Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Vedic and Indus civilization!

Since the times of Indus civilization era, since last about 5000 years, the religious concepts have remained almost the same till this date in India. Indus people, as evident from the finds, worshiped mother Goddess and also conducted phallic worship in the form of Shivlingam. Yoga, the main feature of today’s Hindu religion finds prominent place in Indus culture as well. Most of the sociocultural practices too are followed today as they used to be practiced in ancient times. The same flat bottom boats, bullock carts and even style of wells can be found preserved in the north-west region of the country.

This is why a major question arises, why the scholars say that the Indus culture was perished sometime between 1700-1800 BC? Actually it is not the case. Over 2500 towns and settlements of Indus were abandoned by residents due to either climatic changes or worsening economy, or simply because people got tired of the old settlements and moved away to establish new ones, it does not mean the culture were perished. It is also wrong to assume that new wave of migrants forced original inhabitants to empty their settlements. For there simply is no proof for this! In fact there are ample proofs are available of post-Indus culture from various excavations that proves continuity of the Indus tradition till the historical period.
Before remains of the Indus culture were found, it was assumed that the beginning of Indian culture starts from Vedic period, 1200 t0 1500 BC. But excavations of Indus culture shattered the myth, taking Indian history far back…almost 3000 BC. New theories started popping up. The major theory that appeared instantly after 1930 was those were invading Aryans who defeated Indus people and destroyed their settlements. However, no proof surfaced to show that there ever was any kind of violent battle in or around any towns of Indus culture. Hence there was no choice but to abandon this theory.

Now a day’s a new theory is in circulation that it were Vedic people (Aryans) who were progenitor’s of the Indus culture. The hypothesis was mainly based on the finds of the remains of few fire pits at Kalibangan site. Interestingly archeologists like Dr. S.R. Rao thought them to be sacrificial fire altars, a main ritualistic practice conducted by Vedic Aryans. Based on this a conclusion was offered that the creators of Indus civilization were Vedic people.

Now, the supporters of Vedic religion of India happily jumped on this hypothesis, creating a cultural controversy. First of all the fire pits found at two Indus sites, with ashes and bones, in anyway does not resemble any Sacrificial fire altars as described in Vedic literature. Another thing is before starting fire sacrifice, entirely new pit used to be erected with chanting sacred Mantra’s. After completion of Yadnya, pit would be dismantled. There is no provision of permanent “Yadnya” in Vedic religion. Hence it will be a grave mistake to ascribe these fire pits to Vedic sacrificial fire rituals.

Also none of the Veda’s mentions the abundantly found remains of Phallic and Venus worship practices at all the Indus sites. Had Vedic people been the originators of Indus culture, being part of Phallic worship, certainly would have made a mention of it in Rig Veda. Moreover Veda’s nowhere mention that Vedic people resided in walled cities or they conducted trade with other civilizations.

Also it should be noted that Vedic people used wool and animal skin for clothing…cotton clothing was unknown to Vedic people, but Indus people not only had mastered the art of weaving but exported cotton cloths to Arabian and other countries. It is claimed that Vedic people knew iron, but Indus people didn’t as no iron material has been found at Indus sites.

Vedic people seem to be at constant wars, using variety of arms and armors. At Indus sites the finds of arms are meager with no find of armors.

Students of Indus culture know well the abundant finds of seals at every site. It exhibits the cultural beliefs of the Indus people, however none of such practice finds mention in Rig Veda. Also it is well known fact that Indus people knew the art of writing, though the Indus script remains un-deciphered till date. However there is no mention of either seals of any cognate word for writing and script in Rig Veda.

Looking at the above mentioned discrepancies that arise from the closer look at the Vedic culture mentioned in Veda’s and the physical finds at Indus sites, it is impossible to state that progenitors of Indus civilization were Vedic Aryans. The abundant finds of Shivlingams and Shakti images rather prove that the people of Indus civilization followed Shaiva religion. The Shaiva religion is still thriving in the country. The same Shivalinga’s are worshipped today as were found at Indus sites.

