Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Origins of Indians : Version 3.2

The Phallic Worship:
In one of my previous posts, I had argued that phallic worship could have been originated from Sino-Tibetan/Austro-Asiatic people present in India's north-east and east. My argument stems from the fact that neither Dravidian tribes nor IE tribes practice phallic worship and it's observed among Sino-Tibetan people of Nepal and north-east India. Now I suppose its presence among Austro-Asiatics could be because of contact with Sino-Tibetans.

However, genetic studies hardly show the presence of Sino-Tibetan marker O3a5 among Indians.

I was trying to find the etymology of liGga (phallus). I found many of the Sino-Tibetan languages have the term for penis starting with 'li' or 'le'. I thought that is close enough if we consider the phallic worship is borrowed from Sino-Tibetans.

When I was going thro' some of the branches, 'Kiranti', covering the people of Nepal, caught my eye. I suppose Kirantis are identified with non-Vedic tribes called Kiratas. What surprised me is the branches named 'Tulung, 'Kaling' under Kiranti. Who are these people? That Tulung is close to 'Telang' and 'Tulu' Dravidian groups of South India. Kaling is close to Kalinga (Orissans) of east India.

I tried to recollect Kannada terms for penis. tuNNe, kuNNe, cummi, bulli are the ones I know of. Off these cummi, I suppose, means genital. But I guess bulli is a borrow from Telugu. As the online dictionary shows 'bulla' is observed only among Telugus. Interestingly, Tulung term for penis is 'ble'. Now, how close it is to Telang 'bulli'? We have to remember again, core Dravidian words in Telugu would always show initial 'v' sound and not 'b' sound. I have already argued that any discrepancy for this rule must be viewed from foreign origin angle.

Probably, I need to change Austro-Asiatic over lordship of Dravidian tribes with Sino-Tibetan ones.

But how did these Sino-Tibetans become so successful in spreading their phallic worship to Hinduism? Of course, success in religious sphere need not necessarily mean success in spreading their genepool. However, what was the strong feature that is responsible for this phenomenon?


Request to readers
: If you know anything about Tulung and Kaling tribes of Kirantis then please drop few words.

26 comments:

Maju said...

I read some time ago to a certain French Tantrist who thought that what you call "phallic worship" (for him as much phallic as uterine, as it is about lingam and yoni, about fertility and perpetual recreation) represented an old Neolithic theme spread through what he called "Indo-Europe" (not that of IEs but an older one with West Asia as core and connector).

He found such elements in "Old Europe" too and he believed that European menhirs were phallus as well, with Earth representing the yoni. In some cases the phallus is clearly sculpted actually (Corsica). Certainly I do see the fertility theme and assocaited "dionisiac" rituals in the old Basque religion quite clearly in any case.

Could the "phallic" theme be of Neolithic or maybe Megalithic origin?

Ravi Mundkur said...

The primitiveness of the concept do suggest that it was megalithic to Neolithic in origin.
There is one more (geographic) angle to your theory of Sino-Tibetian origin/dispersal of phallic concepts in south India. Mount Kailas has been considered traditionally as the abode of Lord Shiva ( the humanized/deified equivalent of Linga).

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Am looking for info on the Yakka tribe of the Nepali Kiratis.

Req links pointing to any genetic studies on them.

And also on the Veddahs of Srilanka.

Manjunat said...

anonymous:
I'm sorry I don't have any data at present. I'm also in fact waiting for a study on Veddas. I'm bit surprised to see they were not sampled till now.

Anonymous said...

Wud you have any info on the Badaga tribe of Nilgiris?

PS: i have requested a friend in Nepal to send me info on the Kirantis. i shd hopefully be able to provide a few lines by end of next month.

Manjunat said...

Wud you have any info on the Badaga tribe of Nilgiris?

I don't think they have ever been studied. Badaga, Kodava, Bhil, Vedda, Nihali are all there to be sampled in public funded projects. I know Kodavas have been sampled in a private project. However, their results appear to have been kept secret.

i shd hopefully be able to provide a few lines by end of next month.
Thank you very much. Looking forward to it.

Ravi Mundkur said...

A small additional link to the etymology of the word Linga:
Ing was the God of fertility in Norse mythology.
So, was it an agglutination of the words L'+ing?

