SIVA AND SAKTI IN SUMERIA
1.Hinduism is Dravidian
The greatest tragedy of the twentieth century
Tamils is the growth of agnosticism as the prevailing philosophy and the
cultural decay it has occasioned. Throughout the world the Tamils remain mental slaves and the local writers and poets
ridicule the Hindu gods contributing to their further decay. What started as a reaction to the racialistic Aryanism in the
nineteenth century, in the form of Dravidianism, transformed itself into anti Brahmanism and now anti Hinduism. They
have swallowed wholesale and quite unthinkingly the false notion - fed ceaselessly by Brahmans and others in India and outside India - that Hinduism is the gift of the Aryans who sang the Vedas and so forth.
But the TRUTH is rather different. While the gods are neither Aryan nor
Dravidian but rather archetypes that are ever
present in the bosom of every man, nevertheless there is a history of how some of these archetypes emerge and take hold
of a group of people and determine their religion, culture and so forth. So in this sense then Hinduism in Dravidian and
evidences are forthcoming not only by the symbolic elements - monuments, emblems, sculptures and so forth - in the
Indus Valley civilization but also from Sumerian literature, where the language is pre Cangkam Archaic Tamil.
Sumeria existed where ancient Babylon was and where lies the modern Iraq. I
have shown elsewhere that this Sumeria
which existed there is in fact Kumari, the land of the First Cangkam where the scholars composed texts of great
excellence under the presidentship of Lord SIVA himself
The present article, based on the study of an exordium by En Hudu Anna, on
In-anna, provides evidences to show that
SIVA and SAKTI were worshipped by these ancients also.
2. An and In-anna as proto SIVA and SAKTI
The gods and deities worshipped by the Sumerians appear to be essentially
Dravidian deities. In the present text which is
essentially an exordium towards Nin-anna or In-anna, we find the characteristic or attributes of In-anna and that of An so
strikingly similar to Siva and Uma, the chief deities of Tamil speaking Dravidians in the historical times that an identity can be
The terms an, an-na are strikingly similar to aNNal (lord, something huge,
lofty etc.) and annai (mother, mother goddess). The
roots an/aN seems to mean something tall and high and in Sumerian, 'an' means 'sky' to which corresponds the Tamil ‘aan’ ‘vaan’ and possibly so Ta. aNdam: universe, space etc. The qualification nin/in probably relate to ni(l), niiL, ni-var, ni-mir etc. where the root 'ni' seems to have the meaning of very tall and long. The term 'anna' which probably means something great , is further qualified by ni/in to indicate universal greatness, greatness in the superlative. The Sumerian anna then is possibly the protoform of the later. Ta. Annai and aNNal terms used for describing the mother archetype (ambal, uma, annai, amma etc.) and the male consort whether Siva, Vishnu or any other archetypes or gods.
The an-na or aNNal described in this text appears to be the same deity that
in historical period came to be called Siva. For
though the text is not rich in terms of the descriptions of an-na, there is one important attribute described which along with the
attributes of In-anna, seems to indicate that Su.an-na is essentially the Dravidian Siva. The line is reproduced below:-
1.nita -dam-ki-agu usumgal-an(a)-ka
Beloved bride of usumgalanna.
The crucial term is usumgal-an-na. The meaning of 'Usumgal' is given as dragon. For example.
1.Usumgal-gim kur-ra us-ba-e-si
Like a dragon you have deposited venom on the land.
The meaning of 'gal' is quite clear-- large, big, respectable and so forth and corresponds to the Tamil honorific particle kaL as in tan-kaL, nin-kaL which later became a plural marker as well.
It is possible that Ta.kaN, kaNam ( a multitude, a group; honorific as
kaNavan) are to be derived from this 'gal'. Similar uses are also noted in
Sumerian, e.g. lu-gal (king, lit, big person), sag-gal (> Ta.tan-kaL) and so
forth. The term 'usum' is obviously
derived from 'us' and 'um'. If 'us' is taken to be echoic or onomatopoeic then 'usum' would be a verbal noun meaning something that hisses. The whole compound would then mean a 'large creature that hisses'; a description that is quite consistent with dragon as well as snake, probably a large snake. Usumgal-an-na would then be a deity closely related to a large snake.
