In this age of conversionists twisting Tamil's past
with the connivance of politicians of Tamilnadu,
it is a welcome development to have congregation and seminars
on Tamil's past and on the religion that was prevalent
in the ancient Tamil society in times of yore.
The seminar on 'Tamizhar Samayam' was recently organized
to highlight this information – the excerpts of which –
as covered by Mr Vedaprakash has been posted below.
Some thoughts of mine on the religion of ancient Tamils:-
It was Sanatana dharma only –which is presently known as Hinduism.
The basis was Dhrama or 'aram' and
there are enough quotes for this in Purananuru and Thirukkural .
Sanatana dharma was known as "Ara- vazhi".
The various texts that talk about dharma or aram were known as 'Ara-nool'
The God of this dhartma was "Aravaazhi anthaNan" as told by Thiruvalluvar.
The God had ' aravaazhi' – the wheel of Dharma and / or in other words
'He was the wheel of Dharma personified'.
The 'AnthaNan' in the Kural (thirukkural 8) is described as
am + ThaNan by Parimelazhagar and
further explained by Vai.Mu. Gopalakrsihnamachari
as one who has abundant mercy / compassion which is cool.
This is also told by Thiruvalluvar in KuraL 30
(AnthaNAn is one who is compassionate to all beings
in addition to being Dharmaic)
There is a view that this is indicative of Lord Narayana
lying in the cool milky ocean with his chakrayudha.
The first Kural speaking on a 'akaara brhaman' as the Source of all creation
and the 10th Kural speaking on crossing the ocean of birth and death
by means of surrender in God's feet
is wholly Sanatanic view.
The Paayiram of Kural contains only those essentials of Sanata dharma,
the glory of God who is Dhrama personified (kadavuL vaazhtthu),
the glory on Indra and Varuna without whose beneficial downpour of rains,
the world can not sustain (vaan sirappu),
the glory of sages and saints (neetthaar perumai) and
the glory of following Dharmic path (aran valiyurutthal).
This is the religion followed in Ancient Tamilnadu.
Further details of this is found in Purananuru verse 34,
whereby it is made known that the rules of life
that one must follow, as told by 'Aram' are
not to kill cows,
not to kill the fetus,
not to harm Brahmins and
not to forget the good / double-cross the one
who has done good to you. (sei- nandri – maravaamai).
Different Gods were worshipped, based on the kind of boons asked from them.
(Please refer me earlier posts on why and how
there are different gods in Hinduism
in tandem with Division of Labour).
Based on this,
Kottravai will have to be satisfied with blood-shed to grant victory in a war
while Thirmaal (Vishnu) will be happy with the offer of milk produce,
in order to grant good milk production.
This is how many gods came to be worshipped in Sanatana Dharma
that was followed all over - including the Tamil lands.
There was no division as Aryan land or Dravidian land.
People in the Himalayan regions were referred to as Aryans.
But that was not about a race.
In olden verses of Purananuru even this reference is missing.
Two kings praised in Purananuru can be said to have belonged to
Mahabharata and pre-Mahabharata days.
(Udiyan Cheraladhan and
Pandyan Pal yaaga shaalai Mudukudumi Peru vazhuthi)
The verses in praise of them speak about the lands then and the religious rites.
But there is no differentiation as Aryan or Dravidian.
The austerities followed were those of Sanatana Dharma only.
It was Thamizh naadu or Thamizhagam only.
Where a reference has to made about the whole of India
(which was far greater than today's boundaries),
it was referred to as "Naavalan theevu" or Jambhoo Dweepa.
The word Samayam seems to have entered common usage in the later period only.
For long it was 'Dharuma vazhi' or 'ara vazhi' only.
But there had existed other religious ways too.
The word "Bhaashandi' or Bhaashaandam'
denoting Thoughts of ways other than Sanatana Dharma
is found in Tamil texts.
From Silappadhikakram we come to know that such kind of Thoughts
were a whooping 96 in number (told in Dhivaakaram too)
which too were supported by Tarka sastra (arguments).
But they were considered as 'Pura vazhi' as opposed to Sanatana dharma.
But they all had basis in Sanata Dharma and
were derived from Sanatanic Thoughts only.
There were not many followers of such Thoughts.
They were not like the Mleccha religions of today
(Christianity and Islam)
whose protagonists are out to destroy Hinduism.
One stark difference between the 'ara vazhi' and these religions is that
'ara vazhi"(sanatana Dharma) does not preach violence or harm to others.
The Mleccha religions though they claim to preach the same,
are not actually propagating non-violence.
While Christianity has a bloody history in spanning out itself
and continues to have an exploitative and
therefore harmful methodology
in appropriating others' space,
Islam does tell its followers to kill those who do not follow that religion.
