No Aryan - Dravidian divide - it was one Aryavartha - (12)
SETHU is sacred for the sub-terranean worlds!
On his return journey from Lanka
(Lanka means resplendent land) by Pushpaka vimana,
Rama showed to Sita,
the places associated with their life and travel.
( we rely on Valmiki Ramayanam only,
for any discussion on or interpretation in Ramayana,
for, it was written at the time of Rama and narrated to him by his sons.
If any information contrary to truth was in that,
it would have been corrected by Rama himself.
Therefore Valmiki’s version is taken as authentic.)
Rama showed Sethu to Sita and said,
“yEthatthu drushyathE theertham saagarasya mahaathmana:
sEthu bhanda iti khyaatam trailOkyenaabhi poojitham//”
“This sacred place of pilgrimage (theertham) of the mighty ocean is seen.
Known as Sethu bhandam, this is worshipped by the three worlds.”
The three worlds are not just about the worlds.
They also include the beings of the three worlds.
(1) The beings of the nether-worlds or sub-terranean worlds,
that are found in 7 layers below the surface of the earth,
(2) The people of the world.
(3) The departed people who are said to live in the layers above the earth or in heaven.
The sub-terranean lands (mentioned earlier in this series)
stretch till the mantle which is known as Paatala, the 7th layer.
The description in Valmiki Ramayana is that the Sagaras dug
till the 6th layer called, Rasaatala.
This layer acts as a cover to the Paatala and prevents
its beings ( the molten materials) from gushing out.
That was why the Sagaras did not go deeper than that.
This layer of the sub terrain is protected by the Sethu bhanda
making it fit enough to be worshipped by the beings of the worlds under.
How this protection is happening at Sethu?
The Mainaka mountain on the way of Sethu is not just a mountain.
From the dialogue is has with Hanuman we know that it is something else.
When Hanuman was flying over the sea,
the Mainaka mountain grew up and obstructed his way.
This is indicative of a volcanic growth from under the sea
when Hanuman was crossing.
The Mainaka told hanuman
that it was once like the many other mountains
that were beaten, broken and thrown by Indra’s vajraayudha.
As a result, mountains like him were flying in those days.
But fortunately for Mainaka, the wind god, (father of Hanuman)
brought him there at that ocean.
He settled on a vault or opening of the Paatala loka,
in such a way as to prevent the beings of the Paatala loka
from escaping and ruining the world.
Other puranic texts also tell that in olden days
the mountains were broken and strewn all over by Indra.
The allusion is this.
In the very early times of earth’s evolution,
intense volcanic activities were happening.
There were explosions on the surface
due to disturbances in the mantle
which fractured the top layer of the earth.
The winds were also wild, blowing violently,
carrying the exploding pieces of land mass.
Mainaka seems to be one such mass of earth
that was carried by wind and relocated at the bottom of the sea at Sethu.
The crucial information that Mainaka gave was that
it was sitting on an opening and
thereby preventing the beings of Paatala from coming out.
This means that there is a weak point on the surface of the mantle
or on the ocean bed at this location.
That the Mainaka grew up in size when Hanuman was crossing,
is indicative of some molten material gushing through it at that time.
This is an indication of some sub-terranean
activity at this location.
The structure and content of the rocks at the base of Sethu
and the ocean bed at this location must be probed
for any volcanic material,
by experts in this field before disturbing this location.
Another information to be recalled here is that
this stretch of Sethu seems to lie on a junction of sub-terranean plates.
The trails of Sagaras strengthen this assumption.
The Sagaras came southward
and dug up to the north of the present day Srilanka.
There they encountered the southern Directional elephant called Maha padma.
So they just went around that Mahapadma and then went westwards.
The went up to the southern land of Tamilnadu
where the Kumari
They could not proceed further west,
because that was another tectonic plate.
So they turned northwards.
That means they were digging in between Srilanka and India
and located kapila’s Ashrama and the lost horse at the north east.
This location tallies with Rameshwaram.
A little way north of this is where the Southern plate stopped them
when they were digging southward.
It seems Srilanka is on a small and extended bit of the southern plate.
And the meeting of the southern and northern plates seems to be at the stretch
(The trail of the Sagaras.
First towards east, then south,
then west, towards Kumari
and then north in between India and Srilanka.
It ended up at Rameshwaram, at the north east in their trail.)
Thus there is every possibility to conclude that Sethu stands
on the junction of two tectonic plates.
This must probed by experts in this field before disturbing this area.
