Sunday, July 31, 2011

Abode of Sage Pulastya in Srilanka?

The article posted below gives an interesting information on the historicity of
Sage Pulasthya, the grand father of Ravana.
A statue believed to depict the sage is found in Srilanka.

The place where the statue is found was known as
Pulastipura in olden times.
This information can be found in the official Ramayana site of Srilanka.
In contrast, there is no official effort by India
to chronicle the historic sites connected with Ramayana in India.

The Srilankan site says that
"The Central Government of India appointed a committee of 14 historians
to identify the authenticity of Ramayana
but was unable to find any historical or archaeological evidence in India.
However, Sri Lanka can prove the validity of Ramayana
with available archaeological and historical evidences."

That puts in perspective the kind of apathy of the Indian Government
in matters related to Hinduism,
inspite of the voluminous literature and traditions
related to the places trailed by Rama.
Both Rama and Krishna had walked
throughout the length and breadth of India
thereby creating an everlasting memory to the people of various parts of India.
That memory continues to live even today.
In this context, it is a welcome development
that experts from various branches of science have come together
to unravel the past prior to 2000 BC. (Read previous post).

In this post I wish to say something I know of sage Pulastya.
Pualstya's name appears in different places.
There are astrological Siddhanthas attributed to Pulaha in some texts and Pulastya in some.
As astrological-  astronomical Sidhantha called Paulisa siddhantha
was authored Pulasthya,
which was compiled as one of 5 siddhanthas of
"Pancha Siddhanthika" of Varahamihira.
The authorship of this is attributed to sage Pulaha by some
and to Pulasthya by others making us think
that both are one and the same.
But  Pulasthya and Pulaha are mentioned
as separate entities in Mahabharatha.

However the name Pulastya is always mentioned
as one of the first borns of Brahma
and also as the grand father of Ravana.
Ravana's father Visravas was the son of Pulasthya
whereas his mother was a of Asuric origin.
Ravana's relatives hailed from Deep South.
Pulasthya's son coming to marry a woman from the Southern hemisphere
shows that Pulastya could have settled in the South.

I have a reason to say this.
The Paulisa siddhantha was said to have originated outside the present day Bharath.
The calculations pertaining to the sky seem to have been taken from a place outside India.
Even the Surya Siddhantha originated outside India
in Romaka Desa,
which was 90 degrees to the west  of present day Lanka.
This puts the Romaka desa in a region in Atlantic ocean.
This corresponds to the lost Atlantis.
In my an analytical series on "Thamizhan Dravidana",
I have located this place as follows:

I am happy to see that a researcher in anthropology also identified
the same place for Atlantis.

Maya Danava was the originator of Surya Siddhantha
which he received in Romaka desa
from the Sun God.
Due to a previous karma he was born as a mleccha in Romaka Desa
 and received it,
so says Surya Siddhantha.

The Paulisa Siddhantha is also said to have originated outside Bharath.
Not much is known about this Siddhantha.
But in my opinion that it must have originated in the Southern hemisphere.
That was the place where early man thrived after his movement out of East Africa.
The kingdom of Daksha prajapathi was situated in the South.
The climatic conditions for human development was conducive in the South about 20,000
years ago when a mini Ice Age hit the North.
 Pulastya as a progenitor of mankind must have lived there.
Those regions are now under water in the Indian Ocean.
(I have written extensively about the scientific causes that led to the
loss of those lands to the sea
in my series on "Thamizhan Dravidanaa?")
The Paulisa Siddhantha could have originated at that place.

The information given in the Srilankan website on Ramayana places
 also talks about the early name of Srilanka.
It says that the old name of Srilanka was Heladiva.
But from Valmiki Ramayana we come to know that Lanka was its original name.
Lanka in Sanskrit means 'grain'.
It is possible that this name was derived from the grain like appearance
or from a probability that plenty of grains were available in Lanka when it was populated.

It was a city built on top of a hill 'tri-kuta'.
3 peaks surrounded the city like fort walls.
There are similar references like this to Lanka in Sangam Tamil texts also. 
It was a planned city built by Viswakarma, the sculptor for Devas.
Lanka was the city that lies at the farthest in the South
when one sees from the top of Meru, the North pole,
according to astrological texts.
This Lanka was built for the benefit of Kubera, the step brother of Ravana.
No civilization existed in Srilanka when Lanka was built.

