Lord Rama’s Sixteen Quotations on Fate (Post No.4335)

Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 25 October 2017


Time uploaded in London- 17-06



Post No. 4335

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



Rama’s speech on Fate is a good collection of sixteen slokas in Ayodhya Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana. I give below Srinivasa Sastri’s translation and then the actual slokas from Valmiki Ramayan.net


“All accumulations come to an end by depletion. Elevations end by crumbling and falling. Unions end by separation. Life ends by death.


As ripe fruits must inevitably fall to the ground , so must a man born inevitably perish.

Just as a building supported by strong pillar s decay in time and come s down, so do men pass away, victims of age and death.


The night, when it passes away, never returns. The Yamuna discharge s her waters into the great ocean but never turns back in her course.


Days and nights pass over heads of all the creatures on earth and soon consume their lives as the sun’s rays dry up the water in summer


Whether you stand still or move, your days diminish. Grieve then for yourselves. Why grieve for aught else?


Death travels with one; death rests with one. However far one goes, one cannot leave death behind but it returns too.

The skin is wrapt in folds and wrinkles. The hair s turn white. Age destroys a man. What can he do to avoid this?


At sunrise men rejoice thinking they may work and earn. At sunset they rejoice also thinking they can enjoy themselves. But they do not realise that their lives are shrinking.


As the season s come around, men fancy they are ever fresh and feel happy. But with each cycle of the season s our lives are shortened.


As logs of wood come together on the wide ocean, and having drifted together for a time, part from each other, so do wives, sons, kinsmen and possessions come together, and separate. This separation is unavoidable Two slokas together given.



No one on earth ever escapes the course of nature. So mourning for the dead cannot avail one when ones turn comes.


As a man falling in with a caravan on the move says to those there, ” I too will accompany you ” so is the journey of life, which has been already performed by our fathers and grandfathers. When one joins the journey, which knows no change, how can one complain?


Like a stream that never reverses its course, so one’s life ever lessens in duration. One must therefore strive for happiness, through righteousness, for it is well known that all men seek happiness.



सर्वे क्षय अन्ता निचयाः पतन अन्ताः समुग्च्छ्रयाः |
सम्योगा विप्रयोग अन्ता मरण अन्तम् च जीवितम् || २-१०५-१६

  1. sarve= all; nichayaaH= that is piled up; kSayaantaaH = is finally disbursed; samuchchhrayaaH = what rises; patanaantaaH = ends in a fall; samyogaaH = union; viprayogaantaaH = ends in separation; jiivitam = life; maraNaantam = ends in death.

“All that is piled up, is finally disbursed. What rises, ends in a fall. Unio ends in separation. Life ends in death.”

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यथा फलानम् पक्वानाम् न अन्यत्र पतनाद् भयम् |
एवम् नरस्य जातस्य न अन्यत्र मरणाद् भयम् || २-१०५-१७

  1. pakvaanaam= ripe; yathaa= how; phalaanaam = fruit; na = does not fear; anyatra = for anything other; patanaat = than falling; evam = so also; narasya = a man; jaatasya = once born; na = does not; bhayam = fear; anyatra = for anything other; maraNaat = than his death.

“How a ripe fruit does not fear for anything other than its falling, so also a man once born, does not fear for anything other than his death.”

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यथा अगारम् दृढ स्थूणम् जीर्णम् भूत्वा अवसीदति |
तथा अवसीदन्ति नरा जरा मृत्यु वशम् गताः || २-१०५-१८

  1. yathaa= how; dR^iDhasthuuNam= (even) a stron-pillared; agaaram = house; jiirNam bhuutvaa = gets worn out; avasiidati = and decays; tathaiva = so also; naraaH = human beings; siidanti = perish; jaraa mR^ityu vashamgataaH = having been subjected to the old age and death.

“As a house that is solidly contructed ultimately falls into decay, human being too is subject to age and death.”


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अत्येति रजनी या तु सा न प्रतिनिवर्तते |
यात्येव यमुना पूर्णा समुद्रमुदकाकुलम् || २-१०५-१९

  1. rajanii= the night; yaa= which; atyeti = has passed; saa = that; na pratinivartate = does not return; puurNaa = and the bountiful; yamunaa = River Yamuna; yaatyeva = just marches on; samudram = towards the ocean; udakaakulam = which is (again) full of water.

“The night that has passed, does not return and the buntiful River Yamuna just marches on towards the all-sufficient abounding in water.”

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अहो रात्राणि गग्च्छन्ति सर्वेषाम् प्राणिनाम् इह |
आयूम्षि क्षपयन्त्य् आशु ग्रीष्मे जलम् इव अंशवः || २-१०५-२०

  1. gachchhanti= the passing; ahoraatraaNi= days and nights; iha = in this world; aashu = quickly; kSapayanti = decrease;aayuumSi = the life-span; sarveSaam praaNinaam = of all living beings; griiSme iva = as in the summer; aamshavaH = the rays of the sun; (dry up); jalam = the water ( in a pool).

“The pasing days and nights in this world quickly decrease the life-span of all living being as in the summer, the rays of the sun dry up the water (in a pool).”

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आत्मानम् अनुशोच त्वम् किम् अन्यम् अनुशोचसि |
आयुः ते हीयते यस्य स्थितस्य च गतस्य च || २-१०५-२१

  1. sthitasycha= even while you stay (at home); gatasya cha= or departed (to another place); yasya = which; te = your; aayuH = life-span; hiiyate = gets shortened; tvam = you; anushocha = grieve; aatmaanam = for yourself; kim = why; anushochasi = do you grieve for; anyam = another?;

“You grieve for yourself. Why do you grieve for another? Even while you stay at home, or departed to another place, your life-span gets shortened.”


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सह एव मृत्युर् व्रजति सह मृत्युर् निषीदति |
गत्वा सुदीर्घम् अध्वानम् सह मृत्युर् निवर्तते || २-१०५-२२

  1. mR^ityuH= Death; vrajati= walks; sahaiva = just with us; niSiidati = (we) sit; saha mR^ityuH = along with death; gatvaa = and having travelled; sudiirgham = a very long; adhvaanam = distance; nivartate = (we) return; saha mR^ityuH = along with death.

“Death walks just with us (as we walk) and sits with us (as we sit). Having travelled a very long distance (with us), death returns along with us (as we return).”

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गात्रेषु वलयः प्राप्ताः श्वेताः चैव शिरो रुहाः |
जरया पुरुषो जीर्णः किम् हि कृत्वा प्रभावयेत् || २-१०५-२३

  1. valayaH= (When) folds; praaptaaH= have appeared; gaatreSu = on limbs; shiroruhaashchaiva = and even hari; shvetaaH = have turned grey; kim hi = on what expedient; puruSaH = can a man; kR^itvaa = having got; jiirNaH = decayed; jarayaa = with age; prabhaavayet = come to the original splendour?

