Murukan – the Tamil God with two wives (an anthropological view)

Murukan – the Tamil God with two wives
(an anthropological view)
By
Rajes Balasubramaniam
MA (Medical Anthropology)

As we know man created God to reflect his own fantasies, moral values fears, loves, power and sexuality. The worship of Murukan by the Tamils in South India is believed to be most ancient, as no one knows when it commenced. Myth of Murukan as the husband of two wives raises many questions such as why have these goddesses been created as equal to Murukan by the Tamils as there is no worship of Murukan with his wives in North India.
Portraying Murukan as the ‘Tamil God’ reflects the mentality of Tamils as they try to preserve their authenticity in their religious beliefs and structures which are tremendously embedded in Tamil culture.
“Most cultural phenomena, such as technology or political organisation, must submit to a variety of ecological and social constraints. By contrast, myths-orally transmitted and culturally selected narratives – tend to ignore any determination other than cultural ones” (C L Strauss, cited in D Serer 1991:76).
Tamil culture constantly praises the ‘one man one woman’ relationship and contemporary Tamil cinema, literature propagating an ideology which is conflict with their favourite God having two wives.
How much does he worship of Murukan, Deivayanai and Valli by the Tamils reflects their traditional social cultural and moral values?
In this small essay I am trying to seek answers to some of the issues arising from this myth.
Murukan for his ~Tamil devotes, is a God of Kaliyuga – the contemporary world Kaliyuga ‘age of degeneration’, lasts 432,000 years on earth which is now passing it sixth millenium. “Dharma is one-legged and helpless, and all but one quarter of virtue has vanished. In this age the deity is black” (Veronica Ions 1967:24-25). Holds that the Kaliyuga is the age of destruction political chaos, natural disasters and the world will end with flood and fire. During this yuga most will be greedy wicked, quarrelsome, most will live in the cities which will be filled with thieves people will have more children people suffer from poverty and hunger. Men will be controlled by women. The majority of people will be Sudras”.
For the last few thousand years Tamils have faced many changes, suffered with natural disasters as they lost their continent of Lemuria. History tells us that long before the Aryan came to India they had well established trade relationships with Egypt, Greece and the Middle East; they had their Kingdoms of Chloa, Chera and Pandiya which extended to Singapore (Singapuri) and to Sri-Lanka (Eelam). Their kingdoms have been destroyed either by war between them or by invasion by others from outside. They were never invaded by sea. After the arrival of the Aryan to India by the north, the Tamils lost their authenticity as “Dravidians”. Their way of life and gods and goddesses, became Aryanised with the power of Brahmans.
Arunakirinather’s cries to Murukan reflect the devotion of Tamils to Murukan:
“Uruvaai aruvaai ulathai ilathai
Maruvaai malarai maniyai oliyaik
Karuvaai uyiraaik kathiyai vithiyaik
Kuruvaai varuvaai arulvaai kuhane
(Dr V S Senkalvarayapilai 1985:6)
The myth of Murukan; his origin, his win over the Asuras, his relationship with his ‘parents’ and other Brahmans, his marriage to two wives ways of worship and the rituals of Murukan and the philosophy surrounding him, represent the complicated ideas of Dravidians and the Aryan’s views on nature and cosmic powers and religious ideas.
In the myth of Murukan Deivayanai and Valli represents the conflict between heaven, hell and earth and man. This mythology brings together the two sides of the human mind as holiness (god) and evilness (man-Asuras), also old values and new thinking. It represents the hierarchy of Brahmans over others, the struggle of power and the wisdom and knowledge of the people. This myth interacts with race, class and caste. Murukan and Valli represent the romance of god and man and the emotions of individuals. This myth continued in various aspects of Tamil literature as the Murukan Valli story appears as a play, drama, particularly with devotional songs and in folk theatre etc.
….the Tamil cultural tradition is independent, not derived not imitative; it is pre-Sanskrit and from this point of view Tamil alone stands apart when compared with all other major languages and literature in India says Kamil Zvelbil.
The myth of Murukan as the ‘Tamil God’ and the tradition of worship opens up an avenue for discussion.
The most important aspect of myth of Murukan seems to be that the myth is not derived from one particular culture, specific race, one country, religion or one language. Murukan can be identified with Greek mythical figures such as Dionysos – the god of vine and vegetation – who was born from Zeus’s thigh, or Bacchus (Roman and Greek mythology, Dionysos known as Bacchus to the Green), or Aristaeus in the Greek mythology, he is son of God Apollo and he was worshipped a protector of hunters or the ancient Egyptian deity Amon or Ammon who was identified with sun god Ra, as Skanda was identified as a son or Agni in Indo Aryan literature, or with Ares – a Greek mythical figure as a God of war and son of Zeus (God Zeus has similarities with the God Shiva as Zeus is a god of all Gods (Zeus personality is also identified with the God Indra as Zeus is portrayed as god of Sky).
As A G Mitchel says (1998:v) “Vedic deities of the ancient period of Aryan migration, possibly from the southern steps of Russia, into north west Pakistan between about 1700-700 BC. The Aryans were culturally akin to similar peoples who were invading Europe at about the same time; the Sanskrit language of their religious texts (Vedas) is related to many European languages, such as Greek and Latin, and some of their deities are also found in Greek mythology (Dysus, the sky god ie Zeus). It is likely that the Vedic gods who eventually became established in India were the result of the fusion of ideas brought by the invading Aryans and those of indigenous people such as the Dravidians”.
According to FW Clothey (1978) “The early Murukan is particularly similar to the agriculture Dionysos of a pre-Greek era before he came Aryanised. Murukan is of the hills as was Dionysos – and the hills in both cases were at first very much of the earth – whereas the mountain with which both are later associated has a more celestial character. Both has roots amongst hunters but both come to preside over vegetation. Both are associated with intoxicating drink and the life giving sap of vegetation. Both are worshipped in frenzied dance by women who have left their traditional function f do dance” (Dionysos & vine dance, music folk theatre in Greece).
Murukan is also identified with the Great King Alexander. When he won over Egypt he claimed himself as a divine origin from the Sun god as earlier Egyptian pharos were believed to be Amon-Ra. Murukan can also be identified with a Roman mythical figure –mars who is god of war and a son of Jupiter (the rulers of all gods equal to the God Zeus in Greek mythology).
Alexander who invade India in 326 BC, defeated the Sind and Punjab area mountains and had a political alliance with Chandra Gupta Mauyar in the north of India and some scholar like N Gopala Pillai argued that (cited in F W Clothey 1978) the skanda tradition originated with Alexander’s invasion, for Alexander was known as Iskander in Asia and was associated with Dionysus in an Arab myth.
