India Fills in US Shoes in Afghanistan- With a Difference

As American withdrawal looms, a sense of defeatism pervades certain sections of international opinion. This needs to be guarded against, because it runs the risk of encouraging insurgent groups, besides weakening the authority of the Central Government and its institutions. The vacuum that was seen to be felt after the departure of US seems to be fulfilled by India- albeit with a glaring difference. The fighting forces of US shall be replaced by the developmental forces
The news that Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has made a successful visit to Afghanistan this week should gladden the hearts of all of us in the Opposition who believe that our political differences stop at the water’s edge and the border line. When it comes to India’s national interests, there is no Congress foreign policy or BJP foreign policy – there is, or should be, only India’s foreign policy.
This was already amply demonstrated at the time of the very first non-Congress government in 1977, when the Janata Party Foreign Minister of the time, Atal Behari Vajpayee, conducted a Nehruvian foreign policy with style and grace. Sushma Swaraj shows every sign – in Nepal, in Bangladesh and now in Afghanistan – of doing the same.
India and Afghanistan share a strategic and development partnership based on historical, cultural and economic ties. We have an abiding interest in the stability of Afghanistan, in ensuring social and economic progress for its people, getting them on the track of self-sustained growth and thus enabling them to take their own decisions without outside interference.
The binding factor in the relationship is that the interests of Afghanistan and India converge. In its efforts towards the stabilization of Afghanistan, the focus has been on development. India’s U.S. $2 billion assistance program, modest from the standpoint of Afghan needs, is large for a non-traditional donor like India, and is in fact its largest aid program in any country. Its assistance programs are being implemented in close coordination with the Afghan government, and are spread all over Afghanistan.
India is the fifth largest bilateral donor in Afghanistan. The principal objective of this effort is to build indigenous Afghan capacities and institutions for an effective governance system that is able to deliver goods and services required by the Afghan people, who have suffered years of unremitting violence.
India has helped build the infrastructure of the new Afghanistan. The 218 Kms (130 miles) Zaranj-Delaram highway, in south-west Afghanistan near the Iranian border, was an Indian triumph and has opened an alternative route for Afghan goods and services which were otherwise totally dependent on Pakistan. The Pul-e-Khumri to Kabul power transmission line and the sub-station at Chimtala — constructed by brilliant Indian engineers at a height of 3,000 metres — has lit up Kabul, which, thanks to India, has round-the-clock 24/7 electricity supply for the first time since 1992. We have constructed the Salma Dam on the Hari Rud River in Herat and the Afghan Parliament building, a visible and evocative symbol of India’s commitment to Afghan democracy.
India has also given at least three Airbus planes to Afghanistan’s ailing national airline, Ariana. Several thousand Indians are engaged in development work. Funds have been committed for education, health, power and telecommunications. There has also been money in the form of food aid and help to strengthen governance.
For capacity development, India is providing 675 scholarships each, annually, for undergraduate and graduate students in India, and for Afghan public servants to train in Indian public training institutions for up to 180 days in areas of their choice. These are the largest such programs that India has for any other country and the largest among the skills and capacity development programs offered to Afghanistan by its development partners.
Bilateral trade has grown rapidly, but could grow much more if transit through Pakistan was made less cumbersome. It is a shame that the Pakistani military still sees Afghanistan as a zero-sum game – that anything that is good for India must be opposed and obstructed, even if doing so is bad for Afghanistan. In fact both Pakistan and India stand to benefit from enhanced and smooth trade and transit to and from Afghanistan.
Given its geographic location, Afghanistan has an immense potential to develop as a hub of trade, energy and transport corridors, which would help the long-term sustainability of development efforts in Afghanistan. There is a need for greater regional cooperation and economic integration of the Afghan economy with South and Central Asia. The historical and cultural relationship of Afghanistan with the other South Asian countries makes it a natural member of SAARC, which it joined only after some delay. As its western-most country, Afghanistan is the key link for SAARC member States with Iran and Central Asia.
This economic interdependence could catalyze peace and prosperity in the region at large and in Afghanistan in particular. But it needs Pakistani co-operation for Afghanistan to be able to fulfill its great potential as a transit hub for the region.
