Showing posts with label valluvar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label valluvar. Show all posts

Myth of Independent Tamil Culture

We have theory of North-South contrast and an unknown Dravidian substratum over which the layer of Aryan culture was deposited. This view is only milder than that of the proponents of a separate and secular Tamil Culture, who insist on a physical and cultural Aryan-Dravidian clash as a result of which the pure Dravidian culture got swamped.Let us analyze the History,

Politics of language translation and Identity
Rajagopalachari, a political activist and Tamil scholar coins a word ‘Yakkai Rasayanam’ to denote ‘organicchemistry’. The ‘Yakkai’ has ‘pure’ Tamil root while Rasayanam is culled from Sanskrit but of common use among Tamil people.Yakkai connotes ‘organized’ and alludes to ‘vitalism’ and ‘chief organiser’, that is God. So people find this not secular.
The current technical term in usage ‘Karima Vediyal’(Carbon Chemistry) was suggested by Chennai Magahana Tamil Sangam in 1938 is exorcised of any reference to ‘tradition’ and as matter of fact is very secular. The term Karima means ‘Carbon’ and Vediyal means ‘Chemistry’. However, the term Vediyal is a modern word coined from a root word ‘Vedi’ meaning ‘transmute’. The verb ‘Vethithal’ implies transmutation of baser elements in Siddha tradition of ‘alchemy’. The word Vedi also came to denote drug used by Siddha school of medicine, derived not from plant sources but from chemical source’. How did this secularization of coining of terms
come about? Let us see

Social historians posit that during 1930s there were One group represented the traditional elite - largely dominated by Brahmins and consisting of elite from upper caste Hindu section were characterized by their sympathy towards ‘tradition’- meaning Sanskrit traditions, and in politics advocating ‘Pan Indian Nationalism’. Another group was the Tamil Vellala and non-Brahmin upper caste elite, who articulated ‘Tamil identity politics’ drawing inspiration from the Tamil past. Thirdly, there were the Left/self-respect movements, which not only questioned the ‘past’ but also ‘invalidated’ it.

As the balance of power of the third group swelled in the public sphere during the 1940s; in the ensuing social upheaval, impact of the self-respect movement’s rationalism and the left ideology geared the ‘rediscovery programme’ in a direction of taking it to secular plane away from the‘past tradition’ or ‘indigenous religion’. Rationalism was privileged in the rediscovery programme. E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker (Periyar) have very rigid ideas about the ancient history of Tamil Nadu. First, despite all evidence to the contrary,they still insist on the Aryan invasion theory in its most violent version, turning most North Indians and upper-caste Indians into descendants of the invading Aryans who overran the indigenous Dravidian s, and Sanskrit into a deadly rival of Tamil. Consequently, they assert that Tamil is more ancient than Sanskrit, and civilization in the South older than in the North. Once Tamil Nadu's Education minister said The Dravidian civilization is older than the Aryan. It is not uncommon to hear even good Tamil scholars utter such claims. Let us Analyse the evidences

Culturally, the megalithic people of the South shared many beliefs and practices with megalithic builders elsewhere in the subcontinent and beyond.

The earlier Tamil inscriptions were written in Kadamba script, Pallava grantha and Vetteluthu Inscriptions after the eighth century A.D. Contain characteristrics similar to the one now in vogue The Tamil script(see also Tamil Brahmi) infact flipflopped between Pallava Granta and Vetteluthu.

Vedic Gods and Vedic culture in Tamil Literature
Tolkappiyam (date) is modelled on the Sanskrit grammar of the Aindra school. Tolkappiyam adopts the entire Rasa theory as worked out in the Natya Sastra of Bharata. It also refers to rituals and customs coming from the Aryans,a word which in Sangam literature simply means North Indians of Vedic culture. Tolkappiyam states that marriage as a sacrament attended with ritual was established in the Tamil country by the Aryas and it uses the same eight forms of marriage found in the Dharmashastras. It mentions the caste system or fourfold jathis in the form of Brahmins, Kings, Vaishyas and Vellalas, and calls Vedic mantras the exalted expression of great sages. Tolkappiyam formulates division of the Tamil land into five regions (tinai), each associated with one particular aspect of love, one poetical expression, and also one deity: thus the hills (kurinji) with union and with Cheyon (Karthikeya); the desert (palai) with separation and Korravai (Durga); the forests (mullai) with awaiting and Mayon (Vishnu-Krishna); the seashore (neytal) with wailing and Varuna; and the cultivated lands (marutam) with quarrel and Ventan (Indra). Vedic gods are considered one with the tamil land. The emperor of Tamil poetry, Kambar, describes Sanskrit as the "devabhasa"

