Showing posts with label saint. Show all posts
Showing posts with label saint. Show all posts

Date of Devaram (Thevaram Trio)

We are looking at the Dates of Appar, Sambandhar and Sundarar known as tevaram Trio. We are comparing the historical dates of these saints versus claims by dravidian scholars. Let us first see at the terms Thirupadiyam and Devaram.


The earliest epigraphical reference to the recitation of Thiruppadiyam, occurs in the middle of the 9th century, in the reign of the Pallava ruler Nandivarman III circa 845 A.D. found in the Siva emple of Thiruvallam. It records the gift of a village for maintaining several services in the temple by a certain Vikramaditya Mabali Vanarayan(Bana King). It includes provisions for food offerings, the Sivabhramanas performing worship, Sribali (drummers), for makers of flower garlands, and singers of Thiruppadiyam. Four hundred kadi of paddy is prescribed as annual payment for the last two categories of services.

The word Thiruppadiyam in inscriptions is generally taken by Dravidian scholars to refer to the Tevaram hymns of Saint Appar, Sambandar and Sundarar. But Thirupadiyam Thiru(Sanskrit Sri) + Padiyam (Singing or Reading or chanting) does not translate to Devaram, it translates to singing or reading or chanting holy prayers or hymns or recitals. The Thirupadiyam is not only sung in Siva and Vaishnava temples but jain shrines too. How can Devaram a saiva work be sung in Jain temples. So the term simply means holy recitals not Devaram by the Trio.

Thirupadiyams History
When Ramanuja started spreading his philosophy, he found that most of the scholars are committed to Sankara, So Ramanuja had created 74 aharyapurushas with hereditory rights of succession to spread vishistadvaita philosophy and temple worship, in contrast to sankara's teachings. Due to paucity of scholars, non- brahmins were also given seal of authority to convert. However, Vedas were restricted to Brahmins..

"While the recitation of Vedas was the monopoly of the Brahmins the recitation of Prabandhams was made the common right of all castes and both sexes." as per Raghavacharya.

Term Devaram

The term Tevaram also occurs in a jaina context, earlier, meaning a place of worship. The term Tevaram is mentioned in Saivite context in other places.

 A 27th year record of Rajaraja I in the temple of Siva at Allur in Trichy district refers to the recitation of Thiruppadiyams by a certain Ambalattadi Thirunavukkaraiyan, at the Devara in the sthana matha of Vadakudi Mahadeva temple. The relevant portion of the text reads: (Thiru Vadakudi Mahadevar sthana mathattu Devarattukku Thiruppadiyan Vinnappam Ceyyum Ambalattadi Thiruavukkaraiyan (675 of SII VIII). The inscription is explicit in its statement that Thiruppadiyam was recited at the Devaram of the sthana matha, thereby clearly stating that the term Devaram stands for a sacred place of worship and does not refer to the devaram of the Trio.

This is further confirmed by another inscription at Tanjore, recorded in the time of Rajendra I, son of Rajaraja. Dated in the 19th year of Rajendra I, it records certain gifts made by the king while he was seated at the cloistered hall of Devara, situated in the north, of the Mudikonda cholan Palace at Gangaikondacholapuram. Obviously the Devaram mentioned here is a place of worship (domestic) within the royal palace.

Another inscription dated in the reign of Rajendra (Kullotunga I) at Manambadi-Tanjore District, a certain nangur Maraikkadan alias Patanjali Pidara, served as Devara Nayaka to Rajendra Chola. Obviously he was looking after the place of worship of the ruler. This would show that even in the 12th century the word Devaram stood for a place of worsip only and did not mean the sacred hymns of the three saints.

A record of Kiranur, Tanjore Disstrict dated in the reign of Rajaraja I, 7th year 992 A.D., states that Thiruppadiyam singer stood in front and recited, Vilakam ner Thiruppadiyami. The reciters stood in front of Devaram and sung the hymns, called Devarattu Thiruppadiyam, which during the passage of time came to be called simply Devaram, jettisioning the second member and thus the hymns themselves came to be called Devarams. The term Devaram is derived probably Devagaram i.e. place of God-worship and should have been prakritized as Devaram like Bhandagaram becoming Bhandaram and Koshtagaram becoming Kottaram.

From the examples we see that the Neither Thirupadiyam not Devaram in inscriptions refers to the hymns sung by the Trio.