India believes it is important for the international community to maintain its commitment to the people of Afghanistan even after the planned American withdrawal. India remains fully committed to assisting the Afghan partners in the process of reconstruction, and economic and human resource development, as they build a prosperous, democratic and pluralistic Afghanistan.
The recent presidential elections conducted by the Afghan Election Commission this year are a landmark event in Afghanistan’s evolution as a democracy, marking a transition from the first post-Taliban Presidency of Hamid Karzai, a friend of India. As a fellow developing democratic country, India appreciates the resoluteness and determination of the Afghan people who participated in the election process, notwithstanding threats and intimidation by the Taliban. It is heartening that the campaigns were conducted in a democratic spirit, that there were no incidents of violence resulting from any clashes between supporters of the candidates, that participation in the elections was broad-based, and that voting was across ethnic lines.
The elections were hotly contested and have ended in a bitter standoff, with the results in favor of Ashraf Ghani being passionately challenged by the apparent loser, his former Cabinet colleague Abdullah Abdullah. Still, in a land so ravaged by civil war and terrorism, neither of the contestants is reaching for his gun.
Soon after the inauguration of the new Government, the international community and the Afghan Government would need to come together to configure the contours of their partnership for the next five years. This is why Sushma Swaraj’s visit is particularly timely.
The threat of terrorism is never absent in Afghanistan and India has faced it unrelentingly. Local Taliban are blamed for attacking and kidnapping Indians in the country. There have been explosions and grenade attacks on the Indian consulates in Herat and Jalalabad, and two major attacks on the Indian Embassy in Kabul, one of which killed two senior Indian diplomats. Both took a heavy toll of the lives of Afghan passers-by.
Given the turbulence of the recent past and the dramatic decline in security, there is need for an intensified focus on security, governance and development by the Afghan Government. Here, India and the rest of the international community should do what it can to assist. Failure in Afghanistan’s stabilization will entail a heavy cost for both the Afghan people and the world at large. India cannot send troops, but it is doing its best to train Afghan military and police personnel in India, and these efforts should continue.
There is a growing understanding that the increase in terrorist actions in Afghanistan is linked to the support and sanctuaries available in the contiguous areas of Pakistan. That explains the particularly high level of violence in the border areas of Afghanistan.
The international community should put effective pressure on Pakistan to implement its stated commitment to deal with terrorist groups within its territory, including the members of Al Qaeda, Taliban’s Quetta Shura, Hizb-e-Islami, Lashkar-e-Toiba and other like-minded terrorist groups.
The world has come to realize, at considerable cost, that terrorism cannot be compartmentalized, and any facile attempts to strike Faustian bargains with terrorists often result in such forces turning on the very powers that sustained them in the past.
The Indian Foreign Minister’s visit comes within days after Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri announced the establishment of an Indian branch of his terrorist movement in a 54-minute video in which he said that Al-Qaeda would recognize the overarching leadership of the Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar. Her visit at this time underscores the shared interests of Kabul and New Delhi in resisting Al-Qaeda terror.
There are really only two choices confronting the international community – invest and endure or give up and exit. India has already made up its mind – invest and endure — because we believe in the cause of peace, democracy and development in Afghanistan. Sushma Swaraj’s visit is a signal to the rest of the world that India is not giving up.

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Scientific Advancement in Ancient India

Technology permeates the very fabric of our daily life. However, despite our pride in modern advances in science and technology, there is evidence that the so-called technological innovation and advancement was a part of everyday fabric of life in Ancient India. And one says so, not because one is gung-ho about a region or is a jingoist. The evidence in the literature of that era provides ample evidence of the advancement.
During the growth of the ancient civilizations, ancient technology was the result of incredible advances in engineering in ancient times. These advances in the history of technology stimulated societies to adopt new ways of living and governance. However, many ancient inventions were forgotten, lost to the pages of history, only to be re-invented millennium later. Here are the best examples of ancient technology and inventions that demonstrate the ingenuity of our ancient ancestors. These inventions later came to be known as modern science. A study of some examples of advancement shows the real picture.
Atomic Theory 2,600 years ago
John Dalton (1766 – 1844), an English chemist and physicist, is the man credited today with the development of atomic theory. However, a theory of atoms was actually formulated 2,500 years before Dalton by an Indian sage and philosopher, known as Acharya Kanad. Acharya Kanad was born in 600 BC in Prabhas Kshetra (near Dwaraka) in Gujarat, India. His real name was Kashyap. It was Kanada who originated the idea that anu (atom) was an indestructible particle of matter.
