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42-Easterly Rivers

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Eastern Rivers
[From   Valmiki Ramayan 4/41]

Saraswatee and Sindhu Rivers

The mention of these two western rivers, Saraswatee and Sindhu, at this eastern place, to where Vinat is being sent by Sugreev, is a disputed matter. The River Saraswatee is the river of Vaidik period that once coursed but later disappeared; or is coursing underground. This river is "this creative center of Man, River Saraswatee, was made by the Devtaa...". [Rig Ved, 3.33.4] and "all life takes its origin from your [Saraswatee] womb... [Rig Ved, 2-4,  9-17]

Presently research work is undertaken to find out this river under the banner "Saraswatee Nadee Shodh Abhiyaan" and they are trying to find out about the palaeo drainage, the buried course, of this river. It is believed that this perennial river was flowing from Himaalaya through Panjaab, Hariyaanaa, Western Raajasthaan, and through the Rann of Kutch in Gujaraat, and if this could be traced in that way, an abundant source of underground water could be established.

Likewise, the mention about Sindhu also at this place does not relate to westerly Indus River, because any river or rivulet is generally called Sindhu. Sugreev separately indicates Indus river at 3/42/15: hence it is taken as another easterly river called Indusaa.

So also is the river Mahee as said in next verse (3/40/22), on which Griffith says that "The Mahii River rises in Maalavaa (Maalavaa Plateau, Madhya Pradesh) and falls in the Gulf of Cambay after a westerly course of 280 miles..."; but the Ancient Geography of India says that "the mention of this river is out of place here and is probably due to erroneous transposition of the verses..."

It is generally accepted that many verses in these episodes of Sugreev's narrating the geography are shuffled. The River Shonaa is present day Shon, and Kaushikee is Koshee, and she is the sister of Vishwaamitra (Satyavatee - wife of Muni Richeek and mother of Parashuraam). That sage explains about the emergence of this river in Baal Kaand.

[From Valmiki Ramayan 4/40]

Taamravarnee River

The romantic touch in the description of this River is that the maiden Taamraparnee River has sandalwood trees alongshore and by constant rubbing with her waters those trees yield sandalwood paste and her sand-dune island-like breasts are smeared with that perfume of sandal paste while she is nearing her husband, namely the ocean.

The name of the river Taamraparnee or Tamiravaranee or Taamravarnee derives from the words "Taamra" means "coppery..." and Varn" means "color...": "a river with coppery riverbanks..." and it flows from Agastyamalai in Western Ghat of India, and courses through Paapnaasham, a holy place and covering Tirunalvailee, it drains into Bay of Bengal at the Gulf of Mannaar. There are hosts of Vainavatiruppadigal "Vaishnavaite temples..." throughout the riverbanks and this river is held holy and there are many legends about it, of which one says that Sage Agastya led the course of this river to the ocean for twenty-seven days from its source.

Down south, the River Taamraparnee, it is Sinhal Desh or senga-kia-lo the present day Sri Lankaa. "This was first made known to the European world by the expedition of Alexander, as Taprobane. The true form however would appear to be Taa'mbaa Pannee (leaf) or the "red-leaved one..." from the Sanskrit T'aamparnee and Ptolemy calls it Salike, the corrupt form from Sinhalak Aabu Rihaan, which gives the form of Sinhal-deep. And then the Arabic Tilaan came and that resulted into Cyclone. After a long lost time they have renamed it as per the nomenclature given in Raamaayan as Lankaa, but adding a Shree afore it. [After Ancient Geography of India.]



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/27/03
Updated on 04/13/13