In Hindu mythology, both Vishnu and Siva are associated with snakes. Siva
wears one as a garland around his neck; Vishnu
sleeps over Atisesa, a large five-hooded snake that sleeps in TiruppaRkadal, the ocean of ambrosia. Despite this uncertainty,
because In-anna, the bride of usumgal-an-na appears to be quite clearly Korravai (>Kol-avai, Kol-amma?), we are inclined to
identify an-na (l) here with proto-Siva.
The attributes or epithets of In-anna as described by Enhuduanna in
this exordium clearly remind one the KoRRavai, KaaLi or
Durga, the archetype of a terrible Mother Goddess of Hinduism of the historical period. The following are some of the
'terrifying' attributes in the text.
1.Kur-ra us ba-e-si: one who deposits venom on the land (i.e. the cause of death and destruction).
2.Iskur-gim ki-sig-gi-za, ezinu la-ba-sigal: When you roar at the earth like thunder, no vegetation can flourish or grow.
3.a-ma-ru kur-bi-ta e-de: a flood descending from its mountain (possibly related to the Ganges that is said to flow permanently from the tuft of Siva).
kalam-e seg-ga: raining the fanned fire down upon the nation (probably
the reference here is to the uuzittii the primordial fire of destruction that
causes the sankaram, the universal destruction).
5.nin-ur-ra-ua: lady mounted on a beast ('ur' means dog and here obviously derived from the sound urr… noted with dogs. Ur-mah lit. large dog, is lion. Possibly the beast here is lion. One is reminded here of durga, who riders a lion on her journey to battle with the Asuras.
6.Kur-gul-gul: devastatrix of the lands (It is highly probable that the KoRRavai i.e. kol-avvai is directly derived from this epithet possibly along the lines kur-gul-gul-amma-à kur-kul-amma-à kol avvai > korravai).
7.Nin-mu zu-pa-ag-zu-se kur I-gurum-e: Oh my lady, at the sound of you the lands bow down. (The reference here is again to her terrifying nature. The term 'za-pa' from which we have. Ta. Cepam is clearly Dravidian and is retained in Sk. As japa. Here probably there is also reference to mantras or curses (cf. Cepi: to curse).
ni-ma-ra-ta-si-ig: In the van
everything is struck by you. (Such heroic deeds are also
attributed to all other major deities).
9.ig-hus-a: one with a terrible glance (one is reminded here of large and glowing eyes, red with intense anger, one of the features of the images of Korravai who incidentally also has a third eye on the forehead that burns when opened).
10.sag-ki-hus-a: one with
a terrible countenance or face. (Again we have reference here to fear-striking
11. i-ba-us ma-ra-an-de:
Blood rises in its river before you. (Possibly 'blood flows like a river for
you'. It is possible that we have here a description of the blood sacrifices
that have always been closely associates with KoRRavai cult.)
The above sample of attributes, divine epithets are sufficient to indicate that the archetype under consideration is KoRRavai, the ancient Dravidian Goddess of destruction and the consort of Siva i.e. Sakti.
That Anna-Inanna pair is in fact the primordial Siva-Sakti also follows from
a number of descriptions that delineate the kind of
relationship that exists between them.
3) nu-gig-an na:hierodule of An; (14) an-ne me-si-ma: endowed with me's by
Ari; (15)inim-ku-an-na-ta inim-du-du: who makes
decisions at the holy command of An; (109) an-ne-kiaga: beloved of An; (111) nita-dam-ki aga agausumgal-an(a)-ka: beloved
bride of ushumgalana; (121) nin-ki-aga-na: beloved queen of An and so forth.
In-anna is very clearly someone very intimate to and in sexual union with
An, who is the real controller for it is He who gives
the me's and commands as to what to be done and so forth. In-anna is the effecting power who sometimes raises to the stature of An himself but does whatever she does according to the dictate of An.
The terms An-na and Nin-an-na or In-an-na may themselves indicate that
In-an-na is the queen, the lady, the spouse, the
consort of An-na.
