Jhansi – Dec 14, 1835 : A Testimony

It’s a window into those times about 200 years ago, generations before Rani Laxmibai entered the royal house of Jansi. Captain Sleeman, discharging magisterial duties, traveled to Jhansi and met the “Chiefs of Jhānsī” in the matter regarding succession dispute that then prevailed. As it obtains from his testimony, the State was blighted since the times of Raghunath Rao I at the turn of century before. The British Indian official records in his memoirs :

RAMBLES AND RECOLLECTIONS OF AN INDIAN OFFICIAL
On the 14th Dec 1835, we came on fourteen miles to Jhānsī. About five miles from our last ground, we crossed the Baitantī river over a bed of syenite. At this river we mounted our elephant to cross, as the water was waist-deep at the ford. My wife returned to her palankeen as soon as we had crossed, but our little boy came on with me on the elephant, to meet the grand procession which I knew was approaching to greet us from the city. The Rājā of Jhānsī, Rām Chandar Rāo, died a few months ago, leaving a young widow and a mother, but no child.

He was a young man of about twenty-eight years of age, timid, but of good capacity, and most amiable disposition. My duties brought us much into communication; and, though we never met, we had conceived a mutual esteem for each other. He had been long suffering from an affection of the liver, and had latterly persuaded himself that his mother was practising upon his life, with a view to secure the government to the eldest son of her daughter, which would, she thought, ensure the real power to her for life. That she wished him dead with this view, I had no doubt; for she had ruled the state for several years up to 1831, during what she was pleased to consider his minority; and she surrendered the power into his hands with great reluctance, since it enabled her to employ her paramour as minister, and enjoy his society as much as she pleased, under the pretence of holding privy councils upon affairs of great public interest.

He – the dead Raja – used to communicate his fears to me; and I was not without apprehension that his mother might some day attempt to hasten his death by poison. About a month before his death he wrote to me to say that spears had been found stuck in the ground, under the water where he was accustomed to swim, with their sharp points upwards; and, had he not, contrary to his usual practice, walked into the water, and struck his foot against one of them, he must have been killed. This was, no doubt, a thing got up by some designing person who wanted to ingratiate himself with the young man; for the mother was too shrewd a woman ever to attempt her son’s life by such awkward means. About four months before I reached the capital, this amiable young prince died, leaving two paternal uncles, a mother, a widow, and one sister, the wife of one of our Sāgar pensioners, Morīsar Rāo.

The mother claimed the inheritance for her grandson by this daughter, a very handsome young lad, then at Jhānsī, on the pretence that her son had adopted him on his death-bed. She had his head shaved, and made him go through all the other ceremonies of mourning, as for the death of his real father. The eldest of his uncles, Raghunāth Rāo (II), claimed the inheritance as the next heir; and all his party turned the young lad out of caste as a Brahman, for daring to go into mourning for a father who was yet alive; one of the greatest of crimes, according to Hindoo law, for they would not admit that he had been adopted by the deceased prince.

The question of inheritance had been referred for decision to the Supreme Government through the prescribed channel when I arrived, and the decision was every day expected. The mother, with her daughter and grandson, and the widow, occupied the castle, situated on a high hill overlooking the city; while the two uncles of the deceased occupied their private dwellings in the city below. Raghunāth Rāo, the eldest, headed the procession that came out to meet me about three miles, mounted upon a fine female elephant, with his younger brother by his side. The minister, Nārū Gopāl, followed, mounted upon another, on the part of the mother and widow. Some of the Rājā’s relations were upon two of the finest male elephants I have ever seen; and some of their friends, with the ‘Bakshī’, or paymaster (always an important personage), upon two others.

Raghunāth Rāo’s elephant drew up on the right of mine, and that of the minister on the left; and, after the usual compliments had passed between us, all the others fell back, and formed a line in our rear. They had about fifty troopers mounted upon very fine horses in excellent condition, which curvetted before and on both sides of us; together with a good many men on camels, and some four or five hundred foot attendants, all well dressed, but in various costumes. The elephants were so close to each other that the conversation, which we managed to keep up tolerably well, was general almost all the way to our tents; every man taking a part as he found the opportunity of a pause to introduce his little compliment to the Honourable Company or to myself, which I did my best to answer or divert. I was glad to see the affectionate respect with which the old man (Raghunath Rao) was everywhere received, for I had in my own mind no doubt whatever that the decision of the Supreme Government would be in his favour. The whole cortège escorted me through the town to my tent, which was pitched on the other side; and then they took their leave, still seated on their elephants, while I sat on mine, with my boy on my knee, till all had made their bow and departed.

*

In the afternoon, when my second large tent had been pitched, the minister came to pay me a visit with a large train of followers, but with little display; and I found him a very sensible, mild, and gentlemanly man, just as I expected from the high character he bears with both parties, and with the people of the country generally. Any unreserved conversation here in such a crowd was, of course, out of the question, and I told the minister that it was my intention early next morning to visit the tomb of his late master; where I should be very glad to meet him, if he could make it convenient to come without any ceremony. He seemed much pleased with the proposal, and next morning we met a little before sunrise within the railing that encloses the tomb or cenotaph; and there had a good deal of quiet and, I believe, unreserved talk about the affairs of the Jhānsī state, and the family of the late prince. He told me that, a few hours before the Rājā’s death, his mother had placed in his arms for adoption the son of his sister, a very handsome lad of ten years of age—but whether the Rājā was or was not sensible at the time he could not say, for he never after heard him speak; that the mother of the deceased considered the adoption as complete, and made her grandson go through the funeral ceremonies as at the death of his father, which for nine days were performed unmolested; but, when it came to the tenth and last—which, had it passed quietly, would have been considered as completing the title of adoption—Raghunāth Rāo and his friends interposed, and prevented further proceedings, declaring that, while there were so many male heirs, no son could be adopted for the deceased prince according to the usages of the family.

The widow of the Rājā, a timid, amiable young woman, of twenty-five years of age, was by no means anxious for this adoption, having shared the suspicions of her husband regarding the practices of his mother; and found his sister, who now resided with them in the castle, a most violent and overbearing woman, who would be likely to exclude her from all share in the administration, and make her life very miserable, were her son to be declared the Rājā. Her wish was to be allowed to adopt, in the name of her deceased husband, a young cousin of his, Sadāsheo, the son of Nānā Bhāo. Gangādhar, the younger brother of Raghunāth Rāo, was exceedingly anxious to have his elder brother declared Rājā, because he had no sons, and from the debilitated state of his frame, must soon die, and leave the principality to him. Every one of the three parties had sent agents to the Governor-General’s representative in Bundēlkhand to urge their claim; and, till the final decision, the widow of the late chief was to be considered the sovereign.

The minister told me that there was one unanswerable argument against Raghunāth Rāo’s succeeding, which, out of regard to his feelings, he had not yet urged, and about which he wished to consult me as a friend of the late prince and his widow; this was, that he was a leper, and that the signs of the disease were becoming every day more and more manifest. I told him that I had observed them in his face, but was not aware that any one else had noticed them. I urged him, however, not to advance this as a ground of exclusion, since they all knew him to be a very worthy man, while his younger brother was said to be the reverse; and more especially I thought it would be very cruel and unwise to distress and exasperate him by so doing, as I had no doubt that, before this ground could be brought to their notice, Government would declare in his favour, right being so clearly on his side.

After an agreeable conversation with this sensible and excellent man, I returned to my tents to prepare for the reception of Raghunāth Rāo and his party. They came about nine o’clock with a much greater display of elephants and followers than the minister had brought with him. He and his friends kept me in close conversation till eleven o’clock, in spite of my wife’s many considerate messages to say breakfast was waiting. He told me that the mother of the late Rājā, his nephew, was a very violent woman, who had involved the state in much trouble during the period of her regency, which she managed to prolong till her son was twenty-five years of age, and resigned with infinite reluctance only three years ago; that her minister during her regency, Gangadhar Mūlī, was at the same time her paramour, and would be surely restored to power and to her embraces, were her grandson’s claim to the succession recognized; that it was with great difficulty he had been able to keep this atrocious character under surveillance pending the consideration of their claims by the Supreme Government; that, by having the head of her grandson shaved, and making him go through all the other funeral ceremonies with the other members of the family, she had involved him and his young innocent wife (who had unhappily continued to drink out of the same cup with her husband) in the dreadful crime of mourning for a father whom they knew to be yet alive, a crime that must be expiated by the ‘prāyaschit,’ which would be exacted from the young couple on their return to Sāgar before they could be restored to caste, from which they were now considered as excommunicated. As for the young widow, she was everything they could wish; but she was so timid that she would be governed by the old lady, if she should have any ostensible part assigned her in the administration.

I told the old gentleman that I believed it would be my duty to pay the first visit to the widow and mother of the late prince, as one of pure condolence, and that I hoped my doing so would not be considered any mark of disrespect towards him, who must now be looked up to as the head of the family. He remonstrated against this most earnestly; and, at last, tears came into his eyes as he told me that, if I paid the first visit to the castle, he should never again be able to show his face outside his door, so great would be the indignity he would be considered to have suffered; but, rather than I should do this, he would come to my tents, and escort me himself to the castle. Much was to be said on both sides of the weighty question; but, at last, I thought that the arguments were in his favour—that, if I went to the castle first, he might possibly resent it upon the poor woman and the prime minister when he came into power, as I had no doubt he soon would—and that I might be consulting their interest as much as his feelings by going to his house first.

In the evening I received a message from the old lady, urging the necessity of my paying the first visit of condolence for the death of my young friend to the widow and mother. ‘The rights of mothers’, said she, ‘are respected in all countries; and, in India, the first visit of condolence for the death of a man is always due to the mother, if alive.’ I told the messenger that my resolution was unaltered, and would, I trusted, be found the best for all parties under present circumstances. I told him that I dreaded the resentment towards them of Raghunāth Rāo, if he came into power. ‘Never mind that,’ said he: ‘my mistress is of too proud a spirit to dread resentment from any one—pay her the compliment of the first visit, and let her enemies do their worst.’ I told him that I could leave Jhānsī without visiting either of them, but could not go first to the castle; and he said that my departing thus would please the old lady better than the second visit.

With the best cortège I could muster, I went to Raghunāth Rāo’s, where I was received with a salute from some large guns in his courtyard, and entertained with a party of dancing girls and musicians in the usual manner. Attar of roses and ‘pān’ were given, and valuable shawls put before me, and refused in the politest terms I could think of; such as, ‘Pray do me the favour to keep these things for me till I have the happiness of visiting Jhānsī again, as I am going through Gwālior, where nothing valuable is a moment safe from thieves’. After sitting an hour, I mounted my elephant, and proceeded up to the castle, where I was received with another salute from the bastions. I sat for half an hour in the hall of audience with the minister and all the principal men of the court, as Raghunāth Rāo was to be considered as a private gentleman till the decision of the Supreme Government should be made known; and the handsome lad, Krishan Rāo, whom the old woman wished to adopt, and whom I had often seen at Sāgar, was at my request brought in and seated by my side. By him I sent my message of condolence to the widow and mother of his deceased uncle, couched in the usual terms—that the happy effects of good government in the prosperity of this city, and the comfort and happiness of the people, had extended the fame of the family all over India; and that I trusted the reigning member of that family, whoever he might be, would be sensible that it was his duty to sustain that reputation by imitating the example of those who had gone before him. After attar of roses and pān had been handed round in the usual manner, I went to the summit of the highest tower in the castle, which commands an extensive view of the country around.

*

The castle stands upon the summit of a small hill of syenitic rock. The elevation of the outer wall is about one hundred feet above the level of the plain, and the top of the tower on which I stood about one hundred feet more, as the buildings rise gradually from the sides to the summit of the hill. The city extends out into the plain to the east from the foot of the hill on which the castle stands. Around the city there is a good deal of land, irrigated from four or five tanks in the neighbourhood, and now under rich wheat crops; and the gardens are very numerous, and abound in all the fruit and vegetables that the people most like. Oranges are very abundant and very fine, and our tents have been actually buried in them and all the other fruits and vegetables which the kind people of Jhānsī have poured in upon us. The city of Jhānsī contains about sixty thousand inhabitants, and is celebrated for its manufacture of carpets. There are some very beautiful temples in the city, all built by Gosāins, one of the priests of Siva who here engage in trade, and accumulate much wealth. The family of the chief do not build tombs; and that now raised over the place where the late prince was buried is dedicated as a temple to Siva, and was made merely with a view to secure the place from all danger of profanation.

The face of the country beyond the influence of the tanks is neither rich nor interesting. The cultivation seemed scanty and the population thin, owing to the irremediable sterility of soil, from the poverty of the primitive rock from whose detritus it is chiefly formed. Raghunāth Rāo told me that the wish of the people in the castle to adopt a child as the successor to his nephew arose from the desire to escape the scrutiny into the past accounts of disbursements which he might be likely to order. I told him that I had myself no doubt that he would be declared the Rājā, and urged him to turn all his thoughts to the future, and to allow no inquiries to be made into the past, with a view to gratify either his own resentment, or that of others; that the Rajas of Jhānsī had hitherto been served by the most respectable, able, and honourable men in the country, while the other chiefs of Bundēlkhand could get no man of this class to do their work for them.

Jhansi’s was the only court in Bundēlkhand in which such (competent) men could be seen, simply because it was the only one in which they could feel themselves secure—while other chiefs confiscated the property of ministers who had served them with fidelity, on the pretence of embezzlement; the wealth thus acquired, however, soon disappearing, and its possessors being obliged either to conceal it or go out of the country to enjoy it. Such rulers thus found their courts and capitals deprived of all those men of wealth and respectability who adorned the courts of princes in other countries, and embellished, not merely their capitals, but the face of their dominions in general with their chateaus and other works of ornament and utility. Much more of this sort passed between us, and seemed to make an impression upon him; for he promised to do all that I had recommended to him. Poor man! he can have but a short and miserable existence, for that dreadful disease, the leprosy, is making sad inroads in his System already. His uncle, Raghunāth Rāo (I), was afflicted with it; and, having understood from the priests that by drowning himself in the Ganges (taking the ‘samādh’), he should remove all traces of it from his family, he went to Benares, and there drowned himself, some twenty years ago. He had no children, and is said to have been the first of his family in whom the disease showed itself.

Notes

Since the opening of this railway and the restoration of the Gwālior fort to Sindhia in 1886, the importance of Jhānsī, both civil and military, has much increased. The native town was given up by Sindhia in exchange for the Gwālior stronghold.

The departed chief was Rājā Rāo Rāmchand. He died on August 20, 1835. His administration had been weak, and his finances were left in great disorder. Under his successor the disorder of the administration became still greater.

An adopted son passes completely out of the family of his natural, into that of his adoptive, father, all his rights and duties as a son being at the same time transferred. In this case, the adoption had not really taken place, and the lad’s duty to his living natural father remained unaffected.

The ‘prāyaschit’ is an expiating atonement by which the person humbles himself in public. It is often imposed for crimes committed in a former birth, as indicated by inflictions suffered in this. Leprosy and childlessness are among the afflictions supposed to prove the sinfulness of the sufferer in some former birth, perhaps thousands of years ago.

The poor young widow died of grief some months after my visit; her spirits never rallied after the death of her husband, and she never ceased to regret that she had not burned herself with his remains. The people of Jhānsī generally believe that the prince’s mother brought about his death by (dīnāī) slow poison, and I am afraid that that was the impression on the mind of the poor widow.

Considering the fact that, ’till the final decision, the widow of the late chief was to be considered the sovereign’, it would be difficult to justify the author’s decision to call upon the ‘uncle’ first. The reigning sovereign was clearly entitled to the first visit. Questions of precedence, salutes, and etiquette are as the very breath of their nostrils to the Indian nobility.

The estimate of the population was probably excessive. The population in 1891, including the cantonments, was 53,779, and 70,208 in 1911. The fort of Gwālior and the cantonment of Morār were surrendered by the Government of India to Sindhia in exchange for the fort and town of Jhānsī on March 10, 1886. Sindhia also relinquished fifty-eight villages in exchange for thirty given up by the Government of India, the difference in value being adjusted by cash payments. The arrangements were finally sanctioned by Lord Dufferin on June 13, 1888.

The custom of burial is not peculiar to the Saiva Gosāins of Jhānsī. It is the ordinary practice of Gosāins throughout India. Many of the Gosāins are devoted to the worship of Vishnu. Burial of the dead is practised by a considerable number of the Hindoo castes of the artisan grade, and by some divisions of the sweeper caste. See Crooke, ‘Primitive Rites of Disposal of the Dead’ (J. Anthrop. Institute, vol. xxix, N.S., vol. ii (1900), pp. 271-92).

This chief, Raghunath Rao II, died of leprosy in May, 1838.

Raghunāth Rāo I was the first of his family invested by the Peshwā with the government of the Jhānsī territory, which he had acquired from the Bundēlkhand chiefs. He went to Benares in 1795 to drown himself, leaving his government to his third brother, Sheorām Bhāo, as his next brother, Lachchhman Rāo, was dead, and his sons were considered incapable. Sheorām Bhāo died in 1815, and his eldest son, Krishan Rāo, had died four years before him, in 1811, leaving one son, the late Rājā, and two daughters. This was a noble sacrifice to what he had been taught by his spiritual teachers to consider as a duty towards his family; and we must admire the man while we condemn the religion and the priests.

There is no country in the world where parents are more reverenced than in India, or where they more readily make sacrifices of all sorts for their children, or for those they consider as such. We succeeded in [June] 1817 to all the rights of the Peshwā in Bundēlkhand, and, with great generosity, converted the viceroys of Jhānsī and Jālaun into independent sovereigns of hereditary principalities, yielding each ten lakhs of rupees. The statement in the note that Raghunāth Rāo I ‘went to Benares in 1795 to drown himself’ is inconsistent with the statement in the text that this event happened ‘some twenty years ago’. The word ‘twenty’ is evidently a mistake for ‘forty’.

The N. W. P. Gazetteer, 1st ed., names several persons who governed Jhānsī on behalf of the Peshwā between 1742 and 1770, in which latter year Raghunāth Rāo I received charge. According to the same authority, Sheo (Shio) Rām Bhāo is called ‘Sheo Bhāo Hari, better known as Sheo Rāo Bhāo’, and is said to have succeeded Raghunāth Rāo I in 1794, and to have died in 1814, not 1816.

A few words may here be added to complete the history. The leper Raghunāth Rāo II, whose claim the author strangely favoured, was declared Rājā, and died, as already noted, in May, 1838, ‘his brief period of rule being rendered unquiet by the opposition made to him, professedly on the ground of his being a leper’. His revenues fell from twelve lākhs (£120,000) to three lākhs of rupees (£30,000) a year.

On his death in 1838, the succession was again contested by four claimants. Pending inquiry into the merits of their claims, the Governor-General’s Agent assumed the administration. Ultimately, Gangādhar Rāo, younger brother of the leper, was appointed Rājā. The disorder in the state rendered administration by British officers necessary as a temporary measure, and Gangādhar Rāo did not obtain power until 1842.

His rule was, on the whole, good. He died childless in November, 1853, and Lord Dalhousie, applying the doctrine of lapse, annexed the estate in 1854, granting a pension of five thousand rupees, or about five hundred pounds, monthly to Lacchhmī Bāī, Gangādhar Rāo’s widow, who also succeeded to personal property worth about one hundred thousand pounds. She resented the refusal of permission to adopt a son, and the consequent annexation of the state, and was further deeply offended by several acts of the English Administration, above all by the permission of cow-slaughter. Accordingly, when the Mutiny broke out, she quickly joined the rebels.

On the 7th and 8th June, 1857, all the Europeans in Jhānsī, men, women, and children, to the number of about seventy persons, were cruelly murdered by her orders, or with her sanction. On the 9th June her authority was proclaimed. In the prolonged fighting which ensued, she placed herself at the head of her troops, whom she led with great gallantry. In June, 1858, after a year’s bloodstained reign, she was killed in battle.

By November, 1858, the country was pacified.

Advertisements

Medieval Hangover Of Indian Muslims

Adapted from Text Source @ :

http://www.hinduhistory.info/the-worlds-longest-unknown-war/

The popular version of history of Medieval India was proposed by European scholars through the British Raj era and accepted by native understudies. Projected images of the medieval time period were subsequently reiterated through the Nehru years and later remained unchallenged in recommended educational texts, making the narration firm in the mind of generations of Indians.

It has been suspect before : the entire narrative had been reduced to successive foreign invasions and relative ease with which they occupied the land, subjecting a passive people to their respective authority… starting with Aryans, Iranians, Greeks, Parthians, Scythians, Kushanas, Huns, Arabs, Turks, Pathans, Mughals, Persians, Portuguese, Dutch, French, and ending with the British. The consistent impression was that India has always been a no-man’s land, which any armed bandit could come and occupy at any time; and, that Hindus have been a ‘meek people’ who have always bowed before the ‘superior’ occupying races.

For instance, Muslim clerics and scribes have led their co-religionists to believe that the conquest of India by Islam started with invasion of Sindh by Muhammad bin Qasim in 712 AD, resumed later by Mahmud Ghaznavi in 1000 AD, and was complete in the last decade of 12th Century with Muhammad Ghori’s victory over the Chauhans of Ajmer and over the Gahadvads of Kanauj. The sense, in particular, lends to generations of Muslims in present-day India  a feeling of pride in themselves, as one belonging to the same community wedded to the same religious ideology of Islam that ‘won’ over Hindustan, over these Hindus who this day might have become their equal in democratic India post-1947, who have even excelled over them by far. That, through close to six centuries, it was they — their co-religionist emperors —  who ruled over both the land and the people.

Consider how such a belief blows up in imagination, in combination with the community’s heightened sense of denial : one, the British rulers are looked upon as mere temporary intruders who cheated Islam of its Indian empire for a hundred years or so; two, the British interlude also saved them from being swamped over by Hindu domination through the Maratha resurgence years at end of 18th Century. That affinity with the British saw the Muslim League’s insistence for a separate nation in 1947; and it is the same sense Muslims continue to harbour in independent India, harangued as they are every day in every mosque and madrassa not to rest till they reestablish their sway over the land and the people… which dominant position, they are told, rightfully belongs to Islam.

In academe, the way historians have painted political events and described the Indian situation through the centuries only serves to reinforce the Muslim belief today : yes, they affirm, India was ruled by Muslim monarchs from the last decade of 12th Century to the end of the 18th. Standard textbooks narrate of Muslim imperial dynasties ruling from Delhi – the Mamluks (Slaves), Khaljis, Tughlaqs, Sayyids, Lodis, Surs, and the Mughals. In between, during periods of imperial decline, provincial Muslim dynasties fill in with seats at Srinagar, Lahore, Multan, Thatta, Ahmedabad, Mandu, Burhanpur, Daulatabad, Gulbarga, Bidar, Golconda, Bijapur, Madurai, Gaur, Jaunpur, and Lucknow.

In this version of medieval Indian history, the persistently recurring Hindu resistance to Islamic invaders, imperial as well as provincial, is made to look like a series of sporadic revolts occasioned by some minor grievances of purely local character, or led by some petty upstarts for purely personal gain. Repeated Rajput resurgence in Rajasthan, Bundelkhand and the Ganga-Yamuna Doab; renewed assertion of independence by Hindu princes at Devagiri, Warrangal, Dvarasamudra and Madurai; rise of Vijayanagara Empire; the fights offered by the Marathas; and the mighty movement of the Sikhs in Punjab – all these are then readily fitted into the framework of an enduring Muslim empire, with the Hindu heroes reduced to being ridiculous rebels who disturbed public peace at from time to time, place to place, but who were always swatted down with ease, as mosquitoes and flies !

It would take a much longer paper to establish that this version of medieval Indian history is, at its best, only an interpretation found on preconceived premises and highly selective summarisation, and even invention of facts. That, there are adequate premises to suggest an alternate interpretation based on known facts. What are the facts ? Do they establish that India was fully and finally conquered by Islam, that the Muslim empire in India was a finished fabric before the British stole it for themselves by fraudulent means ? Let us unravel a couple of instances.

01 Conquest of Sindh 

Having tried a naval invasion of India through Thana, Broach, and Debal from 634 to 637 AD, the Arabs attempted the land route on the north-west during AD 650 – 711. They found the Khyber Pass blocked by Hindu princes of Kabul and Zabul, who inflicted several defeats and forced them to sign treaties of non-aggression. The Bolan pass was held by the Jats of Kikan. AI Biladuri writes in his Futûh-ul-Buldãn :

“At the end of 38 H. or the beginning of 39 H. (659 A.D.), in the Khilafat of Ali Harras, went with the sanction of the Khalif to the same frontier. He and those who were with him, saving a few, were slain in the land of Kikan in the year 42 H. (662 A.D.). In the year 44 H. (664 A.D) and in the days of Khalif Muawiya, Muhallab made war on the same frontier. The enemy opposed him and killed him and his followers. Muawiya sent Abdullah to the frontier of Hind. He fought in Kikan and captured booty. He stayed near the Khalif some time and then returned to Kikan, when the Turks (Hindus) called their forces together and slew him.

Next, the Arabs tried the third land route, via Makran. Al Biladuri continues : ‘In the reign of the same Muawiya, Chief Ziyad appointed Sinan. He proceeded to the frontier and having subdued Makran and its cities by force, he stayed there. Ziyad then appointed Rashid. He proceeded to Makran but he was slain fighting against the Meds (Hindus). Abbad, son of Ziyad, then made war on the frontier of Hind by way of Seistan. He fought the inhabitants but many Musulmans perished. Ziyad next appointed Al Manzar. Sinan had taken it but its inhabitants had been guilty of defection. He (Al Manzar) died there. When Hajjaj was governor of Iraq, Said was appointed to Makran and its frontiers. He was opposed and slain there. Hajjaj then appointed Mujja to the frontier. Mujja died in Makran after being there a year. Then Hajjaj sent Ubaidullah against Debal. Ubaidullah being killed, Hajjaj wrote to Budail, directing him to proceed to Debal. The enemy surrounded and killed him. Afterwards, Hajjaj during the Khilafat of Walid, appointed Mohammad, son of Qasim, to command at the Sindh frontier.’

That was in 712 AD.

Now compare this Arab record on the frontiers of India with their record elsewhere : within eight years of the Prophet’s death, they had conquered Persia, Syria, and Egypt; by 650 AD, they had advanced upto the Oxus and the Hindu Kush; between 640 and 709 AD, they had brought the whole of North Africa under their sway; and they had conquered Spain in 711 AD. But it took them 70 long years to secure their first foothold on the soil of India. No historian worth his salt should have the cheek to say that the Hindus have always been an easy game for invaders !

Muhammad bin Qasim succeeded in occupying some cities of Sindh. His successors led raids towards the Punjab, Rajasthan, and Saurashtra. But they were soon defeated and driven back. Arab historians admit that ‘a place of refuge to which the Muslims might flee was not to be found’. By the middle of the 8th century, they controlled only the highly garrisoned cities of Multan and Mansurah. Their plight in Multan is described by AI Kazwin in Asr-ul-Bilãd in the following words : ‘The infidels have a large temple there, and a great idol. The houses of the servants and devotees are around the temple, and there are no idol worshippers in Multan besides those who dwell in those precincts. The ruler of Multan does not abolish this idol because he takes the large offerings which are brought to it. When the Indians make an attack upon the town, the Muslims bring out the idol, and when the infidels see it about to be broken or burnt, they retire.’  So much for Islamic monotheism of the Arabs and their military might ! They, the world-conquerors, failed to accomplish anything in India except a short-lived raid.

It was some two hundred years later, in 963 AD, that Alptigin the Turk was successful in seizing Ghazni, the capital of Zabul. It was his successor Subuktigin who seized Kabul from the Hindu Shahiyas shortly before he died in 997 AD. His son, Mahmud Ghaznavi, led many expeditions into India between 1000 and 1027 AD. The details of his destructive frenzy are too well-known to be repeated. What concerns us here is the facile supposition made by historians, in general, that Mahmud was not so much interested in establishing an empire in India as in demolishing temples, plundering treasures, capturing slaves, and killing the kãfirs. This supposition does not square with his seizure of the Punjab, west of River Ravi, and the whole of Sindh. The conclusion is unavoidable : though Mahmud went far into the heartland of Hindustan and won many victories, he had to beat a hasty retreat every time in the face of Hindu counterattacks. This point is proved by the peril in which he was placed by the Jats of the Punjab during his return from Somnath in 1026 AD.

After Mahmud’s death, the same Jats and Gakkhars troubled endlessly the Muslim occupants of Sindh and the Punjab region. After 150 years, another Islamic invader planned a conquest of India : Muhammad Ghori. His first attempt towards Gujarat in 1178 AD met with disaster, at the hands of the Chaulukyas, and he barely escaped with his life. And he was carried half-dead from the battlefield of Tarain in 1191 AD. It was only in 1192 AD that he won his first victory against the Hindus, by resorting to a mean stratagem that the chivalrous Rajputs failed to see through, largely because they were inheritors of a tradition in which even wars had inviolable rules for honour and against wanton destruction.

02 The Imperial Start

Muhammad Ghori conquered the Punjab, Sindh, Delhi, and the Doab upto Kanauj. His general Qutbuddin Aibak extended the conquest to Ajmer and Ranthambhor in Rajasthan, Gwalior, Kalinjar, Mahoba and Khajuraho in Bundelkhand, and Katehar and Badaun beyond the Ganges. His raid into Gujarat was a failure in the final round, though he succeeded in sacking and plundering Anahilwar Patan. Meanwhile, Bakhtyar Khalji had conquered Bihar and Bengal north and the region west of River Hooghly. He suffered a disastrous defeat when he tried to advance into Assam.

