Battle of Mahabharata

Source : Google photo of Angkor Wat etchings depicting battle of Mahabharata

Synopsis : We have the tendency to call our ancient history as myth but there is always a grain of truth in all myths that is discovered when archaeologists discover using latest technologies now. The blog looks at the myth of Mahabharata that the new discoveries are proving to be real. The hidden evidences that were shrouded in myths are now coming to light to prove that the ancients wrote the truth in the epics and did not imagine them.

When you read the history books, several events that took place thousands of years ago stand out in the entire history of mankind, the battle of Mahabharata being one of them. It was such a significant moment that had a great impact on what India would become later because people still talk about it thousands of years later and what it means today to nearly half the humanity.

It is quite unfortunate that such a significant moment in the history of mankind had to occur through bloodshed of epic proportions just because of the greed and jealousy of the Kauravas toward their cousins, the Pandavas that led to the war of Mahabharata so long ago but still fresh in the minds of all who read the history.

What is doubly unfortunate is the fact that such a bloodshed of epic proportions could have been avoided if only Duryodhan came to his senses and had offered a compromise to the Pandavas but he didn’t so the stage was set for war that lasted 18 days and took the lives of thousands of fighters on both sides that soaked the battlefield of Kurukshetra with their blood and left their bodies for the carrion eaters. It devastated and literally decimated the Kaurava clan and all those who fought on their side because very modern weapons were used like the nuclear weapons if the historians are correct.

We are talking about an advanced civilization 5000 years ago that used atomic weapons with incredible power of destruction on a scale unimaginable today because people only think of Nagasaki and Hiroshima but believe that 5000 years ago people did not have such technologies so must be a myth that some historians cooked up to please their own ego. The left wing historians in India and elsewhere are still biased against the great Indian civilization so they downplay its past by saying that it is all myth and not real. Their view is also shared by the Western historians who still cannot accept that India had such an advanced civilization 5000 years ago in spite of mounting evidence .

They said the same thing about Ram who went to Lanka to rescue Sita who was abducted by Ravana and built a causeway from India to Lanka over which his army passed until a photograph taken by NASA showed clearly a causeway that is now under water but can still be seen.

Source : Google photo of the Ram setu or the causeway of Ram between India and Sri Lanka ( NASA satellite image )

The nature has a way to preserve the evidences that some people start calling a myth until a proof is discovered later. People said that Troy was a myth as well until Heinrich Schliemann found the burned stone walls of Troy and lots of artifacts during his digging that are now kept in a museum.

The story of Mahabharata was written down in great detail that every Hindu reads or knows about because it has acquired the importance of scripture like the Bible the Christians read all over the world. Many take it literally while others of a simpler mind take it just as a story that has been passed down to them through generations that they must read as a ritual.

Sages have said that we should know of our history to know where we came from so that we can determine our future because people who do not know their past will have a difficult time to understand what they are as a country. The only problem is that the historians are often biased so they write what pleases their mentors, India being no exception. If you care to read the Indian history, you will find how great the Mughals were and what great legacy they left behind while ignoring India’s struggle for freedom by millions of Indians who sacrificed their lives for it. They pin the medals of Independence on the likes of Gandhi and Nehru while ignoring Bose ,Vir Saverkar,Queen Lakhsmibai and Nana Saheb among numerous others who were the real heroes who brought independence to India.

So history is distorted by those who have ulterior motives to do so that needs to be corrected. The same thing goes for the myths that are shrouded in the mist of a period long past like the battle of Mahabharata or the story of Ramayana in India.

I was dumb struck by the intricate etchings on the walls of Angkor Wat that we visited a few years ago and marveled at the great details of the etchings that depicted in detail the scenes of the battle of Mahabharata. The galleries are miles long that surround the temple complex at Angkor but the art work is just as vibrant as they were when commissioned by the king there thousand years ago in spite of centuries of neglect and vandalism by the looters who caused massive damage to the complex.

The etchings or what is called the bas reliefs were done by people who had never been to India but who read the story of the Mahabharata and carved the bas relief on the stone in the gallery to depict the story in the most visual way possible. Here is a photo of the bas relief at the Angkor Wat depicting the battle of Mahabharata

Source : Google photo of the bas relief at the Angkor Wat

Sadly no such temple and bas relief exists in India anywhere today so people who have never been to Angkor have only the written text of the epic story to rely on. But with the passage of time and the advent of new technologies like satellite imagery, LIDAR radar survey and the discovery of numerous sites mentioned in the Mahabharata story have come to light where the archaeologists have started to dig to discover what lies buried for thousands of years.

