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The Icon Thinking of En Hudu Anna- A study of Her Sirbiyam

By Dr K.Loganathan 2004

The Icon Thinking of En Hudu Anna-1

The Cosmos is a Woman

As I started the study of the Bakti literature (after decades of concern with Logic and Epistemology) it was a delight to discover the Icon Thinking, which I recognized as more basic than analogical metaphorical thinking and so forth. Such a form of thinking is the essence of Living Hinduism, the Hinduism of ordinary people who go to the temple and in visions of deities, be it in stones copper bronze etc, get solace of a kind and as if they have witnessed the gods themselves. They are certainly naive and possess only what Dr Rajaram has called folk wisdom but somehow they strike me as more authentically religious compared to the widely read and literature spewing scholars, the caattiram ootukinRa sazakkarkaL (the verbose who only study the sastras) of Appar.

There is something beautiful and alluring about this naivete and this because, I believe, they have an implicit believe in the presence of deities and that they are around there to help the suffering people. I have talked to many uneducated and common people (like my mother who was illiterate) and they also disclose a profound wisdom that you dont even see among the Acaryas, Messiahs, Theologians, Philosophers etc and it is the simple understanding that all gods are the same - be it Siva Muruka Vinayaka, Turumaal Krishna etc - they are the same and all deserve to be respected and worshipped! Such simple people can penetrate and go to the depths and see the SAME BEING at the depths of all deities.

I think that this is all because of the basic and primordial Icon Thinking which has been buried by scholastic and analytical concerns of the scholarly and who by that have become very distant to genuine and simple religiosity. At the moment the Acaryas are the least religious despite their weighty scholarship in selected literature!

I begin this new series on the Icon Thinking of En Hudu Anna to show that this form of thinking was there in one of the earliest civilizations in the world, SumeroTamil Civilization and that it was the kind of thinking that formed the basis of culture itself and in that the human culture was forged by the gods themselves by erupting into the human mind and possessing it.

I have taken for a renewed study En Hudu Annas immensely beautiful Exaltations of In-Anna that have I called Sirbiyam (c. 2200 BC), using a word that occurs in Sulgis Hymn B. The whole text with Tamil renderings is already available in the SumeroTamil Campus (see the trailer for the address).

What I want to do now is not to discuss so much the linguistic aspects, which is already done in the Campus above but bring out the Icon Thinking as available here and through that show the very ancient genesis of Bakti that constitutes the essence of Hindu way of life both high and low.


The text begins as below:


1. nin-me-sar-ra u-dalla-e-a

Lady of all the me's resplendent light


2.mi-zi me-lam gur-ru  ki-aga-an-uras-a

Righteous woman clothed in radiance, beloved of heaven and earth

- š Ê

3. nu-gig- an-na suh-kesda- gal-gal-la

Hierodule of An, (you) of all the great ornaments


4. aga-zi-de ki-aga nam-en-na tum-ma

Enamored of the appropriate tiara, suitable for the high priest-hood



In the first line itself, the praise is NOT to Fire as in Suruppaks Neri where the ancient ri, eri, the fire was invoked, as was also the case with Rig Veda, the agnim Ile. There is description of Fire but as u-dalla-e-a, the uL teLLiya, the Brilliant and Clear LIGHT, the Pure radiance. And furthermore this is NOT the impersonal Light, the Sunyata (sun< suur< suul) but rather the FORM of In-Anna Herself, the Woman, the creatrix of all, and because she is the Lady of all mes, the Nin me sar-ra, i.e., Nin mey sarva where Nin means the immensely tall and great (Ta. nil: to stand up, nivar; to rise up) and the beholder of all powers (me Ta. mey, moy: power, strength)


This Pure Light is the woman, the later Parai of the Saivites but here also the hierodule or consort of An, (Ta. aaN, aaL> aaNdavan) the righteous woman (mi -zi: mai cii) and who wears the radiance itself as her attire (me-lam gur-ru: meeLam kuurai). But most importantly, bright and brilliant as such, she is the beloved of all, both in the world and the heavens (ki-aga an uras-a: kaama vaan uraasya). So the Pure radiance is NOT impersonal and indifferent light but rather someone who is LOVED dearly by all the creatures in the world as well as the celestial beings in the heavens. By her beauty of Pure Radiance she captures all and makes them LOVE her and PRAISE in true Bakti! The Woman, ParaSakti, is being viewed as a spiritual entity and NOT just simply as alluring stream of light. What was eri sudra, eri bad-da, the ancient and primordial burst of molten rocks etc, is now a Woman, immensely beautiful and alluring by her garment of Brilliant Light.


For En Hudu Anna, the spiritual essence of In-Anna, doesnt stop here. She sees the heavens so filled with stars and other objects and immensely beautiful as such as In-Anna herself wearing the aga-zi-de (aNi ciiyitee: beautiful ornaments), the crown studded with diamonds and wearing which she becomes fit for high-priesthood (nam-en-en-na tum-ma: eeNNanam takumma). In those days the high-priesthood was not different from queenship, the kingly was one with the priestly.


Of course she is describing the Universe but NOT simply as a physical system where the impersonal gravitational and magnetic forces enact all the dramas. There is Organismic thinking like in u-ulluh-ha where there is viewing the cosmos as Se-er Maal, the Purusha of Purusha Suktam, BEING showing Himself with a thousand heads and limbs and even here showing only part of Himself and concealing the rest.


But for En Hudu Anna, the most outstanding woman poet-philosopher of the Third Millennium World, the Cosmos is a Woman, whose man An, (aaN) remains hidden and concealed in her brilliance!


