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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"


  1. Just curious: what evidence caused you to conclude that Udayachal is Japan and not the Chatham Islands in Tonga, on whose hills the day arguably first dawns in the world? Or the Big Diomede island in Russia? Or was the International Date Line somewhere in Japan in the globally omniscient Sugreev's time? By the way, "disapproving" does not mean what you think it means.

  2. Being Anonymous & Sarcastic, lovely combination. But I would like to request a reread, the point where I used the word 'may', and I hope you are aware what the word implies; also I further added, the possibility of some other island. Thank you for pointing out the 'disapprove' thing, the correct word wasn't coming to my mind that time :)
    As I have never claimed to have know it all, am still learning and hence will surely study your suggestives.