Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Naval Warfare
The old notion that the Hindus were essentially a landlocked people, lacking in a spirit of adventure and the heart to brave the seas, is now dispelled. The researches of a generation of scholars have proved that from very early times the people of India were distinguished by nautical skill and enterprise, that they went on trading voyages to distant shores across the seas, and even established settlements and colonies in numerous lands and islands.

In ancient India, owing to the geographical influence, nautical shill and enterprise seems to have been best developed in three widely separated region of the country. These were Bengal, the valley and delta of the Indus, and the extreme south of the Deccan peninsula, called Tamilagam.
Boat-making and ship-building industries were found in India since ancient times. In the Vedic period, sea was frequently used for trade purposes. The Rig Veda mentions "merchants who crowd the great waters with ships". The Ramayana speaks of merchants who crossed the sea and bought gifts for the king of Ayodhya. Manu legislates for safe carriage and freights by river and sea. In some of the earliest Buddhist literature we read of voyages ‘out of sight’ of land, some lasting six months or so.

In Kautalya Arthasastra the admiralty figures as a separate department of the War Office; and this is a striking testimony to the importance attached to it from very early times. In the Rg Veda Samhita boats and ships are frequently mentioned. The classical example often quoted by every writer on the subject is the naval expedition of Bhujya who was sent by his father with the ship which had a hundred oars (aritra). Being ship-wrecked he was rescued by the twin Asvins in their boat.
"There was also extensive intercourse of India with foreign countries, including the Mediterranean lands and the African continent, naturally led to piracy on the waters. There then arose the need for the protection of sea-borne trade, and we are told that “at the outset the merchant vessels of India carried a small body of trained archers armed with bows and arrows to repulse the attacks of the pirates, but later they employed guns, cannon and other more deadly weapons of warfare with a few wonderful and delusive contrivances.”
(source: The Commerce and Navigation of the Ancients In the Indian Ocean - William Vincent pp. 457). These are probably the beginnings of the ancient Indian navy.
In the Shanti Parvan (59, 41) of the Mahabharata it is said that the navy is one of the angas (part) of the complete army. Examples of ships being used for military purposes are not lacking. When Vidura scented danger to Kunti’s five sons, he made them escape to the forest with their mother, crossing the Ganges in a boat equipped with weapons having the power of withstanding wind and wave.
In the Dig Vijaya portion of the Sabha parva, it is said that Sahadeva crossed the sea and brought many islands under his sway after defeating the Mlecchas and other mixed tribes inhabiting them. If this be an historical fact the inference is irresistible that he could not have effected his conquest without the use of boats and vessels. We read in the Ramayana that Durmukha, a Raksasa, who had been fired by the impulse of anger at the deeds of Hanuman, offered his services to Ravana even to fight on the sea.
This is testimony enough of the use of a fleet for war purposes. There are other references here and there to ships in the Ramayana. When Hanuman was crossing the ocean to Lanka, he is compared to a ship tossed by winds on the high seas. Sugriva speaks of Sumatra, Java and even the Red Sea, when sending forth his monkey hosts in quest of Sita.

The Amarakosa, mentions a number of nautical terms which stand for ship, anchorage (naubandhana), the helm of the ship (naukarana), the helmsman (naukaranadhara). That there were ships-building yards in different parts could be inferred from a significant term navatakseni occurring in a copper plate grant of Dharmaditya dated 531. A.D.

About 517 B.C. according to Herodotus, Darius launched a maritime expedition under Skylax of Caryanda to the Indus Delta, and during Alexander’s time, again, we read of the people of the Punjab fitting out a fleet. We have the testimony of Arrian to show that the Xathroi (Kshatri), one of the Punjab tribes, supplied Alexander during his return voyage with thirty oared galleys and transport vessels which were built by them. (source: India and Its Invasion by Alexander p. 156)

In the Manusamhita (Vii. 192), it is laid down that boats should be employed for military purposes when the theatre of hostilities abounded in water. Kamandaka (XVI, 50) alludes to naval warfare when he says:
"By regular practice one becomes an adept in fighting from chariot, horses, elephants and boats, and a past-master in archery."
Manavadharmasastra refers to sea fights and attests to the use of boats for naval warfare. The sailor is called naukakarmajiva. Thus in Vedic, Epic and the Dharmasastra literature we find that naval warfare is mentioned as a distinct entity, attesting a continuous naval tradition from the earliest times. Yukti-kalpataru specifies one class of ships called agramandira (because they had their cabins towards the prows), as eminently adapted for naval warfare (rane kale ghanatyaye).

Passing on to other literary evidence, we find in the Raghuvamsa frequent reference to boats and ships. Raghu in the course of his digvijaya conquered Bengal which was protected by a fleet (nausadhanotyatan). In anther place it is mentioned that Raghu marched on Persia through the land route, and not by the sea route, thereby showing that the latter was the more common route.

Historian Dr. Vincent A. Smith says that ‘the creation of the Admiralty department was an innovation due to the genius of Chandragupta.
"The Admiralty as a department of the State may have been a creation of Chandragupta but there is evidence to show that the use of ships and boats was known to the people of the Rg Veda. " (source: Early History of India - By Vincent Smith p 133).
In the following passage we have reference to a vessel with a hundred oats.
‘This exploit you achieved, Asvins in the ocean, where there is nothing to give support, nothing to rest upon, nothing to cling to, that you brought Bhujya, sailing in a hundred oared ship, to his father’s house.’
Further on in the Veda, this same vessel is described as a plava which was storm-proof and which presented a pleasing appearance and had wings on its sides. Another reference informs us that Tugra dispatched a fleet of four vessels (Catasro navah) among which was the one referred to above. We may infer from these passages that the Asvins were a great commercial people having their home in a far-off island, and that their ruler Tugra maintained a fleet in the interests of his State. There are also other references in the Rg Veda to show that the ancient Indians were acquainted with the art of navigation. For instance, Varuna is credited with a knowledge of the ocean routes along which vessels sailed.

The Baudhayana Dharmasastra speaks of Samudrasamyanam and interprets it as nava dvipantaragamanam, i.e. sailing to other lands by ships. This very term occurs in the navadhyaksa section of the Kautaliya Arthasastra.

The Puranas have several references to the use of ships and boats. The Markandeya Purana speaks of vessels tossing about on the sea. The Varahapurana refers to the people who sailed far into the ocean in search of pearls and oysters. The ships floated daily on the shoreless, deep and fearful waters of the ocean. We are on firmer ground when we see in the Andhra period their coins marked with ships. The ship building activities were great on the east coast, and the Coromandel coast in particular. From this period to about 15th century A.D. there was a regular intercourse with the islands of the Archipelago most of which were colonized and also with ancient America right across the Pacific as testified to us by the archaeological finds and inscriptions in those parts.

