Rama Setu: is beyond history and lives in peoples’ aatman

Rama Setu: is beyond history and lives in peoples’ aatman

Ramasethu is the part of Hindu culture. Mythologies and historical subjects are variables of any culture. Many places visited by Lord Buddha are considered as sacred and historical. But nobody can prove that the Buddha was a mythological or real figure. To establish the Buddha’s manhood one has to rely solely on ancient literature. Similarly, there is no archaeological evidence to prove the life of Jesus Christ. The only reference is from ancient Christian canonical texts. Moreover, the birth of Christ is the most controversial one since it has been variously attributed to 5BC, 3BC and AD 0.

Lord Rama, the Buddha and the Christ are known to us only through literature. Many places visited by Lord Rama are considered as sacred. Moreover, the events in Ramayana are narrated with accurate geographical descriptions with contemporary political boundaries. Valmiki described Rama as a real human being rather than a divine figure with magical powers. Rama achieved everything because of his manly powers and prowess. Moreover, Valmiki did not exaggerate Rama where human efforts are necessary. For example, Ramasethu was built not by Rama’s divine abilities, but by the mere efforts of thousands of Human beings. From the Ramayana it may be assumed that the Rama Sethu was built over already existing chain of limestone shoals. Falling Holocene sea-level along the Coromandel Coast may have helped such building activity. These are just possibilities. If one intends to reconstruct unbiased history of Rama Sethu one should go by archaeological evidence. However, to consider it as a cultural monument a strong tradition with or without the support of ancient literature is enough.

As far as Rama Sethu is concerned debate on its genesis has no meaning. Whether it is man-made or natural, for millions of Indians, Rama Sethu is the symbol of divine love and devotional attachment. If millions of Hindu families absorb noble values from the symbol of Rama Sethu, that symbol should be protected for posterity also.

S. Vijayakumar

Archaeologist

Dipartimento Di Biologia Ed Evoluzione

Italy

(Personal Communication dated 31 Dec. 2007)

Ram lives beyond history in peoples’ souls: Historians clip_image001

By Prashant K. Nanda

New Delhi, Dec 30 (IANS) Putting to rest a nationwide political debate whether Lord Ram has any historicity or not, hundreds of historians said that he is “not a part of history” but “certainly lives in mind and soul”.

“Ram is not a historical figure. We don’t find proof of his existence in the pages of history. But let me clarify, he is in the minds and souls of millions of people,” said eminent historian Ram Sharan Sharma.

Sharma, who has written 115 books, said: “Let’s not fight in the name of Lord Ram. He is simply beyond history.”

Over 1,000 historians are in the national capital participating in the three-day Indian History Congress that ends Monday.

Baba Mishra, a leading historian from Orissa, said that not only the pages of history but recent archaeological excavation in several places have not found traces of Lord Ram.

“No, We don’t find any historicity of Ram. As a Hindu, I will continue to worship Lord Ram but when it comes to finding his historical existence, I will go by fact,” Mishra, a professor at Sambalpur University, told IANS.

“Excavation in Ayodhya, Nadigram and Shrungabirpur (all in Uttar Pradesh) has not found any trace of Lord Ram’s existence. As historians, we should not be biased – let’s keep our personal belief and fact separate,” he added.

Many historians at the congress said that Ram Setu controversy has its root in vote bank politics. They believe that like Ram, Ram Setu is not a man made structure.

G.J. Sudhakar, a historian from Chennai said: “Neither was Ram a human being nor was Ram Setu man made. Let’s not debate the historicity of Ram. I believe in Ram, and millions believe in him. Let Ram remain our faith and belief.”

“I think, Hindus will continue to worship him but he will not find a place in the pages of history,” said Sudhakar, a history professor at Loyola College, Chennai.

D.N. Roy, a professor of history at Bhagalpur University in Bihar, said politicians remember Lord Ram only before election.

“Opposing or favouring Lord Ram is a political move of all politicians. All political parties have been successful in politicising our belief and thus want to get political mileage out of it,” Roy said.

“It’s unfortunate that our politicians are dragging our belief, faith in the name of history. Let’s keep both things separate for the betterment of our younger children and next generation,” he said.

N.R. Jena, another historian from Orissa and Ashok Kumar Singh from Uttar Pradesh believe that government may evaluate environmental impact before dredging Ram Setu.

“If it will bring more economic benefit then government may go for it but they should not do this without assessing other things like historical and religious impacts,” Singh said.

http://www.khabrein.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10459&Itemid=88

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