Archive for the ‘kaliyuga’ Category

“Glimpses of Srimad Bhagavatam” – National seminar held at Vijayawada on October 14th and 15th, 2017.

October 16, 2017

“Glimpses of Srimad Bhagavatam” – National seminar held at Vijayawada on October 14th and 15th, 2017.

Location of Hyndavi, Vijayawada

“Glimpses of Srimad Bhagavatam” – National seminar held at Vijayawada: Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Samiti[1](hereinafter mentioned as BISS), Andhra Pradesh conducted two National Seminars on Ramayanam – Historicity and Maha Bharatam – Historicity in 2013 and 2015 in Ongole and Rajamundhry respectively.  In 2017, the BISS conducted a national seminar at Vijayawada on October 14th and 15th on “Glimpses of Srimad Bhagavatam”. Now that “Historicity” was dropped might be noted. The venue was “Haindavi” Bhavan, Street besides Lotus Land Mark[2], Ramalingeswara Peta, Vijayawada-3. Actually, it is in Sector-5, and the location is known as “near Ice Factory”. Hyndavi building, Vijayawada - photo Rajesh PadmarOutstation delegates had some difficulty to reach the venue. Incidentally, the multi-storied building was built, completed and inaugurated last year[3]. Sri Siddheswarananda Bharati Swamy of Sri Siddheswari Peetham (Tamil Nadu) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) All India Organising Secretary Dattatreya Hosabale inaugurated the RSS’s regional office ‘Hyndavi’ at Ayodhya Nagar here on August 5th, 2016 (Thursday)[4]. RSS office inaugrated 05-08-2016 Vijayawada

The seminar hall has been equipped with Power point and other provisions. The organizers had made good arrangements – food, accommodation etc., for the delegates. Sri Koti Lakshmana Rao, secretary, BISS has been instrumental in bringing different researchers, scholars and others together.

Haindavi Bhawan -L-R view

Theme of the Seminar: Research Papers were received from scholars, Research Students and people who were interested in History of ancient India / Bharat and its culture, tradition, heritage and civilization. The organizers expressed in their circular specifically that the Samiti desired that the main focus of the presentations in the seminar should be on historical, geographical, political, social, and cultural as well as Dharmic and ethical perspectives. They suggested the following topics in the context:

1.       Viswa srushti

2.      Propositions on Dharma

3.      Astronomical perspectives

4.      Geographical references

5.      Rivers, Mountains, Forests

6.      Piligrimages

7.      Life style of forest dwellers, common people & kings (rulers)

8.     Status & significance of Women.

9.      Systems of Education

10.  Customs & Rituals

11.   Sculpture, Architecture & Fine Arts

12.  Kings, kingdoms, Royal dynasties,

13.  State craft & politics, Systems of State And Governance

14.  Sages, establishments and their influence

15.   Upakhyanas and their influence etc.,

16.  Other related topic also may be considered.

Bhagawata seminar banner on the gate

About 40 papers were presented on the topics suggested, but overlapping. Most of the papers delved upon the devotional, descriptive, narrative, legendary aspects and discourses of Bhagawatham. Perhaps, only one paper delved upon the historical perspective, which touched upon the “Archaeological Evidences for the existence of “Historical Krishna”. In the present-day context, as ideology has been working at the Universities, schools and all other academic institutions and forums, it could be answered and countered only by ideology and not by devotional discourses. Of course, it is required and may be mandatory also at earlier stages of curriculum, hitherto followed as “Moral period / class” provided till 1970s. The “Moral period” was removed and of course, the degradation of sacademics could be noted thereafter in different aspects.

