Previous articles of this series can be read here
Megaron in Tiryns is an old temple structure and is pre-Greek. The structure is again reminiscent of Pandyan Court where intellectuals met and inaugurated their compositions. In Tamil lands, these congregations, called as Sangam assemblies took place in the presence of the deity, Lord Shiva. All the compositions were addressed to Shiva who was known as “IRaiyanAr” in Tamil. In other words, the Sangam assemblies were held at Shiva temple. The temple for Meenakshi in Madurai was the location of the 3rd Sangam assemblies.
The Megaron temple complex at Tiryns looks like such a temple. This temple fulfils the Vastu sastra requirements. First of all it is aligned to east- west direction. The inner dimensions are 23 by 11.50 m which makes it 2:1. According to Mayamatham chapter 26 – verses 6 to 9, the length of the building to be twice its width is appropriate for temples. For monasteries and hermitages, length more than double the width is good. For ordinary people the length must not be more than double its width. The Megaron at Tiryns fulfils this basic dimension for temple construction. (It must be reminded here that one Mayan inaugurated a Tamil Text titled “AinthiRam” in the 2nd Sangam Assembly. It was about the control and sharpening of the mind of the architect by concentrating on PraNava –OM)
The structure also looks similar to a Hindu temple in having 3 parts – a front porch, an intermediary ardha mantapa and the inner sanctum sanctorum. The plan of the Megaron temple at Tiryns is shown here.
Schematic plan of a megaron complex. 1: anteroom, 2: hall (main room), 3: columns in Porch and hall.
The following is how it looks now.
This temple looks like “Eka-shala” or single hall structure with a front porch supported by two pillars and a main hall with 4 pillars facing each other. In the middle of the four pillars is seen a circular hearth which fits with the description of Yajna kunda in the middle. In the above picture the central circular fire pit can be seen. The 4 +2 pillar arrangement fits with six-pillared structure called “anuloma” type of pillars.
(click the images to see the details)
The entrance is through west so that one faces east when in front of the fire pit. In the case of yajnas, the facing direction is east and this fits well with the western entrance in Tiryns Megaron temple.
There is supposed to be a throne in the southern wall. This is not so with Megarons in other locations of the Mycenaean culture. Tiryns Megaron being oldest and that which fits the probability of Tirayan Pandyans having migrated here, there is scope to reason out that the south was remembered for their early roots and also for South being the direction of Shiva as Dakshinamurthy. These people had done ancestor-worship too which is also related to Southern direction in Vedic culture followed by Tamils.
In the other sites of later origin, the throne in the south is missing thereby showing a loss of remembrance of an old culture which the first few generations of migrations would have remembered well.
The interesting information from researchers of this site is that this temple of Megaron was used for poetry, meetings, feasts and worships. This was the same as in Sangam assemblies where a seat for Lord Shiva was always and the poets delivered their verses in the assumed presence of Lord Shiva.
The temple was part of the complex which houses the royal court and the king and queen’s chambers. See the picture below that shows the entrance to Megaron from the court.
This kind of all–in-one place was a feature in the palace of Tamil kings. The king’s palace was called as temple – “Koyil” in Tamil which is the name in Tamil for all temples too. It means ko+ il = the house of the king / God, as it was the tradition to regard the king as God. In the case of Pandyan kings, the temple or Koyil of Lord Shiva was the location of the Sangam Assembly.
Another interesting feature of this Megaron was that the ground features of the throne shows that libations were done. The following picture shows cuttings on the ground in the floor for the throne with libation hollows and channels for water to run off. Pouring libations or bathing the God or the King is a feature of the Vedic system.
The early Tamil kings under their preceptor sage Agasthya were known to have been always engaged in doing Yajnas and getting bathed by the sacred water. There comes such a reference in the 6th chapter of Raghuvamsa written by Kalidasa that a Pandyan king who attended the Swayamvar of Princess Indumathi (who later married Aja, the grandfather of Rama) was seen wet due to the abhsiheka water (libations) poured by Sage Agasthya after conducting the yajnas for him.
