The subject matter of this page is vanaras. The purpose of this subject is to uncover the identity of the descendants of vanaras about whom the society as a whole lost it's track and the vanara descendants themselves have forgotten their own identity. The descendants of vanars must be living among us in the Indian socity or else where in today's world but with a changed identity. They were a different race of humans, who were believed to have built an amaging floating bridge between Srilanka and India to cross over the sea that seperated these two land masses. They were intelligent, civilized and further more great warriors, who had all the quailties to survive. It is just not possible for such an intelligent race to get extinct so easily. So, it is very much necessary for us to go deep into the available details about the people of vanara race of prehistoric times of Ramayana and Mahabharata, in order to unravel racial and tribal connection of MUTHARACHAs with vanaras.
The Telugu speaking Mudirajas of Andhra Pradesh are known as BANTS. The Tuluva speaking Shettys of Karnataka are also known as BANTS / BUNTS.
Hanuman, the chief commander of Sugreeva and a great devotee of Sri Ram was known as Rama Bantu. The entire Vanaras were known as Rama Bants.
In Telugu the word “Bant” means a follower. Rama bant means followers of Rama. Vanaras were the military men of Sri Rama in the war against demon Ravana of Srilanka. Interestingly, these vanaras were the natives of Hampi region of Bellary districts which were once an integral part of undevided Rayalaseema of A.P. It is the same region to which the telugu speaking bants (Mudirajas) and Tulu speaking Bunts (Shettys) of present day belong.
This gives raise to a logical conclusion that Mudirajas of Andhra Pradesh and Shettys of Karnataka were the descendants of Hanuman Vanaras.
The Vijayanagar empire was basically the power bastin of all bunt kings of Tuluva and Telugu origins. The Kurubas (Yadavas) too fall under bunt category. The Telugu speaking Bunts / Bants among Mudirajas supposed to be living in the areas of South and Sout-West of Andhra Pradesh, which are closely located to Tuluva speaking regions of Karnataka.
Bunt = Bantu (singular)
Bunts = Bantlu (plural)
Bantu => Servant
Bantu => Follower
The bunts in Tuluva region say that they were bunt rajas of medieval times and they were also known as buntaru. They were also mostly chieftains similar to mutharachas (Mudirajas) in Eastern Ghats of South India.
Even the Telugu and Kannada scripts look alike, pointing to a grand truth that Vanaras were the BUNTS / BANTS whose language was the mother language of all the three languages i.e Telugu, Tulu and kannada in the puranic times.
In a practical sense,RAMA BUNTU (Hanuman) means, the follower of Sri Rama. In other words, all the bunts were mostly warrior people belonging to kolis, bhils, gonds, etc. and belonging to Telugu and Tuluva speaking regions of South India and particularly from TulaNadu and TeluguNadu.
Even the commanders and subcommanders who commanded the monkey army against demon Ravana under the supreme command of Sri Rama were all BANT / BUNT warriors in majority. Most probably, the subcommanders / chieftains of monkey warriors who helped Rama in his fight against Ravana in the rescue operation of SITA used to call themselves as Rama Bunts / Rama Bantus as a matter of great pride for themselves. This word BUNT / BANTU might have continued to be used to give a separate special identity to the local people and their chieftains in the region of Andhra, Tuluva & Kannada since the times of epic Ramayana. As it was explained in one of the pages in this site, Hanuman was not only Telugu speaking man but also a Muthuracha / Bunt warrior of ancient origin.
Rama bantu => Servant of Rama => Follower of Rama
Rama Bantlu => Servants of Sri Rama => Followers of Rama
Hanuman was not only a Dravidian Tribal belonging to Telugu speaking regions, but also belonged to a community that has connection to fishing profession. In some version of Ramayana, there is a reference about his son by name Matchyavalaka or Matchyavallabha. Here Matchya means Fish and Matchyavalaka means son of a fish. It may be a silent pointer to the fact that Hanuman was a koli (Mudiraj) warrior having married to a koli girl for whom Matchyavalabha was born.
Matchya => Fish
Matchyavallabha => Son of a Fish
In Mudiraj Caste, we can come across some people having "Bantu / Bunt" as their Gotra name. "Koli" is also another gotra name among Mudiraj caste people.
Further deep study of BANT / BUNT reveals, the direct connection of the word "BUNT" to VANARAS. This once again confirms the grand fact that all the present BUNTS / BANTS were the descendants of VANARAS.
BUNTARU => BUNTU
BUNTU => BANTU
How to prove that Buntu means Vanara ?
Banjaras & Vanjaras :
Van => Ban = forest
Vanara => Vanachara => Vanjara => Banjara
Vanjara = Banjara = The men who moves in the forests
There exists a separate community of people belonging to “Vanjara”, even today in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharastra.
Banjaras of Rajastan and Lambadas of A.P also belong to the same Vanjara community.
Bunts & Bants:
Banjara => Bant(z)ara => Bantara => Bantaru
Bantaru => Bantu => Buntu = The men who moves in the fores
Banjara => Band(z)ara => Bandara => Bandar
Bandar = Monkey (The animal which moves in forests)
There exists a community of people belonging to Banars in Nepal & Madhya Pradesh.
Bandars call themselves as offsprings of Hanuman:
The Dravidian Jhangads are a backward and minority group. They speak Kurukh Mundari. They are largely farmers and laborers. There are some differences between the Jhangads of Madhya Pradesh of India and those in Nepal. Jhangads of Nepal worship nature. They conclude their religious ceremonies by playing diga and feasting on pork and alcohol. Negroid in appearance and complexion, they either cremate or bury their dead. Pigs are their only domestic animals. According to Census 2001, their population is 41,764.
There are chieftains in society who are called Manyajan (respected person) and Mukhya Manyajan (chief respected person). They have their own panchayat (village council) which frames the rules of social order. They are divided into 16 thars (clans), of which one is Bandar.
Bandars call themselves offsprings of Hanuman. Their religion is mainly animism. They have, however, accepted some part of Hinduism. They see an invisible power in the tree of Karma (yellow wood). They worship Kali too. They have a practice of offering beasts to deities.
Rama Bantu & Elugu Bantu:
Elugu Bantu = The bear which moves in the forests.
Rama Bantu = The forest men who moves along with Sri Rama
Rama Bantu = The vanara warriors who follows Sri Rama
Jambavat belong to slightly a different community of vanaras whose emblam was Elugu Bantu (bear). Elugu Rayudu was the last ruler of Saluva Dynasty of Vijayanagar Empire who ruled his kingdom with Podili as capital. Elugu people belong to Mudiraja community of Andhra Pradesh.
The Mudiraj / Bant / Bunt warrior people who were living in the region of Hampi and their related warriors people in Telugu and Tulu regions were the original bants / bunts.(BR>
By Kokolu Anka Rao (webmaster ):14/10/2005
The prominent indentified location of vanaras :
The Aranya Kanda refers to Rama's visit to sage Matanga's hermitage, where he meets Sabari in the region around hampi. Close to the hermitage, Sugriva lived in exile on Rishyamuka Hill, which is north of Hampi in present day Karnataka and within a few miles from Anegondi (Dr. S. N. Vyas; also Andhra Prabha Weekly 15-9-82). In fact, the belt from Tirupati Hill, birthplace of Hanuman (Parashar Samhita), to go Gokaran on the west coast, an area dominated by Vanaras provides an excellent ground for studies by archeologists, anthropologists and others. Various places in the south with religious and historical background concerning Rama's sojourns compel millions to believe that ancient Lanka was nothing but the present Sri Lanka. The other two places of historical importance in A.P. are (i) Parnashala (hut) from where Sita was supposed to have been abducted (thought to be situated near the Nasik region by some), (ii) Lepakshi (meaning: O bird, get up) where the bird Jatayu supposedly died. The meaning of name LEPAKSHI in Telugu language very beautifully matches to the injured and collapsed Jatayu bird, which died after giving details to Sriram and Laxman about the abduction of Sita by demon Ravana.
Le => Get up
Pakshi => Bird
Le + Pakshi => Lepakshi => Getup ! O Bird !!
Parna => ( palm ) leaves
shala => hut
parna + shala => parnashala => hut made of palm leaves
Rukshya => Rushya => Rishya => vanara people resembling bears
Muka => group => herd => hemlet => village
Rishya + Muka => Rishyamuka
Rishyamuka Hill => A hill on which vanara people resembling bears live.
Dual fighting between Jambavanth and Krishna: Vanaras were famous for their dual fighting (Ontaris => Singulars => Fighting between Singulars )
Jambavan - was the name of great warrior follower of hanuman belonging to Rukshya or Rushya branch of vanars.
"Getup ! O Bird !!" were the words used by Rama and Laxmana, when they met the injured and collapsed Jatayu bird, on their way in search of Sita, who was suspected by Ram and Laxman to be abducted by Rakshasas. Infact, the bird jatayu was injured in its fight with demon Ravana, when it tried to stop Ravana, who was carrying away the crying Sita in Pushpak Viman through skyline. The Jatayu fell on the earth from the sky with its injured and broken wings. LEPAKSHI, a town in Rayalaseema of Andhra Pradesh is believed to be the place where the Jatayu bird fell flat on the earth from sky.
According to Parashar Samhita, Tirupati hill region of Andhra Pradesh ( Vengadam ) is beileved to be the birth place of Hanuman, the army chief of vanaras, who was not only responsible for a decisive victory of Sriram over Ravana but also the life saver of Laxman with sanjeevani herbal, which Hanuman brought from Himalaya Mountains.
Valmiky's description of vanaras :
Vanaras were forest dwellers and probably lived in man made cave houses. They have come from different parts of the world by the command of Vanara King Sugriv and participated in the search for Sita and subsequently in the war against Rakshasa King Ravana.
Though not exactly, Vanara had some facial features similar to that of an ape or a monkey and also of human. Mouth was protruding like a monkey or ape. They had eyes and eyebrows similar to humans. Most importantly, Vanara had long hair over the head like a human. This feature suggests Vanara was a highly evolved one more close to a human than an ape or monkey. Vanaras had long tail, unlike apes. For this reason, they could not be classified under apes. Being bipeds like humans, they could not be classified as monkeys or apes.
Apes and monkeys occasionally use front legs as hands; otherwise they serve as legs for mobilization. Like humans,
Vanaras used hands for various purposes. They picked up trees and lifted big rocks for fighting against Rakshasas
existed then in Lankan City (Sri Lanka).
They were vegetarians and relied on fruits, roots and honey.
They knew war strategy. They fought Ramayana war in a more disciplined and organized way along with Rukshyas under the supreme commandership of prince Rama, Vanara King Sugriv, his Vanara minister Hanuman and various Vanara and
Vanaras had civilization and cultural similar to humans. Most importantly Vanaras had vanara kingdom under Vali afterwards under Sugriv at a place close to Anegondi or near Bellary of Andhra Pradesh. Angada was the Vanara prince
(Vali's son) who was a prominent Vanara leader and warrior under the commandership of Vanara King Sugriv and under the supreme Commandership of Rama. Settlements of Vanaras and rukshayas with Jambavan as leader were there in a belt of region between Tirumala (birth place of hanuman) in Andhra Pradesh to Gokarn on the west coast.
Vanaras had a Royal garden called 'Madhuvan' under the Vanara king Sugriv, where they drank honey when they got together. Some Vanaras like King Sugriv, his Vanara minister Hanuman were able to converse at ease with Rama and Lakshman.
Rukshyas were also bipeds and used hands like vanaras. They had typical facial feature that is protruding mouth like bears. Yuddha Kanda describes Rukshyas have participated in Ramayana war along with vanaras. They moved as separate
regiment under the control of Rukshya commanders. Jambavan was their greatest Statesman. They lived on Rukshyamuka hill. It is situated close to Bellary town in the present State of Karnataka. Like Vanaras, Rukshyas were highly evolved species than the bears and close to humans. They were a distinct species.
Hanuman, the superman of Ramayana :
A recurring name in the mythological traditions of India is HANUMAN (the pride of chin). Ancient epics - Ramayan, Mahabharat - and the Puranas (Chronicles) describe him as a great warrior of extraordinary strength and supernatural
powers. What sets him apart is his tail and a face of an ape. This probably comes from the tribe he belonged to. Vanara, the name of his tribe, also means ape. The ancient story-tellers imagined his tribe to consist of ape-men.
The saga of Hanuman as a devoted aide of Ramayan's hero Ram is as popular throughout South Asia as it is in India or wherever Indians live. From the moment he met Ram, who in search of his abducted consort Sita happened to pass through the Vanara kingdom of Bali and Sugreev along with younger brother Laxman, he became his constant companion.
His exiled king Sugreev sent him to Lanka to seek out Sita who was in the island's rakshasa king Ravana's captivity. During the attack on Lanka, Hanuman was one of the chief warriors. There were few among the enemy to match his super-human strength. Crossing the sea, burning of Lanka, fetching sanjivani herb from the Himalayas to bring Laxman back to life after being struck down by Ravana's son are some of the famous episodes from his exploits.
