Tuesday, March 26, 2013

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

This series posted so far: 

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. 


The linguistic studies of the past two centuries had led us to believe that there existed a language division in India as Dravidian and Indo European. But anyone with some knowledge of Tamil Sangam texts and an exposure to Valmiki Ramayana and Mahabharata, would say that this is wrong. For many thousands of years there existed only two languages in India, a human tongue, called as Manushya Bhasha in Valmiki Ramayana and a divine tongue, the Deva bhasha. Though there is no doubt about what was known as Deva bhasha, not much research was done on what was known as Manushya Bhasha. That Manushya Bhasha must have been a language spoken in South India (because Hanuman knew that), in North India (because Sita knew that) and even in Srilanka because that is where Hanuman and Sita spoke, part of which could have been overheard by the guards of Sita. 

My continuing association with the three (Olden Tamil texts, Ramayana of Valimki and Mahabharata) led me to deduce that Tamil was spoken as the Manushya Bhasha throughout the length and breadth of the Indian sub continent. While refined Tamil was spoken in core Tamil lands where the Sangam assemblies were held, a form of proto Tamil (that existed before Tamil was refined with Grammar) continued to be present in the rest of India. In course of time this proto Tamil fused with Sanskrit and gave rise to other languages of India.  In this series, I would be placing on record the proofs for all these. Let me begin with Valmiki. It is everybody's knowledge that Valmiki wrote the Ramayana in Sanskrit. What many do not know is that Valmiki knew Tamil also and had authored some Tamil works! 

The present article brings them out. The original was written in Tamil in 2011. It can be read here: http://thamizhan-thiravidana.blogspot.in/2011/08/65.html (வால்மீகியும்தமிழும்.

 My sincere thanks to Mr TG Saranathan (Former chief of Telecom, Tamilnadu Circle) for translating this article from Tamil.



Tolkappiyam [tolkAppiyam] is considered as the oldest Tamil grammar available in Tamil literature. It states that Tamil language was taught as three types: Primary, Intermediary and Secondary.  In his interpreation, Naccinārkkiniyar, an early commentator for Tolkappiyam, says that the First category or the Primary education was the study of Tamil poetic works of Iraiyanar (Lord Shiva), Agastya, Markandeya, Valmiki, Gautama and the likes. This is a thought provoking statement.

("தமிழ்ச் செய்யுட் கண்ணும் இறையனாரும்,  
கவுதமனாரும் போலார் செய்தன தலை".)

We know Valmiki as the famous Author of Srimad Ramayanam. But here, if we think that studying that epic Ramayanam of Valmiki, is the Primary learning, then it is  not so! The words "Tamil poetic works of Valmiki" clearly indicate that Valmiki had composed poems in Tamil.

When we search for works of Valmiki in Tamil, we find that  the 358th poem in Purananuru is by Valmiki [Factually it is mentioned as Vanmiki. But in Tamil letters 'l' and 'n' are interchangeable] . In writing the history of the poets of Purananuru, Dr.U.V.Swaminatha Iyer, considered as Grand father of Tamil, records that a Poet named Valmiki lived during the 1st Sangam period. But due to non-availability of supporting data, he concluded that this Valmiki and Ramayana Valmiki were different.
But the name Valmiki came into being due to a specific reason. Valmiki's original name was Ratnakar (Prachedas) Since because he was covered by an ant- hill from which he emerged, he gained the name Valmiki. Due to the specific causative nature of this name, it is not possible that two different persons could have got the name, Valmiki. One may say that there is a community in Andhra Pradesh, with Valmiki as family title. But this name was adopted only a few hundred years ago.

There is no indication of existence of two Valmikis, one in Sanskrit and another in Tamil literature. But the fact remains that the name Valmiki exists in Tamil works. Naccinārkkiniyar says that people studied the Tamil works of Valmiki. 

Searching for the Tamil works of Valmiki, there is one in the Sangam literature of Purananuru. There is another as a collection of Tamil poems attributed to Valmiki Siddhar, under the name Valmiki Sixteen (vAlmIkan padhinARu). Yet another composition bearing his name is  Srimad Ramayanam is in Sanskrit.

If we examine all these three works it is evident that the same Valmiki has rendered all of them. 
In all these three works, a common theme is found. That theme is - Sri or Lakshmi, also referred to as Mother, who incarnated as Sita.

Valmiki Ramayanam starts with the words 'mA nishAdha' and the word 'mA' denotes Mother according to scholars.

The Siddha work, 'Valmiki Sixteen' also emphasizes worshiping Mother and importance Vedas. ('தாயாரைப் பூசித்து வேதம் ஓது')This is different from other Siddhas' works. The Purananuru verse also speaks about the glory of Sri, the Mother.

Since we find Mother who is identified as Lakshmi or Sri as the main theme in all these three works, we can conclude that the same person - Valmiki- has authored all of them. Let us analyse the verses of Valmiki to understand this. 