“When folds have appeared on limbs and hair have turned grey; on what expedient can a man having got decayed with age, come back to the original splendour?”

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नन्दन्त्य् उदित आदित्ये नन्दन्त्य् अस्तम् इते रवौ |
आत्मनो न अवबुध्यन्ते मनुष्या जीवित क्षयम् || २-१०५-२४

  1. manuSyaaH= people; nandanti= are delighted; aaditye = when the sun; udite = has risen; nandati = and delighted; ravon = when the sun; astamite = has set; naavabudhyante = and are not able to know; aatmanaH = their; jiivitakSayam = loss in life-span.

“People are deligted when the sun has risen and also when the day ends. But they are not able to perceive the waning in their life-span.”

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हृष्यन्त्य् ऋतु मुखम् दृष्ट्वा नवम् नवम् इह आगतम् |
ऋतूनाम् परिवर्तेन प्राणिनाम् प्राण सम्क्षयः || २-१०५-२५

  1. dR^iSTvaa= seeing; R^itumukham= the onset of the season; hR^iSyanti = people rejoice; aagatam = as though it has come; navam navam = fresh and new; parivartena = but the succession; R^ituunaam = of the seasolns; praaNa samkSayaH = devours the life; praaNinaam = of living beings.

“Seeing the onset of season, people rejoice, as though it has come something newly. But the succession of the seasons devours the life of being.”

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यथा काष्ठम् च काष्ठम् च समेयाताम् महा अर्णवे |
समेत्य च व्यपेयाताम् कालम् आसाद्य कंचन || २-१०५-२६
एवम् भार्याः च पुत्राः च ज्नातयः च वसूनि च |
समेत्य व्यवधावन्ति ध्रुवो ह्य् एषाम् विना भवः || २-१०५-२७

26; 27. yathaa = how; mahaarNave = in a great ocean; kaaSThamcha = a drift-wood; kaaSThamcha = and another drift-wood;sameyaataam = meet; sametya = together; aasaadya = getting; kamchana = a certain; kaalam = time; vyapeyaataamcha = and separate; evam- in the same manner; bhaaryaashcha = wives; putraashcha = children; jJNaatayashcha = relatives; dhanaanicha = and riches; sametya = come toghether; vyapadhaavanti = and separate; eSaam = their; vinaabhavaH = parting; dhruvohi = is indeed inevitable.

“As pieces of drift-wood floating on the ocean coe toghether for a span, so wives, children, kinsmen wealth and property come together for a while and part with us. Their parting in deed inevitable.”

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न अत्र कश्चिद् यथा भावम् प्राणी समभिवर्तते |
तेन तस्मिन् न सामर्थ्यम् प्रेतस्य अस्त्य् अनुशोचतः || २-१०५-२८

  1. atra= here; na kachchit praaNii= no being; samabhivartate = can escape; yathaabhaavam = its destiny (in the form of birth and death); tena = for that reason; saamarthyam = the power; tasmin = to avert his own death; naasti = does not ingrain; anushochataH= in a man mourning; pretasya = for a dead person.

“Here, no being can escape its destiny ( in the form of birth and death). For that reason, the power to avert his own death does not ingrain in a man mourning for a dead person.”


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यथा हि सार्थम् गग्च्छन्तम् ब्रूयात् कश्चित् पथि स्थितः |
अहम् अप्य् आगमिष्यामि पृष्ठतो भवताम् इति || २-१०५-२९
एवम् पूर्वैर् गतो मार्गः पितृ पैतामहो ध्रुवः |
तम् आपन्नः कथम् शोचेद् यस्य न अस्ति व्यतिक्रमः || २-१०५-३०

29; 30. yathaa saartham = as a caravan; gachchhantam = is passing; pathi = on a raod; sthitaH = one stationed at the way-side; iti bruuyaat = thus says; ahamapi = I too; aagamiSyaami = will come; pR^iSThataH = behind; bhavataam = you; evam = in the same manner; behind; bhavataam = you; evam = in the same manner; dhruvaH = (we should) inevitably (follow); maargaH = the path; gataH= taken; pitR^ipaitaamahaH = by fathers; grand fathers; puurvaiH = and ancestors; katham = why;shochet = distress; aapannaH = by the man who obtained; tam = that path; yasya = for which; naasti = then is no; vyatikramaH = return?

“As a caravan is passing on a road, one stationed at the way-side says, I too will come behind you. In the same manner, we should inevitably follow the path taken by fathers and fire fathers. Why a man who obtained that path, for which there is no return, distress himself.

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वयसः पतमानस्य स्रोतसो वा अनिवर्तिनः |
आत्मा सुखे नियोक्तव्यः सुख भाजः प्रजाः स्मृताः || २-१०५-३१

  1. vayasaH= (while) the age; patamaanasya= reshes on; anivartinaH = without return; srotasovaa = like a stream; aatmaa = one’s self; niyoktavyaH = should be emplyoed; sukhe = in a pursuit leading to blessedness; smR^itaaH = It is said; prajaaH = that beings; sukhabhaajaH = are meant to be happy.

“While the age reshes on, without any return like a flowing river, one’s self should be emplyoed in a pursuit leading to blessedness. It is said that beings are meant to be happy?”

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धर्म आत्मा स शुभैः कृत्स्नैः क्रतुभिः च आप्त दक्षिणैः |
धूत पापो गतः स्वर्गम् पिता नः पृथिवी पतिः || २-१०५-३२

  1. saH= that; pR^ithiviipatiH= king; dasharathaH = Dasaratha; naH = our; dharmaatmaa = pious minded; pitaa = father;kR^itsnaiH = (performed) almost all; shubhaiH = auspicious; kratubhiH = sacrifices; aapta dakSiNaiH = and paid plentiful sacrificial fees (to the officiating priests and Brahmins); gataH = and went; svargam = to heaven.

“The king Dasaratha, our pious minded father performed almost all auspicious sacrifices and paid plentiful sacrificial fees (to the officiating priests and Brahmins) and went to heaven.”






Serious Argument between Rama and Bharata on Two Words! (Post No.4332)

Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 24 October 2017


Time uploaded in London- 16-42



Post No. 4332

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


Serious Argument between Rama and Bharata on Two Words! (Post No.4332)

All of us know the outline of Ramayana, one of the two great Hindu epics in India. Ramayana has got lot of materials on Dharma or righteousness. During the meeting of Bharata and Rama in the forest, each one tried to outsmart the other. The context is Bharata persuading Rama to return to Ayodhya and take over the reins. Most of us miss the minute points; only those who read it in full original slokas (Sanskrit couplets) will observe and digest those things. Right Honourable Silver tongue V S  Srivasa sastri gave some lectures on Ramayana in 1944 touching those minute and very useful points. Madras Sanskrit Academy arranged those talks. He gave 30 lectures on Valmiki Ramayana.