The Pali books of Sri Lanka like the Mahavamsa refers to ocean going vessels carrying 700 passengers. Such frequent intercourse and colonization through the ages could not have been effected without a powerful fleet.
Ships Landing of Prince Vijaya in Sri Lanka - 543 BC from Ajanta Frescos.
Ajanta painting of a later date depict horses and elephants aboard the ship which carried Prince Vijaya to Sri Lanka.
(source: India Through the ages - By K. M. Panikkar).
But it is in a later work, the Yuktikalpataru of Bhoja, that we have three classes of ships - the Sarvamandira, the Madhyamandira, and Agramandira. The first was called Sarvamandira because it had apartments all around. In the Sarvamandira were carried treasures, animals, and ladies of the court. This was the vessel ordinarily used by kings in times of peace. The Madhyamandira was so called because the living quarters were situated in the middle. It was a sporting vessel and generally used in the rainy season. The vessel of the third kind, the Agramandira, took its name from the circumstance that the living room was located in front or at the top of the vessel. The Agramandira was used for distant and perilous voyages and also sea-fights.

There are also in the Yuktikalpataru other references to vessels. There are 27 types of ships mentioned here, the largest having the measurement 276 ft X 36 ft X 27 ft weighing roughly 2,300 tons. The following passage points to the use of ships in warfare. The line: naukadyam vipadam jneyam makes it clear that naval expeditions were common. Under the heading of yanam or march mention is made of expeditions by land, water and air.

Kautilya remarks:
"Pirate ships (himsrika), boats from an enemy's country when they cross its territorial limits, as well as vessels violating the customs and rules enforced in port towns, should be pursued and destroyed."
It is obvious that the task set forth above could only be performed by armed vessels belonging to the state.

From this we may conclude that in ancient India ships were employed in warfare at least as early as the Rig Vedic times. It is an incontrovertible fact that there was a naval department in Mauryan times. We have the testimony of Megasthenes that the navy was under a special officer called the Superintendent of Navigation. This official was in turn controlled by the Admiralty department. The officer whom Megasthenes refers to as Superintendent of Navigation is called Navadhyaksa as already seen, in the Arthasastra.
The Greek accounts bear testimony to the fact that navigation had attained a very high development at the times of Alexander's invasion, for we are told that the invader was able to secure a fleet from the Punjab at short notice. The Arthasastra lays down some healthy regulations relating to navigation. Vessels which gave trouble or were bound for the enemy's country, or transgressed the regulations of port towns were to be destroyed.

A considerable ship building activity is evident on the west coast of India also as noted in the Sangam works of the Tamils. South India carried on political and commercial activities as far as the Mediterranean in the early centuries of the Christian era and before. The great Ceran Senguttavan had a fleet under him.
Turning to the history of South India, we have evidence to show that the country had trade and culture contacts with foreign countries like Rome in the west and Malay Archipelago and South east Asia in the east. Yavana ships laden with articles of merchandise visited the west coast frequently. There was active foreign trade between Tamil Indian and the outer world at least from the time of Soloman, i.e. about 1000 B.C. Roman historians refer to the commercial intercourse that existed between Rome and South India. In the first century before Christ we hear of a Pandyan embassy to Augustus Caesar. (refer to Periplus translated by Schoff p. 46).

The Sangam classics point to the profession of pearl-diving and sea-fisheries on a large scale. We hear of shipwrecks of the early Tamils saved now and then by Manimekhalai, the goddess of the sea.

(Note: ancient Tamil tradition traces its origins to a submerged island or continent, Kumari Kandam, situated to the south of India. The Tamil epics Shilappadikaram and Manimekhalai provide glorious descriptions of the legendary city and port of Puhar, which the second text says was swallowed by the sea.
As in the case of Dwaraka, (please refer to chapter on Dwaraka and Aryan Invasion Theory), initial findings at and off Poompuhar, at the mouth of the Cauvery, show that there may well be a historical basis to this legend: apart from several structures excavated near the shore, such as brick walls, water reservoirs, even a wharf (all dated 200-300 B.C.), a few years ago a structure tantalizingly described as a "U-shaped stone structure" was found five kilometers offshore, at a depth of twenty-three meters; it is about forty meters long and twenty wide, and fishermen traditionally believed that a submerged temple existed at that exact spot. If the structure is confirmed to be man-made (and not a natural formation), its great depth would certainly push back the antiquity of Puhar.
Only more systematic explorations along Tamil Nadu's coast, especially at Poompuhar, Mahabalipuram, and around Kanyakumari (where fishermen have long reported submerged structures too) can throw more light on the lost cities, and on the traditions of Kumari Kandam, which some have sought to identify with the mythical Lemuria).
ancient city in India.
We have the account of a Cera King conquering the Kadamba in the midst of sea waters. The Cera King Senguttuvan had a fleet with which he defeated the Yavanas who were punished with their hands being tied behind their backs and the pouring of oil on their heads. The Cholas also maintained a strong fleet with which they not only invaded and subjugated Lanka but also undertook overseas expeditions. Among the conquests of Rajaraja, Lanka was one, and his invasion of that island finds expression in the Tiruvalangadu plates, where it is described as follows:
"Rama built, with the aid of the monkeys, a causeway over the sea and then slew with great difficulty the king of Lanka by means of sharp-edged arrows. But Rama was excelled by this (king) whose powerful army crossed the ocean in ships and burnt the king of Lanka."
Rajaraja also sent an expedition against the Twelve Thousand Islands, obviously a reference to the Laccadives and Maldives. Friendly embassies were also sent by the Chola king to China.

From the evidence of the Mahvamsa as well as from a few inscriptions we are able to gather some information regarding the diplomatic relations that existed between India and Sri Lanka. We have the story of Vijaya and his followers occupying the island about 543 B.C. Vijaya was a prince of North India who was banished from the kingdom by his father. Passing through the southern Magadha country he sailed to Sri Lanka, according to the Rajavali, in a fleet carrying more than 700 soliders, defeated the Yaksas inhabiting it, and settled there permanently.
This story is illustrated in the Ajanta frescoes.
Numerous ships carried the troops of Rajendra to Sri Vijaya and its dependencies which he conquered. Among the places conquered were Pannai (Pani or Panei on the east coast of Sumatra), Malaiyur (at the southern end of the Malay Peninsula), Mappappalam ( a place in the Talaing country of Lower Burma), Mudammalingam (a place facing the gulf of Siam), Nakkavaram (the Nicobar islands. Besides, active trade was carried on between South India and China during this period.

At the end of the 10th century the Chinese emperor sent a mission to the Chola king with credentials under the imperial seal and provisions of gold and piece-goods to induce the foreign traders of the South Sea and those who went to foreign lands beyond the sea for trade to come to China.

The facts clearly show that the Cholas maintained supremacy over the sea and kept a strong and powerful navy which was useful not only for carrying on extensive commerce with foreign countries but also for conducting military expeditions. During the days of the Kakatiyas of Warangal, Motupalle (Guntur District) was the chief port, on the east coast. Ganapatideva, the Kakatiya ruler, extirpated piracy on the sea and made the sea safe for commerce with foreign countries like China and Zanzibar. This policy was pursued by Rudramba, his daughter.