An interesting story states that this theory occurred to him while he was walking with food in his hand. As he nibbled at the food in his hand, throwing away the small particles, it occurred to him that he could not divide the food into further parts and thus the idea of a matter which cannot be divided further came into existence. He called that indivisible matter anu, i.e. molecule, which was misinterpreted as atom. He also stated that anu can have two states – Absolute rest and a State of motion.
Newton’s Law, 1200 Years before Newton
“Objects fall on the earth due to a force of attraction by the earth. Therefore, the earth, planets, constellations, moon and sun are held in orbit due to this attraction.” The meaning of these lines is parallel to that of Newton’s Law of Gravity. But these lines are not said by the European scientist. They are said by an Indian – in Surya Siddhanta, dated 400-500 AD, the ancient Hindu astronomer Bhaskaracharya states these lines. Approximately 1200 years later (1687 AD), Sir Isaac Newton rediscovered this phenomenon and called it the Law of Gravity.
Acharya Charak: Father of medicine
Acharya Charak has been crowned as the Father of Medicine. His renowned work, the “Charak Samhita,” is considered as an encyclopedia of Ayurveda. His principles, diagnoses, and cures retain their potency and truth even after a couple of millennium. When the science of anatomy was confused with different theories in Europe, Acharya Charak revealed through his innate genius and inquires the facts on human anatomy, embryology, pharmacology, blood circulation and diseases like diabetes, tuberculosis, heart disease, etc.In the “Charak Samhita” he has described the medicinal qualities and functions of 100,000 herbal plants. He has emphasized the influence of diet and activity on mind and body. He has proved the correlation of spirituality and physical health contributed greatly to diagnostic and curative sciences. He has also prescribed and ethical charter for medical practitioners two centuries prior to the Oath. Through his genius and intuition, Acharya Charak forever remains etched in the annals of history as one of the greatest and noblest of rishi-scientists.
Aviation
In 1875, the Vymaanika-Shaastra, a fourth century BC text written by Maharshi Bhardwaj, was discovered in a temple in India. The book dealt with the operation of ancient vimanas and included information on steering, precautions for long flights, protection of the airships from storms and lightning, and how to switch the drive to solar energy, or some other “free energy” source. Vimanas were said to take off vertically or dirigible. Bharadwaj refers to no less than 70 authorities and 10 experts of air travel in antiquity.
Science of Wind
The science of wind has been explained by Sage Kanva in Rigveda sections 8/41/6 in Jagati meter of God wind. Sage Kashyapa has described the features and properties of this substance in Rigveda 9/64/26 in the hymns of God Pavamana Soma in meter Gayatri.
Art of Meditation
Sage Kapil Muni is the author of the Sankhya Darshan. Kapil muni was born equipped with rare intellect, dispassion and spiritual powers. He authored Sankhya Darshan that defined the term “Dhyaan or Meditation” as “the state of mind when remains without any subjectivity / objectivity i.e. without any thought (when the mind is away from worldly objects), is called the “Dhyaan or Meditation”. He teaches that there is an unbroken continuity from the lowest inorganic to the highest organic forms. The source of world according to him is Prakriti (fundamental nature).
According to Kapil Muni, there are twenty-five principles responsible for the manifestation of the Creation (Samasara), out of which Purusha and Prakriti are eternal and independent of each other. Kapila is not concerned to deny the reality of personal God or Maheshwara. Yet his assertion is that, no arguments can irrefutably establish God’s reality. Therefore, in his model of creation the Purusha (Spirit) and Prakrity (matter) are held solely responsible for creation, without acknowledging an Almighty and intelligent Creator, the God.
The Yoga
The Science of Yoga is one of several unique contributions of India to the world. It seeks to discover and realize the ultimate Reality through yogic practices. Acharya Patanjali, prescribed the control of prana (life breath) as the means to control the body, mind and soul. This subsequently rewards one with good health and inner happiness. His 84 yogic postures effectively enhance the efficiency of the respiratory, circulatory, nervous, digestive and endocrine systems and many other organs of the body.
