“Abraham was Rama and belonged to India” – assumes a scholar

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Dr Abdul Rashid Agwan

Contrary to the established facts and beliefs regarding the patriarch of the Semitic family – Abraham/Abram, a renowned columnist and the author of ‘Common Prophets of the Jews, Christians, Muslims and Hindus’, Bharat Jhunjhunwala claims in his 2018 book that he was an Indian prophet and have many parallels with Rama, whom a section considers an incarnation of Vishnu. However, the author locates the Epic Ayodhya at Ghuram in the Patiala District of Punjab and not around Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh, as popularly assumed today.

In fact, Jhunjhunwala has only reiterated some of the popular beliefs about Rama before the advent of Muslim rule in the northern part of India that Koshala was in the area of modern Punjab and its natives were called Yodhay. It was the time when neither Awadh nor Ayodhya had existed in the present location. He added one more name in the list of around 20 places in the world where the existence of Epic Ayodhya has been presumed by different scholars, historians and archaeologists.

The said author’s 423 pages book contains a chapter ‘Abraham or Rama’ from pages 111 to 178 and presents a comparative narration from religious sources of the four aforementioned religions and other evidences that the early story of mankind has been woven around the mountainous terrain of Pushkar in the Ajmer District of Rajasthan and from there early humans gradually migrated northwest and finally to the Indus region. According to him Adam, Noah, Abraham and Moses of the Semitic traditions were mentioned respectively as Manu Swayambhu, Manu Vaivasvata, Rama and Krishna in the Puranas and other sacred books. He takes Ajmer to be the epic Mount Meru where, according to the Indian mythology, the first human being was born. He thinks it is same as the Mount Moriah of the Bible.

Jhunjhunwala claims that the biblical Ur was located at the present Anupgarh town of north-western Rajasthan, where Abraham/Rama was born as the son of Azar/Terah/Dasharatha and from there the family moved to Ai/Ayodhya at the present Ramgarh/Ghuram. The epic literature mentions that Dasharatha moved from Kashi to Ayodhya. The River Ghaggara in Punjab, on which the relics of Ghuram exist, was the Epic Sarayu, he remarks. He is confident that the Ramayana’s statement that the Sarayu flows from east to west around Ayodhya is fulfilled at Ghuram and not at its presently presumed site. He joins many other researchers in endorsing that the Indus era site at Dholavira in Gujarat was the Lanka of epic beliefs and presumes in his Annexure 2 that the War of Kadesh which is generally believed to be fought somewhere near the present Lebanon-Syria border was actually the War of Lanka fought in the Runn of Kutch, which the Ramayana mentions as “Vrann”.

He mentions many parallels between Abraham and Rama including: 1. Similarity of names: He suggests that the prefix ‘Ab’ (father) in the biblical name Abram denotes reverence to him as the patriarch 2. Concurrence of time period:  He considers both belongs to the same historical time, 2100 BCE. 3. Number of siblings and wives matches, while deriving his inference from Jain sources which mention four wives of Rama including Sita 4. The stories of abduction of Sita and Sarah and their rescue have many similarities 5. Separation from a brother is mentioned in both the cases 6. Separation from son and wife can be found in both the stories 7. Both the personalities move westward in their later life 8. Common travels of Jacob and Kush.

One of the most interesting assumptions of Bharat Jhunjhunwala seems his hint about the sacrificial place near Pushkar’s main temple, where perhaps Abraham would have performed the ritual. He mentions certain rocks at Rama Jharokha, Chamunda Mata Temple and Bhadar Mata Temple as three raised platforms to be the possible sacrificial places.  He says, “The similarity between the platforms suggests that Abraham may have attempted to sacrifice his son here. The place where since the place has clear association with Rama, by which name Abraham was probably known to the Hindus.” (Page 121). He traces from the religious sources regarding the visit of Abraham to Bacca, which he thinks to be a different place than Makkah, and that of Rama to Pushkar a few times.

In a sincere and honest endeavour, Bharat Jhunjhunwala strives to locate Ayodhya and its story in a geographical settings different than popularly believed. Like many other scholars, historians and archaeologists, he does seem convinced with the narrative so established recently.Abraham was Rama and belonged to India” – assumes a scholar
Dr Abdul Rashid Agwan
Contrary to the established facts and beliefs regarding the patriarch of the Semitic family – Abraham/Abram, a renowned columnist and the author of ‘Common Prophets of the Jews, Christians, Muslims and Hindus’, Bharat Jhunjhunwala claims in his 2018 book that he was an Indian prophet and have many parallels with Rama, whom a section considers an incarnation of Vishnu. However, the author locates the Epic Ayodhya at Ghuram in the Patiala District of Punjab and not around Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh, as popularly assumed today.

