The Candid Eye

March 4, 2010

‘Lord Krishna existed. School texts are wrong’

Filed under: Hinduism,Indian History — Abhay @ 6:00 AM
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Raj Nambisan
Did Krishna exist?

Most certainly, says Dr Manish Pandit, a nuclear medicine physician who teaches in the United Kingdom, proffering astronomical, archaeological, linguistic and oral evidences to make his case.

“I used to think of Krishna is a part of Hindu myth and mythology. Imagine my surprise when I came across Dr Narhari Achar (a professor of physics at the University of Memphis, Tennessee, in the US) and his research in 2004 and 2005. He had done the dating of the Mahabharata war using astronomy. I immediately tried to corroborate all his research using the regular Planetarium software and I came to the same conclusions [as him],” Pandit says.

Which meant, he says, that what is taught in schools about Indian history is not correct?

The Great War between the Pandavas and the Kauravas took place in 3067 BC, the Pune-born Pandit, who did his MBBS from BJ Medical College there, says in his first documentary, Krishna: History or Myth?.

Pandit’s calculations say Krishna was born in 3112 BC, so must have been 54-55 years old at the time of the battle of Kurukshetra.

Pandit is also a distinguished astrologer, having written several books on the subject, and claims to have predicted that Sonia Gandhi would reject prime ministership, the exact time at which Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati would be released on bail and also the Kargil war.

Pandit, as the sutradhar of the documentary Krishna: History or Myth?, uses four pillars — archaeology, linguistics, what he calls the living tradition of India and astronomy to arrive at the circumstantial verdict that Krishna was indeed a living being, because Mahabharata and the battle of Kurukshetra indeed happened, and since Krishna was the pivot of the Armageddon, it is all true.

You are a specialist in nuclear medicine. What persuaded you to do a film on the history/myth of Krishna? You think there are too many who doubt? Is this a politico-religious message or a purely religious one?

We are always taught that Krishna is a part of Hindu myth and mythology. And this is exactly what I thought as well. But imagine my surprise when I came across Dr Narhari Achar (of the Department of Physics at the University of Memphis, Tennessee, in the US) and his research somewhere in 2004 and 2005. He had done the dating of the Mahabharata war using astronomy.

I immediately tried to corroborate all his research using the regular Planetarium software and I came to the same conclusions. This meant that what we are taught in schools about Indian history is not correct.

I also started wondering about why this should be so. I think that a mixture of the post-colonial need to conform to western ideas of Indian civilisation and an inability to stand up firmly to bizarre western ideas are to blame. Also, any attempt at a more impartial look at Indian history is given a saffron hue.

I decided that I could take this nonsense no more, and decided to make films to show educated Indians what their true heritage was. The pen is mightier than the sword is an old phrase but I thought of new one: Film is the new pen.

Any ideas I have will receive wide dissemination through this medium.

I wanted to present a true idea of Indian history unfettered by perception, which was truly scientific, not just somebody’s hypothesis coloured by their perceptions and prejudices.

Why not a documentary on Rama, who is more controversial in India today? Proof of his existence would certainly be more than welcome today…

A documentary on Rama is forthcoming in the future. But the immediate reason I deferred that project is the immense cost it would entail. Whereas research on Krishna and Mahabharata was present and ready to go.

Further more, Rama according to Indian thought, existed in the long hoary ancient past of Treta Yuga, where science finds it difficult to go.

There is a controversial point in your documentary where someone Isckon monk alludes to Krishna as being the father of Jesus. How can you say that since there is an age gap of roughly 3000 years between the two spiritual giants?

Is Krishna the spiritual father of Jesus? That is what the person who was training to be a Roman Catholic priest, and who now worships Krishna, asks. The answer comes within the field of comparative religion and theology.

The Biblical scriptures qualify Jesus as the son of God. Most Indians have no problems accepting this as Hindus are a naturally secular people. However, then the question that arises is, if Jesus is the son, then who is the Father or God Himself?

Now, Biblical scriptures do not really give the answer except to say that the Father is all-powerful and omnipresent. Now, of course, we know that Jesus does not say that he is omnipresent or omnipotent.

