Monday, April 1, 2013

Tamil was the human tongue or Manushya bhasha (Spoken language of ancient India -part 2)

Disclaimer: I hereby declare that there is no chauvinistic intention of promoting Tamil, which happens to be my mother tongue, in the series of articles beginning with the present one. The intention is to bring to the notice of readers, the presence of Tamil alongside Sanskrit in the Indian Subcontinent for many thousands of years. A deeper analysis might give us leads on why a fused Tamil and Sanskrit presence can be seen from India to Ireland to Ice land and from Polynesia to the Incas.


This is the 2nd article in the series on identifying the spoken language of the ancient India.

The 1st part can be read here:

Valmiki of Ramayana knew Tamil! (Spoken language of ancient India - part 1)


The original source of this 2nd article written by me in Tamil can be read here:


My sincere thanks to Mr T.G. Saranathan for translating this article into Englsh.





There is evidence in the Sundara khanda  of Valmiki Ramayana, to show that Valmiki as well as the people of entire Bharat, in Valmiki's time, spoke and conversed in Tamil.



In the Sundata khanda, Hanuman saw Sita in Ashoka garden/forest. He wanted to speak to her, and wondered in which language he should speak to her. So he weighed the pros and cons of choosing the language he should speak to her. He knew Sanskrit and the "language of humans" as well!  Sanskrit is considered as Deva Bhasha or the language of the gods. But which language was identified as "the language of humans"?


If it was the language of human beings, then were there not many other languages spoken by human beings? Today we hear so many languages being spoken by different people. In that case which language did Hanuman identify as the language of man which was known both to himself and to Sita?


If we go by today's scenario, people of Ayodhya might have been speaking in one language and those in Kishkindha might have been speaking another language. And, people of Lanka might have spoken a totally different language.


The question here is which of these many languages Hanuman knew? But the fact that Hanuman was able to understand the language spoken by Rakshasis, and he was also able to converse freely with Sita, shows that the language he spoke with Sita was not confined to a particular place or community. But the language he chose to speak with Sita was well known to people all over Bharat.


Is that possible?


Well, we can see all around us various creatures. We can derive some inferences from them. The chirping of birds might look un-intelligible to us. But birds understand them. That language is inherent in them and not tutored by anyone.

Like birds, animals also have natural language of communication. Since the language of birds is more vocal than that of animals, it should be elaborate. From ancient stories we understand that our ancestors were knowledgeable in birds' language also. Like animals and birds, human beings also should have had a natural language. That is, if there was no interference, human beings could have communicated by making certain sounds and formed a language – like how birds and animals have a language of their own which is universal. If this is possible with birds and animals, it must have been possible with human beings also.  Such a language alone could have been termed as a naturally formed human language or the language of Man or Manusham vaakhyam. .


A doubt arises here. Human beings were living in groups in various places. Could it be possible that all the groups would have spoken the same language? There is no way of finding this out. But when we probe how animals and birds communicated, we could find a possibility.

For example, a bird brought from a distant country adapts to local surroundings and communicates with other birds here.  But if a bird group migrates and forms groups in various places, there must be traces of the original group's sounds in all the subsequent groups, even though they were living totally unconnected. Similarly, if a human group migrated to other places and formed different groups, it is possible that original human language would have existed in some traces in all groups.


According to genetic analyses, the present people of India lived together once and originated from a same gene pool. They separated as ancient north Indian and ancient south Indian gene pool. Looking at literary sources, we do get many clues on common surroundings for all these people during Ice age or before that. The place where they once lived in close proximity was Shaka dweepa (south or South East Asia) from where they diverged to various places.


{ A brief explanation on this:-

·         Shaka dweepa is described in Mahabharata, 6-11.


·         The description of the location, of the mountain of Malaya (extension of western Ghats in to Indian ocean) associated with (monsoon) rains, the names of places such as Sukumara

and Kumara and rivers such as Kumari and Kaveraka (river Kaveri's father was known as Kaveraka as per Thiruvalankadu inscriptions of Cholas) do indicate this as the former land of the ancient Tamils of first sangam period.


·          The mention of a river by name Ikshu vardhanika shows that the region was abundant in sugarcane which is possible only if it is the tropics. The Ikshu of Ikshvaku is due to the connection with sugarcane. It links them to an earlier location at Shakadwipa.


·         The mention of the asterism of Revathi as permanently fixed at Raivataka mountains indicates the location near the equator on the 90 degree median range of which Andaman and Nicobar are still seen above the sea.


·         The 4 varnas that existed in Shakadwipa  include Brahmins known as Maga. Maga Brahmins were authorised to consecrate and conduct the worship of Sun God, according to Brihad samhita. This specific feature must have been applicable to people who lived near equator where the Sun shines on all days. Later on they could have migrated to other parts of the globe, but their original home could only be near the equator where the sun shines throughout the year.


·         The name shaka is derived from the tree called shaka which was found in abundance in that place. The Tamil equivalent of this tree is Vaagai ( வாகை (ACACIA SIRISSA) which is an important tree in sangam texts / gramamar. The cultural identity given to Vaagai in the grammar book of Tholkappiyam is such that the 4 varnas appear only in Vaagai-th-thiNai connected to Paalai land! The sunken Tamil lands had 14 Paalai lands (7 Mun paalai lands and 7 pin paalai lands whereas the 3rd sangam period of current Tamil lands had no specific paalai land, but one identified by the fusion of two other land forms made so during dry season,) The 4 varnas are associated with Paalai land of Vaagai-th-thinai (shaka tree) only and not with any other land form.  Infact three more varnas or groups are added along with the 4 varnas in this region. In no other region of cultural identity, these varnas appear in Tholkaappiyam. It shows that the varna system existed in the olden Tamil lands (now submerged) where the predominant plant was Vaagai or Shaka! This puts the ancient Tamil land at shaka dwipa. The presiding deity of Shakadwipa was Shiva who was also the presiding deity of the Pandyans of that ancient land.


·         Sri U.Ve. Srinivasachar who translated Mahabharata into Tamil and published in the year 1919, had written in this chapter (of Mahabharata)  that in some olden texts that he referred for translation, in the place of Shakadwipa, it was written as "Naga dwipa". This also puts the location in the southern hemisphere.


·         For more details read my Tamil blogs  


·  }


In the beginning, a group led by Vaivasvata Manu, migrated from Shaka dwipa to the Malaya mountain range of South India and the extensions of land on the west in Arabian Sea. The time period must have been Ice age when the water level of the Arabian Sea was low thereby exposing the land in the west of Western Ghats. Dravideswara Manu (as he was called –perhaps he was a Kshatriya vrathya to be called as Dravideswara) lived with his people in this region which borders western side of South India. The identification of Pancha Dravida in South India was perhaps due to this reason. When the first floods occurred in the Arabian sea, Manu and his men were pushed to North India via  Dwaraka and entered the Saraswati River. That group fanned out and spread all over North India in course of time.