting from Adi Sankara in Sringeri math, while there are as many as 70 acharyas claiming unbroaken lineage starting from Adi Sankara in Kanchi mutt? Which is true?

    3. If both are true, do you think two Adi Sankaras were born? If so which Adi Sankara propounded Advaita?

    If you deeply analyse and think about it you will realise the truth yourself and you need not worry about my reading, journalism etc.

    Kindly come back and record here what you realise.

    with sincere hopes about Suresh kumar’s abilities

    malar

  24. The premise and the facts on which the article is based is itself dubious. Just google with related terms like ‘Adi Sankara Hstory’ and you will get the so-called researched and cross-referenced article as part of Truth 2, word-by-word. So the half the article is a copy-paste from some website – kudos to this journalistic standard.

    Another ironical thing about the preceding reply – if Adi Sankara converted a jain temple into kamakshi temple – why would the ‘jain’ Times group support an institution claiming to be derived from him by releasing the book? Also – please tell clearly – did Adi Sankara.convert a Jain temple or a Buddist temple – be clear – come up with ‘scientifc research’?

    Just by copy-pasting dubious articles (without proper research back-up) – one cannot claim to have done ‘scientifc research’.

    The least Malar could have done is to contact the persons mentioned as part of Truth 2 to verify their finding.
    Does Malar know where they are?

    And by re-emphasising and parroting some other web-articles on Adi Sanaka establishing four peeths etc. – you do not contribute to any ‘scientifc’ research.

    Its all your choice – if you wish to close your mind to fact on Adi Sankara historicity by declaring it is scientifc research – good for your thinking process. Probably, the same thinking process makes you agree to St. thomas ‘history of martyredhood’.

    Agreed that historicity should be verified by scientific reasearch and evidence – so do not believe in myth propagated that St. thomas landed in Kerala/Chennai – where is the verifiable evidence?

    Do you know that there is a claim by a group of Kerala Christians that St. thomas’s grave is in Kodungaloor (in Kerala)?
    Do you know that the Vatican in 1951 rejected the theory that St. thomas landed in Kerala (or for that matter in Chennai)?
    Do you know that the present-day Kapali temple in Mylapore was originally in the seashore (please read Saiva saint Appar’s Thevaram – where mentions this).
    Do you know that the Portuguese attacked this and destroyed this temple during 17th century and built the St. thome church over it?
    And you should also know that St. thomas story was cooked up (all the martyrdom myth) to justify their actions.

    So ‘scientific research’ should be applied in all cases – not just saiva/vaishnava (no Hindu according to you) history.

    And if you are really interested in scientifc research on history – please have an objective approach to any fact.

  25. It’s funny that people tend to criticise an article even before reading it completely based on their pre-conceived notions. Let’s take something from the article that was written by the author:

    It is in the recorded history that during the Pallava period in 6th to 8th century AD, there were religious debates, rivalry, fight, killing and snatching of temples among the followers of Buddhist, Jain, Saiva and Vaishnava school of thoughts in Tamil Nadu especially near Kanchipuram.

    Nowhere does the author mention a word against Hindus or Hinduism as a religion. The word “Hinduism” itself did not exist at the time (it was coined only during the British rule). The author clearly mentions that there was religious rivalry and fighting between different schools of thought and this includes two sects within “Hinduism” itself – Saivism and Vaishnavism. There is historic proof based on recorded facts (not myths) for all this and the Jains and Buddhists of that time were probably as guilty as the Saivites and Vaishnavites of indulging in rivalry and fighting.

    There is no doubt that Jainism and Buddhism flourished throughout the sub-continent and that they were in perpetual conflict with the established faiths (not necessarily a single monolithic “Hinduism”) of the time while also influencing each other in several subtle and not-so-subtle ways. The Thirukural undoubtedly has some influences from the Jaina school of thought. The Jains and Buddhists have made immense contributions to classical Tamil literature along with the others. Even today, there is a small Tamil Jain community in TN (they’re indigenous and not recent Jain migrants from Gujarat or Rajasthan). There are some remote caves in TN where Jain and Buddhist ascetics have lived.

    The Jain and Buddhist sects were not only affected and eventually “absorbed” by the revival of Hindu sects but were also affected badly when Islam entered India. Perhaps the entry of Islam into India was the final nail in the coffin of Jainism and Buddhism from which they never recovered. All these are historical facts backed by scientific evidence and not sheer myths propagated by dubious characters whose authority is questioned even by others within Hinduism just like Avimukteshwaranand mentioned:

    Aadi shankaracharya established only four peeths, not Kanchi.

