Animals in Manu Smrti!


Research Article No.1747; Date:- 24  March, 2015

Written by London swaminathan

Uploaded at London time  20-22 GMT

Hindus are nature lovers. They observe nature very closely and use them appropriately in their scriptures. They use the animals to express some strong messages. We have already seen umpteen examples from Dattatreya to Vyasa from Bhagavatha and Mahabharata. Manu also never missed an opportunity to express some ethical principles or rules by using the animals. Here are a few interesting quotes from Manu Smrti, Law Book of the Hindus.


HERON is his most favourite bird. He used this bird in similes in 4-30, 4-192, 4196/7, 5-14, 7-106, 11-136, 12-66 (in at least eight places)

He advises Brahmins not to entertain hypocrites who act like cats or herons. The story of a hypocrite CAT is known to all Indians which is even sculpted in the Pallava bas relief in Mahabalipuram near Chennai . It is in all the Sanskrit fables – a hypocrite cat holding a Japamala/rosary made up of Rudrakshas.

The example of heron is also in Panchatantra fables and ethical works like Tirukkural (Tamil). It waits very patiently on one foot for long like an ascetic till it sees the biggest fish of the day. Hindu ascetics are famous for penance standing on one leg which is again in the Pallava sculptures of Mahabalipuram.

survive-wolf-attack LionAttack

Manu says, “A man who knows the law should not offer even a little water to a twice born man who acts like a cat or to the evil man who acts like a heron or to someone who does not know the Vedas   4-192

He repeated this in several places.

When he was explaining the duties of a king (7-106 and 7-129 , he says, “His enemy should not find his weak spot, but he should find out his enemy’s weak spot. He should hide the members of the state as a TURTLE hides his limbs and he should guard his own vulnerable point.

Again this turtle and its limbs simile is popular in Hindu literature. We see this in the Bhagavad Gita and Tirukkural.

“The king should

plan his undertakings like a HERON,

attack like a LION,

pounce on his prey like a WOLF and

retreat like a RABBIT.’

rabbit Sucking_leech

“The king should always establish the taxes in his kingdom after due consideration, in such a way that both the king and the man who does the work are rewarded. Just as the LEECH, the CALF, and the BEE eat their food little by little, so the king should take the yearly taxes from the kingdom little by little”.

A woman who is unfaithful to her husband is reborn in the womb of a JACKAL, says Manu 5-164

Wearing animal skins by the ascetics was also referred to in the Smrti.

He even advises feeding the dogs, crows and worms (3-92)

Lot of animals are mentioned in other contexts, but not as similes.


White Mustard Seeds to drive away the Ghosts!


Research Article No.1743; Date:- 23  March, 2015

Written by London swaminathan

Uploaded at London time  20-21 pm

“Aa Setu Himachala Paryantam”—From the Himalayas to Kanya Kumari — is a phrase used very often in Hindu literature. Kanyakumari is also called Setu according to the Sankalpa mantra followed in the district. Hindus followed the same culture from land’s southernmost point to the Northern most Himalayas. I have already given umpteen examples from the oldest Tamil literature and the Vedas to prove this point.  Now I have found out that they followed the same technique to drive away the ghosts!

We have already seen exemplary chaste woman Arundhati, Holy Ganges, Holy Himalayas, Sages, Six Seasons, Four Divisions of Army, Rajasuya Yagna, Four Vedas, Dharma, Artha, Kama and Gods Indra, Varuna, Shiva, Vishnu, Rebirth, Karma Theory, astrology etc are followed or respected in the oldest part of Tamil literature as well as Sanskrit literature. It is the same culture with some regional peculiarities. And anthropologists and sociologists knew that such differences exist in all parts of the world. There is no exception.

white mustard

Picture of White Mustard

This uniform Hindu culture has bulldozed the Aryan- Dravidian Racist theory. To drive one more nail in the coffin here is the ghost busters from the Atharva Veda and Sangam Tamil Literature!

Sinapis alba or Brassica alba known as Baja or white mustard seeds (Aiyavi in Tamil) are used to protect wounded people, pregnant women and new born babies from the evil spirits according to Tamil Literature and the Atharva Veda. Atharva Veda is dated before 1000 BCE. Tamil Literature is dated the first few centuries of Common Era. So the same belief existed over a vast land of 1-5 million square miles for at least 1000 years!

In the Atharva veda various remedies are suggested to avoid miscarriage and abortion. One of them is an amulet with white or yellow mustard seeds. It is tied on the body of pregnant women to prevent the evil spirits attacking her ( Samething is practised in Tamil Nau!) These evil spirits are believed to cause abortion (AV 8-6-9) or pain in her hips (AV 8-6-13). They like to devour the embryo of the pregnant women (AV 8-6-23). They cause the child to die in the womb or immediately after birth (AV 8-6-18). The cure for such maladies is the white mustard. The mustard prevents problems like still birth, labour pain, bareness (8-6-26).


Picture of Mustard Plant

The Atharva Veda (2-25-3) refers to the demons called Kanvas, who eat foetus. The plant prisniparni is the wonderful divine remedy against the vile tricks of Kanvas, in particular causing abortion.

Medical Research needed!

