Thursday, October 3, 2013

Is Vedic astrology derived from Greek astrology? (Part-16) Tamil sources. (Rashi proverbs + Adyaman)

Name-Form- Works (Function) is basically a Vedanthic concept discussed in Chandogya Upanishads (Refer the previous article). This is found to exist in Nature and can be observed in things that have similar works / functions and   having similar form. This has been recognized by scientists as "Teleological Nutritional Targeting". This concept has been framed based on the similarities between plant products and the human organs that are nourished by them. For example, walnut which is good for brains resembles the brain itself. Tomato which is too good for heart also is four chambered like heart and reddish in colour. The bunch of grapes having heart shape, tallies with the function it does- that of being beneficial to heart.


This idea explained by Chandogya Upanishad, was employed in naming the zodiacal signs. If Mesha is the name, it has the form of the Mesha and works and tendencies of Mesha. Whoever is born in that rashi will have tendencies or behavior similar to Mesha.  The behavior is easily palpable and had been recognized by commoners in Tamil lands by the rashi in which they were born.


For example, if a person is easily agitated and easily provoked to get angry or to pick up a fight with others, that is Mesha tendency. Skanda was like that. Many Tamil kings praised in the Sangam poems were compared with Skanda for such kind of nature. No one can guess when they would get angry or what would make them angry. For example in the verses on Karikala, the poet who had gone to meet him found it difficult to return. When he said that he had to go back to his 'ancient' place, having meant his old and original place of dwelling, Karikal Cholan got agitated and asked him if his place (Karikalan's place) was not an ancient place and challenged him if he was capable of leaving his (Karikalan's) place. (1)


People in ancient Tamil lands have watched the behavior and related them to the rashi in which they were born. As a result there is in existence proverbs (Lokokthi) for all the 12 rashis in Tamil. Today they are no longer in vogue but they were in use starting from an undated past until 2000 years ago.


The opponents can only claim that Krios was the Greek term for ram, but why that term or the animal ram was made as the signifactor of Aries cannot be answered by them. But here in Tamil lands, even ordinary people were aware of the nature of the rashis and have used them in talks and indigenously developed them into one-line proverbs. This could not have happened unless the idea of rashi and the significance connected to each rashi was common knowledge for long.  A lokokthi known as "pazhamozhi"(means "olden saying") in Tamil comes into being by widespread use of a theme in common understanding by ordinary people.


One such lokokthi was mouthed by Sita in her talks with the rakshasis in Ashoka vana. When the rakshasis accused Sita of having talked to Hanuman and wanted to know who he was, Sita feigned ignorance of him. She turned the accusation against them and said that they only could know who that vanara was – like how only a snake can know the feet / steps of another snake. The exact line she said was "Ahireva Ahe paadam Vijaanathi" (2) It means 'only a serpent can know the feet of another serpent'. 


This is an exact translation of an olden proverb in Tamil  "paambin kaal paambariyum". (பாம்பின் கால் பாம்பறியும்). Snakes do not have feet. But the way a snake recognizes the location of another snake or appears in a place where another snake is there, it had been talked by the common people as though the snake knew the steps or the feet of another snake and therefore had appeared suddenly from nowhere. Such a kind of description has no scholarly influence, but formed within a people of same community or area and developed over time. This proverb on snakes is found only in Tamil thereby showing its development within a community, speaking the same language. That this had appeared in Sita's talk shows that this community was spread throughout India in Ramayana times and that we have to do a re-think on the so-called Indo-European languages and re-work on Tamil- Sanskrit languages as the root of original languages of India. This is a different topic and let me concentrate on the theme of this article.


Proverbs or Lokokthi on 12 rashis could not have been developed in a few centuries. As they have the local flavor, it must be known that knowledge of rashi and the associated tendencies must have been known to common people who had observed such tendencies in everyone around them. The antiquity of these proverbs is known from the fact that the proverb on Mesha rashi uses 'Thagar', the Sangam age word for goat which is not at all in common use today. Three of the proverbs have corrupted Tamil words which also prove that these proverbs were not taught by intellectuals but formed in the language of the common man. Let us see the 12 proverbs.


