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Rama Sethu, Ram Setu, Ramar Bridge, History, Facts: Part III
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By: V Sundaram, IAS, Retd.
May 24, 2007
expressed here are author?s own and not of this website. Full disclaimer
is at the bottom.
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Rama Sethu, Ram Setu, Adam's Bridge - Part I - History, Facts, Information
Rama Sethu, Ram Setu, Adam's Bridge - Part II - History, Facts,
Rama Sethu, Ram Setu, Adam's Bridge - Part III - History, Facts,
Rama Sethu, Ram Setu, Adam's Bridge - Part IV - History, Facts,
Rama Sethu, Ram Setu, Adam's Bridge - Part V - History, Facts, Information
Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project
: Good Thing Done Badly!
A Non-Hindu Christian Union Cabinet Minister for Culture Mrs.Ambika Soni
spoke like an Occidental Christian Despot of the Middle Ages when she
recently informed the Lok Sabha: ""There is no archeological or historical
evidence regarding the existence or otherwise of the Rama Sethu Bridge or
Adam's Bridge in Rameswaram"" The Union Minister for Shipping T.R.Balu and
the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi are committed to the supreme
Dravidian cause of destruction of the Rama Sethu Bridge just in order to
deal a death blow to the sacred feelings and susceptibilities of millions
and millions of Hindus in India and the world. Karunanidhi and T.R.Balu,
deathly enemies of Eternal Hinduism, have shown again and again that they
are no less ignorant than Mrs.Ambika Soni in their Himalyan ignorance of
historically established facts about the Rama Sethu Bridge or Adam's
I can do poetic justice to the self-opinionated, self-proclaiming
arrogance of the anti-Hindu trio of Mrs.Ambika Soni, T.R.Balu and
Karunanidhi only in the words of one of the greatest of Chinese poets of
classical antiquity Lao-tz?(6th century BC) who described the impotent
and ignorant Cabinet Ministers of his time in these words:
""Those who speak know nothing
Those who know are silent
Those who know and speak are impotent""!
The trouble with Mrs Ambika Soni, T R Balu and Karunanidhi is that even
though they know nothing on Rama Sethu and do not want to know anything
about it, yet they can never be silent on it. Theirs is a kind of vocal,
loud and raucous Imperial ignorance on stilts! For them shame - both inner
and outer- is communal and non-secular; brash shamelessness is secular,
non-communal, refined, cosmopolitan and global!
Another Chinese poet Su Tung-p'o (1036-1101 CE), in a great poem which he
composed after the birth of his son and which lives in common speech even
today, prayed to the Almighty that his new-born son should never become an
ignorant Cabinet Minister. Here is the poem:
""Families, when a child is born
Want it to be intelligent.
I, through intelligence,
Having wrecked my whole life,
Only hope the baby will prove
Ignorant and stupid.
Then he will crown a tranquil life
By becoming a Cabinet Minister.""
To silence if not to outwit the arrogant, irresponsible Cabinet Ministers
in high office in New Delhi and Madras today, I would like to cite a few
references from printed books and documents where there are textual
references to Rama's Bridge or Adam's Bridge or Sethu Bandhana.
1.Marco Polo (1254 -1324) was a Venetian trader and explorer who gained
fame for his worldwide travels, recorded in his book IL MILIONE (""The
Million"" or The Travels of Marco Polo). He visited several ports in
India. A book ""On The travels of Marco Polo"" translated by Marsden into
English was published in England in 1854. In this book Rama"s Bridge has
been described as SETABUND-RAMESWARA which only means Setu-Bandha
2.Catalogue of the Mammals in the Museum of the Hon. East-India Company,
East India Company Museum written by Thomas Horsfield (1773-1859), was
published in England in 1851. In this Catalogue, Rama's Bridge was used as
a reference point to define the expanse of Bharatam. We can see from this
Catalogue, adequate pointers to the rich biodiversity of the flora and
fauna of Rameshwaram and its environs.
3.Sir William Jones (1746-1794) in his ""Discourses delivered before the
Asiatic society"" published in 1801 (p. 29) has observed as follows:
4.Arnold Hermann (1835) in his ""Historical
researches into the politics, intercourse, and trade of the principal
nations of antiquity"" translated from the German into English, Oxford
University Press (p.89) wrote:
5.William Yates, 1846, A
dictionary of Sanscrit and English, designed for the use of private
students and of Indian colleges and schools, Baptist Mission Press,
The entry, samudraaru or
samudraarah is given the meaning: Rama's bridge.
