First the story! Then a discussion on the Ramayanic geography.
It thus happened. In the Ramayana, four ‘vanara’ brigades are commissioned to be sent out in four different directions for the search of Sita, (the wife of God-King Sri Rama who ruled Bharata and beyond, from the city of Ayodhya), after she is abducted via the aerial route by Ravana, the king of the mighty Lanka, now known as Srilanka. Since she has been taken away via the aerial route, it is decided that she has to be looked for by the ‘vanaras’ in the entire known world.
A note may be made here that it is a mistake to translate vanara as monkeys or apes. Vanara here simply means nara-s (नर) or ‘beings’ who live in ‘vana-s’ (वन) or forests. All the Vanaras who later participated in the war against Ravana were probably trained commandoes, all of whom, as is mentioned in Balakanda, take birth at the same time, in what seems to be a laboratory, during a yagya. The genetic make-up of the vanaras is also described in the Ramayana. It states that the vanaras were produced from the genetic material taken from many ‘celestial species’.
More specifically, the Balakanda, Section 17, Verses 3-6, states that Bramha himself addressed the ‘celestials’ and said that monkey-shaped progeny equaling Vishnu’s valour be procreated from the bodies of celestial species including prominent apsaras and gandharvas, the girls of yakshas and pannagas, and also from the bodies of kinnaraas, (kinnaras are celestial musicians), ‘she-vidyaadharaas’ (विद्याधर) meaning ‘fairies’, and from ‘she-rikshas’ (ऋक्ष) meaning ‘bear’ and ‘she-monkeys’. No where does the Ramayana say that the ‘vanaras’ were ‘monkeys’ – nor does it say that any genetic material was taken from the ‘human’ species.
At a time when it was yet not established where Sita was being held captive by Ravana, one of the search-parties is instructed to head East from India by the vanara chief Sugreeva, who hands over to the vanara-head Vinata, a route-map so to say, with specific instructions to be followed closely. And as they follow the instructions, the vanaras are told, the route-map would lead them to their final destination, referred to in the Ramayana, as the Udaya Mountain. Mt. ‘Udaya’ (उदय ), Sanskrit for ‘sunrise’, was for the vanara commando brigade to be the last location, and the culmination point of their search for Sita in the eastern direction. They were told by Sugreeva that the world beyond the eastern direction of Mt. Udaya, where the celestials frequented was not known, was not to be ventured in.
Sage Valmiki traces this route in great detail in Valmiki Ramayana, mentioning by name many mountain peaks and cities and man-made structures that the vanaras would encounter on the way. As one reads the verses, it becomes obvious that the expanse that Valmiki describes begins with the east coast of India and then beyond. The search party headed from Bharatkhanda (India) in Jambhudwipa (Asia) towards the East following directions given in a route-map by Sugreeva to Vinata, which would leads the ‘vanaras’ right up to Shalmali-Dvipa (Australia) and from there on to the ewestern coast of South and Central America.
The journey begins with the rivers of India crossing which woud bring the vanaras to the eastern coast of India. The river names include the Bhagirathi, and the Sarayu, the Kusiki, the Kalindi, and the Yamuna, the Saraswati and the Sindhu, the Sona, the Mahi and the Kalamahi, the large tracts of Brahmamalas, Videha (Mithila), and Malavans, and the Kasikosalas (Kashi and Koshala), and Maghadas (the Kingdoms of Magadh) and Pundaras, and the Angas (Anga or Vanga, is Bengal) and grounds containing silver mines. Vaalmiki also names the city of Mandara – belonging to people having ears resembling cloth, reaching their lips!
The rivers still carry the same names and are easy to identify. Some of the rivers seem to be out of place and could be because of the erroneous transposition of verses. The Sindu mentioned here is not the same as Indus which Sugreeva mentions in Chapter 42. Since the vanaras are travelling east, the grounds of silver mines is a reference to the silver mines of Jharkhand, especially the area of present day Dhanabad.
Dhanabad was until recently a part of Manbhum region and was occupied by the Mundari tribals. The region has thick forests with rich mineral resources, and was inhabited until early 20th century by adivasis, particularly the Santals and the Mundas. It is obvious that the Ramayanic reference to the ancient Manadara and its people of strange appearance is a reference to the tribals of this Dhanabad region. Crossing all these the vanaras reach the easten coast and begin their voyage.
