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Title: A study of the mysticism of service and morality in the Periya Purāṇam of Cēkkiḻār
Author: Fernando, Milroy Reginold
ISNI:       0000 0004 5354 401X
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2015
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The thesis explores the mysticism of service and moral living of the nāyaṉmār through a comprehensive study of the Tamil literary and devotional masterpiece i.e. the Periya Purāṇam or the ‘Great Epic Narrative’. As a twelfth century poetical hagiography that reflects the lives of the nāyaṉmār or Tamil spiritual leaders, the mysticism of this sacred and canonical text of Tamil Śaivism is neither appreciated, as it deserves to be, nor has it been sufficiently studied in academia. The modest research is intended to fill a vacuum in the literature of Tamil Śaiva mysticism. Besides this primary purpose, the research aims to make an academic contribution by introducing this mysticism of service and moral living of the nāyaṉmār as narrated in the Periya Purāṇam to a wider academic community and to the Tamil Śaiva religious community at large. The claim is that this mysticism that is embedded in the text has been largely overlooked. Through an integral approach of hagiographical and thematic exegesis, it is argued that Cēkkiḻār, the author, by imbuing himself in the mystical quest of the early Tamil literary, moral and devotional traditions, textured around these nāyaṉmār, initiates a way to Śiva that was foreign to the Tamil tradition of his milieu. Cēkkiḻār shapes his mystical theology and ideology in the form of two aims i.e. service and moral living. By his radical theology of Siva, he presents a theology of service and moral living which is ‘Person’ centred and a mystical thirst for Transcendence which is ‘Divine’ oriented. This interplay of cosmic and meta-cosmic levels of mystical experience provided a worldview, an alternative vision for political and social change in Tamil society.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BL Religion ; DS Asia ; PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia ; Africa ; Oceania