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Sulgi The Priest-King

Dr K. Loganathan, Nov. 2002

Dear Friends

One of the most important questions about Hinduism is the Varnasrama Dharma that Vedic Hinduism promotes and which is violently opposed by the Bakti based Agamic Hinduism and in which it shares the same with Jainism and Buddhism. We have to distinguish between what can be called KarNasrama Dharma, an understanding that acknowledges Homo Hierarchicus and the presence of OBJECTIVE structures such as the Ataara Cakras and so forth that can the foundation of this psycho-social difference among human beings, each FREE to access and assimilate these Cakras and live out a life consistent with it, and VarNasrama Dharma, which is another interpretation of these differences as belonging to BIRTH itself and something belonging to the biological or genetic. This transmutation of the objective and freely accessible structures into the biological and hereditary is the essence of VarNasrama Dharma and I believe that it is the same phenomena whereby Kingship was also made hereditary, a person having the rights to be a King solely because he is the scion of a king, that there is ‘royal blood’ in his veins. The offspring of a Brahmanah is also a Brahmanah solely by birth, because of the“Brahmanah blood” flowing in his veins. It is this kind of ideology that would introduce the caste organization along with severe restrictions on the reproductive processes and in this also curtailing the freedom of the woman to LOVE and marry a man of her choice.

Thus it becomes necessary to study the notion of Priest-King which combines both and which could have paved the way for the transmutation of the natural and objective KarNasrama Dharma into the ideological VarNasrama Dharma as a parallel to such a transmutation of the Kingship and making it hereditary.

The Sumerian literature is replete with such notions where almost al the great kings spend considerable amount of the wealth of the nation on building temples, a habit we also find among the Tamil kings during the historical period. The following lines 132- 150 are very informative on this and are taken from Sulgi’s Hymn B that I have renamed as MutarIbiyam, taking this name from his own words. It is dated around 2000 B.C. For those new to SumeroTamil studies, let me mention that Sumerian is Archaic Tamil and the website below, the SumeroTamil Campus contains quite a substantial number of studies in this direction.

I give the original transliterations and translations as given by Castellino followed with my own reconstructions given both in Tamil and Latin scripts. I insert also elucidatory comments in between to make the deeper issues stand out

132.  mas su-gid-gid dadag-ga-me-en

    I am ritually pure baru-diviner

    Á¡Š ݸ£¾¸£¾ ¾¡ì¾¡ìÌÁ¡ý

Ta. maas suu kiit.akiit.a taaktaakumaan ( I am the one whom can utter divine words in trance?)

133. gir-gin-na-ka UZU-ga KA Nin-tu-bi ga-me-en

    In the 'series' of the oracles, I am the Nintu of their word(ing)

    ¸£÷¸ñ½¸õ UZU-¸ KA ¿¢óàÀ¢ ¹¡ýÁý

Ta. kiirkaNNaka UZU-Gan KA Nin-tu-bi Gaan maan ( I am one who can deposit in the library( kiirkiNnakam)the disclosures like Nin-tu, The Lady of Speech Herself

134. su-luh-ha nam-isib-a su-du-de

    At the performance of the purification rites of the isib-craft

    ͧġ¸õ ­þ¨ºôÀ¿õ Ý΢§¼

Ta. sulookam isaippunam suuduyidee ( I weave various slokasfit for recitals( isaippunam))


In these lines a number of words taken now as Sanskrit turn out actually to be Archaic Tamil words, while retained in Sk, have become obsolete in Tamil.An important word in this connection is ‘sloka’ which exists in Sumerian as ‘su-luh-ha’ where it has also meaning of Ta. Cuulai, the fire pit. We cannot rule out the possibility that both are in fact connected, that there was yajna in the temples performed around a fire-pit and with recitations of mantras and because of which these mantras came to be known also as slokas.

Another word is ‘su-gid-gid’ and which, as ‘su-gid’ perhaps became the sang-kiitam, divine music. The Su. su is the Ta. koo: divine, which also exist in Su. as e-ku (il koo> koo il: temple). It also turns out that kiitam (Sk.gita) is Archaic Tamil, a derivative of Su. gis meaning bamboo, a shrill noteetc.

Here perhaps we have the mention of a common practice of Shaman priests (something we find even today in the Indian villages as well as in many countries where Hinduism has spread e.g. Malaysia): getting into a trance (mas> makk.u> maGku: to become less conscious alert etc). The dadag-ga can be taken as taak.u-taaku.a meaning a continuous production of such divine words.

Now line 134 may in fact be claim that Sulgi assumes the priestly function of reciting such slokas as one of his Kingly functions too and that he gets the divine words to administer justice for the people and wage wars against the enemies in defense of the country (as he claims in other lines)

It is unfortunate all the signs in 133 are not read. However the words that have been read are quite interesting.‘gir-gin-na-ka’ a word that occurs also elsewhere means Ta. kiir-kaN- akam: the place (akam) where written texts ( kiir, kiriantam) of divine wisdom ( Ta. kaN: knowledge) are deposited. The presiding deity Nin.tu ( < nin.tuuk.u) , the lady of hymns is clearly the Goddess of Learning, Sarawathy, alsocalled Nishaba, Nidaba etc. Thus it may be perhaps Sulgi claims ENTRY into thetext-realms, the mantra-world under the control of Nin.tuand which access grants him the competence to recite slokas continuously.


In the following lines we see the functions of the King remaining inseparable from that of the priest. For the defense of the country from the enemies and for the fair administration of the country with the appropriate enactment of laws, DIVINE HELP was sought and in this the King also functions like the priest.

We must note here that divine help is NOT any sacred lore but rather direct speech of a kind a person is able to have with divine beings.

135. en-ra za-mi-ga gi-par-se dab-e

    I enter? the giparu in to the en-priest(ess) with my song

    ²ñÈ º¡Á£¸õ ¸ÕŨçº ¾§À

eNRa samiika kaipaarcee tabbee ( I move (tabbee) towards thedark chambers(gi-par) of the Lord (eN) in order to be close ( samiika)

136. lu-mah nin-dingir sa--ku-ge pad-da

    (as) the lu-mah that the nin-dingir has chosen for the holy heart.

