Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Debunked story of Dinosaurs and its extinction-Ancient Indian Scripture

Dinosaurs in ancient hinduism scriptures

Makara(Dinosaurs) as the vehicle of god and goddesses 
 In Scriptures, ‘Makara’ is known as the vehicle of sacred goddess ‘Ganga’-the guardian of the longest river of India. Furthermore, ‘Makara’ is also described as the vehicle of Deity ‘Varuna’-the sea god. Makara is also the emblem of lustful desires and hence, is depicted on the flag (known as Makara-Dhvaja) of KamaDeva(Deity of sex and passion). In Hindu astrology, ‘Makara’ is one of the 12 zodiac signs, known as Capricorn in English. 
 Scriptures says Deity ‘Varuna’ as the only fearless one who controls the ‘makara’ and can defeat the ‘Makara’. This description clearly implies that ‘makara’ is not crocodile since crocodile can be defeated by even a common well-trained man. 
Makara(Dinosaurs) in ancient Indian scriptures
Makara of Chennakesava temple Belur,Karnatka

You wouldn’t find any information on dinosaurs or other similar species in any of the ancient western texts but it is in ancient Indian literary texts,dinosaurs and other species similar to dinosaurs could be found. 
Sanskrit word ‘Makara’, meaning ‘spider’. ‘Makara’ was used to refer to a giant amphibian dragon that lived under sea. Was it a‘crocodile’ ? Not per description of ‘Makara’. Description and ancient paintings of ‘Makara’ across Asian countries like Cambodia, Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan Vietnam and China presents a picture resembles dinosaurs.

 Makara of sambar prei kuk temple ,Indonesia
 Makara of sambar prei kuk temple ,Indonesia
‘Makara’ is depicted as the half aquatic-Half animal aggressive monster having head of a crocodile, tail of a peacock, small horns like that of a goat, body of an antelope and paws of a panther. 

According to Mahabharata, Makara and Timingila(Shark or whale) were the two powerful sea creatures that lived very deep within the sea along with similar huge creatures. For example, consider the below verse  
 Verse 168.3, Vana Parva, Mahabharata
“timingilah kacchapasca tatha timi timingilah
makarascatra drsyante jale magna ivadrayah”
 Translation: “There were seen Timingilas, tortoises, Timi-timingilas and Makaras, that were like great rocks submerged in the water.”
Makara of candi kalasan temple, Indonesia
Also, There are many other texts like susruta samhita, bhagavad purana and bhagavad gita that depicts ‘Makara’ and ‘Timingila’ as the most dreadful amphibian species. For example consider the below verse
Chapter 45, Susruta Samhita
mahamina-rajiva prabhrtya samudrah
 "The Timi, Timingila, Kulisa, Paka-matsya, Nirularu, Nandi-Varalaka, Makara, Gargaraka, Candraka, Maha-mina, and Rajiva etc, constitute the family of marine fish." 
Makara head found in northern Qi dynasty, China(CE 550-577),
Makara head found in northern Qi dynasty, China

Makara head found in northern Qi dynasty, China
In bhagavad gita, Lord Krishna used ‘Makara’ to represent entire aquatic species thus referring ‘makara’ as the king of all aquatic species.
Verse 31, Chapter 10, Bhagavad-gita
pavanah pavatam asmi ramah sastra-bhrtam aham
jhasanam makaras casmi srotasam asmi jahnavi
“Of purifiers I am the wind. Of the wielders of weapons I am Rama. Amongst aquatics I am the makara and of rivers I am the Ganga.” 
  In Srimad Bhagavatam, ‘Makaras’ and ‘Timingila’ are explicitly stated as dangerous predators that attacked sage ‘Markandeya’
 ksut-trt-parito makarais timingilair upadruto vici-nabhasvatahatah
tamasy apare patito bhraman diso na veda kham gam ca parisramesitah
 “Suffering from hunger and thirst, attacked by Makaras and Timingila and battered by the waves and the wind, Markandeya wandered through the infinite gloom that enveloped him. Overcome by exhaustion, he lost all sense of direction and could not ascertain what the sky was and what the earth was."
 makara of wat that phun(loas)

