CAMELS IN PANINI, MANU AND MAHABHARATA (Post No.5294)

Research Article Written by London swaminathan

Date: 6 August 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 14-10  (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 5294

 

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Wikipedia, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.

 

 

CAMEL MYSTERY IN SANSKRIT AND TAMIL LITERATURE-PART2

(FIRST PART WAS POSTED YESTERDAY).

CAMELS IN ASHTADYAYI OF PANINI (7TH CENTURY BCE)

“The organisation of the army included a camel corps. Camels are referred to in the Vedas as being native to the soil but there is no specific mention of fighting camels. Camels are of two varieties, the single humped one, now seen in upper India and in Arabia, (where it was probably introduced from India) and the double humped Bactrian camel which was later introduced in the Middle East and North Africa.

Panini is familiar with the camel corps known in his time as Austraka or Ushtra-sadi (ushtra =camel). A mixed corps of camels and mules (asvatari) , was known as ushtra-vani. It would appear that the camels were mostly used as army transports over the difficult sandy terrain, frequently come across in the Indus basin and in Rajaputana

Source, Arya Tarangini ,page 342; Volume one, A Kalyanaraman , Asia Publishing House, 1969

Xxxx

 

Camel in Mahabharata

We find an interesting story about camel in the Shanti parva of Mahabharata. A lazy camel did not want to go out to get food. So it stayed in a place and prayed to Brahma. He gave him a long neck so that it can eat all the plants up above the trees without much effort. The lazy camel tried that way and in greediness it protruded its neck into a cave. A fox inside he cave bit the head of the camel and killed it.

 

This is to teach a lesson to the lazy people, probably included in the Mahabharata at a later date.

 

Camel Vahana

Camel Fair in Pushkar is famous in Rajastha. It attracts a large number of local people and foreign tourists.

 

Though camel is found only in desert areas. strangely it became the vahana (mount) of Hindu god Anjaneys (Maruti). There are some local stories to justify it. We can see such camel figures in Chennai Hyderabad and other Hanumar temples.

 

One of the Ashta Dik Devatas ( Eight Gods in charge of Eight Directions) is Naitruti in charge of South West. Camel is the Vahana of Naitruti.

 

Camel in Manu Smrti

MANU ON CAMELS

 

These slokas must be read with interpretation or in the right context. What I can say is that Manu has used camels in nearly 20 places. He even spoke about the fence up to a  height of a camel. That means camels were well known and very widely used and they were like common domestic cattle. Even Brahmins were riding on the camels which we know from Manu’s ban on reciting Vedas sitting on a camel. If we look at each sloka or its commentary, we can make a picture of the society during Manu’ days.

 

Following are couplets From Manu smrti (2-204 means second chapter 204th sloka)

 

2-204. He may sit with his teacher in a carriage drawn by oxen, horses, or camels, on a terrace, on a bed of grass or leaves, on a mat, on a rock, on a wooden bench, or in a boat.

 

3-162. A trainer of elephants, oxen, horses, or camels, he who subsists by astrology, a bird-fancier, and he who teaches the use of arms, (DON’T ENTERTAIN THEM IN SRARDHA)

 

4-115. A Brahmana shall not recite (the Veda) during a dust-storm, nor while the sky is preternaturally red, nor while jackals howl, nor while the barking of dogs, the braying of donkeys, or the grunting of camels (is heard), nor while (he is seated) in a company.

 

4-120. Let him not recite the Veda on horseback, nor on a tree, nor on an elephant, nor in a boat (or ship), nor on a donkey, nor on camel, nor standing on barren ground, nor riding in a carriage.

 

5-8. The milk of a cow (or other female animal) within ten days after her calving, that of camels, of one-hoofed animals, of sheep, of a cow in heat, or of one that has no calf with her,(AVOID THEM; DON’T OFFER IT TO GOD)

 

5-18. The porcupine, the hedgehog, the iguana, the rhinoceros, the tortoise, and the hare they declare to be eatable; likewise those (domestic animals) that have teeth in one jaw only, excepting camels.

 

8-146. Things used with friendly assent, a cow, a camel, a riding-horse, and (a beast) made over for breaking in, are never lost (to the owner).

 

8-239. (The owner of the field) shall make there a hedge over which a camel cannot look, and stop every gap through which a dog or a boar can thrust his head.

 

8-296. If a man is killed, his guilt will be at once the same as (that of) a thief; for large animals such as cows, elephants, camels or horses, half of that.

 

9-48. As with cows, mares, female camels, slave-girls, buffalo-cows, she-goats, and ewes, it is not the begetter (or his owner) who obtains the offspring, even thus (it is) with the wives of others.

11-69. Killing a donkey, a horse, a camel, a deer, an elephant, a goat, a sheep, a fish, a snake, or a buffalo, must be known to degrade (the offender) to a mixed caste (Samkarikarana).

11-138. But for killing carnivorous wild beasts, he shall give a milch-cow, for (killing) wild beasts that are not carnivorous, a heifer, for killing a camel, one krishnala.

 

11-155. A twice-born man, who has swallowed the urine or ordure of a village pig, of a donkey, of a camel, of a jackal, of a monkey, or of a crow, shall perform a lunar penance.

11-157. The atonement for partaking of (the meat of) carnivorous animals, of pigs, of camels, of cocks, of crows, of donkeys, and of human flesh, is a Tapta Krikkhra (penance).

11-200. He who has been bitten by a dog, a jackal, or a donkey, by a tame carnivorous animal, by a man, a horse, a camel, or a (village-) pig, becomes pure by suppressing his breath (Pranayama).

11-202. A Brahmana who voluntarily rode in a carriage drawn by camels or by asses, and he who bathed naked, become pure by suppressing his breath (Pranayama).