In the Megaron complex at Tiryns there exists a small room fitted with a slab showing an exit channel for water to drain off. The exit channel slopes towards North east is information of interest to us. See the picture below. This is as per Vedic vaastu.
On the topic of water use, there exists a place close to Megaron temple within the Palace complex which was used only for washing the feet! (read here). This is something strange to find outside the Vedic society. Only in the Vedic society washing one’s feet before entering a premise, particularly if it is a temple is practiced even today. Such a practice in Tiryns Megaron, can be connected to the practices taken by Tirayan Pandyans in the new lands they settled.
Now coming to the name Megaron, it does have a Tamil connection. MAgha is the name of the 10th star of the zodiac. In Tamil, it is pronounced as Magam. This word ‘Magam” also means Yajna in Tamil! There was a “Maga viNmeen kOttam” – meaning “temple for Maga star” - in Pumpukaar as per the Sangam text of Pattinappaalai. Please note that the temple itself was known by the name “Maga” and not by the name of any deity. The Maga temples must have been popular in ancient Tamil period – either for Maasi Maga festival (better known as Kumbha mela) or as a place for doing Yajnas (Vedic sacrifices). The Megaron as it is known in Greek seems to be the place for Maga (yajna) established by Tirayan Pandyan. From Magam or Maga, the word had later altered into Megaron. The statue of Pandion reportedly found in Megaron by olden travellers of Greece, gives a strong connection to ‘Maga’ yajna shala brought to Greece by Tirayan Pandyan kings.
With this background I am going to bring to the attention of readers an important feature found in the Room of idols in the citadel. It is the “a scarab of Queen Tiye of Egypt, who was married to Amenhotep III” ( read here). Why was this kept here? What was the connection between this queen of Egypt and Tiryns?
This queen was the mother of Akhenaten, the Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt who introduced the new cult of Sun God called Aten. Until then Ra was worshipped as the Sun God by Egyptians. But Akhenaten introduced Aten whom he came to know from his marine connections, say the researchers. Readers may recall my earlier article on Tutankhamun (Read here ) where I had shown that Aten was in fact Athan (ஆதன்), the Tamil word for Sun as Bhaga, the blind one. Athavan (ஆதவன்) is how Sun was called in Tamil. This Sun travels in the sky on his horse driven chariot. But Ra, the Sun God worshiped in Egypt until then was depicted as travelling in a boat. Aten introduced by Akhenaten was similar to Tamil – Vedic Sun God.
This cult of Aten existed briefly during the time of Akhenaten and his son Tutankhamun but was given up sooner by the powerful priests of Egypt. It was only during the time that Atenism was in use, we find the ear piercing habit (of the Vedic society) among the Egyptian Pharaohs and their men. Details can be read in the article I have given in that link.
Akhenaten’s mother’s image in the scarab found at Tiryns of the same period raises the possibility of her coming from Tiryns people. This mother’s name was Tiye and her image also shows her wearing an ear ornament. See the image below now housed at Berlin Museum Her period was 1398 BC – 1338 BC coinciding with the period when Tiryns was at the height of civilisation.
According to scholars, her name was non-Egyptian and she was foreign to Egypt. Her features also were not Egyptian. They were also not Greek but her image on scarab found at Tiryns and the ear piercing habit shows that she could have been related to the Tirayan Pandyans. Her name also sounds close to Tirayan / Tiryns.
The Vedic altar at Megaron showing the presence of Vedic cult at Tiryns at that time does indicate the prevalence Vedic Thought and Vedic deities in Tiryns. This woman’s connection to Egypt shows that those ideas were taken up by her son and introduced as a cult of Aten in Egypt.
Aten – must have been a original deity of Athens too – given that they sound similar. Athens, is the seat of pride of Greeks of later times. Our opponents are foolishly saying that we Indians borrowed ideas from Greeks after Alexander’s invasion. But look at the time of 15th to 13th BC Greece. The name Aten had existed in the not so far away land of Egypt. The root word for Athens is not Greek according to scholars. Then what was it?
