Sunday, April 19, 2015

Virinchipuram Temple

Virinchipuram Temple Inscription: Say No to Dowry by Brahmins of Padaividu kingdom 

A Tamil Inscription from Margabandeswarar Temple in Virinchipuram offers some respite for DOWRY, THE SOCIAL CURSE that has vexed Brahman community during the reign Devaraya II (reigned 1432–46), Vijayanagara emperor.

Agreement against Dowry by Brahmanas of the kingdom of Padaividu

This inscription refers to the Brahmana Dharma (Sacred Law of Brahmans) and specific reference to the Brahmanas of the kingdom of Padaividu (town of Padavedu - previously known as Padaividu - now in the Polur Taluk, Thiruvannamalai district) including Karnataka, Tamil, Telugu and Lata (the old name of Gujarat) Brahmanas. An agreement, signed by the representatives of Brahmanas of the kingdom of Padaividu , vouch to conduct marriages in their families as mere 'Kanyadhana.' - the part of the marriage ceremony where the bride's father only gives away the bride to the bridegroom. Both fathers of bride and bridegrooms who accepted money and the who paid the money, should be subject to punishment by the king and to excommunication for their caste. The canonical works on sacred law discourages the practice of paying money as dowry. The marriage thus concluded is termed as 'Asura Vivaha' and the sacred law condemns such practices.

What is dowry? Dowry is a transaction between two parties involving cash, or other valuable articles such as precious metals, gems, clothing, appliances, real estate, or goods for entertainment, made as a condition for entering a marriage contract.

Although dowry was illegalized in 1961 (The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 in India), people from almost all castes are demanding dowry to different extents. Youngsters and parents view dowry as a 'way of accumulating economic capital.'

Newspapers and other media report daily about dowry harassment ranging from a lifetime of verbal abuse to extreme physical and sexual abuse. It is also closely interlinked to female infanticide, neglect of the girl child, denial of educational and career opportunities to daughters, domestic violence, rape, extortion, homicide and other kinds of discrimination against women.

In Tamil society dowry and prestige are the two closely related social issues. Those who are in their demanding side never wants to give up and those who are in the accepting side always yielding to the demand in spite of great deal of difficulties.

Present day consumerism wants to say no to dowry. Women’s rights organisations are turning the miseries of dowry victims.

Inscription inside the front gopura of the Virinchipuram Temple

(No.56 Inside the front gopura of the Virinchipuram temple, second inscription to the right: III - Inscriptions at and near Virinchipuram. Tamil and Grantha Inscriptions. South Indian Inscriptions)

Tamil Text

சுபமஸ்து. ஸ்வஸ்தி ஸ்ரீ . ஸ்ரீமன் மகா ராஜாதிராஜ பரமேசுவரரான ஸ்ரீ வீரபிர
தாப தேவராய மகாராஜர் ப்ரித்விராஜ்யம் பண்ணி அருளானின்ற சகாப்தம்
1347ழின் மேல் செல்லானின்ற விஸ்வாசு வருஷம் பங்குனி மாதம் 3க்கு
சஷ்டியும் புதன்கிழமையும்பெற்ற ஆநுசத்து நாள், படைவீட்டு இராஜ்யத்து
அஸேஷவித்யமஹாஜநங்களும் அகர்கபுஷ்கரணி கோபிநாத ஸன்னதியிலே
தர்ம ஸ்தாபந மையபத்ரம் பண்ணி குடுத்தபடி

இற்றைய நாள்முதலாக இந்த படைவீட்டு ராஜ் யத்து பிராமணரில்
கன்ன(டி)கர் தமிழர் தெலுங்கர் இலாளர் முதலான ஆஸேஷ கோத்திரத்து
அஸேஷசூத்தரத்தில் அஸேஷகையிலவர்களும் விவாஹம் பண்ணுமிடத்து,
கன்னியாதானமாக விவாஹம் பண்ணக் கடவராகவும் கன்னியாதானம்
பண்ணாமல் பொன் வாங்கி பெண் கொடுத்தால், பொன் கொடுத்து விவாஹம்
பண்ணினால், ராஜ தண்டத்துக்கும் உட்பட்டு பிராமண்யத்துக்கும்
புறம்பாகக் கடவரென்று பண்ணின தர்ம ஸ்தாபன மைய பத்ரம்; இப்படிக்கு
அஸேஷ வித்ய மகாஜனங்கள் எழுத்து


Let there be Prosperity! Hail! On the day of (the nakshatra) Anusham (Anuradha Star constellation) which corresponds to Wednesday, the sixth lunar day, the 3rd (solar day) of the month of Panguni (Tamil Calendar month) of the Visvavasu (Tamil Calendar year) year, which was current after the Saka (Shalivahana calendar) year 1347 (had passed), while the illustrious maharajadhiraja-parameswara, the illustrious Virapratpa-Devaraya-maharaja was pleased to rule the earth,-the great men of all branches of sacred studies of the kingdom (rajyam) of Padaividu drew up, in the presence of (the god) Gopinatha (of) Arkapushkkarini, a document (which contains) an agreement fixing the sacred law. According to (this document), if the Brahmanas of this kingdom (rajyam) of Padaividu, viz., Kannadigas, Tamilas, Telungas, Ilalas, etc.,of all gotras, sutras, and sakhas conclude a marriage, they shall, from this day forward, do it by kanyadana. Those who do no adopt kanyadana, i.e., both those who give away after having received gold, and those who conclude a marriage after having given gold, shall be liable to punishment by the king and shall be excluded from the community of Brahmanas. These are the contents of the document which was drawn up.

The following are the signatures of the great men of all branches of sacred studies:-

Virinchipuram Maragathambihai samedha Margabandheeswarar temple

Virinchipuram Maragathambihai samedha Margabandheeswarar temple is located near Vellore town in the Chennai-Bangalore Highway. The east facing temple is around 1300 years old and is very rich in extraordinary sculptures and artistic pillars. The legend is found in Arunachala Puranam, Siva Rahasiyam, Kanchi puranam and many other holy books . Aadhi Shankaracharyar did the Beejakshara Pradhishtai to the Simha theertham of the temple. The temple was venerated by Thirumoolar, Pattinathar, Thirugnana Sambhandhar, Appar, Arunagirinadhar, Appayya Dikshithar and few others. The holy tree is palm and the holy water tanks include Simha Theertham, Sooli Theertham and Brahma Theertham.


No.56 Inside the front gopura of the Virinchipuram temple, second inscription to the right: III - Inscriptions at and near Virinchipuram. Tamil and Grantha Inscriptions. South Indian Inscriptions

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