Featured Post

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 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 Ashini 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 became 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 a 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]

Friday, May 12, 2017

Vaanar: Species 'Unknown'

They say good habits never leave you, especially when they undergo a change, developing into passion. Being away from blogging was never easing and i felt the urge to type, to continue presenting the actual perspective of SiyaRam-Katha, clearing the misinformation that was backed by unscrupulous agenda. My last blog was published on 24th of December, 2016; initiation of season-2. Yes, been around five months since; my apologies for the extended interval. I will make sure my posts are available for your read sans long breaks.

Recently I associated with Sagar World, as content writer, managing their pages @ Facebook. I am also editing their monthly newsletter as well. Do subscribe to keep yourselves updated with the buzz form Sagars. Explore the world of mythology, astrology along with our heritage:


http://www.sagarworld.com//blog/#wpcf7-f11755-o1



{Newsletter: Sagar World}


My last post depicted the historical kingdom of Vaanars; Kishkindha, as described in Valmiki Ramayan. Today let's discuss the legendary inhabitants, who contributed to the legend with their brains & brawn; The Vaanars. Let's excavate deeper; to explore origins of species Vaanar:

The word vaanar comprises of two words; van+nar, where van means forest and nar means man, hence vaanar means inhabitants of forest or forest dwellers. These people were not based to a particular region and had several tribes (mostly in southern region), yet they were unified under one dominion; Kishkindha. Characteristically; they were free spirited known for their muscular physique. They didn't rely on weapons; their tooth and nails were trenchant enough to lacerate the enemy in one blow. Their rituals and traditions were similar to Aryavart's; though the rigidity was much low compared to the humans.

If you can recall my evolution blogs from season-1, where we learned about the Prajapatis, and Sage Kashyap. He was the last Prajapati, progenitor of various species, including vaanars through Dakshayanees, daughters of Daksh. These women were the foremothers of devas, daanavs, maanavs/humans & vaanars as well. Vaanars are said to be descendants of Hari, daughter of Krodhvasha & Kashyap.

But their existence is seen with much suspicion constituted by many reasons:
  •  Apart from their prominent mentioning in Ramayan, they have no history prior.
  •  They were one strange species who dwell in forests, swinging in trees like animals; yet clothed, civilized and even could speak like humans that was not the case with animals (except some rarer episodes).
  • If they were real, where are they now.
  • Their identity lacks archaeological evidence.

If we look at the vaidas or other scriptures, there actually ain't any description. However, their existence can't be discarded completely in absence of their chronicles; perhaps there wasn't much to account, and when there was, we know their role in Ramayan. Their entity can't be denied in absence of history.

Though we doubt them due to their mixed traits of humans and animals; may be, this species belonged to some unspotted genus, which was somewhat related to homo sapiens or neanderthals. There's yet a lot to be discovered and learn by humans of our antiquity.

Where are they now - may be they lost to "survival of the fittest" with the tides of time, shrinking gradually with the expansion of human civilizations. One major reason behind their identity lacking archaeological evidence:  it could be the fact that vanars, like humans, too cremated their deceased ones. There are newer discoveries and theories everyday; possibly one day with technology & excavation; their traces could be found.

Considering the tales of vanars that have critical role in the epic of Ramayan, the assumption: they were a myth, has to be written off.

We reasoned the above suspicions; there are also some assumptions that support their existence:
  • They were created on Brahmm Dev's directives, to help Shri Ram in his fight against Raavarn.
  • They were a tribe who believed themselves as descendants of Monkey deity and hence used artificial tails in their routine life.

The second assumption lacks solid grounds due to the above stated, also if for once we believe that the tribal people used artificial tails; how could they probably perform the foremost tasks with such appendages (the tail, as well as the fur body and masks).

They were created for a purpose on Brahmm Dev's directives, fathered by the mighty devas. This theory has garnered much support and looks admissible hence, after the suspicion and assumptions raised. But we must also see that the vanars had the ancestral lineage that was initiated by Kashyap & Hari: for instance- Kesari, Hanuman's father & Rikshraja, father of Bali & Sugreeve.

{Image: Pinterest}

We have seen and discussed the suspicions and assumptions, followed by their probable explanations. Now, I would like to narrate a legend from Satyug, that according to me, is by far the most eminent argument in favor of Vaanars' existence. It also explains the prominence of vaanars in Ramayan:

I will keep the story brief; Once divine sage Narad performed supreme ascesis and claimed his victory over the senses, including lust. He bragged in front of Bhagwan Shiv & Vishnu, who sensed his arrogance. Vishnu decided to free his worshiper from arrogance in near future.

Days passed; Narad was roaming usually in the airways. There he saw a princess, VishwaMohini, whose beauty seemed to have enthralled all three worlds. Narad was instantly smitten by her beauty. He came to know about a swayamvar(where a bride chooses her husband) that the king was organizing.

Narad hurried to Vaikunth and pleaded Vishnu to bless him with 'Hari'-Roop. Hari is another name of Vishnu and Narad wanted his form, to look distinctive in the swayamvar. Vishnu blessed Narad with the Hari-Roop. Narad returned to the swayamvar, finding other devas, and Vishnu as contenders. He was confident of his winning, soon VishwaMohini arrived, walking by each contenders. Narad proudly stood in front of her, but to his astonishment, the princess walked over him and chose Vishnu as her husband.

Narad was dazed, how can his Hari-Roop be ignored by the princess. He looked in the mirror and found the Hari-Roop that he was graced by Bhagwan Vishnu, was of a vaanar's. Enraged, he confronted Vishnu and cursed him, 'the way I have suffered the pain, losing the woman I loved,  you too shall suffer the separation of your beloved. Hey Narayarn, on that time, you will seek vaanars' help and only they would be able to assist you in getting your beloved back.'

At that instant, VishwaMohini came to her real form, Bhagwati Lakshmi.
Vishnu smiled, 'You are my devotee Narad, how could I see you in captive of arrogance. You have bigger role in this creation and I had to get you free from the illusions and hence I planned it. You asked me Hari-Roop. Well! Hari's one meaning is also vaanar and hence you got it. I accept your curse as it will be helpful in my next incarnation. Now you're free of all evils.'

Narad bowed in Bhagwan's feet and left, learning a lesson.

Now, if we connect the dots; Hari as foremother of vaanars & the 'Hari'-Roop blessed by Bhagwan Vishnu to Narad, we know why & how 'Hari' means vaanar. This story also clears that vaanars were indeed a species existing, but like any other ordinary race, insignificant one, till Ramayan.

We will meet soon with my next post, exploring some legendary vaanars; till then, be curious.

"This whole creation is his maya/illusion; what's real or unreal, doesn't matter"
'सियाराम'