Purananooru:  358th verse

It is a seven line poem found by Dr U.V.Swaminatha Iyer in the old palm leaf compilations of Puranauru. It bears the poet's name as "Vaanmeekiyaar" or VaanmIkaiyaar" in different palm leaves. Both are the Tamilsed forms of Vaalmiki. As a mark of respect, a suffix "aar" is added to the name. Therefore Valmiki +aar = Valmikiyaar in Tamil. The verse is as follows:

"பரிதி சூழ்ந்த விப்பயன்கேழு மாநிலம்
ஒரு பகல் எழுவர் எய்தியற்றே
வையமும் தவமும் தூக்கிற்றவக்துக்
கையவி யனைத்து மாற்றா தாகலிர்
கைவிட்டனரே காதலர் அதனால்
விட்டோரை விடாள் திருவே
விடாதோர் இவள் விடப்பட்டோரே "

Meaning in Tamil

இந்த உலகம் எல்லாப்பக்கங்களிலும் சூரியனால் சூழப்பட்டுஅதாவது அதன் ஒளியால் சூழப்பட்டுஅந்த சூரியன் பொருட்டு கொடுக்கப்படும் அவிப்பயனையும் பெற்றுஒரு பகலில் ஏழு பேர்களால் (ஏழு ஓரைகள்அடையப்படுகிறதுஅப்படிப்பட்ட இந்த உலகத்தின் பொருட்டு கிடைக்கின்ற பயனையும்தவத்தின் பயனையும்ஒரு தராசில் எடை பார்த்தால்உலக இன்பத்தால் கிடைக்கும் பயன்ஒரு வெண்சிறுகடுகளவும் இருக்காதுஅதனால் காதலர்கள் (காதலர் = வீடு பேறு விரும்புவோர்). உலக இன்பத்தைக் கைவிட்டனர்அப்படி விட்டவர்களை திரு என்னும் லக்ஷ்மியானவள் கைவிட மாட்டாள்ஆனால் உலக இன்பங்களை விடாதவர்களை லக்ஷ்மியானவள் கை விட்டு விடுவாள்.

In the Tamil grammar rules for poetry, this verse has been classified under the main heading "Householder's dharma" (Gruhastha dharma) and the sub heading of a diametrically opposite theme of "Asceticism" (Sanyasa Dharma)! The meaning of this verse explains this strange combination. It is as follows:

 "This World surrounded on all sides by the brilliance of Sun, accepts the offerings made to the Sun (god) and attains benefits with the efforts of Seven persons (horas) in the day. If we judiciously compare such benefits attained by this World  and the benefits of penance, the benefits got by the World would be trivial. Therefore, lovers (desirous of Eternal bliss or Moksham) would forego Worldly pleasures. Such people are never deserted by Sri (Lakshmi). But those who are after Worldly pleasures, would be deserted by Her"

Normally, we assume that Sri or Lakshmi is responsible for our Worldly wealth. She bestows the wealth. In this verse Valmiki makes a subtle distinction between whether we should seek Sri / Lakshmi Herself or her gift of wealth. He gives a solution too that we should select the former. If we are after Her – and not after the wealth that she gives, we would not be deserted by Her. In this he gives a subtle Vaishnavite idea that She is the prime facilitator for Moksha or Liberation. It is because of Her blessings, one is blessed to attain salvation granted by Vishnu (or Rama if we take the events of Ramayana into consideration. The glory of Sri or Sita is the foremost theme of Ramayana. This work was indeed named as "sIthAyA charitam mahat" by Valmiki. He did not coin the name Ramayana.). The poem conveys that if we are after mere wealth, Sri or  Lakshmi would desert us; but if we pursue Eternal bliss and forego the material wealth, Sri Lakshmi will never desert us. Such persons graced by Her, would attain siddhi or unusual skills, mind control and Eternal bliss or Moksham.

As if to continue with this theme, the Valmiki Sixteen also conveys the same concept.
The theme in the 16 verses of the Valmiki Sixteen is different from the themes of all other works of other Siddhas. All others praise lord Shiva as the Ultimate God who blesses one with Moksha. But Valmiki differs from them. In the very first verse of Valmiki Sixteen, he says that Shiv Shakti emerged from Vishnu, the Consort of Sri / Lakshmi

'சிவசக்தி திருமாலின் ரூபமாகும்.
வருமுருவே சிவசக்தி வடிவமாகும்'

This concept is radically different from the concept of other Siddhas. This is conceded by the poet Valmiki himself in subsequent verses. He mentions in the 11th verse that seeing his concept to be different, other Siddhas complained to Lord Shiva. Poet Valmiki says further, that Shiva was angry with those Siddhas only. His theme (of Vishnu being the Primary force from which Shiva- Shakthi emerged) conveyed in these poems were regarded as the key (to understand all poems of all other Siddhas.

