BASIC QUESTIONS ABOUT TAMILS & HINDUISM

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Questions in the letter are answered by London swaminathan

Post No.1173; Dated-15th July 2014.

I received the following message by email:-

Letter from PJ

Hi sir,

I am 17 year old kid from a Tamil family,
I was born in ‘K’near Nagapattinam, I moved to France when I was 13.
I was brought up in a typical Tamil-Hindu family, but I was never taught any religious books.

I love Hinduism so I wanted to learn more about it.

So I did some research in the web and I ended up getting confused.
I came across your blogs and read some of your blogs and biography. I don’t know why, I got a feeling that you would answer all my doubts.

In the web I came across those so called Aryan migration theory and out of India theory and I don’t believe Aryan migration and for me out the India theory make more sense.

My questions are:

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Q1).Are Tamil people really Hindus ?

My answer: In today’s world 80 to 90 % of Tamils are Hindus. They live traditionally in Tamil Nadu (India), Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles, Fiji, Guyana and for the past thirty years in almost all the countries from North Pole (Norway, Sweden) to South Pole (New Zealand and Australia) because of Sri Lankan ethnic conflict. France has a good population of Tamils from the French ruled territories of Tamil Nadu and from Sri Lanka.
Ancient Tamils were Hindus. Sangam Tamil literature has innumerable references to Hindu Gods, Yaga, Yajna (Fire sacrifices), Vedas, Karma theory, Rebirth, Cremation, Beliefs about 40 Samskaras of the Hindus, Yama and Death, Brahmins, Caste System, Wedding ceremonies and Astrology. I have published over 1000 posts in these blogs in Tamil and English quoting references from the Tamil and Sanskrit literature.

If anyone visits Tamil Nadu and see all the 38,000 temples under the HRCE Department OR read the 27,000+ lines of the Sangam Tamil Literature or the 18,000 Saivite Poems of the Nayanmars and 4000 Vaishnavite poems of the Alvars, their doubts will be cleared.

Sage Agastya is associated with Tamil or Tamil country in ancient Tamil literature and Kalidasa’s works.

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Q2). Why are Vedas and Bhagavad-Gita written in Sanskrit ?

Jesus spoke in Hebrew, Mohammed spoke in Arabic, Krishna spoke in Sanskrit, Sambandar spoke in Tamil and Zoroaster spoke in Persian; but the message they delivered is universal love and faith in God. Tomorrow one more saint may come to spread the same message in Esperanto or a language newly developed. What difference a language can make? Tongues may be different but the hearts are one.

God understands all the languages and even the sign language of the deaf and dumb. Lord Shiva invented a new language called SILENCE. He did preach for the four great saints through silence in his Dakshinamurthy form under the Banyan tree. In our own times Ramana Maharishi did this. If you read “The Search in Secret India” by Paul Brunton, you will understand it.

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Q3). What is the link between Tamil and Sanskrit ?

Foreign “Scholars” spread a theory about two different language groups -Dravidian and Aryan- which is not correct. It is true that both the languages are different. But Sanskrit is the closest language to Tamil. No other language in the world can come closer to Tamil than Sanskrit. It is not because of geographical proximity. I mean structurally they are closer than other languages. It is a big topic and only linguists can understand. An old poem of Paranjothy Munivar says that Shiva was the one who taught both the languages. Hindus believe that all the languages in India came from Lord Shiva. Both the Tamil and Sanskrit commentators have written so.

Now and then I read that ‘Tamil is closer to Sumerian’, ‘Tamil is connected to Finnish’, ‘Tamil has link with Japanese’ and I used to laugh at the ignorance of those “scholars”. The latest language theory is that you can find similar words between any two languages in the world. When I was working for the BBC WORLD SERVICE between 1987 and 1992, I interviewed Mr.Sathur Sekaran who wrote 140 books connecting Tamil language with all the languages in the world. When I interviewed him on behalf of the BBC Tamil Service (Tamilosai), I politely pointed out the fallacies in his argument. In short I can show similarities, at least superficial/morphological, between any two languages in the world. This is because we all lived under one roof at one time. The tower of Babel story in the Bible is partly true. We have similar stories in the Hindu scriptures in the Yajur Veda.