Vijayanagar kingdom also claimed supremacy over the sea. Since the days of Harihara I the rulers of Vijayanagar took the title of the Lord of the Eastern, Western and Southern oceans; and there were 300 ports in the empire. The activities of the Vijayanagar fleet on the west coast are also referred to by the Portuguese in 1506.

The Vijayanagar kings sent friendly embassies to foreign courts. 'Bukka I sent an embassy through his chief explainer to the court of Taitsu, the King Emperor of China, with tributes and large presents, among which was a stone which was valuable in neutralizing poison.

Accounts of Foreign Travelers to India
Coming to later times we have the account of Hiuen Tsang who notices a fleet of 3,000 sail belonging to the King os Assam. There is inscriptional evidence of the possession of a fleet under the Kakatiyas and the Cholas in South india. Marco Polo testifies to the huge size and efficient construction of Indian vessels while Yule in his Cathey refers to Rajput ships en route to China.
Marco Polo, a famous Venetian traveler who visited India in 13th Century also visited Thane Port. The first chapter of his book which deals with India is almost devoted to shipbuilding industry in India. Friar Odoric of Pordenone, an Italian Monk who visited India in 14th Century, in his account of his voyage across the Indian Ocean, a mention is made of ships which can carry 700 people.
"Ships of size that carried Fahien from India to China (through stormy China water) were certainly capable of proceeding all the way to Mexico and Peru by crossing the Pacific. One thousand years before the birth of Columbus Indian ships were far superior to any made in Europe upto the 18th century."(source: The Civilizations of Ancient America: The Selected Papers of the XXIXth International Congress of Americanists - edited Sol Tax 1951).
Ludovico di Varthema (1503 A. D) saw vessels of 1,000 tons burden built at Masulipatnam. According to Dr. Vincent, India built great sized vessels from the time of Agathareids (171 B.C.) to the 16th century. And no wonder the Portuguese, when they first landed at the west coast, were carried away by the excellent Indian vessels. Later still, the Vijayanagar Empire, which had as many as 300 ports, had a powerful fleet. The naval commander was styled Naviyadaprabhu.

India has a coastline of about 6300 km. Extensive new archaeological, epigraphical, sculptural and literary material has been added to our knowledge since the early decades of this century. Dr. Radha Kumud Mookerji's Book Indian Shipping - A History of the Sea-Borne Trade and Marine Activity of The Indians From The Earliest Times published in 1912 Orient, is the most comprehensive study of Indian Navigation up to that period.
We now know that many ports on both Eastern and Western Coast had navigational and trade links with almost all Continents of the world. There are many natural and technological reasons for this. Apart from Mathematics and Astronomy, India had excellent manufacturing skills in textile, metal works and paints. India had abundant supply of Timber. Indian - built ships were superior as they were built of Teak which resists the effect of salt water and weather for a very long time.
"The art of Navigation was born in river Sindhu 6000 years ago. The very word navigation is derived from Sanskrit word Nav (or Nav-ship) Gatih."
Lieut. Col. A.Walker's paper: "Considerations of the affairs of India" written in 1811 had excellent remarks on Bombay-built ships.
He notes,
"situated as she is between the forests of Malabar and Gujarat, she receives supplies of timber with every wind that blows."
Further he says, "it is calculated that every ship in the Navy of Great Britain is renewed every twelve years. It is well known that teakwood built ships last fifty years and upwards. Many ships Bombay-built after running fourteen or fifteen years have been brought into the Navy and were considered as stronger as ever. The Sir Edward Hughes performed, I believe, eight voyages as an Indiaman before she was purchased for the Navy. No Europe-built Indiaman is capable of going more than six voyages with safety."
He has also further noted that Bombay-built ships are at least one-fourth cheaper than those built in the docks of England. Francois Balazar Solvyns, a Belgian/Flemish maritime painter, wrote a book titled Les Hindous in 1811.

His remarks are,
"In ancient times, the Indians excelled in the art of constructing vessels, and the present Hindus can in this respect still offer models to Europe-so much so that the English, attentive to everything which relates to naval architecture, have borrowed from the Hindus many improvement which they have adopted with success to their own shipping.... The Indian vessels unite elegance and utility and are models of patience and fine workmanship." (source: http://www.orientalthane.com/speeches/speech_2.htm).
Surprisingly, many earlier western traders and travelers have expressed the same views. Madapollum was a flourishing shipping centre. Thomas Bowrey, an English traveler who visited India during 1669-79, observes,
"many English merchants and others have their ships and vessels yearly built (at Madapollum). Here is the best and well grown timber in sufficient plenty, the best iron upon the coast, any sort of ironwork is ingeniously performed by the natives, as spikes, bolts, anchors, and the like. Very expert master-builders there are several here, they build very well, and launch with as much discretion as I have seen in any part of the world. They have an excellent way of making shrouds, stays, or any other rigging for ships".
A Venetian traveler of 16th Century Cesare de Federici, while commenting on the East Coast of India has noted that there is an abundance of material for ship building in this area and many Sultans of Constantinople found it cheaper to have their vessels built in India than at Alexandria.

Nicolo Conti who visited India in 15th century was impressed by the quality Indians had achieved in ship building. He observes:
"The nations of India build some ships larger than ours, capable of containing 2,000 butts, and with five sails and as many masts. The lower part is constructed with triple planks, in order to withstand the force of the tempests to which they are much exposed. But some ships are so built in compartments that should one part be shattered, the other portion remaining entire may accomplish the voyage."
J. Ovington, Chaplain to the British King, the seventeenth-century English traveler, who visited Surat, wrote a book A Voyage to Surat in the Year 1689. He was impressed by the skill of the Indians in ship-building and found that they even outshone Europeans. The timber used by the Indians was so strong that it would not ‘crack’ even by the force of a bullet so he urged the English to use that timber ‘to help them in war’. Indian Teak stood firmer than the English Oak, remarked Ovington.

Thomas Herbert, a traveler who visited Surat in 1627, has given an interesting account of the arrival, loading and unloading of ships through small boats at Swally marine (Sohaly), a few kilometres away from Surat. He remarked that between September and March every year, the port of Sohaly presented a very busy and noisy scene for there came many ships from foreign lands. The merchants (baniyas) erected their straw huts in large numbers all along the sea coast, making the whole place thus look like a country fair. The merchants sold various commodities like calicoes, ivory, agates, etc.
Many small boys engaged by the merchants were seen running about doing odd jobs. The English found that the small boats used and constructed by the natives could be of immense use. This was a definite gain for both nations. Boats and rafts were used as a means of conveyance for loading and unloading ships. There were about 4200 big and 4400 small boats. There were large-sized boats that could carry even elephants. The boats used by kings and nobles were designed to look artistic.
Abul Fazl writes about the "wonderfully fashioned boats with delightful quarters and decks and gardens"
Among the primitive Indian boats, the cattarmaran comes first. It consisted of three logs and three spreaders and cross lashings. The centre log was the largest, and pointed towards one end. Mainly fishermen used the cattarmaran for fishing. A little more skillfully made is the musoola boat, which has no iron fastening. It was mostly used in the Coromandel coast.
Dr John Fryer says,
"It is possible that the name musoola may be connected with Masulipatarn where boats seem to have been in use".
Another boat made in an indigenous manner was known as dingy. It was hollowed out from a single trunk. Lower down the Ganga, the name was applied to boats half-decked, half wagon-roofed and built of planks.

