28 February 2012

Kings (ספר מלכים)

The Five Books of
Moses (Torah)
The Eight Books of
the Prophets (Neviim)
The Eleven Books of
the Writings (Kesuvim)

1.    Genesis
6.    Joshua
14. Psalms
2.    Exodus
7.    Judges
15. Proverbs
3.    Leviticus
8.    Samuel
16. Job
4.    Numbers
9.    Kings
17. Song of Songs
5.    Deuteronomy
10. Isaiah
18. Ruth

11. Jeremiah
19. Lamentations
12. Ezekiel
20. Ecclesiastes
13. The Twelve (minor prophets) Trei-Assar (1. Hosea, 2. Joel, 3. Amos, 4. Obadiah, 5. Jonah, 6. Micah, 7. Nahum, 8. Habakkuk, 9. Zephaniah, 10. Haggai, 11. Zechariah and 12. Malachi)
21. Esther
22. Daniel
23. Ezra/Nehemia
24. Chronicles

After the conquest of the promised land and death of Joshua, the Jews settled down in the land of Canaan. The Judges guided the newly settled Jews during their earlier stages, and soon it was the time of kings govern Israel. The kings came into picture because the people of Israel demanded prophet Samuel to install a king to govern them (1 Samule, Ch. 8).  The first king Saul proved to be a disaster and he had to be quickly replaced by David who manages to keep the covenant with the Lord of the Jews. Following David’s death, the mantle of governance fell on one his sons Solomon. But unlike his father, Solomon fails to keep the alliance with the Lord. His hundreds of wives and concubines coming from different foreign cultural backgrounds lead him astray (1 Kings 11:1-8). The Lord therefore decides to punish, but strangely, not Solomon but his successors. The kingdom is divided into the southern Judah and the northern Israel. First the Assyrians are brought in to destroy Israel. Then comes the Babylonians who destroy Jerusalem.  

According to Jewish tradition, the author of Kings (இராஜாக்கள்) was Jeremiah, but modern scholarship rejects this conventional Jewish belief. The book has 1,535 verses but divided into two (1 Kings and 2 Kings) in the Christian Bible. The Biblical Book of Chronicles and Kings have many episodes of Jewish kings in common between them. Kings – attributed to Jeremiah – was written before the Babylonian captivity (i.e., before 586 B.C.), while Chronicles – attributed to Erza – was written afterwards (i.e., before ca. 516 B.C.). (Guenther, 1982). 

The most important piece of information contained in the Book of Kings is the construction of the First Temple by Solomon and its subsequent destruction by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. The Construction of the first temple of worship is an important event in the religious history of many religions. This week, I bring together the parallels from other religious traditions the story of construction and/or destruction of their different shrines and the stories various seers’ ascension to the heavens.

(1) The First Temple

According to Jewish history, prophet and King Solomon built the First Temple (Hebrew: Beit ha-Midkash) on the Temple Mount (Noble Sanctuary) in Jerusalem about 3,000 years ago. The Jews looked forward to a permanent resting place for their Ark which had been moving with them in wilderness along with the Tabernacle. This event is recorded in the Jewish Bible (and Christian Old Testament) (1 Kings 6:1; 2 Chronicles 3:1).
In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites came out of Egypt,
In the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv,
The second month, he began to build the temple of the LORD.
(1 Kings 6:1)

Jerusalem Temple:
Only the Western Wall now remains
The Book of Kings also records that it was Solomon’s father David who wished to build the temple but could not realize his ambition because the Lord did not consider David, a man of war, suitable for taking up this sacred responsibility (1 Kings 5:3).

Here I compare the origin, construction, layout and sanctum sanctorum of the Jewish Temple with that of the main places of worship in Islam, Buddhism, Saiva Siddhanta and Sikhism. All these places of worship have been considered the centres of the world by their respective followers in one form or the other. The Jews and Muslims consider their First Shrines in Jerusalem and Mecca as the sacred centres of world towards which their followers are expected to direct themselves during their daily prayer (Qibla in Arabic). While the Nataraja Temple at Chidambaram is the Heart of the Universe for Saivites (Smith, 1998) as it was the place where Shiva as Natarajar performed his cosmic dance, the Mahabodhi Temple is the Navel of the World for the Buddhists (Buddhacharita, xiii.68) because it has the sacred spot below the Bodhi Three where Guatama the Buddha got enlightenment. 

