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Can the monkey god save Rama?s underwater bridge?
Times Online ^ | March 27, 2007 | Ruth Gledhill and Jeremy Page

Posted on 03/27/2007 6:43:20 AM PDT by Alex Murphy

Hindu groups are launching an international campaign today to halt India’s plans to create a shipping channel by dredging the sea between India and Sri Lanka.

They say that the project will destroy an ancient chain of shoals known as Adam’s Bridge, which Hindus believe was built by an army of monkeys to allow Lord Rama to cross to Lanka to rescue his abducted wife. They are also protesting on environmental grounds, arguing that the 30-mile string of limestone shoals, also known as Ram Sethu, protected large parts of India from the 2004 tsunami.

“The bridge is as holy to Hindus as the Wailing Wall is to the Jews, the Vatican to Catholics, Bodh Gaya to Buddhists and Mecca to Muslims,” said Kusum Vyas, president and founder of Esha Vasyam, a US Hindu environmental lobbying group. “It is an unacceptable breach of the religious rights of over one billion Hindus to destroy such a sacred landmark without even consulting us.”

The £280 million Sethusa-mudram project has been mired in controversy ever since it was inaugurated by Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister, in July 2005. The Government says that the 167km (104mile) channel through the Palk Strait will cut an estimated 400km (and 30 hours) off the journey between the east and west coast of India. The fastest current route is around Sri Lanka.

It argues that Adam’s Bridge is a natural geological formation and that its plans to dredge to a depth of 12 metres will not cause serious environmental damage. It also says that the plan will benefit millions of people in the area by allowing the development of a commercial fishing industry. The project is due to be completed next year, by which time an estimated 48 million cubic metres of silt will have been removed from the Palk Strait.

However, Hindu leaders appear determined to thwart those plans. In a rare show of unity, they are urging Hindus across the world to protest to Sonia Gandhi, leader of the ruling Congress party, to the Indian Minister for Shipping and to Indian embassies in Britain and the US. They are also planning protest marches near the site as well as demonstrations around the world. Ranbir Singh, the chairman of Hindu Human Rights, said: “The Government of India is entitled to take care of the country’s trade and commercial interests, but not at the cost of destroying a site that is revered by one billion Hindus in the world.”

Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general of the Hindu Forum of Britain, called for a posttsunami consultation to assess the environmental impact in the light of new data.

Central to the controversy is the question of whether Adam’s Bridge is man-made or a natural formation. The bridge is believed by some to have been passable on foot as recently as the 15th century. According to Hindu belief set out in the epic poem the Ramayana, it was built about 3,500 years ago. Its purpose was to allow Lord Rama, one of the great kings of ancient India and an avatar of the god Vishnu, to travel from India to Sri Lanka, where he defeated the demonic tyrant Ravana and rescued his wife, Sita.

In 2002, Hindu nationalists cited Nasa satellite photographs of the shoals as evidence that the events described in the Ramayana really took place, although Nasa has distanced itself from those claims.

This month a panel of Indian scientists concluded that the bridge was “a geological formation, which took place about 17 million years ago”.

They could not, however, explain a mysterious series of accidents which have stalled work. First, the dredging vessel Duck6sank. It was replaced by the Dredging Corporation of India’s biggest dredging vessel, but its spud broke. Another ship was then sent to retrieve the spud, but its crane snapped and crashed into the sea.

At least one Hindu leader has suggested that the bridge is being protected by Lord Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god.

Rama and Sita: a love story

— Rama, heir to the ancient Hindu throne of Ayodhya, is sent into exile with his wife, Sita, and brother Lakshmana

— Ravana, the demon king, kidnaps Sita in the woods while the brothers are hunting, and takes her to the island of Lanka Rama, unable to cross the ocean, sends Hanuman the monkey king to find Sita but she refuses to leave unless Rama comes for her

— Hanuman rallies his monkeys to cast stones into the sea and form a bridge to Lanka

— Tiny palm squirrels help by carrying pebbles to the waters edge and Rama, touched by their efforts, stroked one, marking it with the stripes — hence giving the five-striped palm squirrels their name

— Rama crossed the bridge with the monkey army in tow to do battle with Ravana’s demon army. Ravana is killed

— Sita and Rama are reunited but Rama refuses to take her back as his wife. To prove her purity, she walks through a funeral pyre and emerges intact. The pair return to Ayodhya to take the throne.


TOPICS: Eastern Religions; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics; Theology
KEYWORDS: adamsbridge; godsgravesglyphs; hanuman; harappan; india; indusvalley; ramayana; ramsethu; ramsetu; srilanka

1 posted on 03/27/2007 6:43:22 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy; SunkenCiv
Related thread:

No archaeological studies to support existence of Ram Sethu

 

2 posted on 03/27/2007 6:57:05 AM PDT by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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Monkey Army

3 posted on 03/27/2007 7:47:52 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Saturday, March 24, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Incorrigible; blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 49th; ..
Thanks Incorrigible.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
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4 posted on 03/27/2007 7:47:59 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Saturday, March 24, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Alex Murphy
Central to the controversy is the question of whether Adam’s Bridge is man-made or a natural formation.

Don't they mean monkey-made?

