Thursday, April 30, 2015

Kunal Singh: Reasons why Ramayana and Mahabharata represent actual events and history


While different versions of the Ramayana or even later editing can
explain any mention of Buddhists or Charvakins,I am going to try to prepare a list of reasons why I
think the stories are not fiction:        


          1) The ancestries are longer than necessary for fiction
           Even considering that Rama's descendants forged their identity,
           there is really no need for Rama's ancestry to extend as far back
           as Sagara from the point of view of fiction.  If Rama was
           the King of Ayodhya and an incarnation of Vishnu, he needed
           no further introduction.       
        
           2) Puranic evidence
           Both the Ramayana and Mahabharata overlap with Puranic stories, the
           lineages likewise overlap and are carefully preserved in
           the Puranas well beyond those found in the stories.  The history
           of Magadha and the rule of Jarasandha then quite neatly merges with
           historically confirmed rulers such as Ajatsatru during
           Buddhist times.        

           3) Philosophical evidence
           The Vedas also contain mention of characters such as
           Viswamitra, slokas are attributed to them, as are
           philosophical ideas, their disciples are mentioned.
           Sushruta, considered to be of Viswamitra's "lineage" was
           responsible for the science of Ayurveda, which is quite real.

        4) Physical evidence
           The physical evidence of various locations and their
           recognition by the Bharatiya populace is itself indicative
           that these stories are not myths.  There is only one place
           in Bihar which is known to be Jarasandha's "akhara."  There is only
           one place which is known as Viswamitra's ashram.  There is
           only one place known as the birth place of Sita.
           Lanka is still there, Surprisingly there seems to be
           archaelogical evidence of a submerged city off the coast of
           Gujarat.  The Siva temple attributed to Ravana's stop in
           Bihar is still there and there is only ONE temple claiming
           this.  If fiction was all that was required, one would
           expect other temples to pop up with the same "theme" after
           one was successful!

        5) Divine figures not indicative of fiction
           At one time the British even considered Buddha to have been
           a fictitious character due to the presence of angels etc. in the
           various stories.  By now it should be obvious that the
           description of great men and their life's accounts was always
           accompanied by approval of various deities.  That style of
           writing by itself prevalent at the time cannot be used to
           justify the idea that the accounts were fictitious.
         
          6) The concept of the preservation of lineage natural for people
              It is interesting to note that all people attempt to preserve
              their lineage to some extent, ruling families in
              particular.  Rama and Krishna are one
              link in a very long lineage chain in the Puranas.  If
              all of these lineages are fake, WHERE ARE THE REAL ONES?
              Or can we expect that the ancient KINGS didn't bother
              preserving their lineages ?  A MOST UNREALISTIC AND UNNATURAL
              ASSUMPTION.
                       
           7) Discrepancies can also be explained by gap in written and oral
              traditions
              What we may see as quite unnatural as deification, we
              have to understand that Bharatiya history predates the notion of
              writing.  What do tribes do to preserve their history ?  They
              construct stories!  The stories are not false, they are
              sometimes succinct due to the use of metaphors!  To
              construct stories, people can use things such as deities
              to represent things.

           8) Devtas are representational and not real people
              Quite a few people always ask about all the divine
              figures in the stories questioning the existence of the
              Devtas.  My typical response is that every traditional
              Hindu family has a "kul devta" representing the family
              identity.  Has anyone ever expected that this "kul
              devta" made of soil was actually once a real person ?
              If they don't expect that to have been a real person,
              why do they expect Surya Devta and Agni Devta to have
              been real people and not simply representations used by
              science students of ancient times ?


And last, but not the least reason for believing in the validity of the Hindu scriptures -- can you tell I'm sick of the neo-Hindu viewpoint ?         
THERE IS NO REASON TO PRESERVE ALL OF THIS SHOULD IT HAVE NO HISTORICAL OR PHILOSOPHICAL VALUE!       
These stories are long and at least if passed orally before written down, cannot be fiction because no one would bother memorizing thousands of lines of fictitious Sanskrit to pass it down to subsequent generations.       
The stories contained within the Puranas are NOT all popularly   known, and thus there is no reason for them to be there, had they been fiction! Kings would not pay Brahmins to write long stories in Sanskrit and pass it down when they could have their own stories written by them!  If anything, they would ascribe much lower priority to the latter!

