Science, at its worst, is a rigid institution, unwilling to consider anything outside the venue of acceptable orthodoxy, which brings about stagnation in learning and quenches the fires of research; at its best, however, during those times its willing to acknowledge it has still much to learn about our world, science can be a beacon of enlightenment. - J Allan Danelek
Modern human have been around for over 100,000 years. Science would have us believe that in the first 90,000 years humans foraged like animals, hunting and gathering things to survive on, made rudimentary tools and did nothing much else.
And that it is only in the past 10,000 years that we, as a species, have been able to grow our food and to domestic animals - for food, as beasts of burden, as labour-saving devices and for companionship.
Science wants us to desperately to believe myths like mankind was stuck in the Stone Age for most of its 100,000 years on the earth; that our so-called ape-like ancestors had to develop at ‘its own pace’ to bring about the modern man; that finally we grew a brain good enough to be considered a human only the past 4000 years or so.
Why is this so? Only because science is unable to go beyond that 10,000 year mark. It is a matter of technicality. 10,000 BCE or thereabouts a major planetary event took place that has confounded science since it began a mere 150 years ago.
A mini Ice Age, called the Pleistocene Age, ended at that time, thought to be sometime between 10,000 BCE to 9600 BCE, with latter figure finding more favour with the scientists. In this mini-Ice Age much of present-day North America and Europe were under a cover of thick ice. Very little else is known of this age, although the bank of knowledge is steadily growing larger.
The breakdown of the topography of the earth during that Ice Age (below) is from writer J. Allan Danelek, who I believe has got closest ever by anyone in understanding events that happened pre-10,000 BCE, including scientists. The quote at the start of this article is also Danelek’s.
Says Danelek (edited for style only):
* The topography of the earth would have been different – the Baltic, the North Seas and the water around the British Isles would be dry land;
* The region around the Bahamas and Florida would be dry land. The Bering Strait would not exist – there would be a land bridge joining the two continents and it would provide easy access from Asia into the Americas;
* The south western Pacific and the Indian Ocean would have been much different than today – think of a massive section of land stretching from India to the shores of Australia, which would contain in itself the present day island nations of Java, Sumatra, Indonesia, and the numerous islands there.
* Keeping in mind the topography, this land mass would have broad fertile plains often for thousands of miles in area, criss-crossed by broad rivers. It would be a tropical paradise of about five hundred miles wide and two thousand miles long – about the size of western Europe.
* The Yellow Sea and parts of the East China Sea would be the extended coastline of China, with present day Taiwan and Hainan just mountain ranges in this landmass.
* Following the end of the ice age, the peaks of these plains would survive the flooding by becoming the isolated islands of Borneo, Sumatra, Java, etc.
Philippines would have been as large as Madagascar, while Papua New Guinea and Australia would be one landmass, separated by a small sea from mainland Indonesia. Japan would be linked to the Korean Peninsula by a land bridge.
* India’s western coastline would have extended further into the sea by a hundred miles. And the Persian Gulf would not have existed – it would have been a delta of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
* The rest of the planet was ice-locked –only the area between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer was warm.
* A third of North America and half of Europe were buried under a thick layer of ice. The same situation was in Patagonia in South America. Three of the seven continents were inhabitable. Central and South America were one huge rainforest with some agriculture being undertaken.
The reason I chose to use Danelek’s analysis of the topography of earth during the Ice Age is because he has come closest to what we as Hindus believe – civilisations come in cycles and that we have had many civilisations other than what we are in the present. Danelek is a proponent of a global civilisation existing pre-10,000 BCE which was wiped out in the global catastrophe that took place when the Ice Age ended.
If we believe in what science would have us believe than we, as Hindus, would have to believe that Lord Rama, the glory of Ayodhya and high science environment of Ravana’s Lanka did not exist. For the story (history) of Rama is set some 20,000 years before the story of Krishna. And, according to science, civilisation could not have existed in that time.
