Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Kunal Singh: On Shiva and Yoga

Regarding Shiva and Rudra, the Rudras within the Bhradranyak are treated as
organs of the human body and Daksha when he defies Shiva during his yagna
says in the Puranic lore that his own philosophic system has Rudras.  So the
concept of Rudra may have been represented in several schools of thought
differently.  At one time it may have been mapped to one deity and at
another time to another deity, the concept can continue to exist.  The Vedas
don't mention many deities by name but that doesn't mean that they didn't
exist.  For example Viswamitra has verses attributed to him in the Vedas,
and by his time the asura Bali had been defeated, but we find no mention of
it in the Vedas.  Viswamitra himself was said to have slaughtered many
deities and was given his first role as a priest by the Shaivite deity of
Kartikeya.  So at least by Viswamitra's time it can be ascertained that the
Shaivite deities did exist.  Interestingly this was the time period of kings
like Viswamitra, Janaka, Ashtavakra, Dattatreya.  The last three are
directly associated with the philosophy of yoga. 
Kartikeya was actually the first son of Shiva and Shakti born to lead the
war against the Asuras.  In general, there seems to be a trend leading to
Shiva becoming the Brahman.  First there are a lot of Asuras who are the
devotees of Shiva fighting Indra.  Then the Asuras grow in strength, defeat
Indra and take on Vishnu the higher level deity.  Vishnu is eventually
defeated but restored later.  Then Shiva eventually takes on both Vishnu and
Brahma and defeats them.  Then interestingly, there start quite a few fights
between the Shakti groups and Shiva.
But throughout all this Shiva is not actively seen as favoring the Asuras or
the Devas.  He is seen as impartial to both, as Shiva was known not to
favour the "spiritualists" against the "non-spiritualists!"  So Shiva was
respected both by the accepted Devas and the challenging Asuras.  The Devas
are strict followers of all accepted rules and the Asuras are eager to break
the rules.  It seems like a typical case of religious transformation with
many Kshatriyas joining in because the Brahmins had started developing all
kinds of religious rules forbidding the eating of cows and frowning upon
meat in general, in short threatening their way of life.  Viswamitra started
a rebellion because Vasishta wouldn't give him his cow.
  Shaivite practice being a common feature of the north has less to do with the "northern
people vs the southern people" and more to do with the Himalayas.  Even yogis from
Tamilnadu come to the Himalayas, for obvious reasons, the mountains are higher and for
certain yogic practices, the mountain climate is extremely helpful. Thus it would be natural for some of the yogic practices to rub off in the northern
regions, due to contact with the yogis in the region from all parts of Bharat.  And
going by Shaivite legends, Shiva moved from his home in Kailasa in the Himalayas to
Kasi and made it his new home.  It almost seems that mount Kailasa was formerly the
gathering ground for the yogis and given its suspected location, it would be rather
difficult to get to for anyone else.  It is interesting that the Shaivites used Kasi as
a base to spread their beliefs, as the legends say that Shiva and Parvati made Kasi
their home so that they could stay in one place and let their "children" do the
"wandering."  The first Shaivite conflicts with Brahmins occurs in the foothills of the
Himalayas where yogis would naturally come down to defeat the Brahmins thus far
obsessed with the deity of Indra (senses) and Vishnu (balance).
The Brahmins who were obsessed with studying the senses would be forced to eventually
accept that which cannot be perceived by the senses, or the "unmanifest."  And as the
yogis repeatedly would prove to them that their practices gave them capabilities far
beyond the control of their senses, the practices of yoga would be slowly formalized
from those known only to a group of ascetics wandering in the mountains to entering
mainstream society.  This struggle seems to be the subject of several legends.  Indra
vs Vrtra (Devas need to study adamantine bones and veins/arteries of a sage to defeat
Vrtra who is eventually defeated by foam, apparently the discussion seems to be about
hardness/softness and the Shaivite sage had acquired a hardened body before proceeding
to samadhi leaving his body to the followers of the Devas for examination).  Daksha vs
Shiva again introduces the proof of yogic samadhi where Sati casts off her body to
prove the supremacy of her lord Shiva.  But once she does so, her followers are told by
the presiding Vaishnava Bhrigu that she had died due to the smoke (Bhrigu brings forth
many demons from the sacred fire and Sati's body had been consumed by fire, almost
reminiscient of the yogi who gave up his body when taken by the Greeks, on a bonfire).
(further corroboration on Sati)