சிவசிவா பதினெண்பேர் பாடற் கெல்லாம்
திறவுகோல் வால்மீகன் பதினாறாகும்: 
சிவம்பெத்த சித்தரேல்லா மென்னூல் பார்த்துச்
சிவனோடே கோள் சொன்னார் சினந்தான் நாதன்:
அவமாகிப் போகாமல் சிவனுத் தார
அருளினால் திறந்து சொன்னேன் உலகுக்காக:
நவமான நவக்கிரகம் தன்னுளேயே
நாக்கு வாய் செவி மூக்கு மத்திக்கப்பால். (11)

நாக்கு வாய் செவி மூக்கு மத்திக் கப்பால்
நடுவீதி குய்ய முதல் உச்சி தொட்டுத்
தாக்குவாய் அங்கென்ற அதிலே முட்டுத்
தாயாரைப் பூசித்து வேதம் ஓது: (12)

While the other Siddhas preached to forsake Vedas, this poet Valmiki preached that people must to chant Vedas. In addition he says that Vedas should be pursued after worshiping Divine Mother.
One might argue that this Mother is the Shakti in Shiv-Shakti. But this poet and also other Siddhas have regarded Shiv-Shakti as Father- Mother as being together - Parents - as a single entity. 

No siddha  has preached to worship Mother alone. In fact Siddhas have glorified Ardhanareeswara - half male-half female- image of Shiva, as a singular entity. Moreover the  Siddhas have indicated Shakti separately as Shakti and not the way Poet Valmiki had done.

Poet Valmiki's concept is found in Vedas also. There is a verse in Sri Sooktham  in Rig Veda which says that it is far better to get Sri rather than getting Her gift of wealth. The verse of Purananooru and Valmiki Sixteen follow this Vedic concept. 

Valmiki while writing Ramayana describes it as 'sIthAyA charitam mahat' (the Great History of Sita). In the final days of Sita in this World, Valmiki gave Her parental protection and remained devoted to Her. The affection he had for Sita was very great. Therefore, we are tempted, after observing the glory of Mother in the Tamil works, to believe that Valmiki of Ramayana had rendered the Tamil poems too.

In Tamilnadu, there are two places connected with Valmiki:  Ettikkudi and Tiruvanmiyur(Chennai).
Thiruvanmiyur is the place where Valmiki had worshiped Lord Shiva as Marundeeshwara. (Shiva who is Himself the medicine that cures) 

 In the Sthala Purana (temple history) of Marundeeswara temple in Tiruvanmiyur, Valmiki's history is narrated. This is same as the history of Valmiki who wrote Ramayana. In reality, Valmiki was the son of a sage and his original name was Prachetas. As a boy he was lost in the forest and a hunter brought him up. While he grew up as a hunter and thief, an incident made him to renounce family life and to practice meditation. As he was in penance, he remained motionless, for many years, and was covered by anthill of white ants. White ants are called valmeekam in Sanskrit. Thus he got the name Valmiki. This narration of Valmiki's history is found in the temple records.

Since Valmiki worshiped Marundeeswara of this temple, the place is known as Thiru Vanmi(ki) oor or Tiruvanmiyur. 

(Image of Valmiki worshiped in this temple)

Another place in Tamilnadu having the memory of Valmiki is Ettikkudi.  Valmiki attained Samadhi in Ettikkudi, near Nagappattinam. This is mentioned in the books on Siddhas. A plant by name Etti (nux vomica) grew in plenty in this place, due to which this place got the name Ettikkudi. It is now called Ettukkudi. Here in the temple for Subramanya, there is a sannidhi for Valmiki.

One of the Siddha in his poem confirms that Valmiki attained samadhi here, in Ettukudi. Not only that, he also affirms that the same Valmiki of Ramayana fame, wrote Tamil poems also.

In his book 'Bogar Seven Thousand' (Bogar 7000), Siddha Bogar in the verse 5834 confirms that Valmiki, who wrote Ramayana, was the same author of Valmiki Sixteen. In the next verse 5835, he says that Valmiki was a great Tamil poet and lived for more than 700 years through his mystic powers. He also says that Valmiki did not enter into Samadhi state to leave his mortal coils. He also gives his birth details. He was born to a 'Kuratthi' woman (hill tribe) in the month of Purattasi (Bhadrapada), in the 4th pada of star Anusha  (Anuradha). (1) 


A curious connection between Bogar and Valmiki is that they both are associated with medicine. While Valmiki worshiped Shiva as 'Lord of Medicine', Bogar was known for having created the image of Lord Muruga of Palani from medicinal herbs.  The Siddhas in general are said to have conquered diseases through their expert knowledge of herbal medicine. 

Siddha Bogar has categorically stated that the Valmiki associated with Tamilnadu was the one who wrote Ramayana in Sanskrit.