 

12-55. The slayer of a Brahmana enters the womb of a dog, a pig, an ass, a camel, a cow, a goat, a sheep, a deer, a bird, a Kandala, and a Pukkasa.

12-67. For stealing a deer or an elephant a wolf, for stealing a horse a tiger, for stealing fruit and roots a monkey, for stealing a woman a bear, for stealing water a black-white cuckoo, for stealing vehicles a camel, for stealing cattle a he-goat.


Camel in The Bible

St Augustine, 354-430 CE, made the camel a symbol of humble Christian shouldering life’s burden without complaint.

In images of Magi the camel appears as a beast of burden.
A camel began to speak in support of the wish of St. Cosmos and St Damian that they may be buried in the same grave; the Devil however, assumed the form of a giant camel to plague Macarius the Egyptian.
It has been that a mistranslation may have produced Christ’s statement that “ it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of god” . Mathew 19-24
In Aramaic gamla means camel and rope.
It seems camel is more correct, when we look at another image.
In the Babylonian Talmud a similar image is used in reference to those who achieve the impossible: they make “an elephant pass through the eye of a needle “.

GAUTAMA BUDDHA

In Asian mythology, camel joined the water buffalo, the elephant and the tiger in mourning the death of Gautama Buddha.

Symbolism of camel

“The animal by its largely undemanding nature, made it possible for humans to cross the steppes and the deserts of North Africa. The camel became a symbol of moderation and sobriety.

Because of its physiognomy, which appears to the human eye appears haughty, it also came to symbolise arrogance and selfishness. Because it would accept only those burdens that it could actually carry, the camel came to stand for discernment. It stood for laziness too. Its ability to kneel obediently was taken as a positive characteristic”.

Source
Dictionary of Symbolism. Hans Biedermann, 1989

 

Conclusion:

1.From the days of Rig Veda Hindus know about camels

2.Camels were also part of gift/Daana like cows.

3.Camels have been used for transport

4.Oldest Tamil book also mentioned camels in addition to Sangam Literature

5.English words and Tamil words might have been derived from Ustra and Kramela (Sanskrit words for camels)

6.Camels are also shown as Vahana of Hindu Gods giving it some sanctity.

7.Camels were part of Pancha tantra fables and Katha Sarit Sagara stories and so even children knew about it.

7.Panini who lived 2700 years ago mentioned Camel Corps and so it was part of Hindu Army.

8.Mahabharata story about camels show that it was part of epic literature.

 

-Subham–

 

 

 

 

 

CAMEL MYSTERY IN SANSKRIT AND TAMIL LITERATURE- Part 1 (Post No.5291)

RESEARCH ARTICLE Written by London swaminathan

Date: 5 August 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 15-47  (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 5291

 

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Wikipedia, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.

 

Camels are referred to in the Vedas, Mahabharata, Panini’s Ashtadyayee, Pancha tantra fables, Katha sarit sagara, Buddhist literature, Amarakosa Thesarus, oldest Tamil book Tolkappiam, two books of Tamil Sangam period, Tamil epic Silappadikaram (???), about 20 slokas of Manu Smrti, in the Bible, folk tales and festivals such as Pushkar camel festival

 

Camels are of two types. Camels with one hump is found in India and its neighbourhoods. The oldest reference to the camel in literature is found in the Rig Veda, if we believe the dates given to it by Herman Jacobi and Balagangadhara Tilak i.e. 6000 BCE. Even otherwise the camels are referred to in Indian literature continuously for thousands of years. Let me start with Tamil literature:

The oldest book in Tamil language is Tolkappiam, a grammatical treatise dated between first century BCE and first century CE. The third part of the book refers to camels in two Sutras (rules). It describes the naming of a calf of camel and a female camel.

 

Next comes Akananuru and Sirupanaatrup padai- two books from the 18 major works of Sangam Tamil literature.

 

Akananuru verse 245 created a debate among Tamil scholars because of the two interpretations.

One interpretation is that the camels ate the dried flowers of silk cotton trees on the rocks which looked like the bones of animals and another interpretation is camels ate bones in the dry and arid areas of Tamil Nadu. Since camels are herbivorous the second interpretation is wrong.

 

In Sirupannatruppadai (line 154) the Agarwood washed by the sea in the City of Eyirpattinam looked like a camel lying down.

Both are interesting because the camels were found even in the southern most part of India 2000 years ago. Since they mentioned horses in hundreds of places it is no wonder that they were driven from north to south by the merchants.

 

In the most famous Tamil epic Silappadikaram the hero of the story Kovalan is said to have travelled to the sea side on a mule; but the word used by the poet Ilango is ‘Attiri’ which may mean a camel or a mule according to Tamil dictionary!

 

The very word ‘Ottakam’ in Tamil is derived from the Sanskrit word Ustra and Usti, both are found in the Rig Veda, the oldest book in the world.

 

Another interesting thing is the word CAMEL is cognate to Kramela in Sanskrit for camel. It may be derived from gamal of Arabic or Kramela from Sanskrit , subject for research!

 

Camels in Madurai Temple procession

In my home town Madurai in Tamil Nadu, the temple festivals used to have Elephant, Camel and Bull with a drum on it. God’s procession is always led by these three. I don’t know when this custom came to Madurai Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple.

xxx

USTI, USTRA in the VEDAS.

Both of these words, of which the former is quite rare (RV 18-106) must have the same sense

Roth and Aufrecht hold tha in the Rig Veda and the brahmanas the sense is humped bull or buffalo, but the former thinks in the vs the sense is doubtful, and camel may be meant.

Hopkins is decidedly of opinion that the sense in every case is camel.

