Monday, January 10, 2011

Mystery of the cultural belt (Chapter one...)

There are many things that we observe and are used to in our day-to-day life and still the essence or peculiarity of the thing in question remains unnoticed. Didn’t it happen about the gravitation? Mankind from milleniums was observing the very phenomena that every object that is thrown up falls down. Or the stream flow downward or rains fall down from the sky or meteors plunge upon the earth. But to notice this significance and a first probe to inquire into this phenomena world had to wait till Newton. (However Varahmihira can be called real pioneer of this invention though he didn’t produce any mathematical model.) There are many such things that can be taken as an example that often baffles us, making us wonder why we did not noticed them before.
Many things that prima facie appear so complicated and difficult to reason about finally appears to be so simple when known about them and have understood.

Here I am to introduce you another peculiar fact that has been overlooked for centuries by us.
Have you ever have looked at the world map?
A stupid question indeed you must be feeling, because everybody from schools to his career life not only had a look at the map but has studied and used it.
What is peculiarity about this? Everything is right there where it should be. May be disputable boundaries among nations have been wrongly drawn. May be the name-change nation pose with their olden names on the map you are using.
But that is not the peculiarity I want to bring to your notice.
It is entirely different and as baffling as the invention of gravitation had been. Or when Hubble declared Universe was not stable as it was believed to be but in fact was expanding in as near as speed of light.
So as far as world map is concerned what could be so special about it? I asked many professors that taught geography in Universities, they thought I must be crazy. What could be wrong with the maps except trifle mistakes? There is no island unexplored. There is no ocean one has overlooked. North Pole is where it has to be and so the south pole. True those continents are shifting by an inch every year but you just can not show that negligible change on the world map and who needs it?
I thought I had questioned wrong people. Then I approached Historians and asked them whether they have sensed any peculiarity about the civilizations?
They had lot to say. They were telling me how Indus civilization had influenced the globe or how Aryans that had invaded Indian lands, had not only taught culture to the Dravids but to the rest of the world as well. They even told me how Latin and Greek and ancient languages were emerged from Sanskrit. They told me how Aryans ventured remote islands and continents to teach the culture to the local ignorant inhabitants. They also told me how a civilization does flourish. What are those influences, natural or circumstantial that helps civilization to scale new heights and why dark ages do occasionally befall over every civilization and ways to overcome them.
But then they hadn’t understood significance of my question. They were masters in the concerned discipline with all smaller or larger prejudices one do possess in normal course of life when one thinks his opinions values.
But this was not to avail of my query.
I wondered…I simply wondered.

But the I stopped querying with others and started a mission on my own to find out root causes of the peculiarity I had noticed in the map…. The peculiarity was so simple and yet intriguing that I had to launch my own investigations. The investigations did confirm my point, but then it WOULDN’T suffice. You have to come up with a theory as well that can solve the mystery.

We talk about the civilizations, cultures, religions and languages. World has many ancient civilizations and still their remains strike us with immense amazement. Many civilizations have survived through the perils of time with some modifications in an attempt in order to adjust with the changing times, still having the same traits. The ancient places still attract the travelers throughout the globe. One wonders at the supremacy in art and culture our forefathers did achieve without known means. All the global heritage certainly has been great asset of today’s society, though there have been savage tribes that can destroy such treasures for the sake of fanaticism for religion, Taliban is a finest example that gunned down the ancient statues of Lord Buddha. But in a way another savage culture flourishes there in this or that disguise.
We know what were those kingdoms or empires or civilizations that ruled the past not only under political rule but with undeniable influence over the rest of the world.
Mind me when I say past, it is before Christ. When I say present it is after Christ.
Also we know of the countries that rule present world, not only economically but culturally as well.

