Native Dravidian religion

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Native Dravidian religion, or Dravidian religion, refers to a broad range of deities and belief systems found in South India. They differ from Hinduism in that they were either historically or are at present non-Agamic (which is not being granted the sanction of the Vedas). Scholars like Arumuka Navalar worked to subsume native deities in the Vedic pantheon. The Dravidian worship of village deities is recognised as a survival of the pre-Brahmanic Dravidian religion.[1]

Classification[edit]

Scholars do not share an uniform consensus on the Dravidian religion. Some scholars believed that the native Dravidian religion was a belief system unique to the indigenous Dravidian peoples. Dr. Pope believed that in the pre-historic period the native Dravidian religion was a precursor to Saivism.[2] John B. Magee was of the view that native Dravidian religion prior to 1500 BC was unclear.[3] Other scholars define it as a non-Vedic, indigenous part of Hinduism. Henry O. Thompson's definition of Hinduism included native Dravidian religion as one of his "panorama of tribal relgions" that formed it.[4] Some scholars even claim that the Dravidian religion influenced Hinduism more than its Aryan counterpart,[5][6] whereas others equate Hinduism with Brahmanism and dismiss it as completely alien to the Dravidian religion.[7] The widespread worship of certain ""village deities" in Tamil Nadu" and in Sri Lanka may be argued to reflect a survival of the pre-Brahmanic religious tradition.[8]

Practice[edit]

Other forms of folk religion may be adduced, such as worship of anthills, snakes and other forms of guardian deities and heroes are still worshiped in the Konkan coast, Maharashtra proper and a few other parts of India.

Pope[who?] believed that in the pre-historic period the native Dravidian religion was a precursor to Saivism.[9] Henry O. Thompson's definition of Hinduism included native Dravidian religion as one of his "panorama of tribal religions" that formed it.[10] Some scholars propose that,Dravidian religion influenced the formation of modern Hinduism more than its Aryan (Vedic) counterpart,[11][12] whereas others equate Hinduism with Brahmanism and dismiss it as completely alien to the Dravidian religion.[13]

Worship[edit]

The village deities traditionally are served by female priestesses.[14][15][16] Puja is thought to have originated from an early Dravidian practice.[17][18] Temple worship, which was not an essential part of the Vedic religion, was a necessary part of Dravidian worship.[19]

The layout of villages can be assumed to be standard across most villages. An Amman (mother goddess) is at the centre of the villages while a male guardian deity (Tamilகாவல் கடவுள், kāval kaṭavuḷ ?) has a shrine at the village borders. Nowadays, Amman can be either worshipped alone or as a part of the Vedic pantheon.[20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Modern review: Volume 28; Volume 28. Prabasi Press Private, Ltd. 1920. 
  2. ^ Iyengar, T. R. Sesha (1982). Dravidian India. Asian Educational Services. 
  3. ^ Magee, John Benjamin (1967). Religion and modern man: a study of the religious meaning of being human. Harper & Row. 
  4. ^ Thompson, Henry O. (1988). World religions in war and peace. McFarland. 
  5. ^ Khan, Abdul Jamil (2006). Urdu/Hindi: an artificial divide : African heritage, Mesopotamian roots, Indian culture & British colonialism. Algora Publishing. 
  6. ^ Eliot, Charles (2007). Hinduism and Buddhism, Vol I. (of 3). Echo Library. p. 12. 
  7. ^ Caldwell, Robert (1856). A comparative grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian family of languages. Harrison. p. 519. 
  8. ^ The Modern review: Volume 28; Volume 28. Prabasi Press Private, Ltd. 1920. 
  9. ^ Iyengar, T. R. Sesha (1982). Dravidian India. Asian Educational Services. 
  10. ^ Thompson, Henry O. (1988). World religions in war and peace. McFarland. 
  11. ^ Khan, Abdul Jamil (2006). Urdu/Hindi: an artificial divide : African heritage, Mesopotamian roots, Indian culture & British colonialism. Algora Publishing. 
  12. ^ Eliot, Charles (2007). Hinduism and Buddhism, Vol I. (of 3). Echo Library. p. 12. 
  13. ^ Caldwell, Robert (1856). A comparative grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian family of languages. Harrison. p. 519. 
  14. ^ Nāṇāvaṭī, Rājendra I. (1982). Secondary tales of the two great epics. L.D. Institute of Indology. p. 157. 
  15. ^ Dravidian kingdoms and list of Pandiyan coins. Asian Educational Services. 1911. p. 69. 
  16. ^ Roy (Rai Bahadur), Sarat Chandra. Caste, race and religion in India. Man in India Office. 
  17. ^ Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, Volume 65. Indian History Congress. 2006. 
  18. ^ Lidova, Natalia (1994). Drama and ritual of early Hinduism. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.,. 
  19. ^ Chande, M.B. (2000). Indian Philosophy in Modern Times. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. 
  20. ^ Hastings, James (2003). Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Part 14. Kessinger Publishing.