He is believed to be the son of wind-god (Vayu). Hence the ability to fly at great speed. His exploits of super strength are many. Mentioned in both Ramayana and Mahabharata, his traditional description of a tailed superman is matched by simian origin and habits. As a child too he was extraordinary. There is a story of his attempt to swallow the sun god and Indra, the king of heaven, throwing his vajra (thunder weapon) at him as a preventive action. The weapon struck Hanuman on the chin (Hanu in Sanskrit) which gave him the name he came to be known by. According to epic Ramayana believed to have been authored by saint poet Valmiki in Vedic Sanskrit, birth of Hanuman was pre-ordained along with the incarnation of god Vishnu - one of the Hindu Trinity - as Ram. Gods sent him to earth to serve Ram and help him in his 'mission' to destroy all evil elements which were trying to destroy true 'Dharma'.
Hanuman's first meeting with his lord took place when Ram was searching around for his consort Sita in the forests of central India. Hanuman who was then in the service of his Vanara king Sugreev, not only traced Sita to the southern is land of Lanka, where she was kept in captivity by Ravana, the local ruler, but fought the final battle for her rescue along with Ram, his younger brother Laxman and the whole army of Vanaras. Hanuman accompanied his master to Ayodhya, the kingdom on the banks of the Ganga, and served as his commander till Ram returned to his godhood.
Two incidents from his life during the expedition for Sita's rescue deserve mention. Hanuman leapt across the sea to reach the spot where Sita was confined in Ravan's palace and while returning how he burnt down parts of the royal
residences and the city. The second incident is about Hanuman's amazing flight to the snowy Himalayas thousands of miles to the north to bring the life-giving herb Sanjivani which was urgently required to revive Laxman who had been
struck down by Ravan's eldest son during the battle. Hanuman never married and is believed to have lived long enough to bless the Pandavas with victory in the Mahabharata war.
The whole world came to know about people of VANARA race for the first time, through the all time great epic of Valmiky Ramayana and Hanuman, the Monkeyman character, which was filled with all possible superman qualities such as adventurism, heroism, spiritualism, strength, sacrifice, service, valor, righteousness, fight for liberty, love, truth, faith, devotion, dedication, celibacy, loyalty, capacity to assume any form of body, capacity to fly in the sky, etc. He was perhaps the complete and first superman character created by saint valmiky in the history of mankind. The epic Ramayana was with full of vanara warrior characters such as Vali, Sugreev, Jambavan, Angad, etc., who were as much valorous as Hanuman. It was described in ramayana that all these vanara warriors took an active roll in searching for and rescuing Sita, who was abducted by demon Ravana, the king of Srilanka in the absence of Srirama and Laxmana. It may not be far from truth, if we say that today's cartoon and movie characters such as superman, spiderman, shaktiman, etc are all the fall out of 4000 year old hanuman character of epic ramayana created by sage valmiky.
Rayalaseema, the land of vanaras :
We all know that Kishkinda is identified with historical hampi in Bellary district of present day Karnataka State in India, where the great Hindu Vijaynagar Empire was founded by Harihara Raya and Bukka Raya of Sangama dynasty in the recent times in the year 1336 A.D. Hampi, the capital city of Vijaynagar empire was founded by Raya brothers of Sangama dynasty on the banks of river Tungabhadra under the inspiration of sage Vidyadhara. The Bellary district was a region of Telugu speaking people and was an integral part of Rayalaseema since unknown times. Even today we can see a large number of native people in bellary district with Telugu as their mother tongue. The Bellary district was in Andhra State, when independent India was administratively reorganised for the first time into different states based on language. It was transferred from Andhra state to the then Mysore state for administrative reasons in lieue of some other districts from Mysore state.
Raja => Racha => Raya => Rai => King
Seema => Land => Sthan = Region
Raya + Seema => Rayalaseema => A land of Rayas (kings)
What historians of today believe about Vanaras and rakshasas ?
Eminent historians who have done detailed research on the epic Ramayana have concluded that 'Lanka', the kingdom of the demonic king Ravana and 'Kishkinda', the homeland of the Vanaras (depicted as monkeys) were places situated south of Chitrakuta hill and north of Narmada river in middle India. Accordingly, Ravana and his demons were an aboriginal tribe, most probably the Gond, and the Vanaras, like Hanuman in the epic, belonged to the Savara and Korku tribes whose descendants still inhabit the central Indian forest belt. Even today, the Gond holds Ravana, the villain of Ramayana, in high esteem as a chief. Rama, the hero of Ramayana, is also known for slaughtering the Rakshasas (demons) in the forests!
Hanuman originated in a Dravidian past and was accepted into the Aryan age. He is also known as Maruti, Pavanaputra and Anjaneya. Hanuman was a Commander in Chief of the army of King Sugriva (a Monkey King) as described in Valmiky Ramayana. Hanuman was never a monkey in the real sense although people over thousands of years have made him a monkey. Hanuman, Vali, Sugriva etc were called Vanars. Obviously one can understand that monkeys can't talk or have kingdoms like what it says in the Ramayana. They were also said to be very strong and valorous.
Ravana was son of Wirsawa and grand son of Pulstya. In the Adivasi language Koytur "Pulai" means lion. The totem of Pulstya was lion. Trunbindu was wife of Pulstya. Wirsawa, whose other name was Kubara Virendu, had a wife Kakeya
and Ravana was their son. The name Ravana has originated from their totem, though the complete name of Ravana is different. Ramdeo Paswan in his book "bharat se Arya", mentioned full name of Ravana to be "Raujaner Varendu Narendar" (RaVaNa) and its short form was Ravana. His wife Mandodari was daughter of Danava named as Maya. The Rakshas Gana of the Ravana belonged to Daitya race and his mother also belonged to the same race. Walmiki himself has called Ravana a Mahatma.
Ravana was a very powerful hero of battles. He had only one mouth two hands and two legs. Aryan Pundits depicted him in a corrupt form to the society out of hate and contempt. The real enemy of Aryans until then were the Indigenous people in this country and therefore they were called Rakshasas and Daityas. Ravana being in the Daityas race and Rakshasa Gana, he was depicted to have 10 mouths.
As Ravana was very brave and powerful warrior he was compared with the powerful star in the sky and 10 th being himself, he was called Dash Mukha as a rhetoric. Another idea of calling him Dashmukh was he was strong enough to beat 10 wrestlers at a time. Mahatma Buddha was also called "Dash Tathagata Balopen" because he was endowed with 10 "balas". Similarly, Ravana had 10 powers and hence he was called Dashmukha.
The system of republics ( Gana ) is the main basis of Adivasi culture. The deity of each Gana is different and is worshipped by Adivasi in form of plants and animals. They consider these totems as sacred, and their identity is based according to their totem. Ravana had also a totem of Raksha Gana of Adivasi and his totem was a palm tree. That Ravana and his followers were related with totemic culture can be seen from the examples of Ravana (palm tree), Shurpanakha (palm tree), Tadaka (palm tree), Maricha (shal tree), Shabari (tree of berries). His co-workers were worshiping animals totems for like Hanuman, Wali, Sugreeva, Angad (all monkeys), Jambuwants (bear), Jatayu (vulture). Adivasis worshiping trees are called Maravi.
The Vanaras were obviously tribes with the monkey totem: after all, the Ramayana belongs to a period when most of India was jungle with tribal forest-dwellers. India still contains several tribes with animal totems. An early issue of the Bellary District (now in Karnataka) Gazetteer gives us the interesting information that the place was inhabited by the Vanara people. The Jaina Ramayana mentions that the banner of the Vanaras was the vanaradhvaja (monkey flag), thereby reinforcing the totemic theory. Similarly, Jatayu would have been the king of the vulture-totem tribe and Jambavan of the bear-totem tribe.
M. S. Purnalingam Pillai observes that "Ravana and his race Rakshas belong to the human race and in all probability to the "Marava" community of the present day."
H. D. Sankaliya observes that "Thus the view that Ravana and other Rakshasas were in truth an aboriginal tribe, most probably the Gonds and Vanaras, belong to other tribes such as the Savaras and Korku, seems to be justified". This proves that Ravana and others were Adivasis from different ganas.
Chandrika Prasad Jidnyasu observed that Ravana was Gond and his Lanka was in Central India.
Ravana was against Vedic Yajnyas : Basically, Ravana was a worshiper of nature and used to hate the Aryans Rishis and deities killing their totems in yajnyas. Manu enjoins killing of animals in Yajnyas as Madhupark. It therefore follows that Ramayana is a story of conflict between Adivasi culture versus Aryans culture.
Ramaswami Periyar observed that Ravana was hating Vedic deities and Rishis because they were indulging in cruelly killing of animals and there was no other reason.
Raksha culture of Rakshasas : Mahatma Ravana had started a struggle against the Vedic Yajnyas to protect the culture of Adivasis and his Rakshasa gana. "Raksha" means to protect. Acharya Chatursen named his book "Wayam Raksham", meaning "we protect".
Aryans always hated the Adivasis as seen by depicting them as enemies of Gods and men.
According to the Jain version, Ravana and Raksas were highly cultured people belonging to the race of the Vidyadharas and were great devotees of Jina. But the Aryan Hindu tradition depicted them as evil natured and irreligious demons because they were antagonistic to the sacrificial cult of the Vedic sages. At the same time, they were defeated, therefore, they become the demons in the hands of the poets. Considering these two accounts together, it seems that the Vedic people denounced the Rakshas because they were the followers of Jainism. F. E. Pargiter also asserts the Jains were treated as Asuras and Daityas by the Hindus. Rama, his brother Laksamana and their enemy Ravana were 63 prominent personages (the trisastisalaka purushas) of the Jain traditions where in the Raksas and Vanaras of the Ramayana have been described not as semihuman or demons but as highly civilized and cultured human beings of the Vidyadhara race who were mostly devotees of the Jina.
It is also noteworthy that some of the most famous of ancient Rishis such as Vyasa, Vaisishta and Valmiki were of Indian descent. Sri Rama, Sri Krishna and the Pandavas were also probably Indians, at any rate undoubtedly of mixed origin, as they were dark in complexion unlike the white Aryan, and all of them were' leaders of strong opposition' to Brahmanism. These, and other circumstances which leave no room for doubt that the early Arrays came to an India of a glorious and hoary civilization, though probably less virile than that of the younger Aryas. As Mr. Havell says, "But many modern writers of Oriental 'history proclaim as- the latest discovery of science that the early Aryan invaders of India, who won the undy1w veneration of the people as mighty seers and leaders of men, were only successful soldiers versed in the arts of chivalrous warfare and that they borrowed their finer culture from the Dravidians and other civilized races they conquered." .
Let us see what some research scholars have to say : " Hanuman is a mythological character associated with Ramayan and Mahabharat. He has been referred to in Rg Veda as 'Vrisha Kapi', as friend of Indra. He is slated to be the next Brahma ( Which is a post meant for the creation of the worlds). More historically, Hanuman belonged to the Nasik area of Maharashtra in India. Vanaras were said to be a tribe closely connected to andhras, perhaps a sub-tribe. While Hanuman hails from Maharashtra, the same place from where the andhras have emerged, Vanaras have occupied today's borders of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, both are predominantly telugu speaking areas and where you had a highly flourishing kingdom of vijayanagara(today's anantpur and Hampi districts). Hanuman has written in paisaci, a vanished language today, supposedly the first commentary on Bhagavad gita."
The Dravidians were far more civilized than Aryans :
All branches of aboriginal Tribal Indians were broadly known as Dravidians and whose life style was moulded and integrated with forests and nature. They were all forest dwellers and highly concious of the hidden link between their survival and the survival of forests and environment in which they lived. They worshipped the Trees, Forests, Animals, Birds and the Nature as a whole in the form of Mother Goddess. The various Tribes of aboriginal origin identified themselves with totems represented by Tree's Names, Animal's names, etc. They lived and developed into great civilization made of peoples republics of a systemic order, where power was always transferred from one worthy kin to another worthy kin in a most peaceful manner without much scope for struggle and destruction.
Rakshasa Settlements :
During Ramayana period, rakshasa settlements were present in central India and Srilanka. Rakshasas had their own kingdom under the King Ravana with 'Lanka city' as the capital, situated over Nuwara Eliya Hills (6.59 N 95.00 E ) of the present Srilanka. Nearly 80,000 rakshasas headed by Ravana's two brothers 'Khara' and 'Dhushana', and Ravana's sister 'Surpanakha', settled in the forests (Dandakaranya) of central India. Rakshasas lived up to Mahabharata period, which was nearly 3000 years ago according to some historians.
Capital of Ravana, The demon king :
Sundarakanda vividly describes the situation of Lanka City on Trikuta parvata meant meeting place of three mountain ranges. Nuwara Eliya hills in Sri Lanka that look like inverted T in Atlas were the same Trikuta. The description of Ravana's capital Lanka tells us that there were forts, palaces, watch-towers, towering buildings. The Lanka city had well laid roads, road junctions, and impressive buildings. It was with abounding in wealth and luxury. There were council of ministers and generals discussing the pros and cons of war, with a courage of conviction and breadth of views that a modern legislature might well envy. In the actual war in which Rama, Laxmana and the allies were all crushed by of the superhuman feats ascribed to Ravana and his great son Indrajit. But luckly they were saved only by the mysterious power of a medicine.
Ravana had magical aircraft (Pushpaka Vimana) which took to destination simply by thought command. It could accommodate any number. Besides this, chariots were also available. He had tight security and big Army, Air force and Navy. Lankini, a rakshasa woman guarded the outer wall of Lanka city. The ancient Lanka city cannot be traced now, unlike Ram's capital Ayodhya in India. However, 'Sita waky' became a tourist place where Ram's wife Sita was kept under captivity in SriLanka.
