Rama, NW India and Viratnagar

Colour: electric blue

Mnemonic: ROH

Original Clue and Location: Rama NW India.

The clues for this energy pumping station were simple: ‘Rama in NW India; Jodhpur and Jaipur.’ 

Whilst the additional information of Jodhpur and Jaipur helped to focus the search geographically; the word Rama opened up many possibilities.

Later research and insights:

After several years of collecting both small and large clues, a number of possibilities emerged and helped to plan a journey that would hopefully include the place I was searching for:

According to ancient records, the patriarchs and founders of the early civilizations in Egypt, India, China, Peru, Mesopotamia, Britain and the Americas were colonising Serpents of Wisdom, or spiritual masters associated with serpents. These spiritual masters bore names denoting snake or dragon and they oversaw the construction of magnificent civilizations within which they and their descendants served as priest kings and, as the enlightened heads of mystery school traditions (Pinkham, 1997). In India the Serpents of Wisdom were known as Nagas and they were fearsome warriors and spirits whose stories can still be found in NW India today. On this basis, I decided places with names incorporating ‘Naga’ could be worthwhile exploring.

Rama is a popular deity in the Hindu religion and his life and exploits are described in the Indian epic the Ramayana. He is the seventh Avatar of Vishnu and directly descended from the Solar Spirit, hence his name Ra (male) ma (female).  His wife Sita is an Avatar of Lakshmi and, considered by the Hindus to be the perfect embodiment of womanhood. The Ramayana includes many stories, but one of them tells of how Sita is kidnapped whilst she and Rama are in exile; and how Hanuman, the Monkey God, helps Rama to find her again. Perhaps places included in this story, or temples associated with these three main characters would provide pointers?

The ancient Empire of Rama was a solar or serpent dynasty with 7 Rishi Cities that included sacred centres of learning governed by Rishi’s or Nagas. The word ‘Rishi’ means Master or Great Teacher in Sanskrit and hence these Rishi’s were considered the ‘Priest Kings of the Indus Valley’. The Rama Empire flourished at the same time as the pre-dynastic Osirian Empire in Egypt; and legend says the Nagas, or Naacals as they were sometimes known, came into India from Burma, then settled on the Deccan Plateau in the north. Many of these cities survived into historical times and today are identified with some of the ancient cities of Northern India and the Indus Valley (Childress, 1985, 1998). Their capital city, called Deccan, is now the site of the modern city of Nagpur. Other Rishi cities included Harappa, sometimes called Brahminadad, near Sahiwal in modern day Pakistan; Mohenjo-Daru, meaning the ‘Mound of the Dead’, about 150 miles south of Harappa; Kot Diji, near Mohenjo-Daru; Kalibanga; Mathura; and Lothal, which was a port in Gujarat. Some sources also mention Benares and Pataliputra as possible Rishi cities. All these cities were highly developed and advanced, laid out on a common plan; and with plumbing and sewerage systems providing private toilets and running water to most houses. Whilst all this information was interesting, none of the locations or names of these ancient cities called to me; rather it was increasingly clear the focus of my search had to be around Jodhpur and Jaipur.

An old friend from New Zealand had also mentioned a place called ‘Ramgarh’, which is about 35km east of Jaipur. Ramgarh was the location of a Maharajah’s hunting lodge, with a dammed lake and surrounded by ancient hills that are said to have a very special energy. I decided this was another clue worth following up.

In addition to these clues, the area of Rajasthan in NW India is also significant geologically and known for its magnificent forts and palaces, built mainly of old red sandstone and often found on the tops of sandstone outcrops. It is also known for its marble, which was quarried at Markana and used to decorate ancient palaces, the most famous of which is the Taj Mahal. Given the energy often associated with sandstones and the history of the area, there were bound to be many stunning landscapes and special buildings to see and explore. 

