Politicians of the day have made it seem like that the dispute over Cauvery water sharing is a conflict without a solution. They have been so successful in this that today farmers of the riparian states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu believe there is no life for them without Cauvery waters and hence are willing to stake their life for the cause.
In reality, this is yet another example of how a short-sighted vision can complicate matters for one and all. There can be, and there is, a prosperous life for farmers of the riparian states beyond Cauvery waters. The concept of water sharing in India, is as old as the early civilization of the land. History stands testimony to this.
The sharing of waters went on without any noticeable acrimony till the 1960s. Till then, there existed arrangements among people which ensured that what was available was shared amicably among the riparian states in an equitable manner. One such arrangement was a formal agreement entered into in 1860 between the Mysore Maharaja Government and the Madras Presidency, under British administration for how the waters of the Cauvery would be shared for the next 100 years. In 1960, this 100-year agreement came to an end but was not renewed by those in power.
But more than such agreements, what had ensured a harmonious sharing was the fact that both these states did not solely depend upon River Cauvery for their water needs. They had a decentralized form of water harnessing called the Chain Tank System, which met their water needs. The Cauvery was only a supplementary source to the Chain Tank System. However, in the last 50 years of modern development, both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have neglected the decentralized form of water harnessing, the Chain Tank System, which was a sustainable form of water replenishing.
The Chain Tank system of the Carnatic was conceived and built about 1500 years ago, around 500 CE to 900 CE. It was built on the leeward side of the Western Ghats taking into cognizance the gradient of the land, sloping towards the Bay of Bengal. This region was known as the Carnatic.
Every village in this region had tanks which formed part of a Chain Tank System. The tanks were called Kere in Karnataka, Eri in Tamil Nadu and Cheruvu in Andhra Pradesh. In a chain, the Kere, Eri and Cheruvu of every village was linked to the other, right from the Western Ghats to Bay of Bengal. Rain waters were collected and stored in these local tanks as and when the rains came. Once a tank filled up, the overflow was channelled to the next in the gradient. The water thus collected flowed through every village of the Carnatic, from the slopes of the Western Ghats to the Bay of Bengal. This chain of tanks ensured that every village in this region got water irrespective of whether it had rained there or not.
This Chain Tank was decentralized and did not depend only on Cauvery waters. Just as the river Cauvery uses the gradient to flow from Western Ghats, the Chain Tank system too used the same gradient of land. Cauvery was an arterial river in this web of feeder and distribution canals.
The ingenuity lies in how the rain water was harnessed in this land across generations, ensuring prosperity to the land for thousands of years.
However, in the last 50 years of modern development, this Chain Tank System has become defunct. The decentralized approach which was the back bone of the Agrarian society has been replaced by a centralized approach of solely depending on Cauvery for both agriculture and industries as well as for water table management. This has created an unnecessary strain on the water resources.
Though there exists a web of feeder canals to and from the Cauvery and the Chain Tanks, they are blocked with silt owing to lack of maintenance over the last seven decades. Making them functional again will create a situation for balancing water between the Chain Tank and the river.
Water sharing agreements, however satisfying they may be, only address rainy season needs. The real sustainable solution lies in making the decentralized system of water harnessing using the Chain Tank System, functional again. This system can harness the water when it rains, where it rains and make it available to the people when they need it, in every nook and corner of the land. The surplus waters from this system, which will be in plenty when the system functions, can be shared with the rivers like Cauvery of this region. The excess from the rivers such as Cauvery, when in spate can also be shared with the Chain Tanks, thus balancing the water flows. This will ensure that seasonal floods and droughts are avoided.
As a civilized society, if we can restore what our ancestors had created for us, we can again be prosperous and harmonious for centuries to come.
Ideally, the acrimony over scarce Cauvery waters should have pushed modern-day politicians and administrators to clever ways of harnessing waters. Sadly, it has been long used as a political tool. In reality a solution to this vexed problem in not so far away. It is just a few decades back in the past.
(The authors are the founders of Bharath Gyan, a Knowledge Foundation. More on their work can be found at http://www.bharathgyan.com)
The word Vimana comprises of Vi, “the sky” and Mana, meaning, “measure”. Vimana is one that measures the sky as it traverses through it. Indian legends have many stories of Vimana.
By far, the most popular of them is that of Pushpaka Vimana which was used by Rama to return from Lanka to Ayodhya along with Sita, after vanquishing Ravana.
