Monday, July 20, 2009

Who is Dravida? - Shun the Dravidan identity.


With the Aryan Invasion Theory debunked, the creation of Dravidan identity also stands questionable. There is no talk of Dravida in ancient Tamil lands. No Tamil king was known as a Dravida. Just as how the Aryan Invasion theory was an invention, the Dravidian theory (identity) was also an invention by the same authors who needed somebody to be 'dislodged' by the 'invading' Aryans. They did a very fantastic derivation from Dramila to Damila to Tamila in their bid to somehow locate a group in India to fit into their theory of Aryans, driving out some natives. The folly of these is that there was little grasp of the native culture of Tamils whose roots also are traced to a very distant past in the foot-steps of the same 'Aryan' culture. There is absolutely no trace of an identity as Dravida to the Tamils. A recent post on this issue in this blog can be read here.

No Aryan and no Dravidian either!


The following article on the Continuing Vedic culture in Tamil lands by drawing inputs form Sangam texts makes a worthy reading. However I wish to point out that the mention of Dravidan to Tamils must be re-analyzed in that otherwise superb article, in the wake of the fall of Aryan Invasion theory. There was no 'coming together' of Aryan and Dravidan cultures as mentioned in that article. There was one Culture of Sanatana Dharma that permeated the entire land from Himalayas to Kumari which was spread to thousands miles in the south off the present day Kanyakumari with Then-Madurai s its capital.


When Rama walked on this land, the Tamils were also there ruled by the Pandyan kings in the land that was in Deep South.


It is known from the copper plates recovered from Sinnamanur that there existed a Pandyan king who defeated the ten-hooded Ravana!!


This can be read in the following link.

The Sanskrit portion of the bigger Sinnamanur plates begins with a verse about a  king  who subdued the ocean. From him were descended the kings known as Pandyas (v. 2) 'who engraved their edicts on the
Himalaya mountain' and whose family-priest was the sage Agastya (v. 3).  One of the Pandya kings is said to have occupied the throne of Indra (v. 4) and another to have shared it with that god, and still another, to have caused the Ten-Headed (i.e., Ravana of Lanka) to sue for peace (v. 5).  One was a conqueror of the epic hero Arjuna (v. 7)  Verse 8 refers to a king who cut off his own head in order to protect that of his master and also to a certain Sundara-Pandya who had mastered all the sciences.  Many kings of this family had performed Vedic sacrifices Rajasuya and Asvamedha (v. 9).


These  Sinnamanur inscriptions were written in the reign of Pandyan Rajasimha, the grandson of Sree maran srivallbhan alias Parachakra kolahalan, who was the contemporary of Periazhwar.
Rajasimhan was the contemporary of Chola king Parantaka I who reigned at the commencement of 10th century AD. So these inscriptions were written at that time.

The two kings mentioned in that portion (where reference to conquest over Ravana is mentioned) can be identified
. One was Ugra Pandyan and the other was Kadum kOn from whose name the genealogy is mentioned in the inscriptions.


Ugra pandyan came in the lineage of Meenakshi and Somasundareswar in Then Madurai. He stopped the surging ocean for which he came to celebrated as "kadal vadimbalam nindra Pandyan'. We can locate this incident in nearly 5 other texts, most importantly in Thiruvilayaadal puranam and Silappadhikararam.

We don't have the name of the Pandyan king who overpowered Ravana. There is no mention of this in Sangam texts too, whereas there is frequent mention of Ugra Pandyan. The reason is not difficult to trace.

Pandyans belonged to Lunar race whose Guiding God was Shiva. Usually the devotees of Shiva used to respect other devotes of Shiva with very high reverence. Both the Pandyans and Ravana were well known Shiva devotees.

There is a lees chance of enmity with a devotee of Shiva (Ravana), except in an extraordinary situation when the Pandyans had faced threat from him.

Since Ravana was a devotee of Shiva, the Shaivite  Pandyan who conquered him, would not have gloated about that. This can be said with a good measure of conviction because we come across many shaivite kings, devotees of Shiva and nayanmaars who would not harm or fight with a fellow devotee of Shiva.

That is perhaps why the victory over Ravana was not highlighted by later kings.

What is needed to be noted in our context is that a Tamil king existed – a Tamil dynasty existed even as early as Rama's times! Can anyone say that this Tamil King was a Dravida??

