Articles > Mulakas - Origins of the Mulakanadu Sect
Mulakas - origins of the mulakanadu sect
Published in the "Quarterly Journal of the Mythic Society (QJMS)" - Vol XXI - No. 1
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Mulakas by S. Srikanta Sastri, Esq., M.A.
The references to the ancient Brahmanical community of the Mulakas, that occur in epigraphs and Saṁskṛt literature are of interest as indicating the gradual intrusion of the Āryans into the south and the expansion and propagation of the northern culture in Dakshņãpatha. The name occurs in a variety of forms - chief being Mūlaka, Mūtiba, Mūshaka, Mūchipa and Muṛika. The earliest reference is, I believe, in the Aitarēya Brãhmaņa where we have the story of a Viśvãmitra expelling his sons from Āryãvarta (Ait, Br., VII. 18). We are told that they settled down among the Dasyus.
तएतेव्ध्ना: पुण्डा: शबराः पुळिन्दा: मूतिबा इत्युदन्त्या बहवो वैश्वामित्रादस्युनां भूयिष्टा: ||
The country beyond the confines of Aryavarta thus came to be called in later times Mlechhadesa – the abode of barbarians (म्लेच्च्देश: सविज्ञेयः आर्यावर्तस्ततः परम् ).
The term “Mlechha” which in early times was confined solely to the predatory tribes, came to be applied to all peoples beyond the region between the Himalayas and the Vindhyas, so that the Yavanas, Chinas, Hunas, the Sakas and Pahlavas are considered to be as barbaric as the indigenous tribes – Kiratas, Sabaras, Pilundas, Poundras, Dravidas and Keralas. Amaranarasimha enumerates Kiratas, etc., as sub-divisions of Mlechhas (भेदाः किरात शबरपुळिन्दा: म्लेच्छजातयः). The Mahabharata (I. 186. 33-7) and Manavadharma Sastra go further.
चिवुकांश्च पुलिन्दाश्च चीनान् हुणान् सकरेळान् |
ससर्ज फेनत: सा गै: म्लेच्छान् बहुविधानापि ||
पैण्ड्रुका श्चैड्रूद्रदिडा: कंभोजा शवना इका: |
पारादाः पलव्हः श्चीन: किराता: दरदा: पुवशा: || etc.
Similalry the Harivamsa enumerates the peculiar modes of dressing the hair practised by these Mlechhas – like that of shaving half the head or complete, allowing moustaches and the beard to grow, etc., - these habits being evidently non-Aryan.
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"Mulakanadu Brahmanaru" by Dr. T. V. Venkatachala Sastry