Rig Veda 1-138-2

8-5-37

6,48; , 22, 31

Atharva Veda 20-127-2, 132, 13

Vajasaneyi Samhita 13-50

Satapata Brahmana- 1-2-3-9

Aitareya Brahmana- 2-8

The animal was used as a beast of burden yoked in fours—AV 2-127-2; RV 8-6-48

 

Source- Vedic Index of Names and Subjects Volume-1, AA Macdonell and AB Keith

 

It is interesting to note that more camel references come from the Eighth Mandala of Rig Veda. It is concerned more with the kings of Iran. This Mandala is full of mysteries and much research is needed. Here are a few references:

RV 8-46-32 says,

Balbhutha and Taruksha have made a gift of 100 camels to the sage. The names Balbutha and Taruksha, both of typical Sanskrit sounds are rare names.

RV 8-5-37 says,

Kashu gives 100 camels and 10000 cows to the priest

Kasu is found in Avestan literature confirming his Iranian descent.

Another reference to Iraninans is 8-6-46 ; here Parshu (Persian Parsa) and Tirinda (Persian Tiridates) gave one lakh gifts. It may be gold or cattle or camels or all mixed.

 

What is mentioned here can be compared with Mulavarman Sanskrit Inscription of Indonesia, where the Seven Yupa Stambha inscriptions say that the king donated 20,000 cows to the Brahmins with lot of gold. So 10,000 cows in RV need not raise any one’s eye brows!

In Kalidasa

This can be again compared with a reference in Kalidasa’s Raghu vamsa (whom I date first Century BCE on the basis of Sangam Literature similes):-

“Then the seer Kautsa after loading the gold bags on 100 horses and camels , affectionately touched the King Raghu and said the following”- ( Raghu Vamsa 5-32)

 

Here also we see 100 camels like we see in the Rig Veda. So all these were very common in those days.

 

When we see Panini’s reference to Camel Corps around Seventh Century BCE, we would be surprised.

–to be continued………………….

Woman does yoga on the edge of English Mountain cliff (Post No.4151)

Compiled by LONDON SWAMINATHAN

 

Date: 26 JUNE 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  15-51 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 5151

 

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Wikipedia, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.

 

 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi approached the United Nations in 2014 to declare June 21 (longest day in Northern hemisphere) as the International Yoga day . They approved it and for the past four years the Yoga has spread far and wide. In England one woman made everyone to gasp for breath by doing Yoga on a dangerous cliff. Though people appreciated her spirit, they thought that it is dangerous to do such daredevil acts. All the British newspapers published these pictures due to Wayne Spring, who usually takes pictures at the cliff .

 

June 21 is the longest day for people who live in Northern hemisphere. We in London saw sun at 9-10 pm (in the evening) on that day.

The thrill seeker was criticised over the ‘dangerous’ moves, 200ft above jagged rocks in East Sussex (ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM)

  • An unidentified woman was spotted recklessly posing at the edge of a cliff as she performed yoga 
  • She spent 20 minutes performing a series of yoga poses at Seaford Head cliff, in Seaford, East Sussex
  • Wayne Spring, 51, captured the reckless woman’s activity on Friday afternoon

 

  • Despite giant cracks, and signs warning that the cliffs could give way at any moment, tourists are often spotted dangling over the edge of the Seaford Head cliff, in Seaford, East Sussex.
  • Wayne Spring, 51, has seen scores of people go too close to the edge of the cliff.
  • A woman put herself in danger doing a handstand on the edge of a crumbling cliff.

 

  • Despite giant cracks and signs warning that the chalk cliffs could give way at any moment, tourists are often spotted dangling over the edge of the Seaford Head cliff, in Seaford, East Sussex, to take selfies.
  • Photographer Wayne Spring, 51, has seen scores of people gamble with death at the edge of the cliff and branded the woman’s behaviour “ridiculous”.
  • He said: “I find myself questioning people’s common sense quite a lot these days, but this was just another level.
  • “But this was something else – I couldn’t believe my eyes when she did the headstand.”
  • The thrillseeker, who appears to be in her 30s, performed a series of poses at the edge of the cliff, including standing on one leg and the ‘downward-facing dog’ pose.
  • Snapper Wayne added: “Yoga’s meant to be relaxing, but I can tell you that it wasn’t relaxing watching her.
  • “There was a crowd gathered around me at the time and people couldn’t stop gasping.

  • “The woman was so firm with her poses, it just goes to show that she was totally oblivious to the danger she was in.
  • “The cliffs are so unstable, they could collapse at any time.
  • “Nobody’s would ever be able to walk away from that drop, no matter how bendy they were.”
  • The edge of the cliff is fractured with cracks, and every year along the iconic white cliffs, hundreds of tonnes of rocks fall onto the beach below.
  • For years there have been calls to install security fences at the top of the cliff to prevent people falling off the sheer drop.
  • Wayne added: “If you fence it off you might spoil the area but you can’t rely on people to use their common sense any more.
  • “I don’t want the natural environment to be spoilt by a few idiots but if a fence stops them then so be it.
  • “I think they’re uninformed. If you are not from the area you will not know about the dangers but people just need to use their common sense.”
  • The South Downs National Park Authority, who maintain the Seven Sisters cliffs in Newhaven, East Sussex, have said fences are impractical because of erosion.

Seaford Head is along the same stretch of coastline as Beachy Head, one of the world’s most notorious cliffs

 

SOURCE; DAILY MAIL AND DAILY MIRROR, LONDON

 

MILTON AND RIG VEDA ON LIGHT (Post No.4921)

WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 16 April 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  15-51 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4921

 

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GAYATRI Mantra/hymn is the most powerful mantra in the Rig Veda and it is found in other Vedas as well. It is a great wonder that mantra which reverberated on the banks of River Sarasvati and later Sindhu (Indus) and Ganges is still chanted by millions in India. While Brahmins only were chanting in those days and in recent years, great saints like Chinmayananda and Sathya Sai baba made it popular among other communities as well.

