Indiahhhhhhh ———–the RICHEST country in the world! (Part 2)

Please note, this is the second part in a series on why India is the Richest country in the world. For the first part, click here.

In my prior post, I concluded with the assertion that Hindu temples hold more gold than the Reserve Bank of India and that further, my research shows Hindu women probably have more gold than the Hindu temples and Reserve Bank of India put together!Now let’s dig deeper and look at my research from ancient times:

1.   We had the Kohinoor diamond which is now in the jewellery collection of Queen Elizabeth.
2.   We had Peacock throne and we don’t where it is now. My research shows that it is in Iran.
3.   We had Akshaya Pathram of Draupadi (of Mahabharatha).This is a vessel that feeds any number of people with never ending food supply. Where is it? I am doing more research on this Holy Grail. First it was taken to the Christian lands and then it disappeared.
4.   We had Amutha Surabhi the vessel of eternal supply (Ref.: Manimekalai, Tamil Literature) and we do not know where it has gone.
Kovalan the son of a great merchant came to Madurai to sell his wife Kannaki’s anklet which is full of gem stones. But he was caught by an evil goldsmith as thief and executed by the great Pandya King Nedunchezian. Kannaki, his wife ,entered the Pandyan assembly and threw the anklet at his foot steps. The moment the king came to know that the anklets did not contain the pearls from the Gulf of Mannar, but gems from other territories he died of heart attack. Shocked by the injustice done to an innocent human being the queen of Pandya king also had a massive heart attack and died on the spot. Kovalan’s enraged wife Kannaki burnt down Madurai by throwing one of her breasts on the palace. But she prayed to the God of Fire (Agni deva) not to harm the holy cows, the women and the Brahmins – thus goes the great moving Tamil epic Silappathikaram. The point I want to make is to look at the wealth of ancient Madurai. (Madurai is the second largest city in Tamil Nadu, India).
In the next part we will look beyond the historical and mythological references to India’s wealth to the real world.

Indiahhhhhhh ———–the RICHEST country in the world! (Part 1)

-by S Swaminathan-

Why did Alexander invade India?
Why did Columbus set sail to discover India?
Why did Mohamed of Gazni invade Somnath 17 times?
Knowing that India was the richest country in the world they all set an eye on India. But what about today’s India? Is still India a rich country? My research shows that India is the RICHEST country in the world. Why then when I Google for the richest country, India did not find a place in the list of the rich countries?
That is because India has a lot of unaccounted hidden treasures; to name a few, the recent finding in Thiruvananthapuram temple and the gold reserve of Tirupati temple. There is already a talk of tunnels in Madurai, Thiruvarur and Srirangam temples with a lot of hidden treasures. Hidden treasures are not the only reason. Indians are notorious for their double accounts. Husband buys something for his wife and he wouldn’t give the real price to his wife thinking that she would tease him for overpaying for the product. Similarly, the wife has a secret hidden account to buy herself saris and jewellery. Further, the road side old woman who sells idli and vadai (food items) was never accountable to anyone. India has had a parallel economy for thousands of years, leave alone the Swiss bank accounts of our politicians and big businesses.
The following is the report of World Gold Council for the year 2011:
Ten largest gold reserves in the world
1. United States – 8,133.5 tonnes of gold
2. Germany – 3,401 tonnes
3. International Monetary Fund – 2,846.7 tonnes
4. Italy – 2,451.8 tonnes
5. France – 2,435 tonnes
6. China – 1,054 tonnes
7. Switzerland -1,040 tonnes
8. Russia – 775 tonnes
9. Japan – 765 tonnes
10. Netherlands – 615 tonnes
Total reserve of the world -160,000 tonnes
Governments and Banks – 30,500 tonnes
The punch is in the last line. Governments and the Central Banks hold only 30,500 tonnes. The rest is in the hands of people, institutions etc.
You may be surprised to know that Hindu temples hold more gold than the Reserve Bank of India. My research shows Hindu women probably have more gold than the Hindu temples and Reserve Bank of India put together!
Are you shocked? Don’t stop reading! I will surprise you more with what Malikaffur took from Madurai after plundering the temples and what Rajaraja Choza donated to the Big Temple in Thanjavur – all supported by inscriptions and epigraphs – in Part 2.