Who built them?

Mahabodhi Temple, Bodh Gaya
Golden Temple, Amritsar
Ka'ba, Mecca
Natarajar Temple, Chidambaram
If the First Temple on the Temple Mount at Jerusalem was said to be built by Solomon, the Buddhist sacred temple at Bodhgaya (Mahābodhi Temple) is said to be founded by Emperor Asoka, more than two centuries after Buddha got his enlightenment at Bodhgaya.  As far as the history of Golden Temple (ਹਰਿਮੰਦਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ: Harmandir Sahib) of Sikhs is concerned, the idea of constructing a Temple began when the fourth Guru Ram Das excavated a large tank, which soon encompassed the Temple built by his successor and fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev. According to Islamic tradition, the holy Temple Ka’ba (الكعب‎ - Cube) of the Sacred Mosque (Masjidu-l-Haram: المسجد الحرام) was originally built by Islam's first prophet Adam and later renovated by Abraham and his son Ismail. Islam’s position on the First Temple in Jerusalem also has a similar account. Called the Farthest Mosque (Masjidu-l-Aqsha: الأقص المسجد), it was built by Jacob and later renovated by Solomon (*). As far as the Chidambaram Temple (தில்லை நடராஜன் கோயில்: Thillai Natarajan Temple) goes, it is not clear when it was constructed and by whom. However it is said that the Sangam classics list chief architect Viduvelvidugu Perumtaccan as the director of an early renovation plan of the shrine (*). The temple has of course undergone several renovations in the past in the hands of the Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas, and Chera kings.

Sanctum sanctorum: Scriptures, Idols, Ark and Stones

Then he prepared an inner sanctuary within the house
In order to place there the ark of the covenant of the LORD.
(1 Kings 6:19)

During the construction of the First Temple by Solomon, a special sanctum sanctorum called ‘Holy of Holies’ (Hebrew Kodesh Hakodashim) was established to house the Ark of the Covenant (1 Kings 6:19; 8:6) which also contained the Tablets of Stone of the Ten Commandments (1 Kings 8:6–9). The Jews considered this Inner House as the dwelling-place of their Lord Yahweh. Similarly Muslims regard their sanctum sanctorum Holy Ka’ba as House of Allah (Bait ul-llah). Though the Ka'ba does not contain any structure apart from three pillars inside, it does have a sacred “Black Stone” at one of its corners. The inner sanctuary at the Chidambaram Natarajar Temple is the Cit Sabha or the Hall of Consciousness which houses the Ruby Nataraja, Crystal lingam and Ākasha lingam. At the Golden Temple, the sanctum sanctorum housing the Guru Grant Sahib lies in middle of the Amritsar tank connected to the mainland by a causeway.  However, the sanctum sanctorum at the Buddhist Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya lies just outside the Temple. It is the Diamond Throne (Vajrasana) where Buddha is said to have sat in meditation under the Mahabodhi Tree (Ficus religiosa).

All the four shrines also have a history of being initiated or cleansed, either by the placement or removal of various structures or sacred items. In some traditions, it is the scripture, in others it an idols or set of idols. According Jewish history, Solomon brings the Ark containing the two tablets of Moses into the Temple. In Sikhism, Guru Arjan Dev installs the Adi Grant in the newly built Temple in 1604. The sanctum sanctorum at Chidambaram Temple, the Citsabha, has the images of Rubi Nataraja (Ratnasabāpathy) and Crystal Lingam (Spatika Lingam), the latter one said to be a present by Ādi Sankara (*). After the conquest of Mecca, prophet Muhammad refused to enter the shrine Ka’ba until it was cleansed of all the pagan idols it housed (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Book 59, Hadith 584). However, Bodhgaya is yet to be cleansed of the Shivlinga which a Hindu Mahant installed in the main hall of the Mahabodhi Temple sometime during the 16th century A.D. (Ahir, 1994). The Buddha image in the temple also had been removed by the Mahant sometime during the early nineteenth century, perhaps in an attempt to convert it into a Siva temple.  This great image of the Buddha with the fingers pointing towards down was reinstated at the same place by Cunningham and his assistant J.D. Belgar soon after the temple’s total renovation in the 1880s (Ahir, 1994). The small Pancha Pandava temple located to the east of the temple is another questionable structure built by the Hindus (See also my article: Bodh Gaya to Chidambaram to know more on this issue).

