Philippines- A Tamil Hindu Colony?

The Pre Spanish history of Philippines was shrouded in mystery. Now the mist around the Philippines is clearing thanks to recent discoveries. The Spaniards, wherever they went, destroyed the local culture, plundered their gold and massacred the people. They spared those people who converted to Christianity.

The Philippines is a country of 7000 islands. Nobody asked or wondered what those places were called before they named it “ Philippines” just 400 years ago. They had their own names, their own culture, but they were ignored as primitive and uncivilized. Fortunately one inscription and one golden statue escaped the wrath of the religious fanatics.

One important Tamil inscription of Rajendra Chola was not properly explained. Half of the place names mentioned in the inscription is not properly identified. The East Indies were known to Kalidasa of 1st century BC. Parasurama was linked with Aparanta.  Kalidasa used to mention Indonesia and the islands beyond as Dwipantara.  Rajendra Cholas inscription mentioned Parasurama.

Hindu music instrument Kadjabi is still played in the Philippines. Hundreds of Sanskrit words are used in the islands even today.

Golden Statue

A  five and a half inch tall golden statue recovered from Mindanao in 1917 is kept in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Vishnu’s vehicle Garuda was found in Palawan. The gold statue is that of a Buddhist goddess known as Tara. It weighs 4 pounds (approximately 2 Kilos). It is dated 1200 to 1300 AD. It was found in Wawa River after heavy rains. Lot of gold was taken back to Spain and melted. Only a few escaped from the invaders.

Laguna Copper Plate inscription

Luzon in the Philippines was ruled by Lakans (local chieftains)  from 900 AD until 1571. An inscription found there known as Laguna copperplate inscription dated 900 AD contains Sanskrit words and place names. The inscription which was found in 1989 contains information about debts cleared by the ruler of Tondo. Namwaran along with his children Lady Angkatana and Buka were cleared of debts. It was written in Kawi script. Lord Minister Jayadewa issued the order. The inscription is kept in the National Museum of the Philippines  in Manila. A lot of Sanskrit words such as Swasti, Visaka,Chathurthi, Suwarna, Krishnapaksha, Somawara, Dewata, Jyotisa  are in the text. Full text and translation is available in Wikipedia.


Wikipedia article says 25 percent of words in Philippines native language are from Sanskrit and Tamil. Look at the list given by Wikipedia:

From Tagalog:

* budhi “conscience” from the Sanskrit bodhi
* dukha “one who suffers” from the Sanskrit dukkha
* guro “teacher” from the Sanskrit guru
* sampalataya “faith” from the Sanskrit sampratyaya
* mukha “face” from the Sanskrit mukha
* laho “eclipse” from the Sanskrit rahu
* maharlika “noble” from Sanskrit mahardikka

From Kapampangan:

* kalma “fate” from the Sanskrit karma
* damla “divine law” from the Sanskrit dharma
* mantala -“magic formulas” from the Sanskrit mantra
* upaya “power” from the Sanskrit upaya
* lupa “face” from the Sanskrit rupa
* sabla “every” from the Sanskrit sarva
* lawu “eclipse” from the Sanskrit rahu
* Galura “giant eagle (a surname)” from the Sanskrit garuda
* Laksina -“south (a surname)” from the Sanskrit dakshin
* Laksamana/Lacsamana “admiral (a surname)” from the Sanskrit lakshmana

From Tausug:

* suarga “heaven”; compare “sorga” in modern Indonesian [1]
* neraka “hell”
* agama “religion”

Sanskrit and Sanskrit-derived words common to most Philippine languages:

* sutla “silk” from the Sanskrit sutra
* kapas “cotton” from the Sanskrit kerpas
* naga “dragon or serpent” from the Sanskrit naga

Ramayana in the islands

Ramayana and Mahabharata are popular in all the South East Asian countries. Philippines also have its own version of Ramayana. The Maranao version is Maharadia lawana ( Maharaja Ravana). Lam- Ang is the version of the Llocanos. Many verses of Hud Hud are from Ramyana and Mahabharata.

Musical Instruments

Several musical instruments of the Philippines are similar to Indian musical instruments and Kutiyapi is a corrupted word of Kadjabi, a Sanskrit word.

Rajendra Chola Inscription

Rajendra Chola, son of the Raja Raja won many countries in South East Asia. The inscription named all the countries and islands he won around 1025 AD. K.A.Nilakanta Sastri, the greatest authority on South Indian History has written about his conquests. But when he wrote about the Cholas 75 years ago Laguna inscription was not discovere. Only Rajendra’s Tamil inscription was known. Now we know Philippine islands were under Hindu rulers even before Rajendra invaded S.E. Asian countries.

