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Religion and culture of our Tamizh ancestors

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The hoax about 'yAdum UrE yAvarum kELir'

KaNiyan pUngkunRanAr, the author of this famous verse (no.192 in puranAnURu), was an astrologer (as indicated by the title kaNiyan in his name), who is capable of computation of the state of affairs of people and places, with his ability to see into the past, present and future.

In this famous verse, his statement 'yAdum UrE yAvarum kELir' is usually touted to mean 'all the places are my domicile, all the people are my relatives', and eulogize this verse as proclaiming universalism, like another famous hoax 'vasudeva kuTumbakam', which in turn is touted as a Vedic truth.

Such interpretation of universalism in the verse is given only by using ONLY the first line of the verse, in total disregard of the purport of the other lines. Here is the actual meaning of the verse, in the context of Hindu religion, which is the message of the astrolger-poet:

கணியன் பூந்குன்றனார், புறநானூறு 192

யாது மூரே யாவருங் கேளிர்
தீது நன்றும் பிறர்தர வாரா
நோதலுந் தணிதலு மவற்றோ ரன்ன
சாதலும் புதுவ தன்றே வாழ்தல்
இனிதென மகிழ்ந்தன்று மிலமே முனிவின் 5
இன்னா தென்றலு மிலமே மின்னொடு
வானந் தண்டுளி தலைஇ யானாது
கல்பொரு திரங்கு மல்லற் பேர்யாற்று
நீர்வழிப் படூஉம் புணைபோ லாருயிர்
முறைவஇப் படூஉ மென்பது திறவோர் 10
காட்சியிற் றெளிந்தன மாகலின்மாட்சியிற்
பெரியோரை வியத்தலு மிலமே
சிறியோரை யிகழ்த லதனினு மிலமே

kaNiyan pU~nkunRanAr, puRa~nAnURu 192
yAdu mUrE yAvaru~g kELir
tIdu ~nanRum piRartara vArA
~nOdalu~n taNidalu mavaRRO ranna
sAdalum puduva tanRE vAzhdal
inidena magizh~ndanRu milamE munivin 5
innA tenRalu milamE minnoDu
vAna~n thaNDuLi talaii yAnAdu
kalporu tira~ggu mallaR pEryARRu
~nIrvazhip paDUum puNaipO lAruyir
muRaivazip paDUu menbadu tiRavOr 10
kATchiyiR ReLi~ndana mAkalinmATchiyiR
periyOrai viyatthalu milamE
siRiyOrai yigazhda ladaninu


Here is the rough English translation of the right interpretation of the verse as given by the Tamizh scholar shrI K.V.Balasubramanian, which is the official version posted in the Tamil Virtual University, here:

"Poem 192 emphasizes a truth that is central to Hindu philosophy. This poem is written by Kanian Poongundranar. The poet stresses the fact that we reap what we sow. The joys and sorrows of our lives are of our own making."

• 01. For (people like) us, all the places are our domicile and all the people are relatives (because I may be born anywhere in any family in my next birth--compare ParamahaMsa YogAnanda's narration of the afterlife of his guru Yukteshvar, in the book 'Autobiography of a Yogi').

• 02-04. Good and bad do not arise for us, as if they are given by others (they arise, on the other hand, by our own actions). Similar is suffering and relief therefrom, (they happen because of our karma). Death is not new to this world (it is there right from the day the embryo appears in the womb).

• 05-06. Therefore, we do not celebrate life as sweet, nor consider it as misery and hate it.

• 06-07. The rain comes with lightning (of intense heat) in cold drops, which gather and gush into wild streams, rolling the stones along its way.

• 09-11. The seers of wisdom assert that like a raft caught in the waters of that great river, the soul is caught in the currents of destiny. We are clear in that knowledge of the wise.

• 12-13. Therefore, we neither wonder at and adore the great, nor despise and blame the small and poor.

Ref: purananooru

The hoax about 'vasudeva kuTumbakam'

Check the links in this post for this topic:
The hoax called Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam - Hindu Dharma Forums

Gods worshipped by ancient Tamizhs: from the Sangham texts

The objective of this article is to find internal evidences in the Sangham Tamizh texts about the Gods worshipped by our ancient Tamizhs and explore how they relate to the Hindu Gods of the Vedas and PurANas.