Thirumurai is a twelve volume compendium of hymns in the praise of Shiva by various poets in South India. Nambi Andar Nambi compiled the first seven volumes by Appar, Campantar and Cuntarar as Tevaram. During the course of time, a strong necessity was felt by scholars to compile Saiva literature to accommodate other works. Tiruvacakam and Tirukovayar by Manickavasagar is included as eighth, nine parts are compiled as ninth Tirumurai out of which most are unknown, tenth as Tirumandiram by Tirumular the famous Siddhar. Eleventh is compiled by Karaikal Ammaiyar, Cheraman Perumal and others. The contemparary Chalukya Chola king was impressed by the work of Nambi and included Nambi's work in the eleventh Tirumurai. Sekkizhar's Periya Puranam, composed a century later, contains the life depiction of all the 63 nayanmars. The response for the work was tremendous among Saiva scholars that it was included as the 12th Tirumurai. Tirumurai along with Vedas and Saiva agamas from the basis of Saiva Siddantha philosophy in Tamil Nadu. 63 Alwars and Nayanmars is a list compiled by Sekkilar in Kulothunga III court.

The Periya Puranam or Tiruttondar Puranam is a Tamil poetic account depicting the legendary lives of the sixty-three Nayanars, the poets of Tamil Shaivism. It was compiled during the 12th century by Sekkilar during the rule of Kullottonga Chola III.

Names of Saints in Inscriptions

Let us see the reciters of Thirupadiyam, whose names are recorded in inscriptions. The reciters, whose names are recorded, are seen with two names (1) the surname and (2) the diksha name (names assumed during initiation). The intiatory names show that all of them underwent Siva diksha. The diksha names include any one of the five of names of Sadasiva, as Tatpurusha Siva, Aghora Siva, Vamasiva, Isana Siva, Sadasiva, or Rudrasiva. Other names included are Netra Siva, Hrdaya Siva, Sikha, Kavaca, Jnana, Vyoma, Yoga, Dharma, Satya, Purva and Omkara all ending the honorofic Siva. Among their surnames, seven reciters bear the name Thirunavukkaraiyan, five the name Aruran. (Among the names of other 63 saints, assumed by the reciters, Sirala occurs twice and none else). The names as recorded in inscriptions are interesting. We don't come across Appar, Sundarar and sambandar in chola inscriptions.

A point of interest worthy of note is that in the temple of Tanjore, the images of 63 saints, were not consecrated. Except the images of Siruttonda with his wife and son Sirala, and the image of Miladudaiyar, other saints are not mentioned. The Period we are talking here is as early as Chalukya chola king Kulothunga.

Let us look at the Saints in Historical Context.

Alvars and Nayanaras
The Pantheon of Alvar came after the times of Nathamuni and Ramanuja during their time they got wide acceptance. Until then Alvar means only Nammalvar. Nammalvar Tiruvoymoli is the first prabhandhams made known to tamil world.

First Twelve Alwars

Poigai, Bhutam, Pey, Thondar-adip-podi, Tirumazhisai aka Bhaktisara, Paanan, Kulashekara, Andal, Periazhvar, Tirumangai, Nammalvar, Madhurakavi.

Natha Muni recovers these verses by yogic powers

Sriman Nathamuni happened to hear some verses of Nammalvar through some pilgrims. His desire to hear more of these songs brought him to a of the direct - disciple of Nammalvar, on whose advice Sri Nathamuni being a yogi went through yogic exercise and established direct contact with the spirit of Sri Nammalvar.

Lost works , refound
Kanda Puranam (14th century AD) says that the Devaram hyms were lost and was recovered by nambi andar nambi on the direction of Abhaya Kulasekhara from the sealed room of Chidambaram temple. However this story is exactly like the recovery of vaishnava hyms by Nathamuni(12th century AD Ancestor of Ramanuja) So it would have been most likely symbolic rather than true.

Nambi Andar Nambi.
Nambi Andar Nambi, was born in Tirunaraiyur near Chidambaram. who is said to have recovered, at the request of the Chola king, Raja Abhaya Kula-Sekhara, the Saivate canons of the three famous Devaram hymnists. It has been supposed that Nambi-Andar-Nambi was a contemporary of Rajaraja(Equating Raja Abhaya Kula sekhara). It is true his patron is said to have been a Chola king named Rajaraja Abhaya-Kulasekhara. But there is a very serious difficulty in identifying this Rajaraja with the builder of the Tanjore temple. Among the poems, which Nambi-Andar-Nambi is said to have classified, is the Tiruvisaippa, which contains a hymn on the Gangaikonda-Cholesvara temple built evidently by Rajaraja’s son Rajendra-Chola and called after his title Gangaikonda-Chola. The composer of the hymn himself must have lived after Rajaraja atleast or even Rajendra Chola; and Nambi-Andar-Nambi who classifies it along with the sacred writings of the Tamil Saivas, must certainly belong to a still later period. Since he recovers these scriptures after they are completely lost. He should at-least be a century or more later.