There is thus Christian terrorism and Islamic terrorism
But Sanatanic dharma does not allow such harms to anyone
of its own following
or of others' religion.
The terrorist claims that his religion gives him the authority to kill.
The conversionist claims that his religion gives him the authority to convert others.
But Hinduism says nothing of these kinds.
Hindu terrorism has absolutely no place or support in Sanatana Dharma.
If a terrorist act is attributed to a Hindu,
then it is a case of terrorist who happens to be Hindu and
not Hindu terrorism.
But this can not said of other religions
which give ideological support to their objectionable acts
The Christian conversions and Islamic Jehad are violations of Human rights.
They are crimes against Sanatana Dharma –
the Dharma upon which the Tamil society flourished
as known from Thirukkural!
This 'Thamizhar samayam' has had no place for other religions.
No other religion can come anywhere near it.
It is high time the so-called Tamil champions of the political class
stop aiding attempts to re-write this Thamizhar samayam.
A blog-post on the proceedings of the seminar on Thamizhar Samayam
A reply to the Christian protagonists and propagandists?
The public seminar on Thamizhar Samayam was conducted by Dharma Rakshana Samithi, Chennai at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, T Nagar, on 07-12-2008 at 6.30 pm. Muthukumaran Former Barathidasan University Vice-Chancellor presided over the function and Krishna Jagannathan of Vidhyabarathi Educational Trust gave the introductory speech. Sri Omkarananda Swamigal of Sri Bhuvaneswari Avadhutha Vidhya Peetam, rendered the special address.
Muthukumaran Former Barathidasan University Vice-Chancellor: Delving on the Christian and Mohammedans methods of evangelization, he pointed out that the educational system of Tamilnadu had completely devoid of the religion of Tamil people. 60 years before, Tamils were taught about their religion and the Temples were functioned as their nerve-centre of all activities, but now, the Temples have gone into the hands of politicians.
We still read the "Indian history" written by the British: He pointed out that as we read the "history written by the British", the Tamil society has been at loggerhead with divisions of hatred. The text books have not been re-written in right perspective. The more our children read, the more they grow with such planted ideas.
He told a story to expose the irreligiousness and hatred of the missionaries: Three persons – one Christian, one Mohammedan and a Hindu travelled in a boat and suddenly, the boast was about to be drowned. The Christian prayed to Jesus and he was saved; the Mohammedan prayed to Allah, he was saved; but the Hindu started addressing prayers to different Gods one by one, but he could not be saved! But it s wrong to say that Hindus have been not monotheistic and idolatrous, as they know very well about Unity of Godhead.
While the Tamils spread nearly 50 countries all over the world celebrated Tamil festivals, the Tamils of the TN, ironically do not know even the significance of their festivals and days, drawing the nearing of "Periya Karthhikai".
He denied the "Aryan-Dravidian" racial dichotomy and pointed out as to how the people of north and south respected the southern direction and followed common culture and tradition. Tamils wherever went followed only such tradition, even in naming the places as Uttara Kasi, Dakshina Kasi and so on. Due to climatic changes, men originated from the equatorial region could have spread north and south. Actually, the mention of "Dwaraka" and "Kapadapuram", where people tried to enter and settle down after deluge could be one and the same, as both convey the same meaning (the city, where people entered).
The entire Tamil literature has been full of religious references to Sanskrit literature. Perhaps, there is no other literature like Tamil, which has religious aspects in it. When Jainism and Buddhism tried to enter Tamizhagam, Bakti movement originated and spread to the north. This Bakti movement was revived again, when the Mohammedan incursions started.
From Kumaragurubarar, we can understand that Tamil poets had never been against any language, as he could lecture in Hindusthani, as Sanskrit was used before.
The nature of Tamils had / has been to build temple first and then house, wherever, they went. In Mauritius, Tamils have built almost all temples. Such has been their religious consciousness.
Krishna Jagannathan of Vidhyabarathi Educational Trust: Referring about the Christian manipulation of religious propaganda, he warned the Tamils about the misinterpretation of Christians that their religion was derived from the Christianity etc. He openly accused Deivanayagam, John Samuel, Devakala and others for organizing "International conferences" and blaspheming Hindus under the guise of "Thamizhar samayam". He referred to three conferences conducted –
1. One at Newyork in 2005.
2. Second in 2007
3. Another in 2008.
He urged that Tamils cannot take such nonsense lightly, as they have been trying to repeat such lies thousands time to make it to appear "truth".
