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History of Kerala as narrated by Sri Maha Periva - Part 3

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  • History of Kerala as narrated by Sri Maha Periva - Part 3

    Source: Deivathin Kural/ Voice of God – Volume 5

    There could be one question in your minds. If the Namboodri Brahmins were mostly from Kannada and Telugu background and others were mainly fisher folks from the Arabian Sea islands with some local dialects; how is that Malayalam as a language contains a mix of words from mainly Tamil and Sanskrit languages?

    The Malayala language evolved some 1,000 to 1,200 years back only. Before that Tamil was the main stay. Still some of you can say, ‘How can it be?’ I will answer that.

    No society can be complete only with Brahmins and fisher folks. There has to a king, army, traders and so on. Most of these were Tamilians only. The mountain ranges of Western Ghats are literally hugging the Tamil Nadu from North to South with many passages between Tamil Nadu and Kerala. From time immemorial Tamilians are known to trade across the oceans and their reach included Sri Lanka, Burma, Java, Sumatra, Borneo, most of East Asia and Western shores of Africa and the islands in between. So, the point to be noted is that the major population in Kerala after Parasurama created were Tamilians who had moved there from across the Sahayadri Mountains.

    When I said that Tamilians are too fond of their comforts, I meant only the pulse-eating-brahmins and not the non-brahmins! (PeriyavaaL smiles while saying this.) Others are very hard working capable of high levels of tolerance. They knew all the tricks of agriculture and capable of doing aggressive marketing of their produce. So it was the Tamil non-brahmins who populated Kerala in a big way and started planting and cultivation of Black-Pepper, Oak trees, Coconut, Sandal Wood and a variety of Spices in a big way, making use of the plentiful water supply. Then fish was available both from the seas and a number of rivers, rivulets and ponds. Life was plentiful and satisfying. The Chera Kings were all of Tamil origin only for long.

    So, a parallel civilization came into being as in Tamil Nadu. As the majority was Tamils, others also spoke the same language. All this happened even before the historical times till Sozha, Chera and Pandya dynasties were alternately predominant at various times. When others from the East went there some Brahmins also must have migrated to Kerala due to divine interest as many temples and temple towns came into being in that land. Parasurama himself created some of them. Initially there was a restriction against immigration as imposed by Parasurama which got diluted over time.

    Anyhow he himself went incognito, not seen by anybody and after that some Brahmins from the mainland could have gone on visiting the religiously important temple towns and settled there.

    Historically recorded period starts around Asoka’s time. In his Saasanam inscribed on stone slabs, about places where he spread his views on peaceful co-existence, there is mention of Kerala also along with other places of India. This is proof of the fact that there was civilized social life in that part of the country already. It was part of Chera Kingdom and Tamil was the language there.

    Silappadigaram a Tamil classic literature is from that land only. Cheramaan PerumaaL Naayanaar, who sang the Tamil divine songs of Thirumarais as part of Saiva Thevaram collections was a King in Kerala.

    So also Kula Sekhara PerumaaL, who sang the poems as part of the Vaishnava’s Nalayira Divya Prabhandam collections in Tamil was a King in Kerala. Therefore our AachaaryaaL also in his time must have spoken Tamil. All Brahmins those days must have been well read. There could not have been any Brahmin who had not done Adhyayanam and knowledgeable in Tamil and Sanskrit. Within themselves they must have spoken in Sanskrit and with others used the Tamil language.

    Though our AachaaryaaL came down to the Earth as an Avatara for rekindling and rejuvenating the Sanaatana Dharma and did his all for re-establishing it on very strong footings, with the passage of time there was deterioration set in once again! In that flow of events, suitably misusing some of the traditions introduced by Parasurama, other than the first son of the families even amongst Namboodri Brahmins, started resorting to marriages with women of other castes. When such relationships were created, a mix of Sanskrit and Tamil did come about, which could have been the seeds of for a new language to sprout. By this intermingling causing some dilution of standards of austerity, some good by-products were also there.

    By this, in Kerala all castes became knowledgeable in Saastras and Puranas. The education standards did improve especially fluency in use of Sanskrit words. For example more than any other part of India, taking a bath early in the morning and visiting the nearby temple wearing clean clothes with much noticeable devotion and piety is the practice by people of all castes in Kerala.

    (to be continued...)