An analysis of history of Tamil religion/Part:18

The majority of India's indigenous tribal people are Dravidian,a linguistic group that includes Tamil.Originally,in the distant archaic past,these people must have migrated out of Africa.Hence,as in Africa, the culture of ancient India was largely matriarchal.Its people celebrated the spiritual mysteries of birth,the seasons and lunar cycles,renewal, rebirth and transcendence.They worshipped spiritual powers associated with fertility,virility and the after-life.They have done so since the dawn of history.They used selected herbs,flowers and trees in their rituals and plant-drugs to help induce trance states.Worship was accompanied by mystic phrases,diagrams and gestures,and by sexual acts. Like most tribal people world-wide,they believed in the efficacy of spells,charms and amulets.

The first civilisation of such people in India began and evolved in
the valley of the Indus (Sindhu) river in the period 3300-2600 BC.These settlements evolved into the Mature Harappan civilisation in the period 2600-1900 BC.It was located in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent,consisting of what is now mainly present-day Pakistan and northwest India.The major urban centers of the Indus valley civilisation were Harappa, Mohenjo-daro,Lothal,Dholavira,Kalibangan,Rakhigarhi,Rupar, etc.In fact,the word “hara” refers to Shiva, and “appa” means father in the local language.The city of Harappa in the Indus Valley can thus be considered a place dedicated to Shiva, who by many today is considered the father of Indian civilisation.These Indus Valley Civilisation was brought to an end[& were destroyed] by a combination of attacks by Aryan and a decline caused by an overextension of resources by 1700 BC.However,the Indus Valley religious ideas which centred round the worship of Siva continue to be cherished in Dravidian India,and particularly in the Tamil
countries,to this day.The clearest evidence of the Dravidian origin of Siva worship is found in the Aryan attitude towards Linga and the God whom it symbolises.In Rig Veda 7.21.5 we have the significant statement:"Let our true God subdue the hostile rabble:let not the lewd [ShishanDeva] approach our holy worship."The Sanskrit word here is Shishan+Deva which means male sexual organ[Penis] Worshipers.['Let those whose deity is the Phallus not penetrate our Sanctuary"]Siva assumes increased importance only in the later Vedas. 

In the absence of ruins of any temple,alter or statue of gods as well as any long documents in Harappan writing,We have to relay only on figurines and seals of religious significance to have an idea of practical or ritualistic aspects of their religious belief only,as the conceptual or philosophical aspects of their religious belief seems to be difficult to know as even the scripts on the seals have not yet been deciphered fully by the scholars as well as  lack of long written descriptions.The complete absence of any long documents in  Harappan writing suggests that these people generally used perishable materials such as bark,palm-leaves,cotton or leather to write on.Excavated terracotta figurines from Indus valley civilisation  such as,1] Pashupati or "Lord of Beasts",2]four inch high  bronze figure of a dancing girl,3]wood-sculpture of a squatting female ,4]A large number of semi-nude woman figurines,5] A seal depicts a deity with a horned headdress and bangles on both arms,standing in a pipal tree and looking down
on a kneeling worshiper,6]A deity is pictured on Indus Valley tablets as an elongated anthropomorphic figure with three protuberances in the head.7] a steatite bust of a man thought to be a priest, and  8]high usage of animals and animal forms in the seals,and pottery may provide a possible insight into the ritual and ceremony as well as religious belief of these people.These figurines may be used to primarily celebrate childbirth and fertility in the female and virility for the male and also may have been involved in a cultural or ceremonial
event.However, one reason why human figurines are often hard to find intact or in good condition in the Indus Valley is that the figurines were often given as toys to children after their ceremonial use, and then, likely discarded.This is in sharp contrast to Mesopotamia, where human figurines were often involved in the burial process only.