In Sumerian mythology, which incidentally has striking similarities with
Hindu mythology , there were hundreds of deities but
as noted by S.N. Kramer (1963, p.118) the four important ones were An (the heaven-god), Enlil (the air-god), En-ki (the water god) and Nin-hur-sag (the great mother-goddess). It seems An was considered the supreme ruler of the pantheon in the early periods but after about 2500 B.C. his position was taken over by Enlil, with the powers of An being transferred to him. However, An continued to be worshipped in Sumer throughout the millenniums though with reduced prominence.
3.0 The Beginnings of Samkhya
The inactiveness and aloofness of An is also evident in the present
exordium. For An, while he decrees, gives commands,
instructions and so forth it is Nin-an-na who in fact carries out the deeds, effects what is dictated, and does everything that
needs to be done to sustain the world in its course. There is a beautiful description of her tireless energy:
.Giri-za nu-kus-u i-in-si:
Your feets are filled with restlessness
The term 'kus-u' which means to rest, appears to be the protoform of Ta. Kuntu: to sit, squat, kuttu: to place firmly in an upright position. The feet of In-an-na do not remain still, stay put in one place-they are forever moving, forever active.
This description of In-an-na as a deity forever active, and An as a passive
being who is contented with giving commands and
issuing decrees is highly reminiscent of the Purusa and Prakrti of the early Samkhya which has had a long history in India and
the sources of which are generally taken to be non-Vedic. It is highly tempting to raise the question now: In this exordium of
Enhuduanna, are we having a mythological description of the universal processes which in addition to being an archaic form of
Saivism, is also an archaic description of what later was systematized as the Samkhya doctrine?
We shall answer it in the affirmative by taking up the concept of 'me' for a more detailed analysis.
(a) The Sumerian 'me', the old Tamil 'mey' and the concept of Prakrti
The term 'me' in sumerian and its correlate in Dravidian is not only rich in
meaning but central in the philosophical,metaphysical
reflections. In the exordium of Enhuduanna, In-an-na is praised in terms of all the me's that are allotted to her. The relevant lines are given below:
1.nin-me-sar-ra:lady of all the me's
5.me-imin-be su sa-du-ga whose hand has attained (all) the "seven" me's.
6.me-galgal: great me's
7.i) me-mu-il: You have picked up the me's.
ii) me su--zu-se mu-e-la: You have hung the me's on your hand.
8.i) me mu-ar: You have gathered up the me's.
ii) me gaba-zu-bi-tab: You have clasped the me's to your breast.
.an-ne me-si-ma: endowed with mes by An.
.me-zi-de: You of the appropriate me's.
.dingir-zi me-atum-ma: true goddess, fit for the me's.
.me-zu ga-mu-ra-ab-du: I
have verily recited your me's for you.
23.(i) me-hus: terrible me's (negative attributes)
ii).me-te me-hus-bi: terrible me’s which are fitting i.e. a merited punishment.
From the above occurrences of 'me', we gather that (a) they are countable and that all the me's are in the possession of Inanna: she in fact has gathered and picked them up and 'wears' them as decorative ornaments on her body. (b) though she gathers up and so forth it is An who has portioned out the me's to her. (c) the me's can be benevolent (me-zi) or terrible (me-hus). (d) a deity can be either suitable or unsuitable for possessing the me's and Inanna, among all the deities, is the most suitable. (e) praising or eulogizing In-annai is in fact reciting her me's. The me's in the possession of deity, constitutes the essence of divine attributes, the attributes that make the deity a great one and constitute the substance of exordium.
The 'me' has other semantic nuances as well. For example the following lines
from "Lamentations over the Destruction of Ur'
(S.N. Kramer) reveal meanings quite different from the above
70. me-zu me-kur-ra su-bal ba-ni-ib-ag
Thy decrees into inimical decrees, they have been transformed. Me: verily, truth
106 & 107. Musen-an-na-gim a-dub he-en-si-ag-an
I like a bird of heaven, flap (my) wings (and) to my city I fly.
155. an-ra a-I-bi ma-mee-e he-im-ma-na-de
To Anu the water of my eyes verily I poured.
S.N. Kramer (1963, p.115) after studying the occurrences of 'me' in numerous
theological texts interprets its meaning as a set of
rules and regulations assigned to each cosmic entity and cultural phenomenon for the purpose of keeping it operating forever in accordance with the plans laid down by the deity creating it.