Since 2000 year old Tamil literature and at least 3000 year old Vedic literature talk of the same remedy, serious medical research is required regarding the efficacy of white mustards in protecting infants and the pregnant women. Probably it has anti- bacterial and anti- virus qualities. Tamils used it along with Neem leaves. Margosa or neem leaves are effective anti- virus medicines which are used in treating small pox.

Flowing are the references in Tamil literature—

Tiru murugatru padai – line 228

Maduraikanchi – line 287

Nedunalvadai – line 86

Natrinai verses -40 and 370

Purananuru – 98, 281, 296


Picture of Neem Tree

Summary of the information from the above verses:

Wounded soldier’s wife says (Pura.281)

Come on, let us insert Neem leaves (Azadirachta indica) so that the ghosts won’t harm him. Let us sprinkle the white mustard seeds. Let us also ring the bells and play on Ambal pipes and lyre.

Just to prevent the ghosts, burn and make smoke of white mustard (Pura.296)

Chieftain Athiyaman is in ferocious in his attacks. Even when they burn and make smoke from white mustard,  the god of death is definitely going to take the lives of his enemies (Pura.98)

New born baby is just lying by the side of its mother. The lady has worn white mustard paste over her body (Natrinai 40)—just to avoid the evil spirits.

Another house with a new born baby is smeared with white mustard Natrinai 370

The two Natrinai verses show that new born babies and their mothers were protected with white mustard powder mixed in ghee (clarified butter). Long poems also talk about white mustard mixed with ghee is applied in some places. Commentators are very clear about it. They say that this practice is followed to drive away the evil spirits.

It is not a strange coincidence but an accepted practice that the Vedas and Tamil literature refer to. Both are speaking about the same protective measures to save the new born babies and pregnant mothers with white mustard.

Stri Rajya- Kingdom of Women in India!


Queen Rudrama Devi

Research Article No.1741; Date:- 22  March, 2015

Written by London swaminathan

Uploaded at London time 17-30

56 Countries in Ancient India!

Whenever Hindu grandmas tell a story to their grandchildren about any event in ancient India, they will always tell them that “the kings from all the 56 counties were present there or were invited to the coronation or a Royal wedding or big Yaga or Yajna”. Like we have divided today’s India into several states and union territories, ancient India was divided into 56 smaller states or countries. Even when the countries came under one powerful ruler for some time the states or countries never forgot their identity.

During Buddha’s time there were 16 big political divisions known as 16 Mahajanapadas. But there were smaller divisions as well. In Tamil Nadu there were three big powers called Chera, Choza and Pandyas. At the same time there were smaller chieftains ruling their own territories paying tributes to the three kings.

Mahabharata mentioned at least 29 countries or divisions. Most of them took part in the great war, either supporting Kauravas or Pandavas.

16 janapadas

Studying those 56 countries gives us information about ancient India’s geography and history. Varahamihira, in his Brhat Samhita (Fifth Century CE) gives us some interesting information in this area—Geography of India:-

Since many countries were named after the tribal group, the same name may appear at more than one geographical location. If Kambojas live at different locations, all those countries will be called Kamboja. Sometimes the community as a whole migrates to a different region, then the geographical name of the country would change.

Another interesting thing is that people were named after their appearance: long faced, long haired, horse faced etc. We see a dominant group Lambakannas (Lamba Karna = Long eared) in Mahavamsa of Sri Lanka. In Brhat Jataka, we come across:

Vyagramukhas (Tiger faced), Danturakas (People with protruding teeth), Asvavadanas (Horse faced), Vyalagrivas (Serpent necked) Surpa karnas (ears like winnowing basket), Urdhvakanthas (High necked ones), Smasrudharas (the bearded ones), Mahagrivas (long necked ones), Sauvira (Sour gruel or Jujube Fruit or Antimony), Turagananas (Horse faced) Kesadharas (hairy ones), Cipitanaskikas (Flat nosed tribe), Svamukhas (dog faced people), bark clad people, Trinetras (three eyed people),Ekachara (one footed people) and Mlechas.

Mlechas, according to Kern, are foreigners or barbarians. In 2-15 of Brhat Samhita, the Greeks are spoken of as Mlechas. In Alberuni’s time, the term was used to denote the Arabs. ( I have already dealt with this word in two of my articles).

Varahamihira mentioned a kingdom by name Harahaura. It is mentioned very rarely. The Harahaura country is supposed to be the land lying between the Indus and the Jhelum and the Gandgarh Mountain and the salt range.

brooklyn museum

Women soldier, Brooklyn Museum, NY

When Varahamikhira says horse faced or tiger faced, they might have had some tattoos or masks with animal pictures. We need cross references to confirm it. Once we solve this puzzle, then we can understand the Hanumans, Jambavans and Jatayus of Ramayana. They are not monkeys, bears or eagles. They were as human as we are today, but named after those animals or birds for some reasons.



Rani Lakshmi Bai

Kingdom of Women!

Varahamikhira included Stri Rajya in the North West division of India. Kingdom of Women called Stri Rajya was known to Chinese pilgrim Yuan Chwang as an Amazonian kingdom in the Himalayan valley of Sutlej. Dey states that it was a country in the Himalaya immediately on the north of Brahmaputra, which has been identified with Garhwal and Kumaun. Atkinson tells us that a woman named Pinchu ruled over the Nu Wang tribe in Eastern Tibet, and the people in each successive reign chose a woman for their Sovereign. Vatsyayana mentions a Stri Rajya (2-5-27), which Yasodhara places to the west of Vanga.

