• Welcome to Tamil Brahmins forums.

    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our Free Brahmin Community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

    If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Vedic God Varuna in Oldest Tamil Book

Status
Not open for further replies.
Ref Nara's post #57, I compared the mindset of that sangam age mother to Divya's mother and IMO, the comparison is valid. I wanted to point out to Renuka who said casteism as delusionism that this mindset existed in sangam age also. The speculation that sangam age father would not have committed suicide or that there would not have been any violence has no scope in my argument. I did not put forth that argument.

Reg your dispute over semantics, the vanniyars call themselves as vanniya kula descendants only. So you can take the ilavaran-diva problem as a kulam problem and not a caste problem.
 

palindrome

Active member
கால பைரவன்;197118 said:
I mentioned as far as tamil literature is concerned, if you deem the presence of these terms as sanskritisation, then you would have to apply the same logic to a vast majority of the earliest literature. If you are not disputing it, there is no argument there. Your saying that tolkappiyam is influenced by sanskritisation and hence the four-fold division is mentioned is not tenable, because we do not have earlier literature available without such influence.

If you depend on resources other than literature to buttress your claim of this sanskritisation, it is okay. That is a separate argument.
Butressing claims is what you have been doing. So why apply circular logic here, eh :D?

According to available archeological evidence (partly described here) the earliest evidence is Jain, Buddhist, and just native / tribal beliefs (such as potsherd inscriptions). There was nothing Smartha, no such thing as Smritis in Sangam period. There was no varna oppression whatsoever.
Since Varna vyavastha is specific to Sanskrit literature, obviously sanskritization was absent.

I suggest you to refer to the various உரைகள் written for sangam literature. There is nothing new that I can write here, other than reproduce what has already been written.
Ah, is that an escapism route? What have you already written about Anthanars so far? You have been claiming without any basis whatsoever that Anthanar is the brahmin of sanskrit literature. How?

What sort of a culture did the Anthanar follow? Did the Anthanar claim to be the lord of all, with a directive issued to warriors to oppress people in slavery? Did the Anthanar follow rules of the dharmashastras?

I am beginning to wonder whether you even understand what a nikandu is?
I have attached a couple of images from bingala nikandu. Let the readers make up their own mind.
Oh my dear, now you get this doubt. Please look up this post . Already wrote the earliest Niganthus, amongst which is Adi-Divakara is dated to the 7th century AD. So whatever the Pingala Niganthu says is around or after that time period. Anyways, thanks for the the attachments, Since these are attachments which cannot be transliterated, can someone transliterate or better still translate these please?

Also, Kalabhairava, please provide excerpts on slavery in ancient times amongst tamil speakers (preferably with english translation) from the book "தமிழகத்தில் அடிமைமுறை" by A. Sivasubramanian.

Thankyou.
 

palindrome

Active member
கால பைரவன்;197119 said:
Reg your dispute over semantics, the vanniyars call themselves as vanniya kula descendants only. So you can take the ilavaran-diva problem as a kulam problem and not a caste problem.
Oh now you want to make this a kulam (clan) problem, not a caste problem? Wow! And this, just because a bunch decided to entitle themselves a 'kulam'.

Well, surely you know the terms vanniyer and so-called ''vanniya kula'' are not ancient ones. Only the term padayatchier is old. So also the term palli. If these pallis had remained true buddhists, wud they have become so violent to safeguard their caste position in the 'hindu' hierarchy ?

These dumb violents nuts (like PMK activists) should know they entitled themselves "vanniyakula kshatriya'" around 1931. When census was taken in the 1867-1871 period the padayatchies protested against their ranking (just as everyone else did then, with vellalars in the lead protesting against their shudra ranking). The so-called padayatchis wrote a book vanniyakula villakam to support the claim of being padayatchis. But according to colonial records, they did odd jobs, and were barely above untouchables themselves. Apparently, according to 1881 census they were slaves of brahmins. Yet, due to consolidated efforts, they managed to raise their status.

