all Indian instruments, the ghatam has its spiritual associations. Among
these are the five elements that make up the universe - earth, air, fire,
water and space - all of which are contained in the instrument. Made of
mud, or earth mixed with water, the ghatam is baked in fire and air, and
its hollow shape contains space.
('Not mere clay' by Anjana Rajan, The Hindu, Oct 26, 2007).
the Vaishnavite preceptor who lived in the ninth century AD, collected
all the 4,000 pasurams of the Azhwars from near oblivion and taught them
to his two nephews at Srirangam along with music and dance in order to
disseminate these devotional hymns. This was the beginning of the Araiyar
Sevai tradition which was subsequently made a part of temple ritual and
performed regularly on certain occasions. From Nathamuni's two disciples
began the two traditions of Araiyar Sevai called the Melai Agathu Azhwar
parampara and the Keezhai Agathu Alwar parampara.
('Art, rare and revered' by Chitra Madhavan, The Hindu, Oct 26, 2007).
existence of several schools of acting in ancient India is referred to
by Panini (5th cent BC.), when explaining the etymology of the words 'Sailalinah'
and 'Krisaasvinah'. As Agasthya was a direct disciple of God Siva Himself,
according to Tamil tradition, the art of dance, as learnt by him and expounded
to his 12 disciples, might have differed to some extent from that learnt
by Bharatha's sons indirectly from Tandu and Nandikeswara. Though the source
of the art was Siva or Irayanar, its later developments were inevitable
independent and indigenous to the respective Sanskrit and Tamil cultures.
Hence the variant traditions.
('The dance forms of the early Tamils' by V Ramasubramaniam (Aundy).