 

The meaning of the Mantra is

Let us meditate on that excellent glory of the divine vivifying Sun (light) and May He enlighten us.

There are lot of Mantras/hymns on Ushas (the dawn):

Immortal Ushas, please by praise

What mortal may enjoy they days!

Who, mighty one, can reach thy place!

Rig Veda 1-30-20

 

The parallelism of thought is very remarkable, between the general Vedic concept of Ushas with the lines of blind poet Milton.

 

Compare the following lines on Ushas (Dawn)

 

English poet, though blind, sings about light in the following lines:

 

“Hail, holy light, offspring of Heaven first born,

Or of the eternal, co-eternal beam

May I express thee unblamed? since God is light,

And never but unapproached light

Dwelt from eternity, dwell thou in me,

Bright effluence of bright essence increate

Or hear’st thou rather, pure ethereal stream,

Whose fountain who shall tell? Before the sun

Before the heavens thou wert, and at the voice

Of God, as with a mantle, didst invest

The rising world of waters dark and deep

Won from the void and formless infinite.

Paradise Lost, Book 3

 

The Rig Veda says

Fair as a bride embellished by her mother thou showest forth thy form that all may see it

Blessed art thou, O dawn. Shine yet more widely. No other Dawns have reached what thou attainest.

 

Rich in cattle, horses, and all goodly treasurers, in constant operation with the sunbeams,

 

The Dawns depart and come again assuming their wonted forms that promise happy fortune.

Obedient to the reins of Law Eternal give us each thought that more and more shall bless us.

Sine thou on us today, Dawn, swift to listen. With us be riches and with chiefs who worship.

RV 1-123

 

Upanishads say,

To the illumined soul the Self is all. For Him, who sees everywhere oneness, how can there be delusion or grief?

–Isha Upanishad 7

The whole world is illumined by His ilight.

–Sveteshvatara Upanishad 6-14

 

Milton also said God is Light (see above)

 

–Subham–

 

TREES AND STARS- HINDU WAY OF SAVING ENVIRONMENT (Post No.4904)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 11 April 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  17-10  (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4904

 

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Hindus allocated one tree to every temple and made them holy. It helped to save environment. It helped to save and grow more forest. Every temple has a garden called Nanda Vanam. Because of the Muslim invaders and their destructive activities it slowly dis appeared in North India. But in the South several big and famous temples maintain the old tradition.

 

In the same way Hindus designated one tree for every star. Hindus cast their horoscope when a baby is born and it falls under one of the 27 stars in the Zodiac. That means each one will take care of their tree or plant, worship it and respect it.

 

The following list is taken from Malayalam sources; so the plants names are in Malayalam

 

Nowhere in the world we can see such a systematic protection of plants. Here is the list of Stars and Plants:

1.ASWINI – BETA ARIETIS – KANJIRAM (Nux Vomica plant)

2.BHARANI – 35 ARIETIS – NELLI (Phyllanthus Embilica)

3.KRITTIKA – ETA TAURI/PLEIADES – ARTHI (Ficus oppostifolia)

4.ROHINI – ALDEBARAN – NJAVAL (Zyzygium jambolanum)

5.MRIGASIRSHAM- LAMBDA ORIONIS- KARINGALI (Mimosa catechu)

 

6.THIRUVADIRAI/ARUDRA- BETELGEUSE- KARIMARAM (Terminalia alata)

7.PUNARVASU- BETA GEMINORUM- MULA (Bamboo)

8.PUSHYA – DELTA CANCERI – PEEPAL (Ficus religiosa)

9.AYILYAM/ASLESHA- ALPHA HYDROE – NAKAM (Heritiera littoralis)

10.MAKAM /MAGHA- REGULUS – PERAL/ VATA (Ficus indica)

11.POORAM/PURVA PALGUNI – DELTA LEONIS- PALASH (Butea frondosa)

12.UTHRAM – UTHIRA PALGUNI- BETA LEONIS- ITHTHI (Ficus venosa)

13.HASTHAM – DELTA CORVI- AMPAZHAM- (Spondias Mangifera)

14.CHITRA- SPICA VIRGINIS- KOOVALAM- Crateva religiosa

15.SWATI- ARCTURUS- NERMARUTHU (Penteptera arjuna)

16.VISAKAM- ALPHA LIBRAE – VAYYAMKATHUKU- (sSida retusa)

 

17.ANURADHA- DELTA SCORPIO- ILANJI (Mimusops elengi)

18.JYESHTA- KETTAI- ANTARES- VETTI (Physalis flexuosa)

19.MOOLAM/MULA- LAMBDA SCORPI- PINE

20.PURDAM/PURVA ASHADA- DELTA SAGITTARI- VANNI (Prosopis spicigera)

21.UTHRADAM- UTHRA ASHADA-  SIGMA SAGITTARI- PILAVU (jack fruit)

22.ONAM- SRAVANA – ALPHA AQUILOE- ERUKKU (Calotropis gigantean)

23.AVITTAM/DHANISHTA- BETA DELPHINUM – VANHI (Plumbago ceylanica)

24.SATHAYAM/SATHABISHAK- LAMBDA AQUARIUS- KATAMBU (Nauclea Cadamba)

25.POORATTADI- PURVA BHADRAPADA- ALPHA PEGASI- MANGO TREE

26.UTTRATTADI- UTTARA BHADRAPADA- GAMA PEGASI- KARIMPANA- (Borassus flabelliformis)

27.REVATHI – ZETA PISCUM- IRIPPA (Bassia latifolia)

–subham–

 

FAMOUS TREES OF NORTH INDIA (Post No.4902)

Kadamba Tree that Lord Krishna used at Chirghat, UP

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 10 April 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  21-36  (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4902

 

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The Mythology of Plants (Mythologie des Plants) says that in 17th century Hindus worshipped a Banyan tree near Surat (Gujarat), supposed to be 3000 years old. Hindus showed full respect to the tree and they never plucked even a leaf from it. They carved a head figure on the tree, just above the ground level, and worshipped it. They furnished it eyes in gold or silver. They decorated it with different garlands.

