Australia was earlier called Asthralaya..where Pandavas stored their Asthras (weapons)
A Twitter user claimed that the name ‘Australia’ was derived from ‘Asthralaya’ and it means a place (Aalaya) that stored weapons (Asthra) of Pandavas of Mahabharatha.
A blog on ‘wisdomfromsrisriravishankar’ website mentions the claim briefly.
What is the truth?
When google searched ‘Australia’ and ‘Asthrayala’, it is found that the claim is doing rounds on social media for over a decade. A youtube video of Sri Sri Ravishankar explaining the derivation of ‘Australia’ is also found.
A retired IPS officer, Vijay Shanker Singh took it to Twitter in November 2021, to mention that ‘these claims only make us laugh’.
इतिहास, भुगोल, आस्था, अतीतजीविता, गर्वप्रियता, मिथ्याभिमान, आत्मममुग्धता, और सर्वज्ञता का जब घालमेल होने लगता है तो, ऐसे दावे हमे हास्यास्पद ही बनाते हैं। वेदव्यास जो नहीं ढूंढ और लिख पाए, वह श्री श्री लिख रहे हैं ! pic.twitter.com/2b3VxCzMSw
— Vijay Shanker Singh IPS Rtd (@vssnathupur) November 2, 2021
The official website of ‘National Library of Australia’ answers the question ‘How was Australia named?’ under the ‘Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) category.
It is mentioned that ‘Australia’ was called ‘Terra Australis Incognita’ or ‘Unknown South Land’ before it was found. During the 18th century when Dutch navigators charted the coasts of Australia, it became ‘New Holland’.
In 1804, an English Explorer, Matthew Flinders used the name ‘Australia’ to describe the continent. And nowhere the website has mentioned about ‘Mahabharata’ or ‘Asthralaya’.
Similarly, Mauritius is claimed to be called as ‘Mutralaya’ earlier, and Taj Mahal from ‘Tej Mehalaya’. These are baseless allegations with no solid proof.
Australia was Astralaye and Mauritius was Mutralaye. pic.twitter.com/AaqOU2r7vt
— Antisocial. (@Zainab_0216) April 16, 2022
The claim that the name ‘Australia’ was derived from ‘Asthralaya’ as it refers to the ‘place of weapons’ for Pandavas in Mahabharatha is false.
It is known that Australia was earlier called ‘Terra Australis Incoginta’ or ‘Unknown South Land’, and then ‘New Holland’.