I am well aware of the fact that certain things remain controversial about the Ramayana or the Mahabharata such as dates etc.  But just because some things can't be ascertained should not be considered enough reason to abandon all that we can ascertain.  Even if we have received these in somewhat modified form, they can still serve as valuable information as some of the contents
are quite ingenious and the writer would have to outdo Leonardo Da Vinci in his foresight and would have to have a through knowledge of yoga and martial arts to even predict things like what Bheema did to Jarasandha.  Many of the techniques of martial arts mentioned in the Mahabharata ARE TRUE (i.e. Duryodhana's body becoming invulnerable to strikes by Bheema is considered an advanced/esoteric iron-body technique in China)!  So were the writers fully versed in the arts of war and the art of bridge design?  All of this is simply too much to expect from a writer of fiction!
It took me a while but I finally have a fairly good idea of what Vayu Deva's boon to Bheema was that enabled him to finally rip him in two, of course when Hanuman says that the Agni Deva is a friend of the Vayu Deva before "assuming a huge form with face glowing like a smokeless oven" in preparation for his leap, that seemed considerably easier to understand)

52 comments:

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    1. Kunal Singh was a regular on the soc.culture.indian newsgroups where he would offer his views and interpretations of Hindu scriptures.
      He is Indian American from Bihar who lives in NYC , graduated in computer science from Columbia University. He loathes BJP , supports Laloo but is a registered Repulican as far U.S elections are concerned
      An electic guy to say the least

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  2. Even proper fiction is usually based on a true story. Of course our epics have a core of truth but the surrounding details may be exaggerated. Even the Trojan war may have been a modest dust-up rather than the colossal war we read about in the Illiad and Odyssey. There is a reason these texts are called epics rather than history. Unfortunately our deshi word ithihaas does not make this distinction.

    "Both the Ramayana and Mahabharata overlap with Puranic stories"

    Interesting that he brings up this point because when we bring the Vedas also into picture, the results are disappointing (like contradicting lineages etc). Overlap is not a convincing argument because we see that there is some overlap of Puranas with Kalidasa's dramas also and they are certified fiction.

    "The physical evidence of various locations and their recognition by the Bharatiya populace is itself indicative that these stories are not myths."

    Ahem that is not evidence.

    "There is only one place in Bihar which is known to be Jarasandha's "akhara." There is only one place which is known as Viswamitra's ashram. There is only one place known as the birth place of Sita."

    There is only one place called 221B Baker Street.

    The "submerged city" is actually pseudo archaeology done in an attempt to prove the existence of Dwarka by Hindutva types.

    "Or can we expect that the ancient KINGS didn't bother preserving their lineages ? A MOST UNREALISTIC AND UNNATURAL ASSUMPTION."

    Really, is it news to Kunal that Indian history was rarely recorded in a detailed and pedantic manner like Chinese or European historiography.

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    1. Physical locations identified are altleast circumstantial evidence. Keep in mind they are treated as history not mythology by Indian tradition.

      221B Baker Street analogy is a fail because Sherlock Holmes is supposed to be fiction but Ramayana and Mahabharata were not.

      There is tons of circumstantial evidence of submerged cities not just in Dwaraka but also in Kerala and TN
      Some temples were uncovered as recently as 2004 just after the Boxing day Tsunami

      Puranic history uses a lot of wild imagery but that is for mnemonic purposes to make memorization easier.
      Its really not that complicated

      As for the lineages, there are a ton of lineages in the Puranas , we may not always make sense of them as many of them are contradictory but let us not throw out the baby with the bathwater as secularists are wont to do.

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    2. Sherlock Holmes is almost entirely fictional. While our epics are not pure fiction, they are not fully factual either.

      Some or all of the physical locations could have easily been built in the post-epic era. For example the Ram temple in that famous controversial place was build during the Gupta era.

      "There is tons of circumstantial evidence of submerged cities not just in Dwaraka but also in Kerala and TN"

      Again, the controversy is only with identifying these cities with those mentioned in epics, Puranas etc.

      "Puranic history uses a lot of wild imagery but that is for mnemonic purposes to make memorization easier. "

      The Puranas were usually not memorized. At least some Puranas definitely date from the CE era and later and they were written down as they were composed. The Vedas, which were indeed memorized do not have wild imagery. The Vedas do have mnemonic tools but they are at the syllable level and don't use any wild imagery. Elsewhere mathematical and grammatical texts were made easy to memorize by using terse verses. Obviously, making it more verbose will only make it harder to memorize. There is scant evidence that the wild imageries were actually mnemonic tools.

