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Dev-Putra (contd.)

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...

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'

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Unsung Empress

'Even after being clobbered, somehow he managed to escape. My point is, how come he is back in such a short span and roaring dauntlessly at our face; it creates doubts in my mind. I suspicion his coming back in such a short while; a definite external support that has given him an extraordinary encouragement. We must not forget that he is a knowledgeable and an resourceful person; he would never ally someone without testing his/her potential. Even Angad informed me about the arrival of two persons. You must consider this information. Kindly think over my request and don’t do anything in haste and anger.’

{Valmiki Ramayan; Kishkindha Kaand}

This looks familiar, ain't so? An insightful and prudent statement like this might have reminded you of the other statement, from my CosmicMother blog, where I tried to put forward Devi Sita’s persona; not the false hapless/victimized portrayal by pseudos, but the actual one, Goddess dimensional, presented by sage Valmiki. We were able to see her real side, which made the divine purpose behind Ramavtar accomplishable. But this blog-post is not about her, as we will always fall short of words in describing her, she being the incarnation of supreme goddess.

Today's post is the mentioning of another woman from the same era, an empress of the vast vaanar empire, queen of Kishkindha, Tara. Though Devi Sita & Tara belonged to different regions and species, one thing were identical in both, sanatan values. Her role is limited to Kishkindha Kaand only, but in that single canto, the world saw her eminence; which is why, despite her moderate description, her mention is imperative. And there is a reason for it, to present the real picture in order to disprove the propaganda, that ancient India was biased, patriarchal, casteist, discriminatory towards women. Was it so?

Well it wasn't, and the conviction to say so, it only comes after knowing the past and to know the past, there's literature. A fair read of Valmiki Ramayan, or any scripture we pick, clearly states one basic: parity, as it knew no region, caste, species, but common to all of them. Women were not considered equal or given the right of equality, they were equal. This is where the difference lies, while today there are movements promoted to give women equal rights, in times ancient there wasn't any such situation, as there wasn't any need for consideration, because man/woman knew no bias among sexes. The Vaidas, which laid the foundation of Dharm (not religion) guided mankind towards morals and righteousness and hence there was no place for discrimination. But then, came the dark times, centuries of invasion and oppression, our values got crushed and mutilated, foreign customs and beliefs successfully intruded in, while our values blemished with our helplessness.

Thankfully, there's always a ray of hope, likewise, various personalities rose time and again and kept the essence of Dharm alive, otherwise we wouldn't have been readings this post (in absence of resources).

A fair read of many female legends: Kaushalya & Sumitra, Kaikeyi, Shabri and many others, is enough to clear the air; all we need is an open and receptive mind to gain a perspective.  

Coming back to Tara; she was born to another vaanar king, Sushern,  who was renowned as an expert medic among the vaanars. Her mother is believed to be an apsara or celestial nymph. She was married to king of Kishkindha, Bali, with whom she shared a lovable relationship. Later, when Shri Ram annihilated Bali, she companioned Sugreeve and continued counselling him on kingly matters as she did previously to Bali. She was a woman with genius level intellect and an expert in political matters and diplomacy.

Like said before, she's mentioned only in Kishkindha Kaand off the whole epic, but two episodes clearly state her eminence where :
  • When Sugreeve befriended Shri Ram, he was fused with new hopes. At Shri Ram's assurance, he went to fight his brother, Bali, but was pummeled and ran off the fight. But he did return, that too very soon, challenging Bali. Tara sniffed trickery and straightaway warned Bali. She was pretty much aware of the presence of two strangers in the regions of Kishkindha, Shri Ram & Lakshmarn and could foresee what's approaching. She was a skilled politic and hence advised Bali to accept Sugreeve and announce him his successor.

