Tuesday, May 8, 2012

When a Language Becomes a Mother/Goddess

I came across a rather interesting essay about Tamil, a language spoken by over 70 million people in India and Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, as well as other parts of the global South Asian diaspora.

Rivaled only by Sanskrit, Tamil inspired the praise and adoration of many of its speakers from its early recorded literary history.  In the later half of the 19th century in colonial India, this admiration intensified to the point that the language was imagined as a mother/goddess variously referred to as Tamiḻttāy, Tamil Aṉṉai, and Tamiḻ Tēvi.

Over the course of the first half of the 20th century, the veneration of and devotion to the Mother/Goddess Tamil variously fueled powerful movements for religious revitalization, the deepening of linguistic pride and love for Tamil literature, a vigorous assertion of Tamil identity, even a separatist movement for independent statehood free of India.

More about this interesting essay can be found here.

An example of some of these adorations are:

"Bharatha is like the face beauteous of Earth clad in wavy seas;
 Deccan is her brow crescent-like on which the fragrant 'Tilak' is the blessed Dravidian land.
 Like the fragrance of that 'Tilak' plunging the world in joy supreme reigns Goddess Tamil with renown spread far and wide. Praise unto You, Goddess Tamil, whose majestic youthfulness, inspires awe and ecstasy."

and ...

Salutations to Mother Tamil! The Mother of all languages!
Brimming Sea drapes exuberant Dame Earth!
Beautified face; the exalted Indian sub-continent!
South! In particular Dravidan country!
Aesthetic Thilakam on thy beauteous curved forehead!
Fragrance of Thilakam maketh entire world delirious!
Oh! Goddess Tamil! Spreads in all directions Thine fervour too!
Many a life! Many a world! Creations of Thine! Decimations too !
Ever pervading Creator! Remain as ever! Ever as Thy have been!
Kannada, Joyous Telugu, Dainty Malayalam with Thulu!
Born out of Thee! Borne by Thee! Originated out of Thee! Replicated!
Unlike Aryan linua franca! Spoken by none! Dead and gone!
Ever remain afresh Thee alone! Purity intact too!
Delighted! Praise thou beauteous Tamil, a Virgin forever! Awestruck!
Praise unto thee! Praise unto thee!

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"Dancing the Sacred Wheel" now available again

"Dancing the Sacred Wheel" now available again
The second edition of "Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats" is now available through www.createspace.com or direct from the author (Australian customers only) for an autographed copy.

Great Goddess Isis

Great Goddess Isis

Exhortation of Isis

You are She in the dust of whose feet is the hosts of Heaven,
Whose body encircles the Universe,
Who turns the Earth in its orb,
Who gives light to the Sun,
Who rules the World.

You tread death underfoot.
To Thee, the stars are responsive,
To Thee the seasons turn and the Gods rejoice
And the elements are in subjugation.

You are She that is the natural Mother of all things,
Mistress and governor of all elements,
The initial progeny of worlds,
Chief of Divine powers,
Queen of Heaven,
Principle of all the Gods celestial and the light of Goddesses.

At Your will are disposed the planets of the air,
The wholesome winds of the seas
And the silences of the unseen world.