Showing posts with label Iraniyar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iraniyar. Show all posts

Myth of Tamil Sangams

According to the Sangam legends first described in the Irayanaar Agapporul (11th century AD) and a commentary to it by Nakkirar. There were three Sangams spanning thousands of years. The first Sangam, whose seat was then Madurai (southern Madurai), lasted a total of 4440 years and 4449 poets, which included some gods of the Hindu pantheon, took part in it. Lord Shiva presides it. The second Sangam was convened in Kapatapuram, which finds mention in Valmiki Ramayana (Kishkinda Kanda 42:13). This Sangam lasted for 3700 years and had 3700 poets participating. Both these places were held in legendary kumari kandam, which was submerged into sea. The third Sangam believed to be located in the current city of Madurai and lasted for 1850 years under 49 kings.

Sangam literature
Sangam literature refers to a body of classical Tamil literature during third Sangam period. This collection said to contains 2381 poems written by 473 poets, some 102 of who are anonymous authors. The period during which these poems were written is commonly referred to as the 'Sangam' age, referring to the prevalent Sangam legends claiming literary academies lasting thousands of years, giving the name to the corpus of literature. Sangam literature is primarily secular dealing with everyday themes in a South Indian context. The poems belonging to the Sangam literature was composed by Tamil poets, both men and women, from various professions and classes of society. These poems were later collected into various anthologies, edited and had colophons added by anthologists and annotators after 1000 AD. Sangam literature fell out of popular memory soon thereafter, until scholars such as S. V. Damodaram Pillai and U. V. Swaminatha Iyer rediscovered them in the 19th century.

The available literature from this period was categorized and compiled in the 11th century into two categories based roughly on chronology. The categories are: The Major Eighteen Anthology Series Pathinenmaelkanakku comprising The Eight Anthologies Ettuthokai and the Ten Idylls Pattupattu and The Minor Eighteen Anthology Series Pathinenkilkanakku


Archeological evidence
There has been no contemporary archaeological or scientific evidence found to substantiate whether these academies existed at all and if so, the dates, the participants or their works. The historian and scientific community at large have dismissed claims of the description of sunken landmass Kumari kandam (Lemuria).

Between the fourth century B.C.E. and c 1000 B.C.E., the archaeological findings point to only a megalithic period, and going further back a Neolithic period starting from about the third millennium BC. These two prehistoric periods do not show any sign of a complex culture, and no clear connection with the dawn of urban civilization in Tamil Nadu.

Any accurate chronological assessment of literary works had been rendered difficult due to lack of concrete scientific evidence to support conflicting claims. Undue reliance on the Sangam legends have thus culminated in controversial opinions or interpretations among scholars, confusion in the dates, names and personal accounts of authors and doubts of even their existence in some cases.

The earliest archeological evidence connecting Madurai and the Sangams is the tenth century Cinnamanur inscription of the Pandyas.

Literary evidence
Although the term Sangam literature is applied to the corpus of Tamil literature claimed to belong to the  200 BCE – 200 CE, the name Sangam and the legend indicates much later date. The  literature  does not contain any mention of the Sangam academies, although some relationship between Madurai and literature may be found in some of the Sangam age literature. References to Sangam and its association with Madurai have been mentioned by poets such as Sekkilar, Andal, Auvaiyar and Kambar (all belonging to the tenth to the thirteen centuries CE). The actual poems of the Sangam literature themselves do not directly mention such academies. However the poem Mathuraikkanci (761-763), which belongs to the early collection of Pattupattu, describes kudala(Said to be Previous name of Madurai) as the 'place where authors met and interacted

Original Sangha
The word Sangam(confluence of Rivers) is  Sanskrit origin, coming from Sangha, the Buddhist and Jain term for an assembly of monks. In Tamil the word means "assembly" or "academy".

