Showing posts with label Sangam. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sangam. Show all posts

Is Tirupati Balaji Temple a Buddist Temple

So many scholars, from all sides of the spectrum have many theories on why there may be previous structure at the present Tirupati temple. Let us see ourselves the evidences.
We are not going to any religious discussion or philosophical discussion, we will stick to the main point, was there a Buddhist shrine at the site of Venkateshwara temple at Tirupati.     


Buddhist Temple
Indology scholar Romila Thapar told -Dig underneath every Hindu temple, there will be a buddhist temple. If we take example of Adil shah of Bhamani Dynasty, his court poet farishta tells the king demolished more than 300 major temples in karnataka and built mosques there, even in this case we cannot apply Romila Tapar and say dig underneath every moque that adil shah built, you will find a temple, because many mosque are there which were not built demolishing a temple. The Romilla Tapar comment is pure Indologist leftist leaning. Here she is not providing any proof's, but plain rhetoric.

karthikeya( Murugan) temple.
One more claim put forth by Dravidian scholars of tamil nadu. Originally it was a Karthikeya temple and was converted to a vishnu temple. Bala means young unmarried same as Kumar(sanskrit) and Kumaran(Tamil) , which denotes to karthikeya ,but in tamil version eventhough he is called kumaran, murugan is married to Devyani(deva army) and valli ( tribal girl). So this argument is defeated there , that the murugan can be called balaji. More than that In South he is called Venkateshwara (Lord of Venkata) and only in north India he is called Balaji and in recent times.

First they have to prove that there was a Murugan worship was prevalent in the first millienia in tamil nadu and temples are built for murugan, For this we dont have a answer.

second Pallava were ruling in Kanchi upto 9th century AD and tamil kings areas were below the pallava region.

Third Tirupathi came under Banas and Nolambas for most part in the first milliena. Both being Kannada Dynasties. So we dont see any murugan temple being built. Since the Kannada/ Tulu version of Karthikeya is Shanmuga. If it was a karthikeya temple, then the kannada kings might have called it shanmuga temple.

Fourth and most important Tamil literature right from Sangam works have always claimed that Tirupathi (Thiruvengadam)  lies north of Tamil Nadu boundary.

So Tamil Scholars dont see much credit in Dravidian scholars argument that Tirupati is a Karthikeya or Murugan temple. Indology and Dravidian scholars who have worked tirelessly to undermine authentic Indian history seems have shot themselves in their foot here.

Temple Structure
First temples in south India were built in 4th century AD in Karnataka and Andhra. Even in 6th century AD, most of the temples built were Rock cut temples, not standalone temples that we have today. All the early temples like Mamallapuram of Pallavas are also rock cut temples. So a hill temple Hindu or Buddhist standalone in Thirupathi is unthinkable.

When was Tirupati temple built.


Puranas
The Purana Accounts are legendary and is not helpful in finding the probable date of the temple. Puranas concentrate how Vishnu came voluntarily to take his place there. Varaha temple at the foothills of Tirupati predates venkateshwara temple at the top. The only account relavant here is Tondaman (pallava) started the worship of vishnu here. This Thondaman assisted his brother(Akasa Raja) in administration. Thondaiman had a foster daughter in Tirupati and she was married to venkatesa. After the death of Akasa Raja (left a young prince), he and his nephew fought and tondiaman felt very weak ,so got the weapons from venkateswara . The war ended Indecisively and the country was divided into two. The one closer to Vengadam (Tirupati) was given to thondaman and the other farther away given to his nephew. Tondaiman built the temple and started the festivals. This Tondaman lived in Kaliyuga. There is a separate Thondaiman dynasty post 12th century AD. But Dravidian scholars want to identify Thondaiman as Pallava.


 
Sangam Literature
We dont comes across any mention of temple in the vengadam (Tirupati) hills. Tirupati was on northside of the boundary of Tamil speaking region. Beyond this region vadukar lived with Thirayan as the chief and people spoke a language not understandable to tamils. So no help in determining when the temple was built.

Alwar (Bakti tradition)

One Alwar called poigai Alwar gives around 12 referrences to temple at Tirupati and Vishnu as presiding deity. Poigai Alwar wrote Naalayira Divyap Prabhandham on the vishnava places. In some places he refers to Ilam kumara koman (May Indicate Subramanya, but the reference here is young fellow). Alwar Bhutan refers to Tirupati and Presiding diety in around 8 references in his works. Pey Alwar also refers to Tirupati. These three alwars considered worshipping vishnu with Vedic rituals as the supreme form of worshp. Some refer to the diety as ardhanari, which refers to shiva. We have to come to the conclusion here, eventhough the diety is referred as ardhanari, it may not be peculiar to shiva alone at those times. And the same goes for Ilam kumaran , may not be peculiar to subhramanya. Even though we come across stray references , we are given solid references to prove the diety is vishnu, so we should not vacillate in our judgement that the diety is not vishnu. Ardhanari shows that the temple is equally important for Lakshmi. So all the early Alwars refer to Tirupati and Vishnu diety. Tirumalisai (Bhakti sara - Sanskrit) contemproary of these three alwars wrote that he has seen all faiths and only found vishnu as great. Now we have to date the Alwars ,which is again  controversial. That requires a whole article. But let us try. There is a reference to vairamegha in the early alwars work, that seemed to be identified as Rastrakuta Dantidurga, contemproary of Nandivarma pallava. But the identification needs to be proved. Commentator of Alangara kranta named Yapparungulam belonging to 11th to 12th century AD claims he is desciple of Poigaiyar (poigai alwar)and quotes two stanzas from the authors work. Tirumalisai is dated to 11th century AD. But one thing we can say is all the Alwars were born after the temple were built which was already famous.

Silapatikaram
Silapadigaram a buddhist work tells that Tirupati is Vishnu temple. In this story a Brahman of Mangadu in Malainadu goes to Tirupati and Srirangam and sings in praise of Vishnu.The Tirupati is said to be so famous that people from west coast also went to the temple. So this buddhist epic tells very clearly that presiding diety of Tirupati is Vishnu. Dating of cilapathikaram is controversial, we have already seen in a separate article.

So let us find who this thondaman is?
We find from Sangam literature sources that Vengadam changed hands from kalvar chieftain pulli to Tondaman before the time of pandyan king who won a great victory in Talaiyalanganam. The King who won in Talaiyalanganam is mentioned in Sinnamanur plates dated to 11th century AD and kings mentioned just before this date. The same source says Tondaman ruling from pavattirai (Nellore Dist, AP). We have one more Thondaman Ilam Thirayan ruling in Kanchi. Now the Foster Daugher born to the Tondaman is not legitimate and he is said to have found her on the hills and later finds out that she is his daughter. This has been equated with Naga princess story of karikala. But Karikala meets Naga princess in outskirts of Kaveripattanam, not in Tirupati hills. So we cannot identify Tondaman with karikalan. But there is a pallava story of Pallava marrying naga princess in an inscription in kanchi as well. Perumban Arupadai which gives specific details about Kanchi Vishnu temple of Thondaman Ilam Thiraiyan is silent on Tirupati or association of thiraiyan with Tirupati, so we cannot link these two stories. Thiraiyan had a brother and nephew. He fought with the Nephew and uncle for the throne. Alwars talking about war between southern king (pandya) and Northern ruler (pallava).

The Tirumangai Alwar says that the Thiraiyan kanchi was occupied by one vairamegan. The vairamegan is suposed to be Rastrakutas. Two Rastrakutas occupied the capital one is Dandidurga and other Govinda II. This story of fight between brother and Nephew looks similar to Kampavarman pallava(relative of Western Gangas) and his kid brother Nrptunga Pallava(relative of Pandyas and also Rastrakutas). This story can reveal the struggle between the last war of succession in Pallava Dynasty before Aditya Karikalan unsurped the throne.

