Page:Pre-Aryan Tamil Culture.djvu/30

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


the Stone Age Tamils did not worship Indiran but another God of the same name and the same functions. The theory becomes more absurd if, with European scholars, it is held that Indra the God par excellence of the monsoon area was at first the God of the non-monsoon tracts outside India, that he was then taken into Northern India by Aryan emigrants and lastly, after a few thousand years' stay there, he leisurely migrated to the marudam region of Tamil India, where he was being worshipped by the people for many thousand years, previously by some name unknown, which name was suddenly extirpated without a trace by the newly imported name. (3) The South Indian Indiran-cult was in every one of its details and practices utterly different from the Vedic Indra-cult as pointed out above. (4) If South India borrowed Indiran from the Āryas, there is no reason why he should have his jurisdiction suddenly contracted and why he should be confined to the marudam region and should not have extended to all regions as it did in India north of the Vindhyas. On the contrary when the Arya concepts spread in South India along with the migration of Brāhmaṇas to the south of the Vindhyas, the functions of the Aryan Indra were added on to the Indiran of the Tamils, who was thenceafter called Vēndan,[1] King of the Gods. It is more reasonable to consider that the Indiran of the marudam became also the King of the Gods after the contact of the Tamils with the Āryas than that the extent of his empire was diminished by his invasion of South India. (5) If South India borrowed Indiran from North India, there is no conceivable reason why the ploughmen alone should borrow the God and not the people of other regions, such as neydal and mullai. (6) The South Indian worship of Indiran was not conducted by an expert caste as in North India. It is inconceivable that as soon as the Brāhmaṇas brought the Indra-cult to South India, they resigned their priestly functions with regard to this deity and his worship became a popular institution in which all castes and both sexes could take part. The Brāhmaṇa-rites and the old Tamil rites have not become mixed up though Brāhmaṇas have wielded supreme religious power in South India for 2,000 years, and though the two have co-existed for 2,000 years. Is it not then absurd to hold that at one moment in the past Indra-rites of North India became inextricably blended with Tamil rites. (7) The worship in each of the five regions consisted primarily in ritual dancing, peculiar to each region. This was accompanied by the singing of tunes, paṇ, special to each tract. There was also a special form of yāḻ for each natural region on which the tunes of that regions were played. In such worship. all people, whatever their status, took part, whereas in northern India, even during the performance of royal yajñas, such as Rājasūyam, Kings could not enter the yajña śālā except on one solitary occasion when they were temporarily invested with the rank of a Brāhmaṇa and allowed to make one āhuti, offering, in the fire nearest to the gate of the sacrificial hall. How the worship in which the Brāhmaṇa oligarchy alone could officiate could suddenly become a democratic institution it is impossible to conceive. (8) Convincing etymologies of the names of the Gods Krishṇa, Indra, and Varuṇa

  1. வேந்தன்.