    ¯Ù Á¡ ¿¢ý.¾¢í¸¢÷ º¡ö§¸¡§¸ À¡÷ò§¾ (À¡§¼)

uLu maah Nin. TiGkir saaykookee paadee ( I saw(or sang) the glories of the divine heart( sa-ku-ge) ofgreat (lu-mah) divinity ( Nin. TiGkir)

137. sig-se sag-ga-ga nim-se GIN-KAR si-ge

    (Whether there is ) to attack the South, or to smite the North,

    º¢í¸¢§ºº¡í¸ ¸ø¸ø  ¿¢õ§º GIN_KAR º£ì§¸

siG.iceey saaG.a kalkal Nimcee GIN-KAR siikkee (Whether to destroythe people down South or attack the peoepel in the North)

138. e su-nir-ra-ke ig tag-tag

    To open the door of the temple (for the custody) of the su-nir    ­þø  Ý¿£Ã째 þ­¸¢ ¾¡ì¾¡ìÌ

il suuneerakkee iki taaktaakkee ( To open the gates of the temple of pure waters( su-nir-ra-ke)

139. gis.gid-da a-me tu-tu-de

    To wash the lance in the water of the battle

    ¸¢Š ¸£ò¾ ¬ø§Á àöòÐò§¾

kiis. kiitta aalmme tuuyttutee ( to wash the sword (gis.kiitta) in the waters( aalmee) and prify it ( tuuy-tuuyttee)

140. ki-bal-a-se di-galam-ma ga-ga-de

    To establish discerning law for the foreign countries

    ¸£ú À¡Ä§º Å¢¾¢¿ÄõÁ ¸¡÷¸¡Ã¢§¼

kiizpaalacee (vi)ti nalamma kaalkaaridee ( To establish good laws even for the countries across)

141. inim-dingir-re-e-ne nig kal-kal-la-am

    The word (will) of the gods is then most precious.

    ±Éõ¾¢í¸Ã¢§É ¿¢¸ ¸ø¸øÄ ¬õ

enem tiGkirineenika kalkal aam ( The divine words of the gods are most precious.

Thus we see here the King functioning entirely not on personal will but on the will or words of the gods, the dingir-e-ne, the teyva inam where the plural marker ‘e-ne’ is the Ta. inam, a group ora collectivity. We can see here the operations of what can be called dharma-democracy which in later times degenerated into theocracies, the god-king oligarchies and so forth. It is interesting that the word Ta. koo (Su. su, ku) that initially meant only ‘god’ later also came to mean the ‘king’. However it is clear from these lines that in Sumerian times the functions of the King were NOT separated from that of thepriest who enjoyed special entry rights because he has to get the words of the gods to TELL him when to attack, how to attack and what kinds of laws must be enacted for the country and so forth. The King was simply an agent of the celestial beings and it is as the priest who sings the appropriate hymns that he gets to LISTEN to the words of the gods and acts in accordance with it.

The RIGHT way to wage wars so that victory is ensured and enact laws for the country so that peace prevails is to act in accordance with the LIVING words of the gods and which can be heard by gaining entry into the sanctum sanctorum of a temple where the Deity is assumed to reside!

The inseparable co-existence of the kingly and priestly within a single person as here in the Third Millennium world,makes it now intelligible why when kingship was transmuted into something hereditary so would the priestly.


The most crucial line above is that of :

141. inim-dingir-re-e-ne nig kal-kal-la-am

    The word (will) of the gods is then most precious.

    ±Éõ¾¢í¸Ã¢§É ¿¢¸ ¸ø¸øÄ ¬õ

enem tiGkirineenika kalkal aam ( The divine words of the gods are most precious.

where the decision making powers in the practice of politics was granted to deities and for the purpose of establishing DIRECT COMMUNICATION with the gods, as was the case in the earlier and primitive Shamanism that centered on getting into a trance to establish the same, hymns were sung and the king-priest enjoyed the rights to access the dark chambers of the temple (gi-par, Ta. karuvarai) and thereby be close to the presiding deity, here perhaps Nin.tu, the Saraswathy of later times. Thus the temple in the Sumerian times, or at least some ‘royal’ temples were not simply a place of worship for all but rather a special place where the King-Priest establishes communion with the gods through the singing of thesu-luh-ha’s and perhaps in conjunction with kindling the fires in the cuulai, the fire pit. There is distrust of the words of man for such potent matters, as well as in the ability of self or even the ministers to come up with the correct suggestions or ideas.

Thus the temple had a peculiar role to play - that of a Power Center as well, like the parliament of the modern times butwhere the gods are members ( the pu-uh-ru-rm dingir-e-ne)as the living powers dictating what should be done etc. Thus we have here the essences of Dharma-Democracy, the subjugation of the human will to the divine will and conducting the affairs of the state in accordance with it.

The following lines indicate that there were typical priests, the purohits or pandarams like the modern times but where also the King supervened to show that he can excel even such professional priests. ( The Kes Temple Hymn of En Hudu Anna gives many details of such professional priests)

142. sila-babbar udu-kin-gi-a-ka KA-gar u-bi-e

    When extracting the oracular omen from the white lamb of a sheep fit for divination

    º¢¨É À¡ôÀ÷ ¯Î ¸¡ñ¸¢Â¸ KA- ¸¨Ã °À¢§Â

cinai paa(r)ppar udukaaNkiya KA- karai uubiya

Or caalai paappar udu kaankiya KA-gaal u-biyee ( To ascertain and establish ( gar, kaal) the Clear Way (sila babbar saalai paappar) that in the place the stars (udu) becomes visible( kaaNkiya, kin-gi-a)

143. ki mu-pad-de ba a ese u-ba-ni-e -tum

    And taking the water and flour offering to the place of the invocation of the name