By that time however, Muhammad Ghori was assassinated by the Gakkhars… in 1206 AD. Aibak assumed power over the former’s domain in India : Kalinjar had been reconquered by the Chandellas; Ranthambhor had renounced vassalage to Delhi; Gwalior had been reoccupied by the Pratihars; the Doab was up in arms under the Gahadvad prince Harishchandra; and the Katehar Rajputs had reasserted their independence beyond the Ganges. The Yadavbhatti Rajputs around Alwar had cut off the imperial road to Ajmer.

Aibak was not able to reconquer any of these areas before he died in 1210 AD.

03 At The End

“Let us transcend the barren Deccan and conquer central India. The Mughals have become weak, insolent, womanisers and opium-addicts. The accumulated wealth of centuries, in the vaults of north, can be ours. It is time to drive from the holy land of Bharatvarsha the outcastes and the barbarians. Let us throw them back over the Himalayas, back to where they came from. The saffron flag must fly from the Krishna to the Indus. Hindustan is ours”. Thus did Peshwa Bajirao I declared.

Reviewed as a whole, the period between the last decade of the 12th century and the first quarter of the 18th – the period which is supposed to be the period of Muslim empire in India – is nothing more than a period of long-drawn-out war between Hindu freedom fighters and the Muslim invaders. The Hindus — Rajputs, Marathas, Sikhs, Jats, and chiefs in north and south, east and west — lost many battles, retreated, but they recovered every time and resumed the struggle untill the enemy was worn out, defeated and finally dispersed.

Browsing through the history of medieval India, we find Muslim historians cite many instances of how the Hindus burnt or killed their womenfolk, and then died fighting to the last man. In several encounters, Muslim forces were decisively defeated by heroic adversaries. Mostly, Muslim expeditions were of the nature of raids, the impact of which did not last, despite their brutality and rapaciousness. The accounts we have of the period from practically all over the country — Assam, Rajasthan, Bundelkhand, Orissa, Telingana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and the Punjab — describe successive waves of resistance and recovery, the like of which do not have many parallels in human history.

In conclusion, therefore, it would be a travesty of truth to say that Islam enjoyed an empire in India for six centuries. In fact, Islam struggled for six centuries to conquer India for good but finally failed in the face of stiff and continued Hindu resistance.

Hali was not wrong when he mourned that the invincible armada of Hijaz, which had swept over so many seas and across so many mighty rivers, met its watery grave in the Ganges.

Iqbal also wrote his Shikwah in sorrowful remembrance of the same failure. In fact, there is no dearth of Muslim poets and politicians who weep over the defeats of Islam in India in past and look forward to a reconquest of India in future.

Hindus have survived as a majority in their motherland not because Islam spared any effort to conquer and convert them but because Islamic brutality met more than its equal in Hindu tenacity for their tradition, values and love for freedom.

Journal : Roots And Heritage

Are our roots — historical, cultural and familial — of any consequence ?

Is our concern with our heritage of any value to our present and future ?

We know some, actually many, would size up the query with impatience, perhaps scorn. Life is anyway immense and apparently more than enough to engage us with its challenges and opportunities. Roots and heritage add nothing to our entrepreneurship or professional capability, for instance, or to our pursuit of money and wealth, for survival and happiness. It does not help us with our income augmentation efforts, with our enjoyment of all that we have, and our reach out for what is on the offer. We, in any case, have our roots in the here and now, with a way of life already upon us, to live up to.

If one is a communist, a leftist of whatever hue, or an atheist irreligious or areligious, a peek into our times in past hardly illuminates the scientific or dialectical catechisms before us. Everything would have to be settled in the light of our respective interests or goals, as it must be led and moved hereon. A treasure of large enough worth or a technological secret that could be unravelled and built upon today would be welcome. But delving into our roots and heritage ?It rarely lead us to such material gain or means to power.

I really cannot answer for others. My own roots and heritage mattered to me when I began looking at myself along the timeline I’d traveled since birth and the successive experiences of the community I was part of , which shaped the way of life I felt carrying on my back and that was already about me. I had gone very much far into the ubiquitous modernity on which business and our urban westernised life was found, with emphasis on scientific temperament and reasoned inquiry into all that we experience and all that happened to and with us, when I had to stop and question the values system and life perspective on which my motivation to living and to life itself was founded.

It was then that I learned about the ancients who insisted on keeping our spiritual moorings stronger than the mental drift, than the psychological, survival and material drives; about the towering men who displayed unflinching perseverence to the just stance, persistence with the right way, and courage to lose everything that bind us small and that leave us with our mere posssessions and the breath to live with all that we have lost — our self and our soul. The sound of Vedic hymns from the banks of our rivers rang in my ears, the celestial song of Gita and the fullsome narrative of the grand epics once more brought the tear-filled eyes of my sire to my memory, and the heroes who cared not for their loss or defeat but only of who they represented and what they stood for…

It was only thereafter that I picked my life once again with a doubtless certainty of who I was, what my life was for, and how my path ahead meandered through all the senselessness, meaninglessness and unrelatedness I had found myself in. The awareness of my roots and my heritage saved me from a certain suicidal purposelessness. It gave meaning to the mountains I visited, the people I met and conversed with, the forces I opposed, the views I demolished, the ways of life and thought I came to second and support, and the values that earlier chimed within me without any apparent basis.

Are our roots — historical, cultural and familial — of any consequence ?

Is our concern with our heritage of any value to our present and future ?

But haven’t I answered already !

Manu Smriti : An Amazing Origin

I have chanced upon this remarkable reduction of Manu Smriti @ http://satyavidya.org … The treatise contains a set of codified, socially agreed laws to regulate human society, right through the reigns of successive Solar dynasty kings upto Rama Daasratha of Ayodhya and thereafter, until the rise of Lunar dynasts that came to overwhelm the subcontinental firmament around the Mahabharata times.

The laws, framed anytime between 12000 – 8000 BC at the origin of Sanatan civilisation, seem astoshnishingly contemporary except for contradictory portions that appear to have been appended later, perhaps after the dominance of Solar kings was on the wane and during the chaos of several rising Lunar principalities around 4000 – 3000 BC.

The entire text can be accessed @ http://sanskritdocuments.org/all_pdf/manusmriti.pdf

DR VIVEK ARYA helpfully points out … (Manu 2/8)

“But a learned man after full scrutiny with the eye of knowledge should perform his duties in accord with the intent of the revealed texts.”

The exhortation encourages due situational analysis and agreeability with values prevailing in the age.

Let us then inquire into the common unfavourable perception that the Smriti text supports casteism, inferior status of women, meat eating, etc. The book is considered by many as having a bias in favour of the upper castes and is often selectively quoted to establish that women were an inferior gender, to be chastised and put down, and that casteism was prevalent in Vedic times.

Swami Dayanand, the great Vedic scholar of the 19th Century, writes : “I believe in that part of Manu Smriti which is not interpolated (appended later) and is in accord with the Vedas.” He concludes that the Manu Smriti we read today is not as originally laid down by Swayambhu  Manu, the first Chief of Humanity. As it now is, he found the text as self contradictory and against the values espoused in Vedas, and hence injudicious. He therefore rejects those prejudicial texts which advocate discrimination against populations with alleged inferior status.

Let us look up the text itself pertaining to women and the “lower” castes …

Smriti Text … On Women

3/56. Where women are honoured, there the gods are pleased; but where they are not, no sacred rite yields the desired result.

9/26. Women who bear (our) children secure many blessings (for the family and the society at large); they are worthy of worship, who suffuse (their) dwellings with prosperity; there is no difference between them and goddesses of good fortune.

2/138. Way must be made for a man in a carriage, one who is above ninety years old, who is diseased, who carries a burden, and for a woman, the learned, the king and for a bridegroom.

3/114. A person may offer food without hesitation, even before serving the guests in one’s house, to newly-married women, infants, the sick, and to pregnant women.

3/60. Where the husband is pleased with his wife and the wife with her husband, happiness will assuredly be lasting in such families.

3/62. Where the wife is radiant and happy, the whole house is heaven-like; but if she is unhappy, all will appear as hell.

3/59. Hence, men who seek (their own) welfare, should always honour women on holidays and festivals with (gifts of) ornaments, clothes and  food (as desired by them).

3/55. Women must be honoured and well – adorned by their fathers, brothers, husbands and brothers-in-law, who desire (their own) welfare.

9/13. These six causes spell ruin for women : drinking (spirituous liquor), associating with wicked people, separating from their husbands, rambling abroad, sleeping (at unseasonable hours), and dwelling with other men.

3/57. Where the female relatives live in grief, the family wholly perishes soon; where they are not unhappy, the family ever prospers.

3/58. Houses perish completely, as if destroyed by magic, on which female relatives pronounce a curse, upon not being duly honoured.

9/28. Upon one’s wife alone depends the welfare of the offsprings, due and fruitful performance of religious rites, faithful service of all in the family, superior conjugal happiness and the blissful existence of our ancestors in heaven and of ourself.

4/180. Let no man quarrel with his parents, his female relatives, brothers, his son and his wife, and with his daughter and his servants.

8/389. Neither a mother nor a father, nor a wife nor a son shall be cast off; unless guilty of a crime causing loss of caste (or social status earned over one’s lifetime), he who casts them off shall be fined six hundred (panas).

9/130. A daughter, who is even (as) oneself, (such a daughter) is equal to a son; how can another (heir) take the family estate, while such (an appointed daughter who is even as oneself) lives ?

9/131. The property of the mother is the share of the unmarried daughter alone and the son of an (appointed) daughter shall take the whole estate of (his maternal grandfather) who leaves no son of his own.

9/192. But when the mother has passed away, all uterine brothers and sisters shall have equal share of their mother’s estate.

Smriti Text … On Marraige and Remarraige (Of Women)

9/176. If she be (still) a virgin or has returned (to her first husband) after leaving him, such a woman is worthy to again perform the (nuptial) ceremony with her second (or first deserted) husband.

9/90. Three years let a damsel wait, though she is marriageable; but after that time let her choose for herself a bridegroom of her choice.

9/89. (But) the maiden should rather stay in (her father’s) house until death, though marriageable, than that be given to a man without good qualities.

8/28. In like manner, care must be taken of barren women and those who have no sons, as of those whose family is extinct, of wives and widows faithful to their lords, and of women afflicted with disease.

8/29. A righteous king must punish those relatives who appropriate the property of such females during their lifetime, as is due to thieves.

3/52. But those (male) relations who, in their folly, live on their woman’s property, their beasts of burden, carriages and clothes, commit sin and will sink into hell.

8/367. But if any man through insolence forcibly contaminates a maiden, two of his fingers shall be instantly cut off and he shall pay a fine of six hundred (panas).

8/323. Men stealing from a noble family, especially women, and precious gems, deserve corporal (or capital) punishment.

8/352. Men who commit adultery with wives of others, the king shall cause to be marked by punishments which cause terror, and they shall be banished thereafter.

9/232. The king shall put to death forgers of royal edicts, those who corrupt his ministers, who slay women, infants, (learned) Brahmins, and those who serve his enemies.

 9/96. Women were created to be mothers and men to be fathers; religious rites, therefore, are ordained in the Veda to be performed (by the husband) together with the wife.

4/149. She must not seek to separate herself from her father, husband, or sons; by leaving them she would make both (her own and her husband’s) families contemptible.

Contradictory Provisions In Smriti Appended Later …

2/213. It is the nature of women to seduce men in this (world); for that reason the wise are never unguarded in (the company of) females.

5/ 154. Though destitute of virtue, or seeking pleasure (elsewhere), or devoid of good qualities, (yet) a husband must be constantly worshipped as a god by a faithful wife.

5/ 157. At her pleasure let her emaciate her body by (living on) pure flowers, roots, and fruit; but she must never even mention the name of another man after her husband has died.

9/ 17. (When creating them) Manu allotted to women (a love of their) bed, (of their) seat and (of) ornament, impure desires, wrath, dishonesty, malice, and bad conduct.

As against these, Manu Smriti mentions equal status, good conduct, equal rights, freedom of choice and the right to remarriage.

Clearly, these interpolations are to be rejected.

Smriti Text … On The Under Privileged

Manu proposes varn vyastha — which was based on merit and not on account of one’s birth.

2/157. As an elephant made of wood, as an antelope made of leather, such is an unlearned Brahmana; those three have nothing but the names (devoid of virtues respective to their kind).

2/28. This (human) body is made fit for (union with) Brahman by study of the Vedas, by vows, by burnt oblations, by (recitation of) sacred texts, by (acquisition of the) threefold sacred science, by offering (to gods, sages and manes), by (procreation of) sons, by great sacrifices, and by (the Srauta) rites 

(The above texts lays the qualifications to be acquired, with great dedication and effort at specified works, in order to become a Brahmin, and not merely by being born to a Brahmin father.) 

The varn of a person (caste or status in society) was decided after completion of his education.

Two births were considered for a person in Vedic period : first, when he was born to his parents, and, next, when he completed his education with due thoroughness. It was after second birth (twice born) that the varn of person was determined.

The following text from Manu Smriti makes it even more clear.

2/148. But that birth which a teacher acquainted with Vedas entire, in accordance with the law, procures for him (the student) through the Savitr (Sun), is real and exempt from his birth, age or death.

2/146. Between him to whom one is physically born and him who gives (the knowledge of) the Vedas, the giver of the Veda is the more venerable father; for birth through arising in the knowledge of the Veda (ensures) eternal (reward) both in this (life) and that (afterlife).

A person who remained uneducated and devoid of the knowledge of Vedas was considered a Shudra.

That is, the Shudra varn was not based on birth but on merit.

10/4. Brahmana, Kshatriya and the Vaisya castes (Varna) are twice-born (educated) but the fourth, the Shudra, has one birth only; there is no fifth (caste).

2/172. He who has not been initiated with teaching of the Vedas is like a Shudra.

Manu also advises not to insult a person of lower Varna.

4/141. Let him not insult those who have redundant limbs or are deficient in limbs, nor those destitute of knowledge, nor very aged men, nor those who have no beauty or wealth, nor those who are of low birth.

Why Manu started varn vyastha?

1/31. But for the sake of the prosperity of the worlds he caused the Brahmana, the Kshatriya, the Vaisya and the Shudra varn origin in form of the body of the society : as its mouth, its arms, its thighs and its feet, respectively.

(Only the ignorant consider the shudra as being originated from the feet of god.)

1/87. But in order to protect this universe He (God), the most resplendent one, assigned separate (duties and) occupations to those as done in a body by mouth, arms, thighs, and feet.

1/88. To Brahmanas He assigned teaching and studying (the Vedas), sacrificing for their own benefit and for the welfare of others, giving and accepting (of alms).

1/89. The Kshatriya he commanded to protect the people, to bestow gifts, to offer sacrifices, to study (the Vedas), and to abstain from attaching himself to sensual pleasures;

1/90. The Vaisya to tend cattle, to bestow gifts, to offer sacrifices, to study (the Vedas), to trade, to lend money, and to cultivate the land.

1/91. One occupation only the Lord prescribed to the Shudra : to serve these (other) three castes.

Manu considered anyone who is without knowledge or capacity for skilled deeds as a Sudra; so any uneducated person is fit only for being in the service, under the guidance, of others who have the requisite knowledge and skills.

Isn’t that how we are organised even today ?

Manu also advises people to exert in order to acquire a higher varna, and change his or her allotted Varna.

The advisory leaves varn vyastha changeable, fluid, and not based on birth but on merit alone.

10/65. (Thus) a Shudra attains the rank of a Brahmana, and (in a similar manner) a Brahmana sinks to the level of a Shudra; and know that it is the same with the offspring of a Kshatriya or of a Vaisya.

9/335. (A Shudra who is) pure, accompanies his betters and is gentle in his speech, free from pride, and always seeks a refuge with Brahmanas, attains a higher Varna (Brahmana, Kshatriya or Vaisya) based on his qualities.

4/245. A Brahmana who always connects himself with the most excellent (ones), and shuns all inferior ones, (himself) becomes most distinguished; by an opposite conduct he becomes a Shudra.

Is it not said : the company one keeps makes a man better or worse ? 

2/103. But he who does not worships in morning, nor in the evening, is like a Shudra and he shall be excluded, just like a Shudra, from all the duties and rights of an Arya (one of noble qualities).

2/168. A twice-born man who, not having studied the Vedas, applies himself to other (and worldly study), soon falls, even while living, to the condition of a Shudra; and so do his descendants (after him).

2/126. A Brahmana who does not know the form of returning a salutation, they must not be saluted by a learned man; they must be considered as a Shudra.

A Sudra too can teach the other castes.

2/238. He who possesses faith may receive pure learning even from a man of lower caste (Shudra), the highest law even from the lowest, and an excellent wife even from a base family.

2/241. It is prescribed that in times of distress (a student) may learn (the Vedas) from one who is not a Brahmana; and that he shall walk behind and serve (such a) teacher, as long as the instruction lasts.

Superior rights given by Manu to shudras.

2/136. Wealth, kindred, age, (the due performance of) rites, and, fifthly, sacred learning are titles to respect; but each later-named (cause) is more weighty (than the preceding ones).

2/137. Whatever man of the three (higher) castes possesses most of those five, both in number and degree, that man is worthy of honour among them; and (so is) also a Shudra who has entered the tenth (decade of his life).

In above text Manu gives respect to any Shudra who is in tenth decade of life.

That is, anybody who lives long enough transcends the varna vyavastha.

3/116. After the Brahmanas, the kinsmen, and the servants have dined, the householder and his wife may afterwards eat of what remains.

Householders are advised by Manu to dine after sudras or the servants !

8/335. Neither a father, nor a teacher, nor a friend, nor a mother, nor a wife, nor a son, nor a domestic priest must be left unpunished by a king, if they do not keep within their duty.

8/336. Where another common man would be fined one karshapana, the king shall be fined one thousand; that is the settled rule.

8/337. In (a case of) theft the guilt of a Shudra shall be eightfold, that of a Vaisya sixteen fold, that of a Kshatriya two-and-thirtyfold …

8/338. … that of a Brahmana sixty-fourfold, or quite a hundredfold, or (even) twice four-and-sixtyfold; (each of them) knowing the nature of the offence.

Manu advises strict punishment for a higher varna : punishing the Brahman many times more than a lower varn, say, a Shudra.

The above text is evidence of Manu’s unbiased social hierarchy and structure.

He considered a behavioural error as being more unpardonable in case of the learned one than for the ignorant.

Following are the examples of changing of varn vyastha in past.

Rishi Brahma, son Manu Swayambhu himself, was born to a Brahmana but became a Kshatriya king.

Manu’s eldest son, Priyavrat, became a king, a Kshatriya.

Out of Manu’s ten sons seven became kings while three became Brahmanas. Their names were Mahavir, Kavi and Savan. (Ref Bhagwat Puran Chap. 5)

Kavash Ailush was born to a Shudra and attained the highest varna of a Rishi. He became mantra-drashta to numerous hymns in Rig-Veda : 10th Mandal.

Jabala’s son, Satyakaam, born from unknown father became Rishi by his qualities.

Matang became a Rishi after his birth in low varna.

Maharishi Valmiki was born in inferior varna and became a Rishi.

Mahatma Vidur was born to a Dasi (maid) and became the prime minister to king Dhritarastra.

Raja Vishvanath, a Kshatriya, became a Brahmana – Rishi Vishwamitra.

There are many examples of varn vyastha to inferior level.

Ravan king of Lanka was son of a Brahmana Rishi Pultasya became a rakshasa.

Shri Ram’s ancestor, Raja Raghu’s son, Pravidh, was declared of inferior varna due to lack of qualities.

Shri Ram’s ancestor, Raja Samar’s son, Asmanjas, was declared a Shudra due to his bad qualities.

I leave the contradictory appended textsfor now … the ones that make the varna structure hard and fast, as indeed happened later.

Who are we ?

What is our destiny ?

by Brad Steiger

I find myself now in the seventh decade of life still asking two questions that in one way or another the great majority of my 165 published books have sought to answer: 1.) Who are we as a species? 2.) What is our destiny?

The basic reason that I wrote Worlds Before Our Own (G.P. Putnam‘s Sons, 1978; Anomalist Books, 2007) is that I have always found it incredible that such sophisticated people as we judge ourselves to be, do not really know who we are.

Archaeologists, anthropologists, and various academicians who play the “origins of Man” game, reluctantly and only occasionally acknowledge instances where unique skeletal and cultural evidence from the prehistoric record suddenly appear long before they should — and in places where they should not. These irritating artifacts destroy the orderly evolutionary line that academia has for so long presented to the public. Consequently, such data have been largely left buried in site reports, forgotten storage rooms, and dusty archives where one suspects that there is a great deal of suppressed, ignored, and misplaced pre-historical cultural evidence that would alter the established interpretations of human origins and provide us with a much clearer definition of what it means to be human.

There is now a basic academic consensus that the “homo” lineage goes back at least three million years, and that an ancestor of modern man evolved about one million years ago. Homo Sapiens, the “thinking man,” (our own species), became the dominant planetary life form on a worldwide basis, about 40,000 years ago.

It is difficult enough to explain the sudden appearance of Homo Sapiens at that time, but it is an even more complex question to ponder why Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon man correspondingly disappeared. And academic warfare rages unceasingly over whether or not Neanderthal and our ancestors were two separate species or whether they interbred.

And just as scientists are adding to a growing body of evidence that humankind developed in Africa, a Hungarian excavation surrenders a Homo Sapiens skull fragment in a context more than 600,000 years out of alignment with the accepted calendar of man’s migrations across the planet. Hominid fossils are unearthed in Dmanisi, Georgia, indicative of 1.77 million years old; and a homind tooth found in Niocene deposits near the Maritsa River in Bulgaria is dated at seven million years old.

What happens to Darwinian evolution when there are such sites as the one in Australia, which yielded Homo Sapiens (modern man), Homo erectus (our million-year-old ancestor), and Neanderthal (our Stone Age cousin) in what appears to be a contemporaneous environment? Then there is the Tabun site where Homo Sapiens fragments were found in strata below (which means older than) classic Neanderthal bones. In August 2007, scientists dating fossils found in Kenya challenged the conventional view that Homo Habilis (1.44 million years) and Homo erectus (1.55 million years) evolved one after the other. Dating of new fossil evidence revealed that the two species lived side by side in Africa for almost half a million years.

Somewhere, in what would appear to be a biological and cultural free-for-all, there must lie the answer to that most important question: Who are we?

But just as we are trying our best to fit skeletal fragments together in a manner that will be found acceptable to what we believe we know about our origins, footprints are being found in stone, which, if they are what they appear to be, will make a total shambles of our accepted evolutionary calendar. In Pershing County, Nevada, a shoe print was found in Triassic limestone, strata indicative of 400 million years, in which the fossilized evidence clearly revealed finely wrought double-stitching in the seams.

Early in 1975, Dr. Stanley Rhine of the University of New Mexico announced his discovery of human-like footprints in strata indicative of 40 million years old. A few months before, a similar find was made in Kenton, Oklahoma. At almost the same time, a discovery of a footprint in stone was revealed in north-central Wisconsin.

In Death Valley, there is ample fossil and skeletal evidence to indicate that the desolate area was once a tropical Garden of Eden where a race of giants lived and fed themselves with palatable foods taken from the local lakes and forests.

To speak of a race of prehistoric giants in what is now the desert sands of Death Valley is simultaneously to refute the doctrine which decrees that man is a relative newcomer to the North and South American continents. While on the one hand, new radiocarbon dates demonstrate that the Bering Land Bridge and Cordilleran Ice Corridor were not passable until 9000 years ago, an increasing amount of physical evidence indicates that man was surely in this hemisphere much earlier than that recent date.

For one thing, corn, an American contribution to the dinner tables of the world, is said to be, at 9000 years, our oldest domesticated seed crop. Some agriculturist had to be in the Americas more than 9000 years ago in order to domesticate the seed. Ancient squash seeds, peanuts, and cotton balls dated at 8,500 years old found in Peru’s Nanchoc Valley constitute additional evidence that New World farming was well established. Conclusive proof that such ancient farmers did exist in the Americas was offered when a Humble Oil Company drill brought up Mexican corn pollen that was more than 80,000 years old.

The anomalous Indian blood seration and dentition, and the geographic distribution of the American Indian, demands an impossible genetic time scale in which to transform Asiatic immigrants to distinctive New World inhabitants.

Even if we attempt to keep some kind of peace with the accepted theories of New World habitation, we must grant more evolution in 40,000 years in North America than that which took place in more than one million years in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Skulls found in California, which are clearly those of American Indians, have been dated at 50,000 years old. But we are left with another mystery. A 140,000 year old American Indian type skull (via metric analysis) has been found at an Iranian excavation site.

What of the lost Amerindian civilization of Cahokia, complete with pyramids and a great wall? One site, near the present city of St. Louis, may have contained a metropolis of more than 250,000 North American Indians.

And who constructed the mysterious seven-mile walls of the Berkeley and Oakland, California, hills?

And which pre-Mayan peoples engineered an elaborate waterworks in Yucatan to irrigate crops over 2000 years ago?

The Caracol Tower at Chichen Itza is a remarkable Mesoamerican observatory that seems to have correlated its findings with similar sites in North America, including Mesa Verde, Wichita, and Chaco Canyon.

One of the most heretical theories that I suggest in Worlds Before Our Own is that the cradle of civilization might possibly have traveled from the so-called New World to the Old. Now, in December 2007, years after Ruth Shady Solis found the ancient city of Caral, Peru, scientists have accepted the carbon dating of 2,627 B.C.E., thereby establishing the civilization in South America to be much older than the Harappa Valley towns and the pyramids of Egypt. Caral must now be recognized as “the mother of all civilizations,” the missing link of archaeology, the Mother City.

Scientific knowledge has seemingly been prized by the inhabitants of every culture, known and unknown. Rock engravings, which may be as old as 60 million years, depict in step-by-step illustrations an entire heart-transplant operation and a Cesarean section. The ancient Egyptians used the equivalent of contraceptive jelly and had urine pregnancy tests. The cement used in filling Mayan dental cavities still holds after 1500 years.

No fabric is supposed to have been found until Egypt produced cloth material 5000 years ago. How, then, can we deal with the Russian site which provides spindle whorls and patterned fabric designs more than 80,000 years old?

Not only did the ancient Babylonians appear to use sulphur matches, but they had a technology sophisticated enough to employ complex electrochemical battery cells with wiring. There is also evidence of electric batteries and electrolysis in ancient Egypt, India, and Swahililand.

Remains of a metal-working factory of over 200 furnaces was found at what is now Medzamor in Russian Armenia. Although a temperature of over 1780 degrees is required to melt platinum, some pre-Incan peoples in Peru were making objects of the metal. Even today the process of extracting aluminium from bauxite is a complicated procedure, but Chou Chu, famous general of the Tsin era (265-316 A.D.), was interred with aluminium belt fasteners on his burial costume.

Carved bones, chalk, stones, together with what would appear to be greatly ornamented ”coins,” have been brought up from great depths during well-drilling operations. A strange, imprinted slab was found in a coal mine. The artefact was decorated with diamond-shaped squares with the face of an old man in each ”box.” In another coal-mine discovery, miners found smooth, polished concrete blocks which formed a solid wall. According to one miner’s testimony. he chipped one block open only to find the standard mixture of sand and cement that makes up most typical building blocks of today.

A gold necklace was found embedded in a lump of coal. A metal spike was discovered in a silver mine in Peru. An iron implement was found in a Scottish coal-bed. Estimated to be millions of years older than man is believed to have existed. A metal, bell-shaped vessel, inlaid with a silver floral design was blasted out of solid rock near Dorchester, Massachusetts.

Two hypotheses may explain the presence of these perplexing artifacts: 1) that they were manufactured by an advanced civilization on Earth which, due either to natural or technological catastrophe, was destroyed before our world’s own genesis; 2) that they are vestiges of a highly technological civilization of extraterrestrial origin, which visited this planet millions of years ago, leaving behind various artifacts.

Even if a highly advanced extraterrestrial race might have visited this planet in prehistoric times, it seems unlikely such common, everyday items as nails, necklaces, buckles and vases would have been carried aboard a spacecraft deposited in such widely separated areas; for such artifacts have been found in North and South America, Great Britain, the whole of Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Mid-East.

In spite of the general unpopularity of catastrophism, there does seem to be a number of recently discovered “proofs” of ancient cataclysmic changes in the Earth’s crust which may account for the nearly total disappearance of these prehistoric worlds. Geological evidence indicates that these changes were both sudden and drastic might have completely overwhelmed and destroyed the early inhabitants and their cultures.

Perhaps the most potentially mind-boggling evidence of an advanced prehistoric technology that might have blown its parent-culture away is to be found in those sites which ostensibly bear mute evidence of prehistoric nuclear warfare.

Large areas of fused green glass and vitrified cities have been found deep in the strata of archaeological digs at Pierrelatte in Gabon, Africa; the Euphrates Valley; the Sahara Desert; the Gobi Desert; Iraq; the Mojave Desert; Scotland; the Old and Middle Kingdoms of Egypt; and south-central Turkey. In contemporary times, such material as fused green glass has only been known at nuclear testing sites (where the sand had melted to form the substance). It is quite unsettling to some to consider it possible that these sites provide evidence of a prehistoric nuclear war. At the same time, scientists have found a number of uranium deposits that appear to have been mined or depleted in antiquity.

If it is possible that nuclear annihilation of a global civilization did occur in prehistoric times, it seems even more urgent to learn who we really are before we find ourselves doomed to repeat the lessons left to us, by a world before our own.

Science & Its Cyclic Apocalypse : In Vedic Continuity

A friend asked me to forward a feature I wrote here about use of atomic weapons in ancient India. At first, I couldn’t find it; then, I couldn’t access my PC and earned his wrath for non-response. Hence a fresh layout herebelow, but with a broader context.