My trip to NW India, was to last just over two weeks and ended up as a ‘figure of eight’ trip from Delhi, with its Red fort and palaces; heading south to Agra, with the Taj Mahal and its Red fort; then west to  Jaipur, with the Amber palace, Jaipur palaces and Ramgarh; then northwest to Bikaner, which had been the furthest point north on the ancient trading routes with a fort that had never been defeated; southwest to Nagaur, with its red fort and ‘pleasure palace’ built at an oasis on an ancient trading route; then south to Jodhpur and the Mehrangarh fort located on a stunning red sandstone outcrop; and finally back to Delhi by plane.

Map of Rajasthan, NW India

Following the clues on the ground: November 2012

Given the large distances to be covered and hot climate, everything was organised so I would have the same driver for the whole trip, whilst travelling comfortably in an air-conditioned car. It was a little luxury, but well worth it. At each of the main locations there would be a guide with detailed local knowledge, who would be able to provide insights ‘on the ground’, so to speak; that would hopefully lead to the place I was searching for. As always, the right guide was provided at the right time and I learnt a great deal, which wasn’t in any guide book. In addition, were the experiences of both humble and spectacular places with stunning energy that took my breath away. I had allowed for three days in and around Jaipur; with one day for visiting the standard tourist sites including the Amber Palace and the Palace of the Winds. The other two days were totally left open for further exploration. 

On the first of these exploration days I visited Ramgarh, the place recommended by my friend from New Zealand, about 35km east of Jaipur. The village of Ramgarh was like many others in Rajasthan, with a semi-surfaced road running through the middle; brightly coloured food stands and stalls along the roadside; and lots of people milling around. Plus, the ubiquitous group of old men in whitish tunics and red turbans, sitting around a stove, holding cups of tea and watching the world go by. Further on we reached the dam. Sadly, the lake was no longer there, although visitors still traverse the dam to reach the old Maharajah’s hunting lodge, which is now a luxury hotel. Standing on the dam wall, looking out across the valley, it was easy to envisage the wide expanse that used to be a major water reservoir for the city of Jaipur. A rusty sign with flaking paint announced the dam formed a boundary for the Jamwa Ramgarh Wildlife Sanctuary. The name sanctuary belies the reality hidden beneath the scrubby trees and undergrowth. The area is scarred by old mines and the many leopards, hyenas, antelopes and wild boar that used to roam freely have long gone; driven out by loss of habitat, water and hunting. Another aging sign recorded the hosting of the 1982 Asia Games here, with specially built steps and seats overlooking the lake, allowing visitors to view the water-based events. It would have been a wonderful setting. Nowadays, water from the river that used to feed the lake is diverted upstream for irrigation and agriculture and the lake finally dried up in 2007. Sadly, the whole place looked run down and was now covered with grasses and low bushes, with small groups of goats and cattle grazing quietly. Despite the visible scruffiness there was a distinct feeling of calm, as a gentle breeze carried the sounds of bellowing buffalo with ringing bells around their necks; and the distinctive call of peacocks as they strutted through the scrubby bushes. In the far distance were cultivated fields, with a single tractor chugging its way across the valley floor; so clearly the sediment from the lake bottom was very fertile. Standing guard protectively above this peaceful scene, was a hillside littered with many large rock guardians that nature had eroded into distinctive, animal-like faces. Where once there had been mining, dam building, hunting and the Asian Games, there was now calm and serenity as Nature reclaimed the place. 

Following the road to the right of the dam and up a winding valley floor, we came to an open area with several heavily loaded ancient trucks and camels about to set off on their travels. This valley had been lived in for well over a thousand years and there are said to be the remains of ancient temples, forts and small palaces, high up on the hillsides; but they are hard to see because they are derelict and blend in with the natural rock faces. We had stopped to visit a wonderful ancient Durga temple, dedicated to the female goddess Jamvaya Mata, and surrounded by sacred banyan trees, which are often associated with ancient sacred places in India. According to legend, this temple was one of the original ones to be established in this valley more than 1,000 years ago; and the location is guarded by many rock beings that look down benignly from the hillsides above.

