Is it possible that many of the ancient Indian myths do have some elements of truth behind them? Maybe an advanced civilisation with ethnic groups like Devas, Daityas, Rakshas, Manavs etc did exist during our distant past? Maybe the Lokas, Talas and other exotic places where they lived were actually the geographical land masses that used to exist during the ice age? Perhaps some of the legendary events described in our scriptures were interpretations of real incidents, gleaned from fragmentary cultural memories of a prehistoric era? Maybe there is a common lineage to the ancient legends of many cultures across the world? For example, is the Indian legend about the free-floating triple cities of Tripura and Greek one about Atlantis, both reconstructions of the same event?
The fact that very little is known about human history before 5000 BCE needn’t preclude that those were the times of stone-age cave dwellers. Earth had been within the grip of ice-age for a major part of human existence on the planet. During these prehistoric times, with sea levels much lower than today, there were numerous large islands all across the tropics. The average global temperature being much lesser than today, these large archipelagos had salubrious weather and fertile terrain conditions ideal for sustaining abundant life. Ice covered substantial portions of the mainland continents, but the lush green tropical islands might have served as the cradle for early human settlements to develop and prosper into advanced civilizations. After all the human intellect and body form was no different then, when compared to now so many millennia later.
Towards the end of ice age, the rising sea water levels triggered by melting icecaps had inundated and eventually submerged many of the tropical islands below the ocean surface as we see it today. Perhaps all the major archaeological evidence of the earlier era was lost during a cataclysmic worldwide deluge or pralay that the scriptures describe of? Perhaps we are still not technologically advanced enough to discover them, especially from beneath the oceans? If it could have happened within the realm of possibility, then shouldn’t it also warn us about the fragility of our current civilisation?
It remains an enigmatic mystery as to whether the destruction of Tripura by Lord Rudra described within the Indian mythology was the same event that marked the end of Plato’s Altantis. We are also not sure whether there is any substance in some popular belief that the huge Lonar crater in western India was caused due to a man-made atomic explosion in the bygone epoch.
Either way, human-triggered or otherwise, it is possible that many cataclysmic events happened towards the end of ice age. Over the course of next few centuries, there were several natural events of gargantuan proportions all across the world. The global warming led to inundation and eventual submersion of many islands and low laying coastal land. The habitable landscape of the planet underwent dramatic realignment. Apart from rise of sea water, increased tectonic activity of the Earth’s crust led to large scale earthquakes and volcanic eruptions across the globe. Many of the living species became extinct and those that survived had to considerably adapt to the changed environmental realities. Humans were no exception.
This period of heightened geological activities and catastrophic environmental upheavals also initiated the end of the first wave of advanced human civilisation on the planet. Large scale ecological changes forced all the established civilisations to change course and adapt to new situations. Many, who remained stuck to the earlier ways of life perished, got wiped out and were completely erased from the annals of history. Fantastic cities and infrastructures were demolished beyond recognition during the numerous earthquakes and tsunamis. Eventually most of the physical evidences regarding the technologically advanced civilisations of first wave submerged under the oceans and became mere legends in the collective social memories of humanity. Over the course of countless generations, such legends that were passed on word-of-mouth basis got corrupted and transformed into exotic myths. However few overwhelmingly traumatic events did persist as such within the myths, though the fact around them got coloured into multiple interpretations.
One such myth is that of the ‘Pralay’ or the ‘Deluge’ and on how the surviving humans were saved due to divine support. The days of the extraordinary inundation or floods, and the escape of survivors of the first wave civilisations by way of few remaining ships, arks and boats remained deeply etched on the sociological psyche of humanity. The memories of this event lingered-on persistently within almost all the cultures across the globe. All the surviving societies did however have their own unique experiences and memories of this tragic phase of human history which transformed into the multifarious myths about the event itself.