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  5. Historians divided past into Pre-History, Proto-History and History. I guess we need no explanation about what is pre-history and what is history.

    But proto-history is a little troublesome. We have a period of past which is neither pre-historical but at same time cannot be considered to be a part of history either.

    Vedic-Pauranic period falls into this category.

    We should teach stories of Pauranic-Vedic literature in schools and colleges as "proto-history".

    But due to pseudo-secularist stranglehold on education, teaching Pauranic proto-history in educational institutions was taboo.

    The day we acquire hard evidence in favor, we must teach them as real history. That will be possible only when we can read Indus Valley script which to this day is mysterious.

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    1. @ Iniyavel

      Thanks for that bro :) In the meantime I had visited your blog,and I liked your writing style,though I am yet to finish your latest post.Keep it up.

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    2. @ YSV

      Thanks for sharing this article.While there are some controversies regarding the historicity of Indian mythology,the charecters and main places have historical authenticity.Just because recorded history of later times didnt use metaphors and angels,doesnt mean that they have to be true while all ancient writings would be automatically false.Megasthenis had written in his book Indica that he had seen some Indians who had long ears ,looked like monsters etc.But that alone doesnt disqualify the historicity of Indica.Modern historians explain such anomolous descriptions in Indica to the mythical tales told to megasthenis by fellow Indians.Similarly the historical evidence of Krishna cannot be denied just because the literature associated with him is mythological in nature.One problem of ancient Sanatan dharma civilization,I think,is that the scholars werent particularly interested in the record-keeping of their own progress.It is said that for many generations vedas were passed down orally through memorisation of shlokas.Probably the lack of record-keeping had its roots in this concept.Again whatever was left had been washed off by Muslim invaders who destroyed the ancient seats of learning.

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    4. Haha one Tamil lunatic supporting another , color me shocked ;-)

      Seriously though Vivek Iyer can dish it out but cant take it , my taunting him about his diplomat family background really set him off. And lot of the insults he used were just stuff he recycled from me ala Amit Mishra though in a more articulate manner as befitting his education.

      Such a shame about him, he really is a brilliant guy when he takes his meds, I came to know of VP Menon from him BTW

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  7. JAM, what do you think of the seals (mudras) found during the underwater excavation at Dwarka? From this source (http://blog.abhinavagarwal.net/2013/09/lost-city-of-dvaraka-sr-rao.html)
    "A seal of conch shell, slightly damaged and engraved with a three-headed animal motif, was recovered", which corroborated the "statement in the Mahabharata that seals were used by the citizens of Dvaraka."

    This seal is 18x20 mm, and "is made of conch shell and has a square button with a hole on the back for inserting a ring."
    "The seal from Bet Dwarka corroborates the reference made in the Harivamsha to the fact that every citizen of Dvaraka should carry a mudra (seal) as a mark of identification when the city was attacked by Salva." [pg 115]


    From another source (http://www.arianuova.org/en/dwaraka)
    Every significant antiquity that corroborates a statement of the Harivamsa is the seal bearing the motif of a three-headed animal representing the bull, unicorn and goat. The Harivamsha says that every citizen of Dwaraka had to carry a mudra as a mark of identifications The seal (mudra) found in the excavation belongs to 15th-16th century B.C.
    Nearly two decades after marine archeologists found the lost city of Dwaraka off the coast of Gujarat the state government continues to drag its feet on a proposal to establish the world's first underwater museum to view the remains of the city submerged in the Arabian Sea.

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    1. Anu, please refer this Wikipedia article about the underwater excavation in Dwarka:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dv%C4%81rak%C4%81#Archaeological_findings

      Isn't it a bit dodgy that this Dwarka archaeological exploration finds sponsorship whenever a BJP govt is in power?

