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Reign of Salankayana

Salankayana ruled from 3rd century AD to 5th century AD. They were known as Salankayana after the Gotra name. They were the feudatories of Ikshvakus. They Ruled near vengi area, with Vengi (Eluru) as the capital. Salankayana is another of the Phantom kingdoms of Andhra for Indologists. Their date is fixed based on Samudra Gupta inscription mention of Hastivarman of Vengi. What we are looking here is to know more about them and also fix their dates.

Let us see Salankayana rulers first.
Kings
Deva Varma (Founder)
Ruled in last quarter of 3rd Century AD.
Performed Asvamedha Yagna (320AD)
Might have killed Jayavarma of Brihatpalayanas(Speculation), Annexed territories north of krishna river from Jayavarma

Hastivarma I
Succeeded Deva Varma
Might have Established friendly relations with Pallavas.(Speculation)
Built number of Temples
Established Chaturvidyasala (centre of Vedic learning)

Nandi varma I
Known for Valour
Known for giving gifts.

Hastivarma II
Defeated by Samudragupta
Mentioned in Allahabad Pillar Inscription
To check amibitious brother Achandavarma, he appointed his son skandavarman as yuvaraja, but however his son died.

Chandavarman

chandavarman succeeded Hastivarma II and ruled for some years.
Komarti plates Ganjam Dist given in sixth year of Chandavarman, talks about his son Vijaya Nandi varman and earlier ruler Devavarman

Nandivarma II
son of Achandavarma Ruled for some years, but was put to end by Vishnukundinas.
Issued Kolleru Plates

Grants
Ellore Prakrit grant
Devavarman.

Kollair grant
Candavarman
Nandivarman, Eldest son of Candavarman

Peddavegi grant
Hastivarman
Nandivarman I, Son of Hastivarman
Candavarman, son of Nandivarman I
Nandivarman II, eldest son of Candavarman.

Kanteru grant - II
Nandivarman

Geneology
Various scholars have debated and arrived at this Genealogy.
Devavarma
Hastivarma
Nandivarma I
Candavarma
Nandivarma II

Name
Salankayana was a vedic Rishi and his gotra was adopted by this dynasty of Vengi. However they are simply called Salankayana not as Salankayana gotra. The Word Salankayana indicates Nandi, the bull of Shiva. So the crest of Salankayana was connected with name of their family not of Gotra.

Similarity in names of Pallava, Brihatphalayana, Salankayana and the epithey Pitrabhakta, which bore the emblem of bull, raise the assumpton they are of same stock. But they can all be feudatories of Chutus.

Characteristics
Salankayana's patronised vedic culture
Worshipped Sun. Also worshipped Shiva and Vishnu
During their time Hinduism spread to Neighborhood Burma and Combodia
Tolerant of Buddhism
scholars like Dignaga, Buddhapalita, Bhavaviveka propagated Buddhism without any Hurdles.

Historical Records
Panini and Patanjali
Panini and Patanjali indicates Salankayana in North West India. Panini gives Salankayana twice. Once as Gotra and another time as ruler of place called Salankayanaka.

Ptolemy
Ptolemy locates a tribe , the salakenoi somewhere about the oroudian mountains bordering the region of Maisoloi (Machulipatnam), showing presence of Salankayana in Vengi around Ist Century AD.

Kausambi
A Salankayana minister named Bhutila was either stationed or had relatives in Kousambi as per the prakrit grant found in Kausambi. Let us see the Prakrit grant.

Terracota Figure in Nagpur
A terracota seal of Salankayana has been found in Adam near Nagpur by I K Sharma who conducted excavations at Peddavegi. A Carnelian Intaglio(Pendent) near a stupa of 4th century AD.

Aparashaila Sect

Aparashaila a Buddhist sect got established in First century BC. Now the Vijaya Nandivarma or Nandivarma II establised the a vihara for the sect in his regime. So his regime has to be post this period.

Allahabad Pillar Inscription

Allahabad pillar inscription says that Salankayana king ruled from Vaingeyaka (Lord of Vengi).
Now going to Allahabad inscription, we have hastivarma of Vengi, Burnell identifies Hastivarma of Allahabad inscription with Hastivarma of Salankayana.

Ellore Plates
Devavarman Ellore plates given in 13th year talks about Asvameda. Eventhough grant talks about Asvameda sacrifice. The Inscription is in Sanskrit.

Hastivarma , Nandivarma I and Candavarma
Now Hastivarma and Nandivarma I does not give any grants. Candavarman name is found in Kollair and Peddagavi plates. So we know very little about these kings. Hastivarma is defined in peddagavi plates as winner of many battles.

Neighborhood
Let us see who are the neighbors of Salankayana

Andhra Ikshvaku Reign
Vashistaputra sri Santamula was the first important king of Andhra Ikshvakus and he seems to have asserted independence may be from Chutus. His son Virapurushadata gave his daughter to Banavasi Prince. He took his wife from Saka ruler of Ujjain. We know around 278AD, Andhra Ikshvaku regime ended. Ikshvakus ruled for 100 years. Ikshvaku followed vedic faith, but were staunch supporters of Buddhism. The Same seems to be case with Salankayana. Salankayana takes the same titles as Ikshvakus. This may indicate they are roughly of same period. May be Buddhist influence. Or they may have replaced Ikshvakus. Salankayana may be feudatory of Andhra Ikshavakus. Pallava Branch led by Bappa succeeded Ikshavakus in south of Krishna.

Brihatpalayana
Brihat (Vastness) + Palayana (Moving).
The Brihatpalayanas ruled the Krishna district with their capital as Pithunda near Machilipatnam. The Hathigumpha inscription describes that this city has been destroyed by Kharavela [180 BCE] of Kalinga. The city of Pithunda is referred to as metropolis in one of Ptolemy's work.

Jayavarma, the only king known of the dynasty ruled Krishna district with Pithunda as his capital between A.D. 270-285. A princess of his family was married to the Andhra Ikshvaku king. A copper plate grant issued by Jayavarma was discovered at Kondamudi, near Tenali at around A.D.280. The grant is in the form of an order issued by Jayavarma from his victorious camp at Kudura(Guduru near Machilipatnam) to the governor of Kuduru ahara(district). It pertains to the grant of land in favour of a number of Brahmins. The charter issued in Prakrit describes Jayavarma as the devotee of Maheswara and calls him Raja. Nothing is known about the relations of the Brihatpalayanas with the neighbouring kingdom of the Ikshvakus or Pallavas or Salankayanas.

Pallavas

Names of Pallavas and Salankayanas were similar. The Emblem of seated bull is found in both grants. Six generations of Salankayana and pallavas do not acknowledge each other and they never come in conflict with each other. Earliest grants of both dynasties are in Prakrit and later in Sanskrit. Both belong to Bharadvaj gotra. While Salankayana worshipped shiva in the form of Chitra Radhaswami, Pallavas are agni worshippers. The Same way there is no Ikshvaku- pallava conflicts. Most of the the sound Indian Dynasties are from Naga Line, so Bull is one of their emblems. So we can't read much into this symbol.