Astronomy – Precursor of Copernicus and geography
Aryabhatt , a master Astronomer and Mathematician, was born in 476 CE in Kusumpur (Bihar). In 499 CE, he wrote a text on astronomy and an unparalleled treatise on mathematics called “Aryabhatiyam” He formulated the process of calculating the motion of planets and the time of eclipses. Aryabhatt was the first to proclaim that the earth is round, it rotates on its axis, orbits the sun and is suspended in space – 1,000 years before Copernicus published his heliocentric theory.
Similarly, Bhaskaracharya calculated the time taken by the earth to orbit the sun hundreds of years before the astronomer Smart; Time taken by earth to orbit the sun: (5th century) 365.258756484 days. Born in the obscure village of Vijjadit (Jalgaon) in Maharastra, Bhaskaracharya’s mathematical works called “Lilavati” and “Bijaganita” are considered to be unparalleled. In his treatise “Siddhant Shiromani” he writes on planetary positions, eclipses, cosmography, mathematical techniques and astronomical equipment. In the “Surya Siddhant” he makes a note on the force of gravity.
The galaxy is oval, Earth is spherical was known to Indians.Yajur Vedic verse: “Brahmaanda vyapta deha bhasitha himaruja…” describing Shiva as the one who is spread out in Brahmaanda. Anda means an egg depicting the shape of the galaxy. It was the middle east Europians and Greeks who wrongly believed that earth was flat. But Indians, since long have always known that it was spherical. In many scriptures, the word Bhoogala is used, Gola meaning round and bhoo is earth.
Surgery
Sushruta. son of sage Vishwamitra, is the father of surgery. 2600 years ago, he and health scientists of his time conducted complicated surgeries like cesareans, cataract, artificial limbs, Rhinoplasty (restoration of a damaged nose), 12 types of fractures, 6 types of dislocations, urinary stones and even plastic surgery and brain surgery. Usage of anesthesia was well known in ancient India. He is the author of the book “Sushruta Samhita”, in which he describes over 300 surgical procedures and 125 surgical instruments.
Botanical Sciences
Varahamihir’s book “panch siddhant”, noted that the moon and planets are lustrous not because of their own light but due to sunlight. In the “Bruhad Samhita” and “Bruhad Jatak”, he has revealed his discoveries in the domains of geography, constellation, science, botany and animal science. In his treatise on botanical science, Varahamihir presents cures for various diseases afflicting plants and trees.
Existence of Atomic and Sub atomic particles
The world accounts discovery of atoms and sub atomic particles to Western scientists who coined these words and theories only in the early 17th century. An excerpt from Lalitha Sahasranama, told by Hayagreeva to Agasthya muni, dating back to the distant ages of the past,describes the Goddess as the super consciousness/Brahman that pervades even the sub atomic particles within matter. “Paranjyotih parandhamah paramanuh paratpara”. The word “anuvu” means atom. Paramanu is sub-atomic particle, finer than the finest of atom, meaning electrons and the others.
Ancient times and nuclear weapons
Nuclear weapons were developed and the possibly used. A heavy layer of radioactive ash in Rajasthan, India, covers a three-square mile area, ten miles west of Jodhpur. The radiation level is still intense. For some time it has been established that there is a very high rate of birth defects and cancer in that area. Scientists have unearthed an ancient city where evidence shows an atomic blast dating back thousands of years, from 8,000 to 12,000 years, destroying everything most of the buildings and probably a half-million people.
The Mahabharata clearly describes a catastrophic blast that rocked the continent. “A single projectile charged with all the power in the Universe…An incandescent column of smoke and flame as bright as 10,000 suns, rose in all its splendor…it was an unknown weapon, an iron thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death which reduced to ashes an entire race.”
Ancient ultrasound machines?
Using a variety of complicated instruments, gynecologists have gradually come to know how the embryo grows during the period of pregnancy. But the Shrimad Bhagavatam, 3rd canto, 30th chapter, gives a vivid description of the growth of the embryo in the mother’s womb. If we compare the information given therein with the information given in a standard textbook such as the embryology section of Gray’s Anatomy, there are striking similarities in the information obtained from the two sources.
The empirical evidence shows that the modern advancements in technology are existent in the hoary past. Possibly, progress is cyclic and eclipse of one civilization is a curtain raiser to the progress in the new civilization.