We certainly have studied or at least are aware of the ancient civilizations, from from Egyptian to Mesopotamian. From Sindhu culture to the Chinese and Japanese culture. Still western world is influenced by Greek culture that was followed by Roman culture. We have many ancient mysterious locations spread everywhere waiting for logical answers from modern intellectuals, like Nazca lines and pyramids. We certainly have studied ancient as well as modern cultures as it is inevitable part of our school studies and a specialized faculty in our higher education throughout the globe.
We also have learned essentials for any culture to take sprout and prosper. The ancient cultures though scarcely do exist today, but the decline and gradual extinction mainly can be attributed to the savage invaders. But again there are many cultures still do exist, may not be in practice the way they used to be in their ripe time, but its influence till can not be wiped out.
Religion has been a gift of probing mankind that in its pursuit to systemize the human life, to provide strong foundation to the society of their contemporary times and to fight against inevitable fears. There are some religions and religious beliefs that no more are practiced today any where in the world…like religion of Egyptians or of Incan’s, are the subject of study for the scholars and lot of research is going on in this field too. But at least we know the religions of past and present. We also know entire world population is divided in not more than six religions.
Religion is what that makes civilization in this or other way.
Then we come to the philosophy that is a subject that has driven mankind to the level of only intelligent being not only on this earth but also in the known universe. The great philosophers of the past have left inevasible imprints on modern philosopher so much so that no one can walk a step ahead in this realm without referring to their great works. It may be then Plato or Aristotle. May it be then Veda’s or Upanishad’s. May it be Tao or Confucius. May it be Bible or Avesta. And we are so familiar with these names and works. No one can deny their influence on our mindsets, even in present times of science and technology.
Then let us come back to the science. We tend to say science is gift of the modern world, but there is no proof to support this claim, though today’s science has been far more advanced. But the science in ancient times too was not that negligible. With no proper apparatus they invented iron, copper, bronze, gold and invented applications for them. They invented wheel and fire. Also the paper they invented that has become inevitable part of our life. They invented languages and script. They built massive structures in such a perfect symmetry and with wonderful architecture that even today we could not hope of recreating the same works. Many ideas the mythologies presented in raw manner, today we can see them in live form. Planes, space ships, atom bombs and mechanical vehicles we can find described in many mythological works from Mahabharata to Bible. The ideas were seeded in our modern scientists by the great visionaries of the ancient times. Mathematics was the great gift of the primitive societies that has been a foundation of our modern science. Most of the branches of science may be in very crude forms in those times but seemingly the present realities have sprouted from them. Not crediting them for their vision and guidance would be a grave mistake and injustice to them.
So the civilizations of the past till today impress us, haunts us.
And not that we do not know this, we know it very well because we have studied them, recited them and have brought them in practice.

So we know the world map. If not let us unfold it for a minute or two. We also know the olden civilizations, may be not completely, just vaguely, but we know them. Most of the people have read the claims of Van Donniken through his sequel on the mysteries of old civilizations. Mind please, I do not subscribe to any of his ideas that mankind was off spring of the visitors from space. I could refute his ideas on many different grounds but this also is not my subject of deliberation here.

Let us go back to the subject.
I shall request you to remember all the old civilizations, religions, great philosophers of the past, great scientific inventions of the past, great structures of the past etc.
Now the list may go as under:


A. Egyptian
B. Chinese
C. Dravidian
D. Mohenjodaro (Sindhu)
E. Vedic
F. Chinese
G. Japanese
H. Mesopotamian
I. Greek
J. Roman
K. Zorustharian
L. Aztecs
M. Babylonian
N. Iranian
O. Babylonian
P. Assyrian
Q. Judean (Israel)
R. Arabic
S. Sumerian
T. Phoenicians

(There are other cultures as well those emerged like shadow cultures elsewhere as well, but we have nothing to do with shadow cultures. Here we are talking about the cultures whose influence is still on modern society…)

Now I request you to mark geographical locations of these cultures on the world map.
Now let us consider the world’s religions that find origin in not less than two thousand years ago. Also let us consider off shoots of these main religions and their
location of origin.

The religion goes as under:
a. Hindu (which includes Shaivism, vaidikism etc.)
b. Judaism
c. Christian
d. Tao
e. Confucianism
f. Shinto
g. Buddhism
h. Jainism
i. Tibetan
j. Islam
k. Zorostharian

I shall not talk about the small cults that obviously have been influenced by above mentioned religions that might be in existence in olden times as well but should mention only those who have strongest presence even today and about 95% of the population is distributed in.
Now may I request you to mark locations of all aforesaid religions where they originated?
I shall explain every religion and civilization for those who are less accustomed with them, in forthcoming chapters, but first I would like to quench your curiosity what this is all about.
Let us have a look at the dotted map.

Now let us see what is an outcome.

What do we found? Let us mark upper and lower limits on our dots. Now let us see the geographical latitudes, upper and lower.
Now is it clear?
All the old civilizations that have flourished, all the religions that originated in ancient times are located geographically between 11 north to 41 north.

Isn’t it baffling?
Doesn’t it astonish you?
Why should all known and declined civilizations be sprout in this particular belt?
What is significance? What are the reasons?
How we could overlook it for centuries that might have helped us to probe in this mystery?
And why is this mystery and why it is that only in this region across the globe did ancient civilizations flourish?

I call this a cultural belt.

