Friday, December 30, 2011
Guest Blogger Jayasree Saranathan
Have ever the Russians searched for their roots? This question came into my mind when I read the reports of the case in a Siberian court seeking a ban on Bhagawad Gita on the grounds that it is an extremist- literature. It is ironical that a country which has had a very long past in Vedic living until the 8th century AD should have completely forgotten its past and its roots and given room for controversies such as the one that is seen now. Compared to them we in India seem to fare better in retaining the memory of our past and retrieving whatever is possible.
I wish the day comes soon when Russians start digging their vast stretches in Siberia and find out that their past goes upto 40,000 years backwards and they were more Vedik than anyone at that time! I may sound absurd, but that is the inference from numerous narrations in Hindu scriptures – now supported by genetic studies.
Starting from the distant past, the entire Eurasian continent was divided into 3 regions according to Mahabharatha.
The huge circle in the above diagram shows the extent of “Sudharshana Dweepa” where the rule of Sanatan Dharma was in place.
It had Bharath in the South (rectangle area in the bottom of this picture) with
Hemakuta or Himalayas in its northern limits,
an intermediary Ilavarsha to the north of Himalayas (noted in dark red square in the middle) and
a vast Airavatha varsha in extreme north of the Sudharshana dweepa.
Most of Russia is covered by Airavatha varsha.
Airavatha is the name of the elephant of Indra, the titular king of the Devas.
The Deva territory is close to the North pole where there was sunlight continuously for 6 months and darkness continuously for 6 months. The elephant, Airavatha in all probability was the Woolly mammoth which became extinct about 10,000 years ago.
This time period coincides with the last time we hear about Indra form our scriptures. It was when Indra and Devas lost their lands and were dispersed. Indra’s son was caught and imprisoned by Surapadma who belonged to the Southern most part of the world.
From the accounts of Skanda purana, we come to know that Skanda secured the release of Indra’s son, Jayantha and killed Sura padma. Skanda described in this purana coincides with Ugra kumara born to Meenakshi and Sundareswara who started the first Sangam assemblage in the South-Madurai (Then-Madurai) in Deep South about 11,000 years ago. The details of how this figure was arrived at would require another post and hence I am proceeding with the current topic. Those who read Tamil can read the details in my Tamil blog.
The above classification of Eurasia existed 10,000 years ago. Before the last glaciation, the territory near north pole was very much habitable. The locations called Amaravathy, capital city of Devas and Uttar Kuru existed in Siberia.
Uttar kuru means the land of Kuru (a clan) settled in the North. They were the early settlers much before Mahabharatha times (which was about 5000 years ago.) The men and women of that territory were said to have led a free life and mingled with each other as they wished. The probable reason could have been procreation which was minimal owing to climatic conditions that existed there.
The route to Uttarkuru and Deva territories is explained in Valmiki Ramayana through the narration of Shugreeva who detailed the places to be seen and searched to find out Seetha in the north of Bharath. (Valmiki Ramayana -4-43) Once having crossed the vast Himalayas, he describes a pure-water lake called Vaikhanas where sages used to do penance. This coincides with Lake Baikal.
He also describes the presence of a river in the north of this lake called Shailodha which had very cold waters. The sages used to cross this river at a place using the woods of a tree called Keechaka which makes sound like bamboo when wind blows. This coincides with river Angara.
Today there is a place called Kichera in Baikal – resembling Keechaka - which is crossed using the woods of a tree.
According to Ramayana description, Uttar Kuru was in the North of Vaikhanas (Lake Baikal). Sages like Yajnavalkya spent their vanaprastha days near Vaikhanas. This area was habitable before the last glaciation and it has been proved by Milankovitch cycles that heat and cold were experienced in extreme North and Extreme South of the earth alternatingly, once in 41,000 years.
Not only Vaikhanas (Baikal) the entire region of Russia had the presence e of Rishis (sages). There is an opinion that the name Russia was derived from Rishi varsha. There is a mention of Rishi varsha in scriptures which goes well with this region. The presence of Devas in this part of the globe in a distant past had attracted sages to this place. We have a number of references in Puranas of sages going to the Deva territory. Perhaps their overwhelming presence gave the name Rishi varsha which later became Russia.
There is yet another root to the name Russia as being derived from the olden name of Volga river. Volga was called as ‘rasa’ or ‘rosa’. People think that it is derived from the Persian word ‘rana’ or ‘ra’. But this word ‘rasa’ is a straight Sanskrit word meaning essence, juice, nectar, elixir, soup, love, the finest part of anything and so on. This name perfectly fits with the river of fine water quality From the river’s name Rasa, the name Russia was derived.
Volga’s tributary is called as ‘Oka’. People connect it with the Latin Aqua which means water, whereas the root word Apa ins again a straight Sanskrit word meaning the same. From Apa comes ‘aapa-saras’ the waterway and from that ‘apsaras’ the beautiful girls who enjoy playing in the aapa-saras. This region of Russia was identified with Apsaras women. Menaka, Urvasi, Thiloththama etc were all apsara women who were known to have seduced men.
Another tributary of Volga is known by a name which is very familiar to any Hindu. It is river ‘Moksha’ which means salvation in Sanskrit. There is another tributary nearer to this Moksha called as “Mokswa”. Moscow got its name from Mokswa because of its location on the banks of this river!