Durga temple – ancient banyan tree
A peek inside the Goddess temple of Jamvaya Mat

After taking off our shoes we climbed several levels of outer courtyards, with me constantly asking permission of the guardian energies of the site to enter each area. Each time the answer was a very welcoming ‘yes’. In the main courtyard was a huge, banyan tree with a creeper growing round it, that arched over the ancient temple roof. This tree, with its single trunk, was clearly the ‘guardian’ of this space. Normally banyan trees have multiple trunks and a very feminine feel to them; and there were several of these on the hillside around the temple and reaching over the walls from below. However, this tree appeared to hold both a male and female balanced energy; and around its thick base were tied colourful strands of red and gold wool. Apparently young men and women tie these threads around the tree when they are looking for a wife or husband, asking the goddess to bring them luck. After they are married, they return and remove the thread, giving thanks both for their union and future fertility. Whilst we were there two young men arrived, one soon to be married, and left gifts including a wedding invitation for the goddess. 

Just visible, on the hillside above and behind the main temple, was a locked door. Perhaps this was the entrance to a cave and the oldest and original shrine to ‘the goddess’? Unfortunately, there was no way of finding out. We were told there was a pre-incarnation of Jamvaya Mata known as Woodvaya Mata and she could be seen in a small recess within the main temple, in the form of a cow and calf statue. After offering gifts and giving thanks to ‘the goddess’, we returned to the banyan tree as more people entered the courtyard to ask for her blessing. The energy from the tree felt wonderfully soft and yet strong at the same time; and my hands started to tingle long before I was standing next to it.  Whilst the area around Ramgarh wasn’t the place I was looking for, the configuration of the surrounding hills with their guardian rocks, together with its ancient sacred places, did have a beautiful energy; and there was the distinct feeling the temple of Jamvaya Mata was ‘holding’ the feminine energy and acting as a ‘balancing point’.

The city of Nagaur

During the planning of this trip, the city of Nagaur had been included as a possible location for an ‘energy pumping station’, given the obvious links between its name and the Naga Serpents of Wisdom. As it turned out, the place I was looking for was near Jaipur; but the city of Nagaur still provided some interesting insights into Ancient India and the Nagas. My guide at Nagaur and Jodhpur was one Jaydeep Rathore of the clan of Rajput, who was also a well-known local historian. He provided many insights concerning Nagas, snakes, legends and the colourful history of Nagaur: 

  • The Nagas were the Warrior Caste and their deity was the snake. The Naga devotees of Shiva worshipped in different forms including the Lingam, or Phallus Stone. There is more archaeological evidence of Shiva than any of the other Hindu Gods; and the archaeological evidence in the Indus Valley shows Shiva with snakes. 
  • Seshnag is the name of a snake and in Jodhpur there is a painting of Vishnu, the Preserver of the Universe, resting on Seshnag, who is shown as a many-faced snake, in a milky ocean.
  • The ancient Hindu monks of a NAG community near Jodhpur had many different stories about the Nagas
  • Shiva is a God of energy and his energy flows into the world through the Nagas
  • The family deity of the Rajput clan and indeed of the Rajput royal family is ‘NAGNECHA’ MATA – a goddess rising from the mouth of a snake. Her main shrine, called Nagana, is 70 km to the west of Jodhpur near present day Barmer. 
  • The ancient capital of the Rathore clan of Rajput is at Mandore, where they ruled from the 3rd century AD. To this day there are the remains of a fort and old temples with sculptures of local deities.

The fort at Nagaur was built by the Naga kings and its name ‘Nag–iCHATTERi-Nag’ means many headed snake; a snake that can turn into any form it wants including man or animal. The Naga kings chose this location in the 4th century BC and its ancient city is mentioned in the Maharabat epic. The city was captured by Arjun who renamed it Nag(a)pura. Note: this is not the same place as the capital city of the Rama Empire called Deccan that became the modern-day city of Nagpur in central India. The city of Nagaur was founded on the banks of an old river called Saraswati and archeological evidence shows an ancient civilization living in a fertile area. When the river dried up and the area turned into desert, Nagaur was still an important stop-off point on the ancient trading routes, which Europeans called the Silk Routes; trading spices and precious stones e.g. rubies, clothes and fabrics of silk and cotton. 

