The Dravidian folks, particularly the Tamils have an understanding of history, a historiography that is quite different from that of the West and in which the notion of ThruviLaiyaadal plays a central role and because of that the puraaNic lore is still an important element of their culture. History, whether at the cosmic, national or individual level, is in fact an enactment of PLAY or DANCE called Lila in the Vaishnava tradition and ThruviLaiyaatal in the Saiva tradition and because of which God Himself is called Adavallaan. I have rediscovered this and have recirculated these ideas in all my books particularly ArutKuraL, ThrineRiththeLivu, Azivil uNmai, Pothath theLivu, Civajnaana Karpam and many others, most of which remain unpublished. What surprised me however, is that such was also the historiography of the ancient Sumerians and which gets expressed in such epic tales as THE CURSE OF AGADE ( edited by Jerrod S.Cooper and published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983) The tale is about the destruction of the city of Agade ( cf Ta. AaRkaatu) and the historian who narrates the tale, interprets its prosperity and destruction as something that arises because of the love and wrath of In-Anna, whom the Semitic King Naramsin offended. The text is dated around 2000 B.C and appears to be one of the cuneiform texts fortunately well preserved.
Prosperity as Divine Favor
One of the notions that permeates the whole epic tale is that prosperity of a nation is a favor of the gods and when that favor is withdrawn there comes to prevail poverty and misery. A nation prospers and individuals enjoy various benefits only when they are bestowed by the gods. The beginning lines of the epic describe this quite well. In the following lines I have given also Tamil reconstructions that should be taken as only tentative. I have kept technical discussions of the linguistic type to the minimum.
1) sag-ki gid-da en-lil-la-ke
2) kis gu an-na-gim im-ug-ga-ta
4) KI.UD-ba sar-ru lugal a-ga-de-ra
KI.UD-pa raasar uLukaL aaRkaadunRa
5) sig-ta igi-nim-se en-lil-le
Sikkiththu imai nimirsE
6) nam-en nam-lugal-la mu-un-na-an-sum-ma-ta
The term<en> is related here to the Ta.<EN> from which we have Eni, ladder; vEN, a royalty etc. It serves here as epithet like Sri> Thiru and so forth, meaning great, noble etc.
sag-ki > cenni: head, face; gid-da> kIththu, kIRRu: lines, scratches
etc; ug-ga>ukku: to destroy, allow to decay; sahar-ra> sakathi. sERu: mud,
dirt; mah>maa, makaa:great; sar-ru> rasar,aracan:king; sig> sikkil: low
lying lands; sum-ma-ta>cuman-thu: to carry; u-ba> appO: at that time
The Blessings of In-Anna
One of the notions that is well established even among ordinary Hindues, is the notion of latchumikadatcam, prosperity , happiness and economic well being as the blessings of Sri or Makalaxmi, the consort of Thirumaal, the lord of the phenomenal world , the repertoire of all the good and noble or as Namaazvaar would put it: uyarvu aRa uyar nalam utaiyavan, the Lord of all that are the most excellent. In- Anna appears to be the protoform of this Mahalaxmi, the mother of tireless fecundity who keeps on producing all kinds of things and populating the world with all kinds of riches. While EnLil, as the male God provides sovereignty and social leadership, it is In-Anna who fills the nation with abundance and prosperity. In this we see the emergence of the notions of Naatham and Bindhu , the fundamental Siva tatvas of latter day Saiva Siddhanta and Siddha philosophies.
First of all for the nation to enjoy abundance, In-Anna must establish
herself no matter how meagerly.
At that time , holy Inanna built
ama> ammaa, ammai: mother,lady; ku>kO :divine, sacred; du-du> edu-edu: to built, to raise etc.
The nation must be possessed, first of all, as her domain, as her dwelling and which SHE does by building a shrine for herself within that nation. The word <es> is related to Ta. iisan, meaning simply god in ordinary usage but technically the face of Sathasiva that points towards transcendence, liberation. Probably originally it meant the god who is praised or praiseworthy. The word <es> may be related to the Tamil <isai> meaning songs and hymns.
But what are the prosperity that the nation begins to enjoy as a gift
Good Food and Drinks
One of the most fundamental blessings of Inanna, is the provision of
sufficient wealth so that food and beverages are aplenty.
Thamu vaaNdu amma kaalkaalyin
Il nikkam-Ra nikam sUdidE
Uurubee thuRai kiiz kaar samaiyidee
Unbee UN nErkaL kUyidE
UnbE aal nErkaL nakkunakkidE
nig-ga, nig>nikamam: shops, stores; tur> thuru:small: dumu>thamu, thamar: kith and kin; ban-da> vaaNdu : young; dur> thuRai: establishments : u>UN : food; a>aal: water; nag-nag> nakku: to lick un> Un: flesh. Also Ur: the world, people
Crowed dwellings, shops and warehouses with plenty of provisions, good food and clean water etc that are basic for survival and healthy living, are seen here as the first kind of blessings of Inanna.
Another issue related to this, though not basic, is the provision of material wealth which in those days, as of now, were calculated in terms of gold, silver and such other precious metals the nation hoards in its treasury.