These notions are still available in Saiva Siddhanta where it is said that unless blessed by Parai, no one could witness BEING(Siva) and enjoy Civanjanam and so forth




The Icon Thinking of En Hudu Anna-2


The Woman is the Power, the Sakti


We have seen the first introductory lines in which the visible Cosmos is seen as the Woman, the In-Anna ( The creatrix, the Mother) who is the nug-gi an-na (Ta. naGkai aaNNa: the woman of aaN, the Godhead). But she is also who wears a beautiful crown of precious stones which also gives us a clue as to how to understand an important aspect of Icon Thinking. The Headpriestess or Queen, in wearing a similar crown shows herself as In-Anna on earth and in the vein imitatio In-Anna. When En Hudu Anna herself parades wearing a crown (aga-zi-de ki-aga nam-en-na tum-ma) she is saying that she is fact In-Anna but on earth. Thus in adorning herself thus and parading she is effectively saying, I am In-Anna Herself! . In the imitatio of such a kind, there is am attempt to be In-Anna Herself and in which we can see the beginnings of such claims as Akam Brahmam asmi in the first person and which in the second person becomes Tat Twam asi etc


But from this we cannot immediately jump to the conclusion that En Hudu Anna was advaitic or in general any such imitatios (also present in Christianity) are so. For clearly she is just an ordinary woman but realizes also that she can raise herself to something divine, become In-Anna on earth. This imitatio is an AS-IF kind of activity, like playing a role in a drama and wearing the necessary disguise and masks and acting AS-IF a certain person etc and in the interest of LEARNING something about BEING and thereby also about self.


At the deeper level we can see that she is led to imitate and act thus perhaps by a higher Power which makes her to act thus. This is what I have called the AS-IF game BEING plays and all to divinise an individual who at the moment is not with it and hence essentially BLIND to the spiritual possibilities that remains always as ones possibilities, what in fact one can be. BEING installs such iimitatios in order to instruct the ignorant anmas of the various divine possibilities already there within.


In the next few lines, another Meaning of capturing the Cosmos as a Woman is brought out


The lines are follows:





5. me-imin-be su sa-du-ga

whose hand has attained  (all) the 'seven' me's


6.nin-mu me-gal-gal-la sag-kesda-bi za-e-me-en

Oh my lady, you are the guardian of all the great me's mu-il me su-zu-se mu-e-la

You have gathered up the me's ;you have hung the me's on your hand

8 me mu -ur me gaba -zu bi-tab

You have gathered up the me's,  you have clasped the me's to your breast


Here we have the description of some iconographic details, details that are present even to-day in the icons female deities like Madurai Minatci Sri Laksmi and so forth.

The most important phrase here is me-gal-gal-la: great mes and where the word me remains un-translated. In Sumerian literature elsewhere it occurs in the sense of truly and hence certainly it is Tamil mey a polysemantic word and in which one of the most prominent meaning is truth and another the body However there is a lesser known meaning as in mey kiirti where it means the bravery or immense power etc and which exists as moy (as in moymbu). Thus the me gal-gal-la (mey kaL kaLLa) are great powers, powers that make things move at the Cosmological level. The word imin that means seven is obsolete now however the use of eezu in its place is widespread (as in eezu malaiyaan, said of VishNu, eezu piRappu: all births etc) means actually all and hence In-Anna is seen here as one who has attained all the Powers and hence the ParaSakti of later times. And as we shall see later, En Hudu Anna is of the opinion that it is An (aaN: Siva) who confers her these powers.

However the important point in terms of Icon Thinking is that the crown she wears on the head (sag-kesdu-bi: saan kaddu-bi), the bangles she wears on her hands (su-zu-se mu-e-la: suur see moo izai) and the different kinds necklaces she wears on her chest (gaba-zu bi-tab: paakamzu taibbi) are all these POWERS that she wields and by this kind of icon, shows the world that she is the ParaSakti, the Primordial Energy that makes possible not only the dynamics but everything in the universe.

This habit adorning the material Icons of a female deities with ornaments studded with precious stones is still available among the Hindus though I am not sure whether they are aware of the meaning and the cosmological thinking underlying it.



The Icon Thinking of En Hudu Anna-3

The Woman as the Creatrix and Devastratrix

When the religion of the Sumerians and which is the temple-centered Agamism with Icon Thinking as its main mode of metaphysical reflections, passed over into the Semitic through the Akkadian and later constituted the essentials of Judaism Christianity and Islam, many central elements were either thrown out or transformed the central themes being those related to human sexuality. They saw sexuality only as the Snake and not in the other and higher forms.

Now this vision of the snake may also have its origin in some parts of the Sumerian for below we have En Hudu Anna describing In-Anna as the Devastratrix, (the KoRRavai or Durga of the classical times and whose worship is still active) also describes Her in the negative image of a large snake (usumgaL; Ta.usumkaL) that deposits venom on the land (us ba-e-si: usu paaycci). This may a reference to sexual impulses that the KuNdalini as a snake arouses in the hearts man and woman carnal sexulaity and because of which there is conflict and stress and so forth and which lead to death.

But She is also the thunder that strikes the nations in terms heavy downpour, devastating floods and so forth or even extended dry spells and because of which vegetation do not grow (ezinu la-ba-si-gal: ezinu ila baa sii kaal). She is also the Fire that can consume the nation and through that (13 izi-ne-ne-ra kalam-e seg-ga: agninee? niRaiya kalamma keeGka)

And in contrast to all these she is also the creatrix for she is the Ganges that come as waterfalls on the Hills (11 a-ma-ru kur-bi-ta e-de) and which aspect is lost in the Semitic religions or de-emphasized in the theological reflections.

It is interesting to note that all these are available in the Icon of Siva: He holds the Fire of Destruction in His hands, and the waters as Ganges in His tuft. In the Icon pf Tirumaal, we have the Usumgal, the Aticedan arising in the vast ocean of primeval waters and the provide the bed of KuNdalini Power for the Yoganidra.