{During the
yagna of Daksha, one of the Brahmins, I think Dadhici, is chastised by the other
Brahmins for being a Shiva-lover because he insisted that Shiva should be
invited!  When Daksha insults Shiva, Nandi himself curses the Brahmins as nothing
more than ritualists selling their rituals to the highest bidder.  So you see
Brahminism then was not that different from what it is even now!  There were the
ascetics and then there were the Brahmins, and they were two distinct people,
very far apart in their thinking.

It was not really Parvati who was fragmented into 51 pieces, it was Sati, but as
Parvati was another reincarnation of Sati, it is essentially the same thing.  You
have to achieve a basic understanding of what Shiva represents.  Shiva is a
deity.  The deity represents the yogis sitting on the mountains, his abode of
Kailasa is described as the gathering ground of Siddhas etc.  Kailasa by the way
is considered an extremely inhospitable place not reachable by ordinary people.
But yogis seem to manage to walk around quite naked in the Himalayas and the high
altitude and the thin air doesn't seem to bother them.  So it would be the ideal
spot for yogis.  So why is it in the north ?  Because the mountains are higher!
Does it mean it is frequented only by north Indians ?  No, yogis have a strange
way of traveling rather long distances, some have been known to even float in
rivers over prolonged periods.
 
Shiva represents yoga, and yogic practices were once outside of Hindu society.
That is why Shiva is always personified as this weird and strange character who
does not know the ways of society, just as a naked yogi is not liable to care
about the rules and regulations of society, so does Shiva break them all, he is
considered "bauram baba!"  His actions are a cause of great amusement to the
Devas who are a formal part of Hindu society and know the ways of the Hindu
society.  Sati was the daughter of Daksha, she was a formal deity developed by
Hinduism who married Shiva.  This is essentially like a marriage of two dolls.
There is the deity of Shiva, then there is the deity Sati, and the two are
married probably with great pomp, their marriage attended by all their followers,
quite like deities even today are taken out on certain occasions and given a tour
of the premises with a complete parade etc..  The marriage was important from the
point of view that with this marriage begins the Hindu society's attempt to
actually UNDERSTAND AND EXPLAIN yogic practices.  A Hindu deity from the Hindu
society has gone out and started to explore yoga.  Essentially, through the deity
of Sati, Hindu society is beginning to learn the ways of the ascetic yogis.  But
things go wrong, and Sati is forced to prove the greatness of her husband to
other Brahmins, and she demonstrates by giving up her body (samadhi).  But Bhrigu
and the other Brahmins are still not convinced.  What is a woman to do? In
general the female deity of Parvati represents nature.  Nature has a great
diversity, while consciousness has a stark simplicity and unity.  The diversity
of nature is described as the ornaments on the body of Parvati making her even
more beautiful and as a woman is found to be attractive to a man, so is nature
considered attractive to consciousness, as most people are quite fond of things,
gold diamonds, pretty colors, sweet smells!
 
So the deity of Sati dies, and the marriage is a failure.  Hindu society
originally rejects the supremacy of Shiva or yoga as the ultimate philosophy.
And then of course the "body" of Sati is divided and different parts "fall" in
different regions.  This simply means that the various followers of Sati
undertook different aspects of study related to the deity and left for different
areas!  So in some region, they decided to focus on the sexual aspects of tantra
(northeast, and Kundalini, notice the strange correlation between philosophy and
the life of a deity yet?).  In another region they decided to explain yoga
intellectually (reason), and others probably concentrated on its foundations
(feet).
 
Mantras originated with the 'matrikas' which means the Shakti cult
with its 50 pithas one for each of the letters (body of Sati being
distributed across Bharat), and the foremost and most ancient proponent of
the Shakti cult is considered to be the Kshatriya Bhairava who originated
the practices and rituals of Kali.
 