The main question remains unanswered who were the Vedic people and exactly when that religion took birth? We shall probe into this in next installment.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Myth of the lost river Saraswati....!

Aryan Invasion Theory v/s Aryan Migration theory is a controversial issue that has been fiercely discussed among Indologists. Both the theories find strong supporters utilizing almost the same data available to them, using it conveniently, thus making the issue more complicated.

However, there can not be a dispute over a fact that Ghaggar-hakra is not a new-found lost river. It finds mention in the several records from last 200 years. It still seasonally flows, disappears in Thar desert and reappears in present Pakistan. Also, there is no dispute over the satellite images and the various maps of the river changing courses in the past and its ancient tributaries those have taken independent course because of the tectonic shifts. 

The similar fact is about all the rivers in the north-west region. It is well established fact that Ghaggar as compared to present pitiable condition, once upon a time was rich with the flowing waters. The only point is disputed by Rajesh Kochhar raising a serious question on the amount of the water that would have been flowing through the paleochannel of Ghaggar in the remote past and whether Vedic descriptions of Saraswati and present Ghaggar are of the one and the same river? As per his research, Mr. Kochhar suggests that Vedic Saraswati and Ghaggar cannot be the same rivers and he is right in his assessment.

In Rig Veda Saraswati is abundantly praised with its mighty flow, through the cliffs. It is called as the mother of all rivers. (7.36.6 RV) It surpasses might of the all other rivers (7.95.2 RV) According to Kochhar, Saraswati mentioned in tenth Mandala of Rig Veda is not identical with the Saraswati mentioned in the previous Mandala’s of Rig Veda. The mention of various rivers in the tenth Mandala goes like this;

“5 Favour ye this my laud, O Gangā, Yamunā, O Sutudri, Paruṣṇī and Sarasvatī: With Asikni, Vitasta, O Marudvrdha, O Ārjīkīya with Susoma hear my call.

6 First with Trstama thou art eager to flow forth, with Rasā, and Susartu, and with Svetya here, With Kubha; and with these, Sindhu and Mehatnu, thou seekest in thy course Krumu and Gomati.

7 Flashing and whitely-gleaming in her mightiness, she moves along her ample volumes through the realms.” (Trans. By Griffith HYMN LXXV.)

Few rivers mentioned in above Sukta are identical with rivers in Afghanistan, such as Kubha (Kabul), Rasa (Raha) whereas identity of the few rivers is still disputed, as of Arjikiya, Mehatnu, Krumu etc. However, these rivers are placed in far north-western mountanous parts of ancient India. Knowing these bordering rivers from another side is quite possible. The Vedic description of Sarasvati in fact matches with the Helmand as it flows from the mountains. 

The Ghaggar-Hakra hypothesis stresses that Yamuna and Satlej rivers used to be tributaries of Ghaggar River, thus adding huge water supply in the Ghaggar system. Both the rivers ceased to be tributaries to Ghaggar as they changed their course because of tectonic shifts. 

But from Rig Veda itself, it clearly appears that Yamuna and Satlej (Satudri) were, in fact, the independent rivers of each other, not tributaries to the Vedic Saraswati, then how can it be claimed that the Sarasvati was a large river in Vedic times because she received ample of water from Yamuna and Satlej?

This only does prove that the River Vedic seers were referring to was not the Ghaggar, but the River located somewhere else! And it is none but Afghanistan as Rigveda itself has evidenced it! 

The investigations on the bed of Ghaggar river has yielded interesting results. Extensive drilling done near Kalibangan by a team led by Mr. Sanjeev Gupta (Imperial College London) showed that the river sediment deposits ceased in this tract after approximately 14000 BCE. Mr. Gupta suggests that there was no big river here in Indus times. Japanese team too did research in Paleocene channel of Ghaggar system, headed by Hideaky Maemoku, have proved that the sand dunes surrounding Hakra are older than 10000 years.

Noteworthy to mention here is, Ghaggar had never been perennial (Glacier fed river ) as no proof of mineral deposits of Himalayan glaciers are traced in Ghaggar system so far. 