 

First : Some quotes … and anecdotes.

You will find elsewhere more about distorted presentations of Indian History and the civilisational heritage of the land by early Indologists, prejudiced to colonial agenda, and by subsequent uncritical historians who found their doctorates under that spelled line of motivated thought.


Francois Voltaire : “… everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges.”

 

German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer : I “…encounter [in the Vedas] deep, original, lofty thoughts… suffused with a high and holy seriousness.”

American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson read the Vedas daily : “I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavat-Gita

American thinker Henry David Thoreau : “In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita… in comparison with which… our modern world and its literature seems puny and trivial.”

So great were Emerson and Thoreau’s appreciation of Vedantic literatures that they became known as the American transcendentalists. Their writing is suffused with Vedic thought.

British mathematician, logician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead : “Vedanta is the most impressive metaphysics the human mind has conceived.”

Julius Robert Oppenheimer, who led the US atomic bomb project : “The Vedas are the greatest privilege of this century.”

When, upon the first test detonation, Oppenheimer was asked if this is the first nuclear explosion, he significant reesponse was, “Yes, in modern times.”

Raised a Jew, Oppenheimer always gave the book – Bhagavad Gita – as a present to his friends and kept a copy on the shelf closest to his desk. At Franklin Roosevelt’s funeral he read a passage from the Gita chapter 17 verse 3 “Man is a creature whose substance is faith, what his faith is, he is”.

Lin Yutang, Chinese scholar and author : “India was China’s teacher in trigonometry, quadratic equations, grammar, phonetics… “.

Findings

In 1996 in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Italian mineralogist Vincenzo de Michele spotted an unusual yellow-green gem in the middle of one of Tutankhamun’s necklaces. The jewel was tested and found to be glass, but intriguingly it is older than the earliest Egyptian civilization. Geologists traced its origins to unexplained chunks of glass found scattered in the sand in a remote region of the Sahara Desert.  But the glass is itself a scientific enigma. Pieces of Libyan Desert Glass weighing as much as 16 pounds are found in an oval area measuring approximately 130 by 53 kilometers. The clear-to-yellowish-green pieces are concentrated in sand-free corridors between north-south dune ridges. How did it get to be there; and, who or what made it ?

An Austrian astrochemist Christian Koeberl established that the glass had been formed at a temperature so hot that there could be only one known natural cause : a meteorite impact on Earth. But there are no signs of such an impact even in satellite images.

The desert glass has another possible terrestrial explanation – one that includes atomic war or other high-tech process capable of melting the sand.

                                  
The first atomic bomb detonation by the United States in New Mexico at the Trinity test site in 1945 created so much heat that it formed a crater of radioactive green glass in the desert, about 10 feet deep and over 1,000 feet in width.

The same type of glass is found in India. In fact, it is found in Ireland, Scotland, France, Turkey and other places as well. There is no logical explanation for the vitrification of stone forts and cities, except from an atomic blast. Futhermore, at Mohenjo-Daro, a well planned city laid to a grid, with a plumbing system superior to those used in Pakistan and India today, the streets were littered with “black lumps of glass.” These globs of glass were identified to be clay pots that had melted under intense heat !

Incredible as it may seem, these vitrified lumps of clay or sand are likely evidence of atomic explosions. When excavations of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro reached the street level, archeologists discovered skeletons scattered about the cities, many still holding hands and sprawling in the streets as if an instant, horrible doom had occured. People were just lying, unburied, in the streets of the city from thousands of years ago, yet undecayed or eaten by wild animals, with no apparent cause to explain the apocalypse.

These skeletons are among the most radioactive ever found, on par with those at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At one site, Soviet scholars found a skeleton which had a radioactive level 50 times greater than normal. While the skeletons have been carbon-dated to 2500 BC, we must keep in mind that carbon-dating involves measuring the amount of radiation left. When atomic explosions are involved, the tests make them seem much younger.

Other cities have been found in northern India that show indications of explosions of great magnitude. One such city, found between the Ganges and the mountains of Rajmahal, seems to have been subjected to intense heat. Huge masses of walls and foundations of the ancient city are fused together, literally vitrified ! And since there is no indication of a volcanic eruption or meteorite impact at this city, or at Mohenjo-Daro and other places revealing similar evidence, the intense heat to melt clay, stone or sand can only be explained by an atomic blast or some other unknown weapon.

A heavy layer of radioactive ash in Rajasthan, India, covers a three-mile-square area, ten miles west of Jodhpur. The radiation is still so intense that the area is highly dangerous. It was reported : “For some time it has been established that there is a very hight rate of birth defects and cancer affliction in the area, where levels of radiation registered are so high that the Indian government has cordoned off the region. One researcher estimates that the nuclear bomb used at the place sometime in antiquity was about the size of the ones dropped on Japan in 1945.”

Another curious sign of an ancient nuclear war in India is a giant crater near Bombay. The nearly circular 2,154-metre-diameter Lonar craterlocated 400 kilometers northeast of Bombay and age-tested to be less than 50,000 years old, could be related to nuclear warfare. No trace of any meteoric material, etc., has been found at the site or in the vicinity, and this is the world’s only known “impact” crater in basalt. Indications of great shock (from a pressure exceeding 600,000 atmospheres) and intense, abrupt heat (indicated by basalt glass spherules) can be ascertained from site conditions.

* * *

According to the magazine Free World, archaeologists digging in the ancient Euphrates Valley have uncovered a layer of agrarian culture 8,000 years old, a layer of herdsman culture much older, and a still older caveman culture. Recently, they reached another layer of fused green glass. It is well known that atomic detonations on or above a sandy desert will melt the silicon in the sand and turn the surface of the Earth into a sheet of glass. But if sheets of ancient desert glass can be found in various parts of the world, does it mean that atomic wars were fought in the ancient past or, at the very least, that atomic testing occurred in the dim ages of history ?

This is a startling theory but one that is not lacking in evidence, as such ancient sheets of desert glass are a geological fact. Lightning strikes can sometimes fuse the sand, meteorologists contend, but this is always in a distinctive root-like pattern. These strange geological oddities are called fulgurites and manifest as branched tubular forms rather than as flat sheets of fused sand.

Therefore, lightning is largely ruled out as the cause of such finds by geologists, who prefer to hold onto the theory of a meteor or comet strike as the cause. The problem with this theory is that there is usually no crater associated with these anomalous sheets of glass.

Brad Steiger and Ron Calais report in their book, Mysteries of Time and Space, that Albion W. Hart, one of the first engineers to graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was assigned an engineering project in the interior of Africa. While he and his men were travelling to an almost inaccessible region, they first had to cross a great expanse of desert.

“At the time he was puzzled and quite unable to explain a large expanse of greenish glass which covered the sands as far as he could see,” writes Margarethe Casson in an article on Hart’s life in the magazine Rocks and Minerals (no. 396, 1972).

She then goes on to mention: “Later on, during his life he passed by the White Sands area after the first atomic explosion there, and he recognized the same type of silica fusion which he had seen fifty years earlier in the African desert.”

The Vitrified Forts of Scotland

One of the great mysteries of classical archaeology is the existence of many vitrified forts in Scotland. Are they also evidence of some ancient atomic war ? Maybe, maybe not. There are said to be at least 60 such forts throughout Scotland. Among the most well-known are Tap o’Noth, Dunnideer, Craig Phadraig (near Inverness), Abernathy (near Perth), Dun Lagaidh (in Ross), Cromarty, Arka-Unskel, Eilean na Goar, and Bute-Dunagoil on the Sound of Bute off Arran Island. Another well-known vitrified fort is the Cauadale hill-fort in Argyll, West Scotland.

One of the best examples of a vitrified fort is Tap o’Noth, which is near the village of Rhynie in northeastern Scotland. This massive fort from prehistory is on the summit of a mountain of the same name which, being 1,859 feet (560 meters) high, commands an impressive view of the Aberdeenshire countryside. At first glance it seems that the walls are made of a rubble of stones, but on closer look it is apparent that they are made not of dry stones but of melted rocks !  What were once individual stones are now black and cindery masses, fused together by heat that must have been so intense that molten rivers of rock once ran down the walls.

Reports on vitrified forts were made as far back as 1880 when Edward Hamilton wrote an article entitled “Vitrified Forts on the West Coast of Scotland” in the Archaeological Journal (no. 37, 1880, pp. 227&endash;243). In his article, Hamilton describes several sites in detail, including Arka-Unskel :

At the point where Loch na Nuagh begins to narrow, where the opposite shore is about one-and-a-half to two miles distant, is a small promontory connected with the mainland by a narrow strip of sand and grass, which evidently at one time was submerged by the rising tide. On the flat summit of this promontory are the ruins of a vitrified fort, the proper name for which is Arka-Unskel.

The rocks on which this fort are placed are metamorphic gneiss, covered with grass and ferns, and rise on three sides almost perpendicular for about 110 feet from the sea level. The smooth surface on the top is divided by a slight depression into two portions. On the largest, with precipitous sides to the sea, the chief portion of the fort is situated, and occupies the whole of the flat surface. It is of somewhat oval form. The circumference is about 200 feet, and the vitrified walls can be traced in its entire length. We dug under the vitrified mass, and there found what was extremely interesting, as throwing some light on the manner in which the fire was applied for the purpose of vitrification. The internal part of the upper or vitrified wall for about a foot or a foot-and-a-half was untouched by the fire, except that some of the flat stones were slightly agglutinated together, and that the stones, all feldspatic, were placed in layers one upon another.

It was evident, therefore, that a rude foundation of boulder stones was first formed upon the original rock, and then a thick layer of loose, mostly flat stones of feldspatic sand, and of a different kind from those found in the immediate neighborhood, were placed on this foundation, and then vitrified by heat applied externally. This foundation of loose stones is found also in the vitrified fort of Dun Mac Snuichan, on Loch Etive.

Hamilton describes another vitrified fort that is much larger, situated on the island at the entrance of Loch Ailort.

This island, locally termed Eilean na Goar, is the most eastern and is bounded on all sides by precipitous gneiss rocks; it is the abode and nesting place of numerous sea birds. The flat surface on the top is 120 feet from the sea level, and the remains of the vitrified fort are situated on this, oblong in form, with a continuous rampart of vitrified wall five feet thick, attached at the SW end to a large upright rock of gneiss. The space enclosed by this wall is 420 feet in circumference and 70 feet in width. The rampart is continuous and about five feet in thickness. At the eastern end is a great mass of wall in situ, vitrified on both sides. In the centre of the enclosed space is a deep depression in which are masses of the vitrified wall strewed about, evidently detached from their original site.

Was the vitrification the result of design or accident ? How was the vitrification produced ? In this vitrification process, huge blocks of stones have been fused with smaller rubble to form a hard, glassy mass. Explanations for the vitrification are few and far between, and none of them is universally accepted.

One early theory was that these forts are located on ancient volcanoes (or the remains of them) and that the people used molten stone ejected from eruptions to build their settlements. This idea was replaced with the theory that the builders of the walls had designed the forts in such a way that the vitrification was purposeful in order to strengthen the walls. This theory postulated that fires had been lit and flammable material added to produce walls strong enough to resist the dampness of the local climate or the invading armies of the enemy. It is an interesting theory, but one that presents several problems. For starters, there is really no indication that such vitrification actually strengthens the walls of the fortress; rather, it seems to weaken them. In many cases, the walls of the forts seem to have collapsed because of the fires. Also, since the walls of many Scottish forts are only partially vitrified, this would hardly have proved an effective building method.

Janet and Colin Bord in their book, Mysterious Britain, speak of Maiden Castle to give an idea of the vast extent of this marvel of prehistoric engineering. It covers an area of 120 acres, with an average width of 1,500 feet and length of 3,000 feet, and it has been estimated… that it would require 250,000 men to defend it ! It is hard, therefore, to believe that this construction was intended to be a defensive position.

With 250,000 men defending a fort, we are talking about a huge army in a very organized society. This is not a bunch of fur-wearing Picts with spears defending a fort from marauding bands of hunter-gatherers. The questions remain, though. What huge army might have occupied these cliffside forts by the sea or lake entrances ? And what massive maritime power were these people unsuccessfully defending themselves against ?

The forts on the western coast of Scotland are reminiscent of the mysterious clifftop forts in the Aran Islands on the west coast of Ireland. Here we truly have shades of the Atlantis story, with a powerful naval fleet attacking and conquering its neighbors in a terrible war. It has been theorized that the terrible battles of the Atlantis story took place in Wales, Scotland, Ireland and England–however, in the case of the Scottish vitrified forts it looks as if these were the losers of a war, not the victors. And defeat can be seen across the land : the war dykes in Sussex, the vitrified forts of Scotland, the utter collapse and disappearance of the civilization that built these things. What long-ago Armageddon destroyed ancient Scotland ?

In ancient times there was a substance known through writings as Greek fire. This was some sort of ancient napalm bomb that was hurled by catapult and could not be put out. Some forms of Greek fire were even said to burn under water and were therefore used in naval battles. (The actual composition of Greek fire is unknown, but it must have contained chemicals such as phosphorus, pitch, sulphur or other flammable chemicals.)

Could a form of Greek fire have been responsible for the vitrification ? With siege machines, battleships and Greek fire, did a vast flotilla storm the huge forts and eventually burn them down in a hellish blaze ?

The evidence of the vitrified forts is clear : some hugely successful and organized civilization was living in Scotland, England and Wales in prehistoric times, circa 1000 BC or more, and was building gigantic structures including forts. This apparently was a maritime civilization that prepared itself for naval warfare as well as other forms of attack.

 

Vitrified Ruins in France, Turkey and the Middle East

Vitrified ruins can also be found in France, Turkey and some areas of the Middle East.

Vitrified forts in France are discussed in the American Journal of Science (vol. 3, no. 22, 1881, pp. 150-151) in an article entitled “On the Substances Obtained from Some ‘Forts Vitrifiés’ in France”, by M. Daubrée. The author mentions several forts in Brittany and northern France whose granite blocks have been vitrified. He cites the “partially fused granitic rocks from the forts of Château-vieux and of Puy de Gaudy (Creuse), also from the neighborhood of Saint Brieuc (Côtes-du-Nord)”. Daubrée, understandably, could not readily find an explanation for the vitrification.

Similarly, the ruins of Hattusas in central Turkey, an ancient Hittite city, are partially vitrified. The Hittites are said to be the inventors of the chariot, and horses were of great importance to them. It is on the ancient Hittite stelae that we first see a depiction of the chariot in use. However, it seems unlikely that horsemanship and wheeled chariots were invented by the Hittites; it is highly likely that chariots were in use in ancient China at the same time.

The Hittites were also linked to the world of ancient India. Proto-Indic writing has been found at Hattusas, and scholars now admit that the civilization of India, as the ancient Indian texts like the Ramayana have said, goes back many millennia.

In his 1965 book, The Bible as History, German historian Werner Keller cites some of the mysteries concerning the Hittites. According to Keller, the Hittites are first mentioned in the Bible (in Genesis 23) in connection with the biblical patriarch Abraham who acquired from the Hittites a burial place in Hebron for his wife Sarah. Conservative classical scholar Keller is confused by this, because the time period of Abraham was circa 2000-1800 BC, while the Hittites are traditionally said to have appeared in the 16th century BC.

Even more confusing to Keller is the biblical statement (in Numbers 13:29-30) that the Hittites were the founders of Jerusalem. This is a fascinating statement, as it would mean that the Hittites also occupied Ba’albek, which lies between their realm and Jerusalem. The Temple Mount at Jerusalem is built on a foundation of huge ashlars, as is Ba’albek. The Hittites definitely used the gigantic megalithic construction known as cyclopean–huge, odd-shaped polygonal blocks, perfectly fitted together. The massive walls and gates of Hattusas are eerily similar in construction to those in the high Andes and other megalithic sites around the world. The difference at Hattusas is that parts of the city are vitrified, and the walls of rock have been partly melted. If the Hittites were the builders of Jerusalem, it would mean that the ancient Hittite Empire existed for several thousand years and had frontiers with Egypt. Indeed, the Hittite hieroglyphic script is undeniably similar to Egyptian hieroglyphs, probably more so than any other language.

Just as Egypt goes back many thousands of years BC and is ultimately connected to Atlantis, so does the ancient Hittite Empire. Like the Egyptians, the Hittites carved massive granite sphinxes, built on a cyclopean scale and worshipped the Sun. The Hittites also used the common motif of a winged disc for their Sun god, just as the Egyptians did. The Hittites were well known in the ancient world because they were the main manufacturers of iron and bronze goods. The Hittites were metallurgists and seafarers. Their winged discs may in fact have been representations of vimanas — flying machines.

Some of the ancient ziggurats of Iran and Iraq also contain vitrified material, sometimes thought by archaeologists to be caused by the Greek fire. For instance, the vitrified remains of the ziggurat at Birs Nimrod (Borsippa), south of Hillah, were once confused with the Tower of Babel. The ruins are crowned by a mass of vitrified brickwork — actual clay bricks fused together by intense heat. This may be due to the horrific ancient wars described in the Ramayana and Mahabharata, although early archaeologists attributed the effect to lightning.

Vedic India

Several historical records claim that Indian culture has been around for literally tens of thousands of years. Yet, until 1920, all the “experts” agreed that the origins of the Indian civilization should be placed within a few hundred years of Alexander the Great’s expedition to the subcontinent in 327 BC. However, that was before several great cities like Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro (Mound of the Dead), Kot Diji, Kalibanga and Lothal were discovered and excavated. Lothal, a former port city now miles from the ocean, was discovered in Gujarat, western India, just in the late 20th century. These discoveries have forced archaeologists to push back the dates for the origin of Indian civilization by thousands of years — in line with what the Indians themselves have insisted all along.

A wonder to modern-day researchers, the cities were highly developed and advanced. The way that each city was laid out in regular blocks, with streets crossing each other at right angles and the entire city laid out in sections, gives archaeologists cause to believe that the cities were conceived as a whole before they were built–a remarkable early example of city planning. Even more remarkable is that the plumbing/sewage systems throughout the large cities were so sophisticated–superior to those found in Pakistan, India and many Asian countries today. Sewers were covered, and most homes had private toilets and running water. Furthermore, the water and sewage systems were kept well separated.

This advanced culture had its own writing, which has never been deciphered. The people used personalized clay seals, much as the Chinese still do today, to officialize documents and letters. Some of the seals found contain figures of animals that are unknown to us today, including an extinct form of the Brahman bull.

Archaeologists really have no idea who the builders were, but their attempts to date the ruins (which they ascribe to the “Indus Valley civilization”, also called “Harappan”) have come up with something like 2500 BC and older, but radiation from the wars apparently fought in the area may have thrown off the date.

The Rama Empire, described in the Mahabharata and Ramayana, was supposedly contemporaneous with the great cultures of Atlantis and Osiris in the West. Atlantis, well known from Plato’s writings and ancient Egyptian records, apparently existed in the mid-Atlantic and was a highly technological and patriarchal civilization. The Osirian civilization existed in the Mediterranean basin and northern Africa, according to esoteric doctrine and archaeological evidence, and is generally known as pre-dynastic Egypt. It was flooded when Atlantis sank and the Mediterranean began to fill up with water.

The Rama Empire flourished during the same period, according to esoteric tradition, fading out in the millennium after the destruction of the Atlantean continent. As noted above, the ancient Indian epics describe a series of horrific wars–wars which could have been fought between ancient India and Atlantis, or perhaps a third party in the Gobi region of western China. The Mahabharata and the Drona Parva speak of the war and of the weapons used: great fireballs that could destroy a whole city; “Kapila’s Glance”, which could burn 50,000 men to ashes in seconds; and flying spears that could ruin whole “cities full of forts”.

The Rama Empire was probably started by the Nagas (Naacals) who had come into India from Burma and ultimately from “the Motherland to the east”–or so Colonel James Churchward was told. After settling in the Deccan Plateau in northern India, they made their capital in the ancient city of Deccan, where the modern city of Nagpur stands today.

The empire of the Nagas apparently began to extend all over northern India to include the cities of Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro and Kot Diji (now in Pakistan), as well as Lothal, Kalibanga, Mathura and possibly other cities such as Benares, Ayodha and Pataliputra. These cities were led by “Great Teachers” or “Masters” who were the benevolent aristocracy of the Rama civilization. Today they are generally called “Priest-Kings” of the Indus Valley civilization, and a number of statues of these so-called gods have been discovered. In reality, these were apparently men whose mental and psychic powers were of a degree that seems incredible to most people of today. It was at the height of power for both the Rama Empire and Atlantis that the war allegedly broke out, seemingly because of Atlantis’s attempt to subjugate Rama.

According to the Lemurian Fellowship lesson materials, the populace surrounding Mu (Lemuria, which predated the other civilizations) eventually split into two opposing factions : those who prized practicality and those who prized spirituality. The citizenry, or educated elite, of Mu itself was balanced equally in these two qualities. The citizenry encouraged the other groups to emigrate to uninhabited lands. Those who prized practicality emigrated to the Poseid Island group (Atlantis), and those who prized spirituality eventually ended up in India. The Atlanteans, a patriarchal civilization with an extremely materialistic, technologically oriented culture, deemed themselves “Masters of the World” and eventually sent a well-equipped army to India in order to subjugate the Rama Empire and bring it under the suzerainty of Atlantis.

One account of the battle, related by the Lemurian Fellowship, tells how the Rama Empire Priest-Kings defeated the Atlanteans. Equipped with a formidable force and a “fantastic array of weapons”, the Atlanteans landed in their vailixi outside one of the Rama cities, got their troops in order and sent a message to the ruling Priest-King of the city that he should surrender. The Priest-King sent word back to the Atlantean General :

We of India have no quarrel with you of Atlantis.

We ask only that we be permitted to follow our own way of life.

Regarding the ruler’s mild request as a confession of weakness and expecting an easy victory — as the Rama Empire did not possess the technology of war or the aggressiveness of the Atlanteans — the Atlantean General sent another message :

We shall not destroy your land with the mighty weapons at our command, provided you pay sufficient tribute and accept the rulership of Atlantis.

The Priest-King of the city responded humbly again, seeking to avert war :

We of India do not believe in war and strife, peace being our ideal. Neither would we destroy you or your soldiers who but follow orders.

However, if you persist in your determination to attack us without cause and merely for the purpose of conquest, you will leave us no recourse but to destroy you and all of your leaders.

Depart, and leave us in peace.

Arrogantly, the Atlanteans did not believe that the Indians had the power to stop them, certainly not by technical means. At dawn, the Atlantean army began to march on the city. From a high viewpoint, the Priest-King sadly watched the army advance.

Then he raised his arms heavenward, and using a particular mental technique he caused the General and then each officer in order of rank to drop dead in his tracks, perhaps of some sort of heart failure. In a panic, and without leaders, the remaining Atlantean force fled to the waiting vailixi and retreated in terror to Atlantis.

Of the sieged Rama city, not one man was lost.

While this may be too fanciful to accept, the Indian epics go on to tell the rest of the horrible story, and things do not turn out well for Rama. Assuming the above story is true, Atlantis was not pleased at the humiliating defeat and therefore used its most powerful and destructive weapon — quite possibly an atomic-type weapon !

Consider these verses from the ancient Mahabharata :

…(it was) a single projectile
Charged with all the power of the Universe.
An incandescent column of smoke and flame
As bright as the thousand suns
Rose in all its splendor…

..it was an unknown weapon,
An iron thunderbolt,
A gigantic messenger of death,
Which reduced to ashes
The entire race of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas.

..The corpses were so burned
As to be unrecognizable.
The hair and nails fell out;
Pottery broke without apparent cause,
And the birds turned white.

After a few hours
All foodstuffs were infected…
…to escape from this fire
The soldiers threw themselves in streams
To wash themselves and their equipment.

In the way we traditionally view ancient history, it seems absolutely incredible that there was an atomic war approximately 10,000 years ago or thereabout. And yet, of what else could the Mahabharata be speaking ? Or is this just a poetic way to describe cavemen clubbing each other to death; after all, that is what we are told the ancient past was like !

Until the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, modern mankind could not imagine any weapon as horrible and devastating as those described in the ancient Indian texts. Yet they very accurately described the effects of an atomic explosion : Radioactive poisoning will make hair and nails fall out. Immersing oneself in water gives some respite, though is not a cure.

The two great ancient epics of India — Ramayana and Mahabharata —  speak of immense wars and military formations, theories of warfare and esoteric weaponry (c. 10,000 – 3000 BC), among other subjects. Traditionally, the authorship of the Mahabharata is attributed to Vyasa. With about one hundred thousand verses, long prose passages, or about 1.8 million words in total, the Mahabharata is roughly ten times the length of the Iliad and Odyssey combined, or about four times the length of the Ramayana. — Source : Wikipedia

The Indian Epics,  especially the MAHABHARATA, pick up the thread of the tale of devastation and destruction. Atlantis, rather displeased at its humiliating defeat, feigned that they were no longer interested in subjugating the Rama Empire (An Indian  Empire), even while deciding to annihilate the major cities using weapons of mass destruction. Sanskrit scholars  could  not comprehend what was being described in the Epics until the dropping  of the first atomic bombs on Japan. There are AUTHENTIC VERSES from the Indian Epics :
Picture
Gurkha, flying a swift and powerful vimana (fast aircraft)
hurled a single projectile (rocket) charged with the power
of the Universe (nuclear device).
An incandescent column of smoke and flame,
as bright as ten thousand suns, rose with all its splendor.
It was an unknown weapon, an iron thunderbolt, a gigantic
messenger of death, which reduced to ashes the entire race
of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas.
The corpses were so burned as to be unrecognizable.
Hair and nails fell out;
Pottery broke without apparent cause,
and the birds turned white.
…After a few hours all foodstuffs were infected…
…to escape from this fire the soldiers threw
themselves in streams to wash themselves and their
equipment.” — The Mahabharata

FLYING AIRCRAFT

Picture

Reference to ancient Indian flying vehicles comes from ancient Indian sources, many in the well known Epics; and there are literally hundreds of others, most not yet translated into English from the old sanskrit.

Few years ago, the Chinese discovered some sanskrit documents in Lhasa, Tibet, and sent them to the University of Chandigarh, India, to be translated. Dr. Ruth Reyna of the University said recently that the documents contain directions for building interstellar spaceships !

The Ramayana describes a Vimana as a double-deck, cylindrical aircraft with portholes and a dome. It flew with the speed of the wind and gave forth a humming noise. Ancient Indian texts on Vimanas are so numerous. The ancient Indians wrote entire flight manuals on the control of various types of Vimanas.

An ancient manuscript – Vimanas : The Secret Of Constructing Aeroplanes — describes Vimanas which will not break, cannot be cut, will not catch fire, and cannot be destroyed. Also the secret of making planes motionless, making planes invisible. hearing conversations and other sounds in enemy planes… The secret of receiving photographs of the interior of enemy planes… The secret of ascertaining the direction of enemy planes approach… The secret of making persons in enemy planes lose consciousness… The secret of destroying enemy planes…

“The pilot is one who knows the secrets.” Bodhaanada : Scientists say that there are 32 secrets of the working of the Vimaana. A pilot should acquaint himself thoroughly with them before he can be deemed competent to handle the aeroplane. He must know the structure of the aeroplane, know the means of its take off and ascent to the sky, know how to drive it and how to halt it when necessary, how to maneuver it and make it perform spectacular feats in the sky without crashing.

Those secrets given in Rahashya Lahari and other works by Lalla and other masters, are described thus :

“The pilot should have had training in maantrica and taantrica, kritaka and antaraalaka, goodha or hidden, drishya and adrishya or seen and unseen, paroksha and aparoksha, contraction and expansion, changing shape, look frightening, look pleasing, become luminous or enveloped in darkness, deluge or pralaya, vimukha, taara, stun by thunderstorm din, jump, move zig-zag like serpent, chaapala, face all sides, hear distant sounds, take pictures, know enemy maneuver, know direction of enemy approach, stabdhaka or paralyse, and karshana or exercise magnetic pull.


NUCLEAR WAR

Picture

Sanskrit texts are filled with references to Gods who fought battles in the sky using Vimanas equipped with weapons as deadly as any we can deploy in our more enlightened times. There is a passage in the Ramayana which reads :
The Puspaka car that resembles the Sun and belongs to my brother was brought by the powerful Ravan;
that aerial and excellent car going everywhere at will…. that car resembling a bright cloud in the sky.
“.. and the King [Rama] got in, and the excellent car at the command of the Raghira,
rose up into the higher atmosphere.”

In the Mahabharatra, we learn that an individual named Asura Maya had a Vimana measuring twelve cubits in circumference, with four strong wheels. The poem is a veritable gold mine of information relating to conflicts between gods who settled their differences apparently using lethal weapons as lethal. Apart from ‘blazing missiles’, the poem records the use of other deadly weapons. ‘Indra’s Dart’ operated via a circular ‘reflector’; when switched on, it produced a ‘shaft of light’ which, when focused on any target, immediately ‘consumed it with its power’.

The Ramayana and  the  Mahabharata seem like science  fiction.   Not only did aircraft exist such as Vimanas and Vailxi (as the Atlantian craft are called),  they  had  nuclear  weapons.

“It was a weapon) so powerful that it could destroy the earth
in an instant  A great soaring sound in smoke and flames
And on it sits death…” – The Ramayana

This quotation comes from the translation by N. Dutt in 1891 : “At Rama’s behest the magnificent chariot rose up to a mountain of cloud with a tremendous din..” We cannot help notice that not only is a flying object mentioned again but also that the chronicler talks of a tremendous din.

Here is another passage from the Mahabharata : “Bhisma flew with his Vimana on an enormous ray which was as brilliant as the sun and made a noise like the thunder of a storm.” ( C.Roy 1899).