It is the same way the satellite imagery, infrared photos taken by helicopters and planes flying over the thick jungle of Cambodia has uncovered the vast city and temples of Angkor, the complex irrigation system, the network of canals etc. in great detail although still covered with thick forest so it is only a matter of time, a great deal of work to clear the jungle and lots of money to bring to light what the nature has swallowed and hidden for centuries.

A similar effort is underway in India that has a great deal of written history of Mahabharata and Ramayana that is being sourced to guide the diggers on the ground who are finding astonishing relics of that period that some people still think as myth.

The nature preserves the past in a very unmistakable way that people of the future may someday find using the technologies now so a veil is being lifted to reveal the past. They have found molten silica beads in the battleground of Mahabharata indicating that the sand there melted due to extreme heat that could have come from the use of nuclear weapons.

They have found aircrafts hidden in the caves of Afghanistan that still emit strong radiation to deter anyone trying to investigate and bring these machines out. They have mentioned such aircrafts in the Mahabharata and Ramayana with detailed diagrams of the internal parts of these machines, the way the machines flew on the energy it generated. Now there is proof that such machines existed long before the present era so the scientists and the engineers are scratching their head and wondering how it was possible to make an aircraft 5000 years ago when people were supposed to be primitive as compared to the present. The Western skeptics are loathe to admit that India had a far superior civilization thousands of years ago when Europe had primitive people living in caves wearing only animal skins.

Source : Google photo of the ancient aircrafts found in Afghanistan

People still wonder how the massive 20 ton stone pieces were lifted to make the great pyramids of Giza and how they were transported from the quarries hundreds of kilometers away when they did not have the machines to cut them and lift them to a great height of the pyramids but someday they will figure this out and say that the ancients were not primitive at all. They used advance technologies in those days that illuminated inside the dark chambers of their underground crypts and have left telltale signs in their manuscripts and etchings on the walls of such technologies that we are too stupid to understand but eager to doubt.

People still wonder at the technology used by the Incas centuries ago to put together irregular shaped massive stone blocks so perfectly that you can’t insert a thin razor blade between them let alone how they lifted such stone. What machines they used to do it? How they could make astoundingly precise astronomical charts so long ago?

Source : Google photo of the Inca stone work in Peru

The city of Prayagraj previously known as Allahabad is where three rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati converge so it is the holiest place for all Hindus who bathe at the confluence called Triveni Sangam to get Nirvana. These three rivers converging at Prayag ( ancient name) was mentioned in the scriptures of Vedas but we find only Ganga and Yamuna now. So what happened to Saraswati river ? Was it only a myth?

Source : Google photo of satellite image of Saraswati river in India

Now the satellite imagery shows a green line where trees have grown that proves that the river has gone underground but provides water to the trees that have grown along its banks. It is same way for the Ram Setu or Ram’s causeway that has gone underwater between India and Sri Lanka but can be seen from NASA satellite image clearly.

We all know that human bones do not deteriorate over time so the bones of Lucy was found in Ethiopia that is hundreds of thousands of years old. Scientists now say that we all descended from Lucy and spread all over the world because her DNA has been traced and her skull was carbon dated to know that it was so old.

So the diggers at the archaeological sites in Baghpat in India have unearthed numerous artifacts that they claim to be from the Mahabharata period that includes chariot wheels, parts of the chariot, weapons such as swords, spears, shields, bones of horses and humans, gold and silver ornaments worn by the fighters in the battle of Mahabharata, potteries, beads, arrow heads etc. The chariots found are exactly the same as shown in ancient paintings of the period.

Source U tube video on archaeological site diggings in India

They are finding new items constantly while many sites still remain to be dug. They have taken the new technologies of satellite images and GPS to pinpoint certain locations where some serious diggings are going on.

The ground penetrating radar has located some crypts in Egypt that are immense in size that are still to be dug out and explored so one day they may find the burial site of Cleopatra or Alexander because people are looking for them.

India remains a treasure trove of its ancient past that is slowly coming to light so that the naysayers can see the evidence now before they shoot off their mouth and say it is all a myth. The idiots do not know that all myths contain a grain of truth that only the passage of time can expose.

