Showing posts with label kanchi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kanchi. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Tirupati Tirumala
Cauvery Crafts

Related Posts
Vijaynagar Empire origin
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

Myths of Kanchi kamakoti Peetam

If you have ever gone to to websites of Kanchi Komakoti Peetam or Wiki or websites related to Kanchi Mutt you will come across the following claims and much more. We will see the following claims.

Claims made
  • Shankara established the Kanchi mutt
  • Kumbakonam mutt is branch of Kanchi mutt
  • Kanchi Mutt is 2500 years old
  • Adi Shankara spent last days of his life in Kanchi mutt He is buried in the premises of the mutt
  • Kanchi mutt was established as the controlling centre of other mutts.
  • Suresvara was appointed as the successor to Shankara at Kanchi mutt.
  • Kanchi mutt was shifted to Kumbakonam in 18th century AD due to opposition from the Local kings in Kanchi
Is Kanchi Mutt 2500 years old?
First we have to fix the date of Adi Shankara to know the date of Kanchi mutt as it is claimed to have been established by him. Date of Shankara , We have already seen in another article about dating Shri Adi Shankara. His date is fixed to 8th century AD not 500BC as claimed by Kanchi Mutt. So the question of Kanchi Mutt being 2500 years old do not arise.

No Tamil or Sanskrit literature before 19th century Speaks of Kanchi Mutt , which shows there was no mutt during that period.

Did Adi Shankara established Kanchi Mutt?
Every other Mutt or religious work mentioning Shankara have told there are only four mutts established by Shankara , independent of the other. Each mutt was allotted Upanishads to focus on

Saraswati, Bharati and Puri -------------Shringeri (South)
Tirtha and Ashrama-----------------------Dwarka (West)

Giri, Parvata and Sagara-----------------Jyotir (North)

Vanam and Aranyam----------------------Govardhan (East)

Except Kanchi Mutt and its associates all the Other mutts say that Shankara died in Himalayas. His final days are said like this: Setting off from the Jyotir Ashram (Badrinath) in the Himalayan he headed toward the nearby Mountainous region of Kedarnath, the place that was destined to be his final resting place. His four chief disciples accompanied him part of the way, but then Shankara insisted they go no further as the final part of his journey was to be completed alone.

Kanchi Mutt Chronicles , claim that Adi Sankaracharya had spent the last days of his life in Kanchipuram where he attained samadhi, and not in the Himalayas as is generally believed. A mandapam named after the father of the school of advaita philosophy, seen in the Kamakshi temple premises, is cited as his samadhi. It was originally called `Sankaracharya samadhi', but when it was pointed out there could not be a samadhi inside a Devi temple, the mandapam was renamed `Sankaracharya sannidhi' - sanctum, not a tomb.

So we can see that the Shankara cannot have come to kanchi in the final moments of his life and established the Kanchi mutt.

Kumbakonam mutt is branch of Kanchi mutt
According to the Kanchi chronicles, the math in Kanchipuram had to be shifted in the 18th century AD, in the face of opposition from local kings and hence the shift to Kumbhakonam. (One does not know of any Hindu-hating king near Kanchipuram from the 18th century.)

"Historians, however, hold that the Kumbhakonam math is a branch of the Sringeri math established in 1821 AD by the famous Maratha monarch of Tanjore, Pratap Singh Tuljaji. It is the date of the oldest inscription found in the Kumbhakonam math building. The Inscription is in Kannada. The math refers itself as sarada math. The diety of Sringeri mutt. If the mutt has anything to do with kanchi, it should have been diety kamakshi , the goddess of kanchi not sarada. Kumbakonam Mutt Independence Kumbhakonam math proclaimed independence from Sringeri and established itself as the " Kamakoti peetham.". In addition to denying the historical truth of its origin as a branch of the Sringeri math, the story propagated was that it was originally established by Adi Sankaracharya himself at Kanchipuram, with control over the recognized four maths. Worse, a wholly fictitious story that Adi Sankaracharya ascended a sarvagna-pitha at Kanchi and attained samadhi at Kanchi is propagated as "tradition." The real problem though was that in the course of this campaign, someone with more enthusiasm than scholarship, "fixed" the date of Adi Sankaracharya as 477 B.C. and wrote up a continuous list of gurus of the math from 477 B.C. to the present! This guru parampara is filled with names of sannyasis taken at random, with no thought to chronology.

Kanchi Mutt origin
In 1839 AD, the head of the Kumbhakonam math applied for permission to the English Collector to perform the kumbhabhishekam of the Kamakshi temple in Kanchipuram. In 1842 AD, he was appointed sole trustee of the Kamakshi temple by the English East India Company Government. This is well documented because the original priests of the Kamakshi temple, who were thereby deprived of their rights, complained to whomever they could possibly complain to. Numerous petitions, counter petitions, letters, and other suchdocuments are available from this period.

