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For an ambitious King, his army is the reflection of his aspirations; greater the army, better the chances for his conquests and when in n...

Monday, June 25, 2018

Pawan Sut

"For any being, it is almost implausible to even think what Hanuman has done. He has conquered the unconquerable, the Great Sea. No one else in this world has the potential to leap the great sea, apart from Garurn & Vayu; and now, Hanuman. The kingdom of Lanka is protected well by Raavarn, it was unassailable for any dev, naag, yaksh, gandharv or daanav; but today, Hanuman has made the difference by performing such unprecedented task, by finding my Sita. He has proved his allegiance to Sugreeve, this is commendable

Hanuman, you have done a big favor to me. But, I don't have anything to reward you today. Hey Pawan-putra, at this moment, all I can give you is an embrace, as this is all I have."

[Valmiki Ramayan; Yuddha Kaand: Shri Ram to Hanuman]


Nothing else can be more gratifying for a devotee than his deity praising him, offering embrace to him; nothing can be more rewarding, than this. A devotee worships his deity all his life unconditionally, seeking only one thing in return, his deity's benevolence; the delight of all the material pleasures weighs nothing, when it comes to a bhakt's single aspiration, his prabhu's grace.


And Hanuman was, is and always shall be the epitome of devotion, where no one can ever reach but be inspired. Like srirom quoted:
 sriromFB

Yes, what matters is our 'bhaav', i.e. emotion and Dev Hanuman's whole charit/legend is an exemplification; selfless devotion, with Shri Ram & Devi Sita in his heart, mind & soul. 

The epic saga of Ramayan can never be deemed complete without Dev Hanuman. He is the ultimate symbolization of courage, strength, determination and will, and an expert combatant; a reason why he's an inspiration for aspiring wrestlers in India (Akhadas [Indian Gyms], have a built in Hanuman temple where the wrestlers offer their prayers to Hanuman before engaging in a duel).

{Tulsi Akhada in Banaras - Image: Google}

{Image credits: Better Photography}
But unparalleled force is not the only characteristic or aspect of Hanuman, as there's always been more than meets the eye. As much as he's known for his strength, he is revered for his wisdom as well; a 'vanar' with genius level intellect. And why not, he was tutored by none other than Surya dev himself; the one who sees all, perceives all and hence, knows all. Hanuman's sagacity, his knowledge became apparent with his very first appearance: when he met Shri Ram, while following Sugreeve's orders, there, he impressed Shri Ram with his eloquence:

‘Saumitrey! This intellectual is a minister of Vaanar-king Sugreeve and he came here for his good. It is impossible for anyone to talk in such excellence if he is not well-versed in the respective Vaidas, definitely he is an highly educated and sophisticated as well as an enlightened being as he spoke so flawlessly and brilliantly, neither any flaw I saw in his face, eyes, forehead, and other part of the body while expressing himself and his accent calms the heart and soul as well.’

[Valmiki Ramayan; Yuddha Kaand: Hanuman meets Shri Ram for the first time]

The birth-story of Hanuman according to Valmiki Ramayan is as follows: 


There once was a nymph, Punjikasthala whose beauty was par excellence. Due to a curse, she was born into a vaanar’s house and named Anjana. She was a known figure for her beauty and married to a valiant vaanar king, Kesari.

Once, Anjana visited a mountain, for performing her daily rituals. She stood at the mountain’s peak, meditating. Vayu dev, who's present everywhere, was infatuated with her beauty. Suddenly, Anjana’s attire was blown by the wind exposing her modesty. She felt an ardent embrace by an invisible entity.

Anjana was a noble woman, she resisted, ‘I am a one man woman, committed to my husband. Who is it trying to ruin my chastity?’

Vayu dev answered calmly, ‘Devi, your chastity will remain intact; you will be always a true ‘pativrata’, therefore give up all your worries. Rest assured, as my embrace has impregnated you spiritually; transferring my radiance in your womb. You will deliver a son who will be highly efficient and brilliant. He will be a great scholar; his erudition will be revered in all worlds. He will be at par with me, no distance will be impossible for him.’


And thus, Hanuman was born: son of Kesari & Anjana, and Vayu. In his lifetime, Hanuman performed several tasks that a normal being couldn't even think of; feats that legends are remembered for, Hanuman even surpassed them. Whether it was traversing the great sea, or burning Lanka to ashes, or literally moving the whole mountain to procure 'sanjeevani' and so on; his contribution to 'Ram-kaaj' are sung with devotion, for the legend he is. 


I suppose mentioning of those various feats or adventures here would be pointless; there have been enough shows that have portrayed his legend multiple times that they are known to everyone by heart, we must be thankful for it. Although, I feel that in an attempt for gaining TRPs, these serials have gone a bit over the line; showcasing episodes that may sent Hanuman ji wondering, 'when did I do that'.


