What makes Hinduism really great?
Hinduism is a great banyan tree. On its "sakas"(limbs) one can see the principles of all the great religions of the world. The total surrender Yoga which Jesus Christ spoke of one can see in the Bhagavad Gita. The statement of the Sufis that "I am God" one can see in the Upanishads as "Aham Brahmasim." The statement of Lao-Tse that everthing is Tao can be seen as "Everything is Brahman" in the Upanishads. In Hinduism alone one can see the strange coexistence of an atheist, an agnostic and a theist. When Socrates and the Sufis were persecuted in the West, in India we adored Buddha, who did no recognize the authority of the Vedas, and tolerated Charvaka, who ridiculed the Vedas and attacked the mere existence of God. So let us face it, in Hinduism one can find a religion tailor-made for each of us, whatever be our way of thinking.
Hinduism recognizes the fact that people are on different levels. Matters do not apply or appeal to all persons in the same manner. My mother could go into a trance just by looking at the picture of Shri Krishna. But for you and I, that is unimaginable. I could appreciate and admire Sanskrit lyrics in the Mahabharata, but for you that mya be difficult. That is the reason why Hinduism, which is filled with hundreds of ideas, will appeal to all.
‘’Hinduism is the most developed school of thought for understanding human nature, freeing oneself from fear, ignorance, and unhappiness, and for growing towards individual enlightenment.’’
Ancient Indian Cities
Ancient cities in India does possess its share of similarities and dissimilarities with the present Indian city scenario, and the more one dives into its depth, the more enamoured one becomes. The distinctive and individualistic mode of daily life, customs, cultures, celebrations, festivals, religious observances, caste system, sports activities, education, position of women, architecture, or any other possible facet can very much be studied in Indian ancient history. Indeed, it can also be comprehended that most of the contemporary Indian cultural refinement that any citizen witnesses today, has been heavily borrowed and inspired form these ancient Indian cities. This rather classic artistic amalgamation can be traced historically from the very foremost Indus-Sarasvati Civilization, the harbinger of ancientness into every later Indian city to evolve unto contemporaneity.
These ancient cities within India had in fact possessed some archetypal lineaments, which made them uniquely stand out in matters incorporating brick as the all-encompassing form of construction. The cities from ancient Indian times, also did possess well-planned streets, art of pottery, drainage ditches, bulky granaries and large bath sources for ritual cleansing. Constructed on a raised platform, most of the major buildings were made from brick. There also existed some small, two-room structures to enormous houses with two-storied with courtyards.
The history of ancient cities and civilizations in India is of the ages or eras in the evolution of Indian history generally, commencing from pre-historic era to the colonial era of modern India. The ancient civilization of India is also known in history as Indus-Sarasvati Civilization, the history of which can be traced back to the Bronze Age, beginning from 10,000BC, which had disseminated and prospered in the north western part of Indian subcontinent. Indus-Sarasvati principally had covered the regions of Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan present day Pakistan, especially the part of Sindh and Punjab and the now legendary cities of Dholavira, Kalibangan, Rupar, Rakhigarhi, Lothal, which are located in present day India and the cities of Harappa, Ganeriwala and Mohenjodaro in present day Pakistan
Ancient Indian cities have been described to belong to that bunch, which had existed before the arrival of Islam into India, precisely prior to the 8th century. These ancient indigenous cities included the major as well as minor cities, towns, villages in the localities of concentrated human settlements of ancient India, as have been mentioned in the Epics (Mahabharata and Ramayana as well as the Puranas). The cities bearing their very ancient `Hinduness`, have superlatively depicted and mirrored the vast and diversified culture of the then India, much of which remains in a legendary format with anonymity to present generation Indians.
The India of the yesteryears is supremely revealed while shedding some light upon the ancient cities of India, thus gaining some knowledge. From archaeological and repeated historical accounts, it can be comprehended that there did exist an astounding number of these ancient cities, each bearing its distinctive quality to be praised to the top. And the most intriguing fact that can be mentioned here is that, the cities are still just the same in modern times, with the exception that their names have been changed, with much dash of contemporaneity. Modern Indian cities have verily grown and improved upon themselves, upon the ruins of their forefathers - the ancient cities in India. There, sadly exists particular cities which do not exist today, just because of the fact that they could not stand the test of time and had to perish within oblivion.