These and a host of other events disclose a civilization more highly evolved than that of the Aryan combatants of the Mahabharata. The remarkable sense of justice and propriety and chivalry attained by that eminent Indian King may be seen in the treatment of the captive "Sita" in Lanka, where that lovely princess with forlorn hopes of deliverance lives obdurate and defiant without being harmed, and receiving all the honor and attention her royalty demanded.
Mystical powers :
Ravana was a great Sanskrit scholar, ardent devotee of Shiva as a result attained many mystical powers. Evidently, his composition praising Shiva ('Jhata kataha' etc) is well known to many Indians. Hanuman saw Vedic scholars in Lanka. In order to safe gaurd himself from beheading in the hands of enemy he sought blessing from God so that if one head is beheaded by enenmy, another head replaces it . Likewise, ten heads can generate one after another as replacement. Ravana treated God Vishnu as enemy, while his brother Vibhishan was fond of Vishnu, whom he worshipped. Ram and Lakshman as well as Ravana and his son, Meghanath used mystical weapons (astras) during the war. Vedas have secretly described how to vanquish the enemy with fire as weapon. During Treta Yug (Ramayana period) some humans, rakshasas like Ravana and Vanaras attained mystical powers after long penance, while some others got by birth itself like Ram, Lakshman, Hanuman, Jambavan. Ravana and his brother Vibhishan could fly across the sea to India. Ravana and Marichi another rakshasa who did long penance could change their physical form.
Jain Ramayan describes rakshas as cultued people :
According to the Jain version, Ravana and Raksas were highly cultured people belonging to the race of the Vidyadharas and were great devotees of Jina. But the Hindu brahmins depicted them as evil natured and irreligious demons because they were antagonistic to the sacrificial cult of the Vedic sages. At the same time, they were defeated, therefore, they become the demons in the hands of the poets. Considering these two accounts together, it seems that the Vedic people denounced the Rakshas because they were the followers of Jainism. F. E. Pargiter also asserts the Jains were treated as Asuras and Daityas by the Hindus. Rama, his brother Laksamana and their enemy Ravana were 63 prominent personages (the trisastisalaka purushas) of the Jain traditions where in the Raksas and Vanaras of the Ramayana have been described not as semihuman or demons but as highly civilized and cultured human beings of the Vidyadhara race who were mostly devotees of the Jina.
Capital of Vali, the Vanara King :
According to some historians, Anegondi, Tara and Vali Hills situated closely to Hampi in the State of Karnataka had been the kingdom situated near Bellary (15.09 N 76.55 E) for vanaras. Among the Vanara Royal brothers, Vali and Sugriv, Vali ruled first being the elder one. Vali's son, Angad was regarded as prince in Ramayana. Vanaras followed mostly human ethics. Sugriv, after abandoned by his brother Vali, lived in exile on Rukshyamuka Hill, which is north of Hampi and within a few km from Anegondi, where rukshyas colony existed. Vanaras had basic tenets of administration similar to humans.
Parashar Samhita describes that Anjana Devi, took long penance for want of a worthy son on 'Anjanadri', one of the seven hills of Tirumala (13.40 N 79.20 E in Andhra Pradesh) and gave birth to Hanuman. Pilgrims witness Anjanadri hill in the way to Papanasanam water falls. For this reason, Andhraits dearly address Him- 'Anjaneya' (Anjana Devi's son). On Anjanadri itself a colony of vanaras existed. In Valmiki's Sundarakanda, while describing his genealogy to Sita, Lord Hanuman introduced himself as son of Kesari (aurasa putra), who went from Malyavanta hill to Gokarn to kill a rakshasa on the behest of devatas. He vividly said that he was born to Kesari's wife and Vayu.
These facts suggest a belt of region from the present Andhra Pradesh to the western coast, where vanara and rukshya settlements once existed. Sita has considered association of vanaras and rukshyas with humans uncommon. But millions of vanaras and rukshyas collectively fought the Ramayana war under the leadership of Lord Ram, a human. They all knew how to collectively fight a war in a well-organized way, its strategies and basic ethics. Some of the vanaras have been so mighty like a small hillock.
Vanaras built a floating bridge to cross over sea from India to Srilanka :
The vanaras built a Varadhi to fight a war against Ravana, who ruled Rakshasa kingdom from Lankan City and for safe return of Sita from captivity. They could build a bridge (Varadhi) across the sea in a very short time. Evidently, a finger like projection can be seen in the atlas from Ramanathapuram on Indian side to Mannar on the side of Sri Lanka (published by the author in Indian Express, Oct 25, 1982). Remnants of ancient bridge can be seen now as a row of small islands between India and Srilanka. Satellite picture vividly displays narrow strip of land where the bridge stood once.
The bridge reflects the glorious human and other civilizations once prevailed on the continent what was called Bharat with much wider horizons in Asia than what we geographically see now days as India. Nala, one of the Vanara Commanders was the architect who had the necessary skill under whose supervision the entire construction work was done. The length of the bridge constructed was 'one hundred yojanas' ( 90 - 130 kms). Its width was ten yojanas spacious enough to travel. The vanaras too just five days to complete the construction of varadhi. This type of job could be undertaken by only a highly civilized, inteeligent and technically sound human race.
What is meant by vanara ?
Vanara means the people moving or wandering or dwelling in the forests. The people who inhabited the forests and developed their living habits and customs to suite the forest growth and sustenance were the vanaras. In the other sense, they were vanacharas or the aboriginal Tribal Indians. Vanacharas were the same people who later came to be known as Banjaras. Vancharas means the people who move in forests (van). The banjaras of rajastan and lambadas of Andhra Pradesh are descendants of vanara race of dravidian origin
chal => char =>chara => move
van + nara => vanara
van +chara => vanchara => vanjara => vanara
van + chara => vanchara
vanchara =>banchara =>banjara
vanara => vanachara => vanjara => banjara => people moving in the forests
Vanacharas or vanaras were the people who used to move or wander in the forests in search of gathering food and fuel. They were the aboriginals, Tribal Indians and hunters who used to gather their daily needed food and fuel without any greed and need to store for future. They never destroyed the forests and fauna. They worshiped the trees, animals and nature as a whole in the form of Mother Goddess. Vanaras were black Tribal Indian people with two hands and two legs without tails just like any other human beings.
The greedy powerful Aryans, who came into India in search of new lands under the pressure and compulsion of climatic changes in the Northern hemisphere, treated and tortured the Tribal Indians very badly. Some tribal Indians such Gonds were described badly as Asur ( demons ) with horns on their head and some other Tribal Indians were called as vanar with tails.
Researchers identify the Kurubas (Kalabhras) of South India to belong to Negroid stock and Gonds of North India to belong to Austroid stock. It is worth to remember here the references made by the great sage VALMIKI in the great Sanskrit epic RAMAYANA written by him a few thousands years ago.
Most of the groups of kalabhra origin are dravidians and used to collect their food by hunting and wandering in the forests. Agriculture, farming, fishing, honey collection, etc., are some of the common jobs that can be seen among these groups of people throughout India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. As hunting was their main job, they developed into a race of specialized soldiers, warriors and kings of great valor.
It is not a wise on the part of some historians to conclude that 'Lanka', the kingdom of the demonic king Ravana and 'Kishkinda', the homeland of the Vanaras were places situated south of Chitrakuta hill and north of Narmada river in middle India. It was quite possible that a large population of vanaras i.e Gonds, Bhils, koyas of telugu speaking dravidians migrated to Ayodhya out of their great love for Ram & Sita. In this process of migration, many vanars left their presence on their way from Kishkinda to Ayodhya. Even the Banjaras of Rajathan could be possible the descendants of Vanaras.
vanaras => vanacharas => banacharas => bancharas => banjars
The fact that Ravana and hanuman were quite proficient in sanskrit proves that the people of ravana and that of hanuman were all related dravidians and had close communication with aryans on matters of religious interest. So, this provides us a clue that Ravana and his demons were an aboriginal tribe, and the Vanaras, like Hanuman in the epic most probably belonged to Gond, Savara and Korku tribes whose descendants still inhabit the central Indian forest belt. Even today, the Gond holds Ravana, the villain of Ramayana, in high esteem as a chief. Rama, the hero of Ramayana, is also known for slaughtering the Rakshasas (demons) in the forests!
It appears that both rakshas and vanaras belonged to only one faith and religion i.e the religion of SHIVA. Ravana was a great scholar, ardent devotee of shiva and worshipped 1000 shiva lingas every day. Among vanaras, hanuman was believed to the incarnation of shiva himself. Shiva was the only known God of dravidians apart from Mother Goddess in different names before the arrival of aryans and they worshipped shiva in the form of shiva linga. Shiva was considered to be the male form of divine existence and shakti, the female form. While dravidian masses used to offer puja to trees, snakes, animals, rivers, mountains, etc., as visible female Mother Goddess, the saints and munis used to meditate upon the name and image of male Shiva form.
We have to finally agree that the ancestors of present day Gonds, Bhils, Koyas, etc., were all the Vanara people of epic Ramayana. They were all the worshippers of Shiva, the original Buddha or Jina, who was of Dravidian origin. Now a more detailed study of Tribal Gonds, Bhils, and Koyas will reveal us that the vanaras were mostly the Telugu speaking people who hailed from Tirupathi, Rayalaseema, Bellary, and other parts of Andhra & Karnataka states of modern India. They did not vanish from the face of the earth but still surviving in the form of their descendants with a changed identity. The descendants of Mutharacha warriors seems to be one such group of Royal people having their genetic roots embedded in those of ancient Gonds, Bhils and Koyas.
GONDS, KOYAS & BHILS :
Gonds are a member of a heterogenous people of central India, about half of whom speak unwritten languages belonging to the Dravidian family.The major dravidian languages spoken in South India are Telugu in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil in Tamilnadu, Kannada in Karnataka and Malayalam in Kerala. The rest speak Indo-European languages such as Hindi. There are over 4 million Gonds, most of whom live in Madhya Pradesh, eastern Maharashtra, and northern Andra Pradesh, although some live in Orissa. The upper classses of Gonds intermarried freely with their Hindu neighbours and Gondi beliefs now embrace Hinduism as well as a range of more ancient gods and spirits. The Gondi do not have castes, although a limited number of clans coexist within a defined set of social and ritual relationships. The Raj Gonds of warrior class ruled a large portion of the area, Gondwana, from the 15th century to the mid-18th century,when the Marathas expanded from the west. The dynasties of Raj Gonds, rivalled those of neighbouring Hindus until the Muslim conquests of the 16th century.
The central Indian forests extending from the Aravalli Ranges in Southern Rajasthan to the Northern Andhra Pradesh in the south, the Dangs of South Gujarat to the Santhal Parganas in the East are the home of innumerable tribes. The Gonds had emerged in medieval times as a powerful group of tribes and were set on the road to even the formation of a nationality and state. Several Gond Kingdoms had emerged in Mughal times and the stratification of the tribes had proceeded to produce a sub-class of the tribe called the 'Raj Gonds'. However the process of nationality formation was aborted during colonial and post-colonial rule. Other tribes like the Bhils or Bhilalas of the west seemed to have formed some chiefdoms in late medieval times and quite like the experience of the Gonds this process of state formation also seems to have been aborted. While in the last century and a half they have shared a common fate of dispossession and oppression, each of the tribes have their own distinct language, culture, property system and history. It should be noted that during the medieval times these tribes occupied a powerful position politically and economically controlling as they did the key trade routes, forest
resources and powerful tribal militias.
Bhils => Bhilalas
Bhilalas => Bhillalas => Bhallalas => Ballals
Bhallalas => Vallalas => Vellalas
Vellalas => Velamas
The ballals (bunts) of Karnataka, the Vellalas of Tamilnadu and the velamas of Andhra Pradesh are most likely the people having their racial connection to tribal bhils of South India. All these people were warriors, soldiers and kings of small and major kingdoms some time or the other. All these people were closely related to present day bunts and who were in turn had their racial links to kalabhras who convulsed the entire tamil speaking lands with their wild attacks during the time of Pandya, chola and chera dynasty rule.
Just like Gonds and Koyas, the Bhils too had their origin to Telugu speaking regions of South India. In Telugu language VILLU means BOW and the corrupt form of the word VILLU is BHILLU. Vilu didya means knowledge of throwing arrows with bow. The bhils are forest dwellers and expert archers due to their hunting habits for collecting food from forests. Every Hindu in India and all over the world knew very well that Ekalavya was one of the top ranking archers of Mahabharat period. The legenday Ekalavya was an extraordinary archer of high caliber much superior than Arjuna of Mahabharat and for this he had to pay a very high price as Dronacharya cunningly wanted to eliminate Ekalavya the list of archers who could phose a danger to Arjuna's supremacy in archery. The Ekalavya of tribal bhils was so honest and simple that he never hesitated to give away his right hand thumb to Dronacharya as guru dakshina for the fault of imagining Dronacharya as his guru and learning all the secrets of archery skills in front of the mud statue of Dronacharya. The bhils were aboriginals and the first Indians of present day multi racial modern India. They spread through out Indian subcontinent from Kashmir to to
Kanyakumari and from Gujarat to Assam.
Villu => Bhillu = Bhil
Vilu vidya => Knowledge of throwing arrows with bow.