Valmiki next mentions the islands of Yava, adorned by several kingdoms, and the islands of Suvarna, and Rupayaka, This is a reference to the islands of Java, Sumatra and Bali. Here is the verse from Ramayana that mentions the islands of Java and Sumatra.
त्नवन्तो यव द्वीपम् सप्त राज्य उपशोभितम् |
सुवर्ण रूप्यकम् द्वीपम् सुवर्ण आकर मण्डितम् || ४-४०-३०
In the times of the Ramayana Java was known as Yava. Some sources say that Java was known for its barley terraced fields and hence its name – yava (यव) which in Sanskrit means ‘barley’. The name Java is a distortion of Yava. Here is a quote from www.valmikiramayan.net about the shift of the name Yava to Java, “Regarding the difference between the names of Yava and Java the word ya in Sanskrit becomes ja in vernaculars. Hence Yava became Java, as ‘simha puri’ or ‘lion-city’ became the present day Singapore”.
On this issue of Yava/Java island as stated in Ramayana, Sri Kedarnath Basu notes in his ‘Hindu Civilization’: ‘The reader may note here that java dwiipa described as consisting of seven kingdoms was probably the group of islands now called the Indian Archipelago, of which Java was at that time the most powerful’.
Sumatra was known in ancient times by its Sanskrit name ‘Swarnadwipa’ (Island of Gold). . Its other name was Svarnabhumi (सुवर्ण भूमि) or ‘Land of Gold’, because of the gold deposits in the island’s highland. Later the name Svarna (सुवर्ण) meaning ‘gold’ changed to ‘Samudra’ (समुद्र) meaning ‘ocean’. Later ‘samudra’ distorted into‘Sumatra’.
Another inhabited island in the region mentioned in the Ramayana is the ‘Rupayakam dvipa’ – which means the ‘silvern island’. Sometime in the 7th century AD, its name changed to ‘Bali’ from its then name which was ‘Jambrena’. It is said that with the arrival of a maharishi by the name Markandeya around 7th century, clearing of forests and a ritual planting of Pancha Dhatu (पंचधातु), namely the ‘five types of elements that are able to withstand the hazards’ was undertaken. The Maharishi taught meditation and worship of the Gods with offerings that contained three elements: water, fire and fragrant flowers. The island therefore came to be named after the word ‘offering’ which is ‘bali’ (बलि) in Sanskrit.
Ahead of Rupayaka (Bali), Valmiki states that passing Mt. Shishira, crossing River Shona, going across from Plaksha and Ikshu Island, then crossing the ‘furious’ Ikshu Samudra, and finally passing the ‘disastrous’ Lohita Ocean would bring the vanaras to Shalmali Dvipa. Shalmali Dvipa has been identified by researchers as the Australian land mass.
Mt. Shishira’ (शिशिर) has been described as a mountain whose peak ‘pierces the heaven’. (4-40-31). The tallest mountain and the most visible in the Indonesian island is is the Puncak Jaya which stands at 4884 mts and is located in Papua and could be the Mt. Shishira of Ramayana. Puncak Jaya means Mt. Victory, Shishira simply means ‘peak’. However Shishira could also be one of the many other mountain peaks of Java, Sumatra or Bali, depending on the route path of the vanaras.
|The Puncak Jaya Peak, Papua, Indonesia.
This is probably the ‘Shishira’ mentioned in the Ramayana
Then there is a mention of ‘rapid red waters’ of the River Shona. ‘Shona’ (शोण) means ‘red’ in Sanskrit. (4-40-33). This could be any of the rivers on one of the islands of Indonesia depending on where the vanaras cross into Shalmali Dwipa. It could be the Jayaputra river that flows close to iron mines and turns the colour of the river water red even today.
They are told to proceed to an island called Plaksha and further on to Ikshu Island which can be any of the clusters of islands in the Banda or Arafura Sea. The Vanaras will then confront a furious and tempestuous tide-ripped ocean and its islands. Ahead is another ocean named Lohita. (Lohita means ‘yellow’ but the waters are described as a mix of yellow and red. This is most likely the Timor or Coral Sea of Australia.
One thing is certain, that Shalmali dwipa is a reference to Australia, for crossing Java, Sumatra and Bali by ocean can bring one only to the land mass of Australia and the Polynesian Islands beyond it.