‘Go Gold’ in later renovations

Golden Hall, Chidambaram
Vajrasana, Bodhgaya
Golden door, Ka'ba
All these five First temples (Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Saivite and Buddhist) have undergone several renovations in the past. We see a definite tendency to decorate the structures with Gold. To begin with, the First Temple built by Solomon had its Sanctum sanctorum (the Holy of Holies) overlaid with gold on the walls and floor (1 Kings, 6:20, 21, 30). In fact many structures in the Temple were overlaid with gold during Solomon’s time itself. When Maharaja Ranjit Singh conquered Punjab in the early 19th century, he gave Harmandir Sahib a gold plating, and thus leading to the use of the name "Golden Temple" to it. We see a similar story in other shrines also. The Chola king Parantaka-I  provided the Golden roof to Cit Sabha and Kanaga Sabha (twin Halls) of the Nataraja Temple and since then they have been invariably referred together as “Golden Halls”.  The Buddhist Temple at Bodhgaya has remained the same without any golden covering of any sort, but the spot where Buddha sat under meditation, the vajrāsana (Diamond Throne) has a golden canopy which was donated by the Sri Lankan Government when R. Premadasa was the President (UNESCO). The Ka’ba at the First Mosque at Mecca also attracted some golden ornamentation in recent years. Recently in 1979, the silver door to the Ka’ba was replaced by a golden one.

Water for ablution or ritual bathing

Most temple layouts also have a water body for the devotees’ ablution before entering in or for ceremonial purification/bathing. The First Temple of the Jews had a large Molten Sea basin (In Hebrew: ים מוצק) for this purpose (1 Kings, Chapter 7: 23; 2 Chronicles, 4: 2). At Bodhgaya, there is a large pond called Mucalinda, a lake where Buddha is said to have spent his sixth week of meditation after enlightenment. According to Buddhist mythology, it is also the place where the king of Nāgās (serpents) rose up from the water to protect Gautama from Mara who wanted to disturb his meditation. The Golden Temple of Sikhs also has a tank called “Amritsar” (ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਸਰ, meaningPool of immortal nectar’) which was excavated by the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das. Bathing in Amritsar is said to save oneself and family from all sins (Sorath Mohalla 5, Guru Grant, p-623). At Mecca, there is this spring well near Ka'ba that generates the famous “Zamzam water” which was once used also for ablution. The zamzam (زمزم‎, meaning ‘Stop, Stop’) water is now no longer available to the devotees for ablution but only for drinking.

Conflict, destruction and reconstruction 

To begin with, Solomon’s Temple was plundered by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar who besieged and destroyed the city of Jerusalem, besides burning the Temple (2 Kings, Chapter 25). The Second Temple was built by Cyrus the Great in 23 years after the defeat of the Babylonian Empire (Ezra 6:15).  Subsequently around 20 BCE, Herod the Great renovated the Temple during the Roman rule. While the Romans occupied and ruled the city, the Temple remained under the control of the Jews. This is just like how the Temple Mount (with the Western Wall and other sacred sites) is under the control of Muslim Wakf Board, though Israel is under the majority Jewish rule. Following a conflict between the Jews and Romans about seventy years after the death of Jesus, the Temple was destroyed by the Romans during a Siege of the city. Since then, it was never built again and only a part of its damaged Western Wall remains today. 

With this interesting Jewish history, let us now compare the history of the First shrines of Muslims, Buddhists and Saivites. Bodhgaya was at the heart of a Buddhist civilization for centuries, until it was conquered by Turks in the 13th century. The Mahabodhi tree (Ficus religiosa) was almost totally destroyed by the Hindu fanatic King Sasanka during 700 A.D. (Ahir, 1994).  Though the tree regenerated and re-established itself, a heavy storm in 1876 brought down the already old, neglected and degenerating tree. The Bodhi Tree we see today – now nearly 150 years old – is the fourth generation tree planted by Alexander Cunningham from a sampling of the parent tree (Ahir, 1994). As far as the temple building is concerned, it underwent five stages of reconstruction, renovation or repairs ever since it was first constructed allegedly by Emperor Ashoka. After the Burmese renovation in 1305, the Temple went into oblivion coinciding with the decline of Buddhism in India. Seeing the Temple in ruins, ignored and neglected, a Hindu Saiva Mahant, Gossain Ghamandi Giri, occupied it, until the Temple was restored and completely rebuilt according to its original design by Alexander Cunningham in the late 19th century (Ahir, 1994).

