"DRAVIDA" - INDIGENOUS TO TAMILS??
One striking feature that caught up my attention,
while going through various Tamil texts for research on Nappinnai,
was the kind of life style depicted in ancient Tamil land
that was very much similar to what is generally thought to be Aryan culture!
If ancient Tamil culture was Aryan in substance,
from where did Dravidian culture come?
This made me to look for any semblance of the word ‘Dravida’
in the texts that were written 2000 years ago.
No. there was no reference to Dravida or Dravidian in Tamil lexicon of that era.
It is because
Dravida is a Sanskrit word,
presumably coined by someone
in the Sanskrit speaking areas.
One important early text that mentions about dravida is Mahabharatha.
In Bheeshma parva, Sanjaya was given Divine eye by sage Vyasa
to see the war and
report it to King Dhritharashtra.
The first thing that Sanjaya saw using that divine eye was the lands of the earth and
Bharatha varsha was one among the lands seen and reported by Sanjaya.
He mentioned the lands and rivers of this country called Bharatha varsha.
And as we scurry through the names, it is disappointing to note that
in South India,
only Kaveri and
Vegavathi (Kancheepuram - where a river by this name gushed in to destroy the yajna
from which Varadharajar sprang up?)
have found mention.
More disappointing was that the land of the Pandyas was not to be seen –
even by any of its other names it is known for.
Instead we hear about Cholas, Cheras and even konkans.
Surprising is the mention of Andhras and Karnataka
which were hardly known by those names about 5000 years ago in the Tamil texts,
which extol about the kings who have ruled those places now known
as Andhra and Karnataka!
In addition to these is the mention of Dravida!
Many researchers have agreed that this name came into existence only in 7th century AD.
If Dravida were to include Andhra and Karnataka too,
how those places were mentioned separately
along with Dravida by Sanjaya?
This made me look into a Tamil verse that were written around the time of Mahabharatha.
There is one written in praise of
ChEramaan Perum chOttrudhiyan chEralaadhan,
a king of Chera naadu who supplied food for the armies of the Pandavas and kauravas
engaged in the Kurukshethra war.
(His name which seems to be a name given in glory,
means ‘the one who gives lot of food’.)
This message about feeding the armies in the Kurukshethra war
has been mentioned in that verse!
The expanse of his land is also mentioned in that verse.
His land was one where the sun rose in the sea and set in the sea!
That means that land of the Chera king was spread from
and was land locked in the north and the south.
The verse compares the ‘podhigai’ mountain of the king’s land
This verse was written by Muranjiyur Mudinagaraayar.
The above 2 information unveils the secret!
Podhigai was usually in the land of the Pandyas.
But it was with the Chera king as per this verse.
So the Pandyan kingdom must have been elsewhere.
The poet was one who had been mentioned in some other ancient tamil texts
as one who took part in the 1st Sangam,
which was held at then-Madurai! (refer Nappinnai series to know more on this).
So the mystry gets cleared now.
When KurukshEthra war happened,
the present part of
was ruled by the ChEra king.
The land to his south extending to the
was ruled by the Pandyas.
The 2nd Sangam held by the Pandyans was presided by Krishna of Dwaraka.
The Pandyans were the friends of Pandavas who had hosted Krishna.
The chEra king was one
who had fed both the Pandavas and Kauravas in the Kurukshethra war!
That means the ChErans also were known to the Pandavas and Kauravas.
But Sanjaya had taken note of the ChEran land and
left the Pandyas when he saw through his Divine eye
Instead he had mentioned a name Dravida
which was not in vogue at that time!
This looks strange,
But not necessarily if we give a thought on
how the story of Mahabharatha evolved from
Jaya of 8,000 verses by Vyasa about 5000 years ago,
to the present day version of Mahabharatha of 1 lakh verses
that got shaped after the advent of Christ!
Surely Dravida and other names are interpolations.
More surely with Dravida, as until 7th century AD this name was unheard of or
came to be heard from some literary work of
So my first contention is that Dravida was not the name of Tamil lands
Nor it was about a land where people were driven to by the so-called migrating Aryans!
(to be continued)