Even imagination needs something to start off. How can the chronicler give graphic and vivid descriptions that presuppose at least some basis for him to imagine rockets and the knowledge that such a vehicle can ride on a ray and cause a terrifying thunder ?

Certain numerical data in the Mahabharata are so precise that one gets the impression that the author was writing from first-hand knowledge. Though full of revulsion, he describes a weapon that could kill all warriors who wore metal on their bodies. If the warriors learned about the effect of this weapon in time, they tore off all the metal equipment they were wearing, jumped into a river and thoroughly washed everything they were wearing or had come in contact with. Not without reason, as the author explains, for the weapons made the hair and nails fall out.

Dense arrows of flame, like a great shower, issued forth upon creation, encompassing the enemy…

A thick gloom swiftly settled upon the Pandava hosts.
All points of the compass were lost in darkness.
Fierce wind began to blow upward, showering dust and gravel.

Birds croaked madly… the very elements seemed disturbed.
The earth  shook,  scorched  by the terrible violent heat of this weapon.
Elephants burst into flame and ran to and fro in a frenzy…
over a vast area, while other animals crumpled to the ground and died.
From all  points  of  the compass  the  arrows  of  flame  rained
continuously and fiercely. — The Mahabharata

In the Samarangana Sutradhara whole chapters are devoted to describing airships whose tails spout fire and quicksilver. A passage from the Mahabharata is bound to make us think :

It was as if the elements had been unleashed. The sun spun round. Scorched by the incandescent heat of the weapon, the world reeled in fever. Elephants were set on fire by the heat and ran to and fro in a frenzy to seek protection from the terrible violence. The water boiled, animals died, the enemy was mown down, and the raging of the blaze made the trees collapse in rows as in a forest fire.

The elephants trumpeted fearfully and sank dead to the ground over a vast area. Horses and war chariots were burnt up and the scene looked like the aftermath of a conflagration. Thousands of chariots were destroyed, then deep silence descended on the sea.

The winds began to blow and the earth grew bright. It was a terrible sight to see. The corpses of the fallen were mutilated by the terrible heat so that they no longer looked like human beings. Never before have we seen such a ghastly weapon and never before have we heard of such a weapon. (C. Roy 1889).

Subject Related : The Mahabharata, Book 8 : Karna Parva, Kisari Mohan Ganguli, tr. [1883-1896]

http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m08/m08034.htm

The quote “It was an unknown weapon, an iron thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death, which reduced
to ashes the entire race of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas.” is actually found in Section 1 of Mausala Parva.

( http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m16/m16001.htm).


The Indian Emperor Ashoka started a “Secret Society of the Nine Unknown Men” …
These great Indian scientists/king were supposed to catalogue the many sciences. Ashoka kept their work secret because he was afraid that the advanced science catalogued by these men, culled from ancient Indian sources, would be used for evil purposes and war, which Ashoka was strongly against, having been converted to Buddhism after defeating a rival army in a bloody battle.
The “Nine Unknown Men” wrote a total of nine books, presumably one each.
One of the books was “The Secrets of Gravitation !”
This book, known to historians, but not actually seen by them dealt chiefly with “gravity control.” It is presumably still around somewhere, kept in a secret library in India, Tibet or elsewhere (maybe in North America). One can understand Ashoka’s reasoning for wanting to keep such knowledge a secret : He must have been aware of the devastating wars using such advanced vehicles and other “futuristic weapons” that had destroyed the ancient Indian “Rama Empire” and during the Great Bharata War.

Dr. Reyna said that on board these machines, which were called “Astras”, the ancient Indians could have sent a detachment of men onto any planet, according to the document, which is thought to be thousands of years old. The manuscripts were also said to reveal the secret of “antima”, “the cap of invisibility”, and “garima” — “how to become as heavy as a mountain of lead.” Naturally, Indian scientists did not take the texts very seriously, but then became more positive about their value when the Chinese announced that they were including certain parts of the data for study in their space program ! This was one of the first instances of a government admitting to be researching anti-gravity.

The manuscripts did not say definitely that interplanetary travel was ever made but did mention, of all things, a planned trip to the Moon, though it is not clear whether this trip was actually carried out. However, one of the great Indian epics, the Ramayana, does have a highly detailed story in it of a trip to the moon in a Vimana (or “Astra”), and in fact details a battle on the moon with an “Asvin” (or Atlantean”) airship.

This is but a small bit of recent evidence of anti-gravity and aerospace technology used by Indians. To really understand the technology, we must go much further back in time. The so called “Rama Empire” of Northern India and Pakistan developed at least fifteen thousand years ago on the Indian subcontinent and was a nation of many large, sophisticated cities, many of which are still to be found in the deserts of Pakistan, northern, and western India. Rama cities existed, apparently, parallel to the Atlantean civilization in the mid- Atlantic Ocean, and were ruled by “enlightened Priest-Kings”. The seven greatest capital cities of Rama were known in classical Hindu texts as The Seven Rishi Cities. According to ancient Indian texts, people had flying machines called “Vimanas.” There seems to be no doubt that Vimanas were powered by some sort of “anti-gravity.” Vimanas took off vertically and were capable of hovering in the sky, like a modern helicopter. Bharadvaj – the Wise – refers to no less than seventy authorities and 10 experts of air travel in antiquity. These sources are now lost.

Vimanas were kept in a Vimana Griha, a kind of hanger, and were sometimes said to be propelled by a yellowish-white liquid, and sometimes by some sort of mercury compound, though writers seem confused in this matter. It is most likely that the later writers on Vimanas, wrote as observers and from earlier texts, and were understandably confused on the principle of their propulsion. The “yellowish- white liquid” sounds suspiciously like gasoline, and perhaps Vimanas had a number of different propulsion sources, including combustion engines and even “pulse-jet” engines. It is interesting to note, that the Nazis developed the first practical pulse-jet engines for their V-8 rocket “buzz bombs.” Hitler and the Nazi staff were exceptionally interested in ancient India and Tibet and sent expeditions to both these places yearly, starting in the 30′s, in order to gather esoteric evidence, and perhaps it was from these people that the Nazis gained some of their scientific information!

According to the Drona Parva, part of the Mahabarata, and the Ramayana, one Vimana described was shaped like a sphere and borne along at great speed on a mighty wind generated by mercury. It moved going up, down, backwards and forwards as the pilot desired. In another Indian source, the Samar, Vimanas were “iron machines, well-knit and smooth, with a charge of mercury that shot out of the back in the form of a roaring flame.” Another work called the Samarangana Sutradhara describes how the vehicles were constructed. It is possible that mercury did have something to do with the propulsion, or more possibly, with the guidance system. Curiously, Soviet scientists have discovered what they call “age old instruments used in navigating cosmic vehicles” in caves in Turkestan and the Gobi Desert. The “devices” are hemispherical objects of glass or porcelain, ending in a cone with a drop of mercury inside. Possibly, ancient Indians flew around in these vehicles, all over Asia, and to the Atlantis and South America.

Writing found at Mohenjodaro in Pakistan (presumed to be one of the “Seven Rishi Cities of the Rama Empire”) and still undeciphered, has also been found in one other place in the world : Easter Island ! Writing on Easter Island, called Rongo Rongo writing, is also undeciphered and uncannily similar to the Mohenjodaro script. Was Easter Island an air base for the Rama Empire’s Vimana route ? The Vedas, ancient Hindu poems, thought to be the oldest of all the Indian texts, describe Vimanas of various shapes and sizes : the ahnihotra vimana with two engines, the elephant-vimana with more engines, and other types named after the kingfisher, ibis and other animals. Unfortunately, Vimanas, like most scientific discoveries, were ultimately used for war. Atlanteans used their flying machines, Vailixi, a similar type of aircraft, to literally try and subjugate the world, if Indian texts are to be believed. The Atlanteans, known as “Asvins” in the Indian writings, were apparently even more advanced technologically than the Indians, and certainly of a more war-like temperament.

Although no ancient texts on Atlantean Vailixi are known to exist, some information has come down through esoteric, “occult” sources, which describe their flying machines. Similar, if not identical to Vimanas, Vailixi were generally “cigar shaped” and had the capability of manoeuvering underwater as well as in the atmosphere or even the outer space. Other vehicles, like Vimanas, were saucer shaped, and could apparently also be submerged. According to Eklal Kueshana, author of “The Ultimate Frontier,” in an article he wrote in 1966 : Vailixi were first developed in Atlantis 20,000 years ago, and the most common ones are “saucer shaped, of generally trapezoidal cross- section, with three hemispherical engine pods on the underside. They use a mechanical antigravity device driven by engines developing approximately 80,000 horse power.”

 

 Some  Reflections

From http://www.davidicke.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-10928.html :

My previous article in The Canadian , in which I reflected upon my book Worlds Before Our Own, provoked dozens of inquiries from readers. LINK Some stated that one of the cable channels — some thought it was the History Channel; others, Discovery; still others, National Geographic — had presented “proof” that the “fused green glass” to be found in various areas had been created by meteoric air blasts rather than prehistoric nuclear wars.

I remain open to many theories of Earth‘s prehistory. One of those individuals prompted to write to me, who had the advantage of having actually read Worlds Before Our Own, stated that I present “in a clear and lucid style, information concerning anomalous archeological finds without the hyperbole usually associated with this type of material.”

While patches of “fused green glass” may in certain instances have been caused by air blasts from meteors, I wonder if such a natural phenomenon could have created all twenty-eight fields of blackened and shattered stones that cover as many as 7000 miles each in western Arabia. The stones are densely grouped, as if they might be the remains of cities, sharp-edged, and burned black. Experts have decreed that they are not volcanic in origin, but appear to date from the period when Arabia was thought to be a lush and fruitful land that suddenly became scorched into an instant desert.

What we know today as the Sahara Desert was once a tropical region of heavy vegetation, abundant rainfall, and several large rivers. Scientists have discovered areas of the desert in which soils which once knew the cultivated influence of plow and farmer are now covered by a thin layer of sand. Researchers have also found an enormous reservoir of water below the parched desert area. The source of such a large deposit of water could only have been the heavy rains from the period of time before a fiery devastation consumed the lush vegetation of the area.

On December 25, 2007, it was confirmed by a French scientist that excavations at the area of Khamis Bani Sa’ad in Tehema district of Hodeidah province have yielded over a thousand rare archaeological pieces dating back to 300,000 B.C.E. Before a dramatic climate change, the inhabitants at that time had been fishermen and had domesticated a number of animals no longer to be found in the region, including a species of horse currently found only in Middle Asia.

The Red Chinese have conducted atomic tests near Lob Nor Lake in the Gobi Desert, which have left large patches of the area covered with vitreous sand. But the Gobi has a number of other areas of glassy sand which have been known for thousands of years.

Albion W. Hart, one of the first engineers to graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was assigned a project in the interior of Africa. While he and his men were traveling to an almost inaccessible region, they had first to cross a great expanse of desert. At the time, he was puzzled and quite unable to explain a large area of greenish glass which covered the sands as far as he could see.

“Later on during his life,” wrote Margarethe Casson in Rocks and Minerals (No. 396, 1972), “he passed by the White Sands area after the first atomic explosion there, and he recognized the same type of silica fusion which he had seen fifty years earlier in the African desert.”

In 1947, in the Euphrates valley of southern Iraq, where certain traditions place the Garden of Eden and where the ancient inhabitants of Sumer encountered the man-god Ea, exploratory digging unearthed a layer of fused, green glass. Archaeologists could not restrain themselves from noting the resemblance that the several-thousand-year-old fused glass bore to the desert floor at White Sands, New Mexico, after the first nuclear blasts in modem times had melted sand and rock.

In the United States, the Mohave Desert has large circular or polygonal areas that are coated with a hard substance very much like opaque glass.

While exploring Death Valley in 1850, William Walker claimed to have come upon the ruins of an ancient city. An end of the large building within the rubble had had its stones melted and vitrified.

Walker went on to state that the entire region between the Gila and St. John rivers was spotted with ruins. In each of the ancient settlements he had found evidence that they had been burned out by fire intense enough to have liquefied rock. Paving blocks and stone houses had been split with huge cracks, as if seared by some gigantic cleaver of fire.

Perhaps even more than the large areas of fused green glass, I am intrigued by the evidence of vitrified cities and forts, such as those discovered by Walker.

There are ancient hill forts and towers in Scotland, Ireland, and England in which the stoneworks have become calcined because of the great heat that had been applied. There is no way that lightning could have caused such effects.

Other hill forts from the Lofoten Islands off northern Norway to the Canary Islands off northwest Africa have become “fused forts.” Erich A. von Fange comments that the “piled boulders of their circular walls have been turned to glass… by some intense heat.”

Catal Huyukin in north-central Turkey, thought to be one of the oldest cities in the world, appears, according to archaeological evidence, to have been fully civilized and then, suddenly, to have died out. Archaeologists were astonished to find thick layers of burned brick at one of the levels, called VIa. The blocks had been fused together by such intense heat that the effects had penetrated to a depth more than a meter below the level of the floors, where it carbonized the earth, the skeletal remains of the dead, and the burial gifts that had been interred with them. All bacterial decay had been halted by the tremendous heat.

When a large ziggurat in Babylonia was excavated, it presented the appearance of having been struck by a terrible fire that had split it down to its foundation. In other parts of the ruins, large sections of brickwork had been scorched into a vitrified state. Several masses of brickwork had been rendered into a completely molten state. Even large boulders found near the ruins had been vitrified.

The royal buildings at the north Syrian site known as Alalakh or Atchana had been so completely burned that the very core of the thick walls were filled with bright red, crumbling mud-bricks. The mud and lime wall plaster had been vitrified, and basalt wall slabs had, in some areas, actually melted.

Between India’s Ganges River and the Rajmahal Hills are scorched ruins which contain large masses of stone that have been fused and hollowed. Certain travelers who have ventured to the heart of the Indian forests have reported ruins of cities in which the walls have become huge slabs of crystal, due to some intense heat.

The ruins of the Seven Cities, located near the equator in the Province of Piaui, Brazil, appear to be the scene of a monstrous chaos. Since no geological explanation has yet been construed to fit the evidence before the archaeologists, certain of those who have investigated the site have said that the manner in which the stones have been dried out, destroyed, and melted provokes images of Sodom and Gomorrah.

French researchers discovered the evidence of prehistoric spontaneous nuclear reaction at the Oklo mine, Pierrelatte, in Gabon, Africa. Scientists found that the ore of this mine contained abnormally low proportions of U235 such as found only in depleted uranium fuel taken from atomic reactors. According to those who examined the mine, the ore also contained four rare elements in forms similar to those found in depleted uranium.

Although the modern world did not experience atomic power until the 1940s, there is an astonishing amount of evidence that nuclear effects may have occurred in prehistoric times leaving behind sand melted into glass in certain desert areas, hill forts with vitrified portions of stone walls, of the remains of ancient cities that had been destroyed by what appeared to have been extreme heat-far beyond that which could have been scorched by the torches of primitive armies. In each instance, the trained and experienced archaeologists who encountered such anomalous finds have stressed the point that none of these catastrophes had been caused by volcanoes, by lightning, by crashing comets, or by conflagrations set by humankind.

by Brad Steiger

http://www.agoracosmopolitan.com/home/Frontpage/2007/12/31/02061.html

Vedic Cosmology


Vedic Cosmology is yet another ancient Vedic science which can be confirmed by modern scientific findings and this is acknowledged by well known scientists and authors, such as Carl Sagan and Count Maurice Maeterlinck, who recognized that the cosmology of the Vedas closely parallels modern scientific findings.

Carl Sagan stated, “Vedic Cosmology is the only one in which the time scales correspond to those of modern scientific cosmology.”

Nobel laureate Count Maurice Maeterlinck wrote of: “a Cosmogony which no European conception has ever surpassed.”

French astronomer Jean-Claude Bailly corroborated the antiquity and accuracy of the Vedic astronomical measurements as “more ancient than those of the Greeks or Egyptians.” And that, “the movements of the stars calculated 4,500 years ago, does not differ by a minute from the tables of today.”

The ninety foot tall astronomical instrument known as Samrat Yantra, built by the learned King Suwai Jai Singh of Jaipur, measures time to within two seconds per day.

Cosmology and other scientific accomplishments of ancient India spread to other countries along with mercantile and cultural exchanges. There are almost one hundred references in the Rig Veda alone to the ocean and maritime activity. This is confirmed by Indian historian R. C. Majumdar, who stated that the people of the Indus-Sarasvata Civilization engaged in trade with Sooma and centers of culture in western Asia and Crete.

The Heliodorus Column and Cultural Links to India

An example of these exchanges is found in the inscriptions on the Heliodorus Column, erected in 113 B.C.E. by Heliodorus, a Greek ambassador to India, and convert to Vaisnavism, as well as the 2nd century B.C.E. Coins of Agathocles, showing images of Krishna and Balaram. These artifacts stand testimony that Sanatan Dharma predates Christianity.

   

This also confirms the link between India and other ancient civilizations such as Greece and shows that there was a continuous exchange of culture, philosophy and scientific knowledge between India & other countries. Indeed the Greeks learned many wonderful things from India.

Vedic Mathematics

Voltaire, the famous French writer and philosopher) stated that “Pythagoras went to the Ganges to learn geometry.” Abraham Seidenberg, author of the authoritative “History of Mathematics,” credits the Sulba Sutras as inspiring all mathematics of the ancient world from Babylonia to Egypt to Greece.

As Voltaire & Seidenberg have stated, many highly significant mathematical concepts have come from the Vedic culture, such as:


The theorem bearing the name of the Greek mathematician Pythagorus is found in theShatapatha Brahmana as well as the Sulba Sutra, the Indian mathematical treatise, written centuries before Pythagorus was born.



The Decimal system, based on powers of ten, where the remainder is carried over to the next column, first mentioned in the Taittiriya Samhita of the Black Yajurveda.

The Introduction of zero as both a numerical value and a place marker.

The Concept of infinity.

The Binary number system, essential for computers, was used in Vedic verse meters.


A hashing technique, similar to that used by modern search algorithms, such as Googles, was used in South Indian musicology. From the name of a raga one can determine the notes of the raga from this Kathapayadi system. (See Figure at left.)

For further reading we refer you to this excellent article on Vedic Mathematics.

Vedic Sound and Mantras

The Vedas however are not as well known for presenting historical and scientific knowledge as they are for expounding subtle sciences, such as the power of mantras. We all recognize the power of sound itself by it’s effects, which can be quite dramatic. Perhaps we all have seen a high-pitched frequency shatter an ordinary drinking glass. Such a demonstration shows that Loud Sounds can produce substantial reactions

It is commonly believed that mantras can carry hidden power which can in turn produce certain effects. The ancient Vedic literatures are full of descriptions of weapons being called by mantra. For example, many weapons were invoked by mantra during the epic Kuruksetra War, wherein the Bhagavad-gita itself was spoken.

The ancient deployment of Brahmastra weapons, equivalent to modern day nuclear weapons are described throughout the Vedic literatures. Additionally, mantras carry hidden spiritual power, which can produce significant benefits when chanted properly. Indeed, the Vedas themselves are sound vibrations in literary form and carry a profound message. Spiritual disciplines recommend meditational practices such as silent meditation, silent recitation of mantras and also the verbal repetition of specific mantras out loud.

A Clinical Test of the Benefits of Mantra Chanting was performed on three groups of sixty-two subjects, males and females of average age 25. They chanted the Hare Krsna Maha Mantra twenty-five minutes each day under strict clinical supervision.

Results showed that regular chanting of the Hare Krsna Maha Mantra reduces Stress and depression and helps reduce bad habits & addictions. These results formed a PhD Thesis at Florida State University.

Spiritual practitioners claim many benefits from Mantra Meditation such as increased realization of spiritual wisdom, inner peace and a strong communion with God and the spiritual realm. These effects may be experienced by following the designated spiritual path.

Conclusion

Most of the evidence given in this presentation is for the apara vidya or material knowledge of the Vedic literatures. The Vedas however, are more renowned for their para vidya or spiritual knowledge. And even superior is therealized knowledge of the Vedic rsis or saints — that which is beyond the objective knowledge of modern science — knowledge of the eternal realm of sat, cit ananda, eternality, blissfullness and full knowledge. But that is another presentation.

The Iron Pillar of Delhi

The Vedic literatures contain descriptions of advanced scientific techniques, sometimes even more sophisticated than those used in our modern technological world.

Modern metallurgists have not been able to produce iron of comparable quality to the 22 foot high Iron Pillar of Delhi, which is the largest hand forged block of iron from antiquity.

This pillar stands at mute testimony to the highly advanced scientific knowledge of metallurgy that was known in ancient India. Cast in approximately the 3rd century B.C., the six and a half ton pillar, over two millennia has resisted all rust and even a direct hit by the artillary of the invading army of Nadir Shah during his sacking of Delhi in 1737.

 

Cataclysmic changes in the Earth’s crust.

by Brad Steiger

I find myself now in the seventh decade of life still asking two questions that in one way or another the great majority of my 165 published books have sought to answer: 1.) Who are we as a species? 2.) What is our destiny?

The basic reason that I wrote Worlds Before Our Own (G.P. Putnam‘s Sons, 1978; Anomalist Books, 2007) is that I have always found it incredible that such sophisticated people as we judge ourselves to be, do not really know who we are.

Archaeologists, anthropologists, and various academicians who play the “origins of Man” game, reluctantly and only occasionally acknowledge instances where unique skeletal and cultural evidence from the prehistoric record suddenly appear long before they should — and in places where they should not. These irritating artifacts destroy the orderly evolutionary line that academia has for so long presented to the public. Consequently, such data have been largely left buried in site reports, forgotten storage rooms, and dusty archives where one suspects that there is a great deal of suppressed, ignored, and misplaced pre-historical cultural evidence that would alter the established interpretations of human origins and provide us with a much clearer definition of what it means to be human.

There is now a basic academic consensus that the “homo” lineage goes back at least three million years, and that an ancestor of modern man evolved about one million years ago. Homo Sapiens, the “thinking man,” (our own species), became the dominant planetary life form on a worldwide basis, about 40,000 years ago.

It is difficult enough to explain the sudden appearance of Homo Sapiens at that time, but it is an even more complex question to ponder why Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon man correspondingly disappeared. And academic warfare rages unceasingly over whether or not Neanderthal and our ancestors were two separate species or whether they interbred.

And just as scientists are adding to a growing body of evidence that humankind developed in Africa, a Hungarian excavation surrenders a Homo Sapiens skull fragment in a context more than 600,000 years out of alignment with the accepted calendar of man’s migrations across the planet. Hominid fossils are unearthed in Dmanisi, Georgia, indicative of 1.77 million years old; and a homind tooth found in Niocene deposits near the Maritsa River in Bulgaria is dated at seven million years old.

What happens to Darwinian evolution when there are such sites as the one in Australia, which yielded Homo Sapiens (modern man), Homo erectus (our million-year-old ancestor), and Neanderthal (our Stone Age cousin) in what appears to be a contemporaneous environment? Then there is the Tabun site where Homo Sapiens fragments were found in strata below (which means older than) classic Neanderthal bones. In August 2007, scientists dating fossils found in Kenya challenged the conventional view that Homo Habilis (1.44 million years) and Homo erectus (1.55 million years) evolved one after the other. Dating of new fossil evidence revealed that the two species lived side by side in Africa for almost half a million years.

Somewhere, in what would appear to be a biological and cultural free-for-all, there must lie the answer to that most important question: Who are we?

But just as we are trying our best to fit skeletal fragments together in a manner that will be found acceptable to what we believe we know about our origins, footprints are being found in stone, which, if they are what they appear to be, will make a total shambles of our accepted evolutionary calendar. In Pershing County, Nevada, a shoe print was found in Triassic limestone, strata indicative of 400 million years, in which the fossilized evidence clearly revealed finely wrought double-stitching in the seams.

Early in 1975, Dr. Stanley Rhine of the University of New Mexico announced his discovery of human-like footprints in strata indicative of 40 million years old. A few months before, a similar find was made in Kenton, Oklahoma. At almost the same time, a discovery of a footprint in stone was revealed in north-central Wisconsin.

In Death Valley, there is ample fossil and skeletal evidence to indicate that the desolate area was once a tropical Garden of Eden where a race of giants lived and fed themselves with palatable foods taken from the local lakes and forests.

To speak of a race of prehistoric giants in what is now the desert sands of Death Valley is simultaneously to refute the doctrine which decrees that man is a relative newcomer to the North and South American continents. While on the one hand, new radiocarbon dates demonstrate that the Bering Land Bridge and Cordilleran Ice Corridor were not passable until 9000 years ago, an increasing amount of physical evidence indicates that man was surely in this hemisphere much earlier than that recent date.

For one thing, corn, an American contribution to the dinner tables of the world, is said to be, at 9000 years, our oldest domesticated seed crop. Some agriculturist had to be in the Americas more than 9000 years ago in order to domesticate the seed. Ancient squash seeds, peanuts, and cotton balls dated at 8,500 years old found in Peru’s Nanchoc Valley constitute additional evidence that New World farming was well established. Conclusive proof that such ancient farmers did exist in the Americas was offered when a Humble Oil Company drill brought up Mexican corn pollen that was more than 80,000 years old.

The anomalous Indian blood seration and dentition, and the geographic distribution of the American Indian, demands an impossible genetic time scale in which to transform Asiatic immigrants to distinctive New World inhabitants.

Even if we attempt to keep some kind of peace with the accepted theories of New World habitation, we must grant more evolution in 40,000 years in North America than that which took place in more than one million years in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Skulls found in California, which are clearly those of American Indians, have been dated at 50,000 years old. But we are left with another mystery. A 140,000 year old American Indian type skull (via metric analysis) has been found at an Iranian excavation site.

What of the lost Amerindian civilization of Cahokia, complete with pyramids and a great wall? One site, near the present city of St. Louis, may have contained a metropolis of more than 250,000 North American Indians.

And who constructed the mysterious seven-mile walls of the Berkeley and Oakland, California, hills?

And which pre-Mayan peoples engineered an elaborate waterworks in Yucatan to irrigate crops over 2000 years ago?

The Caracol Tower at Chichen Itza is a remarkable Mesoamerican observatory that seems to have correlated its findings with similar sites in North America, including Mesa Verde, Wichita, and Chaco Canyon.

One of the most heretical theories that I suggest in Worlds Before Our Own is that the cradle of civilization might possibly have traveled from the so-called New World to the Old. Now, in December 2007, years after Ruth Shady Solis found the ancient city of Caral, Peru, scientists have accepted the carbon dating of 2,627 B.C.E., thereby establishing the civilization in South America to be much older than the Harappa Valley towns and the pyramids of Egypt. Caral must now be recognized as “the mother of all civilizations,” the missing link of archaeology, the Mother City.

Scientific knowledge has seemingly been prized by the inhabitants of every culture, known and unknown. Rock engravings, which may be as old as 60 million years, depict in step-by-step illustrations an entire heart-transplant operation and a Cesarean section. The ancient Egyptians used the equivalent of contraceptive jelly and had urine pregnancy tests. The cement used in filling Mayan dental cavities still holds after 1500 years.

No fabric is supposed to have been found until Egypt produced cloth material 5000 years ago. How, then, can we deal with the Russian site which provides spindle whorls and patterned fabric designs more than 80,000 years old?

Not only did the ancient Babylonians appear to use sulphur matches, but they had a technology sophisticated enough to employ complex electrochemical battery cells with wiring. There is also evidence of electric batteries and electrolysis in ancient Egypt, India, and Swahililand.

Remains of a metal-working factory of over 200 furnaces was found at what is now Medzamor in Russian Armenia. Although a temperature of over 1780 degrees is required to melt platinum, some pre-Incan peoples in Peru were making objects of the metal. Even today the process of extracting aluminium from bauxite is a complicated procedure, but Chou Chu, famous general of the Tsin era (265-316 A.D.), was interred with aluminium belt fasteners on his burial costume.

Carved bones, chalk, stones, together with what would appear to be greatly ornamented ”coins,” have been brought up from great depths during well-drilling operations. A strange, imprinted slab was found in a coal mine. The artefact was decorated with diamond-shaped squares with the face of an old man in each ”box.” In another coal-mine discovery, miners found smooth, polished concrete blocks which formed a solid wall. According to one miner’s testimony. he chipped one block open only to find the standard mixture of sand and cement that makes up most typical building blocks of today.

A gold necklace was found embedded in a lump of coal. A metal spike was discovered in a silver mine in Peru. An iron implement was found in a Scottish coal-bed. Estimated to be millions of years older than man is believed to have existed. A metal, bell-shaped vessel, inlaid with a silver floral design was blasted out of solid rock near Dorchester, Massachusetts.

Two hypotheses may explain the presence of these perplexing artifacts: 1) that they were manufactured by an advanced civilization on Earth which, due either to natural or technological catastrophe, was destroyed before our world’s own genesis; 2) that they are vestiges of a highly technological civilization of extraterrestrial origin, which visited this planet millions of years ago, leaving behind various artifacts.

Even if a highly advanced extraterrestrial race might have visited this planet in prehistoric times, it seems unlikely such common, everyday items as nails, necklaces, buckles and vases would have been carried aboard a spacecraft deposited in such widely separated areas; for such artifacts have been found in North and South America, Great Britain, the whole of Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Mid-East.

In spite of the general unpopularity of catastrophism, there does seem to be a number of recently discovered “proofs” of ancient cataclysmic changes in the Earth’s crust which may account for the nearly total disappearance of these prehistoric worlds. Geological evidence indicates that these changes were both sudden and drastic might have completely overwhelmed and destroyed the early inhabitants and their cultures.

Perhaps the most potentially mind-boggling evidence of an advanced prehistoric technology that might have blown its parent-culture away is to be found in those sites which ostensibly bear mute evidence of prehistoric nuclear warfare.

