Stephen Knapp on how American Hindus must cultivate their culture in the foreign land.
American Hindus: How to Cultivate Your Culture in America
One thing I have witnessed is that how 20, 30 or more years ago, when Indians were coming to America, they came to concentrate on their careers, not their culture. Yet, many of them have now turned back to their culture and have become better Hindus than if they would have stayed in India. Some may have realized that the American dream is not all cracked up to be, or, more simply, in order to feel more complete and fulfilled, it is better that they still have a strong connection with their Vedic traditions. It may also be because they want their children to be trained-up in the culture of their homeland. So, now many of them have reconnected with the spiritual customs and traditions of Vedic India.
However, a problem that many Indian Hindu families are facing is that many of their children, growing up in the West, are losing interest in their culture. That can partly be because the parents don not show enough interest, which is the impression passed on to the children. But, it is also encouraging to see that those children who do take an interest are often becoming more dedicated Hindus than their own parents. Yet, we can see that this is often a matter of association, who the children pick as friends and how they learn about what Vedic culture or Sanatana-dharma really are. Therefore, the children have to be guided by proper training, proper association, and proper observance of Vedic traditions. This also is part of forming the proper samskaras in the minds of the children. And isn't this what we are meant to do anyway?
One thing that we should realize while we live and grow in America, is that the way things are going in India, we practically have more freedom to practice the Vedic culture and its traditions in America than we do in India, and I could certainly elaborate on that point, but already have in other articles that you can read on my website. So, we need to know how to utilize this freedom that we have.
Secondly, we need to know that America is a prime location where we can work together for cultivating as well as protecting and preserving the Vedic tradition. But we need to base this cooperation beyond the considerations of caste or ethnic differences, those labels of the body. We may call ourselves Hindus, and then Indians, but how many times do you call yourselves Gujarati Hindus, or Bengali, or Marathi, or Tamil Hindus, and so on. Such temporary distinctions of the body are taught in the Vedic texts to be but part of the illusion. And we should not want to remain in such illusion, such maya. The whole basis of the Vedic spiritual process is to raise ourselves out of such illusion and recognize our higher spiritual potential as spiritual beings. We are actually the spirit soul within whatever kind of body we may temporarily have. We need to base our cooperation and the way we identify with each other on that. And America can be the best place for this to happen.
Yet, this is one of the problems that we see in India: there are so many groups that have similar goals and interests for the benefits of the culture and country, but there are so many differences between these groups based on superficialities of the body that they cannot unite and become a strong federation, a powerful organization that can determine their own fate, or the future of the country. If anything, so many associations in India still fight with one another and, thus, weaken each other to the point of becoming incapable of performing any worthwhile actions that will make a real difference for the unity and future of India and its culture.
This was the same sort of weakness of the past 1000 years when invaders came into India, sometimes few in numbers, but took over parts of the country without much resistance. It was a lack of unity amongst the princely states, their inability to support each other or come to the aid of another that allowed for such a poor defense system that they could not repel their invaders. So we have to ask ourselves, are we going to continue the same pattern? Are we going to sit back and criticize others and what they have done and point out what they should have done, while we do nothing? If we do, then there is no doubt that we are already finished. It is only a matter of time when we and the Vedic system will become so reduced that it will fade from the world, like other cultures that have been reduced to mere museum pieces. We have to rise above that.
Some of you will say that I am being overly dramatic, and that Sanatana-dharma is eternal, so that will never happen. To that I will only ask, haven't you honestly read the Bhagavad-gita? Haven't you read one of the reasons why Lord Krishna appeared in this world? It was to revive the Vedic traditions and its teachings, which had become lost, faded from what it once was. So, are we going to allow that to happen? Are we going to simply wait for someone else to take up the reigns to lead us, to protect and preserve the culture, or to bring it back to its glory the way it used to be?
So, as American Hindus, we should first recognize ourselves as spiritual beings, followers of Sanatana-dharma. Only after that should we recognize each other as Indians, or connected with India. We must first see ourselves as spiritual beings, and then everyone else in the same light, the light of spiritual knowledge. Then we can come together and cooperate in real unity, real concern for protecting and preserving the Vedic Dharma, not only for ourselves, but for our families, our children, and for the many generations to come. Even my own spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, once asked us, what is the use of being Americans if you cannot do something significant?
Let us make sure that the Vedic tradition and its spiritual knowledge is not an eternal yet hidden philosophy that has been forgotten or difficult to attain and utilize. Let us make sure that it remains a guiding light for everyone, all over the world, and accessible for those who seek deep spiritual knowledge, over and above mere pious religion. That is the way it is meant to be. I have often said that Vedic culture is the last bastion of deep spiritual truth. If we lose that, then all of humanity is in for a very dark future.
However, as Americans of Indian descent and followers of Vedic culture, we also must never forget that India is the homeland of our Vedic tradition, and that is what it must always remain. We must protect that as well. But how do we use our freedom here in America to do that? What do we do?
AN EIGHT POINT ACTION PLAN
FIRST, as I mentioned, we need to respect each other as spiritual beings, followers and friends on the path of Vedic Dharma. We can become encouraged by coming together and associating in this way, and seeing the positive effects of the tradition on each other. Then we must cooperate and work together to assist ourselves and our friends along this path, and there are many ways in which we can do this, of which I will mention only a few here.
SECONDLY, we utilize our freedom to assemble and rejoice in the Vedic festivals and celebrations that we can observe. This makes way for the joys of life, and also creates many samskaras of these happy times in the minds of our children, the memories of which last for many years and propels them to do the same with their children. This is love, this is what we want, love for God and love for each other as parts of God.
THIRDLY, the Indian community in America is one of the wealthiest. According to Vedic Dharma, such wealth is a tool to either help spiritualize your life, or build a crown on your head, the weight of which will only drag you down into darker realms in the next life if you are a miser. There also is nothing more beneficial than to help secure the spiritual progress of others, whoever they may be. We may start with our own families, but when we contribute to the construction of new temples, and to the maintenance and the programs and festivals held at existing temples, it is certainly the most beneficial use of our money and our earnings. And when used in this way, it purifies the time we spent in earning it, and turns our occupation into karma and bhakti yoga. Furthermore, you then share in the good fortune of the spiritual progress made by others through your contributions. It is similar to a network marketing program where the more people you sign up under you and help them be successful, the more you also earn. But this is spiritual, so this goes into your spiritual bank account. Thus, the more people who participate in any programs you arrange or support, such as those at a temple, the more spiritual credit or punya you get for the spiritual progress they make. And this can go on for generations, long after you have left this world, depending on what it is that you arrange or establish. Is there a better way to leave your mark in this world than in benefiting others in such a way, as well as yourself? And if you cannot start or do your own projects, at least support those people who are already working in this way. This is far better than dying with large bank accounts that you cannot take with you into the next realm.
These days we can see Indians in America of all status who do anything and spend all kinds of money so their children can go to the most prestigious or most costly universities available. It is almost like a competition in who can boast the most about what colleges their children are going to. And what happens? Much of the time their children become wealthy materialists with little or no interest in the culture or in following Vedic Dharma. They earn lots of money only to spend lots of money on temporary, bodily pursuits. But why not? This is the way they were pushed by their own parents, so what else can we expect. Or people spend lavish amounts of money on weddings. It is a grand festival, but within a few days, its all over and what has the money really done, other than provide something more to boast about? Is this the best we can do? I don't think so. Why not be a little more moderate and spend more money for really benefiting others and future generations by giving for the preservation of the Dharma.
FOURTHLY, educating yourselves and the youth in the Vedic customs and its philosophy is of extreme importance. The number one reason why Hindus convert to other religions is not because the other faiths are so much more organized and well-funded, though this may sometimes be a part of it. But it is primarily that Hindus are not educated enough in their own traditions and Vedic philosophy. They may go to the temple and do pujas, but they may not even know the significance of them, or the spiritual knowledge that is a part of the Vedic tradition, or the depth of this spiritual philosophy. Thus, it is important that everyone is educated properly. This can be done by holding regular group classes and discussions in the temple. And if this is not so easy, I have seen where people get together on a weekly basis to read, comment on and discuss such sacred texts as the Bhagavad-gita among themselves. This is extremely important so that people, and especially the youth, understand their own culture more deeply and can perceive the profound nature of it. I have already written an action plan with a list of points on how to help make the temples more effective.
FIFTHLY, we may do all of the above, but we also must realize that all we do to preserve and protect the Dharma can not be fully accomplished without its promotion. Yes, we have to promote the good and the depth of this Vedic culture. Such promotion may start amongst other Hindus, or within our family, Indian community, etc. Or it may also be done in ways to share our culture with other non-Hindus who are interested, such as inviting them to a festival, to the temple and showing them around, or just having a lunch with them at the local Indian restaurant and sharing the stories of your own life on how your culture has had positive affects on you. This is easy, there is nothing hard about it. And if you don't know what to say, then give them a brochure, or a booklet or book that explains the basics of the philosophy so they can start to understand it or look more deeply into it. (And I have got plenty of free brochures or booklets on my website or that I can send you if you need them.) Basically, whether you like this idea or not, we must learn to promote the values of the Vedic tradition in order to help preserve and protect it, and so others can appreciate it by seeing what it has to offer. This is a reality of these times, and the need for people to understand us. No matter what other religions you see, they all engage in strong promotion in order for people to understand them, or to attract other people to support or be a part of them. Thus, without proper promotion of Vedic culture, the cultivation of it and the protection and preservation of it remains incomplete. If we can present it properly, in a way in which it makes sense to the people, then they will understand it. Its all in the presentation.
Such promotion may also include advertising the activities at the local temple, or about the festivals that are being held, or that all in the community are welcome to attend. Such promotion may also involve preparing publications, websites, radio programs, and other ways that help people to get to know about the unique and profound characteristics of the Vedic culture. You never know what might happen through such endeavors. You may find others, such as westerners, who want to participate, or even help support the temple, festivals or projects.
To give an example, I was giving a presentation to around 120 people of an interfaith group at the Cincinnati Hindu temple. It was a presentation on how the Divine appears in Vedic art and the various forms and deities of God. Later, as the people were given a tour of the temple and further explanations of the temple deities, so many people came up to me to express how much they liked the presentation and slide show. But they also would say that though they have been Catholics, or practicing Jews for years, they have never felt a strong connection to their religion. But they were really attracted and felt a kinship with what they were experiencing at the Hindu temple that evening. So, we encouraged them to visit more often and read about the Vedic traditions to learn more about it. This proves that you never know what can happen, and that people from all walks of life can feel attracted. We need to realize how special this spiritual culture is and not be afraid to share it with others.
SIXTHLY, we must object to all prejudice against Vedic culture and Hinduism in the media. Why are people so easy going about writing and publishing any damn criticism about India and Hindus and Hinduism? Because they know that in most cases, no one and nothing will be done about it. No one will stand up against them. This attitude must change. In America free press is for everyone. In other words, you can also write into the editor of any publication to object to something you disagree with. However, the point to remember is that the more who do that, the more effective it is. And this is where group cooperation becomes very important and influential. If someone denigrates a Hindu or Hinduism, it is not so difficult to write a letter and demand an apology. But if that same letter is circulated to a large group, along with the email or address of the editor, and many people start signing it and sending it in, it will flood the editor's office or email address and certainly get noticed. In today's world of communication, a program of protest could be put together and accomplished within a few days.
A standard letter could be posted on a website in which blanks are there in the form to fill in for whatever incident is to be described, and then used to send into the editor, writer, publisher, or whoever. This makes it very easy, and less likely that such incidents will go without protest. We need to do things in this way.
We also need to process lawsuits as well. Utilizing part of our money in defense of Vedic Dharma in lawsuits against slander or other crimes against Vedic culture and those who follow it will also help make sure that people become more cautious about committing such acts again. These and other methods need to be taken into consideration to make sure that people and the media realize that Hindus are a force to be reckoned with. American Hindus must clearly understand that they cannot remain silent or wonder who will be the fodder for the next racist policeman or person who wants to take their anger out on them. For too long Hindus have not been organized and have remained apathetic to what has gone on around them or to them. This needs to change.
SEVEN. This leads to point number seven, in which American Hindus must become politically active. This does not simply mean that you vote, or that you attend fundraisers for your favorite candidate to have a photo with them that you can hang on your wall. How has that helped anything? We need to get more serious. American Hindus can also volunteer in large numbers in political campaigns to show the force that we can have, that politicians realize we are a great force that they will want on their side. But we should also vote as a block. We should look seriously at the issues any candidate is addressing, and then vote for the person who will be best for the interests of American Hindus and relations between the U.S. and India.
Presently, there are also more Indians in America that have been voted into various offices than ever before. Unfortunately, some are converted Christians. But the point is that it is not so difficult to get started. American Hindus can also run for school boards, city councils, for mayor, and on up to state governor. We should see that as not merely a chance to get into office, but a chance to show the influence of Vedic thought and ideas on the issues of the day, and a chance to show the beauty of the Vedic culture. I had a friend who ran for office in Hawaii. He had no money, no influence, but as he appeared on television shows, and in debates, he gained influence and support. He did not win the election, but everyone knew of his connection with Vedic culture and people admired him. If he would have continued to run for office in following elections, he may have won. In other words, it is all positive. We simply have to step out and do it. And if people do take notice, or if we do win, it can be a major step in preserving, protecting and promoting the beauty of Vedic culture, which can also be appreciated and utilized by Americans themselves. Then instead of you wanting to get in a photo with your favorite politician, people will want their photo with you.
