Mythos 33 – Ruins of Gunung Padang

 

Hanumān who found Sita in Rāvaṇa’s Kingdom of Lanka, was not a Human or Rakshasa but a Vanara. Although the word Vanara has come to mean monkey over the centuries and the Vānaras are depicted as monkeys in popular art, their exact origin is not clear.(1)Kirsti Evans (1997) Epic Narratives in the Hoysaḷa Temples: The Rāmāyaṇa, Mahabharata, and Bhāgavata Purāṇa in Haḷebīd, Belūr, and Amṛtapura Unlike other supernatural creatures such as the Rakshasas, the Vānaras do not have a precursor in the Vedic literature.(2)Vanamali (2010) Hanumān: The Devotion and Power of the Monkey God, Page 13 The Rāmāyaṇa presents them as human-like regarding their speech, clothing, habitations, funerals, and other customs. It also describes their monkey-like characteristics such as their leaping, fur, and tail.(3)Catherine Ludvik (1994) Hanumān in the Rāmāyaṇa of Vālmīki and the Rāmacaritamānasa of Tulasī Dāsa, Pages 2–3

The 9,300 Year Old Ruins of Bhirrana

The 9,300 Year Old Ruins of Bhirrana

In the Rāmāyaṇa Vānaras were created by the Celestials (Adityas) to help Rama in battle against Rāvaṇa. The Celestials impregnated monkeys and bears, that then gave birth to monkey-like Vānaras.(4)Valmiki (circa 500 B.C.) Rāmāyaṇa 1.17.8-18 After Vānaras were created they began to organize into armies and spread through the forests. According to the Rāmāyaṇa, the Vānaras lived primarily in the region of Kishkindha, identified with southern India. Rama first encountered them in Dandaka Forest, during his search for Sita. The Dandaka Forest is a semi-mythical former forest that once sat between the Godavari and Narmada Rivers of central India. The Dandaka Forest was also one of the colonial states of the Kingdom of Lanka, governed by a Rakshasa named Khara.

In the Rāmāyaṇa Hanumān ultimately finds Sita, but is caught and tortured by Lankan forces before escaping and setting the Island City (Lankapuri) on fire. Hanumān returned to Kolosa to inform Rama of Sita’s location, who then led an army of Human, Vanara, and Rakshasa warriors to liberate Sita. Rama killed Rāvaṇa and placed Rāvaṇa’s brother Vibhishana on the throne of Lanka. Vibhishana had apparently rejected Rāvaṇa’s rule, and fled to join Rama’s growing army.

The 12,500 Year Old Ruins of Gunung Padang

The 12,500 Year Old Ruins of Gunung Padang

While the concept of a war between an Indian and an Indonesian civilization 8,800 years ago might seem farfetched, there is archeologic evidence of civilizations at both locations at the time. The 9,000 year old ruins of Mehrgarh, Balochistan (Pakistan),(5)A. Coppa, et al. (2006) “Early Neolithic tradition of dentistry: Flint tips were surprisingly effective for drilling tooth enamel in a prehistoric population” Nature, Volume 440 and 9,300 years ago in Bhirrana, Haryana (India),(6)Nivedita Khandekar (Nov 04, 2012) “Indus Valley 2,000 years older than thought” Hindustan Times both date back to before the era of the Rāmāyaṇa. In Indonesia a much more impressive megalithic pyramid called Gunung Padang is located on the island of Java, which carbon-dating in 2012 indicated of being up to 12,500 years old.(7)Zulhidayat Siregar (June 28, 2012) “Tim Terpadu Riset Mandiri: Gunung Padang Truly Extraordinary” Kantor Berita Politik RMOL The scientists working at the site have stated the pyramid could be much older, possibly 20,000 years old, however have met with considerable criticism for suggesting people could build anything significant that long ago.(8)Michael Bachelard (July 27, 2013) “Digging for the truth at controversial megalithic site” Sidney Morning Herald The pyramid itself is a terraced hill the researchers believe is artificial, built in phases in at least four different periods of time.(9)Yunanto Wiji Utomo (June 6, 2014) “Mari Terbang ke Atas Situs Megalitikum Gunung Padang” Kompas The terraces are bordered by retaining walls of stone that are accessed by about 400 successive andesite steps rising about 95 meters.

References   [ + ]

1. Kirsti Evans (1997) Epic Narratives in the Hoysaḷa Temples: The Rāmāyaṇa, Mahabharata, and Bhāgavata Purāṇa in Haḷebīd, Belūr, and Amṛtapura
2. Vanamali (2010) Hanumān: The Devotion and Power of the Monkey God, Page 13
3. Catherine Ludvik (1994) Hanumān in the Rāmāyaṇa of Vālmīki and the Rāmacaritamānasa of Tulasī Dāsa, Pages 2–3
4. Valmiki (circa 500 B.C.) Rāmāyaṇa 1.17.8-18
5. A. Coppa, et al. (2006) “Early Neolithic tradition of dentistry: Flint tips were surprisingly effective for drilling tooth enamel in a prehistoric population” Nature, Volume 440
6. Nivedita Khandekar (Nov 04, 2012) “Indus Valley 2,000 years older than thought” Hindustan Times
7. Zulhidayat Siregar (June 28, 2012) “Tim Terpadu Riset Mandiri: Gunung Padang Truly Extraordinary” Kantor Berita Politik RMOL
8. Michael Bachelard (July 27, 2013) “Digging for the truth at controversial megalithic site” Sidney Morning Herald
9. Yunanto Wiji Utomo (June 6, 2014) “Mari Terbang ke Atas Situs Megalitikum Gunung Padang” Kompas