(Megasthenes mentioned the Pandya queen; it may be Goodees/ Queen Meenakshi of Madurai. Curtius mentioned women soldiers following Maurya Chandragupta’s Palanquin. Kaikeyi drove the chariot of Dasaratha in the battlefield and got two boons)

Divisions of the Globe (chapter 14 of Brhat Samhita)

Central region

Bhadra, Arimeda, Mandavya, Salva, Nipa, Ujjihana, Samkhyata, Marwar, Vatsa, Ghosa, Matsya, Madhyamika, Mathura, Upajyotisa, Dharmaranya, Surasena, Gauragriva, Uddehika, Pandu, Guda, Asvatta, Panchala, saketa, Kanka, Kuru, Kalakoti,  Kukkura, Udumbara, Kapisthala, Hastinapura


Vyagramukhas (Tigerfaced), Suhmas, Karvatas, Surpakarnas (whose ears resembled winnowing baskets), Khasas, Magadha, Mithila, Samatata, Orissa, Asvavadanas (Horse faced), Danturakas (People with protruding teeth), Pragjyotisa, Cannibals, Bhadras, Paundras, Gaudas, Utakal, Kasi, Ambasthas, one footed people.

Magadha was called Kikata in Vedic days and Bihar now.


South East

Kosala, Kalinga, Vanga, Upavanga, Jatharanga, Sulika, Vidarbha, Vatsa, Andhra, Cedi, Urdhvakantas, Island of Vrsa, Nalkrera dvipa, Carmadvipa Vyagrivas, Mahagrivas, Kiskindha, Kantakasthala, Nisadas, Purikas, Dasarna, naked sabras, parna sabaras,



Lanka, Kalajinas, Saurikrsnas, Talikatas, Girinagara,

Malaya, Dardura, mahendra Malindya mountains

Bharukachas, kankatas, Kankanas, Vanavasis (banvasi in North Kanara)Sibikas, Phaniakaras, konkanas, Abhiras, Avartakas, Dasapura, Gonardas, Kerala, Karnataka, mahatavi (Great Forest), Citrakuta, Kollagiri, Nasik, Colas, Kraunca Islands, Jatadharas, Kaveri river, Rsyamuka, Dharmapattana, Ghanarajya, Velluru, Pisikas, Surpa mountain, Kusuma mount, Tumbavana, Karmaneyakas, Southern Ocean, Tapasasrama, Rsikas, Kanci,Marucipattana, Ceryarakas, Simhalas, Rsabas, Baladevapattanam, Dandaka forest, whale eater, Bhadras, Cutch, Elephant caves, Tampraparni river

South West

Pahlavas, Kambojas, Sindhu sauviras, Vadavamukhas, Aravas, Ambasthas, Kapilas, Narimukhas, Anartis, Yavanas, Margaras, Karnapraveyas, Parasavas, Sudrasm barnars, Kiratas, Khandas, Kravyadas, Abhiras, cankukas, Surastras, Badaras, Dravidas, Great ocean


Haihayas, Vokkanas, Punjab, Ramathas, Paratas, Taraksiti, Jrngas, Vaisyas, Kanakas, Scythians, Mlechas



North West

Mandavyas, Tusaras ,Talas, Halas, Madras, Asmakas, Kulutas, Haladas, Stri rajya/Kingdom of women, Nrsimha forest, Khasthas, Phalgukukas, Guluhas, Marukuchas, Carmarangas, One eyed tribe /ekavilochana, Sulikas, Dirge griva /long necked ones, Dirge vasya / long faced, Dirgakesa / long haired



Uttarakuru , Ksudraminas, Kaikayas, Vasatis, Yamunas, Bhogaprastha, Arjunayanas, Agnidhras, Adarsas, Antardvipins, Trigarta, Turagananas /horse faced, Svamukhas / dog faced, Kesadharas / hairy ones, Cipitanasikas /flat nosed  tribe, Daserakas, Vatadhanas, Saradhanas, Taxila, Puskalavata, Kailavata, Kanthadhanas, Ambaravatas, Madrakas, Malwa, Pauravas, Kachcharas, Dandapingalaks, Manahalas, Huns, Kohalas, Sitakas, Mandavyas, Bhutapura, Gandhara, Yasovati, Hematalas, Ksatriyas, Khacaras, Gavyas, Yaudheyas Dasameyas, Syamakas, Ksemadhurtas

North East

Kira, Kashmir, Abhisaras, Daradas, Tanganas, Kulutas, Sairindhras, Varashtra, Brahmapura, Darvas, Damaras, Vanarajya, Kiratas, Cinas, Kaunindas, Bhallas, Patolas, Jatasuras, Kunatas, Khasas, Ghosas, Kucikas, One fotted men, /eka chara, Anuvidhdhas, Suvarnabhu, Vasudhana, Divisthas, Pauravas, Bark clad people, Trinetras/ three eyed people.

indian women

Commentators have identified these places and the communities. But there are some doubtful identifications or simple guesses. Amazing thing about Brhat Samhita is that he had full knowledge of all parts of India and the communities or tribes occupying those places.