We have Pallava record Mangadur grant of simhavarman assigned to middle of fifth century donating land in vengo rastra. So that might be time that Salankayana rule has ended. But we cannot say that Pallavas ended the rule, as there is not mention of Salankayana rule being ended by Pallavas. We also cannot give a long period of Pallava occupation of Vengi, as there is none to record.

Vishnukundin
Around Same time or little later, we have vishnukundin Madhavavarman I extending kingdom to vengi. Hereagain as we have seen in Vishnukundin Article does mention Salankayana or Vishnukundin ending the reign of Salankayana There is no mention of any salankayana or their rule in the inscriptions.

Ananda Gotrikas
Looking at Gorantla and Mattepad records, experts have come to following conclusions. Ananda Kings ruled from Guntur. Known Kings were Kandara(Krishna), Attivarman(Hastivarman), Domodavarman. They have been placed in 3rd century AD. The inscriptions are written in Sanskrit with Kings names in Prakrit. Their flag is similar to Kadambas. Where they liberated with Mayurasarma wars with pallavas. They Claim their lord is Lord of Vegavati. That may indicate Salankayana. The characters of the inscriptions are similar to Salanakayana. So we can say that Salankayana is the lord of Ananda Gotrikas. Now Ananda Gotrikas is said have defeated Ikshvaku in the battle of Dhanyakataka.

Matharas Dynasty
Matharas dynasty started in the early part of 4th century AD around Mahendra region. Vishakavarman was the first king of Matharas dynasty. Umavarman extended the kingdom to whole of Kalinga around in the middle of 4th century AD and shifted capital to Simhapuram in Srikakulam district . His son Saktivarman extended the kingdom from Mahanadi to Krishna. Saktivarman shifted captial to Pistapuram. The Dynasty came to end with fight between Pitrabhaktas, Vashistas and Matharas to the close of 5th century AD.

Indonesian Records

A new Dynasty of Tarumanagara was established in Salakanagara in Indonesia in 358AD. This dyansty has its origin in Salankayana Dynasty from Vengi. Maharshi Rajadirajaguru Jayasingawarman established the kingdom after marrying the local sundanese princess.

The Name Salakanagara  means silver in sanskrit. This kingdom was established by Indian merchants settlements in western Java around 130 AD. My opinion is that the name could have been due to trading with Salankayana. Now with collapse of Salankayana the rulers find refuge with the same people who got settled.

If we take this information into view. We can say that the the Salankayana dyansty ended rule around 358 AD.

Dating discussion
Aparashaila a Buddhist sect got established in First century BC. Vijaya nandivarman established a Vihara for this sect. So definitely the king is post first century BC.

From Ptolemy accounts, it is clear that Salankayana were ruling at Vengi around 2nd century AD. They should had extensive sea trade, so as to be known to Ptolemy and also colony of traders who took the name of devavarman to Indonesia.

Around 250 AD. Chutu empire disintegrated. Pallavas inherited much of South India due to marital alliance with Chutus.

Around 350AD. Pallavas empire fractured. Kadambas, Gangas in Karnataka and others also took piece of cake. Pallavas were put out of Andhras by Ananda Gotrikas.

If you take out the Samudra Gupta Alahabad inscription. Start of Historical Salankayana is around First Century AD. Devavarma is a prominent ruler. With coming of Hastivarman the geneology become clear.

They may be worshppers of Siva and later changed to Vishnu worshippers, as evidenced by the Bull emblem and names like Nandivarman.

Vishnukundin dyansty came into being around 5th century AD. They ruled from 450AD to 615 AD. Madhavavarman I who came around 470 AD extended his kingdom to Vengi. He does not seems have encountered Salankayana there either as friend or foe. He mentions himself as the son in law of Vakatakas and nothing else about vakatakas. Last branch of Vakataka dynasty ended around his time.

We have Simhavarman Pallava donating land in Vengo rastra and around same time Madhavavarman Extended his kingdom to Vengi. So Around 450AD , there is no Salankayana in Vengi. Both don't Acknowledge Salankayana presence in the area. Salankayana is a famous local dynasty and if they have ended their rule. Both would have mentioned salankayana was defeated by them. So we have to conclude that salankayana were not there around 450AD.

Salankayana Timeline
Let us try to reconstruct the turn of events.
Around 278 AD. Andhra Ikshvakus of Krishna Valley were put to end by combined Abhiras, Salankayana, Brihatpalayas. Brihatpalyas are ruling koduru or Masulipatnam. salankyana are ruling in Vengi. Pallavas in Guntur. Each of them got a piece part of territory and ruled independently.

Aound 350 AD. Ananda Gotrikas over threw Pallavas out of Guntur. Kadambas , Gangas, Banas threw pallavas out of Karnataka. Saktivarman of Matharas dynasty in Kalinga extended his kingdom to Krishna. And If we take references from indonesian history , then we can say that Salankayana rule has ended around 360 AD.

Around 450 AD in Andhra. Pallavas occupied south of Krishna and Vishnukundin occupied North of Krishna. Vishnukundin expands to Vengi and we find no mention of Salankayana there. So Salankaya were not there around 450 AD.

Conclusion
From the accounts of Panini and Patanjali, we can say that Salankayana is an ancient dyansty. They may be Naga with saivite devotion. The settled around Vengi in the first century AD, as the feudatories of Chutu Satakarnis as the keeper of Eastern sea board as evidenced by Ptolemy. As chutus are Vaisnavite we have change in religion of Salankayana to vaishnavite. They were also feudatories of Ikshvakus. The Chutus went down in 250 AD and Ikshvakus went down around 270AD. Soon we have Salankayana ruler Devavarman proclaiming himself to be Maharaja. The Salankayana Dynasty comes to end around 350 AD and branch of the dyansty migrates to Indonesia and sets up a kingdom there.

Source
THE SUCCESSORS OF THE SATAVAHANAS BY DINESCHANDRA SIRCAR, M.A., PH.D
Buddhist Remains in Andhra and the History of Andhra Between 225 and 610 A.D. By K. R. Subramanian
Vakataka - Gupta Age Circa 200-550 A.D. edited by Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Anant Sadashiv Altekar 


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Is Gautama Buddha Avatar of Vishnu

Why does Purana and Buddhist Chronology does not synchronize with each other. While they seem to be saying about the same person. When Analyzing this question. It becomes apparent that we have merged two Buddhas. The Adi Buddha or Avatar Buddha of Vishnu and Shakya Buddha  or Gautama Buddha into One. Let us Analyze

Let us  summarize what we have regarding each Buddha

Adi Buddha
Adi Buddha is avatar of Vishnu was born on 1887BC to Mother Anjana in Kikata (Bodh Gaya).
The Adi Buddha Established the Philosophy of Ahimsa, Non Violence. He preached against ritual Animal Sacrifices that has crept into Vedic Hinduism. He emphasized the divine in all beings and divinity of all souls arousing compassion for all.


