Thursday, February 28, 2013

Reclaiming our History | Decoding the Ramayana: The *real* Shri Ram: Whether he was a "bad husband" and what is 'Ram-Rajya'? (Part-XX)

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. 

What areas constituted Svargaloka/Alkapuri/Indrapuri, Gandharva-loka and Patal-puri/Nag-loka - in the current maha-yuga or four-yug cycle? *What* does 'Vasuki shielding the baby Krishna' during Vasudev's journey to Gokul mean? *What* does the "miracles" associated with Sri Krishna's birth, such as: the guards "magically" falling asleep and the "miraculous" opening and closing of the prison doors mean? Kansh 'physically battering Devaki's babies' is a myth or mistranslation - why? Bhagavan Shri Krishna that we know of today is NOT one person - why? Reconstructing the map of the ancient world (that of earlier yugs or eras). *Who* were the Pisacha (Piśāca) and the Vetala (Vetāla)? *What* really is the metaphoric vehicle or the 'vaahan' of Parvati, Vaishnavi, Katyayani - the Lion or the Tiger (Sinh or Singh) - all about? *Who* were Maa Katyayani and Maa Varahi? Notes on: "Devabhoomi" or "Devaloka"; Mayasura, Vishwakarma, Nala and Neel; mahishAsura mardinI, Durga and Gauri; the Katya lineage; the Kalpaka Vriksha; Naram-Sin and Nebuchadnezzar; the meaning and evolution of "Maurya". *Continuing* with our *discussions* on the "Devi Mahatmyam" - the "Sri Sri Caṇḍī Pāṭha".    

Now for the three lokas or the Triloka - in the current maha yuga or four-yug cycle.

But let us begin by discussing "Devabhoomi" or "Devaloka": tracts of land inhabited by the "Devas". [Deva is derived from daaivic or noble; hence (we can safely conclude that) the entire landmass inhabited by the people that followed a noble or daaivic pattern of life was known as: Devabhoomi or Devaloka. Therefore: Devabhoomi or Devaloka was the name of the entire landmass that was homeland to the various groups of Aryas - noble and civilized people - whether adivasi/Vanara or descendents of humans that sprang from the Sapta-Rishi; thus making it Aryavarta (land of the Arya people). Bhoomi/loka = land, area.]

Devabhoomi or Devaloka was not linked to any specific clan or group; it was just a reference to the vast landmass inhabited by the people who followed an Arya or noble way of life. Hence, we should not confuse or equate Devabhoomi/Devaloka as 'land belonging to the Deva/Sura clan' only. 'Coz it was also inhabited by the Asura, Naga, Gandharva and Apsara, Yaksha, et al. [E.g. even in modern times, we have this great land, India, and this great land is home to various groups of humans; therefore, India does not belong to any specific group.] The identity of the people, therefore, has always been more than one; one aspect of it derived from the land they inhabited, while the other derived from the clan (kula) they hailed from; though whatever one's clan, the people were Arya (noble-natured) and addressed each other as: Arya, Arya-putra or Arya-putri. People/groups/clans whose pattern of life deviated from the noble principles of the Arya-dharma were shunned and referred to as Mlechcha (savage, barbaric, uncivilized people) or Yavana (somewhat civilized people who also indulged in un-Arya-like activities; meaning: despite possessing a high culture, these people also indulged in barbaric behaviour like: slave-taking, plundering, misbehaving with the womenfolk, etc). It was possible for Aryas to turn into Mlechchas or Yavanas - if they deviated from the noble aspects of the Arya way of life. E.g. some groups of the Pisacha were not considered as Arya. Meaning: although they may have started out as Arya (as part of some Arya group/clan: very likely the Asura clan, i.e. as a sub-group of either the Rakshasa or the Daitya or the Danava clans), but due to their deviant/negative behaviour or pattern of life, they (i.e. some groups of the Pisacha) were shunned and treated as non-Arya. Hence: some were obliterated while others were driven out - by the Arya clans, after numerous Sangrams (battles).

Now, let us discuss the three lokas or the Triloka (on earth, in the current maha yuga or four-yug cycle). [Btw, three and tri - do you see the similarity?]

Within the Devabhoomi or Devaloka there were various lokas, and these indicated or demarcated the territories of the various Arya clans. E.g. Svargaloka/Alkapuri/Indrapuri: inhabited by the Deva/Sura clans, with Indra as their king/ruler/head-seer/chieftain - the Devaraj. "Indra" may have been the hereditary title of the Deva kings, just as "Janak" was the hereditary title of the rulers of Videha (now known as Janakpur).

[The scenery of these lands was breath-taking: what with the imposing snow-covered Himalayas in the background, and the other majestic mountains surrounding it; besides the presence of magnificent trees, lovely flowers, and clear water-bodies (that reflected the scenic beauty); hence, these lands were also known as: "Svargaloka" - loosely translated as: paradise on earth. These lands was the abode of "Indra", hence it was also known as: "Indrapuri". As for "Alkapuri", "Alka" may be a variant of "Alikh", which means: unattainable yet mesmerizing or celestial - and is, therefore, once again a reference to the beauty and splendor of these lands. Amaravati probably was the Capital of Svargaloka/Alkapuri/Indrapuri. Amara = eternal, timeless. Vati = like, place, possessing. Nandan-kannan was the famed gardens of Svargaloka. Kannan = garden.]

Svargaloka/Alkapuri/Indrapuri probably covered modern Kashmir + areas stretching up to ancient Suvastu/Udyana/Oḍḍiyāna (modern Bajaur, Swat and surrounding areas); parts of ancient Afghanistan, Iran, ancient Bakhtria and beyond; ancient Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, parts of Uttar Pradesh, ancient Punjab and Haryana; maybe: whole or parts of modern Rajasthan and Nepal.

Later on, some parts of Svargaloka/Alkapuri/Indrapuri - especially the areas covering ancient Suvastu/Udyana/Oḍḍiyāna (modern Swat and surrounding areas), parts of ancient Afghanistan, Iran, ancient Bakhtria and beyond - became Gandharva-loka, the abode of the Gandharvas. [The Gandharvas were a sub-group/sub-clan/breakaway faction or off-shoot of the Deva/Sura clan, though with a distinct identity of their own. Do read Part-XVIII and Part-XIX - to know more about the Gandharvas and the Apsaras.]

