by S. R. Balasubrahmanyam | 1975 | 141,178 words
This volume of Chola Temples covers Rajaraja I to Kulottunga I in the timeframe A.D. 985-1070. The Cholas of Southern India left a remarkable stamp in the history of Indian architecture and sculpture. Besides that, the Chola dynasty was a successful ruling dynasty even conquering overseas regions....
(A) Krishnan Raman
One of the important officers and generals of Rajaraja I was Narakkan Sri Krishnan Raman alias Senapati (general) Mummadi-Chola-Brahmamarayan, a perundanam of Lord Sri Rajaraja devar and a citizen of Keralantaka chaturvedimanga-lam in Vennadu, a subdivision of Uyyakkonda valanadu. It was he who constructed the innermost wall of enclosure round the Rajarajesvaram temple, as is evidenced by three inscriptions on its southern and western wings. Inscription SII, II, 39 gives the details of the metal image of Ardhanarisvara set up by him in this temple before the twenty-ninth year of Rajaraja I: one solid image of Ardhanarisvara; one lotus on which this image stood, set with jewels; one pedestal on which this image stood; one solid aureola covering the image. The deity was half-male, half-female, and the Siva (Isvara) half had two divine arms and and the Uma (Isvari) half had one divine arm. It was made of copper and covered with brass.
(B) Adittan Suryan
1. Nambi Aruranar
2. Nangai Paravaiyar
4. Tirujnana Sambandar
5. Periya Perumal (Rajaraja I)
6. Loga Mahadevi, his consort
11. Siruttonda Nambi
12. Tiruvenkattu Nangai
Perhaps the most significant of all the metals donated by any of Rajaraja I’s ministers and officers were those by Adittan Suryan, alias Tennavan Muvendavelan, the headman of Poygai nadu, who carried on the management of Rajarajesvaram (SII, II, 38). He set up, before the twenty-ninth year of Rajaraja I, the following images:
(a) One solid image (pratimam) of Nambi Aruranar (Sundarar) having two sacred arms, one lotus on which this image stood, one pedestal on which the lotus was placed;
(b) one solid image of Nangai Paravaiyar, having two sacred arms, one lotus on which this image stood, one pedestal joined to this lotus;
(c) one solid image of Tirunavukkaraiyar having two sacred arms, one lotus on which this image stood, one pedestal joined to this lotus;
(d) one solid image or Tirujnana Sambandar having two sacred arms, one lotus on which this image stood, one pedestal joined to this lotus;
(e) one solid image of Periya Perumal (Rajaraja I) having two sacred arms, one lotus on which this image stood, one pedestal joined to this lotus;
(f) one solid image of his consort Ologamadeviyar (Loga Mahadevi) having two sacred arms, one lotus on which this image stood, one pedestal joined to this lotus;
(g) one sacred image (tirumeni)in solid brass of Chandrasekhara devar set up as Devaradevar for Periya Perumal Perumalukku Devara-devaraga elundarulivitta... tirumeni) having four divine arms; one brass pedestal bearing a lotus, which was joined to this image; one solid aureola of copper covering this image;
(h) one solid image of Miladudaiyar, who said: “Oh, Tatta, watch out; (he is) one of us (one of the devotees of Siva)”, having two arms; one pedestal on which this image stood joined to a lotus (SII, II, 40). According to the sixth chapter of the puranam, one Meypporul Nayanar, a Chedi (?) king residing at Tirukkovalur, was stabbed by his enemy Muttanadan who had managed to obtain a private interview in the disguise of a Saiva devotee; the door-keeper who was about to kill the assailant was prevented from doing so by the dying king who exclaimed: ‘Oh Tatta, he is a devotee of Siva; therefore do not harm him’; and Meypporul Nayanar is also called Miladudaiyar (the lord of Miladu).
Adittan Suryan also gave the following tirumenis and pratimas of copper until the third year of the king Rajendra I:
(1) One solid image of Kshetrapala devar having eight divine arms;
(2) One solid image of Siva in his fierce form of Bhairavar, represented as dancing, having two divine arms, and one pedestal on which this image stood, joined to a lotus;
(3) One solid image of Siruttonda Nambi, having two arms;
(4) One solid image of Tiruvenkattu Nangai;
(5) One solid image of Siraladevar, having two arms; and one pedestal on which the three images (i.e. 3, 4 and 5) stood, joined to a lotus (SII, II, 43, which deals with the gifts of tirumenis and pratimas made by the same chief, Adittan Suryan).
(C) Velan Adittan
1. Siva and Uma
Another royal officer named Velan Adittan alias Parantaka Pallavaraiyan, a headman (kilan)of... and a perundaram of Lord Sri Rajarajadevar, set up a copper image of Siva and Uma before the twenty-ninth year of the king. The gift consisted of one solid image of Siva having four divine arms in the sukhasana posture; one solid image of his Consort Uma Paramesvari, seated; one solid image of the god Subrahmanyar having two divine arms, standing; and one solid image of Ganapati having four divine arms (SII, II, 32).
