Sunday, May 7, 2017

1. Integrated Bharat through the window of Tamil.

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Recently Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi made an observation that Tamil language shows the ‘richness’ of our country. While acknowledging that Tamil is a very old language, he went on to emphasise the importance of acquainting oneself with other languages of our country for greater integration among countrymen to make “Ek Bharat, Shresht Bharat” a reality.



While his observation on Tamil was received with scepticism among Tamils as a political gimmick, I find this an opportunity to bring to the notice of others in India and outside too that Tamil as a language contains so much information that serves as a window to not only the Indian past but to the world at large. While the beauty of ancient Tamil that we see in Sangam literature is proof of the ‘richness’ of our country from times when many languages of the world have not even developed, the content of those texts reveal a past that is not known to any in India and even many within the Tamil speaking community. They show how the people of our country have mingled with each other and integrated well in such a way that who we think a Tamil today might have had his origins elsewhere in India while someone living in a remote corner in India today might have had his remote ancestor speak Tamil!

The common thread that had united them all is undeniably Sanatan Dharma propagated by rishis of yore. Rishis have played a big role in shaping the culture, philosophy and reigns of kings. Like how Vasishta’s role is found in important events in the north, Agasthya’s name appears in important periods of time in the South in the region of Tamils.

The inputs available in Tamil integrate well with the inputs from the other major sources of our culture namely, Ithihasas and Puranas and together they help us to plug the missing links, erase the mis-conceptions and also derive the inner meanings hidden behind the myths. With this as the aim of this series, let me look through the window of Tamil, the amazing past of India and even of the world where it matters.


THE ORIGIN OF TAMILS

Where did Tamils originate? A google search would give all fanciful theories linking the origins of Tamils to anywhere in Elam or Indus or Srilanka. Nowadays Srilanka is giving a stiff competition to Indus (propounded by AIT protagonists) in claiming original space for olden Tamils, whereas none of the olden Tamil texts, collectively known as “Sangam literature” have given any inkling of hope to relate the olden Tamil to these regions. On the other hand Sangam literature itself has become the target of neo- writers on Tamil to create their own impression about the culture of Tamils as something exclusive and disconnected with the rest of India.

Though there are numerous instances found in Sangam literature to debunk this idea (which would be written in the course of this series), a more recent one that can be linked to a recorded history of the Common Era is given here. It pertains to the Chera King Senguttuvan. His expedition to the Himalayas is written in the post Sangam text, Silappadhikaram.

This king had previously made a trip to North India as a pilgrimage to the river Ganges to enable his widowed mother take a dip in the Ganges. This implies that he himself could have done shraddha ceremony for his departed father during that trip. {This king was in throne for 55 years and lived for nearly 75 years. This shows that he came to throne at a young of 20 which could be possible due to demise of his father}. The reference to his pilgrimage is enough to know the culture and religion followed in Tamil lands 2000 years ago.

On his way to the Ganges, he faced resistance from the kingdoms that he crossed and he successfully subdued them all. So when he decided to go the Himalayas for which he had to cross the countries of the north, he sent a communication to all of them of his impending visit so that they were warned against any misadventure with him.

                              
Trumpeting of Cheran King’s expedition to the Himalayas. (Pic courtesy)

In that communication he affixed his own seal and also got the kings of other major Tamil lands, namely Pandyas and Cholas to affix their seals. He did this to give the message that the impending visit was that of Tamils as a whole. He conveyed this in that communication.  

By this it is known that Tamils were those who came under kingdoms of Chera, Chola and Pandya. None of them had their presence in Indus or Elam or Srilanka.