Now, no scripture can live as an island, all by itself, and the Srimad Bhagavatam and other scriptures such as the Bramha Samhita all call Krishna as an all powerful, omnipresent being.

So, if we use these words of Bhagavatam, there can be no other truth, which means that Krishna is the father of all living creation.

But it does not mean that Jesus is not divine. Jesus is indeed divine. What I liked about the monks in my documentary is that they do not denigrate Jesus although they worship Krishna as God. They keep Jesus in their hearts, while worshipping Krishna. What could be more secular or more Christian?

3067 BC is when the Mahabharata war took place, says Dr Achar. How did he arrive at this?

There are more than 140 astronomy references in the Mahabharata. Dr Achar used simulations of the night sky to arrive at November 22, 3067 BC, as the day the Mahabharata war began.

He used the references common to Udyoga and Bhisma Parvan initially, and so Saturn at Rohini, Mars at Jyestha with initially only the two eclipses, Lunar at Kartika and Solar at Jyestha.

Let me tell you how rare this set of astronomical conjunctions is.

The Saros cycle of eclipses is periodic at 19 years and so is the Metonic cycle of lunar phases.

So if I say that Amavasya has occured at Jyestha, then this will occur again in 19 years, but if I say that a solar eclipse has occured at Jyestha, then this occurs again at Jyestha only after 340 years. Add Saturn at Rohini and we take this to 1 in 7,000 years. This set of conjunctions takes all of these into consideration, but also takes all the other data into consideration.

So now, we know about Balarama’s pilgrimage tithis and nakshatras, and believe it or not, all that fits the 3067 BC date perfectly.

And to top it all, so does the repetition of the three eclipses described at the destruction of Dwarka 36 years later.

This would explain why so many other researchers tried and failed to find the date of the Mahabharata war as it is based on such a unique set of astronomy that it occured only once in the last 10,000 years.

So essentially, your thesis is that since the Mahabharata war actually happened, as confirmed by astronomical deduction, Krishna was also a living entity since he’s the fulcrum of the Great War?

Not just that, but the fact that archaeology, oral and living traditions point to the same. And yes, we cannot separate the Mahabharata war from Krishna. If one is shown to have happened, then the other must be true as well.

What’s your next project?

The next project is called Indian Jesus. It is already 80% complete. It is very controversial but needed to be done. Living in India convinced me that there are definitely many paths to God. Anybody who lives in India and does not subscribe to that concept should be termed intolerant, but instead the opposite is happening. There are some people today who call their God as God and mine as the devil, this is unacceptable, and I will see to it that those intolerant concepts are demolished. I long to see a one borderless world where we live in mutual respect. I cannot say much on the project but to say that I will prove that the underlying basis of religions is the same.

There is talk of a banyan tree which the documentary says was a witness to the Battle of Kurukshetra, where 4 million people are said to have died in 14 days. Where exactly does this exist? Has the tree been carbon-dated to confirm its age?

There is indeed a banyan tree at Jyotisaar in Kurukshetra which is worshipped as such. This concept is similar to the tree in Jerusalem, which is thought to have witnessed Jesus’s arrival. Carbon-dating of this banyan tree is unlikely to give any concrete answers. I have included it in the documentary to show the living tradition of India — like worship of the Ganges cannot be carbon-dated to give any answers.

There is a gentleman named Ram Prasad Birbal, who said he has found many bones which are said to belong to the Kurukshetra battle. Has this been scientifically proved?

Ram Prasad Birbal is a resident of Kurukshetra. I am not aware of carbon dating of those bones. But I am informed that thermo-luminescent dating of other relics as well as carbon-dating at other sites in Kurukshetra have given dates far older than the Indus valley civilisation. Further, Euan Mackie, an eminent archaeologist, had found a clay tablet of Krishna’s Yamalaarjuna episode at Mohenjedaro, a site of the Indus Valley civilisation proving that even in 2200 BC, there was a culture of worshipping Krishna.

You said Hinduism spread across South East Asia in those times … how big was this religious empire?