Minotaur, Greek Minotauros (“Minos’s Bull”), in Greek mythology, a fabulous monster of Crete that had the body of a man and the head of a bull. In Greek mythology, Pasiphaë was a queen of Crete. She was also the mother of “star-like” Asterion, called the Minotaur. She had sex with a bull so this child by the bull was shut up in the Labyrinth created for Minos by Daedalus. This myth was shattered when they discovered the actual labyrinth in Knossos ,Crete proving that there indeed was a Minotaur that lived there.  ( Wikipedia)

Source : Google photo of the Labyrinth in Knossos ,Crete

Lastly I would like to say that just because we do not yet have some evidence of our past does not mean that they do not exist so people should not negate it by saying it is all myth in a haste. The evidence is being found all over the world using new technologies just like in India that has found them proving that the battle of Mahabharat took place as mentioned in the epic story.

Why Duryodhan refused to share the kingdom with his cousins the Pandavas that led to the war and the tremendous loss of lives on both sides when land was plentiful and the population so low is perhaps a subject of future reflection but not at this time.

Note : My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese languages at the following links as well as my biography. My blogs can be shared by anyone anytime in any social media.

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Story of Ertugrul and Halime

Source : Google photo of Ertugrul and Halime Sultan

Synopsis : It is said that all great things have a small beginning. When a brave fighter of the Kayi tribe in Turkey took up his sword to protect the poor and helpless from bandits and tyrants to give them justice, he became the star who rallied all the tribes that came under his leadership to root out the evil hordes of Genghis Khan and later the Knight Templars and the Byzantine rulers. This is the story of Ertugrul Bey and his incredible struggle to lay the foundation of the greatest empire that his son Osman 1 founded later called the Ottoman empire. Ertugrul fought for equality, justice for all, protection of the poor and needy. He never turned away anyone who needed his help.

How many of you have ever heard of Ertugrul the brave heart? I suspect most people do not know their own history let alone Ertugrul, the brave heart. He lived a long time ago in the 11th century but left behind an empire that lasted over 600 years called The Ottoman empire based in Turkey. It was an empire that outlasted all others and was known as the glorious period in the Islamic world that left its mark in the annals of history as the one that started when a young man stepped forward to fight injustice and tyranny during his time.

He was the son of a great warrior Suleiman Shah who was the head of the Kayi tribe and his equally illustrious mother Hayme who taught young Ertrugul that fighting injustice and tyranny anywhere was a very noble cause so the young dashing boy grew up believing it and trained very hard for his cause just like his other brothers and the young men of his tribe.

They were nomads who wanted peace and lived in tents that they moved to greener pastures for the goats and sheep but they were assailed on all sides by their enemies that included the Knights Templars, the Mongol marauders ,other tribes that wanted their land, bandits who attacked them and their markets where they sold their beautiful rugs and later the Byzantine Christians who saw them as threats to their ambition to rule the world from Constantinople. Those who at first dismissed them as goat herders soon learned to their dismay the superb fighting skills of the tribe under Ertugrul who emerged as their leader his tribesmen would die for in battle.

The Kayi tribe was known for its most excellent woolen rugs of intricate designs and dazzling colors woven by the Kayi women that were highly prized in many European countries and in the Middle East. With the income from the sale of their carpets and rugs, they bought food and other necessities but every woman knew the dangerous time they all lived in and trained in horse riding ,archery and how to defend themselves so they all carried knives in their waist.

The young men constantly honed their skill in sword fighting, archery, horse riding and in hand to hand combat because they never knew when they would be attacked. They were peace loving people who were generous to a fault to anyone who sought their protection and shelter and extended their protection to other tribes that often came under attack. There were many such tribes spread out over a vast area of the present day Turkey that a noble Sultan tried to bring together to fight their common enemy that put their very existence in jeopardy. This was Genghis Khan and his blood thirsty hordes that wanted to conquer the whole world and nearly did. The Knight Templars also posed a serious threat to all Moslems who lived in the area because they too wanted to capture Moslem territories and expand their influence so they occupied Jerusalem causing a lot of bloodshed.