EIGHT. The last point is dealing with interfaith marriages. This is happening on an increasing level. As they say, love is often blind, keeping you from seeing the realities that will become apparent down the road. But statistics have shown that most interfaith marriages dissolve, ending with divorce, especially when the issue of children comes up and the decision has to be made regarding how they are going to be raised, and what religion will they follow. The fact is that most Hindu girls who marry outside the Hindu fold either convert or allow their spouse to have control over the children in regard to their faith. And Hindu boys often do the same thing. Therefore, whenever an interfaith marriage occurs, much of the time you can figure that by the next generation or two, that family will no longer be following Vedic culture. They will be something else, which contributes to what may be viewed as the slow demise of the Vedic tradition. That is why the fourth point about educating yourselves, your children and giving them the right association and friendship through temples and youth or Dharmic camps can be so helpful for them to realize the depth of what the Vedic philosophy has to offer, and to keep them in the Hindu fold. This can help pave the way for them to realize the importance of this to their future, their children, and the future generations of their family if they remain in the Dharmic fold by marrying another Hindu, or someone who wants to follow it.
These are all powerful ways in which the community of American Hindus can work together to cultivate and benefit from the oldest living, spiritual tradition on earth, as well as preserve and protect the Vedic tradition. Let us all help each other do this. Dharma Rakshati Rakshitah. Jai Sri Krishna.
What men fear most? A survey and some astrology.
A recent survey conducted among the British men showed that they feared most growing grey hairs than going bald. Baldness came second in their list of worries. The third place went to unwanted hair on the ear and then only came worries about over weight and yellow teeth.
I don’t think this list would be the same if surveyed among the Indian men. From what I see from the people coming for matching horoscopes, I get a feed back that receding hairlines or early balding are a disadvantage for prospective grooms. In contrast, graying hair is not a big issue. In a country where wearing wigs is still un common, early balding is difficult to hide while graying hair can be managed easily with hair dyes. Nowadays I suggest parents to look for alliance for their sons as early as in their mid twenties, than to postpone on some family reasons - the most common being younger sisters still waiting to be married. Most men seem to go balding pretty soon in their life.
Looking for indications in astrology for balding, let me first give some notions on Samudrika lakshana for men for hairs.
On body hair and hair on head, the growth of single hair from a single hair follicle is auspicious. It makes one kingly.
If two hairs grow from a single hair follicle, it makes the man learned and observe duties life as prescribed in sastras.
If three or more hairs grow from as single hair follicle, it makes one poor and grief stricken.
On the hair on head, the sastra does not favour thick hair for men. Soft and glossy looking hair, dark and curled and growing not much in quantity and not having split ends is auspicious. Such a person will live in great comfort and be kingly. On the other hand, thick hair growth with unequal length having split ends and not looking glossy and curling too much is not a sign of comfortable living for the man.
On hairs on the ears that the British men were worried about, it is not a bad thing according to this sastra. Long life will be assured for the man with hairs on the ear.
On facial hair, what applies to the head is also applicable here. Glossy looking, but growing well with no split ends is the lakshana.
There is no mention of early balding or early graying in the sastra for men on their physical features regarding hair.
For that we have to look at the horoscope.
According to classical texts, we have to see the lagna (ascendant) in rasi (D-1) and Navamsa (D-9) for the kind of appearance and hair growth.
In addition to them, we have to see D-30 (Trimsamsa) and D-3 (Drekkana) lagna also for determining hair loss.
The sun is associated with hair loss while Saturn is associated with quick ageing, that is, early graying of hair.
A weaker sun in the above mentioned divisional charts hastens the speed of hair loss.
In the fetus, the 6th month is the time for growth of hair on the body and on the head. Saturn controls the 6th month of the fetus. How the hair growth is going to be will be determined by the Saturn- influence on the fetus on the 6th month. But we have no means to judge this as this is with reference to the birth time lagna which we can not know beforehand but which is pre-determined according to astrology.
The lagna (ascendant) stands for how one looks and also for the features of the head.
The Sun in the lagna or in the 7th affects the hair growth. People with sun in lagna or the 7th in D-1 are first rate candidates for early symptoms for receding hairlines. If the Sun is associated with the lagna or the 7th in the other divisional charts also, early balding is a sure happening.
The Navamsa lagna (D-9) also determines the growth of hair. Even if the sun is not in the 1st and the 7th house in lagna, if it gets associated with these houses in D-9, there are chances of hair loss. Navamsa determines the amount and growth of hair.
You can check it in the Nehru family. Nehru had sun in the 7th house (cancer) in D-9 and Sanjay Gandhi
had sun in the lagna of D-9. Rajiv Gandhi had sun in the lagna in rasi. Rahul Gandhi also has sun in the
lagna in D-1 and D-3. It is weak in D-9 in the 12th house in Scorpio, associated with Saturn, showing that he must have already started graying but masking it with some hair dye.
Now let us take a look at sign-wise Navamsa lagnas.
If the D-9 lagna falls in the sign of Sun (Leo), no need to worry about
balding. The person will have thick and curly hair growth. Obama has Navamsa lagna in Leo, but has sun in the 7th in D-1.. The sun is strong and auspicious in the other divisional charts. So we have to do a combined reading. Sun in the 7th will certainly give a receding hairline but its strength in other charts with Leo as Navamsa lagna will not give him undue baldness. The hair thickness had come down early in his life. But look at his Saturn. It is in its own sign in both D-1 and D-9 and in lagna in rasi. He must have started graying early. People and the media are thinking that it started only after he assumed office.
If the D-9 lagna falls in the sign of Moon (Cancer), there must be worry about hair on the head. There will be more hair on the body but thin hair on the head! Early balding comes with lagna in Cancer in D-9 and D-3 and D-30.
If the D-9 lagna falls in the sign of Mars (Aries and Scorpio), there is a strong chance of balding. This is a major pointer to baldness as per texts. There is no differentiation between these signs as being fiery or watery. That they are lorded by Mars is the cause for the hair loss. You can check with Mahathma Gandhi’s horoscope.
If the D-9 lagna falls in the sign of Mercury (Gemini and Virgo), the person will have beautiful hair.
If the D-9 lagna falls in the sign of Jupiter (Sagittarius and Pisces), once again the same feature as above. Usually the Navamsa lagna in the houses of benefics ensure beautiful and good growth of hair.
If the D-9 lagna falls in the sign of Venus (Taurus and Libra), same as above.
If the D-9 lagna falls in the sign of Saturn ( Capricorn and Aquarius), dull and thin hair will result. Early graying is also seen.
Aging woes: Going grey is men's worst nightmare
According to the survey, more than half of the respondents said going grey was their worst fear. Hair loss or thinning, is the second most common concern, worrying 40% of the respondents to the Mintel survey of 2,000 British men. Unwanted hair (in the nose and ears) preoccupied 38% of respondents, being overweight bothered 37% and 30% were worried about yellowing teeth.
And, it seems that 45 is the age where real discontent sets in about how a chap sees himself. More than a quarter of those aged between 45 and 54 disliked four aspects of their appearance, compared to an average of over one in ten men.
"Although grey hair is traditionally seen as a mark of distinction in men, the reality is many men are unhappy with their newfound gravitas," the Daily Mail quoted a spokesman for Mintel, a market survey firm.
"The physical changes associated with ageing can act as a catalyst to mid-life crisis as men become less content with their appearance after the age of 45," he added.
“Moriyar" in Sangam texts refers to Mongolians? (World Tamil Conference series 17)
Two papers presented in the Tamil Conference highlighted the presence of Tamil words in Korean language and Mongolian language.
On Korean language:-
On Mongolian language:-
The expeditions of the Tamil kings in Southeast Asia had contributed to the spread of Hindu culture, temples and Tamil words to the regions including Korea.
But Mongolia is a far off place on the other side of the Himalayas that it intrigues any researcher as to how the Tamil words are found in the language of the Mongols.
The following link analyses the similarity in Dravidian and Mongolian languages.
Of interest to us is the Tamil word 'tikiri' (திகிரி), which means circle, a round substance or a wheel (உருளை , சக்கரம் ) pronounced as 'toguri' in Mongol having the same meaning!
This word 'thikiri' is associated with a people called "Moriyar" who cut through the snow- clad mountains to bring their 'thikiri' to the regions of the South to crush the people of 'Mogoor'.
This incident is revealed in 4 places in the Sangam texts - at one verse in Purananuru and at 3 verses in Aka-nanuru.
Some scholars have analyzed these verses and arrived at a conclusion that the Moriyar were Mauruyas of the Magadha kingdom.
They came to the South at the request of Kosars, by making way a pathway in the mountain to bring their 'Thikiri' and fought with the rulers of Mogoor.
This Mogoor is near the Pandyan Capital of Madurai. (a vaishnavite divya desam temple is here).
The Kosars were from the areas of Kongu naadu as the texts speak of them as 'Kongu - ilam - Kosar' (the youthful Kosars of Kongu region).
There are two discrepancies in this conclusion. One is that Mogoor being close to Madurai and had been in war very often with the adjacent Cheran kingdom ( as per Sangam texts) how did the Mauryas gain access to this place in the heart of Tamil lands without inviting opposition form the Tamil kings. The Tamil kings had fought among themselves, but when an external threat was sensed, they had joined together to keep off that threat.
The second issue is the description of cutting a mountain so that their 'thikiri' could roll down smoothly. This description does not fit the topography of Mogoor. Which mountain was cut by the Mauryas to bring their thikiri rolled chariots or vehicles?
It is a long way to come from Magadha kingdom to come to Mogoor.
However some scholars have proposed some explanation leading to the above conclusion.
Their conclusion is wrong as two out of the 4 verses on Moriyar clearly state that they had cut across the snow-clad mountains!
This refers to Himalayas only.
The verse from Purananuru is more descriptive of the land beyond this mountain.
Verse 175 of Purananuru says that if one goes through this path way cut by the Moriyar and reach the other side, one will come to the land where the "Adhitya mandalam" meaning the sun, staying all through the day and night in the sky.
This refers to the region beyond 60 degrees of Northern latitudes.
The poet Aatthirayanaar (ஆத்திரையனார் ) confirms again (that he is indeed speaking about a Northern latitude where the sun stays in the sky all the time that there is no difference between day and night time (in summer) ) by comparing the King Aathanungan (ஆதனுங்கன் ) as one who does not differentiate between day and night when it comes to protecting his people.
விண்பொரு நெடுங்குடைக் கொடித்தேர் மோரியர்
திண்கதிர்த் திகிரி திரிதரக் குறைத்த
உலக இடைகழி அறைவாய் நிலைஇய
மலர்வாய் மண்டிலத் தன்ன, நாளும்
பலர்புரவு எதிர்ந்த அறத்துறை நின்னே.
The commentary retrieved from palm leafs by Dr U.Ve.Sa runs thus:-
"வென்றி வேலை உடைய விசும்பைத் தோயும் நெடிய குடையினையும், கொடி அணிந்த தேரினையும் உடைய, நிலமுழுதும் ஆண்ட வேந்தரது திண்ணிய ஆர் சூழ்ந்த சக்கரம் இயங்குதற்குக் குறைக்கப்பட்ட வெள்ளி மலைக்கு அப்பாலாகிய உலகத்திற்குக் கழியும் இடைகழியாகிய அற்றவாயின்கண் தேவர்களால் நிறுத்தப்பட்டு இரு பொழுதும் ஒரு பெற்றியே நிலை பெற்று விளங்கும் பரந்த இடத்தை உடைய ஆதித்ய மணடலத்தை ஒப்ப, நாள்தோறும இரவு பகல் என்னாமல் பலரையும் காத்தலை ஏற்றுக் கொண்டு ஒரு பெற்றியே விளங்கிய அறத்த்துறையாகிய நின்னை "
It says that the mighty king having the victory - giving spear and a sky-high Umbrella, cut the silvery mountain to make way for the wheels of his chariot to run. Going beyond this silvery mountain through the way he has made, one comes to a world where the sun always stays in the sky thereby making no difference to day and night. My king is also like that sun as he does not differentiate between the day and night and protect his subjects at all times.
These unknown commentators of the undated past also mention the Moriyar as "Chakkaravaalach chakkaravarthikal". (சக்கரவாளச் சக்கரவர்த்திகள் ).
In Tamil lexicon, Chakkravaalam (சக்கரவாளம் ) refers to a mountain range encircling the earth that is situated at the foot hill of the Mount Meru. The North pole is referred to as the peak of Mount Meru.
This description also suits the North European latitude. In that case, the Moriyar must have come through the Northwest part of the Himalayas. This invasion by Moriyar can also refer to the invasion by Alexander. But his route does not cut through the Himalayan passes. Alexander did cross a mountain but that was in the Middle East and not in the snow clad mountains. So the probability points towards a movement through the north or north eastern Himalayas.
When we analyze the other verses, we arrive at a possibility of the Moriyar coming through Nathu la pass on the Chinese side.
This is a main mountain route which is part of the ancient Silk route.
The Mongols had always tried to control the Silk route.
Their location in the distant past had been to the north of China and bordering Siberia.
The Great Wall of China was built over a period to safe guard their territory from the Mongols.
The Moriyar were mentioned with a prefix – 'vamba' as vamba Moriyar – the Moriyar who were mischievous.
The Mauryas who ruled from Pataliputhra were not called with such a demeaning term.
There had been cordial relationship with the Mauryas.
The pot ware found in Rameshwaram is connected to Mauryan kingdom showing regular contact with Mauryans as early as the Ashokan times.
Pataliputhra finds favorable mention in Sangam texts.
Pataliputhra was associated with riches and gold.
In Kurunthogai 75, we find the heroine telling the messenger that she would gift him Pataliputhra of abundant gold, situated near river Sone, for having brought the happy news of the return of her lover.
பொன்மலி பாடலி பெறீஇயர்
யார்வாய்க் கேட்டனை காதலர் வரவே.
The Nanda kings also find mention in Akananuru along with Patalipuaram in Akanauru 265.
பல்புகழ் நிறைந்த வெல்போர் நந்தர்
சீர்மிகு பாடலிக் குழீஇக், கங்கை
நீர்முதற் கரந்த நிதியம் கொல்லோ?