 
Then of course Sati becomes reincarnated as Parvati.  What has happened?  The
philosophy of Sati has now been revised and it has come to life in the form of a
new deity.  All those thinkers who had left for different regions have been doing
some work and now the new generation is born, Parvati, a new theory of nature and
prakrti.  Notice the personification of the deity, she is a royal princess,
meaning the philosophy grew up in royal courts of India.  But she is extremely
intrigued by Shiva, and decides early to "acquire" him for a husband.  Notice
that she has to actually practice penance, to understand the yogic practices.
And finally, after considerable effort she obtains Shiva!  This time the marriage
is successful and the incident is the most holy occasion in all of Hinduism!  Now
Hindu society has achieved unity of "dhyana" and "prakrti."  Shiva is united with
Parvati!  Does their marriage and settlement in Kasi mean that all the work was
done by thinkers in the north ?  Of course not, thinkers in Bharat criss-crossed
the entire region quite easily.  In Kerala there was another female deity who
also wanted to marry Shiva, but unfortunately she waited forever, as Parvati beat
her to it!
 
Interestingly, there is a folk song in Magghi regarding the marriage.  And Shiva
is described as being bedecked in the most repulsive appearance, having come to
marry Parvati, quite high on "dhatura!"  This is before the marriage, and
everyone laughs at Shiva, because he does not know the ways of society, nor does
he care for them.  But Parvati insists on marrying him, and the marriage is
presided over by all the deities including the Devas, with Brahma presiding over
the rituals.  After Parvati marries him, Shiva assumes a "gentler" form!  Now
yogic practices assume a gentler form in Hindu society, the people who practice
them don't quite look like the Naga sadhus, walking around naked with ashes all
over, probably smelling terrible, with matted hair (the jata of Shiva).
So before you are disappointed with something, at least contemplate what you are
disappointed with!}


Interestingly, even in China, once Da Mo, by modern scholars considered to be a
Kshatriya rather than Brahmin from the south, brings this same knowledge to China.  And
one Chinese manuscripts expresses surprise that the practices seem to give
"supernatural" powers.  Since then there have been many Chinese martial artists and who
still exist today who claim to develop adamantine bones, externalization of prana to
cause damage without touching from a short distance, or even disabling a person from a
short distance.
 This seems to be a common theme in yogic history.  In Hinduism yoga rises as Shaivism.
In Buddhism yoga rises as Yogachara of Vasubandhu, and in China it finds its way into
Taoism, Taoist yoga being extremely similar to Kundalini.  What is interesting about
all these accounts is that initially nobody believes the effects of yoga, and
eventually everyone is forced to accept it.  As far as I known only Hinduism seem to
have the concept of  "samadhi."  And Hindu Shaivite legends, particularly those of the
northern Himalayas are extremely interesting as they provide far greater detail, almost
meant as hints for would be yogis as to place and practice etc.



In most religions there are at least the paths of bhakti (devotion) and
jnaan (knowledge).  The path of bhakti finds it difficult to resolve
differences between one path and another.  The path of jaana does not and
rather delights in it.
If any other religion deems itself equal to the philosophy of yoga, let it
prove itself!  There is no automatic granting of equality, not even by seers
like Janaka.  This tendency is common to only fraudulent gurus of the west
trying to make a quick buck by increasing the appeal of their philosophy by
being "politically correct."

 Patanjali's Yoga Sutra is concerned with the higher meditative
practices, therefore the comfortable sitting asanas associated with Raja
Yoga.  Hatha Yoga Pradipika attempts to develop the body to the point of
enabling higher meditative practice, it itself declares its intention as the
FIRST line.  For the same reason when the founder of Chan/Zen Buddhism left
India, he had all the monks start exercising and doing martial arts.  The
temple developed into the Shaolin temple now famous in China for its kung
fu.  It is imperative that the body be taken to the point where deep
meditation is possible for prolonged periods.  This could happen for some
outdoors types (hunters etc.) without much effort.  But for the rest, they
have to resort to some kind of an exercise regimen, therefore the asanas of
Hatha Yoga.  They are both yoga, one provides physical exercises to enable
the meditative exercises. 