Purqoo was another type of boat described by Thomas Bowery. It plied between the Hooghly and Balasore. These boats were made very strong to carry ‘sufficient load’. They were also used for loading ships. they could remain in water for a long time without getting damaged. As compared to the purqoo, boora was a ‘lighter boat’ which rowed with 29 or 30 oars. These boats were also used for carrying saltpeter and other commodities. (source: Coastal trade flourished with Europeans - By Pramod Sangar).

Sir John Malcolm (1769 - 1833) was a Scottish soldier, statesman, and historian entered the service of the East India Company wrote about Indian vessels that they:
"Indian vessels are so admirably adapted to the purpose for which they are required that, notwithstanding their superior science, Europeans were unable, during an intercourse with India for two centuries, to suggest or to bring into successful practice one improvement."(source: Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. I and India and World Civilization - By D P Singhal part II p. 76 - 77).
In the middle of the 18th century, John Grose noted that at Surat the Indian ship-building industry was very well established, indeed, “They built incomparably the best ships in the world for duration”, and of all sizes with a capacity of over a thousand tons. Their design appeared to him to be a “a bit clumsy” but their durability soundly impressed him. They lasted “for a century”.

Lord Grenville mentions, in this connection, a ship built in Surat which continued to navigate up the Red Sea from 1702 when it was first mentioned in Dutch letters as “the old ships” up to the year 1700.” Grenville also noted that ships of war and merchandise “not exceeding 500 tons” were being built” with facility, convenience and cheapness” at the ports of Coringa and Narsapore.

Dr. H. Scott sent samples of dammer to London, as this vegetable substance was used by the Indians to line the bottom of their ships; he thought it would be a good substitute,
“in this country for the materials which are brought from the northern nations for our navy…There can be no doubt that you would find dammer in this way an excellent substitute for pitch and tar and for many purposes much superior to them.” source: Decolonizing History: Technology and Culture in India, China and the West 1492 to the Present Day - By Claude Alvares p. 68-69).
Alain Danielou (1907- 1994) son of French aristocracy, author of numerous books on philosophy, religion, history and arts of India has written:
"India's naval dockyards, which belonged to the state, were famous throughout history. The sailors were paid by the state, and the admiral of the fleet hired the ships and crew to tradesmen for transporting goods and passengers. When the British annexed the country much later on, they utilized the Indian dockyards - which were much better organized then those in the West - to build most of the ships for the British navy, for as long as ships were made of wood."(source: A Brief History of India - By Alain Danielou p. 106).
"...an Indian naval pilot, named Kanha, was hired by Vasco da Gama to take him to India. Contrary to European portrayals that Indians knew only coastal navigation, deep-sea shipping had existed in India. Indian ships had been sailing to islands such as the Andamans, Lakshdweep and Maldives, around 2,000 years ago. Kautiliya's shastras describe the times that are good and bad for seafaring. In the medieval period, Arab sailors purchased their boats in India. The Portuguese also continued to get their boats from India, and not from Europe. Shipbuilding and exporting was a major Indian industry, until the British banned it. There is extensive archival material on the Indian Ocean trade in Greek, Roman, and Southeast Asian sources."
(source: History of Indian Science & Technology).
India became the first power to defeat a European power in a naval battle - The Battle of Colachel in 1742 CE.

A dramatic and virtually unknown past, in an area of bucolic calm surrounded by spectacular hills: that is Colachel, a name that should be better known to us. For this is where, in 1741, an extraordinary event took place -- the Battle of Colachel. For the first, and perhaps the only time in Indian history, an Indian kingdom defeated a European naval force.
The ruler of Travancore, Marthanda Varma, routed an invading Dutch fleet; the Dutch commander, Delannoy, joined the Travancore army and served for decades; the Dutch never recovered from this debacle and were never again a colonial threat to India.
The ruler of Travancore, Marthanda Varma, routed an invading Dutch fleet;
the Dutch commander, Delannoy, joined the Travancore army and served for decades;
the Dutch never recovered from this debacle and were never again a colonial threat to India.
The Battle of Colachel in 1742 CE, where Marthanda Varma of Travancore crushed a Dutch expeditionary fleet near Kanyakumari. The defeat was so total that the Dutch captain, Delannoy, joined the Travancore forces and served loyally for 35 years--and his tomb is still in a coastal fort there. So it wasn't the Japanese in the Yellow Sea in 1905 under Admiral Tojo who were the first Asian power to defeat a European power in a naval battle--it was little Travancore.
The Portuguese and the Dutch were trying to gain political power in India at that time. Marthanda Varma defeated the Dutch in 1741. He was an able ruler. He established peace in his country - Travancore. It was a remarkable achievement for a small princely state. (source: The Battle of Colachel: In remembrance of things past - By Rajeev Srinivasan - rediff.com and http://www.kerala.com/kera/culture1.htm).

Diplomacy and War

Not withstanding the elaborate rule of war laid down in the epics and the law-books, insisting in the main that to wage war was the duty and privilege of every true Ksatriya, in several cases the horrors of war made the belligerent think of the consequences and avoid outbreak of hostilities by a well calculated policy which we now term diplomacy.
King seeking counsel.
Negotiation, persuasion and conciliation were cardinal points of the ancient Indian diplomatic system, and were effective instruments in averting many a war, which would otherwise have realized in much bloodshed and economic distress.

The political term for diplomacy is naya, and the opinion of Kautalya, the eminent politician of the 4th century B.C., a king who understands the true implications of diplomacy conquers the whole earth.

The history of diplomacy in ancient India commences with the Rig Veda Samhita, and the date of its composition may be taken as far back as the Chalcolithic period. In the battles the help of Agni is invoked to overcome enemies. He is to be the deceiver of foes. In pursuing his mission to a successful end, the use of spies is mentioned. This bears eloquent testimony to the system of espionage prevalent so early as the time of the Rig Veda Samhita. In the battle of the Ten Kings described in the seventh mandala, we find diplomacy of rulers getting supplemented by its association with priestly diplomacy, which exercised a healthy influence on the constitutional evolution.

International Relations - The picture presented in the epics and the Arthasastra literature seems to be confined to the four corners of Bharatkhanda. The intercourse as envisaged in the literature, shows relations to be more commerical than political in character.

Strabo quotes Megasthenes and says that Indians were not engaged in wars with foreigners outside India nor was their country invaded by foreign power except by Hercules and Dionsysius and lately by the Macedonians. There were friendly relations of Chandragupta with Seleukos Nikator, of Bindusara with Antiochus, of Asoka and Samadragupta with Lanka, of Pulaskesi with Persians, of Harsha with Nepal and China, of the Cholas with Sri Vijaya.
"It was always regarded as a legitimate object of the ambition of every king to aim at the position of Cakravartin or Sarvabhuuma (paramount sovereign or of supreme monarch)."
This ambition was legitimate and had no narrow outlook about it. It was a fruit to be sought after by every one of the monarchs comprising the mandala. If the king is not actuated by this idea, he falls short of an ideal king according to the Hindu Rajadharma.