AppO aaRkaattE il- AS-aba kO-GI sIminin
In addition to gold and silver, there is mention of copper, tin, lapis etc. Here the term <ku> relates to the Tamil <kOL> meaning something shining but derivatively the planets in the heavens. The term <babbar> may be the protoform of <paarppaan> , a term used to describe SIVA in historical times. It may be possible that the original meaning is <shining, bright, glistening > and so forth, epithets also of Inanna and many other gods. SIVA is always described as a resplendent principle, the Radiant One . It may be possible that another application was to describe the intelligent and bright members of the community, possibly the priests, poets and scribes also as paarppaan meaning simply a brilliant person, a usage that is also present in English and many other languages so abundantly. All terms descriptive of brightness have been used metaphorically to describe great intelligence and intellectual acumen. It may be possible that later it was appropriated as a term for a particular caste.
The word<sI.> has many derivatives .The sI occurs in the sense of
sacred as in sI-rangkam in colloquial Tamil. It is possible that the Sk.
Sri is derived from this, and the original meaning may be : filled up,
complete, a wholeness, lacking in nothing etc.
FESTIVALS AND PEACE
Another blessings of Inanna as a sign of her greatness is related to the notion of happiness both social and individual. Festivals, where occur merry making along with friendship even with foes and where there is wining and dining together in a mood friendship is also seen as her gift, something ordained by her presence.
Taan aatuva kiiz saalai uvallite
Kiiz vizamma uun sikkidee
ULu n-uuvinE thEsubi kuuyidE
uLu puRa mUsen n-anuuayin vaanna n-iinginnE
a.-tu> aatu: may be those who dance around, kisal> kiiz saalai: courtyard; hul-le> uval, ukal: to rejoice; ezem> vizem> vizaa : festival: sig-ge> sikku: to get caught up so that unable to escape; zu-u> n-uu> nuul : to understand, be familiar; tes> thEsu: perhaps happily; bar-ra>puRa, para: foreign; musen> mUsu,musal: beaked creatures, or animals with protruding faces like beetles, rabbits, rats etc Note Sk. mUsika: rat
Inanna as an expression of the Siva tatva Bindu, is a force that brings about love and friendship among people by kindling kindness and thereby subduing the confrontational attitude among strangers. There cannot be social celebrations of any magnitude unless people forget their innate aggression and meet each other in a spirit of love and affection. The presence of Inanna, and homage to her, make Bindu present in the bosom of the people making them love and respect each other and hence live in peace and friendship.
THE PROVISION OF MEANINGFUL SOCIAL FUNCTIONS
One of the most sophisticated concept of happy social existence is also enumerated here as a gift of Inanna. And this pertains to the provision of activities suited to the age and maturity of the different members of the society. It was recognized that the social needs of the individuals vary and that the societal organization must be such that all must be assigned roles that would fit their needs as well as their expertise.
UmmaapE aatumImI summubaan
AppaabE enam-enamma summubaan
Kiiz sukkilabe? Kiiz E nadi summubaan
KurusilbE aal thukaLLa summubaan
The terms umma, appaa need no discussion as they are even in current
use. These older and experienced folks were given definite and meaningful
social functions instead of being abandoned to the old folks home and await
death. The experience of the older folks appears to have been valued greatly
and they were given the function of COUNSELING the younger members of the
society. The term <aatu-mI-mI> may be conversations, verbal exchanges
as mI-mI can be related to the Tamil: mIndum mIndum , that is in current
use. The term<inim> that means words, utterances etc is still available
but only in the verbal form: en, enRu: to tell, relate, utter etc. The
most interesting however is the term <ki-e-ne-di> , a place for dancing.
The term <nedi> is still in use; we have the verb<nati> and its derivatives
natanam, naattiyam, naatakam and so forth. The town planning was such that
the needs of the young women were not neglected. The pressure to dance
is in the blood of the young and adequate provisions were made by city
planners for such needs.
It appears that over and above such cultural activities, education in instrumental music was heavily emphasized particularly for the very young ones. There is mention of different kinds of musical instruments, not only in this text but also in many others.
ThithilabE saay uvalla summubaan
The viceroy^s children, (still) cradled by nursemaids
MEthaikaLLE cUkItha thamu sangkinakinE
Here the term <al-gar-sur-da> is interesting for it may be a description of the musical instrument that goes by the name vINai at the moment. It is a yaaz, a stringed instrument with a stand (kaal, gar) that has been wrapped around to form something globular, a description that quite fits the current vINai so important in Carnatic music.
di-di> thiththi: dots, Malay: titik,: dots
This is not an extensive and well researched study. However, it is hoped
that enough have been said to wet the appetites of those who are interested
in Dravidian and Sumerian studies that can unravel the mystery surrounding
the ancient Tamils. The Tamil scholars must enter the field of Sumero-Dravidian
Studies for neither the transliteration nor the translations are adequate
and the knowledge of Dravidian languages can help considerably in all these
and through that shed immense light on the history of the Dravidian folks.