This declaration by this king happened in the first century CE. This is known from the fact that this king was a friend of Gautamiputra Satakarni whose time period has been documented. The name Satakarni is “Nootruvar kannar” in Tamil. He provided boats to enable Cheran’s army to cross the Ganges. From there onwards, till their destination in the Himalayas, they had met with some resistance. Silappadhikaram makes a mention that this Cheran king won over the “ill-mouthed Yavanas” before reaching the Himalayas (from where he procured the stone for making the image of Kannagi)

Gautamiputra Satakarni in coin


A cross reference comes from the Nashik inscription on the mother of Gautamiputra Satakarni that her son (Satakarni) subdued Yavanas too besides Shakas and Pahlavas. There is no other reference to when and how he made this happen. But just 2 lines from Silappadhikaram on the Cheran king’s victory over Yavanas give a complete picture of what happened.

In Mahabharata, the Yavanas, Shakas and Pahlavas are grouped together as having kinship among themselves. Their location was in North West India at the base of Himalayas which is in today’s Pakistan or Afghanistan. It is obvious that the stone for making the deity was collected from that part of the Himalayas for which the Cheran army and Satakarni army had gone together. They had faced resistance from the Yavanas and others but successfully overpowered them.

The exact cause for the war with them can be guessed from the Tamil text. It refers to the Yavanas as “ill-mouthed” (van sol). The Yavanas must have hurled abuses at the Cheran king and Satakani which was promptly paid back by them.

This victory has found a mention in the Nashik inscription while it finds a fleeting mention in Silappadhikaram. The absence of reference to Pahlavas and Shakas is due to the fact all Mlecchas were referred to as Yavanas in Tamil texts.

Such a major victory over Yavanas by the Cheran king has been ignored by Tamils themselves. Important to our context is that fact that Tamils and their location were centred on South Indian lands of Tamilnadu and Kerala of today and not in other places. A search into the roots of the three dynasties that claimed themselves as Tamils could provide an answer to their origins.

These dynasties were those of Pandyas, Cholas and Cheras, There was a fourth one too, the VeLirs on whom there are several poems in the Sangam Literature. A search into their roots throws amazing and unexpected information t on the past and lost history of India.

The first three, Pandyas, Cholas and Cheras find mention in the Mahabharata. Of them, Pandyas find mention in Valmiki Ramayana too, thereby indicating that Pandyas were the earliest and oldest dynasty that ruled over Tamils.


PANDYAS

Pandyas were known as Thennavan or Thennan (Southerners).  The land ruled by them was mentioned in many places of Sangam literature as Thennan Desam (Southern country). The repeated reference to their location in the South negates any theory of Tamils as having lived in the Indus or Elam region and migrated later to the present day Tamilnadu, which AIT proponents want us to believe. It was the Pandyas (not Cholas or Cheras) who developed Tamil as a refined language and made attempts to encourage use of grammatical Tamil. This, they did with the aid and guidance of sage Agasthya who taught worship of Sun (Adithya Hridhayam) to Rama in the war against Ravana.

A reference to an earlier Pandyan comes in Raghu Vamsam written by Kalidasa (6th chapter), wherein it is stated that a Pandyan king attended the Swayamvar (self-choice) of Princess Indumathi. Indumathi chose Aja as her suitor. Aja was the father of King Dasharatha and grandfather of Rama.
A cross reference to the existence of Pandyas during the time of Rama and Ravana is available in the inscriptions unearthed in a place called Sinnamanur in Theni district in South Tamilnadu. It says that an earlier Pandyan king made the Ten-headed one (Ravana) buy peace with him.

In the Sanskrit part of the inscriptions, it is written "Dasaanan sandheepa rakshakaara". In Tamil the same is written as "dasavathanan saarbaaka sandhu seithum". 



The reference to Ravana in Pandyan inscriptions goes to show that Ramayana was not a myth but happened in a decipherable past.

There is another reference to a Pandyan king in the above displayed part of the inscription that says that he conquered Arjuna!


