Origins of Tamils?[Where are Tamil people from?] PART 38:

 [Compiled by: Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]
Hundreds of deities were recognized in the Sumerian pantheon. Many were wives, children, and servants of the more powerful deities. The gods were organized into a caste system. At the head of the system was the king or supreme ruler. The four most important &
powerful gods  were  the water-god Enki ,the air-god Enlil and the heaven-god An/Anu.[An="sky, heaven"]They are part of a triad or a triple deity or Trimurti like Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.The fourth god is the great mother goddess Ninhursang,She is principally a fertility goddess.Nin-hursag means "lady of the sacred mountain" (from Sumerian NIN "lady" and ḪAR.SAG "sacred mountain, foothill".Also she is a daughter of An and Nammu. Often stated as Enlil's sister, but also as his wife. These were the four creator deities who created all of the other gods.An. was one of the oldest gods in the Sumerian pantheon and was called Anu by the later Akkadians in Babylonian culture..An means "sky, heaven" & Hence,he was called as a sky-god or the god of heaven. An was initially the head of the pantheon,though he was eventually seceded by Enlil & become  a leader of the pantheon from at least 2500 BC, Enlil meant Lord Wind: both the hurricane and the gentle winds of spring were thought of as the breath issuing from his mouth.He was sometimes called as Lord of the Air.Enlil became the greatest of the gods, the god who punished people and watched over their safety and well-being.  Enlil is seen as the most important god. He is known as "the king of heaven and earth," "the father of the gods," and "the king of all the gods." Enlil developed the broad designs for the universe. However, it was Enki who further developed and carried out his plans.Enki  is later known as Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian mythology.He is known as the god of  waters & a god of wisdom Ninhursag was regarded as the mother of all living beings.

Except enki/Ea,who sometimes took a form that was half-man and half-fish ,all other Mesopotamian/sumerians gods are human in form.Other
Mesopotamian gods are representing moon,stars,pure water ..etc,which they required in their day to day life there.They believe that each of these created by the respective gods..

Archaeological excavation of mesopotamia shows that sumerian had over 2500 different deities.Many gods have what sounds like the same role. Usually, these are all the same deity, just different epithets of the one deity. For instance, earth goddesses –Ki, Ninhursaga ,Ninki, are all the same goddesses just different aspects. Though they had worshipped number of gods & goddess,sun god Utu/Shamash was one of the the main Sumerian deities [Anu,Enlil,Enki,Ereshkigal,Inanna,Nammu,Ninhursag,Nanna,Ningal,Ninlil ,Ninurta & Utu].Shamash, as the solar deity, exercised the power of light over darkness and evil. In this capacity he became known as the god of justice and equity and was the judge of both gods and men.According to legend, the Babylonian king Hammurabi received his code of laws from Shamash.Also at night, Shamash became judge of the underworld.They worshipped moon too.The god of moon called Nanna.He is commonly designated as En-zu, which means "lord of wisdom"The two chief seats of Nanna's/Sin's worship were Ur in the south of Mesopotamia and Harran in the north.

The Sumerians believed they had been created to serve their gods, and they served their gods with sacrificial offerings and supplications. However common people could not approach god directly.This was done through sumerian Priests,who were very powerful and important. in ancient sumerian society. They also told people how to behave to keep the gods happy.

Sometimes gods were kind,but sometimes gods were cruel.Either way ,the sumerians believed that they had no control over what the gods did.In fact,the sumerians believed that they were slaves of the gods & that they were put on earth to serve and take care of the gods.The Sumerians believed that if the gods were happy, everything would be great. Food would be plentiful, the flooding of the rivers would be regular and predictable, there would be no earthquakes, bad sand storms or other disasters, and life would be just great. We all know that there are periods when life is great. It always eventually takes a turn, however, and in Sumer, when life took a turn,the people blamed themselves for doing something to upset the gods.They believed that If the gods weren’t happy, they became cranky and took it out on the people."The sumerians story of the creation of people"  tells why:

We also find number of deities were recognized in the sangam literature.For example,In the earliest Tamil work, Tolkappiyam (Porulatikaram 5) a group of  gods is mentioned in respect to land division as:Mayon[Tirumal,], Seyon[Murugan], Ventan[Indran],Varunan[Varunan]  & Kotravai [Sakti].Also we found few references of Siva in the latter Sangam literature,Here Sivan was mentioned as the supreme God, and Murugan was as the one celebrated by the masses.Further we find that chief occupation,of Murugan was hunting and honey collection.similarly,chief occupation, of Mayon was cattle-rearing and dealing with dairy products and so on.

Murugan was originally a formless dravidian god of the hills and worshiped as a spirit.,then later in the form tree & stone,finally as a human form god.He may be probably worshiped in ancient Indus valley civilization cities like Harappa & Mohanjo-daro 5000 years ago as Tree god-"Ahmuvan" & also we found Siva as "Pasupathi" along with great mother goddess there.

Other than above,We find Tamil Village Guardian spirits,known as "Kaval Theivam" such as peaceful gods like Mariamman or warrior gods ,like Ayyannar or Karuppaswamy.In tamil,the word mari would mean rain & amman mean mother,but here it is more like mother nature.She was worshiped to bring prosperity ,this includes bring rain & fertility  and curing disease.Similarly Karuppaswamy is the god of justice & Ayyannar is Guardian deity of village protection' 

Also we find that during sangam period,the Hero Stone was erected in memory of the bravery shown by the warrior in battle & these Fallen heroes and other varieties of martyrs were deified(as a god] and worshipped by the people.Sangam Literature sang the praises of these deities as:

"There are no gods, other than the memorial stones of heroes who blocked
enemies, killed their elephants with lifted, shiny tusks and got killed,
to be worshiped with rice showerings."--Purananuru 335

Out all of above Tamil Guardians, Gods and Goddesses The most venerated god of the Tamils was known by the two names Seyon and Murugan since the time of their known history. In Tamil lexicon, the term chey indicates: redness.Thus, Seyon refers to one who is young, having a ruddy complexion Purananuru 56 also calls Murugan as Seyon--the red one:As per nature worship,Seyon → Murugan→  Kurinji land’s ruling deity[குறிஞ்சி நிலத்  தலைவன்].Therefore,Mayon / Seyon .....May be the warriors of the respective land divisions?Similarly, all other deities also may be  the warriors of the respective land divisions?

PART:39 WILL FOLLOW in next week

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