Thus the Kanchi math as an institution dates from 1842 AD. The headquarters continued to be at Kumbhakonam but the sannyasi head would periodically visit Kanchipuram to assert his rights over the Kamakshi temple.This math originally had a limited following in the Tanjore and Kanchipuram areas, but soon embarked on a massive propaganda campaign that ensured it prominence. The Kumbhakonam math shifted to Kanchipuram in accordance with its new story.
Suresvara was appointed as the successor to Shankara at Kanchi mutt. The Kanchi chronicles explain that before his demise, Shankaracharya established a fifth math at Kanchi which he intended to be a controlling centre of all the other maths. Sri Sureswaracharya, Sankara's prime disciple was placed in charge of it. Interestingly, the Sringeri math also claims Sureswaracharya as their first pontiff. If Sankaracharya did not establish the Kanchi math at all, where was the need to appoint a successor there?!! It is the Kanchi math that "claims" Sureswara. The Sringeri math does not "claim" so. In fact, a very old structure that is reputed to be Sureswara's samadhi is still preserved outside the Sarada temple at Sringeri.

We can see that the Mutt is anything but lies one after another. Chandrasekharendra Saraswati, who lifted a math disintegrating in Kumbhakonam and re-established it in Kanchipuram, according it a position of pre-eminence. But the chronicles are just out of this world. So many lies left, right and centre. Not surprising that the math has such scandalous history. The Mutt is known for More political connections then spirtual quests. To conclude Here is an institution
  • A mutt Not even 200 years old claiming as 2500 years old.
  • Kanchi Mutt is a branch of kumbakonam mutt, which inturn is the branch of Sringeri Mutt. What kanchi mutt claims is the other way around, brushing aside all the historical facts.
Real History of Kanchi Mutt by Vidyasankar Sundaresan

The Truth about the Kumbhakonam Math, Sri R. Krishnaswamy Aiyar and Sri K. R. Venkatraman, Sri Ramakrishna Press, Madurai,1977.

Kanchi Kamakoti Math - a Myth - Sri Varanasi Raj Gopal Sarma, Ganga Tunga Prakashan, Varanasi, 1987.

The Illustrated Weekly of India, "The Weekly Cover Story" - K. P. Sunil, September 13, 1987.

Related Posts 
Date of Shankara
Is Gautama Buddha Avatar of Vishnu 
Date of Devaram Trio

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
During the 9th century A.D. a Valluvanadu existed in Kerala. But exact location of valluvanadu is disputed.
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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
Tiruvalluvar’s faith is disputed. There are claims he is Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and even christian , let us see.
  • 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).
  • 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
    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.
    He, who with firmness, curbs the five restrains,
    Is seed for soil of yonder happy plains.
    Their might who have destroyed 'the five', shall soothly tell
    Indra, the lord of those in heaven's wide realms that dwell.
    Things hard in the doing will great men do;
    Things hard in the doing the mean eschew.
    Taste, light, touch, sound, and smell: who knows the way
    Of all the five,- the world submissive owns his sway.
  •  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.
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.
Non Random Thoughts
S. N. Srirama Desikan, Research Scholar - Tirukkural published by Ganghai Puthaga Nilayam, Chennai 1991

Myths of Pallava Granta Script

Pallava Granta script is touted as script from 300AD to 10 century AD to write Sanskrit , It is also spread overseas and used by locals to derive their own script. Let us analyze the facts.

Pallava Dynasty
Though Pallava history is analysed by scholars for a long time, there are still gaps in knowledge. This is especially the case with the first period of Pallava history, the period ranging from the middle of the 3rd to the end of the 6th century A.D. The sources for the history of this period being limited, very little is known about its rulers beyond their names. The genealogy of these Pallava sovereigns and the actual duration of their reigns are still unsettled. Whether all the members mentioned in the charters actually ruled as kings is itself doubtful. We, however, get a clearer view of the dynasty during the second period, extending from the 7th to the 9th century A.D., as the epigraphs are distributed over a wide region with the advantage of some sidelights being thrown from the records of other dynasties. The Granta and Vetteluthu variations are evident from 8th century onwards until then, we find only Kadamba script. Moreover Granta and Vetteluthu are variations of Kadamba script and they evolved from kadamba script.