With regard to Tamil, no one in the present world can speak pure Tamil without Sanskrit. If you ask the names of one’s father, mother, native place, Deities, everything will be in Sanskrit. Even the people who spearheaded Dravidian movements had only Sanskrit names! I have pointed out Tamils have no words for some common words like ‘heart’ and ‘Face’. I have also pointed out that if anyone dares to remove the poems written by Brahmins or references to Brahmins, and all that is Hindu, there wouldn’t be anything left in Sangam Tamil literature. A lot of Sangam Tamil poets have Sanskrit names such as Kesavan, Damodaran, Valmiki, Brahma, Kapila, Parana,Kamakshi, Vishnu Dasan, Kanna dasan. Please read my article “No Brahmins! No Tamil!!” posted in this blog.

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Q4). When I was small I thought Tamil was derived from Sanskrit but now they say both are different?

A)I have answered this question already. Please see above.
In an island like New Guiea we have over 750 languages. How and Why? If it can happen in an island, in a vast country like India with different climatic conditions, flora and fauna and 4000 year long history, naturally languages will branch out forming new dialects, leading to newer languages. During Sangam period there was no Malayalam in Kerala. Telugu and Kannada had more Tamilized forms at that time. Now we can’t understand one another; why? The natural law is “Change is inevitable. Everything must change”. Tamil won’t be the same after two hundred years. Tamil that which my great grandfather used is not the language I use today.

Q5). I can understand that India is a land of diversity. I keep wondering why some are really white, we should all be brown due to our climate? ( I am brown and I’m proud to be one)

A)This colour of the skin is the one which foreign scholars used to deceive the native people. People who lived in the north had fairer colours because of the cold climate. I also used to wonder how come we changed to brown colour from the African black and how come the white people became white from the African black. The scientific theory is that we all evolved from the Monkeys/Apes in Africa. Scientists say that Mankind originated in Africa. We were only black at that stage. How come one section became white and another remained black. How long would it take for a black race to become white race? How come there are still black and brown animals and birds even in the cold countries where as the people are all white?

One person told me it was albinos that produced the white race. I expect a better answer from the scientists/biologists.

BRUNTON

Regarding the racist theory:

My theory is that Indians went to different parts of the world taking their culture. Foreign “scholars” arbitrarily fixed the meaning of words (e.g ayas=iron), dates for iron and horse, language groups according to their whims and fancies, interpretations as per their imagination etc. Everything can be changed topsy-turvy (ulta) and can be proved right. The Word ‘Dravidian’ did not exist during Vedic period. The world ‘Aryan’ was used with the meaning of ‘cultured, civilized’ and not with any racial connotation. Foreigners deliberately used it with a racial meaning to confuse the Hindus and destroy their identity.

Q6). I can also understand that Hinduism has more holy books, unlike other religions, but is there any holy book of the Tamil s?

A)Holy Books for the Tamils are Thevaram/Tiruvasagam and Divya Prabandham. Even the authors who composed over 14,000 poems said that they are giving the Vedas in Tamil!!!

Even the atheists accept Tirukkural written by Tiruvalluvar. There can’t be a purer Hindu than Tiruvalluvar. Please read two volumes of English commentary of Tirukkural by Dr S M Diaz, I.P.S.,Ph.D

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7. Why is the Five great epics of Sangam period written by the Jains and Buddhists ?

A)Five Tamil Epics do not belong to Sangam Period; they belong to post Sangam period, may be from 5th century CE to 10th Century CE. We did not get two of the five epics in full. Of the five Tamil epics, Manimegalai is purely Buddhist and Seevaka Chintamani is of the Jains. Silappadikaram, the most popular of the five, is like a Hindu Encyclopaedia. It praised Hindu Gods more than anything else. It is true Jainism is praised by the author. If I have only Tamil books, I will teach Hinduism through this epic than any other book. No rationalist or atheist will touch this book because it is full of “Superstitious Hindu Beliefs”!!!

Q8). Who is Thiruvalluvar ?
I have written under the topic “Who was Tiruvalluvar?” in this blog on24 July 2013. Please read it.

In short, the greatest Tamil Hindu that post Sangam period (fifth century CE) produced was Tiruvalluvar. Even if all the Vedas, Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana and Mahabharata disappear tomorrow, TIRUKKURAL is enough to teach Hinduism. Hindus only can follow the vegetarianism, penance (Tavam=Tapas), Pancha Yajna etc preached in this book. No Muslim, No Christian will be able to follow this. The very structure of the book is Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha (Arathu pal, Porutpal and Inpathu Pal; Moksha is discussed in chapters like Tavam etc.in the Arathu Pal)

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Q9). To make it more confusing THE CASTE SYSTEM: why was that created? I mean “we all are equal”.