See the lines below


9. usumgal-gim kur-ra us ba-e-si

Like a dragon you have deposited venom on the land


10 iskur-gim ki-sig -gi-za ezinu la-ba-si-gal

When you roar at the earth like Thunder, no vegetation can stand up to you

츢 Ƣ

11 a-ma-ru kur-bi-ta e-de

A flood descending from its mountain


12 sag-kal an-ki-a *inanna-bi-me-en

Oh foremost one, you are the Inanna of heaven and earth


13 izi-ne-ne-ra kalam-e seg-ga

Raining the fanned  fire down upon nation



The word amaru exists now as muuri amuri meaning water. The word amutu may in fact be a derivative of this. We can also derive aruvi, the waterfalls from this word: amuri> avuri> aruvi (metathesis). The worship of the waters is present even in TirukkuRal where the second chapter is wholly devoted to this (vaan ciRappu). The ritual of Adip Perukku and such other practices of bathing in the rivers and sacred ponds may be related to this understanding. To have a dip in the floodwaters is to be rejuvenated, to be refreshed and life renewed.

Now the above lines also explain why the Woman is Power over the heaven and Earth (12 sag-kal an-ki-a *inanna-bi-me-en) For She as the controller of the elemental Fire Wind and Water and hence the whole of Phenomenal World and as such She ABOVE En-lil (the Power over the Wind), E-a ( En-a: the Power over the water) and so forth

Earlier we saw that the whole of the phenomenal world (an-ki-a: vaan kiiz-a) is In-Anna, the Puvaneswari of modern Hinduism and shown iconically as the queen-priestess wearing the Diamond Crown necklaces and bangles. The Queen-Priestess adorns herself as thus as Imitatio In-Anna and announcing to the world she is in fact In-Anna on the earth (akam In-Anna asmi!)

But in lines above we do not have this imitation but only a metaphysical UNDERSTANDING and which we can see as a result of such imitatio activities. Thus even paradin as queen-priestess is ultimately pedagogic, something in which one learns something deep and profound. Thus we can see even these as part of the AS-IF Play of BEING, a notion that was also implicitly present in the lines to follow.

(to continue)

The Icon Thinking of En Hudu Anna-4

The Siva Sakti ( An & In-Anna) Dance

The following lines are some of most illuminating and metaphysically very profound to come from the Third Millennium SumeroTamil literature and which hold sway to this day not only among the Tamils but the whole of Hindu world where Siva is worshipped. The descriptive terms make it abundantly clear that In-Anna is Durga and An (Ta. aaL, aaNdavan) is Siva. For In-Anna is said to ride over a beast (nin ur-ra u-a: Nin uura oovua) where the beast is either the lion or tiger and which is indicative of fury, a mood that does not tolerate evil and destroys it whenever it surfaces.

While still within Icon Thinking but there deep metaphysical insights into how the different shapes of In-Anna have the power or the Sakti (mey, moy) it seems to have. When as a deeper layer of icon thinking, this question bursts upon, En Hudu Anna also gets clarities about it. The In-Anna does not have the Power of her own, she is indebted to An, who actually endows her with it: 14. an-ne me-si-ma : aaNNee mey iiyimma ( the powers are given to her by An, sii> Ta. cii, ii: to give)


14 an-ne me-si-ma nin ur-ra u-a

Endowed with me's by An lady mounted on a beast

¢ ׫


This subservience of In-Anna to An also means now another important truth - In-Anna does do any thing that is not willed by An, does not utter anything other than the divine words of An. Here we must note that the terms divine words (inim-ku) and saying (inim-du-du) are equivalent to willing and doing.

This line also reminds one of the Biblical words: It the beginning there was the Word etc. the Divine Words of An, inim-ku-an-na (enam koo aaNNa) is the aaNai of Tol (paalatu aaNai) and Meykandar (Sutra 2: aaNaiyin iruvinaiyin pookku varavu puriya). The world is not an unordered sequence of episodes without any direction. The divine words of An are there permeating all and give the sense of direction by the ethical feelings that come along with it. So it is not In-Anna only but also all the creatures who make decisions the exercise the will in the way already dictated by An, the BEING. Certainly we have the freedom to deviate but then we become the prodigal son who would be led to repent and thenre-accepted into the Way of An and hence His Will, the San-maarkkam.

15. inim-ku-an-na-ta inim-du-du

Who makes decisions at the holy command of An


It is against this that we have to look at the line below where En Hudu Anna is bewildered with incomprehensibility of the essence of In-Anna. The word billuda (m) exists now as Ta. Pilli but with the degenerate sense of magical rites. The term for rituals is Sariyai and which is derived from the Ta. root sari: to move about, to slide etc. The worlds events are enactments or sayings of In-Anna and they are also the billidam, the various processes that are manifest in the world and which are appropriated by the priestly as the rituals in the worship of the deity. Thus the temple rituals related In-Anna is a way of presenting her activities in the world at large, in fact all over the vast cosmos. The rituals seen against this vision of In-Anna certainly become bewildering leading En Hudu Anna exclaim: who can fathom what is yours?

16 billuda-gal-gal-la ni-zu a-ba mu-un-zu

(You) of all the great rites, who can fathom what is yours?

־ ¡ ?

Now there is another possible interpretation that should also be mentioned. The billudam can also mean piNNutam, pinnutam binding and fastening and weaving as one would a piece of cloth. The great billuda are the immensely complex fastening and binding, weaving and patterning that is so visible in the world events. Thus we have here the DANCE metaphor implicit in the En Hudu Annas understanding of the antics of In-Anna that are so visible in the phenomenal world.

