Shaivas and Smartas

K Anand carex at VSNL.COM
Wed Jul 10 02:06:05 CDT 2002

Dear Nanda

I think you are mistaken about Appaya Dikshitar. I agree that he is a
smartha. But your calling him as ppart of the temple priests of Chidambaram
is not right. Please note that Dikshitar is a title given to a Vedic
practitioner who is a Agnihotri and performs Somayaagas like Vajapeya etc.
We have Dikshitars even today in Kumbakonam, Musiri etc who are no way
related to the Priests of Chidambaram. The famous Harikatha exponent,
Anantharama Dikshitar got this name because of his familial tradition as
conductors of Somayagams. Appaya is a Dikshitar (he is even called as
Dikshitendra) in this way.

Best regards,
anand K
----- Original Message -----
From: nanda chandran <vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM>
Sent: Tuesday, July 09, 2002 11:30 PM
Subject: Re: Shaivas and Smartas

> >(Though we have important differences with them
> >too.)  Shri Appaya Dikshita is a famous example of an Advaitin who
> >life as a Shaiva and converted to our sampradaya later on.
> Appaya was a dikshidar - dikshidars are the temple priests of the famous
> Nataraaja temple in Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. AFAIK they are considered
> smaarthaas only.
> So Appaya was always part of our sampradhaaya. Siva Advaita and his other
> Vedaantic inclinations (including Dvaita) only reflects the breadth of his
> intellect and scholarship.
> Also Appaya's work on Shaivism is not a classical Saiva Siddhaanta text -
> contrast to the dualistic metaphysics of the Saivas Appaya tries to give a
> non-dual interpretation of Saiva philosophy and that's the reason his
> philosophy is also called Siva-Advaita.
> On a related note in the Hindu recently, in the section on book reviews,
> there was a mention of a translation of a work of Appaya's which deals
> all the Vedaantic schools and also Saiva Siddhaanta.
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