Here is an excerpt: –

In the middle of the argument Bharata says, “Have pity on me. It was when I was away that Kaikeyi behaved in this fashion, fancying that it would please me. She deserves to be severely punished but I don’t punish her because I am afraid of violating the rule of Dharma. I am also afraid of your serious displeasure. As for my father, Dasaratha, he was an old man and a dotard. He was in the hands of my mother. The old saying has it that people weaken in their old age, become somewhat senile,

‘anta kale hi bhutaani muhyantiti puraa sruthi:’

This old saying has abundantly testified to by our father. (V R 2-106-8 to 14)



Then Bharata ventures on advising his own elder brother!

You know the word APATYA means son. It is grammatically neuter in gender but it means son. It comes from a peculiar belief that the son saves father from ‘falling’ (apatya), that is, from perdition we say. That is why he is called APATYAM. He prevents father’s fall. Bharat uses the word in its literal sense and ventures his brother in the truth.

Bharata says to Rama,

“Our father thinking that he was under some obligation or perhaps in fear of the anger of the wife, whatever it was, through some mistake, passed an unjust order. The transgression of our father, you had better undo it. Put it right. Father did wrong some mistake, may be he was a fool.

He is called a son in this world who when the father has gone wrong, puts the matter right:

piturhi samatikraantam puto ya: sadhu manyate- 2-106-15

If a son doesn’t do it but obeys his father in the wrong course, then he must not be called APATYA (preventing falling). He helps his father’s fall, brings it about. You had better be an APATYA.

Maa Bhavaan duskrtam pitu:- 2-106-16

Do not carry out the wrong order passed by the father. Do not confirm him in the error of his ways and thus bring down Heaven’s punishment on him. Do the right thing and save him”

See how a clever man can twist things to his own purpose.


(After giving new interpretation to the word Apatya, Bharata shows all those assembled in support of his request that Rama should return to Ayodhya)

Right Honourable Srinivasa sastri continues……………

“Then Sri Rama Says: You think that I , being the eldest son, must obey father and that you need not. Is that your opinion? Father has laid on me one duty,  going to the forest. He has laid on you another duty, being king at Ayodhya and ruling the kingdom. You forget that is your duty. Go and get yourself crowned. Do not waste time here. Carry out your father’s wish as I  carrying out his wish.

Please your mother by carrying out your father’s wish.”

Significance of going to Gaya Kshetra

Rama continues……….

“There was once a great mannamed Gaya who in the place called Gaya performed a great Yajna and saved his Pitris (departed souls).That man having saved his Pitris has laid it down for posterity.


putraamno naarakaadhyasmaatpitaram traayate suta:

tasmaan putra iti prokta: pitruun ya paathi sarvata: (2-107-12)


Because a son saves the father from the Naraka called ‘Put’ by performing what is called Ishtaputra, be it in wealth, in temples and so on, he is called PUTRA. A son who performs these benevolent offices and dedicates them for the benefit of his father is called a PUTRA.”

Now Rama says to Bharata,

You had better be a PUTRA. You asked me to be an APATYAM, I ask you to be a PUTRA.


(Both Putra and Apatyam meant the same; but Bharata gave a new interpretation and Rama corrected him by explaining Putra)


The prescription is that the man should bear many sons. One wont do, no, not even two; for life is subject to so many mutations and vicissitudes. We want one son at least to go to Gaya and perform Sraddha.


Now, ladies and gentlemen, how famous must this Gaya must have been for it to get this sanctified flavour even in the  time of Sri Rama! What an ancient place it must have been! One must wish to get many sons of whom someone may go to and perform Sradhdha.


At the end Rama outsmarted Bharata by using the word Putra which has the same meaning of Apatyam.


Asuras and Rakshasas: Foreigners’ Interpretation!! (Post no.4309)

Written by London Swaminathan


Date:17 October 2017


Time uploaded in London- 10-36 am



Post No. 4309

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


Foreigners who came to rule India and destroy Hinduism spread a big lie that Asuras and Rakshasas were aborigines and they opposed the invaders because they tried to encroach their lands. But any Hindu can see this is nonsense from the following facts:


1.The Brahmana literature and the epic literature clearly say that the ASURAS and DEVAS were all born to the same parents.

2.The ‘Da Da Da’ Upanishad story clearly show that they went to the same gods to get advice.

Da……………Da……………Da Story – Tamil and Vedas


19 Feb 2014 – Da….Da: The Thunder Said”- is the most popular story in the Upanishads. Most of you know it already. In our own times, Kanchi Paramacharya …


3.Ravana and other Rakshas were great Siva devotees/Bhaktas. They got boons from Brahma or Siva.

  1. Krishna’s son Pradyumna married a Rakshasa girl; Arjuna married a Rakshasa girl; Bhima married Hidimba, a Rakshasa woman.


  1. From Pasmasura to xyz everyone prayed, and did the penance in the same way.
  2. Even in the churning of the ocean anecdote they were also called to churn the ocean
  3. In the Rig Veda gods Agni, Varuna and Indra were called Asuras. Then it meant Supreme spirit and person of great strength. Later they denoted exactly opposite meaning.

But why did the Devas fight against the Asuras? Because they were immoral, lawless criminals. Like we have filled all our jails with criminals, Devas punished all the criminals. Dasyus were described as Dravidians by cunning, divisive foreigners, but second century BCE poet Kalidasa used it for thieves.

Dasyus, Asuras and Rakshas were born to same parents, but they did not care for the law or rule of the land. Like we have murderers, rapists robbers, thieves, money launderers, cheats, frauds in our society, Vedic society had Asuras, Rakshasas and Dasyus. They raided the civilised community in the night time and killed the people, carried their women and cattle. They obstructed the Yagas and Yajnas. Throughout Hindu literature they were described as cannibals. They ate human beings like the non vegetarians eat chicken and mutton. This is a big difference between the Devas and Rakshasas. All these things are crystal clear in Mahabharata, Ramayana and Brahmana literature.


Foreigners knew that majority of the Hindus don’t read the Hindu scriptures and so they easily misled the laymen. Hindu scriptures are huge in volume, incomparable with any religious literature in the world. And the wonder of the wonders, all the Brahmanas and Vedic samhitas were written before the old testament of the Bible, Tamil literature, Greek literature and latin literature.


Since Muslims ruled India for 700 years and Christians ruled for 300 years, intellectuals kept quiet or their voice was not heard by many. Foreign “scholars” were paid coolies and they had to support the government or their pay masters. There is a proof for this. No where in the world so many people were studying another religion just to criticize it. If there are equal number of scholars studying and critically analysing another holy book then we may consider them ‘scholars’.


Now we shall look at the actual proof from our literature which no foreigner told us:-

Rakshas were called night walkers; no honest person  or a warrior will attack anyone in the night. Only cowards or criminals do it.

