Post No. 10,861

Date uploaded in London – –    18 APRIL  2022         

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Let us continue with the Post Sangam references of Asuras (also Rakshas):-

Post Sangam period references:-

Asurar – Silappadikaram  6-7; 12-10; Manimekalai  6-180

Avunan – Silappadikaram 6-48, 12-1, 24-9

Avunar – Silappadikaram – 6-60; at least in 8 places.

In the Rig Veda, the oldest book in the world, we saw more than 30 references of Asura prefixed with Indra, Varuna and Agni. Most important Vedic Gods were praised as Asura, meaning mighty. But in Tamil literature all Asura references have negative connotation like the Puranas, that is Asuras are bad people/demons.

Silappadikaram, the best of the five Tamil epics, is the only book in Tamil having a Tamil story. All other Tamil books are about people of North India.

But here we  see more interesting Asura stories In the Sixth chapter, Katalaatu Katai; Mucukunda, once the king of Chozas was troubled by the Asuras. Indra sent supernatural Bhutas to Pukar port to help the king according to the commentators.

In the same chapter, there is a description of 11 kinds of dances performed by Matavi, and one of them is the Mallu dance . This dance depicts the story of Vishnu.

Following is the story given by the commentators:

Bana was an Asura with 1000 arms. He was the son of Bali and Kotara. His capital was called Sonitapuram. He had a daughter by name Usha. Anirudhdha, son of Pradyumna and grand son of Krishna carried her away. Hence Bana had him imprisoned. Krishna went to his grandson’s rescue, and chopped off Bana’s 1000 hands. The story is in Bhagavata Purana.


Asura marriage is one of the Eight Types of marriage in Tamil Tolkappiam and Manu Smriti. We saw it Mahabharata with Bheesma- Amba, Ambika and Ambalika marriage

We read about Asura’s marrying Kings or good people in Mahabarata and Puranas. We also see Rakshasa like Vibheesana joining hands with Rama. We read about people of Asura, Naga, Rakshasa lineage joining Mahabharata war. So they were not completely isolated. They mingled with other Hindus.

The oft repeated God Subrahmanya – Asura Sura Padman conflict is also one of the 11 kinds of dances. The killing of Sura Padman is enacted every year in all the Murugan/ Skanda temples in Tamil lands. Hindu Puranas give details of Lord Skanda/Murugan/Subrahmanya killing Tarakasuran.

Another dance performed by Matavi is Durga killing Mahisasura. Mahisa Asura is the one with buffalo head. From Gupta sculptures to Pallava sculptures we see it sculpted artistically throughout India. So this Asura episode was known all over India nearly 2000 years ago.

A few other dances in Matavi’s repertoire also were based on Asura stories. Commentators gave them with full details.

In short, we hear only very ancient Asura stories.



Appar and Manikkavasagar, Saivite saints of seventh century or earlier period praised Lord Siva as Aryan. The commentators give us the meaning: –

Tiruvasagam 1-64, 2-22

The commentators of Tiruvasagam say Aryan is one who is higher, one who is to be worshipped and it may be his Guru. Others consider Lord Siva himself.

Appar, contemporary of Mahendra Pallavan of 600 CE, sang about Lord Siva as Aryan.

In Thevaram 6-23-5

“He is Tamil; He is the Noble one (Aariyan) residing in Annamalai”– is the translation of the commentator.

There are other references such as Aariyam , Aariyan: Thevaram 6-132-3; 6-46-10

Lord Siva is praised as Tamil and Sanskrit. Lord Siva is Music and Sama Veda.

No where in Tamil scriptures,  Arya has a racial connotation. Siva is Tamil and Sanskrit. Siva is noble one.

Tamil Verses:

ஆரியந்தமிழோடு  இசையானவன் (6-132-3)

வானவர் காண்; வானவர்க்கும் மேல் ஆனான் காண்

வடமொழியும் தென் தமிழும் மறைகள் நான்கும் ஆனவன் காண் (6-8-60)

கோல மா நீலமிடற்றான் தன்னை

செந்தமிழோடு ஆரியனை சீரீயானை (6-46-10)

இன்னடியார்க்கின்பம் விளைப்பான் கண்டாய்

ஆரியன் கண்டாய் தமிழன் கண்டாய்

அண்ணாமலையுறயெம் அண்ணல் கண்டாய் (திருமறைக்காடு)



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