Pallava plates
The Earliest Pallava inscription is Mayidavolu, Hirahadagalli copper plate grants(4th century AD) uses Kadamba script, But after that we have a gap of inscriptions from 4th to 6th century AD. Even during vunnuguruvayapalem of paramesvaravarman I(669-700AD) and Reyuru plates of Narasimhavarman I (630-668AD) Kadamba script is used. The kurram plates of Narasimhavarman II (Raja Simha ) (700-28), Kasakudi and tandantottam plates of Nandivarman II pallavamalla (730 -96AD) and Bahur plates of Nirpatungavarman 9th century AD show variations from kadamba script , we can see first apperance of variations which latter evolved into Granta script around 11th century AD.

Pallava Granta Overseas
  • There is a tendency among scholars to describe early inscriptions in Indonesia and Indo-china as pallava granta and speak of expansion of pallava culture and influence. These views are wrong because of following reasons
  • The Script used in pallava inscriptions from 4th to 7th century AD and early epigraphs belong to Kadamba script which was widely used in south and western India.
  • Early writing in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sulawesi were written in Verse like records of kadamba kannada speaking areas unlike Pallava script.
  • Boxheaded alphabet used in epigraphs of King Bhadravarman of campa(south Annam) is not characteristic of pallava inscriptions, but is generally found in central and upper Deccan as well as Kannada speaking areas of western India.
  • Saka era introduced around 6th century AD in Indo-china and Indonesia is never used by Pallavas but chalukyas of Badami popular now in Kannada and marathi speaking areas.
  • Number inscriptions early ruling families such as Arakan(Burma), Sailendras of srivijya(palembang , sumatra) are written in kadamba and siddhamaka script of Eastern India.
  • The names of cities generally localised names of Vedic cities. Seventh Records indicate all India contact The city of Prom was also known as Vanadesi, similar to capital of the Kadambas Banawasi also the script is similar to kadamba script.
  • The Name ending varman found in East Asian dyansities is not exclusive to pallavas ,but also used by Kadambas,Alikuars, Salankayanas,Gangas, Maukharis, Matharas ,Pitrbaktas also have varman ending.
  • Many of Chronicles of South east asia are chronicles of Kalinga( orissa) and Sinhala.
  • Pallavas except a brief period in 7th century were feudataries of Satavahana , Kadambas, Chalukyas Rastrakuta and Cholas, they never took titles such as Maharaja and Rajadiraja which denote the rulers of Empires
So we can see the Truth in relation to myths floated around about Pallava Granta scripts.
  1. The Pallavas also used kadamba script and variations developed due to application of the script for writing local vernaculars tamil and malayalam
  2. Scripts used overseas are based on Kadamba script not pallava granta script, though Pallava script influenced them in the later period.
  3. Pallava Granta script developed after 8th century AD and previous inscriptions are in kadamba script only

Related Posts
Was Ancient India Literate
Brahmi Script Origin
Indus Script Myths
Tamil Brahmi
Pallava Granta Script

Date of Shankara

Date of Shankara the great saint of Hinduism is always been controversial. Dates ranging from 5th century BC to 9th century AD. Let us analyze the dates.

Internal Evidence
The most important internal evidence comes from Sankara's verbatim quotation of Dharmakirti, the buddhist logician. Hsuan Tsang , the Chinese pilgrim, who visited India in the time of Harshavardhana, king of Thanesar (606 - 647 CE), gives clues to Dharmakirti's date. He also mentions Bhartrhari , but not of Sankara. It follows that Sankara is post-Dharmakirti, and possibly post-Hsuan-Tsang also.

Astronomical Details
Various Sankara-vijaya texts are not of much use. The details in one work contradict those in another. Dates ranging from the 5th cent BCE to 8th cent CE have been calculated on the basis of such astronomical details. One further complication is that some astronomical information is said to have been obtained from works which are not available anywhere in India. So no firm conclusion can be drawn based on this.

Records of Mutts
Whether Sankara established any Mutts at all has been questioned. Paul Hacker attributes the tradition of four amnaya-maths at Sringeri, Puri, Dvaraka and Joshimath to Vidyaranyasvamin. The native oral tradition, takes the history of these four Mutts,each associated with one of the four geographical directions and one of the four vedas, to Sankaracarya himself. The dasanami sannyasi-sampradaya, with its various akhadas in northern India, accepts affiliation only with these four mutts. There historical evidence for the existence of the oldest dasanami akhadas as early as the 9th cent. CE. It is immaterial whether Sankara established them himself or whether these four mutts developed naturally at the places where the four famous disciples of Sankara lived and taught. Of these four mutts, the Joshimath title had long been vacant, till it was revived in 1940 CE. So, it does not have many ancient records. The Dvaraka and Puri mutts have, in the past, claimed a date of 5th century BCE for Sankara. This is partly based upon a dating of a grant by a king named Sudhanva who is supposed to have been a contemporary of Sankara. Nothing else is known about this king, and the grant itself has not been dated with any accuracy.And Dvaraka and puri mutts have patchy histories, with periods when there were no presiding Sankaracaryas.