Now fortunately for us we have a direct description of this theme in the tablet of the Sumerian Paradise that was published by C. J Gadd in his Sumerian reading Book:

7. as-ni-ne (alone)  dilmun (KI)-a  (in Dilmun) u-ne-in-nad (they lay)

8. ki (The place)  *en-ki  (where Enki) dam-an-ni-da  (with his wife) ba-an-da-nad-a-ba (laid himself down)

9. ki-bi (that place)  sikil-am (is clean)  ki-bi  (that place) za(lag)-zalag-ga-am (is bright)

10. ki  (the place) *en-ki  (where  Enki) nin-sikil-la (with Ninsikilla)  ba-an-da-nad-a-ba (laid himself down)


7. aasninee Tilmun-a uunee nadiyin ( Alone in Tilmun they danced)


8. kiiz Enkii tamanitaodu paNNidu nadi abba ( There Enki with His wife executed the Dance (of Bliss) )


9. kiizbi sukkil aam kiizbi salaGsalagkaam ( the place is pure and full of musical sounds)


10. kiiz Enkii Nin sukkilla paNNidu nadam abba ( The place (is so) when Enki with His consort the Pure Woman executes the Dance)


Su a-ba> Ta. avva: there

The nad wrongly translated by Gadd as to lay is certainly Ta. nadi : to dance and which is related Ta. nadai: the walk, nadi: to act, naaddiyam, nadanam : dance etc.


While the lines of Sirbiyam may indicate the relationship between An and In-Anna as one of telling and doing as told, but the immense complexity of the world processes, the billuda shows that is a DANCE and that too in Tilmun, the Tillai ManRu, the place that is pure and full of the musical sounds of mantras!

(to continue)

The Icon Thinking of En Hudu Anna-5

The Mantra Recital of In-Anna

The most important line in the third song is that of :

20 nin-mu za-pa- ag-zu-se   kur i-gurum-gurum-e
    Oh my lady , at the sound of you the lands bow down

    ! .ͧ

Where we have already the occurrence of the technical word in Mantrayana za-pa (> Ta. japam, cepam etc) and to which another word cebi, cabi (to curse) may be related. This may also have given us another word for ears viz. cevi over and above Su. Gestu (> Ta. kaatu)

Of course what En Hudu Anna attributes to the Japam of In-Anna are the natural sounds like thunder and so forth. She is appropriating the natural sounds in the world as part of the Mantra Recital of In-Anna and which betrays the Mantra thinking that accompanies her Icon Thinking. Thus there must have been Mantra thinking as a widespread feature of the Metaphysical Thinking of the SumeroTamils in the Third Millennium BC itself.

The various SOUNDS in nature are the different mantric recitals of In-Anna of which En Hudu Anna singles out only the frightening thunders for special mention here.

But the second part of the line kur i-gurum-gurum-e (Ta. KunRu ii kurukum kurukummee) and which means the lands or people bow down) also has a special significance for unraveling the Mantrayana of the SumeroTamils. People in general seem to have viewed the thunders and such other ominous sounds in nature to carry a message, a message of WRATH of In-Anna! The word for thunder in Sumerian is.kur (Ta. isaikoor: terrible sound) and which is quite naturalistic and realistic and on this is superimposed the Mantra Thinking of En Hudu Anna thus transforming the very understanding of such sounds of nature.

Against this let us return to line that was quite puzzling, viz.

16 billuda-gal-gal-la ni-zu a-ba mu-un-zu

(You) of all the great rites, who can fathom what is yours?

־ ¡ ?

Here it is possible to take billuda as the preforms of Ta. Pallu (to utter) Ta. PaLLu (songs, to sing etc) and from which perhaps we have Ta. PaNNu: to sing and Ta. PaN: the various ragas. Form this we have Ta. PaaNan: the singer and to which we can even add PaaNini: the (female?) singer.

Thus the billuda-gal-gal-la are the great songs of In-Anna and which are beyond the comprehension of the ordinary individuals. Such an understanding of the In-Anna may underlie why singing is enshrined as the most important religious ritual and which is retained in the Agamic Hinduism and Tantrism to this day.

We also should not fail to notice the beginnings of Hermeneutics here: In-Anna sings but who can understand what she is singing or saying (a-ba mu-un-zu?) This word zu/ju with verbal prefix of mun that has become obsolete in tamil but retained in some frozen forms (munneeRu, munookku) is retained in Tamil as suu as in suuttiram, a verbal construction that carries deep understanding and suustiram meaning secrets, concealed understanding etc. It also serves as root of the hidden and subtle as suukkumam as opposed to tuulam (< tuuram: the distant or manifestly great)

The word ni-zu stands for the PoruL, (nii: that which stands) or the arttam (< uru-ttam : the forms that have taken shape), the substance of such songs.

Thus the SumeroTamils were not primitive savages who recoiled and took shelter in the caves out of fear for such natural events but who boldly understood them as the LANGUAGE of In-Anna and strived after UNDERSTANDING her communications. Thus we can see the beginnings of the world as being taken as a TEXT, a Speaking Text at that and because of which there were great efforts at UNDERSTANING what she says.

The world as a TEXT says something and it is part of our metaphysical strive that we seek to understand that. After millenniums of effort in this direction we have the first Sutra of Civanjnana Botham of Meykandar (c. 13th cent) giving this kind of thinking the most rigorous structure to it:


 The First sutra:

  Ǣ On Fundamental Ontology

Ц Ţɨ¢

 Avan avaL atu enum avai muuvinaimaiyin
tooRRiya titiyee, odungki malattu uLataam
antamaati enmanaar pulavar.

Ш:  ѾĢȡɢ , ýɡ Ӿħ Ӿġ ĸ о ѾĢ

karutturai: en nutaliRRoo enin, cangkaara kaaraNanaai uLLa mutalaiyee mutalaaka udaittu ivvulakam enpatu uNarttutal nutaliRRU

  : Ƣ

aaNai: itan pozippu uraittuk koLka.


This world, objectively understood and linguisticalized in terms of the pronouns he, she, it and so forth is a totality that is in historical flux; and therefore a Reality caused to appear. And since though dissolved by DARKNESS into not-being-there, it gets continuously reissued, there is a BEING that remains as the causal ground for its dissolution and re-issuance. So will say the philosophers.

General Intention: What is intended is to disclose the truth that this world (that is not self-subsistent) has as its GROUND only the BEING who has within Himself the POWER to cause the dissolution of the world.