Manjunat said...

I think Norse had two sets of gods. Aesir and Vanir. Aesir are the nature gods akin to Devas of Indo-Aryans. Vanir are the fertility gods. Ing, I suppose, is a Vanir. Vanirs are supposedly aborigin northern European gods and Aesir East European or Central Asian gods. Now the migrants to India were East European/Central Asian people and not the northern Europeans.

Fertility cult probably was widespread. I'm not sure whether Ing was ever depicted as a phallus. Or Ing meant penis. I am going to restrict myself to;
- phallus depiction
- penis meaning

After all, 'Sisna Deva' was not used in an exulted way in Rg Veda.

If anything, Sino-Tibetan languages have the tendency to add final velar nasal "ng" to words.

Anonymous said...

Kiranti people (as they are at present):

They are considered a bit different from other Nepalis. They are more like Chinese tribes, whom they resemble physically as well. Infact they are often mistaken for Chinese. Their common titles are Rai and Subba. There are sub-titles or sub-divisions within Rai and Subba groups forming various 'kuls'. And people of these kuls do not marry with each other.

They follow the ancestral form of worship. They do not hire hindu brahmins. They have their own priest-like people whom they call Phedengba. They bury their dead and do not cremate. They complete the ceremony for the dead on the 5th day (unlike the 13th day ceremony as observed by some Nepali hindus) and they are allowed to consume salt and oil after 3rd day. When they want to consult their ancestors, they go the Phedengba and the spirit of the ancestor comes into the Phedengba and replies to their queries. Kirantis go to hindu temples, celebrate hindu festivals, etc like others.

But they keep a seperate room near the kitchen for their worship and non-kirantis are not allowed to go near the room. They refer to their God as "atannidevata" in common parlance. They perform prayers for this spirit whom they call 'devta' commonly. In my opinion this sounded a lot like the Bhutakola puja of the Tulus.

They consume Pork (unlike most nepali hindus who do not consume Pork). If a guy elopes with a girl (called choridanda), the girl's family demand a full Pig in return for taking away their daughter. Sometimes they stretch their luck and ask for rice and other provisions from the boy's family as well.

Their weddings are similar to hindu ones. They wear a mala of small green beads as a mangalsutra. No dowry is given. In arranged weddings, boy brings baarat, goes around the street (similar to janavasam), ladies remove drishti, then groom is invited inside girl's house. Homam is done, sindoor is put. This is officiated by either a brahmin priest or by the phedengba. My friend is trying to find out if this form of wedding is a recent development.

Their language is different and not understood by other Nepalis.

Please do let me know if there is anything specific you wud like me to find out about the Kiranti tribes.

Anonymous said...

forgot to add: Tulung is a group within Rai. People within the same kul or grouping do not marry with each other.

Manjunat said...

Thanks a lot! Since you are in touch with your Nepalese friend I hope to find out more :-).

- How closely related are Newah people (Newari...supposed to be derogatory)to Kirantis? It appears their languages belong to Mahakiranti branch of Tibeto-Burman language. According to population genetics their(Newah) paternal ancestry has a big Indian input (which probably is reflected their more Hinduised way of life) but their mtDNA lineage is strongly East Asian.

- What is the meaning of 'Rai'? How is it pronounced? I mean with long-a ..raayi or with 'ai'.

- Newah people have an organization system called 'Guthi'. Is it possible to get the meaning or etymology of that word? And also more about Guthi system...whether that is observed among Kirantis too. Among Tuluva-s, a landowning caste called Bunts had this land/ancestral house centred system called 'Guttu'. I am not clear about the etymology of the word in Dravidian languages. The closest meaning I can think of is Kannada word 'guttige' meaning contract. Maybe land contract here. However, I am not sure whether it's a Dravidian word or not.

Anonymous said...

Sorry 4 the late reply. I have asked for wedding cassettes of typical Kiranti and other Nepali weddings. Will be loading them as well as info dug out on them so far on a page. Will pass on the link to you.

a) Newari are different from Kirantis (diff groupings altogether). Newari are mostly hindu Nepali. Interesting that Newah-Y shows Indian input and women are more east-asian - the men do look more indian while women look more chinese, according to my friend.

b) Rai is pronounced exactly as in Aishwarya Rai.

c) Will find out more abt Guthi and let you know.