Sringeri Mutt
Sringeri mutt in karnataka has been the only mutt of the original four which has had an unbroken succession of mathadhipatis, as southern India has not experienced as many political upheavals as the north. The Sringeri mutts record states that Sankara was born in the 14th year of the reign of Vikramaditya. The record does not give any clue about the identity of this king. Some 19th century researchers identified this king with the famous Vikramaditya of the Gupta dynasty, thereby postulating a date of 44 BCE for Sankara. Gap of 700 years was then assigned to Suresvara. The later successors in the Sringeri list can all be dated reasonably accurately from the 8th century downwards. If one identifies the Vikramaditya as a member of the Western Chalukya dynasty, which ruled from Badami in Karnataka. The Chalukya dynasty reached its greatest fame in the time of Pulakesin II, who defeated Harshavardhana. There were two kings named Vikramaditya in this Chalukya dynasty - Vikramaditya I ruled in the late 7th century CE, while Vikramaditya II ruled in the early 8th century. It is more reasonable to identify the Vikramaditya of the Sringeri record with one of these two Chalukyan kings, who ruled from Karnataka, rather than the northern gupta king, whose empire did not include southern India. This interpretation of the Sringeri record is also consistent with the internal evidence from Sankara's works.

Mutt Politics
In addition to these four original mutts, a number of other advaita mutts have come into being over the centuries, some of which are quite well-known. These mutts either started out as branches of the original institutions, or were set up as independent monasteries by notable sannyasis of the dasa-nami order. With the proliferation of such mutts came a number of "traditions," many of them conflicting with one another in details. some of these mutts also claim to have been established by Sankara himself., Some of them also claim 5th century BCE to be the date of Sankara.

The intimate connection of the founders of the Vijayanagara empire with the Sringeri mutt, and the competition by other mathadhipatis in the south for similar honors as traditionally accorded to the Sringeri Mutt. Every southern Mutt with a claim to be the "original" one wants to deny Sringeri's chronological primacy. This denial only has the effect of reinforcing the fact that Sringeri has been the most important advaita mutt for centuries. As such, their conflicting claims about Sankara's date have to be evaluated in the context of their political motivations in putting forth such dates.

Kanchi Mutt
Fifth advaita mutt at Kanchipuram is very active today, does not mean that it has always been so, nor does such activity lend any special credibility to its claims to antiquity. The political influence and prestige that a Mutt enjoys today also do not confer any legitimacy to such claims. It is inconceivable that the dasa-nami-sampradaya would have overlooked a fifth mutt in choosing its affiliations. Claims to historicity that are made in a spirit of political one-upmanship seldom stand up to serious scrutiny. There is no necessary correlation between the modern activity of an advaita mutt and its claimed antiquity.


Gaudapada is ParamaGuru of Shankara. Guru Govinda was Shankara's guru. So if we find the date of Guru, we can arrive at the date of Shishya. Gaudapada lived after the major Buddhist writers especially, Vasubhandhu, Nagarjuna, aryadeva (disciple of Nagarjuna) whose work he clearly reflects. In the 6th century work of Bhavaviveka, there is a direct quotations from Guadapada. Bhavaviveka was junior contemproary of Dharmapala whose date is confirmed by Chinese travellers in 5th century AD. So he has to be earlier than that, that is 5th century AD.  Traditional advaitha list Gaudapada is student of Shukdeva who in turn was student of Ved Vyasa of Mahabharata. We can even argue bhavaviveka and Gaudapada are arguing from same source. Many also argue that Gaudapada is a institution not a person. To cut short the discussion, we can say that Gaudapada lived around 5th century AD. When shankara says Gaudapada to be his paramaguru, we have to take the context. Guru Govinda padacharya was shankara's guru and his guru greatest Guru is Guru Gaudapada. In this context we can see shankara comes around 800 AD date.

The official date accepted currently is 788-820 CE, and the Government of India celebrated the 1200th anniversary of Sankara's birth in 1988. This date is largely based upon one traditional view prevalent in India.

