Kerala is also known for the educational and health care achievements apart from its universal literacy. This is an interesting account of the history of Buddhism in Tamil Nadu and its impact on Tamil by Mylai Seeni Venkatasami, one of the most respected … Buddhism refers to this enlightenment or realisation as Nirvana. Most of the surviving ancient Hindu temples in Kerala are modified Buddhist or Jain Pallys. Narayanan, Aju. Gopalakrishnan, P K. Keralthinte Samskarika Charithram. Plenty of radical scholars and organic intellectuals in India and Kerala are now working on Buddhism like Gail Omvedt. The ancient Tamilakam or Tamil country was a treasure house of Sramana heritage. The Re-Entry Project : Combating Covid-19. While the history of yoga goes far back in time, the physical aspects of the yogic practice were … This event took place on October 14, a significant day as 64 years ago, Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar converted to Buddhism along with his 3,65,000 followers, initiating the Dalit Buddhist or Neo Buddhist movement in the country on this day. All these human development indicators are also part of the lasting legacy of Buddhism, the democratic, egalitarian and inclusive way of living that shaped the cultural contours of Kerala from B C 3rd century to A D 16th century. Alappuzha: Tucked away in the small village of Karumadi, 17 kms away from Ambalapuzha is Karumadikuttan, famous for its three-feet-tall statue of lord Buddha—the lone silent reminder of the fact that Buddhism once flourished in Kerala between 3rd century BC and 13th century AD. According to Elamkulam Kunjan Pillai, the plates date back to AD 929 (Makaram 7, Kollavarsham 104). Chidambaram: Annamalai University, 1949. The persecution and eventual exodus of Buddhists from Tamil Nadu to Kerala in the seventh century was occasioned by the fall of the Buddhist Kalabhras at the hands of the Pandyas. Sources of Kerala History Keralolpathi, Kerala Mahatmyam, Raghuvamsam, Mooshaka vamsam, Unnuneeli Sandesham, Unniyadi charitham, Chandrolsavam, Unnichiruthevi charitham, Malabar Manual, Hortus Malabaricus. Adi Shankara (Sankaracharya, 788 - 820 A.D.) lived and propagatedthe Advaida philosophy during this perio… The famous poem Manimekhalai is a poem with ideals of Buddhism. Buddha statue near Sree Krishna Swamy Temple, Temples devoted to Bhadrakali or Durga (often simply called Devi or Bhagavathy in Malayalam) and Sree Krishna at former places of Buddhist influence. Ambedkar, B R. Buddha and his Dhamma. Of the preachers, V. D. David, popularly known as Tamil David, had a great impact upon many in the Mar Thoma and Jacobit… The legend of Onam and Maha Bali still articulates the historic deceit of Buddhist Bahujan culture by the Vaman dwarfs. The independent Kerala identity evolved as a separate regional expression in the late ninth century. In Kerala very minor group of people follow the Buddhism. The contribution of Jain–Buddhist traditions to classical Tamil literature is indisputable. Narayanan, Aju. Brahmanism created its notorious sexual colonies among the Sudra women and used their male counterparts as foot soldiers who ensured the caste and Varna system, the practice of untoucahbility and pollution. Bombay: Govt. Sugatan, K. Jativyavastayum Buddhamatavum. Ⓒ 2017 talismanian.com. Present-day Kerala was an integral part of this historical region. —. The word Pally is still the most popular affix used along with place, plot and family names in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra. To a certain extent the decline of Buddhism since 4 th century CE onwards and the vacuum that generated much helped to the spread and growth of Abrahamic religions like Christianity and Islam. The main rulers of this period were CheramanPerumal and Kulasekara Alwar. The Bahujans in Kerala who lost their ethical Sramana legacy in the onslaught of Hindu Brahmanic internal imperialism are now recovering from the calamity of Brahmanism and its fascist Hindutva avatars and looking forward to alternative paradigms and egalitarian new ways of living. • Sabarimala, the abode of the celibate Lord Ayyappan also known as Dharma Shastha. Some Buddhist families in the Northern Kerala converted into Islam and in the Central Kerala into Christianity. Like Jainism, Buddhism is also believed to have entered Kerala in and around 3rd century BC, during the reign of Ashoka. Buddhism probably flourished for 200 years (650-850) in Kerala. Buddhism - Buddhism - Buddhism in the contemporary world: During the 19th and 20th centuries, Buddhism responded to new challenges and opportunities that cut across the regional religious and