Murukan’s consort Valli can also be identified with various mythical figures from Greek and Roman mythologies. Artemis, one of the principle goddesses in Greek mythology has some similarities as Valli as they both are associated with hunting and animals, nature and harvest. Another figure from the Greek mythology Daphne – who is a hunter and the character Diane in Roman mythology is similar.
Sexual relationships is not always based on reproduction and moral concerns – as for the ancient Greeks – the pleasure of body was important – aphrodisiac!
As with other gods in Hindu mythology, in Murukan Deivayanai and Valli’s relationship there is no reproduction involved. Murukan’s Kottavai (South Indian context) is a goddess of the battlefield and he has her anger and ferocity but this is not continued with a family structure. Therefore one can argue that the myth of Murukan and his love life has some sort of connection with other cultures.
Much evidence shows that the origin of South Indians had west Asian roots and historically they had trade connections with the Middle East as early as the first century AD or perhaps as early as the third century BC and scholars believe that the South Indians received some cultural influence from the Middle East, if not by a Neolithic migration, then by Roman merchant traders or megalithic builders.
The evidence of archaeological findings are stated by FW Clothey (1978:40) below:
“some archaeological finds in the south are strikingly similar to those found in the Mediterranean area; rock cut tombs in Malabar and Syria; bronze bowls have been found in the Nilgris and Assyria; similar iron hoes occur in the Tinnerveli district and in Phoenicia and Palestine; gold mouth pieces have been found in Trichinapoly district and amongst the hariyana etc.
There is evidence in Trichur of the development of Megalithic culture in India 1800BC, characterised by the use of huge rock monuments akin to those found elsewhere in the world”.
Various sources of evidence show that the south Indians’ religious beliefs and worship of gods and goddesses not derived from one particular culture but it has many aspects relating to other cultures. No one can provide the exact period when the worship of Murukan began in Tamil nadu. According to archaeologists during the Aryan immigration to India like any other ancient people, the Dravidian were worshipping gods related to nature and fertility.
There are conflicting myths about the origin of birth and marriage of Murukan. His marriage to Valli in particular is the most interesting these in the myth of Murukan. This particular issue is appreciated and celebrated by the poets, scholars and ordinary people in Tamil as a fascinating love story between a high caste Brahman and the non-Brahman girl. Most Hindu puranas and epics portray the non-Aryan women as the ‘seducers’ of Brahmans (rishis) for example: Soorapathman’s mother Maya seduced rishi Kasiyaber – grandson of Brahma, Ravanan’s mother Kaikesi seduced rishi pulastiar’s son Vaisrava Soorpnaka tried to seduce the brothers Rama Luxmana.
Non Aryan men are seen similarly. Asura King Soorapathman tried to abduct Inrda’s (God of heaven or the god of Swarka loga) wife, and Ravana abducted Sita, Rama’ wife (re-incarnation of Vishnu) whereas in this myth of Murukan the almighty of Brahman has to woo, take different forms to steal Valli.
“the supreme law for husbands is: remember that each act of union must be tenderly wooed for and won, and that no union should ever take place unless the woman also desires it and is made physically ready for it” says Cartledge S & Ryan J (1983:19).
This story has all the ingredients for a breath-taking epic in terms of fantasy, dreams, sex, violence, surrender and celebration.
The creation of Valli as a consort of Murukan by the Tamils shows their sense of responsibility on their emotion about sexuality. Malinowski (cited in Weeks J1970:24) stated Sex is the most powerful instinct… there is no doubt that about that masculine jealousy, sexual modesty, female coyness, the mechanism of sexual attraction and of courtship – all these forces and conditions made it necessary that even in the most primitive human aggregates there should exist powerful means of regulating, suppressing and directing this instinct”.
‘Tamil culture is preoccupied with the alteration of excess and the correspondingly extreme idea of restrain and control’ says Zvelbil K (1973) In Kurunthokai (Ahanaanooru) description of emotion by a ‘thalaivan’ (here) shows the passion by Tamils in the Sankam period.
As the song goes (cited in Zvelbil 1973)
My girl, has lovely shoulders
That sway like wide bamboo,
Her eyes are large, liquid bur to kill
Her land is far to reach
The ways are had
My heart aches, in frantic haste to reach her
I am like the ploughman
With his single plough in haste
To plough his vast virgin land fresh with rains.
Valli is a very important aspect of the belief of Murukan. Arunakirinather sees Murukan with Valli more than he sees him with Deivayanai; in his song praising Valli lends more authenticity for Murukan as a Tamil god.
He seeks Murukan’s relationship with Valli (Kanataranabhoothi) in a passionate one. In one song Arunakirinather is saying that Murukan is worshipping Valli and in another song he states that Murukan is Valli’s god. In another song he describes Murukan as Valli’s lover.
For Arunakirinather, Valli is nearer to his feeling of love and devotion than Deivayani as Valli’s personality is reality of sex and passion. Sex is embedded in every individual’s emotion and unconscious, that reflects through Arunakirinathar’s devotional songs.
During Arunakirinather’s period (14th century) worship of Murukan was prevalent in Tamil nadu and Murukan was very much a king’s god as from the 10th century onwards there were many temples built in Tamil made by Tamil kings. History tells us that the Brahmans played a major role as king makers. Tamil king Varaguna Pandiyan (9th century) invaded Sri Lanka (Sri a Sri)(Subramaniya thesika paramaasaarya Swamikal 1985) and by the Chola kings (Sri Lanka was captured by the Cholas in 1017 AD) so the worship of Murukan was brought to Sri Lanka and the Nallur temple built in Jaffna 1450AD.
But there is much evidence that show before the introduction of the Buddhist region (5th century BC) Sri Lanka had people of Dravidian origin and their gods and goddesses were similar to those found in South India. Rakshasa King Ravana was known for his devotion to the god Siva and Siva worship was in practice long before Aryan came to India (Evidence from Harrapa and Mohenjedharo). Murukan worship in Sri Lanka could be pre-historical as the method of the rituals are still in traditional form in Kathirgamam without any influence of Brahman. For the Vedda (Nomads of the forest) of Sri Lanka, Valli is the girl from their forest and Murukan is their in-law.
With his Thirupukal and Kantharanubhoothy, Arunakirinather made Murukan in to the ‘people god’. The story of Murukan and Valli may be based on very ancient folk tales in the South which have been mystified with religious beliefs, and blended with various aspect of Tamizhian’s life as the history evolved.
According to some folk tales, Murukan met Valli in the cave near Thiruchenthur (where he won the war against Soorpathman) to gain ‘inspiration’ before the battle. This story contradicts the story that Murukan was married to Valli after he won the war and after his marriage to Deivayanai.
