Deluge of Atlantis

Deluge of Atlantis
Deluge of Atlantis

Monday, November 11, 2013

Guest Blogger Jayasree: Similarity in the death of Tutankhame​n and Manu Neeti Cholan’s son

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Similarity in the death of Tutankhame​n and Manu Neeti Cholan’s son

The cause of death of Tutankhamun, the famous Pharaoh of Egypt’s 18th dynasty has now been ascertained through forensic science. Researchers of Cranfield Forensic Institute have said that the injuries in the body of the 19 year old Pharaoh match with a computer simulation of a chariot hitting him when he was on his knees. As a result, his left side ribs and pelvis were shattered and his heart was crushed. Tutankhamun was the only Pharaoh whose body is found without heart. This shows that during mummification, restoration of his heart could not be done as it was shattered beyond repair.

Reading this news in Archaeology news network, I was reminded of the death of the young Cholan prince by the order of his father to have a chariot run over him. The reason for this tragic end was that the prince had accidentally run his chariot over a calf. In order to give justice to the mother cow and to punish his son, the Cholan king ran a chariot over his son. There is record of this incident in many olden Tamil texts but no record of the name of this Cholan king or his son or the time period when this happened. But by what he did, the Cholan king earned a name “Manu neeti chOlan”. Manu neeti ascribes maximum punishment to higher varnas for an offense. A king or a prince ought not to have harmed any life but only protected every life under their regime.  By having killed a young calf, the prince had to pay by his life. The King who handed out this punishment, stood up to the rule of Manu and hence acquired the title as Manu Neeti Chola.


Recently an inscription found out in Thiruvarur temple, Tanjore confirmed the historicity of this incident and even gave out the name of the Cholan prince as one “Priya Vruddhan” (பிரியவிருத்தன்)


This incident carved in stone is seen in Thiruvarur temple and is supposed to have been installed by king Vikrama Chola of the 12th century CE. (Read the report in Tamil here)

The stone sculpture of the chariot hitting the prince in Thiruvarur temple


The inscription gives the narration of the incident in the course of tracing the lineage of one Chandra sekara Adhi Vidangan to whom a grant was made by Vikrama Chola. Chandrasekara’s forefather was Ubhaya kulamalan who was the minister in the court of Manu Neeti Chola. The inscription further says that this minister was asked to punish the prince by running the chariot over him. But unable to carry out this order of the king, the minister killed himself with his sword. It was then the king himself ran the chariot over his son. The period of this incident is not known, but this incident is immortalised in post Sangam texts like Pazhamozi nanuru and Silappadhikaram. This episode is folklore in the Tamil society.


Of the 3 dynasties of Tamil lands (Chera, Chola and Pandya), only Cholans had earned the name as Manu neeti cholans. The Thiruvalangadu copper plate inscriptions trace their genealogy to Manu. Until Mandhata, the Cholans shared the same lineage with Rama as told in Valmiki Ramayana. After Mandhata, Muchukuntha’s name comes and new names appear until Sibi. Cholans drew their title as Chembian from Sibi.  Down the line after Sibi, Cholavarman came  to Pumpukar and founded the Chola dynasty.
Thus we find a connection to Manu’s lineage for the Cholans. Another Cholan king to have got this title existed at the time river Kavery was brought for the first time from the Kodagu hills in the Western ghats. He killed his 2 sons for having misbehaved with women. His period far outdates known periods of recorded history.  A study of the Kavery basin would reveal the time period when it started flowing and would help us to date the period of this king. After that, recently, say about a 1000 years ago, it was KulOtthunga Cholan –I who called himself as one who stood by Manu neeti. This is written in his inscriptions found in a temple at Tanjore.
Coming to Tutankhamun, it is surprising why he must find such an end in the wheels of a chariot. The nature of injuries shows that he was in a kneeling down position.