    ¸£ú §Á¡ À¡ð§¼ («)À ¬ø ­þ¨º ¯ôÀ¿¢§Â à×õ

kiiz moo paaddee (a)ba aal isai uppaniyee tuuum ( singing their names and hymns of these heavenly beings( u-bani-e , upprniyee) and sprinking waters)

144. KA siskur-siskur-ra KA udu-sa-a mi-ni-ib-gi-gi

    (When saying) the prayer of blessing, the prayers that prepare the sheep

    KA  º¢ŠÜü.¯º¢ŠÜÈ KA ¯Îº¡øÄ Á¢É¢ ­ôÒ Á£ûÁ£û

KA siskuuR.u siskuuRa KA udusaalla mini ibbu mii mii ( uttering the divine names (siskuura repeatedly (mii mii) to witness the propitious star)

145. mas su-gid-gid-mu na-ha-ah-gin mu-un-[x]

    If my baaru-diviner [pronounced] that blessing like a street vagabond

    Á¡Š.u ݸ£¾¸£¾ §Á¡ ¿¸¡Â¹¢ý Óý -[x]

Maasu cuukiitakiita moo nakaaiahGin mun- [x] ( When (the priest) uttered the wrong ( maas.u) the divine songs ( sukiitakiita) in a laughable manner ( na-ha-ah Ta. nakai)

146 udu sa-gi-a su-ga ba-an-gid

    (Then) I myself investigated the sheep ready (for extispicy)

    ¯Î  º¡í¸¢Â Ýú ¹¡ý Àñ¸£¾

udu saaGkiya suzka baNkiita( I myself sanf the hymns so that (the sky) will be filled with auspicious stars ( udu saaGkiya)

147.  sag-ga hul-da la-ba-an-da-haze-en

    (And so ) good fortune would never be overtaken by misfortune

    º¡í¸ ´ø¦Ä¡Î ­þÄ Àñ½¢Î «Æ¢¦Âý

saaGka ollodu ila paNNida aziyin ( so that the auspicious is not destroyed by the evil)

Please note thatI have reinterpreted these lines in terms of astrology which was widespread in Sumerian culture. The crucial word ‘udu’ (Ta. udu) unfortunately have both the senses of the goat (udu, aadu) as well as the star. This was even the case with Sumerian: the word hudu/udu as it occurs in the Proper Name En Hudu Anna, cannot certainly be ‘goat” but rather ‘the star’ the ‘udu anna’meaning the heavenly star. Thus under the assumption that the heavenly stars and planets were actually the gods or at least the visible presence of the gods, the singing of the NAMES (mu Ta. moo) and songs of praise (su-gid-gid. >Ta. kookiitakiita) so that the udu babbar (the white or silver or bright star) which is ‘udu saaGkiya “ (the auspicious star) or udu-sal-la and which shows itself as the expression of divine approval perhaps.

There is a possibility that these are matters of transductive perception and hence that inner astronomy ( the later day Ut kirka maarkkam) but we shaal that aside for the time being.

Sulgi also mentions that there were priests who made a laughing stock of themselves by singing faulty or wrong (mas, Ta. maasu) hymns and where he as the King-Priest interfered and sang the right hymns and the right way so that evil does fall upon the nation and destroy whatever good and constitutes the prosperous.

Vedic Society as Dravidian

What we have noted so far indicates that the religion Sulgi practiced as King-Priest was in fact Vedism which leads us to think thatVedic Culture was part of Agamic Culture perhaps restricted to the practices of the King-Priest. The following are the reasons:


There is the practice yajna (Su. ejen, iji: fire) where su-luh-ha's were recited in front of a fire pit (Ta. cuulai). We should note here the Tamil term for yajna i.e., VeeLvi is derivable from Su. en (Ta. eeN> veeN> VeeL: god, god-like, veLvi : that which confers divinity)). Thus yajna/veeLvi was a special ritual for gaining the enship, the eenna-nam (Ta. eeNNanam, lordship).


The direct communion was sought for major decisions of the country but it turns out that the language of gods was the way the stars and planets clustered in the sky. Such bright bodies of the heavens were believed to be divine beings themselves, and there were the silver stars (udu babbar) and auspicious stars (usu sa-gi-ya, udu sal-la, ) and where the auspicious, when around, overcome the evil.


It is also believed that there are the RIGHT hymns andright ways of singing or chanting them so that such auspicious stars can be made to bepresent and hence there evils about to fall avoided.

$. The believe in the MAGICAL POWER of hymns that are appropriate and which are sung the right way to REFASHION the FATE itself by virtually re-aligning the stars in the heavens itself ( or the mind). This is very similar to the claim of the Vedic brahmanahs that the recitation of Vedas can in fact secure good fortunes by preventing the evils ( kali vaaraamee, Sambantar)

Clearly these are elements of Vedism and combining these aspects of the religion of the Priest-King of the Sumerian times with the fact the Rig Veda and so forth are another species of Archaic Tamil, it follows that the so-called Vedic Aryan Society is in fact Dravidian society.

In the next posting I shall provide additional evidences to substantiate this further from SaGkam literature.

The Vedism of the SaGkam Tamils

We have noted that Vedism was part of Agamic Hinduism, the temple centered religious culture, which was prevalent not only in Sumeria but also Harappa, as the presence of Proto-Siva, the Yogic postures of some and so forth would indicate. We can also see that it constitutes a significant advance over the primitive Shamanism, so widespread in the Asian and African countries, now better organized with especial Slokas and rituals for perhaps entering the state of trance in which the divine words were disclosed or appropriate heavenly signs were shown. Such a transformation belongs to well established city cultures and certainly NOT to nomadic tribes who roam around setting up campfires to warm themselves up a bit.

