Sunday, 31 March 2019


This was one of my post in Orkut during the year 2009.  Accidentally come across this Statuette while I was studying the early period Malankara Nazranies and their community. Most of the written studies deals with West Asian connection of Malankara Nazranies and all of them trace its institutional development to Persian Church or Antiochian church with respect to their church allegiances. Surprising thing is that the western writers unanimously proposes the institutional development of Malankara Church was directed or administered from Persian Church or more precisely Nestorian Church. The main evidences they put forward in support of this argument is the first interface of western world with Malankara Nazranies. Portuguese and Latin Bishops witnessed Nestorian presence while their sojourn in this region. Later day religious colonialism materialized by Synod of De Amperithana Synodo put down the canons which witnesses the Nestorian presence and their activities. Another important evidence they put forward is the presence of Pahlavi inscriptions on Persian (Manichaean) crosses and the other Pahlavi signatures on Quilon copper plates. They argue that the Malankara Nazranies were administered by Nestorian bishops with the help of their Arch -Deacon (Arkkadiyoqon) without any Manuscripts, Inscriptions or Thaliyolas prior to 14th century.

Malabar Christians and Their Ancient documents By T.K. Joseph ,Tvm,1929.

This line of thought was never questioned even by Malankara Nazranies throughout the years probably shows their inability to understand their past or  may be more involved in their day today affairs. In nutshell one can clearly conclude that the history of Malankara Nazranies were built on colonial requirements of Syriac Churches /Western churches.

Understanding the history of Malankara Nazranies prior to 14th century based on evidences from Malankara and outside region only can give us a more realistic picture. There are not many important studies conducted on the subject of development of institution (Administrative & Episcopal) in Malankara. Atheist writers like T.K. Joseph and Joseph Edamaruku tried to develop a secular path to these studies and did some considerable work on the subject. But the Syriac Church historians and other Church historians were more involved or rather interested in negating an independent development of institution in Malankara Church. This has resulted in hiding rare evidences or colluding with other forces to undermine the true history of Malankara Nazranies. What surprises me is the absence of interest from these church historians or the character of negation  towards those rare pieces of evidences unearthed by secular or atheist historians or researchers.

In this context one has to study the Statute of “Pallivana Perumal “


"Pallivanavar" article from Kerala Society papers (Cited) 
Sarvavijnjanakosham by state institute of  encyclopedic publications,Trivandrum 1996,Vol.8.(Cited)

There are many historical questions to be asked and assumptions to be tested on the basis of modern Archaeological techniques, Geological land formations and Myths. The Buddhist monk /leader /ruler argument from conventional corners certainly need to be tested on the basis of scientific studies and modern techniques.  Why would a Buddhist wear a cross (not swastika or any form of crosses of Buddhism) attached with a chain of beads and holding a staff with another Cross (this cross said to have been broken)? How many Buddhist Statues or statuettes are unearthed similar or comparable to this one in any part of the Buddhist world?

Buddhist cross (Figure 37 is copied from the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. xviii., p 898, plate 4. It is a Buddhist emblem, and represents the same idea under different aspects. Each limb of the cross represents the fascinum at right angles with the body, and presented towards a barleycorn, one of the symbols of the yoni. Each limb is marked by the same female emblem, and terminates with the triad triangle; beyond this again is seen the conjunction of the sun and moon. The whole therefore represents the mystic curba, the creative four, by some called Thor's hammer. Copies of a cross similar to this have been recently found by Dr. Schliemann in a very ancient city, buried under the remains of two others, which he identifies as the Troy of Homer's Iliad.)
Cross of Pallivana Perumal statuette.

Let us see some more Pagan and Christian  emblems/symbols and find out any similarity between the said Pallivana Perumal . This is from Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism by Thomas Inman M.D.