Myth of British creating India

It was the british who created a united India, and before the british came, there was no concept of India at all. This was one of the myth that has been repeated so often , people seem to believe it.
Let us see
  • Alexander first Europeon to attempt conquer the world, want to conquer India , not some kingdom. So India is there at that time itself.
  • In 1492 Columbus set out to discover a sea route to which place? India, right? It was not any particular kingdom of India that Columbus was targetting. It was INDIA ITSELF! That is the reason, when he mistook America to be India, he called the natives of America as ‘Red Indians’.So India was there before British came.
  • The poilitical picture in pre-british India was that parts of India were ruled by different Kings called the Maharaja, and would report to the strongest of all who would be the ruler of entire Indian subcontinent and was called the Chakravarti. Chakravarti means the king of kings. So the pan-indian Empire is already there.
  • British did not unite and rule whole of india , there were many Maharajas who were independent.
Condensed from link

Myth of Kallanani by Karikalan

Myth of Kallanani by Karikalan
The Grand Anicut, also known as the Kallanai, is an ancient dam in Tamil Nadu state of south India. The Grand Anicut is the most ancient surviving irrigation work in Kaveri river delta. It is attributed to the Chola king Karikalan, and dates back to the 2nd century. It is considered the oldest water-diversion structure in the world still in use.
A poet sings
“Karikaalan kattivaithaan kallanai”

Let us analyze the facts
The sangam literature Pattinappaalai sung by uruthirang kannanar was solely sung in praise of Karikaal chola. It has no mention of Kallanai. We only understand that he strengthened the banks of cauvery.
Thiruttani and Velanjeri Copper Plates
Parantaka's plate is dated 932 A.D. It gives the names of the progenitors of the Chola line beginning with Vishnu, followed by Brahma, Marichi, Kasyapa, Surya and Usinara. Karikala, Sibi and Koccengannan.
Three important events in the life of Karikala are mentioned.
(1) He caused the crest of the Cholas marked on the slopes of Himalayas.
(2) He raised embankments on either side of river Kaveri and controlled its flood
(3) He made Kanchi a city of palaces.
Udayendram plates
Parantaka Chola's Udayendram plates mention only the name of Karikala without referring to his exploits.

Hence Thiruttani and Velanjeri Copper Plates are perhaps the earliest Chola record to refer to the exploits of Karikala. Even though his conquests and building Kanchi palaces are as debatable let us see only Kallanai now.

The copper plates which mention Karikala as one of the ancestors of Cholas do not mention anything about Kallanai. Usually it is customary to record the grandest achievements of their ancestors (Sibi- sparrow, Manu needhi - chariot etc)

One more inscription throws a different light about uruthirang kannanar A mandapa was donated to kannanar by Karikala . Around 1200 AD Sundara pandiyan ransacked the whole of chola kingdom. He destroyed all forts, palaces etc. but left this one single mandapa untouched! There is a detailed inscription in thiruvellarai - in the form of a Tamil poem – which records this. Though it was a chola who donated the gift, it was a gift for a Tamil poet - uruthirang kannanar - that's all pandiyan considered!
Second if they measured the chola land to device an ulagalanthan KOL, then there must be some mention of water sources and dams. However there is no such evidence.

Karikalan never built Kallanai. Kaverikku iru puramum karai eduppiththaan.That's all. Kallanai was constructed during Nayak period. That was verysmall dam and today what we see is the expansion by British people. Astudent of Jawaharlal Nehru University did a PhD on Kallanai and provedbeyond any doubt that it was built by nayaks and subsequent expansions byBritish people.

If we analyze the date of Karikalan , we can come to a conclusion of around 9th century or later ,And the other Famous chola king Ko Chenkkannan praised in sangam literature built Jambukeshwarar Temple which still stands today is around 10th century AD, But the legend advances the date of sangam literatue to 2nd century AD without any basis.

Origin of Pallavas

Origin of Pallavas

Tamil Origin
Let us see the theory of Tamil origin. The word Pallava means branch or twig in Sanskrit. The word is rendered as Tondaiyar in Tamil language. The Pallava kings at several places are called Tondamans or Tondaiyarkon. The territory of the Pallavas was known as Tundaka Visaya or Tundaka Rashtra. The word Tondan in Tamil means slave, servant, follower or helper and can either be suggestive of the subordinate position the Pallavas bore to the Chutu Satakarnis. On collapse of the Satvahana power, the Pallavas asserted themselves and annexed a large part of South India but the epithet Tondon remained and their territory also came to be called Tondamandlam. The word Pallava (which in Sanskrit means twig or branch) is a translation of Tamil word Tondaiyar and Tondaman and this finds confirmation in some of the copper plate charters which do bring in 'tender twigs' (=pallavams) of some kind in connection with the eponymous name Pallava'.

But the scholars reject this view since this is a later usage of the term and therefore can not be stated to have given rise to the family name Pallava.