This primitive Vedism was practiced within the precincts of a Temple and as part of Agamic Hinduism but restricted to the King-Priest and hence also something DENIED to the commoners. We must note that sometime after the collapse of the Sumerian classical culture and when the Kingship was made hereditary, thus made something that naturally belongs to the person by virtue of being born as the son of a king and he beginnings of which we see in the Third Ur Dynasty itself, so must have the priesthood and hence the birth of VarNasrama Dharma by reconstituting the earlier KarNasra Dharma as also a matter of hereditary, of genetics. Thus it looks to me, it is within Dravidian Culture that rose from the primitive stages to that of city civilizations and along with it to a politics of King-Priest that the initial KarNasrama Dharma was closely reconstituted as VarNasrama Dharma to perpetuate the myth of blood transmission of priestly and kingly competencies, leading to the whole of society being organized along the Jati lines with severe restrictions on marriage rights and habits

It is within such a mentality that such monstrous notions as anuloma pratiloma and so forth will be applied to children along with defining the rights such individuals are entitled to in society. Just a quotation from Manu Smriti:

The Chapter on Mixed Marriages.

14. Only if appropriate brides from his own Varna are not available a Brahmanah and a Ksatriya can take a bride from the fourth caste and as his first wife.

15. Those who take brides from the lower castes also bring not only their offspring but also lower the whole of their initial varNa into that of the fourth VarNa

We can see the machinations of the Brahmanahs who in the name of Dharma Sastras manipulated the whole of the social value system so that the natural marriage become varNa-appropriate, VarNa-mixed and where marriage with the fourth varNa happens then the children as well the whole caste thrown to the status of the forth VarNa! Such Dharmas or what is done in the name of Dharma is actually a kind eugenics in which the Brahmanah is accorded a special place of honor where even the Ksatriyas are made to be subservient.

The SaGkam literature, where the relevant verses may actually go to the 5tth BC or thereabouts, though complied much later, provide ample evidences of this social machinations of the Brahmanahs, who assumed the Priestly functions of the earlier Priest-King leaving the political powers to the ksatriyas, the Kings but still subservient to the priestly Brahmanahs.

The 6th poetry sang about Palyaaka Caalai Mutukudumip Peruvazuti and by Karikizar (also by Neddimaiyaar elsewhere) is replete with a lot historical data that touch upon the prehistory of the Tamils and which connects with Vedism. First of all the attributive term in the name itself ‘pal yaaka saalai’ contains already a reference to this Pandiya having established many yajna pits and celebrated various kinds of yaakam or yajnas. This attributive term is similar in construction to ‘yajkna-val-kiya’ of BrhathAranyaka Upanisad(8th.cent BC?) where the word is good SumeroTamil (yajna< Su. ejen, Su. al Ta.val < Ta. pal: many. kiya< Su. ki-a: of the place, hence collectively meaning ‘one who belongs to or hails from a place of many yajnas’. The Tamil ‘pal-yaaka-saalai’ carries the same meaning as ‘ yajna-pal-kiya” though certainly more archaic than the Tamil version.However the Vedic culture of yakams or yajnas or VeLvi is the common theme.

The following lines are highly relevant here:

“ .. . . .. .. .

À⺢ý Á¡ì¸ðÌ Å⨺¢ý ¿ø¸¢ô

À½¢Â¢Â÷ «ò¨¾ ¿¢ý̨¼§Â ÓÉ¢Å÷

Óì¸ð¦ºøÅ÷ ¿¸÷ÅÄï ¦ºÂü§¸

þ¨Èï͸ ¦ÀÕÁ ¿¢ý ¦ºýÉ¢ º¢Èó¾

¿¡ýÁ¨È ÓÉ¢Å÷ ²óШ¸ ±¾¢§Ã

. . . . . . ..

paricin maakkadaku varicaiyin nalkip

paNiyiyar attai ninkudaiyee munivars

mukkadcelvar nakar valanj ceyaRkee

iRainjcuka peruma nin cenni ciRanta

naanmaRai munivars eentukai etiree


Having distributed the bounty for those who desire

Parts of the spoil in the proper order

Let your Umbrella lower down for the purpose of 

Circumbulating the Temple of the Three Eyed Siva

And munivars around. 

And there in front of the blessing hands of the excellent

Brahmanahs (munivars) well versed in the Four Vedas 

Let your head bow down in respect

There are many such verses where there is continuous reference to the Brahmanahs not as a distinctive group of people, alien to the kings and commoners but as integral part of the group but specializing in the mastery of the Four Vedas and their proper recitation.

While the Aryan Romanticism and racialism of some Western Indologists and the Indian historians who remain spellbound by such tales, would see this as the Vedic Aryans teaching the elements of Vedic Culture and hence culture itself to the black and barbaric Tamils, seen against the Priest-King such as Sulgi who is definitely a Tamil, we can see this as one of the ancient face of Dravidian culture, the Vedic culture with yajnas and Veda recitals as something that was cultivated by the Priest-king but now by the ksatriyas and Brahmanahs constituting an oligarchy reinforcing each other and thus collectively not only standing out from the commoners but also remaining indisplaceable by them. A tradition that does not allow change but perpetuates the existing order (Tol. maaRRa arunj ciRappin marabu: the tradition that is very difficult to change), inventing metaphysics puraNic lores and Dharma Sastras for justifying it.

It is against the inhumanity and injustice of this degenerate Vedism that Jainism and Buddhism arose in India succeeding enormously but only to give in to the Bakti revolt, the most momentous event in History of India. This revolt had its impulse the notion of Ati-VarNasrama Dharma, a Way of life of supreme indifference to the varNas of people.

I shall describe a little on this next by way of concluding this series.

We have seen that ultimately it is only a culture of Priest-King that could have in transmuting Kingship as hereditary could also have transmuted the priesthood as matter of genetics thus indirectly giving rise to some kind eugenics, the control of marriage alliance to ensure the purity of Ksatriya and Brahmanah blood and which was extended later to the whole of society thus precipitating the VarNasrama Dharma society thereby killing the initial KarNasrama Dharma that allowed each individual rise up in society in accordance with his own native competence.