Let's now consider Patal-puri/Nag-loka (on earth, in the current maha yuga or four-yug cycle).

Patal-puri/Nag-loka - was inhabited by various Nag clans, under the leadership of their king/head-seer/chief - the Nagraj. Anant Nag, Shesh Nag, Vasuki, Takshak were the prominent Nag kings; and it is possible that these (meaning: Vasuki, Takshak) may have also been the hereditary titles taken on by the kings/chiefs of various Nag clans.

So, now tell me what do you think has been meant by: 'Vasuki shielding the baby Krishna from torrential rain' - during Vasudev's journey from Mathura to Gokul? Unfortunately, Vasuki has been turned into a gigantic serpent, thanks to later (mis)interpretations - in an attempt to turn Krishna into 'avatar' of Shri Vishnu, i.e. of what various humans thought to be Shri Vishnu. Result? :)

As for the other "miracles" associated with Sri Krishna's birth, such as the guards "magically" falling asleep and the "miraculous" opening and closing of the prison doors, these can be attributed to the many acts of kindness - displayed by the palace, kitchen and jail staff. Krishna's mother - Devaki - was the daughter of the deposed king, Ugrasena, and Devaki, (along with Vasudev) was suffering at the hands of her own brother, Kansh. Hence, we cannot rule out the presence of sympathetic people within the rank and file - even during Kansh's rule, since Akrura himself was sympathetic towards Krishna in later years. [Akrura was Kansh's powerful minister.] Therefore: the food may have been spiked (so as to make the non-sympathetic guards fall into a deep slumber) while the other guards (who were sympathetic towards Krishna's parents) opened the prison door, thus enabling Vasudev to take the baby Krishna to a safer place. And once he returned, these guards simply locked the prison doors. All this talk of 'daiva-vaani' (supposedly divine announcements that the 8th child of Devaki-Vasudev would be Kansh's nemesis) is all later additions, just as Kansh physically battering Devaki's babies - is an exaggeration as well. He probably denied all forms of medical assistance during and after the deliveries, hence, all those babies died soon after their birth. [Whatever little help the staff could extend... may not have been enough.] However, the 7th child, Balarama, was transferred from Devaki's womb to Rohini's womb (via embryo transfer) and hence, is also known as: 'Sankarsana'. [This may have been (surreptitiously) made possible by certain members of the staff - the ones that were sympathetic to Devaki and Vasudev, in conjunction with certain powerful figures like Kansh's minister, Akrura, who too was sympathetic towards them.] Rohini is mistakenly thought to be Vasudev's second wife. In Dvapar, the male-female ratio was extremely skewed; people had to resort to genetic engineering and cloning - in order to beget progeny, therefore, it is unlikely that Vasudev would have had multiple spouses. Rohini, very likely, is a reference to an incubator - that acted as a surrogate womb. 

Incidentally: the Bhagavan Shri Krishna that we know of today is NOT one person. Here's why:

In Part-XVI, we talked about the various Krishnas that presided over the Mahabharata. However, the Bhagavan Shri Krishna that we know of today, is clearly not one person. Three different figures have been or has come to be fused into the figure/person of Bhagavan Shri Krishna, perhaps due to mistranslations, the passage of time + various influences (including cult movements). Just as, say the Shiv of Shiv-Sati and the Shiv of Shiv-Parvati has somehow become one Shiv, though they are clearly not the same.

As for the three Krishnas: One is, of course, the Shri Krishna we are so familiar with - the one who speaks to us from the pages of the Mahabharata + enlightens and guides us through the Srimad Bhagavat Gita. 

The Second Krishna is the one that fought a great battle with Saalva - over eight thousand years ago (and which caused some destruction and nearly obliterated the Vrishnis and the Andhakas.) 

"Gurkha flying in his swift and powerful Vimana hurled against the three cities of the Vrishnis and Andhakas a single projectile charged with all the power of the Universe. An incandescent column of smoke and fire, as brilliant as ten thousands suns, rose in all its splendour. It was the unknown weapon, the Iron Thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death which reduced to ashes the entire race of the Vrishnis and Andhakas."

"... (the weapon 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... 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..." [All this is very clearly the description of an atomic war. References like this one are not isolated; but battles, using a fantastic array of weapons and aerial vehicles are common in many of our ancient texts. One even describes a Vimana-Vailix battle on the Moon! The above section very accurately describes what an atomic explosion would look like and the effects of the radioactivity on the population. Jumping into water is the only respite.] 

There is also mention of Krishna pursuing Saalva in the sky, when Saalva's Vimana, the Saubha, is made invisible. Undeterred, Krishna immediately fires off a special weapon: "I quickly laid on an arrow, which killed by seeking out sound". [Note: A Vimana can be made to become invisible - by Goodha: by harnessing the powers, Yaasaa, Viyaasaa, Prayaasaa in the 8th atmospheric layer covering the earth, to attract the dark content of the solar ray, and then using it to hide the Vimana from the enemy.

In modern times, this is (a much-advanced version of) the ADAPTIV Invisibility cloak that makes tanks disappear. Developed and patented in Sweden, ADAPTIV functions over infra-red and other electronic frequencies. While it can blend the coated vehicle into the background, making it seem to be invisible, it can also shape the returning signal to appear like something else. A tank, for example, can be made to look like a car.]

The Third Krishna is the one that figures prominently in the Raas-Leela, the Geeta-Govinda, etc. He may have been a Sri Chaitanyadev-like figure. [Incidentally Sri Chiatanyadev himself is considered as an 'avatar' of Shri Krishna. Question is: which Shri Krishna is being referred to?]

It is possible that some aspects of the Bhagavan Shri Krishna (of the Mahabharata) may have influenced the Krishna of the Raas-Leela and the Geeta-Govinda, since the former too was born and spent some years in similar locations and was adept at playing the flute too, but they are clearly not the same person. They do not even belong to the same eras (yug).

[You may read: Part-X and Part-XIII - to know more about Bhagavan Shri Krishna. Do read: Part-XIV - to know what "Bhagavan" and "mrityunjay" means.]