Srilankan origin
Tamil literature relates the story of Chola king Killivalavan who moved his capital to Uraiyar after the destruction of the Chola capital of Puhar. Mudaliyar C. Rasanayagam of Colombo claims that Killi Valavan had a liaison with the daughter of Naga king Valaivanam of Manipallavanam (in Jaffna peninsula) in Ceylon. From this union was born a child who was named Tondaiman Ilantirayan whom his father, Killi Valavan, made the ruler of a territory which was named Tondamandlam with capital at Kanchi. It is pointed out that name Pallava derives from the last syllable of Manipallavanam , the land of prince’s mother.
However this is only Fertile imagination , nothing can be verified as there is no evidence to prove cholas existed prior to Pallava rule.

Telugu Origin
Mahavamsa has a tradition that Buddhist monks from Pallava Bogga attended the consecration ceremony of Duttagamini of Sri Lanka. This Pallava Boga has been identified by some scholars with the dominion of Kala in Andhra Pradesh. It is pointed out that the Telugu country south of Krishna had formed the major part of Pallava kingdom till Fifth century(before Kadamba took over them), hence, it is argued that the Pallavas may have been from Andhra lineage. This region is called Palnadu (Pallava Nadu) even today, well-known for the great battle of Palnadu. Another name for this region since ancient times is Kammanadu / Kammarattam,

Brahmanical - Kshatriya Origin
According to Dr K. P. Jayswal, the Pallavas were a branch or twig (Sanskrit pallava) of the Brahmana royal dynasty of Vakatakas of the North. The branch was militaristic by profession and thus were able to carve out a kingdom in the South. But according to H. Krishna Sastri, the Pallavas were a mixture of Brahmana and Dravidian lineages. Rayakota copper plates of the Pallavas state that a Brahmin Ashvathama was the founder of the Pallava race. Ashvathama married a Naga girl and bore a son named Skandasisya. Other plates state Skandasisya to be the eponymous king Pallava after whom the family got its name. Earlier Pallava king Sivaskandavarman is probably identified with Skandasisya of the Rayakota copper plates. Some of their inscriptions state that Pallavas belonged to the Bharadvaja-gotra and had descended from Ashvathama of Bharadvaja Brahmana lineage. Ashvathama Bharadvaja was an epic hero and was son of Dronacharya, the Commander-in-chief of the Kuru army in the Mahabharata. In all probability, this appears to be a usual Brahmanical attempt at fabrication of genealogy to connect the illustrious Pallavas to the epic cycles. Or else, the Bharadavaja gotra of the Pallavas might have been due to the reason that the priests and Purohits of the Pallava rulers might have been Brahmins from Bharadavaja lineage. It is pointed out in the Aitareya Brahmana that the gotra of a Kshatriya would be the same as that of his Purohit or priest. Contrasted to the above stated Brahmanical origin of the Pallavas, the Talagunda inscription, on the other hand, clearly states that the Pallavas were of Kshatriya lineage.

Pahlva (persian origin)
The name Pallava resembles so much with the Pahlava that there is a school of scholars like Dr V. A. Smith, Dr Jouveau Dubreuil, Dr B. L. Rice, Dr V. Venkaya, G. Coedes, Dr. K. N. SITRA RAM, Dr H. H. Wilson, Dr P.P. Bulsara, Dr Dominique Boubouleix and numerous others who trace the origin of Pallavas in the Iranian Pahlavas.

Dr Cadambi Minakshi writes:

(i) The Pahladpur inscription (located in Pahladpur village in Uttar Pradesh State) which is datable to first few centuries of our era , is believed to be a record of the Pallavas in the north. This depends upon correct reading of the term “Parthivanikapalah” figuring in the said inscription. This expression has been translated as “the protector of the Parthavas army”. It has been pointed out that term Parthava here is equivalent to Sanskrit Pahlava. Though the term Pahlava indicates the name of a tribe and Pallava that of a ruling family, it has been pointed out that a tribal name Pahlava could easily turn itself into Dynasty name Pallava.

(ii) Yet another link between the Pahlavas of the North and the Pallava rulers of Kanchi may be found in a legend which, according to Victor Goloubew , takes its origin from the Scythians and plays a paramount part in the lands penetrated by the Pallavas and their culture. The Nagi legend of the Scythians which is connected with legends in Tamil literature and Pallava copper-plates as well as the annals of Cambodia carries a special significance here.

On similar reasoning, the same Scythian Nagi legend connects the  Kambojas of the north-west. It is stated here that the close connections of the Sakas (Scythians), the Kambojas and the Pahlavas have been highlighted in numerous ancient Sanskrit texts like Mahabharata, Valmiki Ramayana, and the Puranas. In the Puranic literature, the Sakas, Kambojas Yavanas, Pahlavas and Paradas have been noted as allied tribes and have been referred to as pañca.gana (five hordes) . These tribes were all located in the Scythian belt in Central Asia and were therefore followers of common culture and social customs.