We should note that the KarNasrama Dharma was very consistent with the genuine Dharma-Democracy where the will of the gods and NOT that of the egoistic individuals ruled the nation. This was the thrust of Bakti revolt and hence in a way a recovery of the ancient roots with which Dravidian Civilization began and recorded so many advances in culture and which have become commonplace all over the world now.

But are the evidences for this claim of an original KarNasrama Dharma consistent with Dharma-Democracy?

Below I provide evidences for showing that it was in the SumeroTamil society that began historical thinking of a kind but which centered on the rise and fall of kings and the transference of kingshipfrom city to city and most importantly with the understanding that kingship as such is a Divine Gift, something lowered down from the heavens.


The Sumerian king list: translation
(In the following translation, mss. are referred to by the sigla used by Vincente 1995; from those listed there, mss. Fi, Go, P6, and WB 62 were not used; if not specified by a note, numerical data come from ms. WB.)

1-39After the kingship descended from heaven, the kingship was in Eridug. In Eridug, Alulim became king; he ruled for 28800 years. Alaljar ruled for 36000 years. 2 kings; they ruled for 64800 years. Then Eridug fell and the kingship was taken to Bad-tibira. In Bad-tibira, En-men-lu-ana ruled for 43200 years. En-men-gal-ana ruled for 28800 years. Dumuzid, the shepherd, ruled for 36000 years. 3 kings; they ruled for 108000 years. Then Bad-tibira fell (?) and the kingship was taken to Larag. In Larag, En-sipad-zid-ana ruled for 28800 years. 1 king; he ruled for 28800 years. Then Larag fell (?) and the kingship was taken to Zimbir. In Zimbir, En-men-dur-ana became king; he ruled for 21000 years. 1 king; he ruled for 21000 years. Then Zimbir fell (?) and the kingship was taken to Curuppag. In Curuppag, Ubara-Tutu became king; he ruled for 18600 years. 1 king; he ruled for 18600 years. In 5 cities 8 kings; they ruled for 241200 years. Then the flood swept over.

I give the Sumerian original for the above lines (as given by Thorkild Jacobsen in his ‘The Sumerian King List) with Tamil reconstruction below for each line

nam-lugal an-ta e-de-a-ba , erida nam-lugal-la. 

(Ta. uLugaLnam vaan-ta izittee abba, Erida uLugaLLanam ( ¯Ù¸û¿õ Å¡ý.¾ þÆ¢ò§¾ «ôÀ,²Ã¢¼ ¯Ù¸ûÇ¿õ))

Eridu a-lu-lim lugal mu 28,800 i-a.

(Ta. eerida aaLulim uLugaL muu 28,800 eeya ( ²Ã¢¼ ¬ÙÄ¢õ ¯Ù¸û 28,800 ²Â)

a-lal-gur mu 36,000 i-a . 

(Ta. aa-azal-kuur 36,000 muu eeya ( ¬ø.«ÆøÜ÷ 36,000 ã ²Â)

2 lugalmu-bi 64,800. 

( 2 uLugaL muubi64,800) ( 2 ¯Ù¸û ãÀ¢ 64,800))

ib-a erida ba-sub-be-en nam-lugal-bi bad-tibira-se ba-tum

(Ta. ivva eerida baa cuumpuyen ulugaLnambi paad.i.timiraceey baa-toom ( þùÅ ²Ã¢¼ À¡ ÝõÀ¢¦Âý, ¯Ö¸ûÉõÀ¢ À¡Ê¾¢Á¢Ã§º À¡ §¾¡õ)

bad-tibira en-me-en-lu-an-na mu 43,200 i-a 

(Ta. paaditimira eeNmaan uLuaNNaa muu 43,200 eeya ( À¡Ê¾¢Á¢Ã ²ñÁ¡ý ¯Ù «ñ½¡ ã ²Â)

en-me-en-gal-an-na mu 28,800 i-a

(Ta. eeNmaan EngaL aNNaa muu 28,800 eeya ( ²ñÁ¡ý ²ñ¸û «ñ½¡ ã 28,800 ²Â)

Dumuzi sipa mu 36,000 i-a

(Ta. tamuzi sipa muu 36,000 eeya ( ¾Óƒ¢ º¢À ã 36,000 ²Â)

3 lugal mu-bi 108,000 ib-a

(Ta. 3 uLugaL muubi 108,000 eeva ( 3 ¯Ù¸û ãÀ¢ 108,000 ²Å)

bad-tibira ba-sub-be-en, nam-lugal-bi la-ra-ak-se ba-tum

(Ta. paaditimira baa suumpiyen, uLugaLnambi laaraakseey baatoom ( À¡Ê¾¢Á¢Ã À¡ ÝõÀ¢¦Âý, ¯Ù¸ûÉõÀ¢(þ)ġá짺 À¡ §¾¡õ)

la-ra-ak mu 28, 800 i-a

(Ta. laaraak.u eeN sipasii aNNaa muu 28,800 eeya ( (þ)Ä¡Ãì.¯ ²ñ º¢À º£ «ñ½¡ ã 28,800 ²Â)

1 lugal mu-bi 28,800 ib-a

(Ta. 1 uLugaL muubi 28,800 eeva ( 1 ¯Ù¸û ãÀ¢ 28,800 ²Å)

la-ra-ak ba-sub-be-en, nam-lugal-bi zimbir-se ba-tum

(Ta. laaraak.u baa suumbiyen, uLugaLnambi zimbirsee baa-toom, (þ)ġáì.¯ À¡ ÝõÀ¢¦Âý, ¯Ö¸û¿õÀ¢º¢õÀ£÷§ºö À¡ §¾¡õ)

zimbir en-me-en-dur-an-na lugal-am mu 21,000 i-a

(Ta. zimbir eeNmaan Tuur aNNaa uLugaL muu 21,000 eeya, º¢õÀ¢÷ ²ñÁ¡ý à÷ «ñ½¡ ¯Ù¸û ã 21,000 ²Â)

