Scholarship often identifies Tamil Śaiva intellectual culture with the theological system known as Śaiva Siddhānta. Yet, the textual record from late-precolonial South India suggests much greater internal diversity than such an equation implies. This essay explores one of these ‘other’ voices, that of the Vīraśaivas, through a detailed examination of two especially noteworthy texts. The first of these is ‘The Song in the Unti Form on Non-Contradiction’ (Avirōtavuntiyār), a short theological poem on the need to transcend sectarian partisanship and adopt as doctrine only that upon which all religions concur. The second is a commentary on the first that illuminates ‘non-contradiction’ by quoting from works affiliated with disparate religious traditions. This article contextualises the universalist and eclectic tendencies of these two works and attempts to bring out their significance for Tamil religious history.

You do not currently have access to this article.