They were described as taking different forms or shapes during the attacks. That means they wore masks or came in different disguises. No honest person would do it.

Born from Prajapati!


According to Taittiriya Brahmana, the breath (asu) of Prajapati became alive and with that breath he created the Asuras. Satapata Brahmana also says that Asuras were created from the lower breath of Prajapati.

In another part of the same book, it is said that Prajapati became pregnant and he created the Asuras from his abdomen.

Taittiria Aranyaka says that Prajapati created Gods, Men, Fathers, Gandharvas and Apsarasses from water and that the Asuras, Rakshasas, Pisachas sprang from the drops which were split.

Manu says they were created by Prajapati.

Puranas says that Asuras were created from the groin of Brahmaa/Prajapati.

The word Asura has been used for long as a general name of the ‘enemies of the gods’, including the Daityas and Danavas and other descendants of Kasyapa, but not including the Rakshasas, who descended from Pulastya. Both of them were Brahmins and Vedic seers!

Asura has another explanation; ‘a’ is taken as the negative prefix, and a+sura signifies ‘not a god’; sura means god.

Another meaning for Asura is those who are not fond of Sura (liquor). There are over 40 theories about their origin and meaning.


Goblins or evil spirits are called Rakshas. There are categories in it: Yakshas, not so bad, and Danavas/Rakshas and Pisachas, who occupy crematoriums and cemeteries. Chief of the Rakshas was Ravana, who descended from Pulastya Maharishi.

There are more explanations:

Vishnu Purana says that they were descendants of Kashyapa Maharishi and Khasa, daughter of Daksha, through their son Rakshas.


Ramayana says they were created by Brahma, who were appointed as the guardians of water .Raksha means ‘protect’ in Sanskrit. According to Ramayana they were in different forms and shapes, most of them very crude.


Rakshasas had many epithets

Hanushas= killers or hurters

Ishti pachas= stealers of offerings

Sandhya balas= strong in twilight

Naktan charas, nicicharas= night walkers

Kiilaalapas, rakta pas= blood drinkers

Dandasukas = biters

Malina- mukhas = black faced

Karburaas=  users of rude words




Interesting Geographical Details in the Mahabharata-4 (Post No.4203)

Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 11 September 2017


Time uploaded in London- 14-48


Post No. 4203


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.



(This is the fourth and the last part)



My comments: The geographical details in the MBH gives lot of scope for research; it is amazing that Vyasa or his disciples have accumulated so much information in an epic. Modern approach will give a better picture. We can divide them into different categories such as 100% sure, 755 certain etc.

Janapadas of the East

1.ANDHAKA: Mathura area

2.ANGA: area between Videha and Magadha;modern Bihar

3.ANTARGIYA: Badri-Kedara region

4.ATREYA: Garwala region

5.BHADRA:Bhadranagara of Rajasthan

6.BHARGA: State of Vatsas; between Vaisali and Sravasti

7.BHARGAVA: West of Assam

8.GAYA: modern Bihar

9.KALAKUUTA:Kulinda region

10.KASI:Region between rivers Ganga and Gomati

11.KIRATA:Ladakh area

12.KUNTI: Gwalior area

13.KURU:Meerut area

14.KOSALA: Sarayu river area.

15.MATSYA:Bharatapura, Jaipura area

16.MALLA:Deoria district of UP

17.MAGADHA: Patna area; Bihar

18.MALADA: Malda of West Bengal

19.MAADHYAMIKA: Nagari area of Chittoor

20.MANAVARJAKA:Vardhamana in West Bengal

21.NAIMISA: Sitapura of UP

22.PATACCARA: Pataidi near Gugaon

23.PRAYAGA: Allahabad, Triveni Sangam


25.PRAGJYOTISA: Gauhati in Assam area

26.PUNDRA: Rangpur, Rajasahi, Bogra in Bangladesh

27.STRI RAJYA: Western tip of the Buddhist Majjimadesa

28.SUHMA:Tamralipti and Medhinipura of Bangladesh

29.SASAKA: Murshidabad of West Bengla

30.Surasena: area around Mathura

31.TAMRALIPTA:Midnapur District of West Bengal

32.VANGA:Dacca and Mymensingh of Bangladesh

33.VATSA: Allahabad area

34.VAHIGIRYA:Mussori, Nainital areas

35.VIDEHA: Mithila area of Bihar





1.APRAANTA:also Kuttapraanta Kalyana, Supara districts

2.ARBUDA: Abu mountain area

3.AANARTA:  Southern part of Ahmedabad, Baroda

4.AABHIRA: Ophir of the Bible; Averia of the Greeks;Sindhu delta

5.AARATTA: pancanada state

6.KAAKSA: Inner Narmada area; Bharukacca port

7.KUKKURA: western Vindhyas

8.KONKANA: Ratnagiri district

9.KOLVAGIRYA: Colaba area of Mumbai

10.KSUDRAKA:Montgomery area


11.GOPARAASTRA: area around Nasik

12.JANGALA: Bikaneer area

13.TUNDIKERA: Chindwada area of MP

14.TUMBUMA: Guna District of MP

15.DVAIPEYA: Island Diu

16.NAVARAASTRA: Maharashtra state

17.BRGHU: around ancient AAnarta

18.MARU BHUMI: Desert area of Jodhpur

19.MAAHEYA: river Mahi basin

20.SUUDRA: identified with State Abhira

21.LAATA: modern Gujarat

22.VITIHOTRA:  south of Avanti

23.SURASSTRA: Kathiawad region

24.SAMUPTA NIKUTA: island area of Kathiawada

25.SAARASWATA: river Saraswati basin, west of Ahmedabad

26.SINDHU: river Indus area

27.SAUVIRA modern Rodj in Pakistan




Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 10 September 2017


Time uploaded in London- 10-41 am


Post No. 4199


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.






The countries of the Vindhya mountain region along with the south, south east and south west have been dealt in this chapter. The peculiar point is that Lanka has not been mentioned anywhere. It means the city of Lanka was submerged long before. But Simhala (Ceylon or Sri Lanka) is mentioned.


The second unique description is the knowledge of the western horizon up to the northern Atlanti ocean, Roma, Antioch and Yavananampuri according to Pande Syam Narayan, the author of the book


1.ANUPA: Nimar district; on the northern bank of Narmada; also known as Haihai country.


2.AVANTI: Malwa region; capital Ujjaini; Panini called it Ujna.


3.ASMAKA: District of Ahmednagar and Bodhan are of Andhrapradesh; capital Prathistanapura; Asmaka, son of Kalmasavad founded the city of Paudanya.

4.ANDHRA: Aitareya Brahmana refers to it; region between the mouths of Godavari and Krsna rivers.

