Author's Note: Please visit - The 'Real' Ramayana/ Ram-Rajya - to read the other parts of this series, so as to be able to fully understand or grasp the contents of this one.
*Who* really was Kumbhakarna, Ghatotkacha, Atikaya, et al? What was Indrajeet's 'Mayamayi Sita'? *Deciphering* Indrajeet's 'homa' at 'Nikumbila Yagya-gaar'. How was Dronacharya born? Who were the Gandharvas and the Apsaras? What does the 'Nagapasa' mean? What were the 'arrows' and the weaponry [in Treta] all about? Notes on: Ravana and Ravanahatha; Kumbha, Drona and Kumbh Mela; some ancient people/clans; Gnyati; Meghnaad and Indrajeet; 'Indra' and 'Shukracharya'; Humanoids in the Treta Yug; Garuda and Shri Vishnu's vaahan, etc.
Despite the tomes written by an assortment of 'scholars', Ravana is neither a 'demon' king nor 'evil', and cannot be compared to Duryodhan or to Dushyashana (of the Mahabharata) either.
Unfortunately: what Manthara, an Arya + Yakshi, and Kaikeyi, an Arya + Kshatriya, were able to withstand, Ravana, an Arya + Rakshasa was unable to. His ego got the better of him... and he succumbed to taunts, etc. It is also possible that his favourite but over-ambitious son, Indrajeet (Meghnaad), may have played a role in misleading him. Hence: what started out as a limited battle in order to achieve certain specific goals, flared into a full-fledged war. [Do read: Part-III - so as to get the drift.]
However, none of this takes away from the fact that Ravana was a great king + contributed towards the undoing of various social ills. Ravan was knowledgeable, well-read, a patron of the arts, and a powerful king; a good ruler that looked after his praja (people, subjects). He was an excellent Veena player, and this popular musical instrument adorned his flag. The Ravanahatha (a stringed instrument, also known as: Ravanhatta, rawanhattha, ravanastron or ravana hasta veena) is believed to have originated during his rule/time. Description: The bowl is made of cut coconut shell, the mouth of which is covered with goat hide. A dandi, made of bamboo, is attached to this shell. The principal strings are two: one of steel and the other of a set of horsehair. The long bow has jingle bells. [Nevertheless, we must keep in mind that from Ravan's era until now, this instrument would have undergone several changes.] However, Ravan's proverbial Achilles heel was his excessive ego and rage. His ten heads [Dashanan, Dashagriva] is a metaphor: it not only points towards his great intelligence and knowledge (and possibly 10 kingdoms), but also alludes to his gigantic ego. [The name Ravana is derived from the root, 'Ra' which signifies the sun. Ravana means: 'he - of the terrifying roar'. However all those stories about Shiva's toe crushing Ravan's hands is clearly a cryptic description of some natural phenomena.]
Ravana was born to a great sage - Rishi Vishrava (or Vesamuni), and his wife, the daitya princess Kaikesi. [The daityas were a group/clan that sprang from the Sapta-Rishis. It is possible that Daitya and Rakshasa were interchangeable, or perhaps the latter was a sub-clan of the former, though both would have come under the Asura clans.] Ram and Ravana were gynati or 'related people'; and it is not just because they both worshipped the Sun (Surya); they had a Sapta-Rishi connection too.
Hence, the now-familiar regurgitation by sundry 'experts', 'scholars', and 'knowledgeable' persons (of whom we seem to have no shortage of - within and without) that Ravan could have easily ravished Sita in captivity, but did not - since he was a non-Arya, and therefore, noble-minded; while Ram, a supposedly ignoble Arya - subjected Sita to "purification rituals" (agni-pareeksha) - is fraught with mischief.
These towering 'experts', 'scholars', and 'knowledgeable' persons simply choose to ignore the fact that like Ram, Ravana too followed the noble way of life ('Arya-dharma'). Among the Kshatriyas or the warrior people/community, mistreating women was considered to be the lowest of the lowest of paap or sin (that anyone could ever commit), and such a person (i.e. whosoever mistreated women) was looked down upon. However, not only do our eminent 'scholars' blithely choose to overlook this, they also merrily ignore the bit about Sita being Mandodari's daughter. [Mandodari was Ravan's favourite queen and consort. Sita and Mandodari were so alike that even Hanuman was confused.]
It is said that Raja Janak (Sheeradwaj) of Videha (now known as Janakpur) found her abandoned in a ditch, then adopted and brought her up as his own daughter. [Sita may have been lost or may have been kidnapped, as a baby - by someone - in order to settle some personal score: a family dispute or some other enmity. It is also possible that she may have been a victim of the negative attitude prevalent against women/females (amongst various groups of people) - in that era. Meaning: someone may have tried to kill her... by abandoning her in a ditch or by burying her alive - while still a baby or toddler.]
'Sita' or 'Seeta' is derived from 'Seet' - an instrument used to dig up the ground, especially for agricultural purposes. Her foster-father, Raja Janak, probably found her during the sowing/planting season or maybe during the harvesting season - while trying to ceremonially till the soil/ground, so as to signal the commencement of the sowing/planting or (maybe) the harvesting season.
Unfortunately, Ravana has been turned into a gigantic villainous figure, thanks to later embellishments.