Let's get back to Nag-loka and Patal-puri; we will discuss them separately - for better clarity.

Nag-loka was the land of the Nags (i.e. of various groups or clans that worshipped the Nag or serpent and/or displayed a Nag totem) - and this very likely consisted of areas in and around the Himalayan foothills (thus encompassing vast lands on either side of the Himalayan ranges).

As for Patal-puri, this too was the land of the Nags though a little away from the Himalayan foothills. Meaning: Patalpuri was inhabited by certain Nag groups/clans that lived away from the Himalayan vicinity. As for its location, well, we have Pataliputra - ancient Patna/Bihar and we have Puri - now associated with Sri Jagannath. This covers modern Bihar and Odisha. However, in ancient times this would clearly have been a much larger area - inhabited by certain Nag clans (besides some groups of forest-dwelling humans of course). Some of them probably lived in settlements below the ground too. Ancient Nag-loka probably included parts of (modern-day) central India + parts of modern-day Andhra Pradesh as well.

And where do you think Bhagavan Sri Krishna was born (?) though unfortunately, the Mlechchas razed and plundered that place too. However, I hope we can now manage to put two and two together - about Vasudev and Vasuki, right? Krishna's maternal grandfather, Ugrasena/Agrasena, was the ruler of Mathura and hailed from the ruling clan of the Yadava Kshatriyas; he may have been an ally of the Nags, hence it is a small wonder that Vasuki himself came to help Vasudev. Both Ugrasena and Vasuki probably harboured a deep dislike for the then Magadhan python (Jarasandha) - a friend and ally of the usurper, Kansh. Kansh had deposed his own father (Ugrasena) on the advice of his close friend, Jarasandha. [Note: Both Kansh and Jarasandha's behaviour were not only contrary to the noble principles of the Arya-dharma and Kshatriya-dharma, but was against Raaj-dharma as well. Raaj-dharma = the duties of a king or ruler.]

Incidentally, Chambal is associated with Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas. About 3000 years ago the "Nag" kings had established their capitals in this place and potteries and coins of that era are still found here. According to some historians (as well as certain ancient texts), the era between 2nd Century A.D. to the middle of 4th Century A.D. saw the rule of the "Nag" clan from Mathura to upper Narmada part. The "Nag" kings established their capitals in Mathura, Kantipuri (Kuntibhoj) and Padmavati. In the Age of the Mahabharat (around 5400 BC... in the Dvapar Yug), Chambal was famous by the name of 'Kuntibhoj' - named after King Kuntibhoj - the adoptive father of Kunti. There were even some 'Centers of Learning' here... in the past - now buried deep down in the grave of time. [Note: Kuntibhoj was actually the cousin of Kunti's (who was then called Pritha/Pŗtha and Parshni) biological father Sura/Śũrasena - Chief of the Surasenas, of the Yadav clan - whose capital was Mathura on the Yamuna. She was thus the sister of Vasudev, father of Shri Krishna... and was given in adoption to the childless King Kuntibhoja, who rechristened her as Kunti. After her arrival, King Kuntibhoja was blessed with children. He considered her his lucky charm and took care of her until her marriage.]

Reconstructing the map of the ancient world - that of earlier yugs or eras - in the current four-yug cycle: Various Vanaras or forest-dwelling humans lived in the densely forested + mountainous and hilly regions, and had their own set of culture, language and way of life. We must keep in mind that the physical features, characteristics and intelligence of the ancient humans (both Vanaras and others) would have been greatly different from those of the modern humans (of the current era). The forested + hilly/mountainous areas of yore would have been much more numerous than what we find today. Also: the land area itself would have been greater; it has, in all probability, been corroded or swallowed up by the waters of the seas, etc. In the earlier eras, the sea and ocean levels may have been much lower than what we find today. Climatic conditions would have greatly differed too. Numerous flora and fauna of the earlier eras may have become extinct and/or evolved into newer (and shorter) species. 

The continent of Africa was (very likely) attached to India at some stage (at least till the end of Treta Yug or covering a significant portion of Treta Yug) - via another piece of land. [The presence of people with completely different features (e.g. the Siddi people) - along the entire coastline is an indicator of this. No matter what myth has come about now, the Siddi people are very much part of this land.] Due to a combination of natural and man-made events, this piece of land (probably) broke away from the parent/mother landmass (ancient India) and then gradually drifted apart. And: we cannot rule out the possibility that this landmass (that connected modern Africa to modern India during ancient times and later broke-away) may have been modern-day Australia. The waters may have swallowed up some portion of land, while bigger chunks may have sunk under the sea and/or ocean. Alternatively: the piece of land that connected ancient Africa and India (during ancient times) may have broken off altogether and sunk under the sea. In which case, Australia may have been a part of ancient Lanka. Unfortunately, due to the un-Arya-like actions of various aliens, we have been forever deprived of the opportunity to study the culture and heritage of the Aborigines of Australia and the Jarawa people, the Sentinelese, the Onge, the Andamanese, etc. [The decision - by our friendly colonizers, to colonize these islands - proved to be disastrous for the indigenous people. The notorious penal colony and central jail on the island of South Andaman were the beginning of the end for the Jarawa and the Andamanese, as they succumbed to disease and the prejudiced, imperialistic policies of the new owners of their land.]
The notorious penal colony and central jail on the island of South Andaman were the beginning of the end for the Jarawa and the Andamanese, as they succumbed to disease and the prejudiced, imperialistic policies of the new owners of their land. - See more at:
The notorious penal colony and central jail on the island of South Andaman were the beginning of the end for the Jarawa and the Andamanese, as they succumbed to disease and the prejudiced, imperialistic policies of the new owners of their land. - See more at:

Ancient Lanka was most certainly a bigger landmass, that was gradually swallowed up by the sea + some portion of the land may have sunk under the sea (besides the possibility that modern-day Australia was a part of ancient Lanka). Also: modern South America was attached to Africa - once upon a time (and later: broke away and drifted apart). Modern N. America was also attached to South America and Asia. If we are to study the maps and the contours of the various continents/nations... this will become quite apparent. Besides: Vast chunks of ice have melted and raised the sea and ocean levels. Some ice-chunks may have drifted to other parts; some landmass may have sunk elsewhere too, e.g. in the Far-East and near modern Thailand, etc - due to a variety of factors that was very likely a combination of both: man-made and natural. The abundance of desert-lands may have been a later phenomenon. Please note: this is just a humble attempt to reconstruct the map of the ancient world - a world that thrived during an entirely different era or yug.]