Similarly the holy place of Muslims the Ka’ba has also undergone demolitions and reconstruction since the advent of Islam in the early 7th century A.D. The Ka’ba we see now is not the same as the one that existed during the times of prophet Muhammad. A ruler of Mecca, Ibn al-Zubayr, is said to have demolished the old one and built a new one including the hatīm, a semicircular structure which was considered a remnant of the foundations during the time of Abraham (Peters, 1994). However, during Al-Zubayr’s war with Ummayad forces in 683, the newly built structure was partially destroyed (*). Once Ummayads took over the city in 693, Ibn Marwan knocked down the leftovers of the Ka’ba and rebuilt the cube on a separate foundation. Mecca was under attack again, this time during the Hajj of 930 A.D. by Qarmatians who took away the sacred Black Stone (Arabic: ajar al-Aswad) before the Abbasids retrieved it back to the Ka’ba in 952 A.D. (*). Since then, the structure has remained as such barring renovations and repairs.

Now let us come to the history of the Golden Temple. In 1634, Guru Hargobind’s departure to Shivalik Hills lead to occupation of Amritsar city and the Temple hostile groups (*).  The Harmandir Sahib soon became a site of conflict and fighting between Sikhs and Mughal/Afghan forces in the beginning of the 18th century (*). The present day Golden Temple was rebuilt in 1764 by Maharaja Jassa Singh Ahluwalia with the support of others (*). The story did not end there. The Golden Temple is one of the leading shrines of the world to have suffered damage even during the 20th century A.D. During the Operation Blue Star launched by the then Prime Minister of India Ms. Indira Gandhi in 1984 to arrest Bhindranwale, the Akal Takhat Sahib was damaged. A new Akal Takhat Sahib was rebuilt in 1999 by the Sikhs themselves as part of their social service. 

Though the Nataraja Temple at Chidambaram has been in existence at least since the seventh century A.D., most of the additional structures we see today like the Raja Saba and four towers (gopuras) were added later during the 12 or 13th century A.D.  by the Chola Kings (Reference). If the British were involved in the reconstruction of the Mahabodhi Temple, the Dutch merchants supported the renovation of the Chidambaram temple in the 18th century (*).  Unlike other shrines we have seen so far, the Nataraja temple didn’t pass through any stage of deterioration and neglect to the point of requiring a total resurrection.

To summarize, the Jewish temple was rebuilt at least twice, once during the Persian rule and later during the Roman rule. The Ka’ba of Muslims also rebuilt at least twice, once by Ibn al-Zubayr and later by Ummayads. While the Golden Temple had to be rebuilt once, the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodhgaya underwent at least five renovations, repair or reconstruction, before it was finally resurrected from ruins during the time of the British rule.

(2) Ascends to the heaven

Mystics, irrespective of their religious affiliation, journey to the Throne of God through the mystical realms of seven heavens (Armstrong, 1993). Sometimes these journeys are interpreted not as a mere spiritual ascent but as a literal physical journey to the heaven. Instead of dying in this world and then reaching the heavenly abode, this concept describes entering heaven alive. 

In the Bible we see at least three clear references to heavenly ascends without passing through the normal stage of death. First was Enoch who was taken by God as He did not wish his death happening the normal way (Genesis, 5:24; Hebrews 11:5), then Elijah who disappeared into the heavens in a chariot of fire (2 Kings, 2:11) and lastly the well known incidence of Jesus Christ who was carried up the heavens ((Luke, 24: 50-51; Acts 1:9). Let us look at the Elijah’s ascension to the heavens described in the Book of Kings:  

As they were walking along and talking together,
Suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared
And separated the two of them,
And Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
(2 Kings, 2:11)

இவர்கள் இவ்வாறு உரையாடிக் கொண்டு வழிநடந்து செல்கையில், இதோ! நெருப்புத் தேரும் நெருப்புக் குதிரைகளும் திடீரென நடுவே வந்து அவர்களைப் பிரித்தன. எலியா சுழற்காற்றில் விண்ணகத்துக்குச் சென்றார்.