The purpose of Raja Yoga is to achieve knowledge and experience of the atma.
Once achieved it is not the case that everyone is equal to such a yogi, or
that such a yogi cannot perform this or that karma or believes that every
babbling devotional idiot is the same as himself.  King Janaka having
achieved the state described the various kinds of knowledgeable people,
hardly something that blindly grants everyone equality.  
 
 
 
 

55 comments:

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    1. Iniyavel, our capt. says that Bodhi Dharma was from Kerala as Dharman surname is very common in Kerala. From his blog
      the namboodiri brahmins of kerala never sucked up to the british, nor did the lower castes.

      the tamil iyers were stooges of the british and so were the atheists like EVR periyar.

      kerala history was "punished" by the british . high castes in kerala were "demoted" to dalits as exemplary punishment and temples they went to for thousands of years were made out of bounds.

      bodhi dharma's actual name was buddi dharman .

      he was a kerala kalari expert and a hindu.

      Also read this interesting discussion on yahoo answers.
      https://in.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20150103002919AAETIzS

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    4. Iniyavel, I have seen Palani, it's a beautiful place isn't it?

      BTW, I didn't know that your name Iniyavel was another name for Lord Kartikeya, I only knew about Murugan.

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    6. Anu I read the yahoo link.The first reply to the question sums up everything on why Vadakayil is awfully wrong.
      I had once read an article by a Kalari expert who wrote that the ancient art needs to incorporate many things from the other oriental martial arts like Karate,Kungfu etc.Karate or Kungfu have been subjected to centuries of evolution and updation after which they have got their present form.But the Kalari expert lamented that Kalari is completely against any form of updation or enhancement as per modern requirements of self-defence.On the contrary,it is even losing the techniques gradually with the passage of time,thanks to the secrecy imposed by the Kalari practitioners.This Kalari expert had also taken a black-belt in Karate and he told that the technique of "choondu marmam" ,"noku marmam" or similar things are known only to a handful of persons ,if it exists at all at present. After reading Kunal Singh's experience with his Kungfu grandmaster from YSV's comments, I understood that Kungfu has managed to retain some of the high-level techniques of the past.

      Iniyavel might know better on this topic of Kalari.

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    7. JAM, yes that discussion was interesting. Vadakayil is hell-bent on proving his own absurd theories.

      Iniyavel, do you also worship Veerabhadra, one of the eleven Rudras? We have many Veerabhadra temples in Karnataka. Even Lingayaths worship him.

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    8. There is no evidence to prove exact spot and caste of Bodhidharman. Only undisputed fact is that he was from Southern India.

      In Keralam, British punished high caste princes and nobles who fought them by hanging wholesale and confiscation of their property. In their place, they created a new class of landlords and princes who were loyal to them.

      Brits also did not forget to punish low castes that supported anti-British struggles. Heavy tax was imposed on them and severe social restrictions were imposed on them through their upper caste collaborators.

      So what happened? In late 18th century Kerala, there were lower castes who rose to become high ranking generals and ministers in courts of local princes. But by late 19th century, lower castes were so much persecuted that they could not even use public roads.

      Nambudiris were rarely involved in social or political affairs. They lived for most part in self imposed isolation and kept away from English education --- which is one reason why they are educationally backward compared to rest of South Indian Brahmans. Keralas as a whole did not welcome British because they were not accustomed to alien rule.

      It took over a decade to bring Keralam under firm British rule. Cotiote War led by Pazhassi Raja was the most serious opposition Brits faced, but they were plenty of others too between 1790 and 1810.

      Brits could crush Kerala resistance completely because some traitors actively collaborated with Brits --- And among them, some Tamil Brahmans who settled in Kerala (locally known as PATTARS) most active.

      Due to treachery of a Tamil Brahman minister named Swaminatha Iyer, Hindu kingdom of Calicut fell into British control. Same Iyer’s advice also helped British win Cotiote War.