Bhishma – First man to practise acupuncture

Bhishma, the great warrior of Mahabharata period was the first man to practise acupuncture. When he was shot by arrows in the battle field he did not die immediately. He had a boon to choose the day of his
death. So he decided to lie on a bed of arrows for 56 days. He wanted to die on an auspicious day. The bed of arrows was made by Arjuna.

This bed of arrows is nothing but acupuncture treatment. Dr B K Singh of Indian Acupuncture Centre also  pointed this out in one of his lectures thirty years ago. Bhishma kept himself in good health by using the
acupressure techniques. But it is true acupuncture was practised more widely in China and the world came to know about it through the wandering Buddhist monks.
We have more evidence to show that the Indians knew about acupressure and acupuncture. Hindus used to pierce ear of babies during the first birth anniversary. They knew that the children’s wisdom and knowledge will increase after piercing the ears with a golden needle. Girls will have nose piercing at a
later age in addition to the ear piercing. People who go to fields for ablutions in the olden
days used to wear a turban/towel around their head closing their ears. In those days people belonging to first three castes (Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaisyas) wore the sacred thread. They used to wear the thread tightly around their ears to give pressure. This helped them to clear their bowels well.
Wearing the tuft (kudumi in Tamil,choti in Hindi) has also some meaning in acupuncture. From time immemorial Indian Brahmins have kept a tuft of hair tied on their shaven heads at a particular point. Chinese called this point ‘bahue’ meaning blessing. Last but not the least Indian barbers also knew a
lot of acupressure points. When they visit home to perform their services, a common practise was to apply pressure to particular points of the body to prevent their customers from receiving an embarrassing involuntary erection.
Wrestling school teachers also practised Varma Kalai (art of varma); part of which is acupressure. It was not uncommon for barbers and wrestlers to treat patients in the absence of doctors in ancient India.

Do Words Have Power?

Do Words have power?
An Interesting study of Boons and Curses
-S Swaminathan-

Hinduism is a wonderful religion. Here even the Gods and saints have to obey the rulesIt is very interesting to study the way curses and boons work in Hinduism. Equally interesting is how they are showered upon people and gods .Though we hear about the curses in other mythologies such as Greek and Roman there is a logical pattern in Hinduism. Here truthfulness is the basis for the curses and boons. Let us take the curses first. If a sage or god or a Deva/semi god curses someone, it can’t be taken back even by the person who spelt it. It is like a bullet from the rifle or an arrow from the bow. But every curse has an antidote or atonement. We can call it an escape route or exit strategy.

Following things are obvious in the episodes of cursing:

1.    Water is used to curse a person. Water has got magical powers or it is used as a medium to transfer those powers.


2.    A person curses another for the wrong doing. Arrogance and bad deeds invariably attract a curse


3.    When the person begs for pardon or mercy, the curser gives an antidote which is usually an escape route-but comes after a long time. Here is the beauty of Hinduism. No one can escape the Karma. If some one does something wrong that person must undergo punishment. But it is not an eternal condemnation. Any sinner can become a saint.


4.    Kings (Dasaratha,Ravana,Vali),Devas(Indra,Rambha),Gods(Brahma) and mortals (Ahalya,Sakunthala) are famous examples of victims.


5.    A person who curses, spends enormous energy to do it. This energy comes from the penance he or she does. Actually it is like wasting their energy. But most of the curses come out of rage/extreme anger.


6.    It shows that one’s words have got magical powers to turn any one in to a stone or animal etc.


7.    Though we hear about curses in the Vedas, particularly Atharva Veda, they are of general category. We don’t know the victims. But in mythology we know the victims.


