Ramayana Sugreeva To Hanuman Describes Tamil Chera Chola Pandya Kingdoms

Rama worships Shiva. Image

Some time back there was a comment for one of my articles that there is no reference to Tamil Kings and Tamil Kingdoms in the Valmiki Ramayana. nd that I am making this up only to make Tamil and Tamils look ancient!
Funny that it was nade by a gentleman in/from Tamil Nadu!

Readers of Ramanis blog are aware that I do not promote or align my self to any language or region and I present facts as available in Indian and reliable foreign texts.

The purpose of Ramanis blog is to get rid vof the misinformation spread over thecpast few cetuiries about India and Sanatana Dharma and to clear the cobwebs about Hinduism that had crept in because of not referring to original sources including Vedas , Puranas and Ithihasas.

It is also aimed at sourcing ancient languages of India,Sanskrit , Tamil Brahmi texts along with other world languages cultures and Religion.

I am aware that the other languages of India are also ancient have  vast information.

I shall take them up too.

These two languages have been taken up because I know something about these.

Now the Tamil Kingdoms of Chera, Chola and Pandyas are described by Sugreeva to Hanuman and Angadason of Vaali, when Sugreeva directs them to routes to be taken by themthe places to search for Sita, who was kidnapped by Ravana.

These verses appear in the Valmiki Ramayana.

I am providing the text of slokas and translation hereunder.

Valmiki Ramayana,Sundarakanda, Slokas 1 to 49.

‘Sugreeva sends Vanara-s to southward which troop includes Hanuma, Jambavanta, Niila and others and Angada is its leader. Sugreeva gives a vivid picture of the southern side of Jambu dviipa up to the south-most part of passable regions, next to which the abode of Yama, the Terminator is there. This troop is also given one month’s time to find the whereabouts of Seetha.

tathaa vangaan kalingaam ca kaushikaan ca sama.ntataH |
anviikSya daNDaka araNyam sa parvata nadii guham || 4-41-11
nadiim godaavariim caiva sarvam eva anupashyata |
tathaiva aandhraan ca puNDraan ca colaan paaNDyaan keralaan || 4-41-12

11, 12. tathaa= like that; vangaan kalingaam ca=, Vanga, Kalinga [kingdoms,] also; sam antataH= verily, at its fringes; available; kaushikaan ca= Kaushika [territories,] also; you search and then; sa parvata nadii guham daNDaka araNyam = with, mountains, rivers, Dandaka, forest, caves; anviikSya= on seeing – on searching Dandaka; godaavariim nadiim caiva= Godavari, river, also, thus; tathaiva= like that; aandhraan ca= Andhra territory; puNDraan ca colaan paaNDyaan keralaan= Pundra, Chola, Paandya, Kerala [provinces]; sarvam eva= all of them; anu pashyata= closely, see – make a through search.

“Like that Vanga, Kalinga territories shall be searched along with Kaushika territories available on their fringes, then cast about the Dandaka forest all over its mountains, rivers, and its caves, then River Godavari that courses through Dandaka forest, and then the provinces of Andhra, Pundra, Chola, Paandya, Kerala are to be searched thoroughly. [4-41-11, 12]

Some other mms have Matsya desha in this verse instead of the Vanga desha. The Vanga is the present day Bengal and this territory retained its epical name, but while pronouncing it becomes banga because the Sanskrit grammar allows to pronounce or write va as ba by the rule va ba yoH abhedaH and thus it is called Baangla or Bengal as British used to call. Kaushika in some other mms is read as kaashika. Kalinga is Orissa which touches Bengal at its north, and it is the Kie-ling-kia as said by Huet Tsang.

The Andhra is the present day Andhra Pradesh and Chola is the present Tamil Nadu, especially northern area, and Pundra is roughly in between Andhra and Chola. Paandya is south-most area where in Kanyakumari district the Cape Camorin is there, and Kerala is the present Kerala state from Gokarna to Kanyakumari. Its historical name was chera raajya and in Ashoka’s time, it was called kerala putra.

ayomukhaH ca ga.ntavyaH parvato dhaatu maNDitaH |
vicitra shikharaH shriimaan citra puSpita kaananaH || 4-41-13
suca.ndana vanoddesho maargitavyo mahaagiriH |

13, 14a. dhaatu maNDitaH= with ores, crowded with; vi citra shikharaH= verily, amazing, with crests; shriimaan= prosperous [mountain]; citra puSpita kaananaH = motley, flowered, with forests; such a; ayaH mukhaH parvataH= iron, mouths, mountain – a mountain having iron-ore mines in the shape of mouths, namely Mt. Malaya]; gantavyaH= reachable – you shall go to; su candana vanaat deshaH= best, sandalwood trees, with copses, places; mahaa giriH maargitavyaH = great mountain, is to be searched.

