Traditions of Shiva worship in Tamil Nadu, (Part 1 of 6)

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A discussion with vedic scholar Sri Atmatattva Das on the topic of "Worship rituals according to Vedic Agamas and Tamil Agamas". Other topics covered include the ancient prayers for Shiva and Skanda revealed in the Tamil language, the dispute in Chidambaram over allowing Tamil prayers to be sung for the deity, etc.

There are two main traditions that govern the worship of Shiva in South Indian temples - the Sanskrit based agama tradition (called vedic), and the local tradition of the Shaiva agamas (presented by various Tamil saints in the local Tamil language). In some temples a dispute has arisen as to which tradition is "correct". The most recent dispute that has come up involves the Chidambaram Nataraja temple, where certain segments of the temple priests have refused to allow Tamil prayers to be sung inside the sanctum for the deity. This discussion attempts to explain the relationship between the two branches of traditional worship, and their current relevance.