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    2. @Anu

      You have touched an interesting point.But unfortunately I am not using my home pc due to net servie problems,hence I will not be able to participate in the discussions today .Probably within 2-3 days the prob will be solved.Meanwhile others' views on this issue will be interesting to read :) I had read some articles on this Dwarka conspiracy theory elaborately in the past :P

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    3. @PremChand

      "Isn't it a bit dodgy that this Dwarka archaeological exploration finds sponsorship whenever a BJP govt is in power?" - It is not as dodgy as the congress govt totally ignoring places of mythological importance in Hinduism like Ramsetu etc :) The ASI even went on to say in 2013 probably,that Ram didnt exist ! Hence though I understand that BJP banks on Hindutva sentiments,still I find raising the Dwarka issue better than ignoring it or outright rejecting .

      @ Anu

      I think it has been conclusively proven that there are submerged remains of an ancient city in Beyt Dwarka.PremChand probably has a different view :) Anyway for me what is more interesting is that whether this ancient city was really as advanced as the mythological scriptures claim(for example flying vimanas etc). And I do believe in the ancient vimana theory ,though I run the risk of being tagged a crackpot :) THere are so many references to flying objects in our ancient scriptures which cannot be outright rejected .Though I dont know whether the vimanas were nuclear powered as our Dhimmi capt says.But some form of mechanical flying device might not be too far fetched an idea for ancient Indian civilization,considering their advancements in other fields of science.

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    4. "It is not as dodgy as the congress govt totally ignoring places of mythological importance in Hinduism like Ramsetu etc"

      Not to worry, the Hindutva lobbyists have successfully scuttled the profitable Sethu Samudram project, so Mission Accomplished. I think what the ASI would have meant is that the Ram Sethu is not the same as the one mentioned in our epics, since there is every evidence that it is a natural formation made of reef shoals and islands. The Great Barrier Reef of Australia is another example.

      Bet Dwarka is atmost a Mauryan era city, which definitely postdates Mahabharata. Hence the identification of the ruins with Dwarka is problematic.

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    5. JAM, Premchand & others: What do you think of those Mudras that citizens of Dwarka had to carry; surely they don't look like a natural formation? (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VgASvq-BYHk/UiySh6TKKmI/AAAAAAAAJvM/ghkQQZAbnfk/s1600/Lost_City_Dvarka_15.jpg). The seal is supposed to be from 15th and 16the century B.C. Since I'm ignorant about the timelines of Krishna or Mahabharata war, could you shed some light on this? Does the age of that seal not correspond with the timeline of Mahabharata? Or do you think they were planted there by vested interests?

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    6. @Anu

      I am quite sure that seal is genuine :) It is an IVC seal and there is no evidence to link it with the Mahabharata. Firstly, even the dating of the Mahabharata war is disputed but we often see dates earlier than 15-16th century. Next, what is the evidence that these seals are Mudras carried by citizens? Have these seals been found in abundance which would support the idea that it was given to all citizens? Does it look like an object that can be carried around all the time? I too am ignorant about the dating of Mahabharata but even to the non-expert it is obvious that linking an IVC settlement with Krishan's kingdom is stretching it too much.

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    8. Capt. India and his sons, not to mention his Mumbai born and brought up wife all studied in English medium schools instead of his beloved Malayalam which he says was created by Parshurama himself.

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    10. @SMME

      "Those Mudras will not be in large numbers, since they either would have disintegrated in the oceans, or maybe the fish there ate them, or due to many other factors."

      My point was that with just one seal with us, we cannot jump to the conclusion that it was a Mudra handed out to everyone. It worries me that SR Rao et al have not been rigorous with their research methodology.

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    11. @Premchand Archaeology is a matter of layers, digging one layer uncovers one culture and another below it another ancient culture. I believe this technique was first utilized by Heinrich Shliemann who went looking for Troy and had to go through 17 layers in Turkey.
      Even trickier with marine archaeology

      Now Dwaraka of the Maurya era surely is not the Dwaraka of the Mahabharata era. So what it doesn't disprove Dwaraka didn't exist , on the contrary . It may be reference to the Mahabharata era Dwaraka.

      Maybe two thousand years from now , archaeologists will be digging in America and find Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and Birmingham ,Alabama and be puzzled that these cities were located in Israel and England respectively, what are they doing in the new world!

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    12. @ Anu

      I forgot to touch your point.The Mahabharata war date according to the position of stars is 3100 BC.We are approximately 5000 years into Kali yuga.It is said that we will get a golden era of 10000 years within this Kali yuga starting roughly from 5000 years after the Mahabharata war.