Based on our discussions so far, we can safely conclude that the Asuras were a breakaway faction of the Deva/Sura clans; the Daitya, the Danava and the Rakshasa clans were various Asura sub-clans - albeit with some (minor) distinct features/characteristics. The Asuras were great builders and architects. Mayasura was their best architect, though "Mayasura" may have also been the title bestowed upon the best of the best of architects amongst the Asura clan (including the Daitya, the Danava and the Rakshasa clans). The Vanaras or the 'forest-dwelling humans' were great builders too; Nala and Neel were their chief architects, and these names may have been honorary titles bestowed upon the finest architect amongst the Vanaras. "Vishwakarma" was the chief (and the best) architect amongst the Deva/Sura clans; it was probably also the title bestowed upon the best of the best of architects amongst the Deva clans. [Even today we find people with the surname: Vishwakarma.]

Incidentally, Mayasura is mentioned both in the Ramayana as well as in the Mahabharata. In the Ramayana, he is the king of the Asuras and the father of Mandodari (Ravan's favourite consort), besides being a son of Rishi Kashyap, through his wife, Diti. Therefore, Mayasura can be referred to as: a 'Daitya' of the Kashyap gotra. While in the Mahabharata, we find that "Mayasura" was the one who built the fabulous palace - Indraprastha - for the Pandavas, as per Shri Krishna's instructions (after the latter spared his life - post the destruction of the Khandava Vaan). In the Ramayana: Ravana's splendid flying palace is called Pushpaka Vimana. [Pushpaka means: flower-like.] It was originally built by Maya for Kubera, but was later usurped, along with Lanka, by Kubera's half-brother, Ravana. Hence, there were multiple "Mayasura" without a shred of doubt - and this name was very clearly the title taken on/bestowed upon the best of the best of architects (of the Asura clan).

[However, the story of Draupadi taunting Duryodhan (as: "andhe ka putra andha") is clearly a later addition, since it is a language of much later times (in fact, much closer to our times). A little study of Draupadi's character is enough to understand her caliber and nature. Do read: Part-XVI - to know more about Duryodhan.]

Mayasura is said to have built his capital - "Maya Rashtra" - modern Meerut, besides building three flying cities - known as Tripura. This is a clear reference to artificial planets or artificial satellites, the kind we are yet to see in modern times (and which may have, eventually been destroyed by cosmic turbulence - tandav nritya). Hence, it has been metaphorically (or maybe mistakenly) stated that Shiv destroyed these cities by torching them out of the skies. You get it, right? [Shiv is the name of the cosmic force/energy that causes turbulence.]

Now for the  Devi Mahatmyam.

In Part-XIX, we began discussing the Devi Mahatmyam, also known as the "Sri Sri Caṇḍī Pāṭha". [Do read it - to get the drift.]

Maa Parvati is widely hailed as Shailaputri (Daughter of the Mountains) and Himalaya-putri (Daughter of the Himalayas) - since the majestic Himalayan mountain ranges stretched far and wide, (sort of) embracing Bharatvarsha in its 'arms' or 'fold' - in a manner of speaking. [Do read: Part-XIII - to know the meaning of Bharatvarsha.]

Parvati is also addressed as: "Amba", "Ambika", "Gauri" (do refer to: Part-XIX), "Mahisasuramardini", "Durga", etc.

["mahishAsura mardinI" or "Mahisasuramardini" - the vanquisher (mardinI) of negative or aasuric entities (mahishAsura) - that disturbed peace and balance in society and in civilization. "Durga" is derived from durg, meaning: fortress; Parvati's actions fortified this great land and her people, thus shielding them from negative or aasuric entities and their influence.]

Parvati is the daughter of the mountain king/chieftain (Shailapati, Shailendra or Shailesh - "Master/Lord of the Mountains") - Himavat, an influential king/chieftain in the foothills of the Himalayas.

She, along with her comrades (Vaishnavi, Kaali, Bhadrakaali, Katyayani, Brahmi, Varahi et al) took on the forces of darkness, when none wanted to confront them. These forces had unleashed havoc on this land and her people. Based on our earlier discussions, we can instantly gauge Parvati's caliber as a person, as a leader, and as a warrior, right? Hence: the image of our beloved motherland (maatri-bhoomi) is in the image of Maa Parvati - as a token of our eternal love and respect for this remarkable woman, and as a mark of our everlasting gratitude and reverence - for her epoch-making deeds.

Due to their remarkable deeds, their Karm Yog, the people of that era revered Parvati (and her comrades) as devi-s - manifestations of the divine Mother, more precisely that of Maa Shakti - the feminine force/energy behind the cosmos. [Do read: Link1, Link2 and Link3 - for greater clarity.] Their stories have since been passed on from one generation to the next. Their legends have endured and will continue to endure.

Shiv and Vishnu too were from of the Himalayan foothills; Kailash is associated with Shiv, hence he is also known as: Kailashpati and Shailendra. [For the Kalash people and Garuda, do read: Part-XVIII and Part-XIX.]

Shri Vishnu was the son-in-law of Shiv, having married Shiv and Parvati's daughter - Lakshmi. [Do read: Part-XIX - to get the drift.] However, we must remember that the humans of the earlier eras or yugs were vastly different from us - the modern humans of the Kali Yug - in all respects, and so, their strength and longevity too would have greatly differed.

In Part-XIX, we discussed about various ancient clans; by now, hopefully, we have also gathered some clues about a few of those forces of darkness too.

Next: Let's discuss the Pisacha.