There are other details in Valmiki Ramayana to establish this fact. For example, after crossing the sea, the author says, becomes visible the tallest ever ‘Shalmali’ (शाल्मलि) tree on an island. In the various sections of the Ramayana, we find Valmiki often identifies a region with the best known regional tree. It is likely that the north of Australia was forested by Shalmali trees in antiquity. The botanical name for the Sanskrit ‘Shalmali’ is ‘Salmalia Malabaricatralia’ and is also referred to as ‘Bombax Ceiba’. It is native to Asia and Northern Australia. It is difficult to ascertain where exactly the vanaras land in Australia but the northern part of Australia does have forests of shalmali even today, and could have been widespread many thousands of years back.
The Shalmali Tree or Silk-Cotton Tree (Bombax Ceiba),
or Kapok as it is known in Australia
is mainly limited to the northern region of Australia today.
Interestingly Kapok may be a variation of the
Sanskrit ‘karpas’ (कार्पास) meaning cotton.
Following the verse about the ‘Shalmali tree on an island’, Valmiki mentions the existence of ‘a gigantic, peak like structure or mansion resembling Mt Kailasha’. (Verse 4-40-40). The peak like structure, says the Ramayana, was built by Vishwakarma, a ‘celestial’ architect. Vishwakarma may be the name of more than one ‘celestial architect’ because all most all magnificent structures of the ancient world are credited by ancient Hindu texts to ‘Vishwakarma’ because of which it appears that ‘Vishwakarma’ or ‘the celestial architect’ was responsible for the construction of all gigantic cities and structures including the megaliths around the world. The Ramayana also says that the mansion belonged to Aruna, the offspring of ‘Vinata’.
Here is the verse:
गृहम् च वैनतेयस्य नाना रत्न विभूषितम् |
तत्र कैलास संकाशम् विहितम् विश्वकर्मणा || ४-४०-४०
There built by Vishwakarma, peak like, gigantic, resembling Kailasha, is the mansion of Vinata’s offspring. 4-40-40.
This is an interesting verse from Chapter 40, for it seems to indicate that Vinata belonged to Shalmali dwipa as the ‘Kailasha like’ structure built there is owned by his son, Aruna. It therefore appears from the Ramayana that Sugreeva delegates authority to only those who are familiar with the region or belong to the region where the mission is to be carried out. We see the same in Chapter 42, where Sugreeva sends Susena to the western region to head the mission to search for Sita towards the west of India. Susena’s son Varuna is a well established ‘god’ in central Asia. In fact Varuna’s father is Rishi Kashyapa, after whom the Caspian Sea, located in north of Iran, is named. Susena is also the father-in-law of Sugreeva, as he is married to Susena’s daughter, Tara. Logically, this makes perfect sense.
But back to tke Kailasha like structure in Shalmali Dwipa that the vanars would encounter as they crossed Shalmali Dwipa and continue their sea sojourn. The tallest structure in this region in antiquity was perhaps the now demolished Gympie Pyramid unless there is another ‘peak’ like ancient structure in western part of Australia.
According to the Crystalink website, Rex Gilroy, the man who discovered the Gympie pyramid, has stated that the Gympie was created by Egyptians who had mining operations in Australia centuries ago. But if Gympie pyramid existed even in Ramayanic times, the Gympie structure is much older than the Egyptian mining operations.
There are other interesting facts that spring from whatever little information there is available on Gympie Pyramid. It seems the town of Gympie was the site of a pyramid complex. Its ancient most known name was Dhamuri. This information is passed down to us from the first Europeans who interacted with the now extinct Kabi speaking people of Gympie. According to the Kabis, a race of brown skinned, blue eyed, blond haired beings wearing dolphin pendants had came from Orion long ago and built pyramids and temple sites, but later were submerged in water.
Now according to the Ramayana, Vinata and his son Aruna belonged to the vanara race which was also know as Kapi. Could the Kabi aborigines be the same as the Kapi of Ramayana, especially because Aruna, a vanara was the owner of the peak like structure and was residing here in the Ramayanic times. It is not surprising that he chose this gold rich site for his residence. The name Dhamuri is interesting too, for the Sanskrit ‘dham’ means ‘abode of God’.
According to the locals a few artifacts have been found there including the ‘Gympie Ape’, which was dug up
in 1966 and is thought to be a statue of the Egyptian God Thoth, who was often portrayed as an ape, and another one resembling Ganesha from Indian mythology. Egyptian God Thoth was the god of writing and wisdom, depicted as an ape by the Egyptians until about 1000 BC. In the Vedic tradition the Hindu God Ganesha too is the god of writing and wisdom.
|The Gympie Pyramid Site
in Queensland, Australia. The ruins of the structure has
been demolished by the authorities.
