Sunday, February 19, 2017

WHERE WAS SITA?

Sad but true: against the archeological evidences of Mahabharatian places, there are no Ramayan ones, except those consecrated after Tulsidas’ Ramayan, centuries later.  
Scholars mourn the lack of empirical evidence of Ayodhya, Chitrakoot, Dandakaranya, Lanka, Panchavati, Videha, Kosala; when Buddha was teaching at Savatthi 58 km from Ayodhya, it was called Oudh by pilgrims including Fa Hien and Hieun Tsang.
But ... Yes, but there is some ray of hope. Valmiki scholars are excited by recent developments.
Valmiki’s 'Kishkinda Kand' Section 40-43 offers detailed directions to the four Vaanar brigades hunting for Sita after her abduction.  Those to the westbound brigade came up for close scrutiny:
This route’s ultimate culmination was Mt. Asta (अस्त) or Sunset Mountain. What do they cross before Ast?
Valmiki described a route due west from the Vindhyas, from a point where “the sindhu falls into the sea” i.e. either where the Narmada entered the Arabian sea or the Indus entered it at Karachi, taking the Vanaras to the Persian Gulf.  (The word ‘sindhu’ also meant ‘river’).     The next landmark was a Mt. Meru, after which the team had to look out for an elusive 'gigantic ten-leaved date-palm-tree, which was completely golden and shone forth with a marvelous podium'. Assyrian artifacts with stylized palm trees suggested some sacred connotations.
Ironically, the search party that went east had more luck in crossing oceans to “three leafed palm tree etched on Sunrise mountain i.e. a mountain near Mt. Udaya, visible from the ocean”.        That three-leafed palm tree visible from the ocean, could be the ancient Paracas Trident of Peru etched on the mountain in the Andes chain in South America! Picture below:

paracas+trident.jpg
 
Certainly enhances possibility of finding a similar one in the west, somewhere in the mountains of Iran or Iraq, doesn’t it?
The next landmarks were a Hemgiri peak that touched the sky, a waterlogged mountain, Paariyatra, along the sea and a Mt. Vajra that shone like a diamond -- the Zagros Range on the Persian shore.  At that ocean’s 4th quarter would be Mt. Chakravan with its megalithic circular wheel with 1000 spokes structure, built by the 'celestial architect' 'Vishwakarma, atop a mountain.  Otherwise the Sudarshan chakra was accepted as Vishkarma’s celestial weapon.
Which is this rounded city across seas and mountains west of India? Possibilities mind-boggling, from Armenia, to Iran, Iraq and Russia.
=       Armenia’s circular 'Yerevan', among the oldest continually inhabited cities, at the heart of the Armenian Ayrarat highland with a Mt. Ararat 64 ‘yojanas’ away.(6-15 kms); even Narek close by for Narak.  Very possible old names  “Chakravan” and “Varaaha” may have been corrupted to “Yeravan” and “Ararat”.

yerevan.jpg

=       Today’s Baghdad, built on prehistoric ruins, also resembles Valmiki’s circular city description.

Ancient+Baghdad.jpg
Ancient Baghdad

=       Firuzabad in Iran, then “Gor”, the Sassanid capital and also a weapon. Possibly built on the Ramayan’s Chakravan’s ruins?

ancient+ardashir.jpeg
The ancient city of 'Gor' in Iran.

=       Russain circular Vedic city, 'Arkaim', deemed a weapon storage facility.
The ancient city of Arkaim
arkaim1.jpg
Next week:  More on Sita and where was dasrath?