Inscriptions
Uttaramallur by Nandivarman pallava II is the first inscription to refer to vengadam, there is no temple here still. The hill is just mentioned as Vengada ,not Thiruvengada(Sri Vengada).
In 8th and 9th centuries AD, Many Visnu temples near Tirupati received Grants from many kings, but none was given to Tirupati temple. But the same can be said about Buddhist or Murugan or Jain Temple , Kings at that time were secular, so there should be a grants even if it is any of the other holy places.
In TTD gives eleven inscription of pallavas. Earliest belong to Dandivikramadeva , which may correspond to period 833-34AD.

Even through many scholars claim many dates for Tirupathi temple construction, First Inscription in Tirupati temple is by Dandivarman pallava(830AD). So the Temple has to be built during that time.

Tirupati Debate
Point is the debate about Tirupati is not just today ,but it is there right from 11th century AD. Ramanuja made arguements to kings to establish the primacy of Vishnu in Tirupati. For this we have to establish the date of Ramanuja.

 Date of Ramanuja
There was a Vaishnavite Devotee called as Nadamuni. He belongs to Mannarkovil in south Arcot district. He spent most of the time in the village and sometimes in Kurukaikkavalappan Kovil, a nearby village, which was just mile after the chola capital Gangaikonda Cholapuram (Named so,After Western Ganga Territories were absorbed into chola empire in 1022AD). when he was in Kurukaikkavalappan Kovil village, he heard vaishnavite devotees singing a song in praise of Vishnu, which was Tiruvoimoli of Nammalvar. He asked the pilgrim to repeat the verses. But the pilgrim knew only ten lines of the 1000 lines poem. So he went in search of the work. He reached Kumbakonam, he got nothing. So he went to Tirunagari in Tirunelveli the native place of Nammalvar. His attempts were futile there also. So he sat under the tree of temple ,where Nammalvar is supposed to have practiced Yoga. He chanced on someone who was direct disciple of Nammalvar and got the full work. He brought the work to srirangam and revived the festival started by Thirmangai Alvar. Having done this, he went on pilgrimage to all the vaishnava shrines in the country. He went to Abhobilam and Tirupati. He went back to Tirupati as he welt the pooja arrangements were not proper. His grandson Alavandar Yamunait- turaivar or Yamunacharya. For the arrangements to become proper, he asked one of his disciples to volunteer to stay in the hill and conduct the worship in proper way. One of his grandsons Thirumalai Nambi volunteered to do the service. Thirumali Nambi settled down there and planted a garden and took upon himself to deliver water for the diety daily from a waterfall little distant from the temple. One of the young sisters that Thirumalai nambi took with him was married to one Kesava Somayaji of Sriperumbudur. The offspring of this marriage was Ramanuja. Ramanuja's date of birth, according to the traditional account of his life,is Kali 4118, A. D. 1017. The other date given of course is Saka 937 bya chronogram. Going by the story we have here ,the date has to be at the fag end of 11th century AD. The same sources give date of Nadamuni to 3684, which would mean A. D. 582-83. So these date cannot be trusted. Ramanuja visted the tirupati temple once in his chilhood. The temple after Thirumalai Nambi was managed well except during one time of Gopinath. The local ruler Yadavaraja found some dispute between Shaivas and Vaishnavas regarding the temple and called in court the warring parties to settle the matter. Ramanuja explained clearly that the temple is vaishnavite and the matter was settled that the temple was Vaishnavite. And the Vaishnavites were given more unoccupied land in the base of the hill for settlement. So through the discussion we have seen that the Ramanuja is in 11th and possibly extended to 12 century. So the earliest dispute seems to be between Shaivites and vaishnavites, which has been decided in favour of Thirupati being Vishnu temple.

Conclusion
The Conclusion is that the Tirupati is a Vishnu temple all along. Since the temple has been built in 9th century AD. It is after 9th century AD that the hill is said to be holy place. So any account which says that the hill is holy(sri or Thiru venkata) is after 9th century AD. This applies any work or devote singing on Tirupati. The dispute seems to be primarily between Shivite and Vaishnavite, because of the Shiva Temple at the base of Tirupati which predate the Tirupati temple. Indologist seems to have introduced some confusion here. There are no inscriptions about Tripati temple, before 9th century AD, because the temple did not exist then, not because it was a Buddhist Shrine.

References
Tirupati Balaji was a Buddhist Shrine
by K. Jamanadas
History of Holy Shrine of Sri venkatesa in Tirupati by Krishnaswamy Aiyangar

Photos
Tirupati Tirumala
Cauvery Crafts
Ramanuja
Divyadesam
TripAdvisor

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Myth of Tamil Sangam 
Date of Silapathikaram
Origin of Pallavas
Murugan  Tamil God
Shanmuga Karthikeya Muruga Skanda
Date of Purananooru
Date of Karikala
Date of Buddha
Origin of Buddha Image

Who is Avvaiyar - Sangam Myth

Who is Avvai or Avvaiyar. If you search for Avvaiyar you will come with more than six Avvaiyars in history right upto the modern times. What we are interested in is the Avvaiyar mentioned in Tamil sangam literature. Chiefly our discussion comes to two persons. There is a Avvaiyar belonging to Chalukya Chola Kulothunga III reign. There is a Sangam Literature Auvaiyar belonging to Athiyaman reign. Is this Auvaiyar of kulothunga times same as Sangam age Auvaiyar. That is the question we are looking into.

Avvaiyar
Avvai is corruption in tamil of the term avve or avva (both Meaning Mother) in Kannada/Tulu not native to Tamil, indicating origin of legend of Avvaiyar to Karnataka.

Avvai Murugan
Avvai and Muruga (Subramanya) have lot of legendary stories. But we are not able to select a date for these stories. Auvaiyar is shown here as saivite and great devotee of Muruga. Another place Vinayaka (Ganesha) is the god of Avvai and she gets sainthood at the young age by praying to him. Another place Avvai is called a jain. So there is no clear identification here and each sect seems to claim as their own.

Avvai Kural.
The Athichudi is called avvai kural by some. Meaning that Thiruvalluvar and Auvaiyar lived during same period. But today Tamil scholars say that Atticudi was composed by avvaiyar of Kulothunga Period.

Kulothunga III (1178 to 1218AD)
Ottakuttar(Uttarakandam,Takkayagapparani and Muvarula), Pugazendhi (Nalavenba), Avvaiyar(Atticudi,Konraivendam,Vinayagar Agaval, Mudurai and Nalvazhi) , Iraniyar(Kalaviyal), Kalladanar(Kalladam), Aiyanar(Purapporulvenbamalai), Puttamittiranar(Virachoziam), Divakarar(Diwankaram), Pingalar(Pingalandai) , Pavananti(nannul) and Kuttan(Nalayirakkovai, Parani,Tukkayagapparani, sarasvatiyandadi and Arumbaittollayiram) are all contemproaries in Chalukya Chola Kulothunga III court. Ambarkilan Aruvandai is patron of Divarkar. At the end of his chapter Dirarkarar says his patron was also praised by Avvaiyar, the famous court poet of Adhiyaman Elini. From this it is evident that Divarkar, Kalladar , Avvaiyar and Adhiyaman Elini are contemproaries and They all belong to kulothunga period. Since Divarkar praises Chalukyas, his contemproary Avvaiyar belongs to this kulothunga III period.