Manikka Vasagar Mentions Varguna
"Varagunanaam thennavan eaththum Chitrambalaththaan… " This varguna is said to be the Pandyan king who ruled in 9th century AD. But the saint does not denote any king here. Nor does he says he pandyan. But it has been equated with Varguna pandyan and his date is taken to 9th century AD. Can the king be addressed like that by his own minister?

Let us now turn our attention the aim of the article that is Date to Devaram Trio...

Appar is claimed to be contemproary of Mahendra Varman pallava based on the inscription in Tiruchi. The claims are based on these assumptions.
  1. Gundabhara and Gunadhara are same
  2. Both refer to Mahendravarman
  3. So The Gunabhara in Tiruchirapalli inscription is Mahendra pallava
  4. he moved away from evil conduct is mean to say that Jainism is evil conduct and he turned to shaiva
  5. This moving away from bad conduct is due to appar.
  6. The Same place have many jain inscriptions in earlier and subsequent periods indicating it is a Jain centre, debunking any saivite conversion.
If you see the evidence, there is nothing to suggest conversion, leave alone Appar involved in one. Let us see what other evidences contradicting them.

Mattavialasa prasanna
Mattavialasa prasanna by Mahendra Varman Pallava makes fun of Saivite and Buddhist religions.
Gunabhara , Gnanabhra
The Rock cut cave temple have a defaced inscription , which record King Gnanabhra, who bore the birudas purushottama, satrumalla and satyasamd ,built a temple of siva on the top of the mountain and placed in it a linga and a statue of himself. Both inscriptons mention river Kaveri.

Jain Inscriptions
Jain Inscriptions by pallavas continue after the said incident. If Mahendra Varman Pallva considered Jainism as evil way and saivite way as the correct way due to conversion by Appar. Then there should be shift inscriptions from jainism to Saivism, but there is none. Since the whole claim is that Appar and mahendra varman pallava are contemproaries, is based on this inscription. There is no evidence to suggest a conversion or subsequent inscriptions for any conversion, let alone by appar. The Jain monasteries continue to get aid from pallavas as before without any break. If evil way from which mahendra varma turned away is Jainism, there should be dip in aid to Jain Monasteries. The Aid continuous not only throughout pallava times, but also chola and Pandya times. So there is no evidence of any conversion.

Sambandar went to court of Koon Pandyan. He said to have defeated jains there.

Koon Pandiyan
Looking into the history of Kazimar Big Mosque of Madurai, it dates back to 13th century. Hazrat Kazi Syed Tajudin, who came from Oman, received the land where the present Masjid is situated, as donation from the then Pandya King of Madurai – Koon Pandiyan.

Jain Debate
The incident as narrated in Sekkizhar's magnum opus. As per this version,the Saivite saint Tirugnanasambandhar (TGS) debated 8,000 Jainas simultaneously. The Jainas had vowed that they would impale themselves should they lose the debate. As Per Sekkizhar they did so.

Pandyan Nedumaran also known as Koon Pandiyan was converted to Saivism by Sambandar. As per Kazimar Mosque dating Koon Pandiyan is date-able to 13th century AD.

First there is no evidence to suggest there is a debate of such large scale. And if that is true, then Sambandar should be dated to 13th century AD, not 7th century AD.
Thirumangai Alwar and Sambandar
Once Sambandar was staying in his mutt. Thirumangai alwar came by that side, surrounded by his followers shouting loudly the title's their leader. The followers of Sambandar asked the followers of Thirumangai alwar to maintain silence till they crossed the mutt. But Alwar became angry and went straight into the mutt. Sambandar welcomed him cordially and asked him to sing a song on the Lord Vishnu. So Alwar sang and hearing this Sambandar was spell bound and tears came running out of his eyes. He at once gave the spade (vel) which was given to him by lordess Aadhiparashakti to Alwar and requested him to continue his divine service to god. And accepted that he was apt for his titles and announcing them loudly was correct.

