Post No. 10,850

Date uploaded in London – –    15 APRIL  2022         

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Now we will look at Arya and Asura in Tamil Literature which is 2000 year old.

Tamils are all praise for Aryas and condemn demons. Sangam period Tamils were followers of Vedic Dharma. Oldest book Tolkappiam and Sangam books Purananuru etc used Dharma Artha Kama in the same order (Aram, Porul, Inbam). Tamil saint Tituvalluvar named his book Dhama Artha Kama. It was called Muppaal because it was divided into three parts in the same order Dhama Artha Kama. Tiruvalluvar praised God in first ten couplets and called atheists as Ghosts, Stupid and Illiterate later.

Tamils never sing about Moksha (Veedu in Tamil) according to their ethical rule. Though commentators mentioned it in their commentaries on Tamil works, they never gave any reason for it. But all Tamil books dealt with this subject.

Now coming back to statistics let us look at ARYA in Tamil first. If I take the word Deva and Deiva/God, then I have to write a whole book. So I will stick to ARYA only.

Sangam Period

Following are the references: –

Aariyar –

Narrinai 170-6

Kurunthokai 7-3

Pathirrup pathu – 11-23

Akananuru – 276-9, 336-22, 396-16, 398-18

Aariya porunan – Akananuru 386-5


Post Sangam Period

Silappadikaram 23-14, 25-158;

Manimekalai 25-6

Aariya arasar/kings – Silappadikaram 26-211, 217, 28-195

Aariya mannar/king – Silappadikaram- 8 places in chapters 25, 27, 29

Sangam literature pathikams/ later additions –

Pathirrup pathu pathi. 2-7; 5-6


In short the poets meant:-

People in the north,

Saints who recited Sanskrit mantras

Kings who ruled Northern parts.

Saints and seers living in the Himalayas


300 years after Sangam period, came the great Saivite saints who praised Lord Shiva as ‘Aryan’. They never used ARYA in negative sense or as a  contemptible word. On the contrary demons (in Tamil Avunar, Arakkar etc) were condemned.

Demons were referred to in 11 places.


Let us take a few examples:-

In Kurunthokai verse,  poet Maha padman (Perumpathumanaar) uses Arya for northern acrobatics performer who does walk on ropes for the rhythm of drum beats.

In one of the Akam verses (386), a wrestler has the prefix Arya, probably he was from the north.

In Narrinai verse an anonymous poet sings about Mullur battle where a chieftain by name Malayaman Thirumudikkari defeated the Aryas who attacked him. It is the only reference and we don’t have any other evidence for this btatle. It may be a group from the North. Because we have one Pandya king with the title Nedun Cheziyan who conquered Aryan army. They may be from the north. We may ignore these fights because there are more severe fights among Tamil groups in more verses, in fact hundreds of verses!


In one of the Akam verse (276), Kerala Brahmin poet Paranar gives an interesting simile- “like the female elephant trained by Arya helping to catch male elephants”. We have all Gaja/elephnant shastras, Asva/horse Shastras  in Sanskrit. So those who spoke Sanskrit language trained the elephants. Even in Turkey, one Kikkuli trained horses using Sanskrit commands in 1380 BCE. So no wonder Paranar sings about Aryan trained female elephants.

In Akam verse (336), Chozas defeating the Aryan army was used as a simile .

In Akam verse (396), Kerala brahmin poet Paranar again refers to a Chera king defeating Aryan army when he went to fly his bow and arrow flag on the Himalayas .

In Akam verse (398), another poet Immenkeeranar refers to Aryas of the golden Himalayas.

So all these references are neutral or without any racial connotation. In short any one from the north whether he is a king, or a wrestler or an acrobat ,  that person was called Arya.

Even the seers and saints at the foot hills of Himalayas were called Arya.

We will see more Aryas and Asuras in the next part.

To be continued………………….

tags —  Aryan acrobat, Aryan wrestler, Aryan in Tamil, Demons in Tamil, Avuna, army

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