Some of these ancient cities that existed in India, can be stated as underAror is located 8 km east of Rohri in present day Sindh, Pakistan. It had served as the ancient capital of Sindh and was once located on the banks of Indus River. The city was once the prime nucleus centre of commerce and trade. The main languages spoken by the people here in Aror are Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi and Sindhi. The religions followed by the people of Aror are Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism.
Kannauj was one of the most beautiful ancient cities in India, that was ruled by different rulers. The city was described as, "a city which raised its head to the skies and which in strength and beauty might boast of being unrivalled." Kanauj has incessantly served as a place of immense historical significance. The city had, much later, become a new district of the Uttar Pradesh Province on September 18, 1997.
Bairat is a much celebrated and momentous town in the northern Jaipur District of Rajasthan. It is located 52 km north of Jaipur and 66 km west of Alwar.
Kalibangan is a town situated in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan. The town is precisely located upon the banks of Ghaggar River. This ancient city of India, Kalibangan has been since long considered, as the third important city amongst all the excavated Harappan sites, under the Indus-Sarasvati Valley Civilization. The word `Kalibangan` has been derived from two words - `Kala` and `bhangan`. Kali stands for black and bhangan implies bangle. The city had received its name from the innumerable pieces of terracotta bangles that were excavated here, to be preserved forever.
Sravasti is an exceedingly substantial Buddhist religious and research centre, located in the Gonda district of Uttar Pradesh. This ancient Indian city owns the supreme honour of sheltering Buddha for 24 rainy seasons in the Jetvana Gardens.
Sagala is believed to be the modern day Sialkot, located in northern Punjab, now falling in Pakistan. Sagala had once served as a great centre of trade and commerce, filled with business prospects.
Sitanagaram is a small and humble and ancient site located in the Guntur district of India.
Hansi is a town in the Hisar District of Haryana in India. The ancient Indian city of Hansi uniquely is known to possess 5 gates to enter Delhi. They majestically incorporate the Delhi Gate at the East, Hisar gate at the West, Gosain gate at North-West, Barsi Gate at South and Umra gate in the south west direction. The most crucial trait of this town is that, the altitude increases gradually as one enters Delhi city from any of the gates.
Kumbhoj is the name of an ancient town located in the Kolhapur district of Maharashtra.
Kalpi is an ancient city of India, in Jalaun district of Uttar Pradesh. Kalpi rather seizes stronghold from its sisterly counterparts, due to being conceived as the birthplace of sage Ved Vyasa, who had splendidly authored Mahabharata. The city of Kalpi is also renowned for its art of paper making.
Bhinmal is a town in the Jalore district of Rajasthan. Bhinmal had once served as the capital of ancient Gujarat. The earlier name of Bhinmal was Bhillamala. Bhinmal was, in particular instances, also acknowledged as Sriaml.
Tamralipta is the name of yet another decisive ancient city in India, situated on the Bay of Bengal, presently coming under West Bengal. Now the place is however identified as Tamluk. Tamluk derives its name from the Sanskrit word Tamra Lipta meaning "Full of Copper".
Urayur is a city located in Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu. The word Urayur in Tamil stands for "the residence".
Dwaraka, that very ancient and very regal ancient Indian city, is situated in the state of Gujarat. According to Hindu mythology, Dwarka was the dwelling place of Lord Krishna. The meaning of the word Dwarka implies a "door".
Ujjain is located on the banks of river Shipra in Madhya Pradesh. According to Hindu Mythology, Shipra had originated from the much admired churning of the oceans by the Gods and the Demons, with Vasuki, the serpent, serving as the rope.
Osian or Osiyan is an ancient city in India, that is approximately located at a distance of 65 km from Jodhpur in Rajasthan. The city houses a number of temples and is presently a famous tourist spot. Osian gathers admiration and attraction, due to it being considered as an oasis amidst the desert of Rajasthan.
