commanders were given the title of enadi, while the ministers were given the
title of kavidi. The ruling class was called the arasar, and it could emerge
from any of the existing classes as long as it had the necessary means and the
drive.
     Besides, there were some minor classes such as the kadaisiyar
(agricultural labourers), malavar (robbers), eyinar (hunters) and pulaiyans
(rope-makers) and several outcastes and forest tribes living in extreme
poverty. Thus, sharp social inequalities did exist, though caste distinctions
were not yet all that clear.
     One poem in the Purananuru affirms that there are only four castes
(kudi), viz. tudiyan, panan, paraiyan and kadamban and only one god worthy
of being worshipped, namely the hero-stone, recalling the fall of a brave
warrior in battle. These castes and this worship were of very great antiquity,
perhaps survivals from pre-Aryan times.
Religion
Brahmanism began to make its inroads into south India with kings
performing Vedic sacrifices and the higher classes adopting Vedic gods.
Buddhism and Jainism also began spreading, though Brahmanism occupied
the centre-stage. At the same time animism and worship of various
indigenous gods continued among the common people and the tribes.
  The chief god of the Sangam age was Murugan or Subramaniya (also
  known as Skanda or Kartikeya or Seyon). Other gods known were the
  three eyed god (Siva), Indra, Varuna, Kubera, Yama, Tirumala, Balaram,
  etc. Devavrinda was a term used to describe a group of five gods, viz.
  Murugan, Siva, Krishna, Balaram and Indra. Apart from performing
  different rituals, the people also built several temples (koil) for different
  gods.
     Asceticism was honoured and tridandi (triple staff) ascetics are
particularly mentioned. The worship of Murugan was of ancient origin and
embodied some indigenous features like the velanadal, an ascetic dance in
his honour. The epic poems of the post-Sangam period show that music and