Aniruddha Brahmarayar

This article is based on Gokul ‘s Facts and Fiction series.

The name Aniruddha is derived from one of the Vyuha manifestations of Lord Vishnu. Altogether there are 4 forms (Vasudeva, Pradyumna, Sankarshana and Aniruddha)[1]

Anbil was a recognized town in chola regime, probably because of its proximity to Uraiyur. Today it is a small village near Trichy. There is a Vishnu temple of ancient origins located here. (Lord name is Appak kudathan)

Brahmarayan or Brahma marayan are various names given to Brahmin’s involved in high society royal services under the chola regime. Some of them enjoyed high privileges under the power of autocracy.

The Anbil plates not only talk about royal family but also about the Brahmaraya|Brahmaraya’s family and these details are finely made use of by Kalki during the Rameswaram meeting between Azhwarkadiyan Nambi and Brahmarayar.

There is not much details about this Brahmaraya in some of the historical references. In fact, as a rule, only little details are available about people who were associated with the royal service. The entire society seems to have revolved around the king and we only find details about the kings and their conquests.

From the Ponniyin Selvan point of view Aniruddha assumes very significant importance. Perhaps he is the only person who is aware of the birth secret of Nandhini as well as several other things concerning royal family. He keeps changing his role and sometimes it may be conusing as to which side he really belongs to. (Kundavai once remarks “Even God may not know what is in this man’s mind!”). Aniruddha is a personification of intelligence and royal wisdom gained over a period of time. In the entire novel, he is perhaps the only one who behaves like a typical politician.

It is not clear whether he served Madhuranthaka Uttama Chola as well. Considering the fact that the killers of Adithya were brahmins serving under chola regime and as on date historians are unable to identify the real motive behind this killing.

Doubts about Aniruddha’s Period of Service

There is a confusion about Anirudda’s period of service [2] where he was not the prime minister during the brief time of Uttama Chozhas rule. He came back under Rajaraja’s rule and in Balakumaran’s Udaiyar, a similar idea was expressed that Senathipathi Krishnan Raman ana Mummudi chozha Brahmarayar (this is how inscriptions refer him) was Airuddha Brahmarayar and that his place was Ammangudi, which was visited by the group during Mudhal Yaathirai.

But there are following questions which need to be answered to really prove the theory.

  • Uttama chola reigned for 15 years. If Aniruddha was minister during Sundara chola’s time, he must have resigned himself for the next 15 years, came back once again. Then either he should have been too old during Rajaraja’s time or too young during Sundara’s time.
  • Going by Ponniyin Selvan, Aniruddha and Sundara are approximately of same age. Assuming that Aniruddha was around 40 during Sundara’s reign, then he should be 55 during Rajaraja’s reign and could have served him for some years. But the problem with this is that Sundara died almost within a year of Adithya’s death, unable to cope up with the loss of his son and became ”'”PonMaaligai Thunjiya Devar””’ in pages of history. In that case he must have died quite early without even completing 50 years.
  • The other argument is, of course, assuming Aniruddha was much younger than Sundara, around 40 during the latter’s times, but becoming a prime minister at 40 is no joke and we may not have enough evidences to support this.
  • But beyond all this age and other stuff, perhaps the most interesting question which is still not answered is ”’Why Did He Resign During Mathuranthaka Uttama Chola’s Reign”’?
  • Was he one of the suspects in Adithya’s murder and was acquitted only after the original criminals were nabbed during Rajaraja’s reign?
  • Was he so devoted to Sundara and Family and did not want to serve anybody else ?
  • Did he wish like many of the citizens of his times (as proven by Thiruvalangadu Plates) that Arumozhi should succeed Sundara? seeing that the throne was given to Uttama, he resigned from the post ?
  • What did he do when he was not in post? Kept quiet or continued to serve chola dynasty and guide Arumozhi?