Two of the now-extinct groups of humans are: the Pisacha (Piśāca) - literally, "eater of raw flesh" and the Vetala (Vetāla) - that (probably) derived nourishment from human blood. These were ancient groups of humans and (possibly) the ancestors of what is now known as the Dard or the Dardic people (including the Pashayi or the Pashai people). Though all those years/eras/yugs ago, they would have been somewhat different from what the modern Dards look like; also: their lifestyle, language and culture too would have differed quite a bit - from their modern counterparts. Even the areas/lands they occupied may have been much bigger than the areas inhabited by the modern Dards. The Pashai languages, e.g. Pashayi, probably has evolved from Paiśāci (the language of the Piśāca), while Pashai probably comes from Pisacha (Piśāca) - though they no longer eat raw flesh. However, I have not a clue about how the Rambani language came about.

[Incidentally: Vedic marriages were of many types, and Gandharva Vivaha represented a short-term union between a male and a female, where there were no rituals involved, though the consent of the female was essential. Gandharva Vivaha happened either to beget a progeny or for the sake of simply coming together. However, the lowest form of union, by rape (i.e. a forced union), was associated with the Pisacha. Sanaatan Dharma and Arya-dharma clearly advises against such a union, no matter what type of vivaha it was. We will discuss the various types of Vedic marriages in our later posts; however, we will do well to pause and ponder over how much we have deviated from the noble principles of Sanaatan Dharma and/or Arya Dharma, no?]

Over time, the perceptions and narratives about the Pisacha and the Vetala have changed - turning them into nocturnal creatures or malevolent spirits instead; however, they were clearly a different group of humans, largely mountain-dwellers and warrior clans... and NOT spirits or shape-shifters. Various ancient texts, like the Mahabharata indicate that the Pisacha were descendants of Prajāpati Kaśyapa (which makes even the Vetala and the Dardic people descendants of Prajāpati Kaśyapa). However, we cannot rule out the possibility that a type of Pishacha, Vetala and/or ancient Dard may have predated the arrival of Rishi Kashyapa and the Sapta-Rishi. [They may have been a remnant from the previous "Manvantara". Manv = Manav; human, mankind; antara = period, cycle.] And that: Rishi Kashyap probably gave rise to a completely new set of Pisachas, etc. Later: this new set of Pisacha intermingled with other clans/groups/people - thereby giving rise to altogether new sets of humans, culture and languages.

[We will discuss "Manvantara" in our later posts - when we discuss "Manu" and "Manu-smriti". However, unfortunately though, we seem to blame the Manu(s) for all our current ills, completely overlooking the fact that the numerous misunderstandings, misinterpretations, later embellishments and contemporisation + plain mischief, are the doings of later-day vested interests that arrived on the scene much later (in the current era, much closer to our times). Yet, we (somehow) refuse to acknowledge all this and persist in steadfastly blaming the Manu(s) by pointing a firm finger at them, while comfortably overlooking the three steady fingers pointing right back at us. Did any of the Manu(s) write reams and reams about the Ramayana being a poisonous tree or claim that Shri Ram usurped anyone's right? Did Manu create the obnoxious custom known as "Sati" - once the Mlechchas arrived? Did Manu tweak the narratives about Siya-Ram, Krishna, Shiv-Sati, Chanakya et al? Did Manu ask us to pollute our water-bodies, including the river Ganga? Or did Manu create "caste", "class", "tribal" and the numerous (fictitious) invasion theories + the many (fictitious) theory of races? If yes, wonder why he has not yet been awarded the Manu Booker Prize then? :)

Vested interests - from within and without - came about after the demise of the Gupta era. "Caste" is a foreign word and concept; it is derived from the Portuguese word "Casta", meaning: purity of descent. Incidentally, the Gupta in the Gupta era is not to be confused for the trader class. This Gupta would (today) fall under some backward class or caste, probably the latter. Unfortunately, unlike our ancestors... we have succeeded in building numerous "narrow domestic walls" - in the last millennium or so. Result: aliens are making merry.]

But, let's not digress.

Though Pisacha literally means: "eater of raw flesh", not every Pisacha may have been "eater of raw flesh". The "wrong variety" or the "raw flesh eating Pisachas" probably was largely eliminated from the face of the earth due to the actions of various great humans, such as: Anant Nag, Sati, Parvati + her comrades. This allowed the non-raw flesh eaters to prosper and thrive; later, these may have inter-married with other groups of humans (i.e. other groups of the Arya people) - thus giving rise to wholly different set of humans, languages and culture.

However, despite the passage of time and despite the fact that a lot of water has flown under the bridge, we may still be able to gather bits and pieces of info, and then string them together - in order to get a somewhat clearer picture/idea about various groups of ancient humans of this land. But for this, the culture and heritage of various groups of people, like the Kohistani people and the Nuristani people, (including the Kalash people), may have to be studied or interacted with + the numerous later-day add-on and myths have to be pruned and sorted. [This way, we may be able to also figure out what the Ramgul Valley is all about, meaning: how it got its name, etc.]

Incidentally, there is a sub-group called the "Kata" people among the Nuristani people. And we aren't unfamiliar with "Kata", right? 'Coz the Devi Mahatmyam clearly mentions Katyayani - daughter of Rishi Katyayan. Rishi Katyayan was the son of Rishi Katya, who in turn was the son of Rishi Kat or Kata.

The son of "Kat" as "Katya". Therefore: Rishi Katyayan was born in the Katya lineage. And so was Devi Katyayani.

Btw, Kadiyan is a Jat Kshatriya gotra found in the states of Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh. Kadyan is a Pali version of the Sanskrit Katyayana (Katyayan to Katyan to Kadyan). Tradition has it that Rishi Vishvamitra had many sons including two by the names of Kat and Achchil. The descendants of Kat were called Katyayan and over time it got corrupted to Kadyan.

The above-stated descent from Rishi Vishvamitra makes Kadian a Suryavanshi (Sun-worshipping/sun-flag-bearing) clan. This fits in with their place among the Ror, who claim descent from the solar house (Suryavanshi lineage) of Ikshvaku. This is the same Ikshvaku whose descendants include the mighty Raghu, the great Bhagiratha and the pride-and-jewel of the Raghu clan, Shri Rama of Ayodhya. Another famous personality from the Puru clan (or the 'Puruvansh') is Prince Siddhartha who hailed from the Kshatriya Suryavanshi or the Sun-worshiping/sun-flag-bearing Śākya clan. He is best known as: the 'Sage-Prince' - Bhagavan Shri Gautam Buddh, and is also referred to as: Śākyamuni. [Muni and Buddh = an enlightened person.] 

