2. It is Clan and Forefather, not Caste and God
The greatest teachers who have ever lived have told us the natural laws of the universe that guide ourselves by infinite power. I wish to start the inside story from the great teachers – Prehistoric Tamils. When I say Tamil, don’t look for tamilnadu2020map.jpg, you should imagine few thousand clans of primitive population who lived in a landmass that cover deccan plateau, western ghats, eastern ghats with satpura mountains at the top and Srilanka at the other end guarded by three prosperous oceans.
The Tamil people are earlier mentioned in history as parayar (who can talk) or nagar (who use tongue) because they are the first one in humankind who uses their tongue to develop a kind of verbal language. This early Tamil foragers are also named as kuravar means wisdom in Tamil. The Tamils divided their Tamil land into five modes or thinai.
- Kurinji : mountainous region
- Mullai : forests and grassland
- Marutham : cropland
- Neithal : seashore
- Paalai : desert
The first Tamils are lived in kurinji thinai who lived by hunting and gathering food. The mountain caves give them safety from wild animals. They gather food from forests and return to the mountains. The lord Shiva is mentioned as a primitive Tamil (kuravar or vedan) in sangam literature. Shiva is regarded as the first human to attain enlightenment. Shiva guide the entire Tamils to the new life of meditation. Till then, life is only a mere survival among them. Shiva schooled them to sit quietly and listen to the inside voice and tell his people, god is the inside voice. The third eye of Shiva symbolise his genius in meditation. Later, kuravs worshiped Shiva’lingam’ not as a god, but as their ancestor. Shiva in Lingam form represent procreation. Tamils believe themselves as a result of this procreation. They consider procreation as a divine thing.
After a point of time, with the increase in population, the availability of food in forest started to decline. So a part of parayar gradually come down to forests and started domesticating animals and plants. They begin gardening of easily grown vegetables and tubers. The man domesticated goat are termed as konar, cow as ayer and Buffalo as koyar. In order to protect their animals these groups decided to settle in grasslands and forest. So a new group of cultural peoples other than kuravars started to develop in mullai thinai. These new people are commonly referred as idayar.
The lord Krishna was the great leader of ayar. Krishna own 16100 cows of his own. Krishna is a intellect who teaches his people the discipline of mind and spiritual union. The life of idayar need great level of cooperation, Krishna give lessons to people to practice love, compassion and humility. Later, the idayar worshiped Krishna in the name of mayon meaning creator of illusion. They believed the harmony among idayar are magically created by Krishna through love physically non existing love and compassion.
Then after a period of years, the spread of contagious diseases among animals and lack of proper food storage systems again resulted in food security problems. By closely watching the nature, they note that the grain cereals can be stored for long period of time. So a part of idayr gradually moved to extensive farming. The human body is not made to fit for farming. So these people need long hours of hard work from land preparation to irrigation to harvesting. In protection of their crops, they started settled in farmlands. So a new culture started developing in marutham thinai and they are referred as pallar or mallar. These people worshiped Lord Indra in the name of Vendon. Vendon is the god of sun, rain, thunder, lightning and river.
Lord Muruga is a great leader of pallar. The ‘murukk’ in his name means rigid; represents his rigid muscular body he build in field. Sangam literature mentioned Murugan as the first king of Tamils. Murugan is considered as protector of humanity. He is worshiped as a commander who protected Tamils from all evil forces in space, sea and land. The rooster flag represent his excellence in martial arts. Sharp vel in his hand symbolise his wisdom.
The early Tamils also worship Lord Vinayaka as pillayar. Apart from other god, Vinayaka is not our Forefather, but its a concept of praising all unknown ancestors. Tamils saw elephant as the most wise animal. They admire elephants, because they are the navigators for them in dense forests. By simply following elephants they found out water bodies. Tamils adored elephants because of the habit of every elephant to die only at their place of birth. Wherever they go, elephants eventually return to their graveyard at the time of death. Along their path, elephants are seemed to spend long hours near the remnants of their ancestors. Greatly inspired by this, early Tamils worshiped pillayar as a symbol of unknown ancestors. People in Tamil society still continue worshiping Vinayaka at first in every rituals and at the start of new ventures to represent the presence of ancestors.
The pallar and mallar of marutham are later known as pandiyarkal. Then as a result of the sedentary life and need of man power in the farming fields the population of pallar started growing. With the invention of wheel and metals, nucleated settlements are developed. The invention of counting and calendar initiated exchange and small distance trade. This give rise to the small village systems with complex social setup. People started to resettle from pure farming to farming related crafts. This is the basis for evolution of ‘pathinen kudial’ in Tamil society.
The kudi denotes various clans in Tamil land. In general a clan is a combination of few lineages who are ultimately traced from the same mythical ancestor. The name given to clan may be of a human or human like animal, plant or even in animate.
Kudiyan, paanan, parayan, kadamban are tamil kudi purely engaged in farmland. Kaikolar or muthaliyar are weaving cloths. Thachar, kammalar are wood workers or carpenters. Kollar make metal weapons and tools. Thattar are gold workers make ornaments. Kannar are bronze workers. Chettiar or nagarathar are trade peoples. Maruthuvar, navithar are physicians. Kuyavar make potteries. Vannar are laundry peoples. Maravar or mukkulathor, udayar are warriors. Paanar are singers. Nadars are tree climbers etc
It was quite a genuine process that people separate themselves from each other in order to have a social security. The social competition for one man’s service reduces since there is only his clan people are available for doing it. Also these clans are interrelated, no clan can survive without the support of other clans. This functional democracy improve social and political life of Tamils. The supreme quality of tamil kudikal are their cultural pluralism. A person who born in any kudi can learn the craft of another kudi and can adopt that kudi title. That is, there is no sign of any social inequality among Tamils.
Then who created the present hierarchy among us? The high and low? Jaati matham? SC OBC OEC?
Who made us believing in god coming from the sky? Why we walk behind the sacred untouchable threaded advocates of so called god? How did my forefather become a sky-god and my kudi become a caste?
Where is my kaavu?
Where is my Nagam?
Where is my mooppan?
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