Origins of Tamils?[Where are Tamil people from?] PART :67

 [Compiled by: Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]

jallikattu, which is bull-baiting or bull fighting,in its present form,where gifts in the form of cash and jewellery are tied to the bull and the one who tames it gets them,which is believed to have been introduced during the rule of Thirumalai Nayak in Madurai,Tamil Nadu(1623-1659),was a 400-year-old tradition.However,the bull-centred sport itself has a much longer history in Tamil Nadu.There is literary evidence to establish its existence in Tamil Nadu during the much-celebrated Sangam Age (700 B.C. to A.D. 300).Also a well-preserved seal,made of stone,now found at Mohenjodaro in the 1930s,and is on display at the National Museum in New Delhi,have traced the ancient origins of jallikattu-type bullfight to 2000 B.C,and it clearly shows that the sport was an important feature of the Indus Valley Civilisation,according to Iravatham Mahadevan,a specialist in Indus and Brahmi scripts.In addition,rock paintings discovered recently at Karikkiyur in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu and dated to 2000 B.C.-1500 B.C.confirm that sports involving bulls is an ancient Dravidian tradition that was practised about 4,000 years ago,connect culturally between Indus valley and Tamils.In ancient Tamil country,during the harvest festival,decorated bulls would be let loose on the “peru vazhi”(highway) and the village youth would take pride in chasing them and outrunning them.Women,elders and children would watch the fun from the sidelines of the “peru vazhi” or streets.Nobody was injured in this.Or the village youth would take delight in lassoing the sprinting bulls with “vadam” (rope).Here instead of fight with bull,It show men chasing bull or bulls,which seem to be a sturdy lot,with big humps and long and straight horns.May be early form of sport involving bull or bull fight in Tamil Nadu as mentioned.However,the particular seal of Mohenjodaro portrays a
ferocious bull in action,several men or a single man (according to two different interpretations),thrown in the air by it as they try to control it.This seal,made of stone,found at Mohenjodaro,now in Pakistan,shows a single bull with curved horns in the “action” of goring a single man or several men.One school is of the opinion that the seal shows several men,who tried to control the bull,thrown up in the air by the animal.A couple of men are shown flying in the air with their legs and hands spread out,a third man is seen jumping to grab the bull,another is somersaulting and yet another has pathetically come to rest on his haunch.Mr. Mahadevan,however,is of the opinion that the seal shows only one man,who is flung into the air by the bull,his flying,his plunging,his somersaulting and finally sitting on his haunch.Clearly, the bull is the victor.Also Several other scholars had commented upon this seal as portraying bull-baiting during the Indus civilisation,Remnant of this sport is still surviving in Tamil Nadu.But such traditions are also known,for example,in Spain and in Portugal and the Iberian peninsula.There may well be a pre-historic connection between these very similar cults.

In another Indus Valley seal,which is shown above,we find a warrior,holding a spear in his right hand and attack bull in its nape,while with his left hand grab the bull by its horn,he kick its forehead by his left leg,and take control of the bull.Also we find the indus vally god Pasupathi there.However,according to some scholars,it is a ritual killing of a buffalo to satisfy a god or a goddess.But it is very doubtful,Because,If it is a ritual killing or offering to god as a sacrifice,the man legs definitely not on the forehead of the bull and Similarly he would not hold horn by his left hand.Not only that the picture will not demonstrate Violence,rather it will show devotion with godly fear.In Sangam love poem ,Kurunthogai 362,It says:"You offer boiled rice and many other things along with a killed,small goat,and rub blessings on my friend’s fragrant forehead.You pray and offer all this to powerful Murukan".This clearly shows the importance of the forhead in an ancient & present culture and further In another sangam poem,Purananuru 190,It says:"like a hungry tiger that will not eat a harsh-eyed bow since it fell to its left,but on the next day wakes up hungry in his mountain cave,rises up to bring down to his right side,a
large bull elephant!".In Sundara Kanda in Ramayana when Hanuman enters Lanka for the first time.He says An enemy or a person wishing the downfall of the family will not enter through main door,but through a back door or,jump over the compound wall and place left foot first.Also,In Homer's Odyssey,the birds appearing on the right side is considered as the positive omens,for example in 15.34,It mentioned that "not without a god's will did this bird fly past you on the right".Even now when a Tamil/indian bride enters the new home,she puts her RIGHT foot first in the house.Therefore we can easily conclude that it is a festival or function or sports,conducted front of god,where muscular,aggressive and Raging bull is tamed or bring under control by competitors as in jallikattu.The bull has an almost mythical status among those who love the sport of bullfighting.The bull has had a long history of being associated with divinity.Farming was one of the most important occupation during Indus valley civilization other than trade.The Indus valley farmers grew wheat, grains,and animals on land.Cows,goats,and sheep gave milk and alternatives.Also they plough the land with wooden ploughshares drawn by men and oxen,and so,the bull was given much respect at that time.There was also a deity,much like Shiva,who was then worshipped as the Pasupathi (the caretaker of herds).we also find that the bull is the most popular animal motif on the Indus Valley glyptic art,which again confirm our assumption.This bull sport represent a different facet of the Tamil culture.This was a martial sport in olden days to keep the warriors prepared for the war even during the peace time.Also prove their manhood / bravery to win the hearts of brides during the sangam period & thereafter.but recently,for about 400 years for the gifts of cash & jewellery.Though it look similar to and older than the Spanish running of the bulls,it is different.Instead of bulls getting killed, it’s the people who gets injured / killed.Though It's usually hard to take the bull by the horns as described in sangam poems & seals,most warriors/young youth feel great,once they take the bull by the horns,It may also give the answer to the question "Where does that strange but common expression 'Take the bull by the horns' come from.

PART :68 WILL FOLLOW

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