This Pushpaka Vimana was the one in which Vibhishana, the then crowned King of Lanka, brought Rama and the entire entourage to Ayodhya. This particular Pushpaka Vimana which was in the Airport hangar of Ravana, originally belonged to Ravana’s step brother, Kubera, from whom Ravana took it.
The six airports of Ravana
Ravana had many Vimana in his aero plane hangar. Infact, Ravana had six airports in his kingdom of Lanka. They being,
1. Weragantota in Mahiyangana -In the Sinhalese language, this word means a place for an aircraft to land.
2. Thotupola Kanda at Hoton Plains–The word Thotupola means a port, a place that one touches during one’s journey. Kanda means rock. Thotupola Kanda is a flat land over a rocky range at a height of 6000 feet from sea level. So this means that it could only have been a port of call for a transport vehicle that could travel in air. So it must have been an airport and not a sea port. The present airport of Sri Lanka at Colombo, is called Videsha BandaranayakeGuwan Thotupola in Sinhala where again Guwan means air and Thotupola means port.
3. Usangoda on the southern coast
4. Wariyapola in Kurunegala
5. Wariyapola in Mattale – the word Wariyapola is said to have been derived from Watha-ri-ya-pola meaning place for landing and takeoff of aircrafts.
6. Gurulupotha in Mahiyangana – the word Gurulupotha in Sinhalese means parts of birds, indicating this to be an aircraft hangar or repair centre.
Ravana’s six airports in the Sri Lankan map
Lanka – A land of many Vimana
Apart from the Pushpaka Vimana, Ravana owned many other Vimana too. Ravana probably used these Vimana to travel to different parts of Lanka as well as outside Lanka.This is also borne out by the following sloka in the Valmiki Ramayana.
Rama tells Lakshmana, as they fly over Lanka in the Pushpaka Vimana, after the victory over Ravana.
Lanka shines on the earth
Studded with many Vimana
As if it is the capital of Vishnu
Covered with white clouds.
Valmiki Ramayana, Yuddha Khanda, Sarga 20
The one other well mentioned Vimana that was used by Ravana, is Dandu Monara. In the local Sinhalese language. Monara means Mayura, peacock and Dandu Monara means “that which can fly resembling a peacock”.
Model of Dandu Monara Vimana
Galle Face Hotel lnsignia
The story of Ravana flying in Vimana with his wife Mandodari is etched as the insignia in the most famous hotel, Galle Face Hotel of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Ravana and Mandodari in the Vimana at Galle Face Hotel Insignia, Dandu Monara Vimana, 1864
Galle Face Hotel – Colombo, Courtesy Lankapura.com
The texts like Ramayana and other Puranic texts speak about the stories of Vimana. The technical details on Vimana is available in a few other texts of India. The more prominent among these is the Vaimanika Shastra written by Maharishi Bharadwaja.
In writing this treatise, Maharishi Bharadwaja states that he was only compiling information available at his time for various Vimana and that most of them were prior to his times. He mentions about 120 different Vimana that were there in different times in different lands. He also gives glimpses of fuels used, aeronautics, avionics, metallurgy and other maneuvers that were deployed in flying these Vimana.
English translation of Vaimanika Sastra by Subbaraya Shastry and G. R. Josyer
In the late 19th century, a scholar from near Mysore, Anekal Subbaraya Shastry happened to come across these texts which he translated into English titled, “Vymaanika- Shaastra Aeronautics”. The details given in this book have opened up many vistas into insights into flying machines of yore. It is now for the coming generation to take a leaf out of these texts, the puranic legends and the applicability situation in present days, research on the content and see what lessons can be learnt for present and future application in the field of metallurgy, power transmission, power generational and aeronautical sciences.
More on Vimana is mentioned in our book is mentioned in our book, “Ramayana in Lanka”, and “Historical Rama” which are a part of the Bharath Gyan Series.
The authors D K Hari and D K Hema Hari are founders of Bharath Gyan who have written 10 books and 2 films. They can be followed at Facebook and Twitter.
The Hari couple are conceptualizers and founders of Bharath Gyan, a research initiative, engaged in collating the knowledge of India and its pan global ties through the ages, from a scientific, rational and integrated perspective.
In times when the gap between traditional knowledge of India and the manner in which knowledge is assimilated by the present generation, seems to be widening further and further, the Hari couple through their Bharath Gyan initiative, have been efforting to bridge this gap by culling out the traditional knowledge from various sources, including present day scholars and presenting it in a manner suited to modern day understanding of sciences, history and economics.