There is a list of me's given by an ancient poet who wrote the myth
"Inanna and Enki: The transfer of the Arts of Civilization
from Eridu to Erech." In this poem the civilized world is divided into over a hundred elements and a 'me' is postulated for each
one of them to originate it and sustain it. We reproduce below the list as given by S.N. Kramer (1963, p.116).
1.en-ship, (2) godship, (3) the extalled amd emduring crown,
(4) the throne of kingship, (5) the exalted scepter, (6) the
royal insignia, (7) the exalted shrine, (8) shepherdship, (10) lasting ladyship (11) (The priestly office guda, (15) truth, (16)
descent into the neither world, (18) (the eunuch) kurgarra, (19) (the eunuch) girbadara, (20) (the eunuch) sagursag (21)
the (battle) standard, (22) the flood, (23) weapons (?), (24) sexual intercourse, (25) prostitution, (26) law(?), (27)libel(?),
(28)art, (29) the cult chamber, (30)'hierodule of heaven', (31) (the musical instrument) gusilim, (32) misic, (33) eldership,
(34) heroship, (35) power, (36) enmity (37) straightforwardness, (38) the destruction of cities, (39) lamentation, (40)
rejoicing of the heart, (41)falsehood, (42) art of metal working, (47) srcibeship, (48) craft of the smith, (49) craft of the
leatherworker, (50) craft of the builder, (51) craft of the basker-weaver, (52) wisdom, (53) attention, (54) holy
purification, (55) fear, (56) terror, (57) strife, (58) peace, (59) weariness, (60) victory, (61) counsel, (62) the troubled
heart, (63) judgement, (64) decision, (65) (the musical instrument) lilis, (66) (the musical instrument) ub, (67) (the
mesical instrument) mesi, (68)(the musical instrument) ala.
Such an analysis of the cosmic reality into a variety of institutional,
occupational, cultural, psychological and religious realities
is highly reminiscent of the contents of poRuLatikaaram of Tolkaappiyam (3rd cent.B.C.) where such an analysis of reality is taken up along more scientific lines. The me's as element that originate and sustain such objects are clearly the tatvas- the finite but ultimate; the underlying 'thread' that weave the variegated phenomenal reality. Incidentally the Ta. mey is also used as
equivalent to Sk. Tatva and hence clearly corresponds to the Su. Me in the above theological account. This tatva-type of
constituent analysis of the world is exemplified not alone by the ancient Samkhya but also many other philosophical/metaphysical systems that developed in India especially the Dravidian India.
But the tatva sense of 'me' does not seem to fit the sense of 'me' in the
present exordium. Probably there exists another sense
more appropriate to the present context. In order to grasp this peculiar sense of 'me' let us look at the recitation of me's of
Inanna as given by Enhuduanna towards the end of the exordium.
The line 123-132 which contains the me's, true of Inanna, have two parts
with the first describing the 'me' ad second a refrain
'he-zu-am- (be it known). We give below the description of the me's proper (with a Tamil equivalent below).
123. an-gim mah-a-za: You are lofty as heaven. (an(n) in ma-a-a).
124. ki-gim dagal-la-za: You are broad as the earth. (kil-(n)in akalla-a)
125. ki-bala-gul-gul-lu: You devastate the rebellious land, zaL kil-vala kul-kullu-a)
126. sag-gis-ra-ra-za: You smite the heads (cen-ni are-ara-a).
127. ur-gin adda-ku-za: You devour ca davers like a dog. (ur-(n)in atta kul-a)
128. igi-hus-a-za: Your glance is terrible. (imai-ukka-a)
129. igi hus-bi-il-il(I)za: You lift your terrible glance. (imai-ushna-elu-elu-a.
130. igi-gun-gun-na-za: Your glance is flashing (imai-kana-kana(1)-a)
131. en-nu-nu-se-ga-za: You are ill disposed towards the … (annunu cekku-a)
132. u-ma gub-bu-za: You attain victory. (um-ma kupu-kuppu-a).
