Research and its philosophy
  • So I understand NHST accepts a hypothesis as not false because there
    is less falsity.

    It is also true that we can reject a hypothesis in history if there is
    zero percentage of truth with full falsity.

    As SB Sir and Sankaran have pointed out, not all of Rajaraja Chola's
    employees were from the same caste/family. So the hypothesis of BV
    that ALL of his employees shall be rejected. Oh well, most of his
    employees is different from ALL of his employees, because there can be
    either THIS or THAT. Therefore the hypothesis/observation that
    Rajaraja is Egoist (because he wanted to control a particular caste as
    his servants) is also not true.

  • Excellent points Sampath. Good food for thought.

    Krupa, Samptha and all,

    I too feel History cannot be purely facts. Even though we get
    inscriptions, a percentage of hypothesis only can give full picture
    to what we read from inscriptions. As Sampath rightly pointed out,
    null hyposthesis though not foolproof, is the only way out to find
    out whether our hypothesis is correct or not. If proven, correct,
    else incorrect.

    Lets take our own debate, whether the paintings are of RRC or not.
    One group says its not while the other says it is. But either of the
    group dont have proof. In this case, the statement of hypothesis can
    be framed as per the groups wish and can be proved or disproved. If
    you frame the statement you can easily disprove it and if I frame
    the statement with the opposite meaning I can prove it. Just a
    thought flashed in my mind. I remember seeing a similar posture of
    the painting with a male and a couple of females standing and
    praying as a miniature sculpture in Mappedu gopuram near Arakkonam,
    which is supposed to be constructed by RRC. I dont have further
    details or proof, we can analyse. So as of now I have two instance
    where the persons looks similar and no fool will project the same
    COMMON MAN/DEVOTEE in two differnt places he has built.

    Similarly, in Rams photo collection of GKC photos I saw a sculpture
    very much similar to the one in Panchavan madevi pallipadai, one
    kudumi asami praying before a siva lingam. Both the temples are
    built by RJC. I think you will accept that both were built by RJC
    becuase you have FACT for them.

    If I create a null hypothesis with these evidences i have, I can
    prove that they are indeed RRC and RJC. If you creat the null
    hypothese you can disprove it in your own way.

    As sampath said, as long as a theory has been disproved, it will be
    accepted as fact. And History cannot be written without hypothesis.
    If I construct a temple, you can very well put a kalvettu there
    saying that you built it and after 100 years, that becomes history.
    I am just talking about possibilities. No offense meant my friend.

    You talk about evidences and facts. But I would say what you say
    also maynot be 100% true. Another instance I can quote.

    When we were in Pullamangai, Kamal showed a pillar with tarangam and
    said such taranga podigai with one tarangam in the opposite
    direction means its of parantaka period. In tiruvalanchuzhi
    kshetrabalar temple I foudn a very striking similarity between
    pullamangai pillar and this pillar. And the kalvettu's says
    kshetrabalar sannidhi was built by RRC. When I showed this to Kamal
    and asked why there is a conflict, the simple answer was,"its not
    that all such taranga podigai are of parantaka, but parantaka and
    later". I think there is around 150 years gap between these two
    temples and from Venkatesh I learn that in 40 years, the chola
    architecture reached its pinnacle from mazhapadi to periya koil. If
    in just 40 years things can change, why the taranga podigai didt
    change for nearly 150 years.

    Can I say Kamal or the source from where Kamal got his information
    is totally wrong? I can and I cannot, depending on how well I
    project my hypothesis.

    What i mean to say is, its easy to mock others for their aruguement,
    just for arguement sake. but its difficult to prove or disprove.
    Each one can have their own school of thought, and its their
    freedom. If we can , we should prove them otherwise else we should
    not comment on them as long as we dont have evidences supporting our
  • Excellent satish

    to formulate a hypothesis is everybody's right
    we saw it happen in the entrance to the periya koil
    two words, pon and vimanam(?)
    the hypothesis is an extreme one.the entire vimana of periya koil was
    covered with gold.

    such a stupendous feat would definitely have found mention else where.

    and that would have been the single most expensive thing in the temple
    costs. why was it not mentioned in the kalvettu?

    so every kalvettu, every copper plate and every literary mention is
    subject to many things that corrupt the truth
    sychophancy, exuberance, poetric nature can all enhance the content
    appearance and thereby lowering its intrinsic truth
    so everybody has a right to have an opinion and others cannot mock it.
  • > What i mean to say is, its easy to mock others for their aruguement,
    > just for arguement sake. but its difficult to prove or disprove.
    > Each one can have their own school of thought, and its their
    > freedom. If we can , we should prove them otherwise else we should
    > not comment on them as long as we dont have evidences supporting our
    > arguement.