Perumkathai 1-58 glorifies the goldsmiths of Pataliputhra.
Paatalip pirantha pasum pon vinaingyarum
Thus we find that Mauryas were in the good books of Tamils.
The richness of their capital at Patna had attracted the Tamils.
In the verse in Akananuru, the hero had gone to the far – off lands to do business and fetch money.
Pataliputhra must have been the major stop over on his (their) way to the Northern lands.
Akananuru verse 69 is about the non appearance of the hero for a long time. He had gone through the path way made by the Moriyar on the mountains.
That is a long way. It would time for him to finish business and come back home. The friend consoles the heroine by saying like this.
"விண்பொரு நெடுங்குடை இயல்தேர் மோரியர்
பொன்புனை திகிரி திரிதர குறைத்த
அறைஇறந்து அகன்றனர் ஆயினும், எனையதூஉம்
This verse tells about the Moriyar in the context of expressing the pathway taken by the hero.
That pathway was made by the Moriyar by cutting and making way for the "thikiri" ( wheels of the chariots) to run.
Another verse (281) of Akananuru makes an explicit mention about the snow clad mountain as the one that the Moriyar crossed by cutting a way through.
கனைகுரல் இசைக்கும் விரைசெல் கடுங்கணை
முரண்மிகு வடுகர் முன்னுற, மோரியர்
தென்திசை மாதிரம் முன்னிய வரவிற்கு
விண்ணுற ஓங்கிய பனிஇருங் குன்றத்து,
எண்கதிர்த் திகிரி உருளிய குறைத்த
அறைஇறந்து, அவரோ சென்றனர்
This verse is also a consolation offered by the friend to the heroine who is worried about the delay in the return of her man.
He had not just gone to some place; he had gone to the lands by crossing the pathway made by the Moriyar on the snow-clad mountains. It would take time to come from there, so be calm –says the friend.
Here also the tough feat of making the path for their wheels (thikiri) to roll is mentioned.
Additional information is that the Moriyar had come to the southern direction with the Vadugar (Norrthies) leading them.
This expression had confused the scholars making them assume that the North Indians had come to the South of India with Moriyar by making pathway on the mountains. But we can not ignore the mention of "pani irum kundram" (பனி இரும் குன்றம் ) – the snowy mountain.
In another verse (251) of Akananuru, we find the mention of Mogoor. This verse seems to make confusion.
துனைகால் அன்ன புனைதேர்க் கோசர்
தொல்மூ தாலத்து அரும்பணைப் பொதியில்,
இன்இசை முரசம் கடிப்பிகுத்து இரங்கத்,
தெம்முனை சிதைத்த ஞான்றை; மோகூர்
பணியா மையின், பகைதலை வந்த
மாகெழு தானை வம்ப மோரியர்
புனைதேர் நேமி உருளிய குறைத்த
இலங்குவெள் அருவிய அறைவாய் உம்பர்,
This says that the Moriyar came to Mogoor to help the Kosar.
The regular reference to their wheel (given as 'nemi' in this verse) coming through the pathway made in the mountains is there.
But the reference to Pothiyil does make one to connect Mogoor to the Tamil land near Pothigai mountain.
In my opinion, since we can not brush off the reference to the snowy mountain where the pathway was laid and the land beyond the mountain referring to Northern latitudes, the above verse with a reference to Pothigai must have been a case of mistaken identity.
The poet however refers to this incidence at a distant past (தொல்மூதாலத்து)
The information on Moriyar could well be a widely circulated story of their strength in making a pathway in the mountain – this incident is repeatedly recalled in all the 4 verses. But only in this verse the connection to Tamilnadu is found.
It could well be that the Kosars and Mogoor of the North India were mistaken for the Kosars and Mogoor of Tamilnadu.
Nowhere in Tamil tests, the exact fight between the Moriyar and the king of Mogoor is recorded.
But war on Mogoor is mentioned in 2 places in Pathitruppatthu verses 44 and 49 (பதிற்றுப்பத்து ).
The Cheran king, Senkuttuvan also known as Kadal pirakkottiya Senkuttuvan (கடல் பிறக்கோட்டிய செங்குட்டுவன் ) –
the king who dedicated a temple for Kannagi vanquished the king Pazhayan of Mogoor.
His victory over Mogoor is praised in the Sangam texts.
Mogoor was under the rulership of Velir kings, the migrated Dwarakans.
They had their immediate enemies surrounding them always.
It is difficult to believe how the Cherans and Pandyans allowed Moriyar to reach this part in their neighborhood.
Even if the Moriyar made a solo expedition, that could not have happened without some understanding with the Cheran or Pandyan king who were strong in that region.
The Kosars were also part of migrated Dwarakans.
The Tamil Kings would have been happy to find both Mogoor and Kosar vanquished than to allow one overpower the other with the help of an outside force.
My opinion is that the names, Mogoor and Kosar must have been associated with the expedition of the Moriyar.
The legend of the Moriyar cutting a pathway on the mountain might have become a local legend in Tamilnadu who would have instantly found a connection to Mogoor and Kosar.
When we look for these names in North Indian chronicles or in areas beyond the Himalayas, we do get some connection with Mongols for Moriyar, Kosar for the Kosar tribes of Newars of Nepal.
The Mongol King Modu Chanyu known as Modun or Maodun (sounds like Moriyar
- மங்கோலியர் - in Tamil) who ruled Mongolia between 209 BCE to 174 BCE had been a terrible king.
He expanded his kingdom upto Siberia in the North and the Silk Route in the south.
The Silk route passes through Nathu la pass in the Himalayas.
He had been a terror figure in those days and launched 26 war campaigns to conquer 26 kingdoms, and became greatly feared widely throughout Asia.
The Kosars of Nepal were rationally engaged in robbery. ("Account of the Kingdom of Nepal" Page 356 by Francis Buchanan Hamilton, published in 1995. In 'Nepal Antiquary" by the Office of the Nepal-Antiquary (published in 1974)
Mogoor might refer to a region in the south of the Himalayan foot hills near Nepal. It is probable that the Kosars, the robbers were driven out by the Mogoors and in retaliation, the Kosars sought help from Maodun.
Maodun (Modu Chanya) might have crossed the Himalayas through Nathu la pass by laying a road there for his troops to move.
Later that road would have come to be used by people as part of the Silk route.
The other side of this pathway takes one to the Northern latitudes where the sun never sets in summer, which was recalled in the Puranauru verse.
All the Akananuru verses speak about the Tamil men crossing this pathway made by the Moriyar.
The Tamils of yore had been known for going to far off lands to make money.
"Thirai kadalodiyum diraviyam thedu" (திரை கடலோடியும் திரவியம் தேடு ) is the popular adage in Tamil.
The mention of Pataliputra in Sangam verses show the contact with that place.
From Pataliputhra, if one goes further north, the pathway across the Himalayas can be reached.
The Tamil men had gone through that route in the past and brought with them the story of the Moriyar who had made the pathway.
They also brought to the information on the strange lands beyond that pathway where there was no difference between the day and the night with the sun being fixed in the sky all the time.
This background information from Sangam texts also show what the Tamils could have gifted to those far-off regions.
It is their language and materials sold there.
With these men spending months together in such foreign lands – in Mongolia and China, there is no wonder that some Tamil words had found way into the language of the Mongols.
Mongol language also has some Telugu and Kannada words.
The reason is not difficult to seek.
All these people had wandered to those lands for business.
The route is a very popular one for centuries before the Common Era.
Any future excavation in Mongolia or China might show connections to Tamils.
Let us not attribute it to a non existent Dravidian connection.
Sangam texts give more authentic explanation for all that connection and many more about Tamils' past than what Dravidian politicians wish to cull out from the Indus valley through innocent and non-suspecting scholars of the IVC.
Its time Tamils understand that the true history of their rich past is to be found in Sangam texts and not in the Indus valley.
The Cocks in Indus seal and the Cock-city in Tamilnadu. (World Tamil Conference series 16)
In his paper analyzing the Indus signs, Dr Iravadham Mahadevan arrives at the Tamil words 'akam' and 'puram' for certain signs. In this context he has arrived at the meaning "ruined city of the cock" for the Indus seal of 2 cocks and a symbol (for city) and a bull (found in Mohenjadaro)
He connects it to the Cholan Capital Urayur (உறையூர் ) which was called as "Kozhi" ( கோழி ) in olden days, meaning cock. He however concedes that the name of this city is derived from a legend of a cock confronting an elephant.
On reading his paper, I thought that are more issues to be looked into before connecting the name Kozhi of Urayaur to the Indus language (symbol)
There is also a place in the South, right at the heart of the settlements of the migrated Dwarakans having the name Kozhi (cock) connected to it. That place is Kozhi-kode or Kozhikkodu, currently known as Calicut. Mr K.V. Krishna Iyer, the historian, has deduced the meaning of this name as "koyil + kodu" – koyil means the 'palace' and Kodu means 'Fortified' – a fortified palace. Why didn't Mr Mahadevan include this place for analysis as this also corresponds to his version?
Kozhikkodu can also be explained as this: -
Kozhi is cock and kodu in Tamil means "neerk karai" - நீர்க் கரை (by the side of waters) or "pirai mathi" பிறை மதி (crescent moon) among other meanings. These two meanings are suitable for this coastal city. From Dr Mahadevan's analysis, the crescent moon in the Indus seal stands for "puram" or "outside". This place is outside the main land. So Kozhikkode fulfils the meaning of the Indus seal given by Dr Mahadevan. This place is part of the cluster where the migrated Dwarakans settled down. From the account of Nacchinaarkkiniyar, they had moved up to Pothiyil mountains where in later days Aai Andiran became the famous king.
These areas are now in Kerala. The word Kozhi often occurs in the names of other birds of kerala.
There is a 'Kula kozhi' that looks like a partridge and found in Periyar lake.
There is a 'Chera kozhi', a kind of kite found in Kerala.
Another bird with a metallic bronze colored back and wings is known as 'Taamra Kozhi' or 'Bronze cock.
There is yet another species known as 'Kalan kozhi' which is found in Kerala.
I don't want to arrive at a conclusion that all these varieties of Kozhi have their origin in Indus Valley. These species are special to this part of India. The name Kozhi also seems to be derived from a meaning associated with Kozhi The term "kozh" (கோழ் ) means slippery, well- built, fatty etc. (வழ வழப்பான, செழிப்பான , கொழுப்பான ). Perhaps the word Kozhi was derived from Kozh.
The Cholan Capital "Kozhi" ( Urayaur) does not have the Indus connection. It had been a citadel of the Cholas right from their beginnings. Urayaur is mentioned in Ashokan edicts. Kozhi was its previous name. So this name must have been there centuries before the Common Era.
The Cholas had a well documented lineage from its founder King Chola varman who was a descendant of King Sibi of Ikshvaku dynasty. The copper plates found at Thiruvalankaadu inscribed in the 6th year of rulership of Rajendra Chola –I give the list of kings in the lineage of Cholas.
They came in the branch of Ikshvaku dynasty of Rama. When we compare the Ikshvaku dynasty of Rama as found in Valimiki Ramayana and the cholan lineage given in the copper plates, we find that they have had the same ancestry until Mandhatha. After him a diversion had taken place. Valimiki's narration seems to list down the names of the eldest ones to the throne in which Rama appears. King Sibi seems to come in the lineage of the younger sibling.
From the inscriptions, the lineage of the Cholas goes thus:-
After Mandhatha, the Chola lineage goes like this.
Cholavarman (Founder of Chola dynasty)
Chitradhanvan (who brought Kavery river)
This King Chitradhanvan desired to bring the river Kaveri trapped in the mountains just like how Bhageeratha brought the Ganges. (verse 35). And he did bring it to his kingdom.
Urayaur is situated on the banks of Kaveri. There is every likelihood that the Cholas had guarded the lands on the course of the river Kavery as theirs.
In the starting point at Kodagu, sage Agasthya has had his domination. The verse on a ruler called 'Aruvanthai''(அருவந்தை )' by the poet Kalladanaar (கல்லாடனார் ) in Purananuru (385) praising his philanthropy and the bounties of Kavery on him might well be about a kingdom at and around Brahmagiri hills where Kavery starts. His name also sounds with the "Aruvaalargal" (அருவாளர்கள் ) that Agasthya brought from Dwaraka (as per Nachinaarkiniyar). The sage had probably settled the Aruvaalar near his area to discourage any disturbance to them as they could be from the lower strata of the society. The other two groups, the 18 kings and 18 Velir groups might perhaps be higher ranking people.
Barring the upper stretches of Kavery, the other areas on its course might have been under the control of the Cholas.
What is needed for this article is the information that the Cholan kingdom had existed thousands of years ago when the river Kaveri was not flowing. Brushing aside such information given in the inscriptions, we can not say that the Indus people of just 3500 years ago came to the Cholan land of Urayur, lent the name to that place and came to be called as Tamils.
They had come – Dr Mahadevan accepts Nacchinnarkiniyar version of Dwarakan migration. There are other related versions also. The main version is the lapse of 49 generations before the King Irungovel. That exactly puts the time of migration with the end of Indus civilization at 1500 BC. But Tamilnadu had been brimming with people already at that time who were speaking Tamil.
Coming to the name Kozhi for urayur, the Pripadal thirattu (பரிபாடல் திரட்டு ) verse on Madurai (verse 7) mentions Kozhi. It says that the people of Madurai woke up to the sound of veda mantras unlike the people of Kozhi (Cholan capital) and Vanji (Cheran capital) who were woken up by the crowing of the cock.
The first deduction from this is that Vedic chanting and vedic worship had been there in Madurai at the time when Urayaur was known as Kozhi. I don't know how the people harping on Aryan invasion and Vedic civilization as succeeding Indus civilization would explain the vedic worship at Madurai.