But the narrative tells us that he deputed Vibhisana's wife, Sarama, to look after Sita - during the latter's period of captivity at Ashoka Vatika. [Vibhisana was Ravana's younger brother.]
Not mere maids or staff, but (Vibhisana's wife) Sarama herself was assigned this responsibility. So, Ravana was clearly extending all due courtesies. [And who knows there may have been meetings with Mandodari too, which later (mis)interpreters and (mis)translators (probably) neatly edited out.]
We also find Vibhisana assuring Ram that Ravana will never harm Sita, no matter what.
[Vibhisana had crossed over to Ram's side, and this may have been prompted by (Ravana's favourite son) Indrajeet's excessive zeal - due to which things were getting out of hand. However, despite Vibhisana's defection, Ravan continues to treat Sarama well, and she continues to look after Sita.]
Here is the narrative: Indrajeet resorts to 'trickery' - in order to demoralize the 'Van-nar Sena'. He goes back to Lanka and returns with a 'mayamayi form of Sita' - on his chariot (ratha). [Mayamayi = magical, illusionary.]
Hanuman tries to attack him; Indrajeet does not retaliate.
Instead: in full view of Hanuman and the Van-nar Sena, he pulls 'Sita' by her hair and beats her. A tearful 'Sita' cries out: "Ha Ram." A shocked and angry Hanuman chastises Indrajeet - as the most barbaric of all beings, and as the lowest of the lowest of papi or sinners (since he raised his hand on a woman.) Hanuman further tells Indrajeet that his disgusting action will condemn him to the most despicable/lowliest place of all - a place where killers of women are condemned to, a place that even death-row criminals look down upon.
Indrajeet responds by beheading 'Sita', prompting the 'Van-nar Sena' and Hanuman to attack him, which he ably retaliates + kills several Vanaras. Thereafter, Hanuman advises the Vanaras to stop fighting, and instructs them to inform Ram and Sugreeva about the sudden turn of events.
Ram - who has fought numerous battles and has seen all there is to see in the battlefield... and has never flinched, collapses on being told that: 'Sita is dead'. Lakshman too is stricken with grief, and though they manage to revive a shattered Ram, their (Lakshman + Hanuman + the Vannar Sena) sorrow knows no bounds.
Vibhisana arrives to find everyone grieving, and on inquiring is told (by Lakshman) that: 'Indrajeet has killed Sita'.
Instantly Vibhisana responds that it is impossibility, since Ravana will never let such a thing to happen. [As we already know, Ram and Ravana were gnyati, Kshatriya and Arya. Arya is not just a group of people or identity, it also denotes adherence to noble principles.]
Vibhisana goes on to inform the startled gathering that Indrajeet has resorted to 'illusion' (maya) - in order to successfully complete a 'homa' - that will not only make him invincible, but also provide him with the powers to decimate his enemies. According to Vibhisana, Indrajeet has used his 'magical powers' to 'bedazzle or enchant' the Vanaras - so as to complete the 'homa' without any disruptions. ['Coz according to Brahma (who has bestowed Indrajeet with the special 'boon') - whosoever disrupts the 'homa' before it's completion, will be Indrajeet's nemesis.]
Thereafter, Vibhisana assures everyone that the 'Sita' that Indrajeet has supposedly 'killed' is not the real Sita, but a 'Mayamayi Sita' (i.e. an illusionary Sita). Having explained everything, Vibhisana advises the Vanaras: 1. To disrupt the 'homa' - that is being performed at the 'Nikumbila Yagya-gaar'. 2. To attack Indrajeet before the completion of the said 'homa'.
Now, all these are clearly camouflaged language.
'Homa' is a fire ritual or fire-worship, and fire = agni. But our ancient texts cannot be taken at face value... as we have already seen during the course of our discussions (e.g., refer to Part-V):
'Agni' = a metaphor to indicate the 'outcome' of a laboratory/scientific/technological/or medical process.
'Yagna' = a metaphor used to indicate a laboratory or a technological process per se.
'Yagnakunda' = a metaphor to indicate the 'specifics' of any laboratory or technological process. That is: the 'instruments' or the 'method' used or employed in any laboratory or technological process.
'Yagya-gaar' = the laboratory or place where the research/process is being conducted. [Gaar = room, here it means a laboratory where a technological process is underway.]
Hence, the stated 'homa' is clearly a technological procedure - in order to make some highly advanced and immensely destructive weaponry - that would decimate Indrajeet's opponents and render him victorious. It is possible that neither Ram nor the Vanaras possessed such weaponry.
Brahma signifies knowledge and creation. Here: Brahma = a reference to the person possessing the know-how (i.e. an allusion to the person who knew how to make the earlier-mentioned weaponry).
Brahma's 'boon' = a reference to the knowledge transfer - regarding the said weaponry.
'Nikumbila Yagya-gaar' = the laboratory or place where the stated weapon(s) was being made.
Brahma's caution against any disruption before the completion of the 'homa' = the caveat, so as to prevent self-detonation. [The person transferring the know-how provided this caveat.]
I interpret Indrajeet resorting to 'illusion' as: the use of technology. [Some later-day interpreters or translators have misunderstood/got confused/not understood the reference to technology, and has, therefore, turned it into 'illusion' instead. However, this shift (in the narrative) would have undoubtedly helped stage plays, wandering theatres, poetry or songs - since depicting technology on stage or in poetry is not easy. Also: people would not have understood any of it - given our situation, a few hundred years ago.]
