Mu to Lemuria and Kumari-Kandam to Sumeria - I
by Jayasree Saranathan on 11 Sep 2021 0 Comment

This is part of my series in Tamil that analyses whether Tamilians were Dravidians. The original article in Tamil can be read here:-


I owe gratitude to Mr. T.G. Saranathan, former Chief General Manager of Telecom, Tamil Nadu circle, for bringing out this article in English for our readers. He was previously associated with Sri Mukkur Lakshmi Narasinhachariyar Swamy whose works he had translated. His other notable contribution, for the benefit of readers, is the translation of Bhagavad Gita rendered by Sri Velukkudi Krishnan Swamy. I am humbled to know that such a person of wide knowledge is an ardent admirer of my Tamil series. It is my good fortune that he has agreed to translate the Tamil articles of that series into English.


In the current article, I am taking up the translated version and adding more to that to show how the two supposed-to-have submerged continents of the Pacific ocean (called Mu) and Indian Ocean (called Lemuria) are not supported by Indian sources. In that context, the supposed submergence of Kumari-Kandam spoken in Tamil literature is discussed with its probable spill over to Sumeria.



The genesis of concepts of Mu and Lemuria


In the 18th and 19th Centuries, Europeans were travelling all over the world, noticing unfamiliar new cultures and new places. During the same time many disciplines in Science and Archeology were getting created and new research papers were getting released. As far as History was concerned, Europeans were eager to trace their ancestors. They had learnt, from the great Greek scholar Plato, about the city of Atlantis, which had submerged in the ocean. They were searching for the location of that submerged city and that search continues this day. Using references about Atlantis, everyone from scientists to archeologists were trying to locate that submerged city. They were trying to find any proof for cultural relationship between the civilization of the people of that city and themselves.


Their search entered India at the peak of colonial occupation. There are many ancient literatures in India which speak enormously about the very ancient history of India. In the entire world, only India has the largest number of old books. It was difficult for the then European researchers to accept all the information and references found in them. Picking up here and there, they made their inferences in their own desired way. That resulted in the ‘discoveries’ of theories of Aryan Invasion and Aryan-Dravidian War.


A similar kind of methodology of research led to the ‘discovery’ of ‘Mu’ and ‘Lemuria’. They hypothesized that in the Pacific Ocean there was a submerged continent called Mu, which they developed from “Mayan” and “Indian sources”.  Similarly, they hypothesized that in the Indian Ocean, there was a huge landscape, Lemuria, which is also now submerged. The surprising feature is that both these discoveries were revealed in the same year!


Taking up each of these one by one, the term Mu was coined by a French traveler, Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg, in 1864. This term itself was wrongly understood. (1) On the basis of this, Augustus le Plongeon, a British, told that Mu was a continent submerged in the Pacific Ocean. James Churchward elaborated it further.


In the same year another British, Philip Sclator, wrote an article in the Quarterly Journal of Science that a continent by name Lemuria must have submerged in the Indian Ocean. (2)  At the time of these revelations, new researches were going on. Europeans were making scientific researches on the one side and explorations across the world on the other, which brought them into contact with people until then unknown to them. The impact of these was Mu and Lemuria, which are in fact results of their limited strides in these fields of knowledge.


Among these two, the source for the formation of opinion on Mu was the people of Maya; the basis for Lemuria was Darwin’s Evolution Theory.


These two theories of submerged continents had ONE common thread running through them. But this thread was never acknowledged by any other European researcher. They continue to talk about these two continents, disregarding this thread. This thread was that the human race emanated from the South and with time moved to North.


Though Mu was hypothesized to have existed 50,000 years ago in the Pacific, any further trace of the people of Mu started from India only. They opined that footprints of such a human race were found in India only. They said that all ancient civilizations like Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek, etc., followed from that source only. But the fellow researchers of that time never agreed with that opinion. Had they agreed with that view, the theory that Aryans came from Europe to India and taught Vedas would have vanished long ago.


The ‘rise’ of Mu, the continent submerged in the Pacific Ocean


It was the time Europeans were trying to understand the lives of the aborigines of the American land. The creation of Mu continent was based on those people, their folklore and books. Just as they disregarded traditional opinions in India and interpreted Rig Veda in their own way and propagated the story of Aryan invasion, they created the Mu continent from Mayan literature. Factually, Mu, neither as a word nor as an opinion, is found either in Mayan literature or in their tradition. Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg, the French traveller, while translating Maya literature, wrote to the extent he could understand.