The Hindu religious empire extended across the whole of the Asian sub-continent to South East Asia, from Afghanistan to Thailand (where Ramayana and Krishna are still shown through dances), Burma, Cambodia (Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, etc), Vietnam, Laos (little Kurukshetra and temples), Malaysia (which was Hindu until recent) up to Java (more temples), Bali (where Hinduism is still the religion) and Indonesia, where Bhima’s grandson is said to have performed a thousand fire rituals at Yogyakarta. Afghanistan was of course home to both the Yadu race and Shakuni (Kandahar or Gandhar).

Dr Achar said the Kurukshetra war must not have happened on a full moon day…

The Mahabharata war did not start on an Amavasya. That is straight forward.

Krishna tells Karna “Saptama chappi divasat Amavasya Bhivasyati” and says that Karna should tell Drona and Bhisma to do the ayudha (weapons) pooja on that date. But not start fighting the war on that date.

The documentary is quiet crisp. I am told this is the first time you held a camera, and learnt how to shoot. How many days did this take and what was your budget?

I learnt film editing first using a variety of software such as Final Cut 6 as I realised that a film director must be able to do decent basic editing to realise what to shoot, from what angles and for what duration.

I bought a professional grade HD movie camcorder initially and then learnt to shoot before we went filming in 8 major Indian cities, the US, UK and Cambodia.

However, nothing prepares you as thoroughly as filming on your own. Most of this was done with a skeleton crew, mostly handling audio.

I later was funded to buy the latest Cinealta tru HD movie cameras, which are not available in India, and which I am now proficient in using. I also taught a few crew members how to shoot.

Then came the task of assembling a team of professionals to do editing, graphics, voice over and all else, so that I had a team of people for my next set of documentaries.

It was a steep learning curve, as I never went to film school, but it has worked out well, with people within the industry who are veterans complimenting my work. I personally think that it was all God’s grace.

The budget was 15,000 pounds or approximately Rs 12 lakh. It took me 18 months to complete.

Your documentary says India did not have a tradition of putting down everything in writing till 325 BC, when Alexander the Great arrived. How did you come to this conclusion?

This is what the current scientific belief is. Although people have talked about deciphering the Indus Valley “script”, there is no straightforward conclusion about the same, so we stuck to the “official line” there. We will deal with these issues in a future documentary.

S R Rao, the marine archaeologist from the National Institute of Oceanography, found a 9th century building, and an entire city. Where was this and when did he find it?.

S R Rao found the sunken city of Dwarka a few years ago at Beyt Dwarka in the early 1990s.

Apparently, this city near Dwarka was set up 36 years after the Mahabharata war. Is this the summation of Rao?

It is believed that due to damage and destruction by the sea, Dwaraka has submerged six times and the modern-day Dwarka is the 7th such city to be built in the area. Scientifically speaking, we see that 36 years after the war there were the same repetitions of an eclipse triad as we have shown in the documentary.

From Dwarka to Kurukshetra is more than 1,000 km. How do you think Krishna travelled to help the Pandavas?

As a scientist, I believe that they travelled on horses which would enable them to reach pretty quickly. If you consider 1,000 km, that should take him 7 days if he had a string of horses. Of course if you take faith into account, then it could happen in a twinkling of an eye.

What’s the link between the two comets that Sage Vyasa talked about, the retrograde motion of Mars (Mangal or Kuja) at Antares (Jyestha) to all this

The idea that comets are harbingers of doom is well-documented. The thing is that there is a set of statements describing comets and their positions. Only Dr Achar has arrived at the correct deduction, that those sentences in Bhisma Parvan relate to comets, not planets — which is where previous researchers found it difficult.

We know that Halley’s comet was seen in that year as well.

Dr Achar interpreted verses from the Bhism Parvan and Udyog Parvan to arrive at various conclusions. One of them is that when Saturn in at Aldebaran (Rohini) it brings great bad tidings. The last time this happened was in September 2001, when 9/11 happened. When does this happen next?

Actually Saturn at Rohini is long known to be a bad omen by astrologers. Rohinim Pidyannesha Stitho Rajan Shanischarah. This transit happened in 1971 where a million or so were killed, and again in 2001 September, when 9/11 happened. The next time is in 2030/2031 AD approximately.

When is the next time Mars will be in Antares?