  • After Bali-Vaddh, Sugreeve was the new vaanar-king. He promised Shri Ram to help after the completion of monsoon season. But he got absorbed in pleasures and lost track of time. Shri Ram sent Lakshmarn with his message to remind Sugreeve of his promise. An enraged Lakshmarn marched towards Kishkindha, there was upheaval among the vaanars. Tara at that time not only faced Lakshmarn, but with her diplomacy, calmed him and saved Kishkindha from his wrath. Sugreeve regained his senses and then helped Shri Ram with his intellect (we will see that in coming blogs).
  • When Bali was on his deathbed, he instructed Sugreeve to always consult with Tara on political matters and to follow her guidance.
This is possible only when the society gives equal opportunity without discriminating between genders, and that's exactly what used to happen.
"The sooner we learn about our roots, the better shape will our society take"
'सियाराम'

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Bear Giant

"हे प्रभु, यदि आप मुझ पर प्रसन्न हैं तो, मुझे अमरत्व का वरदान दें"
(O Lord, if you are pleased with me, then kindly bless me with immortality)

Immortality, the yearn to stay young, the desire to stay alive; for forever. Countless times we have seen or read this ambitious implore made by an aspirant turned ascetic, who takes break from this materialistic world, in order to achieve his higher goal. Most of the times it is demons (daitya, daanav or raakshas) with this plea; Considering their recklessness, Brahmm Dev refuses to every such request, death being the final destination.

But man hasn't given up on this dream, to defeat death and ageing. We often read in newspapers, scientists claiming to have identify the gene responsible ageing process and soon they boast to defy death. But nothing successful has been materialized till date, as death is the ultimate truth and necessary too, coz. we don't want this world to be overloaded, which will ultimately result chaotic.

Although, if we turn pages of our sanatan/ancient scriptures, there are plenty of instances which clearly states that immortality isn't a myth. Since the beginning of the creation, beings from various species have been granted with immortality or enhanced longevity for a purpose. And when I say 'beings from various species', it indeed is true to the last word. Here I meant the sons of Vinita: Arurn & Garurn, the generation of Sagar Manthan: Kaamdhenu & Ucchaihshravas, king of elephants, Airavat and many others; these species apart from the devas, daitya king Bali, the saptrishis and others, too are blessed with immortality, with a purpose.

Ramayan also mentions some eminent immortals, that still are believed to exist. When Bhagwan Ram left for his solemn egress, every devotee of him, from the Ayodhyaites to vaanars and rakshasas, they all left the mortal world by taking a dip in the holy water of Saryu. But before to that, he instructed five of his devotees to stay on earth for a longer time. Those devotees are:

  • Vibhisharn
  • Hanuman
  • Maind & Dwivid
  • Jambvant
In my last blog we learned about Maind & Dwivid. Today let's know the oldest or one of the oldest immortal, Jambvant.

{Image courtesy: Molee Art}

Long before, when the creation was in its initial stage i.e. evolving, when the sons of Aditi had become the devas but were still mortal, there emerged a son who was born immortal. Originated from Brahmm Dev's sneeze, Jambvant was born to shape many divine motives, to help them reach the desired endings for Dharmoday, rise of truth.

There had been confusions whether he was really a bear, or a vaanar in actual. But the scripture clearly states his identity; Valmiki Ramayan entitles Jambvant as king/chief of the bears, i.e. Riksh-Raj (king of riksha species, that in today's dialect has become reech, i.e. bhalu/bear). He was among the rare individuals who was fortunate to live the three yugs: Satyug, Tretayug & Dwaparyug, and to witness 5 incarnations of Bhagwan Vishnu: Kurma, Vaaman, ParshuRam, Ram & Krishn. Many scriptures including Ramayan give details of episodes that happened in different yugs where Jambvant presence is depicted:

  • During Samudra-Manthan, Satyug, Jambvant is mentioned among the ones to witness the unprecedented event, and the Kurma Avatar.
  • During Vaaman Avatar, Jambvant displayed his agility; when King Bali donated Shri Vaaman three foot land. Vamaan ji raised his foot to cover the three foot land, Jambvant circumambulated his giant form in very little time.
  • In Dwapar Yug, during Krishn-Avatar, Jambvant reference is given during the episode 'syamantak' gem. Due to a misunderstanding, Shri krishn & Jambvant were engaged in a duel that continued for 18 days. It was in the 18th day when Jambvant realized Shri Krishn's identity (Vishnu's incarnation, another form of Shri Ram). He bowed to Krishn and handed him the gem, as well as her daughter Jambvant's hand in his. (Ref. MahaBharat)