Need for further Mastani research

Mastani was reputedly stunningly beautiful:
Had Mastani been such a stunning beauty, there would have been some genuine picture or painting of her. The two in the Kelkar and Wai museums have been denounced by historians as not depictions of Mastani herself. There are too many identification and cultural errors for these to be depictions of Mastani.
The innumerable anomalies in the story of Mastani as it is popularly told, stick out. Here was a Kshtriya maiden, daughter of the most powerful ruler of Central India of his times and a known upholder of his religion, supposedly "giving" his daughter from a minor "wife/mistress" to the Peshwa. If she was the daughter of a mistress, would not that be a calculated insult to the man who saved Chhatrasaal life and kingdom for him?
To assuage which Chhatrasaal agreed to give the Peshwa one third of his kingdom as well as war reparations of 2.25 lakhs? Against these reparations, Mastani's lugda choli, i.e. dowry alone was five lakhs!
When Mastani first arrived with Baji Rao, she was accepted in his Brahmin household. Despite having been brought up in the Pranami Panth, with its unique combination of rituals and customs, she was able to adjust in the Brahmin household surprisingly well. When Baji Rao built his Shaniwar Wada, there is a corner reserved for Mastani as Mastani Mahal the northeastern one!
During her pregnancy, she lived under the same roof as Baji Rao's mother, Radhabai and his first wife, Kashibai. So much so that when Mastani entered her final trimester and was big with child, Baji Rao slept with Kashibai, leaving her pregnant too. Both his wives delivered sons within months of each other in 1734.
Yes, I did say "wife". For the present day descendants of the Peshwas are on record acknowledging Mastani as the legally wedded (or whatever term may have been prevalent in that society in the 1730s) second wife of Peshwa Baji Rao I. Is it not significant that neither the king, Shahu Maharaj, nor Baji Rao's spiritual guru, Brahmendra Swami made any public denouncement of Mastani, which would have well been the case had she been the manipulative mistress that she was made out to be.
The social history of those times reveals that it was the return of Shahu from Mughal imprisonment that saw the introduction of many North Indian influences into Maratha social life. These included various festivals and Rajput practices, including dancing girls, wine and meat consumption; for all of which Mastani was blamed. Was it a parochial bias against a highly accomplished princess from Central India versus the rather simpler women of the Bhat Peshwa household?
Whatever be the case, records indicate that after Baji Rao escorted Kashibai on her Narmada yatra, it was the turn of his mother Radhabai to embark on her Varanasi yatra. On her way there, Rajput princes and rajas feted her. On her way back she made a stopover at Bundelkhand.
Question: Did she stay at Mastani's maika or with Govind Pant Bundela who was Baji Rao's agent there to collect his dues from the estate he inherited from Chhatrasaal?
What happened during that stopover that as soon as Radhabai returned to Pune, she embarked on a pogrom of vilification against Mastani and drew support from the Chitpavan Brahmins, citing the Mussalmani, wine and meat issue etc.?
This vilification campaign was eventually to sap Baji Rao; so much so that for the first time in his life, he ran a fever so high that it took his life!! Was that actually so for the famed cavalry general who had led his troops in numerous battles and never been ill a day?
And in the bargain, Mastani's also, although no historical records have been left of how, when and where she actually died.
Should this myth be accepted or probed since it came on the heels of Baji Rao's announcement to his ambitious brother Chimaji that he was considering shifting out of Pune and settling down with Mastani, closer to Delhi and his Bundelkhand estates.
If anyone can tell me anything that will throw light on these questions, I will be very obliged.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

What drives US President Trump?

A new prism on a contemporary subject: What drives US President Trump?            Snide references aside, could disregard for niceties be dictated by his 3 Cash Cows?  India’s ancient commerce-based civilization  can  surely understand that.
As a novice journo, my theory held that despite Japanese take over of major US industries, American still had Arms n Ammunitions.  Active fostering of fiery spats all over the world, salesmen offering arms to both sides, had US billionaires laughing all the way to the banks. Even Obama was railroaded into Afghanistan in his first term; later he stood firm on Syria since he wasn’t fighting another election!
Since 1941 and World War II, US’ Defense Industries have boomed with Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Guatemala, sundry African nations galore; despite red herrings such as “democracy”, “our way of life”, “human rights”, etc.
US’ Cash Cow2, Financial Services wrecked plastic money havoc, catching everyone caught pants down in the Big Bust. Obama’s attempt to rein in Cash Cow3, Healthcare with his Obamacare is a Trump priority for change to get their registers ringing again.
“Ordinary America resembles later day Rome, spiteful, egoistic, immoral, neurotic, ruthless, greedy, self-centered. Women to be used and thrown. Kids their problem.” ‘As American as Apple Pie’ is yesterday’s fiction. America for Whites, forgetting that all whites are themselves offspring of migrants!

Enter the Ultimate Deal Maker, author of  "Art of the Deal" and "Think Big", offering zero ethics, with pragmatism skirting legality.  The hands-on guy who asks upfront: ‘Here's what I can do for you.... What can you do for me?  To get the best deal for the USA.’
“Quintessential American Carpetbagger, who detests traditional politicians, loves dictators and CEO’s who favor obnoxious clever fixers and dealmakers.”

=  Why nix Obamacare?  To keep the Healthcare industry happy.
=  Why the wall across Mexico border?   To renegotiate trade deals.
=  Why Muslims?    Basically both Christianity n Islam are derivatives of Judaism, the ancient Jewish faith, very much like ours.  Modern history has seen stiff competition and jealousy between siblings with constant seesaws. Islam has population bombs and terror industries.  Christians: money and economic control.  The US certainly does not want to deal with the Islamic population bombs, threatening every European country that allowed in cheap labor and finds its cultural moorings threatened.  
=  Why Iran?  To sell US goods and Boeings instead of 700 Airbuses.  Also sweeten Saudi and UAE to buy more US arms.

Next on the list will be the Pakistan-India axis; Pakistan in deep into China's CPEC.  India  deals both China and Russia, + Tibet and Kashmir headaches.    Enter Mr. Deal Maker with his carpetbag full of latest armaments, healthcare goodies and plastic money schemes. 
“Howdy guys,” he’ll say.  “I’ll fix Kashmir for you two. What’ll you buy from me in exchange?  What can you give me?”

Do we have our answers ready on that one?   To get the best deal for India?