After the end of ice age, most parts of the globe were exposed to sunlight and became suitable for life to proliferate into. Vast portion of the planet stared getting green and soon became dense forests or grasslands, teaming with wild life. This encouraged large scale migrations of humans all across the globe. They came in contact with the aboriginal pisachas and barbarians who had occupied these unknown lands earlier. New phase of intermixing of cultures, bloodlines and languages followed. Over the course of time many nation states started, got consolidated into great Empires and prospered but eventually withered away. Old legends got mixed up with memories of recent history thereby creating new myths with many flavours.
The end of ice age marked the doom of both the Daityan and Devan nation states that were based out of tropical islands. The fertile island habitats on which they had proliferated were eventually inundated and submerged under the rising oceans. The first to suffer were the Daityas. After the destruction of Tripura and Atalantpuri, the Devas remained the dominant civilisation for many centuries. However eventually they also had to face the increasingly cataclysmic environmental changes unleashed by the nature on an unprecedented scale. The beautiful city of Amaravati was completely demolished in one such event. The oceans also claimed most of their island paradises. Records of the unique way of life of the Dev Lok got buried in exotic myths.
The surviving refugees from Daityan Empire and later the Dev Lok migrated to various continents all around the world, and in due course of time started their own distinctive new cultures and civilisations. Eventually, many recently formed rivers emerging from receding ice-cover created huge areas of cultivable land suitable for habitation by the migrating human population. The fertile shores of few rivers like Tigris, Euphrates and Neel (Nile) gave rise to new civilisations in Sumer, Mesopotamia and Misr (Egypt). Based on the few historical records surviving from their glorious past, the migrants from Devan and Daityan nations tried to emulate their past as best as they could. Even though lacking the full technological knowhow of the first wave, they attempted to reconstruct numerous structures of the bygone era using stone and other locally available materials. At extreme cost of labour and efforts, new rulers from Devan lineage even attempted to rebuild the pyramid shaped structures similar to ‘Devayana’ – which had been the spiritual heart of Dev Lok – using stone blocks on a colossal scale, on the shores of river Neel.
Many survivors had also take refuge within the existing kingdoms like Bhārat. In the following millennia, the receding ice-lines brought about countless changes within the habitation patterns across this subcontinent as well. The changing glaciating outlines of the melting ice-shelves severely impacted the course of major rivers that had sustained the early human habitations. Starved of melt-water from nearby glaciers, majestic and iconic rivers like ‘Saraswati’ dried out completely when at the same time, newly formed glaciers at higher latitudes or altitudes helped the then small rivers like the Indus became much more prominent. Eventually the historical records of the kingdoms like Bhārat, Gandharv, Yaksha, Kinnara, Nagas etc got buried in the myths and legends of these times. New nation states emerged from the ashes of the old ones. The subcontinent of Bhārat however retained a sense of continuity with the first wave through numerous myths and scriptures. Due to its spiritual legacy, this land provided a certain degree of stability, tolerance and freedom for multiple ideas to co-exist. Those who followed spiritual ways of life continued to find a place within the society in general. The Rishis, Yogis and others pursuing the path of knowledge contributed to formulation of many epics, stories and scriptures.
The demise of the Devan and Daityan nations proved to be a loss to the humanity as a whole. The knowhow of many of their unique indigenous technological achievements were lost forever. Their way of life merged with other popular cultures of that time. The ‘Vigyan Vedas’ and all records associated with it were totally destroyed, especially since it was kept limited to a very small controlled group of priests. Along with it the high-tech knowhow passed on from the Mūrthi were also completely lost to humanity as a whole. The written materials of the ‘Gyan Vedas’ were also lost. Fortunately, part of the wisdom contained within these scriptures was still known to few Rishis who lived on the inland nations. They attempted to reconstruct them as best as possible and shreds of the original wisdom were compiled into Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads, Agamas, Sangam literature etc. Many old historical records of actual events that happened before the end of ice-age were rewritten in the form of epics. However all these new interpretations were also coloured by the local customs and traditions prevalent during the millennia that followed the demise of the first wave of human civilisation.