The name-cause for Kozhi is found in Silappadhikaaram.
"முறஞ்செவி வாரணம் முன் சமம் முறுக்கிய
புறஞ்சிறை வாரணம் புக்கனர் "
(chapter 10 –verse 247-8)
Writing the commentary for this, Arumpatha uraiyaasiriyar (அரும்பத உரையாசிரியர் ) says:-
" யானையைக் கோழி முருக்கலால் கோழி என்று பெயராயிற்று . யானையைச் சயித்த கோழி தோன்றினவிடம் வலியுடைத்தென்று கருதி , அவ்விடத்து அதன் பெயராலே சோழன் ஊர் காண்கின்ற பொழுது , சிறையும் கழுத்துமாக ஆக்கியவதனால் புறம்பே சிறையையுடைய கோழி என்றாயிற்று "
(sirai – wings)
Writing on the same verse, commentator says Adiyaarkku nallaar (அடியார்க்கு நல்லார் ) says:-
"வாரணம் – கோழி , ஆவது உறையூர் . முற்காலத்து ஒரு கோழி யானையைப் போர் தொலைத்தலான் அந்நிலத்தில் செய்த நகர்க்குக் கோழி என்பது பெயராயிற்று "
Both have given the same version of a cock winning an elephant in an unknown past in that place. Since a unique feat of a cock winning en elephant happened in that place, the Cholan king, when he decided to have it as his capital - named if after the cock that has wings on its sides, says Arumpatha uraiyaasiriyar.
This version of cock and elephant seems to be the case of a cock fight!
Cock fights were not new to Tamil lands.
In Kurum thogai, (குறும் தொகை ) Sangam text, there comes a version of cock fight between the cocks on garbage. The poet who wrote that poem was known by that cock fight – as Kuppaik kozhiyaar (குப்பைக் கோழியார் ) The poet's original name is not known.
In verse 305, it is said that the thalaivi (heroine) suffered from the pangs of pain of separation from her lover. The pain was not caused by others and can not be cured by others. It was like the fight between the 'Kuppai kozhikal" – the fight between the cocks that were searching food from the wastes. There was none to prompt them to fight and none to separate them in time. Similarly the heroine was suffering from a pain which was not induced by others nor solved by others.
"குப்பைக் கோழி தனிப் போர் போல
விளிவாங்கு விளியி னல்லது
களைவோரிலை யான் உற்ற நோவே "
Here the poet makes a hidden note of sandaik kozhi (cocks in fight)
When the cock fights are organized ones, there are people who make the cocks enter a fight and also separate them whenever they wish to stop it.
The fight between the cocks on the mounds of wastes is not similar to that fight.
From this it is known that cock fights had been popular in olden Tamil lands.
The cocks were groomed for such fights. Such cocks used to be ferocious. The instance of an elephant being threatened by a cock might well be about a fighter cock jumping in ferocity that made an elephant run away from that place. This seems to be a possible explanation for the cock versus elephant fight that led to the popularity of the cock and the place where it was seen. Perhaps Urayur in those days had people who groomed cocks for fighting.
Cock-fight in Patiala
Cock fighting was a pastime in most agrarian societies. It was popular in Thanjavur, the Cholan capital in later years. It came at the time of Harvest festival (Pongal) in those days. Cock fights were popular in Kerala also. It is popular in most parts of Indian subcontinent including Pakistan. Punjab and Kashmir also are known for having this cock fight as a game.
The Indus seal looks more like a seal on cock fight and bull fight. Both cock fights and bull fights are popular with pastoral and agrarian societies. The images of the cocks resemble high- breed varieties, if we go by the Samudrika lakshna of Varahamihira. The shape of the neck of the cocks in this seal and the straight shape of the wings of the tail show that they were well groomed cocks. (chapter 63 on 'Features of the cock', Brihad samhitha).
The bull also looks like a ferocious one, trained for bull fights. The cocks are seen as a pair whereas the bull is single. This seal may perhaps be about the cock fight and bull fight. The bull is alone - may be because the fighter at the other end is not another bull but a man.
Tracing this logic of cock fight to pre- IVC period, there had been cock-fights in Mahabharata and Ramayana times.
Cock-fight is one of the 64 arts.
It is the 43rd art known as "mes-kukkuta-lavaka-yuddha-vidhi: – art of knowing the mode of fighting of lambs, cocks and birds.
The womenfolk were said to be good at this art. The gaNikas (courtesans) of Royal court since the times of Ramayana were trained in these 64 arts including the cock fights, goat- fights and bird-fights. Sage Rishyashringa was brought to the kingdom of Romapada by these courtesans. Because of his arrival, it rained in his kingdom. This sage later conducted the Putra kameshti yajna for the sake of Dasharatha as a result of which Rama and his brothers were born.
Radha, the Gopika also is said to have mastered all these arts.
Thus the cock fight seems to be pre-date IVC times.
Any search into India's past history will not yield correct results if we disregard Mahabharata events. Indus areas give us the proof of existence of a people because those areas were abandoned for long and undisturbed since the abandonment.
The same culture that continues to be prevalent in the rest of India would not give old records such as the IVC because of the ever continuing habitation in all these places.
So it is not right to look at IVC and build theories independent of the previous history and the continuity that is seen everywhere in India.
The immediate previous history of IVC was the story of Mahabharata and Krishna. As we have seen in previous posts in this series, Krishna had traveled to various parts of India. People from the south and other parts have moved to every other region of India.
All the pastimes, habits and culture had got mixed so well or spread to every other place as a result.
The cock fights and bull fights were there everywhere having a pastoral and agricultural background.
It can also be argued that the migrated Dwarakans introduced cock fights to Tamil lands.
The name, Kozhikkodu could have been their gift, but Kozhi (Urayaur) is certainly not connected to such influence. The naming had been done by the Cholan king, but the cock fights might have been popular in that place much before.
If the Dwarakans were responsible for bringing the cock-fight to the Tamil lands, that in no way alters my contention that Tamils were different from the Dwarakans. Dr Mahadevan himself concedes that the migrated people were the Dwarakans. The Tamil loan words to the IVC had been a mystery to all these researchers. But then Tamil has found a place in a very far away country too. The Mongols have many Tamil words in their vocabulary. How that could be explained might perhaps lend a clue to the language issue of the IVC.
We will discuss the Mongol - mystery in the next post in this series.
Tholkaapiyar tree (World Tamil Conference series 15)
Recently a 500 year old tree popularly known as Marutha maram in Tamil was given a special name as 'Tholkaapiyar tree", following the conclusion of the World Tamil Conference.
This name was preferred because the tree was quite old, similar to the antiquity connected to Tholkaapiyar and also because the place where it is found is connected to Tholkaapiyar. This tree is found in Kanyakumari district, where Tholkaapiyar was born, say the authorities. (The news item is given at the end of the post).
How they arrived at the conclusion that Kanyakumari was Tholkaapiyar's birth place is a question. When we look up at the olden commentators such as Nacchinaarkiniyar, we get the information that Tholkaapiyar was the son of Jamadagni of North India. His original name was Thrunathhoomaagini, (த்ருனதூமாகினி), a Sanskrit name. He came to the South, to Tamilnadu along with his teacher Agasthya. This is what we get from the commentary to Tholkaapiyam, paayiram by Nacchinaarkiniyar.
The Dravidian lovers do not want this information. Any information that does not satisfy their Dravidian thoughts is rejected as racist or as a result of Aryan mentality. I will write a separate post later on one such paper presented in the Conference.
In the current post let me write on this tree.
This tree is botanically known as Terminalia arjuna.
The popular name of this tree in North India is Arjuna.
This tree is supposed to be the favorite of Sita.
This tree is remembered for Krishna's connection.
As a kid, Krishna crawled in between two Arjuna trees with the grinding stone tied to his waist. As a result the trees broke down and the cursed Gandharvas trapped in the tress were released.
This story is found in Srimad Bhagavatham and Harivamsam.
The interesting information from the Indus civilization is that Dr E.J.H Mackay who excavated Mohanjodaro between 1927 and 1931 discovered a steatite tablet depicting two persons holding a tree and a tree god extending his hands towards them. He considered this as the famous Krishna in yamalarjuna-lila.
(Mackay's report part 1,pp.344-45,Part 2,plate no.90,object no.D.K.10237 - http://books.google.com/books?id=WgnfbxkFsFoC&pg=PA81&dq=mackay+report+part+A+tablet+found&as_brr=3&cd=3#v=onepage&q=mackay%20report%20part%20A%20tablet%20found&f=false)
I tried to locate the image of this tablet in the websites of IVC but could not get.
If this tablet depicts Krishna, it is a strong proof of IVC as post Mahabharata or post- Krishna.
In this context, I wish to analyze the Arjuna tree.
This tree is found where there is underground water current.
In Mahabharata Arjuna was asked by Bheeshma lying on the arrow-bed to fetch him water in a fitting way.
Arjuna shot his arrow on the ground from which water gushed up and fell on the parched throat of Bheeshma.
This shows that Arjuna had identified an underground spring and pierced it with his arrow.
Such identification was done in olden days by means of some symptoms. One prominent symptom is tree.
"If there is an anthill to the north of the Arjuna tree, there will be a water-current at the distance of 3 cubits to the west of the hill and at the depth of 3 men and a half", says verse 12 of Chapter 54 of Brihad Samhitha.
It is possible to assume that Arjuna identified the underground water by a nearby Arjuna tree and shot the arrow with the force required to reach its source.
Perhaps the tree got the name Arjuna due to this episode.
The relevant information for this post is that the knowledge of identifying the underground water by means of the nearby trees was given by a sage named Saraswatha!
The river Saraswathy was on the decline even before 3000 BC, the period of Krishna.
The Dwarakans were forced to migrate due to loss of their city to the seas.
Though they went to the Indus initially (refer previous post in this series), they were forced to move to the east of Indus and seek watery patches on the banks of Saraswathy. The sage who gave the knowledge to identify the water sources along the Saraswathy perhaps got a name as Saraswatha.
Most of the trees he mentioned are seen in many parts of India.
But there is one exception.
It is the Peelu tree. Peelu tree is generally found in dry and desert regions, in coastal and inland saline soils. It grows in regions where the annual rainfall is less than 200 mm. Sage Saraswatha giving the clues for locating water by means of this tree can be largely applicable to coastal regions or desert regions. The deserts of Rajasthan and coastal regions in Gujarat have Harappan settlements.
The people might have identified the water bodies using Peelu tree as an indicator.
In my opinion, the flora of the IVC regions must be studied to know if the people chose their settlements using this wisdom of ancient India.
In all probability, I guess so.
This knowledge was there widespread throughout India.
Water bodies were identified by means trees and ant hills.
The quality and quantity of water was also known to them.
For example, in the case of Peelu, there will be more salinity in water.
Near Arjuna trees, the water will be tasty.
Near Kapittha (விளா மரம் ) and Jambhoo (நாவல் மரம்), the water body will be huge and perennial and tasty as well.
It is perhaps to safeguard the water bodies from pollution, snake gods and Ganesha were established under these trees.
Lord Ganesha is offered Kapittha and jambhoo phalam.
This makes the people safeguard these trees.
These trees can not be destroyed.
They give valuable clues on the availability of water.
Wherever they are found, the ground can be dug to get water.
Our land is known as Jambhoo dweepa, owing to the growth of Jambhoo trees in abundance.
This shows there must be available plenty of underground water at many places.
The peepal and banyan trees also indicate underground water.
According to Saraswatha, if banyan, palasa and udumbara are seen to grow together, there will be plenty of water under them.
If banyan and pippala grow together, the water current will be to their north. (54-96, Brihad samhitha)
Tamil nadu had a number of water bodies until recently.
Number of tree side or water-side shrines of Ganesha and Snake gods were there in Tamilnadu.
This perhaps helped in keeping the water bodies clean.
We had many water bodies until the time of Independence. Almost three fourth of them are now gone.
Habitations have come up in those areas which have only aggravated the misery.
Even though those places are raised, the earth underneath is connected with underground veins that carry the rain water collected at some other place.
During rains these areas will be stagnated. This is what we are seeing various parts of Chennai.
Our ancestors in Sangam period did not spoil the ground nor destroy the important trees.
Marutham tree was identified as the symbol of Marutham land.
That could mean that people were not supposed to destroy this tree.
The growth of this tree at a place helped them to dig a pond or a tank to supply water to the fields.
Sangam texts make a mention of the water-body close to the marutham trees.
Here are some verses on Marutha trees.
Young girls used to climb the marutham trees situated on the banks of waterways.
They used to sit on the branches of the tree and sing.
In such posture they resemble peacocks on the trees
"துறை நனி மருதமேறி" ( Pathtrup patthu 27)
An ancient city was situated on the banks of a waterway with Marutham trees
"துறை நனி மருதத்திறுக்கு மூதூர்" ( purananuru 344)
The fresh waters of the flooded waterway hits down the Marutham tree on banks.
"தேம்பாய மருத முதல் படக்கொன்று வெண்டலைச் செம்புனல் பரந்து வாய் மிடுக்கும் ." (Pathtrup patthu 30)
The fields by the side of marutha trees.
"மருதம் சான்ற மலர் தலை விளைவயல் " (Pathtrup patthu 73)
The river with the marutham trees on its banks.
"வரு புனல் வையை மருதோங்கு முன் துறை" (Silappadhikaaram 14-72)
Thus we find that wherever this tree is mentioned, the nearby waterway is also mentioned.
Here comes the verse on Krishna breaking the Arjuna tree.
"மருதின் நடந்து நின் மாமன் செய் வஞ்ச
உருளும் சகடம் உதைத்தருள் செய்குவாய் " (silappadhikaaram 12)
From all these it is deduced that the knowledge of the importance of this tree was known to Tamils.