5.BALIRASTRA: MBG mentioned only four countries with RASHTRA ending:Aadirashtra, Pamsurashtra, Goparashtra and Balirashtra.It is Bali island of Indonesia. Mahabharata mentioned that Rama spent ten years in this area.

6.BHOJA: modern Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh; Aitareya Brahmana mentioned title of Bhoja of the monarchs of the south.

7.COLA: districts of Thanjavur and Trichy; There was a king named Sagraaha Cola whose capital was Kanchi.


8.CUCUKA: Cecu near Hyderabad in Andhra.

9.DASAARNA: erastern part of Malwa country; capital- Vidhisa.


10.DANDAKA: East of Nasik up to Aurangabad districts of Maharashtra.Rama spent ten years here.


11.DRAVIDA: Sahadeva conquered this country according to MBH. region from Madras upto Rangapattam

and the peninsula of Kumari; another opinion country north of Kaveri up to Ailamalaya and Nilgris.

12.DEVAPRASTHA: region between Amarakantaka and Kanchipura

13.GANDAKA: Ahemedabadregion

14.HAIHAI: modern NIMADA; northern banks of Narmada

15.KARNATAKA:modern Karnataka

16.KAARUUSA: modern Baghelakand area

17.KUNTALA: Solapura and Bijapura area in river Bhima basin


18 and 19. KUMAARA and KUMAARIKAA: towards Kumari peninsula


20.KERALA: modern Kerala

21.MAHISAKA: modern Bellari, Citradurga and Shimoga;

22.MAALAVA:Nakula conquered the country during his dikvijay towards west.Greeks refereed to them Maloi; they lived on the baks of Ravi 2400 years ago.

23.MEKALA: region stretching from Riva to Khairagarha from where the rivers Narmada and Sona originate.

24MUSAKA: also known as Suutika and Musika. near Hyderabad on the river Musi.

25.NISHADA: modern Gwalior region

26.NALAKAANANA: Bellari-Anantpur regions

27.PANDYA: Ramnad, Madurai, Tirunelveli areas Sahadeva conquered it. There were Agastya and Kumari pilgrimages.

28.RSIKA: Khanadesa of Madhya Pradesh

29.SIMHALA: modern Sri Lanka

30.SABARA: Ganjam and Vizagapatnam districts on river Sabari.

31.TALAJANGHA: north of Narmada near Haihai country. Haihai wre divided into five groups: Talajangha,Tundikera,Vitihotras, Bhojas, Avantis

32.TALAKATA: western side of river Ganga

33.UDRA: modern Odisah(Orissa); Utkala, Kalinga

34.VANAVASAKA: modern Vanvasi; Kannada and Karwar areas on river Tungabadra

35.VIDARBHA: garuda, Vaidharna; region near origin of the tributaries of Godavari, tapti, Penganga; modern Vidharba

36.VINDHYA VIPULA: southern foothills of Vindhya- Satpura mountains; inhabitants were called Vindhya culika or culaka or muuliiya.


to be continued………………………….


Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 9 September 2017


Time uploaded in London- 11-54 am


Post No. 4196


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.






A verse quoted by Nagesa provided a clue for dividing the northern region from that of the eastern. The river Sarasvati is said to be the dividing line in that verse. Amarakosa has also given such direction. It included Kamboja North eastern Punjab the mountainous union or Parvatiya sang indicated by Panini. MBH describes them as Parvatiya (mountainous), Girigahvaravaasi (those living in the caves of the mountains). The following 62 janapadas have been identified in the group:

ABHISARA: south of Kasmira the PunchaRajanr; Greeks called the north western districts of Peshwar – abisaris

AMBASTA: Lower parts of the Chenab river; Panini mentioned Ambasta and AAmbasta; it corresponds with the Greek—Sambastai and Avastanoi

AAHUKA: Kabul basin in Afghanistan

AUDUMBURA: federal state of Udumbura

BARBARA:situated in Oxus valley; Panini named a pot named Barbarika near Karachi in Pakistan

BODHA:they are identified with Yaudheyas; Bayaanaa and Johiaakara region of Bharatapura


BHARADWAJA:Western part of Assam

CARMAMANDALA: may be Samarakhandika

CINA: Modern Sinkiang or Chiense Turkestan

DARADI: Dardistan area of Giljit

DAARVA: Daggar Jammu area

DASAMAALIKAA: area between River Jhelam and Bias (Vyas)

also Dasanaamika; Girivraja capital

DASERAKA:Marwara region of Rajasthan

GRAMANIIYAKA:Panini also mentioned them; they are militant. Cave dwellers organised under leader GRAMANI.

GANDHARA: It has been famous from Vedic days; region stretching from Taxila to River Kabul; modern Khandahar in Afghanistan; Pushkalavati Takshsheelam capitals


GIRIGAHVARAVAASINAH: militant race organised under Gramani. also known as Gauri. they are called Parvatiya (mountainous)

17.HAMSAMARGA: name of the Hunja region. janapada of the Parvatiya sanga ( unio of mountainous group)


18.HARAHUNA: Harmurtika, land of black grapes; janapada in Herat.

19.HAIMAVATAH: living in the Himalays; north of Sikkim

20.HUNA:the race shifted to one place to another.Kalidasa points them towards Persia; lived near Oxus and its tributaries


21.JAGUDA: Gazni area of Afghanistan

  1. KAMBOJA:Pamir region; they say sa va to go according to Mhabhasya;its used in Galcha dialect; Dwaraka capita. some identifies with Kashmir.
  2. KASMIRA: Sarada country; blessed by Goddess of learning city-Adhistana; present Kashmir.

24.KALATOYAKA- near Suleman hills

25.KEKAYA: associated with the country of Dasamalika; Ramayana locates it near Ghandhara

26.KHASA:Baltistan; mid-oxus

27.KULINDA:region in the Himalayas

28.KULUUTA: Bhima killed Ksemamuurti, King of Kuluutas; ii is in modern Kulu

29.KURUJANGALA: region between river Sarasvati and Ganga; Haryana

30.LOHITA: Rohela of Afghhanistan

31.LAMPAKA:North of Kabul Laghamanas attacked Satyaki in the Jarasadha Vadha; alinagar valley

32.MADRAKA: capital- sakala; modern Sialkot; associated with princess Savitri and Vedic teacher Sakalya

33.MADREYA:Madri is from this country; same as madraka; janapadas of noth Punjab

34.MAULEYA: modern Malwa region

35.PRASTHALA: near Patiala

36.PANCABHEDA: five rivers=Punjab

37.PAHLAVA: who came from the tail of Vasistha’scow; Parthian’s of Iran; samarkhand to Iran

38.PARATAKA:Hingula region of Pakistan


40.PISACA: neighbours of Lampaka janapada; Pasai Kafirs were the inhabitants

41.PULINDA: Panini called them SAALVAAVAYANA. part of salva janapada

42.RAMATHA: near Ghazni in Afghanistan

43.SUKUTTA: Suket estate

44.SAIRANDHRA: Sirhind region

45.SAKA: Modern Seistan in Iran

46.SAAKALA: modern Sialkot; Panini referred to it.