The city was very beautiful that Ravana confiscated it from Kubera.
After losing it to Ravana, Kubera went to settle down in the
Himalayan region.
Ravana's maternal relatives, who lived in the Deep South,
moved to Lanka and
they were the Rakshasas we find in Ramayana.
(The Rakshasas were the people who inhabited the South Pole
at a time when South was warm and hospitable).

From these accounts,
it is known that the name, Lanka was the original one.
The name Heladiva (if found in old texts)
could have come later.
Hela in sanskrit means 'Moonlight".
There is chapter in Valimiki Ramayana on the Moon rise in Lanka.
The entire chapter describes how the city looked beautiful in moonlight.
Perhaps this gave rise to the name Hela dweepa
which was shortened to Heladiva.
It means the city / dweepa of Moonlight’.

Now to the place of Pulastya.
There is a reference in Vishnu Purana to the abode of Pulastya.
It says,
"The residence of Pulastya  was at Viranagara,
a large handsome city on the banks of the Devika  river.
In a beautiful grove adjoining to the stream
the pupil of Ribhu, Nidagha  conversant with devotional practices, abode."
(V-P 2-15)

Earlier in verse 2-3 of Vishnu Purana,
river Devaki finds a mention along with the rivers of Bharath such as
Kaveri, Vedavati etc.
It is possible to assume that Lanka was considered as part of Bharath
and Devaki was a river in Lanka.

So any conclusion on Pulastya's abode in the said location
in Srilanka must have a river nearby.
It is hoped researchers give importance to the Epics of Bharat
in their search for ancient past.

- Jayasree



In Polonnaruwa to the north of the Pothgul Vehera
is a granite boulder, adorned with a large statue.
This is one of the finest statues in the Island and measures
11 feet 6 inches in height.
The historians and the archaeologists
have not confirmed its identity to date.

                                                       Pulasthi Statue – Polonnaruwa.

Some refer to it as the statue of King Parakramabahu
because its closeness to one of his major irrigation works;
others refer to it as Rishi Pulasthi’s statue. 
The presence of a Brahmanical sacred thread
that runs from the left shoulder across the body and the Ola leaf book
that he carries confirms that it is of Rishi Pulasthi.

The third option is because Polonnaruwa was referred as Pulasthipura in primeval times.
Prof Anuradha Seneviratna says that
there is a worn out Rock Inscription which reads as ‘PULA THA SA’
behind the head of the statue. It proves that this statue is of Rishi Pulasthi.

Kalam welcomes scientists' efforts to verify facts about ancient India.


Former President A P J Abdul Kalam today welcomed efforts by scientists and scholars to verify the facts of ancient India, saying it would be a learning experience if studies scientifically establish events of the Ramayana period and places associated with Lord Ram.
Speaking at a national seminar on 'Scientific Dating of Ancient Events before 2000 BC', he said efforts to prove the indigenous nature of Indian civilisation could provide a boost to the confidence of the nation.
At the seminar where scientists, historians and Vedic scholars converged together to discuss their findings about ancient India, the former scientist-president said for a person like him was born in Rameswaram, a place closely associated with the Ramayana epic, such efforts were all the more pleasing.

"Rameswaram is known in intricate details to me as I travelled across the town delivering newspapers. In my eyes Gandhamanaparvatham appears from where Rama is supposed to have seen Sri Lanka. In front of me appears the famous Kothanda Ramar Temple of Rameshwaram.

"The central point is Ramanathaswamy Temple where we find the Siva linga which Lord Rama had worshipped," he said.

Contending that he had a profound interest in the scientific dating of Ramayana, Kalam said he would be the happiest person, if scientific dimensions establish places from where Ram, Lashmana, Hanuman, Sugreeva and the Vanara sena created a base before launching the war on Sri Lanka.

He also pointed out that the eco-frindly agricultural practices used by farmers in the Vedica period could also provide a lot of lessons for the present day.

"The dating studies have found that the farmers in the vedic period used natural manures for their agriculture. They have found 12 types of soil and determined associated organic manure compatible to the soil types. They did not make use of pesticides or any poisonous elements in the agro sector... We have to learn a lot from this experience," Kalam said.