Thirumangai Date
Thirumangai's father was Nilam, a general under the Chola king Kochengan. Thirumangai also followed suit and became General under Chola. So His date has to be post pallava that is after 10th century AD. Thirumangai Alwar arranged for worship of Nammalvar in Sri rangam Temple. That put Thirumangai Alwar at-least a century or two Later. Thirumangai also refers to Vairamegha, the Rastrakutas. So he is definitely post 10th century AD.

Now Thirumangai Alwar cannot be dated to 7th century AD. So how can Sambandhar who is a contemporary of Thirumangai Alwar dated to such date.

Kochengan and Hiranyavarman

Kochenga's parents Subhadeva and Kamalavati prayed to Nataraja of Chidambaram temple for a male successor as per Sangam Literature. The Periyapuranam(13th Century AD) calls him the son of the Chola king Subhadeva by Kamalavati. So Kochenga is post Nataraja Temple. Earliest Historical reference to Nataraja Temple is Nandivarma pallavamalla (732-796 CE) about his father Hiranyavarma building Nataraja Temple at Chidambaram. So Chidambaram Nataraja Temple was built by Nandivarma Pallavamalla around 750 AD. Kochengan parents came to pray in this temple for male heir and thus was born Kochengan. Since Kochengan is Chola. Kochengan should be dated Post pallava. And any literature referring to Kochengan is also post pallava.

The Leyden grant calls him “a bee at the lotus feet of Sambhu (Siva).” This is shows to the fact that Sengan was considered as one of the sixty-three devotees of Siva. His name is mentioned by two of the authors of the Devaram: Sundaramurti invokes him in the Tiruttondattogai, and refers to a temple which Kochchenganan had built at Nannilam; and Tirunanasambandar mentions two other temples which the Chola king Seyyagan had built at Ambar and at Vaigal. Mr.Venkayya has found that the Nalayira-prabandham speaks of a visit of the Chola king Kochchenganan to the Vishnu temple at Tirunaraiyur.

Kalvali narpathu sung in praise of Kochengan against the battle of Kanaikal Irumporai , Chera king in the battle of Kalumalam by Poigaiyar. In the Poem poigaiyar also points out Ganesha Statue. Now According to tamil Saiva tradition Ganesh worship was introduced to tamil nadu by Siru thondar. Where do dravidian scholars date Siru thondar? , post konchengan. That is the problem, what to trust in tamil tradition as historical.

Siru Thondar -Paranjothiyar
Siru Thondar is described as Chola commander by periya purana , not pallava commander as being said by Dravidian Scholars. Paranjothi wrote Thiruvilayadal puranam. It portrays cholas, not pallavas. Paranjothi supposed to have brought the Ganesha from vatapi and introduced Ganesha worship in Tamil Nadu. But Appar and sambandar sing about Ganesha. It is in Thirupadigam. No pallava Inscription mention Parnjyothi as their general or otherwise. As per vatapi kondan or otherwise. King itself erected the victory pillar in Badami as per inscriptions. Kuram plates which give the details of pallava victory over Badami Chalukya Pulikesin II does not give the general name nor does it indicate anybody else leading the army other than king. Equating Paranjothiyar with siru Thondar and claiming him to be a pallava general is a huge scam to backdate both of them by Dravidian Scholars.

Appar and sambandar are contemproaries, Appar mentions Sambandar. Sambandar visited Siru thondar. So all three are contemporaries.

Paranjothiyar . No Inscription mention Paranjothiyar as Commandar of Pallava Army. Infact the King himself went to conquer Vatapi (Badami) against Chalukyas. There is no evidence linking Paranjyothiar and Siru thondar.

Commandar : Siru Thondar is described as Chola Commander not Pallava in Periyapuranam

Siru Thondar is later than Appar and Sambandar. If Siru Thondar brought Ganesha from Vatapi and introduced Ganesha Worship, then how come Appar and Sambandar Sing about Ganesha in Tamil nadu..

Brazen lies which contradict one another in the same paragraph.

Literary Vs Archaeological and Epigraphic Evidence.

There is no match between the Literary and epigraphic and Archaeological evidence for a large scale conflict between Saiva and Jains. The inscription and archaeological sites gives a continuous Jain or saiva presence even in places where the literature talks about major conflicts. jain inscriptions continue until 8th 9th century AD and later, provides no evidence of large scale conversions including chola areas.

When we see, the monastries, which were supposed to be in conflict with Shivites. The jain Monastries have inscription dateable to pallavas and Lokaavibhaga to around 5th century. But if we see the Shivite temples, we find only inscriptions to around 10th century or later. This applies to Jain Monastry to where Appar converted to Shaivism also. We do not come across any displacement of Jains due to shivites or conflict from these structures. Many of the Monasties were destroyed after12th century AD, but no destruction is found before these times.