A)In ancient India, it started as ‘division of labour’. Slowly it changed into ‘castes by birth’ system. It divided and sub divided in to hundreds and thousands of castes. Who made it? It is not in any Hindu scripture ( I mean the sub sub sub sub castes). Unless every one touches his heart and say that I would not follow it, it won’t go away. There are two movements in India, RSS and Communist party, where it is practised less.

The equality can be brought only by great people who preach religion. When people aim for higher things in life these petty differences will melt away. We saw it happening in big movements like Satya Sai Baba and Sri Ramakrishna missions.

In no part of the world at any one point of time in History, everyone was treated equal. This has been only in letters, not in spirit. People are talking about an idealistic society where they expected no discrimination against anyone. In the United States, different states have different laws!! If it can happen in one country in our own time, imagine what could have happened in Greece and Rome, Egypt and Babylonia two thousand years ago. Being a Gay or a Lesbian was immoral and illegal in all parts of the world. Now a man can marry a man in some parts of the world and can have all family benefits!! MPs and Prime Ministers, Presidents and Queens (like British queen) are not like you and me!! Some are more equal than others!

I have an MA in history. All the ancient societies had big, big discriminations. I am not justifying caste discriminations. But no politician in India will do away with the caste system. No backward caste or scheduled caste will relinquish their status for the next 100 years! They thrive on this. Go to a backward class man or a scheduled caste woman and preach your equality theory. They will look at you as if you have landed from planet Mars!!

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Q10). And finally, is it true that Vedas permit eating meat and it only based on nature.

Yes. It is true. They ate meat on certain occasions. If you believe that part of the Vedas and that part of the Puranas, you must believe in everything that they say. They narrate thousands of miracles and you must believe them. Just because some non Hindus or atheists do some propaganda you don’t need to deny or accept it. Take it (the scriptures) as a whole and weigh it. Read more speeches by Swami Vivekananda or Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna or Bhagavad Gita Tamil commentary or Tiruvasagam commentary by Swami Chidbhavannabda. You would not even have asked these questions.

Poor and ignorant Hindus never read anything that is Hindu, but trained only to ask questions. I don’t blame you. This is the trend with the Hindus. It is true we have hundreds of holy books unlike other religions. But read at least ONE BOOK in full and stick to it. Even if you read only Tirukkural and follow it you will be the greatest Hindu.

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Q). I like Vallalar and Bharathiar a lot and what they say about Hinduism (Santana dharma); why is Murugan and many gods worshiped only by us?

A)If you read Vallalar that is more than enough; He has given the essence of Hinduism. I have already given all the important poems by Vallalar.
If you read Bharatiyar, that is more than enough. He has given the Vedic thoughts in beautiful Tamil poems. Ilango, Vallalar, Valluvar and Bharatiyar are True Tamil Hindus.

Murugan and other Hindu gods are different aspects of ONE GOD. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa says, ‘same gold is used to make different ornaments’ (Every time my wife enters a jewellery shop she admires the beauty of each and everything and urges me to buy one for her! Even if I buy the whole shop she wouldn’t be satisfied! In the same way Hindus have found out that they can enjoy more and more by having varieties).

Sri Ramkrishna says that ‘same sugar and flour are used to make different sweets’ ( Every time I go to India, I ask someone to buy halwa from Madurai Nagapattinam Ney Mittay shop or Tirunelveli Lala Halwa shop and I beg someone to buy Panneer Jhangry. Same flour, same sugar! Why do I long for such petty things? It is the sheer variety. Kalisada says ‘variety is the spice of life!’ Hindus have found out that people at different levels of spiritual progress can be slowly elevated to higher and higher state by various forms of deities, various rituals, festivals, foods and dress codes.)

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Q)Sir,I love our religion I just want to know if we and our ancestors are really part of it or we got converted into it.

A)Kanchi Paramacharaya says that Hindusism is the only religion that has no founder, that has no name (word Hinduism is not in our scriptures). He says that it is the eternal religion (Sanatana Dharma). Its vestiges are found in all parts of the world.

Others were converted to newly founded religions such as Islam and Christianity. What happened to the grandfathers of Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed? Did they go to hell because the new religions were not there? Those who follow the oldest religion in the world still remain as Hindus. Santana Dharma is the oldest religion according to all the famous encyclopaedias.

I hope you will answer me and I will be grateful to you.

A)I have answered most of your questions.

Q)Pls take a look at my source and tell me if they are true I need you help sir.

A)I had a look at some of the You tube videos. I support ‘out of India theory’. Dr BR Ambedkar, Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Aurobindo, Kanchi Paramacharya, great Tamil scholars U V Samynatahiyer and Bharathi did NOT support Aryan Migration Theory.