Gautama Buddha
Siddhartha was was born around 560BC in Royal Family of Suddhodana and Mayadevi in Lumbini in Nepal. Siddhartha received his name Gautama from his spiritual Master Gautama Muni, who belongs to Kapila dynasty(as per Sundarananda Charita). He left home his royal comforts to find enlightenment. He went to Bodh Gaya to meditate and got enlightenment.
Gautama Buddha philosophy that is Monist (the God, is inert, nonactive and without any characteristic) and that reaching the same inert and non-active state through Nirvana is the goal. For attaining freedom from all suffering and end cycle of rebirths, one should attain Nirvana. Gautama Buddha is the propagator of Bahyatmavada, Jnanatmavada and Sunyavada, three pillars of Atheism. He Went to Bodhgaya to medidate because of its spiritual potency as the birthplace of Adi Buddha.

Buddhist Texts
Threvada Texts refer to six Preceding Buddhas (Those who have been awakened) as Vipasyin, Sikin, krakuccanda, Konagamara and Kashyapa, also they say Maitreya as the Buddha of the future.

Amara Simha Buddhist scholar, who wrote Amarakosha gives eighteen names of Vishnu avatara including the name Sugato (Which Shankara calls Buddha) and seven names of Shakya Simha Buddha without any mention of Sugato. So we can even argue that Shankara talks about avatar Buddha not Shakya Buddha. Amarakosha states the Lord Buddha is also known as Samanta Bhadra, whereas Gautama Buddha is a human being.

In Lalita Vistara, it is described how Gautama Buddha medidated on the same spot as the predecessor Buddha. The original name of Bodhgaya is Kikata, after Gautama attained enlightment there, it came to be known as Buddha gaya. Even today the rituals of worship is preformed by sannyasis of Shankaracharya sect.

Lankavatara Sutra, the famous buddhist work says that Ravana King of Lanka first worshipped Vishnu incarnation Buddha then successive and future Buddha.

Analysing Buddhist texts like Prajna-Paramita sutra, Astasahastrika prajna- paramita sutra, Sata-Shastrika Prajna, Pramita Sutra, Lalita Vistara shows three categories of Buddha namely

Human Buddhas: Like Gautama, who came to be known as Buddha after enlightment.
Bodhisattva Buddhas: Personalities like Samanta Bhadraka who were born enlightened.
Adi(Original-First) Buddha: the Avatar of Vishnu.


Hindu Texts
Bhagavata Purana says "At the commencement of the Kāli-yuga will Vishnu become incarnate in Kikata, under the name of Buddha, the son of Jina, for the purpose of deluding the enemies of the gods."

Puranas say that Adi Buddha was born in Ikshvaku Dynasty.

How Two were merged.
Adi Shankara, in discussion with others treated both of them as one person and did not discriminate between the two. Shankara Sunya philosophy is similar to Buddhist Nirvana. With his Mayavadha philosophy he not only stopped rise of Buddhism in India, but also started its decline.  However acharyas who came after him did not agree and they came with corrections for clear vedic View
Vishnuswami -Suddha Advaitha
Ramanuja - Vasistadvaitha
Nimbarka - Dvaita Advaita
Madhva - Dvaitha
Chaitanya - Acintaya Bheda Bheda

Historical Accounts
Adi Buddha is contemproary of Srenika(Sunika) whose father was Hemajit or Kshemajit or Kshetroja or Ksetrauja. Son of Srenika is Kunika. His son is Dharshaka.

Gautama Buddha is contemproary of Bimbisara(Son of Bhatiya or Bhattiya), King of Magadha with Capital at Rajgirh. Bimbisara made married alliances with many kings of India. His first wife Kosaladevi was the princess of Kosala, daughter of king Mahakoshal and sister of Pasendi or Prasenjit. The marriage ended the hostility between Kosala and Magadha. Ajatsatru was Kosaladevi`s son. Bimbisara conquered Anga and send Ajatsatru as the ruler there. Champa was the capital of Anga. Bimbisara was assasinated by his son Ajathashatru. Gautama Buddha then went to sravasti, Capital of Kosala ruled by Prasenjit. Most of the teachings come from Sravasti. Buddhist, Puranic and Jain Accounts confirm Gautama Buddha to be the contemproary of Bimbisara.

Jain scriptures, described King Bimbisara as a disciple of Mahavira who frequently sought his teachings. As per Jain texts, he is referred to as King Shrenika of Rajgriha (being the possessor of a large army). Bimbisara sent Jivaka to Ujjain for medical treatment of King Pradyata, the king of Avanti.

Mahavamsa traces the Shakya dyansty to Ikshvaku dynasty and starts the dynasty with Ikshvaku.


Let us see the list of Contemproary kings as various religious texts 

Puranas List
Shishunaga(40yrs)(Desposed Pratyodya)
kakavarna(36yrs)
kshemdharman(20yrs)
Khastrojas (40yrs)
Bimbasara (28yrs)
Ajatashatru (25yrs)
Darshaka(26yrs)
Udayin (33yrs)
Nandivardhana (40rys)
Mahanandin (43yrs)

Buddhist List
Sisunaka
Kalashoka (Sons Bhadrasena, Korandavarna, Mangura, Sarvanjaha, Jalika, Ubhaka, Sanjaya, Koravya, Nandivardhana and Panchamaka)
All 10 sons ruled simultaneously.

How Reliable is Buddhist Historical sources

Indologists have been saying Puranas are not reliable, let us see how unreliable Buddhist texts are. It is from Buddhist texts that Indologists arguments come. There two schools of sources. Tibetan and Sinhala. There is Chinese source, which comes later.
Let us take the kings around Buddhas time

Lankan Tradition

Dipavamsa
Bimbisara(52yrs)
Ajatasattu (32yrs)
Udayabhadda (16yrs)
Nagadasa (24yrs)
susunaga (10yrs)
kalasoka
Ten sons of Kalasoka (22yrs)
Candagutta(24yrs)
Bindusara
Asoka (37yrs)

Mahavamsa
Bimbisara (52yrs)
Ajatasattu (32yrs)
Udayabhadda (16yrs)
Anuruddha, Munda (8yrs)
Nagadasaka (8yrs)
Susunaga (18yrs)
Kalasoka (28yrs)
ten sons of Kalasoka (22yrs)
Nine Nandas (22yrs)
Candagutta (24yrs)
Bindusara (28yrs)
Asoka (37yrs)

Burmese Tradition
Bimbisara
Ajatasattu (35yrs)
Udayabhadda (15yrs)
Aururddha, Munda (9yrs)
Nagadasaka (4yrs)
Susunaga (32yrs)
Kalasoka 28yrs
bhaddasena and 8 brothers (33yrs)
Uggasenananda and 8 brothers (21yrs)
candagutta (24yrs)
Bindusara (27yrs)
Asoka

Tibetan Tradition
Asokavardhana
Bimbisara
Ajatasatru
Ujayain or Udayibhadda
Munda
Kakavarnin
Sahalin
Tulakuel
Mahamandala
Presenjit
Nanda
Bindusara
Asoka

Jain Tradition
Srenika
Kunika
Udayin
(Total 60yrs)
Nine Nandas
Candragupta
Bindusara
Asoka

Discussion

Buddhist dates
1)Sources of Buddhist: First Where do Buddhist sources come from, they are not there from time immemorial like Purana or Jain sources. They are from definite time frame that is after Gautama Buddha. Mainly after the state patronage of Buddhism. Now how does Buddhist dates start from Ikshvaku dynasty. They should have got from some source. where else Purana. These Buddhist chronologies before Buddha are from Purana sources. If Puranas are the source of many Buddhist dates, how can Indology scholars choose to reject Puranas and take Buddhist sources.