Moreover, the Pandyan dynasty coming form Ugra Pandyan, the son of Meenakshi and Sundareshwarar itself has is origin in the God of the Himalayan Aryan (Shiva). So it is ridiculous to even relate this term Dravida to Tamils.


The same story of common Aryan origin is there for the Cholas too.

 This is known from the copper plates unearthed from Thiruvaalankaadu.

The lineage of Cholas can be read here.


The Cholas belonged to the Ikshvaku dynasty of Rama. They were the descendants of the Sibi who came in the lineage of younger sibling of the dynasty. Rama belonged the lineage that continued from the eldest son in the lineage. In Rama's tradition, the eldest son only ascended the throne. This is emphasized by Bharatha when he pleaded Rama to accept the throne after he finished the Vana vaasam. The younger brothers were given rulership of other regions and they continued their reign in their names. Sibi came in the lineage of a sibling.

Until the time of Mandhatha, the Cholas and Rama shared the same ancestry. It diverged after Mandhatha.

From the Thiruvalankaadu copper plates we come to know the Cholan lineage like this:
















Cholavarman (Founder of Chola dynasty)


Thus the Cholans also qualify as Aryana and not as Dravidas.

The land and language they developed was Tamil only.

The common ancestry of these two main kingdoms (Pandyan and Cholan) with the Aryans reveals the same cultural and grammatical origins to Tamils also.

It is time the scholars and researchers come out of their Dravidan mindset and look at Tamil's history as it deserves to be.

-         jayasree




Vedic continuum in Hindusthan


Sangam times are from ca.300 BCE to 300 CE, when the earliest extant works of  Sangam literature). [Kamil Veith Zvelebil, Companion Studies to the History of Tamil Literature, pp12; K.A. Nilakanta Sastry, A History of South India, OUP (1955) pp 105]



The following notes include excerpts from a remarkable article which appeared in Adyar Library Bulletin (1983). These clearly indicate that Vedic culture in India dates back to very ancient times all over Hindusthan, from Gandhara to Kanchipuram. This geographic spread of Vedic culture is matched by the spread of punch-marked coins from ca. 6th century BCE, all over Hindusthan, from Gandhara to Karur (Tiruchi).


Kazanas (2009) has shown that Rigveda predates the Sarasvati-Sindhu culture.



Vedic culture in Sangam times


There is a temple for Devi Sarasvati in a place called Basara (Vya_sapura) in Adilabad District of Andhra Pradesh, located on the banks of the Godavari River. The sthala pura_n.a states that the Devi was installed by Vya_sa by taking three of sand from the river bed— an extraordinary affirmation indeed of the integrat link of Sarasvati as devi and Sarasvati as river. The appended maps indicate the patterns of ancient settlements right from the foothills of the Himalayas (Ropar) to the Gulf of Khambat (Lothal) and on the Arabian Sea Coast (Prabhas Patan or Somnath and Dwa_raka). It is also significant that Sangam literature of the Tamils notes the claim of the ancient Chera kings that they were the 42nd generation descendants from the rulers of Dwaraka (Tuvarai) and the sage Agastya is revered as the ancient Tamil Muni and the author of the earliest grammatical work in Tamil. Sangam literature is replete with references to the support provided to the growth of Vedic Culture in the Tamil-speaking areas. An important article on the antiquity of relation between Tamil and Sanskrit is: Sharma, K.V. 1983, Spread of Vedic culture in ancient South India, Adyar Library Bulletin 47:1-1.



"Among the interesting facts that emerge from a study of the progressive spread of vedic culture from the North-West to the other parts of India, is its infusion, with noticeable intensity, in the extreme south of India where, unlike in other parts, a well-developed Dravidian culture was already in vogue… Tolka_ppiyamwhich is the earliest available work of the sangam classics, is a technical text in 1610 aphorisms, divided into three sections, dealing respectively, with phonetics, grammar and poetics…



The other available sangam works are three sets of collected poems, being, pattu-ppa_t.t.u (Ten idylls), et.t.u-ttokai (Eight collections) and patineki_r..kan.akku (eighteen secondary texts), which last appears to pertain to the late period of the saμgam age. The ten poems are:,, mullaippa_t.t.u, maturaikka_n~ci,, kuriñcippa_t.t.u, pat.t.inappa_lai and malaipat.ukat.a_m. All the above idylls are compositions of individual poets, and, except for the first, which is devotional and possibly, pertains to late sangam age, are centred round the royal courts of the Cera, Cola and Pa_n.d.ya kings, depicting the contemporary elite scholarly society and youthful life. The second category consists of Eight, kur.untokai, ainkur.unu_r.u, patir.r.ujppattu,, kali-ttokai, akana_n-u_r.u and pur.ana_n-u_r.u.