“You shall go to the prosperous Mt. Malaya which is crowded with iron-ore mines as its vast mouths, and with amazing crests and motley flowered forests. Search shall be carried out on that great mountain in the places that are with the copses of sandalwood trees. [4-41-13, 14a]

This Mountain is also called Agastyamalai and it is in Western Ghats from which River Tamraparni emerges.

tataH taam aapagaam divyaam prasanna salilaashayaan || 4-41-14
tatra drakSyatha kaaveriim vihR^itaam apsaro gaNaiH |

14b, 15a. tataH= from there; divyaam= divine one; prasanna salila ashayaan= limpid, waters, receptacle of; apsaraH gaNaiH vihR^itaam = by apsara, throngs, make pleasure-trips; taam kaaveriim= her, Kaveri; aapa gaam= water, flowing [river]; tatra drakSyatha = there, you shall see.

“From there you shall go and see the divine River Kaaveri there, a receptacle of limpid waters, to where throngs of apsara-s will be making pleasure-trips. [4-41-14b, 15a]

The River Kaaveri is the best river in southern peninsula of India that flows from Braham Giri Mountains in Coorg of Western India to the East draining in Bay of Bengal and irrigating a major chunk of land. Many legends are associated with this river, of which one is that when Sage Agastya was bringing waters of River Ganga, they sprinkled from his kamandulau, the handy water-vessel, and flooded like Kaaveri. The original Tamil name is kakaviri where kaakam is ‘crow…’ viri ‘spread out…’ When Agastya is bringing water it sprinkled from his handy vessel and flooded the kaa ‘the garden…’ in Tamil, the garden of Indra. Then it is called kaaviri, but Shilpadikkaaram records its name as Kaaveri only pulavoy vazhi kaaveri… nadanthai vazhi kaaveri…

tasya aasiinam nagasya agre malayasya mahojasam || 4-41-15
drakSyatha aaditya sa.nkaasham agastyam R^iSi sattamam |

15b, 16a. mahaa ojasam= highly resplendent [mountain]; tasya malayasya nagasya agre = of that, Mt. Malaya, mountain, on the top of it; aasiinam= who is sitting; aaditya sankaasham= Sun, in similarity; R^iSi sattamam agastyam drakSyatha= Sage, the eminent, Agastya, you shall see.

“You shall see the eminent sage Agastya, whose resplendence is akin to that of the Sun, and who will be sitting on the top of that highly resplendent Mt. Malaya. [4-41-15b, 16a]

saa candana vanaiH citraiH pracChannaa dviipa vaariNii || 4-41-17
kaantaa iva yuvatii kaantam samudram avagaahate |

17b, 18a. citraiH candana vanaiH = with amazing, sandalwood trees, copses; pracChannaa dviipa vaariNii= with overlapped, islands, water; saa= she [the river]; yuvatii= a young woman [Taamraparni]; kaantaa = one who is yearning for; kaantam iva= for whom she is yearning – her love, as with; samudram= to ocean; avagaahate = [she will be] rendezvousing.

“She whose water is overlapped with amazing copses of sandalwood trees and islands that River Taamrapani will be drifting for a rendezvous with her much yearned lover, namely the ocean, as with a young woman who will be coursing to have a rendezvous with her yearned lover. [4-41-17b, 18a]

tato hemamayam divyam muktaa maNi vibhuuSitam || 4-41-18
yuktam kavaaTam paaNDyaanaam gataa drakSyatha vaanaraaH |

18b, 19a. vaanaraaH= oh, vanara-s; tataH= from there; yuktam= joined to – braced to the wall of fortress; hemamayam divyam= full with gold, beautiful one; muktaa maNi vibhuuSitam= pearls, gemstones, decorated with; paaNDyaanaam kavaaTam= of Paandya [kingdom’s,] castle-door; gataaH= having gone there; drakSyatha= you shall see; search inside that gateway.