8.    There are more episodes of curses in Puranas than in epics.


9.    In Rama’s time we hear about curses more than Krishna’s time. Mahabharata characters are more human.


10. In the modern times we don’t hear about curses at all. But there are a lot of Sthala Puranas where we hear about it. But most of them have no basis.  Just to enhance the prestige of the place a lot of things are said.


11. Truth is the basis for all the curses. That is why even the person cursed could not withdraw it. If the person withdraws it, he will loose the power. His words won’t come true anymore. One can’t go back on his words.


12. Any one can curse. If you have a good case-honesty and truth- you can do it. Most of the curses are from men-not from women.


13. Curses are there in all the cultures in India from northern Himalayas to southern most point Kanyakumari. We hear it in the Tamil epics Silappathikaram, Kundalakesi etc. The earliest Tamil poems ‘Purananuru’ also hint at it.


14. Durvasa, a short tempered sage is the holder of highest number of curses. He deserves a place in the Guinness Book of Records!!


15. The curses- most of them are on one to one basis. But there are episodes where even thousands of people were made victims.


16. The curse is directly proportional to the bad acts done by a person. The severe the crime, severe is the curse.


17. Boons become curses in the case of bad people/asuras. Asura’s boons are taken literally. Words carry more weight than the spirit behind the words.

Famous curse episodes: Ahalya , Sakunthala, Rambha, Dasaratha, Ravana, Vali, Indra, Brahma


Modern science is yet to discover the power of the words and water. But a day will come when they will appreciate the ancient Hindu discovery of these powers. Hindus believe that a word can be transformed in to energy. A medium like water can be used to transfer it to the victims. Penance power is the ‘power house’ that supplies energy to this process. We see it in the launching of missiles (Astras) in the Mahabharata and Ramayana wars.

Strange are the ways of the boons!! Boons also require enough power from the power house of one’s penance. Vishwamitra spent most of his power by helping the unwanted. Once he tried to send the king Trisanku to heaven in human body. But he had not got enough power to push him through. So Trisanku got stuck up in the middle.

Boons are quite opposite to curses. Someone, mostly, sages or gods, become happy because of the penance or good deeds of their devotees and give the boons. When boons are given Gods don’t discriminate between goodies (Devas) and the baddies (Asuras). Equal Opportunity Policy is followed! Sometimes even Gods got scared because of their own boons(Eg. Story of Pasmasura, Shiva was rescued by Vishnu!)

As a result or reward for the penance, a God, usually one from the Trinity, would appear and grant a Boon. This was usually in the form of some power in the form of protection against certain creatures, or unlimited power or immortality etc

Anybody can perform a penance. During the penance, the person usually meditates on the deity being propitiated, and often chants the Mantras (incantations) extolling the glory of that God. A penance ends when the deity appears in person and grants the boon sought by the person .

Boons may also be granted for particularly meritorious deeds. Nearly all deities can grant boons, as can the sages. Sometimes even mortal men of merit can grant a boon.

Kalidasa and Tenali Rama beacame great poets and comedian/jester respectively by the boons given by Goddess Kali.

Even animals were subject to curses and boons!

The crow lost one of its eyes because of Rama’ curse. When Kakasura in the form of crow attacked Sita, Rama cursed it.

The squirrel was given three lines/patches on it back by Rama. When it helped Rama to build a bridge between India and Sri Lanka to bring Sita back from captivity Rama became so happy and stroked the squirrel on its back and it got its three lines!

In all the Asura ( bad people/demons) stories we see one string going all along. Their boons themselves became curses for them because of their bad intentions!  Gods play tricks on bad people and make them go for wrong boons.

Pasmasura tried to test the boon given by Lord Siva on Siva’s head itself. Had he succeeded in it, Siva would have been burnt to ashes. Siva had to run for his life and at last saved by Vishnu. But the working of boons also is strange. Gods can’t withdraw it. But ‘’Truth alone triumphs’’(Satyameva Jayate—Mundakopanishad) is a maxim in Hinduism. So God triumphs at the end. Many times the Asuras/demons were fooled. They wanted one thing, but got quite the opposite. This is because of their bad intentions.

