Post No. 9620

Date uploaded in London – –18 May   2021           

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The news about the birth place of Anjaneya also known as Hanuman hit the headlines recently in newspapers. Tirupati Balaji temple authorities believe that the hill where the temple is located is the birth place of Hanuman. They gave the reasons for such belief and gave some evidence as well.

Hampi area in Karnataka was identified as the Kishkinda Kingdom where Hanuman served as a minister in the cabinet of Sugreeva, the King of the Apes or Vanaras. (Vanaras mean Vana+Nara= Forest man). So they may be a tribe who lived in the forest wearing monkey symbols or masks or tattoos.

The other claimants are in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Jharkand and Haryana. But all these people missed a reference in Patanjali ‘s Mahabhashya where Kishkinda is mentioned.

First, the very word KISHKINDA is strange word and not connected to any Sanskrit root. No Sanskrit root for this word is given in any book. The only related sound is Kish Kingdom in ancient Sumeria.  So my view is that the name Kishkinda was used by several people because of Rama’s story and it spread up to Sumeria 4000 years ago. Though Valmiki was the first one to put it in writing in simple and beautiful Sanskrit the story was known to a lot of people in India and beyond 2000 years ago. Sangam Tamil literature which is at least 2000 years old has two anecdotes that were not found in original Ramayanas. Prakrit book Gatha Sapta Sati also has an anecdote about Ramayana painting.

Here is what Patanjali says about Kishkinda:-

Describing two types of Shudras, the fourth caste in the Vedic society, he gives the example of Kishkinda- Gabdhikam , Saka- Yavanam and Saurya- Krauncham. They were Foreign Shudras. The native Shudras also did not practise Vedic rituals, but they lived within our boundaries. Foreign Shudras like Greek, Scythians  did not follow Vedic rituals. More over they lived outside the land of Cultured People i.e. Aryavarta. According to Manu, it is a region between the holy rivers in North India.

Talking about this M S Agrawala who wrote a doctoral thesis on Panini’s Ashtadhyayi, identified this Kishknda with Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. He also says that the Pali literature called this place Khukhundo. If we agree with Agrawala , then we may have to consider this Kishkinda also as the birth place or the work place of Minister/Lord Hanuman.

To complicate the issue there is another mountain also with the name Anjanaagiri. Hanuman’s mother was Anjana which means as black as ink or collyrium/Kajal/kohl. Originally all the women’s Kajal/kohl came from Anjana Giri which is located in North West India. Modern maps show this as Sulaiman mountain. Panini called it Tri kakut (5-4-147) because of its Three Peaks. Atharva Veda also mentioned it. It was the source of salve (anjana). It supplied the salve to the whole of Punjab and Sind. This is antimony, a chemical element. So from Gorakhpur , Panini takes us to Sulaiman Range to complete the story of Anjaneya/Hanuman.

My Viewpoint

The word Kishkinda or Anjana giri is found in various parts of India. We may ignore Anjana= Black Giri=Mountain, because black mountains are in different parts of the world. But no one can ignore Kishkinda, which is a rare word and became popular because of Ramayana only. I think the popularity of Lord Rama and Hanuman made them to name different places as Kishkinda. Last but not the least, no one did a proper research about the geographical matter in the Vedic literature. After Vedic literature comes, Nirukta of Yaska and Ashtadhyayi of Panini. In 1953, the year of publication of V S Agrawala’s thesis on Ashtadhyayi (His book India as Known to Panini) we did not have google maps or this much information. Now that more resources are at our hand at the touch of a button in computer, proper research can be done.

Even Agrawala makes a passing remark about Anjanagiri (Sulaiman Range) , “probably same as Sauviranjana in Vedic Index (Part 1, page 329)”. We need to identify all the places to come to a proper conclusion.

Last week I wrote about Goddess Hingula Mystery which is mentioned in Panini’s book. Even in Orissa/Odisah we see this Goddess.

From Baluchistan in present Pakistan to South India we see Anjanaagiri, Goddess Hinghula, Kishkinda etc. We must establish the link between them.


Please see ANJANAGIRI at the bottom left hand corner

News item from Tirupati

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD)  announced that Japali Theertham near Akasha Ganga waterfall in Tirumala Hills was the birthplace of Lord Hanuman. The announcement came on April 21, that is National Sanskrit University vice-chancellor V Muralidhara Sharma, who was one of the experts on the committee constituted by the TTD to establish Anjanadri Hill of the Seven Hills (Tirumala Hills) as the birthplace of Hanuman, announced at a programme organised in Tirumala that this was established after four months of intense research and collecting various pieces of evidence.

“It has been established based on puranic anthologies, literary evidence, epigraphic evidence and geographic details,” he said and added that Venkatachalam is also known as Anjanadri and 19 other names. Hanuman was born on Anjanadri in Treta Yuga, he said.

He said they have collected evidence from 12 Puranas and as for literary evidence, they were found in verses of Kamba Ramayanam and Annamacharya Sankeerthanas. He said that epigraphic evidence includes inscriptions found in Tirumala temple that in 12th and 13th-century Venkatachala Mahtyam was recited in Tirumala temple, processional deity of Sri Rangajanaya was brought to Anajandri for protection during the attack of Turks and later taken from there to Srirangam, inscriptions at Varadaraja Swamy temple in Kanchipuram, Sawal-e-Jawab, a record of practices engaged in Tirumala by North Arcot First Collector G Stratton in 1801–2 and later translated by VN Srinivas Rao in 1950.

As for geographical details, Sharma said in Skanda Puranam, when Anjana Devi asked Sage Matanga where Venkatachalam is, he clearly explained that it is north of Swarnamukhi river and 12 yojanas from Ahobilam.  

“Claims that Hampi is the birthplace of Hanuman are not true. Hampi is Kishkinda while Venakatchalam is Anjanadri. It is clearly evident from the conversation between Sugreeva and Hanuman when the former asks the latter to bring Vanaras from Anajandri. If it was in Kishkinda, he would not have asked that way,” he said. He also dismissed the claims of other places like in Bhoomla district of Jharkhand, Gujarat and Kaikal in Haryana.

Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purohit, TTD Executive Officer Dr KS Jawahar Reddy, who constituted the committee to determine the birthplace of Lord Hanuman, additional EO Dharma Reddy and others were present.

Other Claims

However, there is doubt among some historians over Anjaneya’s birthplace. The five other places which claim Hanuman originated from include:

1. There is a hillock near Anjanadri at Hampi in Karnataka. But scholars of Kannada University at Hampi affirmed that there is no material evidence to prove that.

2. Anjan village, 21 km from Gumla district headquarter in Jharkhand.

3. Anjan mountain in Navsari region of Gujarat.

4. Kaithal region in Haryana

5. Anjaneri, 7 km from Triambakeswar in Nashik district of Maharashtra

Historians contend that the Hampi region was popularly known as Kishkinda in legends and Puranas. Hence, Anjaneya could have gone to Hampi from Tirumala, which was just 363 km away. They also scientifically say that Hampi was 1,240 km from Gumla in Jharkhand, 1,626 km from Kaithal of Haryana, 616 km from Maharashtra, and ruled them all out and suggested that migration to Hampi is feasible.

Xxx subham xxxx

tags – Kishkinda, Anjana Giri, Patanjali, Mystery

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