Who are Velir?
The Traditional accounts of Velir exactly fits Chalukyas, especially Kapilar description of velir. As the new branch of Chalukyas - Chalukya chola came into being, Chalukya and Chola legends mixed and we have lot of confusion. Velirs are from Kuntala that is chalukya country. In kuntala : Kunta means spear same as vel. Thus people of kuntala becomes velir. As we have already seen Velir is Chalukya and Malaya is Hoysala in Sangam Literature in another article.

Let us go to Sangam Age Avvaiyar. To find the date of this Avvaiyaar, we have to find date of Adhiyamaan.

Adhiyaman Date
Adhiyaman sent Auviyar as Ambassador to Thondaiman to prevent war. In Another instance Malayaman kari arch rival of Adigaman meets Avvaiyar and feeds her. This is Sangam Avvaiyar lived during period of Adigaman, Malayaman Kari and Thondaiman. So if we find the dates of these kings, we will find the date of Auvaiyar.

By 1186–87, Kulothunga Chola III had wound up his expedition against the Pandyan kingdom, but he had to immediately deal with the incursion of the Hoysala Veera Ballala II. Kulothunga Chola III immediately set off for 'Kongu to check the growth of Hoysala power in that quarter. He fought successfully against Veera Ballala II in 1187–88, re-established his suzerainty over Adigaman chiefs of Tagadur, defeated a Chera ruler in battle and performed a virabhisheka in Karuvur in 1193. An Inscription by Kulothunga III in Ranganatha temple in Monolithic cave temple of Namakkal Hills gives detailed description of the campaign and also names Adigaman. 

In another inscription in the Kailasanathaswami temple in Kulothunga Chola III mentions thondaiman. Specifies in his twenty-third year the extent of the devaddana lands below the tanks Sirreri and Periyeri at Arumbar, as fixed by Tondaiman Perumalpillai alias Sedirayadevan. Sedirayadevan looks like Sadaiyan who gave patronage to Kamban. Again same period as Avvaiyar.

So Adhiyaman or Adigaman and Thondaiman are of Kulothunga III Period. We already seen that Malaiyaman are Hoysalas. All three kings are present during the period of Kulothunga III. Since the other Avvaiyar lives in Kulothunga III period. Both the Avvaiyars are same.

Conclusion
There is only one Auvaiyar she lived during period of Kulothunga III. The Sangam Age Avvai is a myth.

Reference
A Topographical list of the inscriptions of the Madras presidency

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Kamban
Murugan
Shanmugha
Sangam myth
Kural
Chola Origin
Kuntala 

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Date of Purananooru

Various dates are proposed for purananooru, 1000BC, 10,000BC , 1 Million years old etc.
Let us try to find the probable date. This is based on the premise that if  X mentions Y , then X is later than Y.

Purananooru - 378
Purananooru mentions mentions Rama and sita ,so it cannot be more than 4000BC old.
Purananooru mentions mentions Mahabratha war so, it is atleast later than 3000BC

Purananooru - 175
Purananooru mentions mentions Maurya ,so it is later than 175BC atleast.

Dating problem
purananooru mentions Ilamcetcenni stopped Mauryas from coming to south, Silapathikaram mentions Karikal chola who is dated (by most ardent tamil chuvanists) to be in 2nd century AD. So Father-son ruling 500 years apart. which shows that the the poet who composed the poet cannot be dated anywhere near the two dates. so give atleast 200 years to forget the periods , that puts purananooru to 400 AD.

Purananooru 46
Killivalavan was a chola king mentioned in Sangam Literature, and Father of Nedunkilli and Nalankilli , in the Purananuru and Agananuru.The etymology of Killi is kilai (Branch in Tamil)

Killi Valavan
The word Pallava means branch in Sanskrit, denoting that they are a later offshoot  (Kilai-> Branch(tamil)) of Chutus (satkarnis).Pallava is rendered as Tondaiyar in the Tamil language.  The Pallava kings at several places are called Thondamans or Thondaiyarkon. The territory of the Pallavas was known as Tundaka Visaya or Tundaka Rashtra.(tundaka -> Branch) The Sanskrit meaning of Pallava is Kilai The Tamil Thondai means the same,  It shows that Pallavas are descendants (Kilay or Pirivu) of Chutus(satakarnis). Karnata dynasties Chalukyas and Rastrakutas call themselves Vallabhas and  Pallava also from Karnata have called themselves vallabhas in some places, which translates to valavan in Tamil.

If we take the killi ->; Kilai and Pallava ->; kilai and vallabha -> valavan

We have killi valvan and it shows that killi valavan is generic term applied to pallava vallabha.

After the pallavas revenge against pulikesin II,  Ganga king who had marital relations with chalukyas took revenge against pallavas and chased them out of kanchi.  So the pallavas shifted themselves to a place called Kaduvetti, which is now in chola country. Many of their inscriptions are from kaduvetti. Only after this time we see cholas rising.  Cholas might have marital relations with pallavas and  putting killivalavan as one of their ancestors,   shows their ancestors are  pllavas. Until Nirputunga pallava cornation ,they were feudatories of pallavas. This also solves myth Pallavas are not mentioned in Sangam literature-so sangam literature has to be dated before pallavas. So if we take this account then the purananooru has to be dated after pallavas that after 9th century AD.

Karikala, Maurya ,Ramayana and Mahabharata war
There is a karikala known as Aditya Karikala ruling in 9th century AD.  Mauryan kings were ruling until 7th century AD in Konkan.  So the knowledge of Mauryas and Karikalan were fresh.  During 9th century AD to 13th century AD, saw all the dynasties trying to connect themselves to Ramayana and Mahabharata Warriors, not surprising the Purananooru does similar act of connecting the tamil kings to Mahabharata heroes.  Karikala said to have defeated Oliya nagas and according to Mahabalipur Inscription of Rajendra I oliya nagas are of his period( 11th century AD.).  So  Purananooru is defintely 10th century AD  to 11th century AD or later than that.


Irunkovel
Here is an inscription belonging to one of the kings of the Irunkovel line from the Adhipuriswara temple in Tiruvorriyur district:
Records in the reign of the Ganga-pallava king Kovijiya Kampavarman, gift of 27 kalanju of gold for offerings by Pudi Arindigai, wife of Videlvidigu-Ilangovelar of Kodumbalur in Ko-nadu. The money was placed in the hands of the residents of Vaikattur, a suburb of Tiruvorriuyur, on interest at 3 manjadi per kalanju per annum 

Kampavarman is dated to 870-900AD ,Irunkovel mentioned in Purananooru , so the date of purananooru has to be later than this date. Interestingly there was a dynastic struggle between Kampavarman(elder) and Nrputunga(boy) for the throne like Nedunkilli and Nalankilli

Hoysalas
The dating gets even curious because the Purananooru mentions Pulikatimal (Hoysalas with emblem of Sala killing the Tiger that is Hoysalas ending the chola rule(Tiger Emblem)), who are of  period 10th -14th Century AD . Interestingly it also says pulikatimal is from neighbhouring country. So if we take Hoysalas into  picture, the date has to be after 11th century AD.  Probably between 11th to 13th century AD. After which there was a intergennum because of Muslim invasion.


