Page:Origin and spread of the Tamils.djvu/107

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96 ORIGIN AND SPREAD OF THE TAMILS of father god, The worship of mother goddess, Earth, can be traced in China from the second century B.C, if not earlier. In the reign of the Emperor Wu, 140-137 B.C, the cult of the heaven and earth attain importance; and this natural dualism appears as the supreme expression of the Chinese religion. Among the Oraons and other tribes of Central India, the worship of Dharti Mai is widely prevalent. There were periodic fastivals for the purpose of stimulating the fertility of Mother Earth which included human sacrifices also, that were particularly prevalent among the Khonds of Orissa. Even among the Africans of Western Africa like the Bobos the worship of Mother Earth was long prevalent, while among the Red Indians there was the practice of the personification of the Earth as their mother, as also the belief that their first ancestors issiled from it as children from the womb. The Earth Goddess was the mother of the gods among the Aztees. The terracotta figurines of mother goddess in Crete resemble exactly those discovered in Mohenjo Daro. See also O.C. Gangoly, The Earth Goddess in Buddhist Art, I. H.O., XIX, pt. 1. 22. See S'ilahpadikāram-Canto XVI, Il. 8-17. Has the word 'Aiyyayi' any connection with 'Ai' or Aia or Aya who is the wife of the Sun God among the Babylonians meaning the word, bride ? The Babylonian Sun-God had a numerous progeny including Justice, Right, Meadows, Dreams, etc. Page 45, 1. 28. See J. G. Frazer, The Golden Bough (abridged ed.) 1923, pp. 330-1. 23. See J. G. Frazer, op. cit., p. 331.