The 'Mayamayi Sita' is clearly a 'humanoid'. A very realistic and human-like humanoid, one that looked like or resembled Sita completely or at least very closely, so as to befuddle not only the 'Van-nar Sena' but even Hanuman. We can gauge how advanced and realistic this humanoid was, given that it could be be-headed - in full view of the Vanaras. [However, this humanoid may not have been as advanced as the humanoids of the 3rd era or the Dvapar Yug: refer Part-XV.]
The Ramayana has many more references to humanoids. E.g. Kumbhakarna.
Though constantly referred to as Ravana's younger brother, Kumbhakarna was not human at all, but a 'Yantra'; a 'yantra' that may have had the appearance of a gigantic human. To be more precise: Kumbhakarna was a fearsome more-machine-and-less-human-like 'humanoid', and a gigantic one at that. [Possibly: a variant + much-advanced version of 'The Black Knight' + 'MAARS Robot' (Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System.) Kumbhakarna's 'mace' or 'spike' or 'hammer' may have been: a 30mm cannon, AA12 Atchisson Assault Shotgun, PHASR Rifle, MB240 machine gun, 40mm grenade launcher, a loudspeaker and eye dazzling laser, or bean bag guns, smoke, and pepper spray. Far more potent than what we have today.
He/it was truly a weapon of mass destruction - one that inflicted enormous damage on the enemy (in the battlefield). But unlike say the 'Brahmastra' or the 'Shiv-dhanu' - which was nuclear devices capable of wrecking destruction of mammoth proportions - Kumbhakarna did not quite inflict such damage on the environment.
Ravana used Kumbhakarna sparingly, meaning, only during very difficult battle-situations, and it instantly turned the tide in Ravana's favour. Kumbhakarna may have been very high-maintenance though, and (probably) had to be well-taken-care-of - for six months - when it could not be used or pressed into service. Maybe it required a special kind of charging - in order to function smoothly for the remaining six months (i.e. for one full day of the remaining six months). It is also possible that it may have needed a regular change or upgradation of some of its 'body parts' or may have had to be re-assembled before use - hence it has been (metaphorically) stated that it was an arduous task to 'rouse him from sleep'. [Yet again, later translators have not understood technology or what a 'Humanoid' is, and has, therefore, turned it into Ravana's gigantic younger brother who slept for six months and who was given to gluttony, etc.]
Kumbhakarna devastated Ram's army (the Van-nar Sena), injured Hanuman, knocked Angad unconscious, knocked Sugriva unconscious before taking him as a prisoner... but was ultimately 'killed' by Ram. [Note: Ram 'killed' Kumbhakarna, essentially means: he dismantled it or rendered it useless.]
[However, all the narrative about Sugreeva and Dvivida (a leader of the Vanaras) hurling mountains at Kumbhakarna (and vice versa), or thousands of "monkeys" climbing up onto Kumbhakarna and then hitting and scratching him with their nails, fists, teeth and arms - are later (mis)translations; since Kumbhakarna has been (mistakenly) thought to have been a gigantic human, while the Vanaras have been turned into monkeys. But then, all of this would have no doubt helped stage plays and shows, by providing opportunities for much amusement - to the audience/public.]
During the battle with Kumbhakarna, Ram first used the same weapons/'arrows' (with 'Roundra' spell) - but to no avail. These may have been weapons/missiles propelled by energy or heat tapped from the Sun and/or the upper atmospheric layers, and these probably induced dehydration, loss of consciousness, coma, etc that helped him subdue such difficult entities like Vaali. [However, thereafter, he might have figured out what Kumbhakarna really was, and hence, brought out the necessary weapons.]
The narrative says: Ram used the 'Bayabya/ bâyabya Astra' to cut-off/dismantle one of Kumbhakarna's arms. [Vaayu = wind; so this weapon may have been a wind-powered weapon, meaning: a weapon that was propelled by electricity generated from wind. The 'Bayabya/ bâyabya Astra' was very likely a much more potent version of the XM25 Individual Airburst Weapon System (IAWS).
It is very likely that the humans of the Treta Yug knew how to harness wind power or wind energy - for launching potent weaponry. The best wind - meaning the most powerful and constant wind - blows at high altitudes. Our ancients may have had the technology to harness electricity from it, apart from possessing sleeker, more efficient wind power generators than we can imagine. Maybe: they used tall tress, mountains, and satellites, besides man-made structures and "supertrees" - for the purpose.]
[Note: Here is an example of "supertrees" - vertical gardens up to 164 feet tall that capture rainwater and filter exhaust - are capped with solar panels that provide energy to light up the trees at night. Do read: Link. A similar though much-advanced mechanism may have been employed in order to tap the 'Roundra' spell. However, these probably are much "lesser" versions of what our ancients possessed or used.]
Despite losing one arm Kumbhakarna was not affected, and charges towards Ram holding an uprooted tree - in his remaining arm. [This uprooted tree bit may be an exaggeration though, thanks to stage plays; Kumbhakarna probably was holding some weapon instead.]