Giosan et al in PNAS (Fluvial landscapes of the Harappan Civilization; 2012; June 26; 109 (26): e1688-94) have also proved that “The much touted Ghaggar-Hakra was a monsoon-fed river, not the Vedic Saraswati fed by the melting snows of high mountains.”

The general consensus among the scholars is Ghaggar was a seasonal river, fed by the monsoon, with water enough to irrigate farms, but not a mighty or Himalayan glacier fed river as described in Rig Veda. Satlej, Yamuna used to feed water to Ghaggar system, but in Pleistocene period, pre-10,000 BC, not later than that. Satlej and Yamuna had changed their course in very remote past. If this is the case it raises serious problems over Vedic period and its geography itself. In any case Harappan settlements in Ghaggar-Hakra basin are dated from 3300 to 1800 BC. Over 1000 Harappan settlements are found across the banks of the Ghaggar river. As explained in another article I have shown that Indus culture do not reflect any way the presence of Vedic elements in either settlement. If Ghaggar is somehow identified with Saraswati, Vedic period has to be far stretched back, which at any rate cannot be the case, for simply there are no satisfactory explanations available on either Vedic or geographical grounds.

This make it very difficult or almost impossible to relate Ghaggar with the Vedic Saraswati, as geographical proofs rather go contrary to the Vedic myths. Hence it becomes necessary to relocate the existence of Vedic Saraswati elsewhere. We, unfortunately cannot be in the agreement with the scholars those want to establish progenitors of the Indus culture were Vedic’s. As it is rightly stated by Dr. Francesco Brighenti, "It seems that a new scientific consensus is emerging which neutralizes the pseudo-scientific argument about the "Mighty Saraswati", used by Hindutva folks & their sympathizers to identify the Vedic Age with the period of the Indus Valley civilization.”

Ruined Harappan settlements across the bed of Ghaggar river.

Ruined Harappan settlements across the bed of Ghaggar river.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Capitalist Traits in Human Being!

Just imagine the time when our forefathers were hunter and food-gatherers, roaming in bands in search of the game and food on the earth. The social order of the tribes of ancient times was simple. Still, a primary order was necessary to form the unity of the tribe. Though the ethics and religious concepts were primordial, they needed them to maintain internal order for the survival.

Every tribe needed a leader to take decisions on its behalf. If no leader there would be the possibility of disintegration of the tribe in the lack of ability to take collective decisions as to which direction be taken, how to avoid or fight enemy tribes etc. Was leader of the tribe alone could take a decision? No. There must have been an assembly of the elder men who had had experience of their life to the disposal of tribes well-being. But still, the leader was the final authority. He was not the only leader of the tribe but the priest of their rudimentary religion as well. Hence he could oracle to satisfy his tribesmen to avoid any confrontation.

A leader would be a stronger man, came to the position by winning and killing his opponent(s). Was there any kind of economic system then? Yes, there must have been. The proofs indicate that the rudimentary economic system did exist in and within the tribes. Barter system must have been in place between friendly tribes but at very meager level. What they would trade? Food, animal, ornaments they thought precious and meager merchandise must have been traded among them.

Within the tribe how the system would have been working?

Let us see how the distribution of the wealth would have been done. What was wealth then? The game, gathered food from the forests, makeshift or temporary homes made of leather or wood, weapons, ornaments and clothes would be the elementary wealth to those people.

From the hunting, that was conducted jointly, was everyone getting an equal share? The answer is obviously no. the leader naturally would get best of the share. If the game would be abundant, only leader and elders would get priority to feed them to their satisfaction and rest would be distributed amongst the tribesmen.
Some part would be preserved for their God, that would be any pagan symbol of their like. Why? Unless their God was pleased how they can have the surety of sufficient game and food in the future? Thus capitalization of the God began.

Hence, though in the primordial times, everyone’s share in labor was equal, distribution of the wealth among them was not equal.