      @ PremChand

      As YSV said,archaeological derivations are never fixed points.Infact they are similar in nature to other scientific research processes,where new ones replace the older theories .So whatever dates modern archaeologists are sticking to might change drastically in the near future,with newer discoveries in the field.

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    13. At last YSV is back with a bang :)

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    14. @YSV and JAM

      Yes, I can see that the excavations have revealed different different layers like Mauryan and IVC. What is not established is how any of this links with Dwaraka from Mahabharata.

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    17. YSV: Maybe two thousand years from now , archaeologists will be digging in America and find Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and Birmingham ,Alabama and be puzzled that these cities were located in Israel and England respectively, what are they doing in the new world! You mean that this might happen due to continental drift.

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    18. @Anu not the continental drift but that historians and archeoloigists especially jump on flimsy evidence to concoct wild fancies. In general knowledge is lost over the centuries and I believe it will be even in the information age. I saw this documentary on the History Channel called Life After People and they explained how due to lack of proper maintenance microfilms,books,newspapers and even digital media will disintegrate and disappear. The only resilient mode of transmitting history remaining -clay tablets and palm leaves.

      So in the future , historians will for a while struggle to make sense of a Bethlehelm not too far from Washington DC the capital of what was the most powerful "Empire" in the world and wonder if Jesus had anything to do with it.

      It is not as far fetched as it sounds, we still cant make much sense of what transpired beyond 1000 BC and the dates of Ramayana and Mahabhara!

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    19. 2000 years too short a time for continental drift to happen on such a large scale anyway :)

      On the point of preservation of info through digital mode,the real problem which will appear in the future is the lack of backward compatibility of future devices.It will take a lot of effort for scientists and engineers to make a computer of 22nd century backward compatible with a dell laptop of 2015.For example,we cannot connect our pc with Babbage's difference engine at present.Infact no one aspires to do so.But YSV I think paper printed books are here to stay for a long time ,even though devices like kindle might become popular.As long as paper print stays on earth,I dont think we will have to revert to tablet records :) Infact I think at present the quality and longeveity of papers have enormously increased and will only enhance in future,with increasing research in this field.

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    3. @ Iniyavel

      First of all I would like to thank you for the Periyar link .What amazes me is the extent of polarisation which Periyar creates among people,ie,some bash him left and right while others bring out the good in him.

      Actually Bangladesh is nowhere near to middle east or pakistan in terms of religious fanaticism.Ofcourse minorities are sometimes hunted down in Bangladesh also,but the intensity is far lower than in other islamic nations.The birth of Bangladesh was a successful turnout of the communal breakup which brits had intended way back in 1905 through the Bengal partition plan.But at that time they had to revert back to the original undivided Bengal province due to massive protests throughout the state.However the seed that the brits had sowed was successfully nurtured by Nehru and co later ,through the formation of east Pakistan in 1947.Bangladesh would never have been separate from India in the first place,if we had more nationalistic leaders at the helm on the verge of getting independence.Hence Bangladeshi population still retains many of the good values of Indian culture.However the increasing Islamic fanaticism might reduce it in the future.Bengali muslims are generally not a fanatic lot.Infact they are the most tolerant and broadminded among the North Indian muslims.I am not sure about the south India muslim psyche.
      You will be amazed to know that the Durga Puja is enjoyed throughout Bangladesh with huge fervour,even though it is a muslim-majority nation.And there are many muslims who actually fund or organize the Durga puja rituals .

      here are some links for you on this topic :

      http://www.merinews.com/article/bangladesh-celebrates-durga-puja/15784669.shtml


      http://islamicvoice.com/january.97/feat5.htm


      Bangladesh is probably the only islamic nation in the world where a Hindu festival like Durga puja is celebrated across the length and breadth.



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    4. @ Anu

      "Capt. India and his sons, not to mention his Mumbai born and brought up wife all studied in English medium schools instead of his beloved Malayalam which he says was created by Parshurama himself." - Had a long long laugh :) The mask of a deshpremi has fallen down :P .I had studied for a few years in a christian missionary school.I must say that I am grateful to the school for the quality of education and moral values which they had tried to impart .I did not find this quality in the govt school which I had attended later on.Christian missionaries have given some service in the field of quality education both at school and college level in India,and denying this will be nothing but thanklessness.I am sceptical about their evangelist tendencies though,but we must also see how they got the chance to enter Indian education sector with such strengh.It was because Capt's devatas Nehru,Indira Gandhi and their party Congress had not given enough effort in spreading education throughout the country since independence.They had votebank related interests behind this.And just look at the success of their sinister plans,even today the majority electorate of India do not care about the national issues before voting.They are ready to vote Satan himself if he promises free electricity or free water,like Kejru had done in Delhi :)

