Saturday, 27 April 2013

RIVER YARRA, AUSTRALIA - THE SANSKRIT CONNECTION

It is said that the River Yarra was called Birrarung by the Wurundjeri people who occupied the Yarra Valley. Upon the arrival of the Europeans in Victoria it was given the name 'Yarra Yarra' in 1835,in the mistaken belief that this was the aboriginal name for the river.

John Wedge of the Port Phillip Association had this to say about the name 'Yarra', "On arriving in sight of the river, the two natives who were with me, pointing to the river, called out, 'Yarra Yarra', which at the time I imagined to be its name ; but I afterwards learnt that the words were what they used to designate a waterfall, as they afterwards gave the same designation to a small fall in the river Werribee, as we crossed it on our way back to 'Indented Head'."

It is interesting that the aboriginal word for 'waterfall' is 'yarra'. For in Sanskrit the word for waterfall is 'Jhara' (झर). 'Yarra' seems to be a distortion of the word 'Jhara', especially because a very close cognate of 'jhara' also appears in aboriginal names such as 'Purit-jarra. The distortion of 'jhara' also appears as 'jarpa' in the name Puntujarpa. The exact word 'jhara' appears in the name 'K
altukat-jara' as 'jara' which is the aboriginal name for River Docker.

'Puritajarra', an ancient aboriginal site lies close to the only permanent water in the Cleland Hills, near the eastern boundary of the Western Desert.
 Researchers have described the 'Puntujarpa' rock-shelter as a form of ‘oasis’, due to water bodies in this area. All these place names indicate their importance to the aboriginal settlements in ancient times due to the availability of water in an area which is essentially a desert, thus   establishing the fact that 'jara', 'jarpa', 'jarra' and 'yarra' are distortions of the Sanskrit 'jhara' meaning  'water-fall' or 'water-body'.

Suggested Links:
1. The Sanskrit Connection - Uru Civilization, Australia
2. Australian Place Names - The Sanskrit Connection

Thursday, 25 April 2013

AUSTRALIAN PLACE NAMES -THE SANSKRIT CONNECTION

A report from BBC News, dated 14th January, 2013 quotes a genetic research study which has concluded that Australia experienced a wave of migration from India about 4,000 years ago. It also says that a Genome-wide data substantiates that the Holocene gene traveled from India to Australia.* 

This is something that has been long proposed by many scholars. For example, Dr Raghavendra Rao from the Anthropological Survey of India, says that DNA evidence linking Indian tribes to Australian Aboriginal people points to the fact that humans arrived in Australia via a southern coastal route through India. His team used computer programs to predict that a common ancestor existed, between the Indian population and Aboriginal Australians, up to 50,000 years ago.**

With this as the background and the fact that at the ancient site of Gympie near Brisbane in New South Wales, artifacts of Ganesha and a Vedic Goddess have been found, one may also check some of the place names of ancient sites in this region and analyze them through the Sanskrit lens. 

When early British settlers, started arriving in Gympie in 1858, they recorded the name of Gympie as 'Meru'ndai'. This name was in usage with the aboriginal Australian 'elders' who were known as the 'ngtja guru'. 'Merundai' was obviously named after Mt. Meru (मेरु) which appears in many Vedic Sanskrit texts, and later in Buddhist texts. The name 'ngtja guru' is also derived from Sanskrit. In Sanskrit, 'nya' (नय), 'naya' (नाय) and 'nayak' (नायक) all mean 'guide'. 'Guru' is a well known Sanskrit word. It derives therefore that the elders were known as the 'guide gurus' of the community.

Gympie is an interesting site and is known for its ancient artifacts, temple ruins and pyramid like structures. It is even more interesting that the sketches made from descriptions of temples, passed on through generations, resemble the sketches of Mt. Meru found elsewhere. One example is the sketches of Mt. Meru found in the Buddhist scrolls at the Margao Caves in China. [The sketches of Mt. Meru as they appear in the scrolls found in the Margao Caves were shown in the 'Ancient Alien Series' of the History Channel].

A sketch of a Gympie 'temple'. Drawing
made from word of mouth description of the temples.
Astonishing resemblance to Mt. Meru sketches 
of the Buddhist Margao Cave Scrolls of China.
Then there is the Dhandara Creek, located at the 'Coombadjha' sacred site, west of Grafton in northern New South Wales. In Sanskrit 'Dhana' (धन) means 'bounty', 'dhara' (धारा) means 'flowing water'. 'Coombadjha' is a distortion of 'Kambhoja' (कम्बोज). Sage 'Kambhoja' was the brother of sage 'Agastya' and a friend of Sage Vasistha and all their names appear in the the Indian text 'Ramayana'. The name 'Cambodia' also derives from the Sanskrit 'Kambhoja'.