Just as the padayatchies / pallis managed to change the name of their social grouping to ''vanniyakula kshatriya'', the 1901 census was the key for several groups who seized the opportunity for social mobility to enlist themselves as higher varnas. In the 1901 census Sir Herbert Risley undertook a big task. He had to accurately record the ranking of castes (jatis) in the local hierarchy as well as varna of each caste. It was also during this time, the Kayasthas of Bengal (made up of people of various occupational origins) were classified as shudras (Risley had examined them well). But the numerous varied people who claimed to be Kayastha made repeated attempts to uplift their position in the 'hindu' hierarchy. With education, adoption of upanayanam, and majority might, they managed to uplift themselves, although the court designated them shudras each time they petitioned.

All across the subcontinent, petitions and fights for higher varna happened. 'Brahmin' pandits refuted everybody's claims (and rightfully so) in the colonial court; just that i wonder why they spared 'brahmins' working in secular jobs in the colonial government. Anyways, have written enough about colonial courts and the role of pundits there, so not going into that topic now. Perhaps interested readers (and PMK linked 'Vanniyakula' folks) would like to read Social Change in Modern India by MN Srinivas (it can give some details about themselves).
 
Last edited:

Nara

Well-known member
Oh now you want to make this a kulam (clan) problem, not a caste problem? Wow! And this, just because a bunch decided to entitle themselves a 'kulam'..
KB was responding to my comment that Ayar used in the Kaliththogai poem he cited is actually Ayar kulam and not Ayar caste. Therefore, KB will surely point out he was not the one to bring in kulam and he would be right. However, his claim that vanniyars changed their caste name to include the word "kulam" and therefore they are now a kulam the same way Ayars were during the Sangam period, and all this is mere semantics, is without any merit, and you have rightly pointed that out.

Your general point that the odious Varna/jAti system that imposed social hierarchy is found only after Brahmnical Dharmashasthra became State doctrine, absent in older Sangam Tamil literature, is a valid one. All KB is pointing out is that there were Arasar, Anthanar, Vanikar, Vellalar during that period, but he does not present any evidence to show these were birth based hierarchical social stratification. The nigandu he is citing is after Brahminism was firmly established in Tamilnadu and probably reflects the social reality of that time period, not the Sangam period.

Cheers!
 
So why apply circular logic here, eh ?

Who is indulging in circular logic here? It is you, not me. Your position is: Varna system, and by this meant the smrithi system is birth based, hierarchical, and oppressive. The class system that was present during the sangam period denoted by நாற்பால், மேலோர், கீழோர் etc was not smrithi system. Therefore there was no oppression in sangam period.

Is this argument logical? The absence of smrithis does not say anything about the system that existed in tamilakam. Is it not possible that the system that existed in tamilakam was also oppressive?

I had already written that kings were constantly in war with each other and the defeated people were enslaved and it is these enslaved people who constituted the fourth class, i.e. vellalar. There was a practice in tamil society - "வேளத்த்தில் ஏற்றுவது". Enslaved women were treated as concubines only by the kings. Where do you think the terms such as, கொண்டி மகளிர், புடைப் பெண்டிர் மக்கள், வெள்ளாட்டிகள் etc came from? The progenies of these enslaved women were also treated as slaves only. So this birth based enforcement of slavery was there in ancient tamilakam. I had already explained how when the society expanded, the slaves were forced to work in fields and as a result that occupation was moved down the class ladder.

I do not have access to the book, "தமிழகத்தில் அடிமை முறை" at present. I will post excerpts from it , when I get a chance.
 
Last edited:
palindrome said:
Already wrote the earliest Niganthus, amongst which is Adi-Divakara is dated to the 7th century AD. So whatever the Pingala Niganthu says is around or after that time period. Anyways, thanks for the the attachments, Since these are attachments which cannot be transliterated, can someone transliterate or better still translate these please?
It is you who asked me to post the verse from bingala nikaNdu or divakara nikaNdu. Accused me of twisting etc. Earlier I had typed the verse only. It is because of your accusation, I posted it as an image obtained from a scanned copy of bingala nikaNdu.
 

palindrome

Active member
கால பைரவன்;197125 said:
Who is indulging in circular logic here? It is you, not me. Your position is: Varna system, and by this meant the smrithi system is birth based, hierarchical, and oppressive. The class system that was present during the sangam period denoted by நாற்பால், மேலோர், கீழோர் etc was not smrithi system. Therefore there was no oppression in sangam period.