Contact swami_48@yahoo.com

Rama ,Balarama & Parasurama in Ancient Tamil Literature

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Krishna and Baladeva on Indo-Greek Coins (Picture from Wikipedia)

Written by London Swaminathan
Post No.1078; Dated 1st June 2014.

Tamil politicians who called themselves Dravidians and atheists have propagated false information about Tamil culture for long. This was initially put forward by Christian missionaries and foreigners with a motive to stabilize their rule and spread their religion. They were spreading Aryan- Dravidian racist theory and said Hindu gods were introduced to Tamils who were without a religion. Those who studied history and religion knew that human beings believed in some supernatural force from the very early times.

Knowledgeable Tamils who have studied approximately 2500 poems of ancient Tamils know that the Vedas, Brahmins, Hindu Gods, Hindu beliefs about birth and death, Rebirth, Karma theory, Vegetarianism, Seven Stars (Saparishi), Six Stars (Pleiades= Skanda), Pole Star (Druva), Arundhati (Alcor), Amrita (ambrosia), Heaven and Hell, Astrology, Epics and Puranas are all mentioned in innumerable places in Sangam Tamil literature, which is at least 2000 years old.

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Besnagar aruda Pillar of Indo -Greek King Heliodorus

I give below some references to Hindu deities from Purananuru and Agananuru. Both these books with 400 poems each in the anthology give us a picture of Tamil society that existed 2000 year ago in Tamil Nadu. They had the same beliefs like their northern counter parts about most of the things. Like any other society we see some minor changes in different areas. A language changes every 200 years and a culture changes every 200 miles, say the scholars. Why can’t people have different beliefs, customs in a vast country like India which is equal to 20+ European countries? In a country like United Kingdom, just the size of Andhra Pradesh in India, we see four different cultures and numerous English dialects. So it is no wonder we had minor differences in the long history of India.

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Lord Siva in his dancing pose.

Lord Siva
Lord Siva is referred to in a lot of places in the Sangam Tamil Poems. One reference is to His helping the Devas to by shooting the Three Forts of Asuras with a single arrow, having a serpent as the bow string and hill as the bow, and He is described as blue throated, wearing the crescent on his fair head and with an eye shining on his fore head—Puram 55, Marudan Ilanagan (contemporary of Nakkiran) on Pandyan Nanmaran.
Nanmaran was also sung by Nakkiran, son of Madurai Kanakkayanar.

The other references are to
Lord Siva’s three eyes:– Puram 6 by Kari kizar on Mudukudumi Peruvazuthi .
His matted locks:– Puram 6 by Kari kizar on Mudukudumi Peruvazuthi
His blue throat:– Puram 56 by Nakkirar, 91 by Avvaiyar on Adiyaman Anji.

Puram 56 by Nakkirar gives the following information:–
Nakkirar, in this poem, has given a beautiful description of all the Gods worshipped in ancient Tamil Nadu two thousand years ago. In one stanza he praised Siva, Balarama, Krishna and Skanda (Subramanya or Murugan in Tamil).

“He who is riding on a strong bull, has matted locks like blazing fire, the invincible battle axe and a throat like the blue gem, and He whose body is the colour of the chank (conch) from the sea and who wields the death desiring plough and has the Palmyra flag and He whose body is the colour of the well washed sapphire and who raises aloft to the sky the bird flag and desires victory, and He who holds up the gem like peacock flag, who is always victorious, rides the peacock (or the elephant) and is bright red.
This is the most informative poem about Hindu faith in Sangam period. Hindu religion was the main religion and all the Hindu Gods were very familiar to the Tamils. The beauty of the poem is that it gives all the flags or Vahanas of the Hindu Gods. When we see that the same concept existed in the North around the same period or earlier we are wonder struck with the impact of Hinduism in a vast geographical area—the largest in the ancient world.

Approximately at the same time in the North, Kanishka of first century BC issued a coin with Lord Shiva. Yaudheya coins have Subramanya. Balarama and Krsihna are seen on Bactrian coins of Agathocles (180 BCE)*. Garuda emblem was on the Besnagar Pillar of a Greek King Heliodorous (113 BCE). From Afghanistan to Tamil Nadu in the southern most part of India it was the same gods, same religion, same flags and same Vahanas!!!
(For more information read Balarama and Krishna in Bactrian coins by Dr R Nagaswamy in http://www.tamilartsacademy.com)

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Parsurama and Krishna avatar.