Next, Ram used the 'Aindrastra' to dismantle/cut-off Kumbhakarna's remaining arm. Yet, Kumbhakarna continues to charge at him - even though both its arms had, by then, been cut-off. Therefore, it is very likely that Kumbhakarna was also fitted with autonomous navigation software, and so could design and follow its own routes without input from an outside source.
'Aindra' is probably derived from Indra - who wields the fearsome 'vajra'. 'Vajra' also means: 'lightning'; it packs in humongous quantities of electricity. [Lightning is a massive electrostatic discharge caused by unbalanced electric charges in the atmosphere, and resulting in a strike, from a cloud to itself, a cloud to a cloud or a cloud to ground, and accompanied by the loud sound of thunder.] Astra = weapon. Hence: the 'Aindrastra' was very likely an extremely powerful version of the Taser Shockwave - its power derived from the atmosphere.
Thereafter, Ram uses the 'ardha-chandra vaan' to dismantle Kumbhakarna's legs/feet.
[Ardha-chandra = half-moon; ardha = half, chandra = moon. And this symbol is associated with Shiv - the 'moving force' behind the cosmos; this force or energy (as per our ancients) must remain inert so that there is no cosmic turbulence (i.e. tandav nritya).
The 'ardha-chandra vaan', therefore, was a very powerful weapon indeed; and very likely, a much-advanced version of: The Active Denial System (ADS). Did the moon have anything to do with it? Well, my guess is as good as yours. [BTW, the ardha-chandra or the half-moon is also part of the Sanskrit symbol depicting OM or AUM - the sound of the universe. So, it is also possible that this weapon may have derived its power from aspects of the universe itself.]
Vaan = arrow, but these were no ordinary arrows, but small-sized rockets/missiles that were capable of inflicting large-scale damage. And hence, the 'bow' or 'dhanu' was no ordinary 'bow' either.]
Lastly, Ram unleashed the fearsome 'aindra-shar' - that was extremely sharp, as swift as the wind and as bright as the rays of the sun - and 'cut-off' Kumbhakaran's huge head (along with its 'chanchal kundal' and 'brhath dashan'.)
Aindra = derived from Indra - who wields the fearsome 'vajra'. Vajra = 'lightning', essentially: humongous quantities of electricity. Shar = arrow; again no ordinary arrows, but small-sized rockets/missiles that inflicted mammoth destruction. [As bright as the rays of the Sun: possibly alludes to its effect/aftermath or its dazzling power.]
So, the 'aindra-shar' may have been yet another fearsome weapon propelled/powered by 'vajra' or 'electricity harnessed from lightning'; and since Kumbhakarna was a more-machine-and-less-human-like humanoid, needless to say, this weapon 'finished' him.
[The 'aindra-shar' may have been a far more advanced version of The Laser Avenger. The earlier-mentioned 'Aindrastra' (that was used to dismantle Kumbhakarna's remaining arm)... probably was a somewhat less potent variation of the 'aindra-shar'.]
The narrative says that the 'aindra-shar' cut-off Kumbhakaran's huge head (along with his 'chanchal kundal' and 'brhath dashan'.)
Let's consider 'Chanchal kundal'.
Chanchal = unsteady, flickering, restless. Kundal = very likely has been derived from 'kundalini' (kuṇḍalinī), meaning: '"coiled".
[Sanskrit: kund - "to burn"; kunda - "to coil or to spiral". Kundalini = a concentrated field of intelligent, cosmic invisible energy absolutely vital to life; beginning in the base of the spine when a man or woman begins to evolve as wisdom is earned. Kundalini has been described as liquid fire and liquid light. The ultimate outcome of kundalini is the union of Will (sakti- kundalini), Knowledge (prana-kundalini) and Action (para- kundalini).]
[Karna = ears.] I interpret 'chanchal kundal' as the flickering circuits - of Kumbhakarna (near or beneath his ears/karna or maybe the ears per se). Once this (the 'chanchal kundal') along with the head was dismantled/cut-off from the 'body' - Kumbhakarna was rendered useless/completely destroyed.
When Ravana heard of Kumbhakarna's 'death', he fainted (due to excessive grief and shock) and after recovering, proclaimed that he was now truly doomed. Ravana not only felt as if he had virtually lost his 'right arm', but was also at a loss to figure out just how the 'invincible' Kumbhakarna could be 'slain' in battle. [You can interpret this bit, right?]
We may classify Kumbhakarna as 'Brhma-daitya'. [Brhma comes from 'Brh', which means: to grow. Daitya = gigantic-sized.] However: this Daitya is not to be mistaken for the group of humans also known as Daitya; the latter were the progeny of the Sapta-Rishi, more specifically of Rishi Kashyap and one of his wives, Diti, and hence, they were known as 'Daitya', meaning: descendents of Diti.]
As to why Kumbhakarna may be classified as a 'Brhma-daitya': This is because, although Kumbhakarna was already a gigantic-sized humanoid, it could be made to grow even bigger, and this feature, no doubt, would have been most useful - in the battlefield. Imagine a humanoid that's immune to most weaponry; can grow in size... and charges all over the battlefield. Nightmarish for whosoever is at the receiving end, right?
Kumbhakarna is an amalgamation of two words: kumbha + karna. It literally means: one whose ears are shaped like a 'kumbha'. Kumbha = is a full vase, pot, a jar or a pitcher. It also signifies the womb. [Karna = ears.]