In fact, Jhunjhunwala has only reiterated some of the popular beliefs about Rama before the advent of Muslim rule in the northern part of India that Koshala was in the area of modern Punjab and its natives were called Yodhay. It was the time when neither Awadh nor Ayodhya had existed in the present location. He added one more name in the list of around 20 places in the world where the existence of Epic Ayodhya has been presumed by different scholars, historians and archaeologists.

The said author’s 423 pages book contains a chapter ‘Abraham or Rama’ from pages 111 to 178 and presents a comparative narration from religious sources of the four aforementioned religions and other evidences that the early story of mankind has been woven around the mountainous terrain of Pushkar in the Ajmer District of Rajasthan and from there early humans gradually migrated northwest and finally to the Indus region. According to him Adam, Noah, Abraham and Moses of the Semitic traditions were mentioned respectively as Manu Swayambhu, Manu Vaivasvata, Rama and Krishna in the Puranas and other sacred books. He takes Ajmer to be the epic Mount Meru where, according to the Indian mythology, the first human being was born. He thinks it is same as the Mount Moriah of the Bible.

Jhunjhunwala claims that the biblical Ur was located at the present Anupgarh town of north-western Rajasthan, where Abraham/Rama was born as the son of Azar/Terah/Dasharatha and from there the family moved to Ai/Ayodhya at the present Ramgarh/Ghuram. The epic literature mentions that Dasharatha moved from Kashi to Ayodhya. The River Ghaggara in Punjab, on which the relics of Ghuram exist, was the Epic Sarayu, he remarks. He is confident that the Ramayana’s statement that the Sarayu flows from east to west around Ayodhya is fulfilled at Ghuram and not at its presently presumed site. He joins many other researchers in endorsing that the Indus era site at Dholavira in Gujarat was the Lanka of epic beliefs and presumes in his Annexure 2 that the War of Kadesh which is generally believed to be fought somewhere near the present Lebanon-Syria border was actually the War of Lanka fought in the Runn of Kutch, which the Ramayana mentions as “Vrann”.

He mentions many parallels between Abraham and Rama including: 1. Similarity of names: He suggests that the prefix ‘Ab’ (father) in the biblical name Abram denotes reverence to him as the patriarch 2. Concurrence of time period: He considers both belongs to the same historical time, 2100 BCE. 3. Number of siblings and wives matches, while deriving his inference from Jain sources which mention four wives of Rama including Sita 4. The stories of abduction of Sita and Sarah and their rescue have many similarities 5. Separation from a brother is mentioned in both the cases 6. Separation from son and wife can be found in both the stories 7. Both the personalities move westward in their later life 8. Common travels of Jacob and Kush.

One of the most interesting assumptions of Bharat Jhunjhunwala seems his hint about the sacrificial place near Pushkar’s main temple, where according to his inference perhaps Abraham would have performed the ritual. He mentions certain rocks at Rama Jharokha, Chamunda Mata Temple and Bhadar Mata Temple as three raised platforms to be the possible sacrificial places. He says, “The similarity between the platforms suggests that Abraham may have attempted to sacrifice his son here. The place where since the place has clear association with Rama, by which name Abraham was probably known to the Hindus.” (Page 121). He traces from the religious sources regarding the visit of Abraham to Bacca, which he thinks to be a different place than Makkah, and that of Rama to Pushkar a few times.
In a sincere and honest endeavour, Bharat Jhunjhunwala strives to locate Ayodhya and its story in a geographical settings different than popularly believed. Like many other scholars, historians and archaeologists, he does not seem convinced with the narrative so established recently.

7 thoughts on ““Abraham was Rama and belonged to India” – assumes a scholar

  1. There seems to be some kind of connection. Abraham was know as Abram, which is similar to Ram. Folks have also speculated that Abraham and Brahma and their consorts Sarah and Saraswati are somehow related as their consonantal roots are the same. Also the Assyrians of the middle East seems to be semantically linked to Asura of Hindus and Ahura of the zorasterians. The land of Ur is a common word for homeland in South India. That is why you have Chengannur, Bangalore, Nagpur, etc as place names in India.

  2. Islam and Christianity are prophetic religions. The author is trying to establish that Rama was a mere prophet and not a god; it’s a good news indeed.

    Now even if Rama was a prophet of God (which we Muslims donot believe), he was meant for a particular group of people and for a particular time period and as such his teachings were for those people only for that particular period only.

    Today Prophet Muhammad is the last Prophet and his teachings and the Qur’an, revealed to him, are for the entire humanity for ever.

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