Dhanush Subrahmanya An Unique Cult And Its Iconographic Form
Iconography deals with the concrete expression of religious symbolism1. In spite of the inclusive nature and the catholicity of outlook of the Hindu faith that the various forms of Gods and Goddesses are not unstated by the followers of the Hinduism itself. Each form has its own deeper meaning and they have been described in the Tamil Sangam Classical Literature. Some of the imageries have served as dhyana sloka (text) for carving the images both in stone and metal. Since, there is a clear and convincing proof, behind that each and every concept of every from of the Lord. The concepts have fired the imagination of the great and unknown masters of the past. There is a vital necessity to create an awareness of our magnificent heritage not only in the minds of those professing the Hindu faith but also in those of other faiths inclusively foreigners. This paper portrays the unique cult Dhanush Subrahmanya, how the rare concept came into being and the reason for installation of these images both metal and stone in and around Mayiladuthurai region temples.
Lord Subrahmanya appears as a warrior in this interesting cult popularly known as Dhanush Subrahmanya. The epithet Dhanush Subrahmanya literary means that Lord holds the bow and arrow instead of His traditional weapon lance. The Sangam classical works also alluded Lord Subrahmanya as a War-God of the Tamils. Lord Subrahmanya was made a standard of comparison with ancient Tamil monarchs namely the Sangam Cheras, the Sangam Cholas and the Sangam Pandyas.