47.SAATVAKA: Mandi on the northern bank of Sutlej

48.SALVA:Panini mentioned threeSaalva, Saalveya and Saalvaavayana. Near Matsyas

49.SIVI:Rik Veda mentioned them; country ath the confluence of Jhelam and Sindhu in Pakistan.

50.TANGADA PARATANGANA: country of Mleccas; Bhota country;Kullu Kangda region; mountainous

51.TRGARTA: Panini mentioned people of this country lived on arms. There was a union of six countries in Trgarta: Kaundiparatha, Dandika, Krautsika, Jaalamani, Brahmagupta and Jaanika

52.TUSAARA:Tokharistan (former USSR) They were present at Rajasuya Yajna of Yudhidthira

53.TOMARA:Tibetan region near Bhutan

54.UTSAVASANKETA: Ramapura, Basahara region of valley of Satluj

55.URAGA:Hazara district; between the Rivers Sindhu and Jhelum

56.VANAYU: Wana valley of Waziristan in Pakistan

57.VAATADHAANA: region east of Pancanada between Rivers Satluj and Ravi

58.VAAHLIKA: Balkh; Bactria of the Greeks; Skanda Purana mentioned this country out of 72 regions including 400,000 villages.

59.VAHIKA: according to Panini it is a synonym of Usinara; durin Panini’s times whole of Punjab was called Vahika.

60.VAIYAMAKA:identified near DARADI

61.YAVANA: The Greeks were called Yavanas with yellow coloured bodies; part of Jambudwipa; north west India

62.YUGANDHARA:Yugasila country near Dehradun of UP on the bank of River Yamuna


In the third and  part we will look at southern regions.

………………….to be continued


Interesting Geographical details in Mahabharata (Post No.4193)

Written by London Swaminathan

Date: 8 September 2017

Time uploaded in London- 17-04

Post No. 4193

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

I was reading a book titled Geographical Horizon of the Mahabharata by Pande Syam Narayan published in 1980. Following are some interesting data:

The epic contains much of the geographical material relating to India and outside. There are 230 Janapadas (states) mentioned in the MBH. Out of these 230, 62 are towards the North, 35 towards the East, 27 towards the West and 36 towards the South.

(the author’s description of the seas and countries and their identification may not be correct; but it can be used a starting point)

He adds

Janapadas of Sakadwipa

Udaivarsa (Malaya, Jalada)

Sukumaravarsa of Jalandhi mountain; it is the Komroi of the Greeks

Kaumaravarsa Or Narada mountain

Manicara or Anandaka Varsa; it has been identified as Mustag mentioned in the Zend Avesta

Mainaka varsa of the Ambikeya mountain

It seems the author of the Bhisma Parva and the Greeks had the similar knowledge

Janapada of Pushkala Dwipa

The MBH gives only one janapada by the name Saba having a quadrangular habitation divided into 33 divisions of mandala. Vamana, Airavata, Supratika and Anjana are said to be the guards of the four directions.

Janapadas of Kusadwipa

There is a great bush of Kusa or poa grass and there are the following seven varsas:

Umigada, Venumandala, Surathaakaara, Kambala, Dhrimana, Prabhaakara and Kapila

Janapadas of Krauncadwipa

There are seven varsas in the dwipa:

Kusala, Manonuga, Usna, Pravaraka, Andhakaraka Muniand Dundubhiswana

Janapadas of Jambudwipa

They are scattered in four directions. There is neither any sequence nor any classification; their identification becomes very difficult




















Krakhadaah———— 20










Kaisika—————- 30




Manga (mrga)






Mundaajh————– 40










Prakuttsakah——————- 50










Saivala—————— 60










Vanarasya———————– 70

In the second part I will give the Janapadas in the north, south and west where known places figure.

—–to be continued


Written by London Swaminathan

Date: 4 August 2017

Time uploaded in London- 17-31

Post No. 4129

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

When I went to Acropolis Museum in Athens (Greece) in July 2017, I entered the museum shop. Normally I buy only fridge magnets as mementos and stick them to my fridge in London. But the picture post cards in Athens shop were very attractive. So, I bought a few of them and one of them shows a Hindu ritual. I already wrote a research article about the Hindu customs in Sumerian civilization. One of the rituals is offering certain votive objects to get married or to get issues (children) or to get cured of sickness.

People who have problems pray to god with votive offerings either before or after the solution to the problem. South Indian temple Hundis get lot of metal objects in the shape of eye, ear, leg, hand, nose , baby etc. Devotees offer these either to thank the god for solving the problems or to get the problems solved.


I found two similarities in the Greek picture:-

  1. Like in Hindu temples, the votive offerings were given to a GODDESS.
  2. The offerings were made with a special request or prayer to solve a specific problem.

The Greek picture post card shows Clay spinning whorls, offered by young women to the sanctuary of Nymph, the protectress of marriage. They are dated around sixth century BCE. This ritual has been there in Greece at least 2500 years ago. Now they are in museum. But Hindu culture is older by thousands of years to Greek culture. And ours is a living culture and you can see such votive offerings even today in Sankarankoil and Bhagavathy temples in Kerala and hundreds of temples around the country.



NEW IDEAS FROM GREECE: When I came back from New York, San Francisco, Rome, Stockholm and Indian cities, I posted some new ideas for business. In Athens (Greece) I saw playing cards with the famous Greek philosophers. We may also do some playing cards with Indian philosophers or temples or Tourists spots. Foreigners will buy them because it is a memento as well as playing cards. But it must be of good quality. I paid 2-50 euros for the playing cards pack.



SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS FROM GREECE; This picture post card shows the surgical tools and suction cups. Carved on the base of a statue, now lost. Dedicated to the sanctuary of Asklepios , 320 BCE. From Athens museum stall.



Statue of a young girl, probably depicting the goddess Artemis; Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece; around 530 BCE. I bought this picture post card last week in Athens.

All Indian Temples must have a book shop cum stall with high quality books and pictures.

Every Indian museum must have a stall with a cafe. Western countries do roaring business buy selling artefacts, picture cards, books etc in such museum stalls. They are of high quality. India can do it.





The house where we stayed in Santorini (Thera) islands had a book on the table which contained some pictures about wine making and archaeological finds.



In the past few days I wrote some articles comparing Hindu culture with the Greek culture. I wrote that I will list the atrocities of Christians and Muslims in Athens. But encyclopaedias such as Wikipedia have very elaborate writeups about it. So I will just give you the bullet points


How Parthenon, Temple of Goddess was destroyed?

First, Persian invasion caused some damage in the fourth century BCE

After the introduction of Christianity in Greece, they banned all the pagan temples.

