Vanara (वानर) refers to a group of people living in forests in the Hindu epic the Ramayana.The Ramayan says that the ‘monkey-like’ Vanara race was procreated by numerous gods or celestials who endowed them with a mighty physique and super-human power so that they could 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’ as well as animals such as the ‘bear’ and ‘monkeys’. Today the word ‘vanara’ is translated as ‘monkey’ but nowhere does the Ramayana say that the ‘vanaras’ were ‘monkeys’ . Infact no genetic material was taken from the ‘human’ species for the creation of the ‘vanaras’.
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, (celestial musicians), ‘she-vidyaadharaas’ (विद्याधर) meaning ‘fairy’, and from ‘she-rikshas’ (ऋक्ष) meaning ‘bear’ and ‘she-monkeys’.
The Ramayana says that the ensuing species would 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’.”
This pedigree that was being genetically engineered in Bala-kanda was not given the label of monkeys! They were look-alike of monkeys but not monkeys. They were vaana ruupiNam or ‘resembling monkeys’. The Ramayana says about vanaras – ‘vane charati iti vanara‘ i.e, because they range far and wide over forests hence they are called vanaras”, ‘vana’ (वन) = ‘forest’, ‘chara’ = ‘roam’. (Inputs from ‘www.valmikiramayan.net).
G. Ramdas, in his book “Aboriginal Names in the Ramayana, published in 1925 states that the tail of the vanaras was actually an appendage in the dress worn by them just as is common, for example, in the dhoti that the men of Savara or Soura tribe wear. The Soura Tribe is also known as Lanjia Souras due to their dress pattern of wearing a loin cloth hanging from behind and which could be mistakenly identified as a tail by a stranger, ‘lanj’ (लञ्ज) is Sanskrit for ‘tail’.
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. In fact before the war, the vanaras are recruited by Sri Rama and the vanara-chief Sugreeva from all around the world.
So are there any traces of the vanaras anywhere in the artifacts found from around the world? The inscriptions on the ancient Dendera Temple in Egypt seems to indicate to the existence of a ‘vanara’-like tribe or race.
|Vanara-like people hewn on the
walls of the ancient Hathor-Dendera Temple Complex in Egypt.
Temples have been built on this site since 2250 BC.
|A vanara-like person in attendance .
An inscription on the Dendera-Hathor Temple in Egypt
|A person in a Halasana Yogic Posture
Dendera-Hathor temple, Egypt
|The Lanijia-Soura tribesmen of India
sport a dhoti with a tail like extension.