Ravana’s brother Kumbakarna wanted immortality. But he was tricked and got never ending sleep. This was due to a minute change in the Sanskrit words. Kumbakarna intended to ask for nithyathva’ (permanence) instead asked for ‘nidhrathva’ (slumber forever). The Lord without a moment’s delay granted the boon and disappeared. Kumbakarna had to pursue his penance once again to get an amendment to the boon – to reduce the length of sleep to half the year!

Another demon wanted one strong son to kill Indra. But he got one son Vrutrasura who was killed by Indra. This was due to minute change in the accent of Vedic mantras.Tvasta mispronounced the word ‘indrasatru’ and got a son Vrtra who became the victim of Indra instead of slayer of Indra.

Vritrasura also got a boon not to be killed by any weapon made of wood or metal or stone.But Indra killed him with foam.

Hiranyakasipu was the king of Daityas. He performed tapas/penance and got a boon from Brahma: he could not be slain by man or beast. He became arrogant with the boon. He thought he was so powerful that he could terrorize all the three worlds. But God appeared as a man-lion (Narasimha avatar) and killed him

Dasaratha gave two boons to Kaikeyi, because she drove his chariot to victory in the battle field. In those days even women went to the battle field. But Kaikeyi used both the boons against Dasaratha. King Shantanu gave Bishma a boon to choose his own time for death.

Tamil’s belief of Black Tongue

Tamils believe that certain people have got ‘black tongue’ (Karu Naakku) and whatever they say will come true. Tamil word for ‘black’ and ‘curse’ are almost similar-‘Karu’ and ‘Karuvu’ respectively. Probably this gave credence to the belief of ‘black tongue’(Karu Nakku). People fear even to see such people because they always say something negative and it comes true.

Lesson we learn from this is always think positive, say something positive. The minute we curse someone, we lose our energy—particularly the spiritual energy.

100 Wonderful Things About Tamil Nadu

Many of us often read about the Great Pancha Bootha shrines, the shrines sung of by the 12 Alvars (Vaishnavite saints), the Six Abodes of Lord Muruga, and of the hundreds of temples sung by the Great Four Saivite saints. For those people already familiar with Tamil Nadu, this is very much treading a well beaten path. Instead, in this article I would like to present a checklist of 100 alternative sites to visit beyond the usual tourist centres:

1. Connemara Library – Chennai
2. Saraswathy Mahal Library – Thanjavur

These two libraries host very rare books.

3. The Honey Falls – Courtalam (the other falls are well known – Shenbaga Devi, Five Falls, Old Courtalam Falls, Main Falls, Tiger Falls and Pongumaankadal)
4. Avudayar Temple Granite Ceiling – Avudayar
5. Thiruvallam Suzi Palakani/window
6. Tharamangalam Pillar

Whenever the ancient Tamil sculptors make a contract, they say that they would take on any work but items 4, 5 and 6 – they were such masterpieces.