2)Indian Dates: Dates from Purana or Buddhist or Jain are all Indian dates. Indologists are just playing one against other.

3)Not the Same Kings: Jain and Purana Chronology names does not tally with Buddhist Chronology names on contemporary kings

4) Differences within Buddhist: There are two main dates for Buddhists. One from Sinhala Buddhist and other Tibetan sources. There are two sources from Sinhala. That is Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa. There are differences between the two dates, but let us not overplay the differences.

The Tibetan Buddhist dates are more closer to Puranas date. But there are major differences. Such as when did Buddha lived. Date of Ashoka etc.

There is also Burma (Myanmar), though based on Lankan sources has a mind of its own because it has direct contact with puranic sourcse.

Chinese and Japanese follow Lankan, though they also have direct contact with puranic, so there are differences.

Indology Confusions
By Combining two Buddhas Indology scholars have discredited the Purana accounts and thus Indian History. Whenever the Puranas refers Adi Buddha they will cite Gautama Buddha to discredit and vice verse.

Colonel Kennedy, argues that the Buddha of the Purana and Buddha the founder of the Buddhist system of religion have nothing in common but the name, and that the attempted identification of these two is simply the work of European scholars, who have not been sufficiently careful to collect information, and to weigh the evidence they have had before them.

Jacobi Believes that Kakavarna(Puranas) = Kalashoka (Sinhalese Buddhist Literature) = Udyain (Jain Literature)

The Cambridge and Oxford histories of India accept 483 B.C as the date of Buddha’s nirvana. But, William Jones, on the basis of Chinese and Tibetan records infers that Buddha lived in the 11th century B.C. Historian Fleet, who makes a study of ‘Rajatarangini’, thinks that Buddha lived in the 17th century B.C. Chinese monk Fa-Hien puts Buddha’s Nirvana at 1050 B.C. These contradictory theories may confuse one altogether.

Indology scholars just pick and choose to discredit Purana sources. The history that Buddha lived in the 5th century B.C was propounded by E.J Rapson who writes that the exact date of Buddha’s Nirvana is not known and hence the popularly accepted year of Buddha’s Nirvana is imaginary. Sastry states that Western scholars arbitrarily skipped 12 centuries of Indian history because their ‘hypothesis’ about Alexander’s invasion did not match with centuries-old Indian chronology.

Conclusion
We see that Early Buddhist texts distinguishes the two Buddhas, while the later ones seem to ignored the former. The Rock Edicts of Piyadasi teachings are of Adi Buddha not Gautama Buddha. This clarification actually synchronizes the Buddhist and Purana Chronology and there seems to be no problem in merging the two once we take as two persons. The key is not play puranic , Jain, Buddhist chronology against each other, but synchronize them. The Conclusion is that : Gautama Buddha is not avatar of Vishnu. Avatar of Vishnu is Adi Buddha.

Sources
Were There Two Buddhas By Stephen Knapp
Modern Buddha and Vishnu Avatar Buddha are Different by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaja
Hindu Mythology, Vedic and Puranic, by W.J. Wilkins
Index to all Chronology Pages from Indic Studies Foundation
QUEEN CHELNA AND KING SHRENIK from Jainworld
Saisunaga Dynasty- The Third Dynasty of Magadha after the great war. from Kota Venkata Chelam - Ancient Indian History
Buddhist India
Lord Mahāvīra and His Times By Kailash Chand Jain
History of Ancient India: From 4250 BC to 637 AD By J.P. Mittal
The dates of the Buddha

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Date of Devaram (Thevaram Trio)

We are looking at the Dates of Appar, Sambandhar and Sundarar known as tevaram Trio. We are comparing the historical dates of these saints versus claims by dravidian scholars. Let us first see at the terms Thirupadiyam and Devaram.

Thirupadiyam

The earliest epigraphical reference to the recitation of Thiruppadiyam, occurs in the middle of the 9th century, in the reign of the Pallava ruler Nandivarman III circa 845 A.D. found in the Siva emple of Thiruvallam. It records the gift of a village for maintaining several services in the temple by a certain Vikramaditya Mabali Vanarayan(Bana King). It includes provisions for food offerings, the Sivabhramanas performing worship, Sribali (drummers), for makers of flower garlands, and singers of Thiruppadiyam. Four hundred kadi of paddy is prescribed as annual payment for the last two categories of services.

The word Thiruppadiyam in inscriptions is generally taken by Dravidian scholars to refer to the Tevaram hymns of Saint Appar, Sambandar and Sundarar. But Thirupadiyam Thiru(Sanskrit Sri) + Padiyam (Singing or Reading or chanting) does not translate to Devaram, it translates to singing or reading or chanting holy prayers or hymns or recitals. The Thirupadiyam is not only sung in Siva and Vaishnava temples but jain shrines too. How can Devaram a saiva work be sung in Jain temples. So the term simply means holy recitals not Devaram by the Trio.

Thirupadiyams History
When Ramanuja started spreading his philosophy, he found that most of the scholars are committed to Sankara, So Ramanuja had created 74 aharyapurushas with hereditory rights of succession to spread vishistadvaita philosophy and temple worship, in contrast to sankara's teachings. Due to paucity of scholars, non- brahmins were also given seal of authority to convert. However, Vedas were restricted to Brahmins..

"While the recitation of Vedas was the monopoly of the Brahmins the recitation of Prabandhams was made the common right of all castes and both sexes." as per Raghavacharya.



Term Devaram

The term Tevaram also occurs in a jaina context, earlier, meaning a place of worship. The term Tevaram is mentioned in Saivite context in other places.

 A 27th year record of Rajaraja I in the temple of Siva at Allur in Trichy district refers to the recitation of Thiruppadiyams by a certain Ambalattadi Thirunavukkaraiyan, at the Devara in the sthana matha of Vadakudi Mahadeva temple. The relevant portion of the text reads: (Thiru Vadakudi Mahadevar sthana mathattu Devarattukku Thiruppadiyan Vinnappam Ceyyum Ambalattadi Thiruavukkaraiyan (675 of SII VIII). The inscription is explicit in its statement that Thiruppadiyam was recited at the Devaram of the sthana matha, thereby clearly stating that the term Devaram stands for a sacred place of worship and does not refer to the devaram of the Trio.

This is further confirmed by another inscription at Tanjore, recorded in the time of Rajendra I, son of Rajaraja. Dated in the 19th year of Rajendra I, it records certain gifts made by the king while he was seated at the cloistered hall of Devara, situated in the north, of the Mudikonda cholan Palace at Gangaikondacholapuram. Obviously the Devaram mentioned here is a place of worship (domestic) within the royal palace.

Another inscription dated in the reign of Rajendra (Kullotunga I) at Manambadi-Tanjore District, a certain nangur Maraikkadan alias Patanjali Pidara, served as Devara Nayaka to Rajendra Chola. Obviously he was looking after the place of worship of the ruler. This would show that even in the 12th century the word Devaram stood for a place of worsip only and did not mean the sacred hymns of the three saints.