1 lugal mu-bi 21,000 ib-a

(Ta. 1 uLugaL muubi 21,000 eva, 1 ¯Ù¸û ãÀ¢ 21,000²Å)

Zimbir ba-sub-be-en, nam-lugal-bi suruppak-se ba-tum

(Ta. zimbir baa suumbiyen, uLugaLnambi suuruppaksee baa toom,º¢õÀ¢÷ À¡ ÝõÀ¢¦Âý, ¯Ù¸û¿õÀ¢ ÝÕÀ¡ì.¯ À¡ §¾¡õ)

Suruppak ubar-tu-tu lugal-am mu 18,600 i-a

(Ta. Suruppak ubartuutu uLugaL aam muu 18,600 eeya, ÝÕôÀì ¯À÷àÐ ¯Ù¸û ¬õ ã 18,600 ²Â)

1 lugal 18,600 ib-a

(Ta. 1 uLugaL 18,600 eeva, 1. ¯Ù¸û 18,600 ²Å)

5 uru-me-es 8 lugal mu-bi 241,200 ib-a

(Ta. 5 uurumeeyisu 8 uLugaL muubi 241,200 eeva,5 °Õ§ÁÂ¢Í 8 ¯Ù¸û ãÀ¢ 241,200 ²Å

a-maru ba-ur RA TA

(Ta. amaru baa uuRRatta ,«ÁÕ À¡ °Èò¾)

That this whole fascinating record is Archaic Tamil is quite clear, with quite number of terms still in use. The most fascinating is that of ‘’anna’ (Ta. aNNaa, the lofty) which is also a determinative of Brahmanah/nonbrahmanah high caste names in historical times, e.g saay-aNNaa, kuddaNNaa etc and which is still in use among Tamil Brahmins as a term used by ladies to address their husbands. The term ‘aNNaa, aNNal’ which means ‘great, lofty’ etc is also a term for God.

This kingship list along with their cities and number of years the different kings reigned (which is obviously very exaggerated) goes back to the Pre Deluge period and hence possibly to the famous Kumari Nadu, the place of origin of the Dravidian folks and which was swallowed by the flood, a theme common to the Tamils History of Literature,Old testaments and so forth. However incredible this account may, it is quite clear that the idea of city states ruled by a king and hence the presence of Kingdoms as such (or actually at least in some cases Priest-kingdoms) was considered very ancient even in the 3rd millennium period.

However the most fascinating understanding and which is germane to our study is that of “kingship was lowered down from the heavens’ (uLugaLnam vaan-ta izittee abba). This shows that kingship though enjoyed by human beings and different persons at different places and times, it is somethinglowered down from the heavens and hence something that is a GIFT or BLESSING of the Gods and which notion is restated by Punitavati in terms of “aruLee ulakellaam aaLvippatu’ (It is the Grace that rules the world)

Thus kingship is NOT something that runs in the blood, something that can be transmitted to the scions by blood relationships and which was assumed to be so in the transmutation of kingship as a matter of genetics, hereditary. This is the beginning of VarNasrama Dharma and which must be something later, a post 3rd millennium phenomenon, something that emerged after the Classical Sumerian period came to a close and probably the Kaliyuga began.

Let us recall that the initial Sumero-Dravidian understanding of kingship was that it is something lowered down from the heavens (uLugalnam vaan-ta izittee) which is their way of putting that it is a gift, a blessing, an aruL of the gods, the celestial beings. Now if kingship was so, then it would also be same with priesthood and all other human competencies, neigh in fact EVERYTHING that transpires as the world and as in the world and so forth. This is the substance of Punitavati’s declaration that ‘aruLee ulakellaam aaLvippatu” (It is aruL/dharma that rules the whole world) and which became the clarion call of the Bakti revolt. Thus the Bakti movement was actually RECOVERING God from the hold of priest-kings and making Him directly relevant to the existence of all the people.

We should note here briefly that Buddhism failed for the Bodhisattva concept it promoted is just another version of Priest-King, the Gautama Siddharta Buddha raised to status of Talaivan, Mutalvan (the Leader) and thus made a God himself, the One who is the Authority in ethical and in all other matters. Though Buddhism did not promote VarNasrama Dharma, but promoted the ancient UrsaGkism which led to the leader-led social structure upon the nation with the ordinary individuals thrown forever to the position of the led and hence someone subservient. While Jainism faired better but it became degenerate with unrealistic and grossly exaggerated notions of Viratam and so forth thus trivializing the essential thrust of metaphysical quest to the practice of vegetarianism and so forth thus magnifying and centralizing the nonessential. Also the notion of thirtangkaras is somewhat similar to that Bodhisattva and hence also another version of the UrsaGkism, the Priest-Kingship. Perhaps it is not an accident that the Thirtangkaras and Gautama Buddha were kings, ksatriyas.

The Recovery of the Dharma-democracy and hence along with it the KarNasrama Dharma was the essential thrust of the Bakti revolt but in which the Saivites and Tamil VaishNavites went about in related but different ways. The Saivites emphasized Sivabakti and evolved the notion of ADYAR as those, who no matter what the birth is, to what nationality or ethnic group they belong to and what religion they practice, in being a true Bakta of BEING, constitute a new community of people who are genuinely religious

The VaishNavas recovered it through the notion of Parapatti, meta-love unto BEING in which they transcend all conditions and restrictions imposed by the so-called religious authorities.

Since I have already dealt with Siva Bakti quite extensively ( see TMCampsu), I shall deal with it only briefly here.

