The history of a people is also the history of their subaltern anthropological history. In ancient India ,both in North and South, the practice of appointing a commander in chief (Senaapathi/Devasenapathi)was there.Usually this post goes to the yuvaraja, or the prince of the royal lineage.In Sangha Tamil thisperson is often reffered to as Irukkuvel (Velavan) who is the son of Siva, but the nephew of Mahavishnu.Thus the Yuvaraja (Ilam Ko) had an option to adopt either a Varma ( Kshathriya profession) or a Sharma( Brahmana/sacrifice all for learning ) and thus become a Ilamko Atikal. There will be several contestantsto the next post of King which is decided every 12 years (Maha makham festival) by the people andtheir great parliaments and advisors. Therefore, those who were posted as Irukkuvels in differentGrama/Nagara had to prove their military prowess. For this they were allowed to make advancesagainst nearby kings, but without disrupting the society life. During this army movements they wereallowed to install a Thripuranthaka idol in the direction in which they move .Only an Irukkuvel wasallowed to install Thripuranthaka.No other royal person had the right to do that. Because of this , theother relatives belonging to the Yadava,Mooshaka lineage do not install Thripuranthaka idols . Thisfactor is important since there is a common saying that the Valluvanaat Valluvakkonathiri Vallabha Rajadoes not attack nearby kings. Since the Valluvakkonathiri is a position of the overlordship and not thatof commander in chief , this saying is true. Pandya, western Gangeya,Nolambas,East Chalukyas of Venki,Yadava,Muttharaya (Amararya kula) , chera and early Chola ( till Paranthaka Chola) were onefamily belonging to same lineage and used to select their Emperor from among them and these peopledid not have the practice of installing Thripuranthaka. After Paranthaka Chola,Rashtrakuta kings startedto install Thripuranthakas everywhere claiming that they alone deserve ovarlordship of thecountry.Cholas won the wars with help of their great commanders , (their uncles-mother’s brother) whowere the great and famous Irukkuvels who sacrificed their property,position and life for the sake of theirsisters and the lineage of the sister. (Marumakkatthaayam).The famous leader among them was calledBhoothi Vikramakesari . (The Lion with prowess who worship the five elements or bhootha ).InThirupparmbiyam war with his help Cholas destroyed the race of the Pandya. Chola and their uncle racethe Chera became prominent .
The Irukkuvels of Kotumbaloor
had installed 4 Thripuranthaka .1.
Moovar Kovil complex (AD 880) In the southern shrine, on Greevakoshta facing East , on theright side, Thripuranthaka is seen fighting facing the south.Therefore in this idol , the fighting isfor defence and not aggressive. If the movement is to the left , then only the intention is toattack another king.2.
Thirukkattalai southern Bhadram. Face south3.
3 Kotumpaloor idol in Madras Museum. Bow and arrow are behind. Not in use. Right hand inChinmudra show Dakshinamurthi character. Therefore Guru in advisory role only.4.
Chathurbahu idol of Kodumbaoor in Puthukkotta museum .Bow ,arrow ,sword and shield inhands.Two wheels on the Peetha of idol showing the vehicle is a chariot which can move in anydirection.Thripuranthakamurthi is thus , either a Guru with advisory capacity , but not taking arms ; or adefending person who has no intention of killing ; and the last one with aggressive anddestructive aims. When a Thripuranthaka idol is installed , it indicates that a major militarymovement had occurred to that particular region, in that particular direction, and thus the idol