      In Southern Kerala, a cruel tyrant named Marthanda Varma was driven out of his kingdom due to his tyranny. But helped by advice of a Tamil Brahman clique led by Rama Iyer and helped by troops given by Madurai Nayak, he recaptured his kingdom as well as conquered whole of South Kerala – His return to his kingdom and conquests were marked by extreme cruelty towards people who detested his tyranny. Except for the fact that there was no religious fanaticism and that he was successful in the end, Marthanda Varma’s actions differed little from Tipu Sultan.

      And the fact that much of these atrocities were carried out by Tamil troops in service of Marthanda Varma and the fact that Tamil Brahmans’ Machiavellian ideas helped Varma win his wars created a bitter resentment towards Tamils in general and Tamil Brahmans in particular.

      I don’t blame a Tamil if he hates Sinhalas – by same logic, a Tamil should not be surprised and angry that many Keralas hold negative views about Tamils, especially Tamil Brahmans.

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    9. @JAM

      Actually the name of that combat art is PAYATT. Kalari simply means training ground.

      Payatt have many regional variations - but broadly divided into Northern Keralam style and Southern Keralam style. Northern style gives extra emphasis on fighting with weapons, while Southern style gives extra emphasis on hand to hand combat.

      Idea that Payatt is static is not true. Different teachers often bring their personal innovations into Payatt. That is the reason why there are so many local variation of Payatt.

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    10. And forgot to add - Many of the troops who fought to crush local resistance to British in Keralam were Tamils. It was Madras Regiments that were active in counter insurgency operations in Kerala.

      So humane were these soldiers of Madras Regiment towards civilians that in many places in Northern Kerala, locals preferred to kill their own women and children and then fight to death rather than fall captive.

      There is proverb in Southern Kerala that "if you meet a Pattar and cobra at the same time, first kill the Pattar." (A Marathi friend of mine told me that a same kind of proverb exists in Maharashtra about Marathi Brahmans).

      Keralas of olden days (and even today in rural areas) do insist that a person must be honest in dealings and magnanimous with money. Alleged miserliness and allegedly manipulative cunning of Tamil Brahmans were not exactly endearing qualities.

      But at the same time, Brahmans from Karnataka and Konkan were rarely detested.

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    11. oy this is going to get ugly : I anticipate a spirited response from SMME

      But in fairness SMME said less than complimentary stuff about mallus as well.

      My view: those were different times and while certainly unpleasant facts shouldn't be swept under the rug, at the same time let it not fester

      At the risk of sounding like a sentimental sap, let me emulate Amitabh Bachchan circa 1983 and bank a Dalda dabba sing Mere Desh Premiyon :)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn6XXm2cxMA

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    12. I went through the wikipedia article on Marthanda Varma and found no references that he was a cruel tyrant. Even the Capt with his criticism of Tamils and articles on Tipu's massacre of Nairs has never mentioned Tamil mercenaries marauding through Kerala. I hail from near the Kerala-TN border and frankly, I have never heard this audacious tale before.

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    13. I have read a book by KM Panikkar, I forget which title exactly in which he details the cruelties by Marthanda Varma where he executed hundreds(?) of Nair nobles when they were suspected of plots against his throne and sold their women into slavery or given to Mukkuvars(fisherman caste)

      This is well substantiated. Of course this completely adharmic but some context: Marthanda Varma was trying to create a more professional military along European lines as he saw the days of feudalism and its associated culture was at end. In this he may have been influenced by his Dutch advisor Dellanoy whose navy he had defeated. THis made him the first Asian monarch who defeated a European navy in the modern age. This wasn't to be repeated until the Japanese defeated Russians in 1904.

      Varma recruited greatly from lower castes into his army and wished to drill them along European lines. Nairs did not wish to change their custom and were against Varma from the get go as he didn't hail from Travancore

      As for Tamils, look in the era the main body of mercenaries available to pretty much everyone who would pay for them were Tamils and Telugus.

      Tamils were utilized heavily not just by the East India company but also the French ,Nawabs and Tipu Sultan.
      Meanwhile Telugus in that era were so over represented in northern areas of East India company that Telinga was for a time synonymous with the word soldier

      Telugus fought for Marathas and against them in Panipat. As well as for the "Rebels" in 1857. Im not sure if they fought on the British side as after the Polygar wars, the British wanted less and less to do with Telugu soldiers.