So we can see the traces of capitalism in our earliest social order. Still, women were the property of every male in the tribe and given highest respect for their fertility.

When the distribution of the wealth becomes characteristically in descending order, from leader to rest of the tribesmen, it is nothing but a source of capitalism of we the mankind.

When man became agrarian, capitalism further got strengthened. Till then, when he was hunter man or pastoral man, there was no need of claiming the ownership of the land. But as he settled with his innovative invention of agriculture inevitably needed to claim the land. Maybe in the beginning whole tribe would own the land trying to keep aggressors at bay.

Still, the distribution of the product couldn’t have been equal to each one. The gradation among the people, farmers and other service or artisans, must have been different. From the remains of early civilizations, we can find the residences of the people in descending order. Palaces for kings, big houses for the nobles and priests and ordinary houses for the rest of the citizens, which may show inequality in the distribution of the wealth. The wealth of the individual would depend on his contribution. The definitions of the value of contribution would vary depending on the materialistic and spiritual priorities of the people. In short, somehow it was connected with the demand and supply in rudimentary form. 

This indicates a drastic change in social order, keeping ancient capitalistic traits alive. Women started getting gradually secondary position in the society with marriage system was introduced to claim inheritance over the wealth accumulated in the lifetime. Marriage system of mankind is nothing but the capitalization of the women, making her property of an individual.

The formations of political systems owe to the capitalist traits inherently existent in human blood. Means changed, the system changed to suit the contemporary capitalist concepts of the human being in the course of human history. Kingdoms, empires were the system that was developed to suit capitalist mindset of the people. The ultimate aim was to claim more and more land, enslave more and more men to produce more wealth, enslave women to produce more and more slaves, thus creating and growing the wealth.

Today, most of the nations follow the democratic pattern. But democracy is against human nature. This is why imperialism still persists with nationalism. Imperialism is a symbol of capitalism. Every person, business and corporate houses and nations are in a race to gain more and more wealth. To achieve the goal of capitalism, creation or acquisition of the wealth, one after other models were designed and destroyed.

Marxism was a counter system introduced to the world. The system talked of the ideal's and reworked on the social history of the mankind to show the actual creators of the wealth were peasants and small artisans whereas the landlords, industrialists and kingships were exploiters. The Communism pleaded equal share to each citizen of the wealth accumulated by the society.

Prima-facie the logic was humanitarian, giving justice to the strife of mankind. Marxism, later branched in different sects, shook entire system of the nineteenth and twentieth century with many countries embracing to communist/socialist pattern. The war between capitalism and socialism/communism had become imminent. We still remember the era of cold war. But Soviet Russia fell, disintegrated and had to come back to the old capitalistic pattern.

Why did this happen? We must note that capitalism is human nature and communism is not! Communism stands in contrast to the human nature. Whether we accept it or not, no social order can ever survive without freedom to create and enjoy the wealth. He pays taxes to the government to ensure his safety and protection of his liberty and property. He does not want to pay indirectly for the charity. In fact, every human being has innate urge to prosper and make the present circumstances better. The communism kills natural human inspiration and inevitably becomes an exploiter. The socialist order too is no exception to this. India still is experiencing it. 

Still, there are communist countries, but inevitably are following the capitalistic practices in the new global order. This was bound to happen.

Does this mean the capitalist system is the best? The answer should be “No”. The capitalist system has its own disadvantages to the society. It is inhuman, laden with insatiable greed. It strives to convert the human being to a beast if stretched too far. It destroys natural resources to meet the ever-growing artificially created needs! It keeps on inventing new needs to catch the people in the web of competition he could do without. The capitalist system doesn’t work for society as a whole but for individuals, hence public needs are not their priority to address.

Hence a balance is always required. Everyone should keep greed within the limit. Some elements of communism are always worth to follow but without governmental interference. It is the people who are better placed to decide what they need and how. Governments in the socialist or communist pattern have ruined public as well by corruption and mismanagement. To retain human respect government needs to perform greater roles than attempting to confine people's life. 