7. The Musical Pillars – Madurai, Sucheendram, and other temples
8. The Big Nandhi Statue and 80 tonne granite stone in Thanjavur tower – Thanjavur
9. The Monolith Sculptures in Meenakshi temple showing Meenakshi’s wedding scene – Madurai
10. The penance of Bhagiratha sculpture at Mahabalipuram
11. Macacue in the Kallakadu Forest. This kind of monkey is not seen anywhere else in the world.
12. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary
13. Panban Bridge
14. Padmanabhapuram Palace. Don’t miss the bed made up for 64 herbs and the wooden Ramayana sculptures.
15. Sunset and Moonrise at the same time in Kanya Kumari (also Vivekananda Rock, Valluvar Statue and Bhagavati’s nose ring)
16. Kalaikudi Chettiar Palace
17. The Jewels of Madurai Meenakshi. Now they are likely to be worth several million rupees.
18. The 108 gestures of dance (Bharatanatyam) in Chidambaram Temple and the golden dome.
19. The huge pillars of Thirumalai Nayak Mahal (no wood or iron was used in this huge palace).
20. The world horoscopes in the Madurai Temple Kalyanam Mandapam (Bhugolam and Kagolam).
21. The Nataraja Statue made of five metals. The dance of Shiva has recently been interpreted variously by scholars and scientists.
22. Ramasethu – Dhanushkodi (even the Nasa pictures from the satelite shows this structure)
23. Nagaswaram made of stone – Alvar Thirunagiri and Kumbakonam
24. Thiruvarur Temple drum with five faces and ivory Nagaswaram
25. Sri Rangam Temple is the largest Hindu temple. It spreads over 156 acres and has 21 towers. The tallest tower is 236ft high.
26. Darasuram Temple sculptures – the delivery scene of a village woman, Ravana lifting Kailash and the ornamental pillars are remarkable
27. Hoganakkal Falls in the Kaveri River.
28. Silk Sarees industry in Kanchipuram and Thirubhuvanam
29. The Thousand Pillar Halls in Madurai, Thiruvanamalai and Thiruterunthurai
30. Chennai Kollywood Cinema Studios
31. The Cave Temple in Narasimham with 1500 year old Pandya inscriptions near Madurai
32. Sithannavasal Cave Paintings near Pudukottai
33. Kurinji Flowers in Kodaikanal and Nilgrais. They bloom once every 12 years.
34. The longest pod – Anaipuliamkottai (this is seen in Tamil Nadu forests and grow up to 5 feet)
35. Uttarakosamangai Maragatha statue (called emerald stone; it is always covered in sandalwood paste)
36. The gold coins of Chera, Shoza and Pandyas found in several museums
37. Vattakottai – the Fort in the Sea – Kanya Kumari District
38. Chenji Fort
39. Sripuram Golden Temple near Vellore. 1,500 kg of gold cover the temple.
40. Valampuri Conch (the big conches in temples are worth several hundreds of thousands of rupees).
41. The Ilmenite and Thorium sand – Kanya Kumari.
42. The pith sculptures – made by artisans all over Tamil Nadu
43. Rare musical instruments at Thanjavur palace
44. Wonderful trees – the Banyan tree in Adayar, the Mango tree in Kanchi temple, the Tamarind tree in Alvar Thirunagiri and the Redwood trees (exported to foreign countries due to resistance to radiation).
45. The oil well in Nanguneri and pure water well in Thiruchandur (on the seashore).
46. The mangrove forest in Pichavaram
47. The magnificent Rangoli/Kolam in front of houses during Diwali and Pongal (precise geometric shapes and patterns drawn without a ruler or compass by Tamil women – they are born with a gene for mathematics!)
48. The Tea estate in Valpari Gardens
49. Fossil trees in Sathanur and Thiruvakarai. They are millions of years old. Dinosaur eggs were also excavated here.
50. 24 Jain Theerthankarar statues near Chenji
51. Papanasam Waterfalls near Thirunelveli
52. Thirumurthi Waterfalls near Coimbatore
53. Thirparappu Waterfalls near Nagarcoil
54. Kolli hills – Puliyan Solai  (72km from Thiruchi)
55. Namakkal – Durgam Fort
56. 18ft Hanuman statue at Sucheedram Temple (Also the big statues at Namakal and Nanganalloor).