The oldest temple within the fort at Nagaur is the Krishna Temple, built in 17th century; whilst the oldest Muslim/Sufi temple dates from 15th century and is located in the old city. In the 12th century the original mud fort and palaces were rebuilt in local sandstone, with outside walls covered in a coating of crushed lime and sandstone, thus giving them their ubiquitous red colour.

Nagaur – Frieze of many-headed snake
Nagaur – Shiva and snakes
Many-headed snake in Nagaur temple

The palace buildings seen within the fort today were built in the 17th century during the time of Maharajah Gut Singh I, who was a minister of Shah Jehan (of Taj Mahal fame). It seems Gut Singh was a romantic who fell in love with Anara, the wife of another minister. Every day Anara would watch Gut Singh from her balcony as he went by. Then one day, as he passed, she jumped onto the back of his elephant and they disappeared together. Her husband searched for her but to no avail, as Gut Singh had built a palace for her inside the fort at Nagaur; a palace which became a palace of pleasure.

‘Energy Pumping Station’ location and description:

Having headed north on the Delhi road out of Jaipur, as far as Shahpura, we turned eastwards to Viratnagar (also called Bairat on some maps). The location is about 80km north of Jaipur and 66km west of Alwar. My guide had heard about an ancient temple said to be some 4000 years old, which he thought might be the place I was looking for. That, combined with the inclusion of ‘naga’ in the name, suggested this would definitely be a worthwhile place to visit. It was the kind of innocuous clue that in the past had proved very fruitful. It turned out my guide had never been there himself and so we stopped at a hotel along the way for a cup of coffee and to pick up a local guide. 

The history of the small town of Bairat goes back to the time of the epic of the Mahabharata around 1100 BC. In the epic, the area is said to have been the site of the ancient capital city of the Matsyadesa kingdom founded by king Varat. His city was called Viratnagar and the hills around are reputed to be where the five Pandavas heroes of the epic, spent the thirteenth year of their time in exile. The kingdom and its capital city later became part of the ancient Iron Age Empire of Maurya (382 – 185 BC).  Nothing remains of the ancient city today, although archaeological finds, including the site I visited, indicate the area has been lived in since antiquity.

Viratnagar – sign at bottom of the hill

We pulled into a car park below a hillside covered in huge rounded granite boulders with large quartz crystals clearly visible. A nearby sign, from the Archaeological Survey of India, announced this was the sacred hill of ‘Bijak-ki-pahadi’. The sign told how excavations carried out in 1935-36 had yielded the remains of a circular Buddhist shrine, dating from the time of the Mauryan Empire (382 – 185 BC), with a diameter of 8.23m and made of brickwork alternating with twenty-six octagonal pillars of wood. The central shrine had been preceded by monastic remains with a double row of cells arranged around an open courtyard. These are said to be the oldest known free-standing Buddhist structures in India and are believed to date from at least the 3rd century BC. 

From the moment we walked onto the pathway at the bottom of the hill, it was clear this was going to be a very special place. The route was well made and incorporated cobbles and stones of local sandstone, granite, and mica schist, a highly metamorphosed rock. There was no doubt it was a much visited and popular site too, given the wear untold footsteps had made on the stone cobbles. This location was nothing like any of the previous ‘energy pumping stations’ I’d found, but the energy that emanated from the hillside felt familiar. It was clearly a sacred place and local legend talked of people worshipping here for an anticipated 4,000 years. Whilst the circular Buddhist shrine had been there since 3rd century BC, I had no doubt that at least one other feature on the hillside had been a place of ‘pilgrimage’ for hundreds, if not thousands of years before that. After ten minutes of climbing and cheerfully saying ‘hello’ and asking permission to pass to the many rock beings encountered along the way, I came round a bend in the pathway and simply burst into laughter as a surge of energy went through my body. 