Prophet Elijah’s ascension to the heavens has many a parallel from other religious traditions. The very foundation of Christianity is based on their faith on Death, Resurrection and Ascension. In Islam, the mirāj or ascension of Muhammad to the divine presence is considered an important incident in the history of Islam. 

Let me focus on the mode of ‘transport’ the various sages said to have employed in different religious traditions. In Mahabharata of Hindus, the King of Indraprastha Yudhisthira (also called Dharmaraja, meaning ‘King of Righteousness’) manages to reach the Himalayas where King of Devas Indra arrives and takes him in his Golden chariot to the heavens. Here the mode of transport is very similar to Elijah’s case. In Islam, prophet Muhammad was taken to divine presence in the mythical winged steed called Al-Burāq which means ‘lightning’. In the case of Jesus, the ascension is believed to have happened without the aid of any carrier. In the Tamil Saiva Siddhanta tradition, there is this interesting tradition of sage Sundarar being taken up to Kailash to the presence of Lord Shiva on a white elephant back. This is recorded in Tamil Classics, Periyapuranam and Devaram (see below).

As they were walking along and talking together,
Suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared
And separated the two of them,
And Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
(2 Kings, 2:11)

Glory to (Allah) Who did take His servant
for a Journey by night
From the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, Whose precincts We did bless,-
In order that We might show him some of Our Signs:
For He is the One Who hears and sees (all things). (Qur’an, 17:1)
Tamil: Sundarar’s ascent to the heavens

Sundarar (Sundaramūrthy Nāyanār) is one among the Great Four (Nālvar: நால்வர்) saints of Saiva Siddhānta who inspired the Saiva movement in Tamil Nadu. The other three are Sambandar, Appar and Mānikkavāsakar. The great Tamil classic of the 12th century A.D. Sekkizhar’s Periyapuranam contains hagiographical information on all the 63 Saiva Saints (called Nāyanmārs) including that of Sundaramurthy Nayanar (also called Nambi Ārūrar).  Tired of earthly life, Sundarar aspires to get ‘Release’ by divine intervention. Thereupon a divine white elephant comes down from Kailāsa and Sundarar ascends to Kailasa on its back. His fellow Saiva saint and king Cheramān Perumāl also accompanies him but on a steed. 
And he led them out as far as to Bethany,
and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.
And it came to pass, while he blessed them,
he was parted from them, and
carried up into heaven. 
(Luke 24:50-51)
He beheld in the heavens the servitor of Truth that rode
The heroic white tusker in the sky; thereupon he would
No longer bear to abide on the earth; to his mind
Already with Aaroorar, he hitched his steed
And moved onward with great speed.         
(Periyapuranam 4263)

The following passages from Periyapuranam record his ascent to the heavenly abode of Kailash:

ஏற்ற தொண்டரை அண்டர் வெள்ளானையின் எதிர் வலம் கொண்டு ஏற்ற ………               4262
வீர வெண் களிறுகைத்து விண்மேல் செலும் மெய்த்தொண்டர் தமைக் கண்டார்   
பாரில் நின்றிலர் சென்றதம் மனத்தொடு பரியும் முன் செலவிட்டார்                                        4263
யானை மேல் கொண்டு செல்கின்ற பொழுதினில் இமையவர் குழாம் என்னும்                        
தானை முன் செலத் தானெனை முன் படைத்தான்எனும் தமிழ் மாலை                            4267
மானவன் தொண்டர் பாடி …………….
அங்கண் எய்திய திரு அணுக்கன் திரு வாயிலின் அடல் சேரர்                                 
தங்கள் காவலர் தடை உண்டு நின்றனர் தம்பிரான் அருளாலே                                     
பொங்கு மா மதம் பொழிந்த வெள்ளானையின் உம்பர் போற்றிடப் போந்த                  4269
நங்கள் நாவலூர் காவலர் நண்ணினார் அண்ணலார் திருமுன்பு                                 4269
(13 வெள்ளானைச் சருக்கம், பெரியபுராணம்)