Let me explain. Athens was a plural word Athēnai in Ancient Greek. But in Homeric Greek it was a singular word, Athēnē. Similar to this is how the Mycenae – the civilisation that existed in Tiryns in 15th to 12th century BC was called. It was a singular name “Mykēnē” during Homer’s times.
It was written as m-w-k-i-n-u and pronounced as Mukanai by the Mycenaeans.
This was how it was in the Late Helladic Period
when Tiryns was enriched by Mycenaean culture,
when Crete (pronounced as Kiriti - the corrupt form of Kiratas of the Mahabharata period) was enriched by Minoan culture and
Egypt was having Atenism introduced by Akhenaten who followed the Long Ear tradition of the Vedic society.
The Mycenaeans at Tiryns called themselves as MukAnaI – phonetically as MukAna. There is even an inscription found in Egypt that mentions a place called Mukana (here). MukAna seems to be the original name by which the people who occupied Tiryns were called. This name – MukAna- sounds like a Tamil name – MukkaNNa.( முக்கண்ணா). It means 3-eyed. Lord Shiva is known as ‘Mukkannan” (முக்கண்ணன்) in Tamil lands. (moonRu+kannan = . mukkannan = three- eyed person) as He had an additional eye in the forehead.
The Mycenaean culture is known for Cyclopes, the people with eye on the forehead. In Part 20 of this series I showed that Cyclopes could have been the Kaikkola of Tamil lands, the devotees of Lord Shiva who painted an eye in their forehead.
If that society was a Tamil society, then they would have called them as “Mukkanna” – meaning “three-eyed” – a name by which Lord Shiva is called.
Mukkanna became Mukana and changed by later Greeks with Greek letters that was spelt as Mycenae.
The same change has happened with “Athan” ஆதன் – the Tamil name for Sun. (a – is pronounced as “a” in auspicious). This name was very common in the Sangam age and there are many Athans in Tamil texts. The Egyptian Pharaoh carried the concept of Athan as Aten to Egypt. Like Mukkana, it was Athana or Athan in pre-Greece of the Mycenaean period. It became Athens later.
The Greeks think that Athena was the patron Goddess of Athens. A 1sr century BC sculpture of Athena is given below.
Look at her pose – her hands. This is the characteristic posture of none other than Lord Rama of the Solar dynasty of Ayodhya! The raised hand of Athena must hold the bow and the lowered right hand must hold the bow. Let me show the same pose of Lord Rama of the famous temple of Vaduvur in Tamilnadu.
The deity without the weapons in hand is shown above. The hand posture can be compared with Athena’s posture.
Shown below is the same deity with the weapons in the hands.
From Athan to Sun connected to Rama of the Solar dynasty – whose name was popular throughout Europe as seen from many names of places with Rama or Ram in them – must have either been worshiped in Tiryns or more probably in Crete, the land of Kiratas who along with Yavanas shifted from North East India to Greece (analysis in another article) – this posture of Rama was retained in Athens / Athana of the Pre-Greek society but transformed into a female form in the pre-Hellenistic Greece. Take a look at Athena’s face in the tetradrachm silver coin of 499 BCE. She is seen wearing ear ornament!
This is unusual to expect in Hellenistic Greece. This shows the previous tradition of ear boring that the Tiryans or Mukkanai brought from their parent culture. This also shows that pre- Greece or what we may call as Proto-Greece was peopled with those who carried the memories of Gods of the Vedic society. One of the routes of this memory is through Tirayan Pandyans who settled down as Pandions, Etruscans and Mycenaeans. The Minoans of Crete had a different route and they came along with Yavanas whose early location was North east India. But by their name Minoan, it is known that they also had Tamil connection. With so many indicators for a transfer of Thought from Vedic society to Greece, the claims of opponents are anything but childish. We will see more proofs in the next article.