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Ancient History (2/2) [Re:Contribution of Backward Classes..]

[... continued from the previous post...]

> I do now know who your Dr. Vartak is, but I doubt he has examined
> manuscripts or has any solid evidence backing up his claims. If

Dr. Vartak's work has been acknowledged by scholars in India, although 
most of whom apparently disagree with his Mahabharat dateline. He has 
considered various aspects in dating the Mahabharat. Also, importantly, he 
has obtained the astronomical records by evaluating the (Sanskrit) verses 
from the Mahabharat text (B.O.R.I) directly, and not refering to some 
translation. Since I myself am not in a position to attest Dr. Vartak's 
credentials, in the following post is presented an opinion of Wrangler 
Chandratreya which should give a fair idea of Dr. Vartak's work methodology, 
the postive points of this work as well as the drawbacks. However, before 
doing so, you may want to read his work that I post [repost] as a 
appendix to this reply. You then will be able to form an opinion for 
yourself. And I am sure that he does not expect indologists of the world 
to fall at his feet for whatever studies he has done.

> Prasad, do you realize how ridiculous your claims are? If you can
> give me a single solid piece of archeological, textual, or inscriptional
> evidence of your 7323 B.C. date, I would be very happy. This, by 
Quoting Dr. Vartak's work, I stated the birth date of Ram as 4th December 
7323 B.C, which Mani Varadarajan findsd ridiculous and requested for any 
evidence to this proposition. What better textual reference for this 
calculation can there be than the annals of the Ramayan itself! Sage 
Valmiki has meticulously noted down the planetary configurations when the 
incidents during Rama's time took place, encoding which, Dr. Vartak's has 
obtained the Ramayanic chronology. Please refer to a subsequent post for 

The Mahabharat contains list of kings and family histories of the heroes 
of that era (eg. Pandav), which when traced back can provide an estimate 
of Shree Ram's era. I however must admit that, as far as I know, not much 
work has been done of the dating of Ramayanic events. The conservative 
date of that era falls to about 4500 B.C -- which is altogether not 
impossible a date. However, 5500 B.C seems to be more like it.

Some clues from Sumerian clay tablets, Isin and Kish chronicles which 
approximate the date of the first king (Ukhu == Iksh-vaku) of the first 
dynasty of Sumeria to be 8350 B.C. Waddell states that the names of kings 
in the above records remarkably tally to those of Indian Solar and Lunar 
dynasties. This suggests the antiquity of the the Solar dynasty, and the 
geneologies can be followed to determine Shree Ram's Era. 

It is known from Shrimad Bhagvat that Shree Ram was (approx.) 75th in 
Ikshwaku lineage and that 60 generations passed between from Shree Ram. 
Assuming 40 years for each generation (people lived longer at that time), 
and assuming the first Ikshwaku king at 8350 B.C, we see that Ramayan 
falls at about 5350 B.C and that Mahabharat 3000 B.C., the latter which 
is known. Ramayanic date therefore falls at about 5500 B.C.

The deities in the Ramayanic era (eg: Varun, Rudra, Marutgan, Indra) are 
similar to those worshiped (mentioned) in the Vedas. These deities are 
altogether different from those worshipped during the Mahabharat time. 
Ramayan therefore must have occured when the RgVed (one of its stages) 
was being composed. Tilak, Ketkar, etc. have calculated the last phases 
of RgVed to be between 6000-4000 B.C. Ramayan could have occured during 
this time, or even earlier. 

> the way, does *not* even coincide with the traditional claims of 
> Sri Rama's antiquity, which take him back to Treta Yuga.

That you have mentioned the Yuga theory, namely, by traditional claims 
Shree Ram existed in the Treta Yuga, I assume your reference to the 
unbelievably large number of years in each era (Kali Era equals 432,000 
years). How then did Ram exist in 7323 B.C (according to Sr. Vartak) ? 

