Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ram Sethu : A Dummies Guide

By now everyone has had saturation coverage of this issue. For those still uninitiated, Ram Sethu refers to a hypothetical man-made causeway bridging the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka. Because it is believed to have been built by Sri Ram on his way to Sri Lanka, a recent report by the Archaeological Survey of India, stating that the Ram Sethu is a natural formation and that there is no scientific evidence of the existence of Ram has ignited a controversy. Sensing a popular backlash, the government in an act of gross cowardice have censored the scientists, whose job was to present scientific evidence and which they did. These issues have been dealt with here and here. Since my interest is in science I will write about that. I have watched with increasing disbelief over the gross ignorance shown by media and various "experts" over the validity, reliability and appropriateness of the different scientific tools that are being used to assess the status of Ram Sethu. So I have compiled a dummies guide to Ram Sethu, which points out the various misunderstandings and misinterpretations of scientific techniques and data.

1a) Satellite images clearly show natural formations of sand shoals and coral islands. Therefore the Ram Sethu is a natural formation. 1b) Satellite images show a continuous linear feature connecting India and Sri Lanka. Therefore the Ram Sethu is man-made.

Both conclusions drawn on the basis of satellite data are wrong. 1a) The satellite image do show natural sand shoals and coral islands. But the images being used to draw this conclusion cannot resolve features that lie on the sea bed. There could well be artificial structures that cannot be seen in the images. 1b) The continuity of the linear feature seen in the satellite images is an illusion caused by suspension of calcium carbonate sediment and cloud cover. Seen from great altitude this appears to be continuous. Close up of the Palk Strait show a discontinuous series of islands. In short, the commonly shown satellite images due to their poor spatial resolution and their inability to penetrate through water (spectral resolution) cannot be used to make any inferences about what lies on the sea-bed.

2a) NASA scientists say that Ram Sethu is a natural feature. 2b) NASA scientists have left the question open to interpretation, so there could be an artificial struture.

NASA scientists have never been to the Palk Strait and looked at the undersea geology themselves. Why this obsession with NASA scientists? Why not discuss geological research done by Indian scientists, who have actually done field work in the Palk Strait.

3) The Ram Sethu is millions of years old. So there cannot be an artificial structure in the Palk Strait.

Again a wrong conclusion from a partially correct statement. The rock formations and sediments in the Palk Strait were deposited over millions of years at least from the Miocene to the present. No matter how old some the rocks are, there still could have been a recent construction of some sort, using these old rocks as building material.

4) The sand in the Palk strait is just 3500 years old. This supports the idea that the Ram Sethu was constructed by Sri Ram.

Wrong conclusion from possibly correct data. Many of the sand shoals are of Holocene age. But this is unconsolidated sand, which has been brought in by currents from the southern Tamil Nadu and Jaffna coastlines to form natural sand islands. The correlation of age between these sands and the purported age of the Ramayan is purely coincidental.

5) Carbon dating has shown the Ram Sethu to be a lakh or few lakh years old.

Carbon dating uses the amount and natural decay rate of C14, an isotope of carbon to calculate the date of artifacts and other organic materials. It cannot be used to date organic materials older than around 40 thousand years. This is because the half life of C14 (time required for the quantity to decay to half of its initial value) is about 5700 years, and in about 8 half-lives the amount of C14 left in the material is too little to measure accurately.

6) Geological cores have shown the presence of boulders on top of sand in the vicinity of coral islands in the Palk Strait. The boulders could not have appeared on top of sands by any natural process. So they are man-made features, part of an ancient causeway.

Again an astonishingly ignorant statement by a senior geologist. I have posted a detailed criticism of this, describing how natural processes can easily explain the presence of boulders on the sea floor.

7) Some of boulders of coral rock are light enough to have floated on the water.

As ignorant as it gets. What pray tell us , then are the boulders doing on the sea-floor? Coral rock is made up of calcite and aragonite, minerals with a specific gravity of 2.71, much more than water.

8) The causeway was built during a period of sea-level fall a few thousand years ago when much of the Palk strait sea bed was exposed.