#  Why should a Pharaoh get hit by a chariot first of all?

#  Why should he be in a kneel-down position in the route where a chariot was coming?

This looks odd and impossible given his stature as a Pharaoh. The Cholan incident makes me think whether Tutankhamun’s end was an intended one – he being made to kneel down and a chariot being made to hit him. If so, why did he get such an end? It also makes me wonder whether a system of punishment of the kind of Manu existed in Egypt at that time.

With these questions in the backdrop, if we look at the period of Tutankhamun, we get some surprising similarities with Vedic practices. It seems the 18th dynasty of Tutankhamun somehow got introduced to the ideas of the Vedic or even Cholan society and followed them.
The 18th dynasty starting from approximately 1500 BC to 1300 BC coincides with the period of growth of civilisation at Tiryns (Tirayans).  This period saw the peak of Egyptian civilisation, prosperity and power. Many commercial expeditions were undertaken during this period, making it possible for them to have come into contact with faraway lands on other parts of the globe. India was not far off from Egyptian empire of that time. The marine capabilities of this period made it possible for them to have travelled through Red sea and reach India from the Arabian Sea.
Closer home, Tiryns and Mycenaean were brimming with glory during the same time. In my upcoming article, I will be explaining this side of the story of Tiryns.  But the fact of the matter is that the Egyptian kings and Mycenaeans of the same period did not seem to have had any rivalry. This is surprising unless they enjoyed some common thread between them to keep up the goodwill. The common thread is that they both acquired the legacy of Vedic culture.
It was during the reign of this 18th dynasty, a major and conscious change in the religious belief was made. It has been acknowledged by historians that contacts with other nations brought new ideas to the kingdom during this period. An important change witnessed in this period was that the king came to be called as Pharaoh, which was originally a compound word of  ‘pr-aa’. This sounds similar to “Para” of Vedic thought which signifies the Ultimate God, the one who is omni-present. The Pharaoh was also considered as God.
This title was for the first time used to address, Tutankhamun’s father, Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten). (Amenhotep sounds like Amara Devan / Amardev). He was instrumental in introducing a new cult of Sun worship which they called as Aten, with the result that the king himself came to be called as Akhenaten. It is also spelt as Echnaton which sounds similar or Eka Nathan. Sun as the one and only luminous body being responsible for life of / on earth, it is suitable to call it as Eka Nathan.
The name Aten refers to the disk of sun which is similar in sound to a Tamil word Athan. (ஆதன்) This is Sangam age word commonly found in names of poets and kings (Vaazhi Athan, Athan azhisi, Athanungan, Paali Athan) and places (Adhanur- vaishnavite Divya Desam). Athan in Tamil means blind person. Why should people have a name as Athan if it means blind? The probable reason is derived from Bhaga, one of the 12 Adityas. There is a Puranic lore that says that in his fury to destroy Daksha-yaaga, Shiva ordained Veerabhadra to attack the Adityas. Three of the Adityas, namely Aryama, Pusha and Bhaga were attacked by Veerabhadra. Of them Bhaga lost his sight in the attack. (1)
This idea that Bhaga is blind has found resonance in the Sangam age poem of Kaliththogai (25) (2) where the blind king Dhritharashtra is compared with Bhaga. In reality Bhaga is the name given to the sun when in a year, the sun scorches the earthlings without any discrimination. It is as though Bhaga is blind and therefore fails to discriminate good from bad and sheds heat on everyone alike. Such a person is Athan, the blind one. Since the reference is to Sun, people of Sangam age had taken up this name for themselves. In Tamil there is another similar word for Sun, as Athavan (ஆதவன்). It is possible that this name got shortened to Athan.
The adoption of the name Athan by the Egyptian Pharaoh and its identification with Sun as the sole God, makes me wonder whether the Egyptian king got this idea and indoctrination from Pumpukar, the sea shore capital of Cholans of that time or the western coast of Tamil lands where Cheran names such as Vaazhi Athan were in common use. The seafaring people would have become the carriers of these ideas from Tamil lands to Egypt.
The striking similarity with Sun of Vedic lore is that the Aten of Egypt, rode on his chariot! This is found mentioned in the city of Akhetaten which is popularly known as Amarna. This city was founded by Tutankhamun’s father, Akhenaten in his bid to popularise the new faith Aten, that he had introduced. The description written in the burial site in this city states that the Pharaoh Akhenaten mounted on a chariot like his God Aten, the Sun who drove across the sky.
His Majesty mounted a great chariot of electrum, like the Aten when He rises on the horizon and fills the land with His love, and took a goodly road to Akhetaten, the place of origin, which [the Aten] had created for Himself that he might be happy therein.” ( )
A similar reference to Sun travelling in a chariot in the sky is found in Amarna letters of the same period.
"Hale like the Sun..."
"And know that the King-(pharaoh) is Hale like the Sun in the Sky. For his troops and his chariots in multitude all goes very well...."—See: Endaruta, for the Short Form; See: Milkilu, for a Long Form. Also found in EA 99: entitled: "From the Pharaoh to a vassal". (with addressee damaged)”