As far as Tretayug is concerned, Jambvant was one of the pivotal characters n Ramayan, he was an amazing tactician who was allied with the vaanar kingdom of Kishkindha. He served Sugreeve as his minister, directing him kingly matters. During the great war, he remained counselled Shri Ram & Sugreeve at every step guiding them to . Following are some instances in Ramayan where Jambvant proved his worthiness to Shri Ram and the divine motive:

  • During their expedition towards southern direction, when all vaanars felt clueless as to how traverse the great sea; Jambvant, who was aware of Hanuman's potentials, made him realize his immense capabilities. It was only after that, Hanuman was able to cross the great sea and what followed was Lanka's destruction.
  • Indrajeet was defeated in the war very first day, by Angad in hand to hand combat. Since then his only recourse was cheat. When he cowardly used Brahmmastra on Shri Ram's army it was a complete mayhem. Very few people including Shri Ram were able to remain conscious. Jambvant then directed Hanuman to fly towards Himalayas and found the mountain of herbs situated between the Kailash & Rishabh mount. Hanuman instantly flied towards north and brought the herbs, and with Jambvant's intellect, he saved the day.
The role of Jambvant in Ramayan isn't depicted much as a warrior, but as a strategist who with his tactical abilities, helped Shri Ram in winning the war.

This is the legend of Jambvant, son of Brahmma and the most humble character in Ramayan. He, like Maind & Dwivid had their lifespan till the dawn of Kalyug only, but considering his origination in the starting of Satyug, enhanced longevity will not be the appropriate term, because if we compare lifespans, he has lived more than Hanuman. And the fact that even the devas will perish during pralay/universal dissolution, Jambvant can be seen as an 'immortal'.

For those who consider Jambvant as Brahmma's avatar, though I have cleared that he was son of Brahmma, I recommend a read of my blog for a detailed understanding:

http://srirom.blogspot.in/2015/10/avatar-conceptualisation.html

I will take your leave from here, we will meet in my next blog with another legend to discuss. Till then, Be Proud :)

"Sometimes, a tactical mind plays a bigger role than an ironfist"

'सियाराम'

Friday, July 14, 2017

Dev-Putra (contd.)

For an ambitious King, his army is the reflection of his aspirations; greater the army, better the chances for his conquests and when in need, would protect the borders of his kingdom. Between the king and his aspirations, the commanders work as commutators, who supervise the whole army, carrying their king's vision.

We learned about the honorary Vaanar kings, Bali & Sugreeve in my last blog-post, who were the divine sons of Indra & Surya, the devas. But they weren't the only dev-putras (son of devtas) around. On Brahmm Dev's instructions, other devas too produced mighty offspring to serve Shri Ram, in the form of valiant Commander-in-Chiefs for their emperor,Sugreeve. Today, let's get to know other popular vaanars a.k.a dev-putras, who with their devotion, wise & gallantry left an indelible impression in the sands of time:

Angad: Grandson of Devraj Indra, Angad was an sprightful prince who was born with his father Bali's vigor and mother Tara's intellect, innate. It was his mother's influence in his life that made him an expert in espial, tactics and diplomacy. When Bali was clueless about Shri Ram's presence in Kishkindha, Angad (on Tara's guidance) had efficiently gathered information regarding the sudden arrival of two strangers, humans in their province.

The vaanar-prince is known mainly for his unshakable stance in Raavarn's court, famed as "Angad ka paon" (where he fiercely puts his right leg forward, challenging the whole court to dare and move his leg). Well, Valmiki Ramayan disproves the fact as nothing such happened. So does it mean Angad was a regular vaanar, in comparison to his famous father?


No! the court episode is not a complete imagery. Angad was sent to Raavarn's court on Shri Ram's instructions. When Raavarn tried to disregard him, what followed was a marvelous display of Angad's might that even stupefied Raavarn. But the moment of glory for Angad came in the very first day of The Great War, where he defeated Meghnaad in hand to hand combat. Angad was indeed an expert combatant hence. I guess both sons filledtheir respective fathers' shoes (Raavarn being defeated by Bali once).

