Yesterday India & the Global Indian Diaspora celebrated India’s 74th Physical Independence Day since the British left India in 1947. For us, the first honor goes to all the soldiers guarding India’s border with China & within that to Indo-Tibet Border Police who see & face danger before others. They celebrated this Independence Day by raising India’s flag at Pangong lake in full view of Chinese soldiers.
To us this was India’s First Mental Independence Day from mental slavery of Brit & of Muslim occupation. And that is so because of last week’s Bhoomi Pujan of the new Ram Mandir that is being built in Ayodhya, the birthplace of Shree Ram, the Ava-Taar of God on earth.
There is no greater symbol of Indian unity than Shree Ram and there is no greater tale of all of India being finally & perpetually united than the tale of Shree Ram. And we don’t merely mean spiritual unity, we mean true physical unity, true integrated unity of India.
That is why rescuing the tale of Shree Ram from the colonial Brit-shackles of “secularism” is absolutely critical to rebuilding the Mental Independence of India.
After all, there would be no India without Shree Ram.
1.Sindhu or Indian Dharma
The Indian Dharma, Indian Culture & what can be described universally as Indian Ethos was formed on the banks of the Indus or Sindhu River in what is sadly today’s Na-Pakistan. From there, the Vedic-Indians assimilated the Harappan culture & people of today’s NaPaki-occupied Panjab. Then they moved to today’s North India to the banks of the great Gangaa river. And who is created for bringing the Gangaa river to earth? King Bhagi-Rath of the Sun or Ikshvaku Dynasty, a forefather of Bhag-Vaan Shree Ram.
The entire Northern Belt of the Sindhav-Gaangeya (Indo-Gangetic) plain became Vedic-Aryan or Indian in the first development of India. The Vedic-Aryan structure was NOT Federal or Centrally Administered. Under that ethos, different sub-groups formed their own kingdoms. But there was One Sam-Raat, a central & most-respected state, whose supremacy was accepted by all others. And the first such was the Surya-Vamsha or the Sun Dynasty into which Bhag-Vaan Shree Ram was born (Kosal in the map below).
2. Vindhya Mountain Range – Barrier for Vedic-Aryans
Notice how small the Sindhav-Gaangeya plain is compared to the entirety of India. The early forays into the South were made by Rushi or Saint-Teachers in today’s nomenclature. These were teachers-cum warriors who single-handedly explored the western & southern regions of India. Jam-Dagni went southwest to the shores of the Narmada River in today’s Gujaraat & Agasthya crossed the formidable Vindhya mountain range to go to Southern India.
They were followed by their students & others who also came south from the Gaangeya plain. And they were accepted by some & opposed by some of the local kingdoms. Slowly the Indian Ethos spread to these lands even though the kingdoms remained in non-Indian hands.
Into this set up, Bhag-Vaan Shree Ram was born to the powerful king Dasha-Rath of the Surya-Vamsha (Sun Dynasty). Dasha-Rath was accepted by all Vedic-Aryan kingdoms as Sam-Raat. But this Vedic-Aryan rule was restricted to the Sindhav-Gaangeya Plain. Their armies, driven by chariots, had no ability to cross the densely forested Vindhya mountain range into South India.
In contrast, the great warrior king Raavan of the Raak-Shas kingdom of Lanka (today’s Sri Lanka) could travel at will into Vedic-Aryan India due to superior technology. It was a great kingdom who fame, wealth & prowess was known to all Vedic-Aryan kingdoms. But the Raak-Shas army was also unable to cross into Vedic-Aryan India in size.
So it was a stalemate.
3. Shree Ram crosses the Vindhya
In a strange twist of fate, on the eve of his coronation as Crown Prince of the Sun Dynasty of Ayodhya, Shree Ram chose to leave Ayodhya, his kingdom & the Vedic-Aryan territory to honor a commitment made years ago by his father Dasha-Rath. The story is known to literally everybody who knows anything of the Indian Ethos.
Suffice it to say for this article that Shree Ram left with his wife & his younger step-brother Lakshman to spend 14 years in forests away from urban Vedic-Aryan India. He could have chosen to go north into Himalayan mountains as many sages did. Instead, he chose to go South.
Shree Ram & his brother Lakshman were radiant young men, exceptional warriors with divine weapons. Shree Ram’s wife was the incredibly beautiful Seeta. They were living symbols of the Vedic-Aryan or Indian Ethos. They stayed in each area as they walked into South India and made the local communities aware of & even integrated them into the Vedic-Aryan ethos. This was a journey of over 1,400 km to Panch-Vati.
