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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

#066, Hundred billion demons

Valmiki Ramayana's figures and numbers are mindboggling.

A TRILLION DEMONS
BOOK 6, BOOK OF WAR, YUDDHA KANDA (PR: YUDDHA KAAND`A), CHAPTER 9, VERSE 15

GIST
The residents of Lanka are 1. ten thousand crore (a 100 billion) demons.

Two adjectives were used: 1. Maamsa soon`ita bhakshyaan`aam = those who feed on meat and blood. 2. Kaamaruupin`aam = those who can take any form at will.

INTERPRETATION, DEDUCTIONS
1. Even in these days of population explosion, the population on the entire Earth is less than 7 billion. On Lanka alone, there can't be 100 billion!

2. Valmiki might have used numbers at his will and pleasure, so as to make the prowess of Rama as that of a great conquerer.

3. Even a conquerer like Alexander was said to have used a cavalry of 7,000 and infantry of 40,000 and defeated an Asia Minor of say 200 million population. How can Rama have an army of 100 billion and defeat a Nation of 100 billion?

6-9-15
Das`a koot`i sahasraan`i
Rakshasaam kaamaruupin`aam,
Maamsashon`ita bhakshyaan`aam
Lankaapuranivaasinaam.


IMPORTANT NOTE: I REGRET FOR THE ERROR:
Earlier I typed the demon figure as a trillion i.e. 1000 billion. Today (Nov. 3, 2007) I correct the error. Pl. bear with me.

2 comments:

Ravi Mundkur said...

Your interpretation of exaggerations and hyperboles is right.There is too much of poetic imagination in it. What do you feel about the planetary positions and constellations described at the time of Rama's birth in thee epic?Could it also be a figment of poetic imagination?

TruthSeeker said...

Friend: Today, I posted a reply, vide my post #65. PL. check up and bring to my notice if there are any blunders, which I can correct.
Thank you very much.