Bharath Gyan collates and approaches the knowledge from an interdisciplinary and holistic angle.
The purpose behind this research and compilation are …
# to disseminate and build awareness of the ancient knowledge of India
# to be able to identify applications if any, to meet present day needs
# to be able to identify areas where modern science can benefit from pointers in traditional knowledge systems and
# to organize a collaborative platform to network scholars both modern and traditional, for further research in potential areas.
They have jointly authored 9 books and 2 films, that span a wide spectrum of disciplines such as …
# Sciences of India (with book and film Creation – Srishti Vignana)
# History of India (Historical Rama, Ramayana In Lanka, Ayodhya – War and Peace – a trilogy on the historicity of Rama)
# Economics / Governance (You Turn India, Telugu Tall – Her Unknown Side – Facets of Telugu Culture and Prosperity)
# Spiritual Science (Understanding Shiva)
# General (2012 – The Real Story, Triple Eclipse 2009)
Subject Matter Experts on Knowledge of India
The Hari couple have given over 200 lectures on the diverse topics in Bharath Gyan to wide audiences ranging from the research community in Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Coast Guard, various management institutes in different cities, to other educational institutions, corporates and social organizations.
They have participated in many live discussion panels in different Television channels in Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Marathi and English on topics based on Historicity of Rama, Rama Setu, Plunder of India, Corruption, Eclipses, Earthquakes, 2012 Doomsday predictions and such others, on different occasions.
Basically they provide a historic cum ancient knowledge based perspective to current day happenings.
They have held forth on a wide variety of questions on diverse subjects on live, dial in shows on Jaya Television, a Tamil channel, on many occasions and on a weekly basis.
With over 12 years of focused compilation of the knowledge of India across over 108 different topics, spanning close to 500 hours of factual, multimedia content, the Hari couple can be regarded as subject matter experts on the overall understanding of India across ages from over 8000 years ago to the present.
They are in the process of penning down an overall understanding of India in the form of a magnum opus titled “Autobiography of India” followed by “Breaking the Myths on India”, due in 2013.
The list of subjects with a brief introduction, details of their books and films and talks presented can be seen in the website www.bharathgyan.com. They are also active on social media and can be followed on twitter.com/bharathgyan and facebook.com/bharathgyan for nuggets on the knowledge of India related to current day happenings.
The compiled knowledge is being repurposed and disseminated to worldwide audiences through an alliance of Art of Living – Bharath Gyan with the blessings and encouragement of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Introduction to D.K.Hari : D.K.Hari hails from an Indian traditional family, with its roots in Kancheepuram, a very ancient town of India, which has been the silk centre of the South through the ages and is also known for its age old temples, saints and scholars. He had his schooling in Rishi Valley School, then graduated from Madras Christian College and did his post graduation in Business Administration from P.S.G College of Technology, Coimbatore.
After managing the family businesses in various verticals such as Oil and Gas and FMCG supply chain for 8 years and heading the Marketing for a building industry product for 12 years, during which he established the brand and sales network in India and abroad, he has chosen to follow the calling in his life, with the pursuit and seeking of knowledge through questioning – a temper perhaps influenced by his schooling days in Rishi Valley.
Besides Bharath Gyan, D.K.Hari is also involved in various social activities such as the management of,
1. Hindu Mission Hospital – a 200 bed multi-discplinary hospital in Tambaram, Chennai
2. Valluvar Gurukulam – a school for educating first generation children in Tambaram, Chennai
3. Dakshina Chitra – a heritage Museum, Chennai
Introduction to D.K.Hema Hari : D.K. Hema Hari, born in Mysore, grew up in Bombay, to graduate in Physics and in Computer Engineering from Bombay University. She is a PMI certified Project Management Professional.
After a 20 year successful career in the IT industry, working for multinational companies, managing, mentoring and nurturing innovations and new technologies, she has changed gears and together with her husband, authors books, films and other works, to disseminate their Bharath Gyan compilation.
Their Motivation : The Hari couple have travelled extensively to over 30 countries and visited various museums and cultural attractions to understand those civilizations, their culture and knowledge.
It was this exposure that motivated them to conceptualize and initiate “Bharath Gyan” as an endeavour to uncover the authentic history, sciences and tradition of India for suitable appreciation and application. Bharath Gyan bridges the gap in access to the authentic, ancient wisdom of and on India, in the manner conducive to present day needs and mediums.
Their method to collating this knowledge is purely driven by questioning, by allowing questioning to lead thought and search, which is again presented through questions and answers.