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Friday, January 10, 2014
Is Vedic astrology derived from Greek astrology? (Part 28) (Boomerang and Ramayan monkey in Minoan Crete)
Previous articles of this series can be read here.
Minoans of Crete are considered to be the earliest
people of Greece. In the earlier posts we saw only the Kri-Kri connection to
Tamil word and the Vedic astrology concept of Mesha rashi (Aries). In this post
let me show other connections to Tamil or rather the South Asian or South East
The name Minoan sounds close to Tamil word Minavan. It means fisher man. The Pandyan kingdom was
originally located in 49 islands of the Indian Ocean between the present day India in the north and Australia in the south and extended till
Africa in the east and Indonesia in the west. It is probable that some of the
regions of the submerged parts of Sundaland
and Australia were originally peopled by Pandyan subjects, the Tamil
speaking people. Their main occupation was fishing as they were bound by the sea.
Their locations were mainly present as the peaks of the now completely
submerged Ninety Degree East range and the extension of the Western Ghats upto
Madagascar. Andaman and Nicobar islands are the still surviving parts of the
Ninety Degree East range. Maldives are the peaks of the extended Western Ghats.
The early names of these lands as told in Tamil
texts also show that they were sea-bound lands. Apart from fishing, they raised
cattle too as it is known from the Sangam text verse that says that the olden
tribes of “Ayar” – the cow-herds managed to
survive the sea floods and they along with their king landed in the Southern
tip of South India. It is also known from these texts that the Pandyan king
annexed territories from Cholan and Cheran kings to make place for these Ayars
to settle down. One such region is Mutthoor kooRRam
where the present day Kangeyam is situated. Kangeyam
is known for Bull fights. I am mentioning these
here as an introductory ideas for what I am going to say later on the Cretan
bull exercises. From Sangam age verses on these Ayars we get know many things
about the life of cowherds in the past.
What is interest is that if we go further North in
the Western Ghats we arrive at continuing mountain ranges where people called
as “Mina” are still living. These regions and these people are still there in
Gujarat and Rajasthan. Their life style resembles that of an ancient Tamil in
the sunken mountain peaks of the Indian Ocean. For example, the Mina tribes
still live one family in each peak. That is each family occupies a peak –
actually on small hill-tops of long range of hill chain in Gujarat and
Rajasthan– and live there as a separate entity. They grow cattle, graze them
within the peak they live. Nowadays they have spread out. But this kind of
living is an inevitable one in the chain of islands (peaks of Western ghats in
Indian ocean), where the people were separated by the sea. Each family would
have been living on top of a peak – so as to avert danger from water. They had grown
cattle and also must have engaged in fishing. This was how the ancient Tamils
would have lived before the last deluge gobbled up the peak- islands.
The Mina people are also known for stealing and
plundering – something I explained of the Eyittiyas in Part
21. They lived in the southern part of the Western Ghats whereas the Minas
are in the northern most parts of the ranges that continue upto Rajasthan.
The entire western ghat range served as a path way
for the sea-bound people of Indian Ocean to settle down at various places of
the ghats. The Mina tribes of Gujarat and Rajasthan must have been the
surviving tribes of the ancient people of the Indian Ocean habitat. Their present
habitat is on low level hillocks. They could have as well chosen to live on the
plains of Gujarat and Rajasthan. But their choice of the low hill tops – one for
each family smacks of an old habit. But their name as Mina with no chance for
fishing in the region where they live now shows that it had been with them
since long – that is, even before they shifted to this part of the mountain
range. In the habitat at the Indian Ocean peaks, they must have gained this
name as Mina which means fish.
Taking up this idea of Mina to Minoan, the link does
exist from King Minos onwards.
The name as Minoan civilisation was coined recently by researchers. It was
obviously taken from the name of king Minos. His period comes after the
4-pillar story of the Titan Gods that included Krios. In that story narrated in
26, Zeus was the hero who finally restored order. King Minos was the son of
Zeus born to Europa
after whom the continent of Europe has been named. That she is Ai-rUpa (pronounced
as “I-roopa”) – the one in the form of Goddess Ai is a connection from Tamil –
Vedic culture, I will be writing it in another post. Here I am just saying that
the name Minos sounds Meenva – the one connected with fish.
It is said by researchers that there exists a name
Minoan in Linear A. According to La Marle's reading of Linear A,it
is read as mwi-nu ro-ja
(Minos the king). The royal title ro-ja is read on several documents, including on stone libation
tables from the sanctuaries (1
This name Roja sounds like Raja – the way the king
is addressed in Tamil and everywhere in India. “mwi-nu ro-ja” sound like
“Mina raja” or “ Meenava Raja” – the king
of fishes or fisher folks. This title was apt for the people who live in the
sea and subsist on fishing.
The paintings of fish are common in Minoan art. One illustration
is shown below.