Bayana is a town in the Bharatpur district of Rajasthan. The ancient name of the city was Sripatha or Sriprashtha or Shantipura. The city is claimed to have been discovered rather accidentally by an asura named Banasur.
Chunar is located in the Mirzapur District of Uttar Pradesh state. Chunar is well-known and intimately in style for its pottery work, especially clay toys.
Some of the other equally legendary ancient cities in India, much respected for its excavation finds and historical wonders include - Sopara, Agroha, Kurukshetra, Paithan, Vallabhi, Kalinjar and Tirunelveli.
The ancient Indian cities and towns visited by Xuanzang during his travel to India between 630 AD to 637 AD
- Swat Valley
- Buner Valley
- Chinabhukti (conceived as the modern day Firozpur)
- Pataliputra (Patna)
- Bodh Gaya
- Kanyakubja (Kannauj)
Ancient City Found in India, Irradiated from Atomic BlastRadiation still so intense, the area is highly dangerous. A heavy layer of radioactive ash in Rajasthan, India, covers a three-square mile area, ten miles west of Jodhpur. Scientists are investigating the site, where a housing development was being built.
For some time it has been established that there is a very high rate of birth defects and cancer in the area under construction. The levels of radiation there have registered so high on investigators' gauges that the Indian government has now cordoned off the region. Scientists have unearthed an ancient city where evidence shows an atomic blast dating back thousands of years, from 8,000 to 12,000 years, destroyed most of the buildings and probably a half-million people. One researcher estimates that the nuclear bomb used was about the size of the ones dropped on Japan in 1945.
The Mahabharata clearly describes a catastrophic blast that rocked the continent.
"A single projectile charged with all the power in the Universe…An incandescent column of smoke and flame as bright as 10,000 suns, rose in all its splendor…it was an unknown weapon, an iron thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death which reduced to ashes an entire race.
"The corpses were so burned as to be unrecognizable. Their hair and nails fell out, pottery broke without any apparent cause, and the birds turned white.
"After a few hours, all foodstuffs were infected. To escape from this fire, the soldiers threw themselves into the river."
A Historian CommentsHistorian Kisari Mohan Ganguli says that Indian sacred writings are full of such descriptions, which sound like an atomic blast as experienced in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He says references mention fighting sky chariots and final weapons. An ancient battle is described in the Drona Parva, a section of the Mahabharata.
"The passage tells of combat where explosions of final weapons decimate entire armies, causing crowds of warriors with steeds and elephants and weapons to be carried away as if they were dry leaves of trees," says Ganguli.
"Instead of mushroom clouds, the writer describes a perpendicular explosion with its billowing smoke clouds as consecutive openings of giant parasols. There are comments about the contamination of food and people's hair falling out."
Archeological Investigation provides informationArcheologist Francis Taylor says that etchings in some nearby temples he has managed to translate suggest that they prayed to be spared from the great light that was coming to lay ruin to the city.
"It's so mid-boggling to imagine that some civilization had nuclear technology before we did. The radioactive ash adds credibility to the ancient Indian records that describe atomic warfare."
Construction has halted while the five member team conducts the investigation. The foreman of the project is Lee Hundley, who pioneered the investigation after the high level of radiation was discovered.
There is evidence that the Rama empire (now India) was devastated by nuclear war. The Indus valley is now the Thar desert, and the site of the radioactive ash found west of Jodhpur is around there.
Consider these verses from the ancient (6500 BC at the latest) Mahabharata:
…a single projectile
Charged with all the power of the Universe.
An incandescent column of smoke and flame
As bright as the thousand suns
Rose in all its splendour…
a perpendicular explosion
with its billowing smoke clouds…
…the cloud of smoke
rising after its first explosion
formed into expanding round circles
like the opening of giant parasols…
..it was an unknown weapon,
An iron thunderbolt,
A gigantic messenger of death,
Which reduced to ashes
The entire race of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas.
…The corpses were so burned
As to be unrecognisable.
The hair and nails fell out;
Pottery broke without apparent cause,
And the birds turned white.
After a few hours
All foodstuffs were infected…
…to escape from this fire
The soldiers threw themselves in streams
To wash themselves and their equipment.