I know, thoughts pondering in the mind; how can Meghnaad, the invincible, was defeated by the vaanar prince? It happens when opportunistic mindsets backed by malice/bias color the picture other way round; glorify the corrupt. And it trends easily too, all credits to the nescience that has been in prevalence since centuries.

But that's what happened, as history has it. Indrajeet's anecdotes will feature on third season, based on my third book of this series and we shall know the rest, how did he managed to overpower Ram &Lakshmarn and Hanuman as well.


Nal: Son of Vishwakarma, the architect of the devas, Nal's prominent moment came during one of the historical events of Ramayan: Ram-Setu. After Hanuman successfully located Devi Sita, Sugreeve ordered march towards Lanka. On reaching the southern shores, the dilemma as how the gargantuan vaanar-army will cross the great sea emerges. Shri Ram sought Samudra(Lord of oceans) help, who later informs him about Nal & his parentage: Vishwakarma. Samudra further enlightened Shri Ram that with Nal's knowledge and expertise, an unprecedented bridge can be constructed to cross the Great Sea. Nal with his prowess, constructed the whole bridge in 5 days, covering the 100 yojans of distance.



But Nal was not just an expert in Architecture, he also proved his worthiness in the war-field killing many rakshasas.

Neel: An unusual blend of sturdiness & dynamism, after all he was son of Agni. He was amongst the few but efficacious leading vaanars of Sugreeve who wreaked havoc on the opponent's side, killing countless soldiers and some mighty rakshas personnels of Raavarn. He even gave a tough fight to Raavarn; the demon king got so agitated that he assaulted Neel with Aagneyastra. We must know that apart from Hanuman, no other vaanar was immune to divyastras/divine weapons. Sugreeve too, being son of Surya was mighty & authoritative, but had his limitations. But since Neel was the son of Agni, the weapon only knocked him unconscious for sometime, not killing him.


Here before moving forward, I would like to make a disclosure, contrary to popular beliefs, Neel wasn't the partner of Nal in the construction of the legendary bridge. There isn't any legend of curse related to Nal & Neel in actual. And now when we know the origins, it reads more logical. Also, it weren't only stones on whom the bridge was built, giant trees also constituted in the making.

Maind & Dwivid: They both were brothers, sons of the Ashwini Kumars. The fascinating fact about them is not their contribution in the Great War (they fought bravely though), but the time of Shri Ram's solemn egress, where he blessed immortality to Vibhisharn & Hanuman. Shri Ram blessed Maind & Dwivid with longevity, till Kalyug. 

 

They have also been mentioned in MahaBharat; when King Yudhishtir conducted Rajsuya Yagya, Sahdev was appointed to conquest the southern direction. Sahdev fought both brothers who represented Kishkindha. The amusing thing here is, that Sahdev was too, son of Ashwini Kumar, which means he fought his elder brothers. Though in the end, both Maind & Dwivid were impressed with Sahdev's valor and accepted Yudhishtir's sovereignty.

So, some more misconceptions cleared today, some false glorification disproved and we got more closer to truth, as Valmiki saw it. We will resume with another legendary Dev-Putra in my forthcoming blog, and no, its not Pawasut. His story is larger than any other dev-putra and will featured seperately, a bit later though.

"No matter how much one shout out lies, in the end facts prevail"
'सियाराम'

Friday, June 30, 2017

Dev-Putra

"We could never be done, Jimmy. After all, we're brothers. And brothers look out for each other"

Above dialogue, courtesy Marvel's Wolverine, verifies the essence of brotherhood. They were thirsty for each other's blood, but when the enemy came, they fought it out together. That's the thing with brothers, they play, they quarrel, they fight; but they won't ever leave each other's sight. 

Considering my last post on Species - Vaanars, and the mentioning of brotherhood; it won't take a genius to guess where we are heading today :). Vaanar Royalties: Bali & Sugreeve.