Lord Krishna & Balarama

Palmyra flag of Balarama is also referred to in the oldest Tamil book Tolkappiam and in Puram 58 by Karikannan on Pandya and Choza kings. Karikannanar compared the unity of Choza and Pandya to Balarama and Krishna. In those days Hindus considered kings as gods.

There are more references to Krishna in other poems:

Puram 57 of Karikannanar
A Pandya is described as full of fame like Mayon (Krishna or Vishnu), “famous
for his power of teaching” (Reference to Gitopadesam of Bhagavad Gita).

And “the crescent moon on his head”– in verse 91 by Avvaiyar on Adiyaman Anji.
“The Ancient Lord of long, stiff matted locks”– in Puram 166 by Avur Mulankizar on Punchatrur Brahmin Kaundinya Vinnanthayan /Vishnudasan)

In Puram 198, Vadama vannakan Peri Sathan on Nanamaran (this poet is a contemporary of Nakkiran and Marudan Ilanagan. Both these poets praised Pandya Namaran):–
The God under the banyan tree (Some commentators say it was Vishnu who sat on a Banyan leaf and some others points out that is Siva who sat under a Banyan tree.
An incident in the life of Krishna is also described in the Puram verse 174:-
When the terrible Asuras swarmed and concealed the sun who hone in the sky and disappeared, (men) could not see on account of darkness. To relieve the distress of the round world, the collyrium coloured one of great strength brought the sun back and raised him in the sky. (It may be the Jayadratha episode in the Majhabharata).

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Agni and Agora Veerabadrar, forms of Siva

Agam references on Siva:–
“He who has a head shining with milk like crescent moon and throat like sapphire”- Agam 181by Paranar, contemporary of Kapilar.

Paranar and Kapilar are like Twin Poets and belonged to first century CE.
In the same poem Paranar refers to Four Vedas (Nan Marai), Lord Skanda (Murugu) as well.
“The three eyed Lord whom the sweet toned Four Vedas which spread good to the world (sing about) embellished beautifully the yard where the banyan trees grows”.

Krishna Leela in Agam
Agam stanza 59 refers to Krishna’s bending the branches of the tree, that the cowherdess may wear the cool leaves for the cloth.
There is one more reference to Krishna in Agam 175:–
“Like the garland of the wide, all conquering chest of the discus whose bright spokes are well arranges, was the rain bow”.

Ramayana In Sangam Literature:–
Lord Rama is alluded once in Puram and once in Agam. Both these episodes are not found in any of the major Ramayanas of India. Kamban, a 12 th century Tamil poet mentioned three Ramayanas and said that he followed Valmiki. So these may be from Baudayana or Vashista Ramayana.

Puram 378 by Unpothi Pasungkudaiyar
It is said that monkeys picked up Sita ’s ornaments which she dropped when Ravana carried her in his aerial car and wore them topsy-turvy.
“As the jewels sparkled on the red-faced relations of the monkey that saw the bright ornaments dropped on the ground by Sita, the wife of Rama of the strong car, when she was forcibly carried away by the powerful Rakshasa”.

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Maricha Vadha from Ramayana

Agam 70 by Madurai Thamizkuthanar Kaduvan Mallanar
In Agam 70, the following simile occurs. “As was silenced the banyan tree with many aerial roots (the sound of whose birds disturbed) the thoughts of victorious Rama near the shore of the roaring sea at the ancient Kodi (Dhanuskodi) which belongs to the Pandiyas of the conquering spear”.

Parasurama
Parasurama is allured to once in Agam:- Parasurama is associated with the West coast of India from very early times. All their written and oral history begins with Parasurama, one of the Ten Incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Yaga (Fire Sacrifice) performed by Parasurama is found in a simile in Agam 220 by Marudan Ilanagan. “Like the long pole (yupa) well guarded, beautiful to see and tied with roperound its middle, at which (the inclination of Vishnu who wielded the battle axe and destroyed the Kshatriyas dynasties, performed the yaga with great effort”.

Tamil culture is Vedic culture is established from the above poems. Wherever religious references occur, we see only Hindu Gods and beliefs as tamil beliefs. I have already given in my posts that the oldest book Tolkappiam referred to Indra, Varuna, Agni and Durga as Gods of the tamil people.

There are many more references to Yagas, Karma Theory, Rebirth, Svarga, Burial and cremation rites, three references to Sati custom (wife dying in the funeral pyre of her husband) and Vedas and Brahmins. I will write about them in another article.
Contact swami_48@yahoo.com