Mystery of Saraswati River
In Ancient Indian Scripture.. Rig Veda, the name of river Sarasvati appears 72 times. It is described as a mighty river flowing from the mountain to the sea. In Mandalas I to IV of Rig Veda, there are graphic details of release of huge water volumes from serpentine glaciers, which made the rivers flow with the blessings of Lord Indra. It is described as the Ambitame, Naditame and Devitame that is best of mother, best of river and best of goddess. Itwas the life stream of the people of ancient India, mostly in the Vedic and Puranic ages. Satellite imagery combined with geological studies and discovery of sites of Harappan civilization(2000 BC) on the banks of Saraswati also indicate that it was flowing as a mighty river much before 8000 years ago.
However till the middle of 19th century the river was lost. From mid 19th century onwards several geologists and archaeologists traced the palaeochannels of different phases of ancient Sarasvati River System. During last more than 150 years geological, archaeological, hydrological, ecological research reports and remote sensing images taken by LANDSAT (USA), IRS-1C (India), French SPOT Satellites (France) and ERSS (Europe), have provided scientific and credible evidence about the flow, migration and decay of Sarasvati River during its different phases.
These evidences remarkably corroborate the references to the origin, changing courses and disappearance of Sarasvati river system in Rigveda, Yajurveda, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Astonishingly these also match the astronomical dating of events in Vedas and Epics relate to the period much before 7000 BC.
Let us look at some very interesting instances :-
In Rigveda, the Vedic Saraswati, is described as the mightiest river – “Seven sistered, sprung from three-fold sources” [6:61:12]. Again it is described as “Sapthathi Sindhumata” i.e., mother of seven rivers strongly flowing and swelling in volumes (7:36:6).
Prayers are again offered to ten rivers including Sarasvati in Nadi Stuti sukta as under -“Ganga, Yamuna, Sarasvati, Shutudri (Sutlej), Purushni (Ravi), Asikni (Chenab), Marudvridha, Vitasta (Jhelam), Arijikya and Sushoma (10:75:5)”. (Imagine the knowledge of the geography of the scholars composing the hymns!
Mahabharata gives a clear geographical account of Sarasvati becoming a non-perennial river vanishing and re-appearing in the deserts [3:80:118 & 9:36:1], surviving in the form of a number of lakes e.g. Brahmasar, jyotisar, Kaleswar (in Haryana), Katasar, Pandusar & Ravisar (in Rajasthan). Kurukshetra is described as located in the south of Sarasvati and north of Drishadvati [Mbh. 3:81:115]