And since the purpose of this blog is to present a different perspective, to think beyond, to read between the lines;and since there are few questions/doubts that have remained in our minds, may be subconsciously. Time to bring them out:

  • Avatar: Is he Bhagwan Shiv's avatar? I know this very thought of raising a doubt, might look absurd, since 'Hanuman is Shiv's incarnation' is ingrained in our mindsets since ages. But there's no smoke without fire! According to Valmiki Ramayan, Hanuman has the divine element of Vayu, but no where it is mentioned that he's Bhagwan Shiv's avatar.
Yeah, this may look a bit contradictory, but like every other vaanar, Hanuman too is specified as a dev putra, i.e. Vayu's son, not Shiv's incarnation. In Raakshas origins story, Uttar Kaand, Bhagwan Shiv blessed Raavarn's maternal forefather, Sukesh, and expresses his affection towards him; denying the devas to fight/eliminate Sukesh' descendants. Pretty much like Bhagwan Vishnu blessed King Bali and his descendants; hence not killing Banasur (Bali's grandson) in his Krishnavatar. I believe this logic says enough.

The concept of Hanuman being Shiv's avatar was a gradual process by the Shaivites (to insert Shiv's eminence in Vaishnav texts) that become immensely popular post 17th century by reformation of Hanuman's identity, and he was then known as Rudravatar.

Besides, like I mentioned in my AVATAR blog, taking incarnation is Vishnu's domain, since he's the preserver of this creation.

A lot more we need to put forward and discuss, that will also support the above point; we will meet next week. Till then, be curious.

"Always keep your mind open/receptive, for truth has many dimensions"
'सियाराम '

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Sugreeve's Intelligence: The North

There's a saying, 'better late than never', so right; and i would like to make an add on to it: 'better late, than err'. After more than a month we are here with the last piece of the square, 'The North'. In the sub-series 'Sugreeve's Intelligence' we learned about the global locations then, pointed out by Sugreeve, and their relativity with times present; today we will learn about the Vaanar-team sent towards the Northern Direction, in search of Devi Sita. Let's continue:

Team North:

Vaanar Leader: Shatbali. Known for his acumen and spontaneity, Shatbali was well versed with the ways of the hills; hence Sugreeve appointed him to lead the expedition for the northern. 



Total no. of Vaanars sentOne Lakh.

Places Mentioned: Shatbali already looked poised to follow his emperor's directives, to fruition. Sugreeve foresaw his zeal and humbly updated him with his guidance. Since Shatbali knew about the kingdoms of Aryavart, Sugreeve gave him a broad idea about the northern and the places that proceed Aryavart: Malechh, Pulind, Shoorsen, Prasthal, Bharat, Kuru, Madra, Kamboj, Yavan and Shak, these and other subsidiary kingdoms adjacent; he asked Shatbali to stay vigilant while investigating thoroughly. In the Himalayaas, they needed to search in the bushy vicinities of Lodhra and Padmak trees, as well as the forests of Devdaars.


The next point, Somashram, which was served by the devas and the gandharvs, following which they would reach Kaal Mount. Sugreeve told Shatbali to not filter, but closely look out for all other subordinate mountains around the Kaal mount, and then after being reassured, they shall proceed to Sudarshan mountain.

Mount Sudarshan paved way towards Devsakh Mountain, habitation of the birds. After proceeding from this pleasant looking mount, they would arrive at an isolated place that had a 100 yojan spread; no rivers or mountains or any forests were established there, neither animals nor birds could be traced. The place was a void and hence disturbing; Sugreeve told him to pass the plateau without giving any consideration.

But the next destination after passing the plateau was a divine place, the holy site of Mount Kailash. The place was embellished with the divinity of Shivatva that encapsulates the whole Kailash. Within Kailash, the vaanars would find Kuber’s palace made by Vishwakarma; they needed to explore the whole mount including its caves and lakes.

Post Kailash, the next stop was Kaunchgiri Mountain; a peerless, but bizarre cavern, it has a strange entrance. Divine sages that are even venerated by the devas used to observe penance in that cave. Sugreeve cautioned Shatbali to not disturb them, instead to search other caves and peaks in the Kaunchgiri.

After crossing Kaunchgiri the vaanars would reach the Mainaak Mountain. The legendary mountain and the home of May Daanav built by himself for his dwelling. Crossing Mainaak, an uncanny city will come in their way. A bewildering ambiance, yet with an emptiness within the place; No Sun, Moon or the stars had there reach either in day or night. Neither the clouds nor their thunders, yet there was a brightness as if been lightened by the Sun. It was actually the resplendence of a revered sage, Devopam, that emitted from his body illuminating the surroundings.

