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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...

Saturday, December 23, 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"

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"

Saturday, December 2, 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"