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43-Eastern Kingdoms

Eastern Kingdoms

[ Valmiki Ramayan, 4/40/23]
Videh is Mithilaa, the kingdom from where Seetaa came to Ayodhyaa. This and Ang kingdoms were roughly present West Bengal.

Magadh is the famous post of Buddhist period kingdom, ruling from present-day Bihar. Huen Tsong recorded that "to the north of Magadh, River Gangaa courses, to the west of it Kaashee province is there, and in east Hiranya Parvat (Maanghir) is there, and in south Girana Suvarn (Singaa Bhoomi] is there... and its capital is Kusum Pur [Paataliputra] - present day Patnaa. 

Next, the word 'Koshakaara' is literally a silkworm or one who makes scabbards or a lexicographer. It is also referred to the kings of these clans.

[ Valmiki Ramayan, 4/40/30]
The Yava Island can be taken as the present day Jaavaa Island. It is believed that around 10 to 8 millennia BC, there used to be a continuous landmass from Burma to Central America, which was why Maya civilization flourished there via this route. Sugreev mentioned it "with seven kingdoms and gold mines".

Later in time due to tectonic activity, the northern India's landmass rose up and southern sunk down. [Chronology of Ancient Bharat, by Prof. K. Srinivasa Raghavan, published by 'Sri Aurobindo Study Circle, Triplicane, Chennai, in year 1896.] It is therefore presumable that the islands of Indian Archipelago were so numerous and were so nearly situated. However, this splintering of islands might have happened by the time of Raamaayan, since the Sage-poet of Raamaayan is citing them as Dweep, islands.

Regarding the difference between the names of Yaavaa and Jaavaa the word 'ya' in Sanskrit becomes 'ja' in vernaculars (Tadbhava pad), hence Yaavaa became Jaavaa, as Sinh Puree "lion-city..." became the present day Singapore.

On this point of Yaavaa and Java islands, as said in Raamaayan, Sri Kedarnath Basu notes in his 'Hindu Civilization': "The reader may note here that Jaavaa Dweep described as consisting of seven kingdoms was probably the group of islands now called the Indian Archipelago, of which Jaavaa was at that time the most powerful. The chief islands of this group are Sumaatraa, (say, Su+mitra = good friend; Jaavaa; Baali = the benefactor; Borneo = Varun, the Rain god) and Celebes.

More details are available with Vivekaanand Kendra, Kanyaa Kumaaree who are publishing Vivekaanand Patrikaa, an encyclopedic journal on ancient India.

Southern Areas
[From Valmiki Ramayan 4/41]

If Mahaanadee River is taken as a separate entity, it is in Orissa, which kingdom was called earlier as Utkal or Kaling kingdom, otherwise Krishnvenee becomes a 'great river' by the wording Mahaanadee. Mekhalaa, and still earlier name of this Vindhyaachal Parvat is Amar Kantak Parvat. It is the mountain from where the River Narmadaa emerges. The River Varadaa is now called Vardhaa in Mahaaraashtra. The order of rivers narrated here is not according to the present day mapping, otherwise Mahaanadee would have come earlier to Godaavaree.

Mountains in Kanyaa Kumaaree
[From Valmiki Ramayan 4/41]

There are three mountains in Kanyaa Kumaree district, the southern promontories of India, at the end of Western Ghaat, namely Taadakaa Malai, Mahendra Giri, Marunthuv Malai, where the word Malai and Giri mean "mountain..." in Tamil.

The Taadakaa Malai is held as the forest of Taadakaa, the Raakshasee, and Raam is believed to have come up to this south most part of India to eliminate Taadakaa in his boyhood. The Mahendra Giri is the mountain from which Hanumaan leaped to Lankaa and the river that emerges from this mountain is named after Hanumaan. The Marunthuv Malai is believed to be a mound fallen from the main Himaalayan mountain which Hanumaan brought while bringing Sanjeevanee herb, to bring Lakshman to conscious. Even now, the local people benefit from the herbs that grow on this mountain and even the bitter leaves when cooked on this mountain will turn to sweet taste. This is being the story of this end of the ocean for Herbal Mountain, on the other end in Sri Lankaa also there is a similar herbal mountain called Rhumassala Kanda, in Sinhaleese.

My Note
Did Raam go on foot to this far to kill Taadakaa? And then come back again to Mithilaa to marry Jaanakee? It seems odd.

Praagjyotish City
[From Valmiki Ramayan 4/42]

Praag Jyotish city should not have been mentioned here as it is the present day Aassaam; as it has been mentioned in the works of Kaali Daas. In fact this place was famous on the eastern fringe of the country. And it corresponds roughly with Brahmputra Valley. The name is derived from "the firstly, easterly.." or where the "planet Sun.." rises in India, that is Aasaam.

Beyond This Point
[From Valmiki Ramayan 4/42/52]

Sugreev stops them going beyond Asataachal Parvat. "The Ancient Geography of India" K. Basu records: 'the reader should notice here that Vaalmeeki makes mention of a few places only, most of which are mountains in the west and ends with the poetic land of the setting Sun. This shows that little was known at that time of the famed nations of the west, in spite of the great antiquity claimed by Egypt, Assyria, and Greece and one might be led to the thinking that these nations had not yet risen to power in the time of Vaalmeeki, or if they existed at all, communication was not yet opened between them and the Indian Aryans...'

The words "a+bhaaskaram", and "a+maryaadam" in this Shlok are taken in the sense, "without+ enlightenment"; and "without+ proper conduct, i.e., propriety... ".  Those places might be with primitives who were unenlightened and with impropriety, that were incongruous with Ancient Indian principles of living...'. Thus, these cultures were held as pre-Babylonian or pre-Assyrian cultures, west to Persia, and it is assumed that Sugreev said this way: 'there Seetaa need not be searched, because Raavan being a highly educated and cultured demon, in his own way, despite his obstinacy, he too despises those lowly cultures and for sure, he will not be there, with Seetaa...'



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