I am intrigued about the date of Nalayira Divya Prabhndham,the 4000 poems on Lord Vishnu,composed by Vaishnava Saints,called Alwars,Azhwars.
The collection is sacred to Vaishnava Sampradaya, especially for Thenkalai Iyengars.
The other sect in South India,Vadakalai,means from the northern part of Tamil Nadu,gives predominance to the Vedas.
It is said that Vishnu follows Tamil and Vedas follow Him,to convey that Tamil Nalayira Divya Prabhandham is recited before the Vishnu idol in procession,while Vedas come behind Him .
As Tamil and Sanskrit seem to be inseparable, contrary to misinformation by secularists and self styled rationalists,it is difficult to say which language follows the other.
In my view ,this effort is meaningless.
It is not necessary that antiquity alone is of importance.
One curious point I have noticed about Bhakti literature in Tamil is that we seem to be accepting the dated assigned to them, mostly by westerners,that is between Sixth century to Fourteenth century AD.
The evidence does not seem to be strong enough.
One type of evidence is exploring the period of Tamil kings and correlate this with these texts.
Problem is dates assigned to Tamil Kings seem to be arbitrary and,in my opinion,do not have strong evidence to support the dates assigned to them.
So dates of Bhakti literature is questionable.
I have ,with evidence,that Tamil kings took part in Mahabharata war.
Krishna had his daughter Married to a Pandya Prince and Krishna Married a Pandya princess.
Madurai Meenakshi’s father, Makaratdwaja Pandya,also called Saranga,took part in Mahabharata war.
And Chera king Udhiyan Cheralaathan provided food for both Pandava and Kaurava Armies in the Mahabharata war.
Mahabharata can be dated to 3100 BC.
I have more articles on these lines while discussing about Lemuria continent,which is dated around 230 Million Years.
This is based on literary and geological evidence, including tectonics shift, the date of Poompuhar, excavated, which is about 12000 years ago.
In comparison to Puranic timeline,Himalayas is only between 40 and 70 lakh years old.
Puranas,Vedas predate Himalayas.
When Lemuria and Mu civilisations were in place in South,fire worshipping Sanatana Dharma was in place north of Vindhya Mountains.
So Tamil and Sanskrit were in practice along with Prakrit during those ancient times.
Now let us see the references to Tamil and Southern region in the Puranas.
Bhagavatha refers to the first Man,Vaivaswatha Manu as a Dravida.
I have written on this and Manu meditated near Madagascar.
One should remember that the landmass during the ancient times was different from what we see today.
Kindly read my articles on Rodinae, Pangaea,Sundaland, Atlantis.
There is another Puranic reference which states that Saini from the South will emerge and sing in praise of Vishnu.
Especially in some parts of the Drāviḍa [southern] regions of the country through which the Tāmrabarani, Kritamālā, Payasvinī, the very holy Kāverī and the great west-flowing Mahānadī (Periyār) have their course, devotees of the Lord will specially abound.
O King! Those who drink the waters of these rivers will become purified in mind and will generally develop devotion to Vāsudeva, the worshipful Lord.” (Bhāgavata Purāṇam, Sk XI-5- 39-40).’
Now to the Alwars.
ThreeAlwars,Poigaiyaazhwar,Bhuthatthaazhvar and Peyazhvar, called Mudhal Azhwars,First Azhwars among the twelve Azhvars dates, I am researching and am sharing .
Many modern academics place the Alvars date between 5th century to 10th century CE, however traditionally the Alvars are considered to have lived between 4200 BCE – 2700 BCE. Orthodoxy posits the number of alvars as ten, though there are other references that include Andal and Madhurakavi Alvar, making the number twelve. Andal is the only female saint-poet in the 12 Alvars. Together with the contemporary sixty three Shaiva Nayanars, they are among the most important saints from Tamil Nadu..
According to traditional account, the first three azhwars belong to Dwapara Yuga(before 4200 BC). As per Hindu legend, Poigai was found in a small pond near the Yadhotakaari temple at Tiruvekkaa. In Tamil, small pond is called poigai, and since he was found in a pond, he got the name Poigai.
According to guru paramparas, the first four AzhwArs namely Poigai AzhwAr, BhUtatthAzhwAr, PEyAzhwAr and Thirumazhisai AzhwAr were born at the end of Dwapara yuga, which corresponds to 4200 BCE. Madhurakavi also is belived to be born in Dwapara yuga corresponding to 3200 BCE. NammAzhwAr, KulasekarAzhwAr, PeriyAzhwAr and ANdAL were born during the first century of Kaliyuga which approximates to 3103 BCE to 3003 BCE. The remaining three AzhwArs ThoNdaradippodi AzhwAr, ThiruppAN AzhwAr and Thirumangai AzhwAr took birth in the years of 298, 343 and 399 respectively in the Kaliyuga which corresponds to 2803, 2758 and 2702 BCE. (From A Govindacharya, the Holy lives of Alwars).'
So the date of Poigai Azhwar is around 4200 BC,around six thousand years ago.
To those who dismiss this as a legend,
1. Dates assigned to Azhwars is based mainly on western sources,who dismiss traditional sources as myths,with no proof.
2. Azhwars’s dates are also based on Tamil kings’ List.
3. Tamil Kings’s List is mainly based on Temple Epigraphy and Tamil literature.
It is a fad to dismiss Epigraphy as nonsense if it gives you a date before BC and Tamil literary evidence as wild imagination despite the fact that Poompuhar,Tamil Nadu finds dating back to 12 000 years ago confirms Tsunami mentioned in it, Million year site near Chennai,Tamil Nadu.
And there is a catch in depending only on Epigraphy.
Tamil temple Epigraphy ,in general,mentions,among other things,mention ,as dateline, Indian era,Kali,Vikram or Saka,Varsha,year,Shana, movement of the Sun,season,Paksha and Thithi,Nakshatra and date.
In most cases, the Era is missing.
If era is missing, it is not possible to fix the year because unlike western calendar, Indian calendar is cyclic,that is years do not progress from 1,2,3….. But as a cycle,that is the sixty years of one cycle starting from Pranava ends, it again starts at Pranava.
To illustrate, if we count years as total ten, as 1,2,3..10,the number next is not 11, but One,1!
So in cases where the Indian Era is not mentioned ,the dates arrived based on Epigraphy alone is not correct.
As celestial phenomena recurr at periodic intervals,it is not possible to link one Thithi with one date.
Where Kaliyuga is mentioned as dateline in Epigraphy,then 3102 BC is to be taken as the base year for Kali year 1.
But it does not seem to have been done.
I have discussed this with the Head of Indology, South Asian Study, Government of Pondicherry and he is checking on these dates.
So, based on available Indian texts, literary , Cultural evidence,and the date of the temples about which the Wayward had sung,the date of Poigai Azhwar may be placed around 4200 BC.
It may be noted that one can not assign a specific date for a collection of Poems when these poems were sung at different point of times and were not written.
Poigai Azhwar is around 4200 BC,while Andal is dated around 3000 BC.
Hence Naalayiram can not be dated around only at 3000 BC or at only 4200 BC as there have been ten azhwars in between Poigai Azhwar and Azhwar and Andalusia.
The date of Naalayira Dhivya Prabhandham is between 4200 And 3000 BC.