He regretted that even former president had participated in such anti-Tamil conferences conducted in 2007. Ironically, they use cine-actors directly and indirectly for their propagandist activities, while Rajinikanth name was mentioned for the role of Tiruvalluvar in their proposed 100-crore mega movie on "mythical thomas", Kamal Hassan was made to blabber out that Tiruvalluvar could be a Jain, a Buddhist or Christian!
He retold the above story: In the context of Mumbai-Jihadi attacks, he added that Christians and Muslims could not be saved, as Jesus and Allah had to run here and there being a single entity, but Hindu God sent different Gods to different places, so that Hindus could be saved.
The DK ideology and DMK rule have only made the Tamils irreligious forgetting their Temple culture, tradition and heritage.
Sri Omkarananda Swamigal of Sri Bhuvaneswari Avadhutha Vidhya Peetam: Being a Tiruvalluvar exponent, Tirukkural teacher and Mutt Head, he expressed his anguish, the way in which Tiruvalluvar is degraded and Tirukkural disrespected by the Christians and Tamil atheist groups.
Hindu Religious Heads and Hindus feel offended and pained much: Religious Heads pained, wounded and anxious about their activities. They might think that Hindus have been very tolerant and learned to be patient to the core, thus keep quiet. The Hindus have never been taught hatred against other religious Gods and religious beliefs and that is why they do not ask any inconvenient questions, even when the Christians and Mohammedans ask why you God has many wives, Why Vinayaka has elephant head and so on. But such non-hatred quality cannot be considered weakness of Hindus. But now a situation has come that Hindus should learn how to answer them or question them effectively.
Babar and Teresa are quoted for Tirukkural: He pointed out as to how a Vice-Chancellor of a University of TN requested him to preside over his book release function on "Tirukkural", but he was totally taken aback to note that he had only given examples from Therasa, Babar and others, but none from Indian personalities in citing references to the Kural. He observed that the author of the "Tiruvalluvar book" could not recite even Tirukkural properly.
The Hindu haters should read "Azhukkaranai" chapter of Tirukkural: "Azhukkaramai" means the psyche of without jealousy, envy or covetousness. The Christians, Mohammedans, Tamil atheist groups and Hindu-haters should read and understand before talking nonsense about Hindus. He questioned the duplicity of the Dravidian-Tamil politician about the hypocritical approach towards Tiruvalluvar. He challenged the politicians that they should recite Tirukkural before the public, before contesting elections.
Tirukkural should be written in the hearts of the Tamil people: As he has been preaching and teaching Tirukkural, he exposed the hypocrisy of the Tamil politicians. He pointed out that it is not enough, if Tirukkural is written on the buses or commentaries given by CMs and VCs, but they should be written in the hearts of the Tamil people.
Can Hindus send books urging Mullahs and bishops to "change their minds"? He also pointed out the audacity of a Christian, who sent him books on Christianity and appealed him to "change his mind" to accept Christ. He sent a suitably reply and challenged him to come for a public debate at Palayankotai itself, bringing his Christian heads, but there was no reply from him. While mentioning this, he also pointed out as to how a "Hindu journal" did not publish his letter! Retorting, he asked whether any Hindu had guts to send books to Bishop, Imam. Mullah etc., and urged them to "change their minds"?
He urged that one conference should be conducted, taking this meeting as a starting point, to refute such misinterpretations.
 The entire proceedings were conducted in Tamil, just for convenience and the news to reach the non-Tamil people, it has been typed in English.
 He has been associated with the "New Educational Policy of Tamilnadu" known as "Samac-ceer kalvi murai" to be implemented.
 Would the Dravidian / Tamil friends agree for this, or would be he dubbed as a party to "saffronization of textbooks" project!
 Referring to the discarded race hypotheses and theories still followed by the Dravidian political parties in Tamilnadu.
 Implying that the so-called "Aryans" or "Dravidians" could not ave come from outside, that is from north to soputh, but the other way!
 Hinting to Gondwana / Pangaea / Kumarik-kandam hypothesis and theories linked with the "Three Sangams" existed 12,000 YBP.
 First International Conference on Early Christianity in India, August 13th-16th, 2005.
 Held at Chemmencherry at the premises of Instutute of Asian Culture and Sathyabhama Deemed University.
 Mentioning "Abdul Kalam" specifically!
 This has been the status and standards of Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor of Universities of Tamilnadu and what Tamils could expects from them?
 Chapter 17 of Tirukkural containing ten verses aptly placed between the chapters "Forgiveness" and "Covetousness"!
 Obviously, referring to what has been going on in Tamilnadu miusing Tiruvalluvar and Tirukkural.
 Such has been the quality of "secular standards" even by the so-called "Hindu journals", why then blame "The Hindu" then?