Hinduism’s Universal Sway

Historians say Hindu Temples did not exist during the Vedic period (1500-500 BC). The ritual of idol worship which became popular at the end of the Vedic age may have given rise to the concept of temples as a place of worship. However, one is amazed to find the presence of Hindu teples from Autraila to latin Amrica, covering Far East and South Asia, China, Russsia, Middle East, Europe and most amazingly even Latin America. The remains of the earliest temple structure were discovered in Afghanistan in 1951. Nevertheless the unearthing of Hindu temples all across the world is definitely surprising. A look at some such discoveries makes one wonder about the roots of Hinduism. It had a universal sway and evidence is often so strong that it cannot be ignored.
Vatican originally a Shiva temple?
All religions are one and are derived from Vedic Sanatana Dharma. The Hindu historian P.N. Oak claimed that the word Vatican originally came from the Sanskrit word “Vatika”, that “Christianity” came from the Sanskrit words “Krishna-neeti”, (the way of Krishna), and that “Abraham” came from the Sanskrit word “Brahma”. He further claims that both Christianity and Islam originated as distortions of Vedic beliefs.
There is a striking similarity between the shapes of a shiva linga and the Vatican church compound. The word ‘Vatican’ itself is derived from the Sanskrit word Vatika, which means Vedic cultural or religious centers, such as Yagna-Vatika. Such words and discoveries if not conclusively prove, definitely do suggest that the Vatican was a Hindu (Vedic) religious center before its incumbent was forced to accept Christianity from 1st century AD. Also, according to some reports, a Shiva linga was found during the excavation and is kept for display at a Museum in Rome. This Siva Lingam is exhibited in Gregorian Etruscan Museum, Vatican City. It has the most important Etruscan collection in Rome, starting with early Iron Age objects from the 9th century BC.
The Lost Hindu empire of Cambodia
A visit to Cambodia is recommended or may even be de rigueur for any Indian with an interest in the erstwhile history of India.. There are several hundred Hindu and Buddhist temple ruins throughout the countryside, especially around the town of Siem Reap near the large lake Tonle Sap. Siem Reap is the heart of the country. Here is where the splendid temple Angkor Wat has stood for nearly nine hundred years.
The sprawling temple spreads over a one square mile area. Long walls with stories of Hindu mythology are sculpted as bas-reliefs. It is a magnificent temple complex, constructed in the form of mythological Mount Meru – the Hindu center of the Universe. The brilliant paint used to enhance the reliefs has faded but the architecture and beauty are still preserved. The sheer magnitude of the temple complex is impressive. All the gods of the Hindu pantheon are represented in temple sculpture. Shiva and Vishnu were held in high esteem.5,000 year Old Shiva
Linga found at Harappa
In 1940, archaeologist M.S. Vats discovered three Shiva Lingas at Harappa, dating more than 5,000 years old. This rare archival photo shows that ancient Shiva Linga as it was being excavated from the Harappa site.
Ancient Tamil Brahmi script found in Egypt
A broken storage jar with inscriptions in Tamil Brahmi script has been excavated at Quseir-al-Qadim, an ancient port with a Roman settlement on the Red Sea coast of Egypt. This Tamil Brahmi script has been dated to first century B.C. The same inscription is incised twice on the opposite sides of the jar. The inscription reads paanai oRi, that is, pot (suspended) in a rope net. A pottery specialist at the British Museum, London, identified the fragmentary vessel as a storage jar made in India.
Potsherd with Tamil-Brahmi script found in Oman
A Tamil-Brahmi script inscribed on a potsherd, which was found at the Khor Rori area in Oman, has come to light now. The script reads “nantai kiran” and it can be dated to first century CE, that is, 1900 years before the present. The discovery in the ancient city of Sumhuram has opened a new chapter in understanding the maritime trade of the Indian Ocean countries, according to specialists in history.
Large ancient Hindu temple found in Bali
Construction workers in Bali have discovered what is thought to be the biggest ancient Hindu temple ever found on the Indonesian island, archaeologists said. The workers were digging a drain in the island’s capital Denpasar at a Hindu study centre when they came across the remains of the stone temple. They reported the discovery to the Bali archaeology office, which then unearthed substantial foundations of a structure that the excavation team believes dates from around the 13th to 15th centuries.