Serpent rock and entrance to temple
Serpent rock guardian

There in front of me was a huge, elongated granite rock, which nature had eroded into the head of a giant serpent, complete with eyes. It was no wonder the serpent/dragon energy felt so strong here. At the base of the serpent rock was an old temple dedicated to the monkey god Hanuman, who had helped Rama to rescue the kidnapped Sita in the epic Ramayana. Local legend tells of a holy man who had ‘seen’ an imprint of Hanuman on the underside of the rock face, near its base. He had declared the place sacred and built the tiny, simple temple that is still there today. To one side of the serpent rock was an old well-worn awning and a few red prayer flags. Beneath the awning was a small, low entrance to an inner chamber, which had to be crawled through on hands and knees. Once inside it was easy to see where the underside of the serpent rock was marked in orange and said to highlight the shape of Hanuman. To my eyes the shape looked more like a snake that was uncoiling itself, but then I am biased. A small wall had been built to enclose the space and there was a fire in the niche formed between the base of the descending granite rock and the dirt and granite floor. A holy man, dressed simply in a loin cloth and turban, crouched in front of the fire saying his prayers, but left soon after a gaggle of school girls joined us. 

Viratnagar – Serpent rock guardian

This serpent rock guardian was the first of a series of sacred areas that went up the side of the hill; all filled with, or surrounded by, these wonderful giant granite boulders with lots of guardian rock beings looking on. The large quartz crystals incorporated in the granite boulders, gave the whole hillside and valley a buzz of energy. Above it and looking directly down on the serpent were the remains of the circular Buddhist shrine described earlier. Walking round the circle of stones, it was clear to see they had been burnt at one time, but that hadn’t affected the energy coming from the hillside at all. It didn’t feel appropriate to walk inside the centre of the circle; instead, standing next to it, I was aware of a quiet absence of energy; almost like a quiver of anticipation. Standing there quietly to one side, feeling gentle waves of energy flowing through me from the hillside, a sense of sheer joy pervaded everything and I just couldn’t stop smiling. The energy from the location was both delightful and uplifting and, with children around, laughter filled the air. The school children, who had joined me in the small temple to Hanuman beneath the serpent rock guardian, were both chatty and inquisitive; asking many questions about my name, where I had come from, saying hello and calling me ‘Auntie’. They even offered to share their lunch with me, but I politely declined saying we would be eating later. Further up the hill was another flat area with more granite boulders, but the children weren’t allowed to come this far up. The local guide wasn’t that keen to climb up either, but I insisted. It was only when we got up there, I learnt the area was apparently home to a colony of black cobras. Fortunately, the cobras hibernate in holes beneath the rocks during the winter and normally only appear in summer months; and whilst their holes were highly visible, there was no danger of being confronted by an angry snake.         

Looking down from this highpoint, gave an even better perspective of this sacred hillside. 

Buddhist shrine with Serpent rock guardian to the right

In my mind’s eye, I could ‘see’ a vortex of energy swirling around the blackened stones that remained of the circular Buddhist shrine, with the Serpent rock guardian looking on protectively. Whilst the energy in the circle was muted, I was in no doubt this hillside was the ‘energy pumping station’ I was searching for.  It was also apparent that when the moment was right, the vortex would be activated. The sign at the base of the hill had called this sacred place ‘Bijak-ki-pahadi’. There was no doubt it was a place of stunning energy. As we left, I realised I had been smiling from ear to ear for the whole time of our visit.

From the vantage point of the home of the black cobras, it was clear the hill overlooked a fertile valley and, if the local legends of the Mahabharata epic were to be believed, this would indeed have provided an ideal hiding place for its Pandavas heroes during their 13th year of exile. 

In the distance a shining, white building stood out clearly; this was next on our list of places to visit and, after a fifteen-minute drive we arrived at a Jain Temple, atop another huddle of giant granite boulders with huge quartz crystals in them. As with the sacred hillside and its serpent rock guardian, there was a similar buzz of energy, but with a difference. Whilst the Jain Temple was clearly a stunning, sacred building, it held no attraction energetically. 