All these collections are highly poetic and self-contained stray verses of different poets put together in consideration of their contents. The third category consists of eighteen miscellaneous texts, some of them being collections of stray verses of different poets and some composed by individual authors. They are:, na_lat.iya_r, par..amor..i, tirikat.ukam, na_n-man.ikkat.ikai, cir.upañcamu_lam, ela_ti, a_ca_rako_vai, mutumor..ikka_ ñci, kalavar..i-na_r.patu, initu-na_r.patu, tin.aima_lainu_r.r.aimpatu,, kainnilai,, tin.aimor..i-y-aimpatu and ka_r.-na_r.patu. The verses in these works also refer to social customs and local sovereigns. The above works picture a well-knit and well-developed society having a distinct identity of its own.



The frequent mention, in sangam poems, of the Cera, Cola and Pa_n.d.ya kings as the munificent patrons of the poets… and the archaeological evidence provided by 76 rock inscriptions in Tamil-Bra_hmi script which corrobate the contents of the sangam works, in 26 sites in Tamilnadu (Mahadevan, I., Tamil Bra_hmi inscriptions of the Sangam age, Proc. Second International Conference Seminar of Tamil Studies, I, Madras, 1971, pp. 73-106) help to fix the date of the classical sangam classics in their present form to between 100 B.C. and 250 A.D… reference to the Pa_n.d.yan kingdom by Megasthenes, Greek ambassador to the court of Candragupta Maurya (c. 324-300 B.C.?) are also in point. On these and allied grounds, the sangam period of Tamil literature might be taken to have extended from about the 5th century B.C. to the 3rd century A.D… It is highly interesting that sangam literature is replete with references to the vedas and different facets of vedic literature and culture, pointing to considerable appreciation, and literary, linguistic and cultural fusion of vedic-sanskrit culture of the north with the social and religious pattern of life in south India when the sangam classics were in the making…



The vedas and their preservers, the bra_hmans, are frequently referred to with reverence (Pur.ana_n u_r.u 6, 15 and 166; Maturaikka_ñci 468; tirukat.ukam 70, na_n-man.ikkat.ikai 89, initu-na_r.patu 8). The vedic mantra is stated as the exalted expressions of great sages (Tolka_ppiyam, Porul. 166, 176). While the great God S'iva is referred as the source of the four vedas (Pur.a. 166), it is added that the twice-born (bra_hman) learnt the four vedas and the six veda_ngas in the course of 48 years (Tiru-muruka_r.r.uppat.ai179-82). The vedas were not written down but were handed down by word of mouth from teacher to pupil (Kur-untokai 156), and so was called what is heard, šruti)(Patir.r.ippattu 64.4-5; 70.18-19; 74, 1-2;Pur.a. 361. 3-4). The bra_hmans realized God through the Vedas ( 9. 12-13) and recited loftily in vedic schools (Maturaikka_ñci 468- 76; 656)… the danger to the world if the bra_hman discontinued the study of the veda is stressed intirukkur.al560. If the sangam classics are any criteria, the knowledge and practice of vedic sacrifices were very much in vogue in early south India. The sacrifices were performed by bra_hmans strictly according to the injunctions of the vedic mantras ( 94-96; kalittokai 36). The three sacred fires (ga_rhapatya, a_havani_ya and daks.ina_gni) were fed at dawn and dusk by bràhmans in order to propitiate the gods (Kalittokai 119l Pur.a. 2; 99; 122; Kur.iñcippa_t.t.u 225) 2. 60-70 stipulates, in line with vedic sacrificial texts, that each sacrifice had a specific presiding deity, that pas'us (sacrificial animals) were required for the sacrifice and that the sacrificial fire rose to a great height. The vedic practice of placing a tortoise at the bottom of the sacrificial pit is referred to in Akana_n-u_r.u 361… 




