Mushtanda; and Bharat

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Sat Mar 18 19:30:30 UTC 2000

In a message dated 3/17/2000 8:10:17 PM Central Standard Time,
vishalagarwal at HOTMAIL.COM writes:

>  And of course, from the even older Vishnu Purana we have the following
>  verse: (quoting from memory)
>  "To the north of which lies the Himadri, and to the south of which is the
>  ocean--that landmass goes by the name Bharata, and its inhabitants 'bharati
>  yatra santatih'."

Notwithstanding whatever Vishnu Purana might say, according to Tamil
tradition, the Indian subcontinent was a geographic area much like Asia.
Tamils' emotional and national identity was based on the Tamil-speaking

V. Agarwal had earlier (7 January 2000) referred to  to maNimEkalai and
Vishnu Purana thus:
"And in contrast to some Tamil texts, one could cite texts from the Kama
Sutra to the Vishnu Purana etc. (the latter was a hallowed text in Tamil
Nadu long ago if the Manimekhalai is to be believed) to prove the unity of
India and so on."

What maNimEkalai says is this:
"kAtal koNTu kaTalvaNan2 purANam
OtinAn2 nAraNan2 kAppu en2Ru uraittan2an"  (maN. 27.98-99)

The one who studied the ancient story/text of the sea-colored one said
nArAyaNa is the one who protects.

There is no explicit reference to a specific text, Vishnu Purana. While the
Vishnu Purana stories may have been prevalent in Tamilnadu at that time, a
common Tamil national at that time would not have subscribed to the concept
of Bharata as a national identity as that will require accessing a text in
Sanskrit and then accepting its viewpoint. (Even a Vaishnavite AzvAr had used
the term tamizan2 as I had mentioned in an earlier posting.) Many Indians may
know about Jesus, but may not  accept Christianity or agree with Bible.

There are numerous references regarding the North Indian - South Indian
identity dichotomy in Tamil tradition beginning in CT texts. North Indians
are referred to by the term "vaTavar". "vaTamozi" meant Sanskrit (and
Prakrit).  North Indian Aryan kings are called "vaTa Ariya man2n2ar" in

S. Palaniappan

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