Ruins of ancient temple found in Yogyakarta
The ruins of an ancient building discovered at the Indonesian Islamic University in Yogyakarta have been confirmed as a temple to worship the Hindu gods Shiva and Ganesha. Linga, the symbol for the worship of Shiva, and yoni, a Sanskrit symbol for divine passage or place of birth, were found in the area.
Mystery of Hanuman: Lost city of the ‘Monkey God’ found!
La Ciudad Blanca, Spanish for ‘The White City’ is a legendary settlement said to be located in the Mosquitia region of eastern Honduras in Central America. Researcher Charles Lindberg, during one of his flights over the jungles of Mosquitia in Hondurus, claimed caught a glimpse of what he thought was the ‘Lost City of the Monkey God‘ where, legend says that local people worshipped huge ‘Monkey Sculptures‘.
A hidden refuge of gods?
Theodore Morde – an American adventurer, worked on the tip given by Lindberg and claimed that he had finally found the lost city in 1940. He claimed sacrifices were made by local Indians to a gigantic idol of an ape. However, he was killed by a car in London before he could announce its exact location. Morde had originally been looking for the White City, a hidden refuge of gods and gold first reported by Hernan Cortez.
Researchers from the University of Houston and the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping flew over the Mosquitia region and revealed that there is evidence of a plaza dotted with ancient pyramids now reclaimed by the jungle on the east end of Hondurus. On the western end of Hondurus is the city of Copan – the site of the ancient Howler Monkey God statue. This monkey god that Westerners are talking about can actually be related to Lord Hanuman.
Ramayana’s Kishkinda Kanda descibes about Trident of Peru, South America etc and Yuddha Kanda (War Episode) describes about Hanuman travelling to Paatala Loka (Central America and Brazil, which are on other side of India in globe) and meeting his son Makaradhwaja, who resembles him. After killing the King of Paatala, Hanuman makes his son Makaradhwaja as ruler of that kingdom and he is being worshipped as God since then.
This could be one of the reasons why ancient Americans of central and south paint red color to all their gods statues. The discovery of Vedic Havan Kund in peru is also one more evidence of Vedic influence in this region. After his expedition, Morder described traveling miles through swamps, up rivers, and over mountains before coming across ruins that he interpreted as the remains of a walled city. He claimed to have evidence of large, ruined buildings and said that his Paya guides told him that there once was a temple with a large staircase leading to a statue of a “Monkey God.”
Morde speculated that the deity was an American parallel to the Hindu deity Hanuman, who he says was the equivalent of America’s own Paul Bunyan in his amazing feats of strength and daring. Morde was told that the temple had a “long, staired approach” lined with stone effigies of monkeys. “The heart of the Temple was a high stone dais on which was the statue of the Monkey God himself – before it was a place of sacrifice.”
Morde and Brown brought back thousands of artifacts, most of which became part of the collection of the Heye Foundation Museum of the American Indian in New York City.These included metal razors, stone blades, a flute, stone statuary, and stone utensils. Morde and Brown also reported having found evidence of gold, silver, platinum, and oil and are now at display in National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
Munneswaram Temple in Munneswaram, Sri Lanka
This temple is said to have been in existence since the days to the Ramayana. It is said that Lord Ram prayed to Lord Shiva here after he won against Ravana. It is a temple complex comprising of five temples. Of these the one dedicated to Lord Shiva is the central and the biggest one. This temple has been destroyed twice in the past by the Portuguese before it was finally handed over to the Jesuits who rebuilt
Mukti Gupteshwar Temple in Minto, Australia
The 13th and the last Jyothirlinga was gifted to Australia in 1999 by the then King of Nepal — the late Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev. Together with this was gifted 7996 hymns arranged in eight volumes especially to be sung in praise of this deity. According to the scriptures, construction of this lingam had to be in the southern hemisphere which symbolised the ‘mouth of the snake’, the snake being like an ornament around Lord Shiva’s neck. Hence Australia was chosen. This temple’s foundation was laid on Shivratri in 1999 in Minto — Sydney’s suburb. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it is the only cave temple to have been constructed by man. Together with the 13th Jyotirlinga, the temple also houses the replicas of the other 12 Jyotirlingas.