PANDYAS IN MAHABHARATA

As a cross reference from Mahabharata we do come across two names of Pandyans who fought on the side of Pandavas and one who fought on the side of Kauravas. There was one Sarangadwaja Pandya who nursed a grouse against Krishna of Dwaraka. The issue was Krishna had once annexed Pandyan’s country and killed the father of Sarangadwaja. He wanted to take revenge on Krishna by destroying Dwaraka. But his friends discouraged him against that (Mahabharata 7-23). It is not known from Mahabharata whether he took part in the war or not. But the reference to a Pandyan king in the above mentioned inscription shows that he or some other Pandyan king at some time during the Mahabharata war or at some other war stood against the Pandavas and scored a victory too.

There is however a full chapter in Mahabharata dedicated to the valorous fight put up by a Pandyan king by name Malayadwaja Pandya against the Kauravas. (Mahabharata 8-20) He was killed by Ashwatthama in the war.

Yet another Pandyan king had fought for Kauravas and was killed by the Pandavas (Mahabharata 9-2). Though Pandyans were of the same dynasty, siblings or cousins of the clan could have ruled over different parts of the kingdom with exclusive control over those regions. This was common practice in those days. That is how we come across 3 kings of Pandyan stock taking part in Mahabharata war with different intentions.

The reference to Pandya – Ravana treaty of peace in Sinanmanur inscriptions shows that they had geographical proximity with each other. Only if the Pandyas were in the South, the geographical proximity with Ravana could have happened and any trouble from him was successfully thwarted by the Pandyas which made Ravana buy peace with them.


LOCATION OF PANDYAS IN VALMIKI RAMAYANA


The location of Pandyan kingdom gets mention in Valmiki Ramayana in Sugreeva’s description of the countries in the southern direction to the vanaras who were searching for Sita. This was not in today’s Tamilnadu as we know of Pandyan kingdom in the recorded history of the Common Era. It was in a place that finds mention in Sangam age poems. Sugreeva refers to the Pandyan kingdom at Kavaatam. (कवाटम् पाण्ड्यानाम् – Valmiki Ramayana, chapter 41 -19)

Kavaatam was the capital city of Pandyas during a time known as 2nd Sangam Age. Today this place is no longer in the map of the world. It was submerged in the sea after which the Pandyan king along with survivors of his kingdom entered Indian mainland through Kollam (Quilon) in today’s Kerala.


From the commentary of Adiyarku Nallar (13th or 14th century), it is known that another Kollam existed in the past which was a peak in a range of mountains. This in all probability was an extension of the Western Ghats that ran into the Indian Ocean up to Madagascar. It was submerged and from there the Pandyan entered present day land in South India. Perhaps where he entered came to be called as Kollam (of today).


In the map above, a chain of mountains can be seen in the Indian Ocean which is an extension of the Western Ghats. On the southern of tip of present day India, to the south of Cape Comorin (Kumari) some raised mountain structures can be seen under water. As per Tamil sources (Adiyarku Nallar’s commentary) Kumari mountains having several peaks were once in existence where a river by name Kumari was flowing.

Kumari was different from Kavaatam. There was a separate river by name Pahruli flowing somewhere near Kavaatam. All these are now lost to the seas, but were very much in existence during Ramayana times. These ranges now under water contain a hidden history – not in a distant past – that needs to be explored by marine archaeologists. Perhaps subsidence on the ocean floor or of the ranges themselves caused the submergence.


AGASTHYA MYTHS ON SUBSIDENCE


The region at the southern end of India must have had some instability in the past as Sugreeva had said in his description, that one part of Mahendra mountains went under water while another part of it remained visible. Sugreeva does not say this as a matter of fact but adds that the sage Agasthya made this happen by pressing down a part of the mountain. This is where and how an element of mythical or secret idea is inserted by the writers who happen to be sages (Valmiki, the writer of this Epic). In contrast the Tamil poets of yore have been more open and described a single feature in many ways so that we understand what they originally wanted to say as a secret (hidden idea)!

Agasthya at Koneri Rajapuram Nataraja temple.

