An analysis of history of Tamil religion/Part:07

Sumerian theologians took their cue from human society as they knew it and reasoned from the known to the unknown.They noted that lands and cities,and palaces and temples,fields and farms - in short,all imaginable institutions and enterprises - are tended and supervised,guided and controlled by living human beings;without them lands and cities became desolate,temples and palaces crumbled,fields and farms turned to desert and wilderness.Surely,therefore,the cosmos and all its manifold phenomena must also be tended and supervised,guided and controlled by living beings in human form.Hence they conceived of the gods in anthropomorphic terms - the gods were like humans but divine.Generally,the gods of Sumer were human in form and maintained human traits.They ate,drank,married,and fought amongst each other.Even though the gods were immortal and all-powerful,it was apparent that they could be hurt and even killed.

Each Sumerian god adhered to a set of rules and regulations of divine authority known as "ME".It is “the holy laws of heaven and earth."ME" is not ‘Me’ - it is pronounced ‘Mai’.They were of utmost social importance and every aspect of Sumerian social life was regulated by them.E.g. the baker was required to go to the temple.where the scripts,were placed in the custody of the god Enki,inventor of civilization and obtain a "ME" (a meme, or more properly a set of memes) for bakery.That particular ME included instruction on how,when,where to perform his craft.Worship,state,sex,every aspect of Sumerian life were treated similarly.The gods of their mythology waged wars in order to conquer and possess the most "ME", stealing them from each other.It has often been translated as “divine ordinance,”or “divine power,” The "ME" ensured that each god was able to keep the cosmos functioning according to the plans handed down to them by Enlil.

PLATES XV AND XVI ,"The Transfer of the Arts of civilization from Eridu to Erech[Uruk] ",Give us a magnificent myth with its particularly charming story involves Inanna,the queen of heaven,and Enki,the lord of wisdom & keeper of over one hundred divine decrees governing all cultural achievements of Sumerian civilization.Inanna,queen of heaven,and tutelary goddess of Erech,is anxious to increase the welfare and prosperity of her city,to make it the centre of Sumerian civilization,and thus to exalt her own name and fame.She therefore decides to go to Eridu,the ancient and hoary seat of Sumerian culture where Enki,the Lord of Wisdom,who "knows the very heart
of the gods," dwells in his watery abyss,the Abzu.For Enki has under his charge all the divine decrees that are fundamental to civilization.And if she can obtain them,by fair means or foul,and bring them to her beloved city Erech,its glory and her own will indeed be unsurpassed.As she approaches the Abzu of Eridu,Enki,no doubt taken in by her charms,Welcome her and Inanna and Enki sit down to feast and banquet. After their hearts had become happy with drink,Enki exclaims:"O name of My power,O name of my power,To the pure Inanna,my daughter,I shall present . . .." & He presents,several at a time,a total of ninety-four me or divine decrees,covering arts, crafts,and attributes which are the basis of the culture pattern of Sumerian civilization.Enki recovers his wits and tries to recover the me from her,but she arrives safely in Erech with them.Further,In exaltation of Inanna (Inana B),written by Enheduanna,the Sargon daughter,We find "ME" in many lines as below:  

"Lady of all the divine powers, resplendent light, righteous woman clothed in radiance, beloved of An and Urac! Mistress of heaven, with the great pectoral jewels, who loves the good headdress befitting the office of en priestess, who has seized all seven of its divine powers! My lady, you are the guardian of the great divine powers! You have taken up the divine powers, you have hung the divine powers from your hand. You have gathered up the divine powers, you have clasped the divine powers to your breast."

[By:Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]

                                                                     Part/08 Will follow next week.


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