A record of Kiranur, Tanjore Disstrict dated in the reign of Rajaraja I, 7th year 992 A.D., states that Thiruppadiyam singer stood in front and recited, Vilakam ner Thiruppadiyami. The reciters stood in front of Devaram and sung the hymns, called Devarattu Thiruppadiyam, which during the passage of time came to be called simply Devaram, jettisioning the second member and thus the hymns themselves came to be called Devarams. The term Devaram is derived probably Devagaram i.e. place of God-worship and should have been prakritized as Devaram like Bhandagaram becoming Bhandaram and Koshtagaram becoming Kottaram.

From the examples we see that the Neither Thirupadiyam not Devaram in inscriptions refers to the hymns sung by the Trio.



Thirumurai

Thirumurai is a twelve volume compendium of hymns in the praise of Shiva by various poets in South India. Nambi Andar Nambi compiled the first seven volumes by Appar, Campantar and Cuntarar as Tevaram. During the course of time, a strong necessity was felt by scholars to compile Saiva literature to accommodate other works. Tiruvacakam and Tirukovayar by Manickavasagar is included as eighth, nine parts are compiled as ninth Tirumurai out of which most are unknown, tenth as Tirumandiram by Tirumular the famous Siddhar. Eleventh is compiled by Karaikal Ammaiyar, Cheraman Perumal and others. The contemparary Chalukya Chola king was impressed by the work of Nambi and included Nambi's work in the eleventh Tirumurai. Sekkizhar's Periya Puranam, composed a century later, contains the life depiction of all the 63 nayanmars. The response for the work was tremendous among Saiva scholars that it was included as the 12th Tirumurai. Tirumurai along with Vedas and Saiva agamas from the basis of Saiva Siddantha philosophy in Tamil Nadu. 63 Alwars and Nayanmars is a list compiled by Sekkilar in Kulothunga III court.

Periyapuranam
The Periya Puranam or Tiruttondar Puranam is a Tamil poetic account depicting the legendary lives of the sixty-three Nayanars, the poets of Tamil Shaivism. It was compiled during the 12th century by Sekkilar during the rule of Kullottonga Chola III.

Names of Saints in Inscriptions

Let us see the reciters of Thirupadiyam, whose names are recorded in inscriptions. The reciters, whose names are recorded, are seen with two names (1) the surname and (2) the diksha name (names assumed during initiation). The intiatory names show that all of them underwent Siva diksha. The diksha names include any one of the five of names of Sadasiva, as Tatpurusha Siva, Aghora Siva, Vamasiva, Isana Siva, Sadasiva, or Rudrasiva. Other names included are Netra Siva, Hrdaya Siva, Sikha, Kavaca, Jnana, Vyoma, Yoga, Dharma, Satya, Purva and Omkara all ending the honorofic Siva. Among their surnames, seven reciters bear the name Thirunavukkaraiyan, five the name Aruran. (Among the names of other 63 saints, assumed by the reciters, Sirala occurs twice and none else). The names as recorded in inscriptions are interesting. We don't come across Appar, Sundarar and sambandar in chola inscriptions.

A point of interest worthy of note is that in the temple of Tanjore, the images of 63 saints, were not consecrated. Except the images of Siruttonda with his wife and son Sirala, and the image of Miladudaiyar, other saints are not mentioned. The Period we are talking here is as early as Chalukya chola king Kulothunga.

Let us look at the Saints in Historical Context.
..

Alvars and Nayanaras
The Pantheon of Alvar came after the times of Nathamuni and Ramanuja during their time they got wide acceptance. Until then Alvar means only Nammalvar. Nammalvar Tiruvoymoli is the first prabhandhams made known to tamil world.

First Twelve Alwars

Poigai, Bhutam, Pey, Thondar-adip-podi, Tirumazhisai aka Bhaktisara, Paanan, Kulashekara, Andal, Periazhvar, Tirumangai, Nammalvar, Madhurakavi.

Natha Muni recovers these verses by yogic powers

Sriman Nathamuni happened to hear some verses of Nammalvar through some pilgrims. His desire to hear more of these songs brought him to a of the direct - disciple of Nammalvar, on whose advice Sri Nathamuni being a yogi went through yogic exercise and established direct contact with the spirit of Sri Nammalvar.

Lost works , refound
Kanda Puranam (14th century AD) says that the Devaram hyms were lost and was recovered by nambi andar nambi on the direction of Abhaya Kulasekhara from the sealed room of Chidambaram temple. However this story is exactly like the recovery of vaishnava hyms by Nathamuni(12th century AD Ancestor of Ramanuja) So it would have been most likely symbolic rather than true.

Nambi Andar Nambi.
Nambi Andar Nambi, was born in Tirunaraiyur near Chidambaram. who is said to have recovered, at the request of the Chola king, Raja Abhaya Kula-Sekhara, the Saivate canons of the three famous Devaram hymnists. It has been supposed that Nambi-Andar-Nambi was a contemporary of Rajaraja(Equating Raja Abhaya Kula sekhara). It is true his patron is said to have been a Chola king named Rajaraja Abhaya-Kulasekhara. But there is a very serious difficulty in identifying this Rajaraja with the builder of the Tanjore temple. Among the poems, which Nambi-Andar-Nambi is said to have classified, is the Tiruvisaippa, which contains a hymn on the Gangaikonda-Cholesvara temple built evidently by Rajaraja’s son Rajendra-Chola and called after his title Gangaikonda-Chola. The composer of the hymn himself must have lived after Rajaraja atleast or even Rajendra Chola; and Nambi-Andar-Nambi who classifies it along with the sacred writings of the Tamil Saivas, must certainly belong to a still later period. Since he recovers these scriptures after they are completely lost. He should at-least be a century or more later.

Manikka Vasagar Mentions Varguna
"Varagunanaam thennavan eaththum Chitrambalaththaan… " This varguna is said to be the Pandyan king who ruled in 9th century AD. But the saint does not denote any king here. Nor does he says he pandyan. But it has been equated with Varguna pandyan and his date is taken to 9th century AD. Can the king be addressed like that by his own minister?

Let us now turn our attention the aim of the article that is Date to Devaram Trio...

Appar
Appar is claimed to be contemproary of Mahendra Varman pallava based on the inscription in Tiruchi. The claims are based on these assumptions.
  1. Gundabhara and Gunadhara are same
  2. Both refer to Mahendravarman
  3. So The Gunabhara in Tiruchirapalli inscription is Mahendra pallava
  4. he moved away from evil conduct is mean to say that Jainism is evil conduct and he turned to shaiva
  5. This moving away from bad conduct is due to appar.
  6. The Same place have many jain inscriptions in earlier and subsequent periods indicating it is a Jain centre, debunking any saivite conversion.
If you see the evidence, there is nothing to suggest conversion, leave alone Appar involved in one. Let us see what other evidences contradicting them.



Mattavialasa prasanna
Mattavialasa prasanna by Mahendra Varman Pallava makes fun of Saivite and Buddhist religions.
 
Gunabhara , Gnanabhra
The Rock cut cave temple have a defaced inscription , which record King Gnanabhra, who bore the birudas purushottama, satrumalla and satyasamd ,built a temple of siva on the top of the mountain and placed in it a linga and a statue of himself. Both inscriptons mention river Kaveri.