Again not possible. Holocene sea-level falls as shown by coral reef terraces (bands of corals growing at different heights) were not big enough to have lowered sea-level to any appreciable extent.

9) The Ramayan is 1.7 million years old.
An absurd statement. Humans did not exist at that time. I will not dwell on this, as it has been covered by this excellent blog.

10) The Ramayan is 9000 B.C, 7000 B.C, 5000 B.C. take your pick.

I listen and read in amazement when dates are thrown recklessly and with full confidence by historians and scientists alike (Time of India Sept. 14 '07 quoted eminent anthropologists given dates as old as 5000-6000 B.C.) without a murmur of dissent or criticism by our media. All these dates are too old. All three dates take us back to the stone age. The metal age in the Indian subcontinent began around 4000-3500 B.C. The Ramayan judging by the descriptions takes place in the iron age, which began in the Indian subcontinent around 1800-1500 B.C. The totality of the archaeological and linguistic evidence suggest that the Gangetic plain societies which the Ramayan describes arose starting around 1000 B.C.

I have observed in particular the careless use of dates to support either the natural formation or man-made point of view. As I have described above the dates of the rocks and sediments do not by themselves inform us on whether there is an artificial causeway. But there are two types of information about dates of the rocks that are extremely important, the significance of which have escaped the media and scientists alike. The first is the dates of the coral terraces at Rameshwaram island. The oldest coral terrace is about 5400 years old. The second terrace about 10-15 cms below is about 3900 years old. Some distance away at Mandapam the upper terrace shows an age of 3600 years ago and just 20 cm below that one gives an age of 2630 yrs. Do coral terraces reflect oscillations of sea level or do they simply reflect that loci of coral growth shifted over time due to local changes in water quality, sediment disturbance and nutrient availability? As yet there does not seem to be field evidence that shows exposure surfaces between these terraces which would be an indicator that sea-level fell, exposed large areas and then rose and drowned the area again, forming the younger terraces. Such an exposure surface will provide a reliable data to the sea -level fall. At present all we can say with any confidence is that sea -level fell after 2600 years B.P. Holocene sea-level fluctuations did take place but they were likely not extensive enough to expose the Palk Strait sea bed over most of the basin as happened in the Pleistocene. The second situation regarding dates is hypothetical but presents an interesting situation. Suppose an artificial structure is found on the sea floor, but the dates of the boulders indicate that the boulders are just few hundred years old. What would supporters of Ram's bridge say then?

If readers have any other nuggets of inane statements by media and experts please let me know and I will write another installment.

31 comments:

  1. Really appreciate your post. It was quite enlightening. Thanks!

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  2. i think everhyone who reads this post, should forward it to every journo media editor they know.

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  3. Your Geology is a figment of your imagination. Its just one part. If Geology would have provided all the satisfying answers to you, why would you get down to Rugby now. Bottomline, learn to respect the beliefs of a billion souls. There are other alignments that can bring this project to fruition. I don't have to accept what you know or what your ilk of scientists say.

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  4. Thanks for the amazing FAQ! I am going to send this to my friends too :-).

    I am curious as to why those who worry about Lord Ram and his bridge do not talk about the destruction of the coral reefs and pressure the govt to take care of that matter while planning this venture, since living creatures in a rich ecosystem also embody the divine - or don't they?

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  5. well. Ram sethu project will charge about 5000 us$ for a ship to pass through. if i were a shipping merchant, i prefer staying away from a such an expensive passage and go round lanka happily at lower cost to me. and i will also avoid nosy Indian staff at the stuff i am carrying. and i will also stay away from LTTE pirates as much as possible. i would want to be caught in a cross fire between Indian navy and the LTTE.
    ah ah ah ah . let Sonia baby enjoy the dolors pilfered from the project and dole out some few bucks to that old man in madras who likes to lick her boot.

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  6. I do share some common ground with Anonymous, ironically for reasons of geology a field he/she has rejected. The rates of sedimentation in the Palk Strait are extremely high, and it may be that the cost of dredging the shipping channel regularly may offset any savings in fuel. Maybe some economist can throw some light on this?