They fought the Byzantine soldiers because by this time the Christian Church was divided into the Catholics ruled by the Pope in the Vatican and the Orthodox Christians ruled by a king from Niceae and later from Constantinople who was also their Pope. The world’s greatest Orthodox Christian church was built in Constantinople that still stands today but not as a Church anymore. It has been turned into a mosque now. The Templars were the military arm of the Catholic church who protected Jerusalem from the Moslems and made lots of money through trade and loaning money at usurious rates to the European kings who sent many crusades to Palestine to occupy Jerusalem.

Ertugrul who was the third son of the tribe chief Sulayman Shah changed the history forever but even he did not know how his fight for truth, justice and equality would lay the foundation of a vast empire that someday would shine as a glorious beacon to all that would outshine all the empire building powers of that period.

This is the mesmerizing story of a great man who fought his enemies tooth and nail, suffered a great deal when his enemies captured him and tortured him, beat him to break his bones, nailed his hand to a tree with a spike, poisoned him, kidnapped his baby son and posed a direct threat to his beautiful wife Halime Sultan, his mother Hayme and to his tribe. He never let down his father Suleyman Shah who came to trust the judgment of Ertugrul more than all his other sons. But he fought on and managed to survive his imprisonment and tortures escaping many times to regain his strength to continue his struggle. His trusty fighting campanions Bamsy, Turgut, Abderrahman, Artuk Bey and Dundar Bey among others formed a very formidable fighting force and fought numerous battles and won most of them.

His story starts when one day while hunting in the forest for deer, he came upon a group of heavily armed Templar soldiers who had in their custody a beautiful princess , her father and younger brother. The Templars were on their way to their castle to lock up their prisoners in their dungeon to use them as pawns for political bargaining in their effort to expand their territory.

Ertugrul and a few of his close associates came upon the scene and promptly killed all the Templars and rescued the princess called Halime Sultan. He gave them shelter in his tribe and vowed to protect them all the time. He also fell in love with the beautiful princess who also fell in love with him so his parents gave their blessing to their marriage later.

Halime was no ordinary princess. She came from a ferocious tribe that had fallen on hard times. She was very educated and superbly trained in sword fighting, horse riding and archery. She was an artist when it came to design beautiful patterns in the carpet and introduced dazzling colors that she extracted from plants and barks of some trees to dye the wool so her new designs and colors drew great admiration in the market. The traders paid in gold a good price that increased the income of the tribe.

He fought many battles with the Templars who were the enemy of all Moslems and eventually captured their castle and killed them all. He found huge amount of gold in their castle that he distributed to all the poor people of his tribe who had lost their sons in the battle. He equally helped Christians, Greeks and others who needed his help and protected them. But the Mongol warlord Noyan gave him the most trouble whom he was able to kill when he managed to escape from his captivity in the Mongol camp.

Source : Google photo of Mongol warlord Noyan who tortured Ertugrul

The Real History of Ertugrul and Halime

The following information on Ertugrul Bey, Halime and his parents, brothers and other important persons in the life of Ertugrul are drawn from the Islamic history , written records of Ibn Arabi and other sources like Byzantine records, records of Knight Templars etc . The photos shown here are from the Turkish U tube episodes called Dirilis meaning Insurrection that is wildly popular.

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Source : Google photo of Ertugrul Bey

With the small part of Kayi tribe, Ertugurl with only 400 tents, went on the challenging path toward the West and made foundation for one of the greatest empires. After Sultan Aladdin was poisoned by Sadettin Kopek who was his vizier, Ertugrul revolted against Kopek’s government, and proclaimed his own State,  the City of Sogut its capitol.

His love and respect for his wife was widely known. He had four sons with Halime Sultan, and he died when he was 90 years old. The last ten years of his life were spent quietly in his tribe when due to the old age, he transferred all his responsibilities to his youngest son Osman. A historical proof of his life are the coins minted by Osman which identify Ertuğrul as the name of his father, but beyond this not much is known about him apart from folklores.

There is information and historical facts about him that are kept in Turkish archives, within Ibn Arabi’s chronologies, in Western archives about Templars, in Byzantine’s chronologies and in legends – but this information only amounts to around 7 pages according to the actor Engin Altan Duzyatan, who gave life to this great character. Despite this Engin considers it a great privilege to play Ertugrul as he was the first person in Turkish history to move away from the nomadic lifestyle and look to establish a state that went on to last 600 years.

