The battle between science & spirituality has been going on from decades.
It is believed that where science relies on evidence and proof, spirituality is completely about faith and belief. According to Hindu belief Ram Setu was built by Lord Rama’s army of Apes under his instructions.
His army included the mighty Lord Hanuman and two special Apes who were called Nal and Neel. Tulsidas has mentioned in detail about Nal and Neel in Ramcharitramanas, and also about the curse that whatever they touch will float in water.
Demon Ravana abducted Lord Ramas wife Sita and took her to his kingdom Lanka. Lord Rama reached Rameshwaram finding Sita and started praying to the ocean to show him the way.
At that time the God of the Ocean informed Lord Ram about the capability of Nal and Neel in his army.
He informed him that if Nal and Neel touch any stone and throw it in the water, the stones will start floating in water. After instructions from Lord Ram, the very strong and powerful Nal and Neel started the construction of the Ram Setu bridge.
They uprooted rocks the size of elephants and used them to built the Ram Setu bridge.
If we believe the Puranas, Nal and Neel not only used big rocks and mountains to build the bridge, but they also used branches, plants, neem and coconut trees very strategically to construct it.
Neel use to gather all the material for the construction of the bridge and Nal started placing poles in the ocean and making the base for the bridge. Ram Setu, a 1.7 million year old magnificent monument of India, is 3 kms wide and 30 kms long. Ram Setu, has been connecting India with Srilanka from millions of years.
If we believe some history books, Ram Setu got submerged under the sea around 1400 AD due to a big cyclone. Till than, Ram Setu was used by the general public as a normal bridge. Ram Setu starts at Indias pamban island Dhanushkodi and ends at Srilankas Mannar island.
According to Puranas the construction of the magnificent Ram Setu bridge was completed in 5 days by Nal and Neel and an army of ten million apes. As you all know that the places mentioned in the Ramayana exactly match the current location of the bridge.
Even today in Rameshwaram and nearby shores you can easily find floating stones.
Similar floating stones have also been kept in the Rameshwaram temple which can be seen and touched very easily. These are very heavy as other normal stones and cannot be picked up easily by hands. Some geologists dont agree that Ram Setu is man made and believe that it has formed naturally, and if asked for any evidence, they are unable to provide any proper answer.
If we leave aside these few experts and geologists, there are many experts, scientists, evidence and proofs that claim and prove that Ram Setu is a man made marvel. In one of their recent video, Nasa who has done reseach on Ram Setu based on science, has claimed that Ram Setu exists from more than 7000 years. Nasa claims that where the sand found underneath is from 4000 BC, the stones found on top are from 7000 BC and dont belong to this area, but have been brought from somewhere else.
In further research they also claim that if air is trapped within a shell of silica it would look like a stone, but would actually be very light and would thus float. Another example is ice. When put in a glass filled with liquid, ice floats on liquid and after some time it sinks.
Scientists have been making many different claims in all their research, but if we check the details they are unable to prove it. In a similar research, Nasa and some scientists claim that these floating stones have formed due to coral formation. Nasa has also released a picture for the same.
Looking at the scientific reasoning behind it if I ask you have you ever seen any floating corals by the Maldives bay or Australian bay? The answer is No. There is nothing called floating corals as corals are made up of calcium carbonate whose chemical composition to float on water is very thick and dense.
Geologists claim that because the stones were underneath the sea for many years the corals have formed, but when they were asked why these corals have formed in Rameshwaram only and not anywhere else in the world, they were unable to give any proper answer. Also coral stones dont occur naturally in the sea, they occur only on hard surface.
According to many experts, they say that the stones found in Rameshwaram are pumice stones, wherein if we see carefully, pumice stones have lots or air bubbles trapped inside and so the density of the stone is lesser than that of water, and thats the reason the stone floats on water.
If pumice stone is kept in water continuously, in the start it will surely float on water for some time, but in a few days the holes of the pumice stone are filled with water and slowly it becomes heavier and finally settles in water.
As explained based on this theory scientists claim that pumice stones got filled with water and so Ram Setu is now submerged in the sea. Pumice stone is a very different, light, shiny and porous stone which is formed due to volcanic activity and because it is lightweight it floats on water.
The pressure in a volcano is more than 1600 C and due to lots of pressure there is sudden volcanic eruption due to which lava comes on the surface of the earth, and when cold air touches this lava it freezes and pumice stones are formed.
Due to this huge difference in temperature, lava freezes, and at the same time due to the change in pressure many air bubbles are trapped inside the stone. This gives the stone a very spongy look, and almost 90% of pumice stone is made up of air bubbles.
There is still lots of evidence that proves that the pumice stone theory is wrong.
Firstly, There is no volcano near Rameshwaram. Secondly, The floating stones found in Rameshwaram are not as light as pumice stones but heavy and the chemical composition of these stones do no match pumice stones at all.
In America, The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of The US Department of Energy Institute did a detailed research on the floating of pumice stones on water, Till now it was believed that the pores found in pumice stone are sealed and because those pores are airtight, its impossible for the water to fill the holes.
In this research scientists found that the holes of pumice stones are actually open and they actually are a well connected network of clear channels. Researchers found that the gas trapping processes in pumice stones are related to surface tension. To study this in more detail, scientists took pumice stone samples from North californias Mount Shasta and Guatemalas Santa Maria Volcano. They placed it in water and wax coated it and made a sample.
And than through xray imaging technique which is called micro-tomography, they tested it.
They wanted to find out what happens when pumice stone is sealed from all sides and how much gas and water gets trapped inside the coated stone. Scientists found out that the water only fills a few parts of the pores, and locks the air bubbles from releasing out. This is the actual reason due to which the stone floats. Surface tension serves to keep these bubbles locked inside for prolonged period.
Researchers prepared a formula through which, according to the size of the pumice stone they can calculate how long it will float on water. And in this way pumice stone theory is also proved wrong and the mystery of the floating stones at Ram Setu still remains as it is. After this entire study, todays modern science, scientists and experts have still not been able to solve the mystery of this marvel which has been built around 12,000 years ago.
Should we think that this is Lord Rams wish and wait for the correct time for the truth to come out?
Or should we believe that modern science is still very under developed as compared to Vedic times?
And we still have to go way more ahead in order to meet our ancestors scientific knowledge.