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  7. thank you for this excellent post :) As far as the Sethusamudram project goes, if anonymous is correct about the $5000 price tag then it's a real bargain considering the suez is apparently banking 5.3 million in net profit every day. All that off roughly 20,000 ships as per wiki.
    If the protesters are serious about their intention to stop construction then maybe they ought to concentrate more on the environmental angle.

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  8. 20, 000 ships a year btw, not per day :)

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  9. >>9) The Ramayan is 1.7 million years old.
    An absurd statement. Humans did not exist at that time. I will not dwell on this, as it has been covered by this excellent blog.
    --------------------------------

    Actually it is your answer that is ignorant. The plain and simple answer is WE DONT KNOW. The way discoveries of human remains are going back further, we will someday know if that makes sense. But based on that fact that we dont know shit about the past, you make such an argument, then im sorry but your head needs to be examined.

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  10. Actually it is your answer that is ignorant. The plain and simple answer is WE DONT KNOW.


    That's clearly wrong and nonsense. The plain and simple answer is, based on current scientific evidence, it's overwhelmingly probable that Humans did not exist at that time.


    But based on that fact that we dont know shit about the past, you make such an argument, then im sorry but your head needs to be examined.


    You're lucky that Suvrat hasn't deleted your nonsense outright.

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  11. Hi Suvrat,

    Just wanted to share something with you.....would like to confess upfront that I don't know ABCD about Geology :-)

    What detailed studies has the Govt undertaken to conclusively prove that the Setu is a natural formation?

    I'm quoting what Dr Badrinarayanan and his colleagues have recommended as next steps in order to determine whether or not the Setu is manmade: "In order to understand the true nature of this central zone it is recommended to do large scale pitting to 20 m depth till the second loose marine sand zone is reached in RS/AB feature and to carry out detailed underwater videography and close spaced sampling of all the 4 walls and the base of the pits for determining the composition and age of rocks and sediments."

    Dr Badrinarayanan and his colleagues go on to say that, "UNLESS ALL OF THE ABOVE INVESTIGATIONS AND STUDIES ARE CARRIED OUT, THE EXISTENCE OF THE REMNANTS OF RAMA'S BRIDGE OVER THE RS/AB FEATURE CANNOT BE CONCLUSIVELY DISPROVED."

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  12. hi Suvrat, i have a question that i've been dying to ask you.....here it is.......

    You said "What pray tell us , then are the boulders doing on the sea-floor?

    is there any possibility that the "light boulders" (which can float on water) are being held down by something heavy on top of them?

    doesn't the entire Ram Setu formation deserve more analysis and study?

    thanks!

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  13. anonymous-

    how can you make a bridge by putting a heavy boulder on top of a light boulder that floats. won't it just sink, defeating the purpose of a floating rock?

    these so called floating rocks that you get at Rameshwaram are small pieces of pumice stones that are imported from somewhere else and sold to gullible worshipers. You don't find these rocks locally.

    As for your other question whether Ram Sethu deserves more study. Any natural feature "deserves" more study. But here is my prediction. You can dig all you want, but you won't find anything man-made. As I explained, during the purported times of the Ramayan, the Palk Strait was quite deep, in fact deeper that it is today. There is just no way, anyone could have built a structure over such a long distance (around 30 miles).

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  14. hi again suvrat,

    thanks much for replying.

    i realize that one cannot make a bridge by "putting a heavy boulder on top of a light boulder that floats."

    i think you misconstrued my question....i meant to ask you, is there any chance that things somehow got piled up over these "light rocks" over time, causing them to sink to the sea floor.

    thanks again.
    regards.

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  15. anonymous-

    "is there any chance that things somehow got piled up over these "light rocks" over time, causing them to sink to the sea floor".

    Natural sedimentary process cannot deposit things on material that is already floating and make it heavy enough to sink. any floating material would have just drifted away with currents over time, rather than sinking at exactly the same spot.

    Just a few words about floating rocks that seem to have captured everybody's imagination. Pumice is a volcanic rock with air filled cavities. That makes it float on water. There are no natural deposits of pumice in south, central and north India. The only pumice deposits are in the Andaman islands.

