Thursday, 1 November 2018

Muniswaran and Karuppar mentioned in Vedas

A common misconception regarding the worship of guardian deities is their crude absence from the Vedas,hence their reference as 'non-vedic' deities.

Guardian deities like Muniswaran,Karuppaswamy or Madurai Veeran are indeed Vedic deities.

Munis and Karuppars are the folk forms of Rudra or Bhairava - the intense expression of Shiva.

This is evidenced by the insignias used in Karuppar,Muni and Veeran worship.

The Trishula ( trident ) is a must in guardian deity shrines.The trident is actually the very form of Kala Bhairava / Bhairavi

Other important symbols include all that which is relevant to Shiva-Tattva ( shiva principle; in relation to Shiva ) , such as vibhooti, rudraksha beads, dreadlocks, etc.

By experience itself, one can realise that the very energy of Munis and Karuppars are that of Rudra.

This aspect of Rudra is very much expressed in our Vedas.The Taittiriya Samhita of the Yajur Veda describes the myriad forms of Rudra.All our guardian deities are forms of these Rudras.

Shri Rudram,Yajur Veda being recited by my Whatsapp Veda Student Shravanthi

The Shri Rudram describe the thousands and thousands of Rudras who carry the impression of Shiva and who are present everywhere in all forms ( indicating the truth that the absolute consciousness we call God is all-pervasive )

Interestingly, a particular verse from the 11th Anuvaka ( chapter ) of Shri Rudram tallies with the Tamizh invocation prayer done in Muni temples.

In folk Muni temples, they often describe Muniandy as being present in a realm between earth and sky..

'' Vaanathukkum bhoomikum naduvule irukkum aiyya''

11th Anuvaka Shri Rudram ( click image to enlarge )

Among the thousands and thousands of Rudras,there are those who reside in the space between sky and earth - so says Yajur Veda.This corresponds very much with the Tamizh prayer done in Muniandy temples.

The role of Rudras in the Vedas are in tandem with our guardian deities.To quote some common examples :- vanquishing negativity,removing fear,conferring protection from enemies and curing diseases.

Karuppar - the black god.Many worship Karuppar as Kala Bhairava in may parts of the world.Note that the complexion of Kala Bhairava is also black - as He is beyond time and space.

1st Anuvaka Shri Rudram

The role of Rudra as a physician and protector from enemies and evil forces.

Val Muni , Seremban.He is known as a doctor and is even adorned with a stethoscope.A lot of Muniandy temples house a deity who can perform miraculous healings.

9th Anuvaka that describes various forms of Rudras - from the ones with matted locks to those present in homesteads,forests,mountains etc

JaTa Muni - who has matted hair or dreadlocks - hence the name 'JaTa'

Can't these be mere coincidence ? 

Why don't the Vedas mention Muniswaran and Karuppar specifically ?

You cannot expect the Vedas to specifically mention 'Muniswaran' or 'Karuppar' because these terms are are colloquial.

The term ' Muniswaran' itself is a modern invention. Initially,these deities were called ' Muniandy' which translates to ' Ruler of Munis - Saints' in Tamizh.Muni is the short form of 'Munivar ( saint in Tamizh ).People coined names to these deities according to their native language. Recently,the suffix 'Ishwaran' was added to form Muniswaran - which means the same thing.

The Puranas describe Kala Bhairava as ' Maha Kaala' which translates to 'Periya Karuppu' in Tamizh.

Muniswaran is the folk form of Dakshinamurti.Dakshinamurti is the Lord for the 7 Sages.And Muniswaran literally means 'Lord of the Sages' in Tamizh.

Forest Amman-s

In our folk culture,we have many deities who are the Devi-s of the forest region.For instance,Katteri Amman ; Kaadu ( forest ) + eri ( water body ) = Katteri.

In the Rig Veda,we find a portion in the 10th Mandala,146 Sukta which speaks about Aranyani Devi.Aranyani means forest.The Rig Veda describes a form of Devi who is the queen of the forest region,without specifying any specific name to Her.

Aranyani Sukta,Rig Veda 10th Mandala,146 Sukta recitation by my whatsapp Veda Student

Our folk deities are verily the Vedic Gods expressed in a physically intense manner.

Stone worship ( nadukkal ) is mentioned during Tamizh Sangam age more than 2,500 years ago.Stones are adorned with vibhooti,sandal paste and other auspicious items.'Muniswaran' wasn't there during this age.They were at most only called ' Muniandy or Muniappan'.

For example, in colloquial tamizh - Lord Shiva is called 'Peyandi' ( Ruler of spirits). So it is logical that we cannot find ' Peyandi' in the Vedas.That  does not mean that 'Peyandi' is a non-vedic deity right ?

The Trinity in Tamizh : Shiva is called Peyandi.Vishnu is called Mayandi and Brahma - Virumandi.

 Even today,there are many who refer to Muni and Karuppars as Rudra

 XX  : Good morning,where are you heading to ?

 YT   : Jalan Baru Ayya temple.I need to get Rudra's blessings for the interview. 

The famous Jalan Baru Muniswaran Temple - which is consecrated according to Shaiva Agamas.

There may be many Munis and Karuppars - you have sem muni ( the red one ) ,Vaal muni,Jatta muni etc , and over 108 forms of Karuppar, each with their unique form,history and trait.However,importantly,they all carry the same expression of Shiva tattva.Looking beyond the forms,they are all Rudras.

The Yajur Veda speaks of the forms of Rudra-s who come in a vast spectrum.

Shri Rudram describing all forms of Rudra-  the tall,short,clean shaven,with matted locks...


  1. OK... I agree your statement. But why you all offered to the Muni & Karuppar deities non-vege and alcohol. Is that Shiva's forms eat their own creation.

    1. I don't offer those and I would not encourage.
      But again, shiva is beyond gunas and everything..

      Then again, Rudras are the expressive state of Shiva in a ferocious manner.

      Remember when Veerabathra beheaded Daksha ?
      Shiva has many forms and Rudra is not really the pleasant or pleasing form actually...

  2. Hi vinnith. Nice info.

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