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origin of Cholas
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Date of Pallava
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Topics

Controversies of Kural by valluvar

Let us see some of the controversies sorrounding Kural.
Last 25 chapters
The last 25 chapters are split into two parts, premarital and marital love, separately, yet because of their different style there is controversy whether these chapters were part of the original work because many of principles in this chapters are contrary to what is discussed in previous chapters.
Author
Very little is known conclusively about the life of Tiruvalluvar.As per Tamil tradition, he is believed to have lived some time before Tholkappiar .His wife name is vasuki.
Textile weaver
He is said to have been a textile weaver by profession, who led an austere life. His devoted wife was named Vasuki. The name Valluvan is ambiguous as well: it may have referred to his caste/occupation and may not have been his real name. There is a distinct caste to this day with this name, among the Tamils whose traditional occupation used to be textile weaving who trace their ancestry to valluvar. However, the question of whether the author was named after his community or vice versa, has never been satisfactorily answered.
Untouchable
Pope begins his introduction by discussing the issue of Thiruvalluvars caste. While Thiruvalluvar's biography was generally acknowledged to be legend, certain aspects of the legend were seen by most scholars as based upon historical fact. One of these was his low-caste origin. As Pope explains, the name Valluvar was an honorific, meaning teacher or priest, traditionally given by the paraiyar (the untouchables of the Tamil country) to the learned men of their community.
Truth is nothing is known about the author other than his name is valluvan.
Place
Legends abound about the birthplace of Thiruvalluvar.
Mylapore (chennai)
According to one legend he is supposed to have been born and lived in Mylapore,an ancient part of present day Chennai city. Author lived in Pallava times,who also patronised jainism.
Madurai
Another legend associates him to Madurai,the ancient capital of the Pandya rulers. This second legend probably has its origins due to the fact that Pandya rulers promoted Tamil by patronising a lot of Tamil poets and Thiruvalluvar is supposed to be one of them. In fact, some folklore cite that Tirukkural was introduced to the world by Tiruvalluvar in Madurai’s Tamil Sangam.
Valluvanadu
During the 9th century A.D. a Valluvanadu existed in Kerala. But exact location of valluvanadu is disputed.
Valluvanadu-palaghat
The Valluvanadu of the Palaghat district was ruled by Valluvakon in the ancient times. In the laterdays Nairs who entered Kerala annihilated or assimilated the Valluvars of Palaghat and occupied the land. The king of Valluvanadu was called Valluvakonathiri Moopil Nair.The Valluvanad is associated with bravery as most of the Chavers or the suicidal army of Kerala was derived from the Valluvanad area. The Valluvanad Chavers participated in the Mamankam a festival held every twelve years in which, the Chavers tried to kill the Samudhiri the king of neighbouring kingdom even though they were quite aware impossibility and the possibility definite death.
Valluvandu- Wayanad
At Wayanad district the Valluvans are believed to have their kingdom at Valluvady near the Kerala Karnataka border. At Valluvady many artifacts of Valluvars including golden artifacts are believed to be found.
Valluvandu- Kanyakumari
There are also recent claims by Kanyakumari Historical and Cultural Research Centre (KHCRC) that Valluvar was a king who ruled Valluvanadu in the hilly tracts of Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. Though this recent claim comes through research, many questions remain unanswered.