Valmiki lived during the days of Sri Rama, that is about 7000 years ago. (Rama's birth date.)
 That was the time when First Tamil sangam  was prevailing in Thennan Deasm [It means "Country of the Southerner". The ancient Pandyan Kingdom was called so. Readers must take note that it was not known as 'Kumari Kandam'. This name does not exist in any of the sangam texts or olden commentaries. ]. Dr.U.V.Swaminatha Iyer mentions that Valmiki, the author of the Puranauru verse lived in the First Tamil Sangam and it fits with Ramayana age. (Refer the article given at the end of this post on time periods of Tamil Sangam)

Valmiki who lived on the banks of Sarayu and Ganges rivers, had come to South India and had participated in the Sangam traditions in South Madurai (not the present Madurai). How is this possible? From Nacchinarkkiniyar's commentary (given at the beginning of this article) it is known that Valmiki had contributed more to Tamil which were learned by the students as Primary education (Primary in the sense of Foremost or Top most). All those are not available with us today. What we have from Sangam works is the only poem on Sri found in Purananuru. That poem also looks 
different from later sangam poems in its theme and glorification of Sri. It is rare to come across a specific God by name in Purananuru. But this poem by Valmiki mentions – among all the Gods and Goddesses – the name of Sri as Thiru! This shows that this poem comes from an era which we are not familiar with. It also shows that he had attended the first Sangam to inaugurate this verse. 

The question however remains how Valmiki came to know Tamil.   

There are two possible explanations. One was that Tamil was widely spoken all over India in those days.  Another was that people of those days who desired to participate in Tamil Sangam learnt Tamil.
Let me explain the second possibility first. The Sangam assembly was described in Tamil texts as a place where compositions in Tamil were listened by Lord Shiva (Iraiyanar)  Himself. People think that Sangam is a Sanskrit word by which the Tamil Literary assembly was known. No it is not so. The famous Purana of Tamil called Thiruvilaiyadal Puranam which narrates the divine plays of Lord Shiva in the Pandyan country, describes the Sangam assemblies. It says that Shiva was keen on lending his ear adorned with ornament made of shell (shanku) to listen to the beautiful compositions in Tamil. The poet feels gratified because Shiva Himself had listened to his verse through his ear having the shanku ornament (Sangu-th- thOdu in Tamil). That sangu-th thOdu lent its name to Sangam – the literary assembly of Sangam.  The Sangu-th-thOdu of Shiva was the gift for the poet.

{  2138.   விடைக் கடவுள் பின்னின்று வீணை இடத் தோள் கிடத்திப்
புடைத்து நரம்பு எறிந்து மிடற்று ஒலி போக்கிப் பொலம் கொன்றைச்
சடைக் கடவுள் செவி வழிபோய் அருள் பைங் கூழ் தலை எடுப்பத்
தொடைத் தமிழின் இசைப் பாணிச் சுவை அமுத மடை திறந்து.

2143.       பாடுவார் இருவர்க்கு அன்று பரிசிலாக் கொடுத்த சங்கத்
தோடுவார் செவியில் ஊட்டும் தொண்டு கண்டு இதன் மேல் நின்று
பாடுவாய் உனக்கே இந்தப் பலகை }

A person deeply devoted to Lord Shiva, would have considered it as a lifetime achievement to participate in Tamil Sangam, even if he were residing in a remote corner of India in those days. He would have learnt Tamil just to participate in the Sangam. For this reason, Tamil would have been learnt far and wide all over Bharat.

To support this claim, we can show some instances from Sangam texts themselves. There was an Aryan King (Arya arasan) by name Brahma Datta, who was taught Tamil by poet Kapilar (of Tamil sangam fame) (Kurum thogai – verse 184). He composed one long compilation called Kurinjik kali to teach him Tamil! Why should a king of Aryavartha learn Tamil unless learning it was a prestigious one in those days, or learning to compose verses by oneself was considered as an achievement? Kapila's period is roughly 2000 years ago. There is inscriptional evidence to show this. 
There are instances of other persons from North India in whose names, Sangam poems are there. We will discuss them in another article. 

The most important dignitary to have participated in the Sangam assembly was Lord Krishna, the King of Dwarka! This is written by Nakkeeranar in his commentary on Iraiyanar Kalaviyal.  Krishna participated in the Second Tamil Sangam as a Presiding dignitaryThere is no evidence to show that Sri Krishna premiered any poetic works in that Sangam. But he had listened to other Tamil poets. That would be pertinent only if Sri Krishna also was well versed in Tamil.
Tamil was continuously enriched by compositions by commoners and sages as well. Valmiki's name is associated with highest level of education of Tamil literature. 

Along with him, the names of Markandeya, Gautama and Agastya have been mentioned by Naccinārkkiniyar. Agastya, the leader among Siddhas, refined Tamil (proto-Tamil) with grammar. Most of the Siddhas have conversed in Tamil and had created Tamil poems. Patanjali and Markandeya appear in the list of Siddhas knowing Tamil. The commonality among all Siddhas is that all of them were devotees of Shiva. In those times Shiva was glorified as the Lord of the South and had helped in the development of Tamil.

So it is probable that all Shiva devotees congregated in Thennan's country and sang in praise of Lord Shiva in Tamil. They had also conversed with local people in Tamil. The poems of Siddhas are too many and quite a few of them are attributed to well known North Indian sages. One cannot simply ignore them as compositions by others done in the name of those sages. The most popular sage of Ramayana times, who guided Rama at two crucial times in his life – during his sojourn in the forest and during the war with Ravana – was sage Agastya whose name is associated with Tamil as one who developed Tamil grammar. He was a well known sage of the Siddha group in Tamil lands. So it is not correct to say that the Tamil compositions of Siddhas were written by someone else. 