4. Conflict & Crisis at Naasik – Enter Raavan
They had heard of the beautiful forested area of Panch-Vati near Naasik in today’s South-Eastern Maharashtra State. There was already a community of Vedic-Aryan sages living there, not far from a local stronghold of Raavan’s Raak-Shas army. The Raak-Shas soldiers used to create havoc during religious functions of Vedic Sages. So Shree Ram & Lakshman began providing protection to them. In those conflicts, Raak-Shas soldiers began getting killed.
This news soon reached the great Raavan in his capital of Sri Lanka (yes, today’s Sri Lanka). He sent his cousins Khar & Dushan from further south to fight Shree Ram but they were killed with their soldiers by Shree Ram & Lakshman. That was all he could do. Given the huge distance & the nature of the densely forested terrain, Raavan’s large army could not be taken to Nasik area from Sri Lanka.
So Raavan, with his own freedom of movement, decided to teach a lesson to Shree Ram & Lakshman. He traveled to Panch-Vati & kidnapped Seeta, Shree Ram’s wife when both Shree Ram & Lakshman were away. This was a destructive blow to not merely the prestige of Shree Ram but to the prestige of the Sun Dynasty.
Raavan had to be punished & Seeta had to be rescued. But neither Shree Ram nor the locals knew where Raavan’s capital was. The only certainty was it was further south.
5. Vaanar Kingdom becomes an ally
When Shree Ram & Lakshman went south from Maharashtra into today’s Karnatak state (with Benguluru as today’s capital), they encountered a large kingdom of the Vaanar race. Van means forest in Sanskrut & so Vaanar literally means forest people. This was primarily a tree dwelling race & their capital was KishKindha. It remains a religious attraction to this day.
Their king was a powerful but despotic warrior named Vaali who was abusing his people and his younger brother Sugriv. Sugriv approached Shree Ram and asked for his help in removing Vaali from the throne. It was a just & ethical thing to do. Shree Ram killed the violently abusive Vaali in an encounter. A grateful Sugriv promised to use his entire army to first locate Seeta & then help Shree Ram in the war against Raavan.
With Sugriv came his friend & minister Hanuman or Maaruti, the immaculate conception of the Divine Wind Marut. No one is more popular in Indian Ethos than Hanumaan, India’s first superhero.
As a child, Maaruti mistook the Sun at dawn for a red apple & flew into space to grab it. Indra, the Lord Protector of Atmospheric Heaven, threw his thunderbolt at Maruti who fell down to earth unconscious. Indra recognized his mistake and woke the child up. The only lasting damage to the child was on his chin, Hanu in Sankrut, and since then Maruti was called Hanu-maan. Just about every child in India is told this story.
Hanumaan became a great friend & a devotee of Shree Ram. It was he who discovered Seeta in Sri Lanka & reported back to Shree Ram. The entire Vaanar army then traveled south till they came to the tip of India. Notice by this time, all of today’ South India had been assimilated into India & Indian Ethos by Shree Ram, from the Himalayan mountains in the North to the sea in the South.
Now some 30 miles across the sea was Lanka, capital of the mighty Raavan. Without defeat of Raavan & the destruction of the Raak-Shas army, the conquest & assimilation would be incomplete and the prestige of the Sun Dynasty & Vedic-Aryans could not be regained.
6. Crossing the Sea to Lanka & the destruction of Raavan
The Vaanar army had two great engineers named Nal & Neel. With their expertise and the manpower of the Vanaar army, they built a bridge of large stones some 30 miles long from the southern tip of India to Lanka. The clip below shows photographic & seismic evidence of such a bridge of stones precisely where Shree Ram & the Vaanar army built their legendary bridge of stones some 5,000+ years ago.
The war with Raavan’s forces was neither swift nor easy. Yes, the crossing into Lanka by the large Vaanar army had inflicted a psychological blow to the Raak-Shas army. But Raavan’s large army was led by many skilled & experienced commanders including his incredibly skilled son Indra-Jit (labeled as such because once he had defeated Indra, the Lord Protector of Heaven). But slowly and surely, each of Raavan’s commanders were defeated & killed in battle. Hanumaan killed Prahastha, Raavan’s chief commander & Lakshman killed Raavan’s son Indra-Jeet in an epic duel. Finally, Shree Ram & Raavan met in battle & the mighty Raavan was killed.
Shree Ram placed Raavan’s ethical & just brother on the throne of Lanka. With that, the entire Raak-Shas kingdom & race was assimilated into the Indian Ethos & thus into India.
Every year, the death of Raavan at the hands of Shree Ram is celebrated ceremoniously across India as the victory of Good over Evil.
7. No India Without Shree Ram
So you see there wouldn’t have been an India without Shree Ram and, to this day, there would not be an integrated, psychologically strong & resilient India without Shree Ram. That is why the Bhoomi Pujan of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is the Mental Independence Day for today’s India.
We also think the construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya will lead to greater physical integration & higher economic growth. How is a topic for the next article.
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