The Home of Dancing Sivan: The Traditions of the Hindu Temple in Citamparam

Paperback | April 30, 1999

byPaul Younger

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The Home of Dancing Sivan is an inquiry into the traditions of the Citamparam temple in South India, the only Hindu temple where the image of Sivan as Natarajan, the dancer, is the central focus of worship. Younger begins with the living traditions, describing the community of Ditcitars, thetwo hundred priests of the temple who carry on an ancient tradition involving six worship periods each day, and discusses in detail the elaborate temple festivals, which attract up to 200,000 people. He analyzes the three hundred inscriptions on the temple walls, and seeks to determine from them,and from the evidence of art history, when the many components of the temple were constructed and what innovations in the worship tradition they made possible. Using the inscriptions and the abundant literature about the temple, he also addresses the complex historical questions regarding rolesplayed by famous kings and saints of the region in the life of the temple. The traditions of the Citamparam temple reflect the worship style of all important Hindu temples, and its history is central to all history, literature, and thought of South India. This unique study acknowledges the centrality of the temple in Indian life and society, and provides a vivid andengaging portrait of South India's living religion for students of religious studies, Asian studies, and Indian civilization.

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The Home of Dancing Sivan is an inquiry into the traditions of the Citamparam temple in South India, the only Hindu temple where the image of Sivan as Natarajan, the dancer, is the central focus of worship. Younger begins with the living traditions, describing the community of Ditcitars, thetwo hundred priests of the temple who carry o...

Paul Younger is at McMaster University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9.17 × 6.14 × 0.67 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195095332

ISBN - 13:9780195095333

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: Worship1. The Priests and the Daily Ritual2. The Worshippers and the Festival CelebrationsPart II: Wood and Stone3. The Builders and the Building4. The Donors and their Political ConnectionsPart III: Writings5. The Legend-books and the Local Traditions6. The Hymns of the Saints and the Saiva SchoolsConclusionBibliography/Index

Editorial Reviews

"It deserves the attention of all students of Tamil religion and should find a place in scholarly libraries covering South Asia."--Glenn Yocum, The Journal of Asian Studies