The Gonds assumed power in the 15th century with Samgram Shah as the first Gond ruler who built fortresses, temples and dams in the city of Jabalpur. Jabalpur is one of the major cities of Madhya Pradesh and it is a historic city at one time ruled by the Kalchuri dynasty,the Gond kings, the Mauryas, and the Guptas.The Gonds, who call themselves Koitur or highlanders (hill people), are the most numerous tribe of Dravidian race in India. They have a language of their own, with many dialects, which is intermediate between the two great Dravidian languages, Tamil and Telugu. Gonds and Koyas speak Konda (hill) language and are closely related tribes. It is unwritten and has no literature, except a little provided by the missionaries. More than half the Gonds in the Central Provinces have now abandoned their own dialects, and have adopted Aryan forms of speech. This indicates the extent to which they have become Hinduized. The higher class among them, called Raj Goods, have been definitely admitted into Hinduism as a pure cultivating caste; but the great majority still retain the animistic beliefs, ceremonial observances and impure customs of food which are common to most of the aboriginal tribes of India.
Koitur => Koya => highlanders = > hill people
Koyas => Gonds
KONDA means HILL or HILLOCK in Telugu language. Konda language is believed to be mixture of Telugu & Tamil. If that is a fact that these people are likely from regions of Tirupat, Rayalaseema and Bellary districts, which were full of rocky mountains and identified as native place of vanaras in Ramayana. Vanaras were all basically the people, who lived in rocky mountain and forest regions.
konda => hill
konda => gonda => gond
gonds => hill people
Story Related to Gonds & Koyas :
Gonds have an interesting story about the origin of their tribe. It also matches the story, which Koyas have to say about their origin. Once upon a time there were 1600 crores of Koyas at Dhavalagiri (White Hill ). They were very dirty and never used to take bath. Mahadeva (Shiva) got disgusted at their dirtiness and jailed them in a cave. However Parvati was very fond of them. She did penance and got a son called Lingo. Lingo prayed Mahadeva that Koyas should be released. Shiva would release them on the condition that Lingo performs all the adventures that Shiva asks. Once Lingo performed all of them successfully, Shiva had to release them. Lingo went away on a journey with all 1600 crores of them. On the way, they crossed a river.
Lingo gave them rice and "Jonna Pindi(Jowar Aatta) ". There Koyas stole ghee of Aryan deities. By then there were already four groups among them called Taekam, Maarkam, Poosam, and telingam. Lingo built a town for them and divided them into castes. There is every possibility that the words 'telingam' and telugu had come from the same source and Tenugu a modified word for Telugu.
It was said that Lingo crossed a river along with koyas. On their way from Rayalaseema & Bellary to Bhadrachalam, Srikakulam, Bailadilla and Baster, they should certainly cross two rivers i.e Krishna and Godavari. Since the River
Krishna is thin and narrow on western part of Andhra Pradesh, where they perhaps crossed Krishna river, it was possible that they did not treat Krishna river as a river at all by them. The River which their ancestors were believed to have crossed should be Godavari as it is very big river near Bhadrachalam and where they possibly crossed the river Godavari. A section of Mudiraj people in Telangana region are known by caste -'Tenugu'. The people of 'telaga' caste too must be koya origin.
Teligam <=> Telinganam => Telangana
Telingam => Teliga => Telaga => Telugu => Tenugu
This clearly indcates that a section of Telugu Mudiraj are possibly the descendants of Koyas / Gonds as these people are known by caste - TENUGU in telangana region. Gonds are not only the largest tribal group in India but also a majority of the tribal population of Bastar, Bailadilla & Srikakulam. They are mainly a nomadic tribe and also called as Koytoria (Koyas). The name Gond is extracted from the Telugu word 'Konda' which means hill.
Koytoria => Koya
Konda = Hill (English) = Parvath (Sanskrit)
Mudi + Konda => MudiGonda => Great Hill = Maha Parvath
In this way the word KONDA gave birth to a new word GONDA and further GONDA got modified to GOND. The word "GONDS" is used to refer these people of Telugu origin from hilly (konda) regions of Rayalaseema and Bellary districts. Vanaras belong to Hampi or Kishkinda hill region of Bellary Telugu speaking areas.
Konda => Gonda => Gond
Story Related to Mutharacha or Mudirajas :
There is an interesting story, which a section of Mutharacha caste people have to say about their connection to Parvati, the wife of God Shiva. The Mutharachas believe that Parvati was born in their caste and got married to God Shiva. According to puranas Parvati was the daughter of Parvatha Raja (Konda Raja => Gond Raja). This too indicates that Mutharachas are related to Gonds and Gonds were basically Telugu people migrated from Telugu speaking regions.
konda => Gonda => gond => Parvath => hill
It was said that once the people of Mutharacha or Mudiraja faced a severe draught and had nothing to eat in the forests. Goddess Parvati took pity on her beloved kin & kith, who were suffering from the onslaught of severe draught and poverty. Parvati thought of giving them a grand feast one day as a token of guesture and make them little happy during such bad times. Goddess Parvati prayed Shiva and made him agree to offer a feast to all her beloved Mutharacha people. Though Shiva had certain reservations about the behaviour of her kin & kith, he some how agreed to please Parvati and at the same time he wanted to expose the core mentality of her people. Parvati was very happy to get the permission of her husband and lost no time in inviting her beloved people for a feast at lunch time.
She got prepared all kinds of rice preparations with full of ghee, butter. She took a special care to get very tight and fresh curd full of cream, which was normally the final item of a feast in Telugu people. The people of Mudiraja ( Mutharacha ) who arrived for a luch at the venu were made to sit in two long rows facing each other. They were all served with variety of tasty food preparations made of rice on fresh green Banana leaves. Their mouths started oozing with saliva on seeing the aromatic fresh rice preparations and became teribly eager to eat the food served in front of them. When they were about to eat their favourite dishes, God Shiva created an illusive golden squirrel and left it in bewtween the two rows. The Mutharacha people, who were basically forest tribal hunters got puzzled to see such a beautiful golden squirrel for the first time in their life. Due to the inborn natural temptation, the Mutharacha people forgot every thing including their hunger and the tasty food served infront of them. Every one of them just jumped out of the rows and started running after the illusive golden squirrel to catch the golden squirrel. The poor Mutharacha people ran after the golden squirrel in all the directions crushing the food served in front of them. Shiva's wife Partvati felt aghast with the unexpected commotion and on seeing her peole own
running in all the directions with great frenziness. Parvati felt extremely sorry & shy in front of Shiva, who was silently smiling at the shameful behaviour of her people. Parvati once again prayed Shiva with folded hands to forgive her dear people for running over the food meant for them and making it unfit to eat. Parvati, with the permission of God Shiva converted the entire food into flying ants. That is what the Mutharaca people believe as the single reason for the flying ants to look like brown fried rice and also to lose their wings soon after coming out of their hide out in the ant hills. A section of Mutharachas believe that it is the same food that comes every year during rainy season in the form of flying ants, which were full of ghee & oil in their bodies. It appears that flying ants really come out with a purpose to only become food for millions of insects, birds, animals and forest dwellers.
Though the story looks a little odd but the entire story undoubtedly points to their strong racial connection to tribal Gonds, bhils and koyas. It also shows their genious way of creating a story to make the flying ants acceptable as food worth for consumption by the tribal Mutharachas. Most of the tribal Indians love and relish to eat the flying ants as a special food of their interest. The flying ants are not only highly nutritional in their food value but their consumption also helps in preserving the other forms of natural food resources for future use. The attitudes and practices of tribal people were always very simple, environmental and ecological friendly. They were basically meant for maintaining and preserving the forests which they worship as a symbol of mother Godess.
The surnames of these Mudiraja people also have to say a great lot about their tribal connection in ancient times. Pulin Elugu, Nakka are some of their surnames, which are named after wild forest animals :
Puli => Tiger
Elugu => Bear
Nakka => Fox
Each surname might be representing a particular group of ancient Tribal Mutharachas under a particular totem or emblem. Thus the ELUGU surname might be a pointer to a group of Mudiraja or Mutharacha people of Jambavan (Bear man) origin - a branch of vanaras, who helped Sri Rama under the leadership of Hanuman (Monkey man) in rescuing Sita from the clutches of Demon Ravana from Srilanka. These vanaras were the tribal bhils and gonds and the real and aboriginal Indians about whom there was a mention in Ramayana and Mahabharat. While Srirama received the whole hearted help of vanaras during his exile in the forests, Sri Krishna married the daughter of Jambavant according to epic Mahabharata.
Agriculture, collecting food and fuel wood from forests, forging metal goods in cottage industries , fishing, hunting, are the main occupations of Gond people. Gond survived by farming, hunting, and eating the fruits of the grove, but they also trade and sell cattle. Others hold wage-earning jobs. They do not make their own clothing or jewels but buy them from neighboring groups.
They still practice old traditions like worship of nature in different forms, animal sacrifices during religious ceremonies, adorning head with horn, etc. They have a typical painting style that cannot be seen else where in the country. Apart from painting on paper, people of this tribe engage themselves in wall painting and floor paintings as well. These paintings serve the ritualistic purposes as well as keep the surroundings harmonious and pure.The Gonds, predominantly Hindu, speak a Dravidian language and their local language is 'Madia' and 'Gondi'. Bastar is a tribal district where about 70% of the total population are tribals. Gonds are not only the largest tribal group in India but also are a majority of the tribal population
Gonds are probably the third caste in point of numbers. The local sub-divisions are the Raj Gonds, Dhur Gonds. When a Gond girl wishes to show her preference for a man, she takes a pot of water mixed with turmeric and throws it over him in the presence of three of four witnesses and after this theirmarriage is celebrate. The Gond does not marry within their own clans and cross-cousin marriages are preferred as multiple spouses. The cross-cousin marriages, viz.. the marriage of the brother's son to the sister's daughter is practised by some Gonds and other tribes among whom it is considered as doodh lautna (give back the milk). Murias and Bhils of North/Central India also practice cros cousin marriage. Among some tribes/castes of Telugu nationality, and among some Desastha Brahmanas of Mahrashtra, a man is considered to have a preferential right to marry his cousin or his sister's daughter. It is a right of first refusal, but some castes consider it improper for him to refuse.
The Gonds are not considered as impure, through they eat pork and beef. Gonds are readily employed as farm-servants as they are honest and hardworking. At the time of Divali, the Gonds and other caste do the dhandhar or stick dance separately hitting two stick together. It is said that the Gonds dance less than they used to and that the famines have taken a good deal of their cheerfulness out of their lives. In the southern part of the Bastar division ,the Gonds besides their own Gondi dialect , can understand the Telugu language in a better way. It must be understood that in Bastar the obstacles to free intercourse among the people have been great and some times villages separated only by a small range of hills speak different dialects. Many Gonds can also talk either Halbi or Telugu. Both Hindus and Gonds to a very great extent deify the spirits of the forests, hills, trees, soil etc and both worship the Danteshwari goddess.Next to her Jagnnath of Orissa commands most respect. But locally Danteshwari is far above all other deities and the chief of Bastar. In spite of these the different tribal groups of Bastar have their own Gods worshipping in different ways.
The koyas are one of the few multi-lingual and multi-racial tribal communities living in India. They are also one of the major peasant tribes of Andhra Pradesh numbering 3.60 lakhs in 1981. Physically they are classified as Australoid. The Koyas call themselves as "Koithur". The land of Koithur or the Koya land includes the Indravati, Godavari, Sabari, Sileru rivers and the thickly wooded Eastern Ghats, covering parts of Bastar, Koraput, Warangal, Khammam, Karimnagar and the East and West Godavari districts. This region is situated at a height of 150-300 metres. The Koyas speak the language called "Koyi". It is blended with Telugu in Andhra Pradesh.
The story of the Koyas goes back to pre-historic times. They seem to have had a highly evolved civilization in the past in which they were a ruling Tribe. According to the Koya mythology, life originated from water. The friction between the fourteen seas resulted in the emergence of moss, toads, fish and saints. The last saint was God and He first created Tuniki and Regu fruits. During the eighteenth century, the Marathas invaded and subverted the Koyas along with the Gonds. The continuous pillage and harassment by the non-tribals resulted in the loss of the vestige of Koya civilization. The Koyas were driven to take refuge in the inaccessible highlands. In this period they were depicted by travellers as treacherous savages. Later Bhadrachalam taluk was handed over to the British by the Nizam.
There are many endogamous sub-divisions among the Koyas of Bhadrachalam agency, such as Racha Koya, Lingadari Koya, Kammara Koya and Arithi Koya. Each group is vocationally specialized having a separate judiciary system which ensures group endogamy. There are also differences in food habits. Lingadari Koyas do not eat beef and do not interdine with others. They perform purificatory rites to depollute the effects of intergroup marriages. The Racha Koyas are village administrators. They also perform rituals during festivals. Kammara Koyas make agricultural implements. They are blacksmiths and are generally paid in kind. Arithi Koyas are bards. They narrate the lineages. They are the oral custodians of Koya mythology. Each of these sub-divisions among the Koyas have exogamous phratries having separate totems which are again split into a number of totemistic sects which form the lineage ("velpu") pattern. For example, in Chinthur mandal of Bhadrachalam agency, the Paderu Gatta (phratry) of Racha Koyas worship "Dhoolraj" and their totem is wooden. These phratries have a number of totemistic sects each denoted by a name, totem and worshipped by a group of families having separate names. For instance, 3 Gatta worshippers of Bheemraj are further classified into three groups on the basis of their "Ilavelpulu" (family deities). Marriages between members of the same totemistic sect is prohibited.