    Dear Satish,

    Here comes the difficulty. When two persons are not in the same frame
    of mind, one person's argument with proof may seem to other as just a
    mockery. If one cannot understand the proof given, the proof is set
    aside and the persons arguing would be called "mocking the other".

    > I too feel History cannot be purely facts. Even though we get
    > inscriptions, a percentage of hypothesis only can give full picture
    > to what we read from inscriptions. As Sampath rightly pointed out,
    > null hyposthesis though not foolproof, is the only way out to find
    > out whether our hypothesis is correct or not. If proven, correct,
    > else incorrect.

    I would differ from you on this point of forming a hypothesis to "get
    a full picture." I feel it is wiser to accept the fact we cannot make
    it out clearly when there is no evidence rather than forming a theory
    and "creating a full picture." If one wishes to conclude something
    based on hypothesis, it is all right and he/she can go ahead. No one
    is going to question him/her. However, the created picture would at no
    point show what is history. If you feel this statement is not
    acceptable, then our definition of the term history differs. We are
    not sailing on the same boat.

    If you feel that no fool will project the same common devotee in two
    different places, then you have a point. There must be a meaning. But
    based on this statement if you are going to conclude it is the picture
    of a person who built the temple, I have nothing to say; it is a
    possibility, not truth. If you are going to call THIS a hypothesis, go
    ahead. This need not be disproved, as possibilities cannot be
    disproved; rather a possibility can only be further researched.

    I dont know what made you call Kamal's answer as a simple answer, and
    I cannot understand the reason behind the question why something did
    not change because some other thing architecture
    changed in 30 years but tharanga podhigai did not change even after
    150 years.

    Also, I beg to differ from your statement that history cannot be
    written without hypothesis. After all, all of us would love to know
    100% true history, dont we?

  • A curious question (related to the kalvettus, copper plates thread). This is
    a thought borrowed from my friend (I have just done a Control+C and

    If the kalvettus portrayed semi-truth or a lie, why did the successors from
    other dynasties not destroy it or write by the side that the kalvettu is not
    (completely) true. Even in a present-day democracy, a government tries to
    remove (or undermine) the visible victories of a previous, opposition party
    government. A Pandya king would not have hesistated to call the bluff of a
    Chozha's kalvettu (and vice versa).

    Does this mean the kalvettus were very close to the truth (or) that only
    hidden kalvettus survived to see our times (or) the kings intelligently
    inscribed on places like temple walls which no hindu king will dare to

    Copper plates could have easily been hidden. Hence, the doubt is regarding
    kalvettus only.

  • Of course no one can exclude a possibility if there is no evidence
    against it. 100% true that such a possibility exists, I never denied
    THE possibility. But saying it IS RJC is different from it MAY BE RJC.

    Reg. that tharanga poadhigai concept. I dont know about it. Maybe
    Kamal will give evidence if such a style had Parantaka's kalvettu
    below it or any other inference to support that. But there we cannot
    say that other kings did not build temples with the same style.

    Identifying a sculpture's period is entirely different from saying the
    name of a person in a sculpture. It is so because at least we have one
    conclusive evidence in the first case, whereas in the second case
    (identifying a person in a sculpture), we dont have any evidence on
    both the places. If we know for sure at least one person is Rajendra
    Chozha, then we can say both of them are RJC who built the temple.
    Again, I dont deny the possibility.

    Regarding your monalisa example, I would like to add more.

    The subject in the instance you gave is the name of the person in the
    painting, not its period. So when it was replicated, it would be done
    on a different canvas, or photographed. Still we can identify it as
    Monolisa. The point here is we are able to say WHO IT IS by seeing the
    face and smile.

    Now if you want to say all the replicated mona lisa were painted
    during the same period by different people, the first criteria should
    be all the canvasas should be of the same period. So seeing the type
    of canvas, its weight, the dust in the canvas, the condition of the
    canvas, we can safely say it is this much or that much old. Then we
    can conclude that all the paintings were made on the same date/period.

    So identification of the person requires different parameters than
    identifying the period of the canvas.

    The features of the sculpture would help us to say whether a sculpture
    is of pallava's or chozha's. We cant say who is there in the sirppam
    by seeing the features. We determine if a sculpture is a Murugan or
    Shiva by using different parameters (like senni, virisadai, etc.), not

    > Even Dr.Kkv said that people were carried away by this hypothesis
    > for so long that kanchi kailasanathar and mamallapuram temples were
    > built by different person because of the dissimilarities. Unless
    > this hypothesis was broken down with proof, all belived that
    > mamallapuram was built by mahendra and narasimha. Dont you agree on
    > this?