Now: what do you think this 'kumbha' (vase, pot, jar or pitcher or maybe the womb) in Kumbha-karna indicates/signifies?
To understand this, let's consider the Mahabharata and the birth of the Kauravas, courtesy Maharshi Veda Vyas.
The Kauravas were born as a result of a 'test-tube' process, wherein even their gestation happened in *pitcher-shaped incubators*, outside their mother's womb. And given that Gandhari "gave birth to a hard piece of lifeless flesh" after "two years" of remaining "pregnant", one cannot rule out the involvement of *stem cells* and cloning technology. Advanced 'Parthenogenesis' was a possibility too. [However, if we are to consider 'pitcher-shaped incubators', pitcher = kumbha, and 'pitcher-shaped incubators' = kumbha.]
Now, let's consider Drona (best known as: Dronacharya). [Acharya = honorific or title for a guru/teacher.]
Droṇa implies that he was not gestated in a womb, but outside the human body in a droṇa (vessel; very likely a 'pitcher-shaped vessel/incubator' - that acted as the surrogate womb.)
Droṇa implies that he was not gestated in a womb, but outside the human body in a droṇa (vessel; very likely a 'pitcher-shaped vessel/incubator' - that acted as the surrogate womb.)
The story of Droṇa's birth is related in camouflaged language in the Mahābhārata, Book I: Ādi Parva, Sambhava Parva, Section CXXXI. Here it is: Bharadvāja went with his companions to the Gaṅgā River to perform his ablutions. There he beheld a beautiful apsara named Ghṛtācī who had come to bathe. The sage was overcome by desire, causing him to produce a reproductive fluid. Bharadvāja Muni captured the fluid in a vessel called a Droṇa, and Droṇācārya himself sprang from the fluid thus preserved. [Droṇa would later boast that he had sprung from Bharadvāja without ever having been in a womb.]
Again loads of camouflaged language here. Besides, yet again some later-day translators have clearly misunderstood the reference to 'Ganga' and taken it at face value instead (thereby bringing in 'ablutions' and 'bath' - so as to complete the narrative), just as say 'agni' has been literally translated as 'fire'.
'Ganga' essentially indicates that Drona was a "pure-born" or of "virgin-birth", meaning: he was a human born out of a laboratory process, where even his gestation happened outside the womb of his mother (or any other human). The said Rishi Bharadvaja (Drona's 'father') was a learned sage (Rishi) of the Bharadvaja gotra (i.e. descendent of Bharadvaja - one of the Sapta-Rishi.) This Rishi of the Bharadvaja gotra was the sperm donor, while the beautiful apsara - Ghṛtācī (Drona's 'mother') was a female Gandharva and very likely the egg donor.
[Apsara is wrongly thought to be celestial beings; these were female Gandharvas that were extremely attractive + adept at the performing arts. The Gandharvas descended from the Sapta-Rishis, and may have been a breakaway faction of the Devas. The name Gandharva is of Sanskrit origin, and is very likely derived from the Sanskrit word gandha, meaning perfume, odour or smell. These people were renowned for their great knowledge of flowers, aromatic herbs, plants and birds. Hence "Gandharva" is a reference to the spices and aromatic herbs that they [the inhabitants of ancient Northwest South Asia, including Bakthria and possibly also the people using the Kharoṣṭhī script] traded and with which they anointed themselves. They were also well-versed in music and dance + were expert players of a variety of musical instruments. There were martial-like Gandharvas too - as testified by our ancient texts, e.g. the Mahabharata. The female Gandharvas were known as "apsara"; and though they married the male Gandharvas (who too were physically magnificent to behold), marriages with non-Gandharvas were quite prevalent. Multiple partners were common, hence a Gandharva Vivah (or union) was essentially a (short term) union between a male and a female; it was devoid of rituals, though the consent of the female was vital. Meaning: this form of union or vivah - was prevalent outside of the Gandharva community as well, and was one of the many types of ancient Vedic marriages (vivaha or union). Given their virtuosity in the performing arts, the Gandharvas (including the apsaras) were part of the assemblies or courts of the Deva/Sura kings and chieftains - even after various groups of Devas/Suras had formed a distinct identity (and even after the Gandharvas had broken away from the Devas/Suras and formed a separate identity of their own).
Modern Kandahar takes its name from that of the region's former people, the Gandhara/Gandharva. Gandhari (of the Mahabharata) was undoubtedly a Gandharva and hailed from the ruling family of the Gandharas/Gandharvas, hence her name was Gandhari (meaning: belonging to the Gandhara/Gandharva).
Let's return to Kumbhakarna.
From our discussions so far it must be reasonably clear that Kumbhakarna has been mistranslated as "one whose ears are shaped like a 'kumbha'". Kumbhakarna was a fearsome more-machine-than-human humanoid/weaponry that was created in a laboratory (via very advanced technology.)
As for the 'karna' bit, karna = ears.
Think of Karna of the Mahabharat: popularly believed to have been born with 'kundala' on his ears and 'kavacha' (armour) on his body. But what do you think these signify? [Do read: Part-XVI.]
Karna's "kaavacha" and "kundaal" are simply indicators of his status as an unnatural human (more specifically that of a highly-evolved humanoid.)