Instruction: Get to know first the overall meaning of this axiom


What it implies is that: What we have to understand is the world at large for our existence is wrought in it and which means that we should not dismiss as it a magical contrivance design to cheat us and trap us etc and hence something that we should NEGATE by way of escaping from its magical hold as Advaitins and many other idealists throughout the world are inclined to say.

To En Hudu Anna and to all-important Dravidian thinkers, the World is the Playground of BEING, the Speaking and ever evolving TEXT and in order to develop further in our spiritual life, we have to understand the Play, the Tantirams of BEING by appropriating as a TEXT.

(to continue)



The Icon Thinking of En Hudu Anna-6

Siva - Sakti and the Samkhyan Prakriti - Purusha

The cosmos is Mantra Reciting In-Anna, the Singing Mother, the Ambal, the Puvaneswari and so forth. The billuda galgal-la may be the great chants, song, hymns or simply japam she makes. We can see that it is this kind of understanding that provides a rational explanation for the presence of Hymnology including the chanting of Mantras as part of ritual practices of Agamic Hinduism from very ancient times. It is again imitation - if In-Anna Herself chants, the human beings by way of imitating Her and becoming her with the implicit claim I am In-Anna should also chant, sing dance and so forth. What we have is simulation, imitating In-Anna by way of assimilating Her qualities as part of ones own. ( This may be a universal phenomena and something common to all religions in their initial stages)

Now the following lines indicate, some other possible reasons for becoming and In-Anna on earth and where we see the Will to Power of a kind, a common instinctual pressure in the bosom of all. In-Anna, is Durga, the KoRRavai who can destroy everything and the beloved of EnLil, the Lord of Word Dynamics and hence the real Power.

17. kur-gul-gul     u-de a ba-e-si
    Devastatrix of the lands  you are lent wings by the storm


18 ki-aga en-lil-le     kalam-ma- im-mi-ni-dal
    Beloved of Enlil   you fly about in the nation

ģ Ǣɢ

Here the expression kur-gul-gul (Ta. kunRu kol kol) is that which has given birth to the term KoRRavai itself (kolkol amma > kol amma> kol avva> koRRavai). Here though u has been giventhe meaning of storm, winds and so forth (Ta. uutu; to blow, uutai: winds) we can also interpret it as the mantra syllable ukaaram, the expression of Natam, Lordship. If this is acceptable, then En Hudu Anna is describing here something that has become well entrenched in the Dravidian Mantrayana such as that Tirumular and so forth and which is alive to this day.

Now what can be meaning of the line 18 which is certainly metaphorical?

As one together with EnLil, the Lord of World Dynamics, she is also the MOVING Power of all in the world and in which we can see the beginnings of the Samkhya notion of Prakriti, thre metaphysical substance that is in movement always, never resting at all. (Prakriti< Ta. para. karuti: transcendental effecter of actions)

This notion is also available in the following line of this magnificent Sirbiyam:

32. giri-za nu-kus-u  i-in-si
    Your feet are filled  with restlessness

    â ¢.


The word kuucu ( < Su. kus-u) is to withdraw, recoil and so forth and it is said In-Annas feet do not withdraw recoil and so forth and thus forever in motion, filled with dynamics.

But unlike in Samkhya but as in Saivism, this Power of In-Anna is said to be also a blessing of An , of Siva as the following lines would show

19 a-aga- an(a)-ke   ba-gub-be-en
    You are at the service  of the decrees of An

    컡 񽧸

In-Anna is NOT independent, autonomous and She just carries out the WILL of Siva, His decrees (a-aga> aal aaknjai> aal aaNai). Even In-Anna is NOT free to move on her own, there is already the WILL of Siva, the WORD (the Om of later times), Ud gita, the Decree and so forth that serve as the Primordial Regulator of the World Dynamics.

It should be noted that these notions are still cherished in the Icon of Siva Nadarajah with firmly planted Right Leg and raised and curved Left Leg. The first stands for unchanging firmness of Natam, the ever existing and unchanging WILL or the Word, and second the ever changing dynamics, dance motions etc but all guided by the Decree of the Right Leg. The Left Leg cannot move on its own; it has to move as said by the Right Leg and silently.

This has to be so for an important reason. It is the firm Right Leg that presses down the dwarf muyalakan, the concealed power of aaNavam, the Black Hole that would obstruct the phenomenal presence of anything. In-Anna can dance and sing, become the tirelessly productive Mother only because this Muyalakan is kept pressed down and deactivated!

It is really quite amazing that in the 3rd Millennium BC itself, the central elements of the Metaphysics of Saivism were already well understood and which continued to shape the cultural ethos of the Dravidian folks (spread all over India) throughout the ages despite many disasters and destructions.


(to continue)

The Icon Thinking of En Hudu Anna-7

In-Anna as KoRRavai or Durga

The SumeroTamils take off their metaphysical thinking from the observation of the phenomenal and in that they did not end with the kind Phenomenology of eidetic reduction where there is the bracketing off the surface level layers of consciousness to reach the lowest as proposed by Husserl. The phenomenal is the surface level showing of BEING and where BEING inheres as if the soul, the deep structure along the model of uyir-mey (soul-body) that is also available in the phonology of Tolkaappiyar. We can access BEING in the depths by only at initial stages appropriate phenomenal and that too as the showings of a LIVING substance of gigantic dimensions and which is shared also with VaishNavism, another branch of this very ancient Agamism and which has crept into Purusha Suktam and many other Suktams in Sk.

BEING shows Himself through the world and it is through taking the whole of the Cosmos as a TEXT that is being written continuously by BEING that we can apprehend BEING Himself and the different shapes He assumes for managing the cosmos. Here too we must note that we do not have Hegelian dialectics where the Spirit is seen to realize itself in world history. There is no dialectics but only Universal Praxis, the Pancha Kritiyas, the fundamental Disclosure (disvoidance) and Concealment (Voidance) and in which the disclosure shows itself as the productive, retentive and destructive.