RD parade rehearsal

Arjuna got a Surprise Gift! Krishna Angry!!


Written by London swaminathan

Article no. 1720; dated 15  March 2015

Up loaded at 14-05 London time

Freedom fighter Subrahmanya Siva gives excellent stories in his Tamil book ‘Moksha Sadhana Rahasya’ (location : British Library, London) to illustrate the great merits of Anna Dhana (Giving food to the needy people).

The advantages of Anna Dhana over other Dhanas are:

a)Helping the poor

b)No harm to others; “no bad side effects”!!

c)Even if there is one good saintly person among the takers that will bring good luck to the whole town. Tamil poem says “even if there is one good person in a town, the town will get copious rains” (nallaar oruvar ularel avar poruttu ellaarkkum peyyum mazai).

d)This is the only gift that everyone will say, “I have had enough; no more please”. For all other gifts they expect more from you.

Even if you serve ambrosia (Amrta), they will beg you to stop it, when their stomach is full. They will thank you whole heartedly, no, ‘whole stomachly’!! There is a saying in Tamil, Even if the mouth does not say Thanks, the stomach will thank him” (Vaay vaazththaavitaalum Vayiru vaazththum)

Now I give a rough translation of Arjuna story from Tamil:

Krishna and Arjuna were discussing future plans for the development of the country.  Suddenly a fisherman came there and submitted a big gold bar at the feet of Arjuna! Arjuna was surprised. Krishna looked suspiciously at Arjuna thinking that he had other “business ventures” without his knowledge. But Arjuna thought that as usual Krishna is playing a game or doing some mischiefs.

Arjuna asked Krishna,

What is this Krishna? Is it your game?

Krishna: I am also puzzled. Let us ask the fisherman.

Fisherman: Arjunji, you gave me one paisa (penny) long time ago. I bought a fishing net with that money. Your hand is a lucky one! From that time onwards I caught more and more fish and I bought more and more nets. Now I am a millionaire. I want to express my gratitude to you. Here is my offering, a few gold bars.


Krishna was furious on hearing this. As soon as the fisherman left, Krishna scolded Arjuna, “Dear friend, you have done a blunder. This fisherman had killed millions of fishes during his long career. Part of that sin would come to you”. Then Krishna gave him some ideas to off load the sins!

Giving this story Subrahmanya Siva, says that Anna Dhana would not have any “bad side effects”. It is always vegetarian food served at Annadhanas. Even at Sikh Gurdwaras in London and other places serve 24 hour Langar food that is vegetarian. But certain Dhanas osuch as giving money may have something bad attached to it. ( In western countries if we give money to beggars, most of them buy cigarettes, alcohol or narcotic drugs)

பந்தி போஜனம்

Anna Dhana (Food Charity) is the best Dhana!

Let us also follow it!!

Mystery of Thirst: Karna’s Question and Krishna’s Answer


Written by London swaminathan

Article no. 1714; dated 13 March 2015

Up loaded at 08-45 am London time

Freedom Fighter Subramanya Siva has written a voluminous book running to 830 pages on Hindu Traditions and the title of the book in Tamil is “Moksha Sadhana Rahasyam”. The rare book is in the British Library, London. He is narrating beautiful stories in simple Tamil and one of them is about the merits of doing Anna Dhana. I am giving a rough translation of this excellent story:–

Karna was defeated in the Mahabharata war and had fallen down on the battle field. He was suffering from great thirst. No one was able to fetch him water. The all- powerful and all-knowing Krishna (omnipotent and omniscient) was passing by Karna. Krishna was smiling at Karna. Seeing Krishna there Karna begged him for water. Krishna said, “Is that all you want from me? No problem, here it is”


Water gushed out and fell on the hands of Karna. But wonder of wonders! The water turned into gold. How many times Krishna tried did not matter. All the water became gold. Karna was disappointed and Krishna was puzzled.

Karna looked at Krishna for an explanation.

Omniscient Krishna thought for a minute. He saw what went wrong through his Jnana Drushti  (Third Eye= Eye of Wisdom).

Krishna said,

“Dear Karna! You are one of the greatest philanthropists the earth has ever seen. You gave nothing but gold to all the people that came to you begging for some Dhaana! ( English word donation came from Sanskrit word Dhaana). But you denied food for a person. You showed him the Anna Chatra (choultry for food= Food Centre) nearby and asked him to go there. Don’t worry. It is not too late. Suck with your Index finger. Since you used your Index finger to point out the food centre, some merits (Punya) have stuck to your Index finger. That is enough for you to get the water at this last minute of your life”.

When he asked Karna to suck his index finger. And, behold, the water was pouring into his mouth!


Story of a Greedy Miser!

Long time after this happened a miser heard this story. He was very happy. He wondered, “Oh, My God! If one can earn this much merit (punya) with one finger, how much credits I can earn with my whole body!” At that time he heard a knock at the door. One beggar was standing there begging for food. He remembered what he planned to do. He wriggled his whole body and shown him the direction in which there was a food centre (Anna Chatra). The man went to the Anna Chatra. This miser was born as a wriggly earthworm in his next birth.

Action only won’t help you; good intention must be there!