    At Rameshwaram you can buy small pieces of pumice. These are probably imported from Andaman or elsewhere around the world (Italy and Greece have big deposits) and sold as the floating rocks that Ram used. It is a scam.

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  16. Hi Survat, Just found your blog while searching the net on this issue. I was bit distressed after reading in the Times of India today about an NGO called ww.bharathgyan.com
    making "scientific claims" giving proof of Rama's existence. This to me looks like they are making an assumption and looking for proof . And is not anything based on scientific evidence. Circular reasoning? Can you please write to TOI and other Indian newspapers and initiate a debate?
    Unfortunately, so called Gurus like Ravi Shankar of the Art of Living fame ( who I think is a very shallow self help guru with no depth of knowledge) and politicians take advantage of such religious emotion. skepticn@yahoo.com

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  17. It is a great article, informative. I can say an eye opener.I would like to appreciate and acknowledge the effort of the author for presenting such a good article.

    There may be a theory contradicting this one, with strong evidence. But the point is ,we lost focus on our primary goal. The debate should not have had Ram. It should be whether the project 'Sethu Samudram' benefits us in total or does it have long lasting negative impacts economically and socially. Religious beliefs cannot always be seen scientifically, because these are sugar coated medicines. We exaggarate the effects of goodness and evil into stories in religion.

    There are questions against other Gods too. But i do not think we need to mix religion into science so much that interferes our progress. This will be against any religion which always teaches us to seek that ultimate 'Truth'.When we find it without any doubt we should accept it. Other wise we will be going against the Will of God.

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  18. Survat Kher,
    Your article "Rama Setu for Dummies" was very interesting but I disagree on some points you make.Archaeologist have found humans evidence as old as 4 millions old originating from Africa. There are evidence presented by controverial researchers like Michael Cremo who in his book forbidden archaeology has given a very good argument that our knowledge in archaeology is filtered and human life is much older than and far beyond 4 millions years old. This may not be the case in archaeology only but all subjects like mathmematics language, science, medicine and host of other fields. Here is only one quote of many that you will come across that credits ancient vedic philosophy.

    {Dick Teresi author and coauthor of several books about science and technology, including The God Particle. He is cofounder of Omni magazine and has written for Discover, The New York Times Magazine, and The Atlantic Monthly: "The Indians came closest to modern ideas of atomism, quantum physics, and other current theories."

    "The Rig-Veda, is the first Indian literature to set down ideas resembling universal natural laws. Cosmic law is connected with cosmic light, with gods, and, later, specifically with Brahman. It was the Vedic Aryans... who gave the world some of the earliest philosophical texts on the makeup of matter and the theoretical underpinnings for the chemical makeup of minerals. Sanskrit Vedas from thousands of years before Christ implied that matter could not be created, and that the universe had created itself."

    "Two thousand years before Pythagoras, philosophers in northern India had understood that gravitation held the solar system together, and that therefore the sun, the most massive object, had to be at its center." "Twenty-four centuries before Isaac Newton, the Hindu Rig-Veda asserted that gravitation held the universe together. The Sanskrit speaking Aryans subscribed to the idea of a spherical earth in an era when the Greeks believed in a flat one. The Indians of the fifth century A.D. calculated the age of the earth as 4.3 billion years; scientists in 19th century England were convinced it was 100 million years."}

    As a Geologist yourself many geologist say earth's age if taken from crystal formation found in rocks it to be 4.3 Billion years old. Indian mathematicians and astromers determined the age of earth to be 4.35 billion years.
    As per archaeologist,Sanskrit language was written language only 6000 years ago but spoken from time immemorial. As per western indologist like Max Muller in 1800s he saw 11 years old students in Sanskrit knew and capable to memorise 300,000 words in comparison to Shakespear who had knowledge of only 25,000 words. Number system was an invention in India but way back in past people did have knowledge of "vedic mathematics" that computed large numbers mentally that was incorporated into sanskrit language. Even our current greatest scientists and mathematicians like Einstein have acknowledged the greatness of ancient vedic people. Unless, you are better than Einstein, I would say we are living in the world of dummies and deceit and truth does not matter only money and ego are of prime importance. Don't worry it is not your fault, son, after all we live in age of Kaliyug.
    If Government of India is ready to spend $580 million for canal why not only spend a partial sum on archaeology of Rama Setu to find the "truth".
    Regarding, your suggestion to shoals being used as to make it floating bridge has probably come from poet like Tulsidas Ramayan and not from original Valmiki Ramayan.It may have not come as an insight to you that shoal stones are so porous that in underwater current it allowed least resistance to water current flow. Another fact people are subject to test of faith that "how could monkey tribes" be capable of producing such a bridge. Remember from Evolution theory, which is one of your interest, anthropologist believe some monkey tribes went extinct. It is quite plausible that Hanuman's tribe may have been a branch parallel to humans in evolution tree that went extinct in that time period of about 1.2 to 1.7 million years ago. This question of RamaSetu is one of the biggest challenge facing us today.