It appears that Pallava was a just local variant of Sanskrit Pahlava just as the Indo-Chinese Kambuja is a local variant of the standard Sanskrit Kamboja (or Persian Kambaujiya/Kambujiya).
The ancient inscriptions and coins make it clear that the Pahlavas were ruling in north-west in the beginning of Christian era. There is classical evidence that the Pahlavas were in occupation of Anarta, Soparka and Kalyana region of India in post-Christian times.

Other sources
Periplus (80 Century AD) attests a Parthian kingdom comprising south-western parts of Kathiawad and region from Narbada to as far as Kalyana (Thana in Bombay) including the Apranta was ruled by Pahlavas. Their capital has been mentioned as Minagara which city was different from the Minnagra of the Indo-Scythians located on the Indus.

"Arrian who resided in the second century at Barugaza (Bhroach) describes a Parthian sovereignty as extending from Indus to the Nerbuda. Their capital has been mentioned as Minagara.

Strabo also attests the Pahlava rule in south-west India around Narbada to as far as Thana District in Konkan (Bombay) in Maharashtra. The Pahlavas governors were in-charge of Anarta and Saurashtra which is mentioned in the Junagad rock inscriptions of Scythian ruler Rudradaman I.

According to Dr Jouveau Dubreuil, Savisakha, a Pahlava minister of Rudradaman-I, was the ancestor of the Pallavas of Kanchi. From Anarta and Konkan, the Pahlavas had penetrated southern India via Kuntala or Banvasi. It is probable that the Pahlavas had penetrated Deccan before the reign of Gautamiputra Satkarni. Gautamiputra Satkarni is stated to have put to sword the Sakas, Yavanas, Pahlavas and the Kshahratas. The defeat of Pahlavas, Kambojas etc by Gautamiputra Satakarani had probably forced them to move further into the Deccan. The Pahlavas and Kambojas appear to have made inroads into western and south-western India and the Pahlavas subsequently settled at North Tamil nadu and on east coast of India. When the Satavahana fortunes sagged, these Pahlavas seized the opportunity and established themselves as the lords of Kanchi.

Some early sculptures in the temple of Kanchi and Mahabalipuram depict a crown shaped like an elephant’s scalp which the Pallava kings wore on their heads. This head-dress was definitely foreign in origin and was used by the Greek kings of north-west with whom the Pahlavas (as well as Kambojas) were in close cultural, linguistic and political intercourse. It is pointed out that the Pallavas had copied this head-dress from the Greeks.

Fifth century Brahmanical text Markendeya Purana attests that the Pahlavas and Kambojas had their settlements not only in Udichya (north-west) but also in south-west India(Karnataka). The sixth century Brhatsamhita of Varahamihira also attests that the Pahlavas and Kambojas were in occupation of south-west (=nairRtyAM dizi) India. The Kambojas as close allies of the Pahlavas are also abundantly attested to have been in south-western as well as southern India by several ancient texts. And very interestingly, Agni Purana locates two Kamboja settlements within India itself, the Kambhoja in south-west India and the Kamboja in southern parts of India.The Garuda Purana also collocates a Kamboj settlement in the neighborhood of Ashmaka, Pulinda, Jimuta, Narashtra, Lata and Karnata countries and specifically informs us that this section of Kambojas were living in southern division of India (dakshina.path.vasinah).Udyogaparava of Mahabharata collates the Shakas, Pahlavas, Paradas and Kamboja-Rishikas apparently situated in/around the Anupa region i.e Anupa-Desa (Narbuda/Tapti region) in south-western India. King Yasovarman, the eighth century king of Kanauj is stated to have fought with the king of Magadha, killed the king of Vanga, reached the eastern shore, defeated the kings of Deccan, crossed the Malaya mountains (east coast of Malabar, southern Mysore), reached the southern sea and fought with the Parasika. He then received tribute from Western Ghats and turned to the north, reaching the banks of Narbada. This eighth century evidence again proves that the Parasikas (Pahlavas here) had indeed penetrated deep into the southern India.

writers criticize the foreign origin of the Pallavas. They say that the kingdom of Pallavas in southern India was located thousands of miles away from the northwestern Pahlavas and there was also a time-frame discrepancy between the ancient Pahlavas and the early Mediaeval era Pallavas of Kanchi. Therefore, it is not appropriate to connect the Pallavas with the Iranian Pahlavas. Furthermore, the Pallavas of Kanchi are known to have been Brahmanical followers, the devotees of Hindu religion & culture and patrons of the Sanskrit learning. They are also known to have performed Asvamedha sacrifices which exclusively belong to Hindu culture. It is further pointed out that the earliest inscriptions of the Pallavas are similar to Nasik inscriptions of Gautamiputra Satkarni. Their accounts are also said to be similar to those of the Satavahanas. All this evidence, according the critics, point out to the indigenous origin of the Pallavas.