 

Even when Hindus cut the trees they asked for pardon. When the Vedic priest cut a tree for the sacrificial post (Yupa Stambha), the priest was instructed to place a blade of Dharba (holy) grass between the axe and the tree, saying “Oh Grass, shield it” and then before striking, to say, “Oh Axe, hurt not”.

From the Vedic days, they knew that trees or living beings and it also feels the pain. Western botanists ‘discovered’ it only a few hundred years ago!

 

From the Vedas to Kalidasa, we find slokas or hymns praising the trees. North Indian villagers wont taste the mangoes until they marry one of the mango trees to a Tamarind tree. Even Kalidasa has mentioned the marriage of Navamallika plant with a mango tree. Soma plant occupies one full Mandala (ninth) out of the Ten Mandalas of Rig Veda.

 

Banyan Tree at Prayag

Banyan Tree worship and Pipal Tree worship are very popular in North India. In Valmiki Ramayana, the banyan tree (Akshay Vat) was praised. The descendant of this tree which was situated at the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati in Prayag (Allahabad in U.P.) was worshipped. People used to commit suicide by jumping into Ganges from the top of the tree. After the death of a Rashtrakuta king 150 women including the queens committed suicide in this way. This tree was famous even when Chinese traveller Huan Tsang visited India. He had mentioned it in his travels.

 

Neem tree was worshipped at times of prevalence of small pox, chicken pox etc. Almost all the trees are worshipped by the Hindus. Hindu Brahmacharis (students) used to carry the staff made up of Palash tree (Butea frondosa). Even Kalidasa mentioned it in Kumarasambhava (canto 5). There is no plant that is not worshipped by the Hindus.

 

Interesting descriptions of Tree Worship are found in old District Gazetteers of British India.

A giant jack tree in Travancore, called ‘Ammachi Pilavu’, which bestowed asylum to the Ettuvettil Pillamar, the warriors of the eight household, has been declared a national monument by the Government of Kerala. Some jack trees near famous temples have become objects of worship.

 

The Pala (Neirum antidygentiarum) tree is notorious for its association with goblins, fairies and other evil spirits. Nobody cuts it. The trunk of the Pala tree standing inside the eastern compound of the temple at Chottanikkara is full of nails. Spirits are imprisoned in this plant and they cant escape because of the power of Chottanikkara Goddess Bhagavati.

 

Kadamba Tree of Chirghat

In the Brindavan area, there is a Kadamba tree on the banks of River Yamuna. it is believed that Krishna stole the clothes of Gopi girls while they were worshipping Katyayani Devi with sand (sand dolls as we find in Tamil Tiruppavai of Andal and Ambavatal of Sangam literature Pari patal). This tree has become famous. There is another Kadamba tree with the same legend. It is possible Krishna was using different trees on different occasions.

 

( I have already written about the four huge and famous banyan trees in India, the tree at Kurukshetra, two famous trees in Perur, Tamil Nadu, The Bodhi tree of Buddha Gaya, Azinjil (ankola) tree of Tiruvakkarai in Tamil Nadu, Tamarind trees of Nammalvar and musician Tansen, the real ghost on a tamarind tree, the genetic change of a Palmyra by Tamil saint Sambandar etc in separate articles in this blog)

Seven branched Palmyra tree at Kallal, Tamil Nadu

 

–subham–

 

 

FAMOUS TREES OF TAMIL NADU (Post No.4899)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 9 April 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  20-43  (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4899

 

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.

 

 

 

WARNING: PLEASE SHARE MY ARTICLES; BUT DON’T SHARE IT WITHOUT AUTHOR’S NAME AND THE BLOG NAME. BE HONEST; OTHERS WILL BE HONEST WITH YOU

 

 

There are many famous trees in Tamil Nadu. Some are famous because of its age or due to its holiness. The banyan tree in Adyar, Chennai is famous because of its huge size. It is damaged in several storms.

There are two holy trees in Perur near Coimbatore. They are called Iravap Panai and Piravaap Puli. In Tamil it rhymes very well. The rough translation of the words is The Palmyra Tree that never dies and the Tamarind Tree that is never born.

The story about the Palmyra tree is that its bark is used in medicines which will give one a long-life span. There is another explanation about its never dying nature.

 

The story about the Tamarind tree is that its seeds never grow. Even if it is sown it never germinates. It looks like both are not tested scientifically. But the belief is strong that the devotees visit the trees when they visit the temple.

There is a philosophical explanation as well. One would never be born again if he sees the Perur Lord Shiva like the Tamarind seed in the temple. And similarly devotees believe that those who worship Lord Shiva at Perur Temple will live for long.

So whether the trees have miraculous properties or not, the philosophy behind the trees teaches more than many philosophical works.

Neem Tree by Lalgudi Veda

In other words, William Wordsworth’s words have come true:

One impulse from a vernal wood

May teach you more of man,

Of moral evil and of good,

Than all the sages can.

 

Kadamba Tree

 

Inside the world famous Meenakshi Sundareswar Temple in Madurai, still a tree is preserved inside a fence. It is a Kadamba tree, the local temple tree (sthala Vrksha). Once upon a time Madurai area was a forest of Kadamba Trees and then a Pandya king built a temple in the area when the devotees reported some miracle inside the forest.

 

Mango Tree Inside Kanchi temple.