(D) Rajaraja Muvendavelar
1. Kratarjuniya Devar
Another important officer of the royal court of Rajaraja I was the Minister Udaya Divakaran Tillaiyaliyar alias Rajaraja Muvendavelar, a native of Kanchivayil. He set up the image of Kratarjuniya Devar (Kiratarjuniya Devar) in the Rajarajes-varam temple and deposited thirteen kasus of money for the sacred food and other requirements of the deity (SII, II, 9).
(E) Kovan Annamalai
2. Surya Devar
Yet another prominent royal officer is Kovan (i.e. Gopan) Annamalai alias Keralantaka Vilupparaiyan, a perundaram of the minor treasury (sirudanam) who made a gift of the following: one solid image of Bhringisar, with three divine feet and three divine arms and bearing a bush (sedi), and one pedestal on which this image stood, set with jewels (SII, II, 47).
The same officer set up a copper image of the Sun god, Surya Devar, before the twenty-ninth year of Rajaraja I and presented some ornaments to this image. The gift consists of one solid image of Surya Devar having two divine arms, one lotus on which this image stood, set with jewels, one pedestal (pitham) and one solid aureola.
(F) Mummadisola Posan
1. Chandesvara Devar
We have another officer of Rajaraja I’s court, Irayiravan Pallavayan alias Mummadisola Posan, who set up an image in copper of Chandesvara Devar before the twenty-ninth year of Rajaraja I and presented certain ornaments (SII, II, 55). Pallavayan was a perundanam of Rajarajadevar and the gifts made are: one solid image of Chandesvara Devar, having two divine arms, one lotus on which this image stood, set with jewels, one pedestal (bhadra-udaiya pitham), one solid aureola and one solid axe (main) held by this image. This Chandesvara Devar is, of course, different from the Chandesvara Prasada Devar presented by Rajaraja I which has been mentioned earlier under the gifts of images made by the king himself (SII, II, 29).
1. Durga Paramesvari
One Vadugan, a native of Nallur alias Panchavan Mahadevi chaturvedimangalam, made a gift of a copper image of Durga Paramesvari, which was set up in the temple of Rajarajesvaram before the twenty-ninth year of Rajaraja I, and also endowed it with a number of ornaments and jewels. This image (of Durga Paramesvari was of solid metal and had four hands; it stood on padma and bhadra pithams with a prabha over it; the aureola was also made of solid metal (SII, II, 79).
(H) Rajaraja Kattiyarayan
1. Kala Pidari
Finally, Perundanam Kandayan alias Rajaraja Kattiyarai-yan, son of Kattiyarayan, made a gift before the twenty-ninth year of Rajaraja I to the Rajarajesvaram temple, of a solid image of Kala Pidari having four arms, along with one pedestal and one solid aureola (SII, II, 81).
(I) Guru Isana Pandita
1. A pratima of the Guru
Guru Isana Siva Pandita is often mentioned in the records of this temple and was one of the important Saiva acharyas charged with the spiritual administration of the temple; apart from the money deposits made by him for various services in the temple, he also set up an image (pratima) of himself in the temple.
“To the shepherd Nallaran Villanai of Mangalam were assigned 32 kasus out of the money deposited by the priest (gurukkal) Isana Siva Pandita for a lamp to the image of the gurukkal set up in the temple” (SII, II, 95, para 82).
One may conclude, reading inscriptions 96, 20 and 90 together, that Sivacharya Isana Siva Pandita continued to be the chief priest of the temple till the second or even the third year of Rajendra I when he was succeeded by Sivacharya Pavana Pidaran. We learn from inscription no. 90 that the latter presented a pot (kalasa)in the third year of Rajendra Chola for one of the subshrines in the temple. He, in turn, was succeeded by Saivacharya Sarva Siva Pandita, as attested by a nineteenth year record of Rajendra (SII, II, 20), according to which Rajendra ordered, inter alia, while camping in the college (which surrounds the king’s flower garden ( on the north side of the royal hall (tiru maligai) of Mudikonda solan within the palace (koyil) at Gangaikondasolapuram, that two thousand kalams of paddy fully measured by the marakkal called Adavallan preserved in the temple should be supplied every year, as long as the sun and the moon last, to the treasury in the city, to be enjoyed by the priests (acharya) of the temple of the lord of Sri Rajarajesvara, viz.,our Lord the Saivacharya Sarva Pandita and by those who deserve it among the pupils (sishya) of this Lord and the pupils of his pupils (prasishya). The above order was written (engraved on stone), as heard from the lips of the king. “May the Sivacharyas of this spiritual line protect this charity (dharma),” ends the order. The deification of this guru is indicative of the high esteem in which the rulers held the spiritual leaders of this line.
Footnotes and references:
Devaradevar means the deity before whom the Devaram was recited (by the king, in this instance).