This description is a significant clue because the Sun God of Egypt has always been Ra who used to travel on a boat and not in a chariot!
Ra on the Solar boat.
 File:Ra Barque.jpg
{incidentally the original Egyptian version of the Atlantis story would have depicted "Poseidon" in a boat rather than in a chariot for this very reason, and all of the reference to "Chariots" are glosses on the original Atlantis story in the received version of the Greeks-DD]

The Egyptian faith that was in existence until this king introduced Aten had Ra as the Sun God. It must be noted that there was no connection of a chariot with Ra or any other God. Sun as a traveller in the sky in a chariot is very much a Vedic thought which was totally absent in Egypt until Aten was introduced by Akhenaten whose period is dated between 1352 and 1334. This idea of Sun as Aten was alien to Egypt and hence it is deduced that he received this idea from somewhere in India. The probable location could have been Cholan or Tamil lands, given that a name with similar phonetic sound existed there.  


A striking similarity with Tamil culture is that the King was considered as God and his palace was also called as temple (Koyil). The King and the queen enjoyed primacy. Similar thought was introduced by Akhenaten. Researchers working on the hymns of Aten say that the focus was on the King who had a primary connect with Aten and served as an intermediary between the people and Aten. One can see many Tamil verses of the Sangam age depicting this feature. The hierarchy is such that God blesses the king and the King blesses the subjects. There are ritualistic lines in many poems hailing the king as their protector who in turn was protected God. Similar idea was introduced in Atenism. Egyptologists think that Atenism redefined the relationship of god and king in a way that benefited Akhenaten. It was said that "Amarna religion was a religion of god and king, or even of king first and then god."


Egypt was not new to worship of the sun. Already Ra worship was there. Karnak had a temple for Sun. Inspite of these that Akhenaten had thought of introducing  the same Sun with  a different set of rules as Sun-only-for- worship shows that he had come into contact with the idea of  sun worship that was in existence in Vedic culture. In common parlance it was called as Saura worship. But philosophically speaking, it was called as “Madhu Vidya” by Upanishads and Brahma Sutras. In Madhu Vidya, the worshiper “meditates on the Light of Light as life and immortality” (Br. Upa. IV. Iv. 16) which is the Sun. (Brahma Sutra commentary by Ramanujacharya = 1-3-30, 31 & 32).  Such meditation will be exclusive on the Sun with the total rejection of other deities. Then only such mediation would bear fruits. Atenism as promoted by Akhenaten is similar to this concept.