Dating
Caldwell and Pope dated the text to the 8th—10th centuries C.E., while the majority of Tamil scholars placed it in the late Sangam period whose period is disputed. Modern scholars like Zvelebil favour a date earlier than that of Caldwell and Pope to 7th century.
Cladwell
Caldwell argued that of Tamil was both the oldest and the least dependent upon Sankrit. But even while granting the antiquity of the language, he dismissed the antiquity of Tamil literature. The oldest of it could not be older than the 8th — 9th century C.E. Caldwell further questioned ancient Tamil society's exposure to the higher forms of civilization, such as art, science or religion, prior to the arrival of Brahmins; Dravidian religion, for instance, prior to their advent, had been a sort of demonolatry or primitive Shamanism.
Silapathikaram
If X mentions Y then Y is earlier, probably a hundred years earlier than X. This works well in some caes. Kural is mentioned in Silapathikaram and manimekalai.So kural is before that but silapthikaram date is also disputed. So how do you date kural.
Grammer
Thirukkural does not adhere to the rules of Tholkappiyam, the Grammar book. This shows that this book has preceded Tholkappiyam which is not the widely held view.
Faith
Tiruvalluvar’s faith is disputed. There are claims he is Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and even christian , let us see.
Jain
  • The phrase `malar misai Ekinaan'that appears in the first chapter. Roughly translated:malar misai Ekinaan = one who went towards or reached the flower. If the meaning for the verb Ekuthal'is given . scholars say `malar misai Ekinaan' is Mahavira. It seems the iLangO adikaL in his work `silappadhikaaram' uses the same phrase to refer to Mahavira.
  • The third kural, in the first chapter is translated by Prof. P.S.Sundaran as: Long life on earth is theirs who clasp. The glorious flower-embedded feet In his notes he writes: "Flower-embedded feet may refer either specifically to Aruhan, the Jain God who is usually represented as standing on a flower, or to God in general whose seat is not only in haven, but also in the flower-shaped-heart of his devotees." "Aruhan" (Arhant) can be any one of the 24 Jinas.
  • Comparing the kural verse with a verse in Bhaktaamar Stotra, composed by Mantungacharya. The 44 verses of Bhaktaamar praise the first Jina (just like the first chapter of Thirukkural), as mentioned in the last quarter of second verse: ... stoshye kilaahamapi tam prathamam jinendram .. I will also praise the first Jina. The second half of the 32nd shloka is: paadau padani tava yatra Jinendra dhatth, padmani tatra vibudha parikalpayanti.. wherever you put your feet, gods create lotus flowers. mostof the verses of the first chaper can also apply to Gautama Buddha, since he is also "one who has conquered his five senses",however the mention of Aadi Bhagavan make it clear that it is the first Jina being praised.
  • Professor A Chakravarty identifies the author of the Tirukkural text as the same Kundakunda Acarya and identifies places in the South with him. He offer the opinion that the Kural was of his authorship, the only one he wrote in the local language of the Tamils among whom he lived and which he sent through a friend, or disciple of his to Madurai to get approval from the Tamil Sangam. But this theory of present date and has no basis.
  • Tamil tradition identifies an Eladhi Nayanar in close proximity to Valluvar, Under these somewhat negative proofs,Kundakunda might have fathered the work and might have underscored the relationship of Eladhi Nayanar with the Valluvar of the Kural for among his own many names Elacarya is given as one. But this is a legend of 13th century making in supporting antiquity of another lengend avvaiyar.
  • Section devoted to vegetarian food, the author distinctly condemns the Buddhist principle of purchasing meat from the butcher. Buddhists Say that they are not to kill with their own hands but may purchase meat from slaughter house. The author of the Kural in unmistakable terms points out that the butcher's trade thrives only because of the demand for meat. Butcher's interest is merely to make money and hence he adopts a particular trade determined by the principle of 'supply and demand'. Therefore the responsibility of killing animals for food is mainly on your head and not upon the butcher's. This is clear jain mind working against buddhist.
  • The Jaina commentator of the Tamil work called Neelakesi freely quotes from this Kural, and whenever he quotes, he introduces the quotation with the words "as is mentioned in our scripture". From this it is clear that the commentator considered this work as an important Jaina scripture.
  • Non Jaina Tamil work called "Prabodha Chandrodaya". This Tamil work is evidently modelled after the Sanskrit drama Prabodha Chandrodaya. This tamil work is in Viruttam metre, consist of four lines. It is also in the form of a drama where the representatives of the various religions are introduced on the stage. Each one is introduced while reciting a characteristic verse containing the essence of his religion. When the Jaina sanyasi appears on the stage, heis made to recite that particular verse from the Kural which praises the Ahimsa doctrine that "not killing a single life for the purpose of eating is far better than performing 1000 yagas". Kural was characteristically a Jaina work. Otherwise he would not have put this verse in the mouth of 'Niganthavadi' ( a Jaina).
Hindu
  • The very arrangement of the book into 3 divisions (muppaal)is a vedic concept of Purusharthas, dharma, artha and kaama. He left out the 4 th division, Moksha, because adherence to the principles of the first 3 will automatically elevate one to Moksha or Liberation from the cycle of life and death.
  • The compartmentalization of the ‘adhikaras’ into the mystic number 108 for Dharma (aram) and Artha (poruL) also is indicative of a definite plan to present his bookon the vedic notion of spirituality. The choice of the term, ‘Adhikaram’ itself for the chapters is indicative of the vedic practice of Yatho-desa paksham – which means the spread of control / influence by itself and its own sake, that is, the message of Kural will spread by itself the message of Purusharthas.
  • The positioning of adhikaram, ‘voozh’ (destiny) after dharma (aratthu-p-paal)is also demonstrative of a Vedic influence. How-much-ever dharmic one may be, one can not stop or escape from the interference of ‘oozh’ or destiny is the message given at all ages, from Gita onwards (one has control over one’s actions only, not on the results) to Silappadhikaaram (oozh vinai urutthu vandhu ootttum)and this has been aptly given as a finale for Aratthu-p-paal.
  • The only source book he quotes for all rules is the ‘nool’The ‘nool’ that he often speaks in kural is the Vedas and he has repeatedly glorified the ways the ‘Saandror’ or Aryans.
    “kadan enba nallavai ellaam kadan aRindhu
    saandraaNmai mEr koLbhavarkku.”
    “saman seidhu seer thookkum kOl pOl amaindhoru paal
    kOdaamai saandrOrkku aNi”
  • Brahmins (anthanar) and Vyakarana sastras (725)are the respected ones he looks at, for any reference to acts of dharma.
  • Devas and their habit of receiving Havis from humans are often mentioned by him.
  • He disapproves animal sacrifice in yajnas but not yajnas themselves,giving indication of his leanings towards vedic practices and his willingness to usher in modifications – which is what sages too had said for kali yuga.
  • The Vamana avatara is clearly mentioned in kural 610 where he tells that the king must be like “ulagu aLandhaan”,Vamana in conquering worlds.
  • He makes a veiled mention of Rama’s valour in kural 773 for showing mercy to the enemy in the war field when he is down in spirits. Most important of these is his veiled reference to Rama in his opening verse.These ancient norms of poetry were aimed at spreading and preserving the greatness of the Lord or God who had been praised by the poet. The praise of the Lord to live long can not just be empty words but it also must incorporate certain features that help in making the Lord and his name immortal.We come across such norms in Choodamani nigandu, given as sutras and Thirukkaural had followed these ancient norms and had indicated his Lord, his Ishta devatha as Rama!! One will be surprised to know that these norms were in tandem with certain rules of astrology, meant for longevity and greatness!
  • Thiruvalluvar begins his book with a worship of god.The Akaara Brahman is indicated in his very first verse as also the Bhagam (6 qualities) of Bhagavan – a vedic concept.Akaara Brahmam is equated to Vishnu in Bhagavad Gita.
  • He has indicated his God – ishta devatha in this verse – ‘agara mudala..’
    It has been a practice in ancient times for the poets to reveal their God or Lord or the Lord of the song (paattudai-th-thlaivan)in their first verse as a puzzle. Thirvalluvar too had done that.
  • Vaiyapuri Pillai has said:"There are many couplets of the Kural that are either translations or
    adaptations of Manusmriti”, such as:
    - Kural 57 and Manusmriti IX:12
    - Kural 41 and Manusmriti III:78. This verse of smriti, Pillai points
    out, has been reiterated by Tiruvalluvar more than once.
    - Kural 396 and Manusmriti II:218 "
  • He talks about "destroying the five senses", which you can see in upanishads and bhagavat gita. Concept of multiple birth is a hall mark of Hindu dharma. Undoubtadly, TiruValluvar endorse future birth. Destruction of ego: this is another characteristic aspect of Vedic religion.
    Kural - 346
    Who kills conceit that utters 'I' and 'mine',Shall enter realms above the powers divine.
    He who destroys the pride which says "I", "mine" will enter a world which is difficult even to the Gods to attain.
    Kural - 348
    Who thoroughly 'renounce' on highest height are set;The rest bewildered, lie entangled in the net.Those who have entirely renounced (all things and all desire) have obtained (absorption into God); all others wander in confusion, entangled in the net of (many) births.
    Kural - 349
    When that which clings falls off, severed is being's tie;All else will then be seen as instability.
    At the moment in which desire has been abandoned, (other) births will be cut off; when that has not been done, instability will be seen.
    Kural - 350
    Cling thou to that which He, to Whom nought clings, hath bid thee cling, Cling to that bond, to get thee free from every clinging thing.
    Yama, the god of death, a Hindu entity
    Kural-269
    E'en over death the victory he may gain,If power by penance won his soul obtain.Those who have attained the power which religious discipline confers, will be able also to pass the limit of Yama, (the God of death).
  • Kural-24 to Kural-27 is without any doubt part of the Upanishadic, Yogic and Tantric traditions.
    Kural-24
    He, who with firmness, curbs the five restrains,
    Is seed for soil of yonder happy plains.
    Kural-25
    Their might who have destroyed 'the five', shall soothly tell
    Indra, the lord of those in heaven's wide realms that dwell.
    Kural-26
    Things hard in the doing will great men do;
    Things hard in the doing the mean eschew.
    Kural-27
    Taste, light, touch, sound, and smell: who knows the way
    Of all the five,- the world submissive owns his sway.
Christian
  •  Deivanayagam, has claimed ' Porivaayil Aintavittan' has reference to Jesus Christ, who sacrificed himself in human form with the five senses complete, on the symbol of the cross, so that humanity may be redeemed and ennobled towards an eternal life.

  • M Deivanayagam says Thiruvalluvar was a Christian and a disciple of St.Thomas and most of the Saiva Sidhantha and the vivid knowledge found in Thiruklural were nothing but the sayings of The Bible.
This is just attempt to spread christianity and there is no basis of this claim.
Translation
It is maintained by a well known Tamil scholar that the work is a faithful translation of the Dharmasastra by Bodhayana. Many Sanskrit words are found in this Kural and from among the traditional doctrines some are also treated therein. Let us see.

This Bodhayana Dharma Sastra, since it is based upon the traditional Varnasrama, keeps to the traditional four castes and their duties. According to this conception of Dharma, cultivation of the land is left to the last class of Sudras and would certainly be infra dig for the upper class to have anything to do with agriculture. The author of Kural, on the other hand placed agriculture first among the professions. For he says, "living par excellence is living by tilling the land and every other mode of life is parasitical and hence next to that of the tiller of the soil".
 
Another interesting fact mentioned in Dharma Sastras is the mode of entertaining guests by the householders. Such an entertainment is always associated with killing a fat calf; the chapter on guests in Bodhayana Dharmasastra gives a list of animals that ought to be killed for the purpose of entertaining guests. This is necessary part of Dharma and violation of it will entail curse from the guests in the firm belief of those who accept Vedic ritualism as religion. A cursory glance at the corresponding chapter in the Kural will convince any reader that Dharma here means quite a different thing from what it means in the Dharma Sastras of the Hindus. Hence we have to reject this suggestion that the work represents merely a translation of the Dharma Sastras for the benefit of the Tamil reading people