Makara from 7th centuryCE at National MuseumKuala LumpurMalaysia
 right is makara of Banteay Srei, Cambodia
 MAKARA OF ANGKOR VATAND PHUN(LEFT)Right is Makara of Banteay Srei of Cambodia
Does Makara refers to dinosaurs of Eocene or Cretaceous Periods
Most of the verses in Indian scriptures are in poetical form and so naturally, the author/poet used allegories to represent different situations, objects, scenarios etc. Considering this point, if we apply the above verses to modern scientific findings, we can easily come to the conclusion that ‘Makara’ referred to a species of dinosaurs called ‘Ambulocetus’-(the most dangerous predator of Eocene Period) or ‘Pliosaur’-(the most dangerous predator of Cretaceous Periods). The first fossil of ‘Pliosaur’, estimated to be 155 millions old, was found in Dorset, England in 2003.
  Famous Paleontologist ‘Richard Forrest’ in an interview to BBC said “This is an iconic specimen - one of the most exciting we have seen in years. It was probably the most fearsome predator that ever lived. Standing in front of the skull you can imagine this enormous beast staring straight back at you, fixing you with its binocular vision, and attacking. This creature bulky body was powered in waters by four paddle-like limbs that has never been found and may not have fossilized”
 On ‘Ambulocetus’, reports describe it as an amphibian creature that existed 60 million years ago. Fossil of Ambulocetus found in Pakistan, is said to be of a time when the land mass of Indian subcontinent was slowly drifting from Africa toward the continental shift of Asia.

Makara at Nanpaya Temple, Burmaat 
Makara at Nanpaya Temple, Burmaat 
About other species of dinosaurs?
Now your mind may be wobbling up with many questions like “Makara and timinglas are fine but if Indian ancient scriptures really have description about dinosaurs, then why not the details of other huge creatures that roamed on earth”.
Well, the answer to this specific question is that Ancient scriptures do refer to many other mammoth creatures. However the information is limited since such texts were composed for spiritual reasons and not as entertaining books/stories on dinosaurs. You may be aware that Indian scriptures are full of stories on fights between gods and demons. In such battles, both demons and gods are shown as seated on their specific vehicle, mostly a deadly predator. One of the verses that state the use of strange creatures in battles is as follows
Chapter 8, Verse 10-12, Bhagavad Purana
grdhraih kankair bakair anye syena-bhasais timingilaih
sarabhair mahisaih khadgair go-vrsair gavayarunaih
sivabhir akhubhih kecit krkalasaih sasair naraih
bastair eke krsna-sarair hamsair anye ca sukaraih
anye jala-sthala-khagaih sattvair vikrta-vigrahaih
senayor ubhayo rajan vivisus te ’grato ’gratah
“O King, some soldiers fought on the backs of vultures, eagles, ducks, hawks and bhasa birds. Some fought on the backs of timingilas, which can devour huge whales, some on the backs of sarabhas, and some on buffalo, rhinoceroses, cows, bulls, gavaya [jungle cows] and arunas. Others fought on the backs of jackals, rats, krkalasa, rabbits, human beings, goats, black deer, swans and boars. In this way, mounted on animals of the water, land and sky, including animals with deformed bodies [vikrta-vigraha], both armies faced each other and went forward.” 
  Some of the creatures in the above verse are not identifiable. Nobody knows the English or Hindi equivalent of animals like ‘bhasa’, ‘krkalasa’, ‘gavaya’, ’sarabhas’, ‘arunas’, and ‘vikrta-vigraha’. All of them are said to be aggressive predators. These may be the names of extinct species of dinosaurs or some other extinct species.
Furthermore, in sanskrit, ‘vikrta-vigraha’ means ‘Animals with distorted body’, krkalasa means ‘Big lizard or chameleon’ and gavaya means ‘wild bull’.  So, when the opponent is riding on an elephant, rhinoceros or wild buffalo, one would definitely opt for a big lizard like dinosaurs as his vehicle... isn’t it?
Makara and kirtimukha at Hindu temple in kathmandu, Nepal
Species of dinosaurs in Mahabharata
You may say that one example is not enough...So, Let us take one more, this time from Mahabharata.
In Mahabharata, there is a mention of dinosaurs in symbolic form of dangerous serpents. There is description of species that throws fire (Dragon) and species that can kill a live tree with one just bite. 
 Exact Story is as follows
Parikshit, Son of Arjuna, was cursed by a sage to die of snake bite. After his death, Son of Parikshit, ‘Janamejaya’ decided to take vengeance against the whole serpent dynasty (dragons and dinosaurs belongs to serpents race). He organized a grand sacrifice to destroy all serpents dwelling on earth. Many serpents died in this yagna and just before the entire serpent race was about to wipe out, Janamejaya was stopped by a learned sage named ‘Astika’, Son of Naga mother and Brahmin father. The mass sacrifice that started on the banks of river Arvind at Bardan (Presently Parham, shortcut of ‘Parikshitgarh’) ended all the enmity between the pandavas and nagas. Masonry tank built by Janamejaya to mark this event can still be seen at Parikshit kund(commonly known as Gowdvana) at Mainpuri district in Parham. 