In Ramayan, when Shri Ram & Sugreeve befriend and vow to stand with each other in both sadness & happiness, there Sugreeve informs Shri Ram, the root cause of his agonies, Bali. Younger of the two, Sugreeve opened his heart to Shri Ram as how a loving and caring brother who was more a father figure, banished him due to an offense that he never did. That was not all, Sugreeve's wife, Rooma, too was abducted by Bali as his sex slave; a sin that later become the prime reason for his end.

So why this happened, how come an endearing brother became ruthless all of a sudden and turned evil? Did Raavarn had any part in this?

We will try to understand each situation turn by turn, but first, let's know the brothers, the 'Dev-Putras':

Bali: King of Kishkindha, emperor of whole Vaanar society; Bali was the most popular king of the Vaanar empire. Bali was born to Indra's radiance and hence known as son of Indra. Bali was married to Tara, an apsara/nymph; together they had a son named, Angad.
Bali was known for his peerless strength; though this can be attributed to the golden necklace that was presented to him by Indra, his father, as it used to transmit the opponents' power in him, enhancing his force manifolds. This necklace was the prime reason for his victory over Raavarn, the unconquerable.

Sugreeve, Bali's younger brother was the crown prince. But one incident sprouted enmity between the brothers, as Bali seized Rooma, Sugreeve's wife. Bali was finally eliminated by Shri Ram, who killed him in hiding while Bali & Sugreeve were fighting. I have already written a blog on why Shri Ram had to kill Bali in hiding, you may read it by clicking here.




Sugreeve: His identity is usually limited to two things; he was born of Surya's radiance & his elder brother was Bali, who banished him forcefully. Rarely people know about his profoundness; his geographical knowledge that came handy when he send his vaanars to all four directions (Son of Sun after all :)), in search of Devi Sita. Even Shri Ram was dazed with his knowledge and couldn't resist asking him about his expertise..... wait! Let's not get carried away as Sugreeve's profundity is to be put-up some other time.


His vigor has always been the matter of the moment, as the general belief says he was one weak king who was dependent on Hanuman. But let me remind you, he was Surya's son who hold same stature as does Indra among the devas. Both brothers were equal in might; the difference again, lied in Bali's necklace.

Origins: The legend of Bali & Sugreeve's birth is pretty unconventional. According to a legend, once Brahmm Dev was immersed in meditation, while he stayed in that position for long, two drops of tears emerged from his eyes. Brahmm Dev wiped those tears from his hand but one drop fell on the ground. Within a moment, a vaanar was born from the teardrop. Brahmm Dev looked at his creation with affection and named him Rikshraja. He asked the vaanar to stay there with him, till his meditation continues.

One day this Vaanar got very thirsty, so he went to look for water. There he found a pond. As he bent down to drink water, he saw his shadow in the water. He thought, "Who is this my enemy here? I will kill him." And he jumped into the pond to kill him. But when he came out he found himself in the form of a beautiful woman, due to the charismatic effect of the pond. At that time Indra & Surya were passing from there, separately. When their gaze fell on the beautiful woman, they found it hard to control their desire. They requested to have intimacy with her, which Riksharaja, now a woman, couldn't deny; being a woman and looking at the handsomeness in her front. The woman, as result of the mating gave birth to two vaanar children: Bali & Sugreeve.

Riksharaja went to Brahmm Dev and informed him about her two sons and their fathers. Brahmm Dev smiled and converted Riksharaja back to Vaanar. He then summoned his messenger and asked to take Riksharaja along with his two sons to Kishkindha, "There live both Vaanar and human beings. Invite all of them and crown him as king there." Hence, Riksharaja became Vaanars king and was succeeded by Bali.