Bhagawata seminar - breafast

Critical edition of Bhagawatam has to be brought out: Critical editions of Ramayana and Mahabharat have been prepared and published by the Baroda Oriental Rearch Institute and Bhandarkar Oriental Rearch Institute respectively[5]. Similarly, critical edition of Bhagawatapurana should be published, so that researchers, scholars and students could conduct their research in the historical perspective. Approaching Bhagawatam in Sanskrit and other regional languages show how the work had been so popular and common among the common people for 2000 years. Though, the narrative, legendary and mythical details vary, the core of the subject matter remains intact and specific. The study / process of manuscripts to determine the original or most authoritative form of a text, especially of a piece of literature and thus arriving at an acceptable version and publication of it is known as “critical edition”. In Literary criticism it is stressing close reading and detailed analysis of a particular text. In such determination of determining the original or most authoritative form of a text, all the available manuscripts are subjected to study. Notably, in “India”(pre-colonial, pre-Mohammedan) thousands and millions of manuscripts had been available, as they were nothing but just like present-day printed books. In spite of the taking away, looting and burning libraries of temples, mutts and Universities, still millions of manuscript are available in thousands of archives, libraries – prove the fact. Perhaps, no other literature of any nation, language or society has been existing in this manner. Therefore, the variance found in Indian literature has been unique, interpolations incidental (other than internal nature of Jains, Buddhists etc) and differences inadvertent. Thus, a critical edition can be prepared.

Bhagawata seminar - hall where held

The hall where seminar was held.

Bhagawata seminar - Limited audience

Limited audience – LHS view.

Bhagawata seminar - Limited audience.RHS

Limited audience – RHS view.

Bhagawata seminar - Mohana, Balamukund, Koti, TVR

Inaguration of the seminar by lighting a lamp.

Bhagawata seminar - paper presenters

Scholars presenting papers.

Bhagawata seminar - paper presenters.more

Researchers presenting papers.

Demythologization in Indian context: In Indian historiographical context, much of “demythologization” is also required. Demythologization as a hermeneutic approach to religious texts seeks to separate cosmological and historic claims from philosophical, ethical and theological teachings. Rudolf Bultmann (1884-1976) introduced the term demythologization (in German: Entmythologisierung) in this context[6]. It is to provide an explanation of something, or to present something, in a way that removes any mystery surrounding it. Here, actually, history has been mythologized to reach all and common people with easy understanding. The following have been generally noted as feature of mythologization of different aspects and subjects of humanity:

  1. Deification of personalities raising them to Godhead and God.
  2. Attributing miracles, grand feats, great exploitation, controlling nature etc.
  3. Recording Natural disasters (floods, volcanic eruptions, earth-quakes, submergence of land mass and other land disturbances) in their own fashion of divine scourge, punishment of God and so on.
  4. Good would always prevail over Bad, evil, injustice etc.
  5. “Cakravarti-kshetra” i.e, a king ruling vast area with unlimited or traditional boundaries (Himalsyas in the north, Kanyakumari / ocean in the south, Eastern Ocean in the east and the western ocean in the west)[7].
  6. Concept of dwelling land, continent changing from island (Jambudwipam, Navalanthivu) to the above boundaries.
  7. Movement of asterisms, planets etc., and their attribution to great personalities and gods.
  8. Synchronization of rites, festivals and celebrations with days, weeks, 15-days, 30-days, year and so on (Lunar calendar).
  9. Attribution of cyclic periods, growth of plants and trees, flowers and fruits top a particular god or Goddess.
  10. Existence of personalities for many years – 100, 1,000 etc., denoting existence of such ashrams, mutt etc.

Bhagawata seminar - second day started with prayer

Second day seminar – starting with a prayer.

Bhagawata seminar - second day -audience

Methodology adopted and adapted by the Puranic writers – a way of historiography: They are nothing but Puranas and they were updated during the course of time many times. The updating is nothing but adding details upto the date of updating, thus, if one Purana was uptated in 1500 CE, it would contain details upto 1500 CE from the beginning. Revising, renewing and modernizing Puranas was considered as imortant in those days. All the above topics would havealso been updated depending upon the acumen of the updating experts. However, reading such revised editions of Puranas (in manuscript forms), the wesern researchers and European colonial history writers presumed that such and such Purana was written in 1500 CE instead of 300 BCE, 500 BCE or even 1000 BCE. The Jaina[8] and Buddhists[9] had resorted to update in their own fashion by including their affairs and thus, they could bee seen in the manuscripts of Ramayana and Mahabharat also. But, no historian would accept that the dates of Jainism and Buddhism could go back to those periods. Though, the date of Ramayana has been entangled with “Yuga” calculations, the date of Mahabharat has been fixed to c.3102 BCE[10].

© Vedaprakash

16-10-2017

Bhagawata seminar - paper presenters receiving certificate-1

The paper presenters were given certificates.