The large numbers are not to be taken literally (which are in non-real 
time frame), and more so, the Yuga theory (real time calculations) needs 
to be understood. One theory by Swami Yukteshwar (derived from Hindu 
texts) gives 4800 years for the Satya Yuga, 3600 for Treta, 2400 for 
Dwappar and 1200 years for Kali (cycle of 12000*2 years=24000 years). 
Dwapaar has 2000 years, with 200 years of "sandhee" period on on either 
sides. Now, assuming Kaliyug began in 3102 B.C, the beginning of Dwapaar 
concludes to be around 5500 B.C. Subtracting the "sandhee" of Treta, the 
end of Treta comes to around 5750 B.C, which is closer to be popular 
estimate of Shree Ram's date. Yet another theory, apparently from the 
Soorya Siddhanta, provides the span of Kaliyuga to be 2160 years, and 
that of Dwaapar twice of that (4320 years) and so on. From these numbers, 
end of Treta Yuga falls around 7500 B.C, which is closer to Dr. Vartak's 
estimate of the Ramayanic Era.

I believe that Dr. Vartak's astronomical calculations need to be 
validated by other scholars corroborating the intricate mathematical 
calculations and assumptions to astral references. As far as 
archaeological evidences (if at all any are found!) are concerned, highly 
rough estimates of the situation of that long a time can only be 
obtained. Also, interpreting the excavations may not be an easy task and 
could only be done relating to literary references. Whatever it is, to 
fix the dating of the Ramayana would require some time and I believe, 
that it won't be too long before it is done. Dr. Vartak's work however 
provides some good pointers to initiate research on the topic.

Ancient history of India ends with the Mahabharat War and mediaeval 
history starts with that date. The post-glacial era (8000 B.C onwards 
approx.) saw the the Ramayanic Era, and before that date existed the 
Vedas, some Samhitas and other scriptures. The astronomical records in the 
latter texts provide dates of remote antiquity, and according to Tilak, 
the Vedic hymns were sung in the post-glacial era who had inherited the 
knowledge from their antidiluvian forefathers. Totally rejecting the 
dates mentioned in the scriptures and branding them as "pious frauds" by 
Brahmanas is unwarranted. Atleast dates of speculative nature should be 
put forth as a start, and drawing of a "complete" picture needs to be 

> P.S. Why the historicity of what is undoubtedly "epic" literature
> is so important confounds me. These tails have been embroidered

In an earlier post, I had provided "some interpretations" of the 
Mahabharat and stated that among others, the great work can be viewed 
from an historical point of view. The importance of historical 
studies is too stellar to mention. Just as an observation, note how 
the Britishers skillfully (?) succeeded in enslaving the minds of Indians 
by merely manipulating history and undermining the religion of the 
country and its people! The myth of Aryan Invasion created by the 
English to meet their political gains, and now so deeply embedded in 
the minds of Indians, has caused innumerable schims between in the 
country! Merely by educating the people of a country to ridicule and 
belittle the antiquity of their history, a handful of aliens were able to 
rule a vast polulation! The history of a country determines the current 
mindset of the people and its study and analysis determines the future of 
the nation. To set aside history as merely an academic exercise (which 
also is necessary) is a sign of dishonesty and ignorance.

As an addition to the above, I propose to post the following articles.

a) Mahabharat : A Myth or a Reality
b) Dating of Mahabharat by Dr. P.V. Vartak
c) Opinion on Wran. Chandratreya on b)
d) Dating of Mahabharat by Patnaik
e) Astronomical Dating of the Mahabharat by Dr. Saraswat
f) Astronomical Dating of the Ramayan by Dr. Vartak

* Again note that the consensus on the dating of the Mahabharat is at 
3100 B.C. and may/or may not necessarily be correct. However, I am posting 
Dr. Vartak's work in light of academic interest and also, because it may 
provide some valid pointers for further research.

I hope you (and other netters) find the articles useful and informative.

Thankyou for your patience in reading the above.

With regards and best wishes,

---Prasad Gokhale.

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