Ettuttokai abound in references to many gods Shiva, Uma, Murugan, Vishnu, Lakshmi and several other Saktis. The Paripadal consists almost entirely of devotional poetry to Vishnu. One poem begins with a homage to him and Lakshmi, and goes on to praise Garuda, Shiva on his majestic bull, the four-faced Brahma, the twelve Adityas, the Ashwins, the Rudras, the Saptarishis, Indra with his dreaded thunderbolt,the devas and asuras, etc., and makes glowing references to the Vedasand Vedic scholars. The Purananuru in addition sees Lord Shiva as the source of the four Vedas and describes Lord Vishnu as blue-hued and Garuda-bannered. A poem in Akananuru, declares that Shiva and Vishnu are the greatest of gods. Not only deities or scriptures, landmarks sacred in the North, such as the Himalayas or Ganga, also become objects of great veneration in Tamil poetry. North Indian cities are referred to such as Ujjain or Mathura after which Madurai was named. Court poets proudly claim that the Chera kings conquered North Indian kingdoms and carved their emblem onto the Himalayas. They clearly saw thesubcontinent as one entity.

Kural is often described as an Atheistic text a misconception. Valluvar's 1,330 mostly deal with ethics (aram), polity (porul) and love (inbam), following the traditional Sanskritic pattern of the four objects of human life: dharma, artha, kama, and moksha, the last implied rather than explicit. Still, the very first decade is an invocation to Bhagavan. The ocean of births can be crossed by those who clasp God's feet, and none else. The same idea recurs later, for instance in this profound thought, Cling to the One who clings to nothing and so clinging, cease to cling. The Kural also refers to Indra, to Vishnu's avatar of Vamana , and to Lakshmi, asserting that she will shower her grace only on those who follow the path of dharma. There is nothing very atheistic in all this, and in reality the values of the Kural are perfectly in tune with those found in several shastras or in the Gita

Shilappadikaram(Date) which relates story of Kannagi and Kovalan, it opens with invocations to Chandra, Surya, and Indra, all of them Vedic Gods, and frequently praises Agni, Varuna, Shiva, Subrahmanya, Vishnu-Krishna, Uma, Kali, Yama and so forth. There are mentions of the four Vedas and of Vedic sacrifices being faultlessly performed.In more than one place, writes V. Ramachandra Dikshitar, the first translator of the epic into English, there are references to Vedic Brahmans, their fire rites, and their chanting of the Vedic hymns. The Brahman received much respect from the king and was often given gifts of wealth and cattle. When Kovalan and Kannagi are married, they walk around the holy fire, a typically Vedic rite still at the centre of the Hindu wedding. Welcomed by a tribe of fierce hunters on their way to Madurai, they witness a striking apparition of Durga, who is addressed equally as Lakshmi and Sarasvati, the three Shaktis of the Hindu trinity. There are numerous references to legends from the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and the Puranas.

After worshipping at two temples, one of Vishnu and the other of Shiva, the Chera king Shenguttuvan goes to the Himalayas in search of a stone for Kannagi's idol, and bathes it in the Ganges. Manimekhalai even though is a Buddhist work, it also mentions many Vedic and Puranic gods, and attributes the submergence of Puhar tothe neglect of a festival to Indra. Silapathikaram and Manimekhalai, which amply testify that what we call today Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism coexistedharmoniously. (See Also Divine Tamil)
As the archaeologist and epigraphist R. Nagaswamy remarks, The fact that the literature of the Sangam age refers more to Vedic sacrifices than to temples is a pointer to the popularity of the Vedic cults among the Sangam Tamils.