Until the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, modern mankind could not imagine any weapon as horrible and devastating as those described in the ancient Indian texts. Yet they very accurately described the effects of an atomic explosion. Radioactive poisoning will make hair and nails fall out. Immersing oneself in water gives some respite, though it is not a cure.
When excavations of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro reached the street level, they discovered skeletons scattered about the cities, many holding hands and sprawling in the streets as if some instant, horrible doom had taken place. People were just lying, unburied, in the streets of the city. And these skeletons are thousands of years old, even by traditional archaeological standards. What could cause such a thing? Why did the bodies not decay or get eaten by wild animals? Furthermore, there is no apparent cause of a physically violent death.
These skeletons are among the most radioactive ever found, on par with those at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At one site, Soviet scholars found a skeleton which had a radioactive level 50 times greater than normal. Other cities have been found in northern India that show indications of explosions of great magnitude. One such city, found between the Ganges and the mountains of Rajmahal, seems to have been subjected to intense heat. Huge masses of walls and foundations of the ancient city are fused together, literally vitrified! And since there is no indication of a volcanic eruption at Mohenjo-Daro or at the other cities, the intense heat to melt clay vessels can only be explained by an atomic blast or some other unknown weapon. The cities were wiped out entirely.
While the skeletons have been carbon-dated to 2500 BC, we must keep in mind that carbon-dating involves measuring the amount of radiation left. When atomic explosions are involved, that makes then seem much younger.
Interestingly, Manhattan Project chief scientist Dr J. Robert Oppenheimer was known to be familiar with ancient Sanskrit literature. In an interview conducted after he watched the first atomic test, he quoted from the Bhagavad Gita:
"'Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.' I suppose we all felt that way."
When asked in an interview at Rochester University seven years after the Alamogordo nuclear test whether that was the first atomic bomb ever to be detonated, his reply was,
Ancient cities whose brick and stonewalls have literally been vitrified, that is, fused together, can be found in India, Ireland, Scotland, France, Turkey and other places. There is no logical explanation for the vitrification of stone forts and cities, except from an atomic blast.
Giant Unexplained Crater Near BombayAnother curious sign of an ancient nuclear war in India is a giant crater near Bombay. The nearly circular 2,154-metre-diameter Lonar crater, located 400 kilometres northeast of Bombay and aged at less than 50,000 years old, could be related to nuclear warfare of antiquity.
No trace of any meteoric material, etc., has been found at the site or in the vicinity, and this is the world's only known "impact" crater in basalt. Indications of great shock (from a pressure exceeding 600,000 atmospheres) and intense, abrupt heat (indicated by basalt glass spherules) can be ascertained from the site. David Hatcher Childress in Nexus Magazine:
"The crater is formed in the basalt rock of thickness 600-700m (2,000 to 2,200 feet). This rock is made of many layers or flows which were laid why volcanic activity at various times, five of such flows are exposed at the crater rim. Thickness of these flows ranges from 5 to 30m.
The crater is about 150m (500 feet)deep and has average diameter of 1830m (1.4 miles). The elevated rim consists of 25m of bedrock and 5m of ejecta over it. This ejecta blanket is spread over about 1350m (4,400 feet) away from the crater rim and slopes away by 2-6°. The uppermost region of ejecta contains the deposits that were melted due to the impact"
“Lonar is a place of obscurities, especially as the only meteoric crater formed in basaltic terrain. It has remained relatively intact due to low degree of erosion by environmental agents, making it an excellent model for study. However, several strange things happen here:
1. The lake has two distinct regions that never mix — an outer neutral (pH7) and an inner alkaline (pH11) each with its own flora and fauna. You can actually do a litmus paper test here and check this for yourself.
2. There is a perennial stream feeding the lake with water but there seems to be no apparent outlet for the lake’s water. And it is also a big unsolved mystery where the water for the perennial stream comes from, in a relatively dry region like Buldhana. Even in the driest months of May and June, the stream is perpetually flowing. Lonar generates questions and more questions”. Lilyn Kamath
Om Tat Sat
(My humble salutations to Veda wicki dot and Philosophers, Historians for the collection)