Makara and Nagas of Wat suthat, Bangkok, Thailand 

The exact verse that describes some dinosaur like wild creatures are as follows
"Preists lit fire and chanted mantras to start the sacred ceremony of yagna. When the flames were high and sound of mantras vibrated the environment, all sorts of serpents in different colors started spitting venom and combusted into ashes. Hundreds and thousands of snakes, some of length spanning several yojana(1 yojana=8-15 km) got dragged in fire and burned down into ashes. These serpents are 
   1)    Descendants of Vasuki (Kotisa, Hiranyavahu, Purna, Cala, Pala, Halmaka, Manasa,  Kaunapa, Pichchala,  Kalavega, Carana, Cakra,  Kakshaka, Prakalana and Kaladantaka)
2)    Descendants of Takshaka (Mandalaka, Puchchandaka,  Ravenaka; Uchochikha, Pindasektri,  Bhangas, Carava,  Vilwatejas, Sili, Salakara, Virohana;  Muka, Pravepana, Sukumara, Sisuroman, Mudgara, Suroman and Mahahanu)
3)    Descendants of Iravati (Paravata, Pramoda, Pandara, Parijata,  Krisa, Harina, Sarabha, Meda, Vihanga  and Sauhatapana)
4)    Descendants of Kauravya (Pratara, Eraka, Veniskandha, Kumaraka, Vahuka, Kundala Veni, Dhurtaka, Sringavera, and Astaka.) 
 5)    Descendants of Dhritarashtra (Sankukarna, Kuthara, Sukhana, and Shechaka; Pitharaka, Purnamukha, Purnangada, Sakuni, Dari, Amahatha, Prahasa,  Sushena, Kumathaka, Bhairava, Mundavedanga, Pisanga, Vyaya,  Udraparaka, Vegavat, Pindaraka; Raktanga, Sarvasaranga, Samriddha, Patha, Rishabha and Vasaka; 
 6)    Descendants of Varahaka(Viranaka, Tarunaka, Chitravegika, Maniskandha, Suchitra, Parasara and Aruni). 
Cham god Nāgaemerging from mouth ofMakara at the NationalMuseum of VietnameseHistory

 naga emerging from mouth of makara
Pic from national museum of Vietnam that shows a naga emerging from mouth of makara 
Species of dinosaurs in Ramayana
In Ramayana, there is a mention of an event where King Vibhishana of lanka confronted mighty creatures that were troubling mankind on earth. Further, sage Valmiki mentions giant flying horses guarding the city of Lanka. For me, Giant horses certainly sounds like dinosaurs, especially the ones that has the distinctive characteristic of flying in the air. Ramayana is said to be 18 million year old story. So, it is quite possible that dinosaurs or similar other creatures ruled earth during those times. (also read Neanderthal man and hominid species in Ramayana  )
There are two more stories on species of dinosaurs from bhagavad purana. Since these lengthy stories would extend this article further, I would take it in a separate article.
From the above verses, description of dinosaurs and other similar species is quite evident in ancient Indian literary texts.
Vedic explanation to existence of dinosaur’s species
According to Bhagavad Purana, combination of yugas called as ‘manvantaras’ repeat indefinitely where each manvantaras is characterized by its own set of plants and animals. In Total, Vedas states 84,00,000 different species of animals. Some of the animals and plants of previous ‘manvantaras’ become extinct in next ‘manvantaras’ and then are revived again after series of ‘manvantaras’. Additionally, Bhagavad Purana states that extinct species of previous ‘manvantaras’ are replaced by new species in next ‘manvantaras’ and this process of replacement is known as ‘Transmigration of souls’. 
 Since only a small portion of this vast earth has been excavated and examined, many of the species including human species are still unknown to us.  But the series of findings has forced all the scientists to refute Darwin concept of evolution thus paving the path for Vedic concept of ‘Soul Transmigration’, the concept that cannot be proved scientifically. (Also read Scientific explanation of Hindu cosmology and reincarnation) 
Short discourse on Transmigration of souls
Life is not simply the scientific formula of some biochemical events; instead, life is created by a spark of the spirit that turns the body composed of five elements into a living being. As long as soul lives in the body, body is alive and no sooner does it leaves the body, the material body starts to decompose back to five elements.  
Though soul drives the body, the relationship between the two is not eternal but only for one lifetime, the time period till which the soul stays inside the human body. After that time period, soul takes up a new body which may be of an animal/ plant or women/men depending upon the karma in his/her previous life. Until the soul understands the transcendental connection with the supreme god and become self-realized, the soul continues to transmigrate from one species to another. This process is ‘Transmigration of souls’ or cycles of birth and death. 
Dinosaurs and all species follow the cyclic pattern of extinction
Vedic theory states that Fish or any other aquatic animal, when brought on earth develops intense desires to breathe like an amphibian. As a result, they are born as amphibian in their next birth. With desires of becoming dangerous predators, they become lizards or snakes in their next life. Tired of slow motion, they develop a desire of running thus transmigrating into monstrous predators like dinosaurs in their next life. After series of births in desirable forms, they become extinct and the cycle starts from first phase again.
 Vedic theory also states the degrading level of species in each yuga. i.e Species become smaller and spiritually less inclined in each degrading yuga. This is why we don’t find giant humans/animals in this yuga though there are enough evidences of both giant humans and giant animal species like dinosaurs. 
Did Human and dinosaurs co-exist?
In Vedic civilization, humans were spiritually advanced and not materialistically advanced. Quite possibly, predators-like dinosaurs lived in places far off from human settlements while other dinosaurs lived along with humans. Limited use of technology and lack of materialistic desires may have bolstered the co-existence of humans and dinosaurs. 
Recent study of dinosaur dung and fossil fuel in central India (especially Pisdura village of Nagpur district) by scientists from US, china and India has concluded that “Few species of Dinosaurs in India fed on rice and a variety of rice was grown in India millions of years ago during the Cretaceous and Eocene period”, thus pushing back the date of Indian civilization to at least 65 million years old, the time when the landmass of Indian subcontinent was situated very close to continental shelf of Africa.  

