Rama Setu — Do not play with fire! — MN Krishnamani

RAMA SETHU – Do not play with fire!

M.N. KRISHNAMANI

It is very surprising that the Central Govt. should again say openly that Lord Rama was not a Historic personality, that He did not construct any bridge between India and Lanka and that the Bridge between India and Lanka is not a Man-made bridge at all! A political leader went to the extent of asking : “In which Engineering college did Rama study to construct this bridge?”

It is surprising to hear such silly utterances of politicians. We say Taj Mahal was constructed by Emperor Shah Jehan out of love for his wife. Can anyone question us : “In which engineering college Shah Jehan studied to construct Taj Mahal?”. How foolish it would be to put such questions?

Moreover, Valmiki’s Ramayana, Ramayana of Tulsi, Kamba- Ramayana and innumerable other Ramayanas all refer to the Rama-Sethu, praising it as a great marvel. In Valmiki’s Ramayana “Rama Sethu” is described in several verses as to how it was constructed,

how marvelous it was, who helped Rama in constructing it, its length and breadth, the materials used for its construction and the time taken

to construct it. Again in Valmiki’s Ramayana, Malyavaan who was Ravana’s grand father warns Ravana :

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*The author is a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of India He was the President of Supreme Court Bar Association;

“Oh! Ravana! Look at this huge and beautiful bridge constructed by Ram across the ocean! An ordinary man can not do this at all. Know from this very fact that He should be God Himself. Return Sita and seek peace with Him.”

Valmiki says in his Ramayana :

“If one looks at this beautiful bridge across the ocean from the sky, it would look like a silver lining resembling the partition of hair of a young woman”

Now, NASA has taken a satellite picture of this bridge, which the British Historians chose to call as “Adam’s bridge”, though historically no Adam ever constructed any such bridge. This photograph strikingly accords with the description given by Sage Valmiki. The Govt. purports to respect Sage Valmiki as a great personality by declaring a holiday for Valmiki Jayanti! But its stand on Rama and Rama Sethu is really an insult to Sage Valmiki and to sage Tulsidas, revered by millions of Indians.

Even Tibettan Ramayana, culled out by F.W. Thomas in 1929, refers to the construction of Rama Sethu. According to this Ramayana, a big quarrel arose between two Vaanaras “Maku” and “Danku” when Rama Sethu was under construction and that Rama intervened and settled their dispute.

The following reference in Encyclopaedia Britanica to Adam’s Bridge, where it speaks of it as “Rama’s Bridge” is interesting :

“Adams Bridge, or Rama’s Bridge, chain of shoals, between the islands of Manner, near northwestern Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) and Rameshwaram, off the southeastern coast of India. It is 30 miles (48 km) long and separates the Gulf of Manner (Southwest) from the Palk Strait (northeast). Some of the sand-banks are dry, and nowhere are the shoals deeper than 4 ft (1 m); thus, they seriously hinder navigation. Dredging operations, now abandoned, were begun as early as 1838 but never succeeded in maintaining a channel for any vessels except those of light draft. Geological evidence suggests that Adams Bridge represents a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka. Traditionally, it is said to be the remnant of a huge causeway, constructed by Rama, the hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana, to facilitate passage of his army from India, to Ceylon for the rescue of his abducted wife, Sita.”

All the Puranas praise this bridge of Ram. As to the construction of this bridge in the hoary past, we can not have any direct evidence of eye-witnesses! To look for such direct evidence is really childish. But, there are enough indirect evidences. Above all, it is the faith of several crores of Hindus that Lord Rama constructed this bridge. This faith is unquestionable. In fact, according to Valmiki’s Ramayana, Vaanaras, bears and rodents helped Rama in constructing the bridge. Scientists have found that beavers which are rodents alone are capable of constructing bridges across oceans. According all the Ramayanas, Rama had developed the skill to communicate with animals. Rama’s bridge could perhaps be a “Beavers’ Bridge’ constructed at the instance of Rama since it is recorded in all the Ramayanas that certain rodents (like squirrels) helped Rama in the bridge-making and that since He blessed the rodent by stroking on its back three times, consequently, all the squirrels of today are having three beautiful lines on them!