It appears that Muthurachas were the people of Rachakoya in their origin. The Mutharachas aree also the village administrators similar to Racha Koyas. The Mutharachas also perform rituals during festivals, the way Racha koyas do. Ankamma Devara kolupu is widely practised by a large sections of Mutharachs in South Andhra Pradesh even today. Marriages among cross-cousins is still prevelent in villages among Mudirajas.
Monogamy is prevalent among the Koyas. Marriages take place after boys and girls become adults and in marriage negotiations the girl's consent is taken. The preferential marriage rules favour mother's brother's daughter or the father's sister's daughter. Generally, the mate is selected through negotiations. But other practices of capture and elopement also exist, involving a simple ritual of pouring water on the girl - the water being the symbol of fertility. There is bride price involved in arranged marriages. Marriage is celebrated for three days. It is not simply an affair between two families. It is an occasion for two villages and all the relatives. Every person carries grain and liquor to a marriage to help the bridgroom's family. Marriages take place in summer when palm juice is abundantly available. The Bison-horn dance is a special feature on the occasion of a marriage ceremony among the Koyas.
The Koyas are thickly populated in the Chinthur mandal of Bhadrachalam agency in Andhra Pradesh. This area is part of the thick forest region that extends along the left bank of the Godavari river. Due to the limited availability of land for cultivation, total dependence on rain for irrigation and the growing population pressure over the Koya land, the agriculture of the Koyas has become predominantly a subsistence way of farming. Though the Koyas are farmers by occupation, most of their food supplies are drawn from the forest. Roots and fruits form their subsidiary food. They eat Keski dumpa and Karsi dumpa, which are the common roots available in this region. They cut these roots into pieces, keep them in running water for three days and boil them to make them edible. During drought years the Koyas go in groups into the forest to collect these roots in large quantities. The Koyas also collect various forest products to supplement their meagre agricultural returns. They sell these products in the weekly shandy and buy other required commodities. There is no other monetary transaction among the Koyas except in the shandy.The Koyas are expert hunters and the good hunters are looked upon as heroes. For the Koyas, hunting is an essential skill for food as well as for defence from wild animals in the forest. On the occasion of the "Vijja Pandum" (the festival of seeds), Koyas go hunting in groups.
Fish is another important food for the Koyas. In villages near rivers, quite often fish is a meal for every family. They ensure fair share of fish to all. The Koyas use various types of nets tied to bamboo poles which are used in still waters. During the toddy palm season, every Koya family lives mainly on palm juice for almost four months. For them palm juice is not just a beverage, but also a complete food. On average, every Koya family owns at least four to eight palm trees. Palm juice is consumed three to four times a day in large community gatherings known as "gujjadis". The Koyas consider the palm tree as a gift of nature and to secure this gift they worship the village Goddess "Muthyalamma". The houses are built within one's own agricultural land. These are rectangular in fashion and are built of the material that is available from the forest. These houses are constructed on an elevation of two to three feet with walls made of bamboo, plastered with mud and roofed with palm leaves. The houses are highly functional and meet the requirements of a farmer's family. They are leak-proof, quite warm during winter and cool during summer. Most of their festivals are related to agricultural operations. Kolupu is one such occasion which comes during November. The Koyas worship the Earth-Goddess "Bhudevi" and they enlist the co-operation of the Goddess by offering animal sacrifices during the festival. They believe that sowing seeds that are
soaked in sacrificial blood brings them good crops.
Fishing is an important profession of koyas. The Kolis are well known as fisjing community in Maharastra. The Mudirajas of Telangana and Karnataka are also known to be one of the fishing communitis in South India. The Mudiraja was Royal title assuemed by Koya related Kalabhra kings after defeating the kings of Chola, Pandya, Chera dynasties Southern Inian Peninsula. This clearly reveals the hidden racial connection of Kolis and Mudirajas to tribal Koya Rajas or Gond Rajas.
kulya => kuliye => kaul
kulya => kuliye => koli => koli Serp
kulya => kolya ==> koya
The Koyas deify their ancestors and worship them on all social occasions. All the clan members join together to worship their ancestors. The Koyas believe in four guardian deities who are supposed to control the four directions. The Koya pantheon consists of various gods and goddesses who are the symbols of various forces. Among them Bhima, Muthyalamma, Sammakka and Sarakka are worshipped by non-tribuals of the surrounding regions as well. The sense of supernaturalism is strongly rooted in the Koya's concept of nature. They worship personal spirits which are thought to animate nature. They also believe in evil spirits that are dangerous to the harmony of group life. The traditional medicine man "Buggivadde" and the sorcerer "Vejji" are supposed to ward off all kinds of evil spirits. The Koyas celebrate festivals indicating the onset of particular seasons for tapping palm juice, collecting mohuva flower, beginning agricultural operations, hunting and fishing. Through their cultural practices, the Koyas exercise communal control over their means of production. They collectively manage their natural resources, ensuring equal opportunity to all.
It is well known fact that bunts of Karnataka, kolis of Maharastra, and mudirajas of Andhra Pradesh too worship the spirits of their ancestors on some special occassions such as marriages. Some sections of Mudiraja people worship the spirits of their ancestors in the name of "veerla kolup". In kolis, the people who worship the spirits of their ancestors, are known as "Veerkars". The other section of Mudirajas or Mutharachas worship their family dieties in the name "devara kolupu". The people who worship "Dev" in kolis are known as "Devkars". The spirit worship in Bunts community is known as "Bhoota Aaradhane".
Every koya village is a socio-political unit and also a part of a larger social and territorial unit called "Mutha", a cluster of villages linked by economic, political and kinship ties. In the past, a Koya village consisted of members of a single clan only. Now it has transformed into multi-clan composition due to various factors such as growing population pressure on the land, non-tribal migration, alienation of tribals from forests and massive industrial deforestation.
The two Koya words i.e MUTHA and RACHA KOYA reveal a great lot about the racial connection of Mudirajas or Mutharacha to tribal koyas and gonds. It seems that the Mutharachas, a section of Mudirajas are descendants of Koyarajas / Gond Rajas. The tribal racial connecton of Mudirajas to koyas and gonds can be explained as below:
Mutha -is a cluster of villages ruled by kinship.
Racha - One who used to rule Mutha by kinship in a dynastic manner.
Mutha + Raja => Mutha + Racha => Mutharacha.
Mutharacha => One who rules or administers a Mutha.
Raja => Racha => Ruler by kinship.
The people belonging to Racha Koya might have evolved into people of MUTHARACHA caste in course of time. They might have become a seperate caste of warriors and ruling class, when the Aryans brought caste system into India along with them. The Gonds and Koyas of warrior and ruling class were accepted into Hinduism and they freely inter married with other Hindu warrior and ruling communities. Thus the MUTHARACHAs of koya origin might be a different section of people who in course of time became one with the Hindu MUDIRAJAs. The Mudirajas were believed to be descendants of Kalabhras and kalabhras were believed to a branch of Kalchuris. The kalchuris or kalachuris ruled Madhya Pradesh and chattisgarh with Jabalpur (Tripuri), Tuman, and Ratnapur as their capaital cities. Kalchuris were also known as Chedis or Haihayas and they were mentioned in old Buddist Texts and also Mahabharata.
The kalchuris were originally the warrior people from Chambal and Narmada vallies of Madhya Pradesh. The Chambal,
is unnavigable river in north central India, principal tributary of the Yamuna River. It rises in the Vindhya Range,
a mountain system in central India, and flows in a generally northeastern direction for 1,000 km (650 mi) to the Yamuna River, which it joins west of Kanpur. Narmada, formerly Narbada, river, central India, rising in northern Madhya Pradesh State. It flows between the Vindhya and Satpura ranges in a generally southwestern direction for 1,300 km (800 mi), emptying into the Gulf of Khambhat, an arm of the Arabian Sea. The river is regarded by Hindus as one of India's holiest.
The Kalchuris were Indo-Aryan kings of Chedi and Tribal Indian descent. They were initially staunch Hindus, who worshipped Shiva and later on they embraced Jainism. It is infact believed that jainism flourished during the period of Kalchuris who invaded Tamilnadu and South India. The Kalchuris built beautiful Shiva temples in their capital cities. They also built temples for Vishnu and other Hindu Gods when they came back to Hindu fold with the decline of Jainism and Buddhism. The way and pattern in which Kalchuris promoted Hinduism and constructed Shiva temples remind us the later Kakatiya and vijayanagar kings in their interest and style. The Kakatiyas, whose family diety was Kakati Devi, were also staunch SHIVA devotees and built one thousand pillar temple for Shiva at Hanumakonda near Warangal in Telangana of A.P. The Vijayanagar kings too built similar such great Shiva temples at Hampi in Bellary districts of undivided Rayalaseema. The people associated with the foundation of these kingdoms at some point of time were mostly the ancestors of present day Mudirajas.
The political system of the Koyas is slowly accommodating the process of colonization of agency tracts by non-tribals. The traditional systems of mutha and panchayat are slowly losing their autonomy. Among the Koyas there has been an increase in landless population in recent years. Many of the landless are becoming agricultural labourers. In Chinthur mandal, about ten percent of the population work as wage labourers in the forest for more than six months a year. Though the Koyas have the tradition of safeguarding their forests, due to the conditions of alienation from the land and forests, they are now slowly being reduced to wage labourers, engaged in cutting and loading of timber, firewood and bamboo for industrial requirements. The changes in occupational pattern from agriculture to wage labour are leading to changes in their social traditions.
Nala, Neela, Vali, Sugreeva, Angada, Jambavanth and Hanuman were some of the well known vanara heros as described in Sanskrit epic Ramayana written by sage Valmiky. They were described as Humans with tails having some features of humans and some featues of monkeys. The Vanaras could possibly be the ancestors of Kalabhras as because the kalabhras belong to the same region in South India to which the vanaras belonged. It is also on the record that both were known for their wild, valor and warrior qualities.
The VANARAs were ruthless fighters of extraordinary capacity and were on the record in Ramayana for performing hand-to-hand fight for days together without feeling tired and fear of death. It was also on the record that VALI had defeated and humiliated Ravana, the demon king of Sri Lanka.
THE GYPSIES :
Who are Gypsies ? : According to gypsies sa Roma phrala 'all Roma are brethren'. It was this feeling which was found amongst the Roma who came from different countries of the world at the St. Sarah's fair in France. Consequently, their language is called Romani and by no other name. Gypsy Theatre in Moscow is called 'Theatre Romen'. The first congress in London which was attended by the Roma from all over the world was thus named Romani Congress. Lacroix says that the Gypsies of the fifteenth century "called themselves Romi, or gens maries".
Romano => Roma => Romen => Romi => Rom
The Gypsies are also called by other names derivated from their main name 'Rom', The more extended form usually spelt Romanichal by English writers, seems to be as well known. One sees it referred to as Romano-chal in Germany and as Romanichel in Russia. In the neighborhood of the Pyrenees, specially in Basque districts of France the Gypsies are called Romanichel, Romenical, Roumancel or Roma-itcela. Romanichal also signifies 'wandering man' - cal in Sanskrit means 'moving'. This expressed their non-sedentary habits or the habit of roaming about.
Romanichal => Romanochal => Romanichel => Romanical => Roumancel =>Romaitcela
Chal => chel =>cal =>cel =>cela =>moving =>wandering
Romanichal => Wandering man
Besides Rom, the Romanichal or Romanichel, there is the term Romano Chavo used by the Gypsies of Hungary, Carpathia and Moscow. The word Chavo is derived from the Sanskrit word sava meaning 'young of an animal' denoting in the Romani language 'youngman' and 'son'. Dr. Kochanowski defines it as "sons of Rama. Paspati also suggests its connection with Rama, the incarnation of god Visnu. In some countries they are also called Kale Roma (black men) or simply Kale to denote the black colour of their skin.
Chavo => Sava => Young of an animal => Youngman => Son
Romanichal => Sons of Rama => Followers of Rama
This needs greater insight about the true origins of gypsies to understand the real basis behind using the term Romano Chavo with reference to gypsies. The hidden meaning of the term "Romano Chavo" perhaps poniting to the fact that the gypsies were the descenders of vanaras (monkey men => a kind of animal men). There can not be any better explanation than this - why they should be called "Romano Chavo => Young of an animal".
Kale Roma => Black Men
From the above information about the connection of GYPSIES to Rama, it is very clear that the gypsies are the people of Indian origin and they are the descendants of Indian banjaras. It is also a fact that banjaras are non other than the vanaras, who were the servants of Lord Sri Ram of eternal epic Ramayana - written by sage Valmiky. In fact Lord Sri Rama and Sita always treated Hanuman and other vanaras as their sons and the vanaras always used to refer to Sita as mother.
The word BANJARA was a modification of the word VANCHARA. Vancharas means the people who move around in the forests (van) in search of food. This word vanchara got modified to vanara. kolis, mudirajas, vellalas, velamas, bunts, bhils, jats, banjaras and even gypsies must be the descendants of kalabhras who were in turn the descendants of vanaras.