Is this argument logical? The absence of smrithis does not say anything about the system that existed in tamilakam. Is it not possible that the system that existed in tamilakam was also oppressive?

I had already written that kings were constantly in war with each other and the defeated people were enslaved and it is these enslaved people who constituted the fourth class, i.e. vellalar. There was a practice in tamil society - "வேளத்த்தில் ஏற்றுவது". Enslaved women were treated as concubines only by the kings. Where do you think the terms such as, கொண்டி மகளிர், புடைப் பெண்டிர் மக்கள், வெள்ளாட்டிகள் etc came from? The progenies of these enslaved women were also treated as slaves only. So this birth based enforcement of slavery was there in ancient tamilakam. I had already explained how when the society expanded, the slaves were forced to work in fields and as a result that occupation was moved down the class ladder.

I do not have access to the book, "தமிழகத்தில் அடிமை முறை" at present. I will post excerpts from it , when I get a chance.
If slavery existed in sangam period literature, why did they not write about it? Especially when they produced vast amounts of literature describing everything.

How can you equivocate two different systems of organizing society just bcause they are both based on occupation, when they are funtionally and culturally different? Do you think it is logical?

1) Underlined a point in bold -- kindly explain why you think the tamilkam system was oppresive?

2) Made a point bold and underlined -- please provide evidence that enslaved people constituted the vellalar.

Of course kings were constantly at war with each other. As regards concubinage of women into sexual slavery, it was a common practice in ancient societies across europe, middleeast, far east and indian subcontinent. Men of princely family were killed off (rarely exiled), their army absorbed into the victorious one, and their women enslaved in concubinage.

3) Underlined a point without making bold -- where is the evidence progeny of the concubines were treated as slaves? Had explained in this post the vellalar were elite Chola soldiers created from women captured into concubinage. Kindly produce evidence they were treated as slaves. Please also provide a link to the post where you explained they were forced to work in fields as society expanded?

I had asked 2 specific questions earlier, still no answer.

4) Since the sangam period pertains to the BRW culture phase, how could have slavery existed then? Kindly read this post again. (Also, note peasantization process, wherein tribals offered to till the land as peasants -- yes, slavery of this sort without violently subjugating them into peasantry is possible. As also the system of urumai sutram wherein the defeated served as vassals or personal bodyguards -- something very similar to the samanta system of subjugated and reinstated, but as an insubordinate, sometimes perhaps after being tortured. These however were not peasants; they were feudal lords).

5) Did the Anthanar claim to be the lord of all, with a directive issued to warriors to oppress people in slavery? Did the Anthanar follow rules of the dharmashastras? If there is so much literature on ancient tamil society, why don't we find slavery in sangam period literature???

Looking forward to excerpts from Sivasubramanian's book. Hope you have read it.

Thanks.
 
Last edited:

palindrome

Active member
கால பைரவன்;197126 said:
It is you who asked me to post the verse from bingala nikaNdu or divakara nikaNdu. Accused me of twisting etc. Earlier I had typed the verse only. It is because of your accusation, I posted it as an image obtained from a scanned copy of bingala nikaNdu.
Let me clarify. The twisting you were accussed of, is because in this thread
(1) you contested that Shudras arose from matrilineal societies. If so, should these sages with matronymic names be considered shudras ?
(2) you claimed that vellalars are shudras based on equivalency of terms; whereas niganthus were produced after 7th century only (that is, after varna system had penetrated and taken root in tamil regions).

Anyways, thank you once again, for the attachments.
 
(1) you contested that Shudras arose from matrilineal societies. If so, should these sages with matronymic names be considered shudras ? .
What I said specifically was that after the patrilinear societies gained ascendancy, with all sorts of கற்பு நெறி defined for women folk, the matrilinear societies were downgraded to shudra status because the matrilinear societies do not have such restirctions on their women. I had already pointed out how in the nayar society, women had multiple suitors. The main thing is about the chastity required of womenfolk and not merely matronymic names or even inheritance status. Besides, this could have happened only when patrilinear societies have become so powerful that they could dictate terms per their culture and aram.That I pointed out as one more example of society responsible for varna classification and not just scriptures. Also here, please note that in the tamil society, only some vellalar groups had followed matrilinear structure.


palindrome said:
you claimed that vellalars are shudras based on equivalency of terms; whereas niganthus were produced after 7th century only (that is, after varna system had penetrated and taken root in tamil regions).