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  19. Indians have become so ignorant of their own heritage, its sad to see. All these scientists are either mere puppets of politicians or not having all the means to get the right information. the Mahabharata was around 3000BC and Ramayana was around 10-15000BC and not millions of years ago as is popularly said. Please read the book Holy Science by Sri Yukteshwar, guru of Paramhansa Yogananda. The Ram Sethu is as real as London bridge and was built by Sri Rama. The corrupt Indian govt is not spending enough money on researching and validating Hindu beliefs..but the educated people in the West are doing this by doing genuine scientific research on Yoga, Ayurveda, etc. Some years ago the remains of Dwarkha were found underwater in Gujarat, but it was not followed up at all. I hope pseudo-liberals and wannabe intellectuals like you take back to our Hindutva culture without which India will also go into darkness like many of the other cultures. India should bring bacj Hindutva and shine as an example in the world.

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  20. Some of the mysteries cannot be solved by your 4 yr degree in Geology and subsequent negligible yrs of experience in Florida. Be humble, and learn to the respect and trust the words of our great seers and rishis who have passed on their divine knowledge to us through years of penance and disciplined practices that open the mind to levels of intelligence that you cannot comprehend with your small intellect. Its scary to see westernised parents like yourself who have completely lost touch with the essence of India and Hindusim. All the great saints and sages of India attest to the validity of Ramayana and Mahabharata..its enough to take their word for it, dont you trust your parents, or do you dig the earth to find proof of it also?

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  21. you do know that over time we will probably change the so called periods for the various ages as new information becomes available.and post-colonial child,just because this guy here said something with scientific authority doesn't make it true.it's just his opinion based on his research.you do your own, dont start forwarding this to everybody/

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  22. Hi Suvrat,

    All that you said makes sense and might actually be scientifically correct. But still I don't see why opponents of the sethusamudran project (on religious grounds) even need to prove the existence of Ram. As far as I can see it, even if it turns out that Ram was purely fictional, it does not weaken the case of the project opponents by even an iota. The implicit faith of a billion people should be reason enough.

    But I digressed. The original purport of your post, namely to expose the ignorance of the media coverage, is highly commendable, informative and makes an interesting read.

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  23. Comment by PoliticalPost was more interesting then the Original post ;)

    I wonder why Mr. Suvrat Kher has ignored to reply to PoliticalPost?

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  24. Harshit,

    Your very comment that Ram could be a fictional character is an insult to being Indian. If you read any of the more powerful but lesser known scriptures such as the Yoga Vashistha, etc. which have enlightened many indian sages through the energised wisdom, you will find mention of Rama as a regular being who also went through a process of enlightenment before engaging in the later, more popular phase of his life. In those days, humans had abilites which we would call supernatural now..if you look at the authentic Ramayana online, you will see that the bridge was built in a very practical manner albeit some supernatural occurences.

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  25. Dear Anonymous,

    Yet again, you only reemphasized my whole point. I never said that Ram could or could not be a fictional character. All I said was that, in my opinion, the question does not even arise at all. Not at least, as far as the present debate of sethusamundram project is concerned.


    By conceding that the fate of sethusamundram project hinges on the historicity of Ram, we have ourselves insulted the indian culture. And even from a purely objective point of view, it was a ill-conceived strategic move.