 Recently, when huge dinosaur’s eggs were excavated in Gujarat, villagers thought those to be the boon of Lord Shiva and started worshipping such fossilized eggs as shiv-Lingam...
Huh...Typical Hindus... 
Left is Shiv-Lingam and on the right is dinosaur’s eggs that illiterate villagers mistakenly thought as Shiv-Lingam... 
Note: Central India is known as the largest dinosaur breeding site in the world from where the largest number of eggs and nest from a single period of time (68 to 65 million years ago) were excavated. Gold medalist geologist ‘Prithiraj Chungkham’ postulated the journey of dinosaurs from all around the world to India in order to nest or lay eggs in India. 
Why scientists are mum on findings of dinosaurs
Theory of Co-existence between humans and dinosaurs is slowly embraced by scientists all over the world but are reluctant to admit so under the pressure of atheistic communist empire that strictly wants to hold on dogma of evolution. Under the pressure of Christian evangelists and preachers, some of the modern scientists are quite reluctant to reveal all the truth related to fossil discoveries that contradict the biblical claim of this universal creation just 6000 years ago. Moreover, such frequent changes in scientific theories would undermine the significance of science/scientists and would question the progress of science. Some of the scientists are reluctant to admit faults in science and are fooling others to believe in false theories like ‘theory of evolution’.

 So, the modern scientist’s claim of dinosaurs being the exclusive ruler of this earth is quite misleading and quite questionable. 
 Check the footprints of human and dinosaurs in the above video from 10min.
Below Stones from Peru which was part of the ancient Vedic empire reveals the co-existence of humans and dinosaurs like creatures
Dinosaurs in ancient hinduism scriptures
Dinosaurs in ancient hinduism scriptures

  If Dinosaurs existed in India during ancient times, then naturally it would find a place in written literature. Now that it has been proved that dinosaurs existed in vast regions of India, we can definitely say that the animals mentioned in ancient literature like Srimad Bhagavatam are species of dinosaurs. This also dates the literary texts of ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’ to be millions of years old, last thoroughly compiled in 1900 BC. Description of extinct animals proves that the author of such texts were either aware of such creatures because of the information passed by their ancestors/gurus through ages or they lived during the age when such creatures roam across the geographical regions of earth. This once again validates the superiority and authenticity of Indian scriptures.