6.William Fordyce Mavor, 1807, Universal history, ancient and modern,
Oxford University Press (p.216)
7.A.J. Valpay, 1825, THE
CLASSIC JOURNAL, Vol. XXXI, Cl.Jl., No. LXII, Oxford University Press
8.Clements Robert Markham,
1862, "Travels in Peru and India" published by Murray, (p.423). Markham
was Surveyor General of India in the 19th century. Markham wrote:
9.Charlotte Speir Manning,
George Scharf, 1856, ""Life in Ancient India"", Oxford University Press
10.Lodovico de Varthema,
George Percy Badger, John Winter Jones, 1863, The travels of Ludovico di
Varthema in Egypt, Syria, Arabia Deserta and Arabia Felix, in Persia,
India..., Published for the Hakluyt Society, London (Translated into
English from the original Italian edition), (p.185)
""...The expedition of Ram to Ceylon, and his victory over Rhavan or
Rhaban, King of that island, is one of the fables of Hindu mythology, but
he passed into the island at the strait, since called, by the Mohamedans,
Adam's Bridge. The whole country round, in consequence of this, preserves
the memorial of his conquest. There is a Ramanad-buram on the continent
close to the Bridge; a Rami-Ceram, or country of Ram, the island close to
the continent; [Rameswaram, called Rammanana Kojel by Baldaeus, and
Ramonan Coil by D"Anville;] and a Point Rama on the continent.
Complex In Indonesia (9th century AD).
Sena Rama Setu Sculpture at
Prambanan Temple in Indonesia.
The Bridge itself, formed by
the shoals between Rami-ceram and Mannar, is Rama's Bridge; and in
Rami-ceram is Ramar-Koil, the temple of Ram. This Koil or temple (Koil
means temple in Malayalim) is undoubtedly the origin of Koru; and the
repetition of it three times in Ptolemy is in perfect correspondence with
the allusion to Ram at the present"".
Mrs.Ambika Soni, the disgraceful Union Minister for Culture, soaked and
steeped in her self-chosen, imperious, insolent, comfortable, cozy, and
self-confident ignorance, may not be aware of the fact that there are
exquisite sculptures of Rama Setu carved in the 9th and 10th centuries AD
at Prambanan Temple, Java, Indonesia. Also known as Loro Jongrang Temple
(Temple of the Slender Maiden), Prambanan Temple was built in the 9th
century and is the largest Hindu temple complex in Indonesia.
This is the largest temple compound dedicated to Shiva in Indonesia. The
UNESCO (a non-saffronized International Organization!!) has declared this
temple complex as a World Heritage Site. Rising above the centre of the
last of these concentric squares are three temples decorated with relief's
illustrating the epic of the Ramayana, dedicated to the three great Hindu
divinities (Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma) and three temples dedicated to the
animals who serve them.
One of the most beautiful sculptures at Prambanan Temple is the one
depicting the Vaanara Sena carrying stones, in their arms and on their
heads, to build Rama's Bridge or Rama Setu or Nala Setu to Sri Lanka,
followed by SRI RAMA, carrying a sword.
The details and the authentic facts about the continued existence of the
Rama Setu Bridge I have presented above will serve to show that ancient
books and documents serve as mile stones in the development of the human
spirit. All of them have shaped or left their mark on our thinking as
Hindus today. The Pioneer 10 Plaque, sent into space on 2 March 1972, was
the first man made object to escape from the Solar System into
inter-stellar space. To some persons, Pioneer 10 Plaque may seem foolish
and even superfluous. One may ask: Is there any point in proclaiming our
existence into a void- into a dark, boundless, unknown and unknowable
future? The great sages and saints who wrote the Vedas and the Upanishads
in ancient India, authors and transmitters of the great human statements
we have inherited as an integral part of our ancient Hindu heritage-did
any of them know whether their good tidings would ever survive in the
uncharted future, when and where their words might take effect, when or
how later generations might change or even deform them? These ancient
men's uncertainty, the risk they ran, was no less great than that of the
Pioneer 10 Plaque let loose in space in 1972. All these defiant gestures
prove for all time that man is an intrinsically transcendental creature
who realizes himself to the extent that, step by step, flight by flight,
he crosses the obstacles that nature and the elements have put in his way.
At the same time he must also conquer the difficult obstacles that
confront him and besiege him from within, in order to become more human
than he is today.
(To be contd...)
V Sundaram, IAS, Retd.
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