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    15. @ Sagar,YSV and others

      What's your opinion on the effectiveness of Kalari martial art(the unarmed southern style particularly) in modern day situations wrt other oriental arts or the R sponsored Krav Maga :) ?

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    17. @ JAM haha

      Kalari isn't what it used to be for sure. However it is still pretty effective.

      The problem is that you need months perhaps even upto a year before you can use it in real life self defense scenario

      While Krav Maga is very straight and direct. Forget about honor, forget about glory or rules. Just hit,incapicitate and flee.
      THis was designed with timid ghetto Jews in Prague in mind, I think.

      Later it evolved into more sophisticated disarming techniqes and fighting multiple opponents. But the fundamentals are what endear it to those who want a crash course in self defense

      Karate as I said before is totally useless unless you have years of training.

      Thai kickboxing is something else that's quite effective but it creates a considerable degree of body conditioning which KM doesn't.

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    19. To withstand those blows you need a certain amount of conditioning. It is not enough to be physically fit as a wrestler. They keep practicing get thrown all the time without protection apart from a mat.
      Something that boxers cannot without protection or else they suffer considerable damage which later results in Parkinsons disease etc.

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    21. @ YSV

      I think Karate is actually a good art.The problem is that karate is taught as a sport and part-time exercise system all over the world.Thus at present you will find schools which hand black belt in 4 to 5 years.But real karate which is practised through traditional means requires atleast 10 years to reach level of blackbelt perfection.Same can be said about the kungfu also,which has now denigrated to sport wushu instead of the original lethal self-defence style.However I came to know that judo has managed to retain its traditional standards and complexity around the globe.But then again it suffers from the same handicap of becoming a sport from the original jujitsu.Most judo practitioners in these days don't even learn the kicking and direct hit techniques of Jujitsu,as they are banned from competition.And I don't think you will survive a multiple attacker situation with only grappling and without kicks or punches.Iniyavel wrestling is good but the major problem is that it is heavily grappling oriented.If wrestling incorporates hard body training and kickboxing moves,then it will be a lethal combo.
      The Great Gama had challenged in Japan that he will fight 30 judokas alone.His challenge went unaccepted throughout Japan judo circles :)

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    22. @ Iniyavel

      If fitness is your goal,then I would suggest you stay away from weightlifting.Not that it is bad,but I feel there are healthier alternatives to it.And even from the self-defence perspective,brute strengh doesn't actually help much in fight scenarios,unless you are challenging complete amateurs.

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    23. If you are a Batista or Kane with near 7 feet height,then it's a different issue,in that case attackers will think 10 times before coming near you :)

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    26. @ Iniyavel

      You can also take up the Tamil martial arts if that is possible and available in your area.Sadly I don't have the option to learn the Indian styles at present,and I doubt whether I will have any in the future.Indian martial arts are dying a natural death due to lack of propagation.I read on the net that the sikh martial art of Gatka was a lethal one.Its original form was so deadly that a Sikh soldier trained in this art could take on more than 10 opponents in armed combat.The Brits,after seeing the danger this martial system posed,banned it and executed many Gurus who had good knowledge of this style.Thus the modern Gatka art has been weakened to more of an art form than real fight.

      @ YSV and others

      There is a martial art in Bangladesh called Butthan which has been designed by taking the good features of the most well-known south Asian martial art styles,including Kungfu, Kalari and Silambam.I had only come to know about this system recently.

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    27. @Prem Chand

      From what I have understood, Captain's understanding of Southern Kerala's history is not adequate.

      @SMME

      I agree 100 percent. Fanatical part of local Muslims did greatest treachery when they aligned with Tipu Sultan and took part in all his atrocities. Had it not been for Congress support to Khilafat, thousands of Hindus would not have died at hands of Islamic fanatics in South Malabar area of Kerala.

      But I did not mention about it because it was not related to the question of why negative perception about Tamil people exist in mind of many Keralas.

