Friday, August 10, 2012

The Story of Ahalyaa : Agricultural Engineering.

For the uninitiated, this is who is Ahalyaa.
The Symbolic story : Once upon a time lived a beautiful woman named Ahalyaa. Her Husband was Rishi Gautama. Once, she was tricked by Lord Indra (The God of rain and thunder); and subsequently was cursed to become a rock. Gautama deserted her. She remained as rock for many centuries. When Prince Rama touched her, she became the alive woman again and her social status was restored.
Hal        =  Plough. (Fig.1)
Hal-yaa =  Feminine adjective derived from the verb 'hal', meaning to plough. Land is treated as a female in Indian culture.
Halya     =  plough-able and cultivable land. (Fig.2)
  A         =  negation prefix.
A-Hal-yaa = Ahalyaa = the land which cannot be ploughed (hence cultivated).
                      Fig. 1                                           Fig. 2
The Missing Link : The land has been personified as a a woman. In Indian wisdom, Land is treated as Mother.
The Engineering Story (In brackets)
  • Ahalyaa was tricked by Lord Indra (The land faced severe droughts : no rainfall, no river.)
  • Ahalyaa had turned into a rock. (Land had become rocky due to lack of irrigation.)
  • Gautama deserted her. (Go-tama or the cattle-rearing farmers left this land for more fertile and cultivable areas).
  • Ram touched Ahalyaa, Fig.3. (As a part of the socio-economic reforms, the government sponsored the reclamation of the land, in order to make it cultivable to support the food-grains demand of the population.)
  • Ahalyaa became alive again. (The land became fertile again. Cultivation was re-started after many centuries.)
  • Ahalyaa's social status status was restored. (The land became attractive to settlers once again where agriculture began to flourish.
                  Fig. 3                               Fig. 4
Later, agriculture was supported by the Monarchy Government of Gujarat under Rohini-nandan Balaram Vaasudev of the Yadu Dynasty (Fig. 4). The King personally endorsed the Hal (Plough), symbolizing that the economy was strongly dependent on agriculture.
Footnote : Quaintly, in our epics, everything has been expressed symbolically; making it difficult for the common man to logically interpret it. On a lighter note, the epics would look somewhat different if scientists and engineers compiled them; instead of poets and bards. (Wink!)
Reference : (Last page)

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