[And this perhaps explains how the Rambani language came about or how the Ramgul Valley got its name.

Ikshvaku: In Sanskrit = Ikṣvāku. In Pāli: Okkāka. Do read: Part-XVII - to know more about this lineage, and Part-XIII - to know more about Bhagiratha.]

In Arabic, Kadiyan stands for King and it could possibly be a memory from the times of the Akkadian Empire. [Note the similarity between Ikshvaku and Akkadian or Akkad.] After the fall of the Akkadian Empire, the Akkadian people of Mesopotamia eventually coalesced into two major Akkadian speaking nations; Assyria in the north, and a few centuries later, Babylonia in the south.

Now, we are aware that once the population (of the descendents of the Sapta-Rishi) increased, groups of Asura people traveled all over ancient India and even beyond (the Assyrians) - in search of greener pastures + to escape the intense cold weather. [People of other clans/jaatis too traveled to other parts of the country and beyond.]

As for Babylon, it is a variation/corruption of Bahubalipuram, while the ancient Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, is nothing but a variant of Nabadwipchandra - both brought about by a change in phonetics. [Zar is very likely a variant of 'seer' or head.] Alternatively, there is a remote possibility that it may have been a variant of: Nav_chandran_eshwar. [Nebuchadnezzar I was the fourth king of the Second Dynasty of Isin and Fourth Dynasty of Babylon, while Nebuchadnezzar II was the king of the neo-Babylonian Empire. Nebuchadnezzar I ruled for 23 years and is best known for his victory over Elam and the recovery of the cultic idol of Marduk.]

We also find Naram-Sin (also transcribed as: Narām-Sîn, Naram-Suen; 22542218 BC). This is clearly a variation of Narasimha or Nrsingha (the "Lion-Man") - yet again brought about by a change in phonetics. Sin or Suen = a corrupt version of "Sinh" or "Singh", meaning: Lion. In India, we have many versions/variations of "Singh", don't we? [Do read: Part-XIX - to read about the "Lion-Man" - the Kirat, the Kinnara and the Kimpurusha.]

Due to vast military conquests, Naram-Sin assumed the imperial title "King Naram-Sin, king of the four quarters" (Lugal Naram-Sîn, Šar kibrat 'arbaim"), the four quarters as a reference to the entire world. [This is nothing but Sarvabhauma (sovereign of the world) and Chakravarti Raja, monarch of all realms. Do read: Part-XVII - to know what a "Chakravarti Raja" means.] Under Naram-Sin the Akkadian Empire reached its zenith.

Here is a bit about Chandragupta Maurya.

The despotic Nandas' reign ended after their defeat at the hands of the Chanakya-Chandragupta combine, thus Chanakya laid the foundations of the Mauryan dynasty (Maurya Raaj-vansh). There are multiple versions about Chandragupta's antecedents: #1. That he was a son of one of the Nanda Kings (most likely Dhana Nanda and his chief attendant or daasi, who hailed from the Mura clan) - thus making him a daasi-putra. #2. He belonged to a minor Kshatriya clan - the Moriya or Mura, and that his father was the chief of a forest area called Pippatavana (also: Pippalivana). [The Moriya or the Mura clan probably was a clan with a peacock-totem, and hence was called Moriya or Mura, derived from Mor - peacock; this later became Maurya: of the peacock. Wonder what exactly is the origin of a certain throne though.]

It is believed that the Muras were a breakaway faction of the Shakya clan (to which Bhagavan Shri Gautam Buddh belonged.) Due to certain disputes, this faction separated from the original clan and became a distinct group in due course. [This was not unusual, given that even the Puru clan divided into the Pauravas and the Yadavas.]

Therefore: it is completely misleading to say that Samraat Aśoka (the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya) embraced "Buddhism"; 'coz Ram, Krishna, Buddh, Asoka et al belonged to the same land, heritage, lineage and culture. Also: this "ism" bit has been appended to Shri Buddh's message much later. During Ashoka's time, there was no such concept like "religion" or "ism", and hence the insistence by some on the existence of "Buddhism" (or even "Jainism" for that matter) during Aśoka's time/reign is laughable to say the least. None can embrace something that does not exist. In reality: Samraat Ashoka was instrumental in spreading our ancient knowledge, wisdom, heritage + the majesty of this great land to ancient China and elsewhere.  

[Note: The Ashoka Pillar is the symbol of India. India's national emblem is a rendering of a sculpture erected by the Samraat Aśoka in the third century B.C. The emblem shows three lions mounted on an abacus decorated with a bull, a wheel and a galloping horse. Below it appear the words: Satyameva Jayate - "truth alone triumphs." The Aśoka Pillar at Saranath: Place of Bhagavan Shri Gautam Buddh's first sermon. The pillar is not located in it's original location as it was broken during Mlechcha invasions. Now the Lion capital (National Emblem of the Govt. of India) is displayed at the Archeological museum at Sarnath, 10 km from Banāras. Originally a wheel (Wheel of Dharma/ Ashoka Chakra, a wheel with 24 spokes) was placed over the lion capital and was mounted on a stone pillar near Dhamek Stupa (44 m in height and 28 m in diameter), Sarnath. It was 15.25 m high monolithic polished Chunar sandstone pillar (0.71 m diameter at the base and 0.56 at the top) over which the Lion Capital was erected by the Mauryan Emperor Aśoka (also known as: Priyadarshi or Piyadasi; 272 - 232 BC). It has four back-to-back Indian lions. Below this are representations of a lion, an elephant, a horse and the bull. The pillar bears three inscriptions in Brahmi script. Do read: Part-XVII - to know what a Chakra or Wheel symbolises.  There is a replica of the Ashoka pillar at Wat U Mong near Chiang Mai, Thailand, built by King Mangrai in the 13th century. Btw: Pharaoh may have been a corruption/variation of Priyadarshi, which means: pleasant-looking or favoured and blessed by the Almighty. Alternatively: it could also be a variation of Priyaraman.]

