It has been theorized that some of the gods and goddesses of mythologies may have been representations of world leaders of the times. Rarely though, is evidence found to conclusively link ancient legends to something tangible. However, one ancient story that has been regarded as simply an old legend may have some basis in reality. It is the Hindu story of Ramayana and the evidence that the antagonist of the tale, Ravana, may actually have existed.
In 2008, it was reported that the mountain area of Noroliya had unearthed some very interesting discoveries that have caused some to believe that maybe the Hindu legends of old were not merely fables. The Ramayana is one of two epics allegedly written by Valmiki that many scientists in Sri Lanka had written off as being merely an old tale until the discovery of a very old coffin and some stones got the entire community in a state of wonder. For it was, many believe, not just any coffin but rather the coffin of the enemy in the Ramayana tale–Ravana.
The significance of these findings could indeed answer some vital questions about ancient man and exactly what human beings were capable of accomplishing. It was said that Ravana had access to ‘Pushpak Viman’ In Sanskrit, viman or vimana translates to measuring out or traversing. It has been used to refer to the thrones that the gods were seated in as well as ‘flying chariots” that were said to be possessed by Ravana.
Indeed, it was even said that he had five landing strips for his flying machines. Keep in mind, this was 10,000+ years ago, centuries before air travel was thought to have been possible. There have been speculations of three areas in Sri Lanka being the possible landing strips for these aircraft–and to look at the area today, there are indentations marked there for centuries that appear to have been purposely created for the purpose of landing an airplane.
Maha-eliya, (the area now referred to as “Horton’s Plains”) Ussangoda in Hambanthota and Wariyapola.still have these marks on their landscape and with the discovery of this ancient coffin the story of Ramayana may have been more than just a myth.
The Ramayana Epic Tales
The tale of the Ramayana is one of two epics written by the sage Valmiki, the other being Mahabharata. It describes what the ideal relationships are as far as family interaction, showing the duties of each one as well as the ramifications of ignoring those duties for personal gain.
It tells the journey of Rama, and his battle against Ravana, who ruled Lanka, the area that is now known as Sri Lanka. The epic is 24,000 verses written in anustubh, or 32 syllables per meter. The writings are said to date back to somewhere between 300 and 400 AD. Although Rama is portrayed in the Hindu legends as being a representative of the divine being Vishnu, in the actual Ramayana, there is very little reference to their connection. This has led some to speculate that the story is more than a mere legend, but rather an account that may have some historical accuracy.
The Yuda Kanda, which is the sixth book in the Ramayan tells the story of the battle between Rama and Ravana’s armies over the kidnapping of Rama’s wife, Sita.
This was done because of the killing of Ravana’s sister when she attempted to take the life of Sita and destroy Raman’s empire.
Learning of his sister’s death at the hand of Rama’s armies, he vowed to avenge her by destroying Rama and finishing what his sister set out to do. Part of this was the kidnapping of his enemy’s wife, Sita.
Through a series of tricks and manipulations, Ravana kidnapped Sita and transported her in his aircraft to be held captive in Lanka.
After Rama hears of his wife’s abduction from his new friend Hanuman, he is put through more tricks and manipulations all set in motion to both keep Rama from finding his beloved and drawing him toward an ultimate battle.
When the battle finally takes place, Rama is successful, and Ravana was killed. The land on which Ravana had been living and ruling was said to have vanished into the sea. Vibhishana was then placed at the throne of Lanka and Rama, after validating Sita’s purity through sacrificial fire, reunited with her and went on to rule during the Hindu time of Ram Rajya, or a state of ideal morals and virtue.
Possible Truths to the Legends of Ramayana and King Ravana?
All of this sounds like many legends in a myriad of cultures that seek to explain how a society got to a certain place. As with many other mythologies, theories are in abundance of the reality of Ramayana and the war between Rama and Ravana.
And once again we see that part of an ancient mythology involves technologies that seem impossible to have been conceived of at a time when the planet was barely out of the last Ice Age. Pyramids in Egypt and other areas that contained ancient civilizations have uncovered artifacts that have been argued to have been models of aircraft, although in the minds of the scientists and archaeologists, they are simply representations of animals and birds.
However, is it as simple as that? Did these areas of land with permanent indentations from thousands of years ago simply form that way? If not aircraft, what put them there?
In the Southeast of Sri Lanka there are two small islands, both of which have lighthouses. It has been theorized that the names of these lighthouses, which both include the word ‘kotte’ could be translated to mean ‘fort’, and the islands are partially covered in water. Real examination of the area has been difficult because of how rough the sea is in this area, which only fuels the speculation that these islands may be the remains of Ravana’s kingdom.
The debate continues on both sides–those who believe that the colorful characters and images are simply told as many legends are, and those who believe that those characters and images are metaphors for people and events that actually happened.
In the Ramayana, the character of Ravana is considered the ‘enemy’ or the antagonist, a fearsome king with ten heads. Some believe that this refers to Ravana as having the strength of ten men, or some other analogy. The story is told showing Rama as a victor against the evil of Ravana’s arrogance in kidnapping Sita, but in times of war, it is the winner who tells the story. Was Ravana an evil, mythical character simply created to make an interesting legend or was he a genius that was destroyed in his prime?
As with many things of ancient times, with all the unknowns, we may never have the full answer. However, some of the remaining artifacts and shapes of the landscapes indicate that there is much about the history of mankind we still have yet to learn–and many re-written versions to untangle. For us to truly advance our knowledge for the future, it is essential to continue uncovering the mysteries of the past.
Written by Angela Sangster, Copyright 2011 BestOfAllTopics.com