Large areas of fused green glass and vitrified cities have been found deep in the strata of archaeological digs at Pierrelatte in Gabon, Africa; the Euphrates Valley; the Sahara Desert; the Gobi Desert; Iraq; the Mojave Desert; Scotland; the Old and Middle Kingdoms of Egypt; and south-central Turkey. In contemporary times, such material as fused green glass has only been known at nuclear testing sites (where the sand had melted to form the substance). It is quite unsettling to some to consider it possible that these sites provide evidence of a prehistoric nuclear war. At the same time, scientists have found a number of uranium deposits that appear to have been mined or depleted in antiquity.

If it is possible that nuclear annihilation of a global civilization did occur in prehistoric times, it seems even more urgent to learn who we really are before we find ourselves doomed to repeat the lessons left to us, by a world before our own.

http://www.agoracosmopolitan.com/home/Frontpage/2007/12/21/02021.html

MANUFACTURED METALS MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD
For the past three decades miners at the Wonderstone Silver Mine near Ottosdal in the Western Transvaal, South Africa, have been extracting out of deep rock several strange metallic spheroids. So far at least 200 have been found. In 1979, several were closely examined by J.R. McIver, professor of geology at the University of Witwaterstand in Johannesburg, and geologist professor Andries Bisschoff of Potsshefstroom University.

The metallic spheroids look like flattened globes, averaging 1 to 4 inches in diameter, and their exteriors usually are colored steel blue with a reddish reflection, and embedded in the metal are tiny flecks of white fibers. They are made of a nickel-steel alloy which does not occur naturally, and is of a composition that rules them out, being of meteoric origin. Some have only a thin shell about a quarter of an inch thick, and when broken open are found filled with a strange spongy material that disintegrated into dust on contact with the air.

What makes all this very remarkable is that the spheroids were mined out of a layer of pyrophyllite rock, dated both geologically and by the various radio-isotope dating techniques as being at least 2.8 to 3 billion years old.

Adding mystery to mystery, Roelf Marx, curator of the South African Klerksdorp Museum, has discovered that the spheroid he has on exhibit slowly rotates on its axis by its own power, while locked in its display case and free of outside vibrations.

There may thus be an energy extant within these spheroids still operating after three eons of time.
http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/egipto/esp_electricidad_egipto_1.htm#10 (http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/egipto/esp_electricidad_egipto_1.htm#10)

Technological Discontinuity Explained

The lack evidence of ancient world technologies are explained by numerous great wars and apocalyptical disasters that practically wiped out civilisations and pushed humanity, perhaps more than once, back into “stone age.”

A well-researched hypothesis regarding Vedic India around Mahabharata War is presented in couple of books recently published by author Krishna Udayshankar, under the series Aryavarta Chronicles. She touches upon the five great lines of dynastic evolution and at length about two : Firewrights and Firstborns. The former descend from Agni Angiras, in which all great inventors and innovators arise from time to time to equip humanity with a whole range of science and technology to enable and ease, farm and illuminate, construct and transport, mine and irrigate, forge and create, weave and weaponise.

However, after millenia of such developments, almost magically empowering in the eye of the rest of mankind, the series inevitably reduced to applications concentrated in weapon-making, potions for targeted killing and psychological disorientation, power for mass destruction, mastery on earth and in air, and such immense multipliers. In time, even while the economy exploded and wealth concentrated with few, most of these weaponry skills went on sale to higher bidders among kings and chiefs aspiring to positions with greater overlordship and bigger dominions.

That manifest drive for greed and power at multiple centres in the Indian subcontinent, from about 3500 BC, was a departure from the Sanatan values and way of life laid out by the Firstborns. Even before the developments culminated in the Great War, about 3100 BC, in which an estimated 1.66 billion people died over 18-day period [Mahabharata, Book 11 (Stri Parva), Chapter 26, Verses 9 &10] … it is hypothesised, the Firstborn scion Sage Parasher had begun a massive and concerted program to destroy the Firewrights, one and all, systematically with no-holds barred. That pogrom was continued with unabated enthusiasm by his son, Krishna Dvaipayana — the Great Vyasa, who however also set in place an effective organisation to catalogue, encode and record all knowledge then available, even those with the Firewrights.

It is conjectured, the Firewrights were wiped out before the War broke out and their weapons expended and amazing technological creations destroyed during the 18-day strife : the land laid waste and cities deserted. One can imagine … a civilisational start from scratch, practically.

Relevant Links :

http://www.arasartgallery.com/ancient-weapons—mahabharata.html

http://atlanteangardens.blogspot.in/2014/04/the-bhagavad-gita-oppenheimer-and.html

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ancientatomicwar/esp_ancient_atomic_02.htm

http://archaeologyonline.net/artifacts/scientific-verif-vedas

The Indic Kings of the West

The Mahabharata mentions that of the five descendents of Yayati, two became Yavanas and the Mlecchas. This seems to remember a westward emigration. This particular migration may have occurred in a very early period in the Vedic world that spanned Jambudvipa and the trans-Himalayan region of Uttara Kuru. We have a later evidence for another westward movement to the lands ranging from Babylonia to Turkey. 

The Mitanni, who worshiped Vedic gods, were an Indic kingdom that had bonds of marriage across several generations with the Egyptian 18th dynasty to which Akhenaten belonged. The Mitanni were known to the Egyptians as the Naharin, connected to the river (nahar), very probably referring to the Euphrates. At its peak, the Mitanni empire stretched from Kirkuk (ancient Arrapkha) and the Zagros mountains in western Iran in the east, through Assyria to the Mediterranean sea in the west. Its center was in the region of the Khabur River, where its capital, Wassukkani (Vasukhani, “a mine of wealth”) was probably located. 

The first Mitanni king was Sutarna I (good sun). He was followed by Baratarna I (Paratarna, great sun), Parasuksatra (ruler with axe), Saustatar (Sauksatra, son of Suksatra, the good ruler), Paratarna II, Artadama (Rtadhaman, abiding in cosmic law), Sutarna II, Tushratta (Dasaratha), and finally Matiwazza (Mativaja, whose wealth is thought) during whose lifetime the Mitanni state appears to have become a vassal to Assyria. 

The early years of the Mitanni empire were occupied in the struggle with Egypt for control of Syria. The greatest Mitanni king was Sauksatra who reigned during the time of Tuthmose III. He was said to have looted the Assyrian palace at Ashur. Under the reign of Tuthmose IV, more friendly relations were established between the Egyptians and the Mitanni. 

The daughter of King Artadama was married to Tuthmose IV, Akhenaten’s grandfather, and the daughter of Sutarna II (Gilukhipa) was married to his father, Amenhotep III, the great builder of temples who ruled during 1390-1352 BC (“khipa” of these names is the Sanskrit ksipa, night). In his old age, Amenhotep wrote to Tushratta many times wishing to marry his daughter, Tadukhipa. It appears that by the time she arrived Amenhotep III was dead. Tadukhipa was now married to the new king Akhenaten, becoming famous as the queen Kiya (short for Khipa). 

The Egyptian kings had other wives as well. Akhenaten’s mother, Tiye, was the daughter of Yuya, who was a Mitanni married to a Nubian. It appears that Nefertiti was the daughter of Tiye’s brother Ay, who was to become king himself. The 18th dynasty had a liberal dose of Indic blood. 

But how could an Indic kingdom be so far from India, near Egypt ? A plausible scenario is that after catastrophic earthquakes dried up the Sarasvati river around 1900 BC, many groups of Indic people started moving West. We see Kassites, a somewhat shadowy aristocracy with Indic names and worshiping Surya and the Maruts, in Western Iran about 1800 BC. They captured power in Babylon in 1600 BC, which they were to rule for over 500 years. The Mitanni ruled northern Mesopotamia (including Syria) for about 300 years, starting 1600 BC, out of their capital of Vasukhani. Their warriors were called marya, which is the proper Sanskrit term for it. 

In a treaty between the Hittites and the Mitanni, Indic deities Mitra, Varuna, Indra, and Nasatya (Asvins) are invoked. A text by a Mitannian named Kikkuli uses words such as 8aika (eka, one), tera ( tri, three), panza (panca, five), satta (sapta, seven), na (nava, nine), vartana (vartana}, round). Another text has babru (babhru, brown), parita (palita, grey), and pinkara (pingala, red). Their chief festival was the celebration of visuva} (solstice) very much like in India. 

It is not only the kings who had Sanskrit names; a large number of other Sanskrit names have been unearthed in the records from the area. Documents and contract agreements in Syria mention a warrior caste that constituted the elite in the cities. The ownership of land appears to have been inalienable. Consequently, no documents on the selling of landed property are to be found in the great archives of Akkadian documents and letters discovered in Nuzi. The prohibition against selling landed property was dodged with the stratagem of “adopting” a willing buyer against an appropriate sum of money. 

Information of the mythology of the Hurrians of the Mitanni is known from related Hittite and Ugaritic myths. The king of the gods was the weather god Teshub who had violently deposed Kumarbi paralleling the killing of Vrtra by Indra. Major sanctuaries of Teshub were located at Arrapkha (modern Kirkuk) and at Halab (modern Aleppo) in Syria. Like Indra, Teshub also had a solar aspect. In the east his consort was the goddess of love and war Shaushka (Venus), and in the west the goddess Hebat (Hepat). In addition, a considerable importance was attributed to impersonal gods such as heaven and earth as well as to deities of mountains and rivers. Temple monuments of modest dimensions have been unearthed. 

The general Indic influence in the area may also be seen in the comprehensiveness of the god lists. The most “official” god list, in two Ugaritic copies and one Akkadian translation, consists of 33 items, exactly as is true of the count of Vedic gods. These gods are categorized into three classes, somewhat like the three classes of the Vedic gods, although there are difference in details. 

The main Semitic gods are Yahvah and El or (Il or al-Il, as Allah) The Rgveda mentions Yahvah in 21 different hymns. Ila is the deity for the Rgvedic Apri hymns and it represents Agni in Yajurveda (VS) 2.3, whereas Ilaa represents Earth, speech, and flow. 

The Vedic Yahvah is, as an epithet, associated with movement, activity, heaven and earth; it means the sacrificer and Agni, the chief terrestrial god. It is associated with energy like the Yahvah of the Semites. It may be compared to Shivah, an epithet for auspiciousness in the Rigveda, that later is applied regularly to Rudra. It is plausible that the Vedic Ila and Yahvah were adopted by the Semites through the mediating agency of the Mitanni. 

Greek accounts tell us that the Ugaritic believed in a cosmic egg out of which the earth emerged which is reminiscent of brahmanda of the Vedic view.How do we know that the Mitanni were Indic and not Iranian? There are several reasons, but to be brief, we shall only give three : 

1. the deities Indra, Mitra, Varuna, and Nasatya are Indian deities and not Iranian ones, because in Iran Varuna is unknown and Indra and Nasatya appear as demons; 

2. the name Vasukhani makes sense in Sanskrit as a “mine of wealth” whereas in Iranian it means “good mine” which is much less likely; 

3. satta, or sapta, for seven, rather than the Iranian word hapta, where the initial `s’ has been changed to `h’. 

Why could not the Mitanni be the descendents of a pre-Vedic people as in the Gimbutas model of the spread of the Indo-Iranian people from the Kurgan culture of the steppes of Central Asia ? They would then have had no particular affinity for Indic deities. If the pre-Vedic people in Central Asia already had Indin deities, how would these small bands of people impose their culture and language over what was perhaps the most densely populated region of the ancient world. 

Furthermore, that view does not square with our knowledge of the astronomical tradition within India. The Vedic Samhitas have very early astronomical and its geography is squarely within India. The Vedanga Jyotisa, a late Vedic text, already belongs to the middle of the second millennium BC. The earlier texts remember events within the Indic geographical area going back to the third and the fourth millennia BC. The theory of a proto-Indo-Aryan people in Iran from whom the Aryans of India descended in the second millennium BC does not work for the same reasons. 

The idea of invasion or large-scale immigration of outsiders into India displacing the original population in the middle of the second millennium BC has been rejected since it is not in accord with archaeological facts, skeletal records, and the continuity of the cultural tradition. 

The Indian textual tradition also does not permit us to accept the Gimbutas model because of the length of time required for the rise of the voluminous Indian literature. Over fifty years ago, Roger T. O’Callaghan and W.F. Albright published in Analecta Orientalia of Rome a list of 81 names (13 from the Mitanni, 23 from the Nuzi, and 45 from the Syrian documents) with Indic etymologies. Out of this list, Dumont has provided the etymology of 45 names. 

Analyzing the names, Dumont concludes that the names are clearly Indic and not Iranian. The initial s is maintained and the group s’v is represented by the similar sounding sw and not the Avestan aspo. Also, most of the names are bahuvrihi or tatpurusa compounds. 

Considering the language, it is clearly an Indic dialect because the initial v is replaced by b, while medial v becomes the semivowel w. Like Middle Indic (Prakrit) dialects, the medial pt transforms into tt, as in sapta becoming satta. Dumont stresses its relationship to Sanskrit in the characteristic patronymic names with the vrddhi-strengthening of the first syllable, like in Saumati (the son of Sumati) or Sausapti (the son of Susapti). The worship of the Vedic gods like Indra, Vayu, Svar, Soma, Rta, Vasus has already been noted. 

The fact the the Mitanni names suggest a Middle Indic dialect is supportive of the thesis that the emigration of the various groups from India took place after the early Vedic period had come to an end. Our argument actually goes beyond the presence of people in West Asia whose languages were Indic, as was the case with the Mitanni. There is evidence that Indic religion and culture had adherents even outside of groups with Indic speech.

English: Darius I the Great's inscription. Pos...

The Avesta speaks of the struggle between the worshipers of Ahura Mazda and the daevas. Zarathustra nowhere names the daevas and it is only in the later texts that Indra and the Nasatyas are so labeled. Many of the Vedic devas (such as Mitra, Bhaga, Agni, Vayu, and Indra as Vrtraghna) continue to be counted amongst the good ahuras. It appears that the triple division of deva/asura/raksasa corresponding to sattva/rajas/tamas was divided into the dichotomy deva versus asura/raksasa in India and that of deva/asura versus daeva (raksasa) in Iran. The term daeva as synonym with raksasa and distinct from deva survives in Kashmir. 

The ahura-daeva opposition in the Zoroastrian texts is expressed as one between the Mazdayasnas and the Daevayasnas. It is a conflict in which Zoroaster wished to defeat and convert the worshipers of the daeva religion. The Yasts speak of legendary heroes and kings who participated in this struggle. The wars against the Daevayasnas by Vistaspa (Yt. 5.109, 113; 9.30-31), Jamaspa (Yt. 5.68-70), and Vistaru of the Naotara family (Yt. 5.76-77) represent this ongoing conflict in the historical period. 

In Vendidad, the Zoroastrians are encouraged to take possession of the lands, waters, and harvests of the daeva worshipers (Vd. 19.26). Elsewhere (Vd. 7.36-40), it is recommended that the art of medicine should be first tried on the daeva-worshipers and if they survive then it should be attempted on the Mazdayasnians. 

Although the Zoroastrian heresy triumphed in Iran and the great Persian kings of the middle of first millennium BC followed the religion of Ahura Mazda, the daeva worshipers survived, especially in the West, in the Mesopotamian religion. 

The devas as well as daevas survived for a pretty long time in corners of Iran. The evidence of the survival of the devas comes from the daiva- inscription of Xerxes (ruled 486-465 BC). The revolt by the daeva worshipers in West Iran is directly referred to : 

Proclaims Xerxes the King : When I became king, there is among thesecountries one which was in rebellion. Afterwards Ahuramazda bore me aid. By the favor of Ahuramazda I smote that country and put it down in its place. 

And among these countries there was a place where previously daiva were worshiped. Afterwards, by the favor of Ahuramazda I destroyed that sanctuary of daiva, and I made proclamation: ‘The daiva shall not be worshiped!’ Where previously the daiva were worshiped, there I worshipedAhuramazda at the proper time and in the proper manner. And there was other business that had been done ill. That I made good. That which I did, all did by the favor of Ahuramazda. Ahuramazda bore me aid until I completed the work.  

The analysis of early Persian history has shown that the Mazandaran, the region south of the Caspian sea and the Alburz mountain range, remained for long a centre of daeva worship. There were also the successors to the deva worshipers of the Mitanni kingdom. 

It has been suggested that the Xerxes inscription refers to the suppression of these people. Burrow takes the daeva worshiping people to be proto-Indoaryans and sees them as the remnants of a population that stretched from West Asia to India. The Iranians coming down from the northeast drove a wedge between this belt, leading to the eventual assimilation of the western daeva worshipers in the course of centuries. 

Irrespective of what the original movement of the Indo-Aryans was before the fourth or fifth millennium BC, it is clear that since their Indian branch recognizes the geography of only their region, it is either necessary to push back the proto-Indoaryan phase to the fourth or the fifth millennium BC or to postulate their movement out of India as is suggested in the Puranas.

 

Concluding Remarks

The material from the Mahabharata and the Puranas provides us many tangled hints. Given the extensive nature of the king-lists and the teacher-lists it is impossible that the origin of the Mahabharata-Purana tradition could be brought down to the beginning of the second millennium BC as espoused by the proponents of the theories of Aryan invasion and migration. The Mahabharata War occurs at the 94th generation in these lists, and even if one were to assign just 20 years for each generation and assume that the lists were exhaustive, one would have to account for nearly 2,000 years before the War which, even in the most conservative dating for the War, takes us square into the beginnings of the Integration Era of the SS Tradition. 

The Epic and Puranic evidence on the geographical situation supports the notion of the shifting of the centre of the Vedic world from the Sarasvati to the Ganga region in early second millennium BC. O.P. Bharadwaj’s excellent study of the Vedic Sarasvati using textual evidence12 supports the theory that the Rgveda is to be dated about 3000 BC and the Mahabharata War must have occurred about that time. 

The Mahabharata clearly belongs to a heroic age, prior to the rise of the complexity of urban life. The weapons used are mythical or clubs. The narrative of chariots could be a later gloss added in the first millennium BC. The pre-urban core events of the Epic would fit the 3137 BC date much better than the 1924 BC. But this would suggest that the Puranic tradition at a later time conflated earlier events with the destructive earthquakes of 1924 BC and remembered the later event accurately using the centennial Saptarsi calendar. 

The Indic kings of West Asia are descendents of Vedic people who moved West after the catastrophe of 1924 BC.

Visnu with his consorts Laksmi and Sarasvati (...

Shakuntala : The Mahabharata Story

The monarch was young, handsome and brave. The hunting expedition had lasted for days now. He was tired, thirsty and hungry. All but a couple of his associates were long left behind. Though without fear, he stood with a sense of reverence before the sacred grounds of Rishi Kanva’s hermitage. It was inviolable. He dismissed even the reduced retinue at the entrance, before stepping in.

The quiet was conspicuous but soothing. The abode yonder seemed unoccupied. He moved closer and called aloud to announce his presence : What ho ! Anybody here ? But only the echo came back to strike his tentative heart. As he felt the desolate eeriness even more intensely, a beautiful maiden came out of the abode, simply attired but glowing with innocence and charm. She bade him welcome and received him with due respect, offering him a seat and water to wash. She introduced herself as Shakuntala, Rishi Kanva’s daughter, enquired about his health and peace, and engaged in such pleasantries as to enable him to settle his breath and find his comfort in strange surroundings.

The king was awe-struck with her unaffected elegance, when the maiden queried politely : How could the Hermitage serve you, O King ! I await your command.

Dushyanta : I have come to pay my respects to the venerated Rishi Kanwa. Tell me, O amiable and beautiful one, where has the illustrious Rishi gone ?

Sakuntala : My illustrious father has gone to fetch fruit for the hermitage alongwith the inmates. Wait but a moment and you wilt meet him when he arrives.

The king was glad for the opportunity to be with Shakuntala, in the Rishi’s absence. He beheld the maiden’s exceptional beauty, her sweet demeanour and cultured articulation, and the perfect symmetry of her form. Her flawlees features stood enhanced by freedom and humility in her speech. She looked the ascetic but he saw the bloom of her youth.

Dushyanta : Who are you, truly, O beautiful one ? Why are you in these woods ? You are gifted with such beauty and virtues. Whence have you come ? O charming one, you affect my heart deeply. I desire to learn all about you; therefore, tell me all.

Shakuntala smiled and addressed him with these words : O Dushyanta, I am the daughter of virtuous, wise and illustrious ascetic, Rishi Kanwa.

Dushmanta : The blessed Rishi is universally revered. It well known that decades of celibate austerity to rigorous vow and extended periods of withdrawal from senses during meditation has caused his seed to sublimate up from its base in the reproductive organ. Dharma himself may stray from his course but an ascetic of rigid vows, such as Rishi Kanva is, can never descend to sensory matters. Therefore, O thou of fairest complexion, how have you been born as his daughter ? It is a sincere doubt of mine that urgently needs to be dispelled.

Shakuntala : Hear, O king, what I have learnt regarding all that befell me of old and how I became the daughter of the Muni. It was narrated by the Rishi Kanva himself to another who had posed the same question.

Vishwamitra, of old, was engaged in austere-most of penances that alarmed Indra, the chief of the celestials. Indra thought that the mighty ascetic of blazing energy would, by his penance, hurl him down from his high seat in heaven. He summoned Menaka and told her, ‘Thou, O Menaka, art the first of celestial Apsaras. Therefore, amiable one, do me this service. Hear carefully : This great ascetic, Vishwamitra, like Sun in splendour, is engaged in the most severe of penances. I am afraid, if he succeeds at acquiring the merit in his quest, he might challenge my position as the head of all gods, and verily unseat me. Hence, O slender-waist, this is the task for you to accomplish. Go, tempt Vishwamitra away from his rapture, disrupt his one-pointed contemplation and penance, and frustrate his certain quest. Win him off his penance, beautiful one, by luring him with your beauty, youth, agreeableness, arts, smiles and speech.

Hearing all this, Menaka was alarmed and very unsure of herself. She respectfully gave voice to her doubt : O foremost among the gods, the illustrious Vishwamitra is a mighty ascetic and is already endued with great power. He is very short-tempered too. His energy, merit acquired of penance, and the wrath of a high-soul such as he leave me diffident and anxious of my own well-being. He made even the great Rishi Vasishtha suffer the unbearable pain of witnessing the premature death of his children. He it was who, though born a warrior, became a man of knowledge by virtue of his ascetic rigour. He created a deep river of his own power, for purposes of his ablutions. It was Viswamitra who, in anger, created a second world and numerous stars, and granted protection to royal sage, Matanga, later known as Trishanku, against your own wrath. I am frightened, O Indra, to approach him.

Menaka further asked : Tell me, O Indra, the means that should be adopted so that I may not be burnt by his wrath. He can burn the three worlds by his splendour and can, by a mere stamp of his foot, cause the earth to quake. He can sever the great Meru from the earth and hurl it to any distance. He can go round the ten points of the earth in a moment. How can a woman like me even touch such a one, who is full of ascetic virtues, like unto a blazing fire, and who has his passions in complete control ? His mouth is like a flaming inferno; the pupils of his eyes are like the Sun and the Moon; his tongue is like that of Death himself. How shall I, O chief of the celestials, a woman like me even touch him ? At the thought of his prowess Yama, Soma, the great Rishis, the Saddhyas, the Viswas, Valakhilyas, are terrified ! How can a woman like me gaze at him without alarm ?

But the first amongst celestial Apsaras submitted : Commanded by you, however, O king of the celestials, I shall somehow approach that Rishi. But, O chief of the gods, devise thou a plan whereby protected by you, I may safely move about the great ascetic. I think that when I begin to play before the Rishi, Marut (the god of wind) had better go there and rob me of my dress, and Manmatha (the god of love) must also, at your command, help me at the task. Let Marut, when it occasions, bear thither fragrance from the woods to tempt the Rishi. And Manmatha cause a pine in his vitality and a flutter in his heart on account of my presence.

Saying this and having obtained Indra’s assurance, Menaka went to the retreat of great sage Vishwamitra. She offered her respectful salutations to the Rishi and began her ever so subtle sensual sport, while engaging him on a walk in the woods around his abode. She was draped in a cloth white as the moon, which Marut soon caused to fly with a gush of wind. Abashed, she ran after her garment, to catch hold of it, and expressed her distress and annoyance at Marut when the garment continued to remain out of her reach.

Eyeing the sensual sport of the fullsome woman barely half clad, her dazzling beauty being played about by the breeze, exerting her fair limbs in distress, unmidful of the rise and fall of her soft breasts, Viswamitra was roused with sensual affection, causing his lust to gather like a ball of fire. Beholding her thus exposed, the sage saw her ageless and exceedingly handsome form, her perfectly endowed features, and was drawn enough to move up and put his arm about her waist in companionship. He kissed her on the neck, inviting intimacy, to which Menaka responded. They spent a long time in physical intimacy, sporting with each other, just as they pleased, as if time had stopped.

Menaka conceived through their conjugal bliss and delivered a daughter. She moved to the banks of the river Malini coursing along a valley of the charming mountains of Himavat, as her pregnancy advanced. She left the new-born on the bank of the river and went away, never to look back. Lying in that desolation abounding with carnivores and other ferocios animals, the infant was protected by scores of vultures, who stood guard around her.

Kanva narrated : Those vultures protected the daughter of Menaka. I went there to perform my ablutions and beheld the infant lying in solitude of the wilderness, surrounded by vultures. Bringing her hither as I would my own daughter, I raised her as such. Indeed, the maker of the body, the protector of life and the giver of food are fathers — all three, in their order, as the scriptures suggest. And because she was surrounded by Shakunts (birds), I named her Sakuntala. O Brahman, know that it is thus Sakuntala has become my daughter. And so does the faultless Shakuntala also regards me, as her father.

Shakuntala concluded her story to Dushyanta : This is what my father had narrated to the visiting Rishi, O king of men. It is thus how I am the daughter of Rishi Kanwa.

Hearing the fascinating tale, King Dushyanta said : You spoke well, O princess, this that thou hast said ! Be my wife, O beautiful one ! What shall I do for thee ? Golden garlands, robes, ear-rings, white pearls, coins of great value, finest carpets, … from various countries. All these I shall present to you this very day. Let the whole of my kingdom be thine today, O charming one ! Come to me, shed the timidity, and join me through the wedding, O elegant maiden, in accord with Gandharva norm. O thou, of tapering thighs, of all forms of marriage rites, the Gandharva is considered the foremost.

Shakuntala heard the King and indicated consent, but with relative calm : O king, my father is presently away. Wait but a moment; he will bestow me on thee.

Dushyanta however was overcome with impatience and entreated : O beautiful and faultless one, I desire that you should be my life’s companion. Know thou that I exist for thee, and my heart is in thee. One is certainly one’s own friend, and one certainly may depend upon one’s own self. Therefore, according to the ordinance, you can certainly bestow thyself to me in a marriage duly ordained.

There are, in all, eight kinds of marriages. These are Brahma, Daiva, Arsha, Prajapatya, Asura, Gandharva, Rakshasa, and Paisacha, the eighth. Manu, the son of the self-created, has spoken of the appropriateness of all these forms according to their order. Know, O faultless one, that the first four of these are fit for Brahmanas, and the first six for Kshatriyas. As regards kings, even the Rakshasa form is permissible. These are institutes of religion, and one should act according to them. The Gandharva and the Rakshasa form are consistent with the practices recommended for warriors and kings. You need not entertain the least fear.

O thou of fairest complexion, full of desire I am; so are you. Come, become my wife with vows appropriate to the Gandharva norm.

Sakuntala, having listened to the King’s ernest proposal, answered : If this be the sanctioned course, if indeed I am my own disposer, then hear, O foremost of the Purus, my terms to bethrothal … Promise truly to give me what I ask of you. The son that we shall be beget shall be thy heir-apparent. This, O king, is my fixed resolve. O Dushyanta, if you grant this, then let our union take place.

The monarch, without taking time to consider, at once said : It will be thus, O fair maiden. O you, of agreeable smiles, you will be with me in our capital city. I say this truly, O beautiful one, you deserve all this.

The first of the kings thus wedded Shakuntala, of graceful gait. They knew each other as husband and wife. And assuring her duly, he went away, saying, “I shall send for you, O thou of sweet smiles, to escort you to our palace !”

The king retraced his way homewards, thinking of Rishi Kanva : What will the illustrious sage say ? And he was still anxious when he entered his kingdom’s capital.

When Rishi Kanwa arrived at his abode, Shakuntala, from a sense of shame, did not go out to receive her father. That great ascetic, however, possessed of means to all knowledge, knew of events that had taken place in his absence. Indeed, beholding everything with his spiritual eye, the illustrious one was pleased and addressed her with these kind words, ‘Amiable one, what has been done by you today in secret, without waiting for my presence and consent – viz., intercourse with a man – has not stripped you of your virtue in the least. Indeed, union according to Gandharva norm, of a seeking woman with a man of sensual desire, without mantras of any kind, is the best for Kshatriyas. That best of men, Dushyanta, is a high soul and a virtuous man. You have, O Shakuntala, accepted him for your husband. The son that shall be born of you shall be mighty and illustrious in this world. And he shall have sway over the sea. And the forces of that illustrious king of kings, while he goes out against his foes, shall be irresistible.’

Shakuntala then approached her fatigued father and washed his feet. And taking down the load he had with him and placing the fruits in proper order, she told him, ‘It behoves thee to give thy grace to that Dushyanta, whom I have accepted for my husband, as well as to his ministers !’

Kanwa replied, ‘O you of fairest complexion, for your sake I am inclined to bless him. But receive from me, O blessed one, the boon that you now desire.’