We do know that he was buried in Sogut in 1280. Around his tomb are graves of Halime Sultan, Hayme Mother, his sons, Gunduz, Savci Bey, Saru Batu and Osman, his brother Dundar, Turgut Alp, Samsa Alp, Abdurahman, and many others of his Alps, who reached Sogut with Ertugrul Bey. The ones that were not buried there, died along the way.

We all know that everything comes to an end someday so did the life of Ertugrul in Sogut one day when he was 90 .He is buried here in Sogut but what wrenched my heart was to see the simple grave of Halime Sultan near the entrance to the mausoleum of Ertugrul as shown in the following video. How tragic that in death they were separated.

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Source : Google photo of the grave of Ertugrul Bey in Sogut , Turkey

Source : U tube video of the grave of Ertugrul in Sogut, Turkey

Here you will find the short description of the principal characters who played a decisive role in the life of Ertugrul and Halime starting with Osman 1.

Osman I

Source : Google photo of Osman 1 , founder of the Ottoman empire, 4th son of Ertugrul and Halime Sultan

Source : Google photo of Osman 1 , 4th son of Ertugrul who established the Ottoman empire that lasted over 600 years.

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Source : Google map of the Ottoman empire, its rise and fall

Osman is known as the father of the Ottoman Empire as from his Beylik (principality) the expansion of the Ottoman territory began. In the history books you will often see Ottoman rule referred to as the Osmanli dynasty. Osman came very late to his parents. He was born late in Ertugrul and Halime’s life. When Osman was born in 1258, Ertugrul was around 67 years old, and as Halime was older too, when normally women cannot have children anymore, he was considered a Miracle child sent by God. Historians consider a black hole in Ottoman history during Osman’s life as what is written about him was uncovered 100 years after he died.

Gundogdu & Sungurtekin

Source : Google photo of Gundogdu and Sungurtekin, brothers of Ertugrul Bey

They did not support Ertugrul’s path and as we know, and over time faded in history. They lived a quiet and unremarkable life, not much is known or written about them. There are only verbal accounts, which were told by people through generations. According to that, they suffered big losses during a great Mongol invasion, and what was left of them, they lived subserviently under the Mongol’s rule.

Dundar Bey 

Source : Google photo of Dundar Bey, younger brother of Ertugrul Bey

He was a brave and renowned warrior, a goodhearted and loving man, devoted to his brother, his tribe, and  his family. He was the younger brother of Ertrugul but history documents him as of a weak personality and he made a lot of mistakes throughout his long life. He died aged 92 or 93, by Osman’s hand. He rebelled against one of Osman’s decision and that was the last straw for Osman.

Turgut Alp

Source : Google photo of Turgut Alp

He was one of the greatest and most renowned warriors in Turkish history, a blood-brother to Ertugrul and his best follower and supporter, a very smart and capable man. He lived an unusually long life, even for our time. He outlived Ertugrul Bey by 35 years, and he was killed in a battle, with his legendary battle-axe in his hand aged 125 years old! After Ertugrul passed away, Turgut become the main support to Osman, and when Osman established his Sultanate, he rewarded Turgut with the highest position, as a Governor of the new State.

Bamsi Beyrek

Source : Google photo of Bamsi

He was a legendary hero; his life has been described in the book of medieval Ottoman’s chronologies of that time, titled ‘’The book of Dede Korkut” . He was a fierce warrior, goodhearted and very funny man. His love life was legendary, since his heart was divided between two loves. He spent 16 years in a dungeon in a Byzantine castle where the Princess, who lived in that Fortress fell in love with him and helped him escape. It is not known when he died or how long he lived; only that he lived for a long time and he was ambushed by trickery and killed in a battle leaving behind a wife and children.

Ibn Arabi

Source : Google photo of Ibn Arabi, mystic, philosopher, poet,sage

As many of us know Ibn Arabi is a famous chronologist, mystic, philosopher, poet, sage, he is one of the world’s great spiritual teachers. Ibn ‘Arabi was born in Murcia, Andalusia, in Spain in 1165 and his writings had an immense impact throughout the Islamic world and Christian world. The universal ideas underlying his thought are of immediate relevance today. He was great inspiration and support to Ertugrul Bey. He died in 1240 aged 75. He was the spiritual master of Ertugrul and gave many advice and support to him when he was struggling.

After his death, Ertugrul Bey continued to draw support from Ibn Arabi, through his numerous writings, books, diaries, teachings and his other spiritual works, and through his followers.

