As I indicated in my earlier posts, the essential difference between an Avatar of Shiva and Vishnu lies in the fact ,in the case of Shiva, He does not stay in a Womb, called Ayonijaha (though this epithet is used for Vishnu in the Vishnu Sahasranama, I do not recall any instance where Vishnu seems to have appeared from nowhere and disappeared), in the case of Vishnu He is born as Humans in a womb, undergoes the trials and tribulations of a Human Being.
Probably an Avatar is different from Leela, an Avatar is the coming down of God, Avatara means ‘coming down’,whereas Leela can be translated loosely as ‘play,playful’.
Lord Shiva’s Leelas where He had appeared, done His job and disappeared are mentioned in the Tamil Classics, more vividly in the Thiruvilayadal Purana by Paranjothi Munivar, 6th Century AD.
These Avatars, Leelas of Shiva are 64 in number.
These have taken place in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.
These Avatars are called the Avatars of Somasundara,an amsa of Shiva, and the husband of Meenakshi, an avatar of Goddess Parvati.
Meenakshi Sunadareswarar is in the Madurai Meenakshi Temple.
Other than in the Tamil Classics, Shiva Purana and passing references to some of the instances narrated in the Thiruvilayadal Purana, in the other Puranas,I am unable to find references to these in the Sanskrit works.
One can not brush these aside as figment of Tamil Imagination either as cross references abound Tamil and they are generally trust worthy of facts and there are temple inscriptions which check out with other Historical facts.
The history of the Tamil Kings mentioned in these instances check out .
Considering the fact that the ancestor of Lord Rama migrated from Dravida, there seems to be something I am missing here.
Please refer my Post Rama’s ancestor from Dravida
I am searching.
Some of these instances seem to be prehistoric and may relate to Thenmadurai, where the First Tamil Sangam was held Thenmadurai was swallowed by a Tsunami.
Please read my posts on Tamil Sangam dates.
Readers may send in their inputs with source on this issue.
The 64 instances where Lord Shiva appeared are listed below.
You may read the instances at the link.
|Sports No.||kANtam||Sports of God (thiruviLaiyAdal)|
|0.||ThiruvilaiyadalPuranam – Introduction|
|1.||Maduraik kANtam||The removal of the crime of indra|
|2.||“||The removal of the curse on the white elephant|
|3.||“||Discovery of the god to mortals; Building the town of madura; and reign of the first king|
|4.||“||Incarnation of minatchi, the goddess of the temple|
|5.||“||Marriage of minatchi with siva by the name of sundaresvara|
|6.||“||God’s dance in the silver hall|
|7.||“||The insatiable dwarf kundotharan|
|8.||“||Ganga, at the command of the god, produced the river vaigai|
|9.||“||The god brought the seven seas together into one place|
|10.||“||Recalling malayadhwaja from the dead, and translation of kanjana-malai|
|11.||“||The incarnation of subramanyan in the form of ukkira-pandian|
|12.||“||The god sundaresvarar gets his son married and furnishes him with three weapons|
|13.||“||Varunan is compelled to retire by the casting of the spear|
|14.||“||Ukkira-pandian strikes off indran’s crown|
|15.||“||Ukkira-pandian struck mount meru and thence obtained wealth|
|16.||“||The god explained the inner meaning of the vedas|
|17.||“||The god provided jewels for the crown|
|18.||“||Varuna sending the sea to try the god’s power; The latter called four clouds to absorb the sea|
|19.||kUdal kANtam||Varuna sending much rain, the god protected the place by a covering of clouds|
|20.||“||Sundaresar condescended to assume the form of a religious ascetic|
|21.||“||The sittar gave sugarcane to the stone-elephant|
|22.||“||The god killed the elephant which was born from the fire Of a sacrifice made by the chamanals (or jains)|
|23.||“||The god on account of gauri, became an old man, a young man, and a child|
|24.||“||Natarajar the dancing god altered his attitude, In the silver temple, at the request of the king|
|25.||“||The god relieved an innocent person who feared the avenger of blood|
|26.||“||The removing of the great crime|
|27.||“||The god punished the guilty disciple, by killing him|
|28.||“||The destroying of the striped serpent sent by the chamanals (jains)|
|29.||“||The god’s nandi conquers the cow sent by the chamanals|
|30.||“||The god came with a great army, on account Of savundra samuntan general of the pandian|
|31.||“||The god gave an exhaustless purse to the pandian|
|32.||“||The god came and sold bracelets to women of the merchant caste|
|33.||“||The god taught the eight great meditations|
|34.||“||The god opened north gate, and showed the Temple to the chera king, closing the gate afterwards With the bullock seal|
|35.||“||The god preserved the pandian’s army by the Miraculous appearance of a booth for giving away water|
|36.||“||The performance of alchemy by the god|
|37.||“||On the chera king making war, both he and The pandian fell into the lotus tank, from which The pandian was rescued|
|38.||“||The god gave a stock of paddy to a vellalan|
|39.||“||The god, coming as the maternal uncle of a merchant, settled a dispute|
|40.||“||The cure of varaguna pandian, and showing him the world of siva|
|41.||“||The god sold wood, and overcame the minstrel, named yemanathen in song|
|42.||“||The god gave to his votary, pattiren, A mandate, addressed to the chera king, requiring money|
|43.||“||The god gave to the minstrel pattiren, a golden board to sit upon|
|44.||“||The god, in the guise of a musician, Decided a contest in singing between two female performers, In the presence of the king|
|45.||“||The god nourished certain motherless young pigs, And endowed them partially with the human form|
|46.||“||The god made the twelve pigs ministers of state to the pandian king|
|47.||“||The god gave instruction to the little black bird|
|48.||“||The god gave paradise to the heron, And ordained that the lotus tank should produce no Living creature|
|49.||thiruAlavAyk kANtam||The god showed the boundaries of the town after the place had been destroyed by a flood|
|50.||“||The god conquered the soren king, who came To make war against the pandian, which was done by arrows Having the name of sundaresvaren written on them|
|51.||“||The god gave a bench to the college of poets; And mingling with them contributed to the improvement of The tamil language|
|52.||“||The god gave to terami a purse of gold|
|53.||“||The god rescued nakkiran from the tank|
|54.||“||The god by means of agastyar taught narkiran purity of grammar|
|55.||“||When the bench of learned brahmins were disagreed concerning the merits of different books, the god, by means of A dumb child, settled the difference|
|56.||“||The pandian having treated idei-kaden with neglect, The god was pleased to remove and dwell at avada-mathurai|
|57.||“||The god came with a net as a fisherrman, And removed the sentence denounced on parvati|
|58.||“||The god gave instruction to a person belonging to vathavur|
|59.||“||The god turned jackels into horses on behalf Of manickavasagar, who had been instructed Bythe gurumurthi|
|60.||“||The god turned the horses into jackals, And being displeased at the subsequent treatment of Manickavasagan, made the river vaigai overflow|
|61.||“||The god came to carry mud as a cooly, And the sacred body was struck with a cane|
|62.||“||Sambantar, cured kun pandian of his fever|
|63.||“||The impalement of the jains|
|64.||“||The god called a vanni tree, a lingam, and a well, From tirupurambiyam to bear witness to a marriage|