    The Christian saint certainly did not land in Chennai about 2000 years ago since the city of Chennai did not even exist back then. Saint Thomas actually landed somewhere in Kerala and began spreading the word of Jesus Christ there. This is also a historical fact backed by evidence. St. Thomas was the only apostle who spread Christianity beyond the sphere of influence of the Roman Empire. He was eventually martyred in a place called St. Thomas Mount that exists on the outskirts of the modern city of Chennai.

    It’s only to save Tamil Nadu (and indeed the rest of India) from going to the dogs with vested interests that we need history based on scientific research and archaeological evidence and not the propagation of false myths whose authencity is questioned not just by scientists and historians but also religious figures within Hinduism. Great job, Malar… keep posting articles like these that question the propagation of myths.

  26. Mr Pandian,

    The media dominated by upper castes of India here refers to the brahmin-bania groups. Most English media houses are founded and run by the marvaadis (the jains, Goenkas, in Chennai, the brahmins). This is a well known fact. You are correct to say people shouldnt complain of domination or oppression and rise against such oppression or domiantion.

    This is possible only when such oppression is open. If it is subtle and subterraneon, none can do anything against it.

    The instant article by Malarththamizh points to this factor namely, the Jains who consider themselves a co-group with brahmins, make every effort to uphold the interests of such groups. TOI is owned by Jains. IE is owned by Marwaris. HT is owned by Aditya Birla group, another maarvaadi etc. Brainwashing through media is subtle which cant be called ‘oppression’ proper.

    In the OBC reservations issue, these groups sided with anti-reservation lobby stridently. You write as if they are against dalits only. No. They are against anyone other than brahmins and banias.

    I sense such a surreptitious vendattaa against the others in the propoganda for Kanchi mutt.

    I would also make it clear here that the journlaists who are reporting TN politics from Chennai, for the media based in Delhi and other metros, are brahmins, except a few like Panneerselvam and Bhagwan das, but both of them, I think, have left the delhi media. From what one reads the regular reporting that gets printed in the captial media, one can fairly say the reporters are biased against the dravidian politicians.

    The one newspaper that stands out from this pack of biased newspapers, is Statesman of Calcutta, which has an edition from New Delhi also. It had had Sam Rajappa reporting from Chennai, but now he has retired. Mr Devasahyam IAS’s article about the IAS postings, which Truthdive has reissued here, appeared in Statesman first, where I read it months ago.

    Srinivasa Raagavan, who is now an asst editor of the Hindu, was asked to leave from TOI because he took up the cause of dalits in the AIIMS matter, against Venugopal. Just an example.

  27. Nowadays it has become fashionable to attribute anything of ancinet Hindu origin to Jains / Buddhists.
    There seems to be a vested interest with writers like Malartamil to do so. The truth behind such activities has to be found out. Soon ‘journalists’ would come to the conclusion that everyone where Jains/Buddhists – i.e. nobody were Hindus – 1000 years ago. Such journalists will not bat an eyelid when somebody claims that a Christian saint landed in Chennai 2000 years back.

    Malartamil – You have to note the irony – Illustrated Weekly (now closed) is (was) part of Times Group. But to criticise Time Group, you quote their article. Also, you have mentioned another person’s name as a source – is he an authority on such matters relating to historicity.

    Tamil Nadu would go down to dogs if such ‘journalists’ exhibit such anti-hindu stance on anything related to Hindu institutions/culture/history.

  28. Most Indian history is left for debate due to lack of a scientific approach by any group – especially the Indian media.

    What else can one expect from the nauseating Indian “mainstream media”? If these lowlife liars (most of them) cannot even report on current events accurately without acting as the paid mouthpiece of criminal regimes and corporate advertisers, how can we expect them to be truthful with history? :???:

    Lots of changes are anticipated from the Indian media in this regard.

    It’s simply too much to expect rats :-x to behave in a civilised manner. The rats in the Indian “mainstream media” live in the sewer of yellow journalism and thrive on the lies and filth that is thrown to them by their advertisers (the criminals in the government and the crooks in the corporate lobby).

    I am not a Dalit, but I truly feel that its important for one to come out of the limitations from within his mind first before he/she can come out of the limitations imposed by external factors.

    Sunder, I’m not sure if Dalits have any limitations within their minds at all. It’s only the external factors imposed on them by the practices of the filthy caste system that’s limiting them.