    > So facts alone can mislead sometimes and hypothesis do help us. I
    > feel both compliment each other.

    See now. The hypothesis mislead and facts helped us to identify who
    built the temple. Why did people believe kailasanathar and
    mamallapuram temples were built by mahendra/maamalla? Must be on the
    hypothesis that both of them were on pallava region and mahendra and
    narasimha were famous. Could be otherwise? Okay, so this
    belief/hypothesis was proved false by the dissimilarities which is a FACT

  • Question: Why did conquering empire not destroy Kalvettu in the
    conquered country? Does this mean the kalvettus were very close to the
    truth or only hidden kalvettus survived to see our times
    ->There is no evidence that the conquering empire did not destroy the
    kalvettus in a country. So Possibility 1: There is a possibility what
    we see is the remaining kalvettus if the kings had such a practice.
    Possibility 2: They dont have the habit of destroying the kalvettus or
    were cunning enough to hide other's glory. We have or had all of them
    intact in place.

    Question: the kings intelligently inscribed on places like temple
    walls which no hindu king will dare to touch.

    ->Inscribing text on temple walls was in practice even when enemy was
    not a Saivitte/Vaishnavaitte. Therefore this excludes the possibility
    that kalvettus were free from attack when inscribed on a temple wall.
    Only possibility is the appropriateness of the place for the
    particular purpose (kovil patriya seidhigal kovilgalildhaan irukkanum).

    Kalvettus were very close to truth
  • if somebody has an hypothesis that the mans picture right behind the
    lingam in periya koil is not rrc because there is no kalvettu
    mentiong it below
    than just because there is a kalvettu with two words gold and vimanam
    are the same people now ready to beleive that the entire periya koil
    was covered with god?
    one place abssence of a kalvettu is enough to say the picture is not
    in another the presence of a kalvettu about gold vimanam is not

    why double standards?????????????
  • thousands of kalvettu may have been in palaces. the enemies destroyed
    the palaces perhaps irritated at the content.

    in chola land palaces were destroyed by invading pandyas who destroyed
    the palaces, ploughed the land and sowed crops( they were just doing
    what the cholas did in madurai 2 centuries earlier)

    an entire place area in gkc (maaligaimedu???) was thus destroyed and
    with them the kalvettu.

    one case of a kalvettu being erased deliberately was pointed to us by
    ram in the pallipadai of panchavan madevi.

    the word palli padai was erased purposefully. that was perhaps to
    remove the negative aspect of the temple and encourage more people to
    go there.

    the kalvettus at the destroyed palaces may have been more useful for
    their historical content.temple kalvettus dont give direct info about
    history and they have to read with a generous dollop of imagination.
  • the style of sculpture and architecture

    the masons and the sculptors must have been trainees under one man or
    a school of thought during one era.

    or they may have all followed the design prevalent at that time.

    i certainly dont feel that the royalty had the time or energy to
    stand by and supervise these things.
    definitely the style of art remained similar during an era- in
    sculpture, painting or architecture.thus being a great tool in
    identifying the era.
    perhaps that was because it was a proven concept or prevailing
    changes started occuring when creativity on part of the artist crept
    or people from faraway moved in.
    this is common in technology also. for example the huge chinese
    fishing nets we find in cochin have exactly the same design in far
  • I guess the Tamil kings had atleast the courtesy not
    to destroy temples and places of worship. Thats why
    most of the temples and what ever kalvettu they had
    survived the waves of changing politics.

    Even the cankam age brahmi inscriptions carry the same
    tone - who donated what to which saint for what
    purpose etc., Only a few bear kings names. This might
    have been the trend since civilization.

    So the people had the authority and literacy to issue
    local kalvettus that marked donations. These were of
    little interest to the kings, so they survived
  • No double standards.

    First of all, nobody had any hypothesis denying the lingam is
    periyakoil's just because there is no kalvettu below it. It might be a
    possibility, that is all.

    Second, the same people could have thought there is a possibility had
    the entire periya kovil been covered with gold if at least the words
    "pon vimaanam" were there. The actual inscription text that scholars
    can make out is as follows:

    ""raajaraajeswaram udaiyaar koyil sri vimaanam pon".