One of the fathers of British anthropology, Sir Edward Burnett Taylor, thought that the myth in archaic cultures was based on a psychological delusion and a mistaken logical interference – on a confusion of subjective and objective reality, of the real and the ideal. Taylor believed that myth, although illogical, had moral values (Encarta 1994).
R R Marett, a later British anthropologist, felt that the myth arose from the emotional responses that people in archaic cultures make to their environment. In his view they respond in rhythmic gestures that develop into dance and ritual, with narrative myth forming the oral part of the communal rites (Encarta 1994).
At present the devotion to Marukan in South India goes beyond any caste, class. The ‘Tamil’ God Marukan has many shrines in the hills. Hill and mountains were sacred places for many cultures. Worship of Murukan by the Tamilians in South India seems pre-historical; although Skanda purana originated from during puranic in the north.
The evidence from the river Thamira parani excavation from Tinnaveli region shows that the (BC 1000) people worshipped male deity whose emblems were the spear and cock (Michael Wood 1995).
“The theology associated with Murukan makes sense for his devotees because it reflects a profound human creativity and the symbolic themes which recur in Murukan’s mythic history are interesting also because they embody the cultural and social history of his devotees” (Clothey 1978:149).
Mircea Elide mentioned that the “most widespread mythical image of the ‘centre of the world’ is the cosmic mountain”. He is the God of hill. He is a God of the hunters. The hunting people’s (Palaeolithic period of hunting and gatherers, 150000BC) customs and beliefs are still connected to nature.
According to Veronica Ions (1975:13) “Dravidian Peoples, who spread into almost every part of India and Ceylon were a mixture of the native populations of India and the dominating Proto-Dravidians, who seem to have entered India in waves from about 4000 BC to 2500 BC. The seat of what was evidently an advanced civilisation was the Indus valley, where the chief cities were Harappa and Mohenjadahro, though no literature has so far been discovered, archaeological remains tell us something about the cults of the Dravidians and tend to support the theory, evolved on the basis of late development in Indian cities and cults, that the pre-Aryan deities were of Mesopotamian origin and more exactly of Iranian province and that their resurgence was one of the reasons for the declining of the Aryan Gods.
An agricultural people, the Dravidians worshipped Gods connected one way or another with nature and fertility. There were two main elements in this: phallic worship typified in the seals found Harappa which show a God seated with legs crossed and wearing bull’s horns (the bull being a universal symbol of male fertility) and the cult of mother-goddesses, most plainly depicted on seals which show plants growing from the womb of female deity or which show a naked goddess before whom a human sacrifice is performed. Such figures are accompanied by animals ministrants, this Goddess by what appears to be half-bull, half-ram and the God be deer and elephant a tiger a rhinoceros and a buffalo – or in other cases by votive serpents.
The above statement shows us the religious beliefs of pre-Aryan people in India and how they linked their life with religion. Aryans had either destroyed or changed, modified, manipulated the native Gods and then Aryanised them when they conquered most parts of India, as the invading Romans destroyed the Druids worship in England as the invading English, French and Spanish tried to destroy the Asian, African and American cultures.
Murukan and his two wives represent various ideas of philosophy and social trends during ancient times. Caste race, inter marriage, sexuality and psychology of Tamils in terms of their attitudes towards love or lust and women. The profile of Murukan before he met his two women was conflicting. Aryan literature (Skanda Purana) stated that he is son of Agni or Ruthra.
E R Jansen (1993:126) says that “There are several stories about the birth of this son. In a number of these stories which all have different beginnings, Shiva’s glowing sperm finally ends up in the ~Ganges to cool down and a beautiful youth is cast up on the banks from the boiling waters. The six pleiades in the form of nymphs who are bathing in the spot vied for the honour of raising the child. Then Skanda developed six heads, so that he could be breast fed by each of them”.
‘Skanda’ means – skanda – to attack, leap, rise, fall, perish, burst, be spilled, ooze, literally means ‘that which is spilled or oozed ‘seed’, namely’.
For Arunakirinather Murukan’s six faces represents six different aspects and one of Marukan’s faces is of the love for Valli.
‘Eerumail eeru vilaiyadum muham onrte,
Eesarudan gnanamoli pesum muham ontre
Koorumadyarkal vinai theertha muham ontre
Kuntruruha vel vaanki nintra muham ontre,
Maarubadu soorarai vathaitha muham ontre
Valliyai manam punara vantha muham ontre,
Aarumuhana porul nee arula vendum
Aathi arunasalam amarntha perumale.’
Worship of Murukan is embedded in Tamil culture at different levels and with different understandings. His images and the surrounding myths, for his devotees can be most abstract or sometimes very concrete.
His relationships with Valli and Devesena (Deivayani) can be interpreted philosophically as ‘itcha sakti’ and ‘Kriya Sakti’. Racially his marriage to Valli can be seen as Aryan marriage to Dravidian. Religiously it can be seen as the marriage of Brahman to a non-Brahman, or a marriage of high caste and the lower caste. Geographically it can be a marriage of Kurinchi and Marutham.
“Devesena assimilates (F W Clothey 1978:167) in her person many of the goddesses who make up the army. In the Mahabharatha (218:49) for example Devesena is identified with eight goddesses, including Sakthi, Laksmi and others. Devesena was married to Skanda in the traditional orthodox way according to the vedic rites. Valli on the other hand, is a personification of the creeper often described in early Tamil poetry who entwining of a tree symbolises the inseparability of lovers and of devotees from their god. While Devensena was of the gods, Valli was of human. In fact by the hunter Nambirajan. Her marriage to Murukan was the result of his long courtship of her and was unorthodox in nature. Their marriage was like that of two hunters; it was based on love resulting from his wooing her and his use of trickery against her relatives who sought to obstruct that love”.
‘Thirumurukattupadai’ by Nakkerar during the Sankam period tells us his story. Silapathikaram mentions that Kovalan is handsome and his beauty is equal to Murukan. It seems that during the Sankam period Murukan was established as a ‘Tamil god’.
Murukan’s marriage to two women could be a reaction to the two great epics of Ramayana and Mahabhratha as Raj Pruthi and BelaRani Sharma stated (1995:11)”… The Aryan have always held the view that a woman marrying below her caste or status demean herself and her family where no such stigma is attached to a man marrying a woman below his caste. Ancient Aryan’s sex life was guided by social duties, the ‘Rakshasas’ and ‘Asuras’ seem to be having a good time with women, wine and songs.(Hanuman’s experience in Lanka in Ramayana)
Aryans marriages based on legality, economics, biological privileges and responsibilities – mainly ‘arranged’ (Rig veda). They had eight types of marriage: Brahma, daiva, prajapatya, arsha, gandhava, asura, paisave and rakshasa.
Dravidians marriages were mainly ‘love’ marriages and only have two types, ‘Kalavu’ (private) and ‘katpu’ (public).
Polygamous marriages in ancient times seem to be a normal act with kings and noblemen. Kings marry many women if they need an heir to the throne or if they have to expand their kingdom, or they take enemies’ women as their ‘wins’.
Valli as a second wife to a warrior (Murukan) may be a reflection of incidents in India as in the south the Pandiya, Chola kingdom flourished in the South. As J K Pillai (1972:5) stated “Valmiki in his Ramayana refers to the ancient Pandya capital ‘Kapadapura’ as ‘Kavadam’, Asokan inscription of 200 BC recognises the independent kingdoms of Chera, Chola, Pandiya and says missionaries had been sent to Tamilnadu to spread Buddhism”.
The epics of Mahabaratha and Ramayana tells us of many polygamous marriages and extra marital affairs. For example Krishna has two wives and many ‘gopies’. Arujuna has many affairs. In Ramayana King Thasrather had four wives. In the Puranas the heavenly god Indra is famous for chasing women.
Does the Saiva’s god Murukan’s affair with Valli correspond to the relationship of Vaisnava’s god Krishna with gopies? As most Saiva and Vaisnava literatures were written in 600-1000AD and personify devotion to god in terms of Bhakti and romance.
The Valli-Devayani marriages to Murukan are interpreted by some people as the meaning of ‘Aham’ and ‘Puram’ in Tamil literature.
‘Aham’ (Valli) represents the inner thoughts of men in terms of peace, love, lust, beauty, nature, innocence, family, excitement, achievement, freedom and privacy. Valli is also described as a gypsy, wild hunter, village girl or earthly goddess for heavenly god Murukan.
‘Puram’ (Deveyanai) represents war, order, politics, society, expectations. Social contract, publicity, pageantry. Devayanai be fitted to description of virtuous woman and the heavenly goddess for god Murukan.
Murukan is also connected to the Tree of Venkai. Within the context of nature worship, tree symbolises the connecting force between the sky and the earth as the tree is seen as the solid form of all five energies of the universe.
Murukan is also connected to the Tree of Venkai. Within the context of nature worship, tree symbolises the connecting force between the sky and earth as the tree is seen as the solid form of all five energies of the universe.
Ecologically the marriage of Valli (the creeper plant and Deivayan (elephant) to Murukan (a man) as the union of nature as to a man his dedication to plant and animals.
The marriages to Valli and Deivayani is also interpreted as the union of Tamil and Sanskrit with Murukan (the Hindu God).
“Both consorts come to symbolise the soul (pacu) freed from the bonds of earthly passion (paca) and clinging to the god in a manner consistent with Saiva philosophy. But at the same time the bringing together in the person of Murukan aspects of Saiva and Vaisnava thought. Murukan is no longer the son of Siva but son in law of Vishnu” F W Clothey (1978). Also the author says that Valli represents itcha. Deivayanai represents ganam and Murukan’s vel represents determination.
The marriage of Valli and Murukan reflects the caste-less society in ancient Tamils as historical evidence shows that the caste system was introduced and strictly implemented by the Brahmans.
When we come to a conclusion about Murukan, Valli and Deivayanai, there is reason to say that the myth of these religious images symbolises the various aspects of Tamil culture which is mixed with the Dravidian, Aryan, Sri Lankan and the Mediterranean cultures.
Portrayal of Valli in particular by the Tamils could be their answer to preserving the Dravidian goddesses which had been destroyed by the Aryans as there is archaeological evidence of female figures of worship in the pre Aryan period in India. Or we could argue that it may have challenged the rigid ~Aryan ‘Hindu’ philosophy just as the Jains and the Buddhists did in many ways.
Or, that the myth was created mainly by the Mauryans (3rd century AD) and the Guptas (4th century AD) as to promote Skanda as an equal to the Mediterranean god (god of all gods) or is anything to do with Alexander the Great (4th century BC) and his win over Indians?
In the Murukan myth ‘giving’ two wives to their god is the ancient Tamil men’s own reflection on their liberal attitude to their sexuality. As F W Clothey (1978:199) put it”.
The experiences of the past encourage us to assume that there will be a continuing relationship between culture and symbol, history and myth, god and man. Thus a reflective reading of the cultic symbol of a god like Murukan enables us to discern something of the character of ‘modernity’ and should provide a few indications of the cultural trends of the future.
Myths are a complex issue. Myths contain people’s religious, traditional, social, cultural, ethical and moral beliefs and ideas and the myth can be approached in many ways. Myth can be identified in various forms such as myth of nature (cosmogonic), culture heroes and rituals. The language of these myths is symbolic. What they signify is based upon people’s emotional and intellectual understanding. Theories based on these myths embrace an old and new knowledge of the myth itself. These myths are a collection of various discourses based on time and timeless periods, real and unreal fantasies, fear of gods and nature, unconscious desires about sex as all the myths are originated from male ideas. Myth of Murukan with two wives may be based on man’s ideas of having ultimate happiness from two different ways as many men do seem to be seeking separateness in their personal life, as described by Sigmund Freud who utilised themes from older mythical structures to exemplify the conflicts and dynamics of the unconscious of psyche life. This myth has many aspects related to ancient Dravidians’ way of life and their beliefs on religion and society, therefore a constructive anthropological study to be undertaken to find out about the ancient Dravidians’ history. (END)
REFERENCES
BOOKS
1. Cartledge, S & Ryan, J “Sex and Love” The Women’s Press
London UK 1985
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The history and meaning of a south Indian god
Mouton publishers, the Hague Paris New York 1978
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6. Janson E R “The Book of Imagery” Binkey Kok Publication, Diever, Holland 1972
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work publishing Society
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Rani Sharma “Aryans and Hindu women” Anmol Publication PVT Ltd New Delhi, India 1995
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Madras, India 1995

As we know man created God to reflect his own fantasies, moral values fears, loves, power and sexuality. The worship of Murukan by the Tamils in South India is believed to be most ancient, as no one knows when it commenced. Myth of Murukan as the husband of two wives raises many questions such as why have these goddesses been created as equal to Murukan by the Tamils as there is no worship of Murukan with his wives in North India.
Portraying Murukan as the ‘Tamil God’ reflects the mentality of Tamils as they try to preserve their authenticity in their religious beliefs and structures which are tremendously embedded in Tamil culture.
“Most cultural phenomena, such as technology or political organisation, must submit to a variety of ecological and social constraints. By contrast, myths-orally transmitted and culturally selected narratives – tend to ignore any determination other than cultural ones” (C L Strauss, cited in D Serer 1991:76).
Tamil culture constantly praises the ‘one man one woman’ relationship and contemporary Tamil cinema, literature propagating an ideology which is conflict with their favourite God having two wives.
How much does he worship of Murukan, Deivayanai and Valli by the Tamils reflects their traditional social cultural and moral values?
In this small essay I am trying to seek answers to some of the issues arising from this myth.
Murukan for his ~Tamil devotes, is a God of Kaliyuga – the contemporary world Kaliyuga ‘age of degeneration’, lasts 432,000 years on earth which is now passing it sixth millenium. “Dharma is one-legged and helpless, and all but one quarter of virtue has vanished. In this age the deity is black” (Veronica Ions 1967:24-25). Holds that the Kaliyuga is the age of destruction political chaos, natural disasters and the world will end with flood and fire. During this yuga most will be greedy wicked, quarrelsome, most will live in the cities which will be filled with thieves people will have more children people suffer from poverty and hunger. Men will be controlled by women. The majority of people will be Sudras”.
For the last few thousand years Tamils have faced many changes, suffered with natural disasters as they lost their continent of Lemuria. History tells us that long before the Aryan came to India they had well established trade relationships with Egypt, Greece and the Middle East; they had their Kingdoms of Chloa, Chera and Pandiya which extended to Singapore (Singapuri) and to Sri-Lanka (Eelam). Their kingdoms have been destroyed either by war between them or by invasion by others from outside. They were never invaded by sea. After the arrival of the Aryan to India by the north, the Tamils lost their authenticity as “Dravidians”. Their way of life and gods and goddesses, became Aryanised with the power of Brahmans.
Arunakirinather’s cries to Murukan reflect the devotion of Tamils to Murukan:
“Uruvaai aruvaai ulathai ilathai
Maruvaai malarai maniyai oliyaik
Karuvaai uyiraaik kathiyai vithiyaik
Kuruvaai varuvaai arulvaai kuhane
(Dr V S Senkalvarayapilai 1985:6)
The myth of Murukan; his origin, his win over the Asuras, his relationship with his ‘parents’ and other Brahmans, his marriage to two wives ways of worship and the rituals of Murukan and the philosophy surrounding him, represent the complicated ideas of Dravidians and the Aryan’s views on nature and cosmic powers and religious ideas.
In the myth of Murukan Deivayanai and Valli represents the conflict between heaven, hell and earth and man. This mythology brings together the two sides of the human mind as holiness (god) and evilness (man-Asuras), also old values and new thinking. It represents the hierarchy of Brahmans over others, the struggle of power and the wisdom and knowledge of the people. This myth interacts with race, class and caste. Murukan and Valli represent the romance of god and man and the emotions of individuals. This myth continued in various aspects of Tamil literature as the Murukan Valli story appears as a play, drama, particularly with devotional songs and in folk theatre etc.
….the Tamil cultural tradition is independent, not derived not imitative; it is pre-Sanskrit and from this point of view Tamil alone stands apart when compared with all other major languages and literature in India says Kamil Zvelbil.
The myth of Murukan as the ‘Tamil God’ and the tradition of worship opens up an avenue for discussion.
The most important aspect of myth of Murukan seems to be that the myth is not derived from one particular culture, specific race, one country, religion or one language. Murukan can be identified with Greek mythical figures such as Dionysos – the god of vine and vegetation – who was born from Zeus’s thigh, or Bacchus (Roman and Greek mythology, Dionysos known as Bacchus to the Green), or Aristaeus in the Greek mythology, he is son of God Apollo and he was worshipped a protector of hunters or the ancient Egyptian deity Amon or Ammon who was identified with sun god Ra, as Skanda was identified as a son or Agni in Indo Aryan literature, or with Ares – a Greek mythical figure as a God of war and son of Zeus (God Zeus has similarities with the God Shiva as Zeus is a god of all Gods (Zeus personality is also identified with the God Indra as Zeus is portrayed as god of Sky).
As A G Mitchel says (1998:v) “Vedic deities of the ancient period of Aryan migration, possibly from the southern steps of Russia, into north west Pakistan between about 1700-700 BC. The Aryans were culturally akin to similar peoples who were invading Europe at about the same time; the Sanskrit language of their religious texts (Vedas) is related to many European languages, such as Greek and Latin, and some of their deities are also found in Greek mythology (Dysus, the sky god ie Zeus). It is likely that the Vedic gods who eventually became established in India were the result of the fusion of ideas brought by the invading Aryans and those of indigenous people such as the Dravidians”.
According to FW Clothey (1978) “The early Murukan is particularly similar to the agriculture Dionysos of a pre-Greek era before he came Aryanised. Murukan is of the hills as was Dionysos – and the hills in both cases were at first very much of the earth – whereas the mountain with which both are later associated has a more celestial character. Both has roots amongst hunters but both come to preside over vegetation. Both are associated with intoxicating drink and the life giving sap of vegetation. Both are worshipped in frenzied dance by women who have left their traditional function f do dance” (Dionysos & vine dance, music folk theatre in Greece).
Murukan is also identified with the Great King Alexander. When he won over Egypt he claimed himself as a divine origin from the Sun god as earlier Egyptian pharos were believed to be Amon-Ra. Murukan can also be identified with a Roman mythical figure –mars who is god of war and a son of Jupiter (the rulers of all gods equal to the God Zeus in Greek mythology).
Alexander who invade India in 326 BC, defeated the Sind and Punjab area mountains and had a political alliance with Chandra Gupta Mauyar in the north of India and some scholar like N Gopala Pillai argued that (cited in F W Clothey 1978) the skanda tradition originated with Alexander’s invasion, for Alexander was known as Iskander in Asia and was associated with Dionysus in an Arab myth.
Murukan’s consort Valli can also be identified with various mythical figures from Greek and Roman mythologies. Artemis, one of the principle goddesses in Greek mythology has some similarities as Valli as they both are associated with hunting and animals, nature and harvest. Another figure from the Greek mythology Daphne – who is a hunter and the character Diane in Roman mythology is similar.
Sexual relationships is not always based on reproduction and moral concerns – as for the ancient Greeks – the pleasure of body was important – aphrodisiac!
As with other gods in Hindu mythology, in Murukan Deivayanai and Valli’s relationship there is no reproduction involved. Murukan’s Kottavai (South Indian context) is a goddess of the battlefield and he has her anger and ferocity but this is not continued with a family structure. Therefore one can argue that the myth of Murukan and his love life has some sort of connection with other cultures.
Much evidence shows that the origin of South Indians had west Asian roots and historically they had trade connections with the Middle East as early as the first century AD or perhaps as early as the third century BC and scholars believe that the South Indians received some cultural influence from the Middle East, if not by a Neolithic migration, then by Roman merchant traders or megalithic builders.