Learning Tamil for the sake of composing verses to be inaugurated in the Sangam assembly could thus be one reason for the presence of Tamil in different parts of India in those days. Another possibility is that Tamil was the spoken language of the common people all over India. From the explanations above, we deduce that Valmiki had known and spoken Tamil. That gives rise to the probability that many others would have known or spoken Tamil like him during his times (Ramayana times). If it was spoken by almost all the people across the entire country, then it is qualified as Mansuhya Bhasha. 

Unless some such common language was available, one could not have expected Sita born in Mithila in Nepal and lived in the Kosala Kingdom in the Ganges valley to have spoken with the female-demons in Srilanka in deep South, in their language, when she was in captivity. And, unless a common language was there, Hanuman living in the forests of Kishkinda in Southern India, could not have understood the threats and contents of the words spoken by Rakshasis to Sita. Hanuman decided to speak to Sita in the language of humans, the Manushya Bhasha, so as to instill confidence in her. That shows that a common language was spoken all over India as early as 7000 years ago (Ramayana times). We will see the clues for Tamil as the Manushya Bhasha of that time in the next article.

(To be continued)


On time period of Ramayana and Tamil Sangam.
Contrary to what people think, Ramayana did not happen lakhs of years ago. It happened in a traceable past – that too at a time when the old Tamil kingdom of Pandyans was flourishing in the South. There is a mention of the location of Kavatapuram, the capital city of the Pandyas in Valmiki Ramayana, and a corroboratory reference to Ravana is also found in the Sinnamanur copper plates of the Pandyans.

When Sita was abducted by Ravana, Pandyan kingdom was thriving in the south. While giving instructions to Hanuman and other vanaras on how to proceed to the southern direction, Sugreeva narrated the places that they would encounter en route. In that context he said that after crossing the river Kaveri, Agastya's abode and then river Tamraparani, they would reach the Kavatam of Pandyasकवाटम् पाण्ड्यानाम् – Valmiki Ramayana, chapter 41 -19). Thereafter they would reach the southern oceans, said Sugreeva. From there they could reach Ravana's Lanka from Mahendra hills!

This Kavatam was the capital of Pandyans during the 2nd sangam period, It was submerged in the 3rd deluge that happened 3500 years ago. Today we could see only the Mahendra hills whose extension into the Indian ocean had gone under water. This extension was the Kumari hills of the Sangam period.

From the narration of Valmiki Ramayana, we come to know that Pandyans were ruling from Kavatam while Ravana was ruling Lanka.

As a cross reference we do have information available in the Sinnamanur copper plates of the Pandyan kings. While tracing the genealogy of Pandyans, these inscriptions make a specific reference to an earlier Pandyan (name not mentioned ) to have made Ravana buy peace (refer verse 5 in this link: - http://www.whatisindia.com/inscriptions/south_indian_inscriptions/volume_3/copper_plates_at_tirukkalar.html )

This is written both in the Sanskrit portion and the Tamil portion of the inscriptions. In Sanskrit it is written "Dasaanan sandheepa rakshakaara". In Tamil the same is written as "dasavathanan saarbaaka sandhu seithum". There was geographic proximity between the Pandyans and Ravana. The Pandyans had some skirmishes with him and at some time, they had the ten-headed Ravana buy truce with them or had negotiated with Ravana for some reason. The reason is not known and the exact event is not known, but the very mention of some interaction with Ravana goes to show that Ravana was not a mythological character, nor a Ramayana a fiction. It also shows that Ramayana happened in a decipherable past and not lakhs of years ago.

The Tamil texts also give the duration of time periods of the 3 Sangam periods. According to "Irayanaar Kalaviyal urai" written 2000 years ago, the first sangam went on for 4,440 years with Southern Madurai (Then-Madurai) as its epicentre. After a deluge the capital was shifted to Kavaatam where the 2nd sangam went on for 3,700 years. It was in this period Ramayana had happened, as per the above references of Valmiki Ramayana and Sinnamaur inscriptions. This location was also lost in the deluge after which the 3nd sangam was shifted the present day Madurai. It lasted for 1,850 years with Ugra Peruvazhuthi as its last patron king. Adding all the years we get 9,990 years as the total duration of Tamil sangam period.

This figure was not a mythical figure. It was not written as a matter of fiction. The writer of this figure, Nakkeeranar was not a liar but belonged to the category of poets who had no reason to twist the facts or write a history out of imagination. These figures concur well with deluges of the past that started after the end of Ice Age some 13,000 years ago.