    Note, not even "pon vimaanam". After this the lines are not clear. The
    inscription is extremely damaged. Actually not everyone is sure of
    even the word "pon". So it is clear that there is no mention of gold

  • Krupa,

    One small clarification. The word 'Pon' is clear in the inscription. But the inscription doesn't call the vimaanam as 'pon vimaanam'. If the vimaanam was covered with gold, I'm sure, it would have got mentioned in atleast one other undamaged inscription. I would also believe that this important detail will be a part of the foundation inscription rather than a comparatively insignificant "rajarajan Thiruvaayil" (note the word comparatively before jumping on me;-))
  • Quite often it strikes to me, why should the kings be given due credit for
    building the temples. Is it not the Architect and the Engineers who come out
    with the idea of building the temples. Don't the Kalvettus have the
    information of who was the chief architect behind the construction of that
    temple. A kIng alone can;t just bring changes in Architecture / Engineering
    of a temple. There might be a Ayanar like person involved in the contruction
    of all these temples. Can anybody mention such people?

    Taj Mahal'aiyum Periya Koil'aiyum yaar kattinaangannu kEttaa, I would still
    say a few kothanaars mesthiri and sithaaLu, instead of giving Shah Jahan and
  • Dear Kamal,

    Thanks for your explanation and I agree your points. I am not as
    knowledgeable as you people are. Just throwing my points in this
    thread. and I clearly said, people can have opinion and it can be
    wrong,but making mockery of that opinion is wrong. THATS THE MAIN

    I think, I didnt write my points clearly, because both you and Krupa
    didnt take it as i meant.

    Reg. Archi. I do accept that it can be mixture of different period.
    You only taught me that if such a style exist its of a certain
    period and you yourself now say that period cannot be distinguished
    by style. Arent you contradicting? Thats why I say that, the
    hypothesis that a particular style is used in a certain period is
    negated by the fact that similar style can be used at different
    period. So both go hand in hand and only facts cannot lead us to
    anywhere. One cannot go without the support of the other. at the
    first look we decide on pattern matching and then we search for
    facts to substantiate our understanding. If we dont get the facts we
    say our initial understanding was wrong. Hope you atlest agree with
    this. This is what happened in the case of Kanchi and Mamallapuram,
    which I tried to point out.

    Reg. Sculpture. Again I think I didnt put my points clearly. I never
    said that the icon in the sculpture or painting should be mentioned.
    What i said is determining the period of an art piece by looking at
    it. again we do a pattern matching and if we find similarities
    between two, for which we have proof for one, we conclude that the
    other is of the same period. It can be Nataraja statue or a kotravi
    or anyting. Identifying the period is my point of discussion and not
    the diety. So we do identify a diety's period without any written
    proof. Dont we? If we get a written proof which says our
    understanding s wrong, we stand corrected. So facts will surely
    supplement hypothesis, but Human brain first tends to devise
    hypothesis rather than finding facts. I never linked this with the
    painting which is called RR. I was giving this example to
    substantiate that assumptions do help us to find facts. If my words
    misled you or Krupa, i beg pordon.

    Lets take the example of Eka Veeri pidari. We did had the FACT from
    the kalvettu that Eka Veeri Pidari existed. But what will you do
    with the FACT alone. Its known that a kali statue is there, but the
    location do not match with the place mentioned in kalvettu. Then a
    hypothesis can be conceived that this statue could have been brought
    from there, which was confirmed by the local people. So you say you
    have discovered Eka veeri. Could you hae done this only with the
    Kalvettu? If you say yes, I dont have an answer. Probably I am so
    ignorant to understand such great things.

    The basic thing is, no one knows clearly as what happened. We try to
    derive history from whatever we have at hand. The more the evidence
    the more the better. We should understand this basics.
  • Kamal,

    Refer below portion of your mail. I remember that Ksethrabalar
    temple was built during the last few years of RRC's reign, as the
    inscriptions mentione both RRC and RJC's corule. Do you mean to say
    that RRC introduced vettu podigai only during his last few years,
    say 2-3 years? Just wanted to clarify.
  • Dear Satish/Kamal,

    It is for sure that the kuLavudan koodiya tharangam transformed into a vettu podhigai. And that transition did happen during RRC's reign. As an effort to pinpoint when exactly this transition comes across and when does the kuLavu podhigai goes into oblivion, let us do a study!!!

    Let us collect info on all RRC built temples and look at the podhigai. This exercise should clear all doubts!!! what say??

    This exercise does not require much of scholarship. All it requires is travel. So, we can divide the travel among ourself and prepare a database that contains information on temple name/ location/ RRC's reignal year and the type of podhigai.

    As a first say, letz contact experts like Venkatesh, Ganesan, SPS who have traveled extensively, to identify temples built by RRC and as the next step we can contact scholars like Kudavoil/Kkvn to extend the list.

    May be this can be first project of PSVP!!! what say?
  • Nalla idea.


Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Top Posters