There are 11 types of dances popular in Sangam times. Madhavi of Silappadhikaram was trained in all those types. It was in the context of her Dance - inauguration that we come across detailed information of these dances and music that existed in olden times.
Today think of indigenous dance forms of Tamilnadu, we are told that Karakattam, Poikkaal kudhirai aattam, Marakkaal aattam and Kootthu are some of the indigenous ones. The irony is that some of them are attributed to Krishna whose times preceded the Indus valley civilization for which Mr Karunanidhi has a special liking.
Of the 11 dances, Krishna had pioneered three. The karakaattam of today which is danced by balancing the pot in the head was originally done by Krishna in Tamil lands where Banasuran was ruling. Krishna's grandson Anirudh fell in love with Uzhai (Usha), the daughter of Banasura. He was imprisoned by Baanasura. In order to get him released stealthily, Krishna did the Kudakkootthu - danced on the streets of Baanasura by balancing pots on his head to divert the attention of the guards. This dance of Krishna has been immortalized in Aazhwar's pasurams and also by the dancers of those days. This form lives on even today as Karakaattam!
What would the Dravidian scholars say for this? Do they deny Krishna's existence? Can they say that this dance was inspired by tradition form the North (Mathura / Krishna cult)? Tamil texts clearly speak about this dance as being introduced by Krishna.
All the 11 dances were introduced by Gods and Goddesses. There is a sutra about these dances given by Adiyaarku nallaar in his commentary in Silappadhikaaram. Sekkizhar also is said to have refereed to this in Periya Puranam.
The dances have been serialized in specific order of two groups. They are nindraadal and Veezhnthaadal.
அவை " அல்லியம், கொட்டி, குடை, குடம், பாண்டரங்கம், மல்லுடன் நின்றாடல் ஆறு."
"துடி, கடையம், பேடு, மறக்காலே, பாவை வடிவுடன் வீழ்ந்தாடல் ஐந்து."
They have been serialized as
first 2 done by Lord Shiva (இறைவனார்) = (கொட்டி,பாண்டரங்கம்)
the next 2 done by Krishna = (அல்லியம், மல்லாடல் )
the next 2 done by Muruga = (துடி, குடை) Kaavadi is the present name of Kudai.
These 6 are the dances done to celebrate success over enemies.
வென்றி பற்றி நிகழ்ந்த இக்கூத்துக்கள் முதலில் வைக்கப்பட்டன.
Next comes Vinodhak kootthu (விநோதக் கூத்து) the strange dance of balancing pots on the head. (Kudakkootthu)
This was done to delude the enemy and secure the release of Aniruddhan.
This dance was first done by Krishna in Tamil areas where Baanaasura (the descendant of Maha Bali) ruled.
This is supposed to be Mahabalipuram - the original area now submerged. This place is mentioned as "Vaana Perur" in Silappadhikaram.
Underwater excavations have shown that there are traces of submerged city off the coast of Mahabalipuram.
But the Karunanidhi government would not do anything to initiate research on this part because that would put at naught their Dravidian theories. That would establish connection with North, with Krishna and substantiate that people of the North and the South had mixed well in those times. If not so, how could the grandson of Krishna who could be expected to be living in Mathura or Dwaraka - in the north of the Vindhyas, come to south and fall in love with a girl in the a place called Vaanan Perur, miles into the sea from today's Mahabalipuram?
The next dance form (8th) was the one done by Kaaman (son of Krishna) as Pedu (பேடு).
காமன், ஆண்மை திரிந்து பேடியைப் போல ஆடவே இது பேடு எனப்பட்டது.
The Koovagam kootthu has its origin in this dance form.
The last 3 were done by goddesses.
The 9th dance was Marakkaal dance. (மரக்கால்)
This was done by MaayavaL (மாயவள் ). She is Durga.
In a bid to win over asuras, she fixed wooden legs to avoid the poisonous creatures on the ground.
She danced her way with those wooden legs and overpowered them
The 10th dance was done by Lakshmi and was called as Paavaik kootthu. (பாவைக் கூத்து )கொல்லிப்பாவை உருவில் அவள் ஆடியதைக் கண்ட அவுணர் போர் செய்யாது மோகித்து விழுந்தனர்.
The 11th was kadayam (கடையம்) done by Indraani.
We can see that all the dances have been pioneered by Hindu gods and goddesses. The Tamil society had been a Hindu society. Krishna's impact has been very high among the Tamils.
The Kuravaik kootthu danced by cowherds in Mullai lands (refer Kalith thogai) was a popular dance form that existed in Mathura and done by Krishna.
The alliyam done by Krishna was same as Hallisaka of Gujarat.
These dances were done by Krishna and his friends in his boyhood days. Harivamsa has an account of Bala charitha where it is said that Krishna used to dance Hallisaka to enthuse others including the cattle.
The same reference is found in Silappadhikaram in Aachiyar kuravai where the girsl readied to do the dance from Bala charitha ( வால சரிதம் ) . Details of Krishna connection can be read in my old article on Nappinnai ( http://www.tamilhindu.com/2009/12/who-is-nappinnai/) . This Alliyam or Hallisaka was done after Krishna over powered the elephant Kuvalayapeetam of Kamsa.
The scenes of Hallisaka can be seen replicated in the Aachiyar kuravai.