Bhagawata seminar - paper presenters receiving certificate-2

This lady-researcher from Rastriya Sanskrit Vidhyapit, Tirupati presented paper in Sanskrit.Bhagawata seminar - paper presenters receiving certificate-3

This researcher from Rastriya Sanskrit Vidhyapit, Tirupati also presented paper in Sanskrit.  His way of presentaion, expression and body language had been so articulative conveying mesage to the listeners.

[1] A society for collection of data for history writing for Bharat, that is India.

[2] This created confusion for auto drivers and they took the coming delegates in opposite direction and the reaching the venue.

[3] The Hindu, RSS’s regional office ‘Hyndavi’ inaugurated, Vijayawada, August, 05, 2016 00:00 IST; Updated. August, 05, 2016 06:06 IST

[4] http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/RSS%E2%80%99s-regional-office-%E2%80%98Hyndavi%E2%80%99-inaugurated/article14552939.ece

[5] Critical edition is an authorized sort of version of Itihasa, after going through available thousands of manuscripts by hundreds of Pundits, scholars, historians etc., separating interpolated verses and arriving at acceptable version.

[6] Though, he used in the biblical context, in India, we can use in Indian context. For us, the Puranic writers have themselves have shown the methodology of mythologization and demythologization of history for the different groups of audience.

[7] D. C. Sircar pointed out in his book on epigraphy.

[8] Jains created 24-tirtankaras and made them existing in Ramayana and Mahabharat periods.

[9] Buddhists had created the concept of “Adi Buddha” existing in every yuga.

[10] This has traditional date but recorded in inscriptions and now proven by atronomical and planetary pisition software. Incidentally, this date has been associated with – starting of Kaliyuga, subnergence of Dwaraka, Niryana of Krishna, and other events.

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Siddhantic works – some comments.

March 16, 2015

Siddhantic works – a discussion in the ‘””Hindu civilization”

We have to discuss them without mincing the words. It is better to do the exercise quoting from the sources, so that we would not waste time or indulge in making mistakes.

We have to read the originals, read the translations and check with the mss to find out the number of leaves of palm-leaf books containing slokas. Out of 100, 1000 …leaves only one or two bring certain details, which are subjected to interpretation. In other words, 90 to 99% of the text has been subject-oriented and Indian oriented only. Here, one has to understand the ” Indian historiography ” also in the study of ” history of science and technology ” . Based on such few palm-leaves found in between, much has been written already. Take the example of a sloka reportedly found after sloka 1 to 6 in Surya Siddhanta as recorded by Burgess (The Surya Siddhanta, p.3):

” Go therefore to Romaka-city, thine own residence; there, undergoing incarnation as a barbarian, owing to a curse of Brahma, I will impart to thee this science ” .

How to decide about this? About its authenticity or interpolation – purpose of insertion – when done? These questions would expose.

Coming to Parasara, it all started with asking for the Parasara manuscripts. The 18 Siddhants are:

1. Surya
2. Soma
3. Pitamaha
4. Vasistha
5. Atri
6. Parasara

1. Kasyapa
2. Narada
3. Gargya
4. Marici
5. Manu
6. Angirasa

1. Lomasa
2. Paurukutsa
3. Cyvana
4. Yavana
5. Bhrgu
6. Saunaka

So I tried to emphasize about the recognition of 5 or 18 Siddhantas, as Parasara Siddhanta happens to be the one of 18 and not 5.

Though, Varahamihira mentions the five:

1. Paulisha
2. Romaka
3. Vasishta
4. Saura
5. Paithamaha

Paulisha and Romaka are not in the 18.

So when Varahamihira added the ” two new ones ” with the ” three from the above 18 ” to form The FIVE, it does not mean that the 18 were not there. But the fact is that he wanted to project the FIVE for the reasons to be researched into. Ironically, in his invocation, he mentions Dhinakara and Vaistha along with other sages. He records about ” Purvacharya ” (Verse No.1). Latadeva commented upon the TWO – Paulisha and Romaka (2) (which are not in the 18). Though, he mentioned the order as above, he started with Vasistha (Vasishrtha Siddhanta – Chapter 2).

The following has been the confession of G. Thibaut about the imperfect and fragmentary nature of ms with which he treied to translate to understand:

” Imperfect and fragmentary as (the) text and (the) translations are, we may assert, at any rate, that in our endeavours to overcome the quite unusual obstacles which the corrupt and bare text of the Pachasiddhantika opposes to the interpreter, we have spread no trouble. The time and thought devoted to the present volume would, I may say without exaggeration, have amply sufficed for the editing and explaining of twenty times the amount of text presenting only normal difficulties ” (G. Thoibaut, in the Preface, p.v).