Presiding deities of the five regions of the ancient Tamizh land

The Sangham landscape was divided into five regions decided by their geography. In the religious and cultural tradition of the Sangham poetry, the oldest extant text TolkAppiyam identifies distinctive poetic characteristics for each of these regions, with a presiding deity for each region.

தொல்காப்பியம், பொருள்-அகத்திணை-05

மாயோன் மேய காடுறை உலகமும்
சேயோன் மேய மைவரை உலகமும்
வேந்தன் மேய தீம்புனல் உலகமும்
வருணன் மேய பெருமணல் உலகமும்
முல்லை குறிஞ்சி மருதம் நெய்தல் எனச்
சொல்லிய முறையாற் சொல்லவும் படுமே.

tolkAppiyam, poruL-agatthiNai-05

mAyOn mEya kADuRai ulagamum
chEyOn mEya maivarai ulagamum
vE~ndan mEya tImpunal ulagamum
varuNan mEya perumaNal ulagamum
mullai kuRi~jchi marudam ~neydal enach
cholliya muRaiyAR chollavum paDumE.

Synoptical translation:

The forest (and pastoral) land has its presiding deity mAyOn,
the black-mountainous land has its presiding deity chEyOn,
the plain, fertile land (with sweet streams) has its presiding deity vEndan,
and the seashore land of great sands has its presiding deity varuNan,
which correspond to the mullai, kuRinji, marudam and neydal regions.


We should note that since pAlai is a region of waste and parched lands, TolkAppiyam does not explicitly mention it in the above verse, nor identify its deity KotRavai. However, there is an implicit reference:

தொல்காப்பியம், பொருள்-அகத்திணை-20

தெய்வம் உணாவே மா மரம் புட்பறை
செய்தி யாழின் பகுதியொடு தொகைஇ
அவ்வகை பிறவும் கருவென மொழிப.

tolkAppiyam, poruL-agatthiNai-20

deyvam uNAvE mA maram puTpaRai
seydi yAzhin pakudiyoDu togaii
avvagai piRavum karuvena mozhiba.

Synoptical translation:

The karupporuL--derived attributes, of the regions are from the mudaRporuL--primary attributes, that relate to deyvam--deity, uNavu-food, mA--fauna, maram--flora, puL--birds, paRai--masquerade dance, seydi--occupation (what is done), yAzhin pakudi--paN, musical instruments and tunes.

iLampUraNar in his commentary on this verse says:

Since no land, and only the summer time and the midnoon are specified for pAlai, the nature of that region should be taken from this verse:

சிலப்பதிகாரம், காடுகாண் காதை-64-66

முல்லையும் குறிஞ்சியும் முறைமையில் திரிந்து
நல்லியல்பு இழந்து நடுங்கு துயர் உறுத்துப்
பாலை என்பதோர் படிவம் கொள்ளும்.

silappadhikAram, kADukAN kAthai-64-66

mullaiyum kuRi~jchiyum muRaimaiyil tiri~ndu
~nalliyalbu izha~ndu ~naDu~ggu tuyar uRutthup
pAlai enbadOr paDivam koLLum.

Synoptical translation:

When the mullai and kuRinji lands wither and lose their fertility,
and become lands of suffering, they assume the landscape of pAlai,
(whose presiding deity is koTRavai)

Of the presiding deities of the five regions mentioned in TolkAppiyam,

mAyOn is identified with ViShNu, KRShNa.
chEyOn is identified with Murugan, SubrahmaNya, KArtikEya, Skanda.
vEndan is identified with Indra.
varuNan, also known as kaDalOn, is identified with the Vedic god

koTRavai was later assigned to pAlai, and she is identified with
DurgA and kALI, mother of chEyon--Murugan in TirumurugATRuppaDai.


It follows that we should find how our Tamizh gods are related to our Vedic and Puranic gods. We shall start with Murugan, adored as 'TamizhkkaDavuL'--'God of the Tamizhs'.
Murugan, the Tamizh god

The most venerated god of the Tamizhs was known by the two names ChEyOn and Murugan since the time of their known history.