5 posted on 03/27/2007 8:01:14 AM PDT by Between the Lines (I am very cognizant of my fallibility, sinfulness, and other limitations. So should you.)
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To: Alex Murphy
... It was replaced by the Dredging Corporation of India’s biggest dredging vessel, but its spud broke. Another ship was then sent to retrieve the spud, but its crane snapped and crashed into the sea.

At least one Hindu leader has suggested that the bridge is being protected by Lord Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god.

Hmm, apparently Hindu monkey gods have it in for potatoes.

6 posted on 03/27/2007 8:03:07 AM PDT by Brujo (Quod volunt, credunt.)
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To: Between the Lines

For pointing that out, you get an Ape-plus.


7 posted on 03/27/2007 8:03:14 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Saturday, March 24, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Alex Murphy
Central to the controversy is the question of whether Adam’s Bridge is man-made or a natural formation.

Hmm, so if it's a one-of-a-kind natural wonder, it's OK to destroy it. On the other hand, if it's man-made (and presumably could be remade someday if that strait is no longer used for shipping), it cannot be destroyed.

8 posted on 03/27/2007 8:10:04 AM PDT by Brujo (Quod volunt, credunt.)
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To: Incorrigible

BTTT


9 posted on 03/27/2007 8:14:30 AM PDT by Cold Heart
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To: Brujo
The possibility that no one seems to be considering is that it is both a natural and man made formation. It is not far fetched to think that man could have built up some or all of a natural formation to serve as a causeway. Also the fact that even today at low tide it lies in only two to four feet of water (except for two channels cut into it) might suggest that it could have also been used for fishing purposes. Kind of like a giant fish weir, the fish would be easy to catch as they crossed the shallow water.

Whether man made, natural or a combination of both, it does not seem unreasonable to relocate the shipping channel through one of the narrow peninsulas at either end.

10 posted on 03/27/2007 8:47:24 AM PDT by Between the Lines (I am very cognizant of my fallibility, sinfulness, and other limitations. So should you.)
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To: sauropod

review


11 posted on 03/27/2007 8:49:21 AM PDT by sauropod ("An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools." Ernest Hemingway)
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To: Incorrigible

I admittedly have an untrained eye, but in that picture I see a bridge.


12 posted on 03/27/2007 9:40:56 AM PDT by Stag_Man (NEVER let the people draw their own conclusions. - DUmmie poster.)
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To: Incorrigible

I admittedly have an untrained eye, but in that picture I see a bridge.


13 posted on 03/27/2007 9:40:59 AM PDT by Stag_Man (NEVER let the people draw their own conclusions. - DUmmie poster.)
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To: Alex Murphy

The Tulsi Das version says that Sita herself was not actually kidnapped but there was a substitution much like Euripides says about Helen or Muslims claim about Jesus crucifixion.


14 posted on 03/27/2007 12:58:16 PM PDT by Macoraba
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To: Alex Murphy; SunkenCiv

closer-up.

15 posted on 03/27/2007 3:08:21 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (Fair Dinkum Aussie.)
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To: Incorrigible

"No archaeological studies to support existence of Ram Sethu."

Ah and you have the word of Ambika Soni, so it has to be true! /sarc


16 posted on 03/27/2007 4:22:49 PM PDT by Gengis Khan
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To: Alex Murphy

Ramayana bump


17 posted on 03/28/2007 4:44:23 PM PDT by Dajjal (See my FR homepage for an essay about Ahmadinejad.)
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To: SunkenCiv; Between the Lines

George, George, George of the jungle
Lives a life that's free
Ahhh
Watch out for that tree

When he gets in scrapes
When he makes his escapes
With the help of his friend
An ape named Ape


18 posted on 03/28/2007 6:06:03 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: Larry Lucido

"Where's that confounded bridge?" [John Bonham]


19 posted on 03/29/2007 12:31:23 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Saturday, March 24, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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Aha, here are more:

NASA digital images discover ancient “Ramayana” bridge between India, Lanka
PTI | Washington, October 09 2002 | Editorial Staff
Posted on 10/09/2002 11:35:38 AM EDT by vannrox
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/765870/posts

Hanuman bridge is myth: Experts
THE TIMES OF INDIA | SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2002 | No Author listed
Posted on 10/19/2002 7:25:58 PM EDT by jimtorr
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/772283/posts


20 posted on 05/20/2007 7:36:39 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Time heals all wounds, particularly when they're not yours. Profile updated May 18, 2007.)
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Interview [with Iravatham Mahadevan,] the Madras Indus scholar
Himal | April 2007 | interviewed by Sundar Ganesan
Posted on 03/31/2007 10:44:03 AM EDT by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1809780/posts

Ram Sethu: Scientific Evidence Of Ancient Human Activity (Ramas Bridge)
Organizer | 4-29-2007 | S. Kalyanaraman
Posted on 04/23/2007 6:35:24 PM EDT by blam
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1822290/posts

History stands still in seabed off Sri Lanka
Asian Tribune | Sunday, July 8, 2007 | Janaka Perera
Posted on 07/09/2007 2:01:39 AM EDT by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/1862859/posts


21 posted on 07/09/2007 8:16:12 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (This tagline optimized for the Mosaic browser. Profile updated Friday, July 6, 2007.)
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22 posted on 07/28/2008 11:09:32 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_________________________Profile updated Friday, May 30, 2008)
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