The evidence of archaeological findings are stated by FW Clothey (1978:40) below:
“some archaeological finds in the south are strikingly similar to those found in the Mediterranean area; rock cut tombs in Malabar and Syria; bronze bowls have been found in the Nilgris and Assyria; similar iron hoes occur in the Tinnerveli district and in Phoenicia and Palestine; gold mouth pieces have been found in Trichinapoly district and amongst the hariyana etc.
There is evidence in Trichur of the development of Megalithic culture in India 1800BC, characterised by the use of huge rock monuments akin to those found elsewhere in the world”.
Various sources of evidence show that the south Indians’ religious beliefs and worship of gods and goddesses not derived from one particular culture but it has many aspects relating to other cultures. No one can provide the exact period when the worship of Murukan began in Tamil nadu. According to archaeologists during the Aryan immigration to India like any other ancient people, the Dravidian were worshipping gods related to nature and fertility.
There are conflicting myths about the origin of birth and marriage of Murukan. His marriage to Valli in particular is the most interesting these in the myth of Murukan. This particular issue is appreciated and celebrated by the poets, scholars and ordinary people in Tamil as a fascinating love story between a high caste Brahman and the non-Brahman girl. Most Hindu puranas and epics portray the non-Aryan women as the ‘seducers’ of Brahmans (rishis) for example: Soorapathman’s mother Maya seduced rishi Kasiyaber – grandson of Brahma, Ravanan’s mother Kaikesi seduced rishi pulastiar’s son Vaisrava Soorpnaka tried to seduce the brothers Rama Luxmana.
Non Aryan men are seen similarly. Asura King Soorapathman tried to abduct Inrda’s (God of heaven or the god of Swarka loga) wife, and Ravana abducted Sita, Rama’ wife (re-incarnation of Vishnu) whereas in this myth of Murukan the almighty of Brahman has to woo, take different forms to steal Valli.
“the supreme law for husbands is: remember that each act of union must be tenderly wooed for and won, and that no union should ever take place unless the woman also desires it and is made physically ready for it” says Cartledge S & Ryan J (1983:19).
This story has all the ingredients for a breath-taking epic in terms of fantasy, dreams, sex, violence, surrender and celebration.
The creation of Valli as a consort of Murukan by the Tamils shows their sense of responsibility on their emotion about sexuality. Malinowski (cited in Weeks J1970:24) stated Sex is the most powerful instinct… there is no doubt that about that masculine jealousy, sexual modesty, female coyness, the mechanism of sexual attraction and of courtship – all these forces and conditions made it necessary that even in the most primitive human aggregates there should exist powerful means of regulating, suppressing and directing this instinct”.
‘Tamil culture is preoccupied with the alteration of excess and the correspondingly extreme idea of restrain and control’ says Zvelbil K (1973) In Kurunthokai (Ahanaanooru) description of emotion by a ‘thalaivan’ (here) shows the passion by Tamils in the Sankam period.
As the song goes (cited in Zvelbil 1973)
My girl, has lovely shoulders
That sway like wide bamboo,
Her eyes are large, liquid bur to kill
Her land is far to reach
The ways are had
My heart aches, in frantic haste to reach her
I am like the ploughman
With his single plough in haste
To plough his vast virgin land fresh with rains.
Valli is a very important aspect of the belief of Murukan. Arunakirinather sees Murukan with Valli more than he sees him with Deivayanai; in his song praising Valli lends more authenticity for Murukan as a Tamil god.
He seeks Murukan’s relationship with Valli (Kanataranabhoothi) in a passionate one. In one song Arunakirinather is saying that Murukan is worshipping Valli and in another song he states that Murukan is Valli’s god. In another song he describes Murukan as Valli’s lover.
For Arunakirinather, Valli is nearer to his feeling of love and devotion than Deivayani as Valli’s personality is reality of sex and passion. Sex is embedded in every individual’s emotion and unconscious, that reflects through Arunakirinathar’s devotional songs.
During Arunakirinather’s period (14th century) worship of Murukan was prevalent in Tamil nadu and Murukan was very much a king’s god as from the 10th century onwards there were many temples built in Tamil made by Tamil kings. History tells us that the Brahmans played a major role as king makers. Tamil king Varaguna Pandiyan (9th century) invaded Sri Lanka (Sri a Sri)(Subramaniya thesika paramaasaarya Swamikal 1985) and by the Chola kings (Sri Lanka was captured by the Cholas in 1017 AD) so the worship of Murukan was brought to Sri Lanka and the Nallur temple built in Jaffna 1450AD.
But there is much evidence that show before the introduction of the Buddhist region (5th century BC) Sri Lanka had people of Dravidian origin and their gods and goddesses were similar to those found in South India. Rakshasa King Ravana was known for his devotion to the god Siva and Siva worship was in practice long before Aryan came to India (Evidence from Harrapa and Mohenjedharo). Murukan worship in Sri Lanka could be pre-historical as the method of the rituals are still in traditional form in Kathirgamam without any influence of Brahman. For the Vedda (Nomads of the forest) of Sri Lanka, Valli is the girl from their forest and Murukan is their in-law.
With his Thirupukal and Kantharanubhoothy, Arunakirinather made Murukan in to the ‘people god’. The story of Murukan and Valli may be based on very ancient folk tales in the South which have been mystified with religious beliefs, and blended with various aspect of Tamizhian’s life as the history evolved.
According to some folk tales, Murukan met Valli in the cave near Thiruchenthur (where he won the war against Soorpathman) to gain ‘inspiration’ before the battle. This story contradicts the story that Murukan was married to Valli after he won the war and after his marriage to Deivayanai.
One of the fathers of British anthropology, Sir Edward Burnett Taylor, thought that the myth in archaic cultures was based on a psychological delusion and a mistaken logical interference – on a confusion of subjective and objective reality, of the real and the ideal. Taylor believed that myth, although illogical, had moral values (Encarta 1994).
R R Marett, a later British anthropologist, felt that the myth arose from the emotional responses that people in archaic cultures make to their environment. In his view they respond in rhythmic gestures that develop into dance and ritual, with narrative myth forming the oral part of the communal rites (Encarta 1994).
At present the devotion to Marukan in South India goes beyond any caste, class. The ‘Tamil’ God Marukan has many shrines in the hills. Hill and mountains were sacred places for many cultures. Worship of Murukan by the Tamilians in South India seems pre-historical; although Skanda purana originated from during puranic in the north.
The evidence from the river Thamira parani excavation from Tinnaveli region shows that the (BC 1000) people worshipped male deity whose emblems were the spear and cock (Michael Wood 1995).