57. Udayagiri Fort (Near Nagarkoil)
58. There are Samadhis of great people wherein the devotees experience miracles.
– Kulanthaianandar – Madurai
– Gnananandar – Thirukovilur
– Sadashiva Brahmendra – Nerur (near Karur)
– Kanchi Mahaswamigal – Kanchipuram
– Bodhendrar – Govindapuram
– Mother – Pondicherry
– Aurobindo – Pondicherry
– Thiyagabrahmam – Thiruvaiyaru
– Ramana – Thiruvannamalai
– Seshadri Swamigal – Thiruvannamalai
– Judge Swamigal – Pudukottai
– Swayamprakasa Swamigal – Senthamangalam
– Pamban Swamigal – Thiruvamiyur
– Ramanujacharya – Sri Rangam
– Vallalar -Ramalinga Swamigal – Vadalur
– Kaduveli Siddhar – Kanchipuram. There are 51 Jeeva Samadhis in and around Chennai.
– The following 18 great Siddhas are already known to many
– Pazani – Bogar
– Madurai – Sundaranandar
– Rameswaram – Patanjali
– Thiruvarur – Kamalamuni
– Mayuram – Kuthumbhai
– Sankaran Koil – Pambatti Siddhar
– Thiruparankundram – Macha Muni
– Azagar Malai – Ramadevar
– Thiruvannamalai – Yelaikadar
– Yettukudir – Valmiki
– Thiruvarangam – Sattai Muni
– Perur – Gorakkar
– Vaitheeswaran Koil – Dhanvantri
– Chidambaram – Thirumular
– Outside Tamil Nadu – Kasi – Nandeeswarar, Thirupathi – Konganar, Thiruvanandapuram – Agastiar
59. Gulf of Manar – Coral Reefs
60. Grand Anaicut of Karikalan
61. Bull fighting in Alanganaloor near Madurai
62. Flamingos of Point Calimere/Codikarai
63. Sculptures of hunters in Krishnapuram (near Tirunelvelli)
64. Colour changing Ganesh statue at Keralapuram
65. Ancient Jain University in Sitharal
66. Thiruchi – Rock Fort which is 271ft high
67. Kumbakonam – Rajaveda patasala
68. 14ft Krishna statue at Thipparamalai
69. Thiruvarur Chariot (also Kamalalayam Tank)
70. Sri Vallipathur – Andal Garland and the mirrored well
71. Kurusalay Island – Biologists’ paradise
72. Ganga Chozapuram sculptures. The smile of the Nataraja statue reflects Appar’s Thevaram hymn.
73. The houses of the Badagas and Thodas tribes in the Nilgris
74. Chennai Marina Beach
75. Chennai T Nagar – Ranganathan St (nowhere else in the world can you see so many street vendors in such a tiny place)
76. Thiruvattaru Koil Mandapa – an 18ft square, 3ft thick monolith base on which the mandapam stands. Its an engineering marvel.
77. Thiruvannamalai – Karthigai Light cauldron – 10ft high/5ft radius cauldron with a 300 metre long wick and thousands of kilos of ghee
78. Sivagasi – fireworks and calendar industries
79. Gulf of Mannar – Pearl diving
80. Panrutti clay dolls (Navaratri)
81. Poompuhar – Where the river Kaveri meets the sea
82. The temple vahanas (Particularly the golden horse/eagle/bull in several temples)
83. Othagamandalam Mountain Railway.
84. 3rd Century BC Brahmi inscriptions around Madurai
85. Orchideriums in Yerkad and Kondaikanal. Orchid flowers are rare and expensive.
86. Kavalur – Observatory and telescope
87. Madras AIR station
88. Guindi Rajabhavan Deer Park
89. Thanjavur – Golden Kamakshi Statue
90. Pallankuzi – the ancient Tamil game that has spread to far flung places such as Indonesia and Senegal in Africa
91. Pazani Hills – Siddha medicine centres
92. Kanchipuram has 124 temples. One of them is Varadharajaperumal Temple, which contains 357 inscriptions in one temple.
93. Sunlight entering certain temples on particular days. For example, in Srivaikundam Temple, sunlight falls on the deity on the 6th day of Chitrai and 6th day of Aippasi. There are lots of temples like this in Tamil Nadu.
94. Production of Wheat Halwa in Thirunnelveli
95. Chennai Music Sabha concerts
96. Kalakshetra in Adiar
97. Chennai Koyam Pedu vegetable market
98. Madurai Jasmine flower cultivation and export industry
99. Erode – Turmeric market
100. Thirupoor – vest and towel industry

If you have seen all the 100, you get 100 marks. Take a look for yourself, add up the total and let me know what your score is! I welcome your feedback; comments can be sent to: