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Monday, May 5, 2014
Based on conference organized by Naimisha Foundation at Bangalore on March 12-13, 2001, and at the National Seminar on Origins of United Vedic Culture organized by Pragna Bharati and sponsored by the Indian Council of Historical Research at Hyderabad on March 17-18, 2001.
In recent years attempts have been made to cast a new look at ancient India. For too long the picture has been distorted by myopic colonial readings of India�s prehistory and early history, and more recently by ill-suited Marxist models. One such distortion was the Aryan invasion theory, now definitively on its way out, although its watered-down avatars are still struggling to survive. It will no doubt take some more time�and much more effort on the archaeological front�for a new perspective of the earliest civilization in the North of the subcontinent to take firm shape, but a beginning has been made.
We have a peculiar situation too as regards Southern India, and particularly Tamil Nadu. Take any classic account of Indian history and you will see how little space the South gets in comparison with the North. While rightly complaining that �Hitherto most historians of ancient India have written as if the south did not exist,�[ 1]Vincent Smith in his Oxford History of India hardly devotes a few pages to civilization in the South, that too with the usual stereotypes to which I will return shortly. R.�C. Majumdar�s Advanced History of India, or A.�L. Basham�s The Wonder That Was India are hardly better in that respect. The first serious History of South India, that of K.�A. Nilakanta Sastri, appeared only in 1947. Even recent surveys of Indian archaeology generally give the South a rather cursory treatment.
It is a fact that archaeology in the South has so far unearthed little that can compare to findings in the North in terms of ancientness, massiveness or sophistication�: the emergence of urban civilization in Tamil Nadu is now fixed at the second or third century BC, about two and a half millennia after the appearance of Indus cities. Moreover, we do not have any fully or largely excavated city or even medium-sized town�: Madurai, the ancient capital of the Pandya kingdom, has hardly been explored at all�; Uraiyur, that of the early Cholas, saw a dozen trenches�; Kanchipuram, the Pallavas� capital, had seventeen, and Karur, that of the Cheras, hardly more�; Kaveripattinam, part of the famous ancient city of Puhar (the first setting of the Shilappadikaram epic), saw more widespread excavations, yet limited with regard to the potential the site offers. The same may be said of Arikamedu (just south of Pondicherry), despite excavations by Jouveau-Dubreuil, Wheeler, and several other teams right up to the 1990s.
All in all, the archaeological record scarcely measures up to what emerges from the Indo-Gangetic plains�which is one reason why awareness of these excavations has hardly reached the general public, even in Tamil Nadu�; it has heard more about the still superficial exploration of submerged Poompuhar than about the painstaking work done in recent decades at dozens of sites. (See a map of Tamil Nadu�s important archaeological sites below.)
But there is a second reason for this poor awareness�: scholars and politicians drawing inspiration from the Dravidian movement launched by E.�V. Ramaswamy Naicker (�Periyar�) have very rigid ideas about the ancient history of Tamil Nadu. First, despite all evidence to the contrary, they still insist on the Aryan invasion theory in its most violent version, turning most North Indians and upper-caste Indians into descendants of the invading Aryans who overran the indigenous Dravidians, and Sanskrit into a deadly rival of Tamil. Consequently, they assert that Tamil is more ancient than Sanskrit, and civilization in the South older than in the North. Thus recently, Tamil Nadu�s Education minister decried in the State Assembly those who go �to the extent of saying that Dravidian civilization is part of Hinduism� and declared, �The Dravidian civilization is older than the Aryan.� It is not uncommon to hear even good Tamil scholars utter such claims.