That is why I commented in HC. No.20393. But, unfortunately, the point was diverted with egoism stating that, ” ….I have photocopy of all original texts in hand ….I can read in original …I do not want Kuppanna …..Your knowledge is zero…… ” . I am very sorry the way HC is going.

However, the western or European intention had / has been to discredit Indian astronomy by bringing a discussion of astrology in it. The Zodiacal interpretation of astronomy is invariably mixed with astrology in such process. Indian scholars, particularly, with the background of Sanskrit, Vedas and Vedangas had not been clever enough to match with them in historical interpretation. They had knowledge of other civilizations and matching factors, which the Indian scholars did not know. Moreover, the Indian scholars had been imbibed with Itihasa and Puranas while dealing with astronomy. So they were interpreting about the Persians, Greeks, etc as ” the degraded kshatriyas ” , when they were informed about the Greek-Babylonian-Assyrian astronomy with astrology. Edward Pockoke, William Jones and others too accepted such interpretation finding similarities between the Greek and Indian civilizations. However, they struck to their interpretation that the Indians derived from the Greek-Babylonian-Assyrian astronomy with astrology.

About the asterism – 27 or 28 etc kindly see:

William D. Whitney, On the Views of Biot and Weber respecting the relations of the Hindu and Chinese Systems of Asterisms with an addition, on Muller’s views respecting the same subject by William D. Whitney, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol.VIII, 1864.

About Kaliyuga, kidly refer to the following:

1 . John Playfair, Remarks on the Astronomy of the Brahmins, A paper presented on March 2, 1789 at the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

2. John Faithful Fleet, The Kaliyuga Era of B. C. 3102, Journal of Royal asiatic Society, 1911, pp.479-496 & 675-698

3.  H. P. Blavatsky, Notes from ” The Secret Doctrine ” , Vol.I, Theosophical Press, Online edition, Downloaded from the website, pp.647-668.

4. B. L. Van Der Waerden, The Conjunction of 3102 B.C, Centarus, 1980, Vol.24, pp.117-131.

5. K. V. Ramakrishna Rao, Kali Era – The Lively Controversy Among the Western Scholars, A paper presented at the Aryabhatteyam Seminar on April 20, 1999.

6.  Ravi Prakash Arya, Steppiong into 52nd Century, Akhil Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Yojana, New Delhi – 110 055.

7. R. Brahmachari & B. B. Basu, Hindu Chronology : Most Scientific System of Reckoning Time, World of Science, pp.373-382.

8. Gayatri Devi Vasudev, The Vedangas, The Astrological Magazine, November 2002, Vol.91, No.11, pp.913-991..

9. K. V. Ramakrishna Rao, Historicity, Atronomy and Kaliyuga, Saptarishi era and Ancient Historical Dates, International Society for the Investigation of Ancient Civilizations, Madras, 2003, pp.44-57

10. K. V. Ramakrishna Rao Kali Era as Gleaned from the Literary and Epigraphical Evidences, Ibid, pp.58-70.

We shall continue our discussion.

Anybody can give any comments (no diversion, no egoism, personal attacks etc) without diluting the spirit.

The Confusion of Astyronomy and Astrology: As I mentioned about the methodology of writing ” History of Indian Science and Technology ” , the non-Indians and even Indians always think about their Vedic Scientists, Vedic Astronomers, Vedic Mathematicians etc as Brahmins with tufts, wearing sacred threads, donning ochre robes,
murmuring mantras, sitting before sacred fires (yagnas) and inventing or discovering as if only through reciting mantras.

Whereas, the Greek and Arab counterparts are depicted with astronomical instruments making observations, conducting experiments with astrolabes, dealing with geared machines, pouring chemicals from round-bottom flask
to conical flask etc! Many times, the background of the imaginary depictions of such scientists would be filled with machinery parts, gears, telescopes, etc. Such figures prominently appear in standard books, encyclopedias and internet too.

This is totally wrong. Mantra reciting Vedic or Brahman groups have been different from other groups. Leaving that discussion aside, the Indian Scientists-Astronomers-Mathematician groups were unique and they could have arrived at such results only through observations, calculations and experiments. Of course, we do not have the material evidences used for observations, calculations and experiments.