The hidden dragon of capitalism in the veil of communism is far more dangerous than any!

The capitalism is not an evil in itself, the evil is the government that wants to decide on behalf of the people when many times they are incapable of! The governments in socialism inevitably turn dictators of people's choice that constantly destroys the human liberty. 

And human without liberty is as good as dead!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Lord Krishna: Was he real?

Lord Krishna: Was he real?

Can one imagine the famous epic "Mahabharata" without Krishna? In fact he is the central character of the great epic. He has played the vital role from beginning to end in the great war. He had been chief counsel of Pandava's without his strategic advices Pandava's would have been doomed!

However Krishna is an intriguing personality, having may dimensions to His character. In the Indian mythology he is depicted as incarnation of Lord Vishnu, a cunning statesman, a fierce fighter, an eternal lover of Radha and Gopi's, destroyer of the demons and most importantly the author of Hindu sacred text “Bhagvad Geeta”.

Actually in Mahabharata his childhood deeds are scarcely mentioned. It is Harivansha, later part annexed to the Mahabharata, that describes at greater length childhood of Krishna. Harivansha wove various miraculous mythical stories surrounding him thus elevating the character of Krishna not only divine, but that could endear lovers, mothers, fathers and elders at the same breath!

What was real Krishna?

But what was real Krishna? Was he a historical figure or a mythical imaginative character created and developed by contributors of Mahabharata in the course of the time? Opinion of scholars is divided on this issue. Some tend to believe that he was the historical person as some references to his Yadu clan are found in older texts. Also they opine that overall character of Krishna is depicted in Mahabharata mostly on humanly ground excepting very few divine deeds attributed to him.

Counter argument is, Mahabharata story itself is a fiction and thus Krishna too is a fictional character. Recently found remains of the City Dwarka in the sea gave rise to the various speculations as it matched the mythological story of sunken Dwarka city after dissension of Yadava clan. But it is not clear as yet whether the remains found on the sea bed of a ancient settlement really belong to Krishna's Dwarka.
Romantic Krishna with Gopi's.
Romantic Krishna with Gopi's. 
How many Krishna’s?

Also, even if Krishna is considered to be a historical person, a debate has been fiercely fought over whether Krishna was a one person or three different persons of same name unified to make one in the later times? This is because Krishna’s personality is filled up with many contradicting aspects if looked carefully at Krishna as a whole through the ancient literature.

At one hand he is always praised for his valiance and his being incarnation of Lord Vishnu and yet he had to flee with his clan to survive from the attacks of king Jarasangha. None of the war with Jarasangha he ever could win. The most of the persons he has got killed not with his valor but cunning and deceitful tactics. At instances he has averted himself from direct fights those could engage him personally.
He got killed his sworn enemy Jarasangha at the hands of Bhima in wrestling and that too treacherously, signalling Bhima to break rules of the dual.

Krishna killed Shishupala in sacrificial pavilion without even warning him for dual! Death came to Shishupala as a surprise! This was not at all a ethical manner to kill someone without forewarning and challenging for dual, at the least not an suitable act for the incarnation of the supreme divine!

Krishna and Arjuna together, by setting Khandav forest on fire, thus forcing Naga inhabitants of the forest to flee from their ancient habitat to get mass massacred at their hands.

Krishna got killed Karna, a most valiant warrior of his times and blood brother of Pandava’s, when he was unarmed and in trouble during war, at the hands of Arjuna.

And lastly, highly condemned act of Krishna by even his elder brother Balrama is, he got Duryodhana killed at the hands of Bhima in a final dual hinting him break thighs of Duryodhana. It was against rules of mace dual that any participant of dual should not hit bellow the belly.

Krishna seems recklessly breaking all the ethical norms of his time wherever he finds no other way to defeat enemy!

From any point of view these cannot be called Godly acts, no matter whether committed to resurrect the weakened religion or otherwise.

