An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Ram, Guru Nanak and Lahore

Normally, the articles that I read in the Pakistani newspapers are known for their ignorance of India and specifically Hindu traditions… here is an article that is just revealing on the linkage of Sikh Gurus and Ram family! I am not sure whether that is true or not … and in fact do not even care… but more important is the effort this author took to know something. Also interesting is his discussion on the various words for “small” in Hindi, French, English and Latin!

Guru Gobind Singh in an autobiographical poem stated that Sikh gurus were an extension of the great Raghu dynasty to which Lord Ram belonged. Guru Nanak was thus a direct descendant of Kush, the elder son of Ram, and Guru Govind Singh himself, a direct descendant of Lava, the younger son of Ram.

According to an ancient Punjabi tradition, Lava and Kush, the twin sons of Ram, were born in Punjab. Ram Tirath near Amritsar, was the hermitage of Valmiki where Sita took refuge when Ram banished her. Valmiki was the creator of Ramayana.

Another firm tradition says that the elder Kush founded the city of Kasur while younger Lava founded Lahore. (We thought Kasur was Arabic plural of qasr meaning palace or castle, as Luxor, a distortion of Al Qusur in Egypt, still is.)

Lava is also pronounced Loh in some versions. Maybe the city name began as Lohwar, war being an honorific suffix.

The Punjab government in Lahore has discovered the samadhi (grave) of Loh and is in the process reconstructing it. It plans to invite Indian Hindutva leader LK Advani for its inauguration. This would be a wonderfully large-hearted but ironic gesture!

Kush means sacred legendary grass used in divine ceremonies. This is a good name for a boy. From Kush we can derive Kasur through the Kushur version. There are many Hindi names after the sacred grass.

Lava is different. It means small, just as the Arabic Muslim names Sagheer and Asghar mean small. Paul, the Christian name means small. Loh/Lava (small), Sagheer (small), Asghar (very small) and Paul (small) may point to an early sense of ‘small is beautiful’.

Of the two brothers, Lava must have been small in size too. As we noted earlier Lava has also the Loh version. Today lohu means small. When we say lohu udiog in Hindi we mean light industry.

It is a coincidence that loh is also an Indo-European root found in the English word light. In Hindi laghu, loh and lava mean the same thing: small and pretty. In that sense Lahore should mean beautiful, the hore part coming from the sacred ending war.

Now some shocking discovery. Light in English means small and bright. The Latin version is levis! Just like Lava, Ram’s son! Another word for the East is Levant, the source of light! And levity in English means light humour. *

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Also read:  Complete Truth on Kashmir's Plebiscite and the UN Resolutions

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