It was 31st December 2020. That time of the year when the whole world would let go of old thoughts and welcome new thoughts. But I met a person who was so closely connected to her roots [old thoughts as one might say], that it was hard to ignore her.
I was heading to a friend’s house after a new year party at a public place. All COVID protocols followed btw. I had no idea back then that I was going to get content for this new blog back then (I know its 6 months past now btw).
So I reach this place and I meet people whom I have never met before. However there was this one person who I instantly connect to because she tells me she is from a place called Mithila in BIhar.
Now, whoever knows Indian history/ mythology knows Mithila as the birth place of Goddess Sita, the wife of Lord Rama.
I ask her the same just to reconfirm the same fact. She obliges! You know how it is on a new year eve, ha!
What happens next is a joy ride of information exchange between the both of us. Imagine, on new year’s eve we both are sitting and exchanging information about Ramayana which happened many thousands of years ago!
OK! So how many of us know there is a language called Mithila? Even if we know, how many of us know its actually published on the back side of a 100 /- Rupee note (Indian Currency) ? I was shocked to know this. In fact, I pride myself of knowing Hindi, Punjabi [to small extent] and all four south Indian languages but when I was faced with this situation on the back side of a 100/- rupee note I was ashamed of myself that I missed a big part of India’s History and its culture and languages of course!
So Mithila is in present day Bihar and it is the birth place of Sita Maata. King Janaka ruled the kingdom of Mithila. Sita Maata was King Janaka’s daughter. In fact, Mithila is the kingdom where Lord Rama himself visits for the Swayamvar [to marry Sita Maata]. Lord Rama ultimately breaks the Shiva Dhanush and marries Sita Maata. Just FYI, the King of Sri Lanka [Raavanasura] also tries his hand at the Swayamvar but fails ultimately.
King Janaka has a special mention in Advaita Vedanta (Vedas) too, for reasons beyond Ramayana!
Now you might be wondering why I am talking about all this. And more so why I am showing you the picture of the back side of a 100/- Rupee note?
The reason is simple. I want to dedicate this blog to that girl who informed me of the mother tongue of Sita Maata (Mithila). This person tells me she was also born in the same place as Sita Maata and that Mithila is one of the official languages of India. But its slowly dying. Not many are aware of this language.
Voila! This blog is a crude attempt to make all Indians aware of their official languages at least. God knows how many more languages we are not aware of yet. But thats not the point of this blog. There’s more!!
This blog is also dedicated to this Millennial girl from Mithila who says although she is working for a start-up in Delhi-NCR, her true passion is in archeology! [Earth, my friends!]
This is where I was truly taken aback! This Millennial girl from Mithila wanted to research on earth (of all the things)! Why? Because its evolutionary (in my opinion). Just a few thousand years ago, the Princess of Mithila [Sita Maata] was born from the earth [Bhu-maata] and she got married to Lord Rama, lived her life in van-vaas (forests) and in Lanka (during her abduction by Raavanasura) and back in Ayodhya, gave birth to Luva-Kusha (in a forest) and finally went back to her mother [Bhu-maata] the earth herself!
What a co-incidence!
My 2021 new year was eventful, hope yours was as eventful and enriching as mine! Let me know. If not, there’s always 2022 ok?!
–Varun Gowtham Mannava