Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Uttarakuru, Mt Meru & Bactria


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"Uttarakuru (Sanskrit) is the name of a dvipa ("continent") in ancient Hindu and Buddhist mythology. The Uttarakuru country and its people are sometimes described as belonging to the real world, whereas at other times they are mythical or otherworldly spiritual beings."…..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uttarakuru

"Aitareya Brahmana makes first reference to Uttarakuru and Uttaramadra as real-life Janapadas. According to Aitareya Brahmana, these two nations lay beyond the Himalayan ranges (Hindukush). The Aitareya Brahmana adduces these two people as examples of republican (vairajiya) nations, where whole Janapada took the consecration of rulership.Aitareya Brahmana again notes that Uttarakuru was a deva-kshetra or divine land…..In later literature like Puranas, the Uttarakurus are sometimes described as mythical people, while at other times their description seems to place them in the real world….Puranic cosmography divides our earth into seven concentric islands called Jambu, Plaksha, Salmali, Kusha[disambiguation needed], Kraunca, Shaka, and Pushkara. They are separated by the seven encircling seas. The insular continent Jambudvipa forms the innermost concentric island in the scheme of continents. Jambudvipa includes nine countries (varṣa) and nine mountains. The land of Illa-vrta lies at the center of Jambudivipa at whose center is located Mount Meru. The land of Uttarakuru lies to the north of Mount Meru. (Pamirs)….The Aitareya Brahmana (Sanskrit: ऐतरेय ब्राह्मण) is the Brahmana of the Shakala shakha of the Rigveda, an ancient Indian collection of sacred hymns. This work, according to the tradition is ascribed to Mahidasa Aitareya."…….http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aitareya_Brahmana

"In the enumeration of the countries of north, Ramayana references Kambojas, Yavanas, Shakas, Paradas and then further northwards, it refers to the land of the Uttarakurus lying beyond river Shailoda and Kichaka bamboos valleys. It gives very vivid and graphic picture of Uttarakuru region."….There are other versions of the Ramayana, notably the Ramavataram in Tamil, Buddhist (Dasaratha Jataka No. 461) and Jain adaptations….http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramayana

Buddhist texts…..Uttarakuru also finds numerous references in Buddhist literature, sometimes as a real land and other times as a mythical region…..
In Digha Nikaya, Uttarakuru is said to be the name of city.
Lalita-Vistara describes the Uttarakuru as Pratyanta-dvipa or a frontier island.
Sumangalavilasini says that the wife of a Chakravarti king comes either from Uttarakuru or from the race of a king Madra.
Buddhaghosa records a tradition which states that, when Vedic king Mandhata returned to Jambudvipa from his sojourn in the four Mahadipas, there were, in his retinue, a large number of the people of Uttarakuru. They all settled down in Jambudípa, and their settlement became known as Kururattha (Kuru Rashtra). Majjhima Commentary also attests that the people of Kururatha had originally belonged to the Uttarakuru.

"Ptolemy's Geography refers to Ottorokorai (Uttarakuru) tribe, Ottorokora as a city, and Ottorokoras as a river. Ptolemy has also referred to one mountain by the same name ….The Attacori of Pliny probably also refers to the Uttarakuru people and their country.Ammianus Marcellinus refers to Uttarakuru as Ottorogorae."…..Ptolemy (c. AD 90 – c. AD 168) ….http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptolemy

Chitral is the largest district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Tirich Mir that is one of the highest mountains of the world is the main attraction of this place.....Whereas many a Tibetan text simply locates Uddiyana by saying that it lies to the West of India, Patrul Rinpoche (b. 1808) provides us with more detail when describing the birth place of Garab Dorje not simply as 'Uddiyana' but as being close to Lake Kutra in the region of Dhanakosha; thus indicating present day North-eastern Kashmir (now Pakistan) - a region right in the middle between Chitral, Gilgit and Swat. [The Words of My Perfect Teacher, pages 338-339]....http://yoniversum.nl/dakini/uddiyana.html

Geographical location……"Though the later texts mix up the facts with the fancies on Uttarakurus, yet in the earlier, and some of the later texts, Uttarakurus indeed appear to be historical people. Hence scholars have attempted to identify the actual location of Uttarakuru……Puranic accounts always locate the Uttarakuru varsa in the northern parts of Jambudvipa……The Uttarakuru is taken by some as identical with the Kuru country mentioned in the Rig-Veda. The Kurus and Krivis (Panchala) are said to form the Vaikarana of Rigveda and the Vaikarana is often identified with Kashmir. Therefore, Dr Zimmer likes to identify the Vaikarana Kurus with the Uttarakurus and places them in Kashmir…..According to some scholars, the above locations however do not seem to be correct since they go against Aitareya Brahmana evidence which clearly states that Uttarakuru and Uttaramadra lay beyond Himalaya (pren himvantam janapada Uttarakurva Uttaramadra). Moreover, no notice of the Uttaramadras (Bahlika, Bactria) has been taken of while fixing up the above location of Uttarakuru…..Ramayana testifies that the original home of the Kurus was in Bahli country. Ila, son of Parajapati Karddama was a king of Bahli, where Bahli represents Sanskrit Bahlika (Bactria). Also the kings from Aila lineage have been called Karddameyas. The Aila is also stated to be the lineage of the Kurus themselves. The Karddamas obtained their name from river Karddama in Persia/ancient Iran. Moreover, Sathapatha Brahmana attests a king named as of the Kauravya lineage. Bahlika Pratipeya, as the name implies, was a prince of Bahlika (Bactria). Thus, the Bahli, Bahlika was the original home of the Kurus. Thus, Bahlika or Bactria may have constituted the Uttarakuru. Mahabharata and Sumangalavilasini also note that the people of Kuru had originally migrated from Uttarakutru. Bactria is evidently beyond the Hindukush i.e. Himalaya."….http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uttara_Kuru_Kingdom