Moksha is also the name of an old language spoken in this area. Today not many speak this language. But the customs of the people who spoke Moksha language are Vedic – in that they had worshiped Indra and Vayu!!
A strong connection to Vedism was recently unearthed in Siberia near Kazaksthan. Nearly 20 sites have been found out to have housed circular habitations resembling Vedic life.
An important site is the one in Arkaim which is located in the confluence of two rivers called Karakanga and Utya-kanga. These names sound like Ganga!
It was a practice in ancient times to name the major river of a region as Ganga and the major mountain peak as Meru. We find Meru and Ganga in many land forms (varshas) in the narration of Sanjaya in Bheeshma parva. The interesting g information is that the local people think these rivers are sacred and have healing properties. This perhaps led to the naming of these rivers as Ganga. One must know that people of Bharath and the sages were globetrotting from times immemorial. The location of Uttar kuru as well as the location of important cities in the four directions of earth were mentioned in Surya Siddhantha and later repeated by Bhaskaracharya in Siddhantha Shiromani.
Arkaim has all the trappings of a Vedic system. The name itself sounds like Arka, the name of the Sun. Arka, the sun has healing properties. There is a tree called Arka which is used in Ayurvedic medicine .
The Arkaim site contains swastika signs and other symbols of Vedic rites. Swastika is derived from the word swasth which means getting healed. This site is dated at 4500 BP
Details of this site can be read here.
This site falls in the route described in Mahabharatha.
In the following picture, Lahore was the kingdom of Lava, son of Rama.
Peshawar was the kingdom of Pushkalavathy ruled by Pushkala, son of Bharatha.
These two cities were established during the reign of Rama, the son of Dasaratha. These cities are in the route to Kekaya, today’s Kazaksthan which was the maternal land of Kaikeyi, mother of Bhratha. One has to cross river Chakshus to reach Kekaya. This river is now known as Oxus . It is shown in blue colour in this picture.
After crossing Oxus, there are 2 routes. The right side route takes to Arkaim (Chelyabinsk Oblast).
Further east from Arkaim takes one to Uttar Kuru.
Arjuna took the route to Uttar Kuru from Samara in this picture.
The left side route after crossing Oxus takes one to Samara which was known as Sthree Rajya in Hindu texts and as Straya Maina today!
From Sthree Rajya (samara) Moscow can be reached.
Sthree Rajya is a frequent name seen in our scriptures.
It was dominated by women – due to which it got the name Sthree Rajya – the land of women or dominated by women. They were supposed to seduce men and lead a free life.
Varaha mihira has mentioned this place as one of the countries surrounding Bharatha varsha.
Vatsyanana also has mentioned about Sthree Rajya in the context of “Grama naari vishayam” where he has said that the women of Sthree Rajya were free to have sex with a any man they liked.
Bhattasmin , the commentator for Artha sastra also has talked about SthreRajya as a country abounding in luxurious artilces and happiness.
In Mahabharatha also, the name of this place is mentioned. The king of this country called ‘Srungi’ attended a Swayamvar (self choice of groom) in Kalinga.
Much later in history, the Kashmiri king, Lalithaadhitya Muthapeeda of Karkoda lineage (AD 724 to AD 760) conquered Sthree Rajya and established there a temple for Narahari (Vishnu). This information can be found in Raja Tarangini of Kalhana. After winning Sthree Rajya he went to Uttar Kuru. This king did not yield to the lure of the beauty of the women of SthreeRajya and hence earned a name “Indriyakraaman”.
His grand son, Jayapeeda also had gone to Sthree Rajya and established his rule.
What is of interest to us is the discovery of a statue of Vishnu in Staraya Maina (in Samara)
Pic courtesy from the following link uploaded by a Russian woman.
This statue was dated at 8th century AD, the same period when Lalithadhitya Mukthapeeda established a Vishnu temple in Sthree Rajya. From this it can be known that today’s Straya Maina was the Sthree Rajya of olden days.
The following picture shows the different places through which the people of ancient Bharat traveled to Russia and Uttar Kuru.
With all these Vedic connections, it is sad to note that Russians have not yet woken up to their past.
The names of Russians also bear resemblance to Vedik names mentioned so far.
Kurushev is a common name in that country, reminding Uttra Kuru connection.
The name of the Russian President Medvedev has two names resembling Vedic connection Dev and Ved!
Paramacharya of Kanchi brought to our notice that Russians indeed followed Vedic ways. In Vedic way of expressing one’s place, the method is to express the biggest unit and the go in steps to the smaller units. That is, if one were to express one’s location, one has to mention the country, then state, then the city and so on. This method is still followed in Russia. This is the method followed in Sankalpa mantras in all Vedik rituals – but forgotten in material life by us.
Before ending this post let me tell about Lopamudra, the wife of sage Agasthya was said to have belonged to Uttra Kuru. She had penned a few verses in Rig Veda which are of the nature of pangs of separation of a love-struck lady. The name Lopamudra sounds like a familiar name of Russia of today – Ludmila which means ‘lover of people’. It is no wonder that Agasthya was suspicious of Lopamudra’s fidelity which is narrated in the commentary to Tholkappiyam in Tamil by Nacchinaarkiniyar.
With so much of Vedik connection to Russia, it is laughable that they are scared of Bhagawad Gita!