It is said that the ‘monkey-like’ Vanara race of the Ramayana is procreated by numerous gods or celestials who endowed them with a mighty physique and super-human power to come to the help of Sri Rama in the inevitable war with Ravana which was to occur in the future.

The vanaras were produced from the genetic material taken from many ‘celestial species’ and animals such as the ‘bear’ and ‘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.

In the Bala- Kanda, Section 17, Verses 3-6, it is stated that Bramha himself addressed the ‘celestials’ and said that monkey-shaped progeny equaling Vishnu’s valour be procreated from the bodies of prominent apsaras and gandharvas, from the girls of yakshas and pannagas, and also from the bodies of kinnaraas, (kinnaras are celestial musicians) ‘she-vidyaadharaas’ (विद्याधर) meaning ‘fairy’, and from ‘she-rikshas’ (ऋक्ष) meaning ‘bear’ and ‘she-monkeys’. 

A painting of  a ‘Flying Apsara
at the ancient Ajanta Caves, Aurnagabad, India

A Kinnara depicted on the left and an Apsara on the rigt
Pawon Temple in Java, Indonesia.
Kinnaras are ‘half human and half-horse’

A ‘Yaksha‘ and ‘Yakshini’
depicted on a temple panel
Madya Pradesh, India

A Vidyadhara couple.
Vidhyadharas are ‘demi-gods’
in the Vedic pantheon.

The ‘Pannaga‘ were
a half human-half serpent race

Ramayana says that the ensuing species shall be the wizards of miracles. In travel they shall have the speed of air, bestowed with intellect they shall be the knowers of all ‘ideas’, and with their divine physique they shall be in-eliminable, they shall be endowed with all the assault- power of missiles, and they shall be as untiring in their efforts as the celestials who lived on ‘amrita’, and ‘ambrosia’ were.

This pedigree that is being genetically engineered in Bala-kanda are were not given the label of monkeys! They are look-alike of monkeys but not monkeys. They were vaana ruupiNam or ‘resembling monkeys’, as said in the verse. The word vanara is ‘vane carati iti vanara‘ because ‘they range far and wide over forests hence they are called ‘vanaras”, ‘vana’ (वन) meaning ‘forest’. They are not exactly a ‘monkey race’. (Inputs from ‘

The last verse of Section 17 of Bala -Kanda of Ramayana says that the ‘gods’ procreate many thousands of such valorous and guise changing entities who with their immeasurable strength and bravery are manifest for the elimination of the demon Ravana. It is obvious that the vanara-commandos are genetically engineered, strong enough for the task of assisting in the war against Ravana. Click here for a bit more.


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