Wherever subsidence of land is referred to or reported, there Agasthya’s name is involved! One such instance was the sudden push-down of a part of the Himalayas (near Mt Kailash) which was linked to the wedding of Shiva and Parvathy by the sages. According to them huge attendance to witness that marriage caused the land to be pushed down. As a result, the southern part rose up in a kind of see-saw movement. Shiva sent Agasthya to the south to make the land even with the north.

Though this narration deserves to be dismissed as a myth, what is actually revealed is a geological event of a lowering of a part of Himalayas near Kailash followed by a successive movement of rise and fall of some part of land to the south of the Himalayas. If the sages had just recorded the geological event in the Puranas, no one would have remembered the event, not even the location. But when a story is weaved around it, people tend to remember it.

When we try to locate these regions, we do find them within the Himalayan region near Kedarnath. There is a legend around Triyugi Narayan temple in Rudraprayag district that Shiva – Parvati marriage took place there. To the south of it is located a place by name Agasthyamuni which houses the temple of Agasthya. Their locations in different altitudes give an impression that the myth addresses some anomaly found or experienced in these two places. Triyugi Narayan temple is higher at 1980 metres while Agasthyamuni is located at a height of 1000 metres. A kind of tilting of these two locations could have happened in the past which finally came to rest at the present day levels with Agasthyamuni found in a lower place. This had been recorded by the rishis as a myth around Agasthya.


It is really amazing how these remote and colder regions in the Himalayas were visited by the rishis and even inhabited by them in the remote past. They had identified divine spots there and even observed the geology around them and encapsulated them in unforgettable stories for humanity to remember forever.

What is conveyed is that Agasthya is a symbol of land subsidence wherever it had happened. (Agasthya is also connected with water myths which will be discussed in the course of this series).
Subduing the Vindhya ranges is another instance involving Agasthya. Yet another one was mentioned by Sugreeva of the Mahendra mountain. By bringing in Agasthya’s name, Sugreeva made it clear that this mountain is different from the Mahendra giri where Parashurama spent his time. It is from the visible part of Mahendra mountain mentioned by Sugreeva that Hanuman made his leap to Lanka.
Agasthya was the family priest of Pandyas like how Vashishta was for the lineage of Rama. Agasthya was always connected with the southern quarters and this also puts the Pandyan location in the southern realms.

But looking at the south of India, only vast stretches of Hindu Maha Sagar is staring at us. The loss of Kavaatam, Kollam and Kumari ranges in the Indian Ocean throws up a possibility of scattering of the people who once lived there, to other parts of the ocean. Traces of Tamil language and some olden practices of Tamils were some of the clues to identify those populations which could further substantiate the claims of existence of olden Tamils under Pandyas in the southern ocean.

There exists one practice identifiable with Tamils, found in some of the south Asian islands in the eastern part of Indian Ocean and as far as Pacific Ocean.
It is the tradition of ‘fire-walking’.


FIRE-WALKING IN SOUTH ASIA

Fire- walking is very wide-spread in Tamil lands even today. In the contemporary world no other people conduct the fire-walking events as Tamils do. And this has been a continuing practice from an undated past. Though there is no written / literary record for it, the fact remains that it exists till today with a religious fervour of devotion in the form of an allegiance to a deity and as a ritual of propitiation .

But this purpose is diluted or non-existent in fire-walking ceremonies in other south Asian countries where it exists as a remnant of aN olden practice or as a recently introduced practice.
Among those places, Vanuatu in south Pacific nation requires special attention. It is because this place (a group of 82 islands having 83 languages spoken among themselves) has an archaeological history of occupation that started around 3300 years before present. That is roughly the time Pandyan land of Kavaatam was lost to the seas and Pandyas entered Indian mainland to set up their capital in present day Madurai.

Location of Vanuatu in the globe.

Though the languages have a mix of English and French from later day colonists, what interests us is the names of places that sound Tamil! The names of places must have continued from the very beginning of occupation with little modification in course of time.  