The Ramayana (meaning the Journeys of Rama) tells of two civilisations in contention - that of Ayodhya and Lanka. It is as much Ravana’s story as it is Rama’s, for Ravana represents what many of us can relate to in modern life – a superpower nation based on high technology, arrogant in the face of everything because of its superiority in arms and finance.
It is said that Ravana, the powerful great administrator and Emperor, ruled over seven continents from Lanka. They were the modern South America, Southern Europe; the Himalayas including the Hindukush mountain range and continents up to Madagascar.
The kingdom of Ayodhya is said to have extended from present day India well in South East Asia, including the Indochina peninsula and probably beyond. Many believe it was not just a city but an empire. These two close neighbours contended constantly - with legends saying that it was Dashratha’s martial superiority that kept Ravana from launching an all-out war of supremacy in the region.
One particular legend has Ravana sending a message asking Ayodhya to kowtow to the superiority of Lanka, to become his vassal or be besieged. Dashratha replied by shooting a missile to Lanka that permanently sealed the main gates of the city, demonstrating what faced Ravana if he ever chose to attack. Ravana stayed put, biding his time to get back at Dashratha.
Of course, over the course of time, the missile became an arrow shot by a bow, leading to much incredulity in modern times as to whether this could have happened.
Let’s look at Ravana’s Lanka to show what kind of technology existed at that time, if only through conjecture.
According to some scholars, Ravana’s capital, Lanka had 25 Palaces and over 400,000 streets and it was a continent south of India of which the present day Sri Lanka is the only remnant. (We have to keep in mind there are several versions of the Ramayana, both in India and in South Asia as well as in South East Asia.)
In most versions, Lanka is described as a huge continent, a mega world power with Ravana having dominion over a large part of the earth including Africa and Western Europe (that which was not under ice). Flying vehicles abound (including Ravana’s personal Pushpak Vimana) and weapons of mass destruction were common enough and were readily demonstrated during wars of conquest and when Rama besieged the city.
The final battle/s of the Ramayana are epic, any way you look at it. On the face of lack of evidence of weapons of high technology being used in the Ramayana – evidence that disappeared in the deluge that first covered/washed away everything and which, after subsiding, still left massive chucks of land under water – translators chose to make it easier on their readers by replacing missiles with bows and arrows (the weapons that existed in the time after the deluge). A whole host of replacements must have taken place because it is hard to get your head around the anomaly of bows and arrows, spears and swords having the devastating result that is described in the Ramayana. For that matter, in the Mahabharata, too.
To counter this anomaly, translator talked in their interpretations of weapons which took on destructive powers after its powers were evoked/unleashed through a mantra. Just as a nuclear device will need a very complicated series of processes for its activation and detonation, so do the weapons of the Ramayana need a complicated process to be activated – now we just think of them as mantras that evoke supernatural powers in handheld weapons.
Vishwamitra is said to have taught these mantras, these activation codes to Rama and Lakshmana during their sojourn with him in his ashram. We are asked to suspend our beliefs in accepting that these mantras unleashed massive destruction from a puny bow and arrow. Now that we moderns are aware of nuclear devices and weapons of mass destruction, maybe it is time to accept that the Rama civilisation may well have had weapon as advanced and maybe more advanced than this civilisation?
There is some justification for this belief that a forgotten race of man attained not only the knowledge that we have so recently won, but also a power that is not yet ours. Apart from our ‘myths and legends’ other cultures also talk of gods with extraordinary abilities. Most of them have been supplanted by other, ‘more believable’ beliefs but not so with Hinduism.
There are many books in India that talk of the superhuman exploits of the ‘gods’, of extraordinary vehicles and vessels they used, of the weapons with destructive powers similar to our weapons of mass destructions. (see notes below of a description of the weapons’ effect and compare with what nuclear weapons nowadays can do).
Some scholars believe the story of the Ramayana is the actual history of a people living in a time of great technological advancement. Passed down through generations despite the catastrophe of a near-wipe out of the human species, the story has taken particular and peculiar turns in its narration depending on regional and cultural influences over the centuries/millennia.