Stories told by Subrahmanya Sivam, Freedom Fighter, in his Tamil book Moksha Sadhana rahasya.

Strange Bird Stories in Mahabharata!



Written by London swaminathan

Research Article no. 1711; dated 12 March 2015

Up loaded at 16-30 London time

Strange Animal Stories in Mahabharata! – Part 3

Part 1 and part 2 were posted yesterday and day before yesterday.

We have seen snakes, snake bites, crocodiles, and strange frog, fish and tortoise stories so far. Now let us look at some strange bird stories in the Mahabharata.



(1).Water birds appear in the Yaksha Prasna (Questions of a Ghost) story. The pond was located only when Bhima saw the water birds at a distance. Our forefathers observed nature very closely and found out lot of things through animal behaviour.

(2).Bird migration is also mentioned in the epic. When Bhisma was lying down on the Bed of Arrows, they noticed a kind of birds and commented Uttarayana is round the corner. Our forefathers found out the change of seasons by the appearance of different kinds of birds. Even today the monsoon birds appear every year in Kerala just before the beginning of monsoon on 1st or 3rd of June.

(3).Atreya, a great seer, assumed the form of a swan. Sadhya Gods approached them and asked the difference between righteous and unrighteous men. 5-36


(4).Shibi story  (3-197 M.Bh.) is known throughout India. Purananuru, part of Sangam Tamil literature and Tamil epic Silappadikaram mentioned the story in several places and claimed that Shibi, King of North West India, was their forefather ((Read my earlier article Were Chozas Tamils?). In the story of Shibi we knew that Indra took the form of a hawk and Agni took the form of a dove. Buddhists pirated all the Hindu stories and included them in the Jataka Tales. Sibhi story is one of them.

Shibi’s son was called Kapotaroma (Dove feather) because he was made up of various fleshy parts of King Shibi (sounds like cloning or tissue culture!). King Shibi cut his body parts to save the dove from the hawk

(5).Shakuntala, who was protected by the birds, is found in Mahabharata (1-71) and Kalidasa’s most famous Shakuntalam drama.


Dove and Hawk

(6).Hindus believe that humans may be reborn as animals and birds depending upon their Karma in the previous birth. We have the story of Jarita in the Mahabharata (1-230).

Jarita (bird) was the wife of a male bird who was seer Mandapala in previous birth. She gave birth to four baby birds. Later Mandapala abandoned her and lived with another female bird known as Lapita. When Krishna and Arjuna burnt down the Khandava Vana (Gond+Vana= Gondwana ) forest Jarita escaped from the fire by flying out at the insistence of the baby birds. Baby birds also escaped miraculously from the fire. When Mandapala (in bird form) came to inquire about their welfare, Jarita ignored him and asked him to go back to his lady love Lapita. Mandapala explained that it was he who saved the baby birds from the fire and Lapita also worried about them. Then Jarita accepted Mandapala and they lived happily in another forest.

It may be just a story rather than a real life incident. But it has got many messages such as accepting a repentant and reformed husband, birds’ love and kindness, fire hazards etc. Husbands returning to their wives after spending time with another woman is a common theme in Sangam Tamil Literature. 279 verses out of 966 Tamil verses (in the love poems) are about visiting prostitutes. We should not take it literally, but the message must be understood!

(7).Asvattama set fire to Pandava’s camp at the dead of night after the war. He did this after watching owls attacking the crows in the night (10-1). The fight between the Owls and the Crows form the entire fifth book of Panchatantra fables.

crow and owl

Owl and Crow fight

(8).Uluka (owl) was the name of emissary sent by Duryodhana to tell the Pandavas that their peace proposal is rejected. Seer Kausika (Visvamitra) also means owl. In Tamil also we have many poets with owl name (Pisir Anthai, Othal Anthai). People thought that they are the names of their towns. My view is that they actually mean the bird of wisdom owl, which is the vehicle of Lakshmi and Greek Goddess Athena. In western countries it is a very common logo in the educational institutions.

This confirms my view that most of the tribal names are totem symbols I have already given the names of Tamil poets with frog names like their counterparts in Sanskrit. Tortoise is also the name of several rishis/seers.



(9)In the article on mysterious Sanskrit names in Sumerian books, I mentioned about Sumukha. Though Manu Smrti also mentioned the name of this king, nothing is found about King Sumukha in any Indian literature. But a Naga by name Sumukha appeared in Mahabharata (5-103). In fact it was not a snake (Naga), it was a human being with Naga symbol or tattoo.

Chikura was the father of Sumukha. He was killed by an eagle (man) before Matali chose Chikura’s son Sumukha to be the husband of his daughter Gunakeshi. The clash between the Naga tribes and the Eagle tribes is known throughout the world. We see it in the flags of Mexico, Emblem of USA and the Mayan stories.

When Sumukha got worried about an imminent attack from eagle (tribes), Indra came and protected Sumukha (Snake people). We see this clash of Nagas and Eagles in all the epic and Hindu Puranic stories.

(10).Eagle appeared in another story in Mahabharata (5-113). Shandili was a pious woman who lived on Mount of Rishaba. Once Galava and his friend, an eagle, came that way in search of good horses. When the eagle (in fact a man of eagle tribe) saw Shandili , he thought this virtuous woman should live in the heaven. The mere thought of carrying her away to heaven made the eagle’s wings to drop off. When he explained that the thought was not impure, Shandili forgave him and gave the eagle (man) more powerful wings.