The vanaras were most probably the forefathers of the kalabhras of South India with dominating features of austroid-negroid stock. Vanaras were the aboriginal dravidian people of Indian subcontinent whose culture and civilization was found to exist at various places such as Srilanka, Kishkinda, Harappa, Mohan-jo-daro. The vanara people of Vali and the demon people of Ravana were all dravidians except that vanaras learnt to coexist with Aryan influx who came from across Himalayas with vaishnava religion (Vaishnavism) and Ravana, the follower of Siva Religion (saivism) resisted to the Aryans.
So, Dr. Kochanowski who defined the word ROMANI as "sons of Rama and Mr. Paspati who also suggested its connection with Rama, the incarnation of god Visnu were perfectly right and the present gypsies are non other than the descendants of vanaras, who helped Rama in rescuing Sita from the clutches of Ravana and in destroying golden city of Lanka.
van => forest
chara => chala => chal => moving => wandering
vanachara <=> banachara <=> banchara <=> banjara => men wandering in forests
vanchar => vanchara <=> vanjara <=> vanara => men wandering in forests
van(chara) <=> van(char) <=> van(chal)
char <=> chal <=> chel <=> cal <=> cel
Romanichal => Romaochal => romanichel => romanical => Roumancel => Romaitcela
There is no doubt that the gypsies are already acknowledged as the people of Indian origin by almost all the historians. Their connection to Indian Banjara and in turn Banjara connection to Vanara and thereby to kalabhras becomes very much evident for the specific reason that they are called KALE ROMA. Both the words KALE and ROMA with which gypsies are referred to, have a very strong Indian connection of mythological and medieval periods.
THE VANARA HEROS :
They were the monkey men with tails having some features of humans and some features of monkeys. They were described as wild, valor and great warriors in the famous Sanskrit epic Ramayana written by Valmiki, a dacoit turned sage. Vanaras were the aboriginal people of Indian origin living in the kingdom of Kishkinda. They extended their full support to Rama in his mission to search and rescue Sita from the clutches of Ravana, the demon king of Lanka.
Valmiki perhaps exeggerated the vanara description and dipicted them as demi-humans with predominant features and characteristics of monkeys to make his sanskrit epic Ramayana poetry, a more interesting to the comman people and establish a new social order based on monogamy showing the examplary charecters of Ram and Sita.
Kishkinda City : It was a capital city of Vanara kingdom and located in the region of present Hampi. Hampi is that place in present Bellary districts of Karnataka, where once Harihararaya and Bukkaraya under the inspiration of sage Vidyaranya laid foundation for the great Hindu Vijayanagar Empire on the banks of river Tungabhadra. The Hampi region is part of the uplands of present Karnataka state and believed to be the place, where once the vanara kingdom existed and from where according to historians, the Kalabhras moved out to down South(Indian peninsula).
So, it is in this context that we must know the strength, wildness, veracity, courage, and warrior charactrs of various vanara heros who were on the record in our epics.
Vanara Kingdom : There is a mention of Vanara kingdom in Hindu mythology, which describes the events that prevailed much earlier than Pouranic times. Ramayana and Mahabharata are some of the great Hindu epics (puranas =>pouranas) which deal with the events that occured between post mythological and pre-historic times i.e pouranic times.
According to Hindu mythology, long ago, Lord Brahma was performing tapas (penance) on the slopes of Meru Maountain. On one occassion, tears of joy rolled down his cheeks. A vanara hero was born out of his tears. Brahma named him Riksharajas. One day, Riksharajas came across a lakewith crystal clear water. He happened to see his own reflection in water. But he mistook his image to be another monkey and jumped into the lake,found no one and came up to know that he had changed into a very beautiful young woman.
At that time the chiefs of gods Devendra (king of gods) and Suryadeva (sun god) were walking along to attend a yagna (holi fire to appease gods) being performed by Brahmadeva. They looked at the young vanara maiden and blessed her with two boons. As a result, she gave birth to two sons. The child born by the boon of Indra was named Vali and the other child born by the boon of Suryadeva was named Sugreeva. After some time, Riksharajas changed to back to a man. Brahma sent him to a cave city called Kishkinda and made him the king of vanaras. After ruling for a long time, he made his eldest son Vali as the king of Kishkinda.
Rama in Vanara Kingdom : According to Valmiki Sanskrit Ramayana, there existed a vanara kingdom in South India, by name Kishkinda, which was ruled by Vali, a great warrior king of Vanaras. Rama and Laxmana came to Kishkinda in South India, when they were moving in search of Sita, who was captured and kidnapped by Ravana, the demon king of Lanka. Rama was struck by great grief, when Sita, the beautiful and virtuous wife Rama was kidnapped by Ravana. Rama desperately searched for a way to save her. Rama and Laxmana came to Kishkinda while they were in the desperate search operation to rescue Sita from demon king Ravana.
Vali was a great warrior king of Vanaras. He was very strong, powerful and cruel king of Kishkindha. Once Ravana fought with Vali and was defeated. Being humiliated, Ravana requested him to be his friend for which Vali agreed.
Fighting between Vali and Sugreev:
Sugreeva was the younger brother of Vali, the king of Kishkinda. Due to some unfortunate event and misunderstanding, the two brothers became sworn enemies and Vali was after the life of Sugreeva. Sugreeva had run away from his kingdom in the fear of his elder brother Vali and living on Rishyamukha Mountain along with Hanuman, his general and few friends where Vali could not enter due to the curse of sage Matanga.
Rishyamukha Mountain : Mayawi and Dundhubi were two great warrior sons of Mayasurya. Dundhubhi was a mountain sized and was very strong. He wanted to be famous as the strongest in the world and on a fine day he went to fight with Vali in the form of a wild buffalo with terrible horns. There followed a horrid fight between Vali and Dundhubi. Vali took hold of the horns of Dundhubi and swung him round and round and hit on the ground. Dundhubi became a lump of flesh and died. Vali then hurled the carcass far away. Unfortunately, the body landed on the Rishyamukha hills, where some drops of blood fell on the sage Matanga. Infuriated at this act of defiling his hermitage and person, the sage cursed that whoever was responsible for this act would suffer instant death if he came to the Rishyamukha hills. It was to this Rishyamukha hills that Sugreeva with some of his trusted courtiers and followers escaped to.
Spotting of Rama and Laxmana by Sugreeva : Sugriva took refuge on the mountain named Rishyamooka as he knew that his brother could not pursue him there because of a curse on him by sage Matanga. One day he noticed at a distance in the forest on malaya hills two young handsome men who looked like tapasvins wandering around his hiding place, searching for someone. He also noticed that they had bows, arrows and swords. When Sugreeva spotted the two nobel princes, he wondered as to who they were and why they were moving there. Sugreeva initially thought that they might have come there for hunting but later he was afraid thinking that they were perhaps the hitmen employed by his brother to kill him. His companions were also full of fear that Vali might have sent Shri Rama and Lakshmana to kill them. But Hanumantha asked them not to be so afraid. Sugreeva was also very anxious to know who those handsome young men were. Whom should he send to talk to them? Finally he choose Hanumantha to find out about the two brothers and their intentions.
Meeting of Hanuman with Rama : Hanumantha was an excellent ambassador. Hanuman's speech was always soft and gentle. Hanuman disguised himself as a brahmin and approached the two men. Hanumantha could easily understand the nature of other people. As soon as he saw Rama and Lakshmana, he realized that they were not deceivers, but noble persons. He introduced himself as a Minister of Sugreeva and politely enquired about their credentials. They introduced themselves as Dasarathaputras Rama and Lakshmana and that they were in search of Rama's wife Sita who was abducted by a rakshasa. They also told Hanuman that they were on the lookout for Sugriva for help
Rama was very much pleased when he heard the words of Hanumantha. He said to Lakshmana, "Did you hear his words? Even an enemy with his sword drawn would be pacified by such words. If a ruler has such a messenger, his efforts will always be successful."
Then Hanuman volunteered to carry them on his shoulders and take them to Sugreeva. After reaching Rushyamukha mountain, Hanuman introduced Rama and Lakshmana to Sugriva and appraised Sugriva of Rama's need for help. Sugriva was pleased about the noble stature of the brothers and greeted them. There ensued a beautiful conversation between Rama and Sugreeva. During the conversation that followed, he narrated his sorrowful story of how he is being hounded by his own brother and pleaded with Rama to put an end to his misery. Sri Rama came to know all about the sad story of Sugreeva through their frank conversation.
Sugreeva showed Sita's ornaments to Rama: Later Sugriva told them about an incident a few days back when he saw a Rakshasa drag a beautiful princess like lady across the sky. Sugriva heard her shout the names of Rama and Lakshmana and then saw her drop her jewels tied in a piece of cloth she had torn from her mantle down to the place where Sugriva was sitting. On hearing this Rama was anxious to see the bundle. On seeing it, he immediately recognised the piece of silk yellow cloth as that of Sita's. To be doubly sure, he then asked Lakshmana to identify the jewels. Lakshmana replied that other than the anklets which he used to see every time he fell at the lotus feet of Sita for her blessings, he had no idea of what other jewels she wore. He confirmed that the anklets were that of Sita. Rama was very upset now that Sita's abduction was confirmed, but revived himself after being consoled by Sugriva.
The sad story of Vanara Brothers : The sad story of Vali and Sugreeva is that of the enmity between two brothers. They were renowned men of great valour, strength and courage. Vali was Sugreeva's elder brother. Vali was a very strong and powerful Vanara king of Kishkinda; but he was wicked and indulged in evil deeds. He had once defeated the mighty Ravana also.
As it happened, once the demon Mayawi, who became furious after the death of his elder brother Dundhubi at the hands of Vali, challenged Vali's supremacy and invited him for a duel. Vali accepted the challenge and a fierce fight broke out between the two in the outskirts of Kishkinda. Sugriva who watched his brother Vali fighting fiercely with the demon Mayavi prayed that his brother should win the duel. The two entered one cave and continued their fight inside for more than 15 days. Vali specifically told Sugreeva to remain stationed at the mouth of the cave and wait for him for fifteen days. "I will kill this demon and return", Vali told Sugreeva.
Vali and the demon continued to fight inside the cave without any end in sight. Even after more than fifteen days, nobody returned. One day after about 15 days, Sugreeva heard a deafning cry of the demon Mayavi and saw blood flowing out from the cave. Sugreeva thought that Vali must have been killed, and it was likely that the demon would kill him too. So, he covered the mouth of the cave with a big stone and ran away to Kishkindha city and waited for Vali. But Vali did not return even after a few weeks. The elders of Kishkinda appointed Sugriva as the king to succeed Vali and declared him as the new king in place of Vali. Thus Sugreeva occupied his brother's vacant throne.
A few months passed thus. The injured Vali recovered from his wounds and regained his strength to return to his kingdom. Vali became angry with his brother for leaving the cave and for usurping his power. He suspected foul play and thrashed Sugreeva almost to death and accused Sugreeva of criminal conduct, which he had never indulged. He banished Sugreeva from the kingdom, forcefully took Sugreeva's wife Ruma for his own, and placed all of Sugreeva's ministers in prison. Somehow Sugreeva escaped and ran for his life to take shelter on the heights of Rishyamuk mountains.
Hanuman sought Rama's help for Sugreeva : Sugreeva and Hanuman pleaded that Vali was unjust and cruel king and his rule was causing immense hardship and suffering to the people of Kishkindha. Hence, Rama must put an end to his life and make Sugreeva the king again.Hanuman assured Rama that Sugreeva is telling the truth. Rama understood from the conversation that Vali was unjust towards Sugreeva. Sugreeva had not occupied the throne intentionally or through scheme. He really believed that Vali was killed in fight. Rama agreed to help Sugreeva as he had seen that although Sugreeva was a coward fellow, he was not wicked. Rama who always stood by Dharma promised to kill Vali and redeem his kingdom.
Rama proved himself stronger than Vali : Sugreeva was in need of a friend who was stronger than Vali. He wanted to test whether Rama was stronger than Vali. He wanted to enlist the help of Rama only if he proved himself to be stronger than Vali. So, Sugreeva with afeeling of hesitation said " Rama, my brother is of great power and strength. He has also many virtues. I want to find out whether you are stronger than my brother." When Rama nodded his ascent, he further said to him, "Once my brother shot an arrow through the Sal trees. It pierced five sal trees in a row and emerged out of them. It is very difficult to charge an arrow through a sal tree because it is made of hardwood. Shoot an arrow and let it pierce through at least four trees." Rama smiled and discharged the arrow. The arrow pierced a number of trees. Rama demonstrated to Sugreeva that he was more than a match for Vali's valour and strength.
Pact of friendship between Rama and Sugreeva : Sugreeva was deeply impressed by the strength of Rama. The pact of friendship was sealed between Sugreeva and Rama, with the fire God as witness. He sought the help of Rama to defeat Vali. He also promised to help Rama in finding out the whereabouts of Sita. Rama accepted Sugreeva as his friend and promised to eliminate Vali. Lord Rama assured Sugreeva, of his full support in getting the kingdom of Kishkinda and also his wife Ruma who had been abducted by Vali.
Sugreeva's challenge to Vali : Rama asked Sugreeva to call his brother for a fight, but cautioned him that the fight should take place ten miles away from Kishkindha. Rama requested Sugreeva to do this because the rules of exile prohibited him from entering into cities and villages. These rules compelled him to confine himself only to the forests. Hence, he wanted Sugreeva to call Vali out of his kingdom so that he would be able to help Sugreeva. Therefore, accordingly, the party left for the capital city Kishkinda and Sugreeva roared. He, under the instructions of Rama, challenged his brother to come out for a duel and fight it out for the final decision as to who should rule Kishkindha.