What scholars opine about Tirukkural.
  • There is a distinct intellectual relationship of  the Arathupal of Kural with  the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Parasara Samhitha, Srimad Bhagavatham, Rg Veda and 
  • Porutpal has very many similarities with Kamanthaka Neeti, Artha Sastra of Kautilya, Sukra Neeti, Bodayana Smrithi 
  • Kamathupal reflects many a thoughts from Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana. (Sri V.R. Ramachandra Dikshidhar)
  • More than twenty five pure Sanskrit words have been borrowed from the Sanskrit Language and incorporated  in the body of the Kural by Valluvan as well as according to Mr.Vyapuri  Pillai  time it was written in the 6th century AD.  (S. Vyapuri Pillai)
  • Aran, Iyalbu, Ottrar, Duthar Adhikarams in Kural reflects the thinking of Kautilya's Artha Sasthra (S. Vayapuri Pillai) 
  • Valluvan did codify the Kural in the present format and there has not been much of any differentiation in presentation from its time of origin. 
  • What Kural says in Tamil has been told by various rishis in Sanskrit which can be found in the very many ancient philosophical literature available in India.  
  • One of the most important points to note is, in Kural Valluvan has never discussed the Tamils, by name, nor has he referred to the various Tamil  kings of the Chera, Chozha and Pandiyan dynasties and their histories.  In contrast, they are available in plenty in the Sangam Literature.
  • Valluvan has never used the word Tamil or Tamizhan in the Kural. 
  • Neither does Valluvan talk about the life and times of Tamilians in Tamilnadu, in his Kural.
Sources
Non Random Thoughts
S. N. Srirama Desikan, Research Scholar - Tirukkural published by Ganghai Puthaga Nilayam, Chennai 1991

Origin of Cholas- Tamil Myth

Cholas are said to be the three dynasties who ruled Tamil nadu from ancient times, But all three dynasties origin remain a question. Let us see the cholas origin.

Sora
The etymology of the word Chola has been agreed upon by many historians and linguists to be derived from the Tamil word Sora or Chora. Moreover, numerous inscriptions confirm that the name of the Dynasty was Sora but pronounced today as Chola(sanskrit).

kalvar caste
Cholas belong to kalvar caste, Kalvar are said to be invaders in sangam literatures better known as kalabhras. The kalvar people still live around tanjor. So are the Cholas natives of Tamil nadu.

chalukya cholas
The Eastern Chalukyas ruled a kingdom in Vengi (eastern Andhra Pradesh) from about 625 until 1070, Then they took over the chola kingdom and dynasty. Earlier three generations of Eastern Chalukyan prince have married chola princess. So the question is how they did not face any resistance. In this background Rajendra Chalukya accended chola throne as Kulothunga chola I , thus annexing chola empire to Eastern chalukya empire and there again was no resistance eventhough Virarajendra died and his son and successor Adhirajendra was assassinated. That clearly caste doubts on cholas as any different from chalukya stock.

Chalukya author Bilhana gives a version of the background to Athirajendra’s troubles in his Vikramankadeva Charita.
'On hearing news of trouble and revolt in the Chola country following the emperor’s death, Vikramaditya, immediately marched to Kanchipuram to quell troubles there. Then he went to Gangaikonda Cholapuram, destroyed the forces of the enemy and installed the prince (Athirajendra) on the throne. After spending a month in the Chola capital, Vikramaditya apparently satisfied that peace was restored, returned to his country. '

Vikramaditya VI has come to chola country and he is called Kannadasandhivigrahi as said by his kannada inscription at the Ranganatha Swami Temple, Srirangam as peacemaker between fighting cousins.

Udayaditya, Choda wrote a treatise Udayadityalankaram in Kannada, 75 stanzas on the art of Poetry based on Dandin Kavyadarsa

And they never combined with pandyas and after accession Rajendra chalukya defeated pandyas and annexed the whole of tamil nadu. This raises the question whether chola are kannada stock.

Cholas and Prakrit.
All the Inscriptions are in prakrit, not in tamil. That has to be noted. If they are Tamil rulers then what was the hesitancy in promoting tamil.

Telugu choda
We do not know the origin of Cholas dynasty,but we know the origin of Telugu cholas pronounced Chodas from 5th century AD onwards. We have inscriptions on the following telugu dynasties who were feudataries of Chalukyas. The chodas trace their decent to Ikshavakus , who trace their origin to Manu, the cholas also trace their origin to Manu, Manu Needhi Cholan
  • Velanati Chodas ( Ruled the Velanadu Region Current E.G,W.G and Krishna Districts)
  • Renati Chodas (Ruled the Renadu Regions Current Cuddapah, Kurnool Regions)
  • Pottapi Chodas (Ruled the Renadu Regions Current Cuddapah, Chittor Districts)
  • Konidena Chodas (Ruled the Palanadu region Current Guntur, Prakasam Districts)
  • Nannuru Chodas (Ruled the Pakanadu region Current Anantapur District)
  • Nellore Chodas (Ruled the Nellore,Chittor, Chengalpeta and Cuddapah Regions)
    So the chola dyansty who started under 8th century can also have origin from above telugu cholas. Most apt description would be cholas are telugus , not tamil.

    But Rajendra chola came to help Eastern chalukya king Danarnava against Telugu choda king jata choda bhima(Amma II brother in law). Later after Kulothunga I acended throne as chola king, they shifted loyalty to Chola kings.

    Muttaraiyar
    Before Cholas the area round about Tanjavur was under the sway of a dynasty of chieftains known as the Muttaraiyar whose inscriptions are found at Sendalai and Niyamam, and who seem to have ruled either independently or as vassals of the Pallavas.   The Muttaraiyar believed to be ruled from 655AD to 860AD.  The city name " Thanjaur" seems to be derived from the name of a Mutharayar king "Thananjay" or "Dhananjaya".

         Perumbidugu Muttaraiyan alias Kuvavan Maran (c. CE 655-c.680)
        Ilangovadiyariyan alias Maran Paramesvaran (c A.D. 680-c.705)
        Perumbidugu Muttaraiyan II alias Suvaran Maran (c. CE 705-c.745)
        Videlvidugu Vilupperadi-Araisan alias Sattan Maran (c.A.C. 745-c.770)
        Marppidugu alias Peradiaraiyan (c. CE 770-791)
        Videlvidugu Muttaraiyan alias Kuvan Sattan (c. CE 791-c.826)
        Sattan Paliyili (c. CE 826-c.851)

    Tradition says that the muttaraiyar came from North. We find Renati cholas ruling the kadapa region around 600 AD(We have First full length Telugu Inscription). Renati cholas being feudatories of Pulakesi, could have got the kingdom in south during pulakesin raid in tamil nadu. We have Ayyavole 500 (Merchant Guild from Aihole ) using pudukottai  as one of their bases. So may be Muttaraiyar were installed in Tanjore by Pulakesi II. There is a kannada inscription in Kodumbalur.

    The rule of Muttaryaiyar was ended by Vijayalaya chola, who established the chola dynasty.  Vijayala Chola conquered Thanjavur from Elango Mutharayar who was the final ruler of Mutharaiyar dynasty. It is said that in the year A.D.852 Vijayalaya Chola waged war with the Muttaraiyar king Sattan Paliyilli (A.D.826-852) in the neighbouring east, and captured his territory of Thanjavur. While Vijayalaya Chola was supported by Pallava , the Muttaraiyan chief was supported by Pandya. Making use of the opportunity during a war between Pandyas and Pallavas, Vijayalaya having matrimonial relations with cheras captured Thanjavur. After being replaced by  cholas, muttaraiyar ruled as Chola vassals in the same region.

    Now where was vijayalaya from, how did vijayalaya got an army to defeat  a dynasty entrenched in the region.  The answer is,  he is from another branch from the same mutturaiyar family.  First temple work of Vijayalaya was rebuilding a mutturaiyar temple later known as vijaya cholewaram. Both Mutturaiyar and cholas worship Angamma (Ankalamma) devi. Family feud exploited by Pallavas and pandyas. The reason we don't see any swearing from each other. Thus the Chola line of Mutturaiyar comes into place.

    Chola decended from Muttaraiyar and Muttaraiyar decended from Telugu Chodas.  Dravidian scholars describe muttaraiyar as kalvar or kalabhra and dismiss them as uncivilized.