Dravida Sangha
Many sangha’s with different acharyas were born after Kundakonda (1st century AD). The great Acharya Kundakunda is associated with Mula Sangh, According to Devasen the process of dividing from the Mula Sangha(Under Gangas in Mysore) began in the 5th century many Ganas, gachchas or sanghas originated. Chief among them are Sen gana (Karanja, Vidarbh), Balatkara gana (Balligame, Banswasi, Karnataka), Nandi gana Desi gana, Dramis gana, Kranur gana, Saraswati gachcha, Dravida Sangha, nandi Sangha, Mayur sangha, Kitthur sangha and Kulattu sangha.

We can also find Jain names such as Uloccnaar and Maathirthan among the early poets. Jain cosmology and mythology are also found mentioned in the early Sangam poems. The Sangam Literature liberally uses Vedic Legends, such as Thiru Murugatrupadai for Muruga Birth or all the Avathars of Vishnu in Paripadal, and paripadal even names Samaveda. Mathurai Kanchi refers a Sanskrit Assembly in Kanchipuram. Mankmekhalai even makes it much more clear that Anthanars used Sanskrit

Iravatham Mahadevan says that Devasena, the author of Darsanasara, a Prakriti work written in 853 A.D. has mentioned that Vajranandi, the pupil of Pujyapada, founded the Dravida Sangha in Madurai in 468-469 A.D. The work does mention Dravida Sangha ,  But the work does not mention it is from  Madurai but in Amaravati in Andhra pradesh and it is not Tamil, but Jain religious Sangha. Iravatham Mahadevan is twisting facts here. The Dravida Sangha is also mentioned in Kannada inscriptions from Karnataka.

If we see the evidence there is nothing to suggest Tamil sangam’s existed not in Tamil literature, inscriptions or other literatures. Only the Jain sangha’s have become legends and by the turn of 10th century AD, they have come to mean literary sangha’s. Iravatham Mahadevan seems to have proven to himself  that Tamil sangam’s exist, but the verdict is still out there,  they are still Jain sangha where Sanskrit was the Lingua franca. Another pillar of Tamil antiquity seems to have absolutely no backup.

Kumarikandam (Lemuria) Tamil Myth

Kumari Kandam is a land mass that is supposed to be submerged under the India Ocean, extending from the southern tip of peninsular India, to Madagascar in the west, and Australia in the east. It is sometimes considered as part or all of Lemuria, a hypothetical continent variously located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. References to Kumari Kandam can be found in the Tamil literature. Inferring from these references suggest that extensive land areas occupied by the Tamils have been lost to the sea due to massive tidal waves or tsunami. Legends say two sangams were established. First two sangams - Muthal sangam, Idai sangam was in kumari kandam and it was devoured by sea only the pandya king escaped and thus we don't have any literature of this period.