At the Ekambareswar temple in Kancheepural there is a livin mano tree which is considred very old. Its age is given between 3500 and 5000 years. Though it is not possible scientifically one tree after another might have been planted using the seeds of the same mango tree.

 

Vridhachalam: 1700 year old Vanni Tree

In Vridhachaam there is a Vanni Tree inside the Pazamalainathar Temple which is said to be 1700 year old. It is possible they used the same tree for continuous propagation.

 

Every temple in Tamil Nadu has a holy tree known as the Sthala Vrksha (local Temple Tree). It is heartening to note that Tamils had this custom of cultivating or raising a particular tree in every temple.

 

Famous Tamarind Trees

I have already written about the famous Tamarind Tree of Nammalvar, another tree associated with Tirumanagai Alvar, real ghost in Tamarind tree according to Sri Anantharama Dishitar and the Tamarind tree associated with Tansen (See below for the links to my old articles.)

 

Tansen and Tamarind Tree! Ghosts in Tamarind … – Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/…/tansen-and-tamarind-tree-ghosts-in-ta…

26 Mar 2016 – STORY OF FAMOUS TAMARIND TREES. 1.There is atamarind tree in Gwalior at the tomb of Tansen, the great singer of Moghul period. People believe that whoever chew the leaves of the tree will get a sweet voice. This, they believe due to the presence of the tomb of Tansen.Nammalvar and Tamarind …

Nammalvar | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/nammalvar/

People believe that whoever chew the leaves of the tree will get a sweet voice. This, they believe due to the presence of the tomb of Tansen.Nammalvar and Tamarind Tree. 2.There is another famous tamarind treeat Azvar Tirunagari in the far south of Tamil Nadu. Maran Sadagopan, later known as Nammazvar, one of the …

 

Trees of Wisdom | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/trees-of-wisdom/

 

Magic of Trees! Picture shows Newton under Apple Tree. Hindu Saints composed Upanishads under the Himalayan Trees. Buddha attained wisdom under the Bodhi Tree. Vaishnavite saint Nammalvar attained wisdom under a Tamarind tree. Sanatkumaras attained wisdom under the banyan tree. Saivaite saint …

 

sacred trees | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/sacred-trees/

6 Nov 2017 – The famous Bodhi tree in Gaya (Bihar, India) and its sister trees in Sri Lanka, Tamarind tree of Tansen and Nammalvar, Banyan Tree of Lord Krishna and Panchavati (five Banyan trees) of Lord Rama are some examples. There are hundreds of trees like these throughout India Every Tamil temple has a tree …

tree worship | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/tree-worship/

The famous Bodhi tree in Gaya (Bihar, India) and its sister trees in Sri Lanka, Tamarind tree of Tansen and Nammalvar, Banyan Tree of Lord Krishna and Panchavati (five Banyan trees) of Lord Rama are some examples. There are hundreds of trees like these throughout India Every Tamil temple has a tree worshipped in its …

 

 

Adi Shankara & Alangium hexapetalum | Swami’s Indology Blog

 

https://swamiindology.blogspot.com/2013/08/adi-shankara-alangium-hexapetalum.html

20 Aug 2013 – Adi Shankara, the greatest philosopher of India uses lot of similes from nature to illustrate Advaita philosophy. In one sloka he used four birds. I have written about it in my earlier post. One of his interesting observations is about a tree called Ankola in Sanskrit, Alinjil in Tamil andAlangium hexapetalum in …

 

Adi Sankara and Andal | Tamil and Vedas

 

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/adi-sankara-and-andal/

But there is a strange coincidence between Andal and Adi Shankara.Andal has

composed two poems Thiruppavai and Nachiar Thirumozi. Adi Shankara mentioned a plant known as Azinjil in Tamil and Ankola in Sanskrit, in his hymn Sivananda Lahari. Though Andal did not mention this plant in her hymn Nachiar …

 

 

 

—SUBHAM—

 

 

OLDEST POEM ABOUT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL FOREST! (Post No.4896)

OLDEST POEM ABOUT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL FOREST! (Post No.4896)

 

WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 8 April 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  20-38 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4896

 

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.

 

 

 

WARNING: PLEASE SHARE MY ARTICLES; BUT DON’T SHARE IT WITHOUT AUTHOR’S NAME AND THE BLOG NAME. BE HONEST; OTHERS WILL BE HONEST WITH YOU

       

Rig Veda is a treasure house. It is the encyclopaedia of human race. Since it is the only book about humanity in the ancient world, everything said in it is carefully analysed. There is a beautiful poem about Forest and Queen of the Forest in the tenth mandala, the last of the ten mandalas/divisions in the Rig Veda.

We come across beautiful description of the forest by the poet. The queen of the forest is called ARANYAANI. The beauty of the word ARANYAM is that it is found in all Indian languages including Tamil. Vedaranyam, Dharbaranyam (Tirunallaru), Vadaranyam (Tiru Alankadu) in Tamil Nadu, Naimisaranyam, Dandakaranyam in the North are famous.

Like many Rig Vedic words, it is very common. The Goddess of the Forest is addressed by the poet.

This highlights many points

Hindus cared about environment several thousand years before any other community in the world.

Hindus appreciated and respected nature than any other community. Note the words Queen, Goddess etc.

Hindus worshipped everything in Nature.

The method of addressing is followed even by the 2000 year old Tamil Sangam poets: The poet says Aranyaanii! Aranyaanii! Tamils used such repetitions in Purananauru verses–195, 228, 256, 285, 301 etc

 

Let us look at the short poem or hymn now:

1.Goddess of the Forest! Goddess of the Forest! who seem to vanish from the sight.

How is it you seek not the village? Are you not afraid?

2.What time the grasshopper replies and swells the shrill Chichika bird’s voice

seeming to sound the tinkling bells, the Lady of the Wood exults

3.And yonder, cattle seem to graze, what seems a dwelling place appears;

Or else at evening the Lady of the Forest seems to free the wains.