The name chEy/chEyOn

That the name chEyOn as the god of the kuRinji region refers to Murugan is known from the following references:

• In Tamizh lexicon*1, the term chEy indicates: redness; Skanda, Murugan; and son, child. Thus, chEyOn refers to one who is young, having a ruddy complexion.

KuRuntogai 1-3, refers to the hill TirupparangkunRam, one of the six vIDus--abodes, of Murugan as chEy-kunRam.

ParipADal, which narrates the story of Murugan, captions him as chevvEL, referring to his agni-like--ruddy, complexion.

PuRanAnURu 56, speaking of four gods--Rudra Shiva, Muruga, BalarAma and KRShNa--calls Murugan cheyyOn--the red one:

மணி மயில் உயரிய மாறா வென்றி
பிணிமுக ஊர்தி ஒண் செய்யோனும்...

maNi mayil uyariya mARA venRi
piNimukha Urdi oN cheyyOnum...

The cheyyOn--ruddy one, who has a peacock image in his flag, rides a peacock and achieves never-changing victory...

AhanAnURu 266, refers to TiruchendUr, whose ancient name was TiruchchIr-alaivAy, as செருமிகு உற்ற சேய்--cherumiku uRRa chEy--chEy--Murugan, with his great battle strength, who sat at TiruchchIr-alivAy (after defeating Surapadman).

The name murugan

There are numerous references of this name in the Sangham texts. Some samples:

PuRanAnURu 23:4 refers to சூர் நவை முருகன் சுற்றத்து அன்ன நின் கூர் நல் அம்பு--sUr ~navai murugan chuRRatthu anna ~nin kUr ~nal ambu--your sharp arrow that resembles the lance of Murugan that killed Surapadman.

PadiTRuppatthu 11, refers to Murugan waging a battle against SUrapadman and killing him, comparing the King to the God.

ParipADal 5 on chevvEL, in lines 50-54, calls him by பெரும் பெயர் முருக--perum peyar muruga--Muruga with great fame!, and tells the story of how he got his six forms that later merged into one.

TirumugARRuppaDai, also known as Murugu has this very name in its title and narrates the story, nature and worship of Murugan.

MaduraikkAnjchi 611, in this line, அருங்கடி வேலன் முருகொடு வளைஇ--aru~ggaDi vElan murugoDu vaLaii, refers to women doing veRiyATTam--dancing in trance, possessed by Murugan.

Dr.R.Nagaswamy, the renowned archaeologist in his article*2, explains how the name Muruga is derived from the Sanskrit mRgyam--hunting, thus:
• (In the TolkAppiyam classification of five regions) ,..the people of Kurunci are called Vettuvar, Kanavar, and Kuravar. Their animals are said to be Elephant, Tiger, Boar, and Bear. Their birds are peacock and parrot They generally practice honey gathering, chasing birds like parrot that destroy the grains, digging roots etc. Their yaz is called Kurunci yaz.

• Their drum is called "Murukiyam" and "Todnadakam". Please note the name of the drum they use during hunting is Murukiyam. It clearly indicates that the term Murukiyam is connected with hunting.

• That gives us the clue to the origin of the word Murukan givien to Ceyon. The word for hunting in Sanskrit is “Mrg” or “Mrgyana". It is known Mrga stands for animal and hunting is “mrgyam”. Mrgya changes into “Muruku” in Sanskrit.

• Such a change is quite commonly found from the Rk vedic times onwards. The word “kru” to do is changed into “kuru” in the age of Rk veda itself. see Karoti–-kurutah--kurvanti” See Monier Williams Just as krit becomes kurut-–Kurute etc in Sanskrit, Mrig becomes Muruk in Sanskrit. Muruka stands for hunter, also the lord of hunters. Chief of hunters. Thus it is proved beyond doubt that the Muruku standing for Ceyon (Kumara) is a direct word from Sanskrit as Varuna, Vendan Kaman, Durga etc.

• Another meaning for the word murugu is 'youth, tenderness'. Murugan in the Tamizh texts is always described as a youth who fascinates women so much that they are possessed of him and worship him with veRiyADal--dancing in trance, a pratice which is prevalent until today in TamizhnADu.