As far as the Gympie ruins of Queensland are concerned, it is unfortunate that the Australian authorities have decided to construct a road right across the Gympie area. The Pyramid structure was already in ruins, though the base existed until recently. Many denials were issued regarding the existence of this structure and many debunking theories have been floated. However, the fact remains that artifacts like the Vedic God Ganesha and a Goddess in a Padmasana posture seated on a lotus flower have been found at Gympie, which indicates that the ancient world history might be way different than what we are lead to believe.
In his book “1421: The year China Discovered the World”, author Gavin Menzies states on page 221, ” Until 1920, Gympie remained Queensland’s largest and richest goldfield. Many other artifacts have been found in this area. Two beautifully carved votive offerings are of particular interest: one is of the Hindu god Ganesha, the elephant god, carved in beige granite, the other is of Hanuman, the Hindu monkey God, this time made of conglomerate ironstone…”.
|The Vedic Goddess Artifact found at the Gympie site|
|The Ganesha like artifact found at Gympie|
Valmiki, the author then says that after the search party passes this peak-like gigantic structure, they will see a shore sparkling white and shaped like a necklace. This is probably the coast off the shores of Brisbane. It is said that Gympie was once much closer to the shore when the water of the sea was higher.
|This is the path that Sugreeva chalks out for the ‘vanaras’
headed east of India in search of Goddess Sita.
Refer to Kishkinda Kand Chapter 40 of the Ramayana.
The Ramayana then mentions a Milky Ocean, crossing which a tall mountain by the name Rishaba becomes visible. It is home to a silvery lake called Sudharshana. It is located on a beautiful land inhabited by the ‘devas’, ‘apsaras’ and ‘kinnaras’ This may be New Zealand or one of the islands of Polynesia. For the details of what the ‘vanaras’ would see as they passed this region click here.
From here the search party is directed to cross many seas, oceans and islands. One of the seas that the ‘vanaras’ are told they would come across, is the mighty ‘Soft Water Ocean’ (Jala Sagaram) whose waves they are warned are quite often ferocious. While cross it Valmiki states the ‘vanaras’ would pass the ‘fantastically refulgent fire resembling the face of a horse’ (Verse 4-48). This is not something that Valmiki wrote out of his imagination. This for sure is a reference to what is today called the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’ in the Pacific. It stretches from right off the coast of Australia to the Westernmost coast of South America.
The area encircling the Pacific Ocean is called the ‘Ring of Fire,’ because its edges mark a circle of high volcanic and seismic activity (earthquakes). Most of the active volcanoes on Earth are located on this circumference.
|‘The Pacific Ring of Fire’ is described in
Chapter 40, Verse 48 of the Valmiki Ramayana
Once the mighty ‘Soft Water Ocean’ (which has been identified as the Pacific) has been crossed the ‘vanaras’ would then reach the Udaya Mountains where they will see Jaat-Shila-Rupa (which translates as Golden Rock Peak), etched on which is a ‘golden pylon resembling a palm tree with three branches with a golden podium’.
Sugreev continues, “That pylon of palm tree is constructed as the easterly compass by celestial gods beyond which lies the Udaya Adri.” (Verse 4-52). The Udaya Adri mountains are the Andes of South America. And in the Andes range of Peru is the ‘Shining or Golden Trident’. Today it is known as the ‘Paracas Trident’. It shines to this day and is visible from the skies.
|The ‘Shining Trident’ beyond which lies the
‘Udaya Adri’ (Sunrise Mountain) is described in
Chapter 40 Verse 53 of Valmiki Ramayana.
According to the Ramayana, day breaks on earth in the Udaya Adri. In today’s world we are conditioned to think that sun rises first in Japan. But the fact is that at every geographical point of land in the world, darkness will fade away and day will break at a certain point of time every day.
So why did the Ramayana choose the Andes as the point of sunrise, or in other words, why was day-break in Peru over the Andean Mountains chosen as the first ray of sun for the entire earth. Why not India, Japan, or any other place?
Chapter 40 Verse 57 of the Kishkinda Kand gives the reason. It says that when Lord Vishnu first ‘invaded’ the earth he strode across the earth in three giant steps. “He placed the first step in ‘Mt. Saumanasa’ which lies in the ‘Udaya Adri’.” (Chapter 40-58 of Kishkinda Kanda). That point became the point of Sunrise. Where he put his last step was called Mt. Asta (Sunset Mountain). More about Mt. Asta here. India lies at the centre of Mt. Udaya and Mt. Asta.
