The Pirak civialization phase was reported to have culminated around 800 BC. Tulu language even today has the retained word “pirak” that means ‘ancient’ or ‘aspects connected to remote past’.This can be considered as the fossil memory of Tulu people of their residence at Pirak. In other languages like Kannada the word survived as ‘prak’(=ancient) and Prakrit can be considered as the language of the pirak (prak) area. Prakrit is also considered to be the unrefined form of Sanskrit. Tulu and other south Indian languages have ample Prakrit words in them. Mostly, these were borrowed and assimilated during their residence in Pirak area. At the same time, early Tulu and other early Dravidian language groups lent some words that were absorbed into prakrit and Sanskrit.
During the 800-500 BC period most of the resident groups left Pirak region and entered India proper (as is now) and settled in comfortable areas nearer to water sources like rivers and perennial springs. Possibly, the groups left in different batches, maybe each of some 5 to 10 individual families of able bodied members and found their ways through the new territory before settling in relatively comfortable zones. It is possible that early South Dravidian groups consisting of early Tulu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam tribes migrated in different batches during the period.At this stage these early Dravidian languages were similar to each other and were more like regional variations of a single language. Predictably they settled intermittently at several places on the way before reaching their ultimate destinations in select parts of Southern India. The identity of early Kannada and early Malayalam ancestors probably carried different name tags then, since the present identity names ‘Kannada’ and ‘Malayalam’ were coined chronologically later and in situ in the present habitat.
During the period Upanishads and Puranas were being compiled. The Rigvedic Gods Mitra, Indra,Varuna, Agni and others took back seat in favour of ascendacy of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha independantly among three different tribal groups. Brahma atained the status of Almighty Creator. The concept was further extended to include the all-pervasive cosmic force of Brahman. Valmiki, a hunter turned into bard and sage compiled the epic of Ramayana, based on primitive legend of Rama, that originally dated back to the post-LGM period when the sea-levels receded and Srilanka was accesible from Indian mainland on foot.The epic that highlighted the supremacy of the Lord Brahma, was subsequently edited and interpolated by several later authors, with liberal addition of fantasies and exaggerations.During the period, the Mahabharata was also being compiled, as an expanded and blown up version of battle of ten kings described in the Rigveda.
Another group, possibly led by the cattle-herders (Yadavas), upgraded and expanded the ancient legend of Vishnu. Vishnu, worshipped by early pre-Vedic, dark-colored tribes, was a minor god of lesser grade than the lord of Sea, Varuna for the Vedic sages during the compilation of Rigveda. Ten different theologic legends of the region were compiled together under the ten incarnations of Vishnu.(More on Vishnu and ten incarnations, cf. post 34 ).
Similarly, another group advocated the supremacy of Lord Shiva, who was tribal superman who possibly advocated the cult of phallus worship. Thus the phallic worship gradually merged with the Shaiva cult.Several tantric and mystic cults evolved during the period.
Yet there were many who did not subscribed to any of these theological cults.These dissatisfactions led to the development of Jainism and Buddhism. In response these diversions the followers of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha joined hands together and formed the concept of Trimurthy.
Similarly the primitive cult of Yoni worship assimilated with parallel Mother Godess worship that eventually evolved into the cult of Shakti or the Durga later in the history.
The Panjurli (Boar or Varaha) cult apparently originated in N Africa and Central Asia. The boar (or swine or Sus scrofa) is native of central Europe, Mediterranean, Atlas mountains, N.Africa and Asia. In Celtic mythology boar was sacred to Godess Arduinna. In Persian (Iran) Sassnid Empire, the boar was respected as a brave and fierce animal; the title of ‘boraz ‘or ‘Goraz’ (=boar) was added to the personal names of the braves. In Belgium, boar is the mascot of one of the infantry divisions of the Belgian army. In Chinese horoscope, boar is one of the twelve months of the zodiac
Early Tulu migration
Tulu tribes carried the Panjurli and Bermer cults of spirit worship from Pirak to Tulunadu as described in earlier posts. The early Tulu tribes were not inspired or influenced by theological evolution of Brahma, Vishnu or Mahesha. They adhered to their cults of spirit and serpent (Naga) worships. Tulu tribes picked up words from the languages existing in the regions they travelled through. Throughout the route from Rajasthan border to Tulunadu, we find numerous settlements named after Naga: Nagur, Nagor, Nagori etc. Similarly along the same route we find relics of ‘Bermer’ (horse mounted deity )worship that were later converted to ‘Brahma’(the creator God) worship especially in north India(example: Pushkar, Rajasthan).
Early Tamil migration
The early Tamils carried the Shiva cult, along with the assimilated primitive phallus worship cult, with them when they migrated and eventually settled in the present Tamilnadu. The early Tamils were inspired by the style of compilation of Vedas and Upanishads were by group of Vedic sages. They adopted the concept and composed the Tamil Sangam literature in early Madhurai kingdom, established near Kanyakumari during ca.300BC .
Books for Reference
- A Comparative Study of Tulu Dialects By Dr. Padmanabha Kekunnaya. Govinda Pai Reserach Centre, UDupi. 1994
- Koti Chennaya: Janapadiya Adhyayana. By Dr. Vamana Nandavar. Hemanshu Prakashana ,Mangalore.2001.
- Male kudiyaru. Dr B. A.Viveka Rai and D.Yadupathi Gowda, Mangalore University,1996.
- Mogaveera Samskriti By Venkataraja Punimchattaya. Karnataka Sahitya Academy.1993.
- Mugeraru:Jananga Janapada Adhyayana. By Dr Abhaya Kumar Kaukradi.Kannada & Culture Directorate,Bangalore & Karnataka Tulu Academy, Mangalore,1997.
- Puttubalakeya Pad-danagalu. Ed: Dr B.A.Viveka Rai,Yadupati Gowda and Rajashri, Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheswara Tulu Peeta. Mangalore University.2004
- Se'erige. Ed:Dr K.Chinnapa Gowda.Madipu Prakashana,Mangalagangotri,2000.
- Studies in Tuluva History and Culture.by Dr P Gururaja Bhat (1975).Milagres College,Kallinapur,Udupi.
- Taulava Sanskriti by Dr.B.A.Viveka Rai, Sahyadri Prakashana,Mysore 1977
- TuLu naaDu-nuDi By Dr.PalthaDi Ramakrishna Achar, Puttur.
- TuLu NighanTu. (Editor in Chief: Dr U.P.Upadhyaya, Govinda Pai Research Centre,Udupi. Six volumes. 1988 to 1997
- Tulu Patero-A Philology & Grammar of Tulu Language by Budhananda Shivalli.2004.Mandira Prakashana Mangalore. p.317. (The book is in Tulu Language using Kannada script)
- TuLunadina ShasanagaLa Sanskritika Adhyayana. By Shaila T. Verma (2002) Jnanodaya Prakashana,Bangalore, p.304.(Kannada)
- Tuluvala Baliyendre. Compiled by N.A.Sheenappa Hegde,Polali,Sri Devi Prakashana,Parkala,1929/1999
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