Tara's caution : Tara was the faithful wife of Vali. She wanted to restrain him from entering into a fight with Sugreeva. She pleaded with him by holding his hands; "You should not go for a fight now. I have heard that Sugreeva befriended some powerful princes to help him. Do not be in haste. It is dangerous to be hasty. The wise ones pause and ponder before doing any work. Haste can make waste. It can be dangerous too." Tara spoke these words to Vali and took him back. She was a chaste wife who had many virtues. She was highly intelligent and virtuous.
Duel between Vanara Brothers : However, when Sugreeva persisted in his challenge, the arrogant Vali accepted the challenge and the great duel began between two supreme warriors at an appointed time. Vali came out running to fight. Sugreeva fought valiantly, but slowly Vali gained an upper hand. He then beat Sugreeva black and blue. Sugreeva felt disappointed that Rama had not come to his rescue. He expressed his disappointment to Sri Rama.
Rama under the spell of confusion : Sri Rama explained to him that he could not distinguish the two brothers, as they looked alike. Hence Rama talked to him sweetly and consoled him. He also infused courage into him and assured him that he would kill Vali in the next fight. But he asked Sugreeva that he should have a garland around his neck so that He would be able to distinguish him from Vali. He asked Lakshmana to gather flowers in the forest and string them into a garland. Sugreeva put on the garland and challenged Vali for a fight for the second time. With full confidence on Rama, Sugreeva once again entered the battle with Vali at the appointed time.
Death of Vali :Sugreeva returned to the battle and eventually overcame by Vali's strength. A fierce fight ensued between the two brothers. As Vali held Sugreeva's neck in his clutches, the younger brother made a last plea to Rama to save him. Rama, hiding behind a tree shot an arrow at Vali and brought him down.
Vali's argumentation with Rama : Though Vali fell down, there was still life left in him. Sri Rama went to Vali and said to him, " You have sinned against your brother Sugreeva, you have appropriated his wife. That is a sin because a brother's wife is like one's mother. You blamed him for crimes that he had not committed. Since he surrendered to Me, I promised him that I would help him".
Then Vali said to him, "O Rama! You have come into the forest to keep up the word of your father. But you have interfered between my brother and me. It is unjust on your path to kill a person hiding behind a tree". Then Sri Rama replied, "O Vali! What you have said is correct. I no longer live in Ayodhya. I am like a hunter moving in the forest. I am in exile and you belong to the race of animals. A hunter kills an animal hiding behind a tree. He never goes face to face with an animal to kill it. So I had to kill you hiding behind a tree".
Vali listened to him and further said, "Rama, you are of great power and strength, you could have come face to face to fight with me". Sri Rama replied to him, "Vali, I know the boon that was bestowed on you. You have a boon that whoever fights you face to face, half of his strength will enter into you. I know this secret". Vali entered into long argumentation with Rama but Rama convinced him of his folly. Finally, Vali called out to Rama and said, "O Rama! My life is ebbing away. Make a promise to me that you will make my son Angada, the crown-prince of Kishkinda". Rama agreed to this and fulfilled the promise that He gave to Vali. He crowned Sugreeva as the king and Angada as the crown prince.
Vanara heros in search of Sita : As promised to Rama, plans were drawn to search for Sita and four groups were formed to reach out East, West, North and South territories. Son of late Vali - Angad - had joined his uncle and Rama in this mission. He became a great devotee of Rama. Jambuwanta, a bear, also came to help them. Thus Rama, Laxmana, Hanuman, Sugreeva, Angad, and Jambuwanta headed south where chances of finding Sita were highest.
The Sanskrit epic Ramayana written by Sage Valmiky in 3rd century B.C was not merely a story to attract people and establish a new social order based on principle of monogamy observed by Sriram and Sita. Some historians believed that the Ramayana told the story of the extension of the Aryan civilisation to the south as far as Sri Lanka. It seemed that the King of Ayodhaya (Kosala) actually existed and Hanuman was in reality a chief of a Dravidian tribe which had been the Aryan king's ally.
Hanuman originated in a Dravidian past and was accepted into the Aryan age. He is also known as Maruti, Pavanaputra and Anjaneya. Hanuman was a Commander in Chief of the army of King Sugriva (a Monkey King) as descrobed in Valmiky Ramayana. Hanuman was never a monkey in the real sense although people over 1000's of years have made him a monkey. Hanuman, Vali, Sugriva etc were called Vanars. Obviously one can understand that monkeys can't talk or have kingdoms like what it says in the Ramayana. They were also said to be very strong and valorous.
Hanuman was one of the leaders of the forest tribe that Rama and Lakshmana befriended. It was Hanuman's valiant efforts that helped Rama win the war against Ravana. To this day, Hanuman a celibate his whole life, and a personification of immense strength is especially the darling of all devotees of Ram.
In real historical perspective Hanuman and the other Vanars were real human beings, except that they looked little
different from the aryan people like Ram. As every one knows that Aryans are very fair people, tall and handsome. In contrast the Vanars were most likely Mundas or the dravidians of India. And since these people are comparitively shorter and their characteristics are more similar to the negroid race of humanity because they were most probably the aboriginal people of Indian subcontinent or had come to India thousands of years before the aryans and the first settlers in India in that regard, they were looked upon as different by the aryans. The mundas and dravidians had larger forehead, broader arms and legs but shorter in length, very hairy chests and protruding or swelling type lips as we see in the present africanoid or negroid species. These bodily characterstics made them be called vanars.
The word Vanar is sanskrit and it literarally means men of the jungle. Van means forest or jungle and Nar means men or humans. So when these people were called Vanars that was the real motive behind calling them that as they were people living as communities in forests with their own small small kigdoms. The Ramayan is believed to be like around 7000 years old or more years old. That was the time aryans started coming into India and establishing their kingdoms. It is a very known fact that Mundas and Dravidians are the original inhabitants of India. And as everyone knows all of humanity originated in Africa. The first migration from Africa to our Indian sub-continent started like 14000 years or so back. In the long run of folk lore and poetic descriptions of Hanuman and vanars they were finally made like real monkeys who could talk.
India was able to some what keep the africanoid species intact over the last 14000 years mainly because of the vicinity to equator. To further strengthen the proof one can see two rare species of Negroid species in Andaman and Nicobar Islands who are the same migrants from Africa the same time the present day Indian munda and dravidian people migrated. But the difference was they were better preserved in negroid features because of no intermingling. In India some of the present day Mundas and Dravidians have become less of a negroid species becuase of intermingling with Aryans and Mongoloid's like in Assam.
The jarawas of Andaman who are one among the Negriod species of Andaman are very well preserved people of their negroid characteristics. The Munda people belong to the Australoid race and speak a family of languages called the Munda family: Korku, Santali, Mundari, Kharia, Saora, Parengi, Gutob, Bonda, and Didey. Today they live in the Chotanagpur geo-graphical region of Eastern India though once they occupied the whole of India, that is, before the arrival of Dravidians and Aryans.
Eminent historians who have done detailed research on the epic Ramayana (200 B.C to 500 B.C) have concluded that 'Lanka', the kingdom of the demonic king Ravana and 'Kishkinda', the homeland of the Vanaras (depicted as monkeys) were places situated south of Chitrakuta hill and north of Narmada river in middle India. Accordingly, Ravana and his demons were an aboriginal tribe, most probably the Gond, and the Vanaras, like Hanuman in the epic, belonged to the Savara and Korku tribes whose descendants still inhabit the central Indian forest belt. Even today, the Gond holds Ravana, the villain of Ramayana, in high esteem as a chief. Rama, the hero of Ramayana, is also known for slaughtering the Rakshasas (demons) in the forests!
The epic of Mahabharata refers to the death of Krishna at the hands of a Bhil Jaratha. In the ancient scriptures, considered to be sacred by the upper castes, various terms are used depicting Adivasis as almost non-humans. The epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata, the Puranas, Samhitas and other so-called 'sacred books' refer to Adivasis as Rakshasa (demons),Vanara (monkeys), Jambuvan (boar men), Naga (serpents), Bhusundi Kaka (crow), Garuda (King of Eagles) etc. In medieval India, they were called derogatorily as Kolla, Villa, Kirata, Nishada, and those who surrendered or were subjugated were termed as Dasa (slave) and those who refused to accept the bondage of slavery were termed as Dasyu (a hostile robber).
Ekalavya, one of their archers was so skillful that the hero of the Aryans, Arjuna, could not stand before him. But they assaulted him, cutting his thumb and destroying his ability to fight - and then fashioned a story in which he accepted Drona as his Guru and surrendered his thumb as an offering to the master! The renowned writer Maheshwata Devi points out that Adivasis predated Hinduism and Aryanism, that Siva was not an Aryan god and that in the 8th century, the tribal forest goddess or harvest goddess was absorbed and adapted as Siva's wife. Goddess Kali, the goddess of hunters, has definitely had a tribal origin.
But more than all this it is the essential character of Hanuman that still lives on in the hearts of the hindus. His strong power, honesty, morality, valor, integrity, obedience, sincerity, adherence to justice etc are what make him a true legend in the hearts of the hindus and not the sight of a monkey cladding some weapon portrayed as an idol.
He embodies strength. He can do anything. Nothing is impossible for him. He is yet very modest and humble, satisfied to be the servant of Lord Rama. He is unaware of his own strength. He is charming in his thinking. He is courageous in his action Hanuman is a god almost every Indian believes in. it is customary to call out to Hanuman at all times of need and the devotee is confident that his prayer will be answered. Hanuman is believed to work miracles even today. If one were to tell the story of Hanuman chronologically, we being with researchers pointing in different directions as his possible place of birth.
Many people feel he was born in Nasik, in Maharashtra. The people of Karnataka feel he was born there while the Kokru tribe in Madhya Pradesh who claim to be descendents of Hanuman say he was born in their village. A village in Bihar is named Anjana and there are some who believe Hanuman is a native of this place. There is also great discussion on whether Hanuman came from pre Vedic times or if he was a folk god or if he was originally a tribal deity. Many feel it was Valmiki who immortalized Hanuman in his great epic, the Ramayana.
The glories of Hanuman : Ramayana is an epic portraying exemplary characters. Rama is the ideal king, Sita the perfect wife and Hanuman the perfect devotee. The character of Hanuman exemplifies how devotional service is practiced in its perfection, how a pure devotee relates with his worshippable Lord and how the Lord reciprocates.
Origin of Hanuman : Hanuman was born the son of Kesari and Anjani. His mother Anjani was previously an Apsara (celestial lady) named Punjikasthala who took birth in the monkey race as a result of a curse. Despite this her beauty was unrivalled and once attracted Vayu, the powerful god of the winds. Hanuman was born as a result of the union of Anjani and Vayu-deva, but as Vayu-deva revealed that this was not a sinful activity since the appearance of Hanuman was ordained by the great Lord Vishnu Himself.
When Ravana had become invincible by the boons he had obtained from Brahma, he became a terror to even the powerful demigods. With Lord Brahma at their head, they prayed to the omniscient Lord Vishnu for help. In response, Lord Vishnu confirmed that He would descend as Rama, the son of King Dasaratha. He also ordered the demigods as follows, "Soon My advent on earth will occur. Assisted by all of you I will crush the despicable Ravana. The evil one did not ask for immunity from humans and animals. As promised I will descend as a human. Without leaving your posts as the controllers of the universe, you are capable of expanding yourselves. You should therefore appear on the earth as monkeys." In accordance to the wish of Lord Vishnu, Indra, the king of the demigods, expanded into Vali, Surya, the sun-god, into Sugriva, Vishwakarma, the celestial architect, into Nala and the Ashwini twins into Mainda and Dvivida. Vayu, the wind-god, expanded into the mighty Hanuman.
When appraised of their role in assisting Lord Vishnu, both Kesari and Anjani became exceedingly grateful and were soon blessed with the birth of an effulgent and powerful progeny they called Bali, one who is extremely powerful. He was also called Bajrang Bali, Kesari-nandana (son of Kesari), Anjani-putra and Anjaneya (son of Anjani).
Hanuman tries to swallow the Sun As a child once Hanuman thought the rising Sun in the sky to be an apple and quickly flew up in the sky desiring to eat it. Indra alarmed at the sight of some one approaching to swallow the Sun, quickly deployed his weapon the Vajra. Struck by this powerful weapon, the child Hanuman fell down unconscious. When Vayu-deva witnessed this he became extremely angry and withdrew himself from the universe. When the winds in the sky and the very life-airs became suspended, there was great anguish in the three worlds. All the demigods, headed by Brahma implored Vayu-deva to give up his anger.
Vayu-deva finally gave up his anger and resumed his function in the universe and the grateful demigods showered many benedictions on Hanuman. Indra gave him the boon of being able to die only when he desired, Brahma gave his protection from his powerful weapon the brahma-astra and the other demigods showered him with many mystic powers and weapons. Since the weapon of Indra and struck and broken the jaw of Hanuman, he got the name by which he would be most famous. Hanuman which means "one with a broken jaw."
Hanuman accepted the very same Sun god he had tried to swallow as his guru and learned from him the Vedic scriptures and science of war. Later on, Hanuman on several occasions displayed his impeccable grasp on Vedic scriptures, when trying to convince Ravana to give up Sita, when counseling Sugriva and by strictly following the codes of battle in the war against the rakshasas. His strength and skills as a warrior are matched by his keen intellect, knowledge of the scriptures and a deep compassion for all living entities.