The voidance, the emptying of the universe of all the presence is the MahaSaGkaraam and the Power that can cause this has to be the Supreme Power and which understanding is articulated by Meykandar as caGkaara kaaraNmaakiya mutalaiyee mutalaaka udaittu ivvulakam enRatu: it is the Power that is capable of the voidance of the whole universe that is the Primordial cause of it all.

Historically this kind of metaphysical thinking may be related to the very ancient, almost prehistoric worship of Mother as KoRRavai, the MahakaaLi and in the line below we see an archaic but very clear articulation of it in the words of En Hudu Anna (c. 2200 BC)


26. igi-me-ta  ni ma-ra-ta-si-ig
    In the van of battle everything is truck down by you

    () 째

27. nin-mu a-ni-za-ta  KA.KA. i-durud-e-en
    Oh my lady, (propelled) on your own wings you peck away( at the land)

    ƒ KA.KA. 򾢦

28. u-du-du-gim  i-du-du-de-en
    In the guise of a charging storm  you charge


29 u gu-ra-ra-ta gu im-da-ab- ra-ra-an
    With roaring storm you roar

    ȫ   ȫȦ

30 iskur-da  sig mu-da-an-gi-gi-in
    With Thunder  you continually thunder

    ͧá  츢 ¢

31. im-hul im-hul-da   im-da-kus-u-de
    With all the evil winds  you snort


In-Anna assumes the shape of the Destructive Power but NOT independent of the worldly processes. She is there ALONG WITH the natural processes that are destructive: the killings that takes place in battles and wars, the destruction that is brought by the natural disasters like storms and floods, the death and destruction by the thunders and lightning, death because prolonged dry spells, evil carrying polluted air etc. In other words In-Anna assumes the shape of the Destructive Power and twisting the events in the world, human and the natural DESTROYS and drives away the currently present (and perhaps in this manner make way for the NEW to emerge and become the current)

In the line 27 above we have a very interesting verbal phrase: i-durud-e-en: ii tuurttiyen. Here durud-e may be the preform of Ta. turattu: to drive away or tuurttu: to bring to a closure. Thus it may be possible the word Durga is ultimately derived from this root dur in durud-e; Durga, as distinct from KoRRavai, is the Power that drives away the evil.

Now another interesting notion that might have been historically very productive occurs in line 31 where She is said breath along with the evil winds, in other words In-Anna is the breath of the winds, including the breathing processes of the living creatures. The recognition of the In-Anna in the breathing processes might have led to KuNdalini yoga with its Vaci Yoga, the yoga of breath control as integral to it and all parts of Tantrism which has receded into closed enclaves of Hindu spirituality.

Now we can understand why In-Anna is said have feet that are restless, forever moving, as below and which we have already considered.

32. giri-za nu-kus-u  i-in-si
    Your feet are filled  with restlessness


Thus the restless In-Anna, when she becomes destructive also makes human beings cry and burst into lamentations and perhaps all to show how frail the human beings are and the how vain and egoistic they can be at the absence of such fury of In-Anna where if She wills, she can destroy all.

33. balag-a-nir-ra-da i-lu mu-un-da-ab-be
    To(the accompaniment of) the harp of sighs you give vent to a dirge

    Ĩ 󿣦á

In Sumerian culture the Lamentations over the destruction of Ur and such destructions was instituted as a cultural event to be celebrated annually perhaps to remind themselves of the might of In-Anna and hence always live in the recognition that a period of prosperity and joy is a GIFT of In-Anna when She refrains from assuming the shape of KoRRavai or MahaKaaLi and let there be destructions of all kinds.

(to continue)


The Icon Thinking of En Hudu Anna-8

The Third Eye of Intense Fire(anger)

The theme that God can be angry and devastating is a theme well entrenched as part of Saivism to this day and where Siva is understood as the Destroyer and because of which He is the Primordial Causal Ground. This theme may be related to that Yahovah of Old testament as well as Rudra of Rig Veda only that what was initially a function of Mother Goddess becomes masculinized and attributed to the Male God Siva as Rudra and so forth. This also appears to have been the case with Gestin-anna, the Goddess of Dream interpretations that becomes the male Agastiya in both Sk and Tamil literature. But despite this The Angry Mother still survives in Hinduism as Durga KoRRavai KaaLi SamuNdi and so forth.

While destruction is not a favorite theme in VaishNavism but even here it is accommodated up to a point with the icon of Narasimma Muurtti, an Icon with human body but lion face the origin of which may also be Middle Eastern.

The following lines retain the primordial and prehistoric understanding of the Cosmos as a Woman and who can also be intensely angry and because of which even the minor deities run away like bats and take cover in the clefts or hidden crevices.

34. nin-mu a-nun-na     dingir-gal-gal-e-ne
    Oh my lady, the Aunna  the great gods


35. su-din musen-dal-a-gim    du-de mu-e-si-ba-ra-as
    Fluttering like bats fly off from before to the clefts

ݾ Ӻ ţ Ŋ

( musen: creatures with protruding faces, Ta. musal, Maly: musang; dal Ta. taL : to push forward, Ma. tolah; ba-ra Ta. para; to fly; ma. burung . The as/es seems to be a plural marker that ahs become obsolete)


The following lines where igi.hus-a or ibi.hus-a ( Ta. imai ushNa) is described clearly foreshadows the Third Eye of Siva, the Eye on the forehead opening which intense fire flows out singing to ashes everything in front.

36. igi-hus-a-za    la-ba-su-ge-es-a
    They who do not walk(?) in your terrible glance


37. sag-ki-hus-a-za     sag nu-mu-un-de-ga-ga
    Who dare not proceed before your terrible countenance


( su-ge, seg-ge : to flow? Ta. senge> kangkai, Ma. sungai: river; sag-ki> Ta. cenni: head , face)

Clearly there is mention of the SEEING of BEING, that BEING sees and in that at times sees with intense anger, with the eye emitting fire and because of which people do not walk in front for fear of being burnt to ashes!