Incidentally, Chandragupta Maurya was spotted, taught, aided and guided by one of the greatest of genius - Chanakya (also known as Kautilya, meaning: the wily one). That Chandragupta hailed from a minor clan and/or was a daasi-putra made no difference whatsoever to this remarkable transcendental man (Yug Purush). His consideration was mettle and caliber; so, in a way, Chanakya was a true guru, a true Pandit or Acharya, unlike Dronacharya. [Guru = honorific for a teacher/guide. Pandit = honorific/title for a learned person. Acharya = honorific for a teacher.]

Let's return to Devi Katyayani.

If we are to examine the Devi Mahatmyam, we will find that Katyayani was one of the comrades of Parvati, who confronted the negative or aasuric forces/entities (including obnoxious humans like the Pisachas + gigantic or daitya-sized wild animals + the perpetrators of poisonous mindset - Rakta-beej). Parvati's other comrades were: Brāhmi/Brahmani or Brahmacharini; Maheshvari, Kaumari (also Skanda Mata); Vaishnavi (now Mata Vaishno Devi), Varahi, Aindri (the consort of Devaraj Indra); Shivaduti, Chamundi (Maa Kali, Chandika), Lakshmi and Sarasvati (Parvati’s daughters), and Bhadrakali. Some texts also mention: Kushmanda and Chandraghanta.

[It is, therefore, very likely that Kartikeya and Skanda were actually two different persons, who have, with the passage of time, come to be regarded as one and the same.]

Here are some of the names of the vanquished aasuric entities: Vritra, Chanda, Munda, Shumbha, Nishumbha, Dhumralochan, Tamra, Andhakasura, Madhu, Kaitaba, Sund-Upsund and Bhasmasura. Raktabeej represents the 'perpetrators of poisonous mindset'. [Rakta = blood, poisonous, toxic; beej or beeja = seed. Sund-Upsund probably were twins or brothers. Ditto: Chanda-Munda, Shumbha-Nishumbha and Madhu-Kaitaba.]

Mahisasura symbolizes certain aasuric or negative entities + gigantic-sized (daitya) ferocious, wild animals.

Here is what the "Devi Mahatmyam" (also known as the "Sri Sri Caṇḍī Pāṭha") says about Devi Katyayani:

Etatte Vadanam Saumyam Locana-Traya-Bhuussitam |
Paatu Nah Sarva-Bhuutebhyah Kaatyaayani Namo[ah-A]stu Te ||23||


23.1 Etatte = this; Vadanam = face, visage; Saumyam = pleasant, serene; Locana = eyes; Traya = three; Bhuussitam = adorned.

23.2 Paatu Nah = deliver, save, salvage, protect; Sarva-Bhuutebhyah = of all fears and negativities; Namo[ah-A]stu Te = salutations, reverential bow - in prayer.


23.1 May the serene-faced devi bless us with the bounty of eternal bliss of self-realization i.e. Sat-cit-ānanda (pronounced as: sach-chid-ānanda). [Sat describes an essence that is pure and timeless; cit is consciousness; ānanda is absolute bliss.] May the three-eyed (Triyambake) devi (the one who can "see" the past, the present and the future) open our mind's eye (manas-chokhshu or divya-drishti). [It is an allusion to her visionary and discerning nature.] May the devi bestow upon us the gift of perception and introspection.

23.2 (Salutations to You O Devi Katyayani) May you destroy all negative (aasuric) traits within us, such as: selfishness, jealousy, greed, resentment, prejudice, hatred and anger. May the devi free us from ego (ahamkara). May She fill our lives with goodness (daaivic or noble traits) and positivity. May our lives resonate with joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth. May devi Katyayani eliminate our sufferings and remove all hurdles in the path of knowledge and reason. May She protect us from all fears and negativities.

Devi Katyayani is traditionally associated with the colour red (Lohith or Rohitah), as is devi Parvati. They are considered as the primordial form of Shakti (also mentioned in Patanjali's Mahabhashya on Pāṇini). Shakti is the name of the feminine force/energy behind the cosmos. And just as Shakti holds the cosmos together, thus preventing it's disintegration, Katyayani and Durga (along with their comrades) saved society and civilization from disintegration and degradation. They salvaged the lives of the people from the stranglehold of certain aasuric entities and thereby, helped civilization to flourish well. Their actions preserved the noble principles of the Sanaatan Dharma or the Arya-dharma.

[Devi (an honorific for a great female) comes from daaivic (meaning: one who possesses noble traits or qualities.) Devi is essentially a reverential honorific for a female (entity, person, power, force or energy) - that is worthy of respect and worship. Dev is the male version. Unfortunately, Devi is now-a-days equated with 'goddess', while Dev is translated as 'god' or 'Lord'. But this is incorrect, since we do not have such concepts.]

Katyayani is described as: refulgent as a thousand suns, having three eyes, black hair, and eighteen arms. [All this essentially means that: she was a radiant/resplendent figure; a discerning person and a visionary - as represented by the metaphoric "three eyes"; thus, she could "see" the past, the present and the future. Eighteen arms = not to be taken literally, it is essentially an allusion to her tremendous skills as a warrior. She is worshipped on the 6th day of Navratri.] 

In some texts she is described as the possessor of three eyes and eight arms, each holding a different type of weapon/missile - once again indicating her skills as a warrior. However, these weapons were not ordinary weapons, since the Devi Mahatmyam clearly talks about vimana or aircraft. We will discuss that in our next post. Her metaphoric vehicle or 'vaahan' is the Lion (Sinh or Singh), since she too chose to ride the proverbial lion by taking on the aasuric entities. In reality: it may have been a sturdy all-terrain vehicle like a compact armoured tank - named "Sinh" (meaning: Lion) - due to its solidity, sturdiness, high-performance, and the shape and position of the head-lights. Though we cannot rule out the possibility that Parvati, Vaishnavi, Katyayani et al actually knew how to interact and tame wild animals (including some kind of mountain lion or tiger), given their attachment, affection and closeness with the animal world. Also refer: Part-XIX.]