Other names of murugan

Tamizh nighaNTus--lexicons, such as Pingala 1.18, ChUDAmaNi and DivAkara, list the following epithets for Murugan:

Kumaran, Deyva-kunjari-manALan, Chilampan, Murugan, Chey (means the child), KaDamban, Chami [compare Tagappan Chami--sd], KartikEyan, Chendan, Kurinjchik-kizhavan, CheTTi, KAngkEyan, Gauri-maindan, (S)Kandan, VElan, Vallik-kizhavan, VaLLi-maNALan, VisAkhan, Tarakari, Kuhan, Ariru-karattOn, Aritirumarukan, KuLakan, Gangaimaintan, KunRerindOn, Aruminkatalan, Acurarrtinton, Cevalankotiyon, Tevacenapati, Pavaki, Acan, Kalaiyari-pulavan, Aranmagan, Yanaimukavarkilaiyon and ChevveL.

Sanskrit texts which has names in this list include*3:
atharva veda--agnibhuH; shatapatha brAhmaNa--son of Rudra; taittirIya AraNyaka--contains the gAyatrI mantra for ShaNmukha; ChAndogya upaniShad--Skanda is a way that leads to wisdom; baudhAyana dharmashAstra--Skanda as MahAsEna and SubrahmaNya; mahAbhArata, AraNya parva--legend of KArtikeya; skanda purANam--devoted to KArtikeya; ArthashAshtra--SubrahmaNya; and KAlidAsa's kumArasambhavam and mRchChakaTikam.

It is rewarding to look up the Tamizh textual references to some of these names:

kumaran: It might be surprising as to why the word kumara(n) is not found in the Sangham texts although the term kumari is found in PuRanAnURu 6:1-4, and its references kumarikkaDal, kumarikkODu are in works like SilappadhikAram.

The answer lies in the fact that the terms chEy--child, and chEyOn--youth, were used instead (as noted above), which are translated as kumara by many authors. The term kumaran itself is used in later works such as DEvAram, kamba-rAmAyaNam, and kanda purANam (by Kachchiyappa ShivAchAriyAr).

chilamban--kurinjitthalaivan--head of the kurinji region: purapporuL veNbAmAlai; chEndan--DEvAram 942:6; cheTTi--DEvAram 742:10; visAkhan, kuLakan--KandapurANam 60, 1;

kandan--அருகன் கந்தன் பள்ளிக்கடவுளர்க் கெல்லாம்--arugan ka~ndan paLLikkaDavuLark kellAm--SillappadhikAram 11,5;

vElan--one who worshipps Muruga--TirumurugARRuppaDai 222; vElan-veRi--AhanAnURu 98; chevvEL--ParipADal, many verses.

Legends of Murugan

The legends and associations of Murugan that are found in the Vedas and PurANas are found in the Tamizh texts too. Some examples:

ParipADal in chevvEL 5, talks about

• how God Murugan rode an elephant called piNimukham, waged a fierce battle with SUra(padma)n, forced the shape-changing SUran to become a tree, which the God uprooted with his vEL--lance, in the verse titled vetRivEL--the victorious lance.

• how God Murugan shattered the Krauncha mountain in the NAvala island and made a path through it. This verse varai uDaitthOn--one who shattered the mountain, descries Murugan as having six heads, twelve shoulders and the beauty and complexion like iLa-jnAyiRu--young Sun.

• in the verse titled all your orders, calls Murugan the son of kAay kaDavuL--Shiva who stands alone after destroying everything at the time of praLaya--dissolution. This God, although the entranced hymns of the vELan--the priest in trance, are not perfect, appears before him recognizing the love behind the worship and graces him.

• the birth of Murugan as six children nourished by the KArtthikai--Krittika, women, after Shiva the TripurAntakAya on the entreaty of Indra, destroyed his own embroyo that grew inside his consort PArvatI.