The most important slogan-like words are those of Appar - naam yaarkkum kudi alloom (we are NOT subject to anyone) which is a declaration of independence from the rule of Priest-Kings as well as UrsaGkism. Below I provide the whole verse with its translation :


naamaarkkung kudiyalloom namanai yanjcoom
    narakattil idarpadoom nadalai illoom
eemaappoom piNiyaRiyoom paNivoo malloom
    inbamee yennaaLun tunba millai
taamaarkkung kudiyallaat tanmai yaana
    cangkaran cangkaveN kuzaiyoor kaatiR
koomaaRkkee naamenRum miiLaa aaLaayk 

koymmlarcee vadi iNaiyee kuRukinoomee

No one is subject to anyone and we shall NOT fear the God of death
    We shall not suffer fire of Hell and any kind misfortunes
Forever in self dignity and free of ailments , we shall NOT submit to anyone
    There is only happiness and no sufferings at all for
We have become totally people of unredeemable  servitude to the King of Supreme Autonomy
    Who wearing in one ear the brilliant white conch,  appears as the Sangkaran, the redeemer of all
And have submitted ourselves to  His FEET of fresh blossoms


The anma as a psychic entity exists always  identifying itself with something or other and hence always in bondage. In social existence we are also in servitude to either the king or social  or cultic leaders . But such individuals and things are ENSLAVING and to be thus enslaved is NOT the essence of the anmas. All anmas are destined to live FREE and supremely AUTONOMOUS. But how is this possible? Only by becoming totally submissive towards BEING. 

But isn't this another kind of servitude? 

No for BEING is an integral whole and as such Supremely FREE and hence anyone who comes close to HIM become like HIM,   like coal becoming  fire inside the fire. Our essence to be FREE and TOTALLY autonomous from all the worldly powers  whether political social  or religious  and this is existentially possible only in metaphysical kind of existence where we are in close proximity with BEING and doing only things that would endear ourselves to HIM. This life  CLOSE TO HIM is life in eternity , in saturated Wholeness and hence free of any cravings that would bring slaveries  miseries sufferings feelings of guilt  and hellish tortures because of all these.  It is NOT only life in PURITY but also in LIGHT and hence always happy with contentment. 

Appar here outlines the political philosophy that can be called MEATAPOLTICS, Dharma-Democracy,the kind of political life  that caters NOT for social justice economic prosperity etcbut for spiritual upliftment and hence a political organisation in which  no  human being can set up himself as the ruler with absolute powers . The real KING is BEING and all  who are devoted to him , including the political leaders are equally HIS subjects. 

HE being the real king, the tortures and threats  that a local political leader can issue forth become powerless and not intimidating at all. 


Thus the Sivabakti releases the anma from the subjectivity of both the Kings and Priests or even the Priest-King and makes itmindful of only BEING, to be tuned to BEING only in its metaphysical life.

Sundarar in the following verse works out the social implications of this declaration of independence from the hold of such demonic forces that seek ego-glorifications, the adulation of the commoners unto themselves by trying to become gods themselves.

This ideal of Adyar is NOT only the Social ideal of the Saivas but is also articulated as the Universal Ideal with the understanding that there has been, and will be  such individuals throughout the world even though they may not call themselves as such.

The Universality of Adiyar.

In one of the most Powerful and moving articulations of Sundarar, where his understanding  breaks lose from all narrow chaunisms  -- racialism, casteism, religioism and so forth -- is the following:

pattaraay paNivaarkaL ellaarukkum adiyeen
    paramanaiyee paaduvaar adiyaarukkum adiyeen
cittattai civanpaalee vaithtaarkkum adiyeen
    tiruvaaruurp piRantaarkaL ellaarukkum adiyeen
muppootum tirumeeni tiiNduvaarkku adiyeen
    muzuniiRu puuciya munivarukkum adiyeen
appaalum adic caarntaar adiyaarkkum adiyeen
    aaruuran aaruuril ammaanuk kaaLee

I am in service to all those in loving devotion to BEING no matter where they are and to what religion they belong to;  I am in service also to  those who sing the praises of only BEING and not kings gurus and lowly archetypes; I am also in service to those who really keep always  BEING in their deepest mind despite being involved in mundane  tasks;  I am in service to all those  who are  born in cities of sacred soil where the sacred hold sway; I am in service to all those who are blessed with the gift of being able to touch the Divine Idols throughout the day (by way helping worship); I am in service to the illustrious philosophic individuals who with the desire to be absolutely pure wear the sacred ashes on the body as well as the heart; I am also in service to all those great individuals the past and present here and everywhere who have attained the Divine Feet by genuine service to BEING;  I ,who is in eternal bondage to the BEING of Uncanny World who has disclosed Himself  as  Great One in Aruur.

Thus the Adiyaar articulated here is NOT a Brahmanah  or Ksatriya(though the caste Brahmin and kasatriya can also become one) who always  insists on his caste credentials and studies in Vedas as pre-requisite for understanding the highest Knowledge. The "pattaraay paNivaar "and "paraarmanaiyeep paaduvar" are certainly not just Brahmins but people who are infused with genuine devotion to God and because  of which they sing the praise of BEING only and hence NOT the Gurus Kings Prophets Messiahs and what not. In other words they are people who have extricated themselves from all mental slaveries that lock up an individual to a certain identity --religious,  ethnic, linguistic, professional, ideological, cultic  and what not -- and become truly FREE, free in the Metaphysical sense and devoted solely to BEING, the Paraman, the absolutely transcendent BEING.Such are the individuals who live as "Namaarkkum Kudi Allom". i.e. asone whois NOT subject to anyone as  thundered by Appar, the most powerful revolutionary of the Tamil world and perhaps also the whole of India.

The "  ellaarkkum"  means all and hence with this Sundarar breaks lose from geographical and cultural confines and looks at the vast world , the past present and future and hence thoroughly Universal.

The Bakthi also means a disposition full of LOVE and hence the ABSENCE  of a mentality of rejection and negation. The Pattars will NOT reject anyone as unworthy of Divine Grace for the LOVE that permeates their personality will plant SOCIAL CARE as an important component of their personality  and this will act against the mentality of rejection and ridiculing and putting down another person because of his caste education profession etc. The LOVE for God is LOVE for people and all creatures,  for God is LOVE and anyone incapable of Love and Social Care as such cannot understand the essence of God and hence cannot also become a genuine Baktha.