Agastya, the great Vedic Rishi, as the originator of the Tamil language. He is saidto have written a Tamil grammar, Agattiyam, to have presided over the first two Tamil Sangams, and is even now honoured in many temples of Tamil Nadu and worshipped inmany homes. One of his traditional names is Tamil muni. The Shilappadikaram refers to him asthe great sage of the Podiyil hill,and a hill is today named after him at the southernmost tip of the Western Ghats.

P. S. Subrahmanya Sastri says a knowledge of Sanskrit literature from the Vedic period to the Classical period is essential to understand and appreciate a large number of passages scattered among the poems of Tamil literature.In other words, Vedic and Puranic themes are inextricably woven into Sangam literature.
Ramachandra Dikshitar writes Either the people did not look upon religious distinctions seriously, or there were no fundamental differences between one sect and another

Historical Period
But here let us just take a look at the rulers. An inscription records that a Pandya king led the elephant force in the Mahabharata War on behalf of the Pandavas, and that early Pandyas translated the epic into Tamil. The first named Chera king, Udiyanjeral, is said to have sumptuously fed the armies on both sides during the War at Kurukshetra Chola and Pandya kings also voiced such claims of course they may be devoid of historical basis, but they show how those kings sought to enhance their glory by connecting their lineage to heroes of the Mahabharata. So too, Chola and Chera kings proudly claimed descent from Lord Rama or from kings of the Lunar dynasty, in other words vedic roots. Karikala, was a patron Vedic religion and while the Pandya king Nedunjelyan performed many Vedic sacrifices, and the dynasty of the Pallavas made their capital Kanchi into a great centre of Sanskrit learning and culture.

K.V. Raman summarizes says
The Pandyan kings were great champions of the Vedic religion from very early times According to the Sinnamanur plates, one of the early Pandyan kings performed a thousand velvi or yagas Vedic sacrifices. Though the majority of the Pandyan kings were Saivites, they extended equal patronage to the other faiths, and included invocatory verses to the Hindu Trinity uniformly in all their copper-plate grants. The Pandyas patronised all the six systems or schools of Hinduism. Their religion was not one of narrow sectarian nature but broad-based with Vedic roots. They were free from linguistic or regional bias and took pride in saying that they considered Tamil and Sanskritic studies as complementary and equally valuable.
Nilakanta Sastri goes a step further and opines, There does not exist a single line of Tamil literature written before the Tamils came into contact with, and let us add accepted with genuine appreciation, the culture of North Indian origin.

The Myth of Dravidian Culture
And yet, such statements do not go deep enough, as they still imply a North-South contrast and an unknown Dravidian substratum over which the layer of Aryan culture was deposited. This view is only milder than that of the proponents of a separate and secular Tamil Culture, who insist on a physical and cultural Aryan-Dravidian clash as a result of which the pure Dravidian culture got swamped. As we have seen, archaeology, literature and Tamil tradition all fail to come up with the slightest hint of such a conflict. Rather, as far as the eye can see into the past there is every sign of a deep cultural interaction between North and South, which blossomed not through any imposition but in a natural and peaceful manner, as everywhere else in the subcontinent and beyond.
M.G.S. Narayanan says
The Aryan-Dravidian or Aryan-Tamil dichotomy envisaged by some scholars may have to be given up since we are unable to come across anything which could be designated as purely Aryan or purely Dravidian in the character of South India of the Sangam Age. In view of this, the Sangam culture has to be looked upon as expressing in a local idiom all the essential features of classical Hindu culture. Swami Vivekananda says, The South had been the repository of Vedic learning.

It should now be crystal clear that anyone claiming a separate,pre-Aryan or secular Dravidian or Tamil culture has no evidence to show for it, except his own ignorance of archaeology, numismatics and ancient Tamil literature. There is no meaning in the word Dravidian except either in the old geographical sense or in the modern linguistic sense, racial and cultural meanings are as unscientific as they are irrational, although some scholars in India remain obstinately rooted in a colonial mindset.

The simple reality is that every region of India has developed according to its own genius, creating in its own bent, but while remaining faithful to the central Indian spirit,So is Tamil culture.

