Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna

Murukaṉ

  • Carl Vadivella Belle
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_459-1

Definition

While the deity Murukan has been closely identified with Tamil religiosity for at least two millennia, his evolution as a universalistic deity has been greatly influenced by Sanskritic and North Indian traditions. Murukan continues to occupy a prominent role within Tamil Hindu spiritual and cultural life.

Cosmic History

Murukan’s origins can be definitively traced to the earliest body of extant Tamil literature, the extensive collection of poetry known as the Sangam and variously dated from 300 BCE to 300 CE. In the earliest phase of Sangam literature, Murukan was clearly identified as a rural deity and was firmly situated within the kurinci tinai (hilly eco-zone) of the Tamil country [2]. Murukan was portrayed as intensely heroic, a deity who vanquished his demonic enemy the cura (soora). His weapon was initially a specially shaped leaf but later transformed into a leaf-shaped lance. A marked feature of early Murukan worship was the frenzied dancing of his devotees and the...

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References

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    Belle CV (2017) Thaipusam in Malaysia: a Hindu festival in the Tamil diaspora. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, SingaporeGoogle Scholar
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    Champakalashmi R (2011) Religion, tradition and ideology – pre-colonial South India. Oxford University Press, DelhiGoogle Scholar
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    Chatterjee AK (1970) The cult of Skanda-Karttikeya in ancient India. Calcutta, Puthi PustakGoogle Scholar
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    Clothey FW (1978) The many faces of Murukan: the history and meaning of a South Indian God. Mouton, The HagueGoogle Scholar
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    Clothey FW (1983) Rhythm and intent: ritual studies from South India. Blackie and Son, BombayGoogle Scholar
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    Stein B (1980) Peasant, state and society in medieval South India. Oxford University Press, DelhiGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Flinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia