Thursday, 10 October 2019

The Chola King Who Married a Naga

In Puranic scriptures, The Nagas live in Patala - a dimension that exists below the physical Earth.

It could also mean a country far from the Vedic land. The Nagas refer to a tribe. They may genetically possess a serpentine identity.They may be primary Naga worshipers.

Even today, Nagas can be found in North-East India. Parikshit of Mahabharata, the grandson of Arjuna was killed by the Nagas of Takshashila of North-West India.

Contemporary Naga-related names like Nagapattinam ( a district of Tamizh Nadu ) and Nagur set the lawn to preserve their digressing history.

Pattuppāṭṭu ( பத்துப்பாட்டு) is one of the oldest surviving form of ancient Tamizh poetry.

According to this literature,a Chola Chief of Nagapattinam went to Patala and fell in love with a Naga lady.They even had a child.The Naga lady sent their son through the seas, having him float on water.

( Pattuppaattu p.153 )

This meant that the Tamizhs crossed seas to communicate with the Nagas.It also explains why the Nagas were referred to as the residents of Patala.

Manimegalai ( மணிமேகலை ) , a more recent literature quotes a tale of another Chola.His name was Nedumudi killi who ruled Kaveri Pattinam.His father and a Chera king ( Chenguttuvan)'s mother,Narchonai were siblings.Nedumudi Killi Cholan fell in love with a Naga lady whom he met in a grove near his capital.

However,she disappeared after a month

( Manigegalai xxiv,II. 29-43 ) 

She then sent their new born son through a ship belonging to a Kambala Chetty.The Kambalas and the Assataras were ancient tribes as per the Bhuridatta Jataka.Unfortunately,the ship wrecked near the coast.

( Ib. xxv II. 178-192 ) 

When the Chola king heard of this shipwreck,he went to search for his son.As a result,He forgot to perform the annual puja for Lord Indra ( Indicating ancient Tamizhs relation to Indra worship ). His city was later destroyed by the waves.

Obviously,we can see that the communication between ancient Tamizhs and Nagas maintained from the East coast to the Naga Land by sea.

Tamizh was not spoken by Nagas

The Nagas conversed in a language unique to them.They might have known Tamizh but it was not their mother tongue.

The Chetty who mastered the language of Nagas.

Shaduvan was a chetty who mastered the language of the Nagas.He wanted to trade with Vanga.His ship was caught in a storm and he got carried to a land of naked nomads.

They were the Nagas.He managed to escape from the Nagas as he knew their language.He was even gifted with sandalwood,thin cloths and jewels.

I infer that the Nagas were not primitive.It is interesting that they gifted Shaduvan clothes despite them remaining uncovered.

The influence of Naga still persists today.Many of us may carry a segment of genetic trait of the Nagas.

You might be a Naga.Do you have a Naga devata as your kula devata ?

We worship Lord Muruga - who is the very Lord of Serpents.

It may not be very obvious as the Nagas have amalgamised into our tradition.Try to remove anything related to Naga and you will find how our cultural identity collapses.

Also Read :

(1) Lord Muruga as the Lord of Nagas 

(2) The Father of Yoga - Patanjali had a head of a thousand serpents 

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