The possessive pronoun 'za' appears to be derived from 'zi-a' where '-a' is genitive case suffix identical with Ta-a. The 'zi' which also has the allomorph 'si', is the 'ji' retained in Sk, as 'jiva' and in Ta. aS civan. The genitive nature of 'za' indicates that the attribute terms are verbal nouns, attributive nouns and so forth. The me's are" loftiness, vastness, immense destructiveness, great valor, immense power, appearance that are immensely terrifying and so forth. The 'me' that remains only partly translated i.e. the one in line 131, appears to be actually: you are ill-disposed toward the sinners, where en-nu-nu is equated with Ta.anu (small, restricted, constrained, delimited etc.) from which is derived the concept of aaNava in Saiva Siddhanta, where it is understood as an entity that breeds ignorance in the psychic constitution.
Regarding the sense of 'me' in this exordium, W. Halls & J.Van Dijk
(chap. 5 p.49) have something very interesting to say and
it is this: "What, then are the me's? This question, so long debated, has recently been summarized in a study according to which the 'me' represents a more primitive stage in, and the conception of an anthropomorphic deity (dinger), the most advanced stage of, a linear intellectual development. The essential distinction between 'me' and 'dinger', however, is not historical at all but better expressed as the relationship of pars: totum. For one of the most consistent and conspicuous features of the 'me's' is their plurality or, in terms of the individual 'me', but it is precisely the mark of a great deity that he collects or gathers numerous me's to himself. The distinction can be phrased in more familiar theological terms as that between the deity and his attributes. It is therefore preferable to regard the me's as "divine attributes" and our poem as exalting Inanna by recognizing in, that is attributing to, the goddess those divine attributes that are hers by grace of An, the supreme god .."
The DED (item 4162) gives the following meanings for 'mey' in the Dravidian languages.
Ta.mey: truth, reality, soul, consciousness, body (used euphemistically), breast,
consonant; meymmai: truth, reality, natural
state, existence, signification; mey yan: one who has realized the truth; brahman; god; son; Ka.may(I)mey(I), mai: body, side,
part, place; Te. meyi, me: body, side, manner, method, mode.
The overlaps in meanings are quite interesting. In Sumerian and Tamil, the
sense of 'truth', 'reality' is shared. Not listed above
is the tatva sense unless it is associated with such senses as 'part', signification' and so forth. However 'me' in the sense of
immense powers, divine qualities or attributes is available, I think, in the phrase 'mey kirtti', a term used in exordium of kings in the medieval times.
P. Subramaniam (1983) who has made a special study of this genre of Tamil
literature understands by 'mey kirtti' a kind of
literature that exalts the deeds and dispositions that are the subject matter of real fame. (lbid p.9). though the terms occurs only
from the beginnings of the 9th cent. A.D. this type of literature is rather ancient and a large portion of Purananuru and Patirrupattu are exordiums of this sort. To be sung is glowing terms by a well known poet has always been a great desire of the Tamil kings from ancient times. The great kings were also equated with gods in their dispositional traits; accomplishments and stature, and many poets have sung thus even in the Sangam epoch.
The 'me's' in this poem are then extraordinary actions, deeds and attributes
that structure the world and underlay the observed
characteristics it has.
The central notion here is that of extraordinary actions or universal
actions. The term in Sumerian for this world be ba-ra-ga-ru
and the one who is the agent 'ba-ra-gar-u-si' where 'ba-ra' means 'high', gar-u to setup, to establish 'si' a personal terminative possibly a variant of 'zi'. The similarity between this phrase we have constructed and the Samkhya 'prakirti' (<para-karu-ti) is obvious enough. Prakirti in Samkhya is the eternal active substance composed of three gunas: Satviikam, rajasam and tamasam andwhich evolves the whole world when the equilibrium is disturbed. The conclusion seems to be inevitable: the Samkhya prakirti is in fact In-anna, demythologized or deanthropolized and transformed into a naturalistic or empirical (or metaphysical) concept. In the anthropomorphic version, the similarity of the 'me' of In-anna with Sakti in Hindu darsanas and mythologies is clear enough for we find such attributes being symbolically rendered in iconography in terms such as garland of snakes, instruments of war, planetary objects, rivers with waters flowing eternally and so forth.
It is hoped that this article will help to explode the myth of the Aryan and
hence Vedic origins of Hinduism. Historically it is
untrue, a falsity that has worked havoc in the mind of the Dravidian folks. It is also hoped that the Dravidians will wake up to the immense importance of Sumerian-Dravidian studies to claim their rightful place in world history.