Manjunat said...

the men do look more indian while women look more chinese, according to my friend.

That's an interesting observation :-) though I suppose it doesn't have anything to do with Y-chromosomes and mtDNA lineages.

b) Rai is pronounced exactly as in Aishwarya Rai.

Thanks for that. I think common etymology of Rai of Bunts is it is derived from 'Raja' or 'Raya'. So I would like to know what Rai means in Kiranti languages.

Thanks again for your help. Looking forward for your link to those videos.

MaGuRaLiTa said...

Here's about Kirant >> Kirat and Shaivism


http://rootsofshaivism-kiratas.blogspot.com/

MaGuRaLiTa said...

Here's the appearance of KIRATAS>>KIRANTIS

"They are considered a bit different from other Nepalis. They are more like Chinese tribes, whom they resemble physically as well. In fact they are often mistaken for Chinese."

This video shows Kirantis celebrating one of their festival called Sakela/Sakewa this year in UK. Kirantis joined the fame British Army in the Gurkha Regiment and so many Kirantis are living in UK.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7BP2yoZQNU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liKFXqoHXo8&NR=1

Just copy/cut and paste the link at the browser.

From the video, the appearance of Kirantis are all answered.

MaGuRaLiTa said...

For your confusion on "What surprised me is the branches named 'Tulung, 'Kaling' under Kiranti. Who are these people? That Tulung is close to 'Telang' and 'Tulu' Dravidian groups of South India. Kaling is close to Kalinga (Orissans) of east India."

Here's a short excerpt from the The History of the Kirat People, "The Kirat Vansavali mentions that after twelve generations, one branch of Kirat people migrated from the Indo-Gangetic plains to the Himalayan region and the other branch to Lanka or Ceylon to the south. It is for this reason that some scholars admire to find one of the aboriginal tribes of Ceylon with the name of, “Yakho” similar to the Yakkha-tribe of Eastern Kirat people of Nepal." ~Prachin Bharat ka Rajnitic aur Sanskritik Itihas by Rati Bhanu Singh Nahar, page 231 (The History of the Kirat People, 2003)

Hope this helps you.

MaGuRaLiTa said...

This is regarding the first question "In one of my previous posts, I had argued that phallic worship could have been originated from Sino-Tibetan/Austro-Asiatic people present in India's north-east and east. My argument stems from the fact that neither Dravidian tribes nor IE tribes practice phallic worship and it's observed among Sino-Tibetan people of Nepal and north-east India. Now I suppose its presence among Austro-Asiatics could be because of contact with Sino-Tibetans."


This video shows some aspect of Kirati religion today.
This video shows the Kirat Temple. Look closely and you find three stones in a phallus shape The three stones are the main deities of the Kirat.
Hence interestingly one need to ponder, Did Kirat really started the Shaivism religion and the cult and trantics associated with Shaivism because scholars have now seen the link that worshiping of stones and nature originated from Kirats and not Vedic Aryan.
Hinduism in the first place has no single founder.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zad3XncfGhY

This video shows form of cult and trantics which is the aspects of Kirati religion.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFxWZYiMlyU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBqqH-3HizY

The last video answers the following question.
"But they keep a seperate room near the kitchen for their worship and non-kirantis are not allowed to go near the room."

This video shows the kirati chula puja. chula means stove or cooking area in the kitchen. puja means worship
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PXfadTav-4

MaGuRaLiTa said...

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Am looking for info on the Yakka tribe of the Nepali Kiratis.

Req links pointing to any genetic studies on them.

And also on the Veddahs of Srilanka.


