Pallava period (Social and Cultural History)

by S. Krishnamurthy | 2017 | 143,765 words

This study examines the Social and Cultural History of the Pallava period (as gleaned through the Sculptural Art). The Pallavas (6th-9th century A.D.) mainly ruled over the Tondaimandalam (Tondai Nadu) region in the Northern part of Tamil Nadu (South-India). The Pallava dynasty ensured a golden age of architecture, arts, and spirituality and while ...

Upanayana ceremony and Sandhya-vandanam ritual

[Full title: Other Religious Beliefs and Customs (during the Pallava period): Upanayana ceremony and Sandhya-vandanam ritual]

All the male and most of the female sculptures representing various gods, goddesses, celestials, dvarapalakas, chamara-dharis, ganas, royal personages, etc., are seen wearing an yajnopavita. This shows that the people at least of the upper strata of the society underwent upanayana-samskara. From the literature Avantisundari[1] it is known that upanayana ceremony was performed to its author Dandin at the age of seven, which could have been the minimum age at which initiation ceremony was done. The most striking practical example of the ritual of Sandhya-vandana can be seen in the Bhagiratha penance panel (fig. 2) which depicts a brahmachari offering his suryanamaskara, by looking at the mid-day sun through his hands, which is kept in the yamapasamudra. This ritual of looking at Sun and offering salutations to the Sun god is an integral part of the Sandhya-vandana ritual, done by those initiated into the thread ceremony three times a day. The sculpture is also very cleverly conceived to suggest the time of the day i.e. noon, when the heat of the sun will be at its peak and thereby indicating the rigorous penance done by Bhagiratha.

Footnotes and references:


Suranad Kunjan Pillai, op.cit., pp. 11–12.

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