The Agamas and Vedas
Dr K. Loganathan, Feb. 2003
Apologies for the delay. I want to describe briefly the way
I understand the relationship between the Agamic and Vedic traditions in
Hinduism which has suffered distortions because of the Aryan racialism that has
prevailed in Indological studies for the last couple of centuries and which has
not done justice to the contributions of the Dravidian folks to the genesis of
Hinduism as such. The picture changed with the discovery of Indus Civilizations
but however while elements Saivism and Yoga are available there and hence the
presence of protoSaivism, the script remains undeciphered leading to
inconclusiveness in many interpretations. Fortunately this is not the case with
Sumerian texts where thousands are available, well deciphered and with a chronology reasonably well established. I
have shown that Sumerian is Archaic Tamil and that Sumerian civilization from
about 4000 BC to about 2000 BC was probably the Tamil of the First CaGkam as it
was here and during this period the cuneiform script was perfected and many
literature that remained oral till then came to written down, a good example
being Suruppak’s NeRi that I am studying now. The oldest written version of
this text is dated to Al Ubaid period i.e. 2600 BC but probably the text itself
was composed around 3000 BC.
I have also shown that it is possible that Rigkrit is a late
variant of this SumeroTamil. I am at the moment studying the Bagavath Gita,
which appears to me another late variant of Archaic Tamil. I am providing some
NEW interpretations against this background and which may be quite
revolutionary in view of the fact that
discovery of Sumerian as ARCHAIC Tamil and the languages of Rig Veda Prusha
Suktam, Bagavath Gita and so forth are variants of Tamil have not been
suspected till now. Even PaNini
Tolkaappiyar Tirumular and so forth were NOT aware of this and therefore
something quite novel really.
The salient features as follows:
The Agamic Tradition
that centers of Temple Worship must have had a beginning in the primitive practices of Tree Worship and
so forth. In fact it may be possible that historically it is the TREE that
evoked the feeling of presence of Divine Power and religiosity in man.
This is also part of the general feeling of the presence of Divine Powers
in Nature itself whenever there was something unusual and spell binding.
Thus probably the earliest phases of Agamic Hinduism, as it existed in the
Dravido-African-Australian substratum was something like Shintoism of the
Japanese where they understood the divine powers as Kami and which may
be a variant of Ta. saamy, which
exists till today in such expressions as Saami-aadi etc betraying the
the times of the Sumerians (4000 BC to 2000BC) we see massive developments
not only in temple building but also hymnology, incantations, Mantrayana
and metaphysical thinking. En Hudu Anna (The divine star of the heavens)
has sung many temple hymns of which Kes temple Hymn, which is hymn of Siva
(Keci: the Sadaiyan, the One with Long hair) is philosophically very
profound. She has also to her the immensely moving and personal Bakti-tinged Sirbiyam which contains
within itself not only the concepts of Siva-Sakti but also the beginnings
the later day Samkiya Philosophy, to which I have already drawn the attention of scholars.
the great Sumerian kings were temple builders just as the Tamil kings
were during the Historical period
and every major city was also a temple city and where the royal family was
also in charge of the Temple administration. Thus we see here the
persistence of the primitive Priest-King concept that was retained among
the Tamils till recent times. The word ‘koo’ means both God and King. Jiu
Sudra, Gudea, Uruhegal, Sulgi Ur Nammu and so many other great Sumerian
kings have erected massive temples and in which they installed the ruling
deities for they believed that unless favored by the gods they cannot
function effectively as a king and the land itself will not prosper. In
this Gudea seems to have started the habit of installing statutes of
himself along with those deities and which habit probably underlies the
later developments of Jainism and Buddhism where the kings as Divine
became the Tirtangkaras and Bodhisatvas etc.
tradition of building a temple installing the deities and organizing many
rituals festivals, singing and dancing, praying in terms reciting hymns
and so forth, is still alive to-day and constitutes the essential features
of what I will call Agamic Hinduism, the living Hinduism of the common
man. The underlying philosophy of such a way of life was also well
understood: to be with the gods and gain their aruL or grace and lead a
good life and thereby elevate oneself to higher reaches of metaphysical
life that Sulgi describes as inda-sim: reaching the very peak (sim, Ta.
