An analysis of history of Tamil religion/Part:11

five parts of the tamil land
 though the earliest references to Korrawi are found in the ancient Tamil grammar  Tolkappiyam,Only in Silappathikaram. mathurai kandam,Vettuva vari we have earliest references in details to goddess Korravai[or selvi].Eyinar,the community inhabiting the palai[desert or barren area] region,seems to have sustained themselves through systermatic thieving & robbery.Before they plunder and cattle lifting,they usually worship korravai for their success.It was mentiond in vettuva vari 16-17 as well as Vettuva vari,others,poem 13 in details.However,from the supreme position of Korravai seems to have waned gradually as she had been associated with Murugan as his mother. 

A Neolithic cattle-herding culture existed in South India several millennia prior to the Christian era.By the mid of the first millennia,before christ,a relatively well-developed civilisation had emerged,still largely pre-Hindu and called Saivaites.It is described in some detail in Tamil texts such as the Ancient Tamil grammatical works Tholkappiyam, Sangam literature,the ten anthologies-Pathuppāṭṭu,and the eight anthologies-Eṭṭuttokai as well as Thirukkural.Tholkappiyam,the oldest piece of tamil literature now existing,allots number of deities such as Murugan,Korravai[Kali],Thirumaal,Indran and Varunan,to the five parts or division of the tamil land.The absence of the
Village Guardian god
phallus or Siva in the above list is surprising?However,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.So,We find sangam Tamils too worshipped,like Sumerians,different kind of gods,based on the kinds of boons asked from them.For example,Korravai will have to be satisfied with blood-shed to grant victory in a war,while Thirumal will be happy with the offer of milk produce,in order to grant good milk production.This is how many gods came to be worshipped in the Tamil land.For examnple,

Murugan was originally a formless dravidian god of the hills
memorial stones,
treated as an indication of a society which venerated femininity.The temples of the Sangam days,mainly of Madurai,seem to have had priestesses to the deity,which also appear predominantly a goddess.Further,Among the early Tamils the practice of erecting memorial stones (nadukkal) had appeared,and it continued for quite a long time after the Sangam age,down to about 11th century.It was customary for people who sought victory in war to worship these hero stones to bless them with victory and Sangam Literature sang the praises of these deities.For example Purananuru 335,Says"
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."Another feature found during sangam era is

The trial of Galileo Galilei 
The word Samayam seems to have entered common usage in the later period only.For long it was Dharma vazhi or Ara vazhi only,which does not preach violence or harm to others.This is one stark difference between the 'ara vazhi' and some other religions.For example,some,though they claim to preach the non-violence,actually used violence and harmful methodology to propagate their religions,and some religion openly tell its followers to kill those who do not follow that religion.But Ara vazhi does not allow such harms to anyone of its own following or of others' religion.The trial of Galileo Galilei is one of the most infamous and embarrassing moments in Catholic history.His discovery called heliocentrism,which is,Sun is at the center of the solar
system,and Earth,like everything else nearby,orbits Sun and his opinion that Nicholas Copernicus was right,The Earth is not the center,brought him before an Inquisition.In contrast to this,people of Sangam age have allowed to question various logics of rituals.Akanaanuru 22,Kurunthokai 263 and other similar poems are very important in history of Tamil culture since it shows the secularism prevailed in those days.Since they are so many poems in same motif,this genere of poems must have been popular.A popular motif which mocks the rituals made to god surely makes us infer the secular society of those days.Unlike Bakthi period,after the ariyan influence,where god was accepted without any question,
Also,Sangam Tamil people understood two distinct characteristics of Godhood.God who is beyond all (Tamil:கடவுள்,Kadavuḷ ) and the God who sets things in motion (Tamil: இயவுள்,Iyavuḷ ).

[By:Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]

Part/ 12 Will follow.......... 


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