Contending that Vedic and post-Vedic literature has a tremendous amount of "scientific knowledge" which will be extremely beneficial to humanity, Kalam said dating of events leads to transforming mythology into history.

"Balmiki packed so much information about the various planetary positions of those days, the geography of the areas mentioned in the epic, the seasonal events, and about the genealogy of various kings that it is virtually a no-brainer to establish the dates on which those events
occurred," he said, adding that archaeology and astronomy could together be used to determine these facts.

He also appealed to researchers studying India's epics to launch at least 100 PhDs with historical, geological, astronomical and space scientists to ascertain the veracity of history and date of events, while stressing that the use of Genology to relate to the scientific dating of epics with human genome sequences, should also be employed.

"Astronomical calculation making use of planetarium software have proved that events narrated in Balamiki Ramayana actually occurred around 7000 years back and can be sequenced," he said.

Referring to Ramsethu, he said the bridge used by Rama to travel to Sri Lanka, is found submerged at the same location mentioned in Valmiki's writings, and as per estimates there has been a rise in the sea level during the last 7000 years roughly corresponding to 9 feet -- the same depth at which remains of Rama Sethu were found.

He said there was a need to establish the relationship between the birth of spoken language and evolution of Valmiki Ramayana.

"I am happy that through the use of modern technology the perception of Indian Archaeology has changed and has facilitated by researchers to prove an indigenous origin of civilisation in the Indian sub-continent.

"This is an important factor which should work as an integrator of the entire nation since all of us have come into this land from the same ancestors and roots.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Arun Shourie’s rebuttal of A.Raja’s arguments.



2G scam: PM smelled something fishy but stayed away, says Arun Shourie

Sruthijith KK, ET Bureau


Former telecom minister A Raja's statements in court has opened a new political battlefront, with BJP demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister and P Chidambaram, who was finance minister when the 2G spectrum allocation was made. The telecom minister during the NDA regime, Arun Shourie , has been tracking developments on the 2G trial. In an interview to ET , Shourie discusses what he believes the PM knew, going by the file notings, Raja's defence that he inherited the policy, and other related issues. Excerpts:


Are you inclined to believe Raja's statements that he did everything with FM's and PM's knowledge?

Raja was very clever. He wrote about 18 letters to the PM during the 2G episode. And in each letter, he implicated somebody. For instance in his letter on 7 November, 2008, he says, "kindly recall my meeting with you on 4/11/2008 along with the honourable Finance Minister in connection with 3G spectrum auction and one time spectrum charges for 2G. During the discussion, you advised me to meet the press, to explain the policy and rules.

Accordingly, I addressed the issues in the press conference today and explained the related issues including the dilution of shares as explained by the Finance Minister, of Swan and Unitech." The same day he issues a press release, in which he repeats that this issue has been explained by the Finance Minister. "This matter has been discussed and clarified with the Finance Minister," the press release says, in which this portion is in bold!

Then the FM himself has said, yes, the PM asked me to examine this particular matter. He says I examined it, I said it is dilution of equity and it was consistent with policy and procedure. If that is the case, how is it that now, the Enforcement Directorate, which is under the same ministry, has slapped a 7100 crore penalty on Etisalat? For violation of FEMA!

If everything was done as per policy and procedure, then how? It now transpires, according to ED, that Etisalat was given permission to bring in money from UAE. But it, instead, brought in money from an unknown unit in Mauritius. Secondly, on the same day, Syed Salauddin, a close associate of Mr Karunanidhi, brought in 380 crore. He was allowed to bring it in as a domestic investor and he brought the money from UAE. He has also been slapped with a Fema notice. Both things happened in Swan on the same day.


So, is Raja on firm ground?

All these statements these lawyers like Kapil Sibal are making now, saying everything was in order and there was zero gain to the companies, are statements that will be used by these companies to defend themselves in notices. Kapil Sibal is not the lawyer for the PM, he is the lawyer for Raja and the companies.

It is not Raja who is dragging in the PM now. You go back to Sibal's first press conference on this matter. There he said Raja kept the FM and the PM informed at every turn. I had said at that time that this is the sentence that Raja will use. That is exactly what has happened. Now you wait and see. When the Telecom Minister says the companies made no gain, that will be their defence.