The knowledge that this was the tree that was broken by Krishna in his Yamalarjuna lila was also known to Tamils.
The flora and fauna had been more or less same throughout the country.
The knowledge about them and use of them was common throughout India in olden days.
There had been exchange of knowledge between different parts of the country.
The Tamils had known, so also the Indus people and others in other regions of India.
What applies to this tree applies to animals also.
In this context I wish to make a special mention about cocks that Dr Iravadham had analysed and deduced that the name of the Cholan capital Kozhi (later known as Uraiyur) was due to Indus / Dravidian influence.
I don't agree.
Like trees such as Marutham, there are certain animals like cock, dog, cat, bull, crow etc which are found commonly throughout India.
The similarity in names having connection to them can happen independently of an outside influence (here Dravidian influence on Tamil)
Let me discuss it in my next post in this series.
The 500-year-old tree, terminaliaarjuna, commonly known as neermaruthu, at Eshanthimangalam, in Kanyakumari district, will henceforth be known as Tholkappiyar.
As part of the conservation programme of this species of trees that is on the verge of extinction in Kanyakumari district, the forest department, along with the Indian trust for cultural heritage, organised a formal function Friday in which district collector Rajendra Ratnoo christened the tree, which is the oldest of its kind in the district, as Tholkappiyar.
The name, according to the district collector, was selected for this oldest tree to make the tree a symbol of forest conservation programme in the district as the name Tholkappiyar represents the classical Tamil language. Moreover, this part of Kanyakumari district is believed to be the birth place of Tholkappiyar, the first grammarian of Tamil language.
This particular tree, found as a single giant on the banks of the canal at Eshanthimangalam, is 150 ft high and has great medicinal value. These trees were commonly found here but were cut off for construction purposes.
Prohibition – Karunanidhi batting strong.
Two news items in the front page of the newspaper today made a striking reading.
One says that Tendulkar hits a Test Century
Another says that Karunanidhi hints at Prohibition!
Karunanidhi's is a master stroke – which not even Ramadoss would have expected.
He has a different strategy when Ramadoss is at the other end.
If it is Jayalalitha, he would have merely reeled out statistics from Jayalalitha's tenure comparing how he has given more benefits than her to the TASMAC employees.
So if it is Jayalalitha at the other end, our kudi- magankal (the addicts) need not worry about prohibition.
This Ramadoss stuff is tricky. He has no previous record that Karunanidhi can use to compare and contrast. All his agitating points are watched keenly by Karunanidhi and usurped in time. He does not want Ramadoss to score a point over him.
This hint at prohibition seems to be one such instance of snatching away Ramadoss's agenda.
This will be debated by all political parties in the coming days.
There is scope to suspect that this is knee jerk reaction fearing loss in the elections.
Karunanidhi's earlier decision of removing Prohibition in 1971 had traces of such a knee jerk reaction.
The trigger event at that time was an announcement by the Central government that it would give subsidies to augment the loss of revenue to those states which impose Prohibition.
Karunanidhi wanted the subsidies to be given to the states where Prohibition was already in force. When the Centre did not concede his demand, he removed Prohibition, on the pretext that he would re-impose Prohibition once the Centre started giving the subsidy. He enacted his decision immediately without even waiting for a debate in the Assembly which was not in session at that time.
But this time I don't consider this talk as a sudden or knee jerk reaction. From 1971 to 2010, Karunanidhi has come a long way in tackling adversaries. He does not make statements without due thought.
Moreover Karunanidhi of today is keen on only one thing – Praises.
In the scheme of Karunanidhi's hierarchy of needs, he has achieved everything he had wished for. He is saturated at all levels, except one. He is not yet satisfied with the Names, awards and Praises.
Perhaps Bharat Ratna is a pending honour in his wish list.
His arch rival MGR was awarded Bharat Ratna – posthumously.
Karunanidhi would like to better MGR's record on that account.
Nowadays he seems to be always in the thought of doing something big or great that will earn him an everlasting name. He is saviour now, a compassionate person, having goodwill for all and hatred towards none. His appearance in the same stage along with the Brahmin scholar Velukkudi Krishnan is a ploy to tell the world how he is not against Brahmins and theists but against Brahmaneeyam and Theism. This Karunanidhi is different from the Karunanidhi we have known all these years.
Perhaps he is eyeing for the Bharat Ratna within his life time.
What else can qualify him for that than the re-imposition of Prohibition in today's conditions.
There is another way of looking at why Karunanidhi spoke about imposing prohibition.
Is it because he is worried about losing elections?
I don't think so.
He has brought the people to a stage where they are not expecting freebies from him.
Hard cash lures them!
He has that hard cash in plenty.
If one third of the voters accept this cash, he can win the elections.
One third of voters of Tamilnadu always remain as a section that gets carried away by film attraction, heroes and freebies in cash or kind. The trend in the past elections since DMK came to the centre stage would show this.
So Thirumangalam formula will ensure his victory anyway.
If he introduces Prohibition, definitely that will be a hit with the general public.
If he wins with Prohibition already imposed, he will be a Winner par excellence.
If he loses, he need not worry, he would be gifting the new government an empty exchequer with a major source of income gone dry.
But he would have earned a name for imposing Prohibition.
Remember today's Karunanidhi is after Name.
Looking form another angle, if he imposes Prohibition now with elections round the corner, it would blunt all the negative talks against him.
Even Rahul Gandhi would find it difficult to convince his mother to snap ties with Karunanidhi.
Karunanidhi is invincible.
மன்னிக்கவும், நீங்கள் தேடிய கட்டுரை எங்கள் இணையத்தளத்தில் புழக்கத்தில் இல்லை.
23 ஆண்டு காலம் அமுலில் இருந்த மது விலக்கு ரத்து!
பெப்ரவரி 18, 11:06 AM IST
தமிழ்நாட்டில் சுமார் 23 ஆண்டு காலம் அமுலில் இருந்த மது விலக்கு தி.மு.க. ஆட்சியின்போது 1971 ஆகஸ்டு மாதம் ரத்து செய்யப்பட்டது. சுதந்திர இந்தியாவில் தமிழ்நாட்டிலும், குஜராத் மாநிலத்திலும் மது விலக்கு அமுல் நடத்தப்பட்டு வந்தன. தமிழ்நாட்டின் அண்டை மாநிலங்களான ஆந்திரா, புதுச் சேரி, கர்நாடகம் உள்பட பிற மாநிலங்களில் மது விலக்கு அமுல் நடத்தப்படவில்லை.
புதிதாக மது விலக்கை அமுல் நடத்தும் மாநிலங்களுக்கு உதவிப்பணம் (மானியம்) வழங்கப்படும் என்று மத்திய அரசு அறிவித்தது.
"எங்களுக்கும் மானியம் வழங்குங்கள்" என்று, தமிழக முதல்_அமைச்சராக இருந்த கருணாநிதி கோரினார்." ஏற்கனவே மது விலக்கை அமுல் நடத்தி வரும் மாநிலங்களுக்கு மானியம் கிடையாது" என்று மத்திய அரசு கூறிவிட்டது.
"ஏற்கனவே மது விலக்கை அமுல் நடத்தும் மாநிலங்களுக்கு இப்படி தண்டனை அளிப்பதா? எங்களுக்கும் மானியம் கொடுங்கள்" என்று கருணாநிதி கேட்டார். ஆனால் அவருடைய கோரிக்கை ஏற்கப்படவில்லை.
இதனால் மது விலக்கை ரத்து செய்துவிட்டு, பிறகு (மத்திய அரசு மானியம் கிடைக்கும்போது) மீண்டும் அமுலுக்குக் கொண்டுவர கருணாநிதி முடிவு செய்தார். 1971 ஆகஸ்டு 30_ந்தேதி முதல் மது விலக்கு தள்ளி வைக்கப்படும் என்று தமிழக அரசு அறிவித்தது. அன்று முதல் மதுக்கடைகளைத் திறப்பதற்கு வகை செய்யும் அவசர சட்டம் ஒன்றை கவர்னர் கே.கே.ஷா பிறப்பித்தார். அவசர சட்டத்தில் கூறப்பட்டு இருந்ததாவது:-
"இப்போது தமிழக சட்டசபை கூட்டம் நடைபெறாததால், இந்த அவசர சட்டம் பிறப்பிக்கப்படுகிறது. இந்த அவசர சட்டம் ஆகஸ்டு 30_ந்தேதி முதல் அமுலுக்கு வருகிறது.
இந்த அவசர சட்டப்படி, மது விலக்கு சட்டம் அமுல் நடத்தப்படுவது அடியோடு நிறுத்தி வைக்கப்படுகிறது. அரசியல் சட்டத்தில் உள்ள அதிகாரத்தின்படி இந்த நடவடிக்கை மேற்கொள்ளப்படுகிறது." மேற்கண்டவாறு அவசர சட்டத்தில் கூறப்பட்டு இருந்தது.
மது விலக்கு அமுலில் இருந்தபோது தமிழ்நாடு முழுவதும் பல்வேறு குற்றங்களுக்காக 2,500 பேர் கைது செய்யப்பட்டு சிறைகளில் அடைக்கப்பட்டிருந்தனர். இவர்களில் மது குடித்த குற்றம், மது வாங்கிய குற்றம் போன்றவைகளுக்காக தண்டனை அடைந்தவர்களை விடுதலை செய்ய தமிழக அரசு உத்தரவிட்டது. இதனை தொடர்ந்து 700 பேர் விடுதலை செய்யப்பட்டனர்.
மீதி 1,800 பேரும் கள்ளச்சாராயம் காய்ச்சுவது, குடி போதையில் கலாட்டா செய்வது போன்ற குற்றங்களுக்காக தண்டனை பெற்றவர்கள். இவர்கள் தண்டனை காலம் முடிந்த பிறகுதான் விடுதலை செய்யப்படுவார்கள் என்று அறிவிக்கப்பட்டு விட்டது. எனவே அந்த 1,800 பேரும் தொடர்ந்து சிறையில் வைக்கப்பட்டனர்.
"கள்ளுக்கடைகள் திட்டமிட்டபடி திறக்கப்படும். கள்ளச்சாராயம் காய்ச்சு பவர்கள் மீது கடும் நடவடிக்கை எடுக்கப் படும்" என்று முதல்_அமைச்சர் கருணாநிதி கூறினார்.
மதுக்கடைகள் திறப்பதை எதிர்த்து, சுதந்திரா கட்சி எம்.எல்.ஏ. டாக்டர் ஹண்டேயும், வி.எஸ்.ஸ்ரீகுமார், வெங்கடசாமி நாயுடு ஆகியோரும் சென்னை ஐகோர்ட்டில் வழக்கு தொடர்ந்தார்கள்.
"மது விலக்கு சட்டத்தை நிர்வாக உத்தரவு மூலம் ஒத்தி வைக்க முடியாது. எனவே, தமிழ்நாட்டில் மதுக்கடைகளை திறப்பது சட்ட விரோதமான செயல். இதற்கு தடை விதிக்கவேண்டும்" என்று, மனுவில் அவர்கள் கூறி இருந்தார்கள்.
ஐகோர்ட்டு தலைமை நீதிபதி வீராசாமி, நீதிபதிகள் பி.எஸ்.கைலாசம், ஆர். சதாசிவம், டி.ராமபிரசாத் ராவ், வி.வி.ராகவன் ஆகிய 5 நீதிபதிகள் இந்த வழக்கை விசாரித்தார்கள். "மதுக்கடைகளை திறக்க அவசர சட்டம் பிறப்பிக்கப்பட்டு விட்டதால் இந்த மனு செயலற்றதாகி விடுகிறது" என்று கூறி வழக்கை நீதிபதிகள் தள்ளுபடி செய்தார்கள்.
திட்டமிட்டபடி கள்ளுக்கடைகள், சாராயக்கடைகள், ஒயின், பிராந்தி (மது) கடைகள் திறக்கப்பட்டன. தமிழ்நாடு முழுவதும் 7,395 கள்ளுக்கடைகளும், 3,512 சாராயக் கடைகளும் திறக்கப்பட்டன. சென்னை நகரில் 120 ஒயின் _ பிராந்தி கடைகளுக்கு அனுமதி கொடுக்கப்பட்டது. மற்ற மாவட்டங்களில் 60 முதல் 100 கடைகள் திறக்கப்பட்டன.
கள் ஒரு லிட்டர் ஒரு ரூபாய்க்கும், சாராயம் ஒரு லிட்டர் 10 ரூபாய்க்கும் விற்க விலை நிர்ணயம் செய்யப்பட்டது. பீர் 5 ரூபாய்க்கும், மற்ற மது வகைகள் ரூ.26 முதல் ரூ.55 வரை விலை நிர்ணயிக்கப்பட்டது. கடைகளை இரவு 10 மணிக்கு மூடிவிடவேண்டும் என்று நிபந்தனை விதிக்கப்பட்டது.
கள், சாராயம் விற்பனை அமோகமாக நடந்தது. ஒயின் _ பிராந்தி கடைகளிலும் ஒரே நாளில் ரூ.50 ஆயிரத்துக்கும் மேல் மது வகைகள் விற்பனை ஆயின.
1973_ம் ஆண்டு செப்டம்பரில் மீண்டும் மது விலக்கு கொண்டுவர நடவடிக்கை மேற்கொள்ளப்பட்டது. இதன் முதல் படியாக செப்டம்பர் 1_ந்தேதி முதல் 7 ஆயிரம் கள்ளுக்கடைகளும் மூடப்பட்டன.
Ready to revisit prohibition issue: Karunanidhi
First Published : 29 Jul 2010 01:43:10 AM IST
Last Updated : 29 Jul 2010 11:22:28 AM IST
CHENNAI: Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Wednesday surprised all by announcing that the State government was considering PMK founder S Ramadoss' demand for reimposing prohibition in Tamil Nadu.