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  11. ^ Wilkins (2004)", p.373
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  • Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1by Anna Dallapiccola
  • The Illustrated Book of Signs and Symbols by Miranda Bruce-Mitford

External links

 Media related to Makara at Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Charvaka school , Vedas and Indian Philosophy

The Charvaka school was a philosophical movement in India that rejected the traditional religious order by challenging the authority of the Vedas as well as the hegemony the Brahman priests. Contrary to the view that India has always been an entirely religious and spiritual land, the Charvaka school is one of the most irreligious and skeptical systems of thought ever devised. This school is considered part of the heterodox systems (also referred to as heresies) of Indian philosophy, and it is also known as Lokayata, a term which in Sanskrit and Pali means “Naturalist” or “Worldly”.

Origin & Early Development

The Charvaka school started to develop around the 7th century BCE, during the time when the culture of world renunciation emerged in India. Buddhist scriptures occasionally mention the Charvaka as part of the wandering religious groups known as sramanas. Before the time of the Charvaka school there were other materialistic schools in India, but none of them managed to systematize their teachings like the Charvaka did.

The founder of the Charvaka school is considered to be Brihaspati, who seems to be more of a legendary figure rather than an actual person. The most prominent member of this school during the time of the Buddha was a man named Ajita Kesakambali (Ajita of the Hair Blanket), whose ideas are summarized in a Buddhist Pali text known as Samannaphala Sutta, where he denies the doctrine of transmigration of the soul.

Doctrine & Core Beliefs

The earliest texts of the Charvaka were written around the 6th century BCE, but unfortunately they have been lost. From what we can piece together, mainly through later works, these thinkers believed in a rigid materialistic perspective in which only things that could be perceived directly were thought to exist. Some of the key principles of this doctrine of materialism were:

All things are made of earth, air, fire and water.
That which cannot be perceived does not exist; to exist implies to be perceivable.
Heaven and hell are nothing but inventions. The only goal of humans is to enjoy pleasures and avoid pain.
Providing a good living for the priests is a sufficient explanation for the practice of religion.
The members of this school did not believe in ideas such as the soul, reincarnation, spirits, or gods. Religion, they said, is nothing but a fraud devised by clever men who want to take advantage of others. Soul or consciousness can be explained in natural terms as a side effect of having a healthy body: When the body dies, consciousness simply disappears. No existence other than the physical body exists for the Charvaka.

The attitude towards human conduct in the Charvaka school was a very flexible one: Right or wrong were seen as merely human conventions. The cosmos, they believed, was indifferent to human behaviour. If this life is all there is, if there is no afterlife whatsoever, then we should live enjoying the physical life the best we can.

There were a number of aphorisms ascribed to Brihaspati that have also been lost. Only a brief poem used to denounce the priestly caste has survived to our days:

The costly rites enjoined for those who die

Are but a means of livelihood devised

By sacerdotal cunning, nothing more....

While life endures let life be spent in ease

And merriment; let a man borrow money

From all his friends, and feast on melted butter

(Durant, 418)

This poem is particularly provocative if we keep in mind that butter was poured into the sacrificial fire by the Brahman priests.

In the novel about the life of the Buddha named "A Spoke in the Wheel", the author paraphrases some of the criticisms of the Charvaka school concerning the practices of Brahman priests. Although this is only fiction, it reflects some good points of conflict between the Charvaka and the traditional religious order:

[...] Spells, incantations, rituals, even the duties of the four varnas [castes] - all these are nonsense, invented for the livelihood of those destitute of knowledge and manliness. If a beast slain in the Jvotistoma rite [Vedic ritual] goes straight to heaven, why doesn't the sacrificer offer his father instead? If offerings to priests can feed ancestors in heaven, how is it that that person standing on top of a house cannot be gratified by food served inside? They cannot - because all such long-distance gratification is buffoonery!

(Kanekar, 181)

The materialism that the Charvaka school advocated in India was popular for quite a long time. It claimed that the truth can never be known except through the senses: The body, not the soul, feels, sees, hears and thinks. Religions flourish only because people have become accustomed to them. Faith is destroyed by true knowledge and when this happens, people feel a sense of loss and an uncomfortable void that's difficult to handle. Nature is indifferent to human conventions, such as good and bad or even virtue and vice. The sun shines equally upon sinners and saints.

The Charvaka school challenged the traditional religious order in India, weakening the authority and reputation of the priests and encouraging a sort of spiritual vacuum in Indian society that compelled the development of new religious alternatives. The materialistic ideas were so strong that the new religions, which arose to replace the old faith, were devotions without a god or gods or, in other words, non-theistic religions. Such an idea might sound like a contradiction in itself, but that was exactly the approach of some of the main religious movements that appeared as a result of this religious controversy. In a reaction against the priestly class, these new religions originated in the Kshatriyas caste (the warrior rulers caste), opposing the traditional priestly hegemony