Some of the names that sound very much Tamil are
Malakula (people of hill)
Ambae (mother)
Tanna (Thennai – coconut),
Arawe (aravu – snake),
Tangoa (thengu – Coconut),
Uri (strip, hanging pot holder)
Toga (thogai - plumage )
Araki (arakki – female demon)

Names such as Tutuba, Iririki etc having same words repeated twice are common in Tamil.

Another feature of this place is that the natives make and consume a drink called Kava or Kavakava (again a repetitive word) from a kind of pepper plant Piper methysticum. This is supposed to reduce short time anxiety. Such anxiety is known as ‘kavalai’ In Tamil. The drink having the name ‘kava’ gives an interesting connection to the Tamil word ‘kavalai'.

Now comes the major similarity. The natives of Vanuatu are known for doing fire-walking which they call as fire-dance. This is a major tourist attraction.


This cannot have started as a past time, but anything other than that. Though there are other regions in the Indian and Pacific Ocean having some resemblance to the practices of Tamil people and even phonetic connection to Tamil, what stands out differently is the practice of fire –walking.


SITA'S ORDEAL BY FIRE, A CASE OF FIRE-WALKING?


One will be surprised to know that the practice of fire-walking is traced to Sita’s Agni Pariksha in Srilanka. The cultural events arranged for tourists in Srilanka contain the event of fire walking too, which is explained as something done by Sita to prove her loyalty to Rama!

In India the popular belief is that Sita entered a huge pyre of fire. It is impossible for a mortal to come out of such fire unhurt. Both a divine element and a mythical element are added to this episode of Sita. This makes Ramayan story a non-reality. But if it so happened that Sita walked on the smouldering fire, it is absolutely possible that she escaped death by fire.

Preparation of the pyre for fire walking in Draupadi Amman temple in Udappu, Srilanka

Srilanka does have traces of Ramayana and there are two places that retain the names of Ravana times. One is Mathale in Central part of Srilanka and another is Negombo in the west course.
Mathale is phonetically similar to Matali, the charioteer of Rama in the war with Ravana.

Negombo sounds like Nikumbi, the guardian deity of Lanka whom Hanuman over powered and who was worshiped by Indrajit to win over Rama. The location of Negombo in the sea shore in west raises the chances of this connection to be true. Hanuman met with Nikumbila soon after arriving at the west coast of Lanka in the description of Valmiki Ramayana.




Sita Eliya was an olden name for “Sita’s light” among the locals. Today it is changed into Nuwara Eliya. A location supposed to be Ashoka vana has been identified in Sita Eliya in Srilanka.

Stream in Sita Eliya where Sita was believed to have met Hanuman.
The only Ashoka tree found in the area is shown by the arrow.

Though lot more is needed to be done by way of research, local traditions cannot be ignored. A number of local traditions exist in Srilanka connected with Ramayana. The surprising name connections also cannot be ignored.


FIRE-WALKING IN TAMIL LANDS


Fire-walking is regular annual feature in temple festivals in Tamilnadu even today. This is mostly done in Amman (Equivalent of Devi / Kali / Mariamma) temples and Draupadi temples. Unknown to many in India, temples for Draupadi are there in remote regions in Tamilnadu. Fire- walking is an important festival in those temples.

There is no record of Draupadi having done fire-walking. But devotees of this deity in Tamil lands believe that she did do this walk after Mahabharata war to wipe out the insult done to her by disrobing her in the court of Dritharashtra.

With scores of people doing fire walking for all these ages with this belief in Draupadi, it could not have come up in the first place without some such incident connected with her. Moreover the original purpose of this act purportedly done by Draupadi was to wipe out the dishonour and demonstrate her complete allegiance to the Lord – in her case the Pandavas. One can attribute the same spirit of allegiance to the deity in the case of fire-walking by common people.

An examination of the dialogues by Rama and Sita that ended with Sita entering fire would shed more light on this issue.