Mars at Jyestha has to be taken in conjunction with the other things mentioned by Karna when he talks to Krishna, as it occurs every year. In any case, those people were great astronomers and not just warriors, so we don’t know what the extent of their knowledge was regarding these events, In my personal humble opinion it was perhaps even better than that which we have today.

Contact Dr Pandit at manish@saraswatifilms.org

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July 19, 2009

Gita on Fighting Terrorism

Filed under: Hinduism,Islam,Jihad — thecandideye @ 6:29 AM
Tags: , , , ,

A wonderful article by Rajiv Malhotra on Bhagavad Gita and its relevence in fighting terrorism in today’s world…

*****Excerpts from the article *****

In the Bhagavad Gita, God appears in human form as Krishna, to guide Arjuna in the fight / don’t fight dilemma that Arjuna faces. What might this 18 chapter holiest of the Hindu scriptures teach us in the dilemma we now face concerning global terrorism? Krishna’s advice fits neither of the two extremes that are presently dominating the media debate: at one end are the majority of Americans who promote revenge against the terrorists as a notion of justice — an eye for an eye. At the other end is a minority of anti-war activists who want no violence, and instead advocate that the US should take the blame for having caused hatred against itself. The Gita’s message rejects both these. Its short-term message for this situation pertains to the ethics of war, and its long-term message calls for systemic changes required by both Islam and the West in order to harmonize humanity.

Lord Krishna and Arjuna

Lord Krishna and Arjuna

Dharmic War

Krishna scolds Arjuna for his initial attitude of abandonment, saying that there is a global evil that must be dealt with; Arjuna is the best qualified one to fight this evil given his training, capabilities, and position. This is God’s work and not his own. By analogy, one could argue that the US must play Arjuna’s role, being positioned as the only superpower and having the resources to carry this out. In Hindu dharma, a ruler has the obligation to protect the public from such menaces, and to abandon this role would be irresponsible. God’s advice to Arjuna is: “Engage in battle with equanimity and without getting overwhelmed by the extremes of joy and sorrow, gain and loss, and thus you won’t incur sin.”

The Gita does not condone indiscriminate “carpet bombing.” Since karma is individual and merit based, there cannot be racial profiling against anyone. It is also made clear in the Gita that Arjuna has nothing personal to gain from winning. He does not seek power, wealth, fame or glory. Hence, it is not an act to be carried out by the ego and must be free of selfish motives. Applying this to the present dilemma, there are some implications:

 The US should not focus on ending only the terrorism that is against the US, but rather, it should deal equally with all terrorism that hurts anyone in the world, including remote corners where the US does not perceive a direct selfish interest at this time. Everything is totally interconnected as per Indian cosmogony, and there is no morality in segregating the US’s selfish interests from the interests of humanity at large. Unfortunately, Senator Kerry, head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, amongst other policymakers, has defined the area of US interests to be from Afghanistan to Saudi Arabia, which means that the Indian subcontinent’s Islamic terrorism remains a blind spot.

The US cannot aid terrorists one year by classifying them as freedom fighters against an US enemy, and fight them the next year when they turn sour.

Dharmic War is not Jihad

It is also important to contrast the message of the Gita with that of jihad, since some western scholars have tried to draw similarities: 

The Gita’s call to Arjuna is not against a country that is a thousand miles away and that has never in its history threatened anyone militarily. Moderate Muslim interpretations state that jihad is an internal fight against evil within, thereby denying the Taliban’s legitimacy. There is merit to this claim. However, for 1300 years, a great many individuals, societies and rulers have interpreted jihad as a license to kill infidels and as a mandate to expand. The 7th century invasion of Sindh (India) by Arabs was explicitly celebrated as jihad, and history is filled with one wave of Islamic plunder of India after another. The Taliban’s atrocities look benign by comparison. These Islamic jihads, such as by Mohammed of Ghazni, Ghauri, and all the way down to Aurungzeb, were not rationalized by the conquerors as a fight against any threat or based on any dispute. Rather, these were justified as wars to kills infidels and to destroy their idols. Therefore, attempts to rationalize terrorism by blaming US and Israeli policies ignore the history of jihad that precedes the existence of the United States and Israel.