The PM had said in Parliament in February that the then FM and Raja had agreed on a formula and this was communicated to him. Raja says the equity dilution in Swan Telecom and Unitech was discussed and cleared with the FM before the PM. FM says the PM wanted to know if it was a case of dilution of equity or divestment. This shows that the matter that has caused the most outrage, that these two companies benefitted from enormous valuation for a license they paid the government very little for, was known to the PM and he did nothing about the policy that allowed these companies to do this.

All this is in the public domain. Priority lists have been changed, the basis of first-come-first-served had been changed, cut off date had been advanced and 500 applicants were reduced for favoured companies. It now turns out from the CBI chargesheet that the license applications of three companies were approved even before the policy was announced.

You mean to say rivals would not have brought it to the attention of TKA Nair (Principal Secretary to the PM) and others in the PMO? Do you mean to say the Intelligence Bureau and CBI and others would not have brought this to their attention? I cannot believe that. Because our system is so structured that the PM and his office gets to know about every sparrow that moves in the government. That I can testify from personal knowledge.


This was all in public domain...

The notings on the file indicate that the PM was quite alarmed at what was happening. These licenses were given on 10 January, 2008. On 11 January, the Principal Secretary notes that the PM desires to take into account the developments concerning the issue of licenses. This means perhaps that he wanted to have a meeting about it. The file is submitted back to the PMO on 15 January. Now see what the Principal Secretary notes.

"Prime Minister wants this informally shared with the department. He does not want a formal communication and wants PMO to be at arms length". Why would he give this instruction to his officers unless he knew that there is murky stuff going on and it is better to stay away. I think he had full knowledge and I think he had deep apprehension that something terrible has happened and his only concern was let's stay away from the filth. That is not what a PM is supposed to do.


You mean, he knew but shied away from taking any action?

This particular sentence, at arms length, very well describes Dr Manmohan Singh's attitude in regard to CWG, defence acquisitions and every other major decision. Weapons purchases are not happening because Mr Antony (Defence Minister) also wants to stay at arms length on every decision. I think this will be an apt title for a book on Dr Singh's tenure as PM - At Arm's Length.


Raja has also said that if the policy was wrong, all former telecom ministers must be jailed.

Raja says that he was following earlier policies but he flouted them. Take first-come-first-served (FCFS): He says I will FCFS. Then he disregards pending applications. If you were following the policy, you should have dealt with them first. Then he says I will have this cut-off date of October 1. After the applications are received, he says no, I will advance deadline to 25 {+t}{+h} September.

Then he changes FCFS. First, it was time and date of application received. And suddenly it becomes time and date of fulfilling the conditions in the letter of intent. Where is LoI? People rushed for it. It says, within 40 minutes, bring a banker's draft of Rs1,650 crore. Companies he favoured already has those drafts from Mumbai and sitting in his office. How could they get it in 40 minutes?

When he could not find adequate spectrum for his favoured companies, he changes the priority list in the Punjab and Maharashtra circles. You show me one single, unique, solitary instance during my period or anybody else's period during NDA when any of this would have happened. So yes, people who do wrong should be in jail and continue to be in jail without bail.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bermuda Triangle revisited

A recent issue of posted a short series with images on the mystery of Bermuda Triangle. Curious readers may take a peep into this link

Some excerpts:

Paranormal Activity?
Several bizarre theories have been presented in attempts to explain the disappearances. UFO abductions, time warps, portals leading to other dimensions, magnetic field anomalies, geophysical phenomena and massive methane gas bubbles have all been blamed for the triangle's unsolved mysteries. A popular theory is that the legendary lost city of Atlantis rests at the bottom of the Bermuda Triangle, and its advanced technology interferes with nearby vessels.

A Reasonable Explanation
In actuality, the number of disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle is consistent with any other well-traveled region. There's no evidence to show that the area experiences an unusually high number of lost vessels. The region is vulnerable to unpredictable storms, with the majority of Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms passing through the triangle. And, according to the Navy, the Gulf Stream there can cause swift, violent changes in weather, and its currents "can quickly erase any evidence of a disaster."