Jain Inscriptions
Jain Inscriptions by pallavas continue after the said incident. If Mahendra Varman Pallva considered Jainism as evil way and saivite way as the correct way due to conversion by Appar. Then there should be shift inscriptions from jainism to Saivism, but there is none. Since the whole claim is that Appar and mahendra varman pallava are contemproaries, is based on this inscription. There is no evidence to suggest a conversion or subsequent inscriptions for any conversion, let alone by appar. The Jain monasteries continue to get aid from pallavas as before without any break. If evil way from which mahendra varma turned away is Jainism, there should be dip in aid to Jain Monasteries. The Aid continuous not only throughout pallava times, but also chola and Pandya times. So there is no evidence of any conversion.

Sambandar
Sambandar went to court of Koon Pandyan. He said to have defeated jains there.

Koon Pandiyan
Looking into the history of Kazimar Big Mosque of Madurai, it dates back to 13th century. Hazrat Kazi Syed Tajudin, who came from Oman, received the land where the present Masjid is situated, as donation from the then Pandya King of Madurai – Koon Pandiyan.

Jain Debate
The incident as narrated in Sekkizhar's magnum opus. As per this version,the Saivite saint Tirugnanasambandhar (TGS) debated 8,000 Jainas simultaneously. The Jainas had vowed that they would impale themselves should they lose the debate. As Per Sekkizhar they did so.

Pandyan Nedumaran also known as Koon Pandiyan was converted to Saivism by Sambandar. As per Kazimar Mosque dating Koon Pandiyan is date-able to 13th century AD.

First there is no evidence to suggest there is a debate of such large scale. And if that is true, then Sambandar should be dated to 13th century AD, not 7th century AD.
 
Thirumangai Alwar and Sambandar
Once Sambandar was staying in his mutt. Thirumangai alwar came by that side, surrounded by his followers shouting loudly the title's their leader. The followers of Sambandar asked the followers of Thirumangai alwar to maintain silence till they crossed the mutt. But Alwar became angry and went straight into the mutt. Sambandar welcomed him cordially and asked him to sing a song on the Lord Vishnu. So Alwar sang and hearing this Sambandar was spell bound and tears came running out of his eyes. He at once gave the spade (vel) which was given to him by lordess Aadhiparashakti to Alwar and requested him to continue his divine service to god. And accepted that he was apt for his titles and announcing them loudly was correct.


Thirumangai Date
Thirumangai's father was Nilam, a general under the Chola king Kochengan. Thirumangai also followed suit and became General under Chola. So His date has to be post pallava that is after 10th century AD. Thirumangai Alwar arranged for worship of Nammalvar in Sri rangam Temple. That put Thirumangai Alwar at-least a century or two Later. Thirumangai also refers to Vairamegha, the Rastrakutas. So he is definitely post 10th century AD.

Now Thirumangai Alwar cannot be dated to 7th century AD. So how can Sambandhar who is a contemporary of Thirumangai Alwar dated to such date.

Kochengan and Hiranyavarman

Kochenga's parents Subhadeva and Kamalavati prayed to Nataraja of Chidambaram temple for a male successor as per Sangam Literature. The Periyapuranam(13th Century AD) calls him the son of the Chola king Subhadeva by Kamalavati. So Kochenga is post Nataraja Temple. Earliest Historical reference to Nataraja Temple is Nandivarma pallavamalla (732-796 CE) about his father Hiranyavarma building Nataraja Temple at Chidambaram. So Chidambaram Nataraja Temple was built by Nandivarma Pallavamalla around 750 AD. Kochengan parents came to pray in this temple for male heir and thus was born Kochengan. Since Kochengan is Chola. Kochengan should be dated Post pallava. And any literature referring to Kochengan is also post pallava.


The Leyden grant calls him “a bee at the lotus feet of Sambhu (Siva).” This is shows to the fact that Sengan was considered as one of the sixty-three devotees of Siva. His name is mentioned by two of the authors of the Devaram: Sundaramurti invokes him in the Tiruttondattogai, and refers to a temple which Kochchenganan had built at Nannilam; and Tirunanasambandar mentions two other temples which the Chola king Seyyagan had built at Ambar and at Vaigal. Mr.Venkayya has found that the Nalayira-prabandham speaks of a visit of the Chola king Kochchenganan to the Vishnu temple at Tirunaraiyur.

Kalvali narpathu sung in praise of Kochengan against the battle of Kanaikal Irumporai , Chera king in the battle of Kalumalam by Poigaiyar. In the Poem poigaiyar also points out Ganesha Statue. Now According to tamil Saiva tradition Ganesh worship was introduced to tamil nadu by Siru thondar. Where do dravidian scholars date Siru thondar? , post konchengan. That is the problem, what to trust in tamil tradition as historical.

Siru Thondar -Paranjothiyar
Siru Thondar is described as Chola commander by periya purana , not pallava commander as being said by Dravidian Scholars. Paranjothi wrote Thiruvilayadal puranam. It portrays cholas, not pallavas. Paranjothi supposed to have brought the Ganesha from vatapi and introduced Ganesha worship in Tamil Nadu. But Appar and sambandar sing about Ganesha. It is in Thirupadigam. No pallava Inscription mention Parnjyothi as their general or otherwise. As per vatapi kondan or otherwise. King itself erected the victory pillar in Badami as per inscriptions. Kuram plates which give the details of pallava victory over Badami Chalukya Pulikesin II does not give the general name nor does it indicate anybody else leading the army other than king. Equating Paranjothiyar with siru Thondar and claiming him to be a pallava general is a huge scam to backdate both of them by Dravidian Scholars.

Appar and sambandar are contemproaries, Appar mentions Sambandar. Sambandar visited Siru thondar. So all three are contemporaries.

Paranjothiyar . No Inscription mention Paranjothiyar as Commandar of Pallava Army. Infact the King himself went to conquer Vatapi (Badami) against Chalukyas. There is no evidence linking Paranjyothiar and Siru thondar.

Commandar : Siru Thondar is described as Chola Commander not Pallava in Periyapuranam

Siru Thondar is later than Appar and Sambandar. If Siru Thondar brought Ganesha from Vatapi and introduced Ganesha Worship, then how come Appar and Sambandar Sing about Ganesha in Tamil nadu..

Brazen lies which contradict one another in the same paragraph.
 
Analysis

Literary Vs Archaeological and Epigraphic Evidence.

There is no match between the Literary and epigraphic and Archaeological evidence for a large scale conflict between Saiva and Jains. The inscription and archaeological sites gives a continuous Jain or saiva presence even in places where the literature talks about major conflicts. jain inscriptions continue until 8th 9th century AD and later, provides no evidence of large scale conversions including chola areas.

When we see, the monastries, which were supposed to be in conflict with Shivites. The jain Monastries have inscription dateable to pallavas and Lokaavibhaga to around 5th century. But if we see the Shivite temples, we find only inscriptions to around 10th century or later. This applies to Jain Monastry to where Appar converted to Shaivism also. We do not come across any displacement of Jains due to shivites or conflict from these structures. Many of the Monasties were destroyed after12th century AD, but no destruction is found before these times.


