by Pathmarajah Nagalingam


Chapter 8




Hindu Chronology

There are gaps in our understanding of Hindu history as the information is not complete. Current evidence places the Indus Valley Civilisation between 3,300–1700 BCE, which is contemporaneous with the Sumerian Civilisation. It is estimated that the vedic age was during the period of 2,500 BCE to 1,500 BCE, about one millenium antecedent to IVC and Sumeria. Prior to that was Mehgarh at 5,500 BCE. Even prior was Dvaraka at 9,000 BCE. While all of these sites shows evidences of Hinduism, there are gaps in between.

We know little of the period from 1,500 BCE to 500 BCE, the birth of Buddha. There is a gap between the vedic age to that of the shad dharsanas of post 500 BCE. We are still unable to read the Indus script and tie it to the vedas. There is another gap between the vedic age and the Indus Valley Civilisation. There is yet another gap between the Indus Valley and Mehgarh.

The Jain tirthankara Rsabhadeva, the first tirthankara, who was worshipped, is mentioned in the vedas. The Padma Purana says Rama built a temple and worshipped Muniswrathanath, the 20th Jain tirthankara. So it is quite silly to say that the agamas antecedent the vedas. They were contemporaneous, or the agamas were anterior.

Tolkappiam precedes Astadhyayi by 2-3 centuries may have some merit as Agastya was the guru of Tolkappiar. Agastya wrote several rig vedic, agamic and tamil works. So he and Tolkappiar couldn't have been late. Besides the Cheras were already ruling in full tolkappiar culture. And for sure Agamas were pre-buddhist and pre-Nebuchadnezzar, 950 BCE.

But common sense tells us that sanskrit and the vedic age could not have sprung all of a sudden in much developed form in 1,500 BCE. Surely the language, religion and culture must have been preceded by at least a millennium of development. It would be logical to presume that there was a pre-vedic age, with origins in the Sumerian and IVC. Prakrits (including tamil) precedes sanskrit. How could a well formed language suddenly appear out of nowhere. Samskrta is well formed prakrits. Prevedic texts cannot be overlooked anymore.

"Sanskrit is not the Vedic language but was evolved out of the dead vedic Aryan and the then regional languages of India called Prakrits which included Tamil and Dravidian. The term Prakrit means 'previously created' and Sanskrit means 'perfectly created', thus the very name Sanskrit suggests its posteriority to the Prakrits in origin. A study of Tolkappiam and Paninis' Astadhyayi shows that Tolkappiam is anterior to Paniniam by 2 or 3 centuries."


"I feel that the history of Indian philosophies must begin from Sumerian where as I have shown you find the central elements of even Buddhism and Jainism in the Gilgamesh Epic. Samkhya and Yoga are present quite visibly in many Sumerian texts. Right now I am studying the Solar Cosmology in the Sumerian Kinglist and which is with us through Rig Veda, etc. While Sumerian is definitely Archaic Tamil, and the whole Sangam culture of the Tamils is a continuation of the Sumerian, it is not clear to me how they came to settle in the South and Sri Lanka.,

The language of Vedas is also a variant of Archaic Tamils as Raghavan is also trying to show. The metaphysical insights of Rig Veda are certainly developments from the Sumerian. As I explore it, I notice that almost all the basic trends in later Indian philosophies are presaged in Sumerian philodophical and cosmological thinking so much so that we can say the Indian is simply a footnote to the Sumerian and which is Dravidian if we go by the language.

Noting that Yoga practices are widely prevalent, it may be that the Samkhya System may be one of the earliest philosophical systems of the Hindu mind. The Purusha-Prakirti of the Samkhya may actually be An-Inanna or even Enki-Ninsikilla, the dancing gods of the Paradise Tilmun. In the Sirbiyam of En Hudu Anna, it is said that it is An who gives all powers to In-Anna and who because of it, keeps on movimg tirelessly all the time. Here we can see that it is In-Anna of the Sumerians, the Woman who keeps on giving birth tirelessly who is the Prakirti, that which keeps on moving on its own. It may be possible that the Samkhya System was in fact the Siva-Sakti dance demythologized and made into a rigorous philosophical system.