New finds take archaeologists closer to Krishna
The conch and the Sudarshana Chakra are unmistakable. Although the figures do not match popular images of Krishna sporting a peacock feather, archaeologists are convinced that the coins are of Krishna, revered as an avatar of Vishnu. “These square coins, dating back to 180- BC, with Krishna on one side and Balram on the other, were unearthed recently in Al Khanoun in Afghanistan and are the earliest proof that Krishna was venerated as a god, and that the worship had spread beyond the Mathura region,” says T K V Rajan, archaeologist and founder-director, Indian Science Monitor. Having done extensive research in Brindavan, Rajan is convinced that a lot of the spiritual history of ancient India lies buried.
1400-year-old Lakshmi deity found in J&K
This shows the original and ancient Vedic connection that the area of Kashmir has always had. A rare granite sculpture of Goddess Lakshmi, believed to be 1,400 years old, has been found at Waghama village along the river Jehlum in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir. The image is seven inches high and 4.5 inches wide and is seen as one of the most important findings.
Ancient Hindu temple unearthed in Sri Lanka
A heap of ruins where a Hindu temple of Chola period was believed to have been buried has been unearthed in the Northern part of Delft. The temple is 40 feet long and 10 feet wide. Professor P. Pushparatnam of the Jaffna University History Department commenting on the findings, said the people of the locality are unable to say when this temple was built. The ruins indicate that the building would have been built many years ago.
Ancient Idol of Lord Vishnu found in Russia
An ancient Vishnu idol has been found during excavation in an old village in Russia’s Volga region, raising questions about the prevalent view on the origin of ancient Russia. The idol found in Staraya (old) Maina village dates back to VII-X century AD. Staraya Maina village in Ulyanovsk region was a highly populated city 1700 years ago, much older than Kiev, so far believed to be the mother of all Russian cities.
Dr Kozhevin, who has been conducting excavation in Staraya Maina for last seven years, said that every single square metre of the surroundings of the ancient town situated on the banks of Samara, a tributary of Volga, is studded with antiques. Prior to unearthing of the Vishnu idol, Dr Kozhevin has already found ancient coins, pendants, rings and fragments of weapons. “We may consider it incredible, but we have ground to assert that Middle-Volga region was the original land of Ancient Rus. This is a hypothesis, but a hypothesis, which requires thorough research,” he said.
Wooden structure found at Dwaraka
Archaeologists are excited about a circular wooden structure found underwater at a near-shore excavation site off the coast of Jamnagar. Thought to be the remains of the lost city of ancient Dwarka, the wooden structure is well preserved and surrounded by another structure made of stone blocks. “It is significant as scientific dating of wood, which is carbon, is possible. This was not the case with evidences like stone, beads, glass and terracota found earlier,” said Alok Tripathi, Archeologist.
Buried Shiva temples found
The surfacing of five ancient Siva temples partly in sand dunes along the Pennar river in Jyothi village in Siddhavatam mandal has led to the discovery that as many as 108 Siva temples have been buried under sand at the place. Besides the rare presence of 108 Siva temples dating back to 1213 ce, a silver chariot and a diamond crown said to have been presented to the Jyothi Siddhavateswara Swamy temple by Kakatiya Rudrama Devi were present in Jyothi village, according to inscriptions discovered.
Hindu temples of Quanzhou – A forgotten history of China
Quanzhou and its surrounding area consists of shrines or temples that according to historians is part network of number of Hindu shrines and temple. At present, there are no Hindus in Quanzhou. But there previously existed a small Hindu community in late 13th century, mostly situated in southeastern part of China. The inscription of bilingual Tamil and Chinese-language has been associated with the remains of a Shiva temple of Quanzhou. Shiva temple is one of the two south Indian-style Hindu temples.
The roots of the shrine do not lie in China but from the south India. Most of the residents of the village think that deity is Guanyin the female Bodhisattva who is venerated in many parts of China. Every morning the local residents of the village pray, they light incense sticks and chant prayers unlike any deity one might find elsewhere in China. The Hindu temple in the village collapsed 500 years ago but as local residents had belief that they still carry, goddess brought them good fortune, they dug through the ruins, saved the deity and rebuilt the temple.
Hinduism , evidently had roots all over the globe and was practiced widely. Does it not prove the catholicity of this religion that was at one time all pervasive?