Pallavas as Kuruba (kannada)
Dr Rawilinson writes that the Pallavas had collected round themselves the Kurumbas, Marayas, Kallars and other predatory tribes and formed them into a strong and aggressive power which rose into prominence in about 325 CE on the east coast of India, between the mouths of Krishna river and Godavari. The word Pallava is synonymous with rascal, robber or predator in Tamil language, says Dr Rawilinson. About 350 CE, the Pallavas established themselves on the east coast and occupied famous city Kanchi or Conjeeavram

R Sthainathaier seems to connect the Pallavas with ancient Pulindas, who according him, were identical to the Kurumbas.

Also the some of the temple structures are similar to Chalukyas architecture. The cave temples seem to the continuos legacy of satvahanas and chalukyas.

Paintings of Mahisasura mandini in Mahabalipuram suggest kuruba of kannada origin.

Main rivalry between chalukya and pallava dynasties suggest link between the two.

Main Evidence is Inscriptions that show that pallavas  origin with Chutu satakarni (kannada dynasty)

Coins containing the image of a "Ship with two masts" are found almost exclusively on the coast between Madras and Cuddalore in of Tondai Mandalam of which Kanchi is the capital. According to Prof. Rapson, these coins bear the legend "Siri pulamavi". 'the  Ujjain symbol indicates Satakarnis. So this dynasty reigned over the territory of Kânchîpuram. Further, an inscription of Pulumâvi, the last king of that dynasty, prince Skandanaga was his  great general. Chutus emblem is Cobra hood (naga). Banavasi was once called NagaKhanda.

In VelurPalaiyam Inscription, the Pallva dynasty founder sivaskandanaga did not get to rule Kanchi by conquest. He got it by marriage to Chutu satakarni princess Nagasri. The Kanheri inscription mentions her as  NagaMulanika. The pallava ruler should have been a general under Chutus before he inherited southern portion of the Empire.

The inscription Banvasi  says that king satakarni had  a daughter who joined her son in making gift of a  naga. The son was called Sata Sivaskanda. Rapson writing on this subject says there can be no doubt  that Kanheri Nagamulanika  is to be identified with the donor mentioned in the following inscription from Banavasi and that she was, therefore, the daughter of  king Haritiputra Vishnukada Chutu Satakarni whose name must have stood original Inscription , Kanheri  being situated in Aparanta, there can be no doubt that the Chutu  succeeded the satavahanas  not only inherited south India but also Aparanta,(konkan).

The prince Sivaskanda naga was  not a Chutu because he has married  a Chutu princess. To which dvnasty did he belong?  He was  descendant of the kings that reigned over  the territory of Chitradurg,  about fifty miles east of Banavasi, where we find the inscription of Sivaskanda Nàga Sada, and to the west of Chitaldurg, on the site of an ancient city whose name is said to have been Chandravali where found in some leaden coins which bear the name of Sadakana Kalalaya Maharathi The emblems are, on the obverse, a humped bull standing, and on the reverse, tree and chaitya.  This Sadakai (Satakarni) who bears the title of Maharathi  is probably an ancestor of Maharathi Satakana or Sata who made the grant of a naga at Banavasi. In fact, both of them are Maharathis; they have the same title of Sata, and they have both reigned in the same country, in the vicinity of Malavalli and Chitaldurg. The kings of this country were Nagas; Mr. Rice says The early inhabitants of the country were  probably to a great extent, Nagas, or serpent worshipper, that is, of the cobra, which is the emblem of Chutus.

Ptolemy Map(140AD) shows SoraNagas and BasaroNagas  in Kanchi and southern tamil nadu. So effectively Chutus are ruling Tamil Nadu and Pallavas inherited the land.

Bana refers to satakarni as Tri-samudra-toya-pita-vahana meant 'the ruler whose subjects drank the water of the three seas of the east,west and south'. The Bay of Bengal,The Arabian Sea and The Indian Ocean.
Curiously pallavas also claim their origin to Trilochana same as Kadambas. Pallavas had marital relationships with Gangas.

The pallavas ruled the region for about 2nd century to almost 8th century , a tribe which is foreign cannot rule the land for so long. so it points to kuruba origin and the way Gangas ruled in the area and Ganga-pallava legend  show they are very similar and of kuruba or kannada origin.

Related Posts:
Origin of Satavahans
Origin of Cholas
Origin of Kamboja