The basic construct of this ‘history’, though, remains constant - the contention between Ayodhya and Lanka. Ayodhya was no slouch in the ways of the empire: Rama concluded the Ashwamedha yagna (the empire-building process after he is crowned king). If he was just a tribal chief, as western interpretations would have us believe, how is it is that his story so widespread in Asia? And why do each of the cultures that revere him as god choose to do so as someone who belonged to them (not an outsider) – a person who lived among them in ancient times, who interacted with them and left behind a legacy that they, as people of Rama’s descent, still hold true to this day?
Rama must have been an iconic figure in his time to command such love, respect and reverence throughout South Asia – from India to Thailand to Cambodia.
So, did the disaster of global proportion circa 9600 BCE wipe out all evidence of such a civilisation?
Not really. Mysterious ancient ruins keep turning up – from the lofty Andes (a seaport high in the mountains) to beneath fathoms of water in Japan (the 8000-year-old Yonaguni-Jima which has pyramids).
Ruins of underwater cities dot the coasts of India, Japan and Taiwan and more ruins are being found around Bimini Atoll in the Bahamas (these ruins have fluted columns!).
Dating of water marks around the base of the great pyramid bring up time frames several thousands years prior to the circa 3000 BCE that is generally accepted by mainstream science. Some readings are coming back with dates going back to 10,000 BC – a time when mainstream science says homo sapiens had not even domesticated animals or learnt to cultivate grains.
Why are all these ruins popping out now, and what do they tell us of our past – our true past?
Some underwater cities:
Havana, Cuba: A team of scientists continues to explore megalithic ruins found in the Yucatan Channel near Cuba. They have found evidence of an extensive urban environment stretching for miles along the ocean shore. Some believe that the civilization that inhabited these predates all known ancient American cultures.
Bay of Cambay, India: A few years back divers discovered the remains of a vast 9500 year old city. This submerged ruin has intact architecture and human remains. More significantly, this find predates all finds in the area by over 5,000 years, forcing historians to re-evaluate their understanding of the history of civilazation in the region. The find has been termed Dwarka, or the ‘Golden City,’ after an ancient city-in-the sea said to belong to the Hindu god Krishna.
Yonaguni-Jima: Discovered by a dive tour guide some t20 years ago, controversies have arisen around a mysterious pyramids found off the coast of Japan. These structures seem to have been carved right out of bedrock in a teraforming process using tools previously thought unavailable to ancient cultures of the region.
Description of weapons of mass destruction in the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha:
"Gurkha, flying a swift and powerful vimana (fast aircraft)
hurled a single projectile charged with the power
of the Universe. An incandescent column of
smoke and flame, as bright as ten thousand suns, rose with
all its splendor.
It was an unknown weapon, an iron thunderbolt, a gigantic
messenger of death, which reduced to ashes the entire race
of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas.
The corpses were so burned as to be unrecognizable.
Hair and nails fell out; Pottery broke without apparent cause,
and the birds turned white.
...After a few hours all foodstuffs were infected...
...to escape from this fire the soldiers threw
themselves in streams to wash themselves and their
- The Mahabharata
"(It was a weapon) so powerful that it could destroy the earth
in an instant. A great soaring sound in smoke and flames:
And on its sits death..."
- The Ramayana
"Dense arrows of flame, like a great shower, issued
forth upon creation, encompassing the enemy...
A thick gloom swiftly settled upon the Pandava hosts.
All points of the compass were lost in darkness.
Fierce wind began to blow upward, showering dust and gravel.
Birds croaked madly... the very elements seemed disturbed.
The earth shook, scorched by the terrible violent heat of this
Elephants burst into flame and ran to and fro in a frenzy...
over a vast area, other animals crumpled to the ground and died.
From all points of the compass the arrows of flame rained
continuously and fiercely.
- The Mahabharata