The next spot was Shailoda River, the place was identifiable with bamboo trees at both of its sides. People cross the river from one side to the other with the help of these bamboos. That place was the legendary kingdom of North Kuru, which is graced by highly enlightened beings.  Mesmerizing blue lotuses embellished the whole surroundings, the riversides were filled with pearls, gold and precious stones, the mountains besides these rivers were source to precious gems. Enthralling trees released divine odor as well as divine juices and their touch bestowed to whatever the beings beneath it wished.

Beyond the North Kuru, it was the great sea of the north. In the middle of the sea, a famous mountain renowned as Somgiri was situated. Sugreeve told Shatbali and the vaanars to just visit the Somgiri and return from there as it was inaccessible for the devas even. He further told them to return from there as beyond that place, neither Sun’s rays go nor did he have any knowledge.

Today's GeographySugreeve directed Shatbali towards the West, according to his set parameters. The northern direction covered Malechh that is believed to be the northern borders of Aryavart. Pulind was situated in Vindhya ranges, can be identified to present day's Bundelkhand or, though unsure but it can be the distorted version of Kulind, a kingdom that is today’s Tibet-China area. Shoorsen was established by a Yaadav king, Shursena; in short, today's Mathura, while Prasthal is today's Jalandhar. Bharat was the area near Hastinapur, and Kuru is the famous kingdom  that was later ruled by the Paandavs, it covered regions of present day Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand and western Uttar Pradesh; Madra is believed to be in the regions of Pakistan, Sialkot in particular. Kamboj is believed to be in the Jammu-Pakistan border. Yavan though was the area beyond Malechh but is also believed to be in the Greek region; this might look slight contradictory, as in my last blog-post (WEST), where I tried to relate Mount Meghgiri with Mount Olympus, Greece. May be that time the borders of Greece/Yavan were extended, compared to present Greece. The kingdom of the Shaks' region could be traced to Afghanistan/Iran/Turkmenistan borders.

Since the Sudarshan Mountain falls on the way from Gangotri to Gomukh, in the glaciers of Raktvarn’; hence its precursor, Somashram could be in the Uttarakhand regions of Uttarkashi, probably the Badri-Kedar area,  as it is described being worshiped by devas.

The secluded area post Mount Devsakh hints towards the vast Tibetan plateau region, which clearly seems to have preceded the great Kailash Mountain, and the abode of Kuber that was also based in the Kailash region (Kuber Kund, near Kailash). Kaunchgiri Mountain, though not very explicit, but the mentioning of a peerless, but bizarre cavern points towards Amarnath cave; again, a possibility.

Shailoda River, has been identified in the areas of China-Russia borders, according to many findings; what's astonishing is the description of legendary kingdom of Uttar/North Kuru, abode of highly enlightened beings there, makes us proud of our immense heritage; and the mentioning of the great sea (Arctic Ocean) beyond North Kuru pretty much validates it.

{Uttar Kuru, home of the higher beings} [Image Source: DeviantArt]
Due to lack of further references, nothing can be surely said about the Somgiri Mountain of the North, may be the abodes of the Trinity mentioned here were temporary, may be they are still there and is unexplored or far from the eyes of the material world. There are many places that can't be traced due to the time gap and there are many places that I didn't mentioned due to the unconvincing factor in today's context; while the complete detailing have been addressed in my forthcoming book.

And here we finish this sub-series. I am sure this was one mind-boggling journey helped in getting a step closer to our past, helped in gaining knowledge, helped in gaining a perspective; in spite of how unconvincing it might look in absence of Sanatan sources and references; but all we need to do, is... READ.

Even Shri Ram was surprised with Sugreeve's profundity, he expressed his curiosity to the vaanar king. Sugreeve humbly answered; it all happened when Bali outcast him from Kishkindha and chased him everywhere. Running from his brother made Sugreeve the 'knower' of all directions and he was able to help Shri Ram and contribute in the fight against adharm.
"There ain't any limit to knowing; so, keep updating yourself and one day you might know the actual"
'सियाराम'

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Sugreeve's Intelligence: The West


Whatever initiates, is destined for conclusion; and so  like another year, 2017 too came to it's closure giving way to, 2018. The gone year left us with memories, both joyous & regrettable, some ups & downs, some lessons to be learnt and above all, HOPE, to become better of what we were.

While for some, endings bring joy, hopes and promises; some feel an unfillable vacuum. It all depends on our perspective, how do we wanna see the new beginnings

But for us, here, the year ended with in a revelatory mode, paving way towards history. We not only did aware ourselves about Sugreeve's loyalty, but his astonishing knowledge of the contemporary world that not only awed us drawing relativity with modern geography, but also substantiated our beliefs, for Ramayan.

We have so far learned about the two directions (Eastern & Southern), and as we've stepped into the new year (with 11 months to go, it's still new year), time to learn about the remaining two directions.