    Pallava origin
    Killivalavan was a chola king mentioned in Sangam Literature, and of a period close to that of Nedunkilli and Nalankilli , in the Purananuru and Agananuru.The etymology of Killi is kilai (Branch in Tamil)

    The word Pallava means branch in Sanskrit, denoting that they are a later offshoot (Kilai-> Branch(tamil)) of Chutus (satkarnis).Pallava is rendered as Tondaiyar in the Tamil language. The Pallava kings at several places are called Thondamans or Thondaiyarkon.The territory of the Pallavas was known as Tundaka Visaya or Tundaka Rashtra.(tundaka - Branch) The Sanskrit meaning of Pallava is Kilai The Tamil Thondai means the same, It shows that Pallavas are descendants (Kilay or Pirivu) of Chutus(satakarnis).

    Karnata dynasties Chalukyas and Rastrakutas call themselves Vallabhas and Pallava also from Karnata have called themselves vallabhas in some places, which translates to valavan in Tamil.

    If we take the killi -> Kilai and Pallava -> kilai and vallabha -> valavan

    We have killi valvan and it shows that killi valavan is generic term applied to pallava vallabha.

    After the pallavas revenge against pulikesin II, Ganga king who had marital relations with chalukyas defeated the pallavas and chased them out of kanchi. So the pallavas shifted themselves to a place called Kaduvetti, which is now in chola country. Many of their inscriptions are from kaduveti. Only after this time we see cholas rising. Cholas might have marital relations with pallavas and  putting killivalavan as one of their ancestors, shows their ancestors are  pllavas. Until Nirputunga pallava cornation ,they were feudatories of pallavas.
    This also solves myth Pallavas are not mentioned in Sangam literature ,so sangam literature has to be dated before pallavas.

    Others
    There is no tiger in chola country ,but their emblem is Tiger has to be noted, which show they are from outside Chola region.

    Chola kingdom fell despite efforts to propup their proxy administration by Hoysalas of Halebidu against Pandyas.

    Bengali 's
    The Following is a interesting take from Bengali community. Some Sangam works talks about five tribes who settled in Tamil Nadu. These are Naga tribes from north who moved down to south.the
    • VaeLir - the farmers,
    • Mazhavar - the hill people who gather hill products, and the traders
    • Naagar - people in charge of border security, who guarded the city wall and distant fortresses .
    • Kadambar - people who thrive on forests
    • Thiraiyar - the seafarers.
    Pallavas are said to be sect of Thiraiyar. Later sub sects arose and one of the important sects is MaRavar( warriors, conquerors and rulers; including the major Tamil dynasties of Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas. The Following Paragraph is bengali take on the above subject.

    Bengali's say many Naga-worshipping tribes proceeded from Bengal as well as from other parts of Northern India to establish their supremacy in Tamil Nadu. Of these tribes, the Marans, the Cheras and the Pangala Thiraiyar interest us most. The Cheras, it is stated, proceeded to Southern India from the north-west of Pangala or Bengal and established the "Chera" kingdom of much historical note. It is significant that the Cheras are mentioned in the old Brahmin literature as occupying the eastern tract of the Magadba country. As to the Marans, who are said to have been the neighbours of the Cheras in Northern India, it is equally important to note, that the Pandya kings claim to be of Maran descent. The Marans, who were also called Maravars, are reported to have been a very fierce and warlike people, and that they worshipped the goddess Kali on the top-knot of whose hair stood an infuriated cobra snake. The Pangala Thiraiyars are recorded as the latest immigrants, and it is narrated of them, that they proceeded from the sea coast of Bengal by boat and founded the Chola kingdom at Kanchi. As the phrase Pangala or Bangala Thiraiyar is equivalent to (Tlra-Vanga), we can assert un- hesitatingly, that these people had received Aryan influence in Bengal before they left for the Madras coast.

    So the question is who are cholas , From the above points they are not definitely tamils, they are either Telugu or kannada stock.

    Related Posts
    Date of Karikala
    Myth of Kallanai by Karikalan
    Myth of Tamil Sangam
    Kalabhra Interruption
    Pallava Origin
    Ikshvaku origin

    Who are Sangam Cheras

    There are two cheras . Sangam cheras and Medieveal cheras.

    Sangam Cheras
    Early cheras were in Tamil Nadu in what is today Karur, Coimbatore,Erode and salem districts in Tamil Nadu. Had their capital in Vanchi, present day Karur. The only source available for us regarding the early Chera Kings is the anthologies of the Sangam literature. There is a lot of dispute on the age of sangam literature. The internal chronology of this literature is still far from settled. The Sangam literature is full of names of the kings and the princes, and of the poets who extolled them. Despite a rich literature that depicts the life and work of these people, these are not connected history to history so far. Their capital is stated to be modern Karur in Tamilnadu and were also called Kongars.

    Ganga rule
    If we see other rulers at that time. Gangas who also ruled some parts of kongu nadu(Karur, Coimbatore,Erode and salem districts in Tamil Nadu), do not show any signs of presence of Cheras in the neibhourhood. Even though they ruled same parts of Kongu nadu in tamil nadu at the same time as sangam cheras, they did not have any conflict or any relation with cheras that is puzziling and is one of the reasons of dismissing the sangam sources.

    Epigraphic sources
    1. Ashoka girinar inscription say keraputo
    2. Periplus of erythraeon sea mention Muziris cited as musiri in sangam literature
    3. Ptolemy refers to Muziris, Nelcynda and tyndis in kingdom of keraputra
    4. Pugalur (Aranattarmalai) inscription. This inscription refers to three generations of Chera rulers Adam Cel Irrumporai, his son Perumkadungo, and his son Ilamkadungo. But this inscription is highly disputed.
    5. Jambai inscription tells about atiyaman found in sangam literature. Also this inscription is highly disputed.
    6. GajaBahu synchronism, which we have discussed in silapathikaram article
    The sangam literature has a name for people of kerala - malayan, most literatures at that time mentions keralites as malayan and cheras are mentioned in their respective king names like ori, Ayi, poriyan,Cheral, Kuttuvan, Irumporai, Athan and Kothai.

    Aihole inscriptions mention kadamba rulers in kerala

    So there is no clarity on the sangam chera rule. By sangam anthologies the date should be around second century AD. The Ganga rulers seems no knowledge of them. Many of the sangam works have loopholes like Gajabahu synchronism. Eventhough the sangam literature talks of chera rulers, the rulers in inscriptions called themselves as ai's , ori's. The foreign sources mention about ports of west coast. We do not know if chera is kerala in ancient times. The only sources girinar inscription of ashoka talks about keraputo, again we do not know it means kerala or chera. so the arguement continues.

    Myth of Tamil Sangams

    Sangam
    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

    Evidences

    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.

    Analysis
    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.

    Kalittogai
    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.

    Analysis
    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.

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

    Kalabhras Interruption Tamil Myth

    Kalabhras are said to be invaders from the North who ruled entire tamil nadu between 3rd and the 6th century C.E. displacing the ancient Chola, Pandya and Chera dynasties. Information about their origin and details about their reign is scarce. They did not leave any artefacts or monuments. The only source of information on them is the scattered mentions in Buddhist and Jain literature. They were displaced around the 6th century by the revival of Pallava and Pandya power.
    Let us anlayse the facts regarding the mysterious rulers.