The glance of Anger, the Glance with the Third Eye is a BURNING glance and hence something that would transform the fertile world into a Cremation Ground, a theme so well sung by Punitavati ( 4-5th cent. AD) in her Muutta Tiripatikam.

That this Glance of Fire is one of ANGER beyond being calmed or tempered emerges in the following lines:

38. sa-ib-ba-za     a-ba i-te-en-te-en
    Who can temper your raging heart?

    () Ń ¡

39. sa-hul-gal-la-za     te-en-te-bi-mah-a
    Your malevolent heart is beyond tempering

    () ǃ

( ib-ba :Ta. evvam : intense anger; a-ba Ta. yaavan : who, te-en Ta. taN, taNi: to pacify, to cool down etc, mah-a Ta. maa-a, mahaa-a : very diffcult, exceeds etc)

These lines can easily pass for good Tamil even now for most of the words are still available with same morphology and semantics.

In these lines what En Hudu Anna has recognized is the presence of DESTRUCTION as part of nature and which she sees within her Icon Thinking (where the whole cosmos is a Woman, In-Anna ) the destructive as an expression of Her intense anger. This understanding of the DEPTHS of the natural is perhaps seen anthropomorphically as that which proceeds because of Intense Anger and which shows itself as the GLANCE of eyes that is red hot, something very human too!



The Icon Thinking of En Hudu Anna-9

The Fiery Eyes of In-anna and the Agnim elle of Rig Veda

It is little known that many fundamental insights of the Sumerians have entered Vedic Thinking and which seems to have departed on some new lines with Yajna isolated and focused upon as the most effective ritual while the same deep insights have been retained in Agamic Saivism but more as the linear development of the Sumerian. The agnim ille with which Rig Veda begins is in fact Ta. agnim ellee where it is quite certain that the el is Ta. el, and Akkadian ellu and both possibly derived from Su. ri /Ta. eri a word meaning fire and which is still available in Tamil while being as ancient as Suruppaks NeRi(c. 3000 BC) See:

1. [u]ri-a u sud-ra ri-a ( In those distant days, in those far remote days)

â â

uu eriya uu cuuttira eriya

The ri-a here though translated as days, actually means the break of Fire and hence Light against the prevailing darkness and hence the uuzi, the burst of the world as there as a reality.

Hymn 1.1

Agnim iile purohitam yajjnasya devam ritvijam / hotaram ratnadhaatamam

We worship the adorable God, the high priest of cosmic activities, the divine , the one who works through the eternal laws, and who feeds and sustains all that is divine and luminous.

And which I reconstruct as Archaic Tamil as follows:

*Ta. aaknim ellee purohitam yajnasya teyvam urutubiijam/ uu-taaram iratnataatu tamam

Thus collectively we can render the meaning as follows:

Homage to that Brilliant Light that is productive of all, that  Deity which brings joy to all during the festivals of Light and provides food and material riches in the form of precious stones.

But the lines Rig Veda relevant here is the following:

The seventh sloka of the first hymn (1.7) goes  as below:

upa tvaagnee dive-dive doshavastar dhiya vayam/namo bharanta emasi

Day and night , we approach you, with reverential homage through sublime thoughts and noble deeds.

The Tamil reconstruction would be:

uupa tuuva agniee divee divee tooca vastu tiiya vaiyum/ namoo paaranta yimma-cii

 Oh thou the Pure Fire in the heavens!  We implore that you burn off the dirt stuff within us every day. Oh Lord the deepth within world , grant us this to our utmost satisfaction!

Note here the Rig doshavastar dhiya vayam appears to be a distortion of Ta. tooca vastire tiiya vaiyum, where the SAME MEANING prevails in both i.e. a request to agni to singe to ashes (tiiya vaiyum) all the dirty stuff ( tuuci vastire)

Thus we can see this Intense Fire, the e-ri, that begins the cosmic presence by destroying the prevailing Darkness and blessing the world with so many things, also persists as the FIRE that burns off the dirt, the Tuuci Vastu(dhosavastir) a notion that we see abundantly in the following lines of this magnificent Sirbiyam

The Fiery Eyes of In-Anna, so intensely hot that nobody dares to parade in front, shows itself in Historical Life as detailed below but all as expressions singing to ashes the evil forces, the Dhosa Vastu

Where the homage is denied the luxurious mountains are made desert like, desolate and unproductive; the cities are burnt to ashes; wars break out and because of which not only the warriors die in combat but also the commoners and out of starvation; the warriors disband the armies and the young men are humbled; the tempest fills the land with more destruction on the cultural life and so forth. But all these only for the purpose of defeating the arrogant warriors and bring the able-bodied and defiant young men back to worshipping Inanna in becoming humility. Such people are infected with the Dhosa Vastu and in destroying them it is only this Dirt within them that is destroyed as they are made to parade in front of In-Anna after disbanding the armies and so forth.

It should be noted that it is this Dhosa Vastu that has become the Malam, the Dark Stuff that Saivism and Early Tamil VaishNavism acknowledge as the root cause of the egotism of man.


43.  hur-sag ki-za ba-e-de-su-de     ezinu ni-gig-bi
    In the mountain where homage is withheld from you vegetation is accursed

      ¢ Ƣ

44 ka-gal-a-be    de-mu-ni-in-dal
    Its grand entrance   you have reduced to ashes

    ǧ ɢ

45. i-ba us ma-ra-an-de uku-be ba-ra--nag-nag
    Blood rises in its rivers for you,   its people have nought to drink


46. ugnim-bi ni-bi-a ma-ra-ab-lah-e
     It makes its able-bodied young men parade before you of their own accord

    쿢 ħ

47. ka-kesda-bi ni-bi-a ma-ra-ab-si-il-e
    It disbands its regiments before you of its own accord


48 gurus-a-tuku-bi ni-bi-a ma-ra-ab-su-ge-es
    It makes its able-bodied young men parade before you of their own accord


49. uru-ba ki-e-ne-di-be     mir i-in-si
    A tempest has filled the dancing of the city


50 guru-sa-gan-bi lu-ese ma-ra-ab-sar-re-es
    It drives its young adults before you as captives.