Team West

Vaanar LeaderSushern. Compared to the eastern & southern, direction WEST was much certain, but, complex and varied. Hence this time Sugeeve turned to someone who was tactical & judicious, Tara's father, an aged vaanar who looked suitable to head the team for direction west. Sushern was eulogized among the whole vaanar species for his prudence. To aid him, Sugreeve chose sons of revered sage, Marichi: Archismaan & Archimalya, they were both effectual vaanars who were there to serve their emperor along with their army.



Total no. of Vaanars sent: Two lakh.


Places MentionedSugreeve humbly bowed to his father-in-law, Sushern and apprised him and his newly formed team about the upcoming places on their journey towards West. They needed to start their exploration from Avanti kingdom followed by Anglepapuri and Jatapur; Sugreeve hoped these kingdoms might have some information associated with Devi Sita. Great Kukshidesh, that had an expansion of numerous cities under it, would come next; the kingdom could be identified with the trees of Bakul and Udyalak. Sugreeve cautioned them to stay alert due to dense forest area. Then the vaanars needed to search out the coastal areas and kingdoms viz. Saurashtra as well as Bahleek, Chandrachitra and other prosperous cities around.


Adjacent to Saurashtra & Bahlik, there was a large section of west that was desert, exceedingly vast viz. a viz. cold rocks and states surrounded by mountain ranges. Sugreeve told the vaanars to don't pay much heed there as Vaidehi won’t be held in reserve in that area. After the dried region, what followed next was the merging point of the sea and Sindhu River that the vaanars need to keep note of, for directions  purpose and to keep track of a mountain, Somgiri. The mount had 100 peaks and populated with giant trees. The pinnacle of sky scrapper Somgiri was gold-encrusted, which could be identified with strange trees. Sugreeve asked the vaanars to search the mount swiftly, but keenly. This sea was extremely hazardous, with dreadful creatures such as giant crocodiles, fishes known as ‘jal timi’ that were gargantuan and carnivorous; the vaanars needed to be careful while traversing.

Their next stop over was Pariyatra mountain. It was 100 yojan by dimensions and difficult for a common being to trace. Sugreeve assured them, with kapiraj Sushern's guidance they would be able to reach the mountain easily and can extend their search to every nook and corner. Simultaneously, Sugreeve warned them about the inhabitants of the mount, 24 crores ‘gandharws’ who could easily shape-shift, they were radiant as fire and very powerful. Since the gandharws didn't like intrusions,  the possibility of Raavarn keeping Devi Sita their was bare minimum and hence the vaanars needed to avoid exploring the mount and pass without getting into any trouble.

Next to the Pariyatra was the famous mountain named Vajra, bluish like a sapphire. The mountain had a 100 yojan widespread and a rock solid surface, like a diamond. With multiplicity of caves in Vajra Mount, Sugreeve told them to search every single cave carefully.

After traversing the Pariyatra & Vajra, the vaanars would reach another mountain, Chakravan and then Varah Mountain. Besides the immense shores, Varah was 64 yojans away from Chakravan. The Varah mount had a city known as Pragjyotish that was ruled by a daanav named ‘Narak’. Sugreeve asked the vaanars to maintain their search discreetly and when they are convinced, they must leave the mount immediately.

Passing Mount Varah, there came another mount that had plentiful of waterfalls that grace the mountain, Meghgiri. The mountain had an historical relevance, as it was here once, king of the devas', Indra'a coronation held. After crossing Meghgiri, the vaanars would further come across to a myriad of mountains that were source to gold and other metals. Amidst these mountains, stood Mount Meru that is worshiped by Vasus, Marudgarns along with other devas. A great sage ‘Merusaavarni’ resided there, an accomplished sage who achieved many powers through austerity. Sugreeve told the vaanars to bow to him with all humility and enquire about Janaki.

The last known point towards west was Astachal that was quite distant from Meru. A grand palace made by Vishwakarma at its peak, for Varun dev was the landmark explained by Vaanar Emperor.


Sugreeve asked his vaanars to return after visiting Astachal as it was the last known point to him and hence advised them to not risk their lives by trying to approach further.


Today's GeographySugreeve directed Sushern towards the West, according to his set parameters. The vaanars' journey here started from Madhya Pradesh, they covered the Avanti kingdom which is present time Ujjain, adjoining was Jatapur probably today's Jatapur, Khargone district. Kukshidesh  is Kukshi town under Dhar district, Madhya Pradesh. The Bahleeks were settled in the regions of Punjab, their reference here with Saurashtra (Gujrat) indicates that they extended their settlement to the Gujrat territory, or may be here Sugreeve here referred to both (Gujrat area of Bahlik as well as Punjab region).