Eagle- Snake clash

We have more such stories in the epic. Since thousands of years lapsed between the actual incidence and the writing, the original meaning was lost. Everything made to look like miracle stories.

I will conclude this series “Strange animal stories in Mahabharata” tomorrow.

Fish, Tortoise and Crocodile Stories in Mahabharata


Matyavatar= Fish incarnation of Lord Vishnu

Written by London swaminathan

Research Article no. 1709; dated 11 March 2015

Up loaded at 20-35 London time

2.Strange Animal Stories in Mahabharata! – Part 2

Part 1 :Snakes and Snake bites in Mahabharata appeared yesterday.


Adrika, an Apsaras, was cursed by Brahma to become a fish. She ate the ‘seed’ of human being and became pregnant. When it was caught by the fishermen, they saw two human beings in the womb of the fish 1-63

Fishermen gave the babies to the King of fishermen Dashraja. A boy fish Matsya was given to king. Girl fish Matsyaa was raised by Dashraja as Satyavati. Later Satyavati was married to King Shantanu 1-100

Shambara and Fish

Demon Shambara kidnapped Krishna’s son Pradyumna when he was only ten days old. He threw him into ocean and was swallowed by a fish. Later Pradyumna was recovered from the fish. When Pradyumna grew as an adult killed Shambara and married his widow Mayavati.

My comments: Fish devouring people and coming out alive from the stomach of the fish is a common theme in Indian literature. Fish becoming pregnant with human beings is also common.

Pradyumna marrying a demon’s widow shows that they are also as human as everyone else. We have several stories of inter marriages between the demons and angels. Dubbing one as Drvida and the other as Arya is absurd.

Shambara’s name is also common among demons. We have Shambara in the Rig Veda, Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavata. In future we have to name them Shambara I, Shambara II, Shambara III, Shambara VI etc. Foreigners without knowing the number of people with the same name, wrote a confusing history.


Indus seal of crocodile and fish


Arjuna came across a region where there was a beautiful lake with crocodiles. Brahmanas migrated to different regions fearing those crocodiles. Arjuna purposefully bathed in the tank and caught a crocodile which turned into an Apsara called Varga. She asked Arjun to catch other 4 crocodiles. Arjuna caught those man eating crocodiles and they became Apsara women too.1-216

Crocodiles eating man or animals is a common theme in Tamil and Sanskrit literature. Adi Shankara of Kaladi in Kerala became an ascetic only after caught by a crocodile. Tamil saints revived boys eaten by crocodiles. Tamil poet Tiru Valluvar used the Crocodile’s strength in water as a simile. Gajendra Moksha sculpture is famous from the days of the Gupta dynasty in which the elephant caught by a crocodile was saved by Vishnu. India being a tropical country was infested with crocodiles and all the rivers from Tamil Nadu to Himalayas had crocodiles. Indus valley civilisation seals show a fish in the mouth of a crocodile.

tortoise mandapa, kanchi

Tortoise Mandapa in Kanchi


Tortoise figures in Indradyumna story in the Mahabharata (3-199).

Indradyumna went to heaven, but had to come down to earth when he spent all the merits he earned through good deeds. He was going from place to place to see old faces who he could remember. At last he found an old tortoise in a Himalayan lake who recalled all the good deeds done by Indradyumna. He again ascended to heaven. Even a tortoise can help a king to ascend to heaven.

Tortoise and Fish form the earliest of the Ten Avatars (Incarnation) of Lord Vishnu. So both of them attained divine status.

In Kerala temples the Dwajasthambas are on top of mysterious tortoise!

In Tamil Nadu,  Temple Mandapas are on tortoise in Kancheepuram, Tirukkazukundram, Tiruchengodu and many other places.

Tortoise was the foundation when Devas and Asuras churned the ocean in Hindu mythology.

Panchatantra fables have several stories of intelligent and stupid tortoises.

panchatantra story, kopeshwar temple

Tortoise story in Panchatantra

Tomorrow we will see the birds in the Mahabharata

Mystery of ‘J’and ‘Y’ in literature!


Written by London swaminathan

Article No 1697; Dated 7th march 2015

London Time 14-08

The history of letter ‘J’ is mysterious. It is also very confusing. If you read the history of this letter in encyclopaedias you can see how confused the linguists are. They have used all the terms in linguistics that are available to describe the letters: vowel, consonant, fricative, post alveolar fricative, palatal approximant, voiced, voiceless alveolar plosive, diphthong, pronunciation shift etc. They have linked various languages such as Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic and Romance languages. These languages belonged to different families, not at all related! In short they are confused and they would confuse you!

Strange Facts: Most famous Samuel Johnson’s English dictionary (1775) had only 24 letters! No J, No V! Later dictionaries such as Webster only used 26 letters! Then the English were forced to use 26 letters. Samuel used the letters J and V in the spelling of words, J for y or I;  V was used for u.


Ancient Latin had no sound ‘J’, hence no letter for it. Ancient Romans of 100 CE had 23 letters only; no J, no V and no  W!