Kalabhras Interruption Tamil Myth

Kalabhras are said to be invaders from the North who ruled entire tamil nadu between 3rd and the 6th century C.E. displacing the ancient Chola, Pandya and Chera dynasties. Information about their origin and details about their reign is scarce. They did not leave any artefacts or monuments. The only source of information on them is the scattered mentions in Buddhist and Jain literature. They were displaced around the 6th century by the revival of Pallava and Pandya power.
Let us anlayse the facts regarding the mysterious rulers.

Who are Kalabhras?
  1. Let us find out what the existing theories say.
    Muttaraiyar of Kondubalur (eighth to eleventh century C.E.). Some historians believe that Muttaraiyar (Mudirajas) are the descendants of Kalabhras , who lived in the uplands Karnataka (Hampi Region), and Tirupati (Vengadam) Hills. The areas of Hampi and Tirupati hills were part of Dandakaaranya in Deccan India.
  2. Karnatas on the strength of a reference in Tamil literature to the rule of a Karnata king over
  3. MaduraiKalappalar, belonging to Vellala community and referred to in Tamil literature .
  4. Kalabhras with the Kalavar, and the chieftains of this tribe mentioned in Sangam literature are Tiraiyan of Pavattiri and Pulli of Vengadam or Tirupati. The latter is described as the cattle lifting robber chief of the frontier. The Kalavar must have been dislodged from their habitat near Tirupati by political events of the third century A.D., viz. the fall of the Satavahanas and the rise of Pallavas, resulting in political confusion in Tondaimandalam.
  5. Kalabhras => kalabbha => kalamba => kadamba. He is said to have flourished when king Accutavikkanta of the Kalamba (Kadamba) dynasty was one the throne. It is difficult to identify King Accuta or Accutavikkanta (Acyta Vikrama) of Kalabhra with the Kadamba dynasty. But the Kalabhras once made a great influence over the Chola territory and Simhavishnu, the Pallava king, defeated them in late sixth century. Colian king Acytavikranta or Acytavikrama who is described as 'Kalambakulnandana' or 'Kalabbhakulanandana' (also Vaddhana).
  6. According to Poygai Alvar, the Vengadam hill was the habitat of elephants, which the "Kuravars" or "Kurbas" who inhabited or frequented the hill used to capture and tame and also scare away huge pythons. He observes that, the Tamil term Kuravar used by the early Alvars is corruption of "Kuraba", who were residents of this area and also of Kurnool, Mysore, Salem, coimbatore and the Nilgiris. He mentions the names of Kurubalakota, Kurubalpatti, Kuruba Nagalapuram, Kurumba Palayam, Kurumbapatti, Kurumbharhalli etc. in various areas. He says Kurabas or Kuravar were a verile people, who were in possession of Tirupathi Hills and surrounding area before Pallavas conquerred it. Kalabhras => karabhras => kurabhras = kurabaskurabars <=> kuravarskurubas <=> kuruvas
what does literature says?
  1. Buddhadatta, the great writer in Pali, mentions his contemporary, King Achchutavikranta of the Kalabharakula, as ruling over the Chola country from Kaveripatnam. He was a Buddhist, Tamil literary tradition refers to an Achchuta who kept the Chera, Chola and Pandya king in captivity. On the basis of the time of Buddhadatta with Buddhaghosha, Achchuta may be assigned to the fifth century. Thus after the Sangam age, the Cholas were forced into obscurity by the Kalabhras, who disturbed the placid political conditions of the Tamil country.
  2. The period of Kalabhras was marked by the ascendancy of Buddhism, and probably also of Jainism, was characterized by considerable literary activity in Tamil. Most of the works grouped under the head, 'The Eighteen Minor works' might have been written during this period as also the Cilappadhikaram, Manimekalai and other works. Many of the authors were the characterised to belong to the `heretical' (meaning Buddhists and Jains) sects. However, the great Tamil lexicographer Vaiyapuri Pillai had ascribed later dates to many of these works. This theory would undermine the link between the Kalabhras and the Eighteen Minor works.
what does inscriptions say?The Velvikudi inscriptions of the third regnal year of Pandya king Nedunjadaiyan (c.765 - c. 815 C.E.) say that Pandya king Mudukudumi Peruvaludi gave the village of Velvikudi as brahmadeya (gift to a Brahmins). It was enjoyed for long. Then a Kali king named Kalabhran took possession of the extensive earth, driving away numberless great kings.
AnalaysisWhat we have is about thieves who took illegally or forcefully the land and cattle from people and they were not afraid of kings.we dont have fixed names for these people, there are numerous names, Kalabhras, Kalbharkula, Kalbhran,etcThere is no evidence in othere literary sources outside tamil nadu.
  1. There is no evidence to support anybody named kalabhras existed.
  2. Pallavas were in south, chalukya in north and Gangas in the middle, so there is no evidence to show anybody else existed.
  3. Looting was a common practice to refer others as thieves. So this must be just that.
  4. This is just an attempt to advance tamil antiquity. It advances the sangam works age to before christ. The legend just gives some three hundred years of history in between that advances the tamil antiquity.