The desert Sugreeve mentioned is by all means, Thar Desert, as it’s the only one nearby Gujrat, Madhya Pradesh and Pakistan. Post that he mentioned Somgiri mountain at the merging point of Sindhu River and the sea, which obviously would be the Arabian sea. Since eons have passed and geographical changes are obvious, along with rivers' route changes, we can only assume then location of Somgiri. But given directions indicate to either Kalo Dungar/Black Hill of Gujrat, or the Kirthar Range in Pakistan (which is more probable as Sindhu/Indus meets the Arabian Sea, Karachi).

Now comes The Pariyatra Mountain and here the mentioning of Gandharws makes things slight easy; since Gandhar (today's Kandahar, Afghanistan) was known as habitat to the gandharws, it shouldn’t come as amazement that this Pariyatra could be today’s Sulaiman Mountain range, southern extension to Hindu Kush Mountain that conjoins Afghanistan and Balochistan. Considering the number of gandharws given and the sea's proximity to the mountain, it is possible that the mountain stretch included the Makran-Siahon range too (May Be). While the Baloch issue's a hullabaloo everywhere, this fact could be a cause of bewilderment for many.

Next came the Vajra Mount, perhaps the Zagros range in Iran fits ,closest as it has a total length of 1500 kilometers, equivalent to described 100 yojans.

The Zagros extend to the North-West of Iran, preceding Turkey and Armenia. Mount Chakravan could be the Yereven city of Armenia, whose basic plan is, circular (in chakra/discus format). 



From Yerevan, around 750 kilometers distance is Mount Ararat, Turkey; now this would interest you that this distance is pretty similar to 64 yojans, the distance between Mount Chakravan and Mount Varah.

And now comes the flabbergasting, Mount MEGHGIRI. The descriptive legend of Indra's coronation here, caught my attention and the curious in me. Hitherto, we have reasoned Mount Varah's probable location as Turkey; hence the country that follows Turkey is...... GREECE, land of the Olympian Gods. And Indra's coronation in Meghgiri ring so many bells, as the mount is stated next to Varah, that is Greece. As stated by Pauranik (historical) legends, Indra is lord of thunder and devraj, i.e. king of the devas; and if we run into Greek mythology... yes, I know you see that coming too, Zeus, God of thunder, prime among the Olympians, is the Greek counterpart of Indra; no wonder why Zeus is the most revered deity there. If we are knocking the right door, then Meghgiri can be traced to Mount Olympus, the home to the Greek-Gods; as Mount Olympus is situated at Greece's eastern coastal area.
{Mount Olympus of Zeus or rather Mount Meghgiri where Indra's coronation was held}

               
{Two Thunder-Deities, or a Deity with different recognition in Greece}
{Image: Pinterest}

It’s hard to describe or identify further, perhaps the regions of Africa may be. Mount Meru, the legendary and most revered is hard to trace but, FYI, there’s a mountain named ‘Meru’ in Tanzania, Africa. The Astaachal Mountain might be American Continent; but that needs further reasoning.

We will conclude the mini-series 'Sugreeve's Intelligence', next week, where some more astonishment awaits you, The Northern. Till then be curious, as that kindles the hunger, to know more.

'सियाराम'

Friday, December 22, 2017

Sugreeve's Intelligence: The South

We will start from where we left last week; to the southern:

After being briefed up well, Vinat bowed to Sugreeve and Shri Ram; he pledged to abide by the directives and would search out the eastern direction, described by the vaanar king. Sugreeve too, had full faith in Vinat, and wished him best for his endeavor.

It was now time to ready the second team. This time Sugreeve turned to not one, but three vaanar chiefs.

Team South:
Vaanar Leaders: Angad, Hanuman & Jambvaan. While sending the vaanars, Sugreeve knew that if there's one direction, where the probability of Devi Sita's presence is higher, that direction would be the southern. Hence he chose not one, but three vaanar majors to lead the front. As the trio represented zeal, vigor & experience respectively. 


Total no. of Vanars sent: Though the complete no.s is not clear, here's the name of some prominent vaanars, who accompanied Hanuman, Angad & Jambvan: Sushern (father of Tara), Suhotra, Gaj, Gavaksh, Gavay, Vrashabh, Maind, Sushern (different from Tara's father), Dwivid and Gandhmadan. Apart from them, other usual vaanars too went for the search.


Places Mentioned: Sugreeve briefed the trio about the places they were about to visit in their journey towards south. Their voyage would start from the great ranges of Vindhya Mountain; thousands of Vindhya's peaks that were fountainhead to rivers like Narmada, Godavari, Mahanadi and other rivers including Varada. They needed to be looking keenly over kingdoms viz. Mekhal, Utkal and Darshaarn as well as Aabravanti and the Avantipuri. Going further the team had to visit Vidarbha, Rishtik, Ramya Mahishak, Kalinga and Kaushik and other districts. Sugreeve cautioned them about the abstruse Dandkaranya, and  informed about the forthcoming empires; Aandhra, Chol, Pandya, Keral and other kingdoms which would be crucial in their search. Mount Ayomukh, enriched with different metals, was known for its lofty peaks and its forests embedded with sandal trees was their next spot.