Peru is therefore the land of the rising sun according to the Ramayana. What lay beyond Mt. Udaya Adri and Saumanasa, Valmiki writes that he knew nothing except that it was there that the celestials frequented.
Research indicates that Lord Vishnu was revered as Lord Viracocha in ancient America. He carried a ‘thunderbolt’ in his hand. Interestingly, the word ‘Adri’ in Sanskrit not only means ‘mountain’ or ‘rock’, it also means ‘thunderbolt’. Is the word Andes a distortion of the word ‘Adri’, a reference to Viracocha’s ‘thunderbolt’!
Is there a temple dedicated to Vishnu’s footprint (Vishnu Padam Temple) or Viracocha’s footprint in Peru? Are there any similarities to the Vishnu Padam Temples of India and Viracocha’s Temples in Peru? Yes, there are. But more about that in a later post.
|The Paracas Trident etched on the Andes
in Peru is described in the Ramayana
The Ramayana refers to the Andes as the ‘Udaya’ Mountains. ‘Udaya’ (उदय) is Sanskrit for ‘Sunrise’ and its account in the Ramayana establishes that the ancients were aware that if they travelled far enough east from India, they would reach the Udaya (Andes) after crossing the ‘soft-water ocean’ which is the ‘Pacific’. (The Pacific is also referred to as the ‘Svadu’ (स्वादु) in the Ramayana. ‘Svadu’ is Sanskrit for ‘sweet’, ‘pleasant’ and ‘agreeable’ indicating that there might be a reason why Ferdinand Magellan too, though much later in time, named the till then unnamed ocean ‘Pacific, after his comparatively smooth sailing experience through this ocean during his voyage around the world.)
(Though travelling east from Australia to South America through the South Pacific Ocean is not at all a popular route for maritime travel as it involves long passage at sea.. It does have its advantages if one travels on the ‘roaring forties’ – which is the band of westerlies that runs in the 40 – 50 degrees south latitude. These westerlies run the entire width of the South Pacific Ocean, and can be used to gain enough westing to take one to any point in South America.)
The details of the route that Sugreev chalks out for the ‘vanaras’ headed east from India to ‘Shalmali-dvipa’ (Australia) is detailed here.
From Shalmali Dwipa, Sugreev instructs the ‘vanaras’ to proceed to the Milky Ocean where he states they would come across the ‘excellent’ Rishabha Mountain. The ‘Rishabha’ (ऋषभ) is described as a ‘White cloud with a pearly necklace of waves rippling on the shores below’. Close-by they would spot the Sudharshana Lake with ‘silvery lotuses which have fibrils of gold’ and where ‘kingly swans scamper around’.
Sage Valmiki may here be referring to Mount Cook of New Zealand, and the Milky Ocean may be the Tasman Sea which falls in the path from Brisbane to South Island in New Zealand. Mount Cook, also called Aukoki, which is easily identifiable for it is the highest mountain in the region is surrounded by many amazingly beautiful lakes, of which the largest today is Lake ‘Pukaki’. Valmiki could be referring to one of them when he mentions the ‘Sudarshana’. In Sanskrit ‘Sudarshan’ (सुदर्शन) means ‘beautiful to look at’. Valmiki describes the beauty of this land and specially of the lakes. In verse 46 he says, “Vivudhas and Charanas, Yakshahs, Kinnaras and Apsaras, desirous of sport, resort to this tank!
Lake Pukaki, with Mt. Cook in the background.
These may well be Lake Sudarshana and Mt. Rishabh of the Ramayana. The Ramayana traces the path from India to New Zealand, & to the Andes in Peru
After passing Mt. Rishabha and Lake Sudarshana the ‘vanaras’ are told they would then arrive at the ‘Soft-Water Ocean’ called the Kshiroda. This of course is the Pacific Ocean.
Moving ahead, and reaching the terrifying Jaloda Sea, Valmiki says that here the vanaras would encounter ‘a mighty, continuous ring of volcanic eruptions in the water’. He describes the inferno as ‘a fantastic refulgent fire in the form of a horse’s face’.
As one travels from New Zealand to South America by sea, one comes cross as what is known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, first just off the shores of New Zealand and then once again before landing ashore in South America. The Pacific Ring of Fire is an area where a large number of volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean.