One of the kings, who was a Christian fanatic, took the beautiful, valuable statue of Athena made up of gold to  Turkey and destroyed it.

Later Christian kings converted Temple of Athena in to a church; made architectural changes; in other words, defaced it. Gave new names to old Greek gods to show them Christian. Virgin Athena changed into Virgin Mary.

After Ottoman Turkish attack, the Parthenon structure and temple were destroyed.

They converted it into a mosque. The Venetian- Turkish war destroyed this structure with cannon balls. They used it arms depot.

It is a systematic destruction similar to what Muslim invaders did to Hindu temples in India and what Portuguese and Spanish invaders did to Mayan, Aztec, Olemec and Inca civilizations.

Wherever these invaders went there was bloodshed, plundering and destruction.


Last but not the least, people like Elgin “stole” the remaining marbles “legally” and now they are in British, Louvre and Metropolitan museums around the world. My Greek tourist guide was furious when she explained about how Elgin took the historical marbles to Britain.

More in Wikipedia.





Why did Valmiki name Rama’s Children Lava and Kusha? (Post No.3875)

Written by London swaminathan

Date: 3 May 2017

Time uploaded in London: 19-34

Post No. 3875

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com



Kalidasa, the greatest poet, describes the naming ceremony of Lava and Kusha in the hermitage of the Sage Valmiki. Lava and Kusha, sons of Rama and Sita were born in the hermitage when Sita was separated from Rama.


They were named Lava  and Kusha after the ceremonial materials used by Valmiki, i.e. Cow’s tail and Sacred Kusha grass. But Valmiki differs from Kalidasa in one matter.


Kalidasa, in his classic Raghuvamsa, says,

सखा दशरथस्यापि जनकस्य च मन्त्रकृत्।
संचस्कारोभयप्रीत्या मैथिलेयौ यथाविधि॥ १५-३१

sakhā daśarathasyāpi janakasya ca mantrakṛt |
saṁcaskārobhayaprītyā maithileyau yathāvidhi|| 15-31

That expounder of the hymns, namely Valmiki, being the friend of Dasharatha as well as of Janaka, out of regard for both, procedurally performed purificatory ceremonies with regard to both the sons of Maithili. [15-31]


स तौ कुशलवोन्मृष्टगर्भक्लेदौ तदाख्यया।
कविः कुशलवावेव चकार किल नामतः॥ १५-३२

sa tau kuśalavonmṛṣṭagarbhakledau tadākhyayā |
kaviḥ kuśalavāveva cakāra kila nāmataḥ|| 15-32

Verily the poet gave the names Kusha and Lava to the two sons of Seetha from the names of the wiping materials, namely kusha grass and the hair of the tuft of the cow’s tail (lava), since the infants had been wiped of the post delivery uterine moisture by means of those two materials. [15-32]


साङ्गम् च वेदमध्याप्य किंचिदुत्क्रान्तशैशवौ।
स्वकृतिम् गापयामास कविप्रथमपद्धतिम्॥ १५-३३

sāṅgam ca vedamadhyāpya kiṁcidutkrāntaśaiśavau |
svakṛtim gāpayāmāsa kaviprathamapaddhatim|| 15-33


No sooner had the boys come out of the stage of infancy than Valmiki taught them the Vedas with their ancillaries, and then made them chant his own composition RAMAYANA which was the first guiding principle for all later time poets. [15-33]


रामस्य मधुरम् वृत्तम् गायन्तो मातुरग्रतः।
तद्वियोगव्यथाम् किंचिच्छिथिलीचक्रतुः सुतौ॥ १५-३४

rāmasya madhuram vṛttam gāyanto māturagrataḥ |
tadviyogavyathām kiṁcicchithilīcakratuḥ sutau|| 15-34

Singing the pleasant legend of Rama before their mother the two sons slightly lessened her grief of separation from Rama. [15-34]





Valmiki’s version in the Uttara Kanada  (Chapter 66 )

of Valmiki Ramayana is slightly different from Kalidasa’s.

“During the night Shatrughna passed in the leaf thatched hut, Sita gave birth to two children, and at midnight the youthful ascetics brought the pleasant and auspicious tidings to Valmiki. Immediately he went to see the newly born children. On beholding those two infants, his heart was filled with delight and he performed the Rakshasa Rite ( to avert evil).

Taking a handful of Kusha grass with its roots, Valmiki pronounced the formula of protection for the destruction of evil forces, saying:-

‘Since they will rub the first born of the children with the Kusha grass blessed by the aid of Mantras, his name shall be Kusha and, as the last born will be carefully dried by the female ascetics with the roots of the grass, he shall be called Lava, and by these names that I have given them, they will become renowned.


Thereafter the female ascetics purified themselves and reverently received the grass from the hands of the Muni (Vamiki), applying it to the two children



Four Brothers had Eight Sons!(4 X 2=8)

Another interesting coincidence is that all the four brothers had two sons each. Not many people know the names of the wives of Rama’s brothers and their sons!

Rama and Sita were the parents of Lava and Kusha

Bharata and Mandavi were the parents of Dakshan and Pushkalan

Lakshmana and Urmila were the parents of Angathan and Chandraketu

Shatrughna and Sruthakeerthi were the parents of Shatrugathi and Subahu


इतरेऽपि रघोर्वंश्यास्त्रयस्त्रेताग्नितेजसः।
तद्योगात्पतिवत्नीषु पत्नीष्वासन्द्विसूनवः॥ १५-३५

itare’pi raghorvaṁśyāstrayastretāgnitejasaḥ |
tadyogātpativatnīṣu patnīṣvāsandvisūnavaḥ || 15-35


The other three scions of the race of Raghu, namely Lakshmana, Bharata, Shatrughna, who were as resplendent as the triple sacred fires, became the fathers, each begetting two sons on their wives who were pre-eminent ‘as wives’ by being married to them. [15-35]


Then Kalidasa describes their achievements.


(Sanskrit slokas are taken from sanskritdocuments.com; thanks)





Meticulous Details of Funerals of Vali, Jatayu and Ravana (Post No.3791)

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 5 APRIL 2017


Time uploaded in London:-19-37


Post No. 3791


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.


contact; swami_48@yahoo.com




First part of this article, “Interesting Funerary Customs during Ramayana Period” (Post No.3782) was posted on 2nd APRIL 2017




Valmiki amazes us by giving us very minute details.


Following is the second and final Part:-


“On the 11th day of the funeral of Dasaratha, Bharata donated gold and gems to the Brahmins. The donation list includes cows and goats, male and female servants, chariots and special mansions!


When Bharata broke the news of Dasaratha’s death to Rama in the forest Rama fainted and looked like an elephant crushed by a landslide. Another simile Valmiki used was Rama fell like a tree with its flowering branches that is severed by an axe in the forest.