    Who are Kalabhras?
    1. Let us find out what the existing theories say.
      Muttaraiyar of Kondubalur (eighth to eleventh century C.E.). Some historians believe that Muttaraiyar (Mudirajas) are the descendants of Kalabhras , who lived in the uplands Karnataka (Hampi Region), and Tirupati (Vengadam) Hills. The areas of Hampi and Tirupati hills were part of Dandakaaranya in Deccan India.
    2. Karnatas on the strength of a reference in Tamil literature to the rule of a Karnata king over
    3. MaduraiKalappalar, belonging to Vellala community and referred to in Tamil literature .
    4. Kalabhras with the Kalavar, and the chieftains of this tribe mentioned in Sangam literature are Tiraiyan of Pavattiri and Pulli of Vengadam or Tirupati. The latter is described as the cattle lifting robber chief of the frontier. The Kalavar must have been dislodged from their habitat near Tirupati by political events of the third century A.D., viz. the fall of the Satavahanas and the rise of Pallavas, resulting in political confusion in Tondaimandalam.
    5. Kalabhras => kalabbha => kalamba => kadamba. He is said to have flourished when king Accutavikkanta of the Kalamba (Kadamba) dynasty was one the throne. It is difficult to identify King Accuta or Accutavikkanta (Acyta Vikrama) of Kalabhra with the Kadamba dynasty. But the Kalabhras once made a great influence over the Chola territory and Simhavishnu, the Pallava king, defeated them in late sixth century. Colian king Acytavikranta or Acytavikrama who is described as 'Kalambakulnandana' or 'Kalabbhakulanandana' (also Vaddhana).
    6. According to Poygai Alvar, the Vengadam hill was the habitat of elephants, which the "Kuravars" or "Kurbas" who inhabited or frequented the hill used to capture and tame and also scare away huge pythons. He observes that, the Tamil term Kuravar used by the early Alvars is corruption of "Kuraba", who were residents of this area and also of Kurnool, Mysore, Salem, coimbatore and the Nilgiris. He mentions the names of Kurubalakota, Kurubalpatti, Kuruba Nagalapuram, Kurumba Palayam, Kurumbapatti, Kurumbharhalli etc. in various areas. He says Kurabas or Kuravar were a verile people, who were in possession of Tirupathi Hills and surrounding area before Pallavas conquerred it. Kalabhras => karabhras => kurabhras = kurabaskurabars <=> kuravarskurubas <=> kuruvas
    what does literature says?
    1. Buddhadatta, the great writer in Pali, mentions his contemporary, King Achchutavikranta of the Kalabharakula, as ruling over the Chola country from Kaveripatnam. He was a Buddhist, Tamil literary tradition refers to an Achchuta who kept the Chera, Chola and Pandya king in captivity. On the basis of the time of Buddhadatta with Buddhaghosha, Achchuta may be assigned to the fifth century. Thus after the Sangam age, the Cholas were forced into obscurity by the Kalabhras, who disturbed the placid political conditions of the Tamil country.
    2. The period of Kalabhras was marked by the ascendancy of Buddhism, and probably also of Jainism, was characterized by considerable literary activity in Tamil. Most of the works grouped under the head, 'The Eighteen Minor works' might have been written during this period as also the Cilappadhikaram, Manimekalai and other works. Many of the authors were the characterised to belong to the `heretical' (meaning Buddhists and Jains) sects. However, the great Tamil lexicographer Vaiyapuri Pillai had ascribed later dates to many of these works. This theory would undermine the link between the Kalabhras and the Eighteen Minor works.
    what does inscriptions say?The Velvikudi inscriptions of the third regnal year of Pandya king Nedunjadaiyan (c.765 - c. 815 C.E.) say that Pandya king Mudukudumi Peruvaludi gave the village of Velvikudi as brahmadeya (gift to a Brahmins). It was enjoyed for long. Then a Kali king named Kalabhran took possession of the extensive earth, driving away numberless great kings.
    AnalaysisWhat we have is about thieves who took illegally or forcefully the land and cattle from people and they were not afraid of kings.we dont have fixed names for these people, there are numerous names, Kalabhras, Kalbharkula, Kalbhran,etcThere is no evidence in othere literary sources outside tamil nadu.
    conclusion
    1. There is no evidence to support anybody named kalabhras existed.
    2. Pallavas were in south, chalukya in north and Gangas in the middle, so there is no evidence to show anybody else existed.
    3. Looting was a common practice to refer others as thieves. So this must be just that.
    4. This is just an attempt to advance tamil antiquity. It advances the sangam works age to before christ. The legend just gives some three hundred years of history in between that advances the tamil antiquity.

    king Atiyaman - Tamil Myth

    As far as today there is no inscriptions by Sangam kings in Tamil Nadu. Which is a really surprising considering the inclination of sangam kings towards learning. However some would beg to differ. Let us see, how good is this theory.

    The inscription is found on a rock inside a cavern, on the hillock of Jambai, a village in South Arcot district, Tamil Nadu. The village is 15 k.m. away from Thirukkoilur town. The epigraph is in Tamil-Brahmi (except for the title in Prakrit) and rads:

    Satiyaputo Atiyan Natuman Anci itta Pali

    The meaning of the epigraph may be rendered as 'The abode (pali) given by (itta) Atiyan Neduman Anci (name), the Satyaputra (title)'. In this inscription both the northern Brahmi letter sa and the Tamil-Brahmi letter Li have been used.

    In his Girnar rock edict II, Ashoka details the arrangements made by him within his empire and also beyond its borders:

    Ye Ca anta ata Coda, Pada, Satiyaputo, ceraputo, Tambapanni, Antiyogo nama Yonalaja

    'Everywhere in the conquered dominions of king Priyadarsin, the beloved of the gods, and the dominions on the borders as those of the Chola, the Pandyas, the Satiyaputo, the Keralaputra, Tamraparni, the Yavana King named Antiyoka and the other neighboring kings of this Antiyoka, two kinds of medical treatment were established by king Priyadarsin, the beloved of the gods viz. Medical treatment for human beings and medical treatment for cattle'. This is said by experts taking Coda as chola , Pada as pandya, ceraputa as cheras , Tambapanni is srilanka(which is well known as the place of Copper or Tamira).

    The Satiyaputras are placed, it may be seen, among the Cholas, the Pandyas and the Keralaputras. While the countries of the Cholas, the Pandyas and the Keralaputras are well known, the identity of the Satyaputra was the subject of controversy among scholars.
    Some identified the Satyaputra with the Satavahanas, while others identified them with the Satputas of Maharashtra. Still other scholars located their country in northern Kerala, some also refer to a community mentioned in Tamil literature as Vaimozhi kosar in western seaboard of Karnataka. According to K.G. Sesha Aiyer and K.A. Nilakanta Sastri:- Judging from the way Ashoka mentions them the Cholas, the Pandyas and also the Keralaputras, and the fact that they were outside the domain of Ashoka’s rule, so they should be identified with one or other of the known rulers of the Tamil land.
    So satyaputo in Girinar Edict has been equated with Satyaputo in Jambai edicts. And we have atiyaman who is supposed to have existed around 2nd century AD according to Tamil literary sources is linked to Ashoka edicts. How come he can live for 500years, He belongs to a dynasty of Satyaputas. Really!

    Let us see the Tamil literature for facts
    The last dynasty mentioned is supposed to be the 'Atiyar' mentioned in Tamil literature. But they were considered as chieftains and not as kings. No Atiyar chief is known by the name prior to Atiyaman mentioned in the Classical literature. The only mention of an ancestor of him is that he introduce sugarcane cultivation. On the other hand Atiyaman is very well known to Tamil poets. If indeed there were Atiyar in Ashoka's time, and the lineage continued for another 400-500 years (if we accept the dating of Atiyaman as belonging to 2nd or 3rd century C.E, the Tamil poets would have talked about the Tamil land as being shared by the four dynasties instead of three. So the King mentioned in the Jambai edicts is not Atiyaman and there is no dynasty before him.

    This is again the classic case of advancing Tamil Kings antiquity. Just similar sounding names are used to advance the age. A totally new theory has been put to establish Antiquity.