4.Here one is calling to his house, another has felled the tree;

At evening the dweller in the wood fancies that somebody has screamed.

5.The Goddess never slays, unless some murderous enemy approach

She eats fruit and then takes, even as she wills, rest.

6.Now have I praised the Forest Queen, sweet scented, redolent of balm,

The Mother of all Sylvan things, who tills not but has stores of food.

–Rig Veda 10-146

 

Probably this is the oldest and most beautiful poem on Forest. The scent of the forest, the sounds heard in the forest, the strength of the forest (she doesn’t need to plough and cultivate), the vegetarian food of the forest queen, the title as Queen, the status as Goddess- all such words and epithets show great appreciation for the forest.

 

One wonders how come the forest is not afraid, but every one of us fears it because of the wild animals and the robbers hiding there.

The chirping of the birds and crickets is not missed by the poet.

The evening scenes are picturesque: – a cart is rolling, cows are mowing, some sounds similar to crying (from animals) are heard, someone sees a house at a distance with lamps perhaps.

 

The forest never hurts any one unless a person hurts it.  The forest never cultivates, ploughs or raise trees; but they grow on their own and always full of fruits—all appreciation!

 

It is as if we are beginning to read a story or novel. The authors always describe such scenes and proceed to their plot of the story.

If we imagine that this hymn is sung in the Bhoopaala Raga, it will add more colour to it.

In Sanskrit and Tamil we have Suprabatham and Tiru Palli Ezuchi. It may be the prelude to that genre.

 

–Subham—

 

 

SERPENT WORSHIP IN GREECE AND ITALY (Post No.4874)

WRITTEN by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 2 April 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  13-34  (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4874

 

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.

 

 

 

WARNING: PLEASE SHARE MY ARTICLES; BUT DON’T SHARE IT WITHOUT AUTHOR’S NAME AND THE BLOG NAME. BE HONEST; OTHERS WILL BE HONEST WITH YOU

 

Worshipping snakes is a very common sight in India. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari we have thousands of towns and villages named after the snakes. Sanskrit words Naga and Sarpa gave birth to English words such as S +naga (snake) and Serpent (serpent). Thousands of snake (Naga) statues are worshipped in almost all famous temples in South India. Kashmir’s History book Nilamata purana and Kalahana’s Raja Tarangini give lot of stories about Naga Kings. Naga Panchami and Varuna Panchami, celebrating the snakes, are followed by devoted Hindus even today. Nilamata Purana CONTAINS AN EXTENSIVE LIST OF THE NAGAS. IT GIVES THE NAMES OF 527 NAGAS. It surpasses in length of all lists from Sanskrit literature.

 

Abul- Fazl, Prime Minister of Moghul Emperor Akbar, had collected interesting notes from Kashmir snake worship. He also mentioned the miraculous powers of Nagas.

 

Naga rani (snake queen) Naga worship were found in the Vedas and Indus valley (Please read my previous article)

Snake worship in Greece

In Greece serpent became the guardian of the city and healing god. Similar to Hindu myths of Krishna subduing Serpent Kaliya, Greeks have Apollo destroying dragon Python. Cadmus fought and killed the dragon that devoured his men.

Though Hercules is said to be the destroyer of serpents, he was the progenitor of snake race through Echidna.

 

Like Hindus feeding snakes living in ant hills, Greeks fed the snakes in the caves of Delphi and Trophonius. The serpents figure in Greek mythology as the representative of gods, or as delivering oracles, or guarding sacred places.

 

The great centre of Serpent worship was Epidaurus where the serpents were kept and fed until the time of Pausanias (second century CE).

Plutarch tells us that Olympias, mother of Alexander, kept tame snakes in her house. Philip and Lucian believed that Alexander was born of a serpent.

 

Tiberius imported Snakes from India!

Lanuvium, 16 miles from Rome, had a large and dark grove, where there was a temple of Argive Juno. Aelian tells us that virgins of Latium were taken in to the cave annually to ascertain their chastity, which was indicated by the dragon. If the serpent accepted their offering, not only was their purity  confirmed but also a fertile harvest was assured.

 

Two snakes sent by Minerva to destroy Laocoon for his attempt to undeceive the fated Trojans. Two serpents were painted on the walls to indicate the palace was sacred.

Roman Scipio Africanus believed that he was nursed by a snake.

Emperor Tiberius kept a tame serpent for his amusement but one morning when he found it was eaten by ants, he procured a large serpent from India and placed it in the temple of Jupiter Olympias at Athens.

My old articles on Nagas:–

Serpent Queen:Indus Valley to Sabarimalai | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/2012/06/17/serpent-queenindus-valley-to-sabarimalai/

17 Jun 2012 – British archaeologist Arthur Evans excavated at the palace of Knossos in Crete and revealed to the world the fascinating details of a new civilization that existed between 2700 BC and 1500 BC coinciding with theIndus Valley Civilization. The famous serpent queen figure is of a priestess holding two snakes …

 

Nagas from Meera Rai Post

Snakes and Snake Bites in Mahabharata! | Swami’s Indology Blog

swamiindology.blogspot.com/2015/03/snakes-and-snake-bites-in-mahabharata.html

10 Mar 2015 – The stories in Hindu scriptures are real life stories. They are not concocted. The best examples are stories of snake bites. From the story of Parikshit to down south Tamil stories of Periya Purana and Tiruvilaiyadal Purana, we hear about several deaths due to snake bites. In some stories gods or saints came ..

 

included the Olmec, the Mixtec, the Toltec, the Aztec, and the Maya.

snake miracle | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/snake-miracle/

(for old articles go to tamilandvedas.com ORswamiindology.blogspot.com). sesha … Though there is no religion or culture without a snake in it, Hindus are the only community who worship snakes from the Vedic days until today. There are millions of … All the Hindu gods are linked with a snake in one way or another. All the .