Mesha:- 'ThagadOdu egarEl' (தகடோடு எகரேல்)

Meaning:- 'Don't provoke Thagar / goat'.

Explanation:-  A Mesha born can be easily provoked to fight and when he fights he will be fierce and invincible. His angry disposition is the easily palpable tendency. Hence this proverb.


Here instead of 'thagar' the word had corrupted to 'thagad' or 'thagadu'. Such corruption comes in common man's speech. There can be another reason for thagar becoming thagadu. That could be due to the influence of a popular ruler "Adhyaman" of Sangam age. I will explain it at the end of this article.


Rishabha:- 'RidabhaththaanOdu thOrEl' ( ரிடபத்தானோடு தோரேல்)

Meaning:- 'Don't instigate a rishabha man'.

Explanation:-  This is not an exact translation as there is no word English for "ThOrEl". ThOruthal, the root word for thOrel  means never ending nature. The rishabha is known for greater endurance and tirelessly doing the same thing again and again (like in ploughing). A person born in Rishabha, if irritated by someone or if decides to snub someone, would keep doing the snubbing again and again. So it is better to avoid confrontation with a Rishabha man. That is the nature of Rishabha understood by common folks.


Mithuna:- 'ThaNdu koNdu ilbu kEL' (தண்டுக் கொண்டு இல்பு கேள்)

Meaning:- 'Learn the tricks from Mithuna man'.

Explanation:-  Here the rashi name is recognized not as Mithuna, the twin, but as 'ThaNdu'. ThaNdu is the olden Tamil name for Mithuna. But how this name could have come into existence can be known from a Sangam poem that describes the 'Yaazh' – a Veena like musical instrument that PaNan, the poet used to carry all the time. Like Narada carrying Thambura and singing the praise of Narayana all the time, the PaNan used to carry the Yaazh all the time and compose songs. The early PaNans of the first Sangam Age sang on Lord Shiva and Karthikeya, but later they started singing on kings.


In Porunar ARRup padai, the PaNan describes every part of his Yaazh. The body of the Yaazh with a slight bulge on top in the shape of the hood of the snake is called as 'ThaNdu'. This name associated with Yaazh is common knowledge among ordinary people. They have seen Gemini Rashi as ThaNdu of yaazh. Take a look at the Gemini constellation.


The shape resembles the straight body of the Yaazh with a hood like top.

Shown below is the image of Veena. Yaazh is similar in appearance.


Common people who could easily recognize the Yaazh had seen Gemini stars as "ThaNdu" of Yaazh. That shows the prevalence of rashi knowledge among common people in an undated past.


The nature exhibited by the ThaNdu- born is that he would be very clever in understanding things and nature of things and people. So the people had said that if one wants to know about the nature of things, one must consult Mithuna / TaaNdu man. Here 'Iyalbu' means nature. It had corrupted as 'Ilbu'. This again shows the origins in common man's understanding and the antiquity of this proverb to have undergone this corruption of word.


Kataka :- 'NaNdaanukku idam kodEl' (நண்டானுக்கு இடம் கொடேல்)

Meaning:- 'Don't give space for the crab'

Explanation:-  This shows the selfish nature and a tendency to exploit. Common folks can identify this tendency easily and had associated this with cancer born.



Simha:- 'SingatthaanOdu seru ErEl'  (சிங்கத்தானோடு செரு ஏரேல்)

Meaning:- 'Don't enter into a fight with Singham man.

Explanation:-  Meaning is obvious and note that people had recognized this with lion shaped rashi.



Kanya:- 'Kanni maganaik kai vidEl'  (கன்னி மகனைக் கைவிடேல்)

Meaning:- 'Don't let down the Kanni / Kanya man'.

Explanation:-  They are soft natured and get cheated easily. Therefore be a support to him.



Thula:- 'ThulaaththOn evvidaththilum thOLaan' (துலாத்தோன் எவ்விடத்திலும் தோளான்)

Meaning:- 'Thula man never fails anywhere'.