      I don’t have the slightest intention to malign Tamil people for what mercenaries did – I must also add that atrocities done by mercenaries occurred because their commanders – Brits and Marthanda Varma – had ordered it.

      Nor are Tamils to be blamed for actions of Swaminatha Iyer and Rama Iyer. Blame for those crimes fall on those who inspired it.

      But the unfortunate side effect was that Kerala folks became wary of Tamils.

      But good news is that old prejudices are dying out. Once Keralas started increasingly interacting with ordinary Tamil masses in Tamil Nadu, they discovered to their surprise that most Tamils are decent people.

      Pazhassi Raja respected freedom fighters outside his area also. That is why he had friendly ties with Dheeran Chinnamalai and Marudu Pandyar.

      Madras Regiment seriously harmed Tamil independence. Had it not been for their Madras Regiments, Brits could not have conquered Western Tamil Nadu from Polygars. Real Tamil heroes are those warriors who fought under Puli Thevar, Kattabomman, Dheeran Chinnamalai and Marudupandyar. They risked everthing they had for a noble cause.

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    28. @JAM

      You should opt for one which suits you. I mean your physical condition, your taste, your availability of time and related matters.

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    29. @YSV

      Kalari-Payatt is not what it used to be. Payatt is meant to kill your enemy. In Payatt tournaments done in Keralam even as late as 19th century (Malayalam: “ANGAM”) one of the participants will die. A man should settle all his earthly obligations and do funeral rites for parents before he goes for ANGAM

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    31. "Kalari-Payatt is not what it used to be." - Yeah Sagar I have also heard the same thing.Infact one Kalari master,whose interview i had read in some website ,had clearly admitted that for practical purposes traditional kungfu will be better than kalari.However in terms of theory,kalari is the most superior art form in the world,as it is about holistic development of body and mind.I think traditional kungfu also mimics the holistic approach of Kalari to a large extent.Last year I came accross an article where some doctors had conducted test on the health benefits of kungfu kata moves on cancer patient.They were surprised to find that the patients did register some general improvements in their health.It is said that the systems of exercise in traditional Karate or Kungfu actually gear you up for enlightenment.
      I wish I could learn kungfu or karate from chinese of Jap grandmaster .But that is not possible in this scenario.The martial arts schools in my locality are only for sport purposes.None of them teach the real martial arts.

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    34. @SMME

      It was an error. Here is the stuff. Eyewitness account of a sympathetic English officer about Cotiote War.

      The Examiner, Issues 523-574, Leigh, Hunt, Page Number 594."Indian Atrocities" by George Strachan.

      Have you read D. Sivaram's "On Tamil Militarism" (a collection of 11 essays)? I must say that its extremely informative.

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    36. Is it true that practice of yogic exercises are helpful in learning Indian and east Asian combat arts?

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    38. @ Sagar M

      yogic exercises help in any form of physical discipline.After observing the Kungfu and karate katas in the traditional style of gentleness as practised in Japan and china,I have felt that both these martial arts might have an ancient yogic connection.Infact the yogic link of Kungfu goes back to BodhiDharma and I think this theory is more or less accepted by historians.Karate has also been influenced by Kungfu in the past.

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    1. @Iniyavel: A very Happy Birthday in advance. Wishing you lots of happiness and success in your life!

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    3. Iniyavel a belated happy birthday bro.Wish you success in your life and in your dreams of forging out the independent Tamilian republic :P (this one is a half-hearted wish though)

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    5. @Iniyavel, how did you celebrate your b'day? Did you go partying with your friends or did you celebrate it at home with your family members?

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    7. That was very nice of you.

      I have a question for you; hope you don't mind my asking this. From your conversations online, you appear to be a very gregarious, social and outgoing person. Are you like that in your real life too?

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    9. Iniyavel, you are absolutely right about those ungrateful people. I too had similar experiences with them; after taking our help they simply avoid us. Now I'm more cautious and don't go out of my way to help anyone.

      And some females do speak sweet, sugary things in front of you and bitch about you behind your back. I try to maintain a distance from such double-faced people.

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