The following picture from Minoan civilisation shows
the fisherman with his catch. Note his body colour.
In various arts of the Minoan the body colour is
shown as dark or white. A mix up of people of different body hues had happened
in that region. The dark colour is possible only for those in tropical regions.
The dark skinned people from fishing community had migrated to Crete.
Wherefrom they had migrated? Here is a picture of a
man giving us the answer for this. This man has something in his hand.
Researchers think that he is guiding cattle. One researcher
even says that he is a priest leading cattle for sacrifice. Now look at the
thing at his hand. It is not attached with any rope or an animal. It is clearly
shown as – a BOOMERANG
This is how a Boomerang looks. Now look at the thing
in the man’s hand.
This is also a Boomerang. The man is preparing to throw the boomerang. That is depicted in the painting.
There are only two places
in the globe where Boomerangs are used, one is the aboriginal regions of Australia
and another is near Madurai in Tamillands. The presence of boomerangs in
Australian tribes was accepted as a native weapon. But when it was discovered
that Kallar tribes
near Madurai were using this weapon for ages, it was intriguing. But with a genetic
study on Piramalaik Kallar, a section of Kallars, the link has been
understood. This genetic study showed that these people are direct descendants
of African people with their connection going upto 70,000 years ago.
How could these people come from Africa to South
India? If we accept the Tamil literary contention of ancient Tamils living in
the Indian Ocean regions (now sunken), it is easy to accept that people had got
dispersed from their Indian Ocean habitat. There also exists recent research of
influnece in Australia about 4000 years ago. No one migrated from South
India to Australia. The people who were living in scattered islands of Indian Ocean
as far as Australia had got cut off from the Indian side people when the
Indian ocean habitas got completely lost.
( A note on Minas here in connection with Tamil
Kallar tribes whose links go to Africa – perhaps through the link of the sunken
Western ghats section. Kallar means thief. But they were valiant people. There
is inscriptional evidence that they guarded the temples. Perhaps they were the "Galla",
as how the first generation of Kshatriya vratyas were called. In Tamil Galla
got converted as Kalla due to absence of ‘ga’ letter in Tamil. A section Mina tribes too were valiant ones and
had served as soldiers in ancient times. Thus similar traits can be seen between
Kallars and Minas strengthening the contention that they originally belonged to
the Indian Ocean habitat in a remote past.)
A Minoan holding this Boomerang shows that he comes
from the stock of people from the Indian Ocean or South Asian habitat who
dispersed westwards, and finally found a place in Crete. This Boomerang is a strong indication of an early origin in the
Indian Ocean habitat.
Another illustration of interest to us depicts
It is normally expected that an artist wanting to
show monkeys would depict the monkey life – as how it is making mischief or
jumping from tree to tree. But no such regular incidents are shown in this picture.
This scene reminds us of the monkeys building the bridge of Setu across the sea
in Ramayana. This idea may seem preposterous but look at the scene and the body
of the monkeys. A researcher of the Minoan civilisation admits that there is no
painter of that time could have seen these monkeys. These monkeys are not
like the ones that are seen today in Greece. Generally monkeys are tropical in
habitat. These monkeys look like the ones that we see in South India. (Shown
In Minoan scene the lower part shows waves as if the
base is the sea. On the right side the monkeys are seen
pulling or plucking the branches. On the left side the moneys are seen to be climbing
on boulders. The monkey on top on the left is seen to be placing a huge rock.
(or it’s an aberration, I am not sure).
The scene looks like a more realistic illustration of the building of the
bridge across the sea by the monkeys called Vanaras. In the description in
Ramayana, the monkeys used boulders and tree trunks to form a path way across
the ocean. How could this be created in Crete unless the people of that time
had retained a memory from a land of their origin in the Indian Ocean?
The Tamil connection to the memory of this scene
from Ramayana cannot be doubted, as there exists a poem from Sangam age where
it is said that the land where Rama stayed to build the bridge across the ocean
was in the Pandyan land! (2)
This poem used the term “Gawriya” (கௌரியர்) for Pandyans – the term by which they
were known in a remote past. It means coming in the lineage of Gowri or
Meenakshi who was the princess of the ancient Pandyan lineage. She married
Shiva and gave birth to Kumara or Skanda. It was in her times, the script of
Tamil was developed and First literary assembly called Sangam was inaugurated.
The poem says “in the
ancient tip of land where the sea crashes, of the Gowriya who are always
successful with their spears..” . The reference was to the region in
Rameswaram which has been under the control of Pandyan kings from times of
yore. The presence of this verse shows the remembrance of this place by the
subjects of Pandyan king. This story was folklore in those times. The people
who had left this part of the world are sure to remember it and reproduce it in
the new places where they had settled. There are other features connecting
Minoans to Tamils. We will see them in the next post.