cimaiyam) of excellent life (inda Ta. intu)
The Vedic Tradition.
appears to me that that Vedic tradition was initially simply a ritual
practice especially associated with the royal families where the central
ritual was kindling the fire in the Suluh (Ta. suulai: fire pit) and
especially associated with the god Asimbabbar and which I take as Ta. Aati
paarppaan, perhaps the later day God Brahma (also called ayan, naanmukan,
veetan etc). It may be possible that Sumerian Ea (Ayan) and some other
deities were merged with this AtiPaarppaan. However in Sumerian literature
it is Saraswati, called Nishada, the nu-kasbiam (the weaver of texts) who
was very popular as the Goddess of learning. Making this Nishaba a consort
of Brahma must have been a later development. I also believe that the
Tamil paarppaar, the Brahmins were so called because they were the
worshippers of this Atipaarppaan and hence a cultic name just like Saivite
VaishNava Sakta and so forth.
word ‘veda’ itself is a derivative of Su. sid as in ‘sid-nig-sid’ (all
learning or recitations); Sid> vid> vittai, veeta etc. In the
incantations such as
UduG-hul, it was used in
the sense of recitations to ward off the evil spirits and by the shaman
priests, the Sag-ku (Ta. saan-kuu: the people of the gods)
Endu Anna's Sirbiyam discloses that there was a ritual of Fire (suluh)
within the Temple but especially meant for the kings, to kindle the Fire
or Sun within thereby making them the beneficiary of Sul Utu (as was the
case with Sulgi). The believe was that any person whose psychic interior
becomes dominated by the Inner Sun,
would be endowed with all the strength and intelligence that would
make him a King. Many kings in fact assumed such titles e.g. Utu HegaL
(the glorious rising sun) and later there came to be lineages in terms descent from the Sun
(suuria vamsam) and Moon (Candra vamsam) and so forth.
we have the ritual of Fire Worship, the Ejna as a central feature of this
cult of the royal families where
this word is definitely Sumerian and where is occurs as ‘eji” fire
and ‘ejen’ (fire festival). Thus it is not an accident that Rig Veda
begins with the worship of agnim Ille
(which is Sumerian Su. ugnim> agnim, Su. el> illee etc
believe the exclusivism of the Vedas (which lasts to this day) and the
prohibition of women in Vedic recitation and that most of Vedic practices
are for the general being of the Kings (Rajasuuyam etc) all show that it
was part of the Priest-King cult of the ancient Tamils where the political
leadership was in the hands of the oligarchy representing the rulers and
priests who were perhaps of the same family (as was the case with En Hudu
Anna, the daughter of Sargon, the Emperor))
this period there was also the religious practices of the common folks and
which was not centered on activating the Sun within so that one can shine
forth as a king but rather lead a good and healthy life on this earth with
fervent devotion to the gods. It is this dimension which is part of
general temple worship that became the central theme during the Bakti
revolt and in which this ancient hold of the Priest-King was finally overthrown
and genuine Bakti for BEING was established as the main impulse of
religion. This also growing out of
VarNasrama Dharma and transmuting the Vedic recitations simply as one of
the rituals, to be practiced by those who like it. This reconstitution of religious dynamics
was significance of the hymns of Nayanmars and Alwars and to which even
the Kings had to submit.
I shall stop here. Please visit my SumeroTamil Campus Vedic
Tamil campus etc for textual evidence for what I have said summarily above.
--- In email@example.com, Malolan R Cadambi
In another list in the WWW, there were certain opinions
the veda-s do not sanction the worship of vigraha-s(idols).
place where the idol worship is sanctified is in the Agamas.
are three types of Agamas, one of which is extinct now. The
and the Saiva Agamas are extant however.
However, the vedas do sanction idol worship and there are
to idol worship even in the vedas. The Vaishnava tradition
the Pancharatra and the Vaikhanasa Agamas to be inspired and
from the vedas.
I wish to get the Saiva prespective in this regard. Please
do let me
know your opinions.