      Iniyavel is also spot on in pointing out Capt's hypocrisy.The person who sends his son to R sponsored univ and allows him to settle in USA,also bashes that nation all the time.He boasts about his wife's educational background from christian missionary organizations ,yet slams and curses the catholic educational bodies.Yeah I forgot to add this,the best example of the lack of good education amongst Indians are the hoards of Capt's asslickers themselves :)

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    5. @The creation of Bangladesh was another dirty trick of the British to deal with the "troublesome" revolutionary nationalism that these "non martial" Bengalis always seem to be indulging in :)
      The earliest census takers were shocked that East Bengal was so heavily Muslim ie they identified as Muslims despite all their Hindu customs such as Durga Puja.
      Actually Lakshmana Sena and his dynasty held out in that area, the latter a few more centuries under relative autonomy where there were left in peace by the Muslim rulers for whatever reason.

      Nowadays the British go around spreading nonsense stories that if it weren't for them, India would be majority Muslim ie they saved Hindus from the Mughals and the dimwitted credulous Americans actually believe this.That is until I crash these forums whenever I can and spoil the party with the reality, when they are hesitant to believe me, I ask just ask them to google Marathas and Ranjit Singh upon which they are amazed. I then tell them that Marathas fought with distinction against General Wellington and the Nairs defeated him earlier when he was a Lieutenant I believe and the Americans are flabbergasted at which point I remind them of all the support of the British for political Islam to keep Hindus in check and around this time the British revisionist usually beats a hasty retreat from the forum :)

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    7. JAM, capt. also calls the nuns of his wife's convent school as ugly and hideous.Are they participating in some beauty contest? Why should their looks matter so much? How well they teach and what values they impart is what should concern him.

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    8. @Anu LOL I don't wish to make any (more) disparaging remarks about Mrs Vadakayil but she isn't exactly a Ms India herself from what photos Ive seen. Sure she is on the plus side of 50 and may have lost her looks but usually you can tell if people were good looking in their youth. In fariness I would say the captain may not have a bad looking guy in his younger days(that unruly beard aside) but he surely not a stud as he claims to be.
      On one hand he claims that a wife should value virtue over beauty(in his case he has no choice but to say that) but then ogles over beautiful women both desi and those evil whites and goes out his way to portray the female form in the crudest manner possible.

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    9. @ysv, you are right about Mrs. Vadakayil, she's just average looking and no breathtaking beauty; I had seen her photographs in capt's blog, anyway that's none of my concern. But the way he makes fun of others on the basis of their looks is something I don't like.

      Also he says that he doesn't like Anushka Sharma because she has thin lips. BTW, she has done a lip augmentation now which looks very unnatural. In most beauty blogs, I read they say that she was looking better with thin lips. Who cares for this old fogey's opinion?

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    10. @Iniyavel I really don't mind Israeli propaganda as its modest in its scope and Israelis are really an acerbic and direct people and that includes the women who are notorious for their lack of sentiment as contrasted to the more poetic Arab and Palestinian women.

      The only issue I will take with Israeli attitudes is that Americans continue to subsidize them when in reality they don't need and it only fuels corruption in Israeli politics and ill will amongst the American populace. There was a time for monetary support for the Zionist project and that has long passed. Let Israel stand on its own two feet.

      Same goes with Egypt and Jordan.

      Americans are good natured people but rather incurious about world affairs. This is a serious problem for the CIA as the number of serious Arabic scholars they can recruit is only in the double digits.

      Oddly though the FBI seems to have no shortage of Arabic speakers. It is as if Arab Americans and Arabic speaking non Arabs prefer to not be involved in clandestine operations abroad but rather deal with such threats on their home soil.

      All in all I agree with you on point on Slavic and Germanic peoples-they make better and long lasting friends. Americans are initially very friendly to you but their bonds are not long lasting and they forget you rather easily.

      On the other hand I had Russian and German friends from university and work who took the trouble of making the effort of maintaining friendship from their side even after years of no correspondence from my side(I had assumed they were like Americans to my embarrassment).

