SC should be told that UOI counsel Nariman has misquoted the Padma Purana

I hope that Pachauri committee while reviewing cultural aspects also takes note of the tradition of Setu worship and the imperative of scrapping SSCP to save the ecosphere and the millennial tradition venerating a world heritage biosphere called Setusamudram.

This is also a note for making a submission to the Hon’ble Supreme Court.

SC should be told that UOI counsel Nariman has misquoted the Padma Purana. This misquotation has led to a false allegation that Rama himself destroyed Setu. The counsel went on to claim without any basis that Hindus cannot worship something that has been destroyed. That Hindus should worship Setu is mentioned in the very same Padma Purana in the very same string of verses which the learned counsel misuses to make an erroneous argument. Any number of sacred texts establish that the very darshan of Setu is a life-fulfilment in the triad tradition of setu yatra, setu darshana, setu puja.

This is too serious a matter to be ignored by the SC and left uncontested, since an attempt has been made, using erroneous readings of sacred texts, to distort the tradition of worship of Setu in a continuum for millennia by millions of people. Setu snaanam on ashadha amavasya day (which falls this year on 1 August 2008), for example, is to pay homage to our ancestors by pitru tarpanam. Normally over 5 lakh pilgrims have a samudra snanam in the Setu. Skanda Purana, a sacred text notes: “One, who prostrates in the middle of the Setu’s sandbank (setu-saikata- madhye), his sins becomes dulled.

Sri Rama did NOT destroy the Setu is clear, if there is a careful reading of the sacred texts of Padma Purana and Skanda Purana and the Valmiki Ramayana or Kamba Ramayana. Sri Rama was responding to Vibhishana’s apprehension about use of Setu to approach his domain. (The tradition has it that Vibhishana’s pattabhishekam- -ascension to the throne — took place near Dhanushkodi) . Setupati raja are traditionally the guardians of the Setu in the tradition of the guards established by Sri Rama as mentioned in Kamba Ramayana (in an interpolated verse).

I am thankful to Sarvesh Tiwari for citing the devanagari text of Padma Purana at http://bharatendu. com/2008/ 07/30/on- rama-setu- in-padma- purana/

The key verse is: 133: “kArmukaM gR^ihya hastena rAmaH setuM dwidhAchChinnattrivibhaajya cha vegena madhye vai dashayojanaM ||”

The key verb in this verse is chinnat in dvidhaachinnat trivibhaajya.

The meaning of the word, chinna is this:verse should be taken to be ‘division marker’, that is making two division markers to creat three segments in a continuous stretch of Setu.

The idiom often used is chinna-bhinna (even in many vernacular languages derived from Sanskrit), meaning: divided and cut up. There is no reference to such an action of ‘cutting up’ or ‘breaching’ the Setu in this verse of Padma Purana.

chinna mfn. cut off , cut , divided , torn , cut through , perforated AV. &c. ; opened (a wound) Sus3r. ; interrupted , not contiguous Bhag. vi , 36 R. iii , 50 , 12 VarBr2S. ; disturbed (%{kiM’naz’chinnam} , what is there in this to disturb us? “‘ there is nothing to care about Amar.) Hariv. 16258 Mr2icch. ; ? (said of the belly of a leach) Sus3r. ; limited by (in comp.) Bhartr2. iii , 20 ; taken away or out of. R. ii , 56 , 23 Ragh. xii , 80

What Rama did was this. He divided or perforated the Setu in two spots — as boundary markers — creating three segments of 10 yojana each (out of the 30 yojana-long Setu). The chinna was to install the s’ivalinga as he Padma purana verse immediately following this dvidhacinnat reference confirms; the verse number is 135:

The correction translation of the sequence of verses should be as follows:

(130) Hearing this from rAghava, vibhIShaNa responded to him. ‘All that you have ordered shall be obediently executed, O rAghava. (131) (However,) O Lord, this sacred setu of yours could be used by all the people of the world to approach (into laMkA) and therefore should be obstructed. (132) What control do I have in this matter O deva, but this is a need of mine. Hearing these words uttered by the best rAkShasa, The Scion of Raghu (133) took in his hands the missile kArmukaM, and DIVIDED the setu in the middle at two places over a length of ten yojana, (134) therefore dividing it into three parts with a one-yojana gap on the either side. Then approaching the shore-forest, he worshipped mahAdeva the Lord of umA. (135) There he established The Three- Eyed mahAdeva by the name of rAmeshwara. rAma, the Great Prince then prohibited the God sAgara, (136) that the Southern Sea should neither thunder there, nor flow across. Issuing his prohibitions this way, rAma then sent off the God sAgara.