Now, it so happens that archaeological findings in Tamil Nadu, though scanty, are nevertheless decisive. Indeed, we now have a broad convergence between literary, epigraphic and archaeological evidence. Thus names of cities, kings and chieftains mentioned in Sangam literature have often been confirmed by inscriptions and coins dating back to the second and third centuries BC. Kautilya speaks in his Arthashastra (c. fourth century BC) of the �easily travelled southern land route,� with diamonds, precious stones and pearls from the Pandya country�; two Ashokan rock edicts (II and XIII) respectfully refer to Chola, Pandya and Chera kingdoms as �neighbours,� therefore placing them firmly in the third century BC�; we also have Kharavela�s cave inscription near Bhubaneswar in which the Kalinga king (c. 150 BC) boasts of having broken up a �confederacy of the Dravida countries which had lasted for 113 years.� From all these, it appears that the earliest Tamil kingdoms must have been established around the fourth century BC�; again, archaeological findings date urban developments a century or two later, but this small gap will likely be filled by more extensive excavations. But there�s the rub�: beyond the fourth century BC and back to 700 or 1000 BC, all we find is a megalithic period, and going still further back, a neolithic period starting from about the third millennium BC. While those two prehistoric periods are as important as they are enigmatic, they show little sign of a complex culture,[*] and no clear connection with the dawn of urban civilization in the South.
Therefore the good minister�s assertion as to the greater ancientness of the �Dravidian civilization� finds no support on the ground. In order to test his second assertion that that civilization is outside Hinduism, or the common claim that so-called �Dravidian culture� is wholly separate from so-called �Aryan� culture, let us take an unbiased look at the cultural backdrop of early Tamil society and try to make out some of its mainstays. That is what I propose to do briefly, using not only literary evidence, but first, material evidence from archaeological and numismatic sources as regards the dawn of the Sangam age. I may add that I have left out the Buddhist and Jain elements, already sufficiently well known, to concentrate on the Vedic and Puranic ones, which are usually underemphasized. Also, I will not deal here with the origin of South Indian people and languages, or with the nature of the process often called �Aryanization of the South� (I prefer the word �Indianization,� used in this context by an archaeologist). Those complex questions have been debated for decades, and will only reach firm conclusions, I believe, with ampler archaeological evidence.
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Thursday, January 16, 2014
The Culture of the Tamils is very old and stretches back to a Million years.
We are all aware that the origin of the Tamil people and their culture is shrouded in deep mystery. Though there are many traditions narrated in early literature, “Kumari Kandam”, the land that lay to the south of India and, which later submerged in the Indian Ocean, has been a matter of conjecture for a study by scholars.
Two American eminent geologists McKenzie and Sclater have clearly explained that Africa and South America were locked together as part of the primitive continent until about 200 million years ago.
The present formations of India, Arabia, Africa, Antarctica, South America and Australia started breaking up due to natural upheavals and moving to different parts of the earth at the rate of 15,000 years per mile on an average and found their places in the Asian Continent. The movement of the earth mass, called Navalam Theevu in Tamil, caused the formation of the present continent of India.
There was a general belief that both Lemuria and Kumari Kandam were one and the same. However, it has been established by Frank Joseph, Secretary for Ancient American Association, in his book “The Lost Civilization of Lemuria”, the existence of a land called Lemuria, one of the world's oldest civilizations, about 2.5 lakh years ago, in Indonesia. Hence, Lemuria and Kumari Kandam, which existed in southern part of India, are different lands.
Mr. Joseph has also established that the Mohenjodaro letters of Eastern Islands are nearly 1,00,000 years old. He has critically examined the views of various scholars and established the source of Mohenjodaro letters as well as the ancient civilization of Moo and has written that due to natural calamities, the island of Moo was destroyed about 2.5 lakh years ago.
Eastern Island, 1,000 miles near Japan, has a script called Rongo Rongo and it is identical with Mohenjodaro letters. This has been fixed as 1,00,000 years old.
From the Island of Moo called Lemuria, which was located near Indonesia about 2.5 lakhs years ago, people regularly moved out to Atlantis in Mexican Sea and Kumari Kandam in South Tamil Nadu, about 1,00,000 years ago due to tsunami. These letters are the script of Moo civilization, which was well developed.
From Atlantis, due to tsunami, the Moo people moved to South America and became Aztecs and Incas. Those who moved to North America became Mexicans and Red Indians.
From Kumari Kandam, South of Tamil Nadu, about 15,000 years ago people moved to Africa and became Sumerians and those who moved from Africa to Arabia later became Jews.
From Kumari Kandam, South of Tamil Nadu due to tsunami, people moved to Bengal and became Cholas and those who moved to Sind and Punjab became Cheras.