cultural patterns that characterized the Buddhist world in the premodern period. This was the period when Buddhism began to decline. It is also remarkable that there is no Namputhiri Illams in Kilirur and even the Brahman priests who do their service in the temple never stayed in the place though they do daily worshiping rituals in the temple through out the year. A colossal soul satisfying self experience. In the ancient times it denoted a Jain or Buddhist shrine. The spread of Christianity on a large scale in the interiors of Kerala was an incident of later years and much more an affair of organized foreign missionary exercise since 16 th century CE. During their glorious period, for many centuries, these … The neo Buddhism launched in the 1920s by his disciples and intellectuals like C V Kunhiraman, Mitavadi and Sahodaran Ayyappan is also worth mentioning. History of Kerala:- Salient Highlights:- The history of Kerala, is as interesting and striking as its varied geographical features that adds an awe-inspiring beauty and thus this place becomes a land of versatile appeal. All the minority religions in India and Kerala like Jews, Muslims and Christians still use the Pali word Pally to refer to their place of worship along with Jains and Buddhists in the south. Pavanan and C P Rajendran. Buddhism. • A large number ardent Buddhists were executed; some others escaped to the thick forest and became ‘Adivasis’ (early settlers) including ‘Chola Naikens’. Kerala’s Buddhist history. Ayyappa or Dharmasasta is a synonym for the Buddha. Evidence for the history of Buddhism at the southernmost end of the Indian subcontinent (defined here as the modern states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Tamilnadu) is highly fragmented, a scattered collection of inscriptions, archaeological ruins, art-historical remains, and a few texts. Buddhism as a doctrine has to be revived so that more and more can resort to a more ethical life of democratic values . This devotion to Bhadrakali is most likely a living testament of the importance Buddhism gives to, This page was last edited on 21 November 2020, at 21:29. Keralathile Buddhamatha Samskaram. Calicut: Matrubhumi, 2004. Tvm: Kerala Bhasha Institute, 2001. Enter your email address and name below to be the first to know. According to historians Brahmanism came and converted the temples from 8th to 16th centuries. The earliest Buddhist rock-cut cave abodes were built for Buddhist missionaries (monks) by the kings and traders on the busy international trading routes. Accroding to historians Brahmanic Hindu religion was established only in AD 8th century in South India and Kerala in particular. Want to be notified when our article is published? A few Tamil Brahmi inscriptions record merchants’ patronage of Jain ascetics. Like Jainism, Buddhism is also believed to have entered in Kerala by 3rd Century BC. 6 mins read. Buddhanum Nanuguruvum. The Buddhists came to Kerala and established their temples and monasteries in different parts of the country. Kerala is also known for its renaissance and its progressive left and democratic politics. Yogini Abhaya Devi ancient sites, Buddhism in India, Buddhism in Kerala, Buddhism in South India Many ancient Buddha statues, dating back to 6th Century CE were discovered from various parts of Kerala. The recent archeological excavations in Pattanam in Kerala and Kizhadi near Madurai in Tamil Nadu have revealed the extensive cultural presence of Buddhist missionaries in Kerala and Tamilakam. References This grass root level democracy and collective struggles of subaltern people are also a reminiscence of Buddhism that was the first missionary religion that welcomed women and outcastes to the mainstream community. In places like Mathilakam and Kiliroor there were even Buddhist universities in Kerala in the early centuries of the first millennium that attracted intellectuals and students from all over the world. The Buddha idols recovered at Mavelikara, Kayamkulam and Karumadi in south Kerala are now well known all over the world. Even though Kerala does not have any major presence of Buddhists in modern times, many historians recognize a Buddhist heritage that seem to have existed until the 10th century CE along with a widespread Sramana tradition of co-existence between Vedic Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and ancient Dravidian folk religion. Various grounds for such a judgement can be adduced. Your email address will not be published. The Paliyam Copper Plate of the Ay King, Varaguna (885-925 AD) shows that the Buddhists benefited from royal patronage in the 10th century. A mangalacharana praising