As an example, we can see a page of the Mayan book, Troano Codex, from which he (Bourbourg) deduced the idea “Mu”. Even present Maya people themselves do not know what message this conveys. But the Europeans translated this. At present, with more researches having been done, they have come to the conclusion that the book might be depicting Astronomy-Astrology.


But the opinion about Mu, even after more than 100 years, is still held by them. Further impetus to the opinion of Augustus le Plongeon was given by James Churchward.


James Churchward


If we Indians know how he developed that opinion, then we can understand how much truth it contains. Because he had told that his opinion about Mu was formed while he was in India and with the assistance of Indians. He was in India serving the British Army during colonial rule. Names found in the Mu continent theory were also talked about in India. This increased his curiosity.


Importantly, he believed that Maya literature had many references to Naga and Nagas. Those pointed to Naccal, he thought. [Nascal Ridge is a deep sea formation that indicated the deep sea underground passage used by Nagas] (3)


He thought that Naccal was the name of the people of Mu continent and Naccal was the language they talked. From where he got this idea is the key to this riddle. It appears he got the clue from a temple Archaka (priest) in India. It seems that priest showed him a secret plate written in Naccal language. That language was known only to three people in India. Churchward learned that language!


The plates in which this Naccal script was written were stored very secretly in an underground cellar and protected.(4) The place he mentioned was the cellar in Ekambaranatha Temple in Kanchipuram (Tamilnadu, India).


Taking cue from Churchward, another researcher, Thomas Ritter, came to India and succeeded in getting access to the plates that Churchward once examined, in the same Ekambaranatha temple. He was taken to the underground chambers of that temple where he saw many stone tablets with inscriptions and many post-card sized plates of gold, silver and bronze with symbols and triangles inscribed on them – which he thought were maps and technical drawings!


This ‘discovery’ was made in July 2011, with the help of one Mr. Pachayappan, who “held a position of influence in the temple, because the other priests met him with great respect”. Little did he know that in today’s Tamilnadu, even priests of high caliber have no respect and they have to bow to the officials appointed by the Government to oversee the functioning of the temple. Pachayappan seems to be one official. The kind of guidance Pachayappan had given to Mr. Ritter shows how little or nothing he knows of the objects stored in the underground chambers. Had Mr. Ritter taken guidance from a priest, say, Mr. Narayan whom he mentions in his write-up, the Mu concept would have been further pushed towards its grave. (5)


Mr. Ritter refers to a small plate that he received from Mr. Pachayappan. He thinks that James Churchward also had seen such a plate. The Mu researcher thinks that this plate has some language which if he knows would be helpful in deciphering numerous other plates. (Pachayappan has said so!)


But any common man of the Hindu fold knows this is a yantra plate, meant for worship. The lines are in conformity with certain invocation of Gods, which are inscribed with care and devotion. Then, special mantras are chanted that make the plate empowered. Such plates are fixed below the idols of God. When such things are done, God’s powers are believed to be infused in those plates. Such plates can be found in the possession of many people in India even today. One will find such plates in almost all shops in India which are consecrated for getting prosperity in their business. The sketches drawn in such a plate was understood by Ritter as the script of the Naccal language spoken by the people of the submerged continent Mu. We know the plate does not contain Naccal language scripts.


Ritter has even shown parts of the inscriptions found on the stone tablets stacked in the underground chambers. He thinks they are some unknown language which he can decipher with the help of the plates. But what he had seen were stone tablets in which all the transactions of the temple were recorded. The language is Tamil.


We can see them on the website of another Mu researcher, Jack Churchward. (6) The said tablet must have been engraved after the 16th or 17th century. The 3rd letter in the 2nd row is ‘ki’ written around that time. That row mentions some land grant (nila-k-kodai) and the next line mentions the place (Urayur).


Another tablet is of the same period, where the 4th line says “Udayaar” which usually means the God of the temple. There was a practice to call the deity of the temple as Udayar of the temple. Udayar means ‘one who is in possession of (something)’; in the context of the temple, this means possession of the temple itself.