Generally these figurines have functions and meaning.They were
used for something for some certain purpose.However,the great issue with studying the figurines of the Indus Valley Civilisation is there is no contextual or literary information about the figurines.Because of this,the only information available is that which comes from the figurines any analysis of meaning is going to be based on some combination of materials of artefacts,manufacturing techniques,decorations and shapes as well as the exact place,where it was found and any later mythology or literature.The figurines inside would have either a political function,religious function[such as offerings, shrine components,representations of deities,etc] or decorative function,depending on what the building was used for.It is also possible the same figurine could have all three of those functions.One famous example of using literature to identify
artefacts is the pashupati seal[Proto-Siva seal]. When John Marshall studied the seals of the Indus Valley Civilization, he used later mythology to identify the people depicted in them.He proposed that the man in what is now known as the Proto-Śiva seal was Siva,a named god with a rich mythology,millions of followers and an ancient history.Marshall came to this conclusion by identifying four attributes depicted in the seal,namely,1]the man[male god] appears to be seated in a version of the cross-legged "lotus" posture and his hands are both shown placed on the knees,in a typical meditational gesture, with his penis is erect & prominently visible,2]the man has three faces,3]the man is surrounded by animals[a rhino and a buffalo on the right,and an elephant and a tiger on the left,],and 4]the man has horns,as siva associated with the trident.pashupati means "lord of the animals". Also,a total of thirty distinct stripes
are drawn on the body of this Yogi; ten on each arm and ten over the chest.Some type of calendrical lunar-oriented notation seems to be represented here,indicating days in a month.The saying that a "picture is worth a thousand words" is particularly true for the intricate and carefully designed these Harappan seals,which reveal most of their secrets without the necessity of reading the brief inscriptions.Also found among the rubble of Indus Valley excavations was the prototype of the Shiva lingam—phallic-shaped rocks-symbolic representation of the phallus (linga) and vulva (yoni), similar to those used today by Shiva’s devotees,which suggests that the then people might be worshipping these sexual organs as found among other agricultural and tribal peoples,the primitive form of Saivism,the foundation on which the modern day saivism grew up and also it proof that "worship of God Siva "was existed even before aryans arrived to India.The word `Shiva' is of Dravidian etymology,`civa' meaning `reddened' or `angry' in Tamil. Further,Siva linkas which are found in the Indus Valley Civilisation is later on degraded in the Vedas.This seal is often cited as evidence that people of the Indus Valley culture knew Yoga and practised Tantra.It is,however,not the only known example of this subject from this culture.There are several others.

The second best known artefact from the Indus Valley culture is an approximately four inch high bronze figurine of a dancing girl.found in Mohenjodaro.this exquisite casting depicts a dark skinned young tribal girl of "aboriginal" type.She is almost naked and her long hair is tied in a bun.Bangles entirely cover her left arm,a bracelet and an amulet or bangle on her upper right arm,and a cowry shell necklace is around her neck.She is posed in a dance posture,her right hand on her hip,her left hand clasped in a traditional Indian dance gesture signifying a lotus bud,symbol of spirituality.Though small,this archaic metal sculpture conveys a lot of information.Several eminent scholars have taken this casting to represent a temple dancer or sacred harlot of Mohenjodaro,perhaps because of her nakedness,the "come hither" dance-posture,with hand on hip,and the expression of self-assurance on her face,But,it also,represents a respected & confident woman of harrapan society.A second metal casting of a dancing girl was also found at Mohenjodaro,These two ancient figurines of sacred dancers may be also the earliest known representations of dakinis, images of female initiatory power, of paramount importance in Tantric tradition.The third best known artifact is a large and unique wood-sculpture of a squatting female also found.she squats in birthing position lifting her dress to reveal her vagina,stained from offerings,may be a Yoni worship.The yoni is the creative power of nature and represents the mother goddess/Shakti.It is concluded from this smoke stained figures that the people offered burnt incense before her. A shawl covers her left shoulder, her right breast bare, hair pulled back and tied. This extraordinary sculpture was likely passed down through a matriarchal tribe.All these confirm beyond any doubt that the archaic pre-Vedic Indians had tantric Adepts among them.Also,Indus Valley seals have been found as far afield as Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) in the cities of Umma and Ur, in Central Asia as well as close resemblance between some objects from the Indus Valley sites and those from ancient Sumeria,in Southern Iraq clearly proof the connection between sumerian & Indus valley religions & culture.For example,Mohenjodaro seal of grappling rampant tigers.This motif is found on seals in Mesopotamia from story of Gilgamesh as well.

[By:Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]
Part/19 Will follow.....

பி கு/NB:இணைத்த படங்கள்/Pictures attached:Pashupati,dancing girl,a squatting female,Mohenjodaro seal of grappling rampant tigers and Gilgamesh with lions and Linga worship,


Post a Comment