Other ancient sites such as Puritjarra, Puntujarpa and Papunya are also interseting for what they have revealed. Researchers had proposed that artifacts such as stone-tools (microliths) found in this area resembled closely to the ones which were in use in ancient India. The same was proposed by researcher Klim Gollan about the 'dingo' dog in 1984. In his research, Gollan had concluded that the fossil records of the 'dingo', (Australian wild dog) was also introduced into Australia from India
.*** Now the report from 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America' has concluded the same, that the dingo arrived into Australia from India about 4000 years ago.

The ancient aboriginal sites in New South Wales are also interesting for their names. Puritajarra, Kalkutajhara, Puntujarpa and Papunya! If one were to decode these names with the help of Sanskrit, the word 'jarra' stands out. The word 'jarra' as a part of a place-name indicates the existence of a waterfall, an oasis or a river in the area. In Sanskrit 'Jhara' (झर) means 'water-fall' or a 'body of water' And one sees its occurrence in names of rivers around the world such as the Rivers 'Nigeria' (Nigeria), 'Jhara-ma' & 'Jara-bacao' (Spain);  and 'Niagara' in the United States.

'Purit' (पूरित) means 'complete' or 'spread out' or 'filled with'. 'Jhara' as mentioned above means 'water'. 'Puritjarra' suggests a place where either a river flows or a place which is a water-haven, and that matches with the geography of the area surrounding 'Puritjarra'.

The word 'Jarpa' in Puntujarpa' is also probably a distortion of 'Jhara'. 'Puntu', if interpreted as 'pant' (पान्त) means a 'drink'. 'Kultukjarra' also indicates water. In any case, 'Kultukjarra' is  the aboriginal name for River Docker.

There are many aboriginal place names in New South Wales such as 'Kampur-apa', 'Pa-Punya', Wintal-lynga', and Kaltu-aranya which indicate that they might have had their origins in Sanskrit. 'Kampur' sound like an Indian village name, 'Punya' (पुण्य) means 'pure' or 'holy', 'Linga' (लिङ्ग) has reference to God Shiva and 'aranya' (अरण्य) means 'forest' and 'desert' both. This list goes on and on. 

Monday, 15 April 2013

SACSAYHUAMAN OBSERVATORY, PERU - THE SANSKRIT CONNECTION

Sacsayhuaman is a walled complex near the old city of Cusco, at an altitude of 12,000 feet in Peru. As is the case with the names of many other ancient Peruvian sites, there has been a debate on what the name 'Sacsayhuaman' means.

If one uses Sanskrit to decode the name, the meaning is obvious. In Sanskrit 'Sakhshi' (साक्षी) means 'witness' or 'observe'. 'Huaman' is the same word that occurs in the names of two other Peruvian sites - 'Inti Huatana' and 'Huayana Piccha'.

In Sanskrit 'ayana' (अयन) means 'solstice'. 'Ayana' also means 'half year' or 'precession (of the equinox)'. 'Hayana' (हायन) means that which repeats every year. It is from the Sanskrit 'hayana' that 'huaman' in 'Sacsay-huaman' is derived from.

'Sacsay-huaman' is therefore a distortion of the Sanskrit 'Sakshi-Hayana' which means 'Observation of the Half-Yearly Solstices' or 'Observation of that which Returns Every Year' - which are the two solstices. That Sacsayhuaman is an observatory for witnessing the solstices, equinoxes and mapping the stars in the sky is an accepted fact. The Sanskrit interpretation of the name is therefore appropriate.



Sacsayhuaman Observatory, Peru
Name derived from Sanskrit' Sakshi ' meaning 'Witness',
and 'Ayana' meaning 'Solstices'.

Two other Peruvian site names can be explained if we accept the above as correct. One is 'Inti-Huatana'. This too is an Observatory. 'Inti' mean 'sun' in Quechua language. In Sanskrit one of the words for 'sun' is 'ina' (इन). 'Huatana' comes from the Sanskrit 'ha + ayana' (हायन). As mentioned above, 'ayana' means 'solstice'. Two solstices happen in a year. Put together in Sanskrit, they are known as 'Hayana' - which literally means 'the yearly solstices'.