Scholars identify the following places in the inscription:

Sri Vijaya= Palembang, Pannai= North Sumatra, Malaiyur= Jambi, Mayirudingam= Thai-Malay peninsula, Ilangasokam= Langkasuka, Mappalam= Pegu, Mavimbangam= Isthumus of Ligor or Thai-Malay peninsula, Valaipanduru= Vietnam?, Talaitakkolam= Takoba, Madamalingam= Tambralinga, Ilamuridesam= Lamri in Aceh, Manakkavaram= Nicobar islands, Kadaram= Kedah.

Some of the above places are confirmed by secondary evidence. My research shows that the place names such as Mayirudingam, Mavimbangam are islands of Philippines. The reason for this is the trade roués to China went through these islands. During 1300 year rule, the countries established trade and political contacts with China which is confirmed by the Chinese writers. A patient decoding of Chinese transliterations may reveal more truths. Sanskrit and Tamil words are corrupted beyond recognition Eg. Liang Shu (Langkasoka).

Kaundinya from South India established the Hindu empire in the First century AD in Funan. Chinese writers have written about the rulers and their relationship with China. Agastya cult was deep rooted in Java, Sumatra and Bali islands. I have already written about it and Mulavarman’s Sanskrit inscription in Borneo.

More From History of Indian Culture by B.M.Luniy

“ Modern researchers have proved that the people of South India had established their colonies in the Philippines and they had considerably influenced all aspects of daily life. Handicrafts, coins, folk songs, traditions and many religious customs exhibit the Hindu influence there. The scripts of the people of Philippines bear striking resemblance with those of South India. In the realm of religious rites, rituals and assigning names, the natives of Philippines followed Indians closely. The names of the places on the Luzon coast and the shores of Manila bay indicate their Sanskrit origin. The discovery of Ganesh statue proves that the people followed Brahmanism. The hill tribes of Luzon worship early Vedic Gods even to this day.

The people of many islands in the Pacific Ocean have physical appearance similar to that of Indo Aryans. Their languages have resemblance with those of the pre Aryan Indians like Santhals. Their religious and social customs and beliefs betray traces of Hindu cultural influences. The Hula dance of Hawai islands and Shiva dance of Samoa are similar to the folk dances of Bengal


Their use of conch shell, nose flute, musical bones, staple food stuffs and animals reveal Indian origin. Many of their decorative designs, crafts, traditions, ideas of phallic symbolism and images are examples of old Polynesian cultural traits derived from the Brahmanical civilization”.

Please read my earlier posts

1.Pandya King who Ruled Vietnam 2.Ancient Sanskrit inscriptions in strange places 3.Sanskrit inscriptions in Mosques and on Coins 4.Sanskrit inscription and Magic Square on Tortoise 5.Ancient Tamil Dress 6.Pallankuzi (mancala) mystery 7.India- Madagascar Link 8.Is Brahmastra a Nuclear Weapon? 9.Great Engineers of Ancient India 10. The Mysterious Link between Karnataka and Cambodia

I have given below part of the text of Rajendra Chola’s inscription for the benefit of Tamil readers:

தொல்பெருங் காவற் பல்பழந் தீவும்

செருவிற் சினவி யிருபத் தொருகால்

அரசுகளை கட்ட பரசு ராமன்

மேவருஞ் சாந்திமத் தீவரண் கருதி

இருத்திய செம்பொற் றிருத்தகு முடியும் (20)


அலைகடல் நடுவுட் பலகலஞ் செலுத்திச்

சங்கிராம விசையோத் துங்க வர்ம

னாகிய கடாரத் தரசனை வாகையும்

பொருகடல் கும்பக் கரியொடு மகப்படுத் (50)

துரிமையிற் பிறக்கிய பருநிதிப் பிறக்கமும்

ஆர்த்தவ னகநகர்ப் போர்த்தொழில் வாசலில்

விச்சா திரத்தோ ரணமு மொய்த்தொளிர்

புனைமணிப் புதவமுங் கனமணிக் கதவமும்

நிறைசீர் விசயமுந் துறைநீர்ப் பண்ணையும்

வன்மலை யூரெயிற் றொன்மலை யூரும்

ஆழ்கட லகழ்சூழ் மாயிரு டிங்கமும்

கலங்கா வல்வினை இலங்கா சோகமும்

காப்புறு நிறைபுனல் மாப்பப் பாளமும்

காவலம் புரிசை மேவிலிம் பங்கமும் (60)

விளைப்பந் தூருடை வளைப்பந் தூரும்

கலைத்தக் கோர்புகழ் தலைத்தக் கோலமும்

தீதமர் பல்வினை மாதமா லிங்கமும்

கலாமுதிர் கடந்திற லிலாமுரி தேசமும்

தேனக்க வார்பொழில் மானக்க வாரமும் (65)

தொடுகடற் காவற் கடுமுரட் கடாரமும்

மாப்பொரு தண்டாற் கொண்ட கோப்பரகேசரி வன்மரான

உடையார் ஸ்ரீராசேந்திர சோழதேவர்க்கு யாண்டு…”

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