Names of Appar , Sundara and Sambhandar are not mentioned in the inscription. The Word Thirunavukariyar(God who calls gods name) is mentioned, which seem to be similar to Thirupadiyam. This has been equated with Appar and tales are made. Same with Sambandar and sundarar. Names in the inscription are equated with them with no apparent basis.

The Devaram Hymns are not found in inscriptions before Chalukyas took over the chola throne and formed the chalukya chola line. Devaram hymns are absolutely not found in pallava inscriptions, where they supposed to have lived.

The Periyapurana of Sekkilar and the Guruparampara are all later day Puranas, which take one or two episodes from the life of the saints and weave beautiful myths around them. While we are delighted in the divine writings, We must be careful in utilising them for reconstructing history. Episodes corroborated by epigraphical or archaeological source alone should be taken into account and the rest left out to the realm of religious faith.

So Thevaram Trio Appar, Sambandhar and Sundarar are much later date atleast by 1200AD or more and not 7th century AD as claimed by Dravdian Scholars

  1. Thirukkazhiseerama Vinnagaram
  2. Study uncovers interesting details of cave temple
  3. Mahendra's Inscription At Tiruchirapalli
  4. Pallava Cave Temples of Trichy
  5. Date of Appar
  6. Pandya Arikesari and Pandikkovai
  7. Dates of Nayanmars and Alvars
  8. Some Contributions Of South India To Indian Culture by Rajasevasakta Dewan Bahadur
  9. Inscriptions of Parakesarivarman Uttama-Chola
  10. Epigraphical References
  12. Thiru-jnana-sambandar by Swami Sivananda
  13. The Nayanmars
  14. The kings mentioned by Periaazhwar!
  16. Ramanuja. Continued
  17. Some Contributions of South India to Indian Culture by Sakkottai Krishnaswami Aiyangar
  18. South Indian shrines: illustrated By P. V. Jagadisa Ayyar
  19. Hymns for the Drowning: Poems for Vishnu by Nammalvar and A.K. Ramanujan, (tr.)
  20. Thrikodithanam Mahavishnu Kshetram
  21. Evidence of Alvars
  22. Kalayarkoil temple
  23. Siruthondar by Swami Sivananda
  24. The Holy Lives of the Azhwars or the Dravida Saints by Alkondavalli Govindacharya Ananthacharya Indological Research Institute Publication1982
  25. Philosophy and Theistic Mysticism of the Alwars by S.M.S.Chari Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Limited, Delhi 1997
  26. Srimad Bhagavatha MahaPurana GitaPress. Gorakhpur 1971.
  27. Ancient Heritage of Tamils by V.G.Ramachandran
  28. In Mythology to History through Astronomy edited by N.MahalingamN.I.A Publications, Pollachi, TamilNadu 1980.
  29. Vedic "Aryans" and the Origins of Civilization byNavaratna S.Rajaram and David Frawley
  30. A literary and Scientific perspectiveW.H.Press. Quebec 1995.
  31. South Indian Shrines: Illustrated By P. V. Jagadisa Ayya
  32. The Recovery of the Devaram Hymns BY S. R. BALASUBRAHMANYAN, M.A L.T., Chidambaram
  33. TANJAVUR Brihadhiswara TEMPLE Inscriptions from South Indian Inscriptions
  34. Temple Imagery from Early Mediaeval Peninsular India By Archana Verma
  35. Period of Azhwars

  1. Wikipedia
  2. Rediff
  3. badamionline
  4. The Hindu 
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Myth of Saint Thomas India Visit.

The chief items of information contained in C.A. Simon's writings are as follows:
  1. St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Christ (a disputed fact), came to India in A.D. 52 with Habban, a foreign trader.
  2. He landed at Maliankara (Cranganore) in Kerala, preached the Gospel, wrought miracles, and got many converts.
  3. Then he came to Mailepuram (Mylapore), then went to China, after some time returned to Maliankara, and from there came again to Madras where he spent the rest of his life teaching, preaching and drawing a large number of the oppressed and the suppressed into his fold.
  4. He performed miracles which made the local king Mahadeva offer him a place near the seashore where the old church of Mylapore now stands.
  5. His conversion activities incensed the orthodox and enemies from their rank vowed to finish him.
  6. He had therefore to hide himself in a cave at the Little Mount near the present St. Thomas Mount (about five kms. away from Mylapore).
  7. Finally, he was murdered there, i.e., at St. Thomas Mount, by those fanatical enemies.
  8. His body was brought to Mylapore and buried in A.D. 73 at a spot which was forgotten for many centuries.
But the greatest miracle was to occur in 1523, nearly fifteen hundred years after the saint was supposed to have died. That was the rediscovery of the tomb and remains of the murdered saint by the priest in charge of the Mylapore church for building a new church—pieces of bones, a skull, a vessel containing mud supposedly from the place where the saint's blood was shed, and a spearhead of the shape of an olive leaf fixed on a wooden shaft.