It goes in stages of Krishna winning a demon, winning Kaaliya and finally Kamsa. The Silappdhikaram songs also follow such sequence.
There are 2 ways of explaining how the Gujarati Hallisaka entered Tamil lands and became its own by a name "Alliyam" .
One is that the Tamils learnt it from Gujarat.
Another is that migrated Dwarakans brought with them this dance and the existing cowherd population adapted them in course of time. But Madhari's dialogues in Silappadhikaaram sound as though the dance was owned by then right from the times of Balacharitham.
Krishna's visits to Tamillands is authenticated by the Kudakkootthu (karakaattam) and mention of his name as one who attended the 2nd sangam at Kapaatapuram. Krishna lived 5000 years ago. These dance forms and migration on account of submergence of Dwaraka must have happened 5000 years ago. There is a mention in Kaliththogai of Cowherd community that existed in submerged Kumari lands to have migrated northward along with the Pandyan king in the wake of submergence of Kumari.
These submergences have simultaneously happened or one after the other and brought migrated people from Dwaraka and from Kumari to the present day Tamilnadu lands. The identity of these dance forms with Tamillands show that the people have had same culture, same language (Tamil as spoken language) and coexisted with a same identity. These views must be researched and more inputs must be added. This view resets the Indian past history. Today only Tamil texts are capable of substantiating findings of such a research. Such a research is likely to make Tamil more ancient - playing an inevitable role in the culture of all Indians of those days. The first requirement to achieve this is to shed the Dravidian mind set and look from Tamil texts without bias.
The references to Krishna and Mahabharatha as found in sangam texts is given below. (Courtesy :www.hinduismtoday.com )
|As Mal (Tirumal) carried away their dress and climbed on a Kurutta tree, the cowherd women could not take bath.||Agam.59:5-6|
|An expression "Kavuriyar" is used to denote Pandyas and they were with shining lances and with possession of lands ending (with ocean). Pandyas are considered as descendents of Pandavas.||Agam.70:13|
|"Kunjaram" – the word is used for an elephant just as in Mahabharat.||Agam.92:3|
|Pandavas were denied their land. Therefore getting angry, they decided to fight with Kauravas||Puram.2:13-16|
|Balarama had his body the colour of white ad Krishna blue. They had flags with symbols of Palm and Kite respectively.||Puram.56:3-6;|
|"Kannan Ezhini" shows that "Kannan / Krishna" had been popular during the Sangam period.||Puram.197:7|
|The Highest One, who raised upto the skies had an axe with which he cut off (the heads of) many Kings. Parasurama is implied.||Puram.220:5|
|Akruran, with great muscle strength, particularly that of shoulders, fought in the battle, when the Five and the Hundred decided to do so.||Padit.14:5-6|
|Like Mayavan, Selvak Kadungo Vazhiyadhan excelled his Guru, implying Krishna's study under Chandini.||Padit.7th Ten.8-10.|
|"Bakan" means a person without eyes / eyesight. Thritarastra was a blind man like him. His son built a Lac Palace and invited Pandavas to stay there. Then, he set on fire to kill them, but the Son of Winds (Bhima) came out tearing off of the walls of the Palace escaping with his brothers and mother.||Kali.24:1-8|
|Balaraman wearing peerless ear ornaments is compared with th Mara tree with bunches of white flowers.||Kali.25.1|
|Balaraman with Plough and "Pasunthuzhai" garland.||Kali.35.1|
|Eight elephants are compared to that of ones protecting eight cardinal points, implying "Astatik Gajas".||Kali.47:2-3|
|There had been "Two Andanars". Though, they taught knowledge from the scriptures to "Two Different Groups", they did meticulously according to the respective scriptures, just like mother and rains, which shower without any discrimination. Here, Jupiter and Mercury are implied to Bhrigaspati and Sukracharya, who taught Devas and Asuras.||Kali.98:1-3.|
|She had her haie with elegance and wavy nature. One person touched her (to dishonour). Her husband took a vow that he would kill him by tearing off of his chest. Accordiungy, he fulfilled his vow on the battlefield. In comparing a scence, where a youth was pierced through his chest by a bull with his horn, it is mentioned.||Kali.100:18-20.|
|The enemies sent a horse. Mayan killed it by tearing oof of its mouth. Here the killing of Kesi by Krishna is implied.||Kali.102:53-55.|
|The sound of roaring bulls and bisons, musical instruments etc., is compared with the starting of the "War between the Hundred and the Five", implying Mahabharat War.||Kali.103:57-59.|
|He lies on a bed of Snake floating in the ocean and has a disc that is always victorious.||Kali.104:71-72.|
|He measured the entire world with his feet. His elder brother has body colour pure white and he has blue. The combination appears as if the former is dressed with a beautiful white cloth. Krishna and Balarama are implied.||Kali.123:1-2|
|At the time of Floods, all living creatures tumble down each other to reach God. All involute into Him with their respective nature and merge with Him.||Kali.128:1-2|
|The Wrestlers brought huge elephants before, and they were defeated. The disc emanated cut off of the parts of the elephants and killed them. The killing of Canura and Mustiga by Krishna and Balarama are implied.||Kali.132:1-3|
|The Five were capable of defeating all the enemies. With great chariots, they fought with the Hundred and killed them falling in the battlefield.||Perum.415-16|
|He was with the body colour that of three oceans, implying Krishna.||Perum.29|