The second site is 'Huayna Picchu. Again, 'Huayana' is a distortion of the Sanskrit 'Hayana'. 'Hayana' means 'that which returns every year' in the context of the Solstices. 'Picchu' is a distortion of Sanskrit 'Pacchas' (
पच्छस्)  which means 'step by step' referring to the steps that lead up to or the climb to the sites of 'Huayna Picchu'.

Suggested Links:
Macchu Picchu - The Sanskrit Connection
The Sun Temple of KoriKancha - The Sanskrit Connection
Chankillo and Huayana Piccha, Peru - The Sanskrit Connection
Ollantaytambo, Peru - The Sanskrit Connection

Friday, 12 April 2013

INTIHUATANA OBSEVATORY, PERU - THE SANSKRIT CONNECTION

Intihuatana at the 'Machu Picchu' site' in the Urubamba Valley in Cusco region of Peru is one of the most visited sites in South America. There has been a long debate on what the etymology of the name 'Intihuatana' is. 'Intihuatana' has been translated as the 'Hitching post for the Sun (at two equinoxes)' from Quechua, one of ancient Native South American languages.

Here is a look at the name 'Intihuatana' through the Sanskrit lens. In Quechua 'Inti' means 'Sun'. A close cognate of the word 'Inti' in Sanskrit is 'Ina' (इन) which means 'Sun'. 


'Ayana' (अयन) in Sanskrit means 'solstice or equinox'. 'Hayana' in Sanskrit means 'year' or 'that which happens every year' in connection with the two solstices that happen every year.It is highly likely that the ancient name of 'Intihuatana' was really 'intihuayana'. This argument is not far-fetched considering that located right behind 'Machu Picchu', on a higher point  is another observatory by the name 'Hu-ayana Piccha'! 

In Sanskrit, 'Ayana' is really a versatile word - for it also means 'precession', 'half year', and 'circulation or rotation'. Then again, in Sanskrit 'hayana' (हायन) means 'returning every year or 'lasting a year'! That clinches it. 'Inti Hayana'.


Intihuatana at Hu-Ayana Piccha Observatory, Peru
The names are derived from Sanskrit "ina' which means 'Sun'
and 'Ayana' which means 'Solstice'.
Intihuatana is also known as 'Saywa' or 'Sukhanka'. For any Sanskrit or Hindi speaker, this really says it all. 'Savya' (सव्य) has to do with 'directions', 'left', 'right', 'south', 'reverse', 'backward' and, is the name of 'one of the ten ways in which an eclipse takes place'. 'Sauva' (सौव) means 'celestial' or 'heavenly'. 


And 'Sukhanaka' (सुख - अङ्क) is a delightful name. In Sanskrit 'Sukha' means 'happy', and 'pleasant'. 'Anka' (अङ्क) means 'digit', 'number' or 'spot'. 'Intihuatana' was therefore an observatory - its stones aligned to the Sun and other heavenly bodies!


Then there is the Sanskrit term 'inthiha' (इन्थिहा). This is an astrological term from the ancient Indian treatise on Astrology - the Brihat Prashara Hora Shastra. According to this text the term 'Inthiha' indicates to a particular position of a planet where it is the most powerful in terms of the light rays emitting from it and striking the earth. The root word for 'inthiha' (इन्थिहा) is 'int' (ईन्त्) which means 'to bind on'. Hence the term 'binding to the sun' or 'hitching post of the sun' is also explained by the Sanskrit 'Inthiha'.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

VIMANA (AEROPLANE), HANUMAN, SCIENCE & THE RAMAYANA - 1

'Vimana' is Sanskrit for 'airplane'. Vimana is a compound word made of two parts. 'Vi' (वि) means 'sky' and 'mana' (मान) means 'measure'. Vimana (विमान) means 'that which measures the sky as it traverses through'. 'Mana' also means 'dimension' and 'height'.

The Pushpak Vimana is the best known of the Vimanas in the Ramayana. However, there are verses in the Ramayana that indicate that there were other Vimanas too, and our ancients knew of the existence of Vimanas other than the Pushpaka.

First of all, the magnificence of the city of Ayodhya is equated to the magnificence of a Vimana. In the First Volume of the Valmiki Ramayana, by the name 'BalaKanda', (बालकाण्ड), in Section 5, Verse 19 , Valmiki states, "And the foremost spot of all the earth (Ayodhya) was like a Vimana - Vimanas that are obtained in Heaven by the 'Siddhas' through force of ascetic austerities - and, (Ayodhya) was inhabited by the best specimens of humanity".