Answering a question in his column in Murasoli on Ramadoss saying that the government should consent to the demands put forth by TASMAC employees, Karunanidhi said "the government is considering not only the demands of TASMAC employees, but also of Ramadoss for reimposition of prohibition. A good decision will be taken in this regard very soon.'' The Chief Minister's announcement comes at a time when the PMK kept in the backburner the DMK's invitation to bury the hatchet and come together to face the next Assembly elections. Recently, Ramadoss made it clear that he was not in a hurry to take a decision on renewing ties with the DMK.
Karunanidhi's statement assumes significance as the Tamil Nadu Toddy Movement is threatening to intensify its agitation for lifting the ban on toddy sale. They argue that allowing Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) through TASMAC shops and denying permission for toddy show the government's partiality.
The DMK chief had always been of the opinion that prohibition would be correct only if it is imposed throughout the country.
His anecdote in this connection is very famous - "Tamil Nadu cannot remain a piece of camphor in the midst of raging fire.''
Significantly, the TASMAC revenue is very vital for the State government and it has been increasing every year.
The Excise and Sales Tax revenue generated through liquor sales during 2009- 10 stood at a whopping Rs 12,491.53 crore.
Besides, the IMFL production that stood at 8.13 crore bulk litres had gone up to 36.66 crore bulk litres.
The sale of IMFL was 115.34 lakh cases in 1995-96.
During 2009-10, it became 408.57 lakh.
Also, the sale of beer rose to 242.81 lakh cases from 94.72 lakh cases of 1995-96.
Ramadoss and VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan and a host of leaders from service and religious organisations called on Karunanidhi on December 22, 2008, and demanded implementation of total prohibition in Tamil Nadu by closing down TASMAC shops with effect from Pongal day (January 14, 2009). Following the meeting, the Chief Minister assured that no new TASMAC shop would be opened and steps taken to implement prohibition in a phased manner.
Karuna says govt may introduce prohibition
CHENNAI: Dropping a bombshell, Tamil Nadu CM M Karunanidhi on Wednesday said his government was considering introduction of prohibition in the state. "Very soon, a good decision will be taken on this," he said in his customary question-answer column in the DMK organ, 'Murasoli'.
The hint came in his response to a demand by PMK founder S Ramadoss, a strong votary of prohibition, that the government should accept the demands of Tasmac liquor shop employees, who are threatening to go on an indefinite strike soon if their services were not regularized.
"Why this demand alone? We are even prepared to consider Ramadoss' demand for implementing prohibition in the state," he said and added that a decision would be taken soon. While his remarks may have been intended as a snub to Ramadoss for taking up the cause of liquor outlet employees on the one hand and demanding prohibition on the other, it is apparent that Karunanidhi is gearing up for a major policy shift.
IVC was the post Mahabharata culture (World Tamil Conference series 14)
The researchers of the Indus- Saraswathy sites give the date of the civilization as starting from a time that coincides with the departure of Krishna or the loss of Dwarka to the seas.
The early settlements happened in 3300 BC roughly around the time of Mahabharata.
The latest period (1500 BC) coincides with the shifting if people from Dwaraka to Tamilnadu which we have discussed in the previous posts.
The period of the IVC through different phases has been given below.
Table 1 Harappa Chronology
Ravi aspect of the Hakra Phase
3300 BC - c. 2800 BC
Kot Diji (Early Harappa) Phase
c. 2800 BC - c. 2600 BC
Harappa Phase A
c. 2600 BC - c. 2450 BC
Harappa Phase B
c. 2450 BC - c. 2200 BC
Harappa Phase C
2200 BC - c. 1900 BC
Harappa/Late Harappa Transitional
c. 1900 BC - c. 1800 BC(?)
Late Harappa Phase
c. 1800 BC (?) - < 1300 BC
Interestingly the beginning of the settlements and the further progress of them match with the movement of people from Dwaraka after Krishna's departure.
These details can be read in Chapter 16 and section 4 to 7 of Mahabharata. Section 4 of this chapter (Musala parva) tells about Krishna's departure and section 7 on the route taken by the people led by Arjuna. The translation of this part is given at the end of this post.
This route solves quite a few questions as also the question of the origin of the IVC people.
First issue is the choice of places as shown by the route. Arjuna came to Dwaraka from his capital Indraprastha (Delhi) after the fateful end of Vrishnis in self destruction. It is quite interesting that he did not plan to take the people to his capital or to the areas of the Ganges. He had taken a western route and reached the land of Five rivers.
According to Musala Parva he took the people for a long journey through pleasant forests, streams and waterways. On the way they stayed at such amicable places and then proceeded to the Land of Five waters. The earliest settlement of the IVC people is found at Ravi!
But this journey to Ravi and further establishment of a permanent settlement was not without a problem. On the way they were attacked by Mlechas.
Mlechas were the non-Vedic people confined to the North west frontier of the then Bharath varsha which includes Middle east of today.
Their origins date back to more than 10,000 years ago as per a deduction I made based on the Mlecha astrology and some narration from Valmiki Ramayana. The article can be read here:- http://www.scribd.com/doc/22717150/Roots-of-Mlechcha-Astrology
The Mlechas have always watched the developments in Bharath varsha. Some Mlechas took part in the Mahabharata war also.
When Arjuna escorted the women and kids of Vrishni heroes as also the numerous people of the Dwaraka, they attacked their cavalcade and took the women with them. Arjuna could not quell their advances.
Perhaps the threat from Mlechas discouraged him to go further north or west.He settled them at the land of five rivers (Ravi, Sutlej / Punjab) and then took a turn towards east and came to Kurushetra. He settled some in and around Kurukshetra and settled others on the banks of Sarawathy - so says the narration in Musala parva. From there he went to Indraprastha and settled some under the ruler ship of Krishna's grandson.
If his intention was to go to Indraprastha why didn't he choose straight route to Indraprastha?
Why did he go to the Indus first and take a round-about route to Indraprastha?
These questions arise when we read the narration of the route.
Groups of people seemed to have settled as the cavalcade proceeded along with the river Indus. There is a concentration of early settlements of IVC around Amri and Mohenjo-daro. But between this area and the upper parts of the river that include Ravi and Satlej, the settlements are rare. This coincides with the stretch when the cavalcade was attacked by the Mlechas.
This seemed to have prompted Arjuna to change his plans and his route. He then turned towards Kurukshetra and then to the river Saraswathy where he settled the people.
All these locations match with the IVC settlements and the period of IVC as well.
Yet another group seemed to have crossed the snowy Himalayas and went beyond to a place called Kalpa.
Krishna's wife Sathyabhama went through this route. So there is scope to believe that she would not have gone alone but was accompanied by her loyalists. This location called Kalpa takes the movement of Dwarakans to Afghnasithan and parts of Central Europe.
All these settlements started around 3000 BC.
An interesting correlation is that the coins unearthed from a site in Bactria belonging to a period around 180 BC depict the figures of Krishna and Balarama.
Article and the images of the coin given at the end of this post).
Bactria had been under the influence of the Greeks. It is possible to argue that the Indian connection (whatever) in post Alexander period would have cultivated interest in Krishna in that country. But that looks unlikely because unless Krishna cult had found favour with the kings and subjects of that country for quite sometime, this kind of issue of coins with their images could not happen. My guess is that this place might be the one where the group that went with Satyabhama settled down. Over the course of years, they would have perpetuated the memory of Krishna and Balarama which found an expression in various ways – one being the issuance of coins. This place is not far off from Ghandhara, the home land of Gandhari. That also could explain the popularity of Krishna in that place.
The route of Arjuna solves 3 issues in one go
* The later dynasties of Iran claiming themselves as "Aryan of the Aryans" might be the result of connection with the women of Dwaraka who were kidnapped by the Mlechas. Their kids also would have gone with them and would have retained their pride as Aryans. The findings of the recent research in genetics that state that North Indians share a common gene pool with the people of Middle East and Central Europe also is explained by this mass abduction of women by those of the Middle east.
* The settlements of IVC follow the pattern of Arjuna's stop-overs and his change of route from Ravi when he encountered threat to the safety of the people.This suggests that IVC was post -Mahabharata culture of the people of Dwaraka.
* Arjuna did not take the people to Indraprastha or the gangetic plain. Probably the people did not want to settle in those places. The reason can be traced to the times of formation of Dwaraka. After the fall of Kamsa, the Vrishnis were facing repeated attacks from Jarasandha, thefather in law of Kamsa. In order to avoid blood shed, Krishna moved to Dwaraka. People from diverse regions of the Ganges and Yamuna accompanied him and settled down in Dwaraka. So within the group that we call as Dwarakans, there were different clans having their ancestry to regions in the vast Gangetic plains.The Dwarakans who were forced to move out of Dwaraka in the wake of submergence would not have liked to go back to their early homes for they might have still found some threat to themselves in those places. That could be reason for a totally different direction where the promise of water was there. They would have initially planned to settle in the land of Five rivers (Indus). But Mlecha threat would have made them go for Saraswathy banks which was drying even at those times.
The period between 3000 BC and 1500 BC saw the flourishing of these people in these original settlements who seemed to have spread through the course of the river Saraswathy in due course - wherever / whenever it had shown promise of water.
By 1500 BC the saraswathy dried up for most parts thereby forcing the people to dissipate to different regions.
But this period marks the movement of people from Dwarka to Tamil nadu!
Piecing together the information from Tamil texts (which we discussed in previous posts) and the current post, it seems likely that another city of Dwaraka was built after Krishna's Dwaraka was lost. The people had flourished there until 1500 BC without any major disturbance. From Prof SR Rao's findings we come to know that this Dwaraka was submerged around 1500 BC. The sage Agasthya guided them this time and brought them to Tamil nadu. Around this time, their kith and kin who had long ago settled along the Saraswathy and other places might have left for different places. The Dwarakans had no people or place to fall back on. It was Agsthaya who came to their rescue.
Rest is part of Tamil history. It must be recalled that the period of 49 generations that poet Kapilar mentions as the predecessors of the King IrungoveL matches with this period around 1500 BC.
These people who came to Tamilnadu were the displaced people who had connection with the Indus civilization, but not the Tamils.
The Tamils were nowhere near this civilization as to claim a role in that.
Rest in the next post.
Mahabharata, chapter 16 - Musala parvam, section 7
The son of Pandu, having next performed duly those sraddha rites that are done to the dead, quickly set out on the seventh day, mounting on his car.
The widows of the Vrishni heroes, wailing aloud, followed the high-souled son of Pandu. Dhananjaya, on cars drawn by bullocks and mules and camels.
All were in deep affliction. The servants of the Vrishnis, their horsemen, and their car-warriors too, followed the procession. The citizens and the inhabitants of the country, at the command of Pritha's son, set out at the same time and proceeded, surrounding that cavalcade destitute of heroes and numbering only women and the aged and the children.
The warriors who fought from the backs of elephants proceeded on elephants as huge as hills. The foot-soldiers also set out, together with the reserves. The children of the Andhaka and the Vrishni races, all followed Arjuna. The Brahmanas and Kshatriyas, and Vaisyas, and wealthy Sudras, set out, keeping before them the 16,000 women that had formed Vasudeva's harem, and Vajra, the grandson of the intelligent Krishna. The widows of the other heroes of the Bhoja, the Vrishni, and the Andhaka races, lordless now, that set out with Arjuna, numbered many millions. That foremost of car-warriors, that conqueror of hostile towns, the son of Pritha, escorted this vast procession of Vrishnis, which still abounded with wealth, and which looked like a veritable ocean.
"After all the people had set out, the ocean, that home of sharks and alligators, flooded Dvaraka, which still teemed with wealth of every kind, with its waters. Whatever portion of the ground was passed over, ocean immediately flooded over with his waters. Beholding this wonderful sight, the inhabitants of Dvaraka walked faster and faster, saying, 'Wonderful is the course of fate!' Dhananjaya, after abandoning Dvaraka, proceeded by slow marches, causing the Vrishni women to rest in pleasant forests and mountains and by the sides of delightful streams.
Arrived at the country of the five waters, the puissant Dhananjaya planted a rich encampment in the midst of a land that abounded with corn and kine and other animals. Beholding those lordless widows escorted by Pritha's son alone O Bharata, the robbers felt a great temptation (for plunder). Then those sinful wretches, with hearts overwhelmed by cupidity, those Abhiras of ill omen, assembled together and held a consultation. They said, 'Here there is only one bowman, Arjuna. The cavalcade consists of children and the old. He escorts them, transgressing us. The warriors (of the Vrishnis) are without energy.'
Then those robbers, numbering by thousands, and armed with clubs, rushed towards the procession of the Vrishnis, desirous of plunder. Urged by the perverse course of time they fell upon that vast concourse, frightening it with loud leonine shouts and desirous of slaughter. The son of Kunti, suddenly ceasing to advance along the path, turned, with his followers, towards the place where the robbers had attacked the procession. Smiling the while, that mighty-armed warrior addressed the assailants, saying, 'You sinful wretches, forbear, if ye love your lives. Ye will rue this when I pierce your bodies with my shafts and take your lives.' Though thus addressed by that hero, they disregarded his words, and though repeatedly dissuaded, they fell upon Arjuna.
Then Arjuna endeavoured to string his large, indestructible, celestial bow with some effort. He succeeded with great difficulty in stringing it, when the battle had become furious. He then began to think of his celestial weapons but they would not come to his mind. Beholding that furious battle, the loss of the might of his arm, and the non-appearance of his celestial weapons, Arjuna became greatly ashamed. The Vrishni warriors including the foot-soldiers, the elephant-warriors, and the car-men, failed to rescue those Vrishni women that were being snatched away by the robbers. The concourse was very large. The robbers assailed it at different points. Arjuna tried his best to protect it, but could not succeed. In the very sight of all the warriors, many foremost of ladies were dragged away, while others went away with the robbers of their own accord. The puissant Arjuna, supported by the servants of the Vrishnis, struck the robbers with shafts sped from Gandiva. Soon, however. O king, his shafts were exhausted.