 (Figs. 4 and 9,—exhibits Christian emblems of the trinity or linga, and the unity or yoni, alone or combined; the whole being copied from Pugin's Glossary of Ecclesiastical Ornament (London, 1869).Fig. 1 is copied from Pugin, plate xvii., and indicates a double union of the trinity with the unity, here represented as a ring, Vanneau.
* There is an able essay on this subject in No. 267 of the
Edinburgh Review—which almost exhausts the subject—but is
too long for quotation here.
Figs. 2, 8, are from Pagin, plate xiv. In figare 2, the two covered balls at the base of each limb of the cross are extremely significant, and if the artist had not mystified the free end, the most obtuse worshipper must have recognised the symbol. We may add here that in the two forms of the Maltese cross, the position of the lingam is reversed, and the egg-shaped bodies, with their cover, are at the free end of each limb, whilst the natural end of the organ is left unchanged. See figs. 85 and 86. This form of cross is Etruscan. Fig. 8 is essentially the same as the preceding, and both may be compared with Fig. 4. The balls in this cross are uncovered, and the free end of each limb of the cross is but slightly modified.
Fig. 4 is copied in a conventional form from plate xxxv., fig. 4, of Two Essays on the Worship of Priapus (London, 1865). It is thus described (page 147): "The object was found at St. Agati di Goti, near Naples.......It is a crux ansata formed by four phalli, with a circle of female organs round the centre; and appears by the look to have been intended for suspension. As this cross is of gold, it had no doubt been made for some personage of rank, possibly an ecclesiastic." We see here very distinctly the design of the egg- and sistrum- shaped bodies. When we have such an unmistakable bi-sexual cross before our eyes, it is impossible to ignore the signification of Figs. 2 and 8, and Plate xii., Figs. 4 and 7.
Figs. 5, 6 are from Pugin, plates xiv. and xv., and represent the trinity with the unity, the triune god and the virgin united in one.
Fig. 7 represents the central lozenge and one limb of a cross, figured plate xiv. of Pugin. In this instance the Maltese cross is united with the symbol of the virgin, being essentially the same as Fig. 9, infra. It is a modified form of the crux ansata.
Fig. 8 is a compound trinity, being the finial of each limb of an ornamental cross. Pugin, plate xv.
Fig. 9 is a well-known Egyptian symbol, borne in the hand of almost every divinity. It is a cross, with one limb made to represent the female element in creation. The name that it technically bears is crux ansata, or "the cross with a handle." A reference to Fig. 4 serves to verify the idea which it involves.
Fig. 10 is from Pugin, plate xxxv. In this figure the cross is made by the intersection of two ovals, each a vesica piscis, an emblem of the yoni. Within each limb a symbol of the trinity is seen, each of which is associated with the central ring.
Fig. 11 is from Pugin, plate xix., and represents the arbor vitæ, the branch, or tree of life, as a triad, with which the ring is united.
It has been said by some critics that the figures above referred to are mere architectural fancies, which never had pretensions to embody a mystery; and that any designer would pitch upon such a style of ornamentation although profoundly ignorant of the doctrine of the trinity and unity. But this assumption is not borne out by fact; the ornaments on Buddhist topes have nothing in common with those of Christian churches; whilst in the ruined temple of the sun at Marttand, India, the trefoil emblem of the trinity is common. Grecian temples were profusely ornamented therewith, and so are innumerable Etruscan sculptures, but they do not represent the trinity and unity. It has been reserved for Christian art to crowd our churches with the emblems of Bel and Astarte, Baalim and Ashtoreth, linga and yoni, and to elevate the phallus to the position of the supreme deity, and assign to him a virgin as a companion, who can cajole him by her blandishment, weary him by wailing, or induce him to change his mind by her intercessions.)
Another comparison from the same book.

Contains both pagan and Christian emblems.
(Fig. 1 is from Pugin, plate xviii., and is a very common finial representing the trinity. Its shape is too significant to require an explanation; yet with such emblems our Christian churches abound, that the Trinity may never be absent from the minds of man or woman!
Fig. 2 is from Pugin, plate xxi. It is a combination of ideas concealing the union patent in Fig. 4, Plate xi., supra.
Fig. 3 is from Moor's Hindu Pantheon. It is an ornament borne by Devi, and symbolises the union of the triad with the unit.
Fig. 4 is from Pugin, plate xxxii. It is a double cross made up of the male and female emblems. It is a conventionalised form of Fig. 4, Plate xi., supra. Such eight-rayed figures, made like stars, seem to have been very ancient, and to have been designed to indicate the junction of male and female.
Fig. 5 is from Pugin, plate xvii., and represents the trinity and the unity.
Fig. 6 is a Buddhist emblem from Birmah, Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, vol. xviii., p. 392, plate i., fig. 62. It represents the short sword, le bracquemard, a male symbol.
Fig. 7. is from Pagin, plate xvii. See Plate xi., Fig. 3, supra.
Figs. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 are Buddhist (see Fig. 6, supra), and symbolise the triad.
Figs. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 are from Pugin, and simply represent the trinity.
Figs. 18 and 19 are common Grecian emblems. The first is associated with Neptune and water, the second with Bacchus. With the one we see dolphins, emblems of the womb, the name of the two being assonant in Greek; with the other, the saying, sine Baccho et Cerere friget Venus, must be coupled.aption)

The other argument is about the eight flowers pattern. It is quite hilarious to read the explanation about the cross hanging from his chain of beads. The hands of the crosses are almost equal in length like depicted in stone crosses of Malankara. Many of the Malankara Nazrani crosses in present & past have the similar flower petal arrangement at its center especially on the old stone crosses. Since the statute is not available (made not available) for a scientific investigation one is left with studying the photographs of Pallivana Perumal. Here are some descriptions about the statuette for interesting comparison. The beads count, flower patterns and attributed philosophy by enthusiastic writers are quite interesting for a secular reader whom are interested in history. 

A Social History of India by S.N. Sadasivan page 135 &136

The third argument is about the headgear of the statuette. S.N. Sadasivan in his book “A social History of India” argues that it is replica /similar to the statue of Krishnapuram palace. But a peripheral study on the said statue itself is enough to prove otherwise.

Statue at Krishnapuram Palace .

What we have done is some comparisons of Christian and Pagan emblems /Symbols with the help of above stated book. There is no specific evidence in support of the Pallivana Perumal Cross and its Buddhist origin . More precisely , no one has ever unearthed such depiction with cross hanging from a chain along with such drapery ,head gear,coiffure,and the" rod and staff "  from any of the Buddha statues or statuette from anywhere in the world. Readers are kindly requested to go through the pages of the society papers and respective description and forced comparisons of S.N. Sadasivan (respective pages are given) to understand how flimsy we are in observing or studying our past.

Is this statuette an evidence to the said Malankara Moopan (read Evolution of episcopacy in Malankara in this blog position an indigenous institution developed by followers of Yeshu outside of Roman or Persian empires? To answer this one has to go deep in to the history of unearthing and related myths about the statuette along with the modern analysis of Buddhism /Jainism in South India. Besides this we have to look for parallel /alternative evidences to support the hypothesis. Further archaeological excavations are necessary to find more truth on this but I am doubtful present religious narrowness ever allow us.

However, I intended to go little deeper in to the subject with available sources in my next article.