Isn’t it an astounding fact? Have we ever thought of this? Is this just coincidence not requiring special attention? Is it just the way it is or is there other certain specific reasons?
If we go on probing into this matter we confront with astounding truths.
The world is quite vast than this belt. There are multiple places that were rich with natural resources having every ingredient of raw material that are needed for birth of the civilization i.e. water, fertile lands, less volatile nature.
When we consider individual locations of the cultural belt we come across many hostile locations that hardly could have helped any kind of culture to emerge. Palestine, Egypt, Greece and Mesopotamia are the finest of the examples. There were many other regions highly rich in natural resources like Brazil, Australia, and Southern part of Africa, Central Asia as well northern Europe. But no mature and cultured civilization ever developed there. They till this date remain under influence of other civilizations that fall in cultural belt. Hence the argument that only with the supportive natural conditions (Natural conditions like water, fertile land and climate) does not pass the test
The racial arguments that have been preached by many a racists and large number of population still believes, either openly or secretly in the racist philosophy, again does not stand because if again we look in to this matter with racist perspective doesn’t take us any farther but astounds us with naked facts.
Egyptians belong to Semitic group, Inca’s and Maya’s belong to so unidentifiable group, Dravids belong to Dravidian group, Chinese belongs to astro-mongoloid group and north-Indians allegedly belong to Aryan group. The races are entirely distinguishable on the grounds of anthropological seclusion of mankind. So trying to raise racial ego does not help in this case. (That we are going to debate later in depth)
Each race that inhabited in this particular cultural belt tells us how advanced were they, may be in different perspectives, but to influence our world. For example Greeks weren’t great architects. Egyptians weren’t great philosophers. Indian’s weren’t that materialistic. Chinese weren’t religious of sort. They had teachings but didn’t establish religion out of it. Roman’s hardly believed in arts. Inca and Maya people lacked in art of writing. Aryan’s lacked in writing but their ancestors, Sindhu people fairly knew how to write. There is lot of differences in each culture and ways of faiths but the fact remains they drive today’s world. They have provided innumerable material for today’s writers like Shakespeare or Dante or Virgil or Homer or Eschuleus and many more of mediaeval authors and today’s authors.
Then natural question arises how this could have happen. What could be the reasons?
There are many believers in a view that human race had only single geographical origination and then it spread throughout the globe later on. Many believe that Aryans migrated to India and in Europe and in American continent from central Asia or from Arctic region. But it has been proved a grave mistake of the scholars that tried to prove their own whims and racial ego’s.
It’s obvious that there is large gap of logic within different perspectives and points of view. There is no proof that mankind took birth at one place and then it spread worldwide as they lacked in the adequate means that would require. In same breath we again trust in Charles Darwin’s theory that mankind is evolved from monkey. In same breath we say more developed cultures traversed so far lands to dominate local cultures. They in same breath say that origin of language is singular and not multiple. In same breath they say all the mythologies find single origin.
But tragedy is they never can prove or have proved above claims to be true. For examples so called fanatic scholars from Hindu religion vehemently prove that Jesus Christ learned essentials of religion and magical powers from India. They even claim Sanskrit is the mother language of all global languages. In the contrary western pundits try to prove something in just opposite manner.
I some times feel that our so-called ideas coming from men of wisdom are so weird that they so conveniently fail to understand if Darwin is right their theories wont stand. If their theories are right they have to prove beyond doubt that indeed mankind took birth at single point and then got distributed through out the globe. If they are right then there can not be any ignorant race existing to which they could teach their culture. If mankind did exist on every corner of the globe including the secluded islands then mankind couldn’t possibly have originated at single point. If Darwin has to be taken as true then owing to the theory of evolution there must be half or partly evolved animal or mankind and that is also is not the case.
Fantastic theories of likes of Van Doniken too can not be true, as he is the great contradictor in his own theory. Some places he says mankind was offspring of aliens and apes. Some places he says space travelers imparted their knowledge with ignorant mankind.
Contradiction to such great extent is against established norms of science.

Now we know in the same breath that theory of evolution too is incorrect though the couple of observations are right. There were never Gods or outer space species landed upon this earth to result in indecipherable mysteries that haunts us today. We don’t want to trust the pyramids were built that high with well-cut stones that weigh not less than 2.5 ton each without the help of outer species or patient work of hundreds of years. This needs planning in advance even if we think that it took that much time to build a pyramid. We hardly want to believe that with lack of sophisticated knowledge of architectonic of past times then how the Buddhists or Hindu’s would have carved the rocks to form beautiful cave-temples and statues in the heart of hard mountains?
Even today we hardly can find comparable paintings that had been created by the unknown masters of the past. Cave paintings that we find painted with crude means by ancient people tell us the force of life they had within them. Paintings and sculptures of Ajanta, Ellora and Khajooraho and Alta-Mira can not stop us wondering how the people of those times would have done this. But the fact remains that without knowledge and scientific application of mind and planning such marvels couldn’t have been created.
But this we shall discuss at great length later. The question remains why these marvels can be found in this particular belt.
Why not else where, where it hardly would be difficult or rather much possible to imprint their own identity on the vast canvass of time with all the available resources and while human race in due existence?

We certainly are under misunderstanding.
We certainly have gone wrong in our past beliefs and derivations of the fact that is so obvious.
The fact remains that cultural belt indeed does exist. One can come forward with obscure examples that lay scattered in negligible numbers, but that just can not help us to prove what does not exist.
So let us probe further with more concern why and how this could have happened. Before that let us get introduced with the individual civilization and religion and culture in question.
This cultural belt has not only to do with flourishing cultures and becoming superpowers in perpetual intervals but it has much important significances. When we are going to probe further we are going to find it has been responsible for creation and extinction of many species. It is important to know how it is affecting our present and tomorrow and how we can use powers of this mysterious belt.
So let us get ready to probe further.

(Next Chapter I shall post soon, “What is culture?”)

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if Taoism is ever practice as religion... religion as Hindu,Judaism,Christian,Confucianism