In fact these actions, if weighed considering Krishna as a human being, having extra-ordinary intellect and statesmanship, can be justified. A man weak himself in fights resorting to the cunning practices to win over enemies by hook or crook can be understandable. These actions of Krishna indeed suggests that he could not be a product of mere poetic imagination. Had it been a case poet would have created his character differently!

Who was author of the Geeta?

Was author of Geeta another Krishna? Geeta is treated as a sacred scripture of Hindu religion. The Philosophical issues that Geeta handles are amazing! Inspiring at one hand and same time giving new insight into human life at the other! Geeta has been a main source of inspiration to millions of Hindu people from centuries. Every philosopher of later times, as if a rule, wrote commentary on Geeta to reveal real meaning to support his cult or philosophical belief. Even Mahatma Gandhi too have written a commentary on Geeta to find support to his non-violence theory! In a way Geeta gives all what one desires!
Can a cunning statesman like Krishna be a philosopher of such a greatest height?
Krishna's feat as a child!
Krishna's feat as a child! 
It is agreed now that Geeta couldn’t have been revealed at the time when both the armies stood facing each other for the deciding war. There simply was no time for such philosophical debate on the battlefield. Arjuna’s timid question that how could he fight with his relatives and Guru for the sake of the land is questionable in itself. Even taken the question for true there was no need to elaborate on core philosophical issues unrelated to the war.

Ultimate aim of Geeta was to make Arjuna ready to fight leaving aside his doubts.

Geeta, as a whole does it most brilliantly, but still the question remains was it told by Krishna on battlefield or it is a addition of later times to Mahabharata?

Now when we study Geeta carefully, it seems the compilation of ancient thoughts in convincing order. So many issues are discussed in it in question-answer format. Brahma Sutra, Sankhya Yoga and Upanisada’s are mentioned at end of every chapter as the source material. Thus Geeta skilfully incorporates from Vedic to Non-Vedic philosophical streams in a single book.

This makes us sure that Geeta was not the creation of Krishna. Some brilliant philosopher of later times found the place suitable in Mahabharata where he could rightly place his compilation in such a manner no one would doubt interpolation, assigning sanctity to his work.

This would have done at later times when original epic was being translated from original Prakrit to Sanskrit and Krishna already was elevated to a mythical hero in the minds of the people!

Harivansha already had idolized the character of young Krishna. Divinity just needed to be mentioned but not elaborated in Mahabharata as premise of Krishna’s divinity already was established through Harivamsha.
We safely can conclude that Krishna of Mahabharata was a historical character with all humanly qualities and flaws. It makes him a real human being. During the Gupta era as he was consolidated in vaishnava cult, declaring him an incarnation of the Lord Vishnu, most of the miracles and other fictional aspects were added into his original character. Being his father’s name Vasudeva and Balrama being his brother, he was connected with the non-Vedic Panchratra sect that was quite famous in those times. Mahabharata too mentions this sect at some places. I will write someday on this interesting sect some another time. However it is clear that Krishna’s character have been elevated in the course of time from a human being to incarnation of Lord Vishnu. (In fact Vishnu was hardly considered as a supreme God till third century BC.)

How of humans are made God’s is a strange process of human psyche. There is no way to understand it. But if at all we want to learn something from Geeta, attributed to Lord Krishna, we can learn that keep on doing your work without expectations…

Who knows in later times you too would be made God to be worshiped by each and one!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Ramayana: A story behind story!

Mystery of Lord Rama!

Rama is a hero of ancient epic Ramayana and is worshiped by the masses as the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Valmiki is credited with authorship of Ramayana. The Ramayana suggests Valmiki being contemporary of Rama. Seeta, the wife of Rama, had secured shelter at his hermitage of Valmiki when Rama had abandoned her doubting her character.

It seems that story of Rama has evolved in at least four phases. In the earliest period, before 10th century BC, it was just a heroic ballad detailing war between Rama and Ravana. Rama originally belonged to the race of Sun, which meant originally Asura. There couldn't  be any Vedic seer or Vedic elements present in original story because Vedic religion had not been introduced here, forget its spread and conversions. We have to see the time when Vedic entered India and found some space in the north India. Ramayana happened long before the entry of Vedic religion. So the first phase must have been devoid of any Vedic element.