Explanation:-  The Thula man knows the good and bad of anything and therefore never fails in anything he does. ThOLaan is derived from the word ThOLuthal. It means 'punctured' or 'made hole in'. ThOLaan is the negative of this, that means he can never be punctured. This word also is not in common use today. This is old Tamil and means one who can never fall or to be found fault with.


Vrischika:- 'ThELaanaip pENik koL' (தேளானைப் பேணிக் கொள்)

Meaning:- 'Be in the good books of Scorpion'.

Explanation:-  Scorpion is a dangerous person and one would not know when he would sting you. So be careful with him and be friendly with him as not to be in his bad books.



Dhanus:- 'Villaanai sollaal vaLai' (வில்லானை சொல்லால் வளை)

Meaning:- 'Bend the bow-man with words'.

Explanation:-  The Dhanur people are learned and respect knowledge. One can attract them by clever talks or arguments.


Makara:- 'MakaraththOn mudalaik kaNNeer vadippaan' (மகரத்தோன் முதலைக் கண்ணீர் வடிப்பான்)

Meaning:- 'Makara man would shed crocodile tears'.

Explanation:-  Easily understandable.



Kumbha:- 'KumbathOn kun ninRu velvOn' (கும்பத்தோன் குன்நின்று வெல்வோன்)

Meaning:- 'Kumbha man would win by suitable ways'.

Explanation:-  'Kun- ninRu' is also an olden expression  which is not in use in Tamil today. Kunnuthal mean 'kunithal' – bending / adjusting etc. The Kumbha man would be alert to the surroundings and adjust or bend himself accordingly so that he can get his things done or win always.


Meena:- 'Meena maganai vidEl vidEl' (மீன மகனை விடேல் விடேல்)

Meaning:- 'Don't let off, don't let off Meena man'.

Explanation:-  'VidEl' (let off) is mentioned twice. This is part of Tamil grammar 'irattaik kiLavi' that is used to emphasize an idea. The Meena man is restless and therefore not an achiever. He has to be tutored to overcome this defect. Therefore don't get fed up with him but instead try to help him. Being a nice person he deserves our help.


 Like this we can find that all the proverbs are based on observation of the behavior of the people born in a rashi. For this to happen, the rashi system must have come into place much before these proverbs had taken shape. And the rashi system must have been quite popular among the common folks for quite long.


Now coming to the Thagad, in the proverb for Messha. The proverb must have been "ThagarOdu egarEl", but had corrupted into "ThagadOdu egarEl". Thagar had corrupted into Thagad. Thagad does not make any sense nor does it fit with the proverb which is obviously on Mesha the goat. But if we take it as Thagadur, then it makes a lot of sense, connects with Mesha goat and even brings out a lost history which is the missing link between Mahabharatha times and the Common Era. Let me narrate it from Sangam sources and show the links.


There existed a place called "Thagadur" in Sangam age which was the capital city of Adyaman. Adyaman was a family name and the Adyans were very popular for valour and charity. Their location was present day Dharmapuri district in Tamil nadu. They were also known as "Satyaputra" and mentioned so in Ashokan edict. (3) One of the descendants of this lineage was "Adyaman Neduman Anji" about whom there exists an inscription in Jambai (4) There are many Sangam poems on this king and his son and yet another king of Adyan race.


This name Adyan or Adyaman is not a Tamil name. He did not belong to Tamil lands originally, nor was he connected with the traditional three kings of Tamil lands, namely Chola, Chera and Pandya. He was a "vELir" who migrated from Dwaraka when Dwaraka was submerged. This is known from the commentary to Tholkappiyam the Sangam age Grammar book. What I am going to say here is a bit long, but important.


In his commentary on the prefatory sutra to Thol Kappiyam, the 9th century writer Nacchinaarkkiniyar describes the migration of people from Dwaraka to Tamil lands.