‘DIVIDED’ does NOT mean ‘cutting through’ or creating breaches in the Setu at two places. It just means that two division markers were made to create spaces for installing hte s’ivalingas for worship one each in each segment 10 yojanas long – thus installing three s’ivalingas in the three segments..

If this interpretation of the verb chinnat is not made, the subsequent verses stopping the crossing of the ocean waters beyond the Setu — ocean does NOT flow across the Setu — do not become meainingful. So, chinnat here means only two division markers were made to create three segments of 10 yojanas each.

Clearly following this episode in Padma Purana, Kamba Ramayana version refers to the appointment of two warrior guards — Kappai and Kandanar — at each of the perforated spots to guard the Setu, This is Rama’s answer to the concern of Vibhishana about protecting him since “this sacred setu of yours could be used by all the people of the world to approach (into laMkA) and therefore should be obstructed.”

The interpolated verse in Kamba Ramayana for example iss 170-23.

kappai enum kanniyaiyum, kandanaar taataiyaiyum
appozhude tiruvanaikku kaavalaraay angu irutti
ceppa ariya cilaiyaale tiruvanaiyai vaay keeri
oppu ariyaal tannudane uyar cenai kkadaludane

Appointing lady-warriors called Kappai and Kandanaar to guard the Setu, using an arrow (cilai) marking a line (vaay keeri — line on the end of the Setu). This verse does NOT indicate that Rama destroyed the Setu. (Note: The word keeri has many meanings. In this context of engaging guards to guard the Setu, the line is drawn only as a demarcation of their zone of responsibility) . Two guards to guard at the two division-markers.

And, the tradition has it that he installed three s’ivalinga in each of these three segments. One in Rames’waram, one in Tirukkedees’varam (Talaimannar end) and the third in the middle segment of the Setu. It is the responsibility of the Pacauri Committee who ever is asked to stud the cultural aspects of the project to find this third s’ivalingam. The tradition is emphatic. Kuppuramu’s mother has said that her great grandfather went to this setu-madhya s’ivalingam and offered sankalpam for the 16th child. Pamban Swamigan also sings in Tamil about this setu-maddiyil irukkum s’ivan (s’iva in the middle of Setu).

Kumara Guru Dasa Swamigal or Pamban Swamigal 1848-1929 had sung 6666 songs. In the compilation realated to tirthasthana dars’ana, (referred to in Tamil as Tiruvalam); in the second kaanda ( kavittur-aikal. ), there is a song titled: Tiruccetumatti (In the middle of Rama Setu);

Translation from Tamil rendering is as follows:

In the middle of Rama Setu enveloped by the ocean and the clouds, is the s’ivalinga worshipped by vibhuti-wearing Rama, the Kaakutsa ; I bow down with love imagining S’iva in the form of Kugesa Muruga who is searching for me and finds me.

This and other textual and archaeological evidences are contained in the Second Part of Setubandhanam (Ramar Palam), a book authored by R. Subbarayalu and published in March 2008 by Thanjavur, Mamannan Padippagam, 126 Natcattiranagar, Thanjavur 613005.

Skanda Purana’s third book, Brahmakhandam, opens with a section called Setu-Mahatmya and the 48th and 49th verses from its first chapter known as setu-gamana- phalAdi-varNanam are:

setusaikatamadhyeya H shete tatpAMsukunThitaH |

yAvantaH pAMsavo lagnAstasyAnge viprasattamAH || (48 )

tAvatAM bramhahatyAnAM nASaH syAnnAtra saMSayaH |

setumadhyastha vAten yasyAngaH spR^syate-akhilaM || (49)


(48 ) One, who prostrates in the middle of the Setu’s sandbank (setu-saikata- madhye), his sins becomes dulled. And ultimately his sins are subdued, O Best of the Dvija-s. (49) (So much so), that the grimmest sin that arises from killing a Bramhana, no doubt, even that is destroyed by performing rites there – (when) every part of the (sinner’s) body touches the winds in the middle of the Setu ( setu-madhyastha- vAta ).



About janamejayan

A Viraat Hindu dedicated to spread the message of Paramacharya of Kanchi
This entry was posted in Ramasethu, The farce of Indian Secularism, The persecuted Hindus. Bookmark the permalink.

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