Names of Appar , Sundara and Sambhandar are not mentioned in the inscription. The Word Thirunavukariyar(God who calls gods name) is mentioned, which seem to be similar to Thirupadiyam. This has been equated with Appar and tales are made. Same with Sambandar and sundarar. Names in the inscription are equated with them with no apparent basis.

The Devaram Hymns are not found in inscriptions before Chalukyas took over the chola throne and formed the chalukya chola line. Devaram hymns are absolutely not found in pallava inscriptions, where they supposed to have lived.

The Periyapurana of Sekkilar and the Guruparampara are all later day Puranas, which take one or two episodes from the life of the saints and weave beautiful myths around them. While we are delighted in the divine writings, We must be careful in utilising them for reconstructing history. Episodes corroborated by epigraphical or archaeological source alone should be taken into account and the rest left out to the realm of religious faith.

Conclusion
So Thevaram Trio Appar, Sambandhar and Sundarar are much later date atleast by 1200AD or more and not 7th century AD as claimed by Dravdian Scholars

Sources
  1. Thirukkazhiseerama Vinnagaram
  2. Study uncovers interesting details of cave temple
  3. Mahendra's Inscription At Tiruchirapalli
  4. Pallava Cave Temples of Trichy
  5. Date of Appar
  6. Pandya Arikesari and Pandikkovai
  7. Dates of Nayanmars and Alvars
  8. Some Contributions Of South India To Indian Culture by Rajasevasakta Dewan Bahadur
  9. Inscriptions of Parakesarivarman Uttama-Chola
  10. Epigraphical References
  11. JOURNAL OF THE EPIGRAPHICAL SOCIETY OF INDIA VOL 5 (1978)
  12. Thiru-jnana-sambandar by Swami Sivananda
  13. The Nayanmars
  14. The kings mentioned by Periaazhwar!
  15. PANDYA INSCRIPTIONS
  16. Ramanuja. Continued
  17. Some Contributions of South India to Indian Culture by Sakkottai Krishnaswami Aiyangar
  18. South Indian shrines: illustrated By P. V. Jagadisa Ayyar
  19. Hymns for the Drowning: Poems for Vishnu by Nammalvar and A.K. Ramanujan, (tr.)
  20. Thrikodithanam Mahavishnu Kshetram
  21. Evidence of Alvars
  22. Kalayarkoil temple
  23. Siruthondar by Swami Sivananda
  24. The Holy Lives of the Azhwars or the Dravida Saints by Alkondavalli Govindacharya Ananthacharya Indological Research Institute Publication1982
  25. Philosophy and Theistic Mysticism of the Alwars by S.M.S.Chari Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Limited, Delhi 1997
  26. Srimad Bhagavatha MahaPurana GitaPress. Gorakhpur 1971.
  27. Ancient Heritage of Tamils by V.G.Ramachandran
  28. In Mythology to History through Astronomy edited by N.MahalingamN.I.A Publications, Pollachi, TamilNadu 1980.
  29. Vedic "Aryans" and the Origins of Civilization byNavaratna S.Rajaram and David Frawley
  30. A literary and Scientific perspectiveW.H.Press. Quebec 1995.
  31. South Indian Shrines: Illustrated By P. V. Jagadisa Ayya
  32. The Recovery of the Devaram Hymns BY S. R. BALASUBRAHMANYAN, M.A L.T., Chidambaram
  33. TANJAVUR Brihadhiswara TEMPLE Inscriptions from South Indian Inscriptions
  34. Temple Imagery from Early Mediaeval Peninsular India By Archana Verma
  35. Period of Azhwars

Images
  1. Wikipedia
  2. Rediff
  3. badamionline
  4. The Hindu 
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Was Ancient India Literate ? : Super Human Memory Myth

western scholars of Indology said:
"Entire absense of writing, reading, paper, or pen in vedas, or during Brahamana period and complete silence in Sutra period(When art of writing was beginning to be known), the whole Literature of India was preserved in oral tradition only"

Weber who wants to bring all history to later than Biblical period admits:
"Europe has 10,000 sanskrit texts and considering that we have tens of thousands which the parsimony of karma has hithherto withheld form Museums and libraries of Europe, what a memory must have been their!."


Indian super Memory

The Immemorial practice with students of sanskrit literature has been to commit to memory the various subjects of their study and this practice of oral tradition has preserved the ancient Vedic texts. This fact has led Western Indology scholars to surmise that writing was unknown in the earliest period of Indian Civilization and that the later forms of the alphabet were not of pure Indian growth.

So According to these Western Indology Scholars, Indians have Super Human Memory. By Which they can not only memorize scores of documents, but they can also transmit through generations. Wow!, Who said science fiction is 20th century Stuff.

We are looking at this question. Did writing existed prior to Mauryas?

Panini
Panini is best known grammarian of India. Muller says that there is no single term in the panini terminology which presupposes the existence of writing. So we go to find out.



Panini almost singlehandendly brought together the classical sanskrit grammer. He mentions Grantha the equivalent for written or bound book in the later days in India. For Max Muller Granta mean simply a composition, which is handed down the generation by oral tradition. In short Panini is illiterate and somehow he produced one of the most eloborate and scientific set grammer ever known to mankind till today.Remember Panini has given 3996 rules for Classical Sanskrit Grammar.

Writing in Literature
Classical Sanskrit Literature

The direct reference to writing classical sanskrit according to Indologists in literature are found to be in the Dharmasutra of Vasistha, which Dr.Buhler thinks, was composed around 8th century BC. Some scholars will assign this work 4th century BC as well.Astadhyayi of panini contains such compounds as Lipikara and Libikara, which evidently mean writer. The date of panini is not fixed, prof.Goldstucker puts him 8th century BC, others put him in 4 the century BC. The Vedic works contain technical terms like aksara, kanda, patala, grantha and the like, which is clear indication of writing. Of course Indology scholars wont accept them.

Buddhist age

There are quite a large number of passages in the SriLanka's Tipitaka, which bear witness to an acquaintance with writing and to its extensive use.

At the time when Buddhist cannons were composed. Lekha and Lekhaka are mentioned in the Bhikkhu pacittiya and Bhikkhuni pacittiya.

In the Jatakaas, constant meniton is made of letters being written. The Jatakas know of proclamations.



We are also told of a game aksarika in which the Buddhist monk is forbidden to participate. This game is guessing of letters.

In the rules of vinaya, it has been laid down that a criminal, whose name has been written up in the kings porch, must not be recieved into the monastic order. In the same work, writing is mentioned as a Lucrative profession.

Mahavagga bear witness to the existence of elementary schools where the manner of teaching was the same as in the Indigenous schools of Modern India. All these references prove the existence of the art of writing in pre buddhist days.

Epic Age
Epics contains archaic expressions such as likh, Lekha, Lakhaka, Lekhana but not lipi, which some scholars think is foriegn orgin. So Writing was known in Epic Age.

Vedic Literature
We find clear evidence in wide spread use of writing in the vedic period. Written documents are mentioned as legal documents.