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  26. hello,
    Have you been to Ramaeswaram and near by area. What reason do you account for the existance of coral reefs between Vaigai and Tamaraparani?

    I would like to start a real time discussion on the topic "Rama Sethu" from geological point.

    Do reply me at

    longhinos@in.com

    biju
    http://longhinos.wetpaint.com/

    ReplyDelete
  27. I would like to confront the foolish belief
    behind the story with some simple questions.

    * #1)* *could somebody ask those forwarding the mail to tell what was
    there in the Ocean some 17 lakh years before?*

    There was no ocean at all between Tamilnadu and Srilanka even some 10000
    years before. Srilanka and India were connected by land and later the sea
    submerged the land. And as per the NASA the sand structure is naturally made
    not man made.

    * #2)* *Why Rama has built a bridge when it was well connected by land at
    that time?** *

    Is he a Fool?

    *#3)* *why did he build an 800 Miles length bridge to cover just 18 miles
    distance?(as per Valmiki Ramayanam) *

    Is it not *ridiculous* ? May be he started building it from Hyderabad or
    may be he built it to reach Andaman Island, Sure it is not towards Srilanka.

    *#4)* *If he really built a bridge for crossing PALK Straight, then he must
    have built so many bridges to cross Mahanadhi, godhavari, krishna, Penna,
    Palar, Cauvery.. (Crossing his route towards Rameshvaram…) Where are they
    now? If somebody says they have been destroyed…then how Rama could be
    claimed as a god? *

    *#5) Is really Ramayanam happened some 17 Lakh years before? *

    * * The known history of Civilization dates backs to only 7000 to 5000
    years. If we have to believe the below story, that is 17 lakhs years before
    Rama has build a bridge and waged War. Then we could comfortably conclude it
    is Rama himself a half Monkey that is he never belongs to a civilized
    society… and they are nude too… It is even ridiculous to know Rama and Seeta
    crossed the Land using a stupid idea called an over-bridge without Wearing
    dress.

    There are many references against Buddhism appear in Valmiki's Ramayana.
    So do we conclude Buddhism also 17 Lakhs years old?

    The present form (Valmiki) of Ramayana is no more than 2000 years old. And
    Rama as a character can never exists before 5000 years.

    Those who destructed Babri Masjid told that Rama was there during 700BC,
    but now suddenly it become 17.5 lakhs years ago. I don't understand this
    sudden swift. May be tomorrow they will come and say that *our Toilet was
    once used by Rama some 50 years before. *

    * * Because it is all in Belief, Correct??? it is holy if it is belief. It
    doesn't matter even if it kills human. It is bullshit, actually… May be
    Holyshit for somebody. **

    * #6) *when Rama and Lakshman fell unconscious Hanuman brought a big
    Medicinal Mountain to Lanka. The pieces of the mountain fell all over India
    and it was also fallen in Kanyakumari which is known as Maaruththumalai.

    *Is it not ridiculous to go via Kanyakumari when the route to Srilanka
    located somewhere **(North to Ramnad)** away from there? *

    May be tomorrow any projects come in that mountain the Saffron Monkey group
    would say the mountain is holy.

    * ** #7) How come Rama's bridge was floating then and now it is submerged?*

    *#8** ) is it possible to follow the customs of Ramayana in today's life?*

    Laxmanan cut Soorpanagai's (an Aboriginal Girl) nose and breast because a
    Suthra girl proposed her love to a Kshatriya Man. If we have to follow
    Ramayana customs today then we have to give the same punishment to one
    Woman. Her name is *Umabharathi,* who is a Suthra girl proposed Brahman Man
    *Govindacharya* .

    *#** 9** ) if somebody believes that Ramayan is an historical event, we can
    compare other kings with king RAM. *

    Karikalan's achievement is kallanai.

    Alexander – Greek impact to all civilizations thro his invasion.

    RajaRajan's achievement is Big Temple.

    King Ashoka's achievement – Saranath stupi, preaching Buddhism across the
    world.

    Agbar's achievement – modern revenue department

    Rama just lost his wife, fought for her chastity and did nothing to
    people, where as the great kings of our past did lots of good things to the
    people.