"Kaavacha" (armour) is simply a metaphor to indicate that Karna was very difficult to kill (since he was an unnatural human; it is not to be taken at face value or literally.) While "Kundaal" or "Kundala" is derived from "kundalini" (kuṇḍalinī), meaning: "coiled". [Sanskrit: kund - "to burn"; kunda - "to coil or to spiral".]
Karna's "kundaal" or "Kundala" were the circuits - inside his body - more precisely, near or beneath his ears (karna) or maybe the ears per se. Only if the "Kundaal" was 'taken off' or attacked - Karna would be destroyed, nothing else could destroy him (as indicated by the metaphoric "kaavacha" or armour). [Therefore: Karna could not have donated either his "Kaavacha" or his "Kundaal". Ever.]
Also: think of Ghatotkacha - supposedly Bheem's son with the Rakshasi Hidimbi. We find that Ghatotkacha too could increase in size/turn himself into a gigantic figure. Now, how could this be possible... if he were to be a mere human? So, who do you think Ghatotkacha really was? [Hint: Ghat = a pitcher-shaped vessel. Utkoch or utkaca = reward, gift, present.] BTW, while you deliberate on this, do remember that Bheem too was an unnatural human. [Rakshasi is a female Rakshasa; the Rakshasas were yet another clan of humans that sprang from the Sapta-Rishis, and may have come under the Asura clans.]
Apart from the 'Mayamayi Sita' and Kumbhakarna, there is mention of other humanoids too (in the Ramayana). E.g.: Atikaya, and Kumbhakarna's two 'sons' - Kumbha and Nikumbha (who too fought in the war against Ram and were subsequently 'killed'. Note the mention of 'Kumbha' yet again.)
That our ancients possessed far greater knowledge and awesome technology should not surprise us at all. Even one look at the pyramids (of Miṣr) or the drainage system of the Indus Valley Civilization (the Sarasvati Civilization) - should be enough to tell us where we stand. We cannot replicate any of it; try as much as we want. In fact, we won't even succeed in creating a prototype that would last a mere 100 years. [But then, we should not even make an attempt in that direction... given that we are extremely happy and content to use low quality and lead-laden products that bear the mark of the smiling-faced Nag; products that are as diverse as kites, toys, electronic goods and even our national flag.] Our ancients undoubtedly possessed a lot more knowledge and technology than us. We have a whole lot of mumbo-jumbo instead... though we steadfastly refuse to admit this, thanks to a combination of arrogance and our linear view of history. :)
[Note: Kumbha or Kumbh meant a "pitcher-shaped vessel/incubator" and indicated a laboratory process. "Ganga" indicated "pure-birth" or "virgin-birth", wherein, a human was completely born out of a laboratory process (Kumbha), meaning: even the gestation happened outside the body/womb of a human mother - in a Kumbh (or "pitcher-shaped incubators" that acted as the surrogate womb). However, due to the various changes and influences that have come about on this great land + seeped into the ancient Sanaatan Dharma (post the demise of the Gupta era), our ancient texts have been misunderstood and misinterpreted. Result: we have come to take the literal meaning of "Kumbha", besides the literal meaning of "Ganga" and then (mistakenly) put two and two together. This has further resulted in a terrible pollution of the river Ganga and her waters, which were meant to solve the irrigation and drinking water needs of the people. As to why I said post the demise of the Gupta era: well, if we are to examine some of the rituals associated with what has now come to be known as the "Kumbh Mela", we find "shaahi snaan". Snaan = bath, ablutions, mela = gathering, fair, festival; but what about "shaahi"? This word very clearly indicates the post Gupta era.
It is possible that given the relentless onslaught of the Mlechchas, that proudly raised pyramids of skulls, and renamed an entire Himalayan mountain range as the "Hindu Kush" - so as to mock us (for generations to come) + as a constant and painful reminder of the pogrom that was unleashed on this great land and her people, Sanaatan Dharmis were forced to raise the Bhakti quotient and the ritual quotient - in order to "survive". That is to say: so that Sanaatan Dharma could tide over the Mlechchas. [Later: vested interests of all manners have preyed on it, thus bringing us to our current state of decay.]
But it is time for us to rationalize, is it not? Don't you think it is important that we not only cleanse our water-bodies but also regenerate the noble principles of the Sanaatan Dharma - if India has to reinvigorate herself and emerge as a great nation once again, and claim her rightful place on the world stage? Incidentally: Naga means serpent, and the Naga people indicated serpent-worshipping clans, i.e. clans with a serpent totem - that descended from the Sapta-Rishi. It did not mean au naturel. Though for several decades rather centuries, we find such people claiming to be god-men + unfailingly doing their bit to pollute the river Ganga. :-(]
BTW, Meghnaad means: thunderous. [Megh = cloud, naad = sound.] It is believed that he was named "Meghnaad" because his birth cry sounded like thunder. However, in my humble opinion, his birth-name may have been something else; something that may have got lost in the mists of time. Thereafter, he may have become famous as "Meghnaad" due to the thunderous (supersonic, concord-like?) sound made by his aircraft (vimana). There are references to Meghnaad hiding amongst or behind clouds... and this is a clear allusion to some sort of aircraft/vimana.