Scripts
Brahmi

The earliest surviving written record other than Indus script is Piprawa vase inscription discovered by Colonel Claxton peppe. This Inscription is a prakrit before the prakrits of magadhi or sourasheni developed, so differently interpreted. This is dated to early part of 5th century BC.

Next comes Sohaura Copper plate , which Dr.Smith puts before Ashoka by 50 years.

The Inscriptions of Ashoka is all over India. This shows that Writing was well used in Royal courts and the writting was well understood by common people.

Dr.Weber came with view that Brahmi is borrowed from South Arab tribe. But this has been dismissed by Dr. Buhler.



Buhler Identified certain Brahmi letters were identical to 9th-7th BC century Inscriptions found in Assyria. One third of 23 Alphabets are identical to Brahmi letters. This Indologists suggestions that the Brahmi letters were derived from these letters from all Indology scholars including Buhler. But we have to note that the tribes in question are belonging belonging to Indian Tribe. This script traveled from India to Middle east.

Jain Stupa unearthed at the Kankali Tila site of Mathura regarded by Vincent Simith as the oldest known stupa then (Before Indus valley sites were discovered). Smith dated it to be 600 BC for erection. Dr.Fuhrer who supervised the excavation found out that it contained a inscription Deva Stupa in a script, so old that it was forgotten.

Indus Script
Indus Script has 250-500 characters. Some of the Seals seems to be Bilingual with Indus script next to the symbols. Seeming symbols to be for traders from other languages. So Indus valley is literate culture.

Hieroglyphs
Sir Alexander Cunningham had wanted to derive each letter from the indigenous Hieroglyphic, but then no hieroglyphic was found in India. But today we have Indus valley Hieroglyphic and many are working towards deriving brahmi from them.

Writing Material
Materials used for writing in India were Birch-bark(Bhurja-patra), Palm Leaves (tala-patra), paper, Cotton Cloth, wooden board (phalaka),leather, Stone, brick and metal. Manuscripts of books were generally written in the above leaves, paper and cotton cloth while for land-grants, certain charms etc, metals was used. Wooden boards appear to have been used as slates in schools and for the purpose of writing plaints with chalk in court-rooms. Documents in connection with loans also used to be written on boards. Works appear to have been carved on wooden boards; Some manuscripts , engraved on wooden boards, still exist.

From Brahminical and Buddhist literature, leather also appears, however rarely, to have been used as writing material as it was animal skin and they are perishable in nature.

Royal edicts were engraved on rocks, pillars and caves.



Agreements , donations,grants etc were also sometimes written on stone. Some Literary and religious works were written on this material. Bricks were also rarely used. Some bricks, with one or few letters inscribed, have been found in walls, temple-niches or pedestals of images.

Writing materials have been of perishable nature, Indian Manuscripts, relly belonging to an ancient age, are rare. In fact, the manuscripts discovered in central asia , are the oldest of the manuscripts available so far.

According to Nearchos, who accompanied Alexander (327BC), paper was manufactured in India out of Cotton. The earliest paper-MSS written in Gupta Script were discovered at Kashgar and Kugier in Central Asia.

The earliest bramhi script is on a vase dated to 5 th century BC

Writing medium
The Writing medium in cases of paper, cloth and leaves was ink or masi. The word masi is derived from root mas denoting himsa or crushing, destroying it. therefore seems that ink was produced by pounding certain ingredients. In some parts of India, the word for ink is mela, probably derived from root mel (to mix). ink thus appears to have been admixture of certain substances. The use of ink in India is atlesat 4th century BC, is vouchsafed by Nearchos and Curtius.

The Common color of ink is black. Red and Yellow inks were also used. For ordinary purposes, washable or delible ink was used. For writing documents, however indelible ink appears to have been in use.

Writing Apparatus
The Writing Apparatus (Lekhani, varnaka,varnavartika, salaka, Kathini etc) consists of bamboo pieces with sharp ends, quills etc. Compases and rulers also appear to have been use for special purposes.




Analysis
Alberuni believes Indian Alphabet originated with the begining of Kali Age (3102BC).

Hiuen Tsang speaks of high Antiquity of Indian writing system. Brahmi is stated, in the Chinese Encyclopedia Fa-Wan-Shu-Lin, to be the best of scripts.

Some Greeks mention about Writing materials in India. Megasthanes mentions Milestones, Almanancs, Horoscopes, etc.- which indicate prevalance of writing. The evidence suggest that writing was in Vogue in India in the period of 6th century to 4 century BC as a legacy of earlier times, far from being novelty , it was a continuity and continuity of time immemorial.

Mauryan edicts reveal that Writting in Brahmi and kharosthi was written and understood by everyone including comman man.



Jains Works Pnnavana-sutra and the Samavayanga-sutra contains names of Eighteen scripts(lipi) including Brahmi and Kharosthi.

The Buddhist Sanskrit work Lalitavistara gives formidable list of 64 Scripts out of which Brahmi and Kharosthi is included. 64 scripts are divided into several groups . Eg. Provincial,Tribal, Sectrian etc. Some Foreign scripts were also known to Indians.

Ramayana, Mahabharata, Arthasastra, Sutra literature (8th to 2nd century BC), Yaska (pre-panian writer), Astadhyayi (5th century BC) and some early Sanskrit works throw light on a culture of writing.

Indus valley scripts shows that Writing existed prior to 4th millienum BC as well.

Rig Veda exists from time immemorial, but writing definitely existed when it was organised into samhitas.



The Indus valley findings made Indologists acknowledge that writing existed prior to Mauryan writing. Though it has not been deciphered , it clearly shows writing existed in India before atlest 5-2 milliena before christ. Some Indology scholars have tried to show Indus script is derived from script from another civilization. But all these theories have fallen flat. Hrozny tried to derive Indus script from Hittite, Diringer is convinced that no script existed prior to Indus script from which Indus scirpt can be derived. Hunter and Langdon regard Indus script as prototype of Brahmi. The Vedic Scholars believed that Brahmi is from Brahma. It is mentioned in Narada Smriti that if Brahma has not created the art of writing or given excellant eye in the shape of script, the future would not have been deprived of obtaining bright future.

The Absence of inscriptions since Indus valley is due to widespread use of Paper and Cloth, which are perishable in nature.

Conclusion
The Indian Civilization is a very advance civilization. There was a high development of trade and monetary transactions, and they carried on minute researches in grammar, phonetics and lexicography. These facts support the knowledge and widespread use of writing among ancient Indians. So the Super Human Memory is a Myth.

Sources
A Concise History Of Classical Sanskrit Literature By Gaurinath Shastri, Bhattacharyya Shastri Gaurinath
The rise, decline and renewals of sramanic religious traditions within indic civilisation with particular reference to the evolution of jain sramanic culture and its impact on the indic civilization by Bal patil
Students' Britannica India, Volumes 1-5 By Indu Ramchandani
A Companion to Sanskrit Literature: Spanning a Period of Over Three Thousand ... By Sures Chandra Banerji
On the origin Indian Brahma Alphabet Georg Buhler
Was Writing Know Before Panini by A Chela
Agama Aura Tripitaka, Eka Anusilana: Language and Literature By Nagraj (Muni.)

Images
University of Washington Libraries
Smithsonian.com
Europeana
btmar.org
Wiki

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