Jain Temple perched on granite boulders

In this location there was no pull to climb the steep steps to the top. But, on the basis that everything happens for a reason, there was clearly a purpose behind our drive to this place. As we drove away from the Jain temple, we discovered that reason, when we came across a small sign in Hindi with a black cobra painted beneath it. The sign pointed down a narrow track into a farm yard and there, in one corner was an ‘open-air’ temple, surrounded by a white painted wall, covered in black cobra paintings. Four elderly men in white traditional dress and turbans were sitting on a nearby bench and, as we pulled in, they were clearly passing the time of day, as elderly men do all over India, discussing the ways of the world over a cup of tea or chai. Their spokesman told us this was the home of a ‘snake man’ and his temple was called ‘Bhomiag’. Twenty years ago, his body had been taken over by a ‘Naga Spirit’, which had instructed him in the ways of the healer. It was he who had built the open-air temple and his role now was to help heal local people of snakebite. The old men told us he had been called out earlier in the day to a nearby village and so wasn’t around at the time of our visit. Reminded that Nagas were the name of the old ‘serpents of wisdom’ in India, I asked permission to look around the outside of the temple, just observing it. A ‘yes’ answer came and so I slowly started to walk the perimeter. There were several, noticeable energy flows including one which seemed to flow out the back into the fields beyond. In addition to the many paintings of black cobras, were several of red tridents, another symbol said to have originated with the ‘Serpents of Wisdom’ (Pinkham, 1997). There was no doubt this special place had a direct, spiritual and energetic link to the ancient Naga spirits. It was a balancing point for the valley, its hills and sacred places. With my guide translating, I invited the old men to choose a crystal from the small pouch I kept in my pocket, plus one for the snake man when he returned. One old man selected a milky-white stone, because he said it was the colour of the ‘snake’. We left with smiles all round and thanks for being guided to this beautiful space.

‘Bhomiag’, Temple of the ‘Snake’ Man
Rear view of temple with red tridents and black cobra

As we drove back to Jaipur, there was no doubt in my mind we had found the energy pumping station I was searching for.

Local geology:

Rajasthan is crossed by the Aravalli range of hills, which stretch from Mount Abu at 1722m and Udaipur in the south west; and heading north east 800km to Delhi. These are the oldest fold hills in India and they are rich in minerals. The hills are predominantly sandstones, granites and quartzite, a metamorphosed sandstone that gives the impression of distant snow-covered hills. There are also limestones, which were crushed to make the lime mortar used as a base for the beautiful stucco paintings found in many opulent palaces. The limestone now provides the basis for a thriving cement business. Where the limestone has been metamorphosed by high pressures and temperatures deep underground, the resulting marble has been used to adorn many sacred buildings, including the Taj Mahal; causing them to shimmer and shine in bright sunlight like mirages in a desert. 

Local legends:

The two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India are the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Both oral epics are still alive and preserved by a caste of wandering Bhopas, who are said to have been chosen for this task by the deity Pabuji. The stories are said to be handed down from father to son and the memory feats of the Bhopas are highly respected within all communities. People will come from miles around during religious festivals, to hear these stories told; even when the storytelling can last several days. Sadly, the skill of storytelling is becoming a lost art. It seems one totally unexpected consequence of children being encouraged to go to school, has been the loss of their ability to memorize the lengthy sequences of verses these epics contain. For the moment though, the stories are being kept alive and there is even a storyteller’s street in Peshawar known as Qissa Khawani.

The Ramayana epic: tells the story of the events of Rama’s incarnation on earth as the seventh avatar of the Hindu God Vishnu. He is pictured as the ideal man and the perfect human; and was born as the eldest son of Kausalya and Dasharatha, the king of Ajodhya. For the sake of his father’s honour, Rama abandons his claim to the throne of Ajodhya and together with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana they spend fourteen years in exile together. Whilst in exile, Sita is kidnapped by Ravana, the monarch of Lanka. After a long and arduous search that tests his personal strength and virtue, Rama fights a colossal war against Ravana’s armies. In this war of powerful and magical beings, greatly destructive weaponry and battles, Rama slays Ravana and liberates his wife. Having completed his exile, Rama returns to be crowned king in Ajodhya, the capital of his kingdom and eventually becomes emperor, ruling with happiness, peace, prosperity and justice.

