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From: M K Sudarshan (
Date: Wed Jul 02 1997 - 03:25:54 PDT

Apropos Sri.Sadagopan's, Prof.Vasudha's and Sri.Vijay Srinivasan's
interesting observations on "dveepams" and "meru" mountains.

I've always wondered how relevant the various "geographical landmarks"
quoted in our various ritual-litanies are !

Sri.Srinivasan, for instance, talks of the whereabouts of the Meru which
perhaps is now non-existent !

But perhaps in some pre-glacial era it might have physically existed.
Geologists state that the large mass of the Indian sub-continent was once a
glacial mass out at sea in the India Ocean moving in a northerly direction
from the Antartic area. The mass moved, they say, at an average speed of 1
inch every twelve years!

The mass reached the Asian mainland many aeons ago and in the geological
collision which took place then the mountain systems of the Himalayas rose
and began towering above mean sea-level.

So goes the plate-tectonic theory !

Is it possible then to speculate that all the various references to
"dveepams", "khAndams", "meru" etc. in our ritual-litanies refer to
geographic co-ordinates of a glacial age when mainland India was really a
piece of land floating out at sea in the expanse of the Indian/Antartic oceans ?

If so, then what is the relevance of all the "dweepam" litanies we repeat in
our modes of worship and ritual when all they do relate to are glacier-age
territory and landscapes ? 

The question I ask is really born out of curiosity. It is not being asked in
a bid to question the validity of the hallowed litanies.