Murky Depths 

Retrieving sunken planes and ships from the Bermuda Triangle is especially difficult because it is home to the Puerto Rico Trench, which reaches depths of about 30,100 feet (9,200 meters) and is the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean. Crafts that sink to such low points are seldom seen again. This underwater photo shows an unidentified Caribbean shipwreck discovered by NOAA oceanography researchers on April 1, 2011.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pinning hopes on the SC on Samacheer kalvi (Uniform education).


An anxious silence is running through the State that is comparable to the way the people were silently waiting for a good result at the recent elections.  And they got a good result with a  change in the government.  They are waiting for a good result this time as what is at stake is the future of our children. They (we) expect the Supreme Court to deliver a verdict to put aside the Uniform education policy of Karunanidhi and call for a rethink on how to bring about uniformity without sacrificing quality.


Any thinking person and anyone having the knowledge of what is happening in the education scenario from primary school to college level in Tamilnadu will say that the move by Karunanidhi to downgrade the syllabus in the name of uniformity in education is retrograde.  He has cleverly misused the concept of Uniform Education and the recommendations of the Committee that went into the details of that, to draw a name for himself without any idea of how such a concept must be put into application. Now out of power, he is searching for issues to attack Jayalalithaa and using the move by Jayalalithaa government to revamp the policy, to whip up the emotions of people who have no idea of the present scenario and the futuristic implications of this policy.  Only he is politicizing it by calling it a vindictive policy of Jayalalithaa for  reversing his policies. If Jayalalithaa's intention was to reverse every scheme brought out by Karunanidhi, she need not have redone the Medical Insurance scheme that was originally introduced by him. There is nothing she can gain by spoiling  the education of more than  one crore students. But Karunanidhi has everything to gain by portraying Jayalalithaa as an egotist (ஆணவம்) for calling for a change in the policy introduced by him.


It is unfortunate that the Madras HC played into this  argument of politicization over education policy and not care to see what the new syllabus is about.  Now that the case has gone to the Supreme Court, it is the wish of all thinking people of the State that the SC would see wisdom in abolishing the scheme in its present form and pave way for overall upgradation of the schools and faculty and bring the syllabus on par with the national level of education as enunciated by NCERT.

It is strange that no court found it wrong when Tamilnadu exceeded the reservation quota beyond 50%.

No court found it wrong when Tamilnadu was the only State to have abolished entrance exam  for admission into professional colleges.

But the courts are finding it wrong to stop an attempt to destroy the education system in Tamilnadu.

Just 200 crore rupees look important for them than what our kids are going to study.

If the courts think that this money should not be wasted, let the books be distributed, but please do not lose sight of the repercussions that the present scheme is going to have.

The reality scenario in Tamilnadu is that the existing system of State board for Higher secondary encourages only rote learning. Only marks for memory matter a lot. Centums carry no relevance. The extent of the decay of this system can be known from the fact that this year centum was given for English, a foreign language!!  By awarding many centums and hiking pass percentage, the government in the past had wanted to take a false pride that its policy on education is a fantastic one. But there is no intrinsic value in these achievements.

It is a pity that all those who are supporting Karunanidhi's scheme of Uniform education are not aware of where our kids stand in comparison with those outside the State. No one studying in the State stream of +2 at present can compete anywhere in India. None of these students can write an entrance exam in any other state in India and get a seat. None of them can write any competitive exam or a National talents exam. None of them can enter the NIT in Tamilnadu nor the IIT in Chennai. What will happen after sometime? Seeing that only CBSE students and other State students are entering these institutions in Tamilnadu, Karunanidhi & his followers would start agitations to stop them or call it as Aryan and Brahmin domination eating upon the chances of the local students.  


A shift to CBSE will be impossible in the scheme of Karunanidhi.  Until now Matriculation  system filled the gap between State board and Central Board. The students had an option to switch over to CBSE in plus one so that they can equip themselves well for competitive exams. This year's IIT topper from Chennai studied in Matriculation until 10th and switched over to CBSE in 11th as he wanted to appear for IIT-JEE. The proposed uniform syllabus can not come to the help of students who want to make a shift to CBSE. I think the student is entitled to a right to study in a stream he likes and if the government -imposed scheme in the form of Karunanidhi's Uniform syllabus hampers him from doing that, then that is an infringement of his right to education.  It is hoped that the SC takes a right decision as not to infringe this right of the student.  


Some arguments against Karunanidhi's education  policy can be read in the following links:-