This figure also concurs with a cross reference from a Sangam text and an inscription of the Cholas. The last patron of the 3nd Sangam has been mentioned as Pandyan King Ugra Peruvazhuthi. There is a verse on this king and his contemporary king of the Cholas namely Peru Narkilli, written by the famous poetess Auvaiyaar in Pura Nanuru, a famous Sangam text (verse no 367). This Peru Narkilli is mentioned in the Cholan copper plates of Thiruvalangadu (verse 41 http://www.whatisindia.com/inscriptions/south_indian_inscriptions/volume_3/no_205b_aditya_ii_karikala.html )
The famous  Cholan king Karikal Cholan came after this king as per the records of the Thiruvalangadu plates. Karikalan's time was before the period of Silappadhikaram (1st century CE). By this it is inferred that Peru Narkilli and his contemporary Ugra Peru vazuthi must have lived before 1st century CE or at the turn of the Common Era. This puts the end of 3rd sangam at approximately 2000 years BP.
Now adding up the years of the 3 Sangam periods to this last year of the last sangam at 2000 years BP, we arrive at the following years.
3rd Sangam started around 1850 BC.
2nd Sangam started around 5550 BC
1st Sangam started around 9990 BC.

For our purpose of locating the period of Ramayana, it must have happened after 5550 BC when Kavatam was the capital of Pandyan kings. 
This coincides with a research article by Prof Pushkar Bhatnagar based on the astronomy-inputs of Ramayana that puts the date of birth of Ramayana at 5114 BC!
(http://jayasreesaranathan.blogspot.in/2010/10/ramas-birth-date.html ) Therefore I request the readers to understand that Ramayana was very much an historical event that happened around 7000 years ago when Tamil sangam was thriving under the patronage of Pandyan kings.
There is also a cross reference available from Kalidasa's Raghu vamsam wherein he says that a Pandyan king attended the Swayamvar (self—choice) of Rama's grand mother Indumathi! She chose Aja, Rama's grand father as her groom. By all this it must be understood that we must not allow any more talk of Ramayana being a myth. Ramayana happened in reality. It happened 7000 years ago.

(1) From Bogar 7000.

போற்றுவார் பூதலத்தார் எல்லாருந்தான் பொங்கமுடன் இன்னமொரு மார்க்கஞ்சொல்வேன்
தேற்றமுடன் வால்மீகர் என்றசித்து தெளிவான மார்க்கமது சொல்வேன்பாரீர்
மாற்றமயம் நீங்கியல்லோ வையகத்தில் வளமையுடன் வெகுகால மிருந்தசித்து
ஆற்றலுடன் வால்மீகர் ராமாயணத்தை அவனிதனில் மாந்தருக்கு செய்திட்டாரே.


செய்ததொரு வால்மீகர் வயதேதென்றால் செப்பமுடன் எழுநூற்றுச் சொச்சமப்பா
துய்யதமிழ் பண்டிதனாங் கல்விவானாம் தூய்தான வகப்பேரு கொண்டசித்து
பையவே சமாதிமுகஞ் சென்றதில்லை பாங்குடனே காயாதி கொண்டுதானும்
வெய்யவே நெடுங்கால மிருந்தசித்து வேதாந்த வால்மீகர் தானுமாமே.


தானான வையகத்து மாந்தர்க்கெல்லாம் தகமையுள்ள வால்மீகர் சரிகைதன்னை
கோனான குருவான வால்மீகர்தானும் குவலயத்தில் பேர்கொண்ட ஞானசித்து
தேனான வைதீக சாத்திரங்கள் தெளிவுடனே கட்டிவைத்த ஞானசித்து
பானான பராசரிஷிக் கொப்பதான பாங்கான யடியென்று செப்பலாமே

என்னவே யின்னமொரு வயணஞ்சொல்வேன் எழிலான எந்தனது புத்திவானே
துன்னவே வால்மீகர் பிறந்தநேர்மை துப்புரவாய் அவருடைய வண்மைசொல்வேன்
மன்னவனுக் கொப்பான வால்மீகர்தானும் மகத்தான லோகமதில் பெரியசித்து
சொன்னதொரு புரட்டாசி திங்களப்பா சொற்பெரிய அனுஷமது நாலாங்காலே


காலான வால்மீகர் வேடனப்பா கன்னியாள் பெற்றதொரு குறத்திமைந்தன்
கோலான மராமரா உபதேசங்கள் கொற்றவனார் பெற்றதொரு சித்துமாச்சு
பாலான மாண்பருக்கு ஞானகாண்டம் பகுத்தறிய வால்மீகர் சரிதையப்பா
மாலான வவர்பெருமை யாருக்குண்டு மகத்தான ரிஷிகளுக் கில்லைதானே


Anonymous said...

Madam, I could not stop commenting on this article, eventhough I did not read it completely, I just had a glance. Will go through fully, but it looks deeply interesting. Waiting for more, all the best!

Jayasree Saranathan said...

From: D.K.Hari - Bharath Gyan

Date: Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 6:59 PM
Subject: Re: Non-random-Thoughts:Valmiki of Ramayana knew Tamil! (Spoken language of ancient India - part 1)
To: jayasree

superb. superb. amazing compilation. kudos to u.

from this is still dont think, we can call tamil the manushya basha.
it was a lanugage of tht antiquity known to those noble learned people.


Jayasree Saranathan said...

Thank you, but wait, there are other articles to come. Originals in Tamil were posted in 2011 and can be read at


Arunpradhap Natarajan said...


Tamil is said to be manusya basha then which is deva basha i mean divne basha? is it sanskrit ?if so tamil does not have divinity to be the language of god's?

with regards

Arunpradhap Natarajan

Jijith said...

Proto-Tamil (some unknown extinct language from which Tamil is derived), Prakrit and Mlechcha language ( Mahabharata mentions this as a dual language, that coexisted with Sanskrit and known to Vidura and Yudhisthira) - all of these seems to be worthy candidates that can be identified with 'Manushy Bhaasha'

This assumes that 'Deva Bhaasha' Sanskrit is not a naturally evolved language but a specially designed language created probably by refining Prakrit and with elements from other languages like proto-Tamil and Mlechcha language with its main purpose to sever as an inter-communication language (like today's English) in which all people (proto-Tamils, Prakrit speakers, Mlecha speakers) conversed, exchanged ideas and authored literature. The name 'Sanskrt' itself shows that it was the result of a refinement of a pre-existing language.

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agath said...


A few questions....

1. If Ramayana happened recently like you mentioned, what about the duration of Yugaas? I've studied that each yuga lasted for lakhs of years, but going by what you say I believe it's only in thousands. What should one believe?

2. Tamil Chauvinists claim that most of the Sanskrit words have been borrowed from Tamil unlike vice versa that's being claimed. What's your take on this?

3. Going by your statement of sansrit as a language that's refined from other existing languages, when did this approximately happen?

4. Do you really think can language really define race? As the pro-tamils are claiming, did all Tamils speak the same language for thousands of years in the history? Did our ancestors ever identify themselves as Tamils in the past? I believe only native place and kulam were used as entities for one's identity in the past. Is that true?

Jayasree Saranathan said...

@ Agath
Here are the answers:-
(1) Refer my articles to know about yuga duration.




(2) Sanskrit and Tamil coexisted for long. Sanskrit was refined long long ago say, the oldest decipherable time in 25,000 yrs BP. Tamil was the spoken language of the masses that was spread across Indian ocean and Pacific ocean. The following articles on the topic of long ears would give an idea about how Tamil and Vedic society were part and parcel of a whole lot of masses over a vast area - not in India but south and south east of India.


This is a 3 part article, links to other parts are given in that article itself. This article is in my Tamil blog. Please go through the archives of that blog to read article related to your question.

(3)I did not say that Sanskrit was refined from existing languages.

Read this article in that blogspot:

(b)Yes, but today that Tamil does not exist in talk or present day literature.
(c)Not exactly. But they identified Thamizagam in Navalam theevu or as a country between himalayas in the north

Read the other 2 articles in this series (part 2 and 3)

Next week I will be posting a 10 part series on mundas. It will give more info on the past where Tamil and Sanskrit co-exited and even fused. Please keep checking.

Manoj Kumar said...


Jayasree Saranathan said...

@ Manoj Kumar

My first clue is from Sri Narayana Iyengar. I wrote here: http://jayasreesaranathan.blogspot.in/2010/01/purananuru-contains-vaalmikis-tamil.html

I picked up further by analysing Valmiki Ramayana. In this connection I have written quite a few articles in this blog of which I request the readers not to miss this: http://jayasreesaranathan.blogspot.in/2013/04/hanuman-and-sita-conversed-in-madhura.html

Saatyaki S / o Seshendra Sharma said...

Please read the following book

Shodasi : Secrets of the Ramayana
Author : Seshendra Sharma

for reviews and other details :
Thanks / Regards

Jayasree Saranathan said...

Part 2 of this series can be read here:- http://jayasreesaranathan.blogspot.in/2013/04/tamil-was-human-tongue-or-manushya.html (Tamil was the human tongue or Manushya bhasha (Spoken language of ancient India -part 2))

Part 3 can be read here:- http://jayasreesaranathan.blogspot.in/2013/04/hanuman-and-sita-conversed-in-madhura.html (Hanuman and Sita conversed in Madhura language (Spoken language of ancient India –part 3))

Part 4 yet to be posted. Will give the link once posted.

Josh said...

Before you deduce Manushya Bhasha is Tamil, you should rule out other existing languages such as Prakrit. I did not see any attempts on that. If there is nothing, it is jumping to a conclusion then, not coherent. Also, the translators skill is sub-standard as English is not his first language, many expressions are copied word by word or similar. A good example would be ' at a different wave length', I suppose, which has a meaning ' a different opinion. If that is what you wanted, there are still more errors in collocation apart from grammar errors. But all in all I know where you are coming from but you should maintain the logic throughout. Sometimes You lost me and I believe it is due to the translation. I know the purpose is not pure grammar but the content. I agree that your knowledge is profound but you should consider not all readers are Tamilians so I hope you would write more proactively by logically answering the counter-arguments if they come across. Best,

Jayasree Saranathan said...

@ Josh,

Please note down here your points of contention. Do you find this article difficult to understand?

This article deals with those areas of information that show that Valmiki of Ramayana, did write in Tamil and did move around the region which is Tamilnadu today.

There are many hints to prove that Tamil and sanskrit were co-born, or were derived from a proto language. All those were not written in this article. The Prakrith languages (Maharashtri, Sairaseni, Magadhi and Paisachi) were derived from Sanskrit and were not proto to sanskrit. There is one language that stands a better chance to be identified as the proto language from which both Tamil and sanskrit were diverged. That is Pali. Read my article https://jayasreesaranathan.blogspot.com/2017/06/6-pazhi-pali-magadha-shaka-dweepa.html

The 3rd part of the current article gives more proof on how and why Tamil can be considered to be the Manushya Basha at Ramayana times. Read it here :- http://jayasreesaranathan.blogspot.com/2013/04/hanuman-and-sita-conversed-in-madhura.html

Shiv said...

>>That shows that a common language was spoken all over India as early as 7000 years ago (Ramayana times). <<

How it can be 7000 years only?As per jyotisham Lord Rama yuga was different than it was of Lord Krishna..

Jayasree Saranathan said...

@ Mr Shiv,

The yuga system is the much misunderstood concept. Please read this article of mine in which you will get reply to your question.


There are altogether 4 articles in that series. Better read all, particularly the 4th one to get much clarity.

Anonymous said...

Very Good argument, very well supported with literature . Very interesting. I salute you,

Josh said...

Hi Jay,

Hints can not be taken as evidence to prove. Hints only suggest in academia. So should we use just evidence and peer reviewed recent evidences to establish a point? Otherwise an average Joe would start to consider hints as evidence. To establish a fact, an evidence must be peer-reviewed and no valid counter propositions should exist in place. If Pali is the proto to both Tamil and Sanskrit, we should use solid evidence, not linguistic suggestions. As you said, 'a better chance' , this is not an evidence then but a possibility. Possibility is not probability that is not reality, period!

Jayasree Saranathan said...

Hi Joe,

Your comment has no relevance to the above post. If this is the level of academia you insist upon, I understand where you stand!

Josh said...

We will see the clues for Tamil as the Manushya Bhasha of that time in the next article.

Clues = hints!!!

I would like to just point that but I never ever wanna 'hurt' anyone's feelings and try to be objective as much as possible. I believe this is relevant to what you posted and also commented ( control F clue). I am neither against you nor supporting you. Just here for a discussion. I also do not support any agendas or languages or isms FYI. Regards, Joe

Jayasree Saranathan said...

Be specific, if as you say want to be objective. But read the other articles, particularly those numbered 3,4, and 5 before commenting. That would save my time in writing what is already written.

Jayasree Saranathan said...

For the benefit of old readers of this article: please find attached the verses in Tamil at the end of the article from "Bogar 7000". I have added them now. They are about Valmiki's birth and end. The same information is also found in another work called 'Agatthiyar 12,000' authored by Agastya. Bogar quotes from that text.

Jayasree Saranathan said...

@ Josh,

Added the list of other articles posted so far in this series, in the beginning of this article. You can identify the three articles I mentioned in that list. Also read the 8th part which can be tested by scientific tools.

Unknown said...

Dear Jayasree Saranathan, your detailed work is great. These are great postings.

You should also quote and acknowledge your references clearly in your main post instead of in comments. It will only help to substantiate your claims.

Narayana Iyengar who worked in the Madurai TamilSangam wrote a detailed paper on "Valmiki and Tamil" around 1910 giving great research details of why he thinks Valmiki, Rama Sita and all knew and spoke Tamil. A translation of that work can be found at


His works find a small mention in some comments here instead of being in the main post.

Jayasree Saranathan said...

@ Unknown,

I found your above stated view as a comment to my comment to Mr Manoj Kumar written on January 7, 2016 at 1:25 PM.

You must have read the two links I have given to Mr Manoj Kumar to see how I have recognized Sri Narayana Iyengar and his contribution at appropriate places. The current article above does not offer scope to recognise him.

Please read the comment thread and my replies before jumping into conclusions.

I as a researcher holding University Doctorate degree and as one finding often my articles and contents of my blogs getting hijacked and used without due credit to me, know what it means not to cite the sources. In my books and papers, I do the citation in formal ways, but in blogs as in-liners.

Santhosh said...

I heard that hanuman was not a monkey. But a south indian. Tamil people helped Ram to fight against Ravanan. Somebody changed the history and described all south indian people as monkeys. Heard this from Sadhguru. Have u ever red about this in any tamil poem. Of course they might have changed sanskrit versions of Ramayanam.


Anonymous said...

Valmiki lived 7000 yrs ago ( ramars birth date ) .that is said by you . He attends the sangam meeting held at madurai . And for your kind knowledge I say it is the third sangam meeting . In tamil language there are evidences for 3 sangam meetings. Valmiki only attended the third meeting held by the then pandya king at madurai .the first and the second sangam meetings were held in "kumari Kandam" which were killed by the tsunami . So tamil is the oldest language in the world
My name is kavi prakash and I'm from tn