Meghnaad is better known as Indrajeet - the conqueror/vanquisher of Indra. It is a title that Meghnaad took on after defeating Indra - the king of the Devas - in battle (the Devasura Sangram).
[This "Asura" does not mean "negative" in any way whatsoever. This Asura was simply the name of a group/clan of humans that sprang from the Sapta-Rishi. However: It is also possible that the Asuras too may have been a breakaway faction of the Devas/Suras.]
During the course of my reading I came across an "Indr" amongst the Kalash people. No matter what story/legend prevails now, the modern Kalash people are very much a part of this land, and are the descendents of various groups of ancient Arya or the Aryaee people - the ones that descended from the Sapta-Rishi. Very likely they are the modern descendents of some of the ancient Deva/Sura clans (and maybe even of some ancient Asura clans). Yes, their appearance differs, but that does not mean they are descendents of foreign-settlers. Instead: their distinct appearance and heritage is only an indication that they may have (somehow) been able to preserve certain aspects of their ancient culture and heritage. The Kalash people inhabit areas that were part of ancient Devabhoomi or Devaloka. [Deva = a class/clan of ancient people that descended from the Sapta-Rishi. Bhoomi/loka = land, abode.] Incidentally: Kalash too means a vessel (also used during puja or rituals); though kalash can be a variant of Kailash as well. Hence, we cannot rule out the possibility that the forefathers of these people may have been the inhabitants of ancient Kailash (not just the mountain, but surrounding areas as well).
[Just as the Kalash people are a part of this land, so are the Coorgis + others - the ones with a distinct appearance or features (such as: colour of skin, pupils, and hair; e.g., the people of Uttara Canara, Konkan, etc). These people too are the modern descendents of the ancient Arya/Aryaee people (descendents of the Sapta-Rishi), whose ancestors - many generations ago - migrated to other parts of the country. Some intermarried, thereby giving rise to new cultures, languages, features, etc... while some did not inter-marry and so, unwittingly, managed to preserve some aspects of their ancient culture (including physical features), though the seepage of various other influences (due to the changing times) cannot be ruled out. Various other Aryaee people like the Asuras, the Rakshasas and the Nagas have migrated all over (even beyond our shores). Groups such as the (so-called) Kota tribe and the Toda tribe too are descendents of the ancient Aryaee people that have migrated southward, their ancestors may have been part of one or the other Asura clans; unfortunately today, these people have been dubbed as "tribal" - not only by our friendly colonizers but by the "civilized" descendents of the same ancient Aryaee people as well. :) These people are not uncivilized tribal. They do not need such labels; instead we can imbibe from their ancient knowledge, and (collectively) utilize it for nation-building. [Given the passage of time and the many influences, various myths and legends have no doubt come about, but none of these can negate the fact that all these people are very much a part of this land.]
And just as there has been human Shiv, Vishnu, Garuda, Sati (Dakshayani), Parvati, Kaali, Vaishnavi, et al, there has been a human Indra too. This Indra was the king of the groups of people collectively known as the "Devas" and ruled over Devabhoomi. Indra may have been a hereditory title for the king of the Devas/Suras. Ravan's son, Meghnaad, defeated one such Indra in battle... and thereafter styled himself as "Indrajeet".
[Garuda was a famous Suparna, from the foothills of the Himalayas + surrounding areas. In ancient Egyptian culture we find Horus - the Falcon-god or the Falcon-headed man. Ancient India was undoubtedly the cradle of various civilizations - despite the many 'ultra-scholars' constantly suffering from selective amnesia, and despite the deluge of 'scholarly books' trying their utmost to disprove it. :) Garuda was not an eagle or falcon, but a human that belonged to a group or community with an eagle totem or very likely a falcon totem; maybe even a falcon-worshiping clan. The Suparnas may have originally been part of the Naga clans, but later broke away and became a distinct entity/clan; skirmishes with the Nagas, therefore, was a routine affair. However, this enmity did not extend to all groups of Nagas though, only to certain specific ones. Sadly, of late the smiling-faced Nag is mowing down Garuda. BTW, although Garuda is popularly believed to have been the vaahan or vehicle of Shri Vishnu, this is not quite correct. The human Vishnu very likely possessed a high-altitude, long-endurance aircraft that may have been named Garuda; something like the Hawk aircraft - but far more advanced. Both Vishnu and Garuda may have belonged to the same clan, and the human Garuda probably was a stupendous warrior and strategist that shielded his people and territories from the smiling-faced Nags.]
The Devas, the Asuras, the Rakshasas, the Daityas, and the Nagas, et al has descended from evolved humans that arrived in ancient Kashmir: the Sapta-Rishi. This makes all of them gnyati or "related people"; collectively they were the ancient "Arya" or "Aryaee" people. Later on, as the population increased, breakaway factions came about, some migrated elsewhere, while others fought amongst themselves for influence and resources.
[This word or concept - Gnyati - has, in turn, given rise to the word/concept "gnyat", which later became gyat, then jaat or zaat. It essentially indicated one's origin/affiliation and meant 'related clans or people', NOT 'caste' - that is an alien concept.] Gnyati has also given rise to "gotr" or "gotra". In ancient times, a person was known/identified by his or her gotra (descent, lineage; as a means of identifying people of same familial lineage) and clan (kul), besides their name of course. The name of the parents too became part of their identity; the mother and the father's name held equal importance; e.g. Kunti-putra/Kaunteya (son of Kunti), Anjani-putra/Anjaneya (son of Anjani), Devaki-nandan (son of Devaki), Yashoda-nandan (son of Yashoda), etc.