–from the book The Alphabet by David Sacks

Look at the following words; which is correct?

Yesu = Jesus

Yuda/Yehudim = Jew

Yasmin = Jasmin

Yulius = Julius

Yusuf = Joseph

Yitro = Jethro (crescent)

Yatra = Jatra


Yama = Jama

Yava = Java ( Savakam in Tamil)

aYan = aJan ( AJAN means Brahma;Than+Mal+ Ayan;Suchindram)

vYira = vaJra (Porunthal Inscription)

gaYamukasura = gaJamukasura

RamaDan = RamJan = RamaLan (D=J=L)



Nowhere in the encyclopaedia had they mentioned Tamil and Sanskrit, two ancient languages. My research shows that their theories are wrong. Since they don’t know Tamil and Sanskrit, they have come to wrong conclusions. Those who study Tamil and Sanskrit and compare them with other languages will rewrite linguistic theories.

Letter ‘J’ is used as ‘Y’ in many languages now. The origin of this change lies in Tamil and Sanskrit literature.

Oldest Sanskrit Inscription in India!

Sometime ago a fifth century BCE inscription was discovered at Porunthal near Palani in Tamil Nadu. It has a Brahmi inscription with the Sanskrit word “Vayira”. This is a Sanskrit word used for diamond = VaJra. Here also we see the J=Y change. Tolkappiam , the oldest Tamil book gives the rules for borrowing Sanskrit words. So this vaJra is a Sanskrit word borrowed and changed to vaYira. If the dating of this inscription ( Fifth Century BCE) is correct, then  we see the change in the oldest inscription in Tamil Nadu. When the archaeologists sent the paddy found in the place it was dated 490 BCE by American laboratories.

Sanskrit word Vayira is used in Sangam Tamil literature in many verses. Poet Markandeya used it in Purananuru verse 365. The verse is full of stories from Sanskrit scriptures. Rig Vedic Purusha sukta descrition of the universe, Kalidasa’s story of cursing Bhumadevi to be a spinster for ever, Bhumi being the wife of Hindu kings, Vajra Suci (Diamond needle) etc are found in the verse. Sangam poet name is also in Sanskrit!

language problem

Now we know how Yeshu changed to Jesus and Yusuf changed to Joseph. It happened even before Latin literature appeared in the world in 3rd century BCE.

Yama is a unit of time; one fourth of the day. It is written as Jama. Vajra (vayira) and Yama (jama) are found in ancient Tamil literature. Tamil and Latin have contemporary literature. Even without the Palani Brahmi inscription, we can prove that J=Y from Tamil and Sanskrit literature.

The conclusion is that there is no truth in the explanations given in encyclopaedias for many pages about “spelling shift or pronunciation shift” Y=I=J. It is all happened in ancient India. Since Tamils and Sanskrit speakers spread to different parts of the world they took it with them. We can trace back most of the ancient words to Tamil and Sanskrit. I already gave the example Number ‘One’ and ‘Eight’ in English are from Tamil (Ondru, Ettu) where as other English numbers are from Sanskrit. We can see it English numbers from 21, 31, 41 etc. They are done in the Tamil way: twenty + one, thirty+one (in Tamil irupaththu ondru, muppathu ondru etc). The English numbers before twenty are done as in Sanskrit: 3+10= thirteen, 4+ten= Fourteen, Five+ Ten = Fifteen etc.

All the ancient languages in the world develop either the Tamil way or the Sanskrit way. In English we see both the trends.

In short, all the ancient languages have come from Tamil and Sanskrit. There are thousands of Tamil words in English. The long list was given by Sathur Sekaran 40 years ago, who I interviwed in the BBC Tamil Service in London in 1988.

If we go deeper still, we can see both Tamil and Sanskrit have the same roots and same grammar rules; Sandhi (Punarchi in Tamil) rules or Joining of words rules are followed until today only in two languages Tamil and Sanskrit. Some of the vestiges we can still see in European languages which have come from Sanskrit! (Or cal it Indo-European!)

Tamil is closely related to Sanskrit. There is no other language that comes this closer. This did not happen because of geographical proximity; it happened because of internal thinking process. Both languages evolved from the same source and diversifies or branched out 2500 years ago.




Written by S Nagarajan

Research Article No. 1689; Dated 4 March 2015.


Memory:Queen Draupadi of Mahabharata and Emperor Napoleon of France

Emperor Napoleon had an excellent memory. He memorized the rosters of his units and used to call the soldiers by name. It is estimated more than one lakh soldiers were in his army. Baron Meneval, Napoleon’s secretary, wrote in his memoirs that his memory had been described as ‘astonishing’. Various biographers describe his memory as ‘very retentive’, ‘near photographic, ‘prodigious’, and ‘phenomenal’.

Cyrus had a memory so prodigious that he knew by heart the names of all the officers and soldiers of his armies. Emperor Otho, the successor to Galba had learned the names of all the soldiers of his army. He used to call everyone by his proper name.


Similarly Mithridates , the famous king and emperor Adrianius knew by heart the names of all their soldiers. Themistocles was able to remember thirty thousand citizens of Athens by name. Xerxes was reputed to be able to recall the names of the one lakh soldiers in his armies. We believe all these statements without raising any question.


