Shaivas and Smartas

Venkatraman.Chandrasekaran at NOKIA.COM Venkatraman.Chandrasekaran at NOKIA.COM
Tue Jul 9 20:03:11 CDT 2002

I have heard in an upanyasam that the 3000 Dhikshitars of Chidambaram 
temple were sent to earth by Lord Siva Himself to serve Him in the Chithsabai.
The Lord in this temple is worshipped in vaidhIka method (Scholars can please
elaborate on the various methods of temple worship relevant to this topic).
The present Dhikshitars are the progenies of the ones who were sent to earth.

Another thing I heard is that they are not supposed to allow any outsiders to take the 
thirunIRu (vibhUthi, bhasmam) from the archana plate with their own hand. The
Dhikshitars have to give it themselves (so is it in many other temples too). But
Kanchi Sankaracharyas don't take bhasmam from other's hand when they visit temples. 
Because of this clash in ideals, I heard in that upanyasam that Kanchi Acharyas 
don't visit Chithsabai (same upanyasakar said HH Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi 
had visited the temple once).


> -----Original Message-----
> From: ext Vidyasankar [mailto:vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM]
> Sent: Tuesday, July 09, 2002 4:56 PM
> Subject: Re: Shaivas and Smartas
> >Appaya was a dikshidar - dikshidars are the temple priests 
> of the famous
> >Nataraaja temple in Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. AFAIK they 
> are considered as
> >smaarthaas only.
> The Chidambaram Dikshitars are an exclusive group of people, 
> who own and
> administer the Nataraja temple. They must be distinguished from the
> Dikshitars in the general population, as the two are different groups,
> historically. Appayya Dikshitar, and other famous names, such 
> as Govinda
> Dikshitar, were from the latter group.
> The Chidambaram Dikshitars do not intermarry with the general 
> population,
> while Dikshitars in the general population usually intermarry 
> with other
> groups, i.e. the son of a non-Dikshitar Brahmin can marry the 
> daughter of a
> Dikshitar, but not so among Chidambaram Dikshitars.
> In general, the name Dikshita is given to a ritual yajamAn 
> who has been
> consecrated (by undergoing dIkshA) for the elaborate Srauta 
> ritual. As a
> rule, it is not inheritable from father to son, without undergoing the
> specific initiation.
> Vidyasankar

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