Diplomatic agents - ambassadors

Bhisma mentions seven qualifications as essential in an ambassador: he should come from a noble line, belong to a high family, be skilful, eloquent of speech, true in delivering the mission, and of excellent memory.
Espionage in War
Spies filled an important role in both the civil and military affairs of ancient India. The institution of spies had a greater utility, as the king could take action on the report of the spies. Spies were engaged to look after the home officials, including those of the royal household as well as to report on the doings in the enemy kingdoms. The Rig Veda Samhita, often speaks of spies (spasah) of Varuna.
Only men of wisdom and purity were sent on this errand, thus suggesting that they should be persons above corruption and temptation of any sort. In the epics and post-epic literature in general, spies have been described as the 'eyes of the king'. In the Udyoga-parva (33, 34) of Mahabharata, it is stated that "cows see by smell, priests by knowledge, kings by spies, and others through eyes."
Spies roamed about in foreign states under various disguises to collect reliable information. In the Ramayana, a king mentions the wise adage that "the enemy, whose secrets have been known through espionage, can be conquered without much effort." The Arthashastra, which predates Christ by centuries, dwells at length on the importance of espionage and the creation of an effective spy network.

Such details may indicate the high development of the science of diplomacy in ancient India. It was the famous Indian strategist of the fourth-century B.C, Kautilya in the Arthasastra, who gave the world the dictum:
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

"The same style of Indian thought" says Heinrich Zimmer in his book, Philosophies of India, p. 139, admiringly of Kautilya, "that invented the game of chess grasped with profound insight the rules of this larger game of power."
Attitude to war
The Sangam age of the Tamils was the heroic age of the Tamil Indians. If the men of the Tamil land were heroes, then their women were heroines. A certain mother was asked where her son was, and she replied, that she was sure that the tiger that had lain in her womb would be found in the field of battle. War was the pabulum on which our ancient warriors were great in name and fame.
A certain lady who gave birth to only one son and who sent him to the field of battle when there was the country's call for it. Okkurmasattiyar, a poetess, praises a certain lady dresses the hair of her only son and gives him the armor to get ready for action in the field of battle. This may be contrasted with another where a heroic mother heard the disquieting news that her son lost his courage in action and had fled in fear.
If it were true, she expressed that she would cut off her breasts that had fed him with milk. With this determination she entered the battle-field with sword in her hand and went on searching for her fallen son. When she saw her son's body cut in twain, she felt much more happy than when she gave birth to him. (source: Puram 277 and 279 - in Tamil ).

Flags - The origin and use of flags can be traced to the earliest Indian literature, the Rig Veda Samhita. The term deaja occurs twice in the Veda. Besides, dhvaja, we meet with a good number of expressions for a banner in Vedic literature. These are Akra, Krtadhvaja, Ketu, Brhatketu, Sahasraketu. It appears that the Vedic host aimed their arrows at the banners of the enemy.
The idea was that once the banner was captured, or struck, a claim was made for success in the battle over the enemy. Ketu was a small flag as contrasted with Brhatketu or the big flag. Sahasraketu may be a thousand flag, or as the knight who brought under control a thousand flags of enemies. We are told that banners and drums were counted among the insignia of ancient Vedic kings. In the Mahabharata war, every leader had his own insignia to distinguish one division from the other.
Arjuna had the Kapidhvaja or the flag with the figure of Hanuman, Bhisma, Taladhvaja, cognizance of a palmyra tree etc..


Ancient Indian Aircraft Technology

From The Anti-Gravity Handbook

by D.Hatcher Childress

Many researchers into the UFO enigma tend to overlook a very important fact. While it assumed that most flying saucers are of alien, or perhaps Governmental Military origin, another possible origin of UFOs is ancient India and Atlantis. What we know about ancient Indian flying vehicles comes from ancient Indian sources; written texts that have come down to us through the centuries. There is no doubt that most of these texts are authentic; many are the well known ancient Indian Epics themselves, and there are literally hundreds of them. Most of them have not even been translated into English yet from the old sanskrit.

The Indian Emperor Ashoka started a "Secret Society of the Nine Unknown Men": great Indian scientists who were supposed to catalogue the many sciences. Ashoka kept their work secret because he was afraid that the advanced science catalogued by these men, culled from ancient Indian sources, would be used for the evil purpose of war, which Ashoka was strongly against, having been converted to Buddhism after defeating a rival army in a bloody battle. The "Nine Unknown Men" wrote a total of nine books, presumably one each.
Book number six was "The Secrets of Gravitation!" . This book, known to historians, but not actually seen by them dealt chiefly with "gravity control." It is presumably still around somewhere, kept in a secret library in India, Tibet or elsewhere (perhaps even in North America somewhere).
One can certainly understand Ashoka's reasoning for wanting to keep such knowledge a secret, assuming it exists.

Ashoka was also aware of devastating wars using such advanced vehicles and other "futuristic weapons" that had destroyed the ancient Indian "Rama Empire" several thousand years before. Only a few years ago, the Chinese discovered some sanskrit documents in Lhasa, Tibet and sent them to the University of Chandrigarh to be translated. Dr. Ruth Reyna of the University said recently that the documents contain directions for building interstellar spaceships! Their method of propulsion, she said, was "anti- gravitational" and was based upon a system analogous to that of "laghima," the unknown power of the ego existing in man's physiological makeup, "a centrifugal force strong enough to counteract all gravitational pull." According to Hindu Yogis, it is this "laghima" which enables a person to levitate.

Dr. Reyna said that on board these machines, which were called "Astras" by the text, the ancient Indians could have sent a detachment of men onto any planet, according to the document, which is thought to be thousands of years old. The manuscripts were also said to reveal the secret of "antima", "the cap of invisibility" and "garima", "how to become as heavy as a mountain of lead." Naturally, Indian scientists did not take the texts very seriously, but then became more positive about the value of them when the Chinese announced that they were including certain parts of the data for study in their space program! This was one of the first instances of a government admitting to be researching anti-gravity.

The manuscripts did not say definitely that interplanetary travel was ever made but did mention, of all things, a planned trip to the Moon, though it is not clear whether this trip was actually carried out. However, one of the great Indian epics, the Ramayana, does have a highly detailed story in it of a trip to the moon in a Vimana (or "Astra"), and in fact details a battle on the moon with an "Asvin" (or Atlantean") airship. This is but a small bit of recent evidence of anti-gravity and aerospace technology used by Indians.

To really understand the technology, we must go much further back in time. The so-called "Rama Empire" of Northern India and Pakistan developed at least >fifteen thousand years ago on the Indian subcontinent and was a nation of many large, sophisticated cities, many of which are still to be found in the deserts of Pakistan, northern, and western India. Rama existed, apparently, parallel to the Atlantean civilization in the mid- Atlantic Ocean, and was ruled by "enlightened Priest-Kings" who governed the cities.