Wonder of wonders! Even after about fifteen centuries these remains, including the stick, had not become fossilized or crumbled into dust, but could be got intact and buried at an undisclosed place in the church. That church was damaged beyond recognition in the course of the battles waged round it during the rivalry between the Dutch, the French, and the British and Hyder Ali. (Strangely, the Portuguese are not said to be involved in it, perhaps because they were the heroic defenders) At last in 1893 the present Santhome Church with Gothic architectural excellence was built. (It must be by the Portuguese and none else.) The papal seal over this whole story was stamped in 1956 when Pope Pius XII gave it recognition as a Minor Basilica , all the four major ones being outside India.

while some Christian historians doubted the very existence of an apostle named St. Thomas, some others had denied credibility to the Acts of Thomas, I am more concerned about the visit of st. Thomas and his stay here. Let us now analyze the facts.

1.The respected Mylapore archaeologist Dr. R. Nagaswami, who has worked on San Thome Cathedral with the Jesuits, tells of the destruction of Jain and Buddhist temples along with all of the buildings of the Kapaleeswarar Temple on the Mylapore beach. Before him the Portuguese historian Gaspar Correa describes a holocaust that extended from Mylapore to Big Mount, south of the Adyar River. Even the St. Thomas protagonist Archbishop Arulappa admitted that Hindu temples once stood on the sites now occupied by St. Thomas–related churches in Madras, at Mylapore, Saidapet, and Big Mount now called St. Thomas Mount.

2.the Protestant missionary Claudius Buchanan, writing in the last century, in Christian Researches in India, says, "The nation in general are called St. Thomas Christians in all parts of India, and it imparts an antiquity that reaches far beyond the Eutychians and Nestorians or any other sect... I am satisfied that we have as good authority for believing that the Apostle Thomas died in India as that the Apostle Peter died in Rome."

This "good authority" is of course no authority at all. There is no historical evidence that St. Peter died in Rome or that St. Thomas died in India. The assertion that the appellation "St. Thomas" Christians is used in all parts of India and imparts an antiquity, is simply not true. Syrian Christians were not called St. Thomas Christians until after the fourteenth century and that too by Roman Catholic missionaries in Malabar. Claudius could as easily argue that Syrian Christians come from Syria because they are called "Syrian" Christians. He would be closer to the truth.

3.the Roman Catholic historian Fr. A. Mathias Mundadan, writing in the early 1980s, in History of Christianity in India: From the Beginning up to the Middle of the Sixteenth Century, says, "Our effort should be to concentrate on the common, basic content of the tradition upheld by the various versions and couched in many unnecessary flourishes. The investigations made ... into the western tradition and different aspects of the Indian tradition give me the impression that the central content stands out in clear relief, namely St. Thomas the Apostle preached, died and was buried in South India."

Fr. Mundadan is saying that he supports the Portuguese tale introduced into India in the sixteenth century and imposed on Mylapore by fraud and force of arms, even though it is known to be a fabricated tradition. This suggests that his position is political rather than academic. He has done his research with a foregone conclusion in mind and has reached the inevitable result. It is typical Roman Catholic scholarship and until the story of St. Thomas is taken out of such hands and looked at in its totality, which includes the traditions of the Hindu society in which it survives, we will never know the full truth of St. Thomas and India.

4.There is yet more reasoning for St. Thomas in India, which is often presented to laymen by motivated clerics. It is a psychological device to put the unwary St. Thomas doubter on the defensive. It is called the "Why not?" argument. Duncan Forbes uses it in his book The Heart of India, more in an attempt to convince himself than his reader. He writes, "And why not believe?... There is really no reason why St. Thomas should not have come here. The route between the Roman world and India, which was Romes source for large quantities of fine muslins, pearls and spices, was well established."