In Sillapathikaram, it was mentioned that one “Ezhuthanga Nadu” (7x7 =49 countries) existed. So, Southern Tamil Nadu and Kumari Kandam are different regions. Those who have moved to Southern Tamil Nadu were called Pandiyas and they spread over Ceylon and Tirunelvelli.
Tamil literatures say that during the Kurukshethra war, Chera Kings had given food to both the armies. From all these we come to a conclusion that the Ancient South India would have been with tall cliffs, dense forests with high fertility.
Because of a calamity, which took place in 9,000 BC, a terrific destruction occurred and destroyed Chera, Chola and Pandiya Kingdoms and they all then came and settled in South India. The great scholar Sri Avvai Duraisamy Pillai has established that the “Pancha Dravidam” is the region consisting Gujarath, Maharashtra, Andhra, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
This is the time to write the correct history of Tamil Nadu. In “Irayanar Agapporul” (Nakkeerar Urai) it is mentioned that 72 Pandiya Kings had ruled Tamil Nadu (which was inclusive of the destroyed Kumari Kandam) from 30,000 B.C. to 16,000 B.C. (i.e. for 14,000 years).
Our universities have to undertake the responsibility to arrive at the correct history of Tamil Nadu.
Research has not been done so far to assess correctly the shape and appearance of Tamil letters. Today in Tamil, three ‘La', two ‘Ra' and three ‘Na' exist. These exist in ‘Grantha' also. But in ‘Naagari', which got birth in 500 A.C., there are only one ‘La', one ‘Ra', and two ‘Na'.
M. Sundarraj, retired Financial Controller of Integral Coach Factory, who did extensive research on Rig Vedas, has written a book titled “Rig Vedic Studies”. He has explained that our Rig Vedic Mythology is the ancient one in the world. The Rig Vedic Myths are symbolic expressions of astronomical phenomena, both of lunar asterisms and solar movements.
The Rig Veda calendar was essentially a luni-solar one, the lunar aspects being considered as important for holy purposes, but the solar movements which determined the seasons, were also of importance to Rig Vedic people.
The Rig Veda has already adopted a system of grouping together the stars in the lunar zodiac in the pictorial form, such as that of a bull, scorpion, eagle etc.
The origin of the concept of constellational groupings in pictorial forms can be traced in Rig Veda.
According to N.P.Ramadurai, an astronomy researcher, the cycle of time referring to 24,320 human years is mentioned in the Rig Veda at about 50 places. But to read Rig Veda, ‘Grantha' is essential.
Also to read and grasp clearly our ‘Sangam literature' ‘Grantha' knowledge is necessary. If we thoughtfully and magnanimously accept that our old Tamil letters are ‘Grantha' letters, it will pave the way to realise our ancient civilization.
Also, to read philosophy, art, sculpture, medicine etc., ‘Grantha' will be useful. It is necessary at this stage to do intensive research on the Mohenjodaro letters and our ancient languages, Sanskrit and Tamil, and, other Indian languages, to ascertain as to how the script changed over a time and new languages evolved.
In India, Tamil and Sankrit are the oldest languages and both are origin of other languages. This fact is proved by Vedas and our Tamil Sangam Literature. Great Saint Arunagiri Nadhar says in his Thirupugazh that Tamil has 51 ‘Atcharams'. Similarly, the total number of ‘Grantha' letters is 51.
To get back the history of more than three lakh years in the past, Saptharishi calendar only will be able to provide proper and genuine assistance.
We have been able to fix the dates of history from 25th Chathur Yuga to 28th Chathur Yuga. Saptharishi Mandala has played an important role in almost all the ancient civilization of the world. It is the pivotal point of all astronomical calculations and observations.
N.P.Ramadurai, with my assistance, has found and established that the Saptha Rishi Mandala takes only 2,187 years to make one complete circle through all the 27 asterisms.
He was able to establish that Chathur Yuga comprises only 12,160 years.
I conclude with a request to all the great Tamil scholars, eminent astronomers and mathematical experts to join together in this noble research to establish the glory of Tamil language and Tamil race to the whole world.