The story of Brahma, the deified hero who is considered as the creator and one of the Trinity (Trimurthy) and ultimately the generally forgotten God, is a very interesting episode in the origin and evolution of culture and religious beliefs in the Indian subcontinent as well as
Brahma is also one of the earliest Gods in
The Brahma worship initiated in the present northwestern
The Tulu Bermer (e in bermer is pronounced as initial e in ‘eligible’) [‘berme’(< brahma) is the singular form and ‘bermer’ is the plural or respective form of address] is a dialectical corruption of the Vedic word Brahma. This leads to the suggestion that Tulu tribes then living with Vedic scholars were mostly ‘illiterate’ folks, who modified the high sounding Vedic words to suit their preferred pronunciation styles. The possible coexistence of Tulu tribes with Vedic scholars at Pirak during Rigvedic times is suggested in the previous posting (No. 25) on Pala and antiquity of Tulu words.
We go back in the timeline to about 1900 BC in search of the origin of Brahma. Then
The educated few (Vedic tribes) initially composed hymns of Veda in their native Indo-Aryan language. Similarity of Indo-Aryan Vedic hymns and hymns of Iranian Avesta have lead experts like Michael Witzel to suggest that Indo Aryans might have migrated from
The character of Abraham has been described in the Bible (Genesis) and later retold in the Anacalypsis. Abraham (or the Brahma) was actually a mass hero, an uncommon leader of early tribes, born ca. 1900 BC, more or less during the chaotic time of earth movements, migration of major rivers and mass exodus of tribes from the
Abraham is said to have been lived for a period of 175 years. (The cited lifespan appears to be an exaggerated figure, characteristic of hero worship societies, nevertheless may imply that Abraham was a strong, dynamic character and had considerably long healthy lifespan.) Different tribes called him slightly differently depending upon the style of pronunciation native to them. He was called Abraham by Jews and subsequently by Christians. Arabs called him ‘Ibrahim’ whereas IndoAryans referred to him as Brahma. His father, ‘Terah’ originally came from a place known as Ur of Chaldees or Culdees, a part of
Terah had a beautiful daughter called ‘Sara’ (or ‘Saraswati’ for Indo- Aryans and cohabitants of Pirak and northwest
At that time, the present day Asia minor-Indian subcontinent region consisting of
The people of Pirak worshipped him as a hero, the creator of the tribes. Thus original Brahma as worshipped by Tulu tribes was a hero straddling on a horse. This leads me to suggest that Abraham was a horse rider. The original concept of horse seated Brahma was transported by migrant proto-Tulu tribes from Pirak to Tulunad. (see postings 4 and 5).The Bermer idol in garodis of Tulunad even today consist of idol of brahma (abraham>berme) in the form of soldier seated on a horse. The garodis, the ancient institutions of Tulunad, established to propagate the art of body building, physical development and techniques of warfare, continue to have brahma as worshipping idols. The legendary Tulu heroes Koti and Channayya worshipped the Bermer according to the paD-dana folklore. There were many brahmasthans in Tulunad in olden days that have been dilapidated or destroyed on the wake of people changing over to Shiva, Shakti or
Vedic tribes venerated his legends as Brahma, the almighty, the creator of universe and incorporated the concept into Vedas. The word ‘Brahma’ gave rise to ‘braahman’(=educated person), ‘brahmaanDa’ (=universe), ‘brahma kalasha (=the holy pot used in the installation of temples and also the connected ceremony)’, brahma-ratha (=large temple chariot), brahma-rakshsa (= a huge demon), brahma-sthana (=temple of brahma) etc. The words root ‘brih’ to mean big or great was developed as a consequence of Brahma worship.
Brahma worship was at its peak during the composition and writing of Ramayana (ca.300 BC to 200AD). Then Brahma became a fusion of a creator deity with the impersonal absolute Brahman in a more popular and personalized form according to indology experts. S.S.N.Murthy (2003) of
However, the subsequent ascent of Shiva and later Vishnu worships sent the initial God Brahma into the background.
Thus the Tulu concept of horse riding Brahma may be older than the ten or four headed Brahma depicted in Ramayana and the Tulu tribes were not aware of the transformation of initial horse riding Brahma into four headed God. In that case, it appears that Tulu tribes migrated from Pirak and northern