" Christhuvamagihiya Malaiyil irunthu Edukkappatta
Dr. Deivanayakam Gets His Due 1
The book titled Viviliyam, Tirukkural, Shaiva Siddhantam Oppu Ayvu, written by one Deivanayakam, 2 was published in 1985-86. It attempted to compare Bible, Tirukkural and Shaiva philosophy and concluded that Tiruvalluvar was a disciple of
It was given to the Dharmapuram Math to issue a refutation. In spite of refutations from scholars through personal letters, Deivanayakam was unrelenting. Hence the Dharmapuram Shaiva Math had a book of refutation prepared by its very able Tamil and Shaiva scholar, Arunai Vadivel Mudaliar, and released it at a function.
The function organised by the Shaiva Siddhanta Sabha, was not very well publicised yet it had a gathering of over three hundred Tamil and Shaiva scholars. 3 The hall was packed to capacity. Justice N. Krishnaswami Reddiar, retired high court judge, presided.
Tamil and Shaiva scholar M.P. Somasundaram, who made the opening speech, deplored that in independent
Justice Krishnaswami Reddiar strongly criticised the modern tendency of publishing trash in the name of research. He said research must have an aim, a purpose, to get at the truth. Research was not meant to find evidence to denigrate an ancient faith. Research should not start with preconclusions or prejudices. Here the author's motive was to show the superiority of Christianity. Religion was based not only on facts but also on faith and beliefs. The book had hurt Hindu beliefs.
Justice Krishnaswami Reddiar quoted from the works of Sita Ram Goel and Ishwar Sharan and asserted that the visit of
If such books were not refuted our progeny would find fault with us; and such books would pass as source material for future researchers. If there was no refutation, then such books would be accepted as telling the truth and would be used for further religious propaganda. He praised the Dharmapuram Math for taking pains to release the book of refutation.
Sarojini Varadappan released the book of refutation. Swaminatha Thambiran of Dharmapuram Math said the Math Head had, by personal correspondence with Deivanayakam, tried to put the facts straight. But he was unrelenting. Then a conference of scholars was held at Dharmapuram to which Deivanayakam was invited. Though he was present, he stood his ground. Then only, the Head of the Math decided to prepare this book of refutation and release it.
Dr. R. Nagaswami, eminent archaeologist, who had done some excavations at
Vidwan Ambai Sankaranar said that the award of doctorate to the author of the book must be withdrawn as the author had not adduced any evidence as to how Tiruvalluvar was a disciple of St. Thomas. Vidwan Sundara Murthi pointed out how the Tirukkural verses were misinterpreted by Deivanayakam.
T.N. Ramachandran said chronology had not at all been taken into consideration by Deivanayakam while comparing the works. Had he been a student of St. Thomas, Tiruvalluvar would have mentioned it, he said.
Vanniyar Adigal said such books were being published taking advantage of the tolerance of Hindus and the liberty and rights given in the Constitution. He said a book by a Muslim showing the superiority of Koran over Tirukkural had also been published some years back. It was time for the Hindus to take cognizance of attacks on their doctrines, beliefs and sacred books.
Eighty-five-year-old Arunai Vadivel Mudaliar, the author of the book of refutation, 4 who was honoured with a silk cloth and cash presentation, said that an attack on his faith was like an attack on his mother and that compelled him to refute the book of Deivanayakam.
2 Dr. M. Deivanayakam and Dr. R. Arulappa have worked together on the christianization of Tiruvalluvar and the Tirukkural. In 1975 they co-authored the book Perinba Villakku in which Tiruvalluvar is represented as being Christian.
3 That this important conference of Hindu scholars was not reported in the Madras editions of The Hindu and Indian Express is very revealing of the editorial policies of these newspapers.
4 Unfortunately Mudaliar's book has not been named in this article.