Buddha, dharma, and sangha is inscribed in the plates. The brutal persecution of Buddhist monks and nuns and conversion of temples happened in eighth and ninth centuries under the leadership of Brahmanic priesthood and the militant agents of Brahmanical hegemony and violence. New Delhi: Sage, 2007. Baudhaswadheenam Keralathil. Required fields are marked *, Get notified on our updates by dropping your mail id below. It is also worth remembering Swami John Dharma Teerthar, a disciple of Nanuguru who wrote The History of Hindu Imperialism in 1942. Jainism and Ajivaka philosophy also co-existed with Buddhism creating the great Sramana civilization of the South that has given birth to cultural classics like The Tirukural, Silapatikaram, Manimekhalai and the whole canon of Sangham writing. Alexander, P C. Buddhism in Kerala. The art, architecture and rituals of Kerala are well founded on the enlightened ethical aesthetics of Buddhism. "[11], Paliyam copper plates dated to the 9th–10th century CE, List of Inscriptions, Copper Plates and Artifacts with Buddhist heritage, List of colloquial words of potential Buddhist history, List of current (non-Buddhist) religious sites with potential but unproven Buddhist history, List of traditions and practices of potential Buddhist origin, List of places (villages and towns) with ancient Buddhist presence. The term Palli means a Buddhist vihara. —, Thrissur Jilla,Thrissur: Kerala Sahitya Academy, 2001. It was the missionaries of Asoka who introduced the Dhamma or ethics along with the Brahmi script in South India way back in BC 3rd century. [8] All rights reserved. Madham in Kerala was originally a Buddhist monastery or nunnery as in Kanya Madham or Kanyakavu. In the Sangam age, Buddhism was prominent in Chola, Chera, and Pandyacountries. The middle of 1800swas a time of great spiritual awakening and revival among Indian Christians, more so for Christians in the state of Kerala. Tvm: Kerala Bhasha Institute, 2008. During the 8th century, the decline of Buddhism started as the Brahmanical revolution started in Kerala. By the beginning of the Christian era, there was a noticeable increase in the influence of the Chera dynasty of across the Western Ghats and into the political and cultural life of ancient Kerala. There are hundreds of places in Kerala having the names like Palli either affixed or suffixed with them. The priestly-militia nexus captured and converted the seat of the defeated to that of Hindu Brahmanical temples with extended support from elite ruling classes. The common essence of both yoga and Buddhism is the attainment of enlightenment through discipline. Keralathile Buddhamatha Samskaram. Poets like Sahodaran Ayyappan have extensively written about the internal imperialism of Hindu Brahmanism in Kerala. Many ancient texts of Buddhism like Manjusri Mulakalpam were recovered from Kerala. The Amana or Sramana seers introduced the Brahmi script and the art of writing in South India. Thrissur: Current/Tapasam, 2005. Hindu monastries were … In the Sangam age, Buddhism was prominent in Chola, Chera, and Pandya countries. The period ranging from the middle of 7th century to the early part of the 9th century is known as the Post - Sangham period. The outcastes of Europe, the Roma have embraced Ambedkar’s Navayana and they are running Ambedkar and Buddha schools in Hungary and Germany resisting the racist violence of Neo Nazis and fascist skin heads. History of Religion in Kerala Part II - Entry of Buddhism (From the book by A Sreedharan Menon) Like Buddhism, Jainism is also believed to have entered in Kerala by 3rd Century BC. Caste was specifically used against the former Buddhists who never submitted to Brahmanism as a punishment. These Chandalas or former untouchable Buhujan masses were and still are the agents of Kerala social revolutions or renaissance under the aegis of various radical social rebellions like the Narayana Guru movement, Ayyankali movement, Sahodara movement and various other progressive left and democratic political processes in Kerala. Omvedt, Gail. Itinerant preachers from India and abroad were warmly welcomed in revival meetings that were common in Kerala those days. Buddhism guided culture and society in the south for more than a millennium. According to researchers and writers in Kerala cultural history like P C Alexander, P K Gopalakrishnan, Pavanan, Puthussery Ramachandran, Dr K Sugatan, P O Purushotaman and Aju Narayanan Buddhism was introduced in Kerala in B C third century itself by the missionaries of emperor Asoka on their way down south to Sri Lanka which still is a Buddhist country. Buddhism and Jainism reached Kerala in this early period. Your email address will not be published. [3] These include: The Paliyam copper plates (or Sreemoolavasam Cheppedukal from Sri Mulavasam) of the Ay King, Vikramaditya Varagunan (885–925 AD) in the fifteenth year of his rule, indicates that Buddhists enjoyed royal patronage and privileges until the 10th century CE, at least in South Kerala. Buddhism and Jainism came to south India as early as BC 3rd century and established the early Sramana civilization of Kerala that was casteless and democratic. The abundance of the black and red ware or Indian roulette ware introduced in South India by these monks and nuns with the Brahmi script graffiti “Amana” on them testify the prolonged presence of Buddhism. common cultural synthesis.The Vedic religion, Buddhism and Jainism arrived Kerala from north India. It is among one of the last 3 such regiments in the world. This hidden caste Hindu elitism is the real culprit behind all the fascist pogroms and genocides in post Independent India. Nanuguru was often called the “Kerala Buddha” by his poet-disciples like Pandit Karuppan, Muloor and Sahodaran. Recently, 236 Valmikis embraced Buddhism in Karera village outraged by the state’s mishandling and treatment of Hathras rape case. [1][2]. Architectural and sculptural reminiscences are numerous apart from the vital linguistic and cultural imprints like the abundance of Pali words in the present south Indian regional languages. The vast majority of people, the Dalit Bahujans were outside the cultural geography of Brahmanism as Chandals and Mlechas, as they were the former Buddhist and Jain population. Muziris Kodungalloor is the present name of ancient port, ... the spread of Buddhism in Kerala. It is assumed that Jainism and Buddhism had reached Kerala through the trade relations with the best of the country and from They argued with other religious scholars, defeated them verbally and annihilated them and their peaceful ethical religion forever. Several Bhadrakali temples have their main Bharani festival during the month of Kumbham (Feb–March). Buddhism probably flourished for 200 years (650-850) in Kerala. Parsi (Zoroastrianism) There were a number of Parsi families settled in Kerala, particularly around Kozhikode and Thalassery area. Most of the Buddhist temples became Hindu temples. "The plates were discovered by T. A. Gopinatha Rao. Manimekhalai the heroine of Chatanar’s epic is said to have received higher education in Vanchi university near Kodungallur. Both these kings later abdicated their thrones. The armies of the northern empires of the Mauryas could not enter the lands of the Cheras, but Buddhism and Jainism did enter in a big way. Thrissur: Kerala Sahitya Academy, 2001. As in other parts of ancient India , Buddhism and Jainism co-existed with early Hindu beliefs during the first five centuries. [32] Buddhist statues were broken and thrown into the ponds of the temple. Kulasekara Alwar later became a Vaishnavite poet and Cheraman Perumal accepted Islam and went to Mecca. The Paliyam Copper Plate of the Ay King, Varaguna (885-925 AD) shows that the Buddhists benefited from royal patronage in the 10th century. They also spread literacy and scripts in ancient Tamilakam. Some Buddhists even consider Ayyappa as the incarnation of Lord Buddha. Kerala is the melting pot of many cultures and civilizations – native as … Constance Jones and Ryan James (2014), Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Infobase Publishing, "Lists of Buddhist sites and traditions in Kerala", Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Mystery of half-broken granite statue of Lord Buddha in Kerala", "Studies on Buddha idols incomprehensive", "Then and Now: Buddha (Ancient Statue) at Mavelikkara", "Buddha as Krishna: Kilirur Temple and Kerala History", "കിളിരൂർകുന്നിന്മേൽ ഭഗവതി (Kiliroor Kunninmel Bhagavathy) – Aithihyamala", "The Broken Buddha of Pattanam, Boddhisatvas in Disguise and the Silent Siddha of Kayikara: Iconology, Histories and Textuality of Buddha Idols in Kerala", Buddha Temple & Buddha Statues, Thiyaganur, Salem, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lists_of_Buddhist_sites_and_traditions_in_Kerala&oldid=989938470, Articles needing additional references from November 2020, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, a charging elephant enraged by the villagers and, the forces of a Mughal king who ordered the Buddhist statues to be destroyed across India. Many old Tamil poems like Ettuthokai and Pathuppattu have mentions of Buddhist monks' works to propagate the ideals of Buddha. of Maharashtra, 1980. The number of Buddhists is less than Jainists in Kerala. According to researchers and writers in Kerala cultural history like P C Alexander, P K Gopalakrishnan, Pavanan, Puthussery Ramachandran, Dr K Sugatan, P O Purushotaman and Aju Narayanan Buddhism was introduced in Kerala in B C third century itself by the missionaries of emperor Asoka on their way down south to Sri Lanka which still is a Buddhist country. Buddhism in India: Challenging Brahmanism and Caste. India has had a Christian presence ever since Saint Thomas, the doubting disciple, brought the Christian message to this country. The Pali word Pally means a non Hindu place of worship. The historic affiliation to Buddhism in the philosophy and praxis of Narayana Guru the seer of Kerala modernity is remarkable. The Brahmanical scholars gained supermacy over the Buddhist monks. It could be well assumed that Buddhism is emerging as the cultural and ethical alternative of the present and future all over the world and particularly in Kerala. Some of the traditions of the Sabarimala pilgrimage bear resemblance to Buddhist traditions, an obvious example being the "Sharanam" chants "Swami Sharanam Ayyappa" similar to the Buddhist chants "Buddham Sharanam Gachami". Kerala and its Buddhist people are mentioned in Asoka’s rock edicts as “Kera Puto.” Calicut: Progress, 2011. According to the inscription, a huge number of land holdings were donated to the Sri Mulavasam. All the early major inscriptions now available are written in Brahmi script in Tamil language. Valath, V V K. Keralathile Sthala Charithrangal: Ernakulam Jilla. There are about five Buddha statues that were discovered from modern day Kerala. As Ambedkar and Dr K Sugatan in Kerala have observed, untouchability and caste had a dimension of religious persecution as well. 'Buddhism, after all,' declares a distinguished historian of Indian literature, 'is and remains that production of the Indian mind, which is that mos... t important in the history of the world.' Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s illuminating subaltern hermeneutics of Buddhism in his masterpiece Buddha and his Dhamma is also instrumental in the second rebellion of Buddhism against caste Brahmanism and social exclusion. The Indian army has a horsed cavalry regiment. But more credibility is to the finding of M. G. S. Narayanan that these date back to AD 898. They also mention about Paranthaka Chola's attack on Kerala. Srimulavasam now known as Trikunnapuzha, Potiyil Malai now known as Agatiyarkudam and Sabarimalai were great Buddhist centres in Kerala. [10] [11], Quote: The people or Bahujans who were defiant to Hindu Brahmanism after the destruction of Buddhism by Brahmanism were condemned as untouchables outside the Brahmanic Hindu Chatur Varnayam. About the Book Here is a systematic, thorough and comprehensive study of the Jain and Buddhist centres in Kerala. Thrissur: Current/Tapasam, 2005. It was the growing strength and prosperity of the agricultural Brahmin settlements and the shrinking of long-distance trade under the feudal system, rather than the persecution by Brahmins that led to the decline and fall of these groups in Kerala. As per Elamkulam P. N. Kunjan Pillai's Studies in Kerala history, they were decedents of or Villors or Villavar or Billavars who were warriors and bravos. No it was not practiced. Now the new Ambedkarite dalit movement in Kerala is also falling back to the Buddhist roots of the marginalised. Sugatan, K. Jativyavastayum Buddhamatavum. Images and records of the persecution of the Buddhists by the Brahmanic forces are still available in Kerala in the form of stone carved images and in local subaltern oral narratives. Karungapalli, Karthikapalli, Pallickal, Pallippuram are some of the examples of these places. Dr Ajay Sekher. This is a list of ancient Buddhist sites, relics, traditions and places from the Indian state of Kerala. The Surprisingly Early History of Christianity in India Modern Syrian Christians of Kerala believe that the Apostle Thomas visited in A.D. 52 to baptize their ancestors They were trained under Maravars , a Dravidian martial tribe, accepted Buddhism in later stage. Buddhism and Jainism spread in Kerala around 3rd century A.D. Jainism continued to have strong hold for about 700 years in south Kerala region. Buddhism is making a second coming as an ethical philosophy and eco-spiritual alternative way of life all over the world and in India and Kerala in particular. Merchants from West Asia and Southern Europe established coastal posts and settlements in Kerala. Calicut: Progress, 2011. —, Thiruvananthapuram Jilla, Thrissur: Kerala Sahitya Academy, 2001. 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