Halime Sultan

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Source : Photo of Halime Sultan, wife of Ertugrul Bey and the love of his life

She was a Seljuk Princess, very dedicated to her husband and his greatest supporter. She gave up her title and her Palace’s life due to her love and dedication to Ertugrul Bey. Through her marriage to Ertugrul Bey, Seljuk Turks and Oguz Turks, two greatest Turkish branches were irrevocably united by blood ties.

Hayme Mother

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Source : Google photo of Hayme , mother of Ertugrul Bey

She lived a long life and she came with them all the way to Sogut.  She was a smart, caring and brave woman, who acted as the Bey of her tribe, after Suleyman Shah had died. She was widely much respected and she was called ‘’the Mother of the people’’. It is not clear whether she gave birth to Gundogdu, she certainly brought him up. According to one line of sources, Gundogdu was her own son. But, since Suleyman Shah had lost his first wife, before marrying Hayme, there are some who believe that Gundogdu was the son of Hayme.

Suleyman Shah

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Source : Google photo of Suleyman Shah, father of Ertugrul Bey

He was a greatly respected figure of that time, he had 4 sons with Hayme Mother. He died by drowning in River Euphrates, and the spot near Aleppo, where he was buried in a sacred place for Turks which is now in modern day Syria, and that territory still belongs to Turkey. It is guarded by Turkey’s military guards and you need a passport to get in there to see the mausoleum of Suleyman Shah although due to the emergence of ISIS and the recent ruin of shrines and tombs from extremists, the remains were temporarily removed last year due to the situation around Aleppo and brought to Turkey to preserve.

Saddetin Kopek

According to Ottoman sources Saddetin Kopek is considered an ambitious and evil  man, his only good quality was his devotion to his State. He eventually managed to kill Sultan Alladdin, his second wife, the Ayyubid Princess and their two sons by poisoning in 1238. He then proclaimed Sultan Alladdin’s third and oldest son (from his first marriage), as a new Sultan through whom Kopek gained total power. However, only one year later, he was hanged from the Palace wall. He always conspired against Ertugrul and tried to kill him many times whom he considered his enemy..

 Artuk Bey

Source : Google photo of Artuk Bey , fighter and healer

Known as Ertugrul Bey’s right hand man in the TV series, but there is so much more to his story! Artuk Bey (also known as “Son of Eksük” or Ibn Eksuk) was a Turkish General of the Great Seljuk Empire in the 11th century. He was the Seljuk governor of Jerusalem between 1085–1091. Artuk Bey lived in Qüddus up to his death in 1091.

Artuk Bey was one of the commanders of the Great Seljuk Empire army during the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. After the battle, he took part in the conquest of Anatolia on behalf of the Seljuk Empire. He captured the Yeşilırmak valley in 1074. He also served the sultan by quashing a rebellion in 1077.

His next mission was a campaign to capture Amid (modern Diyarbakır) from the Marwanids. In this campaign he quarrelled with the Commander in Chief Fahrüddevlet who tended to make peace with Marwanids. In a surprise attack he defeated reinforcements to Marwanids. However, when the Sultan Malik Shah I heard about the event he suspected Artuk Bey of dissension.

Artuk Bey left the battle field and attended to Tutush I who was Malik Shah’s discordant younger brother in Syria in 1084. In 1086 he was instrumental in defeating Süleyman, the sultan of Seljuks of Turkey in a battle between Süleyman and Tutush.

The Beylik of Artukids was named after him, founded 11 years after his death by his sons. His valiant sons are El Gazi ibn Artuk who battled Baldwin II of Edessa at the Battle of Hab, Syria (1119) but lost and Soqman ibn Artuk, the ally of the hot tempered Tugtekin Bey, The Governor of Damascus against the Crusaders in 1104 at the Battle of Harran near Raqqa.

On this battle the Seljuk Army finally captured Crusader Knights Baldwin Il of Edessa who called himself, King of Tripoli and Jerusalem and Joscelin of Courtenay who called himself Prince of Galilee. Although, they managed to escape later. Soqman ibn Artuk become famous and a true honour to the late Artuk Bey.

End of the Ottoman empire:

By the time the British arrived in the Middle East and started spreading its influence, the great Ottoman Empire was in decline so their rule and influence waned. When Lawrence of Arabia came to unite the scattered Bedouins of Arabia to form a viable state later named Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, he gave a decisive blow to the Turkish rule there by training the Bedouins and leading them to attack the Turkish troops. His attack on Aqaba was the final blow when he crossed the Nefud desert to surprise the Turks from behind.