    *Rama's achievements (Crimes) include:*

    · Suspected his Wife Seedha and insulted her in front of everybody
    with ugliest words we could find in dictionaries. He asked her to prove her
    chastity. (It is the first SATI case). He even suspected Lakshman,
    Bharadhan, and Hanuman etc.

    · Killed Sampookan only because he is a Suthra, who tried to worship
    god directly, which is against Brahmanism.

    · Killed many innocents (tribal people) only because they are
    against Varnasrama dharma and only because they are against their land being
    used for Brahmanic rituals.

    · Lakshman killed Dadagai's son. Raman solace Lakshman that he
    killed a Suthra so no need to worry.

    · Before building the bridge he destroyed a Village at the request
    of Sea king, because untouchable (Panjamas) people of the village have used
    a common Well in that village.

    · Rama himself and by other characters been projected as a Diehard
    protector of Varnasrama Dharma. The whole text of Valmiki Ramayana is a
    proof for this. And Ramayana is the literary symbol of re-establishment of
    the caste society. All other personal characters of him are common to any
    praised historic beings.

    · Killed Vali and Dadagai in a most cowardly manner.

    · Lakshman cruelly cut Soorpanagai's nose and breast when she
    expressed her love. It is definitely inhuman act.

    · He insulted and chafed old woman kooni. This is surely not a Noble
    character to embrace.

    We cannot consider one as a God only because he is good for his friends,
    brothers and he is loyal to his father. And when he is anti people, Anti
    women and pro caste, Pro Sati society, we should actually cast him away from
    our Society. Rama actually deserves this and that is one of the ways to
    redeem our old pride of casteless society. He is not a model to be followed.

    * #**10** ) Rama committed suicide. It is even disgraceful and sure it is
    not a noble character to embrace. *

    Rama never felt guilty when he tortured Seeta. But he only bereaved for his
    brother's demise and committed suicide. Did he really love his wife? Did he
    really put faith on his half-in-life, Seeta?

    When he was roaming around forest after Seeta was missing, He bereaved
    with lustful memories of Seeta. He worried about he is missing the pleasures
    of Seeta and he worried about Seeta changes his love towards Ravana. He even
    says "if he were in Ayodya he may not worry about Seeta is missing, because
    there are alternatives for pleasure available." It is only the pleasure of
    flesh that defines Seeta to him. That is why didn't bereave for her. Instead
    he bereaved for his brother, where true love bond them. Is this a right
    attitude to follow in today's society?

    *#11) as per a famous folklore version of Ramayana, Lakshman's wife Urmila
    died during her long-sleep. Urmila went into a trance and fell unconscious
    when Laxman was serving his brother Rama in the forest. When Lakshman came
    back to Ayodya he searched for his wife and found only her Skeleton remains
    in her bed. Lakshman's concern about his wife was mentioned nowhere in the
    Ramayana. Like his brother Rama, Lakshman also considered his wife just as
    an object. *

    *Last but not the least question:* Those who are protesting against breaking
    the Sand Bridge are the ones who gave rebirth to this project (During the
    BJP government this project again came in to picture. Before BJP it is the
    British rulers who thought about this project). *Why did they do that? When
    they rule** , **is Rama not ****a God to them?** **When they rule, is
    Ramayana not a true story** **to them? *

    **

    *"paritranaya sadhunam *
    *vinasaya ca duskrtam*
    *dharma-samsthapanarthaya*
    *sambhavami yuge yuge"*

    *"Whenever Adharma rules the world I will born and annihilate** "*

    * ** Rama born to annihilate the casteless society and to reestablish the
    Varnasrama caste society, That is to say he born to reestablish the Dharma
    of Brahmanism. We will reject this anti people demon called Rama and strive
    for the reestablishment of Adharma – ie, casteless society. *

    * * Please pass this to those whom you have forwarded the below message *(the
    below is a conspiracy to gain the public support for an utterly foolish,
    malicious Claim). *

    It may not open the Spiritual gate of the World instead it will again and
    again prove to the world that India is the land of *Half naked Snake
    adorning Fakirs and Fools.*