But if according to you varna system had penetrated tamil society and that is why vellalars were reduced to shudras around the time of nikandus, how come vellalars rose in prominence in later years. After all, all this time you had talked about the rigidity of the birth-based varna system, hierarchy, oppression etc. Isn't that a contradiction?
 

palindrome

Active member
கால பைரவன்;197130 said:
What I said specifically was that after the patrilinear societies gained ascendancy, with all sorts of கற்பு நெறி defined for women folk, the matrilinear societies were downgraded to shudra status because the matrilinear societies do not have such restirctions on their women. I had already pointed out how in the nayar society, women had multiple suitors. The main thing is about the chastity required of womenfolk and not merely matronymic names or even inheritance status. Besides, this could have happened only when patrilinear societies have become so powerful that they could dictate terms per their culture and aram.That I pointed out as one more example of society responsible for varna classification and not just scriptures. Also here, please note that in the tamil society, only some vellalar groups had followed matrilinear structure.

But if according to you varna system had penetrated tamil society and that is why vellalars were reduced to shudras around the time of nikandus, how come vellalars rose in prominence in later years. After all, all this time you had talked about the rigidity of the birth-based varna system, hierarchy, oppression etc. Isn't that a contradiction?
Niganthus are Jain literature. Why they represented Vellalar as Shudras, i do not know. Instead you have to explain what reason Adi-Divakara or Pingala niganthu gives for it?

Are Vellalars represented as shudras in varna / sanskrit 'hindu' literature ?

Please take a look at my post from this thread -- please read it carefully. Take note of this sentence please: It did not depend whether they were matriarchal or patriarchal. They were just enemies of the dharmashastra religion.

Of course I too accept the rise of patrilineal societies created problems. But on what basis do you claim products of concubinage and matrilienal societies only were shudras? To address this you will need to resolve and and answer all questions in post # 67 (above). So it will be better if you address post # 67. Thanks.
 
Last edited:

sarang

Well-known member
Sanatana dharma recognises only four varnas; further classification into jatis in each varna happened continuously - the same jati splitting into several for various reasons - philosophy. guru, tradition, region, inter marriage, excommunication etc. If we have to follow modern definition, brahmin is not a caste - only iyers (vadama and other sects), iyengars (vadakalai, thengalai etc.) are castes belonging to brahmin varna. Each jati may have hundred or thousand years of history. It is possible some NRI brahmin-castes merge or split into new boston or chicago or london or sydney 'kadal thandiya eka kundali brahmin' or some other lofty name.

There are castes in brahmin varna too; that is the truth and reality, as in the past.
 

palindrome

Active member
Sanatana dharma recognises only four varnas; further classification into jatis in each varna happened continuously - the same jati splitting into several for various reasons - philosophy. guru, tradition, region, inter marriage, excommunication etc. If we have to follow modern definition, brahmin is not a caste - only iyers (vadama and other sects), iyengars (vadakalai, thengalai etc.) are castes belonging to brahmin varna. Each jati may have hundred or thousand years of history. It is possible some NRI brahmin-castes merge or split into new boston or chicago or london or sydney 'kadal thandiya eka kundali brahmin' or some other lofty name.

There are castes in brahmin varna too; that is the truth and reality, as in the past.
What is ''Sanatana Dharma''?

The term "Sanatana Dharma" is a recent one. There are no scriptures, no literature which use such a term. The term first surfaces in colonial period texts. Quite likely it was coined by the RSS / Sangh Parivar / hindutva lobby to indicate that Dharmashastra rules of varna 'dharma' are forever (ie., sanatana). In the ancient past people followed their own religion. The Pancharatrikas followed their pancharatra religion. The Vaikhanasas followed their Vaikhanasa religion. The Pashupathas followed their own religion. All these are Agamic religions. Not vedic. Each had its own dharma (a path which they thought was righteous).