Sakuntala, thereupon, moved by desire for Dushyant’s well-being, asked her father that the Paurava monarchs might ever be virtuous and never be deprived of their thrones.

There was no word from Dushyanta in the following weeks and months, and years. The sage Rishi Kanva remained calm and Shakuntala got occupied with her womb that gradually swelled in time. In due course, she brought forth a boy of wondrous vitality, much to her father’s joy. And when the child was three years old, he became in splendour like the rising sun, remarkably handsome and magnanimous, and strong. And that first of virtuous men, Kanwa, caused all the rites of custom to be performed in respect of that intelligent child, thriving with days. The boy was gifted with pearly teeth and shining locks, and was capable of battling the fiercest of animals. He had auspicious signs on his palm, a broad forehead, and his beauty and strength was a source of much happiness to Shakuntala.

Like unto a celestial child in splendour, Bharata grow up rapidly. When only six years of age, he was endued with such great strength that he used to seize lions and tigers, bears and buffaloes, and elephants, and chain them to the trees around the hermitage. He rode some of them and pursued others in sport. Seeing his prowess, the inmates at Kanwa’s asylum called him Sarvadamana, the subduer of all. And the Rishi, marking his extraordinary acts, told Sakuntala that the time had come for his installation as the heir-apparent.

Beholding the strength of the boy, Kanwa commanded his disciples : Bear ye without delay this Sakuntala with her son from this abode to that of her husband, blessed with every auspicious sign. Women should not live long in the houses of their parents or maternal relations. Such residence is destructive of their reputation, their good conduct, their virtue. Therefore, delay not in bearing her hence.

The Rishi’s disciples proceeded towards the city, Hastinapura, with Sakuntala and her son at the head of their retinue. And she, taking with her that boy of celestial beauty, endued with eyes like lotus petals, left the woods where she had lived all her life and had first met her husband, Dushyanta. Having approached the king, in his own palace, her sage escorts introduced her and the boy to him, as his own duly wedded wife and their begotten son. Thereupon, the Rishi’s disciples took leave and returned to the hermitage.

And Sakuntala, paying her respects to the King, announced : This is thy son, O king ! Let him be installed as thy heir-apparent. O king, this child, like unto a celestial, has been begotten by thee upon me. Therefore, O best of men, fulfil now the promise you made to me. Call to mind, O thou of great good fortune, the agreement thou had made on the occasion of our union in the hermitage of my father, Rishi Kanwa.

Hearing her words and remembering everything, the king said : I do not remember anything. Who art thou, O wicked woman in ascetic guise ? I do not remember having any connection with you in spiritual, sensual or financial respect. Go or stay, or do as you please.

Thus addressed by Dushyanta, the fair-coloured innocent one became abashed. Grief deprived her of consciousness and she stood for a time like an wooden post. Soon, however, her eyes became red like copper and her lips began to quiver. And the glances she now and then cast upon the king seemed to burn the latter. Her rising wrath however, and the fire of her asceticism, she extinguished within herself by an extraordinary effort.

Collecting her thoughts in a moment, her heart possessed with sorrow and rage, she thus addressed her lord in anger, looking at him : Knowing everything, O Monarch, how do you issue words as inferiors do ? How do you say that you do not know me and our bethrothal, and your promise ? Your heart is witness to the truth or falsehood of this matter. Therefore, O King, speak truly without degrading thyself. He, who being one but representing himself as another, is a coward and like a thief, a robber of his own self. Of what sin is he not capable ? You think that you alone has knowledge of your deed. But know you not that the Ancient, Omniscient Narayana lives in your heart ? He knows all your sin, and you sin in His presence. He that sins thinks that none observes him. But he is observed by the gods and by Him, who resides in every heart.

The Sun, the Moon, the Air, the Fire, the Earth, the Sky, Water, the heart, Yama, the day, the night, both twilights, and Dharma, all witness the acts of man. Yama, the son of Surya, takes no account of the sins of him with whom Narayana, the witness of all acts, is gratified. But he, with whom Narayana is displeased, is tortured for his sins by Yama. Him who degrades himself by representing his self falsely, the gods never bless. Even his own soul blesses him not. I am a wife devoted to my husband. I have come of my own accord, it is true. But do not, on that account, treat me with disrespect. I am your wife and, therefore, deserve to be treated respectfully. Will you not treat me so, because I have come hither of my own accord ? In the presence of so many, why do you treat me like an common woman ?

I am certainly not crying in the wilderness. Do you hear me ? But if you refuse to do what I supplicate you for, O Dushyanta, this very moment your head shall burst into a hundred pieces ! The husband entering the womb of the wife comes out himself in the form of the son. Therefore is the wife called by those versed in the Vedas as Jaya – she of whom one is born. And the son that is so born unto persons cognisant of Vedic Mantras rescues the spirits of our deceased ancestors. And because the son rescues the ancestors from the hell called Put, therefore, has he been called by the Self-create himself as Puttra – the rescuer from Put. By a son one conquers the three worlds. By a son’s son, one enjoys eternity. And by a grandson’s son, great-grand-fathers enjoy everlasting happiness.

She is a true wife who is skilful in household affairs. She is a true wife who has borne a son. She is a true wife whose heart is devoted to her lord. She is a true wife who knows none but her lord. The wife is a man’s half. The wife is the first of friends. The wife is the root of religion, profit, and desire. The wife is the root of salvation. They that have wives can live by Dharma, in their togetherness. They that have wives can lead households, which collectively constitute our community in truth. They that have wives have the means to be cheerful. They that have wives can achieve good fortune. Wives of sweet speech are friends on occasions of joy. They are as fathers on occasions of religious acts. They are mothers in sickness and woe. Even in the deep woods, to a traveller, a wife is his refreshment and solace. He that has a wife is trusted by all.

A wife, therefore, is one’s most valuable possession. Even when the husband, leaving this world, goeth into the region of Yama, it is the devoted wife that accompanies him thither. If she goes before, she waits for the husband. But if the husband goes before, the chaste wife follows him close. For these reasons, O king, does marriage exist. The husband enjoys the companionship of the wife, both in this and in the other worlds. It has been said by the learned that one is himself born as one’s son. Therefore, a man whose wife has borne a son should look upon her as his mother. Beholding the face of the son one has begotten upon his wife, like his own face in a mirror, one feels as happy as a virtuous man, while departing from this world.

Men scorched by mental grief, or suffering under bodily pain, feel as much refreshed in the companionship of their wives as a perspiring person in a cool bath. No man, even in anger, should ever do anything that is disagreeable to his wife, seeing that happiness, joy, and virtue – everything depends on the wife. A wife is the sacred field in which the husband is born himself. Even Rishis cannot create creatures without women. What happiness is greater than what the father feels when the son runs towards him and, even though his body be covered with dust, clasps the man’s limbs with his little hands ? Why then do you treat with indifference such a son, who has approached you himself and who casts wistful glances towards you for climbing up your knees ? Even ants support their own eggs without destroying them; then why should not you, a virtuous man that you are, support your own child ? The touch of soft sandal paste, of women, of (cool) water is not so agreeable as the touch of one’s own infant son locked in one’s embrace.

As a Brahmana is the foremost of all bipeds, a cow, the foremost of all quadrupeds, a protector, the foremost of all superiors, so is the son the foremost of all objects, agreeable to the touch. Let, therefore, this handsome child touch you in embrace. There is nothing in the world more agreeable to touch than the embrace of one’s son. O chastiser of foes, I have brought forth this child capable of dispelling all your sorrows, after bearing him in my womb for full three years. O monarch, of Puru’s race, ‘He shall perform a hundred horse-sacrifices’ – these were the words uttered from the sky when I was in the lying-in room. Indeed, men in places remote from their homes take up others’ children on their laps and, reminded of their own, feel great happiness.

You know that Brahmanas repeat these Vedic mantras on the occasion of the consecrating rites of infancy : Thou art born, O son, of my body ! Thou art sprung from my heart. Thou art myself in the form of a son. Live thou to a hundred years ! My life dependeth on thee, and the continuation of my race too, on thee. Therefore, O son, live thou in great happiness to a hundred years.

He, this son of yours, has sprung from your body, a second being of yourself ! Behold thyself in your son, as thou beholdest your image in a clear lake. As the sacrificial fire is kindled from the domestic one, so has this one sprung from thee. Though one, you have divided yourself.

In course of hunting, while engaged in pursuit of a deer, I was approached by you, O king. I who was then a virgin in the asylum of my father. Urvasi, Purvachitti, Sahajanya, Menaka, Viswachi and Ghritachi, these are the six foremost of Apsaras. Amongst them again, Menaka, born of Brahman, is the first. Descending from heaven on Earth, after intercourse with Viswamitra, she gave birth to me. That celebrated Apsara, Menaka, brought me forth in a valley of Himavat. Bereft of all affection, she went away, cast me there as if I were the child of somebody else. What sinful act did I do, of old, in some other life that I was in infancy cast away by my parents and at present am cast away by you ! Put away by you, I am ready to return to the refuge of my father. But it behoves you not to cast off this child who is your own.

Dushmanta : O Sakuntala, I do not know having begot upon you this son. Women generally speak untruths. Who shall believe your word ? Destitute of all affection, the lewd Menaka is your mother, and she cast you off on the surface of the Himavat, as one throws away flowers offered to gods, after the worship is over. Thy father too, of the Kshatriya race, the lustful Viswamitra, who was tempted to become a Brahmana, is destitute of all affection. However, Menaka is the first of Apsaras, and thy father also is the first of Rishis. Being their daughter, why do you speak like a lewd woman ? Thy words deserve no credit. Are you not ashamed to utter such lies, especially before me ?

Go hence, O wicked woman in ascetic guise. Where is that foremost of great Rishis ? Where is that Apsara Menaka ? And why are you, low as you are, in the guise of an ascetic ? Your child too is grown up. You say he is a boy, but he is very strong. How has he soon grown like a Sal sprout ? You are of low birth and you speak like a lewd woman. Lustfully have you been begotten by Menaka. O woman of ascetic guise, all that you say is quite unknown to me. I don’t know you. Go withersoever you choose.

Sakuntala : You see, O king, the fault of others, even though they be as small as a mustard seed. But you notice not thy own faults even though they be as large as the Bilwa fruit. Menaka is one of the celestials. Indeed, Menaka is reckoned as the first of celestials. My birth, therefore, O Dushyanta, is far higher than yours. You walk upon the earth, O king, but I roam the skies ! Behold, the difference between ourselves is as that between the mountain Meru and a mustard seed !

Behold my power, O king ! I can repair to the abodes of Indra, Kuvera, Yama, and Varuna ! The saying is true which I shall refer to before you, O sinless one ! I refer to it as an example and not from evil motives. Therefore, it behoves you to pardon me after you have heard it.

An ugly person considers himself more handsome than others until he sees his own face in the mirror. He that is really handsome never taunts anybody. And he that always talks evil becometh a reviler. And as the swine always look for dirt and filth even in the midst of a garden of flowers, so the wicked always choose evil out of even the good that others speak. However those that are wise, on hearing the speech of others that has a mix of both good and evil, accept only what is good, like swan that always extracts milk, though it be mixed with water. As the honest are always pained at speaking ill of others, so do the wicked always rejoice in doing the same. As the honest always feel pleasure in showing regard for the old, so do the wicked always take delight in aspersing the good. The honest are happy in not seeking faults. The wicked are happy in seeking them in others. The wicked ever speak ill of the honest. But the latter never injure the former, even if injured by them.

What can be more ridiculous in the world than that those that are themselves wicked should represent the really honest as wicked ? When even atheists are annoyed with those that have fallen from truth and virtue and who are really like angry snakes of virulent poison, what shall I say of myself who am nurtured in faith? He that having begotten a son who is his own image, regards him not, never attains to the worlds he covets, and verily the gods destroy his good fortune and possessions. The Pitris have said that the son continues the race and extends the lineage and is, therefore, the best of all religious acts. Therefore, none should abandon a son.

Manu has said that there are five kinds of sons : those begotten by one’s self upon his own wife, those obtained (as gift) from others, those purchased for a consideration, those reared with affection and those begotten upon other women than wedded wives. Sons support the religion and achievements of men, enhance their joys, and rescue deceased ancestors from hell. It behoves you not, therefore, O tiger among kings, to abandon a son who is such. Therefore, O lord of earth, cherish your own self, truth, and virtue by cherishing thy son. O lion among monarchs, it behoves you not to support this deceitfulness.

The dedication of a tank is more meritorious than that of a hundred wells. A sacrifice again is more meritorious than the dedication of a tank. A son is more meritorious than a sacrifice. Truth is more meritorious than a hundred sons. A hundred horse-sacrifices had once been weighed against Truth, and Truth was found to be heavier. Truth, I ween, may be equal to the study of the entire Vedas and ablutions in all holy places. There is no virtue equal to Truth; there is nothing superior to Truth. O King, Truth is God himself; Truth is the highest vow.

Therefore, violate not thy pledge, O monarch ! Let Truth and you remain united. If you place no credit in my words, I shall of my own accord go hence. Indeed, thy companionship should be avoided. But hear, O Dushyanta, when you are gone, this son of mine shall rule the whole earth, surrounded by the four seas and adorned with the king of the mountains.

Having spoken to the monarch in this wise, Sakuntala left his presence. Whereupon, a voice from the skies, emanating from no visible shape, spoke unto Dushyanta as he sat surrounded by his occasional and household priests, his preceptors and ministers : The mother is but the sheath of flesh; the son sprung from the father is the father himself. Therefore, O Dushyanta, cherish thy son, and insult not Sakuntala. O best of men, the son, who is but a form of one’s own seed, rescues the ancestors from the region of Yama. Thou art the progenitor of this boy. Sakuntala has spoken the truth. The husband, dividing his body in twain, is born of his wife in the form of son. Therefore, O Dushyanta, cherish thy son born of Sakuntala. To live by forsaking one’s living son is a great misfortune. Therefore, O thou of Puru’s race, cherish thy high-souled son born of Sakuntala. And because this child is to be cherished by you even at our word, therefore shall thy son be known by the name of Bharata – the cherished.

Hearing these words uttered by dwellers in heaven, the monarch of Puru’s race became overjoyed and spoke as follows unto his priests and ministers, ‘Hear ye these words uttered by the celestial messenger ? I myself know this one to be my son. If I had taken him as my son on the strength of Sakuntala’s words alone, my people would have been suspicious and my son also would not have been regarded as pure.’

The monarch then, seeing the purity of his son established by the celestial messenger, became exceedingly glad. And he took unto him that son with joy. The king with a joyous heart performed all those rites upon his son that a father should perform. He smelt his child’s head and hugged him with affection. The Brahmanas began to utter blessings upon him and bards began to applaud him.The monarch then experienced the great delight that one feels at the touch of one’s son.

And Dushyanta also received that wife of his with affection. He told her these words, pacifying her affectionately, ‘O goddess, my union with you took place privately. Therefore, I was thinking of how best to establish thy purity. My people might think that we were only lustfully united and not as husband and wife, and therefore this son who I would have installed as my heir apparent would only have been regarded as one of impure birth. And dearest, every hard word thou hast uttered in thy anger have I forgiven thee. Thou art my dearest !’

And the royal sage Dushyanta, having spoken thus unto his dear wife, received her with offerings of perfume, food, and drink. And king Dushyanta, then, bestowed the name of Bharata upon his child, and formally installed him as the heir apparent. And the famous and bright wheels of Bharata’s car, invincible and like unto the wheels of the cars owned by the gods, traversed every region, filling the entire earth with their rattle. That monarch of great prowess was known as Chakravarti and Sarvabhauma.

Rishi Kanwa was himself the chief priest at the sacrifices he performed.

Maharana Pratap : The Hindu Nationalist

Statue of Maharana Pratap of Mewar, commemorat...
Statue of Maharana Pratap of Mewar, commemorating the Battle of Haldighati, City Palace, Udaipur. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He was a braveheart who never gave up fighting for his freedom and independence of the State of Mewar. The battles he fought against the might of Mughal emperor, Akbar, through victory and defeat, are the stuff of inspiring legend ever since they happened some 500 years ago.

Born May 9, 1540, patriotic Pratap exemplifies bravery, chivalry and sacrifice through the struggle between the Rajput confederacy he led and the invading alien hordes. His was a Hindu nationalist’s crusade against relentless Muslim aggression, much in the mould of Prithviraj Chauhan, brothers Harihar and Bukka, and later of Guru Gobind Singh, Chhatrapati Shivaji and Chhatrasal Bundela’s against powerful armies of the same religious, cultural and administrative enemy.

Maharana Pratap perceived Mughals as foreigners who had invaded India and, though smaller in resource, he refused to surrender to guile, entreaty or threat even in his defeat. His own father, Udai Singh, had condemned the house of Man Singh for their marriage with unclean foreigners and Pratap Singh continued to address Akbar as ‘Turk’ and not an emperor. Pratap’s resistance did not falter upon his army’s defeat in the Battle of Haldighati when, on the run, he had to wander in the hilly woods of Aravalis and his family was reduced to starvation.

In perspective, Maharana Pratap’s was a sacred mission rather than a wager for power. He remained true lifelong to his vow of not indulging in the comforts of palace life till he had recaptured his entire kingdom from the Mughals. The conciliatory offers he received from Akbar were lucrative and beyond precendent, in terms of jagirs and subedaris, but within the Mughal suzerainty. There were others around him who agreed for far less; but not Pratap. He turned away six diplomatic missions while his own brothers and several chieftains entered vassalitude for a lifetime guarantee of much wealth and status. The sole goal that Pratap breathed, woke up and slept with, was to recover his ancestral seat of Chittor.

Chittorgarh, Fort with Vistory Tower in the background.

Pratap pursued his guerrilla war from his hideout in wilderness of the Aravallis. He raided the outlying check-posts, fortresses and encampments of his adversary, some of whom were Hindu vassals appointed by the Mughal in the wake of Pratap Singh’s defeat at Haldighati. He was much assisted by Bhamashah who, along with his brother Tarachand, plundered Mughal territories in Malwa and offered large booty to Pratap to carry on his fight against the Mughals. The Bhil tribals of Aravalli hills provided Pratap with their support in war and with their help and expertise in living off the forest during his exile.

With the fund at his disposal, Pratap organised a major attack — Battle of Dewar — in which he gave a crushing defeat to his foes and was able to regain much of the lost territories of Mewar, except Chittor.

Pratap’s Mayra Cave hideout was spacious enough to serve as his armoury. It had a stable for the horses and a kitchen in which, legend reads, his family also had to partake pancakes made of grass because there was nothing else to satiate their pangs of hunger.

Pratap's Hideout In Exile

Maharana Pratap died at Chavand on 29 January 1597, of injuries sustained in a hunting accident.

His life is an inspiration as a giant spirit and a leader of men, who never moved away from honesty, freedom and truth.

English: This pic is click when the fort is il...
The Kumbhalgarh fort is the birthplace of Maharana Pratap – the grear Mewar warrior. The fort is illuminated each night for 30 mins afterwhich there is complete darkness and the fort dissappears in the shadow of the night (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Abominy Of Khomeini’s Iran

English: Ruhollah Khomeini فارسی: امام خمینی (...
English: Ruhollah Khomeini فارسی: امام خمینی (احتمالاً هنگام معرفی دولت موقت) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quotes on #Shia #Islam #Iran #Khomeini (the original) are from http://themuslimissue.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/iran-the-spiritual-manual-of-the-shia-supreme-leader-ayatollah-khomeini-sex-with-infants-and-animals/ …

  1. “A man can have sexual pleasure from a child as young as a baby. However, he should not penetrate.”

  2. “A man can have sex with animals such as sheep, cows, camels… However he should kill the animal after he has his orgasm.”

  3. “The amount of mulct (blood money) is for a Moslem man, but the mulct of a Moslem woman will be half of these amounts.”

  4. “Moslem will not be retaliated for [killing an] infidel, unless a Moslem has a habit of killing infidels.”

  5. “Sexual intercourse with a cow, sheep or camel, makes the animal’s urine n dung unclean n drinking their milk will b unlawful.”

  6. “If sodomite marries mother, sister or daughter of a person n then sodomises that person, they do not become unlawful to him.”

  7. “Mother, sister n daughter of a boy who performed sodomy r unlawful to sodomite even if doer n giver of sodomy r both minors.”

  8. “There is no concern in [marriage] contract involving a person who marries his own cousin and fornicates with their mother…”

  9. “…if the penis enters a woman’s vagina or a man’s anus… both partners become impure…” #104 or #349, (Resaleh p.72)

  10.  “…even if my nephew becomes a Muslim, then all my property would go to him, not to my own children.” ~ Parviz Ravani, Zoroastrian MP

  11. A Moslem will inherit from an infidel but an infidel will not inherit from a Moslem…

  12. Every part of the body of a non-Moslem individual is impure…n all secretions of his body. #107 (Resaleh p.51)

  13. There r 11 things which r impure: urine, excrement…dogs, pigs, non-Moslem men n women…” #83 (from Resaleh p.48)

  14. If anyone… interprets the Law in a manner contrary to divine will, he has committed the sin of innovation.

  15.  …music engenders immorality, lust, licentiousness, and stifles courage, valor, and chivalrous spirit…”

  16. Whatever good there exists is thanks to the sword…! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword !

  17.  “#Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males…to prepare themselves for the conquest of [other] countries…”
English: Mausoleum of Ayatullah Khomeini
English: Mausoleum of Ayatullah Khomeini (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Secrecy Corrupts … Snowden Is Right

Snowden was not mistaken to flee the U.S.. UU.
Daniel Ellsberg · · · · ·
Adapted from http://www.sinpermiso.info/textos/index.php?id=6152
07/14/13
Cover of "Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam an...
Cover via Amazon

Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, was accused in 1971 of violating the Espionage Act and of theft and conspiracy, for copying the so-called Pentagon Papers. The judgment was overturned in 1971 after he presented evidence to the court of the U.S. government misconduct, including illegal wiretapping.

 

Many people compare Edward Snowden unfavorably to me, for leaving the country and seeking asylum rather than face trial as I did. The country in which I stayed was a different America, long ago.

After the New York Times was prevented from publishing the Pentagon Papers – on June 15, 1971, the first of a newspaper censorship in American history – and I had given a copy to the Washington Post (which was also prohibited from publishing it), I went underground with my wife, Patricia, for thirteen days. My goal (quite similar to Snowden’s travel to Hong Kong) was to elude the vigilance while preparing – with the crucial help of a number of people yet unknown to the FBI – for the sequential distribution of the Pentagon Papers among 17 other newspapers, given the two prohibitions. The last three days of the period passed in defiance of a warrant. Like Snowden today, I was a “fugitive from justice”.

However, when I gave myself to be held in Boston, after having given out the last copies of the papers in my possession the night before, I was released on bail the same day. Later, when the accusations were compounded against me, from three to a dozen initial charges, which carried a possible sentence of 115 years, my bail increased to $ 50,000. But during the two years that I was tried, I was free to talk to the press and public, at rallies and conferences. At the end of the day, I was part of a movement against a war that is still going on. Helping to end the war was my outstanding concern, which I could not have done from abroad, and it never entered my head to leave the country.   

There is not the slightest possibility that this experience will be repeated today, let alone that a trial could be terminated by revealing actions of the White House against a criminal defendant, as it clearly was in Richard Nixon era.

I have the hope that the revelations of Snowden will trigger a movement that rescues our democracy, but he could not be part of that movement had he stayed here. There is null chance that he might be released on bail, as I was. On the other hand, he would be in a prison cell as Bradley Manning, in solitary confinement.   

Snowden would be confined in total isolation, even longer than that suffered by Manning during his three years in prison before recent start of his trial. The Special Rapporteur on Torture of United Nations on Manning described the conditions as “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” (this would be realistic foundation in most countries to grant on Snowden’s request for asylum, if they could resist the intimidation and bribery by United States).

Snowden believes he has done nothing wrong. I absolutely agree. More than 40 years after the publicationof of the Pentagon Papers without permission on my part, these leaks are still the lifeblood of a free press and our republic. 

One of the lessons of the Pentagon Papers and Snowden leaks is simple : secrecy corrupts, as does power.  

Daniel Ellsberg (1931), legendary civil rights activist, became famous for leaking in 1971 the New York Times called Pentagon Papers, which revealed the involvement of the U.S. in Vietnam. PhD in Economics from Harvard, is also known for the “Ellsberg paradox” in the field of mathematical theory of decision.

English: Four Presidents: President Ronald Rea...
Four Presidents: President Ronald Reagan with his three predecessors. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Spiritual Content Of Vedas

A portrayal of Vyasa, who classified the Vedas...

Adapted from Dr Kenneth Chandler’s Origins Of Vedic Civilisation

What is Rig Veda and the Vedic literature ?

What is the Vedic tradition really about ?

What is Vedic Cognition and How is it Passed On ?

The Rig Veda was not “created” out the human imagination, as works of poetry or literature are created. Unlike poetry or literature, the Veda is experienced and then the experience of the Veda is recited in hymns that directly express the experience of the Veda. This is called Vedic cognition. Cognition means that the Vedic rishis or seers heard what is there in the universal field of consciousness and they sang out the sounds that they heard.

This experience is what the recited sounds of the Veda express. But the hymns of the Rig Veda are not about the Veda, as if the expression were something different from the Veda itself, which they were describing. The rishis heard the Veda and saw its structure, and this sound itself is expressed in the hymns of the Rig Veda. The experience of the Rig Veda flowed through the rishis into the hymns of the Rig Veda.

The hymns of the Rig Veda sought out those rishis who were fully awake and made themselves known to them, and the rishis passed on these hymns in a long unbroken tradition that endures to the present. The Rig Veda, the most ancient hymns of the Vedic tradition, has been preserved over time by a method of memorisation and recitation, and passed over from father to son in an unbroken sequence over vast stretches of time. By two pundits chanting the hymns (and by chanting them forwards and backwards), a method of ensuring their purity was established that allowed these hymns to be passed on over thousands of years without loss. The Veda we possess today, unbelievable as it may seem, is thus an expression of the sounds heard many thousands of years ago.

It was only in relatively recent times, probably around 3000 BC, that the Veda and Vedic literature, were committed to writing. Before that Veda was an oral tradition.

There are at least 40 distinct branches of the Veda and the Vedic literature. These include, first and foremost, the Rig Veda samhita, and the Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda. These four bodies of sound are what is meant by the Veda. In addition to the Veda, the Vedic literature includes 36 branches, all based on the Veda itself : six branches of Vedanga, six branches of Upanga, and six branches of Ayur-Veda, for example. All branches of Vedic literature are considered, like the Veda itself, uncreated or eternal structures of knowledge.

The extent of the Veda and the entire Vedic literature is vast, huge—much larger, for example, than the remaining body of literature of all of ancient Greece and Rome. There are ten volumes of the Rig Veda alone in one of the best editions available in English (the Wilson translation). There are 54 books of Kalpa, just one of six branches of the Vedangas. There are 18 books of Puranas. The Itihasa includes the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, the latter printed in an English edition having 20 volumes. There are thus, for example, over a hundred volumes in just these four branches of the Veda and the Vedic literature.

Seers see this vast body of the Veda and the Vedic literature as a systematic body of literature that has a detailed, intricate structure in every part, and all systematically related in a whole. It is systematic in the sense that is not a random collection of books that were written over vast stretches of time, but it forms a complete whole, with a comprehensive organisation and structure. Each of the books of Vedic literature relates in a systematic way to all the others and each forms an essential part of the whole of Vedic literature.

The Veda itself, which is expressed in the Vedas, exists in the unmanifest field of unbounded pure consciousness, called param vyoman. This is a universal silent field of consciousness that pervades everything in the universe. Since it is all-pervading, it pervades the body and mind of every individual. It exists on the most subtle, or fine scale, of activity. It is smaller than the smallest particle of the atomic nucleus. It is on a scale smaller than the smallest quark and lepton. It is the field of consciousness in its least excited state. Everything in nature is an excitation of this field. All particles of matter and force are excited states of this one all-pervading field.

To know the Veda, which is everywhere as the most subtle foundation of the world, we have only to take our awareness from the excited states of consciousness to the least excited state of consciousness. By taking our awareness from the active, gross level of activity to the silent field of pure consciousness, we allow our individual mind to become settled and stilled to that state of wakeful silence, and in that state the mind spreads out to identify with the all-pervading field of consciousness. On that level of awareness, the entire Veda and Vedic literature can be directly experienced as the fabrics of our own consciousness. We simply dive from the surface level of activity to the silent all-pervading depth where consciousness is eternally awake and interacting within itself. This self-interaction of consciousness as its flows from unity into diversity is the Veda. It is the eternal reality at the foundation of everything that exists in the observable manifest world.

The Veda has a structure. It is structured in the form of mandalas, or circles. The structure of the Veda and the Vedic literature is a flow of knowledge, not a static, frozen structure. As the eternal consciousness flowing within itself and knowing itself, it flows and creates within itself a structure that is dynamic and flowing. This flowing structure of Veda is an eternal flow of pure knowledge of the self as it unfolds knowledge of itself. It is the flow of consciousness as it knows itself while it flows from unity to diversity. It is the flow of self-knowledge within consciousness, giving rise to the entire diversity of creation. It is the flow of the oneness of eternal pure consciousness into the many formed unity of the Veda and, from there, to the forms and phenomena of the manifest universe, the visible material world.

The first flow of knowledge of the Veda is the flow from the One into the many. The eternal oneness of pure Being or pure consciousness knows itself. And in knowing itself, it breaks itself into many. The infinite One collapses into a point, and into infinitely many points. These points of consciousness are finite, separate, isolated points of individual consciousness. But they are all ultimately points of the one infinite whole of consciousness. Each is a collapsed point of the infinite whole, and in the process of returning to wholeness, the finite points of consciousness expand back into the infinite One from which they began. This is the fundamental process of creation that is expressed in the Rig Veda and in the Vedic literature.