Sugreeve further enlightened them about the Kaveri River, where the nymphs visit routinely. The river initiates at the peak of the Malay mountain. Going forward they would reach Tamraparni River;  he advised them to consult the revered sage Agastya there. The region near to it was known for the sandal forests. After traversing the aromatic sandal forests, they would reach the edge of the sea. Sage Agastya had installed a fine-looking Mountain Mahendra; which could be identified by its unique peak and astonishing but appealing trees. Embellished with gold, the great mountain was deeply rooted into the sea. Devas, sages, yakshas as well as the nymphs visit there often, to pleasure its beauty.


Beyond Mahendra Mount was the Great Sea; but there were lands farther and a particular island beyond that sea was the vaanars' prime consideration. LANKA, kingdom of Raavarn, king of the raakshasas. Hence, Sugreeve told them to be attentive while exploring as they might get something concrete there, may be Devi Sita's exact locale. In case of her not being there, Sugreeve informed them about the lands and mountains beyond Lanka.

Passing over Lanka, the next destination was Pushpit Mountain, that has a 100 yojan of spread. Post Pushpit, another mountain that was merely 14 yojan in distance from Pushpit, Suryavan Mountain. After crossing Suryavan, the next mountain/place to follow was Vaidyut Mount.

Next to follow was Bhogwati, city of the nags. The legendary kingdom, unassailable due to its borders safeguarded by vigorous and venomous serpents. The infrastructure of Bhogwati was exquisite, clean and broad roads, lush greenery. Its denizens wandered in human as well as hybrid forms. Vasuki, the naga emperor, rules the entire naga species from there. An extraordinary mount, Vrashabh would proceed Bhogwati. The place was source to precious gems along with diverse breeds of sandalwood trees.

Crossing Vrashabh, they would reach the extent of the earth where those being reside who have won the heavens or who deserve the heavens.The terrifying ‘pitralok’ that is the capital of Yamraj himself. Hence, Sugreeve advised them to not go beyond Vrashabh and return from that particular point.


Today's Geography: Sugreeve directed them towards the south, according to his set parameters. The Vindhya mountain range is based at west-central India. Though we are aware of Narmada, Godavari & Mahanadi; I would like to elaborate for river Varada. Varada can be identified with river Wardha, which though originates from Madhya Pradesh, flows mainly in Maharashtra, including Wardha district, near Nagpur.



Mekhal was situated on the nearby regions of Bangladesh and Utkal is today’s Orissa. We are familiar with the names of Andhra, Chol (The Chola dynasty, particularly in Tamil Nadu) and Keral (Kerela). Vidarbha is the agricultural capital of Maharashtra. Kalinga, again Orissa where the extreme war took place between Ashok and the Kalinga kingdom. Dandkaranya is mainly believed as present day Maharashtra, along with adjacent regions of neighboring states. Mount Ayomukh can be directed to Kudremukh (Chikkamagaluru district), Karnataka, which too is famous for its iron ores; like specified for Ayomukh.


Kaushik district can be identified with the Kousika river, near Coimbatore. Tamraparni River can be traced in Tamil Nadu and Kerela, originating from the Pothigai hills. The Malay mount is believed to be in the Kerala and Tamil Nadu borders. Mahendra mount described at the edge of the sea is the one from where Hanuman ji took his legendary leap. Next came Lanka, today's Sri Lanka.

It is difficult to identify each and every location as described in the epic, and hence some of the locations/creatures haven't got their mention here. Albeit, I have included them in my forthcoming book, sequel to, The 7th Incarnation.

Though we can always give a shot; the Bhogwati puri mentioned here could be different from the 'Bhogwati Puri' situated in the Pataal, i.e. beneath Earth. There exists one other possibility, may be this was an alternative abode of the naags or rather, it was the surface point or gateway to the naaglok towards pataal; plausible hypothesis, till we know the actual. Australia seems probable if we try to locate Bhogwati in present times; why I say so? Vrashabh mount, that follows Bhogwati; now the sandalwood forests described here could be Santalum spicatum, the Australian sandalwoodedge of Southwest Australia.

The mountains, Pushpit, Suryavan & Vaidyut are said to be between Lanka and Bhogwati. Again, many inferences, which may take us closer. Consider this:




A mythical island that is believed to exist in ancient times, Kumari Kandam, now submerged. I used the word mythical as it is still in theory. But like Zealandia (a nearly submerged mass of continental crust that sank after breaking away from Australia 60–85 million years ago), this too could have historical relevance. And if yes, the mountains between Lanka and Bhogwati we discussed above, get traced here. With the possibility of Kumari Kandam, one may ask that there ain't sea between India & Lanka. We can presume that the northern part that conjoins with India & Sri Lanka was already under water; beginning phase of submergence.