Next we shall see how this notion of LOVE was further developed as Prapatti and also made the Philosophy of Human Freedom.

Before considering how the VaishNavas recovered the dharma-democracy and KarNasrama Dharma along with it, through the notion of Prappatti and as practiced by the Alwars, let us note that Sivabakti that asserted itself among the Saivites and led to the notion of a society of Adyars, a Saivite Communism of equality of individuals but only as Baktas of Siva, was not immune to social struggles, wars and battles. Just as in metaphysics they were disconstructive, destroying the false and misleading just to unearth the truth that remains concealed there and make it be present, they were also social fighters but who would fight against only the social evils and that too only to make the GOOD and JUST be present in society. They wage wars but only Dharma-wars and mostly as individuals and in their own social situations and consistent with their own competence. Thus we see Appar challenging the Pallava Emperor Makendra Varman against his and the Jains oppression of Saivism and the suffocation to death the Tamil language in favor of Sanskrit. Of course the most flamboyant fighter was Thirunjanasambantar, the Vedic Brahman of Kaundiya Gotra but who rose against the decadent Vedism itself as much as the decadent Buddhism and Jainism of the times and who are called rogues (kuNdarkaL). One of the things that pained Sambantar was the Jain men running around naked totally indifferent to how it affected the young ladies around. They practiced what TiruvaLLuvar has noted earlier - “aRattiRkee anbu saarbu enpa, aRiyaar, maRattiRkum aQtee tuNai”: Only the ignorant will declare that LOVE is supportive only of dharmic actions; it is also the prime motivating force for brave combats (against evil)”. He who loves and cares for society, will certainly fight against the evils whenever and wherever they show their ugly heads and Sivabakti created a cadre of such individuals and only because of whose battles Hinduism survives in India today.

The notion of Prappatti, just as the whole of VaishNavism, was not combative and one can say that while Sivabakti is the way of Natam dominated individuals, Prappatti was the way of the Bindu dominated individuals (one can say it is way of the Feminine as the whole of VaishNava Bakti as expressed by the Alwars tended to be)

Pillai Lokacariya, one of the Tamil VaishNava Acariyas and who wrote 18 metaphysical treatises expounding SriVaishNavism, has an important chapter on Prapatti in his famous Sri Vasana Busanam that has been commented upon MaNavaLaMamuMuni himself. In the second chapter he brings out the full implications of Prapatti, using for this purpose the events as recorded in Ramayana for whom it is a TEXT that discloses metaphysical truths about the human condition in general and not simply a romantic tale or even a mythology.

But what is the meaning of Prapatti?

I have interpreted this as meta-love meaning by it Bakti in its metaphysical purity. The love as such, be it between man and woman, between parents and children, between the gods and the baktas and so forth, no matter how noble they are, there is always the element of expecting something, a Payan, an outcome. Love shorn of even this ingredient so that it is absolutely PURE, that seeks only to EXPRESS itself and without caring for anything in return is this Meta-Love, Prapatti (para-patti: transcendental love)

I select some sutras from the second chapter of this book just to indicate how revolutionary the Prapatti of the Alwars turns out to be in the hands of PiLLai Lokacariya.

Sutra 23: À¢ÃÀò¾¢ìÌ §¾º ¿¢ÂÁÓõ ¸¡Ä ¿¢ÂÁÓõ À¢Ã¸¡Ã ¿¢ÂÁÓõ «¾¢¸¡Ã¢ ¿¢ÂÁÓõ ÀÄ¿¢ÂÁÓõ þø¨Ä

Pirapttikku teesa niyamamum kaala niyamamum pirakaara niyamum atikaari niyamaum pala niyamaum illai

For the practice of Prapatti there are no prescriptions whatsoever be that of locality, time, appropriate rituals, the services of the qualified and the consideration of possible outcomes.

2.4 (þ¾üÌ) Å¢„§Á ¯ûÇÐ

(itaRku) vishayamee uLLatu

( The practice of Prapatti) has only the meaningful practice (as its goal)

The Prapakta is totally FREE to practice his love without being tied down by any kind of prerequisites whatsoever. There is No appropriate PLACE such as a temple or asrama or the banks of the sacred river etc. Any place whatsoever will do, the sacredness of the action does not depend at all on the qualities of the locality where it is practiced.

Similarly one is also FREE from considerations of the astrologically calculated TIME in terms of being auspicious or inauspicious. The practice of Meta-Love need not be timed and practiced; it is NOT something that can be bound by considerations of appropriate times and moods.

There are also NO pre-requisite pujas and arccanas and such other ritualistic constraints for the practice of Prapatti. Being meta-Love, a metaphysically conditioned expression of PURE LOVE for BEING, it does not demand any rituals (pirakaaram), which are practices of the physical but seeking the metaphysical within the physical.

And most importantly it does NOT require the services of anyone who moves as the authoritative and the qualified (atikaari); the Prapakta is absolutely FREE to practice his meta-love on his own and without waiting for the sanction of the so-called qualified and the authoritative. The Prapatti is a spontaneous expression of Meta-Love and as such does NOT await the sanctions and approval of the authoritative.

And finally there is NO calculations or instrumental thinking whatsoever; the thinking of the sort “ if I practice X, I can attain and enjoy Y” is totally inconsistent with meta-love that does NOT calculate at all. It is NOT at all instrumental and in that absolutely PURE.

Sufficient has been said above just to give the essence of Prapatti and how it FREES man for the practice of LOVE for BEING and hence the whole of society.

The Prapakta is ISOLATED from all social and institutional constraints and made to function solely as individual and in his LOVE for BEING. Prapatti invidualizes the practice of religion and thereby makes the person FREE and Aitonomous from the social and political forces and religions that remain essential sociopolitical.

We can see here very clearly how all the basic principles of VarNasrama Dharma are undermined and man made absolutely FREE to practice Meta-Love and thereby redeem himself, without even thinking about it.

( This series is now concluded)