There is a stark difference between vedic and agamic. The vedas do not accept idol worship. The vedic religion performs homams (havans) to their specific vedic gods. There are explicit verses in the Rigveda against phallus (linga) worshippers. The Agamic religion, on the other hand, performs idol worship. Agamic texts also involve homams (havans), -- but they are tantric in origin (not vedic) and are dedicated to their respective gods (of non-vedic origin). Often it is claimed the four Tamizh words--pulam, maRai, kELvi, vAzhmozhi--refer to the Vedas. There is no evidence for it whatsoever. On the contrary, they most likely refer to the Agamic texts. The pArppAns are not vedic brahmins. They are Agamic temple priests. The Anthanar was just a native seer, not a vedic brahmin performing homams to vedic gods.

Now comes the differentiating part. Some agamic texts are classified into vaidika agamas. Some are classified into avaidika agamas. The term vaidika agama does not mean they follow vedas or that they are astika. Followers of vaidika agama are merely those who accepted smarta dharmashastras rules of varna system. Avaidika agamas do not accept varna system.

There are numerous Agamas / Tantras / Samhitas of Agamas. They do not have a common origin. Each tribe or clan (kulam) had its own god. Each agamic religion fought against the other agamic religion (ie, against an other kulam or tribe) for social supremacy. Each composed in praise of its own God (who was often its leader or prominent ancestor). The word for temple Koil is the illam (house) of the Ko (cowherd) wherein his spirit is brought into a stone and venerated for protection. One may call this the dAsA culture. Most probably Smriti followers could not subjugate and enforce dharmashastra rules on them. Hence, dAsAs were designated as 'others' in Manusmriti (ie., outside the representation of mouth, hands, arms and feet of the Purusha).

The Vedas and Agamas competed for social importance. The Agamic followers call their agamic texts 'veda'. However, these texts are not Rig, Sama, Yajur. Few Agamic texts have links to Atharva but not all. The Agamic followers call their Gods as Devas. However, gods of the non-vedic cults are designated Asuras, (Yakshas, Rakshasas, and such like) in Vedic literature. No one know how many agamic cultures (or texts) exist or how and why they originated. Most likely, it was just culture of a tribe for self-protection. Some agamic followers claim that vedas (Rig, Sama, Yajur) originated from Agamas. In this way, they try to establish superiority of Agamas against the vedas.

According to puranic literature (such as matsya purana) pashupata is vamachara. The Pashupata religion was followed in Kashmir and in South India. Some puranas (such as brahmanda purana) say there are no brahmins in Kashmir, Kambhoja, Balhika, Abhira, Soubhira, Shaka, Kekeya and Madra. Obviously, puranic writers did not recognize agamic priests as brahmins. Such puranic writers must have been performers of vedic havans (ie those who worshipped their vedic gods). The antagonism between vedic and agamic must have existed for long. The abhiras are called shudrAbhiras (shudra abhiras) which was discussed in older threads such as this. Incidentally, the shudrabhiras worship Krishna (who according to puranic literature was against Indra, the chief of vedic gods).

There are concentrated efforts to prove anthanar refers to vedic brahmins. This is patently false. The anthanar did not recite the rig, sama, yajur. Therefore vELvi cannot mean vedic yagnas. Even in prehistory of tamilakam the tantrika element cannot be missed as the culture was jain, buddhist, tribal. Therefore the term must have referred to Agamic yagnas (ie, non-vedic tantrika marga).

If the Iyers and Iyengars have thousands of years of history, please elaborate on it. What was their culture? How did Smartism originate? Obviously so-called 'Iyers' have varied origins. But all claim to be Smarthas. Why Iyers claim to be Smarthas? Are Smartha texts linked to Rig, Sama, Yajur or to Agamic texts? In what way, can these claim to be brahmins ?

Thanks.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top
Thank you for visiting TamilBrahmins.com

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.

We depend on advertising to keep our content free for you. Please consider whitelisting us in your ad blocker so that we can continue to provide the content you have come here to enjoy.

Alternatively, consider upgrading your account to enjoy an ad-free experience along with numerous other benefits. To upgrade your account, please visit the account upgrades page

You can also donate financially if you can. Please Click Here on how you can do that.

I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks