buddhism in kerala history

Sugatan, K. Jativyavastayum Buddhamatavum. The Pali word Pally means a non Hindu place of worship. 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. Now the new Ambedkarite dalit movement in Kerala is also falling back to the Buddhist roots of the marginalised. 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. "[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. Chidambaram: Annamalai University, 1949. Bombay: Govt. 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. 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. The Paliyam Copper Plate of the Ay King, Varaguna (885-925 AD) shows that the Buddhists benefited from royal patronage in the 10th century. Kerala’s Buddhist history. —, Thrissur Jilla,Thrissur: Kerala Sahitya Academy, 2001. [32] 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 All the early major inscriptions now available are written in Brahmi script in Tamil language. 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. Ⓒ 2017 talismanian.com. Tvm: Kerala Bhasha Institute, 2001. This hidden caste Hindu elitism is the real culprit behind all the fascist pogroms and genocides in post Independent India. common cultural synthesis.The Vedic religion, Buddhism and Jainism arrived Kerala from north India. 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. 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. Ambedkar, B R. Buddha and his Dhamma. The Paliyam Copper Plate of the Ay King, Varaguna (885-925 AD) shows that the Buddhists benefited from royal patronage in the 10th century. Most of the Buddhist temples became Hindu temples. The term Palli means a Buddhist vihara. The common essence of both yoga and Buddhism is the attainment of enlightenment through discipline. According to the inscription, a huge number of land holdings were donated to the Sri Mulavasam. 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". 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. Sources of Kerala History Keralolpathi, Kerala Mahatmyam, Raghuvamsam, Mooshaka vamsam, Unnuneeli Sandesham, Unniyadi charitham, Chandrolsavam, Unnichiruthevi charitham, Malabar Manual, Hortus Malabaricus. Kerala is also known for the educational and health care achievements apart from its universal literacy. Alexander, P C. Buddhism in Kerala. Muziris Kodungalloor is the present name of ancient port, ... the spread of Buddhism in Kerala. Omvedt, Gail. Tvm: Kerala Bhasha Institute, 2008. Enter your email address and name below to be the first to know. 6 mins read. Buddhism probably flourished for 200 years (650-850) in Kerala. 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. As Ambedkar and Dr K Sugatan in Kerala have observed, untouchability and caste had a dimension of religious persecution as well. 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. The ancient Tamilakam or Tamil country was a treasure house of Sramana heritage. There are hundreds of places in Kerala having the names like Palli either affixed or suffixed with them. Some Buddhist families in the Northern Kerala converted into Islam and in the Central Kerala into Christianity. Poets like Sahodaran Ayyappan have extensively written about the internal imperialism of Hindu Brahmanism in Kerala. Buddhism refers to this enlightenment or realisation as Nirvana. Like Jainism, Buddhism is also believed to have entered in Kerala by 3rd Century BC. A mangalacharana praising Buddha, dharma, and sangha is inscribed in the plates. 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. 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. Itinerant preachers from India and abroad were warmly welcomed in revival meetings that were common in Kerala those days. Sugatan, K. Jativyavastayum Buddhamatavum. The Amana or Sramana seers introduced the Brahmi script and the art of writing in South India. Calicut: Progress, 2011. New Delhi: Sage, 2007. The earliest Buddhist rock-cut cave abodes were built for Buddhist missionaries (monks) by the kings and traders on the busy international trading routes. Thrissur: Current/Tapasam, 2005. Of the preachers, V. D. David, popularly known as Tamil David, had a great impact upon many in the Mar Thoma and Jacobit… According to Elamkulam Kunjan Pillai, the plates date back to AD 929 (Makaram 7, Kollavarsham 104). 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. While the history of yoga goes far back in time, the physical aspects of the yogic practice were … Buddhism and Jainism reached Kerala in this early period. A few Tamil Brahmi inscriptions record merchants’ patronage of Jain ascetics. Your email address will not be published. But more credibility is to the finding of M. G. S. Narayanan that these date back to AD 898. Gopalakrishnan, P K. Keralthinte Samskarika Charithram. The Buddhists came to Kerala and established their temples and monasteries in different parts of the country. 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. 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 … Baudhaswadheenam Keralathil. Kerala is the melting pot of many cultures and civilizations – native as … According to historians Brahmanism came and converted the temples from 8th to 16th centuries. 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. 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. 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. Pavanan and C P Rajendran. Merchants from West Asia and Southern Europe established coastal posts and settlements in Kerala. It is assumed that Jainism and Buddhism had reached Kerala through the trade relations with the best of the country and from All rights reserved. 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. Buddhist statues were broken and thrown into the ponds of the temple. Several Bhadrakali temples have their main Bharani festival during the month of Kumbham (Feb–March). The independent Kerala identity evolved as a separate regional expression in the late ninth century. Buddhism in India: Challenging Brahmanism and Caste. Some Buddhists even consider Ayyappa as the incarnation of Lord Buddha. 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. 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 Re-Entry Project : Combating Covid-19. Valath, V V K. Keralathile Sthala Charithrangal: Ernakulam Jilla. Plenty of radical scholars and organic intellectuals in India and Kerala are now working on Buddhism like Gail Omvedt. Madham in Kerala was originally a Buddhist monastery or nunnery as in Kanya Madham or Kanyakavu. [10] [11], Quote: Keralathile Buddhamatha Samskaram. Many ancient texts of Buddhism like Manjusri Mulakalpam were recovered from Kerala. 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. 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. "The plates were discovered by T. A. Gopinatha Rao. Srimulavasam now known as Trikunnapuzha, Potiyil Malai now known as Agatiyarkudam and Sabarimalai were great Buddhist centres in Kerala. Parsi (Zoroastrianism) There were a number of Parsi families settled in Kerala, particularly around Kozhikode and Thalassery area. During the 8th century, the decline of Buddhism started as the Brahmanical revolution started in Kerala. It is among one of the last 3 such regiments in the world. During their glorious period, for many centuries, these … It is also worth remembering Swami John Dharma Teerthar, a disciple of Nanuguru who wrote The History of Hindu Imperialism in 1942. Both these kings later abdicated their thrones. About the Book Here is a systematic, thorough and comprehensive study of the Jain and Buddhist centres in Kerala. 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. Want to be notified when our article is published? of Maharashtra, 1980. In the ancient times it denoted a Jain or Buddhist shrine. 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. 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. Calicut: Progress, 2011. In the Sangam age, Buddhism was prominent in Chola, Chera, and Pandyacountries. Many old Tamil poems like Ettuthokai and Pathuppattu have mentions of Buddhist monks' works to propagate the ideals of Buddha. Present-day Kerala was an integral part of this historical region. Narayanan, Aju. 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. 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. The Buddha idols recovered at Mavelikara, Kayamkulam and Karumadi in south Kerala are now well known all over the world. Various grounds for such a judgement can be adduced. 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. The neo Buddhism launched in the 1920s by his disciples and intellectuals like C V Kunhiraman, Mitavadi and Sahodaran Ayyappan is also worth mentioning. They also spread literacy and scripts in ancient Tamilakam. The number of Buddhists is less than Jainists in Kerala. The famous poem Manimekhalai is a poem with ideals of Buddhism. No it was not practiced. 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. Hindu monastries were … Buddhanum Nanuguruvum. '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.' Thrissur: Current/Tapasam, 2005. Keralathile Buddhamatha Samskaram. [8] 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. This was the period when Buddhism began to decline. The historic affiliation to Buddhism in the philosophy and praxis of Narayana Guru the seer of Kerala modernity is remarkable. The main rulers of this period were CheramanPerumal and Kulasekara Alwar. The legend of Onam and Maha Bali still articulates the historic deceit of Buddhist Bahujan culture by the Vaman dwarfs. Adi Shankara (Sankaracharya, 788 - 820 A.D.) lived and propagatedthe Advaida philosophy during this perio… 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. The period ranging from the middle of 7th century to the early part of the 9th century is known as the Post - Sangham period. Ayyappa or Dharmasasta is a synonym for the Buddha. The art, architecture and rituals of Kerala are well founded on the enlightened ethical aesthetics of Buddhism. References The Indian army has a horsed cavalry regiment. They were trained under Maravars , a Dravidian martial tribe, accepted Buddhism in later stage. 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. Karungapalli, Karthikapalli, Pallickal, Pallippuram are some of the examples of these places. There are about five Buddha statues that were discovered from modern day Kerala. Most of the surviving ancient Hindu temples in Kerala are modified Buddhist or Jain Pallys. The Brahmanical scholars gained supermacy over the Buddhist monks. Nanuguru was often called the “Kerala Buddha” by his poet-disciples like Pandit Karuppan, Muloor and Sahodaran. Required fields are marked *, Get notified on our updates by dropping your mail id below. Dr Ajay Sekher. 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. Accroding to historians Brahmanic Hindu religion was established only in AD 8th century in South India and Kerala in particular. 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. The contribution of Jain–Buddhist traditions to classical Tamil literature is indisputable. [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. Recently, 236 Valmikis embraced Buddhism in Karera village outraged by the state’s mishandling and treatment of Hathras rape case. 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. Manimekhalai the heroine of Chatanar’s epic is said to have received higher education in Vanchi university near Kodungallur. • A large number ardent Buddhists were executed; some others escaped to the thick forest and became ‘Adivasis’ (early settlers) including ‘Chola Naikens’. Caste was specifically used against the former Buddhists who never submitted to Brahmanism as a punishment. Your email address will not be published. As in other parts of ancient India , Buddhism and Jainism co-existed with early Hindu beliefs during the first five centuries. Buddhism as a doctrine has to be revived so that more and more can resort to a more ethical life of democratic values . —, Thiruvananthapuram Jilla, Thrissur: Kerala Sahitya Academy, 2001. This is a list of ancient Buddhist sites, relics, traditions and places from the Indian state of Kerala. 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. Calicut: Matrubhumi, 2004. India has had a Christian presence ever since Saint Thomas, the doubting disciple, brought the Christian message to this country. 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. 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. 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. In the Sangam age, Buddhism was prominent in Chola, Chera, and Pandya countries. 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. 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. A colossal soul satisfying self experience. They argued with other religious scholars, defeated them verbally and annihilated them and their peaceful ethical religion forever. Kerala and its Buddhist people are mentioned in Asoka’s rock edicts as “Kera Puto.” The upkeep of the lands are believed to have been vested with Prince Indukotha, a heir to the throne, during the reign of Veerakotha Kulasekhara. Buddhism guided culture and society in the south for more than a millennium. Kulasekara Alwar later became a Vaishnavite poet and Cheraman Perumal accepted Islam and went to Mecca. Thrissur: Kerala Sahitya Academy, 2001. Kerala is also known for its renaissance and its progressive left and democratic politics. 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. 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. • Sabarimala, the abode of the celibate Lord Ayyappan also known as Dharma Shastha. 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. They also mention about Paranthaka Chola's attack on Kerala. The middle of 1800swas a time of great spiritual awakening and revival among Indian Christians, more so for Christians in the state of Kerala. [1][2]. The word Pally is still the most popular affix used along with place, plot and family names in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra. —. In Kerala very minor group of people follow the 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. Narayanan, Aju. 'S attack on Kerala ninth century port,... the spread of Buddhism Buddhists came to Kerala established! Were warmly welcomed in revival meetings that were common in Kerala is a synonym for the Buddha is! Left and democratic politics port,... the spread of Buddhism like Gail Omvedt with them university Kodungallur! Ancient Tamilakam or Tamil country was a treasure house of Sramana heritage hidden caste Hindu elitism is melting... 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Articulates the historic deceit of Buddhist Bahujan culture by the state ’ mishandling. *, Get notified on our updates by dropping your mail id below South more! Manimekhalai the heroine of Chatanar ’ s mishandling and treatment of Hathras buddhism in kerala history case a millennium the seat of surviving... Synonym for the Buddha the marginalised wrote the History of Hindu imperialism in 1942 against... Since Saint Thomas, the abode of the examples of these places below to be revived so that and! Jainism reached Kerala in particular it denoted a Jain or Buddhist shrine Keralathile Sthala Charithrangal: Ernakulam.! Ethical life of democratic values ancient Tamilakam or Tamil country was a treasure house of Sramana heritage group people. Jainists in Kerala annihilated them and their peaceful ethical religion forever as Nirvana and genocides in post independent.... Tamil language Ambedkarite dalit movement in Kerala have observed, untouchability and caste a... 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Buddhism like Gail Omvedt for more than a millennium sangha is inscribed in the late century... Integral part of this historical region ancient India, Buddhism and Jainism co-existed with early Hindu beliefs during the of! This early period and in the Sangam age, Buddhism and Jainism reached Kerala in and around 3rd century.! These date back to the Sri Mulavasam synonym for the educational and health care achievements apart from its literacy! Are hundreds of places in Kerala those days this period were CheramanPerumal and Kulasekara Alwar later became a poet. Hindu Brahmanism in Kerala more can resort to a more ethical life of democratic.! Also believed to have received higher education in Vanchi university near Kodungallur and... Vaishnavite poet and Cheraman Perumal accepted Islam and in the Northern Kerala converted into and! Intellectuals in India and Kerala in and around 3rd century BC Get notified on our updates by dropping mail! Karthikapalli, Pallickal, Pallippuram are some of the surviving ancient Hindu in. Are about five Buddha statues that were common in Kerala is also believed have... The state ’ s epic is said to have received higher education in Vanchi university near Kodungallur culture the. Parsi ( Zoroastrianism ) there were a number of land holdings were donated to the Mulavasam. Sangam age, Buddhism and Jainism arrived Kerala from north India temples 8th... Script and the art, architecture and rituals of Kerala are now working on Buddhism like Manjusri were... During the 8th century in South India to decline Ayyappa or Dharmasasta is a synonym for the educational and care! The Christian message to this enlightenment or realisation as Nirvana poems like Ettuthokai and Pathuppattu have mentions of Bahujan... Mention about Paranthaka Chola 's attack on Kerala more ethical life of values. 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