Hanuman looses his powers : As a young child Hanuman could not control his great powers and in childish exuberance caused much disturbance to the peaceful sages in the forests. Much disturbed by his excessive energy and indefatigable powers, the rishis finally cursed him to loose all his powers. However by their mystic vision they realized that Hanuman would play a vital role in later assisting Lord Rama in His pastimes. They therefore decreed that when some one would remind Hanuman of his powers the effect of the curse would be lifted and Hanuman would get complete recollection of his great powers.
Meeting with Lord Rama : While living in exile with Sugriva, Hanuman first encountered Rama and Lakshmana as they searched for Sita. Hanuman on the orders of Sugriva had disguised himself as a Brahman to try and find out if the two mighty bowmen were sent by Vali, the vengeful brother of Sugriva. However on seeing Them, all doubts were immediately wiped from the mind of Hanuman who immediately revealed his true form. From this time, Hanuman became completely absorbed in one and only one thing, the service of Rama. Later when Hanuman and his troop of monkeys were stuck on the southern shore of the country, separated from Lanka by the ocean, Jambavana reminds Hanuman of his great powers. The duration of the curse thus ends and a greatly powerful Hanuman jumps across the ocean to wreak havoc in the golden city of Ravana.
Hanuman the perfect devotee : The relationship between Rama and Hanuman demonstrates the perfection of devotion in the mood of service (dasya-rasa). In an almost classical manner Hanuman demonstrated the symptoms of pure devotional service. Everything that he did was only for the pleasure of Lord Rama, whether it was building bridges, fighting rakshasas or flying across the country to fetch life saving herbs, his constant meditation was how to best serve Rama. When he sought out Sita in Ravana's Lanka, he was not merely satisfied at delivering to her the message of Lord Rama. He also destroyed the forest, killed many rakshasas and burnt down half of Lanka. That is the mood of a pure devotee. To consciously cultivate everything that is positive to the service of the Lord and reject everything that is not. Even though Lord Rama reciprocated very sweetly with gratitude, praise or benedictions for Hanuman, he never had any expectation for them. Hanuman often presented himself as a simple ignorant monkey in front of Rama. When Hanuman returned from Lanka with news of Sita, an overjoyed Rama embraced him tightly. However a clearly uncomfortable Hanuman stated that his position could only be at the feet of his Lord. The highest reward for him was to serve Lord Rama. Service to Rama was the most exalted destination for Hanuman, and he constantly endeavored to perfect himself in this respect.
Glories to Hanuman: After ruling for eleven thousand years when the time came for Lord Rama to return to His eternal abode, most of His close associates,including Sugriva, accompanied Him. However Lord Rama ordered Hanuman to stay back, to protect and inspire His future devotees. Lord Rama gave Hanuman the benediction that he would live for as long as His glories would be sung in any corner of the world.
The Sundara kandam : The Sundarakandam, s section of the Ramayana, is in itself greatly inspiring. This section deals with the story of how Hanuman crossed the ocean to reach Lanka in search of the abducted Sita. It ends with the story of how he came back after finding her.
To the reader unfamiliar with the Indian ethos it may seem a little far fetched to go into rhapsody on the manner in which a monkey crosses an ocean, and that too flying. To the Indian, however, in fact that he was a monkey or that flying across the ocean cannot but be a figment of imagination do not come in the way of admiring and falling in love with the bachelor monkey deity. What emerges of great significance is Hanuman's character: it is etched beautifully in mythology. The character portrayal is consistent in the epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana and all other literature where Hanuman is mentioned.
There is strength in his character at all levels: he is brave and courageous physically. He mentally of very fast. He has conquered the emotions of desire, anger lust and so on. When Hanuman was flying over the ocean, a giantess accosts him. Her name is Surasa. Actually she has been sent by the gods to test Hanuman's capability, whether he will succumb to small obstacles or will overcome them. Surasa says that whosoever passes this way must enter her mouth. Hanuman requests her to let him go as he is going on a very important errand. Surasa is unreasonable. So Hanuman expands his body a little. Then a little more and still more. Surasa too opens her mouth larger and larger. Suddenly in a trice, Hanuman reduces himself to the size of a fly an quickly goes into her mouth and out of it again. Similarly he combats other demonesses with his intellect. When he reaches Lanka and begins his search he assumes a very small size. He searches the whole of Ravana's palace and around the city. He does not find Sita. He falls into extreme depression. A deity known for his strength becomes depressed. Yes, he does and that is what shows that he is unaware of what he himself can achieve. This aspect of him is charming. Then Hanuman reasons to himself that depression has never really helped anybody. In fact it has come in the way of achievement. So he rises out of it and decides once again to search the universe if need by, but find Sita he must.
There are many passages where he decries the emotion of anger. An angry man can destroy himself and others he says. Every situation has a unique solution, thinks Hanuman and carefully weighs each situation before facing it.
Even though Hanuman appeared in the Treta-yuga, millions of years later he made an appearance again in the Dwapara-yuga to help his younger brother Bhima. In order to serve Krishna, in the battle of Mahabharata, Hanuman personally resided in the flag on the chariot of Arjuna. During the battle, the fierce cries of Hanuman struck terror in the hearts of the opposition and greatly encouraged the Pandava warriors. Devotees pray to Hanuman to protect them from material obstacles in the path of devotional service and engage them in the service of the Supreme Lord Rama.
Alaghumallari Krishna Temple : It lies 3 km off Sulurpet of Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, having bus facilities. This legendary thirtha kshetra lying on the bank of Kalindi river was the scene of battle fought between Krishna and Jambavant in the Dwaparayuga over the affair of precious samantakamani. As it was the yuddhabhumi, it was called appropriately Mallahariporuvuru, means thereby that Hari like boxer fought against his opponent Jambavan. In the years followed, it was changed to Mallikrishnavuru which metamorphosed into Mannaruporuru or Mannar for short. All indicate about the battle fought there in the past.
Mallahariporuvuru => Mallikrishnavuru => Mannaruporuru => Mannar
Mallahariporuvuru => Malla + Hari + Poru + Vuru
Malla => Boxer
Hari => Krishna
Poru = > Fighting
Vuru = > village
Mallahariporuvuru => Village where boxer krishna fought
After Krishna's victory, Jambavan gave his daughter Jambavathi in marriage and prayed him to abide in this kshetra along with Satybhama, the darling sweet heart of Krishna. He granted.
The garbhagriha contains the images of Sri Krishna flanked by Jambavathy and Satyabhama. The sculptor's craftsmanship serves a rich feast to the eyes and wrings veneration. It has all the essential part, like mukhamantap, mahamantap along with Kalyanamantap. The kshetrapalaka of this renowned kshetra is Jambavantha, and his icon is placed in the garbhagriha itself.
Here is a unique marvel? One can see water stagnated in the eyes of Garutmanta's image, installed in a separate niche opposite the archamurti. If a wet cloth is passed over the eyes, it becomes wet testifying to the fact that Garutmantha has been shedding tears of joy at the sight of his master seen buffeted by his two lovely consorts since inception. Curious visitors test this with cloth and share the delight of God's vehicle - Garuda.
The temple contains many superb sculptural pieces, and among them, the image of Soundaryavalli installed in a little pavilion can be singled out as an example. The annual Brahmotsav celebrated in Vaisakha masa draws huge crowds.
Vanaras were sub-human species : Jambavan belongs to a species called "vanara". According to the Vedic texts there are 400,000 human species, some higher and some lower than our selves. 99% of these species exist on higher dimensional planes of existence, and thus we have no experience of them. The vanara species resembles a cross between a human and an animal (usually a monkey or bear). Hanuman is another example of a vanara. The main body resembles that of a human, but the head and other features are that of an animal. They are actually much higher than our own species in many aspects (such as knowledge, strength, etc.)
Some other similar species described in our scriptures are the kimpurusha and the kinnara. In Sanskrit kim-purusha literally means "What kind of human?" This is because from a distance they resemble a human, but as they become visible one is shocked and asks, "Is this a human? What kind of human is this?" These three species - vanara, kimpurusha, and kinnara - are closely related. Vanara actually means "sub-human".
Story of Shamanthaka Gem : The following is my all-time favorite gemstone story. This legend is derived from the 10th Canto of the great Bhagavata Maha-purana : Book 10, Chapter VII. Over 5,000 years ago, at the end of the Dvarpara-yuga or the "Copper Age," the 8th Incarnation of Lord Vishnu appeared on the Earth as Lord Krishna. During the latter part of His sojourn on this planet Krishna was involved in a misunderstanding over a wonderful ruby known as the Shyamantaka gem.
There was a King named Satrajit who was a devotee of Surya, the Sun-god. After many years of worship King Satrajit was finally blessed by the Sun-god who gave him a fabulous ruby as a reward for his dedication. This ruby was named "Shyamantaka" and it had the power to produce one hundred seventy pounds of gold daily for it's owner. Such was the great brilliance of this gem that people mistook King Satrajit to be the Sun-god himself where ever he wore the jewel. Satrajit declined saying that the jewel belonged to him.
Satrajit became a really wealthy man. One day Satrajit went to visit Lord Krishna on His island Kingdom of Dvaraka. Krishna, understanding Satrajit's inflated ego and attachment, approached Satrajit and told him that he should share the gem with the other people of Dwarka and give it to King Ugrasena. When Satrajit refused, Krishna relented and said nothing further about the matter. But the devoted denizens of Dvaraka were surprised and soon gossip spread throughout the Kingdom.
A few days later, Satrajit's brother Prasena wore the jewel as a necklace by borrowing the gem from his brother and went boldly into the forest to hunt. Unknown to anyone, Prasena was killed by a great lion who was in turn killed by Jambavan, the King of Bears, who took the Shyamantaka jewel into his cave and gave it to his child to play with.
Prasena did not return to Dwarka and people were wondering what had happened to him. Soon the news of the gems disappearance turned into ugly rumors. Satrajit suspected that Krishna might have killed Prasena in order to attain the gem. Sensing the people's doubt, Lord Krishna ventured out to search for the gem accompanied by a large group of followers. Later they found the dead bodies of both Prasena and the lion. Krishna noticed lion tracks around the body and assumed that a lion must have killed Prasena. On following the lion tracks, they came across the body of the dead lion. Krishna noticed that the lion had the marks of a bear's claws and noticed that there were bear tracks around the body. On following the bear tracks Krishna and his search party reached Jambavan's cave. Krishna sensing the danger ordered the rest of the party to stay outside while he entered the cave alone.
He soon found the valuable jewel known as Syamantaka. It was being used as a toy in the hands of a child, the son of Jambavan. Krishna stood before the boy and the nursemaid cried out in fear. Hearing the cry, Jambavan came at once in a very angry mood. Jambavan was a great devotee, but because of his anger, he could not recognize his master and he challenged him to a fight. And so there ensued a tremendous battle between Krishna and Jambavan, and they fought like two opposing vultures. In this way, Krishna and Jabavan fought each other with great animation. Sometimes they used weapons, sometimes they threw stones, and sometimes they wielded trees as weapons. And sometimes they pounded each other with their fists, which sounded like the crashing of thunderbolts. They fought continuously, day and night, for 28 days.
Jambavan was the strongest being alive on earth at that time, and he knew it. But when all his limbs became slackened with fatigue, and soreness numbed his muscles and his strength ebbed away, and perspiration ran like rivers on his body, he became amazed and humble, and he asked himself, "Who is this great person who has bested me, I the most powerful?" It finally dawned upon him that his combatant was none other than his most worshipful lord, Sri Krishna. He realized that he failed to recognize his lord because of his attachments to his son and the jewel. His anger blocked his mind and blurred his vision from seeing his lord appearing in his own cave. Krishna was nonetheless pleased with Jambavan, for Krishna had desired to have a mock fight with his devotee, and Jambavan had given pleasure to Lord Krishna by the use of his great bodily strength. Jambavan then offered beautiful prayers to Sri Krishna, and just to satisfy Lord Krishna, he brought his daughter Jambavati, who was of marriageable age, and gave her and the jewel to the Lord.
Meanwhile, outside the cave, the inhabitants of Dvaraka had waited for 12 days and had given up hope. Being tired and sorry, they left and returned to Dvaraka with great trepidation. Everybody in Dvaraka was extremely depressed, beause they loved Krishna endlessly and could not bear his absence. They began to call Satrajit ill names. They blamed him for Krishna's absence. They worshipped Goddess Candraghaga for Krishna's safe return, and she was pleased, because just at that exact moment, Krishna returned with his new wife Jambavati, and everyone became joyful to see him again. Just like seeing the return of one's loved one from the region of death, so did they revel in the blissful sight of Sri Krishna's face.
King Ugrasena called for a large meeting of all Kings and chiefs, and he also invited King Satrajit to attend. There Sri Krishna told the whole story to the assembly, of how he retrieved the jewel from the cave. All were pleased and Satrajit became ashamed of spreading false rumors and offending Lord Krishna. He felt so bad that he gave to Krishna the jewel and his beautiful daughter Satyabhama. Krishna was pleased with the charity of his daughter, but declined the jewel and told Satrajit to keep it in his temple, so that the jewel would bring good fortune to the city of Dvaraka, because wherever the jewel resided, there could be no famine, pestilence or excessive cold or heat.