At the end of the first world war, the Ottoman empire collapsed entirely giving rise to a young army officer called Kamal Ataturk who established the modern dayTurkey, banned veils for women, encouraged education for all and rapid development of the country under a democratic government. This was somewhat similar to what Ertugrul himself promoted centuries ago . His remaining descendants were exiled to various countries thus ending the Ottoman rule forever after some 600 years. The last descendant of the great Ertugrul just died a few weeks ago.

Thus ends the story of the handsome fighter Ertugrul and his beautiful wife Halime Sultan who lie in their eternal sleep in Sogut , Turkey but what a tumultuous life they led, how they suffered and how they overcame their challenges together ! It is a great inspiring story that comes from a forgotten past.

Note : To know the story of Ertugrul in detail, please watch the movie called Resurrection ( Dirilis) in U tube that has English sublitles.

Note : My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese languages at the following links as well as my biography. My blogs can be shared by anyone anytime in any social media.

les blogs en français.

Mis blogs en espagnol

Blogs von Anil in Deutsch

My blogs in Japanese

My blogs at Wix site

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Medium.com

Anil’s biography in English.

Biographie d’Anil en français

La biografía de anil en español.

Anil’s Biografie auf Deutsch

Anil’s biography in Japanese

Биография Анила по-русскиu

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Frog in the well

Source: Google photo of the frog in a well

Synopsis : If you live like a frog in a well, you will have a very limited view of the world. Most poor people who live in small towns in isolation from the rest develop it called the frog in the well syndrome that limits their ability to understand the greater world and how to come out of their limited view and their poverty. They blame others for their predicament but do not take the steps that can improve their life. Their limited view of the world makes them depend more on their belief system that tends to breed fundamentalism in them. The blog looks at the reasons for the poverty and the ways out of it.

Do you know what the proverbial frog does in the well? He waits endlessly for some food that might fall into the well accidentally. He does not know that he would have a much better chance of catching his dinner if he was not in the well but he cannot escape his prison because the well-being deep prevents his escape. Then one day a snake comes to the well and eats him but he too stays in the well waiting for his next meal.

This is a metaphor for some people who live in their own well and have a very limited view of the world. They are not in their well by choice but because they live in a small community that is isolated from the rest of the world due to the geography, poor road connections and the fact that they are born in poor communities where they are destined to spend their entire life just like their parents or grandparents. They have little or no education and find low paying jobs that do not require a lot of education.

This is the story of a lot of mining towns or towns with lumber mills where they are the sole employers if they are lucky. Others in such small towns depend on work in the farms that pay little and require hard physical work.

These small towns and villages create the frog in the well syndrome due to the lack of opportunities and their isolation from the rest of the country. They also breed rabid fundamentalism in their religious views because the church plays a great role in their mundane and humdrum life where the pastor drills into them the merits of their religion from their childhood.

They learn to dislike people who are not like them, who are educated and live the middleclass life with comfort, cars and decent houses so a class divide is created between the poor and the middle class that are called the elites by the poor. We see that poorer the community greater is the feeling of us vs them that fuels this unwarranted mentality.

They are not interested in the outside world and often what happens outside their community. They are not curious about the world and they care less because most will never travel outside their well to see the world and experience the beauty of it because they simply cannot afford. Their priority is food , shelter and survival on very low income so they have no reserve of funds in case of an emergency that can happen to anyone , anytime .They live from day to day and in fear of the crop failures or the job layoffs because their lone employer can’t survive the competition in the modern world.

Women find jobs in diners as waitresses or as grocery clerks while others find some jobs in hair saloons or similar shops. Others stay home and raise children. (I have written a blog called Small towns and dreamers that you may like to read in this context here)

This divide between the uneducated and the educated class exists in all countries although the ratio of poor to the middle class varies from country to country that depends on its geography, level of education and the employment opportunities. We find that a geographically small country like Switzerland has a high level of education that is offered free by the state and a high standard of living because there are plenty of job opportunities with good salary that allows everyone to live a comfortable life. It is easier in small countries than in large countries.

But a vast country like the United States of America or Russia where people living in small rural communities feel very isolated from each other due to their geography and limited employment opportunities creating the frog in the well syndrome that I explained earlier.