“The theology associated with Murukan makes sense for his devotees because it reflects a profound human creativity and the symbolic themes which recur in Murukan’s mythic history are interesting also because they embody the cultural and social history of his devotees” (Clothey 1978:149).
Mircea Elide mentioned that the “most widespread mythical image of the ‘centre of the world’ is the cosmic mountain”. He is the God of hill. He is a God of the hunters. The hunting people’s (Palaeolithic period of hunting and gatherers, 150000BC) customs and beliefs are still connected to nature.
According to Veronica Ions (1975:13) “Dravidian Peoples, who spread into almost every part of India and Ceylon were a mixture of the native populations of India and the dominating Proto-Dravidians, who seem to have entered India in waves from about 4000 BC to 2500 BC. The seat of what was evidently an advanced civilisation was the Indus valley, where the chief cities were Harappa and Mohenjadahro, though no literature has so far been discovered, archaeological remains tell us something about the cults of the Dravidians and tend to support the theory, evolved on the basis of late development in Indian cities and cults, that the pre-Aryan deities were of Mesopotamian origin and more exactly of Iranian province and that their resurgence was one of the reasons for the declining of the Aryan Gods.
An agricultural people, the Dravidians worshipped Gods connected one way or another with nature and fertility. There were two main elements in this: phallic worship typified in the seals found Harappa which show a God seated with legs crossed and wearing bull’s horns (the bull being a universal symbol of male fertility) and the cult of mother-goddesses, most plainly depicted on seals which show plants growing from the womb of female deity or which show a naked goddess before whom a human sacrifice is performed. Such figures are accompanied by animals ministrants, this Goddess by what appears to be half-bull, half-ram and the God be deer and elephant a tiger a rhinoceros and a buffalo – or in other cases by votive serpents.
The above statement shows us the religious beliefs of pre-Aryan people in India and how they linked their life with religion. Aryans had either destroyed or changed, modified, manipulated the native Gods and then Aryanised them when they conquered most parts of India, as the invading Romans destroyed the Druids worship in England as the invading English, French and Spanish tried to destroy the Asian, African and American cultures.
Murukan and his two wives represent various ideas of philosophy and social trends during ancient times. Caste race, inter marriage, sexuality and psychology of Tamils in terms of their attitudes towards love or lust and women. The profile of Murukan before he met his two women was conflicting. Aryan literature (Skanda Purana) stated that he is son of Agni or Ruthra.
E R Jansen (1993:126) says that “There are several stories about the birth of this son. In a number of these stories which all have different beginnings, Shiva’s glowing sperm finally ends up in the ~Ganges to cool down and a beautiful youth is cast up on the banks from the boiling waters. The six pleiades in the form of nymphs who are bathing in the spot vied for the honour of raising the child. Then Skanda developed six heads, so that he could be breast fed by each of them”.
‘Skanda’ means – skanda – to attack, leap, rise, fall, perish, burst, be spilled, ooze, literally means ‘that which is spilled or oozed ‘seed’, namely’.
For Arunakirinather Murukan’s six faces represents six different aspects and one of Marukan’s faces is of the love for Valli.
‘Eerumail eeru vilaiyadum muham onrte,
Eesarudan gnanamoli pesum muham ontre
Koorumadyarkal vinai theertha muham ontre
Kuntruruha vel vaanki nintra muham ontre,
Maarubadu soorarai vathaitha muham ontre
Valliyai manam punara vantha muham ontre,
Aarumuhana porul nee arula vendum
Aathi arunasalam amarntha perumale.’
Worship of Murukan is embedded in Tamil culture at different levels and with different understandings. His images and the surrounding myths, for his devotees can be most abstract or sometimes very concrete.
His relationships with Valli and Devesena (Deivayani) can be interpreted philosophically as ‘itcha sakti’ and ‘Kriya Sakti’. Racially his marriage to Valli can be seen as Aryan marriage to Dravidian. Religiously it can be seen as the marriage of Brahman to a non-Brahman, or a marriage of high caste and the lower caste. Geographically it can be a marriage of Kurinchi and Marutham.
“Devesena assimilates (F W Clothey 1978:167) in her person many of the goddesses who make up the army. In the Mahabharatha (218:49) for example Devesena is identified with eight goddesses, including Sakthi, Laksmi and others. Devesena was married to Skanda in the traditional orthodox way according to the vedic rites. Valli on the other hand, is a personification of the creeper often described in early Tamil poetry who entwining of a tree symbolises the inseparability of lovers and of devotees from their god. While Devensena was of the gods, Valli was of human. In fact by the hunter Nambirajan. Her marriage to Murukan was the result of his long courtship of her and was unorthodox in nature. Their marriage was like that of two hunters; it was based on love resulting from his wooing her and his use of trickery against her relatives who sought to obstruct that love”.
‘Thirumurukattupadai’ by Nakkerar during the Sankam period tells us his story. Silapathikaram mentions that Kovalan is handsome and his beauty is equal to Murukan. It seems that during the Sankam period Murukan was established as a ‘Tamil god’.
Murukan’s marriage to two women could be a reaction to the two great epics of Ramayana and Mahabhratha as Raj Pruthi and BelaRani Sharma stated (1995:11)”… The Aryan have always held the view that a woman marrying below her caste or status demean herself and her family where no such stigma is attached to a man marrying a woman below his caste. Ancient Aryan’s sex life was guided by social duties, the ‘Rakshasas’ and ‘Asuras’ seem to be having a good time with women, wine and songs.(Hanuman’s experience in Lanka in Ramayana)
Aryans marriages based on legality, economics, biological privileges and responsibilities – mainly ‘arranged’ (Rig veda). They had eight types of marriage: Brahma, daiva, prajapatya, arsha, gandhava, asura, paisave and rakshasa.
Dravidians marriages were mainly ‘love’ marriages and only have two types, ‘Kalavu’ (private) and ‘katpu’ (public).
Polygamous marriages in ancient times seem to be a normal act with kings and noblemen. Kings marry many women if they need an heir to the throne or if they have to expand their kingdom, or they take enemies’ women as their ‘wins’.
Valli as a second wife to a warrior (Murukan) may be a reflection of incidents in India as in the south the Pandiya, Chola kingdom flourished in the South. As J K Pillai (1972:5) stated “Valmiki in his Ramayana refers to the ancient Pandya capital ‘Kapadapura’ as ‘Kavadam’, Asokan inscription of 200 BC recognises the independent kingdoms of Chera, Chola, Pandiya and says missionaries had been sent to Tamilnadu to spread Buddhism”.