Date of Silapathikaram

Let us see how the date of tamil language is advanced

Date of Silapathikaram
Gajabahu synchronism
Gajabahu synchronism is the chronological device used by historians to help date tamil literature. From a mention in the silapathikaram, the Lanka king Gajabahu is taken to be a contemporary of the cheran king senguttuvan

The passage
"The monarch of the world circumambulated the shrine thrice and stood there proferring his respects. In front of him the Arya kings released from prison, kings removed from central jail, the Kongu ruler of Kudagu, the king of Malva and Kayavaku, the king of sea-girt Ceylon, prayed reverently to the deity thus.."

Kayavaku here, despite disagreement has been taken to mean Gajabahu. According to the Mahavamsa , Gajabahu I reigned between 113 - 134 CE, while Gajabahu II reigned in the 12th century CE. This, in turn, has been used to imply that the Chera king, who according to the pathirupattu ruled for 55 years may be dated to c. 110 - 165 CE. This computation, which was first proposed by V Kanakasabhai Pillai in his book, The Tamils 1800 years ago (1904), has come to be known as the Gajabahu synchronism. Kanakasabhai also mentions another reference from Silappatikaram which has the Chera king meet the Magadha king Nurruvan Kannar who is interpretted to as satkarni, satvahana dynasties as an additional proof for the synchronism.

Kanakasabhai's reasoning for not considering Gajabahu I as the king mentioned is as follows:

“ In the long list of kings of Ceylon preserved in Singhalese chronicles, the name Gajabahu occurs only twice. Gajabahu I lived in the early part of the second century A.D. and Gajabahu II in the twelfth century. If the latter was king referred to in the Cilappathikaram, Karikala Chola, the grandfather of the Gajabahu contemporary, Imaya Varamban should have lived in the eleventh or twelfth century A.D. But in many Tamil poems and inscriptions on copper plates recording the grants of Chola kings who lived in the tenth and the eleventh centuries, Karikala Chola I is described as one of the earliest and most remote ancestors of the Chola kings then reigning. It is evident therefore that the Gajabahu referred to in the Cilappathikaram could not be Gajabahu II, but must have been Gajabahu I, who was king of Ceylon from about A.D. 113 to A.D. 125."

However Many contentious points remain
1. How come Kayavaku becomes GajaBahu
2. How come Nurruvan Kannar becomes Satkarni
3. Gajabahu is dated by Mahavamsa at 110 to 165AD , But satkarni is not the same period how come they have come and attended a ceremony.
4. How come there is no other citation of Satkarni attending the ceremony.
5. A king of malwa attending the ceremony should be great news , how come it goes with just reference.
6. There is no reference of of Gajabahu ever coming to Kerala both in Mahavamsa and others.

Not just this there is no evidence of author Ilanko adigal ever lived as witness, he does not have any evidence to show that he was a eyewitness. As he never goes into details. The king senguttuvan is said to have taken a great expedition and conquered himalayas , that also we dont have any proof.
Since karikalan cannot be dated to 12th century does not mean he has to be dated to 2nd century , he might well be 9th century or 10th century AD.

So the whole Gajabahu synchronization falls flat on the face.

That is used to justify the antiquity of tamil literature is a really not going with facts.