Nallur kandaswamy temple Introduction
In ancient times, some people in India followed a code of conduct revealed to them through insights and revelations. This was known as Sanathana Tharma. The essential elements of this code of conduct are, that all beings (human, animals and plants) in the universe are equal & inter dependent and they need to learn to co-exist in harmony. All beings were bound by this Tharma and any good or bad deeds resulted in good or bad Karma which determined one’s life.
At the heart of this Tharma lies God. Following this code of conduct men and women realize the divinity within themselves. Hence Sanathana Tharma became a way of life which was in practice fpr a long time.
Since the people practicing this way of life lived by Indus River, others referred to them as Hindus. Many God realized persons had insights, unfolding the nature of world which were written as Smiritis, Sruthis and other Mahavakyas which explains the essence of Hinduism.
Vedas are insights written between 2000BC to 500AD and in this period people prayed to nature such as fire. Following this Upanishads were written and Mahavakya’s such as “Ekam Sat” (I am Brahman) & “Aham Brahmasmi” (The soul is God), and other philosophical & metaphysical thinking were prominenet. Many researchers assume that as the “philosophical” God was taking over, Puranas came into being, to bring God closer to man/woman through stories.
Scholars also speculate, as old traditions & new concepts conflicted, Saiva Agamas came into being to reinforce traditions. Another way to look at this is to acknowledge worship of nature in the form of fire, water and wind. Later symbols such as Vel & Tridents were brought based on livelihood to bring God into their lives.