Here is the verse in Sanskrit:
विमानम् इव सिद्धानाम् तपस अधिगतम् दिवि |
सु निवेशित वेश्मान्ताम् नरोत्तम समावृताम् ||१-५-१९
'vimanam eva siddhanam tapasadhigatam divi |
suniveshit aveshmantam narottam-samavritam' || 1-5-19

Could Valmiki have meant something else by the word 'vimana' when he likened Ayodhya to a 'vimana'. Not if you look at two other verses of Ramayana. Once again not relying on the Pushpak Vimana example, here is a look at the 'Sunadarkanda' 
( सुन्दर काण्ड ) book, Section 12, verse 25 of Valmiki Ramayana. Verses 1-24 describe Hanuman's flight over the city of Lanka, as he scans houses and palaces, gardens and galleries, pools and streams from the sky to find Sita. When Hanuman returns after his aerial search for Sita, not yet having been able to trace her, Valmiki states in Verse 25:

अवतीर्य विमानाच् च हनूमान् मारुत आत्मजः |
चिन्ताम् उपजगाम अथ शोक उपहत चेतनः || ५-१२-२५
avatiirya vimaanaac ca hanuumaan maaruta aatmajaH |
cintaam upajagaama atha shoka upahata cetanaH || 5-12-25

'Descending from the Vimana, Hanuman - the son of the Wind-God, his senses deprived by sorrow was again wrought up with anxiety.'

That Hanuman flies over the city of Lanka cannot be questioned because there are many verses that can be cited to support that. The words 'descending from the vimana' in Verse 25 prove that his flight is in a car, that is an 'airplane'.This is the last verse in Section 12 of the 'Sunderkand'.


In Section 13, Verse 1, Valmiki continues:
विमानात् तु सुसम्क्रम्य प्राकारम् हरि यूथपः |
हनूमान् वेगवान् आसीद् यथा विद्युद् घन अन्तरे || ५-१३-१
vimaanaat tu susamkramya praakaaram hari yuuthapaH |
hanuumaan vegavaan aasiid yathaa vidyud ghana antare || 5-13-1

'Alighting from the Vimana, the Lord of the Herd (of Vanaras or the 'monkeys'), Hanuman walked towards the wall (or rampart), like lightening through the clouds.'

This is proof that Hanuman flies in an aeroplane of some kind when he flies over Lanka to search for Sita, alights from the plane and walks towards what must have been an airport-like building.

The plane that Hanuman descends from is not the Pushpaka, though for some reason many writers assume so. The Pushpak Vimana belonged to Ravana, the King of Lanka, who had acquired it from his wife's, (Mandodari's) brother Kubera, also known as the God of Wealth. (It is only after the defeat of Ravana, that Rama has access to the Pushpaka Vimana). 


Later, when Hanuman burns down the city of Lanka, after 'his tail is set on fire' - the fire probably is the exhaust emissions of the aeroplane or explosives or bombs that Hanuman drops from his plane something like what we see today, rather than Hanuman's burning tail.




So what was the name of Hanuman's aeroplane. And how many aeroplane did Ravan own. More about that later.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

SUDAN - THE SANSKRIT CONNECTION

The ancient Nubian Civilization was located in Northeast Africa, what today is within the political boundaries of Sudan. The land of the Nubians was referred to as Nubia, or the Kingdom of Cush or even Ethiopia (not to be confused with what is modern day Republic of Ethiopia).

Biblical sources trace the earliest ancestory of the Nubians to Noah, and later to Noah's son Ham. Ham was the father of the greatest ever Nubian ruler Cush, who ruled from his capital city Kerma. The Genesis says, "The country Cush was named after the man Cush, the first son of Ham, son of Noah" - (Genesis 10:6). The existence of Cush's reign is tentatively estimated  at around 3000 BC.

The Nubian names Ham and Cush have lead some to conjecture that their legend might have its source in the ancient Indian epic, the Ramayana. The Ramayana is the story of the great ancient Indian God-King, Sri 'Ram', who is said to have ruled the world from the city of Ayodhya. Interestingly, Sri Ram had a son by the name 'Kush'.

The Ramayana traces the lineage of Sri Ram to Manu, the first man on earth, much like how later the Nubian texts trace the lineage of Ham to Noah, the first man. 


