Agastya Javanese Guru Found in South East Asia

Sage Agastya, a primary discipline of Lord Shiva, and a Co founder of Tamil language is found in South east Asia, in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, New Zealand, Philippines, Fiji and Australia.

And of course in Sri Lanka.

A curious fact is that he is found more in this region along with Lord Subramanya and Shiva than towards the west of India.

Probably this has something to do with the departure of Subrahmanya towards the Far east to spread Sanatana Dharm, due to a Tsunami in the South, Dravidadesa in ancient times.

At the same time Shiva seems to have moved towards the west of India, along with Ganesa before reaching Arctic, where the Rig Veda was compiled, along with Vasishta. Then he returned to India.

This accounts for the archaeological finds relating to Shiva and Ganesha from Siberia through Russia in the northwest region of India.

A Kanchipuram Brahmin founded the Vietnam Dynasty and a princess from India,reportedly from Ikshvaku Dynasty was married to a Korean Prince

The tribals of Australia perform Shiva’s Trinetra Dance.

Aborigines of Australia sport Sri Vaishnavas Mark through out their body.

This speaks of the spread of Sanatana Dharma in this region.

Agastya is credited with spreading Shaivism in these areas.

He moved to these areas and hence his presence is found in archaeological remains.

Agastya is revered as a Guru in Javanese Language and he is venerated in Javanese Ramayana.

Agastya statues are found in Shiva Temples in Java.

Agastya stands on his lotus pedestal in the southern room of Candi Singosari. The image had been broken into pieces, but most of the pieces were recovered during the early twentieth-century excavations and the sculpture was satisfactorily restored.

Agastya is represented as a corpulent, ageing man with a long beard. He is standing firmly on his feet, his right arm is folded across his chest and in his fist he holds a rosary. His left arm is hanging next to his body. It is now broken off in the middle of the fore arm, but the traces on the back slab suggest that he was holding a water pot, as is often the case in Javanese sculpture. On his left shoulder, one can see a fly-whisk. On his right, carved into the back slab, are the remains of a trident (trishula) standing on a small pedestal, as is also observed on the sculpture of Nandishvara. To the left of the figure, a lotus emerges from the ground, spreading its broad leaves and flowers up to the elbow of the great sage

….. The Old Javanese Ramayana adds an interesting new element to the story: Java became Agastya’s new residence. In Java, Agastya is specifically connected to the spread of Shaivism to Java, hence his overwhelming presence in the Shaiva temples of Java.


Agastya in South East Asia.

Agastya is one of the most important figures in a number of medieval era Southeast Asian inscriptions, temple reliefs and arts. He was particularly popular in Java Indonesia, till Islamic wars of conquest overwhelmed the islands of Indonesia. He is also found in Cambodia, Vietnam and other regions. The earliest mentions of Agastya is traceable to about the mid 1st millennium CE, but the 11th-century Javanese language text Agastya-parva is a remarkable combination of philosophy, mythology and genealogy attributed to sage Agastya.

The Agastya-parva includes Sanskrit verse (shlokas) embedded within the Javanese language. The text is structured as a conversation between a Guru (teacher, Agastya) and a Sisya(student, Agastya’s son Drdhasyu). The style is a mixture of didactic, philosophical and theological treatise, covering diverse range of topics much like Hindu Puranas. The chapters of the Javanese text include the Indian theory of cyclic existence, rebirth and samsara, creation of the world by the churning of the ocean (samudra manthan), theories of the Samkhya and the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy, major sections on god Shiva and Shaivism, some discussion of Tantra, a manual like summary of ceremonies associated with the rites of passage and others.

While the similarities between the Agastya-parva text and classical Indian ideas are obvious, according to Jan Gonda, the Indian counterpart of this text in Sanskrit or Tamil languages have not been found in Indonesia or in India.Similarly other Agastya-related Indonesian texts, dated to be from the 10th to 12th centuries, discuss ideas from multiple sub-schools of Shaivism such as theistic Shaivasiddhanta and monistic Agamic Pashupata, and these texts declare these theologies to be of equal merit and value………

Agastya is common in medieval era Shiva temples of southeast Asia, such as the stone temples in Java (candi). Along with the iconography of Shiva, Uma, Nandi and Ganesha who face particular cardinal directions, these temples include sculpture, image or relief of Agastya carved into the southern face.The Shiva shrine in the largest Hindu temple complex in southeast Asia, Prambanan, features four cellae in its interior. This central shrine within Prambanan group of temples dedicates its southern cella to Agastya

The Dinoyo inscription, dated to 760 CE, is primarily dedicated to Agastya. The inscription states that his older wooden image was remade in stone, thereby suggesting that the reverence for Agastya iconography in southeast Asia was prevalent in an older period. In Cambodia, the 9th-century king Indravarman, who is remembered for sponsoring and the building of a large number of historic temples and related artworks, is declared in the texts of this period to be a descendant of sage Agastya.

Reference and Citation.

3 responses to “Agastya Javanese Guru Found in South East Asia”

  1. With due respet to the author Mr.Ramani, there is need for a small amendment in one of the points he has stated in this episode regaring the Korean Queen.
    According to the history of South Korea a princess from Ayodhya sailed from India and reached shores of South Korea. Her ship carried a flag which had the fish symbol. She was so beautiful that she was married by the Prince of South Korea. and was the most revered and respected Queen. The son she gave birth, became the greatest ruler of Korea and united all the warring clans in Korea to establish a united, mighty Korean empire. Even recently a Korean delegation from South Korean Government paid a official visit to Ayodhya to check the exact place the Princes hailed from and wanted to build a landmark statue for her in Ayodhya, India. This according to Newspaper reports.


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