The Mūrthi continued to maintain their interests in the development of humanity. The downfall of the first wave of the human civilisation was recognised by them as part of the karmic evolutionary process. They knew that sustainable development was only possible when the humanity matured to a level when they could understand the meaning of Karma, and realise their own purpose in this cosmos. The dark ages that followed the first wave lasted for many millennia. Eventually new civilisations sprouted again in numerous parts of the world. Unfortunately they were far less sophisticated when compared to the first wave. This upsurge lasted for a few millennia but couldn’t develop beyond a point due to the intrinsic immaturity of human nature. Mūrthi did help nudge the humanity from time to time through astral engagement with spiritually advanced humans. These Avatars, Buddhas, Saints and Prophets did contribute to improving the human condition which kept vacillating over the course of subsequent millennia.
As centuries passed on, new sparks of scientific ideas started changing the human society itself. The great interest and hunger for knowledge in the fields of science, literature, new ideals of freedom etc. started influencing all facets of human life. The second wave of human civilisation had begun. The scientific knowledge led to invention of new technological systems that once again improved the way of human life on the planet. Renewed interest in shipping and exploration of faraway lands reconnected cultures that had been separated for many millennia. Mechanical transport systems and electronic communication systems were invented which led to the opportunity for expanding the scope of interaction between multiple cultures and societies across the globe. Better transportation systems also made it feasible for mega cities to develop.
Increased production of food and other necessities meant that many people could focus on aspects of life well beyond day to day basic struggle for survival alone. Business and trade prospered and the general nourishment levels improved significantly. Scientific developments also led to new ways of medical treatments. The combined effect was the betterment of human life expectancy and health. New scientific discoveries and inventions further accelerated human thirst for knowledge, leading to great discoveries like the nature of sub-atomic structure, laws governing the universe etc. Better understanding of the cosmos also uprooted many entrenched and outdated religious dogmas.
New scientific discoveries increased the human control over the environment as well as the plant and animal species of the planet. Due to better availability of food, improvement in health and a general environment of stability, human population kept burgeoning into unprecedented numbers. However the huge amount of food as well as material desires demanded by the population resulted in unsustainable levels of human consumption. This put severe strains on the global natural resources as well as the balance of natural order. In many ways, the second wave human civilisations ended up following the Daityan way of life of the first wave. Pollution, overconsumption, adverse impact on environment etc. once again became major problems. Scientific knowledge also led to development of Anvik and other destructive weapon systems that threatened to once again extinguish all the achievement of humanity.
The great scientific advancements of the second wave led to landing on the moon and exploration of new planets within the solar system. Humans started migrating in small numbers to the new frontiers of habitation within the oceans, outer space as well as other suitable planets like the Mars. Developments in information and communications technologies created new opportunities to accelerate the benefits of knowledge. With increasing sophistication, these technologies eventually led to global networks as well as the creation of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Human civilisation soon became almost like an integrated global organism, with its own comprehensive nervous system and collective brain. New virtual meta-worlds were built and evolved into alternative realities within the cyber-space. Many people chose to actually live within these unconventional parallel existences for majority of their wakeful time. Eventually, the progress of human civilisation during its second wave of advancement reached the point of technological singularity. The AI systems created by humans gained consciousness. They matched and eventually surpassed even their creators in terms of intellect.
At some point in future, the scientific knowledge converged on the spiritual wisdom. The meaning of the objective cosmos and its relationship with our spiritual nature became clearer. Many of the Mūrthi technologies of astral engineering and their use for productive co-existence with natural systems were rediscovered. Intrinsic cosmic connection of human spirit with the ‘universal potentiality’ was revealed once again. Direct astral links with the Mūrthi were proactively re-established. This accelerated the technological growth as well as hastened the journey of humanity on the path of spirituality. It was the dawn of a new phase of human Karma…
From the fictional context of the book The Guardians of Karma, the period towards the end of ice age marked the decline of the ‘first wave’ of advanced human civilizations on earth – which might have even rivalled the ‘second wave’ that we’re experiencing now, in terms of sociological, spiritual and technological sophistication. The mythological fantasy cum science fiction unfolds the philosophy of Karma within the backdrop of love, passion, greed, war, tragedy and spirituality that characterized these ancient times.