When was Vedic Hinduism and Brahminism introduced to the Tamil society?
அறு வகைப் பட்ட பார்ப்பனப் பக்கமும்
ஐ வகை மரபின் அரசர் பக்கமும்
இரு மூன்று மரபின் ஏனோர் பக்கமும்
மறு இல் செய்தி மூ வகைக் காலமும்
நெறியின் ஆற்றிய அறிவன் தேயமும்
நால் இரு வழக்கின் தாபதப் பக்கமும்
பால் அறி மரபின் பொருநர்கண்ணும்
அனை நிலை வகையொடு ஆங்கு எழு வகையான்
தொகை நிலைபெற்றது என்மனார் புலவர். — Tolkkappiyam 2.16
This is the oldest work in Tamil literature and defines the Varna system. [I might also add that the caste system was probably not that strong – as evidenced by the copious number of religious scholars – Alwars and Nayanmars from different sects]
is one of the leading Vedic sages with mentions in cultures all over India. Among Tamils, Agathiyar is known as the father of Tamil Grammar. His work – – is one of the oldest works in Tamil literature.
Here are the top gods referred to in the oldest extant Tamil literature – Tolkappiyam. Varunan, Vishnu, Indran are all major Vedic gods and find copious mentions in the text. Lord Shiva is celebrated as the head of Tamil Sangams (literary associations of ancient Tamil Nadu) and He has copious mentions in Vedas too.
One of the most classical Tamil works is the . It is about matters that matters a lot to the human self (love, sex, egos, etc). The word “Akam” is connected to the Sanskrit word that means self.
Ancient Tamil words
The oldest literary associations in Tamil Nadu are called the Tamil Sangams. The Sanga is also a core word in Sanskrit and other north Indian languages. The Sangams were based in Madurai – and the city’s name probably comes from the Sanskrit word Madhura (meaning nectar or sweetness). The term for Tamil civilization – Nagarikam – is again shared with the Sanskrit term Nagar (meaning city).
Purananuru selection of ministry
Sage Kabila talks about the selection of ministers in Purananru verse (200/201). This ancient Kapila is known to be a Brahmin himself.
Sage Thiruvalluvar splits his works into 3 categories – Arathupal (Law), Porutpal (Wealth), Kamathupal (Love/Sex). Not surprisingly, the 4 pillars of Hinduism have 3 of these Dharma (Law), Artha (Wealth) and Kama (Love/Sex) and adds the 4th one – Mokhsha (complete renuncialtion). Being a secular work, Tiruvalluvar might have chosen to cut the 4th part.
Vowels & Consonants
Both Tamil and Sanskrit have the exact order of the same vowels. Tamil has one unique vowel and Sanskrit has 3 unique vowels. Rest is pretty same as you can see below (Tamil a the top and Sanskrit at the bottom).
At the surface the consonants don’t look similiar. Let us dig a little. Here are the Tamil consonants.
Here are the Sanskrit Consonants:
Now, strike out the middle 3 consonants in each line. If you read the rest of the Sanskrit consonants it is the Tamil consonant and in the same order. I have put the Tamil consonants to the side of the corresponding Sanskrit consonants. The Tamil consonants in the first column can stand for all the stiked out consonants in the center.
Puranas are the Hindu epics. “Periya Puranam” dated back to 7th century AD forming the core of Tamil Hinduism was a lot influenced by the young Brahmin poet – . In fact, both the Vishnu and Siva traditions (Alvars and Nayanamrs) had plenty of Brahmins and other castes devoted to God.
Tamil Brahmins are as much a part of Tamil culture as any other Tamil and Vedic influence is there since the start. In the early to mid 20th century, when the “Aryan Invasion Hypothesis” was at its peak, Tamil nationalists used this invasion idea to create the myth that the Tamil Brahmins were later appendages and outsiders to this culture. Let that myth of Aryan invasion of Tamils rest in peace.
And the myth that Tamil is an independent language from Sanskrit must die. Peopel of both the south and north originated from the same group and contributed collectively to a common culture.
And finally there is no difference between the “Aryan” and the “Dravidian” genes.