In the commentary on Paayiram of Thol kaapiyam, Nacchinaarkkiniyar says,

"Agatthiyanaar ..Thuvaraa-pathi pOndu,

nilam kadantha nedu-mudi aNNal vazhi-k-kaN arasar padhiNmaraiyum,

padhiNeNkudi VeLiruttaraiyum,

AruvaaLaraiyum kondu pOndu,

kaadu kedutthui naadaakki.."

(Agasthya went to Dwarkapathi and brought back with him

18 kings of the lineage of Krishna who measured the land (as Thrivikrama),

18 families of Velirs and AruvaaLars and

had them settled in the lands by clearing the forest tracts)

The same information is told by Nacchinaarkiniyar in his commentary

for the 32 nd sutra of AgatthiNai-iyal,

"Malaya Madhavan nilam kadantha nedumudi Annalaluzhai

nara-pathiyaarudan kONarntha

padhiNeN vagai kudi-p-pirandha VeLirkkum.."

(the kings born in the family of Krishna and along with them

VeLirs born in 18 families (clans) were brought)


18 is the number of clans who accompanied Krishna from the Gangetic plain when he shifted to Dwaraka. After Krishna's exit and the submergence of Dwaraka, the people had spread to North West India which is now known as the Indus- Saraswathi civilisation. This civilisation came to an end around 1500 BC due to natural calamities. At that time Dwaraka suffered another submergence (Byt Dwaraka of today). Dr S.R.Rao's exploration of Dwarka and the date of submergence given by him at around 1500 BC refer to this submergence that happened at the end of Indus civilisation.   From that point of time what happened to a section of people can be known from Tamil Sangam poems.  


All the Indus items and similarities that are found in Tamil lands start after this date only. This was wrongly construed as Dravidian migration to the South. Already, the Chera, Chola and Pandyas were ruling the Tamil lands, though Pandyas too suffered the 3rd submergence at around the same time and established their capital in Madurai. The settlers from Dwaraka occupied regions not under these 3 Tamil Kings. Only in some places like Kangeyam (Gangeya) in Tirupur district, fusion of the people from Dwaraka and submerged Pandyan lands had happened. This can be seen from a similar variety of Indus bull in Kangeya, bull fight and a heavy dose of Mahabharata characters in temples that have come up there and in the surrounding area of what is called Kongu Nadu.


These Dwarakans settled in an arc like border areas of Tamil kingdoms in North and West Tamilnadu and many parts of Kerala and Karnataka near the Western Ghats. They were highly detested by Cherans and other Tamil kings, but later, Cherans were prepared to have matrimonial alliance with them, but then they did not give their daughters in alliance but accepted brides from these clans.


The Dwarakan elites known as VElirs ruled the lands they occupied. The grammar book of Tholkappiyam was written after their migration. That they came to the Tamil lands at about 1500 BC is known from a Sangam poem on a king of Mysore (He was a Dwarakan / VeLir by name IrungOvEL) in which the poet Kapila (not a Tamil name but a popular Sangam age poet) says that he was the 49th king in the lineage of kings who ruled Dwaraka and who came from the Homa Kunda of a Northern sage. (5).


At the rate of 3 kings in a century, the lineage goes back to 1500 years before the date of this poem which, being a Sangam poem, goes before the Common Era. This puts the date at 1500 BC which saw the end of Indus civilisation and also the migration of Dwarakans to Tamil lands under sage Agasthya. The reference is similar to formation of Agni Kula Kshatriyas who sprang around the same time. But these Kings settled in Tamilnadu called themselves as VeLir. There are many Sangam poems in praise of these Velirs. They were also considered as Philanthropists of the 3rd age, the 2nd age being dominated by Mahabharat period kings of Aryavarta and the 1st age being dominated by Pre- Ramayana period kings. This is as per Tamil texts. (Know their names here)


They were never accepted by the Tamil kings and there was always enmity between them. One set of the Dwaraka migrants, called AruvaaLar (stone cutters) were hated by Karikalan and were overpowered by him according to Sangam poem Pattinappalai (6) They were the first settlers of today's Kanchipuram(Read my article here). It is after their advent into Tamil lands, epigraphy on stones was developed.  According to the Sangam verse, Karikal Cholan used their talent. This verse also refers to them as 'thol AruvaaLar' – meaning, 'ancient AruvaaLar', thereby indicating their antiquated lineage at that time .