Patir.r.uppattu 64 and 70 glorify the Cera king Celvakkat.unkovar..iya_tan- who propitiated the gods through a sacrifice performed by learned vedic scholars and distributed profuse wealth amongst them. Another Cera king, Perum-ceral is indicated in Patir.r.uppattu 74 to have performed the Putraka_mes.t.hi_ sacrifice for the birth of his son The Cola ruler Peru-nar.kil.l.i was renowned as Ra_jasu_yam ve_t.t.a for his having performed the ra_jasa_ya sacrifice; another Cola ruler Nar.kil.l.i, too, was celebrated as a sacrificer (Pur.a. 363; 400). The Cola kings were also considered to have descended from the north Indian king S'ibi the munificent of Maha_bha_rata fame (Pur.a. 39; 43). The patronage accorded to vedic studies and sacrifices is illustrated also by the descriptive mention, in Pur.a. 166, of a great vedic scholar Vin.n.anta_yan- of the Kaun.d.inya-gotra who lived at Pu_ñja_r.r.u_r in the Co_r..a realm under royal patronage. It is stated that Vin.n.anta_yan- had mastered the four vedas and six veda_ngas, denounced non-vedic schools, and performed the seven pa_kayajñas, seven Soma-yajñas and seven havir-yajñas as prescribed in vedic texts. The Pa_n.d.yan kings equalled the Colas in the promotion of Vedic studies and rituals. One of the greatest of Pa_n.d.ya rulers, Mudukut.umi Peruvar..uti is described to have carefully collected the sacrificial materials prescribed in vedic and dharmašàstra texts and performed several sacrifices and also set up sacrificial posts where the sacrifices were performed (Pur.a. 2; 15). Maturaikka_ñci (759- 63) mentions him with the appellation pal-s'a_lai (pal-ya_ga-s'a_lai of later Ve_l.vikkud.i and other inscriptions), 'one who set up several sacrificial halls'. The Pa_n.d.ya rulers prided themselves as to have descended from the Pa_n.d.avas, the heroes of Maha_bha_rata (Pur.a. 3; 58; Akana_n-u_r.u 70; 342)…




God Brahmà is mentioned to have arisen, in the beginning of creation, with four faces, from the lotus navel of God Vis.n.u (Paripa_t.al8.3; Kalittokai 2; 402-04; 164-65; Iniyavaina_rpatu 1). It is also stated that Brahma_ had the swan as vehicle (Innà-nàrpatu 1). Vis.n.u is profusely referred to. He is the lord of the Mullai region (Tol. 5) and encompasses all the Trinity (Paripa_t.al13.37). He is blue-eyed (Pur.a. 174), lotus-eyed (Paripa_t.al15.49), yellow-clothed ( 13.1-2), holds the conch and the discus in his two hands and bears goddess Laks.mì on his breast (Mullaippa_t.t.u 1-3; Perumpa_n. 29-30; Kali. 104; 105; 145), was born under the asterism (Maturai. 591), and Garud.a-bannered (Pur.a. 56.6; 13.4). Of Vis.n.uite episodes are mentioned his measuring the earth in three steps (Kali. 124.1), protecting his devotee Prahla_da by killing his father (Pari. 4. 12-21) and destroying the demon Kes'in (Kali. 103.53-55). S'iva has been one of the most popular vedic-pura_n.ic gods of the South. According to Akana_n-u_r.u 360.6, S'iva and Vis.n.u are the greatest gods. He is three-eyed (Pur.a.6.18; Kali. 2.4), wears a crescent moon on his forehead (Pur.a.91.5; Kali. 103.15), and holds the axe as weapon (Aka. 220.5;Pur.a. 56.2). He bears river Ganga_ in his locks (Kali. 38.1; 150.9) and is blue-necked (Pur.a. 91.6; Kali. 142). He is born under the asterism a_tirai (Skt. àrdra) (Kali. 150.20), has the bull for his vehicle ( 8.2) and is seated under the banyan tree (Aka. 181). Once, while sitting in Kaila_sa with Uma_ (Pa_rvati), his consort (Pari. 5.27-28; Par..amor..i 124), Ra_van.a, the ra_ks.asa king shook the Kaila_sa and S'iva pressed the mountain down with his toe, crushing Ra_van.a and making him cry for mercy (Kali. 38). When the demon Tripura infested the gods, S'iva shot through the enemy cities with a single arrow and saved the gods (Kali. 2; Pur.a. 55; 5. 22-28).Pur.ana_n –u_r.u (6. 16-17) refers also to S'iva temples in the land and devotees walking round the temple in worship. God Skanda finds very prominent mention in saμgam classics, but as coalesced with the local deity Murukan-, with most of the pura_n.ic details of his birth and exploits against demons incorporated into the local tradition ( 5. 26-70;, the whole work). Mention is also made of Indra. (Balara_ma) is mentioned as the elder brother of Lord Kr.s.n.a, as fair in colour, wearing blue clothes, having the palmyra tree as his emblem and holding the ;lough as his weapon, all in line with the ( 2. 20-23; Pur.a. 56. 3-4; 58.14; Kali. 104, 7-8). Tolka_ppiyam ( iyal 5) divides the entire Tamil country into five, namely, Mullai (jungle) with Vis.n.u as its presiding deity, Kur.iñji (hilly) with Murukan- as deity, Marutam (plains: cf. marusthali_ Skt.) with Indra as deity, Neytal (seashore) with Varun.a as deity and Pa_lai (wasteland) with Kor.r.avai (Durga_) as deity…




