Valmiki did not commit any error
Author: Saroj Bala
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: October 13, 2003
In Valmiki Ramayan it is mentioned that Shri Ram’s army constructed a bridge over the sea between Rameshwaram and Lanka. After crossing this bridge, Shri Ram’s army had defeated Ravana. Recently, NASA put pictures (reproduced here) on the Internet of a man-made bridge, the ruins of which are lying submerged in Palk Strait between Rameshwaram and Sri Lanka. Recently the Sri Lankan Government had expressed the desire to develop Sita Vatika as a tourist spot. Sri Lankans believe this was Ashok Vatika where Ravana had kept Sita as a prisoner (in 5076 BC).
Indian history has recorded that Shri Ram belonged to the Suryavansh and he was the 64th ruler of this dynasty. The names and other relevant particulars of previous 63 kings are listed in Ayodhya Ka Itihas written about 80 years ago by Rai Bahadur Sita Ram. Professor Subhash Kak of Lousiana University, in his book, The Astronomical Code of the Rig Veda, has also listed 63 ancestors of Shri Ram who ruled over Ayodhya. Sri Ram’s ancestors have been traced out as: Shri Ram, King Dashratha, King Aja, King Raghu, King Dilip and so on. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Bengal to Gujarat, everywhere people believe in the reality of Shri Ram’s existence, particularly in the tribal areas of Himachal, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and the North-East. Most of the festivals celebrated in these areas revolve around the events in the life of Shri Ram and Shri Krishna.
The events and places related to the life of Shri Ram and Sita are true cultural and social heritage of every Indian irrespective of caste and creed. Therefore, it is common heritage. After all, Shri Ram belonged to the period when Prophet Mohammed or Jesus Christ were not born and Muslim or Christian faiths were unknown to the world. The words Hindu (resident of Hindustan) and Indian (resident of India) were synonymous. India was also known as Bharat (land of knowledge) and Aryavarta (where Aryans live) and Hindustan (land of “Hindus” – derived from word Indus).
During Ram Rajya, the evils of caste system based on birth were non-existent. In fact, Maharishi Valmiki is stated to be of shudra class (scheduled caste), still Sita lived with him as his adopted daughter after she was banished from Ayodhya. Luv and Kush grew in his ashram as his disciples. We need to be proud of the fact that Valmiki was perhaps the first great astronomer and that his study of planetary configurations has stood the test of times. Even the latest computer softwares have corroborated his astronomical calculations, which proves that he did not commit any error.
Shabari is stated to be belonging to the Bheel tribe. Shri Ram’s army, which succeeded in defeating Ravana, was formed by various tribals from Central and South India. The facts, events and all other details relating to the life of Shri Ram are the common heritage of all the Indians including scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, Muslims, Christians, etc.
Prophet Mohammad was born 1,400 years ago. Jesus Christ was born 2,000 years back. Gautam Buddha was born 2,600 years back, whereas Ram was born 7,000 years back. Hence, discovering the details relating to Shri Ram’s life would be lot more difficult as destruction caused by floods, earthquakes and invasions etc., would be far greater. But, should that stop our quest for learning more about our cultural heritage?
As Indians, let us all take pride in the fact that the Indian civilisation is the most ancient civilisation today. It is certainly more than 10,000 years old. Therefore, let us reject the story of Aryan invasion in India in 1,500 BC as motivated implantation. In fact Max Mueller, who was the creator of this theory had himself rejected it. Let us admit that during the British Rule, we were educated in the schools based on Macaulay school of thinking which believed that everything Indian was inferior and that entire “Indian literature was not worth even one book rack in England”. If there were similarities in certain features of Indian people and people from Central Europe, then automatic inference drawn was that the Aryans coming from Europe invaded India and settled here. No one dared of thinking in any other way. Therefore, there is urgency for the historians and all other intellectuals to stop reducing Indian history to myth. There is need to gather, dig out, search, unearth and analyse all the evidences, which would throw more light on ancient Indian civilisation and culture.
There is need for the print and the electronic media to take note of these facts and create atmosphere which would motivate our young and educated youth to carry out research and unearth true facts about the ancient Indian civilisation and wisdom and would also encourage them to put across the results of their research before the people fearlessly and with a sense of pride!
(The article is concluded)