In former days his shafts had been inexhaustible. Now, however, they proved otherwise. Finding his shafts exhausted, he became deeply afflicted with grief. The son of Indra then began to strike the robbers with the horns of his bow. Those Mlecchas, however, O Janamejaya, in the very sight of Partha, retreated, taking away with them many foremost ladies of the Vrishnis and Andhakas.
The puissant Dhananjaya regarded it all as the work of destiny. Filled with sorrow he breathed heavy sighs at the thought of the non-appearance of his (celestial) weapons, the loss of the might of his arms, the refusal of his bow to obey him, and the exhaustion of his shafts. Regarding it all as the work of destiny, he became exceedingly cheerless. He then ceased, O king, to make further efforts, saying, he had not the power which he had before.
The high-souled one, taking with him the remnant of the Vrishni women, and the wealth that was still with them, reached Kurukshetra. Thus bringing with him the remnant of the Vrishnis, he established them at different places. He established the son of Kritavarma at the city called Marttikavat, with the remnant of the women of the Bhoja king.
Escorting the remainder, with children and old men and women, the son of Pandu established them, who were bereft of heroes, in the city of Indraprastha.
The dear son of Yuyudhana, with a company of old men and children and women, the righteous-souled Arjuna established on the banks of the Sarasvati.
The rule of Indraprastha was given to Vajra.
The widows of Akrura then desired to retire into the woods. Vajra asked them repeatedly to desist, but they did not listen to him. Rukmini, the princess of Gandhara, Saivya, Haimavati, and queen Jamvabati ascended the funeral pyre.
Satyabhama and other dear wives of Krishna entered the woods, O king, resolved to set themselves to the practice of penances. They began to live on fruits and roots and pass their time in the contemplation of Hari.
Going beyond the Himavat, they took up their abode in a place called Kalpa.
Those men who had followed Arjuna from Dwaravati, were distributed into groups, and bestowed upon Vajra. Having done all these acts suited to the occasion, Arjuna, with eyes bathed in tears, then entered the retreat of Vyasa. There he beheld the Island-born Rishi seated at his ease."
On the coins from Bactria showing Krishna and Balarama:-
Balarāma and Kṛiṣhṇa in Bactrian coins
Dr. R. Nagaswamy
Balarāma, the brother of Kṛṣhṇa, was an influential god in early centuries of the current era, His sculptural representations are found in many places of India as at Nagarajunakonda in early period. He is shown generally with a drinking cup and standing by the side of his sister and brother Kṛṣhṇa. He is also said to be given to drink and pleasures (Bhōga)
Balarāma in a Bactrian coin
Reverse: Kriṣhṇa with Brāhmi legend;
the conch is held vertically:
Balarāma is shown in a square silver coin ( a standard drachma) issued by the Bactrian King Agathocles (c.180 BC) portrayed Kriṣhṇa and Balarāma that was excavated Ai-Khamun, an important archaeological site on the Oxus (ref. Arts Asiatique XXXVI ( 1973), 52-57 and Journal of the Numismatic Society of India XXXV (1973) , 1873-77.
I am thankful to Prof Ḍevendra Handa for this reference) The obverse of this coin, shows Balarāma standing with two hands holding a (hala) plough and (musala) pestle. The pestle may be identified with the dhyānaśloka of Balarāma who is interestingly called Kāmapāla i.e protector of love or desires.
hala-musala-viśālam kāma-pālam samīḍhe
By the side is written the name of the king "Basiles Agatokleus" in greek characters while on the reverse is shown Kṛṣhṇa also standing with two arms holding a wheel and a conch. The wheel is so big it seems to do justice to the name Rathāngapāṇi. The Wikipedia, which illustrates this coin, identified the object in the right hand of Kṛṣhṇa as kamaṇḍalu (Vase) but in fact it represents a conch held vertically in hand (śankha).
The first letter "Ra" is in serpentine form. Whether there is a second letter is not very clear for it merges with the big cakra held in the hand of Kṛṣhṇa. The next letter is "ne". so the actual reading is "rane". These letters are seen to the left of Kṛṣhṇa while on to his right is the name of the king "agathuklayeṣha".
Both the images of Kṛṣhṇa and Balarāma are in greek attire. Kṛṣhṇa wearing a long sword and Balarāma an unidentified handled weapon (probably a ring with twisted rope), tucked in their waist band. They also wear the Bactrian crown with two horn like projections on either side and a jeweled umbrella over his head resembling a horizontal cap. Both are also seen wearing shoes. But what is important is that the figure of Balarāma is shown on the obverse where the Greek name occurs and the figure of Kṛṣhṇa occurs on the reverse. It seems to emphasize the importance of Balarāma as the elder as it appears on the side of the issuer and depicts his prowess while Kṛṣhṇa with his conch signifies "spreading fame". The conch is that which blows the fame of Kṛṣhṇa through out the world. The choice of the two figures also seem to show the Bactrian kings made this choice of Balarāma and Kṛiṣhṇa to exhibit their strength (by Balarāma) and fame (by Kṛṣhṇa) on their coins.
A Sangam Tamil poem of the beginning of the CE extols four great deities Balarama, Kṛṣhṇa and Rudra and Subrahmaṇya for their praiseworthy achievements as strength, fame, furious attack on enemies, and determination to fulfill his undertaking respectively. Balarāma is referred to as Vāliyōn (Vali – bala in Skt). He is also called Veḷḷai nāgan, the white serpent. It has also been suggested earlier that the depiction of the two gods, Balarāma and Kṛṣhṇa was to exhibit the religious leanings of the issuing king. Evidently the legends of Kṛṣhṇa and Balarāma and also their special characteristics have become so popular before the 2rd cent BC even in Bactria in the region of the River Oxus, beyond Afganisthan to be imprinted there in their coins.
The time period of migration from Dwaraka (World Tamil Conference series 13)
Agasthya brought from Dwaraka 18 kings (and their families) belonging to the lineage of Krishna, 18 types of kudi, including Velirs ( kudi / குடி means people belonging to a specific kutumbam or group or tradition. Each kudi may not include just one family, it may have many families. So there is scope for large number of people to have been brought to the South. Velirs belong to a particular kudi.) and others including Aruvaalar. This much has been told by Nacchinaarkkiniyar.
We can find distinction between these groups. The kings, 18 in number were brought to Tamil lands. 18 groups of kudi that include Velirs seem to occupy the second rung after the kings. The third category could also comprise of 18 groups, going by the specific numbers that Agasthya gathered for the other two. They could be the artisans with specialization in their fields.
In the 10th post of this series, we had a discussion on the King Irungovel whom the poet Kapilar recognizes as the 49th king in the lineage of the one who was born from the sacrificial fire (Dhrishtadyumna). This king seems to be from the group of 18 kings that Agasthya brought. We can view this in 2 ways. Either Irungovel belonged to the 49th generation starting from Dhrishtadyumna or he was the 49th king starting from the king who was brought from Dwaraka by Agasthya. This king was linked to the one who was born of the sacrificial fire.
In the former case, the counting must begin from 3000 BC while in the latter case the counting must begin from 1500 BC. 3000 BC refers to the period when Dwaraka was lost to the seas after Krishna's departure from the earth whereas 1500 BC refers to the period when the reconstructed Dwaraka at Bet Dwaraka (Dwaraka that was built after the submergence of Krishna's Dwaraka) was flooded by sea waters.
The period of the migrated people could well be around 1500 BC because that puts Kapilar's time around the start of the Common Era. Kapilar has written one group of the Pathitrup patthu songs. The kings of that book have belonged to a time around the beginning of the Common Era. A detailed research of Kapilar's all works (he has many) is needed to be done to determine his period. That would solve the question of when exactly the Dwarakans migrated.
Another issue is why the Dwarakans migrated.
In both the periods, the cause of the migration is obvious.
The submergence of the habitations had driven the people out.
In Musala parvam in Mahabharata, we find Arjuna taking the womenfolk of the vrishni race, their children and the aged along with the citizens of Dwaraka to North.
In section 7 of Musalaparva it is mentioned that he settled them at different places.
The places mentioned are Kurukshethra, Indraprastha under the ruler ship of Vajra, the grandson of Krishna and on the banks of Saraswathy under the rulership of Yuyudhana, the son of Satyaki.
Another group left beyond Himavat and settled in a place called Kalpa (may be in present day Afghanisthan or beyond).
Thus the people of Dwaraka had spread all over North India and even beyond the Himalayas. The mention of settling them on the banks of the river Saraswathy tells who the people of IVC were.
The IVC dating starts from 3000 BC only, making it a post Mahabharata culture. The IVC culture is a continuation of the earlier culture that was in place in Dwaraka, in Indraprastha and in North India in general, as we find connection between the regions and people of all the places of North India in Mahabharata. There is no mention of movement to the South in the narration in Mahabharata.
Dwaraka submergence was predicted in advance and Krishna had given instructions in advance to take the people out of Dwaraka before the submergence began. They all have left to the North through the banks of river Saraswathy.
The mention of movement of people from Dwaraka to the South is found only in Tamil texts in the two places I have covered in this series.
The people who were already well established along the Saraswathy river and in parts of Gujarat by building yet another city on the mouth of the ocean in Bet Dwaraka had continued to live until 1500 BC. Based on the findings of Prof S.R. Rao, we conclude that the people of this region were brought to Tamilnadu by the sage Agasthya when the ocean rose to engulf this settlement.
The mention of 49 generations of king Irungo veL fills up this gap from 1500 BC to the beginning of the Common Era.
There is another clue also from which we can deduce the time.
This comes from the Pandyan connection to the setting up of Sangam Assemblage.
The last time the 3rd Sangam was constituted was during the reigns of the Pandyan king Ugra Peruvazhuthi.
The details of the duration of each Sangam are available in the commentary to Irayanar Agapporul.
According to this,
the first sangam assemblage lasted for 4,440 years in which 4,449 poets inaugurated their works,
the 2nd Sangam lasted for 3,700 years with 3,700 poets contributing their works and the 3rd Sangam lasted for 1,850 years with 449 poets making their contributions.
49 kings of the Pandyan lineage have constituted the 3rd Sangam.
The last one in that line-up was Ugra Peru vazhuthi.
This king is praised in 2 places in Purananuru. In verse 367 of Puranauru, the poetess Ovaiyar praises this king who was seen along with the other 2 kings (of Chera and Cholan dynasties) as it was very rare to see the kings of all the 3 dynasties (Pandyan, Cholan and Cheran) together. The Cholan king who was spotted along with Ugra Peruvazhuthi was Peru narkilli (who did Rajasooya yaga)
Looking at the genealogy of Cholan kings given in Thiruvalankaadu copper plates, this king had preceded Karikal Cholan who built embankment along Kaveri.
The Pandyan genealogy in Sinnamanur plates http://www.whatisindia.com/inscriptions/south_indian_inscriptions/volume_3/copper_plates_at_tirukkalar.html
tells about the king who made victory strides in Thalayalankaanam (Thalayalankaanatthuch cheru vendra Pandyan Nedum chezhiyan), followed by an information that Mahabharata was translated in Tamil and this news is followed by the information than the Pandyan king established Sangam in Madurai.
This refers to Ugra Pewruvazhuthi.
Much later in this king's lineage came Arikesari Parankusan whose time has been determined as 650-700 CE http://tamilartsacademy.com/articles/article08.xml
From all these we can say that Ugra Peruvazhuthi lived sometime between the beginning of the CE and before 600 AD. His period marks the end of 3rd Sangam which went on for 1,850 years.
Counting backwards we get sometime around 1500 BC to 1200 BC as the time of the beginning of the 3rd Sangam.
Tholkaapiyam was inaugurated during this Sangam.
From its contents it is known that it was written after the migration of Dwarakans.
The 7 fold division of the Kumari was given up and in its place the 5 fold division was introduced. The clearing of the forest tracts for Mullai lands was done to facilitate habitations for the Dwarakan citizens most of whom happened to be cowherds.
The very reference in Tholkaapiyam to the 5 fold division begins with Mullai lands of forest tracts for which Mayon (Vishnu) was the lord. The accordance of the first place to Mullai in Tholkaapiyam with its attendant season is an issue in debate today. Viewed from the prospect of Dwarakan settlement, this is not an issue. It is an age old custom of Tamil people to give prime importance and attention to athithis (virunthombal / விருந்தோம்பல்) . True to that custom, the people who came to Tamil lands in search of succor were given prime importance.
With their arrival, reorganization of lands was done and that was reflected in Tholkaapiyam. Before that the Pandyans also were displaced due to the submergence of their lands. That must have been much before the arrival of the Dwarakans. If we say that the 3rd Sangam started around 1500 BC to 1200 BC, it shows that the Pandyans were well established by the time 1500 BC. The submergence of Kumari must happened well before that time, may be around the time of Yuga-pralaya (the deluge at the start of kali yuga which also saw the submergence of Krishna's Dwaraka around 3000 BC) and it could have taken a millennium for the people of Tamilnadu to cope with the deluge and re-settlement. The history of this period is not known. Even the genealogy of Cholans and Pandyans found in inscriptions are silent on this period. This seems to be a period of picking up lost threads.
This period is mute in the North Indian history also. The only exception is the IVC people, the descendants of the displaced people of Dwaraka. They continued their life and moved on to greener pastures as Saraswathy became increasingly unhelpful. But misfortune struck those settled in Bet Dwaraka, when they experienced a tsunami like invasion on their lands. Their first option could have been to move along the Saraswathy as their clans did long ago. But Saraswathy became unreliable by 1500 BC.