The Rig Veda expresses this process in sound. The Rig Veda is essentially this sequence of vibrations that manifest as the process of consciousness knowing itself. It unfolds out of the process of consciousness knowing itself. This entire process is a necessary sequence of sounds that unfold the pure knowledge of consciousness to itself. It is the eternal murmuring of consciousness to itself.

The Rig Veda does not describe the process in articulate language, using descriptive terms, the way a scientist might describe an object of nature. The vibrations of consciousness as it moves within itself create unmanifest sounds in the unmanifest field of pure consciousness, which manifest as the sound of the Veda, and these sounds within the infinite field of pure consciousness become the vibrations that manifest in the forms and phenomena of physical creation.

The basic process of consciousness knowing itself takes the form of a collapse of the infinite whole of pure consciousness into finite points of consciousness. This process of infinity collapsing to a point, and the points expanding into infinity, is the basic process that structures the Veda. It is the process by which the eternal Oneness of pure consciousness knows itself.

The Rig Veda has a marvelous structure in which each of the parts reflects the structure of the whole. Thus, for example, the First Mandala of the Rig Veda, which gives the meaning of the Veda as a whole, has 192 suktas. The Tenth Mandala has the same number of suktas, mirroring the gaps between the suktas of the First Mandala. This is not an accidental structural parallel, but an indication of the intricately interlocked structure of the Veda as a whole. This kind of structural identity is reiterated in many places throughout Vedic literature.

First Syllable,  First Verse…

The first syllable of the Rig Veda, “Ak,” could be seen as containing the whole Rig Veda within itself. It represents the collapse of the continuum of flow of infinite wholeness to its own point. The “A” sound represents flow or continuum, and the “k” sound represents the stop, or collapse of the flow. This sound is actually the process of the infinite whole of consciousness collapsing to its point values. The line however continues …

अग्निमीळे पुरोहितं यज्ञस्य देवं रत्वीजम होतारं रत्नधातमम ||

aghnimīḷe purohitaṃ yajñasya devaṃ ṛtvījam | 

hotāraṃ ratnadhātamam || 

Griffith translates it as :

I Laud Agni,

The chosen Priest,

God, minister of sacrifice,

The Hotar, lavisher of wealth.

The traslation above is purely “Adhiyajñika“, in accord with Sayana’s commentary of 14th Century AD. It interprets the Vedic rik at ritual level in terms of performance of works accompanying its utterance. It entirely misses the Ādhyātmika sense that the mantra includes at the spiritual and psychological level in terms of being, individual and universal, commonly signified with use of terms such as God, Heaven, etc. And, lastly, there is always the Ādhidaivika or naturalistic or cosmological sense the reader or hearer obtains, pertaining to phenomenal creation and its laws observed in nature.

The unstrung Adhyatmika sense is included in the syllables as herebelow :

Agnim [Arc : to illuminate + Nī : to lead]

Īle [Īḍ : to praise, to glorify]

Purohitaṃ [Pṝ : full, complete, first

+ Hu : to sacrifice, to conduct]

Yajñasya [Yaj : to exalt, to offer]

Devam [Div(u) : to shine with power]

Ṛtvijaṃ [Ṛ : to guide rightly, to steer

+ Vij : to arouse, to strengthen]

Hotāraṃ [(1) Hve : to call;

(2) Hu : to sacrifice, conduct]

Ratna [Ram : to be or make content, to please]

Dhātamaṃ [(1) Dhā: to put, to order, to set in place;

(2) Dhṛ: to hold, to sustain]

Source : http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/hinduism-dir/143750-rigveda-mandala-1-sukta-1-mantra.html

Left unstrung, the sense which arises with utterance of syllable would fill the heart and intellect in accord with one’s own age, exposure and acquired sagacity, leaving the individual with his own meaning overall as his mind would string the parts up.

One such Adhyatmika translation would perhaps read thus :

Praise, the Prime Illuminator

Who lights up all and enlightens;

The Supreme who offers all

Whose exalted act

At first offered all in creation;

Who gloriously shines of own power

Who vests strength in each to arise;

Who rightly guides and steers all

With the call to our being

To be, to be blissful and content;

And sets each to order

In our own place.

The material or naturalistic is not attempted here for want of context.

In line with the spiritual sense offered above, the first syllable of the Rig Veda is elaborated and commented on in the first 24 richa (verses), which are further elaborated in the corresponding 24 pada (phrases) of the next eight richa, giving 192 meaning of the syllable Ak or [Arc]. These all emerge from the 24 sandhi (gaps) of the first richa. From the 192 gaps between the 192 akshara (syllables) of richa 2-9, emerge the 192 suktas of the First Mandala of the Rig Veda.

The 192 sandhi between the 192 suktas of the first Mandala give rise to the 192 suktas of the Tenth Mandala, a circular structure that precisely fills the gaps of the First Mandala. Similarly, the gaps between the nine richas of the first sukta are elaborated in Mandala 2-9 of Rig Veda, unfolding the total Rig Veda with all its ten Mandalas.

The whole of the Rig Veda has therefore a marvelous and intricately interwoven structure that is beyond the capacity of the human mind to create. It was not created, but cognised by the seers of ancient India. This is part of the reason that seers recognise the tradition and agree that the Veda and the Vedic literature is “eternal” or uncreated.

 *** See Tony Nader, The Human Physiology : Expression of Veda and the Vedic Literature,

(Vlodrop, Holland: Maharishi Vedic University Press, 2000), p. 57.

The Three-in-One Structure of Pure Knowledge

The flow of Rishi, Devata, and Chhandas in the Structure of the Veda is one other structure of the Veda that is basic to understanding the Veda. In the process of knowing itself, the infinite pure consciousness, which is eternal knows itself, creates a division within itself of knower, known, and process of knowing. This is necessary for it to know itself. It is both eternally one and yet eternally three—knower, knowing, and known—making a three-in-one structure of self-knowing consciousness.

This is another fundamental feature of pure consciousness that it is both eternally one and eternally many. From the three-fold structure of knower, known, and process of knowing, consciousness continues to reflect on itself, giving rise to many more reiterations of itself, until the one has evolved into the diversity of the entire Veda.

This threefold structure of pure knowledge, that it is one and three at the same time, seers call “the three-in-one structure of pure knowledge.” It is expressed in the Veda in the terms rishi (knower), devata (process of knowing) and chhandas (known). Every sukta of the Rig Veda has a structure of rishi, devata, and chhandas, which is announced at the beginning of the hymn. There are infinitely many values of rishi, infinitely many values of devata, and infinitely many values of chhandas. These provide the basic key to understanding the structure of the Rig Veda, as well as Sama, Atharva, and Yajur Veda.

Not only the Veda but all of Vedic literature reflects this structure of knower, knowing, and known. Each branch of the Vedic literature flows out of the mechanics of self-knowing consciousness. The Vedic literature, with its six-fold organisation, reflects the process of movement from rishi, to devata, to chhandas, and from chhandas back to devata and rishi. This process is the basic process that structures the entire Rig Veda and the entire Vedic literature. It is the process of self-knowing consciousness.

Readers are encouraged to rediscover the structure of the entire Veda and Vedic literature. This is an immense voyage of discovery into a new world of knowledge that has been lost for thousands of years. It is a journey into the fabric of our own consciousness. It is regaining lost knowledge of our own infinite Self.

English: Student learning Veda. Location: Nach...
Student learning Veda. http://parampara.in (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

India and the West

A German manuscript page teaching use of (indo...
A German manuscript page teaching use of (indo-)Arabic numerals (Talhoffer Thott, 1459). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Flow of Science and Mathematics

From India to Arabia and Europe

Dr Kenneth Chandler

Origins Of Vedic Civilisation

A Lighthouse for Scientific and Mathematical Discovery

India remained a lighthouse for the advance of civilisation long after the classical Vedic period. Our modern zero-based number system (the place-value number system) was first developed in India. Called ‘Arabic numerals’ in the West, they actually originated in India and were passed into Europe through Arabia, whence they derived their name in the West.

In Arabia, mathematics was called the “Indian Art,” and the numerals used in Arabia were called “Indian numerals.” Arabic scholars knew that mathematics had come into Arabia from India and not vise versa. It was also in India that the counting numbers were first invented. This inspired Albert Einstein to say, “We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.”

The following chart shows the evolution of the numerals from the early Indus-Saraswati valley script to Devanagri to the Arabic to the present :

  • Evolution of the “numerals” which are mistakenly called “Arabic numerals” in the West. In fact they came into Arabia from India. In ancient Arabic, these numerals were called “Indian numerals” and mathematics was called the “Indian art.”

  • The value of “pi” was first calculated in India by Baudhayana (conservative scholars put him at least in the sixth century BC) long before it was known in Europe.

  • Baudhayana was also first to introduce a mathematical way to calculate the hypotenuse of a right triangle. The Shulba Sutra (the Baudhayana) written prior to the eighth century BC in India, used the theorem about two centuries before it was introduced by Pythagoras into Greece in the sixth century BC.

The wording of the theorem in the Shulba Sutras is exact :

“The diagonal chord of the rectangle makes both the squares that the horizontal and vertical sides make separately.”

  • The Shulba Sutra are among the most ancient of mathematical texts known to man. In the valley of the Indus River of India, the world’s oldest civilisation had developed its own system of mathematics. The Vedic Shulba Sutras (fifth to eighth century BC), meaning “codes of the rope,” show that the earliest geometrical and mathematical investigations among the Indians arose from certain requirements of their religious rituals. When the poetic vision of the Vedic seers was externalized in symbols, rituals requiring altars and precise measurement became manifest, providing a means to the attainment of the unmanifest world of consciousness. “Shulba Sutras” is the name given to those portions or supplements of the Kalpa sutras, which deal with the measurement and construction of the different altars for religious rites.

The word shulba refers to the ropes used to make these measurements. Although Vedic mathematicians are known primarily for their computational genius in arithmetic and algebra, the basis and inspiration for the whole of Indian mathematics is geometry. Evidence of geometrical drawing instruments from as early as 2,500 BC. has been found in the Indus Valley. The beginnings of algebra can be traced to the constructional geometry of the Vedic priests, which are preserved in the Shulba Sutras. Exact measurements, orientations, and different geometrical shapes for the altars and arenas used for the religious functions (yagyas), which occupy and important part of the Vedic religious culture, are described the Shulba Sutras. Many of these calculations employ the geometrical formula known as the Pythagorean theorem. This theorem (c. 540 BC.), equating the square of the hypotenuse of a right angle triangle with the sum of the squares of the other two sides, was utilized in the earliest Shulba Sutra (the Baudhayana) prior to the eighth century BC. Thus, widespread use of this famous mathematical theorem in India several centuries before it being popularised by Pythagoras has been documented.

The proof of this fundamentally important theorem is well known from Euclid’s time until the present for its excessively tedious and cumbersome nature; yet the Vedas present five different extremely simple proofs for this theorem. One historian, Needham, has stated, “Future research on the history of science and technology in Asia will in fact reveal that the achievements of these peoples contribute far more in all pre-Renaissance periods to the development of world science than has yet been realised.”

  • The Shulba Sutras have preserved only that part of Vedic mathematics which was used for constructing the altars and for computing the calendar to regulate the performance of religious rituals. After the Shulba Sutra period, the main developments in Vedic mathematics arose from needs in the field of astronomy.

  • Jyotisha, the science of the planets, utilizes all branches of mathematics. The need to determine the right time for their religious rituals gave the first impetus for astronomical observations. With this desire in mind, the priests would spend night after night watching the advance of the moon through the circle of the nakshatras (lunar mansions), and day after day the alternate progress of the sun towards the north and the south. However, the priests were interested in mathematical rules only as far as they were of practical use. These truths were therefore expressed in the simplest and most practical manner. Elaborate proofs were not presented, nor were they desired.

  • Major centers of learning operated in ancient India. The World’s first major university and trade school was in Taxila (Takshila) then in northwestern India, around 700 BC (some scholars estimate). It boasted a thousand students from all over the known world who studied 60 disciplines taught there. The University of Nalanda, established in the forth century BC, was also a major center of learning in the ancient world.

  • The Indian astronomer and mathematician Bhaskaracharya in the 5th century BC (this is an estimated date that may be too recent), calculated the time taken by the earth to orbit the sun to nine decimal places. Algebra, trigonometry, and calculus were first set forth in ancient India.

Aryabhata the Elder (476-550 AD) gave a summary of Indian mathematics that covers astronomy, spherical trigonometry, arithmetic, algebra and plane trigonometry. Aryabhata also gives a formula for finding the areas of a triangle and a circle. His main work, the Aryabhatiya, contains continued fractions, quadratic equations, sums of power series and a table of sines. Aryabhata gave an accurate approximation for “pi” of up to 3.1416 and was one of the first to use algebra. His most important achievement was the invention of the “0,” which enabled the development of the place number system. Aryabhata also wrote a text on astronomy, the Siddhanta, which taught that the apparent rotation of the heavens was due to the rotation of the Earth on it axis.

Aryabhata gives the radius of the planetary orbits in terms of the radius of the Earth/Sun orbit as essentially their periods of rotation around the Sun. He believed that the Moon and planets shine by reflected sunlight, and he taught, incredible though it may seem, that the orbits of the planets around the sun are ellipses. This was over a thousand years before Copernicus and Kepler came up with the same discovery in Europe. He also correctly explained the causes of the eclipses of the Sun and the Moon and calculated the value for the length of the year at 365 days 6 hours 12 minutes 30 seconds. This is a slight overestimate since the true value is less than 365 days 6 hours. His work, written in 121 stanzas, gives a remarkably accurate view of the structure of the solar system.

  • Brahmagupta (598-670 AD, again an estimated date that may off), head of the astronomical observatory at Ujjain, the foremost mathematical center of ancient India, developed algebraic notation and gave remarkable formulas for finding the area of a cyclic quadrilateral and for the lengths of the diagonals in terms of the sides.

  • According to Bhaskaracharya’s calculations, which were made in the 5th century BC, the time taken by earth to orbit the sun is 365.258756484 days (slightly larger than the correct time).

  • Aryabhata also introduced the versine (versin = 1-cos) into trigonometry.

  • Brahmagupta also studied arithmetic progressions, quadratic equations, theorems on right-angled triangles, surfaces and volumes, and calculated the length of the year at 365 days 6 hours 12 minutes 36 seconds.

  • Quadratic equations were first discovered by Sridharacharya in the 11th century. Then Bhaskara (1114-1185 AD) reached an understanding of the number systems that solved equations which were not solved in Europe until several centuries later. Like Brahmagupta before him, Bhaskara was head of the astronomical observatory at Ujjain, where he developed a sophisticated understanding of 0 and the negative numbers.

  • The art of navigation was invented 6,000 years ago by navigators of the Indus river. The English word navigation is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Navgatih’ and the word navy from the Sanskrit ‘Nou.’ The first known reservoirs and dams for irrigation were also built in India.

  • Ayur-Veda, the earliest known system of medicine and surgery, was developed in the Vedic period in India. Sushrut, the father of surgery, developed surgical procedures including cesareans, cataract removals, setting fractures, removing urinary stones and even plastic and brain surgery. Over 125 surgical tools are named in the ancient Sushrut medical texts. Anesthesia was also well known. Detailed texts on anatomy, physiology, etiology, embryology, digestion, metabolism, genetics, and immunity date from Vedic times.

  • Sometime around 444 BC, Empedocles introduced a medical system into Greece modeled on the then ancient Ayurvedic system of India. Empedocles’ book on Purification gives, as we saw, the same definition of health as the Charaka Samhita. It bears repeating: health is the balance of the fundamental elements (earth, air, fire and water) in all parts of the body, each part having the proper proportion of each that is right for it. Empedocles adopts this definition from the Vedic tradition. Plato’s Timaeus defines health in the same way.

India’s most substantial gift to world civilization was, however, the discovery of pure consciousness and the mapping out of the architectonic structure of pure knowledge. All other achievements derive from this great awakening of knowledge that took place in ancient Vedic India.

To be concluded …

Astronomical detail, Jantar Mantar.
Astronomical detail, Jantar Mantar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

India and the West

Goblet from Navdatoli, Malwa, 1300 BCE
Goblet from Navdatoli, Malwa, 1300 BCE (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Flow of Science and Mathematics

From India to Arabia and Europe

Dr Kenneth Chandler

Origins Of Vedic Civilisation

The european scholars who postulated the aryan invasion theory were biased, unscientific—and ultimately wrong. The Rig Veda was cognised by a people indigenous to India, probably sometime long before 3,000 BC.

So we move on to the next question. How did the Vedic Civilisation of India influence the civilisations of the Middle-East, Egypt, and Europe ? Evidence from a variety of sources shows that an influence of Vedic civilisation flowed west to the continent of Europe. As we will see, science and mathematics originated in India and came to Greece centuries later. Science and mathematics were probably introduced into Europe and Egypt from India, mainly through Persia, Arabia, and Mesopotamia.

Vedic and Indic Influences on Persian and Greek Civilisation

The Zend-Avesta of Persia took many names of deities from the Rig Veda, most notably Indra, and included Vedic deities in its pantheon. An archeological excavation in 1907 found clay tablets from early fourteenth century BC in Boghazköi, near the site of the ancient city of Troy on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean, in what is now northwest Turkey. These tablets invoke the names of four Vedic deities—Indra, Mitra, Varuna, and Nasatyau—in sealing a treaty between the Hittites and the Mitani. A Vedic influence was definitely in eastern Mediterranean prior to the Trojan war, which occurred about a century later. This site is just up the coast from the Greek city states where the Pre-Socratic philosophers of Greece sprang up about eight hundred years later.

Indications of Vedic influence in the Zend-Avesta in Persia are found earlier than 1,600 BC, and in Greece as early as 1,400 BC. But there is much evidence of a link between the early Greeks and the more ancient Vedic civilisation of India, suggesting that Vedic culture flowed west to Persia and Europe.

* * * Maurice Winternitz, A History of Vedic Literature, Vol. 1, pp. 282-283.

Many of the Greek gods and goddesses are similar to those of the Vedic people, suggesting a strong historical connection. Both Vedic Indra and the Greek Zeus, called king of the gods, were associated with the unbounded power and called by the appellation “Thunderbolt.” Saraswati and Athena, female goddesses of sacred knowledge, both had similar roles as representing wisdom and nurturers of the creative arts. The Vedic Pushan and Greek Dionysus were both associated with youth, goats, and wine. Pushan was described as “goat-born,” Bacchus “half-goat.” The tenth Mandala of the Rig Veda relates that the young god Pushan stole the cattle of Indra, herded them backwards into a cave, and hid them somewhere inside in a mountain. Homeric hymns from the ninth century BC attribute exactly the same feat to the young god Dionysus, who put false feet on the cows, pointed backwards, and then herded them into a mountain cave, so the gods could not find them.

The Katha Upanishad of the Vedic tradition relates a metaphor in which the self is the lord of the chariot, the intellect the charioteer, the body the chariot, the horses, and the senses. “He who has no understanding…” the Upanishad say, “his senses are out of control, as wicked horses are for a charioteer.” Exactly same metaphor is found in Plato’s Phaedrus, which uses the image of a chariot moving through heaven and falling to earth when the self, the charioteer, allows the horses, representing sense and appetite, to get out of control.

The Vedic practice of performing sacrificial rites also has echoes in the religious practices of Greece and Israel. In the Odyssey, Odysseus makes sacrificial offerings of a bull to the gods, and in Israel, in the Old Testament, there are many descriptions of burnt offerings of animals to the gods. These practices have their roots in more ancient Vedic rites.

Fragments from Empedocles’ book on Purification give the same definition of health that the Charaka Samhita of the Vedic tradition did more than two thousand years earlier. Heraclitus defines “health” as a balance of the fundamental elements. There is also a link between the “angirasas” of the Rig Veda, who were higher beings – intermediates between gods and men and attendants of Agni, who is often described as a messenger between heaven and earth. They personify flames of fire as messenger to heaven. This view is borne out by the etymological connection of Sanskrit “angiras” with the Greek “angelos” (messenger).

Ancient legends in Greece speak of the early Pre-Socratics as traveling to India. Thales, Pythagoras, Empedocles, Democritus, and Plato were all fabled to have made the journey (although the legends are rarely given credibility). Commentators on the early Greeks from around the first and second century passed BC on these legends. While these journeys may or may not have taken place, it is not unthinkable, for there were well established commercial routes between India and Greece along the Silk Road, protected by Persian king, as well as between ports on the Red Sea that linked Greece with India in a thriving spice trade.

Plotinus in the third century AD set out from Alexandria (a city famed for its esoteric knowledge) on an expedition to India to gain more experiential knowledge of the transcendent. The expedition never completed the journey, so that Plotinus never arrived in India, but Plotinus believed that it was the place to learn about the transcendental unity of Being. It was not ideas or concepts from India but Vedic practices which brought to the Greek awakening of early sixth century BC a unique technique of transcending to experience pure consciousness. Plato writes about a “fair word” that a physician of Thrace gave to Socrates to enable him to become immortal and gain self-knowledge.

To be continued …

The first two verses of the Purusha sukta (Suk...
The first two verses of the Purusha sukta (Suktam/Sooktam), with Sayana’s commentary. Page of Max Müller’s Rig-Veda-sanhita, the Sacred Hymns of the Brahmans (reprint, London 1974). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Story Of Vedic Civilisation

English: Replica of 'Dancing Girl' of Mohenjo-...
Replica of ‘Dancing Girl’ of Mohenjo-daro

To capture the story of any civilisation is easy but only in parts.

The whole narrative, especially its beginning, is impossible. 

Material in this series of essays has been sourced from diverse websites.

I include them here because I believe our present truth derives from its civilisation origins, even as we hurtle towards catastrophes caused by degenerate values, inferior belief systems, ever so subtle but globally entrenched feudalism in governments, democratic or not, in manipulated power heirarchies of regressive and aggressive societies, and in the pyramidal finance structure managed transnationally to collect and pull, direct and push massive finance flows … 

Are we still in the same line of human civilisational aspiration and enterprise, best evident at its source ?

Or is it long since hijacked by some neo-feudals and subverted by swarm of power brokers ? 

Let’s revert to some glimpses of our civilisational facts and inscrutable truths.

*  *  * 

The first three chapters of Kenneth Chandler’s Origins Of Vedic Civilisation makes for a good start. It is a scholarly work in progress. 

Few Images. Some Facts.

A picture of a king seated in yoga ‘Padmasan‘ posture, with Pipili Leaf adorning his head, was found in the ancient city of Mohenjo-daro in the Indus valley. Mark Kenoyer, the University of Wisconsin anthropologist, describes this figure as “seated in a yogic posture.” He characterises it as a deity with three faces, feet in a yogic posture extending beyond the throne, with seven bangles on each arm, and a pipili plant showing over his head. 

The Katha Upanishad of the Vedic tradition relates a metaphor in which the individual self is the lord of the mind-body chariot, intellect the charioteer, and the senses are the horses. “He who has no understanding…” the Upanishad say, “his senses are out of control, as wicked horses are for a charioteer.” Exactly the same metaphor is found in Plato’s Phaedrus, which uses the image of a chariot moving through heaven and falling to earth when the self, the charioteer, allows the horses, representing sense and appetite, to get out of control. 

The Vedic practice of performing sacrificial rites also has echoes in the religious practices of Greece and Israel. In the Odyssey, Odysseus makes sacrificial offerings of a bull to the gods, and in Israel, in the Old Testament, there are many descriptions of burnt offerings of animals to the gods. These practices have their roots in more ancient Vedic rites. 

Fragments from Empedocles’ book on Purification give the same definition of ” health ” that the Charaka Samhita of the Vedic tradition did more than two thousand years earlier. Heraclitus defines “health” as a balance of the fundamental elements (earth, air, fire and water) in all parts of the body, each part ideally having the proportion proper to it. Plato’s Timaeus defines health in the same way. 

Ancient legends in Greece speak of the early Pre-Socratics as traveling to India. Thales, Pythagoras, Empedocles, Democritus, and Plato were all fabled to have made the journey. These deserve a skeptical respect as sources of credible possibilities. Commentators on the early Greeks from around the first and second century BC have written on these legends. While these journeys may or may not have taken place, it is not unthinkable, for there were well established commercial routes between India and Greece along the Silk Road, protected by Persian king, as well as between ports on the Red Sea that linked Greece with India in a thriving spice trade. 

Plotinus in the third century AD set out from Alexandria (a city famed for its esoteric knowledge) on an expedition to India to gain more experiential knowledge of the transcendent. The expedition never completed the journey, so that Plotinus never arrived in India, but Plotinus believed that it was the place to learn about the transcendental unity of Being. If anything specifically Vedic brought about the Greek awakening that occurred in the early sixth century BC, it was not ideas or concepts from India, but the introduction of a technique of transcending to experience pure consciousness. Plato writes about a “fair word” that a physician of Thrace gave to Socrates to enable him to become immortal and gain self-knowledge.

The next in series….

Children's toy from Mohenjo-daro. Located in t...
Children’s toy from Mohenjo-daro.

Beauty Of The Quest

Cover of "Altai-Himalaya A Travel Diary"

ALTAI-HIMALAYA

A Travel Diary

By Nicholas Roerich

[ Published by Claude Bragdon ]

Part X : INDIA (1924)

The Talmud relates that the dove brought the first olive branch to Noah from Mount Moriah. And Mount Moriah and the mountain Meru both lie in Asia. Here is the beginning of all things. Here is the source for all travelers and all searchers. Here is raised the first image of the Blessed Maitreya—Messiah—Muntazar, the Messiah now awaited by the Mohammedans. Thrice powerful M ! Here, above all disputes, the teachings have raised up the olive branch of the new world. Here is ordained the universal commune.

Some one voluntarily approached and touched our tent ! Who is this man, with his long black braid and a turquoise earring in his ear, and garbed in a white kaftan ? It is the Lama, Pema Don-dub, the local ikon painter. We ask, “Can you paint for us the Blessed Maitreya, exactly like the one in Tashi-lhunpo ?” He consents and now he sits on a tiny rug in the corner of the white gallery, and with various pigments, paints the Image full of symbols. He prepares the fabric for the painting and covers it with levkas (a mixture of chalk on glue), and irons it with a shell. He works exactly like Russian ikon painters. In the same way does he grind his colors, heat them on a coal pan; and thus does he keep an additional brush in his thick black hair. His Tibetan wife helps him to prepare his colors.

And so, in the corner of the white gallery is being conceived the ingenious image, many-colored. And each symbol upon it more clearly defines the Blessed One. Here is the frightful bird-like Garuda and wise Magi and Ganeshi, elephant of happiness, and Chintamani, the Steed, bearing on its back the miraculous stone, Treasure of the World. A sacred cycle of chosen symbols. And upon the image and the hands is laid pure gold.

Like our ikon painters, the artist lama chants hymns as he labors. The chants become more fervent; this means he is beginning upon the Image itself.

And another wonder occurs, only possible in this land. In the deep twilight when the waxing moon possesses all things, one hears through the house the silvery tones of a handmade flute. In the darkness, the artist lama is sitting upon his rug, playing with rapture before the image of Maitreya-Messiah-Muntazar.

The Strings of the Earth !

Talai-Pho-Brang.


Panoramic Kashmir
Panoramic Kashmir (Photo credit: NotMicroButSoft

PIR-PANZAL (1925)

Where have passed the hordes of the great Mongols ?

Where has the lost tribe of Israel concealed itself ?

Where stands the “Throne of Solomon” ?

Where lie the paths of Christ the Wan­derer ?

Where glow the bonfires of the Shamans, Bon-po, of the religion of demons ?

Where is Shalimar, the gardens of Jehangir ?

Where are the roads of Pamir, Lhasa, Khotan ?

Where is the mysterious cave, Amarnath ?

Where is the path of Alexander the Great to forgotten Taxila ?

Where are the walls of Akbar ?

Where did Ashvagosha teach ?

Where did Avan-tisvamin create ?

Where are the citadels of Chandragupta-Maurya ?

Where are the stones of wisdom of King Asoka ? . . .

All have passed by way of Kashmir. Here lie the ancient ways of Asia. And each caravan flashes by as a connecting link in the great body of the East. Here are the sandy deserts on the way to Peshawar; and the blue peaks of Sonamarg; and the white slopes of Zoji-La. And in the flight of the eagles is the same untiring spirit; in the fleet steed is the same unalterable motion. Nor does the world of roses and shawls of Kashmir resemble that forgotten and hidden world of Kashmiri blades.

Sacre du Printemps“— when we composed it together with Stravinsky, we could not conceive that Kashmir would greet us with its very setting. In Ghari, camping out by night, when the vivid spring sky became afire with stars and the mountains were azured, we observed rows of fires upon the mountains. The fires started into motion, separated and strangely circled about. Then the mountain slopes became aglow with these fiery processions. And in the village below, dark silhouettes began to whirl about brandishing resin torches on long staffs. The flaming circles proclaimed the end of winter frosts. And the songs proclaimed the Sacred Spring. This is the festival of the Ninth of March.

Bulbul,” the nightingale, sings on the apple tree. The cuckoo reckons out a long life. White linens are spread on the meadow and a samovar is boiling. Red and yellow apples and sweet cakes are passed around to those seated upon the spring grass. The eyes of the violets and the white and yellow narcissus are woven into a many-hued carpet. At evening, flocks of ducks and geese completely cover the tiny islands over the lakes. Small bears steal out on the spring glades. But none fears them—unless the mother-bear is with her cubs. . . .

The river banks are sloping. A line of boatsmen steer their canopied boats. . . . Upon a broad road the oxen drag themselves and the wheels grind along. Three-hundred-year-old plantains and tall poplars guard the ways. And the teeth of the encoun­tered travelers gleam often in the smile of greeting.