Islam Versus Islam

The Gita’s dharma is built on profound self-examination. Professor Akbar Ahmad, as quoted in Newsweek recently, says that the clash of civilizations is a clash between Islam and Islam — the liberals versus the fundamentalists. Islamic scholars need to introspect about fashioning Islam for democratic, secular and pluralistic times, and should take on social reforms seriously. Islam’s history has had some such voices of progress, but these were often dominated by radical elements opposed to pluralism and modernity.

We must remember Emperor Akbar who utilized India’s tradition of interfaith debate and cross-fertilization, to facilitate dialogs between Hindu and Muslim scholars. This resulted in spiritual innovation and syncretism of new Hindu-Muslim hybrid theologies and sociologies. India became the ground of the most progressive Islam in the world. His grandson, Dara Shikoh, the heir to the Mughal throne, was an eminent scholar of Sanskrit and Hindu texts, having personally translated the Gita and the Upanishads into Persian. His vision was to have a Hindu-Muslim harmonious society of mutual respect. However, he was murdered by his younger brother, Aurungzeb.

The oppressive rule by Aurungzeb was the longest rule amongst all Mughal rulers, in which he planted the seeds of communal hatred and the eventual collapse of the Mughal Empire at the hands of a small number of British traders. Aurungzeb’s killing of Dara Shikoh was the defining moment in the history of the Indian subcontinent, with far-reaching effects till today. This Hindu-Muslim history offers many lessons on dharma and the playing out of the karma that was created.

Read the entire article here.

July 7, 2009

Triple eclipse interests rationals

Sri D. K. Hari has published a fantastic book combining Astronomy, History and Geography, Archeology and a huge literature survey (with Lots of color pictures!!) :-

The Triple Eclipse of 2009

 grahan

Here is a news summarizing view of Historian and Astrophysicist.

An article has appeared on rediff here.

The book is available in divine shops of Art of Living and major book stalls in the city. You are welcome to read the book and then participate in the comments on above rediff article.

May 27, 2009

An advice not taken

Babri Masjid Ram Mandir was a national issue of tension some years ago. His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar (henceforth Guruji in this article) had suggested some important feasible solutions. Having not taken into consideration, an opportunity for peace was lost.

It is sad that Prabhakar, leader of LTTE, is killed. Is this how we treat our political oppositions? Is there nothing like a peace treaty, an agreement of understanding?

In past there have been wars, for power, religion, territory, wealth – but they had a human corner. An opposition king was not brutally murdered (atleast in many cases). There would be a peace at the end of war.

What is the guarranty that another Prabhakar won’t be born?

Guruji had visited Srilanka 3 years ago. He talked with Prabhakar saying, “you think you are leading a freedom fight, but the world thinks you as a terrorist. All goals are not achieved by war, talk to government and come to a peaceful agreement.” And he told the government, “see, all wars are not won by power alone. There needs to be a dialog. You cannot make peace with a totally defeated enemy, you cannot make friends with them. So having shown the power, come to the talking terms.” Both did not listen. Prabhakar said, Guruji you don’t know politics, you do your teaching of meditation and all that. Government anyways wanted to wipe out LTTE totally.

By disagreeing to simple words of advice of the saint, the two parties have lost the chance, and lives of lakhs of people are devastated. Srilankan Government has lost all faith and concern of Tamils in India.

On the other hand, listening to Sri Sri, Gujjar agitation could be overcome, and peace was brokered between Raje and Gujjar.

There are numerous examples in the history, where prosperity has downed when the Kings ruled the country in consultation with the Guru s. Why so? Simply because one who is Ruler, looks for proper administration, and one who is reformer, looks for proper benefit for all. A Ruler without the guidance of reformers can become selfish, biased, corrupt. A Reformer without aid of Ruler finds it tough to bring a remarkable change in the Society.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had Swami Ramdas as his guiding mentor.

Chanakya was the guiding mentor of Chandragupta Mourya.

Buddha guided King Ashoka. And in much olden days, Krishna guided Pandavas and Vasishtha Rishi trained the King Rama.

Who are all the saints today in India and abroad? Its true that there have been a few frauds under the umbrella of sainthood, and it has been punished time and again. However, majority are good only. Why haven’t we heard of their works, their ideas for building a nation…

Rulers and Reformers in India need to join hands together.

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