In the next verse Valmiki describes the magnitude of this ‘fantastic fire’. He writes that at the end of each epoch or era, that fire emerges forth with even more energy till all things, mobile or immobile, and the entire Creation becomes the fuel to this fire. Valmiki also describes the oceanic sounds of this fire that he says have the power to ‘incapacitate the most capable ones’.
|To the right of Australia is a part of the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’ that one would have to navigate past en-route from New Zealand to South America. Valmiki describes it in the Ramayana as the ‘Fantastic Refulgent Fire in the form of a Horse Face’.|
Crossing this sea, they reach the Swadu Sea north of which he says is the land of Jatarupasila – literally land of ‘gold and stone’. Whether this is a reference to gold mines of coastal south America say for example those in Chile or a reference to the golden hued mountains of this area is not known. That there were gold mines in Chile was known even in Ramayanic times, though the Chileans did not mine the gold till well into the modern times. Interestingly there is a gold mining area by the name of Ramayana in Chile. Why it was named so is not known yet intriguing.
The closest point from New Zealand to South America is if one heads straight to the southern tip of South America somewhere in Chile. And the fact that this is where the ‘vanaras’ are directed to head before they move northward is clear from one of the verses in chapter 40 of Kishkindakand. As the vanaras reach the Swadu sea, Valmiki writes, “There you shall see then, oh, vanaras, the lotus-petal broad-eyed thousand-hooded serpent god in black clothing, namely Ananta, sitting on the top of that mountain and sustaining the earth on his head, who will be like moon in his brilliance and whom all beings hold in reverence.” [4-40-51, 52].In ancient Indian texts the southern tip of South America (Chile) is ‘the head of the serpent called Ananta’, on which the earth rests. (See map above). Ananta is name of Lord Vishnu and also his vehicle, the celestial-serpant, Sheshanaga.
|The Paracas Trident of Peru is described in the Ramayana
as the ‘easterly compass of the celestial gods’.
The Bhagwat Purana mentions that Vishnu (in his Vamana Avatar) strode over the universe in three giants steps, which some have interpreted as three stops on his way in his journey around the world and the heavens. It is said that one step was at the Udaya peak (where the Paracas Trident is etched). In the Ramayana the Vanaras are told that when they reach Mt. Udaya, the culmination point of their eastward journey, they will see what is called the shining Vajra of Indra. In the Peruvian folklore the Paracas Candelabra or Trident is identified with the ‘Lightening Rod of the Mayan God Viracocha’. Click here to read about the Sanskrit Connection to the word ‘Paracas’.
In the Bhagwat Purana there is a very interesting link between Lord Indra and an ‘asura’ by the name Viro-chana, the son of Prahalad and the father of Bali. In short, both Indra and Virochana vie with each other to impress Brahma with their knowledge about ‘Atman’ or the ‘Supreme Consciousness’. Bramha promises to grant control of the universe to the one who proves his knowledge about ‘Atman’. Could ‘Viro-chana’ the son of Prahalad mentioned in the Bhagwat Purana be the ‘Vira-cocha’ of the Peruvians. Could the lightening rod of the Peruvian ‘Vira-cocha’ be the ‘Vajra’ of Indra. Indra is known to have ‘brought down mountains as they flew by’ with his Vajra. Who finally wins control depends on which version one reads. But in Indian texts it is Indra who establishes control which is passed on to him by Brahma. He later ‘wields the Vajra to subjugate the mountains’.
|The ‘Vajra’ of Indra|
The journey of the ‘vanaras’ in the East ends at the Sau-manasa peak, located just beyond the Udaya. The Ramayana says that beyond this point is where east ends and west begins. It also states that beyond the Saumanasa peak is the land where ‘the celestials frequent’. The occurrence of extra-terrestrial activity in this part of the world is supported by the fact that South America is the site of some of the most magnificent, yet unexplained, ancient megalithic structures anywhere in the world.
To find the relevant verses, check out Valmiki Ramayana, Kishkinda Kand, Chapter 40. In this chapter Sugreev instructs his ‘vanaras’ travelling east about the route they are to follow and the associated landmarks that will help them keep on track in their search for Sita.
* ‘Vanara’ translates as ‘monkey’ but from the descriptions in Valmiki Ramayana they were ‘trained commandos’. The Ramayana describes the ‘vanaras’ as acclaimed for undertaking impossible deeds, renowned for their confrontation skills, and noteworthy in their manoeuvers. They dwelt in the mountains and were known to travel on earth, on water and fly through the sky.
** In the South American texts the legend of Viracocha resembles both the legend of Indra and God Vishnu.