Dr. Loganathan

The pasupatas were the earliest of Hindu sampradayas going back into the BCE era. Tagare says pasupata saivism is vedic and is the earliest Hindu sampradaya among six shaiva sampradayas, and survives till present times. (see G.V.Tagare, "Saivism: Some Glimpses", Delhi, 1996, p. 3). Gautama and Kanada, founders of Nyaya and Vaisheshika schools respectively, were Pasupatas (see Prof. R.K. Siddhantashastri, "Saivism Through the Ages", Delhi, 1975, p. 99).

Mahabharata mentions Krishna's initiation into Pashupatism (Anushasana-parvan, 14.379-380). In the same chapter Yajnavalkya and Vyasa are said to have been Pashupata-shaivas. But it is hardly surprising that these sages were pasupatas as Yagnavalkya does assert that only by chanting the Sri Rudram does one gets knowledge and moksha. We can see that most of the ancient sampradayas were Pasupathas, Nandinathas or Adinathas. The latter two simply go by the name of natha swamis today.

To have a balanced view of Hinduism we have to know of a fuller list of the main personages who shaped it and the texts by them. Here, we have an approximate Hindu Chronology of personages, texts and sampradayas:

PreVedic (Sumerian) Period
3000 BCE Suruppak, NeRi
2300 BCE Enhudu Anna, Exaltations of In-Anna Kes Temple Hymns,
2000 BCE Sulgi, Hymn B
1800 BCE Hammurabi's Legal Code
1800 BCE Many Incantation Texts

Vedic/Agamic Period
2500-1500 BCE > 420 rishis, Vedas and Agamas

1000 BCE Pasupata monastic orders
700 BCE Kapalika monastic orders
700 BCE Kalamukha monastic orders

600 BCE Kanada, Vaisisekha
600 BCE Bhoga Rishi
600 BCE Agastya
600 BCE Lopamudra (or Kausitaki), Lalita Sahasranama
500 BCE Kaundinya, Panchartha Bhasya
500 BCE Kapila, Samhkya
400 BCE Vyasa
300 BCE Jaimini, Purva Mimamsa
250 BCE Nandinatha, Nandikesvara Kasika
200 BCE Tirumular, Tirumantiram
200 BCE Patanjali, Yoga Sutras
200 BCE Gautama, Nyaya Sutras
200 BCE Tiruvalluvar, Tirukural

100 CE Auvaiyar I, Purananuru poems
200 CE Lakulisa, Pasupatha sutras, Karavana Mahatmya
200 CE Kusika
200 CE Garghya
200 CE Maitreya
600 CE Appar, Sundarar
675 CE Guhavasi Siddha
775 CE Rudrasambhu
800 CE Vasugupta, Siva Sutras
800 CE Adi Shankara, Sambandhar
850 CE Kallata, Spanda Sastra
850 CE Somananda, Siva Drishti
850 CE Ugrajyoti
850 CE Sadyojyoti
900 CE Utpaladeva, Pratyabijna Sutras
950 CE Manickavasagar, Nammalvar
975 CE Abinavagupta, Tantraloka
900 CE Matsyendranatha

1000 CE Gorakhsanatha, Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati,
1056 CE Srikumara, Tatparyadipika
1100 CE Basavanna, Vacanas, Sakthi Visishadvaitha
1100 CE Allama Prabhu, Mantra Gopya
1200 CE Aghorasiva
1200 CE Ramanuja
1300 CE Auvaiyar II, Aathicoodi
1300 CE Meykandar
1300 CE Nimbarka
1300 CE Madhva
1500 CE Vallabha
1500 CE Chaitanya
1600 CE Appaya Dikshitar, Sivarkamani Dipika

We see a gravitational paradigm powershift in the global picture of Hinduism, where the vedas are no longer the epicentre but a point on the continuous path of Agamism, and where the Sumerian origins which has been partly attested with linguistic evidences and archealogical artifacts, has found a foundational position now firmly in place. A culmination of sorts. This view corrects a lopsided view and the history of the Hindus that has long been erroneously presented.


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