Let us compare these interesting facts with the photographic memory of Queen Draupadi of Mahabharata. She revealed her very rare qualities to the Queen Sathyabama, the wife of Lord Krishna in an intimate chat. She informed Sathyabama that one lakh sixty thousand Brahmanas (priestly class) were daily fed in the palace of Yudhishthira. He also had a hundred thousand well-dressed serving maids with bracelets on arms and golden ornaments on necks, and decked with costly garlands. They were all skilled in singing and dancing. Draupadi knew the names and features of all those girls, as also what they are and what they were, and what they did not.

Yudhishthira had also a hundred thousand maid-servants. These servants daily used to feed guests, with plates of gold in their hands. And while Yudhishthira lived in Indraprastha a hundred thousand horses and a hundred thousand elephants used to follow in his train. These were the possessions of Yudhishthira while he ruled the earth. It was Draupadi, however, who regulated their number and framed the rules to be observed in respect of them; and it was she who had to listen to all complaints about them. Indeed she knew everything about what the maid-servants of the palace and other classes of attendants, even the cow-herds and the shepherds of the royal establishment, did or did not! We are astonished with the statements of Draupadi.


When we compare these statistics with that of Napoleon and other kings we are compelled to admire how sharp was her intellect and memory!While we are ready to believe historians like Pliny, the same way we have to believe the statements of the great Queen Draupadi also. This astonishing memory is one of her qualities only. The women of the world should learn more about Draupadi and should follow her footsteps by developing rare skills.

Note:  The original Sanskrit slokas of Mahabharata were translated by sri Ganguly in 1873-1886. The English version has been taken from public domain and for authenticity sake used here. Readers could download the full Mahabharata from net.

Pushthakam Hastha Lakshanam


Written by London swaminathan

Research Article No. 1680; Dated 27 February 2015.

“Pusthakam hastha lakshanam” is a golden saying in Sanskrit. The meaning is that “the beauty or merit of a hand is enhanced by a book”. A hand looks beautiful holding a book.  India is the only ancient country which produced more books than any other country in the world. If you draw a line in 1000 BCE, there was no ‘book’ except India. We had Vedic Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads by that time. So this saying has more meaning into it.

(Pusthakam = book, Hastha = hand, lakshana = quality, beauty)

India is the only country in the world which has got more holy books than any other country in the world. If we go to North India we can see Ramayana and Bhagavad Gita in the Puja (Prayer) room on special wooden boards or platforms with flowers on them. They are worshiped. If we come down to the south we see Thevaram, Tiruvasagam and Divya Prabandham in Tamil worshiped in the same way. The authors of these books claim that these are Vedas in Tamil. It is very true.


If we go to Amritsar, the holy city of the Sikhs, we see a book occupying the status of god in the Golden Temple. After ten holy teachers of Sikhism, the book was elevated to the status of Guru- –spiritual teacher. The book is given all reverence like a god’s statue. It contains all the holy teachings of their Gurus.

India is the only country in the world where a book’s birth day is celebrated every year. The Gita Jayanti in the month of Margasirsha (December- Tamil month Markazi) is celebrated on the 11th day of Marhasirsha –Shukla Ekadasi – to mark the birth anniversary of the Bhagavd Gita. The gist of Hindu thoughts is given in just 700 couplets in the book.


Manu’s Beautiful Quote on Books

Manu, the greatest law giver of the world, whose name figured in the oldest religious book Rig Veda, says:-

“Those who read the book are better than those who do not know them; those who remember them are better than those who read them; those who understand them are better than those who remember them; and those who put them into action are better than those who understand them” (Chapter 12- Sloka 103- Manu Smrti)

The book here meant the Vedas.

Famous Tamil poetess Avvaiyar says that one’s knowledge and wisdom depends upon the books one has learnt. She illustrated her point with a beautiful simile. A water lily’s height is determined by the depth of the water in the pond; a person’s wisdom is decided by the books one learnt.


There is a popular Sanskrit couplet:-

Pustakesu cha yaa vidyaa parahastesu yad dhanam

Utpannesu cha kaaryesu na saa vidhyaa na tad dhanam

Rough translation of this verse is “ the knowledge printed in the book and the money given to others are useless when you need them; they are neither knowledge nor wealth”.

Learning must be practised. There is an equivalent saying in Tamil – Ettu Suraik kay Karikku Uthavathu – meaning “The word bottle gourd written on a palm leaf cannot be cooked as curry”. No practical use!


Sutra(Sanskrit) = Surah(Arabic) = Torah(Hebrew)

The word Torah in Hebrew, Surah in Arabic (Quran) mean religious teachings or chapters containing religious teachings. My research shows that these words are derived from the Sanskrit word Sutra (Aphorisms, formulas, pithy sayings). Letters S and T are inte rchangeable; e.g. Tion in English is pronounced Sion in hundreds of words)

Moreover Tamil and Sanskrit were born in India and spread to different parts of the world. The word Sutra (Nuul in Tamil) means a thread as well as a book both in Tamil and Sanskrit.

Tamil Nul  = Sutra in Sanskrit

Nul = Book; thread

Sutra = thread (Mangala sutra), book (Patanjali Yoga Sutra, Paninian Sutra).


Long Live the Holy Books!