Adyaman comes in the group that settled in North Tamilnadu. That he had his ancestry in sugarcane / Ikshu growing areas of Gangetic plain can be known from 2 references in two different poems, one on Adyaman Neduma Anji  and another on his son by the famous poetess Auvaiyaar. (7 ) and (8)


These Adyans along with other VeL kings in North and West Tamilnadu were all the time in war preparedness as they had to guard themselves from the three Tamil Kings. Their unity had been referred by Kharavela as a confederation of Tamira kings in Hathigumpha inscriptions. In the 11th line of this inscription it is mentioned that Kharavela shattered the confederation of Tamira kings that was existence for 1300 years and ploughed their lands with asses to grow "PithuNda"! (9)  This is Pithu (पितु) + UruNdai -  is a combination of Sanskrit and Tamil words meaning food balls. The Tamil word UruNdai is corrupted as "UNdai"  or "Unda" or "mudde" in Kannada. This refers to ragi balls. The Ragi balls made of Millets is a popular food in this part of Tamilnadu even today. This  place (Dharmapuri) has been a neglected or abandoned region even since the fall of Adyaman.


Ploughing the lands of the enemy after winning his land is a popular culture in Tamilnadu as per Sangam texts. In the case of severe enmity (which was more to do with the different cult followed by the enemy – mostly in resistance to Vamachara cult which Tamils did not accept. This enmity continues till today - without knowing this cause – and is termed as caste clashes with caste Hindus. This is a different topic which I am not divulging here), after killing the enemy, large scale massacres were done, the habitats were set on fire, waterways were poisoned, fertile lands were spoiled and ploughed with asses to grow (VeL varagu) millets – {that was consumed in drought years as Ragi balls (PithuNda)}. Even temples were broken.


Karikal Cholan did it; Pandyan Nedum cheziyan of Sangam age did it. There is inscriptional evidence to show that it happened in the Kongu belt in 12th and 13th centuries CE as this region was settled by migrants ever since 1500 BCE. The last recorded such incident was done by Sundara Pandiyan who was famously known as "Maduraiyai meetta Sundara Pandiyan" (the one who restored Madurai). Madurai Meenakshi temple was in the control of Kali worshippers before his times.  For long, Kali, KaLaamukha and Kaabalika worship were not accepted in Tamil lands. The list included Jains and  Buddhist and Vamachara also which was followed in Indus region. In the case of enmity with these people, extreme intolerance was shown. 


Coming to Kharavela, no scholar has so far succeeded in finding out who this Kharavela was and what this war on Tamira kings was about. Only if they know or have read Sangam texts can they find answers for these. In the very first line Kharavela tells about himself as "ऐरेण महाराजेन महामेघवाहनेन चेतराज वस"

The Airena identity refers to Airai cult and Airai worship. There was a hill called Airai in the Western ghats where the female deity called KoRRavai கொற்றவை (a form of Durga who was worshiped before and after a war) was housed. This hill was a proud possession of the Chera kings. In not less than half a dozen places in the Sangam text of PathiRRup patthu (பதிற்றுப் பத்து) on Chera kings, this hill and the deity are praised. After winning a war, the warriors used to offer food mixed with the blood of their war wounds to this deity. In all probability, Kollur Mookhambikai of today was this deity of Airai in Sangam Age. The Western ghat section has the "kol" (killing) names like Kollam, Kollur and Kolapur. The female deities of this ghat section were worshiped for winning wars. Kharavela calling himself as bound to "Chetha raja" actually refers to his allegiance to Chera kings. The "AirEna" refers to his connection to Airai. He was also a VEl, as seen from his name Khara – Vela. This inscription has an Indus sign showing his ancestry or earlier connection with Indus location. Look at the signs shown by the arrow in the Hathigumpha inscriptions.