34.       The Devas circumambulated the devotee that humbly
            Complied with the Lord’s behest, and adored him; when they
            Had him seated on the celestial white tusker, …………….  (4262)
35.       He beheld in the heavens the servitor of Truth that rode
            The heroic white tusker in the sky; thereupon he would
            No longer bear to abide on the earth; to his mind
            Already with Aaroorar, he hitched his steed
            And moved onward with great speed.                                 (4263)
39.       As he rode the tusker, the army of thronging celestial lords
            Marched ahead of him; hymning the garland of Tamil verse
            Beginning with the words: “Thaan enai mun pataitthaan …..  (4267)
41.       At the Tiru Anukkan sacred entrance the valiant Cera king
            Was stopped; our Prince of Naavaloor who came there
            Riding the white tusker whence cascaded black musth,
            Hailed by the encircling Devas, by the grace of the Lord
            Moved to the divine presence of the Great One.                   (4269)
            (Translator: T N Ramachandran)

Sundarar himself records his feat of bodily ascent to Kailash, Lord Siva’s Himalayan abode, mounted on a white elephant sent by Siva.

தான் எனை முன் படைத்தான்; அது அறிந்து தன் பொன் அடிக்கே
நான் என பாடல்? அந்தோ! நாயினேனைப் பொருட்படுத்து,
வான் எனை வந்து எதிர்கொள்ள, மத்தயானை அருள்புரிந்து(வ்)
ஊன் உயிர் வேறு செய்தான்-நொடித்தான்மலை உத்தமனே.   (7.100.1)
(ஏழாம் திருமுறை, திருநொடித்தான்மலை)

Knowing his as my make, I made many hymns for his golden feet.
O wonder, that the Highest God in Notittanmalai
Cared for me, though I am no better than a dog,
That he separate by soul from flesh, and gave be a glorious elephant
On which rise to heaven, welcomed by all the gods!
(Cuntarar VII.100.1) [Translator: Indira Viswanathan Peterson]

The fact that Sundarar lived to write this episode, argues for the case to interpret this incident as a spiritual ascent and not as a final bodily absorption. The argument for this conclusion is that, having entered the heavens alive, Sundarar shouldn't have spent an earthly life again (say like prophet Muhammad) to narrate his experience of ascent later. However, we must realize that this is what scriptures are all about. To cite a similar example, we see descriptions of Moses’ death in the Torah which is said to have been written by Moses. Sometimes we see contradictory information on the subject of human ascent and divine descent within the same scripture. In the Bible John attributes this saying to Jesus: “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven” (John 3:13). This gives all of us a food for thought.

Such claims of mystical ascension to heavens come from lesser known religious traditions as well. Shaman claims to ascend through heaven after heaven, to converse with the Supreme Creator, and receive secrets from him which may be communicated to others (Eliade, 1964). The Janam Sakhi in Sikhism is like the Hadith in Islam and Jataka tales in Buddhism. ‘Janam Sakhi’ literally means “birth stories” (of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak). There we find a story similar to that of Prophet Muhammad and his travel to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This story of Guru Nanak’s ascent to Mount Meru to meet the nine Siddhas is very much similar to Muhammad's travel to Jerusalem to hold prayer with all the previous prophets (Janam-Sākhis, p 139, cited by McLeod, 1968).

  • Ahir, D.C.1994. Buddha Gaya Through the Ages. Sri Satguru Publications, Delhi.
  • Armstrong, K. 1993. A History of God. Mandarin. Pp 244-256
  • Eliade, M. 1964. Shamanism. : Archaic Techniques of Ecstacy, Bollingen Series, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Pp 193 (Cited by Parrinder, G. 1976. Mysticism in the Word’s Religions. Oneworld pp 78
  • Guenther, A.R. 1982. Kings and Chronicles: Interpreting Historical Interpretation. Direction (Winnipeg, MB). Vol. 11(2): 4-15.
  • Kanakasabhai, V. 1094. The Tamils Eighteen Hundred Years Ago. Asian Educational Services. Page 31 (First published by AES in 1979)
  • McLeod, W.H. 1968. Guru Nanak and the Sikh Religion. Oxford. Pp 61-62
  • Peters, F.E. 1994 The Hajj: the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca and the holy places. Princeton University Press. Pp 15
  • Smith, D. 1998. The Dance of Siva: Religion, Art and Poetry in South India. Cambridge University Press. Page 80
  • Varadarajan, Mu. 1988. (Translated by E.S. Viswanathan). A History of Tamil Literature. Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, 1988, p. 1-17

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