Pharaoh Akhenaten (center) and his family adoring the Aten, with characteristic rays seen emanating from the solar disk. The next figure leftmost is Meritaten, the daughter of Akhenaten, adorned in a double- feather crown.
On coming to know of this concept of worship of Sun, Akhenaten would have thought it as a best course of realising God (Brahman in Vedic Thought) which however was not promoted by the worship of Ra or at Karnak. There is scope to believe that he had received some indoctrination or he had met Saura worshipers of Vedic culture.
The Sun-only concept was not palatable to the people of Egypt and influential sections of the society. There was resistance to this cult of Atenism and it was wiped out by the subsequent kings and priests. The cult started with Akenaten and ended with his son, Tutankhamun. Interestingly this period of Atenism came up with some features which were not found in Egypt anytime before or after this period of Atenism. A prominent feature is that of piercing the ear and wearing heavy ornaments. The sudden appearance of this practice at the time of Atenism reinforces our belief that Akhenaten received some indoctrination on Vedic rituals to qualify oneself to worship Sun as an object of meditation.


Ear-boring ceremony in Vedic culture.

The ear boring ceremony is an important samskara (sacrament) in Vedic culture. Called as Karnavedha this was done for both boys and girls as early as the first year after birth. It is as though Atenists embraced this Vedic samskara to get qualified for Sun worship.

One can see huge holes in the ears of Tutankhamun

The drooping ear lobes with huge holes show that he had worn ear ornaments that were quite heavy and were worn since childhood (as he was only 19 when he died).

  In Tamil lands, kings and commoners used to wear heavy ornaments in the ear such that the ear lobe drooped down and the hole became bigger. There is even a mention of this in the Tamil Sangam text of Nedunal vaadai where it is said that the queen used to remove the heavy ear ornaments before going to sleep and use thin golden ornaments to plug the huge ear hole while she went to sleep. The ear lobe was hanging down when she was lying.
Picture of the statue of king from Tamilnadu.

 Look at his ear.

An Ajanta painting with bored ear. Even Gods wore heavy ornaments on the ear such that the ears were elongated with huge holes formed by heavy ornaments.


The images of Vishnu, Meenakshi and Shiva found at Meenakshi temple in Madurai. Meenakshi is wearing “makara-k-kuzhai” – fish shaped ornament on her ears.
This kind of wearing of ear ornaments by male is not found even in Etruscan culture where the females had worn similar kind of ear ornaments; the male had not.

The female has a big hole in the ear showing that she had regularly used heavy ear ornaments. There is no sign of ear-piercing in the male figure.
Interestingly we find ear hole only in the 18th dynasty kings such as Tutankhamun and his father and mother. No other Pharaoh in the entire list of Pharaohs of Egypt (with one exception) seemed to have pierced the ear and worn an ornament.

Tutankhamun’s grandfather had been identified through DNA tests. He did not have his ears pierced.

The ear piercing has been seen only from Tutankhamun’s father, Akhenaten onwards, who introduced the new religion of Aten. Given below is the image of Akhenaten.

Another figure of Akhenaten wearing the Egyptian Blue Crown of War.

The successor of Akhenaten is seen in the next illustration.

File:Spaziergang im Garten Amarna Berlin.jpg

Ankhkheperure Smenkhkare

The female in the above figure was the daughter or wife of Akhenetan, which is not yet ascertained. Here we are searching to locate the practice of piercing the ear and having a huge hole made so by huge or heavy ear ornaments. The hole is seen in the female figure.

Yet another entity of the same dynasty and belonging to the same period of Tutankhamun who became the ruler sometime after him, was Djeserkheperure-setpenre Horemheb . He was an advisor to Tutankhamun and was a former General. His statue also shows pierced ear. Given below is the image of his statue housed in a Museum in Vienna.

After him the 18th dynasty had ended. After him nobody except a Pharaoh of a much later period (887 to 885 BC) had been seen with ears pierced.

Known as Heqakheperre Shoshenq II (sounds like Shashank, a Sanskrit word), this king of the 22nd dynasty is not known to have come in the lineage of kings. There is a high level academic uncertainty on his roots. Majority opinion is that he came from a Priest family. He was seen with pierced ears. If piercing the ear is a custom among Egyptian priests, then it strongly reinforces the influence of Vedic culture on Egyptians.

For our topic, let me say that followers of Atenism (Aten, the Sun God who travels in the sky in a chariot) had pierced their ears and worn heavy ornaments. This practice was not a fashion statement as it was seen only among the people connected with Atenism. The followers of Atenism were very less in number and Atenism died as soon as Tutankhamun was crowned.

Even while Akhinetan introduced it, there was resistance to that cult. Once he was dead, the old cult was revived. Tutankhamun was originally groomed in Atenism and was given the name Tutankhaten. But when he ascended the throne he had been pressurised to change his name to the old Amun cult and he had to change his name as Tutankhamun. The city of Akhenetan was abandoned and the temples of Aten were dismantled. Tutankhamun was forced to become a puppet in the hands of the priests of the old cult. Egyptian records were re-written and the period of Atenism with kings Akhenaten, Smenkhkare, Tutankhamun, and Ay were removed from the official lists of Pharaohs, which instead reported that Amenhotep III was immediately succeeded by Horemheb.
This background of the brief period of Atenism coming to an end with Tutankhamun must be borne in mind while judging the kind of end that Tutankhamun faced.

Was he eliminated deliberately by the Amun followers?

Was he made to pay with his life by being run over by a chariot which was the vehicle of his God Aten, the Sun?

Or did Tutankhamun opt for such an end, hit by the chariot thinking that he would attain Aten’s abode?

Or did Atenism come to Egypt with Manu’s laws of Vedic culture where the king pays with his life for harm to his subjects, even if it is an animal?

 Did the followers of Amun ordain the same code of punishment for Tutankhamun on some grounds of offense?

Or was the code of Chola in running the chariot on the prince, (the king in waiting )- spread to far-off lands like Egypt and absorbed in Atenism and that Tutankhamun accepted such an end for some offence he committed?

Or why else Tutankhamun be killed by a chariot while he was on his kneels?
(1) ''திருவாரூர் கோயிலின் இரண் டாவது பிராகாரத்தில் தென்புற மதிலில் ஒரு கல்வெட்டு இருக்கிறது. அது, கி.பி. 1123-ம் ஆண்டு விக்கிரம சோழனால் அமைக்கப்பட் டது. இங்கண் நாட்டைச் சேர்ந்த சந்திரசேகரன் ஆதிவிடங்கன் என்ப வருக்கு திருவாரூரில் ஒரு மாளிகை கட்டிக் கொடுத்த விவரங்களை அந்தக் கல்வெட்டு சொல்கிறது.மனுநீதிச் சோழனின் அமைச்சராக இருந்த உபயகுலா மலனின் வம்சா வழி வந்தவர்தான் அந்த சந்திரசேகரன் ஆதிவிடங்கன். இங்கண் நாடு என்றால், தற்போதைய எண்கண். பசு வந்து நீதி கேட்டவுடன், தன் மகனைத் தேர்க் காலில் இட்டுக் கொல்லும்படி தன் அமைச்சருக்கு உத்தரவிடுகிறான் மன்னன். ஆனால், அரசன் மகனைக் கொல்ல மனம் இல்லாமல், தன்னைத்தானே வாளால் மாய்த்துக்கொண்டு உயிர் துறந்தார் அமைச்சர் உபய குலாமலன். அவர் வம்சத்தில் வந்ததால்தான் சந்திர சேகரன் ஆதிவிடங்கனுக்கு மாளிகை கட்டிக் கொடுத் தான் விக்கிரம சோழன். இந்தக் கல் தேர் மண்டபம் அப்போது நிறுவப்பட்டு இருக்கலாம். அவனது கல்வெட்டு மூலமாகத்தான் மனுநீதிச் சோழனின் மகன் பெயர் பிரியவிருத்தன் என்பதும், அமைச்சர் பெயர் உபயகுலாமலன் என்பதும் நமக்குத் தெரிகிறது'' என்று விளக்கமாகச் சொன்னார்.
(2) வயக்குறு மண்டிலம் வடமொழிப் பெயர்பெற்ற
முகத்தவன் மக்களுண் முதியவன் (Kaliththogai 25)

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