Finally the 'pitralok' or 'Yamlok' which is stated at the southern pole, the 'netherworld'; may be its untraceable due to dimensional differences like the Sudarshan island at the far East , after all its the abode of a 'Lokpal' (guardian of southern direction in this case).

{Yamdoots taking the deceased souls to Yamlok}


It would be unfair while we discuss the southern and don't mention a ground-breaking discovery (for the westerners & the ignorant) that made headlines everywhere, Ram-Setu:

Science Channel, an American digital cable and satellite television network that is owned by Discovery Communications, recently posted a video that showed images by a NASA satellite, and according to the investigation the bridge is a line of rocks that stretched around 30 miles from India to Sri Lanka. The bigger picture; they finally accepted that it's man-made. Again confirming the authenticity of the epic, Ramayan.

Its sad when a foreign agency finally accepts it, yet a class of "intellects" that belong to this land, immodestly discard their own history calling it a hoax, a mere imagination. With their own agendas, they rubbish 'Ramavtar' in Ayodhya, in spite of the excavations by ASI that clearly stated the truth. But like I have said it, 'In the end, it will be Satya shining the brightest'.  


We will continue with other two directions in the coming blogs; till then, stay amazed.

"Ram & Ayodhya were, are & will always be inseparable, doesn’t matter how desperate, one tries to disprove, malign, politicize or communalize them; as Ayodhya is among the ancient kingdoms, served by the suryavanshees, by Shri Ram, who is beyond the shackles of religion & time. He is the absolute truth that no book/man can confute"
'सियाराम'

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Sugreeve's Intelligence: The East

The emergence of world wide web, or as we know it - www, have made the field of information technology 'happening' since more than two decades (referring Google, our very own virtual encyclopedia). World experienced a transition shift from 'morning' newspapers to 'anytime available' square shaped boxes. The latter literally helped us with everything, from our school projects to official ones with enough features that the former couldn't due to its limitations (though our morning blues still prefer the crisps of paper and a cup of tea/coffee).

And in the 21st century, rise of social media has just expanded the horizon. We are more than connected, present everywhere while being at one place. The sharing of information in the blink of an eye, things were never so swift before. With Facebook, Twitter and other channels, we can not just express ourselves, but also catch up with the trends, the news, know what people are up to. We can find answers to questions that rumble in our minds; websites like Quora assist us in finding answers as well us gaining perspectives to such topics/issues that are either most talked about or forbidden.

Now as this blog addresses the legends of Ramayan and discusses the known & unknown aspects of the epic, let me bring into your notice, questions that are raised with regards to the genuineness of Ram-katha:
See the questions above, whether asked out of curiosity, or with an intent to malice; the point is how relevant is the epic? Whether certain event did even happen or a mere figment of imagination; are there any dots that can be connected with today, in terms of location especially, viz. where the certain incident happened in today's context. And here, in Kishkindha Kaand, Sugreeve's global omniscience served the purpose to its fullest; a reason why this particular canto is my favorite one, as I could relate some of the many places mentioned then, with today's world.

When sending his personnels to the four directions in Devi Sita's search, the Vaanar-Emperor literally depicted the whole world while describing the places, the kingdoms, the islands and the oceans, in order to guide them with a proper approach. The narrative effectively authenticates the epic by Valmiki and helps us in gaining a perspective, that the world is beyond the shackles of religions; Dharm in actuality, is the basis of our origins that is coequal.

In current season,we have explored Kishkindha, the vaanars including some prominent ones; hence now its time to move forward. While I have already discussed the Bali-Vaddh in previous season, let's learn what happened afterwards; post Sugreeve's coronation.

By the time of Sugreeve's coronation, the monsoon season had arrive and hence any act of exploration was not possible, let alone the possibility of war. Shri Ram decided to wait for the monsoon season to get over and asked Sugreeve to be ready after 4 months. The time soon passed and Sugreeve made himself available to fulfill his promise, Sita's search. He summoned mighty vaanars of varied breeds from all directions.


The call of the Vaanar Emperor impacted promptly, the forthcoming days witnessed multitude of vaanars arriving from all directions. It is said that the numbers were immeasurable, it was a myriad. Prominent Vanars from different regions and mountains arrived to serve their emperor.

Sugreeve knew every Vaanar chief/king closely and after estimating and reasoning well, he selected four vaanar chiefs; Vinat, Angad, Sushern and Shatbali, as Team-Leaders, who would lead their team for the exploration. In this blog-post, we will learn about the vaanars sent in the eastern direction, the places mentioned and how much can they be seen relevant, or how much can we relate the locations mentioned; if compared to today's geography.


