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What was the religion of Raja Raja? Historian told the truth, said on the dispute – the word Hindu is not in the inscriptions of the Cholas

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Mani Ratnam’s directorial venture ‘Ponniyan Selvam’ (PS1) is in the news these days. The story of Chola emperor Raj Raja has been shown on the big screen in this film, which is being well-liked. But the film has also become a part of controversy. Recently, Tamil cinema filmmaker Vetrimaaran had claimed in his statement that Raja Raja was not a Hindu and Hinduism was not a name during the Chola rule. There is a lot of ruckus on this statement of his. At the same time, historian S Jayakumar has given his statement on this controversy, who was also Mani Ratnam’s advisor during the shooting of ‘PS1’.

Jayakumar says that the word Hindu is not in the inscriptions of the Cholas. But Raja Raja was a Shaivite and Hindu king. Hinduism as it is spoken of today has existed for many centuries. Those who worship Shiva are called Shaivas and those who worship Vishnu are called Vaishnavas. According to Jayakumar, Raja Raja was a staunch Shaiva. But it is not that he only built temples of Shiva. He has also built temples of Lord Vishnu on his time. His descendant’s Kuldevi was Nishumbhasudini in Thanjavur. They worshiped Durga, Shakti and Kali as well as Murukan and Ganesha.

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Further, referring to the Brihadisvara temple, he said that 150 bananas were offered to Lord Ganesha there in a day. All this constitutes Hindutva. But it is also true that the word Hindu was not used during the Chola rule. There is no question about that Raja Raja Chola was a Hindu ruler. He belonged to the Shaivite sect. Continuing his point, he further said that some copper plates and inscriptions have been found from the time of the Cholas and other dynasties who ruled Tamil Nadu, according to which, all of them claim to be devotees of both Shiva and Vishnu. Not only this, he was also a follower of Jainism and Buddhism. However, he was widely recognized as a devotee of Shiva and Vishnu.

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The statement of many leaders and artists has come on the controversy of not calling Raj Raja a Hindu as a Hindu. Some people have gone out in support of Vetrimaaran’s statement and said that Raj Raja was not a Hindu. At the same time, questions have been raised on this matter from the BJP side. Amidst all these statements, Jayakumar has said that there is a description of ‘Ved Neri’ in the hymn of Tamil Shaivism. This can easily be called the correct term for Hinduism in those days as the core of Hinduism is largely derived from Vedic literature.

Concluding his point, Jayakumar said that the Cholas claimed to be descendants of Lord Rama, who belonged to the Surya dynasty. Similarly every descendant claims divine origin. Pandya says that they are descendants of Moon. The Pallavas believe that he was Lord Vishnu.

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