After winning Ravana, Rama says that he killed Ravana to wipe out the insult meted out to him by way of having abducted his wife, Sita. Now that insult had been paid back, Rama was not in a position to take back Sita in the interests of keeping up the honour of his dynasty.

Sita’s response to this was to undergo test by fire. She did not enter fire to get perished in it. Instead she wanted to show that fire would not harm her if she was genuinely loyal and faithful to Rama.

She made 3 statements as a kind of command to the Fire god, all of which convey only one meaning – that she was absolutely loyal to Rama in thought, word and action and that Fire would not harm her if this was true.

It is in the same spirit that thousands of devotees have walked on fire in front of temple of their Gods (Goddesses mostly) in Tamil speaking lands in all these years.

This practice might sound primitive and unless this was in existence in the lands of Tamils adjoining Lanka of those times, could Sita have offered to do it?

Or is it the other way round, that it was Sita who started the practice and from her, the people around the region started following her –to show loyalty to whomever it matters – or to Sita herself, as fire-walking is always done to the female deity only?

(To be continued)



11 comments:

R.Ramanathan said...

Just curious have you ever seen a text of the grammar Agatiyam supposed to have been penned by Agatiyar?

jayasree said...

Welcome Mr Ramanathan.
No one has seen Agatheeyam as it was lost even 2000 years ago. The presently available Tholkappiyam was written by Agasthya's disciple and was based on Agatheeyam.

Sheela said...

Dear Madam

fire walking is fascinating., people come with utter faith staying overnight in a Perumal temple dressing up themselves as women decorating with flowers n kajal in eyes and thiruman sporting their forehead and first day evening they will be poured with turmeric water enroute and have to come around Draupadi amman temple till a huge pot holds vertically the sworde without any balance this is a wonder. they will have to run around continusouly till this happens, they will be whipped and poured with turmeric water.\ till this sword balances in the pot.

second day morning Duryodana & Dushasana vadham happens and female folks offer vella pongal near the temple itself and seccond day evening firewalk happens.

this happens in my location @ chennai. on these two days it will definitely rain. there is some scientific connection to this. and they chant for entire event as Govinda/ Govinda this happens in Aadi tamil month. its a 10 day event and Dharma raja/ Draupadi urchavar go in procession this happens late in evening. before firewalk day Draupadi alone comes with open hair, after firewal she ties up n come along with Dharmaraja. i hope this should happen more or less same in all Draupadi amman temples all over Tamilnadu

jayasree said...

Thanks a lot Ms Sheela for the details. Can I Know in which part of Chennai you have seen this. Please share with me any other info on this that can be used in this series.

The information collected by me pertains to Velir regions and in particular a village in Dharmapuri district. I noticed 2 different branches one from Mahabharata times / by people who settled in TN due to displacement from Dwaraka and another owing to the burning of Madurai by Kannagi and the tradition to appease her. There was even a Sangam age poet by name "Thee- midhi Naaganaar" or Theenmidhi Naaganar. I will be doing a separate post on fire walking and the possibility of Sita having done fire- walking and not entry into fire as in Sati.

Sheela said...

Dear Madam,
this happens in Chintadripet Dharmaraja Draupadi amman koil., they stay overnight in Adhikesava Perumal temple nearby and in pond they do their costumes, white clothes dipped in manjal Chintadripet is known as Adhikesavapuram earlier after Britishers brought thari weavers and gave name as Chinnatharipettai. understand from Perumal temple that 6 generations before for thirumanjanam water is brought from Cooum river in procession unrecorded versions say Acharya Ramanuja has visited this temple enroute to Thiruvallikeni. so this place had more sanctity which is different now with identity as Chintadripet fish market.

coming back to this firewalking my father side family deity is Draupadiamman in Parangipettai now Tranquiebar. since we have elaborate festival here i have never visited this Parangipettai temple. now chintadripet temple premises has shrunk with houses very close but still this event is done with much fanfare all communities participate.

they believe unpious ones may be punished with casualities or even death during firewalk.

any further details required shall put you to right persons in Draupadi amman temple.

jayasree said...