So now we have found about Bali & Sugreeve's divine identity. Let's finish what we left in the beginning; Why Bali turned hostile against his own brother. Well there's another story behind it that sprouted suspicion in Bali's mind. To cut the long story short, this is what happened:

One day Mayavi, a daanav challenged Bali for the duel. He kept provoking Bali, questioning his masculinity.  His move worked; little he knew that was going to be suicidal. Bali decided to teach the daanav a lesson and went out to confront him. Sugreeve also followed him. When Mayavi saw both brothers coming, he saw his end imminent. Petrified, he ran away and hid inside a cell. Bali roared and dashed towards the cell. Sugreeve smelled Mayavi's cheat and cautioned Bali. But Bali still went inside the cell to hunt Mayavi down. Sugreeve remained outside for an year almost and one day he heard a shriek followed by a stream of blood. Thinking that Bali was killed, he placed a big rock to stop the daanav from coming outside. The ministers crowned him as their king. But to everyone's ignorance, Bali was alive and he did return. Looking his brother in singhaasan/royal throne made him forgot all affection and he charged Sugreeve of deception. Sugreeve immediately got off the singhaasan and fell on his feet and explained Bali everything. But Bali saw only betrayal, that too from his once devoted brother. He thrashed him and humiliated him in front of the court declaring him a traitor and banished him from the royalty. Bali didn't stop there and captured Sugreeve's wife Rooma. This was the point where two loving brothers became sworn enemies.




We now know what happened, but the questions still persist:
  • When Sugreeve explained the situation to Bali, why didn't the latter understood. What was the rationale behind a sudden disbelief. 
  • Why did he captured Rooma.

Before exploring the reason behind Bali's surmise, time to access another legend; Raavarn's. After Brahmm Dev blessed Raavarn invincibility from all species (except humans), the raakshas king went on a global conquest where he won not just over the kings of various humans, asurs & other kingdoms, he also defeated the four lokpaals/overlords; Indra, Kuber, Yamraj & Varurn. The arrogance within him made him challenge any king or being who was considered influential. And one day after learning about Kishkindha, Raavarn challenged Bali. But this time Raavarn had a nightmare in his front, Bali humiliated him by capturing him in his underarm and the raakshas accepted his defeat without a duel. Both kings befriended afterwards and Raaavrn stayed in Kishkindha for a month, accepting Bali's hospitality.

Does the above story implies anything? What does it have to do with the enmity between the vaanar brothers. I once read a quote on goodreads “Evil influence is like a nicotine patch, you cannot help but absorb what sticks to you.” Now I don't/can't confirm it, but put as a supposition to you:

In his month's stay, Bali came to know everything about Raaavrn: his austerity, his boons, his invincibility, his conquests and, his misdeeds. It is said that when two person accompany each other, personality impact happens. Bali was powerful, but just a king of a small province, whereas Raavarn was the conqueror of the world, the glamour in his personality was enough to influence Bali. One month was enough to get infected with the traits of Raavarn's bad company:

  • After receiving boons from Brahmm Dev, the first thing Raavarn did was, capturing the throne of Lanka, which was ruled by his elder brother Kuber till then. Raavarn didn't stop their, when Kuber established his capital at Alkapuri, Raavarn attacked there and conquered the kingdom by defeating Kuber.
  • With his each successful conquest, Raavarn forcefully abducted women after killing their husbands and other family members, just to satiate his lust. His lust knew no boundaries; he was also accused of coercion, to Rambha who companioned Nal-Kubar, Kuber's son & his nephew.

This could come as no surprise that Bali's personality too might have got affected and his mindset and beliefs altered. When Bali returned after defeating Mayavi, he saw Sugreeve on his throne. Similar to what Raavarn did to his elder brother and so Bali forgot everything and banished his brother. Same reason applies as to why he captured Rooma, his brother's wife. Here could be two situations:

  1.  Bali doubted Sugreeve having bad eye on Tara and hence captured Rooma to take revenge of an offense never committed.
  2. It is also possible that after learning about Raavarn's fantasies and countless women around him, Bali too got attracted towards his brother's wife. And when he saw Sugreeve taking over his throne, he looked it as an opportunity and coerced Rooma as his slave.
This can be assumed as a plausibility to a sudden breakage of a harmonious relationship. That's how I see it. The ultimate truth, is known to 'The One'.

We will meet soon, this time real soon and learn about more such legends.


"Evil may seem alluring, but in the long term, it will be the cause to your destruction"

'सियाराम'

[Visit my website www.srirom.in to purchase or download the book]