• how, even as a child, Murugan fought and defeated the Devas, upon which the Devas gifted him from beings made from a part of their own bodies: agni gave the cock that stands in Muruga's flag, Indra the lovely peacock that serves as the vehicle, and Yama the goat with its black eyes. The other gifts from the Devas inclded a bow with mudrAs, tOmaram--large club, vAL--sword, a vEL or ITTi--lance, adorned with a peacock feather, kutAri--hatchet/axe, mazhu--battle axe, called kaNichchi, kanali--the fire from the sun, besides garlands and precious stones.

• in the other verses, about the distinction of Murugan's abode TirupparangkunRam, his marriage with VaLLi which resulted in her fight with DeivayAnai, and adores and prays to Murugan.

TirumurugARRuppaDai is a work devoted to God Murugan with him as the hero of the work. It speaks about

• Part 1, TirupparangkunRam: its distinction, the distinction of Murugan's form and the garlands that adorn him, the actions of the SUra women, how the God punished the SUrapadman, the pride of Madurai and the natural surroundings of TirupparangkunRam.

• Part 2, TiruchchIralaivAi: (TiruchchendUr now), nature of the elephant that gives darshan to Muruga bhaktas, nature of Arumukan--ShaNmukha, and the actions of his twelve hands.

• Part 3, TiruAvinankuDi: the spiritual discipline of the munivargaL--ascetics, who worship Murugan, naure of the women who come to have darshan, and news about TirumAl--ViShNu, Shiva and Indra.

• Part 4, TiruvEragam: nature of the dvIjas--brahmins, who worship him and how they worship.

• Part 5, KunRutoRu ADal: describes the songs and dance worship of women in an event called kuravaik-kUtthu.

• Part 6, PazhamudirchchOlai: his abodes, how devarATTi--women possessed of ocular powers worship him, naure of his devotees, the way he graces his devotees and the distinction of the falls at the abode.

Thus, although the rituals and worship of God Murugan found in TamizhnADu are uniquely Tamizhiyan, the concept, form and nature of the God have their roots in the Vedas, ItihAsas and PurANas, right from the Sangha kAlam.

01. Tamil lexicon
02. http://www.tamilartsacademy.com/murugan.pdf
03. Murugan

Murugan, Tamil God

MURUGAN, Tamil God of Justice

Sri Jnana Panditha: Murugan as Expositor of Gnosis(Greek word for Knowledge or insight into the infinite,divine spiritual knowledge) . His symbols The Vel(Spear of Wisdom),The Vahanam Peacock. Behind him dawns the rising Sun symbolising the Awakened Mind (Bodhi)


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Yaadhum Ure..

Yaadum Ure..: The line was quoted by poets because of their 'kavithiran'. "KatrOrukku chendraidamellam chiRappu". And those days they were welcomed by all. Today, we have compartamentalised and have raised language barriers. The line these days is quoted in jest; by all migrants. According to one's talent even today people go to all places repeating the same line of course 'conditions apply'. The subsequent lines are for home consumption. Similarly, 'vadudevam kudumbakam' can only be uttered by God.
namaste shrI Iyyarooraan.

Excellent perception! Thank you

Yaadum Ure..: The line was quoted by poets because of their 'kavithiran'. "KatrOrukku chendraidamellam chiRappu". And those days they were welcomed by all. Today, we have compartamentalised and have raised language barriers. The line these days is quoted in jest; by all migrants. According to one's talent even today people go to all places repeating the same line of course 'conditions apply'. The subsequent lines are for home consumption. Similarly, 'vadudevam kudumbakam' can only be uttered by God.
The Sangam tamils worshipped their ancestors.They erected memorial stones called Nadukal.They were also known as hero stones or veerakal. Such stones were erected in memory of those who died in battles. The sangam people had also worshipped natural objects. Example: sun,moon,rivers,mountains etc became their object of worship.neem tree, arasamaram were also considered sacred.
Our Tamil ancestors enjoyed a high degree of cultural life.Their interests in education,literature,music,dance drama, festivals etc has been described in ancient literature.Parents attached importance to education. The Purananooru describes this as the duty of a father.
Cultural activities were patronized by the Kings & nobles by liberal donations.Hunting was another important pasttime.
Fine arts was in its peak during Sangam tamils. They devolped the concept of Muthamizh Iyal,Isai & Natakam.
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