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  28. Dear Aadhil,
    I found your comments interesting and logical.
    But, then there is a problem.... a big society in India does believe in those stories of Ram, Ravana et al. and not thinking the practical aspects which you have fairly crossed at.
    Blame it on our educational and political systems, which are responsible for not making any efforts to frame logical thinking in post colonial Indian minds.
    Well, my point of entering into thjis discussion is not scratch upon Ramayana.... but to search out any scope of finding the geography of the terrain during the epic....
    Our geophysical/ geological studies along the coast of southeast coast of Tamilnadu, infers to a near magma source underneath. This inferance go in conformity with late 18th century scientific descriptions about east coast from Kumari to Puduke, as volcanic and quake effected " disturbed terrain".
    Even Charles Darwin mentions the coral reefs between Tamaraparani and Vellar, as colonies associated to volcanism.
    So if one such volcano ( may be a Holocene or earlier) is hidden under, we need to be prepared to face any nature's magic....
    And any such information could prevent people from searching out a " Ram Khrodh" in east coast turbulances,may be in future

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  29. The 18th and 19th century scientific descriptions had described south east coast of India as turbulent. Mallet and Mallet (1858) ascribed volcanic character to Kumari - Puduke coast. From where did they got this information has be found out. To me it seems that early scientific writers have gathered information from the folk/ village communities, may be extracted from their stories and from their belief. And stories and belief wont just sprang from imagination!!!
    Therefore i believe that Ramayana, if it enlist a true or a possible event, then could contain a detail description of the land through which the army travelled.
    On reading Sundarakaanda and Yudhakaanda, confusions creep in with respect to the course of their journey. It is sure that they have not taken east plain route via present day AP and TN, rather they followed an high altitude terrain. From Kishkinda ( central Karnataka) they reached Mahendragiri ( present ISRO center in TN) crossing Malaya mountains ( the Malabar Hills). They had not seen west coast [ or Valmiki/s was/were not aware about west coast,then]. From Mahandragiri in couple of hours they reached the shore, where the then marine-geotechnical work of building the bridge started. If you follow this geographical story,then the bridge could never be laid between Mandapam/ Pamban/ Dhanushkodi to Talimannar.Instead, it should start somewhere closer ( offshore) to Tiruchendur, straight to south western Lanka!!!!!!
    And then about Mynaka and Meru OCEANIC ISLANDS that blocked the route of Hanuman....needs special attention. And how Meru was described by the army during their march to Ravan raj.
    ===
    The geographical description in Ramayana need to be studied.... infact its originality at first. Can we evolve out a clue about east coast around Tiruchendur, from it?
    ====
    Earlier in this discussion, Aadhil has fairly pointed out about the route of AIR HANUMAN, via Kumari with Maruthvamalai. But the same craft had taken a different route when he had flew to Lanka and back as Envoy. And Pushpak airlines took a very different course too!!!! [ The passengers of Pushpak airlines have seen neither Mynaka nor Meru].
    =========

    biju longhinos

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  30. Dear Aadhil,
    I need to clarify your comment about "absence of ocean between India and lanka"

    ===
    The fact is that there existed a water body ( preferbly a sea) between India and Lanka since 65-55Ma ( 66,000,000 years). The extend of this sea varied from time to time. In Late Pliestocene, around 18,000 years before present, the mean sea level was at 150m below the present level, thereby exposing a large portion of land, which are presently under the sea. During the period the Indo-Lankan Tombolo had been fairly exposed. During the same time we had a vast west coast plain, extending 25kms west to the present shore line.
    But it is understood, that the terrain ( south east coast) has faced intermitant transgressions, possibly around 1,35,000years [U-dating] ( Brucker 1988) and at 60,000 years [O-18/C-13 dating - proxy] ( Teena, 2008).

    Therefore Gulf of Mannar is not a recent feature. And to your knowledge, there are locations in Mannar Gulf with basin depths at 6kms deep, where as Bengal bay basin has a depth 5+ kms only.
    === biju

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  31. Regarding Floating Stones:::::

    Read my thoughts from field

    http://longhinos.wetpaint.com/page/Field+Work

    biju

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