Katyayani hailed from ancient Suvastu/Udyana/Oḍḍiyāna (modern Swat and surrounding areas). She (along with her companions/team comprising of brave women) not only salvaged the lives of the people from the stranglehold of certain aasuric or negative forces, but also saved their crops and livestock (and thereby their livelihood) from the attacks of gigantic-sized (daitya) ferocious, wild animals - Mahisasura symbolizes all of this. Hence, devi Katyayani is also known as Mahisasuramardini [the vanquisher (mardinI) of negative or aasuric entities (mahishAsura) - that disturbed peace and balance in society and in civilization.]

There is a remote possibility that Katyayani may have been a Pisachi, but not the raw-flesh eating type. Alternatively: there may have been some amount of Pisacha blood in her, though she may not have been part of the Pisacha clan per se. Katyayani joined forces with Parvati to vanquish the negative elements - so as to restore the noble way of life.  

Next: let's discuss Devi Varahi.

This is what the Devi Mahatmyam (Sri Sri chandipATh) says about her:

Grhiito[a-U]gra-Mahaa-Caktre Damssttro[a-U]ddhrta-Vasundhare |
Varaaha-Ruupinni Shive Naaraayanni Namo[ah-A]stu Te ||15||


15.1 Grhiito[a = assuming, forming; U]gra = terrible, fierce, ferocious; Mahaa-Caktre = the great discus; Damssttro[a = tusk; U]ddhrta = rescue, salvage; Vasundhare = Mother Earth.

15.2 Varaaha = the great boar (an allusion to the 3rd avatar of the "Dasavatara"); Ruupinni = in/assuming the form of; Varaaha-Ruupinni = assuming the form of devi Varahi; Shive = a great, noble and powerful force; Naaraayanni = the balancer or the preserver; the restorer of balance in society and civilization + the protector of the noble principles of the Sanaatan Dharma, the Arya-Dharma and the Kshatriya Dharma. [Naaraayanni is an honorific - since the cosmic force/energy that our ancients called "Vishnu" was viewed as the "balancing or preserving force".] Namo[ah-A]stu Te = salutations, reverential bow - in prayer.


15.1 (Salutations to You O Narayani) Who assuming a fierce form holding a great discus, rescued the Mother Earth with Her tusk. [This indicates: cutting and filling of trenches, terrain clearing, taking care of certain logistics and communication functions, and maybe even building of make-shift bridges - for the others to pass through difficult terrains (along with their vehicles and weaponry intact). Devi Varahi, with the help of her team, may have been engaged in this crucial activity, thereby contributing handsomely towards unburdening Mother Earth of various aasuric entities. Do read: Part-XVII to know what a discus (or wheel) represents or indicates.]

15.2 (I bow) To the great Varahi, who like an auspicious and powerful force acted as the preserver of the noble principles of the Sanaatan Dharma, the Arya-Dharma and the Kshatriya Dharma.

Note: Varahi can mean: #1. Belonging to or hailing from the ruling clan/family of the people that displayed a boar-totem. It was very likely a Chandravanshi (moon-worshipping/moon-flag-bearing) clan, hence the crescent moon. #2. A female wild-boar. [Varaha = male wild-boar; possibly some type of now-extinct big-sized warthog that sported sturdy and sharp tusks.] Hopefully, we can now make the connection between a sturdy-and-sharp-tusked wild-boar and terrain-clearing, etc., 'coz our ancients documented events in camouflaged language. The ancient Kyrgyz people displayed a boar-totem. Therefore: we cannot rule out the possibility that Devi Varahi may have hailed from the ruling clan/family of the ancient Kyrgyz people. (Other clans or groups that live in close proximity to the modern Kyrgyz people and/or share a similar culture with them too may have descended from the ancient Kyrgyz people. With time, some may have broken away and migrated to different areas/locations, while others may have intermarried with different groups/clans and thence, taken on a new identity). Devi Varahi is depicted as three-eyed, sow-faced and ten-armed (in some texts as six-armed or eight-armed). She is variously depicted as riding a tiger, a lion, Garuda or a buffalo; or seated on a lotus pitha (pedestal), on Shesh-Nag (probably some of the Nag people revered her) or on a corpse (pretasana) under a Palmyra tree (or a Kalpaka Vriksha - which means celestial tree which grants all wishes. Every part of a coconut tree is useful and in that sense this name most suits to this tree). She holds a staff and rides a buffalo (Mahisha), both of which are associated with Yama. Hence, Varahi may have been the consort of Yama - the Deva/Sura notable entrusted with maintaining law & order and dispensing justice - under the Devaraj Indra. Yama too may have been an ancient Kyrgyz. [The Buddhist goddesses, Vajravarahi and Marichi, are just variants of Devi Varahi.] Varahi is a ratri devata and is worshipped in the middle of the night, or after sunset and before sunrise. However, this may have been the outcome of various cults that came up in her name. [Do read: Part-XVIII, Part-XIX - to know more about Garuda.] 

Varahi is said to reside in the ocean of sugar-cane juice (ikshu), one of the four oceans that surrounds the mother goddess, holding her court in the island of nine-jewels, and facing the mother-goddess. [This probably is an indication of Maa Varahi's affiliation (or at least some sort of affiliation) with the Ikshvaku clan/lineage. "Facing the mother goddess", essentially means: Devi Varahi was a trusted confidant of Devi Parvati. As for the "island of nine-jewels"... this may be an allusion to the various land-areas of that time/yug/era; some of which may have now sunk under the seas and/or oceans.] 

[We will continue our discussions in the next post...]

(Do stay tuned…)

Pictures: Illustrations of: the Devaraj Indra, Vasudev carrying the baby Krishna, Vasudev preparing to take the baby Krishna to a safer location; Krishna-Arjun, Radha-Krishna;  Vetāla, Piśāca, a Piśāca warrior from the western Himalayan region; Maa Parvati/Kirati - in the image of our beloved Mother-land; Naram-Sin depicted on his victory stele; Chandragupta Maurya, Asoka Pillar at Sarnath, Chanakya; Maa Katyayani - the three-eyed (Triyambake) devi; the eighteen-armed Maa Katyayani, the eight-armed Maa Katyayani; Devi Katyayani fighting the aasuric entities + gigantic-sized wild animals - as symbolized by Mahisasura; Devi Varahi.  

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