The route between Rome and India was indeed old and established and the travellers went the other way too, to Alexandria and Rome from India. But the possibility that St. Thomas could come to India from Palestine does not prove that he did so. The possibility does not even make for a probability. We are looking for historical proof—travellers' tales just don't constitute proof; they only excite the imagination.

5.the Acta Indica by P.V. Mathew. It has everything in it to make a good nights read—exploding meteors over Malabar and Prophet Mani of Persia camping at Kanchipuram—but it doesn't have St. Thomas buried in Mylapore. P.V. Mathew believes that St. Thomas came to Malabar but not to Mylapore and asserts that the Mylapore story is a Portuguese invention. Not willing to leave well enough alone, he then asserts that Prophet Manis disciple Mar Ammon is buried in Mylapore instead. This Mar Ammon, according to P.V. Mathew, is now worshipped in Tamil villages as Goddess Mariamman, that Prophet Mani is worshipped in the same villages as God Subramanian, and that the Pallavas were really Persians.

6. Papacy: Its Doctrine and History (Voice of India, New Delhi, 1986) the historian Sita Ram Goel writes about the St. Thomas myth:

Some Catholic scholars have been busy for many years marshalling literary and archaeological evidence in an effort to prove that St. Thomas came to India in 52 A.D., converted some Hindus in the South, and was killed by Brahmins at Mylapore in Madras while giving the Good News to the local people.
7.some historians have seriously doubted the very existence of an apostle named Thomas. Distinguished scholars like R. Garbe, A. Harnack and L. de la Vallee-Poussin have denied credibility to the Acts of Thomas, an apocryphal work on which the whole story is based. Some others, who accept the fourth century Catholic tradition about the travels of St. Thomas, point to the lack of evidence that he ever went east beyond Ethiopia and Arabia Felix. The confusion, according to them, has arisen because the ancient geographers often mistook these two countries for India.

8.Stephen Neill in his History of Christianity in India: The Beginnings to 1707 A.D. published by the Cambridge University Press, England, as late as 1984. He says,'A number of scholars, among whom are to be mentioned with respect Bishop A.E. Medlycott, J.N. Farquhar and the Jesuit J. Dahlman, have built on slender foundations what can only be called Thomas romances, such as reflect the vividness of their imaginations rather than the prudence of rigid historical critics.' Pained by the spread of this spurious history among large sections of Indian Christians, he observes,'Millions of Christians in India are certain that the founder of their church was none other than apostle Thomas himself. The historian cannot prove it to them that they are mistaken in their belief. He may feel it right to warn them that historical research cannot pronounce on the matter with a confidence equal to that which they entertain by faith.' Stephen Neill was a bishop who had spent long years in India.

9.There is reason to believe that St. Thomas Church stands on the ruins of a Jain Neminathaswami temple and a Hindu Shiva temple which had a Nataraja shrine attached. The epigraphical data for the existence of the Jain temple on this site is recorded in Jain Inscriptions in Tamil Nadu by A. Ekambaranath and C.K. Sivaprakasham (Research Foundation for Jainology, Madras, 1987). The evidence for the existence of the Shiva temple, which may be the original Kapaleeswara Temple on the Mylapore beach that got eroded by the sea, is compiled in an excellent Tamil-language book called Indiavil Saint Thomas Kattukkadai (The Saint Thomas Myth in India) by Ved Prakash (R.A.F.R., Madras, 1989).

What is mentioned about the Shiva temple is as follows: "...many evidences available in Santhome Church show there was a Shiva temple and it was occupied, then step by step demolished and converted into a church. Many documents and books also prove this. A fragmentary Tamil inscription of 8 lines on a stone found at the cathedral registers a tax-free gift for burning at night a lamp before the image of Kuthadumdevar (Nataraja) in the temple of Suramudayar (Suramudayar Kuthadum Devarkku) was found in 1924. It belongs to Vikrama Chola's time, i.e., 12th century. Moreover, when the urchava murthy was taken for procession from the existing Kapaleeswara Temple, there was a practice of lowering it reverently three times before the Santhome Church at that time (16th-18th centuries). The temple was there up to the 16th century. Then, when the Christians started demolishing it completely, Hindus built the present temple out of whatever they could salvage from the ruins of the old temple.

10.Sometime about A.D. 450 one Canai Thomas with seventy-two Syrian families arrived in Kerala and whatever traces of early Christianity there were got mixed up with this Syrian brand of it. So these Christians, known till then as Nazaranis (Nazarenes), got also the name Syrian Christians. Their connection to this day is with the Orthodox Church of Syria. The grafting of this powerful group with the existing fragmentary Christian groups must have led to the identification of Kerala Christians with the Thomas tradition, to which they hold steadfastly to this day. The St. Thomas of their fancy must really be Canai Thomas of Syria.