Sri Ram had two sons, Kush and Lava. In Sanskrit, 'Kush' is translated as 'grass'. It is said that 'Kush' was 'created' by Rishi Valmiki (also the author of Ramayana) from 'grass'. One morning, Valmiki is requested by Sita, the mother of Lava, to look after Lava when she goes out to the river. Valmiki is absorbed in composing the Ramayana. Noticing his pre-occupation, Sita considers it best to take Lava along as she goes out. Valmiki soon realizes that Lava is missing. Before Sita's return from the river, Valmiki creates a clone of 'Lava', from grass twigs. The clone gets the name 'Kush' (कुश), Sanskrit for 'grass'. What is interesting is that in ancient Indian texts, Africa was known as 'Kusha-dwipa' (कुश द्वीप), 'the island of grasslands'.

In the Nubian texts, the name 'Cush' has not been deciphered. However, it has been suggested that 'Cush' might mean 'dark skinned'. Some sources say that 'Cush' might mean 'spindle' but no particular reason is given for this. Uncannily, the Nubian king, Cush had a grandson by the name 'Ramaah'.

The capital city of the Sudanese Kingdom of Cush was known as 'Kerma' (dates vary from 3000 BC to 1785 BC). The name 'Kerma' is probably a distortion of the Sanskrit 'Karma' (कर्म) meaning 'action'. A close cognate 'Kurma' (कूर्म) means 'turtle' or 'tortoise'. 'Kurma' is the second incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the Indian Puranic context. 'Kurma Purana'  contains a description of the self-begotten Manu, and his dynasty, the Ikshvaku's of which Lord Rama and Kush were the later descendants.

Biblical sources say that the name of the father of 'Cush' was 'Ham'. It is highly likely that these sources are inadvertently referring to Lord Rama. The name 'Ham' has never been deciphered. In Sanskrit, Rama (राम) means 'charming', 'pleasing', 'beautiful or handsome' and 'delightful' which summarizes the qualities of the God-King Rama. In fact, it has also been argued that the name 'Ham' was originally spelled as 'Rham' and later with time the letter 'H' was dropped.

Another important Nubian city was 'Meroe'. A close cognate of 'Meroe is 'Meru' (मेरु) which translates as 'Divine Mountain' from Sanskrit. Meroe is the site of the 35 ancient pyramids which were discovered in the 2010 in Sudan. The link between Meroe and Meru is not that far-fetched considering that Tanzania too has a mountain by the name of Mt. Meru, the second highest peak after Mt. Kiliminjaro.  

'Uttara Ramayana' (the Indian text that traces the story of Luva and Kush) mentions that Kush had a great great grandson by the name' Nabha'. In Sanskrit , NAbha (नाभ) means 'centre', and, Nabha (नभ) means 'sky'. Many scholars from India have argued that Lord Rama's sons, Kusha expanded his empire westward. Though his capital city was 'Ayodhya', Kush also made a city by the name 'Kushapur'. 

What is interesting is that there is yet another Kush in the lineage of the Ikshvaku's, the dynasty  to which Lord Rama belonged. And he precedes the birth of Lord Rama. In fact, the Valmiki Ramayana, considered the oldest text in the world, says that  Lord Brahma, the creator of the world had a son by the name 'Kusha', referred to as the one with the 'Highest Soul'. Kusha had four sons, who he encouraged to rule and govern piously. Kusha's four  sons developed four cities including one that was named Kusha Nabha. The source of the word 'Nubia' is not clear, and it is difficult to say whether or not the word Nubia has a link to 'Kusha Nabha'. 

Up north from Sudan in Egypt lies the ancient archaeological site by the name 'Nabta Playa'. Nabta Playa is an ancient stone observatory aligned to the Sun and constellation Orion. The entire sky can be mapped from Nabta Playa, and therefore the link with Sanskrit word 'Nabha' which means 'sky' is conclusively ascertained..

The Sudanese culture too has been greatly influenced by the Indian culture and much has already been written about it.


A Nubian Lady from Sudan
dressed in a sari-like wrap called 'thobe',
wearing a 'tika' and a 'nose-ring'.
Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia


Henna on the hands of a Sudanese Bride.
The hand jewelery is identical to what is
prevalent in the Indian Sub-continent culture
Photo Courtesy : tumbir.com

Suggested Links:
1. 'None but India' by Jagat Motwani
2. About Nubia
3. Ancient Kingdoms in Land of War
4. Ancient Sudan : Nubia
5.Dravadin, Mande and Elamite by Clyde Winters
6. Nubia and Nubians
6.Son of Ham: Cush
7. http://w045b.htmlww.ccg.org/english/s/p