It must be recalled that in the famous Ram Janmabhumi-Babri Masjid case, one of the main arguments accepted by the judges was that the temple is a possession of the deity who is consecrated inside. The same principle is seen in all temples throughout India. The “udayar” in this inscription shows that. The next line (5th line) tells about some “cheri” which is a suffix that follows the name of a place.


Like ‘Ur’ and ‘Nagar’, ‘Cheri’ also refers to a place but one very smaller in size. Thankfully the tablets that Mr. Ritter photographed did not contain the word “Ur”. It is very common to come across some place-name ending with Ur in the temple inscriptions, because there are millions of villages in India ending with the word Ur. If that word had been found (in the said inscriptions) then they would have “found” a link with Sumerian culture and written volumes on how Sumerian influence came to Kanchipuram.


I wonder what they would have to say for the Uru people of the Titicaca lake in Peru and Bolivia in the Andes (7). Why are they known as people of Uru (Uru is a colloquial Tamil word)? There even exists a research article on Sumerian connection to the architecture of Tiwanaku in this region of the Andes. (Tiwanaku sounds like ‘Theeva-Naagu” or Naaga-theevu in Tamil or Naaga-Dweepa in Sanskrit, which means island of the Nagas). This research article says that the units of measurement of Sumerian structures are found in Tiwanaku structures and other structures of Pre-Columbian Andes civilisations. It is also found in Egyptian structures (8).


Does it convey that Sumerians had migrated to the Andes or was it the other way round?


This puzzle has an answer in India. The basics of architecture and buildings of stone had a common origin in Vastu sastra, a branch of Atharva Veda which was practised by people called Mayan and Vishwakarma. While Vishwakarma were not known to have moved out of India, the Mayan have moved all over the world and used the same knowledge of building science wherever they settled or when asked to build. Another probability is that masons from across the ancient world learned the same rules and applied them in building structures in their places. Till today the body of that knowledge is found in India only, in the Indian texts on Vastu.


Another inscription of Mr. Ritter is also Tamil of later period. The top most line starts with the most common “Swasthi Shree” and some name. The 3rd line has a word “Nayanaar” where ‘Naa” is of recent usage around or after the 17th century.


Even today, one can find similar style of Tamil written on the side walls of temples of Kanchipuram. This shows that these inscriptions are of recent origin and not ancient. However, there may be countless tablets belonging to olden times, going back to the Pallava period. The stacks of stone tablets in underground rooms may span from that period.


These tablets are records of donations and other events of the temple. There is ample evidence to say this, from many inscriptions analyzed so far. Mr. Ritter has another inscription which is a record of temple activity written in Tamil. The script shows that it is of very recent origin – within the last century.


Some other ‘inscriptions’ are certainly not from the temple’s store room. They are an implant in the cache of pictures from the Ekambaranatha temple. The script resembles that of Urukagina of Mesopotamia (9). Urukagina ruled Lagash, the city state of Mesopotamia between 2380 BC to 2360 BC. If left unquestioned, ‘research’ articles would start coming comparing these with an inference that Sumerians were the precursors of the script of  Naccal ‘found’ in Kanchipuram!


It is now nearly 200 years since the hypothesis of Mu came into existence. The advancement in many spheres of knowledge has now revealed that such a continent never existed. But the possibility of existence of underground passages is there, in accordance with his theory that Nagas lived there.


The very name Nagas comes from Hindu Puranas and Ithihasas. To understand them one has to study them or approach Hindus who are knowledgeable in those literatures. But to find the location of Naga-world, assistance from other disciplines is necessary. When we investigate accordingly, we find that the name Nascal Ridge has been derived from Naccal – Naga. The various islands of Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean, dispersed like fallen cherries, are the result of lava from volcanoes. Long caves inside them could perhaps resemble Nagaloka or world of serpents.


Let us understand that it was not possible for the entire Mu continent to have existed there, but possibilities for underground caves and passages, are there. The great destruction caused by volcanic eruptions and earthquakes in Sundaland over a period, displaced groups of people, and one group settled in the scattered islands of the Pacific Ocean. This is reinforced by DNA researches. DNA research reveals that the origin of people of Polynesian islands is from South East Asia, rather than from South America. As Churchward says, if any traces of antiquity are seen in Polynesian people, we should search for the origins in places like Sundaland or Indian Ocean and not in Pacific Ocean.













(To be concluded…)



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