 

Are Mayas, Indian Nagas? | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/2012/04/28/are-mayas-indian-nagas/

28 Apr 2012 – Maya calendar begins on 11th August 3114 BC. Indiancalendar Kaliyuga begins in 3102 BC. But Hindu mythology is very clear about their existence long before Kali yuga. Kaliyuga is the last of the four yugas. But Mayas are silent about their existence before this date 3114 BC. The amazing co incidence …

Amazing Similarities between Mayas and Hindu Nagas | Tamil and …

https://tamilandvedas.com/…/amazing-similarities-between-mayas-and-hindu-nagas/

28 Apr 2012 – Amazing Similarities between Mayas and Hindu NagasAmazing Similarities between Mayas and Hindu Nagas ( The first part of this article is Are Mayas, Indian Nagas?) 1. Strange co incidence: Kali Yuga 3102 BC and Maya Yuga beginning 3114 BC 2. Maya appearance:Maya people of Central America …

 

Naga Yakshi | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/naga-yakshi/

We have Nagapanchami celebrations celebrated throughout India where live snakes are worshipped. Hindus respect Nature and Environment and use the natural resorces to the minimum. Snake Goddesses such as Manasa Devi and Naga Yakshi are worshipped in India. The Vedas has an authoress named as Serpent …

Gondwana | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com/tag/gondwana/

They celebrate Hindu festivals such as Dasara and Naga Panchami. Like any other village community they have their own stories for everything. They are well versed in arts and building. They have divided themselves into four different castes lie the four divisions of work in ancient Hindu society. They form the biggest tribe …

 

–subham–

 

 

Wealth Accumulated by Frauds disappears after 10 Years! – Chanakya (Post No.4795)

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 28 FEBRUARY 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 21-16

 

Post No. 4795

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

WARNING: PLEASE SHARE MY ARTICLES; BUT DON’T SHARE IT WITHOUT AUTHOR’S NAME AND THE BLOG NAME. BE HONEST; OTHERS WILL BE HONEST WITH YOU

 

 

Every day we read in the newspapers that the corrupt people and fraudulent people have accumulated enormous amount of money; suddenly the government take some action against them. But Chanakya and the Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar had their own strange calculations about the wealth of the frauds. Chanakya says it would disappear after 10 years. Valluvan said that it would make the corrupt people cry and then leave them. Great men think alike. Read below in their own words:-

Wealth Accumulated by Frauds disappears after 10 Years! – Chanakya (Post No.4795)

2.Chanakya Niti and Tirukkural part 2

Fate cannot be Averted

Just as a call goes to its mother even in the midst of thousands of cows, in the same way the action done follows the doer.

Chanakya Niti,13-14

What is there more potent than fate? It forestalls every expedient one may resort to for averting it- Tiruk Kural 380

 

xxx

Spring of Knowledge!

Just as one gets to subterranean water by digging with a spade, in the same way does a pupil knowledge embodied in teacher.

Chanakya Niti,13-16

The sand spring flows with water as you dig deeper. By deeper study knowledge flows – Kural 396

 

xxx

Water is Jewel

There are three jewels on the earth –water, food and wise saying. The ignorant gives the name of jewel to pieces of stone.

Chanakya Niti,14-1

Rain is instrumental in the production of good food and is itself food -Kural 12.

Duties of life cannot be performed by any person in the absence of water -Kural 20

By the continuance of rain the world is preserved in existence; it is there fore worthy to be called ambrosia – Kural 11

xxxx

King and Fire

King, fire, teacher and women, when too close, lead to destruction, when far do not serve the purpose. So they have to be approached by the middle path.

Chanakya Niti,14-11

Even like those, who desire to warm themselves before a fire, persons in the king’s service will not go too close, nor stay away too far- Kural 691

Fire burns when it is touched; does it also have the potential to burn, when it goes far away from one?- Kural 1159.

 

xxxx

Hold back your Tongue!

If you want to bring round the whole world to you with one action,

hold back your tongue from speaking ill of others

Chanakya Niti, 14-14

 

Guard your tongue, whatever else you may not guard, otherwise you wi come to grief -Kural 127

xxx

Sweet Speech

One who knows words that go well with the context, the sweet speech that goes well with his glory and anger that befits his strength is wise

Chanakya Niti,14-15

Pleasing speech of good effect is productive of righteousness and virtue- Kural 97

 

Let men of sagacity who understand the use of words study the assembly and address it with discretion- Kural 711

The learning of the scholar shall shine before an assembly if flawless scholars who know the art of words.- Kural 717

 

xxxxx

Why no Sweet Words?

 

All beings feel happy with sweet words. So one should go for them. Why is the Parsimony in sweet words?

Chanakya Niti, 16-17

When a man knows that kind words bring joy and happiness,

why should he resort to harsh words?- Kural 99

 

If you speak at all speak profitably-Kural 200

xxxx

Wealth through Unjust means

The wealth earned through unjust means stays for ten years. With the onset of eleventh year it vanishes root and branch.

Chanakya Niti,15-6

All profits, that make others weep, depart with tears. Kural 659

Another translation of Kural 659:- Wealth amassed in the midst of other people’s tears, will also go that way causing one’s own distress;

while by good actions, even if loss is sustained, final results will be beneficial.

 

xxx

Death better than Insults

 

It is better to die than to live under insult. In death, it is a momentary pain, in insult it is a daily affair

Chanakya Niti, 16-16

It is better to die with honour than be slaves of those that scorn you – Kural 967

Hair lost, the yaks live not; Honour lost, noble men leave their life – 969

 

xxx Subham xxx