The seven greatest capital cities of Rama were known in classical Hindu texts as The Seven Rishi Cities. According to ancient Indian texts, the people had flying machines which were called "Vimanas." The ancient Indian epic describes a Vimana as a doubledeck, circular aircraft with portholes and a dome, much as we would imagine a flying saucer. It flew with the "speed of the wind" and gave forth a "melodious sound." There were at least four different types of Vimanas; some saucer shaped, others like long cylinders ("cigar shaped airships"). The ancient Indian texts on Vimanas are so numerous, it would take volumes to relate what they had to say. The ancient Indians, who manufactured these ships themselves, wrote entire flight manuals on the control of the various types of Vimanas, many of which are still in existence, and some have even been translated into English.

The Samara Sutradhara is a scientific treatise dealing with every possible angle of air travel in a Vimana. There are 230 stanzas dealing with the construction, take-off, cruising for thousand of miles, normal and forced landings, and even possible collisions with birds. In 1875, the Vaimanika Sastra, a fourth century B.C. text written by Bharadvajy the Wise, using even older texts as his source, was rediscovered in a temple in India.

It dealt with the operation of Vimanas and included information on the steering, precautions for long flights, protection of the airships from storms and lightning and how to switch the drive to "solar energy" from a free energy source which sounds like "anti-gravity." The Vaimanika Sastra (or Vymaanika-Shaastra) has eight chapters with diagrams, describing three types of aircraft, including apparatuses that could neither catch on fire nor break. It also mentions 31 essential parts of these vehicles and 16 materials from which they are constructed, which absorb light and heat; for which reason they were considered suitable for the construction of Vimanas.

This document has been translated into English and is available by writing the publisher:

  • translated into English and edited, printed and published by Mr. G. R.Josyer,
  • Mysore, India, 1979.
  • Mr. Josyer is the director of the International Academy of Sanskrit Investigation, located in Mysore.

There seems to be no doubt that Vimanas were powered by some sort of "anti-gravity." Vimanas took off vertically, and were capable of hovering in the sky, like a modern helicopter or dirigible. Bharadvajy the Wise refers to no less than seventy authorities and 10 experts of air travel in antiquity.

These sources are now lost. Vimanas were kept in a Vimana Griha, a kind of hanger, and were sometimes said to be propelled by a yellowish-white liquid, and sometimes by some sort of mercury compound, though writers seem confused in this matter. It is most likely that the later writers on Vimanas, wrote as observers and from earlier texts, and were understandably confused on the principle of their propulsion. The "yellowish- white liquid" sounds suspiciously like gasoline, and perhaps Vimanas had a number of different propulsion sources, including combustion engines and even "pulse-jet" engines.

It is interesting to note, that the Nazis developed the first practical pulse-jet engines for their V-8 rocket "buzz bombs." Hitler and the Nazi staff were exceptionally interested in ancient India and Tibet and sent expeditions to both these places yearly, starting in the 30's, in order to gather esoteric evidence that they did so, and perhaps it was from these people that the Nazis gained some of their scientific information!

According to the Dronaparva, part of the Mahabarata, and the Ramayana, one Vimana described was shaped like a sphere and born along at great speed on a mighty wind generated by mercury. It moved like a UFO, going up, down, backwards and forwards as the pilot desired. In another Indian source, the Samar, Vimanas were,

"iron machines, well-knit and smooth, with a charge of mercury that shot out of the back in the form of a roaring flame."

Another work called the Samaranganasutradhara describes how the vehicles were constructed. It is possible that mercury did have something to do with the propulsion, or more possibly, with the guidance system. Curiously, Soviet scientists have discovered what they call "age old instruments used in navigating cosmic vehicles" in caves in Turkestan and the Gobi Desert. The "devices" are hemispherical objects of glass or porcelain, ending in a cone with a drop of mercury inside.

It is evident that ancient Indians flew around in these vehicles, all over Asia, to Atlantis presumably; and even, apparently, to South America. Writing found at Mohenjodaro in Pakistan (presumed to be one of the "Seven Rishi Cities of the Rama Empire") and still undeciphered, has also been found in one other place in the world: Easter Island! Writing on Easter Island, called Rongo-Rongo writing, is also undeciphered, and is uncannily similar to the Mohenjodaro script.

Was Easter Island an air base for the Rama Empire's Vimana route? (At the Mohenjo-Daro Vimana-drome, as the passenger walks down the concourse, he hears the sweet, melodic sound of the announcer over the loudspeaker, "Rama Airways flight number seven for Bali, Easter Island, Nazca, and Atlantis is now ready for boarding. Passengers please proceed to gate number..") in Tibet, no small distance, and speaks of the "fiery chariot" thus:

"Bhima flew along in his car, resplendent as the sun and loud as thunder... The flying chariot shone like a flame in the night sky of summer... it swept by like a comet... It was as if two suns were shining. Then the chariot rose up and all the heaven brightened."

In the Mahavira of Bhavabhuti, a Jain text of the eighth century culled from older texts and traditions, we read:

"An aerial chariot, the Pushpaka, conveys many people to the capital of Ayodhya. The sky is full of stupendous flying-machines, dark as night, but picked out by lights with a yellowish glare."

The Vedas, ancient Hindu poems, thought to be the oldest of all the Indian texts, describe Vimanas of various shapes and sizes: the "ahnihotravimana" with two engines, the"elephant-vimana" with more engines, and other types named after the kingfisher, ibis and other animals.

Unfortunately, Vimanas, like most scientific discoveries, were ultimately used for war. Atlanteans used their flying machines, "Vailixi," a similar type of aircraft, to literally try and subjugate the world, it would seem, if Indian texts are to be believed. The Atlanteans, known as "Asvins" in the Indian writings, were apparently even more advanced technologically than the Indians, and certainly of a more war-like temperament. Although no ancient texts on Atlantean Vailixi are known to exist, some information has come down through esoteric, "occult" sources which describe their flying machines.

Similar, if not identical to Vimanas, Vailixi were generally "cigar shaped" and had the capability of maneuvering underwater as well as in the atmosphere or even outer space. Other vehicles, like Vimanas, were saucer shaped, and could apparently also be submerged.

According to Eklal Kueshana, author of "The Ultimate Frontier," in an article he wrote in 1966:

Vailixi were first developed in Atlantis 20,000 years ago, and the most common ones are "saucer shaped of generally trapezoidal cross section with three hemispherical engine pods on the underside. They use a mechanical antigravity device driven by engines developing approximately 80,000 horse power. The Ramayana, Mahabarata and other texts speak of the hideous war that took place, some ten or twelve thousand years ago between Atlantis and Rama using weapons of destruction that could not be imagined by readers until the second half of this century.

The ancient Mahabharata, one of the sources on Vimanas, goes on to tell the awesome destructiveness of the war:

"...(the weapon was) a single projectile charged with all the power of the Universe. An incandescent column of smoke and flame as bright as the thousand suns rose in all its splendor. 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.