    Soon the Indian media – one of the last frontiers to embrace social reforms will embrace diversity.

    That will unfortunately remain a dream, I’m afraid :-(

    Let’s assume the filthy marxist toilet paper The Hindu actually decides to appoint any decent journalist (not necessarily a Dalit) to its board of editors just for the sake of having one person from outside the savage sub-human family coterie they have at present. Does anyone think they will give up their brand of paid sewer journalism just because they have one decent journalist on the editorial board? :???: Far from it! It will actually destroy the reputation of the decent journalist who has associated himself/herself with that stinking rag! :shock: Some things are best left to rot and destroy themselves by their own filthy deeds as their very existence is a disgrace to the civilised world. :-x

  29. Zeno – Nobody stops one from becoming a journalist or running a media group. The situation prevails because there is lack of interest and ownership among other social groups. I would not blame others for the sorry state.

    Also I would rather prefer not to use the term Upper Caste/Lower Caste even to reiterate some one else’s point. Its easy to say that somebody is oppressing me, but hard to say (and feel) that no one can oppress me. I am not a Dalit, but I truly feel that its important for one to come out of the limitations from within his mind first before he/she can come out of the limitations imposed by external factors. I am glad to see that several Dalits in India are championing for change. Dalits have a burning desire and the determination to bring change. So in essence, nothing can stop a determined mind. Soon the Indian media – one of the last frontiers to embrace social reforms will embrace diversity.

    I am glad that TruthDive is part of this journey and we welcome participation from anyone.

  30. ‘and I wonder why?”

    No wonder.

    The media is dominated by upper caste Hindus mostly. A survey taken some years ago proved that.

    They obstruct anything that questions the brand of history they cherish and want to pass for ‘real history’.

  31. As much as one feels proud about the ancient nature of certain social structures – a more scientific approach in validating and ascertaining the historical facts is important. I doubt if the article published by Times group focussed on this methodology. Most Indian history is left for debate due to lack of a scientific approach by any group – especially the Indian media.

    Lots of changes are anticipated from the Indian media in this regard. As long as there is lack of diversity in the Indian media – we are not going to see an analytical approach in reporting and documenting of facts. The fault is not with one group or the other. Rather we should seek participation from diverse sections of our society to rectify this situation.

    I appreciate Malarthamil’s approach of presenting cross references to substantiate certain claims. I do feel that Indian media excessively focuses on spiritual aspect of Indian history. Other aspects such as Valor, Trade, Administration and even politics have taken a backseat and I wonder why?

  32. http://kanchimutttruehistory.blogspot.com/

    Please see the above link.

    • Dear Ramanujan

      According to your own realistic history Adi Sankara was supposed to have come in when Budhism was well entrenched in India,

      Your version of history says Adi Sankara was born in 509BC and the peetham was established in the year 482 BC.

      According to recorded history, Budhdha was born in 563 BC and died in 483 BC.

      You claim means Adi Sankara was born just 54 years after the birth of Buddha and you believe that Kanchi mutt was established just one year after the death of Budhdha.

      Everyone knows that Budhdhism as a religion was evolved only after Centuries later to the death of Budhdha. His teachings were collected as Dhammapatham only after few centuries from the period of life of Budhdha.

      I accept that Adi Sankara came many centuries later to the period of Buddha when Buddhism was well entrenched in India.

      Therefore please agree with my findings on History.

  33. aadi shankaracharya established only four peeths. not kanchi ,

  34. “We create our own history. Who can stop us, and why does it matter?”
    If the above sounded ridiculous, or cynical, then it is not. Among the sociological circles (+chest thumping nationalistic circles) such nonsense is a respectful intellectual position. Educated people should be alarmed at these things.

    Such articles can serve as a reminder to people, I can only hope.

    -vikadakavi

  35. Thanks for this informative article, Malar! I was not aware of so many facts about the Kanchi mutt.

    So many temples in Tamil Nadu were actually Buddhist and Jain places earlier and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Kanchi was one such temple. Even several idols of Hindu gods and goddesses are actually those of Jain and Buddhist gurus.

    Well, the Times of India cannot really be considered as the last word in reliability. They are known to concentrate on sensationalism, trivialism and promotion of paid content to increase their readership and revenues without caring much about verifying the facts. In any case, they do have a much larger readership and respectability than a toilet paper like The Hindu, under the filthy sewer journalist N. Ram and his cronies, acts as the paid mouthpiece of criminal regimes, commie pigs and mass murdering scum creatures from around the world.

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