Moreover, it is purely a question of faith. Over 75% of Indian people genuinely believe that Lord Rama did exist in flesh and blood, that He did walk on this planet like Zoraster, Jesus and the Prophet, that Rama was born in Ayodhya, that He fought with Ravana who was in Lanka and that to reach Lanka He got a bridge constructed across the ocean at a length of about 33 miles! Otherwise, world’s longest bridge across ocean was constructed in Japan in 1998 and its length is less than 2 miles! When 75 billion people believe that this “Rama Sethu” was constructed by Lord Rama, how can anyone try to pooh-pooh that faith? How can anyone wound the religious sentiments of over 75 crores of people, when wounding of the religious sentiments of even smaller sections is not legally permissible in our country?

In fact, this belief of over 75 crores of Indians which has been cherished for over thousands of years, can not be without a kernel of truth in it! In the story of Lord Krishna too, there is a clear reference to “Rama Sethu”. According to the Puranas, once Arjuna asked Krishna with pride :

“Why Rama took pains to construct the bridge across the ocean using Vanaras and others? If He was good in Archery, He should have constructed a strong bridge with His arrows?”

Then Krishna asked Arjuna to construct a strong bridge, with his arrows, across river Yamuna, which he did. Thereafter, Krishna asked Hanuman to walk over that bridge. When Hanuman stepped on it, the bridge crumbled into pieces! This eventually humbled Arjuna. It was thereafter, Arjuna decided to keep Hanuman’s picture in his flag. Likewise, there is a reference to this bridge of Rama in all the Puranas and other Indian literature. Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai refers to “Rama Sethu” in His “Ramakatharasavahini”. Rajaji refers to “Rama Sethu” in his “Ramayana” and calls is a unique “cause-way”. R.K. Narayan in his “Ramayana” refers to “Rama Sethu” and says that the bridge was constructed using boulders and weeds brought by Vaanaras and the pebbles brought by the rodents! Guru Gobind Singh, the great Sikh Guru has written a beautiful treatise on Ramayana with the title : “Ramaavatar” in which He refers to Rama as a personage who really lived and he refers to “Rama Sethu” as well.

There are over 50 lacs people in South India around Rameswaram who bear the name : “Sethu Rama” or “Sethupathi” or “Ramalinga” in the honest belief that Lord Rama did come to Rameswaram, He did construct this bridge and He did go to Lanka using this bridge. Incidentally, the place itself got the name “Rameswaram” only because of Lord Rama’s visit to that place on His way to Lanka. How can UPA president Smt. Sonia Gandhi or PM Mr. Manmohan Singh or CM Mr. Karunanidhi question this belief of the people simply because they have no faith in Ram? Crores of Hindus are going to Rameswaram and offer worship at the spot wherefrom Rama proceeded towards Lanka. The Central Government has no right to question this belief of the people.

One can not scientifically prove or disprove matters of belief. Any attempt to do so is foolish. In fact, science over-rules itself every 50 years! The opinion of some individual as to whether the “Rama Sethu” structure was man-made or a natural formation can not be taken as final. Some of the earlier scientific discoveries like Newton’s Laws were overruled after Einstein came! It was a scientific discovery earlier that atom can not be split! Now the scientists have found that atom can be split! Scientists were jubilant only some decades ago that they found a new planet called “Pluto”. But two years back, the scientists have discovered that “Pluto” is not a planet at all and removed it from the array of planets of Solar System! Therefore, scientific theories or discoveries are not final or constant. On the other hand, a Senior Scientist from Geological Survey of India says giving scientific reasons, that the bridge in question was surely man-made. Moreover since no cement, steel or mortar were used but only boulders, weeds, pebbles and such natural substances were used, the bridge will look like naturally formed particularly, after thousands of years! This apart, a matter of faith of over 70 crores of people for over thousands of years can not ridiculed by a few, simply because they have no faith in Rama. This issue is more serious than Ramjanmabhoomi issue. If by shattering the faith of the majority community, this bridge constructed by Lord Rama, is to be broken, that would have tremendous repercussions in the country. Our P.M. Man Mohan Singh will be playing with fire if he attempts to tamper with the Divine Bridge constructed by Lord Rama in whose name Mahatma Gandhi united this country and got freedom and uttering whose name Gandhiji breathed his last. To question the Historicity of Rama is to insult the Father of our Nation, besides hurting the religious sentiments of all the Hindus numbering over 75 crores.

Rama’s name is interwoven with our culture. The accosting term in most of the villages in India is : “Ram Ram”. The exclamation or surprise is expressed by our people by saying “Oh Ram” or “Hey Ram”. Even when someone dies, we all chant “Ram nam satya hai”. Please don’t underestimate people’s faith in Ram! For short-term commercial gains don’t destroy Rama-Sethu constructed several thousands of years ago wounding the religious sentiments of over 75 crores of Hindus!

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