A friend of mine once told me that people in his small town in Texas were not interested in his worldwide travels and experience because they had never been outside the well to see the world and experience what my friend had experienced so they had nothing in common anymore. They played bingo, went to the bowling alley or just drank beer while watching some soap operas on TV. Women talked about their hair color or nails while gossiping with other women of similar taste or worried about who will bake the next pumpkin pie for the pastor next week.

I had a similar experience when I went home during my trips to India. I came from a city of over 600000 people living there but the frog in the well mentality was omnipresent. They were not interested in my color slides of various countries or in my experiences in Africa, Vietnam or the United States or what I did for a living because they lived in the world of their own where their world view was indeed very limited.

India is now a technologically advanced country where almost everyone is connected through cable TV via satellite and where everyone keeps a cellphone or two in the pocket. It is a country where practically all the government services are now available online and where massive infrastructure development nationwide is bringing the cities and towns together ,where the rural areas have been electrified and good roads link most of the villages but the frog in the well syndrome persists .

People living in any part of India have very good rail, road and air connection and any one can call anyone in India or abroad easily because of massive investment in fiber optic cables nationwide for communication so people are not as isolated as they were some 50 years ago.

But the reason this frog in the well mentality persists because most people are only interested in what is their priority which is food, shelter, clothes and other sundry things just like in those small towns of Texas. Numerous languages, customs and religions also create division among people so people tend to stick together like birds of the same feathers. This makes them less interested in knowing what happens in different parts of the country because they feel that it does not affect them in any way.

Now in a country where everyone speaks the same language, same everything then there should be more connection between different communities and a better understanding of each other but the opposite happens where the poor resent the middle class they call the elites and show this resentment politically as well by voting for someone who takes advantage of this resentment.

The middle class people in any country do not resent the poor citizens but the poor do because they feel that it is not their fault that they are poor so why they should not prosper? They do not care to know that most middle class people came from poverty but by their effort to get education and skills for the job market, they raised their standard of living. Some of the successful middleclass people were poor only a generation ago so you will find a son or a daughter with college degree while the parents have not finished high school.

It is because such parents gave their children the opportunity to get the education they needed to succeed in their life. They valued education and supported their children somehow in spite of their limited resources. They did not have TV, refs, air conditioners or cars but they always paid for the tuition of their children up to the University level. This meant that they sacrificed their own comforts so that the next generation could climb into the middle class.

This help from the parents has contributed to the phenomenal growth in the middle class population in India and has been instrumental in reducing the overall poverty in the country. We also see this trend in China where they have drastically reduced the poverty level through education and training to get numerous jobs offered by the government as well as the private sector.

In democratic countries we now see a trend that gives more opportunities to boys and girls equally when it comes to education and job placement. This is a change from the previous generation when women got married at a certain age and stayed at home to raise children. This is still true to a great extent among the poor and the very poor people in many societies but it is also true that the education is now available to everyone up to high school level in many poor countries.

In other countries the governments provide free education up to the college level to anyone who qualifies thus making them more employable in the private sector that need skilled and educated people.

As the economy of a country develops and grows, more and more people start joining the middle class to live a higher standard of living than their parents but the divide between the middle class and the poor is not going to vanish any time soon because it takes time, resources and a strong mentality to lift the self out of poverty through education and skills.

The frog in the well cannot come out of its well unless given some help. This help comes in the form of massive investment by the government in primary and secondary education, vocational training facilities etc. so that the younger generation has a better chance to get out of poverty. Without such help, poor people stay where they are generation after generation breeding ill feelings for their predicaments and blaming them on the middle class. Or they can sacrifice and somehow send their sons and daughters to college like our parents did.

This help is like the bucket that someone lowers into the well to draw water when a smart frog jumps into it and comes out. What it means is that not everyone grabs an opportunity when it happens to come their way. One must have the attitude and determination that he will not accept the status quo so will try hard to get out of poverty. Only then he will be able to come into the wonderful and beautiful world that awaits him but it will not come easily. He has to make many sacrifices before the success comes for him or the next generation.

Only then he will learn to be of open mind and learn so many new things that are waiting to be learned. A frog that escapes his well will never go back into it given half a chance.

The question is- Do you have what it takes to climb out of your well and see the big world? If you do then you have taken your first step to make your life better. I wish you all the success.

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