In the sheds lie the sleighs—veritable Moscow sleighs. In the yard, a crane screeches above the well. The straw roof is over­grown with green moss. Along the road are gnarled willow trees. And the greetings of the children are noisy. But where is this ? Is it in Schuya or Kolomna? It is in Srinagar, in the “City of the Sun.”

Tiny, big-bellied pillars—small ornamental designs—steep little steps of stone—the gilded roofs of the temple—creaking, orna­mented window-shutters—rusty locks—low little doors with their “curtesy”—carved balustrades—slanting tiles on stony floors—the odor of old lacquer—small windows with diminutive panes. Where are we then ? Is this the Kremlin of Rostov ? Are these the monasteries of Suzdal ? Are they the temples of Yaroslavl ? And what of the endless flocks of daws ? What of the naked branches behind the windows ? This is the chief palace of the Maharajah of Kashmir. How curious is everything which re­mains from antiquity. But the modern additions are hideous.

Upon the road are many Fords. In the hotel dining room one sees the faces of Americans. In the jewelry shop, side-by-side, hang two paintings—one of the view of Delhi, the other the view of the Moscow Kremlin. Among the crystals into which one gazes for destiny; among the sapphires of Kashmir and the Tibetan turquoises, are shimmering green Chinese jadaites—and like a garden, many-colored are the borders of the embroidered kaftans. Like precious shawls, the rooms of the museum are strewn with minute Iran-designs and “Gandhara,” belabored by destiny, unifies the cleft branches of West and East.

In the styles of the temples and mosques; in the angular carved dragons; in the tentlike, sloping hexagonal tower, is seen an unexpected combination of the old wooden churches of Norway and the Chinese pagodas. Out of one well is drawn the Roman­esque Chimera, the animal ornaments of Altai and the tiny animals of Chinese Turkestan and China. The Siberian paths of the nations have carried afar the same meaning of adornment.

The fort of Akbar stands firmly planted. But after you have climbed the steepnesses and flights, you may perceive that the old bricks and the claybeaten cement barely hold together. The arches are ready to give way.

Nishad, the garden of Akbar, occupies the site from the lake to the hill—a high place. The structures are modest and upon the corners are the little towers so beloved by him. They are characterized by simplicity and brightness.

Shalimar—the garden of Jehangir—is also in character with its possessor, standing “for itself.” There is less of outward show, but more of luxury—of that luxury which brought the descend­ants of the Moguls to poverty. The last Mogul, in Delhi, secretly sold furniture out of the palace and destroyed the valuable fac­ings of the walls of Shah Jehan and Aurungzeb. Thus ended the great dynasty.

The weaver of Kashmir accompanied the making of each of his designs with a special chant. Such a searching for rhythm reminds us of the great harmony of labor.

No song relates why the mountain “Throne of Solomon” bears this name. This is a place of such antiquity. Janaka, son of Asoka, had already dedicated here one of the first Buddhist temples. Seven centuries later the temple was rebuilt and con­secrated to Mahadeva. . . . But whence comes the name of Solomon? The mountain received the name of Solomon from a legend that Solomon, desiring a respite from the conventions of a sovereign’s life and from the burdens of his court, trans­ported himself upon a flying carpet to this mountain with his favorite wife. Here, again, we come upon the mention of that “flying apparatus” possessed by Solomon. A similar mountain is in Turkestan and in Persia.

It is not alone the mountain “Throne of Solomon” which transports the consciousness into biblical spheres. In the valley of Sindh the prophet Elijah is reverenced in a special manner. Most stirring are the legends; how the prophet sitting in his cave saves fishermen and travelers. Under various aspects, at times benevolent, at times stormy, the prophet appears to defend the works of justice and piety. Mohammedans and Hindus, divided by many differences, equally reverence the prophet Elijah.

Purple iris will always recall Moslem cemeteries. They are covered with these flowers. But there is also joy. The lilacs have blossomed, lilies of the valley are nodding and the wild cherry tree glistens.

Mount Moriah Cemetery Gate


Indian Muslims … Predictable !

From When They Were Being Made Into A Separate Nation…

Edited Version Of The Interview Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Gave In April, 1946.

Full Version Published May 28, 2012 In Journal : The Poet… Watching History : I

 A Muslim couple being wed alongside the Tungab...

Q : But many Ulema are with Quaid-e-Azam [ M.A. Jinnah ]…

A : Many Ulema were with Akbare Azam too; they invented a new religion for him. Do not discuss individuals. The upholders of truth are exceptions. How many of the Ulema find an honourable mention in the Muslim history of the last 1,300 years ?

Q : Maulana, what is wrong if Pakistan becomes a reality ? After all, “Islam” is being used to pursue and protect the unity of the community.

A : You are using the name of Islam for a cause that is not right by Islamic standards. Muslim history bears testimony to many such enormities. In the battle of Jamal, fought between Imam Ali and Hadrat Aisha, widow of the Holy Prophet, Qurans were displayed on lances. Was that right ? In Karbala the family members of the Holy Prophet were martyred by those Muslims who claimed companionship of the Prophet. Was that right ? Hajjaj was a Muslim general and he subjected the holy mosque at Makka to brutal attack. Was that right ? No sacred words can justify or sanctify a false motive. I see clearly the dangers inherent in the demand.

Now as I gather from the attitude of my own colleagues in the working committee, the division of India appears to be certain. But I must warn that the evil consequences of partition will not affect India alone, Pakistan will be equally haunted by them. The partition will be based on the religion of the population and not based on any natural barrier like mountain, desert or river. A line will be drawn; it is difficult to say how durable it would be.

We must remember that an entity conceived in hatred will last only as long as that hatred lasts. This hatred will overwhelm the relations between India and Pakistan. In this situation it will not be possible for India and Pakistan to become friends and live amicably unless some catastrophic event takes place. The politics of partition itself will act as a barrier between the two countries. It will not be possible for Pakistan to accommodate all the Muslims of India, a task beyond her territorial capability. On the other hand, it will not be possible for the Hindus to stay especially in West Pakistan. They will be thrown out or leave on their own. This will have its repercussions in India and the Indian Muslims will have three options before them :

1. They become victims of loot and brutalities and migrate to Pakistan; but how many Muslims can find shelter there ?

2. They become subject to murder and other excesses. A substantial number of Muslims will pass through this ordeal until the bitter memories of partition are forgotten and the generation that had lived through it completes its natural term.

3. A good number of Muslims, haunted by poverty, political wilderness and regional depredation decide to renounce Islam.

The prominent Muslims who are supporters of Muslim League will leave for Pakistan. The wealthy Muslims will take over the industry and business and monopolise the economy of Pakistan… The greatest danger will come from international powers who will seek to control the new country, and with the passage of time this control will become tight. India will have no problem with this outside interference as it will sense danger and hostility from Pakistan.

The other important point that has escaped Mr Jinnah’s attention is Bengal. He does not know that Bengal disdains outside leadership and rejects it sooner or later. During World War II, Mr Fazlul Haq revolted against Jinnah and was thrown out of the Muslim League. Mr H.S. Suhrawardy does not hold Jinnah in high esteem. Why only Muslim League, look at the history of Congress. The revolt of Subhas Chandra Bose is known to all…

The confidence of East Pakistan will not erode as long as Jinnah and Liaquat Ali are alive. But after them any small incident will create resentment and disaffection. I feel that it will not be possible for East Pakistan to stay with West Pakistan for any considerable period of time. There is nothing common between the two regions except that they call themselves Muslims. But the fact of being Muslim has never created durable political unity anywhere in the world.

The Arab world is before us; they subscribe to a common religion, a common civilisation and culture, and speak a common language. In fact they acknowledge even territorial unity. But there is no political unity among them. Their systems of government are different and they are often engaged in mutual recrimination and hostility.

On the other hand, the language, customs and way of life of East Pakistan are totally different from West Pakistan. The moment the creative warmth of Pakistan cools down, the contradictions will emerge and will acquire assertive overtones. These will be fuelled by the clash of interests of international powers and consequently both wings will separate.

After the separation of East Pakistan, whenever it happens, West Pakistan will become the battleground of regional contradictions and disputes. The assertion of sub-national identities of Punjab, Sind, Frontier and Balochistan will open the doors for outside interference. It will not be long before the international powers use the diverse elements of Pakistani political leadership to break the country on the lines of Balkan and Arab states. Maybe at that stage we will ask ourselves, what have we gained and what have we lost.

The real issue is economic development and progress; it certainly is not religion. Muslim business leaders have doubts about their own ability and competitive spirit. They are so used to official patronage and favours that they fear new freedom and liberty. They advocate the two-nation theory to conceal their fears and want to have a Muslim state where they have the monopoly to control the economy without any competition from capable rivals. It will be interesting to watch how long they can keep this deception alive.

I feel that right from its inception, Pakistan will face some very serious problems :

1. The incompetent political leadership will pave the way for military dictatorship as it has happened in many Muslim countries.

2. The heavy burden of foreign debt.

3. Absence of friendly relationship with neighbours and the possibility of armed conflict.

4. Internal unrest and regional conflicts.

5. The loot of national wealth by the neo-rich and industrialists of Pakistan.

6. The apprehension of class war as a result of exploitation by the neo-rich.

7. The dissatisfaction and alienation of the youth from religion and the collapse of the theory of Pakistan.

8. The conspiracies of the international powers to control Pakistan.

In this situation, the stability of Pakistan will be under strain and the Muslim countries will be in no position to provide any worthwhile help. The assistance from other sources will not come without strings and it will force both ideological and territorial compromises.

At Wardha Railway Station, Maulana Azad, Achar...

Indian Muslims … Predictable !

From When They Were Being Made …

Edited Version Of The Interview

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Gave In April, 1946.

Full Version Published May 28, 2012 In Journal : The Poet… Watching History : I

English: At the All India Muslim League Workin...
All India Muslim League Working Committee, Lahore session, March 1940 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Q : The Hindu Muslim dispute has become so acute that it has foreclosed any possibility of reconciliation. Is the birth of Pakistan inevitable ?

A : If Pakistan were the solution of Hindu Muslim problem, then I would have extended my support to it. A section of Hindu opinion is now turning in its favour. By conceding NWFP, Sind, Balochistan and half of Punjab on one side and half of Bengal on the other, they think they will get the rest of India — a huge country that would be free from any claims of communal nature.

If we use the Muslim League terminology, this new India will be a Hindu state, both practically and temperamentally. This will not happen as a result of any (amiable) conscious decision, but will be a (forced) logical consequence of its social realities.

How can you (Muslims) expect a society that consists 90% of Hindus, who have lived with their ethos and values since prehistoric times, to grow differently (in accord with how the Muslims wants them to) ?

Muslims have turned away from the Quran. If Muslim politicians had not used the offensive language that embittered communal relations, and the other section acting as agents of British interests had not worked to widen the Hindu-Muslim breach…The political disputes we created in the name of religion have projected Islam as an instrument of political power and not what it is — a value system meant for the transformation of human soul.

Under British influence, we turned Islam into a confined system, and following in the footsteps of other communities like Jews, Parsis and Hindus we transformed ourselves into a hereditary community. The Indian Muslims have frozen Islam and its message, and have divided themselves into many sects. Some sects were clearly born at the instance of colonial power. Consequently, these sects became devoid of all movement and dynamism, and lost faith in Islamic values.

The hallmark of Muslim existence was striving and now the very term is strange to them. Surely they are Muslims, but they follow their own whims and desires. In fact now they easily submit to political power, not to Islamic values. They prefer the religion of politics…

Pakistan is a political standpoint. Regardless of the fact whether it is the right solution to the problems of Indian Muslims, it is being demanded in the name of Islam. Who among the scholars of Islam has divided the dominion of God on this basis ? Division of territories on the basis of religion is a contraption devised by Muslim League. They can pursue it as their political agenda… The demand for Pakistan has not benefited Muslims in any manner.

How Pakistan can benefit Islam is a moot question and will largely depend on the kind of leadership it gets. The impact of western thought and philosophy has made the crisis more serious. The way the leadership of Muslim League is conducting itself… God alone knows what is in the womb of future.

Pakistan, when it comes into existence, will face conflicts of religious nature. As far as I can see, the people who will hold the reins of power will cause serious damage to Islam. Their behaviour may result in the total alienation of the Pakistani youth who may become a part of non-religious movements. Today, in Muslim minority states the Muslim youth are more attached to religion than in Muslim majority states. You will see that despite the increased role of Ulema, the religion will lose its sheen in Pakistan.

English: Indian leaders at the Simla Conferenc...

MATTER TO CONSCIOUSNESS

Devanagari Invocation of Isha Upanishad
Invocation of Isha Upanishad (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sarva Darshana Sangraha

by Madhava Vidyaranya,

Chief Of Sringeri Math and Author Of Panchadasi

14th Century AD.

A compendium of all thought and 16 belief – systems that men have lived with over extended period,

that they chose over others for obtaining a life and values perspective to guide themselves through … 

Chapter V : Madhva’s Eternal Dualism

Madhva, also known as Madhvacharya or Anand-Tirtha “Purna Prajna,” accepts much of Ramanuj’s Qualified Monism but irrevocably departs in his principle of eternal dependence of individual souls on the one Supreme that alone is independent. He agrees with Ramanuj’s belief system of atomic size of the soul and its subservience to Supreme entity, the authenticity of Vedas, the self-evidence of the instruments of knowledge, the triad of evidences, dependency upon the Panch-ratra, and the reality of plurality in the universe. 

But in his doctrine, ultimate principles are dichotomised into the one independent and the many dependent; as it is stated in the Tattva-viveka : Independent and dependent, two principles are received ; the independent is Vishnu the Lord, exempt from imperfections, and of inexhaustible excellences. He brushes aside the interpretation of the absolute principle being void, in the face of proofs positive of duality : perception, for example, of “This” – the individual being – is different from “That” – the Universal being.

The Pure Monists (Advaitin) rejoin : Do you hold that perception is cognisant of a perceptional difference, or of a difference constituted by the thing and its opposite ? The former will not hold : for without a cognition of the thing and its opposite, the recognition of the difference which presupposes such a cognition, will be impossible. If the latter alternative : is the apprehension of the difference preceded by an apprehension of the thing and its contrary, or are all the three (the thing, its contrary, and the contrariety) simultaneously apprehended ? It cannot be thus preceded, for the operation of the intellect is without delay (or without successive steps), and there would also result a logical seesaw (apprehension of the difference presupposing apprehension of the thing and its contrary, and apprehension of the thing and its contrary presupposing apprehension of the difference). Nor can there be a simultaneous apprehension (of the thing, its contrary, and the difference) ; for cognitions related as cause and effect cannot be simultaneous, and the cognition of the thing is the cause of the recognition of the difference; the causal relation between the two being recognised by a concomitance and non-concomitance (mutual exclusion), the difference not being cognised even when the thing is present, without a cognition of its absent contrary. The perception of difference, therefore (the Monists conclude), is not easily admissible. 

To this Madhva replies as follows : Are these objections proclaimed against one who maintains a difference things in themselves, or against one who maintains a difference between things as subjects of their attributes ? In the former case, you will be, as the saying runs, punishing a respectable Brahman for the offence of a thief. In considering the Upanishad saying, “Thou art That,” if the difference is in their essence, then an actual cognition of “That” is unnecessary; the difference is eternally underscored since the difference presupposes a contrary counterpart. 

If the difference is by their attributes, which form the determinate usage (name and notion) we have of them in our understanding, then too their essential contrariness remains as actual contrary counterparts; for example, the essence of a thing so far as constituted by its dimensions is first cognised, and afterwards it becomes the object of some determinate judgment, as long or short in relation to some particular counterpart (or contrasted object). Accordingly, it is said in the Vishnu-tattva-nirnaya : Difference is not proved to exist by the relation of determinant and determinate ; for this relation of determinant and determinate (or predicate and subject) presupposes difference; and if difference were proved to depend upon the thing and its counterpart, and the thing and its counterpart to presuppose difference, difference as involving a logical circle could not be accounted for ; but difference is itself a real predicament (or ultimate entity). 

For this reason (viz. because difference is the thing in itself), Madhva continues, it is that men in quest of a cow do not act as if they had found her when they see a gayal, seeing which they do not recall the word cow. Nor let it be objected that if difference be a real entity between, say, milk and water, then the same difference should be perceived in a mixture of milk and water as well; for the absence of any manifestation of, and judgment about, the difference, may be accounted for by the force of some obstructions that hinder the perception viz. aggregation of similars and the rest. 

Thus it has been said (in the Sankhya-karika, v. vii.) : From too great remoteness, from too great nearness, from defect in the organs, from instability of the common sensory, from subtlety, from interposition, from being overpowered, and from aggregation of similars.

There is no perception respectively of a tree and the like on the (barren) peak of amountain, because of its too great remoteness ; of the collyrium applied to eyes because of too much proximity ; of lightning and the like because of a defect in the organs; of a jar or the like in broad daylight, by one whose common sensory is bewildered by lust and other passions, because of instability of the common sensory ; of an atom and the like, because of their subtlety ; of things behind a wall, and so forth, because of interposition ; of the light of a lamp and the like, in the day-time, because of its being overpowered ; of milk and water, because of the aggregation of similars. 

Difference (duality) is also ascertained by inference. Thus the Supreme Lord differs from the individual soul as the object of its obedience ; and he who is to be obeyed by any person differs from that person : a king, for instance, from his attendant. For men, desiring as they do – let me have pleasure, let me not have the slightest pain – if they covet the position of their lord, they do not become objects of his favour; nay, rather, they become recipients of all kinds of evil. He who asserts his own inferiority and the excellence of his superior, he it is who is to be commended; and the gratified superior grants his eulogist his desire. 

Therefore it has been said : “Kings destroy those who assert themselves to be kings, and grant to those who proclaim their kingly preeminence in all that they desire.” 

Thus is the statement of those (Advaita-vadins) in their thirst to be one with the Supreme Lord, that the supreme excellence of Vishnu is like a mirage. Through offending this supreme Vishnu, they must enter into the hell of blind darkness (andha-tamasa), as is laid down by Madhya-mandira in the Mahabharata-tatparya-nirnaya : 

” Daityas, enemies of the eternal Vishnu, cause his anger to wax great ; He hurls the Daityas into the blind darkness, because they decide blindly.” 

This service (or obedience of which we have spoken) is trichotomised into (i) stigmatisation, (2) imposition of names, and (3) worship. Of these, stigmatisation is (the branding upon one self) of the weapons of Narayana (or Vishnu) as a memorial of him, and as a means of attaining the end which is needful (emancipation). Thus the sequel of the Sakalya-samhita : “The man who bears branded in him the discus of the immortal Vishnu, which is the might of the gods, He, shaking off his guilt, goes to the heaven (Vaikuntha) which ascetics, whose desires are passed away, enter into.

Imposition of names is the appellation of sons and others by such names as Kesava, as a continual memorial of the name of the Supreme Lord. 

Worship is of ten kinds, viz. [A] with the voice : (1) veracity (2) usefulness (3) kindliness (4) sacred study ;

[B] with the body : (5) almsgiving (6) defence (7) protection ;

[C] with the common sensory : (8) mercy (9) longing and (10) faith. 

Worship is the dedication to Narayana of each of these as it is realised.

Thus it has been said : ” Stigmatisation, imposition of names, worship; the last is of ten kinds.” 

Difference (or duality between the Supreme Being and the universe) may also be inferred from cognisability and other marks. So also difference (or duality) may be understood from revelation, from texts setting out duality in emancipation and beatitude, such as : ” All rejoice over truth attained ; truthful, and celebrating the gift of the divine Indra, they recount his glory ; among those that know the truth, Brahman is in the universe ; He is the true spirit ; true indeed is individual spirit ; truth is duality, truth is duality … in me is illusion, in me illusion, in me illusion.” 

Again : “After attaining this knowledge, becoming like unto me, in creation they are not born again, in retractation they perish not” (Bhagavad-gita, xiv. 2). 

Nor should suggestion be made that individual spirit is God in virtue of the text, He that knows the absolute becomes the absolute; for this text is hyperbolically eulogistic, like the text, “Worshipping a Brahman devoutly, a Sudra becomes a Brahman,” i.e. becomes exalted. 

If people urge that according to the text : “If the universe existed it would doubtless come to an end,” this duality is merely illusory, and in reality a unity, and that duality is learnt to be illusorily imagined ; it may be replied : What you say is true, but you do not understand its meaning ; for the real meaning is, if this world had been produced, it would without doubt come to an end; but since it does not, it is everlasting, a five-fold dual universe. Illusion is deemed to be the will of the Lord, in virtue of the testimony of many passages such as : 

” The great illusion, ignorance, necessity, the bewilderment … The originant, ideation, thus is thy will called, Infinite. 

The originant, because it originates endlessly ; ideation, because it produces all ideas. The illusion of Hari, who is called a-, is termed (a-vidya) ignorance : Styled (vidya) illusion, because it is pre-eminent, for the name vidya is used of the pre-eminent. The excellent knowledge of Vishnu who, though one, is calledby these names; for knowledge of Hari is characterised by spontaneous beatitude it bestows.” 

That in which this excellent knowledge produces knowledge and effects thereof is pure illusion, as known and sustained by the Supreme Lord; therefore duality is not illusorily imagined. For in the Lord illusory imagination of the universe is not possible, illusory imagination arising from non-perception of differences (which as an imperfection is inconsistent with the divine nature). 

If it be asked how then that (illusory duality) is predicated, the answer is that in truth there is a non-duality that is real; Vishnu, being better than all else, has no equal and no superior. Accordingly, the grand revelation : 

” A difference between soul and the Lord, a difference between the unsentient and the Lord, a difference among souls, and a difference of the unsentient and the soul, each from the other. Also the difference of unsentient things from one another, the world with its five divisions. This same is real and from all eternity ; if it had had a beginning it would have an end : Whereas it does not come to an end ; and it is not illusorily imagined : For if it were imagined it would cease, but it never ceases. That there is no duality is therefore the doctrine of those that lack knowledge ; and this doctrine of those that have knowledge is known and sustained by Vishnu.” 

The purpose, then, of all revelations is to set out the supreme excellence of Vishnu. With this in view the Lord declared : 

” Two are these beings in the universe, the perishable and the imperishable ; the perishable is all the elements, the imperishable is the unmodified. The other, the most excellent person called the Supreme Spirit, is the undecaying Lord, who pervading sustains the three worlds. Since, transcending the perishable, I am more excellent than the imperishable (soul), hence I am celebrated among men and in the Veda as the best of persons (Purushottama). He who uninfatuated knows me thus as the best of persons, he all-knowing worships me in every wise. Thus this most mysterious institute is declared, blameless (Arjuna) : ” Knowing this a man may be wise, and may have done what he has to do, Bharata” (Gita, xv. 16-20). 

While merit, wealth, and enjoyment are transitory, emancipation is eternal ; therefore a wise man should strive unceasingly to attain thereto. And emancipation is not won without the grace of Vishnu, according to the text of the Narayana Upanishad : Through whose grace is the highest state, through whose essence he is liberated from transmigration, while inferior men propitiating the divinities are not emancipated ; the supreme object of discernment to those who desire to be liberated from this snare of works. 

According to the words of the Vishnu-purana : If he be propitiated, what here may not be won ? Enough of all wealth and enjoyments. These are scanty enough. On climbing the tree of the supreme essence, without doubt a man attains to the fruit of emancipation.

And it is declared that the grace of Vishnu is won only through the knowledge of his excellence, not through the knowledge of non-duality. Nor is there in this doctrine any connection with texts declaratory of the identity (of personal and impersonal spirit) such as, That art thou; for this pretended identity is mere babbling from ignorance of the real purport. 

“The word That, when undetermined, designates the eternally unknown. The word Thou designates a knowable entity; how can these be one ? “ 

And this text (That art Thou) indicates similarity (not identity) … Not essential unity, for even when one is emancipated it remains different.” The difference is in the independence and completeness of the Supreme Spirit and thesmallness and dependence in the individual spirit.

Vishnu is the refuge of liberated souls, and their supreme ruler. 

There is no proof anywhere, then, that the world is unreal. Besides, we would ask :

Is the statement that the world is false itself true or false ?

If the statement is true, there is a violation of a real non-duality.

If the statement is untrue, it follows that the world is true. 

Perhaps it may be objected that this dilemma is a kind of fallacious reasoning, like the dilemma :

Is transitoriness permanent or transitory ?

There is a difficulty in either case. As it is said by the author of the Nyaya-nirvana : The proof of the permanence of the transitory, as being both permanent and transitory, is a paralogism. And in the Tarkika-raksha, “When a mode cannot be evinced to be either such and such, or not such and such, the denial of a subject characterised by such a mode is called Nitya-sama. “

If you (Advaita-vadin) reply : We accept the unreality (or falsity) of the world, not its non-existence, this reply is about as wise as the procedure of the carter who will lose his head rather than pay a hundred pieces of money, but will at once give five score. 

For falsity and non-existence are synonymous. We dismiss further prolixity. 

Shivalli Brahmins
Shivalli Brahmins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Islam – Prehistory, Myths & Present (V)

Major tribes Arabia at the dawn of Islam.
Major tribes Arabia at the dawn of Islam. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Who And What Had Inspired The Prophet … ?

Any transformation needs a measure of introspection, a degree of witnessing and due deliberation before and after the “A-Ha” moment. So too, Muhammad’s revelation is less about ‘magic’ and supernatural, and more of a realisation and a vision of the way forward from where the world was. It needs to be recalled that the Arab Muslim emergence did not happen in vacuum. The path of Islam did not drop out of nothing in the 7th Century, with the rise of an ambitious, middle-aged, epileptic man who declared himself to be a prophet. The development requires to be seen along a series, before and after.

Close to the Prophet epoch, we have Mazdak, a Persian reformer and religious activist who died c. 524 or 528, Very much in the likeness of Muhammad, Mazdak ideas gained prominence in the Arab world of his time and acquired much influence under the Sassanian reign of Shahanshah Kavadh I. 

Mazdak too claimed to be a prophet of God and drove his religio-communal vision over proto-socialist social welfare programs instituted under his supervision. Much of the same things followed a hundred years later, albeit with different attitude and style; it was as if the Prophet had himself adapted Mazdek’s vision, though not the latter’s ways.

Mazdak was the chief representative of a religious and philosophical teaching called Mazdakism, which he viewed as a reformed and purified version of Zoroastrianism, such as Muhammad claimed to be doing in respect of the “original” religion instituted by Abraham. And quite as Mazdak’s teaching has been argued to display influences from Manichaeism, so has Islam derived from Mazdakism. Zoroastrianism was the dominant religion of Sassanid Persia, and Mazdak himself was a Zoroastrian priest or mobed; but most of the Zoroastrian clergy regarded his teaching as heresy. 

It is claimed that the original founder of Mazdakism was a Zoroastrian philosopher known as Mazdak the Elder, who taught a combination of altruism and hedonism : “He directed his followers to enjoy the pleasures of life and satisfy their appetite in the highest degree with regard to eating and drinking in the spirit of equality; to aim at good deeds; to abstain from shedding blood and inflicting harm on others; and to practice hospitality without reservation.”

The doctrine was developed by Mazdak the Younger, son of Bāmdād. Later, Mazdak was blamed for heresy and for sharing of women etc. in the spirit of commonality. As the first real socialist among Arabs who emphasised the community – common identity, effort and collective welfare – Mazdak must have had quite an impact. Much of Islam, as a community, is modeled on the Mazdakian vision. 

Altruism is what Islam preaches from the pulpit, but only for the believers. And hedonism is what was commended in practice, as can be seen how the Prophet indulged in food and sex. The sense of community and commonality is also strong in Islam. Is that why the Prophet acquired his wives from among those related to his first followers ? All but one were obtained by divined right from among both his enemies and followers, whom he knew closely !

Like Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism, Mazdakism had a dualistic worldview. The doctrine laid two original principles of the universe : Light, the good; and Darkness, the evil. The two were mixed by a cosmic accident, tainting everything except God. Light is characterised by knowledge and awareness, by acts of design and free will, whereas Darkness was manifest as ignorance, blindness, and random acts of fancy and willfulness. 

Mazdakian tenets lay that mankind’s role in life was to release parts of himself that belonged to Light through deliberate alignment and good conduct. But where Manichaeism saw the mixture of good and bad as a cosmic tragedy, as does Islam, Mazdak viewed this in a more neutral, even optimistic way. 

Mani, the prophet and Manichæus apostle of Jesus Christ, made his attempt to succeed and surpass the ways of Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism. So does the Prophet declare himself as the last one, the most high.

Mani provisioned in advance a cave which had a spring and informed his disciples that he was going to heaven, and would not return for a year, after which time they were to seek him in the cave he had spoken about. The people, it is reported, went to the cave and found their teacher, who showed to them an illustrated book called Ergenk, or Estenk, which he said he had brought from heaven. Thereupon he gained many followers, with whom he returned to Persia. 

The entire narration is uncannily similar to how Muhammad pushed himself and his vision to power. But he must have also been familiar with the danger of making such an attempt. The new Iranian king, Hormisdas, joined and protected the Manichaen sect; he built Mani a castle. The next king, Bahram or Varanes, at first favoured Mani but, after Mani’s debate with Zoroastrian teachers that the king had set up, the latter had him flayed alive; his skin was stuffed and hung to public view. Thereupon most of his followers fled to India and China. Those who remained were reduced to slavery.

With Mani’s example being a widely known, one can see why Muhammad loved the sword, the need for military buildup and the utility of enslaving the opposition, if not killed.

Panoramic view of Masjeed Al Nabawee at sunset.
Panoramic view of Masjeed Al Nabawee at sunset. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)