To Anonymous:

Here's a short excerpt from the The History of the Kirat People, "The Kirat Vansavali mentions that after twelve generations, one branch of Kirat people migrated from the Indo-Gangetic plains to the Himalayan region and the other branch to Lanka or Ceylon to the south. It is for this reason that some scholars admire to find one of the aboriginal tribes of Ceylon with the name of, “Yakho” similar to the Yakkha-tribe of Eastern Kirat people of Nepal." ~Prachin Bharat ka Rajnitic aur Sanskritik Itihas by Rati Bhanu Singh Nahar, page 231 (The History of the Kirat People, 2003)

"Regarding Yakshas or Yakkhas, Jack Finegan of Princeton University mentions in his book of the Archeology of World Religion that the Archaeological Museum of Mathura has a statue of Yaksha or Yakka. It is said that it is the oldest known Indian stone sculpture and is eight feet, eight inches high. The Sanskrit word, “Yaksha” or, “Yakkha” was perhaps originally a non-Aryan or at any rate a popular designation signifying practically the same as the Aryan Deva." ~(The History of the Kirat People, 2003)


It is interesting to note that Yakkha( Yaksha) beside finding reference in ancient Vedic literature, has been mentioned in other religious doctrines as well.

The indigenous Yakkha belongs to Kirat family. It is claimed that the ethnology "Yakkha" as per the conqueror Aryan's Sanskrit grammar had been spelled in the Aryan-Hindu mythologies as "Yaksa-sh" (like Bhisu-shu for an ascetic "Bhikchu" of the Buddhist holy scripts). Although the legendary Yaksa-sh, by the corrupt name of Yakkha and Kirats are being hailed in the Hindu holy scripts Vedas and the ancient Sanskrit literature, the Yakkha is eternally firm with its own clanonym, "The Yakkha".
Yaksha (Sanskrit यक्ष, yaksa , yakkha in Pali ) is the name of a broad class of nature-spirits, usually benevolent, who are caretakers of the natural treasures hidden in the earth and tree roots. They appear in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist mythology. The feminine form of the word is yaksī or yaksini (Pali: yakkhi or yakkhini).

source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakkha

Yakshas in Mahabharata:
The banks of river Narmada is described as the birth place of yaksha king Kubera (Vaisravana), where his father Visravas, who was a sage, lived. It is also a territory of Gandharvas. (Mahabharata: 3,89). Gokarna, Karnataka is also mentioned as a place of yakshas and pisachas, and kinnaras and the great nagas, and siddhas and charanas and gandharvas. (3,85)

Yaksas in Buddhism:
In Buddhist countries yaksas are known under the following names: Chinese "ye cha", Japanese: "Yasha", Burmese: "ba-lu", Tibetan:"gnod sbyin". In Buddhist mythology, the yaksas are the attendants of Vaisravana, the Guardian of the Northern Quarter, a beneficent god who protects the righteous.

Yaksha and Yakshini in Jainism:
Jains mainly worship idols of Jinas, Arihants, Tirthankars, who have conquered the inner passions and attained God-consciousness status. Some section of jains believe that Yaksha and Yakshini look
after the well beings of Thirthankarars. Usually, they are found in pair around the idols of Jinas as male (yaksha) and female (yakshini) guardian deities. Yaksha is generally on the right hand side of the Jina idol and Yakshini on the left hand side. In earlier periods, they were regarded mainly as devotees of Jina, and have supernatural powers.

MaGuRaLiTa said...

The term "Dewan" is not a clan name of a Yakkha-Kirat. Dewan was a title given by the King
Prithvi Narayan Shah to Yakkha village chiefs after the defeat and annexation of three Kirat Kingdoms, east of Kathmandu to form a present day Nepal in 1769 AD.
In the same way, the term "Subba" is not a clan name of a
Limbu-Kirat. Subba is a title given by the Shah Kings to Limbu village chiefs.

Sunuwar-Kirat was granted the title of "Mukhiya" by the Shah King.

For the Rai who formerly used to be call Khambus-Kirat, it is still not sure whether the Shah King gave the new title.
Rai is a term "King" and Khambus were Kings of many small principalities of three Kirat Kingdom before the founding of modern Nepal by King Prithvi Narayan Shah.

Anyway coming back to Kirat,
When Aryans first saw the kirat-ashur people in India, they found them as enlightened like themselves and called them Devas or gods or civilized people. In the region of veda, it is mentioned that the deities in the main is conceived as humans. The names for gods appear in Sanskrit as Deva, meaning enlightened one. Another designation used for deity in Rig veda is Ashur or Assura. But in Yajur veda, Athar veda and subsequent Vedic literature, the Ashur-kirat people fought against the Aryans and therefore, they were thought as evils. They classified them as vratya – kshatriyas.