      Even I had English friends who were somewhat old fashioned that way.

      I remember reading about an Indian general who explained the Indian Cold war alliance with the Soviets as not so much with do with ideologies as personalities which he experienced when he was training in America and contrasted with his dealing with Russians. Ie Americans come and go but Russians are friends for life.

      It is hard to argue with this when you see Russian foreign policy in contrast to Americans, the American world view changes every election cycle but the Russian relationship sustains for decades if not centuries but OTOH so do their hatred so beware

      The Tamil WWII hero Paramasiva Prabhakar Kumaramangalam on whose life the film The Great Escape was partially based was a tad unfair to Americans but he was right on some level

      (from Wikipedia)
      "This country is not one that I will ever get fond of. I have not got a very high opinion of them. The people that I have to deal with are very kind, hospitable and have been very good to the two of us. But somehow I feel there is a trace of artificiality in that and also it is the result of trying to impress one. They I think are very jealous of the old world and its background and culture and this results in an aggressive inferiority complex. As for their state of morality, there is none. People seem to delight in trying to outwit each other by any means, mainly crooked. The politicians are racketeers and big business has a tight grip on everything in the country. The small country trader and the farmer I think have their hands securely tied by the big men. I do hope that our country proceeds with caution and doesn't get entirely under the influence of the States.

      PPK was quite the celebrity in his day and the Birlas named a son after him.

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    11. @ YSV

      " Americans come and go but Russians are friends for life." - Atleast Soviets have proven this in their relationship with India.Which country in the world would have given India their cutting edge military hardware with full technology transfer?No nation would cooperate with India in the building of the 5th generation PAKFA or the BRAHMOS missiles from scratch,if it were not Russia.Add to this leasing out of nuclear powered submarines also.The problem with Russian defence manufacturing corporations at present is their lagging behind schedule in delivering large-scale projects .Hence India is also looking for other reliable defence partners willing to share their technologies .Israel became an obvious option next to russia.And capt started smelling zionist rat :)

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    12. @ YSV & Anu

      "in his case he has no choice but to say that" - ROFL :)

      YSV was right from the very beginning.As he said,capt probably mingled only with prostitutes in his entire shipping career :) Atleast Capt's views on women do indicate this clearly.YSV's perception is second best in the world,with the award for first slot going to our beloved Rothschild :P YSV you dont deserve the first prize,and dont mind , after all it requires a great deal of perception to install fake backdated literature in all Indian languages(except Malayalam and Kerala region!) spanning a whole millenium :D


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  9. @Premchand I forgot to mention SR Rao is a respected archeologist but as a historian he is a bit of a crank- he believes Ravana was Baylonian king and Krishna was chief of Mohenjadaro or some such silliness.

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    1. I quite agree. Since this "Dwarka lost city" theory is his brainchild, it makes us that much more suspicious of the idea.

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  10. Hope everybody is fine and well. I missed all the discussion due to work.

    """Interestingly the Rajas of Kangra possessed their genealogical table (vansavali) from ancient times, containing almost 500 names, starting with their founder Bhumi Chandra. If the accepted average of 20 years is applied to each reign, Bhumi Chandra would be dated to almost 8000 BCE! Of course colonial and leftist historians believe that the whole genealogy is a myth and that the Rajput clans invented such descents for glorification.

    Strikingly the 234th name in this vansavali is Susharma Chandra——the name matches that of Susarama the ruler of Trigarta who was a minor character in the Mahabharat. And calculating his period by the above method brings his reign to 3320 BCE, which is close to the traditional date assigned to the Mahabharat War (3102 BCE), of course counting for reigns where a younger brother succeeded or a minor ruled for a long time.

    Now the usual colonial-leftist claim that Rajput clans invented their descent from powerful ancient families, whose genealogies are mentioned in the Puranas, does not apply in this case[2]. The genealogy of the Trigarta clan is not found in any ancient text, and even the name of this clan was forgotten at the time the Kangra State rose to power. The genealogy appears to have been preserved in the memory of their Katoch descendants to modern times.

    In any case if glorification was what the Katoch clan wanted, why would they pick an unknown ancient clan, whose only noted king is a minor character in the greatest Hindu Epic, and worse, one who fights on the side of the villainous Kauravas?""

    https://sites.google.com/site/airavat/trigarta2

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