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HomeLifestyleHow Ayodhya is connected to Korea, Indonesia

How Ayodhya is connected to Korea, Indonesia

Ayodhya

is known for being one of the holy cities in India and the birthplace of Shri Ram. Its name is derived from the Sanskrit words- “A” which is a negative prefix, and “yudh” which means to fight. Thus the word Ayodhya means that which is invinclible or an inconquerable city, as per the Atharvaveda. While the holy city has intrigued people for years, with the recent consecration of the

Ram Mandir

in Ayodhya, it is much in the news yet again. While Ayodhya is much-known as the birthplace of Vishnu‘s seventh avatar

Shri Ram

in the Treta Yug, did you know that the ancient city also has connections to faraway lands of Korea, Thailand and Indonesia?
Here’s we share an interesting excerpt from the book ‘Ayodhya: A Walk Through the Living Heritage’ by Vipul Varshneya, published with permission from Kiva Publication, which sheds light on this fact. In this excerpt, author, architect urbanist and cultural heritage evangelist

Vipul Varshneya

write about this lesser-known fact in more detail. Read on to know more:

3

A cover of the book

‘Ayodhya: A Walk Through the Living Heritage’ by Vipul Varshneya

A connection with faraway lands
Korea
Royalty roots in Ayodhya
Korea and Indian temple town Ayodhya has two millennia-old ties which were discovered in last decade.South Koreans discovered that a Princess or Queen of Ayodhya was married to Korean King Suro in the first century CE. Suro was the King of Kimhay kingdom or the present Korea. The Princess was married to the Korean King at the age of 16. The Koreans believe that the Princess was the mother of the descendants who unified various Korean kingdoms in the 7th century CE.

Since the first century CE, her descendants prospered and became the largest clan in Korea, known as the Karak, whose members had been highly distinguished people. She is regarded as the most blessed queen of Korea in the significance of the great temple city of Ayodhya where Lord Rama was born.
It is written in 11th-century Korean chronicle the Samguk Yusa, that the wife of King Suro of the ancient Korean kingdom of Geumgwan Gaya was a princess who traveled by boat from a faraway land called Ayuta to Korea in 48 AD.
Heo Hwang (later named as Suro) is a legendary queen that mentioned in Samguk Yusa. She was the first queen of Geumgwan Gaya, and is considered the first queen of Gaya Kingdom.Heo and Suro had 12 children, the eldest son was Kŏdǔng. She requested Suro to let two of the children bear her maiden surname. Legendary genealogical records trace the origins of several Heo clans to these two children: Kimhae (or Gimhae), Hayang, Taein, Hansan and Yangcheon.
The Gimhae Kims trace their origin to the other eight sons. The Korean delegates come to Ayodhyā every year, including the Royal family of Ayodhyā and performing the number of rituals at the Queen Huh memorial place.The tomb believed to be that of Heo and Suro is located in Gimhae, South Korea. A pagoda traditionally held to have been brought to Korea on her ship is located near her grave. The Samguk Yusa reports that the pagoda was erected on her ship in order to calm the god of the ocean and allow the ship to pass. The unusual and rough form of this pagoda, unlike any other in Korea, may lend some credence to the account of Ayodhyā story. Overall, more than six million Koreans trace their lineage to Queen Heo, however, in Indian history, no records are found of this legend.

Ayodhya

Ayodhya

Thailand
Ayodhya not so unfamiliar land
King Ramathibodi who named it after the birthplace of Lord Rama founded it in 1350. He envisaged “Ramarajya” for his Kingdom, as the King was “Devaraja” or “God King”, particularly Vishnu incarnate. Ayuthaya was a glorious, wealthy and flourishing island-city located at the confluence of three rivers, the Chao Phraya, the Pasak, and the Lopburi.
The majestic city was the capital of the flourishing Siamese Buddhist kingdom for 417 years till it was captured and destroyed by the invading Burmese forces in 1767 forcing the inhabitants to abandon the city. Fifteen years later Thailand’s General Chao Phraya Chakkri became king and moved the capital to Bangkok, to the eastern bank of river Chao Phraya.
The Chakkri rulers adopted the name Rama (today, the 10th ruler of that dynasty occupies the throne as King Vajiralongkorn, with the title, King Rama X).
The royal palace has scenes from the epic painted on its walls. Though Ayutthaya, its 200,000 people and 4,000 Buddhist temples were looted and destroyed, it was restored by the Chakkri dynasty, and the resplendent Buddhist temple in the ruins of Ayutthaya is today a major tourist attraction.
Although Thailand is today predominantly Buddhist, there are traces of Hindu influence, visible mostly in the court ceremonials. The Siamese call their coronation by its ancient Sanskrit designation, the Rajabhiseka. The tonsure ceremony in Siam is a rite of initiation of youths, corresponding to the Hindu Cudakarma Mangala, which is very important Hindu Samskara. Cremation, an old Vedic rite, is the only means of disposal of the remains of deceased royalty in Siam. The Thai national and royal emblem is the Vishnu vahana or Garuda. The Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu are worshipped with unrelenting reverence. Vishnu and his avatar of Rama are obviously the most revered of all.
The walls of the magnificent Temple next to the Kings Grand Palace have mural scenes from the entire story of Ramayana painted on them. As the original manuscript containing the Ramayana was burnt in Ayuthaya’s carnage, King Rama I wrote the Thai version of Ramayana called Ramakien in a poetic format. His son, Rama II, penned a much shorter adaptation of it. It is this story that is the main feature in classical Thai dance-drama to this day.Even today, the Kings of Thailand bear the Royal title is Rama, and the story of Ramayana is depicted on the Royal Palace and temple walls of Bangkok. Lava (Lao:Phra Lao, Thai: Phra Lop) and his twin brother Kusha, the two sons of Lord Rāma and his wife Sita, have also historical links to the Southeast Asian country as Laos and the Thai city Lopburi were both named after him.
Indonesia
Stangely not so strange
Yogkarta, a big city in Indonesia is named after Ayodhya. It is said in Adipurana that Ayodhya has been famous because of its prosperity and skill. The city of Yogkarta in Indonesia was also named after Ayodhya. The name Yogyakarta has its roots in Ayodhyakarta, meaning Ayodhya, the peaceful city where the ruler rules with nobility. Some scholars have another version of the meaning, which has been drawn from Hindu-Javanese mythology. According to them, Yogya means suitable and karta stands for prosperous, which makes the meaning of Yogyakarta a city that is fit to prosper. In Indonesia, the Ramayana has lived in the hearts of people forover 2,000 years. A tri-weekly ballet of Ramayana is still performed at Yogyakarta’s Prambanan Temple, which is dedicated to the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Scenes from the Ramayana are also engraved on the walls of the temple. Ramayana’s elements and characters are fundamental to the cultural consciousness of Indonesia and although the Javanese version of the epic is called Kakawin Ramayana, its essence is the same. Once the capital of the Indonesian Republic during the Indonesian National Revolution, Yogyakarta has also been modelled on the sacred town of Ayodhya and is home to age-old temples, ancient culture and magnificent natural attractions. A centre of classical Javanese fine art and culture, it’s also renowned as a centre of higher education.

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