Thursday, 23 June 2016

Greece to Cambodia: Our Neighbours

Map: Greece to Cambodia: Our Neighbours

Authorship and Copyright Notice: All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula
First let us attempt to understand the European angle on Indian History.
Geography: In the map below, I want us to look at the land route from Greece to India, through Istanbul, Turkiye (Turkey), Persia (Iran, Iraq), Gandhar (Afganisthan), Kekeya (Pakisthan)., or Arabia and the Indian Ocean. The British could have heard about us only through the Europeans, who could have only heard of us through the Persians and the Arabians. They had no real direct idea about us. The Spanish being the ‘western most’ Europeans, hoped they could find a sea route to India via the Atlantic Ocean, because they underestimated the size of the earth and they wanted to be free of Arab control. The ‘Mediterranean Sea Religions’ Jews (Judaism – 1500 BC), Christianity (0 BC),  and the “Red Sea Religion” Islam (600 AD) are all from the west coast of ancient Arabia. (The Mediterranean coast belongs to Israel now, I want us to focus on geography for a bit and not the political boundaries.)
Why Europeans know Egypt:
  • The Mediterranean sea closely connects the South of Europe (Spain, France, Italy, Greece etc) to the North of Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Egypt). It is no surprise that the Europeans are aware of Egypt and accept its antiquity.
  • The Jews left Egypt around 1500 BC and Jesus is said to have lived there with his parents till King Herod died. So they were familiar with Egypt.
Alexander, Seleucus, Megasthanes : The first Greek Contact
  • There is evidence from non Greek sources, that Alexander defeated a weakened Persia and Egypt. See Map:
  • Alexander the Greek did not cross The Sindhu River and the Hindu Kush mountain range in modern Pakisthan.
  • Plutarch collected Oral Legends much after Alexander’s death and wrote the biography of Alexander.
  • There are only legends concerning his battle with Porus (Puru) of Kekeya (Pakisthan) with both sides claiming victory. Whoever won, it is clear that Puru not only retained his kingdom but also got a piece of Taxila, which allied with Alexander. Is it because Alexander lost the battle OR because the man who slaughtered his own mercenaries after the battle was all of a sudden generous in victory, unlike in Persia and Egypt?
  • Either way Alexander went back, and his general Seleucus lost another battle before concluding a treaty with Sandrokottus.
  • Alexander tooks some Brahmans back with him and some account of these conversations you can find here.
The net effect of this is that to Europeans, India became “real” only after Alexander. Since they believe only their legends and not ours, they dismiss everything before Alexander as mythical with the single exception of Buddha’s birth. Which is a pity! Annoying but a pity nevertheless. The real pain is our Macaulay affected mainstream historians to whom anything that the Europeans say is gospel and anything that Indians say is a myth.😦  :(  :(
Now let us take a look at  Africa.
Somalia being the eastern-most African country and being closest to us is additionally interesting because Ravana’s maternal grandfather’s name was Sumali. The sea route from Somalia to Kerala and Sri Lanka is practically on the same latitude. The presence of Meru mountains in Africa as well as Murugan as a deity there are points of interest.
And now let us take a look at  Arabia.
Sur (Oman) is the closest point to India on almost the same latitude as a direct sea route toDwaraka from Arabia.
Let us come back to our eastern neighbours again at a later time.

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