However: we cannot rule out the possibility that a son may have been closely identified with his mother's name, while a daughter by her father's name, e.g. Dakshayani (daughter of Prajapati Daksha), Katyayani (daughter of Rishi Katyayan), Himalaya-putri or Parvati (euphemistically known as the 'daughter of the Himalaya Parvat', but actually the daughter of Himavat - an influential chieftain from the foothills of the Himalayas, etc.]
Indrajit was born to Ravana and his chief consort - Mandodari, the daughter of Mayasura (the King of the Asuras) and the apsara Hema. At a very young age, Meghnaad came to possess several awesome + extremely potent weapons, including the Brahmastra, Pashupatastra, and Vaishnavastra, under the guidance of Shukracharya, the guru of the daityas. [This Shukracharya is not to be mistaken for that Shukracharya - the father of Devayani, and father-in-law of Raja Yayati. This Shukracharya was either a learned descendent of that Shukracharya, or it could be that "Shukracharya" may have been the title bestowed upon the kul guru of the asuras and the daityas, (meaning: Shukracharya may have been the title for the kul-guru of various Asura sub-clans). The original Shukracharya was a descendent of Bhrigu - one of the Sapta-Rishi. The Phrygians are nothing but descendents of Bhrigu i.e. people with this gotra; brought about by a slight change in phonetics.]
Meghnaad was married to Sulochana, the daughter of the King of the Nagas - Shesha Nag (and this too may have been one of the hereditary names/titles taken on by the Naga kings.) Hence, it is not at all difficult to fathom why and how he fought Indra - the king of the Devas. [Even now we can find traces of the ancient Nagas (the Nag-worshippers) in modern Kashmir: Anant-Nag, Shesh-Nag. The Naga territories, therefore, were adjacent to (or may have overlapped with) those of the Devas... and hence skirmishes were inevitable. And although they were gnyati, one cannot rule out fights over authority, influence and resources - once the population increased.]
In the battlefield, Indrajit was swift with his weapons... and in no time wrecked havoc on the armies of Sugriva (i.e. on the Van-nar Sena); and then challenged Ram and Lakshman to fight him. A fierce battle ensued, where Indrajeet unleashed the terrible Nagapash - on the brothers (Ram and Lakshman) rendering them unconscious.
Now, the Nagapash has been incorrectly translated as "a trap made of a million snakes". Snakes = poisonous. So, the Nagapash is very clearly an allusion to a deadly nerve agent, much more potent than whatever the modern world knows of, and is a clear reference to chemical warfare. It is said that Garuda rescued Ram and Lakshman. Now, just as there was multiple Shiv, there are many Garuda, probably the name/title for the best warrior amongst the Suparnas. So, this Garuda, the one that rescued Ram and Lakshman, may have possessed the remedy for this terrible nerve agent (meaning: a remedy from its after-effects).
The narrative also tells us: When Indrajeet realized that Lakshmana was not an easy adversary, and hence, could not be overpowered easily, he started using his 'supreme magical powers', darting across the clouds and skies like a bolt of lightning. And that: he combined his skills of sorcery and deceptive warfare, repeatedly vanishing and reappearing behind Lakshman - to catch him off-guard. This may have been achieved via the usage of laser technology, holograms and (maybe) is also a reference to an advanced version of ADAPTIV Invisibility cloak. [Though later (mis)interpreters and (mis)translators have got royally confused, and hence, attributed all of this to 'tantra' and 'tantric aspects', thereby giving an undeserving boost to 'tantra' and 'tantrics' - that have come about in much later times.]
Finally, Lakshman uses the shara-shresth (the best among the 'arrows') - the 'Aindrastra' - to kill Indrajeet. This 'arrow' cuts-off Indrajeet's head along with his shirastran (crown) and ujjwal/bright 'kundaal'. Earlier, Lakshman's deadly 'arrows' had torn apart Indrajeet's golden 'kaavacha'. So, was Indrajeet actually a highly-evolved humanoid, like Karna? What say you?
Later, as we know, Ravan unleashed the deadly Shakti (possibly a weapon propelled by energy or Shakti derived from some parts of the cosmos) - on Lakshman. Hanuman's timely arrival with the mritsanjeevni booti (as per the advice of Sushen) saved his life. [Hanuman does not fly around per se, it is an allusion to vimanas. BTW, according to Sushen, even Jambavan knew (and mentioned) about the said medicinal herbs (maha-aushodhi/mahaushodhi): vishalyakarani, savarnakarani, sanjeevkarani and sandhani.]
[We will continue our discussions in the next post...]
(Do stay tuned…)
Pictures: The Ravanahatha, an illustration of Indrajeet and Vibhisana, waking up Kumbhakarna; Kumbhakarna in the battlefield, Shri Ram, Karna killing Ghatotkacha as Arjun watches; Rama and Lakshmana bound by Indrajit's Nagapasha and Hanuman arrival with the mritsanjeevni booti.