A MAP TO SHAMBHALA/ Uttarakuru: the Land of the North/ A five rupee stamp from a sheet of eight faux postage stamps from the micronation of Shambhala Nor/ CYBERSTAMPS/ Buddhist American Folk Art Stamps...Art Blog/Eric Whollem.....http://artblogericwhollem.blogspot.com/2010_07_14_archive.html

"K. P. Jayswal identifies Mt Meru of the Puranas with the Hindukush ranges and locates the Uttakuru in the Pamirs itself….. V. S. Aggarwala thinks that the Uttarakuru was located to north of Pamirs in Central Asia and was also famous for its horses of Tittirakalamasha variety. Thus it probably comprised parts of Kirgizstan and Tian-Shan. Incidentally, the reference to horses from Uttarakuru rules out any possibility of locating Uttarakurus in Kashmir and Uttarakhand Pradesh since these regions have never been noted for their horses."…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Meru

"The Mt Meru of Hindu traditions is identified with the knot of Pamirs."

"Uttara Kuru was an ancient kingdom located north of the India. The name Uttara Kuru means the Northern Kurus. The Kurus were an Indo-Aryan tribe living near the Himalayas during the Vedic civilization of India. The Uttara Kuru were therefore a population to the north of the Kurus, or north of the Himalayas…..Some historians identify this kingdom as Kyrgistan, a Central Asian Republic. This identification is based on the Mahabharata epic which describes a Kuru warrior Bhishma abducting three brides from the Kasi kingdom for making them wives of his half-brother Vichitravirya. This same custom of abduction of brides by bridgegroom or his allies for marrying them, still prevails in Kyrgistan. At some point during the reign of Pururavas-Aila (the first king mentioned in the line of lunar dynasty of Indian kings) Uttara Kuru and the Kurus of India could have belonged to the same Kuru Empire. Arjuna collected tribute from Uttara Kuru during his northern military campaign for Yudhisthira's Rajasuya sacrifice. The epics also mention that they followed a republican constitution with no monarchy."….http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uttara_Kuru_Kingdom

"The Bahlikas (Hindi: बाह्लिक) were the inhabitants of Balikha, mentioned in Atharvaveda, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Puranas, Vartikka of Katyayana, Brhatsamhita, Amarkosha etc. and in the ancient Inscriptions. The other variations of Bahlika are Bahli, Balhika, Vahlika, Valhika, Bahlava, Bahlam/Bahlim, Bahlayana and Bahluva….Bahlikas in Balkh or Bactria…According to the Bhuvanakosha section of the Puranas, Bahlika was a Janapada located in the Udichya (Uttarapatha) division….Some hymns of Atharvaveda invoke the fever to go to the Gandharis, Mahavrsas (a tribe of Punjab), Mujavants and, further off, to the Bahlikas. Since Mujavant is the name of a hill (and a people) located in Hindukush/Pamir, therefore, the Bahlikas must lie beyond the Hindukush ranges….Atharvaveda-Parisista juxtaposes the Vedic Bahlikas with the Kambojas (i.e. Kamboja-Bahlika--)….Besides Atharvaveda Parisista, several other ancient texts also associate the Bahlikas with the Kambojas.."....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahlikas

"Besides Kambojas, Atharvaveda-Parisista also associates the Vedic Bahlikas with the Sakas, Yavanas and Tusharas (Saka-Yavana-Tukhara-Vahlikaishcha)……The fact that Puranic evidence locates the Bahlikas in Uttarapatha and further the close association of the Bahlikas with the Kambojas as well as with Tusharas, Sakas and Yavanas in the Atharvaveda Parisista and in some other ancient sources suggests that the Bahlikas were located as a close neighbor to the Tusharas, Sakas, Yavanas and the Kambojas etc. Since the Kambojas were located in Badakshan and Pamirs, the Tusharas on the north of Pamirs and the Sakas on the river Jaxartes and beyond, the Bahlikas or Bahlams, as neighbors to these people should be placed in Bactria…..The Brahmanda Purana attests that river Chaksu (Oxus or Amu Darya) flowed through the land of Bahlavas (Bahlikas)…..The Iron pillar of Delhi inscription by King Chandra (4 CE), also makes mention of Bahlikas as living on the west side of the Indus River (Sindhu). After crossing the seven mouths of the Indus, King Chandra is stated to have defeated the Bahlikas…..These above several references attest that the Bahlikas were originally located beyond the seven mouths of river Indus in the country of Bactria and the land was watered by the river Oxus. But later, a section of these people had moved from Balkh to Punjab while still others appear to have moved to south-western India as neighbors to the Saurashtras and Abhiras of Sauviras."…..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahlikas



John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….November 2013


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