Sita also felt sad and Rama consoled her. Then he said to Lakshmana, “ Bring the pressed pulp of the Ingudi tree and fresh bark so that we may proceed with the water rite for our magnanimous father. Let Sita go first, you follow her and I will be the last in the funeral procession. Sumatara, Chief Minister, held Rama’s hand and led them to the Mandakini River. There they offered the water to Dasaratha, saying ‘Father, may this prove agreeable to you.’ Then Rama turned towards south and offered water again saying, ‘I offer it to you. Let it reach you in the region of your ancestors. Then Rama offered Pinda. He placed the pulp of the Ingudi tree mixed with Badari fruits on the Dharba grass.


( Though we don’t use Ingudi pulp and Badari fruits nowadays, Dharba grass is used until now.)


Then Rama killed demon Viradha, by throwing his body into a pit, at his request. We didn’t know what happened to his body. Viradha was the one ho suggested that he must be thrown into a pit


Jatayu cremated! (Aranya Kanda)


When Jatayu died half way through his speech, Rama decided to give the honour by cremating him. He instructed Lakshmana to bring the fuel. Then Rama himself placed the King of Winged Creatures on the funeral pyre and ignited the flame. Then Rama went into the forest with his brother, killing a few fat Rohi deer, stewed the flesh on the green grass as an oblation to the bird. Tearing off the flesh of those deer and kneading it into balls, he offered it. He recited those sacred formulas uttered by the Brahmins so as to send Jatayu’s soul to heaven. Both the brothers went to the river, bathed and did Udaka ceremony (ritual presentation of water to the ancestors).


Vali’s Funeral Rites (Kishkinda Kanda)


Vali (Bali) was the monkey king. When he was killed by Rama, Sugriva, Tara and others were grief stricken. Lakshmana says to Sugriva, “Inaugurate obsequies without delay with the assistance of Tara and Angada. Issue the order that a large quantity of dry would be gathered together with the sacred sandal wood, for the funeral pyre. Let Angada bring garlands and robes of every kind, together with butter, oil, perfumes and all that is requisite. O Tara, you do find a palanquin without delay. Let those who are skilful and strong, accustomed to palanquins, hold themselves in readiness to bear Vali away.

Vali’s body was placed in a chariot with beautiful carvings. Priceless ornaments, strings of pearls and splendid crowns gave it a dazzling appearance; it was covered with clay, painted red and sprinkled with sandal paste. Festooned with wraths of lotuses, shining like the dawn, it was strewn with innumerable flowers.


“ Having laid the corpse on its couch, Sugriva covered the body with ornaments of every kind together with wreaths and cloths. The great monkey leader preceded the litter, scattering jewels of every kind in profusion. All the wives of Vali accompanied the procession. Angada ignited the funeral pyre. He circumambulated it. Rama officiated at the funeral rites.


Valmiki gave all the minute details of the funeral ceremony. Normally people consider it inauspicious to talk about it. But Valmiki was very descriptive. Thanks to him, now we know how it was done several thousand years ago. For great saints like Valmiki, life and death are like changing worn-out clothes.


Ravana’s Funeral (Yuddha Kanda)


When Ravana was killed by Rama in the final battle, his brother Vibhishana refused to do the cremation. But Rama asked him to do it saying, “ Death brings enmity to an end”.


At these words of Raghava, Bibishana hastened to carry out the funeral rites.


Entering the City of Lanka, that Indra began to prepare for the Agnihotra Ceremony in honour of his brother. Carts, wood of varying essences, fire utensils, sandal, logs of every kind, fragrant gums, perfumes, cloths, jewels, pearls and coral were all assembled by him and he soon returned surrounded by titans, whereupon accompanied by Malyavan, he initiated the sacrifice.

Having placed Ravana, the Supreme Lord of the titans, wrapped in linen cloth, s on a golden bier, the Twice born with Bibishana at their head, their eyes suffused with tears, raised the litter decorated with many fragrant and divine symbols to the sound of innumerable music instruments and funeral chants and all, turning their faces towards the south took up pieces of wood which had been distributed among them.


Then the Brahmins, versed in the Yajur Veda, bearing flaming brands went forward and those who had taken refuge with them and the women of the inner apartments followed sobbing with tottering steps, running hither and thither. And Ravana was placed in a spacious ground, amidst profound lamentation and a great pyre was built with pieces of sandal and Padmaka wood and grass, according to tradition; and he was covered with antelope skins.


Thereafter in honour of the King of the Titans, a rare offering was made to the ancestors and the altar was installed to the south-west with the sacred fire in its proper place. Then curd and clarified butter were poured on Ravana’s shoulder and a wooden mortar placed at his feet with one between his thighs. Vessels of wood and the lower and upper sticks, with a spare pestle, were set there to the prescribed rules.


Now the titans sacrificed a goat in honour of their king, according to tradition, as taught by the great Rishis, and, dipped a cloth in butter, they covered the face of their sovereign, who was adorned with garlands and sprinkled with perfumes. Thereafter Bibisbana’s companions, their faces bathed in tears, covered the body with cloths and every kind of roasted grain, whereupon Bibishana kindled the fires according to the sacred rites and, having laved him with a cloth which had been previously wetted with water and mingled with linseed and sacrificial grass, be bowed down to him; then he addressed the consorts of Ravana again and again in order to console them, finally entreating them to return home. And when they had all re-entered the City of Lanka, that Indra among the Titans, took up his place by Rama in an attitude of reverence.


A lot of details are here about the funeral of a Rakshasa King. It differs in many ways with the modern funeral. But in a vast country like India with thousands of castes and sub castes the funeral rites differ widely from area to area.

In Dasaratha’s funeral Sama Veda was used and here in Ravana’s funeral Yajur Veda was used.


Earlier in Aranya Kanda, we came across the shapeless demon Kabandha who was killed by Rama and Lakshmana. he was also cremated by the brothers; though he melted like butter in the fire, he rose up from the ashes, wearing spotless raiment ad a celestial garland. Now he looked very handsome and wore ornaments in his limbs and ascended a chariot drawn by swans. Before ascending to heaven he instructed Rama and Lakshmana to meet Sabhari, a female ascetic.

The chapters on funerals raise many questions. If Vyasa was the one who divided Vedas into four, how come Valmiki mentioned two different Vedas. Probably the Vedas were known as Rik, Sama and Yajjur already and Vyasa allocated the portions to his four disciples for preservation. Why two different Vedas were used in two different funerals is also another debatable matter.


The funeral processions were pompous, but we must remember they were ones for kings like Dasaratha,Bali (Vali) and Ravana


Lot of Dhanams (gifts) were given to Brahmins. Bird Jatayu, Demon Ravana, Monkey Vali/Bali and Human Dasaratha were cremated according to the scriptures. So there were no caste differences among them. Thanks to Valmiki we learnt a lot which can be compared with the funeral rites in the Smrtis and other cultures.