They would not have opted to cross the Vindhyas and the dense forests of Dandaka. But sage Agasthya could have come to their help and offered to take them beyond the Vindhyas to Deep South which was his home.
Thus came the Dwarakans to Tamilnadu and settled down in the allotted tracts and later spread to other places.
The people of Dwaraka seem to have brought with them the skills they specialized.
Whatever is found in IVC in terms of pottery, metal works, cultivation etc are noted in Tamilnadu with the same stamp, thanks to the import of those skills by the Dwarakans.
A paper read in the World Tamil Conference points out to the similarities in the names of places in Tamilnadu with those in Maharashtra and Gujarat. The author seeks to link this to Dravidian roots from IVC to Tamils.
No it is wrong.
Tamils have been there for 1000 s years before Dwarakans came to their lands.
The similarity in names is because the Dwarakans made their presence very strong in Tamilnadu and almost invaded all walks of life and placed their stamp everywhere.
No wonder none of the 3 kings (Pandyans, Cherans and Cholans) liked them and were all the time focused on destroying the Velirs and Kings of Dwarakan lineage. The artisans (other kudi and 18 groups of people and sects like Aruvalar ) might have been skilled ones but might not have received kind reception and acceptance in due course. This might have led to discrimination against them which gradually made them subjugated castes. The caste conflict must be evaluated from this angle too.
To cite some examples, Vanniyars of Tamilnadu might be the Banyas of Gujarat. They might have belonged to the clan of Dwarakans who migrated. Similarly the metal workers, furnace workers, potters and others of Dwaraka who were engaged in a variety of jobs might not have received an equal treatment from local Tamils at all times. All these would have given rise to caste discrimination in due course.
It must be recalled that Parayan, Thudian, Kadamban and PaaNan were the olden clans / castes mentioned in Puranauru (verse 335). The cowherds have been there right from kuamri days onwards.(Kalith thogai 104) They shifted to the present day Tamil nadu along with the Pandyan king when Kumari was lost to the seas, says the verse in Kalith thogai. We will discuss the issues related to them in future posts in this series.
Presently, the information that Dwarakans of different clans - all of them having a good tradition by birth and by skills – coming to Tamilnadu in good numbers gives rise to a theory that they might have faced differences leading to struggles and conflicts that would have put the weaker ones at the receiving end of differential treatment.
There is scope to say that the Dwarakans did a cultural invasion – the notable one being the introduction of Krishna cult and Balarama worship in Tamil lands. There are other ones also which will be discussed in the next post. The Dwarakan merger needs to be studied for the kind of cultural and social invasion of Tamils by them.
The Dravidian concept has no place in this situation.
The Dravidian displacement is only a myth.
The Dravidian identity of Tamils is a fallacy.
If those who have shifted to Tamilnadu were considered as Dravidians, then they were not Tamils.
They were the people of Dwaraka or of North who came to Tamilnadu seeking a place for them to live in the midst of Tamils.
It is a pity that Mr Karunanidhi and his coterie did not realize this.
Given below are the excerpts of the paper on similarity between names in Tamilnadu and Gujarat presented by Mr Balakrishnan IAS in the just concluded World Tamil Conference.
The interesting info is that these places are found in the Cheran lands (Kerala) and the east of the Western ghats where the Dwarakans settled in large numbers. This goes well with my contention of Dwarakan migration.
The names he has mentioned:-
By adding the suffix 'am' the following names found in the North sound like Tamil words.
என்ற இடப்பெயர்களுடன் அம் என்ற விகுதியைச் சேர்த்தால், சங்க இலக்கிய இடப்பெயர்களான அரங்கம், கண்டீரம், கவிரம், குராலம், மாறோக்கம், மாந்தரம், முதிரம், தொண்டகம் போன்றவற்றை மீட்டுருவாக்கம் செய்யலாம்.
சிந்துசமவெளியில் தமிழ்ப் பெயர்கள் :
ஒருபுறம், சிந்து சமவெளிப் பகுதியிலும் அதற்கு அப்பாலும் வழங்கும் இடப் பெயர்கள் தற்போது தென்னிந்தியாவில், குறிப்பாகத் தமிழகத்தில் வழக்கிலுள்ள இடப் பெயர்களை அச்சுமாறாமல் அப்படியே நினைவுபடுத்துகின்றன.
அதுமட்டுமன்றி, அவ்வடமேற்குப் புலத்தில், சங்க இலக்கியங்கள் குறிப்பிடுகிற ஊர்களின், ஆறுகளின், மலைகளின், துறைமுகங்களின், தலைநகரங்களின், பல்வேறு அரசுக்குடிகளின் ஆட்சிக்குள்பட்ட பகுதிகளின் பெயர்களை மட்டுமன்றி பல்வேறு பழந்தமிழக் குடிகளின், மன்னர்களின் பெயர்களையும், குடிப்பெயர்களையும், வேளிர், அதியர் மற்றும் பல குறுநிலக் குடிகளையும் குறுநிலத் தலைவர்களின் பெயர்களையும் அப்படியே நினைவுறுத்தும் இடப் பெயர்கள் இன்றும் வழக்கில் உள்ளன.
மறுபுறம், தமிழகத்தில் இன்றும்கூட சிந்துவெளி இடப் பெயர்களுடன் ஒப்பிடத்தக்க இடப் பெயர்கள் வழக்கில் உள்ளன என்பதுடன், ஏராளமான சிந்துவெளி மற்றும் வடமேற்குப் புலப் பெயர்கள் தமிழகத்தில் வாழும் பழங்குடிகள் மற்றும் வேளாண்குடிகளின் இடப் பெயர்களாகவும், குலப் பெயர்களாகவும், குடிப் பெயர்களாகவும் விளங்குகின்றன. இவை, சிந்து சமவெளியின் தமிழ்த் தொடர்பிற்கு புதிய வெளிச்சம் தரும் என்பதில் ஐயமில்லை.
சிந்து சமவெளி நாககத்தின் திராவிட, மிகக் குறிப்பாகத் தொல்தமிழ்த் தொடர்பை, சிந்து, ஹரப்பா பகுதிகளிலும் அதற்கு அப்பாலும் வழங்குவது இடப் பெயர்களைக் கொண்டு நிறுவுவது இயலும். குறிப்பாகத் தமிழக, கேரளப் பகுதிகளில் அண்மைக்காலங்களில் கண்டறியப்பட்டுள்ள தொல்பொருள் அகழாய்வுகளும் அவை தரும் தரவுகளும் சிந்துவெளி திராவிடத் தொடர்புக்கு சான்றளிக்கின்றன.
எடுத்துக்காட்டாக, ஆமூர், ஆவூர், ஐயூர், மோகூர், கள்ளூர், கொற்கை, வஞ்சி, தொண்டி போன்ற பெயர்கள் அச்சுமாறாமல் அப்படியே ஒலிக்கப்படும் பெயர்கள் வடபுலங்களில் உள்ளன.
இப்பகுதிகளில் வழங்கும் அரங், கண்டீர், கவிர், குரால், மாறோக், மாந்தர், முதிரா, தொண்டக் என்ற இடப்பெயர்களுடன் அம் என்ற விகுதியைச் சேர்த்தால், சங்க இலக்கிய இடப்பெயர்களான அரங்கம், கண்டீரம், கவிரம், குராலம், மாறோக்கம், மாந்தரம், முதிரம், தொண்டகம் போன்றவற்றை மீட்டுருவாக்கம் செய்யலாம்.
கடலுள் மூழ்கியதாகக் கூறப்படும் பஃறுளி ஆற்றின் பெயர் பக்ரோலி என்ற ஊரின் பெயராக இருப்பதையும் காணலாம்" இவ்வாறு பாலகிருஷ்ணன் தனது கட்டுரையில் குறிப்பிட்டுள்ளார்.
The apex body for Tamil Research is happy for keeping away from Coimbatore Tamil Conference
July 23, 2010
IATR and the World Classical Tamil Conference
(Noboru Karashima is the President of the International Association of Tamil Research and Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo.)
A new International Association of Tamil Research must now be created to function as a real academic body.
The World Classical Tamil Conference that was held in Coimbatore last month attracted lakhs of people, according to reports. The International Association of Tamil Research (IATR), which is an older academic organisation of international scholars and of which I am President, kept its independence from this Conference. I will explain here the reasons for this and also contemplate the future of the IATR and Tamil studies in general.
Circumstances that led to the formation of the World Classical Tamil Conference
In September 2009, I was informed that the Tamil Nadu government had decided to hold the 9th session of the IATR conference in January 2010 in Coimbatore. I was greatly surprised as I had not been consulted on this matter. For accepting the government's kind offer to sponsor our 9th Conference, I put forth the following as conditions.
1) A period of at least one year to organise the conference, as I felt it was impossible to organise any big international academic conference within four months. The earliest possible date of the Conference, I said, could be December 2010 or January 2011.
2) The clear demarcation of the academic sessions of the IATR conference from the political events and programmes associated with it.
3) The release for distribution by the Government of the five-volume Proceedings of the 8th IATR Conference held in 1995 in Thanjavur sponsored by the then State Government. These had been ready for distribution in 2005, but had been kept in the Tamil University despite repeated requests for their release to the present Government.
In response, the State Government postponed the Conference from January 2010 to June 2010, and accepted my second and third points. I was strongly urged to accept this offer, as the Government could not put off the date later than June 2010 in view of the expected State Assembly election. I however held to the position that the conference should not be held earlier than December 2010. Incidentally, in the case of the 14th World Sanskrit Conference that was successfully held in Japan in September 2009, the first circular was issued two years before the conference.
Having consulted many internationally reputed scholars in various countries on this matter and having secured their support, I sent my final answer to the Government in the negative — with a statement, however, that the Government could hold any Tamil Conference of its own, if it did not involve IATR. Accordingly, the Government decided to hold its own conference, the World Classical Tamil Conference, in June 2010 in Coimbatore.
History of the IATR and past conferences
The IATR was established by some eminent scholars who were deeply concerned about the development of Tamil studies on the occasion of the 26th International Congress of Orientalists held in New Delhi in 1964. The first IATR Conference was held in Kuala Lumpur in 1966, and the second in 1968 in Madras. The 1960s witnessed the culmination and triumph of the Dravidian Movement, and the government headed by C.N. Annadurai of the DMK was voted to power in 1967 — just before the IATR conference in Madras.
It was quite natural that the Madras conference turned out to be a massive political celebration of the victory of the Dravidian Movement, though the conference showed its strength academically too. Therefore, the political statement made by this academic conference was understandable and probably permissible, although politics cast a shadow over the following conferences held in Tamil Nadu. The 5th Conference held again in Tamil Nadu in 1981 in Madurai, under the sponsorship of the AIADMK Government, became a political show again as the government made it a platform for the forthcoming elections. The 6th Conference, which was held in Kuala Lumpur in 1987, was equally affected by regional politics, as it was attended by a large group of Tamil Nadu politicians.
Although I was absent from the 7th Conference held in Moka in Mauritius in 1989, I was elected President of IATR on that occasion. I therefore organised the 8th Conference held in Thanjavur in 1995 with the sponsorship offered by the Tamil Nadu Government. Although I tried my best to separate the academic session from the political programme, two lakh persons attended the closing ceremony held in the stadium. Moreover, the conference was spoiled by the deportation of some Sri Lankan scholars. Though I sent a letter of protest to the then Chief Minister asking for an explanation, I did not receive a reply.
Historical role of IATR
The Dravidian Movement, or the Non-Brahmin movement as it was called, arose in the 1910s spearheaded by the Justice Party. Language became the focus of the movement by the late 1930s, and great emphasis was placed on the economic and political struggle by the South (Dravidian) power against the North (Aryan) power. The movement demanded the overturning of the North/Aryan 'oppression' of the South/Dravidian.
From the 1970s, however, the situation changed in accordance with the changes in caste society and the gradual economic growth of the South. The Dravidian Movement could be said to have fulfilled its historical role to a certain extent. From the 1980s, we see a shift in the aims of the movement. The political mobilisations by the DMK and AIADMK, and their appeals to the regional sentiments of the Tamil people, were primarily aimed at the expansion of their political vote base.
The Proceedings volumes of the 8th IATR Conference held in Thanjavur in 1995 still remain in Tamil University without distribution. The World Classical Tamil Conference was the best opportunity for their distribution. In the Preface (of the Proceedings), I have suggested that IATR should change its structure, free its conferences from politics, and respond to new academic trends.
It is true that IATR had not been able to conduct the 9th Conference since 1995. However, it is important to note that IATR originally planned to hold the 8th Conference in London in 1992, but as that did not materialise, it recommended in Thanjavur in 1995 the U.K., U.S.A. or South Africa as the venue for the 9th Conference. However, none of the IATR national units of these countries came forward to invite IATR to hold the conference; they were daunted perhaps by the inevitable political overtones that enter the conferences.
As for new trends in research, the "Tamil Studies Conference" organised by the University of Toronto has held its fifth conference, although on a much smaller scale, in May 2010. Some workshops and seminars on specific areas have been held in various places in the last ten years. I do not deny the advantages of large conferences, provided they are free from politics. However, the time has come now for small-scale workshops and seminars for comparative studies with other fields, instead of big conferences covering all aspects of Tamil studies.
Renaissance for Tamil Studies?
The time has come for the IATR to assume a new avatar. It has completed its historical role by making people realise the importance of Tamil studies, just as the Dravidian Movement did in respect of its original objectives. A new IATR must now be created to function as a real academic body.
My only satisfaction as President of IATR and a lover of the Tamil people and culture who has devoted his life to Tamil studies is the conviction that IATR has defended its academic freedom by keeping its independence from the government-organised and politically oriented conference held last month in Coimbatore.
However, IATR must be resurrected in a new way. Its renaissance rests on the shoulders of young and sincere scholars of Tamil studies.