Another strong rationale can be made out from the incidents in Ramyana itself,
for not to disturb this now sleeping but potentially dangerous zone
of sub-terranean activity.
This rationale can be explored if we look into the way the Ocean God behaved
at two instances.
When Hanuman was crossing the ocean,
the Ocean god himself sprang up and directed Mainaka mountain
to play host to Hanuman who could have been tired of flying.
The reason he gave was that
since the very ocean was created by Rama’s ancestors,
it would be in the fitness of things
to help Hanuman in Rama-kaaryam
(in his mission to serve Rama)
as a gesture of thanks-giving (for their existence).
But the same ocean-god did not show up at all
– on his own and until Rama threatened to dry him up,
when Rama himself prayed to him to help him in his mission (Rama-kaaryam)
Does this not look odd?
There must be some rationale behind this behaviour of the ocean god.
In the earlier instance, some volcanic activity happened,
in the growing up of Mainaka.
Within a few days after that,
Rama wanted that place to part with water and show up as a low-watered area,
so that he and his army would be able to cross the ocean.
If this plan of Rama were to materialize,
it would mean that an intense sub-terranean activity must happen
throwing up the beings of Paatala (lava) to the ocean surface,
so that the ocean floor would swell up and waters would be receded on both sides.
If this location is as explained above (as a junction of tectonic plates),
such a sub-terranean activity would prove to be dangerous and uncontrollable too.
Knowing this kind of repercussion,
the ocean god could not carry out this wish of Rama,
though he was keen on doing his part (and later did his) in Rama-kaaryam.
But when Rama rose to thrash that location with his Brahmasthra,
the ocean-god could not remain quite but had to come out
and prevent Rama from doing that.
Note that even Rama did not disturb this part of the sea.
His asthra landed at a place in the north of the ocean, as requested by the ocean god.
It resulted in the breaking of the sub-terrain there
and release of a sweet water spring.
While some say that this happened in the desert of Thar,
there is another version
that the asthra hit a place in the Mandya district of Karnataka
where there even now exists a sweet water spring from a huge boulder
which is called as Dhanush koTi.
There is a similar incidence to the one like Rama’s
( refraining him from attacking the stretch at Sethu)
that is reported in ancient Tamil works.
The Land of Pandyas stretched further South, and was present in the land of Kumari.
The olden Then-madurai, the capital of Pandyas was there.
Once the ocean of the South surged towards the Pandyan land.
The king by name Ugra kumara Pandyan,
stopped the surging ocean by the divine spear given by Lord Soma sundhara
and burnt the sea.
As a result, the waters could not swell and stopped at his feet.
This feat made him known as “Kadal vadimbalam nindra Pandyan”.
But in the surge of the sea, some lands that had the river Kumari running, were lost .
The story (which is real) did not stop here.
This king was credited with having dug the river PahruLi (since Kumari was lost)
But this land also was submerged later by the surging ocean.
Tamil texts say that this land too was taken away by the ocean
in an act of ‘revenge’
on the Pandyan who burnt it.
Two information can be had from these events.
One is that if it was possible for a Pandyan king
to diffuse the power of a surging ocean,
there can be no questioning of the prowess of a divine incarnation such as Rama
to burn the sea or
build a bridge on the sea!!
Another information is that any act that seeks to disturb the way
the Elements of Nature behave,
will be met with a much fiercer rebuttal from that element!
This is precisely, what the ocean god told Rama.
It is the nature of the sea to roam around with water.
Such waters can not be parted.
If an effort is made to part the waters
(by weapons like Rama wanted to do initially and the Pandyan king actually did),
that would give rise to uncontrollable repercussions.
That is why it was wiser to construct a path way on the waters
than to split the ocean or dry up an area of it.
The ocean god’s request to Rama not to thrash that location
and Mainaka’s strategic positioning on the vault on the ocean bed
are indicative of the need to strengthen this area with a better covering or binding.
On the request of the ocean god,
this location was bound well right from the
bottom of the ocean to its surface,
covering 5 layers of the under-world.
This binding stands on the junction of the tectonic plates.
The beings of the Paatala are prevented from coming out.
The beings at the underwaters in this region are protected from loss of habitation.
The sub-terranean structure is free from danger – unless otherwise disturbed.
That is why the Sethu bhanda
is fit enough to be worshipped by the under worlds too.
why the next layer – the layer bearing the humans
worship this as ‘theertham’ (sacred place)
(to be continued)