The 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 equipment..."

It would seem that the Mahabharata is describing an atomic war! References like this one are not isolated; but battles, using a fantastic array of weapons and aerial vehicles are common in all the epic Indian books. One even describes a Vimana-Vailix battle on the Moon! The above section very accurately describes what an atomic explosion would look like and the effects of the radioactivity on the population. Jumping into water is the only respite.

When the Rishi City of Mohenjodaro was excavated by archaeologists in the last century, they found skeletons just lying in the streets, some of them holding hands, as if some great doom had suddenly overtaken them. These skeletons are among the most radioactive ever found, on a par with those found at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ancient cities whose brick and stonewalls have literally been vitrified, that is, fused together, can be found in India, Ireland, Scotland, France, Turkey and other places. There is no logical explanation for the vitrification of stone forts and cities, except from an atomic blast.

Futhermore, at Mohenjo-Daro, a well planned city laid on a grid, with a plumbing system superior to those used in Pakistan and India today, the streets were littered with "black lumps of glass." These globs of glass were discovered to be clay pots that had melted under intense heat! With the cataclysmic sinking of Atlantis and the wiping out of Rama with atomic weapons, the world collapsed into a "stone age" of sorts, and modern history picks up a few thousand years later. Yet, it would seem that not all the Vimanas and Vailixi of Rama and Atlantis were gone. Built to last for thousands of years, many of them would still be in use, as evidenced by Ashoka's "Nine Unknown Men" and the Lhasa manuscript.

That secret societies or "Brotherhoods" of exceptional, "enlightened" human beings would have preserved these inventions and the knowledge of science, history, etc., does not seem surprising. Many well known historical personages including Jesus, Buddah, Lao Tzu, Confucious, Krishna, Zoroaster, Mahavira, Quetzalcoatl, Akhenaton, Moses, and more recent inventors and of course many other people who will probably remain anonymous, were probably members of such a secret organization.

It is interesting to note that when Alexander the Great invaded India more than two thousand years ago, his historians chronicled that at one point they were attacked by "flying, fiery shields" that dove at his army and frightened the cavalry. These "flying saucers" did not use any atomic bombs or beam weapons on Alexander's army however, perhaps out of benevolence, and Alexander went on to conquer India. It has been suggested by many writers that these "Brotherhoods" keep some of their Vimanas and Vailixi in secret caverns in Tibet or some other place is Central Asia, and the Lop Nor Desert in western China is known to be the center of a great UFO mystery. Perhaps it is here that many of the airships are still kept, in underground bases much as the Americans, British and Soviets have built around the world in the past few decades. Still, not all UFO activity can be accounted for by old Vimanas making trips to the Moon for some reason.

Unknown alloys have been revealed in the ancient palm leaf manuscripts. The writer and Sanskrit scholar Subramanyam Iyer has spent many years of his life deciphering old collections of palm leaves found in the villages of his native Karnataka in southern India.

One of the palm leaf manuscripts they intend to decipher is the Amsu Bodhini, which, according to an anonymous text of 1931, contains information about,

  • the planets;
  • the different kinds of light, heat, color, and electromagnetic fields;
  • the methods used to construct machines capable of attracting solar rays and, in turn, of analyzing and separating their energy components;
  • the possibility of conversing with people in remote places and sending messages by cable;
  • and the manufacture of machines to transport people to other planets!
  • Contributed by John Burrows

Monday, March 2, 2015

Shiva Linga "Phallic symbol" is everywhere-BROUGHT FROM INDIA.

Phallic tombstone -Egypt

An obelisk (UK: /ˈɒbəlɪsk/; US: /ˈɑːbəlɪsk/, from Greek: ὀβελίσκος obeliskos, diminutive of ὀβελός obelos, "spit, nail, pointed pillar"is a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top.
Indian History ~ the Real Truth.'s photo.These were originally called "tekhenu" by the builders, the Ancient Egyptians. The Greeks who saw them used the Greek 'obeliskos' to describe them, and this word passed into Latin and then English.
Ancient obelisks were often monolithic (that is, built with a single stone), whereas most modern obelisks are made of several stones and can have interior spaces.
Phallic architecture of world


Sunday, March 1, 2015

108 number and its significance

Not only Hinduism, number 108 has its profound significance in Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism, all of which are offshoot religions of Hinduism. Japanese monk’s rings their temple bells 108 times to welcome New Year and sign of the old one. Have you ever been asked to chant a mantra for fifteen minutes or 100 times, a rounded figure? The obvious question arises what is the importance of 108? Why is it holy and sacred? Why the Malas(Rosaries) have 108 beads? Why is it widely used in Indian rituals?
Answer lies in Vedic cosmology.

Our early Vedic sages, who invented our modern numeral system, were renowned mathematicians.

According to Vedic cosmology, number 108 is the basis of creation. Number 108 represent our universe. 108 represent the whole of our existence. 108 is a number which resonates throughout the universe.

Astronomical Evidences on auspiciousness of number 108

 Vedic cosmology states

  1)    Diameter of Sun is 108 times that of earth

 2)    Distance between earth and sun is 108 times the diameter of the sun.

 3)    Distance between earth and moon is 108 times the diameter of the moon.

  1)    Diameter of sun = 1,392,000 km. Equatorial diameter of the earth = 12,756.28 km. On dividing, we get 109.11. This minute difference of 1.11 can be attributed to error in modern scientific instrument or measurement.

)     Diameter of sun = 1,392,000 km.  Mean distance between earth and sun is 149,597,870.691 km. On dividing, we get 107.46973469181034482758620689655. Rounding it off, we get 108. Again, this minute difference of .54 can be attributed to error in modern scientific instrument or measurement.
Distance between earth and moon=384403. Diameter of moon=3474 km. On dividing, we get 110.651410478.  Again, this minute difference of 2.65 can be attributed to error in modern scientific instrument or measurement.

Shortest distance between earth and moon=3, 56,399km

Longest distance between earth and moon=4, 06,699 km

Average distance between earth and moon=3, 84,400 km

Multiplying 108*3474(Diameter of moon), I get 3, 75,192 km. So, I can assume very safely that at the time of creation, distance between earth and moon was 3, 75,192 km. Also note the fact that there is a possibility of change in moon orbits over the last 10K years plus variation of 11% between apogee and perigee in moon’s orbit. These facts applies to the above two points as well. So, we can safely declare 108 as the unit of creation.

Astrological Evidences on auspiciousness of number 108

Number 108 holds a special place in Vedic astrology too. You may know about the significance of Zodiac signs in Vedic astrology. We have 12 zodiac signs based on the movement of sun and moon and we have 9 navagrahas(planets) whose positions represents the events that will occur in our life. Multiplying 12*9, we get 108, a sacred number of creations

Scientific Evidences on auspiciousness of number 108

According to Vedic science, our universe is made up of 108 elements. Our modern periodic table has 108 elements-rest of the elements after Hassium are too short lived and only exists in laboratory for 1/1000 of a second. Hassium, the 108th and heaviest element of periodic table has 108 protons.