11.The great Saivite saint of sixth century A.D., Tirujnanasambandar, sings in the 6th Poompavai Padikam Thevaram:

The Lord of Kapaleeswaram sat watching the people of Mylapore
A place full of flowering coconut palms
Taking ceremonial bath in the sea on the full moon day of the month of Masai.

12.Arunagirinathar, who came to Mylapore in 1456, in his Tirumayilai Tiruppugazh:

O Lord of Mailai (Mylapore) temple, situated on the shores of the sea with raging waves...13 The destruction of the seashore Temple of Kapaleeswara is said to have taken place in 1561. The new temple at its present site, about one km. to the west, was built by pious Hindu votaries about three hundred years ago, i.e., about two hundred and fifty years after its destruction. When the Santhome Church was repaired in the beginning of the current century, many stones with edicts were found there.

So in conclusion the Visit of St. Thomas is a myth. why was such a myth spread
Firstly, it is one thing for some Christian refugees to come to a country and build some churches, and quite another for an apostle of Jesus Christ himself to appear in flesh and blood for spreading the Good News. If it can be established that Christianity is as ancient in India as the prevailing forms of Hinduism, no one can nail it as an imported creed brought in by Western imperialism.

Secondly, the Catholic Church in India stands badly in need of a spectacular martyr of its own. Unfortunately for it, St. Francis Xavier died a natural death and that, too, in a distant place. Hindus, too, have persistently refused to oblige the Church in this respect in spite of all provocations. The Church has had to use its own resources and churn out something. St. Thomas about whom nobody knows anything, offers a ready-made martyr.

Thirdly, the Catholic Church can malign the Brahmins more confidently. Brahmins have been the main target of its attack from the very beginning. Now it can be shown that the Brahmins have always been a vicious brood, so much so that they would not stop from murdering a holy man who was only telling Gods own truth to a tormented people. At the same time, the religion of the Brahmins can be held responsible for their depravity.
Fourthly, the Catholics in India need no more feel uncomfortable when faced with historical evidence about their Churchs close cooperation with the Portuguese pirates in committing abominable crimes against the Indian people. The commencement of the Church can be disentangled from the advent of the Portuguese by dating the Church to a distant past. The Church was here long before the Portuguese arrived. It was a mere coincidence that the Portuguese also called themselves Catholics. Guilt by association is groundless.

Lastly, it is quite within the ken of Catholic theology to claim that a land which has been honoured by the visit of an apostle has become the patrimony of the Catholic Church. India might have been a Hindu homeland from times immemorial. But since that auspicious moment when St. Thomas stepped on her soil, the Hindu claim stands cancelled. The country has belonged to the Catholic Church from the first century onwards, no matter how long the Church takes to conquer it completely for Christ.

Some of other Thomas visit Legends

1.S. Muthiah's Madras Discovered published by Affiliated East-West Press. The following are the facts gleaned from it: Thomas shunted between St. Thomas Mount and Mylapore, separated by about five kms., doing his preaching work and converting thousands. He lived in a cave at Little Mount in Saidapet, three kms. from St. Thomas Mount. There is, to the east of the cave, an opening which is said to have opened in those days into a tunnel from the Little Mount to St. Thomas Mount. The saint is supposed to have fled from his persecutors through this cave. He was however murdered by them at St. Thomas Mount. Mylapore has only the honour of being the place where his dead body was brought and buried. From there his remains were taken to Edessa in Syria where every July a great festival is held to commemorate his reburial. From Edessa they are said to have been moved to the Greek island of Chios, thence to Ortona on Italy's Adriatic coast where they remain to this day. But each resting place still has some relic of Thomas—Madras has a small hand bone and the head of a lance in the St. Thomas Basilica crypt.

2.n 1547 the Vicar of Mylapore during excavation at St. Thomas Mount discovered a A bleeding cross with old Pahlavi inscriptions. It had spots that looked like blood stains which, it is claimed, reappeared after being rubbed away. This cross is built into the wall behind the altar of the church on the Mount dedicated to Madonna of the Mount. The tradition about this cross is that it was chiselled from a rock by the apostle himself. It is said that it used to bleed periodically. The first publicly noticed bleeding was on 15 December 1558 and the last in 1704.

The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple by Ishwar Sharan