  1. History of kumari kandam (Lemuria) theory.
    1860 Philip Lutley Sclater Puzzled by the presence of fossil lemurs in both Madagascar and India, but not in Africa nor the Middle East, Sclater proposed that Madagascar and India had once been part of a larger continent, which he named "Lemuria" for its lemurs.The acceptance of Darwinism led scientists to seek to trace the diffusion of species from their points of evolutionary origin
  2. Melchior Neumayr in his book Erdgeschichte in 1887. Many hypothetical submerged land bridges and continents were proposed during the 19th century, in order to account for the present distribution of species.
  3. Ernst Haeckel, a German Darwinian taxonomist, proposed Lemuria as an explanation for the absence of "missing link" fossil records. According to another source, Haeckel put forward this thesis prior to Sclater (but without using the name 'Lemuria'). Locating the origins of the human species on this lost continent, he claimed the fossil record could not be found because it had sunk beneath the sea.
  4. In 1999, drilling by the JOIDES Resolution research vessel in the Indian Ocean discovered evidence that a continent about a third of the size of Australia sank about 20 million years ago. Samples showed pollen and fragments of wood in a 90 million-year-old sediment. This might lead one to expect similarity of dinosaur fossil evidence and will help to understand the breakup of the Indian and Australian land masses.It does not support the concept of Lemuria as a land bridge for mammals.
  5. Madame Blavatsky's Lemuria,Lemuria entered the lexicon of the Occult through the works of Madame Blavatsky, who claimed in the 1880s to have been shown an ancient, pre-Atlantean Book of Dzyan by the Mahatmas. Within Blavatsky's complex cosmology, which includes seven "Root Races", Lemuria was occupied by the "Third Root Race", which was about seven foot tall, sexually hermaphroditic, egg-laying, mentally undeveloped and spiritually more pure than the following "Root Races". Before the coming of the Lemurians, the second "Root Race" is said to have dwelled in Hyperborea.After the subsequent creation of mammals, Mme. Blavatsky revealed to her readers, some Lemurians turned to bestiality. The gods, aghast at the behavior of these "mindless" men, sank Lemuria into the ocean and created a "Fourth Root Race"—endowed with intellect—on Atlantis.Lemuria and Mount Shasta
  6. In 1894, Frederick Spencer Oliver published A Dweller on Two Planets, which claimed that survivors from a sunken continent called Lemuria were living in or on Mount Shasta in northern California. The Lemurians lived in a complex of tunnels beneath the mountain and occasionally were seen walking the surface dressed in white robes.This belief has been repeated by such individuals as the cultist Guy Warren Ballard in the 1930s who formed the I AM Foundation. It is also repeated by followers of the Ascended Masters and the Great White Brotherhood. This list includes such organizations as Bridge to Freedom, The Summit Lighthouse, Church Universal and Triumphant, The Temple of The Presence, and The Hearts Center.According to L. Sprague de Camp, Mme. Blavatsky was influenced by other writers on the theme of Lost Continents, notably Ignatius L. Donnelly, a cult leader named Thomas Lake Harris and the French writer Louis Jacolliot.
  7. Dravidologist Devaneya Pavanar, who held that all languages on earth were merely corrupted Tamil dialects proposed Kumari Kandam is a sunken kingdom also known as Lemuria . According to these modernist interpretations of motifs in classical Tamil literature — the epics Cilappatikaram and Manimekalai that describe the submerged city of Puhar — the Dravidians originally came from land south of the present day coast of South India that became submerged by successive floods. There are various claims from Tamil authors that there was a large land mass connecting Australia and the present day Tamil Nadu coast.Adiyarkkunelar, described the distance between the Prahuli and Kumari rivers as 700 kavathams. This distance has been interpreted as about 7,000 modern miles (11,000 km).

What does the Tamil Literature say exactly?Three literary sources are said to say something about the kumari kandam , let us see what they say.

Silapathikaram says,
kumarikOdum kodunkadal koLLa..." The mighty sea at the end of kumari(kanyakumari) submergedHere the author ilango adigal speaks about sea around kumari submerging the puhar(keveri pattinam) port.Silappadikaram'also describes Kadal Vadimpalampa Nindra Pandyan said to have thrown his spear towards the sea. The sea retaliated by swallowing a large area including Pahruli river and Panmalai Adukkam.

Manimekalai says,
Records the same incident of the puhar being engulfed by sea.Both silapathikaram and manimekalai both not being eyewitness accounts and known for gross exageration of facts clearly talk sea engulfing the city of puhar.

Sangam literary work, `Kalithogai' (Mullaikkali, verse number 4) calls it `Kadal vowal.' The poem says that when tidal waves swept away his land, the Pandyan monarch did not despair, but forged ahead into the territories of Cheras and Chozhas and brought the invaded country under his sway, thus making good the loss of territory due to the sea-swell.

What does the sinhala literature say?Mahavamsa records sea taking the land in 326BC which is also mentioned in Rajwalikathe.

All the above theories about Lemuriya went out of the window, the Continental dift theory was proposed.Kumari kandam was thrown out of the window when the tsunami data was analaysed, Still the Tani tamil Iyakkam and tamil elam activists held the theory for legitimisation of tamil elam demand. But after the Tsunami hit the sub continent, everybody knew what is said in the Silapathikaram and manimekalai is either strom surges or Tsunami.

Still many hold on to the theory , because it advances the age of Sangam , they can always claim all the literature was lost to the sea. Interestingly the three sangams were proposed in 11th century AD by Iraniyar agamporul.

There is no such thing as kumari kandam , it is just another attempt to increase tamil antiquity to prehistoric times.