Thanks for the details Ms Sheela, you have given a very valuable link to a past history. I can see a connection here between Triplicane Partasarathy temple and Asikesava perumal Temple of Chindadripet. In my opinion someone close to Krishna's clan had consecrated Parthasarathy with his family at Triplicane which was originally Narasimha temple. Obviously they had shifted after the deluge at Byt Dwaraka, 3500 years ago, when Pandyans also lost their habitat in the southern sea due to a surge in Indian ocean. People of the same group of immigrants had settled in Chintadripet and retained their memory of Draupadi and Dharma raja. It is my strong opinion that temples of Draupadi where Duryodhana dahanam and enacting of Mahabharata are done must have been established by people who came from the regions of Mahabharata. If these temples have fire walking tradition, then fire-walking can be deemed to have a connection with Draupadi. I will get back to you if need more information on this temple.

Sheela said...

dear madam,

shall be glad to assist. one more info on chintadripet there are lot of saurashtrians here and they do the artwork of temple umbrella/decorations to Ther etc.. kodai for thirupathi for garuda sevai and for all temples go from chintadripet there is a street called iyya mudali street where this artisans live.

Leela said...

Absolutely fascinating research. Is there a book on the topic of Tamil people their origins and on their literature? Please let me know if such works exist. Thank you .

jayasree said...

Thanks Ms Leela.
There must be books on Tamils' origins but invariably all of them must have been seen through Dravidian ideology. Mine is purely indigenous and based on primary texts.

Sridharan Shanmugam said...

Your comments on Tamils belongs to Chera or Chola or Pandya Kingdom and not the one belonging to Indus, Elam or Srilanka seems to be carefully worded with interest as Indus civilization was no more during chekuttuvon period and to it could be possible Elam or Srilanka was ruled by either Cholas or Pandas themselves

jayasree said...

For long Srilanka was not approached by any one from outside, mainly because that was under the control of Ravana and his descendants. During Pandyan rule, Ravana was trying to raid Tamil lands in the Indian main land. But that was thwarted by Pandya with the threat of shooting the weapon Brahma Shiras on Lanka. Ravana relented and bought peace with Pandyans.
In those days the geography was based on Deva - Asura parameters. Lanka was an Asura land. Pumpukar was the last point of Deva land. No body from India or anywhere from northern latitudes were interested in settling down in Lanka mainly because it was categorized as Asura land. Only those from South of Lanka came and occupied it. It continued for long till Mahabharata times.

After Ravana's times, it came under his brother Vibheeshana. Till Mahabharata times we find reference only to Vibheeshana's clan in Lanka. Only during Ashoka's times migrations happened into Lanka mostly from Kalinga and Vanga countries for spread of Buddhism. There is a genetic study establishing genetic origin of Lankans (Sinhalese) to Vanga (Bengal), It was only around 1000 CE, Cholan kings started intruding into Srilanka trying to wield their authority. By then Srilanka had become completely Buddhist and apparently did not not like violence and war. That made them even say that Damilas were an-aryas (non aryan = not noble) for their thirst for war.

Most of the expeditions by Cholans did not give lasting control.Prominent example is that of Manu needi Cholan in 3rd century BCE which I will be writing in a future article in this series. He went on an expedition but was defeated and killed. Mahavamsam had recorded this. Read here: http://lakdiva.org/mahavamsa/chap025.html

But no one back home in TN bothered to know what happened to Manu needi Chola. Researchers must have definitely stumbled upon the details about his demise, but deliberately kept quiet to support the so-called Tamil nationalism.

Srilankan Tamil is not Tamil Proper, but Kodum Tamil. That was not even present in Sangam age or till the time Cholans started making expeditions. The Tamils of today in srilanka were brought to Srilanka by British rulers.