Rama, Rostam, Shutrukna-hhunte, Gotama and Darius-I

 

Contd.

        Jonesian writers like R. Thapar and A. L. Basham have held that Rama was a minor tribal hero of UP which is absurd. Contrarily, Sukumar Sen wrote with rare insight that Rama, also called Rama Margaveya, was from what is now Turkmenistan (Margu). Rama of Margu is clearly an older namesake of Arya-Ram-ana.                      

 

 

Rama depicted at Prambanam, Indonesia (9th cent. AD)

 

        Historians like R. N. Frye are totally unaware of the crucial significance of Rama even though Persian history resounds with his name.

 

  1) Rama and Vayu are venerated in the Avesta.

  2) Bharata was the the Elamite king Warad-Sin.

  3) Lakša of PF 69 is a namesake of Lakshmana.

  4) King Shutruk-Na-hhunte echoes Shatrughna.

  5) Dandakran (PF 666) was the true Dandakaranya.

  6) Arya-Ram-ana was an early ancestor of Darius-I
  7) Ramannuya (PF1855) was close to Darius-I.  

  8) The Ram Bazrang were a Kurdish tribe of Fars.

  9) The Sasanid ancestor Ram-Behist was a Bazrangi

 10) Many Sasanian city-names had the prefix 'Rama'.

 11) Ramakanam is a place-name in PF 1831.

 

The study of the Persepolis tablets has yielded much information about important figures like Darius and Parnaka yet crucial data remains unknown due to improper prognosis. Even a meticulous scholar like Hallock failed to note the echo of Rama in the name Ramanuya. The name of the Mitannian king Tushratta echoes Dasharatha, Rama's father. Chedor La'omer of Genesis 14 corresponds to Kudur Laghumar of the Babylonian texts and Raghupati was Rama's name.

      Rama's presence in the Indus-Saraswati area is unattested although the frequent symbol of the bow-man in the seals may, in fact, stand for Rama. Post-Islamic Iran also ignores him although his name may be hidden in the many Ram-names like Ramadan, Ram-allah etc.

      Fortunately, the Sumerian texts provide priceless data about Rama. The Sumerian king-lists show that Rama was the same as Ram-Sin of Larsa (~18th cent. B.C.) who ruled Sumer, Elam, and Indus Saraswati. Although Ram-Sin was deified and his memorial has been found at Ur, his relics are unknown from Elam, said to be his homeland. Rim-Sin (also called Ram-Sin) was the longest ruling monarch (60 years) of Sumer. Ram-Sin's reign is termed the golden era of Sumer by the great Assyriologist C. J. Gadd. Ram-Sin is called an Elamite in the Sumerian texts.

       Khotanese literature, which is almost exclusively Buddhist, describes Rama as a Buddhist hero.  Imagining the Buddhists to be from Nepal and Rama from Ayodhya in U. P., the eminent linguist Sir Harold Bailey discounted the Buddhist claim that Rama was one of their own. A careful study, however, shows this suspicion to be misplaced.

      The Buddhist sources trace the genealogy to the primeval Maha Sammata (Maha=great) which agrees with Shem, father of Elam in the Old Testament. This shows the basic unity of the Indian, Elamite and the Judaic traditions. Even if Rama is relatively unknown, the names of his half-brothers Shatrughna and Bharata are radiant ones in Elamite history.  

      The Buddhists traced their genealogy to Okkaka, said to be an ancestor of both the Sakyas and the Kollians. Okkaka is a transform of Ukshaka which is the same as Ukshaman or Achaemenian. According to Buddhaghosa, there were three dynasties with Okkaka at the head of each, all of whom were lineal descendants of the primeval king Maha Sammata or Great Sammata. This may correspond to the three wives of Dasharatha. Bardiya and Cyrus may have been the offsprings of Bharata (Warad-Sin), brother of Rama. Toynbee noted that Cyrus (Kurash) may have been linked to the Indian Kurus. The Achaemen-ids seem to be linked to Gotama as his relative Bhaddia is clearly Bardiya. Gaumata of the famous Behistun record can be seen to be Gotama and both Darius-I and Gaumata were known as Sphendadates.

      Part of the Rama Story is submerged in the Rostam Saga. Like Rama in India, the greatest Iranian hero was Rostam, immortalized in the Shahnama, about whose history little is known. There are traces of the Rama story in the Rostam saga which may have been emended by Surena, who defeated the Romans in the crucial battle at Carrhae and displaced Rama as the mightiest Iranian hero. His personal name is not known but his link with Rama is written in the name of Ram Sahristan, his capital in Seistan. Just as in the Rostam-Sohrab story, Rama's sons fought with him, unaware that he was their father.

       The late Babylonian texts indicate that another name of Rama was Rostam. Rostam's early name was Rotastahm which echoes the names Dasharatha and Dharma (Durma-Ilani) of Rama's father. Naqs-i Rostam can also be read as Naqs-i Rama.

        Rama ruled Indus-Saraswati, Iran and Sumer. He was also an ancestor of Gotama Buddha and the Achaemenian kings. I. M. Diakonoff and D. McAlpin have pointed to a link of Elamite with Dravidian but the links between Elamite and Indian civilization also extend to history. Although Rama is usually thought to be an Aryan, he was called Elamite and in Indian art he is usually painted in Blue, whereas his brother Lakshmana and wife Sita are shown as light-skinned.