“From there, on going to the Paandya Kingdome you shall see a fully golden castle-door bracing the compound-wall of the fortress, which is decorated with pearls and jewels, and conduct your search even in that kingdom. [4-41-18b, 19a]

tataH samudram aasaadya sa.mpradhaarya artha nishcayam || 4-41-19
agastyena antare tatra saagare viniveshitaH |
citra saanu nagaH shriimaan mahendraH parvatottamaH || 4-41-20
jaata ruupamayaH shriimaan avagaaDho mahaarNavam |

19b, 20, 21a. tataH samudram aasaadya= then, [southern] ocean, on reaching; artha nishcayam sampradhaarya = purpose’s, resolve, on resolving; agastyena= by Agastya; tatra= there; saagare antare vi niveshitaH= in ocean, inside, verily, penned up [one end of mountain]; citra saanu nagaH= one with marvellous, terraces, trees; shriimaan mahendraH = glorious, Mt. Mahendra; parvata uttamaH= among mountains, best one; jaataruupamayaH= completely golden; shriimaan mahaa arNavam= august [Mt. Mahendra,] into great, ocean; avagaaDhaH= will be steeping in.

“Then on reaching the southern ocean, and on taking a resolve with regard to the purpose of your task, viz., importance of the mission undertaken vis-à-vis your individual capacities to leap the ocean, you reach the glorious Mt. Mahendra. Sage Agastya once penned its one end in the ocean, and the other end is now visible. That august and best one among all mountains will be completely golden with marvellous terraces and trees, and it will be steeping into ocean on the other side of land, and this mountain becomes the jumping-off point for you vanara-s. [4-41-19b, 20, 21a]

naanaa vidhaiH nagaiH phullaiH lataabhiH ca upashobhitam || 4-41-21
deva R^iSi yakSa pravaraiH apsarobhiH ca sevitam |
siddha caaraNa sa.nghaiH ca prakiirNam sumanoharam || 4-41-22
tam upaiti sahasraakSaH sadaa parvasu parvasu |

21b, 22, 23a. naanaa vidhaiH= numerous, sorts of; phullaiH nagaiH= with flowered, trees; lataabhiH ca upashobhitam= with climbers, also, glorified; deva R^iSi yakSa pravaraiH= by gods, sages, yaksha-s, important ones; apsarobhiH ca= by apsara-s, even; sevitam= adored; siddha caaraNa sanghaiH ca = by siddha-s, caarana, groups of, also; pra kiirNam= well, overspread; su manaH haram= truly, heart-stealing [for a look]; tam= it – to that mountain; sahasraakSaH= Thousand-eyed Indra; parvasu parvasu= on auspicious day, on auspicious day – on every auspicious day; sadaa = always – regularly; upaiti= he comes.

“Mt. Mahendra is glorified with numerous kinds of flowered trees and climbers. Important gods, sages, yaksha-s and even apsara-s will adore it, and it is overspread with the groups of siddha-s and caarana-s, and thus it will be heart-stealing for a look. And the Thousand-eyed Indra will always be visiting that Mt. Mahendra on every auspicious day. [4-41-21b, 22, 23a]

dviipaH tasya apare paare shata yojana visR^itaH || 4-41-23
agamyo maanuSaiH diiptaH tam maargadhvam sama.ntataH |

23b, 24a. tasya= its – Mt. Mahendra’s; apare paare= on the other, shore; shata yojana visR^itaH= hundred, yojana, in breadth; maanuSaiH= by humans; a + gamyaH = not, passable; diiptaH= a dazzling; dviipaH= island – is there; tam samantataH maargadhvam = that, till its fringes, you have to search.

“There is a dazzling island on the other side of the shore of Mt. Mahendra, which is breadthwise a hundred yojana-s, and which is an impassable one for humans, and you have to search that island up to its fringes. [4-41-23b, 24a]

This island on the other shore of the ocean is Ravana’s Lanka, and it is believed to be the present day Sri Lanka. That island’s association with River Taamraparni is as noted above.’

Reference and citation.


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