Seerkazhi: What The Landmark Discovery Of Panchaloka Idols And Copper Plates Mean To Tamil Nadu
Over the last few years, there have been a number of discoveries of vigrahas of various gods in many parts of Tamil Nadu.
Many Sivalingas, Vishnu murtis, Lakshmi, Thavvai, Lakulisa and many more idols were discovered during excavation. Predominantly, the idols were made of granite stone.
The reason they lay buried could have been because the temples that housed such vigrahas were demolished or left with no care over a period of time. On the other hand, there were few places where the panchaloka vigrahas were found to be deliberately hidden under the ground for specific reasons.
The Agamas stipulate that during times (kalabam) of invasions, epidemics, fire, etc, the idols needed to be safeguarded.
They also mention that after digging a pit for concealing the vigrahas, river sand needs to be poured into the pit before the idols are placed there. After the distress times are over, they can be taken out and pujas can be resumed.
Hence, we can conclude that it has been a practice to hide the idols since ancient times.
However, when such a crisis prolongs or when the people who hid such vigrahas are killed by the invaders, the knowledge is lost and the idols remain beneath the ground for years. It is interesting to note that they are now emerging due to a number of reasons.
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