Tiger Cave – Mahabalipuram and Throne of King Solomon
Our ancestors were captivated and taken to the parts of Iran and Iraq by the Assyrian king. These people migrated to the southern part of India through the Arabian sea and similarly certain people, reached the northern part of India through the Khyber Bolan Pass. When people migrated Babylonians, Assyrians and Moabites would have come along with them, but in the case of south India purely the people of Israel have occupied. Now we are going to see the proof for all these things. As soon as they migrated, they had built a temple to worship God and we are going to deal with the temple in a detailed manner. King Narasimha Pallava of the seventh century A.D., has left the clues as to whom the temple belonged to. Mahabalipuram is located five kilometers ahead of this temple. This temple had been destroyed twice by Tsunami and the big rock was seen after the 2004 Tsunami in Tamilnadu. Reading the inscriptions on the stone, the archaeological survey had been taken. They also found that this temple is the oldest of all. The temple has the Holy place, the Most holy place, the courtyard and the Altar of Burnt Sacrifice. The temple faces the north side and there is a Vel built with a black stone and a statue of Nandhi has also been found in this temple. Next important thing to note is that the sanctum sanctorum or the Garba griha has no sign of any statue kept there for worship. This seems to be a controversial topic and let us deal with it clearly. These Israelites does not do idol worship. God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses and these were kept inside the sanctum sanctorum. But the Ark of Covenant was with the southern Israel when the kingdom was divided into two. So, king Jeroboam who ruled North Israel built worship places at Dan and Bethel, thinking that people would change their mind if they go to Jerusalem to worship Jehovah. So, He made two golden calves and made the people of Israel to worship them. Altar was built and people offered sacrifices to these golden calves. This is what we see that the sanctum sanctorum does not have any inlets, because of the absence of the Ark of the Covenant, the place was left empty. The Vel is kept to denote that the temple was built by Israelites ( Vel= Isravel). We can see that the people had offered sacrifices to the calf with the help of the statues of Nandhi and the altar. Knowing its importance, the Pallava and the Chola Kings gave gifts and also had made arrangements for renovation but the temple was unfortunately destroyed by the larger waves of Tsunami. Three hundred metres away from this temple is the proof as to whom the temple belonged to.
This is the Tiger cave and it’s the site of UNESCO. These sculptures are said to be as tiger, but it is actually not so, because only the lion has the broader front part and the narrow part at the back (when it sits). The one part of the cave has a throne sculptured on it. Lion + throne ( singam + aasanam = singaasanam), that is the throne of a particular king. Tamil language has words with deeper meanings in it. Then to add more details to it, two faces of elephants have been sculptured. These two elephants denote two kingdoms, and the books in Tamil literature have much reference to these two kingdoms. These two kingdoms are North Israel and south Judea. To know to whom the country belonged to, we must look on the elephant facing the north side and the throne to the side of it. So, we can conclude that the sculptures were done by the Northern Israelites. We can see that the top of the throne is round at the back and two lions on either sides of the armrest and it has five steps at the bottom and when you see around the throne, there will be eleven lions sculptured on it. This throne belonged to a king, and we shall see about it. There were twelve Israeli tribes and they are,
Among these, Israel (Jacob) blessed the sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh at his death bed and made them the head of tribes like Reuben and Simeon. All these thirteen tribes were ruled by three kings when it was one single kingdom. The first king was King Saul then King David and the last one was King Solomon, son of King David. The kingdom of Israel was divided into two during the reign of King Solomon. Judah and Benjamin tribe formed the southern part of Israel and the remaining eleven tribes formed the northern part of Israel. They are,
These eleven tribes were depicted as lions in the rock cave and we can know this with the evidences given in the Holy Bible.
1 Kings 10:18-20
Then the king made a great throne covered with ivory and overlaid with fine gold. The throne had six steps, and its back had a rounded top. On both sides of the seat were armrests, with a lion standing beside each of them. Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one at either end of each step. Nothing like it had ever been made for any other kingdom.
King Solomon built this kind of majestic throne and that had six steps and twelve lions on either sides and two lions on either armrest. Twelve lions denote twelve tribes of Israel, and it is to be noted that no other kingdoms had such similar throne. The similar stories of Vikramaditya and his throne are widely said in this country. The two kingdoms are North and south Israel. From the references given in the Bible, we can know that there were eleven tribes during the time of King Jeroboam, the king of North Israel, and so only eleven faces were sculptured. Now we can see about the references given in the books of Sangam literature. Vada vengadam and Then Kumari is mentioned in many books like Silapadhikaaram, Nanool, Tholkaapiyam, Iraiyanar Agaporul and so on. The location of these two countries are mentioned in a book written by Sitrambala Kaviraayar
“ Vengadam kumari theempunal powathu”
Tholkaapiyar has mentioned about the twelve students of Agathiyar in his book. Let us now see their names.
- Athangkottu aasaan
- Peria kaakaipaadini
These are actually the twelve tribes of Israel. Israel was divided and the lands were given to the twelve tribes and the names of these inheritances were given in the books in Tamil literature and the book also mentions about the three kings (moovendhar) who ruled the country. The actual Tamil poetry is
கன்னித் தென்கரைக் கட்பழந் தீவம்
சிங்களம் கொல்லம் கூவிளம் என்னும்
எல்லையில் புறத்தீவும் ஈழம் பல்லவம்
கன்னடம் வடுகு கலிங்கம் தெலிங்கம்
கொங்கணம் துளுவம் குடகம் குன்றம்
என்பன குடபால் இருபுறச் சையத்து
உடனுறைபு பழகும் தமிழ்த்திரி நிலங்களும்
முடியுடை மூவரும் இடுநில ஆட்சி
அரசுமேம் பட்ட குறுநிலக் குடிகள்
பதின்மரும் உடனிருப்பு இருவரும் படைத்த
பன்னிரு திசையில் சொல்நயம் உடையவும்
The poetry also mentions about the twelve lands divided and occupied by them. They are
Levi was not given any inheritance, because God was their own inheritance. The tribe of Manasseh had inheritance on either sides of River Jordan. Irunila Atchi( two kingship ) indicates North Israel and Judea. Mudivudai Moovar (three kings) denotes King Saul, King David and King Solomon. After these King Jeroboam from the tribe of Ephraim was made the King. Kurnila kudigal pathimoondru (or thirteen tribes) denotes the tribes of Israel. This poetry totally describes about the twelve tribes which became thirteen in number. From this we can conclude that homeland for Tamil people is Israel and the throne is sculptured so as to denote that we had come from Israel. After this we are going to take a look on the Shore temple and the Shiva Lingam and the Vishnu statue inside the temple. Hundred meters away from this Tiger cave is the Shiva Temple and the temple is the symbol of the people accepting Shaivism at those times. Shaivism and Vaishnavism started during the seventh century and have its source from the Northern Israelites. They had the practice of offering burnt sacrifices but after knowing that God has come into this world and had died for our sins, certain people accepted this and they were Shaivites, people who did not accept Jesus followed a sect called Vaishnavism. The kings during those days accepted the fact that the final sacrifice (Jesus) is over and so no more sacrifices were needed, and so they followed Shaivism and built temples. Generally in those temples the statue of calf is kept, which is called Nandhi. The throne, the old temple and this Shivan temple also come to a common conclusion that Jesus (son of God) had come into this world and he died for our sins once and for all and rose up on the third day.