In the second phase it was turned to a small epic “Paulatsya Vadh” (killing of Ravana) in which war was the major subject. It is said that it was the elaborative version of the original balladic germ.

Third phase consisted composition of second to sixth parts of the Ramayana in which the most of the story was shaped, right from exile of Rama till his victory over Ravana. This body of the epic shows Rama mostly in human form.However, it was contaminated with the Vedic elements in an order to boost Vedic religion.

In fourth phase, that might have been sometime between second to fourth century AD, first and last parts were composed and annexed to the original body of Ramayana. These two parts portray Rama in divine form.It is loaded with the Vedic propaganda thus spoiling the original Asura (Anarya) character of Rama.

The heavy interpolations make it impossible to determine whether Rama was a historical figure or not. In all probabilities Rama seems to be a real personality on whom the original ballad was composed. However, traces of the originality have become too obscure in present Ramayana. Still, the epic has its historical role in present Hindu religion. Rama is revered by most of the Hindus for his ideal character and divine qualities.

However Ramayana has been a subject of criticism as well as debate over construction and the character of Rama that has many contradictions and humanly flaws. Even purpose of interpolations and additions to original body of Ramayana has given ways for many speculations. Let us discuss some of them from new angle:

Was Valmiki contemporary to Rama?

If we look at the present Ramayana, it contains many contradictions. The first part of Ramayana, Balkanda, narrates us a story how Valmiki was inspired to compose this epic. The story goes like this:

“When Seer Narada visited hermitage of Valmiki, Valmiki asked him a question: ‘O greate sage Narada, who is most virtuous, valiant, religious, truthful and able to cause terror in the hearts of the Gods when angry on this earth?’ Narada answered, ‘The virtues you have mentioned are hard to find in any single person. However there is Rama of Ikshvaku clan who is an ideal person.’ Valmiki requested to Narada to narrate deeds of Rama. Narada happily did so and later Valmiki composed Ramayana in lyrical form.”

The beginning of the story itself is baffling. It shows Valmiki did not know Rama at all! Had it been the case there wouldn’t be any need to ask recite biography of Rama.

Ramayana in later parts makes him an active character in Rama story, being patron of Seeta and her twin boy’s. Thus making him contemporary to Rama!

This makes one speculate that either story is false. And yes, not only one, but both the stories are created in later times by incorporating new two parts (first and last part) to original 5 parts of Ramayana. Linguists and scholars in majority have accepted this addition.

The latter addition was done with following secret purposes:

1. To adorn Rama with divinity that hardly can be found in main body of original five parts.

2. To make him born from semen (Payas) of Vedic Seer Rishyashringa, thus suggesting biological father of Rama was a Vedic Brahmin.

3. To propagate supremacy of the patriarchal social order that Vedic adhered where women were treated secondary to male counterpart. Seeta was abandoned only on a doubt over her purity expressed by an ordinary citizen. Chastity of the women should be beyond doubt or could be expelled by husband was the message this story delivered.

4. In first part, Rama is shown protecting fire sacrifices conducted by Vedic seers from destructive Asura’s and Raksasa’s, thus making Rama savior of Vedic religion.

5. The story of Shambuka, a shudra, appears in last part in which Rama is shown assassinating him just because he was conducting Tapa , a Vedic ritual reserved only for the Vedic people. The story was created to prohibit Shudra’s from practicing any Vedic ritual. The story even demeans the Shudras (Hindus) when Rama was indeed part of their culture and religion.

6. Through Ramayana it was attempted to establish that Vedic culture extended to southern parts of India because of the advent of Rama.

There are many other points in the whole story that can be discussed on similar grounds.

However it makes clear Ramayana was used solely to elevate Vedicism to ultimate conquerors over Non-Vedic people through the fabricated epic. This also was to establish protection of Vedic rituals was a divine duty of all other ordinary people.