The sangam works are replete with references to the four castes into which the society was divided, namely, bra_hman.a, ks.atriya, vais'ya, and su_dra… bra_hman antan.a primarily concerned with books (Tol. Mara. 71), the ks.atriya (a-ras'a, ra_ja) with the administration (Tol. Mara.78) and s'u_dra with cultivation (Tol. Mara. 81)… It is also stated that marriage before the sacred fire was prescribed only for the first three castes; but the author adds that the custom was adopted by the fourth caste also in due course (Tol. Kar.piyal 3)… one cannot fail to identify in sangam poetry the solid substratum of the distinct style, vocabulary and versification, on the one hand, and the equally distinct subject-matter, social setting and cultural traits, on the other, both of the Tamil genius and of vedic poetry. As far as the grammar of Dravidian is concerned, a detailed analytical study of Old Tamil as represented in Tolka_ppiyam, with the vedic s'iks.a_s and pra_tis'a_khyas, has shown that, 'Tolka_ppiyan-a_r clearly realized that Tamil was not related to Sanskrit either morphologically or genealogically… that he deftly exploited the ideas contained in the earlier grammatical literature, particularly in those works which dealt with vedic etymology, without doing the least violence to the genius of the Tamil language'. (Sastri, P.S.S., History of Grammatical Theories in Tamil and their relation to the Grammatical literature in Sanskrit, Madras, 1934, p. 231)…


It would be clear from the foregoing that during the sangam age there had already been intensive infusion of vedic culture in south India… Both the cultures coexisted, the additions often affecting only the upper layers of society… For novel names, concepts and ideas, the Sanskrit names were used as such, with minor changes to suit the Tamil alphabet (e.g. akin-i for agni, vaicikan- for vais'ya, veta for veda, or translated (e.g. pa_pa_n- for dars'aka, for s'ruti). When, however, the concept already existed, in some form or other, the same word was used with extended sense (e.g. for ya_ga; ma_l or ma_yan- for Vis.n.u). Sometimes both the new vedic and extant Tamil words were used (e.g. ti_ for agni)… It is, however, important to note that the coming together of the two cultures, vedic and Dravidian, was smooth, non-aggressive and appreciative, as vouched for by the unobtrusive but pervasive presence of vedicism in the sangam works. The advent of vedic culture into South India was, thus, a case of supplementation and not supplantation…




It is a moot question as to when vedic culture first began to have its impact on dravidian culture which already existed in south India… the age of this spread (of vedic culture) has to be much earlier than the times of the Ra_ma_yan.a and Maha_bha_rata, both of which speak of vedic sages and vedic practices prevailing in the sub-continent.

Literary and other traditions preserved both in north and south India attest to the part played by sage Agastya and Paras'ura_ma in carrying vedic culture to the south. On the basis of analytical studies of these traditions the identification of geographical situations and a survey of the large number of Agastya temples in the Tamil country, G.S. Ghurye points to the firm establishment of the Agastya cult in South India by the early centuries before the Christian era (Ghurye, G.S., Indian acculturation: Agastya and Skanda, Bombay, Popular Prakashan, 1977)… the considerable linguistic assimilation, in dravidian, of material of a pre-classical Sanskrit nature, it would be necessary to date the north-south acculturation in India to much earlier times."



1 comment:

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