IIT-Kharagpur to offer scientific rationale for Ramayana incidents

IIT-Kharagpur to offer scientific rationale for Ramayana incidents

Global footprints of Lord Ram buttressed with scientific and historic interpretation of events that link continents and ancient civilisations and replete with present-day anecdotes will be part of the ‘Encyclopaedia of Ramayana’ being prepared by the state cultural department. Adding logical temper to what is often termed mythology, IIT-Kharagpur has offered to contribute to the scientific interpretation of the turn of events in Lord Ram’s journey. This was confirmed to TOI by principal secretary, culture, Jitendra Kumar, who wants to take the encyclopaedia to Gen Y Indians. IIT-Kharagpur recently drew global attention through its scientific interpretation of the divine symbol, Swastika, and its imprint in over 16 countries.

Most Indians are unaware King of Thailand still takes oath of office in Ram’s name and the epic has footprints over seven southeast Asian countries with even urban landscapes dotted with the deity’s statues. Though 95% Thailand is Buddhist, Ramayana is compulsory in state schools and an annual month-long Ramayana festival is held. Cambodian peasants too recite ‘Rama Kerti’ for a good harvest and Malayasia has its own Ramayana ‘Hikayat Seri Rama’. A Ramayan ballet, Purawisata, is also performed in Muslim-dominated Indonesia’s Yogaykarta City. These facts and revelations will form part of the compilation, said Kumar.

Speaking to TOI, Dr Joy Sen, head of architecture and planning, IIT Kharagpur, said, “We want to instil confidence in our history and heritage. Exchanges between Sage Augusta and Lord Rama created the divine weapon, Aditya Hridayam, which means divine altruism as Godhead in your heart. This weapon was used by Ram to destroy Ravan. We traced Augusta and Rama’s name in ancient Egypt and are now ready to rewrite history.”

Sapta Rishis or seven famous sages have a deep connection with turn of events in Ramanaya, claimed Dr Sen, whose research on ‘Swastika’ created ripples at international levels. “Sage Rishi Shringa (the uniforn sage) who performed yagna to bring Ram Chandra on earth, is the symbol that links the Indus Valley unicorn seal (Chi Lin), which is also symbolises Virgin Mary in the west and Autumnal resurrection in far-east nations and IIT-Kharagpur will re-explore Ramayana in this light,” said Dr Joy Sen.

Dr Anita Bose, global convenor of the encyclopaedia of Ramayana, has conducted six webinars to get inputs from different parts of the world during the lockdown. She has authored a book — Ramayana: Footprints in South-East Asian culture and heritage — which was launched by chief minister Yogi Adityanath at 2019 Deepotsav in Ayodhya. In her words, “in most countries in South-East Asia, Europe and the US, Lord Ram epitomises moral values and is popular. When I researched on the popularity and access of Ramayana in south-east Asia, I was taken aback that Ram is ubiquitous from popular folklore to curriculum to culture and heritage, irrespective of whether the country is Muslim or Buddhist.”

In India too, tribals of the North-East have their own Ramayana, which is different from that authored by Valmiki or Tulsidas, said Bose.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/iit-kharagpur-to-offer-scientific-rationale-for-ramayana-incidents/articleshow/76364933.cms