Rama’s courage in searching for Sita and fighting a terrible war to rescue his wife, and their honour, is complemented by Sita’s absolute devotion to her husband’s love; and perfect chastity despite being Ravana’s captive. Rama’s younger brothers, namely Lakshmana, Shatrughna and Bharata strongly complement his piety, virtue and strength. This piety and virtue also attract powerful and devoted allies such as Hanuman and the Vanaras of Kishkindha, with whose help he rescues Sita. The legend of Rama is deeply influential and popular in Indian society where he is revered for his unending compassion, courage and devotion to religious values and duty.

David Hatcher Childress writes of how the Ramayana also tells of how the Atlanteans had airships, which were similar in appearance to Zeppelins. The Indians called these airships Vimanas, whilst the Atlanteans are said to have called them Vailixi. The Ramayana describes a Vimana as being a double-decked, cylindrical shape with portholes and a dome. It is said to have flown with the ‘speed of the wind’ and made a ‘melodious sound’ or humming noise. The ancient Indians are also said to have written entire flight manuals for the airships, which mention the ‘Samara Sutradhara’, a scientific treaty dealing with air travel. Based on these stories, some historians have conjectured that perhaps the famous Nazca lines were laid out from the air, using one of these Vimanas. Certainly, some Nazca pottery has drawings of Zeppelin type airships similar to those described in this Indian epic (Childress, 1985, 1998).

The Mahabharata is an epic narrative of the Kurukshetra War between the five sons of King Pandu, called the Pandava princes and their rival cousins the Kauravas brothers. The main plot line of the epic tells the history and genealogy behind this rivalry; the many adventures of the Pandava princes during their 13 years in exile, when they prepare alliances for a possible future conflict; the final year when legend says they hid themselves on the sacred hill of ‘Bijak-ki-pahadi’ and in disguise in the court of Virata, before being discovered; and the final battles and eventual victory over their cousins. The oldest preserved parts of the text are thought to be not much older than around 400 BC, though the origins of the epic probably fall between the 8th and 9th centuries BC. The title Mahabharata is normally translated as ‘the great tale of the Bhārata dynasty’; and it is known as the longest epic poem to have ever been written. The longest version consists of over 100,000 verse couplets, or over 200,000 individual verse lines and long prose passages. At about 1.8 million words in total, the Mahabharata is roughly ten times the length of the ‘Iliad’ and the ‘Odyssey’ combined, or about four times the length of the Ramayana. 

Later observations and insights:

For several months after my trip to India, I connected in daily to the sacred hillside and its ‘energy pumping station’ just to check that all was well. Whilst the site clearly needs no help, I still continue to check in regularly and when prompted, to keep up the energetic connection. The energy that emanates from this hillside and out into the surrounding countryside, comes from a stunning, bowl-shaped vortex of spinning opalescent white and rainbow-coloured light that is grounded deep in the earth below. More recently, the vortex has changed into a pillar of swirling opalescent light, with rainbow coloured threads running through it. In addition, the frequency of energy from the vortex appears to oscillate, presumably influenced by the many cycles and influxes of energy the Earth is experiencing. I have also connected in with the temple and sacred space of the Naga healer, but only when given permission to do so. Even without connecting in, it is clear this sacred space helps to ground the energy of the area and keep everything in balance. 

Works Cited

Childress, D. (1985, 1998). Lost Cities of Northern India and the Indus Valley. Illinois, USA: Adventures Unlimited Press.
Hitching, F. (1978). The World Atlas of Mysteries. London: Pan Books.
Pinkham, M. (1997). The Return of the Serpents of Wisdom. Illinois, USA: Adventures Unlimited Press.

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