{Sugreeve guides his vanars to the four direections}


Team East:

Vaanar Leader: Vinat. Sugreeve chose him for his brilliance and adaptability. The East was the most uncertain of the four directions and his selection was apt; he could act with promptness depending upon the situation, able to salvage his team with minimal damage.


Total no. of Vaanars sent: One Lakh.


Places Mentioned: Sugreeve carefully instructed Vinat about the coming places on his journey towards East. Vinat needed to start with the kingdom of Brahmmaal, followed by Videh, Maalav, Kashi, Koshal, Magadh and Ang and along with the kingdoms, the great rivers, Ganga, Saryu, Kaushiki, Yamuna & Legendary-Mount Yamun, Saraswati, Sindhu, Shornbhadra. Going further the squad would come across places where cocoons are found, where ores of various metals be found; with Mandarachal mount and the other islands nearby. Yavdweep, the island with seven states accompanied by Suvarndeep and then Rupyadweep, which has golden ores in abundance. While crossing Yavdweep, Sugreeve mentioned a mountain Shishir that would fall in between, it could be easily traced due to its loftiness, as if touching the heavens. It was believed that devtas and the daanavs used to dwell there, Mount Shishir. He cautioned Vinat to stay alert while crossing some unusual sees viz. Shorn River, who's water appeared reddish; Lohit Sea, similar to the Shorn Sea in appearance, but vast in expand of grumous red water, which the vaanars needed to avoid in getting contact with. Adjacent to the Lohit Sea, was an island known as Shalmlidweep, the island was easy to identify with its unusual appearing tree famed as Kootshalmi. Going farther, in the midst of the milk-sea, a soaring mount that was visibly white. Rishibh Mounatain, flourishing with trees those were bagged with juicy fruits.


Beyond Rishibh, was another radiant mountain ‘Uday’. The peak point of Mount Uday was titled as ‘saumnas’ which was spread to 10 yojans. According to legends, Bhagwan Vaman had put his first leg in this particular point. The saumnas peak was the abode of ‘Balkhilyagarn’, sages who were as resplendent as the solar arena. To the opposite of Uday, Sugreeve informed Vinat about a renowned island, Sudarshan. The reason behind the name was due to the darshan/view, that its inhabitants get during the dawn, to worship Surya at first. The dawn of the Sun takes place here first, as Brahmm Dev created a door here. This door was said to be the bridge to Brahmmlok. Since the door was built in this direction first, that is the reason it is know as the East direction (Poorva Disha/पूर्व दिशा).

Today's Geography: Sugreeve directed Vinat towards the East, according to his set parameters. Obviously with a couple of eons passed, the plausibility to locate or track each and every mentioned place is minuscule. But with the help of post-reading material in Ramayan, some reference books and blogs, and God bless the 'Internet'; it was possible to identify many of them with the help of details given by Sugreeve. Let's have a look:

Videh is today’s Nepal, can’t say about Brahmmaal and Maalav, but they may refer to the neighboring kingdoms. Kashi is today's Banaras and Koshal could be simply south-eastern part of Uttar Pradesh that expanded till western Odisha. Kingdoms like Magadh and Ang were in Bihar and borders of current Bihar, while Pundra kingdom have been identified as today's Bengal. Silver ores as well as the Mandarachal Mountain were too believed to be in the Bihar and Odisha states. The cocoons are referred to Bengal and some regions of China.

Yavadweep is believed to be Java and Suvarndweep to be Sumatra, Rupya dweep is not known. The Shishir mountain could be within Indonesia and East Timor as it comes just after Java. From there was the end of the kingdoms, what followed were islands and seas. The Shalmlidweep was identified with kootshalmli tree, this shalmli tree is directed to bombax ceiba of genus bombax, which to be put in common language, is cotton tree that is mostly founded in Southern Asian countries viz. Vietnam, Malay, Indonasia, China and Taiwan, in today’s context. So, may be here its Taiwan. In today’s context the Uday Mountain or Udayachal may direct us to Japan, Land of the rising Sun. Although we cannot deny the possibility of some other island/s beyond Japan, which may have submerged/destroyed with times.

I know that a lot stays unclear and a lot seems hard to digest, especially the 'Sudarshan' island which had the 'DOOR' to Brahmmlok, may be its untraceable due to dimensional differences; after all, man has barely touched upon Earth's intricacies. Here I didn't mention a few locations, some extraordinary creatures & seas that would be hard to comprehend and hence I have mentioned what could be seen as reasonable, while the complete detailing have been addressed in my forthcoming book, sequel to, The 7th Incarnation.

We will continue with other three directions in the coming blogs; till then, stay amazed.

"It doesn't matter how we see or try to perceive it, HISTORY has already happened"
'सियाराम'