    պ ź   â


The Icon Thinking of En Hudu Anna-10

Sexuality and Regeneration: The Nation as a Byre

One of the themes that has been captured and never forgotten in Saivism is that of destructive-regenerative processes in nature and its linkage with sexuality and asceticism. And one of the most interesting insights that emerges in the lines below is that the deprivation of sexuality itself can be an act of destruction of In-Anna and hence she is also Kamatchi, the One who regulates the basic sexual libido itself. When men and women are made impotent, their kind is made to die gently i.e. through absence of regeneration, through the demographic failure of that society.

But let us look for whom this kind of thing happens. According to En Hudu Anna, it happens for those who deny the presence of BEING as Father-Mother of the whole nation and people:

51. uru kur za-ra     li-bi-in-du-ga
    Over the city which has not declared"The land is yours"

      Ģ ¢

52. a-a-ugu-za    li-bi-in-es-a
    Which has not declared " It is your fathers's, your begettor's"

    ¡ ̃  Ģ¢

53.inim-ku-zu bi-in-du     ka-kiri-za he-eb-gi
    You have spoken your holy command, have verily turned it back from your path

    ¢   â  Ţ

When out of egoistic arrogance, there is DENIAL of the presence of the nation as well as everything there as a BLESING of BEING-as-Father-and-Mother of all, BEING also withdraws the inim-ku, the divine command from being actively present there. The absence of Holy Command is of course the absence of Logos in the form in which the sense of sacred is maintained in heart and through that ethical guidance is given to all from within.

Note here the words du-ga (Ta. tuukka) es-a (Ta. icaiya) are still available in Tamil with an impressive identity in word morphology and meaning.

It is also interesting that punishment here is the withdrawal of the FEET ka-kiri which I take as Ta. kaal kiri: long or extended (kaal) feet (kiri). Thus in addition to the presence of the Word that installs the sense of the SACRED and hence the ethical sense, there is also the absence of DANCING or the ACTIVE workings of BEING. Both these two are WITHDRAWN from people who deny BEING in their egotistic arrogance and which results in chaos and degeneration.

Here we have an impressive insight into the vexing question about the Rise and Fall of Nations - Rise with the presence of BEING and Fall with His withdrawal.

It is also interesting that in this action, the metaphor of cattle-shed or byre is brought in as an image of a nation enjoying prosperity.

54. sa-tur-bi-ta    giri he-eb-ta-an-ze-er
    Have verily removed your foot     from out of its byre

      â Ţ

Here tur exists in Tamil as toRu, the cattle-shed and there are many occurrences of it in CaGkam Tamil. This again shows the agrarian beginnings of city civilizations where cattle raising was the main economic activity in addition to cultivating various kinds of crops so much so that the cattle-shed has come to mean a prosperous nation that enjoys the divine blessings.

But what actually happens when In-Anna withdraws Herself from the nations? The following lines are highly perceptive and deeply metaphysical as well as biocultural.


55. mi-be dam-a-ni-ta    sa-ga na-an-da-ab-be
    Its woman no longer speaks of love with her husband

    ()ɢ ɡ

56. gi-u-na     ad na-an-di-ni-ib-gi-gi
    At night they no longer have intercourse


57. ni-ku-sa-ga-na    nam-mu-da-an-bur-re
    She no longer reveals to him her innermost treasures


When In-Anna withdraws her presence, the WOMEN become impotent, barren, disinterested in sex and hence in species regeneration. The society thus will slowly reduce in number and die off, as it has happened with many communities. Thus In-Anna is also Kaamaadci, as is known now, She who implants interest in sex among women and with that blesses a community of people with species regeneration, the Cantana Viritti and hence also the Cantana Laksmi!

Against this we have to see the special significance of In-Anna being the great daughter of Suen, the Soma of Rig Veda.

58 u-sun-zi-zi-i    dumu-gal-su'en-na
    Impetuos wild cow,    great daughter of Su'en


The Suen or more fully Nanna Suen here is certainly the later day Soman, the Moon God of Rig Veda, the opposite of Agnim Ellee, which singes everything to ashes. Thus while as the fiery eyed In-Anna burns and destroys the whole world, but as the great daughter of Moon God, In-Anna is also Kamatchi, She who rules over the sexual appetites of the creatures and which is essential for species continuity. Here we can interpret u-sun-ji-ji-I as the Great (u) wild cow (sun) that is immensely fecund (ji-ji-i)

Now it also appears that it is this understanding that led to the development Saktaism or Tantrism in which the Woman is made supreme over Man, the Feminine over the Masculine. For En Hudu Anna observes:

59 nin an-ra diri-ga    a-ba ki-za ba-an-tum
    Lady supreme over An     who has (ever) denied (you) homage?

    š â ¡ ?

The Woman, because of the understanding that She is the power of Cantana Viritti, species regeneration, feels that She can EXCELL even An i.e. Siva forgetting that all the powers In-Anna enjoys are in fact given to her by An: 14. an-ne me si-ma nin-ur-ra u-a : Endowed with mes by An, lady mounted on a beast.

Now it may be because of this that later, the deprivation of sexuality in the world as a whole was attributed to Siva becoming a Mahayogi and isolating Himself from Parvati and sat all alone in deep meditations in Kailash. This also shows an added depth about sexuality: it is NOT either An or In-Anna but they being in LOVE with each other and living TOGETHER (in divine marriage) that is the source of the sexual dynamics of the living creatures. When Siva and Sakti dissociate from each other and live in self-enclosed isolation, there cease to be sexuality in the world. In fact it freezes the whole world into a stillness with no movement whatsoever!