In the Mahabharta epic, the Yakkha who were who were bravely fighting against the Indo-Aryan invasion, for the protection of their lands and self existence were label as "Rakshyasha"(demon). It is claimed that the ethnonym "Yakkha" as per the conqueror Aryan's Sanskrit grammar had been spelled in the Aryan-Hindu mythologies as "Yaksa-sh" >> "Yasha"
The Yakkha(Yasha) who were protecting(Rakshya) of their land were label Rakshya + Yasha = "Rakshyasha" is given from excerpt of Mahabharata section 3:152.
The territory of Yakshas(Yakkha) is mentioned as the region surrounding the Kailasa mountains and Manasa lake (Tibet) in the Himalayas.
In Section 3:152 describes Pandava Bhima's expedition to this territory:-
"Bhima saw in the vicinity of the Kailasa cliff, that beautiful lotus lake surrounded by lovely woods,
and guarded by the Rakshasas." referring to the Yakkha, Kiratas.

Hence Yakkha has been guarding Nepal sovereignty since the early time. Now all of us are needed again to Rakshya our Bumi against the real Rakshyash who have entered our southern border.

source:
History of the Kirat People, 2003

http://wapedia.mobi/en/Boyar_%28caste%29

Manjunat said...

Thank you very much for your inputs. It appears phallus worship was observed in Tibet too. And there are suggestions that it originated in Sino-Tibetan matrilineal tribes of China.

From your comment it appears Rai can be a recent title among Kirantis. I wonder how old is that title among Tuluvas.

Linguistically, Kirantis are closely related to Newahs. I believe there could be shared cultural motifs.

MaGuRaLiTa said...

The Vedas, Ramayana and Mahabharata viewed Kiratas as fearful and terrible highlanders. The Ramayana describes: "The Kiratas with their hair down up in knots, shining like gold and pleasant to look upon, bold enough to move under water, terrible, veritable tiger-men, so are they famed" ~ (Eastern Himalayan Culture, Ecology and People)

Google "Vedic Aryan entry into Nepal" by Shiva Raj Shrestha "Malla" It gives some insight about war between Kiratas and the vedic Aryans in the early period.

Here's the excerpt from "Vedic Aryan entry into Nepal".
"The "Kiratas" of Western Himalayas had hundreds of fortresses and had to fight with the Vedic Aryans. The famous war between Kirati Emperor Sambara and King Divo-dasa is described even in the Rig-Veda. After the defeat of Kiratas, the Nishadhas were the main enemies of the Aryans. Aryans must have realized this and by accepting Kiratas Supreme God Lord Shiva as their own, developed friendly ties with the Kiratas." ~The Vedic-Aryan Entry Into Contemporary Nepal
[A Pre-Historical Analysis Based on the Study Of Puranas] by Shiva Raj Shrestha

For full articles,
link: //himalaya.socanth.cam.ac.uk/collections/journals/ancientnepal/pdf/ancient_nepal_147_01.pdf.

or

http://www.nepalnews.com.np/contents/englishdaily/ktmpost/2000/dec/dec03/editorial.htm
July 16, 2009 2:25 PM

MaGuRaLiTa said...

Still today Kirat people in Nepal follow their own traditions and culture. While many Nepalese became Hindus, Kiratas had their own religion called "Mundhum" based on nature, ancestors worship and also shamanistic.
Kirat people do not cremate the dead but bury and pork and alcohol are central parts to Kirati culture unlike Hindus.
For more, watch "Sakela~the greatest festival of kirat people"
This festival was only officially recognized in 2001. Before it was banned.

and

"Connexion of Mongolia-Kirat:Revealing the Mystery of Origin of Phallus Stone"

Both videos are in the youtube.
You can inquire more about this by commenting in the video cause Kirat people are only coming into the limelight after being hidden in the shadow of the Hindus(vedic aryan) government in Nepal.

Manjunat said...

Thank you very much for those videos. It appears few anthropologists have already claimed that phallic worship was adopted by Austro-Asiatics and Indo-Aryans from Tibeto-Mongolian people. It certainly makes sense considering neither Dravidian nor IE tribes in India worship phallus and it's mostly mainstream pheonmenon. Well, the question is how it spread without the much spread of genes. That means there was an elite class of Tibeto-Mongolians who patronized Brahmins in East of India (Kashmir to UP region). And Brahmins in turn spread their culture in India. This is not surprising considering Brahmins also promoted initially nature gods (PIE), goddess worship and even Shamanic worship too according to the patronization they received.