According to Vedic philosophy, number 9 represents wholeness. Our eyes can see up to 3 dimensions. Multiply the powers of each dimension and find out the number you get. Power of 1= 1(1x1); Power of 2= 4(2x2); Power of 3= 27(3x3x3); multiplying 1x4x27, we get 108. Multiplying these three dimensions means you are deriving a number that encompasses the whole of our universe or the way your eyes sees this materialistic universe. Furthermore, If you add digits of 108, you get number 9(1+0+8). Notably, multiplying any number by 9 and adding up its digit gives the result 9.


 3x9=27. Adding up digits, 2+7=9.

 420x9=3780. Adding up digits, 3+7+8=18. 1+8=9.

 12364x9=111276. Adding up digits, 1+1+1+2+7+6=18. 1+8=9.


 This is the reasons, why our ancient books have everything in multiples of 9. 9 puranas, 108 upanishads, 18 chapters in bhagavad gita etc.

Number 108 defines our life cycles

Let us go through our life cycles (Yugas). According to Vedic philosophy, there are 4 Yugas, all of which are related to 108 and 9 as

 Kaliyug consists of 432000 years (4+3+2) = 9

 DwaparYug consists of 864000 years (8+4+6) = 18 = (1+8) = 9

 TretaYug consists of 1296000 years (1+2+9+6) = 18 = (1+8) = 9

 Satyug - consists of 172,800 years (1+7+2+8) = 18 = (1+8) = 9

Why to chant mantras 108 times?

Vedic sages believed the outer cosmology should be mirrored in the inner cosmology of the human. They said number 108 units represent the distance from the body of the devotee to the god situated within. According to Ayurveda (Safest ancient medicinal technique), we have 107 weak spots (Marmas) in our body and these weak spots are chained together to form 108 links. This is why all mantras are chanted 108 times because each chant represents a journey from our material self towards our highest spiritual self. Each chant is believed to bring 1 unit closer to our god situated within. This means our soul has to make a journey through 108 stages to attain Moksha(Salvation) . This happens by chanting. By chanting, a devotee starts a symbolic journey from physical body to the heavens.
All sacred beads have 108 beads/Stones. All mantras are chanted 108 times. Most popular of all mala is Rudraksha, which has 108 sacred beads. Rudraksha represent Lord Shiva and his feminine aspect ‘Shakti’ (Power). Cosmic dance of lord Shiva, which is better known as Bharat natyam, has 108 poses.  As we know lord Shiva is the deity of destruction. Lord Shiva was so fond of dancing that he danced in 108 poses thus making 108 as the unit of creation.

According to shiva purana, 108 karanas included in his Tandava(Cosmic dance) can be employed in fight, exercise and personal combats. Many of lord Shiva cosmic poses are used in Yoga (Spiritual exercise), Kalaripayattu(world oldest martial art) and kung fu.

Why 108 Upanishads?

 108 symbolises the numerical equivalent of OM. 108 is in total sync with rhythms of time and space and represents perfect totality. Reflecting the importance of 108, Vedic sages created 108 upanishads(spiritual books). The ancient sages have compiled the Vedic metaphysics into 108 Upanishads. Some of the more important Upanishads are Katha, Keno, Mundakaya, Iso, Chhandogya, Brihadarnayaka, Isvarya and Aiterya.

1)    54 is the number of letters in divine language Sanskrit, God’s own language. Each letter has feminine (Shakti) and masculine (Shiva) aspects. Hence, 54x2=108 defines Sanskrit, the world oldest and most perfect language.

      2)    Multiple of 108 is the number of times you breathe in a day. In one minute, you breathe approximately 15 minutes. So, in a day, you breathe approximately 21600(10800 * 2) times. According to our scriptures, we must spend half of our day meditating and chanting the god name and the rest of your day must be spent for your daily activities. Therefore, you must devote 10800 times of your breath for godliness and meditation. This is equivalent to giving 100% of your devotion(100*108=10800)

      3)    In our body, there are seven main chakras. Chakras are intersections of energy lines, and there are 108 such energy lines converging to or from the heart chakra. One of the energy lines (Sushumna) connects us to the crown chakra, the stage at which the body is enlightened or Self-realized.


Chakras and energy lines

      4)    Sri yantra, a divine instruments are made of marmas which are intersection of three lines. There are 54 such intersections in sri yantra, each having masculine (Shiva) and feminine (Shakti) qualities. Thus, there are 54x2=108 points that make up the Sri Yantra as well as human body. Sri yantra is made up of 54 pentagons and each angle in a pentagon equals 108 degrees.

      5)    All major deities of Hinduism have 108 names. Be it Lord Shiva, lord Krishna or lord ganesha, everyone has 108 names. Srimad bhagvatam states 108 numbers of Gopis or lord Krishna maid servants.

 6)    All rosaries have 108 beads. Even in Mitanni (Egypt) and Persian (Iraq) cultures which is an offshoot of Vedic culture, number 108 left its presence in various traditions, customs and beliefs such as use of rosaries having 108 beads or circumambulating around a rock 108 times.


108 beads in Rosary with Ram written on it!!! Jai shri ram!!!! For god sake, don’t start counting


  7)    Parashurama,sixth avatar of lord Vishnu, installed 108 Dhanwantari idols (god of Ayurveda) after the drying up of river Saraswati.

 8)    Mahamritunyaj mantra and gayatri mantra is repeated 108 times.  Mahamritunyaj mantra pleases lord Shiva and removes all problems and difficulties in life. Gayatri mantra is like a thanksgiving song to the god. Read below post for more on gayatri mantra

                 Why gayatri mantra is the most powerful mantra

      9)    In Mendeleyeev periodic table, there are 108 elements-rest of the elements after Hassium are too short lived. Hassium, the 108th  and heaviest element of periodic table has 108 protons.

Stonehenge is 108 feet in diameter

The sacred River Ganga spans a latitude of 9 degrees (22 to 31) and longitude of 12 degrees (79 to 91). 12 times 9 equal 108.

Importance of number 108 in Buddhism?

In Japan, bells are rung in temples for 108 times. Each ring represents one of 108 earthly temptations a person must overcome to achieve nirvana (Salvation).


Bell in Buddhist temple rung 108 times

Similarly, Followers of Zen Buddhism wears juzu(or suchu) around their wrists. Juzu is a prayer ring with108 beads. According to Buddhism sacred scripture “Lankavatara Sutra”, Bodhisattva Mahamati asked Buddha 108 questions after which he had no questions about this materialistic world. Chinese Buddhism talks about 108 sacred stars.

 Buddhism further states the following

 There are 108 earthly desires in mortals.

 There are 108 numbers of lies humans can tell.

 There are 108 human delusions or forms of ignorance.

 Besides these, there may be many more concepts connecting to sacred number 108. If I have missed any, then please comment and let me know.

Knowledge doesn’t come from book; it comes from experience, enlightenment, inner perception and intuition. It is time to free ourselves from the lies and deception spread throughout the world about our culture.

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