Valmiki couldn’t have been contemporary of Rama looking at the various phases Ramayana has undergone through the centuries. However, Valmiki himself bears all the characteristics of Anarya (Hindu) personality, though Vedic created many stories to erase his origin. The original ballad or first phase of Ramayana seems to be composed by Valmiki, but later versions are creations of the Vedic poets of the later era.

If looked carefully we can clearly see the main purpose of Ramayana is to show cultural conflict of those times between Vedic’s and non-Vedic Shaivait people.

Ramayana as a tool helped Vedic people to play a great psychological warfare showing victory of Vedic over Non-Vedic at the hands of Divine. And this worked out well!

Some ancient obscure Rama of ballads was so cleverly used to play a divine role in epic to successfully spread moral supremacy of the Vedic religion is a thing highly hard to achieve otherwise!

If we carefully study the story of present Ramayana there is actually nothing special about it. In a way it is one liner. How exiled prince frees his abducted wife from the custody of enemy. That’s it!

But the overall portrayal goes in such a clever manner that it makes one overlook lacunae’s forcing one believe Rama, an incarnation of the Lord and all his deeds morally correct!

The story of Rama was used by Jains, Buddhists to propagate their religion too! This is art of the staunch followers of the religion to somehow connect the famous personalities with their religion. Vedics had been too successful in this attempt.

Where was Ravana’s Lanka?

It is faith of Hindu’s that present Sri Lanka and Ravana’s Lanka are one and the same. Setu Samudram project is stalled by Hindu activists by raising serious objection that Government will be destroying the man-made ancient heritage, the bridge, built by Lord Rama and his monkey aides, if project started!
But the main question needs to address is where was Ravana’s Lanka, if at all it existed?

Unbiased scholars have given due thought to this question in recent past. I too have my little contribution to support their theory that can be put down as under:

1. If studied Ramayana carefully, a startling truth appears that Lanka of Ravana was not present Sri Lanka, as the course of Rama’s entire travel by every count does not cross over 450 kilometers from his capital to so called Lanka.

Present Sri Lanka is thousands of miles apart from Ayodhya.

2. According to Sardar Madhavrao Kibe, Lanka must have been situated in the Vindhya mountain ranges somewhere in Chattisgarh region. He has meticulously compiled the scattered references left in Ramayana itself to make his theory.

3. According to Dr. H. D. Sankalia, a famous archeologist too supports Mr. Kibe stating Lanka was in Vindhya mountain ranges. He also states that Lanka was not an island, but a land beyond some lake.

4. There is no mention anywhere of sea-shore in Ramayana while describing Lanka. Also, Lanka is not called an island anywhere in Ramayana. There also is no mention of Rameshvaram anywhere at all.

5. There still are tribes in Chattisgarh region those identify them as descendants of Ravana and worship him.

6. The trees mentioned in the epic are only found in Vindhya region and not in southern India at all!
Considering above points present Sri Lanka could not be Lanka of Ramayana. The myths have been created to achieve major but hidden objectives those are explained above.

It clearly seems that the later composers of the Ramayana, did not south Indian geography at all! Still, they tried to connect with Rama through a concocted fictitious story!

So Ramayana, no matter how sacred it is labeled, the story has a base of certain socio-religious objective downplayed but so obvious! The objective so far has been a tremendous success. Through Rama, a culture was forced and preached that never ever was a part of the majority of the people. People fell for the ideal character that so innocently was being presented before them…they overlooked what was being preached and stressed through him and his story!

The cultural war was fought by Vedic’s through this epic to achieve superiority over non-Vedic, i.e. Shaivait people, real Hindu’s.

Here let us not forget Ravana is shown as a great devotee of Lord Shiva who was killed at the hands of, protector of fire sacrifice of Vedic’s, Rama!

Ramayana heavily corrupted Hindu minds through the superficially innocent story! Vedic religion got attached to Shaivait religion keeping Vedic supremacy intact!

Not that all religious wars are fought on battlegrounds or in preaching rooms…just write a wonderful epic like Ramayana and you have won them!