Well there is some generalization in your comment. Many castes or so-called Hindus are also generally Shamanic and many in South India bury their dead (In Karnataka, Shaivas follow that tradition).

Though I must admit I'm bit apprehensive of people who have already established themselves in the society trying to establish their identity. It would be nice if people only concentrate on neutral study of their identity. I do not approve revival of identity based on irrational spiritualism or supernaturalism. The limitation of these traditions probably rendered the loss or marginalization of that identity in the first place.

The present strength of the marginalized people is probably the result of secular and identity neutral education.

Anonymous said...

Well, let me clear first of all about Kirat RAI tribe of Nepal.

This is a composite name of the different tribes among one (such as – Kulung, Chamling, Bantawa, Khaling, Thulung, Sampang, Lohorung, Yamphe, etc). The word RAI if identified was designated to the king of these particular tribes and the meaning is itself King or the Headman. Each of different tribe has different sub-tribes and even these sub tribes contain sub-sub tribes. For instance, Kulung Rai is one of them an under Kulung Rai one can find various sub tribes (such as- Barshing, Gankhung, Hongelung, Honiti, Namlung, Mantherbung, Morokhung, Ngopochong, Pidisai, Pilmong, Rinhong, Tomochang, Wadiring, Walakham, Yaisa, etc.) and even in that sub tribes it has sub-sub tribes (such as-Morokhung content Bachchogong, Chhatingkhogong and Gottigong ). The people of this Kulung Rai tribe perform marriage among them, as they have their own different tribes. Likewise, in other Kirat RAI’s do have so. One more interesting fact about them is every RAI have their own languages and dialects.

But, overall their faith and customs – religion is same. Regarding the Phallic Worship of course, one can find trace in the customs and religion of Kiratis. Every people of this tribe established three stone Chula in their main kitchen room. They established each one in the name, respect, peace and flourishing of their generation, earning blessing and prosperity from the ancestors of maternal clan called Makholung (“amma ko nam ma” – in the name of mother), paternal clan Pakolung (“bao ko nam ma”- in the name of father) and kinfolk’s clan Samelung (“anya natedar ko nam ma” – in the name of relatives). So, instead of manmade idols these people worship naturally occurring stones. They believe in holy and evil spirits as do all the religions do.

As per general views of many of the historians and scholars, they found one of the principal deities of Hindus Lord Shiva was consider as the Kirat King during the time of Mahabharata. If we focus little the appearance, surround and location of this Hindu God than it was in the Himalaya and known by the protector of Ashurs. So, in those times one must not surprise that his original followers were the ancestor of Kiratis itself. I’m pretty sure, that the actual lord Shiva was completely differing from the lord as generally Hindu people worship today. Even some Kirat people believe that Paruhang is himself Shiva. But, here one must not misunderstand the fact that the societies of south-east Asia is the amalgamation of various communities and their faith and believes. The same people celebrate and perform worship to the Buddhist holy ceremony like Buddha Purnima, Diwali and Durga Puja of Hindus and Udhawli and Ubhawli of Kirats. Both in Hindus and Buddhism one can find animist too.

Regarding the dispersal of Kirat people, if they migrated from Mesopotamia or the Assyrian country or such as, a big horde of people from the lower Euphrates of the Mediterranean region described as Mongolian or Summerian of the Cheldean than its’ quite possible to reach and settle as per their own convenient throughout the sub continent. Therefore, it is really a great pleasuring topic for the new researchers like we people. There are many more information’s yet to be discovered about this tribe.

Anonymous said...

The Above Clearification is based on my knowledge regarding my own tribe.Really, there are many more information’s yet to be discovered about this tribe.
For any assistant please contact hellodestiny_rai@yahoo.com
Thanks,
Khajen

manju said...

Khajen:
Thank you very much for those inputs. I'm rather intrigued by the three clan system. Do you have any information on how these three clans come into picture when it comes to marriage and religious ceremonies?