The epics of Mahabaratha and Ramayana tells us of many polygamous marriages and extra marital affairs. For example Krishna has two wives and many ‘gopies’. Arujuna has many affairs. In Ramayana King Thasrather had four wives. In the Puranas the heavenly god Indra is famous for chasing women.
Does the Saiva’s god Murukan’s affair with Valli correspond to the relationship of Vaisnava’s god Krishna with gopies? As most Saiva and Vaisnava literatures were written in 600-1000AD and personify devotion to god in terms of Bhakti and romance.
The Valli-Devayani marriages to Murukan are interpreted by some people as the meaning of ‘Aham’ and ‘Puram’ in Tamil literature.
‘Aham’ (Valli) represents the inner thoughts of men in terms of peace, love, lust, beauty, nature, innocence, family, excitement, achievement, freedom and privacy. Valli is also described as a gypsy, wild hunter, village girl or earthly goddess for heavenly god Murukan.
‘Puram’ (Deveyanai) represents war, order, politics, society, expectations. Social contract, publicity, pageantry. Devayanai be fitted to description of virtuous woman and the heavenly goddess for god Murukan.
Murukan is also connected to the Tree of Venkai. Within the context of nature worship, tree symbolises the connecting force between the sky and the earth as the tree is seen as the solid form of all five energies of the universe.
Murukan is also connected to the Tree of Venkai. Within the context of nature worship, tree symbolises the connecting force between the sky and earth as the tree is seen as the solid form of all five energies of the universe.
Ecologically the marriage of Valli (the creeper plant and Deivayan (elephant) to Murukan (a man) as the union of nature as to a man his dedication to plant and animals.
The marriages to Valli and Deivayani is also interpreted as the union of Tamil and Sanskrit with Murukan (the Hindu God).
“Both consorts come to symbolise the soul (pacu) freed from the bonds of earthly passion (paca) and clinging to the god in a manner consistent with Saiva philosophy. But at the same time the bringing together in the person of Murukan aspects of Saiva and Vaisnava thought. Murukan is no longer the son of Siva but son in law of Vishnu” F W Clothey (1978). Also the author says that Valli represents itcha. Deivayanai represents ganam and Murukan’s vel represents determination.
The marriage of Valli and Murukan reflects the caste-less society in ancient Tamils as historical evidence shows that the caste system was introduced and strictly implemented by the Brahmans.
When we come to a conclusion about Murukan, Valli and Deivayanai, there is reason to say that the myth of these religious images symbolises the various aspects of Tamil culture which is mixed with the Dravidian, Aryan, Sri Lankan and the Mediterranean cultures.
Portrayal of Valli in particular by the Tamils could be their answer to preserving the Dravidian goddesses which had been destroyed by the Aryans as there is archaeological evidence of female figures of worship in the pre Aryan period in India. Or we could argue that it may have challenged the rigid ~Aryan ‘Hindu’ philosophy just as the Jains and the Buddhists did in many ways.
Or, that the myth was created mainly by the Mauryans (3rd century AD) and the Guptas (4th century AD) as to promote Skanda as an equal to the Mediterranean god (god of all gods) or is anything to do with Alexander the Great (4th century BC) and his win over Indians?
In the Murukan myth ‘giving’ two wives to their god is the ancient Tamil men’s own reflection on their liberal attitude to their sexuality. As F W Clothey (1978:199) put it”.
The experiences of the past encourage us to assume that there will be a continuing relationship between culture and symbol, history and myth, god and man. Thus a reflective reading of the cultic symbol of a god like Murukan enables us to discern something of the character of ‘modernity’ and should provide a few indications of the cultural trends of the future.
Myths are a complex issue. Myths contain people’s religious, traditional, social, cultural, ethical and moral beliefs and ideas and the myth can be approached in many ways. Myth can be identified in various forms such as myth of nature (cosmogonic), culture heroes and rituals. The language of these myths is symbolic. What they signify is based upon people’s emotional and intellectual understanding. Theories based on these myths embrace an old and new knowledge of the myth itself. These myths are a collection of various discourses based on time and timeless periods, real and unreal fantasies, fear of gods and nature, unconscious desires about sex as all the myths are originated from male ideas. Myth of Murukan with two wives may be based on man’s ideas of having ultimate happiness from two different ways as many men do seem to be seeking separateness in their personal life, as described by Sigmund Freud who utilised themes from older mythical structures to exemplify the conflicts and dynamics of the unconscious of psyche life. This myth has many aspects related to ancient Dravidians’ way of life and their beliefs on religion and society, therefore a constructive anthropological study to be undertaken to find out about the ancient Dravidians’ history. (END)
REFERENCES
BOOKS
1. Cartledge, S & Ryan, J “Sex and Love” The Women’s Press
London UK 1985
2. F W Clothey “The Many faces of Murukan”
The history and meaning of a south Indian god
Mouton publishers, the Hague Paris New York 1978
3. Dubin M “The Greek Island” Dorling Kindersley, London 1997
4. Elide M “History of Religious Ideas” University of Chicago Press Ltd London 1985
5. Ions V “Hindu Mythology” Paul Hamlyn, London, New York, Sydney & Toronto 1967
6. Janson E R “The Book of Imagery” Binkey Kok Publication, Diever, Holland 1972
7. Pillai J K “Education System of the ancient Tamils” The South India Saiva Siddharntha
work publishing Society
Tinenrveli Ltd Madras, India 1995
8. Raj Pruti & Bela
Rani Sharma “Aryans and Hindu women” Anmol Publication PVT Ltd New Delhi, India 1995
9. Serber D “On anthropological knowledge” Cambridge University Press UK USA 1991
10. Dr V Senkalvarayapillai “Kanthranubhoothi” by Arunakirinather Tinnerveli
South Indian Saiva Siththantha Publication Madras, India 1985
11. Subramaniam S V & Rajendran G “Heritage of the Tamils”
International Institute of Tamil Studies, Madras, India 1985
12. Sri La Sri Subramania thesika paramaassaaiya swamikal
“Murukan” Sri Namasivayamoorthy prints, Thiruvaavaduthurai India 1958
13. Weeks J “Sexuality” Routledge London New York 1991
14. Wood M “The smile of Murukan” A South Indian Journey Viking London 1995
15. Zvelbil K “The smile of Murukan” Leiden Brul Netherland 1975
Microsoft Corporation 1994 “Encarta” Funk Wagnalls Corporation

BIBLIOGRAPHY
BOOKS
1. Smith V “The Oxford history” Oxford at the Clarenden Prints UK 1923
2. Steel F A “Indian through the ages” George Routledge & Sons New York 1991
3. Ilangovan K Y “Gods of Sankam periods” (Sanka kala kadavulkal) Segar Publication
Madras, India 1995

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