However Negative Evidence cannot be evidence: Then, a question rises naturally – ” What happened to them ” ? A numberless person becoming expert in solving theorems, a blind man drawing a picture or portrait or a dumb reciting Vedas, people manufacturing bricks of exactly specific dimensions without such knowledge, manufacturing gold jewelry without jewel art and technology, using gems without the knowledge of gem cutting etc., cut without axe, broke without hammer, chiseled without chisel, carved without implements? Absence of evidence due to different reasons cannot be a reason to doubt the existence when the subsequent events, records and others show that such things could have existed.

The astrological interpretation of astronomy has marred Indian astronomy. As a Siddhantic work contains the exact astronomy and also cosmology, geography etc., the English-translators would make such interpretation without understanding the significance. Thus, taking the astrological interpretation of astronomy, the westerners have blown out in to proportions that the Indian astronomers, though knew or borrowed from others, they were ultimately interested only in astrology that too, ” predictive astrology ” .

So in the name of Parasara, we have all sorts of Siddhantas, Samhitas and Smritis and ” Nadi sastra ” works also. There is a work ” Gnana upadesham 22 ” attributed to Parasara available (Fourth part of Gnana sasthirat-tirattu) [R. N. Iyengar can go to Tamarai Nulagam who have published some works and Vriddhacalam for Nasdi-works and see such manuscripts of Parasara]. Even westerners have started conducting courses in ” Nadi sastra ” ! In this way, Indians are misled and made to forget their real scientific roots. Talking scientific temper, we are loosing our temper and trying to harden than cooling. And more and more such interpretation (of caricaturing, ridiculing, and deriding nature) comes from Indians, that too, Hindus, it becomes laughing stock for the westerners.

Suddenly a lot of interest has been generated in ” Prasara Samhita / Smruti / tantra ” and there have been enquiries in the Oriental manuscripts libraries, archives and other libraries. During July-August alone, the enquiries about this particular manuscript have been tremendous. My friend at one of such Manuscript libraries informs particularly the enquiries from foreign and through Indian contacts has been specifically about it, because it reportedly contains details about  astronomy, Silpa-sastra and medicine (three-in-one). A sculptor has been hectic about acquiring it at any cost.

Again coming to the astrological mixup of Indian Astronomy, Varahamihira is also associated with Brihat Samhita, Brihat Jataka etc., can we then accuse him of introducing ” predictve astrology ” in India? The favourite Persian came to India and spoiled the astronomical minds of Indians turning them to predictive astrology forgetting observational astronomy. A Greek or Persian for Indians becoming so irrational! There has been one Prigu Manthrigam 100, can we accuse of Prigu for sorcery, witchcraft etc? Why Varahamihira had not compiled ” Pancha-Samhita, Pancha-Jataka, Pancha-karana, Pancha-tantra ” etc., but only ” Pancha-Siddhantika ” ? I request scholars like A. K. Kaul and others to research into this aspect critically.

Much of the controversy over the origin of Indian zodiac could be avoided if a multi-disciplinary research is made out. Zodiac involves mathematics, spherical geometry, geography, longitudes and latitudes, and other subjects. That the 12 divides zodiac into equally into 300, that the zone of the celestial sphere extending to a width of about 80,
etc., imply the known knowledge. That even modern and advanced astronomy depends on 12 divisions perhaps divorcing the astrological symbolism proves that it has been in use for many years.

Here, the Inthinai Zodiac ” (The Zodiac represented by Five Parts of Nature covering land, behaviour of birds, animals and people, Sun, Moon and Stars) of the ancient Tamils / Indians represented with respective seasonal, cyclic, climatic symbolism with animals, flowers, musical instruments etc., may be interesting for consideration. It could have been developed into 12 depending upon the exigency. We have been noting how the number of asterism, planets etc., are changing according to human precept, concept and development of hypotheses, theories and laws,
so also the enumeration of days, weeks, months etc. Therefore, the ancient origin of Zodiac could be traced back to it, if the antiquity of Tamil Indians (no linguistic or racial connotation please – the Sanskrit-Tamil dichotomy has been only artificial and not real) is taken into account.

VEDAPRAKASH

06-09-2007.